UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNI, 3 1822 00780 9320 DA 880 .B2 T3 .920 *m A| o B o B o = 9 a o E 8 m 8 = 3 = o m BRACH FEERINGS V -•' ■' « /".. .',:,; -1^ 0/°'&Z. zHbiiY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO 1 £L6i*Jr 3 1822 00780 9320 7 //fe; k+M* a^*£ & 'seta* THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF C N DIWO LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA M \1%c CABRACH FEERINGS. w o < W < Q P=i O W GO l-H « O CABRACH FEERINGS BY THE LATE JAMES TAYLOR, J.P. EDITED BY JANET ANDERSON. BANFF: THE BANFFSHIRE JOURNAL LIMITED. 1920. A "Peering" is the first furrow ploughed, and is a guide for all the rest. The ploughing of the field of " The Cabrach" is only begun in the present volume, but may tins u feering" guide to a satisfactory "finishing." EDITOR'S PREFACE. The late Mr James Taylor, of Milltown, Lesmurdie, was much interested in his native place, and when chance brought in his way some old diaries and newspaper cuttings, relating to The Cabrach, which had belonged to his uncle, John Taylor, of Boghead, familiarly known as "Boggy," he thought it might occupy some leisure hours to arrange and elaborate them. But soon his enthusiasm grew, so that he was not content with these meagre records, but sought out every book containing any reference to Cabrach, and gathered information from every possible source. I had the pleasure of helping Mr Taylor in this work for some years, and I spent days in research in the Public Libraries of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, in the Advocates' Library, the Scottish Register House, and the British Museum Reading Room, while Mr Taylor, who was pre- vented by ill-health from journeying so far from home for this purpose, would eagerly wait for news of some elusive land charter or family history. He was able to go to Elgin, however, and spent many an hour in the Library there, or in searching at home through the books he was able to buy or borrow. Mr Taylor had intended the work to be much more ex- tensive; as readers will see for themselves, the Upper Cab- rach is not touched on in the chapter entitled "Traversing The Cabrach," nor is there much information about the school there. I have by me a paper on which are noted points to be cleared up, and give them here, in case any reader can supply the information : — Beldorney, Belcherry, and Succoth. Guestloan, pro- prietors as tar back as possible. Tenants of the three? When did Corrinassie come to the Duke of Gordon ? The burying ground at Forteith. Is anything known of the writing of Mr Robertson, Woodside, Elgin, about the cists and skeletons found? What was the name of the chapel on the river bank on the farm of Tomb.. Is anything known about the chapel? When was the last laird of Lesmurdie in Invercharroch ? Can a copy of "The Missionar Kirk'' be had? Is anything known of the history of the Cabrach, or of the church, between 1707 and Are there any accounts, written or oil. of the smuggling? Arc there any writings about the Cabrach 186 -1-2-3, such as were contributed to the £._ .rant by the "Rambler"? When and how was the boundary between the Soc and Lesmurdie defined? When the war commenced in the Ca history was put aside for the time. In 1916 I left The ( rach, but before my departure arranged all our manus. in a connected form to await an opportunity of publishing. They remained untouched till the summer of 191S, \ the bundle was to Mr James Grant, LL.B.. of Banff, who undertook to arrange for the publication. The negotiations were proceeding when Mr Taylor suddenly ^.ptember 191S. I was staying at the Milltown at the time, and had some talk with Mr Taylor about "The Book," as his friends used to call it, but as his death took place two - after my arrival, we had no time to make any definite arrangements. When I saw Mr Grant a few days later he was very enthusiastic about his task, and keenly reg: that Mr Taylor had not lived to see his book in print. Within a few months Mr Grant, unfortunately, was sc with influenza, from which he never recovered, and the question of publishing "Cabrach Feerings" was dropped, until Mrs Taylor arranged for its issue in this form. We have been much indebted for ice in various ways to the late Mr James Grant, LL.B. ; Mr Y Banff ; Mr Fraser, Librarian of Aberdeen Public Library ; Mr John Mallett, London; and to Mr G. T. L: M.I.C.E., for his excellent map. JANET ANDERSON. Barnsley, November 1920. CONTENTS PAGE Introduction, - - - - 9 Chap. I. — Position and Extent of the Cabrach, - 11 Chap. II. — Cabrach and its Lairds, - - 24 Chap. III. — Traversing the Cabrach, - - 37 Chap. IV. — Weather and Crops, - - 51 Chap. V. — Streams and Fishing, - - -62 Chap. VI.— Education, - - - - 70 Chap. VII. — Ecclesiastical History, - - 77 Chap. VIII— The Library, - 106 Appendix I. - - - - 112 Appendix II. ... hq Appendix III. - - - 122 Appendix IV. - - - - 126 Appendix V. - - - - - 138 Map of Parish of Cabrach, Facing Title CABRACH FEERINGS. " Resign the rhapsody, the dream To men of larger reach ; Be ours the quest of a plain theme, The piety of speech." INTRODUCTION. Cabrach, or "The" Cabrach, for in common with some other districts, as The Tyrol, The Engadine, this enjoys the distinction of the definite article, though known and loved of many, yet is by others less fortunate totally un- known or much misunderstood. It is believed to lie in that far region, vaguely called "The Back of Beyond," to be difficult of approach, and to be, even in summer, a place of residence for only the most hardy of men, "a place abound- ing in nothing but precipitous hills, yawning passes, and endless marshy mosses^ through which stranger and foreigner may never hope to pass. A spot isolated from all known regions of civilisation, and destitute even of the ordinary privilege of accommodation roads, by which its wilds may be explored and its desolation seen. A land on which barrenness is so terribly written that corn grows but to frost and die ere its ear be full, leaving the inhabitants entirely dependent upon the fertility of other districts for their means of support. A place where the summer sun scorns to exert his influence, and where the rains of spring and the frosts and snows of winter linger with tenacious hold among its barren heights, like the robber caterans of old, long after they have been driven from the homes of civilisation, and scared from the genial face of the plains. A place so wildly desolate and inhospitably barren, that nothing but the firmest nerve, urged on by dire necessity, could ever induce a human being to traverse it." Such is the account given by a writer of the middle of last century of the popular idea of The Cabrach in those 10 days, and even now some people seem to have much the same notions concerning it. Here is another interesting glimpse of the ideas formerly held about this elusive region, entitled, "Dr Michie's first impressions of Cabrach," which we found among some old papers. " The doctor by nature was a very stout built man, and a great pedestrian. On his first approach to Cabrach he preferred walking across the hills from Rhynie. On reaching the summit of the hill and looking down on the vallej'- below he observed a river winding its serpentine course along its midst ; this river had the appearance to emerge out from below a mountain to the west, and to dis- appear below a mountain in the east, there was no appear- ance of an ingress or egress, its banks were decked in green sward where black cattle grazed in abundance, and its heath-clad braes covered with fleecy flocks ; after surveying the scenery below he cast his eyes westwards and he could behold mountain after mountain. He said to himself "I have travelled mony a weary foot through this warl' but noo I have reached the back side of it. I wager this colony has escaped the researches of Dr Johnson, when he reached the Hebrides he said the}' were the outside or the riddlings of creation. I began to contemplate in my mind what sort of a race its inhabitants might be, it brought to my recollection the incidents related by a pedestrian something like myself, who had travelled largely through the world; on his return home he related that he found a colony whose inhabitants had but one leg, they had a very large round foot like a girdle, they hopped while they walked, and were called 'Girdle Hoppers.' Well, I presume this to be that colony. I have made a wonderful discovery and perhaps a profitable one too, I may catch a pair of these creatures and have them exhibited, or at least I may do the public service and send one of them to the Zoological Gardens at London." The aim of the present volume is to dispel all these illusions, to introduce this charming countryside to new friends, and to make its history better known to old ones. 11 CHAPTER I. POSITION AND EXTENT OF THE CABRACH. — HOW TO REACH IT. "Fae Foggy loan to the Brig o' Potarch, An' sooth by the Glen o' Dye. Fae the Back o' the Cabrach thro' Midmar, Whaurever your tryst may lie ; At ilka toll on the weary road There's a piece an' a dram forbye, Gin ye show them your groat, an' say laich in your throat ' The Back o' Beyont is dry.' " (Chas. Muhbay.) First, let us explain exactly the extent of the Cabrach, and the meaning of the terms "Upper" and "L,ower" Cabrach. A reference to the sketch map will greatly aid in understanding this. It will be seen that the Cabrach is all in the county of Banff, its limits are — N., Craig Watch, 1540 ft. ; S., Craig an Innein, 2073 ft. ; W., Cairn na Bruar, 2240 ft.; and E., East of Elrick, 1250 ft. The boundary line runs along the tops of the hills surrounding the district, and in no place is it lower than 800 ft. above sea level. The Upper Cabrach is the original parish of Cabrach, and is the district always indicated in charters, &c, previous to the year 1665. It was formerly included in the shire of Aberdeen, and extended from Craig an Innein on the S. to the burn of Altdauch on the N., and from the Elrick on the E. to Rounamuck on the W. The Lower Cabrach was at one time known as Strathdeveron, and was divided into three dauchs, Corrinuisie, Lesmurdie, and Blackwater ; it formed part of the parish of Mortlach, but was united to the Upper Cabrach for church purposes in the year 1665. In 18 the county boundary was moved back to coincide with that of Upper Cabrach, thus bringing the whole parish into the county of Banff, except for Parliamentary election purposes, when the people of Upper Cabrach vote in West 12 Aberdeenshire. The extent of the parish is n miles from N. to S., and Si miles from E. to W. Of the entrances to the Cabrach that from Dufftown may be considered the chief, as the station there is the nearest point on the Great North of Scotland railway for the greater part of the parish, and at Dufftown also is the fort- nightly market, to which the Cabrach farmers take their cattle and other produce for sale, and there they transact their necessary business, while their goodwives do their shopping and study the fashions. Immediately after leaving the station at Dufftown a road breaks off to the left, and skirting the hill, joins the main road through the town about three-quarters of a mile further on. About three hundred yards along this road, on the side of the hill between it and the town, are the ruins of the old castle of Balvenie. The castle is said to have been built originally by the Danes, and a large room in it is yet called "The Danes' Hall." It was rebuilt about the year 1460 by the Earl of Athole, who obtained the lord- ship of Balvenie from King James II., his half-brother, it having been forfeited by the Earl of Douglas for joining in his brother's rebellion. It has been a strong building, with a large court enclosed on three sides by a turreted wall, the castle itself forming the fourth side, and above the principal entrance are still plainly to be seen the arms of Athole, with their motto, "Fvrth Fortvin And Fil Thi Fatris." The iron gates are supposed to have been brought from Rothes Castle. After the castle ceased to belong to the Stewarts, it passed into the possession successively of Lord Saltoun, Lord Ochiltree, Sir Robert Innes of Inver- markie, Sutherland of Kinminity, Arthur Forbes, brother to Blackton, and finally of Alex. Duff of Braco, from whom it has descended to the present Duchess of Fife. The new castle of Balvenie, directly opposite the station, was built in 1725 by William Duff of Braco; the Duke of Gordon allowed the builders to take what stones they wanted from the castle of Auchindoun, hence the demolition of that castle of its ornaments of freestone ; and also gave wood from Glenmore for its fittings. It is now converted into a distillery. The town takes its name from the family of the Duke of Fife, on whose land it was built in the years 1816-1817; 13 it is situated on a hill about a mile from the station, and is a typical Scotch village, with low stone houses, wide streets, wind-swept and clean, and a central square with a clock - tower, erected by the 4th Earl of Fife. Dufftown produces excellent whisky — there are no fewer than seven distilleries in or near the town — there are also very up-to-date lime works, and in the main streets some good shops. The Parish Church is one of the oldest in Scotland, part of it dating from the time of Malcolm II., wiio founded the see of Mortlach, afterwards transferred to Aberdeen. There are besides, churches belonging to the United Free Church of Scotland, the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and the Catholic Church. A little below the town the road crosses the Dullan, a small and very clear stream, which, after a course of four miles, here joins the Fiddich. Next we reach the bridge of Sandy hillock, which used to be a very dangerous corner, but which has recently been much improved by the widen- ing of the bridge, and the cutting away of the bank ; turn- ing sharply to the right the way now begins to ascend, and presently the small wood of Tomnon is reached. This was formerly a commonty for the resting of cattle on their way south from the Muir of Ord and other markets in the north. After passing the farm of Laggan on the left, the character of the country begins to change, and we descend to the valley of the Fiddich, through a birch wood. Here is the entrance to Glenfiddich shooting lodge, three miles up the river Fiddich, which belongs to the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, with a keeper's cottage at the gate. From the bridge we look down the valley to the ruined castle of Auchindoun, standing in a commanding position on a knoll. Little is known of its orgin or history, but it is assumed that it belongs to the period between 1000 and 1200, when many forts were erected both as a means of defence against inva- sion, and as a protection to the surrounding country in the frequent inter-tribal wars. It was rebuilt by Cochrane, the favourite of James III., then passed into the possession of Lord Drummond, who sold it, with other lands and castle, to Sir James Ogilvy of Deskford, from whom it came to the Gordons. It was burned down by the Mackintoshes in revenge for the murder of their chieftain in 1500, and 14 afterwards repaired, but is now fallen into ruin under the influence of the weather and the depredations of modern builders. In front of us now lies a wild and picturesque region. On the farther side of the river rises the steep and rugged hill of Bemain, along the side of which our road winds its way steadily upwards till lost to view between the hills. On our right, as we follow it is first the burn of Allawakin, rushing down beside it, then a wide stretch of moor, with hill upon hill beyond, covered with heather, which in August will be richest purple, and at other seasons soft brown or green, with here and there patches of a brighter green where the ground is marshy, and on the brow of the nearest hill a dark fir plantation, just below which may be traced the site of the farm-buildings of The Brackery, the ground near showing signs of having been cultivated, but long since become part of the deer-forest. Fre- quently, especially in bad weather, when they come down from the higher parts of the forest, large herds of deer may be seen, and if it is the traveller's fortune to come this way on a dark night of autumn, he may be thrilled by hearing the roar and stamp of the stags as they send forth their challenge to battle. Plenty of grouse, too, will most likely be seen, rising with a birr-bik-bik-bik, to alight again a hundred yards or so farther on, while the cry of the whaup and the peewit but serve to increase the loneliness, remind- ing one irresistibly of Stevenson's lines : — " the vacant wine-red moor, Hills of sheep and the howes of the silent vanished races, And winds austere and pure." Three-fourths of the way up the hill is the "Wall o* the Balloch," a fountain with horse trough and iron dipper, where, judging by the number of spent matches on the ground, many a welcome rest is taken. It is told of a Cabrach man that he was returning from Dufftown with a bottle of the best in his pocket, and reaching this well, thought to taste, but he had no corkscrew and was com- pelled to knock off the neck of the bottle. Alas ! the blow was awkward and the bottle broke, spilling its contents in the basin. The worthy man gazed horror-stricken for a moment at the appalling sight of the good whisky mixing with the water and running over the edge, then, determined 15 not to waste more than he could help, fell on his knees and drank till he could drink no more, then went regretfully on his way vowing thenceforth never to travel without a corkscrew. The well has attracted a more distinguished visitor, though, for the late King Edward has sometimes stopped here for luncheon, and on one occasion that luncheon was shared by a man who, though not a Cabrach man, was next door to it. Arrived at the top of the hill, after a climb of about a mile, we turn to look backward ere advancing farther ; below winds the path we have traversed, all around are wild bare hills, heather-clad, blue or purple or black as the light strikes them, not a house in sight, on the horizon to the S.E. the sharp peak of Ben Rinnes, and away to the N. the far blue hills of Sutherland seen across the Moray Firth ; this is, indeed, one of the finest views of the neigh- bourhood and no visitor should miss it. Just before entering the narrow pass in front, several mounds, known as Jean's Hillocks, are to be seen. They are said to have been so named in memory of a certain Jean Gordon of Lesmoir, who, having squandered her estate, was reduced to beggary and died here of hunger and fatigue. A ballad of the time describes her misfortunes, but the only fragment we could find was the last two lines : — " She drank her Ian' and sold her shoon, And died at Allawakin." This pass, called The Glacks of the Balloch, is just wide enough to admit the road at the base of the hills forming it. It is not quite straight, so that on entering one cannot see what lies beyond, but it is only about a hundred yards long and we are soon through it. Here, on the calmest day, a breeze is felt, and on a day of wind the gale rushes through the pass as through a funnel and seems to beat back the intruder. The road now slopes away, and if the visitor happens to be awheel, he will find an easy run down for the next three miles, to compensate him for the toil of the journey hitherto. We must not omit to mention the "Wormy Howe," the popular name applied to the Old Caledonian Road, the highway from Forres by Auchindoun and the 16 Cabrach to the Mearns, which here makes its appearance as a fairly well-defined hollow, and which may be traced through the Glacks, along the base of the Muckle Balloch, on the left, crossing to the Garbet hill, and thence along its face and over the Kelman Hill to Boghead, where it crosses the Deveron and runs south to Tap o' Noth. By some it is thought to be a remnant of a Roman road, but as there is no evidence in its character to prove it such, and as also there is considerable douot as to whether the Romans were ever in this region, we prefer to believe it is the old Caledonian or Pict road. Tradition, however, supplies an explanation of its existence, from which its popular name of "Wormy Howe" is derived. At some far distant period two huge "worms" appeared in the north, and journeyed to meet each other, the one starting from Benachie, the other from near the Balloch Hill ; the latter, as it gathered itself together for the start, threw up those mounds already referred to as Jean's Hillocks, then with a thrust of its powerful head pierced the hill forming the Glacks, and dragged its length over the course described, hastening to join battle with its rival. What happened then, or if indeed the two ever met, is a question left unanswered by the legend, but not so long ago there used still to be in the Cabrach a few believers in the story, and one old man always concluded his version of it with the words, "Gad, man, I kenna fat wad hae happened if they worms had bit met." We shall not yet enter the Cabrach, but take a look first at the other approaches to it. The next in importance is that from the N.E., and in these motoring times it is fast becoming the more popular with travellers from the south, for though the road is twice the length of the first, yet an hour of railway travelling is saved. Alighting at Huntly Station, the visitor must pass through the town, which is a thriving place, with wool mills and farm implement manufactories. In the centre is the inevitable square, with a monument to the last Duke of Gordon, and on the right a road conducts to the Gordon Schools, under the arched portal of which one enters the park of the ruined Castle of Strathbogie, commonly called Huntly Castle, for long a stronghold of the Earls of Huntly. The lands of Strathbogie first came into the possession of the Gordons in 1327, when they were forfeited by their 17 owner, David of Strathbolgie, a descendant of the houses of Athole and Fife, who as one of the "disinherited barons" joined the Balliol faction, and were given instead to the loyal Sir Adam Gordon, the founder of his line. Our way leads out of the town in a south-westerly direction, and bends away to the left till it reaches the river Deveron at Cairnford, where it forks ; one branch keeping to the right bank of the river is a fair road for some seven miles or so, then it dwindles to a mere footpath, and after another mile becomes again an accommodation road, finally crossing the Deveron at a point in the Cabrach three miles from the parish boundar}\ The other branch crosses the river by a substantial iron bridge at Cairnford, and is the main road to the Cabrach. The first place of importance is Cairnborrow, on our left, which is of some antiquity, being mentioned in a charter of 1353 as belonging to William of Keith, Earl Marischal of Scotland, whose daughter married one of the Gordons, into the possession of which family it had passed in 151 2, when the name again occurs in a charter. In 1594 it is recorded that the Marquis of Huntly came to Cairnborrow in search of recruits for his arnry before the battle of Glenlivet ; he asked the lady of the house if she could let him have some men, and she answered without hesitation that she would send her bus- band and her eight sons, with their attendants. Huntly wished the laird to remain at home, for he was an old man and had done his share of fighting; but "Na, na, my lord, I'll blood the whelps mysel', they'll bite the better," said old Gordon, and he and his eight sons, each with a jackman and footman, went to the battle, from which they all re- turned safely. In 17 15 a son of the house was Roman Catholic missionary in Glenlivet. Cairnborrow is now owned by Mr Stevenson. At about six miles from Huntly, the house of Asswan- ley stands on the right bank of the river. It is a good-sized house, with farm-steading adjacent, among old trees. Here lived Elizabeth Cr_uickshank, the mother of "Jock" and "Tarn" Gordon, on the question of whose legitimacy the authorities are divided. It was also the residence of Hutcheon Calder, who stole the cup from the camp of the Earl of Crawford, as related in "A Concise History of the Antient and Illustrious House of Gordon," by C. A. 18 Gordon, published in Aberdeen in 1754. "There was one Hutcheon Calder in company with Huntley when he went to the batell of Brichen against the Earl of Crawford, who by his cunning and courage got into the camp of Earle Beardy, and likewise into his tent, who, after supper, brought away the said Earl's drinking cup (which cup Calder of Asswanlie keeps to this day) , being a large silver cup overlaid with gold, holding a Scots pint and two gills, of fine engraven and carved work, and with a cape upon which there is ane inscription, which is now lost; where- with returning to the camp, in the silence of the night, he gave account to Huntley of the situation of Earle Beardy 's camp, and number of his forces; and as a testimony of his being there, produced the said cup : upon which intelligence they attacked Crawford in the morning and defeated his forces, for which service the said Hutcheon Calder obtained the lands of Aswanlie, whose posterity possess it to this day." This Earl of Crawford was the terrible Earl Beardy, who figures in the weird and awful tales of the haunting of Glamis Castle, the family seat. The road now branches again, the lower path leading directly to the Haugh of Glass, the upper to Dufftown. A mile farther on these two are connected by a crossroad, at the foot of the Glass Market Hill, thus enclosing a triangle within which are situated Blairmore Castle, the property of Mr Geddes ; Invermarkie, the original home of the Geddes family ; Glenmarkie shooting lodge, and the Parish Church and Manse of Glass. Keeping for a little to the upper road, we presently turn down an avenue to the left, and see in front of us the gate of the Castle, while farther down the Church and Manse stand on a rising ground, one of the most fertile spots of the parish, as is amply testified by the gay garden. The Church, which is quite modern, contains a fine organ, the gift of Sir Frederick Bridge, who makes his summer home in the neighbourhood. From be- low the Church a good view of Blairmore Castle, towering above the trees, is obtainable. At the Market Hill is held annually, on the third Tues- day of July, Glass Market, originally called St Andrew's Fair, an ancient institution, and formerly of great import- ance, lasting two or three days, but since the extension of the railway, it, like many more of the old markets, has 19 gradually dwindled till it is little more than an excuse for a day's holiday. Turning to the left along the base of the triangle, we next come to the hamlet of the Haugh of Glass, where there is a post and telegraph office, and farther on, to the right of the road, the farm of Edinglassie, at one time the property of the Gordons, now belonging to Mr Macpher- son. Edinglassie has a grim story connected with it. The house was at one time called Edinglassie Castle, though not a very large or well-fortified one, and in 1690 was occu- pied by Sir George Gordon, Joint Sheriff-Principal of the County. In that year the battle of the Haughs of Crom- dale was fought, and some of the Highlanders, on their wa}' from Strathspey to Strathbogie, burned the castle. On the return of the clans a few weeks later Gordon had his re- venge, for, seizing eighteen of the Highlanders at random, he hung them on the trees in his garden. They were after- wards buried on the moor, and the spot is still known as '"The Hielanman's Mossie." There is also Edinglassie Lodge, likewise the property of Mr Macpherson, standing near the river bank where there is a bridge and a road lead- ing across it to the U.F. Church and Manse, pleasantly situ- ated on a high bank overlooking the river and embowered in trees. Our next point of interest is the little graveyard of Wallakirk, close by the river, where many Cabrach people are buried. Conspicuous among its monuments are the large white cross erected over the grave of Lady Bridge, and the enclosed vault in the centre, covered with ivy, belonging to Wardhouse. The name is derived from St Wallach or Wolok, said to have been the first Bishop in the diocese before its formal erection at Mortlach, and one of the missionaries sent out from Iona. He probably lived about the eighth century, when the people hereabouts were little better than pagans, living in a half savage state. St Wal- lach lived the life of a hermit, but occasionally left his solitude and travelled up and down the country preaching and teaching and working miracles. In a description of the Parish of Glass, written about 1725, in Macfarlane's Geo- graphical Collections, the following occurs: — "Two miles below the house of Beldorney, clos by the river-side, are two natural bathes, called Saint Wallach's Bathes, much frequented in the summer-time by sick folk, especially chil- 20 dren : lying betwixt two rocks, about six or seven paces in length, with two of breadth, and four or five foot in deepth, always full of water, even in the greatest drouth. Abbout a quarter of a myle doun the river, clos by the water side, there is ane ruinous kirk, called Wallachkirk. Some part of the walls do remain, with the Font. There is a large churchyard about it, where many of the dead thereabout are enterred, to this day, with a glebe, yet belonging to the minister of the parish ; with some marks of the priest his house yet remaining. About a hundred paces beneth the kirk is Saint Wallach's Well, much frequented by sick folk." The well was supposed to be useful in curing affec- tions of the eyes, while the baths were especially good for weakly children, who were immersed therein on the first of May by their superstitious mothers, who also hung gar- ments on the bushes surrounding them, and this practice continued at least until 1648, for on the 7th of June in that year the Presbytery of Strathbogie met at Glass, and "or- dained to restrain burialls in the kirk and to censure all superstition at Wallak Kirk." Wallakirk, or Dummeth, was in the parish of Mortlach, but when the Bishop removed to Aberdeen in the 12th century it was annexed to that of Glass ; the lands of Dummeth were given to the Church bv Malcolm II., afterwards passed to Duff of Braco, and now are included in the estate of Beldorney. The house of Beldorney, mentioned in the foregoing, was yet another of the numerous possessions of the different branches of the Gordon family. The founder of this branch was Mr George Gordon, a natural son of Adam, Dean of Caithness, son of Alexander, 1st Earl of Huntly. He built the house of Beldorney, and his descendants lived there until about the beginning of the iSth centurv. The Bal- bithan MS. brings down the succession to 1631, in which year the then laird of Beldorney married the daughter of the laird of Muirhouse, and had succession, but there it stops. In the graveyard of Wallakirk there is a stone to the memory of Katherine Gordon, daughter to James Gordon, " late of Beldorney." She died in 1795, in her 94th year, so we suppose her father to have been the grand- son of the laird who married in 163 1. The representatives of the family now live at Wardhouse, near Insch. Bel- dorney is at the present time in the possession of Mr Grant. 21 From here onwards there is nothing worthy of note in the scenery, the valley being like many another in Scot- land : green rolling hills, their slopes plentifully dotted over with farms, the river swift and clear, as upland rivers are,, now rushing over rocks, now widening into some deep pool beloved of the angler, and the white road winding along the hillside above. Passing through a fir plantation the Linn- burn is reached, where a mountain torrent makes its way through a deep gorge, which is spanned by a stone bridge, and again we are in the Cabrach, for this burn is the boun- dary, not only of the parish, but also of the county. The two main roads we have traversed give access to the Lower Cabrach. There is still another, which enters the Upper Cabrach at the Elrick at the foot of the Buck. In this direction Gartly is the nearest station, and it is 9^ miles from it to the Church of Cabrach. The road runs from Gartly over the lower slopes of Tap o' Noth, on the summit of which are the remains of a vitrified fort, the most massively built of the fifty similar forts in Scotland, having walls 8 ft. high, and from 20 to 30 ft. thick, with a well in the centre. (Macdonald's Place Names of Strathbogie.) If, as seems probable, these forts were built for defence against invasion, this one is admirably situated, for from it a view 7 of the sea can be had to north and east, and it commands two valleys leading towards the sea coast, while behind it the country is wild, mountainous, and at the time of its construction probably covered with tangled woods and treacherous bogs. The village of Rhynie is 3^ miles distant from Gartly. It is the post town for the Upper Cabrach, but otherwise has little to interest us. Four roads meet here, and we select that running west, and, beginning to ascend, pre- sently find ourselves at Scaurdargue, the former home of "Jock" Gordon, half-brother to the heiress of the Gordons of the ducal line, and himself, through his third son, the ancestor of the Earls of Aberdeen. From Rhynie to the Cabrach there is a long ascent of 6 miles. With the exception of the small village of Brunt- land, few houses are passed. Just before reaching this vil- lage is the kirkyard of Essie, but no trace of the kirk itself remains. Near by was formerly Lesmoir Castle, the seat of an important branch of the Gordon family. "The Castle of Lesmoir has vanished. It seems to have been inhabitable about the year 1726. During the last century it was used as a quarry to build the neighbouring farms, and some of the carved work is still at Craig. One stone with a uni- corn's head on it was discovered some years ago in the wall of the Mains of Lesmoir by Mr Wm. Leiper, A.R.S.A., Architect, Glasgow (a descendant of the Gordons of Ter- pe-rsie) , who built it into bis house, Terpersie, Helens- burgh. Lesmoir may mean 'the large garden' (Lois Mohr) from the alluvial soil washed down from the hills. The name was derived by Mr Macdonald from Lios mor, the big fort, of Lesmurdie. The Gordons held the lands for 23 1 years, 1537-1766." (The Gordons of Lesmoir, by Captain Douglas Wimberly.) After passing Bruntland there is little or no cultivation, and the only signs of human industry are the peats set up to dry, while an occasional post-box by the roadside indi- cates a lonely farm house, out of sight of the passer-by. The ground is hereabouts very rough and boggy, and there- are quantities of huge stones scattered about, which might seem as if dropped from a fairy apron, like those forming the quarry of Langannet in Kincardineshire, of which it is said that the fairies, desiring to build a castle near that place, were carrying stones in their aprons for that purpose when the apron string of one of them broke, scattering the stones, where they remain to this day. Evidence of the exposed and lonely region traversed is given by the posts driven into the ground at intervals, to mark the road in snowy weather, and to keep the unwary from losing the way altogether. This road from Rhynie is considered a good test of the hill-climbing powers of motor cars, and as such has on two occasions formed part of the route pre- scribed for the Reliability trials promoted by the S.A-C. At the top of the hill is the boundary between the parishes of Rhynie and Cabrach, and there a road comes in from Lumsden and the parish of Auchindoir, the shortest way to the Cabrach from Aberdeen, but rough and narrow from its leaving the main road at Lumsden, and not to be re- commended to motorists. In additon to these three important roads to the Cabrach there are numerous cart tracks and footpaths leading to it from the outer world, across the hills. Two of these, one 23 starting from Gartly, the other from Finglenny, both in the parish of Rhynie, enter the Cabraeh near to the Hillock, while another, from Bruntland and Essie, comes in over the hill of the Newton and there joins an accommodation road on the right bank of the river. A footpath comes from Huntly over the Clashmach, through the Lang Hill, and along the foot of Gromack to Tomnaven. The Upper Cabraeh has communication with Glenbucket by a cart-track, which comes past the Gauch and Aldivalloch to the hamlet of Aldunie, and another path, entering at Aldivalloch, comes from Glenlivet, through Blackwater; while yet another, from Glenrinnes, comes through Glenfiddich, and, keeping to the east side of the Balloch hill, and passing Badchier, joins the Dufftown road at Bridgend. Surely now the would-be visitor to the Cabraeh cannot fail to find it from wherever he may set out, so we shall proceed to a description of the parish itself, and endeavour to give a short account of its history from our earliest avail- able records down to the present time. 21 CHAPTER II. CABRACH AND ITS LAIRDS. " There's a canld, cauld place they ca' The Cabrach." Well now, why do they call it The Cabrach? There is some diversity of opinion here; some philologists assert it to be a Gaelic word, others deny that there is any Gaelic at all in its composition, but as so many of the place-names in the neighbourhood are Gaelic, there is no reason why this too should not be Gaelic, and those who think it is so make out a much better case than the others. Even among those who agree as to the Gaelic origin, however, two or three quite different interpretations are given, and these we shall now consider. It must be borne in mind that Celtic place-names are almost invariably descriptive, either of the country itself or of some local happening; for instance, "Tom-bain," the white knoll; "Tom-ballie," the spotted knoll; and "Auch- mair," the field of the mair (or officer). In Irish Gaelic there is a word closely resembling Cabrach, namely, Cabragh or Cabrogh (bad land) ; but the natives of the Cabrach deny that the land is bad, asserting that the fault lies in the British climate, not the soil, for in good years the harvests are more abundant than in places commonly thought to be far superior in productiveness. Perhaps early settlers, attempting in vain to cultivate the boggy lands, might give such a name in disgust, but it is not likely that it would continue in use, for "It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest," and the Cabrach people are, above all, attached to their home. An entirely different meaning is "Deer-thicket." Now, some of the land may not be the best for farming, but it is of a nature well suited for deer, and from time immemorial 25 large herds have made it their home. Originally it was a royal deer forest, and part of it is now included in that of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. In the district, too, -are found names which confirm the probability of this explanation. Glenfiddich means full of deer; Badchier, hind's thicket; while the Buck of the Cabrach undoubtedly refers to a stag rearing his head above his fellows, as this hill towers above its neighbours. In this connection there is an interesting tradition. As we shall notice later, at one time the Cabrach, now treeless and bare, abounded in thickets and coppices, well suited for lairs of the deer, and for nurseries for their young. When these disappeared, the herds left the Cabrach and did not return, and as their departure was a great loss to the district it was determined to try to get them back. A certain Johnny Stewart was de- puted to perform this difficult task, and he, having suspi- sions that a large number had taken refuge in the forest of Glenmore, in Inverness-shire, went thither in search of them. Soon he came upon a herd and began driving them across the hills on the forty-mile journey to the Cabrach, a seemingly impossible feat. Anyone who has had experience of the keen scent, the shy habits, and the fleetness of foot of the Highland deer, can readily understand how nearly they baffled their driver. Often after, with infinite labour, having succeeded in getting them safely over the hill, he would himself reach the summit, only to see them rushing back along the valley below, and all his work to be done over again. However, Johnny must have had unlimited patience as well as a deep knowledge of wood-craft, for he succeeded at last in bringing all his captives home to the Cabrach, where they and their descendants have lived ever since. We referred above to the Cabrach having formerly been well wooded, and this brings us to another variation of the meaning of the name, and one which seems most likely to be the true one. In "The New Statistical Account" the Rev. James Gordon gives the meaning as "timber-moss," and later writers speak of it as a derivative of "Cabar," a tree, a word still in use, applied to the pole or tree which is "tossed" at Highland games. The suffix ach is also in common use, and signifies a place or field ; therefore Cab- rach is "The place of trees." It is worth while noticing 26 that, although there is no authentic account of the Cabrach woods or their destruction, yet it is a common belief in the district that the hills were at one time covered with tree--; even said that so thick were they that once a man travelled from Finglennie in Rhynie, to the Gauch, in Cab- rach, without touching ground, swinging himself along on their branches. Evidence of the existence of these tradi- tional woods is found when cutting peats, for roots and stumps are constantly dug out, often showing marks of fire, and in the case of whole trunks, mostly laid in one direc- tion, as if by a gale. The story of how they came to be thus destroyed is as follows : — In the year 1263, Alexander III. repelled the invasion of the Norsemen, under King Haco, at the battle of Largs. Before, and for some time after the battle, terrible storms raged, which did Alexander good sen-ice in fighting against the sea rovers ; but as well as being a soldier, the king was a forester, and when he turned homewards he began to think that perhaps his beloved trees had suffered in the gales which had helped him, and in his anxiety to hear about the trees, he forgot to inquire first for his wife, Mar- garet, who had given him a son in his absence. Naturally, the Queen was angry, and in her anger took a lasting ven- geance, for she ordered the royal forests to be set on fire ; the wind helped, and for days the conflagration raged until scarcely a trace of her rivals remained, and The Cabrach, the place of trees, became what it is to-day, destitute of all but a few birches by the river-side, and some trees recently planted. In attempting to trace the history of the Cabrach, it will very much simplify matters if we continue to preserve the distinction between the Upper and Lower districts, and consider each separately. And first as to the F/pper Cab- rach. From the earliest records it seems to have been a royal forest, and may have been reserved, like the neigh- bouring Strathaven, for the grazing of the king's horses. However that may be, it is certain that it formed part of the Crown lands prior to 1374, when King Robert II. granted to Wm. Douglas "all and whole the lands and forest of the Cabrach and a half davat of the lands of Auch- mayre," &c. From this time the Cabrach changed hands frequently, till it finally came to the family of the Duke of 27 Gordon, in whose possession it now is. In 13Q7 it again appears in a charter. At that time Sir James Sandilands made a donation of lands, including Cabrach, to George, Earl of Angus. In these words is concealed a whole chapter of Scottish family history, and the Cabrach is brought in touch with the romantic career of that remarkable man, Alexander Stewart, bastard son of the Wolf of Badenoch. William, first Earl of Douglas, had a daughter, Isabel, who inherited his great estates. She became Countess of Mar in her own right, as heir to her mother, sister and heir of the Earl of Mar, and married Sir Malcolm Drummond, brother- in-law of Robert III. Earl Douglas also had a natural son by Margaret Stewart, Countess of Angus in her own right, his sister-in-law. This son, George, not being legal heir to his father, became Earl of Angus, as heir to his mother; while Sir James Sandilands of Calder, being the nearest male heir to his uncle, Earl Douglas, ought to have suc- ceeded to the Douglas title and entailed estates. On the advice of his friends, however, he voluntarily surrendered his claim in favour of his cousin George, as the charter shows, and the King undertook to ratify anj^ grants of land made to the said George, either by Sir James or by George's half sister, Isabel. In 1404, Isabel, who was to remain in possession of her estates during her lifetime, be- stowed them, with her hand, on Sir Alexander Stewart. Her first husband had been murdered in Kildrummy Castle (it was believed at the instance of Sir Alexander) , who then besieged the Castle and compelled the widowed Coun- tess to marry him, and to grant him a charter, giving him her lands and making him her absolute heir, to the exclu- sion of her own heirs. The King refused to confirm such a charter, and another was substituted, in which Isabel voluntarily took Sir Alexander Stewart as her husband, and made him life-renter of her estates, with remainder to her own heirs. Thus, The Cabrach, at Isabel's death, became the property of Sir Alexander Stewart, now Earl of Mar, an exemplary landlord, leader of the victorious forces at Har- law, and a prominent figure in Scottish politics. At his death, the nearest heir to his wife was Robert, Lord Erskine, who established his claim to the Earldom in 1438, but failed to obtain possession of the estates, which were seized by the Crown. In 1435 we have an indenture be- 28 tween "Sir Robert Erskine and his son on the tapart and Sir Alexander Forbes on the tothir," in which Forbes pro- mised t<» help the Erskines to regain their rights, he to receive as a recompense, in the event of success, "the lord- ship of Auchindoir, with pertinences thereof, donacion <»f the Kyrk, the Buk and the Cabrach, with a half davach in fre forest annexed to said lordship." As Sir Robert, though succeeding to the Earldom, did not become the owner <>f the estates, Sir Alexander was given certain lands in Strathdee instead, and the Cabrach remained the property of the Ciown. In 1457 the Erskines' claim was upset and the Earldom, as well as the lands, was annexed by the down, in the possession of which they remained for half- a-century, twice within that period being given to younger members of the royal family. In 1508 the final donation of the Cabrach was made to Alexander, third Earl of Ilnnllv, who had performed great services to the King. In the same year it was sold to the Earl's kinsman, James Cordon of Auchmyll. In the charter of this sale the boundaries of the Cabrach an- defined. By the year i.s.^o the Cabrach had come back to Huntly, who exchanged other lands for it with his uncle, and it has remained in the undisputed possession of the Ilnnllv Cordons ever since, the present representative of the line being the Duke of Richmond and Gordon The following is a brief account of the Duke of '-onion's descent from Sir Adam Cordon, who gol Strath- bogie : — Sir Adam, of the family of Gordon in Berwickshire, was a loyal friend of Robert Bruce, who gave him the hinds of Strathbogie in 1327. From this time (la- Gordons in- creased in power and prosperity until a great part of the North of .Scotland was theirs. Sir Adam died in 1 ■; 1 ■; his son, Sir Alexander, was killed at the battle oi Halidon Mill m 1333 ; and his grandson, John, who succeeded his father in tin- title-, was killed at Durham at the battle of Neville's Cross in [346. Sir John was tin- first to receive- the desig tion "of Huntly.' Adam, his second son, was taken pri- soner, along with tne King, at the- same- battle, The- heir, Sir John, was killed at Chevy Chase- in [388, and his brother Adam fell at Ilomildon Mill in 1402. It is noteworthy of these live in lineal succession that four were killed in b. •J 9 and one taken prisoner along with his king. From Sir Adam the descent is in the female line, for his elder brother's two sons, the famous "Jock and Tarn," were ille- gitimate. His daughter Elizabeth married a Seton from the South of Scotland, and from her arc descended the Seton- Gordons, the- ducal line. Alexander Seton-Gordon was created first Earl of Huntly in 1449. He obtained from the king Badenoch and Brae Lochaber, and by his marriage first with Margaret Keith, and second with the heiress of the Bog of Gight, became possessed of the estates of Touch, Fraser, Aboyne, Glentanar, Glenmuick and Clunie, and the Bog of Gight. He was succeeded by his son George, who built Gordon Castle, and he in turn was succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander, the same- to whom the forest of Cabrach was granted for his faithful service. Alexander was followed by his grandson George, who was Chancellor of Scotland in 1549, and who was killed at the battle of Coniclne. The fifth Earl was George, and also the sixth. To the sixth Earl came a further advance in the peerage. He was created Marquis of Huntly in 150c). The second Marquis was captain of the .Scots Guards maintained 1 by the King of Prance, and was beheaded by the Covenanters in [654. He was succeeded by his son Lewis, wdiose son George was created Duke of Gordon in 1684. The fourth Duke, Alexander, married the famous Jane Maxwell, of Monreith, in 1767. He was created Earl of Norwich in 17S4 and died in 182S. His son, as Marquis of Huntly, with the assistance of his mother, raised the regiment of Gordon Highlanders. He it was who was known as "The Cock of the North" ; his portrait by Raeburn hangs in Gordon Castle and offers a marked contrast to the portraits of his noble ancestors which also adorn the walls, for it "lives." With the death of "The Cock of the North" in 1836, the title of Martpus of Huntly passed to the Aboyne branch of the family, and that of Duke of Gordon became dormant, for he left 110 heir male. Charlotte, daughter of Duke- Alexander, had married Colonel Lennox, who became Duke of Richmond, and her son, Charles Gordon Lennox, who, on the death of his father, became Duke of Lennox in the peerage of Scotland, Duke of Richmond in the peerage of the United Kingdom, and Due d'Aubigny in the peerage of France, succeeded to the Gordon estates. His son 30 Charles - 'l liim in these titli i in i860, and foi him titli "i Duke oi Gordon was revived in [876. At hii in 1903, liis son, Chai les Hem ( roi don Lenno , Earl of March, became Duke oi Richmond and Gordon and r of tin ' rordon Castli al Foi hab< rs, and ' rood / ood I fouse in Sus 1 The Lower Cabrach has passed through almo 1 as man, changes of ownership as the Upper Cabrach. At th< nt time it is divided among four landlords the D of Richmond and Gordon, who owns the Dauch Blackwater and Corinacy; Mr Leslie, the laird of Lesmurdie; Mr Grant of Beldorney, to whom the faun, ol Belch* o< li beloi 1 lor of Milltown. comprisi the land on th< U f banks of the Charrach burn and the Deveron, from ih< ' I -, of the Balloch to Forteath, tended to Unnburn, and included the third pari of [nvercharrach, and Achnastank in G find a Strathauchin in Lesmurdie, and from him the main part le estate h in unbroken ion to the ptf er. At that - < trathauchin oi lyosmothie ;;t from .' e 1 1 idi oi Ovir< tead a third part h, and Auchnastank. Thirty-nin< r Strathauchin divided hi and'. and a third pari of In quherach, Auchnastank, and Balkery. In . ,g Ge< Strathauchin mind to inci in the Cabrs 1 of the from John ' \o ■ 01 part owner of in in - Still further > one but on - thorn :. . . ■ ■ ' ' .'. • ... ' a bran He man .' / one < 31 of the last Strathauchin, who died without male heirs, and by disposition from his wife, her sisters and their husbands, acquired the lands. His son, Alexander, succeeded him and conveyed the estate to James Stewart of Auchorachan, his brother, in life-rent, and to James's son Alexander, in fee, in 1697. James Stewart of Auchorachan, thereafter of Lesmurdie, married Margaret, eldest daughter of Alexander Duff of Keithmore, and thus allied himself with the family of the Earl of Fife. His son Alexander, fourth of Lesmurdie, had a daughter who married James Leslie of Kininvie. Her brother, Francis, succeeded his father in 1758, and he sold Lesmurdie to his second son, William, who died before his father, and was succeeded by his son, Major-General Francis Stewart, w r ho married in 1795 Margaret, daughter of Sir James Grant cf Grant. His son, Captain James Stewart, who died unmarried in 1S74, was the last of the family of Stewart to own Lesmurdie. It then passed to the descendants of his father's brother, Major- General William Stewart, who had a family of one son and three daughters. One of these daughters married Lieut. - Colonel Simon Fraser Mackenzie of Mountgerald, in 184 1, and had one daughter. Another married George Aber- cromby Young Leslie, Esq., of Kininvie, and had two sons and three daughters. Miss Mackenzie and the eldest son of Mrs Leslie became joint-heirs to the property of their cousin, and Lesmurdie fell to Colonel Leslie's share. At his death in 19 13 it passed by will to his second son, Archibald S. Leslie. Invercharrach was in time past a barony, and in- cluded in its lordship, beside the farm lands now known by that name, the several farms and crofts of Badchier, with Tomnavoulin and Crofthead. Its palmy days, when the castle was standing, and the tenants of the various farms and crofts rendered service to its owner, were about the 13th and 14th centuries. At a later period it was divided into three parts, belonging to different persons and included in different estates. The earliest mention of such a division is in 1473, when "a third part of Envercheroch" was sold to George de Strathauchin by Lawrence Nudry of Ovirestead, and this third continued to belong to the Lesmurdie estate until 0000. It is mentioned again in 1527, when Alexander Strathauchin granted it to his son George, and in 1578, 32 i (hi;, and [663 it appears in the Lesmurdie charters. There- after no mention of it is made until 1725, when, according to a record in the Cabrach Session Minutes, the laird of Les- murdie was in residence at Invercharrach. The first entry of Invercharrach in the rental of the Gordon-Richmond estates occurs in 1750, so that apparently it was acquired by the Gordons between 1725 and 1750. It is probable that the register of the sale was among the lost Lesmurdie papers. Of the remaining two-thirds we have the following records: — In 1488, John Craigmyll of Craigmyll, Lord Por- tioner of Inverquherach, sold to Sir James Ogilvie of Desk- ford the lands of Inverquherach, &c. In 1517, Alexander Ogilvy got a Royal Charter of Glenfiddich and a third part of Invercharrach, &c, and the lands of Findlater, Desk- ford, Keithmore, Auchendoun, and other lands, with fish- ings on the Deveron and water of Ythan, the Constabulary of Cullen in the counties of Banff and Aberdeen, and the lands of Balehall and others in Forfar, were incorporated into one free barony, called the baroiry of Ogilvie, "to him and his heirs male of his body." In 1535, Alexander Ogilvy of Keithmore was confirmed in a half part of Inver- quherach and forest of Etnach, otherwise Blackwater. These Ogilvies were the ancestors of the Seafield family. On Alexander Ogilvy's death, his widow married Sir John Cordon, a son of the Marquis of Huntly, and a distant cousin of her own, she having been the daughter of Adam Gordon, Dean of Caithness. Alexander Ogilvy had left his lands to Sir John Gordon, on condition of his assuming the name and arms of Ogilvy, leaving entirely out of the suc- cession his own son by his first wife, Lady Janet Abernethy, daughter of Lord Saltoun. Naturally the son, James Ogilvy of Cardale, considered himself very badly treated, and, in view of the Charter of 1517, unlawfully disinherited, and a series of quarrels arose between the families of Ogilvy and Gordon. The Queen took James Ogilvy's part and called upon Sir John Gordon to surrender the castles of Auchen- doun and Findlater. This he declined to do, even refusing the Queen admittance to the latter, though it is not said that she applied in person. He defeated the troops sent out to take possession of Findlater, but shortly after the battle of Corrichie, in which the Gordons were on the losing side, he surrendered, and was afterwards executed in Aberdeen. As a consequence his possessions were forfeited to the Crown, and in a Charter of 1563 Queen Mary granted the lands of the baronies of Findlater, Deskford, &c, to James Ogilvy. But the Gordons still continued to claim part of the lands, therefore a process of arbitration was entered into, and a decree given that the lands of Findlater and Deskford were assigned to James Ogilvy, while Sir Adam Gordon, brother of Sir John, got Auchendoun and Keith- more, which included the second third part of Inver- charrach. We have still to dispose of the remaining third, so we turn to a MS. history of the Gordon family, written about 1 73 1, and find therein that after the battle of Glenlivet in 1594, George, first Marquis of Huntly, bought Inverchar- rach and Blackwater, but no mention is made of the seller. In another place it is said that Invercharrach, Blackwater, and Glenfiddich were in the possession of the Marquis of Huntly in 163S. Next come two very puzzling records, the first a Retour of Succession: "1662, Aug. 2S. Anna Forrester, haeres Willielmi Forrester, sartoris burgensis burgi Vicicanona- corum, patris, in terris templariis, et terris dominicalibus de Garfullie . . . Badchett (vel Badchier) dimidietate terrarum de Innercharrach (vel Inner channachie) tertia parte terrarum de Bellecherrie, cum juribus patronatum." The second is from the General Register of Sasine, and sets forth that on July 2nd, 1781, Alexander Duke of Gordon gets a Renunciation, May 4th, 17S1, by Alexander Penrose Cuming of x\ltyre, of "parts of the barony of Auch- endown, viz., Clunymore, Smithstown, and Old Screen, Tullachallum, Invercharrach, Badchccr, Brigfoord, Laggan, and Dryburn, Forrest of Blackwater, Over and Nctlicr Ard- wells, and Teinds, par. Mortlich and Cabrach, and of his liferent right, in two Disp. and Assig., Sept. 22nd 1772 and Mar. 14th 1774." It is possible that these lands had been transferred to the Cumings by a marriage treaty, and that in default of issue they had returned to the possession of the Gordons, but Anna Forrester and her father remain a mystery. Soccoch and Belcherric. — These two farms are be- tween the Lesmurdie estate and the boundary between the Lower Cabrach and Glass. They belong, with Greenloan, 34 which is included in Soccoch, to Mr Grant of Beldorncy, in Class. They both came to the Grants in 1792, when "Win. ('.rant, Counsellor at Law, London, was seised, Jan. 20th, 1792, in third part of Belcherrie, comp. Succoth, par. Mortlich, now Cabrach, &c." (Register of the Great Seal, Feb. 3rd, 1792.) Previously Soccoth had belonged to Alexander Duff of Keithmore, the ancestor of the Fife family, who, with his kinsman, Duff of Braco, was insati- able in regard to land. With monotonous regularity the records read, "formerly belonged to so-and-so, now to Duff oj Braco." The Duffs acquired Soccoch in 1650, and it ranked as a gentleman's seat, for it is given under a list of Manors in a description of the parish written about 1730. Before 1650 Soccoch belonged to the Gordons, the Birken- burn branch of which family had it for some time. There was a George Gordon in Soccoch towards the end of the 1 6th century, who married a daughter of Alexander Gordon •of Tulloch, Chancellor of Murray, but its history previous to this is, so far as we have been able to discover, un- recorded. Belcherrie comes in for much more notice. It, like Invercharroch, has been divided into three parts, and of these one-third belonged from an early time to the Gordons, to one of the many branches of the family descended from "Jock" Gordon. Somewhere about the middle of the 15th century a daughter of Robert Gordon of Belcherrie married Thomas Gordon, a grandson of Alexander Gordon of Buckie, and a generation later there was a William Gordon in Belcherrie, a natural son of Gordon of Pitlurg. Both Buckie and Pitlurg were descended from "Jock" Gordon, but they could never agree as to which was the elder branch. The next mention of this third part is in 1627, when George Gordon of Beldorney was served heir to his father, Alexander Gordon, and Belcherrie appears in the list of his lands. In 163S his son George succeeded him, and after that there is a gap of nearly a century, when in 1730 there is a Sasine to Jas. Gordon of Beldorney of the lands of Belcherrie, "sometime pertaining to the deceased Mr Robert Maitland." (Banff Field Club Transactions, Feb. 1 2th, 1909.) In 1776 Charles Edward Gordon, eleventh and last Laird of Beldorney, sold the lands and castle of Beldorney, with Belcherrie and Soccoch to Thomas 35 Buchan of Auchmacoy ("A Glass Farmer's Diary"), who in 1792 sold them to Sir Wra. Grant, Master of the Rolls. The second third belonged to the L,esmurdie family, who bought it from Lawrence Nudry in 1473- In ^5-1, Alex. Strathauchin of Lesmurdie gave the third part of Bel- cherrie to his son George, and in 1539 the said George- bought "three eastern parts." In 1578, when another Strathauchin became heir, there is still mention of the third part only, so evidently "the said George" did not keen his three eastern parts. In 1607 Alexander Strathauchin became heir to his uncle James, and in 1663 the four daughters of the last Strathauchin became joint heiresses. After the transfer of the lands to the Stewarts through the marriage of one of the heiresses to a Stewart, the records cease, and as has already been explained, no more are- available. There yet remains a part of Belcherrie, and this, we think, must be that referred to in the entry under the Great Seal of June 22nd, 14S8, when John Craigmyll of Craigmyll, for a certain sum paid in ready money, sold certain lands, including Balkery, to Sir Jas. Ogilvie, of Deskford. In 1535 Alex. Ogilvy and Eliz. Gordon had these lands con- firmed to them, and after this Belcherrie's history is the same as that of the part of Invercharrach which had be- longed to the Ogilvies. The mysterious Anna Forrester again makes her appearance, for Belcherrie is included in the above mentioned charter, " tertia parte terrarum de Bellecherrie, cum juribus patronatum." Blackwater appears several times in the foregoing charters. It included, beside the forest, the farms of Upper and Nether Ardwell, and Shenval. It will be seen that Blackwater was held by Alex. Ogilvy in 1535, and was bought by the Marquis of Huntly in 1594, while it appears also in the charter of Renunciation by Alex. Penrose Cum- ing. This is the only place in which the Ardwells are men- tioned separately, and Shenval is not mentioned at all. Corinacy. — The Daugh of Corinacy extends from the Raigie burn to the burn of Bank, and comprises all the land on the right bank of the Deveron between those two tribu- taries. It is obvious that the term Daugh was not used in its strict sense as meaning 416 acres, for there are several thou- sand acres in Corinacy, probably the arable land only was 3C counted. This piece of land belongs to the Duke of Rich- mond and Gordon, and has apparently been in the possession of the Gordons since the 17th century. Before that nothing relating to it has been discovered. One of the farms is named Hillock of Echt, and this name is derived from the barony of Echt-Forbes, of which Corinacy seemingly formed part, being in the possession of the Forbeses of Echt, near Aberdeen. The two families, Forbes and Gordon, appear to have owned Corinacy at the same time. There are three possible explanations of this: — first, the Gordons had the "superiority" while the Forbeses had the land; second, that the two not being on friendby terms, as is well established, the- Gordons gained possession of the lands by force, the Forbeses still keeping up their claim; and third, that each owned part. The available records are as follows, and we give them without further comment, hoping that some light may yet be shed on this point : — Jan. 9th, 1610. Robertus Forbes de Phynnersie, haeres masculus Joannis Forbes de Echt, filii patrui, in 40 solidatis terrarum villae et terrarum de Corronasie, cum pendiculis, vocatis, Thomnavin, Glascorie, and Dalreanche. Nov. 23rd, . Thos. Forbes of Echt, nephew of Thos. Forbes, by eldest half brother, succeeds to barony of Echt-Forbes, com- prehending 40 solidatis of lands of Correnssies, with Hil- lock, Thomnavin, Oldtown, Newtown, Glascorrie, Dalreoch called Bank, and lands in Aberdeen and Kincardine. Retours. 1664. Roll of Freeholders of Banffshire. "The Laird of Gight for his lands of Corronassie." This entry is re- peated twice every year until 5th Oct. 16S3, when the name is changed to the Marquis of Huntly for his lands of fforest of Boynd, &c, and Corronassie. Jan. 23rd, 1796. Alex., Duke of Gordon, gets Renun- ciation, dated Jan. 6th, 1796, by Benjamin Gordon of Bal- bithan, of the superiority of Cofforach, par. Rathven, Davoch lands of Correnacie, par. Mortlich, Tynet and Mill, par. Bellie, Mill and Mill lands of Correnacie, par. Mort- lich, and teinds, and of his liferent, in two Disp. and Assig. Sept. 19th, 1771, and Sept. 27th, 1773. Gen. Reg. of Sasines. 37 CHAPTER III. TRAVERSING THE CABRACH. " Green vale of Cabrach where the lambent waters flow, A glistening mirror to the golden broom, Think not that I forget thee when I go Or fail to carry happy memories home. "What tho' the wind blow cold from off the eastern sea, It floods the vale with scent of birch and peat, Nor dims the purple distance o'er the lea, Nor stirs in sheltered bank the noonday heat. The Cabrach moorland farm creeps upward to the heath, Mingle green corn and whin and russet ling, Lesmurdie's burn, quick emptying to the stream beneath, Adds its low voice where IJeveron's ripples sing." The Exile. Taking our course through the Cabrach from Dufftown, we must pass through the Glacks of the Balloch. On the left, about the middle of the pass, is the site of a cairn which formerly stood there. Many conjectures have been made as to its origin and purpose, such as that it covered the bodies of those who fell in some long-forgotten battle, or was a monument to their victory ; but the most popular is a version of the "hidden treasure" story, which is always fascinating and never lacks believers. The tale is of a bull's hide full of gold, hidden below the cairn and watched over by the fairies. It is always risky to meddle with any- thing belonging to the "Good People," and either from in- credulity or fear, no one seemed inclined to open the cairn and find out the truth, until at last one man summoned up courage to make the attempt. He went secretly at night and commenced to make a hole in the centre. As he worked he saw ghostly forms flitting round him, while ghostly voices sounded in his ear; still he kept to his task and the hole got deeper and deeper, but the forms pressed more and more closely upon him, and presently the stones he flung out came flying back at him. Then his courage 38 began to wane, and he decided to wait for daylight. Pic- ture his astonishment and awe when morning revealed the cairn intact, with no trace of his night's labour remaining. Looking upon this as a sign that the treasure was not for him, he made no further efforts, and the cairn remained undisturbed until about thirty years ago. By that time superstition was nearly dead, and as in the winter the pass was frequently blocked with snow, which drifted in the shelter of the huge pile of stones sometimes to a depth of 50 ft., and as, also, here was a fine supply of road metal without the trouble of quarrying it, the cairn was taken down and is now spread over the surface of the roads in such small fragments as would puzzle any spirit to put together again. Nothing whatever was found in it, and as the ground below was not disturbed, the secret remains a secret still. From the opening of the pass a good view is obtained, the Lower Cabrach beginning to spread out before us. Right ahead is the Buck, overtopping all, while nearer at hand are the hills of the Blackwater, with a few scattered farms and crofts in the valley at our feet, from which the hospitable smell of peat-fires rises to greet us. On the left of the road there is to be seen in August a large peat-stack, the property of Glenfiddich Distillery, which obtains its supply of fuel from the moss a short distance up in the Garbet hill, so the Cabrach deserves some of the credit of the fineness of the whisky. On the right a cart track breaks away, leading first of 'all to the farms of Badchier, then to Glenfiddich and Blackw T ater. The Charach burn has its source in these hills, and flows N.E. for a mile or so, then taking a right angle turn follows the road down to the Deveron. From its source to this turn the ground slopes towards it on both sides, and the valley is known as Bad- chier, a Gaelic name meaning, according to some author- ities, "Hind's thicket." Though not many trees now re- main, no doubt in times past the ground was well covered with the small thick wood which the deer find such excel- lent shelter for their wives and young families. Mr Mac- donald (to whose "Place Names in Strathbogie" we are indebted for most of the interpretations of Gaelic names which we give) says that the original form of the word was "Badtchear," which seems to point to the Gaelic "Bad-t- 39 siar" as its derivation, that is "the place of the west," and that the name is given as this is the most westerly culti- vated ground in the parish. There are not so many houses here as there used to be, even within the last ten years, for the story of emigration and depopulation of the country districts is the same here as elsewhere in Scotland. Four or five houses are all that remain in Badchier, perched on the slopes on either side of the burn. The same families have lived in them for genera- tions : a Smart and a Jopp were tenants in 1784, and their descendants still carry on the farms of Westerton and Bad- chier; while Mr Maconochie of Broomknowes is descended from two families whose representatives have been in or about Badchier for 150 years. The best-known of these was Peter Cameron, who was at Broomknowes in 1804. At that time the barony of Invercharrach exercised certain rights of service, called "binnage," over the crofters of Badchier, who were compelled to supply labour every harvest to the tenant of Invercharrach. Besides the farms we have named, there were also included in this service those of Todholes, Burntreble, Crofthead, and Tomnavowin. Peter Cameron had on one of these occasions sent his young daughter to help at the harvest. In the friendly "kemping" match on the field she was left far behind, and being chaffed and made the subject of jokes, which were perhaps rather free, her father was so annoyed when she told him about it that he made up his mind to beg the Duke to remove this burden on the tenants. So when the "tacks" were almost out he repaired to Gordon Castle and represented the case so strongly to his landlord that he readily agreed that the Badchier tenants should in future hold their land directly from himself, and thus do away with the "binnage." Returning to the main road, two or three small crofts are seen to the left, on the slope of the Garbet hill, and behind them is a pretty wood of fir and larch, one of the very few plantations in the Cabrach. [Since this was written much of the wood has been cut down.] They belong to the Lesmurdie estate, which extends from the Muckle Balloch to the burn of the Soccoch, three miles farther on, and embraces the land on the left side of the road. The next farm on Lesmurdie is Rhynturk, so called from a fancied resemblance to the snout of a boar in the hill above. It 40 occupies one of the most commanding positions in the Cab- rach, and has a fine view. Almost opposite, on the other side of the burn, is Tod- holes, a name which indicates the presence of foxes in the vicinity. As already stated, this farm was included in the "binnage" of Invercharroch, and was farmed by Peter Cam- eron, along with Broomknowes. On the same side of the road Burntreble is next. Here the Charach burn receives two tributaries, and consequently the name is usually thought to mean "three burns." This, though plausible, is, however, incorrect, for the name is a corruption of the Gaelic "triopall" ("a gathering"), and could be equally applied to four or five burns. The tributary on the left is the Luie, the burn of the calves, which flows down from the N.E. slopes of the Garbet Hill, making a deep gully between it and the Kelman Hill. In the gully are two farms, Ardluie, or i\luie, and Findouran, a name that puzzled Mr Macdonald, and Bodiemullach (the clump on the ridge) , which is more a croft than a farm, so small is it. Now we come to Bridgend, the nearest approach to a village that the Cabrach possesses. At Bridgend is "The" shop, with the Post and Telegraph Office, the Blacksmith's and five other occupied houses. There is another small shop at Crofthead. Not so long ago, indeed within the last thirty or forty years, there were no fewer than eight tradesmen at Bridgend, all of whom found plenty of work: two shoe- makers, a tailor, a dressmaker, a blacksmith, a merchant, a weaver and a joiner, but now that people find it so much easier to visit a town and have acquired a taste for town products, these country workers have sadly diminished in numbers. But there is no other blacksmith in the parish, and a great inconvenience it must be to fetch a horse with a dropped shoe for five miles, from the High Cabrach, to be shod at Bridgend. Bridgend is backed by the hill of Tomnavoulin, pro- nounced locally Tam-a-ooin, and an accommodation road leads round the base of it to the farms of Tomnavoulin and Shenval. The first-named has a pleasant situation on the S.W. slope of the hill. The name, according to Mr Mac- donald, is the Gaelic Tom-na-mhuilinn, the hill of the mills, so called from its nearness to the Milltown. From here the ground rises again to the farm of Shenval (Gaelic Sean- bhaile, old town) . 41 This, from its associations, is one of the most interest- ing places in the district. Though now only one farm, in the early part of last century there were three or more farmers cultivating the land here, and earlier still there was, farther up the Blackwater, a collection of houses almost numerous enough to be called a village. At the present time the Shenval comprises a good-sized dwelling- house, with a large steading and a farm of about a hundred acres of arable land, with hill pasture also, occupied by Mr Macdonald. Though windy and cold, there being no trees to make a shelter, and the site being so exposed on the top of the hill, the bareness and exposure had a very decided advantage in troubled times. Malcolm Canmore built up here one of those forts, the line of which extended from Burghead and Duff us to Cairn-na-Mounth. No trace of the fort remains, but near by are some large hollows, surrounded by a sort of earthwork, which are said to have been fortifications, and have even been attributed to the Romans. This explanation of them, however, is obviously not the correct one, for not only do these hollows bear no resemblance to the usual well-authenticated Roman camps and fortifications, but it is extremely doubtful whether the Romans ever penetrated so far north inland. To the unimaginative eye they look far more like disused quarries, and as there is some tradition of lead being found in the Cabrach, they may be old workings. At present their use is to afford comfortable shelters for the sheep. The Castle at Shenval claimed to have sheltered Edward I. in his march, denying that honour to the Castle of Invercharroch, and perhaps this visit accounts for the name of "King's Haugh" given to the stretch of haughland of about to acres near to the Slochs, the so-called fortifications. Here are the remains of quite a number of cottages arranged like a street, possibly at one time occupied by the labourers employed on the farms of King's Haugh and Horseward, which lies still farther up the stream. These signs of habitation explain the name of Shenval (the old town), for the near neighbourhood must have been comparatively thickly populated, and so one can better understand the choice of this place for the building of the Roman Catholic Chapel. In 1804 Shenval was divided into three parts, leased by four persons, and the Horseward was also leased. 42 In 1824 Shenval was still divided in three, and the Horse ward was tenanted by Janet Robertson, who is said previously to have farmed the King's Haugh. The Duke of Gordon had spent some time at the Shenval in his boyhood, and while there was not treated with that courtesy and kindness he expected by the mistress, whose delinquencies were, however, more than made up for by the maid, Jau-et Robertson. When, there- fore, the good wife journeyed to Gordon Castle to have her lease renewed, the Duke coolly told her she had no business to transact with him, and gave her farm to another tenant, first allowing the servant to choose a part of it for herself. She fixed on the King's Haugh, but finding it too windy, asked to be transferred to the Horseward, for which she paid £7 annually. Leaving the Shenval, it is a pleasant walk past the farm of Tomnavoulin and over the hill, descending at Crofthead, where there are two cottages, one of which used to be the post office, while in the other is a small general shop. From here a rough road leads down to a foot-bridge across the Charach burn, and after passing the school joins the Huntly road (which we left at Bridgend) at the gate of Milltown of Lesmurdie. Close by and just above the school, a flight of steps cut in the brae makes a short way to the Church. From the road is another flight of steps to the Manse door, and here, being quite out of breath with the climb, let us pause and look around, for it is a truly lovely view that meets us. The hills here form a wide basin, from which there seems at first sight to be no outlet : green and purple they lie, fold on fold, with here a clump of trees and there a burn, their grassy and heathery slopes scattered over with sheep. Below the Firbriggs a deep cleft shows the course of the Blackwater, and at the foot of the hill of Corinacy, on the left, flows the Deveron, its farther bank edged with a fringe of birches. Opposite to us is the Richmond Hotel, and just beyond it the road disappears round a corner on the way to Upper Cabrach. It all sounds simple and idyllic enough, but the charm lies mainly in the play of colour — never the same for two hours together, and always beauti- ful, whether under the grey sky of autumn or the brilliant sunshine, in the early morning or at sunset of a winter day, when the afterglow is almost Alpine in its beauty. Some 43 measure of it is perhaps gained from the "I'm-Monarch-of- all-I-survey" feeling that one has in standing on this high terrace and looking down and around. As a full description of the Church and Manse is given in another chapter, we will leave them for the present, noting in passing that the name of the site is Sunnybrae. Just below the Manse a cottage used to stand, inhabited by Alexander Stewart, kirk officer, known as "Pachles." After his death in 1874 the house was occupied for a short time by his daughter, and then pulled down and the stones used for building dykes. On a rising ground, loking like an island in the centre of the basin, is the farm of Invercharroch, one of the best in the Lower Cabrach. Time was when this was the seat of a barony, with lordship over much of the surrounding country, and the Castle of Invercharroch was well known to many famous people as a half-way house and resting-place. Among them should be noted Edward I., who is said to have stayed here on his march through the North of Scot- land in 1296, though possibly (as remarked above) Edward really stayed at the Castle of Shenval, for in the diary of his march kept by one of his suite it is stated that at "Interkerachte" there were but "nj maisons sans plus en une valie entre deux montagnes." So perhaps the troops camped at Invercharroch, on the haugh of Delmore, while their leader lodged at Shenval, the Castle of Invercharroch being built later. Robert Bruce is also said to have rested here, and David I. and James II. are among the royalties who have honoured it; while more than likely the "Gaberlunzie Man" passed this way in his wanderings about Strathbogie. Mary Queen of Scots, too, is credited with having spent a night under the Castle roof, though to be sure, if she slept in all the houses that claim the honour, the poor lady must seldom have passed a night in her own bed. Among others, General Lesly, "the Great Marquis," and Graham of Claverhouse lodged in our Castle, the last- named giving his name to it, for it was alternative^ called "Claver Castle." But it is disappointing to find so little really authenticated information about this historic spot, and all we know is that the Castle was still standing in 1725, and that probably it fell into ruin soon after. Between 1850 and i860 a portion of it remained and formed part of the garden wall. Below the present farmhouse there is a 11 large knoll, on which the castle stood, surrounded by trees, but most of its stones have been used for building, so that it is now impossible to trace its extent or design. The garden was to the N.E. of the present one, and a number of good trees grew close by, but of these only one or two remain. Thus, interesting as Invercharroch may be to the antiquary or historian, the casual eye discerns nothing to distinguish it from any other farm "toun," except its unique situation, which commands the valleys of the Deveron, the Black water and the Charach burn, and which no doubt inspired the original builders. The name means the mouth of the stony bottom (burn) . Its form has varied with the years, some of the earlier spellings being Interkerachte, Inverkerack, Enuercheroche, Inverquhe- rauche. The last incident of note in connection with Inverchar- roch was the pursuit and attempted arrest of its master, Lieutenant Roy, of the Scottish Royals, after Culloden. He escaped through the help of a devoted servant-maid, who was killed by a volley discharged through the door she was in the act of barring. The laird of Lcsmurdie resided there for some time until about 1725, and John Taylor, grandfather of John Taylor, Boghead, to whose historic re- searches we have referred, was born at Invercharroch in that year, leaving it for Milltown of Lcsmurdie some time previous to the '45. Apparently Lieutenant Roy succeeded the Taylors, and after his flight it became the property of the Duke of Gordon. In 1750 the tenant of Invercharroch and Badchier was John Fife, whose rent amounted to ^16 2s gel. In 17S4, Wm. Ferror, "&c," were tenants, paying for it yearly £21 ns. From 1784 to 1803 Wm. Ferror had Invercharroch on a 19 years' lease, at a rental of ^43 (a great advance) , while seven different persons held the crofts of Badchier at a total rental of ^24 15s. In 1804 Wm. and Alex. Forbes had Invercharroch and Burntreble for £6$ per annum, and in 1824 Alex. Forbes paid ^65 for Invercharroch alone ; while Jas. Jopp and Jas. M'Combie had crofts on it worth respectively £17 10s and £17 i8s 6d. In 1838 Jas. Merson became the tenant, and the two crofters remained. Jas. Merson was the grandfather of the present tenant, Mr William Merson, and the father of Dr Merson, now of Hull, and of the late Rev. David Merson of Stamfordham. 45 On the hill at the farther side of the basin are the two Ardwells, Gaelic Ard-bhaile (the high town) , Upper and Nether, with the inn. The first stands high up on the face of the Firbriggs, in a cold and windy spot. Originally there were two farms here, but both are now merged in one. The road passes by the house of the Nether Ardwell, which is much more sheltered and has a small plantation to the N.W. which keeps much of the wind off the garden. In the early part of last century there were no fewer than 13 dwellings at Nether Ardwell ; now there are but two farm-houses, one of which is also the inn, and a cottar house behind. The Richmond Hotel, formerly known as the Grouse Inn (locally as "the Airdwell") , has been an inn for a fairly long period, at any rate since the beginning of the last century. It is well known among a circle of fishers who return year after year to enjoy the sport provided in the Deveron and Blackwater, so generously granted by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon ; and before the erection of the shooting lodge in the Upper Cabrach, the Duke's tenants or guests resided here. As very little custom can be had in the winter, the innkeeper, Mr John Watt, culti- vates a farm also. His father, Mr Wm. Watt, who died in 191 2 at the age of 85, occupied the farm all his life, but took over the inn only in 1876; before that it w T as in the hands of Wm. Stewart. Turning back from the Ardwell and the Upper Cabrach oad for the present, we continue the journey down the river, coming first to Milltown of Lesmurdie, which be- longs to Mr James Taylor. The Taylors have occupied the Milltown since shortly before Culloden, when Mr Taylor's great-grandfather removed from Invercharroch. The land owned by Mr Taylor was originally part of the Lesmurdie estate, and was purchased by him from the late Colonel Leslie. Here, as at most other "touns" of the Cabrach, there w ? ere several houses, occupied by the farmer, the miller and the joiner, w T hile in a corner of the steading was a building used for some years as a school. The eailiest mention of a mill is in 154Q, when a charter was granted by Mary to Jas. Strathauchin and Elizabeth Abircrummy, his spouse. Again in 1562 mention is made of it, when it is recorded that "Alester M'Grasycht, being bastard, and dying without heirs, escheat of the mill 46 ' was granted to Jas. Strathauchin, Laird of Lesmurdie," so that for nearly 400 years the mill stream has run chatter- in- and sparkling down from the "intake" below the Manse to the wheel at the Milltown. The little stream has wit- nessed many changes, and has had variety of work, for from grinding corn it passed to threshing corn, and now its 1 tower is used to supply electricity for lighting the house and steading. From Milltown we .still keep down the river on its left bank. Within easy distance of each other are four farms, all of which were lately tenanted by members of the Taylor family. These are Tombain (the white knoll) , Tombally (the spotted knoll) , the house of which is not now occupied, both farms being worked together by Mr John Horn, on the hill above the road; and farther down the river, Mains of Lesmurdie and Boghead, both below the road. At Mains, the most important farm on the Lesmurdie estate, is the Lodge of Lesmurdie, once no doubt a pleasant dwelling, overlooking one of the best pools on the river; but now, the trees having grown so closely about it, it is dark and damp, and from long neglect quite uninhabitable. Mains com- prises two farms, the other being Cauldstripe, the tenants of which were transferred to Badymullach, and one good farm made of the two. Mr Cran, tenant of the Mains, apparently hnds even this not too large for his energies, for he is also tenant of Findouran, another farm formerly tenanted by a Taylor, whose hill land marches with his. Until about 1S37 there was a distillery at the Mains. Boghead was until lately the residence of Mr John Taylor, who may claim to be the first historian of the Cabrach, for though he never published anything he busied himself in research, and to his notes we are indebted for many of the particulars herein contained. Mr Taylor's literary interest and activity are the more remarkable in that he attended school for only six weeks, all his know- ledge otherwise being self-acquired. The next three farms are grouped together — Dry wells, Kasterton and Forteith. The steadings of all remain, but the house of Dry wells only is inhabited. Easterton is con- stantly mentioned in the Lesmurdie charters, and must have been of some importance. Forteith (cold homes) , may have been so called because of the prehistoric graves found there, but Mr Macdonald's more prosaic explanation is that the land slopes to the burn of the Soccoch, and so faces the north-east. Farther back in the hill are two cottages at Craigluie (the rock of the calves) , where there were two farms. A great part of the land is now uncultivated, and the cot- tages are empty. In one of them there lived for a number of years Mr David Rattray, who was born in the Cabrach, but had been a teacher in Glasgow for a long period. When he retired from work, he thought there was no place like the Cabrach, so here he came, and what a change it must have been from the city to this quiet spot among the heather, with his bees. He died in 1908 at the age of S3, and since his death no one has occupied the house. The majority of these farms are on the Kelman Hill, which is one of the most interesting parts of the Cabrach to the antiquary, for on it are nearly all the remains of a primitive race that have been found in the parish. The principal of these are the graves, of which a dozen or more have been discovered at different times on the farm of For- teith. A very circumstantial account of them, written about 1S62, says: — "The stone cists . . . are of one descrip- tion, the bottoms, sides, and ends of them being formed of a sort of green stone found in the hill beyond the ruins of the ancient settlement, while the upper or covering slab must have been taken from a basaltic rock on the opposite side of the river ; and considering their vast size, and the distance and elevation to which they had to be carried, it becomes a curious problem to ascertain how in those primi- tive times such heavy blocks could have been carried thither. From the fact that most of these cists are bedded upon charcoal, and that they also contain quantities of the same material, it has been conjectured that it points to the destruction of the wives of the chieftains whose bones are interred in the rude stone coffins ; for acting on the axiom that it is not good for man to be alone, when a chieftain died, they sacrificed his widows that their spirits might accompany nim on his journey to the great hunting-land beyond the grave." (The writer has surely got his ideas a little mixed, for the "happy hunting-grounds" of the West and the Suttee of the East are not generally associated with the Picts, while even the polygamy is uncertain.) "The 48 skeletons, so far as they have been seen in the eleven eists that have been opened here, have been of enor- mous proportions, and would seem to point to the chieftains of those days being chosen, like Saul among the Israelites, for their extraordinary physical stature. One of the skulls that were found was large enough to contain within it the head and hair of one of the largest men in the Cabrach (whose head measures 23 ins.) , and from the general ap- pearance of the bones, all had evidently been giants as compared with the present generation of men. The skulls were all flattened or receding in front, like those of the American Indians, and a remarkable feature of all that were found in anything like a good state of preservation was that not a bad tooth was seen, and what was stranger still, all the front teeth were almost square. ' From the length of the cists, which did not exceed four feet, these large bodies had to be crushed or doubled up, and such of them as have been found in the best state of preservation were always got in a half- reclining position, with their legs doubled up, so that the knees nearly approached the chest, and on the breast of each a rude clay urn was placed on which rough ornamental lines were cut, which were usually different from each other, save that round the bulge or widest part of the body of the urn a strip of carving like herring bone was found upon them. All the bodies were laid due east and west, with the heads towards the east, and from the circumstance that everything found in relation to them pointed in some way or other to the morn- ing sun, or was of a circular form, it is presumed that they belonged to the ancient fire or sun worshippers. We may also mention that at a neighbouring hill there are evidences of the remains of a flint manufactory, where the well-known arrow heads had been prepared; and such of these ancient weapons as have been found can yet be easily traced to the different districts where they had been made from their difference of colour. The extent of ground which this encampment covered cannot now be well ascertained, for the remorseless hand of agricultural improvers has rooted out a great deal of what not long since remained of this Caledonian city. There is reason to believe, however, that it had been miles in extent, and had extended "from the wood at the top of the Kelman Hill along the farms of 49 Boghead, Drywells, Easterton, and Forteith, and following the Caledonian road had crossed the water and extended to the brow of the opposite hill." Thus the "Rollicking Rambler" of 1862, but in the accounts given in the Proceedings of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries, some of these particulars are contradicted. (See appendix.) The details are meagre, and though wishing to know everything possible about these cists and other remains, and therefore not despising any source of information, we are inclined to think that the "Rambler," not being a professed scientist, has, in his wish to make the facts interesting, drawn on his imagination. We may be sure that such careful observers as those who opened and examined the cists, and subsequently reported the facts to a learned Society, would not have been mistaken about the size of the skeletons or the position of the urns and so on, while the idea of the widow sacrifice is too grotesque to contemplate seriously. Alexander Robertson, F.G.S., of Elgin, excavated and examined several cists in 185 1 and after a detailed descrip- tion of the materials, size, position and contents of the same, he says — "There can be little doubt that sepulchres of very various dates, and containing the remains of people of very different races and creeds, are included by anti- quaries under the general denomination of primeval cists. Those to which this paper refers may, I think, be charac- terised as follows: Cist without any superficial mound, either of the nature of barrow or cairn, the chamber about three feet or a little more in length, and containing a single unburnt skeleton, and an urn, either empty (when the cavity happens to be so likewise) or showing by the char- acter of its contents that it had not when first deposited held any solid matter ; with or without chips of flint and traces of iron in their vicinity ; with or without ornaments of jet, or other similar mineral, but without weapons. Cists of this peculiar class have been found in considerable numbers in dry, generally somewhat elevated spots all along the eastern coasts of Scotland, and they have also occurred, although apparently in fewer numbers, on its western side. They are far from rare in some parts of Germany, and indeed the figure of one at Rossleben, in 50 Prussian Saxony, in Prof. Kruse's Deutsche Alterthumer might, except that the floor, like the other sides, is formed of slabs of stone, and that the urn is different, very well serve as an illustration of some of those at Lesmurdie. Similar cists appear to have been found in England, Ire- land, Denmark, Sweden, and in various others of the northern states of Europe; but there is too often such a want of precision in the published accounts of these anti- quities, that it seems premature to attempt to found any ethnological generalisations upon them, although they may, I think, be pretty safely regarded as Teutonic. As to the absolute or even the comparative time of the mode of sepulture referred to, little can be said, but its era must, at all events, be advanced from the so-called Stone Period to the so-called Iron Period. Whether it was practised during the earlier or the more advanced ages of the latter is also quite uncertain ; it seems, however, very likely, from the elaborate character of the work expended on the cists, and the infinite variety of the ornaments sculptured on the urns, that such a custom could either have been invented, or carried into execution, by a very rude or uncultivated people. My own impression is that the antiquity of these sepulchres has been very much over-estimated." The other remains consist of the foundations of houses and of larger buildings, thought to have been military stations, and altars. Heaps of burned grain near the altars point to the sacrifice of first fruits, the altars being made by placing a flat stone on four or five uprights, and this form, with the burned grain, and the circular house-foun- dations carries out the idea of sun-worshippers. On the hill opposite, across the river, we have ourselves found several evidences of those early inhabitants. On a ooint overlook- ing the inn, where the ground is flat, about 50 yards be- low the peat road, are several circles, which are about n paces in diameter, and are formed of single stones, more or less flat, placed at a distance of a few inches apart, whilst at a point nearly S.E. there is a gap or doorway of 4 feet in width. On the face of this hill is also a line of hollows (some hundreds of yards apart, 6 to 8 feet in diameter, and about 4 feet deep) , which are variously thought to have been pitfalls for catching deer, lookout posts, and the holes left after digging up tree trunks for firewood. Farther 51 round the hill towards Upper Cabrach, in a hollow called the Howe of the Hawk's Nest, is a large stone, 2 ft. 7 ins. by 3 ft. 8 ins. by about 6 ins. at its thickest, having on its flatter side some marks which a lively imagination can see to be the serpent of the Druids, and which the natives declare to be a "Sculptured Stone," but it is probable that the sculptor was simply Nature. The settlement, being beside the road which is pretty generally known as the Caledonian road, was most likely inhabited by one of those Caledonian tribes which, under Galgacus, repulsed the Romans in their attempt to explore the northern parts of Britain ; but more we cannot say. A most fantastic theory as to the derivation of the name Kelman was that put forward by a Cabrach man, who imagined that the people that had settled on the hill came from Kiel in Holland, and that they named the hill after their native place, and the Deveron from a stream near to it, which rises in the Doufrefield mountains. In pursuance of his theory, he sought out everyone named Kelman that he could find, and observed that they all had a sauat, Dutchman-like appearance, and further that Cabrach butter and Kiel butter were alike excellent and superior to that of other districts. We believe Mr John Taylor to have held a somewhat similar view, but do not know his reasons, though no doubt they had a firmer foundation than the fore- going. Our own opinion is that Kelman comes from the Gaelic Cella (a hut) and monadh (a moor) , and means thus the moor of the huts, the present spelling having been adopted in the erroneous idea that the hill was named from the family of Kelman. The next three farms, Soccoch, Greenloau and Bel- cherry, belong to the estate of Beldorney. Soccoch, fre- quently and wrongly called Succoth, is from Soc (a point of land) , a name given on account of the natural features of the place. Greenloan (or Guestloan) is from loan, a protected place between dykes for cattle; Guest is probably ghaist, from the eerie appearance of the white stones in the dyke at twilight ; and Belcherry is Eastertown, the most easterly cultivated land in the Cabrach, or as it was at one time, the eastern boundary of Lesmurdie. There were formerly one or two crofts at the top of the hill on Bel- cherry, and a smithy at the same place. 52 Below Belcherry, a convenient footbridge across the river takes us to the Daugh of Corinacy, which includes all the farms on the right bank of the river in Lower Cabrach, and also the farm of Bank, now reckoned in Upper Cab- rach. The first place we come to is Tomnaven, the little hillock of the river. Formerly it comprised both Upper and Lower Tomnaven, and there was a flourishing distil- lery in the early part of last century, and for some years a private school. Now, like so many other of the Cabrach touns, it is inhabited by one family only. Further up the river another farm has disappeared entirely. This was Berryleys, between Tomnaven and Hillock of Echt. This latter still preserves the name of the Forbes property near Aberdeen. At the boundary between Hillock and Auld- town was the site of the first Secession Church. Some part of the walls of the second building still remain, while the foundations of the manse are seen on the opposite side of the burn. Auldtown and Newton are names which ex- plain themselves, and between them is Pvke, or more correctly Pyketillum, the origin of its name being lost in obscurity ; the house stands on a knoll and has a splendid view up and down the river, it is now occupied by one of the gamekeepers, the farm being incorporated with Auld- town. After passing the Newton, we come to a large semi- circular hollow in the bank, made, it would seem, by the action of the river, which has since changed its course. It looks, to the ordinary non-geological observer, as if in former ages the river had stopped here, making, in fact, a lake, and that in course of time the water wore down the softer part of the barrier, cutting through just below the present intake pool, and wearing into the Craig of the Mains. Still, most likely, the river swirled round this hollow, making it ever more and more regular, till one spring a big spate came and changed the river-bed to its present place, leaving this amphitheatre dry. If the Cabrach folks followed the example of some of the English villagers, and produced pastoral plays in the open air, here is the theatre ready, wanting only a little draining to make it the equal of many of the classic open-air stages. Just where the river has broken through the bank is the Mill of Corinacy, a meal mill, and also a small saw-mill. 53 The road on this side of the river soon after crosses an iron bridge, built in 1913 to replace a suspension foot-bridge and ford, which at times in a heavy spate was verv dangerous, the river rising so quickly that sometimes a farmer who had crossed easily in the morning found on his return that it was impossible to get his horse and cart home. A right-of-way follows the river on the Corinacy side, a pretty walk through a birch wood. This walk can be continued by either of two foot-bridges, one at Dalriach and one opposite the hotel, to join the road leading to Upper Cabrach. Dalriach is one of the two remaining farms included in the Dauch of Corinacy, the other being Bank, on the Upper Cabrach side of the hill above us. In a Retour of 16S1 there are mentioned Glascory and Dalreoch, called Bank. Glascory (the grey Corrie) was the name originally borne by Bank, and possibly when this retour was made, it was just beginning to be known as Bank, and so there- was a confusion in the name. This seems a credible solu- tion of the difficulty about these names which puzzled Mr Macdonald. Dalriach is now a croft occupied by a keeper, but when it was a farm it embraced all the land on that side of the river from the Burn of Bushroot to the boundary of Auchmair, and included some fine haugh lands now given over to sheep. At Bushroot itself were one or two houses, and the hill for some distance up was cultivated. The ex- tent of the fields may yet be discerned, though the heather is rapidly encroaching. Bank lies in a very commanding position on the S. side of the hill, and from it a view of nearly the whole of the Upper Cabrach may be had. Mr Gordon, late farmer there, and uncle of the present tenants, was a man of great intel- ligence and considerable learning, and interested himself in the antiquities and history of the Cabrach. His brother, Dr Gordon, w 7 as in the habit of spending his holidays at Bank, and he wrote some account of the stone cists, &c, several of which he had seen opened. 54 CHAPTER IV. Weather and Crops. " A misty May and a drappy June Mak' a fat stackyaird in ilka toun." These two subjects are inseparably connected in the farmer's mind. For all his failures he blames the weather; occasionally he gives it credit for his successes, but who ever saw a contented farmer? The utmost he can do is to be philosophical, like Punch's farmer, who, standing in the midst of his sodden fields watching his sheaves floating away in the swollen river, says to his neighbour, "Well, I've always noticed when things are as bad as they can be, they'll either mend or get worse." The Cabrach has the reputation of being a cold, wet district. People say, "There's a place they ca' the cauld, cauld Cabrach, far it dings on delaverly, for sax 'ooks on ither's en', neither upplin nor devallin'." But this is a libel, and what one may particularly notice is this, when it is as bad as it can be in the Cabrach, it is much worse somewhere else. It seems very hard, however, to convince strangers of their mistake about the climate. A friend asked, "But do you ever have it really warm there?" When she was told that the polish on some furniture that happened to be outside in the month of May was blistered by the sun, she began to think it might not be such a bad place after all. Another question was, "How many really fine weeks do you have in the year?" A great many more than in some other places thought to have a good climate. The Lower Cabrach especially, as a rule, enj'03's excellent weather. There is plenty of sunshine all the year round, no fog, warm days in summer, and bright frosty ones in winter ; while the air is bracing and exhilarating, and is often compared to champagne. For those in want of a new 55 place in which to spend the winter, we can thoroughly re- commend the Cabrach. This may sound exaggerated, but it is a fact that of late years the winters have not been severe, and indeed the farmers have found a new source of discontent in the lack of snow, for water has been scarce in the succeeding summers. At the same time, after studying the weather records of the past two centuries, we are bound to admit that there has been good ground for the popular notion. What strikes one very forcibly on reading over these old records is the "disappointing" quality of the weather. So often, after perhaps a hard winter, the farmers' hopes were raised by a fine, genial sowing time, only to be dashed by a cold, wet autumn, when the unripe grain stood out in the fields till all chance of securing it in good condition was gone. Or it might be reaped in good time, full and ripe, and then be rotted by the damp before it could be stacked. Turnips, too, often suffered, and even if spared by the weather, were sometimes attacked by disease. If farmers are discontented, truly they very often have reason to be so, but they are also characterised by patience and perseverance, and those in the Cabrach display these qualities in a marked degree. The most outstanding of these bad seasons of which we have been talking were the "seven ill years," 1693-1,700. The continuance of bad harvests told so heavily on the Cabrach that the meal mill fell into disuse, and it is said "the thistle grew from the mill 'ee, and the fox nursed her cubs in the happer." One family after another was forced to leave the district and seek a living elsewhere, until in the Upper Cabrach only one house was left inhabited. This was the house near the Gauch, which afterwards received and still bears the name of Reekimlane. It was the only house with a smoking chimney left, and it "reekit its lane" for some days before the tenants finally decided to leave it and to follow their neighbours to some better provided district. They had just started on their sorrowful journey, when, in crossing the burn, they saw a brown trout flash by. This gave them an idea, and having with little diffi- culty caught a few fish, they returned to the house to blow up the still smouldering peats and enjoy a last meal. While so engaged a horseman was sighted ; he proved to 56 be carrying a sack of meal to Glenbucket, and gave them a share of it. He also brought news of a shipload of grain from the south having arrived in Aberdeen, and cheered by the timely help and the prospect of more to come, the farmer and his family unpacked their belongings and settled down to wait and hope for better times. By and by matters improved and the farms were again occupied ,. though in many cases by strangers, and the "seven ill years" were gradually forgotten. Not again have the farmers experienced such a run of ill-luck, though now and again there have been very unproductive seasons. On September 30th, 191 3, there appeared in the Banffshire Journal "A Glass Farmer's Diary," which we may give in full as far as it refers to weather conditions : — "1769. One of the worst harvests on record ; storm prevented corn being got in till Martinmas Day. 1770. No sowing till April 3rd; whole month of March storm}-, eight weeks of storm, but peats all well home before Glass market (3rd Tues. of July) . 1 77 1. First bere cut 1st Sept. No dry weather from beginning of July. 23rd and 24th Sept. storm (snow) , all corn not cut, and none taken in. 1772. Jan. 13th. Ann Gordon or Leslie, Ardwell, died. Funeral delayed by great blowing and drifting. 1773. Jan. 9th. Great wind, Huntly Tolbooth dam- aged and houses and stacks broken. 1 783-1 784. Winter very severe, cattle going to low country to eat straw. No meal to be had. Duke of Gordon and others brought pease from England. 17S4. Storm lasted eight weeks without a break. 1793. Broken harvest, but good winter, only eight days' storm. 1794. A brave spring. 1799. June 23rd. Snowstorm, three feet of snow in some places in Glass. 1801. July 2nd. Great cold and dearth of meal. 1805. J an - 5th. Adam Slorach lost on Gormach in storm and drifting. May 29th. Spate in Deveron, twelve ankers of whisky lost between Invercharrach and Church of Glass. Glass market that year a day of thunder and rain. 57 iSii. A comet appeared, the like not seen since Cul- loden — a warning to all." The diarist omits to mention the year 1782, commonly called "the black aughty-twa." There was, according to "The Old Statistical Account," a great fall of snow on Sept. 15th of that year, which ruined the oats, and it was Christmas before all the crop was cut, then it was mostly given unthreshed to the cattle. There was great scarcity of meal, and the people were so far dependent on charity for food. John Gordon, Esq. of Craig, proved a good friend to the Cabrach at this time, importing meal to be distributed to the poor, and the Duke of Gordon gave his tenants a rebate of their rents, or time to pay them. Next year in some measure made compensation, for the calves were earlier and more numerous than usual, and there was very little sickness among the people. In the diary kept by John Taylor of Boghead, which •contains records of the weather at intervals from 1816 to 1887, only the bad seasons and severe storms have been noted, except in one or two entries. Presumably when nothing is said to the contrary, the weather was good and the crops plentiful. In 1S16 the summer was cold, snow lying on Garbet during the whole season. On Oct. 20th there was a great hurricane and snowstorm. The stooks of corn were yet out in the fields, and the snow had to be cast to get at them ; when dug out they were a frozen lump, and could not be thawed for the cattle. 1 Si 7 was a very bad year. The corn was all frosted early and of no use for seed. Seed had to be imported at a cost of £2 2s per boll on board ship. In 1836 the crops, especially those on low-lying ground, were blighted by mildew. Snow in October delayed the harvest, the cutting of oats not being finished until Nov. 12th. In April of 1S37 the snow was so deep on the hills that the deer were dying for want of food, and the frost was so severe that many lambs died immediately they were born. The year 1S3S had a particularly bad record. In January the river was frozen sufficiently to allow 7 of horses .and carts crossing on the ice ; snow T commenced to fall on 58 the Sth, and on the 16th James Ramsay, a drover, was lost on the hills, and though diligent search was made for him. by a party of two hundred men his body was not recovered until May 7th. During February the drifting was so great that the mails from Aberdeen could be brought through only with the greatest difficulty. A party of three carried them four or five miles, being then relieved by a similar party, who carried them the next four or five miles, and so on to their destination. Sowing commenced on April 7th, but it was a slow business, for snow fell nearly every day. From Jan. Sth till May 3rd hardly a day passed without at least a shower of snow, and it still fell on some days of June. On the longest day there was a spot of snow on Gromack, above Tomnaven, the remains of a wreath that at Whitsunday had been a mile in length, while at this time peat-casting was stopped by the frost. The crops, already very late, were damaged by frost in August, and frosty weather continued through Sept. and Oct. Capt. Stewart's tenants received back 20% of their rents in consequence of the short, poor crop, much of which was lost. In March 1839 there was a severe snowstorm, with much drifting, and Charles Stewart of Haddoch perished on the hill's. About the middle of May there was a heavy fall of snow, and a funeral party from Rhynie going to Walla- kirk across the hills had the greatest difficulty in performing' the journey, being compelled to lift and pull the coffin through enormous drifts. In September there was a re- markable spate; the river rose to within six inches of the flood mark of '29, and bridges at Milltown of Cabrach, Tor- nichelt, Lesmurdie and Wallakirk, besides three others in Glass, were carried away by the Deveron. The year 1S40 was not so cold, but there was a great deal of rain. A month after being cut, the corn was still, too wet to be brought in, and large quantities were spoiled. During five weeks of the autumn there were not forty-eight consecutive hours of dry weather. 1 841 began with severe weather and deep snow, but the crops were well forward in June. There is no further entry for this year, but we hope the promise of June was fulfilled. The harvest of 1S55 was good, and there was plenty of straw, but owing to the late spring and wet summer turnips and peats were scarce. 59 In 1S75, for the first time, a really good harvest is men- tioned. There was a great deal of rain during the time of reaping and much grain was lost on Donside and Deeside, but "eight days of dry windy weather dried the corn in the Cabrach, and the whole of it was led! in fine condition." 1S76 began with a dry, mild January, but the next three months more than made up for this. Sheep and lambs were lost in the snow and the roads were blocked. The land was very wet for ploughing and sowing, and was in much worse condition than in the springs of '37, '38, and '55, which were all late and wet. The harvest this year was, however, on the whole, good. The vear 1880 was one of the best. Sowing was fin- ished early, and the hot summer ripened the grain, so that harvest commenced on August 20th and was finished by the end of September. The winter came in early, there being a heavy fall of snow in the second week of October. On the Wednesday before the term, the day of the feeim? market, twelve inches of snow fell in two hours. In December heavy snow and the most intense frost for fifty years destro3 r ed the turnips, which had been an excep- tionally good crop. The hard winter weather of the end of 1880 continued till April 1881. The roads were blocked by snow from Dec. 8th, 1880, till March 10th, 1881 (fourteen weeks) . Many persons, cattle and sheep perished 111 the snow, and the railways were blocked five times during the winter. For twenty-seven weeks (half a year) the land- scape was covered with snow, and sowing commenced on April Sth while the hills were still white. The seed was deposited in good condition, and the month of May, the hottest May on record, promised well. But during June, vermin, "like large black beetles," destroyed all the seed, and the fields had to be resown (in some cases three times) up till July. These vermin appeared all over Scotland ex- cept in Argyllshire. There were snow and frost in June, and young grouse died in large numbers. June, July and August were very cold, and snow fell on August 12th. Harvest began in the second week of October in wet, cold weather, and much of the corn was cut while still green and stacked "in a deplorable state of dampness." The weather for thirteen months, except the month of May, was one continuation of wet and cold. It changed for the better in December. GO January and February 18S2 were mild and dry, with hurricanes of "birsling" wind, which dried the corn stacks and prevented the straw from rotting. Windy weather continued up till the beginning of June, but the summer was wet, consequently the turnips were poor, though there was a remarkable growth of grass. The harvest was pretty fair, but protracted owing to rain. The first severe snowstorm of 1SS3 was in the first week of March; bad weather continued until the middle of April, and the sheep were hand-fed till that time. After one of the best seed times on record, there succeeded intense drought in May and half of June, then rain and cold till the end of October. The turnips were a poor crop, and failed altogether on damp land. There was no peat and coals had to be used ; while the crop of cereals was "thin," though harvested in good condition by the middle of Nov., its average weight being 38 lbs. to the bushel, and the meal very good. The year 1SS4 commenced well, but a great snowstorm on January 26th did a great deal of damage ; the cattle could scarcely be attended to in the byres, and many sheep were smothered in the drifts. The rest of the winter was very windy, and the failure of the turnips the previous year was much felt. The oats were deficient in weight when they came to be reaped. 1SS5. The whole of this year was cold, chilly, dry and windy. Harvest did not commence till October 10th and finished on November 23rd. The corn, damaged by frost, was of no use for seed, though the meal was very good. The average weight was 37 lbs. -to the bushel. As a consequence of the frost in 'S5, all seed had to be imported in '86, at an average price of 24/- per quarter. Sowing began in the last week of March, the season up till the end of July being dry and cold. About the end of August mildew blighted the crops on Auchmair, Milltown, Kirkton, and other low-lying ground. More elevated farms escaped, and their crops were exceptionally good. The latter half of August, September and October were very warm, and harvest was finished about November 12th. December was a snowy month and the sheep were hand-fed, but there was abundance of cattle food of all kinds, and grain and beef were very cheap. 61 The year 1SS7 was also good. The snow had all dis- appeared by January 10th, and fine dry weather continued up till the end of February, ploughing being uninterrupted for seven weeks, and sowing finished by the end of March. In consequence of the hot, dry summer, water was scarce, but the grass was abundant and good and the grain heavy, though short in straw. Harvest was finished the first week ■of October. Oats sold this year at 10/- to 12/- per quarter, .and meal at n/- per boll. 62 CHAPTER V. Streams and Fishing. " Give me mine angle, we'll to the river." Fishing is one of the great attractions which the Cabrach holds out to visitors, and few places in Scotland can boast of being able to provide such excellent sport at so little cost to the angler. The Deveron is one of the best- known salmon rivers in the north, and its course from birth to adolescence being through our parish, it brings knowledge of it home to many who would otherwise never hear the magic name of Cabrach. There may not be, for many reasons, so many fish in the river as there were say fifty years ago, but, after all, what is the size of the basket compared with the joy of a summer day by the river, the glint of the sun on the streams, the splash of a big fellow in the pools, the glorious brown water flashing over the stones, gurgling and whispering its secrets to the under- standing ear, the midday lunch and the afternoon siesta among the honey scented clover ; and then the evening, when the westering sun streams golden through the trees above our favourite pool, and the trout are on the feed, and the midges busy, the midges that drive us home to supper and fishing tales; or a rainy day, when there is a big spate and the yellow flood foams down, and we return soaking wet and happy, with full baskets, to a peat fire and a "tousy" tea. Sixty years ago poaching for salmon and trout was common among the country people. Very little is done now, and if we give a description of the methods used, it must be on the distinct understanding that no reader will take advantage of the information. The chief implements were the bag-net for salmon, the silk-net for trout, the spear and cruisie, the gaff and the creeper. The bag-net G3 was used in the following' way: first a pool was stoned, to drive the salmon upstream out of it, then the net was stretched at the neck of the pool, between two uprights, each held by a man, with a long tail floating down-stream, and the fishers, with sticks and stones, drove the fish back again into the net. The trout-net was three-fold ; it measured about 30 ft. in length by iS ins. in depth, the two outer layers were of cord mesh, and the middle one, which was about twice the size of the outer ones and of smaller mesh, was made of silk. This net was held between two men who walked down-stream with it. When a trout came in contact with it, he passed through the outer la3*er, became entangled in the silk and passed out again through the third layer taking with him a portion of the silk, and there he hung as in a pocket. Sweeping-nets were also used for the big pools, and the ordinary bag-net could be manipulated in this way. vSpearing salmon was quite another thing, and required considerable skill. Towards the end of the season, when the salmon were on the "reds," was the best time for spearing. It was done at night, like most poaching, and light was given by a "cruisie," an iron basket in which "knabs," resinous fir roots dug out of the moss, were burned. The light not only showed where the salmon lay, but it also attracted them towards itself, so that they came within reach of the spearman. The spear was five or six pronged, about six inches in width, w 7 ith prongs of six to eight inches long ; the wooden handle was six to ten feet long. A skilful spearman could soon secure most of the fish in the pool, but the novice not infrequentlv fell in head first, if his spear handle was too short or his aim bad. The creeper was in use as a means of poaching much later than the spear, and is still used without a rod by the water bailiffs for removing dead fish from the river. There was more than one kind of creeper, but the most common was an arrangement of three hooks bound together with the barbs outwards; a short length of gut or cord hung below, on which was a lead sinker, and the whole was attached to an ordinary fishing line and rod. The way to use this is to stalk your fish, then cast out well beyond him and null in the creeper towards you ; when it is quite near him give- it a sharp pull, and if you have been careful one or other 64 of the hooks will hold him fast. A salmon hooked in this way will give far more play than one hooked by the mouth. Another different form of creeper is a large Stewart worm tackle, with a piece of lead wrapped round and a worm entwined. It is used in the same way as the other, but has this advantage from the poacher's point of view : on inspec- tion by a keeper, it looks much more like the real thing. This form of fishing has not altogether disappeared, and is known as "sniggling." There is also fishing with the minnow. Now, the minnow itself is not an illegal lure, but the essential point is that it must spin in the water; by this means the hooks are concealed from the fish, the lure is taken and the fish caught by the mouth. By flattening the lugs, it is pre- vented from spinning, and with the addition of a little lead in the shell, the lure is at once rendered impossible as a means of catching by the mouth, and transformed into a first-class instrument for "sniggling" ; that is, catching by the body. The mere fact, however, of catching a fish by the body is not a proof of illegal fishing, and it is estimated that three-fourths of the number of fish caught with the spinner are foul-hooked ; but the form of the minnow is the point to be considered. The right to net salmon at the mouth of the Deveron was purchased from the Duke of Fife in 1907, by the riparian proprietors, and since then there has been some increase in the number of fish in the river, but the last two seasons have been so dry that fewer than usual have made their way to the Cabrach. The fishing streams in the Cabrach are the Deveron, the Blackwater, and some of the burns. The Deveron rises in the hills between Glenbucket and Cabrach, at a height of 16S8 feet above sea level; it is sixty miles in length, and drains an area of 474 square miles. Within a short distance •of its source it is joined by several burns, the West Lewie, the- Burn of Alansheal, and the Kindy Burn. It next meets the Rouster, the red or rusty burn, so named from the red cliffs near the Milltown, a stream nearly equal in size to the Deveron at this point, and after this meeting assumes the dignity of a river. Salmon are not so plentiful in these upper reaches until the end of the season, but good baskets of trout may be obtained at all times. Several burns now 65 join the river on both sides, till, on the right the Burn of Bank, and on the left the Burn of Alltdaueh, mark the boundary line between Upper and Lower Cabrach. The youthful Deveron now flows through the beautiful pass of Deldorach, and skirting under a high wooded cliff rushes over a small fall to Pool Hurry, just below the Richmond Hotel, the first of a series of splendid pools. Lower down are the "Sauchen Pot," beloved of fishers, and Dalriaeh pool . The course of the Blackwater is almost parallel to that of the Deveron, and it is about the same length as the latter is at this point. It is formed by the junction of four burns rising between the Crespet Hill and Geall Charn, and thence flows in an easterly direction till it joins the Deveron. All except the last three miles of the stream is in the deer forest. About five miles from its source is the Blackwater shooting lodge, and between the lodge and the end of the forest are several excellent pools, where in the latter part of the season fair-sized salmon may be taken. It is as a trout stream that the Blackwater is chiefly notable, however, and trout weighing as much as 12 lbs. have been caught in it. Such big fellows are scarcely common, though, and the average basket usually contains trout of i lb. to 3 lbs., and occasionally a few five-pounders. A white-painted footbridge crosses the stream about a mile within the forest, and from here to its meeting with the Deveron, the Blackwater is, as a rule, open by permission to anglers. Two good "pitches" are the Muckle Rush and the Little Rush, be- tween this bridge and the postman's bridge at Shenval. There are also several pools worth trying before the Shenval burn is reached, and two or three tributary burns may yield a trout or so. Below Shenval are the Tomnavowin and Tor pools, and the largest pool of all is Pool o' Viachan, cutting in under the cliff below Upper Ardwell. A good bit of trouting water lies between this pool and the Dev- eron, which we rejoin at Dalriaeh pool. From here to the Glass boundary is a series of pools and rushes, all of which will yield salmon of fair size, and good trout, to the experienced or lucky angler. The heaviest salmon we know to have been taken from the Deveron in Cabrach weighed 35 lbs., but the usual weight 66 is from 7 lbs. to 23 lbs., or thereabouts. The best-known pools in the portion of the river to which we have now come are, first, the Beach pool, named from a large patch of shingle, which the river, ever wearing into the opposite bank, has left dry. Here the Oyster Catchers lay their eggs, and the innocent fisherman is sometimes driven away from the pool by their violent shrieks of "Go back! go back!" while the\- swoop towards him with formidable beaks. Next in order is Bannochie, after the Burn of Bushroot ; then come the rush below the new bridge, the intake for the mill, and Lesmurdie or Lodge pool, a favourite place under the Craig o' the Mains, a high cliff, tree-crowned. At the tail of the pool, "Lesmurdie's burn, quick emptying to the stream beneath, adds its low voice where Deveron's ripples sing," and the old house of Lesmurdie keeps ghostly watch and ward. Below Lesmurdie is the Bridge or Parapet pool, named from the old bridge, built for the convenience of the church-goers, when the church at Auldtown was in use, and part of which remains on one bank. Here more salmon are caught than in almost any other pool in the Cabrach, with the exception of Pool Hurry. Broken Troder (the name always puzzles strangers, who variously call it Broken Tooter, and Broken Tooth — it probably means the stream broken by rocks, over and round which it "purls") ; the Boghead pool and the Craigies of Tomnaven follow. This last is an excellent pool under a rocky cliff, near the farm of the same name. The Crooked Pot is the last pool in the Cabrach. The Deveron receives a number of tributaries on both banks, mostly, with the exception of the Charach (the burn of the stony bottom) , quite small, which no one troubles to fish, though trout are got in them by "guddling." The Charrach, on the left bank, forms the boundary between Invercharrach and Lesmurdie. Two or three "stripes" follow, then two good burns on the right, the Auldtown and the Hillock burns, next the Soccoch and Countlip burns on the left, the Raigie burn on the right, and the Linnburn, the boundar\- between the parishes of Cabrach and Glass, and between the counties of Aberdeen and Banff, on the left. 67 Bridges. (Reprinted from the Banffshire Journal.) In November 1913 there was sold by auction the foot- bridge across the Deveron between Milltown of Lesmurdie and the Daugh of Corinacy, in Lower Cabrach. This was the last of the foot-bridges on the Upper Deveron to make way for one that could carry the road, and it ma}- be of some interest to recall a few of the old bridges, and the way in which improvements have been made. The bridge referred to above was erected in iSSS, in place of another which by reason of its nearness to the river level was often damaged, and even occasionally ■washed away by floods. The new suspension bridge was a •great improvement upon this, for it was quite above the reach of the highest spate, though often the approaches to -it might be under water. It was constructed by William Kellas, blacksmith, Bridgend, Cabrach, at a cost of ^25, exclusive of the carting of materials, which was all done by farmers in the neighbourhood. The money was raised by public subscription. Just below the bridge was a ford. Both foot-bridge and ford have now been replaced by an iron bridge erected in 191 3, at a cost of between ^400 and . £500. The two oldest bridges in the Cabrach are those at Bridgend, across the Charrach burn, and across the Black- water, on the main road. Both were built about 1S27. The next was the bridge across the Deveron at the King's Ford, built in 1 851. The King who is thus remembered was Edward I. of England, who passed this way in 1296, but found no bridges to aid his progress. The bridge across J the Deveron near the Church of Cabrach was probably the next to be built, and then, as the most difficult fords were thus rendered passable, there was a lull in the improving of the highway until the early 'eighties. A movement was then set on foot to build a number of bridges across various burns on the road from Dufftown to the Upper Cabrach. Mr Robertson, Schoolmaster, Lower Cabrach, was one of the principal workers in this cause, which conferred a very great benefit on the district. The bridges erected at that 68 time were across the Fiddich at Bridgehaugh, across the Balloch burn at Ballochford, one near Bridgend across the Lewie burn, one at the Burn of Alltdauch, one across the Burn of Bank, and one across the Burn of Auchmair. With funds left over a drinking trough was erected at the Burn of Alltdauch, just at the boundary between Upper and Lower Cabrach. Some of these bridges are the single arch stone erections of the usual type, others are of iron, floored with wood. The contrast between these substantial bridges, over which even traction engines safely pass, and the old rough fords, which made the use of vehicles with springs, inadvisable (to say the least of it) , is very great. At the fords there was usually a bridge for foot passengers, but this in the eighteenth century was of the most primitive description. It was merely a couple of logs thrown from one bank to the other, with a few boards nailed between, and quite innocent of a hand-rail. The logs were as a rule "moss trees," dug out of the peat. The Kirk-Session saw to it that these bridges were kept in repair, and very often the penalty inflicted on a delinquent would be the providing of a bridge tree. The crimes which were thus expiated, besides that frequent one technically referred to as "dis- cipline," might be "gathering grossets on the Sabbath," fighting, or bringing home a millstone, on the same day. Or it might be that a party of roysterers came home late, disturbing decent folk, and then the punishment seems entirely fitted to the offence, for those same merrymakers would be very dependent on the state of the bridges they had to cross, and a gap in the floor meant a fall into the water and a sudden sobering. Later on moss trees gave place to well-built wooden bridges, with hand-rails, and these in turn to those of which we have spoken. Several foot-bridges still remain, but all of them are bridges of ac- commodation only. The whole of the roads in the Cabrach are to be traversed easily by motor car, traction engine, or any vehicle the traveller's fancy dictates. " On 1 6th May 1722 the Commissioners of Supply of Banff- shire appointed Lesmurdie, with Recletich and Tullich, to superintend the highways in Pittriffnie and Mortlach. This must have included Lower Cabrach, because at a meeting of Justices of Peace held at Banff on 26th October 1725 Les- murdie reported an estimate for building a timber bridge on 69 the Blackwater; and an advance of one hundred pounds Scots for buying materials was authorised. At a meeting of Commissioners of Supply held on 15th November 172S, another hundred pounds Scots were voted to Lesmurdie to complete the bridge at Blackwater. He was ordered also to repair the causey from Balvenie to Glenlivet, which is the first recorded improvement of any road south of Keith and Boharm undertaken by the County Commissioners of Suppfy. 70 CHAPTER VI. Education. At the present time there are two schools in the Cab- rach, one in the Upper end of the parish, near to the Church, the other in the Lower, at Invercharrach ; thus each is in the centre of its district, and no child is more than two miles away from it. There are about 40 scholars at the Upper School, and 60 at the Lower, their ages ranging from 5 to 14 years. Any who are ambitious, and wish to learn more than can be taught at an elementary school, must go to Dufftown or elsewhere to a Higher Grade School. Much is being said against this method of sending children to "centres" to continue their education, thus losing the benefit of home-life just at the time when it is most needed, and many sigh for the old days, when the country dominie sent his boys straight to the college ; but something is to be said on the other side too, for often these bright boys were trained at the expense of the average pupil, and for the sake of scoring a few outstanding suc- cesses, the dunces were neglected. As Professor Ed- gar, who occupies the Chair of Education at St Andrews, says, "The parish school in many cases did good work, but I honestly believe that if the ghosts of even the best parish schools could visit your schools to-day, they would blush when they saw your wonderful efficiency, and wonder to see all the children, even the poorest and the least clever, receiving a good and serviceable education. And they would hurry back to the Elysian fields, where the ghosts of old schools dwell, muttering as they went, 'we taught a little Latin, and our pupils sometimes lived to wag their heads in pulpits, but we did nothing like this for all the children. We let the duffers remain duffers still.' " Each of the Cabrach schools employs a headmaster. 71 who resides in an adjoining schoolhouse, and a lady assist- ant. The Upper school is by far the older of the two, having been founded about the beginning of the 18th cen- tury, while that in the Lower Cabrach did not exist till 1863. Both were originally parochial schools, though now, of course, under the Education Authority. Before the Reformation, no one thought much about education as a necessity, except for priests and clerks ; to all others it was a luxury, and like most luxuries, ener- vating in its effects and calculated to unfit a man for his duty who had to live by strength of arm, either in fighting or in labour. We remember the famous saying of the Earl of Douglas, who thanked God that " son of mine, save Gawain, ne'er could pen a line." Another reason against teaching all to read and write was that it facilitated intrigue, especially on the part of women ; therefore, for long after boys were allowed to learn a little, girls had to be content with sewing and spinning and with listening to what was told or read to them. Certainly no one ever dreamed of a time when every child in the parish would receive at least the begin- nings of an education, far less that country boys and girls would go to college and themselves become teachers. Edu- cation was almost altogether in the hands of the Catholic priests, and boys destined for the Church, and a few others, eldest sons of noblemen and any perhaps too delicate lo become soldiers, or who had a decided taste for learning, were received by them into the monastic seminaries. The ordinary country boy, such as the Cabrach "loon," learned only to rear stock, to till the ground, and to drive a bargain, all of which arts his father was well qualified to teach. After the Reformation the Church commenced to De very active in spreading education, especially in remote places, for, she argued, this was the best means of driving out the superstition and pagan beliefs that had such a hold on the people in Catholic times. Parochial schools began to be founded, and in 1696 the Act was passed which provided for a school in every parish. The heritors were required to erect a school, and to pay the school- master's salary, half of which, however, they were entitled to raise by levying a rate on the tenants. The amount was decided every 25 years, according to the market price of meal. 72 Bv the Act of 1872 the School Board, acting under the Board' of Education, took over the existing schools, and has, henceforth been the managing body. The tirst public school in the Upper Cabrach was most likely established about the year 1714, in accordance with Act already referred to. In the Session Minutes at our disposal, there are occasional references to school affairs, 6rst being in 1731, when a Mr Wm. Chisholm was re- commended by the heritors as master, it being apparently in the power of the Session to confirm the appointment. Later on a regular parochial board was formed, but at first it appears that the Session performed the duties of such a board. Xo further entry is made till 1740, when Mr Rhon- nald, the master of that time, represented to the Session the need of a sehoolhouse — "The schoolmaster of this place, Mr Rhonnald, did represent to the Session, That whereas the Winter was coming on Apace, and no Sehoolhouse in the parish, he desired their Advice and Assistance towards the furthering such a Pious Resolution, since he was wearied in giving no less than three Petitions to the Presbytery of the bounds anent the same, and if they did not contribute their Endeavour this way, It was more than lay within the small Compass of his power to please the parish, Since the One part would have him to stay on Doveranside, the other 011 the Cabrach, and that this was the proper time to Concert 'gainst the Term. The minister was to speak to the Pres- bytery thereanent." Apparently Mr Rhonnald got his way, for some later minutes are dated from "The Sehoolhouse." A new school and sehoolhouse were built in 1836. During the next 40 years we have the name of only one teacher, Wm. Taylor, son of Wm. Taylor of Invereharrach, and later of Milltown of Lesmurdie. He was an elder, and held the post of session-clerk ; indeed the schoolmaster was nearly always session-clerk, as being the man most fitted for the work. Mr Taylor died in 17S2 at the age of 42, and, with one of his sons, is buried at Wallakirk. The next teacher mentioned is James Gordon, son of the minister of the parish. In 1793 the Old Statistical Account of Scotland was compiled, and according to it, the parochial school salary was ^5 ns iM sterling per annum. So far we have heard nothing as to how the Lower Cabrach children were provided for, but in the Statistical Account mention is made 73 of the charity school having been "taken away from Do- vernside in 1779, a want which the people there felt very much. To remedy this in some degree, they hire a country man to teach their children to read and write iu winter, the only time they can dispense with them from herding their cattle." (What a difference to the life of the country child the introduction of fences has made !) Noth- ing more is known of the charity school here spoken of, but it was probably an auxiliary school, supported by the Session, for those children who were unable to travel the distance from Deveronside to the Upper Cabrach. We have the note of a collection, amounting to £3 15s 4d Scots, made for charity schools, and doubtless this was one of them. After this date the Session minutes on the school relate chiefly to the schoolmaster's salary. In 1S2S appears the following, dated from "The Schoolhouse" the 9th April — "The Heritors and Minister of the Cabrach having met here this day in consequence of having been Edictally cited from the Pulpit in order to modify the Schoolmaster's salary, in terms of the Act of Parlament : Present, George Gordon, Esq., Factor for the Trustees of the late Duke of Gordon, and Proxy for Sir William Grant of Beldorney, and the Rev. James Gordon, Minister of the Parish of Cabrach, and having taken into consideration the average price of value of oatmeal, as struck by the Barons of Exchequer for ail Scotland, for the twenty-five years preceding the eleventh day of June Eighteen hundred and twenty-eight. Resolved in terms of the Act of Parliament passed the nth June 1S03, That the salary of the Parochial Schoolmaster of Cabrach shall be in time coming, yearly, one and three- fourths chalders of oatmeal, payable in money according to the above rate of seventeen pounds two shillings and two- pence one farthing for each chalder, being in the whole Twenty-nine pounds eighteen shillings and ninepence ten- twelfths of a penny sterling, and this sum they order and ordain the whole Heritors of the Parish of Cabrach pay annually at the terms of Whitsunday and Martinmas by equal portions, to Mr Wm. Ronald and his successors in office, proportionally according to their respective valua- tions, beginning the first Moiety at Whitsunday ensuing for the half year immediately preceeding, and so on thereafter, and they pray the Lords of Council and Session to interpone 74 their authority thereto, if need be, that all necessary dili- gence may pass at the Incumbent's instance as accords of Law. " The meeting having further taken into consideration that no garden has hitherto been set apart for the school- master, and that such could not be done without inconven- ience, do hereby in terms of the Act of Parliament in lieu thereof, grant as an addition to his salary, Two Bolls of Oat- meal yearly, payable at the terms as before mentioned and at the same rate per chalder, viz., ^17 2s 2 3/i2d." A new school and schoolhouse w T ere built in 1836. In 1S45 the New Statistical Account of Scotland ap- peared, to which the Rev. Wm. Ronald, schoolmaster, con- tributed the portion relating to the Cabrach ; he says: "Last winter there were four schools in the Cabrach, one parochial and three private, one taught by an old woman was for reading onhy." That is the Upper Cabrach parochial and 3 private in Lower Cabrach. This old woman must have been Ann Broun at Tomnaven, some of whose scholars re- mained in the Cabrach until a few years ago. She taught until the year 1S59. Another private school was at Milltown of Lesmurdie, and we can trace several of the teachers. One was Wm. Anderson, who lived at Ballochford, and carried on the trades of a thatcher and dealer in manure in the summer season, for still the school da} T s were almost altogether confined to the winter months. Another was David Rattray of Craigluie, on the Kelman hill. He after- wards became a teacher in Glasgow, and ultimately returned to his native place, where he continued to live a simple life among the heather with his bees, until his death at the age of 84, in 1909. Robbie Robson, of Glass, was another of these worthies. He had a club foot, and the reputation of being "a bit of a character." People w 7 ere fond of playing pranks on him, and once someone sent him by post an elaborate Valentine, addressed in rhyme, as follows : — " Cabrach is the parish, and Milltown is the toun, And Robbie Robson is the man, a handsome, clever loon. Xoo Charlie, see, tak' care o' me, and ye shall never want, Hae me up to the Haugh o' Glass, gie me to Peter Grant. Oh, Peter mon, ye ken yersel, that ye gae by Dummeth, Syne never lowse a grip o' me till ye gae past Forteith, 75 And leave me no at Drywells, Boghead, nor yet the Mains, But tak' me on to Rob himsel' or ane o' Milltown's weans." "Charlie" and "Peter Grant" were the two postmen through whose hands the missive had to pass. John Smart of Badchier, a nephew of Mr Smart, who was minister of the parish, also taught at the Milltown for a short time and the school there was continued until the parochial school was built at Invercharrach. There was still another private school, at Bridgend, taught for nearly half a century by Jimmy Coskie, and his school also came to an end when the parochial school was built. According to a wTiter of that time, though he had laboured for so long he was allowed to retire without any public recognition of his services. He died in 1864. All the private schools, as well as the parish school, were regularly visited and examined, generally by the minister, and, according to the standard of the time, they appear to have reached a high plane of efficiency. But while the private schools did very well, it was pretty generally felt that it would be more satisfactory to have a properly established public school, than to depend on the efforts of whomsoever chose to teach. Mr Smart, the minister, who remembered the long trudges of his boy- hood to the Upper Cabrach or to Dufftown in search of learning, exerted himself to bring this about, and it was largely owing to his efforts that the parochial school and schoolhouse in Lower Cabrach were built on a site at In- vercharrach granted by the Duke of Richmond in 1863. The first master was Mr Kissick, from Portsoy, who came in 1864. In 1865 he left and Mr Thomas Robertson, a native of Upper Cabrach, was appointed. With regard to Mr Robertson we cannot do better than append the following account of him published at the time of his death in the "Banffshire Journal" of 1909: — "He was a splendid type of the old parochial schoolmaster, and was among the last in Banffshire of that once famous class. In the vigour of his life his reputation was more than local. His pupils are now scattered widely, and many have won professional dis- tinction, or made their mark as successful men of business. Being a 'parochial,' he viewed the advent of School 76 Boards with suspicion, if not absolute distrust. To such democratic, or as it might be, autocratic, interest in edu- cational affairs, he never took kindly. . . A year ago Mr Robertson had a severe illness, and for some months was granted leave of absence. He resumed duties after the autumn holidays, but at Christmas his health again gave way. With the grim determination so characteristic of him, enfeebled though he was, he stuck to his work in school until the end of February, when he had to cease from sheer exhaustion. As he had often expressed the wish, he died practically in harness, his latter days showing that indomit- able and unyielding spirit by which his whole life was ac- tuated, and which bore him firmly, even triumphantly, through the stormy passages incidental to the life of an old parochial such as he was." After Mr Robertson's death, the Board was able to assert itself, and the teachers appointed since have been essentially modern. CHAPTER VII. Ecclesiastical History. " While thus the lave o' mankind's lost, O' Scotland still God maks His boast." In this chapter we propose to give an account, as far as the available data allow, of the Churches of the Cabraeh, past and present. There are now two churches, that in the Lower Cabraeh belonging to the United Free Church, and that in the Upper Cabraeh to the Established Church. It is more than likely that in the course of a few years we shall see these two bodies, between wdiich there is so little real difference, united, and another stage in church history will be reached; the Cabraeh people will then be all of one creed, a state in which they have not been since the earliest Christian times. The first religion of the Cabraeh is lost in obscurity. It is quite certain that the Cabraeh was inhabited long before the introduction of Christianity into Scotland, for there are many indications of a primitive people, and among these relics are some which seem to be connected with religious observances. In the face of the very different opinions held by scientists with respect to the meaning of circles, cup-marked stones, and other monuments of the Pictish people, it is difficult to arrive at any definite under- standing of their religion, but we take it that whatever it was, the religion of the Cabraeh was the same as that of the rest of Pictland. Apparently these people worshipped a god or gods who were incorporate in or represented by the powers of nature, and, notably, by the heavenly bodies. Through the erroneous derivation of Beltane and kindred words, from the Baal of the Phoenicians, represented by the sun, a belief has sprung up that the ancient Picts also worshipped Baal, and an elaborate fiction has been built 78 on this foundation. (Skene's Celtic Scotland) . Probably, however, the sun was only regarded as one of the mani- festations, perhaps the chief, of their god, and very many present-day superstitions are traceable to the primitive nature-worship, and especially to the adoration of the sun, or of fire. In the Cabrach there have been found several altars, and near by them, heaps of charred grain and straw, which indicate the sacrifice of the first fruits of the field by fire. These altars were not at time of their discovery examined by experts, but if they had been so examined, no doubt something significant would have been noticed in their position. There are still to be found numbers of stone circles, which appear to have been the foundations of houses and of larger buildings, and in almost every case the entrance is placed at the S.E., suggesting that the family, on rising, might have greeted the sun and nerformed their morning devotions facing him. In the graves which have been found the bodies usually lie with the head towards the sun-rising, but there is woefully little besides to give a clue to the religious belief of the departed. Pagan the Cabrach people certainly were until Christi- anity was brought to them, and this work is generally attri- buted to St Wallach. He is said to have laboured either in the fifth or the eighth century, but as he is also said to have come from lona as a missionary, we must choose the latter date, for Columba settled in lona only in 563. He is also called the first bishop of the diocese, before its formal erection at Mortlach, but as he can hardly have had a diocese over which to be bishop, he is more likely to have held this degree, which was superior to the ordinary priests' and carried with it certain privileges and abilities, before he left lona. He followed the practice of Columba in preaching by example, as well as by precept, and lived, in a hermit cell, a most ascetic life. He travelled up and down the country teaching the Christian doctrine and working miracles of healing, and had the satisfaction of making many converts. His name is still held in reverence at Wallakirk, and his blessing, which he conferred on the miraculous well and baths, continued to be invoked occa- sionally as late as 1648, when the Strathbogie Presbytery, being met at Glass, censured "all superstition at Walla- kirk." 79 So far the written records are very meagre, and for some hundreds of years they do not shew much increase of detail, but after the erection of the see of Mortlach by Mal- colm II. in ioiq we begin to find out something more definite about the Church as a whole. The bishopric of Mortlach included five churches with the dependent monastery of "Cloveth." (This Cloveth has caused us a great deal of trouble in deciding exactly the place meant b}^ it, and we have not yet cleared up the point ; if any reader, better informed, can do so, we shall be glad to hear from him.) Cloveth must have been either Cabrach or Strathdeveron, and there are arguments in favour of both. The only reference to the monastery is the mention made of it in counting the sources of revenue of the Bishops of Aberdeen. Possibly it was not a monaster}- in the usual sense, but may have been a presbytery house for the ac- commodation of two or three priests whose duty it was to act as missionaries in the surrounding country. In 1266 a grant was made of the revenues of Dummeth (Wallakirk) and Cloveth, 3 marks each, for maintaining the lights of the great altar, and the ornaments in the Cathedral Church of Aberdeen. This is an argument for Cloveth being the little church in Strathdeveron, as it is close to Dummeth, and the joining of the revenues would seem natural ; but again in 1363, Alexander, Bishop of Aberdeen, "because of the smallness of the revenues" (the stipend of the vicar being 100s sterling, with the kirk land) , united the parishes of Kildrummy and Cloveth, and here surely Upper Cabrach is meant, for it is the next parish to Kildrummy. In another record, mention is made of " Cloveth, otherwise Cabrach" ; still another speaks of Cloveth in Banffshire, this long before Cabrach was included in that county, and some of the old people remember the little church on Les- nmrdie, near the Mill of Corinacy, being called Cloveth. We are certain, though, that there was a church in Upper Cabrach. It was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and apparently occupied a site on the Royster near to that of the present parish church ; here again there is some doubt as to the exact place, for one map shews the church on the right bank of the river, nearly opposite to the farm-house of Auchmair, while another shews it near to the present site. The land belonging to it, in extent so about a half-davach, was usually leased by the Bishop to one tenants, who had to undertake to defend the rights and liberties of the church, and to resist heretics and - of the orthodox faith. In 1520 the rent was £.10. In 1549 Robert Lumisdane was tenant on a 19 years' lease and he paid annually "£g 6s Sd, 1 mart, 12 kids, 4 geese, and 3 4 for bondages, with the accustomed service." There were, besides the church, at least three chapels in the district, though whether they were all in use at the same time is uncertain. The oldest was situated on the left bank of the Deveron, just opposite to the present Mill of Corinacy. It has long since disappeared, but its founda- tions are still easily seen. It was quite a small place, 40 ft. : - ft. This is the chapel which may have been the Cloveth mentioned above, and if so, was built 900 years ago, for the lands of "C:oveth" were given to the church lalcolm II. in 1010. If this is not Cloveth, then more than likely it was used as a mission chapel, with occasional services by the priest at Wallakirk and others. A bur- place adjoined it, and within living memory was used as a place of interment for infants, but now only a few irregular mounds mark the spot, and the cattle wander over it at will. At Badchier there was another chapel, small and ram- shackle, probably used also as an occasional place of wor- ship. The only fact about it we have been able to discover is a story of the penance inflicted on a certain man by the st, the delinquent being compelled to take the place of a mat when the congregation were assembling, until he was begged off by the female worshippers, who found the penance more to their embarrassment than to his. The most important of the three chapels was that at al. There is some uncertainty about the date of the foundation of this station ; according to one writer it must have been in existence in the 16th century, for he gives an account of its demolition by the Protestants shortly after the Reformation. In the absence of direct evidence we can only conjecture, and it seems to us more likel- that the chapel owed its erection rather than its destruction to that upheaval in Scottish religion. When the Cabrach Church became a Protestant Establishment, probabv those who re- mained Catholics then erected the chapel" at Shenval for their own use. If this were so, it would explain the choice -1 of the site. The Shenval certainly seerns a strange situation for a chapel, and especially for a Catholic one, as commonly the builders of such shewed their good sense by selecting the most sheltered and picturesque spot available, and as there was a priest's house attached to the chapel, which was intended to be occupied during a great part of the year, there must have been some good reason for choosing such a bleak, cold place. The reason was that its inaccessibility made for safety at a time of great unrest throughout the country, and it offered little temptation to those zealous Reformers whose chief idea was the destruction of the outward signs of the Catholic religion rather than the improvement of their own virtue. The coldness and bleakness of the situation were well known, and the thought of living and working there did not commend itself to some of the Missioners, who looked upon it as a severe discipline, and deemed an appointment to the Shenval as equal to exile, nick-naming it "Siberia." Young missionaries often began their course there, and were promoted to better stations as they approved themselves, and as fresh candidates arrived from the colleges abroad. "When Mr Reid, later known as the 'Patriarch,' arrived from studying at Douay, he waited on Bishop Hay t ceive an appointment, and was told the Cabrach was vacant. 'Very well,' said Mr Reid, 'I can have no objections, it is very proper that every one should take his turn in that place.' 'Stop,' said the Bishop gravely, 'that is not a proper way of speaking of it : you should be willing, if necessary, to go and labour there for the rest of your life.' 'Of course, of course,' answered the young Priest, 'but if that should happen, may the Lord have mercy on me.' ' (Life of Bishop Hay.) Little is known of this chapel previous to the year 1731, and for what follows we are indebted to Dom Odo Blundell's interesting book, "The Catholic Highlands of Scotland." In that year (1731) as many as 700 Catholics were ministered to by the priest at Shenval, Mr Burnet. Several other districts were served by the same priest, so probably the 700 were spread over these, for it is difficult to imagine 700 Catholics in the Cabrach alone. The next priest, Mr Brockie, leased a croft at the Shenval and lived there, and his example was followed by his successors until 82 1746 when the Duke of Cumberland's soldiers, perhaps on their visit to the Cabraeh in pursuit of Lieutenant Roy, burned the chapel and priest's house. During this time we know the name of only one missioner, Alex. Menzies, who ministered to 250 Catholics in Cabraeh, Auchindoun and Glenrinnes. For 34 years thereafter Mass was said in a barn, until in 17S0 Abbe Macpherson persuaded the people to build a new chapel, and roused such enthusiasm that even the Protestants and their minister lent a hand. Mr Macpherson had under his charge, as well as Shenval, Brae- lach, Tullochallum, and Aberlour, and there were 127 Catholics in or near to the Cabraeh. At this time Mass was said at Tullochallum in a granary, and for these occa- sions the altar stone and other requisites were carried from Shenval. Shenval was visited b}- Bishop Hay in May 17S7, while on one of his walking tours of visitation. He was evidently favourably impressed by the ability of the mis- sioner, Mr Andrew Dawson, and in August of that year called him to take charge of the seminary at Scalan, sending to Shenval in his place Mr Alex. Farquharson, the former master of Scalan, who had been found incompetent to direct its affairs. One of the priests of Shenval, Father Brockie, is buried in the Wardhouse family enclosure at Wallakirk ; his grave is covered by a "flat stone, which was entirely hidden under a covering of earth, thought to have been put there pur- posely, to preserve the stone from fanatic Protestants, until quite lately. The inscription is as follows : — Dom. Hie jacet R V Thomas Brockie, Presb. Tern. Scot ratis B A L et in Parochiis Murth. Drost. Glass et Cab- raeh miss, ap an vixit IATII F E R E et XX summa cum laude missionem. obiit. stiorum om- nium et verbis Doctor et moribus exemplar merito que dictus pauperum pater vitam piis laborious im pensam pretiosa morte. Elausit maii mo A.D. MDCCLIX. Sit in pace. Locus ejus et habitatis ejus et habitatis ejus in Sion. Mimento Mori, (sic) Not much is known of the later history of the Shenval chapel, but we can imagine the gradual dwindling of the 83 congregation, as the older members died off and the younger left the district or joined the Reformed Faith, until only a very few were left to worship in the old. place. The last priest was not a good specimen of his order, paying much more attention to worldly affairs than to the spiritual needs of his people, and at last he was compelled to leave secretly. After his departure in 182 1 the chapel was allowed to fall into ruin, and at the present time nothing remains of it but the foundation, which, though covered with turf, may easily be traced out. The priest's house and some minor buildings may also be identified, while a solitary tree marks the former garden. The Established Church. The Established Church stands on a knoll on the right bank of the Deveron, a little distance above the point at which it is joined by the Rooster. The road which connects the hamlets of Aldunie and Aldivalloch with the highway to Rhynie passes under the kirkyard walls, and the manse occupies another knoll across a small ravine. Both are of the simplest architecture, but very substantial, as Cabrach buildings are; the church was rebuilt in 1786, and we be- lieve the manse to have been erected near the end of the 17th century. The church, which is long and narrow, with windows on one side, is of the pattern common at the time. It ac- commodates about 200 people, the seats are arranged in the centre with a passage down each side, and the pulpit is "in the gale." It stands on the site of the former church, which was probably built about 1580, to accommodate the mem- bers of the Reformed Church. The Catholic edifice we believe to have stood in the angle of the road, between the present schoolhouse and the farm-house of the Kirkton. In Sir Robt. Gordon's map, dated 1654, the church is shewn on the left bank of the river, almost opposite to Auchmair, but this is no doubt an error, for, to give only one reason against it, th^ spot indicated is a peat bog, while the name of Kirkton is an almost infallible guide. It is not at all certain at what time the Cabrach became Protestant. There were two important factors which pre- vented the spread of the Reformed Faith in districts such as 84 ours: first, their remoteness, and second, the opposition of the great landlords. In Reformation days the people were accustomed to obey their lord without question, and if he happened to change his religion, more than likely they would have to do so too. It is told of a certain laird that, having erected a building opposite to the Catholic Church, he took his stand between at service time, and shepherded the people with the aid of his cane into the new place, to worship after the Protestant fashion. On the other hand if the laird chose to resist the innovation and remain a Cath- olic, his tenants would have little choice but to follow, and we know what dire consequences came upon those who in certain parts of the county resisted the power of the papists and adhered to the Reformed religion and the Covenant. Happily, in our part of the country we were free from these horrors of oppression. In these remote glens and straths Protestantism made little headway for many years, in spite of the devotion and hard work of the missionaries of the cause, who had to battle against not only rough roads and inclement weather, but also the attachment of the people to the Catholic faith, and in many cases, too, their personal affection for the priest. Indeed in many places, especially throughout the Highlands, the establishment of the Reformed Church was not an unmixed blessing, for it meant often the closing of the Catholic church without any other being provided in its place, and the taking away of even the meagre educa- tional facilities which existed. In some of the more inac- cessible glens, the Catholics held out against the new order, and they have remained Catholic to this day. The Earl of Huntly was one of the most powerful nobles of the north, and a strong Catholic, but events oc- curred to bring him over to the Reformed Church. In 1597, at a meeting of the General Assembly held in Dundee, he with others of the Catholic nobles, who had been excom- municated, was formally reconciled to the Church of Scot- land, and publicly declared his acceptance of its doctrines. This action, though no doubt dictated more by policy than conviction (one of the chief inducements to landowners to become Protestants was the appropriation of the Church lands to them) , would have great influence with the Earl of Huntly's tenants throughout his extensive possessions, 85 and this influence may be traced in the Cabrach in the settlement of a regular minister shortly thereafter. The Church of Scotland was at first Presbyterian, though still retaining some of the forms of Catholic Church government, as, for instance, the Bishops who worked along with the Synod, and it also had a book of Common Prayer. With the Restoration, Episcopacy gained ground, and for many years the church wavered between the two, till in 168S the Presbyterian finally became the Established Church of Scotland. At first, after the Catholic religion was driven from the Cabrach, the spiritual wants of the people were cared for by "Readers," Thos. Christiesoun (1567-1580) and Jas. Warrok (15S8-1599) . The office of "Reader" was a common and very necessary one in the early Church ; the duties were, primarily, to read the Scriptures, the Book of Common Prayer, the Creed and the Commandments to the people, few of whom were able to read with fluency, to keep a register of the baptisms, marriages, and burials, and, in the absence of a minister, to hold services. Certain restric- tions were, however, placed upon these men, for they were not to consider themselves equal to duly licensed ministers, though many of them became so afterwards. For instance, they were not allowed to pronounce the blessing, except on a week-day, nor to marry nor baptise; their position was very much like that of the unordained assistants of the pre- sent day. Sometimes a parish would have a "Reader" only, or again one minister might have the care of several par- ishes, and have one or more "Readers" to assist him. As education advanced, the need for these men was not so great, and ministers increased in numbers, so that the General Assembly of 1581 abolished the office. This edict was not, however, strictly enforced, and was certainly not obeyed in the Cabrach, and "Readers" again became common during the Episcopal period of 1662-16S8, gradually after that becoming fewer until they at last finally dis^ appeared. The records of the Cabrach Church are very meagre for some 150 years, only now and again some events of out- standing interest having found a historian. The names of the first three ministers were Peter Calmeroun, Andrew Ker, and James Ross. The last-named at first conducted 86 service for Strathdeveron at Invercharrach, but on the union Strathdeveron, or Lower Cabrach as it is afterwards 1, with Cabrach in 1665, by the Commissioner of Tenuis, he obtained the Church of Cabrach and the annex- ation to it of the Church lands of Strathdeveron, and re- moved to the Upper district. He left Cabrach in 16SS for Tarland and Migvie. In that year John Irving became minister of Cabrach, being presented to the parish by the Earl of Mar. During the nine years of his incumbency he was perpetually in trouble with the Presbytery , chiefly on account of his absence from their meetings. At this time attendance was compulsory for all members of Presbytery, and they were not permitted only to record their attendance, but had to sit throughout the meeting, however protracted or uninteresting they found it. But later on Mr Irving got into much more serious trouble, certain charges being made against him by members of his congregation, and the Pres- bytery sent a deputation to Cabrach to investigate and re- port on these. He was accused of setting fire to the corn of a widow named Jannet Roy, and also of "some endea- vours to kill some persones." When the Presbyterial de- putation met, there were still other charges brought against the minister. It was said that while two women were tend- ing their lint, he came pulling at it, evidently trying to take his teind of it, and when they asked him to desist and to take his teind at the proper time and place, he still con- tinued pulling at it, whereupon they did both "fly in his hair," and the witness, Alexander Fordyce, endeavouring to separate them, the}^ "did flee in hk hair also and trailed him the length of ten oxen bj* the hair, whilk Mr John Irving seeing, struck the foresaid Janet Thomsoune to the ground with ane el-vand, and brak it on her head." We are inclined to think that in this case the men had the worst of it, though the charge of assault is against the minister. He retaliated with complaints of certain of his parishioners having called him "dwarf bodie," "lyar," and other libel- lous names, and having struck himself and threatened to beat his sen-ant. Affairs were thus in a lamentable state as between pastor and people, and after consideration, extend- ing over several months, Mr Irving was suspended from the ministry, having refused to attend the meetings of Presby- tery and submit himself to that court. He appealed to the S}'nod and Bishop, without avail ; five months after, the suspension was "reponed" and the minister again settled in his parish. However, his was apparently not the nature to settle anywhere quietly, nor to submit itself to authority, and quarrels between him and his people were frequent, while at nearly every meeting of Presbytery mention is made of his absence. In 1676 he committed the grave fault of going to Edinburgh without letting the Presbytery know of his intended absence, or arranging to have his place supplied. The next April inquiry was made into several scandals at Cabrach, of which he was accused, and as the result he was deposed. His brother ministers did not, we are glad to find, cast him off altogether, for in 1687 it was recommended to them by the Lord Bishop and Synod that the3 T should make him an allowance "in consideration of his mean and necessitous condition." The matter is again mentioned in 1688, when the allowance was fixed at "a fourteenpence from each minister at each Synod," and this is the last we hear of him. The next minister of Cabrach was also a protege of the Earl of Mar, by name James Irving. His chief claim to notice is in his departure. The king in 16S1 passed the Test Act, designed to bring the Church completely within his power ; it required that every person who held any office, whether civil or ecclesiastical, should swear that "he acknowledged the king to be supreme in all causes, and over all persons, both civil and ecclesiastical ; that he would never consult about any matter of State without His Majesty's express license or command, and never endeavour any alteration in the government of the country." About So of the clergy of Scotland refused to take this oath and were accordingly deprived of their livings and among them is believed to have been the minister of Cabrach, who left the district in that year. Mr Irving was followed by the Rev. Alex. Brown, who was the last minister in the Episcopal period. He com- plained that he had to live in a furnished room at some distance from the church, owing to there being no manse; apparently the manse was built not long afterwards, for a reference is made to it in 1715. Mr Brown's successor was Mr Wm. Anderson, who came in 1707. He staj-ed only two years, then, having had to be rebuked by the Presbytery 88 for neglect of duty, he was removed to Premnay. After a mcy of two years, Rev. Robert Gray came in 171 1. He was translated to Edzell in 1714, and the church was again vacant, this time for three years. At this time there were a great many vacancies throughout the church in the north, which the Assembly endeavoured gradually to fill up. In 1 715 a Mr Garioch had been sent to Cabrach, but the con- gregation refused to attend his service, and he preached in the manse to only three hearers. Apparently the good people of the Cabrach enjoyed being without a minister as they seemed opposed to having one placed over them ; quite possibly, too, many of them had left home to follow the fortunes of the Old Pretender, in the rising of '15 and the stirring times of the rebellion, and the unsettled state of the country may account for their seeming indifference to religious matters. At any rate the}- had no minister in 1717, and when Mr Strong arrived, sent by the Assembly, they did their best to keep him out. The following account of his arrival is taken from the papers of the late Mr John Taylor, Boghead. The same story has been told of other parishes and ministers, but whether true of the Cabrach or not, it illustrates the times too well to be passed over. " I stated that the Assembly sent down about a dozen ministers to fill up the vacancies in the north ; among that number was the Cabrach, to which Mr Strong was ap- pointed. Mr Strong arrived on a Sabbath morning, and found the people collected in the churchyard, exercising themselves at athletic games, throwing the putting stone, with a strong guard upon the door that no strange person should enter. (It should be mentioned that the Synod had sanctioned Sunday games, to induce people to attend ser- vice. ) Mr Strong, wearing the habit of an ordinary traveller, mingled among the crowd. They invited him to take a throw at the stone. Being Strong by name he was also strong by nature, and pitched over them. Mr Strong then asked them did they not expect a new preacher to-day"; they said they did, but they hoped he would not come. He asked, being a stranger, for a sight of their kirk, and they granted him the request. On Mr Strong entering, he im- mediately mounted the pulpit, appealing to the audience: T have taken part in your exercises without, I trust vou will take part with mine within; I am vour minister.' the 89 greater part sat clown quiet and composed, and Mr Strong laboured among them a considerable time, being a very acceptable pastor, and did much good, but at last Mr Strong committed a fault and was deposed. I have been told, however, by local tradition that the attachment between Mr Strong and his parishioners was such 'that when the Pres- bytery met for his deposition, the inhabitants shut the church doors, the ordinance having to be performed in the churchyard." Mr Strong's subsequent career was somewhat discredit- able. He was excommunicated, and finally imprisoned for celebrating irregular marriages, and continued doing so even in gaol, where he died in 1744, at the age of 70. Mr Strong's successor was the Rev. Theodore Gordon, who was minister from 1731 to 173S. He was the son of the Professor of Oriental languages in King's College, Aber- deen, and had been schoolmaster and itinerant preacher it Cairnie. He was a scholarly man, and wrote "A Genealogy of the name of Gordon." Although Mr Gordon did not get into serious trouble like some of his predecessors, yet he too came into conflict with the Presbytery, for he had to confess to them "his soirow at having gone to witness a rope-dancing at Old Aberdeen." The Church thus exercised a paternal care over the morals and behaviour of her ministers, and not onlv of them but also of their wives and families, for the General Assembly went so far as to prescribe the kind of dress the latter ought to wear, forbidding them to appear in "all kinds of light and variant hues in clothing, as red, blue, yellow and such like," also "silk hats, and hats of divers bright colours, also rings, bracelets, buttons of silver, gold, and other metal." After the Rev. Theodore Gordon left to go to Kenneth- mont, three others of the name of Gordon followed in suc- cession. Thomas Gordon was minister during the '45. when a great many of the Cabrach people declared for Prince Charlie, and the minister left his parish for two years on accuunt of the unsettled conditions. He was uot very happy in Cabrach ; the people accused him of Arian- ism, and he found the climate not too genial, therefore, shortly after his return, he applied to be removed to Auld- earn, on the Moray Firth. He had a lively settlement there 90 and must have almost wished himself back in Cabrach, for the inhabitants had built up the church door, and assaulted the members of Presbytery as they arrived for the induc- tion. In the end the ceremony had to be performed in the manse, and the military called from Fort-George to open the church. On this occasion a Cabrach man who had ac- companied Mr Gordon as servant distinguished himself in the melee. It was during the incumbency of the next minister, the Rev. James Gordon, who was here from 1749-1795, that the Secession Church — of which we shall have more to say later — was formed in the Lower Cabrach. During this long period, religious affairs seem to have moved ,along very quietly, and the congregation became more settled than it had been for many years past. Rev. James Gordon's son, John, stepped into his father's place and occupied it for 21 years, being succeeded by the Rev. William Cowie in 181 7. Mr Cowie had been schoolmaster at Mortlach before coming to the Cabrach, and left it in 1826 to become minister of Cairnie. Yet another James Gordon came next; he died in 1849 and was followed by Mr Smart. Mr Smart was a native of Cabrach, his family belong- ing to Badchier. He received his early education at the parish schools of Cabrach and Mortlach, for there was then no school in Lower Cabrach ; he then attended King's Col- lege, Aberdeen, to prepare himself for the ministry. It is said to be the ambition of every Scotch mother to have one of her sons "Wag his head in a pulpit," and the fulfilment of this ambition often meant not only study during the winter, but manual or other labour during the summer on the part of the student, and the most unselfish economy on the part of his family, to provide the necessary funds for college fees and city lodgings. Mr Smart was one of these poor but determined students, and cheerfully broke stones in the summer time. As he deserved, he triumphed over all the difficulties in his way, and was finally licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Alford. His first appointment was that of schoolmaster and preacher at Blairdaff, then he became assistant to the Rev. James Leith at Rothiemay. In 1849 he was presented to the parish of Cabrach by the Duke of Richmond and Gor- 91 don, his appointment being the last exercise of patronage in the parish. He was very popular, and did much for the benefit of his parishioners, specially in obtain- ing the provision of a school in Lower Cabrach, remember- ing as he did the disadvantages of his own youth. Mr Smart died, much regretted by all, in 1882, and the Rev. George Macmillan was chosen by the congregation in his place. Mr Macmillan lived a quiet and uneventful life in the Cabrach until April 1911, when he met his death under sad circumstances. He was returning from a meeting of Presb} r tery, and, as was his custom, performing part of the journey on foot ; when near the Castle of" Craig, about 5 miles from home, he was apparently overcome by faintness and sat down to rest by the roadside, where he was dis- covered in the early morning, having passed away as quietly and peacefully as he had lived. The congregation immediately set about finding a new minister, but had great difficulty in choosing one to suit all parties. On two occasions the voting was equal between the candidates, and a second leet had to be prepared and other condidates heard by the congregation ; eventually, Mr D. M'Lean, assistant to the Rev. Mr Grant of St Stephen's, Glasgow, was elected. Even then the difficulties were not over, for the day fixed for the ordination ceremony was so stormy that it was doubtful if the members of Presbytery could reach the Cabrach. The people arrived, mostly in sledges, and after waiting two hours beyond the time for the service were rewarded by the advent of the new min- ister and the representatives of the Presbytery, who had driven through the snow from Alford. The Session. " The solemn elders at the plate Stand drirjkin' deep the pride 0' state: The practised hands as gash an' great As Lords o' Session ; The later named, a wee thing blate In their expression." Such is a brief account of the church under its succes- sive ministers. As for the general course of events, the history of any northern parish would read very much the same as that of the Cabrach, so that the gaps are easily 92 filled, but the kirk-session records that are still preserved cast many interesting sidelights on the manners of the time-, and we nun' notice a few of these. It is a matter for regret that the minutes dealing with what to us would be a most interesting period, namely, the rebellions of 1715 and 1745, are missing, very possibly none were kept then, for, at any rate during the later rising, the minister was absent from the Cabrach for two years, and it would be no one's business to keep the record of events. Those we have had access to date from 1731 to 1797 and from 1824 to 1S31. During these early times the kirk-session was a body of far greater importance than now, when its attention is wholly confined to matters of ecclesiastical significance. Then the session charged itself with the care of the poor, the preser- vation of roads and the building of bridges, besides the morals of the inhabitants and a quite extensive lending of money ; in short, the session was parish council, road board and school board, banker and conscience-keeper to the whole community. The members of it were selected for their general uprightness of character and business ability, and at first, lest they should feel unduly puffed up by the honour, thej^ were elected for one year only. Sometimes there was difficulty in getting men willing to serve as elders, so the Assembly had power to compel them to take office if appointed. Here follows the declaration which all elders had to sign on their appointment: — "I, undersigned, do sincerely own and declare the Confession of Faith approven by former General Assemblies of this Church, and ratified by law in the year 1690, to be the Confession of my Faith, and that I own the doctrine therein contained to be the true doctrine, which I will constantly adhere to. As like- wise, that I own and acknowledge the Presbyterian Church Government of this Church now settled by law, by Kirk sessions, Presbyteries, Provincial Synods and General Assemblies, to be the Government of this Church, and that I will submit thereto, concur therewith, and never endea- vour, directly or indirectly, the prejudice or subversion thereof, and that I shall observe uniformity of worship, and of the ministration of Public Ordinance within this Church, as the same are at present performed and allowed." Here are a few of the cases wheh came before the 93 session of Cabrach, shewing the direction of their acti\it\- : In 1732 John Wright of Invercharrach and John Gordon of Newton were rebuked for righting on the Sabbath daw It is noteworthy that the offence was not the mere fighting, but the fighting "on the Sabbath day," so we may conclude that such an affair happening on a week-day, if serious enough to come before a court at all, would be attended to by the civil court. Many of the cases before the session are those of persons committing offences on the Sabbath day, and we know that the offenders had often to satisfy both civil and ecclesiastical judges. The session of those days was pretty severe in its punishments, and relied a great deal on the shame attending a pubic rebuke and profession of penitence to deter others from following a bad example. In ordinary cases the usual plan was to inflict a more or less heavy fine, and in this way funds were collected for the behoof of the poor, but in what are technically called "discipline cases," the offenders had to make public repent- ance on a special seat in the church, often barefoot and in sackcloth, and if they belonged to another parish than that in which the offence was committed, they might have to appear in both churches. In aggravated cases, where re- pentance was slow in shewing itself, as many as five to ten such appearances would be exacted; the culprits were in addition fined, and if they chose might be allowed, on pay- ment of a heavier fine, to make repentance in their own pew in the church instead of on the special seat. After the session was convinced of their penitence, the unhand - transgressors were absolved and took their place again as respectable members of society. Another offence which was punished was that of bring- ing home a millstone on the Sabbath day. At first sight this does not appear such a grievous sin, but when we think •of what the bringing home of a millstone meant, it seems much more serious. Most of the millstones in Banffshire and Aberdeenshire came from a quarry at Pennan in Aber- dour, and when one had to be brought home, all the tenants who shared the services of the mill turned out to help. No cart was strong enough to carry the heavy stone, so it had perforce to be trundled on its edge all the way. A wooden frame was fixed over it, to which five or six horses were 94 attached, and on which was a sort of tiller for steering; through the hole in the stone a long spar was thrust, pro- jecting two or three feet on one side and fifteen on the other, the short end being used for guiding it, while the long one was held by a number of men, who by its aid kept the stone on its edge while others braked the whole- thing with ropes when going downhill. Altogether it was a rather dangerous operation, as sometimes, in spite of all efforts, the stone got out of control and either overran the horses or toppled on its side, when the men at the lever would be hoisted in the air, still hanging grimly on, or knocked down. The undertaking of this job on a Sabbath probably meant an almost empty kirk, and the session reaped a harvest of fines for the good of their poor proteges. On February 20th, 1763, there was a funeral at Mort- laeh, and the occasion seems to have been the excuse for a carouse on the part of those from the Cabrach who attended it, for twenty of them, nine married men and eleven bach- elors, were summoned before the session, and subjected to fines varying from is sterling to £2 8s Scots, for "going to the public house at Hardhaugh, Mortlach, and drinking, then calling at the Brackrie and drinking to the extent of 5 pints, and then several of them quarrelling, whereby it became late and suppertime before several of them got home." Once or twice we have compensation given to sufferers by fire, and imbeciles or others unable to maintain them- selves were usually boarded out by the session, who thus filled the part of a Board of Guardians. There are frequent references to bridge building, and sometimes the provision of a bridge tree was allowed to count instead of a fine. Of course these bridges were for the use of foot passengers only, all others having to cross by the fords, and very dangerous these were sometimes, after a heavy snowfall or in an autumn spate. The present good stone bridges did not come till later. In the famine years of 1782-3 the session was very active in trying to buy meal to sell at a reasonable rate to' those unable to pay the high prices demanded. When they coidd not obtain it otherwise, the minister offered to sell to them a quantity he had purchased for the use of his 95 - family, at a low price, "rather than the poor should go without." For Nov. 23rd, 1783, there is a quaint entry: "The Sheriff-substitute of Banff acquainted the session that there were n bolls of unused meal at Ss 6d per boll, to be sold out among the poor in Deveronside in Banffshire. The Session, finding they could not please the poor when they gave it them for nothing, agreed that the minister should intimate it to the people of the parish in Banffshire, to pur- chase it with their own money if they thought it a bargain." The session had the arranging of most of the affairs of the parish in its hands, largely because of the lack of swift means of communication, so that business had to be done at home, to send for the official, or to send to him, took up far too much time. Among the benevolent acts of this paternal body was the provision of a midwife for the parish. "September 6th, 1788. The Session, taking under their consideration the situation of the parish for want of midwives properly nuali- fied for the office, did unanimously agree to recommend Margaret Gordon, widow in Tombain, as a woman fit to be taught that office, and to send her to Aberdeen to Dr Gordon, to.be instructed in the business, as soon as he would admit her, and all necessary expenses to be paid out of the poor funds." The fees paid amounted to ^27 iSs. Repairs to the church and manse had to be looked after, though the heritors were responsible for these, and in the minutes we find a long account of the distribution of seats among the tenants of the various heritors, after the rebuild- ing of the church in 1786, besides a notice of the church bell having been sent to Aberdeen to be recast. Two of the chief concerns of the session were their money affairs and the relief of the poor. Again and again there were meetings devoted to the counting of funds, the collecting of bills and receiving of fines. When accounts were to be made up, they naively say, "The box being opened, there was found therein ," as if the amount were always a surprise. When they found it, whatever it was, it was often distributed among the poor parishioners and casual strangers in need of help, and sometimes lent at a good rate of interest. The amounts of the weekly collec- tions are always- entered, and they often included a number 96 of had coins, which were sold to merchants for half value, or exchanged by the Synod of Aberdeen. After the return of the minister, who was absent for two years during the Jacobite rising, there was a great "redding-up" of accounts. We conclude these notes with an extract from the minutes of the meeting held by representatives of the Pres- bytery at Cabrach, on 29th December 1746, for this pur- pose : — "Then Mr Gordon (the minister) reported that the heritors of this parish having signified their inclination to him that Alex. Donald, student in the King's College, Aber- deen, should be settled as schoolmaster at this place at the foresaid term of Whitsunday 1745, he reported the same to the Presbj^tery, who agreed to it, and had appointed him to undergo an examination at the foresaid visitation, which they appointed to have been at this place in the month of June 1745, but that none of the members having attended, this had been neglected. Meantime the said Alex. Donald having officiated as session clerk from the foresaid term of Whitsunday 1745, be had kept all the collections in his own hands ; the minutes and session box not having been de- livered up by Wm. Robertson, late session clerk, and that the said Donald having left this parish about the beginning of Jan. 1746, without acquainting the minister or any of the elders of his intentions, had carried off an account of the collections and likew ; ays all the money that had been col- lected 'twixt the foresaid term of Whitsunday 1745 and the beginning of January 1746. So that during that time there had no collections come in to the session for the behoof of the poor. And it having been likeways represented that the said Donald immediately on his leaving this place had entered into the King's service, in Lord Loudon's regiment, there was no method thought of so proper for recovering the said sum of money as to appoint some proper person to deal with the said Donald's Father, who lives in the parish of Mortlach, to prevail with him to make restitution of the said money belonging to the noor of the parish, and accordingly John Grant of Rothmais was appointed for this purpose.' ' The Committee in conjunction with the elders pro- !»7 ceeded to consider what collections had now been given in to them, which were as follows: — Given in by Win. Robertson, late session clerk £iy 4 2 Given in by Mr Gordon, being the collections 'twixt the beginning of Jan. and the beginning of Mar. last 1 14 o Given in by Alex. Horn, present session clerk 16 o o £34 lS 2 '* Out of which they proceeded to make the following dis- tributions : — To Alex. Horn, present session clerk, as full and complete pajnnent of his Salary till the first of March, 1747 ;£S o o To Alex. Horn, Kirk Officer, as full and complete payment of what remained to be paid to him of his fee till the term of Martin- mas last, 1746 1 16 o Item, given to him as the price of a pair of shoes for last year, and which they appointed should be given to him yearly as part ot his salary o 15 o ^10 II o " After which they proceeded to make the following dis- tributions to the poor of the parish." (Here follows a list of seventeen names of poor persons, one of whom received £2 and the rest £1 each, the disbursements on this occasion amounting in all to ^28 ns od. United Free Church. The United Free Church and manse occupy a com- manding position on the slope of the Kelman Hill in Lower Cabrach, the road between Huntly and Dufftown 98 sing in front. The hill gives shelter from the north wind and the garden slopes towards the sun, while there is a splendid view over hill and stream from the terrace. It would be hard to find a pleasanter spot in the Cabrach. The buildings are very plain and most substantial. The Church is of the pattern usual in country districts, with windows down one side only and a belfry above the porch ; the inside, however, is more comfortable in appearance than in many similar churches, the walls being coloured a warm crimson instead of the usual white plaster. The manse is a two-store}- house of the type seen in the neighbourhood, the two standing gable to gable, the space between being rilled by a building of later construction, half of which is a hall used for the Sunday School, &c, while the other half is an addition to the manse. It is about 150 years since the foundation of this con- gregation, and naturally it did not belong to the U.F. body then, for, as everyone knows, that is of very recent date. The original Church belonged to the Secession, and the manner of its foundation makes interesting reading, shewing as it does how great things may come from a small be- ginning. This was the first Secession congregation in Banffshire, and it is somewhat remarkable that the first appearance of dissent in the county should have been in a place so remote, and at that time so inaccessible. It fell out in this way, as related by the late John Taylor, Boghead, who had the par- ticulars from his uncle, John Taylor of the Mains : — Among the parishioners of the Rev. Jas. Gordon, who was minister in the Cabrach for the long period of 48 years (from 1747 to 1795), was Thomas Christie, a weaver at Bushroot, a place where now only a few scattered stones remain to mark his dwelling. Thomas was inclined to serious thought, and like many of his neighbours, was a great reader of the bible, but like many others too, before these days of Higher Criticism, he was liable to interpret the Scriptures almost too literally. He had aspirations, but thought rather to attain their fulfilment by physical than by spiritual efforts, and felt a longing such as that of David when he said, "Oh, that I had*wings as a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest.'' Possessed with this idea of flying, he one morning provided himself with two shemacks from his loom to serve 99 as wings, and mounting to the roof of his house, summoned all his faith to his aid and flung himself into the air, con- fidently expecting to soar upwards and alight at the gates of paradise. Alas for the poor weaver, neither his faith nor the shemacks were sufficient to sustain him, and he found a disappointing though safe landing on the midden. Dis- couraged, he was in danger of going to the other extreme and believing nothing, but fortunately for him, and for the Cabrach, he fell in with an earnest and godly man, who guided him to a saner view. This was Mr Joiner, a fanner from Morayshire, who in the summer of 1760 had, according to his usual custom, sent sheep and cattle to graze in the Cabrach. On one of his visits to see after their welfare, he was introduced to Thomas Christie by the farmer of the Bank. To him the weaver spoke of his disappointments and difficulties, and Mr Joiner was so interested in him that he invited him to pay a visit to the Secession church at Elgin, and hear his favourite minister, Mr Troup. Mr Troup made a great impression on Christie, who continued for some months going to hear him, travelling (or travel- ling, as the Cabrach people say, meaning he went on foot) to Elgin on the Sunday for that purpose. But after a while he found the distance — it was 28 miles each way — too great to allow him to attend as often as he wished, and so re- moved to Elgin and formally connected himself with the Secession congregation. (We may remark parenthetically that when questioned as to the state of the crops near to Elgin, which are some weeks earlier than in the Cabrach, by his neighbours, he always refused to give any informa- tion : this visit was to church, not to report on the crops.) However, he still hankered after the Cabrach and his friends there, and after a year's residence in Elgin returned to his native parish and took up his quarters at Belcher ry. When settled there he invited Mr Troup to preach in the Cabrach. The service was held on the farm of Hillock, beside the river, near to the spot on which the first church was subsequently built. Thomas had spread the new of Mr Troup's intended visit, and so great was the desire to hear him that the people poured in from far and near. It- is said that 17 different parishes were represented, and that no fewer than 7 neighbouring parish churches had to he closed that day, the congregations having departed en masse 100 to the Cabrach. The text from which Mr Troup preached was Isaiah xxxviii., 14, "Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter," and he scums to have delivered a very able sermon, the first preached in Banffshire by a dissenting minister. Open-air meetings, addressed by Mr Troup, were held on his frequent visits to the Cabrach, attended by large numbers of people, and ultimately a preaching-station was established. In 1768 Mr Cowie was ordained over the congregations of Cabrach, Grange, Auchindoir, and Huntly, and preached to them in turn for four years. In 1772 the first church was built on a site between the farms of Hillock and Oldtown, near the place of Mr Troup's famous open-air sermon. It was a thatched building and cost only £p.2 10s, but it served well for twenty-five years. From 1772 till 17S0 there was no settled minister, but only occasional preachers, among whom was Mr Brown of Craigdam. In 1780 the Cabrach Secession Church got its first minister, when the Rev. Jas. Wylie was ordained, but his ministry was of very short duration, for he was deposed, we know not for what fault, after onby a year in the Cabrach. The same year (1781) the manse was burned down, so that when the congregation called Mr Robert Laing, a probationer, he felt himself justi- fied in refusing on the score of there being no suitable house for him. The second minister, Mr Waddell, who came in 1786, was shared by the congregations of Mortlach and Auchin- doir, and remained for nearly fifteen years. During his time several matters of importance happened in the history of the church ; one of these was that as the attendance at the services was rapidly increasing, it was decided to build a new church, which was done in 1797 at a cost of about ;£6o. In view of this fact, it is an amusing commentary on the feeling towards the Secession by those of the "Auld Kirk" to read what Mr Gordon, the parish minister, had to say about it in the paper he contributed to the "New Statistical Account of Scotland," published in 1793. Mr Gordon writes — "Besides the Established Church there are tw'o chapels, one for Papists, who are not half the number that they were thirty years ago, and one for Seceders, who are much on the decline. One great reason for the decline of both sects is the moderation with which they are treated all over this country." 101 In the course of our researches, we have found a note of the amounts paid to the different tradesmen employed in building the church, and learn from it that the new church had a slated roof, and that its dimensions were : — Length within walls, 42 ft. ; breadth, 20 ft. ; height, g ft. To James M'Kay and John Craib, Masons £ig 12 o A. Lawrence, Slater 10 12 o Lime for building 6 16 7 Alexr. Milne, for wright work, &c 6 18 1 For roofing wood at Balvenie 3 15 8 Peter Green, for carting deals (@ 6/6 per day) 5 10 o Additional sarking, deals, &c 2 1 o Nails and carriage, for sclates and roof 1 17 4 Extra expense at the settling , workmen, &c. 100 Free stone for rigging, from Auchindoir 150 Alexr, Laing, Wright, for setting up pulpit, &c. 117 4 £61 5 o About this time the brothers Haldane, known as the pioneers of the Independent or Congregational Church in Scotland, appeared in the north, and arranged to hold a service at Soccoth of Glass. Natural curiosity led a number of Mr Waddell's people to hear them, including several office-bearers. Sectarian controversy ran pretty high at the time, and Mr Waddell, along with some of the mem- bers, wished to compel those who were so tainted with a wandering spirit as to countenance lay preaching, to confess their fault before the congregation ; this they refused to do, and a great deal of squabbling took place, which so marred the harmony of the congregation that Mr Waddell deter- mined to leave. Next year he laid his cause before the Synod, and on the second Sabbath of May was able to in- timate to his hearers that he had been released from his charge. On the first Sabbath of September the church was preached vacant, and on the next Mr Waddell bade farewell to the Cabrach. This was the last minister of that congre- gation, as after his departure it was split in two, the one part adhering to the Secession principles, the other to the Congregational. 102 One of those who had gone to Glass to hear the Hal- danes was John Taylor, Mains of Lesmurdie. He was at- tracted by what he heard there, and after further inquiry into their principles and doctrine, adopted these for his own. At his death he left a sum of money in trust, the income from which was to be devoted to providing two sermons yearly, in the Lower Cabrach, one to the old and one to the y oung, to be preached by an Independent minister ; the minister chosen was also to nold as many more services as the funds would permit, and to distribute a quantity of religious literature. One of the most frequent visitors to the Cabrach in this capacity was the Rev. John Murker, well known in the north as the Congregational minister of Banff. He first came in 1S50, and continued his visits nearly every 3-ear until 1880. He was very popular in the Cabrach, and was very fond of staying there, usually spending a month, and amusing himself with fishing. He is still remembered with affection by the older generation in the Cabrach, and stories are told of his prowess in the gentle art, and of his encounters with herd4addies and "auld wives." On one occasion he, while fishing for trout, caught that bane of anglers, an eel. After trying in vain to disentangle the wriggling body from his tackle, he said, sadly looking at the mess, "Well, I've often heard Satan likened to a ser- pent, but if anyone wants to know just how wily and agile he can be, let him catch an eel." Now that Mr Murker's visits to the Cabrach have ceased, different Congregational ministers continue to be invited to officiate under the terms of the trust, and are given the use of the U.F. Church. During the long period of sixty years, the Cabrach was without a minister of its own, and received only occasional visits from Secession and Independent ministers in turn, and for two years, 1827-1829, even the Original Seceders occasionally sent a preacher. One Sunday three ministers turned up, one from each body, all prepared to conduct ser- vice in the church at Oldtown. One of them managed to gain possession of the building, and the others had to hold their services, one at Milltown of Lesmurdie and the other at Mains of Lesmurdie. In this unsatisfactory way the Church dragged on till, in 1836, the visit of Mr James Mori- son revived an interest among the people. He preached to large congregations, and at one of his services £4 was 00!- 103 lected for missions, "a collection larger by half than any made in Cabrach before." Some years later the pulpit was being supplied more regularly and the Cabrach had a si, are in the M'Phail bequest, a legacy of ^iooo, the interest of which was devoted to evangelistic work in Banff sliire. In 1847 the United Presbyterian Church had been formed by the union of the Secession and Relief Churches, and when, in 1852, a U.P. Presbytery was established at Banff, the church at Cabrach claimed its attention. In 1853 the com- munion was dispensed at Okltown after an interval of two generations, but for the next twenty years little progress was made. By the year 1874 the different sections of the congre- gation were once more united, and all joined in trying to get a church built. For some time before several of the members, notably Mr Wm. Cran, Mains ; Mr Robertson, Tomnaven; Mr Gordon, Bank, and Mr Jas. Ta}dor, Mill- town, had been making efforts to have a minister settled in the Cabrach, and as one of the first requirements was a suitable house for him to occupy, they turned their atten- tion first of all to building. Capt. Stewart of Lesmurdie proved a great friend, and granted the site described above. The help of the Church Committee for Manse Building was obtained, and various sums contributed in the district, and also by friends outside. When the manse was finished, the Cabrach people bethought themselves to take advantage of the interest they had awakened, and proceeded to collect money to build a church too. In this they were helped by the Synod, who gave a subsidy of ^100 on condi- tion that the building should be free of debt before a min- ister was inducted. Mr Rattray, a native of Cabrach, who was at this time a teacher in Glasgow, collected £u^ hi that city, and the cellection on the opening day amounted to £76 7s 4d, a record for the Cabrach. Capt. Stewart gave the bell, which was sent to him at Elgin, where he was lying ill, that he might hear its tones. He died before the church was opened, and a marble tablet was erected in it to his memory by his relatives. The church and manse together cost between ^1100 and ;£i200, and the former was opened in lune 1875 by Dr Scott of Glasgow. On the Monday following a soiree was held, at which Mr Macfarlane, Keith, presided. Mr 104 Simmers, Portsoy, had all along taken a deep interest in the congregation, and he was present and addressed the meeting. Mr Macfarlane, who was ordained at Keith in Oct. 1874, had been appointed Moderator of the Session, as being the nearest U.P. minister, and from that time to the present day has performed numberless acts of kindness and helpfulness both to the congregation and their min- isters. Among the speakers at the soiree were also Air Xicol of the Free Church, Dufftown, and Mr Riach, Cab- rach, and Dr Scott. Mr Simmers gave a brief account of the history of the congregation from the time of Thomas Christie, and Dr Scott described the events which had led up to their presence in the church that day. The next thing was to choose a minister. The people undertook to contribute £60 towards his stipend, which was augmented from the Church funds to ^150. In Dec. 1875 Rev. Alex. Withers, formerly of Westray, was called, and remained for 17 years. During the first years of his min- istry the congregation increased in prosperity, and the U.P. Church, after all the vicissitudes through which it had passed since the days of Thomas Christie, became firmly established as a part of the life of the Cabrach. The mem- bership at the end of 1S76 was 40, and the stipend ^190. In 1893, as Mr Withers' health was on the decline, he . c- signed his charge and became chaplain to the Fever Hos- pital of Edinburgh. His successor was the Rev. George Tulloch, from Moyness, who was ordained at Cabrach nth Dec. 1894. In 1900 the U.P. Church joined with the Free Church, and the Cabrach congregation then agreed to stvle themselves the "U.F. Church of Cabrach." Mr Tulloch resigned in 1907, and the church was vacant for a year. During this time the General Interests Committee of .he Church had under consideration the project of making the congregation a preaching station, with an "ordained preacher" in charge, for a term of years, as the Cabrach congregation came under the rule of the U.F. Church that congregations contributing less than ^80 to the Central Fund should not have the status of an independent congre- gation, nor the ministers of such churches a seat in the Presbytery, but should be under moderatorshrp of a neigh- bouring minister. But the Cabrach people, having had so many ups and downs, were not at all pleased at the prospect 105 of being degraded to such a position, and protested against this idea. They agreed to raise their contributions from ^40 to ^50, and after strenuous efforts on their behalf on the part of members of Presbytery and others interested in the case, the G. I. Committee made an exception to their rule, and the Rev. T. Anderson, Edinburgh, was inducted in March 190S. Before Mr Anderson settled in the Cabrach he had been working for it, and had already collected from friends in the south a sufficient sum to erect the new build- ing between church and manse, already referred to. The members of the congregation gave their services in carting material, and the children collected money to pa\ T for chairs in the Hall. The building was opened in November 1908, and has proved very useful as a comfort- able, well-lighted place for evening sendees and classes, and meetings of all kinds. We have now come down to the present day, which finds the Cabrach well provided in the matter of religious facili- ties; but it is the same here as elsewhere, things easily ob- tained are not so much appreciated, and manv more might take advantage of these facilities. We should like to know what young man in Cabrach would walk, or even cycle, twenty-eight miles to hear a sermon. 106 CHAPTER VIII. The Library. The Cabrach boasts one of the oldest circulating- libraries north of the Tweed, it having attained its hun- dredth birthday on March 22nd of the year 1916. Long before the days of Carnegie, of Coats, and of School Boards, intel- ligent country people in Scotland were trying to add to their scanty store of book-learning and general knowledge, and to cultivate their minds as well as their fields. In many parishes there were Mutual Improvement or Debating Societies, and such a Society flourished in the Cabrach in the early part and middle of last century. The usual plan at the meetings was for one member to read a paper jn some prescribed subject, which was followed by criticism and argument from the rest of those present. From what we know of the leaders, whose names are household words in the Cabrach, we may be sure that the papers would be interesting, and the criticisms free, and there is no doubt the "Mutual," as they called it, was both popular and use- ful. But such a Society requires of its members a certain amount of study, and books were scarce and dear in 1815. How then was progress to be maintained? To form a cir- culating library was to solve this difficulty, and the plan once thought of, was rapidly matured. There were other reasons, besides, which nade a library a desirable thing. On many a night throughout the winter it would be impossible to traverse the dark and snowy roads to a meeting, and further, meetings like those of which we have been speaking called for initiative and self-reliance, not found among the majority in a scattered population who have little opportunity of sharpening their wits by contact with others. On the other hand, books to be read over the fire in the long evenings, and volumes 107 of sermons, specially desired by the older folk, to beguile the Sundays when no going to church was possible, were of very real benefit. The motto of the Library was "Add to virtue know- ledge," and the reasons for its founding are set forth in the minute book : "It is generally, if not universally allowed, that if the soul be without knowledge, it is not good. Yet on account of the high price of books, the smallness of their own funds, or their distance from a well-chosen circulating lib- rary, many, particularly in remote parts of the country, find it impossible to devote so much of their time as they would wish to the improvement of their minds. With a view to remove these inconveniences, and to bring the means of useful knowledge within the reach of themselves and others, a considerable number of people in this parish and neighbourhood resolved to erect a Library for the sole use of such as may obtain an interest in it by subscribing and conforming to the annexed regulations. In conse- quence of this resolution (after several intermediate steps had been taken) , a meeting of the subscribers was called and held at Mains of Lesmurdie upon the 22nd day of March 181 5, when the following Regulations for the estab- lishment and management of said Library were passed." The first rule decided for all time the character of the Library and it is still maintained, though recently the members have permitted themselves a few volumes of poetry and essays, some of Sir Walter Scott's novels and the plays of Shakespeare, which perhaps the early com- mittees would not have allowed. The regulation reads — " The Library shall consist of books on Divinity, Natural, Civil, and Ecclesiastical History, Biography, Ag- riculture, and Geography, and other useful books, to be chosen by a Committee of Subscribers as afterwards directed. But no plays, novels, romances, or any other book which has a tendency to unsettle the faith or corrupt the morals of Christians, shall ever be admitted." Rule 2nd is — " The Library shall be permanent, unless some event shall arise in the course of Providence which shall render the dissolution of it absolutely necessary. In that case, the books, or the value of them, shall be equally. 108 divided among the subscribers or their heirs, who are then alive." The remainder of the rules chiefly concern the choosing, exchanging and replacing of books, the payment subscriptions and the guidance of the Committee. The entry money, which has now been abolished, was four shillings stg. for members who joined at the begin- ning, and six shillings for those who became subscribers after November 18:5. The annual subscription was, and still is, one shilling. All mcney received in this way was to be spent in "buying new books, binding old ones, and defraying any incidental expenses, which ma}- be incurred on account of the library." On looking over the accounts, there appears at intervals the item, "one candle," and it may interest you to know that the original candlestick is still in use. Rule 4th is as follows — "A Central Meeting of the Subscribers shall be held annually at the dwelling-house of the Librarian for the time, upon the last Friday of Novem- ber, at which the oldest member of the Committee shall preside, for the purpose of examining the state of the Library and the Cash Accounts of the Committee ; for elect- ing a Librarian, who shall also be Clerk, and a Treasurer, and lastly, for choosing a Committee of five members, who, with the Librarian and Treasurer, shall have the sole man- agement of everything relating to the Library for the en- suing year. Should a member of the Committee die, or remove in the course of the year, the remaining members shall have power to choose one of the subscribers to fill his place till the first General Meeting." With regard to the choosing of new books, the next rule states, "When the books are to be bought, every member of the Committee shall make out and give in to the Committee a list of such books as he would recommend, and the books which have the most recommendations shall be first purchased." The Committee had full power, but at the same time were restricted in regard to the accounts. The Clerk had to minute all proceedings, particularly the Cash Accounts, which were to be laid before the General Meeting; further, no Committee had power to contract debt beyond the sum of ten shillings stg. on pain of being re- sponsible for the payment of such debt. Books were to be exchanged "on the last Fridav of 109 November, December, Januarj-, February, March, May, July and September, at two o'clock p.m. for the five winter months, and at six o'clock for the other three months, and on no other day. Subscribers neglecting to return the books on the above-mentioned days shall be liable to the following penalties for every such offence, viz. : for a folio one shilling, for a quarto sixpence, for an octavo three- pence, and for all books below octavo twopence, to go into the Libran* funds." Pretty heavy fines. Apparenty a book was valued solely by its size, and not by its interest or rarity. However, a loophole is left to escape the fines, "That no inconvenience may arise to Subscribers from the observance of this rule, any person, if he has not satisfac- tory perused a book, may, if the Committee think proper, have the same book again. But no Committee shall have- power to give the same book oftener than twice to the same- person in succession." No Subscriber was allowed to have more than one volume of folio, quarto, or octavo, but two volumes under octavo were allowed at the same time. All books were scrutinised on their out-going and in-coming by two mem- bers of the Committee who attended in rotation for that purpose. Xo transferring of books from one subscriber to another was allowed. The first General Meeting took place at Mains of Les- murdie on March 22nd, 1S15, and after the above rules had been drawn up the first Committee was chosen, to manage the concerns of the Library until the next meet- ing. Their names were — James Gordon, Bank, Preses; William Taylor, Boghead ; James Horn, Xewton ; Alex- ander Forbes, Invercharrach ; and the Rev. John Murray, Schoolmaster. John Gordon, Oldtown, was chosen Trea- surer, and John Taylor, Mains of Lesmurdie, Librarian and Clerk, both of whom were members of the Committee. Later on these offices were combined, and one man did all the necessary work, his only reward being the remission of his subscription. In order that no one might feel his duties irksome, the Committee and officials were elected every year, and "no one could be forced to serve on the Com- mittee for more than one year." Apparently, at the beginning, the privileges of the Library were "to be confined to male members, women no 110 doubt being thought to be more profitably employed in household duties. In November 1S15 this rule was added — "An unmarried woman shall be admitted upon condition of paying half the entry money, besides the annual contri- bution, but when she is married her husband must pay up the other half, and cannot transfer her right to any but a woman. When her husband pays up the one half, her right shall go to her husband." So, you see, these students of a century ago had very decided ideas about "Women's Rights," and when one of them married, he expected his wife to devote all her time to his needs, in return for which he would pay her dues, and possibly, if she asked him humbly at home, he would consent to give her information, in the true Pauline style. From these regulations and minutes we gain a fair idea of the kind of people who founded this Library, and of the character of the Library itself. A further understanding is given by a study of the lists of books purchased from time to time. They include a large number of sermons, books on Church government and theological problems, memoirs and "remains," a sprinkling of history and biography, and a few books on farming, household medicine and domestic matters, while now and again an attempt was made to pro- vide something in a lighter vein by "Religious Anecdotes," and "The Aberdeen Black List." Now 7 adaj T s books of more general interest are found on the Library shelves. The best of the sermons, by such favourite preachers as Spurgeon, MacCheyne, Tannage, &c, remain, but the others have been replaced by works on elementary science, bee-lore, husbandry, flower and wild life, and modern his- tory. But still no novels, romances, or plays are admitted, with the few exceptions before-mentioned. In the winter of 1826-7 a "Disjunction" took place. There were then sixty subscribers, of whom only seventeen belonged to the Upper Cabrach. Having in mind the ir- regularity of their attendance and payments, on account of the distance between the districts, it was agreed to divide the books and to let each part of the parish have its own Library. That in the Upper Cabrach has gradually dwindled, and has not been used for more than twenty years, though the books still remain. In the Lower Cabrach the Library con- Ill tinued to flourish. John Taylor, Mains of Lesmurdie, was the first Librarian, and he continued in office until 1837. In 1S24 he assumed also the duties of Treasurer, and since then the two offices have been com- bined. John Taylor, Boghead, was Librarian from 1S37 till 1S67, and James M'Combie, Crofthead, from 1867 till 1883. In 1883 Mr John Sheed, Upper Ardwell, was appointed and continued to perform the duties of Clerk, Librarian and Treasurer till December 1914, when Mr Alexander Rattray, Burn treble, was chosen to succeed him. Our Librarians have thus always given long periods of service, there having been onty four in the century. The Library was accommodated first of all at Mains of Lesmurdie, and the General Meetings were held there from 1815 till 1823. In November of the latter year it was removed to the U.P. Church at Oldtown, and con- tinued there till 1844. That was not a very central or con- venient place, so in 1844 another move was made to Mill- town of Lesmurdie. The books were kept in a large "kist," and on the appointed evenings the Librarian would have them all laid out on the kitchen dresser, while forms would be set against the wall for the accommodation of subscribers who attended at the General Meetings. These General Meetings were dear to the hearts of the founders, but after the first two or three it does not appear from the Minutes that anything was done at them beyond the election of the Committee. Probably after that business was over there followed an evening's friendly gossip. In 1865 the Library was moved for the last time, and found suitable accommodation at the new school. There the books, which number about 500, are housed in book- cases, and a more up-to-date way of keeping the record of loans is used. The subscribers number between twenty and thirty, but far more people might with advantage be- come members. 1 . 112 APPENDIX I. INSCRIPTIONS ON TOMBSTONES IN THE GRAVEYARD OF WALLAKIRK. In memory of John Taylor, farmer in Boghead of Les- murdie, who died 3:st March 1S08, aged 83, and Janet Donald, his spouse, who died 20th Oct. 1781, aged 48. 2. William Taylor, late schoolmaster at Cabrach, who died . . . Nov. 1782, aged 42 years, and William Tajdor, junr., his son. In memory of James Taylor, Boghead, Cabrach, who died 8th Nov. 1903, aged 85. Also his parents, William Taylor, who died 25th Dec. 1854, aged 91, and Helen Moir, who died 13th Jan. 1863, aged So; his sister Jean, who died nth June 1S50, aged 40, and his brothers William, wdio died 24th Jan. 1876, aged 63, John, who died 21st Aug. 188S, aged So. 4. Erected by George Petrie in memory of John Stuart, crofter, Badchier, who died 9th Oct. 183Q, aged 72 years, and Anne, his wife, who died 14th Feb. 1847, aged 79 years. Also of their daughters, Jane, who died in July 1S25, in the 26th year of her age, Marv, who died in 1S35 in the 24th year of her age, and Christina, who died 26th Nov. 1S77, aged 73 years. Hear lyes John Gordon, some time farmer in Dalriach, who was spouse of Margaret Grant, and departed this life on the . . . Oct. 1763, aged 68. Also his son Frederick Gordon, who departed this life on the . . . November 1764, aged two of his grand , John Gordon. 113 6. Here lies Elizabeth Wilson, spouse to Frauds Horn, sometime farmer in Mains of Lesmurdey, who died March 12th 1783, aged 60 years. 7. Under there lyes William Taylor &c. (Same as No. 2.) S. Robert Perie, Hillock, died 27th Feb. 1879. 9. William Dawson, Aldewalloch, died 20th Jan. 1830, aged 84, with his spouse, Ann Gordon, who died 14th May 183S, aged 85. 10. This stone is erected by George Taylor, farmer in Tom- ballie, in memory of his daughter Mary Taylor, who died 2nd Nov. 1845, aged 23 years. Also IsobcL Taylor, who died 7th Feb. 1823, aged 3 years, and of Margaret Taylor, who died 20th March 1848, aged 35 years, and of his wife Margaret Taylor, who died 24th July 1856. [George Taylor died Dec. 1, 1859.] 11. Erected by Janet Henry in loving memory of her hus- band, George Taylor, who died at Tomballie, Cab- rach, 3rd Nov. 1893, aged 84 years. Their son George, who died 25th Oct. 1850, aged 11 weeks, also the above Janet Henry, who died at Waterside, 13th June 1901, aged 78 years. " Till the day breaks." 12. In memory of John Taylor, farmer, Backside, Glass, aged 43 years, who died 22nd July 1855, also his wife, Isabella Strachan, who died 13th Aug. 18S2, aged 73 years, and their daughter Isabella, who died 6th March 1S54, aged 15 months. 114 13. In memory of James Horn, sometime farmer in Newton of Cabrach, who departed this life the Sth of June 1S46, aged 86 years; also his spouse Margaret Brem- ner, who departed this life the Sth Feb. 1836, aged 66 years; also their son John, farmer, Newton of Cabrach, who died 4th June 1876, aged 71 3-ears; also his wife Alexina Taylor, who died 7th July 1S86, aged 62 years; and their son Alexander Horn, who died 16th August 18S6, aged 30 } 7 ears. 14. Erected by William Horn in memory of his mother, Margaret Smith, who died at Badchier, May 1S44, aged 75 years. 15. James Watt, late farmer in Ardwell, Cabrach, who died 10th May 1837, aged 54, and his wife Margaret Kellas, who died 3rd September 1842, aged 47, and their sons, Peter 1839, Alex. 1840, John 1S47, daughters, Isabell 1S17, and Jane 1S47. 16. Erected in memory of John Riach, farmer, Greenlone, who died 1st April 1827, aged 77; his wife, Janet Riach, who died 1829, aged 77 ; their son, James Riach, farmer, Greenlone, who died 5th Jan. 1S62, aged 77 years; and his wife, Margaret Shearer, who died 14th July 1877, aged 78 ; also Margaret Riach, who died 19th Dec. 1853, aged 54 years. 17. Erected by Mary Taylor in memory of her husband, James Watt, late farmer in Badymullach, who died 4th May 1S44, aged 36 years; also their daughter Mary the above Mary Taylor, who died at Tomnaven on the 31st March 1890, aged 76 years. *i8. Here lies the body of Katharine Gordon, second daugh- ter to James Gordon, late of Beldorney, who died in Banff the third of March 1795 (?) in the 94th (?) year of her age. 115 *io, Dom. Hie jacet R V Thomas Brockie, Presb. Tern. Scot ratis B A L et in Parochiis Murth. Drost. Glass et Cab- rach miss, ap an vixit LATH F E R E et XX suinma cum laude missionem. obiit. suorum omnium et verbis Doctor et moribus exemplar merito que dictus pau- perum pater vitam piis laboribus im pensam pretiosa morte. Elausit maii ino A.D. MDCCTIX. Sit in pace. Locus ejus et habitatis ejus in Sion. Mimento Mori, (sic) * These two are in the Wardhouse enclosure. Translation. "To The Lord of Hosts," or "To The Glory of God," Here lies Rev. Thomas Brockie, Priest, Student of the Scotch College, Ratisbon, and missionary apostolic in the parishes of Mortlach, Aberlour, Glass and Cabrach. He lived fifty-eight years, and died, having spent almost twenty-eight years with the greatest acceptance on the mission. Of his own and of all both a teacher in word and an example in deed. Justly called the Father of the Poor, he closed a life spent in pious labours by a holy death on 3rd May in the year of our Lord 1759. May he rest in peace, and may his place and dwelling be in Sion. Remember thou shalt die. The chalice and breviary or missal at top of stone are the insignia of the priest. 116 APPENDIX II. THE STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND, Drawn up from the Communications of the Ministers of the different parishes. By Sir John Sinclair, Bart., 1793. Parish of Cabrach. Count}- of Banff — Presbytery of Alford — Synod of Aberdeen By the Rev. James Gordon. Name. — The name is derived from the Gaelic language, and signifies the Timber Moss : accordingly, the parish is full of moss and fir. Every place within the bounds, ex- cept such as are new, has a name of Gaelic extract. Boundaries, Extent, &c. — Cabrach is 30 miles distant from the county town, viz., Aberdeen, and surrounded by a range of hills, not very high, covered with heath. The length of this parish, at a medium, from South to North, is 5 miles; the breadth, from east to west, 3 miles (all com- puted) . Climate, Soil, Produce, &c. — In summer the climate is pleasant enough; and, for the benefit of goats' milk, is re- sorted to from the low country by many of weak constitu- tions, or labouring under consumption, for w : hose accom- modation there are 4 goat whey quarters. In winter the frosts are more intense, and snow lies deeper and longer here, than in some of the neighbouring parishes ; but from this the natives feel no inconvenience. They have an in- exhaustible moss at their doors, and depend not more for subsistence on the produce of their fields, than on the pro- fits of a traffic they carry on in sheep and black cattle. The soil is wet, and full of swamps, productive enough in provender for cattle; but owing to the frosts, mists, and hoar frost in autumn, the annual produce of grain does not exceed the consumpt of the inhabitants. 117 The farmers sow bear and birley oats only ; and these in the upper part of the parish are always more or less affected by the frosts, in so much that if the season has not been extremely favourable, they never depend on their own. bear, and but seldom on their birley oats for seed. Some- times one half of a field is frosted, and the other safe ; and what is still more extraordinary, the upper half of the ear has been found to be affected, while the lower was safe. Daily experience evinces that the corns on the heights and eminences run less risk than those on flat low grounds. For the most part they begin to sow in the end of March, and reap in September and October. Potatoes are the most uncertain of their crops. Turnips thrive ; but for want of inclosures through the whole parish, experiments are not tried on a large scale. Clover and rye-grass have been sown in yards with success ; cabbages are common. Agriculture and Employments. — The mode of culture- is perhaps the same at this day which it was a century ago. The plough in use is the old Scotch, drawn by 6, 8, or io oxen, or cows and oxen, or horses and oxen together. The dung is, in a great Tneasure, carried out in creels, on the horses' sides, a method by which there is a great waste of time that might be gained, 3 of these loads being only equal to one of a cart. Men and women are employed, and as soon as the seed time is done, plough and harrow are laid aside; the far- mers mind little else but their cattle; the women, besides their ordinary domestic affairs, are employed in providing coarse cloths for the family, and spinning linen yarn to the manufactories. Nevertheless, with all these peculiarities of climate and customs, the tenents, especially within the four hills of Cabrach, are in good circumstances enough for their rank, and are thriving. Nature seems to have intended the countrv more for pasture than for agriculture; aware of this, the inhabitants pay their attention chiefly to sheep and black cattle. Early in the spring, they stock their little farms with the former, and about Whitsunday with the latter. During the course of the summer, they are ever buying and selling at home and in the markets. About the end of August, they clear their towns, if the sale is brisk, of all except as many as they have provender to support 118 in the winter. If the market has been bad they keep more than their usual number, and buy corn and straw for them in the neighbouring parishes. By these means they seldom meet with much loss, nor indeed can it ever be great ; their flocks are small, and the circle of their trade but narrow; of course the little speculation that is here depending merely upon the appearance of a good grass crop, or a de- mand from the south, is seldom attended with bad conse- quences, even if the crop should happen to be short. Ac- cordingly, one year w ? ith another, they replace the capitals employed in this trade, with a small profit, deducting all charges. Estimate of Black Cattle, &c. :— Black cattle bought and sold, about 500 Kept in winter on each farm 30 Sheep bought and sold 2000 Kept in winter 1000 Horses in the parish, all small 335 Black cattle, taken to hill pasture annually, at 2s each 350 Black cattle, taken to infield grass, at 5s Sterling each 200 Quarries. — Those who reside in the northern parts, contiguous to Mortlach, burn and sell annually about 4000 bolls of lime, at 6d per boll ; two firlots Aberdeen measure make a boll. Lime is little used here as a manure, on the supposition that it turns the crop late. It is presumed, however, that in some parts it would be attended with ad- vantage. Besides great numbers of lime-stone quarries, there is a slate quarry of a light grey colour, on the Hill of the Bank; there being little demand for the slates, the quarry is not in lease. They are not sold, but given gratis. Forests. — The banks of the river Dovern, about half a century ago, were covered with birch, although, since the sale of it, there is not a plant of w 7 ood to be seen there, or in any part of the parish, except in Glen Fiddich, where there are some old trees, and on the Burn of Bank, where there are some young bushes. The Feddick, which runs into the Spey between Aberlour and Boharm, rises between Cabrach and Glenlivet, and runs into Mortlach. On its banks the Duke of Gordon has a house for a hunting seat 119 in a beautiful romantic spot, but within the parish of Mortlach. He has another farther up on the Blackwater, in the same parish. The forests of Glenfeddich and Black- water are stored with red deer and roes ; the hills all around with innumerable flocks of muir-fowl. Here there are partridges, hares, foxes, otters, wild ducks, and blackcocks. The migratory birds are the swallow, the plover, and cuckoo, who appear about the middle of Anril. Church, School, and Poor. — The minister's stipend is ^45 Sterling and the services; besides £2 15s 6^d Sterling, for communion element money ; with a glebe of 19 acres arable, and 2 of pasture ground. The parochial school salary is £5 ns i^d Sterling. The charity school was taken away from Dovernside in 1779, a want which the people there feel very much. To remedy this in some degree, they hire a country man to teach their children to read and write in winter, the only time they can dispense with them from herding their cattle. The number of poor on the roll who receive occasional supply are 12. The weekly contributions amount annually to £2 sterling, besides a fund of ^50 sterling at interest, under the management of the heritors and kirk-session. Religion, Sectaries, &c. — Besides the Established Church, there are two chapels, one for Papists, who are not half the number that they were thirty years ago, and one for Seceders, who are much on the decline. One great reason for the decline of both sects is the moderation with which they are treated all over this country. Inter- marriages with Protestant families have been frequently observed to bring over Papists, especially the female part, from their former persuasion. Character, Diseases, &c. — The inhabitants, whose or- dinary size is 5 feet 10 inches, though variable from 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet, are industrious, sober, and healthy ; live much better, are neater and cleanlier in their dresses and dwellings than their predecessors were some generations ago, when men and beasts lay under the same roof. They all read and write, are intelligent in the ordinary and even some of the less common affairs of life, beyond what could be expected from their opportunities, and of an obliging disposition. Notwithstanding the temptations inseparable from the species of traffic they are constantly engaged in, 120 in the cattle markets, they are not addicted to drinking. However unaccountable, in such a place, the want of inns and alehouses may be, there is not one in the parish, a circumstance perhaps not unfriendly to health and morals; nor are the inconveniences attending it felt by travellers, because of the hospitality of the people. With all the necessaries and some of the conveniencies of life, they live happy and content at home. They are not in general litigious nor are law-suits frequent, which is a consequence of their honesty in dealings. That the natives of a place full of mosses, and interspersed with swampy ground, should be healthy and subject to no local distemper, may appear a little problematical ; yet excepting a few fevers, which are by no means frequent or fatal, the whooping- cough, measles, and small-pox in the natural way, are the only diseases known here. The most common disease of which they die is old age. Of late, consumption has appeared in 4 instances; in each of them fatal, excepting one case. Those who died of it were attacked when at service in other countries. It is not pretended to account for the healthiness of the people. Perhaps the great fires constantly burning in their houses have considerable in- fluence in counter-acting the effects of the exhalations which are continully rising from the earth. Strangers not accus- tomed to them catch cold. Valued Rent, Servants' Wages, &c. — The valued rent in this parish is .£1290 2s iod Scotch. Men servants gain yearly about (Sterling) Women do. do. do. ... Geese are sold at Hens are sold at Butter per lib. ... Cheese per quarter The services which used to be paid to the principal tacks- man were happily done away when the present leases were given by the Duke of Gordon, by getting tacks immedi- ately from himself; the best thing he could have done to this country. £5 5 2 10 O 2 6 O 6 O 6 O 1 121 Population, &c. — The number in 1755 wa s 960. Within the parish are, above 8 years of age, catechisable, 550 Children below S years of age 150 700 Each marriage, at an average, produces 4 children. Remarks. — The number of inhabitants has decreased about 200 since 17S2 and 17S3, at which period the house- holders or crofters were driven in quest of subsistence to other countries and towns, where manufactures are carried on. The upper part of the parish in Aberdeenshire seldom produces sufficiency of grain for itself. The lower part of the parish in Banffshire produces sufficiency of grain for itself, and disposes of about 200 bolls, which would make up the deficienc3 T in the upper part, was it not disposed of to the neighbouring distilleries. The defect is made up from other places. The state of the inhabitants then (in 17S2) , when few places hereabout had enough for them- selves, ma}^ be learned from the circumstance that the mill multures of Cabrach amounted to a ninth part only of what they are in ordinary years ; yet, by means of the indulgence of the Duke of Gordon, who allowed them to detain their rents for buying meal, and supporting their families till they were able to pay without hurting them, and the spirited exertions of individuals, particularly John Gordon, Esq. of Craig, who imported grain of different kinds for a subsistence to the indigent poor, which he gave to this and some of the neighbouring parishes, nobody suffered for want ; but their circumstances were much impaired : there was no demand for cattle. Meal was sold at is 6d and 2s per peck, 9 lib. Servants suffered most, for everybody re- duced their numbers, and day labourers got little if any employment. So early as the 15th September 1782, there was a great fall of snow, which laid all the corns, then hardly begun to fill, in most places. The frosts were often intense, and vegetation was stopt here. The corns which had milky juices in the ear were totally ruined; those which had only watery juices wanted season : there were none of them perfectly full or ripe. They were therefore mostly given unthreshed to the cattle. 122 It was after Christmas before they were all cut. The meal mack- of what was threshed was bad. To some it may ap- pear trivial, to others worthy to be remarked, that, in spring 1783, cows had calves much earlier, and in greater numbers, than w T as ever remembered; a fortunate circum- stance, in a year when the victual of home produce was excessively bad, and in a place where milk is a constituent part of ordinary fare. It was observed, too, very truly, as to this parish, that there was less sickness that year than usual, a fact which the curious will, no doubt, trace up to several causes. APPENDIX III. John Gordon married KHz. Gordon, relict of Alex. Ogilvy. She w ; as daughter of Adam Gordon, Dean of Caithness, third sou of first Earl of Huntlie, and sister of George of Beldorney. After the battle of Corrichie and John Ogilvy 's execution and forfeiture, the Queen on Sth Feb. 1563 virtually revoked the above charter in favour of John Gordon and his heirs of the Ogilvy estates, on the ground that Alex. Ogilvy had unjustly disinherited his own son, James Ogilvy of Cardale, and that John Gordon had failed to infeft James and his dues. Accordingly she granted charters of the baronies of Deskford, Finletter, Auchindoun, &c, in favour of James Ogilvy of Cardale. Notwithstanding this the Gordons still claimed part of the Ogilvy estates and the matter was submitted to arbitration. James Earl of Bothwell and Sir John Bellenden, Justice Clerk, were arbiters for the Earl of Huntlie and James and Adam his brothers, while Wm. Maitland of Lethington and John Spence, the Queen's Advocate, acted for James Ogilvy and her Majesty as Overswoman. By their decree arbital the baronies of Deskfurd and Finletter with other estates were affirmed to James Ogilvy and the lands of Auchindoun and Keithmore to Adam Gordon. (Douglas Wood's Peerage.) 123 EXTRACTS OR NOTES OF EXTRACTS FROM THE REGISTER OF THE GREAT SEAL OF SCOTLAND. Keithmore, 1490. The King (James V.) confirmed a charter by John, Lord Drummond, and of the barony of Keithmore, in which for a certain sum of money paid, he sold and alienated to Sir James Ogilvy of Deskfurd, Knight, his heirs and assigns, the lands and barony of Keithmore, viz., the lands of Keithmore, Auchindoune, half of the lands of Clunymore, Clunybeg, BaldoniL-y, Gowlis, Tullochallmn, the Glenfethek with forest of the same, and Mill of Auchindoune, Sheriffdom of Banff, to be held of the King. Dated Linlithgow, 31st Dec. 1490. Confirmed at Linlithgow, 1st Jan 1490-1. Lesmurdie, 1473. The King (James III.) confirmed a charter of Lawrence Nudry, Lord of one part of Ovirestead, in which he sold and alienated to George-de-Strathauchin, Losmorthie, his heirs and assigns, the lands of Third part of Belchere, Envercheroch, and Auchnastank, Sherrifdom of Banff, for a certain sum of money paid him, or for making service outside or abroad, so far as pertanis to said lands only, the first witness, John Strathauchin of Thorn- ton, dated at the Chapel of St Mary of Gillismald, 5th Feb. 1473. Confirmed, Edinburgh, 13th March 1473-4. Losmordy, 1527. The King (James V.) confirmed a charter by Alex. Strathauchin of Losmordy in which he granted his first born son George Strathauchin and Mar- garet Gordon his spouse, the lands of Easterton of Los- mordy, from the Green welhed, and a third part of the lands of Inverquherach, Auchinstank, Balkery, Sherifdom of Banff, to be held by the said George and Margaret and the longest liver of them in conjunction, and the heirs law- fully begotten between. Reddendo service of ward and relied to the king. Signed at Elgin, 20th Feb. 1527- Con- firmed at Elgin, 24th March 1527. Belchery & Losmordy, 1539-40. The King (James V.) confirmed a charter by John Gordon, portioner, Auch- instynk, in which he sold to George Strathauchin of Ester 124 Losmordie and Margaret Gordon his spouse, three eastern parts of his lands of Balchery in the barony of Inverquher- raueh, Sheriffdom of Banff, to be held by the said George and Margaret and the longest liver, &c. Signed at Carne- burrow, 6th Dec. 1539. One of the witnesses, Mr James Gordoune, confirmed at Edinburgh, 14th Feb. 1539-40. Invercharroch, 14SS. The King (James IV.) con- finned a charter of John Craigmyll of Craigmyll and Lord Portioner of Inverquherach, in which for a certain sum paid in ready money, he sold and alienated to Sir James Ogilvie of Deskford, Knight, the lands of Inverquherach, Balchery and Auchinstank, Sheriffdom of Banff, to be held of the king in fee. The first witness out of ten, Thomas Ross of Auchlossni, uncle of the said John Craigmyll. Dated Chapel of St Mary of Garroch, 22nd June 14 88. Confirmed at Perth, 25th June 1488. Invercharroch, 1535.— The King (James V.) confirmed to Alex. Ogilvy of Oglivy and Elizabeth Gordon, his spouse, the lands and barony of Keithmore with the Castle and fortalice of Auchindowne, milltanandries of the same, and the free forest of Glenfiddich and privileges of the same, the third part of the lands of Auchinstank and Balquhery, and a half part of Inverquhirauch forest of Etnach, other- wise Blackwater, lying on the north side of the water of Dovern, Sheriffdom of Banff, which the said Alexander re- signed. To be held by the said Alex, and Enz. and the longest liver, &c, &c. Signed at Stirling, 31st Dec. 15^. Cabrach, 1374. The King (Robert II.) granted to William, Earl of Douglas, all and whole the lands of the forest of Cabrach, and half davach of Auchmair, which is called Clova, with parts in Sheriffdom of Banff, which was the property of David Brown of Glandriston, but the said David had resigned it. Dated at Edinburgh, 9th Jan. in the 3rd year of our reign. Cabrach, 150S. The King (James IV.) for good ser- vice, granted Alex., Earl of Huntlie, Lord Gordon and 125 Braidenach, his heirs and assyns, the lands and forest of Cabrauch, Sheriffdom of Aberdeen, to be held in free barony and free forestry. Reddendo ward the barony of Huntlie. Dated at Edinburgh, 25th April 1508. (The Earl sold these lands the same year to James Gordon of Anehmully.) Cabrach, 150S. The King (James IV.) confirmed a charter by Alex. Earl of Huntlie, in which he sold and alienated to his cousin, James Gordon of Auchmully and his heirs, the lands and forest of Cabranch in the Earldom and barony of Huntlie and Sheriffdom of Aberdeen, divided from his own property of the said barony by these marches, viz. : Beginning on the south at the spring (burn rising between Elrig in Cabrauch and Blackmiddyns in Huntlie, which was otherwise called Strathbogie) and thence by the summit of Lunddishill to the Hundehillock between Garbet and Reidford, and by the summit of the hill between Cairn- aloquhy and Tullochdowy, between the heads of the three burns in Strathbogie and Glascory in Cabrauch, by the summit of Cornabroicht to the north and east angle of Ballochbegg, which is called Greenwelheid which is div- ided between Cabrauch and Corrynuisy, with power of bringing of said lauds into cultivation. Reddendo to the Earl three suits at three head courts of Huntlie, also ward, &c, when contingency should arise. Dated at burgh of Jedburgh, 4th Dec. 1508, confirmed at Jedburgh, 4th Dec. 1508. Cabrach, 1539. The Earl of Huntlie must have ac- quired back the lands of Cabrach, for in 1539, George, Earl of Huntlie, granted to his uncle, iUex. Gordon, formerly of Strathoune (Strathavon) , a charter of the lands of Cluny and others in exchange for the lands of said Alex, elder of Stiathoune, viz., Strathoune, Inverrourie, Fotterletter, fort- alice of Drummyn, and Mills, fishings, advowsons of bene- fices, &c, Sheriffdom of Banff, and the lands of Cabrach, Sheriffdom of Aberdeen, in conformity with a contract dated at Dundee, 31st Aug. 1539. Cabrach was leased by the Earl of Maryr at the end of the 16th cent., for James Gordon of Lesmore rented part of it. (Huntly rental 1600.) 12G Auchindoun, 1545. The Queen (Mary) confirmed a charter by Alex. Ogilvy of Ogilvy and Finletter, in which : anted John Gordon, third son of George, Earl of Huntie, on condition of the said John and his heirs in all time coming, bearing the name and arms of Ogilvy, his baronies of Ogilvy, viz., Finletter, Deskford, Keithmore, Auchindoun, Drumnakeith, Blanskinnacht, Casterfrith, Castelyard, ike, with the castles of Finletter, Deskford and Auchindoun, with Mills, Milltowns, forests, &c, and a long series of substitutes in case of male issue — the free tenements reserved to the said Alexander and Elizabeth and the longer liver. - _ ued at Finletter, 4th Sep. 1545 . confirmed at Linlith- gow, 28th Sep. 1545. APPENDIX IV. From the Gordon Richmond Rent Roll. The Cabrach. 1765-17S4. Tenant. Rent. Kirtown, Tornichelt, & Cragincate — Cxeorge Gordon ^25 o o 1 766-1 784. Davoch Lands & Milne of Coirrenassie — George Gordon ... ... ... ... ... 87 12 5 1750- Invercharach & Badchier — John Fife ... ... 16 2 9 1765-1784. Haddoch — James Gordon ... Auchmair— John & George Gordon Redford — Wm. & Jas. Yates Elrick — Jas. Gordon Howbogg — Wm. Robertson ,, Wm. Fittas ,, Jas. & John Harrison ,, John Robertson 4 16 10 M- '.'". 6 n 3 ... 6 4 12 S ... 4 12 9 4 12 5 7 10 S 127 Howbogg — Mary William ... ... ... ... Easter Bodybaes — Jas. Gordon Bodybaes — Thos. Stewart ,, Wm. Robson ... Gauch — John Fife ... Powneed — Thos. Robertson ,, Alexander Robertson Braclach — John M' William Buck — Jas. Cruickshank Largue — John Reid ,, John Milne & Thos. Roy Aldvhalloch — John Milne, Thos. Roy, Alexr Bain ,, Robert Gordon ,, Alexr. Robertson ... Aldewnie — Jas. Henderson ,, Jas. Seott Jas., Chas., & Alexr. Scott Milne Miln Towne — John Grant of Rothmaise Xo Tack. Brock Hillock— John Mill 2 8 ro 1 766-1 785. Ardwalls — Francis Lumsden ... ... ... 22 4 4 Xo Tack. Blackwater, Grazing — John Gordon ... ... 23 o o Total Rental— £368 3s 5d. Renl £3 19 10 6 5 8 2 9 3 2 14 7 24 5 2 5 11 7 5 9 11 19 6 i 8 19 II 6 6 IO 6 S 7 6 5 1 4 5 2 3 1 4 15 S 17 4 S 4 6 21 4 1778. Upper Ardwell — Alexander Leslie. ,, ,, W T m. Laird. Xether Ardwell — James Kelman & John M'Combie. Shanwell — James Murchie, &c 17S4. Haddoch — John Gordon ... ... ... ... £1 3 r Achmair — Wm. Gordon 2 18 o Redford— Wm. Yates SSo Aldvhalloch — Paul Gordon, ike ... ... ... on 4 Aldewnie — James Henderson, &c. ... ... 2 4 Invercharach & BadchTer — Wm. Ferrier, &c. ... 21 11 o 128 i 784-1803. Hens. £ s. d. Laird Badchier — Peter Cameron Alex. M'Donald ... Thos. & Rob. Jopp Lachlan Milne Christian Deason Alexr. Smart Robt. Deason Invercharach — Wm. Ferror ... Shanwell — James Kelman Upper Ardwell — Wm. Forbes & Wm Nether Ardwell— Robt. M'Combie, &c. Davoch of Corenassie — George Gordon's Heirs \ Tornieehelt — Hugh & Alexr. Kellas ,, Alexr. Robertson Achmair — Wm. Gordon Haddoch — John Gordon Redford— Wm. Yeats Kirktown — Mr Gordon, minister \ Powneed — Alexr. Bain ,, Thos. Robertson Upper Howbog — James Ferror. No Lease .. Nether Howbog — John Sutor, John & Wm. Robertson Elrick — John & Alex. Gordon Buck — Jas. Fettas. No lease Mickle Bracklach— John & Peter M' William Little Bracklach — Alexr. Bain Little Bodybaes — Alexr. Bain Upper Bodybaes — Thos. Ingram. No lease .. Craigencatt — John M'Hardy ... ,, John Riach Robt. Mackie. No lease Theodore Gordon. No lease .. Wm. Stephen. No lease Mill & Milltown— John M'Hardy Anldewnie — Alexr. Scott, &c. Anldevalloch — Paul Gordon, &c Largue — John & Wm. Reid ... Gauch — John & Adam Gordon Wm. Ferror 1 2 1 1 1 1 S 8 8 8 4 4 8 8 S o 4 4 8 8 8 8 14 2 4 4 o 1 2 1 ... 4 ... o ... 16 ... 16 ... S 2 wedders 5 o 7 o 6 o 3 o o 15 2 o 1 43 32 17 7 7 15 6 7 6 6 6 15 12 7 9 21 5 6 7 30 1 3 1 5 30 17 16 12 10 21 S7 12 129 Possessions. Davoch of Correnassie. Tenants. 17S5-1S03. Hens. £ s. d. Pyke — Jas. Gordon ... ... ... ... 2 6 10 o Oldtown — Wm. & Chas. Gordon ... ... 2 10 o o Berry leys & Glack Shalloch— Alexr. & Arthur Browster ... ... ... ... 4 n o o 3 Ox-gales of Upper Tomnaven — John Mac- intosh ... ... ... ... ... 3 10 o o 5 Ox-gales of Upper Tomnaven — At. and Wm. Robertson ... ... ... ... 5 16 o o Newtown & Milne — Jas. Horn ... ... 4 21 o o Hillock & Dalriach — Jas. Gordon ... ... 6 24 o o Bank — Jas. Adam & John Gordon ... ... 6 n o o 17S7 Grazing of Black water — Wm. Ferror o 18 o a 1803. Pyke — Adam Gordon 2 Oldtown — John Gordon, (Bank) 2 Berryleys, &c. — Arthur Browster ... ... 14 Upper Tomnaven — Alex. Macintosh ... 3 Nether Tomnaven — Wm. & Alex. Robertson 5 Newtown & Mill — Jas. Horn 4 Hillock— Alex. Scott 6 Dalriach — Wm. Deason ... ... ... 2 Bank — Jas. & John Gordon ... ■ 6 1200 25 o o 18 o o 1700 25 o o 42 o o 40 o o 1200 25 o o Tornychelt— Hugh & Alex. Kellas . Achmair — Wm. Gordon Haddoch — Alex. Henderson ... Redford— Wm. Yates Kirktown — Rev. John Gordon Elrick — George & John Gordon Craigencatt — Wm. Riach & Alex. Bain 20 28 12 IO 22 9 1 o o o o o o 10 Hens. £ s. d. O 12 i 14 1 11 1 5 3 7 1 4 10 1 4 10 130 1S04. Badchier : — Toclholes — Peter Cameron Broomknowes — Peter Cameron I. M'Conachy's part — Peter Cameron Alex. Robertson Own & E. Deason's part — Alex. Smart Isobel Horn Robina Japp Invercharach, incl. Burntreble — Wm. & Alex. Forbes o 65 o o Tomnavouin of Invercharach — John & Alex. Mitchell o 16 o o Shanwell — John Bremner Margt. M'Conachy & John Bremner 1 John Cottan Horseward of Shanwell — Chas. M'Donald . Upper Ardwell — Wm. & Al. Forbes (Inver- charach) Upper Ardwell— Wm. Watt Nether Ardwell — Jas. Gow John Deason 5 34 1 2 O 1 4 1 5 8 21 iS 2 6 2 6 1 3 Davoch of Correnassie. Pyke — Adam Gordon Oldtown — John Gordon (Bank) Berryleys, &c. — Arthur Browster Upper Tomnaven — Alex. M'Intosh Nether Tomnaven — Wm. & Alex. Robertson Newtown & Mill— Jas. Horn Hillock— Alex. Scott ... Dalriach — Wm. Deason Bank — Jas. & John Gordon 1200 25 o o iS o o 17 o o 25 o o 42 o o 40 o o 12 O O 25 o o Tornychelt— Hugh & Alex. Kellas Achmair — Wm. Gordon Haddoch — Alex. Henderson ... Redfoord — Wm. Yates ... S 20 o o S 28 o o 8 12 o o 8 10 o o 131 Hens Kirkton — Rev. John Gordon ... i Powneed and Little Bracklach — Wm. Bain i ,, Thos. Robertson ... ... Upper Howbog — Wm. & Jas. Fettas & Jas. Yates Nether Howbog — Jas. Robertson & John Souter Elrick — George & John Gordon Buck— John M'Hardy Mickle Bracklach— Adam Gordon & Thos. M' William Little & Upper Bodybaes — John M'Hardy Craigencatt — Wm. Raich Alex. Bain Milltown of Cabrach inch part of Craigencatt- Aldunie — Jas. Sheed Alex. Scott ... John Stuart ... Aldivalloch — Paul Gordon Largue — Alex. Innes for Alex. Gordon and Arch. Reid ... ... ... ... 4 Wm. Deason ... ... ... 4 Brockhillock and -John M'Hardy .. 14 8 / 7 2 16 . £ s. d. 22 o o 19 o o 10 o o iS o o 24 o o 900 12 O O 34 o 24 O o I 10 o 34 13 13 4 24 Gauch — John Gordon Grazing of Blackwater — The Duke 2 wedders & 10 o o 10 o o 60 o o 2100 Sum Parish of Cabrach crop 1804 216^885 4 o 1824. Dalriach — Lt. Jas. Taylor Mill Croft — George Hendry Berryleys — John Leslie ... Upper Tomnaven — Jas. Smart ... Upper Tomnaven— Alex. M'Intosh Nether Tomnaven — Jas. Middleton Invercharach — Alex. Forbes Jas. Jopp Jas. M'Combie Burntreble — Peter Mitchell Todholes — Jas. Dow Broomknowes — John M'Connachy £31 5 30 19 10 3 10 5 10 65 17 10 17 18 6 iS 15 24 132 Badchier — Jas. Sector John Stewart Jane Hay Wm. Horn & Jas. M'Hardy Alex. Smart Shanwell — Wm. Bremner Wm. M'Lauchlan Widow Leslie Horseward — Janet Robertson Tomnavonin — Alex. Mitchell Upper Ardwell — John Sheed & Alex. Kellas Nether Ardwell — Wm. & Adam M'Combie Jas. Watt Alex. Gow's widow Christian Deason Torniechelt — Hugh Kellas, jun., & Wm. Horn Aldunie — Jas. Sheed Alex. Scott Aldivalloch — Paul Gordon's widow John Gordon Wm. Sheed Wm. Deason's widow .. John Kellas Largue — Wm. M' William Chas. M'Donnald John Cockburn Alec. M'Lean Robt. Grant Elspet Dawson Gauch — Peter Gordon John Gordon Alex. Gordon Bracklach — John Gordon John Robertson Alexr. Beattie Isobel M' William Bodiebae — Thos. & William Robertson Buck — Wm. Souter Nether Howbog — Alex. Robertson Upper Howbog — John Souter James Fettas Margt. Ferror £ s. d. iS 8 8 8 10 0- 70 5 5 7 34 52 10 20 13 10 13 10 6 48 27 10 27 10 14 10 11 10 11 14 2 15 1 15 5 4 15 4 15 4 10 10 5 32 6. S 33 6 8 33 6 8 33 6 8 55 10 1 13 4 40 28 29 2Q 13 4 133 Powneed — Wm. Bain Alex. Bain Alex. Kellas John Kellas Milltown— David Scott White Hillock— Sam M'Hardy David Scott Widow Sharp James Forbes Achmair — Alex. Gordon Haddoch — Chas. Stewart Kirktown — John Cottam Part of Kirktown — Rev. James Gordon Reddford — William Yates Elrick — Widow & George Gordon Blackwater Forest — The Duke £ s. d. 25 o o 4 15 10 10 4 15 52 10 16 15 6 7 6 18 8 38 31 38 4 20 18 80 £i744 o o 1838. Berryleys — Alex. Scott Invercharrach — Jas. Merson Jas. Jopp Jas. M'Combie Horseward — Wm. Bremner Bracklach — Alex. Beattie Whitehillock — John Sharp Kirktown — John Cockburn Rev. J. Gordon Blackwater — Duke £$0 o o 65 16 o 80 o o Total rental — 158 fowls and ^1704 7s 6d. 1790. Badchier — George M'Lachlan £7 (Removed and let to Peter Cameron, for crop 1794 at 20/- additional rental.) Isobel Horn o o 134 Shanwell — Jas. Kehnan Wm. Farquharson Chas. Macdonald Margt. M'Conachy Nether Ar dwell — Robt. M'Combie John Deason Wm. Watt Jas. Gow Hillock— Let to Wm. Taylor for 3 years from Whit. 1800 at additional rent & Dalriach Haddoch — Jas. Henderson I Torniechelt— Hugh & Alex. Kellas, jun. i Torniechelt — Alexr. Kellas, Elder i Torniechelt — Jas. Kellas Upper Howbog — Jas. & Wm. Fettas Buck — Alexr. Gordon Little Bodybaes — Thos. Ingram Aldunie — Jas. Sheed, Chas. Scott, Alexr. Scott, John Steward, Jas. Scott Aldevalloch — Paul Gordon Jas. Reid, Elder Jas. Reid, Elder Largue — John Reid & Alexr. Gordon Blackwater Grazing — The Duke M' William for 1794 Old Town— Wm. Sutor £ s. d. 23 16 8 3 13 4 2 3 4 1 17 4 6 7 6 2 2 6 4 5 6 5 14 14 6 7 3 10 3 10 12 7 6 21 o o IS04. Aldunie — James Sheed Alex. Scott John Stewart Aldivalloch — Paul Gordon Upper Cabrach. Farm. Tenants. Redford 1 765-1 7S4 Wm. & Jas. Yates 1 784-1803 Wm. Yates 1804 Wm. Yates 1824 Wm. Yates 135 Elrick Gauch Powneed i 765-1 784 1784-1S03 1S03 1804 1824 1 765-1 784 17S4-1803 1804 1S24 1765-17S4 17S4-1803 1804 1824 Bracklach 1 765-1 784 Mickle do. 1 784-1803 1804 Little do. 17S4-1S03 1804 Bracklach 1824 1838 Buck 1 765-1 784 1 784-1803 1790 1804 1824 1838 Largue 1765-17S4 17S4-1803 1790 1804 IS24 1838 Jas. Gordon John & Alex. Gordon George & John Gordon George & John Gordon George and Widow Gordon John Fife John & Adam Gordon John Gordon Peter, John, & Alex. Gordon Thos. Robertson Alex. Robertson Thos. Robertson Alex. Bain Thos. Robertson Wm. Bain (also Little Bracklach) Wm. Bain Alex. Bain Alex. Kellas John Kellas John M' William John & Peter M' William Adam Gordon & Thos. M ( William Alex. Bain William Bain John Gordon, John Robertson Alex. Beattie, Isobel M'William Alex. Beattie Jas. Cruickshank Jas. Fettas Alex. Gordon John M' Hardy Wm. Souter Wm. Souter John Reid, John Milne & Thos. Roy John & Wm. Reid John Reid & Alex. Gordon Alex. Innes (for Alex. Gordon and Arch. Reid) Wm. Deason Wm. M'William, Chas. M'Donald John Cockburn, Alex M'Lean Robt. Grant, Elspet Dawson Robt. Grant, Elspet Dawson 136 Milne & Milne Town 1 765-1 784 John Grant (of Rothmaise) 1 784-1803 John M'Hardy (With Brockhillock & part of Craigencatt) 1804 1824 1838 Brockhillock 1765 (no tack) 1804 John M'Hardy David Scott David Scott John Milne John M'Hardy (of Milne) Now called White Hillock 1824 Sam. M'Hardy, David Scott Widow Sharp, Jas. Forbes 1838 John Sharp 1 765-1 784 Wm. Robertson, Wm. Fettas Jas. & John Harrison John Robertson, Mary William 17S4-1803 Jas. Ferror 1790 Jas. & Wm. Fettas 1804 Wm. & Jas. Fettas & Jas Yates 1824 Jas. Fettas & Margt. Ferror 1 784-1 803 John Sutor 1804 John Sutor & Jas. Robertson 1824 John Sutor & Alex. Robertson 1838 John Sutor & Alex. Robertson 1765-17S4 Jas. Gordon, Thos. Stewart, Wm. Robertson 1 784-1803 Alex. Bain (& Little Bracklach) 1790 Thos. Ingram. No lease. John M'Hardy Thos. & Wm. Robertson 1838 Thos. & Wm. Robertson 1 765-1 784 John Milne, Thos. Roy & Alex Bain Robt. Gordon, Alex. Robertson 1784-1803 Paul Gordon, &c. Howbog Do., Upper Do., Nether Bodybaes Little do. Upper do. Little & Upper 1804 1824 Aldivalloch 1790 Paul Gordon & Jas. Reid 1804 Paul Gordon, &c. 1824 Paul Gordon's widow & John Gordon & Wm. Sheed 1838 Paul Gordon's widow & John Gordon & Wm. Sheed 137 Aldunie 1 765-1 784 Jas. Henderson, Jas. Scott, Jas., Chas. & Alex. Scott 1 784-1803 Alex. Scott, &c. 1790 Jas. Sheed, Chas. Scott. Alex. Scott, John Stewart, Jas Scott 1804 Jas. Sheed, Alex. Scott, John Stewart 1824 Jas. Sheed, Alex Scott 1838 Jas. Sheed, Alex Scott Kirktown (Torniechelt & Craigencatt 1765-17S4 George Gordon 17S4-1S03 Rev. John Gordon 1803 Rev. John Gordon 1S04 Rev. John Gordon 1824 Rev. Jas. Gordon & John Cottam 183S Rev.Jas.Gordon & John Cockburn Torniechelt (i 1 784-1803 Hugh & Alex. Kellas (*) Alex. Robertson (I) 1790 Hugh & Alex. Kellas, jun. (i) Alex. Kellas, senr. (i) Jas. Kellas 1804 Hugh & Alex. Kellas 1824 Hugh Kellas junr. & Wm. Horn 1838 Hugh Kellas, junr., & Wm. Horn Craigencatt 1784 Robt. Mackie. No lease. 1784-1803 John M'Hardy 1804 Wm. Riach & Alex. Bain (part) Jas. Sheed 1824 Jas. Sheed & Alex. Bain 1838 Jas. Sheed & Alex. Bain Haddoch 1 765-1 784 Jas. Gordon 1784-1803 John Gordon 1790 Alex. Henderson 1803 Alex. Henderson 1804 Chas. Stewart 1824 Jas. Henderson 1838 Chas. Stewart Auchmair 1765-1784 John & George Gordon 1 784-1 803 Wm. Gordon 1804 Wm. Gordon 1824 Wm. Gordon 18^8 Wm. Gordon 138 APPENDIX V. TWO EXTRACTS FROM THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF SCOTLAND. No. i. Vol. i. p. 205. Session 1S51-1854. No. 2. Vol. 5. p. 362. Session 1862-1864. NOTES OF THE DISCOVERY OF STONE CISTS AT LESMURDIE, BANFFSHIRE, Containing Primitive Urns, &c, along with human remains. By Alexander Robertson, Esq., Elgin, F.G.S., &c. During a visit to my friend' Captain Stewart, at Les- murdie, in the autumn of 1849, I was shown a nearly per- fect urn of coarse earthenware, which had then recently been found in a stone cist on the property. Mr John Taylor, the owner of the relic, informed 1 me that the se- pulchre had been accidentally discovered in digging a sand- pit, and that on gaining access to the chamber it proved to be full of earth and sand, in excavating which he had detected the urn and some half-decayed bones. He also stated that not far from the same spot, his father had wit- nessed many years before the opening of another cist, the interior of which w r as quite free from earth. Its only contents were a skeleton in a bent condition and an urn, and its floor was. described as having been formed of small variously-shaped stones nicely fitted together. Mr Taylor further expressed his belief that more antiquities of the same kind might yet be met with in the neighbourhood, as in certain places the ploughshare occasionally encountered large stones, which the generally fine-grained nature both of the soil and sub- soil led him to think were foreign to them. Captain Stewart fully sympathised with my anxiety to make some further explorations, but the fields where they were supposed to be were then under crop, and this of course prevented any effectual search being made for them on that occasion. The same obstacle presented itself 139 during several subsequent visits to the locality ; but in the course of the year 1S51 we were more fortunate, having succeeded in exposing three cists for the first time, as well as had an opportunity of inspecting two others which had been previously examined. All the relics found that were of any interest have been already presented to the Society by Captain Stewart and myself, and I have now the honour of communicating a notice of the observations made during their disinterment. On the 21st May 1S51, I accompanied Captain Stewart to Lesmurdie, and we were not sorry to learn from Mr Taylor, senior, that the plough was then at work in the field where he had seen the cist before-mentioned. The tenant of the farm, to whom we trusted for information as to the probable situation of the sepulchres, was from home ; but on going to the field his son pointed out a stone which the plough had struck upon a day or two before, and which he felt pretty sure was an indication of the existence of what we were in search of (Cist A) . After removing a quantity of earth mixed with stones of various sizes, an irregularly-shaped slab of mica-slate was exposed at a depth of about one foot eight inches from the surface of the ground. It lay horizontally, and measured about four-and- a-half-feet in length by two-and-a-half in breadth. On rais- ing the somewhat ponderous mass, we saw the upper edges of the side stones of the chamber, which appeared to be completely filled with firmly packed dark-brown earth, similar to the soil of the field, and shewing two runs of a mole on its surface. In removing this earth, it was found to be only superficial, the greater part of the cavity being occupied by a yellow micaceous sand containing a few pebbles, and identical in character with the arenaceous deposit out of which the tomb was excavated. The vertical walls of the cist were arranged in a nearly rectangular form and composed of five slabs of mica-slate, two having been used for the longer sides. Its direction was nearly north- east by south-west, and it measured internally about three feet two inches in length, two feet in breadth, and one foot eight inches in depth. All the joinings of the various stones were carefully plastered with loam, evidently as a pre- caution against the intrusion of rain-water. The floor was paved with small stones, but the greater part of it was 140 inadvertently broken up before we were aware of its nature. On searching among the sand we found portions of bones in so decayed a state, however, as to be readily reduced to a sort of dryish paste on compressing them between the finger and thumb. From their condition it was evident that they must entirely disappear with the lapse of time ; and although at first somewhat annoyed that none of them should be fit for preservation, I was in some measure con- soled at finding a satisfactory explanation of the total ab- sence of osseous remains, as well as of all trace of increma- tion, in several cairns which I had explored on the Brown Muir, near Elgin. Portions of what appeared to have been teeth were met with at the south-west end of the chamber, and near them a rudely but profusely ornamented urn lying on its side, and filled with the same materials as the lower part of the cist was. The urn is now in the Museum of the Society and is figured here. (See Woodcut, fig. 2.) Cist B. — On the following day we returned to the ground, and found that our active assistants had already exposed the roof of a second cist, some of the stones of which had been come upon in digging a pit for storing potatoes. The grave in this case was larger than that just described. Its lid was formed of two massive pieces of mica-slate; over the junction of these was another slab, and on each side of it a smaller one. Through the chink of the lid we saw that the chamber was not full, and almost ven- tured to hope that, on raising it, we might behold the skeleton and its accompaniments in the same state as those which Mr Taylor, senior, had told us of. But we were dis- appointed, as about three- fourths of the cavity were found to be occupied by a mass of earth and sand, which reached the roof on the south-eastern side, and sloping downwards to the opposite one, left the rim of an urn exposed to view at the northern angle of the chamber. The lid of the cist was about two-and-a-half feet from the surface of the ground, and the longer axis of the chamber lay nearly NNE. by SSW. Four slabs of mica-slate formed its sides, the longer pair measuring three feet eight inches horizon- tally, one of the others two feet four inches, and the re- maining one two feet. All the joinings of these stones were daubed with loam, as in the previous example. The depth of the chamber was two feet, and its floor was neatly paved HI with small flattish water-worn stones, such as are found along the margin of the adjoining river Deveron. From the careful way in which the variously-shaped pieces of the pavement had been adapted to each other, and imbedded in the same kind of loam as was used for closing the crev- ices of the cist, it became evident that considerable pains had been bestowed on the execution of this part of the work. The skull, which is now preserved in the Society's Museum, was found at the NNE. end of the chamber, lying on its left side (into which position it must have fallen when its ordinary attachments to the rest of the skeleton gave way) , and with the lower jaw still in its place. It at first appeared to be in a perfect state of pre- servation, but on raising it a softened portion of the lower side remained behind. The upper side of the skull, where the earth only came in contact with one surface of the bone (and where, therefore, the moisture was less) , was but little changed from its natural condition. The teeth, incisors as well as molars, were much worn but all were sound; and although some of them now happen to be amissing, the whole were in their sockets when disinterred. A tibia and part of a humerus, both of the right side, were the only other bones that were found in a state for removal, and they are of little interest, further than shewing, con- trary to the vulgar opinion, that the stature of these ancient inhabitants of Scotland did not surpass that of their modern representatives. The urn (Fig. 3) stood up- right on the right hand side of the skeleton. Its height is 7f inches, and both in shape and style of ornamentation it strongly resembles one from Ratho, preserved in the Museum of the Society, although the latter contained ashes and human bones. After securing the relics that have been mentioned, and when about to leave the cist as fully explored, Mr W. Taylor discovered, in a little mass of sand that had been left near the spot on which the urn stood, three chips of flint and some minute fragments of a dark brown oxide of iron: the latter, exhibiting a peculiar fibrous structure on their surfaces, were also presented with the urns to the Society's collection. The flints were cemented together by a ferruginous concretion of sand, the greater part of which was thoughtlessly destroyed in attempting to free 142 :ones from the extraneous matter. A small remnant of the agglutinated sand is still, however, attached to the surfaces of the flints; but as I shall have occasion to refer particularly to these traces of iron before concluding this paper, I postpone any further notice of them at pre- sent. We next proceeded to re-open the cist which Mr r, senior, had described to us, and as it was very :he surface — so near indeed as to prevent the tillage the soil above it — the lid was speedily rais-. The direction of the sepulchre was nearly the same as those of thers, and it lay almost in a straight line between them, at the distance of three yards from the first and of five yards from the second. It had been opened more than once, and was full of earth, among which we found frag- - of a large urn and some bones. Of the skull, nearly the whole of the frontal and a portion of the right parietal aether with the anterior part of the lower jaw, were met with. The cranium is of unusual thickness, and the incisors do not exhibit those flatly-worn surfaces so usually observable in teeth from cists. The upper portion of the right femur is of the usual size, but the humerus of the same side is diminutive. Cist D. — On the iSth August of the some year, Captain art observed the edge of a flat stone projecting from a bank, where it had been exposed owing to the earth which originally covered it having been carried away during a of the rivulet below. The chamber in this instance round to be larger than any of the others that we had seen, very rudely constructed, and filled with earth, the surface of which was marked by several mole runs. The direction of the cist was about north-east by north by south-west by south, and it measured four feet four inches in length. Its greatest breadth was two feet four inches. The north-east end was composed of two slabs, of nearly equal size, and the north-west side also of two, but not joined in a straight line. At the south-west end four rough stones were laid one upon another, and five others were similarly employed to connect these with the south-east side, which was, as usual, made of a single slab. At the noith-east end we found an urn ornamented like the others, but displaying less skill on the part of its artificer, which 143 is shewn in Fig. i of woodcut. The vessel stood just at the junction of the two slabs already mentioned, and had been shattered by the shifting of one of them. The floor of this cist differed from the others in being unpaved. After a very careful search, no traces of bones could be discovered ; and as the position of the urn shews that the trunk of the corpse could not have rested at the north- end of the chamber, and it is not likely that it would have been placed against the rough stones at the other extre- mity, I am disposed to look upon the cist as a cenotaph, constructed in honour of the manes of some one whose body could not be recovered for the performance of the usual rites of sepultre. A few yards from this last sepulchre, and between it and the others, we found the remains of a fifth one ; but beyond an addition to the number discov e and shewing apparently that the arrangement of the graves was intended to be rectilineal, it presented nothing worthy of notice. There were no superficial eminences, neither burrows nor cairns, to indicate the position of any of the cists. On the contrary, indeed, the ground seems to have been caie- fully levelled over them, with a view probably to prevent their detection and the risk of the disinterment of the ased. In direction the sepulchres varied only a few degrees, and they may be generally described as lying north-east by south-west. They differed considerably in size, but with one exception (Cist D.) where some of the side walls were formed of stones laid one upon another, and there was no pavement, their structure was similar. There cannot be a doubt that, as in the instance so often referred to as having been observed by Mr Taylor, senior, the bodies, along with the urns, &c, had been originally deposited in empty cham- bers, the sand and earth found in the other cists having been introduced subsequently, partly carried along with the percolating atmospheric waters, and partly cast in by the workings of moles. In the only two cases in which we found osseous relics, the head had in the one been placed at the north-east, and in the other apparently at the south-west end of the chamber, so that there seems to have been no uniformity of practice in this respect. The contents of the urns were most carefully examined. 144 and were found to consist of nothing but the same mic- aceous sand as occupied the lower part of the chambers. There was not the slightest discolouration of the sand at the bottom of the vessels, and this would certainly not have happened had they been deposited with any solid pro- visions in them. Even supposing that mice or other vermin had devoured the food, there would still have been evidence of the fact in the stains resulting from the excrements which such creatures invariably leave behind them ; and as noth- ing of the kind existed, it may be concluded either that the urns had been empty when interred, which is very un- likely, or that they had contained water or other beverage for the use of the departed. In describing the second (Cist B.) I mentioned the occurrence of chips of flint held together by a ferruginous concretion of sand, and of fragments of oxide of iron, with a fibrous surface in contact w T ith them. Mr W. Taylor, who found these relics, was happily quite unbiassed by any knowledge of the Copenhagen theory of periods., and per- sisted in his investigations after I felt perfectly satisfied that we had seen all that could be worthy of inspection. There was no appearance of iron in the sand of any other part of the cist, although I scrupulously examined it im- mediately after the flints were found; and notwithstanding that such flints are usually supposed to belong to the stone period, I have no hesitation, from the appearances which came under my notice, in expressing a conviction that the flints were originally accompanied by a steel (iron?) and tinder ; the decomposition of the former having supplied the latter with its oxide of iron, as well as furnished a cement to the sand which enveloped the whole. There can be little doubt that sepulchres of very vari- ous dates, and containing the remains of people of very different races and creeds, are included by antiquaries under the general denomination of primaeval cists. Those to which this paper refers may, I think, be characterized as follows : — Cist without any superficial mound, either of the nature of burrow or cairn, the chamber about three feet or a little more in length, and containing a single unburnt skeleton, and an urn, either empty (when the cavity happens to be so likewise) , or shewing by the character of its contents that it had not when first deposited held 145 any solid matter ; with or without chips of flint and traces of iron in their vicinity; with or without ornaments of jet, or other similar mineral; but without weapons. Cists of this very peculiar class have been found in con- siderable numbers in dry, generally somewhat elevated spots, all along the eastern coast of Scotland, and they have also occurred, although apparently in fewer numbers, on its western side. They are far from rare in some parts of Germany, and indeed the figure of one at Rossleben, in Prussian Saxony, in Prof. Kruse's Deutsche Alterthiimer (B. ii Heft. 2 Tab. i; fig. 5) might, except that the floor, like the other side's, is formed of slabs of stone, and that the urn is different, very well serve as an illustration of some of those at Lesmurdie. Similar cists appear to have been found in England, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and in various others of the northern states of Europe; but there is too often such a want of precision in the published accounts of these antiquities, that it seems premature to them, although they may, I think, be pretty safely re- garded as Teutonic. As to the absolute, or even the com- parative date of the mode of sepultre referred to, little can be said ; but its era must, at all events, be advanced from the so-called Stone Period to the so-called Iron Period. Whether it was practised during the earlier or the more advanced ages of the latter is also quite uncertain ; it seems, however, very unlikely, from the elaborate character of the work expended on the cists, and the infinite variety of the ornaments sculptured on the urns, that such a custom could either have been invented, or carried into execution, by a very rude or uncultivated people. My own impression is that the antiquity of these sepulchres has been very much over-estimated. (The skull found in cist B is rather well-formed, large, full, and rounded; broader posteriorly, rather flattened at the junction of the occipital and parietal bones; but these last are unsymmetrical, the left parietal bone projecting more backwards than the right) . 146 ACCOUNT OF THE OPENING OF AN ANCIENT CIST IN THE PARISH OF CABRACH, ABERDEENSHIRE. By the Rev. John Christie, Kildrummie, Aberdeenshire. The cist was discovered while excavating in a field for building sand. It was situated on a grass-covered slope, declining with a north-eastern exposure towards the banks of the Deveron. There was no tumulus nor any apparent mark of its existence above ground. Some years ago another cist was discovered close by it in a line towards the south-west. It contained bones and an urn (a sketch of which was exhibited) . Numerous other cists have been found in the same field, containing urns and bones, generally in a good state of preservation. Great care was taken in opening the cist. It was about 3 feet below the surface of the ground to the covering stones. The excavation made in laying down the cist would appear to have been circular ; about 6 feet in diameter. In excavating two stones were first reached, one towards the west 2 feet S inches by 2 feet 6 inches, and the other on the east 1 foot 8 inches by 2 feet 2 inches. They were laid above the ends of the cover of the cist. That cover was 4^ feet in length by 3 feet 7 inches at the broad end, 1 foot at the narrow end, and 2 feet 11 inches about the middle, the whole of an irregular heart shape, ~\ inches thick at the thinnest part, and ioi at the thickest. The cist was formed in the usual manner, with two stones set on edge forming the sides, one at the foot and another at the head. The bottom was paved with one large flat stone irregularly shaped, with smaller ones carefully laid to complete the causewaying. Where the head had rested was a stone, the whole breadth of the cist, raised like a pillow at an angle of about 30 . The dimensions of the cist were 2 feet 4 inches in width by 2 feet 4 inches in depth. The cist contained the remains of a skeleton, lying in a line from east to west, the head being in the east end. Of the skull only one of the parietal bones remained in pre- 147 serration. The skeleton was in a contracted position, as if lying on the left side, with the legs bent upwards, at the knees and thighs, and the arms crossed over the ribs. The bones were so much decayed as not to be removable with- out fracture, but by carefully removing the superincumbent sand which had completely filled the cist by gradual per- colation, most of the bones were uncovered and seen in their original position on the causewayed floor of the The thigh bone measured i foot 5^ inches in extreme length. The cist also contained an urn, lying on its side as if across the neck. It appeared as if it had fallen into that position from the perpendicular, the bottom towards the north ; the bottom of the urn was separated by fracture from the bod}- of it, and lay at a distance of about 2 inches therefrom. It contained one of the pieces of a flint which had been split in two, and a whitish yellow powder, which dyed the part of the pavement on which it had so long rested. The urn when taken out was completely filled with the gravelly sand which had filled the rest of the cist. It broke into several fragments on being lifted, but on being reconstructed was found to be of the following dimensions, 8^ inches high, circumference at the top 21 inches, at the contraction 19 inches. (A sketch of the natural size was exhibited.) In excavating to come at the cover of the cist, some pieces of charcoal were found. Some were also found near the skeleton in the cist. It is reported also that on after- wards lifting the flag with which the bottom was paved considerable quantities of charcoal were found. Some re- mains of a darkish fibrous-looking substance like dry were also found beside and under the remains of the : What it had been, whether hair, wool, or vegetable matter, could not be discovered. Mr Shand, the farmer in Forteith, deserves great credit for having left the cist untouched after discovering it, until it should be carefully opened and examined. There were present at the opening of it, Dr Taylor, Leochel Cushnie; Mr Smart, minister of Cabrach ; and Mr Christie, minister of Kildrummie. The urn taken from the cist formerly opened close by it is in the possession of Mr 148 Taylor, Boghead of Lesmurdie. Its dimensions are 6f inches high, diameter of the mouth 6J inches, of the bottom 317 inches, and circumference of the narrowest part iq inches. III AA 000 908 830 ■:' ; v ■.'■■' H s . ,.\..> . , V.