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THE 



CELTIC MAGAZINE 

Jl Jflt 



DEVOTED TO THE 



LITERATURE, HISTORY, ANTIQUITIES, 
FOLK LORE, TRADITIONS, 



AND THE 



SOCIAL AND MATERIAL INTERESTS OF THE CELT 
AT HOME AND ABROAD. 



CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A, SCOT,, 

Author of " The History and Genealogies of the Clan Mackenzie" ; " The History of 

the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles"; " The History of the Camcrons" ; " The 

History of the Mathesons" ; <( The Prophecies of the Brahan Seer" ; " The 

Historical Tales and Legends of the Highlands"; " The History of the 

Highland Clearances" ; " The Social State of the Isle of Skye in 

1882-83"; &c. t &c. 



VOL. X, 



INVERNESS : A. & W. MACKENZIE, 474 HIGH STREET. 



1885. 
All Rights Reserved, 



INVERNESS : PRINTED AT THE COURIER OFFICE. 



DA 

750 
10 



v. 



LIBRARY 

728817 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

The Lovat Peerage Case. The Editor ... ... ... ... ... 1 and 468 

The Author of "Literary Notes " on the Celtic Magazine ... 

The Siege of the Bass. M. A. Rose ... ... ... ... ... 10 

Sutherland Fights. By D. Macleod, M.A. I. Tuiteam Tarbhach ... 

II. Druim-na-coub ... ... 15 

III. Fiscary (1196) 122 

IV. Leathad Riabhach (1601) ... 123 

A Lost Gaelic Dictionary ... ... ... ... ... ... 16 and 56 

Ireland and the Irish Land Act, from a Highland Point of View. By A.M. ... 17 and 57 

Highland Soldiers in France. By E.S.M. ... ... ... ... 28 

Queen Mary's Visit to Inverness. H.R.M. ... ... ... ... 36 

Badges of the Highland Clans ... 

Eraser-Mackintosh, M.P., and the Duke of Argyll ... ... ... 42 

The Munros of Milntown. By Alexander Ross ... ... 49, 103, 151, and 230 

The Rev. Father Alexander Cameron, son of Lochiel ... ... .. 65 

The History of the Camerous, Literary Notes, by the Rev. W. H. Wyllie ... 66 

Major John Macdonald His Autobiography. M. A. Rose 67, 113, 173, and 219 

The Battle of Bannockburn. By John Mackintosh ... ... ... 79 

The Expedition of Police to the Isle of Skye ... ... ... ... 81 

Sir W. Vernon Harcourt, M.P. on the State of the Highlands and Islands ... 93 

Old Inverness. By Hector Rose Mackenzie ... ... ... 125, 158, and 209 

The Glasgow Skye Association ... ... ... ... ... ... 133 

Mr Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P., on Stocking New and Enlarged Crofts ... 134 

Speech by the Rev. Angus Maciver ... ... ... ... ... 138 

" Punch " on Highland Land Law Reform .. ... ... ... 141 

The Marquis of Lome and the Land Agitation in the Highlands ... ... 142 

St Kilda, or Hirta. By Alexander Ross, F.G.S. ... ... ... ... 147 

The Homology of Economic Justice A Review ... ... ... ... 182 

Meeting of Highland Proprietors at Inverness ... ... ... ... 191 

The Gaelic Society of Inverness Annual Dinner Speeches by Lochiel, M.P., 

Sir Kenneth Mackenaie, and others ... ... ... ... 192 

Terrorism in Skye Sheriff Ivory's Latest Folly ... ... ... ... 203 

Death of Cluny Macpherson, C.B. ... ... ... ... ... 208 

Landlord Resolutions at Inverness. A.M. ... ... ... ... 228 

" Nether-Lochaber," LL.D. ... ... ... ... ... ... 229 

Death of Mr John A. Cameron, War Correspondent ... ... ... 238 

The Estate and People of Kilmuir. By the Rev. Jas. M. Davidson ... 240 

From Illinois to the Pacific Coast ; Reminiscences by an American Highlander 243 

A Scottish-American Bill of Fare ... ... ... ... ... 246 

Croft v. Large Farm Rents ia Sutherlandshire. By John Mackay, C.E. ... 247 

"The Crofters' Gathei ing" ... ... ... ... ... ... 248 

Death of John F. Campbell of Islay ... ... ... ... ... 249 

Death of Mr Walter Carruthers of the Inverness Courier ... ... 250 

Death of General Grant's Uncle ... ... ... ... ... 250 

The Future of the Gaelic Language. By John Macarthur ... 251 and 299 

Early History and Inhabitants of Scotland. --By Provost Macandrew 257 and 306 

Ancient Alliance between Scotland and France. M. A. Rose ... 265, 330, and 355 

Land Courts and Highland Sheriffs ... ... ... ... ... 273 

The Trial of the Lewis Crofters ... ... ... ... ... .'.'. 275 

Major Stewart of Tigh'n-duin on Crofters and Sheriffs ... ... ... 278 

The Munros of Pittonachy. By Alexander Ross ... ... ... 279 

Lord Napier and the Duke of Argyll ... ... ... ... .")] 287 

The Scottish Highlanders and the Land Laws A Review ... ... ... 294 

Capabilities of Small Tenants in the Highlands ... ... ... 305 

Educational Power of Gaelic Poetry. By Mary Mackellar ... 313 

Macdonald of Skaebost on the Landlord Conference at Inverness 320 

The Other Side. By A.M 324 

Sheriff Ivory's Mountain and his Mice Trial of the Men of Glendale and Valtos 326 

The Frasers of Fairfield, Inverness. C. Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P. 

" The Celtic Garland " ... ... .. ... ... 340 

The Land Reform Movement in Skye. Rev. James M. Davidson ... 341 
Some Unpublished Letters of Simon Lord Lovat 1739-1743. By C Fraser- 

Mackintosh, M.P. ... ... ... ... ... 347 

Fassiefern's Foster-Brother and the Frenchman ... . ' 354 

King Robert Bruce : his Footprints in the Highland?. By Coire'n-t'-sith ... 361 



iv. Contents. 

PAGK 

American Sympathy for the Highland Crofters ... ... ... ... 371 

Wire Fencing in the Highlands. W. J. Smith ... ... ... ... 372 

John Mackay, C.E., Hereford ... ... ... ... ... ... 375 

A Minister of the Old School Enforcing the Argument 

An Inverness Templar of Forty Years Ago 

The Crofters' Holdings (Scotland) Bill. A.M. ... ... .... 381 and 399 

Ciiaracteristio Anecdotes of the Highlanders. Hector Rose Mackenzie 388, 427, and 481 

Native Vitality of Crofter Youth 

Macintyre's Gaelic Dictionary ... 

'* Hunter's Illustrated Guide to Perthshire " A Review ... ... ... 406 

" A Candid and Impartial Account of the Behaviour of Simon Lord Lovat " 407 and 461 
The Adventures of Donald Macleod, the Skye Centenarian. M. A. Rose 418 and 447 

A Long Island Witoh. By Mac Iain ... ... ... ... ... 433 

The Scottish Land League of America ... ... ... ... ... 435 

The Inverness Burgh Guard in the 17th Century ... ... .. ... 440 

Highland Judges and the Gaelic Language 

A Birthday B >ok ; in Gaelic and English A Review ... ... ... 445 

" Mock Legislation for the Crofters" ... ... ... ... ... 446 

Inscriptions in Rodel Churchyard ... ... ... ... ... 471 

Annual Assembly of the Gaelic Society of Inverness Full Report ... ... 472 

Inverness before Railways A Review ... ... ... ... ... 489 

Highland Honours ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 494 

How some Highland Students go to College 

The Munros of Culcairn. By Alex. Ross ... ... ... 495 and 559 

Highland Superstition ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 506 

Highland Fabrics and Dress. By the late John M. Macpherson, Stornoway 507 
Some Notes in Gaelic Bibliography The so-called Waldensian Version of the 

Lord's Prayer. By the Rev. Donald Masson, M.A., M.D. ... ... 512 

The Conflicts of the Clans ... ... ... ... ... 525 and 567 

Sir Charles A. Cameron, F.R.C.S.I. A.M. ... ... ... ... 529 

Secondary E lucation for the Highlands. John Macarthur ... ... 531 

Narrow Escape of Lord Saltoun ... ... ... ... ... 539 

Town Treasurer of Stirling Primitive Book keeping ... ... ... 542 

B>ot- Hill of Scone Curious Custom ... ... ... ... ... 542 

Logierait Marriage Customs in the Olden Times ... ... ... ... 542 

Unpublished Letter of Simon Lord Lovat with Notes Rev. A. Sinclair, M. A. 544 

Donald Macleod, Author of "Gloomy Memories of the Highlands." D. M. 554 

Walter Scott on Highland Evictions " ... ... ... ... ... 556 

The Cummings of Acbadalew By Mary Mackellar ... ... ... 575 

Completion of our Tenth Volume ... ... ... ... ... 577 

'Twixt Ben-Nevis and Glencoe A Review ... ... ... ... 578 

Books Printed in the Irish Character and Language T. B. R. ... ... 584 

Provost Macandrew on Old Inverness ... ... ... ... ... 587 

POETRY. 
There's nae Luck about the House A Translation into Gaelic. By the late 

Rev. Dr Macintyre of Kilmonivaig ... ... ... ... 77 

Tolquhon. By Wra. Allan ... ... ... ... ... ... 167 

Oran Air Ealasaid Chaimbeul.Le Mairi Nic Eclair ... ... ... 218 

The Canadian Highlander. By Chas. Mackay, LL.D. 

A Birthday Greeting. Duncan Macgregor Crerar 

Oran do na Caoirich Mhora. Le Donnachadh Siosal 

Oran. Le Mairi Nic Ealair ... ... ... ... ... ... 359 

Mor, Nighean A' Ghiobarlain ... ... ... ... ... ... 377 

Tuireadh air Cluainidh Mac a-phearsoin. Le Mairi, Nighean Iain Bhain .. 417 

The Old Owl of the Sron, translated by Professor Blackie ... ... ... 519 

Curaha do Ruairidh, Fear Farbrainn ... ... ... ... ... 540 

Glengarry By William Allan ... 

The Queen among the Cows By Mary Mackellar ... ... ... ... 557 

CORRESPONDENCE. 

Locheil on the Loch-Arkaig Clearances ... ... ... ... ... 40 

The Military Expedition to tbe Isle of Skye To Sir W. V. Harcourt, M.P., 

by Alex. Mackenzie ... ... ... ... ... ... 82 

Gaelic Dictionaries. Thos. Stratton, M.D. ... ... ... ... 112 

Two Strathglass Priests. Colin Chisholm ... ... ... ... ' 146 

The Origin of Certain Clan Names. B.H.D. ... ... ... ... 180 

Our Gaelic Bible. K. Corbett ... ... ... ... ... 239 

Lord Napier and the Duke of Argyll. Camus-Mor ... ... ... 328 

General Stewart's " Sketches of the Highlanders. "-Alex. Mackay ... ... 426 



THE 

CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A., Scot. 
No. CIX. NOVEMBER 1884. VOL. X. 

THE LOVAT PEERAGE CASE. 
By the EDITOR. 

THIS case is now in a fair way of being launched in the Law 
Courts. It promises to be very curious and interesting. Recently 
a commission, granted by the Court of Session, on the motion of 
the Claimant, has been taking evidence in Inverness and Beauly 
from persons over seventy years of age, and, as we write, a similar 
commission is doing the same thing in Wales. The London 
Times, in a recent article, called forth by these facts, says that 
" of all those who have sought to prove their right to a title none 
presents a more wonderful story than the Claimant to the Lovat 
peerage and estates. Most contests as to peerages are plain prose 
compared with the singular romance which he unfolds." Having 
broadly stated the claims and contentions of the Claimant, the 
article proceeds " Many strange consequences would follow from 
this narrative if true. One would be that the only Lord Lovat 
known to history the master intriguer, the Mr Facing Bothways, 
who out-manoeuvred himself at last, and lost his head on Tower 
Hill in 1747 was not Lord Lovat, but an impostor, and that the 
rightful bearer of the title was then an obscure Welsh miner. 
The Crown restored the estates to the son of the attainted rebel. 
After his death there were various vicissitudes connected with the 
devoltttion of the estates and the title ; and in 1854 the attainder 
of the famous Simon, Lord Lovat, was removed by an Act of 
Parliament. The general result of the changes is, according to 



2 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

the Claimant, that both the title and estates have been handed 
over to a branch of the family more remotely connected with the 
true stock than the present Claimant Such are the outlines of 
the story which is being investigated at the instance of the Court 
of Session at Amlwch. What element of truth there is in it, 
what legal objections may stand in the way of a claim which has 
its root in far distant events, or how far it is in conflict with the 
decision of the Committee for Privileges as to the Lovat peerage 
claim, need not be discussed. But the whole story is interesting 
as an illustration of the fact that long possession is not a perfect 
security against the title to a great name being called in question." 
Such a claim, whatever may be the ultimate result a claim in 
which a historical Highland title, valuable estates, and varied 
interests are involved, must prove interesting to every Highlander, 
wherever located, and the case has now reached a point at 
which considering the general character of this periodical so 
largely historical and genealogical we shall be expected to 
present the reader with its general outlines, so far as we know 
them, without, of course, at the present stage, indicating any 
opinion on the merits. 

It is unnecessary to go back into the earlier history of the 
Lovat family ; for no differences of opinion or interest arise be- 
tween the parties, so far as we can trace, until the end of the 
seventeenth century, though the present claim to the estates rests 
on a Crown charter, granted to Hugh, fifth Lord Lovat, and his 
heirs male, dated the 26th of March 1539. 

The estates appear, however, to have been held by the 
Frasers at least as early as 1416, when they are found in 
possession of Hugh, first Lord Lovat, who was succeeded by four 
Lords Hugh, in succession, the last of whom obtained charters 
of confirmation from several superiors from whom he held 
portions of his estates, and then, according to a prevalent custom 
of the time, resigned the whole in favour of James V., on the 26th 
of March 1539, receiving from the King, immediately afterwards, 
the charter dated in that year, and already mentioned, by which 
all the land and baronies resigned were united into a free barony, 
to be thereafter called the Barony of Lovat. The destination is 
" to our cousin Hugh, Lord Lovat, and the heirs male of his 
body lawfully begotten or to be begotten, whom failing, to his 



THE LOVAT PEERAGE CASE. 3 

lawful and nearest heirs male whatsoever, bearing the arms, sur- 
name, and crest of Eraser ; whom failing to his heirs whomso- 
ever, in fee and heritage, and free barony for ever." Those 
acquainted with the history of this family of the Erasers are aware 
that on the death of Hugh, eleventh Lord Lovat, without surviv- 
ing male issue, in 1696, his eldest daughter, Amelia, who had 
married Alexander Mackenzie of Prestonhall, secured a decision 
of the Court of Session in her favour, in the absence of any 
appearance on behalf of the male heirs, whereupon she assumed 
the title of Lovat. This decision was afterwards reversed in 
favour of Simon Eraser of Lovat, on the 3Oth of July 1730, as 
heir male, in terms of the charter of 1539. Both the Claimant 
and the present possessor are agreed that the succession is to male 
heirs, otherwise both would have been long ago excluded, and the 
estates and titles would in 1696 have finally gone to the descend- 
ants of Amelia Eraser, wife of Alexander Mackenzie of Prestonhall. 
The next question which arises is, Who was the legitimate 
male heir of Hugh, eleventh Lord Lovat ? Here, again, both 
parties are agreed. Hugh, the ninth Lord, had issue, nine sons, 
(i), Simon, who predeceased his father, at the age of nineteen, 
without issue; (2), Hugh, who succeeded as tenth Baron and whose 
male issue terminated in Hugh, the eleventh Lord Lovat ; (3), 
THOMAS, who, born in 1631, and died in 1697-8, married Sybilla, 
daughter of Macleod of Macleod, with issue, according to the 
family history six sons and several daughters. The issue of the 
ninth Lord, other than the three here named, are admitted on all 
hands to have died young. The third son, Thomas, in 1696, suc- 
ceeded to the title and estates, on the death of his grand-nephew, 
the eleventh Lord. His right to have so succeeded is fully admitted 
by both the Claimant and the present possessor, and the question 
in dispute arises in connection with his issue by Sybilla Macleod 
of Macleod. He died in 1698, having been in possession only two 
years. According to Anderson's History of the family of Lovat, 
he had the following issue : 

1, Alexander [the alleged ancestor of the present Claimant] 

2, Simon^ beheaded on Tower Hill in 1747. 

3, Hugh ; (4), John ; (5), Thomas ; and (6), James ; all of 
whom died unmarried ; (7), Isabel ; (8), Sybilla ; and six others, 
who died in infancy. 



4 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

The same writer, on the authority of Lovat s Memoirs, 
written by Simon himself, says that " in consequence of his 
father's accession to the honours of his race, Simon, the eldest 
surviving son, by the decease of his brother Alexander, who died 
in the 25th year of his age, took upon him the style of Master of 
Lovat " during his father's lifetime. On the death of the latter, 
"Alexander, eldest son of Thomas of Beaufort, had he been 
alive," the same authority informs us, " would now become the 
representative of the family. He predeceased his father," he con- 
tinues, "some time before the year 1692. He seems to have 
been a young man of a daring spirit. When Viscount Dundee 
raised the standard for King James, in 1689, he was one of the 
first to join him. A dispute having arisen at a funeral at Beauly, 
near Inverness, he killed a man, and, dreading the effects of his 
passion, fled to Wales, where he died without issue." The 
authority quoted by Mr Anderson for all this is Simon, Lord 
Lovat himself, who, he informs us, "speaks of but his elder 
brother, Alexander, and his younger brother, John," which, he 
continues, " may be attributed to the early deaths of the remain- 
der." There seems to be no doubt at all that Thomas of Beaufort 
had a son Alexander, and that he was the eldest son. If, as has 
always been maintained by the present family and the descend- 
ants of Simon of the 'Forty-five, he died before his father, without 
male issue, there is an end of the contention of the present claim- 
ant, who does not dispute, we believe, the legitimate succes- 
sion of Simon's two sons who ruled in succession at Beaufort 
Castle until his male heirs became extinct, on the death of his 
third son, Colonel Archibald Campbell Eraser of Lovat (who 
survived all the male issue of his marriage), in 1815. When 
Thomas Alexander Eraser of Strichen, father of the present Lord, 
succeeded to the Lovat estates, as the eldest son of Alexander of 
Strichen, he having been served heir of provision and tailzie to 
Colonel Archibald Campbell Eraser, on the 22nd of March 1816; 
and he was served and retoured as heir male of Hugh, fifth Lord 
>vat, on the 3 rd of November 1823, and, at the same time, heir 
lc of Thomas Eraser of Beaufort. He was afterwards, in 1 837, 
Lord Lovat, in the peerage of the United Kingdom, and, 
m 1857, the old Scottish title was restored to him by Act of 
Parliament, dated the loth of July, in that year. 



THE LOVAT PEERAGE CASE. 5 

The legitimate male descent of the present Lord from Thomas 
Fraser of Knockie and Strichen, second son of Hugh, sixth Lord 
Lovat, and brother of Hugh, seventh Lord, is not, we believe, 
disputed by the Claimant, whose whole contention rests on his own 
claim of legitimate male descent from Alexander, eldest son of, 
T-U-nas of Beaufort, and elder brother of Simon, Lord Lovat 
of the 'Forty-five. If this claim can be established, it will, it is 
maintained on high legal authority, exclude the right of succes- 
sion of Simon and his descendants altogether, as well as that of 
the present family, apart from the deed of entail executed by 
Colonel Archibald Fraser ; for they are admittedly descended 
from a more remote progenitor than either the Claimant's alleged 
ancestor or that of Lord Simon. 

There are, however, questions of law and of prescription in- 
volved, in connection with that deed of entail which it may be 
difficult or, perhaps, impossible to get over, even if the present 
Claimant, JOHN FRASER, MOUNT PLEASANT, CARNARVON, could 
establish, to the entire satisfaction of the House of Lords, his 
descent from Alexander, eldest son of Thomas Fraser of Beaufort, 
Lord of Lovat, and who fled to Wales about 1692, which he claims. 
The traditional account of this escapade, as we have always 
heard it repeated, is to the following effect: Alexander 
Fraser, younger of Lovat, turned up at a wedding in Beauly, 
whether accidentally or not is not recorded. He was dressed in 
the Highland garb, with, among others, the usual accompaniments 
of dirk and sgian-dubh. As he entered the dancing apartment 
the piper struck up the popular and well-known tune, "Tha Biodag 
air MacThomais," when one of those present suggested to the 
proud and hot-tempered youth, that this was done by the piper 
as a personal insult to himself. The words of the tune, known 
to every Gaelic-speaking Highlander, are as follows, and well 
calculated to rouse the ire of the young gentleman, if, as he 
thought, they were applied to him as the heir of^Mac Shimidh, 
Lord of Lovat : 

Tha biodag air macTh6mais, 
Tha biodag fhada, mhor, air, 
Tha biodag air macTh6mais, 
Ach 's math a dh' fhoghnadh sgian da. 

Tha biodag anns' a chliobadaich, 
Air mac a bhodaich leibidich, 
Tha biodag anns' a chliobadaich 
Air mac a bhodaich r6maich. 



6 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Lines which may be rendered 

There's a dirk on son of T6mas, 
Dirk long and big moreover, 
There's a dirk on son of T6mas, 
Though well a knife might serve him. 

A dirk is dangling, glistening, 
On son of old man pitiful, 
A dirk hangs dangling, glistening, 
On son of old carle hoary. 

Alexander, son of Thomas of Beaufort, stung to the quick by 
this supposed insult to himself and to his father, drew his dirk 
and stuck it into the bag of the pipes, intending only, it is said, 
to let go the wind, and stop the music ; but the bag offer- 
ing no resistance, the dirk penetrated through it into the body of 
the piper, whose dying groans, mixed with those of his pipes, died 
together. Alexander, horrified at the fatal result of hisrashness, 
fled the country, according to the Claimant, to a small village in 
Wales, where he died in 1776, twenty-nine years after the execu- 
tion of his brother, Simon, on Tower Hill. He arrived first in 
Cardigan Bay, after which he made his way to Powys Castle, the 
seat of the Earl of Powys, where he remained about six weeks, 
when his lordship advised him to go to his lead mines, where 
he would be underground, and completely safe from capture, 
urging, at the same time, that if he were found under his Lord- 
ship's protection, the lives of both would be endangered. Lord 
Powys had, it is said, been Alexander's fellow-student at college, 
and, like him, a supporter of the Stuarts, hence the friendship 
which induced Alexander to make for Powys Castle. After 
keeping in concealment for a long time, travelling from mine to 
mine, in the counties of Brecon, Montgomery, Denbigh, Carnarvon, 
and Anglesey, he married, in the sixty-third year of his age, as 
after stated. The Claimant says that he is ready to prove, by 
legal evidence, that this 

ALEXANDER ERASER OF LOVAT fled to Wales, and there 
married, in the Parish of Llandulas, County of Denbigh, on the 
2nd of March 1738, Elizabeth Edwards, a native of that parish 
with issue, four sons 

JOHN, Simon, William, and Alexander, and that the eldest 
son, John, who died in 1828 at Cerigbleiddiau, in his eighty- 
eighth year, married on the 3rd of October 1773, Mary Griffiths, in 
the parish of Pennynydd, with surviving issue, three sons 

JOHN, Simon, and William, and that the eldest son, John, 



THE LOVAT PEERAGE CASE. 7 

who was baptized on the 6th of August 1780, married on the 4th 
of August 1801, Ann Davies, in the Parish of Llanwenllwyfo, 
and died in June 1857, leaving issue by his marriage, three sons 

JOHN, William, and David, and that the eldest son, John, 
baptized in March 1803, married on the 4th of August 1824, 
Elizabeth Williams, in the Parish of Llanwenllwyfo, and died in 
August 1857, about two months after his father, leaving issue by 
his marriage, four sons 

JOHN ERASER, the present Claimant, born on the i6th of 
April 1825, William, Simon, and David. 

It is contended, if this descent can be legally established, that 
neither Simon of the 'Eorty-five nor any of his descendants had 
ever, at any time, any legal right to the titles or to the estates, 
andthat, although the latter were, in 1774, granted to General 
Simon Eraser, eldest son of Lord Simon, by Act of Parliament, 
a saving clause was inserted, which covers the interests of the 
Claimant. This clause is in the following terms : "Saving to all 
and every person and persons, bodies politic and corporate, his, 
her, and their heirs, successors, executors, and administrates, 
(other than and except the King's Most Excellent Majesty, his 
heirs and successors) all such estates, rights, titles, interests, 
claims, and demands, of, into, and out of the lands, and premises 
to be granted as aforesaid, as they, every, or any of them had 
before the passing of the Act, or should or might have held or 
enjoyed, in case this Act had never been made." 

What effect this saving clause may now have it is impossible 
to say, especially in view of the Act of restoration to Simon, Lord 
Lovat, of the 'Forty-five, and of the prescription, in favour of his 
descendants, which, in ordinary circumstances, would legally 
follow thereon, as far as the Lovat estates are concerned. There 
is also, as regards the lands of Abertarff, the possible prescription 
following on the Deed of Entail by Colonel Archibald, in favour 
of Thomas Alexander Eraser of Strichen, and his heirs, on the 
1 5th of August 1808, though they have only succeeded a few 
months ago, to be overcome. The destination in it is to 
" the nearest legitimate male issue of my ancestor, Hugh, Lord 
Eraser of Lovat, namely, Thomas Alexander Eraser of Strichen, 
or his heirs male, whom failing to, and in favour of the per- 
son who shall be then able to prove himself the chief of the 



8 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Clan Eraser, by legitimate descent from Hugh, first Lord 
Lovat and his heirs male; all and whole the following parts 
and portions of the lands of AbertarfT," etc. This destination is 
afterwards changed in favour of his grandson, the late Thomas 
Frederick Eraser of Abertarff, " whom failing, to the persons 
named as heirs and substitutes in the said deed of entail [first 
quoted] and in the order therein mentioned." The late Abertarff 
died this year [1884] without male issue, and the Court of 
Session has already decided against the claim of Mr Eraser to 
succeed the late proprietor in terms of the above destination. It 
was previously held by the same Court that the late Abertarff 
held the estates, conveyed to him by his grandfather, subject to 
the limitations of an entail, and the Claimant has yet to prove his 
right to succeed to any portion of the property in terms of this 
entail, or at all, whatever he may succeed in doing in the House 
of Lords, in which, we understand, his claim is to be presented 
without delay. 

His case, is in brief, (i) that he is the lawful heir of Alex- 
ander, elder brother of Simon, who was attainted and beheaded 
in 1747 ; (2) that, although Simon took up the estates, he did so 
fraudulently in the full knowledge that his elder brother was 
alive ; and (3) that the existing entail, under which the estates 
are held, was made under essential error, induced by the belief 
that the said Alexander died without issue, and that the family 
named in the entail, and now in possession, are the representa- 
tives of the ancient line of Lovat ; whereas in truth, he contends, 
they are not so, he himself being the rightful representative of 
the ancient line. He is advised that, if he establishes these pro- 
positions, or the first two of them, he will succeed in his claim to 
the estates ; and that if he proves the first proposition alone, he 
will establish his right to the Peerage. Prescription may, if he 
cannot prove fraud and essential error, bar his claim to the estates; 
but no prescription can bar his way to the peerage, it being settled 
law that a peerage is right of blood, and that jus sanguinus 
nunquam prescribitur. He is also advised that if fraud is proved 
the estates can be recovered as easily as the title can on his 
proving the identity of the Alexander who fled to Wales with his 
own ancestor, who, he says, he can prove to have been one and the 
same person, and to have lived and died in Wales. The right to 



THE LOVAT PEERAGE CASE. 9 

the title on the part of the descendants of Alexander would not 
be barred or excluded by the lapse of time or the assumption of 
the title by Simon and his descendants lineal or collateral. In 
the circumstances stated, the highest legal authority, one of whom 
held the leading position successfully, in similar cases before 
the House of Lords, declare that "the right of the present Claim- 
ant to the title and all that belongs thereto is indisputable." 
There are, however, a great many " ifs" in the way, and it remains 
to be seen what the final outcome will be. Meanwhile the case 
cannot fail to be interesting, not only to those most immediately 
concerned, but also to a great many other Highlanders. We have 
attempted to present it to the reader as clearly and as fairly as 
possible. The various points in the case are not by any means 
exhausted, and we shall probably return to it at a later stage. 



THE REV. W. HOWIE WYLLIE, author of " Literary Notes" in the Glas- 
gow Daily Mail, makes the following complimentary reference to our labours, in 
the Greenock Telegraph. It is the more gratifying to us as we never had the 
pleasure of making the personal acquaintance of the distinguished Literateur, who is 
good enough to write in such flattering terms. He says : " With this number of 
the Celtic Magazine, its spirited founder and editor closes the ninth volume, and the 
fact is specially worthy of note that no Celtic serial has ever lived so long as this one. 
Not only is it spared to complete its ninth year ; it enters upon the tenth with the 
brightest prospects and an ever-growing success. Mr Mackenzie well merits the dis- 
tinction which the reading public among the Highlanders has thus conferred upon him. 
He has wrought with the finest enthusiasm, and with a taste, skill, and literary dis- 
crimination equal to the spirit of enlightened patriotism by which he has been animated. 
From month to month through all the years that have elapsed since Mr Mackenzie 
entered on his task, we have carefully noted his progress ; and there are few magazine 
sets on the shelves of our library that we value more highly, or more frequently take 

down for re-perusal than the sets of the Celtic Magazine We close 

the number with a feeling of respect and gratitude, and with the hope that Mr Mac- 
kenzie may be spared for many years to continue his excellent work on behalf of the 
literature and social progress of the Highlands." 

THE RHIND LECTURES IN ARCHAEOLOGY. The subject chosen for 
this year's course of Rhind Lectures in Archaeology is "Early Celtic Monumental 
Inscriptions the Ogham," and the lecturer is Sir Samuel Ferguson. The subject of 
the lectures is alike important and interesting. 

Mr Henry White (" Fionn "), Glasgow, is preparing for publication a new and 
improved edition of his collection of Gaelic Readings, Songs and Recitations, the 
"Celtic Garland," and a second part of the "Celtic Lyre," a collection of Gaelic 
songs with music. 



,0 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

THE SIEGE OF THE BASS. 



SOME two miles from Edinburgh, in the midst of the stormy 
waters of the Firth of Forth, is a small rocky island, called The 
Bass, which can boast of having during the Revolution of 1688 
held out the longest for the cause of the exiled King James II., 
of any town or fortress in Great Britain. At the commencement 
of hostilities, there was a garrison of 50 men on the island, of 
which Charles Maitland was governor. This gentleman held the 
place against all assaults until 1690, when, his stock of ammuni- 
tion being exhausted, and the provisions running short, he lost 
heart and gave up the island to the Government of William III., 
who appointed Mr Fletcher of Saltoun governor. He, however, 
did not long enjoy his new dignity, for four of the Jacobite 
officers, who were left on the island, concerted together, got their 
men to assist, and by a bold stroke took the Governor prisoner, 
overpowered the soldiers, and regained possession of the island. 
They then sent the Governor and the soldiers ashore to the 
mainland. 

This bold and successful exploit gave the greatest satisfaction 
to all the Jacobites in the district, who took good care that the 
little garrison should not want for either food or ammunition. 
When James, in his retreat of St Germains, heard of it, he was so 
pleased that he dispatched for the use of his faithful adherents a 
French vessel loaded with provisions and stores, as well as two 
boats, one of which was a large twelve-oared one. This latter 
proved a most acceptable present, as it enabled the garrison to 
fetch, under cover of night, the provisions which their friends on 
shore provided for them. The Government, however, soon put a 
stop to this traffic by sending some troops to guard the coast, 
who, on the next occasion of the boat landing on the main- 
land, attacked the crew, and took some of them prisoners, the 
rest managing to escape with their boat. 

Their communication with the land being thus cut off, they 
had to cruise about in their large boat by night, intercepting and 
seizing trading vessels ; and they became so adroit [at ; this kind 
of irregular warfare that no little consternation was caused among 



THE SIEGE OF THE BASS. 11 

the merchants and shipowners. One of the ships thus captured 
by these daring men was laden with salt, which cargo not being 
of much use to them, they allowed the Edinburgh people to ran- 
som at a good price. Another was a Dutch ship, which they 
plundered and allowed to go on its way. They then seized a 
large ship laden with wheat, which they attempted to land on the 
Bass, but the wind proving contrary, the ship and their own boat 
were driven ashore on the coast of Montrose, where they were 
obliged, much against their will, to leave their prize and save 
themselves by hiding their boat and dispersing over the country. 
They soon, however, found an opportunity of meeting, and again 
setting sail, and not wishing to return empty-handed, they steered 
for the Island of May, where they helped themselves to several 
sheep and as much coal as their boat could carry. 

The boldness and dexterity exhibited by this small garrison 
at length roused the Government to take more effectual measures. 
Accordingly two frigates, one of sixty and the other of fifty guns, 
were ordered to regularly besiege the island. For two days these 
frigates fired away without doing any perceptible damage to the 
little rock-bound fortress, secure in its great natural advantages, 
while, on the other hand, the fire from the garrison proved most 
destructive to them, several of the sailors being killed, and the 
frigates so much damaged that they were obliged to give up the 
attack. 

Finding the island to be impregnable, the Government de- 
termined to starve its occupants, so two ships of war were 
stationed in the Firth to watch and prevent either egress or 
ingress to the island. The inhabitants were thus reduced to 
great straits, but still showed no signs of surrendering. 

Their friends were constantly trying to send succour to them, 
and at length a small privateer from Dunkirk, laden with rusk, 
managed to run the blockade. The garrison was, however, so 
reduced in numbers many of them having been either taken 
prisoners or killed during the various skirmishes that they were 
unable to hoist up the rusk from the vessel, and consequently had 
to borrow ten sailors from the ship to help them. In the midst 
of their work, and when only seven bags had been hoisted up, 
one of the Government ships bore down on the privateer, who, to 
prevent being taken, had to cut her cables and make off with all 



THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 



12 

Q ICtlVlIiy LUC SdllV^lO *-!! HIV-. *.->*** "-* J;j 

1 _ i_ x. ii ^.,^. U n -, r t-nfv 4-t*r\ mr\rf* mniith<? tn fill. 

in a 



speed, leaving the sailors on the island. The garrison was 
in a worse plight than ever, having ten more mouths to fill, and 
only a very small addition to their store of provisions. The 
Governor was therefore obliged to put each man on an allowance 
of two ounces of rusk per day. 

Just at this time a Jacobite gentleman of the name of 
Trotter, who had been one of their best friends on the mainland, 
was arrested, tried, and condemned to be hanged for aiding and 
abetting them. On the day appointed for his execution, the 
gibbet was erected either by accident or design at Castletown, in 
view of his friends on The Bass. This so enraged them that 
they determined to avenge his death if possible, so when the un- 
fortunate gentleman was brought out to undergo the last penalty 
of the law, amid the hootings of a large and antagonistic mob, 
they suddenly fired a gun with such unerring aim that it fell right 
in the midst of the crowd, killing some and wounding more. 
This unlocked for attack so terrified the officials in charge of the 
execution, that they hurriedly removed the prisoner and the 
gibbet to a safe distance, and there the dread sentence was 
carried out. 

The brave little garrison was now reduced to such privations 
that they determined to capitulate. Accordingly they hoisted a 
flag of truce, which soon brought one of King William's officers 
to the island, to whom they said they were willing to surrender 
on their own terms. On learning this the Government appointed 
two officers to go to The Bass, see what condition it was in, and 
make the best terms they could with the garrison. These officers 
were received with great state by the Governor of the small 
fortress, who, anticipating some such an event, had, with great 
forethought, preserved a few bottles of wine and brandy and some 
fine biscuits. These refreshments were laid, with much ostentation, 
before the visitors, who were assured by the Governor that the 
garrison was well provided with food, and that he would only 
submit on his own terms. He also caused his men to keep 
marching about all the time the Government officers were on the 
island, thus appearing, disappearing, and then showing themselves 
again in the same places, while dummy figures, made up with 
hats and cloaks hung on muskets, were placed at the windows. 
The ruse succeeded ; the envoys were completely deceived as to 



THE SIEGE OF THE BASS. 13 

the resources of the place, and feeling satisfied that there was no 
lack of men or stores, they determined, to avoid the trouble and 
expense of keeping up the siege, to accede to the terms proposed 
by the wily Governor, which were as follows : 

ist. That the garrison should come ashore with their swords 
about them, and there should be a ship appointed by the Govern- 
ment, with fresh provisions, to transport such of them as were 
willing to go to Dunkirk, or Havre de Grace ; and that in a 
month after the surrender, those who pleased to stay at home 
might live without disturbance. 

2nd. That all they had taken, or what belonged to them 
after they had surprised the place, they should be allowed to dis- 
pose of to the best advantage, together with their boats, and all 
things pertaining to any of them. 

3rd. That such of them as should incline to go abroad, might 
stay in Edinburgh until the ship was ready, without molestation, 
and have so much a day according to their several stations. 

4th. That all who had belonged to the garrison, or had aided 
or assisted it, should have the benefit of the capitulation ; and 
those who were dispersed over the kingdom, should have a time to 
come in ; and those who were condemned in prison, or otherwise 
distressed, should be set at liberty the same day the garrison 
should come ashore, without any fees or other charges whatso- 
ever. 

By this last clause, four of the garrison who had been taken 
prisoners, and lay in prison in Edinburgh under sentence of death, 
viz., Captain Alexander Hallyburton, Captain William Eraser, Mr 
William Witham, and Mr William Nicolson, were set at liberty 
and joined the rest of their comrades ; but what became of them 
afterwards, whether they emigrated to France to share the for- 
tunes of the exiled Prince they had so faithfully served, or whether 
they accepted the inevitable, and settled down in peace under the 
new Government, history does not say. 

M. A. ROSE. 



MR FRASER-MACKINTOSH AND THE DUKE OF ARGYLL. The 
important address delivered by Mr Fraser-Mackintosh to his constituents, at Inverness, 
last month, and from which we quote elsewhere, has been published in pamphlet form, 
with Gaelic translation. Price 2d. , by post 24d. , from the office of the Celtic Magazine. 



1 4 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

SUTHERLAND FIGHTS. 



I. TUITEAM TARBHACH. 

THE " terrable conflict of Tuttim Tarwigh was foughten by the 
inhabitants of Southerland and Strathnaver, against Malcolm 
Macloyd, of the Lewes." It seems that Angus Mackay, of " Far 
in Strathnaver" brother-in-law of Macleod, of Lewis had died, 
leaving his wife and two sons, as well as his property of Strath- 
naver, under the protection of his brother Huistean Dhu Mackay. 
Shortly after Angus Mackay's death, Malcolm Macleod came 
across with a select band of his retainers on a visit to his sister, 
whom he understood to be ill-treated by her new protector. 
While returning home in rather a fierce humour, he ravaged part 
of the Strath and carried away a considerable quantity of spoil. 
Huistean Dhu Mackay and his brother Neil, along with Alexander 
ne-Shrem-Gorm (alias Alexander Murray of Cubin), who had 
been sent to their assistance by Earl Robert of Sutherland, 
followed Macleod " with all speid and overtook him at Tuttim 
Tarwigh upon the merches between Rosse and Southerland." 

" The feight was long, furious, cruell, and doubtfull ; great 
valour was shewn on either syd, rather desperate than resolute. 
At last, violent valour, weill followed with the braive and resolute 
courage of the inhabitants of Southerland and Strathnaver, 
wrought such effect that they recovered the goods and cattell, 
killed all their enemies, together with their commander, Malcolm 
Macloyd, who was called by a by-name, Gilcalm-Beg-M'Bowen. 
Only one man of that pairtie escaped, being grivously wounded. 
Bot how soone he had returned home into the Lewes and had 
declared the wofull calamitie and destruction of his companions 
he died presently ; preserved, as should seem, to report unto his 
countrymen the event of that unfortunate battell. The place of 
this conflict is yit unto this day called Tuttim Tarwigh, which 
signifies a plentiful] fall or slaughter. After this victory Hou- 
cheon Dow Macky and Neil Macky parted from Alexander 
Murray, and everie one returned homeward, so many at least as 
escaped out of the battell" 

Sir Robert Gordon, family historian of the Earls of Suther- 



SUTHERLAND FIGHTS. 15 

land, from whose quaint record we have quoted, assigns no date, 
but from other circumstances we may safely infer that the " ter- 
rable conflict" was fought in one of the early years of the I5th 
century. 

II. DRUIM-NA-COUB. 

ON the further shoulder of the long heather-clad ridge which lies 
beyond Haco's loch, and just underneath the shadows of Ben 
Laoghal's lofty peaks was fought the "cruell conflict of Druim- 
na-coub in the yeir of God 1427, or as some doe write, 1429." 
Burial mounds indicate the place of battle. The combatants 
were mostly of the same clan. Kinsman fought against kinsman, 
and that right bitterly. One man escaped from Tuiteam Tarbh- 
ach, but none of the vanquished survived this field of death to 
tell the tale of slaughter. 

The quarrel originated in an unholy arrangement which Neil 
and Morgan Mackay sons of the Neil of Tuiteam Tarbhach 
had made with Angus Moray of Cubin son of Alexander ne- 
Shrem-Gorm. It happened that Thomas, the brother of Neil 
and Morgan, had been outlawed for burning the chapel of St 
Duffus at Tain, and his confiscated lands were offered by King 
James to any that should either slay or capture him. Angus 
Moray eagerly grasped the opportunity, and secured the assist- 
ance of the two brothers by offering to them his daughters in 
marriage, and promising .his co-operation in gaining for them 
their cousin's property of Strathnaver, to which they pretended 
a title. Thomas, being apprehended, was delivered to the King, 
and executed at Inverness. 

Angus Moray, in fulfilment of his promise to Neil and 
Morgan, gave them his two daughters in marriage, and raising 
a company of Sutherland men, he joined the brothers in their in- 
vasion of Strathnaver. They reached Druim-na-coub without 
opposition. Here they were met by John Aberich, the illegiti- 
mate son of Angus Dhu, who led the Strathnaver men, because 
the old chief was unable, on account of his health, to take the 
command, and the other son was lying a prisoner in the Bass. 
Aberich, in his father's name, was willing to surrender all 
the lands in Strathnaver except Kintail (now in the Parish of 
Tongue), but no compromise could be effected. " Wherupon ther 



16 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

ensued a cruell and sharp conflict, valiantlie fought in a long 
tyme with great slaughter on either syd ; Neill and Morgin trust- 
ing to ther forces; John Aberich reposing his confidence in the 
equitie of his cause, encouraged his men to assult their enemies 
afresh, who with the lyke manhood, made stout resistance ; by 
reasone whereof there ensued such a cruell feight between them, 
that there remayned in the end, verie few alive on either syd. 
John Aberich, seemed to have the victorie, becaus he escaped 
with his lyfT, yet verie sore wounded, and mutelate by the losse of 
one of his armes. His father Angus Dow Macky, being careid 
thither to view the place of conflict, and searching for the corps of 
his unkynd cousins, wes ther slain with an arrow, after the conflict, 
by a Southerland man that wes lurking in a bush hard by. Neill 
and Morgin with there father-in-law Angus Moray, wer slain ; 
and as they had undertaken this interpryse upon ane evill ground, 
so they perished therin accordinglie."* 

It is generally believed that none of the Sutherland men 
(Cattachs) ever returned. We have a tradition that one man 
escaped the battle, but that while crossing the ford between 
Loch-Craggie and Loch-Loyal he met the Strathnaver postman, 
who, on hearing the result of the battle, slew him. 

D. MACLEOD, M.A. 
(To be continued.) 

* In the quotations from Sir Robert Gordon's History, the original spelling is 
retained. The following genealogical tree may be of service in indicating the relation- 
ship of the combatants : 



Angus of Far. 


Huistean Dhu 


Neil. 






1 






1 




Angus Dhu. 




Rorie Gald. 


1 
Thomas. 


! 
Morgan. 


1 
Neil. 


Neill-Bhasse. 













A LOST GAELIC DICTIONARY.-A correspondent would feel obliged to 
any of our readers who would favour him with particulars of a Mr Alexander Robert- 
son, schoolmaster, Kirkmichael, Perthshire, who, in the early years of this century, 
prepared, and announced as ready for publication, a Gaelic Dictionary Was the 

:tionary, or any portion of it, published ? If so, by whom and what came of it ? 

is not mentioned in Reid's Bibliothcca Scoto-Cellica, or in any other work on Gaelic 
literature that has come under our querist's notice. 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT FROM A 
HIGHLAND POINT OF VIEW. 



I. 

IN 1 8/9 I visited the Dominion of Canada, from Cape 
Breton to Lakes Simcoe, Huron, and Erie, to find out, from 
personal observation and inquiry, the actual state of the High- 
landers of Canada, and compare it with the condition of our 
countrymen at home, throughout the various parts of the High- 
lands of Scotland. Similarly anxious to have an accurate idea 
of the condition of the peasantry of Ireland, I resolved last 
month to pay a visit to that country. 

Leaving Inverness by Mr MacBrayne's splendidly equipped 
steamer, the " Gondolier," and proceeding via the Caledonian 
and Crinan Canals to Glasgow, from there I crossed to 
Londonderry by one of Messrs Alexander Laird & Co.'s 
steamers, trading with goods and passengers to most of the 
northern Irish ports, and landed next morning in that celebrated 
town, the leading feature of which is its famous Wall, constructed 
during the Siege of Londonderry, and which encircles all the 
portion of the town then existing. On the top of this thick wall 
is a wide road, in some portions of which two or three carriages 
could drive abreast, but the most of Londonderry being situated 
on a hill, it is, of course, impossible to drive round the wall, as it 
is interspersed at various points with flights of steps. From the 
higher portion a magnificent view is obtained of Loch-Foyle 
and the surrounding district. 

Londonderry is, perhaps, one of the most Orange and 
ultra-Protestant places in Ireland, and I was surprised beyond 
measure to find the large number of people amongst the in- 
habitants who were in favour of the principles of the Irish Land 
League, and in favour of Home Rule. Many who are decidedly 
so cannot afford to express their opinions publicly, nor even to 
many of their own personal friends, for fear of the consequences 
in their business and social relations ; but that the feeling exists 
in a very marked degree is undoubted. 

B 



i8 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Having made a few calls, I proceeded by rail to the West of 
Ireland, along the western banks of the River Foyle, through a 
beautiful, well-cultivated country, passing through the counties 
of Londonderry, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Leitrim, and Sligo. On 
the way, especially as I proceeded westward through the last- 
mentioned two counties, I was particularly struck with the neat 
outward appearance of the houses occupied by the peasantry. 
Here, as in most of the places visited by me in Ireland, there 
were substantially-built stone houses, with stone gables and a 
chimney in each, or occasionally in the centre of the dwelling. 
It was a pleasing picture, and being well-acquainted, as I am, 
with almost every portion of the Scottish Highlands occupied 
by the crofting classes, I was not a little surprised to see the 
superiority, as far as outward appearance went, of the corre- 
sponding classes in the North and North-west of Ireland. I 
attributed all this, however, to the fact that I was still in a 
portion of the country prosperous above the average, and that I 
was only as yet on my way to the poorer districts, which, from what 
I read of the poverty-stricken state of Ireland, must be much 
worse than anything with which I was acquainted in my own 
country. But that state of things I have not met with, as I 
shall show more in detail by and bye, though I have driven over 
the most of one of the largest counties in Ireland, and a county 
by common consent, declared to be, taking it altogether, the 
poorest county in the whole island. 

The town of Sligo, at which I arrived the same afternoon, is 

a beautifully situated little town on the Bay of the same name 

s notorious in the history of politics as being one of the 

;ent disfranchised burghs in Ireland, on account of corrupt 

practices at elections, and also as being the capital of the county 

represented in Parliament by Mr Sexton, the first orator of the 

e party in the House of Commons. 

Within two miles of Sligo is Loch-Gill, which is reached by 

i boat on the river. The lake itself is about five miles in length, 

by about two in breadth, surrounded by hills of no great altitude 

m many parts beautifully wooded. In the lake itself there 

upwards of twenty islands, most of them covered with trees. 

aHed D p ^ * * P int n the n rth side of the lake, 

called Dooney Rock. A short walk from this takes us to the top 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT. 19 

of an elevated point projecting into the lake, from which a beauti- 
ful picture is obtained of the whole lake and its surroundings. 
The boatman, Dominick Gallagher, is an intelligent and agree- 
able fellow, but I would strongly recommend parties going to 
visit the lake to insist upon his taking a substantial boat, and 
not to accompany him in one of those slender craft which he 
naturally prefers taking, for its good rowing qualities, but which, 
in the event of a breeze rising, are not safe on this loch ; and we 
were told that no end of accidents have occurred upon it, though 
not under the guidance of our Dominick. 

The leading feature for the antiquarian in the town of Sligo 
is the splendid ruin of the Abbey, founded in 1252, by Maurice 
Fitz-Gerald, Lord Justice of Ireland. It was burnt in 1414, but 
soon afterwards re-built. There is still an altar of carved stone, 
and the choir has a beautiful Gothic window, still very perfect 
The steeple is entire, and is supported by a lofty arch. There 
are several vaults throughout the ruins, containing the remains 
of skulls, bones, and coffins. The Abbey is still used as a Roman 
Catholic burial-place. The only other sight which interested me 
in Sligo was the regiments of donkeys which appeared in the 
principal streets of the town, with huge loads of hay on their 
backs, or rather the full length of their bodies, literally burying 
them out of sight, not an inch of them being seen except a very 
small portion of their heads, their legs, and the tips of their tails, 
it being scarcely possible to distinguish the latter from the former. 

Next day I proceeded to Ballina, a distance of thirty-seven 
miles, by what is known as a " long car," in contradistinction to 
the ordinary jaunting car, driven by three horses. The long car 
does duty in Ireland for the public coach in this country, and 
carries a large number of people, while the ordinary jaunting car 
is seated only for four persons, two on each side, and the driver. 
The first few miles of the drive are interesting and pleasant. A 
few miles on, we pass through the village of Ballysadare, situated 
at the foot of the Lurgan Hills, a prominent range. Through it 
passes the Owenmore, a fine river, which falls into a pretty 
bay of the sea, over a series of rocky ledges, forming a succession 
of beautiful rapids. On this river there are several large mills ; and 
on the west side, the ruins of the Abbey of St Fechin, overlook- 
ing the rapids and the village. The drive is continued through 



20 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

a somewhat interesting country, occupied mainly by small ten- 
ants, with neat, stone-built, white-washed cottages, surrounded by 
somewhat rugged and stony plots of land, almost in all cases 
walled into small parks or enclosures. On the left is a range of 
hills rising to a height of over 1000 feet above the level of the sea, 
while, on the right, we have the open ocean. The latter half of the 
drive from Dromore to Ballina is flat, boggy, and generally un- 
attractive. For the first half of the distance I had, sitting beside 
me, a lady and her daughter, whom I found most civil and com- 
municative, particularly on the subject of the Irish Land Act, 
and its effect upon the landowning classes in Ireland. She was 
a widow, whose husband had bought two properties from the 
Landed Estate Courts, and who, before he died, made provision 
for three out of four sons, and his only daughter, by which they 
were to receive so many thousand pounds each out of the estates, 
the eldest son to succeed and to provide these portions to his 
brothers and sister when they came of age. According to the 
value of the property then, and the rents received, the eldest son, 
the father thought, was liberally provided for, but the reductions 
made by the Land Court, under the provisions of the Irish Land 
Act, reduced the rents, in some cases ten, in others twenty-five, 
and in some thirty per cent, proportionally reducing the value of 
the estates themselves, so that by the time the younger members 
the family are provided for, the eldest son will be worse off 
than with nothing at all. This I found to be only a specimen of 
numerous other cases throughout Ireland, in many instances fur- 
ther intensified in the cases of mortgaged estates by the action 
nghsh and Scotch money-lenders who now insist upon the 
lortgages being paid off, or the estates forced, and sold in the 
open market at whatever price can be got for them ; and there 
is a general feeling among the landowning classes that an Act, 
: vhic h made such a state of things possible, ought, at the same time 
to have provided machinery to reduce the portions of younge 
members and relatives of the families affected by it, in proportfon 
to the reduction made in the heritable estates under the Ac 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT. 21 

members of the family might be got to agree to a proportionate 
reduction of their claims, but by the time they all come of age, 
and provision has to be made for them, it will usually be found 
that the oldest of them have started in life with interests of their 
own, and will be found unwilling to forego their legal rights; and, 
while any members of the family are under age, it is impossible, 
of course, to give legal effect to what their better nature prompts 
them to do. 

In course of the last nine or ten miles of the journey, I was 
struck, for the first time, with the peculiarity of the arable portion 
of the land, and the situation of the houses among the extensive 
bogs or mosses, extending on either side of the road. The bog 
had been cut away in years past for peat or turf, and the por- 
tions thus cleared of the boggy surface brought under cultiva- 
tion. In the distance nothing could be seen of the houses except 
the roofs, the walls being sunk in the mossy wilderness, but as we 
approached them their whitewashed walls appeared on the lower 
level. It did seem cruel that the poor people, who reclaimed 
these plots in such a manner from the endless bog, should have 
been rack-rented by landlords who never expended a single 
farthing or an hour's labour on their reclamation, and it was 
gratifying to know that, by the Irish Land Act, such appropria- 
tion of the result of other people's labour was for ever made impos- 
sible in Ireland, and that whatever energy is put forth, and what- 
ever results may be obtained, will in future be the undisputed 
and absolute property of those who make the improvements. 
This feeling of security has already given rise to an active indus- 
trial spirit throughout many parts of Ireland, and this will 
increase year by year as the people realise that the result of their 
labour will in future be secured to themselves and their descend- 
ants. 

It was dark before we arrived at Ballina, the capital of the 
County of Mayo, beautifully situated on the Moy, about five 
miles from the junction of that river with the Bay of Killala. It 
has a population of over 5000, and it has several good build- 
ings, including some fine shops and banks, but the streets do not 
appear to be much looked after, and are generally dirty. The 
tide flows up to the town, but the river is only navigable to the 
quay, situated about a mile-and-a-half below, It is a favourite 



22 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

resort of anglers, who find magnificent sport in the river and the 
neighbouring lakes. The town was entered by the French in 
1798, driving out the Loyalists, who retreated about eight miles 
into the country. They were, however, forced to leave the 
town about three weeks after by General Trench, and ultimately 
driven to their ships in the Bay of Killala, or drowned in cross- 
ing the river. I was met on my arrival at the Post-office by a 
gentleman, in whose veins runs the best blood of the High- 
land chiefs, and was at once driven to his residence on the out- 
skirts of the town, where I was hospitably entertained by himself 
and his amiable consort. 

I had previously been informed that some portions of the 
County of Donegal, the district of Connemara, and County Mayo, 
were the poorest portions of the country ; and that the latter 
county, taking it all in all, was fairly representative of the popula- 
tion of the poorest of the Irish counties the poorest in Ireland. 
I therefore thought it the most suitable for comparison with the 
state of the poorest portions of our own Highlands, and first-class 
means of locomotion having been placed at my disposal by my 
Highland friend, in the shape of a carriage and a splendid pair of 
thoroughbred horses, I determined to explore it as much as I 
could during the week which I was able to devote to observation 
and inquiry among the people of Mayo. I was told that I was 
within a few miles of a celebrated district that in which the flag 
of the Irish National Land League was first unfurled by Michael 
Davitt, and I resolved that to this place I should pay my first 
visit. Accordingly, I drove some twenty miles into the country, 
to within a short distance of a place called Swineford, then 
crossed the country about four miles westward, driving back, 
through the parish of Straide and the town of Foxford, to 
Ballina. In this district was pointed out to me the house wherein 
was born the notorious Sheridan, and where his mother and 
brothers still reside. The place was described as a " warm " one 
by the serjeant of police whom I found in charge of a newly-con- 
structed police barrack at a place called Bohola. A great portion 
of this district, especially on the way out to Swineford, was, 
.vhere it was not boggy, rugged and stony, and had all the ap- 
pearance of its being hard work to extract a livelihood from the 
land; yet the houses bore an outward appearance of comfort and 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT. 23 

prosperity, out of all comparison with the corresponding classes 
in the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland. One thing was 
noticeable here, as, indeed, it was almost everywhere I went to, 
that whatever arable land existed was mainly in possession of 
the people, with an occasional large grazing or arable farm among 
the smaller ones, to indicate a gradation in the holdings, and 
as an object of ambition to the smaller occupants. This district, 
the birthplace of Michael Davitt, the founder of the Irish Land 
League, has now become interesting to the whole British people, 
whether they approve or disapprove of his conduct or of the 
principles which he so ably advocates, and there are incidents in 
connection with his childhood which should teach a wholesome 
lesson to evicting landlords throughout the United Kingdom. 
Here, in the parish of Straide, he was born in the year 1846. 
Four years after, the unpretentious home in which he first saw 
the light, was brought down about his ears, and the whole of his 
family were thrown upon the roadside to live or die, for all the 
evicting landlord cared ; but, unluckily for Irish landlordism, 
young Davitt did not die, and the cruelly evicted child, turned 
out in the winter's snow with his parents, his brothers, and sisters, 
returned to the site of his father's humble home on the 1st of 
February 1880, and, from a platform erected over the ruins of 
his father's homestead, he proclaimed, for the first time, the 
principles of the Irish Land League, which have since pro- 
duced a total revolution in the relations of landlord and tenant 
in Ireland, and are destined to do so in other parts of the 
kingdom at no distant date. No one, thanks to the impression 
left upon Davitt's mind by cruel eviction, at the early age of 
four years, can now be evicted in Ireland for any other cause 
than arrears of a fair rent, judicially settled by the Irish Land 
Courts. The place had for me an intense and indescribable 
interest, and I must be pardoned for reproducing here the 
stirring terms in which Michael Davitt first appealed to his 
countrymen, standing and speaking, as if inspired, on the ruins 
of his father's home. Here he eloquently exclaimed to a meet- 
ing of 15,000 people, to the whole of Ireland, and to the civilised 
civilised world : 

" Does not the scene of domestic devastation now spread 
before this vast meeting bear testimony to the crimes with which 
landlordism stands charged before God and man to-day? Can a 



24 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

more eloquent denunciation of an accursed land-code be found 
than what is witnessed here in this depopulated district ? In the 
memory of many now listening to my words, that peaceful little 
stream which meanders by the outskirts of this multitude sang 
back the merry voices of happy children, and wended its way 
through a once populous and prosperous village. Now, however, 
the merry sounds are gone, the busy hum of hamlet life is hushed 
in sad desolation, for the hands of the house-destroyers have been 
here and performed their hellish work, leaving Straide but a name 
to mark the place where happy homesteads once stood, and 
whence an inoffensive people were driven to the four corners of 
the earth by the ruthless decree of Irish landlordism. How 
often, in a strange land, has my boyhood's ear drunk in the tale 
of outrage and wrong and infamy perpetrated here in the name 
of law, and in the interest of territorial greed : in listening to the 
accounts of famine and sorrow, of deaths through landlordism, of 
coffinless graves, of scenes 

' On highway side, where oft was seen 
The wild dog and the vulture keen, 
Tug for the limbs and gnaw the face 
Of some starved child of our Irish race.' 

What wonder that such laws should become hateful, and, when 
felt by personal experience of the tyranny and injustice, that a 
life of irreconcilable enmity to them should follow, and that, 
standing here on the spot where I first drew breath, in sight of a 
levelled home, with memories of privation and tortures crowding 
upon my mind, I should swear to devote the remainder of that 
life to the destruction of what has blasted my early years, pur- 
sued me with its vengeance through manhood, and leaves my 
family in exile to-day, far from that Ireland which is itself 
wronged, robbed, and humiliated through the agency of the same 
accursed system. It is no little consolation to know, however 
that we are here to-day doing battle against a doomed monopoly- 
and that the power which has so long domineered over Ireland 
:s people is brought to its knees at last, and on the point of 
mg crushed for ever ; and, if I am standing here to-day upon a 
platform erected over the ruins of my levelled home, I may yet 
have the satisfaction of trampling on the ruins of Irish land- 
lordism. 

The next day, Tuesday, I spent in Ballina and the neigh- 
bourhood. On Wednesday I proceeded on my way to the West 
A few miles from Ballina, a spot was pointed out where, during 
e agrarian disturbances in the county, a man was shot in the 
middle of the road, from behind a hedge. Soon after this we 
were skirting round the beautiful Bay of Killala, and were pointed 
out the place where the French were driven across the river to 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT. 25 

their ships by the Loyalists, many of them being drowned in the 
river, where, still lying on the banks, half-buried in the marshy 
soil, lie some of the cannon left behind by the French in their 
hurried retreat. I felt surprised that historical relics of such 
a kind should be left to rust away in such a position, for it would 
be very easy to mount them in a simple fashion where they could 
be seen by passers-by interested in such relics, and the hint ought 
to be sufficient to secure this result, and at the same time pre- 
serve them from wearing away by rust. 

In this neighbourhood we pass the ruins of two ancient 
abbeys, those of Roserk and Moyne, the former situated on the 
River Moy in a beautiful situation, surrounded with undulating 
hills. Two miles north of Moyne Abbey is the town of Killala, 
on the west side of the bay of the same name, possessing a round 
tower, and the ruins of St Patrick's, at one time a Diocesan 
Cathedral. Eighteen miles from Ballina, after passing through 
a beautiful undulating country, we arrived at the village of Bally- 
castle, from which we proceeded to Downpatrick Head, a suces- 
sion of magnificent cliffs, well repaying a visit. 

When about two-thirds of the distance from Ballycastle we 
came upon a number of young cattle in an enclosure, six or eight 
of which had their tails cut off at different points more or less 
near the rump. This atrocity was at the time put down to the 
Invincibles, and the country has to pay compensation accord- 
ingly. The universal opinion, however, in the district is that the 
brutal act was that of a neighbour, who had been for years on 
bad terms with their owner, and with whom he was constantly in 
the Law Courts. The police in the district are all of the same 
opinion, though hitherto they have not been able to obtain the 
necessary legal evidence, notwithstanding which the innocent 
neighbours have, under the existing law, to pay the value of 
the maimed cattle to their owner. 

On ascending the grassy slope leading to its summit, we are 
startled by coming suddenly on a great chasm in the middle of 
the sloping plain, apparently caused by the surface of the hill 
having fallen in. Cautiously approaching this abyss and looking 
down a depth of several hundred feet, the ocean is observed seeth- 
ing through a subterranean passage, which runs from one side 
of the headland to the other, and through which, in calm weather, 
a small boat can pass. About fifty or sixty yards from the main- 



2 6 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

land stands what is called the Rock Pillar, which has the 
appearance of having at one time been torn away from the parent 
cliff. On the top of it the ruins of an ancient building are dis- 
tinctly seen. As we visited the scene the sea was pretty rough, 
and the whole surroundings and those precipitous cliffs had a 
grand and awe-inspiring appearance. 

On the slope leading up to the point there were several ruins 
of ancient buildings, also sacred cairns and wells, to which 
Catholic pilgrims often paid visits, and where they went through 
various devotional exercises, which appeared to the uninitiated 
onlooker to be meaningless and laborious. Having returned to 
Ballycastle, we were provided for in the principal hotel of the 
place, the outward appearance of which by no means indicated 
the cosy comfort, cleanliness, and excellent provision made by its 
civil hostess, for the weary traveller. 

Next morning I started and visited the district near Ross- 
port, being the poorest and most wretched place I had yet seen 
in Ireland, and where, at a distance, nothing could be seen of the 
houses but a small bit of the well-thatched roofs, apparently 
jutting out of the bog, but as we approached them the turf was 
found cut away for a considerable distance right round them, and 
fairly good crops of potatoes and oats growing on the lower level 
on which the houses, with substantially-built, white-washed stone 
walls, were erected. These holdings, miserable and poor in the 
extreme, were literally reclaimed from the bog, and I could not 
help thinking that in the winter the houses must be covered over 
by the snow. We had here to turn back over the same road for 
about six miles to gain the main road to Belmullet, which was 
our destination that day, and where we arrived in the evening, 
after having driven through a very poor part of the county, and 
being wet through, for it rained heavily and blew almost a gale 
the whole day. Our splendid pair of thoroughbreds covered over 
fifty miles that day, wretched as it was, and came into Belmullet 
almost as fresh as when they started in the morning. 

Next day we hired an ordinary Irish jaunting car, and drove 
some twelve miles right on to the Atlantic, on the north side of 
Achill Sound, where I went inside some of the houses, and found 
the people, still living in substantially-built houses, out of all com- 
parison superior to most of those in the Western Highlands and 
Isles, very civil, and willing to give me any information asked for. 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT. 27 

Though the houses were outwardly what I have described, I found 
some of them exceedingly wretched and dirty within. The cow, 
as a rule, occupied the same room with the family, as well as the 
pig " the jintleman as pays the rint." It is no uncommon thing 
to find the cow actually tied to one of the posts of the bed in 
which the occupants are asleep. In this district I asked a woman 
who was just putting the potatoes for the dinner on the fire, if 
she ever had anything in the shape of meat during the year, when 
she declared that, " Niver a bit, sorr, except a little at Christmas." 
Having explored this district, known as the Mullet, I returned to 
the village, and in the afternoon made an excursion of ten miles 
in another direction, and through a country very much of the 
same description. 

In the disturbed times two or three people were shot in this 
district,a landed proprietor having lost his leg,he having been shot, 
while riding in his trap, at a spot pointed out to me, at the road side, 
for which he is getting compensation to the amount of 1 500; 
and a farmer having been killed for taking land from which an- 
other had been evicted, and for which his widow is receiving 
450 all this money being levied on the district in the shape of 
what is called the blood-tax, amounting to is. o^d. in the pound, 
on every one in the district. I must admit that it struck me as 
somewhat peculiar that the leg of the landlord was valued at 
^"1500, while the whole farmer was only considered worth ^450 
to his sorrowing widow. I naturally inquired if this tax was not 
considered a great hardship by the law-abiding portion of the 
people, but was informed on all hands that they never paid any 
money more willingly, as things had so greatly improved in the 
district since these unfortunate events occurred. We returned 
again the same night to the village of Belmullet, and on the next 
day, Saturday, drove through an entirely new part of the country, 
a distance of forty miles, to Ballina, where I spent the Sunday 
with my friends, proceeding on Monday through another portion 
of the County of Mayo, the Counties of Galway, Roscommon, 
Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, and Dublin, on my way to the Irish 
capital. 

This part of my journeyings and my conclusions generally 
on the working of the Irish Land Act, and the benefits derived, 
and to be derived, from it, will be dealt with in a future issue. 

A. M. 



2 g THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

HIGHLAND SOLDIERS IN FRANCE. 



WHEN, in 1690, it became apparent that the cause of the Stuart 
Dynasty was doomed, a great many Highland gentlemen, the 
remnant of Dundee's gallant army, went over to France, pre- 
ferring to serve in a foreign country to living under, what they 
considered, the rule of an usurper. They were welcomed with 
avidity by the French King, who stationed them in different 
towns, and paid them according to the respective ranks they had 
borne at home. 

For some time they served willingly, in the hope that before 
long they might be needed to fight for their own king ; but after 
a year or two, seeing there was no chance of this, and feeling 
whether rightly or wrongly that they were considered a burden 
on the French King, they thought it would be better to form 
themselves into a regiment, and choose their own officers from 
among their ranks. 

They approached King James with a petition to this effect, 
and assured him that they were willing to serve as private 
soldiers, and to undergo any privations if they could only be 
together and commanded by their own countrymen. The King 
at first objected, for, while fully recognising their generosity and 
loyalty, he feared that gentlemen brought up as they had been, 
would never be able to put up with the disagreeableness and 
hardships of the life of a private soldier. However, they were 
unanimous in their desire, and at last the King gave his consent, 
and appointed Colonel Thomas Brown to be their Captain, 
Colonel Alexander Gordon and Colonel Andrew Scott to be 
Lieutenants, and Major James Buchan as Ensign, the rest to be 
merely private soldiers. 

As soon as they were embodied they were ordered to take 
the route to Catalonia ; but before leaving St Germains they 
were reviewed by James, who made them the following speech : 

Gentlemen, My own misfortunes are not so nigh my heart 
as yours; it grieves me beyond what I can express, to see so 
many brave and worthy gentlemen, who had once the prospect 
of being the chief officers in my army, reduced to the station of 



HIGHLAND SOLDIERS IN FRANCE. 29 

private sentinels. Nothing but your loyalty, and that of a few 
of my subjects in Britain, who are forced upon their allegiance 
by the Prince of Orange, and who, I know, will be ready on all 
occasions to serve me and my distressed family, could make me 
willing to live. The sense of what all of you have done and 
undergone for your loyalty hath made so deep an impression on 
my heart, that if ever it please God to restore me, it is impossible 
I can be forgetful of your services and sufferings. Neither can 
there be any posts in the armies of my dominions, but what you 
have just pretensions to. As for my son, your Prince, he is of 
your own blood, a child capable of any impression, and as his 
education will be from you, it is not supposable that he can 
forget your merits. 

At your own desires you are now going a long march, far 
distant from me ; I have taken care to provide you with money, 
shoes, stockings, and other necessaries. Fear God, and love one 
another. Write your wants particularly to me, and depend upon 
it always to find me your Parent and King. 

His Majesty then asked each gentleman his name, and wrote 
it in his pocket book, then taking off his hat with the grace so 
characteristic of the Stuarts, bade them farewell. 

They had to march a distance of some nine hundred miles 
to Perpignan, in Rousillon, where they were to receive their uni- 
form, and join the French army there encamped. 

They began their long march in high spirits, and at every 
town they passed through they were received with respect by 
the inhabitants, and were billeted in the best houses. When 
leaving in the morning they were generally favoured with the 
presence of the ladies, who, with the ready sympathy of their 
sex, pitied the condition of these gallant gentlemen, who bore 
their reverse of fortune with so much equanimity and dignity of 
manner. 

When, however, they had got further into the country, the 
people did not appear so friendly, most probably from the fact that 
the French soldiers were unpopular on account of their overbear- 
ing and exacting manners. To instance this feeling, once, while 
crossing a brook, which had been swollen by heavy rains, four of 
the company were carried down the stream, and only saved 
themselves from drowning by seizing hold of some bushes, and 
thus keeping their heads above water, but were unable to regain 
their footing. Though there were plenty of the country people 



30 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

close at hand, no one would help them, and the poor men had 
to wait in this unpleasant and dangerous position until their 
comrades came up to their assistance. Another time, when near 
the termination of their long march, one of them being billeted on 
a farmer, was set upon by the man, his wife, and servant, and 
most unmercifully beaten and illused. However, on complaint 
being made to the governor of Rousillon, an aide-de-camp was 
immediately sent to the gentleman, to beg his pardon in the 
name and on behalf of the King of France, for the ill-treatment 
he had sustained, and to assure him that he should have every 
satisfaction. 

Within two days the farmer was arrested, branded in the 
hand, and banished from France, while the whole of his furniture 
was carried into the market-place and publicly burnt, as a warn- 
ing to others to show proper respect to these gentlemen. 

On arriving at Perpignan they were drawn up in rank before 
the house of Lieutenant-General Shaseron, the governor, who re- 
ceived them with great courtesy, and their appearance so affected 
the ladies present that they were moved to tears, and privately 
made up a purse of two hundred pistoles for them. 

Here they received their uniform and arms, and these gallant 
men had now, instead of carrying a half-pike, to shoulder a fire- 
lock, and exchange cartouch-boxes and haversacks for the gor- 
gets and sashes they formerly wore. Still they bore all the dis- 
comforts of their new life with such dignified patience and manly 
bearing that they won golden opinions from the French officers, 
who treated them rather with the respect due to their former 
position than to their present humble condition ; and a frequent 
remark among the Frenchmen was that a detachment from all 
the officers in the French army could not equal this company of 
exiled Scots. 

Now it was that they began to realise the full extent of the 
sacrifice they had made to their loyalty, for their money getting 
exhausted, and their pay as privates, viz., 3d. a day, with one and 
a-half pounds of bread being quite insufficient to support men 
used to good living they were obliged to sell some of their 
clothes, such as their fine laced coats, embroidered waistcoats, 
Holland shirts, and even their watches. 

Upon this merchandise they managed to exist from Novem- 



HIGHLAND SOLDIERS IN FRANCE. 31 

her 1692 to May 1693, when they were ordered into camp, and 
joined, to their mutual delight, by Major Rutherford's company 
of refugee Scots, and Captain John Foster, with some veteran 
troops of Dumbarton's regiment, and many a loyal health was 
drunk to King James, and the success of his cause by these re- 
united friends. 

During an inspection of these three Scotch companies by 
Marshall de Noailles, his Excellency desired the company of 
officers to march past a second time, and was so pleased by their 
martial bearing that he complimented them highly, and presented 
them with a mule to carry their tents, which was a great relief to 
them. 

They now marched over the Pyrenees and besieged a town 
called Roses situated in the valley of Lampardo, a most unhealthy 
place, and where the water was so bad that it produced a great 
deal of sickness among the troops; especially did the company of 
Scotch officers suffer, both from the climate and want of proper 
food, having little else than sardines, horse-beans, and garlic, 
which diet, however agreeable to the natives, did not agree very 
well with the stomachs of Scottish gentlemen. 

Though weakened by privation and prostrated by fever these 
brave men refused to go into hospital, preferring to do their duty, 
and take their share of the hard work which was the more 
arduous in consequence of there being no pioneers. Consequently 
the soldiers had to cut wood, make fascines for the trenches, etc. 

During the attack on the town of Roses the company of 
officers who acted as grenadiers, behaved with such conspicuous 
bravery that after the place surrendered the Governor asked the 
French General what countrymen these grenadiers were, and said 
that it was they who caused him to give up the town, for they 
fired so hotly that he believed they were about to attack the 
breach. The Marshal replied with a smile "tes sont mes enfans" 
" They are my children," adding, " They are the King of Great 
Britain's Scotch officers, who, to show their willingness to share 
his miseries, have reduced themselves to the carrying of arms, 
and chosen to serve under my command." 

The next day when riding along the ranks, the Marshal 
halted before the company of officers, and with hat in hand, 
thanked them for their good services, and freely acknowledged 



32 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

that it was their bravery which caused the surrender of the town, 
and assured them that he should report their services to his 
Sovereign. 

The Marshal kept his word, and on the French King 
receiving the despatches at Versailles, he immediately took 
coach to St Germains, and showed them to King James, and 
thanked him for the services his subjects had rendered in taking 
Roses. James was much affected, and said " These gentlemen 
were the flower of my British officers, and I am only sorry that 
I cannot make better provision for them." 

Marshal de Noailles did not confine his admiration of this 
gallant corps to mere compliments, for he very kindly gave each 
of them some money, two shirts, a nightcap, two cravats, and a 
pair of shoes. King James also gave them an allowance of 
fivepence a day to each man ; but in spite of these additional 
comforts, fevers and agues still prevailed amongst them. On 
hearing this, Marshal de Noailles wished them to leave the camp 
and go into any garrison they chose. They, however, declared 
that they would not pass a day in idleness while the King of 
France, who befriended their King, had need of their services, 
and that they would not leave the camp so long as a single man 
of them remained alive. 

About the middle of June 1693, tne army, numbering twenty- 
six thousand, marched from Roses to Piscador; but the sickness 
and mortality was so great that only ten thousand reached their 
destination. On one occasion a sudden alarm being given, our 
company of officers was the only one that presented itself promptly 
and in good order, on observing which the General exclaimed, 
"Se gentilhornme est toujours gentilkomme, et se montre toujours tel 
dans le besoin, et dans le danger " " gentlemen are gentlemen, and 
will always show themselves such in time of need and danger." 

Their sickness still continuing, King James got them removed 
to another province Alsace thinking, as the climate there was 
cold, it would better agree with his hardy Scots; but unfortunately 
it only proved going from bad to worse. On 4th December 1693 
they, with the other two Scotch companies, began the long and 
fatiguing march from Tureilles in Rousillon to Silistad in Alsace. 
The winter was unusally severe, and these unfortunate gentlemen 
weer in a very unfit state for such a journey, so that when they 



HIGHLAND SOLDIERS IN FRANCE. 33 

arrived at Lyons their condition was indeed pitiable. Their 
coats were old and thin, their shoes and stockings worn and torn, 
while the extreme hardships they had undergone had reduced 
them so much that they looked more like living skeletons than 
anything else. Still their spirits were undaunted, and to quote 
the words of a contemporary writer, " Their miseries and wants 
were so many and so great, that I am ashamed to express them. 
Yet no man that conversed with them, could ever accuse them of a 
disloyal thought, or the least uneasiness under their misfortunes. 
When they got over their bottles (which was but seldom), their 
conversation was of pity and compassion for their King and 
young gentleman, and how His Majesty might be restored, with- 
out any prejudice to his subjects." 

After three days' rest in Lyons they proceeded on their 
weary march to Silistad. Their sufferings during this long 
journey were extreme, the snow lay several feet deep, and the 
country they passed through was so famine-stricken, that they 
were very nearly starved. All they could get was a few horse- 
' beans, turnips, colworts, and a little yellow seed which they 
boiled in water. When they arrived at Silistad they had to 
again resort to the expedient of selling from their very limited 
stock of clothes to provide themselves with food, and what af- 
fected them still more, they were obliged to part with treasured 
articles, which they had kept to the very last, and which nothing but 
the direst distress would ever compel them to part with. Thus, 
one would say " This is the seal of our family, I got it from my 
grandfather, and will therefore never part with it." Another 
would say, " This ring I got as a keepsake from my mother, I 
would rather die than sell it " ; while the rest would have rings, 
snuff-boxes, buckles or dirks, all endeared to them by associ- 
ations with loved ones in their far off country. Yet in a few 
weeks the pangs of cold and hunger overcame these fine feelings 
of sentiment, and the long treasured relics passed into the hands 
of the stranger. Notwithstanding these sacrifices several of them 
died during their stay at Silistad from want of proper food and 
clothes. This reaching the ear of James, he sent orders for as 
many of them as wished to claim their discharge from the French 
service, and return to him at St Germains. 

This kind offer was declined by the great majority, who were 



34 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

determined not to give up ; but fourteen of the company returned, 
and were very kindly received by James, who gave them their 
choice, either to stay with him on an allowance, or to take a 
a sum of money and return to Britain and make their peace with 
the Government, and he allowed them some days to make their 
choice. 

One day during their stay at St Germains, the young Prince 
met four of them in the park. Knowing from their dress who 
they were, he beckoned them to approach him. On their 
kneeling and kissing his hand, he said " He was sorry for their 
misfortunes, and that he hoped to live to see his Majesty in a 
condition to reward their sufferings ; as for himself, he was but a 
child, and did not understand much ; but according to the rude 
notions he had of government and the affairs of the world, they 
were men of honour, and loyal subjects, and had by their suffer- 
ings laid such obligations upon him in his childhood, that he 
could never forget them." He then took out his purse, and ex- 
pressing regret that the Queen, his mother, did not keep him 
better supplied, he gave it, with its contents, to them, and then 
got into his carriage, while they adjourned to a tavern, and ex- 
pended the money in drinking the health of the young Prince 
and his royal father. 

When the gold was spent they began to dispute who should 
have the honour of keeping the purse as a souvenir of the Prince. 
The quarrel grew so fierce and the noise so great that the King 
sent to inquire the cause, and on learning what it was, he sent an 
officer to take away the purse; so harmony was once more re- 
stored. 

We must now return and follow the further adventures of 
those who preferred to die at their post of duty than ask 
their discharge during a time of war. While they, and the 
other two Scotch companies, were in garrison at Silistad, the 
Governor of that fortress was apprehensive that Prince Lewis of 
Baden, who had crossed the Rhine with 80,000 men, would besiege 
him, and he declared publicly that if they did, he should depend 
more on the three companies of Scots than on the whole of the 
rest under his command. 

Silistad, however, was not attacked, and, soon after, the com- 
pany of officers were ordered to Fort-Cadette on the Rhine. 



HIGHLAND SOLDIERS IN FRANCE. 35 

After staying there more than a year they were sent to Strasburg. 
In 1697 they again made themselves conspicuous by their bravery. 

The Germans under General Stirk were on one side of the 
Rhine with 16,000 men, while the Marquis de Sell was on the 
other with only 4000 men, among whom were the Scotch officers. 
Between the two armies, in the middle of the Rhine, was an 
island which both parties were anxious to get possession of. 

While the French general was sending for boats to go over 
to take possession of this coigne of vantage, the Germans quietly 
threw over a bridge from their side, posted 500 men on the island, 
and opened a most destructive fire upon the French. The Scots, 
ever eager for glory, and despising danger, begged permission to 
attack the Germans, who were entrenched on the island. The 
Marquis replied that as soon as the boats arrived they should be 
the first to attack. To this they answered they need not wait 
for boats; but that they would wade across. On hearing this the 
Marquis shrugged his shoulders, blessed himself, and bid them 
do as they pleased. 

When it was dark the company assembled quietly, unknown 
to the rest of the French army, took off their shoes and stockings, 
which, with their firelocks, they tied round their necks, advanced 
with caution to the river, waded hand in hand in the old 
Highland fashion, the water coming up to their breasts. As soon 
as they got out of the depth of the river, they unslung their arms, 
and made a sudden rush on the enemy, who were quite taken by 
surprise, being unconscious of their approach. The attack was so 
unlocked for that the Germans were seized with a panic, rushed to 
their bridge, which in the confusion was broken down, and many of 
them were drowned, the rest being killed by the victorious Scots. 
When the Marquis de Sell heard the firing, and understood the 
Germans were driven out of the island, he made the sign of the 
cross on his face and breast, and declared that it was the bravest 
action that he ever saw. When the boats at last arrived, the 
Marquis sent word to the Scots that he would immediately send 
troops and provisions. The answer he got was "that they wanted 
no troops, and could not spare time to make use of provisions, 
and only desired spades, shovels, and pickaxes, wherewith they 
might entrench themselves." 

The next day the Marquis crossed to the island, and kindly 



36 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

embraced every man of the company, thanking them for the very 
signal service they had rendered to him. 

For six long weeks they encamped on this island, while the 
Germans made every effort to regain possession; but our heroes 
were too watchful, and at last the enemy had to decamp. The 
island was afterwards named Isle d' Escosse, in honour of these 
brave men. 

After this exploit they returned to Strasburg, where they 
remained for two years, when a treaty of peace was entered into, 
one of the conditions made by William the Third being that this 
gallant company of heroic Scots should be disbanded. This was 
done, and the officers had permission to go where they pleased. 
"And thus was dissolved one of the best companies that ever 
marched under command, gentlemen who, in the midst of all 
their pressure and obscurity never forgot they were gentlemen ; 
and whom the sweet of a brave, a just, and honourable conscience, 
rendered, perhaps, more happy under those sufferings, than the 
most prosperous and triumphant in iniquity, since our own minds 
stamp our happiness." E. S. M. 



QUEEN MARY'S VISIT TO INVERNESS. 



DURING the reign of the ill-fated Queen Mary, the Earl of Huntly 
was the head of the Roman Catholic party in Scotland. Weak 
and vacillating in character, he was mostly concerned about the 
safety and increase of his vast estates. Lord James Stuart, the 
Queen's natural brother, stood high in favour with his royal 
sister, though of a different religion. The Queen deeply offended 
Huntly by taking from him the Earldom of Moray and bestowing 
it upon the Lord James, and, in revenge, he did all in his power 
to foment sedition among the clans under his sway. 

In 1562, the Earl of Huntly's movements in the Highlands 
were so suspicious, that Mary, fearful lest by his intrigues he 
should seduce the clans from their allegiance, resolved, with the 
advice and approval of the newly-created Earl of Moray, to make 
a journey to the North of Scotland, with the view of animating 
by her presence the flagging loyalty of her subjects in that part 



QUEEN MARY'S VISIT TO INVERNESS. 37 

of the kingdom. Huntly, well knowing that he was an object of 
the deepest hatred to Moray, who was the representative of the 
Protestant cause, was much put about when he heard of the pro- 
jected Royal visit, from which he augured no good result to 
himself. He sent his lady to Aberdeen to meet Mary, and, if 
possible, to penetrate her purpose in coming north. He also 
instructed her to invite the Queen to his castle of Strathbogie, 
thinking, probably, that if he once had her in his power, he might 
make his own terms with her. This proffer, however, Mary, 
doubtless instigated by Moray, was prudent enough to decline, 
and, accompanied by her brother and several others, proceeded 
towards Inverness, then, as now, the Capital of the Highlands. 
In Morayshire the Royal party was met by Lord Lovat with 
five hundred picked clansmen, who guarded the Queen and her 
train to Inverness, where, after what one of the retinue describes 
as- "a terrible journey," they arrived on the nth of September. 

Upon their arrival, however, they found that the Castle, 
where Mary had intended to reside, was occupied by the retainers 
of the Earl of Huntly, who was hereditary keeper, under the 
command of his Lieutenant-Governor, Alexander Gordon. The 
garrison was immediately summoned to open the gates and admit 
the Royal party, but the Governor insolently replied that, without 
orders from his feudal superior, the Earl of Huntly, he would 
neither open the gates to the Queen nor to anybody else. Her 
force not being strong enough at the time to storm the fortress, 
Mary was obliged to take up her lodgings in a house upon the 
north side of Bridge Street, where she held her court for some 
days. 

John Gordon, laird of Findlater, and son of the Earl of 
Huntly, upon learning that the Queen was at Inverness, levied a 
large number of his vassals, and advanced towards the town, 
with the intention of seizing her person. The Royalists were 
somewhat perturbed at Findlater's approach, and, to protect 
the town from assault, and the Queen from danger, a small 
squadron of ships entered the river. A Royal Proclamation was 
issued, calling upon the clans to gather at Inverness for the 
Queen's defence, which soon had the desired effect. Lachlan 
Mackintosh, chief of Clan Chattan, who was in attendance upon 
Mary, " sent to Donald MacWilliam, late his tutor, to acquaint 



38 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

him of the Queen's condition, and next morning the haill name 
of Clan Chattan in Petty, Strathern, and Strathnairn, came to 
the town in good order, and undertook the Queen's protection 
till the rest of the neighbours should come." Soon afterwards, 
the Munros, Mackenzies, Rosses, and others came to the assist- 
ance of the Queen, who now found herself at the head of a con- 
siderable force. The siege of the Castle was commenced with 
great vigour, and on the third day the garrison surrendered. 
The Governor was hanged over the gate by the Queen's orders, 
and his head impaled upon the Castle wall. Hearing of the fall 
of the Castle, and disappointed by the defection of the Mack- 
intoshes of Badenoch, who were persuaded by Lachlan to remain 
faithful to Mary's cause, Findlater relinquished his idea of seiz- 
ing the Queen at Inverness, and retired with his forces towards 
Aberdeen. 

The following letter of Randolph's, giving an account of 
Mary's visit to Inverness, is taken from Invernessiana : 

" At the Queen's arrival at Inverness, she purposing to have 
lodged in the Castle, which pertaineth to herself, and the keeping 
only to the Earl of Huntly [Lord Gordon], being Sheriff by in- 
heritance, was refused there to have entry, and enforced to lodge 
in the town. That night, the Castle being summoned to be ren- 
dered to the Queen, answer was given by those that kept it, in 
Lord Gordon's behalf, that, without his command, it should not be 
delivered. The next day the country assembled to the assistance 
of the Queen. The Gordons, also, made their friends come out. 
We looked every hour to what shall become of the matter. We 
left nothing undone that was needful, and the Gordons not find- 
ing themselves so well served, and nsver amounting to above five 
hundred men, sent word to those that were within, amounting 
only to twelve or thirteen able men, to render the Castle, which 
they did. The captain was hanged, and his head set upon the 
Castle ; some others condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and 
the rest received mercy. In all those garbulles, I assure your 
honour I never saw the Queen merrier ; never dismayed ; nor, 
never thought I that stomach to be in her, that I find. She 
repented nothing but, when the lords and others at Inverness 
came in the morning from the watche, that she was not a man, to 
know what life it was to lye all night in the fields, or to walk 
upon the causeway, with a jack and knapsack, a Glasgow buckler, 
and a broadsword." 

After the taking of the Castle, Mary occupied it for a few 



BADGES OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 



39 



days, and then, " although informed that Huntly watched to 
intercept her in the woods on the banks of the Spey, she advanced 
against him, crossed the river, and returned at the head of 3000 
men to Aberdeen." Lord Lovat again furnished a princely escort, 
and his loyalty on the occasion of her visit drew warm expres- 
sions of thanks from the grateful Queen. At Corrichie, a few 
miles from Aberdeen, the Royal army encountered that of Huntly, 
and a fierce battle ensued, which terminated in the death of that 
misguided nobleman, and the complete rout of his forces. 

The house in Bridge Street, in which Queen Mary resided, 
is still in existence, and is known by her name. For a hundred 
and fifty years an extensive wine trade has been carried on in one 
part of the building, a business for which the commodious arched 
vaults beneath render it peculiarly well adapted. These vaults 
are of great age, and there is a tradition that one of them was, 
at the period of Queen Mary's visit, connected with the Castle by 
a subterranean passage. The exterior of the house has been 
greatly modernised, and shows little trace of antiquity, but the 
remains of a coat of arms on the wall facing the river and a finely 
sculptured fireplace inside remain to tell of its ancient magni- 
ficence when it became the temporary abode of the most beautiful 
and most unfortunate of Scottish Sovereigns. 

H. R. M. 

BADGES OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 



A CORRESPONDENT writes to us on this subject from Battersea: 
I find that the list of the Badges of the Highland Clans, as 
given in the last number of the Celtic Magazine, varies consider- 
ably from that given by Chambers in his account of the High- 
lands, vol. 1 6 of his "Miscellany of Useful Tracts." The following 
is his list : 



Buchanan Birch. 

Cameron Oak. 

Chisholm Alder. 

Col quhoun Hazel . 

dimming Common Tallow. 

Drummond ...Holly. 

Farquharson Purple Fox-glove 

Ferguson Poplar. 

Forbes... ...Broom. 



Fraser Yew; some families 

Gordon Ivy. [Strawberry. 

Graham Laurel. 

Grant Cranberry Heath. 

Gunn Rosewort. 

Lament Crab Apple. 

Macallister Five Leaved Heath. 

Macdonald Bell Heath. 

Macdonell. . ...Mountain Heath. 



40 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 



Macdougall Cypress. 

Macfarlane Cloud-berry Bush. 

Macgregor Pine. 

Mackintosh Boxwood. 

Mackay Bull-rush. 

Mackenzie Deer Grass. 

Mackinnon St John's Wort. 

Maclachlan Mountain Ash. 

Maclean Blackberry Heath. 

Macleod Red Whortleberries. 

Macnab Rose Blackberries. 

Macneil Seaware. 

Macrae Fir Club Moss. 



Macpherson Variegated Box 

wood. 

Munro Eagles' Feathers. 

Menzies Ash. 

Murray Juniper. 

Ogilvie Hawthorn. 

Oliphant Great Maple. 

Robertson Fern. 

Rose Briar Rose. 

Ross Bearberries. 

Sinclair Clover. 

Stewart Thistle. 

Sutherland Cat's Tail Grass. 



If you, or any of your correspondents, could let me know 
which is most likely to be correct of the two, in the Celtic 
Magazine, I should feel greatly obliged. 

In the Gaelic origin of local names, are two places named 
Kilvean and Torvean. If I had seen them in an English work, 
I should have taken them to be in Cornwall, vean being the 
Cornish for little or small, as cheel vean, little child ; Truro vean, 
a place in the city of Truro. There is also a pile of rocks called 
Kilmarth Tor, Tor Point, Tor Bay, etc. 



LOCHIEL ON THE LOCH-ARKAIG CLEARANCES. 



To THE EDITOR OF THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

SIR, Your History of the Camerons naturally possesses greater interest for me 
than for most people, and while I congratulate you on the ability, and admire the re- 
search which has enabled you to add so valuable a contribution to our acquaintance 
with Highland clans, I hope you will allow me to call attention to one error which 
occurs in the latter portion of your work, and which, as reflecting unjustly on the 
policy pursued by my father towards the small tenants on this estate, has caused me 
some pain. In page 256 the following refers to my father : "Of him Mr Mitchell 
says that 'unfortunately he was equally ignorant of the habits of Lochaber and its 
people' with his father, and that he 'was obliged from his ill-health to reside in Eng- 
land, and the administration of his estates was entrusted to his relative, Sir Duncan 
Cameron, under whom Mr Belford, a writer in Inverness, acted as factor, Sir Duncan 
placing implicit confidence in his management. With a view to increasing the 
rental, Mr Belford followed the then prevalent custom of removing the people and 
converting the hill sides of Loch-Arkaig into sheep farms.' " I do not know who Mi- 
Mitchell may be, nor what work you here refer to, but as the quotation is inserted 
without note or comment, it is, of course, to be presumed that the statement is 
accepted by you as accurate. If your author lived contemporaneously with the events 
which are supposed to have taken place, but which he must have known never did, 
his assertion is simply scandalous. 

I have before me the estate rental for the year 1832, when my father succeeded, 



LOCHIEL ON LOCH-ARKAIG CLEARANCES. 41 

I there find the following farms, viz. : Glen-Dessary, Monoquoich, Inverskillivoulin, 
and North Achnaherrie, held by one man, and entered in the rent roll, as oc- 
cupied by the heirs of Alexander Cameron. Achnanellan, Glen-Mallie, Achna- 
saul, Crieff, Salachan, Muick, and Kenmore, seem to have been all in the possession 
of the heirs of J. Cameron ; while Muirlagan, Caillich, Glenkingie, Coanich, West 
Kenmore, and the whole of Glen-Pean, were occupied by a third tenant, John 
Cameron. In 1832, therefore, so far from " the hill-sides of Loch-Arkaig being con- 
verted into sheep farms," not only these hill-sides, but an immense tract of country 
besides, probably upwards of 60,000 acres, were in the hands of three tenants. 

The clearances of Glen-Dessary and Loch-Arkaig took place thirty years previ- 
ously, when the estate was in trust, and managed by Sir Ewen Cameron, the father 
of Sir Duncan, and you will see, therefore, that you have mistaken the date by a whole 
generation. Of the small tenants and crofters who were removed, some went to 
Canada, and their grandchildren, no doubt, figure largely among the subscribers to 
your History. By others were formed the townships of Banavie and Corpach, where 
their descendants are still to be found, and a few went to Achintore, a small town- 
ship west of Fort-William . This was at the time when the Caledonian Canal was 
being made, and presumably the idea was to enable the people to obtain constant 
employment, though no doubt self-interest, on the part of the proprietor, had some 
share in determining the policy pursued. The statement that my father entrusted the 
management of his estate to Sir Duncan Cameron, is, to my certain knowledge, 
absolutely without foundation. On parish matters the late Lochiel used to consult 
equally Sir Duncan and Colonel Maclean of Ardgour, both of whom resided perman- 
ently in the county, and were well acquainted with local affairs ; but he acted 
entirely on his own judgment in all matters connected with the management of the 
property. I am certainly not disposed to defend the management at that particular 
period. Mistakes were undoubtedly made then as they are probably made now ; but 
they arose from want of foresight, not from a lack of generosity, and whoever may be 
the sufferer, he was certainly not to be found among the small tenants. If to pull 
his people through the famine of '4610 wipe off subsequently all the arrears on the 
estate, and then to reduce his rents where he found them too high, and not to raise 
them where he found them too low if this constitutes a harsh landlord, in the 
sense implied in your quotation from Mr Mitchell, then the late Lochiel justly 
deserves the condemnation which the readers of your History may, I fear, be 
disposed unjustly to bestow on him. 

There is, however, a wider application of the lesson to be learnt from the 
unintentional error into which you have fallen in connection with these clearances. 
If such mistakes are possible in a history such as that of the Camerons, compiled 
with care, and after reference to authentic documents, and all other available 
sources of information, what may be expected from the vague testimony and loose 
tradition which forms the basis of many of the accusations brought against Highland 
proprietors in connection with their treatment of crofters? Does not this episode 
confirm the truth embodied in the following sentence of the Report of the Royal 
Commission? " Many of the allegations of oppression and suffering with which these 
pages are painfully loaded, would not bear a searching analysis. Under such a 
scrutiny, they would be found erroneous as to time, to place, to persons, to extent^ and 
misconstrued as to intention. " The accuracy of the next sentence looked at by the 
same light is equally remarkable. The Report goes on thus " It does not follow, 
however, that because these narratives are incorrect in detail, they are incorrect in 
colour or in kind." 



42 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

In conclusion, I am bound to admit that I am not, perhaps, as regards the para- 
graph in your History free from blame myself. I might be supposed to have read the 
History of the Camerons as it appeared in the Celtic Magazine, and thus have been 
able to correct any error before the present volume was published. In truth I did 
read most of the earlier numbers, but you know from our previous correspondence that 
I had no papers in my possession which would have been of use in the production of 
the work, and it appeared to me that for all practical purposes there was nothing to 
be gained by reading it in parts, when, by waiting a few months, I could read it as a 
whole. Besides, the mischief was already done when the particular paragraph in 
question appeared in the Celtic Magazine, and I should then, as now, have required to 
ask your courtesy in allowing this letter to be inserted in the next number. I ain, 
yours faithfully, DONALD CAMERON OF LOCHIEL. 

ACHNACARRY, October 18, 1884. 

[The work quoted above is "Reminiscences of my Life in the Highlands,'' by 
the late Mr Joseph Mitchell, C.E., Inverness, the title of which is given in full on 
the page of the " History of the Camerons " immediately preceding that from which 
Lochiel makes the quotation of which he complains. ED. C. M.] 



ERASER-MACKINTOSH, M.P, AND THE DUKE OF 
ARGYLL. 



MR ERASER-MACKINTOSH, M.P., recently addressed a large 
meeting of his constituents at Inverness, in which he made 
pungent references regarding the management of certain estates 
in the Highlands, especially that of the Island of Tiree, belonging 
to the Duke of Argyll. Mr Eraser-Mackintosh quoted largely 
from the evidence given before the Royal Commission by those 
having an intimate acquaintance with the facts. He referred to 
the manner in which he was attacked by the Duke, when, as a 
Royal Commissioner, his own mouth was closed, and when he 
could not reply. The conditions were now changed, and he felt 
called upon, in, the public interest, to refer to the state of matters 
existing on the Duke's estates in Tiree and elsewhere. 

He proceeded to say that immediately after the Commissioners met in Tiree 
Lord Napier said at that meeting 

11 Assurances have been given in many places by the proprietors and factors, and 
I will now ask whether there is any one present who will give an assurance with re- 
gard to these people." Mr Macdiarmid-" I am local factor for his Grace the Duke 
of Argyll." Lord Napier then asked-" Do you feel enabled to give an assurance to 
the people here present that no one will suffer prejudice in consequence of what he 
says here on this occasion ?-No, I cannot give any such assurance. I did not ask for 
I was not told to give it. Lord Napier- You do not think you aro-knowing 



FRASER-MACKINTOSH AND ARGYLL. 43 

the disposition and character of the proprietor of the island enabled to give such an 
assurance on your own responsibility ? Mr Macdiarmid I would say the Duke of 
Argyll won't do anything against any man who will tell the truth. Lord Napier 
Are you able or not, from your knowledge of the character of the proprietor, to give 
a positive assurance that no prejudice will occur to anyone on account of what is said 
here to-day? Mr Macdiarmid I am not going to say that. Lord Napier, address- 
ing the witness, then said It is not in the power of the Commission to give 
you any assurance of the kind. The Commission cannot interfere between you 
and your proprietor, or between you and the law. Whatever you state therefore now 
will be at your own risk and on your own responsibility. But from what we know of 
the character of the Duke of Argyll we cannot believe, we do not believe, that any 
prejudice could occur to you on account of what you say. The Witness Macdougall 
We live in that part of Scotland where most of that suffering is taking place, and 
oppression and slavery. We are poor people. We cannot give any of the statements 
that we came here prepared to make unless we receive the assurance that no crofter 
will be evicted from his croft, or cottar put out of his house, for telling what we have 
to tell ; and that is the truth, and nothing but the truth." 

Now, gentlemen, continued Mr Fraser-Mackintosh, after this the whole proceedings 
of the Commission in the Island of Tiree were going to collapse, because we could not 
protect the people. He then explained how a letter from the Chamberlain was afterwards 
produced by the local factor, and proceeded What is the position of the Island of Tiree 
with regard to the distribution of land ? The island yields about ^4000 in rental, and 
how is it divided ? Five large farms yielding about one-fourth of the rental are in the 
hands of the ground-officer of the Duke of Argyll, or a brother of his, and more in 
possession of a late ground-officer. That is the distribution of the land, and what do 
you find in consequence? In 1883 the state of poverty in the island was so great that 
public charity had to be solicited and distributed. That, you will agree with me, was 
a condition of things wholly disgraceful to a man like the Duke of Argyll. I can 
understand the use of, and I fully approve of, proprietors having on their lands a farm 
where the best stock of all kinds and the best of everything is kept, so that it may be 
a model and an example to the farmers in the neighbourhood. To that Extent pro- 
prietors are entitled to have farms, to that extent possession is justifiable, but I submit 
that a proprietor has no right to put his factor into farms, and so monopolise a great 
part of the estate while scores of decent people are crying for land. 

I make another charge, and I think it is one of the very gravest character. It 
has come out that no person upon the Duke of Argyll's Highland estates paying a 
rental of under ^100 a-year has a lease. They are all tenants at will. I am not 
now speaking of the crofters and cottars. There is no lease given to any man upon 
the estate of the Duke paying under ,100 of rent. There is another thing ten times 
worse. There are no estate regulations upon these island estates. Now, the most 
miserable proprietor in the Highlands who is able to keep a factor, or whether he is 
or not, has estate regulations, so that the tenants know what they are about. The 
Duke's Chamberlain admitted there were no estate regulations, and it comes to this, 
that all paying under ^"100 rent are tenants at will. It has been proved that many- 
years ago, under a rule of the previous factor, two documents were brought round. 
In respect to one of them the people were told Sign this document, which says I will 
submit myself entirely to the will of the Duke and his factor ; the other was a sum- 
mons of removal Out you go. Let me read you what the Chairman brought out 
about the regulations from the Chamberlain. " Q. I presume there were regulations? 



44 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

A. I am not aware. I don't think so. Q. Were there any Campbell regulations ? 
A. -Not so far as I am aware. I don't think so. Q. Are we to understand there 
were never any printed regulations before your time. A. Not on this estate. Q. 
Are there ones in Tiree ? A. There will be, I expect soon." I asked him " There 
being no printed regulations and no leases, how did the people know under what regu- 
lations they stood? A. I don't know. Q. Probably you saw it was rather a hard- 
ship that the people did not know under what rule they were? A. I thought it de- 
sirable that there ought to be regulations." 

I wish now, continued Mr Fraser-Mackintosh, to give a short quotation from the 
evidence as to the document which the people were obliged to sign. There was a 
delegate named Macneil. He is asked this question : 

" Do you know anybody here present who actually signed that document in 
which they promised to obey the factor's wishes? A. Yes. Donald Macdonald. 
(To Donald Macdonald) Did you sign that document promising to obey whatever 
the factor desired? A. Yes. Q. How did you know what the contents of the 
paper were was the paper read over to you aloud? A. All we know is that the 
paper was not read to us at all, but the ground officer had a lot of notices to quit in 
one hand, and this paper in another, and we were told that the contents of the paper 
were that we should require to obey anything that the Duke of Argyll or his factor 
would ask us to do. Q. Was it written or printed? A. -It was written. Q. 
Was Macquarrie the ground-officer? A. Yes. Q. Is he alive yet? > A. Yes. 
Q. l s he here? A. He was here ; he may be here yet. Q. Was that in the time 
of the present Duke or his predecessor ? A. In the time of the present Duke. Q. 
Do you know of anybody who can read and who saw the paper himself and read it ? 
A. I am not aware of any who read the paper before he put his hand to it. Q. 
Was your knowledge of the contents of the paper solely derived from the statements 
of the ground-officer? A. The factor was not present upon the occasion. Our only 
information regarding the paper was what the ground-officer told us at the time. Mr 
Fraser-Mackintosh Was each tenant obliged to sign a separate paper, or did several 
of them sign one paper? A. I believe it was the same paper that every crofter in 
Tiree signed. Q. Did you put your cross to it? A. I believe I signed my name. 
I can sign my name. ..... The Chairman Did you sign it? 

A. I did not sign it myself, but everybody in the township where I lived signed it. 
(To Donald Macdonald) How did you know that the papers in the man's other 
hand were summonses to quit ? A. He told us." 

I have another charge another complaint to make against the Duke of Argyll. 
It is a question as to the rents of crofts, which is well known. In a statement handed 
in by Mr James Wyllie, the chamberlain, at Glasgow, he says that what the Duke of 
Argyll considers the true value of the crofts is the rent which is offered for them when 
they become vacant. That rather staggered the Commissioners, and the witness was 
asked 

" With respect to the rents, I see you state that the Duke considers that the 
true value of these crofts is the rent which is offered for them as they become vacant ? 
A. Yes. Q. That is actually what determines the value of the croft? A. Yes. 
Q. Not so much per cow or so much per acre? A. Of course I make my own 
valuation besides that. Q. But the true value of the croft is what can be got for it ? 
A. Yes. Q. lu a great part of the places we visited, both managers of estates and 
others declared there was such a run upon these crofts that there were people ready to 
give beyond what the true value was. You would consider that the value is not what 
the true value was. You would consider that the value is not what might be called 
the real value, but what could be got for it? A. Yes, what they bring when they 
become vacant. Q. So that even the full market value can be got for a croft ? A. 
Yes. Q. And the full market value is taken for the croft? A. --Yes, I suppose 
so." 

I may now give the examination of two witnesses, Donald Campbell and Donald 
Maclean upon another point. It is only an illustration of many other things which have 
not been so clearly brought out in other cases as here 



FRASER-MACKINTOSH AND ARGYLL. 45 

" Q. Do they get money for what they do ? [from the Tiree Sea weed Company.] 
A. No, they do not get money, and those of them who have been asking money for 
the last year or so only get 2 per ton in money ; they would get at the rate of ^4 if 
they took goods. Q. But although the goods were stated to be worth ^"4, perhaps 
the goods were not worth more than 2 in another shop ? A. Perhaps not even &2. 
Q. I suppose these people do not like to be treated in that way ? A. No, they do 
not ; they are badly treated in many a way." 

With regard to the Island of Tiree and Tiree is a representative island I de- 
sire to point out that the population has very much decreased within late years. The 
rental has increased enormously. A number of your economists, among them the 
Duke of Argyll, are fond of quoting the opinion of Sir John Macneill, in his report at 
the time of the destitution, with regard to emigration, and say it is a very good thing. 
I admit that Sir John recommended emigration, But he recommended that, when 
emigration took place, the places of those who went away should be given to those 
who remained. This is exactly as it should be, because there is no use clearing away the 
people if those who remain are to be left as before. I wish to narrate what we heard 
from the doctor in Tiree, and he is a man of considerable position ; a man whose 
sympathies are with the people, but who would not give an opinion unless he were 
very clear upon the point. Well, what does Dr Buchanan say ? I asked 

"Are you in favour of large properties with 'large populations, when the pro- 
prietor does not reside amongst his people? A. No. Q. How often has the 
Duke of Argyll been in Tiree? A. Lately, I think, he has been here every 
August. Q. Within the last four or five years, how long does he stay? A. A day, 
or, perhaps, two days. Q Does he go about speaking to the people? A. He 
does. Q. Can you trace any benefit in the position of the people by his appear- 
ances here? A. No, I see no change from his coming and going. Q. What is 
the character of the people of Tiree generally ; is it a place where crime is com- 
paratively unknown ? A. Crime is unknown; the people are quiet and peaceable. 
Q. Do you yourself find satisfaction in going out and in among them? A. I do ; 
1 never get an uncivil word. Q. Was not the idea that must have been prevailing in 
the mind of Sir John Macneill, or those he consulted, when suggesting that the 
population should be reduced, that the reduced population should have the full 
benefit of the Island of Tiree ? A. That would be the sense of it. Q. Can you 
instance any case within your own recollection, or have you heard of any lands being 
added to the crofter class? A. No. Q. So then, any pretence of saying that emigra- 
tion is good for the country would be of no value unless it benefits those who remain 
behind? A. No ; certainly not. Q. Supposing, for instance, that farm was to be 
added to large farm in the Island of Tiree as people went away, you might reduce 
the population to twenty people? A. You might." 

Now, gentlemen, in the Island of Tiree at this moment the great bulk of the 
people are under no law whatever, but under the entire power and will of the Duke. 
Then the land in this island is not properly distributed ; what is possessed by crofters 
is rack-rented, and many of the people, in 1883, had to submit to the stigma of re- 
ceiving public charity, a state of matters which the Duke of Argyll ought to be ashamed 
of. There is at present in that island a most unequal and unfair distribution of the 
land ; and it cannot and should not longer prevail. 

I will say one word in passing in regard to the Ross of Mull. Whenever a man 
dies, even although the son may be nearly twenty-one years of age, the widow is 
sure to go out. In the case of poor Widow Macphail, and although she had a son 
sixteen or seventeen years of age, she was put out much against her will, and her 
holding given to some official or parochial officer ; and so strong was the feeling of 
fear felt that she could not get any one to write a letter in her favour. At last one 
decent man (with whom I shook hands) was got to write a letter to the Duke of 
Argyll, and, to conceal the authorship, it was written in imitation of print. In 



46 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Ardtun in the Ross of Mull there was extreme poverty. The population in 1841 
of the Duke's estate of the Ross of Mull was 4113, and in 1881 it was reduced 
to 1990, less than one-half, whereas, at the same time, the rental increased 
enormously. Nothing can be a greater curse to the country than to find the popu- 
lation of any part of the country rapidly decreasing, while in the same period the 
rental rises enormously. I have said that money was spent, public charity was dis- 
tributed, in the early part of 1883 m the Duke of Argyll's island estates. There is one 
thing I must refer to in connection with this fact. The amount of money so distri- 
buted was not very large. I admit that ; but I also say it was a contemptible sum for 
the Duke of Argyll to have permitted to be taken. The money was spread over a 
very large number of people, so that the poverty existing over the country was un- 
doubted. That was the deplorable state of matters revealed to us in our investigations. 
And no man, far less a man in the position of the Duke of Argyll no man even in a 
much humbler position should have permitted public charity to be distributed among 
the people upon his estate. It shows the absence of a proper and fair administration, 
and I think it is a state of matters which will no longer be permitted by the country. 
Why is it necessary for me to make reference to individuals ? Because if you state 
generalities, people may say there is nothing in them. Therefore it is necessary to 
give specific instances. 

I am obliged to come to the county of Inverness and make a few references to 
another case. I wish to draw attention to the matter because unfortunately our 
evidence is so long and it is so expensive to purchase that everybody cannot get at it. 
And unless the matter is placed before the people, iterated and reiterated, the danger 
is that these intolerable grievances may be allowed to sleep. I refer to the case of 
South Uist and Barra, and I must again state that I have no personal feeling with 
regard to individuals. With regard to South Uist, her ladyship, Lady Cathcart, has 
been good enough to send away a number of people, giving them 100 and so on, 
taking their obligations, however, for repayment, it is said. I asked the factor Will 
you give them 100 in order to enable them to make a living at home ? He said No, 
no. But the giving away of this money in this way is only a thing that can be done 
by a millionaire, can only have an infinitesimal effect, and be hurtful to others. But 
is it necessary to send away people from South Uist ? On this you will observe that 
I dissented from my colleagues, and said that no necessity for emigration existed, 
and I did so because I was not satisfied that a proper distribution of the land had occurred. 
The best and greatest part of South Uist, gentlemen, is divided into eleven large farms, 
three of which viz. , Kilbride, South Loch-Boisdale, and Bornish, are in the hands of 
three brothers named Ferguson, all very respectable people, and Gerinish is occupied 
by Mrs Macdonald. I come to the farm of Milton, and I find that the tenant, Mac- 
lean, is married to a sister of the wife of the factor, Mr Ronald Macdonald. In the 
next, Drimsdale, the tenant, the parish minister, is married to a sister of the above 
Maclean ; and on the sixth, Nunton, the tenant is married to a sister of the said Mac- 
lean. There was a farm called Drumore, which formerly was in the possession of a 
gentleman named Taylor, whose wife was a sister of Mrs Maclean, but it is said Mi- 
Taylor gave offence, and he was obliged to quit. Another important farm, which was 
residence of Macdonald of Clanranald-the farm of Ormiclate-is in the hands of 
Ronald Macdonald, the factor, who lives in Aberdeenshire. Creogarry and Dru- 
more are in the hands of the proprietor. It is perfectly absurd to go and turn out 
e poor people without re-allocation, without doing any good to those that re- 
main. These people are Roman Catholics. Now, let me say that these Roman 



FRASER-MACKINTOSH AND ARGYLL. 47 

Catholics, belonging to the ancient faith I have known them inLochaber are people 
for whom I have the highest respect. A more loyal and peaceful people than the old 
Catholics in the Highlands do not exist over the whole breadth of Scotland. What 
about the emigrants sent away? What has been done for the Roman Catholic 
emigrants sent to Manitoba? The Roman Catholic Bishop of the North-West had 
not a single Gaelic-speaking priest to spare. At one time there was a talk about Mr 
Mackintosh's going out among them, but circumstances prevented, and for him a con- 
tribution of 20 was suggested on the part of the proprietrix. And that is the whole 
provision made for these Roman Catholic emigrants, sent away to the wildest parts of 
North America. This is a matter which should be sharply and severely looked after. 

Now, did time permit, I could say a good deal about other places which we 
visited. We found many deplorable cases in Skye and in South Harris. After our 
meeting at Obe, Lord Napier and I drove through the southern part of the island. 
Hardly a house did we see, but we saw beautiful land about Luskintyre, Scaristavore, 
etc., at one time occupied by a flourishing people. We had no time, unfortunately, 
to go and see that interesting place Rodel, which is so much associated with the 
name of one of the most noted of the Macleod family. But let me read one extract 
with regard to Rodel, which is, I think, enough to bring the tears to the eyes of any 
one, and particularly when they are made to you by people who were themselves actors. 
The island belongs to the family of Dunmore ; but they are not connected with the 
more serious evictions which have taken place. The island belonged at the time to 
the Macleods, not the family of Macleod of Macleod. The witness, John Mac- 
diarmid, an old man of 88, said 

"I will tell you how Rodel was cleared. There were 150 hearths in Rodel. 
Forty of these paid rent. When young Macleod came home with his newly-married 
wife to Rodel, he went away to show his wife the place, and twenty of the women of 
Rodel came and met them and danced a reel before them, so glad were they to see 
them. By the time the year was out twelve months from that day these twenty 
women were weeping and wailing, their houses unroofed and their fires quenched by 
order of the estate. I could not say who was to blame, but before the year was out 
the 150 fires were quenched. Some of the more capable of these tenants were sent to 
Bernera, and others were crowded into the bays on the east side of Harris, small 
places that kept three families in comfort, where now there were eight. Some of the 
cottars that were among these 150 were for a whole twelvemonth in the sheilings be- 
fore they were able to provide themselves with permanent residences. Others of them 
got, through the favour of Mrs Campbell of Strond, the site of a house upon the sea- 
shore, upon places reclaimed by themselves." That is a pitiable story. 

And now, with regard to myself. I have been in Parliament now for ten full 
years, nearly eleven years, and I have seen a good deal of the outs and ins of the 
work. In going to Parliament I had no personal object to serve, and I have no 
personal object to serve now. I say this honestly. I do not think that any member 
should serve for an unconscionable length of time, as constituencies have a right to 
change, and get the services of others who are willing to act ; but upon this occasion, 
and mainly on account of the state of the land laws, and believing that I may be of 
some use with regard to the settlement of the question which is coming before the 
country, I do intend to claim your suffrages in the future. Now, gentlemen, I want 
to say this one thing the question of the future, with the increased representation, 
lies in your own hands, and I hold this, and I say this, without regard to individuals, 
that whenever the franchise is reduced you must in the whole Highlands, beginning 



48 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

with Orkney and Shetland, down to Dumbarton, you must send to Parlia- 
ment men who will make this the main point, and you must declare you will 
have no others to represent you and if you do so, you must rest assured that 
there will be a speedy solution of the question. There is a deal of agitation and a 
deal of longing and waiting on the part of the honest people in various parts of the 
Highlands and Islands. Some of you, gentlemen, may regard me as extreme in 
this matter, and others may regard my friend the Dean of Guild as extreme, 
but I tell you that there are other men with far more extreme views than either 
of us going about and expressing them; and if our moderate demands are not 
conceded, then more extreme views will become more and more prominent. Mr 
Gladstone has stated in his speech in Edinburgh that the report of the Crofter Com- 
mission was a most valuable one, and would receive the earnest attention of the 
Government as soon as possible. It is for the representatives of the Highland people 
to press that upon the Prime Minister, and not to allow it to fall through ; and I say 
for my own part, so far as I can, the Prime Minister will be made to stick to it. 

Dr Mackenzie, in moving a vote of confidence in the hon. member, said Mr 
Eraser- Mackintosh has shown us this evening that he is well qualified to be the mem- 
ber for the Highlands. I think that no one with a heart in his bosom could listen to 
the tale the harrowing tale which he has told us this evening without condemning 
in the strongest terms the system which has worked such havoc among our people. 
I, myself, in my professional capacity, often come across crofters who had been 
evicted from the fertile straths and glens, and have come into the town to spend the 
remains the miserable remains of their existence in an humble garret. I think 
that Inverness should take a special interest in this question, for by this question In- 
verness will more or less stand or fall. Inverness is not a manufacturing town. We 
have no manufacturing industries we most depend more or less on the country sur- 
rounding us, and we cannot see that country deprived of its resources, for if it is, what 
will become of our shopkeepers, what will become of our tradesmen -yes, gentlemen, 
what will become of our professional men, for there will be no people to attend to ? 
What has been the cause of the falling off in Cromarty, Invergordon, Dornoch, and 
other northern towns? Simply that the surrounding country had been depopulated, 
and one or two large farms have taken the place of a large number of small tenants. 
These people who are evicted to make room for these large farmers who may or may 
not patronise us these people, I say, are obliged to come into these towns, and what 
is the consequence ? They become paupers, and we, the inhabitants of Inverness, 
have to pay poor-rates, while the proprietors who evicted them are receiving i an 
acre of rent and more for the land which those people cultivated and brought to its 
present fertile state. That is a preposterous state of things, which cannot be 
allowed to continue. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh has told us this evening how he has 
taken up this question as a member of the Crofter Commission, and he has also told 
us his views on the franchise question, and with regard to the latter, I can only say 
that when the crofters get their votes they will show themselves that they will only 
return to Parliament people who will help Mr Fraser-Mackintosh to bring on and 
carry a good Land Bill. 

THE STORNOWAY CROFTER DEMONSTRATION.-The great Demon- 
stration held in Stornoway on the i6th of October last, and its lessons, will be dealt 
with in our next issue, as well as the partisan the poisoned sources of the false in- 
formation supplied by the whole of the Scottish press regarding it. The manner in 
which the press is supplied with this class of news from the North will be fully exposed. 



THE 

CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A., Scot. 
No. CX. DECEMBER 1884. VOL. X. 

THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 
BY ALEXANDER Ross. 



THE family of Milntown and a few of its cadets spelt their name 
at different periods, and often indiscriminately, Mvnroand Munro. 
The latter is the form adopted in this and the following chapters, 
as being, on the whole, nearer the general pronunciation, and that 
which has been used by the Chiefs of the Clan for the last two 
centuries. 

The founder of the family of Milntown, in or about the year 
1465, was John, son of Hugh Munro, twelfth Baron of Fowlis, by 
his second marriage 'with Lady Margaret Sutherland, daughter 
of Nicolas, eighth Earl of Sutherland, grand-daughter of William, 
fifth Earl of Sutherland, and of his wife, the Princess Margaret, 
eldest daughter of the second marriage of King Robert the Bruce. 

John Munro was called the Tutor of Fowlis, on account of 
his having been for^many years guardian of his nephew, John, 
the young Baron of Fowlis, whose father, George, and grand- 
father, Hugh, were killed at the battle of Bealach-na-Broige, in 
1452. He is recorded as having " purchased the ward of the lands 
of Fowlis, in favor of his nevvy, the sone of his deid brother 
George Munroe."* 

In a manuscript History of the Munros, written apparently 
about the year 1712, John Munro is described as a "bold, forward, 

* History of the Earldom of Sutherland. 

D 



5 o THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

daring gentleman, esteemed by his sovereign, and loved by his 
friends." It was he who fought the Battle of Clachnaharry, near 
Inverness, with the Mackintoshes. 

The following is the account of this sanguinary conflict given 
by Sir Robert Gordon in his History of the Earldom of Suther- 
land:"]^ Monroe, tutor of Foulls, travelling homeward on his 
journey from the South of Scotland towards Rosse, did repose 
himself by the way in Strathardale, between Sanct Johnstoun 
(Perth) and Athole, wher he fell at variance with the inhabitants 
of that countrey, who had abused him. Being returned home to 
Rosse, he gathered together his whole kinsmen and followers, and 
declared into them how he had been used, craveing withall their 
aid to revenge himself of that injurie ; unto the which motion 
they hearkned willinglie, and yeelded to assist him to the utter- 
most of their abilities. Whereupon he singled out thrie hundred 
and fyftie of the best and ablest men among them, and went with 
these to Strathardaill, which he wasted and spoilled, killed some 
of the people, and careid away their cattell. In his return home, 
as he wes passing by the ile of Moy with the prey, Mackintosh 
(cheftan of the Clanchattan) sent to him to crave a pairt of the 
spoile, being persuaded thereto by some evill disposed persons 
about him, and challenging the same as due unto him by custome. 
John Monroe, in curtesie, offered into Mackintosh a reasonable 
portion, which he, thorow evill councell, refused to accept, and 
wold have no less than the half of the whole booty ; whereunto 
John Monroe wold not hearken nor yield, bot goeth on his in- 
tended journie homeward. Mackintosh conveens his forces with 
all dilligence, and followes John Monroe, whom he overtook at 
Clagh-ne-Hayre, besyd Inverness, hard by the ferrie of Kessak. 
John perceaving Mackintosh and his companie following them 
hard at hand, he sent fyftie of his men home to Ferrindonald with 
the spoile, and incouraged the rest of his followers to fight : so 
ther ensued a cruell conflict, wherein Mackintosh was slain, with 
the most part of his companie ; divers of the Monroes were also 
ther slain. John Monroe wes left as deid in the field, and wes 
taken up by the Lord Lovat his predicessor, who careid him to 
his hous, wher he was cured of his wounds ; and wes from thence 
foorth called John Bacelawigh, becaus he wes mutilat of one of 
his hands all the rest of his dayes. From this John Bacelawigh 



THE MUNROS OF MILLTOWN. 51 

Monroe of the familie of Milntown Monroe descended." The 
date assigned by Sir Robert for this conflict is 1333. 

In a manuscript account of the "Conflicts in Scotland" there 
is a report of this clan battle of Clachnaharry, which in all import- 
ant particulars, mainly agrees with the above, except in the date, 
1341, which can hardly be accurate; neither can the year 1333; 
but that of 1454, given by Shaw, is more likely to be correct. 
At page 219 of his "Province of Morayshire," he says "A 
shameful and bloody conflict happened betwixt the Mackin- 
toshes and Munroes in the year 1454. The occasion was this 
John Munroe, tutor of Fowles, in his return from Edinburgh, 
rested upon a meadow in Strathardale, and both he and his 
servants falling asleep, the peevish owner of the meadow cut off 
the tails of his horses. This he resented as the Turks would 
resent the cutting off their horses' tails, which they reckon a 
grevious insult. He returned soon with three hundred and fifty 
men, spoiled Strathardale, and drove away their cattle ; in pass- 
ing the Loch of Moy in Strathern he was observed. Mackintosh, 
then residing in the Island of Moy, sent to ask a Stike Raide, or 
Stick Criech, that is, a Road Collop ; a custom among the High- 
landers, that when a party drove away spoil through a gentle- 
man's land they should give him part of the spoil. Munroe 
offered what he thought reasonable, but more was demanded ; 
Mackintosh, irritated by some provoking words, given to his 
messenger, convocated a body of men, pursued the Munroes, 
and at Clachnaharie, near Inverness, they fought desperately. 
Many were killed on each side, among whom was the Laird of 
Mackintosh ; John Munroe was wounded and laimed, and was 
after called John Bacilach. The Munroes had great advantage 
of ground by lurking among the rocks ; whilst the Mackintoshes 
were exposed to their arrows. How rude and barbarous was the 
spirit of men in those days ? and upon what trifling, nay shame- 
ful, provocations did they butcher one another." 

There is another narration of this fight, given in the " His- 
torical Account of the Family of Frisel or Eraser," pages 54-5, 
on the authority of MSS. of Frasers in the Advocates' Library, 
Edinburgh (p. 1 14), as follows : 

"On the 2/th of June 1378, the Munroes, a distinguished tribe 
in Ross, returning from an inroad they had made in the south of 



52 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Scotland, passed by Moyhall, the seat of Mackintosh, leader of 
the Clan Chattan. A share of the booty, or road-collop, payable 
to a chief for traversing his domains, was demanded and acceded 
to ; but Mackintosh's avaricious coveting the whole, his proposal 
met with contempt. Mackintosh summoned his vassals to extort 
compliance. The Munroes pursuing their journey, forded the 
River Ness a little above the Island, and dispatched the cattle 
they had plundered across the hill of Kinmylies, to Lovat's pro- 
vince. Their enemies came up with them at the point of Clag- 
nahayre, and immediately joined battle. The conflict was such 
as might have been expected from men excited to revenge by a 
long and inveterate enmity. Quarter was neither sought nor 
granted. After an obstinate struggle, Mackintosh was killed. 
The survivors of his band retraced their steps to their own 
country. John Munro, tutor of Foulis, was left for dead upon 
the field ; from the loss of his arm he ever after acquired the 
name of John Back-Lawighe. The Munroes were not long in 
retaliating. Having collected a sufficient force, they marched in 
the dead of night for the Isle of Moy, where the Chief of the 
Mackintoshes resided. By the aid of some planks which they 
had carried with them, and now put together, they crossed to the 
Isle, and glutted their thirst for revenge by murder or captivity of 
all the inmates." 

There are other notices of this fight in Pennants " First 
Tour" in Scotland in 1769, as also in Anderson's "Scottish 
Nation," vol. iii., page 214, and in Brown's "History of the 
Highlands," vol. i., page 151, which vary very little from those 
above given. The following account, which was written by Mack- 
intosh of Kinrara, about two hundred years after the event, bears 
every mark of being an unbiassed statement ; he moreover treats 
of the encounter as one he deplores. It will be seen that, though 
not generally known, the principal actors were not only reconciled, 
but became brothers-in-law : 

" In 1454 a sudden and unexpected contest sprung up be- 
tween Malcolm Mackintosh, commonly called Gilliecallum Oig, 
Mac-Mic-Gilliecallum Beg, grandson of the afore-mentioned 
Mackintosh (of Mackintosh), and John Monro, tutor of Fowlis. 
A very keen contest followed. The origin of it was this : John 
Munro was second son of Hugh Munro of Fowlis, and acted tutor 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 53 

to John Munro, his nephew, by his brother, George Munro of 
Fowlis. Returning from a tour to the South for despatching his 
pupil's business, a dissension took place between him and the in- 
habitants of Strathardale. He was contemptuously treated and 
loaded with great abuse. Intent upon revenge he comes home, 
informing his friends and relations of the injury he has sustained, 
and implores their assistance. At the head of two hundred chosen 
men he advances with all possible speed, and before his approach 
is observed enters Strathardale, ravages the country, and carries 
off the herds of cattle. At the River Findhorn, on his return, the 
afore-mentioned Malcolm Oig meets him by accident, and under- 
standing the matter, is urged by the young men that follow him 
to demand a part of the plunder. John offers him twenty-four 
cows and a bull, which Malcolm Oig proudly and rashly rejects, 
insisting on no less than one-third part. John treats his demand 
with scorn, and proceeds on his way, determined to give none. 
Malcolm Oig incensed, instantly communicates this to his friends, 
and immediately commands the inhabitants of Petty and Loch- 
ardil to follow John and obstruct his passage until he, with the men 
of Strathnairn, shall have come up. His commands are obeyed. 
They pursue John beyond the water of Ness, and overtake him 
at a place called Clachnaharry. He (John), sends off forty men 
with the booty, and encourages the rest to fight. A fierce con- 
flict ensues. A few fell on each side. John, almost slain, is left 
among the dead, but Lord Lovat upon better information takes 
care of his recovery. John was afterwards called ' Baichlich/ 
i.e. maimed, because he lost his hand in that engagement From 
him descended the family of Milntown. Malcolm Oig was not 
present in that battle, which arose from his temerity, for the con- 
flict took place before he came up. " The same Malcolm Oig 
afterwards married Janet Munro, sister of John." 

The chief difficulty remaining is to fix the correct date of 
the event, as there are so many discrepancies in the different 
historians, although they all agree in the main facts the years 
1333, 1341 (in Lawrie's " Scots Wars," page 116), 1378, and 1454, 
being variously stated by them. Sir Robert Gordon was not 
over-exact in giving dates to the events which he describes, and 
the year (1333) given by him may be at once discarded; and, 
for many reasons, that of 2/th June 1378, assigned to it in the 



5 4 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

"MS. History of the Erasers," though the only one stating the 
month, can hardly be accepted as decisive. I am inclined to 
accept the year 1454 as the actual date of the battle of Clachna- 
harry. No chief of the Clan Mackintosh, from Angus, who 
fought at Bannockburn, and died in 1346, aged 77, down to Mal- 
colm Beg noticed above who died in 1457 at the age of 90, is 
recorded by any writer of their history as having been so killed ; 
yet all the historians above quoted except Mackintosh of Kin- 
rara _agree in saying that the Chief of the Mackintoshes was 
slain at Clachnaharry, a circumstance which is quite unaccount- 
able, and I leave it as a crux in chronology. 

The sobriquet given to John Munro should be spelt " Bac- 
lamhach." "Bac-lamh" is a manacle or handcuff; "Bac-lamhach" 
means disabled in the hand. " Coitach " should be spelt 
" Ciotach." " Coit" signifies a "coble" or " coracle." " Ciotach " 
is the proper word for " lefthand." Both words were evidently 
applied to John Munro " Bac-lamhach," because he was lame- 
handed. " Ciotach " because he became so expert in the use of 
the left hand as to make both terms equally applicable " Ian 
Bac-lamhach," "John Lamehand;" "Ian Ciotach," "John Left- 
hand." 

Clach-na-Faire^ or as it is now spelt, Clachnaharry, literally 
means, in Gaelic, " the stone of watching." This stone was 
placed by the authorities of Inverness in a conspicuous position, 
with men on the watch, from early morning to nightfall, to give 
an alarm of any threatened raid from Ross ; the view from the 
place being so commanding as to enable them to see any hostile 
approach, whether by crossing Kessock Ferry, or coming round 
by the head of the Beauly Firth. A commemorative monument 
was, several years ago, erected by the late Hugh Robert Duff of 
Muirtown, on a site amid the rocks where the conflict took place. 

John Munro I. of Milntown, married late in life, and left, at 
least, two sons 

1. Andrew M6r, his successor, and 

2. John of Kilmorack, who married a daughter of Henry 
Urquhart of Davidston, in the parish of Cromarty, by whom he 
had, among others, a son, 

Donald, who married Jane, daughter of William M'Vorchie 
that is, William, son of Murdoch by whom he had two sons 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 55 

(1) Thomas, and 

(2) Alexander, who migrated to Lochbroom, where he mar- 
ried, and had a son, John, who entered the Church, and in 1569 
was presented to the vicarage of his native parish by King James 
VI. He died in 1573, and in that year James presented Angus 
Macneil Mackenzie to the vicarage. 

Thomas, III. of Kilmorack, married Jean, daughter of Hugh 
Ross of Millderg, by whom he had a son, Andrew. He had also 
a natural son, named Donald. 

Andrew married Anne, daughter of Angus M'Vorchie of 
Inveran, by whom he had two sons 

(i) John, and (2) Alexander. 

John married Isabella, daughter of Donald Munro of Miln- 
town of Alness, by whom he had, among others 

(i) Robert, and (2) Donald. 

Robert married Christian, daughter of Donald Brown of 
Acharn, in the parish of Alness, by whom he had two sons 

(1) Donald, and 

(2) Hector, who entered the army, and fought at the battle 
of Worcester, where he was taken prisoner, and banished to the 
Barbadoes. I have not succeeded in tracing further the descent 
of this branch. 

John Munro, I. of Milntown, died about the year 1475, and 
was succeeded by his eldest son 

II. Andrew, who is stated to have been " a bold, austere, 
and gallant gentleman, esteemed by his friends, and a terror to 
his enemies." It was he who built the Castle of Milntown ; 
and in connection with its erection Sir Robert Gordon makes 
the following observation, on page 146 of his Earldom of 
Sutherland: 

" About the year A.D. 1 500, the Monroes of Milntown began 
to build the castell of Milntoun. Their next neighbours, the 
Rosses of Balnagown, endevoard to stop and hinder them from 
the building of the castell. But Earl John of Sutherland went 
himselff in persone to defend them against Balnagowan, his brag- 
ings. Thea returning home into Sutherland, he did leave a com- 
panie of men at Milntown, for their defence against the Rosses, 
untill the most pairt of that castell was finished ; which kyndness 
the Monroes of Milntoun doe acknowledge unto this day." 



56 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

The Laird, or Chief of Balnagown at that period, was Sir 
David Ross, Knight, who played a conspicuous part in the 
history of Ross-shire, of which he was for several years sheriff. 
It is a remarkable fact that a lineal descendant Lord Tarbat- 
of that John, Earl of Sutherland, who assisted the Munros in 
their contentions with the Rosses of Balnagown and their allies, 
will at some future period, inherit the very place that his ancestor 
defended, now called New Tarbat, formerly Milntown, the vaults 
of which now only remain at the back-ground of the modern 
mansion-house of New Tarbat, built by the late Lord Macleod, 
who died in 1789, and great-great-grandfather of the present 
Duchess of Sutherland, mother of Lord Tarbat. 

According to an entry in the " Kalendar of Fearn," the old 
castle of Milntown was burnt down accidentally by the nest of 
a jackdaw, which had been built in some part of the house, 
taking fire. The entry in the Register quaintly records that on 
"the 19 of May 1642, the hous of Milntown was burnt negli- 
gentlie be ane keai's nest." 

Andrew married and left one son, Andrew, on account of 
his low statue, called Andrew " Beg." 

Andrew M6r of Milntown, died in 1501, and was succeeded 

by his only son. 

(To be continued.) 

THE LOST GAELIC DICTIONARY. As a partial reply to your query 
last month regarding a Gaelic Dictionary prepared early in the present century by 
Mr Alexander Robertson, Kirkmichael, Perthshire, permit me to quote a short ex- 
tract from Ramsay's " History of the Highland and Agricultural Society." It is as 
follows, and will be found at page 136 of that work : " On 27th June 1806, there was 
voted a sum of ^"30 to Alexander Robertson, schoolmaster, Kirkmichael, Perthshire, 
for the manuscript of a Gaelic Dictionary, proposed to be published by him, but 
which the Society had obtained from him as an aid to one on a more extensive scale, 
it had in view to publish." I understand some portion of Robertson's Dictionary was 
actually published. It would be well worth while for some energetic Celt, say 
Professor Mackinnon, to examine the minutes and other archives of the Highland 
Society about the date referred to, in order to discover how much of the credit of 
laying the foundation of the Highland Society's great Dictionary was due to the 
humble schoolmaster of Kirkmichael. If his Dictionary was prepared as early as 
the year 1806, he must have been the first of our Gaelic lexicographers, with the 
exception of Shaw whose Dictionary was published in the year 1778. Probably 
something of the history of the man might be gathered from the Session Records, or 
from some old inhabitants of the parish of Kirkmichael. It seems rather ungenerous 
in the compilers of the Highland Society's Dictionary not to have acknowledged the 
assistance derived from Robertson's manuscript, for which the Society voted ^"30. 
I can hardly conceive that this sum in any sense adequately represented the value of 
the labour required at that early time to compile a Dictionary of the Gaelic lan- 
guage of the thorough character described in the prospectus announcing the pro- 
jected publication of Robertson's Dictionary. I, B. O. 



57 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT, FROM A 
HIGHLAND POINT OF VIEW. 



II. 

LAST month I parted with the reader at the town of Ballina, and 
promised, in another article, to take him along with me through 
several other counties in Ireland. Before leaving the West, 
however, it may be appropriate to make a few general remarks 
on matters which came under my observation, while in County 
Mayo. 

The island of Achill, in this county, has a population of 
over five thousand people, very poor ; and their holdings hitherto 
were highly rented. The very week that I was in the district, 
the Sub-Commission for County Mayo was hearing cases and 
inspecting holdings in the island, and decisions were given in 
about forty cases, the reductions in rent being on Lord Cavan's 
property 45 per cent, on the Home Mission estates 36^ per 
cent, and in a test case from Captain Pike's property, the extra- 
ordinary reduction of 54 per cent was made. Nearly the whole 
able-bodied male population of this island migrate to England 
during the harvest each year, leaving their wives and families to 
attend to their holdings at home. From this source they usually 
take home at the end of the season from 8 to 10, which en- 
able them to live through the winter, and, hitherto, to pay the 
exorbitant rents charged, as in most other places in Ireland, on 
the results of their own labour in reclaiming the land from the 
boggy and mountainous wastes. 

I found in almost all the places which I had visited in the 
West that, though the people grew corn oats and barley they 
nearly all lived on potatoes and Indian meal, and that they sold 
the oats and barley generally for the manufacture of Irish 
whisky. I was informed that there was not much difference in 
the price of oat and Indian meal, and that the principal reason 
that the oats and barley were disposed of was that there were 
not now nor, indeed, since the famine years any mills in the 
remote parts of the county in which the oats and barley could 
be ground. This appears to me, as an outsider, a question 



58 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

which demands the attention of the leaders of the people in Ire- 
land, for the sustaining power of Indian meal is not for a moment 
to be compared with that of oat and barley meal, to say nothing 
of its unpalatable qualities. The oats and barley are sold early 
in the season to pay the rent to the landlord, and to meet the 
indebtedness to the local merchant, who supplies the Indian 
meal on credit at a large profit, thus securing the profit on both 
the oats and the Indian meal, necessarily lost to the poor tenants, 
who are obliged to fall in with this objectionable custom. 

I was quite surprised to find the people speaking in such a 
friendly spirit of the members of the Royal Irish Constabulary, 
though, in not a few cases, they had to come into direct contact 
with the inhabitants, shooting some of them down, and wounding 
them with their sword-bayonets. I had unusual facilities for see- 
ing these men during my visit to Ireland, and I am not at all 
surprised that they should be considered the finest body of men 
in Europe. They are all recruited from among the people, and, 
as I said, on very friendly terms with them. Notwithstanding 
this, and, though their feelings of kindred towards their friends 
must have been strong, there is not a single instance, during the 
whole of the Irish land agitation, in which a member of the 
force failed to do his duty. 

Between Ballina and Dublin I passed through the counties 
of Galway, Roscommon, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, and Dublin. 
Between Ballina and Westford Junction the country is thickly 
populated and very rugged. At several stations on the way I 
noticed large crowds of country people apparently seeing away 
some friends. As the train started, in each case the most extra- 
ordinary howling weeping and wailing aloud by men and 
women, young and old, to all appearance of the most heart- 
rending character, was indulged in by crowds varying from 
twenty to fifty people. At first I thought that some apprehen- 
sions had been made by the police for crimes of a serious nature, 
and that the offenders were being taken away to prison, but, on 
making inquiry, I discovered that it was nothing more serious 
than a few people who were going to America by one of the 
Atlantic liners starting from Kingstown on the following morn- 
ing. My informant, a native, well acquainted with the district, 
told me that, notwithstanding the apparent heart-rending scenes 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT. 59 

which I had just witnessed, most of these people, before they 
were fifty yards away from the station, would be laughing and 
jumping in the most light-hearted manner, and as if nothing 
extraordinary had taken place. 

Two Catholic priests accompanied me in the same carriage 
a considerable part of the journey to Dublin, and from them I 
learned that the priests, almost without exception, supported the 
Irish Land League, and that most of them had long done so, 
except in their issue of the "No-Rent" manifesto, which was 
condemned on all hands as immoral. It was, however, well 
known in Ireland, they told me, that Mr Parnell, who was 
at the time in prison, never signed it, and that he highly dis- 
approved of its having been issued, both in principle and policy, 
though, for the sake of his friends outside, who adhibited his 
name in his absence, he never made much of his objections in 
public. One Catholic bishop, a Dr Gilooly, I think, opposed the 
League, and had commanded his clergy to discountenance it. 
They could not oppose him publicly, as this would be an overt 
act of disobedience, but his orders were otherwise ignored, and 
the people were allowed to know that the bishop was in a 
minority of one, not only among the Episcopate, but also among 
the clergy of his own diocese. Two of his priests were my in- 
formants, and what they said I had fully corroborated to me 
afterwards by others of this bishop's clergy in my hotel in Dub- 
lin, where I met several of them, no fewer than twelve reverend 
fathers dining at the same table with me. 

I was anxious to know the views held in clerical circles of 
the interference of His Holiness the Pope in the matter of the 
Parnell testimonial, and was informed that he had been misin- 
formed by Mr Errington and other emissaries of the British 
Government. The clergy of Ireland knew this, and knew further 
that when His Holiness came to know the facts he would change 
his mind. He was not in this case acting ex cathedra^ but deal- 
ing with a temporal matter in which the clergy or people were 
not bound to obey him, and they simply declined to do so, sub- 
scribing more liberally than ever to the Parnell fund. His 
Holiness had, however, recently sent for three of the leading 
men in the Church in Ireland, and these all sympathisers with 
the people were preparing to leave for Rome when I was in 



6o THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Dublin, and everybody believed that the Pope would not again, 
after consulting them, say or do anything against the Irish Land 
League or its supporters in the Church or out of it. 

My main object in visiting Ireland was to discover the effect 
of the Irish Land Act, and how it was appreciated by the 
people themselves as well as the actual state of the peasantry- 
their mode of life and surroundings, their means of existence, 
and the state of their habitations as compared with our own 
Highland crofters the corresponding peasantry of the North of 
Scotland. Having made very general inquiry in Mayo, one of 
the poorest counties in Ireland, from all sections of the people, 
including several gentlemen holding high and official positions, I 
am bound to say that, excluding landowners and land agents 
the latter synonymous with our factors the universal feeling is 

that 

THE IRISH LAND ACT 

has been a great boon to the country, and will ultimately prove 
an incalculable blessing to the Irish nation, not excepting the 
landed interest itself. Even Irish Nationalists and the most 
extreme Home Rulers admit this to a great extent when ques- 
tioned directly on the subject, though it is manifestly against 
their interests and objects to do so. No one in Ireland can now 
be evicted so long as he pays his rent, and every yearly tenant 
is entitled to the full benefit of any improvements he or she 
may make on the land. These facts seemed so strange to the 
people, who had hitherto bean at the absolute mercy of the land- 
lords just as our own Highland crofters are at the present 
moment that it took some time before they could actually 
realise their changed condition ; but they have now commenced 
in real earnest to improve their holdings, and, in a few cases, 
their dwellings, and the general belief among the better-to-do 
classes official and non-official is that in a few years a social 
revolution a complete change for the better in the condition 
and habits of the people will be the result ; and that the Irishman, 
as soon as he can realise his improved prospects and his personal 
interests in the peace and prosperity of his country, will become 
a good, loyal, and even, in the true sense of the word, a conserva- 
tive subject of the British Crown. It is of course difficult for the 
proprietors, who had their rents reduced under the Act from 10 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT. 61 

to 60 per cent, to look with satisfaction even upon such a happy 
consummation as this; but outside landlord circles this is be- 
lieved, and looked forward to as a certainty, by all sections of 
society and by politicians of every creed, except those of the 
most extreme opinions on both sides those who in fact do not 
wish to see this happy state of things realised. 

The great objections to the Land Act from the Irish point 
of view are that all lands held under lease are excluded from its 
operation, and that a great many of the valuators appointed 
under the Act are men without any knowledge whatever 
of agriculture, who owe their position entirely to political or 
other powerful influences. It is impossible that men of this 
class can avoid falling into serious errors in their valuations, the 
result in many cases being a mere lottery. Whatever may be 
said of the exclusion of lands held under lease from the operation 
of the Act, it is impossible to deny that the objection to such 
inexperienced valuators is well-founded and should be at once 
removed. 

It may be naturally asked how it is that the Irish tenants 
are not satisfied with what they have already secured, and how 
it is that they do not show the most unbounded gratitude to the 
Government that has conferred such undoubted benefits upon 
them. To answer the first question, even if I could, would 
occupy much more space than is at present at my disposal ; and 
the almost universal answer to the second question, when put by 
me, was " Begorra, sir, the devil thank them ; they could not 
help theirselves." While fully admitting that Mr Gladstone was 
the only British statesman who ever attempted seriously to do 
justice to the claims of the Irish people, and that he would 
further benefit them if he could, they are fully convinced that 
had it not been for the Irish land agitation no Irish Land Act 
would have been passed even yet by the British Parliament. 
They also admit having felt at one time grateful to Mr Glad- 
stone, but his imprisonment of the Irish leaders has more than 
counterbalanced in the minds of the people all his previous 
efforts for the race. Their gratitude and thanks are now 
virtually to two men, and to these two men alone, namely, 

CHARLES STEWART PARNELL AND MICHAEL DAVITT, 
in the former of whom, whatever may be said to the contrary, 



62 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

they have the most unbounded confidence, and to whom they 
look up to as their Deliverer. Had it not been for Parnell and 
the Parnellites scarcely anyone in Ireland believes that the 
British Government would ever have done anything; hence 
their great confidence in him and their all but unanimous deter- 
mination to act up to his instructions or those of his lieutenants 
who are known to be in his confidence. This is fully admitted 
by his influential and active opponents, and by the leading 
officials of the various districts that I have visited. Even in 
Londonderry one meets with any number of Parnellites, and 
there are thousands even there who sympathise with him and 
with the Land League and its objects, but who, for various 
reasons, cannot afford publicly to admit it. 

All through Ireland, it is quite understood that Parnell and 
Davitt are simply running tandem in their mode of action, and 
that there is the most complete understanding between them, 
though people on this side are led to believe that they are some- 
times pulling against each other. Davitt is undoubtedly the most 
popular man personally in Ireland, but Parnell is considered, and 
has proved himself, the steadiest and most trustworthy of the 
pair in the political shafts, while Davitt is the most dashing and 
suitable for the more advanced position. Parnell is the able, 
shrewd politician, and fully trusted as such, while Davitt is looked 
upon and loved as the honest, self-sacrificing patriot, who has 
very severely suffered for his loyalty to his native land. Whether 
we like them or not, these are the actual facts, and British poli- 
ticians must take them into account in dealing with the Irish 
people. 

To satisfy myself fully before expressing an opinion on these 
questions, I travelled in County Mayo alone, some 250 miles, by 
private conveyance, not more than 25 of which were over the 
same ground. I have consulted men in every position, from the 
highest to the lowest in the county ; and I may say, in a sentence, 
that what I have written is based on the all but unanimous testi- 
mony of these people. Even the tradespeople, some of whom 
say that they have in some degree suffered from the agitation, 
fully sympathise with it, and will support the leaders with their 
money and their votes ; for they quite see and say that the agita- 
tion and the Land Act have benefited the country to an incal- 



IRELAND AND THE IRISH LAND ACT. 63 

culable extent, and that the whole trade of Ireland must ulti- 
mately benefit by the general prosperity which will now soon 
follow, as they all expect and believe. 

No king ever received the homage of a nation as Mr 
Parnell received that of the Irish people ; and those who say that 
his influence is on the wane may be safely put down as those 
whose "wish is father to the thought." Whenever a general 
election takes place, it matters not upon what franchise the 
present or an extended one the almost universal opinion is 
that, with the exception of some dozen seats, the Irish people 
will return the nominees of Mr Parnell from one end of Ireland 
to the other. And this is not merely the opinion of his friends, 
but of his most inveterate opponents I might say his inveterate 
enemies for he is most sincerely hated, and no wonder, by the 
landed classes, most of whom are, in the meantime at anyrate, 
almost ruined many of them really so. 

THE CONDITION OF THE IRISH PEASANTRY. 

I have always been led to believe that the small tenants of 
Ireland were in a far worse position than the corresponding class 
in the North of Scotland the Highland crofters. If it had been 
possible for me to have had any conceit on this question, know- 
ing, as I did so well, the miserable the almost unspeakably 
miserable condition of my own crofting countrymen, it would 
have been completely knocked out of me by my present visit to 
what is universally admitted to be one of the very poorest dis- 
tricts in Ireland. I do not feel quite prepared to express a 
decided opinion as to the comparative means of subsistence of 
the two peoples the quality and quantity of the food they 
consume but as to the superior outward appearance and sub- 
stantial nature of the dwellings of the Irish peasants over those 
of my Highland countrymen there is no question at all. Indeed, 
there can be no comparison. 

I always had the idea that an Irish cabin was nothing but a 
mud or turf hut, and since I landed in the country I was always 
expecting to meet with such, but I have not seen one, though I 
have touched the Atlantic on the West Coast of Mayo, and gone 
through the poorest part of the poorest county, taking it all over, 
in the whole of Ireland. On the contrary, the people have sub- 



64 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE, 

stantially-built stone houses with stone gables, and chimneys at 
both ends or in the middle of the houses, in most cases with 
white-washed walls and straw-thatched roofs, done in the best, 
and, in some cases, in an artistic manner. The Irish cabin of 
my imagination does not really exist, and the actual dwelling 
of the Irish peasant in the very poorest localities is not to be 
compared for a moment with that of the Highland crofter in the 
West Highlands and Islands in South Uist, Barra, and portions 
of Skye, and the greater portion of the Lewis. The mere com- 
parison brings the blush to my cheek. 

If only a few of our Highland proprietors could be induced 
to visit Ireland as I have done, they would return home 
thoroughly ashamed of the system which admits of the present 
state of things the wretched hovels in which many of our coun- 
trymen in the Highlands have to live. The fact is, that, even 
before the Irish people got their Land Act, they were, to all ap- 
pearance, better off in every respect than the Highland peasantry. 
Evictions on the scale and in the manner in which they were 
carried out with us were quite unknown in Ireland ; and, from 
all I can learn, the Irish landlord generally was a far superior being 
to his Highland prototype. 

DUBLIN. 

His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge arrived in 
Dublin the same night as I did. Next morning, he, accompanied 
by the Lord-Lieutenant, the Commander-in-Chief in Ireland, and 
the military staff, with Lady Spencer and her friends, inspected 
the garrison ; and it was remarked by many, with much regret, 
that not a single cheer greeted him as he came on the field in 
the Phoenix Park; nor was there a single flag in the whole City 
of Dublin, except two or three shown on the military barracks 
and military hospital. He was respectfully spoken of, but it 
appears to have been tacitly agreed to thus express by silence 
the feeling of the people against the Lord-Lieutenant and his 
military government of Ireland, supposed by outsiders to be 
governed, as we are, on purely Constitutional principles, though, 
beyond defending the acts of the Castle officials, I was told that 
the Lord-Lieutenant had in reality as much or as little to do 
with the actual government of Ireland as her Majesty the Queen 
had to do with the actual realities of the government of the 



THE REV. ALEXANDER CAMERON. 65 

United Kingdom ; and that British rule in Ireland could not be 
maintained for twenty-four hours without the rifle and bayonet. 

Having driven round the Phoenix Park and the principal 
streets and squares of this splendid city, and having seen its 
public buildings, and some of its public men, I crossed to Holy- 
head by the day steamer on my way to Liverpool and Glasgow, 
at both of which places I spent at least a day. I in due course 
found my way to the Highland Capital after a three weeks' trip, 
one of the most enjoyable and instructive in various ways that I 
ever spent, and one which I would not have missed, with my 
present experience, for a very substantial reward. It is a great 
pity, both for the Irish and for us, that more of our people do 
not visit that beautiful country a country, notwithstanding the 
deplorable acts that have occurred among themselves, in which 
one is as safe travelling as in any part of England or Scotland. 
A. M. 

THE REV. FATHER ALEXANDER CAMERON- 
SON OF LOCHIEL. 

THE following extract from the Dingwall Presbytery Records, 
vol. 3, p. 411-2, refers to the son of John Cameron XVIII. , of 
Lochiel, mentioned at page 2 14 of Mackenzie's "History of the 

Camerons," recently published. 

AT DINGWALL, 27th April 1743. 

The Presbytery do appoint their Commissioners to the ensuing General Assembly, 
to lay before the said Assembly the following brief representation respecting the state 
and growth of popery in their bounds, particularly that the Presbytery do find, besides 
Mr John Farquarson, a Jesuite Priest, who, for several years, resided and traffick'd in 
the Chisolm's country as a Foppish Missionary, that there is one, Alex. Cameron, 
brother to the present Laird of Locheale, who hath lately settled in the part of Strath- 
glass that pertains to the Lord Lovet, and is employed as a Poppish Missionary in 
that neighbourhood and Glenstrathfarrar, and trafficks with great success ; and that he 
hath great advantage by his connexion with the inhabitants of Lochaber, which gives 
the people of these corners, wherein he is employed, occasion to suppose that it is in 
his power to protect them and their cattle from the invasions of the people of that 
country, or to avenge himself upon them by their means, by which the few Protestants 
that are there are much discouraged, and kept in perpetual terror ; that severall argu- 
ments and methods are said to be used by him that would more become a country 
where Popery had the advantage of law in its favours than places that are under a 
Protestant Government, by all which means the Presbytery do find that a greater num- 
ber have been perverted to Popery in those parts within these few months than thirty 
years before. The Presbytery do instruct their Commissioners to urge the Assembly 
to take the matters above mentioned to their serious and reasonable consideration, and 

E 



66 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

endeavour to procure the Assembly's particular recommendation to the Committee for 
Reformation of the Highlands to take a special care for providing these corners, not 
only with a well qualified preacher, such as is there presently employed, but also witl, 
a catechist and schoolmaster, and that the Assembly give proper order for executing 
the laws against the saids Mrs John Farquharson and Alexander Cameron, and that 
the Assembly use their interests with the superiors and heritors of the parishes of 
Killtarlatie and Kilmorack, to protect the Protestant religion in their bounds, and 
discourage, by all reasonable and likely means, the Roman Catholic religion. 

N B. The foresaid Mr Alexander Cameron is said to have been for some time 
an officer in the French Army, to have been thereafter one of the Bed Chamber to the 
Pretender at Rome, and afterwards to have gone to a monastery, in consequence of 
which he was sometime ago entered into Popish orders, and sent home for the service 
above represented. 



THE HISTORY OF THE CAMERONS. "Having in previous years produced 
histories of the Mackenzies, the Macdonalds, and the Mathesons, Mr Alexander Mac- 
kenzie, F.S.A. Scot., the editor of the Celtic Magazine, now favours us with a fourth 
massive volume of nearly five hundred pages, giving a 'History of the Camerons, with 
Genealogies of the Principal Families of the Name' (Inverness: A. & W. Mackenzie). 
The record is remarkable for its completeness, especially when we take into account 
the difficulties that had to be overcome in the execution of the herculean task a task 
made all the laborious by the fact that very little help could be afforded even by the 
heads of the leading families of the clan, however willing they may have been to give 
it. One peculiarly attractive feature of the noble volume is the very full and vivid 
account that is given of the career of General Sir Allan Cameron of Erracht, K.C.B., 
and equal justice is rendered to another illustrious soldier of the clan, Colonel John 
Cameron of Fassiefern. It is deeply interesting to trace the story of the numerous 
branches of the ancient house, many of whose members have distinguished themselves in 
every walk of life, not only in the land of their nativity, but also in England and in the 
colonies. This is illustrated in a conspicuous degree in the section of the work devoted to 
the Camerons of Cuilchenna, a branch of the family of Callart. These have included 
a remarkable number of distinguished men. One of the number is the military veteran 
Sir Duncan Alexander Cameron, K.C.B., now colonel of the Black Watch, who ser- 
ved through the Crimean campaign, commanding the 42nd at the battle of the Alma 
and the Highland Brigade at Balaclava. He was appointed President of the Council 
of Education in 1857, was Commander-in-Chief in Scotland in 1860, for several years 
acted in a similar capacity in the Australian colonies, and in 1865 was appointed 
Governor of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. ' There are many prominent 
men now living,' says our author, ' belonging to this renowned and historic clan, such 
as Commander Verney Cameron, R.N., the famous African explorer; Dr Charles A. 
Cameron, the eminent analyst of Dublin, F.R.C.S.I.; Dr Charles Cameron, M.P. 
for Glasgow, and many others, who have added in our own time to the historic fame 
of the Cameron clan.' Mr Mackenzie, who, like every honest workman, is most care- 
ful to own even the very slightest obligations to others, makes special mention in his 
modest preface of the help he has received from Dr Archibald Clerk, of Kilmallie, and 
Mrs Mary Mackellar, the well-known Gaelic poetess, who is an accomplished genealo- 
gist as well as a bard. There is an excellent index, which we note with the greater 
pleasure on account of its being the handiwork of the author's son, Mr Hector Rose 
Mackenzie, a youth who, as the father mentions with pardonable paternal pride, has 
already shown a very considerable and intelligent interest in the history, traditions, 
and folk-lore of the Highlands." Literary Notes in the Daily Mail, by the Rev. W, 
H. Wyllie. 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD, 

SELECTIONS FROM HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



I. 

FOR some time we had in our possession an old manuscript, the 
ink of which is so faded, and the paper so yellow and worn, 
that it is with no little difficulty we are able to decipher it. 
It is the autobiography, in his own handwriting, of a Highland 
soldier, John Macdonald, who rose from the ranks to be a major 
in the army. The various incidents of his career, and the numer- 
ous adventures he met with are so interesting, that we make no 
apology for making the following selections. He accompanied 
his regiment to Flanders, fought under George the Second at the 
battle of Dettingen, and had his full share of the hardships of that 
memorable campaign ; was at the battle of Fontenoy, where he 
received three wounds ; was ordered home with his regiment to 
quell the Rising in Scotland in 1745 ; but on arriving at Stafford 
information came of Prince Charles's retreat from Derby, when 
Macdonald's regiment was again ordered for foreign service. He 
was engaged at the battle of Prague, and, after peace was con- 
cluded, served in Gibraltar ; then returned home on recruiting 
service. In 1759 he secured a commission as Ensign in a regi- 
ment raised by the Earl of Sutherland. In January 1763 he 
obtained a Lieutenancy in the regular army; but in March of the 
same year his regiment was reduced, and he again retired to 
Sutherland and took to farming. When the American War of 
Independence broke out, he again joined the army, although then 
in his 56th year, and took with him his son, aged only fifteen, to 
serve as a volunteer. He was appointed to the 42nd Highlanders, 
and served all through the war with distinction. At length, after 
serving for forty-three years, and attaining to the rank of Major, 
he settled down in his native county to spend the remainder of 
his days in peace. 

The first few pages have altogether disappeared, but we gather 
from a pedigree at the end of the manuscript, that John Macdonald 
came of a respectable family in Sutherlandshire. In August 1739, 



68 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

we find him-a young lad-in company with a cousin, William 
Macdonald, engaged in driving some cattle to Mombuy, to de- 
liver them to a dealer who had previously bought them. Aft. 
fulfilling their task, the two lads, being tired and hungry, went 
to the inn at Balchragan to obtain some refreshment, 
ing they found the inn full of soldiers a recruiting party of the 
3 2nd, or Colonel Deseurey's Regiment of Foot, under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant John Munro. In the servant of this gentle- 
man the lads recognised a distant relation, so that they were soon 
quite at home. The sergeant of the party, seeing two such likely 
lads, wished to enlist them, but this John Macdonald at least 
had no intention of doing. How he was at last entrapped, we 
will leave himself to tell in his own words. 

" Meantime (as I found afterwards) William hinted to his 
friend that he would list if I could be got to go with him. But 
they found this could never be brought about by fair means, 
therefore fell on the only scheme that could favour their pur- 
pose, viz., using the bottle freely, and I became so intoxicated 
that I did not recollect my crossing the water ; but when I came 
to my senses I found myself in the inn at Culrain surrounded by 
military men and uniforms. I got up much disordered in body 
and worse in mind, went to a stream to wash, and taking out my 
pocket-handkerchief to dry my hands and face, half-a-crown 
dropped out of it. Though there were many to spy how I would 
behave, none were then very near me but my cousin William. 
I expressed my surprise at seeing the half-crown there, as I did 
not keep my money so loose in those days, when he immediately 
told me that was the money I got from the Captain. I then, 
with great concern, asked him whether it was given, or put in my 
pocket. He said I might remember that I took it cheerfully to 
serve his Majesty. I asked him then if he would say so before a 
Justice of Peace, and was answered, to be sure he would. My 
next question was Are you listed, too ? and was answered in 
the affirmative. Then musing a little, it occurred to me that since 
he was against me, I had now no evidence on my side, and, there- 
fore, had better submit to my hard fate, than provoke (to no 
purpose but torment and ill usage to myself) those who had me 
entirely in their power, and had a colour of law on their side, and 
then I went with him to the company with as much spirits as 
one in the utmost despair could feign. But my cousin William 
did not escape the drunken farce, having fallen and hurted his 
knee so much that he could go no further than Kincarden. This 
was another mortifying circumstance to poor despairing me ; but 
I saw no remedy. I then went quietly with the party to the 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 69 

house of Newmore, where we found one of the most cheerful 
landlords in the universe at the door with a magnum of brandy, 
and drank to the poor penitent to whom he handed the first 
bumper, though there were two sergeants and eighteen good re- 
cruits present. We were then conducted to the dining-room, 
where we got a most sumptuous supper, with plenty of strong ale 
and punch, which went merrily round, every one drinking to poor 
miserable me ; but all entreaty was in vain, having formed a 
steady resolution to keep in my senses for the future. 

" At bedtime I was shown with the most alert serjeant to 
one of the best beds. In the morning the Captain's principal 
servant came in with the brandy bottle, took a bumper, and be- 
gan with pilgarlic to put it round. But I was the only person in 
the company that did not turn up the bottom of the glass. 

" After a good breakfast we were paraded to march to Inver- 
ness, when I stepped out of the rank, and telling the Captain if 
he meant I should be a soldier, I hoped he would not take every 
advantage of my folly, and put me off with half-a-crown listing 
money, to which he answered my good lad, the serjeant will 
give you a guinea and half-a-crown, when you arrive at Inver- 
ness. Thus their suspicions continued, but we got to Inverness 
that evening, and we were led to a canteen kept by Serjeant 
M'Bride, and everyone but myself drank heartily till the garrison 
regulations made it necessary to retire to the barracks." 

Thus, through an act of folly, the life of John Macdonald 
was completely changed. Instead of the quiet uneventful exist- 
ence he had hitherto led, he had at once launched upon a career 
of adventure, danger, and excitement. In place of the modest 
well-conducted companions of his youth, he was now thrown into 
daily association with some of the roughest and most unscrupu- 
lous men, even of that profligate age. No wonder that our young, 
piously-brought-up Highlander should have been horrified on his 
first experience of the amenities of a barrack room. This is his 
description of his first night in the Castle of Inverness 

" Hitherto, I had seen nothing of the army, but what was 
tolerable, and rather decent. But, behold ! I was shown to a 
room where there were four soldiers three-fourths drunk, playing 

at cards, cursing, swearing, d ing one another, the cards, their 

own limbs, eyes, and joints. Then, indeed, had there been open 
doors, I certainly would have taken to my heels, but that benefit 
was denied, the Castle gates being locked. I lay down, but could 
not sleep for the noise these wretches made, and the dread of the 
barracks sinking with them. At last I slumbered, but was soon 
wakened by a dreadful weight coming thump across me. I 



70 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

started up, and found this to be one of my room-mates, knocked 
atop of me by another who fell out with him at the cards, the 
other two being seconds to see fair play. It is easier to conceive 
than describe the figure I made, standing in my shirt against the 
wall like a statue, meantime one of the seconds taking notice of 
me, desired me to lie down, as he would take care they should 
keep the middle of the floor and molest me no more. He was 
as good as his word, and the battle was soon over, as well as my 
rest for that night. This was a sample of my future companions." 

At the time young Macdonald joined the army Highlanders 
were looked upon with great suspicion on account of their known 
loyalty to the exiled Stuarts. Jacobitism was a part of their 
creed, which, born with them, grew with their growth, and 
though it received a check in the failure of the Rising of 1715, it 
smouldered until it again burst forth in a flame in 1745. In con- 
sequence of this veiled antipathy to the Government, Highlanders 
who joined the army were treated more like conquered rebels 
than comrades of their fellow soldiers. This unfair treatment so 
irritated our high-spirited Highlander that he determined to 
desert. We shall give his own quaint description 

" But every one had tolerable quarters but the poor High- 
landers, treating the Serjeants and corporals was not sufficient to 
save them from being insulted and abused. The worst and 
most ignominious names was the common manner of addressing 
them, such as Highland savages, negroes, yahoos, &c, from the 
Adjutant to the meanest and most blackguard drummer, this was 
the usage in that regiment at that time ; but glory to Him that 
spared me to see decency and sobriety prevail in that worthy 
corps, and the highest esteem for my countrymen all over the 
known world. Next summer we removed to Fort-William, and 
my cousin fell ill, and I was so fretted with bad usage for the 
very cause (my country) which should have created esteem, that 
I consented with James Gunn (alias Piper) from the parish of 
Golspie to desert. But finding our finances rather low, we put off 
our design to a day appointed ; before that day, Gunn fell ill, and 
though my treatment did not mend, I began seriously to reflect 
on desertion as a bad change, as my case then must be similar to 
the old gentlemen who was frightened at the rustling of the 
leaves on the trees. Soon after this I was placed in another mess 
where I was more comfortable. The corporal of my mess was a 
man of knowledge and humanity. He was a great reader, and 
sat many hours to hear me read books of his own procuring, after- 
wards making me understand what I read. He valued me for 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 71 

my inclination to learning, and resolution to sobriety, though he 
could not keep from drink himself, except by what the soldiers 
called 'bagging,' that is, swearing not to drink for so long a time. 
His name was Edward Holloway, born in Dublin ; and had it 
not been for that failing, he might be an honour to any country. 
I should have observed that my friend Holloway chose me and 
my countrymen his room mates, and one Hamilton, a country- 
man of his own, who was reputed a great boxer. Poor old Ned 
having drank too long and hard in September, 'bagged' till 
Christmas-Day, when we insisted on enjoying ourselves with 
him in our barrack-room, and went by turns for drink. After 
some had got merry, it fell to my turn to fetch more ; when I 
came back I found a Munro from the parish of Creich, a room 
mate, at this room door, bleeding at the mouth and nose, and I 
asking him how that happened, was answered that Hamilton had 
fallen on him without any provocation. I then asked Hamilton 
how he came to abuse the poor fellow so. This was answered, 
with an oath, that he would use every Highland negro in the 
house in the same manner. I told them it was my turn to begin. 
The word was strip ; there was no alternative but that, or suffer- 
ing a continued abuse which had exhausted my patience to such 
a degree that death appeared preferable to living in such slavery; 
therefore, without the least hesitation, I began to cast off. Mean- 
time comes in another corporal who was hunting for drink, and 
seeing us in this posture, put on a countenance of authority, 
ordering us both to the guard-house as prisoners, at the same 
time whispering to me in friendship that I had better not venture 
the battle, as Hamilton was such an expert boxer that he would 
certainly beat me. I answered, with thanks, that I found myself 
so often abused by some that had not half my strength that I 
must perforce practise that art, and though he might confine us 
for a time, how soon released, I would try what this braggart 
could do ; and, indeed, he was at that instant boasting, threaten- 
ing, and alleging that I was making interest with the corporal 
not to allow us fight. The corporal being irritated at this im- 
pudent falsehood, told him that he would not only allow the 
battle, but stand by to see fair play. This permission put us 
both in buff in a moment, and falling on, I found my antagonist 
very alert, but mostly to little purpose, as I had him flat to the 
ground whenever I hit him. Few hits did the business : being 
once down, and stunned, he was ordered, but would not get up, 
and he was then declared beaten, which he owned ; but after- 
wards he swore if he had room enough I would find beating him 
harder work, for all my extraordinary strength. This was my 
first engagement of this kind, and I found it the first step to 
make the blackguards keep their distance, and to some respect 
among my comrades ; and being now grown to such a size that 



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such as knew me to have any degree of courage did not choose 
to provoke me to a quarrel." 

Having thus asserted himself, Macdonald soon found his 
life more bearable. He began to take an interest and pride in his 
profession, and his sobriety, and general good conduct recom- 
mended him to the favour of his officers. Another circumstance 
occurred at this time which raised his thoughts from the hard- 
ships of his present condition, and buoyed him up with visions of 
future happiness. Our hero fell in love, but in describing such a 
momentous affair we must again use his own words. 

" A namesake and relation of Macdonald of Keppoch lived 
in Maryburgh [Fort- William]. I frequented his house, and there 
met with a niece of his, lately come from the house of Glengarry 
where she had been from her childhood, her father dying when 
she was young, and being a relation and a great favourite of the 
Laird's, she was brought up with his children until this term, when 
she left that family with a very prudent character. On meeting 
her so often at her uncle's, I could not suppress an impulse very 
natural at my time of life at the sight of perfect innocence, and no 
small degree of beauty ; but however strong my inclination, 
reason suggested that should I succeed to my wishes (which I 
then had no ground to expect), I must bring hardships on my- 
self, and misery on the only person in the world whose happi- 
ness I wished most ; and therefore, except what was altogether 
unintelligent to my innocent favourite, I made no attempt to 
explain myself at this time." 

In June 1741, his regiment was ordered to Edinburgh, when 
Colonel Husk succeeded to the command. This worthy man 
made many alterations and improvements, and among other 
things, he showed attention to the Highlanders, and put a stop 
to the abuse and brutality with which they were formerly 
treated. Here, too, Macdonald had the good fortune of again 
meeting with his lady love. 

" My dear Janet had an aunt at Edinburgh, who hearing of 
her good qualities, and of her leaving the family of Glengarry, 
sent for her, and she was not long in town till I found her out. 
And now the struggle between reason and inclination became 
high ; but it was decided by predestination, and I became 
possessor of her, that was more calculated for to ride in a coach 
than to carry a knapsack, and I had leisure to reflect for many 
years that I should have listened to the voice which would have 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 73 

prevented the many hardships she underwent, and my sufferings 
on account of a tender delicate person whom I esteemed above 
the rest of the world." 

After his marriage, Macdonald had a few months of almost 
perfect happiness, which was only too soon disturbed by his 
regiment being ordered for foreign service. His wife having 
obtained permission to follow him, they left Edinburgh for 
London in 1742. His description of the state of the army, and 
his own sufferings is so graphic that we give it in extenso. 

"After we reached London we were reviewed by King 
George the Second, embarked, and landing in a few days at 
Ostend, lay that winter in Bruges, in the course of which I 
suffered much by fevers and agues, particularly five weeks in the 
Town Hospital, where my wife was only allowed to see me from 
eight to nine in the morning. Early in the spring of 1743, the 
army, under the command of the Earl of Stairs, marched for 
Germany, and now began the misery of a married man. Cheer- 
fully did I carry my wife's clothes with my own, and happy was 
I when she could keep up with the regiment ; but it happened 
often otherwise. 

" On this route we marched through Ghent, Brussels, and 
Aix-la-Chappell, and after crossing the Rhine, we encamped near 
Frankfort, then crossing the river on the 29th of May, took up 
ground on which we expected to fight a pitched battle with the 
French the next day. But they avoided it, and made full speed 
for the bridge at Aschaffenburg. This pass being of great con- 
sequence, Lord Stairs ordered a brigade with the utmost expedi- 
tion to it, and they had only taken possession, when the enemy 
appeared in sight. Our people having no baggage or provisions, 
how soon the necessary guard were posted those off duty went 
to the adjacent houses and villages, and, without the least cere- 
mony, took what they thought proper. The second day after, 
King George as well as the rest of the army came up, having 
pitched no tents for three days. The army had no provisions, 
nor was any furnished in these days but bread, for which the 
men paid out of the three shillings a-week ; as to blankets or 
anything of the nature of donations they were terms entirely 
unknown, on the contrary, the waistcoats for next year was 
made out of the rags of last year's coats, the skirts of which 
were unaccountably long in order to cover the body when the 
man lay in his tent, with his feet in the coat sleeves. 

"At this time the enemy took three days bread of ours 
coming up the River Maine from Frankfort. Now the whole army 
was in the utmost want of provisions, except the most desperate 



74 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

villains who would plunder at any rate ; but now had an excuse 
for such disorders, these began, and the country people fled with 
their effects, so that the army was on the brink of ruin, in so far 
that the best men, to save their lives, were obliged to venture 
forth at the risk of being hanged. A village near the King's 
quarters suffered the most, and there was a guard ordered to 
protect it, amongst these I made one. How soon the marauders 
found we were come, they made off leaving some of their prey in 
the hurry. Next morning with other things there was found a 
large sow, dead, which the inhabitants gave to the guard, one of 
the Scotch Fusiliers, a butcher, cut it up and boiled it, hair and 
all, in a copper kettle. One of the 33rd Regiment and myself 
being sentries during this operation had liked to be too late, the 
pork being all gone before we were relieved, except one pieec 
which the butchering cook had called his own, swearing none 
else should taste of it. Meantime I laid hold of him and desired 
the man of the 33rd fish out the pork with his bayonet, which 
being complied with, and I recommending the cook in a proper 
manner to keep his distance, I followed my brother soldier and 
divided the welcome morsel, which few beggars in the world 
would look at without disgust. However, how soon I got it, my 
anxiety was to share it with my wife, so off I started, and getting 
leave from the officer of the guard, went immediately to camp 
with the half, and left it with her and another woman, the only 
persons in that tent. The second day after, being relieved from 
guard, I found no victuals at home, nor did I bring any. My wife 
was big with her first child, the husband of the other woman be- 
ing on guard could not relieve her, thus I saw four lives at stake, 
without the least remedy but my venturing my own at the 
greatest risk of death or severe punishment, there being general 
orders to call the roll of companies four times a day, and confine 
any absent, in order to be punished with rigour. The Quarter- 
master and rear guard had strict orders to make prisoners all 
with whom they found the least plunder. The Provost-Marshal 
had his warrant to hang to the next tree, any found out of the 
limits of the camp. What a shocking situation ! none of us 
having hardly broke our fast that day, nor the least appearance 
of any provision for the next, thus death appeared to me in 
different shapes, but the dread of losing my wife prompted me to 
venture for the sake of provision, rather than lose a life for want 
of it, and, according, I, with fourteen other men, passed the rear 
guard one by one in the dusk of that evening, and away to the 
country, through several villages, but could not find anything 
.hus we went on farther from camp till twelve o'clock 
next day, when the men found some good wine, a little flour, 
and some shelled walnuts ; and I found a live goose Now the 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 75 

consequences of absence beginning to frighten me, I went fre- 
quently to the wine bibbers, begging they would return, as to be 
sure, the longer absent, the greater the crime ; but to no purpose, 
none could be prevailed upon but one man, and a boy, a 
drummer, with whom I turned my face to the camp. But what 
a dreadful prospect ! The Provost on the road with his guard 
and instrument, the camp surrounded with sentries, and if by 
any chance I got past all the dangers, I could not escape whip- 
ping ; being absent from three roll calls. But behold ! the 
extraordinary care of providence, I getting past the greater 
danger to the rear of the camp, sent the drummer for the 
women, they smuggled the goose, &c., under their petticoats to 
the tent, and to complete my happiness, assured me that I had 
not been missed, as there had not been an officer, serjeant, or 
corporal off duty that day to call the roll of my company. But 
though I escaped so lucky that time, I never tried my fortune in 
that way after, and hope that I am excusable before God and the 
world, for what nothing but the extreme of want could make me 
guilty of. My wife soon uncased the goose, and only dressed the 
half, and when that was done my wife observed that Willie 
Angus and Donald Macdonald were lying sick in one of the 
tents, and, perhaps, starving for want of food. I could not help 
smiling at such an unseasonable design of charity; but would not 
check such a good disposition, therefore cutting what was ready 
in two, allowed her to indulge her kind intention, certain that no 
commission could make her happier. She found them so ill that 
they had a whole loaf of the last bread they had received, which 
being instantly cut, she returned with the most part of it, and 
such joy, as always accompanies good actions, and, indeed, the 
bread she brought was worth more than the half of the goose." 

Soon after this painful episode, the army received supplies, 
and our hero was never again reduced to similar extremities. His 
intelligence and steadiness brought him under the notice of the 
Major of his regiment, with whom he soon became a great 
favourite. An incident now occurred which brought him great 
applause, but we must allow himself to tell it. 

" One day I was ordered on command under the Earl of 
Rothes; his lordship detached my Major with a party to the vil- 
lage of Dettingen. The Major halted, and having reconoitred the 
ground about his post, ordered eleven sentries to be planted, but 
on going to a rising ground beyond his sentries, he observed the 
enemy's cavalry fording the River Maine, and forming. Return- 
ing quickly to his party, the Major called for the next man to go 
sentry. Twelve being my number, I followed him till he stopped 
on the height, at an apple tree. He then looking steadfastly at 



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me, asked several questions respecting my knowledge of service^ 
to which I made such answers as induced him to give me orders 
to be attentive to the motions of the enemy, particularly if they 
moved towards me, and that I judged his party sufficient to 
engage them, I should keep my post and fire at them at a con- 
siderable distance, and he would take this as a sign to advance 
with his party ; but if I judged them too many, I was to quit my 
post without firing, join, and report what I had seen. He then 
desired me to repeat my orders, which being done to his satis- 
faction, he told me that though I was young he had confidence 
in my conduct, on which the safety or ruin of his party much 
depended. 

The enemy having increased to three considerable bodies, 
moved towards where I stood. I was at no loss how to act agree- 
able to my orders ; but being at a distance, I did not think proper 
to leave my post too soon, as they might halt, or take another 
course, and not disturb me or my party. But they continued the 
same road, regular and slow. All of a sudden three Hussars 
sprung from the party next me, and one of them made full 
speed to where I stood. I attempted making for my party, but 
before I got any distance, looking behind, and being frightened 
at the appearance of such a desperado, I thought my only method 
to escape being cut to pieces was to go back to the tree. There 
we met, and I must admit to my shame that what should have 
been done in an instant, took up some time, but it ended in a 
puff of applause which I was not conscious of meriting. However, 
the story went so high as the general officers, and a few days 
after, General Husk called on Major Stone, desiring to see the 
man of his company who behaved so well on his post when the 
French Hussar attacked him. When I appeared, the General 
said,^ Major, is this your great favourite, why don't you do better 
for him ?' The Major answered tartly, ' I would long before now 
had I been his Colonel.' Husk, smiling, said to me, ' My lad, 
continue your good behaviour, and I give you your Colonel's 
word that you shall be down for the first opportunity that offers 
in my regiment.' This was flattering, but proved to be only the 
beginning of many disappointments, for in the very next action 
General Husk was so severely wounded that he had to give up 
his command. The new Colonel knew nothing of me, and so I 
remained the Major's favourite still." 

(To be continued.) 

SUPPLEMENT. We again give four pages extra this month, 
to enable us to give Sir William Harcourt's speech, in the House 
of Commons, on the Crofter Question. 



77 

THERE'S NAE LUCK ABOUT THE HOUSE. 
A Translation into Gaelic. By the late Rev. Dr MACINTYRE 

of Kilmonivaig. 

DEAR MR EDITOR, In looking over some old papers a few 
days ago, I came on the enclosed translation into Gaelic verse of 
the well-known and popular song, " There's nae luck about the 
house," the authorship of which is doubtful, although the pre- 
ponderance of evidence is in favour of a Jean Adams, school- 
mistress in Greenock, early in the last century. The translation, 
as you will observe, is by my dear friend, the late Rev. Dr Mac- 
intyre, of the parish of Kilmonivaig one of the most accom- 
plished men of his time, and one of the best men I have ever 
known. The translation is so good, and so easily singable to its 
proper air, that I am very sure many will be glad to see it in the 
pages of your well-conducted and successful magazine. 
Yours very faithfully, 

NETHER-LOCHABER. 

"THERE'S NAE LUCK ABOUT THE HOUSE." 

"CHA'N EIL TLACHD SAM BITH MU'N TIGH." 
AIR FONN. 

Cha'n 'eil tlachd sam bith mu'n tigh, 

Cha'n 'eil tlachd no sealbh ; 
Gean no gaire cha bhith 'stigh 

'Us fear mo thigh' air falbh. 

'S am bheil cinnt gur fior an sg&il, 

Gu'm bheil e fallain, slkn? 
Bhur cuibhle tilgibh 'uaibh gu grad, 

Cha'n am gu sniomh an t-snkth. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Cha'n am gu gniomh no obair so, 

'Us Cailein dluth air Ikimh ; 
A nuas mo bhreacan 's th&d do'n phort. 

'G a fhaicinn 'tigh 'n gu traigh. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Squab dhomh taobh an teallaich glan ; 

'Phoit shomalta cuir air : 
A ch6ta domhnach do dh' Iain beag, 

'S a frogan sr6il do Cheit. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Am brog biodh dubh mar airneagaibh 

An stocaidh ban mar shneachd ; 
Gach aon ni' thoileachadh mo chiall, 

'S e 'm faicinn briadh' a thlachd. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c, 



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Tha dk chirc reamhoir anns a' chrb, 

A hhiadhadh mios us corr ; 
' G fad shniomh am muineal >s cuir air d6igh, 

Gu cuirm dha 's blasta s6gh. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

S cuirmich b6rd gu h-eireachdail, 

Le h-oilein, 'us le dealbh, 
>Chur furan-faillt' air fear mo ghrkidh, 

A bhk cho fad' air falbh. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Fair 'an so mo bhoineid dhomh, 
Mo ragha guin de'n t-slod, ^ 

S do bhean a' Bhailli 'n mms mi, 
Mu Chailein 'thigh'n gu tir. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Mo bhrbgan biorach cuiream orm, 
Mo stocnais fiamh-ghorm-fann ; 

A los gu'n toilich fear mo ghaoil, 
'Sheas fior 'na ghaol gun fheall. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Gur binn a ghuth, 's gur min a ghldir, 

Mar kileadh 'anail caoin, 
Tha fuaim a chas, 's e tigh'n a steach, 

Mar ian-cheol ait nan craobh. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Gach feud-ghaoth f huaraidh gheamhraideil, 
Mo chridh' trom a chrkidh, 

Air s^ideadh seach, 's e tear'nt' a'm ghlaic, 
'S cha dealaich,~ach am bas. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Ach 'de 'chuir "dealachadh" a' m' cheann, 
'S maith 'dh 'fheudt' gur fad e n c&n ! 

An t-am ri teachd cha'n fhac' aon neach, 
An t-am 'tha lath'ir 's lemn fem. 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

Biodh Cailein slan, 's Ikn-thoilicht 'mi ; 

Cha'n iarr mi 'n cbrr gu brath, 
'S ma bhi 's mi beo air son a leas, 

Gur sona mis' thair chkch. 
Cha'n 'ell, &c. 

An 6 gu'n cluinn mi 'ghuth a ris ! 

Gu'm faic mi 'ghnilis gu'n smal ! 
'S ann 'tha tuaineul inntinn' orm, 

'S mi 'n impis dol a ghal ! 
Cha'n 'eil, &c. 

'S cha'n 'eil tlachd sam bith mu'n tigh, 
Cha'n 'eil tlachd no sealbh ; 



Gean no gkire cha bhith 'stigh, 
'Us fear mo thigh' air falbh. 



Mknas Chillmonlbhaig, 

Latha Seann Nolaig, 1863. 



79 



THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN. 
BY JOHN MACKINTOSH. 



IT was on Monday, the 24th June, and now the mighty hosts 
of England began to move forward to the attack. A dense 
mass of warriors, noble knights in full armour mounted upon fleet 
and powerful chargers, and an immense body of archers advanc- 
ing to take up their positions. Led on by the king surrounded 
with all his regal emblems of pomp and dazzling splendour, loll- 
ing in his power and rejoicing in his might, feasting his royal 
eyes with the prospect of a great victory ; full of spirit and glow- 
ing with courage, their many banners proudly waving in the air, 
towering in their strength, the vast array approached the Scottish 
position. 

The English vanguard, consisting of archers and lancers, 
was led by the Earls of Hereford and Gloucester. The lancers 
charged at full gallop on the right wing of the Scots, commanded 
by Edward Bruce, but the Scottish spearmen firmly withstood 
the impetuous onset of the enemy. When the lines met, the 
rearing and rattling of the English cavalry was terrific, and many 
good knights bit the dust ; some were pitched from their saddles 
and slain, others trampled to death by their own horses, rendered 
furious with wounds. The Earl of Moray, seeing the right at- 
tacked, at once brought up the centre to face the main body of 
the enemy, whom he encountered with remarkable effect, even 
gaining ground though far outnumbered. For a moment his 
division appeared to be engulphed amid the seething multitude 
of the English. The left then rapidly advanced under the com- 
mand of Sir James Douglas, and Walter the Steward of Scotland, 
keeping a small space to the left of the centre. The whole Scot- 
tish line now wrestled in a hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. 
The battle raged with the utmost fury. The English cavalry 
attempted, by desperate charges many times repeated, to break 
through the Scottish spearmen, but in vain. At this all-import- 
ant hour, they thought on the home of their fathers, their own 
native hearths, mothers, wives, sons, and daughters, with all the 
sweet associations entwined around them ; remembering, too, the 



80 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

many grinding injuries, galling outrages, stinging insults, cruel 
and unmitigated suffering inflicted upon them during long years 
of dire oppression ; the soul of Scotland for once was in its place, 
bristling in its circle and boiling at its core, mustering all its 
power for one concentrated dash at the face of the enemy ; they 
repelled every attack with steady valour, and slew heaps upon 
heaps of their assailants. 

The English bowmen supported the cavalry charges, and 
galled the ranks of the Scottish spearmen ; but Bruce had fore- 
seen this, and, at the proper moment, Sir Robert Keith with 500 
men-at-arms moved round the Milton Bog and charged the left 
flank of the archers. This movement succeeded. The English 
bowmen were not prepared to defend themselves at close quarters, 
and they were instantly overthrown and scattered in all directions; 
and were so thoroughly cowed that nothing could induce them to 
return to their posts. 

The battle, however, continued to rage with unabated fury, 
but with disadvantage to the English. Bruce, seeing the enemy 
flagging and his own men still fighting vigorously, encouraged 
his leaders to strive on, assuring them that the victory would 
soon be won. He then brought up the reserve, and all the four 
divisions of his army were engaged. The English, however, stood 
their ground bravely, making many but unavailing efforts to 
break through the front of the spearmen, and at every successive 
charge losing more men and horses, and falling into greater con- 
fusion. It was then the burly noise was heard afar, the clashing 
and crashing of armour, the flight of arrows whisking through 
the air, the commingled whooping and shouting of the war cries, 
horses masterless, madly running hither and thither, careering in 
their frenzy, heedless of friend or foe ; the ground streaming with 
blood, and strewn with shreds of armour, broken spears, arrows, 
and pennons, rich scarfs and armorial bearings, torn and soiled, 
with blood and clay, and, withal, the agonising moans and groans 
of the wounded and dying. 

The Scots continued to gain ground, and pressed with re- 
animating energy upon the confused and already tottering mass 
of the enemy, rending the air with shouts of " On them, on them, 
they fall." At a critical moment the camp followers came upon 
the Gillies Hill, behind the Scottish line of battle. They had 



THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN. 81 

fastened sheets on poles, and appeared like a new army approach- 
ing. This increased the dismay amid the ranks of the enemy, 
now wearied and disheartened by the fierceness of the contest, 
and they gave way slowly along the whole line. The eagle-eyed 
Robert Bruce at once perceived this, instantly put himself at the 
head of the reserve, and, raising his war-cry, pressed with re- 
doubled and unbearable fury on the falling ranks of the enemy. 
This onset, well seconded by the other divisions of the army, 
decided the fate of the day. The English broke into disjointed 
squadrons, and began to quit the field. In spite of all the efforts 
and appealing entreaty of their leaders to rally them and restore 
order, they dispersed and fled headlong in all directions. King 
Edward stood gazing intently upon the scene around him, and 
remained on the fatal field till all was lost ; when he at last left 
it in utter bewilderment. The struggle is over, the enemy in 
flight, and the victory complete. Ah ! for the heroes who bravely 
beat, and bled, and fell, on Bannockburn. Glory to the memory 
of Robert Bruce, peace to the ashes of one among the greatest of 
the mighty dead ; who skilfully planned, as nobly led, who fought 
and won the field of Bannockburn. While Scotia's mountains 
rear their peaks, her rivers ripple to the sea, while Scotsmen's 
blood runs warm, and human sympathies endure, the nation's 
heart will throb over the remembrance of Bannockburn. History 
of Civilisation in Scotland. 



THE HOMOLOGY OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE. We have received a remark- 
ably bold and able work, under this title, being " An Essay by an East India Merchant, 
showing that Political Economy is Sophistry, and Landlordism Usurpation and 
Illegally." The author attacks the political economists, more or less, all round, in a 
robust and masterly manner. We shall deal with the work at length in an early issue. 

THE EXPEDITION OF POLICE TO THE ISLE OF-SKYE. As we go 
to press we learn that the police sent to Skye are not armed, but that the revolvers 
and the ammunition by which the people of Skye were to be shot down, are lying at 
present quite harmlessly in the Castle of Inverness. We also learn that the Police 
Committee of the County, which was hitherto supposed to have regulated all the pro- 
ceedings, was never called together, and in point of fact never had a meeting on this 
question, but that the whole thing was arranged by the sub-committee, composed of 
three or four individuals ! 

DR GEORGE MACKAY is a keen Conservative in ecclesiastical matters, and 
has said a good many strong things in his day, but his warmth of heart, genuine kindli- 
ness, and extraordinary vitality make him the pride of all parties alike in the High- 
lands. Christian Leader, 

F 



82 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

THE MILITARY EXPEDITION TO THE ISLE 
OF SKYE. 

GRAVE DISCLOSURES RESPECTING THE SOURCES OF NEWSPAPER 
INTELLIGENCE FROM THE HIGHLANDS. 

THE following letter, on the recent Military Expedition to the 
Isle of Skye and the sources of misleading newspaper intelligence 
from the Highlands, was addressed to the Home Secretary, by 
Alexander Mackenzie, editor of the Celtic Magazine on the date 
which it bears 

" Celtic Magazine" Office, 25 High Street, 
Inverness, November 18, 1884. 

To the Right Honourable 

SIR WILLIAM VERNON HARCOURT, M.P., 

Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home 
Department. 

SIR, Your sympathetic speech, delivered in the House of 
Commons on the evening of Friday, the I4th inst, on the Crofter 
Question and Land Law Reform in the Highlands generally, 
induces me to address you on a few points intimately connected 
with, and having a most important bearing on, the conduct of the 
people of the Western Isles, and, I fear, largely responsible for 
the blundering conduct of the authorities in sending a force of 
armed police and military to the Isle of Skye. It is impossible 
that one who has on repeated occasions shown so much 
sympathy with the people of the Western Isles and their legiti- 
mate aspirations could have been guilty of insulting them in the 
manner which you have done, in your official position, by 
sending a military force and armed policemen amongst them, 
unless you had been grossly misled as to the facts. That you 
were so misled through interested parties can be easily shown. 

The offence on the part of the people of Kilmuir on which 
you lay most stress, in the portion of your speech wherein you 
defend sending armed police and military to that district, is 
that "at a meeting of the crofters three individuals" (whose 
names you say you abstain from mentioning, but who are well 



THE MILITARY EXPEDITION TO SKYE. 83 

known) " were to be forcibly carried to the meeting to demand 
explanations of their conduct." Indeed, you declare in reference 
to this alleged offence that you " think there is no man in this 
House [the House of Commons] who will justify such a proceeding 
as that ; whereupon the Police Commissioners thought it neces- 
sary to strengthen the police force in Skye." This, then, was the 
immediate cause of the extra police force having been sent into 
the district by the Police authorities of the County of Inverness; 
and that although two of the three men said to have been 
threatened addressed letters to the leading newspapers, declar- 
ing that there was not a word of truth in the charges made 
against the people, and that no such threats were ever made. The 
following are the letters. They appeared in the Inverness Courier 
and in other newspapers, on the 6th of November, as follows : 

Uig Hotel, Skye, 4th November 1884. 

Sir, In your Tuesday's issue you quote from the Scotsman a paragraph regarding 
crofters' disturbance in Uig, in which it is stated that I have been summoned to attend 
a Land League meeting held here on Friday last, to give an account of certain state- 
ments made before the Crofters' Commission. The paragraph further states that 
orders have been given to certain crofters to get sledges to take myself and a Mr 
Macleod to the meeting. 

There is not the slightest tritth in either of these statements ; they are simply the 
outcome of the imagination of some person in the district, who does not appear to have 
any special regard for the disaffected crofters. I remain, yours, &c., 

JAMES URQUHART. 

Tower, Uig, 4th November 1884. 

Sir, Referring to the meeting held at Uig on the I7th ult., I beg to state that I 
was at home all day and did not see any person coming to the Tower that day ; 
further, that they did not move from the place of meeting until they separated. 
Yours, &c., JOHN MACKENZIE. 

It is said that these estate officials have sent very different 
reports to the Police authorities, but it may be safely assumed 
that people who could write two directly contradictory state- 
ments, if they have done so, do not belong to a class of wit- 
nesses, to say the least, to which a jury would pay much deference 
in any attempt to secure a conviction against the people charged 
with the offence; and the authorities, in the opinion of most reason- 
able men, ought to have hesitated, knowing the circumstances of 
the inhabitants of Kilmuir, before they ordered a force of police 
some in plain clothes to the district to further irritate them. I 
shall not go the length of some and say that the authorities sent 



84 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

this force with the view of having them deforced, and afterwards 
being able to prove that offence against the people ; but I will 
say that they could not possibly have taken better means for 
getting the people into trouble, whether they intended it or not. 
The probability is that if the police had all been in uniform, they 
would have been allowed to proceed on their way unmolested ; 
but the people naturally enough thought that, some being in plain 
clothes, they had among them sheriff-officers to serve notices of 
removal. I do not for a moment excuse or in any way defend 
the conduct of the crofters in this case, but I have no hesitation in 
saying that the police ought never to have been sent at all ; and 
the authorities having blundered themselves in sending them, 
should have shown more consideration for the people than to 
have obliged you, as Secretary of State, to grant a mili- 
tary force to cover their own original blundering in sending the 
police to protect men from the effects of threats, which, accord- 
ing to the men alleged to have been threatened, were never 
made. 

You next proceed to say that the information which 
reached you was "that there was a special animosity there 
against the police," and that, to your 'mind, was "a very 
grave symptom, indeed." I am afraid that you were not 
properly informed as to the cause why such a feeling existed, 
especially in Kilmuir. The whole people of Skye have a bitter 
recollection of how the men of the Braes had been bruised and 
maimed by the batons of the police two years ago, though it was 
afterwards admitted, on all hands, that the people's claim was 
just, and that the landlord was wrong, and finally gave way. But 
they had a special reason of their own, in Kilmuir, to dislike 
the police, and I now proceed to explain it, feeling sure that it 
was not placed before you when the demand was made upon 
you by the Police Committee for an armed force of police and 
military, although their head official had a full knowledge of the 
facts which I shall now relate. 

When the Royal Commission visited Kilmuir, some very 
damaging statements were made by some of the crofters respect- 
ing Major Eraser's management of the estate, and in reference to 
his local officials. Some time after this, a petition was prepared 
by some of the officials in the district, which the Sergeant of 



THE MILITARY EXPEDITION TO SKYE. 85 

Police John Mackenzie, now local ground-officer for the pro- 
prietor hawked among the people for signature, telling them, 
they allege, that it was a petition to Major Eraser asking him 
to construct a pier in the Bay of Uig, and to make other im- 
provements on the property ; whereas it was found, when the 
petition was presented to some of the people who could read, that 
they were asked to sign a document in which they were actually 
made to declare the falsehood of the evidence which they had 
themselves presented to the Royal Commission. Not a few of 
them had already signed the document in the most perfect good 
faith, when the plot was discovered. A very intelligent man in 
the district then wrote to me detailing the facts, and saying that 
the petition, on its contents becoming known, had been hurriedly 
withdrawn. I at once forwarded the letter to one of the Royal 
Commissioners, then in Edinburgh, in case the petition might 
find its way there, and I, at the same time, reported the whole 
matter to Mr Alexander Machardy, Chief-Constable for the county, 
who at once inquired fully into the matter, with the result that 
Sergeant John Mackenzie was removed from Kilmuir to the 
head office at Inverness, pending an opening for him in some 
other part of the county ; for I urged that he should not be 
altogether dismissed, as I had no doubt that what had occurred 
would be a lesson to him in future. The next thing I heard of 
Mackenzie was that Major Eraser, with more generosity than 
prudence, as I thought, appointed him ground-officer at Kilmuir, 
among the very people whom he had already so much ex- 
asperated, and in the place from which he had been very properly 
removed by his superior officer. 

Sergeant Mackenzie was also, while doing duty as a police 
officer, acting as correspondent at Kilmuir for several of the Scot- 
tish newspapers, and it is said, on pretty good authority, that he 
has been acting in the same capacity since he returned to the 
district as an estate official, and that he is really responsible for 
the information in the press, to which you referred in your speech, 
and which has led, or rather misled, the County Police authorities 
into their present unfortunate position. Is it to be wondered at, 
that, in these circumstances, a " special animosity" should exist 
against the police in the district of Kilmuir? There are other 
police officers throughout the Highlands who act as newspaper 



86 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

correspondents, a practice on the part of such public servants 
which ought not to be tolerated. I could point to more than one 
in the Western Isles, and unless newspaper reporting by the po 
be at once put a stop to, I may feel bound, as a matter of public 
duty to publish their names. An effectual means of stopping the 
practice would be to refuse the Government Grant in all cases 
where it can be shown that an officer of police is guilty of such 
conduct, for it has been the cause of much mischief in the High- 
lands. It is well known that certain newspapers will only accept 
news which is favourable to the proprietors and antagonistic to 
the people, thus making the temptation to mislead much stronger 
in the case of a poorly-paid officer, who can very easily find use 
for the additional income which the practice brings to him. 

Referring to the alleged disturbances in Skye, you laid so 
much stress upon the reports in the newspapers that I must take 
the liberty of enlightening you still further as to the nature and 
source of most of the reports which emanate from the Highlands, 
and especially those from the Western Isles. In reference to these 
disturbances you declare that "to anybody who has read the 
reports in the public press " you " should have thought it was 
almost unnecessary to offer any evidence on that subject," and, so 
far as I can see, you did not offer any, except what has been con- 
tradicted, as I have already shown, by two of the men who, 
according to these newspaper reports, were threatened with 
violence. 

I must confess that a statement like this, as to what ought to 
be considered sufficient evidence to justify so unprecedented a 
proceeding as sending an armed force to the Isle of Skye, seems 
to me a most extraordinary one to come from her Majesty's 
Principal Secretary of State, and a distinguished lawyer to boot. 
To most minds it will, on the contrary, I believe, appear very 
insufficient indeed, especially when they find you declaring a 
little further on, while dealing with the grievances of the people, 
that " there has been a great amount of sensational reports " on 
that subject ; and saying that, " of course there is a habit of 
picking up every flying rumour, whether it is well founded or not, 
and then it gets into print and people have a habit of believing 
that everything that gets into print is the truth and the result 
is that a great many unfounded statements receive a credit that 



THE MILITARY EXPEDITION TO SKYE. 87 

they do not deserve." When the disclosures which I have 
already made, and those that are to follow, on the same subject, 
are considered, I think it will be difficult to convince unbiassed 
people of the accuracy in all cases of newspaper reports in favour 
of landlords, when, according to you, they are so utterly un- 
trustworthy when they refer to the grievances of the people. My 
experience has been of a very different character. The patronage 
of landlords and officialism is of great value to newspapers, while 
nothing is to be got out of the poor crofters, who, in their present 
depressed condition, can scarcely afford to pay for a penny paper, 
much less to patronise it with printing and advertisements. 
There are a few who are patriotic enough to put up with the loss 
of patronage and other favours, rather than support oppression 
and misrepresent the facts, but they are unfortunately in a very 
small minority in the Highlands ; and the Southern papers get 
their information from partisan local sources or from members of 
the staff of newspapers who are antagonistic to the people, and 
who only repeat for these and for the Press Associations what 
comes to them from these partisan country correspondents. 

Recently, on the i6th of October, a great demonstration of 
crofters and their friends was held in Stornoway, attended by 
about six thousand people, in which I took an humble part. The 
grossest untruths regarding that meeting appeared in almost all 
the papers in the country. It was held in the afternoon, in an 
open Square in the middle of the town, as open and exposed as 
the Thames Embankment, yet the Scotsman coolly informed his 
readers a few days after, with a lot of other absurd falsehoods, 
that reporters were excluded from the meeting, notwithstanding 
the impossibility of excluding them, even if desired, and that his 
own local representative stood within a few yards of the plat- 
form and of the speakers all the time. 

The morning after the meeting an identical report, and a 
scandalously misleading one, appeared in at least five of our lead- 
ing Scottish newspapers. In all these a false idea of the meeting 
and of all the speeches was conveyed to the public. The Reverend 
Chairman, myself, and some of the other speakers, were charged 
by name, by this pluralist reporter, with inciting the people to 
violence and breaches of the law. The truth was deliberately 
suppressed, and the public were imposed upon. But the mischief 



33 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

did not end there. If the advice which we gave there, as well as 
elsewhere, had been truthfully reported, the people of Kilmuir 
and of the whole of Skye would have seen that men in whom they 
trusted had strongly urged everyone engaged in the agitation not 
on any account to break the law. I, myself, strongly impressed 
upon the meeting the folly of those who took possession of what 
did not legally belong to them ; that such conduct could not be 
defended; that it was indefensible; that it was bad even in policy, 
apart from higher considerations ; and that we in the South should 
not defend them if they got into trouble ; but, on the contrary, 
would withdraw our sympathies and support if they did not con- 
duct all their proceedings in a strictly legal manner. I have no 
right to complain that this was not reported, but I have a right to 
object to the very reverse of what I said being sent broadcast 
all over the country in these reports. Had the actual facts, or the 
correct purport of what had been said been reported, the people 
in Skye and elsewhere would probably have acted on the advice 
given ; but bad counsel, which was not given, was circulated all 
over the country ; and what can be more natural than that the 
people should have thought themselves safe in following it ? 

In proposing a vote of thanks to the Chairman at the end 
of the impressive and orderly proceedings, I strongly urged upon 
the men to go straight home from the meeting, as if they were 
going away from a Communion gathering, and expressed the hope 
that we should be able to tell their friends in the South that not a 
single police case would be recorded in Stornoway next morning. 
Immediately on my descending from the platform, Inspector 
Gordon, the head police official in the Lewis, who was present all 
the time at the meeting, came up to me and warmly thanked me 
for the good advice which I had given, saying that he was quite 
sure the people would act upon it ; and that I relieved him of a 
great and serious responsibility. The result was that not a 
single police case was recorded in the whole Island next morn- 
ing ; that, although thousands of these men returned home in 
their fishing boats, not a single accident occurred. No offence 
of any kind was committed by the people going from or coming 
to the great demonstration, though many of them trudged on foot 
from twenty to forty-two miles each way to attend the meeting ; 
but not a hint of all this in the newspapers, except in the Oban 



THE MILITARY EXPEDITION TO SKYE. 89 

Times, and in the Invergordon Times. Nothing, according to the 
other reports, was used by the speakers but strong language, in- 
citing the people to breaches of the law. 

The Chairman handed me the manuscript of his speech on 
the platform, immediately after it was delivered ; it is ap- 
pended, and will speak for itself.* He delivered a close Gaelic 
translation of the English manuscript which was quite well 
understood by the local reporters, and they can, therefore, 
plead no legitimate excuse for misrepresenting the purport of it. 
I beg respectfully to refer you to Inspector Gordon for the 
accuracy of my statements, as to the advice tendered to the people, 
and his action thereupon, as above stated. 

To protect men in responsible positions, and the public at 
large from being in future misled by the reports in the press in 
connection with the land agitation in the Highlands, I must 
further inform you of the manner in which news from the North 
is usually supplied, not only to the Scottish papers, but also, 
through the Press Association and the Central News agencies, to 
the English papers, and, through them, all over the world. One 
man, say in Stornoway, reports for nearly all the papers in the 
country North and South. If this man has a bias on the subject 
to which his report refers, his correspondence is also biassed in 
all the papers for which he acts. His communications, in most 
cases, when they reach Inverness, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aber- 
deen, or Dundee, are re-cast, condensed, and re-transmitted to 
the Press Association and Central News agencies, which in turn 
re-transmit the same news, coming from the one original source, 
over the world. In cases within my own knowledge, these two 
News Agencies are represented in the same newspaper office, 
sometimes by the same person, who has to write his reports for 
the separate Associations differently, to avoid his being detected 
acting for both. The public are thus wofully misled, thinking all 
the time that each newspaper and each Association has an in- 
dependent report of its own ; while, in point of fact, one indivi- 
dual, in an out-of-the-way country place nearly always biassed 
and governed by local considerations often ignorant or stupid 

* Though the Rev. Angus Maciver's speech was appended to this letter as sent to 
the Home Secretary, we are obliged, for want of space, to delay its publication in the 
Celtic Magazine until our next issue. 



9 o THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

is responsible for, and practically supplies the whole press of the 
United Kingdom with all its news. A few years ago I was forced 
in the public interest to name one of these gentlemen, and the 
papers he acted for, in the Celtic Magazine, and he has ever since 
ceased from troubling. He was all at once thrown over by his 
numerous patrons, who could not afford to accept his services 
after the exposure. Failing an early change, I shall feel called 
upon soon to repeat the process, and show the public and the 
newspapers themselves how completely they are, in most cases, 
sold in the matter of North and West Highland news. 

If a newspaper correspondent of this class finds that, as a 
rule, any facts he may send, favourable to the people, are never 
used, or are reduced to a paragraph of two or three lines, but that, 
if, on the contrary, he sends a report which tells against the people, 
and is favourable to the landlords, it appears in full in a promi- 
nent position, he very soon learns to send on the kind of news 
which his paper wants, not always caring whether it be true or 
false, so long as he gets a liberal return for his work. 

Perhaps the most striking fact that presents itself to the 
thoughtful observer of the action of Government in connec- 
tion with the land agitation in the Highlands, is that no fault 
has hitherto been found, and that neither police nor military 
has been dispatched to suppress the agitation by the same 
people, in favour of the Government Franchise Bill, and against 
the House of Lords for refusing to pass it last session ! If agita- 
tion is not only legitimate but commendable in the latter case, 
most people will fail to understand how it can be so illegitimate 
and bad in the former case, as you and others would have the 
public believe. Depend upon it that if the non-representative, self- 
elected, Commissioners of Supply of the County of Inverness 
believed that the Government would grant them the necessary 
force, they would suppress the one agitation as readily as the 
other ; for there is nothing that the landlords Liberal or Tory- 
fear more than the granting of electoral privileges to the people, 
by which their own political doom shall be very soon after and 
for ever sealed. 

Is it, however, not an unfortunate fact that all Governments 
offer a high premium on agitation ? The public are taught by 
bitter experience that no measure of any importance can be 
carried through Parliament unless the Government of the day is 



THE MILITARY EXPEDITION TO SKYE. 91 

in a position to point to a great agitation, and often to breaches 
of the law. This was the case in 1832, in 1867, and more 
recently in the case of Ireland. Without agitation experience 
shows that justice shall never be done to the righteous claims of 
the people in this great and free liberty-loving country of ours ! 
This is a lamentable fact, and one that should be kept in mind 
when the authorities take to punishing the people for political or 
semi-political offences ; and especially in a case like that at pre- 
sent in the Isle of Skye, where, by the unanimous testimony of 
the Royal Commission, and according to your own admissions 
on Friday last in the House of Commons, the people are 
oppressed with terrible almost unbearable grievances in con- 
nection with the land on which, under present conditions, they 
can scarcely exist. 

To have proposed to send a horde of ill-trained policemen with 
loaded revolvers, probably with instructions not to use them ex- 
cept in certain emergencies, among such a fine, moral, well-behaved, 
race as the people of Skye, was a most cowardly and brutal 
thing, and whoever may have been the author of the suggestion 
deserves and ought to receive the execration and contempt of all 
right-thinking people. If it were necessary to send an armed 
force at all, the military should have been sent at once. They 
would not be likely to fire upon the people in an ignorant 
panic, as the police would be almost certain to do, before there 
was any occasion for extreme measures; and the people would 
respect the military and keep the peace. It would be an insult to 
the whole Highlands to have sent a force of this character upon 
such worthless evidence, as was adduced by yourself in the House 
of Commons on Friday. 

As a Land Reformer I must, however, admit that I am 
delighted that the landlord-Commissioners of Supply of the 
County of Inverness, and the Government on their representa- 
tion, have, in their own interest, been foolish enough to have an 
armed force sent to the Isle of Skye ; for now it will be impos- 
sible any longer to delay a very drastic change in the Land Laws 
and a large curtailment of the powers at present possessed by 
non-elective bodies like the Commissioners of Supply and the 
Police Committee for the County. Laws that require an armed 
police and military force to maintain them cannot long endure, 
and they are already, thanks to the authorities of this county, 



92 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

finally doomed in the Highlands. Indeed, unless a change in 
that respect takes place on a very early date, it will become im- 
possible for moderate men to control the present Land Reform 
movement, and the people will follow and accept the leadership 
of the Land Restoration League. For this, as for the rest, the 
stubborn, unbending landlords of the Highlands shall have them- 
selves wholly to blame. 

To show how the feeling on this question is growing, and 
how determined the people are to obtain redress of their griev- 
ances, I may state that it was with difficulty that we prevented the 
people of the Lewis, on the i6th of October, from proposing and 
carrying a resolution against any more of their men joining the 
Naval Reserve or Militia of whom there are now in that Island 
alone a body of two thousand, composed of the finest and moat 
stalwart men under the British Crown until such changes were 
made in the laws as would enable them to live securely and com- 
fortably in their native land. If a change does not take place soon, 
I am quite certain that it will, at no distant date, be resolved that 
no recruits will join either service, not only in Lewis but in any 
part of the Western Isles ; and who, in the circumstances, can 
blame them ? 

From the Reports from Skye in this morning's papers the 
authorities appear to be using the force at their disposal with 
great discretion. Therefore, I shall not at present nor until the 
final outcome of the expedition is ascertained deal further with 
the subject. I may, however, have to do so hereafter in a second 
communication, in which I may at the same time trouble you 
with some remarks on the proposed remedies for the now univer- 
sally admitted grievances of the Highland people, and the best 
manner of applying them. Meanwhile, 

I am, sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE. 

[To the foregoing letter Sir William Harcourt sent a holo- 
graph reply, dated the 2ist of November, from Whitehall, 
thanking the writer, indicating opinions and expressing hopes of 
a most appreciative and satisfactory character ; but Sir William's 
letter being marked as a "Private" communication cannot, of 
course, be published. A. M.] 



93 



SIR WILLIAM VERNON HARCOURT, M.P., 

ON THE PRESENT STATE OF THE HIGHLANDS 

AND ISLANDS. 



ON Friday, the I4th of November, Mr D. H. Macfarlane, M.P., 
moved, Mr Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P., seconded, and it was 
unanimously agreed to in the House of Commons : 

"That in the opinion of this House it is the duty of her 
Majesty's Government to give effect to the recommendations of 
the Royal Commission upon the condition of the crofters and 
cottars in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, or to apply 
such other remedies as they deem advisable; and that this House 
concurs in the opinion expressed by the Royal Commission at 
page no of its report that 'The mere vindication of authority 
and repression of resistance would not establish the relations of 
mutual confidence between landlord and tenant, in the absence of 
which the country would not be truly at peace, and all our in- 
quiries and counsels would be expended in vain.' " 

The debate, which lasted for seven hours, was, on the whole, 
creditable to those who took part in it, and to the House of Com- 
mons itself. Some excellent speeches were made, especially by 
Mr Fraser-Mackintosh, Lochiel, Mr Macfarlane, Mr Jesse Collings, 
Mr Picton, and one or two other English members. The speech 
of the evening, however, was that delivered by Sir William Har- 
court, whose duty as Home Secretary it will be to introduce a 
Land Bill for the Highlands, and who is personally responsible 
for having sent a strong military force to the Isle of Skye, on its 
way thither at the very time when he was in the act of delivering 
his remarkable speech a speech which cannot fail to carry con- 
sternation to the minds of certain landed proprietors in the High- 
lands. It is altogether such a speech, so true in many respects as 
to the character of the Highland people, and showing on the 
whole such a correct conception of the actual state of things at 
the time existing in Skye and in the Western Highlands and 
Isles, that we deem it well worthy of preservation in the Celtic 
Magazine. Immediately after the seconder of the motion sat 
down, Sir William Harcourt said : 

I have no doubt that many members of this House wish to express their opinion 



94 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

on this subject. At the same time I have no doubt it may be convenient that at an 
early period I should make the observations on behalf of the Government that I have 
to make on the motion of the hon. member. I have no ground to complain in any- 
way of the speeches that have been made by the mover and seconder of this motion, 
or of the spirit and terms of the motion itself, in which I generally concur. (Hear, 
hear. ) There is only one thing that I would desire to explain with reference to what 
the hon. member who made this motion has said of the expression I used, that the 
violations of the law [in Skye] had no justification or extenuation. Perhaps I should 
have been more accurate if I had confined myself to the first word. I said they 
had no justification ; the word extenuation was a word of more doubtful meaning. 
(Hear, hear. ) With reference to the whole of this question, all that I can say is that 
I stand in a different position with reference to it than either of the hon. members who 
have addressed the House. With the official responsibility that I have in this matter, 
hon. members in the House will feel that I am not free to say all that I think, because 
I must exercise a certain amount of reserve. But I think I am not acting inconsistently 
with my duty in this matter in saying, what is known to the hon. member who made 
this motion, that the persons on whose behalf he speaks have long had my deep per- 
sonal sympathy. (Cheers.) 

SENDING A MILITARY FORCE TO SKYE. 

I know these West Highlands well. I doubt whether there is anybody in this House 
who knows Skye better than I do. I have spent my leisure time for nearly twenty 
years mostly upon its shores and its bays, and all I can say is that I have a deep sym- 
pathy and regard I might almost use stronger terms for the people who inhabit 
them. (Hear, hear.) They are a people distinguished remarkably, as I think I once 
observed before at Glasgow, by a mildness of character which seems to belong to the 
climate in which they live. They have a high-bred courtesy in their demeanour ; they 
have a kindliness towards all who have dealings with them that is singularly attractive. 
I, for one, therefore, approach this question certainly not in any spirit of harshness or 
of rigour. All I can say is that, though there are painful duties connected frequently 
with the office which I hold, I have never exercised a duty which I considered incum- 
bent upon me with more personal regret than when I felt myself under the obligation 
to send a force to support the local authority in that part of the country. (Hear, hear.) 
The hon. member who has just sat down [Mr Eraser-Mackintosh] though I do not 
think the hon. member who made the motion took that view of the subject seemed 
to question whether there had been any disturbance in Skye at all, and whether there 
was any occasion for the interference of the Government. To anybody who has read 
the reports in the public press, I should have thought it was almost unnecessary to 
offer any evidence on that subject. What took place was this : A certain condition 
of things existed in Skye in which individuals were menaced in the pursuits of ordinary 
life a condition of things with which in recent times we have been too familiar. I 
won't go into many of the details of petty outrages which had taken place. The hon. 
member who has just spoken referred to a case which led to a small force of police 
being sent to Skye, where it was intimated at a meeting of the crofters that three 
individuals I abstain from mentioning names were to be forcibly carried to the 
meeting to demand explanations of their conduct* I think there is no man in this 
House who will justify such a proceeding as that ; whereupon the Police Commis- 
sioners thought it necessary to strengthen the police force in Skye. That is a thing 

* It is shown elsewhere that this charge was absolutely untrue, but it has served 
the purpose for which it was manufactured. ED. C. M, 



STATE OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS. 95 

entirely within the competence of such an authority. The extra police I think there 
are six men were sent to give protection to the people in Skye. As soon as they 
arrived, a large number of people used certainly very violent proceedings, turned them 
back, and said they would not allow them to come into the country. Now, I think 
there is no man who will not admit that that is a condition of things which it is im- 
possible to tolerate. Well, the information that reached us was that there was a 
special animosity there against the police. That, to my mind, is a very grave symptom 
indeed. It is a symptom which deserves, I venture to say, the attention of all classes 
of the community, and of the proprietors quite as much as any other class ; because 
I am the first to state and to feel that the employment of the naval or military forces 
of the Crown in keeping peace in this country, or in any way aiding the civil authority, 
is in itself an immense evil. (Cheers.) It is one to which I am most reluctant to 
resort, and never would do so unless I was convinced that it was absolutely necessary. 
The preservation of peace, and the exercise of the civil authority, ought to be carried 
out by the civil force, which is the police ; and happily in this country, although cases 
do occasionally occur where the police, not being sufficient, military support has to be 
given to the police, I take it to be a maxim, subject to very few exceptions, that the 
military and naval forces ought never, if it can possibly be avoided, to be used for that 
purpose. And, accordingly, when a few years ago there were disturbances in Skye, 
and I was pressed by the local authorities to send military there, I told them of my 
reluctance, and declined. I arn speaking in the presence of my hon. friend, if he 
will allow me to call him so, the member for Inverness-shire (Lochiel), whose counsel 
I naturally sought upon a question of that character, and he agreed with me that that 
ought to be postponed to the latest possible moment. Accordingly, the military were 
not sent to Skye two years ago. I confess it was with the greatest reluctance that I 
came to the conviction that if this were left to the police alone there would be such a 
powerful and violent resistance as would lead to a very dangerous breach of the peace, 
and I believe that is the opinion of every man aquainted with that district of Scotland. 
Well, under these circumstances I came to the conclusion that, upon such an occasion 
as that, to exhibit weakness was no kindness to the people of Skye, and thinking it 
necessary that order should be preserved, it was essential that it should be preserved 
in a manner that did not invite or admit of conflict ; and I think that was at once a 
humane and prudent view to take of the case. Now, at the same time that I speak of 
what occurred in 1882, the Government showed that they were not insensible to the 
consideration that there were grievances to be redressed, and that there were inquiries 
to be made. I can assure my hon. friend who has last spoken, that when I, on behalf 
of the Government, appointed the Commission, of which he was so valuable a mem- 
ber, it was with the fullest intention that the Commission should bear practical fruit. 
(Hear, hear.) Therefore, we acted in that respect with a spirit that, while the law 
ought to be sustained, at the same time every grievance that could be demonstrated 
ought also to be redressed. Well, now, sir, there has been a good deal of exaggera- 
tion, I think, about this state of things. There has been a great amount of sensational 
reports. I received a telegram only yesterday, which, although it was not very com- 
plimentary to me, and was very strongly on the side of the crofters, I thought con- 
tained a great deal of good sense. It said, "If it were not for the agitators and the 
newspaper reporters, we should get on very well." (Cheers.) Of course, there is a 
habit of picking up every flying rumour, whether it is well founded or not, and then 
it gets into print and people have a habit of believing that everything that gets into 
print is truth - and the result is, that a great many unfounded statements receive a 



96 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

credit that they do not deserve. (Hear, hear.) But I think there is no doubt and 
the House will take this from me without my going into great detail that there is a 
very serious condition of things existing in Skye and the West Highlands generally 
(Hear, hear) -and I do not think it will be in the least disputed by the hon. member 
who has made this motion. Now, I say alone this hostility towards the police, this 
determination not to show to them that obedience and that respect for law and order 
which is common in other parts of England and Scotland, is in itself a very serious 
symptom. When it comes to this, that in some parts of Skye and the Highlands the 
police have to be sent to execute the ordinary processes of the law, that is in itself a 
very serious condition of things, At the same time, I say it is very necessary that all 
classes of the community and I include in that the Police Committee of the county of 
Inverness -must understand that the Government cannot undertake to aid the police 
permanently by military force. And a state of things must be established in which the 
police shall be able to maintain the public peace, and execute justice within their own 
territory. The Government make it clearly understood that in giving this support to 
the police, it is as a subsidiary force, and not as a principal force, in the execution of 
the law. In my opinion, nothing can be greater proof that there is something which 
requires a remedy, than when you are obliged to employ a military force. Now, I 
join with the hon. member who has made this motion, in the hope and the belief that 
there will be no conflict in Skye. There is one phrase which I am sure the hon. 
member dropped in the heat of the moment, and which he would not wish deliberately 
to repeat that the local authorities or anybody else desire to provoke a conflict. I 
believe that is a statement which is without foundation. If it were true, it would be 
a most serious state of matters. I believe nobody desires to provoke a conflict ; but 
there are persons who have rendered, in my opinion, great services in preventing a 
conflict, whose influence I ought to acknowledge, and that is men who, from their pro- 
fession, were bound to exercise such a duty. 

THE MINISTERS OF RELIGION IN SKYE. 

(Cheers.) In a meeting which took place, and which is reported in the Scotsman of 
yesterday, I find, first of all, the Rev. Mr Macdonald, a Free Church minister from 
Inverness, exercised his influence most beneficially in advising the people to abstain 
from any breach of the peace. I find also the gentleman to whom the hon. member 
for Carlow (Mr Macfarlane) has referred the Rev. Mr Macphail, of the Free Church 
of Kilmuir used his influence in a speech which he made on that occasion ; and I 
have also read a speech by the Rev. Mr Davidson, of the Established Church at 
Stenscholl, one of the disturbed districts, and I have a telegram from him to say that 
he was satisfied that the people would be tranquil. I will ask leave to read the obser- 
vations which he made, for they are short, and I think they highly deserve attention. 

" He stated that prior to his being settled at Stenscholl, two and a-half years ago, 
there was not a single man in Skye who was more opposed to the Land League, and 
for months after entering on his duties as minister of the district he had but little belief 
in the crofters' grievances. He soon, however, began to see that the state of matters 
existing in that parish was such that he could not but sympathise with the people 

Cheers.) He could not consistently ask the people to stop their agitation to secure a 
remedy for their grievances ; but he solemnly impressed upon them the danger of 

Bering resistance to the police, and bringing themselves under the correction of the 

e had been present at some of their meetings, and he could honestly say that 

the speeches were moderate, and that the business was conducted in the most orderly 

way. He was fully acquainted with the men who were considered leaders of the 



STATE OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS. 97 

movement, and he could say that they were among the most respectable men on the 
Kilmuir estate." 

I think that statement is a most weighty one, and one which is extremely worthy of 
the attention of 

THE PROPRIETOR OF KILMUIR. 

And, sir, that spirit of conciliation having been shown on the part of the ministers of 
religion, who have sought by their influence to allay the spirit of excitement and to 
prevent a conflict, I confess it was with very deep regret that I received this 
morning a paper which was forwarded to me- the Nairnshire Telegraph reporting a 
speech of Major Fraser, which is couched in an extremely different spirit. He says 
repressive measures will require to be used, and he did not know that another week 
would elapse before these would be used, and he hoped, when justice was done, all 
dissensions would pass away. (Ironical cheers.) I also hope, when justice is done, 
dissensions will pass away ; but I hope that Major Fraser puts the same construction 
on justice that I do in these matters. (Hear, hear.) 

THE MILITARY AND THE NOTICES OF REMOVAL. 

I wish, at the same time, to have it clearly understood that this force which is sent to 
support the police, is sent for the preservation of the public peace, and that if that 
support so given to the police were to be used for the purpose of oppressive measures, 
which would not and could not otherwise be employed, to use it as a cloak or a shield 
for such a purpose would be a gross abuse of that support. (Cheers.) It is not in- 
tended to cover these notices of removal of which we have heard (Cheers) things 
which, I think, are deeply to be regretted notices of removal which are served, not 
for the purpose of being enforced, but for the purpose of keeping up a condition I 
don't know whether I should call it "suspension," or whatever term I should 
employ. These notices of removal seem to me to be a source of irritation which is 
not to be justified at all. That there exists in these districts extreme poverty, in some 
parts borne for many years with extraordinary patience, I think everybody who is 
acquainted with those districts must be aware. 

EMIGRATION. 

There is one subject to which the hon. member for Carlow referred in some of the 
evidence that he read, in which I very much agree with him. Some people say, " Oh, 
the remedy for this is emigration." Well, sir, in my opinion emigration is a very 
poor remedy indeed. (Irish cheers.) I have myself no sympathy with a policy which 
improves a country by getting rid of its people. To my mind that is the policy of 
despair. It is like the old medical treatment of Sangrado, who cured all diseases by 
blood-letting ; but, after all, blood is the life of the body, and the people are the life 
of the country. I, at all events, do not accept the policy of making a solitude and call- 
ing it political economy. (Hear, hear.) No doubt the Scottish are people who have 
shown great qualities for emigration. A great part of the Empire of Britain, which 
covers every sea, is due to their intelligence and to their energy. (Hear, hear.) Under 
Lord Chatham they played a great part in the conquest of Canada, and they still, by 
their industry, support and extend the greatness of that colony. The history of Scots- 
men in India is famous, and in New Zealand also, there is a Scottish colony of great 
prosperity and eminence. But that is, or ought to be, in my opinion, a voluntary 
emigration. I am entirely against pressing people out of their own country, and, least 
of all, such people as the West Highlanders. These people are remarkable, and I 
know them well for their passionate attachment to the soil upon which they live. 

G 



9 8 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

(Hear, hear.) I have myself always thought that those beautiful lines in which one of 
the greatest masters of human nature Goldsmith described the history of the Swiss 
peasant were ingularly applicable to the Highlanders of the West. I may be per- 
mitted to remind the House of those few lines 

Dear is the shed to which his soul conforms, 
And dear the hill which lifts him to the storms ; 
And as a child, when scaring sounds molest, 
Clings close and closer to his mother's breast, 
So the loud torrent and the whirlwind's roar 
But bind him to his native mountains more. 

(Cheers. ) I believe that a policy which is founded upon tearing these men from their 
soil is not the remedial policy which is the best to be applied in these cases. I believe 
that you ought to find means for these people, so attached to their country, to live in 
their own country. (Hear, hear. ) But that is a very difficult problem. It will be asked 
how ? Well, there were times when they did live in the country in comparative happi- 
ness and prosperity, and, therefore, the problem is not insoluble in itself. 

Sir H. Maxwell Kelp. 

Sir W. Harcourt Well, there was not a great deal of kelp in the inland High- 
lands of Scotland (laughter) and yet there were a great many people who lived there 
I think the hon. member for Wigtownshire will have to study the history of the 
Highlands "a little more closely before he comes to the conclusion that kelp is the 
solution of the problem. (Laughter.) 

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION CRITICISED. 

The Royal Commission has collected a great deal of valuable materials, and it has 
made some important suggestions ; but one great difficulty in dealing with this question 
is, that I do not find that all the suggestions, or even the most important, of the Royal 
Commission have met with general acceptance from any quarter, or even from the 
friends of the crofters themselves. This is a very ingenious project of the creation of 
the communal system, but in all the discussions that I have heard since that project 
was announced by the Commission, I find extremely little approbation. Even in 
the resolutions of the Land League itself it has been faintly alluded to. All the 
proposals that I have seen accredited by the friends of the crofters have been in 
the direction of the Irish Land Act, not in the direction of that particular 
recommendation extremely ingenious, but more theoretical than practical. When it is 
asked in some quarters, that the principles of the Irish Land Act should be applied to 
the Weit Highlands, I have to observe that the condition of the West Highlands, as 
I understand them, and the evils that exist there, are not of precisely the same 
character as those which were dealt with by the Irish Land Act in Ireland. There is 
not the same competition for land. I will speak directly about the question of there 
not being land enough. There is not in the West Highlands of Scotland that same 
competition of tenant against tenant which had led in many cases to great over-renting 
in Ireland. I do not say that there are not cases of over-renting in the West High- 
lands, but that is certainly not the grievance which has been alleged ; nor, according to 
my knowledge of the matter, is there the same prevalence of eviction that took place 
in Ireland, and, therefore, the evils in the Highlands are not the evils of over-renting 
nor eviction which took place in Ireland. And, therefore, if the evil is not the same, 
it would not appear that the remedy would be identical. What is complained of, and 
what was complained of by the hon. member in his motion, was that they want more 
land. Well, in a certain sense, I suppose everybody wants more land if he could get 
t. (Hear, hear.) I have no land, and I suppose many people in that position would 



STATE OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS. 99 

desire to have it ; but that is not the sense, no doubt, in which the hon. member uses 
it. I confess that when you come to such a question as that, the evils and the diffi- 
culties, and even if those were superable, the danger of compulsory legislation upon 
such a question appears to me to be extremely great. They may be necessary, but 
nobody can doubt that they are an evil in themselves, and therefore upon this point I 
would venture to take this opportunity of making a very serious and earnest 

APPEAL TO THE PROPRIETORS 

Of the West Highlands themselves. (Hear, hear.) They have very great facilities for 
dealing with this question. I speak in the presence of my hon. friend the member 
for Inverness-shire (Lochiel), whose speech made last June I am sure very strongly 
impressed the House. (Hear, hear.) And no difference of political opinion upon 
other questions would prevent me acknowledging the great benefit that I have derived 
from my hon. friend in all these difficult questions as they have arisen. The number 
of proprietors in these districts is extremely small. (Hear, hear.) That in itself I 
should call it a great evil does offer great facilities of coming to some understanding 
as to what would be the best to be done in these circumstances. I think in the Outer 
Islands, in the Long Island, I doubt whether there are six separate proprietors alto- 
gether. When you come to Skye the number is very few of proprietors of any magni- 
tude at all. When you come even to the mainland the number is not considerable. 
Certainly there are no people who have more reason to desire to see this question 
settled than the proprietors of the West Highlands. , (Hear, hear.) It is certainly not 
their interest to raise a great land question in Scotland ; and there are great reasons, 
it seems to me, also, why they should be prepared to make I won't say great sacrifices, 
but moderate sacrifices to settle this question. First of all, there is a very remarkable 
feature in the history of the land in the West Highlands. There has been in it 

A SUDDEN GROWTH OF RENTAL 

Which has never been equalled anywhere else, I should think, within the course of the 
last century, and even still more of the last half century. If you think of what the 
Highlands were long before the introduction of sheep farming, you will find that estates 
which were worth hundreds are now worth thousands. In those times, and not so 
very long ago almost within the memory of living man those great tracts of hill 
yielded no profit at all to the proprietor. Lord Malmesbury, in his Memoirs recently 
published, states that in his own recollection any man could go and shoot where he 
liked without paying anything, or almost anything at all. But before the question of 
shooting arose, there was the question of grazing, and I do not think it would be un- 
true to say that a hundred years ago in the West Highlands all those people who are 
now crofters, and were, in fact, the population of the country, had practically 
their grazing upon the land, just for the same reason that in Lord Malmes- 
bury's recollection a man could shoot because it was not worth anybody's while 
to prevent it. The chief of the clan or the proprietor did not object to his clans- 
man turning his black cattle on to the hill ; on the contrary it was an advantage to the 
proprietor, who got something from him. But then what happened ? No doubt it 
was a rude state of life. We read an account of it perhaps the most accurate account 
an account to which Scott gave an air of romance in " Waverley " in "The 
History of the Highlands." It there appears that the chief or proprietor and the 
clansmen lived together, certainly in a rude state, but in a state of comparative com- 
fort. Then came the great and sudden growth of the wealth of the Highlands by the 
introduction of sheep farming. I do not complain of sheep farming. The Duke 
of Argyll, in an article in the National Review, has gone a considerable length 
into that, for the purpose of showing that it is of a great economical advantage. 
Well, so far as it gave an immense increase to rent. Men who had hundreds 



I00 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

before found themselves in possession of thousands a year of rent. I am afraid 
that within the last year or two that account is more unfavourable than i 
was. That undoubtedly was the history of the transformation. What happened after 
that ? After the sheep farm gave an enormous increase to the rent of the proprietor 
an increase without any expenditure on his part-there was possibly never a better 
instance of the unearned increment except that which I am going to mention. I go 
on to the next great windfall to the Highland proprietor. Then came the grouse 
shooting rent, which was often, I believe, equal to the sheep farming rent ; therefore, 
the proprietor found himself in possession of land which rose within a generation from 
being worth nothing at all to an enormously increased and valuable rental. In more 
recent years, in my own recollection, there was found a still more valuable thing than 
the sheep farm and the game rent, and that was the deer forest, over a great part of 
the county of Ross and a considerable part of the county of Inverness, in the place of 
both the sheep rent and the game rent. Well, what was the result of that? The 
result was that the grazing of these people disappeared. (Hear, hear.) The Duke of 
Argyll, in his article in the National Review, says that it was not only the high hills 
that were necessary for the sheep, but also the low hills, in order that the sheep might 
have their wintering. But then what became of the black cattle of the crofter and the 
tenant ? 

A CONTRAST. 

There was not that softening influence which, happily, in England softened the harsh 
outline of proprietary rights. Recollect what happened in this country. There was a 
population even more humble in its condition, more subject in its lot, than the crofter 
of the West Highlands, and that was the old villein of soccage in England ; and what 
happened to him. He had rights of usage of this character, rights which certainly in 
their origin were not distinguishable in law, rights which were never enacted by any 
statute, but which were consecrated, and crystallised, and secured to him by the spirit 
of the common law of England. ( Hear, hear. ) What happened to them was described 
by the great common lawyer, Sir Edward Coke, who said that " in Saxon and Norman 
times these copyholders were subiect to their lords' will, but now they stood upon a 
sure ground, and waited not their lords' displeasure." (Hear, hear.) That is a curious 
and very interesting chapter of law. It is one of those fortunate circumstances which 
have gone to create the safety of the social system of England. In modern times we 
have had another example of the operations of the law sustained by the action of Par- 
liament. It was a work and a policy that was mainly conducted by the man whose 
loss we have had occasion to deplore by Mr Fawcett. The work which he began, 
and which I and many others did our best to aid him in in the prevention of the 
inclosure of commons was a highly useful work. It prevented the absorption in single 
hands of all the common ty lands, which would have placed the mass of the popula- 
tion under disadvantage, and which was sure to have created discontent. 

REMEDIES RECOMMENDED. 

Now, I say that all these considerations seem to me to point to a remedy which I can- 
not help thinking that the patient might administer unto himself to a great degree. 
Now, just consider what would have happened if, when these large tracts of land were 
being turned into sheep farms or into deer forests, yielding, as they did, enormous incre- 
ment of rent, there had been a more moderate use of these powers if, while thousands of 
acres were taken for these purposes, a few hundreds had everywhere been reserved for 
the small population of these Highland glens why, it would not have destroyed the 
system of sheep farming at all. It would have been perfectly possible to have kept a 



STATE OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS. 101 

moderate area which would have been sufficient for this population. They never 
could have covered the whole of these hills. That, it seems to me, is a thing which 
might very reasonably and well have been done. We have heard in this debate, and 
evidence has been led, of townships losing the hills which they had before. Why 
should townships lose the hills ? I have never heard of them having refused to pay 
rent except under the influence I was almost going to say of pardonable excitement. 
But why, if a reasonable rent and a fair rent be offered them, should not these people 
have a fair accommodation which might make to them the difference between penury 
and comparative ease ? What has become of the crofters' black cattle ? There is no 
doubt that they can look back to a time, of which they remember themselves, or of 
which they certainly had a tradition from their fathers, when they had this land, on 
which they had black cattle, and which having lost, they have been confined to that 
little spot in the strath which, when potato disease comes or a bad season, is totally 
unable to sustain their existence. Well, is there not room in this matter for a very 
reasonable settlement ? I appeal to my hon. friend (Lochiel) who knows this matter 
very much better than I do, considering how few hands this land is in, how reasonable 
might be the settlement of a question like this, and considering in each locality 
whether it would not be possible to apportion to these people a single hill in their 
immediate neighbourhood, which might deduct say &2O, ,30, or $o from a great 
sheep farm rent. Is not a settlement of the question like this worth making if it 
could be done? (Hear, hear.) There is no doubt whatever from the reason that I 
have already stated there have not been those modifications, those temperamcnta, as 
it is called by the lawyers, of the naked right of proprietorship in Scotland, which 
arose under the common law in England. It is because civilisation in Scotland in 
earlier times was ruder. (Oh, oh, and laughter.) I am ready to acknowledge how 
much more rapid, comparatively, the advance has been, and I thought the contrast 
would be agreeable. (Laughter.) But from some cause or another the question of the 
bare proprietorship of land in Scotland, in a more raw and more harsh form in its legal 
aspect, certainly, is presented more than it is in England. (Hear, hear.) I believe this 
to be a correct statement. (Hear, hear.) Well, then, I have endeavoured to indicate 
that there are methods by which these people and the Government, in the task which is 
justly imposed upon them, may be greatly aided by a wise and prudent generosity on 
the part of the landlords themselves. There are immense difficulties in compulsory 
legislation, although I don't say it may not be necessary. The real truth is, that in all 
these cases the innocent bear the burden of those who are most to blame. (Hear, 
hear.) A single landlord who exercises his right unfairly and harshly brings discredit 
and injustice upon many who deserve no blame at all. (Cheers.) That I believe to 
be the case, to a great extent, in the West Highlands of Scotland. I believe it would 
be very unfair and very unjust to say that the landlords in the West Highlands are 
unjust to their tenants. That there have been instances in which things have 
been done that could not be approved I am not here to deny ; but I believe 
at this moment that by far the best, by far the wisest thing that could be done, 
would be that the landlords, who are few in number, and have, therefore, greater 
facility for acting together, should take into consideration what can, and what ought 
to be done, to heal a sore which, I am sure, they must feet as desirous as anyone to 
close ; for it is their interest, above all, that it should be closed (hear, hear) and 
that the Government, co-operating with them in so much of it as requires legislation, 
may form some scheme which will remove the discontent that everyone must deplore. 
(Cheers.) I only make these suggestions because I am quite sure if they were acted 
upon they would be a very useful contribution. (Hear, hear.) 



102 



THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 



RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT. 

However, that may or may not be the case ; but in answer to the appeal which has 
been made to me by the hon. member who has made this motion (Mr Macfarlane), I 
desire most distinctly to state that the Government are fully conscious of the respon- 
sibility that belongs to them -the responsibility of endeavouring to find some adequate 
remedy for the state of things which is disclosed in thejreport of the Royal .Commis- 
sioners. (Hear, hear.) They have always accepted that responsibility. They ap- 
pointed the Royal Commission to aid them in discharging the responsibility, and it is 
their intention to discharge it. Now, I understand the object of the hon. member for 
Carlow to be to appeal to me to give an assurance that this question was intended to 
be seriously taken in hand, and that at an early period. He spoke of a date. Of 
course, he did not mean a particular day or^month, but I have an answer to that 
appeal. I have to say that it was not necessary for these unhappy occurrences in Skye 
to have taken place to have satisfied the Government of the necessity of at once deal- 
ing with it, and if the House will accept from me for I hope I have~spokon in no 
unfriendly spirit of the subjects of discussion in no unfair spirit either towards the 
crofters or the proprietors if the House will accept from me the assurance that I 
have given of the responsibility which the Government feel and which ^they are pre- 
pared to discharge I hope that under these circumstances the hon. member will not 
feel it necessary to press his motion, which, I believe, only states a proposition that 
everybody accepts. (Cheers.) 

Mr Preston Bruce, who feared that Sir William Harcourt's speech would be read 
and received by some as amounting to nothing more than an appeal to the charity of 
the landlords, while it held out no promise of legislation, said that he understood the 
right hon. gentleman's appeal to the landlords was to come forward to assist the 
Government especially in reference to that matter, but he did not by any means under- 
stand the right hon. gentleman to say that the Government did_not intend to deal, 
and to deal speedily, with other parts of this question such parts, for instance, as the 
conferring of additional security of tenure in regard to their existing holdings, and also 
in regard to securing them from further encroachment^on^the lands which they held 
for the purpose of common pasturages. There were many other parts of the question 
referred to in the report of the Commission which he hoped the" Government might 
see their way to deal with, and to deal with speedily. It certainly was his under- 
standing of the right hon. gentleman's speech that these ^subjects would be dealt with 
next year, and he by no means desired the impression to go abroad that the Govern- 
ment mean to do nothing but merely to appeal to the landlords. >](Hear, hear.) ! u 

Sir W. Harcourt replied By the indulgence of the House I may say a word. I 
think I may accept the interpretation put upon my words by the hon. member, and I 
had no idea that any other interpretation could have been placed upon my words. I 
certainly did appeal to the landlords of Scotland for two purposes. I thought they 
might be of great service immediately by removing some of the causes of grievances 
that exist. I appealed to them, also, that by concert they might be able very much 
to assist the Government with reference to future legislation, but I added that the 
Government accepted themselves, independently altogether of any action of the land- 
lords, the responsibility of dealing with this question. These were the words with 
which I concluded my speech, and I also stated quite distinctly that the Government 
did accept the responsibility of dealing with legislation upon the subject at the earliest 
possible time when they were able to do so. (Hear, hear.) 

The motion was accepted by the Government, and adopted unanimously by the 
House of Commons. 



THE 

CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A., Scot. 
No. CXI. JANUARY 1885. VOL. X. 

THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 
BY ALEXANDER Ross. 

II. 

III. ANDREW BEG MUNRO, who is said to have been of a 
very ferocious disposition, on which account he was called the 
" Black Baron ;" but being hereditary Bailie, or Maor of Ross, 
during a part of Queen Mary's reign, he had no doubt to exer- 
cise great severity in the then lawless state of the country. 

In 1512 King James IV. granted to Andrew Beg "the croft, 
called the markland of Tulloch" (Tullich) for the yearly pay- 
ment of one pound of wax, payable at Midsummer within the 
Chapel of Delny.* The value of a pound of wax at that time, 
according to the Books of Exchequer, was ten shillings Scots, or 
tenpence sterling. The Chapel of Delny, which was dedicated 
to the Virgin Mary, stood in the old burying-ground, between 
the present farm-house of Delny and the county road behind it, 
till near the end of the last century, when James Munro, the 
farmer of Delny, demolished the old building and used the stones 
in the erection of his farm premises, and the mortar in improving 
his land ; and ploughed up the burying-ground with the intention 
of adding it to the contiguous field. The late Rev. John Mathe- 
son, parish minister of Kilmuir-Easter, and grandfather of Bailie 
Matheson, Tain, on hearing of this species of vandalism and 

* Origincs Parochiahs Scotia^ vol. ii. p. 460. 

H 



io 4 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

sacrilege, visited the spot, and found it all covered with the bones 
of the dead, which had been turned up with the plough. He 
represented to Munro the indelicacy of his conduct, persuaded him 
to collect the relics, and deposit them again in the earth. This the 
farmer duly performed, and this neglected spot, where, perhaps, 
was laid 

" Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ; 
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed, 
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre " 

was afterwards enclosed and laid out with grass. 

A short distance to the north of the site of the Chapel stood 
the priest's house, and the spot is on that account called Cnoc-an- 
t-Sagairt (the hill of the priest), Priesthill. In the beginning of 
the last century, the remains of a cross stood on the hill at the 
extremity of the hamlet. Thither all the people belonging to 
the Barony or Maordom of Delny, which comprehended a great 
part of the County of Ross, resorted once a year to pay homage 
to their superior. Here, also, the barons held their criminal 
courts. In ancient times the right of pit and gallows furca et 
fossa was the true mark of a true baron, who had jurisdiction 
in life and limb curia vitce et membrorum. It was not the 
peculiar taste of our barbarous ancestors : all feudal lords through 
feudal Europe were equally fond and proud of the right of exe- 
cuting those whom they had first convicted and sentenced to 
death. The French had the phrase avec haute et basse justice, 
which meant nothing more than the " right of pit and gallows." 
The gallow-hill is still an object of interest, and human bones 
have been frequently found in its vicinity. The gallow-hill of 
the Barony of Milntown is situated on the march between Miln- 
town and Balnagown, near Logie Free Church Manse ; and the 
drowning-pool is adjacent to the Manse. Here, in 1864, while 
excavations were being made in connection with the construction 
of the railway, a number of human bones were found, the remains, 
no doubt, of the poor wretches who died at the hands of "Black" 
Andrew Munro. The " pit " was for the female criminal ; for 
women sentenced to death were, for the most part, drowned. 
The " gallows " was for the male defaulters, who were invariably 
hanged. There is a hill within a mile of Delny called Cnoc-na- 
Croich, or the "hill of the gallows"; and on the summit of this 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 105 

hill was a circular pool of water, many fathoms deep, called Poll- 
a-bhathaidh (the pool of drowning). Here the barons of Delny 
drowned and hanged their victims. It is not known when the 
last execution took place here ; but a man who died about the 
year 1750, in Logic, witnessed the last execution which took 
place at the Milntown " drowning pool," that of a woman for 
child-murder.* 

In the year 1512, James IV. granted also to Andrew 
Munro " the lands of Myltoun of Meath with the mill, the office 
of Chief Mair of the Earldom of Ross, which lands of Myltoun, 
with the mill and mairdom, had been granted to Andrew and 
one heir by a letter under the Privy Seal, the grantee paying 
eight chalders, four bolls of victual, half bear, half meal, of the 
lesser measure of the Earldom, and to augment the rental by 
eight bolls. "t The Chief Maors or Maormars, were the greatest 
officers of great districts, and it is to them, and not to the Thanes, 
that Shakespeare, in " Macbeth," should have made young 
Malcolm address his speech " Henceforth be Earls !" The 
office of Chief Maor of the Earldom of Ross was a very ancient 
one, and several of the fees and perquisites belonging to it were 
peculiar. In 1591 a decreet of the Lords of Council and Session 
was obtained by Andrew Munro, V. of Milntown, then principal 
Maor, or Maor of fee of the Earldom, against Andrew Dingwall 
and the feuars, farmers, and possessors of the Earldom of Ross, 
for his fees of the office, to wit 405. 8d. for the ordinary fee of the 
said Earldom yearly, and for every sack of corn brought to the 
shore to be shipped, "ane gopin of corn," estimated at a half- 
penny a lippy, and out of every chalder of victuals delivered 
thereat to the Maor, two pecks, etc. The collection of the Maor's 
fees seems to have caused some trouble, and the law had to be 
occasionally invoked to enforce payment. 

Besides Milntown, Andrew Beg acquired by grants and 
purchase large possessions in many parts of Ross-shire, namely, 
Delny, Newmore, in the parish of Rosskeen ; Contullich and 
Kildermorie, in the parish of Alness ; Dochcarty, in the parish of 
Dingwall ; Allan, in the parish of Fearn ; and Culnaha, in the 
parish of Nigg ; and was, on that account, and the fierceness of his 

*Old Stat. Acct., vol. iy. p. 378. 
t Reg. Mag. Sig., lib. xviii. No. 74, and Reg. Sec. Sig., vol. iv. fol. 195. 



io6 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

temper, called by the natives in the vernacular Andra Dubh 
nan seachd Caisteal" (that is, "Black Andrew of the seven 
Castles "), having a castle on each of his properties. 

In the present day much interest is excited in catching 
occasional glimpses of the ancient state of society through the 
chance vistas of tradition. These glimpses serve to show us, in 
the expressive language of Scripture, " the rock whence we were 
hewn, and the hole whence we were dug." They serve, too, as 
Hugh Miller remarks, to dissipate those dreamy imaginings of 
the good and happiness of the past in which it seems to be an 
instinct of our nature to indulge ; and enables us to correct the 
exaggerated estimates of that school of philosophy, which sees 
most to admire in society the farther it recedes from civilisation. 

The following is one of those chance glimpses, preserved by 
Hugh Miller. It is, however, obviously at variance with strict 
chronology ; and the facts stated apparently apply to some other 
individual, and not to Andrew Munro III. of Milntown, as he 
died before Sir George Munro of Newmore was born, who is 
evidently the " Munro of Newmore" referred to. There was no 
" Munro of Newmore," contemporary with Black Andrew of 
Milntown, who was laird of Newmore himself; neither was 
Andrew Munro the last baron of Newtarbat (Milntown). Hugh 
Miller records : "That an old man who died in 1829 told him, 
that when a boy he was sent to the Manse of Resolis to bring 
back the horse of an elderly gentleman, a retired officer, who had 
gone to visit the Rev. Hector Macphail, minister of the parish, 
with the intention of remaining with him a few days. The officer 
was a silver-headed, erect old man, who had served as an Ensign at 
the battle of Blenheim, and who, when he had retired on half-pay, 
about forty years after, was still a poor Lieutenant. His riding 
days were well nigh over ; and the boy overtook him long ere he 
had reached the manse, and just as he was joined by William 
Forsyth, merchant, Cromarty, who had come riding up by a cross- 
road, and then slackened bridle to keep the officer company. 
The old man spoke much of the allied armies under Marlborough. 
By far the strongest man in them, he said, was a gentleman from 
Ross-shire Munro of Newmore. He had seen him raise a piece 
of ordnance to his breast, which Mackenzie of Fairburn had 
succeeded in raising to his knee, but which no other man, among 



, 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 107 

more than eighty thousand, could lift from off the ground. New- 
more was considerably advanced in life at the time. He was a 
singularly daring, as well as an immensely powerful man, and 
had signalised himself in early life in the feuds of his native dis- 
trict. Some of his lands bordered on those of Black Andrew 
Munro, the last baron of Newtarbat, one of the most detestable 
wretches that ever abused the power of the pit and gallows. But, 
as at least their nominal politics were the same, and as the baron, 
though by far the less powerful man, was in, perhaps, a corre- 
sponding degree the more powerful proprietor, they had never 
come to an open rupture." 

Newmore, on account of his venturing at times to screen some 
of the baron's vassals from his fury, by occasionally taking part 
against him in the quarrel of some of the petty landholders, 
whom the tyrant never missed an opportunity to oppress, was, 
by no means, one of his favourites. All the labour of the baron's 
demesnes was, of course, performed by his vassals as part of 
their proper service. A late wet harvest came on, and they were 
employed in cutting down his crops, when their own lay rotting 
on the ground. It is natural that in such circumstances they 
should have laboured unwillingly. All their dread of the baron, 
who remained among them in the fields, indulging in every 
caprice of fierce and cruel temper, aggravated by irresponsible 
power, proved scarcely sufficient to keep them at work ; and to 
inspire them with greater terror, an elderly female, who had been 
engaged during the night in reaping a little field of her own, and 
had come somewhat late in the morning, was actually stripped 
naked by the savage, and sent home again. In the evening he 
was visited by Munro of Newmore, who came, accompanied by 
only a single servant, to expostulate with him on an act so atro- 
cious and disgraceful. He was welcomed with a show of hospi- 
tality ; the baron heard him patiently, and called for wine ; they 
sat down and drank together. It was only a few weeks before, 
however, that one of the neighbouring lairds, who had been 
treated with a similar show of kindness by the baron, had been 
stripped half-naked at his table, when in a state of intoxication, 
and sent home with his legs tied under his horse's belly. New- 
more, therefore, kept warily on his guard ; he had left his horse 
ready saddled at the gate, and drank no more than he could 



io8 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

master, which was quite as much, however, as would have over- 
come most men. One after one of the baron's retainers began 
to drop into the room, each on a separate pretence, and as the 
fifth entered, Newmore, who had seemed as if yielding to the in- 
fluence of the liquor, affected to fall asleep. The retainers came 
clustering round him. Two seized him by the arms, and two 
more essayed to fasten him to the chair ; when up he sprang, 
dashed his four assailants from him, as if they had been boys of 
ten summers, and raising the fifth from the floor, hurled him 
headlong against the baron, who fell prostrate before the weight 
and momentum of so unusual a missile. In a minute after, 
Newmore had reached the gate, and, mounting his horse, rode 
away. The baron died during the night, a victim to apoplexy, 
induced, it is said, by the fierce and vindictive passions awakened 
on this occasion ; and a Gaelic proverb, still current in Ross-shire, 
shows with what feelings his poor vassals must have regarded 
the event. Even to the present day, a Highlander will remark, 
when overborne by oppression, that " the same God still lives who 
killed Black Andrew Munro of Newtarbat." 

The above events are said to have taken place in Black 
Andrew's Castle at Delny. He resided .occasionally at his 
Castle of Contullich ; and tradition states that the people of 
Boath, in passing up or down, had to perform the most abject 
obeisance to him, by taking off their hats and throwing them- 
selves on the ground ; and woe-betide the man (or woman) who 
forgot or refused to do so, for a shot from Andrew's big gun 
would bring him to his senses, or render him incapable of ever 
regaining that stage. 

The following story in connection witji Andrew's residence 
at Contullich I had some years ago from a Seanachie, who is 
now no more : 

The Rothach Dubh, he said, was an exceedingly fierce and 
cruel man, and ruled over his numerous estates with unlimited 
despotism, none daring to " make him afraid." For some reason 
or other he had conceived an inveterate hatred towards a num- 
ber of his tenants or vassals in Garvary, and he resolved " to 
remove" them. The poor people having been informed of 
Andrew's feelings and intentions towards them, were accordingly 
on the watch for him. There were eight families in all in the 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 109 

locality, and the system they adopted to defend themselves was 
this The eight heads of the families watched together, one 
night in one house, next night in another, and so on. One 
exceptionally boisterous night of rain, sleet, and snow, they 
considered it unnecessary to be so watchful, erroneously believing 
that the Rothach Dubh would not trouble them on such a night. 
They were all, however, as usual, assembled in one house ; but 
reckoned without their host. That same night Black Andrew 
ordered one of his servants to get two wisps of straw and make 
ready for a midnight ride to Garvary to attack and kill the 
people there. His servant remonstrated with him on the mad- 
ness and recklessness of venturing out on such a stormy night, 
and on the atrocious character of the object of his journey ; but 
his master was inexorable, and they set out on their diabolical 
mission. All the men, as already stated, were convened in one 
house. The Rothach Dubh, on arriving at the place, made for 
that house, being guided by the light shining through the win- 
dow. Going up to this window, he listened to hear and deter- 
mine who were inside. He overheard one of the men ask 
another in Gaelic "to look out and see what the night was 
doing." He did so, without noticing the Rothach Dubh, and on 
his return informed his friends that the night was most unusually 
fierce and boisterous, adding in Gaelic, "Weel, I know one 
thing, and that is, that Black Andrew Munro of Contullich wont 
attempt to come out on such a night, should he be the Devil 
himself." Black Andrew, who was still at the window, heard 
the man's observations, and gnashed his teeth. The unwary 
men on hearing what their friend said, and believing it, were 
completely thrown off their guard. When they had got all 
seated round the fire, the Rothach Dubh rushed in upon them 
with his drawn sword and killed them all, ere they had time to 
recover from their consternation, or to defend themselves. This 
story is firmly believed by the natives of the heights of Alness 
parish to this day. 

Black Andrew married Euphemine, or Euphemia, daughter 
of James Dunbar, Laird of Tarbat, in Easter Ross, son of Sir 
James Dunbar of Westfield, in Moray. 

On the 25th of January 1485, the Lords of Council ordained 
that James Dunbar of Tarbat should pay to Elizabeth, Countess 



i io THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

of Ross, the sum of 100 merks out of the mails (rents in money) 
of her lands in Tarbat and others, due at the term of Whitsunday 
last. They further ordained that the consideration of a claim 
made by the Countess against James Dunbar for 13 chalders of 
victuals and 100 merks received on her behalf from George, 
II. Earl of Huntly, should be deferred till the 24th of March, and 
that the Earl should be summoned to appear for his interest. 
The Lords of Council deferred till the same date an action raised 
by James Dunbar against the Countess for payment of 40 of 
fee, which he alleged remained due by her for five years, and for 
fulfilment of a condition under which he asserted he held her 
lands, that the dues should be diminished when the lands were 
waste.* On the 2ist of January 1489, the Lords Auditors 
ordained that James Dunbar should pay to the Countess of Ross 
the sum of 736 merks Scots, due by him for the mails of the 
lands in Ross-shire which he held of her in lease, as proved by a 
bond under his seal and superscription ; that his lease should be 
declared null and void, because he had failed to pay his dues at 
the terms contained in his bond, and that his lands and goods 
should be distrained for payment. James was summoned in the 
case, but failed to appear.f He seems, however, to have held the 
lands still, for on the 26th of February of the following year the 
Lords of Council ordained him to pay to the Countess 200 merks 
Scots as the dues of the said lands from Martinmas preceding, 
as shown by his bond^ On the 9th of December 1494, the 
Countess of Ross brought another action against James Dunbar 
for wrongfully withholding from her 42 " with the mare of the 
Witsonday terme " of her lands in Ross, and eighty head of oxen 
and cows, and for wrongfully occupying her lands of Dolgny 
(PDelny) and Easter Tarbat, with the rest of her lands in Ross- 
shire ; in which case the Lords Auditors, in presence of the 
parties, judged that James Dunbar did wrong ; that he should 
cease to occupy the lands ; that he should deliver to the Countess 
the dues and cattle in question, in so far as she could prove her 
case before Sir William Munro, XII. Baron of Fowlis ; that Sir 

* Acta Dom. Cone., p. 100. 
t Acta Auditorum, p. 122. 
$ Acta Pom. Cone., p. 126, 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. in 

William should be empowered to hear the case, and, if it was 
proved, to distrain accordingly ; and that the lands should for- 
with be "red" to the Countess.* 

By Miss Dunbar, Andrew Munro had issue, besides daugh- 
ters, and an illegitimate son named Thorns, three sons 

1. George, his heir and successor. 

2. William, I. of Allan, from whom David Munro, the 
present popular laird of Allan, is lineally descended. 

3. Andrew, to whom his father bequeathed the estate of 
Culnald, or Culnaha, in the parish of Nigg. He was twice 
married. His first wife was Ellen, daughter of John Sutherland 
of Insh, by whom he had one son. (i) David, his successor. By 
his second wife, Anne, daughter of Hugh Ross of Achnacloich, 
in the parish of Rosskeen, he had two sons (2) George of 
Knocksworth, who married, and had three sons and one daugh- 
ter George, Robert, Hugh, and Anne. He died on the 23rd of 
August 1640, and was succeeded by his eldest son, George, Com- 
missary of Caithness, who married a daughter of Robert Sinclair 
of Gillhills, by whom he had two sons, George and Robert, of 
whom nothing is recorded. (3) Hugh, who apparently died 
unmarried. 

Andrew of Culnald was succeeded by his eldest son, David, 
as second laird of Culnaha and Delny. He married his cousin, 
Janet, eldest daughter of Andrew Munro, V. of Milntown, by 
whom he had one son, Andrew. 

David Munro second of Culnaha and Delny, died on the 
1 2th of November 1596, and his relict married, as his second 
wife, Hector Munro, XVIII. Baron of Fowlis, without issue. 
He was succeeded as third of Culnaha and Delny by his only 
son, Andrew, who married a daughter of James Sinclair of 
Hemmington, by whom he had one son and two daughters (i) 
John of Delny, his heir. (2) Janet, who married Duncan Grant 
of Lentran. (3) A daughter, whose name is not recorded. 
Andrew was succeeded as fourth of Culnaha and Delny by his 
only son, John, who entered the army as a Major, and subse- 
quently attained the rank of a Lieutenant-general. He was killed 
at the battle of Worcester in 1651, "dying unmarried, and 
without issue." 

* Acta. Auditorum, pp. 192-3. 



i l2 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Andrew Beg Munro, III. of Milntown, died at Milntown 
Castle, "in great extravagance and profusion," before 1541, and 
was buried in the east end of the Church of Kilmuir-Easter, near 
the Meikle Allan Burying-Ground.* He was succeeded by his 
eldest son. 

(To be continued.) 



GAELIC DICTIONARIES. 



TO THE EDITOR OF THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

SIR, The next time that Reid's Bibliotheca Scoto-Ctltica is printed, there are 
three Gaelic Dictionaries to be added to the list. 

1. A Dictionary of the Ancient Language of Scotland, by Robert Allan, Sur- 
geon, Edinburgh, 1804. Quarto. This is mentioned in a book I have before me, 
A Biographical Dictionary of Living Authors. London, 1816. Printed by Henry 
Colburn. Formerly in Blackwood's Magazine, the Edinburgh Review, and the 
Quarterly Review, they used in the body of the work to give a list of new publica- 
tions : in one of these I saw Allan's work mentioned. Part First had appeared : the 
price, I think, was four shillings (this gives some idea of the size of the part. ) Per- 
haps the encouragement given was slight, and no more parts came out. I have not 
seen Allan's work. 

2. Mackeachern's Pocket Gaelic Dictionary. Perth. About 1870 I saw this in 
a Glasgow catalogue of second-hand books. I have not seen it. 

3. Mackintyre's Gaelic Dictionary. In his Gaelic Etymology this is mentioned 
by Dr Charles Mackay. I have not seen Mackintyre. 

About 1870 it was said that there was to be published a second edition of Reid ; 
to be edited by Mr Mackinnon, now Professor of Celtic in Edinburgh University. As 
Reid was published in 1832, many additions have to be made to his praiseworthy 
work. Some time ago I tried, without success, to find some particulars of the life of 
John Reid. Let me add here that I never heard of Robertson's Dictionary referred 
to in the Novemoer number of the Celtic Magazine. 

THOMAS STRATTON, M.D. 
DEVONPORT, DEVON. 

[In the article "Dictionary" in the "Encyclopaedia Britannica," new edition, 
the Gaelic Dictionary by Allan is enumerated. We have no knowledge of Mackin- 
tyre's Dictionary. ED. C. M.] 



* I am indebted to the Rev. Gustavus Aird, Creich, for the information anent 
Black Andrew's place of interment. 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 

SELECTIONS FROM HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



II. 

ON the 1 6th of June 1743 was fought the battle of Dettingen, 
which George the 2nd gained over the French under the com- 
mand of Marshall Noailles. No little surprise was expressed at 
the time, as well as by historians since, that the Earl of Stair 
should not have pursued the French to more advantage after the 
battle. Macdonald explains why this was not done. He says 

" Before the action began, we were ordered to quit our knap- 
sacks. Mine was large enough, but it never encumbered me 
afterwards ; though I, as well as a man of each sentry were sent 
in the evening to look after them. The loss of my own things I 
did not regret so much as the wife's; even the baby's clouts were 
gone. However, I got some beef and bread among the slain 
French, and a bundle of good straw, which saved her life that 
night ; for a deluge of rain fell, and the tents of our company did 
not arrive till next morning. That day we marched to Hanau, 
where General Clayton was buried. This great officer, with 
Captain Campbell, were both killed by a cannon ball, just when 
the latter was delivering the Earl of Stair's orders to pursue the 
flying enemy, who got off rather too well, before his lordship 
could know why his orders were not obeyed. Those who impute 
the escape of the French to any other cause, had better consider 
this as at least a more reasonable account ; nor can any other 
be presumable." 

The army lay at Hanau for six weeks, during which time 
Macdonald's first child was born, and, his wife not regaining her 
health for a time, he was obliged to try his hand at shopkeeping, 
on a small scale, in order to support her and the child 

" The regiment was again quartered for the winter at Bruges, 
and I found that the care of the child would employ the mother, 
and that both must be supported by my industry. Therefore, 
joining with another married man, I took a house, where our 
wives sold ale, and my comrade and I took bread from a baker 
at a small discount, and sold it at the different barracks as well 
as at home. Thus, by dint of industry, the little family was de- 
cently supported, and a small matter saved for the evil day." 

In this manner Macdonald and his wife passed the winter in 



ii 4 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

comfort, but when spring came the regiment was again on the 
march, and the soldier's troubles began. We select the following 
amusing account of the trials of a married private on the march 

" In the spring of 1744, the army, under the command of 
Marshal Wade, marched for Lisle. My poor wife having the 
fever and ague most of that campaign, obliged me often to carry 
the baggage, child, and all. One day in particular, we having 
pitched near Tournay, and in the evening having struck the 
tents when she was in the hot fit, I packed all on my back, slung 
the firelock, took the child in my arms, and marched with the 
company on the great road to Lisle. A little after it turned 
dark there was an order from the front to keep profound silence 
in the ranks. Meantime, my child, I suppose, being hungry and 
dry, began to roar, and the more I hushed it, the worse it cried, 
knowing that I was not the mother. The Captain of the division, 
knowing my situation, ordered me to stop till the mother came 
up, which I did, until I was challenged by the Captain of the 
next division, to whom I said that Captain Roper had ordered 
me to wait until I could find the mother to silence the child. 
He then swore at me for a cowardly scoundrel that wanted to 
skulk behind for fear, in consequence of the late order from the 
front. I, in great anguish of mind, answered that, by God I 
would not go behind a tree if all the French Army were within 
pistol shot of me. He, understanding the allusion, made towards 
me in a great rage with his spontoon, swearing he would run it 
through me if I did not go quickly to my rank, and he was 
quickly obeyed. Meanwhile a narrow defile in the front made a 
halt, and before we moved on again, the mother came up, and 
calm succeeded. The next morning the army encamped in a 
spacious field before Lisle. The day after, a detachment going 
to a place called Lenoy, the French lay in ambush for them, and 
the first man killed was my friend, the Captain, who would run 
his spontoon into me. I own he died with my consent, though 
I utterly detest what might have been imputed had I been 
there." 

While the army remained at Lisle, Macdonald again started 
a small beer-shop ; but was not so fortunate as he had been at 
Bruges. By some means, not very clearly stated, their small 
store of money was either lost or stolen, and they were reduced 
to a few pence. How they bore this mishap, and how a com- 
rade kindly helped them in their extremity, must be given in 
his own words 

" One day on my returning home I found two soldiers drink- 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 115 

ing a mug of beer. When they had done, they gave my wife a 
small piece of silver to change. She, feeling her pocket, missed 
her purse; then, in a somewhat violent manner, asked me if I had 
it. I answered calmly in the negative. My manner of answering, 
as she thought, gave her reason to think that I had it, and she 
became very urgent to get it ; but I rinding the matter too 
serious, took the piece of silver from the men, went out, and got 
them their change, when they went away, when my wife 
pressing to get the purse from me, I asked her what she would 
do if she never saw it again. I was answered, * go mad? I was 
now puzzled how to behave ; but said if I had it, she need not be 
disturbed, and if it was never seen again, she must look on it as a 
trifling misfortune to such young people as us, who had already 
lived many happy days together on very little money, and might 
soon retrieve such a loss, and hoped she would not show a ridicul- 
ous weakness for what might be called nothing compared with 
many other disasters. Then having a little more command over 
herself, I soothed her a good deal ; though the loss affected my- 
self to a high degree, and staggered my prudent resolutions for 
some time. Our stock of money was now reduced to one half- 
penny, which I happened to have in my pocket, and the three- 
pence the soldiers had just paid for the beer. We had also the 
barrel near full of beer. But, as it often happens, one misfortune 
follows another. Late that evening our regiment got orders to 
march early next morning. Having but an indifferent night's 
rest, I was up early, and called on an acquaintance of the Welsh 
Fusiliers and told him to make his own use of the beer, as I had 
rather give it to a friend than leave it on the ground. He got 
up quickly, and instead of making a property of it, took it to the 
rear of our regiment then in ranks, and selling it a penny a quart 
cheaper than ordinary, before I moved off the ground, he brought 
me nine shillings and elevenpence which he had made of it. I can 
give no idea of my happiness in getting this timely relief, but will 
only say, that it enabled me to send my wife and child to Ghent, 
where they got a comfortable room. The weather turned out so 
bad, that had they been with me in camp, they must have suffered 
greatly, if not perished outright." 

For the third time Macdonald's regiment was quartered at 
Bruges for the winter, and he resumed his shop-keeping. Besides 
selling beer and bread, he bought soldiers' old coats and other 
things, by which he could turn an honest penny. As there were 
several vacancies for non-commissioned officers at this time, 
Macdonald hoped to be promoted ; but was again disappointed 
by General Skelton issuing a public order to the effect that 
neither Scotch nor Irish should be promoted to these vacancies 



ii6 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

as long as there was an Englishman in the Company who was fit 
for the duty. In April 1745 the army left Bruges to march, 
under the command of the Duke of Cumberland, to the relief of 
Tournay, then besieged by the French. Before leaving the 
town, Macdonald hired a room of his brewer, in which he stored 
his stock-in-trade of second-hand clothing, as well as his wife's 
best things. For the account of the subsequent battle, where he 
was severely wounded, we shall again give his own graphic 
description 

"On the morning of the ist of May 1745 we attacked the 
enemy in their works. Our regiment was broken and made up 
thrice. On going the first time, my right hand man, not liking 
the work, fell behind me, and sometimes hung on my haversack, 
where I had a little bread. I told him often to keep his rank or 
I would knock him down. This I did at last, and I saw no more 
of him during the action. There were fourteen in the front rank 
of platoons, going to the field, but on coming out, only another 
and myself; and I had three wounds. Yet, notwithstanding 
this, when the Earl of Crawford called a platoon of volunteers 
from the 32nd regiment to cover his troop of Life Guards, I was 
one of nineteen rank and file that turned out with Lieutenant 
Clark. His lordship having the honour of being last on the field, 
soon after sent an order to Lieutenant Clark to take his platoon 
off. While waiting for orders to rejoin our regiment, we, all being 
tired, sat down, and for the first time I began to examine my 
wounds, particularly one in my right thigh, where a ball had 
lodged, which troubled me very much. The Lieutenant, looking 
at me with surprise, asked how I could turn out a volunteer in 
such a condition, or even keep the field so long? I answered 
that I had no broken bones. When we received orders to join 
our corps I was so stiff that I had to hang on to a comrade until 
we came to the ground of our last encampment. Here orders 
were given to march directly, and the wounded were to be sent 
to the Duke's quarters ; that being made a temporary hospital. 
My good friend, the Major, ordered me there, but I answered that 
I would rather go with my company. He said he knew my spirit 
was good, but that instead of being able to keep up with the rest 
I should be obliged to lie on the road, and, perhaps, before morn- 
ing be cut to pieces by the French Hussars. Still I insisted on 
going with the company; then, in the old style, cursing my High- 
land blood, he ordered me to my rank. There I found the man 
I knocked down in the morning, and on my making objection to 
his being so near me, the Major, swearing vengeance against him 
as a cowardly scoundrel, took him to the colours to be under his 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 117 

own eye in case of an engagement ; and that was the last I saw 
of Luke Beady, who deserted to the French the next morning. 
At dusk the army moved not only slow, but halting often, and 
as often I sat or lay down. At last I stopped altogether under a 
tree, and, overcome by fatigue, slept, though often disturbed by 
my wife, who, remembering what the Major had said about the 
French Hussars, wished me to move on. But all to no purpose, 
I neither could nor would stir until fair daylight, when the tracks 
of the army were easy seen, but nothing else. So I followed, 
hirpling on the road, till, the call of hunger being imperative, I 
detached the wife to a village at a little distance to get something 
to eat. A little while after, two men of the 42nd, who were left 
behind to bury a sergeant, came up, and they, knowing me, ex- 
pressed their concern for my condition. I asked them if they 
could give me anything to eat. They answered no, but that they 
would try the neighbouring houses. They soon brought some 
eggs, milk, and beer. There I sat in the middle of the road until 
my wife arrived with bread, and then who dined better than my 
little family and I ? Indeed, the child made such signs of joy at 
the sight of the eggs and milk as would divert me, had 1 lost a 
limb. After a while I again jogged on, and came up to the regi- 
ment, just as the Major was collecting the return of killed and 
wounded. How soon he saw me he mended his pace to meet me, 
and, in the most familiar manner, enquired how I did, adding 
that my folly proved lucky, as the Hospital was taken by the 
French and all stripped, but for all that I should have obeyed his 
orders, not only as his being my superior as an officer, but in ex- 
perience ; and that I should distinguish myself by bravery, but 
never by madness, which he must call my following the army in 
my present condition. He then called the Surgeon to dress my 
wounds and extract the ball, which made me so uneasy. When 
it was taken out it seemed as if it had been too large for the piece 
from which it had been fired ; therefore it was beat to eight 
square, which made it very ragged, and as long as the first two 
joints of my little finger. Being now well attended, I was soon 
cured, although a wound on my right shoulder made that arm 
weaker ever since." 

Though Macdonald appears to have been a very steady 
man, and a good soldier, there always seemed to be some 
obstacle to his obtaining the promotion which he undoubtedly 
deserved. He made sure of gaining a step after being wounded, 
but was again disappointed ; for his friend, the Major, having 
quarrelled with his Colonel, sold out, and retired from the ser- 
vice. He explains how he was passed over thus 

" Next morning I was ordered to the Grenadiers, having 



ii8 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

now no Major to keep me out of them, nor was there an officer 
in that company that had the least knowledge of me. Mean- 
while, Colonel Skelton got the I2th Regiment, and Colonel 
Wm. Douglas, the 32nd. A few days after, when I was away 
for forage, Colonel Douglas filled up all the vacancies for ser- 
geants and corporals, without the least knowledge that such a 
man as me existed. A little time after, the enemy took Bruges, 
with my poor store, and many more valuables. Thus my poor 
family was a third time stripped of their little all. In the latter 
end of this season, the Rebellion being hot in Scotland, the foot 
regiments were all ordered home. Our regiment landed at 
Gravesend, marched for Dover, and soon marched back to Dept- 
ford, where we received orders to march North. Meantime, 
Macdowall of Garthland, Captain of Grenadiers, sent for me, and 
asked me, rather as a favour to take notice of his own and the 
company baggage on this march, as he was afraid that some of it 
might get lost through the neglect and drunkeness of the men in 
charge. I readily agreed, and this route was continued to Staf- 
ford, where we halted on St Andrew's Day." 

Captain Macdowall was so well pleased with our hero, that 
thinking to do him a kindness, he offered him the place of batman, 
that is, to take care of and groom his riding horses, for which 
he would get extra pay, and be exempted from his ordinary 
duty. But the Highland blood of Macdonald could not bear 
the idea. He could be a soldier, but not a groorii, so with many 
excuses he declined the offer. News arriving of the retreat of 
Prince Charles from Derby, Macdonald's regiment received orders 
to march to Croydon, he seeing after the baggage all the time. 
On giving up his charge to Captain Macdowall, the following con- 
versation took place 

" I waited on my Captain with an inventory of the charge, 
and the key of the store-room, telling him all was safe, and that 
I thought nothing now hindered my returning to my ordinary 
duty. He asked me if keeping the key, and looking at the 
things now and then would interfere with my duty. I answered, 
not at all. He then told me Corporal Hart had deserted to the 
French, and asked if I would do that duty. I answered I would, 
if he thought proper. The Lieutenant-Colonel being present, 
said, 'Ay, Macdonald, you'll do Corporal's duty, though you 
did not choose to be batman.' This made me ask my Captain's 
pardon, I imagining him angry at me for refusing that office ; but 
the Colonel observed there was no occasion for apology as the 
Captain was rather well pleased than otherwise to find such a 
spirit under such difficulties. Then commencing Lance-Corporal 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 119 

on the 2nd January 1746. Some time in February there was a 
Corporal's rank vacant, but a dispute arising between the Major 
and Grenadier Captain, both candidates were disappointed ; I 
mean myself and another man, who was the Major's favourite. 
In July following the regiment went abroad again, and soon after 
I was really made Corporal, and Captain MacdowalFs attachment 
to me increased daily. This year we fought the battle of Prague. 
The troops were ordered under arms an hour before daybreak. 
After this our regiment got Bromell for winter quarters, and my 
Captain going on recruiting service took me with him. When 
we arrived at Edinburgh there were orders from the War Office 
to enlist neither Scots nor Irish." 

Mrs Macdonald being in delicate health, and tired of follow- 
ing the army, it was decided that she should go and live in 
Sutherlandshire, where their second child a boy was born. 
Mrs Macdonald, by her own industry, was able to support herself 
and children for over five years, during which time this attached 
couple never had an opportunity of meeting, which was a 
great trial to them both. Their boy died at the age of five years 
without his father ever having seen him. We will detail his 
further adventures in his own words. 

" I was ordered to Lieutenant George Farquhar at Leeds, 
who seemed very well pleased with my first trial on that duty. 
In April 1747 we joined the regiment at Bromell with the re- 
cruits, and soon after marched to camp, and fought the battle 
of Val, where a small ball broke the butt end of my firelock, 
when I had it at recover, ready to present. Had I had it in any 
other position, that ball must have gone through me. The latter 
end of this year our regiment was ordered home, and at first to 
winter at Kent, but after being as far as Gravesend, was ordered 
for Newcastle-on-Tyne. On this voyage I had several fevers, 
and nothing to drink but bad water, nor to eat but rusk (a sort 
of bread used by the Dutch Navy. It's something like sawdust, 
baked to look like biscuit.) The sergeants being allowed Eng- 
lish biscuit, one 'of my comrades pleaded hard to get some for 
me to boil in water, but to no purpose. By-the-bye, the princi- 
pal or Pay-Sergeant was a Mackenzie from Lochbroom, a man 
very capable of that office, had he kept his inferiors at proper 
distance ; but I observing to him often the evil consequences of 
such freedom, became a troublesome monitor, and, as is often the 
case, became the object of his ill-will, as appears by his cruelty 
in refusing me the biscuit. When we came to Newcastle, I was 
ordered to the Hospital, and, a little time afterwards, despaired 
of by the doctors ; but by the will of Providence I recovered ; 

I 



120 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

but in a great measure lost the use of my right arm, which was 
imputed to a wound I had in that shoulder at Fontenoy, and 
lying on that side on shipboard when the fever was so violent. 
Being thus rendered useless for service, my discharge was made 
out. When my Captain came from Scotland, and enquiring the 
state of his Corporal from the surgeon, and being told I was to be 
discharged, he went immediately to the Colonel, and desired 
leave to keep me for a season, even if it were at his own expense, 
to see if my arm would recover, and I mended so slow that I 
could not expect to be continued in the service, when a reduction 
of so many out of every regiment in the whole army was un- 
avoidable." On the ist of April 1748, the regiment embarked at 
Shields for the Netherlands, and settling a little at Ostend, we were 
clothed, at the delivery of which the Captain ordered me to 
assist the sergeants, so that nothing would be lost ; but in this 
my services were considered by them as officiousness, and 
Mackenzie asked me what business I had there, and his comrade 
and great crony, one Sergeant Clark, ordered me to get out, with 
which I complied, and, with tears in my eyes, observed to these 
gentry, that impunity for such rude address was, to their own 
knowledge, owing entirely to my misfortune. During this cam- 
paign peace was concluded; thus kind Providence madethis worthy 
man the instrument to prevent my falling on the smallest allow- 
ance under the Crown, and we were ordered home. Meantime 
the regiment landed at Harwich, and, I being an invalid, was 
ordered with sick and baggage by water to London, and from 
thence to Reading in Berkshire, which took so much time that 
before my arrival, my Captain was gone for Scotland, before I 
joined, and my friend, Dr Mackenzie told me, the last orders he 
had from Captain Macdowall was that I should urge nothing 
respecting a discharge until his return. The regiment being 
ordered for Gibraltar, he joined in May 1749, and questioning 
me whether I would follow the company, or choose my discharge, 
and I declaring for the latter, he took pains to convince me of 
the difficulty of my getting a pension, notwithstanding of my 
just pretensions, there being already such multitudes on that list, 
that a man of my fresh appearance, and with whole limbs had 
but a bad chance ; at the same time, giving me rather to under- 
stand that it would be agreeable to him to have me Sergeant in 
his company, which duty I might accomplish, notwithstanding my 
present infirmity. I then gratefully acknowledged his goodness 
all along, submitting for the future to whatever he thought 
proper, and, accordingly, went to Gibraltar, where my arm re- 
covered amazingly, though never thoroughly. Soon after our 
settling in that Fortress a deficiency in paying the company 
coming above board, Mackenzie was broke, and I got his halbert. 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 121 

I should have observed that Clark had suffered the same fate in 
1748 at Ness-le-roy Camp. It may seem now in my power to 
return favours in kind ; but so far from that, I assure, on my 
honour, that I studied to make these two men happy in their re- 
duced condition. Nor did I ever think of the injuries they had 
done me but with the utmost disdain of revenge. The Captain 
called a still more capable Sergeant to pay his company, but that 
man, in a fortnight, forfeited his trust, and I was called to receive 
the company's money, and, can it be believed, refused it, forsooth, 
because my benefactor, contrary to his former custom, would not 
give me a stated weekly allowance. He then told me that he 
would find a man to pay his company ; and, like an ungrateful 
wretch, I left my friend and his money." 

Soon after this an officer of the regiment, Lieutenant Bar- 
row, being ordered home on recruiting service, sent for Macdonald 
and offered to take him with him. Macdonald did not care 
about going, and made several excuses, which the officer ad- 
mitted to be reasonable, at the same time hinting to him, that as 
he had lately disobliged his Captain by refusing to be Pay- 
Sergeant without extra allowance, he thought it advisable for 
him to keep out of his way for a while. Macdonald at once saw 
the wisdom of this, and thanking the Lieutenant for the hint, 
cheerfully agreed to go. He got on very well with Lieutenant 
Barrow, and when the latter sold his commission to a Lieutenant 
Hilmar, Macdonald became a favourite with him also. In April 
1751, this officer returned to Gibraltar with the recruits, and 
left Sergeant Macdonald behind in London to continue recruiting, 
in which he was so successful as to enlist 26 men in three months, 
with whom he returned to Gibraltar. He was anxious to know 
with what feelings Captain Macdowall now regarded him ; but 
his anxiety was soon at rest. He thus describes their meeting 

" To my unspeakable comfort he declared his good pleasure 
at seeing me so hearty, and in the greatest good humour said, 
that I must pay his company, and he would give as high a 
weekly allowance as any Pay-Sergeant in the garrison had. I 
begged him for God's sake to say nothing of allowances, but 
command me to do what he thought proper, as I had none but 
repentant days and nights since I committed that ungrateful 
blunder. But for the future I was fully resolved to act so as to 
make him forget my folly. I immediately got the company's 
books, and proved so much to his satisfaction that he laid him- 
self out to do better for me. In June 1753, we wer e relieved, 



122 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

landed at Portsmouth, and marched for Perth. Here I met 
with my wife, in the deepest concern for her fine boy ; nor was 
my own less, though I affected cheerfulness on her account. In 
1754, the Captain, with the Grenadiers, and a detachment from 
the regiment, was ordered to Braemar Castle. From thence I 
was always sent to Perth for officers' and men's subsistence, 
sometimes to the amount of 500. The officers observing to 
him that his trust was too much for me in my rank, his answer 
was, That it was all his while in my custody, and that he should 
be allowed to judge who to trust with his money; nor was he 
apprehensive, let the sum be never so great." 

(To be continued.) 



SUTHERLAND FIGHTS. 



II 

III. FlSCARY (1196.) 

ALTHOUGH historians have failed to give us any definite infor- 
mation regarding this fight, yet with the aid of topography and 
tradition we may be enabled to throw some little light upon it. 

On the coast of Sutherland the Norsemen and the Celts for 
many years waged continuous war. In almost every instance 
the Sagas claim the victory for the Norsemen ; but in this parti- 
cular battle we have conclusive evidence of their defeat. If 
battlefields have Norse names, we may infer a Norse victory, 
but if Celtic, we may infer a Norse defeat ; for it is evident that 
the victors would have the privilege of settling upon and naming 
the ground. 

At the head of far-famed Strathnaver stands Ben-Harold. 
From its base rises Ault-Harold (Harold's Burn), which has 
given its name to and flows past Altnaharra, the cherished 
resort of keen Waltonians, and one of the most beautiful of the 
many beautiful spots in Sutherlandshire. Further down the 
Strath is Dalharold (Harold's Dale). Here tradition has it that 
a great fight was fought, and in the many grave mounds or 
tumuli with which the Strath, from Ben-Harold downwards, is 



SUTHERLAND FIGHTS. 123 

dotted, we have our tradition sufficiently confirmed. Had the 
victory been Norse, according to our rule, the dal would have 
been suffixed, and the name would have appeared as Harold's- 
daL The grave mounds indicate the retreat of the Norsemen, 
and guided thereby we find the scene of battle shifted to Fis- 
cary, a place about two miles distant from the foot of the Strath, 
and on the way to Castle Borve, which was probably one of the 
Norse strongholds. At this point the Norsemen made their last 
stand, and they must have fought hard ; for the very numerous 
mounds and the massive cairns are evidence of tremendous 
slaughter, and one might almost say, of the utter extinction of 
the invading army. 

On turning to history we have on record that when William 
the Lion reigned over Celtic Scotland the turbulent Norsemen 
gave him considerable annoyance. The Lion King having 
gathered his clans together, sent a strong force against Harold 
Earl of Caithness, and Torphin, his son. It is not stated where 
the combatants met, but from the names and circumstances men- 
tioned above we are led to believe Strathnaver to be the locale of 
the battle. The Norsemen suffered a severe defeat. Harold was 
captured, and Torphin, his son, had to be delivered up as an 
hostage. William afterwards gave up to Harold the northern 
part of Caithness, but the southern portion, now the county of 
Sutherland, he gave to Hugh Freskyn, the progenitor of the 
Earls of Sutherland. 

It is popularly believed that a stone in the church-yard of 
Farr, one of the finest of antique monuments in the North, with 
curious sculpturing, and rather difficult to decipher, was erected 
in memory of some chiefs slain in this battle. 

IV. LEATHAD RIABHACH. 

(1601). 

THE Earl of Caithness had long threatened to invade the wilder 
regions of Sutherland, and had boastfully intimated his intention 
to hunt in the moors of Durness that "delectable hunting 
ground." Taking advantage of the Earl of Sutherland's absence 
on the Continent, he made preparations to carry out his threat. 
The chieftains having received information of the intended inroad, 
determined on resistance, and by the timely return of their chief 



I2 4 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

the Earl from the Continent, they were enabled to collect a 
sufficient number of clansmen to repel the invader. Of the clans 
there gathered the Mackays from Strathnaver, the Macleods 
from Assynt, the Munros, and the Sutherlands. 

The Earl of Caithness advanced into Sutherland, as far as 
Leathad Riabhach in the Ben Griam, where the Earl of Suther- 
land met him with his forces. " The two hosts were encamped 
within thrie mylls one of another besyd the hill of Bengrime, 
readie to encounter the nixt morning; which no sooner appeared 
than the Sutherland men prepared themselves for battel." 

The Earl of Caithness having now ascertained the strength 
of the opposing army, began to doubt his prospect of success, 
and his courage rapidly disappeared. " Finding that his hazard 
was greater than his hope, and that his assured losses by overthrow 
would farr surmount his doubtfull victorie, he preferred the care 
to preserve himself and his, before the desire to encounter, and 
so had very tymely that morning, withal expedition, retired him- 
self homeward." When the attack seemed imminent, the Caith- 
ness men fled in disorder; " leaving ther stuff and cariage, they 
went away by break of day in a fearfull confusion, fleying and 
hurling together in such headlong hast, that everie one increased 
the fear of his fellow companion." 

A cairn (Carn-teichidh), which is still visible, was erected 
by the Sutherland men in memory of the flight. 

"Being saflie arrived within his own bounds" the Earl of 
Caithness offered to permit the Earl of Sutherland to advance 
equally far without resistance into Caithness. As no advantage 
could be derived from the proposal, his offer was not accepted. 
After gentlemen from each side saw the armies dissolved, the 
Caithness msn, as the somewhat clannish historian records with 
evident relish, " retired to their homes, right glaid in their hearts 
to have escaped beyond their expectation." 

D. MACLEOD, M.A. 



BOOKS ON CELTIC LITERATURE, HISTORY, AND OTHER HIGH- 
LAND SUBJECTS. The attention of the reader is respectfully directed to a list 
of books many of them curious and rare on the History, Literature, Traditions, 
and other Highland subjects, given at the end of this number. 



125 
OLD INVERNESS. 



I. 

THOUGH two or three books have been written by competent 
authors upon the earlier history of the Burgh of Inverness, these 
works are now mostly out of print, and not accessible to the general 
public, and it is believed that a few of the leading facts and tra- 
ditions connected with the Highland Capital will prove inter- 
esting to Highlanders at home and abroad. 

Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, was even in ancient 
times a place of some importance. Of its origin nothing auth- 
entic is known, and like most other places in the same position, 
very fanciful conjectures have been made by antiquarians regard- 
ing its early history. Some even go so far as to state that it was 
in existence before the birth of Christ, an assertion which was 
probably founded upon the statement in Burns' Chronology that 
" Evenus was a good king ; he made Inverness and Inverlochy 
market towns sixty years before Christ." Boethius and Buch- 
anan concur in this view, but the evidence is too slender to 
obtain general credence. There is no doubt, however, that Inver- 
ness is a very ancient town, and that it existed in the Druidical 
and hill-fort period, the remains at Clava, Craig-Phadraig, and 
other places in the neighbourhood apparently pointing to that 
conclusion. The camp at Bona is said to have been formed by 
the Romans in the year 140 A.D., about the time of the building 
of Antonine's Wall, at which period the town is stated to have 
been in the hands of the invaders. Towards the end of the 6th 
century, Inverness was the capital of the Pictish kingdom, and in 
565 St Columba and some of his followers visited it, and were 
successful in converting to Christianity, Brude II., king of the 
Picts, who then had his headquarters in the town. We are told, on 
the authority of Historians of Scotland \ that "Brude in his pride 
had shut the gates against the holy man, but the saint, by the 
sign of the cross and knocking at it, caused it to fly open of its 
own accord. Columba and his companions then entered ; the 
king with those around him advanced and met them, and received 
the saint with due respect, and ever after King Brude honoured 



126 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

him." The saint is said to have performed several wonderful 
miracles in Inverness, in the way of casting out evil spirits, de- 
feating the king's seers and wise men, and other Christian deeds 
of the kind. 

In 843 the Pictish and Scottish kingdoms were united 
under the rule of Kenneth Macalpin, and Inverness then lost 
the distinction of being a capital. For the next two centuries 
little is known about its history, until, in 1039, it is supposed to 
have been the scene of King Duncan's murder by Macbeth. It 
contests this distinction, however, with the town of Elgin, and 
there is little likelihood of the much-vexed point being ever 
definitely settled. Macbeth's castle is supposed, by those who 
hold to the Inverness theory, to have stood upon the Crown, and 
a circular plot of ground, railed in and planted with trees, behind 
Victoria Terrace, is pointed out as its site. However this may 
be, Bellenden, the translator of Boethius, writes as follows : 
" Makbeth, be persuasion of his wife, gaderit his freindis, to ane 
counsall at Innernes, quhare King Duncane happinit to be for 
the time. And because he fand sufficient oportunite, be support 
of Banquho and otheris his freindis, he slew King Duncane, the 
VII yeir of his regne." Shakespeare, in his great tragedy of 
Macbeth, follows this version. In 1056 Malcolm Canmore, in 
revenge of his father's murder, utterly destroyed the building in 
which it is said to have occurred, and raised another castle of his 
own, overlooking the river, on the west end of the present Castle 
Hill. After this date, the town gradually clustered round the 
new castle, seeking that protection which the ruins of Macbeth's 
stronghold no longer afforded. In the I2th century, during the 
reign of David I., Inverness was raised to the dignity of a Royal 
Burgh, and became the headquarters of the High Sheriff, whose 
jurisdiction included all the country north of the Grampians. 
About this time, a legislative document describes the town as 
" Loca capitalia per totum regnum" one of the capital places of 
the whole kingdom. In 1161 Shaw, second son of Duncan, 
fifth Earl of Fife, for his assistance to Malcolm IV. in quelling 
a revolt in Moray, was made hereditary governor of the Castle 
of Inverness, with the name of " Mac-an-Toiseach," meaning 
" Son of the Thane." In 1 196 the town was visited by William 
the Lion, who granted four different charters to it during 



OLD INVERNESS. 127 

his reign. These documents ratified that of David I., with the 
addition of several new privileges, and the latest of them or- 
dained "a weekly market to be held in the burgh in all time 
coming." The charter provided this market to be held on " the 
Sabbath Day in every week." Two more charters were granted 
by Alexander II. in 1217 and 1237, one of which made over the 
lands of Merkinch to the town. In 1233 the same monarch 
endowed a monastery of Greyfriars in the town. The lands of 
the monks, at the Reformation, were turned into the minister's 
glebe, and the site of the church into a grave-yard. The sole 
remnant of the monastery now remaining upon the spot is a 
fragment of a pillar still standing in the midst of the graves. In 
1229 the town was burnt, and the neighbouring Crown lands 
ravaged by a freebooter named Gillespick MacScourlane, who 
afterwards paid the penalty of his evil deeds with his life and 
those of his two sons. 

In the 1 5th century Inverness became the seat of a most 
important industry, that of shipbuilding. It is stated in Tytler's 
History of Scotland that, in 1249, a powerful French baron, 
Hugh de Chastillion, Earl of St Paul, when about to accom- 
pany Louis the IX. to the Crusades, caused a ship to be built 
at Inverness for his use. Apparently, even then, the fame of the 
town as a shipbuilding centre had extended to the Continent. 
In 1280 a ship was built at Inverness for a French Count 
who had been shipwrecked in the Orkneys. During the minority 
of one of the Mackintosh's successors, the Cummings of Badenoch 
appropriated the office of keeper of Inverness Castle, and suc- 
ceeded in retaining it until 1303, when it was taken by Edward 
I. of England. At that time Bruce was in the Hebrides, 
but on hearing of the fall of his stronghold, he gathered his 
men, and in a short time retook the fortress. In 1325 that 
monarch " directed a precept to the Sheriff of Inverness to do 
full and speedy justice at the suit of the burgesses of Inverness 
against all invading their privileges, by buying or selling in pre- 
judice of them, and of the liberties of the burgh." The SherifT- 
dom of Inverness was from time to time curtailed, however, until 
its jurisdiction became limited almost entirely to its own shire; 
but that did not happen until a much later period. In 1369, 
David II. granted a charter which gave the town a right to the 



128 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

lands of Drakies, and to the burgh tolls and petty customs. A 
considerable portion of the inhabitants then consisted of Flemish 
merchants, who had settled in the town, and exported large quanti- 
ties of skins, furs, salmon, herring, and malt, in exchange for wine 
and other commodities. 

Some idea of the unsatisfactory state of society at this 
time may be gleaned from the fact that from 1306 to the Union, 
the town was almost constantly at war with the neighbouring 
c l ans indeed, it was destroyed by fire no fewer than three 
different times. In 1400, Donald, Lord of the Isles, surrounded 
Inverness with a large body of men, and threatened to burn the 
town unless he was instantly paid a heavy ransom. The Provost, 
a Mr Junor, affected to agree to Donald's terms, and, as a part of 
the ransom, sent him a large quantity of spirits. The army 
were very soon tipsy to a man, and then the Provost, sallying 
forth at the head of the citizens, boldly attacked the enemy, and 
utterly routed them at North Kessock. Donald himself man- 
aged to escape, and took ample vengeance upon the town ten 
years afterwards, when he almost annihilated it by fire. After 
this event, James I. gave orders for strengthening the Castle, 
with the view of preventing such a catastrophe again, and at 
the same time the Chief of Clan Chattan was reinstated as 
governor. 

So unsettled was the country, that in 1427 King James and 
his Parliament made a journey to the North, and held a great 
Justice-aire in the Castle of Inverness, for the trial of all the 
chiefs and others who had been engaged in the many robberies 
and murders which disgraced the period. The result was that 
several of the most desperate characters paid the penalty of their 
evil deeds with their lives, and Alexander, third Lord of the 
Isles, was imprisoned for a year. The latter, soon after being 
liberated, levied 10,000 men, and, following in his predecessor's 
footsteps, burnt Inverness a second time, and besieged the Castle, 
which withstood all his attempts. He was soon afterwards 
taken prisoner by the Royal Army, and imprisoned in Tantallon 
Castle. His son, John, succeeded in taking the Castle of Inver- 
ness by stratagem in 1455, and again the unfortunate capital 
suffered the extremities of fire and sword. In 1464 it was 
honoured by a visit from James III., who stayed in the Castle 



OLD INVERNESS. 129 

for a while, and granted a new Charter of Confirmation. In 
1499 James IV. stayed a short time in the town, and attended 
service in a little chapel which stood on the Green of Muirtown, 
and which was ever afterwards known as the King's Chapel. 
The site of the chapel, and a small grave-yard attached, is now 
entirely built over. In 1 509 the Earl of Huntly was appointed 
Hereditary Sheriff of the County of Inverness, and keeper of the 
Castle. We are told in Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds^ 
that " power was given him to add to the fortifications ; and he 
was at the same time bound, at his own expense, to build upon 
the Castle Hill of Inverness, a hall of stone and lime upon 
vaults. This hall was to be 100 feet in length, 30 feet in breadth, 
and the same in height ; it was to have a slated roof, and to it 
were to be attached a kitchen and chapel of proper size." The 
Regent Moray usurped these offices for a short time, but the 
rightful holder soon regained them. In 1629, however, Huntly 
resigned the posts for a solatium of 2500. Sir Robert Gordon 
was then granted the appointment for life. In 1522, as appears 
from a document of that date quoted in Invernessiana, the town 
of Inverness possessed a Cucking-stool, which was a chair in 
which scolds and suspected witches were bound, and then ducked 
in the river. 

In 1538 the first Protestant minister of Inverness was ap- 
pointed. In the course of another century, the population had 
increased to such an extent that two ministers were required, and, 
in 1706, a third was found necessary. In 1555, Mary of Guise 
" held several courts in the Castle, for the trial and punishment of 
caterans and political offenders," and the Earl of Caithness was 
imprisoned in the Castle dungeon. The beautitul and unfortunate 
Mary, Queen of Scots, visited the town in 1562, and, although 
refused admittance to the Castle, she gathered her forces, took 
the fortress, and hanged Alexander Gordon, the deputy-governor. 
The house where Queen Mary resided, at the foot of Bridge 
Street, is well known, and there has long been a tradition that 
there exists a subterranean passage between that house and the 
site of the Old Castle. In 1574, Hugh, Lord Lovat, was Sheriff 
Principal of Inverness, and constable of the Castle. In Ander- 
son's History of the Frasers it is stated that his lordship was a 
great promoter of manly sports, and an expert bowman. It was a 



1 30 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

general custom in those days for all the nobility to meet at stated 
periods, for the purpose of tilting, fencing, riding the great horse, 
and the like exercises. At one of these rencounters in the Chapel- 
yard of Inverness, Lord Lovat dismounted the Laird of Grant 
and the Sheriff of Moray. This, with some taunt which fol- 
lowed, so irritated these gentlemen as to occasion sharp words, 
when Lovat- said, that as he had given them a specimen of his 
tilting, he would now try the mettle of their riding. Dashing 
the rowels into his steed, he rode through the river, and made 
straight for the hill of Clachnaharry, bidding them keep a pace ; 
here he leaped his horse over the ledge of the rock, and dared 
his pursuers to follow. But they, terrified with the appearance 
of the place, judged it wisest to desist. The impression, says 
our author, made by his horse's shoes below, was visible for up- 
wards of sixty years after, as it was kept clean by a man who 
had an annual pension for preserving it. 

In 1589 the first Town Law- Agent was appointed by the 
Magistrates of Inverness. In that year, Master Oliver Coult 
was elected to the office, with an annual salary of six pounds 
Scots. James VI. granted two charters to the town, the later 
of which, in 1591, is known as the Great or Golden Charter, 
confirming all the former charters, with the addition of many 
new privileges. From 1591 to 1688 Inverness seems to have been 
in a prosperous state, exporting great quantities of meal and 
malt, and also supplying the whole of the North. In 1640 a 
Morayshire woman started a school in the town, which appears 
to have offended the Magistrates so much, as being in opposition 
to the parish schoolmaster, that they passed a resolution that 
"Margaret Cowie should not be allowed to teach beyond the Pro- 
verbs !" In 1644 the Castle was repaired and garrisoned by the 
Covenanters, under Sir James Eraser of Brea, who surrounded the 
town with a ditch, cut down a number of beautiful trees in the 
Grey Friars' and Chapel Yards, and erected a strong gate at the 
top of Castle Street. In the following year it was besieged by 
Montrose, but without success. Five years later it was taken by 
Mackenzie of Pluscardine and Urquhart of Cromarty, who de- 
stroyed a great part of it, which was not again restored until 
1718. In 1652 Inverness was occupied by Cromwell, on behalf 
of the Commonwealth, and in the following year he commenced the 



OLD INVERNESS. 131 

erection of a fort at the mouth of the Ness, which occupied five 
years in building. The following description of this fortress is 
taken from Anderson's History of the Erasers : 

It was a regular pentagon, surrounded at full tide with water sufficient to float 
a small bark. The breastwork was three stories high, all of hewn stone, and lined 
with brick inside. The sallee port lay towards the town. The principal gate was to 
the North, where was a strong draw-bridge of oak, and a stately structure over it, 
with this motto, ' ' Togam twntur arma. 1 ' From this bridge the Citadel was approached 
by a wide vault 70 feet long, with seats on each side. In the centre of the fort, stood 
a large square building, three stories high. The lower storey contained the 
granary and magazine. In the highest, was a church, well finished, within a pavilion 
roof, surmounted by a steeple with a clock and four bells ; at the south east, stood a 
long building, four stories high, called the English building, because built by English 
masons, and opposite to it a similar one, erected by Scottish architects. On the north- 
east and north-west were the ammunition houses, artificers' lodgings, stables, brew- 
houses, and a tavern. A conduit under ground, with iron gates at each end, extended 
from one side to the other, and carried off the filth of the Citadel. The accommoda- 
tion altogether would lodge loco men. England supplied the oak planks and beams; 
the fir was bought from Eraser of Struie, who received 30,000 merks as purchase 
money. Recourse had been had to the monasteries of Kinloss and Beauly, the 
Bishop's Castle of Chanonry, the Greyfriars' Church and St Mary's Chapel at Inver- 
ness, for the stone work, and in addition thereto, materials were taken from the 
Redcastle quarries. Such a variety of stores did the garrison bring with them, and so 
profuse were they, that a Scots pint of claret sold for a shilling, and cloth was 
bought as cheap as in England. The whole expense of the Citadel was ^80,000 
sterling. 

In 1662, by request of the Highland chiefs, this great fortress 
was demolished, but the brief stay of the English soldiery had a 
permanent effect upon the language and customs of the inhabit- 
ants of Inverness. The curious little clock-tower, with its clock, 
still standing at the Citadel, is said to have been erected in 
Cromwell's time. 

In the History of the Macdonalds, there is an account of a 
serious conflict which took place in Inverness in 1665 between 
the townspeople, the Macdonalds of Glengarry, and the Town 
Guards, the result of which was that the two first parties went to 
law, and, in the end, the town was ordered by the Privy Council 
to pay Glengarry 4800 Scots damages, besides medical fees. 
The quarrel commenced at the horse market, which was held on 
the hill south of the Castle. Some women were selling cheese at 
the top of the hill, and a townsman, named Finlay Dubh, lifted a 
cheese in his hand, and inquired the price. On being told, he 
accidentally or wilfully let the cheese roll down the hill into the 



I 3 2 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

river. The owner of the kebbock insisted on payment ; Finlay 
gave her an insolent reply. Somebody at hand sided with the 
woman, and, seizing the offender, pulled off his bonnet in pledge 
for the price of the cheese. A kinsman of Finlay's challenged this 
man, and from words they soon came to blows. The whole market 
took up the quarrel, and the fight became general. The Guards 
were called out, swords drawn, and guns fired. Provost Cuthbert 
donned a steel head-piece, and with sword and buckler went into 
the fight. The alarm bell was rung ; two men were killed and 
several wounded by the shots fired by the Guards. At length 
quiet was restored ; the Provost defended the action of the Guards 
in firing. The two dead men were found to be Macdonalds. 
That clan considered themselves insulted, and vowed revenge. At 
length they agreed to make peace on certain stipulated condi- 
tions, but these were so humiliating that the town refused to treat 
on such terms, and the matter was at last submitted to the Privy 
Council, with the before-mentioned result. 

In 1662 the Magistrates held a great horse-race on the plain 
round Tomnahurich. The prizes were a silver cup and a saddle. 
Hugh, roth Lord Lovat, the Lairds of Grant and Kilravock, and 
an officer from Fort- William, contested the first race, Lovat com- 
iner in first. The next race was won by a Bailie of the town. On 

O w 

28th September 1664, the old wooden bridge gave way, the event 
being thus described by a contemporary writer : " The great .old 
wooden bridge of Inverness was repairing, and by the inadvert- 
ency of a carpenter cutting a beam that lay betwixt two couples, 
the bridge tending that way, ten of the old couples fell flat on the 
river, with about 'two hundred persons men, women, and child- 
ren on it. Four of the townsmen broke legs and thighs ; some 
sixteen had their heads, arms, and thighs bruised; all the children 
safe without a scart a signal providence and a dreadful sight at 
10 forenoon." In 1685, according to Mr Maclean, the Inverness 
" Nonogenarian," a substantial stone bridge, of seven arches, was 
erected, partly at the expense of the town, and partly by means 
of subscriptions. Macleod of Macleod, Lord Lovat, and other 
lairds contributed handsomely, and on that account their clans 
were afterwards allowed to pass over the bridge without paying 
toll. Some years after, however, Lord Lovat gave up his privilege 
to the town for a consideration, and the Frasers had afterwards 



OLD INVERNESS. 133 

to pay. Macleod of Macleod's coat-of-arms was placed over the 
gateway of the bridge in special acknowledgment of his subscrip- 
tion towards its erection. 

Some of the inhabitants of the town hit upon a novel 
expedient for getting relieved of the toll. On Sunday, as the 
people were coming from church, they and their minister were 
shocked to see a number of people playing shinty on the Green 
of Muirtown. On being remonstrated with, the Sabbath-breakers 
alleged that they could not pay the toll for crossing the bridge, 
and were therefore unable to go to church, and that they had 
nothing else to do but to amuse themselves. The worthy minis- 
ter applied to the Magistrates, with the result, that no toll was 
thereafter exacted on Sundays. Between the second and third 
arches of the bridge was a miserable dungeon, about twelve feet 
square, in which prisoners were confined. It was entered by a 
flight of stairs, leading from a trap-door in the roadway, to a door 
of massive iron bars. The only other opening was a grated win- 
dow looking towards the west. In this dismal hole, a poor unfor- 
tunate man was imprisoned about 1715, who, it is said, was finally 
devoured by rats, but this is questionable. The wretched man 
used in winter to cry out, " Casan fuara, casan fuara," cold feet, 
cold feet. For many years a toll of a bodle, or the sixth part of 
a penny, for each foot passenger with goods, a penny for a loaded 
horse, etc., was levied on the bridge on those who had not the 
privileges of the burgh. Many of those who came to the markets 
were unable to pay this toll, and in summer and autumn it was a 
common sight to see bands of men and women sitting on the west 
bank of the river, just opposite where the West Church is now, 
waiting until the stace of the tide enabled them to ford the 
stream. H. R. M. 

(To be continued.) 



THE GLASGOW SKYE ASSOCIATION. The Eighteenth Annual Meeting 
of the Natives of the Isle of Skye, and their friends, residing in Glasgow, was held 
there in the Queen's Rooms, on Friday, the 5th of December Reginald Macleod, 
second son of Macleod of Macleod, in the chair. Addresses were delivered by the 
Chairman, the Rev. Dr Donald Macleod, and Alexander Mackenzie of the Celtic 
Magazine the latter in Gaelic. A very attractive musical programme, Gaelic and 
English, having been gone through, a grand assembly concluded one of the most 
successful meetings ever held under the auspices of the Association. The Gaelic 
singing was particularly good, 



134 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

WHERE TO GET MONEY FOR THE 

STOCKING OF NEW AND ENLARGED CROFTS. 

BY CHARLES FRASER-MACKINTOSH, M.P. 



THE CROFTER QUESTION has lately made great advance, for on 
1 4th November last, friends pressed a motion which Government 
accepted, and there is recorded in the journals of the House 
of Commons these significant words " Resolved, That in the 
opinion of this House, it is the duty of her Majesty's Govern- 
ment to give effect to the recommendations of the Royal Com- 
mission upon the condition of the crofters and cottars in the 
Highlands and Islands of Scotland, or to apply such other 
remedies as they deem advisable, and that this House concurs in 
the opinion expressed by the Royal Commission at page no of 
its report, ' that the mere vindication of authority, and repression 
of resistance, would not establish the relations of mutual con- 
fidence between landlord and tenant, in the absence of which the 
country would not be truly at peace, and all our inquiries and 
counsels would be expended in vain.' " 

Legislation is now certain, and though the Home Secretary 
desiderated voluntary action, and fair landlords, like Lochiel, may 
be willing to make concessions even to their loss, it is idle to look 
for satisfactory remedies in this form, particularly if views, such 
as those promulgated by the Marquis of Lome, in the December 
number of the Contemporary Review, are to be considered as 
those of the landlord class generally. 

The opponents of the crofters having been driven back, 
chiefly by the report and evidence of the Royal Commissioners, 
from the position first taken up, and so long and strenuously 
defended by them, viz. that there was no cause or necessity for 
amelioration have now taken up a second line of defence. 
Granted, they say, that the crofters' position should be improved, 
how is this to be done ? From whence is the money to come ? 
It may be taken for certain that this line of argument will be 
defended with equal obstinacy, and supported by as many doubts 
and misrepresentations as the former. 



STOCKING OF CROFTS. 135 

To answer such queries is the object of this paper, and 
while in one sense it is premature to discuss what ought to follow 
on a position not yet legally assured, it is not so in another sense, 
were it merely to satisfy fossil Whigs of the member for Bedford 
type, who, in the debate on I4th November, specially challenged 
the writer on the point ; also a cynical individual, signing him- 
self " C," who wrote to the Times on this subject, making 
invidious references by name. 

Let us suppose the Legislature has sanctioned what the 
crofters desire more land, fair rent fixed by a Land Court, secur- 
ity of tenure against eviction at any time, except for non-payment 
of rent, and option of purchase, all which must be very clearly 
stipulated, and nothing short of which should be listened to, then 
the question of stocking naturally and legitimately comes up. 
Now, it may at once be said, that any attempt to saddle crofters, 
with valuations of existing stocks, under the present iniquitous 
system of arbitration, cannot be permitted. The crofter must 
be allowed to purchase what stock he needs in the best and 
cheapest market. 

Those who read the evidence laid before the Commissioners 
must be struck with the pathetic manner in which the crofters 
themselves dealt with the subject. The burden of the story was 
generally this, that they were now so reduced, so low, by hard 
times, high rents, etc., that they could not at once stock larger 
holdings ; but many said they could get on in a short time, 
while others said they looked for Government aid. All sturdily, 
and manfully, declined gifts ; no, they would repay what might 
be advanced to them with moderate interest. Cash alone is not 
the only desideratum. The writer brought out in many cases 
that a man's labour stood for his capital, and that a strong 
active young man, able and willing to work, might be said to 
be really possessed of as much capital as say a widow with 100, 
burdened with a young family. 

We now indicate some of the sources from which the 
money for stocking and other purposes may be reasonably 
looked for. 

I. From Deposits in the Savings and other Banks in the High- 
lands. To those familiar with these banks, it is well known that 
much of their permanent deposits comes from the crofter class, and 

K 



136 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

from single women connected with them. These monies are at 
.present diverted from their legitimate channels, in the case of the 
Highland Bank, to other objects within its local range of opera- 
tions ; in the case of the others, to objects outside the districts, 
and too often outside Scotland, and in the case of the Savings' 
Banks entirely furth of the Kingdom. These depositors do not 
lend their savings and earnings now among their own class, 
because they know well that if devoted to improving the 
crofts, houses, or stocks, it simply means ultimate but certain 
confiscation by the landowners. But if these people saw 
that they could lend safely to their friends, it is inconceivable 
that they would not do so, when it would be to their own 
advantage, to the certain increase of the prosperity of the 
tiller of the soil, and to the permanent wealth of the country. 
There is no bank, it has been said, equal to, or so safe as land, 
but the land must be unfettered, free from increment confiscation, 
and where in any way practicable the tiller should be owner. 
Sites for building houses, and for garden and potato ground for 
fishing communities, cottars, and labourers, would be eagerly 
taken up and paid for by these bank depositors, if suitable and 
convenient land could be had. At present there is a perverse 
locking up of land in the Highlands and Islands, and the most 
grudging system of dealing with any permanent right. The now 
almost extinct system of Entail proved so derogatory to im- 
provement, that nearly a century ago, it was modified to the ex- 
tent of permitting ninety-nine years' building leases. Yet, the 
late proprietor of North Harris, a banker, and presumably of 
liberal education, actually introduced a rule of thirty-eight years' 
building leases, on an estate held in fee-simple, and in that parl 
of it which ought to be a flourishing and progressive locality, 
viz., East Loch Tarbert. It is difficult to fix on the amount 
which would become available from this source, but it is mode- 
ately estimated at .250,000. 

II. A considerable increase might be looked for under the new 
state of things in the way of direct contribiitions by relatives in 
domestic sermce, or other employments at a distance. At present 
there is a good deal sent home, but it is done as a matter of neces- 
sity to help to pay the rent, to prevent eviction, or to pay for food 
and clothing, to prevent starvation, Nothing is sent for perman- 



STOCKING OF CROFTS. 137 

ent improvement of the croft, or houses, for the reason before 
mentioned that confiscation ever stands in the path, a spectre 
deterrent and fatal and thus no lasting benefit accrues to the 
people. But if it were certain that the home were permanent, 
then surely money would be sent cheerfully and in larger volume, 
not only from those in service and employment in this country, but 
also from abroad, to meliorate the croft and make it self-support- 
ing ; to rebuild the houses, add to the fences, and improve the 
stock. Persons so lending would know that their money was 
well applied, and when they revisited the home of their childhood, 
they would find it lasting and secure, with surroundings of which 
they had no cause to be ashamed. The sums from these sources 
would be of very considerable annual amount. 

III. From Private Benefactors. Much sympathy is expressed 
in various influential quarters with the crofters, and in our rich 
country it is not at all too much to expect that hundreds will be 
found ready to advance the 50 or 100 necessary, being first 
satisfied that the person to receive the advance is entitled to con- 
fidence, and that his subject may, with diligence, enable him to 
wipe off his debt within the time bargained. An appeal in this 
form could hereafter be made, and it will be, indeed, disappoint- 
ing if not handsomely responded to. The backing up of one 
deserving crofter would be no great burden to a person of 
ordinary means, and it would be heavily to his or her credit 
here and hereafter. 

IV. Through Guaranteeing or Lending Companies to be 
formed for the purpose. The worthy Provost of Inverness some 
time ago proposed a scheme to help the crofters in stocking and 
purchasing lands, but it was extinguished on its appearance by 
an excellent man, who has done well in his day and generation 
for the Highlands, but, alas, from the unhappy views prevalent 
in his youth, abhors Gaelic, and does not look with favour on 
the crofting system. But, undaunted, the Provost has lately 
revived his scheme, and we wish it all success. The objects may 
be briefly stated to consist of lending cheaply to small owners 
and tenants, and guaranteeing advances by capitalists willing to 
lend. Provision for affecting stock with a lien, for certain pur- 
poses, must be enacted, which would materially help crofters, 



138 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

and increase the work of such companies. Costs of transfers, 
bonds, searches, stamps, etc., must be reduced to a minimum, and 
if so, such companies might do a safe, remunerative, and patriotic 
business. 

V. Government Loans. We place these last, and after exhaust- 
ing private sources. There is no reason to startle at the suggestion. 
Municipalities, wealthy beyond computation, as compared with 
crofters, get these loans, and there is no breach of principle in 
widening the allocation. Government aid could best be given, 
perhaps, through the agency of companies, as in No. 4. We 
do not indicate how it ought to be done, but do say that a 
million in this way advanced would do immense good ; it would 
be spent in permanent and returning improvements, and not lost 
or thrown away in costly and useless wars, such as even the 
present Government, pledged to peace, find themselves engaged in. 

For these and other causes which might be adduced, no fear 
need be entertained that money can be got for purchasing, stock- 
ing, and for improving crofts and houses. It must be kept in 
view that these schemes deal with, and include the poorer class of 
cottars, labourers, and squatters, whose condition is worse than 
that of the crofters. Two things should not be lost sight of, viz., 
that these benefits are intended for the industrious and well 
behaved only, who will have much to do in the form of personal 
labour and exertion not for loafers, idlers, and men of unsteady 
and vicious habits; and that neither during life nor at death, 
shall the croft be divisible, if under a certain fixed annual value 
to be settled by Parliament. 

C. F. M. 



SPEECH BY THE REV. ANGUS MACIVER. 

The following is the speech delivered by the Chairman The 
Rev. Angus Maciver, minister of the Established Church, Uig, 
Lewis at the Crofter Demonstration held in Stornoway on the 
1 6th of October last, and referred to in our last issue at page 89. 
It seems harmless enough. He said 

I have to thank you for the great honour you have conferred upon me by asking me 
to preside over this great meeting, and for giving me this opportunity of once more publicly 
expressing some views in connection with the important matters which are agitating the 
Highlands at present, and our own Island in particular. I fully realise 



SPEECH BY THE REV. ANGUS MACIVER. 139 

THE GRAVITY OF THE SITUATION 

And the responsibility resting on every one residing in these parts of Her 
Majesty's dominions. No one need think that he can now escape taking some share 
of that responsibility, whatever share he may choose to take, whether of a more 
public or private character. It would be well for all that they should immediately 
realise this fact and act accordingly. As to the political aspect of the great question 
now before the country at large, I mean the extension of the franchise, I do -not mean 
to occupy much of your time. I agree with the view which is common and which is 
agreed upon by the two great parties in the state, viz. That the franchise should be 
extended to the people, that they should have the power of voting for members of 
Parliament. As to how this is to be arranged and carried out it is not for me to say. 
The country at large, through its representatives in Parliament, will have to decide that 
question. I trust, however, that the decision of that question will be arrived at with- 
out disturbing any of our old and time-honoured institutions, which, in the past, have 
stood many a shock, and which for many centuries have shed lustre and glory on our 
country. When the din and heat of parties will have subsided, we expect to apply 
the language of Scripture to our venerable institutions, "To walk about them and go 
round them, telling the towers thereof, marking our bulwarks, considering our palaces, 
that we may tell it to the generation following. For God is our God for ever and ever." 
That this may be true with respect to all the great institutions of our country in the 
future as in the past, whatever changes they may have to undergo, so as to adapt them 
to the particular requirements of our time, is, I am sure, the sincere desire and prayer 
of all present. We have no desire or wish to have them removed. As there are, 
however, men beside me on the platform who are more competent to deal with those 
questions, I do not wish to say more about them. I simply wish to touch upon two 
other points. The first is that which goes now under the name of 

THE CROFTER QUESTION. 

It has now assumed such dimensions that it must be faced and settled, and 
with as little delay as possible. It looks as if it would soon be in a com- 
plicated state. The agitation and irritation will extend more and more unless 
something is done by Parliament in the matter. This is now so patent to all 
who can think that almost every one takes it for granted. To my mind there 
are very valid reasons both on the part of the crofters and of the country at 
large, why the question should be dealt with. The crofters are by far too confined 
in their holdings, and have had in the past very little encouragement given them to 
improve their circumstances. If anything like justice is to be done to them, the pre- 
sent Land Laws must be changed more land granted to them, as well as security of 
tenure Large farms and deer forests must be broken up and the people supplied with 
what of these will enable them to live with some comfort. No one with half an eye 
in his head will deny the necessity of something like this being done. The crofters 
have suffered too much in the past for the gratification and indulgence of others, and 
they ought now to be indulged a little themselves and to secure their liberty; and I hope 
}he time is near at hand when this will be their happy lot. I beg to say for my native 
island, that there is no use, with its present population, to speak foolishly, as some 
have done, of graduating farms, or of large and small farms ; but if the people are to 
be extricated from their present depressed and dangerous state, they must get all the 
lands therein divided into crofts, with the moorlands, on easy and equitable terms. 
My firm conviction is that nothing less will make the crofters of this island com- 
fortable. Other parts of the Highlands may afford those graduating farms, but not 



140 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

this poor populous island of ours. In any case the people should get of the land a suffi- 
ciency to make them comfortable, as far as it can do so, and the surplus population 
who are in quest of land should go where there is plenty of it to be had. I 
hold these views very strongly and decidedly, and would do all in my power to 
have them realised in fact. The other point to which I want to direct your atten- 
tion for two or three minutes, is 

THE COUNTER DEMONSTRATION 

held here a fortnight ago, by members of the Association which has its head-quarters 
in Edinburgh. They called it a demonstration, but it seems to have been only the 
shadow of one. They should come here and see what a demonstration is, that they 
may remember in future to call things by their proper names. We are well aware 
what they had in view for some time past who made that attempt at a demonstration. 
They want to show themselves as the men and guides of the people here ; but unfor- 
tunately for them the people don't listen to them ; and they will more and more stop 
their ears against them, especially when they find out what they have in view. The 
sum and substance of it is this, that the Stornoway gentlemen want to show the Lews 
people that they are not to" do anything without consulting them as to what they are 
to do, and how they are to do it. We in the country beg very respectfully, but very 
firmly, to decline their leadership and dictation. In future, I have no doubt, you 
will mark their movements and steer clear of them. 

THE RIVAL ASSOCIATIONS. 

Attach yourselves to the Highland Land Law Reform Association in London of 
which there are branches in this town, in Uig, and in other parishes through the island. 
The Association in Edinburgh to which they want you to attach yourselves has a very 
different object in view from the one in London. The Edinburgh Association asks for 
something, but it may be next to nothing, it is so meagre and compromising. What 
you want is the land and all the land on equitable terms, and that you may live with 
some ease and comfort. These are the broad, clear grounds, on which the London 
Association stands, and you are on that account fairly bound to support it. Many, if 
not the majority, of those of the Edinburgh Association have in view the Disestablish- 
ment of the Church of Scotland, and to deprive you of the patrimony which is yours 
by right, and to put it into the pockets of the landlords, or some such purpose. They 
managed, at any rate, to put the endowments of the schools into their pockets. I trust 
my countrymen will never be so foolish as to consent to such a transaction as that. 
Although the most of you don't avail yourselves at present of the benefits of 
these endowments, the day may be at hand when you will do so willingly. Ii 
the mean time, at any rate, the present Establishment is no burden uj 
you. It costs you nothing. In proof of my contention, that this is one main cans 
for the existence of the Edinburgh Association, Who were the most of those who 
took part in the meeting here a fortnight ago? You will find Dr Rainy, Edinburgh. 
Mr Lee, of Nairn, and others of similar views men who have been for years running 
counter to your most cherished views, and who have at heart especially to sever the 
Church from the State, and to bring you ultimately completely under their power 
They are using every effort to bring about this end. I trust my countrymen will not 
allow themselves to be misled by such men, and that you will keep firm hold 
what you have got, and if there be things needing to be rectified in connection with 
Church and State, ask and ask again, until your petitions are granted. Raise your 
voices to this effect. Don't imagine that I am pleading with you to come to the 
Church of Scotland. That is a matter you have to choose deliberately for yourselves. 



SPEECH BY THE REV. ANGUS MACIVER. 141 

You will get plenty to dissuade you against such a step. I won't condescend to re- 
taliate on those who do so, whenever they find opportunity. I have too much 
respect for your freedom and liberty to treat you in any such way. They should feel 
perfectly at ease now that you are almost all with them. What I ask you is to pre- 
serve the endowments, and not to allow any set of men to deprive you of them ; for if 
you do so, you are doing an irreparable injury to the cause of God in the land. You 
would need more endowments than you have. I strongly and earnestly warn you 
against those men who are quietly but surely misleading you. I have no other object 
in view than your highest good, both for this life and that which is to come. No one 
in this island can in fairness say that I have not taken a deep interest in the temporal 
well-being of the people of my native island, and I feel equally interested in their 
spiritual well-being. And when I have the opportuntiy I must speak plainly to you. 
I feel confident that you will accept of my statements in that light, and that you wil 
put no other construction upon them. 



"PUNCH" ON HIGHLAND LAND LAW REFORM, To the simple un- 
official mind it would seem that the case of the " crofters and cottars in the Highlands 
and Islands of Scotland " is about ripe for settlement. But as Miss Carolina Wilhel- 
nnna Amelia Skeggs observed, " there is a form in these things there is a form." To 
examine an alleged grievance carefully, and deal witft it equitably and promptly, may 
commend itself to the ordinary, but not to the official or Skeggsian judgment. The 
" form " must be observed. And what is the "form?" Well, it is usually so complex 
and prolix as to be difficult of full analysis. But given a grievance like that of the 
Irish tenants any time within the last century, or the Scotch crofters now there are 
heaps of things to be done before it can be righted. In the first place it must be 
ignored altogether until its assertion becomes too palpable to overlook. Then it must 
be pooh-poohed. When it enlists public sympathy as well as attracts public notice, it 
must be " inquired into " by the long drawn process of a Commission, for choice. 
Whilst the Commission is sitting or standing, or travelling, or whatever it chooses to 
do things of course must be kept in "abeyance, inopportune inquiry snubbed, friendly 
urgency denounced, protest protested against, any impatient action on the part of the 
sufferers sharply put down, in the interest of "law and order." The Commission 
takes its time all Commissions do. Ultimately, however, it issues its "Report." 
And there matters stop, until the sufferers, or their advocates, make another stir. If 
that stir is mild, it is not noticed; if it is vigorous, it is denounced as violent ; if it is 
violent, the Law is down upon it, unless well, unless it is very, very violent, largely 
and formidably so, and then the fire begins to burn the stick, the stick begins to beat 
the dog, the dog to bite the pig, the pig to get over the stile, and the Old Woman gets 
home, or, in other words, the grievances get redressed. This very briefly sum- 
marised indeed is the official Skeggsian " form." It is open to some objection, such 
as waste of time, prolongation of suffering, provocation of crime, engendering of 
hatred, killing of gratitude in the bud, and final compulsory pushing off reform till it 
savours of revolution, redress until it shows like surrender. Without prejudging the 
case of these poor Crofters, it is too much to hope that, in dealing with it, the Skegg- 
sian "form," of which we have already had so many disastrous and expensive ex- 
amples, will not be adopted ! Punch. 



142 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

THE MARQUIS OF LORNE AND THE LAND 
AGITATION IN THE HIGHLANDS. 



WHETHER the Duke of Argyll's published references to the Land 
Question in the Highlands carry conviction to the minds of his 
readers, or whatever opinions may be held among the well- 
informed as to the nett results on his own estates of the more or 
less rigorous application of the principles of political economy 
according to his Grace, all must be impressed with a sense of his 
scholarship, his wide knowledge of the subject, and the ability 
with which he presents his case. If the article on " Highland 
Land Agitation" in the Contemporary Review for December 
is to be taken as a criterion, we are afraid the Marquis of 
Lome is likely to do little to uphold the literary character which 
his father has so successfully established for himself. The article 
in question is one tissue of pert puerilities, very deficient in good 
taste, and betraying lamentable ignorance of the present position 
and tendencies of events in the Highlands. 

That the future MacCailean Mor should interest himself in 
the condition of the Highland people is most befitting, but we 
fear the spirit in which his Lordship approaches the subject is not 
one which will either conduce to his own proper understanding 
of it, or tend to excite in the minds of his countrymen very 
exalted notions of his present fitness to undertake the responsi- 
bilities attaching to his ancestral estates. 

At the very outset he misstates the character of the Land 
Acts which were passed for Ireland in the years 1870 and 1881, 
describing the former as a measure of "charitable protection," 
and the latter as an "Act making all Irish cultivators part- 
owners of their farms." Honest Irish reformers, and the chiefs 
of the Liberal Government who passed those Acts, described 
them both as instalments of justice, not mere charitable doles, 
and as to some extent recognising not exactly " ownership in the 
farms," but a right of property in the improvements effected in 
their holdings by the ill-requited toils of the struggling and 
starving peasantry. Until his Lordship is prepared to acknow- 
ledge similar justice in the claims of his countrymen in the 



MARQUIS OF LORNE AND LAND AGITATION. 143 

Highlands, and their property in their own improvements, as well 
as their natural right of settlement on their native soil so long as 
they fulfil the duties of their position, his contributions to the solu- 
tion of the Highland difficulty will only be effective to that end in 
a sense very different to that which his Lordship intended. Nero 
was fiddling when Rome was in flames, and the Marquis of Lome 
is trifling when the Highland people are clamouring in a very 
significant, and, we believe, effective manner for the redress of 
their grievances, and when the artillery of the Restoration of the 
Rights of the people is being forced up to the gates of land- 
lord citadels. Such lispings as this article are no better than so 
many cobwebs spread over the cannon's mouth in the vain hope 
of obstructing the deadly shot Let us quote a few of his 
Lordship's choicest flippancies. He finds special delight in 
making sport of the Royal Commission, and its warm-hearted, 
fair, and able Chairman, whose recommendation of a compulsory 
division of large farms the Marquis adduces as " a curious 
instance of the sympathy in predatory instinct between the 
Borderer and the Highlander," and which, he says, " has already 
produced lawlessness in the Islanders in certain districts." A 
little further on his Lordship repeats a similar sneer at Lord 
Napier in the following terms : 

"We may, I believe, be excused the consideration of the 
predatory recommendation of the compulsory taking of other 
men's land for the enlargement of crofts. This out-Herods any- 
thing ever proposed in Indian or Irish legislation, and the majority 
of any legislature may be trusted to suppose that a long course 
of sea-sickness had made the estimable and amiable chief of the 
Commission giddy when he penned it" 

At page 83, we are informed that 

" A hundred years ago, war and small-pox, and other causes, 
made the Highland population a comparatively scanty one. . . 
There are careful returns of many estates showing that a century 
ago the number of people was not nearly so large as it now is on 
properties such as those of Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, the Duke of 
Sutherland, Lord Macdonald, Macleod of Macleod, and the Duke 
of Argyll." 

We do not know on what authority Lord Lome makes this 
statement, but, taking his own County of Argyle as a test, we 
are disposed to question its accuracy. In the period between 



144 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

1790 and 1798, according to the figures supplied in the Old 
" Statistical Account," the total population of Argyleshire was 
76,101, while, notwithstanding that the town population of the 
county has more than doubled even during the past fifty years 
from about 12,000 in 1831 to 30,387 according to the census of 
1 88 1 the population of Argyleshire at the census of 1881 was only 
80,761. To go more into detail, at the time stated above 1790- 
98 the population of the Islands of Coll and Tyree was 3457 ; 
it is now 3376. The County of Sutherland at the first-named date 
had a population of 22,961, against 22,376 at the time of the last 
census. These figures should prove interesting to his Lordship. 

Referring to evictions, he finds that " the Commissioners 
who lately took all evidence, with scarcely any sifting of the 
same, came across no cases of eviction carried out for the pur- 
pose of 'land clearance for sport' " The Report of the Commis- 
sion mentions one case; we could mention others, and have no 
doubt his Lordship could also furnish a few. He will find 
plenty instances of clearances to make room for sheep farms, and 
these are fast being turned into deer forests. 

Here are one or two more of Lord Lome's puerile deliver- 
ances on this important question. 

" The furnishing of men for the service of the State is good 
but the argument may be over-driven. City slums, and the 
poorest Irish, have furnished most soldiers ; but none agree that 
slums should be kept, and Irish poverty encouraged, that the 
army ranks may be filled." 

" There is no sufficient ground for taking the ownership from 
the present proprietors, for they have, according to the evidence 
given by the people, not used their powers unjustly'' 

Lord Lome says again 

" Lord Napier appears to have such a horror of Irish land 
legislation that he has endeavoured to steer clear of anything like 
it." And yet the Commission is elsewhere charged by his Lord- 
ship with claiming legal sanction for one of the leading principles 
of the last Irish Land Acts, namely, fixity of tenure, as well as 
with compulsory division of large holdings. Here are the words 

"This has led him (Lord Napier) to try to make a special 
case of the Highlander by an attempt to revive the ' township' or 
village community He might as well propose that 



MARQUIS OF LORNE AND LAND AGITATION. 145 

all the people who still profess the old Highland second sight 
should receive pensions at the hand of the State, or that excep- 
tional privileges should be conferred on all who can be proved to 

have had belief in the Evil Eye It will not do to let 

men call themselves a crowded community, and get enlargements 
at the expense of a thrifty and hard working farmer who happens 
to be nearest to them." 

It is interesting to contrast with these inanities of the 
Marquis the large-hearted and manly speech delivered by 
Lochiel in the House of Commons on the I4th of November, 
in connection with Mr Macfarlane's motion calling upon the 
Government to take action without delay in the interests of the 
Highland crofters. The Marquis of Lome and Lochiel, in their 
social relation to the question, may be regarded as in almost 
identical positions, yet the former seems to have nothing to pre- 
sent more pertinent to the subject than this article, which, did it 
not bear the signature of the Marquis of Lome, an ex-Governor 
General of Canada, and the heir-apparent to the Dukedom of 
Argyll, would have been refused insertion by any publication of 
literary reputation in the kingdom. Apart even from its inanity 
as the result of the cogitations and inquiries of a would-be states- 
man, its very grammar is something to wonder at. In one sentence 
the Marquis writes of the Commission which "has been ap- 
pointed," and has gone the round," and of " the report they have 
issued." In another sentence there is a similar departure from 
the canons of Lindley Murray, when we are exhorted not to be 
afraid in "doing what we can for the Highlanders to spread 
the benefit he may receive, and do not suppose, because Lord 
Napier has sometimes found something like the Russian 'mir' to 
exist with them, that this constitutes them privileged beings," etc. 
Much worse, however, is the non possumus attitude which his 
Lordship takes up in relation to the chief recommendations of the 
Royal Commission ; and it is here that the utterances of Lochiel 
himself an extensive Highland landlord shine in conspicuous 
contrast. He is quite prepared, notwithstanding that he expressed 
very strong dissent from the principal recommendations of the 
Commission, to " do all in his power to assist the Government in 
passing a measure even though its provisions should run counter 
to what he thought expedient," and he expresses the hope, 
though it might involve " some sacrifice on the part of the land- 



146 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

lords, a solution might be arrived at which would confer benefit 
upon and bring contentment to the crofters, would satisfy their 
sympathisers, and would promote the welfare of the whole country." 
If the landlords of the Highlands would only approach the 
question in this spirit, we would not despair of very soon seeing a 
measure passed, and other steps taken supplementary to mere 
legislation, which would restore peace and comparative prosperity 
among the Highland peasantry. 

TWO STRATHGLASS PRIESTS. 

To THE EDITOR OF THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

SIR, I am much pleased to find in the Celtic Magazine for this month an extract in 
reference to Father Alexander Cameron of Lochiel and the Rev. John Farquharson, 
Priests in Strathglass, from the Dingwall Presbytery records, dated 27th April 1743. 
As the readers of your Magazine are already familiar with the contents of this curious 
extract, I need not repeat them. Suffice it to say that they do not breathe much 
charity towards my co-religionists and fellow-countrymen in Strathglass. But narrow- 
minded as the aim, scope, and tendency of the Dingwall extract unquestionably is, 
let me repeat that I feel obliged to the party who brought it to light. Independently 
of the flood of light it throws on old clerical proceedings at Dingwall, it enables one 
to trace the persecution of the two Priests, named in the extracts alluded to, clearly to 
its fountain head. 

Briefly stated, it was thus : The Rev. Alexander Cameron was apprehended, and 
sent off to a penal settlement, but was taken seriously ill, on the passage, and died in 
the hulks below London. The Rev. John Farquharson .was apprehended twice ; on 
both occasions he was sent out of Strathglass. The last time he was transported to 
Hanover. For a full account of these cases see Celtic Magazine, vol. vii., pp. 141-146. 
Here, I may add, on the authority of Bishop John Chisholm's letter to Sir John 
Sinclair, during the Ossianic controversy, that the Rev. John Farquharson was a 
Priest in Strathglass for the long space of thirty years. We know that he left Strath- 
glass in obedience to the dignitaries of his order, when they selected him as Prefect of 
Studies for the Catholic College of Douay. The following is a slip which I have cut 
out of the Inverness Courier^ 8th January 1884. It may well pass as a companion 
picture to the Dingwall extract : 

"In 1704 the General Assembly appointed Presbyteries to send in lists to the 
Clerks of her Majesty's Privy Council of all Papists within their bounds, the lists to 
contain the names and designations of the persons who entertain the Papists, and the 
names of the places where they are entertained, and so forth. In response to this, 
reports were sent in from a considerable number of Presbyteries, which, according to 
Dr Cunningham, who refers to the matter, brought out the fact that, while in some 
districts of the country Popery had been clean blotted out ; in others, more remote 
from central influences, it remained almost entire. In the county of Selkirk there 
was not one Papist. In Athole there was only one and he a blind fiddler. But in 
South Uist and Barra, out of seventeen hundred examinable persons, only about 
seventeen were Protestants. In the islands of Canna, Rum, and Muck, out of five 
hundred examinable persons, only forty were Protestants. In Knoydart and Morar, 
out of seven hundred, all were Popish but four. In Arisaig, Moydart, and Glengarry, 
there was a population of fifteen hundred, and all were Papists but one man. In 
these districts there was no distinction between Saturday and Sabbath : the thick 
darkness of a state not much above heathenism was unbroken." 

If I were a native of any of the above-mentioned islands or districts, alleged to 
have been without any "distinction between Saturday and Sabbath," I would endeavour 
to ascertain whether the statement was founded on facts, or was the mere outcome 
of a fertile imagination. I am, &c., COLIN CHISHOLM. 

Inverness, December 10, 1884. 



ST KILDA OR HIRTA. 



AT the December monthly meeting of the Inverness Scien- 
tific Society and Field Club, Mr Alexander Ross, Architect, 
F.G.S., read an interesting paper descriptive of a recent visit 
to St Kilda. Mr Ross dealt more at length with the geological 
aspect of the island than with the history or social condition of 
its people ; but the following notes on the latter will, we think, 
prove interesting to the readers of the Celtic Magazine : 

On our arrival in the bay we observed a slight commotion 
amongst the people, and one or two neighbours evidently began 
to talk over our appearance in the bay. Some began to move along 
the main thoroughfare, or High Street as it is called, which passes 
along the fronts of the houses, and by the time they reached the 
north end of the village, nearest the landing place, the procession, 
increased by the minister and schoolmaster, amounted to some 
1 8 or 20 people. They immediately ran out a boat, and four men 
came off to us. They seemed active, healthy fellows, and shook 
hands with us all. 

Till the time of Captain Otter the dwelling-houses seemed 
to have been entirely constructed of stone, with thatched roofs. 
On the occasion of one of his visits a storm arose, when he had 
to put to sea. He returned after some three days, and found 
the houses unroofed. He immediately steamed away to the 
mainland, and got subscriptions for iron and zinc roofs, which re- 
main till this day an eyesore and a disfigurement to the island. 
Mr Mackenzie, Fort- William, whose father was minister, told me 
of the first proposal for improved houses, from the stone roof and 
wall beds to modern life, was made in the year 1830, at the in- 
stigation of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder. On that occasion, Sir 
Thomas offered a premium for each man who would build a 
house with chimneys and other improvements, and entrusted the 
Rev. Mr Mackenzie with the money to pay the man who should 
move first. Mr Mackenzie found the money of little use, and 
not coveted, and he resolved to try tobacco. At that time the 
total currency of the island was only 173. 6d., so that money was 
of little value. He offered the first man who should lay in founda- 
tions one pound of tobacco, and so a beginning was made. One 
man built a house, and won the prize ; next year three more be- 
gan, and the premium had to be reduced to a J^ of a Ib. 

The original houses, of which only one specimen, I believe, 



148 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

now remains, were built of stone throughout, and the beds were 
mere recesses in the walls, almost level with the floor. The cattle 
lodged in the same apartment 

The houses were only cleaned out once a year, and the result 
was that the accumulation of straw and turf so raised the floors 
that the people had to roll down into their beds or sleeping 
berths. In the new houses there were to be a but and a ben 
and a closet, and the cattle were to be put outside. Since these 
times the people have learned the value of money, and to enjoy 
much of the luxuries of civilised life. Indeed, they run a great 
risk of being spoiled by the visitors who go there in considerable 
numbers annually. 

I may here give one or two anecdotes of the older times, for, 
though banished out into mid-ocean and away from the busy 
throng of business, yet they have their social and economic 
troubles, and caste and set prevails as elsewhere, and lovers quarrel 
too. During the time that Mr Mackenzie was minister 1830 to 
1840 there was only one breach of promise case, and it was 
tried in open court, at the end of the church, before the ministers 
and elders. The lady proved her case against the truant, and he 
was fined, and ordered to pay, not a ;ioo, but a 100 full-grown 
fulmars, 50 googs (or young solan geese), and a hair rope, as a 
solatium and a tocher in the next matrimonial venture. This 
latter article was by far the most important part of the fine, as 
the hair rope was necessary for carrying on the bird-catching, etc., 
and gave great importance to its possessor. By the frequent 
visits of tourists and yachtsmen, and the liberal gifts of wine, and 
clothes of the latest fashion, the St Kildean has ceased to be the 
simple unsophisticated mortal he was 30 years ago, and though 
by no means spoiled nor importunate in his demands, he is, I 
believe, degenerating like some other of the Highlanders, and is 
not ashamed to accept any gift, if not to beg them. I fancy the 
St Kildean by this time is a better judge of port wine than the 
following story would indicate : On one occasion, during the 
time of Mr Mackenzie above referred to, a cask of curious stuff 
came ashore on the west side, and after careful assaye and trial 
it was pronounced good stuff. The report spread, and amongst 
others, the minister went to see the stuff. He found the cask 
half empty, and, on enquiring, ascertained that the people had 
filled the skins and intestines of the fulmars with it, and hung 
them up to the roofs of the houses, and that they were using 
what turned out to be very good port wine with their porridge, 
instead of milk. What flavour the fulmar gave it is not recorded. 
But I don't believe the native of to-day would make such a 
mistake. 

Another anecdote illustrates the simplicity of the islander: 



ST KILDA OR HIRTA. 149 

Mr Mackenzie had been lecturing to the people on geography, 
and trying to make them understand that there were other people 
than those of St Kilda in the world, and they were much in- 
terested in his account of the South Sea Islanders. Shortly after, 
a number of shipwrecked seamen found their way into a cave 
on the west side, and being discovered by the natives, they were 
hailed in English and Gaelic, and getting no response, they were 
reported as being an entirely new race, and probably a party of 
South Sea Islanders. The Minister hailed them in German and 
French without results, till his Latin, "Ini Genti," brought out. the 
response " Hispania." These men were cared for, and lived five 
months on the island. 

The schoolmaster told me how difficult it was for him to 
make the children realise what a tree was, and, by means of draw- 
ings, he tried to let them know that there was variety amongst 
the trees, and held up a drawing in the hope of it being identi- 
fied. After a time the class came to the conclusion that it 
was the " Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil." There is 
no tree or bush on the island, nettles being, perhaps, the highest 
form of vegetation growing on it. They never whistle, and their 
only instrument is the Jews harp. 

The inhabitants are strict observers of the Sabbath, and will 
not even carry their milk home on that day, but leave it in the 
ground over Sunday, taking it home on Monday. 

In a small glen there is a sacred well, Tober-nam-buadh ; it is 
said to have many virtues, and in former times the people drank 
its water, and placed offerings into it. This glen is dotted over 
with little stone huts or claitans, and is beautifully green with 
short sweet grass. In this glen there is the remains " of a 
curious dome-shaped building, nine feet diameter, with three 
beds in it. It was said to have been occupied by an Amazon, 
who used to hunt all the way to Harris before St Kilda was an 
island. Externally, it resembles a little green hill." 

I shall now briefly notice the people. Though the island is 
mentioned by Boethius and Buchanan, the first account is that of 
Dean Munro of the Isles, who visited and described the Western 
Isles in 1594. His description is, however, short, and contains 
no very interesting fact. He says u Macleod of Herray, or his 
steward, arrived in a boat there at midsummer, with some chap- 
laine to baptize their bairnes, and if they want a chaplain they 
baptize them themselves;" and further, that " the inhabitants are a 
simple and poor people, scarce learnt in any religion;" and, he says, 
" the steward receives their duties in miell and reistit mutton, 
wyld fowles reistit, and selchis." 

The next to notice the island is Martin, who visited it in 
1697, and from then till now various writers have described it, 
and have given the statistics of the population. 



150 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Thus Martin, in 1697, gives 27 families total, 180 
Macaulay, in 1758, 27 

This difference is accounted for by a disease which in 1724 swept 
away more than half the inhabitants. It was supposed to have 
been small-pox. 

The population continued low till 1799, when it is set down 
at 100. In 1822, according to Macdonald, the population was 
108. In 1851, according to the Government Census, the num- 
ber was no. Since then it has diminished to 76 in 1877. 
There were 19 families at this latter date. 

This diminution was caused by emigration in 1856, when 36 
of the inhabitants went to Australia. Most of them, however, died, 
and in 1861 only about 13 survived. They were then doing well. 

The present inhabitants are good-looking, healthy, and in- 
telligent, and the children are active and healthy. I had the 
pleasure of seeing them at their lessons in school, and out of the 
number attending, there were eight boys and nine girls. The 
names of the people are : 

Gillies, of which there were 27 in 1871. 

Macdonald 16 
Ferguson 10 

Mackinnon 8 

Macqueen 8 
And Mackay, minister and 

registrar 2 

Total 71 

In former years there were Macleods and Morrisons, but these 
have apparently died out. It is curious that the island has been 
in possession of the Macleods for 300 years, and that there is 
now none of that name now on the island. 

The expression and general character of the people reminded 
me of Shetlanders or Scandinavian much more than the Celtic 
Highlanders. They had a rather long aquiline and pensive cast 
of feature, with well marked eyebrows. They are well made, and 
about middle size ; the men being more graceful in their move- 
ments than the women, besides being more stylish in their dres 

The women's dress struck me as being clumsy and ill made. 
This may be accounted for by the fact that the men do the sew- 
ing, and make the ladies' dresses, in addition to their own shoes 
and clothing. The personal ornaments seemed few, I mean of 
native manufacture, but they hammer out pennies and half-pennies 
into brooches and pins. Beyond these I saw little ornament other 
than common wooden Birmingham goods. Of curiosities there 
were few. 



THE 

CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A., Scot. 
No. CXII. FEBRUARY 1885. VOL. X. 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 
BY ALEXANDER Ross. 

III. 

IV. GEORGE MUNRO OF MILNTOWN AND DOCHCARTY, to 
whom Thomas Dingwall of Kildun, by deed, dated at Inveran, 
2Oth April 1541, sold his half of the lands of Ferncosky in 
Brachat, parish of Creich ; and on the 22nd of June following 
James V. granted to George Munro a crown charter of the same. 
In 1542 James V. granted to George a crown charter of a fourth 
of the lands of Easter Aird, in the parish of Tarbat, called the 
Intown of Tarbat, and sold to him by his cousin, James Dunbar 
of Tarbat. In 1 543 John Bisset, Chaplain of Newmore in the 
College Church of St Duthus in Tain, with the consent of Queen 
Mary, the Earl of Arran, and Robert Cairncross, Bishop of Ross, 
granted to George Munro the kirklands of the Chaplainry, 
namely, the lands of Newmore, with the alehouse, Inchendown, 
Badachonacher, Rhicorrach, and Strathrory, " which the tenants 
used to have for the annual rent of 7 merks Scots, 403. grassum, 
30 bolls victual, 4 muttons, 4 dozen poultry, 4 marts, and 12 
capons the grantee paying accordingly, the victual to be half 
oatmeal, half bear by Leith measure."* In 1552 Queen Mary 
granted to George Munro and Janet Fraser, his wife, a crown 
charter of the lands of Easter Aird and others in Ross-shire, 

* Reg. Sec. Sig. Vol. xvii., folio 14-15. 



I 5 2 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

sold to George in 1 542 by James Dunbar, to whom she, at the 
same time, granted the right of reversion. On the 4th of March 
1544, Mary granted to Thomas Dingvvall the dues of the half 
lands of Ferncosky since his redemption of the same from 
George Munro ; and on the 5th of March she granted to Thomas 
a letter of regress of the same lands, sold by him to George 
Munro in 1541. In the year 1559 Sir Robert Melville, Chaplain 
of Tarlogie, granted to George Munro and his third son, Donald, 
and his heirs male, with remainder to George's male heirs, and 
to the eldest of his female heirs, the lands of Tarlogie, for the 
yearly payment to the Chaplain of 29 merks, 45. 6d., with two 
dozen capons, 2s. iod., in augmentation of the rental: Queen 
Mary confirmed the grant in the same year. 

George Munro appears first on record in 1541 as "George 
Munro of Davochgartie." Between 1561 and 1566 he was feuar 
of Tarlogie. In 1553 he sold part of the estate of Dochcarty to 
Duncan Bain of Tulloch, to whom Queen Mary in the same 
year granted a crown charter of the same, and a letter of rever- 
sion to George. In 1555 he (George) sold the fourth part of the 
lands of Dochcarty to Donald Mac-Ian-Roy, who in 1556 received 
a crown charter for the same from Queen Mary. 

In 1561 Queen Mary appointed George Munro bailie and 
chamberlain of her lands and lordships of Ross and Ardmeanach, 
the appointment to continue during her pleasure; and in 1567 
she exempted him for life, on account of his age, from all service 
as a soldier, from sitting on assizes, and from appearing as a 
witness in any court. His appointment of bailie and chamberlain 
was renewed in 1568 by James VI., to continue during the 
pleasure of James and his Regent. In the same year (1568) 
George sold to Donald Mac-Ian-Roy the half of the east quarter 
of the lands of Dochcarty, namely, an oxgang, then occupied by 
Murdoch Macdonald and William Mackay, and an oxgang of the 
west quarter of the same lands, then occupied by Patrick Mac- 
donald Roy. James in the same year granted to Donald and his 
heirs a crown charter of the same lands, and to George a letter 
of reversion.* Dochcarty is in the parish of Dingwall. 

George Munro was a member of an inquest held at Inver- 
ness, on the 1 5th of October 1563, when John Campbell of Caw- 

* Orig. Par. Scot., vol. ii., pp. 493-4. 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 153 

dor was served heir to his father in the Barony of Strathnairn, 
before the Sheriff-Principal, James, Earl of Moray. In 1565 
George Munro held the Castle of Inverness for the Earl of Moray, 
and the King and Queen issued the following order requesting 
him to deliver up the fortress : 

"At Edinburgh, 22nd September, A.D. 1565. The King 
and Queen's Majesties, for certain occasions moving them, ordain 
an officer of arms to pass, and in their Highnesses' name and 
authority, command and charge George Munro of Davochcarty, 
and Andrew Munro, his son, and all others, havers and with- 
holders of the Castle of Inverness, to deliver the same to Hugh 
Rose of Kilravock, whom their Majesties have recommended to 
receive the same within six hours next after they be charged 
thereto, under pain of treason. 

" MARIE R., HENRY R." 

Among the documents in the charter chest of Innes is a 
charter by Sir Alexander Innes of Plaids and Cadboll "to George 
Munroe of Dawachcartie, of the lands of Petkandie and Glak- 
tamalenye in Ross," granted at Elgin on the i$th November 
1573, and confirmed by Sir William Douglas, Chaplain of St 
Lawrence, and Thomas Brabener, Chaplain of St Mary Mag- 
dalene, in the Cathedral Church of Moray, " superiors of the said 
lands." George possessed considerable literary attainments, and 
wrote a life of Farquhar Mackintosh, X. of Mackintosh. 

George Munro IV. of Milntown, married Janet, daughter of 
Hugh Fraser of Phopachy, by whom he had three sons and three 
daughters : 

1. Andrew, his heir. 

2. Donald, who received from his father the estate of Tar- 
logie. He married twice, his first wife being Christian, daughter 
of Donald Ross of Nonikiln, by whom he had two sons: (i) 
George, his successor, and (2) Hugh, to whom in 1580, James V. 
granted, for seven years, for his maintenance at school, the Chap- 
lainry of Tarlogie, "not exceeding 20 yearly; and in 1586 James 
renewed the grant."* He married Catherine, daughter of John 
Ross of Ballochskead, by whom he had two sons, John and 
Donald, both of whom settled in Sutherlandshire, where they 
married and had issue of whom there is no record. By his second 
wife whose name is not recorded Donald of Tarlogie had one 

* Orig. Par. Scot., vol. ii., p. 423. 



154 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

son, David, who studied for the church at St Andrew's Univer- 
sity, where he obtained his M.A. degree on the 2istof July 1621. 
Having been duly licenced, he was appointed minister of Tarbat 
in 1628, and translated to the parish of Kiltearn, prior to 8th 
February 1630. He was a member of the General Assembly of 
1638, and also of that of 1639. He was deposed in 1648 by the 
Presbytery of Dingwall for what cause it is not known and his 
deposition was approved of by the Assembly in July 1649. He 
married Florence, daughter of Andrew Munro, I. of Daan, by 
whom he had four sons and several daughters (i) Donald, (2) 
Robert, (3) John, (4) Hugh, a Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh. 
They all died unmarried. The names of the Rev. David Munro's 
daughters have not .been recorded. 

Donald Munro, I. of Tarlogie, was succeeded by his eldest 
son, II. George, to whom in 1574 James VI. granted for seven 
years, "for his education at school," the Chaplain ry of Tar- 
logie, and which was subsequently granted to his brother, "vacant 
by the demission of Master George Munro (his uncle), who was 
promoted to the Chancellary of Ross."* He married Isabel, 
daughter of William Innes of Calrossie, by whom he had two sons 
and one daughter: (i) Donald, his heir.' (2) Gordon, who be- 
came a writer. He married Catherine Hunter, without issue, and 
died at Chanonry in 1650. (3) Jane, who married Hector Munro 
of Nonikiln, with issue. III. Donald Munro succeeded as third 
of Tarlogie. He studied for the legal profession, was for several 
years practising in Edinburgh as a writer, and died, apparently 
unmarried, there. He was in 1628 served heir-portioner, together 
with his aunts, Beatrix, Margaret, and Agnes Innes, to his 
maternal grandfather, William Innes, in the lands of Kinrive and 
Strathrory, in the parish of Kilmuir-Easter.-f- He appears to 
have sold the estate of Tarlogie to David Ross of Balnagown, as 
it was in the possession of that family before the middle of the 
seventeenth century. 

* Orig. Par. Scot., vol. ii., p. 423. 
t William Innes was son of Walter Innes of Inverbreakie, in the parish of Ross- 
keen, son of Sir Robert Innes of Invermarkie, in Moray. Walter obtained by grant 
from Queen Mary the lands of Kinrive and Strathrory. His wife was Margaret, 
eldest daughter of Lachlan Mackintosh, X. of Mackintosh, and that of his son, 
William, was Catherine, sixth daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, X. of Kintail. She 
received a charter of certain lands on her marriage on iQth January 1556. In sheet 
I. of Sir James D. Mackenzie of Findon's Genealogies of the Mackenzies, she is 
stated to have been the wife of Walter, but the Reg. Sec. Sig. makes her William's wife. 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 155 

3. George, Chancellor of Ross, and from whom are de- 
scended the Munros of Achenbowie, Argaty, Edmondsham, and 
others, all of whom shall be given in their order. 

4. Janet, who married John Murray of Pulrossie, to whom 
she bore, among others, two sons (i) George, and (2) John. In 
J 579> r previously, John Murray granted to "his wife, Janet 
Munro, the daughter of the deceased George Munro of Dau- 
charty, and in heritage to the heirs got between them, with re- 
version to John himself and his heirs, the lands of Pulrossie and 
the lands of Floid, lying in the Earldom of Sutherland and 
Sheriffdom of Inverness. In 1579 James VI. confirmed the 
grant. John Murray died in 1599, when his son George was 
served his heir in the lands of Spiningdale, with the mill, Achany, 
Floid, and Pulrossie, " in the lordship of Sutherland, of the old 
extent of 14. 135. 4d."* George Murray appears on record in 
1613 "as having, or pretending to have, a right to the lands of 
Farr ; and on the 4th of June 1616 he was a member of the 
Assize which served John, XVIII. Earl of Sutherland, heir to his 
father, John. 

5. Margaret, who married Hugh Fraser of Culbokie before 
1563, for in that year Queen Mary granted to "Hugh Fraser 
and Margaret Munro, his wife, the western half of Easter Cul- 
bokie, and eastern half of Wester Culbokie, with the houses and 
gardens made and to be made near the shore, in the place called 
Querrell, in the Lordship of Ardmanach, resigned by Hugh."f 
Hugh Fraser was one of the gentlemen who sat at the inquest 
held at Inverness on I5th October 1563, when John Campbell of 
Cawdor was served heir in the Barony of Strathnairn. He ap- 
pears on record in 1581, when James VI. granted to him and his 
heirs male the mill of Culbokie, etc. 

6. Anne, who married Hugh _Ross of Achnacloich, in the 
parish of Rosskeen, with issue. , 

George had also an illegitimate son named John, I. of Pit- 
tonachy (now Rosehaugh), and ancestor of the Munros of Novar, 
of which family R. C. Munro-Ferguson of Novar, M.P. for Ross- 
shire, is the present representative. 

George Munro, IV. of Milntown, died on the ist of Novem- 

*Orig. Par. Scot., Vol. ii., pp. 187-8. 
t Orig. Par. Scot., vol. ii. p. 550. 



156 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

ber 1576 at Milntown Castle, and was buried in Kilmuir-Easter 
Church-yard. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

V. ANDREW MUNRO OF MILNTOWN AND DOCHCARTY, 
who embraced the Protestant religion, and became a rigid 
Presbyterian. His father apparently, some time before his 
decease, gave him possession of Newmore, for, anterior to that 
event, he is frequently mentioned as " Andrew Munro of New- 
more." 

In 1568, James VI. granted to "Andrew Munro of New- 
more," the son and heir-apparent of George Munro of Dochcarty, 
and to Catherine Urquhart, his wife, and to their male heirs, the 
town and lands of Castletown, with the fishing, croft, and its 
pertinents; the town and lands of Belmaduthy; the town and 
lands of Suddie, with the brewhouse (bruerium), croft, and mill ; 
the town and lands of Achterflow, with all the pendicles and 
pertinents of these towns and lands lying in the Earldom of 
Ross, Lordship of Ardmanoch, and Sheriffdom of Inverness, 
belonging in heritage to David Chalmers, formerly Chancellor 
of Ross, held by him of the King, and forfeited on account of 
treason and lese-majesty united in unam integrant et liber am 
particulam et partem terre consolidate vocatam vulgo Casteltown; 
the grantee paying yearly the old fermes, victual, grassum, and 
dues, namely: For Castletown, 1 1. IDS. 6d. in money, I chal- 
der 4 bolls of bear, 4 bolls of oats, i mart, I mutton, with the 
bondages (bondagia), or i in lieu of them, 4 dozen poultry, and 
1 1 hens, commonly called " reek hens " ; for the croft commonly 
called Castletown croft, 195. 8d, and I boll of bear ; for Belma- 
duthy, 10. 1 6s. in money, I chalder and I boll of bear, I mart, 
I mutton, and 4 dozen poultry, with the usual bondages of the 
same, or in lieu of them i ; for Suddie, 133. 4d., I chalder, 5 
bolls and I firlot of bear, I mart, I mutton, and 4 dozen poultry, 
with the bondages, or 1 ; for the brew-house of Suddie and its 
croft, i. I2s.; for the mill of Suddie, 18 bolls of victuals, half 
meal, half bear, with i boll 2 pecks for " the charity," and 8 
capons ; for Achterflow, 15. 43. 9^d. Scots, 2 chalders bear, 8 
bolls oats, 2 marts, 2 muttons, with the bondages, or 2, 8 dozen 
poultry, and 14 reek hens, with i. 6s. Sd. Scots in augmentation 
of the rental.* 

*Reg. Sec. Sig., Vol. xxxviii , folios 16, 109, and no, 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 157 

The " treason and lese-majesty " committed by David 
Chalmers, and for which he was denounced a rebel and put to 
the horn, besides having all his lands and goods forfeited, was his 
not finding surety to appear and answer for the slaughter of 
James Balvany in Preston, and other persons slain at the battle 
of Langside. Among the other lands so forfeited and granted 
to Andrew Munro by James VI. , in 1568, were the escheat of the 
grant of Meikle Tarrel, which the same monarch confirmed in 
1571 ; and the lands of Easter Airds, in the parish of Tarbat, also 
confirmed in 1571. 

In 1569 King James granted to Andrew Munro the escheat 
of all the goods upon the quarter lands of Meikle Allan, with the 
crops of that year, which was forfeited by John Leslie, Bishop of 
Ross, for treason and lese-majesty. In the same year James 
granted to him the escheat of all the goods, cattle, and corn upon 
the piece of land called " Bishop's Shed," in the Chanonry of 
Ross, which belonged formerly to Bishop Leslie, " of this instant 
crop and yeir of God 1569 yeiris, and sawin to his behoof," and 
which were forfeited by Leslie for treason and lese-majesty. The 
treason committed by Bishop Leslie was his being engaged in 
the attempt to get Queen Mary married to the Duke of Norfolk. 
He was imprisoned in the Tower in May 1571, where he remained 
till January 1574. It should have been noticed, however, that he 
was banished from Scotland in 1568 "for certane crymes of 
treasonn and lesemaiestie committit be him," and it was while in 
exile in England he engaged in the projected marriage of the 
Duke of Norfolk with Queen Mary, then a prisoner in the hands 
of Elizabeth, Queen of England. 

By a deed dated at Stirling, roth February, and at the 
Chanonry of Ross, 28th February 1571, George Munro, Preben- 
dary and Chaplain of Newmore, in the Collegiate Church of St 
Duthus in Tain, with the consent of James VI., the Regent, 
Matthew, Earl of Lennox, Kintigern Monypenny, Dean and 
Vicar-General of Ross, Thomas Ross, Abbot of Fearn, and Pro- 
vost of the Church of Tain, and the Prebendaries of that Church, 
for the augmentation of his rental by the sum of six merks Scots, 
granted to Andrew Munro, the son and heir apparent of George 
Munro of Dochcarty, and his male heirs, with remainder to his 
heirs whatsomever, bearing the surname and arms of Munro, the 



158 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

churchlands of the Chaplainry namely, the lands of Newmore, 
with the alehouse ; the lands of Inchendown, with the mill, and 
Strath of the same ; the lands of Badachonacher, Coilmore, Rhi- 
cullen, Rawnvick, Newmore, with the "Straythis of Aldnafrank- 
ach, Aldnaquheriloch, and Rewthlasnabaa, in Strathrory, in the 
Earldom of Ross and Sheriffdome of Inverness," which were 
formerly held by the same George, and resigned by him on 
account that owing to the dearness of the lands, he had reaped no 
profit from them, but had sustained loss by the payment of the 
dues, and because the whole yearly revenue of the lands amounted 
only to the sum of 30 Scots, to be held by Andrew Munro for 
the yearly payment of 7 merks Scots in name of feuferm, 2 
grassum, 30 bolls victual, or 8s. 4d. Scots for each boll, 4 muttons, 
or 35. 4d. Scots for each ; 12 capons, or 6s. ; 4 dozen poultry, or 
I2s.; together with the sum of ^4 Scots for heirages, carriages, 
bondages, and every other burden, and for the augmentation of 
the rental beyond what the lands ever before yielded, amounting 
in all in money to the sum of 30. 143. 8d. Scots for feuferm and 
customs.* 

Andrew Munro of Milntown was a member of the Assize, held 
at Golspie in 1591, to serve Alexander, XV. Earl of Sutherland, 
heir to his great-grandfather, Adam, XIII. Earl, who died in 1538, 
and to his great-grandmother, Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, 
who died in I53 r ;. 

(To be continued.) 



OLD INVERNESS. 

II. 

THE Invernessians were strong Episcopalians, and continued 
faithful to that form of worship long after the Revolution, in 1688. 
So strong was their attachment to it, that, in 1691, when the first 
Presbyterian minister was to be inducted, the Magistrates would 
not allow him to enter the church, but actually employed armed 
men to prevent his entrance, and he was only at length able to 
install himself by the assistance of a regiment of soldiers, sent by 

* Res;. Sec. Sig., vol. xxxix., folios 69-71, and Orig. Par. Scot., p. 420. 



OLD INVERNESS. 159 

the Government for the purpose. About this time, and until 
1746, the malt trade of the town began to decrease, in consequence 
of the duties imposed on corn, and the town itself was rapidly 
falling into decay. In the beginning of the i/th century, the 
ground behind Church Street and Academy Street was nearly 
covered with malt kilns, but after the Revolution these gradually 
became a mass of ruins. 

A curious instance of the common belief in witchcraft 
occurred in 1601, when nine members of the Town Council were 
ordered to meet the minister, to examine the Session Register, 
for delations given in against witches, to take information of 
suspected persons, to meet in the clerk's chamber, and to make 
their adjournment. In 1675 the old quay at Portland Place was 
built, and the new one in 1738. It is a fact that until far on in 
last century, fishing boats sailed up on the east side of the 
Maggot to the foot of Chapel Street, thus making the Maggot 
almost an island. In 1698 the Town Council resolved to procure 
" two able shoemakers to come from the south." The first regular 
service of letters between Edinburgh and Inverness was esta- 
blished in 1669, when letters were carried by foot-runners once a 
week, wind and weather permitting ; but some years later an 
enterprising carrier advertised that his waggon would leave the 
Grassmarket for Inverness every Tuesday, God willing, and on 
Wednesday whether or" no! The first coach ever seen in Inver- 
ness was one belonging to the Earl of Seaforth, in 1715, and it 
caused great astonishment to the inhabitants, who made low 
bows to the driver, thinking he must be the principal personage. 

There is a letter given in The Culloden Papers, which is 
a good example of the small respect the Magistrates of Inverness 
had for the House of Hanover in 1714. The scene occurred at 
the proclamation of George I. 

" The Shirriff-Depute and his Clerk came to the Cross when all the honest 
people in the town were at church att the weekly sermon. The Shirriff caused his 
Clerk read the proclamation, and one of his officers repeated the words after him. 
Some of the Magistrates were present mocking the Shirriff; and when the Clerk 
ended the reading, and cryed God save the King, the magistrates, and some they had 
present for that purpose, cryed, God damne them and their King. When the 
Whiggs came from church, and heard the news, they came to the magistrates and ex- 
postulate with them, for not having the usual solemnity on this occasion. Att which 
the magistrates were much offended, and bid some of them goe hang themselves ; 
but, notwithstanding of this, the Whiggs, in the afternoon, put on their boonfyres, 



160 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

illuminate their windows, caused ring the bells, in spight of what the magistrates 
could doe to the contrary, and were solemnising the occasion with all possible joy, 
till about nyne at night, that the magistrates thought fitt to stirre up a mob and rabble 
them, by breaking their windows, scatering their boonfires, and allmost burning 
their houses ; and further, when young Castlehill and some others went to complain 
of this abuse to the magistrates, they thought fitting, by way of redress, to send him 
to prison. And as (if) this were not enough, they themselves went with some of the 
custom-house officers, such as collector and surveyors, and drunk avowedly King 
James's health ; and, as some say, confusion to King George and all his adherents. 
This is a true coppy of ye account given ye Regents. 

(Signed) "ROBERT MUNRO." 

Burt, who wrote in the early part of the i8th century, gives 
a very minute description of Inverness at that period. The 
town was then chiefly formed of four streets, three of which 
centred at the cross, and the other was rather irregular. These 
were, doubtless, Kirk Street, now Church Street, Bridge Street, 
High Street, including East or Petty Street, and Castle Street, 
anciently called Domesdale Street. The Castle was built of 
unhewn stone, and consisted of twelve apartments for officers' 
lodgings, offices, and a gallery. From the bridge, seals were 
often seen pursuing the salmon ; they were sometimes within 
fifty yards of the onlookers. The town hall was a plain building 
of rubble, and, to use Burt's own words, " there is one room in 
it, where the Magistrates meet upon the Town business, which 
would be tolerably handsome, but the walls are rough, not white- 
washed, or so much as plastered ; and ho furniture in it but a 
table, some bad chairs, and altogether immoderately dirty." 
The market cross was the business centre of the town, and was 
surrounded by the merchants and others, who were continually 
being disturbed and separated from each oth'er by the passage 
of horses and carts. Opposite the cross was the coffee-house. 
The room appeared, according to Burt, as if it had never been 
cleaned since the building of the house, and in winter the peat 
fire might have been covered with one's hands. The houses 
were mostly built with their backs or gables to the street, 
separated from one another by little closes and court-yards, 
whence the inhabited portion was reached by a turnpike or 
square stair. The ground floor was generally used as] a shop, 
and had a door towards the street, but no connection with any 
other part of the building. The houses were usually low, so as 
to present less resistance to the wind which rushed down the 



OLD INVERNESS. 161 

glen in winter, and were all built of rubble, i.e., stones of different 
shapes and sizes, compacted together, and harled over with 
mortar. Window sashes and slated roofs were unknown in the 
town before the Union, and in Burt's time the ceilings were 
seldom plastered ; the bare planks serving for the ceiling of the 
lower and the floor of the upper room. The partitions were 
similar, and when the planks shrunk, the occupants of one room 
could both see and hear what was going on in the next. 

The foregoing applies principally to the better class houses in 
town. The middle sort had generally a closed, wooden staircase 
in front, with small, round, or oval holes, just big enough for a 
man's head to pass through, bored in the roof. When anything 
extraordinary occurred -in the street, out popped a number of 
heads from these holes, producing the curious effect of a lot of 
people in the pillory. The low part of the town was made up 
of dirty wretched hovels, faced and covered with turf, and having 
an inverted tub or basket with the end knocked out for a 
chimney. The streets of the town were usually very dirty. 
Burt relates an amusing anecdote in this connection. He says, 
" I asked the Magistrates one day, when the dirt was almost 
above one's shoes, why they suffered the town to be so exces- 
sively dirty, and did not employ people to cleanse the street ? 
The answer was " It will not be long before we have a shower." 
The same writer also states that at that time, beef and mutton 
sold in Inverness for about one penny per pound, salmon for 
twopence, which was thought exorbitant, the former price per 
pound being one penny; fowls, twopence or twopence halfpenny 
each, and partridges one penny. The Invernessians of that 
day were a canny race, as appears from the followiug extract 
from Burt, who gives the story as " a notable instance of pre- 
caution :" " This is to buy everything that goes to the making 
of a suit of clothes, even to the staytape and thread ; and 
when they are to be delivered out, they are, all together, weighed 
before the tailor's face. And when he brings home the suit, 
it is again put into the scale with the shreds of every sort, and 
it is expected the whole shall answer to the original weight." 

It used to.be the custom in Burt's time for the Magistrates 
to take the Lords of Justiciary, when visiting Inverness on 
Circuit, to the Islands, where they were feasted with fresh 



162 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

salmon, taken out of the cruives and boiled immediately on 
the spot. He was told that " there was formerly a fine planted 
Avenue from the town to this Island ; but one of the Magistrates, 
in his solitary walk, being shot by a Highlander from behind the 
trees, upon some clan quarrel, they were soon after cut down." 

In 1740 the Magistrates advertised for (> a saddler to come and 
settle in the town." In 1746 the Castle of Inverness was besieged 
and taken by the army of Prince Charles, who blew it up before 
leaving, in order to make it untenable by the Government troops. 
It is said that the fuse which fired the train was rather long of 
taking effect, and that the engineer approached to see what was 
the matter with it, when the powder suddenly exploded, blowing 
him and the fragments of the Castle into space together. His 
body was blown right across the river, by the force of the explo- 
sion, and fell upon the Green of Muirtown. It is said that a little 
dog belonging to him was also blown over along with its master, 
and alighted on the same spot unhurt ! 

The night before the Battle of Culloden, Prince Charles 
slept in the town-house of Lady Drummuir, in Church Street. 
While in Inverness, he completely charmed the inhabitants, 
especially the fairer portion, by his amiable and gracious bear- 
ing. After the blighting of the Stuart cause next day, the 
" Royal Butcher " occupied the same house, and slept in the 
same bed which had contained Prince Charles the night before. 
The high-spirited Lady Drummuir, on being told by Cumber- 
land that he intended lodging in the house, replied, with true 
Highland warmth, "Very well, your cousin slept in that bed 
last night, and you can sleep in it to-night." The house enjoyed 
the distinction of being the only one in Inverness at the time 
which had a reception room without a bed in it ! The English 
officers held their mess in the old Commercial Hotel, then called 
the Horns, which stood beside the old Town Hall, and was 
demolished with that building three or four years ago. On the 
Provost, a gentleman named Hossack, going to the Horns a day 
or two after the battle, to expostulate with Cumberland about 
the treatment of some of the ill-fated prisoners, the unfeeling 
general ordered him, with an oath, to be kicked down stairs, a com- 
mand which was promptly executed by the officious subordinates 
who received it, 



OLD INVERNESS. 163 

The day after the Battle of Culloden, an incident occurred 
in Inverness which very nearly caused a serious breach in the 
Royal army. It was reported to Cumberland that a Highlander, 
named Murdoch Macrae, had been employed as a spy by Prince 
Charles. The victorious general, insatiable in his greed for 
blood, immediately ordered the poor man to be hung upon an 
apple tree which stood upon the Exchange, overshadowing 
Clachnacudain. This inhuman order was carried out to the 
letter, and not content with the poor wretch's death, the English 
soldiery kept piercing his lifeless body with their bayonets, and 
shouting, " Hack the Highland rascal into inches : his country- 
men are all rebellious traitors like himself." These expressions 
fired the Highland blood of some of the Argyleshire Campbells, 
who, although in the Royal ranks, could not submit to be 
gratuitously insulted, and, accordingly, were about to fight the 
English soldiers. They were speedily joined by nearly all the 
Scotch regiments in the army, and as the English soldiery came 
to the aid of their countrymen, a bloody struggle was imminent, 
and such a result was only prevented by the exertions of Cumber- 
land himself, who arrived on the scene just as the hostile parties 
were coming to close quarters. It is said that from that day the 
apple tree ceased to bear fruit, and gradually withered away. 

In this connection, " Nonagenarian " tells a curious anecdote 
of the Rev. Mr Thompson, who was minister of Kirkhill in 1746. 
On the 1 2th of April, in that year, a serjeant of the Prince's 
army went to the manse, and ordered the minister to pray for 
Prince Charles next Sunday, as the lawful King of Great Bri- 
tain and Ireland. Mr Thompson, who was a staunch partisan 
of the Government, replied, " I will pray for him and you as 
fellow-sinners, but I will not pray for him as my Sovereign." 
The serjeant drew his sword in a fury, and threatened to run 
the minister through, unless he would do as he asked him, 
upon which the undaunted divine said, "You may run me 
through if you please ; my Master has suffered much more for 
me." This somewhat quieted the irate serjeant, who said that if 
he would not pray for the Prince next Sunday, they would 
make a stable of his church. "Well, well," replied Mr Thomp- 
son, "you may make a stable of it next Sabbath, but the 
following one it will be the temple of the living God, who will 



1 64 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

then be worshipped there without molestation." Next Sunday, 
accordingly, being the I4th of April, the church was occupied by 
the horses of the Highlanders, as the serjcant had threatened. On 
the following Tuesday, the Battle of Culloden was fought, and 
on Sunday, the 2ist of April, the pulpit was again occupied by 
the minister, who conducted the ordinary services as usual. 
The settlement of this gentleman in his parish in 1722, was a 
most difficult task, and cannot be better described than in 
" Nonagenarian's " own words : 

" The populace turned out en masse, the women under the 
leadership of Muckle Kate Macphail, a person of masculine 
stature, being particularly active. Having rilled the creels they 
carried on their backs with stones, they commenced such an 
attack upon Mr Thompson, that he precipitately retreated to 
Inverness, closely followed by his persecutors, who kept up a 
brisk running fire at him with stones from the church till he 
reached King Street, near the Central School, a distance of 
about eight miles. His appearance, on passing the Green of 
Muirtown, was painfully ludicrous in the extreme. Mr Thomp- 
son was a remarkably little man ; under his arm he carried what 
was then termed a brown polonie, or greatcoat, a huge wig 
reached half down his back, while his .broad skirted and long 
flapped coat sorely oppressed and encumbered him, as, with his 
cocked hat in one hand, and perspiring at every pore, he trotted 
on ; a stone or two from his enraged pursuers, under their 
generalissimo, Muckle Kate, ever and anon counselling him to 
quicken his pace. The very children accompanied their mothers 
and supplied ammunition for their creels, by picking up stones 
and putting them into them. Such an exhibition attracted 
numerous females to the doors of their cottages at the Green of 
Muirtown, to whom he said as he ran by, ' Oh, women, is not 
this hard ?' His brother being master gunner at the Castle, and 
expecting the reverend gentleman would have to make a quick 
retreat from Kirkhill, was looking from the Castle Hill in that 
direction, and seeing his brother hard pressed by the foe, he sent 
a few soldiers out to cover and make good his retreat ; and, at 
sight of an t-arm dearg, or the 'red sodgers/ Muckle Kate and her 
' irregulars ' in turn * faced about ' in double-quick time. A whole 
year elapsed before Mr Thompson attempted again to appear at 
the church of Kirkhill. In the meantime, the feelings of the 
parishioners were softened down, and being an excellent man, 
and as ' a continual dropping wears the rock/ so in process of 
time the parishioners of Kirkhill became quite reconciled to his 
ministrations, Muckle Kate, among others of her allies, being 
indebted in after life to him for assistance." 



OLD INVERNESS. 165 

By Cumberland's orders, the streets of Inverness were 
cleaned at the public expense for the first time, in 1746. Before 
that year the sea frequently came up close to the town, and the 
lands between the sea and the town were described in certain 
contemporary documents as having been " a salt marsh." The 
Lochgorm, or " Blue Loch," was partly formed by the salt water, 
and partly by ineffective drainage. For many years there existed 
along the upper and middle part of Academy Street, a large 
ditch, called the Fossee or Foul Pool, from the accumulation of 
refuse and garbage with which it was filled. Mr Alex. Ross, 
architect, in a paper read before the Inverness Field Club two or 
three years ago, gives some valuable information regarding the 
old town. He mentions that Inverness at one time had five 
gates, the East Gate at Petty Street, the Scatt Gate at the east 
end of Rose Street, the gate erected at the top of Castle Street by 
the Covenanters in 1644, and the Kaner and Rice or Ryke Gates 
on the west side of the river. Mr Ross takes the Scatt Gate to have 
reference to the Norwegian word scatt t meaning a land tax, but Mr 
Fraser-Mackintosh holds it to mean the Herring Gate, from the 
number of that fish which were at one time caught in the Firth and 
brought into the town through this port. The Rice or Ryke Gate 
probably referred to the tax on fuel, and the Kaner Gate to that 
on poultry. 

Hats were almost unknown in Inverness, until Lord Pre- 
sident Forbes generously presented one to each member of the 
Town Council. Previous to that, the only gentlemen in town 
who wore hats were the Sheriff, the Provost, and the minister of 
the first charge. The Councillors greatly prized their hats, and 
wore them only on Sundays and Council days, when their ap- 
pearance caused quite a great sensation among the town's folk. 
The first tradesman of Inverness who wore his hat daily was 
Deacon Young of the weavers, and his appearance in the streets 
caused crowds of people to follow him about. The audible and 
not over-complimentary remarks which some of the younger per- 
sons indulged in on these occasions caused great annoyance to 
the poor deacon, who would turn round and testily exclaim, 
" What do you see about me, sirs ? Am I not a mortal man like 
yourselves?" This was about 1760, and in the same year the 
first umbrella made its appearance in Inverness, being carried in 
the Shoemakers' Procession on St Crispin's day. 



1 66 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

At this period all public executions took place at Campfield, 
then called the Gallovvs-muir. While Cumberland's army occu- 
pied Inverness, a soldier named Shearfield murdered his wife, 
with circumstances of extreme atrocity, in the Castle Wynd. He 
was tried and sentenced to be hanged. A few days after the 
execution, while his body was yet hanging, a Highlandman, from 
the country, tried to pull off Shearfield's shoes, but failing in that, 
he actually cut off the feet at the ancles, and decamped with both 
feet and shoes. " Mac Ian Ruaidh," a noted Black Isle cateran, 
was executed at Campfield. " Nonagenarian" relates an amusing 
anecdote in connection with his execution. A few days after 
the sentence had been carried out, a young man named Rose, a 
son of one of the Bailies of the town, with a few other kindred 
spirits, went during the night to the gibbet and took down the 
freebooter's body. Bearing some ill-will to the Provost, they 
carried the corpse to his door, and laid it there. It was discovered 
in the morning, and the matter taken before the Town Council. 
Somehow it became known that young Rose had the principal 
part in the prank, and the Provost only refrained from taking 
legal proceedings against him on his father promising to take it 
well out of him with a stout stick when he was in bed. The 
Bailie's wife, however, gave her son timely notice of what was in 
store for him, and the wily youth accordingly ensconced himself 
beneath the bedstead, having placed a good sized log of wood 
beneath the blankets, and arranged it to resemble his own body 
as near as possible. The Bailie on coming home took a good 
jorum of ale to steady his nerves, and going up to his son's bed- 
room with a stout staff in his hand, he commenced to belabour 
what he took to be his son's body in a most vigorous manner. 
The culprit, safely concealed beneath, emitted the most dismal 
groans, and these at last ceased altogether. This sudden cessa- 
tion rather frightened the Bailie, who began to think he had 
gone too far, and descending the stairs in haste, he said to his 
wife, " Woman, I fear yon foolish lad is no more." His fears 
were not ended until Mrs Rose went up stairs to see her son, 
and, on coming down, assured the remorseful parent that the 
lad was not seriously injured. 

H. R. M. 
(To be continued.) 



T O L Q U H O N.* 
To ROBT. GARDEN, ESQ., NORTH YTHSIE, TARVES. 

'Tis the Castle of Tolquhon, 
Silent, ruined, ghostly, lone ; 
Riven towers and crumbling walls. 
Mouldy chambers, slimy halls, 
Reft of windows, reft of doors, 
Saplings growing on the floors, 
Saplings on the toppling edges, 
Saplings on the buttressed ledges ; 
Weeds within and weeds without, 
Weeds are everywhere about ; 
While the rooks rejoicing caw 
The inexorable law 
That Decay is lord of all, 
Be it palace, hut, or hall ; 
'Bove the gate quaint heraldries, 
Carved by Art's rude devotees, 
Here a warrior fierce and grim, 
There a knight devoid of limb, 
While a stone bereft of charms 
Bears the owner's coat of arms, 
And another, placed for fame, 
Tells in language old his name, 
W T here the garden once had been, 
Nettles rank are only seen, 
Ne'er a pathway, ne'er a flower, 
Points now to " my ladye's " bower, 
But the rugged, ancient trees 
Sigh and sway to every breeze, 
As they did in times of old, 
When fair dames and barons bold 
Played and sang or danced and walked, 
Or of future pleasures talked 
In the hey-day of their being, 
Love and hope their only seeing ; 
Now the eye the lakelet scans, 
Once the home of snow-white swans, 
All o'ergrown with slimy weeds, 

* Tolquhon (pronounced To-hon) lies about a couple of miles from the village of 
Tarves, in Aberdeenshire. It was once the seat of the Forbeses of Tolquhon, a branch 
of the great Clan Forbes. Sir Alexander Forbes of Tolquhon was one of the three fight- 
ing colonels in the Scots army of Charles the Second, and is said to have rendered 
important services at the Battle of Worcester, in 1651. The ruins are in a remarkably 
good state of preservation, and present the appearance of once having been a place of 
great beauty and strength. 

M 



1 68 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

Intertwined with spiry reeds, 
Which upon its bosom spread 
As a covering of the dead. 
This the ruins of Tolquhon, 
All of life and beauty gone. 

What of those who lived and died 

When the place was in its pride ? 

When it rang with mirth and glee 

Or high-sounding revelry, 

When fair maidens skipped and danced 

Or with lovers gaily pranced ; 

Where the barons ? Where the dames ? 

What their story ? What their names ? 

Answer me ye crumbling stones, 

Tell me even where their bones ? 

But the drooping grasses wave, 

Answering The grave ! The grave ! 

All to nothingness consigned, 

Leaving nothingness behind. 

Yet in Fancy's sportive train 

Men and women live again ; 

Here of old the armed knight 

Proud of his ancestral might, 

O'er the courtyard clanking strides, 

And to battle forthward rides, 

Followed by a warrior band, 

Spear or sword in every hand ; 

Ere his home is lost to view, 

See ! he waves his last adieu ! 

While upon the tower high 

Stands his dame with anxious eye, 

Weeping as the cavalcade 

Disappears by Ythsie's glade ; 

Then, in sorrow and despair, 

Softly falls her anguished prayer : 

" Lord of All ! in Heaven above, 

Send him back to home and love ! " 

And her lovely daughter then 

Clasps her hands, and sighs Amen ! 

Now night's sombre shadows fall, 

All is silent in the hall, 

All is hushed in Haddo woods 

And the Ythan solitudes, 

Save some distant watch-dog's howl, 

Or a staghound's angry growl, 

Or a night-bird's eerie cry 

Rising far and fitfully. 

Is the gate securely barred ? 



TOLQUHON. 169 

Is the warder keeping guard ? 
Ah ! a traitor's watch he keeps , 
See ! the scullion soundly sleeps, 
While a wild, barbarian band, 

From the western mountain land, 
Comes to harry keep and tower 

In the silent midnight hour. 

Hark ! a thundering at the gate, 

Warder, wake ! It is too late ; 

Loud their blows and savage cries, 

Louder yet their yells arise, 

See ! the iron bolts are bending, 

See ! the oaken timbers rending, 

While, above the outward din, 

Helpless women shriek within. 

Where the arms to help them now ? 

Where the men with spear and bow ? 

Where Fair Haddo's Fighting Knight ?* 

Where his Methlic men of might ? 

Where his sturdy Tarves yeomen, 

And Formartine's dauntless bowmen ? 

All to battle forth have gone, 

Fighting for King Charles' throne, 

None, alas ! are nigh at hand, 
To repel the plundering band ; 

None, alas ! are nigh to save, 
Rank and Beauty from the grave ; 
Now the rude and kilted horde, 
Armed with thirsty dirk and sword, 
Burst the gate with mighty push 
And across the courtyard rush, 
While a swift-descending blow, 
Lays the faithless warder low ; 
Then concentred is their powers, 
'Gainst the door between the towers, 
Soon the bolts and hinges yield, 
To the battering beam they wield, 
O'er the fragments rushing in, 
Then the murderous scenes begin ; 
Vain, Oh ! vain, the women cry, 

* The knight alluded to here was the daring and chivalrous warrior, Sir John 
Gordon of Haddo, ancestor of the present Lord Aberdeen. He was second in com- 
mand to the Marquis of Huntly in the forces raised against the Covenanters. In the 
Battle of Turriff known as " The Trot o' Turrie " he behaved with great courage. 
Inspired by his ardour, the Gordons were victorious in this fight, which was distin- 
guished as being the first occasion on which blood was shed in the civil wars. He 
was captured by the Marquis of Argyll, then in command of the forces appointed to 
quell the insurrection, and sent to Edinburgh, where he was imprisoned in a portion 
of the Cathedral of St Giles ; in consequence of this it was called "Haddo's Hole." 
He was afterwards beheaded at the Cross of Edinburgh. 



1 70 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Night's dark echoes give reply, 

Vain they hide in nook and room, 

To escape their nearing doom ; 

Soon the weak, affrighted maids, 

Fall beneath the ruthless blades, 

And the blood from bosoms fair, 

Trickles down each stony stair, 

While the loud, convulsive breath, 

Truly tells the grasp of death ; 

Calm amid the scene of slaughter, 

Stands the lady and her daughter, 

By despair and frenzy filled, 

By o'erpowering horror stilled, 

Like the ghosts of those who lay 

Bleeding wrecks of lifeless clay j 

What avails their garb of night, 

Or their faces yet more white ? 

What avails their fearful eyes 

Or their silent agonies ? 

Naught ! Oh, naught ! The reeking dirk 

Soon completes the awful work ; 

By their torches' lurid glare 

Hall and room are pillaged bare, 

Store and stable, chest and bed, 

Everything is plundered, 

Death and ruin now elate, 

And Tolquhon made desolate. 

Then the spoil-encumbered horde 

Seek the paths for Ury's Ford, 

O'er the valley, o'er the lea, 

Past high -towering Benachie. 

Ere the sun is westward lost 

Don's far fords they safely crossed, 

And when rose the evening star, 

Reached the wilds of Lochnagar. 

Home from Worcester's fatal day,* 
Wounded in that fateful fray, 
Came the knight to his domain 
With the remnant of his train, 
Gloomy and dejected now, 
Ne'er a laurel on his brow ; 
In a summer evening's hours, 
Slowly passing Uclny's towers, 
Steed aweary, rider ill, 

"' Sir Alexander Forbes of Tolquhon with his troopers rendered signal service on 
that day. The Scots army was totally overthro\vn, upwards of fourteen thousand 
being killed. Cromwell styles it "As stiff a contest as ever I have seen." The 
battle was fought on the 3rd September 1651 the anniversary of that at Dunbar in 
the previous year, where Cromwell routed the Scots under Lesley. 



TOLQUHON. 171 

Trudged across the wooded hill, 

While beyond Tolquhon appeared 

And his drooping heart was cheered ; 

Thoughts of welcome in his breast, 

Thoughts of coming peace and rest, 

Pleasures old and dearly sweet 

Surely his return would greet. 

As he passed some children by, 

Oft he fell a-wondering why 

Every little eye seemed sad, 

And no smile their faces had. 

Women at each cottage dcor 

Seemed as they ne'er seemed before, 

Silently they on him gazed, 

But nor voice nor shout was raised ; 

Suddenly, forebodings dire 

Filled him with suspicion's fire ; 

Heedless though his wound should bleed, 

Eagerly he spurred his steed ; 

O'er the ground he forward flew, 

As if home again he knew ; 

Through the wood, and by the lake, 

Onward for his master's sake, 

Halting not till at the gate 

Lying in its shivered state ; 

From his horse he quickly leapt, 
Then across the court-yard stept. 
All was hushed, no loving voice 

Bade his sinking soul rejoice ; 

Like a nest of beauty shorn, 

All lay scattered, wrecked, and torn ; 

In the chambers, in the hall, 

Stains of blood on every wall, 

Stains of blood on every floor, 

Stains of blood on every door, 

Through each room he madly sped, 

Crying loudly for the dead ; 

Crying ! crying ! none replied, 

Death alone an answer sighed. 

Faint and bleeding from his wound, 

On the narrow stair he swooned ; 

Gasping, reeling, down he fell, 

Stricken by the fearful spell, 

Dying on night's turning tide, 

Where his wife and daughter died ; 

Ere the blushing break of day, 

Cold and stiff the warrior lay, 

At the door his faithful horse, 

Stood beside his silent corse, 



i 7 2 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Wondering why his master slept, 

Neighing as his watch he kept, 

Till some toiling passers by, 

Heard and wondered at the cry, 

And though filled with ghostly fear, 

Cautiously they ventured near ; 

Then Tolquhon's dead knight was found, 

Lifeless on the stony ground. 

In the little church-yard green, 

Which on Tarves' hill is seen, 

There they laid him down to rest, 

'Mid the dust he loved the best. 

Fancy's pictures now have fled, 

Lo ! the sun has westward sped, 

Gloaming's deepening shadows fall, 

Over tower and crumbling wall, 

Through the hoary, ancient trees, 

Sadly moans the evening breeze, 

Sweetly in the leafy dells 

Birds pour forth their day farewells, 

While the young moon gleams afar 

Like a golden scimitar ; 

From the ruins now I part 

With a melancholy heart, 

And within the farm-house nigh* 

Think on olden chivalry, 

And the days when sturt and strife 

Served to make a noble life ; 

Strange ! the farmer's daughter there, 
To the stranger will declare 

That she oft has seen at night 

Beings three, arrayed in white, 

Slowly gliding thro' the grounds, 

Making not the faintest sounds 

Till they pass the courtyard o'er, 

When they vanish thro' the door ; 

Then one long, unearthly moan 

Breaks the silence of Tolquhon. 
Sunderland. WM. ALLAN. 



MR CHARLES FRASER-MACKINTOSH, M.P. for the Inverness District of Burghs, 
has declared his intention of contesting the County of Inverness at the next General 
Election. 

* The farm adjoining Tolquhon is in possession of my friend, R. Garden, Esq. 
At his invitation I spent a couple of days in exploring the country around Haddo 
House with its beautiful surroundings ; Methlic and the lovely Vale of Ythan ; the 
Braes o' Gight with the castle perched on the cliff, once the home of Byron's mother ; 
the bonnie toon o' Tarves pleasantly situated on a hill ; and the ruins of Tolquhon 
the latter affording food for reflection and rhyme. 



173 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 
SELECTIONS FROM HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 



III. 

THE Sergeant was now to appear in a new role that of thief- 
catcher. The famous David Gauld was in the midst of his daring 
career in Braemar, and the authorities finding the civil power 
unable to cope with him, applied for military assistance ; but 
Macdonald must be allowed to relate his adventures himself. 

"In February 1755, the Captain had a warrant from the 
Lord Justice-Clerk to apprehend David Gauld, alias Auchlonie, 
reputed a notorious thief and robber in the neighbourhood, sent 
for me, and after reading the warrant, said, Macdonald, you must 
take this man. I made no difficulty, if there was a trusty guide 
to direct, as I did not know him, nor where he lived, though I 
had heard of such a man as being a favourite with the Mackenzies 
of Dalmore. The Captain observing this to be the first thing of 
the kind that came his way, he would not for any consideration 
but the fellow should be apprehended without giving his Lord- 
ship any further trouble. Therefore he trusted to my sagacity to 
supply the want of a guide, being pointed out in the warrant, and 
my vigilance in executing it, for which service I might depend on 
his remembering me in due time. Next morning having got a 
pass, fowling-piece, powder, and shot, I set out under pretence of 
shooting white hares for the skins' sake. Thus I continued, 
stretching from glen to glen, seven days, in the worst weather of 
all that year, and as wild a country as can well be conceived. I 
returned home, and finding the Captain rather impatient, set off 
again next morning ; but the weather being tempestuous took a 
grenadier with me, who was a good marksman, still keeping up the 
farce of shooting white hares. The second day after, I wrote to 
the Captain for a Corporal and five picked men, who joined me 
at nine o'clock that evening at Mr Stewart's, a little above Aber- 
geldie. I was now obliged to form a story of three men having 
deserted from Corpach, in order to engage the party to pursue 
them instantly, which being agreed to cheerfully, the difficulty of 
a guide through eight miles of dreadful mountains was removed 
by Mr Stewart allowing me hire his servant lad to Spittall in 
Glenmuick, where I alleged the deserters would be probably found 
that night. Accordingly we set out; the guide was seldom called 
to the front, as we found that post fit for men only, the snow 
being so deep, and the heath so high, that it took every step 



174 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

to the fork ; but to make short, we invested the house of Spittall, 
belonging to Mr Lewis Mackenzie, took the prisoner, and arrived 
at Braemar Castle next evening, where I found my Captain not 
only well pleased, but much diverted at the farce of white hares, 
which I was obliged to diversify in order to obtain the intelligence 
necessary for rinding the thief, as I durst not communicate my 
real design to any person lest it transpired, and he leave the 
country or conceal himself. On the 1st of April 1755, the grena- 
diers being relieved, marched for Aberdeen, and I had charge 
of David Gauld, till I delivered him there to the gaol." 

Captain Macdowall having got leave of absence, the Com- 
pany was left in charge of the Lieutenant, with whom Macdonald 
could not get on very well, and he became unpopular with his 
comrades, and, insisting on maintaining his authority, he was the 
means of a court-martial being held on one of his companions. 

" The regiment being reviewed, my Captain got leave of 
absence, and ordered the paymaster to give me the Company's 
money as I called for it. This brought on me the displeasure of 
the Lieutenant who commanded it. Indeed, my patience was so 
much exercised by that gentleman, that I begged he would give 
the halbert to whom he pleased, and allow me peacefully serve 
as a private. This happened at Banff where the Company then 
quartered. My officer making no secret of his displeasure, the 
most licentious of the men availing themselves of the officers' 
countenance took unusual freedom with me. This is always the 
case when they find an inferior in disgrace with a superior, but I 
was determined to be sergeant altogether or not at all, therefore 
maintaining dignity with proper spirit, I was forced to bring 
more to punishment than could have happened had my authority 
been supported as it ought. Partly from the same cause pro- 
ceeded the last national quarrel I had in this respectable corps, 
which I beg leave to mention here as the proper place, viz., being 
sergeant of the guard, a public-house keeper complained that one 
of the grenadiers came drunk to his house and was abusing him 
and his family very ill. I went with the man, turned out the 
grenadier, ordered him to his quarters, threatening to confine him 
if he went anywhere else, or committed any more disorder. I 
hardly got to the guard when the publican came again begging 
my protection, as the grenadier had returned and was beating 
his people, and breaking everything he could come at. I 
brought him instantly to the guard ; there he exclaimed in an 
audible voice what a hardship, and how ridiculous to hear tell, 
that a true-born Englishman should be beat, kicked, and im- 
prisoned by the worst of Scots rebels, a Highland savage. This 
might have been borne if he had not made such a noise, with 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 175 

repetitions of such approbrious language as brought a mob about 
the guard-house. I then ordered him to the black hole under the 
guard-room. He then extending his voice, I had no alternative 
but to gag him, which had the designed effect of silence. Next 
morning I found him sulky and determined to complain of ill- 
usage, but instead of giving that opportunity, I left him in the 
guard-house with a stout crime. This produced a court-martial, 
of which the majority were Englishmen. I prosecuted him, and 
he pleaded that I beat and kicked him to the guard-house and 
put him in the black hole, and there gagged and maltreated him 
in the most cruel manner, besides saying in an imperious tone 
that he would find me as capable of commanding that guard as 
any English sergeant in the regiment. This was his great gun, 
and I owned to have said so when highly provoked by his inces- 
sant clamour against me and my country, and as to ill-usage, I 
hoped the Court would allow my being forced to it, or shamefully 
abandon the command of my guard. The Court told him 
jocularly that I seemed to prove the assertion, and ordered him 
five hundred lashes, of which the commanding-officer so far ap- 
proved that he ordered them to be well laid on. He could stand 
no more than three hundred at the first bout, and I begged off 
the other two hundred. This extinguished national reflection 
with respect to me, and confirmed my authority with the men ; 
but possessing their money kept me still in hot water. In 
October the Company marched to Peterhead, and I was called by 
my Captain to Aberdeen to settle with him, as he had further 
leave of absence. When I came there I found orders for the 
regiment to march to the West Highland forts, and my com- 
mander at Peterhead was appointed Captain-Lieutenant. I 
brought this news home, and he was pleased to compliment me 
on my address and good management of the Company, promising 
future friendship, in which I found him very sincere." 

Sergeant Macdonald now got a furlough, which he had well 
earned, and he visited his friends and relations in Sutherland- 
shire. 

" From Fort-William I got a furlough in February 1756, and 
had a sincere welcome at my dear uncle's, Mr Hugh, where Mrs 
Sutherland and my young cousins made me extremely happy, 
whenever I appeared in that most hospitable house, from visiting 
my other friends and relations, among whom I went to see 
Alexander Macdonald, alias M'Tormaid, with whom I had left 
my effects when I engaged in the army. This poor man observed, 
justly, that he was frail in person and substance from what I had 
seen him, and if I brought him to account, as was alleged, he and 
his family would be reduced to begging. I desired him meet me 



i;6 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

at the minister's two days after, with all papers relative to my 
affairs. He met accordingly, and all papers on both sides being 
put into Mr Sutherland's hands, I asked Macdonald if he would 
choose them to be burnt, as I freely forgave all claims for what 
passed. This was readily agreed to, and the poor man went home 
thankful, with comfortable news to his family. I beg leave to 
observe, that when on half-pay I gave this man a trifle yearly to 
support him ; but he himself was the only person of his family 
worthy of such attention. They had sufficient to answer his 
funeral expenses, but they threw that on me because I ordered it 
to be decent." 

The Sergeant now became ambitious, and anxious to ob- 
tain a commission. What steps he took to secure this, and 
with what success, we will allow himself to tell. 

"Next summer, 1756, the Grenadiers marched to Inverness, 
and Macdowall being promoted, Captain Masline got that com- 
pany. Though I did not depend on my interest with him, I was 
obliged to try his goodwill soon. In September I had a letter 
from my uncle, Mr Hugh, with one enclosed for the Earl of 
Sutherland. My own informed me that he had spoken to his 
lordship in my favour, and his lordship would be at Cradlehall 
next night, and desired to see me with a character from my 
officers in writing. My principal friend Macdowall being absent, 
I went directly to Captain Masline and gave him my uncle's 
letter. After reading it, he asked me what I would have him do. 
I told him that, next to Major Macdowall, he knew my behaviour 
the best of any officer in the regiment, therefore begged he would 
do what he thought proper, as he was a very good judge whether 
I merited a favourable recommendation or not, and begged him 
to be determined as I had no time to lose in waiting on his lord- 
ship, or dropping the cause altogether. He said that his opinion 
of me was such as made him assure me once for all that nothing 
in his power should be wanting to forward my interest, and 
therefore if I thought his application to Colonel Leighton better 
than my own he would wait on him immediately, which being 
done, and the Colonel pleading no personal acquaintance with 
me, the Captain got a furlough from him, with which, and the 
following certificate, I waited on his lordship and had a humane 
reception, with promise of his future patronage : ' This certificate 
in favour of Sergeant Macdonald, of Colonel Leighton's regiment, 
at his friend's desire and his own, is most cheerfully signed by 
his present Captain, who has been for over sixteen years an eye 
witness of his sobriety, courage, and honesty. He has been 
seventeen years in the regiment, and behaved to the satisfaction 
of his officers at the four battles during the last war, was twice 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 177 

wounded at that of Fontenoy, and notwithstanding turned out 
volunteer, when the late Lord Crawford called for a platoon to 
cover the retreat of his troop of Life Guards. As this is due to 
his behaviour, it is wished it may prove beneficial to his interest. 
A true copy. (Signed), John Masline, Captain, 32nd Regiment.' 
With this I waited on his lordship, and had a promise of his 
future patronage. The latter end of this season I was ordered to 
recruit in the North with Captain (now Colonel) Ross. Here I 
had not only the good fortune to please the Captain but became 
such a favourite with his father, David Ross of Inverchasly, that 
he interceded with the Hon. Captain Mackay of Skibo, then a 
member of Parliament, to get me a commission. Mr Mackay 
said that being so long in the army, from whence my pretensions 
sprung, my own officers should recommend me, and if that was 
warm, there remained little difficulty in getting me a commission." 

But Macdonald did not succeed in getting a commission 
until three years afterwards, and then only got an Ensigncy in a 
regiment of volunteers raised by the Earl of Sutherland. He, 
however, never lost heart, and promotion came, slow but sure, at 
last. 

" Inverchasly took it for granted that if I got a sufficient char- 
acter from my own officers, he and another gentleman in the 
neighbourhood would prevail with the member to get me ad- 
vanced. Had they been equally keen, that might have hap- 
pened. Next year Colonel Webb sent me word to recruit at my 
own hand, that is, without a superior. I waited on Inverchasly, 
and he, in great earnest, insisting on my getting the recommend- 
ation mentioned by Mr Mackay, I wrote to Major Macdowall 
that a friend had interceded with Mr Mackay to recommend me 
for a commission, that Mr Mackay said a character from my 
officers was requisite, therefore begged he would be pleased to 
give me such as he thought proper, which would determine me 
to drop such ideas altogether or pursue it with all the interest I 
could make. In course of post I received three letters from the 
Major. One for myself, concerning that for Mr Mackay, which 
was closed, as being an acquaintance. This might look like a 
favourable circumstance, although it produced nothing. The 
other letter was open, and I was to close and direct it, and it was 
composed in the following words : 

" INVERNESS, I9th October 1757. SIR, I have a letter from 
Sergeant Macdonald, who writes me that you have applied to Mr 
Mackay to recommend him for a commission. I had an oppor- 
tunity to know him all the last war; he always behaved well. As 
he was long my Sergeant when I had the Grenadiers, made me 



178 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

know him better than the rest of the officers. I wrote Mr Mackay 
in his favour, and hope he will recommend him, as in my opinion 
he is a very good man, knows his duty well, and a very proper 
man to be advanced ; and what is done for him will greatly 
oblige, Sir, yours, &c. (Signed), William Macdowall." 

"Without closing or directing it, I went to Inverchasly. He 
approved much of my confidence in him, and desired me close and 
direct it for the other gentleman, whose good offices I depended 
much on. This is done, and I gave him likewise Mr Mackay's, 
but never had a direct answer. 

"In 1758, Macdowall purchased the Lieutenant-Colonelcy, 
and Seton the Majority. They were my friends, and with Cap- 
tain Masline did all in their power to get me advanced, but 
nothing took place till 1759, when the Earl of Sutherland got 
the raising of a battalion to serve in Britain during the war. The 
commissions had no exceptions in them, but by a previous agree- 
ment the officers had no title to half-pay or any other reward for 
their services. His Lordship promised me a lieutenancy in this 
corps, but at filling up the commissions the Duke of Argyle 
would allow me no more than an ensigncy, which my friends of 
the 32nd advised me to accept, as his Lordship gave reason to 
believe that he meant to get me into an established corps when 
his own was reduced. In consequence of this ensigncy, I ap- 
peared at Dornoch in kilt on the 3Oth November 1759, after being 
twenty years and three months in breeches, long cloak, and 
spatterdashes, etc., and no man in that corps used the native 
dress more than I did, notwithstanding my being early and late 
teaching the men, while drilling was necessary, but the trouble 
was uncommonly short, the men as well as officers striving who 
should exercise or perform any part of duty best, by which they 
soon became, not only an honour to their teacher, but to discip- 
line itself. And I was exceedingly happy with them, and so far 
in his Lordship's favour, that he made strong application with 
the Secretary of War for my removal to an established corps. 
In May 1762 he joined at Aberdeen, and acquainted me that Mr 
Townshend, the Secretary, had assured him of a lieutenancy for 
me in a few weeks. The regiment marched to Edinburgh and 
made an excellent review. 

" In August his Lordship went North. All parties seemed 
now tired of the war, and I longing for a bit of sure bread wrote 
to his Lordship for leave to go to London, which I got in course, 
with a letter to the Secretary, and went with the Hon. Captain 
Perigrine Early, in the Dispatch Sloop of War, to Sheerness, 
from thence to Gravesend, and dressing myself in my Highland 
regimentals waited on Colonel Barre at Chatham. The Colonel 
did not choose to intercede for me, and seemed certain of my 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 179 

being disappointed. However, as he was well acquainted with 
the ceremonies of that department his hints were of great use 
to me, in course of the eleven weeks that I attended the Secretary 
at the office as constant as his shadow, and I managed matters so 
with his attendants that I never missed audience at his levee. In 
short he was so tired of me that he began to think seriously of 
giving me something in order to be rid of my trouble. I always 
appeared in my full Highland dress that is a bonnet with a 
large bunch of feathers, great kilt, broadsword, pistol, dirk, large 
badger skin purse, and a pair of locks as big as besoms, with an 
amazing strut, to set the whole off in the most marvellous manner, 
and though this was in a great measure forced work, I found my 
account in it ; but 'tis too tedious to explain how. 

" The guns fired in the Park at one o'clock in the morning 
for the preliminaries of peace being signed, this could not add to 
my diligence, but it augumented my concern. I attended at the 
War Office as usual, and the Secretary's patience being worn 
out, ordered his first clerk to set me down Ensign to Major 
Johnson's corps, or the loist. I paraded his promise to the Earl 
of Sutherland of a lieutenancy ; he in seeming friendship desired 
me take this in the meantime, and when a lieutenancy appeared 
vacant I should have it, perhaps to-morrow or next day. I 
answered that there were two vacant in that same corps ; he 
observed that I was very intelligent, but that these two were pro- 
mised. I found him now so far disposed to be rid of me that I 
had no doubt of getting the ensigncy, therefore with a little 
unusual freedom told him that the army looking on the Secre- 
tary of War as their common father, expected that he looking on 
them as his family would reward merit and long services liberally; 
instead of this old servants were glad to get anything, when 
every youth who had never served an hour, but had a friend in 
favour with the man in office, could get what commission they 
pleased, that I did not doubt but these lieutenancies would be 
disposed of in this manner, and therefore hoped he would pardon 
my disclosing my indignation at being put off with the lowest 
pittance given to any officer under his Majesty after twenty-four 
years constant service, a broken constitution, and a body hacked 
with wounds. He then, as if surprised, asked if I had been in 
any other than the present Sutherland regiment. I answered 
that I was upwards of twenty years in the 32nd in the whole of 
the last war, and in all the battles, and often wounded, which I 
could prove by general officers then in town. He then expressed 
his concern that he had not known this sooner. I observed that 
the Earl could not miss informing him of my services, as it was 
his Lordship's only argument for demanding such a commission 
for me. He then, with great grace said that he had no notion of 



i8o THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

putting an old servant off with a trifle, and calling to the clerk 
ordered him to set me down Lieutenant to the loist. This pro- 
duced my best bows, scrapes, and acknowledgments of his good- 
ness. Still, if I had not been attentive I have occasion to believe 
that I had got nothing. At least, this is certain, that the second 
day after stalking about the War Office, and going into a particu- 
lar room, the same clerk who set me down as a lieutenant asked 
what I expected, and when I answered a lieutenancy, he said, 
" In Crawford's ?" I replied, no, sir; Mr Townshend ordered you 
to set me down to Johnson's. This ignorance, whether pretended 
or not, made me uneasy, and still troublesome, till I found my 
name notified. Then your humble servant was an officer ; and 
here I beg leave to confute, what was firmly alleged by a gentle- 
man, and afterwards repeated and believed by many, that I had 
drawn my dirk on the Secretary in the levee room, and pent him 
up in a corner till I forced him to promise me a lieutenancy. 
Was I capable of such a desperate action, it would appear unneces- 
sary at this time, having a memorial prepared, and one of the 
Lords-in-Waiting engaged to deliver it to his Majesty, in case my 
success at the War Office did not answer my expectations. Mean- 
time, my commission being expected, I joined the loist at Perth 
in January 1763, and on the 3Oth of March following was re- 
duced with that corps. I went home to my native country, but 
was too late to get a farm that year. My uncle, Mr Hugh, and 
Mrs Sutherland insisted on my living with them at least until 
their sons came home both being in the Queen's Highland 
Regiment in Ireland, which being likewise reduced, they soon 
arrived, and I was not allowed to think of quitting the family till 
I got a place of my own. There I lived with my family fifteen 
months, I may well say the happiest of my life, being esteemed 
as the eldest son or brother, and my wife as the only daughter 
or sister, by one of the most decent and sensible women existing, 
and three near relations of consummate sense and liberal educa- 
tion. 

(To be continued.) 



THE ORIGIN OF CERTAIN CLAN NAMES. 



To THE EDITOR OF THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

SIR, In Cough's "Camden" (London, 1806) it is stated that in the parish of 
Duthil, in Strathspey, "there is a small grove of trees held in such veneration that 
nobody will cut a branch out of it." 

This wood was undoubtedly sacred to Grian, from whom not only the Grampians 
derived their name, anciently Granzebene (Grian's hills), but also the Clan Grant, 
although there are still some who consider the laltei a Norman name. 



THE ORIGIN OF CERTAIN CLAN NAMES. 181 

Can any of your readers inform me whether that wood is still held in such 
respect ? 

The Erasers have also been supposed to be of Norman origin ; and a few years 
ago a foolish member of the clan in Lower Canada added " Berri " to his name 
"Fraser de Berri" as if the name of Fraser could be improved by any foreign 
addition; besides which, the fable of the arms having been granted in 916 by the King 
of France to a noble named Berri is absurd, as arms were not worn until long after that 
date; and when the Frasers adopted their arms they undoubtedly chose punning 
arms, which was done even by kings, as witness the arms of Spain : castles and lions 
for Castile and Leon, and a pomegranate for Granada. 

Neither are they descended from the Frezeans, or Frezels de la Frezeliere. Bur- 
ton was in error in throwing discredit upon the antiquity of this family, for Moreri 
shows there were Chevaliers Frezel in 1030, and both the Marquis Frezeldeler Fre- 
zeliere and Simon Lord Lovat, the last of the martyrs, undoubtedly believed in their 
common origin, for the Scotch name is written Frisel and Freshele, as well as Fraser, 
in Ragman Roll (1292-1297), one of them being then Lord Chancellor, and another 
Grand Chamberlain and brother-in-law of King Robert Bruce. But probably neither 
the Marquis nor Lovat understood old French, or Romance, in which language 
"fraysse" signifies not a strawberry, but an "ash tree," and the Marquis's title was 
Ash of the Place of Ash Trees, or Ash of the Ash Wood ; and I believe Logan was 
right in calling the Clan Friosal the Frith Siol or Forest Clan, for although it may be 
said this could hardly be a distinctive name, as the country was then well-wooded, 
still there may have been a particular wood or forest, separated perhaps by barren 
moors, or even cultivated lands, from the surrounding country. 

It was a strange fancy of the Senachies to endeavour to find foreign origins for 
the principal old Scottish families, as if it were not nobler far to be Scotsmen 
ab origine. 

Perhaps no families in Europe are older than the Clann Diarmaid O'Duine or 
Campbells, who were petty kings or lords of Argyle in A.D. 420, and may have ar- 
rived there as early as 258, and who were, I believe, descended from a Druid priest 
who adopted the name of the god he served, as was the custom not only of the 
British Druids but also of the priests of Egypt and Delphi. 

Diarmaid was another form of Grian, the Celtic Apollo, or Grannus, as he was 
called by the Romans, on the altar to Apollo Granno discovered at Musselburgh. 

From time immemorial the race of Diarmaid have been known also as O'Duine 
and Campbell, and as a leader of the Gauls B.C. 279, bore the latter name (Cam- 
baules), is it very wild to suggest that he may have been of the same family? The 
relations between Britain and the Continent in those days must have been more inti- 
mate than we have any idea of, for Csesar tells us (B.C. 56) that the Gauls were ac- 
customed to send their children to England for their education. 

The name Cambel, without a de, showing that it was not a local name, appears 
in a charter of the year 1266, but Ossian, who was living one thousand years before 
(A.D. 286), says " I have seen dermit doone," and why may not the third name be 
as old as the two others, and if so, the Cambauls may have been a family five hundred 
years old even in Ossian's time, and yet the Senachies bring them down to about the 
eleventh century, and call them de Campo Bellas ! 

Toronto. B. H. D. 



182 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 



THE HOMOLOGY OF ECONOMIC JbSTICE: An Essay by an East India 
Merchant, showing that Political Economy is Sophistry, and Landlordism 
Usurpation and Illegality. London : Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co. 1884. 



A LATE eminent economist is reported to have said that it would 
be a long time before the last word had been written on the sub- 
ject of political economy. Like the science of language it par- 
takes of a two-fold character, due to its relations to mental 
phenomena on the one side, and to physical or material pheno- 
mena on the other. Such questions as these have recently been 
put Can it ever become a science with unimpeachable conclu- 
sions ? Are its leading principles so fixed, and outside the region 
of discussion, that a man may feel, in studying it, that he is 
treading on firm ground ? To the latter question the late Pro- 
fessor Jevons, whose fresh and independent treatment of the 
science has as yet had bare recognition, gave a negative reply in his 
trenchant attacks oh some of the economic doctrines of the school 
of Ricardo and Mill. The work now under review is a successful 
attempt towards clearing the science of many misconceptions and 
ambiguities that have been traditionally received as sound doc- 
trine, because maintained by the authorities in economics. The 
author, while subjecting these views to a rigorous analysis, has 
gone to an earlier authority, " the incomparable Aristotle" (as, 
with a disciple's fondness, he calls him), whose sway over the 
world of mind is perhaps without parallel in the history of the 
world, and i.s apt to be somewhat ignored, in the hey-day of 
modern scientific swagger. Nor does the author undervalue the 
economic contributions of David Hume, who, take him all in all, 
is our greatest Scotch philosopher, and whose language in his 
Essay on Commerce, on the dependence of a state for its 
greatness and happiness on the operations of Commerce, might 
be said to give the key-note to the " Homology." The work 
is evidently the outcome of long and deep reflection after a 
close study of the greatest works bearing on the subject and the 
related sciences. A mere enumeration of the names of authors, 
quoted and referred to, from Newton to Buckle, from Montesquieu 
to Bastiat, and from Locke to Stuart Mill, to mention no others, 



THE HOMOLOGY OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE. 183 

would establish the eclectic character of the work, which empha- 
tically declines to range itself under any particular school of 
economics. 

The title of the work is somewhat startling ; but it is well 
calculated to attract attention to its subject matter, which is, just 
now, of urgent importance. " Homology" is a term of mathe- 
matical reference, and denotes a closer and stricter mode of rela- 
tion (viz. that of ratio and proportion), than is involved in the 
allied term of analogy. "The sophistry of Political Economy" 
must, of course, be held to relate to the hitherto received opinions, 
and does not imply that a Political Economy on a rational basis 
is unattainable. "The illegality of Landlordism" is an expres- 
sion, no doubt, used from the point of view of Divine law, since 
the system is, as a matter of fact, legalised in nearly all existing 
cefosmunities, from the side of human law. 

It is here proposed to give an analysis of the work, showing 
occasionally the points on which the author differs from the 
hitherto accepted authorities, and where he agrees with the con- 
clusions of other independent investigators, leaving many parts 
of the subject on which the whole elucidation is due to himself. 
A very logical and convenient arrangement divides the treatise 
into four parts I. Considerations on Land Nationalisation ; II. 
Discussion of the Errors of Political Economists; III. What is 
Political Economy ? and IV. on " Unproductive Labourers." At 
first sight it may appear that the subject of the third chapter 
should have been taken up first ; but the order of treatment is 
justified on the ground of the propriety of clearing out of the 
way those incumbrances with which successive economists have 
improperly loadecj the science, previous to undertaking the 
arduous task of determining the proper province of the science 
itself a matter on which many conflicting opinions have prevailed. 

The main object of the Essay appears to be two-fold, com- 
prising (i) a solution of the question as to the abolition of land- 
lordism ; and (2) a statement of the proper objects and scope of 
political economy, with an exposure of the errors prevalent 
among the orthodox and university-taught economists, especially 
as to (a) the attribution of an economical value to the powers of 
nature, and (ft) the supposition that rent is a necessary attribute 
of land. 

N 



1 84 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

The first chapter sets forth the design of the author in seek- 
ing for a higher sanction to the principles he maintains than are 
to be found in the works of the professed economists. Applying 
to the Land Question, in its most comprehensive sense, the prin- 
ciple of freedom and the moral law, to the violation of which 
nearly all human evils are traceable, an inquiry is instituted in 
order to discover whether there is not some " fundamental law " 
in the economy of nature intended for the regulation of land. It 
is observed that the variety of, and discordances in, the land-laws 
of the various countries of the world zxz prima facie evidence that 
there has either been an insurmountable difficulty in ascertaining 
what is the just and reasonable way of dealing with land, which 
might be, and ought to be applied everywhere, or that some 
antagonistic elements in human nature, through perverse develop- 
ment, have thwarted the Divine intention in regard to the land. 
A protest is entered that human society ought not to be regarded 
(as it is by the economists), as a mere congeries of beings bound 
together only by physical relations. The moral element the 
distinctive glory of man must have its full weight in any well- 
considered view of the functions of a community. There now 
emerges what the Germans would call the ground-idea of the 
work, that economical phenomena rest on a moral basis, and are 
not simply the outcome of material forces, as the economists would 
make men believe. The author maintains, with great force and 
earnestness, that no true economic conclusion can be reached while 
a large part of man's nature is deliberately kept out of sight, being 
a virtual exclusion from the field of social economics, of the senti- 
ments and impulses that have to do with justice, virtue, and happi- 
ness, which Aristotle rightly declared to be " the ultimate end of 
human action." After a pertinent criticism of the expression, 
"Nationalisation of the Land," which is shown to be an illogical 
combination, the proposals of Dr A. R. Wallace and Mr Henry 
George are passed under review, most attention being given to 
the former. Dr Wallace's gigantic scheme for the valuation of 
all the ground in the kingdom, including every site and all min- 
ing property, is characterised as " a violent and vexatious inter- 
ference with vested rights of the most intricate and extensive 
nature," although, on certainly a comparatively small scale, this 
has been done, under legislative enactment, in the case of land re- 



THE HOMOLOGY OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE. 185 

quired for railways and other public purposes. His proposal to 
grant terminable annuities, as compensation to present landlords, 
is also condemned, as not giving a fair equivalent to bona-fide 
possessors, whose unborn posterity have rights, to ignore which 
would conflict with our sense of justice. The author approves of 
Dr Wallace's condemnation of the landlord and tenant system; 
and he recommends the issue of an edict declaring that " after 
seven years, or at the expiry of all existing leases, it shall be un- 
lawful for all owners of lands, mines, lakes, and rivers to lend 
them out on rent; but that they shall be free to work them as in- 
dustries, and to appropriate to the utmost of their power for their 
own good and for the good of society, or to sell and bequeath at 
pleasure in such occupying ownership." Landlords would thus 
have to sell all the land which they could not work on their own 
account. To this proposal, two objections, which might be 
guarded against, might be urged (i) That it would, it is feared, 
lead to an enormous extension of the land-steward system, 
farmers becoming salaried land-stewards and dismissable at 
pleasure ; and (2) that many nice questions for the tribunals 
would arise on the discordant objects embraced in the instruct- 
tion to proprietors to work the lands, &c., for their own good 
and for the good of society two distinct interests which might 
be expected to clash. In the next edition of the work, the mode 
of meeting these objections should be indicated. In passing, a 
hit is scored against Mr George's proposal of State-ownership of 
all land in these words : " Landlordism of every kind is incon- 
sistent with perfect freedom," since landlordism by the individual 
is bad ; by the Church, worse ; and by the State, worst of all, 
as being dangerous to public liberty, encouraging loose financial 
control, and outside the safe limits of governmental functions. 
The performance of these functions should be paid for by taxa- 
tion drawn from the land. It is remarked that rent-exaction or 
increase is practically giving what should be taxing power 
lodged only in the State into the hands of the landlords, for what ? 
not for protection, as given in exchange by the State, but for 
the simple gratification of the landlord's appetite for reaping the 
benefit of the tenant's improvements. The author goes on to 
show that too little stress has been laid on the emancipation of 
industry which would follow the abolition of landlordism, and too 



1 86 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

much weight has been given to the mere reduction of taxation that 
would result. The first part of the work closes with a criticism of 
the late Professor Fawcett's recent chapter on " Land Nation- 
alisation," which attains a seeming triumph in argument by con- 
founding the proposals of Wallace with those of George, the 
latter of whom overlooks the fact that the evil of the present 
system consists chiefly in lending and hiring land. 

The second chapter is devoted to the exposures of " Current 
Fallacies and Sophisms." The Labour Fund Theory is rejected 
in favour of Mr George's most original and valuable contribution 
to political economy, the doctrine that labour is always antecedent 
to capital both being really instruments of exchange, and not 
funds at all. Proceeding to inquire as to the cause of Rent, opposi- 
tion is made to Ricardo's theory, which is thus formulated by 
Mill. " Rent is the difference between the return made to the 
more productive portions, and that which is made to the 
least productive portions of capital employed upon the land." 
The author observes that rent is not the cause, but is the effect 
of price, and then enunciates a wide-reaching economic law that 
escaped the keen vision of Adam Smith. " Agricultural land in 
the vicinity of populous places is more valuable than at greater 
distances, but not on account of any supposed inherent value. 
The value diminishes outward, as the squares of the distances in- 
crease." In this connection, it is worth noting as a coincidence, 
that this very principle of the retarding influence of increasing 
distance from the centre was, a few months ago, applied by Mr 
Gladstone, in speaking of the need for a proportionally larger 
Parliamentary representation for places distant from London, as 
compared with that due to places in closer proximity to that city. 
The author's application of this principle to political economy is 
one of the singular merits of his work. Striking confirmation of 
the working of the principle is found in a circular issued lately 
by the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture, showing that prices of 
produce are 33 per cent, less than they were ten years ago, 
mainly attributed to the cheapness with which American produce 
is conveyed to our great centres, New York being now, for cheap- 
ness of transit, as near to London as Lancashire is. The con- 
cluding words of this section, as describing another distinctive 
feature of the author's system, may be quoted. " Rent is a dis- 



THE HOMOLOGY OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE. 187 

tinct proportional designed for the revenue of the State, which is 
in ratio with wages and profits, and also with price, although the 
effect of price." 

Adam Smith's inconsistency is next pointed out, in so far as 
he first states that labour is the foundation and measure of value* 
and then attributes some virtue to the soil in the production of 
rent, while he admits that rent is the effect of price. Even in the 
century preceding Smith's time, Locke wrote in his Essay on 
Civil Government " Labour is the constituent principle of value." 
The author next discusses the question whether price is de- 
pendent on wages and profits, to which it is answered that wages 
and profits depend on price, which, in its turn, "depends upon the 
abundance or scarcity of any commodity in proportion to the 
consumption or demand for it, and not on ' cost of production.' " 
This is illustrated by the experience of miners, fishermen, farmers* 
&c., who, cceteris paribus, obtain smaller prices when their pro- 
duce is more abundant, and larger prices when the supply is 
short, although the " cost of production " to all engaged in these 
industries may not have varied. Professor Fawcett's contention 
that " rent forms no part of the cost of production " is subjected 
to a severe handling, and his argument is shown to be a mere in- 
genious evasion of the point at issue ; while Mill's analysis of 
" the cost of labour " into the " three variables " appears vitiated 
by the fallacy of confounding; wages as " affecting the condition 
of the labourer with wages as affecting the profits of the capital- 
ist." Mr Mill is also convicted of error in his assertion that 
profits depend on the efficiency of labour ; for profits are lowest 
in England where labour is the most efficient in the world ; while 
in India, where labour is very inefficient, profits are double. 
Coming to the topics of interest and capital, Mill is again subjected 
to a searching criticism, his definition of capital being dismissed 
as not answering to the facts, since he maintains that capital, in 
the course of use, is consumed, the truth being that it is only 
what capital, as an instrument, produces, that is consumed, e.g., in 
the fisheries, not the fishing-boat and nets, but the fish are con- 
sumed. While on this topic the author pays a compliment to 
Mr George for his definition of capital, as " labour incorporated 
with materiality." Towards the close of this chapter a vigorous 
attack is made on the population theory of Malthus, as endorsed 



i88 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

by Mill, both of whom are confronted with the notorious fact that 
the most densely peopled countries are the richest, answering to 
the wise words of Paley, that " the decay of population is the 
greatest evil that a State can suffer." This part of the work con- 
cludes with the statement that " it is the force of labour and 
capital alone that creates wealth," in opposition to the orthodox 
addition of land to these two factors. An obvious commentary 
on this whole chapter, may be added from Hobbes " Words are 
the counters of wise men, but the money of fools." That this 
latter epithet may not appear on the sole authority of the re- 
viewer, it may be stated that Professor Jevons freely adopted it 
when he wrote that " Our English economists have lived in a 
fool's paradise." 

The third chapter is set apart for the discussion of the ques- 
tion " What is political economy ?" After adverting to Mill's 
admission that he was unable to give an adequate definition of 
the science, the author goes back to Aristotle, who based his 
political and economical science on morals, and introduced the 
doctrine of proportionals, which agrees with the latest generalisa- 
tions of economic science. The author exhibits several illustra- 
tions of the working out of the doctrine which he has extended 
to many of the modern problems of the science. He thus shows 
the homologous relations of profits and wages, each expressed in 
four terms, the fourth being as to profits, depreciation of capital, 
and as to wages, provision for old age, &c. This fourth term is 
the author's own contribution, and supplies an unnoticed defect 
in the economist's account of the ingredients of profit. The 
following is an example of the economic proportionals : 

Labour^ capital; wages, profits. The components of wages, 
profits, and price are shown in homologous relation by diagrams 
from Euclid. His observation in the series which includes 
rent, is that rent is really wages ; but that at present it is 
the wages of idleness, and is a " transgression of the fundamental 
law of labour," since it should be devoted to the payment of the 
expenses of Government. This leads to the subject of taxation. 
Referring to Adam Smith's well-known canons, it is remarked 
that Professor Fawcett notices only the one regarding the duty 
of every person contributing to the support of the State according 
to his means. Paley, in a less advanced political society, had 



THE HOMOLOGY OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE. 189 

more liberal ideas, for he said that the heaviest part of the 
burden of taxation should be borne by those who acquire wealth 
without industry, or who live in idleness. But the real 
state of matters now is that the Customs and Excise, which 
yield nearly two-thirds of the revenue of this country, press most 
severely on the working classes, whose only means is their 
labouring power. Adam Smith proposed that a part of the 
rents should be taken from landlords for the support of the 
State. The French economist, Quesnay, in his " Physiocratie," 
published in 1768, declared that all taxes should fall upon the 
land the same view as propounded in the Homology. A word 
of criticism may be interposed here. At page 134, certain 
figures, 100, 80, &c., are selected for convenience, in order to 
illustrate the working of proportionals. These same figures, 
originally used for purposes of illustration, are transferred to 
page 147, where they are given as an actual quantitative state- 
ment of the problem on the proportion of taxes paid out of the 
produce of industry. The author thus infers that taxes amount 
to 25 per cent cut out of that produce. The proportion may be 
actually greater or less, but it cannot be ascertained by assuming 
100 as a standard for price and 25 as that for rent. A slight 
verbal alteration would, however, bring these statements into 
agreement with fact. It is next urged that rent instead of being 
a substitute for taxation goes to the support " of an idle and 
prodigal class," " who are unconsciously 'the cause of much wrong.' 
The " Law Universal " is the title of the next section. Man is a 
microcosm in whom all the laws of the universe find illustration 
or are in operation within and upon him. Such considerations 
lead the author to apply the definitions, &c., of Newton's Prin- 
cipia to economic forces. The natural philosopher's elucidation 
of centripetal force and the three-fold nature of its quantity is, 
with great acuteness, applied to the doctrine of rent increasing- 
according to proximity to centres of population and commerce. 
Intellect is, in economics, the efficacious power at work among 
masses of men, answering to Newton's cause, which propagates 
force from the centre through the regions of space all round it. 

It has been said that it is the function of the philosopher to 
detect analogies and resemblances where hitherto they have not 
been observed : the author has abundantly vindicated his right 
to challenge the reasonings of previous writers by his exhibition 



ipo THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

of the identity of physical and economic relations, expressed in 
proportional and geometrical forms, which would seem to be the 
full measure of precision attainable in economic science. In the 
course of making definitions, utility is defined as extending to 
objects of other than a material nature, such as teaching, govern- 
ing, &c. All legitimate labour is usefully employed, so that 
utility is the result of all labour properly directed. This definition 
is held to cut at the root of the arguments used for bolstering up 
an idle landlord class; for "no provision has. been made, in the 
scheme of Providence, for the idler," which the author shows by 
a mathematical formula, in which the terms " mankind " and 
" utility " are found to be co-extensive. The deduction follows 
that men are in every sense " fellow-workers with God." 

The fourth and last chapter " Of Unproductive Labourers" is 
mainly occupied with the landlord class and their servants, and 
surplus military men. It also includes some just criticisms of 
the expressions "unearned increment," and "natural monopoly." 
The author's sense of humour appears in a note on the practice 
of economists forming a Mutual Admiration Society, and clawing 
one another, each calling the other "illustrious ;" and in his repro- 
duction of the scene in which General Burroughs was interro- 
gated by the Chairman of the Crofters' Commission, to which is 
added a very appropriate short quotation from John Locke, in 
answer to the General Landlordism is finally declared " a cunning 
device for practising robbery," which would be checkmated by 
prohibiting landlords from letting their land, which should only 
be held in occupying freehold. " It ought to be a law of all 
nations * Thou shalt not lend land nor charge usury on the 
gratuitous gifts of God for the oppression of thy brother.'" 
There follows a discussion on the immoral character of European 
National Debts, the interest of which should be paid by the 
landlords, whose ancestors contracted the debts, and who 
now hold the securities. By specially taxing ground-rents, 
mining royalties, and land reserved for sport, he estimates that 
the National Debt might be liquidated in forty years. He also 
makes proposals for the establishment of National Land Funds 
for the purpose of enabling the Government to advance money at 
low interest, by way of mortgage on land. The work concludes 
with a plea for agriculture, to be specially cared for by the State, 
since the land, by means " of trade and commerce, yields the 



THE HOMOLOGY OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE. 191 

revenue of the State," in excess of wages and profits ; and the 
benefits conferred on a nation by commerce are illustrated by a 
beautiful Eastern allegory. 

The work, which is of comparatively small compass, contains 
matter which might have been expanded into a large volume. 
The author's intimate familiarity with all the workings of the 
commercial world, gives peculiar value to his observations on 
trade and commerce. He has command of a style at once clear, 
forcible, and elegant ; and he possesses the rare power of relieving 
the close attention required for his arguments by apt quotations 
from the poets, and by convincing references to Scripture on the 
ethical aspects of his subject. Indeed, a spirit of earnestness and 
philanthropy animates the volume throughout, producing a brac- 
ing effect on the reader's mind. While the work is sure to excite 
the opposition of those who are hopelessly committed to the 
current doctrines of political economy, every one who professes 
to keep abreast of the progress of economic science, or of the 
various proposals for a radical reform of our land system, will 
find it necessary to adjust his views on consideration of the argu- 
ments in the Homology. 



MEETING OF HIGHLAND PROPRIETORS AT INVERNESS. 



The following resolutions, to which we shall refer at length by-and-bye, were 
passed unanimously at this meeting : 

I. "That this meeting, composed of proprietors in the Counties of Caithness, 
Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty, Inverness, and Argyll, having in view certain com- 
plaints as to the insufficiency of holdings on the part of crofters, which were recently 
laid before the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the condition of the 
crofters and cottars of the Highlands and Islands, and the recent appeal made to 
Highland proprietors by the Home Secretary in his place in the House of Commons, 
resolves severally to offer to crofters an undertaking to increase the size of their hold- 
ings as suitable opportunities offer, and where the crofters are in a position profitably 
to occupy and stock the same." 

II. "That this meeting further resolves to offer the crofters (i) To such as are 
not in arrears of rent, leases of 19 to 30 years, as may be arranged ; (2) Revised rents ; 
(3) Compensation for permanent improvements, regulated by a scale adapted to the 
nature and value of such improvements, and the duration of leases." 

III. " That while this meeting of landowners has by the foregoing resolutions 
recognised the propriety of complying as far as possible with the reasonable wishes of 
their crofters, it would respectfully remind her Majesty's Government of certain other 
recommendations of the Royal Commission which can only be dealt with by them, 
especially those which relate to the development of the fishing industry, to the ex- 
cessive burdens thrown upon ratepayers under the Education Act of 1872 ; and to the 
granting of assistance to those who may be anxious to emigrate. It desires therefore 
to express an earnest hope that these recommendations of the Royal Commission may 
receive the attention of her Majesty's Government." 



192 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 



THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. 

IMPORTANT SPEECHES BY LOCHIEL, M.P., SIR KENNETH 
MACKENZIE AND OTHERS. 



On Tuesday evening, the I3th of January, the thirteenth annual dinner of the 
Gaelic Society of Inverness was held in the Station Hotel. The attendance was the 
largest ever seen at the dinner of the Society. Lochiel, M.P., Chief of the Society, 
presided, and was supported on the right by Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Gairloch, 
Bart., Provost Macandrew, Rev. Dr Joass, Golspie, and Bailie Ross; and on the left 
by Mr Reginald Macleod of Macleod, Mr Lachlan Macdonald of Skaebost, and the 
Rev. A C. Macdonald. The croupiers were Mr Allan R. Mackenzie, yr. of Kintail, 
and Mr Munro-Ferguson of Novar, M.P. Among the general company were Major 
Grant, of Macdougall & Co.; Treasurer Jonathan Ross; Mr Gumming, Allanfearn; 
Dr F. M. Mackenzie ; Dr Macnee ; Mr Wm. Mackay, solicitor; Bailie Mackay ; Mr 
Machardy, chief-constable ; Dr Ailken ; Professor Heddle, St Andrews ; Mr Mac- 
gillivray, solicitor; Mr Macfarlane, Caledonian Hotel; Mr E. H. Macmillan, Cale- 
donian Bank ; Mr Maclean, factor for Ardross ; Mr Home, of H.M. Survey ; Mr T. 
G. Henderson, Highland Club Buildings ; Mr John Mackenzie, Greig Street ; Mi- 
Alex. Fraser, Balloch ; Mr H. Macdonald, Ballifeary; Dr Chapman ; Mr Mackintosh, 
Bank of Scotland ; Captain Munro of Fowlis ; Mr Chas. Macdonald, Knocknageal ; 
Mr Macbean, jeweller; Mr Alex. Maclennan, painter; Mr Macritchie, chemist; Mr 
Melven, bookseller ; Councillor D. Munro ; Mr Morrison, teacher, Dingwall ; Mr 
Ellison (Morel Brothers) ; Mr Begg, coal merchant ; Mr J. Mackay, solicitor ; Mr 
James Barron, Ness Bank ; Mr Macdonald, Druidaig ; Mr D. Campbell, Ballifeary ; 
Councillor W. G. Stuart ; Mr William Durie, H.M. Customs ; Mr John Mac- 
donald, Superintendent of Police ; Bailie Macbean ; Mr James Fraser, Mauld ; Mr 
Couper, Huntly Street; Captain Beamount, R.N.; Mr R. Fraser, contractor; Mr 
John Davidson, Inglis Street; Mr W. Gunn, draper; Mr G. J. Campbell, solicitor ; 
Mr John Macdonald, Exchange ; Mr Smart, drawing-master ; Mr Duncan Mactavish, 
High Street ; Mr John Cran, Kirkton ; Mr Hector Rose Mackenzie, Park House ; 
Mr Colin Chisholm, Namur Cottage; Mr Andrew Macritchie, solicitor; Mr Macraild, 
messenger-at-arms ; Mr Alex. Macbain, Raining's School ; Rev. A. C. Sutherland, 
Strathbraan ; Councillor Mackenzie, Silverwells ; Mr John Fraser, Mauld ; Rev. Mr 
Fraser, Erchless ; Mr Alex. Mackenzie, of the Celtic Magazine ; Mr P'rank Grant, 
solicitor; Mr J. B. Innes, Church Street; Mr John Forsyth, wine merchant; Mr 
Bethune. Seafield ; Mr Duncan Macdonald, Union Street; Councillor James Macbean; 
Mr John Simpson, Highland Railway ; Mr Fraser Campbell, draper ; Mr Roberts, 
C.E., Kingussie; Mr Alex. Fraser, jun., Commercial Bank Buildings; Mr Munro, 
insurance agent ; Mr Maclennan, factor, South Uist ; Mr John Whyte, librarian ; Mr 
Cameron, the Castle ; Mr Fraser, Ballifeary ; Mr A. Mactavish, of Messrs Mactavish 
and Mackintosh ; Mr D. Macrae, teacher, Alness ; Mr D. Fraser, solicitor ; Mr Mac- 
gregor, do.; Mr Gil landers, grocer ; Mr Macpherson, manager, Victoria Hotel; Mr 
D. Macpherson, coal merchant ; Mr George Hamilton, of Hamilton & Co. ; Mr Wm. 
Bain, of the Scotsman ; Mr Wm. Mackenzie, of the Aberdeen Free Press ; Mr D. K. 
Clark, of the Inverness Courier ; Messrs D. Nairne, and Alexander Ross, of the 
Chronicle ; Mr Mackenzie, of the Moray shire News. 

The Secretary intimated apologies from the following gentlemen : Mr Baillie of 
Dochfour ; Mr Charles Fraser- Mackintosh, M.P. ; Mr J. P. Grant, yr. of Rothie- 
murchus ; Rev. A. Bisset, Stratherrick ; Professor Mackinnon, Edinburgh ; Mr A. 
Mackintosh-Shaw, London ; Mr H. Morrison, Brechin ; Colonel Macpherson of 
Glentruim ; ex-Bailie Macdonald, Aberdeen; Mr Angus Mackintosh of Holme; Mr 
Alex. Macpherson, Kingussie; Mr D. Menzies, Blairich; Bailie Stewart, Dingwall; 
Mr P. Burgess, Drumnadrochit ; Rev. J. Macpherson, Lairg ; Mr Macrae, Ardin- 
toul ; Mr D. Cameron, late of Clunes, Nairn ; Dr Stratton, Devonport ; Mr Charles 
Innes, Inverness; Mr A. Burgess, Gairloch; Mr Simon Chisholm, do.; Rev. R. 
Morison, Kintail ; Mr Duncan Maclachlan, publisher, Edinburgh ; Mr D. R. Ross, 
Glen-Urquhart ; Mr Osgood H. Mackenzie, of Inverewe ; Mr John Mackay of Ben 
Reay ; and Mr Charles Fergusson, Cally, Kirkcudbright. 



THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. 193 

Lochiel, who was received with loud and continued cheering, having proposed 
the loyal toasts in choice and patriotic terms, as also " The Army, Navy, and Auxiliary 
Forces," for which Novar, M.P., Captain Beaumont, R.N., Captain Munro of Fowlis, 
and Colonel Macandrew replied, proposed " Success to the Gaelic Society of Inver- 
ness." Having referred in affecting terms to the recent lamented death of Cluny 
Macpherson, C.B., who, he said, would be mourned by the whole Highland people, 
and having stated he (Cluny) was the first Highland proprietor who joined the Gaelic 
Society, he adverted to the objects of the Society ; its non-political and non- 
sectarian character ; the good it has already done ; was doing ; and was expected 
to do in the future. Lochiel then proceeded 

This Society has one peculiarity ; it has never attempted and maybe it has 
had some temptation to take any part in political or religious controversy. (Hear, 
hear, and cheers.) If I on the present occasion depart to a certain extent from that 
practice, I feel, first of all, that the subject is only a semi-political one, and, next, 
that in the critical state of the times in the Highlands, not only is it not necessary that 
I should offer an apology for so doing, but I am rather inclined to think that if I 
abstain from alluding to the question of the crofters of the Highlands you will expect 
some apology from me for so doing. (Cheers.) Having then pointed out that the 
agitation has been a short one, and how it has received more prominent notice through the 
appointment of the Royal Commission, he continued But after the report of that 
Commission was issued, then I think we may say the troubles only began, because 
then the remedy had to be found. Now, gentlemen, what I want to take for my text 
to-night is this, "That the question is now ripe for settlement." I do not think that 
there is anyone who will deny that proposition. (Cheers.) But I am afraid there are 
some people who would appear to deny that this question is ripe for settlement, and I 
will tell you why. I have noticed and I read everything in the papers connected 
with this subject that at many of the meetings which have been held by what are 
called, and what I believe really are, the leaders of the crofters, the speeches there 
delivered have undoubtedly been of a more violent character than they were before the 
appointment of the Royal Commission. You would think from reading some of these 
speeches that there had been no agitation in the Highlands at all, that there had been 
no Royal Commission, that no debates had taken place in Parliament, that apathy 
reigned throughout the Highlands, and that the people wanted rousing from it. 
(Cheers.) I have read those speeches by the leaders of the crofters, and I cannot hide 
from myself that whether they may be called violent or not, the effect of them now 
must be not to accelerate, but to retard legislation ; and I consider that legisla- 
tion is the one thing that we want, and it is the one thing that ought to come soon. 
(Cheers.) I propose to-night to show you how this is the case. For any satisfactory 
solution of the crofter question there must, in my opinion, be three parties. You must 
have, as I have just mentioned, the Government and Parliament as one, and the first 
party ; you must have the co-operation of the proprietors on the other part, for without 
that the great demand of the crofters namely, that of extending their holdings 
would, I fear, be very difficult to attain ; and, third, you must have the sanction and 
the approbation of the crofters themselves, either expressed by themselves or through 
their recognised leaders. (Cheers.) Now, gentlemen, the Government are ready. 
(Cheers.) The Home Secretary has already declared that the Government are ready 
and willing to legislate. The proprietors, as the second partv, as you may have seen 
by the newspapers, have determined that they will make an attempt. It may succeed. 
I pray from the bottom of my heart that it may succeed. It may succeed, as I have 
said, or it may fail ; but at anyrate the proprietors will make an attempt an honest 
attempt to meet the complaints of their crofting tenants, to strengthen the hands of 
the Government, and, if possible, to bring about some satisfactory legislation on this 
grave and important question. (Loud cheers.) I want to ask you now this question: 
Have the leaders of the crofters shown any disposition as yet to meet the question ? 
Have they shown that in their opinion the question is ripe for solution ? Have 
they made any suggestion or any offer as to the mode in which the question may be 
settled? Well, 1 know that we can hardly take up a newspaper without reading 
over and over again what they say the crofters want, but I have never seen any 
indication on the part of the leaders of the crofters as to how the want can be met. 
On the contrary, many of these leaders seem to be at issue amongst themselves, and 
in some cases, I think, they recommend courses which, in my humble opinion, are 
absolutely fatal to the crofters themselves. I propose to refer to three points to 



194 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

which I wish to direct your special attention, and I wish to explain what I mean by 
the fatal courses which I think some of those people are taking. Now, there was a 
meeting of the Highland Land Law Reform Association of London a short time ago ; 
and in reading a report of the speeches delivered in the meeting, I find that Mr 
Duncan Cameron, who, I believe, is a candidate for the representation of this county, 
made use of the following expressions : -" Some landlords were willing to give land 
on condition that the Government would grant loans to the crofters to buy cattle. 
That was a matter for the taxpayers to consider, and it seemed very impudent on the 
part of the men who had impoverished the crofters." Gentlemen, that comes from 
Mr Duncan Cameron. I don't wish to say a word against Mr Duncan Cameron, and 
on this occasion less than any, because in meetings of this kind one does not 
wish to say anything against one's own kinsman (Laughter) but I think that Mr 
Duncan Cameron is a gentleman who requires some experience, and a little more 
knowledge of the crofters than he seems to possess, and I think that when he has 
completed his canvass in Skye, and in the other islands, he will find that the rejection 
of a proposal that the crofters should receive some State aid, which was recommended 
by Lord Napier, and by the whole of the Royal Commission, will find scant favour 
or support at the hands of his may-be future constituents. (Cheers.) But it is not so 
much what Mr Cameron said himself that attention may be directed to, as the recep- 
tion which his utterances met with in the meeting at which he spoke, and by the 
gentlemen who composed the meeting. That remark of Mr Cameron's was met with 
applause. Now, how was the meeting composed, and what did his sentiments mean? 
The meeting, I find, was composed of the recognised leaders of the crofters those 
who belong to the Highland Land Law Reform Association. There were present Dr 
Cameron, M.P. , Mr Macfarlane, M.P., Mr Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P. , and Mr 
Macpherson of Glendale. (A laugh.) Not one word of protest was uttered against 
what Mr Cameron had said by any of these gentlemen or the subsequent speakers. 
Now, what did it mean? It meant that the crofters were to be left to their own 
resources in stocking additional land, for fear that the landlords would be the 
gainers. It meant, if it meant anything, that no relief was to be given to the 
education rates which pressed so hardly upon the crofters, and that because thereby 
the landlords' pockets might be relieved. This is really what the sentiments I 
have quoted mean. But not only so ; if the loans are to be made by the State, how 
can Mr Cameron, and how can those members of the Highland Land Law Reform 
Association who applauded him how can they approve of a far more difficult matter 
namely, the spending of the unproductive money of the State in creating or improving 
harbours and piers for the development of the fisheries? Those State loans for the 
crofter population of the Highlands and Islands are subjects which we find it very hard 
to fight for. In urging that these matters should receive consideration, we have to 
fight the arguments of stern political economists, and their arguments are hard to 
answer ; and while we have to fight against tho^e arguments, it is surely hard that we 
should have to fight also against weapons forged in the armoury of our so-called 
friends. (Cheers. ) You must remember that this Association is the one, of all others, 
to which the crofters are invited to contribute their shillings, and of which they are 
invited to become members ; and if these sentiments the sentiments I have quoted 
express the true feelings of the crofters, then I say that there is very little hope that they 
will be raised from their position, tnat poverty which they are now in, or that they will 
in any way be raised to the condition which we all here would wish to see them occupy- 
ing. (Loud chetrs.) There is another point on which I think a mistake has been 
made, and it is in regard to a bill proposed to be introduced by Dr Cameron, called 
the Suspensory Bill. It is, I confess, difficult to understand why a bill should have 
been introduced into Parliament intended to suspend evictions except for the non-pay- 
ment of rent, when, so far as I can judge -and I have read every newspaper there 
are no evictions pending at all, from one end of the Highlands to the other, except 
those the summonses in which have been served for non-payment of rent, and which, 
accordingly, are excepted by the Suspensory Bill to which I have referred. But Mr 
Macfarlane the other day let the cat out of the bag, for he made a speech at Paisley in 
which he said that the real object of this bill was to endeavour to put off the time when 
remedial legislation for the crofters should be introduced. I happened to notice and 
I mention it in connection with this statement of Mr Macfarlane's a letter from the 
London correspondent of the Glasgoiv Mail, in which he very inaccurately describes a 
meeting of Tory lairds, of which my friend Novar was one (Laughter) and if he 



THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. 195 

meant the word Tory as a reproach, I did not feel it myself as such I happened, I 
said, to see a letter in which a correspondent describes this London meeting of High- 
land-proprietors as one intended to hurry to hustle, if I may say so through legisla- 
tion for the crofters, for fear that the Tory lairds, by postponement of such legislation, 
should get something worse than they would get now. Gentlemen, that correspondent's 
account is an absolutely inaccurate description of what took place. (Cheers.) In 
the first place, the meeting to which this correspondent refers was not summoned by 
Mr Balfour, as .he says. It was summoned by myself. A preliminary meeting was 
held at Mr Balfour's residence, but the real meeting was held at the Home Office ; 
and not one word was spoken by any of the lairds, Whig or Tory, except for the object, 
except for the sole endeavour of getting our brother proprietors to co-operate with us 
in doing something that might satisfy our crofter tenants. (Cheers.) We never had 
the faintest intention, we never uttered a word, of premature legislation for any fear 
such as that which was indicated in the letter of this correspondent. (Renewed 
cheers.) Well, gentlemen, I myself think that there are very strong objections to 
postponing legislation, but certainly not those which are suggested by Mr Macfarlane, 
or by the person to whom I have just alluded. Is there, I ask, anyone in this 
room who thinks that it is a good thing to postpone legislation that we are all 
ripe for? (Cheers.) Is there any one who thinks that it is a good thing to leave the 
Highlands in the present state of agitation ? Is there anyone here who thinks it is a 
good thing to still further embitter the feeling that exists in many parts of the country; 
that it is wise to give room for further provocations, for more marines and gunboats, 
for more newspaper correspondents and sensational accounts of interviews with all 
sorts "of people, to keep alive that spirit which, if it is allowed to go on, must embitter 
the feelings of the people, and render more and more difficult the task which is before 
us the great task of improving the condition of the mass of the Highland people 
(Cheers) is it, I again ask, wise to leave all these poor people in such a state that 
they cannot follow their ordinary vocations in such a state that they cannot fail to get 
worse and worse to encourage them, instead of attending to their ordinary vocations, 
to wander about on the hills blowing horns (Laughter) and doing other such like 
actions (Laughter) -and to keep up in this fashion agitation which four or five years 
ago they would not have thought of entering upon ? (Cheers.) Is it wise to allow all 
that to go on without once making an attempt to bring about a settlement of the great 
question as speedily as possible? (Cheers.) But there is yet a stronger objection to 
any delay in legislation. Do you think, gentlemen, that the Government are very 
anxious to find in those days money the money of the British taxpayer to build 
harbours or to stock lands in the Highlands ? No, they will be only too glad to catch 
at any straw that they may see in order to avoid this novel proposition, and if, then, 
the Government saw that the leaders, the recognised leaders of the crofters are hold- 
ing out the right hand of fellowship to the stern and practical political economists who 
will certainly oppose the proposed grants, will not the Government turn to us the 
few of us who are not stern political economists, but who wish to do what is right 
and reasonable by the people of the Highlands and refuse that aid ? The people of 
the Highlands, who have had to suffer the high rates under the Education Act, and 
who are at present living on lands which will not support them people also who are 
very poor are surely entitled to some degree of State aid ; entitled, I say, not to 
eleemosynary aid, but as a matter of justice aid not as gifts but as loans, aid to enable 
them to earn a livelihood. (Cheers.) Since, then, this is the case, how are we to 
fight their battle if the Government, the political economists, and the Radicals 
endeavour to stave off all legislation or to divide us on this question ? (Cheers.) And 
so it is with the other question. Do you suppose that a Government will undertake 
the decision of a difficult and delicate question such as this one which they would will- 
ingly shirk if they saw an opportunity of avoiding it ? Is there not in all this the risk 
that if legislation do not take place now, a measure, such as we all desire may be deferred 
till it is too late. The third point on which I think a mistake has been made is one which 
I am happy to say has not been made by the bulk of the leaders of the crofters. I 
allude to the recommendation to pay no rent. I am glad to see that my friend over 
there, Mr Mackenzie of the Celtic Magazine, who certainly is an enthusiastic crofter's 
friend, who goes a great deal further than I go I am glad to see that while he was 
strongly advocating the crofters' cause, he took the opportunity lately of denouncing this 
most fatal policy. (Applause.) Now, I am not standing here, gentlemen, to lecture the 
crofters. I am not to say here, therefore, that the policy of no-rent ia a dishonest policy. 



I 9 6 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Others may say so, but I have no right or wish to say so. But what I do say is that it 
is a fatal policy for the crofters themselves I say, and I suppose every one here will 
admit, that a crofter who is able to pay his rent, who has his money in his pocket and 
refuses to pay his rent, such a man is not very likely to go to the bank with his money, 
and keep his money in the bank until legislation shall have taken place. (Hear, 
hear.) He is certain to spend that money, and the money will be gone when the 
next term comes round. He will then find himself in the position of having two 
years' rent to pay, and only the amount of one year's rent to pay it with. (Hear, 
hear. ) If such a man imagines for a moment that the millstone of debt which has 
thus accumulated, and is hanging round his neck, is to be recovered by any such Act 
as was passed in the case of Ireland, I fear he will be deceived. The Irish Arrears 
Act was passed for a population steeped in poverty, whose arrears were of slow 
growth, and were not created by any sudden impulse. In the case of the Highland 
crofters Parliament will consider, and will consider carefully, before any such Act is 
passed for them. (Hear, hear.) Whence arose, Parliament will ask, this non-pay- 
ment of rent ? And if they find that in some districts of Skye, for instance, people 
equally poor, equally in difficulties, paid their rents up to the last shilling, while 
people in other districts, similarly situated, have ceased to pay, I fear that the crofter 
who depends upon an Arrears Act will find that he is depending upon a broken reed. 
Now these, gentlemen, are the three points upon which I think the leaders of the 
crofters are making grave and serious mistakes. I earnestly hope that, before long, 
the crofters themselves will have discovered through other influences, what is best for 
them to do. (Applause.) I have done what lies in my power, and I will still 
endeavour to do what I can, and use any influence I may possess, where it can be 
best exercised. (Applause.) But you. gentlemen, members of this Gaelic Society of 
Inverness, have, so far as the crofters are concerned, far greater influence with them 
than I can pretend to have. Many of you are known, some of you are well known as 
warm well-wishers of the crofters ; you have shown both by your acts and by your 
words how deeply you sympathise with their misfortunes, and how anxious and ready 
you are to relieve them, and to do what you can to improve their condition. Is it too 
much to ask the members of this Gaelic Society of Inverness that they will endeavour 
to the best of their ability to explain to these people how they can best find a solution 
for their difficulties, and especially how they can learn to distinguish between their 
true friends and their false friends ? I should like to look upon this Gaelic Society, 
not so much in the light of an association, as in the light of a brotherhood. (Ap- 
plause.) Why should we not be a sort of freemasonry of Highlanders, in which each 
member has pledged himself to do his best to aid his brother in difficulties ? (Ap- 
plause) - and in pledging this toast, I would ask each and all, as you raise your 
glasses to your lips, to come to the resolution, each within the sphere of his 
influence, and within the compass of his ability, to exert himself to the utmost 
to rescue his brethren from the influences of evil counsellors (Applause) and also to 
assist in removing the grievances under which they have so long suffered. (Applause.) 

Mr Fraser, Mauld, in a neat speech, proposed " The Members of Parliament 
for the North" to which 

Mr Munro-Ferguson of Novar, M.P., responded in a happy vein, humourously 
stating that the Highland representatives were a very contented body of men, be- 
cause at a time when so many- almost every body now including factors were demand- 
ing security of tenure and compensation, they submitted to summary eviction without 
even so much as receiving notice to quit. He would not allude to the question upon 
which Lochiel had dwelt so ably that evening, but he might say one word in support of 
his remarks as to the endeavours of certain Highland proprietors to do what they could 
in the way of obtaining beneficial legislation for their crofters. In fact, for the last 
twenty-four hours he (Novar) had spoken about nothing else with various proprietors, 
and to show how closely they had adhered to business, he had not heard the word 
" Emigration" once mentioned in the whole course of their discussions. (Applause.) 
The Highland representatives in Parliament, whatever views they might entertain 
individually upon the question, would, he thought, leave no stone unturned to promote 
in this matter the welfare of their Highland constituencies. (Applause.) 

Mr D. Campbell, of the Chronicle, proposed "The Language and Literature of 
the Gael," coupled with the name of Rev. A. C. Sutherland, one of their best students 
of Gaelic subjects, whose merits, he was glad to say, for Mr Sutherland's sake, and he 
regretted to say for themselves, were recognised by a distant colony, to which, per- 



THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. 197 

haps, he might migrate ; and with the name of Mr A. Mackenzie, who bulked so 
largely amongst them as to need no introduction. (Cheers.) What did the Society do 
for promoting the " Language and the Literature of the Gael ?" Something more, no 
doubt, than the kindred societies in the South, which bottled up their enthusiasm for a 
periodical champagne or soda water demonstration, but much less than they could. 
He felt pleased now that their language was not a dead body ready for philological dis- 
section, but the living medium of living thoughts. What had that and kindred societies 
done for Gaelic literature ? Very little. The cost of a few dinners and demonstrations 
would have given the Gaelic speaking people their own elevating and grand ballads, 
which were holier than the pernicious teaching, subversive of morals and society, 
which were being taught to them now in another language by outsiders. In Inverness 
large numbers, both young and old, spoke Gaelic and clung to it with affection, but in 
Inverness it was only taught in Raining's School. Was that right? He hoped that 
this and the kindred societies would take this question up. (Applause.) 

Rev. A. C. Sutherland, in his reply, said there were some things in the Chair- 
man's speech which, in his opinion, required modification, but, on the whole, he was 
pleased with its tone. There were two things he wished for Highland proprietors 
more Gaelic and more money. (Laughter and applause.) It was remarkable the 
changes time brought about. Fifteen or twenty years ago, they would have been 
laughed at had they talked so much about Gaelic and crofters as they had done that 
evening. When Burns had the honour of dining with Lord Glencairn, his gratification 
found vent in the words, "Up higher yet, my bonnet," but now-a-days if every 
crofter did not dine with a lord, they met these distinguished beings often enough, and 
yet they did not seem to be either very elated or very contented. (Laughter.) 

Mr Alexander Mackenzie, Editor of the Celtic Magazine, also replied, and in the 
course of his remarks said While I differ in many respects from the remarks made by 
Lochiel this evening, the speech just delivered by him is perhaps the most import- 
ant yet delivered in connection with the Land Question in the Highlands at any of our 
meetings (Hear, hear) and when looked at in connection with the meeting of pro- 
prietors called for to-morrow to consider the relationship of landlord and tenant in the 
Highlands, I rather think it will prove a turning-point in the history of the Highlands. 
(Cheers.) The other day a gentleman, who had been on intimate terms with O'Con- 
nell, told me that whenever that great orator found the newspapers omitting to abuse him 
the next morning after the delivery of a speech on the condition of his country, he always 
felt that he had done something wrong, and failed seriously in his duty. (Loud laugh- 
ter.) I must confess that I felt somewhat similarly when I found Lochiel referring to 
myself in such complimentary terms as he did on this occasion. (Renewed laughter.) 
But having mentioned my name as he did, and in such a connection, I am obliged to 
refer briefly to his remarks. (Cheers.) I am not, however, going to talk politics, for 
it is only big guns (Laughter) - who are allowed to do that here, and I am not a big 
gun. ("Oh ! oh !" and renewed laughter.) I am not surprised that Lochiel should 
make the reference he did to my opinion on the recently developed No- Rent policy in 
the Western Isles. That declaration is only one specimen of the good sense that I 
usually talk on this subject (Laughter) although I do not always get reported when 
I speak words of wisdom as he does. (Laughter.) I will, however, by-and-bye 
(Renewed laughter) but now that he has referred to it you will perhaps allow me to 
emphasise what I stated on that occasion, and say that the declaration of a No-Rent 
movement is in my opinion a great blunder on the part of the people. (Applause.) 
And I confess that Lochiel has made a good hit, from his point of view, in his reference 
to that subject and in relation to the Suspensory Bill to be introduced next session in 
the House of Commons. (Hear, hear.) Those who refuse to pay rent are only 
placing themselves in a position to call for eviction, and in the opinion of many, to some 
.extent justifying it, even if the bill passed into law ; and it appears to me that those 
who encourage them by appearing to sympathise with that movement, by hesitating to 
condemn it, are encouraging the crofters to place themselves in a false and dangerous 
position. (Hear, hear. ) No doubt many of them are quite unable at present to pay 
their rents, but they should say so, and when they cannot pay the whole, they should 
offer landlords a part, while they also gave a share to the merchant who has been keep- 
ing themselves and their families alive, and, if the landlord refuses to take what he 
can get in these circumstances, let him just go without. (Laughter and cheers.) The 
speech of Mr Duncan Cameron, Oban, so severely criticised by Lochiel, may have con- 
tained bad advice, but it was only the speech of a young man of limited knowledge 



i 9 S THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

and experience. (Hear, hear.) If he had my experience of the people born and 
brought up as I was on a small croft he would never have made such a foolish and 
short-sighted speech. (Hear, hear.) The people must get advances from Government 
on such security as they shall under new laws be able to offer. (Cheers.) Permit me 
also to say that I am decidedly against the plausible theory of Nationalisation of the 
Land so far as it would affect the Highlanders. ( Hear, hear. ) For the crofters, it would 
be simply jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Bad as many of the present land- 
lords are, Government would be infinitely worse; for those who have any dealings 
with Government officials in connection with the payment of taxes find that they 
are the most hard-hearted and exacting class one can have any dealings with ; 
and were the Highlanders to prefer the Government to their present proprietors, 
subject to a reformed system of land tenure, they would prove themselves the 
greatest fools in the world. (Hear, hear.) I would strongly urge upon them 
rather to insist upon getting security of tenure and full rights to their own improve- 
ments on the land, and then it will be time enough to consider the question of land 
nationalisation, which is, no doubt, a very attractive theory to those who have now no 
connection with land, but one which would prove suicidal to the Highland crofters 
(Cheers) in whom we are more especially interested. I was not a little amused by 
Novar's reference to the probable eviction of some of our Northern Members of Parlia- 
ment on an early date. (Laughter. ) I think I may say for him that when any attempt 
is made to remove him from his position, that he will make a very good fight to keep 
it (Cheers) but if any one suggested that the crofters should act in a similar manner 
against their evictors, I rather lear that neither Novar nor his friends would support 
them in their efforts. (Laughter.) It was complained by Lochiel that the leaders 
of the crofter agitation had never yet indicated the remedies they required from the 
Government or the proprietors. When we commenced this agitation a few years ago, 
not a single proprietor in the Highlands or elsewhere, and scarcely a newspaper in the 
country, would admit that any grievances existed which required remedies (Hear, 
hear) but Lochiel has to-night admitted the existence of these grievances to the full, 
not only for himself, but for all the Highland proprietors with whom he has been in 
such close communication for the last few days on the subject. In these circum- 
stances, it appears to me that the proprietors who are now confessedly responsible 
(Hear, hear) for what they themselves admit to be grievous wrongs, should make the 
first advance by declaring what amends they propose to make for the past (Cheers) 
and I do trust that Lochiel will be able to imbue his brother proprietors, at the im- 
portant meeting which takes place to-morrow, with his own spirit and opinions. (Ap- 
plause.) The proprietors of the North have not yet made one single step in that 
direction (Hear, hear) and until they do, the crofters or their representatives cannot 
fairly be expected to state their demands more distinctly than they have already dene 
(Hear, hear) but so soon as we hear what he and his landlord friends propose to 
do, depend upon it we shall not be behind (Cheers)- at least I speak for myself, though 
I am not a leader (Oh, and laughter) in declaring whether we think the people 
should be satisfied with what is offered to them or not. And if we think they 
ought not, we shall not fail to state, in unmistakeable terms, what we consider 
necessary in their interests. (Cheers.) It is a sign of the times that we should 
now be asked ; for a year or two ago we were not only not listened to, but 
laughed at. (Hear, hear.) Now, a few words on what I had alone intended 
to be the subject of my remarks this evening. Mr Campbell expressed himself 
to the effect that little was being done in the Celtic field. When I first proposed, at 
a meeting of the Inverness Literary Institute in November 1870, that a Gaelic Society 
should be formed in the Capital of the Highlands, no one could anticipate that 
considerably over one hundred volumes, many of them extensive and valuable, 
should be published by the members of such a Gaelic Society and their friends 
throughout the country on Celtic Literature and Highland history in fourteen 
years. (Applause.) You will probably be surprised to hear that a sum of over 
;6ooo passed through my own hands within the last few years in connection with 
this subject in a small town like Inverness (Cheers) and that no less than ^2400 
was paid by me for printing alone in the same short period, while I have received 
the sum of ^2500 as the result of works actually written by myself. (Loud applause.) 
Mr Campbell himself is doing good work in connection with this subject in the columns 
of the Chronicle (Hear, hear) in which we have two or three columns of excellent 
Celtic matter every week, and, diametrically opposed as I am to the political principles 



THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. 199 

of that paper, Mr Campbell compels me to read it by the excellence of his own 
contributions to it in connection with Celtic literature. (Cheers.) I have there- 
fore no sympathy with him and others when they say that no real work is being done 
in this field. (Blear, hear.) I now beg to thank you for the manner in which you 
have received these rambling remarks remarks which I had not the slightest intention 
of making when I entered the room and for connecting my name with this toast. 
(Loud cheers.) 

Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, who was warmly received, proposed "Highland Educa- 
tion," and after a few preliminary remarks, said Since you met here last year two 
official reports on Highland Education have been issued. Of the first of these, for 
which your Chairman and I must take a share of responsibility (Applause) I need 
only say whatever its merits or defects, it has served its purpose in directing the at- 
tention of the Scotch Education Department to the circumstances under which educa- 
tion in the Highlands has to be conducted, and in eliciting within the last few weeks 
the report by Dr Craik, one of the Department's most trusted officers. (Applause.) 
I have no doubt that that .report has been carefully read by all of you who are inter- 
ested in the education question, and I think it will be admitted by most who have 
done so that while there are passages here and there to which we might take excep- 
tion (such as that, for instance, where " the varieties of dialect " in Gaelic are cata- 
logued among the difficulties in the way of teaching it) it is, in the main, a fair and 
able, and in its conclusion a very satisfactory report. As regards the use of Gaelic in 
schools, it recommends just what this Society has always contended for, viz., that in 
Gaelic-speaking districts the teacher should have the power of interpreting to his 
pupil the lessons they learn in English, and that Gaelic literary knowledge should be 
paid for as a specific subject. (Applause.) Dr Craik further makes a proposal for in- 
creasing the supply of Gaelic-speaking teachers ; but, with the weakness of a man of 
office for a system, he declines to recommend provisions for attracting these teachers 
to Highland schools, because such attraction would have to consist in personal pay- 
ments, and not in that payment fof results to which the Education Department has 
pinned its faith. I myself share that faith, but every rule has its exception. There 
is no use in spending money in educating Gaelic teachers if they are to be employed 
in England. (Applause.) I think that all the schools where the School Boards and 
H.M. Inspectors consider a knowledge of Gaelic desirable in the teacher, should be 
scheduled, and a Gaelic-speaking teacher employed in one of them should be entitled 
to a personal payment of &io or 12 a-year. (Applause.) In reference to the use of 
Gaelic in Schools, this seems to me to be almost the only point left for this Society to 
press, unless it be that Gaelic-speaking Inspectors should have to do with the scheduled 
schools. The question of secondary education is of immense importance for the High- 
lands, and it is dealt with very sensibly by Dr Craik. He points out how, in the 
present state of communications, it is almost as easy, if a child in the Islands has to be 
boarded away from home, to send it to Inverness or Glasgow, as to Stornoway or 
Portree, and instead, therefore, of proposing to establish a few secondary schools 
at wide intervals, he suggests the grading of schools under each School Board. 
A higher salary being given to the principal teacher at a central school, with 
some more assistance for elementary work, there would be in each parish an 
accomplished teacher with time at his disposal to teach the higher branches. I 
may mention that in the parish of Ferrintosh we have to some extent adopted 
this system, and its merits do not seem to be appreciated by the people. For 
my own part, I am strongly in favour of Dr Craik's plan for facilitating secondary 
education a plan which, after all, is but a development of our old Scottish Parochial 
system. One of the points on which the Royal Commission dwelt most strongly was 
the burden imposed by the education rate, especially in the islands. That burden 
was so extraordinary that extraordinary measures seemed required to meet it. The 
information we received, however, does not seem always to have been understood cor- 
rectly by us, and Dr Craik makes out that the high education rate in the Lewis is due 
very much to the non-attendance of the children at school, and to their failure to earn 
the grant which might be gained under the existing Code. With a reasonably good 
attendance, he held that the average education rate of the Lewis might be reduced 
from 2s. 2id. to gd. in the . Now, I confess, I should have doubted the accuracy 
of this computation were it not that in the evidence taken before the Royal Commis- 
sioners at Barvas (where the school rate was at one time as high as 6s. 8d., and at the 
time in question was 35. 8d. in the }, the Rev. Mr Strachan stated that he had made 

O 



200 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

minute calculations in connection with this point, and had found that there (in the most 
heavily burdened parish in Scotland) a good attendance would secure a grant which, 
supplemented by that under Lochiel's 7s. 6d. clause, would leave the rate at about 
is. in the a heavy, but not an intolerable burden. Whether these calculations 
are absolutely correct or not, they bring before us, in an emphatic way, the irregularity 
of school attendance in the west. It is the bane of the teachers there, and it is the 
greatest hindrance to the progress of education. It must, indeed, be admitted that 
there are excuses, more valid than can be offered elsewhere, for irregularity of attend- 
ance in the Lewis and the other islands and coasts of the north-west of Scotland. 
(Hear, hear.) The weather is often rude and boisterous, and the schools are fre- 
quently not connected by roads with the surrounding townships. But these are not 
new difficulties. The schools are more numerous and more accessible than they were 
when I was young, and the children are certainly better clad, and, I believe, better 
fed, and therefore fully as well able to resist the weather ; and in the days I speak of, 
greater difficulties than beset school attendance now were overcome by those who had 
ambition and energy, and whose parents saw the value of education. Unfortunately, 
it is just where education is most required that it is least valued, and there it is most 
difficult to inspire parents with any hearty desire for the education of their children. 
If not actually opposed to it, they are careless about it, and indifferent to it ; and 
while this state of feeling prevails among them, little faith need be placed in the 
power of any compulsory system to improve school attendance in the Lewis, or any- 
where else. (Hear, hear.) This feeling of indifference has to be met and combated 
and overcome ; and here there is a grand field for the efforts of all who have the op- 
portunity of exerting themselves in it. The objects with which this Society was 
founded included "The furtherance of the social and material interests of the Gaelic 
people." I know of no way in which this can be more effectually done than by seeing 
that the children get good schooling. (Applause.) I trust that they are in a fail- 
way of getting this, but in pledging the cause of Highland education, as we are about 
to do, we must regard the pledge as no mere idle one, but as entailing action, when 
required, on us all. It is in that spirit that I offer you the toast, and beg of you to 
join heartily in drinking Success to Highland Education. (Loud cheers.) 

Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A., Rector of Raining's School, in responding, cordially 
concurred with Sir Kenneth's praises of Dr Craik's report. The pupil-teacher system 
would wed the Highland people to the Education Act, for it would open a source 
of enployment for their sons and daughters. The idea of giving a personal grant to 
Gaelic-speaking teachers was an excellent one. He thought the building debt should 
be cancelled, and the Lochiel clause raised 2s. 6d., while the benefits of the change 
must not be restricted to the insular parts of the Highlands. (Applause.) 

Mr William Morrison, M.A., Dingwall Academy, whose name was also associated 
with the toast, said that he anticipated from the prominence the subject of Highland 
education has received at this crisis in the history of the North, that their legislators 
would give effect to the recommendations of men who had made that subject one of 
careful and intelligent study, and so would hasten the operation of an agency which, 
of all human means, was most calculated to promote the best interests of a noble 
people. (Cheers.) 

Mr Allan R. Mackenzie, younger of Kintail, in proposing "The Commercial and 
Agricultural Interests of the Highlands," said that he for one was convinced, from his 
experience of farmers, that it was the smaller occupiers of land who could and who did pay 
their rents with greater ease than their larger neighbours, and he was certain that it would 
be a great advantage to the country if there were more of these small farms. (Cheers.) 

Provost Macandrew, in reply, referred briefly to the recent proceedings in Skye, 
and expressed the hope that everyone who had any influence with the crofters would 
endeavour to persuade them that nothing would be done for them, and that they would 
lose the sympathy of every right-minded person, so long as they acted in open defiance 
of the law. They were all accustomed to be proud of the Highlanders. When they 
defied the law for the sake of an idea of the restoration of a Prince, and came out like 
men to fight against great odds, their conduct and loyalty evoked admiration ; but 
when the descendants of these chivalrous people turned out in hundreds to beat a poor, 
defenceless sheriff officer, who could offer no resistance, he actually felt ashamed of 
his fellow-countrymen. He was also ashamed to find that at some meetings held in 
Edinburgh and London, these things were made light of, and hoped the voice of the 
Gaelic Society would go forth strongly reprobating such actions. (Applause.) 



THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS. 201 

Dr F. M. Mackenzie, in proposing the toast of "Kindred Societies," said it 
would be interesting to know how it was that such a small community as the High- 
landers of Scotland, living in such a rugged country, had produced so many societies 
all over the world. (Applause.) He thought there were at least two things which 
conduced to that state of matters very strong love of country and the patriotism of 
Highlanders, as well as their very strong love of migrating all over the world. 

Bailie Alex. Ross responded in suitable terms. 

Mr Colin Chisholm proposed "The Non-Resident Members." Speaking for the 
most part in Gaelic, and having expatiated on their attachment to the old country, he 
called them the backbone of the Gaelic Society. In a few pointed sentences he took 
occasion to deplore that the greater part of the Highland proprietors were unable to 
speak to their tenants in the language best calculated to touch their hearts. (Hear 
hear.) If they were only able to speak Gaelic, in his opinion there would be no 
grievances to complain of between proprietors and crofters. (Cheers.) Strange as 
this might appear, during the inquiry by the Royal Commission there were very few 
complaints brought against landlords who were able to speak to their people in their 
own language. (Cheers.) He was happy to hear from Lochiel that a move was 
about to take place among the proprietors with the view of bettering the condition of 
their crofters and cottars. This ought to have been done long ago. (Hear, hear.) 
We all knew that the proprietors, their fathers, and predecessors were altogether in- 
strumental, though often out of sight behind their factors or law agents, in depopu- 
lating the Highlands, and turning the country into the barren, cheerless, and 
inhospitable deserts that they now were. (Applause.) 

Mr Lachlan Macdonald of Skaebost, in acknowledging the toast, said Mr Alex- 
ander Mackenzie, of the Celtic Magazine, at an earlier part of the meeting, had asked 
proprietors to say what they were going to do. He was not going to disclose what 
the proprietors intended doing, but if he interpreted the sentiment he had heard ex- 
pressed within the last few days by many influential proprietors, he ventured to 
prophesy that on Wednesday peace would be restored to the Highlands (Cheers) 
and that the members of the Land Law Reform Association might henceforth turn 
their attention to some other occupation. (Cheers.) Alluding to the remarks of 
Provost Macandrew as to the conduct of the people of Skye in turning back the sheriff- 
officers, he said, while he did not entirely uphold the people, he could not condemn 
them. He thought it was most injudicious to send these sheriff-officers in the way they 
were sent (Hear, hear) because the very presence of a sheriff-officer imbued in the 
minds of these poor people the thought that some of their ancestors had been driven 
from their home by those the officers represented. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) 

Mr Reginald Macleod, whose name was also coupled with the toast, said it had 
been stated that they ought not to go a-begging to the Home Secretary or Parliament 
for money for crofters in the Highlands. Mr Macleod detested as much as anyone the 
system of begging on behalf of the crofters, but he thought that when they went to 
Parliament and said to them that the landlords of the Highlands were ready to do all 
that they possibly could for their people in the way of giving more land, provided 
Government would do as they had done in other places grant money for the making 
of breakwaters or harbours, and thus enable them to make use of these, he thought 
this was not begging, but making a legitimate appeal for assistance for people who were 
in a peculiar state of distress and difficulty. (Applause.) 

Mr Barron, Ness Bank, gave "The Provost and Magistrates," and the toast was 
responded to by Bailie Macbean. 

Mr William Mackay proposed "The Clergy of all Denominations," and in the 
course of his remarks, said that it would be unpardonable were the Gaelic Society to 
ignore a profession which nourished such workers in the Celtic field as the Dean of 
Lismore, the Rev. Robert Kirke, the Rev. A. Pope, the Stewarts, Dr Irvine, Dr 
John Smith, Dr Macpherson of Sleat, and Dr Norman Macleod the elder not to 
mention the eminent Celtic scholars who at the present moment flourish within the 
sacred pale. (Applause.) The Highland clergy of the past did good too often in 
spite of the greatest discouragements, and when we considered the difficulties they had 
to contend with, and the discomforts they had to endure, we could not but marvel at 
the great work done by them among the people, and the zeal and success with which 
many of them kept themselves abreast of their times in literature and general culture. 
(Applause.) For instance, in 1649, the Rev. Farquhar Macrae of Kintail a power- 
ful preacher, whom Bishop Maxwell pronounced " a man of great gifts, but unfortu- 



202 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

nately lost in the Highlands" had neither manse nor glebe ; his church was a mere 
hovel, with holes through the thatched roof, and without glass in the windows; and 
it was adorned with neither pulpit nor desks, with neither stool of repentence nor 
sackcloth to cover the penitent. Notwithstanding these drawbacks the worthy pastor 
earnestly served the parish for 44 years; and he not only passed rich on 8. 6s. 8d 
a .year (Laughter) and a free farm, worth ^25 a year, but he was able to give a 
good education to a large family, two of whom adopted his own profession. The 
churches in which these clergy of the past preached must have been horrible places. 
In 1684 the minister of Boleskine complained "that all persons of all ranks indiffer- 
ently buried their dead within his church, not only his own parishioners but some 
others of the neighbouring parishes, so that several coffins were hardly under ground ;" 
and as late as 1758 the Rev. Aulay Macaulay, great grandfather of Lord Macaulay, 
was at his own request buried within his church in Harris, and so near the surface was 
the body placed that, twenty years later, the sexton's besom came in contact with the 
head and sent it spinning over the earthen floor. (Laughter.) 

The Rev. A. C. Macdonald replied. Considering the present disturbed state of 
the country, there never was a time, he said, when it was more necessary that the 
press and the pulpit should exercise a healthful influence upon the public mind. He 
regretted the attitude taken up by certain clergymen in this country -an attitude far 
from Christian, if not altogether inconsistent (" Oh, oh") with their vocation. It 
was lamentable to see gentlemen, whether lay or cleric, stooping to be wild agitators 
in the present disturbed state of the country, when the great difficulty the nation ex- 
perienced was to suppress agitation (" Oh ") and to keep it within proper limits. He 
fully admitted the necessity of agitation for reform, when carried on constitutionally, but 
it was a most cruel thing on the part of ministers connected with powerful churches to 
encourage the people to an agitation which, in the absence of proper guidance, was 
sure to resolve itself into lawlessness and disorder and this cruelty was enhanced 
by the fact that when the people carried their agitation beyond legitimate bounds they 
were abandoned by those who incited them to that extreme, and left to battle with 
and get out of their difficulties the best way they could. (*' Oh, oh.") He felt the 
deepest interest in, and sympathy for, these people, and his only fear was that they 
should alienate themselves from the sympathy of all right minded men. This must 
be the result if they took up an untenable position and continued to accept the guid- 
ance of outside agitators of the wildest revolutionary and socialistic type (Uproar) 
whose object was to destroy all existing institutions, both civil and sacred, and con- 
stitute themselves leaders and rulers men who had no real sympathy with the people, 
and would not lift their little finger to help or relieve them. (Cries of " Bosh," 
" Undiluted bosh," and other signs of disapproval, among which the reverend 
gentleman resumed his seat. ) 

Mr E. H. Macmillan, Manager of the Caledonian Bank, in proposing "The 
Health of the Chairman," said that Lochiel, as they all knew, worthily followed the 
traditions of his house. (Applause.) In the scroll of fame few names were more 
frequently and more honourably inscribed than that of Cameron, and although 
Lochiel had not been called on to lead his clansmen amid the turmoil of battle, he had 
the satisfaction of knowing that peace has its victories, no less renowned than war 
(Applause) and that he enjoyed the reputation of being a kind and considerate land- 
lord to his tenantry, not by occupancy merely, but by the bonds of Chiefship (Hear, 
hear, and applause) and that to an extent of which few Highland estates could boast. 
(Applause.) If anything was wanting to enhance their admiration of Lochiel's atti- 
tude in this most difficult crisis, it had been supplied by the speech to which they had 
been privileged to listen that evening. (Loud applause. ) 

The Chairman, having replied, proposed "The Health of the Secretary," who 
duly responded, when Mr G. J. Campbell gave the toast of "The Croupiers," 
and both these gentlemen replied. 

During the evening several songs were sung, and Pipe-Major Mackenzie, 3rd 
Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, contributed very much to the evening's enjoyment by 
admirable selections on the bag-pipes. 



PROFESSOR BLACKIE'S " THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDERS AND THE LAND LAWS' 
received. It will be noticed at length in an early issue. 



THE 

CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A., Scot. 
No. CXIII. MARCH 1885. VOL. X. 

TERRORISM IN SKYR 
SHERIFF IVORY'S LATEST FOLLY. 



GLENDALE in the west of Skye, and Valtos in the north of the 
same Island, have again been honoured with special police and 
military expeditions, headed by the Sheriff of the County of 
Inverness Mr William Ivory. Judging from what has taken 
place within the past few months, that gentleman would appear 
to be very fond of figuring at the head of military expeditions in 
the County which has the misfortune to be subject to his juris- 
diction. For a long time the Home Secretary wisely refused to 
sanction the employment of an armed force in the Island of 
Skye, but latterly the representations of the Police Sub-Com- 
mittee of the County of Inverness (a body which consists of 
three or four individuals, one of them being Mr William 
Ivory), induced Sir William Harcourt to sanction the employ- 
ment of a force of marines in aid of the police of Skye ; and now 
it seems as if this force could not be too frequently used to 
gratify what seems to be the vanity of the Sheriff of the 
County. Why that gentleman should insist on insulting the 
people under his jurisdiction, and holding the County of Inver- 
ness, or detached parts of it, up to the world as lawless and dis- 
orderly, unless it be from a diseased craving after notoriety and 
sham importance, it is impossible to say. It is, however, be- 
coming a serious question for the public, and a particularly 

p 



204 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

serious one for the ratepayers of the County of Inverness, who 
are being put to thousands of pounds of absolutely unnecessary 
expense to gratify the ever-changing whims of this eccentric 
judicial officer. 

This latest expedition to Skye is, if possible, even more un- 
necessary than the one which preceded it. To take the case of 
Valtos first. The crime with which the Valtos men are said to 
be charged, is that of preventing a sheriff-officer executing his 
duty in the month of December last. If this charge is well- 
founded, it is no doubt a serious one; but, in other parts of the 
County persons charged with the crime of deforcement are 
apprehended and brought to trial in the same way as persons 
charged with other offences A police constable is sent to 
apprehend them, and they are brought before a judge, tried, arjd 
sentenced, without any unnecessary fuss. Why was this not 
done in Valtos? Police officers were stationed there in Decem- 
ber last, and have been stationed there since, and nobody has 
ever heard that the ordinary police of the district were in any 
way interfered with in the performance of their duties. It is 
only when the landlords, at whose hands the people have suffered 
enough already, persist in insulting them by thrusting among 
them an additional and unnecessary force of police, that even the 
police are interfered with. But if something more than a mere 
police force was required to vindicate the law in Valtos, there 
has been a force of marines stationed at Staffin, in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Valtos, ever since the offence charged was 
committed, and for some time before it. The services of these 
men have never been required in any more serious duty than 
mounting sentry over the house where they are quartered ; but 
if the police of the district were unable to cope with the crime 
of the district, it was surely very obvious that the marines, al- 
ready on the spot, might be used to protect and assist them. 
This was far too simple a method, however, of dealing with 
an offence committed by crofters in the Isle of Skye. To 
dispose of the offence in this way would never sufficiently call 
the attention of the country to the fact that Skye was lawless 
and dangerous. A military expedition was therefore sent with 
a special and strong force of police to arrest the six men who 
were wanted by the authorities. 



TERRORISM IN SKYE. 205 

The case of Glendale is, in a manner, worse. A finer body 
of men than the Glendale people does not exist in the Island of 
Skye. In December last, a sheriff-officer, named Grant, from In-' 
verness, went to Glendale to serve summonses. Grant himself, 
the people say, would have been permitted to go on his way un- 
molested, but he had the misfortune to have with him as a con- 
current, a man belonging to the district, who had given the people 
some cause of offence, and whom they have had, they say, just 
cause to dislike for many years past Mr Grant was also accom- 
panied by a big and savage-looking dog, which, in no way, tended 
to conciliate the people among whom he went, on an unpopular er- 
rand a people who were already irritated by the presence among 
them of a garrison of marines, and a force of police. In course of 
his journey through the Glen, the story of the people is, that Mr 
Grant got into a verbal altercation with some boys ; this led to 
the gathering of a crowd, which, formed of an excited people 
with what they believed just cause of resentment against his 
companion apparently frightened Mr Grant and he left the glen. 
What amount of violence, if any, was used to him and his com- 
panion, it is impossible to say until the trial brings it to light. 
Mr Grant's story and that of the people are entirely at variance 
on this subject. If Mr Grant's story is true, a criminal offence 
was committed, and if a criminal offence had been committed, 
the criminals were liable to arrest. There was a force of police 
and military in the glen who might have made the necessary 
arrest, but this method was not attempted. A still simpler 
method, it is no secret, was suggested, both to the Lord Advocate 
and to Sheriff Ivory, by the authorities in Portree, namely, that 
a single police officer should be sent to arrest the people charged, 
and to bring them to Portree, and it was stated, by the authori- 
ties at Portree, who have, and have had, the best opportunities 
for knowing the temper of the people they have to deal with, 
that all the arrests could have been made by a single police officer, 
though not by a larger number. This would, however, be letting 
the people of Glendale off far too easily, and it would besides be 
losing Mr Sheriff Ivory an opportunity, which might not recur 
again, for marching through Skye at the head of a force of 
marines an amusement which he seems to enjoy. 

None of the ordinary methods of enforcing the law having 



206 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

commended themselves to its administrators, the people of Glen- 
dale themselves came forward to prevent the country being 
misled as to their character and disposition. At a meeting held 
at Glendale the day before the expedition landed at Colbost 
Bay, and when it was believed by the people that the expedition 
was still some days off, Messrs Alexander Mackenzie and Kenneth 
Macdonald, who were present at the meeting, were asked to 
inform the Home Secretary that the expedition was unneces- 
sary, that no attempt had been made to carry out the ordinary 
course of law, and that any persons wanted by the authorities, pro- 
vided their names were made known, would go at once to Portree 
or Inverness, and give themselves up. That night a telegram was 
sent to the Home Secretary, intimating the opinion and resolu- 
tion of the people, and undertaking that the alleged offenders 
would give themselves up. The telegram was repeated to the 
Sheriff Clerk of the County for the information of the Sheriff, 
and also to Mr Eraser-Mackintosh, M.P., in order that he might 
communicate with the Home Secretary on the subject. Within 
a few hours after these telegrams were sent away from Dun- 
vegan, the " Lochiel," with a body of police on board, (the troop- 
ship " Assistance " with a force of marines having preceeded her), 
steamed into Loch-Dunvegan, and early on the following morn- 
ing the expedition landed, and arrested six men and boys. On 
the same day Messrs Mackenzie and Macdonald wrote the follow- 
ing letter to the Home Secretary, confirming their telegram: 

" PORTREE HOTEL, SKYE, 29th January 1885. 
" The Right Honourable Sir William Vernon Harcourt, Secretary 
of State for the Home Department, Whitehall, London, S. W. 

" SIR, We had occasion to be in Glendale yesterday in 
connection with the Parliamentary representation of the County 
of Inverness, when a very large meeting of the people of the 
district united in asking us to communicate with you on the sub- 
ject of a proposed police and military expedition to Glendale, 
having for its object the arrest of certain persons charged, it is 
understood, with the crime of deforcement. The people stated 
that there was no necessity for an expedition to arrest any of 
their number, because any of them who were wanted by the 
authorities would, if their names were communicated, go to Port- 
ree or to Inverness, and surrender themselves there. We accord- 
ingly, on our arrival in Dunvegan last night, sent you a telegram 



TERRORISM IX SKYE. 20; 

in the following terms : ' From Alexander Mackenzie, editor of 
the Celtic Magazine, and Kenneth Macdonald, solicitor, Inverness, 
Dunvegan, to the Right Hon. Sir William Vernon Harcourt, Home 
Office, Whitehall, London. The people of Glendale have been 
informed that a police and military expedition is in preparation 
to arrest some of their number on a criminal charge. We were 
authorised, at a large public meeting held in Glendale to-day, to 
say to you and the criminal authorities ist, That none of the 
people have been asked to give themselves up; and, 2nd, That if 
the criminal authorities name the persons wanted, they will go 
voluntarily to Portree or Inverness and give themselves up. 
We undertake this on their behalf. No expedition is there- 
fore necessary, and to send one would cause needless irrita- 
tion.' We also telegraphed to the Sheriff-Clerk of the County 
repeating the telegram for the information of the Sheriff. It 
was too late last night to write you from Dunvegan confirm- 
ing the telegram, and this letter follows by the first possible 
mail for London. Since we telegraphed you, however, we have 
learned that early next morning, within about twelve hours of 
the transmission of our telegram, a force of marines and police 
landed in Glendale, and arrested six persons, all of whom, we 
believe, were parties to the resolutions transmitted to you last 
night. In the circumstances, it is almost needless to do more 
than confirm our telegram. We may add, however, that we are 
satisfied that had a single police constable been sent to Glendale, 
he could have arrested everyone of the persons in the district 
required by the authorities, and brought them to Portree. It 
seems, therefore, a pity that it should have been thought neces- 
sary to send such an expedition against a peaceable and well- 
disposed community; and they themselves complain, with appar- 
ent justice, that an exceptional method has been adopted for 
enforcing the law amongst them, without any attempt being 
made to enforce it in the ordinary way. We are, sir, your most 
obedient servants, 

(Signed) U A. MACKENZIE. 

" KENNETH MACDONALD." 

Of course, as things turned out, the telegram was too late 
to stop the expedition, but it was not too late to show that the 
expedition was unnecessary and foolish. 

The dignity of the law in the largest county in Scotland is 
in danger of being sacriaced, by such proceedings as we have 
criticised, to the vanity and the supposed dignity of the chief 
judicial officer of the county, and the public interest requires 
that in such circumstances we should not make use of uncertain 
language or honeyed phrases. 



208 



THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 



The County of Inverness, so long as its affairs are managed 
by a close conclave of lawyers, landlords, and factors, may submit to 
the payment of the cost of periodical excursions by Mr Sheriff 
Ivory and his " tail," in specially hired steamboats on the West 
Coast; but the amusement is a dangerous as well as an expensive 
one, and those who are responsible for this second excursion of the 
chief judicial officer of the County of Inverness to the Island of 
Skye, may, and probably will, find ere long that, of all possible 
methods of pacifying Skye, the attempt to accomplish this by 
terrorism is the most suicidal. 



DEATH OF CLUNY MACPHERSON, C.B. 



WE regret to have to record the death of Colonel Cluny Mac- 
pherson, C.B., in his 8ist year, on the I ith of January last. He 
was universally allowed, taking him altogether, to be the most 
popular Highland chief, and deservedly so, of his time. He 
succeeded to the property in 1817, and, at his death, was longer 
in possession of his estates than any of his contemporary chiefs in 
the Highlands. A biographical sketch of him appeared in No. 
XXX., Vol. IV., of the Celtic Magazine, and it is therefore unne- 
cessary to give any lengthened notice of him here. It may, how- 
ever, be safely stated that in his person disappeared "The Last of 
the Chiefs," in the sense in which that designation has been ap- 
plied and understood in Highland clan history ; for the commer- 
cial system, and the doctrines of so-called political economy, have 
turned the great majority of our so-called Highland chiefs into 
mere land merchants. His funeral, which was a truly Highland 
one, was attended by nearly all the proprietors and representative 
men in the North, and the Highland Capital, of which Cluny was 
a Burgess, was represented by the Provost, Magistrates, and Town 
Council in their official capacity. 



The second part of " The Celtic Lyre," a neat and interest- 
ing collection of Highland music and songs, compiled by "Fionn" 
(Mr Henry Whyte, Glasgow) has just been issued. The pub- 
lishers are Messrs Maclachlan & Stewart. 



OLD INVERNESS. 



III. 

THE erection of the present High Church, which took two years to 
build, was commenced in 1770. During the excavations made prior 
to its erection, the workmen came upon a strange find. Upon 
opening an old tomb, which was discovered upon the site, 
a female arm, with flesh and nails entire, and covered from the 
second joint of the fingers to the elbow with a white glove, was 
found among a heap of rubbish. The relic was an object of much 
speculation among the town's people, who assigned various 
reasons for its strange preservation, but the mystery was never 
satisfactorily cleared up. 

The High Church bell-ringer, Lody Ross, was a very eccen- 
tric character, and particularly fond of his glass, when he got it 
for nothing. He used to rise pretty early in the morning and 
parade the town, on the lookout for some friend to stand treat. 
Several humorously inclined people used to take advantage of 
his failing for liquor, and on his coming out of a public-house, 
one of them would say to him, " Well, Lody, did you get your 
morning to-day." The reply was invariably, "Time enough, time 
enough ; we got and we'll get, we got and we'll get." Upon this 
Lody would be treated to a glass, and, on his coming out, the same 
dialogue would take place with somebody else, and with the same 
result. In the course of two or three hours the drouthy bell- 
ringer would be in a maudlin condition, requiring to be helped 
home. He had two manifestations of a supernatural kind dur- 
ing his lifetime. The first occurred one night when going to 
ring the ten o'clock bell. On entering the steeple of the High 
Church he distinctly heard a voice, accompanied by music, sing- 
ing the 1 9th verse of the i i8th Psalm : 

" O set ye open unto me 
The gates of righteousness; 
Then will I enter into them, 
And I the Lord will bless." 

Finding the church to be empty, and being aware that the 
minister, the Rev. Mr Mackenzie, was unwell, Lody quickly 
repaired to that gentleman's house in Bridge Street, when he 
found that he was just on the point of death. 



210 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

The next occurrence of this kind had a serious effect upon 
the bell-ringer himself. On a dark winter morning, when 
performing his customary duty in the steeple, some practical 
jokers concealed themselves behind a tombstone, and on his com- 
ing out, one of them said in a solemn sepulchral voice, " Lody 
Ross, that rings the bell, prepare for death ! " These words put 
him in the greatest terror, and he took to his heels at once. 
Rushing into his house, he jumped into bed, and covered his 
head with the clothes, firmly believing that the ghost was pursu- 
ing him; and the unfeeling joke had such an effect upon his mind 
that he died soon after, although assured by his friends of its 
harmless intention. 

Allusion has already been made to the belief in witch- 
craft in Inverness. A few years prior to 1745, two sisters, 
upon whom the suspicion of dabbling in the black art had fallen, 
were tortured and burnt to death on Barn Hill. These poor 
women, one of whom was known as the " Creibh Mhor," lived 
in a bothy at Millburn. One day, it is said, some children who 
were playing by the side of the burn noticed a little clay figure, 
stuck all over with pins, among the pebbles in the bed of the 
stream. The children took the figure out of the water, and one 
of them, a grandchild of the " Creibh Mhor," remarked that she 
had often seen her granny make such things. This remark, and 
the circumstance of the effigy being found, got abroad, and were 
thought sufficient grounds for the apprehension of the " Creibh 
Mhor" on a charge of witchcraft. The application of torture 
failed to extract any confession from the unfortunate woman, 
but her sister was not of so strong a mould, and, to get relief 
from her torments, the latter declared that both she and the 
" Creibh Mhor" were guilty of what was charged against them, 
and that the figure was meant to represent Cuthbert of Castle 
Hill. The two women were at once sentenced to death, and a 
stake erected upon Barn Hill. The "Creibh Mhor" was the 
first to suffer, her sister being compelled to witness the appalling 
spectacle before being burnt herself. The last words of " Creibh 
Mhor's " sister were, " Well, well ; if I thought it would have 
come to this, there would have been many who wore scarlet 
cloaks here to-day ! All I now say is, that a Cuthbert never 
will comb a grey hair at Drakies, and as for you, Bailie David, 
all I can say is, that you will never sell another article from your 



OLD INVERNESS. 211 

shop." If we believe tradition, these prophecies were literally 
fulfilled. 

In 1763, there was but one baker in the town, and he was 
sent to Edinburgh at the public expense to improve in his trade. 
A white and coloured thread factory was established in Invei- 
ness in 1783, which at one time gave employment to a thousand 
men, women, and children ; but it was discontinued in 1813, and 
the buildings, in Albert Place, converted into dwelling-houses. 
There was also a hemp factory, at Cromwell's Fort, which em- 
ployed a thousand workers. The first chaise kept for hire in the 
town made its appearance about 1760, being the property of Mr 
Duncan Robertson, farmer, Beauly. His stable was in an old 
barn behind the West Church, called Sabhal Daraich, or the 
oak barn, which was said to have been erected by the fairies of 
Tomnahurich in one night. 

In 1779, at the time of the Circuit Court, the Judge, Lord 
Gardenstone, lodged in a house which stood upon the site of the 
present Northern Meeting Rooms. During the night the house 
took fire, and the Judge was in imminent peril, when the cook 
burst into his chamber, rolled the majesty of the law in the bed- 
clothes, and bore him safely into the street, at the risk of her 
own life, for which she was afterwards pensioned for life. All 
his Lordship's clothes were destroyed, and as the fire happened 
on a Saturday night, a tailor had to be employed all Sunday to 
make new ones. 

The old Tol booth in Bridge Street was demolished about 
1791. It consisted only of two small cells for criminals, and one 
miserable room for civil debtors, none of these apartments being 
over thirteen feet square. At times as many as thirty prisoners 
were confined in these cells at once. In Burt's time most of the 
prisoners confined in the building managed to escape, not so 
much, he thinks, from the weakness of the prison, as by the con- 
nivance of the keepers and the influence of clanship. The fol- 
lowing is from an account of the escape of Roderick Mackay, 
who was imprisoned in the Old Tolbooth many years ago for 
smuggling, given by the Editor of the Celtic Magazine, in the 
second of his Canadian articles, which appeared in Volume v. of 
this periodical : " His free-born spirit naturally chafed under 
such indignities and restraints, especially in such a good cause as 



212 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

the hero considered himself engaged in, protecting his own pro- 
perty, and he at once set about concocting means of exit. He soon 
ingratiated himself with his gaoler, and one day managed to 
send him out for a supply of ale and whisky, such things being 
freely admitted into such places in the good old days and the 
gaoler could take his glass, too, from all accounts. The latter 
returning with the ale in one hand and the whisky in the other, 
Rory discovered his opportunity, slipped out smartly behind him, 
closing the door after him, locking it outside, at the same time 
carrying off the key, which is still preserved by his descendants 
in Pictou," to which place he escaped. The prison appears 
to have been in a most filthy condition, for it is recorded 
that in 1709 the Town-Clerk " paid an officer 45. 6d. Scots to 
buy a cart of peats to be burnt in the Tolbooth to remove the 
bad scent," and in 1737 the Magistrates ordered the purchase of 
' an iron spade to be given to the hangman for cleansing the 
Tolbooth." 

The Royal Academy was opened in 1792, and in the same 
year the present Gaelic Church was built. The old one was 
built in 1649, and after the battle of Culloden was converted into 
an hospital and prison for the followers of Prince Charles. The 
Gaelic Church congregation were strongly opposed to the intro- 
duction of the Geneva pulpit gown, and an amusing scene oc- 
curred one Sunday when the minister, Mr Watson, entered the 
pulpit wearing one. No sooner did the congregation observe the 
innovation than they rushed pell-mell from their pews with one 
accord, shouting " Popery ! Popery !" and in a wonderfully short 
time the astonished pastor and his precentor were the only 
inmates of the building. The pulpit and desk in this church are 
marvels of the carver's art, and are said to have been the work of 
a herd-boy at Culloden, and to have all been carved with one 
knife and put together with one pin. 

In the month of March 1801, the peaceful inhabitants of In- 
verness were startled by a terrific explosion, which shook the 
town like an earthquake. The accident occurred in this way. 
A number of casks of gunpowder were stored in the upper flat 
of a building in Baron Taylor's Lane, the lower part of the house 
being occupied by a candle-maker's. One day, this man went 
out on some errand, leaving a pot of liquid tallow upon the fire 



OLD INVERNESS. 213 

During his absence the pot boiled over, and in a few moments 
the room was a mass of flames. The careless manufacturer 
returned too late to do anything to arrest the progress of the fire, 
and, anticipating the consequences to the gunpowder above, he 
ran away as hard as he could, never halting until he reached 
Culloden, three miles east of the town. The flames had by this 
time reached the gunpowder, and a fearful explosion took place, 
destroying a great amount of property, killing four people on the 
spot, and injuring many more. The report having been heard by 
the fugitive candle-maker at Culloden, had the effect of making 
him run faster than ever. He stopped for a few hours at a small 
village east of Elgin, but took the road at midnight for Aberdeen, 
thence left the country altogether, and was never again heard of. 
The palladium of Inverness is Clachnacudain, a large stone 
which, from time immemorial, lay in front of the Exchange. On 
the erection of the Forbes Fountain, two or three years ago, the 
stone was placed beneath it, where it now remains. Its name 
signifies Stone of the Tubs, from the fact that, in days gone by, 
the women returning from the river with their water-tubs, used 
to rest them upon this stone. It gradually became the centre 
round which the inhabitants of the town used to congregate for 
conversation, and they regarded it with great veneration. Young 
men, on leaving the town for other places, were in the habit of 
chipping off bits of the stone and carrying them away as me- 
mentoes. " Nonogenarian " relates that a gentleman from India 
once visited Inverness, and while there enquired if there was such 
a place as " Clachnacudain." To his great astonishment, a stone 
was pointed out to him as the place he asked about. " Is it this 
stone that they call Clachnacudain?" he exclaimed ; " Well, it has 
cost me many a bottle of wine to drink to Clachnacudain, but 
little did 1 think it was only this stone that gave rise to a toast 
of such evident interest and endearing associations !" Many years 
ago a man of great strength called Jock of the Maggot, lifted 
Clachnacudain in his arms, and carried it from its place on the 
Exchange to the top of the Old Tolbooth stairs. He was unable, 
however, to carry it back, when another townsman, named Mac- 
lean, volunteered to do so, and was successful. In August 1837, 
the Magistrates caused the stone to be sunk to the level of the 
pavement on the Exchange. This occasioned great indignation 



214 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

among a considerable section of the inhabitants, and a handbill 
was issued, calling upon every true " Clachnacudain Boy " to 
assemble on a certain day, and, unless the stone were by that 
time raised to its former position, to raise it themselves in defi- 
ance of the authorities, and relay it with masonic honours. The 
Magistrates, however, seeing that the current of popular feeling was 
against them, wisely gave way, and before the appointed day the 
" Clach " was reinstated amidst the cheers of a large crowd of 
enthusiastic on-lookers. A lady of Inverness, Mrs Campbell, 
composed a song about it, which was very popular for a time. 
When a native was leaving the town, he would give a farewell 
party to his friends, who in the small hours of the morning would 
all proceed to Clachnacudain and dance round it, singing this 
song, some of the verses of which ran as follows : 

" Around the stone we'll dance and sing, 

And round the stone we'll go ! 

We'll see the Clachnacudain boys 

Dance round it in a row. 
" I am a Clachnacudain man, 

And very near it born ; 

I admire it as a diamond stone, 

Though a pebble without form. 

''Around, &c. 
" If any one pollutes the stone, 

Of high or low degree, 

A galley slave in Africa, 

We'll have him for to be. 

"Around, &c. 
" Here's a health to King and Queen, 

And Royal Family ; 

To the Magistrates of Inverness, 

And to its Ministry ! 

" Around, &c. 

The cutting of the Caledonian Canal was commenced in 
1803, but owing to the immense obstacles to be overcome the 
work was not completed until 1822, the total cost amounting to 
over one million sterling. The Northern Infirmary was opened 
in 1803. In 1807 the first Inverness newspaper was started, 
under the name of the Inverness Journal ; the Courier follow- 
ing ten years later. From the former paper of I2th April 
1816, we learn that in 1812 the Magistrates were informed that 
a gang of thieves and coiners was on its way from Aberdeen to 



OLD INVERNESS. 215 

Inverness, and, as a precaution, all the publicans, licensed and 
unlicensed, in the burgh were ordered to appear before the 
Magistrates. One hundred and twenty- eight presented themselves, 
but as all the unlicensed publicans were liable to prosecution, 
it is probable that many of them evaded the order. Taking the 
approximate number of these to be thirty-two, as the Journal 
suggests, the total number of publicans in the town would be one 
hundred and sixty, a number which, considering that the popu- 
lation at that time was only 10,757, would horrify our teetotal 
friends of the present day, who complain that the present num- 
ber about one-half is far too many. 

The office of public executioner in Inverness was generally 
held by some criminal, who accepted it on condition that he 
would not be punished for the offence charged against him. We 
lately came across a document, dated the 22nd of April 1733, and 
endorsed on the back " Enactment anent Thomas Robertson 
to be hangman," which is a good specimen of the form of bond 
entered into by these functionaries on their entry to their 
duties. This Thomas Robertson was charged with breaking 
into a merchant's cellar in town and stealing a quantity 
of goods therefrom, but as the town was at the time in 
want of a hangman, the prosecutor consented to forego crim- 
inal proceedings if Robertson would accept the vacant office. 
The document, after narrating these particulars, proceeds : 
" Therefore I hereby become bound and enacted in the Bor- 
row Court books of Inverness that I shall, from and after 
the date hereof, and during all the days of my life, execute the 
office of executioner or hangman of the said burgh, in all the 
parts and branches thereof ; I being entitled by the good town 
to the fees, dues, and emoluments of the said office used and wont ; 
and, in case of my withdrawing at any time from the said office 
or the execution of any part thereof, I hereby submit myself to 
the punishment due by law to the said crime of theft, which 
crime I hereby confess and acknowledge. In witness Qrof," etc. 

On the 2Oth April 1812 a meeting of Town Council was 
held for the appointment of a hangman. The minute of that 
meeting stands in the Record as follows : 

" That day the Magistrates and Council nominated and ap- 
pointed Donald Ross common executioner for the Burgh of In- 



216 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

verness, in place of the deceast, William Taylor, with the whole 
powers and privileges belonging to the said office, and that 
during the pleasure of the Magistrates and Council ; they agreed 
to augment the salary to the executioner, or wages, to sixteen 
pounds sterling yearly, to be paid quarterly by the Town 
Treasurer at the expiry of each quarter ; and, having taken a 
view of the perquisites and emoluments of the office of hangman 
or executioner, they appointed and ordained the following to be 
given him : (i) A house, with bed and bedding, and other 
necessary utensils ; (2) That he shall be entitled to the number 
of thirty-six peats weekly from the tacksman of the Petty Cus- 
toms ; (3) a bushel of coals out of every cargo of English coals 
imported to this place ; (4) a piece as large as he can carry from 
on shipboard out of every cargo of Scotch coals ; (5) a peck of 
meal out of every hundred bolls landed at the shore ; (6) one 
fish from every creel or basket brought to the market for sale ; 
(7) one penny for every sack of meal sold at the meal-house or 
market of the burgh. And the above wages and perquisites to 
be given him besides the ordinary allowance for executing the 
different sentences. That he shall be provided with a suit of 
clothes, two shirts, two pair stockings, a hat, and two pair of 
shoes annually." 

Besides the above he was paid 5 for every execution carried 
out by him ; and he also levied Christmas boxes upon the inhabi- 
tants, so that he was very comfortably off. 

The individual who became the recipient of all these perquisites 
was a native of the Aird, and had been convicted before the 
High Court of Justiciary for sheep-stealing, and sentenced to 
transportation for life. 

On one occasion the then hangman, William Taylor, went to 
Elgin to execute a serjeant for wife murder, but on his way home 
he was waylaid and stoned to death by a mob, when the Magis- 
trates of Inverness offered the situation to Donald Ross, promising 
to give a remission of hi* sentence if he would accept. He, how- 
ever, declined the offer until the last day he was to spend in his 
native land, when he accepted, and obtained his liberation. He 
retained the office until 1834, when the town dispensed with 
his services. By that time Donald had over .700 in bank, as 
the fruits of his profession, but he lost nearly all through the failure 
of the bank, and ultimately died a pauper. 

Within the last sixty years the town has greatly improved. 
Gas was introduced in 1826, and three years afterwards the old 



OLD INVERNESS. 217 

water works were erected. The streets were causewayed and 
paved, in 1831, at a cost of over ;6ooo. In the following 1 year 
the town was visited by cholera, and the Dispensary was insti- 
tuted. In 1834 cholera again appeared, and between that year 
and the next the County Buildings were erected on the Castle 
Hill. The Roman Catholic Chapel was built in 1836, and 
towards the end of the same year the Inverness Herald appeared. 
This paper was afterwards called the Northern Herald, but it 
stopped in 1846. The West Church was erected in 1840, and 
the Post-office in 1843. The jail was built in 1846, and the 
Cathedral in 1 866. The old stone bridge was carried away by the 
flood of 1849, after which the present handsome structure- 
suspension Bridge was erected in its place. 

" Old Inverness" may now be said to have almost disap- 
peared. Every year sees the destruction of some relic of 
antiquity, and ere long the few remaining links between the past 
and the present will have given place to modern erections. One 
of the most venerable buildings now in existence in the town is 
Dunbar's Hospital, better known as the Old Academy, which 
stands on the east side of Church Street, at the corner of School 
Lane. This building is said to have been formed out of the 
materials of Cromwell's Fort, and was bequeathed to the town 
by Provost Alexander Dunbar, in 1668. For many years prior 
to the opening of the Royal Academy, it was used as a Grammar 
School. It afterwards served for a library, female school, and 
other purposes. When the cholera visited Inverness it was used 
as an hospital for the victims of that terrible disease. The build- 
ing is still in fair preservation, and cannot fail to strike the eye 
of the passer-by. The exterior is adorned with inscriptions and 
dates. The only other antiquarian remains in Inverness are the 
old Cross, Clachnacudain, an old gate-way in Castle Street, 
Queen Mary's House, and some old tombs in the High Church, 
Greyfriar's-, and Chapel Yard bury ing-grounds. It is to be hoped 
that these historic and interesting relics of the past will be pre- 
served for many years to come, and that no Vandal touch will 
disturb them in their old age. 

HECTOR ROSE MACKENZIE. 



218 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

O R A N 

AIR EALASAID CHAIMBEUL 
LE MAIRI NICEALAIR. 

A ribhinn 6g is boidhche snuadh, 
Mar r6s am bruaich 's a mhaduinn dhriuchd, 
Is t'anail chaoin mar ghaoth a Mhaigh, 
A' seideadh thar nam blalthean iir. 

Gur dualach boidheach do dhonn-fhalt, 
Na luban cas mu d' cheann a sniomh, 
S do mhuineal tha cho bian-gheal aillt, 
Ri eala bhan is statail triall. 

Do shuilean mar lainnir nan s&id, 
No drillse ghloin nan reultan s6imh, 
'An guirmead, an tlaths, 'us an aoidh 
Tha iad mar aghaidh chaomh nan neamh. 

Do bhilean mar shirist nan craobh, 
'Arn milsead, an caoinead, 's an liomh, 
'S do bhriathran tha cho s&mh a rflin, 
Ri osag chiuin na gaoithe 'n iar. 

Mar thorman alltain bhig a ruith 

'S an t-sainhradh theth 'am beinn an fhraoich, 

Tha leadan aigh do mhanrainn ghrinn, 

A' sileadh binri 'o d' bhilean gaoil. 

O ainnir 6g nam mile buadh, 

Gur binn learn 'bhi ga d' luaidh 's an d&n ; 

Is osag mi a bhean do 'n fhlur, 

'S bheirinn a chubhraidheachd gu each. 

Dh'innsinn mu uaisle na send, 
Mu ghrinneas a b6us, 'us a gniomh, 
A cdmhradh mar smedrach an coill, 
'S acridhe farsuing, caoimhneil, fial. 

O ribhinn 6g nam mile buadh. 
Ainglean ga d' chuartachadh gach v6 
Ga d' chumail mar lili geal ur, 
Ri soills' fo'n driuchd 's a mhaduinn ch&t 

Is ged a thuiteadh neoil mu d' che"um, 
Cumsa do reis mar a ghrian, 
No ghealach chiuin an ciabh na h'oidhch, 
Nach cuir an aois air chall 'na triall. 

Biodh beannachd nam bochd air do cheann, 
Is biodh urnaigh na 'm fann mu d' chum, 
An subhailc na d' bhean uasal ard, 
Is tu na d' bhan-righinn ann am btfus, 



219 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 
SELECTIONS FROM HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

IN 1764 our hero took a seventeen years' lease of some land in 
Moy, and settled down, as he thought, to end his days in the 
peaceful occupation of a farmer. The Earl of Sutherland still 
continued his patronage towards him, and the county gentlemen 
treated him with great courtesy and respect. He thus describes 
his position, in a few words 

" While my noble friend lived, I was not only too happy in 
his favour, but found myself as easy with every gentleman of 
the county as if I had been their college companion, and when 
to my great grief I lost him, I did not feel their esteem abate in 
the least ; but rather increase. This will appear evident from 
their calling me to their general meetings on different occasions, 
and particularly my being called to the Council of our Royal 
Burgh every second year, and I was included in the Commission 
of the Peace, and acted accordingly." 

Macdonald was, however, destined to go through further 
adventures. The American War broke out, and in 1775 an inti- 
mation appeared from the War Office, to the effect that officers 
who had been reduced with their corps when peace was concluded, 
and who were willing to serve again in the same rank they for- 
merly held, should send in their names at once to the Secretary of 
War. Macdonald pricked his ears at this notice, like an old 
war horse that smelled the battle from afar. He had also another 
reason for wishing to again take up a military life, besides his 
mere fondness for the profession. His son was now a strong 
promising lad of fifteen, who inherited his father's martial spirit ; 
and Macdonald wished to get him into the service, although he 
was not able to purchase a commission for him. He says 

" I looked upon this as a decent call that merited an answer 
from every one in these circumstances, and without hesitation 
wrote that though I was then in my 56th year of age, and 36th 
year of service, still as stout and hearty as could be expected at 
such a time of life, I was as willing as ever to serve my King and 
country, though I could not expect to be better settled after a 
few years service than I was at present. From all this, I little 
expected to be called ; but, behold ! I am appointed to the 42nd 
or Royal Highland Regiment." 

Q 



220 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Taking his son along with him, he went to Fort-George, where 
a detachment of the 42nd was then stationed, under the command 
of Major Murray. By this officer he was sent with some recruits 
to join the regiment at Glasgow. Lord John Murray, who was 
in command, enrolled young Macdonald as a volunteer in the 
same company as his father. Their reception is thus described 

" I became rather a favourite with his lordship ; but I had 
better be so with Colonel Stirling, who was to go with and com- 
mand the corps; but I soon became well with Major Murray, who 
applied to have me in his company to take care and charge of 
the men and their money. My noble friend the Earl of Eglinton, 
being then in town, received me with his usual humanity, and 
spoke to Colonel Stirling in my favour ; but the Colonel seemed 
cool, perhaps naturally judging that an old man and a boy were 
rather likely to be a burden than a credit to that distinguished 
corps. And though he did the highest justice to every individual 
in the regiment, I could not reckon myself a favourite with him 
until the reduction of Fort Washington. By that time he found 
the boy act the man on every occasion, and that the old man 
acted his part as well as any subaltern in the regiment." 

The 42nd embarked at Greenock on the I2th of April 1776, 
and landed on Staten Island on the 4th of July, thus taking 
nearly three months on a voyage which is now accomplished 
in less than 10 days. The exploits of the gallant 42nd have 
been so frequently and fully told that it is unnecessary here to 
dwell on Macdonald's individual share of the campaign. His 
son, although but a boy, bore himself bravely during his first 
engagement, as shown by the following reference : 

" The enemy finding us thus give way, came on furiously, 
and I had hot work. This was the first opportunity I had of 
seeing my son fairly engaged, and I will be allowed to say that 
it gave me pleasure to see him active and cool; but with only one 
company there was no keeping of that ground, therefore we 
retreated in good order. In this engagement I had a ball 
through the cuff of my coat, which made a trifling contusion. 
We had two Captains wounded slightly, and Ensign Mackenzie 
mortally. In consequence of his vacancy I was advise^ to 
memorial the Commander- in-Chief, in order to push for my son." 

Macdonald did not succeed at this time in getting a commis- 
sion for his boy, although he took a great deal of trouble in 
waiting on different officers ; but they all considered the lad too 
young to recommend. General Pigot received the father kindly 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 221 

and told him not to be in too great a hurry to push his son, but 
by exerting himself to do his duty, and encouraging his son to 
do the same, gain the favour of their Colonel, and no doubt he 
would provide for them. Macdonald followed this good advice, 
and soon had the pleasure of hearing Colonel Stirling speak well 
of the lad. It was during the attack on Fort Washington that 
the following occurred : 

" Whether my son landed before or after me, it is certain 
that we lost each other in scrambling up the rocks, and knew 
nothing of each other's fate till the evening, when it will be 
allowed, when hot firing ceased, natural concern took place 
After mounting the hill, and firing ceased, to capitulate, our party 
sat down under trees to rest. I soon observed to Colonel Mac- 
pherson [Cluny] that we had better look for our Regiment. He 
answered, as there seemed nothing to be done, we were as well there 
for the present. I replied, My dear Duncan, you have no son 
on this Island this day. Very just, says he, let us move, and we 
soon found the corps, when Colonel Stirling shook hands with me, 
and thanked me for my activity in dispersing the rebels at 
Morris' House, adding, Your son has been with me through all 
this day's danger to yourself, and trust him to me in the future." 

His age did not prevent the gallant old soldier from taking 
his share in the hard work of the campaign, as shown by the 
following extract. At this time the 42nd was at Princetown 

" Here it happened my turn to go with the baggage of the 
army to Brunswick. The weather was very bad, with snow, frost, 
and sleet alternately. The road was still worse in returning with 
ammunition and prisoners, and the baggage horses being very ill- 
shod, and as ill-fed, it was the fourth day before we got back to 
Princetown, though constantly on duty. Here, finding the 42nd 
with the bulk of the army had marched towards Trenton,! followed, 
and late at night found them near that place, and I had a little 
rest on a wisp of rotten hay. Next morning the army followed 
the rebels to Princetown ; but proved too late to save the i/th 
from a severe handling from a large body of them on their v/ay 
to the Blue Mountains. But Lord Cornwallis, dreading the 
danger of Brunswick ; where so much valuable stores lay, marched 
with all expedition to save that place, from whence the 42nd was 
detached to Piscataqua, and arrived there on the evening of the 
3rd January 1777; and I have given the reader all this trouble to 
tell him that then I finished my eighty-two miles march with 
only one bad night's rest." 

On another occasion he became separated from the regiment 
for a while, when the Colonel sent a party to look for him 



222 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

" On the loth of May the rebels made a formidable attack 
on our picquet in front, and took the officer and sergeant 
prisoners, after killing or wounding most of the men. When I 
came up with Major Murray's company I released them, and 
took a wounded officer with thirteen rebels prisoners. Our 
people were so enraged at their continual harassing that post, 
and in particular at this last attempt, that I, finding them in hu- 
mour to bayonet the prisoners, took some time to put them in dis- 
creet hands, with positive orders not to hurt them. By this little 
delay I missed the regiment, which halted at a proper distance. 
I followed a firing, which I found to be a few mad fellows of ours, 
and a company of Light Infantry, that had joined them and fol- 
lowed the chase too far, and to no good purpose. When I came 
up with them, I used all arguments that would occur to me to 
make them return to the regiment, but all in vain, until they ap- 
proached an encampment of the enemy where onlya tent wasstand- 
ing, and saw them forming behind their encampment. I then told 
them in a very serious manner that cannon would soon appear, 
and hoped they would give up such folly as must endanger their 
liberty, if not their lives ; thus I at last got the better of their 
impetuosity, and retired a little. At that instant my son joined 
me, with a sergeant and fifteen men. It seems Colonel Stirling, 
missing me, asked the lad where I was, the latter answering that he 
left me giving charge of prisoners to Corporal Paul Macpherson, 
and that he believed that I was forward. The Colonel ordered 
him to take a party and find me, and directed I should declare 
his displeasure to these men for venturing so far from the regi- 
ment, and, at their peril, to return immediately. In this place, 
gratitude leads me to say that Major Murray's company of the 
42nd was the most alert, most decent, and best principled soldiers I 
ever had the honour to command or be connected with." 

Our veteran was now stricken down with fever, and un- 
able to follow the regiment. 

" When the army, after going by Chesapeak Bay, landed at 
the head of the Elk, I was in a high fever, and left on board an 
Hospital Ship, and relapsed often, which brought me very low. 
Still on coming up the Delaware I landed with the first convales- 
cents at Wilmington. Here I found my friends of the 7ist, 
and Major Macdonald of that corps being ordered from the con- 
valescents into a Battalion, choose to have me Adjutant to that 
corps. I then commenced in that duty." 

Some little time after, on reaching Philadelphia, officers and 
men were ordered to join their respective corps, and Macdonald 
had the pleasure of meeting his son, and hearing how he got on 
during his absence. 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 223 

" Now, my son gave me a long detail of the kindness and 
attention of all the officers to him in my absence, in particular 
that, when Colonel Stirling found I had been left behind, he 
called him out of the rank of privates where he always stood, 
telling him he was sorry he had been so long in that rank, and 
he would take care he should appear no more in it, ordering him 
at that same time to command half the company on a ma/ch or 
action, that is, to act as subaltern in the company till his father 
joined, or his being otherwise appointed. This was very flatter- 
ing to a lad of seventeen, and two years service ; but this was 
not all. After the battle of Brandy Wine, the Colonel gave him a 
copy of a memorial addressed to General Stowe, setting forth his 
own short, and my long, services, desiring him to transcribe and 
sign a fair copy of it, which the Colonel presented in order to 
procure a commission in some other regiment, as there was no 
vacancy in the 42nd. This was done, and a favourable answer 
received. Soon after, Major Murray being appointed Lieut- 
Colonel to the 27th, and the General being pleased to give the 
commissions in succession in the 42nd, my son got the Ensigncy, 
date 5^h October 1777. Thus one of my grand points being 
obtained, there remained only to realise a penny for my Lieuten- 
ancy, and retire after serving upwards of thirty-eight years, and 
at the age of fifty-eight." 

While the Lieutenant was deliberating how he could retire 
with a good grace in time of war, and at the same time get the 
money for his commission, which was a great object to him, 
fortune favoured him with one of those rare opportunities which 
sometimes occur. It was found necessary to raise Provincial 
troops to assist the regular army, and just at this time the order 
came to raise a battalion in Maryland. There was no lack of 
volunteers, but there was a difficulty in getting officers, for the men 
of position and influence in the district who had been appointed, 
were as a rule quite ignorant of military duty. Lieutenant 
Macdonald had got acquainted with several gentlemen of posi- 
tion, and one of these, a Mr Chalmers, got the commission of 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the newly raised battalion. Not being a 
military man himself, he was anxious to procure those who were, 
for his officers, and offered our friend a Commission as his 
Major, if he could arrange to leave his present post. Here was 
the very opportunity Macdonald wished for. He immediately 
laid his case before Colonel Stirling, who cheerfully promised to 
do all in his power to assist him. How he succeeded we will 
leave himself to tell . 



224 



THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 



" He (Colonel Stirling) wrote strongly in my favour, recom- 
mending me to the General as well qualified for the intended 
office, and meriting the indulgence of settling my present office. 
But instead of giving me the trouble of delivering this letter, he 
put it in his pocket, went to Head- Quarters, sent it in to the 
General, and soon followed in person, and, without doubt, con- 
firmed what might be alleged in his letter. The General graci- 
ously owning himself no stranger to my character, matters were 
then and there settled, and next day, the loth of November, 
Ensign John Spence was appointed Lieutenant in the 42nd 
Regiment, vice Lieutenant John Macdonald, who retired. That 
same day orders contained the following : Lieutenant John 
Macdonald appointed Major to the First Battalion of the Mary- 
land Loyalists. Mr Spence gave me bills immediately for the 
Lieutenancy And General Howe having com- 
plimented the Colonel on getting such a man to be his Major, I 
joined immediately, and the corps was soon recruited to 335 
privates and 42 non-commissioned officers, the establishment 
being only 448 of both, and I had very flattering compliments 
from Generals Grey and Paterson, and several other officers of 
experience, for their appearance and alertness in going through 
their exercises and different manoeuvres. By the latter end of 
April, I was vain of the figure they made." 

A few months, however, changed the aspect of affairs. The 
British troops lost ground, and as a consequence their prestige; 
Republicanism gained strength, until even the Provincial troops 
became infected with it, and deserted daily in large parties, to 
join their countrymen in their struggle for liberty. This state of 
affairs necessitated the amalgamation of three Provincial regi- 
ments into one, viz., the Maryland Loyalist, the Pennsylvania, 
and the Waldeck Regiments. This combined corps was ordered 
to Jamaica. On the voyage, it came to the ears of the Major 
that in case of an American vessel coming in sight, that the 
men were determined to mutiny and join the Americans. This 
caused him great anxiety. We will give his own version. 

"This made me lay at night with a loaded blunderbuss 
under my head, all the rest of the voyage. After being a month 
at Jamaica, on the i6th January 1779, we arrived in the Bay of 
Pensacola ; but the men having the smallpox among them, were 
ordered to the Red Cliffs, ten miles distance from the town. 
Here it might be naturally supposed that all apprehensions of 
mutiny or desertion was at an end, as there were no enemy in 
arms within five hundred miles of us ; but, behold ! on the I4th 



MAJOR JOHN MACDONALD. 225 

of March, a sergeant with sixteen men deserted in a body, with 
their arms, and more ammunition than their ordinary comple- 
ment. At this time Colonel Chalmers got leave of absence for 
New York, and I being informed that a more formidable 
desertion was designed, took all the ammunition from the men, 
lodged it in a store, and ordered the Quarter-master to lay there 
with it, and I visited it myself at all hours of the night. Indeed, 
self-preservation kept me on the watch, as if once they got 
masters of that store to pursue their design, I could not expect 
that they would be very ceremonious with me." 

Thus, by his prompt action, the Major prevented any further 
attempts at mutiny. He, however, did not feel himself at all com- 
fortable in his new position. The men were discontented, and the 
officers were incapable, and spent their time in quarrelling among 
themselves, so that to support his authority he had to be pretty 
severe with them. A Court-Martial was held, and three officers, 
a captain, a lieutenant, and an ensign, were dismissed the 
service. With all this, he seems to have had the entire confi- 
dence of his superior officers, as is shown by the following 
extract : 

" Meantime a Spanish invasion being apprehended, the 
General joined the Pennsylvania and Maryland Battalions into 
one corps, under the command of Colonel Allan. That Colonel 
getting leave of absence a few weeks before the siege, the com- 
mand of the battalion fell to me, and in a great measure that of 
the British tioops too, as there was no other Field Officer of 
either line in the place. The only other Field Officer was the 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Waldecks, but except as Field Officer 
of the day, he did not interfere with British or Provincial troops, 
and for good reasons the General never employed him or his 
troops out of the works." 

This additional responsiblity made him so anxious that for 
weeks he never retired to rest at night, for fear of a surprise. 
This naturally told on a man of his age ; but could not subdue his 
spirit, or his determination to do his duty. He thus describes 
his situation at this time. 

" Thus being extremely fatigued, besides other disorders, 
raised a swelling on the side of my head, which was blistered in 
the evening of the 3rd of May. That night I had the rounds, 
and my head running. Next morning in course of duty I was 
obliged to attend General Campbell with my report. He ex- 
pressed great concern at seeing me in that condition, as he 



226 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

meant a sally at twelve o'clock that day, the fourth (the sixth in 
the newspapers is a mistake), and he did not know who else to 
appoint to that command. I told him to be under no apprehen- 
sion but I would do my duty while I had whole bones, nor 
would I yield a command of that nature to any man alive, and 
begged he would give myself the necessary instructions, and not 
puzzle me afterwards with messages by aide-de-camps, which I 
had found on other occasions contradictory and ambiguous." 

The Major succeeded so well in this attempt, that his name 
was mentioned with honour in the General's report. 

Soon after, Articles of Capitulation were agreed upon, 
on very favourable terms, and the Major became, with the rest 
of his comrades, a prisoner of war, and was sent to New York. 
He now determined to leave the army and return home. 

"At this time, I had the confirmation of bad news from 
home. My trustee having become insolvent, my affairs mis- 
managed, my wife and daughter distressed, while my effects were 
a wreck in the hands of those who never dreamed I should 
appear to bring them to any account. The conclusions are 
obvious. At this time I considered that having passed my grand 
climacteric, there was no depending on a constitution, always at 
severe trial from my twelfth year. My last service was finished 
decently. In any future service I might fail of ability. I hope 
the judicious reader will, from what has been said, see good 
reason for my sacrificing my commission, to escape with the 
little life left to my family and friends. This was effected by 
landing at Portsmouth, 2Oth January 1782 a few days in Lon- 
don then to Edinburgh by land. Engaged Drumuachter in 
the memorable storm in March of that year ; arrived at Moy, 6th 
April, in tolerable health, though I was obliged to march on foot 
all the way from Dunkeld. 

" Thus at the end of forty-three years I quitted a service to 
which Providence, contrary to my own inclination, directed me, 
after such a variety of hardships as few constitutions could bear. 
In balancing *he general usage I met with in the army, I find 
it most favourable, as I had not many friends, nor remarkable 
talents that could recommend me to much notice. Perseverance, 
honesty, and sobriety I take credit for ; but who can say that 
merit is neglected, or finds no reward in the army, when such 
slender parts as mine could make a Major. 

" I now rest well pleased with my success in the world, and 
in general with my own conduct, even where my designs failed 
most. Remembering that they were always fair and prudent at 
the time ; but that no human sagacity can guard against future 
events." 



MAJOk JOHN MACDONALD. 22? 

And thus we leave the gallant old warrior enjoying the repose 
he had so hardly earned, but we confess we should have liked to 
have learned something of the after career of his son, who, 
no doubt, if his life was spared, rose in his profession. 



At the end of the manuscript, from which the foregoing selec- 
tions have been taken, is the following pedigree of the writer : 
" John, son of 

Angus, son of 

William, son of A ,, , -0^1 

Norman, son of ^ A11 born in Sutherland. 

Murdoch, son of 

Donald, son of 

John (who came to Sutherland from Dingwall), son of 

Clerk or Clerach. 

" Clerach or Clerk, Manach or Monk of the Monastery of 
Beauly. 

" This monk (as it is handed down) of Beauly was a Mac- 
donald, and his son being Clerk to the town of Dingwall was com- 
monly called Clerach, from his office, by which his son John 
was sometimes called Mac-a-Chlerich and Mac-a-Mhannich, at 
which he seemed always offended, not chosing to be run out of 
his proper surname ; but, as is commonly the case, the more he 
resented it, the more the joke prevailed, and ended in his killing a 
youth who had perhaps followed it too far. But probably having 
greater interest with the then Macdonald, Earl of Ross, John 
thought it prudent to make his escape, and settled in Braegrudy, 
in the parish of Rogart. Thus I am positive that in a lineal de- 
scent no more than the above five were born there before myself. 
And our burying-place being in the outskirts of the church-yard 
show our being late comers ; whereas Murrays, Mackays, 
Sutherlands, and Douglases are centrical, and near the church 
wall. And in my early days our people went by the appellation 
of Sliochd a Mhannich, commonly, which offended them very 
much, they knowing nothing of a Monk but judging that it 
meant only a capon. The repetition backwards is 

" Ian Mac Inish vie Uilliam vie Hormaid vie Mhurchie vie 
Dhoill vie Ian vie a Chlerich vie a Mhannich." 

Any information respecting the descendants of Major Mac- 
donald, would, no doubt, prove interesting to the reader, and we 
shall be glad to receive such. M. A. ROSE. 



228 

LANDLORD RESOLUTIONS AT INVERNESS. 

LAST month we were not able to do more than give the resolutions 
passed at the meeting of Highland landed proprietors held in 
Inverness on the I4th of January last. Indeed the more we 
consider these resolutions, the more we are impressed with their 
worthlessness, except in so far as they may be held to be a con- 
fession that something must be done, or the days of landlordism, 
on its present footing, are already numbered. No sensible person, 
however, in the least acquainted with the ideas, past conduct, and 
the oblivious short-sightedness hitherto exhibited by landlords 
generally, and more especially Highland landlords, could expect 
any reasonable concessions from a meeting composed as the In- 
verness meeting was composed. Any one taking the trouble 
to look over the names of those present will see at a glance that 
about two-thirds of the number were Commissioners and factors, 
and that only a small minority of the proprietors themselves 
graced the meeting by their presence. Commissioners and factors 
must necessarily be hampered, and less likely to be influenced 
by the arguments of the more sensible of the landlords present 
in person, than would those more immediately concerned the 
landlords themselves had they been at the meeting to hear the 
weighty reasons urged by a few of the wiser of their own class, 
in favour of such concessions as would allay the present agitation 
for Land Law Reform. The resolutions are at least two years 
too late. Voluntary concessions will not do at this time of day, 
and the action of the landlords at Inverness will serve no good 
purpose, except in so far as any successful opposition on their 
part against compulsory enactments in the House of Commons 
or elsewhere, is now impossible. They have made a wonderful 
confession of their past transgressions, at the meeting ; and though 
forced out of them by the hard conditions and circumstances 
of the times, it cannot now be recalled, and the better sort must 
in future lend their aid to the Government and to Parliament in 
passing a measure of Land Law Reform, which will compel those 
among themselves who bring odium on their class, and endanger 
their interests, to do what they will never voluntarily agree to do, 
or if they did, never carry it out in practice. Mr Macdonald 



LANDLORD RESOLUTIONS AT INVERNESS. 22$ 

of Skaebost, replying to the present writer, thinking his brother 
Highland proprietors were as wise and far-seeing as himself, 
declared, at the recent Annual Dinner of the Gaelic Society of 
Inverness, the evening before the landlord meeting, that he was not 
going to disclose what the proprietors were going to do next 
morning, but " if he interpreted the sentiment he had heard 
expressed within the last few days by many influential proprietors, 
he ventured to prophesy that on Wednesday peace would be 
restored to the Highlands, and that the members of the Highland 
Land Law Association might henceforth turn their attention to 
some other occupation." How terribly disappointed he must 
have felt when he saw the mouse which the mountain brought 
forth on the following day, can only be surmised. He did not 
know his men. Their sentiments, when pitted against what they 
thought their personal interests, went to the wall. 

Those who think that mere tinkering will now suffice, are 
living in a fool's paradise. We know that the wisest among the 
proprietors themselves are satisfied that if once the question of 
Land Law Reform for the Highlands is opened up, it must be 
dealt with in such a manner as will close it for a generation. We 
have no hesitation in saying that nothing short of the principal 
clauses of the Irish Land Act, with additional provisions for the 
compulsory re-settlement of the people on the best portions of 
their native land, from which they have, in the past, been so 
harshly removed, will have this effect. Holding this opinion, as 
we very firmly do, it would be a waste of space to discuss the 
Inverness resolutions, beyond pointing out that they present the 
Highland proprietors on their knees, confessing their sins, and 
in this way effectually discounting any possible opposition on 
their part to such legislative changes as will make the Highland 
people quite independent of the landlordism of the future. 

A. M. 



"NETHER-LOCHABER," LL.D. A well-deserved honour has been con- 
ferred on the Rev. Alexander Stewart, F.S.A. Scot., Minister of Ballachulish, by his 
Alma Ma/er, the University of St Andrews last month, by making him an LL.D. 
Mr Stewart is so well known to the readers of the Celtic Magazine by his valued con- 
tributions, as well as by a Biographical Sketch of our distinguished and long-standing 
friend, which we published a few years ago, that it is quite unnecessary to say more 
just now than to record this well-earned and crowning honour. Our only difficulty is, 
whether we are to call him in future Dr " Nether-Lochaber," or I)r Stewart. It 
will be hard for us to give up the honoured and familiar title of " Nether-Lochaber." 



230 

THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 

BY ALEXANDER Ross. t 

IV. 

ANDREW MUNRO was Captain of the Castles of Inverness and 
Chanonry, and Chamberlain of the Earldom of Ross. About 
the year 1 567, John Leslie, Bishop of Ross, who had been secre- 
tary to Queen Mary, dreading the effect of public feeling against 
Popery in the North, and against himself personally, made over 
to his cousin, John Leslie of Balquhain, his rights and titles to 
the Castle and Castle lands of Chanonry, to divert them of the 
character of Church property, and so save them to his family ; 
but notwithstanding this grant, the " Good Regent " Murray 
gave the custody of the Castle to Andrew Munro of Milntown, 
and promised Leslie some of the lands of the Barony of Fintry, 
in Buchan, as an equivalent ; but the Regent was assassinated 
before this arrangement was completed before Andrew Munro 
obtained titles to the Castle and Castle lands. Yet he obtained 
permission from the Earl of Lennox, during his regency, and 
afterwards from his successor, the Earl of Mar, to take possession 
of the Castle. 

Colin Mackenzie, XL Chief of Kintail, and his clansmen 
were extremely jealous of the Munros occupying the stronghold; 
and being desirous to obtain possession of the Castle themselves, 
they purchased Leslie's right, by virtue of which they demanded 
delivery of the fortress. This demand Andrew Munro at once 
refused. Kintail in consequence raised his vassals, and being 
joined by a detachment of the Mackintoshes,* garrisoned the 

* In the year 1573, Lachlan Mor, Laird of Mackintosh, favouring Kintail, his 
brother-in-law, required all the people of Strathnairn to join him against the Munroes. 
Colin, Lord of Lome, had, at the time, the administration of that Lordship as the 
jointure lands of his wife, the Countess Dowager Murray, and he wrote to Hugh Rose 
of Kilravock : True Friend, after my most hearty commendation, for as much as it is 
reported to me that Mackintosh has charged all my tenants west of the water of Nairn 
to pass forward with him to Ross to enter into this troublous action with Mackenrie 
against the Laird of Fowlis, and because I will not that any of mine enter presently 
this matter whose service appertains to me, I thought good to advertise you of my 
mind thereon, in respect ye are tenants of mine and have borne the charge of Bailliary 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 231 

steeple of the Cathedral, and laid siege to Irving's Tower and the 
Palace. The Munros held out for three years; but one day the 
garrison getting short of provisions, they attempted a sortie to 
the Ness of Fortrose, where there was a salmon stell, the con- 
tents of which they endeavoured to secure. They were, however, 
immediately discovered, and quickly followed by the Mackenzies, 
who fell upon them in a most savage manner. Weak and starv- 
ing as they were, they fought with that bravery which was always 
so characteristic of the Munros; but after a desperate and un- 
equal struggle, they were overpowered by the overwhelming 
number of the Mackenzies, and twenty-six of their number killed, 
among them being their commander, John Munro. The Mac- 
kenzies had two men killed and several wounded. The defenders 
of the Castle -immediately capitulated, and it was taken posses- 
sion of by the Mackenzies. 

Sir Robert Gordon says that the Munros " defended and 
keipt the Castle for the space of thrie yeirs, with great slaughter 
on either syd, vntill it was delyvered to the Clancheinzie, by the 
Act of pacification. And this wes the ground and begining of 
the feud and hartburning, which, to this day, remaynes betwein 
the Clanchenzie and Mumois."*f* 

Andrew Munro, V. of Milntown, married Catherine, daughter 
of Thomas Urquhart, VI. of Cromarty, by whom he had three 
sons and nine daughters 

1. George, his successor. 

2. Andrew of Kincraig, who married " ane Mrs Gray," by 
whom he had two sons (i) Andrew, his successor. (2) William, 
who entered the army, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant- 
Colonel in a Regiment of Foot, under the Elector of Brander- 

of Strathnarne in times past ; wherefore I will desire you to make my will known to my 
tenants at Strathnarne within your Bailliary that none of them take upon hand to rise 
at this present with Mackintosh to pass to Ross, or at any time hereafter without my 
special command and goodwill obtained on such pains as any of them may incur there- 
through, certifying them and ilk one of them, and they do in the contrary hereof, I 
will by all means crave the same at their hands as occasion may serve. And this it 
will please you to make known to them, that none of them pretend any excuse through 
ignorance hereof; and this for the present, not doubting but ye will do the same ; 
I commit you to God ; from Darnaway, the 28th of June 1573 The Family of Rose 
of Kilravock, p. 263. 

t Earldom of Sutherland, p. 155. 



232 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

burg. He married a Mrs Bruce, and acquired an estate in 
Germany, where he resided till his death. By Mrs Bruce he 
had issue, both sons and daughters, who settled in Branderburg, 
and other parts of Germany, and some of their descendants were 
living there in 1734. Andrew succeeded his father in Kincraig. 
He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Innes, XXIII. of 
Innes, and relict of George Munro, VII. of Milntown, by whom 
he had no issue. He left, however, two illegitimate children, a 
son George, born in Edinburgh, and a daughter Janet, who 
married a burgess of Tain. Andrew I. of Kincraig had also a 
natural son, John, " burgess of Eainburgh," who bought the estate 
of Culcraigie, in the parish of Alness. 

3. John, I. of Fearn, who was twice married. His first wife 
was Christian Urquhart, by whom he had three sons and one 
daughter (i) John, his successor. (2) Andrew. (3) George, 
who married Mary, sister to Major-General Scot, by whom he 
had one son, John, who was "cast away" at sea in 1639, in com- 
pany of John Munro, younger of Obsdale, on their way to Ger- 
many, to enter the Swedish service. (4) Christian, who married 
Malcolm, third son of Lachlan Mackintosh, XII. of Mackintosh, 
with issue. John of Fearn's second wife was Isabel, fourth daughter 
of George Ross, XII. of Balnagown, without issue. He was suc- 
ceeded by his eldest son John, who married Janet, daughter of 
Thomas MacCulloch of Fearn, by whom he had two sons (i) 
John of Logic. (2) Andrew, who entered the army, and went with 
Robert Munro, Baron of Fowlis to the German wars. He was 
executed at Stettin for maltreating a surgeon there within his own 
house during the night, " contrary to his Majestie's Articles and 
discippline of warre." Colonel Robert Munro of Obsdale, in his 
" Expedition," states that there was " much solicitation" made 
for Robert's life by the " Duchesse of Pomereu and sundry 
noble Ladies, but all in vaine, yet to be lamented, since divers 
times before he had given proofe of his valour, especially at the 
siege of Frailesound in his Majestie's service of Denmarke, where 
he was made lame of his left arme, who, being young, was well 
bred by his parents at home, and abroad in France, though it 
was his misfortune to have suffered an exemplary death, for 
such an oversight committed through sudden passion, being 
Summum jus, in respect that the party had forgiven the fault, 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 233 

but the Governor, being a churlish Swede, would not remit the 
satisfaction due to his Majesty and justice."* 

John Munro, II. of Fearn, was succeeded by his eldest son, 
John, who is designated "of Logic," in a MS. history of the 
Munros, in the possession of Stuart C. Munro, of Teaninich. 
John who was a Quartermaster in the army, married Margaret, 
daughter of the Rev. David Ross, minister of Logie-Easter, from 
1638 to 1644, and had by her, among others, a son, Andrew, who 
succeeded him. Andrew married Christina, daughter of Hugh 
Munro, II. of Culrain, by whom he had six sons (i) George, 
(2) John, (3) Andrew, (4) David, (5) Robert, (6) James. George, 
Robert, and James entered the army, and were dead in 1734, 
leaving, apparently, no issue. David became a carpenter, and 
John learned another trade. I have not succeeded in tracing 
whether John, David, and Andrew left issue. 

4. Janet, who was married to David Munro, II. of Culnald. 
with issue, one son, Andrew. After David's death she married 
Hector Munro, XVIII. Baron of Fowlis, to whom she bore no 
issue. 

5. Catherine, who married George Munro, I. of Obsdale, 
third son of Robert Munro, XV. Baron of Fowlis, to whom she 
had two sons (i) Colonel John, who succeeded his father; (2) 
Major-General Robert, a distinguished military officer, and author 
of "Munro: His Expedition." 

6. Elizabeth, who married Hay of Kinardie.. 

7. Christian, who died unmarried. 

8. Euphemme, who married Hugh Munro, IV. of Balconie, 
with issue, five sons and one daughter. 

9. Margaret, who married Robert Gordon of Bodlan. 

10. Anne, who married Hugh Ross of Priesthill. 

11. Ellen, who was twice married. Her first husband was 
Donald Ross of Balmuchie ; and her second, John Munro, minis- 
ter of Tain, and Sub-Dean of Ross, third son of Hugh Munro, I. 
of Assynt. 

12. Isabella, who was also twice married. Her first husband 
was James Innes of Calrossie. Her second husband, whom she 
married after 25th July 1614, was Walter Ross, II. of Invercarron. 
She bore to him, among others (i) William, who succeeded 

* Munro, His Expedition, part TL, page 47. 



234 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

his father, and, on the 3<Dth of December 1661, grants a charter of 
Invercarron to his eldest son and heir, Walter, and to Walter's 
spouse, Margaret Gray, relict of George Murray of Pulrossie ; 
(2) Janet, who, before I2th August 1664, married Kenneth Mac- 
kenzie, I. of Scatwell ; (3) Christian, who is said to have married 
Hugh Macleod of Cambuscurry, in the parish of Edderton, an- 
cestor of Robert B. A. Macleod, of Cadboll, Invergordon Castle. 

Andrew Munro, V. of Milntown, died about 1593, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son, 

VI. George, who in 1 598 is designated " George Munro of 
Meikle Tarrel." In that year he became bound " to releve and 
skaithles keip Elizabeth Rose, the relicit of unquhile (deceased) 
Walter Urquhart, Shiref of Cromertie, and William Gordoun of 
Bredland, now hir spous, William Rose of Kilrawak, tutor tista- 
mentare to Alex. Urquhart, sone lauchfull to the said unquhile 
Walter, and the said Alex, self and his aires at the hands of 
Donald Ros, Magnus Feme, and Finlay Manson, cessioneris and 
assignais constitut be unquhile Alexander Feme, portioner of 
Pitcalyean, to the letters of reversion and redemption following 
thereupon made by the said unquhile Walter and the said Alex- 
ander, to the said unquhile Alexander Feme and his assignais 
for redemption of the easter half davoch lands of Pitcalyean with 
the pertinentis, and of all redemption and renunciation made 
thereupon by them to Andrew Munro, sone and air to unquhile 
David Munro of Culnald, and to his tutour testementare for their 
entres, and that at the handis of the saidis foure assaignais and 
their aires : Be their presentis, subscribuit with our hand at Kil- 
rawak the twenty day of August, the yeir of God 1 598, beffoir 
their witness, David Rose of Holme, William Ros, Walter Ros, 
and John Munro, notar public."* 

George Munro was principal tacksman of the Chantry of 
Ross. On the i8th of July 1618, the Commissioners of the 
Bishopric of Ross provided a stipend of 620 merks for the 
minister of Kilmorack, payable, 465 merks, out of the parsonage 
or rectorial tithes, by George Munro of Tarrell, principal tacks- 
man of the Chantry of Ross, and, 155 merks, by the tacksman 
of the vicarage teinds ; and the lease was prorogated as compen- 
sation for the charge. 

* Kilravock Papers^ pp. 287-8, and Priory of Beauty, p. 251. 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 235 

In 1584 James VI. confirmed a charter, granted by Alex- 
ander Home, Canon of the Church of Ross, with consent of the 
Dean and Chapter, to George Munro in heritage, " the church- 
lands of his prebend called Killecreist, with the parsonage tithes 
included, lying in the Earldom of Ross and Sheriffdom of Inver- 
ness, and also the prebendary's manse with its pertinents lying as 
above.* 

George Munro was twice married. His first wife was Mariot, 
daughter and heiress of John M'Culloch of Meikle Tarrel. She 
was served heir to her father in the estate of Meikle Tarrel in 
1577, together with the revenue of 2. los. from Easter Airds. 
In 1 578 James VI. granted to her, and her " future spouse, George 
Munro, the son and heir-apparent of Andrew Munro of Newmore," 
the lands of Meikle Tarrel, which formerly belonged to Mariot 
in heritage, and which she had resigned with the consent of her 
curators, Robert Munro, Baron of Fowlis ; James Dunbar of 
Tarbat ; George Dunbar, of Avoch ; and George Munro, Chan- 
cellor of Ross to be held of the Crown for the service formerly 
due.f 

By Mariot M'Culloch, George Munro had four sons and one 
daughter 

1. George, his heir. 

2. John ; 3, William ; 4, David, all of whom went to the 
German wars with Robert Munro, Baron of Fowlis, "whence 
they returned not, dying going there." 

5. Margaret, who married David Dunbar of Dunphail, she 
being his second wife. 

George Munro's second wife was Margaret, daughter of 
David Dunbar, Dean of Moray, fourth son of Sir Alexander 
Dunbar of Westfield, who was the fifth son of James, V. Earl of 
Moray. By Miss Dunbar he had two sons and four daughters 

6. Hector ; 7, John, " of whom there is no account to be 
given of, their being soldiers, and killed in battle." 

8. Janet, who married Hugh Munro of Achnagart, with issue. 

9. Helen, who married John Fraser of Inchbreck, with issue. 

10. Catherine, who married Alexander Baillie of Dunean, to 
whom she had, among others, William, VIII. of Dunean ; David, 

*Keg. Sec. Sig., Vol. 1L, folio 90. 
t Reg. Sec. Sig., Vol. xlv., Folio 68. 



236 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

I. of Dochfour ; and Catherine, who married one of the younger 
sons of Hugh Fraser of Culbokie. 

II. Isabella, who married Walter Leslie of Elgin, with issue. 

George Munro built the tower and belfry of the present 
Established Church of Kilmuir-Easter, on the top of which is an 
eagle, the Munros armorial crest, and the monogram, G.M. 
George Munro. It bears the date 1616, with the word " biggit" 
The Munros' aisle in the same church is a building of some 
architectural taste. 

George died at Boggs on the 6th of May 1623, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son, 

VII. George Munro, VII. of Milntown who was in 1623 
served heir to his father in a fourth of the lands and town of 
Meikle Allan, containing two oxgangs of the extent of 135. 4d. 
and a fourth of the alehouse of the extent of 35. 4d. He was in 
the same year served his father's heir in the lands of Milntown, 
" with the mills and office of chief mair of the earldom of Ross, 
of the extent of 8 ch alders, 4 bolls of victual ; a croft named the 
Markland of Tullich, of the extent of one pound of wax ; and 
the lands and town of Meikle Meddat, of the extent of6chalders 
of bear and oatmeal, and other dues, its alehouse with toft and 
croft, of the extent of 133. 4d., and its other alehouse, without 
toft and croft, of the extent of 6s. 8d. in the Barony of Delnie, 
earldom of Ross, and sherififdom of Inverness." * 

He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Innes, XVI. 
Laird of Inncs, by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Elphin- 
stone, Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, by whom he had one 
son and one daughter 

1. Andrew, his heir, and 

2. Margaret, who married Captain Alexander Forester of 
Corstorphine, near Edinburgh, with issue. 

George had also an illegitimate son, named Hugh, who 
married Jane, daughter of Robert Dunbar of Dunphail, and had 
issue. 

George Munro, VII. of Milntown, died in 1630, and was suc- 
ceded by his only son, 

VIII. Andrew Munro, who was the last of his family who held 
the estate of Milntown. He succeeded in his eleventh year. His 
maternal uncle, Sir John Innes, never permitted him to possess 

* Retours. 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 237 

the property or inhabit the Castle of Milntown, as he had, im- 
mediately after the death of Andrew's father, taken possession 
of the same by virtue of " an appraising and other diligences" 
Sir John holding wadsets over the lands and estates of Milntown 
which he sold in 1656 to Sir George Mackenzie of Tarbat. 
Andrew Munro served as a Captain under his kinsman, Sir 
George Munro I., of Newmore, in Ireland, in the Royal Army, 
during the rebellion there. He was in 1644 ordered to Scotland 
with his men, and took a distinguished part in the battle of Kil- 
syth, fought in 1645, where he fell fighting bravely at the head of 
his company, in the twenty-sixth year of his age. His friends 
and relations had great hopes of his being able to redeem the 
debts, contracted by his father, and his death was a severe 
blow to the Milntown family. He died unmarried, and with- 
out issue, when the family of Milntown, in the main line, be- 
came extinct. 

Sir George Mackenzie of Tarbat, after purchasing the castle 
and estate of Milntown, changed the name to Tarbat, after his 
own title, he being a Lord of Session under the title of Lord 
Tarbat. He was afterwards created a Viscount. The peasantry 
to this day call the place " New Tarbat," and in the vernacular, 
Baile-Mhuillinn Andrea. Adjoining the site of the old castle of 
Milntown is a high mound, near the river, where the pipers played 
the bagpipes. The only remains of the old castle still extant are 
the door of the vault, and the high terraces near the place where 
it stood. In the year 1728 Viscount Tarbat afterwards Earl of 
Cromarty contracted with masons to " throw down Munro's old 
work," and clear the foundation, and build a new house. Some 
of the oldest inhabitants of the village of Milntown remember 
hearing their parents, who assisted in razing Milntown Castle, say 
that the hall was so large " that the music of fiddles at one end 
could not be heard at the other." The castle is said to have been 
the most elegant and highly finished house in the north, and 
adorned with turrets. It stood near the site of the present 
mansion. In the grounds near the old building were many 
large trees. One large beech was called " Queen Mary's tree," 
and was supposed to have been planted by that queen during 
her stay at Beauly Priory. It was more than 100 feet high, and 
required a whole week to cut it down. No force was able to 
remove it, and it was in consequence buried where it lay. 



DEATH OF MR JOHN A. CAMERON, WAR 
CORRESPONDENT. 



IT is with great regret that we record the early and untimely 
death of a typical and distinguished Highlander. Mr John A. 
Cameron, for several years well known to the world as the war 
correspondent of the Standard newspaper, had in his veins the 
best blood of the Clan Cameron. He was educated in Inverness, 
but although born a soldier, he was born after the time when the 
Highlands were the nursery of soldiers and the capabilities of 
race and individuals which formed a man to be a leader com- 
manded a commission. He commenced his active life in the 
service of the Caledonian Bank, and had to be content to gratify 
those stirrings in his blood which impelled him to a military career 
by serving in the first Company of Inverness-shire Highland 
Rifle Volunteers. He afterwards went to India and engaged in 
mercantile pursuits, and was in business in Central India when 
the Afghan War broke out in 1878. The young Highlander 
smelt the battle from afar; Evan's, Donald's fame rang in the young 
clansman's ears, and, like David of old, if he could not join in the 
battle he would go and see it. He obtained an appointment as 
correspondent of the Bombay Gazette^ and so rapidly did he 
establish a reputation that in the following year he was employed 
by the Standard, on the staff of which paper he continued till 
his death. From this time Mr Cameron may be said to 
have lived his life in camp, and probably no soldier now 
alive has seen so much fighting as it fell to his lot to witness. 
From Afghanistan he went to South Africa, and was present, 
and taken prisoner, at the fatal fight on Majuba Hill. He saw 
the bombardment of Alexandria and the battle of Tel-el-Kebir. 
He witnessed the operations of the French in Madagascar. He 
was with the French in the swamps of Tonquin ; and finally he 
accompanied the expedition of Sir Garnet Wolseley to the 
Soudan, and met his death in that fatal post where General 
Stewart halted his column for a temporary rest, and where we 
venture to say the courage and the discipline of soldiers were 
tried as they never were tried before. Throughout his career Mr 



DEATH OF MR JOHN A. CAMERON. 239 

Cameron displayed all the best qualities of a Highlander. What 
pluck, daring, and endurance could accomplish he did. What 
his eye saw he was apt to describe in glowing language, which 
created the scene again for his readers. And withal he was 
so modest and unassuming that his own personality was never 
obtruded. He did feats of which possessors of the Victoria Cross 
might be proud, but these were never heard of from his own lips 
or his own pen. In these columns it would be unpardonable 
that we should forget to tell that to the last Mr Cameron was a 
true Highlander, and in deep sympathy with the land of his birth 
and its people. In 1882 he was for some months in this neigh- 
bourhood, and in the Isle of Skye the week after the Battle of 
the Braes, where he devoted his time to an examination of the con- 
dition of the crofters, which was then engaging public attention, 
and was the author of several valuable papers on the subject, 
full of true sympathy with the people, of whom he was one, and 
with the race from which he sprung. 

Sic transit. Stricken in hot fight, in the full vigour of 
youth, the gallant son of the mountain now sleeps his last sleep 
in the desert sands of Africa. To us it is left but to drop a 
sympathetic tear, to record this all too imperfect tribute to his 
memory, and to hope that his life of duty, gallantly done, will 
not be lost. 



OUR GAELIC BIBLE. 

To THE EDITOR OF THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

SIR, In casually perusing the Celtic Magazine for April 1879, in an article under 
the above heading, by the Rev. Donald Masson, M.A., M.D., at page 216, it is stated 
that in 1758, the " Mother's Catechism " was translated into Gaelic. On looking over 
the Gaelic New Testament, published by John Orr, bookseller, Glasgow, in 1754, I 
find the following advertisement in which the " Mother's Catechism " is mentioned : 

"Leabhair ghaoidhealach, clodh-bhuailte, agus r'an reic le loin Orr, Leabhair 
reiceadoir ann Glas-gho. Eadhon, An tiomna nuadh ; Leabhair nan Sailm ; Gnath- 
fhocail Sholaimh ; Leabhar ceisd na Mathar, Leabhar aithearr nan Ceisd ; Laoidh 
Mhic Ealair ; Laoidh eile, araon am beurla san Gaoidheilg. Agus cuid do ranntaibh, 
agus orain ; agus pailteas do leabhraibh beurla air Saor-chunnradh. 

" Toir Fainear, gu bheill run aige an Sein-tiomna gu huilidh a chlodh-bhualadh 
ma chuireas claoine a stcach air a shon gun mhoill. Agus leabhar Searmoin, dan 
goirear Gairm an De mhoir don tsluagh neimh iompoichte," &c. 

From the above it would appear that " Baxter's Call " in Gaelic, which Dr 
Masson states was printed in 1748, \vas not then proceeded with, although the Irish 
gentleman mentioned gave in that year a donation for the translation and printing of 
it. Yours, &c., K. CORBETT. 

Beauty, 27th January 1885. 



240 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

THE ESTATE AND PEOPLE OF KILMUIR. 
BY THE REV. JAMES M. DAVIDSON. 



WHEN Donald Gorm, Lord of the Isles, was lying on his death- 
bed in Edinburgh, local tradition says that his spirit visited the 
Castle of Duntulm, then the residence of the Lords of the Isles 
and left the following message for his son and heir, Donald Gorm 
Og:- 

" Tell Donald Gorm Og to stand up for the right against 
might, to be generous to the multitude, to have a charitable hand 
stretched out to the poor." 

Never did a Highland chieftain give more apposite advice 
to his heir than that contained in Donald Gorm's message to his 
son, and yet, if there be truth in the cry at the present day of 
the people who inhabit the country surrounding the old crumb- 
ling Castle of Duntulm, does not that cry proclaim to the world 
that Donald Gorm's heirs have not always attended to their old 
chiefs dying message that might has trampled over right that 
the multitude have been neglected, and that the poor have often 
cried in vain. 

Be this as it may, there is no lack of those who allege " that 
a sense of intolerable wrong" on the part of the crofters has 
given rise to the wail that has brought during the last month 
such a trampling throng of military, police, and newspaper men 
to our drowsy island. 

That the Highland agitation, as yet in its infancy, should 
first attract attention in Skye and the other north-west islands 
need not surprise any one. The origin of the present state of 
matters dates as far back as the abolition of the feudal authority 
in 1745. During all this time society in Skye may be said to 
have been divided into two distinct classes. On the one hand we 
have the landlords, tacksmen the latter themselves often men of 
gentle blood and the clergy. On the other the great mass of 
crofters and cottars comprising nearly nine-tenths of the entire 
population. Note that there is no middle class in Skye that 
the gulf between the Patrician and the Plebeian has all along been 
a dangerously wide one, 



THE ESTATE AND PEOPLE OF KILMUIR. 241 

About 70 years ago the Highland chief fancied that if the 
clansmen were away, and sheep in their place, that his old 
estate would become a sort of El-Dorado. The clansmen in a 
great measure had to go away. In Australia, New Zealand, and 
all through the New World, many of the descendants of the 
vanished clansmen live and prosper. Not so the old race of evicting 
landlords. Their story for the most part is a sad one. All over 
the Highlands the great bulk of them have disappeared. The 
stranger owns their old home. 

The Highland chieftain began by evicting the clansmen, 
and the probability is that he will end by evicting himself. 

With reference to Skye, the landlords, as a rule, were not 
wealthy, and gradually became absentees. The great object 
with their factor was to get as much money as possible for the 
absent lairds. The large farms which at the time were a paying 
concern, grew larger, and in proportion the crofter area dimin- 
ished. In such circumstances it is not surprising that the 
crofters began to look upon landlord, factor, and tacksmen, as a 
combination that might one day root them out altogether. This 
feeling of distrust and sense of wrong on the part of one class 
towards another had long been growing; it needed but a spark to 
set the heather on fire. That spark was applied when, four years 
ago, the tenants of the township of Valtos, refused any longer to 
pay what they considered an exorbitant rent. Since then the 
conflagration has made the round of the island Braes, Glendale, 
and again Kilmuir following in succession. 

There is no part of Great Britain, that has engaged public 
attention more keenly, nor called forth public sympathy more 
widely, for the last two months, than Skye. Startling rumours 
found their way to the newspapers, which made people believe 
that the usual peaceable subjects were in actual rebellion, setting 
law and order at defiance. To one living among them, acquainted 
with their simple and inoffensive mode of life, it appeared strange 
that all these exaggerated statements were so readily believed 
by the authorities. That there was, and is, discontent among 
them, cannot be denied. Were they not more than ordinarily 
patient and peaceful this discontent would long ere now have 
assumed larger proportions. They are quiet and inobtrusive in 
heir habits, respectful to superiors, notwithstanding the hard 



242 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

treatment they have from time to time received at their hands. 
As a class they are honest, sober, and industrious, much devoted 
to their native soil, willing, as far as they can, to give every man 
his due. When they fail in this, no one feels it more than they 
do, and they would deny themselves some of the necessaries of 
life in order to attain it. Instances of this came under my 
observation. 

Some newspaper correspondents have remarked that the 
people on the Kilmuir estate appeared to be worse fed and clad 
than those seen anywhere else in Skye. They are as sober and 
industrious as any of the others : why, then, are they unable to 
feed and clothe themselves, as well as those on the other estates? 

The first thing that struck my attention when I came to 
reside in this parish, three years ago, was the moral cowardice of 
the people. It was of such a character that it surprised me. Why 
should a people, in the main upright in their character, be living 
in such constant dread of their superiors ? W T hy could they not 
put their foot on their native heath without the fear of man ? It 
is a well-known fact that threats were indulged in, which led to a 
continual fear of having these threats put into execution. Many 
instances of high-handed measures were so fresh on their mem- 
ories, that a fear of their repetition had a demoralising effect. To 
the Skye crofter, so passionately fond of his native soil, the reign 
of eviction was the reign of terror. This is the good old way to 
which the crofters were advised to return. It need not surprise 
any one that the advice was sullenly answered in the negative, 
notwithstanding the high authority from which it came. Some 
of their best qualities were, in a measure, crushed by such a 
system of government. Any one who showed an independent 
spirit, or was known to take an interest in public matters, was 
marked, and if he persevered in such conduct he might have had 
to leave the district. 

Since the visit of the Royal Commissioners the people of 
this parish have changed considerably. On that occasion some 
of the delegates were afraid to enter minutely into their griev- 
ances for fear of displeasing the estate officials. Had this not 
been so, much of the evidence would have been stronger than it 
is. Once their grievances were partly disclosed they gained a fair 
amount of sympathy from the public. Newspapers were widely 
read, and the land question was debated in every household, 



THE ESTATE AND PEOPLE OF KILMUIR. 243 

The meetings of the Highland Land Law Reform Associa- 
tion had all the effect of a debating or mutual improvement 
society. The crofters began to think for themselves, and the 
periodical meetings of the Association afforded them an oppor- 
tunity of expressing their views. This some of them do with 
creditable fluency. It may be noted that not a few came to these 
gatherings with their speeches written. Such meetings were a 
novelty, very popular, and always well attended. 

If Skye landlords had taken a greater interest in the educa- 
tion of the people during the last twenty years, had trusted less 
to officials, and shown a more kindly feeling towards the welfare 
of their tenants, the present police and military invasion would 
not have been ^required. 

One cannot help admiring one trait in the character of the 
people; it goes far to palliate other failings. Young men and 
young women serving in the South send home their wages to 
pay a rack rent that their parents may retain their holdings. 
Despite the many hardships the people have to endure, the 
family feeling is tender and in every way exemplary. 

The treatment of the poor was generally harsh. Several 
appeals had recently to be made to the Board of Supervision ; 
these were on the whole successful. Till lately the management 
of parochial affairs was almost entirely in the hands of the 
estate officials, but in September last the crofters woke up, and 
elected three of their number to represent them on that Board. 
Would they have done it ten years ago ? 

Reference will be made to more recent events in Skye in a 
future number. 



FROM ILLINOIS TO THE PACIFIC COAST: 
REMINISCENSES BY AN AMERICAN HIGHLANDER. 

WE extract the following from a letter recently received from 
Mr William Fraser, Elgin, Illinois, U.S.A., being reminiscences 
of a recent journey by him across the Prairie to the Pacific 
Coast. They will prove most interesting to many of our readers. 
Mr Fraser is a native of the county of Inverness, where many of 
his relations still reside : 

"I met a number of Frasers and Mackenzies in the various locations that I 
visited on the Pacific Coast, I first landed in California, where I have a brother who 



244 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

has been a resident of that country for the last 30 years. His home is at Woodland, 
20 miles north of Satramento. I there met a farmer of the name of Mackenzie, from 
Pictou, but not a Gaelic man. One of the principal physicians in the place is a Dr 
Ross, from Lower Canada. His father came from Ross. In San PVancisco I met 
another Mackenzie, a broker from Beauly, who is doing a good business. His office 
being opposite the hotel where I lodged, I went in and asked him in Gaelic, ' An e 
thusa ogha Alastar Mhic Ian, a bha a'm Milifiach.' ' Is mi mata ; be mo mhathair is 
do shean-mhathair cloinn an dapheathar.' Another Mackenzie, who is doing a good 
work there is the Rev. Robert, who was once pastor of our church in Elgin. He is a 
native of Cromarty. He resigned his charge in San Francisco, and accepted a call in 
Pittsburgh, on account of his wife's health, where he received a salary of 5000 dollars 
a year. He was very much respected in San Francisco, not only in his own congrega- 
tion, but by a large class of people outside. Hugh Fraser, who also lives there, was 
visiting his parents in Canada, so I did not see him. His father was a teacher in 
Tigh-an-uilt when I left the country. From San Francisco I took steamer to Portland, 
where I met several Scotsmen, both Lowland and Highland. One of the principal 
wholesale merchants, Mr Donald Macleay, is from Ceann-Lochluichart. After I left 
the place I heard that his partner, Mr Corbett, was from Beauly. I met another 
Mackenzie there, who is keeping a Grocery. He is either from Gairloch or Loch- 
carron. As I was passing by, on one of the principal streets, I observed a sign, ' Dr 
E. S. Fraser.' I went in and asked the Doctor if he was Scotch; he said 'No/ 
but that his father was, and came from Inverness. I then asked where was he born ; 
he said in Michigan. I then asked, Was not your father's name Peter ? He replied, 
' Yes.' And you had an uncle Alexander, once a lawyer in Detroit. He said ' Yes.' 
I then informed him of a number of relations in Scotland that he never heard of. His 
grandfather, Alastair Mor, occupied once the farm of Drumriach on the Reelick side, 
and his father emigrated to America as far back as I can remember. When coming 
to the western country forty years ago, I called on his uncle, the lawyer, at Detroit. 
He was married to a Frenchwoman, and was reputed to be very wealthy. The 
Doctor stated that he left 200,000 dollars at his death ; his family all predeceased him. 
The lawyer's sister was married to Mr Davidson, who was miller at Culcabock when 
I left Scotland, 50 years ago. Dr Fraser informed me that his uncle left his property 
to two nieces in Inverness, and I believe he said they were the miller's daughters. I 
visited a nephew in Salem, 50 miles south of Portland, who is secretary to the State 
Board of Education in the Land Department of Oregon. He owns a mill there, 
which he rented to one Donald Macdonald, a native of Strathpeffer, whose wife is 
from Brahan. I passed a very pleasant evening with them, with Gaelic git leor. I 
was the first who told them of Dr Kennedy's lamented death. I met another Canadian 
Scotsman there, John A. Macdonald, a marble-cutter. He was obliged to know 
Gaelic, as his mother was from the Lews and never knew English. 

I stayed some weeks with friends in Eugene City, 120 miles south of Portland. 
While there, I was informed that there was a man living in the place who conducted 
family worship in Gaelic. I was soon introduced to him, and carried on a conver- 
sation in my native tongue for a couple of hours, more than I had done for twenty 
years before. His name is Simpson, from Inveraray ; and he has been out but two 
years. His son is a Methodist preacher in the place, and is a thorough English 
scholar. There was another Highlander living there at the time, compiling a history 
of Lane County J. Munro Fraser, of the Munros of Poyntzfield. His uncle, Andrew 
Fraser, was once Sheriff at Fort-William. He informed me that he was 15 years in 
China, and was interpreter to General Gordon. I went up to Victoria, and met an- 
other countryman there, Dr William Fraser Tolmie, a native of Ardersier, who was 
fifty years in the country, in the employment of the Hudson's Bay Company. In my 
wanderings on my way home I visited Salt Lake City, and spent a day or two among 
the Latter Day Saints. Not being acquainted with any one, I strolled through the streets, 
and asked the first man I met if there were any Scotsmen among the Mormons. He 
replied that he was a Scotsman and a Mormon ; that his name was Grant ; that he was 
born at Carr-Bridge, and received his education in Inverness. I met with several 
others, both Lowland and Highland, who embraced that strange system. They were 
all ready to argue the question with me, and nail it with Scripture. I denounced their 
system, and expressed my astonishment that any person brought up in Presbyterian 
Scotland, and taught the Chief End of Man, would ever turn a Mormon. 



245 



THE CANADIAN HIGHLANDER. 
BY CHARLES MACKAY, LL.D. 



Thanks to my sires, I'm Highland born, 

And trod the moorland and the heather, 
Since childhood and this soul of mine 

First came into the world together ! 
I've " paidled " barefoot in the burn, 

Roamed on the hraes to pu' the gowan, 
Or clomb the granite cliffs to pluck 

The scarlet berries off the rowan. 
And when the winds blew loud and shrill 

I've scaled the heavenward summits hoary, 
Of grey Ben-Nevis or his peers 

In all their solitary glory, 
And with the enraptured eyes of youth 

Have seen half Scotland spread before me, 
And proudly thought with flashing eyes 

How noble was the land that bore me. 
Alas ! that land denied me bread, 

Land of my sires in bygone ages, 
Land of the Wallace and the Bruce, 

And countless heroes, bards, and sages. 
It had no place for me and mine, 

No elbow-room to stand alive in, 
Nor rood of kindly mother earth 

For honest industry to thrive in. 
'Twas parcell'd out in wide domains, 

By cruel law's resistless fiat, 
So that the sacred herds of deer 

Might roam the wilderness in quiet, 
Untroubled by the foot of man 

On mountain side, or sheltering corrie, 
Lest sport should fail, and selfish wealth 

Be disappointed of its quarry. 
The lords of acres deemed the clans 

Were aliens at the best, or foemen, 
And that the grouse, the sheep, the beeves 

Were worthier animals than yeomen ; 
And held that men might live or die 

Where'er their fate or fancy led them, 
Except among the Highland hills 

Where noble mothers bore and bred them. 
In agony of silent tears, 

The partner of my soul beside me, 
I crossed the seas to find a home 

That Scotland cruelly denied me, 



246 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

And found it on Canadian soil, 

Where man is man in Life's brave battle, 
And not, as in my native glens, 

Of less importance than the cattle. 
And love with steadfast faith in God, 

Strong with the strength I gained in sorrow, 
I've looked the future in the face, 

Nor feared the hardships of the morrow ; 
Assured that if I strove aright 

Good end would follow brave beginning, 
And that the bread, if not the gold, 

Would never fail me in the winning. 
And every day as years roll on 

And touch my brow with age's ringer, 
I learn to cherish more and more 

The land where love delights to linger. 
In thought by day, and dreams by night, 

Fond memory recalls, and blesses 
Its heathery braes, its mountain peaks, 

Its straths and glens and wildernesses. 
And Hope revives at memory's touch, 

That Scotland, crushed and landlord-ridden, 
May yet find room for all her sons, 

Nor treat the humblest as unbidden, 
Room for the brave, the staunch, the true, 

As in the days of olden story, 
When men outvalued grouse and deer, 

And lived their lives ; their country's glory. 
New York Scotsman of January roth 1885. 



A SCOTTISH-AMERICAN BILL OF FARE. We extract the following 
unique and intensely Scottish bill of fare from the San Francisco Chronicle, of January 
1st. The viands enumerated there were discussed, with an accompanying programme 
of songs, on the preceding evening by the San Francisco Scottish Thistle Club : 

60/j-Cock-a-leekie. Kail Broth. Hotch Potch. Tattie Soup. 

Shell Fish Buckies. Mussels. Cockles. Partans. 

Fish Finnan Haddies. Caller Haddies. Speldrins. Saut Herrin. Kippered 
Salmon. Glasco' Magistrates. Tak' a dram. 

Boiled Hoch o' Stirk. Doup o' Mutton. Peet Reekit Braxie Ham. A wee 
Grumphie an' Neeps. 

Roasts Bubbly Jock stuffed wi' Ingins. Jigots. Paitricks. Pheasants wi' 
Blaeberry Sauce. Another Dram to Sloken. 

Cold Dishes Skakie Tremmlie. Pee-weep Pies. Whaup and Doo Tarts. 

Entrees- Royal Scotch Haggis " Great Chieftain o' the Puddin' Race." 
Thairms, Pies and Porter. Parritch and Milk. Pease Brose and Butter. Howtowdies 
wi' Drappit Eggs. Crowdies. Sowans. Sour-dook. Tatties an' Dip. Singet 
Sheep's Head. 

Vegetables Curly Kail. Bil'd Ingins. Neeps. Leeks. Brislet Tatties and 
Carrots. Chappit Tatties. Shives. 

Dessert Roily- Polly. Grozet Tarts. Shorties and Sweeties. Cookies. Ginger- 
bread. Bawbee Baps. Parlies. Aitmeal Bannocks. Tattie Bannocks. Currant 
Loaf. Arnots. Sweeties. Athol Brose. Usquebah (Royal Blend). Tippeny Yill. 
Treacle Peerie. A Drap o' Screech. Mulled Porter. Kebbuck. 



CROFT V. LARGE FARM RENTS IN 
SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 



MR JOHN MACKAY, C.E., Hereford, criticising a statement recently 
published by Sir Arnold Kemball, Commissioner for the Duke 
of Sutherland, writes, under date of 2nd February : 

"I see there is a great disagreement between contending parties as to the relative 
rents paid by large farmers and crofters for the areas of land occupied by each of them. 
Sir Arnold maintains, by published tables, that the large farmers pay very much more 
for their areas of arable and hill pasture than the crofters do for their areas. The 
crofters assert that the very contrary is the fact. From the sequel it will appear that 
the crofters are perfectly correct. We all know that it is not very agreeable to land- 
lords or to estate agents to admit that crofters can have attained to so much intelli- 
gence, and become possessed of so much information, as to dispute the accuracy of 
carefully prepared statements and tabulated returns. We know, too, that statements 
can be so prepared that, while not inaccurate in themselves, they can be so framed as 
to mislead the general public in a way that they can make nothing of them, nor derive 
any clear insight from them of the matter in dispute. Nevertheless, we have in them 
facts which, when analysed and collated with other information at hand, may give a 
very approximate, if not a strictly accurate, view of the point in question. This con- 
troversy regarding comparative rents per acre of holdings by large farmers and crofters 
in Sutherland, first turned up at the sitting of the Royal Commission in the parish of 
Farr, at which it was asserted, and with truth, that the crofters for their area paid 
rents equal to 2od. an acre for very inferior land, arable and hill pasture, while 
the sheep farmers only paid 8d. an acre for theirs, and were remissions of rent 
taken into consideration, remissions enforced and granted, the difference would 
be greater still. At a subsequent sitting in Helmsdale for the parishes of Kildonan 
and Loth, a delegate maintained, and proved beyond dispute, that the crofters there 
paid 35. 3d. an acre for their areas, while the large farmers for their areas paid only 
7cl. an acre. In the sitting in Golspie for the parishes of Clyne, Golspie, Rogart, and 
Lairg, it was asserted on behalf of the Rogart crofters that they paid is. io4d. an acre, 
while the large farmers in that parish only paid rod. an acre of area. The whole of 
the crofters at these three sittings further contended that they paid these large differ 
ences upon lands they themselves reclaimed from waste, without any aid, and their 
rents periodically raised, while those of the large farmers were diminished. Lord 
Napier, as he well might, was much surprised, doubted the statements made, and 
asked the estate officials for contradiction. The only contradiction vouchsafed was that 
crofters were not charged for hill pasture an assertion amply refuted afterwards at 
the last sitting of the Commission in Edinburgh. 

"To set this controversy in a clearer light is the object of my addressing you; 
and I solicit you to give the following few facts and figures a space in your valuable 
columns. 

"The only materials I have at hand, and upon which I rely, are the Royal Com- 
mission Report and Evidence, Stafford House Returns appended to the Report, 
County Valuation Roll for 1883, and the large Ordnance Survey of the county. The 



248 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

latter gives the total area of the parish of Rogart in round figures to be 67,000 acres. 
The Stafford House returns, page 288, appendix A to the Report, give the area, arable, 
improvable, and hill pasture, in the occupation of the crofters as 9892 acres, or say, 
10,000 acres, which leaves 57,ooo acres as the area occupied by the large farmers and 
a small park kept in hand by the estate, and let separately for grazing at so much 
a-head to the small tenantry in addition to their ordinary rents. By the same returns 
the rent paid by the small tenants or crofters for these 10,000 acres is ^"1189. 8s. 6d. 
equal to 2s. 4d. an acre. By the County Valuation Roll for 1883, we find the rent 
paid by the large farmers for the 57,000 as above to be ^2370, or only lod. an acre 
nearly ; and if it is further borne in mind that the large farmers exacted, and really 
obtained, a large remission of their rents, while the crofters were refused if they did 
demand a reduction, the comparative difference will be still greater. 

"It appears to me that these figures are incontestable. They go to prove that 
the Rogart crofters have had substantial facts before them, and that their statements 
are highly deserving of credit when analysed and placed in contradistinction to those 
of estate officials and estate returns. Such analyses as these are highly valuable to the 
general public, to form an opinion upon the merits of this controversy, for hitherto 
the general use has been that crofters paid much less and sheep farmers much more 
for their aggregate areas. Hence that crofters were ever a burden upon estates, were 
a non-improving class of tenantry, that landlords would have been better very much 
better without them, that the State could obtain soldiers from town and city, and 
that by the extirpation of a noble peasantry, landlords and large farmers would be in 
Arcadia, and the State could take care of itself." 



"THE CROFTERS' GATHERING." We have been favoured with a copy 
of a very effective cartoon bearing; the above title, by Mr W. L. Bogle, who did such 
good artistic work for the Graphic and the Pictorial World on the occasion of the 
first military and police expedition to the Isle of Skye. The dominant idea represented 
in Mr Bogle's cartoon is true to fact, namely, that the movement among the crofters of 
the Highlands is one in which simple " Justice " and not " Socialism " is the aim. In 
the foreground a strong-lunged Celt is blowing a horn, and the main subject represents 
the result in the shape of an enthusiastic gathering of crofters, who are seen climbing 
a hill on the top of which two stalwart fellows, one of them wearing a broad Tarn o' 
Shanter bonnet, are striving to raise and maintain a standard on which is conspicuously 
displayed the single word "Justice." The adverse winds are almost more than a 
match for the two supporters of the flag, who seem most determined that it shall not 
go down if they can prevent it. In the right foreground is seen approaching a 
man, evidently meant for Mr Henry George, bearing aslant his shoulder the star- 
spangled American banner, on which is inscribed the word " Socialism." His pro- 
gress, however, is not to be an easy or a popular one, for he is stoutly confronted by 
an aged drover-looking Highlander, grasping a stout cudgel in rather a threatening 
manner. In his expression of countenance may be read anything but a warm 
welcome to the "Apostle" of Land Nationalisation. The conception and execution of 
the cartoon are really excellent, and reflect the highest credit on'Mr Bogle, in whom we 
are glad to recognise a young and rising Highland artist one quite able to take up the 
mantle of the accomplished Ralston. Accompanying the cartoon is a very good 
parody of "The Macgregor's Gathering," with the refrain changed into 

" The crofters, despite them, 
Shall flourish for ever." 



249 

DEATH OF JOHN F. CAMPBELL OF ISLAY. 

WE regret to record the death of Mr J. F. Campbell of Islay, a gentleman well known 
throughout the Highlands as a distinguished Celtic scholar. He died at Cannes, 
where he was spending the winter, on Tuesday, the I7th February, at the age of sixty- 
three. The deceased was the only son of the late Mr Walter F. Campbell of Islay, 
M. P. , by his first wife, Lady Ellinor Charteris, eldest daughter of the seventh Earl 
of Wemyss. He was born in Edinburgh on the 29th of December 1821, and 
educated at Eton and Edinburgh, and in 1851 was called to the bar of the Inner 
Temple, but never practised. In 1854 he was appointed private secretary to the 
Duke of Argyll when Lord Privy Seal. In the following year he was appointed 
assistant secretary to the General Board of Health, and subsequently held, in 1856, 
the secretaryship of the Mines Commission, and, in 1859, that of the Commission on 
Lighthouses. Possessed of literary tastes, and deeply interested in the manners and 
customs of the Highlands, and the legendary lore of the people, Mr Campbell devoted 
much attention to the study of Celtic folk-lore. He took an active part in the Ossianic 
controversy, and between 1860 and 1862 published his Popular Tales of the High- 
lands, in four volumes. In 1872 he published the first volume of a work entitled 
"Leabhar Na Feinne : Heroic Gaelic Ballads." He was also the author of two 
volumes entitled "Frost and Fire: Footmarks and Chips," in which scientific observa- 
tions and sketches of travel were pleasantly recorded. Several other works also came 
from his pen, including a series of letters describing a trip round the world. In 1861 
he was appointed a Gentleman Usher of the Privy Chamber, and in 1874 ner Majesty 
appointed him one of the Grooms-in- Waiting, which office he resigned in 1880. Be- 
sides many earlier European and much Alpine climbing, Mr Campbell travelled, for 
purposes of research and observation, in 1857 in Norway, in 1861 in Iceland, in 1864 
in America, in 1855 in Northern Scandinavia. In 1873-4 he made a journey by 
Norway to Archangel, and thence through Russia to the Caucasus, returning by Con- 
stantinople and the south of Europe. He made a voyage round the world, visiting 
Japan, China, Java, and Ceylon, in 1874-5, and m 1876-7 he visited India. In 1878 he 
resided in Egypt, and during that year made a short journey to Syria and Palestine. 
He again visited Egypt in 1880 I. His works, a list of which is annexed, show the 
extent of his observations and thought on Ethnological, Geological, and Physical 
subjects. His Heliometer, mentioned with special distinction by Professor Balfour 
Stewart at the meeting of the British Association in 1883, is in constant use at Green- 
wich, and other scientific instruments invented or adapted by him, are in use at the 
Ben Nevis Observatory. For the last twenty years Mr Campbell has been well known 
to a large circle of Londoners. At Niddry Lodge were to be always found many of 
the most celebrated men of the day. Mr Campbell was a brother-in-law to Lord 
Granville, to Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie of Gairloch, Bart., to Mr Henry Wyndham 
West, Q.C., Recorder of Manchester, and M.P. for Ipswich, and to the late Mr 
Bromley-Davenport. His chief published works are " Popular Tales of the West 
Highlands," 4 vols., 1860-62. "Life in Normandy," his father's notes, edited, 2 
vols., 1863. "A Short American Tramp, 1864," I vol., 1865. "Frost and Fire," 2 
vols., 1865. "Gold Diggings in Sutherland," 1867. "Leabhar na Feinne," Gaelic 
texts, I vol. folio, 1872. " Glaciation of Ireland, quarto, Jour. Geol. Soc., 1873. 
"My Circular Notes, 2 vols, 1876. "Glacial Periods," I vol., 1883; and many 
pamphlets on various subjects, 



250 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

A friend " who knew him well and loved him" writes 

"Wherever the Gaelic tongue is spoken, and wherever sturdy independence of 
thought, associated with geniality of temperament and manliness of character is highly 
esteemed, the death of John Campbell of Islay will be sincerely deplored. Devotedly 
attached to the land of his birth, and a keen student of its poetic traditions, he has 
enriched the literature of the country with a work which is likely to take a permanent 
place in the esteem of his fellow-countryman. The " Popular Tales of the West 
Highlands" must always have an enduring interest for every true lover of the region to 
which that excellent work relates, and can never fail to excite the patriotic fervour of 
every Highlander. Mr Campbell's life was devoted to the accumulation of the Folk 
Lore which reflects so accurately the sympathies, habits, and instincts of a people, and 
his labours were labours of love. This abiding memorial will be found in the hearts of 
those whom his writings have so much delighted, and a large circle of mourning 
friends have the melancholy satisfaction of feeling that their grief is shared by numbers 
who had not attained to the privilege of his personal friendship. 



DEATH OF MR WALTER CARRUTHERS OF THE " INVERNESS 
COURIER." We regret to announce the death of Mr Walter Carruthers of the 
Inverness Courier, who died at Gordonville on Friday, 2 1st February. Born in May 
1829, Mr Carruthers had nearly completed his fifty-sixth year. He was educated at 
the Inverness Royal Academy and at Edinburgh University, finishing his course at 
Bonn, in Rhenish Prussia. During his residence abroad he acquired a good know- 
ledge of French and German, and was well read in the literature of both countries. 
His first connection with the press was as Parliamentary reporter for the Morning 
Chronicle^ then a leading organ of public opinion in England. In 1853 he joined his 
father, the late Dr Carruthers, on the staff of the Courier^ becoming a few years later 
a partner and chief coadjutor in the business. He was one of the first to suggest 
Tomnahurich as the best site in the neighbourhood of Inverness for a public cemetery, 
and, along with Provost Macandrew, he was for a time secretary to the Cemetery 
Company. The handsome monument erected in Skye to the memory of Flora Mac- 
donald was another work which Mr Carruthers assisted to accomplish. He married 
in 1856 the eldest daughter of the late Provost Ferguson, Inverness, who, with a 
large family, survives him. 

DEATH OF GENERAL GRANT'S UNCLE. Mr Roswell Grant, uncle of 
General Grant, has just died at Charleston, Virginia. Born in the year 1800, he was 
the last of a family of eight children, all of whom lived to an advanced age. During 
the Civil War deceased sympathised with the South, but he predicted that she would 
not succeed, because Ulysses, his nephew, was "on the other side, and understood 
his business." Mr Grant had voted for 17 Presidents, all of whom were elected. 



"THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER." We are glad to intimate that the 
encouragement already received justifies the publishers of the Celtic Magazine, Messrs 
A. & W. Mackenzie, Inverness, in starting their proposed Highland newspaper, under 
the above title, in May or June next. Arrangements are in course of being made for 
securing suitable premises, and for the early publication of the paper. Meanwhile 
subscribers names and advertisements may be addressed to the Publishers, at 25 High 
Street, Inverness. The paper will be edited by Mr Alexander Mackenzie, F.S.A. 
Scot., editor of the Celtic Magazine. 



THE 

CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A.. Scot. 
No. CXIV. APRIL 1885. VOL. X. 

THE FUTURE OF THE GAELIC LANGUAGE. 



I. 

AN enthusiastic Hebridean bard, in chanting the praises of his 
own native isle, speaks of it as a place 

" Where Gaelic was spoken for ages gone by, 
And there it will live till the ocean runs dry." 

We may leave to antiquarians the consideration of the retro- 
spective portion of this statement For us, as for all Highlanders, 
the practical pressing question of the hour is that involved in the 
prophetic utterance expressed in the latter line of the couplet. 
Is the Gaelic language doomed to die ? This is a problem upon 
which the majority of Scottish Celts feel very keenly, some so 
keenly that they are unable to approach it with the calm- 
ness requisite for its consideration. That such an attitude should 
be assumed towards it is of course most natural. A man can- 
not be expected to deal coolly and collectedly with a question 
which he regards as seriously affecting the keenest sympathies 
and most deeply rooted convictions of his life, more especially if that 
man be endowed with all the passion and emotion of the Scottish 
Highlander. The patriotic bias may have seriously affected the in- 
tellectual equilibrium of those Celts who turn away in anger and 
contempt from the question stated above ; but we cannot blame 
them. It is refreshing in these times to come across men who 
can really be enthusiastic about anything. When that enthusiasm 



252 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

takes the form of patriotism, even though it be to some extent 
blind patriotism, we are at once ready to admire it. 

It is, however, most desirable that the Gaelic question should 
be fairly and distinctly faced. Nothing can be gained, while 
much may be lost, by refusing to discuss it. 

The language and literature of the Celt have of late years 
been receiving a good deal more attention than they have been 
accustomed to. The study of the science of language has 
brought out the value of the Keltic dialects. For the accomplished 
philologist now some knowledge of them is a sine qua non 
The institution of a Celtic Chair in the University of Edinburgh, 
which we owe mainly to the large heart of Professor Blackie, has 
been the crowning triumph of those who have the interests of 
Celtic and of Gaelic at heart. Not only has the enthusiasm 
evoked called out the friends of Gaelic, but its enemies have not 
lost the opportunity of letting their influence be felt. Have we 
not been hearing from all quarters, more especially from quarters 
hitherto regarded as hostile to Celtic interests, that one great 
factor, if not the great factor, that has militated against the pros- 
perity of the Highlander has been his language ; that until Gaelic 
has been eradicated the poverty and distress so widely prevalent 
in the Highlands to-day can never be remedied or removed ? 
Some even go so far as to say that the cure for the present 
social ills that harass the North of Scotland is nothing more or 
less than the complete extinction of Gaelic ; while many agree in 
unhesitatingly foretelling such extinction at no distant date. 

What have we got to say to those who put forward such 
propositions ? With very many of them we at once refuse to 
enter into discussion, for, as in many cases, their knowledge 
both of Gaelic and of the Highlands amounts to a minus 
quantity, their statements can have no weight with those 
who have guaged their pretensions. But there are some men 
who honestly and sincerely believe that the extinction of Gaelic 
is not only desirable but necessary for the welfare of the High- 
lands. The views of such we are ready to hear calmly and 
courteously. 

The issues involved in the whole question may, perhaps, 
best be brought out by considering in detail two separate aspects 
of it : Is the extinction of Gaelic desirable ? Is it probable ? 






THE FUTURE OF THE GAELIC LANGUAGE. 253 

In the first place, then, is the extinction of Gaelic desirable? 
An affirmative answer to the question rests upon the assumption 
that, under certain circumstances, it is for the interests of a 
people that they should cease to employ the language to which 
they have been ever accustomed, and adopt one more calculated 
to promote their prosperity. The argument is a purely com- 
mercial one, but should not be disregarded on that account. We 
must have bread to eat, and with many Highlanders to-day the 
all important problem which their poverty has forced upon them 
is : Whence that indispensable may be had ? Would the High- 
lander make more money if he spoke only English ? 

We, of course, have nothing to say to those who seem to 
imagine that a knowledge of English is an infallible passport to 
prosperity. When poverty has given place to comfort among 
the entire English-speaking peoples, we may then, perhaps, 
look at it in this way. Yet there are those who go about the 
world proclaiming with all the wearisomeness of men with a fad 
that Gaelic is at the root of the present distress in the Highlands, 
men who would almost go the length of requesting Parliament 
to pass a bill for its extinction a measure which a certain class 
would much prefer to a Land Act. We trust there are few 
who have been so intellectually blinded as to cherish such a 
delusion. It goes without saying then, that whether or not Gaelic 
be a cause of Highland poverty, it is not the main cause. 

But is it a cause ? What do those who are so anxious for 
its overthrow tell us ? They tell us that the Celt is continually 
hampered in his efforts to obtain employment by his ignorance 
of English ; that while at home this ignorance renders him com- 
paratively unfit for the service of the wealthy Southerner who has 
never become conversant with the tongue of the Gael, or of the 
pseudo-Celt who, though bred amid Highland hills, has never had 
the inclination or the brains to master his mother tongue, both 
of whom have to get their employees from the South. His ignor- 
ance of English is still more inconvenient and harrassing to the 
Celt when working or seeking work at the herring fishing on 
the East Coast or amid the yards and factories of the South. 
It is ignorance of English, not knowledge of Gaelic, that has 
done all this. We at once admit that, for any British subject, 
not to be able to speak the tongue of the great majority of the 



254 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

British people is a serious misfortune. We also admit that the Celt 
has suffered many discomforts and losses through his ignorance 
of it ; and we desire for a hundred reasons that the Highlanders, 
as many of them have done and are doing, should become 
acquainted with it as soon as possible ; but we deny deny most 
emphatically that any man, Celt or Saxon, ever lost a single 
penny through knowing Gaelic. To the Highlanders, one and 
all, we would say : By all means learn English, but cling with 
the tenacity of your race to your mother tongue. 

Can this be done? Is it riot in the nature of things im- 
possible to maintain the duality of speech such an arrangement 
would entail? Can a people have two languages? Of course 
our questions will be answered off-hand by many in a decided 
negative ; but we venture to think they merit somewhat gentler 
treatment. It is not suggested that the Celt should make a rigid 
division of his time into two equal portions, allotting one period 
to English, the other to Gaelic ; that upon the one leg he is to 
wear the Garb of Old Gaul, and upon the other, the latest in 
pants; but what we do mean is this, that, seeing that the 
Highlander finds a knowledge of English frequently advantageous 
and necessary for success in life, he should, in all cases, do 
his best to acquire it sufficiently well to carry himself safely 
through the world; but that in so doing he should, so far from 
taking pains to rid himself of his Gaelic, treasure it religiously 
as a priceless heritage. That this can be done every High- 
lander who speaks both English and Gaelic is a standing 
witness. 

Suppose it admitted, and in the face of such numerous ex- 
amples it cannot be denied, that it is possible to know both 
English and Gaelic, the question that then arises is : Is it worth 
a man's while to preserve his knowledge of both ? We do not 
now refer to the scholar, who includes Gaelic among his linguistic 
studies, as he does Greek and Latin. Its value to him is ap- 
parent. We look at the question from the standpoint of the 
average Celt, whose main object in life is to earn his bread, and 
from that standpoint we assert that it is worth while. There can 
be no doubt that as long as the Gaelic-speaking area is anything 
like what it is at present, a knowledge of it must be valuable, even 
from a pecuniary point of view. Traders of various kinds cannot 



THE FUTURE OF THE GAELIC LANGUAGE. 255 

conduct business in the Highlands profitably and satisfactorily 
without knowing it. For clergymen it is, of course, indispensable. 
For lawyers it is equally indispensable, more especially for those 
who discharge the duties of judges a fact which we trust the 
present bungling of the Sheriff of Stornoway will enable those in 
authority to realise. To set medical practitioners, who do not know 
Gaelic, at large in any part of the Highlands, is to endanger the 
lives, not to speak of the health, of those who have to submit to 
their treatment. For the candidates for the political suffrages of 
the Highlanders, more especially in view of the enlarged elector- 
ate, Gaelic is a priceless boon. It is the most effective instru- 
ment for reaching the Highland heart. 

But there are higher reasons why Gaelic should be preserved. 
The benefits that accrue from it, though they are to some extent, 
as we have shown, pecuniary, are mainly intellectual and moral. 
No one ever lost money because he knew Gaelic, but thousands 
have through it been put in possession of treasures much more 
valuable than gold or silver. If ever a race recognised the never- 
dying truth of the old, yet ever new, maxim, "Man cannot live by 
bread alone," the Scottish Highlanders have, and we trust that the 
spirit which has inspired them through all their glorious past in- 
spires them still. 

Why is the preservation of Gaelic desirable ? What does 
the death of a language indicate and entail ? It indicates com- 
plete moral degeneracy on the part of the people whose heritage 
that language was. Why have the old languages of Greece and 
Rome perished ? Was it on account of their unfitness to give 
expression to the thoughts and aspirations of the Greek and 
Roman peoples ? History tells another tale. It was because the 
Greeks and the Romans had become enfeebled, degenerated, had 
lost their national vitality. It was because all the heroisms of 
their histories had become to them valueless and meaningless. 
The historians and the linguists of a future time, should the 
Gaelic language have been consigned to the lumber room of 
things that were sed Dii avertant omen will have to trace out 
the development of similar causes in connection with the Scottish 
Highlanders. The loss of Gaelic means far more than the sub- 
stitution of one form of speech for another. It means the ob- 
literation of a thousand stirring memories, a thousand ennobling 



256 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

associations. The death of Gaelic will cause a gap in the intel- 
lectual and moral continuity of Highland history which can never 
be bridged over. It will efface the individuality of the Celtic race. 
Gaelic is the strongest link in the chain that binds the High- 
lander to the past. What that past is to him he alone who 
understands Highland character can appreciate. With it are 
bound up influences, which have all along been moulding that 
character influences which have made it what it is. Gaelic 
literature, all the prose and poetry handed down to us from 
the past, whether by written page or oral tradition, will cease to 
be the living force which it is to-day. Those songs which for cen- 
turies have been borne on the winds over the glens and the straths 
of the North will become the sole property of the philologist 
and antiquarian. "The stirring memories of a thousand years" 
will no longer nerve the Celt to devotion or heroism. Soon the 
other distinctive features of Celtic life and character will follow 
the language with which they are so closely bound up. Once 
Gaelic has gone, the way will be clear for the extermination of 
everything else of which, as Highlanders, we have been ever 
proud. Can any lover of the Highlands, or even any well-wisher 
of his country, contemplate such a crisis with equanimity. To 
some, no doubt, such considerations may seem valueless, senti- 
mental ; but many of the forces which the vulgar utilitarian 
enrols under the category of sentiment are those which go to the 
making of a people. There can be no more ennobling element 
in national character than the memory of a glorious past. To- 
day, when the shadow that for long has shed such a deep gloom 
over the Highland people seems at last about to be removed, the 
clans should once again be marshalled, and the word should go 
forth that the fight now is for no less a cause than those for which 
the Celt has shed his blood in many a battlefield ; it is for the 
language which he learned at his mother's knee, and not only for 
that, but for all the higher verities which have ever made Celtic 
life much more than a mere clumsy struggle for gain, verities 
which have clothed that life with a simplicity and grandeur which 
have made it a mighty moral force in the world. 

JOHN MACARTHUR. 



(To be continued.) 






257 



EARLY HISTORY AND INHABITANTS OF 
SCOTLAND. 

BY PROVOST MACANDREW. 



IT was during their war with the Brigantes, the nation or tribe 
which inhabited the North of England from sea to sea, and pro- 
bably extended as far as the Firths of Forth and Clyde, and 
about the year 69 of our era, that the Romans first heard of the 
people who inhabited the country north of these Firths. They 
then became known to the Romans under the name of Cale- 
donians, or, as they called them, Caledonian Britons, and their 
country the Romans called the Caledonian Forest. The account 
which the Romans then received of their political and social 
condition, or perhaps to speak more correctly, which the Roman 
writers gave of it, was that they knew nothing of the cultivation 
of the ground, that they lived on fish and milk, that they were 
governed by one king, who was not allowed to possess any pro- 
perty lest it should lead him to avarice and injustice, or to have 
a wife lest a legitimate family should provoke to ambition. It 
is singular that this describes a state of society exactly similar to 
that which Julius Caesar had heard of as existing among the 
tribes in the interior of Great Britain -with whom he did not 
come in contact, but of which we hear nothing when the Romans 
did come in contact with these tribes. It was about twelve 
years later that the Romans actually came in contact with 
the inhabitants of Caledonia, and that the actual authentic 
history of the country and people begins. In the year 
78 Julius Agricola arrived in Britain as Governor of the 
Roman Province, under the Emperor Domitian. At that time 
the limits of the Province seem to have nearly coincided with 
the present boundary of the Kingdom of Scotland ; the first 
work of Agricola was the suppression of a revolt by the Bri- 
gantes, and after he had succeeded in that, and reduced the 
country to order, he formed the idea of extending the empire 
northwards, and of conquering Caledonia. The campaigns of 
Agricola are detailed in his life, written by his son-in-law, the 
great Roman historian Tacitus, who presumably derived his 



258 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

information from Agricola himself, but it is not easy for us now, 
even with this assistance, to trace the route of Agricola. Burton 
supposes that he proceeded by the east coast, while Skene sup- 
poses that he crossed the Solway, and that his first campaign 
was in Dumfriesshire, where there are many remains of Roman 
encampments. Certain it is, that in his second campaign, in the 
third year of his governorship, Tacitus tells us that he reached 
a river which he calls, or until recently was supposed to call, 
the " Tavaus," and which is generally supposed to mean the 
Tay. The difficulty in believing that the river thus mentioned 
was the Tay arises from the fact that it is not till his sixth sum- 
mer that Agricola is described as crossing the Firth of Forth 
and encountering the natives there. Perhaps Skene's theory 
is as good and as probable as any other, and it is that in his 
third year Agricola crossed from the Solway to the Clyde and 
Forth, crossing the latter river at Stirling, and that he then 
penetrated to the Tay, establishing outposts in that region, and 
returning with his army behind the Isthmus stretching between 
the Firths of Clyde and Forth, along which he erected a line of 
forts with the intention of establishing there the boundary of the 
empire ; that he afterwards crossed the Firth of Forth, and led 
his army by a different route through Fife to the posts which he 
had established, encountering there the new nations whom Taci- 
tus mentions. Certain it is, however, that during his sixth and 
seventh years Agricola led a great army to the Tay, and that 
Tacitus says nothing to indicate that this was not the river of 
the same name as the one which he mentions as having been 
reached in the third year. The second advance to the Tay seems 
to have roused the inhabitants, who united in common defence 
under a leader whom Tacitus calls Galgacus, and that, at a place 
which Tacitus calls Mons Grampius and which, although it has 
been questioned, there seems no reason to doubt was one of the 
spurs of the great range of mountains now called Grampians 
a great battle was fought. According to Tacitus, the battle 
ended in a great victory for the Romans, and there seems no 
reason to doubt that they remained masters of the field, but 
the battle seems to have satisfied Agricola not only that 
farther advance was impossible, but that retreat was advis- 
able, and he accordingly retired with his legion within 



HISTORY AND INHABITANTS OF SCOTLAND 259 

line of posts established between the northern firths, and soon 
after he was recalled to Rome. The Roman fleet which accom- 
panied the army, and which was in sight of the battle, was 
ordered to sail northward, and it did actually sail round the 
northern coast and circumnavigated the island, thus first authen- 
tically establishing the fact that Britain was an island. The 
exact site of the battle has been much disputed, the advocates for 
each locality contending with as much ardour and probability 
for his particular place as the Antiquary did for the Kaim of 
Kinprunes, which, if no Edie Ochiltree had been at hand to 
convict him of error, he would probably have always remained 
convinced was the true site. It is, perhaps, not possible now to 
fix where the battle really was fought, but that a great series of 
Roman campaigns was carried on in the country surrounding 
Perth is evidenced not alone by the history of Tacitus, but by 
the numerous remains of great Roman encampments which are 
there to be seen to this day. 

It is of more interest for us to consider what account Tacitus 
gives us of the people with whom his relative came into such 
close contact He tells us that these people were large of limb, 
and red haired ; that they fought with swords and shields, and 
in chariots ; that they did not cultivate the land, and had no 
mines or commerce. He says that their appearance might indi- 
cate a German origin ; but he says also that it was doubtful 
whether they were the original inhabitants, or had immigrated 
into the country, and he gives his own opinion that in common 
with the other inhabitants of Britain they had come from Gaul ; 
and he indicates no material difference of language between them 
and the other Britains. He says nothing of the habit of painting 
or tattooing their bodies, or of their having their women in 
common ; and from the speech to his army, which he puts into 
the mouth of Galgacus, we learn that they looked with jealousy 
on the honour of their wives and sisters, that they considered 
themselves as one nation, as the most noble of their race, as the 
last of the Britains who had maintained their freedom. From 
the geographer, Ptolemy, who is supposed to have obtained his 
account of Britain from persons who accompanied the army and 
the fleet of Tacitus, we learn that in Caledonia there were several 
towns, and that the nation was divided into a number of tribes. 



260 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

From the retirement of Agricola we hear nothing of Cale- 
donia or its inhabitants for 36 years. In the year 120 the 
Emperor Hadrian visited Britain in person for the purpose of 
suppressing an insurrection, and he then fixed the boundaries of 
the Empire at a line drawn from the Solway Firth at Carlisle to 
the Tyne, and along this he erected a wall, most probably the 
great stone wall, the remains of which exist till this day. This 
step on his part would seem to indicate that the conquest of 
Agricola up to the Firths of Clyde and Forth was not enduring. 
The next mention we have of these Caledonians is in the reign 
of Antonius, when the independent portion of the Brigantes who 
lived beyond the wall of Hadrian broke into and ravaged the 
Northern Province, and in 139 General Lollius Urbicus was 
sent to Britain to subdue them. He overcame them, and again 
extended the boundary of the Empire to the Firths of Clyde and 
Forth, and along this boundary erected an earthen wall or rampart, 
the remains of which still remain, and may be seen by railway 
travellers at Polmont Junction, where the railway passes through 
it. From the time of Antonius, until the time of the Emperor 
Severus, we have several notices of the Caledonians, showing that 
they were constantly making attempts to thrust back the Romans, 
or to penetrate into the Roman Province, and that it taxed the 
whole strength of the Provincial Governors to keep them at bay, 
but we may infer that during this time the wall or rampart of 
Antonine was maintained as the boundary of the Province. 
During this time, too, we hear of the inhabitants nearest the wall 
under the name of Meatae, and of the Caledonians as dwelling 
beyond them, but whether these names indicate any new political 
combinations among them, it is impossible to say. About the 
year 208, the Emperor Severus came to Britain and resolved to 
repeat the attempt of Agricola to conquer the Caledonians. He 
fought no great battle, but he is believed to have penetrated with 
his army along the East Coast to the Moray Firth, the final limit 
of his expedition being, as some believed, Bona, at the outlet of 
Loch-Ness ; and part of his army at least returned through the 
Grampians. There are Roman remains at Pitmain, near King- 
ussie ; and an antiquary has recently satisfied himself that the 
old arch spanning the Dulnan, close to Carr-Bridge, was built by 
him. The arch is very like one of General Wade's, but as his 



HISTORY AND INHABITANTS OF SCOTLAND. 261 

road crossed the Dalnan, about two miles higher up, where his 
bridge remains, it is not easy to see why he should have built 
another bridge at this point. Severus seems to have satisfied 
himself like Agricola that the conquest of the northern people 
was beyond his power, and he made no attempt to hold any part 
of the country through which he passed. He is said to have 
obtained by treaty a cession of territory, and to have built a wall 
of stone at the boundary which he fixed for the Roman Province. 
Whether his work consisted in facing with stone the earthen ram- 
part of Lollius Urbicus, and adding a ditch in front of it, or 
whether it was he who really built the great stone wall between 
the Solway and Tyne, is a point about which different opinions 
have been expressed from the time of the Venerable Bede to 
this. Certain it is that while numerous sculptures have been 
found in the wall from Solway to Tyne connecting it with 
Hadrian, none have been found connecting it with Severus, and 
that the withdrawing of the boundary of the Empire is incon- 
sistant with the statement, that Severus had obtained a grant of 
territory by treaty. On the other hand, there does not appear to 
be any evidence that there was a stone wall between Clyde and 
Forth. Those who wish to see this question critically examined 
may consult Father Innes's essay. 

The historians of Severus, while giving us the names of the 
Meatae and the Caledonii as separate nations or tribes, speak of 
them as one people, and make no distinctions as to their language 
and social condition, and they tell us that their arms were still a 
sword and shield, but to these they add a short spear with a 
brazen knob at the end of the shaft, which they shook to terrify 
their enemies, and a dagger ; that they used chariots in war, as 
in the time of Tacitus, and they now add that they had com- 
munity of women, and reared the children as the joint-offspring 
of the community. The historian Herodian, who wrote about 
the year 240, adds this, " They mark their bodies with various 
pictures of all manner of animals, and therefore they clothe not 
themselves lest they should hide the painted outside of their 
bodies." These are two statements to which I will afterwards 
return. 

From this time forward we have various notices of war 
between the Caledonians and the Romans and Provincial Bri- 



262 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

tains, all showing that the tribes in the North were pressing on 
the Roman Province, and that the defence became more and 
more difficult Sometimes the frontier was withdrawn to the 
southern, sometimes it was pushed forward again to the northern, 
wall. In 294 Carusius, a Roman General, but apparently a 
Britain by birth, usurped independent authority in Britain, and 
for ten years under him and his successor, Allectus, the Province 
was independent of Rome, and appears to have been at peace 
with its northern neighbours, but on the resumption of the 
authority of Rome, the war again commenced, and the northern 
inhabitants now appear under the name of Picts, a name by 
which they continued to be known for upwards of 600 years. In 
the year 360, a new people, the Scots, are noticed as joining with 
the Picts in the attacks on the Roman Empire, and they are 
represented as coming from lerne or Ireland. There is mention 
also of a third people, which is somewhat confusing, viz., the 
Attacoti, who are supposed by some to have been a division of 
the Scots resident in Britain, but as they appear to have been 
enrolled in considerable numbers in the Roman army, the great 
probability is that they were a portion of the people who in- 
habited the country between the two walls under a new name. 
However this may be, they soon disappear, and for a long time, 
and until the final disappearance of the Romans, we hear only of 
the Picts and Scots as attacking the Roman Province from the 
North, while from the time of Carusius downwards, there are 
notices of the Franks and the Saxons, as also attacking the Pro- 
vince from the sea. After twice withdrawing from Britain, and 
returning again, the Roman Legions finally withdrew in or about 
the year 410, and the Province of Britain ceased to be a part of 
the Roman Empire. The British historian, Gildas, tells us that 
the Picts then seized the country up to the southern wall, and 
having crossed it, were resisted by the Provincial Britains under 
a leader called Vortegern, who is said to have invited the 
Saxons to enter and settle in the country to assist him against 
the Picts and Scots, and that this led to the conquest of 
Southern Britain by the Saxons. 

From this time and for 1 50 years we have no authentic con- 
temporary account of the inhabitants of the northern portion of 
Britain, and the first account we get is what is to be gleaned from 



HISTORY AND INHABITANTS OF SCOTLAND. 263 

the lives of St Columba. It is to be borne in mind that the 
Roman Province of Britain had, along with the rest of the Roman 
Empire, embraced the Christian faith under the Emperor Con- 
stantine about a century before the final withdrawal of the 
Romans ; but Ireland and the country inhabited by the Picts re- 
mained Pagan. It is said by Bede that St Ninian, about the 
year 397, converted the Southern Picts up to the mountain 
region of the Grampians ; but the Church which St Ninian 
founded, and the headquarters of his mission, was at Whitehern, 
in Galloway, and the Southern Picts whom he converted were, 
I think, only those of Galloway, to whom I shall afterwards 
allude. The inhabitants of Ireland were converted about the 
same time, and there seems no reason tG doubt that the conver- 
sion was effected by St Patrick, who was of British birth, had 
been carried off and enslaved by the Scots in one of their attacks 
on Britain, and having made his escape, and been ordained a priest, 
returned to Ireland as a missionary. About the year 560 St 
Columba, a priest of the Irish Church, descended of the royal line 
of the Hy Neils, and who had already acquired great fame and 
founded many monasteries in Ireland, arrived in lona, where he 
founded a monastery, with the intention of converting the Picts, 
who were then heathens. Here he laboured for 34 years, making 
many journeys into the country of the Picts, and converting them 
to Christianity, founding many churches and monasteries. About 
100 years after his death, Adamnan, the Abbot of lona, the suc- 
cessor of St Columba and his relation, wrote his life, founded, as 
he tells us, " either on written authorities anterior to my own 
times, or on what I have myself heard from some learned and 
faithful ancients unhesitatingly attesting facts, the truth of which 
they had themselves diligently inquired into." The object of 
Adamnan was not to write history, but to attest the sanctity and 
power of his predecessor. He divides the book into three parts. 
In the first he gives us the Prophesies of the saint ; in the second, 
his Miracles; and in the third, the apparition of angels and the 
manifestations of the brightness of heaven to him. How the 
belief in the miraculous power of the early saints grew up among 
their contemporaries and persons in immediate and close inter- 
course with them, as it undoubtedly did, it is difficult to say, but 
in reading through this life of St Columba one cannot help wishing 



264 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

that the writer, instead of recording all this rubbish of miracles 
and prophesies and apparitions, had confined himself to a simple 
narrative of the saint's life. If he had done so we should have 
had one of the most invaluable contributions to the early history 
of our country. As it is, however, we have incidentally many 
valuable notices of cotemporary events, and of the social and 
political condition of the country, and from these and from the 
later chronicles which they illustrate and confirm, we can form a 
correct picture of what the condition of our country then was. 

(To be continued.) 



"INVERNESS BEFORE RAILWAYS." There is passing through the press 
a small book, under this title, by Miss Isabel Anderson, daughter of the late Mr Peter 
Anderson, solicitor, Inverness, one of the authors of the well-known work, Anderson's 
Guide to the Highlands. Capitally written and racy sketches are given of the man- 
ners and customs of Inverness before the opening of the Highland Railway, as con- 
trasted with those of the present day ; and excellent descriptions are given of a number 
of the " characters " for which Inverness was noted at that time. The book is to be 
published on an early date by Messrs A. W. Mackenzie, publishers of the Celtic 
Magazine, Inverness, to whom orders may be sent. 

"STEWART'S SKETCHES OF THE HIGHLANDERS." Messrs A. W. 
Mackenzie have in the press, and will soon publish, General Stewart of Garth's famous 
Sketches of the Highlanders, without the portion of the work which deals with the 
history of the Highland Regiments. The book has long been so very scarce and ex- 
pensive as to be almost entirely out of the reach of the general reading public. It is 
admitted on all hands to have been the best work ever written on the Highlands, and 
it is felt by the leading friends of the Highland people that such a book should at a 
time like this be issued at a price which will secure for it a wide and very general 
circulation. This part of the original work is quite complete in itself; but it is intended 
afterwards to publish the other portions of it, the Highland Regiments, bringing down 
the history of the Highland regiments to the present day. 

"THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER." The Glasgow Daily Mail, of 5th 
March, noticing the Celtic Magazine, says " We are glad to see that Mr Mackenzie, 
who has done so much good work for his countrymen in this monthly for many years 
past, has received encouragement to go on with his new project of a weekly paper, 
and the Scottish Highlander may accordingly be looked for in May or June. If past 
service counts for anything, it ought to receive a very hearty welcome from the Celtic 
race, both at home and abroad." 

THE REV. ALEXANDER STEWART, LL.D., NETHER-LOCHABER, 
has in the press another volume of Selections from his writings, under the appropriate 
title of " 'Twixt Ben Nevis and Glencoe." The work will be uniform with his pre- 
vious publication of " Nether- Lochaber," and will, no doubt, prove equally attractive 
and successful, 



26 5 



ANCIENT ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND 
AND FRANCE. 



I. 

SCOTLAND and France were for many centuries firm friends and 
close allies, and the intercourse between them was constant and 
important. These bonds of friendship were ratified and increased 
by numerous treaties of alliance ; contracts of marriage between 
the Royal Houses of France and Scotland ; privileges and exemp- 
tions in favour of Scottish merchants ;' honours and dignities 
conferred on distinguished Scots ; and last, but not least, the 
formation of the famous Scots Guards to protect and defend the 
person of the French King. 

Some of the older historians have stated that this friendly 
alliance existed between the two nations as far back as the reign 
of Charlemagne, and in 1579 David Chambers, one of the 
Lords of Council and Session in Edinburgh, published a history, 
dedicated to Henry III. of France, in which he quotes treaties 
of alliance between Philip I. of France and Malcolm III. of 
Scotland ; between Louis VII. and Malcolm IV.; between 
Philip II. and Alexander II.; and between St Louis and Alex- 
ander III., all of which he stated were taken from ancient Scot- 
tish historians no longer to be found. However this may be, there 
is no doubt that the alliance was of a very ancient date, for 
Eginhardus, who was Secretary to Charlemagne, gives an account 
of the assistance the Scots gave to that King in his wars, and the 
origin of the alliance is stated by Buchanan, Lesley, David 
Chambers, and others to have been, that, during the reign of 
Charlemagne, the English Saxons had invaded France and plun- 
dered the sea coast, while the King was absent in Palestine 
fighting the Saracens. In his extremity Charlemagne applied for 
help to the Scots, who, by their proximity and animosity to Eng- 
land, were the most suitable to make a diversion, and draw the 
enemy from his shores. 

Achaius, the King of Scotland, glad to secure the friend- 
ship of such a powerful and near neighbour, cheerfully responded 
to Charlemagne's application, and a perpetual alliance was entered 



266 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE, 

into between the two nations. Some time after this Charlemagne 
was engaged in a war with Italy, and Achaius sent his brother 
William with four thousand men to help his ally. The historian 
Conaeus, who lived a long time in Italy, says that many of these 
Scots settled there, and founded several families, such as the 
Barones, the Mariscottie in Bononia and Siena, and the Scoti in 
Placentia and Mantua. This statement seems to be verified by 
the fact that Sausovino and other genealogists state that all these 
families began in the reign of Charlemagne. 

Some writers say that as a memorial of this alliance the 
crown of Scotland, which before consisted only of a plain circle 
of gold, had now another circle of fleur de lis added to it. This 
statement has been contradicted by other historians. Mabillon 
says that no French king used the fleur de lis on his crown 
before Philip L, and the same writer denies the statement that 
on account of this league the arms of Scotland, as used on seals, 
were inclosed in a double tressure, flowered with fleurs de lis. 
He says that Philip the August, who died about 1223, was the 
first who had one fleur de lis in his counter seal : Louis VIII. 
and IX. used seals with sometimes one fleur de lis, and some- 
times several on them ; this custom continued until the time of 
Charles V., who finally reduced the number of fleur de lis to 
three. Besides, according to the learned antiquary, Mr Ander- 
son, in his " Independency of Scotland," the Scottish kings did 
not use their arms on their seals until a long time after this 
period. 

Whatever weight may be laid on the evidence regarding 
these first treaties, it is unquestionable that, beginning at the 
reign of Philip the Fair, there runs an uninterrupted series of 
alliances between the Kings of France and Scotland, down to 
the time of Henry IV. of France and James VI. of Scotland. 

The following is a list of the names of the sovereigns, and 
the dates of the <iififerent treaties : 

Treaty of Alliance between Philip the Fair, King of France, and John Baliol, 
King of Scotland, concluded at Paris, the 23rd of October 1295. 

Treaty of Alliance between Charles IV. , surnamed the Fair, King of France, and 
and Robert L, King of Scotland, concluded in 1326. 

Renewal of the Treaty of Alliance of France and Scotland, between Charles 
Dauphin of France (King John, his father, being prisoner in England), and David II., 
King of Scotland, at Paris, June 29th, 1359. 






ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND & FRANCE. 267 

Renewal of the said Alliance between the Kings, Charles V. of France and 
Robert II. of Scotland, at Vincennes, June 3rd, 1371. 

Renewal of the said Alliance between Charles VI., King of France, and Robert 
III., King of Scotland, March 3rd, 1390. 

Renewal of the said Alliance between the said Charles VI., King of France, and 
Robert, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland during the captivity of King James I., 
in 1407. 

Renewal of the said Alliance between Charles VII., King of France, and Mur- 
doch, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland, in 1423. 

Renewal of the said Alliance between Charles VII., King of France, and James 
I., King of Scotland, in 1428. 

Renewal of the said Alliance between the said Charles VII., King of France, and 
James II., King of Scotland, in 1448. 

Renewal of the said Alliance between Charles VIII., King of France, and James 
IV., King of Scotland, in 1491. 

Renewal of the said Alliance between Louis XII., King of France, and the same 
James IV., King of Scotland, in 1512. 

Renewal of the said Alliance between Francis I., King of France, and Mary, 
Queen of Scotland, in 1543. This same Alliance was again renewed between Henry 
II., King of France, and Mary, Queen of Scotland, and between the succeeding Kings. 

The chief article in these alliances was to provide assistance 
to each other in their frequent wars with their mutual enemy, 
England. The following is an extract from one of these treaties. 
It would be tedious to quote it in full : 

"We have made alliance in manner following, to wit, that we, our heirs, our 
successors, Kings of France, our kingdom, and our whole community, are bound and 
obliged to the said King of Scotland, his heirs, his successors, Kings of Scotland, his 
kingdom, and his whole community, in good faith, as loyal allies, whenever they shall 
have occasion for aid or advice in time of peace or war, against the King of England 
and his subjects : that we shall aid and advise them, whereinsoever we honestly can as 
loyal allies ; and if we, our heirs, our successors, Kings of France, our kingdom, or our 
community, shall make peace or truce with the King of England, his heirs, Kings of 
England, or his subjects, that the King of Scotland, his heirs, his successors, Kings of 
Scotland, his kingdom, and his community, shall be excepted ; so that such peace or 
truce shall be null, whensoever war is waged between the aforesaid Kings of Scotland 
and of England." 

The Kings of Scotland promised to support the Kings of 
France in their extremity, and nobly did they fulfil their part of 
the treaty. Thousands of the bravest and best blood of Scotland 
cheerfully gave their lives to aid their French ally, and dearly 
they sometimes paid for their friendship. Take, for instance, 
when, in 1 346, the English were attacking the French, and had 
just gained the victory of Cressy, David II. of Scotland, in order 
to divert the attention of the English from France, made a de- 
scent into England, where, after ravaging nearly all the northern 

T 



268 - THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

counties, he was defeated and taken prisoner, and after lingering 
ten weary years in captivity, only secured his liberty by paying 
a heavy ransom. Again, in 1420, when the English were masters 
of nearly all France, and their King, Henry VI., was crowned 
King in Paris, Robert, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland, 
sent his own son, John, Earl of Buchan, with many more of the 
nobility of Scotland, at the head of a large army, who did good 
service against the English in France. Again, in 1422, the Earl 
of Douglas, at the head of a new reinforcement of five thousand 
Scots, went to the aid of Charles VII. Two years after, in 1424. 
still fresh troops, under the command of a famous captain of that 
time, named Robert Petilloch or Pattulloch, went to help the 
same king. Again, only four years had elapsed when the French 
King was begging once more for aid from his staunch allies, who 
readily responded, and passed again into France with fresh troops. 
In 1507, James IV. of Scotland, seeing his friend the King 
of France engaged in a war with Italy, did not wait to be asked 
for his assistance, but nobly offered to go to the succour of the 
French King in person with an army of twenty thousand men. 
And this same chivalrous James, when the French were attacked 
by the English, in addition to their continental enemies, at once 
made a descent into England with the flower of his nobility and 
of his army, although the English King, Henry VIII., was his 
brother-in-law. And dearly, indeed, did Scotland pay then for 
her fealty to her French ally ; for the English, hastily recalling 
some of their troops from France, moved to repel this more 
dangerous enemy, and the result is summed up in one fatal word, 
" Flodden." 

" Tradition, legend, tune, and song, 
Shall many an age that wail prolong : 
Still from the sire the son shall hear 
Of the stern strife and carnage drear 

Of Flodden's fatal field, 
Where shivered was fair Scotland's spear, 

And broken was her shield !" 

Nor were these valuable services unacknowledged by the 
French, for in the different letters-patent granted from time to 
time in favour of the Scots in France, their bravery and loyalty 
is done full justice to by the French Kings. 

Although, from motives of policy, the Royal House of 



ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND & FRANCE. 269 

Scotland occasionally intermarried with that of England, such 
marriages were never so popular as those with the French Court, 
and this preference often increased the ill-feeling between Eng- 
land and Scotland. For instance, the preference shown to 
'France over England in the choice of a husband for the young 
and beautiful Mary Queen of Scots involved Scotland in trouble 
and war for twenty years, and cost Mary her life. 

The following are the contracts of marriage between the 
Royal Houses of France and Scotland, which served still further 
to draw the two nations to each other, and cement their friend- 
ship : 

Contract of Marriage between Edward Baliol, son and heir to John, King of 
Scotland, and Joan, daughter to Charles de Valois, brother of King Philip the Fair, in 

1235- 

Contract of Marriage between Lewis, Dauphin of France, afterwards Lewis XL, 
and Margaret, daughter of James I., King of Scotland, in 1436. 

Contract of Marriage between James V., King of Scotland, and Magdalen, 
daughter to King Francis I., in 1536. 

Contract of Marriage between Francis, Dauphin, afterwards Francis II., King of 
France, and Mary, Queen Heiress of Scotland, in 1558. 

Several of the highest families in Scotland devoted them- 
selves altogether to the French service, and rose high in favour 
and influence. Take for instance the following : John Stewart 
of Darnly was Constable of the Scots in France, and rose so much 
in the French King's favour that in 1424 he made him Lord of 
Aubigny, afterwards giving him the county of Dreux, and mak- 
ing him a Marshal of France. His descendants, John, Robert, 
Bernard or Berald, and others, continued high in favour, and 
served their adopted country well and faithfully, under Charles 
VIII., Louis XII. , and following sovereigns, in the wars of Italy, 
where they particularly distinguished themselves at the battle of 
Fornova, as well as in the Kingdom of Naples; and in 1495 the 
then lord was made Governor of Calabria by Charles VIII. 
These Lords of Aubigny were the hereditary Captains of the Scots' 
Guards. This gallant family founded the Dukedom of Lennox, 
but the title of Lords of Aubigny was kept up until the extinc- 
tion of the family. 

In 1422, John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, was made Constable 
of France, after the battle of Bauge, by King Charles VII., and 
lost his life in his service at the battle of Verneuill. In 1423, 



2/o THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Archibald, Earl of Douglas, was created Duke of Touraine by 
the same king, and sacrificed his life in the same battle. In 1428, 
Charles VII. gave to King James I. of Scotland the county of 
Xaintonge and Rochfort in peerage. About the same time this 
King made the Laird of Monypenny his Chamberlain, and gave 
him the Lordship of Concressant In 1524, John Stewart, Duke 
of Albany, had a seat in the Parliament of Paris, by command of 
Francis I. He was also appointed Viceroy of Naples, General of 
the Galleys of France, and Governor of the Bourbonese, of 
Auvergne, and of other provinces. In 1 548, King Henry I. gave 
the Duchy of Chatelherault to James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, 
Regent of Scotland, and presented him with the collar of his order, 
which decoration was also sent to the Earls of Huntly, Argyll, 
and Angus. 

While Scotsmen in France were thus placed high on the roll 
of fame as soldiers and politicians, the scholars and churchmen 
were not overlooked, for we find that Andrew Foreman was Arch- 
bishop of Bourges, David Bethune, Bishop of Mirepoix, David 
Panter or Panton, and after him James Bethune, Bishop of Glas- 
gow, were successively abbots of L'Absie. Besides these high 
dignities, there were a whole host of Scots as priors, canons, 
curates, and other positions in the service of the Church in 
France. In 1 586, the cure of St C6me, at Paris, was conferred by 
the University upon one John Hamilton. This election was dis- 
puted by a French ecclesiastic, who wished to secure the place 
for himself, as being illegal, through Hamilton being a Scotsman 
and an alien. The case was tried, and Hamilton's cause defended 
by a Mr Servien, an able advocate, who proved by the letters- 
patent granted in favour of the Scots that any of that nation 
living in France enjoyed equal privileges with the natives, and 
were eligible to hold any office, secular or spiritual. The decision 
was accordingly given in Hamilton's favour. 

In the University of Paris, Scotsmen held an important place. 
The records show there have been no less than thirty of them 
who at different times held the high position of Rector of the 
University of Paris, and this, too, at a time when the office was 
of far more importance, both in Church and State, than it after- 
wards became. 

The first letters of naturalisation to the Scots were granted 



ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND & FRANCE. 271 

by Louis XII., at the instance of Andrew Foreman, Bishop of 
Moray, in Scotland, and Archbishop of Bourges in France. They 
were given at Amiens in the month of September 1513. In 1 547, 
Henry II. granted letters of naturalisation to the Scots Guards 
in particular, given at Fountainebleau in November, and at the 
Exchequer Chamber on the I2th of February 1548. This same 
king, Henry II., granted new letters-patent of naturalisation for 
all Scotsmen, at the instance of James Bethune, archbishop of 
Glasgow, and other deputies of the States of Scotland, for the 
marriage of Queen Mary and the Dauphin. These letters were 
given at Villiers-Couterets, in June 1558, registered, with some 
modifications, in the Parliament of Paris July the nth, at the 
Exchequer-Chamber on the I3th of July, and in the Grand 
Council on the ipth of the same month. The charter was also 
printed in the Scots Acts of Parliament King Henry IV. con- 
firmed the right of naturalisation to all Scots by letters-patent, 
given at Fountainebleau in March 1599, registered in the Parlia- 
ment of Paris, with some modifications, on the 3ist of July in the 
same year. In 1612 the same privileges were confirmed to the 
Scots by Louis XIII. in his letters-patent, given at Paris in 
October of that year, registered in Parliament, with some modifi- 
cations, on 5th December, and in the Treasury-books on the 2Oth 
of the same month. And again, on the I9th of September 1646, 
Louis XIV., by an Act passed by the Council of State, confirmed 
all the ancient privileges of the Scots, and discharged them of the 
taxes imposed upon foreigners. 

It would take up too much space to quote these letters- 
patent in full, but the following extracts will give an idea of 
their scope and aim : 

" Lewis, by the grace of God, King of France, be it known to all present and 
to come, that as, in all time and antiquity, between the Kings of France and Scotland, 
and the princes and subjects of the two kingdoms, a most strict friendship, con- 
federacy, and perpetual alliance, have subsisted And forasmuch as our 

beloved and trusty counsellor, the Archbishop of Bourges, Bishop of Moray, now 
ambassador with us, from our most dear and most beloved brother, cousin, and ally the 
King of Scotland still reigning, and our beloved and trusty counsellor and Chamberlain, 
Sir Robert Stewart, Lord of Aubigny, Captain of our Scottish Guard, and of the hun 
dred lances of our said ancient ordinances of the said nation, have remonstrated to us 
how much it hath been always desired, that the Scots, when called to our said king- 
dom of France, and our subjects who might go to live in that of Scotland, .... 
should be enabled to testate and dispose of their effects to their respective heirs. 



272 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Whereby we, the aforesaid things considered, .... do will, declare, 
ordain, and please, from our own knowledge, proper motion, special grace, full 
power and royal authority, that henceforth, perpetually, and for ever, all those of the 
said kingdom of Scotland, who shall reside, or shall come to reside, .... 
shall be capable of acquiring therein all estates, seignories and possessions which they 
may lawfully acquire ; and of them together with these which they may have already 
acquired to testate and dispose, by testament and order of latter- will, living donation, 
or otherwise, at their will and pleasure ; and that their wives and children, if they 
have any, or other their heirs, in what place-soever they be residing, whether in our 
kingdom or elsewhere may, by testament or otherwise, take and inherit their estates 
and succession, as if they were natives of our said kingdom : and to those of the said 
nation, disposed to the church, shall be open all benefices and dignities, secular or 
regular, with which they may be justly and canonically invested, by titles, collations, 
or provisions." 

Henry II. confirmed these privileges by letters-patent, in 
1558, just after the marriage of Queen Mary of Scots to his son. 
The following is an extract : 

" Henry, by the grace of God, King of France, unto all present and to come, 
greeting. Whereas, since the marriage between our most dear and most beloved son 
the King Dauphin, and our most dear and most beloved daughter the Queen of Scot- 
land, Dauphiness, his consort, the deputies of the states of the said kingdom have, 
taken to our said son the oath of fidelity .... in virtue whereof, being subjects 
of both kingdoms by the union of the houses of France and Scotland, so closely con- 
nected that we esteem them as one and the same, and desire, for this cause, the better 
to establish, entertain, and invigorate this friendship between our said subjects, and 
those of the said kingdom of Scotland, and to give the said inhabitants of the latter 
kingdom the more opportunity of visiting their King and Queen, when they shall be on 
this side, of residing near them, attending and serving them : be it known that we, 
these things considered, and for several other great and reasonable causes thereunto us 
moving, have to all the inhabitants of the said kingdom of Scotland, permitted, 
granted, and vouchsafed, and do, by these presents, permit, grant, and vouchsafe, that 
they may at their ease, as oft as to them shall seem good, come, inhabit, and abide in 
this our kingdom, and therein accept, hold, and possess all and every the benefices, 
dignities, and offices ecclesiastical, with which they may be justly and canonically 
invested by due title, and thereof to take and seize possession and enjoyment, and to 
reap and receive the fruits, profits, and revenues, unto what sum soever they do or may 
amount : and, moreover, to acquire in this kingdom, country, lands, and seignories in 
our allegiance, and that their heirs may be able to succeed to them, to take and 
seize possession and enjoyment of their said estates, just as if they would and might 
do if they were originally natives of our said kingdom and country, without our 
Solicitor-General, or other our officers, having power henceforth to claim the estates 
as acquired to us by right of escheat, or the subjects of the said kingdom of Scotland, 
being in the enjoyment of those estates, brought to any molestation or trouble." 

This paper having extended farther than we anticipated, the 
account of the privileges granted to Scottish merchants in France, 
and of the formation and constitution of the Garde Eccossais, 
must be left over for the next issue. M. A. ROSE. 

(To be continued.) 



273 
LAND COURTS AND HIGHLAND SHERIFFS. 



MR Gladstone has announced that his Government intends to 
introduce a Land Bill for Scotland during the present session of 
Parliament, and it is stated that the provisions of the bill will be 
on the lines of the Irish Land Acts, with an addition providing 
for the acquirement by the people of extended holdings from the 
large tracts of land now under sheep or deer. So far, we can have 
no objection to the Government proposals, but it is said further 
that the Land Court to be formed to carry out the provisions 
of the new law is to consist of the Sheriff-Substitute of the 
county or district, and two others. To a Land Court so com- 
posed we strongly object. No Land Court intended to settle 
the rights and claims of crofters can be satisfactory so long as an 
essential part of it consists of the Sheriff-Substitute. It may be 
asked why, seeing that the Sheriff is only one of three, we should 
object to a Land Court of which he forms a part. The answer 
is that a Court, which must of necessity contain an individual 
in whom suitors cannot possibly have confidence, can never 
be satisfactory. 

There are, doubtless, many good and able men among 
the Sheriff- Substitutes of Scotland men who can be de- 
pended upon to deal fairly, and to dispense even-handed jus- 
tice in spite of social ties, and so-called social claims men 
who (like Sheriff Blair of Inverness) command public respect 
and esteem by fearlessly doing their duty as judges, irre- 
spective of the effect the performance of that duty may have 
in exposing official blundering. The land difficulty, however, 
exists principally in the north-west Highlands ; in that part of 
the country the Land Court will have its principal work to do, 
and there such men as we have just described rarely hold the 
office of Sheriff-Substitute. A London cabman once said to a 
complaining fare, that Derby winners were not to be got for 
sixpence a mile ; and it would be unreasonable to expect the 
choice of the legal profession for the miserable 500 to ^800 
a-year paid to our Sheriff-Substitutes, but much better material 
could be got for the money than what we now have. 



274 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Advocates of three years' standing, or local practitioners 
of the same experience, are eligible for the office of Sheriff-Sub- 
stitute, but in practice the office is, in nineteen cases out of twenty, 
filled up from the former class. Advocates who have walked the 
floors of the Parliament House, sometimes for ten or twenty years, 
without ever holding a brief, or once opening their mouth in a 
court of justice who never knew much law, and have long ago 
forgotten all they ever did know are, because they belong to a 
Trades Union of which the dispenser of Scotch legal patron- 
age, the Lord Advocate for the time, is a member, pitch- 
forked into important public offices, and made pensioners 
upon the public bounty untier the pretence that they are 
performing important public duties. If this were all, it would 
be bad enough ; but the effect of placing in positions of power 
and trust men whose only qualification is that they are paupers 
upon the bounty of their Trade Guild, and who are utterly 
unfit by the want both of the necessary professional ex- 
perience and training, and of that small modicum of common 
sense with which a country judge may manage to get through 
the world comfortably to dispense justice, is deplorable in 
the extreme. The district in which such a man dispenses justice, 
or what passes for such, soon loses confidence in him, and, in 
doing so, loses confidence in the administration of justice in the 
country. When this feeling takes possession of a community, 
acts of what are called lawlessness appear to the people their only 
method of asserting their rights ; and, when a community once 
starts on a course of lawless conduct, there is no saying where it 
may stop. It is in this way we account for a great deal of the 
lawlessness in the Highlands. 

Until the other day, when Mr Sheriff Black of Stornoway 
had the goodness to enlighten the public with a statement of 
his feelings towards the crofters of the Lewis, and to make a 
general exhibition of his unfitness for the judicial office he holds, 
people who took an interest in the people of the Lewis were at a 
loss to understand the methods alleged to have been adopted by 
them for asserting their rights. But who would now expect a 
Lewis crofter to go to Sheriff Black for justice or for fair play? And 
so it is in other districts of the Highlands. The principal judicial 
offices are held by men who, until they were made judges, never 



LAND COURTS AND HIGHLAND SHERIFFS. 275 

earned a penny by their profession, and who, but for their ap- 
pointment, never would have earned a penny by it; men who are 
entirely out of sympathy with the people around them, and who 
neither know, nor desire to know, the language of the country. 
All this could be remedied, or, at least, a great deal of it 
could, were local practitioners of good standing and experience 
appointed to the office of Sheriff-Substitute ; but we are dealing 
with things as they are, and, so long as such men as we have 
described hold the office of Sheriff-Substitute, no Land Court 
of which they form part can command the confidence of the 
people for whom the Land Court is to be formed. No Land 
Court, for instance, would command confidence in the Lews 
if Sheriff Black formed one of its members ; and, although 
the other judges in the north-west Highlands have not en- 
lightened the public so much as Sheriff Black has done, it is 
notorious that it is not in the Lewis alone that there is a most 
profound and lamentable distrust among the poorer part of the 
population in the administration of justice. While we do not, 
therefore, contend that no Sheriff-Substitute should form part 
of the Land Court, we do say, and, we hope, to some purpose, 
that to make certain Sheriffs or the Sheriff- Substitutes of each 
district in the Highlands an essential part of the Land Court 
of their district under the new Act would be to fore-ordain the 
Court to utter failure. 



THE TRIAL OF THE LEWIS CROFTERS. 

WE take the following succinct account of the facts in connection 
with the recent trial of the Lewis crofters from the Edinburgh 
Daily Review of the 9th of March. They deserve to be placed on 
record in a permanent form : 

The proceedings at the recent trial of the Valtos crofters before the Sheriff-Sub- 
stitute at Stornoway afford a striking illustration of the mode in which justice is 
administered in the Hebrides. We shall not discuss the legal merits of the case, as 
these, it is understood, have been submitted to the superior courts of law, but it may 
be useful and interesting to state the facts as they occurred. 

The trial commenced on the i8th of February last. Eight crofters, along with 
Duncan Graham, Lady Matheson's gamekeeper, were placed at the bar. They had 
not the privilege of jury trial, and a motion that they should be tried separately was 
refused. They were tried in a batch, the Sheriff being both judge and jury. The 



276 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

prosecutor was Mr William Ross, Procurator-Fiscal for the Lewis district, who also 
carries on business as a solicitor in Stornoway, and is the local agent of Lady Mathe- 
son. The crimes charged against the men were " deforcing and obstructing an officer 
of the law or his assistant; also, assault to the injury of the person, and breach of the 
peace." The complaint or indictment upon which they were tried set forth that 
George Nicolson, messenger-at-arms, and Donald Macdonald, ground officer, as his 
concurrent, were employed to serve against certain persons residing in the parish of 
Dig, a summons from the Court of Session, which was issued at Edinburgh on 2Qth 
November 1884, and that for the purpose of serving this summons they proceeded to 
the township of Valtos, in the said parish, on the 8th day of November 1884. The 
particulars of the alleged deforcement and obstruction, and assault and breach of the 
peace, are then set forth, all of which are stated to have occurred on or about the 8th 
day of November. 

The first thing that strikes an ordinary mind here is the amazing carelessness dis- 
played in the preparation of this indictment. If it were not plainly written in the 
document it would be incredible that a public officer, occupying such a responsible 
position as that of Procurator-Fiscal, should have framed and signed an indictment 
setting forth that men were employed on 8th November to serve a summons which was 
not in existence till three weeks later; and that these two dates, so self-contradictory, 
should appear on the same page and within a few lines of each other. But that is not 
all. This complaint or indictment was presented to the Sheriff on 6th February, and 
he then made an order of service, and fixed the trial for the i8th of that month. It 
might reasonably be supposed that in a matter of that kind it was the duty of the 
Sheriff to read the complaint when it was first presented to him. But even if he did 
not, it seems impossible that he should have commenced to try the men without read- 
ing the complaint which set forth the crimes of which they were accused. And if he 
did read it, what conceivable explanation can be given of his proceeding to try men 
upon a charge which, on the face of it, was self-contradictory and absurd ? It looks 
as if in the Hebrides it is not considered necessary to deal with crofters as if they were 
human beings.' 

The procedure at the trial seems to have been quite in harmony with that which 
preceded it, and, if possible, still more extraordinary. The first witness called for the 
prosecution was George Nicolson, the messenger-at-arms, who was alleged to have 
been deforced and assaulted. He had no hesitation in swearing, in answer to the 
Fiscal, that he arrived in Stornoway on the 4th or 5th of November for the purpose 
of serving this summons, which he had then in his pocket, although it did not come 
into existence till three weeks after that date. He went on to swear that he pro- 
ceeded to Valtos on 8th of November, and to give minute details as to the way in 
which he had been deforced and assaulted on that particular date. Donald Macdon- 
ald, the ground officer, was next examined, and as the report of his evidence shows, 
he was particular, not only as to the day, but the hour. He swore that he and Nicol- 
son arrived at Valtos " about twelve o'clock on the 8th of November," and then went 
on to give the details of what occurred on that day. It is scarcely possible to suppose 
that these men intended to perjure themselves, but surely the messenger-at-arms who 
swore that he was deforced and assaulted ought at least to have known whether it was 
in the month of November or December that he went to Stornoway. It looks exceed- 
ingly like as if some one had told him and his concurrent what they were expected to 
swear, and that they had, without thinking much about it, sworn accordingly. 

The evidence of the other witnesses examined for the prosecution was in harmony 
with that of the two leading witnesses, although they do not seem to have been par- 



THE TRIAL OF THE LEWIS CROFTERS. 277 

ticularly questioned in regard to the date. The trial was not concluded on the i8th, 
and was continued to the next day, Thursday. Further evidence for the prosecution 
was led, and the evidence for the defence commenced. Duncan Graham, the game- 
keeper, was separately represented, and the evidence for him was first led. After that 
the solicitor for the crofters commenced the examination of the witnesses for their de- 
fence. Up till this stage of the case the Fiscal, the Judge, the witnesses, and appar- 
ently every one else, had proceeded on the footing that the alleged riot occurred on 
the 8th of November. But after the first witness for the crofters had been examined 
their solicitor seems to have pointed out to the Judge that as the summons which the 
messenger was serving did not exist till 29th November, it was scarcely possible that 
the deforcement and assault could have occurred three weeks earlier. So far as can 
be gathered from the report of the proceedings the Procurator-Fiscal appears to have 
treated the matter very lightly, and argued that the date was all right, because the 
words "on or about 8th November" were quite sufficient to cover "the date in 
December." 

It may, no doubt, be urged in extenuation of this view of the matter, that the 
parties at the bar were Uig crofters a very troublesome set of people and that any- 
thing is good enough for a crofter. The Fiscal's argument, however, did not satisfy 
the Sheriff, and after some discussion he appears to have suggested that the date in the 
indictment might be altered. The solicitor for the crofters objected to that, and main- 
tained that the blunder was fatal to the trial. Ultimately the case was adjourned till 
next day in order " the Sheriff might have an opportunity of looking into the authori- 
ties on the point." When the court resumed next morning the Sheriff did not explain 
what the authorities were which he had consulted over night, but he is reported to have 
stated that "he thought it would be monstrous and unreasonable that this case should 
be deserted pro loco et tempore, the effect of which would be that the Procurator-Fiscal 
would be compelled to begin the trial again!" 

We do not profess to be able to criticise the Sheriff's law, but as matter of common 
sense it seems extraordinary to say that after the men had been put upon their trial, 
the evidence for the prosecution completed, and the evidence for the defence com- 
menced, the Fiscal could desert the diet that is, postpone the trial and then get up 
fresh evidence and try the men over again. We are strongly inclined to think that the 
law which the Sheriff believes in exists only in the Lewis, arid is applicable solely to 
crofters, and, to use the Sheriff's own words, that it would be "monstrous and un- 
reasonable" to apply such law to any other class of people. However that may be, 
the result was that after some further discussion, and an altercation with the solicitor 
for the panels, in which the Sheriff seems to have had rather the worst of it, he allowed 
the indictment to be amended by striking out the word " November" and inserting 
" December," so that as thus amended it set forth that the alleged offences had been 
committed on 8th December. It will be kept in view that the Sheriff made this alter- 
ation in spite of the objections and remonstrances of the solicitor for the crofters. The 
indictment having been thus amended, as the Sheriff termed it, the trial proceeded. 
Further evidence was adduced for the defence, the proof was closed, and the case was 
adjourned till Saturday, 2 1st February, in order to hear the agents and pronounce 
judgment. 

Several extraordinary scenes occurred in the course of the trial. The Sheriff 
found five of the crofters guilty of deforcing and obstructing the officer as charged, and 
four of them guilty also of assault, two of them guilty of assault only. One was 
acquitted, and Lady Matheson's gamekeeper was found guilty of assault. He 
sentenced the men thus found guilty to various periods of imprisonment, the 



278 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

longest being fifty days, and the shortest seven days. This result was arrived 
at, and these sentences determined, without any additional evidence having been 
adduced as to the date on which the alleged offences were committed. The 
Sheriff altered the date in the indictment, but he could not alter the date to 
which the witnesses had sworn. That date was the 8th of November. But in 
the face of all this, and without any explanation of the grounds upon which he ar- 
rived at such an extraordinary result, the Sheriff found the men guilty of having com- 
mitted these offences on the 8th of December. We do not deal with the legal merits of 
such a sentence, nor the consequences which may come to those who are responsible 
for it and the imprisonment which followed. But what we desire to call attention to 
is the effect upon the community of such a mode of administering justice. The crofters 
are accused of violating the law and acting illegally. But what of the Procurator- 
Fiscal and the Sheriff? 

Even the Scotsman, who usually upholds the representatives 
of the law, whether they are right or wrong, is obliged to say in 
its issue of loth March : 

"As to the men who were tried at Stornoway, it may be said that there was in- 
excusable carelessness on the part of the Crown authorities who prepared the formal 
charge against them, and there was great want of discretion on the part of the Sheriff- 
Substitute who tried the cases." 

The Agent of the Crofters presented a Bill of Suspension to 
the Court of Justiciary, in which grave charges were made 
against the Sheriff for his conduct at the trial, and Lord Mac- 
laren granted an immediate order for their liberation, on their 
giving their personal bonds to return to prison to complete their 
sentence, in the improbable event of the Bill of Suspension 
being ultimately refused. 



MAJOR STEWART OF TIGH'N-DUIN ON 
CROFTERS AND SHERIFFS. 



AT the fifth annual social meeting of the Perth Gaelic Society, recently held, Major 
Stewart of Tigh'n-duin, who occupied the chair, speaking of the report of the Crofters' 
Commission, said that the report recently issued showed that the society was right, 
and that the crofters' grievances were bitter. The question now for consideration was, 
how were these grievances to be redressed ? Two of three things were certain. One 
of these was that they must have a higher class of local judges or sheriffs than they had 
at present in the counties. Amongst these sheriffs there were many admirable and 
excellent men, but there were others who really were briefless advocates who had 
failed in their profession ; and for the peace and safety of the kingdom it was right 
that they should have men of the very first order. The next question for them was, 
how were they to conserve the grand old Celtic race ? Were they not worth being pre- 
served ? Why should they be driven out of their own country if there was plenty of 
land in it to sustain them ? He believed that even the evictors now acknowledged 
that very large farms were a failure, and that smaller farms were better. 



279 



THE MUNROS OF PITTONACHY. 
BY ALEXANDER Ross. 



I. 

THE first of the Munros of Pittonachy, now called Rosehaugh, 
was 

I. JOHN MUNRO, natural son of George Munro, IV. of Miln- 
town. He married Margaret, daughter of John Mor Munro, II. 
of Balconie, by whom he had, besides daughters, six sons : 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Andrew, I. of Novar. 

3. Hector, I. of Findon, who was twice married. His first 
wife was Ann, daughter of Hector Munro, I. of Milntown of 
Katewell, by whom he had three sons : (i) Neil, his successor. 
(2) John, Portioner of Swordale, who was twice married. His 
first wife was Isabella, daughter of Donald Macleay of Alness, 
by whom he had one son, Donald, who went with Lieutenant- 
Colonel Alex. Munro, fifth son of John Munro, II. of Obsdale, to 
France, where he was killed. John's second wife was Isabella, 
daughter of William Mackenzie, I. of Belmaduthy (by his wife 
Mary, daughter of John Cuthbert of Draikies), by whom he had 
three daughters, whose names are not recorded. (3) Andrew, 
Portioner of Limlair, who married Isabella, daughter of Hugh 
Ross " Buie," by whom he had, besides several daughters, four 
sons : (i) John, who married and had two sons Robert and 
John, who entered the army and rose to the rank of Major. On 
retiring from the army, he took up his residence at Invergordon, 
and was alive in 1734. (2) Hugh, who married Margaret Guthrie, 
by whom he had a son, Andrew, and two daughters, Constance 
and Lucy. (3) Robert. (4) George. Hector Munro, I. of Fin- 
don's second wife was Jane, daughter of Thomas Urquhart of 
Kinbeachie, by whom he had one son and two daughters : 
Robert, who married Isabella, daughter of the Rev. John Munro, 
minister of Alness (1649-1662), by whom he had two sons and 
one daughter (a) John, who studied for the church at the Uni- 
versity of Aberdeen, and was admitted minister of Halkirk prior 
to 2nd August 1706. He died on the i8th of April 1743. He 



2 8o THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

married Anne, daughter of Alexander Gunn of Braemore in Caith- 
ness, by whom he had, among others, Sir George Munro, I. of 
Poyntzfield ; (b) William, who married Mary, daughter of Sir 
George Sinclair of Clythe, with issue ; (c) Margaret, who married 
the Rev. David Munro, minister of Reay, with issue, (f) Anne, 
who married Hector Munro, IV. of Pitfour, with issue one son, 
George. (6) Jane, who died unmarried. (II.) Neil, Second of 
Findon, married Janet, daughter of John Roy Mackenzie, IV. of 
Gairloch, and relict of George Cuthbert of Castle Hill (marriage 
contract dated 29th June 1611.) Her marriage contract with 
Neil Munro is still preserved in the Gairloch Charter Chest, and 
is dated 5th February 1627. By Gairloch's daughter, Neil Munro 
had two sons and one daughter: (i).Hugh, his successor; (2) 
Hector ; (3) Isabel, who married George Munro, III. of Novar, 
with issue. (III.) Hugh, third of Findon, married Janet, daugh- 
ter of Colonel John Munro, I. of Limlair, by whom he had four 
sons and four daughters : (i) Neil, his successor ; (2) John ; (3) 
David ; (4) George ; (5) Isabel ; (6) Catherine ; (7) Ann ; (8) 
Florence. Hugh Munro, III. of Findon, was succeeded by his 
eldest son, (IV.) Neil Munro, who is designated " Neil of 
Swordale." He married Janet, daughter of Gilbert Macbean, 
of Inverness, and had by her three sons (i) Hugh, his successor ; 
(2) George; (3) Andrew. (V.) Hugh, fifth of Swordale, succeeded 
his father in the estate of Swordale. He possessed also the lands 
of Ceanlochglas, Balnacoul, Balnagal, etc., for which he paid in 
1695, as Bishop's rents, the sum of 26. 2s. 6d. Scots. He 
married, and had at least one daughter, Isabella, who married 
Kenneth, son of John Mackenzie, II. of Davochcairn, to whom 
she bore no issue. The marriage contract is dated 1684. 

4. David, fourth son of John Munro, I. of Pittonachy, became 
a doctor of medicine. He married a Miss Lumsden, by whom he 
had four sons and several daughters: (i) Donald, Regent of 
Glasgow University ; (2) David, a merchant in Glasgow ; (3) 
Andrew, who followed his father's profession, and practised 
medicine for several years in Glasgow, where he died unmarried ; 
(4) George, who studied for the law, and became Sheriff of Caith- 
ness. He married Margaret, daughter of Sinclair of Scrabster, 
by whom he had, among others, a son George. The names of 
Dr David Munro's daughters are not recorded, 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 281 

5. George, who died unmarried. 

6. Neil, " Portioner of Swordale," who married, and left a 
numerous issue. 

7. Euphemia, who married George Munro, II. of Katewell, 
with issue. She was his second wife. 

The names of the other daughters of John Munro, I. of 
Pittonachy, have not been recorded. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

II. JOHN MUNRO OF PITTONACHY, who married Catherine, 
daughter of Alexander Ross of Cuilich (from whom descended 
the Rosses of Tolly and Achnacloich), by whom he had five 
sons : 

i., Hugh, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who studied for the ministry at St Andrews, 
of which University he was for some years Regent. He was 
appointed minister of Golspie previous to 1638, and was a 
member of the General Assembly of that year 2ist November. 
He was translated to Dornoch prior to I2th August 1639, as on 
that date he was member of Assembly as minister of Dornoch. 
He received a gift of 300 merks yearly from Charles I., on the 
1 2th of November 1641, and was a member of the Commission 
of Assembly for that year. King Charles also gave him a grant 
of 800 merks, or 8 chalders of victual, in augmentation of his 
stipend, on condition of his giving 300 merks yearly for 
"upholding the church," and 200 merks to the master of the 
Grammar School. The grant was ratified by Parliament on the 
1 7th of November of the same year.* He was deposed by the 
Presbytery in 1648, and the sentence of deposition was approved 
by the General Assembly in July of the following year. He 
married a daughter of Alexander Ross of Balblair, but left no 
issue. 

3. John, who also became a churchman, and studied at the 
University of St Andrews, where he obtained his M.A. degree in 
1619. He was admitted minister of the Parish of Reay in 1623, 
but was deposed in 1649 along with all the other members of the 
Presbytery of Caithness, except one the Rev. William Smith, 
minister of Bower/f- " for their complyance with James Grahame, 

* Scottish Acts of Parliament, vol. v., pp. 599-600. 

t When the Marquis of Montrose was on his march through Caithness he pub- 
lished a declaration, wherein he endeavoured to clear himself from the aspersion of 



282 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

excommunicate in his rebellion, and shedding the blood of the 
countrie." 

The Presbytery Records of Caithness contain the following 
minute relative to the matter : " THURSO, 5th October 1654. It 
wes thoght convenient that yr suld be more frequent meetings 
both of ministers and preachers for consulting about ye affears of 
ye gospel within ye several congregations, till the Lord by his 
Providence suld offer occasion for there further capacitating to a 
more authoritative acting as a Prebrie (the members of the former 
standing Prebrie being all deposed by the grail [General] As- 
semblie of this kirk for yr complyance wt James Grahame, excom- 
municate in his rebellio, and shedding the blood of the countrie.} 
' It is therefor appointed that ye next meeting hold at Thurso, the 
r,th of Der. next, and so after prayer dissolved the meeting." 
The words in italics have been deleted, apparently soon after the 
Restoration, but they can still be read. 

John Munro petitioned the Synod on the 6th of August 
1656 " to get his mouth opened that he might assist his son in 
preaching." He was accordingly restored to his charge, and 
died a few years after. He married a Miss Anderson, by 
whom he had, among others, a son, David, who succeeded him, 
studied at St Andrew's University, and was appointed col- 
league and successor to his father; being admitted prior to 6lh 
August 1656. David married Margaret, daughter of Robert 
Munro (fourth son of Hector Munro, I. of Findon), and had by 
her a son and daughter John, his successor, and Elizabeth, 

any sinster ends ; that his intention was only against some particular persons ; that he 
intended nothing against the generality of the kingdom ; and exhorted his fellow-sub- 
jects to free themselves from the tyranny of those who for the present ruled the State ; 
and from the oppression of the Ministry. He presented certain articles consistent 
with this declaration to the heritors, ministers, and others in Caithness, which he 
persuaded them to subscribe, except the Rev. William Smith, above mentioned, who 
refused to do so, notwithstanding many flatteries and threats. Montrose brought him 
to Thurso, and ordered him to be towed to a boat at the harbour, and dragged 
through the sea to Scrabster, a distance of two miles, and laid there in irons on board 
a ship, where he lay until news came that the Marquis was defeated at the battle of 
Craigcaoineadhan, or Kerbester, in the parish of Kincardine. He was then liberated, 
and he returned to his charge. After the Restoration this pious and faithful minister was 
ejected. He retired to Thurso, where he resided in great comfort, though low in cir- 
cumstances, till his death. A friend having called upon him, and finding things of 
humble appearance in his dwelling, remarked to Mr Smith " If God had regarded 
riches there would have been greater plenty in this house." 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 283 

who married James Mackay of Borgy, to whom she bore an 
only daughter, Margaret, heiress of Borgy, who married Captain 
James, eldest son of John Mackay, I. of Kirtomy, with issue. 
The marriage contract is dated 8th December 1724. The Rev. 
David Munro died circa 1693, an< ^ was buried in the aisle, Reay 
Church-yard, where he had previously, in 1691, erected a tablet 
with an inscription, now partly obliterated. The following is a 
copy of it, as far as it is now traceable, kindly sent me by the Rev. 
Donald Munro, F.C. minister, Shebster, Reay. Mr Munro writes 
" The tablet is of freestone, about two feet long and twenty 
inches broad, and is built into the wall. The letters are all in raised 
capitals bass-relief and many of them are much obliterated by 
violence and weather, as there is no roof over the aisle. There is 
not much information given. The date, 1691, is very distinct 
and entire; so are the D.M.:M.M. The TIME, imperfect; 
DEUM, perfect The last sentence, namely, 'This ile belongs 
to Mr David Munro and Margaret Munro/ is quite legible. The 
other words cannot be deciphered. One of them ends in RTH, 
and possibly the words obliterated may have been 'earth to 
earth,' or words to that effect. Mr Munro's hypothesis is evid- 
ently correct ; and the effaced words between RTH and THIS 
were probably DUST TO DUST. M no doubt is the remains 
of IN MEMORIAM ; D.M. is for David Munro ; M.M. for 
Margeret Munro ; TIME DEUM signifies fear, or worship God. 

The Rev. David Munro was succeeded by his son, John, who 
studied at the University of Aberdeen, where he took his M.A. on 
the 3rd of July 1679. It is stated that he intruded into the Parish 
of Reay in that year, but was received into communion by the 
Edinburgh Committee prior to 6th June 1704, and was duly 
admitted to Reay in the course of that year. He died in July 
1722, aged about 63 years, and was interred in his family bury- 
ing-ground in the aisle of Reay Church-yard. He married, and 
had at least two sons John, who was served heir to his father 
on the 4th of December 1751, and David, designated of Craig- 
ston, who married in 1734, but of whom I have been unable 
to discover anything further. 

4. David, fourth son of John Munro, II. of Pittonachy, also 
entered the church, and was admitted minister of the Parish of 
Latheron about the year 1630. He was deposed in 1649 for 



284 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

subscribing Montrose's "articles," and his successor, Alexander 
Clark, afterwards minister of Inverness, was admitted prior to 
1652. On the 2 1st of October 1652, he petitioned the Synod to 
recommend him to some parish in the diocese of Caithness, and 
he was apparently admitted to Lairg. before 7th May 1663. He 
died before /th October 1668. He married a Miss Sutherland, 
by whom he had, among others, a son, John, who married and 
left issue. 

5. Hector of Nonikiln, in the Parish of Rosskeen, fifth 
son of John Munro of Pittonachy, married Jane, daughter of 
George Munro, II. of Tarlogie, by whom he had a son, John, of 
Nonikiln and Tearivar, who, in 1695, with Walter Ross, Provost 
of Tain, paid for Bishop's rents for " the land of Nonikiln, the 
sum of 11. 33. lod. He subsequently obtained by purchase 
the lands of Tearivar in the Parish of Kiltearn. He was an elder 
in the parish church of Kiltearn, and took a deep interest in the 
promotion of religious principles in the parish. He was also a 
sincere friend of the " poor, fearing the Lord," and at his death 
left 500 merks to be distributed amongst them. The following 
is " ane double of the bond " as it appears in the Kiltearn Session 
Records : 

I, John Munro of Tearivar, be thir pnts (these presents), do mortifie, allocate, and 
sequestrat of my own proper mean and substance, the soum of 500 merks Scots money, 
to be distributed and divided amongst the poor fearing the Lord, within the pariochen of 
Kiltern, and do hereby enjoin and require Mr William Stuart, minir. of Kiltern, and 
the elders of the Session theirof with him to make just, reall dstribution and division of 
the said 500 merks money amongst the poor fearing the Lord, within the pariochen 
of Kiltern, at the said minir. and elders, their discretion and judgement qnever the 
samen, be recoverable from my aires and successors in effectual payment. And to that 
effect I bind and obleige me, my aires and successors, to me in my lands and estate to 
concent, pay, and deliver the said soum of 500 merks to the said Mr William Stuart 
and elders of Kiltern, to be distributed to the poor above specified, betwixt the date 
heirof, and the last end of the first year next, and immediately after my decease ; but 
longer delay with the soum of 100 merks money, of liquidat expence in caice of failzie 
(failure), together also with the ordinar @ rent (annual rent- interest) of the said prinle. 
(principal) soum dureing the not payment theirof after the said yeir is expired, posterior 
to my decease as saidis ; and for the more security I am content thir prts. be regrat 
in any books competent, to have the strength of ane decreit that Irs. (letters) of horn- 
ing may be directed theirupon on ten days charge and others necessar, and theirto 
constitutes. . . . My prors. (procurators). In witness yrof, I have subt. thir 
prts. (written be Hugh Munro in Wester Glens) at Tearivar, the i6th day of Deer. 
1704 years, befor thir witnesses Andrew Munro at the Bridge End of Culcairn, and 
the said Hugh Munro, writer heirof. 

ANDREW MUNRO, Witness. Sic Subscribitur. JOHN MUNRO. 

HUGH MUNRO, Witness." 



THE MUNROS OF MILNTOWN. 285 

The minute adds that Captain George Munro of Culcairn, 
John Munro's son-in-law, deferred giving in a " list of those poor 
fearing the Lord, so as he may distribute to them the 500 merks 
left them be the deceast John Munro of Tearivar, by virtue of 
ane letter directed to him from the said John," the tenor of which 
letter follows : 

" Sir, By all probability my time is but short in this world, and withall what I have 
recommended to you in my last letter I desire this of you, and commits this also to your 
care, as a duty in the sight of God, to see these bonds I have given you for pious uses 
payed, and retain discharges for thyself from the persones in whose names the bonds 
are granted, to witt Mr William Stuart ane bond of 500 merks, to Gilbert Pope ane 
bond of 400 merks, to Christian Sutherland ane bond of 100 merks ; in all 1000 
merks. If the Lord hade spared myself, and seeing it is like I will not see it done, I 
lay it on you as a duty before the Lord to do it after my decease, and it shall be a 
kindness and easing of my minde your undertaking a faithful discharge of this duty. 
I hope (it) will be acceptable to God ; and this shall be your warrand from Dear Sir, 
Your affectionat Cousen, JOHN MUNRO. 

May 9, 1705. 

The Session, considering the same, thought it their duty to 
adhere to Tearivar's bond granted to them. 

They appointed a committee of their number to meet and 
consider as to the most judicious method to be adopted re- 
lative to the investment of Tearivar's bond ; and at a meeting of 
session held on i8th December 1706, they gave in the following 
report : 

"The Committee having considered the tenor of Tearivar's bond of mortification, 
distribution, and division of the soum of 500 merks Scots money amongst the poor 
fearing the Lord, within the pariochen of Kiltern, at the minir. and elders their dis- 
cretion and judgement qnever the samen shall be recoverable: It is our opinion that 
there may be as much money given of the said 500 merks as may buy a mortcloath, to 
the effect that the benifitt and profitt thereof may redound to the said poor, and what 
remains at over the price of the mortcloath may be immediately distributed to the said 
poor, according as Mr William Stuart, minir., and said elders shall think fitt." 

The Session unanimously approved of the committee's sug- 
gestion, and appointed another committee consisting of the 
Rev. Wm. Stewart, Sir Robert Munro of Fowlis ; Hector Munro 
of Drummond ; Captain Andrew Munro of Westerton ; John 
Bethune of Culnaskea ; and Gilbert Robertson in Balconie to 
make out a list of the poor " as are to get six scor and ten merks 
condescended on in Session :" Mr Stuart to draw on Captain 
George Munro of Culcairn for the said amount A mortcloth 



286 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

was subsequently obtained from Holland, at a cost of 16 stg., 
and the dues derived therefrom were periodically divided among 
the poor. 

John Munro of Tearivar, married Janet, daughter of Robert 
Munro, II. of Milntown of Katewell, and by her had four 
daughters: (i), Christian, who married Captain George Munro 
I. of Culcairn, with issue, four sons and six daughters. (2), Jean, 
who married Kenneth, second son of John Munro, III. of Inveran, 
to whom she bore a son, John, and a daughter, Lilias, who mar- 
ried Hector Gray, in Sutherland. The names of Tearivar's other 
two daughters have not been recorded. This John Munro died 
before nth June 1705, as shown by the following extract of that 
date from the Kiltearn Session Records : "John Munro of 
Tearivar having left the soum of 500 merks for erecting ane isle 
for his burial place and likewise for enlarging of the kirk, the 
Session do unanimously allow to breakdown ane piece of the wall 
of the kirk towards the north opposit to the pulpit whereby ane 
penn may be made." 

John Munro, II. of Pittonachy, was succeeded by his eldest 
son, 

III. HUGH MUNRO, who is designated "of Achnagart." 
He married Janet, eldest daughter of George Munro, VI. of Miln- 
town, by whom he had four sons 

1. John, his heir, who entered the army, where he attained 
the rank of Captain. He died unmarried. 

2. George; 3. Hugh, both of whom died without succession. 
4. Robert, who succeeded his father as 

IV. ROBERT MUNRO of Achnagart who married a daughter 
of John Ross of Little Tarrel, by whom he had several sons and 
daughters, whose names have not been recorded. One of his 
daughters married William, youngest son of John Munro, I. of 
Achany, with issue. 



"THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER." Contracts have just been entered 
into for the erection of new buildings in High Street, Inverness, specially adapted for 
printing and publishing the Scottish Highlander and the Celtic Magazine, and for a 
general printing and publishing business. The Scottish Highlander will be published 
EVERY FRIDAY AFTERNOON at ONE PENNY, and will consist of sixteen folio pages. 
The premises are to be completed by the middle of June. 



28; 
LORD NAPIER AND THE DUKE OF ARGYLL. 



WHATEVER may be the character or the future results of pro- 
spective legislation on the Highland crofter question, one sure 
thing is that the subject has been pretty freely canvassed alike in 
the press, and by those more immediately concerned. There has 
been a great deal of literature, controversy, and counsel applied 
to the formation of public opinion ; and out of this mass it is 
hoped that our statesmen will, on an early day, bring order and 
blessing. 

Among the most important contributions to the proper 
understanding of the question, and one which will naturally have 
great weight in giving complexion to any legislative attempts 
which may be made to deal with the now universally admitted 
evil, is the Report of the Crofters' Commission, to the discussion 
of which considerable space has already been devoted in these 
pages. That a document making such sweeping recommenda- 
tions, based on a careful scrutiny of the case, and trenching so 
much on the vested interests of so many who are high in power 
and influence should be itself subjected to very searching criticism 
is what might of course be expected. Among those who animad- 
verted upon it from the point of view of the rigid political 
economist is the Duke of Argyll, and the result of his inquiries is 
given in an article in the Nineteenth Century for November, en- 
titled "A Corrected Picture of the Highlands." In this article 
the Commission and its Report are submitted to review by his 
Grace, and, in his own estimation, they emerge from the ordeal 
sadly damaged and discredited. However, " He that is first in 
his own cause seemeth just, but his neighbour cometh and 
searcheth him." In the March number of the same periodical a 
defence of the Commission is appropriately given by the estim- 
able nobleman who presided over its sittings. 

The articles of the Duke of Argyll and Lord Napier are 
characteristic of their respective authors. His Grace is the cold, 
calculating we had almost said grasping man of the world, 
applying in all their inexorable nakedness the principles which 
underlie the science of political economy. Lord Napier again, 



288 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

no less a political economist than the Duke, leans more to the 
Ruskin type, and rejects, as contrary to his high sense of justice, 
and his generosity of character, the idea that " an advantageous 
code of social action may be determined irrespectively of the 
influence of social affection." 

After a few preliminary remarks as to the Duke's mistaken 
conception of the purpose and intention of the Crofters' Com- 
mission, Lord Napier goes on to deal more in detail with the 
strictures and direct charges brought against the Report. This 
he does very gently but firmly. 

First as regards the Duke's observation that Clearances and 
consolidation have been developed more extensively and relent- 
lessly in the southern than in the northern provinces. In this 
connection his Grace thought he had found in Lord Napier's 
own neighbourhood, nay, even on his Lordship's estate, evidences 
of depopulation more alarming than those even of Bracadale, 
in Skye. His Lordship acknowledges the correctness of some 
of the Duke's positions in their general outline, but indicates 
very serious errors of detail which render the intended compari- 
son between South and North quite inadmissible. While ad- 
mitting with evident regret the social change which has taken 
place in the classic Border districts, his Lordship points out that 
these have not been brought about by any such wholesale methods 
as awaken such gloomy memories in the Highlands of Scotland. 

" What evictions, what migrations there were then, no man 
can tell. There may have been much suffering, but the people 
passed away unnoticed and unmourned. The process of extinc- 
tion was very gradual. In the whole circle of Border poetry, as 
far as I am aware, there is no dirge for a departing race ; no plain- 
tive strain ascends from the Teviot or the Tweed, which repeats 
the sentiment of * Lochaber no More.' " 

But the case of Ettrick adduced by the Duke as itself one 
in which a great diminution of population has taken place, fails 
miserably. True, the population in 1831, appears to have been 
530, and in 1881 only 397. This, Lord Napier points out is not 
actually the case. " The Duke," he says, " has been misled. 
Here it is not the population, but the parish which has been 
halved. Subsequent to the census of 1851, Yarrow was sub- 
divided. A new parish called Kirkhope, was taken out of it, and 
the alteration is recorded in the Census Report of 1861," 



LORD NAPIER & THE DUKE OF ARGYLL. 289 

Lord Napier pursues the Duke still further, and shows that 
the comparison sought to be established between Ettrick and 
Inveraray is not fair in other respects. They are two localities 
which both Nature and history have rendered dissimilar. Ettrick 
is an inland valley. The land is high, and little of it cultivable. 
Inveraray, on the other hand, " rises from the shores of a 
sheltered salt-water loch, with many gradations and varieties of 
level to a high elevation." The land is adapted for small hold- 
ings ; extensive and lucrative herring fisheries are within con- 
venient reach ; there is the employment incident to resident pro- 
prietorship " Still the people of Inveraray go away. Landward 
Parish Population 1851, 1650; population 1881, 760. Dimi- 
nution in thirty years, 29 per cent, far more than in Ettrick and 
Yarrow." 

Admitting that both depopulation and consolidation pre- 
vailed in a greater or less degree throughout the Lowlands, his 
Lordship maintains that the present circumstances and future 
prospects of the North and South divisions of the country are 
distinct and different. 

" The question of restitution is dead in the Lowlands, but 
is living in the Highlands. In the Lowlands, natural causes or 
arbitrary wills have done their work. ... In the Highlands 
and Islands, or at. least in those parts of them where the crofters' 
question is a burning question, the two factors in the quarrel stand 
face to face ; on the one side is the vacant land, on the other side 
the craving multitude. The social question is still unsolved, and 
the cry goes up that it may be solved by restoring the people to 
their former seats." Lord Napier " would not advocate the re- 
newal of crofters' cultivation where there are no comminuted 
holdings, or over-crowded townships side by side with vacant 
pastoral farms, and where the land has been laid out with great 
expenditure in broad agricultural areas, with all the furniture and 
equipments suitable to a scientific farming system : but on the 
other hand it would surely be a grievous error for proprietors to 
surrender themselves and the great human and national interests 
committed to their charge to the undirected action of so-called 
natural agencies or tendencies. ... In many parts of Scot- 
land much might be done towards the reinstatement of the rural 
population by the gradual and prudent subdivision of farming 
areas, and by the prohibition of non-residency in the farming 
class." 

Dealing next with three points on which the Duke has laid 



290 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

peculiar weight, viz. (i) The social quality or position of the 
crofter ; (2) the nature of the crofters' evidence ; and (3) the want 
of vigour or decision in the recommendations of the Report of 
the Commission ; Lord Napier maintains that the crofters are 
tenants ; the Duke regards them as labourers. The crofter, says 
Lord Napier, is descended from a tenant ; he issues from the sub- 
tenants' holding under the old tacksmen, not only so, but even in 
his diminished state he retains many traces of his earlier con- 
dition which distinguish him from a labourer. " He clings to the 
traditions of the state from which he has been half removed. He 
considers himself to be an occupier of land, and from that be- 
lief he will not lightly depart." This last feature of his character, 
he says, is recognised by the recent Convention of Highland 
Proprietors at Inverness, when they contemplate the granting of 
leases and enlarged holdings to the crofter. 

On the question of the crofters' evidence, Lord Napier ex- 
presses his surprise at the sweeping condemnations of the Duke. 
He admits that some of the evidence bore traces of contrivance, 
passion, and vindictiveness, errors of memory and interpretation, 
and must in some instances be received with reservation. But 
he accepts the crofter witnesses as not uncandid or malicious. 

" I retain," he says, "a vivid recollection of the mental posture 
in which many an 'Angus' or 'Donald' was summoned to the 
bar. He would come up with a ' dour' aspect, sullen and on his 
guard, usually furnished with some written tale, in which his fellow- 
labourers had deposited with insufficient scrutiny and excusable 
resentment the story of their ancient or recent wrongs. But when 
the lesson was discharged, and Angus or Donald found himself 
comfortably seated in his familiar kirk, under the eyes of his 
minister, and neighbours, in the presence of six gentlemen, all but 
one of his own race, some speaking his own language, some bear- 
ing names known to every Highlander, all earnestly desirous to 
place themselves in contact with his inner thoughts and actual 
condition, it was pleasant to observe how soon the armour of 
suspicion would melt away ; his rugged visage would relax 
into good humour, and he would respond to his interrogator 
with shrewdness, sincerity, courtesy, and a picturesque anima- 
tion imperfectly rendered in transmission from the Gaelic to 
the Saxon tongue. These features were indeed most con- 
spicuous in the demeanour of the older people, but they were 
not deficient in the young. Meanwhile the utterances of the 
witnesses were reflected with intelligent and intense but silent 
sympathy in the countenances of the auditory. You felt that a 



LORD NAPIER & THE DUKE OF ARGYLL. 291 

faithful portrait of the people was being painted by themselves. 
Had the Duke of Argyll taken a personal part in these conferences 
between the Commissioners and the peasantry, had he witnessed 
the shifting physiognomy, the humours and the pathos of the 
humble drama, and felt this 'touch of nature' with a genuine 
form of humanity, however clouded by the passions of the hour, 
he would have written with less intolerance and scorn of the 
crofters' evidence. And when we reflect that these remote and 
often illiterate men were contending for the first time on a public 
scene for all that is deepest and dearest to them in life, how 
slender do their offences against morality, reason, and good taste, 
appear when set beside the stratagems and mendacities of a 
party demonstration at Birmingham, or the revengeful diatribes 
of many a debate in the House of Commons !" 

Lord Napier next rebuts the charge of indefiniteness made 
against the recommendations of the Commission, dealing more 
in detail with the part devoted to the question of reviving the 
Highland township. Viewing the apparent impossibility of com- 
pulsorily expanding individual holdings, either by emigration or 
migration, Lord Napier found that the Commissioners were shut 
up to the expedient of expanding and extending the township 
system, and enlarging the common pasture. 

Against the township suggestion various objections had been 
urged, and these Lord Napier next sets himself to dispose of. 
The first is that the power of compulsory expansion of the town- 
ship would be destruction to other kinds of property. The 
recommendation of the Commission has, he says, not left that 
out of view, and it suggests " provisions to protect the farming 
areas against excessive reduction." 

The next objection " that the claiming of township improve- 
ments would be oppressive to the proprietor he does not agree to. 
These demands are no more than the individual large farmer is 
in the habit of constantly making. 

" Although in the case of the township the proprietor is con- 
strained to perform certain duties, they are moderate and equit- 
able, and he is constrained to do nothing unless his people help 
him. It is idle to speak of the Highland crofters as free agents, 
competent to shape their own fortunes, uncounselled and unaided. 
The farmer is often a free agent, a capitalist, a stranger, who 
brings his money, his intelligence, and his labour voluntarily to 
a selected market ; the crofter is as much the accident of nature 
and of time as the heath and rocks upon his mountain, or as the 
seaweed that drifts upon his shore. The man who inherits a 



292 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Highland estate inherits the people and the obligations attached 
to them ; the man who purchases a Highland estate purchases 
the people, subject to like conditions. Should the claim of the 
township to exact improvements be admitted, the danger is not 
that the proprietor would be compelled to do too much, but that 
he would not be asked to do enough." 

It is next objected that the township stereotypes a bad form 
of tenure. In the very peculiar conditions of land and people in 
parts of the Highlands, his Lordship does not believe " that the 
use of wild mountain areas as common pasture is a bad tenure." 
The soil is poor, and to divide it by fences impracticable. " If 
the occupiers are to have any pasture it must be common hill 
pasture, and if they are to have no pasture they must cease to 
exist as occupiers of land." 

The last objection to the Township recommendation of the 
Commission is one urged in these pages on a former occasion. 
It is that the recognition of the township gives no security to the 
individual occupier. We give his Lordship's answer to our criticism 
in his own words, premising that it does not meet the objec- 
tion, and that if some method is not devised to conserve the in- 
dividual rights of the members of the township, matters will 
inevitably lapse into their old condition, and the last end will be 
worse than the first. Lord Napier says : 

" This objection is logically valid, and it opens a large ques- 
tion. Is it or is it not expedient in the interest of the crofters 
and of the country at large to give an absolute unconditional 
fixity of tenure to all the small occupiers of land in their present 
holdings ? For my part I cannot think that it is. I believe that 
such a measure would have many fatal results. It would fix the 
people to the soil, discourage enterprise, industry, emigration, 
migration, and the consolidation of small holdings, facilitate sub- 
division and squatting, and deprive the proprietor of the exercise 
of all authority and of many incentives to beneficence. Uncon- 
ditional fixity of tenure could hardly be granted without official 
rents and the faculty of selling the improvements and goodwill of 
the tenancy in the open market, innovations which would aggra- 
vate the evils enumerated above. Under these impressions the 
Commissioners have recommended security of tenure in a modi- 
fied form, which has an ancient statutory sanction, and which is 
conformable to the custom of the country, in the shape of an 
* improving lease,' under which competent occupiers would have 
a right to claim the tenure of the holding for thirty years at a 
valuation-rent, with obligations to improve, and with compensa- 



LORD NAPIER & THE DUKE OF ARGYLL. 293 

tion for improvements. If, however, the contingency of the clear- 
ance of the township must be contemplated by legislation, it 
might be practically prevented by prohibiting the creation of ten- 
ancies in townships above a specified annual value." 

Lord Napier, after making an earnest appeal to the Duke to 
extend his support to the cause, rather than to act as he is doing 
on the side of its assailants, concludes as follows : 

" To the suggestions of the Secretary of State for the Home 
Department, and to the mediation of Lochiel, we owe it that a 
meeting has been held of landowners in the North of Scotland 
for the purpose of promoting a friendly adjustment of the claims 
of the crofters. In this movement the Duke of Argyll has been, 
it is reported, an influential adviser, though he did not take part 
in the discussions at Inverness. It is, perhaps, better so, for he 
reserves a greater liberty of subsequent Parliamentary action. 
The concerted resolutions of the Highland proprietors are con- 
ceived in a generous spirit, and they are all consistent with true 
policy and the wishes of the people. In my judgment they are 
defective in the following respects : they contain no absolute 
security for the preservation of the existing crofting areas, no 
provisions for township improvements, no restriction on the 
future formation of deer forests, and no suggestions for the 
embodiment of the conclusions adopted in a statutory form. 
Nevertheless, an overture has been made which is honourable to 
its authors, and which in other hands may become productive of 
beneficial results. A larger measure of concession could not, 
perhaps, have been secured in connection with unanimous 
assent." 

A BIRTHDAY GREETING, 

INSCRIBED, WITH SINCERE REGARD, TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE EARL OF 
BREADALBANE, ON HIS BIRTHDAY, APRIL 9, 1884. 

Beloved Breadalbane ! greetings waft I thee, 

On this thy dear, thine honoured natal day ; 

That Heaven long spare thee, earnestly I pray 
Full many, many glad returns to see. 
Thy rule is wise o'er vast domains and wide, 

Rife in good actions for thy people's weal ; 

Each duty shared by helpmate kind and leal, 
Whose work and walk are ever at thy side. 
Rule wisely on, for noble is the race 

O'er whom your governance holds loving sway ; 
Yours their deep gratitude for acts of grace, 

Their warmest blessings crown you every day ! 

How rich, how sweet, and joyous the reward, 

Your people's love and their sincere regard ! 

NEW YORK, DUNCAN MACGREGOR CRERAR, 



294 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDERS AND THE LAND LA WS : An Historico- 
Economical Enquiry ) by John Stuart Blackie, F.R.S.E., etc. London: Chapman 
and Hall. 1885. 

To the honoured names of Sir Walter Scott and Dr Norman 
Macleod, who have so nobly created a world-wide interest in our 
Highlands and Highlanders, it would be but justice to add the 
name of Professor Blackie, whose present work, more perhaps, 
than any of its predecessors from his pen, on Celtic subjects, will 
win sympathy for the people whose cause we have at heart, and 
will convince our fellow-countrymen by its presentation of simple 
but startling facts, and of well-weighed conclusions, that legisla- 
tion, by way of removing the evils still existing, has been too 
long delayed. The work had been published only a few days 
when Mr Chamberlain, in one of his outspoken addresses on the 
land system, quoted its prominent reference to the words of 
Theodore Parker : " England is the paradise of the rich, the pur- 
gatory of the wise, and the hell of the poor." Its dedication to 
Mr John Bright, " the stout assertor of popular rights," strikes 
a key-note which marks the versatile Professor's political progress, 
and which is kept up without wavering all through the work. 
About four-fifths of its bulk, he tells us, had been written prior 
to the appointment of the Crofter Royal Commission ; so that 
his facts and inferences are the fruits of many seasons' wander- 
ings in our glens, and much intercourse with the Highland people, 
supported by an extensive study of the literature bearing upon 
his subject, which he does not unduly exalt when he says : " We 
owe not the least part of our national glory and European pres- 
tige to the Celts of the Scottish Highlands." 

The book is divided into three sections, " The Scottish High- 
landers," "The Land Laws," and "The Crofters' Commission." The 
author's comments on the Report of that body have necessitated 
the treatment of the same topics at different parts of the work ; 
but this is done in so skilful a manner as to avoid all tedious repet- 
ition. Proceeding historically, a view is first given of the people 
as they grew up in their natural state before extraneous influ- 
ences interfered with their spontaneous growth, and this is fol- 
lowed by a narrative of the steps taken, during the period since 
"the brilliant blunder of the '45," to obliterate the separate char- 
acter of the Highlanders, and to merge them in the general com- 



HIGHLANDERS AND THE LAND LAWS. 295 

munity. The clan system is finely characterised as founded 
on " the union of authority and love " a harmony which was 
rudely destroyed when the chiefs seized the clan domains to their 
own selfish use, under the transparent subterfuge of acquisi- 
tion by virtue of Royal charter. In a note Professor Blackie 
shows up, with crushing logic, the vacillation of the Commis- 
sioners' Report in that part where they affect to deal judicially 
with the question of the original tenure of land by the whole clan, 
whose rights were simply held in trust by the chief. All the 
well-known qualities which have combined to form the High- 
lander of history and of our own time are next enumerated, special 
stress being laid on the peoples' respect for authority and obedience 
to their natural leaders a feature in their character of which un- 
due advantage has been taken, and the healthy re-action from 
which is now being experienced. There is something grim in the 
author's plea for clan feuds, that they were a " ready method of 
thinning a superfluous population." Adverting to the charge of 
indolence as a Highland quality, there is shown to be no ground 
for it in the character of the people, except so far as seclusion 
from the world of competition induces a lack of energy. " Why 
should everybody everywhere live in a continual fret and fever 
of overstrained nerves?" When placed in circumstances where 
exertion shows palpable results, the Celt keeps well abreast of 
his neighbours. The consequences arising from the construction 
of military roads and forts, the passing of the Disarming Act 
of 1746, and the abolition of heritable jurisdictions, are shown 
to have been, a disgusted people, and the conversion of the 
chiefs into a company of land merchants, who looked upon 
the people as chattels to be sold with the land, or to be 
removed at pleasure. Hence occurred the Glen-Dessary and 
other Clearances, the details of which the author extracts from 
the earlier issues of this Magazine, and from " The Highland 
Clearances," which point his denunciations of the " most un- 
grateful treatment of a people, the sweat of whose brow had 
redeemed the soil from barrenness, and whose blood had been 
freely poured out for Britain's honour in many a battlefield of 
historic renown." If the writer of an article on " The High- 
landers and their Landlords," which appeared in the number of 
the "Quarterly Review" for January, had read Professor Blackie's 
book, or any of the works above-mentioned, he could not have 



296 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

had the assurance to write as to the Clearances " if suffering 
was caused in excess of what was inevitable, the fault is to be 
attributed, not to the landlords, but to the character of the period." 
The apologists for the landlords are put to sorry shifts when 
they are fain to attribute the atrocities of the Strathnaver and 
the Knoydart Clearances, not to those by whose commands they 
were carried out, but to " the character of the period " which pro- 
duced the emancipation of the slaves and the relief of the oppressed 
elsewhere to an extent not previously paralleled. The evicted 
people, thus betrayed a second time by their hereditary leaders, 
had no hopes but in the accidental personal goodness of some of 
their superiors, in the paternal care of a government of landlords, 
and in the chapter of accidents. They had certainly little to 
hope for from those to whom " an increase of population is the 
greatest evil, and an increase of rent the greatest good." The 
very miseries suffered by poor people during the Potato Famine 
of 1846 were made the pretext, by selfish landlords, for turning 
many families out of their homes. Professor Blackie maintains 
that many measures, which, at first sight, seem to carry unalloyed 
benefits, really operated against true Highland interests. Such 
were the Poor Law Act of 1845, the Education Act of 1872, 
the migration to large towns, and the Disruption of the Church. 
The ideal which is sketched of a characteristically Highland 
education, for its suggestiveness and practical bearing, is far 
more deserving of the consideration of the authorities than the 
unsympathetic reports of official doctrinaires. 

The second and third sections of the work are so intimately 
connected that they may be conveniently considered together. 
When the king, as representing the nation, gave grants of land, 
the landlords " were made to feel and to act on the principle that 
ownership in land exists for the sake of the people ; not the 
people for the sake of the ownership." A valuable philosophical 
analysis, drawn out in regular procession of mutually dependent 
propositions, is given of the relations between men, as members 
of a community, and the destination of land, of which the con- 
clusion is that the land, " as the common gift of God to all the 
human family," should either be cultivated by the holder himself, 
or used by him in the way most conducive to the necessities of 
the community. " Freedom of contract," which the narrow school 
of economists, pure and simple, put forward as a panacea for the 



HIGHLANDERS AND THE LAND LAWS. 297 

settlement of the land question, to the landlords' mind, is described 
as " a name to juggle fools and justify knaves." Coming to the 
consideration of recent events, the cases of the crofters of Bernera, 
the Braes, and Glendale, are detailed as leading to the appoint- 
ment of the Crofters' Commission, whose Report is generously 
described as a " summation of economic counsel, by a body of men 
distinguished alike for kindly humanity, practical intelligence, and 
fine discrimination;" but a little further on a more judicious and 
critical estimate is formed when it is said that the Report " is not 
altogether free from the prejudices that party views and personal 
interests are so apt to engender." 

Extracts are given from it under various heads, supple- 
mented by some portions of the statement of Mr John Barclay, 
Rev. J. M. Davidson, and others, so as to neutralise the evident 
compromise between conflicting views seen in the composition of 
the Report. Professor Blackie has, with sure insight, concurred 
with other authorities on the Crofter question, in detecting the 
" marked tenderness," as he calls it, with which the Commis- 
sioners deal with the deer forests. Indeed, their timidity in 
approaching this, the very crux of their inquiry, is the most seri- 
ous blemish on the admirable work they have done, as was first 
pointed out in detail in our " Analysis of the Report," where their 
finding on this head is characterised as " curious, inexplicable, 
and most inequitable" (page 68). While existing legal rights 
"in these food-wasting forests are to be preserved, further 
afforesting in the future is to be prevented. A legal right derives 
its entire sanction from the legislature which constituted it, and 
which has equal power to modify it, or even extinguish it, if it 
should appear to be for the public good to so deal with legal 
rights. No legislation would be possible if existing legal rights 
were never to be disturbed. The Commissioners' recommenda- 
tions remind one of the sentence of the justice who said " Not 
guilty, but don't do it again." The complete character of the 
extermination of a thriving tenantry is brought out in the 
evidence of Mr Colin Chisholm as to Glencannich, and other 
places in Strathglass. 

Professor Blackie gives a pretty full enumeration of the re- 
medial measures proposed by the Commission; but, with respect to 
the alleviation of the lot of the fishing crews, while mentioning the 
proposals as to piers and harbours, he omits an important recom- 



298 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

mendation that Government should advance money, under safe- 
guards, for the purchase of boats of larger size, and of a safer 
build, than those in which their poverty still compels them to run 
great risks in stormy weather. This matter assumed a very pain- 
ful interest last month, when so many fishermen's lives were lost 
by the swamping of several boats on the coasts of Skye arid Lewis. 
The author ably criticises the " dissents " from the Report by 
Lochiel and Sir Kenneth Mackenzie. It had already been 
pointed out in our " Analysis " that these gentlemen proposed 
that money should be obtained from the Public Works Loan 
Commissioners to build houses, drain land, etc., for small farmers ; 
while the landlords had for many years possessed the power of 
getting advances for such work for that class of tenant, but had 
remained indifferent to it. Professor Blackie shows that Sir 
Kenneth's reasoning virtually means the extinction of the crofter 
class ; those of them without stock would, on his proposal, be re- 
duced to be mere labourers for wages, and they would have to go 
to the towns for employment. He cannot agree with him here, nor 

" In his refusal to deal with the case of the Highland crofters as an exceptional 
case. Had it not been an exceptional case, and that in very well-marked lines, there 
would have been no occasion for a special Commission, and no Report in its every 
page accentuating so strongly the special grounds of the complaint which called for 
the Commission. The case of the Highlands is in fact economically the case of Ire- 
land over again, with certain local variations, and the important difference, that 
whereas in the Hibernian isle congestion was the only evil dealt with, in the Cale- 
donian glens the complex action of congestion in one part and depletion in another, 
indicates to the skill of the State physician a double and more difficult treatment. . 
That the economic condition of the Highlands and Islands, therefore, is a 
matter which loudly cries for exceptional legislation I hold to be indubitable. 

While the author does not admit the force of the objections 
put forward in the " Dissents " to the Township proposals of the 
Report," he considers it would be a more workable arrangement 
to constitute a Land Court to settle matters between landlords 
and tenants, and to see that the weaker party be not oppressed. 

In commending this work to the attention of our readers, it 
is quite unnecessary to allude to its graces of style, and the wide 
field of research which Professor Blackie knows how to utilise 
for the illustration of his subject and the enforcement of his 
arguments. His pages sparkle with epigrams and felicitous 
phrases, some of which have been quoted. Every true High- 
lander, and every friend of the Highlands, will regard this work 
as one of the greatest of the many great services which the 
author has rendered to the Highland people. 



THE 

CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A.. Scot. 
No. CXV. MAY 1885. VOL. X. 

THE FUTURE OF THE GAELIC LANGUAGE. 



II. 

IN our last paper we endeavoured to show how undesirable it is 
in the highest interest of the Highlanders that Gaelic should 
cease to be a recognised vehicle of speech among them. We shall 
now go on to consider the second question raised : Is the extinc- 
tion of Gaelic probable ? 

However essential we may regard the language to the full 
and harmonious development of the Celt, we cannot but feel 
that there are destructive forces at work, which, if unchecked, 
will eventually bring about its death. We can gain nothing by 
minimising the forces of the enemy. Let us endeavour as ac- 
curately as possible to estimate its strength. Having done so, 
we shall be able more correctly to calculate our own chances of 
success. 

This is a money-making age. The dollar is almighty. The 
lust for gold has taken such a hold of the men and women 
of the nineteenth century, that they are ready to fling aside 
as worthless everything that does not represent an ascertained 
amount of current coin. This miserly spirit is as rampant 
in Britain as in any part of the world. The Celts are not a 
miserly race ; but the influences brought to bear on them from 
without, combined with their own extreme poverty, necessitate on 
their part very considerable moral strength to resist the insidious 

v 



300 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. . 

temptation put in their way. True it is, as pointed out last 
month, that Gaelic is still of some commercial value, while a 
knowledge of it cannot possibly be the means of the very 
slightest pecuniary loss; yet all this is lost sight of in view of the 
great fact that English is the accredited language of the British 
people, probably destined at some time to be the language of the 
world. The Celt is frequently disposed to associate it with his 
dreams of future prosperity. He is apt to regard it as the golden 
key by which all the portals that are at present barred against 
him can be opened wide. Unwilling as he naturally is to discard 
this precious heritage of his race, he feels that, if the prevailing 
opinion regarding the worthlessness of Gaelic in the great battle 
of life be correct, he must make up his mind to bid it a sad fare- 
well. These, though to some extent prevalent, are certainly not 
the sentiments of the whole Highland people. Far from it. 
Those who think so are but a small section who have been 
miserably gulled by people whose contempt for everything Celtic 
is bred of ignorance and blind dislike. 

Since Culloden, the barriers which have separated the High- 
lands from the Lowlands have been continuously disappearing. 
We certainly do not regret that a brotherhood has been estab- 
lished between Celt and Saxon. Through it the former has 
gained a good deal, though he has also suffered much. We do 
not regret that in their commingling the rough jagged edges on 
the characters of the two races have been partly rubbed off. 
What we do lament is that the Celtic spirit should have to some 
extent been dominated by the Saxon ; that the Celtic fire does 
not seem to burn so brightly now, as it did before the Lowlander 
began to find a home north of the Grampians. In the face, 
however, of so many brilliant examples of the contrary, especi- 
ally on Britain's battlefields, we cannot believe that that fire 
has been quenched, and we are confident that it needs but 
some slight fanning to set it brightly flaming again. 

One result of the contact between Celt and Saxon has 
been in some measure to affect the vitality of the Gaelic lan- 
guage. Amid rugged Highland fastnesses, which before but re- 
echoed to the rich wild notes of the mountain tongue, have been 
heard the silvery accents of England. The old Highland chief- 
tain, whose main glory it was that he was a Highlander, and 



THE FUTURE OF THE GAELIC LANGUAGE. 301 

could acquit himself as one, has now almost disappeared. He 
has been replaced by the Southern capitalist, for whom the 
atmosphere of London or Birmingham is more congenial than 
the fresh breezes that play around the Highland bens. The 
duties of land-ownership he devolves upon men as anti-Celtic in 
their temperament as he is himself, and when he does choose a 
Highland factor, the individual of whom choice is made is 
generally a miserable specimen of the race. Should the alien 
laird even condescend to visit his Scottish estate, he takes the 
utmost pains to show his contempt for his tenants, and for 
every thing that they hold dear. Their language is to him 
mere gibberish. Their habits and customs he abhors. The 
servants put on, if possible, more airs than their master. When 
his livened young men or dainty maids see a native coming along 
the road, they slink over to the other side to avoid him. Should 
he address them a hearty Gaelic salutation, they stare rudely and 
vacantly in his face. True, their own English is not of the best, 
and their treatment of the letter h is not strictly in accordance 
with the principles of orthography, but yet they are in blissful 
ignorance of the fact. 

Things are not much better when our pseudo-chief is away. 
The official who then rules the roost, if he does know Gaelic, 
uses it only when he cannot get on without it, and his retainers 
and subordinates are very frequently even more ignorant and 
contemptuous than he is himself. The evils which have befallen 
the Highlands through the large farming system have been fre- 
quently and forcibly pointed out. Not only is the system in 
itself an evil, but it has been the means of introducing to the 
North many men without a spark of sympathy for those with 
whom they are brought into contact there. The mind of the 
average low-country farmer hardly ever rises above considera- 
tions bearing on crops and markets. The men he employs he 
regards as so many machines at work to stock his coffers. He 
looks upon their language as an intolerable nuisance, and if they 
are unable to understand his very questionable English, he sets 
them down as dolts and abuses them accordingly. 

Every season the more beautiful parts of the Highlands are 
visited by bands of tourists from all parts of the world. Deer- 
stalking, grouse-shooting, and fishing attract to the North each 



302 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

year an increasing number of the votaries of sport. With what- 
ever languages all these pleasure-hunters may be acquainted, 
they are almost morally certain not to know Gaelic. The 
natives are brought into frequent contact with them as employes, 
and otherwise. Such intercourse is ever apt to heighten in their 
unsophisticated minds the suspicions secretly entertained pre- 
viously as to the uselessness of a knowledge of Gaelic. The 
driver, the gillie, the message boy, the maid-servant, all devote 
themselves energetically to the study of English. To acquire it 
is their main object in life. 

The disadvantageous circumstances which surround the 
Highlander, especially the young Highlander, compel him for a 
time to quit his home for the centres of business life, to eke out 
by labour there an addition to his scanty income. His visits to 
the South benefit him in several respects, but in others they are 
demoralising. In order to make any headway he has to lay aside 
to a large extent his Gaelic, and adopt an uncouth ungrammatical 
dialect, which he thinks is English. Evil influences brought to 
bear on him may tempt him to conceal his Celtic origin. He 
denies all knowledge of his mother tongue, though his every word 
betrays the falseness of the position he assumes. He becomes 
an apostate Highlander, and like all apostates deserves to be held 
up to the contempt and scorn of his fellow-countrymen and the 
world. We trust there are few in whose veins Celtic blood runs, 
who have sunk so low ; but the facts that are forced upon us 
compel us to admit that the degenerate Highlander does exist. 

There are many, however, who, though they do not deserve 
to be enrolled in the same inglorious category, have yet been un- 
able wholly to resist the anti-patriotic influences by which they 
have been surrounded. First, unconsciously, and then unwill- 
ingly, is the idea forced upon them, that Gaelic is neither valuable, 
not even respectable. They persevere in the use of the mongrel dia- 
lect they have acquired which, when they get home, they air as 
much as possible. In it they converse with all except those who 
are utterly unable to understand it. They have learned Gaelic 
in their childhood. It is the only language they really know, 
and they of course never forget it ; but their whole influence is 
lent to the fallacy that English is the main thing for a man who 
wishes to make his way in the world. They discourage their 



THE FUTURE OF THE GAELIC LANGUAGE. 303 

children in talking Gaelic. It would be amusing if it were not 
so offensive to hear a brawny Celt of twenty-six or thereabouts, 
glibly addressing his child in the dialect he has picked up in the 
dock-yards of Glasgow, fondly imagining that he is accustoming 
him or her to the greatest language in the world. 

Unfortunately for the last eight or ten years there has been 
brought to bear on the boy and girl Highlander an anti-Celtic 
influence which is, perhaps, more insidious than any we have 
mentioned. When the Scottish Education Act came into force 
in the Highlands, it very materially altered the old arrangements. 
Innumerable blessings through its instrumentality were prophe- 
sied for the Highland people. In a measure these expectations 
have been realised. A very much larger per centage of the 
Highland youth are trained to read, write, and count than ever 
enjoyed these advantages before. The schoolmaster of the 
modern type is abroad, self-consciously imagining that he is 
working a mighty social revolution among those with whom his 
lot has been cast. It is certainly not our object to depreciate the 
powers or derogate from the dignity of the modern schoolmaster. 
We are not so foolhardy as to ruffle his feathers ; but that the 
system which he is but the humble instrument in carrying out 
has been detrimental to the highest interests of the Highlanders 
has fostered the anti-patriotic bias to a degree, we assert ; and we 
are prepared to maintain that that system will, if not considerably 
modified, in course of time inevitably result in the extinction of 
every Celtic sympathy in the breasts of those brought up under 
it. The teaching of Gaelic is forbidden in the schools. All 
methods of the average teacher are based on the assumption that 
its extinction is necessary for a knowledge of English. He for- 
bids it in the school : some even go so far as to thrash any of 
their scholars who may be convicted of conversing in it on the 
playground, or anywhere in the neighbourhood of the school 
buildings. The pupils are taught to regard it as an effectual 
barrier to their prosperity, a barrier to be surmounted as soon as 
possible. School inspectors discourage the employment of it as 
a means of communication with those who understand little or 
no English, although such a method of instruction is both sanc- 
tioned and enjoined in the Code. They ignore its existence in 
every possible way. 



304 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

These are the enemies with which the friends of Gaelic, 
and the friends of the Highlands, have to contend. Forces 
strong and subtle are ranged against us. In the face of such 
odds is not surrender both discreet and incumbent? Are we not 
fighting a losing battle ? Such is the counsel of the enemy. On 
that ground alone we are disposed to view it with suspicion ; but 
when we review our own forces, we are at once convinced how 
cowardly it would be for us to adopt such a policy, to desert the 
time-honoured standard round which our fathers have fought so 
bravely. More especially dishonourable for us would it be to 
desert our flag at a crisis such as this, when there are signs dis- 
cernible that victory, signal victory, may soon reward our efforts. 
There are two events looming in the near future which will 
effectively modify the circumstances which are at present telling 
against us. The more important of these is a reform in the land 
laws. Among the many inestimable advantages which will 
accrue from such a change, the preservation of Gaelic is one. We 
have already shown how many of the circumstances which obtain 
under the present system are detrimental to it in the extreme. 
Many of these will be removed. The foppish absentee landlord 
will no longer wield the power he at present possesses. His 
factor will become the nonentity he deserves to be. Their 
retainers will be treated according to their deserts, and coldly 
disregarded, whenever they arrogate to themselves a dignity 
which, neither their position nor their brains entitle them to. 
The Celt will be able to make a living at home, and when, out of 
his own free will, he temporarily or permanently leaves that 
home, he will carry with him a rooted love of it, which will enable 
him easily to resist temptations to sever himself from the hal- 
lowed memories that cluster round it. To-day, too many of our 
Highlanders are forced to regard their home life as their sternest, 
bitterest experience. Then their Highland life and everything 
connected with it will be fraught with peaceful, ennobling associa- 
tions. 

From another source also is deliverance at hand. The 
country has had more than twelve years' experience of the pre- 
vailing system of education. In the course of these years so 
many imperfections in it have been brought to light that we are 
assured that drastic educational reforms are at hand. Gaelic, we 






THE FUTURE OF THE GAELIC LANGUAGE. 305 

are confident and our confidence is based to some extent on 
almost an express pledge from Mr Mundella will then receive 
the attention it merits, and due provision will be made for instruc- 
tion in it in all our Highland schools. 

Upon remedies such as these are our hopes for the Gaelic 
language based. The extinction of Gaelic, though it may be 
possible, is certainly not probable. There are many of us who 
have long dreamed of a better day for the Highland people. 
After all the gloom and sorrow of the night, that dream seems 
now about to be realised. Faint streaks of dawn are already 
visible above the horizon. Those who for long, in the face of 
misrepresentation and obloquy, have toiled and suffered in the 
Highland cause, though often worsted in the fight, may now rest 
in the assurance that the day is not far distant when their efforts 
shall be crowned with success. They can foresee a time when 
the beautiful glens and straths of the North, which have so long 
lain desolate, shall once again be peopled by a happy, prosperous 
peasantry, tilling the soil that their forefathers tilled, and speak- 
ing in accents contented and hopeful the tongue that their fore- 
fathers spoke. JOHN MACARTHUR. 



CAPABILITIES OF SMALL TENANTS IN THE HIGHLANDS. "The 
following are instances of the capability of small tenants in the Highlands, and of the 
improvement of lands and rents effected by far other means than the burning decrees. 
The tenant of a friend of mine, when he first took his farm, paid a rent of ^8. xos. 
This rent has been gradually augmented, since the year 1781, to 85, and this 
without lease or encouragement from the landlord, who, by the industry and improve- 
ments of his tenant, has received an increase of more than 1000 per cent, in less than 
forty years. On another estate, nineteen small tenants paid, in the year 1784, a joint 
rent of $7. This has been raised by degrees, without a shilling given in assistance 
for improvements, which have been considerable, to ^371. The number of acres 
is 145, which are situated in a high district, and with no pasture for sheep. These 
are not insulated facts. I could produce many to show that industry, with abstemious 
and contented habits, more than compensates for the increased consumption of pro- 
duce by so many occupants ; and that by judicious management, the peasantry of the 
Highlands, although they may be numerous in proportion to the quantity of fertile land, 
contribute to secure the permanent welfare both of the landholder and of the country. 
What men can pay better rents than those who live nine months in the year on 
potatoes and milk, on bread only when potatoes fail, and on butcher meat seldom or 
never? Who are better calculated to make good soldiers, than men trained up to 
such habits, and contented with such moderate comforts? And who are likely to 
make more loyal and happy subjects, contented with their lot, and true to their king 
king, and to their immediate superiors." Stewarts Sketches of the Highlanders now in 
the press. 



306 HE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

EARLY HISTORY AND INHABITANTS OF 

SCOTLAND. 
BY PROVOST MACANDREW. 



II. 

WE learn, then, that at the time of Columba's arrival in lona, 
there was, and had for some time been, established in the West 
of Scotland, and extending from the Mull of Cantyre on the 
south to Loch-Linnhe in the north, and bounded on the west by 
the chain of mountains which separate the counties of Perth and 
Argyle, and which Adamnan calls the Dorsum Brittanae or back 
bone of Britain, a kingdom inhabited, or at all events ruled by, 
Scots from Ireland, and called Dalriada. The valley of the 
Clyde, Teviotdale, and the county of Cumberland constituted the 
British Kingdom of Strathclyde, the capital of which was at 
Dunbretan, the Dune or fort of the Britons, now Dumbarton, the 
rest of Scotland north of the Firth, and including the Orkney 
Islands, was held by the Picts. The Lothians appear to have 
been inhabited by a mixed race of Picts and Saxons, and the 
county of Galloway was inhabited by a separate tribe of Picts. 
Whether the Picts were divided into two kingdoms, each with a 
ruler of its own, is a question which, so far as I can see, should 
be answered in the negative. There is no hint of two kingdoms 
in the chronicles and lists of kings which have come down to us, 
and I think the truth is that the land inhabited by the Picts, ex- 
clusive of Galloway, formed one kingdom, and that the king had 
his residence sometimes in the northern portion of the kingdom 
and sometimes in the southern. In Adamnan there is certainly 
no hint of two kingdoms. It was to the people of this kingdom 
that St Columba directed his missionary efforts, and we learn 
that he went to the Court of Brude, near the River Ness, and 
having miraculously caused the gates of Brude's fort or castle to 
open to him, he was received by the king who soon was converted 
by him, and the Columban Church rapidly spread over the king- 
dom of the Picts, which became nominally at least Christian. 

It may be interesting to pause for a moment to glance at the 



HISTORY AND INHABITANTS OF SCOTLAND 307 

question where this fort or tower of King Brude was. Three 
sites are claimed Craig-Phadraig, with the vitrified remains, on 
which we are familiar ; Tor Vean, where there are undoubted re- 
mains of a fortification, and where at the time of the making of the 
Caledonian Canal a massive silver chain, now in the Antiquarian 
Museum in Edinburgh, was discovered, and the Crown or Auld 
Castle Hill of Inverness, where, at the point where Victoria Terrace 
now stands, there are remains of extensive buildings, and where the 
Castle and Town of Inverness at one time undoubtedly stood. In 
the various notices of St Columba's journeys to and from Inverness, 
there is nothing to indicate the site or even the side of the river 
on which it stood. The builders of the vitrified forts have not 
yet been identified with any certainty, and it seems generally to 
be supposed that they are much older than the time of Brude. 
Skene, without giving any sufficient reasons,has fixed on Tor Vean, 
and Dr Aitken, who has paid much attention to the topography 
of the district, has arrived on independent grounds at the same 
conclusion. I confess that I myself incline to give the preference 
to the Auld Castle Hill. First, because, although we do not 
know that there was a town of Inverness in Brude's time, it is 
extremely probable that there was, for the reason that it is not 
likely that a powerful king like Brude, ruling from the Orkneys 
to the Clyde and Forth, would have his residence in a detached 
hill fort, which both Craig-Phadraig and Tor Vean must have 
been ; second, because the earliest town of which we have a record 
was clustered round the old castle on the Crown, and there is 
every probability that a town did exist there from the earliest 
times ; and third, because all the earliest ecclesiastical founda- 
tions were on this side of the river. We have no record of any 
Columban foundation in Inverness, but it is extremely improbable 
that Columba did not follow here what was his practice else- 
where, viz., on the conversion of a King or Chief to get a grant of 
land and found a monastery. And we know that when the Roman 
Catholic Church superseded the old Columban Church, the ancient 
foundations were very generally converted into abodes of some 
of the regular monastic order. 

To resume our narrative, however. We have more or less 
authentic records of the Pictish and Scottish kingdom from 
Adamnan's time. The Picts continued to maintain themselves, 



3 o8 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE, 

sometimes at war with the Saxons, and sometimes extending their 
boundaries to the Tweed, and sometimes driven back to the 
northern friths, frequently at war with their neighbours the 
Scots, and latterly at war with the Norwegians, who not long after 
Adamnan's time seem to have taken possession of the Orkneys. 
About 717 Nectan, the King of the Picts, conformed to Rome, 
and expelled the Columban clergy from his kingdom, and about 
750 Angus, King of the Picts, appears to have suppressed the 
Scottish kingdom of Dalriada ; and although for 100 years from 
this time the annals are confused, it would appear that Dalriada 
was a province of the Pictish kingdom. About 830 a dispute 
arose about the succession to the Pictish throne, and one of the 
claimants was Alpin, a Scot by paternal descent, and described 
by some of the chroniclers as King of Dalriada. He was un- 
successful, but a few years afterwards, Kenneth, his son, emerging 
apparently from Galloway at the head of a body of Scots, first 
established himself as King of Dalriada, and afterwards having 
overthrown the Picts in a great battle, established himself as 
King of the Picts, and permanently united the kingdoms of the 
Picts and the Scots into one. The pedigree of Alpin and Ken- 
neth is not well ascertained, but there seems no doubt that on 
the paternal sicfe they were of the royal line of the Scottish 
Kings of Dalriada, while it seems equally clear that through his 
mother, and according to the Pictish law of succession, Alpin had 
a claim to the Pictish throne, and was supported in his claim by 
a large portion of the Pictish people. It would appear, too, that 
there was an ecclesiastical element in the revolution which placed 
Kenneth on the Pictish throne, for with his accession the Colum- 
ban Church was restored, and continued to be the Church of the 
kingdom until the time of Malcolm Canmore. 

With the reign of Kenneth Macalpin, the real authentic 
history of the country begins, and the succession to the Crown 
continues in his line to this day. He himself was called King of 
the Picts, but very soon after his time the united kingdom came 
to be called the Kingdom of Albyn, and continued to be so 
called until the reign of Malcolm the Second, who reigned from 
1005 to 1034, when it came to be called the Kingdom of Scot- 
land, a name which had previously been applied to Ireland. 

As I have said, from this time we have authentic history, 



HISTORY AND INHABITANTS OF SCOTLAND. 309 

We start therefore with a Pictish kingdom extending over all 
Scotland north of the Forth, and with a king having claims to 
the Crown, as also to the Crown of the ancient Scottish kingdom 
of Dalriada, establishing his claims to both by the aid of a small 
body of Scots. From this time we have no record of any great 
emigration or movement of population. As the Scottish race 
became predominant, there would no doubt be an emigration 
from Ireland, and a settlement in Scotland of many Scots. 
Afterwards, in the time of Malcolm Canmore and his sons, there 
was undoubtedly a settlement of Saxon emigrants from England, 
and there are records of many grants of land to them, and sub- 
sequently, many Normans came into Scotland and took leading 
parts, as they did all over Europe ; but the main body of the 
people must have continued to be of Pictish blood, and must 
continue to be so still. In the time of Kenneth's successors, the 
Scots and the Picts were rapidly amalgamating into one people, 
and the Scottish form of the common language prevailed. With 
Malcolm Canmore the Saxon language became the language of 
the Court, and the Gaelic gradually receded, as it is still doing; 
but in the time of King David the First, we learn from the Book 
of Deer, that the Gaelic was then the common language of Aber- 
deenshire, and that the people and organisation of that district 
were still Celtic. I think we may safely conclude, therefore, and 
this is the point of my narrative, that with a considerable cross 
of Scots from Ireland, a considerable cross of Saxons, parti- 
cularly in the southern parts, a cross of British in the south- 
west, arising from the acquisition of a portion of the Strath- 
clyde kingdom in 945, although it had been for some time held 
by the Saxons, a slight cross of Norman in the upper classes, 
and of Norwegian in Caithness and the Western Isles, the main 
blood of the Scottish people is Pictish. 

This being so, it is of interest to enquire who the Picts were, 
and why they were so called. 

We have seen that Tacitus says that from their appearance 
they might have been of German origin, but concludes that they 
probably came from Gaul, as he holds the rest of the Britons 
did, and neither he nor any Roman writer mentions any distinc- 
tion in language between them and the other Britons. The 
question has been very keenly contested, whether the Picts were 



3io THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Celts or Teutons? Their own tradition is that they came from 
Scythia, that is northern Europe, and we know now that they 
were preceded in this country by an older race. The argument 
from the appearance of the people goes for nothing, because there 
were no marked physical distinctions between the Celt and the 
Teuton. The argument from language has been rendered im- 
mortal by the famous discussion between the Antiquary and Sir 
Arthur Wardour, as to the one word of the Pictish language 
said to be the only remnant of it. There are, however, a great 
many words of the Pictish language which still remain, and they 
certainly do not tend to show that it was Teutonic. The con- 
clusion which Skene draws from an examination of these words is 
that the language was a Gaelic dialect, but approximating some- 
what to the Cornish variety of the British. Much stress has been 
laid on two passages in the life of St Columba, where it is men- 
tioned that in communicating with Picts he used an inter- 
preter ; and on a passage in Bede where it is stated that 
in Bede's time the Gospel in Britain was preached in four 
languages, two of these being Scottish and Pictish, as showing 
that the Scottish and the Pictish languages were different. But 
it has been well pointed out that there is nothing in these passages 
inconsistent with the speech of these people, being only different 
dialects of the same language. In the cases where an interpreter 
is mentioned by Adamnan, Columba was explaining the Christian 
doctrine, in the one case to an old man in Skye, said to have 
been the Chief of the Geona Cohort ; and in the other case to a 
peasant. Now, it might very well be that there was no more 
difference between the language of St Columba and these persons, 
than there is between the language of an Irishman and a Scot- 
tish Highlander of the present day. In both cases the interpre- 
ter seems to have been found on the spot, In the case of 
Bede the statement implies no more than what might be 
implied by saying in the present day that the Bible is read in 
German and Dutch, or in Swedish and Norwegian. The broad 
fact remains that as a rule Columba seems to have had no diffi- 
culty in communicating with King Brude and the people about 
his Court; that we find no hint of any difference of social organ- 
isation between the Picts and the Scots, and that the two peoples^ 
as soon as they were united under a common ruler, rapidly 



HISTORY AND INHABITANTS OF SCOTLAND 311 

amalgamated and assumed a common language. The conclusion 
which one is led to is that the Picts and the Scots were two 
branches of the same Celtic race, the one entering Scotland from 
the North Sea, the other entering Ireland from the south, and 
that when they came in contact there was no essential difference 
between them in physical characterestic, in social or political organ- 
isation, or in language. There is one peculiarity about the Picts, 
however, which must be noticed. In the royal family, at least, the 
law of succession was peculiar. In the whole line of kings given 
in the chronicles, there is no instance of a son succeeding a father; 
brothers succeeded each other, but failing brothers, the sons of 
sisters were preferred, and the husbands of their sisters were very 
often foreigners. In one case, the son of the King of Northumbria 
married a royal Pictish lady, and his son succeeded to the throne ; 
and we have seen that Alpin, the father of Kenneth, of Scottish de- 
scent by his father, claimed the Pictish throne through his mother. 
This law of succession was different from that which prevailed 
among the Scots. Among the latter, the succession was in the 
male line, according to the law of tanistry : that is, the eldest male 
succeeded, brothers being preferred to sons. Our townsman, the 
late Mr Maclennan, examined this subject in his learned book 
on primitive marriage, and drew the conclusion that the Picts 
were an ex-ogamous tribe: that is, a tribe where the women 
always chose their husbands from stranger tribes. There is an 
Irish legend bearing on this, which is curious. It is, that the 
Picts first arrived in ships in Ireland, after the Scots had settled 
there, and asked to be allowed to dwell among them ; that the 
Irish refused to allow them, but pointed to Scotland, then un- 
occupied, and advised them to go there and occupy the land, 
and, as they had no women with them, gave them Scottish wives 
on condition that the succession should be through females. The 
legend was probably invented to account for this peculiarity; for 
the Picts were certainly settled in Scotland and the North of 
Ireland before the Scots arrived in Ireland ; and by some it has 
been supposed that the legend was invented to account for the 
adoption of the Scottish language by the Picts. This rule of 
succession may have been the origin of the statements of the 
Roman Historians about the community of women. 

The question as to how the people got the name of Picts is 



312 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

one the discussion of which is perhaps more curious than profitable, 
but it is interesting. In the Gaelic language the people called 
themselves Cruithne, and in their chronicles their first king, and 
the eponymous or name of the father of the race, is said to have 
been Cruithne, son of Kinne. Cruth is a Gaelic word I believe 
still in use, and means strictly a figure or image. The generally 
received opinion is that the people of North Britain were called 
Picts by the Romans, because they painted themselves. Caesar 
tells us of all the Britons that they painted themselves with 
woad or blue paint, to make themselves look terrible to their 
enemies. We have seen that the Picts were first so-called by 
the Romans about the beginning of the fourth century, and 
Father Innes ingeniously argues that by this time the other 
Britons who had now been under Roman influence for two cen- 
turies and a-half, had given up the habit ; that the Northern 
Britons retained it, and that the Romans, noticing the distinc- 
tion, called them Picts or painted men, the Latin word picti 
meaning painted. I venture to doubt whether this is a true 
account of the origin of the name. We have seen that Tacitus 
takes no notice of the custom of painting among the Britons, 
either of the north or south, and he does notice it as existing 
among some of the German tribes. So far as I have been 
able to discover, the only mention of anything of the kind in 
any Roman writer after Caesar, is the passage which I gave 
from Herodian, the historian of Severus, that they marked 
their bodies with the representation of animals, and went 
naked, so as that these pictures or representations might 
not be hidden. This statement is repeated, no doubt, by 
poets and orators, but so far as I can find, this is the only 
historical statement, and one portion of it at least cannot 
be true, viz., that the people living in this country, the climate of 
which must then have been more severe than it is now, wore no 
clothes. Moreover, when we get authentically acquainted with 
our ancestors, we find no trace or relic of such a custom any more 
than we do of the custom of having their women in common. 
When we think of it, too, and recollect that the Romans never 
conquered the Picts, and had little intercourse with them, and 
that the Roman language left no mark of its influence among 
them, it is in the highest degree improbable that a people under 



EDUCATIONAL POWER OF GAELIC POETRY. 313 

the circumstances should call themselves by a nickname given to 
them by a hostile nation in a foreign tongue, and should translate 
the nickname into their own language, and become known by it 
among their neighbours, and should invent an eponymous to 
account for it. My theory is rather that the Roman name was a 
translation into Latin of the name which the people called them- 
selves, Cruithne, not a very accurate translation, perhaps, as the 
Gaelic root means rather form than colour, and that the story of 
the painting was invented by the historian to account for the 
name. Why the people called themselves Cruithne or figured 
people it is difficult to say. It was very probably from some 
personal peculiarity of their first king, or perhaps a suggestion 
which I offer with some diffidence, because they wore tartan. 



EDUCATIONAL POWER OF GAELIC POETRY.* 
BY MARY MACKELLAR. 



WHEN a stranger visits the Highlands for the first time, he must 
be to some extent forgiven for concluding that the shaggy and 
rudely-clad natives are ignorant and miserable. He sees a people 
dwelling too often in smoky huts that are dingy and comfortless, 
and living on a diet so plain as to seem to the educated palate 
near akin to starvation. Then he considers their language a 
jargon that keeps him from any spirit contact with the speaker 
thereof ; and, worse than all, he has probably read the remarks 
of some travelled Cockney who took a run through some district 
of the Highlands, and considered himself so well informed as to 
air his knowledge, or rather his ignorance, of the people and their 
habits in the pages of some periodical, or in the columns of a news- 
paper. All who read these come, as a matter of course, in contact 
with our people with preconceived ideas ; and we all know that 
preconceived, ideas set a traveller at a very serious disadvantage. 
I, at least, found it so on my first visit to London. I was very 
much disappointed to find that, though the Royal Augusta wore 
an imperial crown, and was clothed in purple, she had naked feet 
that were anything but clean, and the hems of her robes were 

* Paper recently read before Gaelic Society of Inverness, 



3 i4 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

torn and muddy. I had expected a glorious vision of glittering 
grandeur, and upon asking myself concerning the foundation of 
such an expectation, I found it was no deeper than my first 
nursery rhyme. 

" Give me a pin, to stick in my thumb, 
To carry my lady to London toon 
London toon's a beautiful place, 
Covered all with gold lace." 

Perhaps the sneers of the travelled Cockney given in the pages 
of some newspaper had also affected me, and deepened my im- 
pression, that poverty and comfortless homes were evils unheard 
of in the great centre of civilisation, and that the favoured deni- 
zens of that land of light and sunshine saw filth, squalor, and 
poverty for the first time in our Highland glens. Going to Lon- 
don with such preconceived ideas, I got a shock when I found 
that the travelled Cockney had been drawing an impossible 
parallel between his own home and the cots of our peasantry. 
For, verily, our people on strath, glen, or mountain side lead 
beautiful, poetic lives, when compared with the dwellers in the 
slums and alleys of London. They may have lowly cots, and 
have many privations and hardships, but they have also many 
blessings, and much to give zest to life. They are, verily, like 
the strong, finely flavoured, brightly blooming heather on the 
hills ; and those dwellers in the slums like the sickly plants they 
attempt to grow in their windows, without sunshine, and in a 
poisoned atmosphere. The Highlander has all day long the 
fresh air of heaven, the fragrance of the flowers, the ozone of the 
sea, and the oure sunshine all of them unbought gifts showered 
freely from the Great Father, who made the country, and whose 
choicest blessings belong to those of His children who are reared 
in His own immediate presence and in His temples not made by 
human hands. These temples have the mountains for their walls, 
and the blue sky for their dome ; and they are carpeted by 
flowers of a thousand hues, and the voices of the winds are like 
diapasons called forth from a mighty organ played by His own 
Almighty hand, and the little birds are choristers singing in uni- 
son ; and surely such a choir should have a more civilising effect 
than the penny-gathering organ-grinder of the city, even if he 



EDUCATIONAL POWER OF GAELIC POETRY. 315 

has the addition of a grinning monkey who is a very adept in 
gymnastics 

The southern traveller who stays long enough in our moun- 
tain land to learn to know our people will be astonished to find 
how they have been misrepresented. He will find modest and 
beautiful maidens, and brave true-hearted men who would de- 
light with kindly souls and willing hands to serve him in his 
hour of need. He will find faithfulness among servants, courtesy 
and politeness among all classes. Not only so, but he will find a 
people who are educated even in the face of an entire ignorance 
of the three R's. All ideas of education are not necessarily con- 
fined to a knowledge of letters. Good stout old Earl Douglas 
was a perfect gentleman, I am sure, although he could thank St 
Dunstan that no son of his, save Gawain, could ever pen a line; and 
so, many a gallant Highlander, notwithstanding his ignorance of 
letters and even of the English language, which is considered the 
high road to all culture, is an educated, well-informed man, full 
of high and noble thoughts, and having a very mine of know- 
ledge. For this the Highlander has been greatly indebted to an 
institution which mistaken, though, perhaps, well-meaning men 
have wrested from him the Ceilidh. There the young mind, 
thirsting to drink from the fountains of knowledge, got it night 
by night orally, as our students in our Universities get it from 
their Professors : only these, instead of taking notes on paper have 
every word graven on the tablets of the soul. There the youth 
heard a store of legends that no Arabian Nights could excel; there 
he heard the proverbs of his country fraught with philosophy and 
profoundest wisdom. He heard the battles of his country retold, 
and learned to think of the hero as the great pattern to be 
imitated, and of the coward as the most despicable being in crea- 
tion. To have had anyone of his kith and kin obliged to stand at 
the church, taking his tongue between his fingers and saying, " Sid 
am bleidire a theich" would be worse than death. The stories 
told at the Ceilidh were full of love and romance, but they 
always had a good moral, and the genius of the language in which 
they were told was of so lofty a kind that the unlettered could 
talk it in all its nervous eloquence and intensity, as well as in all 
its pathos and power, without the artificial aids of grammar or 

etymological manual. The young men or women at the Ceilidh 

w 



3i6 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

drank in their mother tongue as they had drank their mother's 
milk, pure and unadulterated from their mother's breast. The 
young man would go away from the Ceilidh elevated by the 
knowledge he had acquired there. He knew he was not a stray 
atom in creation. He had listened to the tales told of his clan, 
and felt that the halo encircling their brows reflected a glory upon 
him. His heart swelled with pride, and the greatness of the 
heroes of his race would have to be transmitted by him un- 
clouded to his children. There was thus an obligation laid upon 
him, and he dared not do anything to bring shame to the proud 
race from whom he sprang. He could not even with impunity 
marry the girl he loved if she were of a race whose deeds would 
disgrace his children. 

But though proverb, tradition, and story served to educate 
the young Highlander at this wonderful institution of the Ceilidh 
(at which the dance also had no mean place), the great source of 
knowledge and of culture was in the poetry of the country ; and 
if it is a sign of superior culture in the homes of rank and fashion 
to be able to quote the poets, it must necessarily be so also in our 
lowly Highland cots. I, who know the poets of both languages 
intimately, know of nothing as a teaching element loftier than 
the sentiments of our good old Gaelic bards. I pass by Ossian, 
whose poems are so well known in the different languages of 
Europe. Not to enter the controversy of whether they are really 
Ossian's or James Macpherson's, they are in either case Highland ; 
and if their sentiments are considered too lofty for the minds of a 
primitive race like our Highlanders, we will pass them over 
to pick up and admire a gem whose right to be considered a 
pearl of the Highland shores has never been questioned that 
is "The Desire of the aged Bard." Let any one read that 
poem as it has been translated by Mrs Grant of Laggan, and 
say if there is anything purer, sweeter, or better in any of 
the poems of the last three Laureates. The beautiful poetic 
emblems are delicately handled, and the sympathy with nature 
is of a highly refined character. The old man rejoices in the 
visions of love and romance to which his eyes are closed for 
ever. He is glad to know that the flowers he loved are growing 
about his place of rest by the side of the whimpling brook, and 
no sweeter music can thrill his soul than the songs that he 






EDUCATIONAL POWER OF GAELIC POETRY. 317 

poetically calls " The little children of the bushes," and his high- 
souled memory of the days when he rejoiced in the cry, " The 
stag has fallen." There is no cowardly fear of death. He is 
sorry to leave the mountains he loves, but he knows his trembling 
hand can no longer awaken the harp. He knows his winter is 
everlasting, and he is willing to go to join his brother bards in 
their residence on Ardven. We are sorry that we have no other 
poem of this grand old man's, but it is a high compliment to the 
tastes of the people that even this poem of his has come down to 
posterity orally handed down " under the feet of the years " by 
an appreciative people. Next in antiquity, although generations 
have elapsed between, comes " The Comkackag" not so full of 
the poetry of romance as the other, not so fraught with eloquent 
words and lofty thought, but yet full of sound sense and of his- 
torical and genealogical lore. This old Macdonald has a ring of 
manliness in his song that breathes of the free, wild hunter who 
killed so many wolves in his day, and who grudged the laying 
down of his bow and arrow at the feet of hirpling, stumbling, old 
age. The soul was young though the body was aged, and we 
are sorry that we have not a few more of the outpourings of so 
grand a spirit. This is, perhaps, the only song in which we find 
a bard utterly despising the creatures of the ocean, from the 
shell-fish on the sea-shore to the deep-breathing whale that 
splashes among the billows. This, however, is merely by the 
way. Down through the years the bards gave voice to the 
ennobling thoughts God gave them, and thus became the teachers 
of the people. What is loftier or more ennobling for a young 
man bent on wedlock than Duncan Ban Maclntyre's song to 
Mairi, his wife? His admiration of her beauty and purity, his 
determination never to make her heart palpitate the quicker for 
any irritating words of his, and to protect her and provide for her 
in all circumstances, are beautifully expressed ; and every one 
who hears that pure and sweet song must be all the better for it. 
Truth and faithfulness in love, and the hatred of everything mer- 
cenary in connection with marriage, are universal characteristics 
of our Gaelic songs. 

" Ged a tha mi gann do st6ras, 

Gheibh sinn bho Ih, gu Ih, na dh'fhoghnas ; 
'S ciod e tuilleadh th'aig Righ Se6ras, 
Ged is rmV a Rioghachdan J" 



3i8 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

seemed to represent the general feeling of the bards in regard to 
conjugal happiness. We need not say how much they have 
added to the military ardour of their countrymen by their praise 
of great and heroic actions, and their utter detestation of every- 
thing akin to cowardice and unmanliness. Not to go further 
back than Mackinnon, we may know the effect such thrilling 
battles as he has described would have upon all who listened to 
the stirring words. Blar na Hblaind and Blar na h-Eipheit speak 
of the rival soldier's high and lofty spirit, and although the bard 
was wounded almost unto death, he only refers to it in passing. 
It is of the noble daring of his officers, and the lofty courage and 
great deeds of his brother soldiers, of which he speaks so caress- 
ingly and so full of sympathy. 

" C'uim nach toisichinn sa' champa, 
Far an d'fhag mi claim mo ghaoil ; 
Thog sinn tighean samhruidh ann, 
De dhuilleach 's mheang nan craobh." 

I know many of the old people of Lochaber who can repeat 
every word of these songs, but the Ceilidh has now vanished into 
a thing of the past, and the songs so full of profound wisdom and 
high teaching have been frowned upon as sinful ; and, therefore, 
the young of the present day, with all their knowledge of the 
three R's, are less educated than their ancestors were. 

Not only could the Highlanders sing the songs of their 
country, so full of sublime and noble thoughts, but they also 
could tell the names of the authors. They could give the right 
melody, and tell the story attached to each song, and the circum- 
stances in which it was composed ; and many a tear was shed 
and many a pang of sorrow experienced over the sufferings of 
those whose tale was told in such pathetic language, wedded 
often to the weirdest and sweetest of melodies. Of such tales 
was the one attached to the song 

"A Mhic-Neachdan an Duin, 
Bho thur nam baideal." 

when Macnaughton of Dundarave fled to Ireland with his wife's 
sister, one of the Campbells of Ardkinglass and the poor 
deserted wife's cry of pain echoes down to us through the ages. 
Then there was the unhappy wife whose sister tied her hair to a 
stake on the seashore, where she was drowned 



EDUCATIONAL POWER OF GAELIC POETRY. 319 

" Gheibh iad mise, hug 6 , 
Anns an lathaich, hi ri ho ro, 
Mo chuailean donn, hug 5, 
Mu stop fekrna, hi ri ho ro." 

Such treachery was always execrated in the Gaelic songs, and the 
sympathies won to all that was. pure and noble, and as each of 
such stories had in them the power and interest of a great novel, 
the mind filled with them could be neither vacant nor uncul- 
tured. Love, faith, hospitality, bravery, energy, and mercy were 
praised in these songs, and every form of tyranny and wrong, 
cowardice, treachery, or meanness, was treated with the " hate 
of hate and the scorn of scorn." The description of scenery 
in some of the Gaelic songs is always beautiful. We cannot 
imagine any one further from the unappreciative Peter Bell 
to whom a primrose was just a yellow primrose and nothing 
more than a Highlander who could delight in the minutest 
details of Duncan Ban's Coire-Cheathaich, or some of Mac- 
Mhaighstir Alastair's descriptive pieces. We regret very much 
that this cultivating influence has been wrested from the people, 
but we hope that even yet, amidst this modern revival of Celticism, 
our Gaelic bards will meet with renewed appreciation, and that 
no minister or elder will dare to wrest from the people the songs 
that were sung by those whom God had gifted specially to make 
the world wiser and better. God, who gave the proud flash of the 
eye to the eagle, who gave his gay feathers to the peacock, the 
thrilling song to the lark, and even his spots to the tiger, rejoices 
in beauty ; and, verily, if His eye rejoices in loveliness of the out- 
ward form in the red of the rose, and in the scarlet of the poppy 
He must also rejoice in the beautiful thoughts that make the 
soul blossom in freshness like a well-watered garden ; and people 
might as well turn the garden into a desert as wrest, by fanatic 
and ignorant hands, from the hearts of men the loveliness and 
gladness of which God made them full ; which made them tender 
and sympathetic, and filled their souls with a chivalrous love for 
heroic deeds that made them emulate the bravery of former 
generations, and made them patriotic and virtuous. 



THE QUEEN'S BOOK IN GAELIC. We understand that Mrs Mary Mac- 

kellar has completed her translation of the Queen's "More Leaves from the Journal 
of Our Life in the Highlands/' and that the book will be issued on an early day. 



320 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

MACDONALD OF SKAEBOST ON THE LANDLORD 
CONFERENCE AT INVERNESS. 



YOUR article in the March number of the Celtic Magazine on 
the Landlords' Resolutions at Inverness, demands a few lines from 
me, as you make mention of my name in connection with them. 

In the first place, I must thank you for the too complimen- 
tary terms in which you refer to myself personally; and in the 
second place, let me make a few brief remarks regarding the said 
Resolutions. 

When I replied to your speech at the Gaelic Society dinner, 
I expected and looked for peace, because the proprietors had 
arranged to meet and discuss the Crofter Question. Up to this 
time they had taken no joint steps to meet the difficulty. 

The proprietors were the parties encroached upon, and they 
were those who had it in their power to make concessions to the 
crofters, and from whom concessions were demanded. 

I am one of those who always sympathised with the crofters, 
and I thought certain concessions should be made by the pro- 
prietors ; and though those agreed upon at the Inverness meet- 
ing did not go so far as personally I would have liked to 
see them go, yet certain concessions were made, and great con- 
cessions, too, and such as I hoped would have induced the leaders 
of the crofters to come forward and meet the landlords half way, 
when no doubt satisfactory details would have been arrived at for 
the crofters. 

The landlords met, and of their own free will agreed to make 
certain concessions, without calling on the crofters to make any 
sacrifice in return; but instead of those concessions on the part of 
the proprietors being received by the crofters in the spirit in which 
they were conceded by the proprietors, to my great disappoint- 
ment, and no doubt to the disappointment of many other friends 
of the crofters, they have remained silent, or allowed their leaders 
openly to insist on rejecting all concessions coming from the pro- 
prietors, thus giving a victory to the crofters' opponents, who from 
thefirst declared therewasnot the slightest use in our havingameet- 
ing or in attempting to make any concessions, on the grounds that 



THE INVERNESS LANDLORD CONFERENCE. 321 

crofters were not amenable to reason, and that nothing the pro- 
prietors could do would satisfy them. This action on the part 
of the crofters has also given a victory to the Land Law Re- 
formers who are in bitter hostility to the endeavours of the pro- 
prietors to arrive at a peaceful solution of the question ; so our 
good intentions were thwarted and our motives misconstrued. The 
meeting of the proprietors was attributed to fear, when the truth 
is that neither fear, nor perhaps spontaneous generosity, called the 
proprietors together ; but on the other hand, a desire to take into 
consideration any demands of the crofters that might be con- 
sidered reasonable or practicable, in order to satisfy those demands 
if possible. 

Now, instead of taking this view of the Inverness meeting, 
and giving credit for, at least, honourable intentions, it is to be 
regretted that a picture is drawn representing the proprietors 
down on their knees, confessing their sins ! 

The following sentiments from the article referred to are 
worthy of consideration. " Those who think that mere tinker- 
ing will now suffice are living in a fool's paradise. We know 
that the vvisest among the proprietors themselves are satisfied, 
that if once the question of Land Law Reform is opened up, it 
must be dealt with in such a manner as will close it for a genera- 
tion. We have no hesitation in saying that nothing short of the 
principal clauses of the Irish Land Act, with additional provision 
for the compulsory re-settlement of the people on the best portions 
of their native land, from which they have, in the past, been so 
harshly removed will have this effect. Holding this opinion, as we 
firmly do, it would be waste of space to discuss the Inverness resolu- 
tions." Here we have an open declaration of war against even 
an attempt at a settlement by any improvement in the condition 
of the crofters on their present lines, or by anything like voluntary 
concessions on the part of the landlords ; in fact, nothing short of 
drastic compulsory enactments would satisfy such demands 
enactments which could only be carried out at the cost of a re- 
volution, and the undermining of one of the most sacred obliga- 
tions of a civilised government, the security of property. 

Revolutions are only considered justifiable when successful; 
a nd is there really any probability of such a change coming over 
the feeling of this country as would justify the Land Law 



322 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Reformers in holding out such prospects to the crofters ; for who 
can believe that the tax-payers of this country, will suddenly 
become so lavish as to agree to raise the social position of any 
one class of the community, shoulder high, above that of the 
large majority of the inhabitants of the land, and that, too, at the 
expense of the other tax-payers. 

No one blames the crofters for desiring and insisting on 
having their position improved, but they are to be blamed for 
their unmatched faith in promises that cannot be realised. 

The Land Law Reformers called for a Royal Commission, 
which they got, and which it was popularly supposed would 
divide the land among the people, but no sooner had the Com- 
mission issued its report than its recommendations were declared 
insufficient, and a general redistribution of the land is demanded; 
but as it is not likely they will succeed in getting this done, would 
it not be more advantageous, so far as the crofters' interests are 
concerned, that the matter should be amicably settled by them- 
selves and the proprietors, which might have been done, partly on 
the basis of the Inverness Resolutions, and partly on the sugges- 
tions so admirably sketched by Lochiel, in his able remarks dis- 
senting from the conclusions of some of the other Royal Com- 
missioners. 

Public money no doubt would be required, and the question 
here would be : Who would be most likely to get it ? Public 
money might be given on the security of the proprietors, but 
without such security it is doubtful if any Government would 
advance money to crofters, provided always they are not made 
as you suggest they must be made, " independent of the land- 
lordism of the future;" which means making proprietors of them, 
by giving them money to purchase the land, or by confiscating 
the property of the present proprietors, either of which would de- 
pend on the liberality of the tax-payer, or on the sense of justice 
of our countrymen ; but were I a crofter, I think I would pre- 
fer settling for a certainty to putting my trust in the law of confis- 
cation, or my confidence in the liberality of an Act of Parlia- 
ment. 

The large sheep farm system, if not breaking down, is cer- 
tainly not so profitable as it used to be, and what better oppor- 
tunity could those who desire to see this system abolished, and 



THE INVERNESS LANDLORD CONFERENCE. 323 

the country studded with small farms, have for carrying out the 
change than the present, if the leaders of the crofters would 
only direct their attention to this practical aspect of the ques- 
tion, instead of feeding them on delirious dreams, as they are 
doing. 

For my own part 1 think the question might have been 
settled most satisfactorily, had the crofters only come forward and 
shown a desire to settle, and pay their rents, instead of frighten- 
ing proprietors by the foolish no-rent policy adopted by so 
many of them ; and from the good feeling expressed by pro- 
prietors, if crofters had come forward at the time and petitioned 
for a restoration, at a fair valuation, of all lands held now by 
sheep farmers, but which formerly belonged to the crofter town- 
ships, I have no doubt but the proprietors would have been 
willing to have met their wishes, and most probably the large 
sheep farmers who now hold leases of such lands would have 
acquiesced, as those gentlemen are 'as anxious as the proprietors 
to see this miserable dispute settled. 

Such an arrangement as I have mentioned would at once 
have put crofters in the position their ancestors occupied in the 
good old days, and have given the proprietors time to look about 
them, and arrange for the very large sheep farms being gradually 
converted into smaller farms for the benefit of the most prosper- 
ous of the crofters. 

Land Law Reformers might consider this a tame method of 
settling the matter, and so it would, compared with confiscation ! 
but such were the ideas in my mind, when I said, " I ventured to 
prophecy that on Wednesday peace would be restored to the 
Highlands." 

I hoped the good feeling that once existed between proprie- 
tor and crofter should not be for ever severed, which I am sorry 
to think seems now likely to be the case ; but however all this 
may end, the proprietors are not to blame, for they did their part 
towards a reconciliation, and, as one of those who attended the 
Inverness meeting, I am glad to think, if the breach effected 
between proprietor and crofter cannot be healed up, the fault 
will not lie at the door of the proprietors. 

L. MACDONALD. 



324 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

THE OT H E.R SIDE. 



We are glad to find that Skaebost, with his usual good sense, 

is not above replying to the criticism applied to the meeting of 

Landlords held at Inverness, which, according to him at the 

time, was to settle once and for all the social question which has 

for some time been disturbing the equanimity of landed proprietors 

in the Highlands. Skaebost was far too sanguine, and he 

soon found it out. We knew that the meeting was doomed to 

failure before it actually took place. This was all an open secret 

several hours before Skaebost made his sanguine speech. It is 

now well-known that even some of those who moved and seconded 

the principal resolutions spoke strongly against them, and against 

moving them, earlier in the meeting. This says more for their 

good sense than for their courage. The concessions " did not go 

so far" as Skaebost personally " would have liked to see them 

go." Of course not, nor so far as when he made his speech he 

expected them to go. He, however, describes them now as 

" great concessions," and that, " without calling on the crofters to 

make any sacrifice in return." Is he serious in such a statement ? 

Have not the crofters been sacrificing their all for the last century 

and more ? Have they not been nearly sacrificed altogether to the 

appropriating and "confiscating" propensities of the landlords 

during that period ? The suggestion is not in keeping with 

Skaebost's intelligence, and it must be assigned to a natural 

generosity of heart, which prompts him to say something, in 

excuse of the short sightedness of the majority of his class. 

No voluntary concessions will now avail. No one knows that 

better than Skaebost, and he cannot possibly be serious when he 

writes of social revolutions, such as is now being worked out in 

the Highlands, in language, which we have not hitherto seen 

applied, except in connection with an armed revolution against the 

State. This proves how even wise men can be carried away by 

class panic, and made to say thoughtless and unwise things. 

We have never heard of any sensible Land Law Reformer 
suggesting that the tax-payers of the country should raise one 



THE INVERNESS LANDLORD CONFERENCE. 325 

section " of the inhabitants of the land at the expense of the 
other tax-payers," though they are often charged with such folly. 
What they propose is: that Government should borrow money, 
as they have done in many other instances, at such a low rate of 
interest as Government alone can, and re-lend it to the crofters 
at such a rate as will pay back both capital and interest in a 
series of years, provide for management, and cover all risk ; and 
that on the security of their holdings, stock, and improvements, 
which will be found, under new conditions, amply sufficient. 
The State would simply borrow the money from one set of tax- 
payers at a low rate of interest and lend it to another set at a higher 
rate, the Government securing re-payrnent of the money. Most 
people will think this more beneficent and consistent on the part 
of a British Government than guaranteeing Egyptian and other 
foreign bonds. This is apparently what Skaebost would describe 
as " confiscating the property of the present proprietors." Why, 
the only " confiscation " that we know of in this connection has 
been carried out, and carried out most effectually throughout the 
history of Scottish agriculture, by the landlords, who systemati- 
cally appropriated or " confiscated," if the latter term is more 
agreeable, the improvements the money and the labour of the 
tenant, and, in many cases, the property of the merchant in addi- 
tion. 

Skaebost ought to know that there is not a Highland Land 
Law Reform Association in the country which goes beyond insist- 
ing that landlord and tenant should be secured absolutely in 
their respective properties that confiscation by the landlords 
of the property of the tenant should for ever cease. He should 
also know that these Associations have no sympathy whatever with 
what is called the Nationalisation of the Land by the confiscation 
of the landlords' property. If the landlords should continue 
stubborn, and compel the Reformers to encourage the Confiscators 
instead of giving them the cold shoulder as they now do, they 
will have themselves only to blame. Appropriation and con- 
fiscation by the landlords and by them alone, hitherto have 
been carried far enough. The motto of the Land Law Reformers 
is, Let each have his own. This, however, can only be done by 
Act of Parliament. 

A. M. 



326 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

SHERIFF IVORY'S MOUNTAIN AND HIS MICE. 
TRIAL OF THE MEN OF GLENDALE AND VALTOS. 



THE trials of the Glendale and Valtos men charged with mobbing 
and rioting, assault, and breach of the peace, who were arrested 
by Sheriff Ivory on his last military expedition to the Isle of 
Skye, came off before Sheriff Speirs, at Portree, on the i/th and 
2Oth of March. The prisoners, ten in number, were ably defended 
by Mr Kenneth Macdonald, solicitor, Inverness. The names of 
the Glendale men were Peter Mackinnon, Peter Macdonald, 
Donald Grant, Donald Macpherson, Norman Morrison, John 
Maclean, Colbost ; and John Maclean, Fasach. After several 
witnesses had been examined for the prosecution, the Procurator- 
Fiscal, Mr Joshua Maclennan, finding that he had no case, agreed 
to a verdict of " Not Guilty" as regarded five of the prisoners, on 
condition that the other two, Peter Mackinnon and Donald Mac- 
pherson, would plead guilty to mobbing and rioting only. This 
was accordingly done, and Mackinnon and Macpherson, both 
young lads, were sentenced to three weeks' imprisonment; the 
other five men being dismissed from the bar. 

The Valtos prisoners were Norman Stewart, better known 
as "Parnell"; Alexander Stewart, his nephew, a young boy; 
and Murdo Macdonald; and the result of their trial was that 
the first named two were found " Not guilty " and set at liberty, 
while Alexander Stewart was found guilty, and sentenced to ten 
days' imprisonment. It was fully brought out in the evidence of 
even the sheriff-officer himself, and other witnesses for the prosecu- 
tion, that Norman Stewart had actually been doing all in his 
power, and pretty successfully, to induce the poeple to leave the 
officers alone, and that, instead of taking part with the crowd, he 
had been trying his best to break it up. Alexander Stewart, the 
lad who was sentenced, is said to be half-witted, and, indeed, his 
conduct at the trial seems to have borne out that assertion. 

The result of both trials gave general satisfaction, and such a 
ludicrous wind-up'of Sheriff Ivory's foolish police and military 
expedition to Skye in February last, is convincing proof of that 






SHERIFF IVORY'S MOUNTAIN AND MICE. 327 

gentleman's unfitness for presiding over the judicial affairs of 
the County of Inverness. 

During the trial of the Glendale men all present were parti- 
cularly struck with the appearance in the dock of one of the 
prisoners, Donald Grant, whose unconcerned demeanour through- 
out the whole proceedings, was an interesting feature of the trial. 
He was a big, stout man, about fifty years of age. His face, 
which was almost completely covered with a bushy, black beard, 
inclining to grey, displayed both intelligence and good humour. 
One watching his actions would imagine that sitting in the 
prisoner's dock was as much an every day experience to him as 
sitting by his own fireside, and much amusement was created when, 
at an important point of the trial, he coolly leant over the parti- 
tion separating the dock from the bar, and filled a glass of water 
for himself from the bottle which stood on the table within the 
bar, persumably for the use of the agents and the officials of the 
Court. The action, while perfectly right and natural in itself, 
seemed strangely opposed to the usual demeanour of a criminal 
in a court of law, and plainly demonstrated the fact that the 
prisoner was quite conscious of being there as an innocent man, 
and that he had done nothing to make the action appear in the 
least out of the way. 

Shortly afterwards the same man, in a perfectly natural and 
self-possessed manner, rose from his seat during the examination 
of a witness, opened the door of the dock, and coolly walked 
out of the Court-room, the astonished policeman at the door 
mechanically opening it as Grant came towards him. The Court 
was transfixed with amazement ; the examination of the witness 
in the box was suspended, and every eye was turned towards the 
retreating figure of this cool prisoner, who considered the formalities 
of a Court mere trifles in comparison with his own convenience. 
A breathless pause ensued before it dawned upon the Court that 
perhaps Grant did not mean to keep away altogether ; and to 
avoid further interruption, permission was given to the other 
prisoners temporarily to leave the room if they chose. The 
event of the trial proved that Grant's cool, self-possessed, and 
natural bearing was not without good grounds and a mem conscia 
recti ; for, along with four of his companions, he was, as already 
stated, found " Not guilty," and dismissed from the bar. 



328 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

LORD NAPIER AND THE DUKE OF ARGYLL 



To THE EDITOR OF THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Sir, Apropos of your recent remarks on the controversy 
with reference to the Land Question in the Highlands, between 
the Duke of Argyll and Lord Napier, it may be interesting to 
call the attention of your readers to an incident which occurred 
in the House of Lords, in the year 1873, an d which shows that 
the anxiety of Lord Napier to supply the public with correct in- 
formation regarding the agricultural condition of the country is 
not of yesterday, and that the laudable efforts of his lordship 
were on that occasion frustrated through the opposition of the 
Duke of Argyll. The result is that the country has not yet been 
furnished with the statistics which Lord Napier then desiderated, 
and which could not have failed to prove most useful and im- 
portant. 

On the 2/th June 1873, Lord Napier rose to ask Her 
Majesty's Government whether, in compiling the agricultural 
returns for Scotland in future years, they will be enabled to in- 
troduce the following returns : 

" I. A return of the number of acres of land now under 
cultivation, which would be susceptible of remunerative improve- 
ment by underground drainage. 

"II. A return of the number of acres of land now classed as 
heath or mountainland, susceptible of profitable reclamation and 
improvement in connection with underground drainage. 

"III. A return of the number of acres of land now classed 
as heath or mountainland, appropriated exclusively to the support 
of deer. 

" IV. A return of the number of acres of land now classed 
as heath or mountainland, incapable of cultivation, and unsuit- 
able for the support of live stock of any description other than 
deer." 

' And whether the Government will direct the agricultural returns 
for Scotland to be compiled in Scotland, and to be published in 
a separate volume with a distinct report?" 

In support of his proposal Lord Napier said 

The increase which had taken place in the price of provisions, 
and the great extent to which we had become dependent upon 



LORD NAPIER & THE DUKE OF ARGYLL. 329 

foreign countries for our supply of food, made it extremely import- 
ant to ascertain, if possible, in what degree the productive powers 
of our own kingdom could be developed. He had limited his in- 
quiry to Scotland. If their Lordships would refer to the agri- 
cultural returns which were already in their possession as coming 
from Scotland, they would find that the acreage of that country 
was set down as 19,639,000 acres. Under the head of arable and 
improved pasture land there were stated to be 4,538,000 acres, and 
upwards of 1 5,000,000 acres were put down as heath and mountain 
land, and upwards of 4,000,000 acres were set down as altogether 
unused for any agricultural purpose. He hoped that the Govern- 
ment, if these returns were granted, would order that they should 
be printed in a separate and distinct form. It was undesirable that 
the agricultural returns for Scotland should be mixed up with 
those of England. The land in Scotland was held in a different 
manner from that of England it was transferred in a different 
way ; the inhabitants' customs of tenancies were all different from 
those of England. He also thought that the returns should be 
accompanied by a preface or report, composed by some dis- 
tinguished and intelligent Scottish agricultural authority, a task 
which might with great propriety be entrusted to the secretary of 
the Highland Society, who would be enabled to frame such a 
report as might be thought highly interesting, popular, and in- 
structive. 

The Duke of Argyll entirely agreed with his noble friend in 
the desire to enlighten the public as to the tenure of land in 
Scotland, and as to the productive capabilities of the soil ; but 
he distinguished between facts and opinions, and maintained that 
the returns asked for were really, with the exception of the third, 
returns of mere opinion, and even it could not be separated from 
opinion. Even when we had the surveys of Scotland completed 
we should, although we might have the acreage of deer forests, 
still be dependent upon opinion as to how much of them were fit 
for cultivation. 

The motion was negatived without a division. 

CAMUS-MOR. 



THE "SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER." We are pleased to learn that Mr 
Alexander Mackenzie, editor of the Celtic Magazine, and author of numerous valuable 
historic works, is about to begin a new weekly paper, for the purpose of advocating 
the claims and promoting the interests of the Highland people. It will be started in 
June, under the title of " The Scottish Highlander," and in Mr Mackenzie's hands 
success and wide popularity is certain. Brechin Advertiser, 



330 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

ANCIENT ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND 
AND FRANCE. 



II. 

FRANCE having become, as shown in our previous paper, a sort of 
second home for the aspiring Scots both as soldiers and church- 
men, it followed as a matter of course, that their countrymen 
engaged in commerce, with that sagacity and foresight so 
characteristic of the race, soon seized the opening for new enter- 
prise, and the foundation of a large and steadily increasing 
trade was laid. A great number, availing themselves of the 
letters-patent of naturalisation, settled down permanently in 
their adopted country ; while a still larger number engaged in 
the shipping trade, both export and import. The exports com- 
prised salmon, herring, cod, and other fish, wool, leather, and 
skins, while the latter was principally composed of wine, of which 
large quantities were annually imported ; also silken cloths, 
sugar, and spices. The first privileges that we can find granted 
exclusively to Scottish merchants were by Francis I. in 1518, 
from which the following is an extract : 

" Francis, by the Grace of God, King of France. Be it 
known to all present and to come, that we mean to treat favour- 
ably the subjects of our most dear and most beloved brother, 
cousin, and ally, the King of Scotland, in favour of the great 
and ancient alliance subsisting between us and him, and of the 
great and commendable services which those of the Scottish 
nation have done to the crown of France : for these causes, and 
in order to give them greater occasion to persevere therein, and 
for other considerations thereunto us moving, we have all and 
every the Scottish merchants, who are and shall be hereafter 
trading, frequenting, and conversing in this our kingdom, freed, 
acquitted, exempted, and do, of our special grace, full power, and 
royal authority, free, acquit, and exempt, by these presents, 
signed with our own hand, in perpetuity and for ever, from the 
new impost of twelve French deniers per livre, raised in the city 
of Dieppe upon foreign merchandise, beside the sum of four 
French deniers per livre, which hath been anciently collected and 
raised upon the said foreign merchandise." 

In 1554 King Henry II. granted further privileges and 






ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND & FRANCE. 331 

exemptions to Scottish merchants trading to the Duchy of 
Normandy, from which the following is extracted : 

"And do, of our own accord, certain knowledge, special 
grace, full power, and royal authority, say, declare, and ordain, 
that, by our said letters hereunto annexed, as said is, we have 
intended, and do intend, that the subjects of the said country of 
Scotland shall not be bound to pay for the commodities which 
they shall take and carry out of our country and Duchy of Nor- 
mandy, the cities, towns, and havens thereof, whatsoever they be, 
if designed for the said country of Scotland, other or greater 
subsidies and duties than they have heretofore been wont to pay, 
and did pay in our city of Dieppe." 

During the last few years of the i6th century, France was 
so unsettled, and in such a state of confusion almost approach- 
ing anarchy that the Scottish merchants were in danger of losing 
their wonted privileges and exemptions. To prevent this they 
approached King Henry IV., who graciously granted them, in 
1 599> letters-patent comprising all the privileges and exemptions 
hitherto enjoyed by them, as shown by the following : 

" But whereas, on occasion of the troubles which have pre- 
vailed in this kingdom, especially within these ten or twelve 
years past, things have been so altered, and the privileges of the 
Scottish merchants so enervated, that, if we were not pleased to 
continue and confirm the same to them, they feared therein to 
find obstacles and difficulties which might deprive them of the 
benefit of the grace that hath been unto them granted and con- 
tinued by the said Kings, our predecessors ; be it known, that 
we desire no less favourably to treat the said Scottish merchants, 
than the said Kings our predecessors have done, as well in conse- 
quence of the ancient alliance and confederacy which subsists 
between this kingdom and that of Scotland, as for the friendship 
and good correspondence which subsisted! between us and the 
King of Scotland, James VI. of the name, our most dear and 
most beloved good brother and cousin, now reigning in the said 
country ; we have, of our special grace, full power and royal 
authority, said, declared, and ordained it is our will and pleasure, 
that the said Scottish merchants, trading, frequenting, and con- 
versing in this our said kingdom, enjoy for the future, in our 
whole said country and Duchy of Normandy, the same franchises, 
privileges, and immunities, from foreign customs and imposts, 
and after the same sort and manner that they enjoyed them in 
the day of the Kings Francis and Henry, our most honoured 
grandfather and brother-in-law." 

Historians differ as to which king first instituted the Scots 

x 



332 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Guard : some say St Louis, others Charles V. We are inclined 
to think it was Charles VI. It appears strange at first sight that 
a monarch should chose foreign and mercenary troops for a body 
guard ; but when one looks at the state of France at the time, it 
seems the wisest course for him to have taken. Half of his 
kingdom was in revolt against him, and even those who were 
ostensibly on his side were so wavering and uncertain in their 
attachment that he could not trust them. In these circumstances 
the Scots would naturally present themselves as the most suitable. 
They were the staunch allies of the French King, and the sworn 
enemies of the English. They were poor, fond of adventure, 
daring, and faithful, while their good descent and gentle blood 
made them more fit to approach the person of the Sovereign 
than ordinary soldiers. And never had a French monarch cause 
to regret the great trust thus placed in the hands of the Scots. 
This is how a French writer Claud Leyist, Master of Requests 
to Louis the XII., and afterwards Archbishop of Turin speaks 
of them : " The French have so ancient a friendship and alliance 
with the Scots, that, of four hundred men appropriated for the 
King's Life Guard, there are an hundred of the said nation who 
are the nearest to his person, and in the night keep the keys of 
the apartment when he sleeps. There are, moreover, an hundred 
complete lances, and two hundred yeomen of the said nation, 
besides several that are dispersed through the companies ; and 
for so long a time as they have served in France, never hath there 
been one of them found that hath committed or done any fault 
against the Kings or their State; and they can make use of them 
as of their own subjects." 

Philip de Comines, in his Memoirs, speaking about the 
storming of Liege, at which both the French King, Louis XL, and 
the Duke of Burgundy were present, says : " The King was also 
assaulted after the same manner by his landlord, who entered his 
house, but was slain by the Scotch Guard. These Scotch troops 
behaved themselves valiantly, maintained their ground, would not 
stir one step from the King, and were very nimble with their 
bows and arrows, with which, it is said, they wounded and killed 
more of the Burgundians than of the enemy." Another French 
writer relates that in a contest with the Spaniards in Calabria in 
1503, the banner-bearer, William Turnbull, a Scot, was found 
dead with the staff in his arms and the flag gripped in his teeth, 



ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND & FRANCE. 333 

with a little cluster of his countrymen round him, killed at their 
posts. These and numberless other instances of courage and 
daring on the part of the Scots Guards gave rise to the saying 
long prevalent in France, " Fier coinme un Ecossais" 

Although Charles VI. instituted the Guards, it was Charles 
VII. who gave them the form in which they served for so many 
generations. Out of the hundred Life Guards, there were chosen, 
twenty- five who were called "Gardes de Manche," or Sleeve- 
Guards, and were in constant and close attendance on the King. 
Two of them were always present at mass, sermon, vespers, and 
ordinary meals. On State occasions, such as the ceremony of the 
Royal touch, the erection of Knights of the King's Order, at the 
reception of Ambassadors, public entries into cities, and so on, 
there were on all such occasions six of them close to the King 
three on each side. Whenever it was necessary for his Majesty 
to be carried, only these six were allowed that honour. The 
twenty-five picked men the Gardes de Manche kept the keys 
of the King's sleeping apartment, had charge of the choir of the 
Royal Church, and the keeping of the boats used by the King on 
the river. Whenever he entered a city the keys had to be handed 
to the Captain of this band, who was also on duty on all state 
ceremonies, such as coronations, marriages, funerals of the Kings, 
baptisms and marriages of the Royal children ; and the corona- 
tion robe became his property after the ceremony was over. 

Sir Walter Scott writes : " The French monarchs made 
it their policy to conciliate the affections of this select band 
of foreigners, by allowing them honorary privileges and ample 
pay, which last most of them disposed of with military profusion 
in supporting their supposed rank. Each of them ranked as a 
gentleman in place and honour ; and their near approach to the 
King's person gave them a dignity in their own eyes, as well as 
importance in those of the nation of France. They were sump- 
tuously armed, equipped, and mounted ; and each was entitled to 
allowance for a squire, a valet, a page, and two yeomen, one of 
whom was termed coutelier, from the large knife which he wore 
to dispatch those whom in the melee his master had thrown to 
the ground. With these followers, and a corresponding equipage, 
an Archer of the Scottish Guard was a person of quality and 
importance ; and vacancies being generally filled up by those 
who had been trained in the service as pages or valets, the 



334 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

cadets of the best Scottish families were often sent to serve under 
some friend or relation in those capacities, until a chance of 
preferment should occur. The coutelier and his companion, not 
being noble or capable of this promotion, were recruited from 
persons of inferior quality ; but as their pay and appointments 
were excellent, their masters were easily able to select from 
among their wandering countrymen the strongest and most 
courageous to wait upon them in these capacities." The same 
author thus describes the dress and appearance of one of them in 
the time of Louis XI : " His dress and arms were splendid. 
He wore his national bonnet, crested with a tuft of feathers, 
and with a Virgin Mary of massive silver for a brooch. These 
brooches had been presented to the Scottish Guards in conse- 
quence of the King, in one of his fits of superstitious piety, having 
devoted the swords of his guard to the service of the Holy 
Virgin, and, as some say, carried the matter so far as to draw out 
a commission to Our Lady as their Captain-General. The 
Archer's gorget, arm pieces, and gauntlets were of the finest steel, 
curiously inlaid with silver, and his hauberk, or shirt of mail, was 
as clear and bright as the frostwork of a winter morning upon 
fern or brier. He wore a loose surcoat, or cassock, of rich, blue 
velvet, open at the sides like that of a herald, with a large white 
St Andrew's cross of embroidered silver bisecting it both before 
and behind his knees and legs were protected by hose of mail 
and shoes of steel a broad, strong poniard (called * The Mercy 
of God ') hung by his right side the baldric for his two-handed 
sword, richly embroidered, hung upon his left shoulder ; but, for 
convenience, he at present carried in his hand that unwieldy 
weapon, which the rules of his service forbade him to lay aside." 
The exceptional honour and privileges bestowed upon the Scots 
Guard naturally made Frenchmen anxious to enter such a re- 
nowned and favoured corps, and a few did manage to get 
enrolled ; but the sturdy Scots would brook no interlopers, and 
laid their complaint before King Henry II., whu gave a breviate, 
signed by his own hand, of date June the 28th, 1558, wherein 
he promises that he will allow no person to enter the Scots 
Guards who is not a gentleman of Scotland, and sprung from a 
good family. In spite of this, however, Frenchmen did find their 
way by degrees, for an old writer says " This regulation did not 
hinder afterwards others than Scots from being sometimes ad- 






ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND & FRANCE. 335 

mitted, as appears by the remonstrances made upon that subject 
from time to time by the Queen Mother, and her son, James VI., 
and by the Privy Council of Scotland, in the roll of the year 
1599, given in by the Captain of the Scots Guards to the Cham- 
ber of Accounts. Three-fourths of the yeomen, as well of the 
Body as of the Sleeve, was still, however, Scots. It was but after- 
wards and by degrees that this Company became filled with French, 
to the exclusion of Scotsmen, so that at last there remained no 
more than the name, and the answer, when called, / am here" 

John Hill Burton, in his Scot Abroad, says that "Down to the 
time when all the pomps and vanities of the French crown were 
swept away, along with its substantial power, the Scots Guards 
existed as pageant of the Court of France. In that immense 
conglomerate of all kinds of useful and useless knowledge, the 
1 Dictionnaire de Trevoux,' it is set forth that 'la premiere com- 
pagnie des gardes du corps de nos rois' is still called ' La Garde 
Ecossaise,' though there was not then (1730) a single Scotsman 
in it. Still there were preserved among the young Court lackeys, 
who kept up the part of the Hundred Years' War, some of the 
old formalities. Among these, when the Clerc du Guet challenged 
the guard who had seen the palace gate closed, 'il repond en 
Ecossois, I am hire c'est a dire, me voila ;' and the lexico- 
grapher informs us that, in the mouths of the Frenchmen, totally 
unacquainted with the barbarous tongue in which the regimental 
orders had been originally devised, the answer always sounded, 
' Ai am hire.' " 

in Knox's Tour in the Hebrides, published in 1787, occurs 
the following passage " It appears from history that Inver- 
lochy was anciently a place of considerable note ; a resort 
of French and Spaniards, probably to purchase fish, for which it 
was a kind of emporium, particularly for salmon. But the place is 
still more noted for its being a residence of kings, and where the 
memorable League, offensive and defensive, is recorded to have 
been signed between Charlemain and Achaius, King of Scotland, 
in 791." 

In another paper it will be shown how the Alliance was 
brought to a close, and how it affected the customs and language 
of the Scottish people. M. A, ROSE, 

(To be continued.) 



336 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

THE ERASERS OF FAIRFIELD, INVERNESS. 



ABOUT a year since, when certain repairs were found to be 
necessary at the Chapel-yard of Inverness, the state of a once 
handsomely-carved tomb, at the north-cast wall, was declared 
dangerous. It was reported that not only did no one claim 
right to the ruined tomb, but even its original owners were un- 
known, and after some discussion the tomb was repaired and 
pointed at the town's expense, but has only been partially restored. 

The tomb was that of the once well known and influential 
burghal-county family, the Frasers of Fairfield, and the above 
circumstance shows how completely they are forgotten. Some 
of the Fairfield papers are in my possession, and from them and 
other sources, the following notes have been framed : 

The first of the family I can trace was Andrew, styled in 
1594 Vic-Coil-vic-Homais Roy. Thomas Fraser the Red, grand- 
father of Andrew, probably came from the Aird, and settled near 
Inverness when the Barony of Kinmylies was acquired by the 
family of Lovat. In 1595 Andrew was possessed of a rood of 
land bewcst the River Ness, and in that year acquired from 
William Paterson, burgess of Inverness, another rood adjoining, 
described as bounded by the lands of Robert Neilson on the 
north, the miln lade at the west, and Andrew's own lands on the 
south. The lands are described as holding of the Kings and the 
reddend is five pennies. Two of the seals of the charter and 
sasine are in good preservation. The granter, William Paterson, 
could not write. 

Andrew Fraser had a charter of four ox-gang of land, or one- 
fourth of the lands of Merkinch, with commonty and common 
pasturage used and wont granted by the Magistrates and Council, 
dated 1st June 1605. Amongst the witnesses to the taking of 
Sasine passed thereon by James Cuthbert, Bailie of Inverness, 
were James Cuthbert elder, burgess of Inverness ; Jaspard Cuth- 
bert, burgess there ; Andrew Vic-William-Mor, burgess there ; 
and Findlay dhu-Vic Phaill, burgess there. 

Upon the 3ist of July 1631, the Provost and Bailies pro- 
nounce a decree that the commonty of Merkinch was common 



THE FRASERS OF FAIRFIELD. 33; 

to the whole burgh, as against Andrew Eraser's contention that 
it belonged exclusively to the owners of the four-quarters of 
Merkinch. 

The burial ground has over the door the date 1685, and 
inside 

F. F. I. R. 

D. F. C. D. 

The initials " F. F." refer to Finlay Fraser, son of Andrew 
Eraser, and " I. R." to Isobel Robertson, his wife, to whom he 
was married in 1656. 

The right to a seat in church was held of great moment in 
old times, and Finlay Fraser, who became a considerable owner 
of property in Inverness, and filled the office of Provost, got an 
Act of the Session in regard to a pew in the High Church, more 
particularly referred to hereafter, dated 2Oth January 1662, and 
a decree arbitral, dated 29th May 1663. 

The dispute as to the commonty of Merkinch again arose in 
Provost Finlay's time ; for I find that he, as heir served to his 
father, Andrew, raised letters of Suspension before the Lords of 
Council and Session of the above-mentioned decree against his 
father, dated nth September 1678; and again in June 1690, 
Alexander Fraser complained to the Provost and Magistrates 
that Finlay Fraser, late Provost of Inverness, had interrupted 
Alexander's servants from casting, binding, or leading fuel in the 
Carse on the west side of the Merkinch, which is commonty to 
the Town of Inverness ; and assuming the heritable right thereof 
to belong to him, the said Finlay Fraser. This question of com- 
monty was disputed all through the eighteenth century, but 
finally determined in favour of the late Hugh Robert Duff of 
Muirtown, who had become sole owner of Merkinch. 

The initials " D. F.," "C. D," refer to David Fraser, merchant 
in, and one of the Bailies of, Inverness, younger son of Provost 
Finlay Fraser, who married in July 1693 Christian Dunbar, eldest 
lawful daughter of Umquhile John Dunbar of Bennetsfield. 
David Fraser had as cautioner for his obligations under the 
marriage contract his eldest brother Andrew Fraser, burgess of 
Inverness, and the lady had her mother, Christian Mackenzie, 
Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, and Simon Mackenzie of 
Torridon. 



TH CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

David Fraser was the first styled of Fairfield, and in his 
time the family was at its highest point. His elder brother, 
Andrew, probably died without issue. The fine old house of 
Fairfield, part of which remained till recently, was built by either 
Finlay or David Fraser, and is a prominent object in Flezer's 
view of Inverness. David Fraser gets an Act of the Session in 
regard to the pew, in his favour, dated I4th October 1703. 

David Fraser was succeeded by his son Alexander Fraser. 
John Maclean, the Inverness centenarian, says that the downfall 
of the Fairfields' arose from their exertions on behalf of the 
Stuarts. 

One of his first alienations was the church pew which his 
father and grandfather had so much prized. In respect of a sum 
of 10 sterling, Alexander Fraser of Fairfield sold to John Fraser, 
junior, merchant in Inverness, "All and haill these two pews 
now made ane desk, situated on the east side of the north aisle 
of the High Church of Inverness, bounded by Provost Alexander 
Fraser his pew at the north, and the common entry twixt the 
said two pews, and Commissar Fraser, deceased, his pew at the 
south, with free ish and entry thereto by the common passage 
leading to the said aisle." The disposition is signed by Fairfield 
"att the House of Kinmylies," ipth July 1738. There is a deed 
also signed by his mother at the House of Kinmylies, whereby 
it may be inferred she lived there in her widowhood, after the 
fall of the Poisons'. By disposition dated I7th July 1739, Alex- 
ander Fraser sold to the said John Fraser two acres of his ten 
arable acres of his land of the Carse. 

Alexander Fraser sold, by deed dated I4th May 1743, to 
Duncan Fraser, merchant in Inverness, son of the said John 
Fraser, the two roods bewest the Ness, which had pertained to 
the family since 1596, also roods and acres in St Thomas's 
Chapel, roods, riggs, and acres in the Carse called Lochnagaun, 
Gairbread, Knockandow, Little Carse, Whinbush Carse, and 
Sandy Acre. Christian Dunbar, Fairfield, mother and liferentrix, 
renounced her liferent by a deed, the witnesses being John 
Fraser, her brother-in-law, and Alexander Fraser, her son. The 
deed is dated 28th May 1745. 

Upon the 1st day of September 1743, Fairfield disposes the 
lands of Wester Ballifeary to Robert Fraser of Phopachie. 



THE FRASEks OF FAIRFIELD. 339 

Prior to 1754 he had disposed of his quarter of Merkinch, as 
in a list of " The Burgage Maills and Feu-duties of the Burgh of 
Inverness," prepared in that year, William Duff of Muirtown ap- 
pears as owner " from Fairfield, from Bailie David his father," the 
feu being i. 6s. 3d. Scots. Fairfield still appears in the list of 
1754 as feuar of various subjects, amongst others the owner of 
" Shop under the Tolbooth, the fourth from the east from Bailie 
David his father." 

Alexander Fraser of Fairfield, as heir of the deceased Alex- 
ander Fraser, gets a precept of clare constat from the Provost 
and Magistrates of Inverness, dated 3Oth August 1755. 

The decay of the family continued. Alexander was suc- 
ceeded in 1794 by Andrew Fraser of Fairfield, Captain in the 
H.E.I. C. S. Andrew Fraser still possessed some lands, for he is 
charged with nearly four bolls of victual for stipend. He con- 
tinued selling, disposing of the grounds called the Hard Croft 
to Colin Munro of Grenada, on which Mr Munro erected the 
large house known as the Blue House. In 1809, Captain Fraser 
disposed to Lachlan Mackintosh of Raigmore for a consideration 
of 500, " All and whole these three roods of burgh bigged land, 
with houses, biggings, garden, dovecot, and office houses, some- 
time pertaining to, and possessed by, Alexander Fraser of Fair- 
field his grandfather, with the parts, pendicles, and pertinents of 
the same, lying on the west side of the River Ness, bounded be- 
tween the garden sometime pertaining to the deceased Jaspard 
Cuthbert, thereafter by progress to Alexander Duff of Drum- 
muir, and now to Colin Munro at the west and north, by the 
road leading to the River Ness at the east, the lands sometime 
belonging to the deceased John Kerr, burgess of the said burgh, 
thereafter by progress to Robert Robertson of Shipland, there- 
after by progress to the deceased Alexander Fraser, my grand- 
father, his now by the vennel at the south and the old waulk miln 
lade, now the King's high way, at the west parts respectively." 

Captain Fraser was dead prior to 1814, and though some 
fragments remained to his minor children, he may be said 
to have been the last of the Fairfields. His character may be 
inferred from the following letter, viz. A man of good education 
and business habits, determined to have his own, but without a 
spark of family pride or intention to re-establish himself : 



340 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

" Blairgowrie, 3Oth January 1809. 

" Dear Sir, Upon receipt of this I beg the favour of you 
immediately to advertise the house and garden for public sale 
on the 1 5th of February next, unless previously sold by private 
bargain, also the three acres (English measure) at the north end 
of the Park, at present set to Cameron, and another man whose 
name Dallas will tell you. You will of course take steps if any 
be requisite to nullify Cumming's lease and prevent any trouble 
from that quarter. Shall, if possible, be North myself in 10 or 12 
days. In the meantime, if you receive an offer of 600 guineas 
for the house and garden you may close with it. I suppose you 
must place 26s. of each feu charge to my account, but as I shall 
be North soon, we can arrange the matter then. The advertise- 
ment will be time enough for next Friday, and the Friday 
following, and is not after that to be repeated. Make it as short 
as possible. 

" I am, &c, 

(Signed) " ANDREW ERASER. 

" P.S. The ground in the Park will be sold in acres or half 
acres to accommodate those who may wish for a small piece." 

And so the Fairfields have disappeared, and in 1884 the 
Town Council of Inverness knew not even their tomb. One of 
the last acts was to " sell out " a poor widow paying a rent of 
305. who is called " Widow Subley Thomson," no doubt her 
then usual designation. What a fall for Miss Sibilla Barbour, a 
descendant of the Barbours of Aldourie ! 

C. FRASER-MACKINTOSH. 



" THE CELTIC GARLAND." If anything was required to attest the popu- 
larity of this collection by " Fionn " of translations of Gaelic and English songs, 
Gaelic readings, etc., it is supplied in the fact that a second edition has been called for, 
and is now in the hands of the public. Excellent as the first edition was, this one is 
in every respect a great improvement upon it. The work is considerably enlarged, 
and contains a number of fresh pieces very suitable for reading and recitation at 
Highland gatherings or for fireside amusement. The work is neatly got up and 
well printed, while the Gaelic is very carefully edited. In view of the early 
recognition of Gaelic as a " special subject " in Highland schools, we hail the 
" Garland " as supplying serviceable material for securing for the language the place 
from which it has been so long frozen out by the codes and cold comfort applied in 
the work of modern Highland education. The book is a most enjoyable one, and no 
Celt who invests in it will regret having done so. It is published by Mr Archibald 
Sinclair, 62 Argyle Street, Glasgow, to whom much credit is due for the neat and 
tradcsmanlike appearance of this Celtic gem. 



341 
THE LAND REFORM MOVEMENT IN SKYE. 



A WEEK or two before the arrival of her Majesty's Forces in 
Skye, there was a considerable amount of excitement among the 
people, who, believing that their cause was just, became very 
determined in the position they took up. They reasoned thus 
" We have in the past tamely submitted to be deprived of our 
hill pasture, and to have our rents increased ; the assertion of our 
rights is a duty which we have too long neglected. Experience 
has been uniform for a long series of years that the more sub- 
missive we are, the greater the advantage taken by depriving us 
of privileges which we formerly possessed, till our circumstances 
are so reduced that we are brought to the verge of starvation. 
We must now pursue a different course, insist that our grievances 
be more fully known, use every lawful measure to recover the 
rights and privileges of which we were so unjustly deprived. It 
is a matter in which we are all deeply interested ; we must be 
united, resolve not to cease agitating till our grievances are re- 
dressed. We want justice, and justice we will have." They 
entered on the movement fully determined to fight it out to the 
bitter end. " Thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel just." 
This is the feeling which animates the Crofters. Before any one 
condemns their action, he should make himself acquainted with 
both sides of their case. 

There has been much discontent among the small tenantry 
of Skye for a long time, which strained the feeling between land- 
lord and tenant to a degree far from desirable. Expectations 
had been raised, it may be, to an extravagant degree. At any- 
rate, it was evident that some concessions would have to be made 
on the part of the landlords before a loyal feeling could exist 
between them and their tenants. The measures pursued brought 
matters to a crisis sooner than might have been expected. 
Threats of eviction were resorted to. It was freely circulated 
among the different townships, that a large force of police, armed 
with revolvers were to be stationed here and there throughout 
the Island to cover the action of the process-server. To a 
people smarting under a deep sense of wrong, these were irritat- 
ing in the extreme, and roused them in many places to united 



34^ ?HE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

action in resisting the progress of an additional force of police 
whom they believed to be the tools of the landlords in carrying 
out their high-handed policy. There was no intention of violence 
on the part of the majority of the people, who endeavoured to 
restrain the most impulsive among themselves, but it must be 
admitted that there was a strong feeling against the police, 
whom they believed, rightly or wrongly, to be forced upon them 
in the interest of the proprietors. Unfortunately, the events 
which followed increased the suspicion which it is now difficult 
to remove. 

It is hard to conceive of a more injudicious way of dealing 
with their tenantry than that pursued by the landlords at this 
critical time. To imagine that such deep rooted discontent could 
be eradicated by force, or that anything like good feeling could 
be established between landlord and tenant by the presence of 
the process-server, and a few isolated cases of eviction, was 
simply misunderstanding the signs of the times and misinterpret- 
ing the feelings of the people. 

The way in which estates were for a long time managed in 
Skye was through fear never at best a healthy system. It may 
serve a certain purpose for a time, but is sure in the long run to 
lead into difficulty. It has resulted in such a complication 
of conflicting interests as to make it a hard matter to solve. 
Once the people feel that they are free in a free country, it is not 
easy to govern them through fear ; nor should the attempt be 
made, but as seldom as possible. It had become evident that 
such a change had come over the people as required a very 
different treatment from what they were previously accustomed 
to. But the landlord cannot be brought to see that any im- 
provement can be made on the old system, nor that there was any 
other way of dealing with these people than by a revival of the 
reign of terror ; that nothing short of a wholesale eviction would 
do, and they would be evicted by the dozen. No policy could be 
more disastrous to the landlord interest, as may now be seen 
from its effects. It alienated the more moderate among the 
people, forced them to unite with the more advanced, and made 
them more determined to resist the despotic rule under which, 
they say, they have groaned so long. 

We have often heard it stated that the origin of this Land 
Law Reform Movement was owing to Irish influences. It is 



LAND REFORM MOVEMENT IN SKYE. 343 

certainly not easy to trace it to Ireland, though there is no doubt 
that all great movements are contagious. They call forth new 
agencies, and many subtle influences are set to work. The 
origin of the movement was not in Ireland; it was local. It can 
be traced to the action of the landlord and his officials. These 
did more in this part of the country to raise the land question 
and press it towards a solution than any Irish influence or 
agitator that has ever appeared in Skye. Not only so but it seems 
to be getting more difficult of solution the longer it is delayed. 
No agitator, however influential and eloquent, could succeed in 
driving the people to desperation as the estate managers have 
done by their threats of eviction and other short-sighted actions. 
Against these threats the people claim the protection of the 
legislature. They believe, if their grievances were fully known, 
that the sense of justice which characterises Englishmen will 
soon give them redress. In this way the agitation went on 
and spread to the adjacent islands ; thence to the mainland ; and 
is still spreading to such an extent, that it is hard to say when 
or where it may stop. 

There is much said of the baneful influence of outside 
agitators who are alleged to have no real sympathy with the 
people, and are merely actuated by selfish motives. Of all the 
arguments used on the subject this point is the most illogical. 
What could move men from a distance to so much energy and self- 
sacrifice, if it were not their great sympathy with these people, 
a desire to get their grievances redressed, and to see them 
placed on a fair way for a new start in life. They well know 
that the crofters are far too much steeped in poverty to expect 
any remuneration from them for their trouble. The real agitators 
who fan the flame are the estate managers, and all must own 
that they have been wonderfully successful. 

If a conciliatory policy had been adopted immediately after 
the visit of the Royal Commissioners, the alleged grievances 
looked into, and if possible, where founded on fact, removed ; a 
better feeling might have been restored between landlord and 
tenant, and could be done much easier then than now. The 
agitation would have been checked, before it had attained its 
present proportions. The agitators would have been deprived 
of their weapons, but instead of that they have been constantly 
supplied with crushing arguments which cannot be refuted. 



344 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Was there anything more likely to rouse suspicion and bring 
discredit upon the landlords than their attempts to mark those 
who had given evidence before the Royal Commissioners or who 
were reputed to sympathise with the Land Law Reform move- 
ment. 

It was evident from the fact of the Commission being 
appointed that there was something in the relation between 
landlord and tenant which needed investigation, and as that 
investigation proceeded the more apparent it became that the 
old system required to be overhauled, and placed upon a better 
basis, that justice might be equally distributed among all classes of 
her Majesty's subjects. Those who cultivate the soil are as much 
entitled to the protection of the Government as the landlord, 
to whom the law at present is much more favourable than to the 
tenant. As long as it remains so there is ever a danger of in- 
dividual hardship and injustice. This anomaly must be done away 
with by an alteration of the law, such as will provide equal justice 
to both. However much the landlords may concede, it is useless 
to disguise the fact that no amount of voluntary patchwork will 
place the foundation of land legislation on a satisfactory basis. 
Wars and rumours of wars may for a time absorb public attention, 
and put off a comprehensive settlement, but there is little doubt 
that we are within measurable distance of a time when the Land 
Question will become the principal theme on every political 
platform. As it was forty years ago with the Corn Laws, so will 
it shortly be with those Acts connected with the Land. 

JAMES M. DAVIDSON. 



ORAN DO NA CAOIRICH MHORA, 

LE DONNACHADH SlOSAL. 



[The following song is one of a number read by Mr Colin Chishohn, at a recent 
meeting of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. He said that the author was Donnachadh 
Buidhe, Duncan Chisholm, who, early in this century, along with the greater part of 
the Strathglass people, left their native land, having been evicted from their holdings, 
which were at that time converted into sheep farms. He said that he was indebted 
for the words of the song to a gentleman in Nova Scotia, whose father and grand- 
father he remembered well before they left the upper end of Glencannich.] 

Ge b'e h-aon rinn an duanag, chaidh e tuathal an tos, 
Nach do chuimhnich na h-uaislean dha 'm bu dual a bhi m6r; 
Na'm biodh feum air neart dhaoin' ann an caonnaig no'n toir, 
'S iad a sheasadh an cruadal, 's lannan cruaidhe na'n dorn, 



ORAN DO NA CAOIRICH MHORA. 345 

Na Siosalaich Ghlaiseach bho chaisteal nan arm, 
Na suinn a bha tapaidh 'nuair chaisgt' orra 'n fhearg ; 
'Nuair theid iad 's a' bhaiteal, cha bu ghealtach an colg, 
'S gu'n cuir iad fo'n casan luchd chasagan dearg. 

Sibh a bhuaileadh na buillean, 'sa chuireadh an ruaig, 
'Sa sheasadh ri teine, gun deireas, gun ghruaim; 
Na suinn a bha fulangach, curanta, cruaidh, 
Nach leigeadh le namhaid an larach thoirt uath'. 

La Blar Airidh-Ghuidhein rinn sibh pruthar air sluagh, 
Ged bu lionmhor na daoine air 'ur n-aodann 'san uair; 
Cha deachaidh mac mathar dhiubh sabhailte uaith', 
'S gu'n do thill sibh a' chreach air a h-ais do'n Taobh-tuath. 

'Nuair a dh'eirich na curaidhean curanta, dian, 
Gu luath-lamhach, guineach, 's iad ullamh gu gniomh, 
Gu'n d' fhag sibh na miltean na'n sineadh air sliabh, 
Gun tuigse, gun toinnisg, gun anail na'n cliabh. 

'Nuair theid iad an ordugh, na h-oganaich gharg, 
Cha Veil 'san Roinn-Eorpa na's boidhch' theid fo'n airm; 
'Nuair a gheibheadh sibh ordugh, bu deonach leibh falbh, 
'S gu'n d&inadh sibh feolach an comhstri nan arm. 

'S'ann chunnaic mi 'm prasgan bu taitniche learn, 
Eadar bun Allt-na-Glaislig a's braighe Chnochd-fhionn. 
Nach leigeadh le namhaid dol dan air an cul, 
Ged tha iad bho'n la sin a' cnamh anns an uir. 

Gur a trie tha mi smaointean air an duthaich a th'ann, 
Tha'n diugh fo na caoirich eadar raointean a's ghleann ; 
Gun duine bhi lathair dhe'n alach a bh'ann, 
Ach coin agus caoirich ga'n slaodadh gu fang. 

'S ann tha aobhar a' mhulaid aig na dh' fhuirich 'san ait', 
Gun toil-inntinn gun, taic, ach fo chasan nan Gall ; 
Bho na dh' fhalbh an luchd-eaglais bha freasdalach dhaibh, 
Co aghabhas an leth-sgeul, 'nuair bhios iad na'n cas? 

Gur lionmhor sonn aluinn chaidh arach bho thus 

An teaghlach an armuinn a bha tamh an Cnochd-fhiunn ; 

'S bho'n a dh' fhalbh na daoin'-uaisle, chaidh an tuath air an glun, 

'S gu'm beil iad bho'n uair sin gun bhuachaille cuil. 

B'iad sud na daoin' uaisle 's na buachaillean ciuin 

Easbuig Iain 's a bhrathair, a's Iain Ban bha'n Cnochd-fhiunn 

Na daoine bha feu mail gu reiteachadh cuis, 

Chaidh an duthaich an eis bho'n la dh'eng iad na'n triuir. 

Dh' fhalbh na Cinn-fheadhnab' fhearr eisdeachd 'sa' chuirt 
An ceann-teaghlaich bu shine dhe'n fhine b' fhearr cliu ; 
Tha gach aon a bha taitneach air an tasgadh 'san uir, 
'S iad mar shoitheach gun Chaptain, gun acfhuinn, gun stiuir. 

Dh' fhalbh an stiuir as na h-iaruinn 'nuair a thriall na fir bhan' 

Na h-Easbuigean beannuichte, carranta, tlath ; 

'S ioma buaidh agus cliu bha' air an cunntas n'ur gnath ; 

'S ann agaibh bha'n t-ionntas a dh' ionnsuidh a' bhais. 

Cha bu bhas e ach aiseag gu beatha na b' fhearr, 
Dol a dh' ionnsuidh an Athar tha 'n Cathair nan Gras 
Na seirbheisich dhileas do 'n Ti tha gu h-ard, 
'S a tha an toil-inntinn nach diobair gu brath. 

'S mi-fhortan do 'r cairdean thug sibh thamh anns' an Lios, 
Na h-armuinnean priseil, Ian sith agus meas, 
Na coinnlean a b' aillte dheanadh dearsa na'r measg, 
'Sann a tha na cuirp aluinn air an caradh fo lie, 



346 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

'S ann fo lie air an aineol tha na feara gun ghruaim, 
Nach fuiligeadh an eucoir ann an cisdeachd an cluas ; 
Gur e a bh' aca na'n inntinn toil-inntinne bhuan, 
Le Soisgeul na Firinn ga innseadh do 'n t-sluagh. 

'S ann an sin a bha 'n comunn abha toilichte leinn, 
'Nuair a bha sinn mu'n coinneamh bha sonas ri'n linn ; 
'Nuair a chaidh iad 'san uaigh sgiot an sluagh as gach taobh, 
'S iad mar chaoirich gun bhuachaill' air am fuadach thair tuinn. 

Cha'n 'eil buachaillean aca no taic' air an cul, 
Bho na leigeadh fir Shasuinn a fasgadh an Duin, 
'Se naigheachd is ait learn mar thachair do'n chuis, 
Gu'n do shleamhnaich an casan a mach dhe' na ghrunnd. 

Tha mi 'n dochas gun tionndaidh a' chuis mar a's coir, 
Gu'n tig iad a dh' ionnsuidh an duchais bho thos ; 
Na fiuranan aluinn chaidh arach ann og, 
Gu'n cluinneam sibh 'thamh ann an aros nam b6. 

Ged' a thuit a' chroabh-mhullaich 's ged' fhrois i gu barr, 
Thig planndais a stoca an toiseach a' bhlais ; 
Ma gheibh iad mo dhurachd mar a dhuraichdean daibh, 
Bidh iad shuas an Cnochd-fhionn, 's e bhur duchas an t-ait'. 

Agus Iain Chnuichd-fhinn, bi-sa misneachail treun, 
Glac duthchas do sheanar, 's gu meal thu a steidh ; 
An t-ait' robh do sheorsa, bho 'n'oige gu 'n eug, 
Am mac an ionad an athar, suidh 'sa' chathair 's na treig. 

Bi togradh air d'eolas, a bhuain chno anns' an Dun, 
Far an goireadh an smeorach am barr pganan dlu ; 
Eoin bheaga an t-sleibhe deanamh beus mar chruit-chiuil, 
'S a chuthag 's a' cheitein a' seinn a Gug-Gug. 

Dh' fhalbh gach toil-inntinn a bh' aig ar sinnsreadh bho thos, 
'S e mo bharail nach till iad ris na linntinnean 6g ; 
Cha n'eil fiadhach ri fhaotainn ann an aonach nan ceo ; 
Chuir na caoirich air fuadach buidheann uallach nan cr5c. 

Dh' fhalbh an earb as a' choille, dh' fhalbh coileach an cluin, 
'S am buicein beag, biorach, bhiodh fo shileadh nan stiic ; 
Dh' fhalbh na feiclh as an aonach cha 'n ioghnadh sud learn 
Cha chluinnear guth gaothair no faoghaid 'san Dun. 

Learn is duillich mar thachair nach d' thainig sibh nail 
Mu'n deachaidh 'ur glacadh le acanan teann ; 
Na'm biodh uachdaran dligheach na shuidh' air 'ur ceann, 
Cha rachadh 'ur sgapadh gu machair nan Gall. 

Cha b'i mhachair bu taitnich le na Glaisich dhol ann, 
'Nuair a thigeadh an samhradh, ach braighe nan gleann ; 
Bhiodh aran, im, agus caise, ga'n arach gun taing, 
Crodh-laoigh air an airidh, bliochd a's dair ann's an am. 

Cha Veil 'n 'ur ceann-cinnidh ach duine gun treoir, 
Tha fo smachd nan daoin-uaisle chuireas tuathal a shron, 
Nach iarradh dhe'n t-saoghal ach caoirich air Ion, 
An aite na tuatha a bha buan aig a sheors. 

Sgriosas air na caoirich as gach taobh dhe'n Roinn-Eorp', 
Cloimh a's cnamhag a's caoile, at nam maodal a's cr6ic, 
Gabhai! dalladh nan suilean, agus musg air an sroin, 
Madadh-ruadh agus fireun a' cur dith air a' phor. 

Guidheam bracsaidh 'sna h-oisgean, 's ploc a's tuaineal na'n ceann 
'Sa' chnoimheag 'san iorbal, gu ruig an eanachainn 'san t-sron ; 
S gun a h-aon bhi ri fhaicinn, ach craicinn gun fheoil, 
Na cibeirean glas a' tarsuinn as gun snaithn' bhrog. 



THE 

CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

CONDUCTED BY 

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, F.S.A.. Scot. 
No. CXVI. JUNE 1885. VOL. X. 

SOME UNPUBLISHED LETTERS OF SIMON 
LORD LOVAT, 1739-1743. 



No matter that turns up in connection with Simon Lord Lovat 
ever fails of being interesting. At present the North is moved 
by the appearance of a claimant to the Scottish Lovat Peerage 
and Estates, whose success would add a hundred-fold to the 
romance and interest attaching to Lord Lovat's career. 

The letters after given show Simon at his best, being written 
after he had succeeded in assuring his position to the title and 
estates, and when it would seem his hitherto chequered life would 
be thereafter one of repose and prosperity. They nearly all con- 
cern social and domestic affairs, and are in this respect valuable, 
indicating his real character by and through his daily life and 
transactions. The most pregnant public allusion is contained 
in the letter to Mackintosh in December 1743, and shows that 
Lord Lovat was in close communication with the Stuarts, and 
hoped for an immediate landing. 

Taking the letters in their order, I make a few comments. 
They are chiefly addressed to Mr Duncan Eraser, a well-to-do 
merchant of Inverness, elder brother of Simon Eraser, sometime 
Commissary at Gibraltar, who purchased the estate of Borlum, 
calling it Ness Castle, father of the well-known and respected 
Marjory Lady Saltoun. 



348 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

The first letter is dated 2Oth May 1739, and his Lordship's 
kindness of heart is shown by his determination to right the lady 
whose cattle were stolen, and which were promised to be restored 
through Barrisdale, one of the captains of the Watch, known as 
Coll Ban. Mrs Mackenzie had just lost her only brother, the 
Rev. William Baillie, minister of the third charge of Inverness, 
son of the well-known Rev. Robert Baillie, of Inverness. Lord 
Lovat's correctness in his affairs is shown by his laying down 
the rule of settlement of accounts taking place monthly. The 
Governor of Inverness Castle referred to, was no doubt Grant, 
who was accused in 1745 of somewhat hastily surrendering the 
Castle to Prince Charles. 

Dear Cousin, I gave you the trouble of a line yesterday, 
but received no answer. I hope this will find you and your 
people in good health, and I assure you and them of my kind 
humble service. You was yesterday busy at the melancholy 
occasion of the burial of my dear friend, Mr Wm. Baillie, which 
gives me great grief and concern. I beg you go from me, and 
wait of his sister, Mrs Mackenzie, and give her my most humble 
duty, and tell her that I have not fortitude to write to her upon 
her brother's death, but that I beg to know how she is, and that 
she may expect my friendship more than ever, and when the 
tribute that she must pay to nature is over, that I will expect to 
see her. In the meantime you may let her know that Barrisdale 
is my very good friend, and that he has actually a party in pur- 
suit of the thieves that stole her cattle, and acquaints me that he 
does not doubt of success, so that I make not the least doubt of 
recovering her payment of her cattle. 

Let me know if you have recovered all my things out of the 
Pledger, and when I may send for them. The bag of hops may 
be kept in a good place in the town, where you will think it safe 
from being spoiled, for we have no good place for it in this 
house. I entreat you may remember what I told you, at parting, 
that we may clear accounts once a month, and then there will be 
no difficulty about vouchers for payment. Thomas Houstoun is 
to be out here to-morrow morning. I have desired him to wait 
upon the Governor, and to make him my compliments. If you 
have heard anything of his diet for Edinburgh, I entreat you 
to let me know it. 

I likewise entreat you may know as of yourself what day 
the President comes to Bunchruive and Achnagairn, and goes 
through this country to Brahan, and if he dines at Bunchruive or 
Achnagairn, and what day he goes south, that my posts may be 
in good order as he passes. I shall long to hear from you. If 



LETTERS OF SIMON LORD LOVAT. 349 

there is any news in town, I hope you will send them, and I am, 
with sincere esteem, dear Duncan, 

Your affectionate cousin and faithful slave, 

(Signed) LOVAT. 

Beaufort, 2Oth May 1739. 

The next letter is dated I2th June 1739, and in part refers 
to Lord Lovat's son, Alexander, who died at Dunmaglass in 
1760, unmarried, a General in the Dutch service. At this time 
he was but a child, his father, however, describing him as having 
a large head. Notice may also be taken of his Lordship's patri- 
otic intention to purchase a picture of Sir William Wallace, be- 
cause Lovat, as he says, " always loved to preserve the glory and 
honour of old and ancient families," though his desire was 
thwarted by Mr Evan Baillie of Abriachan (brother to Hugh 
Baillie of Dochfour), his Lordship's bailie and cashier, who pro- 
bably knew that money could ill be spared. 

Dear Cousin Duncan, I have sent the bearer, John Young 
General of our Taylors, to take off clothes for my little boy Sandie, 
so I entreat you go with him to any shop where you can get 
it most reasonable, and be so kind as to see him cut off as much 
good, strong, drugget, as will make the child a coat, waistcoat, 
and breeches, with lining and all other furniture conform. I 
hope his periwig is now ready, that you bespoke, and a little hat 
for him. It must not be very little for he has a good large head 
of his age. Be so kind as let me know the prices of everything, 
and what you bought out of other shops, that I may send you in 
the money immediately. If Mr Donald buys any books, and 
that you pay the money for them, I shall send you in that at the 
same time. 

I am very glad that the Governor is so well. I shall have 
the honour to write to him to-morrow, and though he should go 
to Culloden, before I go into town, I will certainly pay my 
respects to him there, as I would do at Inverness, if he will allow 
me. I just now got your letter, and I give you a thousand 
thanks for sending him the salmond in my name ; it gives me 
greater pleasure than twenty times the value of it, for I cannot 
express the honour and value I have for my dearest Governor. 

Pray, tell Evan Baillie, that it was merely for the insinuations 
that he made to me in his letter, that I yielded my resolutions 
of purchasing Sir William Wallace's picture, for I always loved 
to preserve the glory and honour of old and antient families. 
Pray show this to Evan when he comes home. 

I offer you, and your father and mother, and all the family, 



350 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

my kind humble service. I hope your mother will remember 
what I recommended to her in the Roup. Forgive all this 
trouble, and believe that I am, very sincerely, dear Duncan, 

Your affectionate and faithful slave, 

(Signed) LOVAT. 
Beaufort, I2th June 1739. 

The third letter is dated ist June 1740, and shows what a 
good style Simon kept up. Four-and-twenty guests from differ- 
ent quarters was a large assembly, and contradicts the statement 
that his house and menage were mean. 

Dear Cousin Duncan, I received this evening your letter. 
I am glad that you are well after your great fatigue of drink- 
ing, &c. 

I have sent in John Forbes with money to pay Lachlan 
Mackintosh's hogshead of wine, and to see if there be any pro- 
visions had for me in town, for I am to have a throng company 
with me to-morrow. I believe I will have twenty-four covers, 
for I am to have strangers from several corners. I have ordered 
John Forbes to cause send in horses for all Lachlan Mack- 
intosh's wine, and for six dozen of the Spanish wine, and for 
what provisions can be had. I offer you and your worthy 
mother my affectionate humble service, and I wish your honest 
father, and my friend William, a safe return home, and I am, 
with a sincere friendship and regard, dear Duncan, 

Your affectionate cousin and faithful slave, 

(Signed) LOVAT. 
Beaufort, ist June 1740. 

The seal is almost entire. Small deer head, surmounted with 
coronet, around " Je suis prest." 

The fourth letter is dated 23rd June, same month, and is 
interesting as showing that there was an upper dining-room at 
Beaufort, and that east winds ran on till midsummer. This 
circumstance is important, for the prevalence of east winds about 
Inverness has been supposed to be a comparatively modern evil. 
Most old people now-a-days will affirm that in their younger 
days the prevailing winds were from the south-west, and the 
summers earlier. 

Dear Cousin Duncan, I hope this will find you and your 
honest father and mother, and my friend William, and all the 
family in perfect health, and I sincerely assure you and them of 
my kindest respects and humble service. 



LETTERS OF SIMON LORD LOVAT. 351 

1 have sent in the bearer for my post letters, which I entreat 
you despatch as soon as possible with any other news you have 
in town. I got so much cold by going out yesterday with the 
easterly winds, and by dining in the High Dining Room, that I 
had the ague all night, and I am just now going to take a vomit. 

I hope you have delivered my commission to Mr Grant. I 
shall long to hear from you. And I am, with a sincere esteem 
and regard, dear Cousin Duncan, 

Your most obedient and most faithful humble servant, 

(Signed) LOVAT. 

Beaufort, 23rd June 1740. 

Send is. 6d. more of farthings per bearer. 

The fifth letter is the scroll of one from Duncan Eraser, to 
Lord Lovat, within which the letters were found wrapped up. It 
is without date, but the reference to Mr Speaker Onslow's re- 
election for the third time, fixes it to have been written in De- 
cember 1741. It will be observed that though Mr Eraser gives 
gossip, which he knew would please his lordship, yet he knows, 
though so familiarly treated in the letters, his own position, and 
addresses Lord Lovat with every respect. I cannot throw light 
on the identity of the Doctor and Miss Stewart who are men- 
tioned, and the reference to the Duke of Hamilton, through an 
undecypherable word, is obscure. 

No date, December 1741. 

My Lord, I am honoured with your Lordship's. Am con- 
cerned you passed last night so ill. But hope the doctor will re- 
move all such, as well as recover your legs, and continue your good 
spirits, which with your perfect health and happiness I sincerely 
pray. 

The king's speech is here enclosed as in a Tuesday's Evening 
Courant. The Speaker is a third time placed in his chair. 

I saw Miss Stewart last night at the Modists (Modistes ?) 
and told her my surprise at her departure from your Lordship's, 
upon the doctors appearance, to which she made the same answer 
your Lordship wrote me of the other, which I would fain take to 
be ominous. Considering they will probably meet at your Lord- 
ship's ere the ensuing merry days are over, when I persuade 
myself your Lordship will not miss to egg the proper parties 
proceeding, so as to make him quit making one of the number of 
your country bachelors. 

I am concerned for the sad melancholy * of D. Hamilton. 

He had 63 prayed for this day. 

Word unintelligible,* 



352 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

The sixth letter, dated ;th February 1742, is highly amus- 
ing, and shows the unhappy position of his Lordship, when the 
youth Maclean who shaved him ran off. He complains that 
though he has 18 to 20 men servants, no one was qualified to 
shave him. 

My Dear Cousin Duncan, I hope this will find you and 
your honest father and mother, and all the family in perfect 
health, and I sincerely assure you and them of my affectionate 
humble service. 

That lazy, light-headed rascall, John Maclean, has behaved 
so insolently and impertinently for this long while past, that I was 
determined to keep him no longer than till Whitsunday next in 
my family. But some capricious whim having seized him, he 
left my service this day, without the least provocation, and I am 
resolved that he shall never put a razor on my face again. I 
have wrote to Edinburgh myself, and my secretary has wrote to 
Aberdeen to get me a riding footman that can shave and dress, 
but as I have not among eighteen or twenty men servants any 
one that can shave me till I get a new servant, I entreat, my dear 
Cousin Duncan, that you will find out some boy in Inverness 
that will come out with the bearer, or to-morrow evening, and 
if he pleases me I will keep him till I get another servant, and if 
he is inclined to stay with me I will, perhaps, engage him to serve 
me as riding footman. J don't think you can miss to find some lad 
that will be fit for my purpose amongst your barbers in town, 
and I shall pay him thankfully for his pains. 

If you will be so kind as to do me the favour to come out 
here to see me on Tuesday, I will send in my own pad early on 
Tuesday morning for you, and you will bring my post letters 
along with you. But if the day be as bad as this day is, I must 
delay the pleasure of seeing you till a better day. William, Cul- 
miln's son, who came in to see me an hour ago, says that this is the 
worst day that came this winter. Jenny, and the Chamberlain 
and his wife, and Mr Baillie, and Gortuleg, who are all here, join 
with me in making you our affectionate compliments. And I am, 
without reserve, my dear Duncan, 

Your most affectionate cousin and faithful slave, 

(Signed) LOVAT. 

Beaufort, 6th and 7th February 1742. 

The seventh and last, dated 2ist November 1743, is ad- 
dressed to the Laird of Mackintosh, and the politeness of the 
courtier is here seen to its full. It is sad to think that so soon 
after its date, such trouble fell on his Lordship and the Earl of 



LETTERS OF SIMON LORD LOVAT. 353 

Cromarty. At this time, 1743, Simon states there was nothing 
but " mirth and affection," and that the Earl and Doctor Eraser 
" were enough to make a hundred rejoice if they were in com- 
pany."- 

My Dear Laird of Mackintosh, It gives me vast joy to 
know by Invercauld and Dunie, that you, and the worthy Lady 
Mackintosh, and dear Miss Farquharson, are in perfect health. I 
pray God it may long continue. There is no man on earth 
wishes it better, and I humbly beg leave to assure you, and the 
good Lady Mackintosh, and Miss Farquharson, of my most 
affectionate humble duty, best respects, and good wishes, in 
which my son joins me. 

I owe my dear Lady Mackintosh ten million of thanks for 
doing me the honour to engage her lovely brother, the young 
Laird of Invercauld, to see me in this little hutt. His visit has 
given me vast pleasure, and I have enjoined my son to live in 
great friendship with him all his life. He will make the prettiest 
gentleman that ever was called Farquharson, which I wish from 
the bottom of my heart. I was so lucky as to have here the 
Earl of Cromarty, and Lord Macleod, his son, and his Governor, 
and Doctor Fraser, when Invercauld came here. They are all 
still here, except Lord Macleod, who is gone to Edinburgh to his 
colleges. I never saw more delightful company than they have 
been, and continue so. The Earl and Doctor Fraser are enough 
to make a hundred rejoice, if they were in company. There was 
nothing but mirth and affection among us. Dunie will do me 
justice that I drank your health, and the good Lady Mackin- 
tosh's, as a family health every day, and when the toast went 
round, Lady Mackintosh and Miss Farquharson were not forgot, 

I am sorry that young Invercauld is so pressed with time, 
that he could not stay two or three weeks to make up a thorough 
acquaintance with my son, that they might contract such a 
friendship as would last all their days, after I am dead and 
gone. But I hope after this, their acquaintance wont be to make 
wherever they meet. 

I beg my dear Laird of Mackintosh that you may do me the 
honour to let me hear from you once every week or ten days, 
that I may know how you and the good Lady Mackintosh and 
Miss Farquharson do. You have only to send your letters to 
Duncan Fraser's, by any person that comes to Inverness, and I 
will send my letter to him for you, so that we may correspond 
without you having the trouble of sending a servant to Beaufort, 
or my sending one to Moyhall, unless some extraordinary thing 
happen. 

We expect great news by this post. If I have anything 
extraordinary, I will acquaint you. I pray God preserve our 



354 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

friends, and restore the liberties of our country, and I am, with a 
most uncommon esteem, attachment, and respect, my dear Laird 
of Mackintosh, your most obedient and most faithful, humble 
servant, and most affectionate cousin, 

(Signed) LOVAT. 

Beaufort, 2ist November 1743. 

Altogether, these letters show Simon to have been kindly, 
hospitable, and charitable ; for it must be presumed that the lot of 
farthings he wished were intended for wandering beggars, a class 
he used to converse with when he met them. 

I have the good fortune of possessing several other letters 
from Lord Lovat ; also a volume, " Crawford's Officers of State," 
which was in his library, with his book-plate, wherein part of his 
designation is " Governor of Inverness." It has also on an early 
blank page a long holograph note in Latin. Books with his 
plate are rare, as the Castle and whole contents were utterly de- 
stroyed by fire by the Hanoverian troops immediately after the 
battle of Culloden. 

C. ERASER-MACKINTOSH. 



FASSIEFERN'S FOSTER-BROTHER AND THE 
FRENCHMAN. 



COLONEL John Cameron of Fassiefern, while serving in the Netherlands, was attended 
by his foster-brother, a young Highlander named Ewen Macmillan. One day this 
youth was at one of the British outposts, when he observed a Frenchman some dis- 
tance off, and it immediately occurred to him to try and stalk the Frenchman, as he 
used to do the deer in his native forests of Loch-Arkaig. Accordingly, he crept 
silently towards the unsuspecting Frenchman, and was in the act of taking aim over 
a low dyke when his intended victim, having probably heard some slight sound, 
turned about, and seeing a head peering over the dyke, and the long barrel of a rifle 
pointed full at himself, he fired his musket, the shot carrying off Ewen's ear. Ewen, 
however, was revenged ; for he brought down the Frenchman next moment, and then 
rushed forward and transfixed him with his bayonet. He then returned to his master, 
the Colonel, and, in his expressive native tongue, said, " The devil's son ! Do you 
see what he did tome?" Fassiefern, though sorry for his mishap, said, "You well 
deserved it, Ewen, in going beyond your post." " He'll no' do it again, faith !" was 
Ewen's pithy reply. Mackenzie's History of the Cameron <s, 



355 



ANCIENT ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND 
AND FRANCE. 



III. 

LEAVING the vexed question of when the Alliance originated, 
we proceed to note when it ended; for like all other temporal things 
it came to an end at last Several influences were at work for many 
years before this was accomplished. One thing which tended to 
weaken the friendly feeling between the two nations was the 
overbearing and arrogant conduct of the Guises, who, under the 
pretence of protecting the rights of their young relative, Mary 
Queen of Scots, then newly married to the Dauphin, veiled the 
most ambitious designs on Scotland. To show this, the following 
abridged quotation is given from The Scot Abroad'. Scotland 
had improved in wealth, yet the relative proportions of the two 
countries had vastly altered. Their diplomatic relations had 
changed, at least on the French side, in the assumption of a 
protecting and patronising nomenclature. The papers revealed 
to the world by M. Teulet, show that from the time when the 
heiress to the crown of Scotland came into the possession of her 
ambitious kinsfolk, they were laying plans for governing Scotland 
in Paris, and annexing the country to the throne of France. 
Dated in the year 1552 is a "Declaration" or Memorandum of 
the Parliament of Paris, on the adjustment of the Government of 
Scotland. In this document one can see, under official form- 
alities, the symptoms of an almost irritable impatience to get the 
nominal government vested in the young Queen, in order that 
the real government might be administered by her kinsfolk. 

The Scots Lords now saw sights calculated, as the Persians 
say, to open the eyes of astonishment. A clever French states- 
man, M. D' Osel, was sent over as the adviser of the Regent, to 
be her Prime Minister, and enable her to rule Scotland after the 
model of France. A step was taken to get at the high office of 
Chancellor, with possession of the Great Seal. The office of 
Comptroller of the Treasury was dealt with more boldly, and put 
into the hands of M. Villemore. 

These arbitrary proceedings naturally alarmed the national 



356 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

pride of the Scots, and went far to undermine the friendship 
which had so long existed ; but there was yet another influence 
at work equally if not more powerful. The Reformed religion, 
already established by law in England, was making rapid strides 
among the Scots, and when John Knox arrived in Scotland, fresh 
from experiencing the horrors of a galley slave in France, and 
lifted his powerful voice against the French, their religion, and 
their policy, the whole nation was aroused, and the breaking of 
the hitherto inviolate alliance was determined upon. To effect 
this, it was necessary that the leaders of the movement should 
negotiate with England for sympathy, and, if need be, for sub- 
stantial help. Knox himself conducted the first embassy to 
England, which was one of considerable danger, as the Queen 
Regent already suspected that there was some understanding 
between the discontented Scots and the English Court. Queen 
Elizabeth was anxious to make peace with Scotland, as is abun- 
dantly shown from the State papers of the time ; for instance, it 
is said " We think the peace with Scotland of as great moment 
for us as that with France, and rather of greater;" and again 
" And for our satisfaction beside the matter of Calais, nothing in 
all this conclusion with the French may in surety satisfy us, if 
we have not peace with Scotland," with many similar passages. 

It being definitely settled to enter into a league with Eng- 
land, the next question was where should the Commissioners 
meet to sign the agreement. It was not to be supposed that 
England should go to Scotland, and the Scots were equally 
determined that they would not enter upon English ground. The 
dispute was amusing, as showing the jealous care with which the 
Scots guarded their national honour. One of the Commissioners, 
Bishop Tunstall, says " Our first meeting was in the midst of 
the river between us both; for the Scots do regard their honour 
as much as any other king doth." Again, the Earl of Northum- 
berland, writing to Cecil, says" They were ready to meet the 
Scottish Commissioners on the first day, on the boulders that 
are in the mid stream ; but they claimed customs, and caused 
the messengers to go to and fro so often, that they forced the 
English Commissioners to come over the water into Scottish 
ground, or else would not have met at all." So the Scots vindi- 
cated their independence to their own satisfaction, and a league 



ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND & FRANCE. 357 

was formed, which, unlike the French one, was only cemented 
stronger as time went on, until there was no longer any occasion 
for either leagues or alliances. 

The long connection between France and Scotland left many 
traces behind, in terms of every day use, as well as in customs. 
According to Hill Burton, the Scottish Law system was copied 
from the French. The Scots also followed the French style of 
pronouncing the Classic languages, which is different to the Eng- 
lish style. The Scotch Bankruptcy laws also followed the French. 
The Scotch " cessio " being nearly an exact parallel to the French 
" cession," and when, in 1533, the Court of Session was established, 
it was a very distinct adaptation of a French institution. The 
University of King's College, in Aberdeen, was constructed on the 
model of that of Paris, and the titles and officers of Chancellor 
and Rector were both taken from France. So also the term 
Censor, one who calls over the roll of names to mark those 
absent. Deans and Faculties are French terms still in use in 
Scottish Universities, and though long since discontinued in 
those English ones, the former is retained still as a dignity of 
the Church. " The Doyens of all sorts, lay and ecclesiastical, 
were a marked feature of ancient France, as they still are of 
Scotland, when there is a large body of lay deans, from the 
lawyer, selected for his eminence at the bar, who presides over 
the Faculty of Advocates, down to ' my feyther and deacon,' 
who has gathered behind a ' half-door ' the gear that is to make 
his son a capitalist and a magistrate. Among the Scottish 
Universities the Deans of Faculty are still nearly as familiar a 
title as they were at Paris or Bologna." 

The term Lauration is another French word still preserved 
in Scottish Universities as the classical name for the ceremony 
of admission to a degree. Again, there is " Humanity," as 
applied to Philology in Scotland. Hill Burton says "The term 
is still as fresh at Aberdeen as when Maimbourg spoke of Calvin 
making his humanities at the College of La Mark. The " Pro- 
fessor of Humanity" has his place in the almanacs and other 
official lists, as if there were nothing antiquated or peculiar in 
the term, though jocular people have been known to state to un- 
sophisticated Cockneys and other simple people, that the object 
of the chair is to inculcate on the young mind the virtue of 
exercising humanity towards the lower animals ; and it is be- 



358 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

lieved that more than one stranger has conveyed away, in the 
title of this professorship, a standing illustration of the elaborate 
kindness exercised towards the lower animals in Scotland." 
During his first year at Aberdeen, a student is called a Bejeant; 
three hundred years ago, a student of the first year at Paris 
University was called a Bejanne, and the name often turned up in 
old French writers. 

Presbyterianism even has retained a relic of the old French 
League in its Church nomenclature; indeed some say that the 
whole system, its doctrines and forms, were imported from 
France ready-made by the Huguenots. In any case the Scotch 
Presbyterians adopted the terms of " Moderator " from the 
French Moderateur, a name applied to the President of the 
Huguenots' Ecclesiastical Courts ; and also the word " overture" 
as used when a motion is made in a presbytery " to overture" the 
General Assembly. This is taken from "ceuverture," by which 
solemn business was commenced in Huguenot meetings. 

The architecture of the Scottish castles bore a striking 
resemblance to the French Chateau, and was quite different to 
the style then in vogue in England. 

The same author traces at great length the connection 
between the Hogmanay of Scotland and the Eguimene of 
France, and proves that while the earliest notice of Hogmanay 
by Scotch writers goes no further back than the middle of the 
seventeenth century, there are numerous references made to the 
French custom of Eguimene by old French writers of an early 
date. He says : " In two numbers of the French paper 
' L' Illustration,' I happen to have seen a representation of 
children going about on New- Year's eve demanding their egui- 
mene. The word had a sort of rattling accompaniment not un- 
like our own thus Eguimene, rollet follet, Tiri liri." Again, 
speaking of the etymological dictionary of Menage, he says : 
" Under the word Haguignetes he quotes information furnished 
by M. de Grandemesuil, who says he remembers in his youth 
that, in Rouen, the word was pronounced hoguignetes, and he 
gives a specimen of the way in which he remembers the boys in 
his own quarter singing it as they solicited their New- Year's eve 
gifts. Menage records his correspondent's theory of the origin 
of the word, without either impugning or adopting it. The root 
is hoc in anno in this year as inferring a hint that it is still 



ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCOTLAND & FRANCE. 359 

time before the year expires to do a small act of generosity to 
the suppliant, so that the giver may pass into the New Year 
with the benefit of his gratitude." 

Then there are a great number of words which people use 
every day, little thinking that they are a remnant of the kindly 
old French alliance, such as Gigot (leg of mutton) ; Groset, goose- 
berry, from Groseille ; Haggis, from Hachis, hashed meat ; Kick- 
shaws, from Quelque chose^ a made-up dish ; Kimmer, from 
Commere, gossip ; Demented, from Dementi, deranged ; jalouse, 
from Jalouser, to suspect ; Ashet, from Assiette^ a plate or dish ; 
Gude-brither, from Bonfrere, brother-in-law ; Dour, from Dure, 
obstinate. A great many more could be given, but enough has 
been said to show the close connection of the two peoples. 

Though the Union of Scotland to England is in all re- 
spects the most natural, as well as the most advantageous, still 
we should not be unmindful of the benefits Scotland derived 
from her ancient alliance with France. Besides providing a 
refuge for wandering Scots, it was instrumental in polishing the 
rude and somewhat barbarous manners of Scotland in the 
middle ages. It also helped the Scots to maintain their in- 
dependence as a nation, against the repeated attempts of Eng- 
land to subdue them, while, on the other hand, the open 
hospitality extended by the French was always nobly requited 
by the devotion and faithfulness of the Scots. 

M. A. ROSE. 



OR AN, 

LE MAIRI NIC EALAIR. 

Mo chion air a' chailinn, 

A bh' againn an d6 
Gum b' f heart learn i agam, 
No earras'us spreidh. 

Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an d. 

Mo chion air an 6g-bhean, 

Lub iir a' chuil bhdidhich, 
Gur binne a c6mhradh, 
No 'n smfcorach air gheig. 
Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an de*. 



360 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Mo chion air an aingil, 

Lub tir a chuil chlannaich, 
'S gur gil' i fodh h-anart 
No cannach an t-sl&bh. 

Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an de. 

Gur mise bhiodh deonach, 

Air d' fhaotuinn ri phosadh 
A chuachag an 6r-fhuilt, 
Is boidhche fodh 'n ghr6in. 
Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an d6. 

Gur milse learn t-anail, 

No caoin ubhlan meala, 
'S do bhriathran cho banail, 
Ri d' cheanal 's ri d ! bh6us. 
Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an de\ 

Ged gheibhinn-se fearann, 
Le spre"idh agus earras, 
Gum b' fhearr learn mar leannan thu, 
'Bhean a' chuil r6idh. 

Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an d. 

Gur riomhach am flur thu, 
'S gur uasal do ghiulan, 
'S bidh mise fodh thursa, 
Mu dhiult thu dhomh sp&s. 
Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an d& 

Do mhiog-shuil tha boisgeadh, 

Le drillse an daoimein, 
'S do chridhe Ian caoimhneis, 
'S tu aoibhneas mo ch!6ibh. 
Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an dc. 

'S a ribhinn nam blath-shul, 

Nach toir thu do lamh dhomh, 
'S gur briodal do mhanrain leam, 
Ailleas gacli Msd. 

Mo chion air a' chailinn, 
A bh' againn an d. 



KING ROBERT BRUCE: HIS FOOTPRINTS IN 
THE HIGHLANDS. 



AFTER the death of King Alexander the III., King of Scots, in 
1285, the royal race of Scotland in a direct line became extinct 
by the death of his grand-daughter, the only child of the King 
and Queen of Norway. Although heirs in a direct line ceased 
to exist, there were no lack of claimants for the Crown by distant 
relatives of the late King. After the claims of various parties 
were investigated, it became evident, that John Baliol and 
Robert Bruce were the nearest heirs. John Baliol was the 
great-grandson of David Earl of Huntington by his eldest 
daughter, Margaret ; while Robert Bruce was a grandson by 
the second daughter, Isabella. David Earl of Huntington was 
brother to William King of Scots, grandfather to King Alex- 
ander the III., who was the last that sat on the throne. It then 
became a disputed question amongst the nobles, who of these 
two was the nearest heir, Baliol, the great-grandson of the 
eldest, or Bruce, the grandson of the second daughter. Both 
parties had powerful supporters, and to save the nation from 
civil commotion and bloodshed, it was agreed to submit their 
claims to the arbitration of Edward King of England. The use 
to which that cruel and unscrupulous monarch applied the power 
with which he was entrusted, is matter of history, which became 
wound up in the triumphant victory of the Scots over the 
English army on the gory field of Bannockburn. 

And let it never be forgotten, that but for the heroic 
patriotism of the noble Wallace, Scotland ceased from that date 
to exist as an independent kingdom. 

John Baliol, although crowned King, was compelled to 
submit to such degradation at the Court of Edward, that he pre- 
ferred to forfeit the crown and become an exile, and, therefore, 
removed from London to the Court of France. John Cumming, 
a powerful noble, and cousin to John Baliol, who, himself, was a 
claimant for the Crown, and Bruce accidentally met on the road 
near Stirling (after the exile of Baliol), both deploring the con- 
dition to which Scotland was reduced under the yoke of England, 



362 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

and entered into a bond to free their country from its condition, 
Cumming agreeing to accept the Lordship of Annandale on con- 
dition that he gave Bruce every possible assistance to become 
possessed of the Crown. This done, Bruce repaired to the Court 
of Edward, and the treacherous Cumming lost no time in sending 
his copy of the bond to that Monarch with the advice that 
Bruce should be slain without delay, as he was a man who en- 
dangered the peace of the kingdom. Edward resolved to act on 
the advice of Cumming, but he delayed the execution of Bruce 
until he could first lay hands on his three brothers, least there 
might spring up new claimants for the Crown. Bruce became 
a suspect at the Court of Edward, and was for a time under sur- 
veillance in London. The Earl of Montgomery was also at the 
Court, and, becoming aware of the design against the life of 
Bruce, sent him, to his place of confinement, a pair of gilt spurs, 
which were intended as a warning to him to make tracks for 
Scotland. Accordingly he does make tracks, with the design of 
putting the hounds off the scent too. Re gets a pair of horses 
shod the reverse way, that his tracks in the snow might not be 
followed. Then with his man attending, he made his escape for 
the north, and in five days he arrived in Lochmaben Castle, 
where he met his brother Edward, and told him of his adventure 
and the treachery of John Cumming. Edward informed him 
that the Red Cumming was at that very time in Dumfries. 
Without delay he sprang into his saddle and set off. Barbour, 
the historian says, that he showed Cumming with a laughing face 
the indenture, and "Syne with a knife, right in that stead, him reft 
of life. Sir Edward Cumming also was slain, and many others 
of meikle main." After this tragedy in the Friar's Kirk of Dum- 
fries, Bruce returned to Lochmaben, and called a meeting of his 
friends, who resolved that he should proceed immediately to 
Scone and be crowned King, and that they would defend his 
right to reign with all their power and influence. 

About this time the renowned James Douglas (whose father 
was beheaded by Edward, and his estates given to Clifford, one 
of his own generals) returned from his exile. He heard, while 
living with the Bishop of St Andrews, of the intention of Bruce 
and his party, and prepared to share their fortune, or fall with 
their failure He met the party at a place called Ayrik-Stane, 



BRUCE'S FOOTPRINTS IN THE HIGHLANDS. 363 

From thence they proceeded to Glasgow and on to the Palace of 
Scone, got Bruce seated on the coronation stone and crowned 
King of Scotland in the year 1306. Barbour says 

" When Edward the King was told, 
How that the Bruce was so bold, 
Had brought the Gumming to ending, 
How he syne made him King. 
Out of his wits, he went well near, 
And called to him Sir Aymer, 
And him men and arms ta, 
And in by to Scotland ya, 
And burn, and slay, and rais dragoon, 
To him that might, or tack, or slay, 
Robert the Bruce that was his Fae." 

Sir Aymer arrived in Perth with 1500 of an army, and 
Bruce, although near enough to make an attack on the fortified 
city, refrained. His party, although the best of men, were few in 
number. The chiefs of his company were the Earls of Lennox 
and Athole, Edward Bruce, Hugh Hay, David Barclay, Somer- 
ville, and James Douglas ; Chrystal of Seaton, and Robert Boyd. 
Barbour says that, although they were few they were worthy, and 
filled with great chivalry. The town of Perth at the time was 
walled and fortified, where the English army was secure from 
attack. For the purpose of gaining time, and the increasing 
of their number, the Scots removed to Methven, got en- 
camped in a wood, and sent out a foraging party to procure 
provisions. Sir Aymer with his forces came unexpectedly on 
the camp. Bruce cried, " To arms." The combat did not con- 
tinue long ; although the Scots fought bravely, they were com- 
pelled to give way. Barbour says of Bruce, that 

" He did ding on so heavily, 
That those who seen him in that feight, 
vShould hold him for a doughty knight ; 
But they fled and skailed here and there, 
For their small folks began to fail." 

Sir Aymer was the victor at Methven, and returned to Perth 
with several of the nobles of Bruce's party prisoners, of whom 
the historian says 

" Some they ransomed, 

Some they slew, 

Some they hanged, 

And some they drew." 



364 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

The number of Bruce's forces at the Battle of Methven was 
about 500. Many of the lower orders deserted after his defeat ; 
so also did Malcolm Earl of Lennox, although it is stated by 
some historians that he was one of the two nobles who stood by the 
King in all his trials. There remained, however, with him the 
Earl of Athole, James Douglas, Gilbert Hay, and Sir Neil 
Campbell. Here (at a very early period in the history of our 
little kingdom) is the head of the noble family of Argyle, coming 
to the front in defence of civil liberty. It is said that he was a 
man of singular merit, and a true patriot ; and although he sub- 
mitted to the rule of John Baliol for a time, no sooner did Bruce 
assert his title to the crown than he joined him heartily, and 
never afterwards deserted him, even in his utmost distress. He 
assisted at his coronation in Scone in 1 306. He afterwards com- 
manded a party of Loyalists against the Lord of Lorn, and re- 
duced him to the King's obedience. He entered into an associ- 
ation with Sir Gilbert Hay, Sir Alexander Seaton, and other 
Loyalists, wherein they bound themselves till death to defend 
the liberties of their country, and the right of King Robert Bruce 
to the crown against all enemies, French, English, and Scots, to 
which they put their hands and seals at Cambuskenneth, the Qth 
day of September 1308.' 

After their defeat at Methven, Bruce and his party retreated 
to the east, and found refuge for a time in the city of Aberdeen. 
There they met numerous sympathisers, amongst whom was Neil 
Bruce, the Queen, and a number of ladies, whose lords had risked 
their lives to share the fortunes of their King. In Aberdeen they 
remained in comfort till driven forth by the English, thereafter 
betaking themselves to the mountains. The Queen and her lady 
associates became a source of care and a hindrance to their pro- 
gress, but they all desired to share the fate of their husbands. It 
is somewhat difficult to trace the footprints of Bruce and his party 
up Braemar, over Braeriach and Druimuachdar. But their path 
can be traced past Sithchaillion. On the north side of that 
mountain is seen the ruin of the Castle of Donnachadh Reamhar. 
One historian says that Donnachadh was a Cowal man, but the 
author of the Historic Scenes of Perthshire says that he was the an- 
cestor of the Robertsons of Struan. Donnachadh was a supporter 
of Bruce, and for a time the Royal party took refuge in his castle. 



BRUCE'S FOOTPRINTS IN THE HIGHLANDS. 365 

Previous to their arrival, however, Macdougall of Lorn came to 
Rannoch with his forces to subdue Donnachadh, but was de- 
feated, and returned to recruit his forces, with whom he afterwards 
met Bruce at Dailree. In Dailchoisnie, in Rannoch, Bruce had 
an encounter with a party of the English sent in pursuit of him, 
whom he defeated. The field of victory (Dailchoisnie) the field 
on which they fought has its name from the event. The name 
of the hut in which he rested on the night after the battle is called 
Seomar-an-Righ, that is, the King's Chamber. The ford on the 
Tumrnel, near the field, is called the King's Ford, and the emin- 
ence above is called the King's Watch Tower. From Rannoch 
the party went in a south-westerly direction to Glenlyon, thence 
to Glenlochy, entered Glendochart by a pass in the mountain 
on the farm of Clachan, and down hill to the old Priory of St 
Fillan. Here there is undoubted traces of the footprints of the 
Royal party. The topography of the country has preserved, in the 
language of the Celtic race, the most astonishing and unmistake- 
able traces of their identity, after the lapse of 578 years. Here 
the Royal party was met by Macdougall of Lorn with an army 
of 1000 men, while the muster roll of Bruce did not exceed 200. 
With the disadvantage of having the Queen and her lady friends 
to protect, he must have been sorely pressed. 

The King's adventures in this mountain region have left con- 
spicuous traces of his presence. The night before his encounter 
with Lorn was passed in devotions with the Prior in the old 
Cathedral of Strathfillan. Tradition says that the King received, 
not only the good man's hospitality, but also his sincere blessing, 
a kindness which the Bruce never forgot, as is clear from the 
Royal favours bestowed on the Prior and on the Priory, after the 
King got himself securely seated on the Throne. The charter 
bestowing the lands of Auchtertyre on the Priory is still pre- 
served, and the confirmation of that charter by King James the 
II., and King James the IV. in 1488, can still be seen. While 
the King was having the hospitality of the Prior, his sentinels 
were posted about half-a-mile to the west of the Cathedral, in 
which direction he looked for the coming of his foe, Macdougall, 
who, be it observed, was nephew to the Red Cumming, whom 
Bruce slew behind the alter in the Friar's Kirk of Dumfries. The 
knoll on which the sentinels were posted is in the narrowest part 



366 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

of the glen, and is known by the name of Uchdarire (Uchd-an- 
Righ-fhaire, or the knoll of the King's sentinels), immediately 
to the west of which is Dail-Righ (or the King's Field), where the 
skirmish between the opposing forces must have taken place. 
There could not have been much of a battle, the opposing parties 
being so very unequal in numbers. Bruce must have been an 
expert strategist, shown here as well as elsewhere. 

There is no district in the Highlands that I have visited of 
which the scenery is so intensely interesting as the historic 
scenery of Strathfillan. While standing on a heathery knowe 
close by Loch-nan-arm the spectator is within a few yards of the 
spot where King Robert delivered himself of those felon-faes- 
three, as they are called by Barbour men who have sworn to 
slay the King or perish in the attempt. Close by is the spot 
where these men are supposed to have been laid in the earth. 
And also near at hand is the knoll where must have stood the 
Lord of Lorn when he rebuked the Baron Macnaughton for ex- 
pressing his admiration of the King in laying his fellows-faes 
prostrate on the heath. A short way eastward is the ford where 
fell the piper of King Robert. This ford was at a more recent 
period used by the renowned Rob Roy, when, in the garb of a 
beggar, he carried across a party of Englishmen, for which he 
received a few coins, and acted as a guide to them on their way 
to Crianlaraich, where they were stripped of their arms by the 
dread-nought Clan Oregon Full in view, and within the distance 
of one mile, is the ruin of the Priory of Strathfillan, once an ex- 
tensive pile of buildings, where the gospel of truth was first 
taught to the native races by the venerable St Fillan, who left 
his blessing on the waters of the river at a spot which pilgrims 
from distant parts continued for a thousand years to visit, and 
to bathe in the holy pools for the cure of some real or supposed 
ailment. Nearer still is the battlefield of Dail-Righ, to the east 
of which is the knoll on which were posted the sentinels of 
King Robert on the night before the battle. The name of the 
knoll still commemorates the event, viz., Uchd-an- Righ-fhaire 
(Auchtertyre), or the knoll of the King's watchers. 

Within a few yards of this knoll can be seen the circular 
ruin, supposed to be the seat of the Court, where the claims of 
Lady Glenorchy and John MacCallum Macgregor to the lands of 
Coryhenan were settled, February 19, 1468, 



BRUCE'S FOOTPRINFS IN THE HIGHLANDS. 367 

Close to the Holy Pools, on the lands of Achariach, may be 
seen the place of execution where criminals stood in full view of 
the gallows while on their trial at the Court or Mod of by-gone 
days. 

About one mile to the west is Ari-Mhor, where tradition 
says the King's party passed the first night after the defeat of 
Dail-Righ, and the King slept in a goat-hut without the luxury 
of either bed or bed-clothes. On getting up the following 
morning Bruce was so pleased and surprised at finding his 
dress none the worse, nor requiring the use of even a brush, that 
he proclaimed that goats should for ever have free pasture. 

In the recollection of men still living there were large flocks 
of goats in Glendochart which were never charged for pasturing, 
even if straying on a neighbour's lands ; while sheep and cattle 
were always driven away if they crossed the march boundary. 
To the east rises the massy crest of Ben-More, towering higher 
than its neighbour mountains, towards the sun-rising. And to 
the west is the still higher Ben-Luie, with its chasms full of 
winter's snow, bidding defiance alike to torrents of rain and sum- 
mer sunshine. 

To the north, and full in view, as if threatening to invade 
Cloud-land, towers majestically the never-to-be-forgotten Ben- 
Dorain, rendered classic by the celebrated Donnachadh-Ban-Mac- 
intyre, whose song in praise of Ben-Dorain must continue to be 
a gem of the poetic gift, so long as a remnant of the native race 
remains, and so long as Gaelic continues to be the language of 
song. 

After crossing the River Dochart, and ascending the hill, 
with the design of passing up the Glen of Achariach and down 
Glenfalloch, Bruce was defending the rear of his retreating army 
when he was attacked by three of Lorn's party, two of whom had 
been bound by an oath to slay the King or perish in the attempt. 
The first laid hold of the bridle of the King's horse. Barbour 
relates the incident as follows : 

" One him by the bridle hint, 
But he reached him sic a dint ; 
That arm and shoulder flew him frae, 
With that another cam him tae ; 
And by the leg, 
Between the stirrup and the foot ; 



3 68 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

And when the King felt there his hand, 
In the stirrup stily did he stand, 
And spurred his steed, 
So that the other failed feet ; 
The third with full great hy with this, 
Did stert behind him on his steed ; 
Syne with the sword sic dint him gave, 
That he the head to the hams clave ; 
Then strake the other vigorously, 
That he after his stirrup drew, 
That at the first stroke he him slew ; 
On this wise him delivered he, 
Of all these fellows faes three. " 

Although the style of Barbour's writing is somewhat peculiar, 
it is quite intelligible and interesting. From the foregoing, it is 
evident that the three men must have fallen within a few yards of 
each other. It was the man who got behind him on the steed 
that took with him in his dying grasp the King's plaid, and the 
brooch that remains a memorable relic in the British Museum, 
known as the Brooch of Lorn. Barbour writes that when 
the fallen heroes had seen the King turn and face so many of his 
pursuers 

*' They bate till that he was entered 
Into a narrow place betwixt the lochside and the brae, 
That was so strate I underta, 
That he might not well turn his steed 
Then with a will they to him geed." 

The King and his party had a very narrow escape in this 
mountain region, which he did not incline to forget. Seeing that 
so soon as he got securely seated on the Throne, he bestowed on 
the Prior of St Fillan's Chapel a substantial endowment from the 
lands of Auchtertyre, we have reason to believe that the Prior 
with his crook (or pastoral staff) was in attendance at the battle 
of Bannockburn. It is also believed that Bruce gave orders 
for the adorning of the crook with a case or cover of silver, 
which crook and case is still preserved, and can be seen in the 
Museum of Antiquaries in Edinburgh ; the Society having got 
possession of it a few years ago from Alexander Dewar, Province 
of Ontario, Canada. 

After the defeat at Dail-Righ, and the conflict with the Mac- 
Geoichs, Lorn pursued the Royal party no further. The first 
night being passed at Ari-Mhor, their second encampment was 
in Gienfalloch. 



BRUCE'S FOOTPRINTS IN THE HIGHLANDS. 369 

The spot where they passed the night is still pointed out. 
A large boulder-like rock is called Creag-an-Righ (the King's 
Rock), in memory of the encampment. There they passed the 
second night. On the morrow the Earl of Athole requested that, 
on account of his failing health, he be allowed to leave and make 
his way to Blair-Athole. A Council was held. The Queen 
and the ladies also wanted to be removed to a place of safe re- 
treat. Accordingly it was resolved to give up all the ponies to 
the Queen and her lady friends, and that Neil Bruce, the Earl of 
Athole, and a staff of attendants, proceed from the mountains of 
Glenfalloch to the Castle of Kildrummie, a stronghold near the 
River Don, in Aberdeenshire. Barbour says 

" The Queen and all her company 
Lap on their horse, and forth can fare, 
Men might have seen who had been there, 
At leave-taking the ladies grat, 
And made their faces with tears wat, 
And the knights for their looves' sake ; 
Both sigh and weep, and mourning make, 
And kissed their loves at parting." 

It is quite impossible for us who know these mountain ranges, 
stripped of their native forests, as they now are, and intersected 
with roads, to picture to ourselves the hardships and fatigue to 
which those noble patriots were compelled to submit while 
travelling from Glenfalloch to Kildrummie Castle. 

Barbour informs us that they accomplished their journey, 
and found themselves secure for a time in a well-fortified strong- 
hold so strong as to defy the efforts of the English to reduce it, 
until they found among the besieged, a traitor of the name of 
Osborne, who set fire to the stored-up forage, by which the 
Castle was destroyed, and which compelled the besieged to 
surrender. 

The Queen, her daughter, Neil Bruce, and the others were 
taken prisoners to England, Edward at the time being on his 
deathbed. Nevertheless his order in reference to the male pri- 
soners were, " Hang and Slay." The Queen and her daughter 
remained prisoners till after Bannockburn, when they were ex- 
changed for English nobles, who were prisoners in the Castle of 
Bothwell. 

King Robert and his party, now relieved of the care of the 
Queen and the ladies, threaded their way down the east side of 



3/o THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Loch-Lomond, and on the third day's march, in snell and 
showery weather (it being then the beginning of winter), they 
found a small boat, somewhat leaky, which could ferry only three 
men at a time. With it, however, they succeeded in getting ferried 
in a day and a night. Before leaving the camp at Glenfalloch, it 
was resolved that an effort should be made to get conveyed to 
the Castle of Dunaverty, in Kintyre, a stronghold of the Mac- 
donalds, whose chief was a supporter of Bruce and his party. 
Accordingly, Sir Neil Campbell was dispatched, and his expedi- 
tion is described by the historian as follows : 

" Sir Neil Campbell before sent he, 
To get him maving and meat, 
And certain time to him set, 
When he should meet him at the sea. 
Sir Neil with his menzie (men) went his way 
Without more leting, 
And left his brother with the King, 
And in twelve days so travelled he, 
That he got shipping good and plenty, 
And victuals in great abundance." 

Having got ferried across Loch-Lomond, as we may suppose 
about Tarbert, the chief of Macfarlane (and no doubt some of his 
clan) being of the party of Bruce, would have been a sure guide 
in those rugged mountain ranges through which they must have 
passed. Macfarlane was son-in-law to the Earl of Lennox, who 
parted with Bruce after the defeat at Methven. Some historians 
say that the Earls of Lennox and Athole were the only parties 
who remained with the King after his defeat at Dailree ; in this 
they are mistaken, as Lennox parted with the King at Meth- 
ven ; and Athole, in company with the Queen in Glenfalloch, 
having got across the lake safely, their frail ferryboat being 
insufficient to carry much provision, they formed into foraging 
parties after landing the King in charge of one party, and Sir 
James Douglas in charge of the other. Whether they got astray 
in a cloud of mountain mist, which often forms a nightcap for the 
Cobblar, is not exactly stated by the historian. The King having 
occasion to blow his horn, Lennox, who was also on the hills on a 
hunting expedition, heard it, and knowing that the blast came 
from the horn of Bruce, proceeded in haste to meet him. Barbour 
describes this meeting as follows : 



BRtJCE'S FOOTPRINTS IN THE HIGHLANDS. 371 

" lie went right to the King in hy, 
So blylh and so joyful as he, 
For he the King wend had been deed, 
And he was also will of reed ; 
And all the Lords that were there, 
Right joyful of their meeting were, 
And kissed him in great dainty; 
It was great pity for to see 
How they for joy and pity grat, 
When they with their fellows met. 
The Earl had meat, and that plenty, 
And with glad heart it them gave he, 
And to the Lord syne loving made, 
And thanked him with full good cheer. 
After meet soon rose the King, 
When he had learned his speering, 
And busked him with his menzie (men), 
And went in by towards the sea, 
Where Sir Neil Campbell soon them met, 
Both with ships and also with meet, 
With sails and oars and other thing, 
That were speedful to their passing; 
Some went to steer and some to oar, 
And rowed by the Isle of Bute. 

So far on his perilous journey have we followed the footprints 
of King Robert the Bruce. He and his party arrived safely in 
the Castle of Dunaverty, on the Mull of Kintyre, where they 
remained for a short time, after which crossed to the Island of 
Rathlin, on the coast of Ireland, where they passed the winter. 

COIRE'N-T-SITH. 



AMERICAN SYMPATHY FOR THE HIGHLAND CROFTERS. The 
New York Scotsman, in a recent issue, says " On this Continent, also, the bitter, 
burning wrongs of the crofters, and their wail of distress, have struck a sympathetic 
chord in the hearts of their countrymen in the United States and Canada, and active 
measures are being taken to provide means for their defence and relief. In Chicago 
measures for the relief of the crofters have assumed a more tangible form, and recently 
a Society was organised there by the Scottish Residents, which is designated the 
' Scottish Land League of America.' The Rev. Duncan Macgregor was appointed 
president, and the organisation proposes to collect 20,000 dollars for the defence of 
the so-called 'deforcing crofters,' and for aiding these oppressed fellow-countrymen in 
other ways. At the last session of the organisation, a committee appointed to prepare 
an address to be presented to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone submitted it to the 
meeting. The address was approved, and forwarded at once to the British Premier." 



372 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

WIRE-FENCING IN THE HIGHLANDS. 

IN the Field of the 4th of April, an excellently written and 
graphic description of wire-fencing extraordinary in the moun- 
tains of Strathglass and Kintail appeared from the pen of Mr 
W. J. Smith, of Messrs Smith & Son, ironfounders, Inverness, 
who have recently invented and patented one of the best and 
most simple wire-fencings hitherto brought under the notice of 
the public. The erection of the fence was carried out under the 
personal superintendence of Mr Smith himself, and keeping in 
view that, though in business in the Highland capital, he is a 
Lowlander by birth and education, his reference to the ex- 
cellent qualities of the Highlanders who worked for him under 
such hard conditions is worth tons of the rubbish written against 
them by those who know nothing of their qualities by experience, 
and who are almost in all cases governed by old race prejudices. 
We are very glad indeed to give the following extracts a per- 
manent place, based, as they are, on the personal experience of 
one so well qualified to state the facts, and who is honest enough 
to do so in an impartial spirit. After describing the journey to 
Glencannich, Mr Smith proceeds : 

"On the following day the first contingent of workmen was to have arrived, 
along with supplies of food, tools, tents, and other necessaries. The contractor and 
his staff set out for Lub-na-damph, a shooting lodge six miles down the glen, in order 
to convoy the new arrivals to their destination. Although expected at an early hour, 
the men and horses did not come in sight along the mountain track which leads from 
Cannich till the afternoon, and a more sorry-looking cavalcade never was seen on the 
road to Siberia. Here were all kinds and conditions of workmen, from the skilled 
stonemason to the Irish navvy, for times were hard ; but one look was enough to show 
that some of them these half-clad, tea-fed town birds were not the men for such a 
job as this. ..... It was clear that a rebellious spirit was abroad, for during 

the night the store tent had been broken into, and all sorts of provisions stolen ; 
mutterings could be heard from many of the malcontents, and it was more than ever 
manifest that this scum of the town, some of them jail-birds, were quite unfit for what 
they had undertaken to do. After breakfast over twenty of them came in and de- 
manded their pay to be doubled, which the contractor, with the insight already gained, 
at once refused, and thus got rid of them ; for, after making a demonstration, during 
which Joe, the cook, had to defend his store-tent with a six-shooter, they left in a body. 
This voluntary process of weeding out was fortunate and opportune, for shortly 
afterwards 

THE HARDY WEST COAST MEN 

began to make their appearance, and very soon a contingent of over one hundred 
were gathered together. These West Coast men seem to belong to a different race 
from the inhabitants of the towns on the east of Scotland. They are always well clad 



WIRE-FENCING IN THE HIGHLANDS. 373 

and well shod ; they care little for fatigue, and can work under rain as well as in sun- 
shine. Although most of them live on potatoes and herring, or oatmeal brose, when 
at home, they are fastidious in matters concerning their food when away from home. 
To provide for them all was no easy matter. For their shelter a regular camp, with 
full equipment of tents, beds, bedding, fuel, food, and complete arrangements for field 
cooking, was systematically organised at the outset. Besides this, a commissariat 
department, with head-quarters at Inverness, had to be established and maintained ; 
and a regular service of carriers and pack horses traversed the route to carry food for 
man and beast, and this became more and more difficult as the work progressed, and 
the camp was shifted further and further away. 

THE HIGHLANDERS AT BREAKFAST. 

Oatmeal porridge and treacle was the first course, and each man, carrying his 
tin pannikin and spoon, made his way to where the cook and his assistants were al- 
ready surrounded by a score of his comrades, many of them but half-dressed, and each 
elbowing his way to be next in turn. A plentiful supply of coffee and bread was next 
served out, and by the time this was over the men were ready for the morning's work, 
which lasted from 6 A.M. till mid-day. Many amusing scenes were witnessed over the 
breakfasting of these hungry denizens of the wilds, the pure mountain air imparting an 
additional keenness to their appetites. Joe, the cook, who was an Englishman, and 
understood not a word of Gaelic, had many an altercation with the men, most of whom 
knew little English, and none of whom could comprehend Joe's particular patois. Joe 
was an old artillery-man who had seen some campaigning service, and rather prided 
himself on his knowledge of cooking; but the simple fare, the staple food of the High- 
lander, defied his powers at first, and it was not until a big countryman threatened to 
boil him in one of his own pots that it dawned upon poor Joe that the water should be 
boiled, and not merely warmed, before the meal was mixed with it. This fact once 
grasped, however, things got on more smoothly. 

THE COMMISSARIAT. 

Soon the camp was increased by the addition of thirty horses and their drivers, 
who were busy carrying the iron and wire, and other material, along the line of fence. 
The provisions required for such a number of men and horses, so exposed, represented 
no inconsiderable supply of food and labour in bringing it there. Something like 1 1 
tons of meal, 12 of bread, 70 cwt. of mutton and tinned meats, 500 Ib. of coffee, and 
30 cwt. of sugar, besides casks of treacle, and all the hundred and one little commodi- 
ties required by such a community. Corn for the horses, and coal for the cook and 
blacksmith, were heavy items, and the expense of conveyance, which increased as the 
work advanced, was considerable, even at the first encampment. 

THE HIGHLAND PONIES. 

The first half-mile of the journey led across a couple of turbulent streams, and 
over some disagreeable bog ground, through which the ponies found their way in a 
wonderful manner. It is strange the instinct which guides those Highland ponies in 
places like this ; they seem to know from the very smell " they scent danger from 
afar" whether it is safe for them to proceed or not ; and even by night these saga- 
cious creatures will find their way safely about in bewildering and dangerous places. 
One of the horses on this work (a south-bred animal), however, was a constant nuis- 
ance, as he seemed not to understand the thing at all. He would boldly enter where 
others "feared to tread," and, like the fly in the honey-pot, would generally stick fast. 
This horse was called the "Waster," and it was no uncommon occurrence to see a 
squad of men taken off their work to lift the brute out of some bog he had stupidly 
entered, and in which he would simply lie down, load and all, when he felt himself 



3; 4 I'HE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

sinking. The true Highland pony, on the other hand, when he feels the surface break 
beneath his hoofs, will spring forward ere it is too late, and so keep his legs from being 
overpowered. Many an encomium was passed on these sturdy little animals, who 
were indeed a constant source of admiration for their pluck and endurance. They 
would climb the most rocky passes, and walk quite unconcerned at the most perilous 
heights, sure-footed and brave, where the "Waster" would tremble like an aspen leaf. 

Soon the work proceeded so far that the camp had to be 
moved higher up to the mountain top, where the men experienced 
a terrific 

HIGHLAND THUNDERSTORM. 

The site for the new camp had been chosen a day or two before, and now no 
time was lost in occupying it. As the day wore on the heat became oppressive, even 
at this altitude, and the air seemed to be surcharged with a strange vapour, which 
made work or activity intolerable. Ere sunset, faint murmurs of distant thunder 
made it evident that an exceptional storm was brewing, and scarcely had the men 
turned in for the night when, sure enough, it broke over the camp in stern reality. 
With covered head each attempted, but in vain, to shut out from his terrified vision 
the vivid flashes of lightning which seemed to play round the tent poles, while peal 
after peal of thunder, increasing with awful suddenness, and echoing still louder and 
louder amidst the giant mountain tops, struck terror in the hearts of the most fearless 
there. The rain fell with alarming force on the canvas, and rapidly flooded the tents; 
but closely wrapped in and protected from above and below by the waterproof sheet 
supplied to them, the men lay motionless, though cowering with fear. At intervals 
they could hear the sound of a hundred newborn torrents rushing madly down the 
mountain crevices, sweeping all before them in their headlong course. In the midst 
of all this, each had his own thoughts ; old Hamish fled in fear to his tent, leaving 
the camp fire to the ponies, who formed a terrified group around the temporary 
erection which sheltered its smothering embers. 

Another flitting of the camp, and the highest peak of Scur-nan-Cearinan was 
reached, and here, about an altitude of 3500 feet, the men were allowed to select such 
sites as they thought best, as suitable camping area for all together was unobtainable ; 
but, as a set-off, it was determined that the stay here would be as short as possible. 
With this intention the camp was removed ; yet, although man proposes, God dis- 
poses. During the previous four weeks there had been as many miles of fencing 
erected, and twice was the camp shifted. For the next four weeks not a mile of fence 
was built, and at the end of that time not as much had been done as would have of 
itself justified the removal of the camp ; but this course had to be taken, as living at 
this altitude, even in the middle of summer, was unbearable when the weather was 
bad. Tremendous storms broke over the camp, by day and night, from the middle of 
June till the middle of July. The weather in this cloudy region, during these four 
weeks of misery, was varied occasionally with slight blinks of the sun, but more fre- 
quently with thick mist, rain, wind, and snow. To keep men together under such 
circumstances required considerable tact and liberal treatment ; but, with occasional 
treats of the real " mountain dew," which these Highlanders love so fondly, work was 
continued under the most trying circumstances. With every stitch of clothing wet, 
and no facilities for drying them, it is simply a wonder that the men could have been 
prevailed on to brave it out. What a contrast to the first batch of men who arrived ! 
There is still the same stern determination about these West Coast men which has 
shown itself on many a battlefield, and has earned their country's thanks, 



JOHN MACKAY, C.E., HEREFORD. 375 

However, flesh and blood could stand it no longer on these stormy peaks. By 
night many tents were blown down about the sleeping men, who, springing from their 
warm beds, clutched wildly for some article of clothing, but ultimately gathered round 
their fallen abode with nought but a shirt to shelter their limbs from rain and wind ; 
and as each shouted louder than his fellow, cursing their misfortunes, their cries were 
echoed by exasperating neighbours, the snug inmates of still standing tents who gener- 
ally showed their sympathy and commiseration for the naked and houseless by joining 
in one continued howl of laughter. 

With other two shifts of the camp the contract was completed ; and so ended the 
carrying out of a piece of work which presented no inconsiderable difficulties in its 
execution, and was unique in its way, as being the most extraordinary in the history of 
wire-fencing; for this fence has been here erected in the most exposed position, and at 
the greatest altitude, that a fence has been hitherto known to occupy. 



JOHN MACKAY, C.E., HEREFORD. 



IN the Crofter for April, a striking portrait of this well-known 
Highlander is given, along with a biographical sketch. Most 
Highlanders would like to have got a more detailed account of 
the life of one to whom we are all so much indebted for his noble 
example, exhibiting many of the virtues, and following the best 
characteristics of the race from which, it must be admitted, many 
of us have greatly degenerated. The writer of the sketch says 

It has often been remarked that Mr John Mackay can't 
make a speech or write an essay without making some reference 
to the martial deeds of the Highland regiments in general, and 
the Ninety-Third in particular. His father, a Black Watch 
soldier, was so full of anxiety to serve his king and country that 
he enlisted three times before he passed the standard height, and 
though he only succeeded the third time by placing some moss 
between his stockings and his heels, he grew until he became the 
right hand man of his company. John inherited the military 
spirit of his father. When the Highland straths and glens were 
peopled, the recruiting officer had no difficulty in enlisting men, 
for the ambition of most Highland youths was to serve their 
country. The County of Sutherland was no exception to other 
districts. In 1760 it sent forth uoo of its best men to fight the 
country's battles; in 1777, uoo; and in 1794, 1800. In 1800 
the famous 93rd was raised in a few days by the Countess of 
Sutherland, and four years later a second battalion. 

On the return of the British army of occupation from France, 
its strength was reduced, and Mr Mackay 's father, after having 



376 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

served eight years, received his discharge in 1818, and settled 
down in his native parish of Rogart It was in the early part of 
this century, while so many Sutherland men were under arms 
upholding British honour, that the Sutherland Clearances took 
pl ace clearances dishonourable to the house of Sutherland, and 
discreditable to the nation. Hundreds of soldiers who had served 
in Spain, France, and Flanders found on their return to Suther- 
land that their families had been evicted, their homes unroofed 
or given to the flames, and that the lands which they and their 
forefathers held for generations had been let to strangers for 
sheep farms. In the parish of Rogart hundreds of families had 
been evicted, and their homes and homesteads destroyed. Mr 
Mackay's father was shocked at the result of the revolution 
which had taken place in his absence. His sense of what was 
due to a population who had loyally served their chief and 
country was so deeply wounded that he vowed "if he had twenty 
sons, that none, with his approval, would serve a country whose 
laws permitted the Highland chiefs to perpetrate such gross out- 
rages as had occurred during the clearance period." 

It is computed that in about nine years 15,000 people were 
evicted in Sutherland, and driven across the sea, or compelled to 
eke out a miserable existence on land unfit for grazing sheep. It 
was fortunate for Mr Mackay's father that his parents escaped 
eviction through their croft not forming part of the property of 
the house of Sutherland. Being the only son, he [John's father] 
settled down at home, and succeeded to the croft on his father's 
death. As a matter of course he took unto himself a wife, and 
the subject of our sketch, born in 1823, is the third of eleven 
children. Schools in those days were not so numerous as now, 
but the standard of school work was high. The parish school- 
master, with few exceptions, was able to teach Latin, Greek, and 
mathematics, in addition to the ordinary branches of education. 
Young John Mackay, as he was called to distinguish him from 
his father, was a diligent student, and was reputed the best Latin 
and Greek scholar in the school. Like most crofters' sons, he 
did his share of the work of the croft, and at twenty years of age 
he left home and entered the employment of the late Mr Thomas 
Brassey, the eminent railway contractor, where he gradually rose 
by his energy and unwearied attention to duty from the lowest 
to the highest grade in the service. In Sir Arthur Help's " Life 
and Labours of Thomas Brassey," John Mackay's name is 
frequently mentioned. During the last ten years of Mr Brassey's 
life Mr Mackay superintended the construction of railway and 
other works, the value of which amounted to 1,750,000, and in 
the same period made out tenders and estimates for Mr Brassey 
amounting to 4,500,000, which others carried out. On Mr 



MOR, NIGHEAN A' GHIOBARLAIN. 377 

Brassey's retirement Mr Mackay commenced business on his 
own account, and as a railway contractor the reputation acquired 
in Mr Brassey's service has been fully sustained. A Highlander 
by birth, lineage, and rearing, Mr Mackay takes a pride in the 
military history of his kith and kin. Long before it was fashion- 
able to do so, he denounced the system which cleared the glens 
and pauperised the people, and advocated justice and redress for 
the remnant of the Highland people. Unlike many who have 
risen from the ranks, he never forgot that he was a crofter's son 
and one of the people, knowing the prose and poetry of the 
Highland croft. He has identified himself with the crofters' 
cause, not from sentiment or as a theorist, but from a sense of 
duty, and as a practical man fully acquainted with crofters' 
grievances and the reforms that are necessary. In all efforts to 
preserve the Highland people and promote their welfare, from 
instituting the Celtic Chair to promoting the Highland Land 
Law Reform Association, Mr John Mackay has done his part 
with a singleness of aim and honesty of purpose that has earned 
for him the esteem of Highlanders at home and abroad, and the 
gratitude of the oppressed crofters. 

" Honour and shame from no condition rise ; 
Act well your part, there all the honour lies." 



MOR, NIGHEAN A' GHIOBARLAIN. 



WE recently came into possession of a small collection of 
Gaelic songs which contains the following version of the song, 
" Mor, Nighean a' Ghiobarlain." We understand this little volume 
is very scarce. Though published in 1829, it seems to have 
escaped the notice of Mr Reid, the vigilant compiler of the 
" Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica." The following is the title-page 
" Dain agus Orain Ghae'lach, le Ailein Mac an t-Saoir, Sealgair, 
Shionnach ann an Ceann-tire. Glaschu : Clo-bhuailte air son an 
Ughdair, le A. Young, 1829." It is believed the collection was 
known in the author's native county, Argyleshire, as " Orain 
Ailein nan Sionnach." Only a portion of the songs are Ailein's 
own compositions. In the introduction, he says, " Although the 
author is an untutored, illiterate son of the muses, yet he can 
honestly assure the subscribers to this volume that the poems 
bearing his name are his own composition." The following does 



378 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

not bear his name, and we surmise it is not the original song of 
" Mor, Nighean a' Ghiobarlain ;" indeed, we have an opinion that 
the incense offered at the shrine of the real Mor was not suffi- 
ciently pure to admit of its being given to the world, and that 
the version given by Ailein nan Sionnach is but an attempt to 
preserve a justly popular air by attaching it to words which 
would not offend "gentle ears polite." In this respect the at- 
tempt is so far successful, but after all we cannot discover much 
merit in the song. The melody seems also to have recom- 
mended itself to the ear of Tannahill, who has further ex- 
tended its fame by adopting it as the musical environment of one 
of his neatest lyrics, " Blythe was the time when he fee'd wi' my 
faither, O." Evan MacColl, the Lochfyne bard, in " Rosan an 
Leth-bhaile," as well as several others of our Gaelic bards, have 
been moved to song by the music of " Mor, Nighean a' Ghiobar- 
lain. We are confirmed in our opinion that the following is not 
the original song, by the introduction of the refrain between 
every two lines of the real composition, in complete disregard of 
its incongruity. No poet apostrophising the real Mor would 
have dragged her in so awkwardly and inappropriately at every 
second line. Burns managed a similar composition differently, 
and to better purpose, in " Duncan Gray." We shall be glad to 
hear from any of our correspondents as to whether our surmises 
are correct, as also regarding the history of Ailein nan Sionnach 
and his songs. 

Esan. O' cuim' nach biodh tu boidheach, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain 
Le d' bhucaill ann ad bhrogan, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ; 
Leine chaol d' an olaind, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ; 
. Ad a's bile oir rith', 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ? 

he. '$ duilich dhomh bhi boidheach, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ; 
Is trie an tigh an oil thu, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
'Cur d' airgid anns na stopan, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
'S am fear a thig ga ol leat, 

MO Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 



MOR, NIGHEAN A' GHIOBARLAIN. 379 

sart.Na. 'm biodh tu leis an deideadh, 

Mo Mhor nighean a* Ghiobarlain, 
Cho olc 's tha thu 'g eigheach. 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
Cha bhiodh tu riumsa 'beulais, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain 
Air chinnte dh' 61 mi d' eiric, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 

he. Na 'n cluinneadh mo chairdean, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
A' chainnt tha thu 'a radhainn, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
Gum beireadh iad air spaig ort, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
'S gun sgeilpeadh iad do mhksan. 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 

Esan.~ Chan 'eil e air an t-saoghal, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
De d' chinne no de d' dhaoine, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 
Na 'm bithinns' air an daoraich, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
A bheireadh mis' o m' ghaoilein, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 

he. Labhair i le faobhar, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
'S a guth an deaghaidh caochladh, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
Guileag aic' air caoineadh, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain 
"Theid mis' air feadh an t-saoghail," 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 

Esan. A bheil ach fealadha ann, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ? 
Fuirich mar a tha thu, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ; 
Bheir mise mo lamh dhuit, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
Nach ol mi deur gu brath dheth, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 

he. Is trie thu toirt nam boidean, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ; 
Cha toir thu air a' chdir iad, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ; 

2 A 



3 8o THE CELTIC MAGAZINE 

Cumaidh tu fo d' shroin e, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 

'S air deireadh na cluich', olaidh, 
Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 

Na toir boid an traths' ris, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
Ma bhios againn paisdean, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
Abair mar a b' abhaist, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain 
" Sud e air ur slainte," 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 

Sin agaibh mar dh' eirich, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
Do 'n te air 'n robh 'n deideadh, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain ; 
'S their gach te tha 'm eisdeachd 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain, 
'S math learn nach mi fhein i, 

Mo Mhor, nighean a' Ghiobarlain. 



A MINISTER OF THE OLD SCHOOL ENFORCING THE ARGU- 
MENT. Mr Cook, who was the minister of the North Church before the Disruption, 
was a man of genuine piety and devoted zeal, and admirably suited to his congrega- 
tion, but his sayings in the pulpit were often extraordinary. On one occasion he is re- 
ported to have said, " I wouldna' be a king, I wouldna' be a queen ; no, no, my friends, 
I would rather be a wo-rum, I would rather be a paddock, for its easier for a cow to 
climb a tree with her tail and hindlegs foremost, than for a rich man to enter into the 
kingdom of heaven." Another time he said, " Many of you are thinking that you'll 
get into heaven hanging to the skirts of my coat, but I'll disappoint you and wear a 
spencer." Inverness before Railways \in the press}. 

AN INVERNESS TEMPLAR OF FORTY YEARS AGO. The same 
genial and hospitable gentleman, who was the hero of the episode of the umbrella 
[and which the author had just related], had been for so many years without drinking 
cold water that he had quite forgotten the taste of it. On one occasion he did not feel 
well, and intended taking a dose of medicine in the morning, so his wife placed it, 
along with a tumbler of water (to take away the taste), at the side of his bed, to be 
in readiness for the morning. When the lady got up she perceived that her husband 
had not taken his medicine, and challenged him about it, when he exclaimed, " Not 
taken my medicine ! To be sure I have, every drop of it !" and pointed triumph- 
antly to the empty tumbler, which he had drained, in the belief that he had per- 
formed a most praiseworthy action by swallowing a large quantity of medicine! Inver- 
ness before Railways, 



THE CROFTERS' HOLDINGS (SCOTLAND) BILL. 



ON Tuesday, the ipth of May, between I and 2.30 A.M., we 
had the pleasure of listening in the Speaker's Gallery of the 
House of Commons to the Lord Advocate's speech introducing 
the Crofters' Holdings Bill ; and the reader can easily understand 
with what feelings one who has for years been so active in 
educating public opinion, and in forcing the necessity of reform in 
this connection on the Government, must have listened in such 
circumstances. It will at once ,be admitted that the Bill is a 
remarkable acknowledgment of the justice of the claims of the 
Highland people, and a complete justification of all that has 
been urged by ourselves and other advocates of reform in their 
behalf ; and particularly so, when it is remembered how, only two 
or three years ago, the Lord Advocate, speaking for the Govern- 
ment, cavalierly declared in the House of Commons that the 
Crofters had no grievances to speak of, and that there was not 
the slightest necessity for the inquiry by Royal Commission 
then demanded by their friends, and since granted, with the 
result of opening the eyes of the Lord Advocate, the Govern- 
ment, and the public at large, to their position, and the introduc- 
tion of this Bill, containing principles and concessions of con- 
siderable immediate advantage and far-reaching results in the 
future agricultural conditions, not only of the Highlands but of 
the whole United Kingdom. 

The Bill makes provision for complete Security of Tenure, 
Fair Rents to be ascertained by independent Government Valua- 
tors, and Compensation for all Improvements made by the pre- 
sent tenants or their predecessors in their holdings, being of the 
same family, within the last thirty years. These are valuable 
concessions, though they by no means go far enough. They 
will, however, provide the leverage power by which other neces- 
sary reforms can be secured. The right of " Free Sale" we have 
never considered of such consequence to the smaller tenants 
as some others have done; but the compulsory provision of more 
land for the people must be pushed and ultimately secured, 
though Government refuses it in this Bill. When, however, the 



382 THE CELTIC MAGAZINE. 

Crofters shall have secured security of tenure, they will find 
themselves in a much better position to agitate successfully for 
enactments that will enable them to get re-installed on the best 
portions of the land from which they or their forefathers had been 
so harshly evicted in the past to make room for sheep or deer. It 
is now, however, proposed to give them rights, which, had they been 
given them early in the present century before the country was 
laid waste would have secured a prosperous and thriving people 
in the Highlands. When this Bill becomes law, inadequate even as 
it is, any more Highland Clearances will have become impossible ; 
the natural independence of the Highland spirit will re-assert it- 
self, and the slavish cringing of the present will soon disappear. 
There will be no more rack-renting, no further appropriation 
of the tenants' property by the landlords, when the rent shall be 
fixed and compensation for improvements provided for and 
ascertained by Government valuers. An incentive hitherto un- 
dreamt of in the Highlands will be given to industry, and the face 
of the country shall become transformed by the energies of a 
people secure in the results of their labour. Had this been 
secured to the tenant by the simpler process of the Free Sale of 
his improvements, it might have been preferable, but seeing 
that the principle is conceded, there need be no fear but the best 
manner of giving effect to it will be secured at no distant date, 
now that the people have received electoral privileges, and when 
they shall have obtained the confidence and independence which 
security of tenure in their holdings will give them. Indeed, we 
are not at all sure, but it may be far better for the present tenant 
to get compensation from the landlord, who is sure to pay, for his 
improvements, under the Act, than to be allowed the free sale 
of them to a brother-crofter, who, in many cases, may never be 
able to pay for them ; and, if we may judge from the past, such 
improvements are not likely to be valued to the landlord at a 
lower figure than they would realise, if offered for free sale among 
the tenants themselves. It would be different were the principle 
of the Bill applied to the larger holdings ; but in the case of the 
Crofters free sale might really be of no practical advantage. 

In our "Analysis of the Crofter Royal Commission Report," 
we pointed out how utterly inadequate and unjust the Commis- 
sioners' proposals of improving leases were to the great mass of 



THE CROFTERS' HOLDINGS BILL. 383 

the people, and we congratulate the Government on having 
disregarded the recommendations of the Commission on that 
point, but we regret that they have not adopted the principle 
of compulsion involved in the Township proposals of their 
Report, without at all necessarily following its details ; and 
we have no hesitation in saying that some plan of that kind, 
or some other which will secure more land to the people on 
equitable terms, must be adopted before the Highlanders can or 
ought to be satisfied. When this is done, and the country is all 
taken up, and occupied on the conditions laid down in the