Skip to main content

Full text of "The Celtic magazine; a monthly periodical devoted to the literature, history, antiquities, folk lore, traditions, and the social and material interests of the Celt at home and abroad"

See other formats











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

the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles" ; " The History of the Camerons" ; " 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 Sky e in 

1882-83"; &>c.,&c. 



All Rights Reserved, 

Inverness: |)rmteb at % " *tottisb |jigb>itaer" ffiee. 






The History of the Macleods. By the Editor ... i, 49, 127, 160, 193, 241, 

289, 337, 385, 433, 48i, and 529 

St. Kilda. H. R. M 9, 62, and 121 

Do. Maclain 124 

An Old Church Process. Kenneth Macdonald, F.S.A. Scot. ... 17, 184, and 211 

The Heroic Tales of the Celts. Alex. Macbain, M.A., F.S.A. Scot. ... 25 

The Conflicts of the Clans ... 30, 70, 116, 169, 217, 316, 369, 413, and 465 

The State of the Highlands a Hundred Years Ago. A.M. 38, 77, 137, and 174 
Death of the Highland Magazine ... ... ... ... ... ... 45 

The Town of Inverness Covenanting with a Clock-keeper, 1682. Charles 

Eraser-Mackintosh, M.P 85 

Impressions in Benderloch ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 92 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. Provost Macandrew ... 97, 145, 358, and 550 

Do. do. Rev. ^Eneas Chisholm 266 and 497 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. Hector Rose Mackenzie ... 106, 

152, 203, 249, 298, 349, and 407 
Etymology of Dumbarton. Thomas Stratton, M.D. ... ... ... 115 

Gaelic Almanac 144, 192, 216, 272, 322, 375, 432, 480, 528, and 572 

Gaelic Society of Inverness Fourteenth Annual Dinner 1 68 

The Editor of the Gnelpk Mercury on the Editor of the Celtic Magazine ... 173 

The Loch-Fyne Bard 183 

The Evicted Widow 223 and 275 

The Late Henry Bradshaw, M.A. The Rev. Donald Masson, M.A., M.D. 229 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. William Durie 235, 257, 307, and 344 

The Camerons of Rannoch 285 and 330 

Ancient Image- Worship in Strathnairn 315 

The Past and Present Position of the Skye Crofters. Lachlan Macdonald 

ofSkeabost 323 

Smuggling in the Highlands. John Macdonald, supervisor, 376, 398, 458, 

514, and 537 
The Highlands and Islands Their Social and Literary History 1775- 

1832. Provost Macandrew 392, 441, 506, and 541 

The Poems of William Ross. A. Mackay Robson 4l7and 450 

The Edinburgh Brewer and the Minister. M. A. Rose 426 

The Horizontal Mill at Kirtomy. Alex. Mackay ... ... ... 47 

A Great Unknown Scot. W. J. Douglas 487 

Tragic Fulfilment of a Caithness Prediction. M.A.Rose 519 

Concerning Lochiel 1664, I 7 I 7, an d 1784. Charles Fraser- Mackintosh, 

M.P 523 

Glasgow Students, I. M. A 557 

The Mermaid By Mrs. Mary Mackellar 5^6 

The Editorship ot the Celtic Magazine 5?l 


P O E T R Y. 


To William Macpherson, of Inverness. Duncan Macgregor Crerar ... 24 

Lines on General Gordon. John Campbell, Ledaig 105 

Maduinn na Sabaid. N. Macleod ... 168 

Gaelic Version of " Wae's me for Prince Charlie." Nether-Lochaber ... 233 

A Song by "Ian MacMhurchaidh," the Kintail Bard 273 

" Do They Miss Me at Home," in Gaelic and English. Nether-Lochaber 283 

The Spring Beneath High- Water Mark in Loch-Eriboll. Mary Mackellar 314 

The Sheiling. Nether-Lochaber 319 

Lord Ronald. Fauvette .. ... ... ... ... ... ... 357 

Taladh na Bean Shith. Neil Macleod 365 

The Old Graveyard. J. M. Harper 367 

C. Psalm in Irish ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 522 


Inverness Gaelic Society's Transactions 46 

Celtic Mythology and Religion .. 87 

Reminiscences of the Life and Labours of Dugald Buchanan 141 

The Sacred Songs of the Gael 142 

The Massacre of the Rosses 282 and 313 

The Celtic Lyre 429 



Robert Burns 431 

Clarsach nam Beann The Mountain Harp 474 

Old Gaelic Psalmody 476 

Gaelic Translation of the Queen's Book 568 


The Late Mr. Henry Bradshaw A Correction. Donald Masson 265 

" Do They Miss Me at Home." I. B. 318 

Do. do. Nether-Lochaber 368 





To write the history of one of our leading Highland clans is a 
more arduous task than most readers of the Celtic Magazine are 
likely fco realise, but the reception accorded to the histories of the 
Mackenzies, of the Macdonalds, and of the Camerons, written and 
published by us during the last six years, and the valuable aid 
extended to us by members of these families, and by those 
possessing information concerning the clans whose histories have 
already appeared, have emboldened us to begin a history of the 
ancient family of Macleod, in the full expectation and confidence 
that similar aid will be extended to us in our present task. We 
would, however, call attention to the fact that in a few instances, 
parties interested have not supplied us, until it was too late, 
with genealogical and other interesting family information which 
it was impossible to obtain from other sources, and it may be 
well to warn those interested in the history and genealogies of the 
Clan Macleod and its connexions against similar oversight, so that 
they may not, when the work is completed, have to complain, 
as some Mackenzies, Macdonalds, and Camerons have done, 
that their names or families have been overlooked and left out of 
the genealogical portion of the histories of their respective clans. 
Having said so much, to obviate disappointment later on, and 

The Celtic Magazine. 

respectfully asking the aid of everyone who is able to give any 
information historical or genealogical which will help us to 
produce a work worthy of this ancient clan, we proceed to discuss 
the various views as to the origin of the family and name. 

It is not intended to give here a consecutive, complete history, 
but, first, as in the case of the other families already named, such 
an account as may prove interesting to the general reader, and at 
the same time enable us to procure additional information from 
the various sources, which, as on previous occasions, are sure to 
be opened up, or placed within our reach as we proceed. 


The generally received theory in the case of the Macleods, as 
in that of most of the other Highland clans, is that they are of 
foreign origin descended from the early Norwegian kings of the 
Isle of Man. This descent, said to have based on the Chronicle 
of Man, was universally acknowledged, until Skene, in his 
Highlanders of Scotland, declared against it, stating that, 
though few origins have been more strenuously supported than 
the alleged Norwegian origin of the Macleods, there is " not the 
vestige of authority" for it. The Chronicle of Man, which has 
been so repeatedly quoted by various genealogists in support of 
the assertion that the Macleods are descended from the Nor- 
wegian Kings of Man, is absolutely silent on the point, and no 
evidence whatever is available from that source, though quoted so 
often as an authority on the subject. Skene says that " it is a 
singular circumstance that that record is nevertheless destitute of 
the slightest hint of any such origin, or even of any passage which 
could be assumed as a ground for such an idea." And he further 
says, that the tradition of Norwegian descent does not "appear to 
be very old, for in a manuscript genealogy of the Macleods, 
written in the latter part of the sixteenth century, there is not a 
trace of such a descent," but, on the contrary, he maintains, they 
are deduced from one common ancestor with the Campbells, and 
" were certainly a part of the ancient inhabitants of the earldom 
of Garmoran."* Leod, the eponymus of the Clan, we are told, 

* Highlanders of Scotland, Vol. II., p. 273. 

History of tJie Macleods. 3 

cannot be placed earlier than the middle of the thirteenth century. * 
Having so far given the opinion of the learned and high authority, 
Dr. Skene, we shall now state at length the Norwegian origin, 
claimed by the family themselves, and universally acknowledged 
by all the genealogists, up to within the last half century. It is 
as follows : 

A certain Godfred Crovan, son of Harold the Black, of the Royal 
Family of Denmark, was appointed King of Man and the Western 
Isles of Scotland, by Harold, the Imperious, and, accompanied 
by a fleet and an army, he came and took possession of his king- 
dom in 1066, the superiority still remaining with the reigning 
Norwegian Kings. This Godfred, who reigned for sixteen years, 
died in the Island of Islay, leaving three sons, the eldest of whom, 
Lagman, in 1103, succeeded his father. The second son, Harold, 
raised a rebellion against Lagman, by whom he was defeated and 
taken prisoner, his eyes put out, and otherwise treated in the most 
barbarous manner. Lagman, for this cruel conduct towards his 
brother, was seized with remorse. He then renounced his Kingdom, 
and went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he died, having only 
ruled for seven years. His brother, Harold, also died without issue, 
when the Island Kingdom fell to Godfred's third son, Olave or 
Olaus, then a minor. The government of the Kingdom, during this 
minority, was entrusted to Donald Mac-Tade, an Irish nobleman 
sent over to the people by Murchad O'Brien, King of Ireland, at 
their request, who behaved in such a tyrannical fashion, by op- 
pressing his subjects, that after two years he was expelled, when 
he fled to Ireland; and Olaus, having by this time come of age, 
took charge of the government himself. He married Elfrica, 
daughter of the Lord of Galloway, at the time one of the most 
powerful nobles in Scotland. By his wife, Olave or Olaus, the 
Red, had one son, Godfred the Black, his heir. He also had three 
natural sons. Of several daughters, one, Ragnhildis, about 1 140, 
became the wife of Somerled, Thane of Argyle and of the Isles, 
and progenitrix of all the Macdonalds, Macdougalls, and several 
other historical families in the Western Highlands and Isles. 
According to the Chronicle of Man, this marriage was the cause 
of the fall of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Isles, and was the 

* Celtic Scotland, Vol. III., p. 340. 

T/te Celtic Magazine. 

foundation of the title of Kings and Lords of the Isles, afterwards 
assumed, and long maintained, by Somerled's descendants. 
Olave the Red is said to have been a good Prince, and to have 
entered into friendly leagues with the Kings of Scotland and 
Ireland. After reigning in comparative peace for about forty 
years, he was, in 1154, assassinated by his nephews, the sons of 
his illegitimate brother Harold, who claimed half his Kingdom of 
the Isles. His son, Godfred the Black, was at the time in 
Norway, but, hearing of his father's death, he hastened to the 
Isles, where he was received by the people with great rejoicings 
as their lawful King. Having executed the murderers of his 
father, he proceeded to Ireland to share in the wars then going 
on in that Kingdom. Returning to the Isle of Man, he became 
so tyrannical that the nobles rebelled against his rule, and by the 
instrumentality of one of his nobles (Thorfinn), Dougall, the son 
of Somerled of the Isles, and Godfred's nephew, was proclaimed 
King of the Isles. After a fierce engagement between Godfred 
and Somerled, the Southern Isles (south of Ardnamurchan 
and Kintyre) were ceded to the latter ; Godfred retaining 
the Isle of Man and the Northern Isles for himself. * Two 
years later Godfred was virtually driven out of Man, when he 
went to Norway and never returned. He died about 1187, 
leaving an only lawful son (Olave the Black), then only ten years 
old. The nobles of Man appointed his natural brother, 
Reginald, a very brave man, as their governor, during Olave's 
minority, but he soon usurped the crown for himself, and kept 
possession of it for thirty-eight years, giving his brother, 

OLAVE THE BLACK, the legitimate heir, the Island of Lewis for 
his maintenance. He, however, afterwards succeeded, by the aid 
of Paul, Sheriff of Skye, in repossessing himself of the Norwegian 
Kingdom of Man and the Isles, about 1226. He died about 1237, 
having been thrice married ; first, to a daughter of one of the 
leading families of Kintyre, by whom he had three sons Harold, 
Reginald, and Magnus, all of whom successively reigned as Kings 
of Man. But Magnus of Norway, and Superior of the Isles, 
having surrendered the Island Kingdom to Alexander II. of 

* For a full account of these proceedings see Mackenzie's History of the 
Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, pp. 1 7-34. 

History of the Macleods. 5 

Scotland, and Magnus of Man having died at the Castle of Ross, 
in 1266, without issue, the Island Kingdom came to an end. 
Olave the Red had no issue by his second marriage ; but having 
married, thirdly, Christina, daughter of Farquhar, Earl of Ross, 
he had, by her, three sons 


2. Guin, from whom the Clan Gunn of Sutherland and 

Caithness, and 

3. Leandruis, of whom Clan Leandruis, or Gillanders. 
When Olave the Red, last King of Man, died, his eldest son, 
LEOD, who was the fifth of the Royal line of the Norwegian 

Kings of Man, in direct descent, was under age. He was brought 
up and fostered in the house of Paul, son of Boke, Sheriff of 
Skye, otherwise designated as " Paul Balkason, Lord of Skye," a 
man " of the greatest power and authority of any in those parts, 
who had been a constant friend of his father's in all his dangers and 
distresses," and by whose assistance his father, as already stated, 
recovered his kingdom. Leod "flourished in the reign of King 
Alexander III., and got from said Paul the lands of the Herries, 
&c.; and from his grandfather, the Earl of Ross, a part of the 
Barony of Glenelg, and he and his posterity have ever since been 
promiscuously designed by the title of Herries [Harris], Glenelg, 
Dunvegan, and of that Ilk."* Leod married a daughter of 
MacRaild Armuinn, a Danish knight, who had his seat where 
Dunvegan now stands, and with her he received the lands of 
Dunvegan, Minginish, Bracadale, Duirinish, Lyndale, and part of 
Troternish, in the Isle of Skye. There are some families of the 
name of MacRaild still living on the Macleod estates, and we 
know one or two others elsewhere who came originally from that 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh, the famous Macleod poetess, 
refers to the traditional Norwegian and Royal origin of the race 
in her famous " Cronan" where she says, on the recovery of 
young Macleod from a serious illness : 

* Douglas's Baronage, p. 375. "Among the documents found in the King's 
Treasury, at Edinburgh, in 1282, there was one entitled, ' Charter of Glenhelk,' 
which belonged to the Isle of Man. In 1292 the lands of Glenelg appear to have 
been included in the Sheriffdom of Skye, erected by King John Balliol." Origines 
Parochiales Scotia. 

The Celtic Magazine. 

" Sliochd Ollaghair nan lann, 
Thogadh sroilltean ri crann, 
Nuair a thoisich iad ann, 
Cha bu lionsgaradh gann, 
Fir a b' thirinneach bann, 
Priseil an dream. 
Rioghal gun chall corach. "* 

In the Lord of tJie Isles, Sir Walter Scott refers to the same 
origin, where some of the characteristics of " Stout Dunvegan's 
knight" and his Norse descent are thus referred to : 

" Torquil's rude thought and stubborn will 
Smack of the wild Norwegian still. " 

By MacRaild's daughter, the heiress of Dunvegan, Leod had 

1. Tormod, ancestor of the Macleods of Harris and Glenelg, 
now represented by the Macleods of Dunvegan, and known among 
the Highlanders to this day as " Siol Thormoid" 

2. Torquil, progenitor of the Macleods of Lewis, Waternish, 
in Skye, Assynt, and Gairloch, on the Mainland, and of Raasay. 
The Macleods of Lewis are still spoken of in Gaelic as " Siol 
Thorcuil" and the cadet family of Raasay as " Claim MJdc Gille 
Chalhiim" to indicate their descent from Malcolm Garve, son of 
Malcolm, eighth Baron of the Lewis. 

Each of the sons, Tormod and Torquil, was a Mac Leod, or 
son of Leod, whence the name of the family. 

Before proceeding with the History in connection with either 
of the two leading families of this great House, it may be well to 
dispose, so far as we can, of their respective claims to be head of 
the Clan, for the seniority and the Chiefship have been at various 
times disputed and claimed by the descendants of the two brothers, 
TORMOD and TORQUIL respectively, and it may be con- 
sidered doubtful, and difficult to prove, which of them was the 
eldest son of LEOD ; though it is now almost universally admitted 
that Tormod was the elder of the two, and that, therefore, his 
male representative, the present Macleod of Dunvegan, is right- 
fully designated Macleod of Macleod, and Chief of the Clan. 

It has always been claimed by the Macleods of Harris, Glenelg, 
and Dunvegan (i), that Tormod got the greater portion of his 
father's estates ; (2), that, in several Royal Charters, and other 

* Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry. 

History of the Macleods. 

authentic documents, where the heads of the families are men- 
tioned, the representatives of Tormod, usually styled Mac- 
leods of Harris, are always named and inserted before the 
representatives of the Macleods of Lewis ; and (3), that, though 
the representatives of Tormod have changed their armorial 
bearings, there is sufficient proof that they formerly carried the 
paternal arms of the family. 

On the other hand, the representatives of the family of Lewis 
have maintained (i), that the descendants of Torquil, their pro- 
genitor, succeeded his father in the Island of Lewis, which, they 
say, was the paternal estate of the Clan ; (2), that the represent- 
atives of Torquil always carried in their armorial bearings the 
arms of the Kings of Man and the Isles, their paternal ancestors ; 
and (3), that it has been the unvaried tradition of the Lewis fyTac- 
leods, that Torquil was the eldest son, and that this is confirmed 
by Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, Lord Lyon, King at Arms, 
and by Buchanan's History of the Origin of the Clans, published 
in 1723. 

Referring to these counter claims for precedency, Skene says 
that "from the earliest period in which the Macleods are men- 
tioned in history, they have been divided into the great families 
of Macleod of Glenelg, or Harris, and Macleod of Lewis, and 
these families have for a long time disputed as to which of them 
the rights of Chief belong. As occurs in the somewhat parallel 
case of the Macneils, this dispute appears to have arisen from the 
possessions of the Macleods having necessarily been so little 
connected together, and from both families being nearly of equal 
power and consequence ; but, from the few data which have 
remained to guide us on this point, there seems every reason to 
think that Macleod of Glenelg, or Harris, was of old the proper 
Chief of the Clan. Macleod of Harris," he continues, "was 
originally invariably designated *de Glenelg,' and Glenelg was 
certainly the first and chief possession of the Clan. In various 
charters of the fifteenth century, to which the head of both 
families happen to be witnesses, Macleod de Glenelg always 
appears before that of Lewis, and, finally, the possessions of the 
Lewis family formed no part of the original possessions of the 
Clan, for the Charter of the family of Lewis is one by King David 

8 T/ie Celtic Magazine. 

II. to Torquil Macleod, of the barony of Assy nt. And it is certain," 
Mr. Skene sums up, " that Torquil obtained this barony by mar- 
riage with Margaret Macnicol, the heiress of the lands, and in that 
Charter he is not designated ' de Lewis,' nor has he any designa- 
tion whatever. These facts," he declares, " seem conclusive, that 
the claim of Macleod of Harris to be Chief of the Clan is well 
founded, and that the marriage of a younger son to the heiress of 
Assynt and Lewis, gave rise to the family of Lewis, who were the 
oldest cadets of the Clan, and who soon came to rival the family 
of the Chief in power and extent of territory." The first charter 
of any lands to the family was granted by David II., to Malcolm, 
son of Tormod Macleod, son of Leod, about 1 343, and the obliga- 
tion contained in it is to the effect that Macleod is to keep 
a twenty-six-oared galley at all times for the use of the King.* 

Referring to lands acquired by the family in the Isle of Skye, 
now the only estates in their possession, Skene also says that they 
acquired these lands by marriage with the daughter of MacRaild, 
one of the Norwegian nobles of the Isles, and he maintains that 
it is from this connection* and from the succession which was 
secured by it, that first probably arose the tradition of the 
Macleods being originally descended from the Norwegian Kings 
of the Isles ; and he holds, as already stated, that they were 
originally of pure native descent, and belonging to the ancient 
inhabitants of the Celtic Earldom of Garmoran. The original 
possessions of the Macleods- of Harris and Glenelg were always 
held of the Crown, while those of the family of Lewis were held 
as vassals of the Earl of Ross and Lords of the Isles. At first the 
Harris family held that island under the MacRuaries of Garmoran ; 
and, later on, when the North Isles passed into the house of 
Islay, they held Harris, as their neighbours and namesakes did 
Lewis, from the Lords of the Isles ; and they also held their lands 
in Skye, comprising at that time fully two-thirds of the Island, as 
vassals of the Lordship of 'the Isles. The armorial bearings of 
the two families were quite different from an early period that of 
Harris being a Castle, and that of Lewis a burning Mountain. 
(To be continued.) 

* " About the year 1343, King David II. granted to Malcolm, the son of 
1 urmode Maclode, two-thirds of the tenement of Glenelg, namely, eight darachs and 
hv-e pennylands, for the sen-ice of a ship of 26 oars when required." Origincs 
Parochiales Scotia. 

St. Kilda. 


Here rise no groves, and here no gardens blow, 

Here even the hardy heath scarce dares to grow ; 

But rocks on rocks, in mist and storm array'd, 

Stretch far to sea their giant colonnade, 

With many a cavern seam'd, the dreary haunt 

Of the dun seal and swarthy cormorant. 

While round their rifted brows, with frequent cry, 

As of lament, the gulls and gannets fly, 

And from their sable base, with sullen sound, 

In sheets of whitening foam the waves rebound. SCOTT. 

IT is only a few weeks since -two sad messages from St. Kilda 
were cast ashore upon the coasts of the Long Island. Both told 
a melancholy tale of disaster and distress, and both were launched 
upon the bosom of the mighty Atlantic in "little ships," rudely 
fashioned out of a piece of wood, and rigged with a tiny mast and 
sail. Bravely did the little vessels bear the tale committed to 
their charge, withstanding the great Atlantic billows, and sailing 
merrily on to the land, where there were sympathetic and kindly 
hearts to listen to the simple St. Kilda folk's sad story. The first 
one which arrived was picked up on Thursday, 24th September 
last, by a rural letter-carrier on the beach at Aird Uig, a town- 
ship on the West Coast of the Lewis, near Gallan Head. The 
message itself was contained in a bottle, which was inserted in a 
small piece of wood roughly shaped into the form of a boat. 
The wood was branded "St. Kilda," and the words "open this" 
were cut on a small board covering the bottle. The message 
was written on what appeared to have been the leaf of a school 
exercise-book, and another slip of paper enclosed bore the 
address "Mr. Kenneth Campbell, teacher, Uig, Lewis, by 
Stornoway." The message ran as follows : 

"St Kilda Sep the 8th 1885. 

" My Dear Sir I am now going to write you a letter and sending her in one of 
the little ships in which we were sailing on the shore as you know to let you know 
all the knews. the men were building a house just a little house for the cows a great 
storm came on and all the corn and barley were swept away by the storm and 
one of the boats was swept away by the sea the men of St Kilda is nearly dead 
with the hunger. They send two boats from St Kilda to go to Haries not the 
fishing boats but little piece of wood like the little one which I send. I sent my 
best loves unto you, I am yours truly " ALEXANDER FERGUSON." 


TJie Celtic Magazine. 

At the Valuation Appeal Court, held at Portree on 2pth 
September, the following petition, signed by a number of the 
inhabitants of St. Kilda, and addressed to Mr. Balderston, the 
County Assessor, was read : 

"St. Kilda, Sept. 15*, 1885. 

" Honoured Sir, We, the undersigned, beg leave to intimate to you that we 
consider it unfair to be paying for grazing for sheep which we do not possess. When 
our present proprietor, Macleod of Macleod, bought this island from the late Sir 
John Macleod, London, the number of sheep which each of the sixteen crofters then 
possessed was entered on the rental book of our present proprietor, and the price of 
grazing for each sheep then was ninepence a-head. But we have now much below 
the number of sheep we had then, and we are still paying for the full number. 
This we do not consider fair. It was the rule, under our former proprietor, that 
each of us would pay ninepence a-head for the grazing of sheep, and this we wish to 
be restored to us, as each of us then would only pay according to the number ot 
sheep possessed by him. We are most willing to pay for whatever number of sheep 
each of us may possess. 

" The second point which we wish to bring under your notice is the rock. It has 
been told us that the late Duke of Athole had got us full liberty from Government to 
catch the fulmars which were resting on the rocks without our paying rent. For this 
each of us was then paying 2 sterling. The factor, too, on his arrival here the 
following summer, told us that we had now full liberty to catch the fulmars free of 
rent. The fulmars rest on or about the island throughout the year, but it is during 
three months that we reap much benefit by them that is, from the latter end of May 
till the 28th of August. Observe, instead of relieving us of this 2 sterling, which 
was paid for each of us for the rocks, the 2 was laid on the crofts and on the sheep 
grazings of the Island of Borera. 

" Some of us are now paying one shilling and sixpence for the grazing of sheep, 
instead of ninepence. This we have done for many years, although some of us have 
lost most of our sheep by falling over the rocks, and by wet and stormy seasons. 

" We feel aggrieved to have to pay for birds which live on the sea, and which we 
catch in steep and high rocks at great danger to our lives, and which would not be 
attempted by any other people but ourselves. We hope you will do everything you 
possibly can to do us justice, as we are far off from the courts of justice in this 
solitary island. " 

There being no one present from St. Kilda, the appeal was 

The following letter from the proprietor of St. Kilda appeared 
in an Inverness paper on loth October: 

" 5th October, 1885. 

" Sir, The appearance in your paper of the 3oth ultimo of two communications 
from St. Kilda compels me to ask you to kindly insert another letter. The first of 
these communications, picked up on the shores of the Lewis, appears to have been 
written by a boy. I think it possible that some of the corn, and perhaps a boat, 
may have been swept away by the storm, but that the people of the Island are suffer- 

St. Kilda. 

ing from hunger is impossible, as they do not rely on their own produce, but always 
have a supply of meal sufficient to last till May or June next. 

"As respects the petition addressed by the tenants of St. Kilda to the County 
Assessor, it is difficult to understand their complaint, and I am unable to explain 
what they mean about the Duke of Athole and the Government. The simple facts 
are that they pay a rent of 2 each for their arable ground, and so much a-head for 
the grazing of their cattle and sheep. Of this arrangement they have never com- 
plained till now, because they always had a full stock, but it appears they lost a 
number of sheep last spring. This accounts for their present petition, and as I 
always treat exceptionally these lonely people, surrounded as they are by the melan- 
choly main, I shall certainly comply with the wish they have expressed. As to the 
birds and rocks, they have never been asked by me to pay a penny for either. -I am, 
yours, &c., "MACLEOD OF MACLEOD." 

On Monday, 28th September, an old man walking along the 
beach at Tarnsay, Harris, found a little boat made of a thick 
plank about a yard in length, on which were the words, cut deep 
into the wood, "St. Kilda. Please open Hugh Macallum." On 
opening a small hatch, two bottles were found, in each of which 
was a letter. There was a sail set on the little vessel, and a heavy 
piece of iron nailed to the bottom, so that it could not be upset. 
One of the letters ran as follows : 

"St Kilda Manse, i6th Sept., 1885. 

" Rev. and Dear Sir, I beg leave to intimate to you that I am directed by the 
people on the island to tell you that their corn, barley, and potatoes are destroyed by 
a great storm that passed over the island on Saturday and Sabbath last. You will 
be kind enough to apply to Government in order to send a supply of corn seed, 
barley, and potatoes. This year's crop is quite useless. They never before saw 
such a storm at this time of the year. They have lost one of their boats, but happily 
there was no loss of life. They have some meal on the island, which the proprietor 
sent them in the beginning of this month. The crops were not ripe when the storm 
passed over the island. We send you this enclosed in a little boat made of a piece 
of a plank. I sincerely hope you are well. I am, rev. dear sir, yours very truly. 


"The Rev. Alexander Maccoll, Free Church Manse, Lochalsh." 

It is pitiful to think that, within sight of part of the Long Island, 
we have a lonely sea-girt isle, whose only means of communica- 
tion with the Mainland, during the greater part of the year, is by 
means of these tiny vessels, launched upon the bosom of the 
great ocean to find their way, guided only by Providence, to the 
unknown world of telegraphs, railways, and cities. Whilst public 
attention has of late been thus drawn so painfully towards the 
island by these messages cast upon the shores of Lewis and 
Harris, we think that some information regarding St. Kilda and 

12 The Celtic Magazine. 

its primitive inhabitants, collected from different sources, will 
prove interesting to the reader. 

The ancient name of the island was Hirt, or Hirta, which 
Martin, in his Description of the Western Isles, 1695, derives from 
the Irish ler, meaning West, St. Kilda being the most westerly of 
all the Scottish isles. The Rev. Kenneth Macaulay, however, in 
a little book, entitled, A Voyage to, and History of , St. Kilda, pub- 
lished in 1765, suggests a different origin for the name. "We 
know with certainty," he says, "that Norwegians and Danes 
infested each side of this kingdom for a course of ages. Some of 
these rovers, if driven forward by north-east winds, after having 
lost their course, or after having left Shetland behind them, would 
have naturally spied out St. Kilda sooner than any other place in 
the Deucaledonian Ocean, as the rock and hills there are higher 
than anywhere else, and, upon making so agreeable a discovery, 
would have very probably cried out Hert, Hert, or Land, Land ; 
nor is it an extravagant conceit to suppose that this small land 
might, for that very reason, have retained the name ever after." 
Buchanan calls the island Hirta, while Cambden calls it Hyrtha. 
The first mention made of it in any document, now extant, is said 
to be in a charter granted by John, Lord of the Isles, to his son, 
Reginald, and confirmed by King Robert the Second, after the 
middle of the fourteenth century. In that charter the island is 
called Hyrt. 

When Martin visited the island, about the last decade of the 
seventeenth century, he found some 200 inhabitants in St. Kilda, 
but in 1765 the number had dwindled down to eighty-eight, 
chiefly owing to the smallpox, which carried away nearly the 
whole population of the island in one visitation. The terrible 
disease was first contracted in the Island of Harris by a St. Kilda 
man, who died there. Unfortunately a fellow-islander came the 
following year and took the dead man's clothes back to St. Kilda, 
thus communicating the infection. Had it not been for a lucky 
accident, the whole population would have been exterminated ; as 
it was, of twenty-one families, only four grown-up persons, and 
twenty-six young orphans, were left alive. Shortly before the 
disease commenced to ravage the island, three men and eight 
boys went to one of the adjacent isles to catch solan geese for the 

St. Kilda. 

benefit of the whole community. Their boat went back to 
St. Kilda as usual, but, owing to the disease having broken out in 
the interval, no one was able to man it for the purpose of bring- 
ing the bird-catchers home again at the proper time, and they 
were compelled to subsist upon the island for about nine months, 
until rescued by the factor's boat. By the time they returned 
home, the disease had done its devastating work in St. Kilda, and 
died out again. The population now is only seventy-seven. 

Martin gives a most amusing account of a visit which one of 
the islanders paid to Glasgow, and which we produce verbatim : 

" He was astonished at the length of the voyage, and of the 
great kingdoms, as he thought them, that is isles, by which they 
sailed ; the largest in his way did not exceed twenty -four miles in 
length, but he considered how much they exceeded his own little 
native country. Upon his arrival at Glasgow, he was like one 
that had dropped from the clouds into a new world, whose 
language, habits, &c., were in all respects new to him ; he never 
imagined that such big houses of stone were made with hands; 
and for the pavements of the streets, he thought it must needs be 
altogether natural, for he could not believe that men would be at 
the pains to beat stones into the ground to walk upon. He stood 
dumb at the door of his lodging, with the greatest admiration ; 
and when he saw a coach and two horses, he thought it to be a 
little house they were drawing at their tail, with men in it; but he 
condemned the coachman for a fool to sit so uneasy, for he 
thought it safer to sit on the horse's back. The mechanism of the 
coach-wheel, and its running about, was the greatest of all his 
wonders. When he went through the streets, he desired to have 
one to lead him by the hand. Thomas Ross, a merchant, and 
others, that took the diversion to carry him through the town, 
asked his opinion of the High Church ? He answered that it was 
a large rock, yet there were some in St. Kilda much higher, but 
that these were the best caves he ever saw ; for that was the idea 
which he conceived of the pillars and arches upon which the 
church stands. When they carried him into the church, he was 
yet more surprised, and held up his hands with admiration, won- 
dering how it was possible for men to build such a prodigious 
fabric, which he supposed to be the largest in the universe. He 

14 The Celtic Magazine. 

could not imagine what the pews were designed for, and he 
fancied the people that wore masks (not knowing whether they 
were men or women) had been guilty of some ill things for which 
they dared not show their faces. He was amazed at women wear- 
ing patches, and fancied them to have been blisters. Pendants 
seemed to him the most ridiculous of all things; he condemned 
periwigs mightily, and much more the powder used in them ; in 
fine, he condemned all things as superfluous he saw not in his 
own country. He looked with amazement on everything that 
was new to him. When he heard the church-bells ring, he was 
under a mighty consternation, as if the fabric of the world had been 
in great disorder. He did not think there had been so many people 
in the world as in the City of Glasgow ; and it was a great mystery 
to him to think what they could all design by living so many in 
one place. He wondered how they could all be furnished with 
provisions ; and when he saw big loaves, he could not tell whether 
they were bread, stone, or wood. He was amazed to think how 
they could be provided with ale, for he never saw any there that 
drank water. He wondered how they made them fine clothes, 
and to see stockings made without being first cut, and afterwards 
sewn, was no small wonder to him. He thought it foolish in 
women to wear thin silks, as being a very improper habit for such 
as pretended to any sort of employment. When he saw the 
women's feet, he judged them to be of another shape than those 
of the men, because of the different shape of their shoes. He did 
not approve of the heels of shoes worn by men or women ; and 
when he observed horses with shoes on their feet, and fastened 
with iron nails, he could not forbear laughing, and thought it the 
most ridiculous thing that ever fell under his observation. He 
longed to see his native country again, and passionately wished it 
were blessed with ale, brandy, tobacco, and iron, as Glasgow 

The name St. Kilda, which is comparatively modern, is 
exceedingly difficult to account for. Martin says that it is taken 
from one Kilder, who lived there, but that is all the information 
he gives. Mr. Macaulay, in his book already referred to, suggests 
a number of different origins for the name. There was a female 
saint, named Kilda, who was a prominent figure in the early 

St. Kilda. 15 

Saxon Church, but it is exceedingly improbable that her name 
ever travelled to this remote portion of the British Isles. There 
was also an old British writer, called Gildas, but, as he was a 
devout hater of the Scots, it is not likely that he was ever con- 
nected with the island in any way. Mr. Macaulay inclines to the 
belief that the word Kilda is a corruption of Culdee, the name 
given to the early Christian missionaries in Scotland. There is a 
well in the island called Tobar-Kilda, and he takes this to mean 
the Culdee's Well, probably so called from some member of that 
order, who took up his residence there. Some one hearing the 
name would conclude that the well bore the name of a saint, and 
would have called the island St. Kilda after him, in preference to 
the older Hirt or Hirta. 

The island of old belonged to Macleod of Harris, and was 
given over by him to a steward, generally a cadet of the Macleod 
family. This steward usually appointed a deputy, who was a 
native of the place, and resided in the island. This deputy had 
free lands, and an omer of barley from each family; he had also 
the honour of being the first and last in their boat, as they went 
and came to the smaller isles and rocks. The steward himself 
visited the island once every summer to collect the rents, which 
were paid in kind, the principal articles given being down, wool, 
butter, cheese, cows, horses, fowls, oil, and barley silver or gold 
being then unknown in the island. Some years before Martin's 
visit, the steward attempted one year to exact a sheep from every 
family in the place, the number being twenty-seven, but this they 
refused to submit to. The steward then sent his brother, and a 
number of other men, to take the sheep by force, but the islanders 
met the invading party, and, armed with daggers and fishing-rods, 
attacked them with such effect that they were forced to return 
without attaining their object, and the attempt was not again 

Just as we were about to conclude this paper, we learnt that 
the steamer "Hebridean" had been sent out to St. Kilda from 
Glasgow on Thursday, I5th October, with a quantity of supplies 
for the relief of the unfortunate islanders. The supplies consisted 
of oats, oatmeal, potatoes, tea, sugar, and other necessaries, and 
were presented by Sir William Collins, Principal Rainy, and 

1 6 The Celtic Magazine. 

other gentlemen in the South, to whom all honour is due for their 
prompt and disinterested action. The vessel arrived in the Bay 
of St. Kilda on the evening of Sunday, i8th October, and early 
on the following morning the cargo was brought ashore and dis- 
tributed among the poor islanders, who evinced the greatest 
gratitude towards their kind benefactors. 

A striking instance of the simplicity of the inhabitants came 
under the notice of those who accompanied the "Hebridean" on 
her voyage. The night before the vessel's arrival in St. Kilda, 
one of the married women in the island heard, or imagined she 
heard, the report of a gun being fired, and, communicating this 
piece of intelligence to her husband, the two of them talked the 
matter over with some neighbours. Their deliberations resulted in 
a unanimous verdict that a fleet of men-of-war had arrived off the 
coast, in order to put the islanders to the sword, as the only 
means of cutting short their troublesome practice of sending 
pestering massages for help ! No time was to be lost in escaping 
from tjie invaders, and the whole of the little band took to the 
hills, and spent the night in hiding. With the return of day, they 
came back to the village, but their fears were not set at rest, for 
several of the women admitted that, when the "Hebridean" 
awoke the echoes with her steam-whistle, they felt sure that the 
hostile fleet had come at last, and great drops of sweat fell from 
their foreheads. Probably Sheriff Ivory's recent military and 
police flare-up in Skye was fresh in the minds of the innocent St. 
Kildeans. The appearance of Captain MacCallum, however, who 
was well known to them all, soon restored their courage and 
gladdened their hearts. 

H.M.S. "Jackal" left Rothesay Bay on Tuesday, 2Oth October, 
for St. Kilda, having on board Mr. Malcolm MacNeil, Commis- 
sioner for the Board of Supervision, Edinburgh, who is to enquire 
into the condition of the inhabitants, and the causes of the present 
distress in the island. We sincerely hope the visit may be pro- 
ductive of lasting good to the islanders. 

Next month we shall give some more information regarding 
this far-off isle truly, in the words of the Poet Laureate 
" The loneliest in a lonely sea." 


(To be continued.) 

An Old Church Process. 17 



IN Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh's "Antiquarian Notes," a pretty story is 
told of Mr. Murdoch Mackenzie, one of the ministers of Inver- 
ness, who died in 1774, after a ministry in Inverness of nearly 
thirty-three years. At the time of his death, Mr. Mackenzie was 
minister of the First Charge, and his beadle was Ludovic, or Lody 
Ross, whose name still survives in local tradition. " When," says 
Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh, "Mr. Murdoch, who lived in Castle 
Street, lay a-dying, there was great lamentation, and none be- 
wailed more than Lody, who was constantly in attendance. His 
evening bell-ringing could not be neglected, however. After dis- 
charging this duty, and emerging from the tower, what meets his 
astonished gaze ? Nothing else than all the windows of trie Kirk 
one blaze of light, while sacred music of the sweetest description 
rose in volume to the sky. But for a moment, however; and, 
rushing back to the clergyman's house, Lody found that the soul 
of his pastor had a few minutes since taken its heavenly flight, 
resting, as Lody firmly believed, for a moment, with its attendant 
angels in the arena of its close, searching, and pious ministrations." 
Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh thinks the incident more in consonance 
with the old Catholic building, than with the bald, and far from 
sightly, modern church. It is certainly difficult to imagine the 
present singularly plain High Church of Inverness illuminated 
vrith angelic light, and filled, even for a moment, with angelic 
music, but we must either accept the present Church as the 
locus of the incident, or reject it altogether, for the old Church 
was replaced by the present one two or three years before Mr. 
Mackenzie's death. 

Mr. Murdoch Mackenzie, we learn from the Fasti Ecclesice 
Scoticance, was translated from Dingwall to Inverness Third 
Charge in 1741 or 1742. He was translated to the Second 
Charge in 1751, and to the First Charge in 1763. In 1745 he 
married a daughter of John Hossack, who was Provost of Inver- 


r 8 The Celtic Magazine. 

ness at the time of the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Mr. Macken- 
zie died, as has been said, in 1774, in the 74th year of his age, and 
the 42nd of his ministry. It is said of him that "when engaged 
in prayer the tears were often seen falling from his cheeks, and 
he is said in preaching never to have uttered a word of which he 
did not feel the force and truth in his own heart." 

When Mr. Mackenzie was translated to Inverness Third 
Charge, the minister of the First Charge was Mr. Alexander 
Macbean, who had been translated from the Third to the First 
Charge in 1727. Of him the Fasti says " In his day he was the 
John Knox of the North, and one who greatly exerted himself to 
suppress the spirit of rebellion in and about Inverness during 
1745 and 1746." He died in November, 1762, and was succeeded 
in the First Charge by Mr. Mackenzie. 

While Mr. Mackenzie was incumbent of the Third Charge, 
the incumbent of the Second Charge was Mr. Alexander Fraser, 
who had been translated from Urquhart and Logie-Wester to 
Inverness in 1727. He died on 6th May, 1750, in the 76th year 
of his age, and the 48th year of his ministry, " eminent both for 
piety and talent." 

These clergymen were, during their ministry, engaged in liti- 
gation, either with the whole heritors of their parish, or with the 
Magistrates of the town in which they ministered. Messrs. Mac- 
bean and Mackenzie were so engaged for several years, Mr. 
Fraser for a shorter period. Some papers connected with the 
processes, at the instance of the ministers, are in my possession, 
and as they are interesting in themselves, and contain information 
of value to the student of local history, I propose to give some 
account of them. 

A short time before Mr. Alexander Fraser's death, an action was 
raised by himself and Mr. Macbean against the Magistrates of 
Inverness, for payment of the difference between the stipend 
actually drawn by them, and a stipend of 1600 merks, for the 
years 1737 and 1738, "and in all time thereafter during the sub- 
sistence of" an Act of Parliament obtained by the town in 1737. 
The only documents in any way connected with the process, 
which I have seen, are a "State of the Process The Ministers 
of Inverness v. the Magistrates of Inverness," written by Mr. John 

An Old Church Process. 19 

Fraser, the town's Edinburgh solicitor, in 1753, and a letter from 
Mr. Fraser to Provost Hossack, sending him the " State." These 
documents, however, contain all the information we want as to 
the subject matter of the action, and they carry us so far down in 
the matter of date, that, with the assistance of a hint contained in 
one of the papers in a subsequent process, we can make a pretty 
safe guess at the result. 

In the year 1719 the town of Inverness obtained right, 
by Act of Parliament, to raise a duty of two pennies Scots 
upon every pint of ale brewed or sold within the town and 
privilege of Inverness for 19 years. The money so raised 
was to be applied in paying the debts of the town, enlarging 
the existing Church, or building a new one, making provi- 
sion for a minister or ministers, and in repairing and deepening 
the harbour. On I2th October, 1720, the Magistrates, who evi- 
dently thought the town would realise a large sum from the ale 
tax, and that they could consequently afford to be liberal to the 
ministers, enacted that after Martinmas, 1720, and during the con- 
tinuance of the Act, the stipend of each of the ministers should 
be augmented to 1600 merks yearly. This stipend was paid to 
each of the then three incumbents, and to Mr. Alexander Fraser, the 
successor to one of them, for about 16 years. As the period for 
which the ale tax had been granted drew to a close, the Magis- 
trates found that the town was more deeply in debt than ever, 
chiefly, they stated, on account of their expenditure in connection 
with " well-intended undertakings " pointed out by the Act the 
Harbour principally. They, therefore, applied for, and, after an 
opposition which increased the debt of the town between 200 
and 300 sterling, obtained a new Act, continuing the tax for 2 1 
years. The Magistrates had by this time found out how much 
or how little could be done with a tax on ale, and in their new 
Act there was nothing about building a Church or providing for 
ministers ; their sole ambition now was to pay the debt they had 
already incurred, and this was all the Act made provision for. 
The Magistrates, however, anticipated the omission of the ministers 
from the new Act by ceasing to pay the 1600 merks two years 
before the old Act expired. The ministers do not appear to have 
taken any action for ten or twelve years, but they then raised an 

2O The Celtic Magazine. 

action, not only for the shortcoming in their stipends for the two 
years of the old Act, but also for the whole period of the second 
Act. To the claim for the augmented stipend during the con- 
tinuance of the second Act of Parliament, the defence of the 
Magistrates was that the augmented stipend was payable under 
a contract which expired with the first Act, and that, even had 
they the will, they had not the power to pay it out of the sums 
collected under the second Act. What their defence to the first 
part of the claim was does not appear, but that they stated some 
defence, more or less shaky, to it, appears from the gingerly way 
in which Mr. John Fraser refers to it in his letter to Provost 
Hossack transmitting the "State of the Process." "The main 
point," he says, "is short and neat, and cannot admit of any 
alteration, and it is my opinion the Lord Ordinary will, upon its 
being laid before him, give the question for the town ; and as to 
the two articles claimed by the pursuers, as their shortcoming of 
1600 merks of stipends for the years 1737 and 1738, they do not 
amount to much money, but even against these there are, to be 
sure, just and obvious defences" and there he leaves it. Notwith- 
standing the "just and obvious defences," the Lord Ordinary had 
already decided that part of the case against the town. Mr. 
Eraser's letter is dated 1st June, 1753, and his "State of the Pro- 
cess" says that, on 2Oth December, 1750, Lord Elchies, Ordinary 
in the cause, after advising long minutes of debates, found the 
Magistrates liable for the additional stipends libelled during the 
continuance of the first grant, but sustained their defences to the 
additional stipends after the expiry of the first grant, and during the 
continuance of the second, and decerned accordingly. Against 
this interlocutor, a representation was given in by the ministers, 
and on 6th February, 1751, the Lord Ordinary ordained the 
Magistrates to produce an authenticated copy or extract of the 
Act of 1 5th May, 1739, made by the overseers named in the last 
grant, and likewise an accompt of the annual produce of the duty 
since that time. On 6th June, 1751, the Act and account were 
produced, but from that time until the " State of the Process " was 
written, nothing further was done towards bringing the action to 
an end. 

Before the beginning of the year 1755, however, the action 

An Old Cliurcli Process. 21 

did come to an end, and the Magistrates were apparently success- 
ful in the main part of the case. An action was then raised in the 
Teind Court by Mr. Alexander Macbean and Mr. Murdoch Mac- 
kenzie, ministers at Inverness, against the Heritors, for an 
augmentation of stipend. At the outset the Magistrates did not 
oppose this action. As they afterwards said, "they and every 
individual of the town being perfectly sensible of the pursuers, 
their not being provided in a stipend near adequate to the weight 
and importance of the Charge, or what the Teinds of the parish 
could admit of, did therefore consider it an improper thing in 
them to state themselves as defenders, or to give any opposition 
to the pursuers in an action so -much founded on justice." But, 
according to themselves, they had a rude awakening. The 
passage just quoted is from a petition presented for them to the 
Teind Court on 24th February, 1755, and the tone of mild re- 
proach of the immediately succeeding sentence is somewhat 
amusing. "At the same time," they say, "they did not expect 
that the pursuers (the ministers) would have taken decreet against 
the town for sums not concluded for, or in payment of which they 
knew the town could not by law be subjected, neither did they 
expect that the other Heritors, by a misrepresentation of facts, 
would have endeavoured to load the town with the payment of 
sums to which they must have known themselves to be duly 
liable, but in both the petitioners have been mistaken." The 
cause of this reproachful remonstrance was that, in the interlocutor 
modifying the stipends, the town was not only ordained to pay 
200 merks of stipend out of the Common Good, but to pay each 
of the ministers " 100 merks yearly in lieu of a manse, and to 
furnish the elements to the Communion, according to use and 
wont, out of the town's Common Good." The Magistrates say 
that the interlocutor, so far as concerns the 200 merks of stipend, 
should be "made somewhat more explicit," and they go on to 
explain that in 1665 the then incumbents of the parish obtained 
a decreet of modification and locality, according to which there is 
payable out of the lands held in feu by the Provost, Bailies, and 
Council of Inverness of the Kirk thereof, 100 merks of old 
locality paid out of the Common Good of the Burgh, and another 
100 merks money out of the Common Good, which was accepted 

22 'The Celtic Magazine. 

by the pursuers of the decreet for themselves and their successors 
serving the Cure, being in lieu of what was promised by the 
Magistrates' predecessors to the ministers serving the Cure, 
according to an Act of Council, dated nth February, 1650, 
which bears the 100 merks to be then, "and in all time there- 
after, in full satisfaction of all that can be challenged or claimed 
by the ministers or their successors from the said Magistrates, 
Council, Guildry, or community of the said Burgh, by virtue of 
the said Act, or any other manner of way." This was certainly 
explicit enough, and the Magistrates were perfectly right not to 
allow a bargain of this kind, judicially sanctioned ninety years 
before, to be lost sight of. With regard to the money decerned 
for in lieu of manses, and the expense of Communion elements, 
the Magistrates contended that they were only liable to the ex- 
tent of their proportion as Heritors of the parish. There were, 
they said, two manses belonging to the ministers of the parish, 
but on their becoming " insufficient and unhabitable," the Heritors 
came to the resolution of paying to each of the ministers 200 
merks yearly, in name of house rent, until a proper opportunity 
should occur of repairing or rebuilding the manses. " Most of 
the Heritors having failed in paying their proportions, the heavy 
end of the performance of this agreement fell upon the Peti- 
tioners, and their predecessors in office, who could not see their 
ministers altogether unprovided with houses, and therefore have 
been in use of paying to each minister 100 merks per annum on 
that account, and this they did the more readily, as they always 
understood their ministers to be insufficiently provided in a 
stipend." They go on to state that for the same reason, in obtain- 
ing the Act of Parliament imposing a duty in favour of the town 
of two pennies on the pint of ale, and expecting that this tax 
would produce a considerable sum, they, in the year 1720, 
augmented the ministers' stipend to 1600 merks annually, but 
that the tax, having produced much less than they expected, and 
the town having in consequence contracted a debt of ^1000 
sterling, a sum they have very small prospect of getting soon 
paid off, they, on obtaining in 1737 a new Act of Parliament con- 
tinuing the tax for a term of years, were obliged to " withdraw 
their bounty from the ministers." As to the town being in use 

AH Old CJiurck Process. 

to furnish the Communion elements, it is, they say, "altogether 
a mistake, and 'tis believed neither the pursuers nor Heritors will 
now aver it." 

The petition goes on to state that the town's interest in the 
parish, in point of estate, is 444 7s. 6d. (Scots) of yearly rent, 
whereof ^224 i8s. icd. is land rent, and the remainder feu. Of 
the land rent, .183 I2s. is said to be paid for a "piece of carse 
ground taken off the sea by building a very high dyke at a great 
expense, upon which the sea rises sometimes to about twelve feet 
in height, endangers the breaking down thereof, and thereby 
losing not only the expense they have been put to, but their rent 
in all time coming." The lands referred to are those now known 
as Seabank, recovered from the sea by the embankment at the 
Longman. The petition does not state when the dyke was built, 
nor do the Council Records, but it appears that rent was for the 
first time paid for the reclaimed lands in 1746. It was contended 
for the Magistrates that these lands could not be subjected in 
payment of stipend, on account of the manner in which they had 
been reclaimed from the sea, and because a constant and certain 
rent could not be said to arise from them, seeing they were liable 
to be again invaded by the tide ; an argument which was ulti- 
mately sustained by the Court, but to which the landward Heritors 
retorted that "this would be a fine plea for some of the provinces 
of Holland, where the whole country has in former times been 
gained off the sea, from the overflowing of which it is only 
defended by their dykes." 

The ministers and the landward Heritors were apparently 
as dissatisfied with the stipend modified by the Court as the 
Magistrates were. "It seems the interlocutor pleased none of 
the parties," says the town's agent, Mr. William Forbes, in a letter 
to Provost Hossack, dated 2/th February, 1755, and petitions 
against it were presented for Messrs. Macbean and Mackenzie, 
the ministers; and for "John Forbes of Culloden, William Duff 
of Muirton, Alexander Baillie of Dunzean, George Ross of Kin- 
mylies, Esquire, solicitor, at London ; Evan Baillie of Aberiachan ; 
and the other Heritors of the parish of Inverness." The petition 
of the Heritors states that the interlocutor of which they com- 
plained modified a stipend which they think "over profuse" for 

24 The Celtic Magazine. 

this "corner of the country," and they submit a calculation show- 
ing that the existing stipend, with the value of the two glebes, 
which were let for 19 8s. iod., and 16 133. 4d. (sterling) 
respectively, yielded the ministers 194 75. ii^d. between them. 
To this, they say, their Lordships had "been pleased to add" no 
less than 22 45. 5^d., making the share of each minister .108, 
which "appears to be a very high stipend." Too high, the 
Heritors think, for they say (i) the Charge is neither extensive 
nor laborious, there being three ministers in the town of Inver- 
ness, all upon an equal footing ; (2) being situated within a Royal 
Borough, they are not exposed to the incidental expense of enter- 
taining strangers; (3) the third minister, who has but 6$ of 
stipend, lives as decently and contentedly upon his stipend as be- 
cometh any gentleman of that profession, and was never heard to 
complain of his provision being too small; and (4) vivres of all kinds 
are cheap in Inverness, beef selling throughout the year at i^d. 
per pound, and other fleshes proportionally cheap. 
(To be continued.) 


On receiving from him a copy of The Thistle, a choice collection of Scottish Song, 
by Colin Brown, Ewing Lecturer, Anderson's College, Glasgow. Instrumental 
accompaniments and harmonies by James Merryleee. 

My faithful friend, thy manly heart 

Is ever, like thy voice, in tune ; 
I thank thee for thy welcome gift 

A gift that is to me a boon. 

Of Scotia's songs, a casquet rare, 

Charmed verses, and sweet melodies ; 
Where master pen and skilful note, 

Give fame to Brown, to Merrylees. 

Thy gift shall be to me a spring 

From which sweet draughts I oft shall draw ; 

And as I drink I'll think of thee 
When, clansman, thou art far awa'. 

My faithful friend, thy manly heart 
Is ever, like thy voice, in tune ; 

I thank thee for thy welcome gift 
A gift that is to me a boon. 

New York, August 27, 1885. 

Heroic Tales of the Celts. 25 




THE materials of Irish Mythology have well been divided by M. 
D'Arbois de Jubainville into three leading parts ; there is, first, 
the mythological cycle which deals with the gods and the ethnology 
of the country, and which we have treated already (Vol. ix. 124). 
There are, secondly, the Cuchulain cycle, and, thirdly, the Ossianic 
cycle, both dealing with the heroes of the race. Between the god- 
cycle and the hero-cycles there is a long break, which is filled up 
in the histories with meagre details, but full genealogies, of inter- 
mediate kings, with now and then an oasis of mythical incident, 
like Cimbaeth's conquest of the war-goddess, Macha Red-mane, 
and Labraid Loingseach's hunted youth and punishment of the 
usurping uncle. A wounderful list it is ! Are these kings and 
chiefs but shadows conjured from the fertile imagination of bards 
and monks ? Most of them undoubtedly are mere genealogical 
stop-gaps, though a few names and events may have lived on in 
legend and myth. For, what are the facts in regard to the literary 
documents of Irish history ? None go back in MS. earlier than 
the year 1 100, and the language in which the oldest MS. is written 
is just the language of the time at which it was written. It is use- 
less to postulate for the composition of the literary matter a date 
of six centuries or more previously ; the writings may be as old as 
that and older, but their final recension in the nth century is 
couched in the language of that time, and great caution must be 
exercised in sifting out what is and what is not old. At the best, 
the result remains unsatisfactory, and unsafe to theorise upon. 
Yet, it must be said that Irish history from after the time of St. 
Patrick may be trusted, for it can be often tested by contemporary 
and other documents. When we remember the mythical history 
of St. Patrick himnelf, and that he is divisible into three different 

26 The Celtic Magazine. 

personages, dating from 400 to $00 for St. Patrick dies at the 
age of 122 in the I4th year of King Lughaidh ! we are entitled 
to place little confidence in Irish history antecedent to him. In 
fact, Irish history begins with the introduction of Christianity. 
Previous to that, it is mythical and legendary. There are three 
distinctive periods, however ; first, there is the mythological epoch 
commencing with Partolan and ending with the expulsion of the 
Tuatha-De-Danann and the instalment of the Milesian race. 
Then, secondly, comes the Milesian race of kings, filling up the 
void of fifteen hundred years till the Christian era or shortly before 
it, when the Cuchulain cycle of events begins. Again, thirdly, the 
period from the beginning of the Christian era to the time of St. 
Patrick is one which may be trusted possibly in its leading features. 
The vraisimilitude of Irish history has imposed on the best scholars, 
and even Professor Windisch is inclined to euhemerise the Cuch- 
ulain and Fenian cycles, and to believe the stories of the reigns of 
Conchobar and Cormac. But, really, the feats performed by 
Cuchulain are in the highest degree mythical ; his life is a fairy 
tale that fits not into history, and, indeed, his name has no place 
in the " Annals of the Four Masters ! " Nor is Finn and his Fenian 
militia (!) band much better treated ; he is, indeed, mentioned in 
an obscure way as having fallen in A.D. 283, while the fatal field 
of Gabhra is represented as an ordinary event in Irish history un- 
connected with the collapse of a mighty and miraculous host. 
The fact is, the Irish annalists found it difficult to fit the fairy 
heroes into their histories, just as is the case with the British Arthur. 
There is no place for him in the kingly list, and he is accordingly, 
like Finn, a " dux belli." Yet the fairy tales and romances regard 
these heroes as kings and princes, but the histories cannot recog- 
nise them ; they do not fit in well, for, in reality, they belong to 
no particular time, but are the incarnation of the national deities 
in national heroes. These heroes cannot, therefore, be tied down 
to history ; the most popular incidents in their lives are of a wholly 
unhistorical character enchantments, fairy scenes and chases, 
gigantic heroes that over-stride firths and valleys such are the 
characteristics of nearly all the tales. The historical part is poor 
and non-popular. The only historical incident recognised, and 
that, too, doubtfully, by the popular imagination, is the battle of 

Heroic Tales of tlie Celts. 27 

Gabhra, where the Feni were overthrown ; and that battle, if 
historical at all, was fought, not by the Finn and Oscar of popular 
tradition, but by some of the numerous chiefs and kinglets bearing 
the names of the mythic heroes. 

The Cuchulain cycle is set down as occurring at the beginning 
of the Christian era, while the Fenian cycle is placed three hundred 
years later. In any case, the two cycles are quite distinct in their 
characteristics. In the Cuchulain cycle, the hero alone performs 
all the wonders ; for instance, Cuchulain and his charioteer alone 
keep the host of Meave at bay for a long period, until the princes 
of Ulster recover their powers. Now in the Fenian cycle, the 
heroes are banded together, and are captains of armies. Cuchulain 
rides on a chariot ; the Fingalians know of none such they are a 
band of foot soldiers. The two cycles have thus distinctive features, 
and they maybe compared to the hero-cycles of Classical Mythology. 
These divide into two ; there are the demigod heroes like Hercules, 
Theseus, and Perseus, who perform their feats alone ; and, again, 
there are the more mortal heroes of the Trojan type, like Achilles, 
who heads a band of men and performs marvels ; but, on the 
whole, the Feni rather belong to the Argonautic conception, 
which is somewhat earlier and is a thorough fairy tale, falling be- 
tween the Hercules type and the purely Trojan type. The 
Arthurian cycle is Trojan in its characteristics. 

Of Cuchulain's birth, ''strange tales are told." Nominally the 
son of Sualtam, he in reality was the son of the god Luga the 
sun-god, whose far-darting and flashing qualities he displays con- 
tinually, for his power lies greatly in the use of the sling, and in 
fighting from the car. As a young man, he, like all fairy and 
mythic heroes, is lowly brought up, and serves Culann, the smith, 
if we can trust so evidently " eponymic " a myth, and hence he- 
was called Cu-Chulain, " Culaun's Hound." But his name more 
likely contains the common prefex en or con, signifying superiority, 
and not dog. Queen Meave makes a raid on Ulster to get the 
famous bull, Bonn Chualgne, and the Ulster people, all save 
Cuchulain, are placed under a spell, whereby they cannot move 
to fight. Cuchulain alone withstands the host of Meave, dealing 
death with his sling, and fighting the champions "at the ford." 
But he fails, apparently, through demoniac influences, and Meave 

28 The Celtic Magazine. 

gets the bull ; but, as she returns home, the Ulster men awake and 
pursue. A battle is fought, Cuchulain again appears, and carries 
all before him. Such is the rationalistic history of the " Cowspoil 
of Cualgne ; " but evidently the spoil is connected with the cattle 
of the sun-god, and is quite mythical, as Professor Windisch 
reluctantly remarked, only to controvert it inconsistently. The 
other incidents of his life are his mythical education ; his feats ; 
the slaying of his son, Conlaoch, by mistake the story of Soohrab 
and Rustem of Persia ; and his tragic death through witchcraft 

Finn is also a fairy hero ; his birth is anteceded by his father's 
violent death and his mother's flight ; he is brought up in obscurity ; 
does wonderful youthful exploits ; tastes of the salmon of know- 
ledge, and so, by bruising his thumb, which was burnt in the pro- 
cess of broiling the fish, in his mouth, can always discover the 
truth ; acquires his father's position, and is great. Innumerable 
are the tales of the Feni. The real Fenian tales are composed of 
fairy battles, scenes, and spells ; but they have got tinged with 
real events, such as, in Scotland, the descents of the Norsemen ; 
and, consequently, Finn's fairy opponent sometimes partakes of a 
Norse name and character. Finn is evidently the incarnation of 
the chief deity of the Gaels the Jupiter spoken of by Caesar and 
the Dagda of Irish myth. His qualities are king-like and majestic, 
not sun-like, as those of Cuchulain. He is surrounded by a band 
of heroes that make a terrestrial Olympus, composed of counter- 
parts to the chief deities. There is the fiery Oscar (ud-scar, utter- 
cutter ?) a sort of war god ; Ossian, the poet and warrior, corre- 
sponding to Hercules Ogmius ; Diarmat, of the shining face, a 
reflection of the sun-god ; Caelte, the wind-swift runner ; and so 

Arthur and his knights correspond generally to Finn and his 
heroic band ; Arthur's position in history and in popular tradition 
agrees with Finn's, and many incidents are the same in their lives 
their birth and education in obscurity, like all heroes of fairy 
lore ; their recognition and advancement to the throne ; their kingly 
qualities and majestic wisdom ; their domestic life, the infidelity 
of their wives ; and so on. The heroes of each nation show also 
similarities, nor are even the names without a resemblance. Tal- 

Heroic Tales of the Celts. 29 

iesin, the bard, son of the mystic Gwion, may philologically corre- 
spond to Ossian, son of Finn, as Professor Rhys allows. The 
incidents of the Arthurian cycle sometimes correspond to the 
Cuchulain cycle of Ireland, as well as to the Fenian. Thus 
Peredur's ideal of a bride raven-black hair and blood-red and 
snow-white cheeks corresponds to the story of Deirdre and the 
sons of Uisneach. 

A word or two may be said as to the local habitation of the 
heroic incidents. The Irish tales localise the events in Ireland, 
and point to places whose names are derived from the incidents 
of the tales. For example, the incidents of the killing of Diarmat 
by the boar are located in Sligo ; but in Scotland the same story 
is fixed in no less than two places Argyllshire and Sutherland- 
shire ; Ben-Gulbain in Argyllshire, and Ben-Loyal in Sutherland 
have clear topographical traces of the story. And, again, the 
Arthurian incidents are confidently located by different theorists 
in Brittany, Wales, and Scotland. Mr. Stuart-Glennie has written 
a volume to prove that Scotland was the scene of Arthur's victories, 
and Mr. Skene supports him. No doubt the claims are all genuine ; 
the story, in fact, is settled wherever a colony of the Welsh and 
the Gaels settled in a new country. The stories are racial and 
general, and can be tied down to neither time nor place. Every 
branch and colony can claim them as their own. 

The Celtic Magazine. 



JOHN, EARL OF SUTHERLAND, together, with his lady, being 
poisoned, the year 1567, his son Alexander (being young) suc- 
ceeded unto him, whose ward and marriage George Earl of 
Caithness had right to, and withal gets the custody of Earl 
Alexander during the time of his ward ; whereat Alexander's 
most tender friends (and chiefly the Murrays of Sutherland) being 
grieved, they lay a plot among themselves to convey Earl Alex- 
ander from the Earl of Caithness ; which they effect, and deliver 
him to the Earl of Huntly, with whom he staid until his ward was 
expired, the year 1573, during which time the Earl of Caithness 
kept possession of the land ; whereupon divers troubles did 
ensue. The Earl of Caithness removed the Murrays of Suther- 
land from their possessions ; which, nevertheless, they endeavoured 
to keep. Hutcheon Murray, with divers of his friends, do possess 
themselves with the town of Dornoch and the adjacent lands, 
being formerly possessed by them. The Earl of Caithness sent 
his son John, Master of Caithness, with a number of men to 
remove the Murrays from Dornoch. Y Mackay did also 
accompany the Master of Caithness in this journey. Being come 
to Dornoch, they besiege the Murrays there ; who, for the space 
of some days, issued forth and skirmished with the enemy. In 
end, the Master of Caithness burnt the town and the cathedral 
church, which the inhabitants could not longer defend. Yet, 
after the town was lost, they kept the Castle, the enemy still 
assaulting them, but in vain, without any success, for the space of 
a month. Then, by the mediation of some indifferent friends, 
they surrendered the Castle, and gave three pledges that, within 
two months, they should depart from Sutherland; which they 
did, and retired themselves to the Earl of Huntly, with whom 
they staid until the expiring of the Earl Alexander's ward ; at 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 3 1 

which time they recovered their ancient possessions. Notwith- 
standing that the Murrays had retired themselves, as they had 
promised, yet they were no sooner departed, but the pledges were 

During the time that the Sutherland men staid with the Earl 
of Huntly, they served him in his wars against the Forbeses, and 
chiefly at Crabstaine, where they did good service against the 
foot supply that was sent by the Regent to assist the Forbeses. 
This burning of Dornoch and of the Cathedral Church happened 
in the year of God 1570. The next year following (which was 
1571), George, Earl of Caithness, became jealous of some plots 
which his eldest son John, Master of Caithness, and Y Mackay of 
Strathnaver had contrived against him, and thereupon appre- 
hended his son John, whom he imprisoned closely at Girnigo, 
where he died, after seven years' captivity. Y Mackay, perceiving 
that John, Master of Caithness, was imprisoned by his father, he 
retired home into Strathnaver, and died within six months there- 
after, the same year of God 1571. 


The year of God, 1585, George, Earl of Caithness, married the 
Earl of Huntly 's sister ; at which time, by Huntly 's mediation, 
the Earls of Sutherland and Caithness were reconciled. It was 
then concluded among them that the Clan Gunn should be pursued 
and invaded by the Earls of Sutherland and Caithness, because 
they were judged to be the chief authors of the troubles which 
were then like to ensue ; and to this effect it was resolved that 
two companies of men should be sent by the Earls of Sutherland 
and Caithness against such of the Clan Gunn as dwelt in Caithness, 
thereby to compass them, that no place of retreat might be left 
unto them, which was done. The Earl of Sutherland's company 
was conducted by John Gordon of Backies and James MacRorie ; 
the Earl of Caithness's company was conducted by his cousin, 
Henry Sinclair a resolute gentleman. It happened that Henry 
Sinclair and his company rencountered first with the Clan Gunn, 
who were now assembled together at a hill called Bingrime, and 
with them was William Mackay (brother to Hugh Mackay of 
Strathnaver, and nephew to this Henry Sinclair, that led the 

32 The Celtic Magazine. 

Caithness men) who was accompanied with some Strathnaver men. 
Now were the Clan Gunn advertised of this preparation made 
against them ; and no sooner were they in sight of one another 
but they prepared both for the fight, which was begun without 
fear or delay on either side. The Clan Gunn, although inferior 
in number, yet they had the advantage of the hill, by reason of 
which the Caithness men came short with their first flight of 
arrows ; by the contrary, the Clan Gunn spared their shot until 
they came hard by the enemy, which then they bestowed among 
them with great advantage. Then ensued a sharp conflict, at a 
place called Allt-gamhna, where Henry Sinclair was slain with 120 
of his company, and the rest chased and put to flight, who had all 
been destroyed had not the darkness of the night favoured their 
flight. Which, coming to the ears of John Gordon, James Mac- 
Rorie and Neil Maclan-Mac William, who had the conduct of the 
Earl of Sutherland's men, they pursued the Clan Gunn, and 
followed them to Lochbroom, in the height of Ross, whither they 
had fled ; and then, meeting with them, they invade them at a 
place called Leckmelm. After a sharp skirmish, the Clan Gunn 
were overthrown, and chased, 32 of them slain, and their Captain, 
George, wounded and taken prisoner, whom they carry along with 
them unto Dunrobin, and there they deliver him unto Alexander, 
Earl of Sutherland. This happened in the year of God, 1586. 


This commotion in the Western Isles of Scotland did arise, 
at this time, betwixt the Clan-Donald and the Clan-Lean, upon 
this occasion. Donald Gorme Macdonald of Sleat, travelling 
from the Isle of Skye, to visit his cousin, Angus Macdonald of 
Kintyre, landed with his company on an island called Jura or 
Duray, which partly appertaineth to Maclean, partly to Angus 
Macdonald ; and by chance he landed in that part of the island 
which appertaineth to Maclean, being driven thither by contrary 
winds ; where, they were no sooner on shore, but two outlaws, 
Macdonald Herrach and Hutcheon Macgillespick (who were 
lately fallen out with Donald Gorme) arrived also with a company 
of men ; and understanding that Donald Gorme was there, they 
secretly took away, by night, a number of cattle out of that part 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 33 

of the island which appertaineth to Maclean ; and so they retire 
again to the sea ; thereby thinking to raise a tumult against 
Donald Gorme, by making the Clan-Lean to believe that this was 
done by Donald Gorme's men, who, lying at a place called Inver- 
knock-bhric, were suddenly invaded unawares, under silence of 
the night (neither suspecting nor expecting any such matter) by 
Sir Lauchlan Maclean and his kin, the Clan-Lean, who had 
assembled their whole forces against him. Maclean and his 
people killed, that night, above 60 of the Clan-Donald ; -Donald 
Gorme himself, with the residue, escaped, by going to keep in a 
ship that lay in the harbour. Angus Macdonald of Kintyre 
hearing of this lamentable accident fallen out betwixt his brother- 
in-law, Maclean (whose sister he had married), and his cousin, 
Donald Gorme, he taketh journey into Skye to visit Donald 
Gorme, and to see by what means he could work a reconciliation 
betwixt him and Maclean for the slaughter of Donald Gorme's 
men at Inverknock-bhric. After Angus had remained a while in 
Skye with his cousin, he taketh journey homeward into Kintyre ; 
and in his return he landed in the Isle of Mull, and went to 
Duart (Maclean's chief dwelling-place in Mull) against the 
opinion of his two brothers, Coll and Ronald, and of his cousin, 
Ronald Macdonald, who all persuaded Angus to the contrary ; 
desiring him to send for Maclean, and so, to declare unto him 
how he had sped with his cousin, Donald Gorme, and how far he 
was inclined to a reconciliation ; but Angus trusted so much in 
his brother-in-law, Sir Lauchlan Maclean, that he would not 
hearken unto their counsel ; whereupon his two brothers left him, 
but his cousin, Ronald Macdonald, accompanied him to Duart, 
where Angus at first was welcomed with great show of kindness ; 
but he, with all his company, were taken prisoners by Sir 
Lauchlan Maclean, the next day after their arrival, Ronald 
Macdonald escaping, and that very hardly. Angus was then 
detained in captivity, until he did renounce his right and 
title to the Rhinns of Islay, which properly appertaineth to 
the Clan-Donald, and had been by them given in posses- 
sion for their personal service. Angus was forced to yield, 
or there to end his days ; and for performance of what was 
desired, Angus gave his eldest son, James, and his brother, 


34 The Celtic Magazine. 

Ronald, as pledges, to remain at Duart, until Mac-lean should 
get the title of the Rhinns of Islay made over to him ; and so, the 
pledges being delivered, Angus got his liberty. 

Angus Macdonald, receiving the wrong at Maclean's hand, 
besides that which his cousin Donald Gorme had received at 
Inverknock-bhric, he went about, by all means, to revenge the 
same ; and the better to bring this purposed revenge to pass, he 
used a policy by a kind of invitation, which was thus : Maclean 
having got the two pledges into his possession, he taketh journey 
into Islay, to get the performance of what was promised unto 
him, leaving Ronald, one of the pledges, fettered in a prison at 
his house of Duart, in Mull, and carrying his nephew James (the 
son of Angus) and the other pledge along with him in his voyage. 
Being arrived in the .Isle of Islay, he encamped at Ellan-loch- 
gorm, a ruinous fort lying upon the Rhinns of Islay. Thereupon 
Angus Macdonald took occasion to invite Maclean to come to 
Mullintrae, or Muludrhea (a dwelling place which Angus had well 
furnished in the Isle of Islay), seeing he was better provided of all 
kind of provision there than Maclean could be ; earnestly intreat- 
ing him to lie at his house, where he should be as welcome as he 
could make him ; that they should make merry so long as his 
provision could last, and when that was done, he would go with 
him. For this custom the Islanders have, that when one is 
invited to another's house, they never depart so long as any 
provision doth last ; and when that is done they go to the next, 
and so from one to one, until they make a round from neighbour 
to neighbour, still carrying the master of the former family with 
them to the next house. Moreover, all the Islanders are of nature 
very suspicious, full of deceit and evil intention against their 
neighbours, by whatsoever way they may get them destroyed ; 
besides this, they are so cruel in taking revenge that neither have 
they regard to person, time, age, nor cause, as you may partly see 
in this particular. Sir Lachlan Maclean's answer to Angus Mac- 
donald's messenger was that he durst not go to him, for mistrust. 
Angus then replied that he needed not to mistrust, seeing he had 
his son and his brothers pledges already, whom his friends might 
keep in their custody until his return ; and that, for his own part, 
he did intend nothing against him, but to continue in all 

The Conflicts of tlie Clans. 35 

brotherly love and affection towards him. Maclean, hearing this, 
seemed to be void of all suspicion, and so resolves to go to 
Angus's house ; he carried with him James Macdonald, the pledge 
(his own nephew, and the son of Angus), whom he kept always 
in his custody, thereby to save himself from danger, if any injury 
should be offered unto him. He came to Mullintrea, accom- 
panied with 86 of his kinsfolk and servants, in the month of July, 
1586, where, at the first arrival, they were made welcome with all 
courtesy, and sumptuously banquetted all that day ; but Angus, 
in the meantime, had premonished all his friends and well-wishers 
within Islay to be at his house the same night at nine o'clock ; for 
he had concluded with himself to kill them all the very first night 
of their arrival, and still concealed his purpose, until he found the 
time commodious, and the place proper. So Maclean, being 
lodged with all his men in a long house that was somewhat 
distant from other houses, took to be with him his nephew James, 
the pledge before mentioned, with whom he never parted ; but 
within an hour thereafter, when Angus had assembled his men, 
to the number of 3 or 400, he placed them all in order about the 
house where Maclean then lay. Angus himself came and called 
upon Maclean at the door, offering him his reposing drink, which 
was forgotten to be given him before he went to bed. Maclean 
answered that he desired none for that time. Although, said 
Angus, it be so, yet it is my will that thou arise and come forth 
to receive it. Then began Maclean to suspect, and so did arise, 
with his nephew James betwixt his shoulders, thinking, that if 
present killing was intended against him, he would save himself 
as long as he could by the boy. The boy, seeing his father with 
a bare sword, and a number of his men in like manner about him, 
cried, with a loud voice, for mercy to his uncle, which was granted, 
and Maclean immediately removed to a secret chamber till the 
next morning. Then called Angus to the remnant within, so 
many as would have their own lives to be saved, that they should 
come forth (Macdonald Herrach, and another, whom he named, 
only excepted); obedience was made by all the rest, and these two 
only fearing the danger, refused to come forth ; which Angus 
perceiving, he commanded incontinent. to put fire to the house ; 
which was done, so that the two men were pitifully burnt to 

36 The Celtic Magazine. 

death. This Macdonald was the author of these troubles ; the 
other was a very near kinsman to Maclean, and of the eldest of 
his sirname, renowned both for counsel and manhood. 

After that, the report of Maclean's taking came to the Isle of 
Mull, Allan Maclean, and some others of the Macleans, caused a 
rumour to be spread in Islay, that Ronald (the brother of Angus 
Macdonald, and the other pledge which he had given to Maclean) 
was slain at Duart, in Mull, by Maclean's friends ; which false re- 
port was raised by Allan Maclean, that thereby Angus Macdonald 
might be moved to kill his prisoner, Sir Lauchlan Maclean, and 
so Allan himself might succeed to Sir Lauchlan ; and, indeed, it 
wrought this effect, that how soon the report came to Angus's 
ears that his brother Ronald was slain, he revenged himself fully 
upon the prisoners; for Maclean's followers were by couples be- 
headed the days following, by Coll, the brother of Angus. The 
report of this fact at Mullintrae was carried to the Earl of Argyll, 
who immediately assembled his friends to get Maclean out of 
Angus's power ; but, perceiving that they were not able to do it, 
either by force or fair means, they thought necessary to complain 
to the King. His Majesty directed charges to Angus, by a 
herald of arms, commanding him to restore Maclean into the 
hands of the Earl of Argyll; but the messenger was interrupted, 
and the haven port stopped, where he should have taken shipping 
towards Islay, and so he returned home; yet with exceeding travel 
made by Captain James Stewart, Chancellor of Scotland, and 
many straight conditions granted by Maclean to Angus, Maclean 
was at last exchanged for Ronald, the brother of Angus, and the 
pledge before mentioned ; and for performance of such conditions 
as Maclean did promise to Angus, at his delivery, he gave his 
own son, and the son of Macleod of Harris, with divers other 
pledges to Angus Macdonald, who thereupon went into Ireland 
upon some occasion of business, which Maclean understanding, he 
invaded the Isle of Islay, and burnt a great part of the same, regard- 
ing neither the safety of the pledges, nor his faith given before 
the friends at his delivery. Angus Macdonald, returning out of 
Ireland, did not stir the pledges, who were innocent of what was 
done unto his lands in his absence ; yet, with a great preparation 
of men and shipping, he went into the islands and Tiree apper- 

The Conflicts of the Clam. 37 

taining to Maclean, invading these places with great hostility; 
where, what by fire, what by sword, and what by water, he 
destroyed all the men that he could overtake (none excepted), 
and all sorts of beasts that served for domestic use and pleasure 
of man ; and, finally, came to the very Ben Mor, in Mull, and 
there killed and chased the Clan-Lean at his pleasure, and so 
fully revenged himself of his former injuries. Whilst Angus 
Macdonald was thus raging in Mull and Tiree, Sir Lauch- 
lan Maclean went into Kintyre, spoiled, wasted, and burnt 
a great part of that country ; and thus, for a while, they did 
continually vex one another with slaughters and outrages, to 
the destruction, well near, of all their country and people. In 
this meantime, Sir Lachlan Maclean did entice and train John 
Maclan, of Ardnamurchan (one of the Clan-Donald), to come 
unto him unto the Isle of Mull, promising him that he would give 
him his mother in marriage, unto whom the said John Maclan 
had been a suitor. John being come unto Mull, in hope of this 
marriage, Maclean yielded to his desire, thinking thereby to draw 
John Maclan unto his party against Angus Macdonald. The 
marriage was celebrated at Torloisk, in Mull ; but the very same 
night John Maclan's chamber was forced, himself taken from his 
bed out of Maclean's mother's arms, and eighteen of his men 
slain, because he refused to assist Maclean against Angus Mac- 
donald. These were (and are to this day) called, in a proverb, 
Maclean's nuptials. John Maclan was detained a whole year in 
captivity by Maclean ; and, at last, was released, in exchange of 
Maclean's son and the rest of the pledges which Angus Macdonald 
had in his hands. These two islanders, Angus Macdonald and 
Maclean, were afterwards written for by the King, and trained 
unto Edinburgh, the year of God, 1591, with promise safely to 
pass and repass unhurt or molested in their bodies or goods, and 
were committed both to ward within the Castle of Edinburgh, 
where they remained not long when they were remitted free, to 
pass home again, for a pecunial fine, and a remission granted to 
either of them. Their eldest sons were left as pledges for their 
pbedience in time coming. 

(To be continued.) 

38 The Celtic Magazine. 



WE have recently been perusing a most interesting book, 
published in 1787, being "A Tour through the Highlands of 
Scotland, and the Hebride Isles, in 1786," by John Knox, and 
containing many facts of no little interest at the present day. He 
not only gives many of his own experiences, but makes interest- 
ing quotations from others who had preceded him over the same 
ground. Pythias, our author informs us, had made a voyage to 
Thule, the remotest island belonging to Britain, which he de- 
scribes as being "at the distance of six days' sailing from it, in 
the skirts of the Frozen Ocean." It was a place, according to 
him, which was neither earth, sea, nor air, but something like a 
composition of all of them, something resembling, to use his own 
expression, "the lungs of the sea." The same author describes 
the climate of the Hebrides, at that early period, pretty much in 
the same language in which it might be accurately described in 
the last quarter of the nineteenth century, but he informs us that 
" the natives are obliged to carry their corn under shelter, to beat 
the grain out, lest it should be spoiled by the want of sunshine, 
and violence of the rains." 

In a description of lona, Mr. Knox tells us that it had been 
famous for its library, containing the archives and histories of the 
kingdom, with many other manuscripts which were then dispersed 
and lost. yEneas Sylvius, who afterwards became Pope Pius II., 
intended, during a visit to Scotland, to have gone to lona to 
search for the lost books of Livy, but was prevented by the death 
of the King. A small parcel of books from this library was 
brought to Aberdeen in 1524, and great pains were taken to un- 
fold them, but in consequence of their great age, and the tender- 
ness of the parchment, scarcely any portion of them could be 

State of tlie Highlands a Hundred Years ago, 39 

read. The best authorities, however, from what they were able 
to make out, thought that the work was rather a fragment of 
Sallust than of Livy. 

The register and records of the island were all destroyed at 
the Reformation. lona was the burial-place " of forty-eight kings 
of Scotland, eight of Norway, four of Ireland, besides the chief- 
tains of the Highland and Hebridean Clans, some of whose 
effigies still remain on the spot; many have been destroyed, and 
others have been purloined for other church-yards in the High- 
lands." The writer says that he had seen several of these effigies, 
as well as some of the stone' crosses that had been taken away 
from the island. One of the crosses, he informs us, stood in the 
centre of the town of Campbeltown, "a beautiful pillar, orna- 
mented with foliage." The effigies had been carried mostly to 
Argyleshire, where they were laid over the graves of the principal 
inhabitants. Several were at that time to be seen at Kilmartin, 
where the people could actually give the names of the persons on 
whose graves they were originally placed in lona. 

Writing of the Highlanders of his own time, Mr. Knox says 
that they are " the lineal, unmixed descendants of these heroes, 
poets, and bards, who, through a long succession of ages, have 
preserved the Celtic language in its ancient purity; who still 
retain, in a considerable degree, the simple manners and customs 
of their ancestors; and who are less tinctured with the vices of 
modern times than those that bestow upon them the epithet 
of barbarous." Mr. Knox, in 1764, made his first tour to the 
Highlands, and he states that the extreme poverty, idleness, and 
distress of the people made an impression on his mind which 
engaged his thoughts, much of his .time, and afterwards cost him 
several thousand pounds in various efforts to ameliorate the state 
of the people. His great object was to start what has since 
become so well known as the British Fisheries' Society. 

He afterwards visited the Highlands no less than sixteen 
times in twenty-three years, and at first he made it a point to 
enquire into the most effectual means of employing the inhabi- 
tants, " and of preventing emigration, which at that time prevailed 
greatly;" and he says that there was in the country then a 
population of 300,000 people and upwards, " many of whom had 

4O The Celtic Magazine. 

nothing more than a bare existence, and even that upon the most 
precarious tenure." He made an attempt to enlist the aid of 
the Highland Society of London, which had been established 
several years before this, in his work in the Highlands, in which 
he was afterwards to some extent successful. His description of 
the Highland Society at the time is worth reproducing. " It 
was," he says, " partly a convivial club, who met to enjoy them- 
selves according to the customs of their country, to hear the 
bagpipe, drink whisky out of the clam-shell, etc.; and, partly, an 
institution for the encouragement of collections and publications 
in their native tongue and of their native music, and similar 

On the 29th of June, 1768, he started from London on a 
remarkable tour, which he completed, mostly on foot, in the 
space of six months from the time he left. The tour was from 
Oban to Cape Wrath, from thence along the shore of the Pentland 
Firth to Duncansbay Head, in Caithness, then along the East 
Coast of that County, Sutherland, and Ross-shire, to the Town 
of Inverness, continuing along the coast of the Moray Firth to 
Kinnaird Head, Peterhead, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh, the whole 
distance exceeding over 3000 miles. In the course of this tour 
he also visited some of the Western Isles. Of this tour he wrote 
a journal, the first portion of which, dealing with the part of the 
country from Oban to Cape Wrath, including the Western Isles, 
was published shortly after his return to Edinburgh. From it we 
shall give a few interesting extracts in these papers. Meantime, 
we shall cull a few from some other documents which are 
published in the book. 

In his appeal to the proprietors of lands along the Highland 
coasts, after stating several things which they ought to do, he 
says : " By thus blending private benefit with the general good, 
the names of such proprietors, who shall, with a liberal hand, 
come forward, and at an early period, will be engraved upon 
every Highland rock, and be recorded with applause to the end of 
time. But something further remains on the part of the gentle- 
men of the Highlands towards the success of the various branches 
which constitute this great design. The servitude required by 
proprietors, tacksmen, and some factors, amounts, according to 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 41 

ancient usage, to forty-two days every year, and these the most 
favourable for ploughing, sowing, digging peats, leading them 
home, cutting down and leading home the grain. While the 
poor men and their families are thus employed upon the business 
of their superiors, and for which they receive neither money nor 
provisions, their own affairs are neglected, and their little crops 
rot upon the ground ; yet the rent must be paid, or they must 
turn out to make room for others." 

After describing the nature of the tenure, which was generally 
from year to year ; the custom of paying a large grassum on the 
renewal of a lease, when such was granted, and the difficulties 
of raising this money, he proceeds to point out that none of those 
things were so unfavourable to the population as the then " newly 
devised custom of ejecting fifty or a hundred families at a time, to 
make room for a stock of sheep, which can be managed by one 
family, and, in some places, by a servant or herd only. This 
practice, with the religious commotions of the last century, nearly 
depopulated the South of Scotland, from whence, it is said, 7000 
families transported themselves to the North of Ireland, America, 
and other parts." He then proceeds to show what was actually 
being done then in the Highlands. 

In the month of June, 1786, 550 persons embarked in one 
ship for America, and of these, 500 were from one estate. He 
says that the parting scene between the emigrants and those they 
left behind them was "too moving for human nature to behold." 
He and others estimated that, since 1763, no less than 50,000 
people had left the Highlands, and of these, about 30,000 went to 
America. He points out the difficulty of improving the circum- 
stances of the people. The landlords might abolish servitude, 
and many other customs which he condemned ; they might 
extend the length of their leases, and otherwise encourage the 
industrious; "but they must be more than human to resist 
invariably the tempting offers that are constantly made by sheep 

farmers One man will occupy the land that starved 

fifty or more families ; he gives a double or treble rent, and is 
punctual to the day of payment ; consequently numbers of 
ejected poor people are continually on the wing for America." 

Mr. Knox, while pointing out the great difficulties there were 

42 TJie Celtic Magazine. 

in building- good houses in the Highlands at the time of his visit, 
informs us that, within a few years, the ordinary wages of masons 
and house carpenters had been six shillings per week, but, such 
was the improvement in the building trade in the principal towns 
of Scotland, that the wages, in 1786, jumped up and ranged from 
about nine to twelve shillings a week, and he considers it quite 
remarkable that, even at such wages, there was a scarcity of 
workmen. He further says that "this great augmentation is 
partly owing to the great rise in the price of provisions within 
these last thirty years, of which I shall give an instance from 
Glasgow and other trading towns in that part of the kingdom : 

' ' Thirty Years Ago ( 1 756. ) In the Spring of \ 786. 

D. s. D. 

' Beef, Veal, Mutton, per Ib. ... 4 on 

: Butter 4 on 

'Salmon i| 08 

; Eggs, per doz i 07 

'Meal, per peck 7 I i" 

The following reference to the origin of the now beautiful and 
enterprising town of Oban will prove interesting to many. Mr. 
Knox says, "One of the proprietors of the coast of Oban, in 
Argyleshire, has brought together on that spot about twenty-six 
families, who built their ow r n houses upon a very moderate plan, 
and through whose exertions great things were expected ; but the 
people still remain in much the same situation as formerly, with 
the additional circumstance against them of having exhausted their 
little property, or a considerable part of it, in mere dwellings 

Some very remarkable restrictions were at that time placed 
upon the West Highland fishermen. Such as, for instance, busses 
or large boats, coming from other places to purchase herring, 
were prohibited from buying the fish from the natives. These 
busses received bounties from Government, and, to secure it, it 
was enacted that they should continue fishing for a period of not 
less than three months from the date of their departure from their 
own ports, unless they should have sooner completed their load of 
fish, all of which must be caught by their own men. " In the 
meantime," our author continues, "the poor natives, thus deprived 
of their natural right (of selling their fish), and without redress, 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 43 

remained, as they still do, a miserable, helpless burden upon the 
proprietors whose lands they occupied. A petty fishery for the 
support of their own families, or their neighbourhood, in fresh 
herrings, were the only benefits which they could derive from the 
riches that came periodically upon their shores" ; and he then 
informs us of a great measure of relief, which, by a Statute 
passed in 1785, permitted these strange and subsidised fishermen 
to purchase herring from the Highlanders, provided that, at the 
expiration of three months, they had not themselves fished their 
full cargo. One can scarcely believe that such foolish laws were 
in force in this country within the last hundred years. 

At this time two traders in white and red herrings had settled 
at Lochbroom, and they purchased all the fish that the native 
boats could take, in its fresh state, at five shillings or upwards per 
cran. This figure our author considered an extraordinary one, 
for he says, " Let traders be encouraged to settle on all the fishing 
stations of the coast, and the same high prices will be given ; 
but care should be taken to keep the boat people independent of 
the traders, otherwise it may happen that the latter will lay 
exorbitant prices upon the articles which the natives stand in 
need of, and cannot purchase elsewhere." It is curious to find 
that, at this period, in the whole district from Belfast Loch to 
Cape Wrath ; from thence to Duncansbay Head in Caithness ; 
and from there to Cromarty, in the Moray Frith ; there were no 
towns, dockyards, or even a carpenter to be found to execute any 
repairs upon the boats or their gear. A coast of nearly 500 miles, 
we are told, could not, upon any sudden emergency, furnish a 
single sail, a cable, or an anchor. 

Mr. Knox strongly urges that roads and bridges should be 
constructed in the Highlands, whereat, he says, the Highlanders 
would be glad to work as labourers at seven or eightpence per day. 
He then refers at considerable length to the salt duties which 
were exacted at the time, and from which an annual sum of 
900,000 was raised. In 1776 the gross revenue was 895,489, 
and of this 649,275 went in the way of drawbacks, discounts, 
charges of management, etc., leaving a nett sum of only 246,214 
as the amount which went to the Exchequer. The result of this 
tax was the entire crippling, if not prohibition, of the herring and 

44 The Celtic Magazine. 

other fishings in the Highlands, and, " having no towns or stores 
where this article can be retailed out at a moderate price, these 
poor people are forced to live through the winter and spring upon 
half-putrefied fish that have been dried without salt, the bad 
effects of which are severely felt by thousands in that miserable 
country. From the want of this article they cannot even supply 
themselves in the proper season with butter and cheese, and are 
therefore obliged very frequently to bring up more young cattle, 
by means of the milk in summer, than they can support in the 
winter." The duty on coal at the same period was 55. 4d. per 
chaldron, and the Customs regulations were such as to make it 
almost impossible to get any to the Highlands on any condition. 
And only the miserable sum of .1100 was realised from this coal 
tax, though its exaction almost entirely stopped any paying 
enterprise on the part of the people. 

It appears that the landlords of that time appropriated to 
themselves everything they could, as they are charged with 
doing before, since, and now. Referring to the religious frenzy 
of the people, after the death of James V., our author says that, 
in less than thirty years, all the national exertions in literature, 
civilisation, arts, agriculture, and commerce, vanished. The noble 
edifices, which it had taken five centuries to erect, were razed to 
the ground or laid in ruins within the space of a few years ; and, 
then, we are told, " the nobility and great landholders encouraged 
these desolating scenes, or remained passive, while the outrageous 
humours of the preachers and people were venting themselves. 
They had an eye to the Church revenues, which they seized, and 
confirmed to their families in a Parliament of which they were 
themselves the members. The preachers, instead of sharing in 
the Church livings, as they had expected, were not even allowed 
to taste of the crumbs which these livings afforded. They now 
railed against the nobility and gentry, who, nevertheless, kept 
possesion of the revenues, which their descendants enjoy to the 
present day." After impoverishing the Church and the clergy, 
who, we are told, were without stipends or salaries, in this way, 
this Parliament of landlords, who had appropriated the whole 
lands and revenues of the Church to themselves, "did, in the 
munificence of their hearts, from a zeal for the Protestant religion, 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 45 

and in pity to the clergy, enact that every Established minister of 
a parish should receive from their respective parishioners, as a 
maintenance for their families, and to enable them to perform the 
duties of their ministry with comfort and ease, a sum equal to five 
pounds sterling annually!" From the rise of the price of grain or 
meal, these livings several years after rose in Scotland to an 
average of about ,80 per annum for about nine hundred clergy- 
men, the whole annual revenue of the Scottish Established clergy, 
when our author wrote, being only about 72,000. In the High- 
lands, however, the stipends did not exceed 50 on an average, 
and of such livings the number was very few. 

In another paper or two we shall accompany our author in his 
tour through the Highlands of Argyle, Inverness, Ross, and 
Sutherland shires, including the Western Isles. A.M. 

( To be continued.) 

monthly periodical, under this title, was started by Mr. Duncan Cameron, Oban. 
In the October (the eighth) number, an intimation is given that the magazine is no 
more. We were to have been swallowed up by the Highland Magazine. That was 
not our opinion, and we were not in the slightest degree concerned on the point. 
This, we regret to say, is the ninth Celtic publication which came and went since we 
made our first appearance ten years ago, but we are still to the fore, and in a 
better position than we have ever before attained to. We had not noticed the 
Highland Magazine in these pages hitherto, simply because it was never sent to us 
for that purpose. Some of the reviewers praised it without stint. Most 
of them were, to our great amusement, completely sat upon. The serial tale, 
entitled " The Empty Coffin," was almost universally criticised in the most favour- 
able terms, as an excellently-written original tale. We knew better, but while the 
periodical had any chance of life we felt unwilling, even in the interest of literary 
honesty, to point out the fraud which was being perpetrated on the public by the 
editor of the Highland Magazine and his reviewers. We have a copy of the 
original work in our possession, published in three volumes, and entitled " A Legend 
of Argyle ; or, 'Tis a Hundred Years Since," printed for G. & W. Whittaker, Ave- 
Marie Lane, London, in 1821. The title was changed in the Highland Magazine to 
" The Empty Coffin," and the first three or four chapters transposed, and otherwise 
transmogrified, so as to put the reader and reviewers off the scent; otherwise, 
the tale was reprinted, with all its errors, mis-spellings of Gaelic, and other 
characteristics. Some of the cleverest and best informed of the reviewers who 
belauded this original and insipid old tale as a splendid modern production, carped 
at us, while they praised this fraud, for reproducing valuable historical and anti- 
quarian information, which was quite inaccessible to the ordinary reader, the source 
of which we always duly acknowledged ! 

46 The Celtic Magazine. 


FEW societies have done more, or more useful work, in the field 
of Gaelic and Celtic literature than the Gaelic Society of Inver- 
ness. We have before us the eleventh volume of its Transactions, 
which has quite recently been published. To say that it is the 
Society's largest volume were not in itself much, but to say 
that it is out of sight the best and most valuable volume yet issued 
by the Society is saying a great deal. A glance even at its con- 
tents page will suffice to whet the appetite of any Highlander or 
other student having a desire or aptitude for Celtic or Gaelic 
study. A perusal of the articles themselves will satisfy any reader 
that the importance of the volume has not been over-estimated in 
our opening commendation. It is not our intention to enter into 
a detailed criticism of the various articles which the volume 
embraces; it must suffice if little more is done than the mere 
naming of the most valuable of them, and we recommend the reader 
not only to read the Transactions for himself, but to become a 
member of the Society, and thus place himself in contact with 
such wholesome and patriotic influences as emanate from it. In 
point of intrinsic value, we must award the palm to the contribu- 
tions from the pen of Mr. Macbain, Rector of Raining's School, 
Inverness, whose papers on a subject somewhat cognate with 
those treated of in the volume before us, have, during the past 
year or two, enriched the pages of this magazine. Mr. Macbain's 
first paper is on so-called " Druid Circles." The article is 
replete with interest, and is the result of most conscientious 
investigation alike of the available literature on the subject, a 
comparison of the remains with those met with in other 
countries, and a minute inspection of many of the circles 
so numerous in this country itself. To enhance the value of the 
paper, it is very effectively illustrated with sketches of 
antiquarian remains, kindly prepared by Mr. P. H. Smart, drawing 

Inverness Gaelic Society s Transactions. 47 

master, Inverness. This is a feature which greatly increases the 
other attractions of the volume. Mr. Macbain's conclusion 
regarding the circles in question is that whatever their origin and 
purpose they are not " Druidic." " One thing " he says, " is to be 
noted : popular tradition knows nothing of the Druids in connec- 
tion with these circles. The nearest approach to the Druidic 
theory is where in one case the popular myth regards the stones 
as men transformed by the magic of the Druids. In fact, there 
is no rational tradition in regard to them. They belong to a period 
to which the oldest tradition or history of tJie present race cannot 
reach" Proceeding next to discuss the question what these 
remains really were, Mr. Macbain comes, at the close, to be of the 
following opinion : "Our positive results are that the stone circles 
were built by prehistoric races in this country probably by the 
Picts that they are connected with burial, though built independent 
of mounds and other forms of tomb ; that they are also connected 
with ancestor worship, and that the whole difficulty resolves itself 
into the question of why they are of circular form, and why the 
stones are set at intervals." 

This paper is followed immediately by another from the same 
hand on the "Ancient Celts," and in point of historical and 
philological importance it is sure to hold a high place in the 
estimation of Celtic scholars. 

It is not often that after-dinner oratory is considered worthy 
of permanent preservation, but the proceedings of the thirteenth 
annual dinner, and specially the speech of the Chairman, Lochiel, 
will be read with warmest interest in connection with the social 
revolution which has occasioned them. The speech was 
delivered on the evening before the Landlord Conference, 
Confession, and Capitulation at Inverness, and may be 
said to have been a foreshadowing of what was done 
at that Conference. Then follows another paper on the 
" Book of Deer," by Mr. Macbain. We cannot speak in terms too 
high of the philological merits of this article. The vocabulary alone 
which accompanies it is simply invaluable, and evinces an im- 
mense amount of diligent study and careful observation. Other 
papers of great interest are that on " MacMhaighstir Alasdair," by 
Mr. William Mackay; "The Gaelic Names of Birds," by Mr. 

48 The Celtic Magazine. 

Charles Fergusson; "Ministers of Tongue, 1726-63," by Mr. Hew 
Morrison ; and one of special importance and linguistic interest, 
by Professor Mackinnon, on the "Fernaig Manuscript." Besides 
these, there are minor contributions on such subjects as Celtic 
Topography, The Social Condition of the Highlands, Sir Robert 
Munro, Old Contracts of Friendship, Old Gaelic Songs, The 
Educational Power of Gaelic Poetry, Celtic Poetry, Mackintosh's 
Cairn in Glen Tilt, The Characteristic and Social History of the 
Gael, and Letters of Simon Lord Lovat, 1739-43. The merit and 
interest of these papers are guaranteed by the fact that they are 
from the pen of men who are not only genuine Gaels, but who 
have, by special study in the various departments of Celtic 
history, lore, and antiquarian research, made themselves masters 
of the subject. 

Doubtless, Inverness is regarded as the Capital of the High- 
lands, and is naturally a centre of Celtic influence, and within 
easy reach of ample materials of Celtic study, but we sec no good 
reason why other places of even much less pretension might not 
have their Gaelic Societies doing similar work to that so admir- 
ably done by the Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

We again strongly commend this volume, and trust we may 
accept it as only the first fruits of a great harvest of Highland 
literature ; for even yet there is a vast field to reap, and the winter 
is fast approaching, but, alas ! we fear "the labourers are few." 






II. TORMOD MACLEOD, eldest son and male representative of 
Leod, son of Olave the Black, King of Man, as we have seen, suc- 
ceeded to two-thirds of the lands of Glenelg (the other third being 
the property of Hugh Eraser, Lord of Lovat), and afterwards to 
Harris, and the lands, already described, in the Isle of Skye. The 
lands of Glenelg were held of the Crown, while his other possessions 
were held of the Earls of Ross and Lords of the Isles before the 
forfeiture of that family, as appears from a charter in which these 
facts are narrated, and by which the lands are granted by James 
IV. to Alexander Macleod, on condition of his holding in readi- 
ness, for the King's service, one ship of twenty-six oars and two 
galleys of sixteen. The Macleods must have occupied a promi- 
nent position long prior to this date, for a charter, granted by 
Donald of the Isles, grandson of the great Somerled, and styling 
himself King of the Isles, to Lord John Bisset, and dated at his 
Castle of Dingwallon the ipth of January, 1245, is witnessed by his 
" most beloved cousines and counsellors," Macleod of Lewis, and 
Macleod of Harris. The lands of Glenelg were granted between 
1307 and 1314 by King Robert the Bruce to Thomas Randolph, 
as part of the Earldom of Moray, from which it may be in- 


50 The Celtic Magazine. 

ferred, notwithstanding- that Douglas says he was " a faithful and 
loyal subject," Macleod was opposed to Bruce in his successful ef- 
forts against the attempts of the English, under Edward the First, 
to subdue Scotland at that time, and whose prowess culminated so 
brilliantly for the Scottish nation on the glorious field of Bannock- 
burn, on the 24th of June, 1314, and it is instructive to find in 
this connection that the Macleods are not mentioned by the 
earlier historians among those clans said to have been present at 
the Battle of Bannockburn. We are told in the " Anecdotes of 
Olave the Black, King of Man," that Olave went to Norway to 
complain to Haco, the King, of the great hostilities carried on at 
the time by the Scotch in the Western Isles, and that he was sup- 
plied with a fleet of twenty ships. " When Ottar Snackoll, Paul 
Bolka, and Ungi, Paul's son, heard this, then sailed they south- 
ward before Skye, and found in Westerford (said to be Loch 
Bracadale), Thorkel Thormodson. And they fought with him, 
and Thorkel fell there, and two of his sons. But his son, Tormod, 
came off in this manner ; he leapt into a boat, which floated there 
by its ship, and it with him was wrecked on Skotland." Tormod 
Macleod was succeeded by his son. 

III. MALCOLM MACLEOD, of Glenelg and Harris. We have 
already seen that about 1343 King David Bruce granted him a 
charter of the greater portion of the lands of Glenelg* lands 
which he and his successors always held of the Crownf This 
charter, from King David II., Dilecto et fidelo nostro Malcolmo 
filio Tormodi Macleod, pro homagio et servitio suo, duas paries 
tenementi de Glenelg, viz., octo davatas, et quinque denariatas terrce, 
cum pertinentiis, infra mceeomitatum de Inverness. Faciendo 
nobis et hcsredibus nostris prcedictus Malcohnus, et Jiaeredes sni, 
servitium unius navis triginta et sex remorum, quoties super Jioc per 
nos fuerint requisiti, prout facere tenebantur tempore patris nostri, 
etc. This charter is not dated, but all the authorities agree that it 
was granted in or about the year 1343. 

Malcolm had three sons 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Tormod, progenitor of several families in Harris, one of 

* Robertsons Index, and Origines Parochiales Scotia, 
\ Gregory's Western Isles, p. 37. 

History of tJie Macleods. 5 1 

whom possessed the Island of Bernera, in the Sound, 

"before Sir Norman got it from the family as has 

3. Murdo, ancestor of the Macleods of Gesto, of whom in 

their proper place, when we come to treat of the branch 

families of the Clan. 

Malcolm, on his death, was succeeded by his eldest son and 

IV. JOHN MACLEOD, who was designed both of Glenelg and 
Harris. He was head of the Clan in the reign of Robert II. 
1 37- 1 390 and died shortly after the accession of Robert III., 
who ascended the throne in the latter year. 

John married and had issue, two sons and one daughter 

1. Malcolm, who died before his father, unmarried, and 

2. William, who, on the death of his brother, Malcolm, 

became his father's heir. 

3. A daughter, who married Lachlan Maclean of Duart. 
He was succeeded at his death by his only surviving son, 

V. WILLIAM MACLEOD, who, having been educated for the 
Church, was known as Uilleam Cleireack, or William the Clerk. 
While a youth, he appears to have received some lasting insult in 
the Eraser country, and, soon after he succeeded to the Macleod 
estates, he made a raid into the Aird, and carried away a great 
number of cattle, with which he proceeded to Skye, where he 
had them all slaughtered in Harlosh, at a place to this day called 
" Bun a Sgeamhaidh," or the place of the offals. On another occa- 
sion his lands were invaded by the Macdonalds, Lords of the 
Isles, who carried away a great spoil, but Macleod came 
upon them unawares, by a clever stratagem, close to Loch 
Sligachan, where he completely routed them, and got possession of 
the stolen cattle, which were divided among his followers at a 
rock still called Craggan an Fheannaidh, or the Rock of the 
Skinning, to indicate where the cattle were slaughtered. 

Tormod married a daughter of John Maclean of Lochbuy, 
Mull, and by her had, 

i. John, his heir and successor. 

* Douglas's fiaronagc, p. 375, 

52 The Celtic Magazine. 

2. Tormod, from whom a sept called Claim Mac-Mhic 

Uilleam, the Macleods of Borline, and Clann Mac- 
Mhic- Alastair Ruaidk, of whom the Macleods of 
Balliemore, St. Kilda, and several other minor families 
were descended. 

3. George, who went to France, and settled in the Province 

of Lorraine, where many of his descendants acquired 
property, and where, we are informed, not a few of his 
posterity are living at the present day. 

William did not inherit the property long, he having died a 
few years after his father, when he was succeeded by his eldest 

VI. JOHN MACLEOD, whose name is mentioned in a charter 
granted to his grandson, William Macleod, by James IV. in 
1498, where the grantee is described as Alexander Macleod, "the 
son and heir of William JoJin Maklodesoun of Dunbeggane," 
that is, the son and heir of William, John Macleods son of Dun- 
vegan. John was a man of great stature and strength, undaunted 
courage and resolution. He was among the Western chiefs who 
accompanied Donald of the Isles, and fought with him at the 
Battle of Harlaw in 141 1, in the main body of the Highland army. 
Hugh Macdonald, the Sleat " Seannachaidh," informs us that 
" Macdonald set his men in order as follows : He commanded 
himself the main battle, where he kept most of the Islanders, 
and with the Macleods, John of Harris and John of the Isles."* 
John married a daughter of Douglas, by whom he had issue 

1. William, his heir and successor. 

2. Tormod, from whom the Macleods of Meidle, long extinct 

in the male line. From this Tormod were also 
descended the Macleods of Drynoch, Balmeanach ; 
a sept known as " Sliochd Ian Mhic Leoid," and 
several others. 

3. Margaret, who married Roderick Macleod of the Lewis, 

with issue. 

John Macleod died in the Island of Pabba, in Harris, early in 
the reign of James II., when he was succeeded by his eldest son, 

* Quoted in Mackenzie's History of the. Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, p. 68, 
from the Collectanea de Reims Afbanins, 

History of the Madeods. 53 

VII. William Macleod, who is named, with Roderick of the 
Lewis, as witness to a charter granted by John, Earl of Ross, to 
his brother Hugh, and dated the 28th of June, 1449. The two 
Chiefs are described as Willielnms Macleod de Glenelg, et Rodericus 
Macleod de Lewes. He fought, at the head of his clan, with this 
John, Earl of Ross, against his bastard son, Angus Og, and was 
killed in a naval engagement which took place between them at 
the Bloody Bay, in the Sound of Mull, near Tobermory, where 
Angus defeated his father, and got himself fully established in 
possession of the leadership and territories of the Clan. The heir 
of Torquil Macleod of the Lewis was also mortally wounded at 
this battle, and he afterwards died of his wounds, on his way 
north, at Dunvegan,* without issue. 

In a charter under the great seal, by John of Isla, Lord of the 
Isles, dated the 22nd of December, 1478, in favour of Alexander 
Leslie de Wardes, we find, among the witnesses, along with Colin 
Earl of Argyle, Lachlan Maclean of Duart, and Hector Maclean 
of Lochbuy, the names of William Macleod of Glenelg and 
Harris, and Torquil Macleod of Lewis ; and in both the charters 
William's name is placed first in order. He was a renowned and 
brave warrior, and when slain at the engagement of the Bloody 
Bay, in 1480, he was very advanced in years. 

In 1460, William Macleod of Harris accompanied Hugh of 
Sleat and "the young gentlemen of the Isles" in a raid to 
Orkney, fully described in Mackenzie's History of tJie Macdonalds 
and Lords of tlie Isles, pp. 151-152. Trouterness was at this time 
held of the Lords of the Isles by the Macleods of Harris, and in 
1498 " King James IV. granted in heritage to Alexander 
M'Cloide, the son and heir of the deceased William John Mak- 
lodesone of Dunbeggane, two unciates of the lands of Trouternes, 
together with the bailiary of the whole lands of Trouternes, 
lying in Skye in the Lordship of the Isles, which had been 
forfeited by Lord John of the Isles, for service of ward, relief, and 
marriage, with the maintenance of a ship of 26 oars, and two ships 
of 1 6 oars, both in peace and in war, for the use of the King or 

* Hugh Macdonald's Manuscript History of the Macdonalds. See also Gregory's 
Western hies, p. 73. 

54 TJte Celtic Magazine. 

his lieutenants, reserving to the King the nests of falcons within 
the lands, and all the other usual services."* 

William married a daughter of John Maclean of Lochbuy, 
with issue 

1. Alexander, his heir and successor, and 

2. A daughter, who married Lachlan Maclean of Duart. He 
was succeeded by his only son. 

VIII. ALEXANDER MACLEOD, known among the High- 
landers as "Alastair Crottach," or the Humpbacked. In 1498, 
he, with Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, paid homage to James 
IV. at the Royal Castle of Campbellton, in Kintyre, when the 
King granted him a charter as " Alexander Makloid, the son and 
heir of William John Maklodesoun of Dunbegane," of six 
unciates of Duirinish and other lands, forfeited by John, Lord of 
the Isles, of whom they were held by his father, William Macleod, 
for the same service as the lands of Troternish.f Another charter 
is quoted in Douglas's Baronage, dated the 1 5th of June in the same 
year, in the following terms: Dilecto et fidelo nostro Alexandra 
Macleod, filio et Jiaeredi quondam Willielnii, JoJiannis Macleod 
sonn de Dunvegan, terrarum de ArdmannacJi in Herage de Leiues\ 
et cum omnibus minutis insults ad dictum Ardmannack pertineu. 
terrarum de Dunynys, terrarum de MeginisJi, terrarnm de Braca- 
dale, terra de Lindale, terrarum de Trotterness, cum officio balivatus 
totarum et integrarum predict, terrarum de Trotterness in Skye, 
que fuerent quond. Willielmi Macleod Jicereditarie, etc., etc., 
''which lands," Douglas says, "were held of the Earls of Ross 
and Lords of the Isles before their forfeiture, but afterwards of the 
Crownward, for holding in readiness one ship of 26 oars, and two 
of 1 6, for the King's service, when required, reserving also to the 
King and his successors the airies or nests of falcons within the 
same bounds." The same writer says that " he afterwards got a 
charter from James V., Alexandra Macleod de Dunvegane terrarum 
baronies de Glenelg cum mokndinis, etc., in Inverness-shire, dated 
the 1 3th of February, 1539." The year at that date ended in 

* Origines Parochiaks Scotia, p. 351., Vol. II., Part I. 

f Register of the Great Seal, Book xiii., No. 305. 

J Ardmanach of Lewis is the older name for what we now call Harris, The 
date of this charter is also given in the Origines Parothial 

History of the Mackods. 55 

April, so that this is probably the charter referred to in the 
Origines ParocJnales Scotice, as granted in 1540. This charter was 
soon after revoked. 

In 1504, Alexander Macleod of Harris was in constant 
communication, and strict friendly alliance with the King, for the 
good government of the Isles, and Macvicar, an envoy from Mac- 
leod to the King, remained at Court for three weeks at that 
period ; and when nearly all the Western chiefs had joined Donald 
Dubh of the Isles in his efforts to gain the Island lordship, power- 
fully aided, among the rest, by Torquil Macleod of the Lewis ; who 
was, in 1506, solemnly forfeited in Parliament, he having refused 
to surrender and take his trial for high treason for his share in that 
rebellion, and of which he is described by Tytler as " the great 
head." All this time Macleod of Harris remained quite loyal to 
the Crown, but when Sir Donald of Lochalsh broke out in rebel- 
lion after the Battle of Flodden, at the head of the Western chiefs, 
Macleod of Harris and Dunvegan joined his followers, and we 
find him, with Lachlan Maclean of Duart, who had previously 
possessed himself of the Royal Castle of Cairnburgh, seizing the 
Castle of Dunskaich in Sleat, and, immediately afterwards, Sir 
Donald Gallda of Lochalsh was proclaimed Lord of the Isles. 

In 1-514, Macleod of Harris and Macleod of Lewis were 
both exempted from the remission and terms of surrender, 
offered to the less prominent and violent followers of Sir Donald 
of Lochalsh. Alexander is again on record in 1515. In 1517 
he, with the Earl of Argyll and several other chiefs, presented 
petitions to the Privy Council, making certain offers and sugges- 
tions in connection with the affairs of Sir Donald Gallda, the 
principal one of which was to advocate the suppression of Sir 
Donald and his rebellious followers, of which Macleod himself 
was one of the most prominent a few years before. Macleod and 
Maclean of Duart, finding Sir Donald of Lochalsh had disap- 
pointed them, in every respect, and refused to follow their advice, 
became disgusted and resolved to apprehend him, and to deliver 
him up to the Regent. Donald, however, discovered the plot, 
and escaped, but they made his two brothers prisoners, and 
offered them up to palliate their own rebellious proceedings, 
This appears from their petitions to the Regent and the 

56 The Celtic Magazine. 

Privy Council at the time, recorded in the Books of Council 
xxix., folio 211. In the same year, he, and about a hundred 
others, received permission, under the Privy Seal of King James 
V., to pass to any place within the Kingdom of Scotland during 
the period between the 6th of January and the I5th of March. 
On the last-named day, in the same year, he and his friends 
obtained a remission for the part they took in assisting Sir 
Donald of Lochalsh in his treasonable doings with Alexander 
Lord Hume, on giving hostages for their good and loyal behaviour 
in future ; but he demanded, in addition, a heritable grant of the 
lands of Troternish. This was refused, but he was permitted 
to continue in these lands a King's tenant as formerly. 

In 1528 serious disturbances broke out in the Isles in 
consequence of certain titles granted by the Earl of Angus, who 
had possession of James V. in his youth, having been declared 
null and void by the King, on gaining his freedom from the Earl ; 
and it was at the same time provided that in future no lands 
should be bestowed in the West Highlands and Isles without the 
advice of the Privy Council and of the Earl of Argyll, then the 
King's Lieutenant in the West. During this disturbance it 
was considered a suitable opportunity for opening up an old 
feud which existed between the Macleods of Dunvegan and the 
Macdonalds of Sleat respecting the lands and Bailliary of Troter- 
nish, in the north end of the Isle of Skye. To understand the 
feud between these families properly it will be necessary to go 
back a little on what has been already said. Gregory puts the 
facts very clearly, and we cannot do better than give the substance 
of what he says : By a charter under the Great Seal, in August, 
1498, the office of Bailliary, with two unciates of the lands of 
Troternish, was confirmed to Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan, as 
formerly held by him under the Lord of the Isles, and then in the 
hands of the Crown, by the forfeiture of that nobleman. Two 
months later, another charter passed under the Great Seal, grant- 
ing the same office, and eight merks of the lands, to Torquil 
Macleod of the Lewis, on precisely similar grounds. Both charters 
seemed to have been rendered null by the general revocation in 
1498, or 1499. In 1505 the eighty merks lands of Troternish 
were let, by the Commissioners of the Crown, for three years, to 

History of the Macl:ods. 57 

Ranald Bane Allanson of Moydert. In 1510, Archibald Dubh, 
Captain of the Macdonalds of Sleat, was acting as Baillie of 
Troternish, and a letter was directed under the Privy Seal to the 
tenants in his favour. Ranald Bane of Moydert was executed at 
Perth in 1513; and Archibald Dubh was soon afterwards killed by 
his nephews, the sons of his murdered brothers. Macleod of 
Dunvegan, who was principal crown tenant of Troternish for some 
time before 1517, had his lease continued from that year until the 
majority of James V. Under the government of the Earl of 
Angus, Dunvegan obtained also an heritable grant of the lands of 
Sleat and North Uist; and thus became additionally exposed to 
the hostility of the Macdonalds of Sleat. The latter chief sought 
the assistance of his uterine brother, John MacTorquil Macleod 
(son of Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, forfeited in 1506, and 
nephew of Malcolm, the then Lord of Lewis), a man like himself, 
without legal inheritance of any kind, to expel Macleod of Dun- 
vegan and his clan from Troternish. In this way they were 
successful, and also in preventing him from putting in force his 
charter to the lands of Sleat and North Uist. Troternish was 
again occupied by the Macdonalds of Sleat; and John Mac- 
Torquil, taking advantage of the opportunity afforded him by the 
death of his uncle, and the minority of the son of the latter, and 
aided by Donald Gruamach and his followers, seized the whole 
barony of Lewis, which, with the command of the Siol Torquil, 
he held during his life. 

In 1831, Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan had been re- 
peatedly summoned before Parliament, but he refused to appear. 
I n J 538, he and John Macleod of Lewis are found among 
nine of the Island Chiefs who had sent in offers of submission in 
connection with a new rebellion headed by Alexander Macdonald 
of Isla. They were promised protection against Argyll, who 
led a strong force against them, on condition that they should go 
to Edinburgh and meet the King there, or anywhere else, where 
he might be holding his Court, before the 2Oth of the following 
June, and remain there as long as they were required to do so; 
and when they left Court for their homes they were to have pro- 
tection for twenty-one days, that they might return to their 
respective residences without molestation from any quarter. 

58 The Celtic Magazine. 

Argyll, however, died during this year, and nothing was done. 
After various negotiations, the Western Chiefs were reinstated in 
their lands. In May, 1539, Troternish was again invaded and laid 
waste by Donald Gorme of Sleat and his allies. The Macleods of 
Lewis and Macleod of Dunvegan complained to the Privy 
Council of their conduct. Donald Gorme was killed shortly after in 
Kintail, and several of his accomplices received remissions for this 
raid into Troternish and other offences, in 1541. Tradition 
relates that the allies followed the Macleods of Lewis to Skaebost, 
where a battle was fought at a place called Achnafala (the 
field of blood), and that several heads cut off in the fray 
floated by the River Snizort into the yair at the mouth of the river, 
and therefore still called Coire-nan-Ceann, the yair of the heads. 
Mackenzie of Kintail aided the Macleods against the Macdonalds 
of Sleat on this occasion in Troternish, and hence the raid of the 
Macdonalds to Kintail, where their Chief lost his life while laying 
siege to the Castle of Eileandonain. 

In 1540 the King headed an expedition by sea to the Western 
Isles in person. After visiting Sutherland, and other parts of the 
Northern coasts of Scotland, he proceeded to the Lewis, where 
Roderick Macleod, with his leading kinsmen, were compelled to 
join the Royal fleet and accompany the King in his further 
progress. On their arrival on the West Coast of Skye, Alexander 
Macleod of Dunvegan and several of the leading men of his clan 
were seized, obliged to go on board, and to accompany his 
Majesty in the fleet. Nearly all the Western Chiefs were 
similarly treated, but some of them were soon after set at liberty, 
on giving hostages for their future good behaviour; while the 
more turbulent were kept in confinement until after the death of 
James, in 1542. In 1540, Alexander and twenty-three others 
received a remission from James V. for the assistance given by 
them to David Hume, Sir Donald Gallda of Lochalsh, and their 
accomplices, described as "the King's rebels." In 1545, Macleod 
of Dunvegan and Roderick Macleod of the Lewis were members 
of the Council of Donald Dubh, who had been proclaimed Lord 
of the Isles for the second time. In the same year, after the 
death of Donald Dubh, the Macleods of Dunvegan disputed the 
title of the Macdonalds of Sleat to their lands. In 1545, the 

History of the Macleods. 59 

Macleods of Dunvegan and of the Lewis, along with the Mac- 
leans and some of the lesser clans, opposed the claims of James 
Macdonald of Isla, on the death of Donald Dubh, to the Lordship 
of the Isles, and they soon effected a reconciliation with the 
Regent. In the same year we also find him, Roderick Macleod 
of the Lewis, and forty other persons, receiving permission, under 
the Privy Seal of Queen Mary, to go to the Regent and Lords 
of Council on business, from the i/th of August to the ist of 

We find Alexander repeatedly on record in connection with 
his lands of Glenelg, which, as appears from a charter referred 
to below, he granted to his eldest son on his marriage. In 1553, 
one-third of the two-thirds of the lands of Glenelg, which belonged 
in heritage to Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan, were apprised to 
Hugh Lord Fraser of Lovat for the sum of 800 Scots recovered 
by him, and in defect of movable goods. In 1535 the other two- 
thirds of the same lands were apprised in favour of the same Hugh 
for the sum of 2400 merks Scots as part payment of 4085 IDs. 
8d. contained in letters of the King, under reversion to Alexander 
Macleod, on payment of these sums and expenses within seven 
years. In 1536, King James V. granted to the same Hugh, Lord 
Fraser of Lovat, the dues of the lands of Glenelg, which were in 
the King's hands by reason of the nonentry of the heir of the 
deceased William Macleod. In 1540, the lands and barony of 
Glenelg, with the castle, mills, and fishings, were resigned by Lord 
Fraser, and were then granted by King James V. to Alexander 
Macleod of Dunvegan. In 1541, the same King granted to 
William Macleod, the son and apparent heir of Alexander Mac- 
leod of Dunvegan, and to Agnes Fraser, his wife, the lands of 
Arrocardich, Scallasaigbeg, Scallasaigmore, Knockfin, Pitalman, 
Easter Mill, Wester Mill, Lusaw, Nachtane, Wester Corrary, 
and Inchkennell, in the lordship of Glenelg, which Alexander 
Macleod had resigned. In the same year the lands of Easter and 
Wester Lyndale were resigned in the same way, and granted to 
the same parties, as were also extensive lands in Bracadale, ex- 
tending in all to 20* In 1547, Queen Mary granted Archibald, 
Earl of Argyll, the ward of all the lands that belonged to the 

* Orisi/tix 2\irochialcs Scotia. 

6o The Celtic Magazine. 

deceased Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan. He was a man of great 
force of character and activity in peace and war. He built one of 
the towers of Dunvegan Castle, still standing, and repaired the 
old Cathedral of Rodel, in South Harris, where he was afterwards 
buried, on his death, at an advanced age, in 1547. His tomb, 
which we have recently seen, during a visit to the old Church of 
St. Clements, now called Rodel Cathedral, is in good preserva- 
tion. It is elaborately sculptured with curious devices, and 
bears, so far as we could make out, the following Latin in- 
scription : 

"flic locutnr Alexander films Vilmi MacClod dno. de Dunvegan, anno ihii., 

Mr. Seton, in a foot-note to St. Kilda, Past and Present, 
1878, p. 36, says, "Sir Walter Scott makes the date of the 
inscription a hundred years older than it really is viz., M.CCCC., 
instead of M.CCCCC.XXVIII. In a heel-ball rubbing which I 
took at Rodel last ]\\\y five C's are quite apparent." When we 
visited the Cathedral in May, 1885, the^w C's were quite legible, 
without any markings, but this date must be erroneous ; for it is 
quite clear that Alexander lived until 1547, and we are rather 
disposed to think that the second X in the inscription was 
originally an L, and that it should read M.CCCCC.XLVIII.; or 
it may be that the sculpture is of a much later date, when the 
actual year of Alexander's death would not be accurately known 
by those who erected it. 

Alexander has been charged with the atrocious massacre of 
the Macdonalds in the Cave of Eigg, but it will be shown by-and- 
bye that the horrible deed did not take place for at least ten years 
after Alastair Crottach's death. 

Alexander Macleod married a daughter of Allan Cameron, 
XII. of Lochiel, with issue 

1. William, his heir and successor. 

2. Donald, who, after various difficulties and negotiations with 

the guardians of William's only daughter, Mary, which 
will be fully detailed in the proper place, succeeded 
his brother in the estates of the family, as well as head 
of the Clan. 

3. Tormod, who succeeded his brother Donald. 

History of the Macleods. 6r 

4. A daughter, who married James, second son of Donald 

Macdonald, IV. of Sleat, with issue John, progenitor of 
the Macdonalds of Kingsburgh, and another son, Donald. 
She married, secondly, Allan Macdonald, XV. of Clan- 
ranald, with issue, one of whom, Donald, carried on the 
representation of the family. Allan's ill-treatment of 
this lady became the cause of a fierce feud between his 
family and that of Dunvegan, which was carried on for 
many years, and of which an account will appear 
later on. On the death of her second husband, she 
married, for the third time, another Macdonald of 
the family of Keppoch, also with issue. 

5. Another daughter married Hector Maclean of Lochbuy, 

with issue. 

Alexander Crottach Macleod died, as already stated, at an 
advanced age, in 1547, and was buried in the Church of Rodel. 
In the arms upon his tomb, which are still to be seen, is a lymphad 
or galley, the ancient armorial bearings of his predecessors.* He 
was succeeded by his eldest son. 

(To be continued.) 

Douglas's Baronage, p. 377> 

62 The Cekic Magazine. 


WHEN the Rev. Mr. MacAulay visited St. Kilda in 1758, he was 
much taken with the manner in which his vessel was hauled ashore 
by the inhabitants. He describes the scene as follows : " After 
having divided and formed themselves into two lines, the two 
ablest men among them marched forward into the sea, each in the 
front of his own little corps. Those next in strength and stature 
seized these two leaders by the middle, and the rest, from one end 
of each row to the other, clung fast to those immediately before 
them, wading forward till those who were foremost in the rank, 
and after them every one else in the order in which he stood, got 

hold of the boat Without giving time to any one of 

us to jump out into the water, the St. Kildeans hoisted up, almost 
in a moment, our little vessel, ourselves, and all the luggage that 
belonged to us, to a dry part of the strand." The arable land of 
the islanders was all divided into plots by dry stone dykes, each 
man's share being distinguished by some special mark. Their 
only agricultural implements at that time were a spade, a mall, 
and a rake or harrow, to each croft. They turned the ground 
over with the spade, raked or harrowed it carefully, removing 
every little stone and weed, and pounded down every clod with 
the mall. They then sowed their crops, and, after sprinkling the 
surface of the land with manure, they harrowed it over again. 
Their manure was prepared in the following way : A quantity of 
turf-ashes was spread over the floor of a house, and covered with 
a rich friable earth. Over this was spread a quantity of peat- 
dust, and, water being added, the whole mass was pounded into a 
compact floor, upon which the same process was renewed again 
and again, until the manure heap rose to the height of four feet or 
so. To make room for this process, the houses were built in a 
peculiar manner, the beds being placed in the thickness of the 

walls, which were also about nine feet in height. Each bed was 
formed to contain three persons, and was entered by an opening 
in the inside wall. The houses all had flat roofs, at the time of 
Mr. MacAulay's visit, so as not to catch the wind, and the walls 
were all of dry stone. Inside, the house was partitioned into two 
apartments, one for the cattle, and the other for the human 

In 1758 there were only about forty cattle on the Island, 
young and old. This scarcity Mr. MacAulay attributed to the 
rapacity of the steward, who, by an ancient custom, appropriated 
a number of the cows, and all the milk yielded by the remainder, 
to himself. The population of the Island was divided into three 
classes, those possessing seven or eight cows forming the aristo- 
cracy, those who had from one to four the middle class, and those 
who had none at all the lower class. There were only ten horses 
upon the Island, including foals and colts, but these were amply 
sufficient for the wants of the inhabitants. Turf was brought from 
the hills in wicker creels, of which, owing to there not being a 
sprig of natural wood in the Island, the people were extremely 
careful, covering them with skins, and lining the bottoms with 
rags. The number of sheep upon St. Kilda could not easily be 
ascertained at the time of our author's visit, owing to an infamous 
tax levied by the steward. According to the factorial laws of the 
Isle, every householder had to give the steward every second he- 
lamb, every seventh fleece, and every seventh she-lamb. In these 
circumstances is it to be wondered at that the poor St. Kildeans 
were chary of letting people know the extent of their sheep 
stock ? As far as Mr. MacAulay could calculate, however, from 
his own observation, there were above a thousand sheep on St. 
Kilda, and four hundred on the adjacent Island of Boreray. 
Many of these animals had four horns, and were all remarkably 

In summer time, the rocks of St. Kilda, Soay, and Boreray, 
present a beautiful appearance, being covered with vast numbers 
of all kinds of sea-fowl. Solan geese, fulmars, gannets, cormo- 
rants, puffins, guillemots, and every variety of sea-bird cover the 
crags like snow. About the beginning of November the birds 
migrate to other quarters, and from that time until the following 

64 The Celtic Magazine. 

February not a single sea-fowl is to be seen about the Island. 
The solan goose builds a large nest of all sorts of materials, 
including grass, sea-weed, wood shavings, shreds of cloth, and 
other articles, which it is often very difficult to account for, and 
many of which the bird must have carried long distances. In one 
nest was found a red coat, and in another a brass sun-dial, an 
arrow, and some Molucca beans. Mr. MacAulay gives an amusing 
account of this bird's thieving proclivities. " If," he says, " a solan 
goose finds his neighbour's nest at any time without the fowl, he 
takes advantage of his absence, steals as much of the materials of 
it as he can conveniently carry, and, sensible of the injustice he 
hath done, takes his flight directly towards the ocean : if the 
lawful owner does not discover the injury he has suffered before 
the thief is out of sight, he (the thief) escapes with impunity, and 
returns soon with his burden, as if he had made a foreign 

The St. Kildeans frequently made raids upon the solan geese 
at night. So long as they heard the birds making their usual 
sound, grog, grog, they advanced without much caution, but when 
the sound changed to bir, bir, the token of alarm, the fowlers 
halted at once. Hearing no sound, and seeing nothing to alarm 
them, the birds soon became reassured, and again emitted their 
melancholy grog, grog, upon hearing which the fowlers advanced 
again, and, having killed one of the birds, laid him carefully in the 
midst of his former companions. It is said that the living birds, 
on perceiving the body of their departed friend, immediately 
began to mourn over him, crying dismally, and turning his body 
over with their beaks. While the birds were thus engaged in 
their mournful duties, the fowlers made a sudden attack upon 
them, and generally succeeded in doing great execution among 
them. Another method of capturing solan geese was by means 
of a floating plank, upon which a fish was placed as a bait. The 
bird, perceiving the fish, rose up to a considerable height, and 
descended upon the fish like lightning. The force of his fall 
would drive his beak into the plank, which, being weighted, he 
could not carry away, and thus became an easy prey to the 
fowlers, who were on the watch for this catastrophe. The dead 
birds were simply split open, washed clean, and hung up, without 

St. Kilda. 65 

being salted, in little stone erections, built for storing peats, eggs, 
and wild fowl. 

The St. Kildeans made a kind of pudding from the fat 
of the solan goose, called gibain. This was put into a bag 
made of the bird's stomach, and used by the people instead 
of butter, as well as to cure the cough in cattle. The eggs of this 
bird were gathered in May, and stored away without any care 
being taken to preserve them. They were eaten raw, and often 
quite rotten. 

Another bird which is almost indispensable to the St. Kildean 
is the fulmar, which supplies him with oil for his lamps, down for 
his bed, good food, healing ointment, and many other useful 
articles. When any one approaches this bird, it spouts out at its 
beak about a quart of pure oil. An old woman will sit upon a 
rock for hours, having in her hand several long strings with 
running nooses upon them, which float out upon the wind. At 
the right moment she draws them in, generally capturing one or 
two birds. As soon as the bird is taken hold of, it spouts out the 
oil, which is caught in a small pouch by the fowler, and preserved. 
This oil is coarse and yellow, with a strong rancid smell. It is 
said to be good for rheumatism, sprains, and boils. It is also a 
very good lamp-oil, and sometimes the natives merely draw a wick 
through the body of the dead bird, and light it at the beak, when 
it burns for a long time. The Islanders have such a respect for 
the fulmar that it is deemed a grave misdemeanour to take its egg. 
In Mr. MacAulay's time, each landholder in the Island had a pro- 
portionate share of the rocks where the sea-fowl congregated, and 
any trespass upon another man's lot was severely punished. 

Mr. MacAulay mentions another bird, called by him the lavie, 
which was greatly esteemed by the St. Kildeans. This bird made 
no nest, but laid her egg upon some rocky ledge, where it was so 
nicely balanced as to fall into the sea if the sitting bird was startled 
and flew away in a hurry. The capture of the lavie was an interest- 
ing and dangerous process, and was always performed at night. 
The most courageous fowlers were lowered down the cliffs by 
ropes, until they reached the ledges where the birds clustered. 
Each man had a broad piece of white linen upon his breast. The 
birds, in the darkness, mistook these white cloths for parts of the 


66 The Celtic Magazine. 

rock, and endeavoured to cling to them, when they were at once 
caught and killed. The fowler remained upon the ledge until 
daylight, when he was hauled up, very often with a booty of three 
or four hundred birds. 

At one time there was only one boat in the Island. In winter 
this boat was hauled up on shore and filled with stones and earth 
to prevent its being swept away or dashed against the rocks by 
the force of the winds or waves. When Martin visited the Island 
in 1692, the most of the men went over to Boreray in this boat, 
but, the rope which secured it having broken, the boat went 
adrift, and the men were detained in Boreray from the middle of 
March till the end of May, when they were rescued by the factor's 
galley. To show their friends in St. Kilda that they were all 
alive, they kindled as many fires as there were men, upon the top 
of a rock. This was at once understood by the people at home. 
The women especially were so overjoyed at the signal that they 
commenced to till the arable land like the men, and that year's 
crop, thanks to their industry, was the best known in the Island 
for many years before. In October, 1759, nineteen St. Kildeans 
put to sea in their only boat, bound for the Island of Boreray. 
Ten of them landed there, the other nine starting in the boat for 
St. Kilda. Immediately they left Boreray, however, a terrific 
storm arose, which lasted for three days, during which, being 
unable to land in St. Kilda, they sheltered themselves under the 
lee of a high rock. On the fourth day they made for the bay, 
where three of the men were washed away, the remaining six 
being driven by a huge wave upon the beach, whilst the boat was 
smashed to pieces. The unfortunate men who had been left in 
the Island of Boreray were soon made aware of the loss of the 
boat by the signals which were made them by their friends upon 
the main Island. They subsisted for eight months upon wild 
fowl and mutton, killing some of the sheep that were pastured on 
the Island for food, and living in an ancient underground build- 
ing called the Staller's House, of which we shall have occasion to 
treat further on. When the sea-fowl returned in March, they 
killed and stored up sufficient to load the steward's eight-oared 
boat. Their friends at home, wishing to show them that their 
bits of land were not being neglected, turned up ten different 

)ts upon the northern face of the hill which was opposite to 
lem, and in June, 1760, they were relieved by the steward's boat 
and conveyed back to their homes, taking with them a consider- 
able quantity of sea-fowl which they had killed. The St. Kildeans 
have now five or six boats. 

Most of the infants born in St. Kilda die before they are nine 
days old of a strange and unaccountable malady. About six days 
after birth they are seized with a kind of lock-jaw, followed in a 
day or two by convulsions, which almost invariably prove fatal. 
No clue has yet been discovered to account for the disease. 
Another strange circumstance connected with the Island is that, 
whenever any strangers visit it, the inhabitants, one and all, are 
said to be seized with a severe cold and cough, which generally 
lasts from ten to fourteen days. Martin noticed this when he 
visited the Island, as also did Mr. MacAulay, and it has since been 
vouched for as a fact by the Rev. John Mackay,' the Free Church 
minister of the Island, in his evidence before the Crofter Royal 
Commission in 1883. 

Mr. MacAulay states the language of the St. Kildeans to have 
been a very corrupt dialect of the Gaelic, with a slight admixture 
of Norse, whilst every man, woman, and child, had an incorrigible 
lisp. They were very fond of music, dancing to a wretched old 
fiddle with great delight. They were also good singers, and 
accompanied all their duties with suitable songs, generally of their 
own composition. Nearly all the inhabitants, at the time of Mr. 
MacAulay 's visit, were quite illiterate, except three or four. In 
1705, during the reign of Queen Anne, the Rev. Alexander 
Buchan was sent to St. Kilda as a missionary, and he educated 
some of the boys. Now there is scarcely a child of six years old 
in the Island who cannot read some portion of the Gaelic Bible. 

The men of St. Kilda are perhaps the most daring and 
successful rock-fowlers in the world. The ropes which they use 
when out upon a fowling expedition are highly prized. In 
Martin's time, there were only two ropes in the Island, each 
about forty-eight yards long. These valuable articles were 
covered with salted cow-hide, which prevented them being cut by 
the rocks. When Mr. MacAulay visited the Island, nearly every 
family possessed a good rope, about sixty yards long. They were 

68 The Celtic Magazine. 

made of three thongs of raw salted cow-hide, twisted together, 
and covered outside with sheep skin. A good rope was the most 
valuable possession a St. Kildean could have, and was handed 
down from father to son through several generations, being 
reckoned equal in value to two of the best cows in the Island. 
No girl about to be married could receive a better dowry than a 
good hide-rope. The manner of using them was as follows : 
Two men secured the ends round their waists, and, whilst one 
planted himself firmly at the top of the cliff, the other descended 
the face to the ledge which he wished to reach. After killing as 
many birds as he required, he was hauled up again by his 
companion at the top. Many are the hairbreadth escapes gone 
through by the daring fowler, as he swings between sea and sky, 
with nothing but three plies of a cow-hide between him and death. 
Mr. MacAulay gives an astonishing instance of the bodily strength 
displayed by a St. Kilda man when engaged in fowling. The 
man who was at the top of the cliff suddenly lost his balance and 
fell down from above. The man on the ledge, perceiving his 
comrade falling, fixed his feet so firmly upon the narrow shelf j 
where he stood, that he was able to withstand the tremendous 
jerk when his comrade's fall was checked by the rope, and : 
ultimately hauled him up beside him until help came. Besides 
the cow-hide ropes, the St. Kildeans had also smaller ones, about 
twenty yards long, made of horse hair, which were used in less 
dangerous places. They likewise set horse hair gins, secured at 
the end with large stones. Martin relates a story of a man who, 
walking barefooted upon the top of a rock where his gins were 
set, put his foot in one of them and immediately fell over the 
crag. Luckily for him, however, the noose closed upon his toe, 
and he hung suspended by the horse hair cord for a whole night, 
until rescued by some people next morning. A maiden's only 
dowry was frequently a pound of horse hair to make gins ! 

A most pleasing characteristic of these poor Islanders is their 
kindness and hospitality to strangers, a fact which has been experi- 
enced by every visitor to St. Kilda, from the earliest on record to 
the present day. Perhaps the prettiest instance of this trait is that 
given by Miss Gordon-Gumming in her book, " In the Hebrides." 
The story is as follows : The late Admiral Otter, when visiting 

St. Kilda. 


the Island on the Admiralty Survey, had a touching experience 
of the goodness and piety of its inhabitants. A terrific storm had 
arisen, and his vessel was drifting straight upon the rocky shores 
of St. Kilda. There seemed no chance of escape. " In the bitter 
storm the Islanders, one and all, left their firesides and repaired to 
the lowly little church, where they remained for hours in a cease- 
less agony of prayer, till at last, when all hope seemed past, the 
wind changed as if by a miracle, and the ship was saved. Thus 
their prayer was turned to thanksgiving ; and, before many hours 
were passed, the storm abated, and they were able once more to 
welcome the crew and her captain to their little rocky Isle." 

What could be more touching than this ? The simple and 
pious St. Kilda folk could show a bright example of goodness of 
heart to the inhabitants of many a more favoured clime. Such 
an action as that above narrated brings out the true character of 
these Islanders, and, like Charity, will surely cover a multitude of 

H. R. M. 

(To be continued.) 

7 The Celtic Magazine. 


IN 1587-90. 

THE year of God 1587, there happened some dissension betwixt 
the Earls of Sutherland and Caithness. Upon this occasion 
George Gordon of Marie in Sutherland (base son to Gilbert 
Gordon of Gartie), had done divers attempts and indignities to 
the Earl of Caithness and his servants, occasioned through the 
nearness of George Gordon's dwelling-house, which bordered 
upon Caithness. These insolencies of George Gordon's the 
Earl of Caithness could not or would not endure ; and, so 
assembling a company of men, horse and foot, he comes under 
silence of the night and invades George Gordon in his own house 
at Marie. George makes all the resistance he could ; and, as they 
were eagerly pursuing the house, he slays a special gentleman of 
Caithness, called John Sutherland ; therewith he issues out of the 
house and casts himself into the river of Helmsdale, which was 
hard by, thinking to save himself by swimming ; but he was shot 
with arrows, and slain in the water. This happened in the month 
of February, 1587. 

Alexander, Earl of Sutherland, took the slaughter of George 
Gordon in evil part, which he determined to revenge, and there- 
upon dealt with such of his friends as had credit at Court for the 
time ; by whose means he obtained a Commission against the 
slayers of George Gordon ; which being gotten, he sent 200 men 
into Caithness in February, 1588, conducted by John Gordon of 
Golspitour, and John Gordon of Backies, who invaded the 
parishes of Dunbeath and Latheron in Caithness with all hostility, 
spoiling and burning the same ; they killed John, James's son, a 
gentleman of Caithness, with some others ; and this was called 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 71 

No sooner were they returned out of Dunbeath but Earl 
Alexander, being accompanied by Uistean Mackay (who had 
been then lately reconciled to his superior, the Earl of Sutherland), 
entered into Caithness with all his forces, spoiling all before him 
till he came to Girnigo (now called Castle Sinclair), where the 
Earl of Caithness then lay. Earl Alexander escaped himself, hard 
by the town of Wick, which is within a mile of Girnigo. They 
took the town of Wick with little difficulty, and burnt the same. 
They besieged the Castle of Girnigo for the space of twelve days, 
which was well defended by the Earl of Caithness and those that 
were within. Earl Alexander, perceiving that the Castle could 
not be obtained without a long siege, sent his men abroad through 
the county of Caithness to pursue such as had been at the 
slaughter of George Gordon, if they could be apprehended ; so, 
having slain divers of them, and spoiled the country, Earl Alex- 
ander returns again with his host into Sutherland in the month of 
February, 1588. And this was called La-na-Creich-Moire. 

The Earl of Caithness, to revenge these injuries, and to 
requite his losses, assembled all his forces in the year of God, 
1589, and sent them into Sutherland, under the conduct of his 
brother, the Laird of Murkle, who entered Sutherland with all 
hostility, and, coming to Strathullie, he slays three tenants of the 
Earl of Sutherland's in Liriboll, burning the house above them ; 
from Liriboll they march further into the country. The inhabi- 
tants of Sutherland, being conducted by Uistean Mackay and 
John Gordon of Backies, met with the Caithness men at a place 
called Crissaligh, where they skirmished a little while, with little 
or no slaughter on either side ; and so Murkle retired home into 
Caithness. In exchange hereof, Alexander, Earl of Sutherland, 
sent 300 men into Caithness, conducted by John Gordon of 
Backies, the same year of God, 1589, who, entering that county 
with all hostility, spoiled and wasted the same till he came within 
six miles of Girnigo, killed above 30 men, and returned home 
with a great booty. This was called Creach-na-Caingis. 

The Earl of Caithness, to repair his former losses, convened 
his whole forces the year of God, 1590. He entered into Suther- 
land with all hostility, and encamped beside the Backies ; having 
stayed one night there, they returned homeward the next day, 

72 The Celtic Magazine. 

driving a prey of goods before the host. By this time some of 
the inhabitants of Sutherland were assembled to the number of 
500 or 400 only, and, perceiving the Caithness men upon the 
sands of Clentrednal, they presently invade them at a place 
called Clyne. There ensued a sharp conflict, fought with great 
obstinacy on either side, until the night parted them. Of the 
Sutherland men, there were slain John Murray, and sixteen 
common soldiers. Of the Caithness men, there were killed 
Nicholas Sutherland (the Laird of Forse's brother), and Angus 
MacTormoid, with thirteen others. Divers were hurt on either 

The next morning timely the Earl of Caithness returned with 
all diligence into Caithness, to defend his own country ; for, while 
he was in Sutherland, Uistean Mackay had entered with his 
forces into Caithness, and had spoiled that country even to the 
town of Thurso ; but, before the Earl of Caithness could overtake 
him, he returned again into Strathnaver with a great booty. 

Thus they infested one another with continual spoils and 
slaughters, until they were reconciled by the mediation of the Earl 
of Huntly, who caused them meet at Strathbogie ; and a final 
peace was concluded there, betwixt these parties, in the month 
of March, 1591. Here ends this book of Sutherland. 


The instruments of this trouble were the Laird of Grant and 
Sir John Campbell of Calder, knight. The Knight of Calder had 
spent the most part of his time in Court, where he was familiar 
with Chancellor Maitland, from whom he received instructions to 
engender differences betwixt Huntly and Moray ; which commis- 
sion he accomplished very learnedly, and inflamed the one against 
the other, by the Laird of Grant's means. Thus, James Gordon 
(eldest son to Alexander Gordon of Lismore), accompanied with 
some of his friends, went to Ballindalloch, in Strathspey, to assist 
his aunt, the widow of that place, against John Grant, tutor of 
Ballindalloch, who went about to do her son injury, and to detain 
her rents from her. James Gordon coming thither, all was 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 73 

restored unto the widow, a small matter excepted ; which, not 
understanding, he would have from the tutor, thinking it a 
disgrace to him and to his family if his aunt should lose the least 
part of her due. After some contestation, there was beating of 
servants on either side ; and, being put asunder at that time, 
James Gordon and his company retired home. Hereupon the 
family of Lismore do persuade John Gordon (brother to Sir 
Thomas Gordon of Cluny) to marry the widow of Ballindalloch, 
which he did. The tutor of Ballindalloch, grudging that any of 
the surname of Gordon should dwell among them, fell at variance 
with John Gordon, by the laird of Grant's persuasion, and killed 
one of John Gordon's servants ; whereat John Gordon was so 
incensed, and pursued so eagerly the tutor and such of the 
Grants as would assist, harbour, or maintain him or his servants, 
that he got them outlawed, and made rebels by the laws of the 
Kingdom ; and, further, he moved his chief, the Earl of Huntly, 
to search and follow them by virtue of a Commission as Sheriff of 
that shire. Huntly besieges the house of Ballindalloch, and 
takes it by force the 2nd day of November, 1590 ; but the tutor 
escaped. Then began Calder and Grant to work their premedi- 
tated plot, and do stir up the Clan Chattan and their Chief, 
Mackintosh, to join with the Grants ; they persuade also the Earls 
of Athole and Moray to assist them against Huntly. They show 
the Earl of Moray that how he had a fit opportunity and occasion 
to make himself strong in these north parts, and to make head 
against the House of Huntly; that they and all their friends 
would assist him to the uttermost of their power ; that Chancellor 
Maitland would work at Court to this effect against Huntly ; so 
that now he should not slip this occasion, lest afterward he should 
never have the like opportunity in his time. Hereupon the Earls 
of Moray and Athole, the Dunbars, the Clan Chattan, the Grants, 
and the Laird of Calder, with all their faction, met at Forres to 
consult of their affairs, where they were all sworn in one league 
together, some of the Dunbars refusing to join with them. 
Huntly, understanding that the Earls of Moray and Athole did 
intend to make a faction against him, assembled his friends with 
all diligence, and rides to Forres, with a resolution to dissolve their 
Convention. "Moray and Athole, hearing of Huntly's coming 

74 The Celtic Magazine. 

towards them, leave Forres and flee to Darnaway, the Earl of 
Moray's chief dwelling-place. The Earl of Huntly follows them 
thither ; but, before his coming, the Earl of Athole, the Lairds of 
Mackintosh, Grant, Calder, and the Sheriff of Moray had left the 
house and were fled to the mountains ; only the Earl of Moray 
stayed, and had before provided all things necessary for his 
defence. Huntly, coming within sight of the house, he sent John 
Gordon before-mentioned, with some men to view the same ; but 
John, approaching more hardily than warily, was shot from the 
house, and slain with a piece by one of the Earl of Moray's 
servants. Huntly, perceiving the House of Darnaway furnished 
with all things necessary for a long siege, and understanding also 
that the most part of his enemies were fled to the mountains, left 
the house and dissolved his company, the 24th of November, 

1590. The Earl of Huntly thereupon hastens to the Court, 
and doth reconcile himself to Chancellor Maitland, who 
shortly thereafter (not so much for the favour he bore to 
Huntly as for the hatred he had conceived against the Earl of 
Moray for Bothwell's cause), did purchase a commission to Huntly 
against the Earl of Moray, caring little in the meantime what 
should become either of Moray or Huntly. The year of God, 

1591, Huntly sent Allan Macdonuill-Duibh into Badenoch against 
the Clan Chattan; after a sharp skirmish the Clan Chattan were 
chased, and above fifty of them slain. Then Huntly sent Mac- 
Ronald against the Grants, whom MacRonald invaded in Strath- 
spey, killed eighteen of them, and wasted all Ballindalloch's lands. 
The year of God, 1591, the 2/th of December, the first raid of the 
Abbey was enterprised by the Earl of Bothwell ; but, failing of his 
purpose, he was forced to flee away, and so escaped. The Duke 
of Lennox and the Earl of Huntly were sent into the West with 
a commission against Bothwell, and such as did harbour him ; but 
Bothwell escaped before their coming. Then took the Earl of 
Moray his fatal and last journey from Darnaway south to Duni- 
bristle, where he did harbour and recept the Earl of Bothwell. 
Huntly being now at Court, which then sojourned at Edinburgh, 
urges Chancellor Maitland for his commission against the Earl of 
Moray; and, having obtained the same, he takes journey with 
forty gentlemen from Edinburgh to the Queen's Fewy, and from 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 75 

thence to Dunibristle, where he invades the Earl of Moray. 
Huntly, before his approach to the house, sent Captain John 
Gordon (brother to William Gordon, laird of Gight) to desire the 
Earl of Moray to give over the house and to render himself, which 
was not only refused, but also Captain John Gordon was deadly 
hurt by a piece by one of the Earl of Moray's servants at his very 
first approach to the gates ; whereupon they set fire to the house 
and forced the entry. Huntly commanded the Earl of Moray to 
be taken alive, but the laird of Cluny, whose brother was slain at 
Darnaway, and the laird of Gight, who had his brother lying 
deadly wounded before his eyes, overtaking Moray, as he was 
escaping out of the house, killed him among the rocks upon the 
seaside. There was also the Sheriff of Moray slain by Innes 
of Invermarkie, which happened the /th day of February, 1591. 
Presently hereupon Huntly returned into the North, and left 
Captain John Gordon at Inverkeithing until he recovered of 
his wound, when he was taken by the Earl of Moray's friends and 
executed at Edinburgh, being scarce able to live one day longer 
for his wound received at Dunibristle. Sir John Campbell of 
Calder, Knight, who was the worker and cause of their troubles, 
and of the miseries that ensued thereupon, was afterwards pitifully 
slain by his own surname in Argyle. 

The Earl of Huntly was charged by the Lord St. Colme (the 
late slain Earl of Moray's brother) to underly the censure of the 
law for the slaughter of Dunibristle. Huntly compeared at Edin- 
burgh on the day appointed, being ready to abide the trial of an 
assize; and, unto such time as his peers were assembled to that 
effect, he did offer to remain in ward in any place the King would 
appoint him; whereupon he was warded in the Blackness, the I2th 
day of March, 1591, and was released the 2Oth day of the same 
month, upon security and caution given by him that he should 
enter again upon six days' warning whensoever he should be 
charged to that effect. 

After the Earl of Moray's slaughter at Dunibristle, the Clan 
Chattan (who of all that faction most eagerly endeavoured to 
revenge his death) did assemble their forces under the conduct of 
Angus Macdonald, William's son, and came to Strathdisse and 
Glenmuck, where they spoiled and invaded the Earl of Huntly 's 

76 The Celtic Magazine. 

lands, and killed four gentlemen of the surname of Gordon, 
among whom was the old Baron of Breaghly, whose death and 
manner thereof was much lamented, being very aged and much 
given to hospitality. He was slain by them in his own house, 
after he had made them good cheer and welcome, never suspect- 
ing them, or expecting any such reward for his kindly entertain- 
ment, which happened, the first day of November, 1592. In 
revenge whereof, the Earl of Huntly, having gotten a commission 
against them, assembled his power and raid into Petty (which was 
then in the possession of the Clan Chattan), where he wasted and 
spoiled all the Clan Chattan 's lands, and killed divers of them ; 
but, as the Earl of Huntly had returned home from Petty, he was 
advertised that William Mackintosh, with 800 of Clan Chattan, 
were spoiling his lands of Cabrich; whereupon Huntly and his 
uncle, Sir Patrick Gordon of Achindown, with some few horse- 
men, made speed towards the enemy, desiring the rest of his 
company to follow him with all possible diligence, knowing that, 
if once he were within sight of them, they would desist from 
spoiling the country. Huntly overtook the Clan Chattan before 
they left the bounds of Cabrich, upon the head of a hill called 
Steeplegate, where, without staying for the rest of his men, he 
invaded them with those few he then had ; after a sharp conflict he 
overthrew them, chased them, killed 60 of their ablest men, and 
hurt William Mackintosh with divers others of his company. 

Shortly afterward the Earl of Huntly convened his forces and 
went the second time into Petty, causing Alexander Gordon of 
Abergeldie, Huntly 's bailie in Badenoch for the time, bring down 
his Highlandmen of Lochaber, Badenoch, and Strathdown, to 
meet him at Inverness, desiring him also, in his journey towards 
Inverness, to direct some men of Clan Ranald's into Strathspey 
and Badenoch, to spoil and waste the laird of Grant and Mackin- 
tosh's lands, which was done ; and afterward Abergeldie and Mac- 
Ranald, with the Highlandmen, met Huntly at Inverness, from 
whence (joining altogether) they invaded Petty, where they wasted, 
burnt, and spoiled all the rebels' lands and possessions, killed 
a number of them, and then returned home into their countries. 

(To be continued.) 

State of tlie Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 77 



LAST month the first of these articles was concluded by a 
reference to the state of the Church of Scotland a hundred years 
ago, and the small stipends which the ministers received. There 
was another class missionaries on the Royal Bounty for the 
Reformation of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland who had 
to endure great hardships for the miserable salary of ^25 per 
annum. For this trifling sum they had to attend punctually at 
the places appointed for preaching by the Edinburgh Committee, 
or be discharged from their offices. They had to set out early in 
the morning, walk for a number of miles, "among almost im- 
passable deserts, frequently under violent winds, rains, snow, or 
hail. When they come to large waters or ferries, they are at the 
mercy of the people on the opposite side, and, unless they shall 
previously agree to give an exorbitant price (especially if the 
ferrymen happen to be Roman Catholics) in proportion to the 
inclemency of the weather, and the dangers from the 
rapidity of the torrents," they must walk round the head 
of a bay or cross rivers by dangerous fords. When they do 
arrive in this way at the preaching-station, they find the people, 
we are told, in the same situation as themselves, "drenched with 
wet, shivering with cold, and alike exposed to all the inclemencies 
of weather during the time of service, and on their journey back 
to their comfortless huts." The missionaries have to endure all 
this, " sometimes without the benefit of necessary refreshments," 
and "the very expense of clothes and linens, in such situations, is 
as inconceivable as insupportable." Mr. Knox then informs us 
that, while the Protestant Clergy are in this wretched condition, 
having " neither dwelling-houses nor places to preach in, those of 
the Catholic persuasion in the Highlands have both, and which 
are kept in excellent repair." 

78 The Celtic Magazine. 

By the encouragement of the fisheries in the Western High- 
lands and Islands, immense improvements would be brought 
about, not only among the people themselves, but the effect, Mr. 
Knox maintains, would be most advantageous to the whole 
kingdom, and especially in the equipment of the Royal Navy 
upon sudden emergencies. He points out that the mercantile 
fleet was at that time often detained by agreements among coopers 
and carpenters, while journeymen coopers on the Thames were 
receiving such high wages as fifteen shillings per day for their 
labour. The coopers trained in the Western Isles fishings would 
become feeders to the Royal Navy and the mercantile fleet, and 
in this way do away with many of the difficulties that then existed. 
Among other benefits which would arise was curiously " the in- 
crease of population, which would give additional force to the 
centre of the empire, increase the public revenue, and extend the 
demands for English produce and manufactures." The exports 
from England to Scotland, we are told, in the course of eighty 
years, increased thirty-fold, and the money spent by the Scottish 
nobility and gentlemen in England within the same period 
increased five-fold. 

Let us now accompany Mr. Knox in his journey from Edin- 
burgh through Argyleshire and the Western Isles. In passing 
through Stirling, he describes the old Castle, which was then used 
as barracks for a garrison. " The Parliament-House," he says, 
" is 1 20 feet in length, and was of a proportionable height. When 
I first saw this building, the roof was entire ; when I saw it a 
second time, a part of the roof was bare ; and in my last journey, 
the whole roof was demolished. The timbers were of oak, orna- 
mented with carved work, and a great variety of figures, which it 
would be difficult to explain ; as also many inscriptions in a char- 
acter resembling the Hebrew. I do not find that the Antiquarian 
Societies at Edinburgh have paid much attention to those ancient 
remains. Some of the carved figures have, however, been sent 
to Lord Hailes. The age of the old palace and the Parliament- 
House is unknown. In the chapel, which is of considerable 
antiquity, there is a boat that goes upon wheels, designed pro- 
bably for the amusement of the Royal children. In the same 
place are kept wooden models of the four principal castles in 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 


Scotland." It would be interesting to find what became of these 
historic relics. Proceeding westwards, our author arrived at the 
Castle of DunstafTnage, where some of the ancient Regalia of 
Scotland were preserved until the early part of the i8th century, 
"when they were embezzled by the keeper's servants, during his 
infirm years, probably for the silver with which the articles were 
ornamented ; and nothing now (1786) remains, excepting a battle- 
axe, nine feet in length, of beautiful workmanship, and ornamented 
with silver. Mr. Campbell, the present proprietor of DunstafTnage, 
has also in his possession a small ivory image of a monarch sitting 
in his chair, with a crown on his head, a book in his left hand, 
and seemingly in a contemplative- mood, as if he was preparing to 
take the coronation oath. His beard is long and venerable; his 
dress, particularly his robe, edged with fur or ermine, is distinctly 
represented. This figure was found among the ruins of Dun- 
staffnage, and, being consequently engraved before the conquest 
of the Picts, it may be considered as one of the greatest curiosities 
now in our Island." What has become of this ? 

Having called at Oban, Mr. Knox proceeded on his way 
through the Western Isles. Referring to the quantity of grain 
raised t>y the inhabitants, he informs us that, of every year's 
produce of barley, " a third or fourth part is distilled into a spirit 
called whisky, of which the natives are immoderately fond." 
Vegetables of the very finest quality could be raised in any 
quantity. The kail and cabbage were of an exceedingly fine 
quality, and the turnip was of so delicate a character and so fine 
in flavour that it was presented raw on gentlemen's tables, along 
with fruits and wild berries. Potatoes were then grown in large 
quantities. The Highland beef and mutton were peculiarly fine 
in the grain, tender and high-flavoured, and the people had any 
quantity of venison, hare, partridge, solan goose, wild duck, and a 
great variety of moor-fowl. Copper was found in many places, 
but not in sufficient quantity to pay the expense of working. 
Iron-stone abounded in many places, and lead-mines had long 
been worked with success. Both white and variegated marble 
was found in many parts of the country, but for various reasons it 
was found to be of no practical benefit, except that it was used as 
lime, and, in some cases, built into the walls of cottages ! Coal 

8o TJie Celtic Magazine. 

was also found, but it was not worked with success anywhere, 
except in the village of Campbelton, where a small quantity was 
raised for the supply of the district. In Mull the vein was found 
too thin for working, but it was in contemplation, at the time of 
Mr. Knox's visit, to open pits on the estates of Dunstaffnage and 
Clanranald we have not learned with what success. Our author 
then describes at length the enormous quantities of fish which 
were to be found in the Western seas, and he informs us that 
"turbot, halibut, skate, soles, and flounders" were in such little 
request among the people that they did not take the trouble to 
fish for them. Mackerel were also despised. Regarding salmon, 
he says, "the value of this fish was not known in the Highlands 
till very lately," and the fishery of it was neglected. Lobsters, 
oysters, and other shell-fish received no attention whatever. 
Having detailed at length these and the other sources of wealth 
which existed in the Western Isles and on the West Coast, as well 
as the disadvantages of these parts, our author proceeds " Such 
are the specific wealth and the specific wants of the Highlands. 
But as the value of its natural produce, by sea and land, is almost 
wholly absorbed by the great landholders, and by many of them 
spent at Edinburgh, London, Bath, and elsewhere ; as the people 
are thus left more or less at the mercy of stewards and tacksmen ; 
the natural resources of the country, instead of a benefit, become 
a serious misfortune to many improveable districts. Those who, 
by their education and their knowledge of the world, might diffuse 
general industry, and raise a colony of subjects, useful to their 
King, to their country, and to themselves, are the very persons 
who glean these wilds of the last shilling, and who render the 
people utterly unqualified for making any effectual exertions in 
any case whatever." Mr. Knox informs us that, from the County 
of Argyle alone, above 900 men, all of whom were natives of 
Campbelton and its neighbourhood, and who had been brought 
up in the fishing business, carried on by herring-boats from that 
part, were either enlisted or pressed into the Royal Navy. He 
then proposes that an Arsenal and a Royal Dockyard, for small 
squadrons and transports, should be constructed at some place on 
the West Coast, and he suggests Oban as the place best adapted 
for that purpose. 

State of tlie Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 8 1 

The Island of Lismore at that time contained a population of 
1500 people, and was so fertile that he says it might be rendered 
the granary of the West Coast. The Island of Mull had a popu- 
lation of 7000 people, while the rental was 7000 to 8000, 
the Duke of Argyll drawing 4000 of that sum. The population 
is now 5229. The Island exported 1500 black cattle at an 
average of 3 per head, some small horses, and 300 tons 
of kelp, while 200 deer roamed among its hills, but there 
were no hares. At this time the village of Tobermory had no 
existence. The Island of Tiree produced a rich verdure of grass, 
daisies, "and herbs of a fragrancy that is almost suffocating to 
those who are not accustomed to it." A fifth part of the Island 
was pure sand, and this seemed to be extending yearly. A 
verdant plain of 1 100 acres fed 2000 sheep, while the arable lands 
produced 3000 bolls of grain, mostly barley, "of which 500 bolls 
might be exported, if there were no stills for whisky" in the 
Island. The Duke of Argyll drew from it a rental of 1000 per 

From the Island of Coll about 400 cattle were exported 
yearly, the rent of the whole Island being ,700 per annum. The 
population was then 1 100. At the last Census it was only 643. 
The Island of Canna was very fertile, and contained a population 
of about 200, most of whom were Catholics, as at present. The 
population in 1881 was only 57. The Island of Rum contained 
300 inhabitants, and had excellent grazing for cattle and sheep. 
The rental was .200. The present population is 89. Muck 
contained 253 inhabitants, who paid 200 of rent, exclusive of 
twenty tons of kelp every third year ; and, in addition to maintain- 
ing all these people, the Island, which was "mostly arable," 
exported barley, oats, potatoes, and cattle. 

From this Island Mr. Knox sailed to Loch-Hourn, where he 
found every house in the village empty, the whole population 
having gone to the shealings. He then sailed to Arnisdale, where 
he received a warm welcome from Mr. Macleod and his lady. 
Mr. Macleod, he informs us, was eighty-six years of age, while 
his wife was over seventy. Pennant, who paid a visit to the same 
old couple, states : " Before I could utter a denial, three glasses 
of rum, cordialized with jelly of bilberries, were poured into me 


82 The Celtic Magazine. 

by the irresistible hand of good Madam Macleod." In Mr. 
Macleod's garden Mr. Knox observed prodigious quantities of 
apples, pears, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, and 
excellent vegetables of every description. At Glenelg, which 
contained a population of goo people, with a church, manse, and 
public-house, he was entertained in the Barracks, built in 1722, 
containing twenty-four apartments, and accommodation for two 
hundred men, by the commanding-officer and his whole garrison. 
This commanding-officer, at the time of Mr. Knox's visit, was an 
old corporal, while his wife comprised the garrison; and the 
entertainment for the guest was "snuff and whisky!" Describing 
Kyle Rhea, through which he passed, he says that the tide ran 
through it at the rate of seven miles an hour, "but at the lowest 
ebb, this strait is the usual passage where horses and black cattle 
are swam across between Skye and the mainland ; for, though this 
is the principal passage to that great Island, it is not accommo- 
dated with a horse-ferry. When horses are to be taken over, they 
are pushed off the rock into the water. A small boat with five 
men attend, four of them holding the halters of a pair on each 
side of the boat. When black cattle are to cross the Kyle, one is 
tied by the horn to a boat; a second is tied to the first; and a 
third to the second ; and so on to eight, ten, or twelve." 

From among those who frequent the Lochs on the West 
Coast of Ross-shire, from Greenock, Port-Glasgow, Rothesay, and 
other ports upon the Clyde, we are told that "the Royal Navy is 
supplied every war with 3000 men, at the most moderate compu- 
tation, which number may, with some farther aid, and some 
farther regulations in the fishery laws, be extended to 10,000 
seamen. If to these we add 2000 men for the Fencibles, or the 
marching regiments, the importance of this County will evidently 
appear," that is, as a nursery for training these seamen. 

After passing through Kyle Rhea, Mr. Knox spent the next 
night at the house of Mr. Macrae, Ardintoul, after which he 
proceeded to the house of Mr. Matheson at Attadale. There he 
met Captain Mackenzie of Applecross, and Captain Jeffries, who 
had recently returned from the East Indies; and altogether a 
company of eighteen or twenty sat down to supper. Our author 
states that for nine miles up the glen, from Strathcarron to 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 83 

Auchnashellach, was " a populous glen," and that the number of 
people in Lochcarron, from the entrance of the Loch to the upper 
end of this glen, was calculated at 1000. "Many years ago," our 
author proceeds, "the Board of Trustees at Edinburgh purchased 
several acres of land at the head of the Loch, and sent Mr. 
Jeffries of Kelso to instruct the inhabitants in spinning, weaving, 
&c. Many small houses were built, and a number of people were 
collected together, which gave the place an appearance of a popu- 
lous, though detached, village. The Trustees built a house and 
warerooms for Mr. Jeffries; but the design failed, after a great 
sum of money had been expended in the experiment. This 
country is, however, greatly indebted to Mr. Jeffries for the 
example he has shown, and the improvements he has made in 
agriculture, gardening, draining, planting of trees and hedges. 
The spot on which he resides, and to which he has given the 
name of New Kelso, was composed of heath and bog ; it is now 
divided by hedges into square fields, .and produces excellent 
crops, which are beheld with admiration and astonishment by the 
ignorant neighbourhood. So averse were these people to innova- 
tions and to instruction, that Mr. Jeffries was forced to hire 
soldiers, from the barracks of Bernera, for the purpose of digging, 
planting, and trenching. Many thousand acres of improveable 
land still lie buried under a bed of moss, which Mr. Jeffries, or his 
son, would bring into agriculture, if they had the land upon a 
lease of two or three lives." 

What had been done by Seaforth and Mackenzie of Apple- 
cross appears to have made a good impression upon Mr. Knox, 
and he believes " that nothing on their part will be wanting for 
the accommodation and relief of a very numerous people." He 
then relates two incidents which we wish had been followed by 
Seaforth's successors, and other proprietors in the Highlands. 
Mr. Knox says, "I heard, while in this neighbourhood, two 
circumstances respecting these gentlemen (Seaforth and Apple- 
cross) that merit particular notice. One of Mr. Jeffries' sons, 
who manages Seaforth's business, had received some proposals 
from south country sheep farmers, offering to take all the lands in 
a certain district upon lease, at double the present rent. Mr. 
Jeffries communicated these flattering proposals to Seaforth and 

84 The Celtic Magazine. 

desired to know what answer he should return. Seaforth wrote 
him in very few lines, that ' he neither would let his lands for 
sheep pasture, nor turn out his people, upon any consideration, 
or for any rent that could be offered.' The other circumstance 
relates to Applecross : That gentleman, perceiving the bad policy 
of servitude in the Highlands, has totally relinquished all his 
feudal claims upon the labour of his tenants, whom he pays with 
the strictest regard to justice, at the rate of seven or eight pence 
for every day employed upon his works." 

From Lochcarron Mr. Knox proceeded to Applecross ; thence 
to the Island of Raasay, where he was hospitably received, and 
where he slept in the same bedroom which had been occupied by 
Dr. Johnson some years before. The population of the Island 
was then 700 souls. At that time the Island fed a great number 
of black cattle, but had "no deer, hares, or rabbits." There are now 
more rabbits than people ! 

From Raasay our author proceeded to Portree, where we 
shall pick him up in the next article. A. M. 

(To be continued.) 

Town of Inverness Covenanting with a Clock-Keeper. 85 



THE present public clocks in Inverness do not always keep good 
time, and the same inconvenience came to such a height two- 
hundred and three years ago, that the Magistrates found it neces- 
sary to enter into a formal contract on the subject. The document 
is endorsed, "Condescendence betwixt the Magistrates of Inverness 
and James Kennedie, Knock Keeper, 1682." In Slezer's view of 
Inverness, the then steeple is shown looking very small in com- 
parison, as it doubtless was, with the church steeple. Inverness 
has been famed for the purity of its English since the time of 
Cromwell, yet here we find the words "knock" and "knock- 
keeper" applied to clocks and clock-keepers, though these words 
are not only purely Scottish, but almost provincial. The document 
is a very curious one, showing the formality with which the 
transaction was entered into. It would seem no person fitted 
for the office could be had in Inverness, unless Kennedy had been 
specially sent to Aberdeen to learn the business. It will be 
noticed that a dial was to be put upon the steeple. Of old, every 
house, particularly if a garden were attached, had its dial a 
pleasant object. The ordinary class was composed of free-stone, 
with the buyer's initials and date engrossed. Other dials were 
beautiful and elaborate, one of the most noted in the neighbour- 
hood of Inverness being that of the Erasers of Fairfield, which 
now or lately stood on a part of what was once Fairfield land. 
Follows the deed referred to : 

"At Inverness, the fifteenth day of February, one thousand six hundred and 
eighty-two years. It is agreed, and finally ended, betwixt the parties following, to 
wit : The Magistrates and Treasurer of the said burgh, under subscribing on the one 
part, and James Kennedie, knockmaker, indweller for the present at Aberdeen, on 
the other part, in manner subsequent. That is to say, the said James Kennedie 
faithfully binds and obliges him to waitt and attend on the Town's Knock of this 
burgh, and to keep the same in good and right order, both night and day, as 
becometh ane knock, or horologue, to be, and that he shall not suffer or permit the 

86 The Celtic Magazine. 

said knock to go wrong, either in striking of the hours, or in the right ordering of the 
hand without. And that he shall not absent himself nor withdraw so far or long 
therefrom, wherethrow it may be suffered to go wrong in the least degree. And 
sicklyke, that he shall amend any break thereof when it shall happen (in the burgh 
charges), so oft as the said knock requires the same. And that for all the days, 
years, and space of five years next. And immediately following his entry to the said 
service and attendance, which is hereby declared to be, and begin at the term of 
Whitsunday next to come, in this present year sixteen hundred and eighty-two years, 
from thenceforth, the said knock to be faithfully and carefully attended on, in manner 
above expressed. Sicklike the said James Kennedie binds and obliges him to put up 
ane sufficient sun-dyell within this burgh on the steeple thereof when required thereto 
by the said Magistrates, or their successors in office, upon the proper charges and ex- 
penses of the said burgh. For which service and attendance during the said space 
the said Magistrates binds and obliges them and their successors in office to pay and 
deliver to the said James Kennedie his heirs, executors, or assignees, in name of 
yearly salary for his said service the sum of ane hundred pounds Scots money yearly, 
and ilk year during the space above written, at two terms in the year, Whitsunday 
and Martinmas, by two equal portions, beginning the first term's payment thereof at 
Martinmas next to come, for the half-year immediately preceding, and so forth yearly 
and termly thereafter during the foresaid space of five years for all other wages or salary 
he can ask or crave for the said attendance. And, further, the party failer binds and 
obliges them and their foresaid's hinc inde to other to pay and deliver to the party 
performer, or willing to obtemper and perform their part of the premises the sum of 
fifty merks Scots money by and attour the performance thereof. And the said 
failure is to be yearly for the space above written. And, further, it is hereby pro- 
vided that the said James Kennedie shall be free of all public impositions, stents, and 
taxations, during the foresaid space of his attendance within this burgh. And con- 
sents these presents be registered in the Books of Council and Session, or any other 
competent or ordinary register, to have the strength of ane decreet interponed thereto, 
that all execution necessary pass thereon upon ten days' charge only, constituting 
their Procurators, &c. In witness whereof they have subscribed these presents, 
written by David Cuthbert, writer there, at Inverness, day, year, and place foresaid, 
before these witnesses, David Fouller, late Bailie of Inverness ; John Houstoun, 
merchant there; John Glen, goldsmith there; and the said David Cuthbert, and 
Alexander Dunbar, younger, merchant there. (Signed), A. Dunbar, Provost ; F. 
Fraser, Bailie, James Stewart, Bailie, George Cuming, Thessaurer, James Kenedy. 
Signed, Da. Fouller, witnes; A. Dunbar, witnes; Jo. Houstoun, witnes; John 
Glen, witnes; D. Cuthbert, witnes." 

Celtic MytJiology and Religion. 87 



Inverness: A. & W. MACKENZIE, 1885. 

THIS work is mainly a reprint of a series of papers which 
appeared in the columns of this magazine during 1883-4. The 
interest which Mr. Macbain's treatment of the subject excited 
during the serial publication has fully justified him in issuing the 
series, with some additions, in book form ; and, doubtless, many 
readers will be pleased to have the opportunity of obtaining the 
work in a complete and handy shape. 

The science of Comparative Mythology, itself the offspring of 
the science of language, is an intellectual product of the ipth 
century. Previous to the issue of the epoch-making works of 
Grimm, the German philologist, it can hardly be said that 
mythology, as a system of fixed principles, however elementary, 
had any existence. There were four favourite theories in vogue 
previous to that time the Scriptural, tracing all myths back to 
Hebrew records the Historical, insisting on the former real 
existence on the earth of all the gods and herds in human shape 
the Allegorical, where the sole use of myths was "to point a 
moral," if they would not, as often happened, "adorn a tale" and 
the Physical, which attributed the origin of myths to the adoration 
of the forces and objects of nature. The new science has pro- 
ceeded cautiously in seeking for light from all quarters ; and, as a 
consequence of the greater stress laid by independent inquirers on 
different sources of information, several "schools" have arisen 
under the common designation of Comparative Mythology. The 
two leading contingents of the soience are respectively headed by 
Mr. Max Miiller, whose inferences are mostly drawn from the 
study of languages, and by Mr. E. B. Tylor, with his dashing 
lieutenant, Mr. Andrew Lang, whose inquiries are chiefly directed 
to savage customs and beliefs and the deciphering of ancient 
monuments. The myths of every known people have been more 

The Celtic Magazine. 

or less fully dealt with, thus placing at the disposal of the Com- 
parative Mythologist a mass of material demanding very rare 
powers of discrimination and analysis to turn it to proper account. 
Mr. Macbain has prepared himself for the arduous task of inter- 
preting and arranging the myths of the Celtic race, by an extensive 
study of the more important works on philology, mythology, and 
anthropology, which have appeared not only in English, but also 
in French and German. In a subject teeming, as it does, with 
such laborious detail, it is only by means of an enthusiasm, be- 
gotten by the pursuit of congenial studies, that any one could 
long sustain the burden of the task which the author set before 
him. Those who have perused the " Scoto-Celtic Studies " which 
Mr. Macbain contributed to the Transactions of the Inverness 
Gaelic Society last year, containing excursions in the allied fields 
of archaeology and philology, in which the minute accuracy of the 
scholar is associated with the generalising faculty of the man of 
science, will at once pronounce on the singular aptitude he has 
shown for the competent discussion of Celtic Mythology and 
Religion a subject which, so far as its strict scientific treatment 
is concerned, has barely had its fringes touched by any previous 
British author. To follow others after a beaten track has been 
made, is easy enough ; but where there are no pioneers to point 
the way, or only a few, as in this case of foreign origin and alien 
sympathies, it adds considerably to the difficulties of an under- 
taking which is intrinsically of a laborious character. One has to 
read only a few pages of the introduction to this work to find that 
Mr. Macbain has sworn allegiance to no master; he takes the 
measure of the two contending schools; and he refuses to be 
bound to resolve all Celtic myths either into a series of remarks 
about "the weather" (as Mr. Lang caustically characterises Max 
Miiller's theories), or " to boil them down," under anthropological 
directions, to such an extent as to take all the poetry out of them 
and reduce them to a prosaic pulp. But, while dismissing from 
his mind the prejudices which the avowed adoption of any parti- 
cular hypothesis would involve, the author holds himself free to 
allow of the modifications of his conclusions by reference to facts 
established by the subsequently published investigations of others. 
His preface bears evidence of this, since he there announces his 
conversion to Mr. Lang's view of the priority, in certain cases, of 

Celtic Mythology and Religion. 

the popular or fairy tale to the religious myth, or, in Mr. Macbain's 
own felicitous phrase, that the myth is sometimes merely a 
" sublimated " folk-tale. The French work of M. D'Arbois de 
Jubainville on the "Irish Mythological Cyde and the Celtic 
Mythology," issued after the present work was in type, also 
receives marked recognition, and deservedly so, as the production 
of the most representative Celtic scholar of France and the Editor 
of the " Revue Celtique." Under its former editorship (M. 
Gaidoz), a preliminary paper on Celtic Mythology, by Mr. 
Macbain', was noticed thus in its review columns, which it may 
not be out of place to reproduce, as showing the opinion of the 
author's competency held by one of the first European authorities 
on Celtic questions : 

" A brilliant study by Mr. Alex. Macbain on the Celtic Mythology, its principal 
characters, and the method it demands. Mr. Macbain follows Max Muller in estab- 
lishing a distinction between Mythology and Folk-lore. We should have to make 
some reserves on this question j but this is not the place." ("Revue Celtique," 
April, 1885.) 

As stated in the preface, Mr. Macbain has since seen fit to 
abandon the distinction animadverted on by the French reviewer. 

The author's aim is fourfold. He brings his scholarship to 
bear on the elucidation of (a), the rich treasury of ideas stored in 
the traditions of the Celtic Race ; (d), the comparative place held by 
Celtic beliefs in relation to the whole European religious cycle ; (c}, 
Druidism cleared from the mist and confusion in which its treat- 
ment by many previous writers had enveloped it ; and (d), the 
Celtic Olympus, as shown by bringing to a focus the light bearing 
upon it from many scattered sources. To say that each of their 
subjects has been exhaustively treated would be at once seen to be 
at variance with the fact of the present work extending to little 
more than 100 pages ; but the amount of information conveyed is 
in unusual disproportion to the extent of space covered, while this 
strict exclusion of diffuseness is not gained by want of attention to 
clearness of statement and abundance but not over-abundance 
of illustration. As a specimen of Mr. Macbain's concise, yet lucid, 
style of writing, in which one sentence frequently contains matter 
that might be readily expanded into pages without even a sugges- 
tion of 'padding,' take the following : " There is no incongruity 
in at once being philosophic and superstitious ; the human mind 
is very hospitable in its entertainment of quite opposite opinions, 

90 The Celtic Magazine. 

especially in moral and religious matters ; for there is a wide 
difference between theories of the intellect and practices prompted 
by the emotions." (P. 47.) In his exposition of the general 
subject of myths, he guards himself well against a failing to which 
so distinguished a mythologist as Max Miiller is prone the natural 
desire to push his favourite science beyond its legitimate bounds. 
Having demonstrated the identity of the origin of both ancient 
myth and modern science in " man's attempt to interpret his 
surroundings" a far-reaching generalisation Mr. Macbain works 
out the dependence of myth on (i), language, with regard also to 
allegory and analogy ; and (2), explanations of the names of 
nations, countries, and places. The application of the solar myth 
theory to the nursery rhyme of the " four and twenty blackbirds 
baked in a pie," gives a reductio ad absurdum to the over-zealous 
advocates of the utter dependence of myth on language ; while the 
local derivation of the name of the River Ness from the Goddess 
Nessa, may serve as showing how useful mythology may be in 
tracing the workings of the minds of the early inhabitants of 
Scotland in the naming of places or in the popular explanation of 
these names. The section headed " Spread of Myth," appears to 
have been written under the preponderating influence of Max 
Muller's ethnic theories which Mr. Lang has recently shown to be 
quite inadequate, since similar myths would, naturally, spring up 
among savages similarly situated. The well-authenticated accounts 
of travellers among the haunts of present day savages have, in the 
hands of Tylor, Lang, and others, led to the exhibition of the 
untenable character of a doctrine which regarded the more promi- 
nent myths as the exclusive property of the Aryan nations. From 
hints in his preface, it may be inferred that this section would 
require "reconstruction" to bring it into harmony with Mr. 
Macbain's more recent information. 

The exigencies of space forbid anything but the barest outline 
of that to which the greater part of the volume leads up the 
constitution of the Celtic Olympus. The difficulty of treating 
this subject may be estimated from the fact that there are no 
native accounts of it. The sources of information, generally 
" scrappy" and hard to piece together into an intelligible whole, 
are stray notices of Greek and Roman writers, ancient monuments 
and inscriptions, names of places (such as the prevalence of Dee, 

Celtic MytJiology and Religion. 91 

meaning goddess), and, "last but not least," the old heroic and 
folk tales, and these principally Irish. The epic literature of 
Ireland falls into three divisions the mythological, the Cuchu- 
lainn, and the Cssianic. This is the chronological order. The 
completeness of Irish history, beginning with "the first 'taking' 
of Ireland by Caesair and her attendants forty days before the 
flood," has become proverbial. From such sources, Mr. Macbain, 
who afterwards gives an ingenious and amusing analysis of the 
" Bardic Tales of Ireland," has exhumed the leading deities of the 
Celtic race. As with the Greeks and Romans, their gods were 
believed to have originally colonised the country. So Dagda Mor 
(the "good god"), is the Gaelic Jove; Manannan, son of Lir, 
represents Mercury ; Luga of the Long Arms (for rays of the 
sun), Apollo ; Bridget, the fire goddess, afterwards utilised, by a 
common practice, as the Christian St. Bridget, with others, of 
whom details are given. With such a paucity and obstinacy of 
material, it is matter for wonder that Mr. Macbain has succeeded 
so well in this part of his task. His independent agreement, as 
to general results, with the conclusions of M. D'Arbois de Jubain- 
ville, attests the caution with which he has depicted the long- 
hidden features of the Celtic deities, and thus performed a distinct 
service to our race, as well as contributed an interesting chapter 
in comparative mythology. It it to be hoped that his scientific 
method and philological acquirements will yet find even more 
fitting scope in the preparation of a work dealing with many 
relative questions that still remain unsettled in the same line of 

92 TJie Celtic Magazine. 


PERHAPS no district of the West Highlands is more beautiful 
than that part of Argyleshire between Loch-Creran and Loch- 
Etive, known as Benderloch or the hill between the Lochs so 
named from the mountainous ridge called Sedaig Hill, or Ben- 
Lora, which rolls away in broken summits from the steep cliff of 
Dunvalauree above Ledaig, till it joins the mountains of Glen- 
Etive. On either side of it is a loch, and in front the salt waves 
of Loch-Lin nhe rush in, fresh with the briny smell of the 
Atlantic, and clash themselves on the steep rocks of Beregonium, 
or the shingly shores of Ledaig and Ardmuchnish Bays. 

Only seven miles from Oban, and three from the Railway 
Station of South Connel, our abode in Benderloch, thanks to the 
famous and much-dreaded Connel Ferry, was as far out of the world 
as some far-ofif Isle of the sea-girt Hebrides ; and to those who, 
like ourselves, prefer rest and quietness to a fashionable holiday 
resort, even to much-belauded, tourist-haunted Oban, Bender- 
loch, owing to the scarcity of lodgings, and the Shian and Connel 
Ferries, is simply perfect. It is surrounded on all sides by the 
beautiful hills of Morven and Kingairloch, and in the distance the 
Glencoe range, and the mountain peaks of Ben-Nevis and Ben- 
Cruachan, both crowned with snow before we left the district, 
give grandeur and dignity to the landscape. The neighbourhood 
is rich in antiquarian remains, and there are delightful walks, hill- 
climbing, and boating ; and in all directions the most wonderful 
views, with marvellous effects of light and shadow, cloud and 

Tourists from Oban go to see the famous Falls of Lora, which 
make Connel Ferry so disagreeable, where the waters of Loch- 
Etive rush with great force through a narrow passage and over a 
rocky ridge, some forty-eight feet high, into Loch-Linnhe, and 
the waters of Loch-Linnhe, with all the force of the returning 
tide, rush back again into Loch-Etive, the wind-driven waves from 
the sea loch meeting the falls ; and, in certain states of wind and 
tide, making the ferry at Connel a magnificent mass of broken 
water and seething foam, but quite impassable for the unlucky 

Impressions in Bender loci t,. 93 

To return to the tourists, however, the more adventurous of 
them cross the falls, doubtless to inspect th. vitrified fort of 
Beregonium, but they seldom go further, so Selma and its 
neighbourhood are absolutely solitary. 

As you walk towards Selma from North Connelsun, past the 
long bleak stretch of Connel Moss, on which so many interesting 
antiquarian remains have been found, you see Ben-Cruachan on 
your right, and on your left, beyond Loch-Linnhe, the mountains 
of Mull and Morven. The first object of interest is Ledaig Post- 
office, the residence of Mr. John Campbell, the well-known 
Gaelic poet. Mr. Campbell is a naturalist and a florist as well as 
a poet, and is learned in all the antiquarian and folk-lore of the 
district, and we know no pleasanter place to pass a cheery autumn 
afternoon than the courteous old poet's beautiful garden, under 
the steep cliff of Dunvalauree. This garden, of which many 
years ago Mr. Campbell received a grant from the factor, was 
only so much waste land on the loch shore and the rock face, but 
the care and industry of the poet and his family have transformed 
it into a perfect paradise, where many rare plants, most uncommon 
in out-door gardens in Scotland, come into bloom year after year 
in perfect health and beauty. Here, we are told by the writer of 
" Benderloch," ripe strawberries have been found out of doors in 
the last week of May, and here the poet himself has told us he 
has gathered a rose on Christmas morning ; and certainly, when 
we saw the Post-office of Sedaig in a wet and stormy September, 
it was bright with roses and clematis, and a perfect bower of 
delicate shrubs and scenery. 

If you are fortunate enough to make the post-master's 
acquaintance, and with old-fashioned Highland courtesy he 
extends a cordial welcome to all, you may go in and see for 
yourself one of the smallest and quaintest post-offices in Her 
Majesty's dominions, through which, by the way, we were told by 
Mr. Campbell there pass a fair number of telegrams, and often as 
many as a thousaud letters a week, which says something surely 
for the education and intelligence of the crofters, of whom, for 
there are few large houses, the sparse and scattered population 
consists. In his pretty parlour, where the red roses pass in at the 
windows, the poet has a little library, of which many a wealthier 
man might be proud, for not a few of his well-chosen books are 
presentation copies, the authors of which are numbered among 
his friends. Here he will show you the urn found in the cliff of 
Dunvalauree, the red agate used as a charm-stone for cattle in 
more credulous days, and an old weapon of the stone-age which 
was used till within quite recent times as a charm for the ailments 
of horses. He has also a very curious charm-stone long applied 

94 The Cehic Magazine. 

to for the cure of human ills ; the people, applying for cure of an 
illness, held the stone in their hands till a damp oily substance 
oozed from it, and in this, possibly aided by a good deal of 
credulity, lay its efficacy. It was for generations in a family in 
the district, whose descendant, imbued no doubt with nineteenth 
century scepticism, gave it to the poet in exchange for a goodly 
gift of tobacco ! Outside in the garden there is part of a hand 
quern, and Mr. Campbell also possesses a piece of the old spindle 
once in use in the district, and some bones and oyster shells from 
a lake-dwelling found on Connel Moss, 

But, to return to the postmaster, in his pretty garden in the 
cliff on the loch-shore there is a cave, three walls of which are 
natural rock, and one partly masonry, and partly a growing tree- 
trunk, and in this he has a curious old table made of a slab of 
wood, from the trunk of an old tree on which The Bruce is said 
to have rested after his battle with the followers of Lome, near Dal- 
mally. The cave is lighted by a window, and through this the waves 
broke in the memorable storm of November, 1881 and carried out 
to sea all the furniture of the cave, but fortunately all the things were 
washed up at various points of the shore, and restored to their 
places. Churches, in so scattered a district as Benderloch, are of 
course a long distance away from many of the inhabitants, and 
so the poet, who has a wonderful natural gift of preaching and 
teaching, holds a Sunday evening service in his cave every week. 
The service, which is partly in Gaelic and partly in English, is 
half a Sunday school and half an address, and is gladly attended 
by old and young ; and anything more solemn or more picturesque 
than the simple little service in the quaint rock chapel cannot be 
imagined. But we could spend hours in the poet's garden, so we 
must pull ourselves up sharp in our stream of gossip, and turn 
eastwards to Selma to see something of the inhabitants of the 
district, for without a glance at the people a place is lifeless, and 
in these days when the crofters are so prominently before the 
public, even the superficial impression made by them on a passing 
visitor may have its value. 

The village of Selma consists of some half-dozen houses, and 
has three shops two general merchants' and a shoemaker's. Old 
Selma is a picturesque row of fisher cottages, under the shadow 
of Beregonium, on the Loch shore. It is to be feared Old Selma 
is more picturesque than comfortable, however, for last winter the 
sea swept into the cottages one stormy night, destroyed food and 
furnishings, and forced the inhabitants to run for refuge to the 
safer and higher houses of New Selma. The Parish Church is 
some miles away, and the Free Church is two miles off, in the 
direction of Loch Creran, but the parish clergyman holds some- 

Impressions in BenderlocJi. 95 

times a pleasant and well-attended service in Gaelic and in English 
in the School-room at Selma. 

The people are all crofters, and are simple in their habits, and 
particularly kindly and courteous in their manners, even the 
smallest children giving you a friendly nod and smile as you pass. 

The cottages are clean and tidy, though small, and most of 
them have a patch of garden ground. The men, who are sober 
and industrious, hold crofts, the largest of which is ten acres ; at 
this time of year you see no absolute poverty, but in winter the 
struggle to make both ends meet is often a very hard one. There 
is little or no drunkenness, for, though the people are not teetotal, 
they do not often keep whisky in their houses, and only use it at 
such times as weddings, funerals, fairs, harvest homes, and New 
Year's Day, and even on these occasions the fun now-a-days 
seldom degenerates into licence, a decided improvement on the 
good old times, when, if all tales are true, festivity was carried to 
excess, and a West Highland funeral was apt to be as wet as the 
climate, so unsparing was the allowance- of whisky, and so great 
the thirst of the mourners. 

There is no branch of the Land League in Benderloch, but 
the men take an intelligent interest in politics, and appreciate 
greatly the boon of the county franchise. They are not dis- 
contented, but they tell you plainly that, while crofts are so small 
and rents so high, it is impossible to provide for their families in 
comfort, and lay by money for a rainy day. The land is poor, 
and the grazing for a cow is now nearly double what it was before 
the Government grant of money for the improvement of Highland 
estates. At that time we were told the twenty-five years' loan, at 
the rate of 6 133. 4d. on capital and interest, naturally raised the 
rents, until the money was repaid to the landlords, and in many 
cases, for one reason or another, the rents were never lowered 
again to the old sum of 3 for a cow's grazing, so that, 
with no better land, rents are now often twice as high as 
in the old times. The people also say that were a croft 
twenty instead of ten acres, and somewhat lower rented, a 
crofter could keep a few sheep, four cows, and possibly a horse, 
and have steady work all the year round ; whereas now there is a 
great daal of compulsory idleness, and the milk of two cows is not 
sufficient to make it worth while to send the dairy produce across 
the ferry to Oban, the ferries being a great drawback to the 
crofters of Benderloch. That they must be, indeed, a serious 
nuisance, we can well prove from personal experience, as, owing 
to a violent storm, and the strong flow of the falls, we were 
detained three hours and a-half at North Connel on our home- 
ward journey, and had the pleasure of seeing the train puff off to 

96 The Celtic Magazine. 

the South full in sight, but hopelessly out of reach. Even when 
crossing was barely possible, it was far from pleasant ; and to have 
taken across a boat-load of farm produce, or of live stock, on such 
a day would have been out of the question, so that it is easy to see 
what a serious drawback the Shian and Connel Ferries are to the 
agriculturists of the district. The want of fences is also a 
grievance, for horses and cattle often go a great distance across 
country, trampling and eating the crops as they pass. Kelp is 
free, and after the September gales it was pretty to see the crofters 
possessed of horses and carts, bringing up loads of the shining, 
brown sea-weed for themselves and their friends. Labour is 
difficult to be had, and each family is usually to be seen at 
harvest-time picturesquely busy about the cutting and in- 
gathering of the crops on the croft. A right of common 
grazing ground on the grass near the shore is included 
in the rent of the crofts, and a common herd is kept by all the 
crofters to look after the cows there, and paid among them in 
money and in food. Ten of them have a horse or sheep, but 
most of them have two cows and a number of plump pigs and 
fowls. At the fisher cottages the boats look small to an East 
Coast eye, and not well suited for rough weather, and unless the 
fish is taken to Oban during the short tourist season, there is not 
much sale for it. This year the crops, though late, were fair, but 
the weather of late September and early October coming just as 
cutting began, left them in a condition that must mean a most 
miserable harvest for the poor crofters. The wind and hail 
ruined both the cut and standing crops, and the rain seemed to 
threaten disease among the potatoes, which had promised so well. 




WHAT I have undertaken to do to-night is to give some account 
of the Christian Church as it existed in Scotland in the earliest 
Christian times, and before it fell under the influence and authority 
of the Bishop of Rome. The Christianity of Scotland came from 
Ireland, and at the outset of our enquiry it is necessary to consider 
when and by whom the Irish were converted. The Roman world 
became officially Christian about 321, and at that time Britain, up 
at least to the Southern wall, was a Roman province, and pre- 
sumably it became Christian as the rest of the Empire did. We 
know that a Christian Church existed among the provincial 
Britons at the time the Romans took their departure, and continued 
to exist among those Britons who were not subdued by the 
Saxons. But whether the Christianity of the Roman Province 
extended itself among the unsubdued Caledonians to the North, 
or among the inhabitants of Ireland, is a matter as to which we 
have no certain light. About 397, thirteen years before the final 
abandonment of the province by the Romans, St. Ninian, a 
bishop of the Britons, built a Church at Whithern, in Galloway, 
and is said by Bede to have converted the Southern Picts ; and 
the Southern Picts are said by Bede to have been those living 

* Read at the opening meeting of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, 


The Celtic Magazine. 

between the Friths of Forth and Clyde and the Grampian range. 
Whether Bede is right in this is a matter about which I shall have 
something to say farther on ; but if the Picts to the south of the 
Grampians were converted by Ninian, they appear soon to have 
lapsed into paganism. Again there are evidences of a tradition 
in Ireland that Ninian went to that country and preached 
Christianity, and he is commemorated there under the name of 
Monen the term of endearment "mo" being very frequently 
prefixed to the names of saints while, at a later period, the 
monastery at Whithern, supposed to have been founded by 
Ninian, was undoubtedly resorted to by Irish ecclesiastics for 
instruction. Bede states that about 430, Palladius was sent by 
Celestine, the Roman Pontiff, to the Scots (that is the Irish) that 
believed, to be their first bishop, and from this it might be inferred 
that Christianity had made some progress in Ireland before that. 
In the 8th century there is no doubt the Irish believed that they 
had been converted by Saint Patrick ; and that a saint of this 
name did go to Ireland about the year 432, and become at least a 
main instrument in the conversion of the Irish, is beyond doubt. 
There remains a confession or account of himself by St. Patrick, 
and a letter by him to Coroticus, the British prince then reigning 
at Dumbarton, which those competent to judge accept as genuine. 
From these it appears that he was born in the Roman province of 
Britain, that his father was a deacon, and also a decurio or 
" bailie " of a Roman provincial town, that his grandfather was a 
presbyter, that his father lived in " Bannavern of Tabernia," that 
in his youth he was carried as a captive to Ireland and remained 
there for six years, that he then escaped and returned to his 
parents, and that he afterwards went back to Ireland as a 
missionary, and in or about his 45th year was ordained a bishop. 
In his confession he says that he converted many in Ireland who 
had hitherto worshipped unclean idols, that he had ordained 
many clerics, and that the sons of the Scoti, and the daughters 
of princes, were seen to be monks and virgins of Christ. All this 
seems to be authentic, but it is singular that Bede, while he 
mentions Palladius, makes no mention of Patrick, and that, when 
about 100 years after his death, the Irish and Scottish Church 
came in contact with the Church of Rome, and had to defend 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 99 

their peculiar customs, they do not appeal to the authority of 
Patrie. Columbanus, in his controversy with the Clergy of Gaul, 
does not mention him, nor does Colman of Lindesfarne, in his 
controversy with Wilfred, in presence of King Oswy, appeal to 
his authority, and Adamnan only once mentions him incidentally 
as "Patrinus the Bishop." In the Irish annals there is frequent 
mention of a saint who is called Sen, or old Patrick, and who is 
said in one place to be the tutor of Patrie, and in another to have 
been the same as Palladius, and the later lives of St. Patrick are 
evidently made up of the acts of two distinct persons who are 

It is certain, however, that about the year 432 Christianity 
was firmly established in Ireland, and it would appear that the 
type of Church then established did not differ in any respect 
from the Church in other parts of the Western World. It was a 
Church with three orders of clergy bishops, priests, and deacons 
and in which the bishops had the rule, if not over distinct 
districts or dioceses, at least over the churches which they had 
themselves established. The conversion of the Irish, it will be 
seen, was almost contemporaneous with the final departure of the 
Roman Legions from Britain, and with the arrival of the Saxons. 
Soon after the time of Patrick all intercourse between Ireland and 
the outer world seems to have ceased for upwards of 100 years, and 
during this time there grew up in Ireland a Church constituted in 
a manner entirely different from that founded by Saint Patrick, 
and exhibiting features which do not appear to have distinguished 
the Christian Church in any other part of the world at any time. 
And after this Church had fully developed itself in Ireland, it 
manifested an extraordinary missionary zeal which lasted for several 
centuries, and spread its establishments from Iceland to Italy, and 
covered the continent of Europe with bands of Scottish monks, 
apt scholars, and eager teachers. It was to this burst of missionary 
zeal that our ancestors owed their conversion in or about the 
year 565. 

It may be well to consider for a moment what the political 
condition of Scotland was at this time. About the beginning of 
the century, Fergus Mor M'Erc, of the Royal Family of the Scots 
of Dalriada, in Ireland, had led a colony of Scots into Scotland, 

loo The Celtic Magazine. 

and established himself in Argylcshire ; his descendants had some- 
what extended their dominions, and had crossed the mountain 
range separating Argyleshire and Perthshire but about the time 
of which we now speak, Brude, the King of the Picts, had attacked 
them and driven them back within that range which from that 
time formed the boundary of the Scottish Kingdom during the 
whole time of its existence. The Picts held the whole country 
north of the Friths of Forth and Clyde ; the Welsh or British 
Kingdom of Strathclyde, extending from Dumbarton to the River 
Derwent, was maintaining a struggling existence against the 
Saxons, and Galloway was inhabited by a race of Picts, who 
remained distinct, and retained the name of Picts, until long after 
the time of David First. It is usually said that the Picts in Scot- 
land, north of the Friths, were divided into two nations, the Northern 
and the Southern Picts, and that the mission of St. Columba was 
to the Northern Picts. I venture to suggest, however, that this is 
a mistake. The statement rests on the authority of Bede, who, as 
I have mentioned, says that Ninian converted the Southern Picts. 
But in Bede's time King Oswy had extended his dominions up to 
the Grampians, and thus for a time created a division between 
the Picts subject to his authority, and those beyond the moun- 
tains who remained independent, and thus probably misled Bede. 
He heard or read that Ninian had converted the Southern Picts, 
and assumed that they were those subject to the Saxons ; but I 
think it is obvious that the Picts, with whom St. Ninian came in 
contact, were those of Galloway, and they would naturally, in his 
time, be designated as Southern Picts, as distinguished from the 
Picts dwelling beyond the Northern Wall. The statement in the 
Saxon Chronicle is as follows : 

" A. 565. This year Ethelbert succeeded to the kingdom of 
the Kentish-men, and held it fifty-three years. In his days the 
holy pope Gregory sent us baptism, that was in the two and 
thirtieth year of his reign ; and Columba, a mass-priest, came to 
the Picts, and converted them to the faith of Christ; they are 
dwellers by the northern mountains. And their king gave him 
the island which is called li [lona] ; therein are five hides of land, 
as men say. There Columba built a monastery, and he was abbat 
there thirty-seven years, and there he died when he was seventy- 
two years old. His successors still have the place. The Southern 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 101 

Picts had been baptised long before : Bishop Ninia, who had been 
instructed at Rome, had preached baptism to them, whose church 
and his monastery is at Whitherne, consecrated in the name of 
St. Martin : there he resteth, with many holy men. Now in li 
there must ever be an abbat, and not a bishop ; and all the Scottish 
bishops ought to be subject to him, because Columba was an 
abbat and not a bishop. 

"A. 565. This year Columba, the presbyter, came from the 
Scots among the Britons, to instruct the Picts, and he built a 
monastery in the Island of Hii." 

Be this as it may, however, it is quite clear that the Picts never 
were divided politically into two nations. We have lists of their 
kings, and they never had more than one king at a time, and 
there can be no doubt that Brude M'Mailchon, who was converted 
by Saint Columba, reigned over the whole Pictish race north of 
the Friths his seat being at Inverness. His successor appears 
to have had his capital at Abernethy, and there is some ground 
for the conjecture that the Pictish kings may have been chosen 
alternately from two families, the one having its possessions and 
settlements south of the mountains, and the other north of them, 
but so far as I have been able to trace, there is no authority for 
holding that there was any political separation except during the 
thirty years that the Saxons held dominion up to the Grampians. 
I think, therefore, that we may safely hold that Saint Columba's 
mission was to the whole Pictish nation ruled by Brude, as his 
Church undoubtedly was established among them. 

The reason of Saint Columba leaving Ireland is by one tradi- 
tion said to have been that he was excommunicated, and sentenced 
to perpetual exile by a Council of the Irish Clergy on account of 
his having been the cause of the bloody Battle of Cuildreanhne. 
But this is contradicted by all the facts of the Saint's life for he 
repeatedly went from lona to Ireland, and undoubtedly retained 
the rule over all the monasteries which he had founded in 
Ireland, and a most powerful influence in that country till his 
death. Adamnan mentions, however, that a sentence of excom- 
munication was unjustly passed on him, but that it never took 
effect, or was recalled at the Council at which it was pronounced. 
His removal from Ireland, therefore, need not be attributed to 
any other cause than the missionary zeal which had taken posses- 
sion of him and his contemporaries at that time ; but it may have 

102 The Celtic Magazine. 

had a partly political object, for at that time his kindred, the Scots 
of Dalriada, were being hard pressed by King Brude ; they were 
Christian, and he may have feared that they would be destroyed, 
and resolved to make an effort to save them. And it is a fact 
that from his time for very many years there was peace between 
the Picts and the Scots. 

Whatever the impelling cause, in 565 Saint Columba sailed 
from Ireland and landed in lona, and, finding it a suitable place 
for his purpose, he established there a monastery of monks on the 
model of that which he and others had previously established in 
Ireland, having obtained a grant of the island, according to Bede, 
from Brude, but, according to other accounts, from the King of 
the Scots of Dalriada. From thence he went to the Court of 
King Brude, then at Inverness; and he appears soon to have 
gained him over to the faith, and to have always retained a great 
influence over him. During the remaining years of his life he 
seems to have laboured mainly among the Picts, and before his 
death he had converted the whole nation and established his 
Church securely among them ; and so vigorous was it that, within 
less than forty years after Columba's death, it undertook the con- 
version of the Northumbrians, and established a Church among 
them which existed, under the primacy of lona, for thirty years, 
when it retired before the advancing Church of Rome. 

As I have said, the Church which developed itself in Ireland, 
and of which the Scottish Church was long a branch, had certain 
peculiarities which distinguished it from all other Churches. To 
state these distinctions in a word, it may be said that the Church 
was a monastic tribal Church, not subject to the jurisdiction of 

Monasticism was first introduced from the East, but it was 
well-known in the Roman Church before the time of St. Patrick, 
and we have seen that he says that through his means the sons of 
the Scoti and the daughters of princes became monks and virgins 
of Christ ; but in the Roman Church monasticism was an order 
within the Church, existing along with a secular clergy, and 
subject to the jurisdiction of the bishops. In the Church which 
developed itself in Ireland, and was introduced into Scotland, on 
the other hand, the whole Church was monastic, and subject to 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 103 

the jurisdiction, not of bishops, but of abbots, who were not neces- 
sarily, and, in point of fact, seldom were bishops, and while the Epis- 
copal Order and the special functions of the Episcopate in the 
matter of ordination and the celebration of the mass with Pontifical 
rites, was recognised, the bishop was not a prelate, but a functionary 
and official of the Church, living as a monk in the monastery, and 
subject to the abbot. This peculiarity of the Church was for 
long a battle ground between Presbyterians and Episcopalians, 
and founding on a passage in Fordun, it was maintained by the 
advocates of Presbyterianism that the Church of St. Columba was 
a Presbyterian Church, in some'thing of the sense in which that 
word is applied to the present Churches in Scotland but this 
contention is now exploded. In the sense of equality among the 
clergy, either in the matter of power or of functions, the Church 
was entirely different from the Presbyterian Churches. The 
abbot, although he might be only a presbyter, ruled over the 
whole community with absolute power. On the other hand, 
while the bishops had no jurisdiction, they were recognised as a 
distinct and necessary order of clergy, with certain functions 
which the presbyter could not assume, and the Church had thus 
the three orders of clergy, and that regular succession of Bishops, 
which are looked on by some as essential requisites of a Church. 
The respect in which St. Columba himself held bishops is shown 
by an anecdote told by Adamnan as follows : 

"<9/ Cronan the Bishop. At another time, a stranger from 
the province of the Munstermen, who, in his humility, did 
all he could to disguise himself, so that nobody might know 
that he was a bishop, came to the saint ; but his rank could 
not be hidden from the saint. For next Lord's day, being 
invited by the saint, as the custom was, to consecrate the 
Body of Christ, he asked the saint to join him, that, as two 
priests, they might break the bread of the Lord together. 
The saint went to the altar accordingly, and, suddenly looking 
into the stranger's face, thus addressed him : ' Christ bless thee, 
brother ; do thou break the bread alone, according to the Epis- 
copal rite, for I know now that thou art a bishop. Why hast thou 
disguised thyself so long, and prevented our giving thee the 
honour we owe to thee ?' On hearing the saint's words, the 
humble stranger was greatly astonished, and adored Christ in His 
saint, and the bystanders in amazement gave glory to God." 

IO4 T/te Celtic Magazine. 

We find too that when a mission was sent to a distance, the 
leader was ordained a bishop, so that he might be able to ordain 
local clergy, and in this case the office of abbot and bishop was 
generally combined. The three abbots who ruled at Lindesfarne, 
while the Church there was subject to lona, were ordained bishops 
at lona. 

The tribal organization of the Church seems to have been a 
counterpart of the tribal organization of the people among whom 
it arose. There seems to have been no head of the Irish Church. 
Each saint bore rule over all the monasteries founded by him, and 
his disciples, and the abbot of the head monastery succeeded to 
this jurisdiction. Thus the Abbot of lona, which had the primacy 
among the foundations of Columba, ruled over all the monas- 
teries founded by him in Ireland and Scotland, and this continued 
till the community at lona was broken up. The monks belonging 
to the foundations of one saint thus formed an ecclesiastical tribe, 
and in the same way the monks in each monastery formed a sub- 
tribe. There was, too, a regular law of succession to the headship 
of a monastery. We find mention of lay tribes and monastic 
tribes in the Brehon laws, and elaborate rules are laid down for 
the succession to an Abbacy. Thus the succession was first in the 
tribe of the patron saint, next in the tribe of the land, or to which 
the land had belonged, next to one of the fine manach, that is, 
the monastic tribe, or family living in the monastery, next to 
the anoit Church, next to a dalta Church, next to a compairche 
Church, next to a neighbouring cill Church, and lastly to a 
pilgrim. That is, if there was a person in the monastery of the 
tribe of the patron saint fit to be abbot, he succeeded ; if not, 
then the succession went to one of the tribe from whom the land 
had been acquired, and if there was no such, then it went to all 
the others in succession, the Churches mentioned being connected 
in various degrees with the foundation, the headship of which was 
vacant. According to this rule, we find that for more than a 
hundred years the Abbots of lona were all of the tribe and family 
from which Columba himself was descended. 

The peculiarity which, however, appears to have attracted most 
attention from the Roman clergy, when the two Churches came 
in contact in the seventh century, was the time at which the 

TJie Celtic Church in Scotland, 105 

Scottish clergy celebrated the festival of Easter, and their form 
of tonsure, and these were for long subjects of contention. The 
difference in the mode of calculating Easter is easily accounted 
for, as the Scottish Church adhered to the method which was 
common to the whole Western Church, previous to 457, when 
all connection between Britain and Ireland and the Continent 
ceased ; and during the time of isolation a new method of com- 
putation was adopted by the Roman Church ; but the mode of 
tonsure is not so easily accounted for. The Columban Monks 
tonsured the front of the head from ear to ear, while in the 
Roman Church the crown of the head was tonsured. The 
former mode of tonsure was that adopted at one time by the 
Eastern Church, and it may point to some Eastern influence on 
the Irish Monastic Church at the time of its development. 
(To be continued.) 


Tha bratach bhroin an diugh 'n'ar tir 
'S tha'n riogh'chd a caoidh gu truagh ; 
Is gaisgeach treum n' an cath 's na'm blar 
Foidh ghlais a bhais na shuain. 

Bho'n luchairt aird is aillidh dreach, 
Gus'n tigh is isle th' ann ; 
Tha goimh a bhroin an cridh' gach neach 
Is caraid caomh air chall. 

'Bu ghrad a fhreagair thus' a ghainn 
'Nuair dh'iarradh ort dol 'null ; 
Ach och ! mo leon, bu bhochd do dhiol, 
'S cha b'ann a' reir do dhuil. 

Is smal air cliu ar riogh'chd gu brath 
Mar dh' f hag iad thu 'san uair, 
Ri aghaidh mhiltean naimh leat fein, 
Gun chuideachadh sa chruas. 

Cha b'ann sa chath, 's cha b'ann sa bhlar, 
A fhuair do namh ort buaidh ; 
Ach foill an ti a fhuair do bhaigh, 
'S thug do bhas mu'n cuairt. 

Is iomadh dilleachdan gun treoir, 
Is deoraidh bochd is truagh ; 
Tha caoidh an aon f hear-cuidichidh 
An saoghal falamh fuar. 

Is dorcha dhuinne rim an Ti, 
A ghairm da riogh'chd thu 'n drasd ; 
Tha aobhar aige anns gach ni, 
Is bith'mid striochda dha. 

io6 The Celtic Magazine. 



HAVING lately had the opportunity of a month's tour in the 
Hebrides and on the West Coast in a steam yacht, I think that a 
recital of the journey, with notes of the various places visited, 
may prove interesting to every reader of this Magazine. 

Strome-Ferry was our starting-place proper, and, before 
fairly launching out upon the account of our trip, I must not 
forget to mention the ruins of the old Castle upon the north side 
of Strome Ferry. From the south side they are hardly distin- 
guishable from the grey rock upon which they are perched, so 
much do they resemble it in appearance. In Mackenzie's History 
of the Camerons we are told that in 1472 Allan Cameron, XIII. 
of Lochiel became a vassal of Celestine, Lord of Lochalsh, 
and Constable of his Castle of Strome. On 6th March, 1539, the 
Castle of Strome, with the lands attached, was granted by James V. 
to Alexander of Glengarry and Margaret of the Isles, his spouse, 
in liferent, and Angus, their son and heir-apparent, in fee. In the 
early part of the seventeenth century, Donald, VIII. of Glen- 
garry, in a skirmish with the Mackenzies of Kintail, took prisoner 
one Duncan Maclan Mhic Ghillechallum, and incarcerated him 
in Strome Castle. About a year after this, Kenneth, first 
Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, gathered his forces and laid siege to 
the Castle, which at first defied all his efforts. An act of careless- 
ness, however, upon the part of the women in the Castle destroyed 
the hopes of the defenders, and ultimately rendered the fortress 
an easy prey to the invaders. The women had been out at night 
for water, and, bringing it in in the dark, they inadvertently 
poured it into a vat containing the whole store of gunpowder, 
instead of into the proper water-vat, rendering the powder of 
course absolutely useless. Duncan Maclan Mhic Ghillechallum, 
who was still a prisoner in the Castle, heard of the state of 

YacJiting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 107 

matters next morning, and, looking over the battlements, 
perceived, to his intense disgust, that the Mackenzies, despairing 
of being able to take the Castle, were preparing to raise the siege 
and depart. Seeing his hopes of release thus vanishing, Duncan 
formed a sudden and bold resolve. Flinging his plaid over the 
head of the man who stood next him, he jumped over the 
ramparts on to a large manure-heap just below. Before the 
Macdonalds had realised what had occurred, Duncan had picked 
himself up out of the mire, and was running with all his might 
towards Mackenzie's camp, which he reached in safety, and 
informed Kintail of the defenceless state to which the Castle had 
been reduced by the loss of the gunpowder. The chief, highly 
elated at the welcome news, at once recommenced the siege, and, 
seeing that the case was hopeless, the Macdonalds thought 
discretion the better part of valour, and gave up the Castle, on 
condition of their lives being spared and their being permitted to 
bring out their baggage. This being granted, the Castle was 
formally surrendered to Kintail, who blew up the building, of 
which nothing now remains but the moss-grown walls. 

Our yacht was named the Carlotta, of 37 tons register. She 
carried a crew of eight, all told, including the steward, and 
was very comfortably fitted up, but, as we afterwards found, 
also very slow. The others on board were Mr. Fraser- 
Mackintosh, M.P., and the writer. We left Strome-Ferry 
about noon on Saturday, the 5th of September, 1885, and, 
steaming down Loch-Carron, entered Kyle Akin, "the Strait of 
Haco." At the entrance to this Strait, in the year 1263, the 
proud Norwegian King anchored his noble fleet of over a 
hundred war-galleys, to beard the Scottish Lion in his den, and 
establish the authority of the Norse Raven over the Western 
Isles and shores of Albyn. But a few short months and that 
gallant fleet was scattered and destroyed by the furious tempests 
that came as it were to protect our land from the invader, whilst 
Haco, leaving the flower of his golden-haired warriors dead upon 
the blood-stained field of Largs, sailed to Orkney, and there died 

" And they buried him in Orkney, and Norsemen nevermore 
Set sail to harry Scotland, or plunder on her shore." 

loS T/ie Celtic Magazine. 

Upon a large rock jutting out into the Kyle are the ruins of 
Castle Moil, anciently known as Dunakyne, or Haco's Fort, said 
to have been erected by a Norwegian Princess for the purpose of 
levying a toll upon all ships passing through the Strait. She had 
a strong chain stretched across the Kyle, the ends being attached 
to iron rings fixed in the rock on either side. The Castle after- 
wards became a seat of the Clan Mackinnon. It now presents, 
from certain points of view, a very picturesque appearance, look- 
ing as if it had been split in half by some great convulsion. 

Passing through the Kyle, where we saw several shoals of 
herring, we entered Loch-Alsh, and soon after steamed up Loch- 
Duich, without doubt the most beautiful of our Scottish sea-lochs. 
The day was lovely, and the shores of the Loch, fringed with 
wood and clothed with verdure, all reflected in the blue mirror 
below, presented a charming picture. In the distance towered in 
magnificent grandeur the snow-crowned mountains of Kintail, 
with the historic Tullochard, the gathering-peak of the Seaforth 
Mackenzies, rearing its proud crest to the skies. At the junc- 
tion of Loch-Duich and Loch-Long, opposite the pretty little 
village of Dornie, we dropped anchor, and rowed across to 
inspect the picturesque ruins of Eileandonan Castle, the ancient 
feudal stronghold of the Mackenzies. 

In 1263, after the battle of Largs, Walter Stewart, Earl of 
Menteith, is said to have built this Castle for the purpose of over- 
awing the Western Islesmen. There is a tradition that Robert 
the Bruce was sheltered for some time in the Castle by John 
Mackenzie, II. of Kintail, until the exiled monarch was able again 
to gather an army and release Scotland from the bonds of the 
tyrant usurper. 

In 1331, "Schyre Thomas," Earl of Moray, and Lord W'arden 
of Scotland, under King David II., sent his "Crownare" or 
Lieutenant to Eileandonan to prepare the Castle for his reception, 
and to execute summary justice upon sundry lawbreakers in that 
part of the country. Wyntoun, in his CJironide, describes the 
proceedings as follows : 

" Off hys byddyng (than) alsa fast 
Till Elandonan his Crownare past, 
For till arcst mysdoaris thare, 

Yachting and Electioneering in tlie Hebrides. 109 

Quharc that mony that tyme ware, 
And thare to ger hym purvaid be ; 
For thiddyre swne to pass thowcht he. 
This Crownare, wyth a cumpany 
Off manlyk men, sowcht naroly 
Thai mysdoaris here and thare, 
That in hys rollys wryttyn ware. 
All gat he noucht ; hot fyfty 
That fleand ware, (al) wychtly 
As (he) ouretuke wyth mekill payne, 
Fleand the lauch, thai ware all slayne ; 
And the hevyddis off thame all 
Were set up apon the wall 
Hey (on heycht) on Elandonan, 
Agayne the come off the Wardan. 
Off that sycht he was rycht blyth ; 
And till his court he yhed rycht swyth, 
And off the lave that entryde ware 
Justyce he dyde evynlyk thare, 
Bot hym mystryd noucht (to) call 
Thame, that flowryd sa well that wall : 
Feware thai ware noucht than fyfty 
Hevyddis grynnand rycht wgly. " 

The spectacle of the fifty human heads, " grinning right ugly," 
which made the Warden " right blythe," was unhappily not an 
uncommon one in the " good old days." 

In 1452, Euphemia Leslie, Dowager Countess of Ross, who 
had fallen in love with Alexander lonraic, VI. of Kintail, sent for 
him to come to her Court at Dingwall, and there declared to him 
her passion. Finding, however, that her love was unrequited, 
she determined to have revenge, and accordingly had Kintail 
apprehended and lodged in prison. Eileandonan Castle was then 
under the charge of one named MacAulay, whose orders were 
not to leave the Castle, nor permit anyone to enter it without 
receiving Kintail's gold ring as a token. The vengeful Countess 
managed, by force or fraud, to gain possession of this ring from 
Mackenzie's page, and she at once sent a gentleman to Eilean- 
donan with it, bearing also the message that Kintail was about to 
wed the Countess of Ross, and desiring MacAulay to repair to 
Dingwall forthwith, and leave the Castle in the messenger's hands. 
MacAulay, on seeing the ring, did not for a moment doubt the 
truth of the story, and accordingly gave the guardianship of the 

1 10 The Celtic Magazitie. 

castle over to the Countess's emissary, and went to Dingwall, 
where he found to his astonishment that Kintail was a prisoner 
instead of a bridegroom. He managed, however, to speak to the 
captive chief, who told him that his only hope of release was the 
arrest of the Countess's nephew, Ross of Balnagown. MacAulay, 
acting on the hint, collected a band of resolute clansmen, and 
apprehended Ross near his own house. A pursuit was organised 
as soon as the abduction was discovered, but MacAulay, having 
sent Balnagown away under guard, defeated the pursuers at 
Bealach-nam-Brog, and proceeded with his men to Kintail. At 
Glenluing, a few miles from Eileandonan, the Mackenzies came 
across a band of thirty men sent by the Countess with provisions 
for the garrison. These men were taken by surprise and speedily 
secured, the Mackenzies donning their prisoners' tartans and 
taking the sacks of provisions upon their backs. Thus disguised, 
they went on to the Castle and gained admission without enquiry, 
the governor making sure that they were his own friends with the 
expected supplies. Once fairly inside, the Mackenzies threw 
down their burdens, drew their weapons, and seized the Governor 
and all his men, keeping them prisoners until Kintail was 
exchanged for the Governor and Balnagown.* 

I n r 539> Donald Gorm Mor Macdonald of Sleat, made a raid 
upon Eileandonan with fifty large boats, full of men. The sole 
defenders of the Castle at the time were the governor, his watch- 
man, and Duncan MacGillechriost MacFhionnladh MhicRath. 
The latter was on the mainland when the Macdonalds arrived, 
but, noticing the invaders, he returned to the Castle with all his 
speed, and arrived at the gate in time to kill some of the Islesmen 
as they were landing. Entering the Castle, Duncan secured the 
gate with a second bar of iron inside, which resisted all the efforts 
of Donald Gorm and his followers, who then commenced shooting 
their arrows through the embrasures. By this means they killed 
the Governor, and the Castle was then only occupied by Duncan 
and the watchman, their ammunition being reduced to one 
barbed arrow. Donald Gorm came ashore at this stage, and was 
walking round the Castle endeavouring to discover a weak point 

* History of the Clan Mackenzie, 

Yachting and Electioneering in tlie Hebrides. 

for an escalade, when Duncan's well-aimed shaft penetrated his 
foot. Not noticing that it was a barbed arrow, Donald Gorm 
wrenched it out, and in so doing severed the main artery. It was 
found impossible to arrest the bleeding, and his men conveyed 
the Island chief to a sand-bank some distance away, where he 
soon breathed his last. 

In 1550. the Castle was the scene of a cruel murder, when 
John Glassich Mackenzie, II. of Gairloch, was imprisoned in it, 
and poisoned by the wife of the Constable. This, it is said, was 
done by order of Kenneth, X. of Kintail. 

During the Jacobite rising of 1715, Eileandonan was taken by 
the Government troops, but it was retaken by stratagem shortly 
before the Battle of Sheriffmuir. The incident is thus described : 
" A neighbouring tenant applied to the Governor for some of 
the garrison to cut his corn, as he feared, from the appearance of 
the sky and the croaking of the ravens, that a heavy storm was 
impending, and that nothing but a sudden separation of his crop 
from the ground could save his family from starvation. The 
Governor readily yielded to his solicitations, and sent the garrison 
of Government soldiers then in the Castle to his aid, who, on 
their return, discovered the ruse too late ; for the Kintail men 
were by this time reaping the spoils, and had taken possession of 
the Castle." Before the Kintailmen left to shed their blood for 
the Stuarts on Sheriffmuir, they had a farewell dance on the 
leaden roof of Eileandonan Castle. In 1719, after the battle of 
Glenshiel, General Wightman sent a detachment of soldiers, with 
orders to have it blown up. This command was carried out, and 
now the famous fortress presents only a picturesque ruin. 

It was with mixed feelings that I wandered about through the 
ruins, now finding myself on the brink of a black precipice 
descending sheer into the sea, and now catching, through some 
loop-hole, a delightful glimpse of the beautiful scenery around. 
Feelings of regret for the magnificent race of men who once 
tenanted those deserted chambers, were mingled with feelings of 
thankfulness that I did not live in times when deeds of blood were 
of everyday occurrence, and when troublesome friends or enemies 
were quietly put out of the way by the dagger or the poison-cup, 
and their bodies thrown into the sea, or buried in some out-of-the- 

r 1 2 The Celtic Magazine. 

way corner without requiem or coronach. Down in the still 
depths beneath I could see great fragments of masonry which had 
been hurled downwards by the force of the explosion which had 
demolished the Castle. In one octagonal tower I came across a 
black, dismal-looking well, some four feet in diameter. The 
green slime lay thick upon the inky water, and I must confess to 
an eerie feeling creeping over me as I cautiously approached the 
shelving and slippery brink. I was afterwards told that the 
water was not very deep, the well having been almost filled up 
some five years ago, but the appearance of it at the time of my 
visit gave one the idea of great depth. When cleared out, an old 
iron gate and two small brass cannon were found at the bottom of 
this well. The cannon would appear to have been fastened into 
the top of the wall by a pin underneath them. 

Leaving the Castle, we rowed about three miles up Loch- 
Long, an offshoot of Loch-Duich. In no part is this Loch more 
than a quarter of a mile broad, and the entrance is too shallow at 
most states of the tide for vessels of any burden to pass through. 
The scenery at first is tame, but, as you proceed, each bend of the 
Loch reveals fresh beauties, and, towards the head, the shores 
almost rival those of Loch-Duich itself. After feasting our eyes 
upon the scene for some time, we returned to the yacht, weighed 
anchor, and steamed up to near the head of Loch-Duich, anchor- 
ing a short distance past Inverinate House, then the residence of 
Sir Thomas and Lady Brassey. At this spot we were to remain 
at anchor until Monday morning. Our cook was a very good 
piper, and, shortly after dusk, as we were at dinner, he commenced 
playing on deck. As the last notes of "Corn rigs and barley 
rigs " died away on the still night-air, we were astonished to hear 
a loud outburst of cheering from the shore, mingled with repeated 
cries of " tuillead/i, tuilleadJi" more, more. It was too dark to 
distinguish anything on shore, but from the voices we conjectured 
that the sound of the bagpipes on board the yacht had attracted a 
considerable number of the natives to the spot. The musician 
was greatly flattered at this unexpected tribute to his genius, and, 
after playing a few more tunes on board, he, with some of the 
other men, slipped quietly ashore and inaugurated a dance in a 
cottage, which lasted till the advent of the Sabbath put an end to 
the festivities. 

YacJitiiig and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 1 1 3 

Late in the evening, Sir Thomas Brassey's well-known yacht, 
the Sunbeam, fresh from the famous Norwegian trip, steamed up 
the Loch, and anchored two or three hundred yards away from us. 

Next day Lady Brassey invited me to look over the Sunbeam, 
an offer of which I gladly availed myself. The Sunbeam is quite 
a floating palace, fitted up in the most luxurious manner. Her 
many saloons and sleeping-cabins are marvels of elegance and 
comfort, while the taste of Lady Brassey is displayed in the 
numberless pictures and curios which adorn the walls and tables 
in the different apartments. On deck, as below, everything is the 
perfection of neatness and tidiness. The funnel, when not in use, 
comes back upon a hinge, and lies horizontally upon the deck. 
The sides of the vessel are painted white. The crew numbers 
twenty-seven, and the yacht carries six boats. 

The country around Loch-Duich is full of interesting and 
historical associations. Morvich, at the head of the Loch, was 
the scene of the famous "Pet Lamb's" depredations upon Winans' 
great deer forest. The animal which caused such a sensation 
throughout the United Kingdom, the Colonies, and America, is, 
we believe, still alive, and is permitted elsewhere to wander about 
according to the dictates of its own sweet will. Opening up from 
the head of the Loch is Glenshiel, the scene of the Spanish 
Invasion of 1719, and of the famous battle at which the invaders 
were defeated by the Government troops under General Wightman. 

In May, 1778, Kenneth Mackenzie, XIX. of Kintail, in return 
for the restoration, by George III., of the titles of Earl of Sea- 
forth, Viscount Fortrose, and Baron Ardelve, raised a regiment 
of 1130 men for His Majesty's service. Five hundred of these 
were raised from among his own immediate vassals, and about 
four hundred from the estates of the Mackenzies of Scatwell, 
Kilcoy, Applecross, and Redcastle. Some gentlemen from the 
South, to whom Seaforth gave commissions in the regiment, 
brought with them about two hundred men, of whom forty-three 
were English and Irish. The Macraes of Kintail, who were ever 
faithful and devoted followers of the Seaforth family, were so 
numerous in the regiment that it was known more by their name 
than by that of the Mackenzies themselves. This corps, in June, 
1778, was inspected at Elgin by General Skene, and then 

114 The Celtic Magazine. 

embodied under the name of Seaforth's Highlanders, or the 78th 
Regiment. It is now the /2nd, and considered to be one of the 
finest regiments in the British Army. 

When William, fifth Earl of Seaforth, was obliged to remain in 
France for several years for his complicity in the Rising of 1715, 
the rents of his lands were regularly collected and sent to him by 
a faithful steward, named Murchison. This man was able, with 
the aid of Seaforth's clansmen, to keep possession of the Earl's 
forfeited estates until they were restored to his Lordship in 1726. 
The tenantry are said to have sent their exiled Chief various gifts 
in proportion to their circumstances. One year Murchison 
remitted no less than 800 of rent to his master in France, 
while at the same time the tenantry paid another rent to the 
Commissioners of the forfeited estates. 

These things happened in Kintail's palmy days, when a 
clannish feeling of attachment bound the heart of landlord and 
tenant or rather chief and clansman together; when deer 
forests and " irrepressible Americans " were unknown in the 
Highlands; when the people possessed their lands without fear of 
summary eviction ; and when the land yielded sufficient to pay 
the rent, to furnish a gift to an exiled landlord, and to support 
the tenant and his family in ease and comfort. Alas ! those days 
are gone! In 1831, the population of the parish of Kintail was 
1240; in 1841, it had decreased to 1186; in 1851, to 1009; and in 
1 88 1, to 688. These figures need no comment they tell their 
own sad tale. The parish which in 1778 turned out 500 able- 
bodied Highlanders for the service of their King and country, 
could not now turn out 100! The avarice of grasping and 
degenerate chiefs has worked the ruin of the people who were the 
means of making them chiefs, and the spots, where hundreds of 
happy and contented people once spent their peaceful lives, are 
now preserves for deer and pastures for sheep ! No human foot, 
save that of the sportsman, the gillie, and the shepherd, is 
permitted to intrude upon the vast desolations which are the 
curse and disgrace of our land ; but the time is coming, slowly but 
no less surely, when the land will once more be the people's; 
when wild animals will no longer be deemed of more account 
than men; and when a retributive Justice shall have swept the 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 1 1 5 

present system of landlordism off the face of a country which it 
has brought to the verge of utter ruin. 

(To be continued.) 


DUMBARTON has always been said to mean the Fort of the Britons. George 
Chalmers (Caledonia), Isaac Taylor (Words and Places), James A. Robertson 
(Gaelic Topography), and others, refer to this way of explaining the name, and do not 
suggest any other. Some years ago there occurred to me another explanation, which 
is now offered for the consideration of the reader. I have not seen it in print, and 
I have not heard it mentioned in conversation. I have gone past Dumbarton five 
times ; once I was in the town for an hour, but I had not time to visk the Rock. 
The Rock rises to the height of 206 feet. Towards the top it is cleft into two 
summits, of which one is higher than the other ; it is somewhat like a mitre ; the 
cleft begins about half way up the Rock, so that the gap or fissure measures about 
one hundred feet from its commencement to the top of the higher summit. The 
Gaelic beam means a notch, a gap ; the verb beam is to notch ; bearnta is notched. 
Perhaps it was called Dunbearn, the Hill of the Notch, or Dunbearnta, the Notched 
Hill. The houses which afterwards were built near its foot were called Dunbearnta- 
ton ; shortened and softened into Dunbarton. The hill gave its name to the town, 
and then the town gave its name to the hill. Before b the n was changed to m. 
The Celt has a very quick eye for natural objects, and looking at the pinnacle-shaped 
hill, cleft from above downwards for one hundred feet, leaving a gap which is, 
perhaps, fifty or sixty feet wide at the top, he could hardly avoid calling it Dun 
(hill), Bearnta (notched). Was the name given by Gaelic Celts or by Kymric Celts ? 
On looking at Price's English-Welsh Dictionary (1857), I find that gap, or cleft, or 
notch, is not represented in Welsh by beam or any word like it. Assuming that the 
name referred to the gap, it has been given by the Gaelic race. The usual readers 
of the Celtic Magazine are not likely to grumble at space being given to antiquarian 
matters, but perhaps some stranger may glance at this page and ask what is the use 
of troubling about things belonging to the long ago. I answer him in the words of 
Mr. Gladstone: "It is a degradation to man to be reduced to the life of the 
present. He will never put forth his hopes, his views, and his efforts towards the 
future, with due effect and energy, unless, at the same time, he prizes, and holds 
fondly clasped to his heart, the recollections of the past." (Address to the 
Edinburgh Town Council, November, 1885, on handing over to their care the 
market cross, which he had rebuilt. ) It is, perhaps, a little strange that they who 
named the hill did not call it Craig-bearnta. The word beam is met with in Craigie- 
barns, a hill near Dunkeld ; also in Pyrenees. I do not wish to be thought very 
positive, but my private opinion is that Dumbarton has nothing to do with the 
Britons, but that it is the town near the hill with the cleft top. I apologise for 
making this note so long, but it is not every day that a person has the chance of 
pointing out a mistake that has been believed in for a thousand years, from the time 
of the venerable Bede even unto this day. 

Devonport, Devon. THOMAS STRATTON, M.D. (Edin,) 

1 1 6 Tlie Celtic Magazine. 



WHILST the North of Scotland was thus in a combustion, the 
Spanish Blanks were discovered, and Mr. George Carr, Doctor of 
the Laws, was apprehended in the Isle of Cumbrae, and brought 
back to Edinburgh, 1592. Afterward, the year of God, 1594, the 
Popish Earls, Angus, Huntly, and Errol, were, at the earnest suit 
of the Queen of England's ambassador, forfeited at a Parliament 
held at Edinburgh the penult of May, 1594. Then was the King 
moved to make the Earl of Argyll, his Majesty's Lieutenant in the 
North of Scotland, to invade the Earls of Huntly and Errol. 
Argyll, being glad of this employment (having received money 
from the Queen of England for this purpose), makes great pre- 
paration for the journey, and addresses himself quickly forward ; 
thinking thereby to have a good occasion to revenge his brother- 
in-law, the Earl of Moray's death ; so on he went, with full 
assurance of a certain victory, accompanied with the Earl of 
Tullibardine, Sir Lachlan Maclean, and divers Islanders, Mackin- 
tosh, Grant, and Clan Gregor, Macneill of Barra, with all their 
friends and dependers, together with the whole surname of 
Campbell, with sundry others, whom either greediness of prey or 
malice against the Gordons, had thrust forward in that expedi- 
tion; in all, above 10,000 men. And, coming through all the 
mountainous countries of that part of Scotland, they arrived at 
Ruthven of Badenoch, the 2/th of September, the year 1 594, which 
house they besieged, because it appertained to Huntly; but it was 
so well defended by the Clan Pherson (Huntly 's servants) that 
Argyll was forced to give over the siege and to address himself 
towards the Lowlands ; where the Lord Forbes, with his kin, the 
Frasers, the Dunbars, the Clan Kenzie, the Irvines, the Ogilvies, 

The Conflicts of the Clans. \ 1 7 

the Leslies, the Munroes, and divers other surnames of the North, 
should have met him as the King's Lieutenant, and so join with 
his forces against Huntly. 

Argyll came thus forward to Drummin, in Strathdown, and 
encamped hard thereby, the 2nd of October. Huntly and Errol, 
hearing of this great preparation made against them, lacked 
neither courage nor resolution ; they assemble all such as would 
follow them and their fortune in this extremity. Errol came unto 
the Earl of Huntly to Strathbogie with 100 or 120 of resolute 
gentlemen ; and so, having there joined with Huntly's forces, they 
march forward from thence to Carnburgh, and then to Achin- 
down, with 1500 horsemen, the 3rd of October; parting from 
Achindown, Huntly sent Captain Thomas Carr and some of the 
family of Tillieboudie (Gordon), to spy the fields and view the 
enemy. These gentlemen, meeting by chance with Argyll's 
spies, killed them all, except one whom they saved and examined, 
and by him understood that Argyll was at hand. This accident 
much encouraged the Earl of Huntly's men, taking this as a 
presage of an ensuing victory ; whereupon Huntly and Errol do 
resolve to fight with Argyll before he should join with the Lord 
Forbes and the rest of his forces ; 'so they march towards the 
enemy, who, by this time, was at Glenlivet, in the mountains of 

The Earl of Argyll, understanding that Huntly was at hand, 
who (as he believed) durst not show his countenance against such 
an army, he was somewhat astonished, and would gladly have 
delayed the battle until he had met with the Lord Forbes ; but, 
perceiving them to draw near, and trusting to his great number, 
he began to order his battle, and to encourage his people with the 
hope of prey, and the enemy's small forces to resist them. He 
gave the commandment and leading of his vanguard to Sir 
Lachlan Maclean and to Achinbreck, which did consist of 4000 
men, whereof 2000 men were hagbutters. Argyll himself 
and Tullibardine followed with all the rest of the army. The 
Earl of Errol and Sir Patrick Gordon of Achindown, accompanied 
with the Laird of Gight, Bonnietoun Wood, and Captain Carr, 
led the Earl of Huntly's vanguard, which consisted of 300 
gentlemen ; Huntly followed them with the rest of his company, 

Ii8 The Celtic Magazine. 

having the Laird of Cluny (Gordon), upon his right hand, and 
Abergeldie upon the left hand ; and, as he began to march 
forward, he encouraged his men, shewing them that there was no 
remedy, but either to obtain the victory, or to die with their 
weapons in their hands, in defence of whatsoever they held dearest 
in this world. Argyll, his army being all footmen, and assailed, 
had the advantage of the ground ; for they were arrayed in battle 
upon the top of a steep, rough, and craggy mountain, at the 
descent whereof the ground was foggy, mossy, and full of peat- 
pots, exceeding dangerous for horse. Huntly's forces consisted 
all in horsemen, and were constrained to ride first through the 
mossy ground at the foot of the hill, and then to ride up against 
that heathy, rough mountain, to pursue the enemy, who did there 
attend them. Before that Errol and Achindown gave the first 
charge, Huntly caused Captain Andrew Grey (now Colonel of the 
English and Scottish in Bohemia) to shoot three field-pieces of 
ordnance at the enemy, which bred a confused tumult among 
them, by the slaughter of MacNeill of Barra, an Islander, and one of 
the most valiant men of that party. Huntly's vanguard, seeing 
the enemy disordered, presently gave the charge ; the Earl of 
Errol, with the most part of the vanguard, turned their sides towards 
the enemy, and so went a little about, directly towards Argyll, 
leaving Maclean and the vanguard upon their left hand, being 
forced thereto by the steepness of the hill, and the thick shot of 
the enemy ; but Achindown, with the rest of his company, did 
gallop up against the hill towards Maclean ; so that Achindown 
himself was the first man that invaded, the enemy, and the first 
that was slain by them, having lost himself by his too much 
forwardness. The fight was cruel and furious for a while. Achin- 
down's servants and followers, perceiving their master fall, raged 
among their enemies, as if they had resolved to revenge his death, 
and to accompany him in dying. Maclean, again playing the 
part of a good commander, compassed Huntly's vanguard, and 
enclosed them betwixt him and Argyll, having engaged them- 
selves so far that now there was no hope of retreat ; so that they 
were in danger to be all cut to pieces, if Huntly had not come 
speedily to their support, where he was in great danger of his life, 
his horse being slain under him ; but being presently horsed again 

The Conflicts of tlie Clans. 119 

by Invermarkie, he rushed in among the enemies. Thus the 
battle was again renewed with great fury, and continued two 
hours. In end, Argyll with his main battle began to decline, and 
then to flee apace, leaving Maclean still fighting in the field ; who, 
seeing himself thus destitute of succours, and his men either fled or 
slain, retired in good order with the small company he had about 
him, and saved himself by flight ; having behaved himself in the 
battle, not only like a good commander, but also like a valiant 
soldier. Huntly and his horsemen followed the chase beyond the 
brook of Aldchonlihan, killing the enemies, till the steepness of 
the next mountains did stay them, being inaccessible for horse- 
men. Argyll's ensign was found in the place of battle, and 
brought back with them to Strathbogie. The Earl of Argyll lost 
in this battle his two cousins, Archibald Campbell of Lochnell, 
and his brother, James Campbell, with divers of Achinbreck's 
friends, MacNeill of Barra, and 700 common soldiers. Neither 
was the victory very pleasing to the Earl of Huntly, for, besides 
that the Earl of Errol, the Laird of Gight, and the most part of 
all his company were hurt and wounded, Sir Patrick Gordon of 
Achindown, his uncle, a wise, valiant, and resolute knight, with 14 
others, were there slain. All their hurt men were carried that 
night to Achindown, where most part of them stayed until they 
were recovered. This battle was fought on Thursday, the 3rd day 
of October, 1594. 

The Lord Forbes, the lairds of Buchan and Drum, assembled 
all their friends and followers, with intention to join with Argyll ; 
but, hearing of his overthrow, they conclude to join with the 
Dunbars, and the rest of the forces coming from the provinces of 
Moray and Ross, and so to invade the Gordons when they came 
from the battle, thinking it now an easy matter to overthrow 
them, and to revenge old quarrels. To this effect the whole 
surname of Forbes, with most part of the Leslies and the Irvines, 
met at Druminour (the Lord Forbes's dwelling) and so went on, 
thinking to overtake Argyll, and to cause him return and renew 
the battle against the Gordons and their partakers ; but, as they 
marched forward, a gentleman called Irvine was killed with the 
shot of a pistol, in the dark of the night, hard by the Lord Forbes, 
the author of which shot was never yet known until this day ; for 

i2O The Celtic Magazine. 

presently all their pistols were searched and found to be fVill. 
This unexpected accident bred such a confusion and amazement 
in the minds of the Forbeses and their followers, being now all 
afraid of one another, that they dissolved their companies, and 
returned home. The rest of the clans in the North, such as the 
Dunbars, the Frasers, the Munroes, and the Clan Kenzie, being 
convened at Forres in Moray, were stayed by the policy of 
Dunbar of Moyness, who was then tutor to the Sheriff of Moray, 
and favoured the Earl of Huntly, Sir Patrick Gordon of Achin- 
down having married his mother. 

Whilst the Earl of Argyll was thus employed against Huntly, 
the King came to Dundee, where he expected the issue of that 
battle ; which, when he had heard, His Majesty took journey 
north toward Strathbogie. In this voyage His Majesty, by the 
instigation of Huntly and Errol's greatest enemies, permitted 
(though unwillingly) divers houses to be thrown down, such as 
the house of Strathbogie, which appertained to Huntly, the house 
of Slaines, in Buchan, appertaining to the Earl of Errol, the house 
of Culsamond, in Garioch, appertaining to the Laird of Newton 
Gordon, the house of Bagays, in Angus, appertaining to Sir 
Walter Lindsay, and the house of Craig, in Angus, appertaining 
to Sir John Ogilvy, son to the Lord Ogilvy. In this meantime 
that the King was at Strathbogie, the Earl of Huntly, with divers 
of his friends, went into Sutherland and Caithness ; and, when 
His Majesty returned into Edinburgh, Huntly left the Kingdom, 
and travelled through Germany, France, and Flanders ; having 
stayed abroad one year and five months, he was recalled again by 
the King ; and, at his return, both he, Angus, and Errol were again 
restored to their former honours and dignities, at a Parliament held 
in Edinburgh in November, 1597; and further, His Majesty 
honoured the Earl of Huntly with the honour of Marquis, the 
year 1599. All quarrels betwixt him and the Earls of Argyll 
and Moray were taken away by the marriage of Argyll's eldest 
daughter, to George, Lord Gordon, Huntly's eldest son, and by 
the marriage of Lady Anne Gordon, Huntly's daughter, to 
James, Earl of Moray, son to him that was slain at Dunibristle. 

(To be continued.) 

St. Kilda. 121 



THE moral character of the St. Kildeans has always been high. 
In 1758, when Mr. MacAulay visited the Island, he found the 
people simple, hospitable, polite, and untainted with vice. He 
saw no cases of drunkenness during his stay, but he noticed that 
the men were excessively fond of tobacco, for which they would 
barter away their cows, sheep, grain, and feathers. Swearing and 
theft were unknown when Martin visited St. Kilda. The children 
were baptised by the steward or his deputy. The first illegitimate 
birth in the Island occurred in 1862, and since then only two 
other cases have been recorded. Towards the end of the i/th 
century, one of the natives, named Roderick, practised an impious 
but well-executed imposition upon his fellow-islanders. This 
man, who pretended to have been sent by John the Baptist to 
rule over St. Kilda, kept up the deception for some years, but 
was at length exposed, disgraced, and banished, after committing 
many shameful crimes under the cloak of religion, by the steward, 
Mr. Martin, and the Rev. John Campbell, minister of Harris. 

From the time of the Rev. Mr. Buchan's instalment as 
minister of St. Kilda in 1705, there has been almost a continuous 
succession of ministers until now. The present incumbent, the 
Rev. John Mackay, has held his lonely post since October, 1865. 
Since the year after the Disruption, the Free Church have taken 
charge of St. Kilda, and it is said that the Sustentation Fund is 
augmented by^io every year from this little Island congregation. 

An incidental reference to the building called the Staller's 
House was made last month. This curious erection is of very 
doubtful origin, some alleging it to have been the work of a 
devout hermit; others that of a bold man who headed an insur- 
rection against the steward of St. Kilda, and, possessing himself 
of the Island of Boreray, built upon it this habitation for himself 

122 The Celtic Magazine. 

and his accomplices. The building is about eighteen feet high, 
and so contrived as to be almost invisible from most points of 
view, its top being nearly level with the surface of the earth 
around it. The base is circular, each successive tier of stones 
being smaller than the one below it, until the orifice at the top 
admits of being covered with a single stone. In the middle of 
the building was a large hearth, and round the inside wall there 
was formed a paved seat, capable of holding sixteen people. 
There were also four stone beds in the thickness of the wall, to 
each of which there was a separate entry from the outside. The 
roof of the house fell in many years ago, and has never been 

Some of the older writers upon St. Kilda refer to an old fort 
which stood upon the Island which forms the southern side of the 
Bay of St. Kilda. This building was called Dun-Fhir-Bholg. It 
consisted of large, nearly square, stones, neatly put together with 
a knowledge of maspnry not found among the St. Kildeans at the 
time of Mr. MacAulay's visit. In 1758 there were three chapels 
in St. Kilda, one dedicated to Christ, one to St. Columba, and 
the other to St. Brendan. They were all built of stone, and, at 
the time of Mr. MacAulay's visit, were in fairly good preservation. 
Not a vestige of them now remains. 

The St. Kildeans observed six holidays annually. These were 
the feasts of Sts. Columba and Brendan, Christmas, New Year's 
day, Easter, and Michaelmas. On the two first-mentioned days, 
according to Mr. MacAulay, all the milk in the island was 
delivered up to the steward or his deputy, who thereupon divided 
it equally and impartially between every man, woman, and child 
in the Island. On Christmas and New Year's day, the St. 
Kildeans ate the best food they could afford, drank liberally, and 
danced with great vigour. Easter was observed in a solemn and 
quiet manner, while Michaelmas was a sort of Derby-day. On 
that day a procession was formed on the shore, all the people who 
had horses being mounted, without saddle or bridle, except a 
wisp of straw to guide the horse's head. The procession went as 
far as the houses, when the horses returned to the shore for those 
people who had been left behind, and this went on until everyone 
in the Island had taken part in the proceedings. It was also the 

St. Kilda. 123 

custom at this festival to prepare in each family a large loaf of 
bread, which was dedicated to St. Michael, and divided among 
the members of the family. 

Mr. MacAulay mentions a large, square, white stone, on the 
face of a hill between the village and the north-west side of the 
Island, on which the inhabitants used to pour libations of milk 
every Sunday to a deity called Gruagach. A little above this stone 
was a small green plain, where the St. Kildeans used to pray for 
blessings upon their cattle, and where they used to sanctify them 
with salt, water, and fire, when removing them from one grazing 
to another. Below this plain there was another one of much the 
same character, which the people would never convert into arable 
ground, believing it to be the chosen abode of some divinity, 
whose name they had forgotten, and that any attempt to disturb 
it would at once be punished by the loss of their boat, or some 
other heavy calamity. Sacrifices were offered to the God of the 
Seasons upon an eminence called Mullach-gjsal. In a glen on the 
north-west side of the Island there existed a stone house, called 
Airidh-mhor, which was said to have been the dwelling of a 
renowned Amazon or female warrior. The building was very 
similar in form to the Staller's house, but was not so large. It 
has now almost entirely disappeared. 

Martin mentions two curious taxes which were levied in 
St. Kflda in his time. The first of these was called the pot- 
penny. Each family possessed an iron pot, and, when a party of 
the Islanders went away upon any expedition, they took with 
them one of these pots, the owner of which received a small tax 
from every family in the Island. The other tax was the fire-penny, 
which was levied by the possessor of the only flint and steel in St. 
Kilda, whenever any of his neighbours required the use of these 
articles. Martin, however, pointed out to the people that fire 
could be obtained from the rock-crystals upon the sea-shore, and 
from that time the tax was evaded, and fire obtained from these 
crystals by any man who required it, without his being obliged to 
go to the owner of the flint and steel for it. 

The present inhabitants of St. Kilda are representatives of the 
Clans Macqueen, MacCrimmon, Macdonald, Mackinnon, Fergu- 
son, and Gillies. Constant intermarriage has naturally led to a 

124 The Celtic Magazine. 

deterioration of the race, and, though outwardly strong and healthy 
looking, the St. Kildeans are exceedingly liable to rheumatism. 
Their wants are few. They strongly feel the absence of any 
doctor, and of a schoolmaster who can teach English as well as 
Gaelic. Add to this a substantial pier, and a strong boat, and you 
have the sum total of the primitive St. Kildeans' wants and wishes. 
We hope that ere long these wishes may be gratified, and that, to 
quote the proprietor's own words, he will "treat exceptionally 
these lonely people, surrounded as they are by the melancholy 
main," and endeavour to alleviate the hardships of their position, 
by granting their modest and well-founded demands. 

As an instance of the almost complete want of communication 
between St. Kilda and the outer world until very lately, it is 
related that for three years after the death of King William, the 
worthy pastor of St. Kilda continued to pray for him every 
Sunday, until he accidentally heard of the monarch's decease ! 

We must now bid farewell to St. Kilda, and, in doing so, 
trust that this little sketch of its people and their habits will 
awake in the reader's breast a new-born interest in that lonely 
storm-dashed Atlantic Isle, where the people form a little 
commonwealth of their own, undisturbed by the doings of the 
great outside world, while around them, 

" wind and wave and sea birds' cry, 

With wassail sound in concert vie. " 

H. R. M. 

THE late Rev. Dr. Macdonald of Ferrintosh visited St. Kilda in 
the year 1822. He went one day, when there, to see a well which 
had the reputation of possessing some remarkable virtue. The 
Rev. gentleman had for his guide a little boy, of the name of 
Donald Mackinnon, who afterwards left his lonely native island, 

St. Kilda. 125 

and for some time resided in the parish of which the "Apostle of 
the North "was pastor. But Donald ultimately settled in the Isle 
of Harris, where he resided in 1875. On nearing the well, the 
minister heard some peculiar sound, and, on asking his guide 
what it was, the latter replied, "It's the noise of the water of the 
'Well of Virtue' gushing out of the rock." On reaching the 
well, the minister drank heartily of its cooling water. "And at 
length," says Mackinnon, "he asked me the name of the well ; for 
he seemed to have forgotten it, and I told him that it was called 
the 'Well of Virtue.' He then took a book out of his pocket, 
and began to write something in it. I did not know then what 
he was doing, for I knew nothing of writing, as I had never seen 
any ; and, thinking that the holy man was going to do me some 
bodily harm, I ran home to my father's house in great terror, and 
hid myself under a bed. But the blessed man's thoughts were at 
that time taken up with quite a different theme he was compos- 
ing a song, and a very long one it was. The following verses are 
all I remember of it. As to how long I remained under my 
father's bed I cannot tell, but one thing I do remember, namely, 
that it was with great coaxing the minister and my father induced 
me to leave my hiding-place." The song was composed to the 
well-known Gaelic air, "Mairi Bhan Og," and called "Tobair nam 
Buadh." The above, as well as the three stanzas of the song 
referred to, I took down from Mackinnon's mouth some twenty 
years ago, and I now send the whole as a contribution to H. R. 
M. to complete his notes on St. Kilda. 

'S tu Tobar nam Buadh tha shuas 's ghleannan, 

'S neo thruaillidh fallain do stor ; 

Chuala mi d'f huaim mas d'f huair mi faisg ort, 

'S gur fuaran gasd' thu tha beo. 

Sruthadh bho chearnaidh ard tha creagach, 

Do Ian co-fhreagar gach uair; 

'S mar rinneadh le each, le'm laimh bheir mis ort 

Mar ainm "Sar uisge uam Buadh." 

'S tu 'n tobar tha fiorghlan, aotram, soillear, 

Gun aon ni foilleil fo d' ghruaidh, 

Tha sir shruthadh sios gu fial o chruinnich 

Am fearrann air thus o'n chuan, 

Gun rodadh, gun traoghadh, a ghna ro mhilis, 

A ghna cuir thairis gach uair ; 

126 The Celtic Magazine. 

'S mur tig ort crith-thalmhain 'sgealbas creagan, 
Cha 'n f halbh thu 'm feasd gu la luain. 

Ged tha thu 'n gleann fasail, cail-eigin folaicht', 

A'n ait nach fuirich mor shluagh, 

Cha tig iad na'd choir le onfhais mara, 

Mor stoirm is feallsanachd cuain. 

Tha spreidh agus daoine daonan faisg ort, 

Is oigridh thaitnich gun ghruaim, 

Is gheabhtar an taobhs iad daonan 's treisead 

Sid chum na Hiortaich cho buan. 

I am sorry that I did not succeed in recovering more of this 
beautiful song. It is very probable that the Doctor himself did 
not keep a copy of it, otherwise it would have appeared in Dr. 
Kennedy's "Apostle of the North." MAC IAIN. 

History of the Madeods. 1 27 




IX. WILLIAM MACLEOD of Harris and Dunvegan, succeeded 
Alexander. We have already seen that, in 1541, on the resigna- 
tion of his father, certain lands were granted to William as heir- 
apparent upon the occasion of his marriage with Agnes Eraser, 
daughter of Hugh Eraser, fourth Lord of Lovat. He was served 
heir in special to his father; and, in virtue of a precept from 
chancery, he was, on the I5th of May, 1548, infeft in the whole of 
the family estates, except Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist, in 
which latter he had been infefted during the life of his father. 
The ancient hereditary estates of the family, namely, Harris, 
Dunvegan, Minginish, Bracadale, Duirinish, Lyndale, and Glen- 
elg, had descended to William under a destination to the heirs 
whomsoever, of his father, making this extensive property a 
female fief, while at the same time he was a vassal of the Crown, 
under a different destination, in the lands of Troternish, Sleat, 
and North Uist, which made these a male fief. At this time, 
Troternish, the ownership of which was constantly in dispute, 
frequently changed masters, and though the legal rights to Sleat 
and North Uist were then undoubtedly vested in William Mac- 
leod, these lands were occupied by the Macdonalds. When 
William Macleod died in 1552-3 without male issue, the two 
properties vested in him by different destinations were separated ; 
that which was a female fief going to his only child, Mary, then an 
infant; the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist, being a 
male fief, going to his brother and heir male, Donald, second son 
of Alastair Crottach, who at the same time seized the other 
portions of the family estates to the prejudice of his niece, 

MARY MACLEOD, whose history in this connection must now 
be noticed at considerable length. In 1552-3, James, Earl of 

128 The Celtic Magazine. 

Arran, Regent of Scotland, made a gift to George, Earl of Huntly, 
of the ward, non-entry, relief, and marriage of this wealthy heiress, 
in terms of the following document. We have modernised the 
orthography : 

"A letter made to George, Earl of Huntly, Lord Gordon and 
Badenoch, etc., Chancellor to our Sovereign Lady, his heirs, and 
assigns, one or more, the gift of the ward and non-entries, maills, 
ferms, profits, and duties of all and sundry the lands under- 
written. That is to say, the lands of Harris, Dunvegan, Troter- 
nish; the lands of Sleat and North Uist; the lands of Duirinish, 
the lands of Bracadale, the lands of Minginish, the lands of Glen- 
elg, and all other lands and annual rents which pertained to 
umquhile William Macleod of Dunvegan, with the castles, towers, 
fortalices, mills, multures, woods, fishings, "annexis connexis," 
both property and tenantry, with tenants, tenantries, service of 
free-tenants, advocation, donation, and gift of patronage of the 
kirks, benefices, and chaplainaries of all and sundry the fore-named 
lands and their pertinents, if any be, of all years and terms bygone, 
and that the same has been in our Sovereign Lady's hands or her 
predecessors thereof by reason of non-entries or ward since the 
decease of the said umquhile William, or any others his prede- 
cessor's last lawful possessors thereof, immediate tenants to our 
Sovereign Lady, or her predecessors of the same, and such-like of 
all years and terms to come ; aye and while the lawful entry of 
the righteous heir or heirs thereto, being of lawful age, with the 
relief thereof, when it shall happen, together with the marriage of 
[Mary] Macleod [daughter] and heir of the said umquhile William, 
and failing of [her], by decease, unmarried, the marriage of any 
other heir or heirs, male or female, that shall happen to succeed 
to the said umquhile William, or to any others his predecessors in 
the lands and heritage foresaid, with all profits of the said marriage, 
with power, etc. At Edinburgh, the nth day of February the 
year of God 1552 years. Per signaturam."* 

The Queen Regent, among the other punishments inflicted by 
her on the Earl of Huntly for his negligence in the pursuit of 
John Moydertach of Clanranald, after the battle of Blar-nan-leine, 
compelled him to relinquish this grant of the wardship and marriage 
of Mary Macleod; but Huntly attempted, while in disfavour in 1555, 
to dispose of the grant to the Earl of Argyll, who agreed to pay him 
twelve hundred merks, five hundred of which were to be paid at 

* Register of the Privy Seal, vol. 25, fol. 27. 

History of the Macleods. 

the following Michaelmas, within Saint Anthony's Aisle, in the Kirk 
of St. Giles, Edinburgh, and the remainder was to be paid on Saint 
Andrew's day, good security being in the meantime provided for 
the full implement of the bargain. The document was witnessed 
by Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis ; John, Earl of Sutherland, and several 
others, and subscribed by the Earls of Argyll and Huntly.* This 
transaction was, however, never carried out, for the Queen Regent, 
disapproving of Argyll's support of the Protestants at the time, 
compelled Huntly to divest himself of his interest in the heiress 
by a special deed of assignation to the Queen Regent herself. She 
afterwards bestowed the prize upon James Macdonald of Isla, 
who, though married to Agnes Campbell, the Earl's sister, took 
part against Argyll, in order to secure possession of the wealthy 
heiress of Dunvegan. The document is dated the 2/th day of 
June, 1559, and declares that the assignation is made to James 
Macdonald of Dunyveg and the Glens, his heirs and assigns, 
" and that for certane greit soumes of money" paid and delivered 
by him. 

William Macleod, who, as we have seen, died without male 
issue, was succeeded, as chief of the clan, and nominal 
proprietor of the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist, by 
his next brother, 

X. DONALD MACLEOD, and he seized, apparently with the 
full consent of the clan, the lands of Dunvegan, Glenelg, and the 
others which then legally belonged to his niece, Mary Macleod. 
He was not, however, permitted to remain long in possession, for 
he was soon after assassinated by John Og Macleod of Minginish, 
at Kingsburgh, in Troternish. His murderer, John Og Macleod, 
who, failing Donald's only remaining brother, Tormod, would 
have become himself heir to the chiefship and the family estates 
legally vested in his brother, Donald. To succeed to this 
position was undoubtedly the object of the young assassin ; for 
at the same time that he murdered Donald, he was doing all he 
could to get at his brother, Tormod, then attending the Glasgow 
University, with the object of assassinating him also, and clearing 

* General Register of Deeds, vol. i., p. 230. Recorded on the 
1 8th of November, 1555, 


130 The Celtic Magazine. 

the way for his own succession. It, however, appears that John 
Og was able to keep possession of the estates of the heiress and of 
Dunvegan Castle until his death in 1599. On the death of Donald, 

XI. TORMOD MACLEOD succeeded him in all his legal rights, 
and, as head of the clan. Gregory so well describes the relationships 
of parties at this period that we cannot do better than quote him at 
length, afterwards giving the documents on which he founds, but 
does not print. He says In this reign (Queen Mary's), the Earl 
of Argyll contrived to extend his influence to the North Isles, 
and over two of the most powerful tribes in that quarter, the Clan- 
Donald of Skye and North Uist, and the Clan-Leod of Harris, 
Dunvegan, and Glenelg. The mode in which this object was 
attained is so characteristic of the policy of the house of Argyll 
that it seems to merit some detail in reference to the rapid 
increase of the power of that noble family. 

William Macleod of Harris, chief of the " Siol Tormoid," was 
the undisputed proprietor of the estates of Harris, Dunvegan, and 
Glenelg, under a particular destination, which, on his death in 
1553, caused these extensive possessions to descend to his 
daughter and heiress, Mary. He was, at the same time, nominal 
proprietor of Sleat, Troternish, and North Uist, the possession 
of which, we have seen, the Siol Tormoid had unsuccessfully 
disputed with the Clan-Donald. On the death of William Macleod, 
his claim to the last-mentioned was inherited by his brother and 
heir male, Donald. The Siol Tormoid was now placed in a 
position which, though quite intelligible on the principle of feudal 
law, was totally opposed to the Celtic customs that still prevailed, 
to a great extent, throughout the Highlands and Isles. A female 
and a minor was the legal proprietrix of the ancient possessions of 
the tribe, which, by her marriage, might be conveyed to another 
and a hostile family; while her uncle, the natural leader of the 
clan, according to ancient custom, was left without any means to 
keep up the dignity of a chief, or to support the clan against its 
enemies. His claims on the estates possessed by the Clan-Donald 
were worse than nugatory, as they threatened to involve him in a 
feud with that powerful and warlike tribe, in case he should take 
any steps to enforce them. In these circumstances, Donald 
Macleod seized, apparently with the consent of his clan, the 

History of the Macleods. 131 

estates which legally belonged to his niece, the heiress; and thus, 
in practice, the feudal law was made to yield to ancient and 
inveterate custom. Donald did not enjoy these estates long, 
being murdered in Trouterness by a relation of his own, John Og 
Macleod, who, failing Tormod, the only remaining brother of 
Donald, would have become the heir male of the family. John 
Og next plotted the destruction of Tormod, who was at the time 
a student in the University of Glasgow; but in this he was foiled 
by the interposition of the Earl of Argyll. He contrived, notwith- 
standing, to retain possession of the estates of the heiress, and of 
the command of the clan, till his death in 1559. In the meantime, 
the feudal rights of the wardship, relief, and marriage of the 
heiress of Harris, were eagerly sought after by various powerful 
individuals. They were first bestowed, in 1553, by the Regent 
Arran, upon the Earl of Huntly, who afterwards proposed to sell 
his interest in the heiress and her property, to the fourth Earl of 
Argyll, for a large sum of money. But Huntly, having fallen into 
disgrace with the Queen Regent, as formerly mentioned, was 
compelled to relinquish his bargain with Argyll, and to resign into 
her hands the claims he had acquired from Arran to the guardian- 
ship of Mary Macleod. The Regent, while endeavouring in 1559, 
to secure the assistance of James Macdonald of Isla against the 
Protestants, of whom the fifth Earl of Argyll was one of the 
principal leaders, committed the feudal guardianship of the young 
heiress to that chief. In 1562, we find that the person of the 
young lady had, by some accident, come into the custody of 
Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, who, having refused to give her 
up to her lawful guardian, James Macdonald, was at length com- 
pelled to deliver her to Queen Mary, with whom she remained for 
some years as a maid of honour, being no doubt one of the Queen's 
celebrated Maries. Macdonald seems now to have made over his 
claims to Argyll, who finally exercised the right of guardianship, 
by giving Mary Macleod in marriage to his kinsman, Duncan 
Campbell, younger of Auchinbreck. But previous to the marriage, 
the Earl, sensible of the difficulty which would attend any attempt 
to put an individual of his clan in possession of the territories of 
the Siol Tormoid, even although he had the law in his favour, 
entered into the following arrangements, the most judicious that 

132 The Celtic Magazine. 

could be devised for making the most of his position at the time. 
His first agreement was with Tormod Macleod, who had been for 
some years in actual possession of Harris and the other estates of 
the Lewis, and had already given to the Earl (for the good offices 
of the latter) his bond of service for himself and his clan. It was 
arranged that Macleod should renounce, in favour of Argyll, all 
claim he had to the lands of the Clan-Donald; that he should 
likewise pay the sum of one thousand merks towards the dowry of 
his niece. Argyll, on the other hand, engaged to procure from 
Mary Macleod, and any husband she might marry, a complete 
surrender of her title to the lands of Harris, Dunvegan, and Glen- 
elg; and to obtain for Tormod a crown charter of that estate. 
His next agreement was with Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat ; 
and in consideration of that chief paying five hundred merks 
towards the dowry of Mary Macleod, and of his likewise giving his 
bond of service for himself and his clan to Argyll, the latter 
engaged to make him his vassal in the lands of Troternish, Sleat, 
and North Uist, to which the Macdonalds had at present no legal 
claim. Argyll's agreement with Tormod Macleod was actually 
carried into effect; but circumstances seem to have interfered with 
the final completion of his contract with Macdonald. It is 
evident, however, that, although in the case of the Siol Tormoid, 
at this time, ancient custom prevented the feudal law of succession 
from being carried into effect in its full extent, yet the Earl of 
Argyll did not surrender his legal claims without indemnifying 
himself amply for the sacrifice.* 

The following is the contract, modernised in orthography, 
entered into between the Earl of Argyll and Norman Macleod, 
with consent of his guardian, Hector Maclean of Duart, in 1559-60 
and referred to by Gregory : 

"At Dunoon, the first day of March, the year of God 1559 
years : It is accorded, agreed, and finally accorded, betwixt a noble 
and potent Lord Archibald, Earl of Argyll, on the one part, and 
Tormod Macleod, son to [umquhile] Alexander Macleod of the 
Harris, as principal in this contract, and Hector Maclean of Duart 
as principal favourer and tutor to the said Tormod, on the other 
part, in manner, form, and effect, as after follows : That is to say, 

* Western Highlands and Isles, pp. 203-207 

History of the Macleods. 133 

forasmuch as the said Earl has redeemed and obtained the said 
Tormod out of the captivity and enemies' hands, wherein he was 
with the Frenchmen ; yet the said Earl obliges him to fortify, 
help, and set forward the said Tormod to win and enjoy the herit- 
age and rooms that pertained to his father and brother of Harris, 
with the pertinents Tewedes [?] and Glenelg, and all other bounds 
whereof they have old title of heritage in special, and shall be a 
good lord and master to the said Tormod in all his actions and 
just causes ; and to the effect that the same may come the better 
forward, has delivered the said Tormod to the said Hector to be 
helped and fortified ; for the which cause the said Tormod, by 
these presents, gives and grants his bond of manrent, his faithful 
and true service, with all his kin and friends, and his heirs and 
successors of the Harris, to the said Earl, his heirs and successors, 
of Argyll, perpetually ; also shall not marry but with the advice 
of the said Earl, whose counsel he shall take in marrying a wife ; 
and being established in his rooms of the Harris and Tewedess, 
shall pay the value or estimation of the avail of the ward and 
marriage of the Harris and the labours and travels of the said 
Earl to him and to the said Hector, to be divided as the said Earl 
thinks cause betwixt him and the said Hector Maclean ; and in 
case the said Tormod fail in any part of the premisses, he is con- 
tent to be counted unworthy to enjoy the room of a gentleman 
for ever in Scotland, but to be perpetually defamed ; and also the 
said Hector to be perpetual enemy to him, dissolving the bond 
of kindness that is betwixt their houses, in all times to come ; and 
also the said Tormod not to pass to the North Isles, but with the 
advice and licence of the said Earl at his passage there ; and in 
case his friends come to him, that they ratify and approve this 
bond, before his departing to the North." 

The reference to Tormod being captive with Frenchmen, is 
explained by the probability of his having been captured by some 
of the French Auxiliaries, who, during the Regency of Queen Mary 
of Guise, were employed in maintaining the internal peace of 

At Edinburgh, on the 2ist May, 1562, in presence of the 
Queen and Lord of the Privy Council, appeared Kenneth Mac- 
kenzie of Kintail, " who being commanded by letters and also by 
writings direct from the Queen's Grace, to exhibit, produce, and 
present before Her Highness, Mary Macleod, daughter and heir 
of umquhile William Macleod of Harris, conform to the letters and 
charges direct thereupon ; and declared that James Macdonald 

134 The Celtic Magazine. 

had an action depending before the Lords of Session against him 
for deliverance of the said Mary to him, and that therefore he 
could not goodly deliver her ; notwithstanding the which, the 
Queen's Majesty ordained the said Kenneth to deliver the said 
Mary to Her Highness, and granted that he should incur no skaith 
therethrough at the hands of the said James, or any others, not- 
withstanding any title or action they had against him therefor. 
And the said Kenneth, knowing his dutiful obedience to the 
Queen's Majesty, and that the Queen had ordained him to deliver 
the said Mary to Her Highness in manner foresaid, he on no wise 
could disobey ; and therefore delivered the said Mary to the 
Queen's Majesty, conform to her ordinance foresaid." For some 
years after this, Mary Macleod was a member of the Queen's 
household, as appears conclusively from several entries in the 
accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland in 1562 and 
again in 1564-5. 

The following contract, between Argyll and Tormod Macleod, 
appears to be supplementary to that dated 1559-60, and already 
quoted : 

"At Edinburgh, the twenty-fourth day of February, the year 
of God, 1566, it is appointed, agreed, and finally ended, betwixt 
one right noble and mighty Lord Archibald, Earl of Argyll, for 
himself and having the right of the ward and relief of all lands 
which pertained to umquhile William Macleod of Dunvegan with 
the marriage of Mary Macleod, only daughter and apparent heir 
to the said umquhile William, and also accepting the burden upon 
him for her on that one part : And Tormod Macleod, brother and 
heir male and of tailzie to the said umquhile William, and also heir 
male to umquhile Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan, his father, of' 
the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist, on the other part 
in manner following : That is to say : Forasmuch as the said noble 
Lord, having the right to the gift of the ward, relief, and marriage 
foresaid, shall do his diligence to obtain the said Mary Macleod to be 
heritably infeft as heir to the said umquhile William, her father, and 
failing thereof as heir to the said umquhile Alexander, his goodsir, 
of all lands untailzied contained in the charter made to the said 
umquhile Alexander by our Sovereign Lord that last deceased, 
viz: the Lands of Glenelg, Minginish, Bracadale, Lyndale, 
Duirinish, Harris, and Hirta [St. Kilda], if the old charter and 
seisins may be had, and failing thereof shall do diligence to get to 
the said Mary, of our said Sovereign and her successors, a new 

History of the Macleods. 135 

infeftment, with charter and precept of seisin, with supplying of 
all faults, of lands untailzied specified in the charter granted by our 
said Sovereign's umquhile father to the said umquhile Alexander 
of before, and the said Mary being heritably infeft therein [he] 
shall cause her, with consent of her curators or spouse, if she any 
shall happen to have for the time, infeft again in the most sure 
manner, the said Tormod and his heirs heritable in the said whole 
untailzied lands to be holden of our said sovereign and her 
successors either by resignation or confirmation, as he shall think 
most expedient, and please to devise, after the form of her said 
infeftment ; and also the said noble Lord, as having the right to 
the ward, relief, and marriage foresaid, shall provide the said 
Mary Macleod of a husband and party agreeable to her estate ; 
and so being married, [he] shall cause her, with consent and 
assent of her said future spouse, ratify and approve the said infeft- 
ment to be given to the said Tormod of the said untailzied lands ; 
and also the said Earl shall at the time of the said ratification 
discharge the said Tormod and his heirs of all maills, ferms, 
profits, and duties of the said untailzied lands of all years and 
terms byegone intromitted with by him during the time of the 
said ward ; which infeftment being past and ended upon the said 
Earl's expenses, in manner foresaid, the said Tormod shall incon- 
tinent thereafter make himself to be heritably infeft in all lands 
and annual rents contained in the charter tailzie of his said 
umquhile father as heir of tailzie to him ; and immediately there- 
after shall infeft the said noble Lord and his heirs therein heritably 
to be holden of our said Sovereign and her successors either by 
resignation or confirmation at the option of the said Earl as freely 
as the said umquhile Alexander, his father, held the same of 
before ; the said Earl obtaining our sovereign or her successor's 
consent thereto ; and also the said Tormod shall content, pay, and 
deliver to the said Mary and her said spouse future, the sum of 
one thousand pounds money in contentation of his part of the 
tocher ; and, further, the said Tormod shall renounce all right, 
kindness, title, interest and possession, together with the by-run 
profits, maills and duties which he had, has, or may claim to the 
said tailzied lands or bailliary thereof, for him, his heirs, and suc- 
cessors forever, and shall pretend no right thereto in times com- 
ing for any cause by-gone ; and also the said Tormod, being infeft 
as said is, shall deliver to the said noble Lord all old evidents 
which he has or may have of any of the lands tailzied above 
written made to any of his predecessors of before." [Then fol- 
lows the usual clause agreeing to the registration of the deed, 

By a contract dated the third day of March, 1566-7, Archi- 

136 The Celtic Magazine. 

bald, fifth Earl of Argyll, undertakes to obtain for Donald 
Macdonald of Sleat heritable infeftment in the lands of Troternish, 
Sleat, and North Uist, to be held of himself on payment by 
Macdonald to him of one thousand merks Scots, and five hundred 
merks towards the dowry of Mary Macleod. Macdonald was also 
to give his bond of manrent to Argyll "in the best and straitest 
form that the said Earl will devise," and he was "to fortify and 
assist" Tormod Macleod "in his causes and defenses lawful and 
honest in time coming when he shall be required thereto by the 
said noble Earl." It would appear from this that the Macdonalds 
of Sleat were afterwards left in undisputed possession of the lands 
in question, otherwise this bond of friendship would have been an 

In 1572, James VI. granted Mary Macleod a charter, dated 
1 5th of September in that year, of all the paternal estates of the 
family, including part of the lands and the bailliary of Troternish,* 
but the inclusion of the latter is supposed to be merely a clerical 

In 1573, the heiress of Macleod married Duncan Campbell, 
younger of Auchinbreck, a kinsman of the Earl of Argyll, when it 
was proposed to convey all the lands described in the charter of 
the previous year to her uncle, Tormod Macleod, by a Charter of 
Sale, as appears from an unsigned and undated Charter of Sale 
preserved in the Dunvegan Charter Chest, and quoted in the 
"Transactions of the lona Club." This mode was found beset 
with some legal difficulties, however, and Tormod was finally 
infeft and seised in all the lands named in the Royal Charter in 
1572 in favour of his niece, upon a Charter of Resignation under 
the Great Seal, dated 4th of February, 1579-80, and proceeding 
upon the resignation of Mary Macleod, with consent of her 
husband, Duncan Campbell, heir-apparent of Auchinbreck, in 
favour of her uncle, Tormod Macleod, who was infeft in the 
whole family estates in July following. 

(To be continued.) 

* Register of the Great Seal, Book 33, No. 9. The Charter is also printed 
p. 150, Collectanea tie Rebus Albanicis. 

State of tJie Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 137 



IN our last we parted with Mr. Knox on his arrival in Portree, the 
country around which, he tells us, though mountainous, is well 
inhabited, raises much grain, and many cattle. " Here the late 
Sir James Macdonald had marked out the lines of a town, and 
government, it is said, promised to assist him in the work with 
,500, but the death of that gentleman put an end to these promis- 
ing appearances, and matters remain in statu quo" At the bottom 
of the bay he found " a church, an appearance of a village, some 
small craft, and many fishing-boats," and he was much impressed 
with the agreeable landscapes on both sides, and the excellent 
pasture in the vicinity of what we now know as the somewhat 
lively village of Portree, so called from the fact that James V. of 
Scotland, and several of his nobility, landed there while on a tour 
to the Hebrides in 1540. 

Mr. Knox did not remain long in Portree, finding nothing to 
interest him, except Mr. William Macdonald, an experienced 
trader and well acquainted with fishing, who offered to accompany 
him to the Western portion of the Island. At the time, " the 
inhabitants of Skye were mostly engaged upon the roads in different 
parts of the Island, under the inspection of the gentlemen and 
tacksmen, and accompanied each party by the bagpiper. Many 
of these people had to travel eight miles from home, and the 
greatest part of them were at a loss for lodgings, excepting that 
which the cold earth and the open sky afforded. Yet, after all 
these labours and inconveniences, no effectual roads, and much 
less effectual bridges, can be made through these bogs and rocks." 
A road had just been begun from Portree westward, and he passed 
two or three hundred men at work. Having arrived near Skea- 
bost, he turned westward across the hills in the direction of 
Bracadale, the Loch of which name, he informs us, was " edged 
with excellent cornfields, and well inhabited," and here was "a 
church, a school, a com mill, and, what is very uncommon in the 

138 The Celtic Magazine. 

Highlands, a surgeon." Compare this with its present condition ! 
Here he found one of those circular buildings called Duns, the 
diameter of which to the outside was 60 feet, 42 within, and the 
height of what remained of it was 18 feet. Mr. Knox was 
introduced to Mr. Macleod of Ullinish, a gentleman, who, "from 
his great probity, and the respect in which he is held, has, in 
some cases, the duty of a sheriff imposed upon him by the in- 
habitants, to whom he is a father." Before proceeding further on 
his way to Dunvegan, Mr. Macleod strongly urged a short visit to 
the estate of Colonel Macleod of Tallisker, which stood on the 
coast, some miles eastward. They went by sea, and, before they 
could land at the bay of Tallisker, " Mr. Macleod, though ex- 
tremely corpulent, had, with his usual politeness, reached the 
beach, from whence we were conducted, through a small but rich 
valley, to the seat of plenty, hospitality, and good-nature." The 
mountains in the neighbourhood abounded in " deer, hare, and 
wild fowl ; the fields in grain, hay, and pasturage ; the 
gardens in fruits and vegetables ; the rivers in trout 
and salmon ; the sea in herrings and white fish. Such, 
with the additional circumstance of a well-stocked cellar, are the 
felicities of this very remote and almost inaccessible corner. 
While these furnish many of the choicest luxuries of life, Tallisker 
and his lady enjoy the good will of the people around." Next 
morning Mr. Knox was accompanied by Mr. Macleod of Tallisker 
to Ullinish. They soon after arrived at Dunvegan Castle. Mr. Knox 
informs us that "this estate has been greatly diminished of late 
years, on account of debts; and much remains to be discharged. 
Notwithstanding this circumstance, the proprietor raised no rents, 
turned out no tenants, used no man with severity, and in all. 
respects, and, under the most pressing exigencies, maintained the 
character of a liberal and humane friend of mankind." Having 
described the situation of the Castle, and related some interesting 
incidents connected with Dr. Johnson's visit while on his Hebri- 
dean tour, our author informs us that, at the date of his visit, 
Macleod of Macleod himself was in India, where he held the rank 
of Major-General in the army, but his return was sincerely wished 
for by all, from the highest to the lowest, on his estate. The 
Castle was inhabited at the time by " Major Alexander Macleod 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 1 39 

and his lady, a daughter of the celebrated Flora Macdonald, who 
protected the young Pretender through all his hairbreadth 
escapes," after the battle of Culloden. In those days, the gentle- 
men of Skye did not appear to be over particular regarding the 
sacredness of the Sabbath day, for we are told that, being at 
Dunvegan Castle, "upon a Sunday, our company became, after 
church-time, very numerous, and was composed chiefly of gentle- 
men who had been in the army. My object was to push the 
subscription, which I endeavoured to represent as a very becoming 
supplement to the service of the day, in which the company 
readily acquiesced ; among whom was the clergyman, who, though 
his income is only ^40 per annum, bestowed his mite with great 
good will." It is interesting to find that the population of Skye 
was nearly as large then as it is in 1885. Mr. Knox says, "though 
several vessels have been loaded with emigrants from this Island 
since 1759, the number of inhabitants amounts at present to 
15,000; some of the gentlemen of the Island affirm that there are 
16,000 or upwards." Of these, he informs us, 7000 lived upon 
the Macdonald estates. He further says that the most fertile 
parts lay upon the coast, "but many thousand acres of good 
arable ground might be realised upon the declivities of the inland 
hills," by the use of lime, draining, enclosing, and other improve- 
ments. The average crops in the Island were 8000 bolls annually, 
while the exports of black cattle, "the largest and best in the 
Highlands," were 4000, realising from ,2 to 3 each. He tells 
us that, among other valuable minerals, there were some appear- 
ances of coal in the neighbourhood of Portree, and in some other 
parts of the Island, "but the vein does not exceed four or five 
inches, and the quality is bad. No proper trials have, however, 
been made, by boring to the depth where good coal is usually 
found." At the time there was only one solitary shop in the 
whole Island, the honour of its possession falling to Portree. 

Mr. Knox took passage in an open boat from Skye to Benbe- 
cula. On the voyage he experienced a severe storm, so that they 
were unable to cross, and had finally to make for Rodel, in Harris. 
He greatly admired the skill and bodily strength of the crew, 
and regretted, even in the deplorable situation in which he 
was placed, "the bad policy of obliging such men to abandon 

140 TJie Celtic Magazii 

their country, and to fly to distant regions, for a mere livelihood." 
The Island of Harris, with a number of small ones, including St. 
Kilda, was purchased eight years before our author's visit, from 
the Laird of Macleod, by his relative, Captain Macleod of the 
Mansfield East Indiaman. This gentleman was most enterprising. 
He constructed an excellent harbour at Rodel, and built a store- 
house for salt, casks, and meal, and a manufactory for spinning 
woollen and linen thread, and twine for herring-nets. He also 
introduced some East-country fishermen, with Orkney yawls, with 
the view of teaching the inhabitants to fish. He re-built Rodel 
Cathedral, erected a school and an inn in the district, and did a good 
deal of plantation, which vastly improved the appearance of the 
place. He also introduced the model of a press, corn, and 
fulling-mill. In 1786 he proposed to try fishing on the coast of 
Harris, near his own house, but was ridiculed by his tenants, who 
maintained that no fish could be got there, but the proprietor 
persisted in his experiment, and got, between the loth of March 
and the I5th of April, no less than 4400 large cod and ling; 
between 400 and 500 skate ; and immense quantities of dog-fish, 
large eels, and boat-loads of cuddies. After describing the manner 
in which Mr. Macleod behaved to the people of Harris, how he 
encouraged the fisheries, placing men in every loch, bay-, or 
creek, and providing them with boats, allowing them cottages and 
potato-ground rent-free, furnishing them with all necessaries at 
cost price, and taking their fish in payment at the full market price, 
Mr. Knox says that his conduct " ought to be a model for some 
proprietors in the Highlands, who, blinded by the representations 
of factors, and misled by their influence, have never permitted 
their tenantry to raise their heads, and are continually crushing 
them by new impositions upon their industry and upon every 
appearance of improvement; by which they are stripped of the 
fruits of their labour, to which the improver, and not the master, 
has, in common justice, the best right. The consequence of this 
squeezing system has invariably proved a fictitious, instead of a 
real rent-roll well paid ; and thus each party impoverishes and 
distresses the other." This is the old, but ever new, story. 

A. M. 
(To be continued.) 

Publications. 141 


BUCHANAN, with his Spiritual Songs, and an English 
Version of them. By the Rev. A. SINCLAIR, A.M., 
Kenmore. Edinburgh : Maclachlan & Stewart. 1885. 

THE fact that this is the twenty-second edition of the Poems, 
and the second edition of Mr. Sinclair's admirable little work, 
amply testifies to the fact that the good old sappy Poet of 
Rannoch has lost none of his charm for the pious and cultured 
people of the Highlands. To speak of the Poems themselves in 
the face of the fact that we have already mentioned would be 
perfectly superfluous. Where is the Highland fireside at which 
the hallowed and spiritualising influence of Dugald Buchanan's 
poetry has not been felt ? Nor is the appreciation of their high 
poetic aroma at all on the wane ; indeed, the admiring sentiments 
excited by their pious teaching and melifluous melody, has only 
been intensified the more they are subjected to the severer 
criticism of our own times. That Mr. Sinclair has done his work 
in a thorough manner, and with a sympathetic spirit, is evident 
from every page of the work. The biographical reminiscences 
are carefully selected ; the Gaelic version of the Poems is most 
correctly edited ; and the English translation, though necessarily 
far behind the original in point of moving power and lofty 
expression, is at the same time a very faithful representation of 
the sentiments of the author. The printer has done his part with 
taste, and no less so has the binder. The book is outwardly neat 
and handy, inwardly tasteful and correct, and it therefore follows 
as a matter of course that the work is one which Highlanders 
ought to possess and prize. Not only as a moral teacher, but as a 
poet, we regard Buchanan as by far the best of the Gaelic bards 
of modern times. 

142 The Celtic Magazine. 

THE SACRED SONGS OF THE GAEL : A Collection of Gaelic 
Hymns, with Translations. By L. MACBEAN. Part I. 
Price Sixpence. Music in both Notations. Edinburgh : 
Maclachlan & Stewart. Glasgow : Porteous Brothers. 

IT often baffles outsiders to understand the deep-rooted objection 
entertained by the great majority of the Highland people to the 
use of hymns in public worship, while much talent and genius 
have been exercised in the production of spiritual songs by some 
of their most accredited religious teachers. The explanation lies 
in the distinction the average Highlander observes between the 
form proper of the services of the sanctuary and that of the 
religious exercises of every-day life, and not in an aversion to 
hymns. The Gaelic hymnists, who generally were the respected 
and accepted exponents of divine truth, were in sympathy with 
this distinction, and did not design their hymns for use in 
churches, nor was such necessary in order to give them an 
effective and permanent place in the hearts of the people. The 
Highlander is essentially possessed of a musical and poetic, as well 
as of a religious temperament, and he naturally cherishes a deep 
attachment to his native melodies and songs, whether secular or 
sacred. It may be true that one or two thin volumes of either 
kind of song, and the Gaelic Bible, form the sole library in many 
of the Island and Highland cottages; but then these books are 
better known and valued all the more that they are few in number, 
a fact not without its advantages. In compiling the "Sacred 
Songs of the Gael," Mr. MacBean has met this condition of things 
with a stimulus for the wider use of already well-known hymns, 
and has preserved melodies, all of considerable, and some of them 
of great, merit. The book, which is uniform with the " Songs of 
the Gael" and the "Celtic Lyre" series, is the first part of a 
selection from the works of the Rev. Peter Grant, Dugald 
Buchanan, the Rev. Dr. Macgregor, John Maclean, and Rob 
Bonn. The verses are selected with care, and strung together so 
as to preserve a natural sequence and completeness in small 
compass ; while the translations into English bring out the wonted 

Publications. 143 

graces of Mr. MacBean's pen. Translations are generally of 
secondary importance, but to be readable they require aptitude and 
ability, and few who remember Mr. MacBean's translation of 
Dugald Buchanan's poems, will dispute his claim to both. The 
tunes, as a rule, are those to which the hymns were composed, or 
with which they have been long associated, and they are genuinely 
Highland. Where a selection had to be made, the choice, a very 
difficult matter, is good. The whole represents many phases of 
character and feeling. To a few, simple harmonies have been 
arranged by Mr. H. W. Murray, of the Andersonian College, 
Glasgow. The eye does not readily fall on errors in spelling, or 
on evidences of anything but the most careful editing. In a note 
the compiler says, " This is, so far as known, the first collection of 
Highland sacred melodies published, but the vein of such music 
has been found so rich and interesting, that if this publication is 
well received, a second part will shortly be added." Both on 
account of its being the first of its kind, and because of its merits 
otherwise, we extend to it more than a passing welcome, and hope 
the fulfilment of the condition laid down in the above note will 
encourage the speedy issue of a second part. The mutual depend- 
ence of words and music on each other has been so often illustrated 
that it is obvious, if our hymns are to be long preserved as a living, 
working power, they must be placed before the public, accom- 
panied by music as in this book, and we have no doubt the labour 
so well expended here will receive appreciative recognition. The 
printer has left little to be desired, and though much pressure has 
been put on his space, the work is neatly and tastefully executed. 


The Celtic Magazine. 


I MMos.] Afl FHAOILTEACH, 1886. 


AN SOLUS UR 5 LA 7.44 M. 


]) AN CIAD CHR. 13 LA 0.24 F. 

( AN CR. MU DHEIR. 27 LA 1.31 M. 

M. DI. 


An Lun 
An Lite. 

An IMH. 
An Griana/y. 






U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 



A' Bhliadhn' ur. 

8.47 E 



9- 5 




Breith Rob Ruaidh, 1 735. 

3.48 L 







Didonaich an deigh na Bliadhrf hire. 

8.47 E 


I. II 


II. 2 



Breith Ban-tighearn' Anna Halket, 


3- SOL 







Breith Thomais Phringle, 1789. 




o. 8 




An t-Seann Nolluig. 





I. I 



[6] La nan Tri Righrean. 

8.45 E 







Breith Phrionns Ailbeart Victor, 1864. 

3-55 L 

4. i 



2. 8 



An Fheill Fhaolain. 

8.44 E 







I. Donaich an d. La nan Tri Righrean. 

3-58 L 







Diluain an t-Sainnseil. 

8.42 E 







Bas Shir Iain Mac Mhuirich, 1829. 

4. 2L 



4- 7 


r 3 


Breith Shir Phadruig Hume, Ridir, 


8.40 E 







Bas Dheorsa Husband Baird, o 


D.,* 1840. 

4- SL 




6. 6 



Bas Eanraic Mhic-Coinnich, 1831. 








[17] Latha na h-Eaglaise-brice, 1746. 

4. 9L 







I I. Donaich an d. La nan Tri Right 





9- 4 




Breith Iain Chill' losa, DLL. Lagh., 









Bas Thomais Ghillespie, 1774. 



1. 19 





Ciad Pharlamaid Shasunn, 1365. 



2. 1 1 


0. 2 



Breith Dheorsa Ghillespie, 1613. 



3- 2 





[23] Bas larla Mhoiridh, 1570. 

4.21 L 







Posadh Dhiuc Dhuneideann, 1874. 

8.27 E 



2. 3 




///. Donaich an d. La nan Tri Righrean. 

4.25 L 

S- i 






Diluain an t-Sainnseil, S.C. 

8.24 E 


6. 8 





Bas Cheannard Ghordan, 1885. 








An Fheill Chomain. 

8.20 E 



5- 9 




Bas Righ Deorsa III., 1820. 


8.1 1 


6. 2 




Ciad Pharlamaid leasaichte, 1833. 




7. 6 




Bas Righ Tearlach L, 1649. 



ii. ii 


9- 2 



II 7 . Donaich an d. La nan Tri Righrean. 







* DLL. D. (Ollamh ri Diadhachd) DD. 




SUCH, then, was the Church established by St. Colurhba in 
Scotland in its outward aspect and organization. Of its internal 
economy and of the daily life of its members, as exhibited in the 
parent Monastery of lona, we can, by careful reading, obtain a 
tolerably clear picture from Adamnan's life of the founder, 
written by an abbot of lona, about eighty years after St. 
Columba's death. And, as lona was the parent monastery, it 
was no doubt the pattern and example of the others. The 
monks in lona lived together as one family, each having his 
separate house or bothy, but taking their meals in common. 
They lived in strict obedience to the abbot, they were celebate, 
they had all their property in common, and they supported them- 
selves by their own labour. There are numerous notices of them 
labouring in the fields, bringing home the corn, milking cows, and 
so forth, and they had a mill and a kiln. Their food seems to 
have consisted of milk, bread, fish, the flesh of seals, and beef 
and mutton. They had numerous services in the church, they 
were much given to reading and repeating the Scriptures, and 
particularly the Psalms, and they were diligent scribes. There are 
repeated notices of their labours in writing ; the last labour in 


146 The Celtic Magazine. 

which St. Columba was engaged was copying the psalter, and, 
naturally, they became the teachers of the community. They 
were also much given to hospitality, for there are frequent notices 
of the guest chamber, and of the arrival of guests, and of additions 
made to the meals on account of such arrivals. 

From this monastery, as a home, Columba's mission was 
conducted. As we have seen, he got a grant of the Island of 
lona, either from the King of the Picts or the King of the Scots ; 
and his method seems to have been to go in the first instance to 
the King or Chief of the territory in which he arrived, to interest 
him in his mission, then to obtain a grant of a village or rath, or 
dune with surrounding land, and then to establish a monastery, 
under the protection and patronage of the chief: in fact, to 
establish and endow his Church. Of this method we have an 
account in the Book of Deer, the contents of which, philologically, 
were so ably dealt with by Mr. Macbain last season. The 
monastery of Deer was, perhaps, the very last of the Columban 
foundations which retained anything of its original character, and 
in this relic of it which has come down to us we have the legend 
of its establishment, which admirably illustrates St. Columba's 

Columeille, and Drostan, son of Cosgrach, his pupil, came 
from Hi, as God had shown to them, unto Abbordoboir, and Bede, 
the Pict, was Mormaer of Buchan before them, and it was he that 
gave them that town in freedom for ever from Mormaer and 
toisech. They came after that to the other town, and it was 
pleasing to Columeille because it was full of God's grace, and he 
asked of the Mormaer, to wit, Bede, that he should give it to him, 
and he did not give it, and a son of his took an illness after (or 
in consequence of) refusing the clerics, and he was nearly dead 
(lit. he was dead, but if it were a little). After this the Mormaer 
went to entreat the clerics that they should make a prayer for the 
son, that health should come to him ; and he gave an offering to 
them from Cloch in Tiprat to Cloch pette meic Garnait. They 
made the prayer, and health came to him. After that Columeille 
gave to Drostan that town, and blessed it, and left as (his) word 
" Whosoever should come against it, let him not be many yeared 
(or) victorious." Drostan's tears came on parting from Collumeille. 
Said Columeille, ' Let Dear be its name henceforward." 

Having thus established a community, they were placed under 

Tlie Celtic Church in Scotland. 147 

the superintendence of a subject abbot to prosecute their work of 
bringing the tribe among which they were established to a 
knowledge of the truth, and from the monastery thus established 
there branched out cill churches, anoit churches, and all the 
other subordinate establishments which I have mentioned, and 
there went forth pilgrims and teachers, and sometimes colonies of 
monks, to establish other monasteries. Columba's idea of the 
method of spreading Christianity seems to have been first the 
establishment of a separate Christian community in the midst of 
the people to be converted, the leading by the members of this 
community of a pure and self-denying Christian life, practising 
the precepts which they taught, and exhibiting the effect on 
their own lives of a belief in the doctrines which they preached ; 
and next, the reading and teaching of the Scriptures, and the 
preaching of its doctrines. That his influence long survived him, 
and that a pure and holy life was long characteristic of the clergy 
of his Church, is amply testified by Bede, who never mentions 
any of the clergy of the branch of the Church of lona, which 
existed, as I have said, for 30 years in Northumberland, without 
while deploring their ignorance and perversity in not observing 
Easter at the proper time praising their chaste and self-denying 
lives. Thus he says of Colman, the last of the three abbots and 
bishops of this Church, who ruled at Lindesfarne, and who 
returned to lona on the King and people adopting the Roman 
time of celebrating Easter : 

" The place which he governed shows how frugal he and his 
predecessors were, for there were very few houses besides the 
church found at their departure ; indeed, no more than were 
barely sufficient for their daily residence ; they had also no 
money, but cattle ; for if they received any money from rich 
persons, they immediately gave it to the poor ; their being no 
need to gather money, or provide houses for the entertainment 
of the great men of the world ; for such never resorted to the 
church, except to pray and hear the Word of God. The King 
himself, when opportunity offered, came only with five or six 
servants, and having performed his devotions in the church, 
departed. But if they happened to take a repast there, they 
were satisfied with only the plain and daily food of the brethren, 
and required no more ; for the whole care of those teachers was 
to serve God, not the world to feed the soul, and not the belly." 

148 The Celtic Magazine. 

And again of Aiden, the first of these bishops, he says : 

" I have written thus much concerning the person and works 
of the aforesaid Aidan, in no way commending or approving what 
he imperfectly understood in relation to the observance of Easter ; 
nay, very much detesting the same, as I have most manifestly 
proved in the book I have written, " De Temporibus ;" but, like 
an impartial historian, relating what was done by or with him, 
and commending such things as are praiseworthy in his actions, 
and preserving the memory thereof for the benefit of the readers ; 
viz., his love of peace and charity ; his continence and humility ; 
his mind superior to anger and avarice, and despising pride and 
vainglory ; his industry in keeping and teaching the heavenly 
commandments ; his diligence in reading and watching ; his 
authority becoming a priest in reproving the haughty and powerful, 
and at the same time his tenderness in comforting the afflicted, 
and relieving or defending the poor. To say all in a few words, 
as near as I could be informed by those that knew him, he took 
care to omit none of those things which he found in the apostolical 
or prophetical writings, but to the utmost of his power endeavoured 
to perform them all." 

As I have said, the Columban monks naturally became the 
teachers of the community, and there are numerous notices of 
persons of distinction residing in the monasteries for the purpose 
of being instructed. Oswald, the King of Northumbria, when 
driven into exile, lived for several years in lona, and was there 
instructed. The clergy had a great reputation for learning, and 
Bede tells us that many of the nobles and princes of the English 
resorted to them for instruction. In what their learning consisted 
is an interesting question. That they wrote Latin well is evidenced 
by writings which have come down to us, and we are told that 
when Columbanus, in the year 590, went to Gaul, he was able to 
converse freely in that language. It would also appear that he 
had some knowledge of Greek, for he talks about the meaning of 
his own name in that language. It does not appear, however, 
that, previous to their coming in contact with the outer world, 
they had any knowledge of Roman or Greek literature, or of 
the writings of any of the fathers of the Roman^ Greek, or Eastern 
Churches. And Bede more than once, as in the passage I have 
read about Aidan, mentions that they taught only what was 
contained in the Scriptures, The literary remains of the Church 

TJie Celtic Church in Scotland. 149 

which have come down to us, consist entirely of the lives of saints, 
with the exception of an account of the holy places, written by 
Adamnan, from information given to him by a bishop of Gaul, who 
was driven to lona by stress of weather, and resided there for a 
winter some letters of Columbanus to the Pope, and to a Council 
of the clergy of Gaul ; and there are some hymns and poems 
attributed to St. Columba, but whether any of them are authentic 
seems doubtful. That he wrote poetry, and was a friend and 
patron of bards, is beyond all doubt, and Bede mentions that 
writings of his were said to be in existence in his time. It would 
rather appear, therefore, that as the lives of the Columban clergy 
were an effort to translate its teaching into practice, so their 
learning consisted in a knowledge of the Bible, the transcribing 
of which was one of their chief occupations. 

Their architecture was of the simplest and rudest, and if their 
general state of culture were to be judged by it, we should pro- 
nounce it of the lowest. Their churches were constructed of 
wattle work of branches, covered with clay. We frequently hear 
of the cutting of branches for the building or repair of churches ; 
and Bede tells us that when Aidan settled at Lindesfarne he built 
a church there, after the manner of his country, of wood thatched 
with reeds. The monks, as has been said, lived in "bothies," and 
these seem to have been erected by the occupants, and to have 
been of slight construction. In the Irish Life of St. Columba, we 
are told of his asking, when he went to a monastery for instruction, 
where he was to set up his bothy, and in another place mention is 
made of a bothy being removed from one side of a river to 
another. But, as we should commit a grievous error if we judged 
of the general intelligence aud culture of our own peasantry by 
the houses in which they live, so we should commit a like error if 
we judged of the culture of these monks by their churches and 
dwellings. That they had examples of more substantial and 
elaborate structures we know, and the poorness of their buildings 
was probably only one mode of expressing the highest thought 
that was in them, that taking for themselves no more of this 
world's goods than was necessary for existence, they should teach 
and illustrate their religion not by stately edifices, but by pure 
and holy lives. 

150 The Celtic Magazine. 

In metals they seem to have been skilful workers. Adamnan 
tells us that, on one occasion, St. Columba had blessed a certain 
knife, and said that it would never injure man or beast, and that 
thereupon the monks had the iron of which it was made melted, 
and a number of other tools in the monastery coated with it. The 
ceard or artificer seems to have been a regular official in the 
monasteries, and specimens which have come down to us in the 
decoration of shrines, cases for books, bells, &c., show that 
they had acquired a proficiency in art work of this description 
which has never been surpassed. 

Another branch of art in which they have never been excelled 
was the ornamentation and illumination of their Bibles and service 
books. The only manuscripts which have come down to us, and 
which can be traced to the hands of Columban monks in Scot- 
land, are the Book of Deer and one of the manuscripts of 
Adamnan's life of St. Columba, and these are not highly orna- 
mented. But there are numerous examples in Ireland, some of 
the more elaborate of which can be almost traced to the hands of 
St. Columba, and there can be no doubt that the art which 
produced the Irish specimens was the common property of both 
Churches, if, indeed, some of the books now existing in Ireland were 
not actually produced in lona. One of these books was seen 
in Ireland by Geraldus Cambriensis, who accompanied some of 
the first Norman and Welsh invaders in the twelfth century, and 
he thus describes it : 

" Among all the miracles in Kildare, none appears to me more 
wonderful than that marvellous book which they say was written 
in the time of the Virgin [St. Brigit] at the dictation of an angel. 
It contains the Four Gospels according to St. Jerom, and almost 
every page is illustrated by drawings illuminated with a variety of 
brilliant colours. In one page you see the countenance of the 
Divine Majesty supernaturally pictured ; in another, the mystic 
forms of the evangelists, with either six, four, or two wings ; here 
are depicted the eagle, there the calf; here the face of a man, 
there of a lion ; with other figures in almost endless variety. If 
you observe them superficially, and in the usual careless manner, 
you would imagine them to be daubs, rather than careful com- 
positions ; expecting to find nothing exquisite, where, in truth, 
there is nothing which is not exquisite. But if you apply yourself 
to a more close examination, and afc able to penetrate the secrets 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 15 f 

of the art displayed in these pictures, you will find them so 
delicate and exquisite, so finely drawn, and the work of interlacing 
so elaborate, while the colours with which they are illuminated 
are so blended, and still so fresh, that you will be ready to assert 
that all this is the work of angelic, and not human, skill. The 
more often and closely I scrutinise them, the more I am surprised, 
and always find them new, discovering fresh causes for increased 

And art critics of our own day speak of the work in terms of equal 

Such was the first Christian Church established among us, and 
such the mode of life and state of culture of its clergy. It existed 
in full vigour among us for about two hundred years, and then, 
partly from external causes, and partly from internal, it began to 
decay ; but it was not finally superseded by a system of diocesan 
episcopacy under the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome, until the 
time of King David the First. To trace the process of its decay 
would be interesting, but this paper has already extended to too 
great a length. 

152 The Celtic Magazine. 



ON Monday, /th September, we began the serious business 
of our trip electioneering. Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh was then 
pursuing his candidature for the representation of the County of 
Inverness, and he had deemed this the best and easiest method of 
addressing near their homes the voters in the Western Isles and 
on the West Coast. On that day, accordingly, we left Loch- 
Duich for Benbecula, where a meeting had been called for four 
o'clock in the afternoon. I came on deck just as we were passing 
through Kyle Rhea, and, leaving the pretty Bay of Kirkton, Glen- 
elg, on the left, we soon passed the village of Isleornsay, and the 
old ruined Castle of Knock, once a residence of the Macdonalds 
of Sleat. The next object of interest was Armadale Castle, the 
modern family seat of Lord Macdonald. This beautiful Gothic 
building was erected about 1815 by Sir Alexander Wentworth 
Macdonald, second Lord Macdonald of Sleat. As we rounded 
the Point of Sleat, a beautiful scene burst upon the sight. The 
whole range of the Cuchullin Hills unfolded itself before our eyes. 
The jagged peaks of Sgur-nan-Gillean were wreathed in ever- 
changing, but almost transparent mists, now creeping down the 
sides of the mountain, and anon uplifting and giving us a glimpse 
of the fantastic pinnacles which formed the summit. The view 
on all sides was grand. Behind us were the mountains of Kintail, 
Glenelg, Morar, and Arisaig, in distinct and endless varieties of 
outline; on our right, the bold coast of Skye, from Dunvegan 
Head to the Point of Sleat ; on our left, the picturesque islands of 
Eigg, Muck, Rum, and Canna; while, in the distant front, the 
whole of the Long Island, from Harris to Barra, was visible. As 
we skirted the western coast of Skye, we saw numbers of whales 
disporting themselves quite near to the yacht, whisking their great 
tails, and spouting up briny fountains on every side; while 
porpoises also were in abundance. Large flocks of guillemots 

Yachting and Electioneering in tJie Hebrides. 153 

hovered round our little vessel, ready to pick up anything which 
might be dropped overboard, whilst now and then a solan goose 
would swoop down upon some luckless fish and sail high over- 
head with its glittering prize. 

The Captain took advantage of a light breeze to hoist the 
mainsail and two jibs, which made a considerable difference in our 
rate of speed. Leaving the flat Island of Soay upon our right, we 
soon passed the opening of Loch-Bracadale, and then made 
across the Little Minch for Benbecula. It was about six o'clock 
P.M., when we again neared land. Our Captain had doubts as to 
whether the land straight ahead of us was Benbecula or the Island 
of Wiay. It afterwards turned out to be the latter. The whistle 
was sounded for a pilot, but without effect, and, after half-an-hour 
of anxious manoeuvring, we managed to enter the Sound of Ben- 
becula, where we cast anchor. We then set off in the boat to try 
and discover Creagorry. After about half-an-hour's hard rowing, we 
descried another boat coming to meet us, and, as the two boats 
neared each other, the melodious strains of the bagpipes were 
borne along to us by the breeze. As soon as the other boat was 
within hailing distance, its occupants raised cheer after cheer, and 
the piper in its bow played with might and main a weird and 
beautiful Hcbridean air. When within a few yards of us, the 
people in the other boat saluted by holding up their oars, whilst 
one enthusiastic individual tossed his cap high in air as he shouted, 
"Three cheers for Eraser-Mackintosh." The other boat then 
turned about, and preceded us towards the landing-place on the 
Benbecula side of the South Ford. As we entered the narrowest 
part of the Sound, a dense crowd was observed upon the South 
Uist side of the Ford, whilst another waited on the Benbecula 
side. The boatmen who preceded us kept cheering vociferously 
all the way, and soon an answering cheer burst from the crowds 
on both sides of the Ford. As we touched the little quay, dozens 
of willing hands were stretched forth to help us ashore, whilst 
cheer after cheer for the People's Candidate arose from the multi- 
tude which lined the shore, echoed no less heartily from the South 
Uist side. It was a good sign of the enthusiasm displayed that 
these people had waited patiently from four o'clock till seven, and 
some of them much longer, to give a hearty welcome to their 

154 The Celtic Magazine. 

future Member of Parliament. Led by an ecstatic individual, 
who, in the exuberance of his joy, kept dancing something 
between the Highland Fling and a sailor's hornpipe, escorted on 
either side by the worthy priest of Benbecula, Father Mackintosh, 
and his genial colleague from the other side of the Ford, Father 
MacColl, and followed by a crowd of some two hundred people, 
we wended our way some two miles and a-half to the school, 
where a most hearty meeting passed a vote of confidence in the 
candidate. The earnest faces of the audience, as they listened to 
the speakers' words, were lighted up with an enthusiasm and 
a look of determination which boded ill for the prospects of Mr. 
Fraser-Mackintosh's opponents. Local references were keenly 
relished, and any bit of humour was at once observed and 

By the time the meeting was over, it was quite dark, but a 
dog-cart had been procured for us, and we were driven down to 
the quay, and across the Ford, now, by the receding tide, almost 
dry, to lochdar, on the South Uist side, where we found that the 
people, after waiting several hours, had concluded there would be 
no meeting there that night, and gone home. By means of a 
message, however, a good meeting was soon formed, presided 
over by the genial Father MacColl of Ardkenneth, which passed 
a vote of confidence in Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh at the unearthly 
hour of 11.30 P.M. This concluded our day's, or rather our 
night's, work, but we had still to regain the yacht, whose lights we 
could faintly see at the east end of the Ford. The boat which 
had brought us from the yacht was nowhere to be seen, and we 
conjectured that it had gone back to the vessel to avoid being 
stranded by the ebbing tide. There was a chance, however, that 
it might have managed to remain afloat in one of the channels 
which, even at the lowest states of the tide, connect both ends of 
the Ford. As many of our readers may be unacquainted with the 
locality, it may be well to give some description of it. 

The Island of Benbecula is separated from South Uist by 
a narrow strait about half-a-mile in width, called the South Ford, 
which, at low tide, is capable of being crossed on horse or foot. 
It is never perfectly dry, however, being intersected by a number 
of channels which, being lower than the surrounding sands, are 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 155 

not affected by the tide, and across which the traveller, if on foot, 
has to wade. The South Ford is comparatively free from danger, 
owing to its narrowness, but the North Ford, separating Benbecula 
from North Uist, has rather a bad reputation, several sad accidents 
having occurred there within recent years. 

The owner of the conveyance which had taken us across from 
Benbecula kindly offered to drive us towards the east end of the 
Ford, and as near to the yacht as it was possible to get, and we 
accordingly set forth, preceded by two men on foot, bearing 
lanterns, to lead the way. Four or five miles out at sea the lights 
of the yacht kept moving round and round, as the vessel swung 
with the tide. Our horse jogged quietly along, now splashing 
through a stretch of water left by the tide, and now traversing an 
expanse of firm sand. Far behind us the horse's hoof-marks and 
the wheel-tracks glittered with phosphorescent light, and at inter- 
vals the silence of the night was broken by the shrill whistle of our 
guides, endeavouring to discover the whereabouts of the yacht's 
boat. At last we reached the edge of the Ford at low tide, 
where we stayed for some time whistling and shouting to attract 
the attention of those on board the yacht, whose lights appeared 
about a mile distant, only to be answered by the plash of the 
waves upon the sand, and the melancholy cry of a startled sea- 
bird as it circled above our heads. The tide had now begun to 
flow, and our driver was getting alarmed about his safety. After 
a hurried consultation, he resolved to drive back before the tide, 
whilst we went into the house of one of our guides on the South 
Uist side, until a boat could be procured. This we did, and soon 
found ourselves comfortably ensconced beside a good peat-fire, 
whilst our two guides and the wife of one of them went out to get 
a boat ready. It turned out afterwards that the boat, a large, one- 
masted fishing-craft, was high and dry a considerable distance 
above high-water mark, and how those two men and one woman 
managed to launch it is a mystery to me yet. However that may 
be, about three o'clock A.M., one of the men came in with the 
welcome news that the boat was ready, and a few minutes more 
saw us seated in it. One of the men then came running down 
with a live peat in his hand for what purpose I cannot say. It 
might have been to give light, but it only served, so far as I could 

56 The Celtic Magazine. 

make out, to make darkness visible. At last everything was ready, 
our boatmen got in, and the boat was, after sundry unpleasant 
bumps, shoved off into deep water. The men bent their backs to 
the oars, and pulled manfully for some minutes, but it soon 
became apparent that there was some hitch in the proceedings 
we had not progressed a single yard. An examination revealed 
the fact that the rope, by which the boat had been fastened to a 
rock on shore, had never been cast off! The emphatic Gaelic 
expletive to which the discoverer of the mistake gave expression 
was, I am convinced, anything but a blessing, but the matter was 
soon rectified, and we again set off, this time without hindrance. 
A fresh breeze which sprung up enabled us to use the sail, and in 
a very short time we were pitching and rolling alongside the 
yacht. Fifteen minutes more saw our boatmen departing with 
mutual and cordial expressions of good will, and by four A.M. I 
was making myself comfortable in my berth. 

On Tuesday morning, 8th September, we steamed for Loch- 
Eynort, South Uist. The breeze of the earlier part of the 
morning had freshened into a tremendous gale, and our little 
vessel had a tough job getting round the coast. When off 
Ushinish Light-house, we encountered a succession of very heavy 
seas. The waves came dashing over the bows, and along the 
decks, until they poured over the stern. For fully an hour the 
yacht, with all her steam on, did not progress fifty yards, and the 
Captain seriously thought of putting back and running for Loch- 
maddy, an idea which he only abandoned after considerable 
pressure on the part of Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh. At last we 
managed to get round the Point, and, after much knocking about, 
entered the comparatively smooth waters of Loch-Eynort, and 
cast anchor. In the entry to this Loch there is a rock, on which a 
frigate dispatched by Cromwell to subdue the inhabitants of Uist is 
said to have been wrecked. We soon after rowed up to the head of 
the Loch, an intricate channel, in the midst of deluges of rain and a 
severe but favourable gale, where we were met by the Rev. Father 
Mackintosh, Bornish, and a conveyance from Lochboisdale. The 
first meeting was to be held at Stoneybridge, whither we immedi- 
ately drove. When about a mile from the school, where the 
meeting was to be held, we were met by a large crowd of people, 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 157 

headed by Mr. Alexander Macdonald, Chairman, and Mr. Patrick 
M. Walker, Secretary of the local branch of the Highland Land Law 
Reform Association, the latter gentleman bearing a flag, with the 
inscription, dad mile failte, "A hundred thousand welcomes." A 
procession was formed, which escorted us to the school, where a 
most hearty meeting was held. The people in this district, under 
the able leadership of Mr. Walker, a young man of great promise, 
are most enthusiastic Land Law Reformers, the Stoneybridge 
branch of the Association numbering some five hundred members. 
Mr. Walker has himself suffered in the cause of the people, 
having undergone a term of imprisonment, along with his 
father and brother, for alleged complicity in a case of deforce- 
ment some time ago. Though quite a young man, he is 
recognised by the people of South Uist as their leader and 
master-hand in the Land Agitation, and his imprisonment has 
only endeared him the more to his neighbours, who regard him 
as a martyr in their behalf. After the meeting, we were enter- 
tained in bis father's house, one of the neatest cottages I have 
seen on the West Coast. It seemed to us deplorable that such 
worthy ladies as Mrs. and Miss Walker should have had to 
undergo the indignity and vexation of Mr. Walker, senior, and 
two of his sons, being all taken to prison at Lochmaddy. Mr. 
P. M. Walker afterwards accompanied us to Dalibrog, where our 
next meeting was to be held that evening. 

The crofters' land about Stoneybridge is very poor, and it is 
with the greatest difficulty that crops are raised at all. Those 
people who talk about the laziness and indolence of the Highland 
crofters should go and see for themselves the astonishing amount 
of hard work which is expended upon these wretched plots of 
land. Month after month, and year after year, the crofter goes 
on digging, manuring, sowing, and reaping a never-ending life 
of toil his reward often being another pound added to his rent. 
Soon after leaving Stoneybridge we made for the old shore road 
to Ormiclate, and, passing through a gate, drove across a beautiful 
stretch of macJiar land that is, a flat expanse of sandy soil near 
the sea thickly covered with grass upon which some of the 
finest black cattle I have ever seen were grazing. A question 
asked of Mr, Walker elicited the fact that this beautiful land was 

158 The Celtic Magazine. 

held by Mr. Ranald Macdonald, the factor for Lady Gordon 
Cathcart, and residing at Cluny Castle, Aberdeenshire, and that a 
part of it once appertained to the Stoneybridge crofters! 

At the farm of Ormiclate we stopped to inspect the remains of 
the old Castle, once a seat of Clanranald. The coat of arms, 
much effaced by time, is still to be seen upon the wall. 
The neglected state of this fine ruin, together with the 
mean and filthy surroundings, are disgraceful. A cabbage- 
garden had been formed close up to the outer wall, bad 
enough, but infinitely better than the former application of 
the ground a sheep fank whilst the interior of the building 
had been used as a cattle-pen, and was a mass of filth. The 
present occupant, who has of course no power, being merely a 
grieve, expressed his regret at the wretched state of the place. 
The Castle was destroyed by fire over one hundred years ago. Mr. 
Walker gave me the following story of how the fire originated. 
The Macdonalds had taken a deer from Ben-More, a hill some 
distance off, and were engaged roasting it whole over the fire. 
The deer was a very fat one, and the grease dropping from it 
caught fire and ran all about the place, setting the whole chamber 
in flames. Before the progress of the fire could be arrested, the 
Castle was reduced to a blackened shell. 

The site of Ormiclate was well chosen, standing on a slight 
eminence, in the centre of vast plains of machar. In front lies 
the Atlantic, smiling, when we saw it, under the influence of a 
brilliant sun, with the roar of the surf, modified by the distance ; 
and to the back the horizon is bounded by the chain of grand 
mountains, including the noble Mount Hecla, forming the eastern 
coast of South Uist; both sea and mountain, in their ever-varying 
forms, always and ever objects of beauty and attraction from the 

Leaving Ormiclate, we drove on to Dalibrog, passing the 
farm of Milton, the birthplace of Flora Macdonald, on the way. 
The site of the old house is rather exposed, but prettily situated 
on a green hillock. A good part of the walls remain. The 
splendid herds of cattle on the fine farm of Askernish, unhappily 
retained in the proprietor's hands, were objects of our admiration, 
as we drove along. Near the Dalibrog School we were met by a 

Vac Jit ing and Electioneering in the Hebrides, 159 

crowd of over a hundred people, headed by two pipers playing 
lively airs, and a man bearing a large flag. On arrival at the 
school, we were welcomed by the Rev. Father Macdonald, and, 
after a most enthusiastic meeting, we drove away to Lochbois- 
dale, followed by hearty rounds of cheers, again and again 
renewed, until we were out of hearing. At Lochboisdale we 
found the yacht waiting for us, but, as it was rather late, we stayed 
on shore, and here I must leave the reader for the present. 

(To be continued.) 

160 The Celtic Magazine. 




IT was towards the close of Tormod's rule, in 1577, that the 
massacre of the Macdonalds of Eigg, the most cold-blooded and 
atrocious act in the Highland history, was perpetrated by the 
Macleods. Dr. Skene publishes a document in the appendix to 
the third volume of Celtic Scotland, by which the date of the 
massacre of Eigg is fixed. This document is entitled a "Descrip- 
tion of the Isles of Scotland," and Dr. Skene says that it " must 
have been written between 1577 and 1595, as the former date 
is mentioned in connection with the cruel slaughter of the inhabitants 
of Eigg by the Macleods, and John Stewart of Appin, who died in 
1 595, is mentioned as alive at the time it was written. It has all the 
appearance of an official report, and was probably intended for 
the use of James the Sixth, who was then preparing to attempt 
the improvement of the Isles, and increase the Royal revenue 
from them." This sufficiently fixes the date of the document. 
The following is the reference in it to the Island of Eigg 

" Eg is an He verie fertile and commodious for all kind of 
bestiall and corns, speciallie aittis, for eftir everie boll of aittis 
sawing in the same ony yeir will grow 10 or 12 bollis agane. It 
is 30 merk land, and it pertains to the Clan Rannald, and will 
raise 60 men to the weiris. It is five mile lang and three mile 
braid. Thair is mony coves under the earth in this lie, quhilk 
the cuntrie folks uses as strengthis, hiding thame and thair geir 
thairintill ; quhairthrow it hapenit that in March, anno 1577, 
weiris and inmitie betwix the said Clan Renald and McCloyd 
Herreik, the people, with ane callit Angus John McMudzart- 
sonne,* their capitaine, fled to ane of the saidis coves, taking with 
thame thair wives, bairnis, and geir, quhairof McCloyd Herreik 
being advertisit landed with ane great armie in the said He, and 
came to the cove, and pat fire thairto, and smorit [smothered] the 

*This Angus was fourth son of the brave John Moydartach, Chief of Clanranald. 
See Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds, p. 402, 

History of t/ie Macleods. 161 

haill people thairin, to the number of 395 persones, men, wyfe, 
and bairnis." 

This, we think, will finally settle the date and the authors of this 
unparalleled atrocity. 

The following description of it, by Professor Jameson, is 
from the New Statistical Account for Inverness-shire, under 
the "Parish of Small Isles," pp. 146-148. Professor Jameson 
writes : 

" A party of the Macleods having landed upon the small 
island of Eilean Chastel, behaved so outrageously to the women 
who were there tending cattle, that their friends instantly pursued 
and put several of them to death. This so enraged the clan of 
Macleod, that they determined to take revenge, by ravaging the 
Isle, and putting to death the murderers of their brothers. The 
Islanders, sensible of their weakness, prepared to shelter them- 
selves upon the first appearance of an enemy. Soon afterwards 
a number of boats were seen approaching the Isle ; when the 
trembling inhabitants retired in despair to this cave, their only 
refuge. The Macleods soon landed and traversed the whole 
Island ; but as they could discover no human being, they 
concluded that the Macdonalds had made their escape to the 
Mainland, or to some of the adjacent islands. Disappointed and 
enraged, they were about to leave Eigg to return to Skye, when, 
unfortunately, one of the horde observed the mark of footsteps 
on the snow ; and thus they were enabled to discover the cave 
where the wretched inhabitants had taken refuge. Shrieks of 
despair were interrupted for a little by a proposal of the Macleods 
that, if the murderers were given up to punishment, the other 
lives should be spared. This was only a cruel aggravation of 
their sufferings, as the Macleods were the aggressors. Connected, 
as the Macdonalds were, by the dearest ties, they were deter- 
mined to perish together rather than to give up one of their 
number. The Macleods, with the most savage barbarity, instantly 
kindled great fires at the mouth of the cave, which soon suffocated 
the whole of the miserable inhabitants. 

"One often listens even to such a tale, as to the description of 
a battle, without much interest; but the view of the scene never 
fails to awaken a keener sympathy the circumstances are brought 
nearer to the mind, and seem to be passing before us. We stood 
on the very ground where this tragedy was acted, and felt our 
sensibility increased by the sequestered and dreary place in which 
the deed was done. But even this interest was faint when com- 
pared to that we felt when, after creeping a considerable way 


1 62 The Celtic Magazine. 

through a low and narrow entrance, half-covered with brushwood, 
we found ourselves at last within a large and gloomy cave, the 
extent and height of which we could not distinguish, and perceived 
the gleams of the lights we carried reflected from the bones and 
skulls of the unhappy Macdonalds. The force with which the 
truth and all the circumstances of this dreadful tale struck at this 
moment upon our minds, and the strange variety of sensations 
excited by an event so extraordinary, it is not easy to find words 
to express. 

"The entrance of the cave is low and narrow for about 12 feet, 
the breadth 14 feet, and in length it extends inwards nearly 213 
feet. The air was damp and raw. Our lights struck faintly on 
the black sides of the cave, without dispelling that deep and 
solemn gloom which harmonized so well with the melancholy 
story. The projecting masses of rock were dimly illuminated, 
while the skulls and scattered bones catched a strong light. Our 
figures, too, touched with the paley flame, showed the features, or 
an outstretched arm, while the parts of the body removed from 
the light were lost in the gloom. The whole scene was admirably 
adapted for the canvas ; but it would require a very rare talent in 
the painter who should attempt it." 

According to the Skye tradition of this story, it is related that 
the Macleods, having shown some disrespect towards the Eigg 
women, were seized by the Macdonalds, bound hand and foot, 
and set adrift in their own boat, which was carried by wind and 
tide to the entrance of Loch-Dunvegan, and there picked up by 
Macleod himself, as he was returning in his galley from Orkney. 
Then followed the expedition to Eigg, with the terrible result 
already narrated. 

It is said that the sanguinary engagement between the Mac- 
donalds and Macleods at Waternish took place shortly after the 
Eigg massacre, but it is impossible now to fix the date quite 
accurately, and it is more than probable that the Battle of Water- 
nish took place between the Sleat Macdonalds, who held North 
Uist, and the Siol Torquil or Lewis Macleods, who occupied 
Waternish, than between those who were parties to the massacre 
of Eigg. 

A number of the Macleods, we are told, were assembled in 
the Church at Trumpan, when a party of the Macdonalds 
suddenly surrounded and set fire to the building, destroying all 
the unfortunate inmates except one young woman, who escaped 

History of the Macleods. 163 

through a narrow wmdow, as the tradition states, with the loss of 
one of her breasts, which was torn off as she dragged herself 
through. the opening still to be seen in the old ruin of the church. 
The boats of the enemy had, however, been observed by the 
people in other parts of the country, and before long the 
Macdonalds were attacked by a body of infuriated Macleods, who 
exacted a terrible revenge for the burning of their church and 
kinsfolk. The bodies of the slain Macdonalds were ranged in line 
beneath a stone wall near the battle-field, and the wall was then 
overturned upon them. Hence the battle was called Blar- 
milleadJi-garaidJi, the battle of the destruction of the dyke. The 
author of the Statistical Account says that there are indistinct 
accounts preserved of another battle fought by these hostile clans, 
known as Blar Bhatternish, the Battle of Waternish. The Mac- 
leods were just about to give up the contest when the celebrated 
Fairy Flag of their chief was unfurled, which immediately caused 
the enemies to see triple the real number of Macleods opposed to 
them. The Macdonalds, on seeing this sudden and mysterious 
augmentation of their foes, became panic-stricken, and were 
completely routed. 

Tormod Macleod is described as " a man of remarkable fortitude 
and resolution, of great integrity and honour," and as one who 
always adhered to the interest of Queen Mary. 

He married, first, Giles, daughter of Hector Maclean of 
Duart by his first wife, Lady Janet Campbell, daughter of 
Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyll, with issue 

1. William, his heir and successor. 

2. Roderick, who succeeded his brother William, was known 

as Rory Mor, and was knighted by James VI. 

3. Alexander of Minginish, and of whom the families of 

Ferinlea, Oze, and others were descended. 

4. Margaret, who, as his second wife, married Donald Gorm 

Macdonald of Sleat, without issue, he having been first 
married to the heiress of John MacTorquil Macleod of 
Lewis, with issue. 

5. A daughter, who married Torquil Macleod of Lewis, and 

secondly, Ranald Macdonald, first of Benbecula, whose 
descendants, on the failure in 1725 of the direct line 

1 64 The Celtic Magazine. 

in the person of Ranald, XIII. Chief of Clanranald, 
succeeded as heads of that family. 

Tormod Macleod married, secondly, a daughter of the Earl of 
Argyll, by whom he had issue 

6. Florence, who married Lachlan Maclean of Coll, with issue. 
He died in March, 1584, when he was succeeded by his eldest 

XII. WILLIAM MACLEOD, who was served heir to his father, 
Tormod, on the 3ist of July, 1585, and on a precept from 
Chancery, was infeft in all the ancient estates of the 
family, in November of the same year. In September he was 
requested by James VI. to go and assist Lachlan Maclean of 
Duart, whose lands had been invaded by Angus Macdonald of 
I slay. The Macleans were also assisted on this occasion by the 
Macneills of Barra, the Mackinnons of Skye, and the Mac- 
Quarries ; while the Macdonalds were supported by the Macleods 
of Lewis, the Macdonalds of Clanranald, the Clan Ian of Ardna- 
murchan, the Macneills of Gigha, the Macallisters of lona, and 
Macfies of Colonsay. The history of this feud is already so well 
known to the readers of the Celtic Magazine* that . it is quite 
unnecessary to write of it here at any length. The King at last 
interfered using the chiefs of the Clan Campbell, who had 
charge of the seventh Earl during his minority, as intermedi- 
atories with the result that Angus Macdonald of Islay agreed to 
liberate Maclean, who had become his prisoner, on being promised 
a remission for his own crimes, and on eight hostages of high 
rank being placed in his hands by Maclean for the performance 
of conditions which the Chief of Duart had been obliged to sign 
to secure his release. The hostages were given, and among them 
we find Alexander Macleod of Minginish, youngest brother of 
William Macleod of Dunvegan, and of his more distinguished 
successor, RuairidJi Mor of that ilk. 

These hostages were afterwards ordered to be given up to the 
young Earl of Argyll or his guardians, for conveyance by them 
to the Xing himself, to be kept where he should appoint, until a 
final settlement was arranged of all the matters in dispute 

* See also Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, 
pp. 189 to 196, 

History of the Macleods. 165 

between the Macdonalds of Islay and the Macleans of Duart. 
These and their followers, as well as their principal supporters 
Chief and people were charged to keep the peace and abstain 
from all gatherings and conventions, so as not to hinder or disturb 
the King in his efforts to bring about a settlement of the disputes 
between them. 

The Earl of Huntly, then his Majesty's Lieutenant in the 
North, was addressed by the King in a letter written with his 
own hand, dated at Edinburgh, 2Oth of April, 1587, in which His 
Majesty says : " We have no doubt but the cruelties and 
disorders in the Isles these years bygone have greatly moved 
you, whereanent we intend, God willing, to take some special pains 
ourself, as well there as in the Borders, where we have been lately 
occupied." After having stated that he had communicated with the 
Earl in the preceding October on the same subject, the King pro- 
ceeds : "Always fearing that the Islesmen within the bounds of 
your Lieutenancy shall press to make some rising and gathering, 
before conveniently we may put order to the matters standing in 
controversy in the West Isles, we desire you effectuously that 
with all goodly diligence you send to Donald Gorm's son, Macleod 
of the Lewis, Macleod of the Harris, the Clan-Ranald, and others 
being of power in these parts, willing and commanding them to 
contain themselves in quietness, and that they forbear to make 
any convention or gatherings, to the hinder and disturbance of 
our good deliberation, for we have written effectuously to Angus 
Macdonald, and have spoken with Maclean, being here, for the 
same effect. And so, not doubting but you will do what in you 
lies, that all things remain quiet and in good order within the 
bounds of your charge, as you will do us special acceptable 
service, commit you in the protection of Almighty God."* 

Shortly after, an Act was passed by which it was made 
imperative on all landlords and chiefs of clans to find securities 
for large amounts, proportionate to their wealth and the number 
of their followers, for the good behaviour of all their vassals. If, 
after having found the stipulated sureties, any of these chiefs 
failed in making immediate reparation for all injuries inflicted by 
any of their subordinates, for whom they were made to answer, 

* Invernessiana , by Charles Fraser- Mackintosh, M.I'., pp. 245-6. 

1 66 TJie Celtic Magazine. 

the aggrieved persons could proceed at law against the securities 
for the amount of the damage. The Superior was in that case not 
only to reimburse his cautioner, but had, in addition, to pay a 
large fine to the Crown. At the same time, many excellent 
provisions were made by this Act, usually known as the 
" General Band " for the more regular and easier administration 
of justice in the Western Isles. 

William Macleod entered into a bond of manrent with Lachlan 
Mackintosh of Mackintosh, whose daughter he had married, in 
the following terms : 

Be it kenned to all, me, William Macleod of Dunvegan, to 
become bound and obliged. Like as by the tenor hereof, I bind 
and oblige me, my heirs, leally and truly, by the faith and truth in 
my body, to take, efauld, and true part, assist, maintain, and defend, 
and concur with Lachlan Mackintosh of Dunachton, Captain and 
Chief of the Clan Chattan, and his heirs, in all and sundrie their 
actions, causes, quarrels, debates, and invasion of any person or 
persons whatever, indirectly used or intended contrary to the said 
Lachlan and his heirs in all time coming, from the day and date 
hereof, so that I, the said William Macleod, and my heirs, shall 
be sufficiently and duly premonished and advertised by the said 
Lachlan Mackintosh and his foresaids, to the effect foresaid, and 
shall give faithful and true counsel to him and his heirs, by and 
attour concurrence, and take efauld part with him and his heirs 
(as said is) in all their just causes and actions as said is. And 
sicklike I shall not hide, obscure, nor conceal, by any colour or 
engine, directly or indirectly, any skaith, displeasure, nor harm, 
meant or concert, in contrar the said Lachlan Mackintosh and his 
foresaids by any whatsomever person or persons, the same coming 
to the knowledge and ears of me, the said William Macleod and 
my heirs, but immediately after trial thereof in all our best manner, 
with all expedition and haste, shall advertize, report, and make 
foreseen the said Lachlan Mackintosh and his heirs thereof. As 
also to concur, assist, maintain, defend, and take faithful part with 
them against all mortals (the King's Majesty excepted allenarly). 
And this my bond to stand firm and stable in all time coming 
after the day and date hereof. In witness of the whilk, I have 
subscribed these presents with my hand, in manner under written, 
at Culloden, the I5th day of January, 1588, before witness. 

offe Dunvegane. 

He married Janet, daughter of Lachlan Mackintosh, XVI. 

Maduinn na Sab aid. 167 

of Mackintosh, by his wife Agnes, daughter of Kenneth 
Mackenzie, X. of Kintail, without issue. He died in October, 
1590, when he was succeeded by his next brother, the famous 
Ruairidh Mor, afterwards knighted by James VI., and of whom 
in our next. 

(To be continued.) 


Nach aluinn, maiseach, tosdach, ciiiin, 

'Tha 'ghrian ag eiridh suas ; 
'S na gathan tlath 'tha 'teachd bho 'gniiis 

'Cur aoidh air tir, 'us cuan ! 
Dh' fhuadaich i 'n dorchadas air chill, 

'Us dhuisg i 'mach le buaidh ; 
Sin mar a dh' cinch Righ nan dul 

Bho chumhachd bais 'us uaigh, 
Air maduinn chaoimh na Sabaid naoimh 

Le saorsa bhuan d' a shluagh. 

Do'n neach 'tha saoithreachadh gu cruaidh, 

Fo' iomadh cuibhreach sgith, 
Tha 'mhaduinn so gu seimh ri luaidh 

Air teachdaireachd na sith, 
Mar earlais air an fhois 'tha shuas 

Nach tig gu brath gu crich, 
Am measg nan sluagh a tha bith-bhuan, 

Far nach tig bron g' an claoidh, 
An t-Sabaid chaomh am measg nan naomh, 

Nach tig gu ceann a chaoidh. 

Tha gniomh do lamh an diugh, a Thriath, 

A' taisbeanadh do ruin, 
Na neamhan shuas 's an talamh shios 

Ag ardachadh do chliu. 
Air son do chaoimhneis shaibhir, fhial, 

'S do mhaitheis do gach duil, 
Gun aois, gun chaochladh ort gu sior, 

'S bha thu mar sin bho thus ; 
Bho linn gu linn bidh oran binn 

Air gloir do righeachds' ur. 

1 68 The Celtic Magazine. 

Co thuigeas oirdhearcas do neairt, 

'Thug beatha do gach ere, 
'S na miltean saoghal 'tha fo' d' reachd 

Air feadh a' chruinne-che. 
Tha 'n gluasad uile fo' do smachd, 

'S an earbsa riut gu le'ir, 
'S na cumhachdan a dhealbhadh leat 

Gun tamh a' cur 'an ceill 
Do chliu mar Righ os cionn gach ni 

A rinneadh leat gu treun. 

Ge mor do chumhachd, 's ard do ghloir, 

Eisdidh Tu glaoidh nan bochd ; 
'S ann uat a thig gach neart 'us treoir, 

'S Tu mhaitheas dhuinn ar lochd. 
Do lamh a' sgaoileadh maoin do stoir, 

'S gach dtiil a' feitheamh ort, 
Gach trath Thu 'g ullachadh dhuinn loin, 

'S do shiiil gun suain, gun chlos ; 
'S bho d' chomhnuidh shuas tha 'ghnath do chluas 

Ri ghlaodh do shluaigh a bhos. 

Tha mhaduinn so 'n a dhearbhadh iir 

Dhuinn air do chaoimhneas caomh, 
Tha 'n cruinne-ce le iomadh cliu, 

A' seinn duit air gach taobh ; 
'S an dream a dh' earbas riut an ciiis 

Freagraidh Tu iad gu caoin, 
Cha chuir Thu dochas neach air chill, 

'S cha mheall Thu air a h-aon ; 
'S air bas 'us uaigh gu 'n toir iad buaidh 

'Us gheibh iad duais gu saor. 


NER. On Tuesday evening, I2th January, 1886, the Fourteenth Annual Dinner of 
the Gaelic Society of Inverness took place in the Caledonian Hotel Allan R. 
Mackenzie, Esq., younger of Kintail, Chief of the Society, in the chair. The 
croupiers were Mr. Duncan Campbell, Ballifeary, and Mr. George J. Campbell, 
solicitor. There was a fair attendance, but nothing like that of former years. The 
speeches, with one or two exceptions, were weak. The proceedings were enlivened, 
however, by the singing of several Gaelic and Scotch songs by some of those present, 
and by the choice selection of Highland bagpipe music contributed by Pipe-Major 
Paul Mackillop. A spirited reel was engaged in by several gentlemen during the 
evening; and, taking them all in all, the proceedings, while not nearly up to past 
years as regards speaking, were of an interesting and enjoyable character. 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 


( Continued) 

IN THE YEARS 1571 AND 1572. 

THE two families of Gordon and Forbes were of great power 
and authority in their country, both of them valiant, wise, and 
wealthy; both harbouring deadly feud, long rooted between them. 
The Gordons then lived with great concord and unity among 
themselves; and, by the tolerance of their Kings, had, for many 
years, governed the people adjoining unto them, whereby they 
became wealthy and of great power, and purchased strength 
among themselves, together with the attendance and following of 
other men towards them. When, on the contrary, the Forbeses 
were at war one with another, they daily impaired their own strength, 
with their own slaughters, and, in end, wrought their own harm 
by pressing to strive against the Gordons. These two surnames 
did live together at this time, rather in secret emulation than open 
envy; because they had (in way of reconciliation) by marriage 
intermingled their families together; but their hid and long- 
rooted rancour did now burst forth, not only by following contrary 
factions during these civil wars betwixt the King's party and the 
Queen's, but chiefly because that John, Master of Forbes (eldest 
son to the Lord Forbes), had repudiated and put away his wife, 
Margaret Gordon, daughter to George, Earl of Huntly, which he 
did by the instigation of his uncle, Black Arthur Forbes, who 
mortally hated the Gordons. This Arthur was a man of great 
courage, ambitious, and ready to undertake anything whatsoever for 
the advancement and reconciliation of his family. The Forbeses, 
from the first time of these civil discords in Scotland, did follow 
the King's party; the Gordons did always remain constantly 
faithful to the Queen, even unto the end. 

170 TJte Celtic Magazine. 

The Forbeses, by persuasion of Black Arthur Forbes, had 
appointed both day and place of meeting, where they should 
assemble together, not only for their own general reconciliation 
among themselves, but also to enterprise something against the 
Gordons and the rest of the Queen's favourers in these parts; 
whereof Adam Gordon of Achindown having secret intelligence 
(his brother, the Earl of Huntly, being then in Edinburgh), he 
assembled a certain number of his kindred and followers to cross 
the proceedings of the Forbeses, who were all convened at Tillie- 
angus, above Druminour, in the beginning of the year of God 
1572. The Forbeses perceiving the Gordons coming up towards 
them, against the hill where they then were, they did intrench 
themselves within their camp, which they had strongly fortified, 
dividing their army into two several companies, whereof Black 
Arthur Forbes commanded that which lay next unto the Gordons. 
Adam Gordon (far inferior in number to his enemies), presently, 
without any stay, fiercely invaded the first company; his brother, 
Mr. Robert Gordon, set upon the other: so, breaking their 
trenches, they ran desperately upon the spears of their enemies. 
After a sharp and cruel conflict, courageously fought a long time 
on either side, Black Arthur Forbes, with divers others, gentle- 
men of his surname and family, were slain; the rest were all 
overthrown, put to flight, and chased even to the gates of 
Druminour, the Lord Forbes's chief dwelling-place; few of the 
Gordons were killed, but only John Gordon of Buckie, father to 
John Gordon of Buckie, now living. 

The Forbeses attempted nothing afterward in revenge of this 
overthrow, until the time that John, Master of Forbes (Black 
Arthur's nephew and chief of that family), hardly escaping from 
his enemies, hastened to Court, where the Earl of Mar, then 
Regent, had his residence, hoping by him to be relieved. The 
Regent gave him five companies of footmen and some horsemen, 
with letters to such of the adjoining nobility as favoured and 
followed that party, desiring them to associate and join themselves 
unto the Forbeses. These then being confederated and assembled 
together with certain other families of their affinity and neighbours, 
so advanced the spirit of this John, Master of Forbes, that he now 
thought himself sufficiently furnished against the forces of his 

The Conflicts of tJie Clans. 171 

adversaries, and so presently went to Aberdeen, to expel Adam 
Gordon from thence, the year of God 1572, who, knowing the 
preparation of the Forbeses, and understanding the approach of 
the enemies so near at hand, assembled such of his friends and 
followers as he could soonest find at that time, and led them out 
of the town. He sent a company of musketeers, under the 
conduct of Captain Thomas Carr, to a convenient place where the 
Forbeses must of necessity pass, there to lie in ambush, and not 
to stir till the battle did join ; then he sent certain of the Suther- 
land bowmen (who had retired themselves out of their country 
during the Earl of Sutherland's minority), and desired them to 
draw a great compass about, and so, to set upon the back of the 
Forbeses' footmen and musketeers ; he himself, and his brother, 
Mr. Robert Gordon, with the residue of his company, stayed the 
coming of the Forbeses at a place called Craibstane, not far from 
the ports of the new town of Aberdeen. The Forbeses, being in 
sight of Aberdeen, began to consult among themselves what was 
best to be done ; some were of opinion that the fittest and safest 
course was to go to Old Aberdeen, and there seat themselves, and 
from thence to molest the new town, and compel Adam Gordon 
to depart from New Aberdeen, by the aid and assistance of these 
experienced footmen which were sent from the Regent: but the 
Master of Forbes and his kinsmen would not hearken thereto, 
desiring present battle, which was then concluded; and so the 
Forbeses advanced with great courage against the Gordons, who 
received them with the like resolution. At the very first encounter, 
Achindown's musketeers, who lay in ambush, killed a number of 
the Forbeses; then both the armies joined with great violence. 
After a cruel conflict, with incredible obstinacy on either side, the 
Laird of Pitsligo (Forbes's) two brethren, with divers other gentle- 
men of the surname of Forbes, were there slain ; Captain Chisholm, 
with the footmen (sent by the Regent to their support) were put 
to flight by the Sutherland bowmen, who pursued them eagerly 
with great slaughter. Among the rest, Captain Chisholm was 
slain, with three other Captains, which the rest of the Forbeses 
perceiving, they fled apace ; many of the principals were taken, 
with their Chief and General, John, Master of Forbes, whose 
father was then very aged, lying sick at Druminour, expecting the 

172 The Celtic Magazine. 

sorrowful news of this overthrow. Adam Gordon used this victory 
very moderately, and suffered no man to be killed after the fury 
of the fight was past. When all was ended, he returned to the 
Church of Aberdeen, and there gave thanks unto God for his 
happy success. Alexander Forbes of Strathgarnock (author of 
all the troubles betwixt these two families, and the chief stirrer-up 
of Arthur Forbes against the Gordons) was taken at this battle, 
and, as they were going to behead him, Achindown caused them 
to stay his execution. He entertained the Master of Forbes, and 
the rest of the prisoners, with great kindness and courtesy; he 
carried the Master of Forbes along with him to Strathbogie ; and 
in end gave him and all the rest leave to depart. 

The next ensuing summer after this conflict at Craibstane, 
Adam Gordon of Achindown, following his victory, entered the 
Mearns, and besieged the house of Glenbervie, putting all the 
Regent's party within that province into a great fear and tumult. 
The Earl of Crawford, the Lords Grey, Ogilvy, and Glamis, 
taking part with the Regent against the Queen, assembled all the 
forces of Angus and Mearns to resist Achindown, and to stop 
his passage at Brechin, where they encamped ; but Adam Gordon, 
being advertised of their proceedings, left the most part of his 
men at the siege of Glenbervie, from whence he parted in the 
dead time of the night, with the most resolute men of his company, 
to invade these lords; and being come to Brechin, he killed the 
watch with divers others, surprised the town, set upon the lords, 
chased them, and made himself master of the town and castle of 
Brechin. The next morning, the lords understanding Achin- 
down 's small forces in regard of theirs, they assembled their men 
together, and came near unto Brechin to fight against him, who 
met them with resolute courage; but, as they were ready to 
encounter, the lords, not able to endure the first charge of their 
enemies, fled apace with all their companies. There were slain of 
them above 80; and divers of them were taken, amongst whom 
was the Lord Glamis, who was carried to Strathbogie, and, being 
detained there a while, he was set at liberty with the rest. This 
conflict was called the Bourd of Brechin. Then returned Adam 
Gordon back again to the siege of Glenbervie, and took it; from 
thence he went to Montrose, and took that town. In his return 

Ourselves as others see us. 173 

from thence, he took the Castle of Dun, which appertained to the 
Regent's cousin, and so marched forward into Angus. The 
inhabitants of Dundee hearing of his approach, and despairing of 
their own abilities to resist him, they sent for help into Fife ; but 
Achindown, having done his pleasure in Angus and Mearns, 
returned home into the North, being contented for that time with 
what he had already done against his enemies. By this good 
success of the Gordons, the Queen's favourers in all the parts of 
the kingdom were highly encouraged at that time. 

(To be continued.) 

OF THE "CELTIC MAGAZINE." The Gtulph Mercury, of 24th December, 
says : "The crofters in the Highlands of Scotland will be well represented in the 
next British Parliament. They have returned Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh for Inverness- 
shire, Mr. Macfarlane for Argyleshire, Dr. Clark in Caithness, and Dr. Macdonald 
in Ross and Cromarty. We regret that Mr. Angus Sutherland has been defeated in 
Sutherlandshire by the Marquis of Stafford, son of the Duke of Sutherland. Mr. 
Sutherland, the crofters' candidate, made a gallant fight, and, considering the 
immense influence of the Duke, he ran the Marquis pretty close. Much of the credit 
for the victories achieved by the crofter candidates is due to Mr. Alex. Mackenzie, 
editor of the Celtic Magazine and Scottish Highlander, published in Inverness. Mr. 
Mackenzie, both in the columns of the Highlander, and by his personal efforts, has 
worked for the crofters with an ability and devotion that entitles him to the everlasting 
gratitude, not only of the crofters themselves, but of all Scotsmen who have their 
interests at heart. In Inverness-shire, especially, his labours in the cause were almost 
superhuman, and he has the proud satisfaction of seeing these rewarded by the 
election of Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh. Mr. Mackenzie has many friends in Canada 
who will recollect his visit to our country some six years ago, and who will be glad 
to know that he has proved himself such an able, patriotic, and successful champion 
of his oppressed fellow countrymen in the Highlands." 

[Mr. James Innes, proprietor and editor of the Guelfh Mercury (daily and 
weekly), is a Canadian M.P., and represents one of the divisions of County Welling- 
ton, Ontario, in the Dominion Parliament. Last summer, he and Mrs. Innes made 
a tour through Great Britain, going as far North as Skye, Sutherland, and Caithness. 
He attended one of the principal crofter demonstrations in Sutherlandshire, on which 
occasion he delivered a stirring and able address on the Land Question, at the time 
reported in the Scottish Highlander. ] 

1/4 The Celtic Magazine. 




HAVING visited most of Harris without recording anything 
additional of striking interest, Mr. Knox proceeded to the Lewis, 
landing on the north side of the Bay of Stornoway. He describes 
this place as a comparatively low and pleasant country, fertile in 
grain and excellent grass. At the time, Stornoway had no quay 
worthy of the name, so that vessels had to load and unload upon 
the beach, or in the Bay, by means of boats, though its shipping 
amounted at the time to twenty-three decked vessels, chiefly 
employed in the fishing. He informs us that, in the preceding 
century, several Dutch families had settled in Stornoway, but 
were driven away during the war between England and Holland. 
Their example had, however, a good effect upon the people, who, 
" from thenceforward, have done more in the way of fishing and 
traffic than all the West Highlands put together." Fifty hand- 
some houses had been built in the place within a few years of our 
author's visit, and new ones were then being built upon a regular 
plan, drawn out by the then Earl of Seaforth. The ground was 
"granted on perpetual feus, in lots of fifteen to thirty feet in 
front, and sixty behind, for a garden, which the inhabitants wish 
to have increased to double that size, partly on account of the 
room which their bulky fuel requires. If this could be complied 
with, the town would increase with great rapidity, and abundantly 
repay, in the improvement of the island, the concession of fifteen 
or twenty acres of ground." 

Mr. Knox, who was accompanied by Captain Macleod, from 
Harris, put up in the Inn on his arrival at Stornoway, but, very 
soon after, they were called upon by Seaforth,* who insisted upon 

* This Seaforth was Francis Humberston- Mackenzie, who succeeded his brother, 
Colonel Thomas Frederick Mackenzie-Humberston, in 1783, and died, the last male 
representative of his race, in 1815. 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. \ 7 5 

their accompanying him to the Lodge. Seaforth, he informs us, 
had then in contemplation "to rebuild the church, and erect a 
gaol and town-house," and Mr. Knox was so taken with the whole 
surroundings, that he exclaims : " When the church and spire 
shall be built, with a small spire also upon the town-house, and 
other ornaments which Seaforth's fertile imagination may easily 
conceive, this place will merit the pencil of the first landscape 
painter in the kingdom, and be a considerable acquisition to the 
many beautiful prints which distinguish the present age." From 
this it would appear to anyone who has visited Stornoway in our 
time, that Mr. Knox was not difficult to please in the matter of 

He was anxious to visit Loch-Roag, on the west side of the Island, 
and Seaforth, with a Captain Mackenzie, whom Mr. Knox desig- 
nates Seaforth's "brother-in-law," and Captain Macleod, at once 
volunteered to accompany him. A boat, stored with all kinds of 
provisions, wines, spirits, and malt liquors, was soon got in readi- 
ness, and the party, in high spirits, started from Stornoway for the 
Birchen Isles, from which they were to walk to the head of Loch- 
Roag. Having got some distance on their way, it was agreed to 
go ashore and have dinner upon one of the Islands. A fire was 
soon kindled ; every man taking part in the cooking arrangements, 
Seaforth himself cutting up, gutting, washing, and putting into 
the kettle, one of two fine lythe which they had caught on their 
way. Captain Mackenzie attended to the kettle, and supplied the 
fire with heather, "which, being dry, made a fine blaze, and 
facilitated the business on hand." They had also caught a salmon 
on the trip, of which Captain Macleod took charge, cutting it in 
slices of about half-a-pound each ; and, placing it in paper, he put 
it on the gridiron, cooking it to the great satisfaction of those who 
partook of it. Mr. Knox's department was pulling heather to 
keep the pot boiling. When everything was nearly ready to be 
served up, " Seaforth spread a large table cloth upon the ground ; 
opened his hampers and canteen ; laid the knives, forks, and 
plates ; took out his stores of cold tongue, tame and wild fowl, 
roast beef, bread, cheese, butter, pepper, salt, vinegar, pickles, 
etc., also wine, spirits, ale, and porter," upon which, it need hardly 
be said, the party made an excellent al fresco dinner. During 

176 The Celtic Magazine. 

the night the weather changed from a calm to a perfect storm of 
wind and incessant rain, so that Mr. Knox and his friends were 
quite unable to visit Loch-Roag, and had to find their way back 
to Stornoway, over mosses and moors, rendered almost impass- 
able by the drenching rain and storm. 

Even at that time, the fishing industry had become pretty 
extensive in the Lewis, and at Stornoway Mr. Knox found large 
piles of cod and ling, well cured. Here, however, the inevitable 
factor turns up, who has " long monopolized " the fishing 
of the Island. He "pays the fishermen 13 per ton for the ling, 
and gets, when sold upon the spot, 18. When to these advan- 
tages we add the various emoluments arising from his office, and 
his traffic in grain, meal, cattle, etc., his place is better than the 
rent of many considerable estates in the Highlands. The father 
of the present factor procured a lease of that office, tvith all its 
appendages, for a number of years, six or seven of which are yet 
unexpired ; and it is said that he retired with a fortune of ^20,000, 
a part of which he has laid out upon an estate where he now 
resides. Of the black cattle, as well as the white fish, he seems 
to have had a complete monopoly, as appears from a paper that 
was put into my hands by one of the tacksmen, formerly in 
Lewis, but who has since taken a large farm elsewhere. A copy 
of this curious paper will convey a better idea of the condition of 
those people, whose lot it is to live under the despotic sway of 
certain factors, than any declamation which human feelings can 
incite." So says our author, writing, not in 1886, but in 1786. 

We give the documents, which speak for themselves. They 
are all given in foot-notes by Mr. Knox, and are as follows : 

" Copy Warrant Alex. , factor to Seaforth, 


"You are to intimate to the whole tenants in your district, who pay rent to the 
factor, that they must sell no cattle this year, until the rents are paid, to any person 
who has not the factor's orders to buy ; and, if anyone attempt to buy with ready 
money, you are to arrest these cattle, and not allow them to be carried out of the 
country, until the whole rents are paid up. This, on your peril, I desire may 
be done immediately, and any person who dares to sell after these orders are made 
public, you are to acquaint me thereof. Tell John Morison, in Nether Shathu, that 
it is expected he will buy up a good many stots and droving cows this year for us. 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 177 

If he does, it will be obliging, and the service will not be forgot. Write to me when 
you have obeyed these orders. 

(Signed) "ALEX. . 

" Extracted by John Morison, late tacksman of Little Berneray." 
' ' Copy Receipt Alex. , 24th August, 1 780. 

" Received by me, Alex. , Clerk of the Admiralty Court ot Lewis 

and Harris, from John Morison, Little Berneray, twelve shillings sterling, deducting 
therefrom three shillings allowed for salvage, as the value of a barrel of tar found at 
sea by Murdo Cook, in the year 1768. Witness my hand. 

(Signed) "ALEX. . 

"Extracted by John Morison, late tacksman of Berneray." 

"That Mr. , as factor to Seaforth, was to be kept in firing by the 

tenants of Lewis, but, in place of this, and, in name of said peats, Mr. 

served a good many of the inhabitants of Stornoway, to the value of forty or fifty 
pounds sterling yearly*, is also certified by John Morison, late tacksman of Little 

Berneray. If Mr. refuse either the warrant or receipt, I shall produce 

the principals ; and, as to the article of the peats, if he also refuse it, I shall send 
certificates from the people who have bought the peats of him. You'll please 
observe that there has been no arrears of rent in the Island since the year 1752, so 
that there was no proper apology for granting such warrants, as it only meant to 
secure the cattle to themselves, having forbidden any other person to buy, even with 
ready money. " 

At the time of our author's visit, the inhabitants of the Lewis 
were reckoned at 9,000. He informs us that, forty years before, 
the then factor farmed the whole Island, for which he paid 
Seaforth only 1000 per annum ! But, at the time at which he 
writes (1786) "by means of improvements in agriculture, fisheries, 
and kelp, of which about 200 tons of an excellent quality is made, 
chiefly on the west side of the Island, with ground-rents of houses, 
and the rise in the price of cattle, the Island now pays 2500" 
of rent, besides Church and other dues. 

Seaforth, whose principal residence was at Brahan Castle, on 
the Mainland, resided, for two or three months every summer, in 
the Lewis, where he enjoyed " more than Asiatic luxury, in the 
simple produce of his forest, his heaths, and his shores. His table 
is continually supplied with delicate beef, mutton, veal, lamb, pork, 
venison, hare, pigeons, fowls, tame and wild ducks, tame and wild 

* "Mr. Morison means that, besides the peats used by the factor in his own 

family, he had a surplus which he sold to the people of Stornoway." 


The Celtic Magazine. 

geese, partridges, and great variety of moor fowl. Of the fish 
kind, he is supplied by his factor with salt cod, ling, and tusk ; 
and by his own boat with fresh cod, haddock, whiting, mackerel, 
skate, soles, flounders, lythe," and other kinds. "These are caught 
in the bay immediately fronting his house, every day except 
Sunday, and thrown in a heap upon the ground near the kitchen, 
from which the cook supplies the table, and the rest are given to 
the poor. In salmon and trout he is supplied from the bay called 
Loch Tuath, which flows within a mile of his house on the north 
side." Fish of all kinds seem to have been remarkably plentiful in 
the Lewis in Seaforth's time. To ascertain its extent, he provided 
nets, and set out, accompanied by his family and a crowd of people, 
for the bay, with the following results, copied from a journal kept 
by himself : 

" August 17, 1786. Hauled only the little pool once. Caught 
salmon, 29 ; trout, 128 ; flounders, 1468. 

"August 18. Hauled both great and little pool once. Great 
pool, 139 salmon ; 528 trout; a few flounders. Little pool, 5 
salmon, about 100 trout, and 500 flounders. 

"August 25. Hauled both pools once. Did not count the 
fish separately, but the whole were 143 salmon, 143 trout, and the 
flounders I did not count, but they were a great heap, about 700 
or 800. Every day an immense number of herrings, sprats, and 
cuddies were caught." 

From these he supplied himself, and gave the rest away. But 
these captures were made after rains that had succeeded a period 
of dry weather. " Such," with the produce of a garden, says Mr. 
Knox, "are the articles, which a Highland laird or chieftain has at 
his table at dinner and supper." 

He also says that, in the Hebrides and upon the western coasts 
of the Mainland, a gentleman could entertain at dinner, " twenty 
people with thirty or forty different articles, at an expense not 
exceeding fifteen or twenty shillings for eating, which in London 
would cost twenty pounds," and which only those of the first 
fortunes in England could command ; while even then they 
could not procure such a variety in equal perfection. " The 
gentlemen in the Highlands have also the advantage in their 
wines and spirits, owing, however, in a great measure, to a 
melancholy cause. Many ships are wrecked and broke in pieces 

State of tfie Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 179 

upon their coasts every year, and the floating part of the cargoes 
is found at sea, or thrown upon the shore, where it is claimed by 
the proprietor or his factor." Of course ! they would claim the 
sun and the moon if they could but fall into the sea, and come 
ashore on their coasts! 


Mr. Knox took passage from Stornoway to Poolewe in a 
packet, which, he says, crossed once a fortnight in ordinary times, 
but once a week when Seaforth was in the Lewis. The vessel 
seems to have been in a very bad condition, and on this trip she 
was driven by a terrific storm to Gairloch, but was not able to get 
into a safe harbour there. After a good deal of knocking about, 
and having more than once made up his mind that he was lost, 
our author ultimately found himself the guest of Mr. Alexander 
Mackenzie of Lochend, now known as Inverewe, from whom he 
received much useful information respecting the country, its 
waters, and fisheries. Mr. Mackenzie was famed from sea to sea 
for his hospitality and good nature. At the head of Loch-Ewe, 
he informs us, " are the remains of an ancient furnace, where, as 
appears by a date, cannon were made in 1668. Mr. Alexander 
Mackenzie's grandfather lent 10,000 merks to the person or 
persons who carried on the works, for which he got in return the 
back of an old grate and some hammers. On the back of the 
grate is marked, ' S. G. Hay,' being Sir George Hay, who was at 
the head of a company here during the troubles that succeeded 
the death of James V." From this district our author found his 
way, by Loch-Maree and Kinlochewe, to visit Mr. Kenneth 
Mackenzie of Torridon. The latter part of the journey was 
commenced under heavy rain, and in the teeth of a strong wind. 
The track was composed mostly of swamps and gullies, and the 
horses which Mr. Knox and his companion rode, "about double 
the size of Lincolnshire sheep," did not appear to be well adapted 
for the road. Having crossed two rivers in safety, the party 
found themselves in a swamp, which for a time baffled all their 
efforts to pass through. " Every movement, as we advanced, 
required the utmost exertion of the poor animals to raise them- 

i8o The Celtic Magazine. 

selves out of the moss, and to gain another step. In this manner 
we spent a great part of the day, struggling through an unin- 
habited morass, without the appearance, in many places, of a 
path, though, from the declivity of the ground, and the vicinity 
of hills, whose sloping sides were covered with strata, an excellent 
road might soon be formed by a company of soldiers." There 
is a good road there now between Kinlochewe and the head of 
Loch-Torridon. When about four miles from Mr. Mackenzie's 
house, they were met by a woman with a large wooden bowl of 
milk for their refreshment. "The wind and rain," says our author, 
" were so violent, that I could scarcely look up, much less stay 
to partake of the good woman's bounty ; but my fellow-traveller 
fell behind, and took a good pull at it." 

At the head of Loch Torridon Mr. Knox found a population 
of some 400 in number, which, he says, "as there are many 
thousand acres of unimproved sloping land, with permanent 
fisheries, might be increased very considerably." Here Mr. Mac- 
kenzie had built a large, modern curing-house for fish, the 
first of the kind that had been erected in Scotland. From 
Torridon our author took boat to Gairloch, " along an un- 
inhabited shore, which rises gradually from the water, to no 
considerable height, and seems well adapted for the hand of the 
improver." Gairloch he found to be excellent for the fishing of 
cod, and in greater numbers than were found elsewhere on the 
West Coast. " Of this bounty the proprietor fully avails himself. 
All the fish taken by his servants are delivered to a contractor, 
who, besides paying a stipulated price to the tenants, engages to 
pay Sir Hector one halfpenny, or thereabouts, for each fish of a 
certain size. The fish are delivered once, or at most twice, every 
week ; when those that have been taken first, and lain the longest 
without salt, may be supposed to be nearly in a state of putrefac- 
tion." In February and March, 1786, the number of fish taken 
by the natives, exclusive of those caught by strangers, was cod, 
18,000, and ling, 500. In this fishing forty-one boats were 
engaged. Mr. Knox points out that all the harbours were on the 
south "and almost uninhabited side "of the Loch. "A small harbour 
for boats and fishing-vessels could be formed at the head of the 
Loch, contiguous to the church, curing-house, etc., but the 

State of the Highlands a Hundred Years ago. 1 8 1 

proprietor does not seem inclinable to have a village so near his 
seat, though he seldom resides there." From Gairloch, Mr. 
Knox proceeded north through Poolewe, on to Gruinard and 
Dundonald, at both of which places he remained for a short time. 
He speaks highly of the improvements made at the latter place, 
the proprietor having, by means of planting and otherwise, 
doubled the value of his estate. In this connection he says, " I 
have generally observed that those families in the Highlands who 
remain upon their estates during the whole year, or the greatest 
part of it, enjoy a thousand comforts which are unknown to the 
votaries after false pleasures elsewhere. They are also freed from 
the cares and embarrassments that are the inseparable companions 
of the roving gentlemen, whose dependence is solely upon the 
rental of moderate Highland estate, encumbered with jointures 
and numerous families. Mr. Mackenzie never wanders abroad, 
and his home is a source of pleasure, the seat of ease, affluence, 
and health. He has lived to see the trees of his own planting 
become considerable. He is under the influence of no factor, 
and he oppresses no tenant; yet his rent-roll increases with his 
years, and his timber, if permitted to stand another age, will be 
worth many thousand pounds." 

From Dundonald, Mr. Knox crossed to Leckmelm and 
Ullapool, and from thence on to Coigach and Lochinver. At 
Lochinver he says, the men complained "as usual "of the rise in 
their rents. "Our fathers," said they, "were called out to fight our 
master's battles, and this is our reward." They spoke with 
seeming indifference of the cause in which their fathers, and 
probably some of themselves, had been engaged, which they said 
they did not understand. From here he proceeded through 
Assynt, a parish which, he informs us, then contained a population 
of 2500 souls; the shores of Loch Assynt being then "well 
peopled." Now (1886) there is not a soul in the latter district, 
except a solitary gamekeeper or shepherd. Proceeding northward, 
Mr. Knox entered Sutherlandshire, passing Loch Laxford and 
Loch Inchard. The district between the Point of Assynt and 
Cape Wrath contained a population of " above 2000 people, or 
ten for each mile." This number our author thinks unreasonably 
few. Were he to visit it to-day, WK question if he would meet 

1 82 The Celtic Magazine. 

one-fourth the number. At Tongue House he saw a book 
which contained a correspondence, "from the year 1730 to 1740, 
between George, Lord Reay, and certain merchants of Glasgow, 
Renfrew, and Dunbar, relative to herrings caught by his Lord- 
ships's tenants upon this coast. It appears from their corres- 
pondence that herrings were then plentiful, that his Lordship 
sold them ready cured ; and that the merchants sent vessels to 
take them away at a fixed price agreed upon by contract between 
the parties for a given number of years." From Loch Inchard 
to Durness, Mr. Knox informs us that he passed through a part 
of what was called "the Forest; but it might with greater 
propriety be called the Desert. Here are no trees, no houses, 
no people. We did not see a human creature till we came 
within sight of Durness ; and very few cattle. The whole was 
rock or moss, generally covered with long heath. A few moor 
fowls rose now and then from among our feet. They were 
generally in pairs, and might easily have been shot. The deer 
keep mostly together, probably for their common defence, as well 
as to protect their young. Seven hundred and upwards appear 
sometimes in one body." He noticed that the hills were strewn 
with large stones, from one to three or four tons weight. Of 
these, thousands lay scattered over a tract of many miles. 
Science must have been in a backward state in those days, for 
our author says that the labour of raising them to such considerable 
heights " must have been great." He could not learn the use of 
these stones, "but it is probable," he says, "that they served to 
screen the persons who were on the watch to kill the wild boar, 
the deer, the fox, the eagle, and other animals, which, in old 
times, abounded in the Highlands." In this part of the journey 
(from Lochbroom), Mr. Knox was accompanied by " a half-pay 
officer," named Mackenzie, introduced to him by Mr. Mackenzie 
of Leckmelm. Half-pay officers do not appear to have been 
quite so particular as regards their dress at that time as in the 
present day, for Mr. Knox incidentally tells us that, though the 
tops of the mountains were covered with snow, he himself " was 
continually in a sweat, owing to the ascent of the hills, and many 
bad steps among the swamps, while Mr. Mackenzie, who was not 
encumbered witJi boots, travelled with all the agility and ease for 

T/ie Loch-Fyne Bard. 183 

which his countrymen are remarkable." Mr. Knox and his 
companion soon arrived at Durness, where, we are told, there 
was a parish church, a manse, and a seat of the family of Reay. 
At Tongue he completes what he describes as the first part of his 
Journal; and there we have to leave him. 

A. M. 


THE friends and admirers of Mr. Evan MacColl, and their name 
is legion, will be glad to learn that he is not only hale and hearty 
in his old age, he being now 77, but that his popularity is as fresh 
as ever. We were favoured lately with a copy of the second 
Canadian edition of his collected English poems, of which we 
spoke in terms of highest praise when the first edition made 
its appearance. The present volume has been carefully revised 
and corrected, is very well printed, and neatly got up. 

It is further interesting to note that Mr. MacColl has arranged 
for the issue of a completely new and revised edition of "Clarsach 
nam Beann," Mr. MacColl's well-known and ever-popular collec- 
tion of Gaelic poems. As this work has been comparatively 
scarce for some years, and as the author's muse has not by any 
means been idle since the " Clarsach " was first published, High- 
landers will look forward with great interest to the forthcoming 
work. Few of our Gaelic minstrels have been able to give poetic 
expression to their sentiments with greater fluency and musical 
sweetness than Mr. Evan MacColl. 

184 The Celtic Magazine. 




THE Ministers, on the other hand, thought the provision too 
small, and hoped their Lordships would "grant the Ministers of 
Inverness stipends on which they may decently be subsisted, and 
not make their livings worse than their neighbour brethren." 
Their petition begins by stating that the stipend modified in 1665 
was nine chalders of victual, 400 merks of money, with the vicarage 
and small teinds ipsa corpora, 200 merks payable by the town of 
Inverness out of their Common Good, and 4.0 for communion 
elements, while the present stipend was 168 bolls and $9 135. 
7fd. sterling, including the vicarage, but how the alteration from 
the decree of 1665 happened they could not declare. The stipend 
modified by the interlocutor complained of was 48 bolls, I firlot, 
2 pecks, 2 lippies victual, half bear, half oatmeal, and ,491 8s. 6d. 
Scots money to each Minister, exclusive of manses and glebes. 
There was in addition the decernitures against the Magistrates for 
100 merks to each Minister for manse rent, and also to furnish the 
Communion elements. This stipend, the Ministers contend, is 
too small for such an important parish as Inverness, of which they 
say that few parishes in Scotland are more extensive, " although 
there was not a Royal Burgh in the heart of it," the number of 
parishioners, which in 1665 included no less than 4000 communi- 
cants, being now greatly increased by " the peace and security of 
the subjects, the trade and riches of the country." The free teinds, 
they allege, amount to over 35 chalders victual, and 1739 13*. 
4d. Scots money, " a fund capable of bearing a suitable and com- 
petent provision, without hurting the Titular or prejudicing the 
Heritors." The town of Inverness, they say, "lies in the mouth of 
the Highlands, where two circuits in the year are held, and it is 
consistent with many of your Lordships' knowledge, who have 

An Old Church Process. 185 

lived six days there together, that the rates of everything- are 
higher and dearer than in any other town of the three districts of 
Scotland, as likewise that the confluence of strangers is much 
greater there than in the other three districts put together, exclu- 
sive of the great number of Her Majesty's forces quartered in that 
town and in the neighbourhood ; that it is unnecessary to be 
very particular, the very name of the parish of Inverness, its circum- 
stances, and situation, carrying a stronger conviction than a thousand 
ordinary arguments to call upon your Lordships' attention to give 
such an augmentation that the Magistrates of that town may have 
it in their power at all times and on all occasions to be supplied 
with the most able, faithful, and laborious Ministers that are to be 
found within the peal of the Church of Scotland to support and 
maintain the sacred and civil liberties of their country." The 
petition then goes on to show that the importance of the parish 
was recognised by "good Queen Anne," who obtained an erection 
of another church, and doted for a stipend ,88 1 is. 6d. (Scots) 
in perpetuum, a stipend to which the parishioners of Inverness had 
added 20 by voluntary contribution. The Magistrates of Inver- 
ness had also recognised the importance of the petitioners' charge, 
and the inadequacy of their stipend, when, on I2th October, 
1720, they, "upon a narrative of the smallness of the stipends, 
and of their duty to provide for the comfortable living of the 
Ministers, that their thoughts might be wholly taken up with the 
work to which they were called, and that thereby, through the bless- 
ing of God, their ministry might be more successful in this corner, 
and thereby the glory of God advanced, did augment the stipend 
of each Minister to 1600 merks, attour their manses, and gave 
200 by the year to a factor for uplifting the old stipend." The 
petition then goes on to show that if, when this arrangement was 
made with the town, the Ministers had elected to collect the old 
stipend themselves, their stipend would have amounted, with 
manse rent, to 1850 merks, and having established this, they 
thenceforth argue on the assumption that from 1720 their stipend 
/Wbeen of that amount, and conclude therefore that now, thirty-five 
years afterwards, however it " may be opposed from mercenary 
and pecuniary considerations," "there is convincing evidence of the 
necessity of an augmentation which cannot be destroyed by the 

1 86 The Celtic Magazine. 

ingenuity of the defenders" (the landward Heritors), "by the 
price they are willing to pay for a peck of meal, or the low rate 
they are able to furnish a pound of beef." A good deal of the 
Ministers' argument is directed against the Heritors' contention 
that the value of the glebes should be taken into account in modi- 
fying a stipend, and in this connection it is stated that the glebe 
of the First Minister has a number of huts built on it, and yields a 
precarious rent of 300 merks by the year, but the rent is uncertain, 
as the greatest part of it "depends on the standing or falling of 
those huts." The buildings on the glebe of the First Minister 
must have been in a very bad state, indeed, if Mr. David Dalrymple, 
who signs the petition, was not adding some colour to his clients' 
story. The glebe of the Second Minister was set for 1 50 merks. 
The Ministers state that each of them had a manse, the Second 
Minister by Mortification, the first in the ordinary way, but both 
of them were given up to the town of Inverness, and the Heritors 
of the parish, on an agreement that .100 should be paid to each 
Minister yearly in the proportion of two-thirds by the town, and 
one-third by the landward Heritors. " It is acknowledged that the 
Magistrates have punctually paid their money, but little or nothing 
has been received from the landward Heritors, and yet they have 
so far benefitted by their neglect or refusal to pay that by the 
foresaid interlocutor they are exeemed and freed in all time 
coming " a passage which, taken in connection with the opening 
sentence, already quoted, of the Magistrates' petition, shows that, 
notwithstanding the previous litigation between the Ministers and 
the town, no ill-feeling remained, and that, so far as the Ministers 
and the Magistrates were concerned, this suit was a friendly one. 

The three petitions of the Magistrates, the Ministers, and the 
landward Heritors came before the Court on 26th February, 
1755, and the parties were ordered to answer each other by 1st 
June following. This was intimated by Mr. Forbes to Provost 
Hossack, by a letter dated 27th February, on which there is 
indorsed, probably in the handwriting of the Town Clerk, " 6th 
June. The Magistrates wrote an answer." Business was done 
in a leisurely fashion in those days, and done too in a manner 
which contrasts strangely with the mode in which it is done now. 
Were an important lawsuit, to which the town was a party, pending 

An Old Church Process. 187 

ncnv, every step taken, and every step contemplated, would form 
matter for discussion by the whole Council, but in 1775 things 
were managed very differently. Everything was then controlled 
by the Magistrates, a select body inside the select and self-elected 
body which constituted the Town Council, and the Council 
Record, as the minute book is called, contains no notice of these 
proceedings. Indeed, it would seem as if, although the Magis- 
trates are constantly spoken of in the correspondence, the whole 
matter was managed by the Provost alone, for not only are all the 
letters from the Edinburgh agent addressed to him, and all the 
instructions of the Edinburgh agent given in letters signed by him, 
but, from incidental reference in some of the pleadings in the 
earlier process at the instance of Mr. Fraser and Mr. Macbean, it 
would appear as if he had still greater power in his hands, and 
that the fact of Mr. Murdoch Mackenzie, then the Minister of the 
Third Charge, being the son-in-law of Provost Hossack, had 
secured him in the continued payment, notwithstanding the 
embarrassed state of the town's finances, of the supplemental 
stipend, for which his colleagues vainly sued. A copy of the 
Magistrates' letter of 6th June, 1755, has not been preserved, but 
part of its contents are given in a memorandum by Mr. William 
Forbes, dated roth July, 1755, which will be afterwards quoted. 

Answers were not lodged for the Magistrates in terms of the 
order of 26th February, their advisers being of opinion that it was 
not necessary, but Answers were lodged for the Ministers and for 
the landward Heritors. The prints are dated 7th and 8th July 
respectively. Both documents are mainly argumentative, but they 
contain one or two statements which may bear reproduction. 
The Ministers say that the usual market price of victual does not 
exceed ,5 per boll, or 80 per chalder, and that even were it, as the 
Heritors contend, ^"100 per chalder, the old stipend to be divided 
between the two Ministers (laying out of the calculation glebes 
and manses), was only 147 33. 7d., which they maintain is 
insufficient. The glebes, they contend, ought not to be taken 
into account in fixing the stipend, " and least of all in such a case 
as the present, when one of the glebes at least appears to be a 
donation and mortification, the deed of which is produced." But 
if the glebes are to be computed, the Heritors' value is too high 

1 88 The Celtic Magazine. 

the true values being, Mr. Macbean's glebe, 16 135. 4<i sterling, 
and Mr. Mackenzie's, ^100 Scots, or at most 9 sterling. Then 
there is given a calculation showing that, taken at the true values, 
the stipend of the two Ministers, including glebes, is 154 135. 
4d., or 77 6s. 8d. each. By the interlocutor complained of, 
an addition of ,22 45. 5d. was made to the stipend, making that of 
each Minister 88 8s. io^d. sterling. The Ministers "appeal to your 
Lordships as to the dearness of all kinds of vivres in the mercats 
of Inverness, as there are severals of your own number who have 
had occasion to know with what truth it is asserted that beef' sells 
in any season of the year at three halfpence per pound, and to 
any body who knows the situation of that part of the country, as 
it has been for several years past, and is likely to continue, it is no 
mystery how living should be dear in the town of Inverness." 
"They hope you are sensible, as they themselves have good 
reason to be, of what importance it is in many respects, and 
particularly for the interest of His Majesty's Government, that the 
town of Inverness be supplied with able and sufficient Ministers, 
and that there should be such provision for them as will encourage 
those of the best abilities of the Church to come there, and enable 
them to live amongst a numerous people, composed of such a 
variety of different characters, conditions, and denominations, 
with such proper dignity and independence as is necessary to the 
success of their endeavours to promote either the civil or religious 
interests of those under their care." 

The Answers for the landward Heritors, in referring to the 
Ministers' petition complaining of the smallness of the augmenta- 
tion granted, say that " they (the Ministers) are abundantly well 
satisfied with what they have already obtained, and have presented 
this petition with no other view but to guard against any defalca- 
tion from the stipend already modified ;" and, in dealing with the 
petition of the Magistrates, a neat, back-handed slap is given 
when it is said that "these gentlemen appear to be extremely 
well satisfied that your Lordships should give whatever augmenta- 
tion the Ministers shall please to ask, providing no part thereof is 
to be made a burden upon their funds." In answering in detail 
the petition of the Ministers, no new fact is brought out, and the 
only thing worth quoting is the answer to an argument which 

An Old Church Process. 189 

the Ministers based upon the stipend of the Third Minister, to 
which 20 had been added by voluntary contribution. On this 
point the heritors say : " As the charity of well-disposed Chris- 
tians was the original and proper fund for the maintenance of the 
Clergy, when they were sure of being rewarded according to 
their labours, the respondents have no objection that the stipends 
in question should in like manner be augmented out of that fund." 
In answer to the statement made by the Ministers, as to the 
price of victual in the parish, the Heritors allege that the 
chalder yields no less than ^100 Scots, and this conversion they 
offered to pay yearly to the Ministers. In answer to the petition 
of the Magistrates and Town Council the Heritors say that, from 
the decree of modification and locality in 1665, it appears that 
the Lords Commissioners for Plantation of Kirks and Valuation 
of Teinds did recommend to Murdoch, Bishop of Moray, to 
endeavour to settle matters amicably between the parties as to 
the augmentation and locality of that stipend, and to report ; that 
at an after-calling there was produced a condescendence and 
agreement, containing a special locality, both of the former stipend 
and of the then augmented stipend, proportioning both upon the 
different heritors, and which, inter alia, contained the following 
article relative to the Town of Inverness : 

" ' Out of the lands holding in feu by the Provost, Bailies, and 
Council of Inverness, or the Kirk thereof, the sum of 100 merks, as 
old Locality, payable out of the Common Good of the said Burgh ; 
and sicklike, the sum of another 100 merks, payable by the 
Provost, Bailies, and Council of the said Burgh, out of the said 
Common Good, sicklike is hereby holden and accepted of by the 
said Mr. Alexander Clark, and Mr. James Sutherland (i.e., the 
Ministers), for themselves and successors, serving at the said Cure 
of Inverness, to be in lieu and vice of what was promised by the 
said Magistrates and Council, their predecessors, to the Ministers 
serving the said Cure, according to an Act of Council, of date 
nth February, 1650.' And which agreement concludes in these 
words: "The above-written localled stipend, augmentations, and 
teind-silver, with the above-mentioned 100 merks, is hereby 
condescended upon, by consent of the above and within-named 
Ministers and Heritors, to be and continue as a constant stipend, 

The Celtic Magazine. 

to be paid yearly, in manner above divided, to the said Ministers 
and their successors, out of the Landward Parochin, Town, and 
Territory of Inverness." And there was therewith produced a 
consent from the Earl of Panmure, Titular of the Teinds of said 
Parish, approbatory of said Agreement ; as also a letter from the 
Bishop of Moray to the Archbishop of St. Andrews, President of 
the Court, bearing "That, conform to the recommendation of the 
Commission, he had settled the stipend of the Kirk of Inverness 
to the contentment of the Ministers, Burgh, and Heritors, as many 
of them as were present, and desiring the Commissioners' authority 
to be interponed thereto. And, in pursuance thereof, the Lords 
Commissioners decreed the foresaid stipend, as above condes- 
cended upon, and agreed to, including the 200 merks payable by 
the Burgh of Inverness out of their Common Good, to be the 
constant, modified, and localled stipend to the said two Ministers 
and their successors, with 4.0 for Communion elements, to be 
paid in manner mentioned in the said Condescendence and 
Locality." It was further alleged that, by a former Decree of 
Locality, prior to 1665, a hundred merks was payable by the 
Burgh of Inverness, out of its Common Good, and that an Act of 
Town Council was passed in 1650, whereby an augmentation was 
to be made out of the Common Good of the Burgh. When, 
therefore, the stipend came to be augmented and modified, in 
1665, it was agreed that the further sum of 100 merks should be 
paid by the town, out of its Common Good, in lieu of what was 
claimable under the Act of Council of 1650. 

The Magistrates and Council were anxious to have the part of 
the interlocutor which referred to the 200 merks paid by the 
Town of Inverness, out of their Common Good, explained so as 
make it clear that this sum was to be in full of all stipend exigible 
out of the lands which were the property of the Town in 1665. 
On this point the Heritors say that the Town had no property 
lands in the parish except the lands which had been gained off 
the sea, although they had certain feu-duties payable by their 
vassals in particular lands, but that these vassals themselves paid 
their proportion of stipend corresponding to their respective pro- 
perties ; and they go on to suggest that the meaning of the 
Magistrates is that the 200 merks, payable by the Burgh out of 

An Old Church Process. 191 

their Common Good, should be understood to be payable out of 
the tithes of their vassals' lands, and to be so far beneficial to the 
vassals as to exhaust their tiends pro tanto. For this contention 
the respondents say they see no good foundation. " They observe, 
indeed, from the decree of locality in 1665, that the 100 merks, 
payable by the Town out of their Common Good, is said to have 
been paid out of the lands holding in feu by the Town to the 
Kirk, but, as this refers to a former decreet, how far back nobody 
can say, and as there are no lands, to the respondents known, 
belonging to the Town, that hold of the Kirk, this description 
must go for nothing, as the first, as well as the second, 100 merks 
has, past all memory, been paid out of the Town's Common 
Good." On the question of manse-rent, the Heritors say that the 
Ministers have manses within the Burgh which the Magistrates 
and Town Council took into their own hands, and disposed of at 
pleasure, in lieu of which they agreed to pay 200 merks to the 
Ministers in name of manse-rent. One of these manses had been, 
while in the Magistrates' possession, pulled down by them, but 
the Town was in possession of the other. With regard to the 
expense of furnishing Communion elements, the Heritors 
acknowledge that the Court had, in decerning against the Magis- 
trates, proceeded upon a mistake in point of fact, " which the 
Ministers ought to have set right, as they could not be ignorant 
by whom, and out of what funds, the elements were in use to be 
furnished." The elements, it appears, were furnished by the 
Kirk Session, and the Heritors say : " It is matter of no difficulty 
to find out by what influence the elements have been in use to be 
furnished out of the poor's money, when your Lordships are 
informed that the sum modified by the decreet 1665 did include 
the Communion elements, so that was an ease to the Ministers 
that the Session has been prevailed with to furnish these out of 
the poor's money, upon which the respondents shall make no 

(To be continued.) 

The Celtic Magazine. 


II MMos.] Aff GBAERM, 1886. 


AX SOLUS UR 4 LA 3.15 M. 

O AX SOLUS LAN 18 LA 6.15 F. 

j) AN CIAD CHR. 12 LA 2.46 M. 

( AN CR. MU DHEIR. 25 LA 5. 1 1 F. 

M. DI. 


An Lan 
An Lite. 

An Lan 
An Grianaiy. 







U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 



An fheill Brighde. 

8. II E 




II. I 



La fheill Moire nan Coinneal. 

4.45 L 






[i] Latha lonarlochaidh, 1645. 

8. 7E 



o. 6 



La fheill Mhaodain. 

4-49 L 







Bas Iain Chill' losa, Oil. Lagh., 1836. 

8. 3E 







[7] Breith Raibeart Keith, 1681. 



4. 8 





V. Donaich an d. La nan Tri Righrean. 

8. OE 



2- 5 




Bas Banrigh Mairi, 1587. 

4-57 I- 







Ruaig Ghinn Freoine, 1603. 




3- 9 




[9] Bas Iain Ghregory, OIL Leigh, 1 773. 

5. 21, 




4. o 



Breith Ban-tighearna Fionnghal Hast- 

ings, 1806. 








Posadh na Banrigh, 1840. 

5- 6L 



5- 6 




Mort Ghlinne Comhann, 1692. 

7.47 E 



6- 3 




IV. Donaich romh'n Charghus. 

5-II L 

10. IO 






La fheill Uailein. 

7.42 E 




1 6 


[15] Breith Sheumais Mhic Fhionn- 

laidh, Oil. D., 1758. 

5.i 4 L 

o. 4 






Bas Sheumais Mhic-Mhuirich, 1796. 


i. 4 






Bas Lutheir, 1546. 







Bas Righ Roibeart II., 1390. 

7-33 E 


3- 6 





Crunadh Righ Seumas II., 1437. 




i. 6 




///. Donaich romh'n Charghus. 

7.28 E 







Bas Righ Dabhaidh II., 1371. 

5.28 L 







Bas Shir Uilleam Ailean, 1850. 

7.23 E 


6. 2 





La fheill Mhatiais. 

5-33 L 







Bas a' Bhaird Mhic Leoid, 1872. 

7.i8F. 7.11 

7-39 4.38 

5- 2 



Bas Alasdair Gheddes, 1802. 

5.36 L 

8.1 1 

8-44 5-27 




Aramach nan Innseachan, 1857. 



10. 4 


7- 9 



//. Donaich romJin Charghus. 

5.41 L 







No. CXXV. MARCH, 1886. VOL. XI. 




SIR RODERICK MACLEOD, known as " Ruaridh Mor," so called, 
"not so much from his size, or stature of his body which was not 
remarkably large as from the strength of his parts," was perhaps 
the most distinguished Highland chief of his time. For the 
greater part of his reign he was at feud, and fought several 
engagements with the Macdonalds of Sleat. Roderick was not 
infeft in the whole of the family estates until 1 596, which was done 
in September of that year on a precept from Chancery, though 
his brother, William, died, as we have seen, in 1590. In 1594, 
Roderick accompanied Donald Gorm Mor Macdonald of Sleat to 
the North of Ireland to assist Red Hugh O'Donnell, at the time in 
rebellion against the Government of Queen Elizabeth. The Skye 
Chiefs had 500 each of their clansmen under their command on 
this occasion. They crossed in their own galleys, and on their 
arrival at Loch-Foyle, they were met by O'Donnell, and enter- 
tained there for three days and three nights. Macleod then led 
his men in person to assist the Chief of the Irish Branch of the 
Siol Cuinn, but Donald Gorm returned home, leaving his men 
under the command of his brother. Roderick Macleod got into 
trouble with the Scottish Court in connection with this raid to 


194 The Celtic Magaaine. 

Ireland against the English Government, and other acts, for next 
year he was charged by the Privy Council, on the application of 
Elizabeth's ambassador in Scotland, to desist from rendering any 
aid to the Irish under Red Hugh; and Gregory informs us that 
about 1596 he and Donald Macdonell of Glengarry, usually styled 
Donald " MacAngus," made their submission, and were received 
into favour. 

This year Macleod received, on the i8th of September, a 
charge from the King, commanding him to be at Islay, with all 
his followers, on the 2Oth of the same month only two days after 
receipt of the Royal commands under pains of treason and 
forfeiture. This was clearly impossible, and " Rodericus Macloid 
of the Herrie," as he styles himself, addressed a characteristic 
letter to James VI. Macleod addresses his reply : 

"To his Hynes Maiestie Soverane Lord, King and Maister," 
from Marvak, Harris, on the 22nd of September, 1596, and 
referring to the King's charge that he should be at Islay on the 
2Oth, he says (the orthography being modernised) " I take God 
and your Grace to witness if it was possible for me to have done 
the same ; although my force had been together, and wind and 
weather had served me at every airt of the broken seas in the 
countries, and my men lie far asunder; and although the charge 
had been given to me the first of August, it had been little enough 
to have been at the day appointed, with my force. Sir, I beseech 
your Grace think not this to be an excuse. I will lay all this 
aside ; and although I should be borne in a horse litter, I shall do 
my exact diligence to be at my Lord Crowner, where your Grace 
has commanded me, in all possible haste, as I shall answer to God 
and your Grace both, and whom your Grace or my Lord Crowner 
will command me in your Highness 's name to pass on, either by 
sword or fire, I shall do the same, or any your Grace will command 
me to fight hand in hand in your Grace's sight, I shall prove my 
pith on him. Beseeching your Grace favourably to let not use me 
with letters of treason or traitory, I being in mind to serve your 
Grace under God as my native King and Master to the uttermost 
of my life. This voyage being ended, I will rejoice to be at your 
Grace, and to have your Grace's presence, and to serve and know 
your Grace as my only sovereign, king, lord, and master : looking 
for your Grace's answer, if need be, again with this bearer, to have 
your Grace's presents, and God bless your Grace." 

In the following year, 1597, an Act of Parliament was passed, 

History of the Macleods. 195 

in terms of which it was made imperative on all claiming rights to 
any lands in the Isles to produce their title deeds, before the Lords 
of Exchequer, upon the I5th of May, 1598. This was because 
"they neglected to pay their yearly rents" and "to perform the 
services due from their lands to the Crown," and in consequence 
of their having "made the Highlands and Isles, naturally so valu- 
able from the fertility of the soil, and the richness of the fisheries, 
altogether unprofitable either to themselves or to their fellow- 
countrymen." The Island lords were further enjoined to find 
security for the regular payment of their rents to the Crown, and 
for the peaceable and orderly behaviour of themselves, and of 
those for whom, by law, they were bound to answer, particularly 
in regard to those desirous of trading in the Isles. Disobedience 
to any of the injunctions contained in the Act, and they were 
many, was made to infer absolute forfeiture of all titles, real or 
pretended, which any of the recusants might possess to lands in 
the Highlands and Isles. Taking into consideration both the loss 
of title deeds, which, in the unsettled state of the country, must 
have been a very common occurrence and the difficulty which 
many even of the most powerful chiefs could not fail to experi- 
ence in finding the requisite bail for their peaceable and orderly 
behaviour, as well as that of their vassals and tenants it is evident, 
says Gregory, that this Act was prepared with a view to place at 
the disposal of the Crown, in a summary manner, many large 
tracts of land ; affording thus an opportunity to the King to com- 
mence his favourite plans for the improvement of the Highlands 
and Isles. 

No record has been kept of those who presented themselves 
on the 1 5th of May, 1598, but it is known that the lands of Harris, 
Dunvegan, and Glenelg, as well as those of Macleod of Lewis, 
were declared to be at the disposal of the Crown, though it is un- 
doubted that Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan and Harris held 
unexceptionable titles to the first three named. A company of 
Lowland adventurers, the principal of whom were the Duke of 
Lennox; Patrick, Commendator of Lindores ; William, Com- 
mendator of Pittenweem ; Sir James Anstruther, younger of that 
Ilk; Sir James Sandilands of Slamanno; James Leirmonth of 
Balcolmly; James Spens of Wormestoun ; John Forret of Fin- 

196 TJie Celtic Magazine. 

gask ; David Home, younger of Wedderburn ; and Captain William 
Murray, received a grant of all the lands belonging to Roderick 
Macleod of Dunvegan and Harris, including those of Glenelg; 
but they were never able even to occupy them. 

Roderick did not go forward to present his titles in terms of 
the Act of Parliament, and the forfeiture of his lands duly followed 
upon his refusal to comply. At the same time Macleod of Dun- 
vegan, from his assisting Macleod of Lewis against Torquil 
Conanach and the Mackenzies,* was on bad terms with Sir 
Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, Tutor of Kintail, progenitor of 
the Mackenzies of Cromarty, then a member of the Scottish 
Privy Council, and otherwise possessing great power and influ- 
ence. Macleod appears to have presented himself before the 
Council at this time, and Sir Roderick Mackenzie, knowing his 
haughty and proud temper, purposely insulted him by certain 
offensive remarks made to him before the other members, when, 
it is said, Macleod immediately struck the Tutor of Kintail and 
knocked him down in the Privy Council Chamber, an offence 
which was punishable by death. He, however, managed to effect 
his escape to the Isles. 

In 1601 an inveterate quarrel broke out between Sir Roderick 
and Donald Gorm Mor Macdonald of Sleat, who had previously 
married Margaret Macleod, Sir Roderick's eldest sister, and who 
now, through jealousy or other cause, ill-treated, repudiated, and 
sent her away. Sir Roderick, having learned this, sent Macdonald 
a message to take the lady back, or the consequences, it was 
hinted, might become unpleasant. Instead of acceding to this 
request, Donald Gorm, on the contrary, set about procuring a 
legal divorce for Roderick's sister, in which he succeeded ; when, 
without any delay, he married Mary, daughter of Colin Cam 
Mackenzie, XI. of Kintail, and sister of Macleod's enemy, Sir 
Roderick Mackenzie, Tutor of Kintail. This added insult to 
injury, and Macleod at once determined to be revenged for the 
injustice done to his sister, and the insult offered to himself, his 
family, and clan, in her person, by Donald Gorm. He forthwith 
assembled his vassals and carried fire and sword into Macdonald's 

* Full particulars of these feuds will be given when we come to write the portion 
of this work applicable to the Macleods of Lewis and Assynt. 

History of the Macleods. 197 

lands of Troternish, venting his resentment upon every living 
thing that he came across. The Macdonalds, according to 
Gregory, in revenge, invaded Harris, which they laid waste, 
killing many of the inhabitants and carrying off their cattle. This 
retaliation roused the Macleods to make a foray upon Macdonald's 
estate of North Uist, and, accordingly, they sailed from Skye, 
their Chief at their head, towards that island ; and, on arriving 
there, Rory Mor sent his kinsman, Donald Glas Macleod, with 
forty men to lay waste the land, and to bring off from the church 
of Kiltrynad the cattle and effects of the country people, which, 
on the alarm being given, had been placed there for safety. In 
the execution of these orders, Donald Glas was encountered by a 
celebrated warrior of the Clandonald, nearly related to their Chief, 
Donald Maclan Mhic Sheumais, who had only twelve men with him. 
The Macdonalds behaved with so much gallantry that they routed 
their opponents and rescued the cattle, Donald Glas and many of 
his men being killed. Sir Roderick Macleod, seeing the ill 
success of this detachment, and suspecting that a larger force was 
at hand, returned home meditating future vengeance. These incur- 
sions were carried on with so much inveteracy that both clans 
were brought to the brink of ruin ; and many of the natives of the 
districts, thus devastated, were forced to sustain themselves by killing 
and eating their horses, dogs, and cats. At length, in 1601, while 
Macleod was absent seeking assistance from the Earl of Argyll, 
the Macdonalds invaded his lands in Skye, in considerable num- 
bers, wishing to force on a battle. The Macleods, under Alexander 
of Minginish, brother of their Chief, took post on the shoulder of 
the Cuchullin Hills. After a fierce and obstinate combat, in which 
both parties fought with great bravery, the Macleods were over- 
thrown. Their leader, with thirty of their choicest warriors, fell 
into the hands of the victors; and two of the Chief's immediate 
relations and many others were slain. The Privy Council now 
interfered to prevent further mischief. The Marquis of Huntly 
and the Earl of Argyll, and all others, were prohibited from giving 
assistance to either of the contending parties; whilst the Chiefs 
themselves were ordered to disband their forces and to quit the 
island in the meantime. Macleod was enjoined to give himself 
up to the Earl of Argyll, and Macdonald to surrender to Huntly, 

198 The Celtic Magazine. 

and both were strictly charged, under the penalty of treason, to 
remain with these noblemen till the controversy between them 
should be settled by the King and Council. A reconciliation was 
at length effected between them by the mediation of Angus Mac- 
donald of Isla, Maclean of Coll, and other friends : after which the 
prisoners taken at "the battle of Benquhillin " were released; and 
ever after these clans refrained from open hostility, and submitted 
their disputes to the decision of the law. 

Alexander Cameron, in his Traditions of the Isle of Skye, 
gives the local version, and says, that it was the Macleods, after 
having succeeded in raising the creach of the island, that had 
gathered their booty into the Church or Monastery of the Trinity 
at Carinish, and that they were feasting there on some of their 
plunder, "when Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais arrived with his 
twelve warriors, who fought with their bows, and arrows, and 
swords with such effect, that only two of the Macleods escaped to 
convey the news of their discomfiture to their Chief, who was with 
his galleys at Portnalong. Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais 
received a severe arrow wound in the action, from which he, how- 
ever, soon recovered, and continued to distinguish himself as a 
warrior. The leader of the Macleods was slain by a Macdougall, 
named Donald Mor MacNeil Mhic Iain, at the sands named from 
that circumstance, Oitir Mhic Dhomhnuil Ghlais. The slain of the 
party were buried at the scene of the action, known as Feithe- 
na-fola, or the morass of blood, and their skulls were placed in the 
windows of the Church of the Trinity, where they were to be seen 
up to a recent date. Rory Mor, seeing the bad success of his 
clansmen, and suspecting that there were greater forces in the 
island, retired home, intending to return shortly with greater forces 
to avenge his loss." Cameron continues " In about three weeks 
Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais was sufficiently recovered to pro- 
ceed to Skye to report the affair at Carinish personally to his Chief, 
Donald Gorm Mor. He accordingly set sail in his galley with a be- 
fitting retinue, but when about half-way across the Minch, which 
separates North Uist and the other islands of the Outer Hebrides 
from Skye, a violent snow-storm with contrary wind arose, so that 
Donald was driven back, and had no recourse but to make for 
Rodil, in Harris, one of the seats of his enemy, Rory Mor. It 

History of the Macleods. 199 

was dark when Donald and his company landed, and their arrival 
was known to no one at Rodil, with the exception of Macleod's 
page, Macrimmon, a native of Skye, to whom Donald stood in 
the relation of goistidh, or godfather. Rory Mor, as usual, had a 
number of the gentlemen of his clan waiting on and feasting with 
him at Rodil House. The severity of the storm made the Chief 
uneasy. He paced to and fro in his dining-hall, and, removing 
the panel from one of the apertures that served as windows, he 
peered into the darkness without, and shuddered as the blast blew 
in through the window a shower of snow. Hastily closing the 
aperture, he exclaimed, ' I could not refuse shelter to my greatest 
enemy, even Donald Madam Mhic Sheumais, on such a night.' 
Macrimmon immediately answers, 'I take you at your word, 
Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais is here.' Rory Mor was rather 
taken aback by the unexpected announcement, but, yielding to no 
man in hospitality, he at once requested that Donald and his com- 
pany be shown in. The Macdonalds entered, and, after a formal 
salutation, were requested to sit down to dinner with their host 
and his kinsmen. The long table groaned under its burden of 
beef, venison, and salmon. The Macleods were seated on one 
side, and the Macdonalds ranged themselves on the other side of 
the table, the dunevassals of either clan being seated above, and 
the vassals below the salt. Abundance of good old wine was 
quaffed, and as it took effect, the Macleods, who did not appear 
to relish the presence of the strangers, cast furtive glances across 
the table. At length the murmured and listless conversation was 
interrupted by the words, ' Remember, this day three weeks was 
fought the battle of Carinish,' spoken by one of the Macleods, in 
a loud and emphatic tone. The Chief gave a frowning look to 
the speaker, but that did not deter him from repeating the unfor- 
tunate words, which acted as a live spark on the combustible 
nature of the Macleods, and in an instant they displayed a score 
of daggers. A bloody scene would have inevitably followed had 
not the Chief at once interfered, and with a voice of authority 
commanded his hasty clansmen to sheath their weapons, and not 
disgrace his hospitality and their own gallantry by such an ill- 
timed act. They at once obeyed, and he apologised to Donald 
for his clansmen's rashness, and good humouredly inquired of him 

2OO The Celtic Magazine. 

why he had unsheathed his sword. Donald replied that he did 
not mean to act on the offensive, but that if any of his men had 
been struck he intended to have secured first the highest bird in 
the air, an t-eun as airde tha 'san ealtuinn. When the hour for 
retiring came, the Macdonalds were shown to an outer house to 
sleep, but Donald, as being of higher rank, was about being shown 
to a bedroom in the house, when he declined to go, preferring to 
accompany his men, which he did. They retired to rest, but had 
scarcely slept when Macrimmon came to the door and called for 
Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais, saying that there was now fair 
wind for Skye. The Macdonalds at once got up, and, finding 
that the gale had subsided and the wind was favourable, they em- 
barked in their galley for Skye. They had scarcely reached the 
entrance of the Bay of Rodil when, on looking back, they observed 
the dormitory they had left in flames, some of the Macleods 
having treacherously set it on fire, suspecting that the Macdonalds 
were within. The piper of the Macdonalds struck up the 
piobaireachd, Tha an dubhthuil air Macleod, i.e., ' the Macleods 
are disgraced,' which galled the Macleods on perceiving that they 
were outwitted. The Macdonalds were soon borne by the breeze 
to their destination, Duntulm, in Troternish." 

Mr. Cameron gives the following particulars of the battle of 
the Cuchullins : 

In the absence of Rory Mor in Argyle, seeking the aid 
and advice of the Earl of Argyll against the Macdonalds, 
Donald Gorm Mor assembled his men and made an invasion 
into Macleod's lands, desiring to force on a battle. Alexander 
Macleod of Minginish, the brother of Rory Mor, collected all the 
fighting men of the Siol Tormod, and some of the Siol Torquil, and 
encamped by Ben-a-Chuilinn. Next day they and the Macdonalds 
joined battle, "which continued all the day long, both contending 
for the victory with incredible obstinacy." The leader of the 
Macleods (who was cased in armour), together with Neil Mac- 
Allister Roy, and thirty of the leading men of the Macleods were 
wounded and taken prisoners, and the Macdonalds succeeded in 
gaining the battle. John MacTormoid and Tormod MacTormoid, 
two near kinsmen of Rory Mor, and several others of the Mac- 
leods, were slain. Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais fought with 

History of the Macleods. 201 

great bravery in the action under Donald Gorm Mor. The 
ravine where the battle was fought is hence named Coire na creick, 
or the ravine of the spoil. The Privy Council now interfered, and 
requested the chiefs to disband and quit Skye. Donald Gorm 
Mor was ordered to surrender himself to the Earl of Huntly, and 
Rory Mor to the Earl of Argyll, and were charged to remain 
with these noblemen under the pain of treason, until the quarrel 
between them should be settled by the King and Council. 
Through the mediation of Angus Macdonald of Kintyre, the 
Laird of Coll, and other friends, a reconciliation was effected 
between them, upon which Donald Gorm Mor delivered up to 
Rory Mor the prisoners taken at Ben-a-Chuilinn, including his 
brother, Alexander of Minginish, after which they refrained from 
open hostility, though they did have actions of law against each 
other.* On the reconciliation being effected, Donald Gorm Mor 
was invited by Rory Mor to a banquet in Dunvegan Castle. 
When Donald Gorme Mor appeared in sight of the Castle, he 
was met by Macleod's splendid piper, Donald Mor Macrimmon, 
who welcomed the Chief of the Macdonalds by playing " The 
Macdonald's Salute," which piobaireackd he composed for the 
occasion. It was at the same banquet that he composed, Failte 
nan Leodack, or Macleod's Salute. 

About this period the Macleods of Harris, Macneills of Barra, and 
Macdonalds of Clanranald assisted Neill Macleod of Lewis against 
the Fife Adventurers, whose appearance in that island, their 
proceedings there, and their final discomfiture will be described 
at length when we come to the History of the Macleods of Lewis. 
Macleod was in great difficulty with the Court at this time, in 
consequence of his feuds with the neighbouring Chiefs, but by the 
assistance of the Earl of Argyll, with whom he entered into a con- 
tract, dated ;th of July, 1606, to resign his Barony of Glenelg to 
the King, in favour of his Lordship, who in his turn became bound 
to re-grant the same to Macleod and his heirs-male, to be held of 
Argyll and his heirs, by service of ward, marriage, and relief, he 
managed to make terms with the King, and all his enemies, espe- 
cially with Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, Tutor of Kintail, 

* It will be observed that this is substantially the account of this skirmish given 
by the author of The Conflicts of the Clans, who was a contemporary writer. 
Curiously, his version falls to be published in this issue. 

2O2 The Celtic Magazine. 

and Macdonald of Sleat, with the latter of whom he ultimately 
entered into a bond of friendship, as also with Macdonald of Clan- 
ranald and Mackinnon of Strath. 

Great preparations had been made at this time for an expedi- 
tion against the Chiefs of the Isles. In 1608, proclamations were 
issued summoning the Militia of the Shires of Dumbarton, Argyle, 
Tarbert, Ayr, Renfrew, and Galloway, to join the Royal forces, 
and to rendezvous at Islay on the first of June, where the forces 
then engaged in Ireland, assisting those of the Queen of England, 
were to meet them. Another proclamation was issued forbidding 
any of the mainland Chiefs to render any assistance or give shelter 
to any of the Islesmen, under the severest penalties. Extraordi- 
nary precautions were taken, and everything seems to have been 
done by the Privy Council to secure the success and facilitate the 
execution of their enterprise against the Islanders. Andrew 
Stewart, Lord Ochiltree, and Sir James Hay were sent to the 
Isles, empowered to confer and come to terms with the Island 
Chiefs. He met the principal among them at Maclean's Castle 
of Arcs, in Mull. Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan, and his 
brother, Alexander of Minginish, were present on the occasion, 
and with the rest agreed to the following humiliating conditions : 
First, Security for His Majesty's rents; Secondly, Obedience to 
the laws by the Chiefs and all their followers ; Thirdly, Delivery 
by the Chiefs of all houses of defence, strongholds, and crannaks, 
to be placed at the King's disposal ; Fourthly, Renunciation by 
the Chiefs of all jurisdictions which they claimed, heritably or 
otherwise, and submission to the jurisdiction of Sheriffs, Bailies. 
Justices, or other officers appointed by the Crown; Fifthly, That 
they should be satisfied with such lands and posssssions, and under 
such conditions as the King might appoint ; Sixthly, That their 
whole birlings, lymphads, and galleys should be destroyed, save 
those required for carrying to the mainland His Majesty's rents 
paid in kind, and other necessary purposes ; Seventhly, That they, 
and such of their kinsmen as could afford it, should put their 
children to school, under the directions of the Privy Council; and 
Lastly, That they should abstain from using guns, bows, and two- 
handed swords, and should confine themselves to single-handed 
swords and targes. 

( To be continued.) 

Yachting and Electioneering in tlie Hebrides. 203 



Ox the morning of Wednesday, pth September, we drove from 
Lochboisdale to Polochar, accompanied by the Rev. Father Mac- 
donald and Mr. Patrick M. Walker, leaving our yacht at the 
former place to coal. The morning was very wet and boisterous, 
so that we did not see the country between Dalibrog and Polochar 
to advantage. This part of South Uist was formerly known as 
Kilpheder, and the singular Island and causeway in a loch near Dali- 
brog were pointed out by Father Macdonald, with other objects of in- 
terest. He is an enthusiast in all Island antiquities. The southern 
part of South Uist, now called Kilbride, comprehends a number of 
townships, occupied by a most industrious race ; yet, sad to say, the 
best part of Kilbride is in the hands of one tacksman. As we drove 
along, cultivation in the township lands was seen straggling up 
the hill-sides, abruptly closed, however, by a cross-fence, cutting 
off the heights, and three-fourths of the hill. All the grazings 
above the cross-fence belong to the big farmers. In the year 
1837, the worthy minister of the parish, Mr. Roderick Maclean, 
wrote regarding these hills: "The whole mountain-range is still 
a common for pasturing the sheep of the small tenants in the 
neighbouring farms, who, but for this indulgence on the part of 
the proprietor, would, in their present state of poverty and desti- 
tution, be wretchedly ill-provided with clothing." What the 
indulgence of Clanranald allowed, has long been withdrawn under 
the Gordon sway. The extraordinary industry of the women, 
who used to knit and spin their own wool, has not now in this 
important respect an outlet, for little or no wool is got from the 
few worried and half-starved sheep to be found on the limited 
grounds of the crofters. The evils of an accumulation of lands in 
the hands of one person an absentee is here seen in an acute 
form. Formerly there were, besides Clanranald himself, cadets 

2O4 T/te Celtic Magazine. 

of his house at Boisdale and Bornish. Colin Macdonald of Bois- 
dale built a handsome house at Kilbride, and I was told that the 
fine drawing-room, thirty feet long, and of handsome proportions, 
is now used as a kitchen by the servants of the tacksman ! Every- 
thing seems to be decaying under a withering administration. 
Fishing on the inland lochs, which used to be tolerably open, is 
now so circumscribed that anglers do not frequent, in the same 
number as formerly, the commodious Hotel at Lochboisdale. 

At Polochar we took boat, manned by four hardy Islanders, 
and soon arrived off Eriskay, where a short walk over the sandy 
hillocks brought us to the school-house. Here a large assemblage, 
headed by two pipers, had gathered to meet us. Our meeting 
was conducted almost entirely in Gaelic, Mr Fraser-Mackintosh's 
Gaelic speech being highly appreciated by his auditors. There 
were a number of women present, fresh-coloured and robust- 
looking, who seemed to feel as keenly regarding the objects of the 
meeting as the men, and whose figures, wrapped in bright tartan 
shawls, enlivened the scene not a little. The men of Eriskay are, 
as a rule, under the middle size, but seem a strong and healthy 
race. They are chiefly engaged in the fishing industry. Whilst 
among them, I managed to obtain, through the good offices of 
Mr. Walker, a specimen of the now almost extinct cntsie, or old 
Highland oil-lamp. Nearly every householder in Eriskay has one 
or more pigs. It was strange to see this in the Hebrides, where 
the pig has so long been considered an unclean animal. The 
people in Eriskay number about 500, and the Island is greatly 
overcrowded. This has arisen, not merely from natural increase, 
but because numbers were driven from South Uist to Eriskay, 
that their old possessions might form large farms. The Island of 
Lingay has also been taken away to be added to an already exten- 
sive tack. 

After the meeting we proceeded, led by two pipers, and 
followed a considerable part of the way by nearly the whole 
population of the Island men, women, and children to the 
historic spot where Prince Charles Edward first set foot on Scottish 
soil. According to Klose, "On the 2nd of August, 1745, Charles 
landed off the little Island of Erisca, one of the Hebrides, and 
situated between Barra and South Uist. As they neared the 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 205 

shore, an eagle came hovering round the ship, and accompanied 
her for some time in her course. This was taken for a favourable 
omen by those on board. ' Here,' said Lord Tullibardine, turning 
to his young master, 'is the King of Birds come to welcome 
your Royal Highness to Scotland.'" Upon landing, Prince 
Charles planted the seeds of a convolvolus on the spot, in com- 
memoration of the event. The seeds flourished well in the little 
Western Island, and, at the time of our visit, 140 years after they 
were sown by the Prince's hands, the place was covered with the 
creeping tendrils of the plant, which, we were told, flowered 
luxuriantly in the months of July and August. Indeed, late as it 
was, we could still see here and there a little purple blossom, 
which, surviving longer than its mates, showed its tiny form 
among the green bent-grass. The flower is not met with in its 
wild state anywhere else in the Hebrides. The spot where the 
plant grows, and where the Prince, according to tradition, landed, 
is now surrounded with a stone wall, erected many years ago by 
the Stewarts of Ensay, who claim descent from the Royal House 
through the Stewarts of Garth. 

Seated on a green bank, we listened to the old Jacobite airs 
which the pipers played, and I pondered over the various incidents 
of the brilliant but ill-fated expedition which had well-nigh restored 
the British Crown to the exiled Stuarts. My mind naturally 
reverted to that summer's day langsyne, when the Prince, full of 
youthful ardour and zeal, first, in this little Island, set foot in a 
country fraught to him with much that was glorious, but in which, 
after so many remarkable vicissitudes, unfortunately, less than a 
year afterwards, he was a homeless fugitive, with a price of 
30,000 set upon his head, and hunted from one hiding-place to 
another. Some of the people who had followed us to the historic 
spot, now danced a reel, clapping their hands in time to the 
music, in true Hebridean fashion, after which we bade farewell to 
the interesting occupants of this historic Isle, and we were on the 
point of starting for an inlet further on, where our yacht was to 
pick us up, when we were informed that a worthy widow, who 
occupied a cottage near at hand, was very anxious that we should 
go into her house and have some butter-milk, an offer of which 
we gladly availed ourselves. And here I may remark that the 

The Celtic Magazine. 

hospitality we met with everywhere was unbounded, and special 
thanks are due to the schoolmasters for their trouble and kindness. 
Many a time, it is feared, these gentlemen and their households 
were put to much inconvenience. The various objects of interest 
in the widow's cottage were brought out for our inspection, includ- 
ing the quern or hand-mill, which is yet to be found in many 
houses in the Isles. I tasted some of the meal ground by it, 
which was coarse, but palatable. We then started off again, only 
to be stopped almost immediately by an old man, who, despite 
our remonstrances, insisted upon our entering his cottage and 
taking a drink of milk. Once more we set off, and after a long 
walk over every description of ground grassy, sandy, arable, 
boggy, and marshy and having been obliged several times to 
take shelter behind a peat-stack, during such showers of rain as 
are only met with in the Hebrides, we reached our destination, to 
find that our vessel had not yet appeared. 

At length the yacht steamed into the creek, and, after parting 
with our good friends, Father Macdonald and Mr. Walker, we 
went aboard, and steamed for Castlebay, Barra, where we cast 
anchor late in the evening after a very stormy passage. The fluke 
of our main-anchor had been snapped clean off during a heavy 
squall on the previous Tuesday night in Lochboisdale, so that 
we had to depend entirely upon quite a small one. We had 
intended to go to the rocky Island of Mingalay next day, but, 
after the storm we had experienced, the voyage, we were told, 
could not be attempted with safety for days to come, in conse- 
quence of the heavy swell resulting from the gale. 

Kissimull Castle, an ancient stronghold of the MacNeills of 
Barra, is a conspicuous object in Castlebay, to which it gives its 
name. It stands upon a large rock, which, at high tide, is com- 
pletely covered by water. The Castle is said to be about seven 
hundred years old, and, when Martin visited it nearly two hundred 
years ago, he found guards posted upon the walls, on the look- 
out for any foes who might appear. In the evidence taken before 
the Royal Commission, Dr. Macgillivray, of Eoligary, gave some 
interesting particulars as to this Castle and the family of MacNeill, 
its occupants for centuries. Interrogated by Mr. Eraser-Mackin- 
tosh, he stated that the MacNeill family lived at Eoligary for some 

Yachting and Electioneering in tJie Hebrides, 207 

time after they left the Castle, and that he was intimate with 
them, and with General MacNeill; that the MacNeills left the 
Castle of Kissimull five or six generations ago, and that he recollected 
an old gentleman whose mother was the last person born in the 
Castle ; that the MacNeills came ashore, and lived at Borve for 
some time, after which they went further north to Vaslin, a portion 
of the farm of Eoligary, where General MacNeills father got 
married ; and that he knew no MacNeills remaining now, except 
some relatives nephews who were inclined to do well when he 
saw them last. A short distance from Castlebay is a ruined castle 
in a small lake, said to be the place referred to in the once well- 
known, but now almost forgotten, novel, "St. Clair of the Isles." 

Castlebay is now an important fishing station, where building 
leases are granted. The lands around, however, are rocky and 
barren, nearly all the good part being on the Atlantic side of the 
Island. The lands here, like those of South Uist, are most un- 
equally distributed, all the largest and best parts being in the 
hands of one or two large tacksmen, while the people have to 
exist on wretched patches in the worst portions of the Island. 

On Thursday morning, roth September, after an excellent 
meeting in Castlebay, we steamed for Loch-Eport, North Uist, 
where we proposed to lie at anchor all night. Leaving Castlebay, 
and skirting the bold eastern coast of Barra, we again passed 
Eriskay, with Caisteal-a-BJireabadair (so called from a tradition 
that an old hermit-weaver once lived in it), perched upon a high 
rock overhanging the sea; South Uist, with its different varieties 
of coast outline; the Islands of Benbecula and Wiay, with the two 
Fords glittering in the rays of the setting sun ; and then, as night 
came on, the shores of North Uist loomed darkly before us. The 
entrance to Loch-Eport is exceedingly narrow, and Captain Mac- 
lachlan, after consulting the chart, would not attempt to enter it 
after dark, as there was a nasty rock about the middle of the 
passage. We accordingly steamed past Loch-Eport, and, in a 
short time, entered Lochmaddy, where we dropped anchor. 

Early the following morning (Friday) we steamed back to 
Loch-Eport, and, having entered in safety, cast anchor near the 
mouth of the Loch. The shores of Loch-Eport are most dreary- 
looking. In 1849, between 600 and 700 people who were evicted 

2o8 The Celtic Magazine. 

by the then Lord Macdonald from Sollas, "the Garden of North 
Uist," were forced to take up their abode and build rude turf huts 
for themselves, there being no stone, on the inhospitable shores of 
Loch-Eport, where they yet remain, eking out a precarious sub- 
sistence by the uncertain aid of the fishing industry; and nowhere 
has the landlordism of the past left its fatal brand more deeply 
than upon these unfortunate people. When the Crofters' Com- 
mission visited Loch-Eport in May, 1883, thirty -two of those who 
had been evicted from Sollas presented to the Commission a 
statement, the following extract from which will convey to the 
reader a much better idea of the hardships under which they 
laboured than I can give : 

"The hardships to which we were exposed in the interval 
between our being evicted and our translation here are beyond 
description. The severities of a winter, living in rude turf huts, 
and without fuel except what we had to carry twelve miles, told 
on the health of many. The inferiority of the soil of the place we 
live in, and its unsuitableness for human existence, is indescribable. 
When we were sent here, it was, with the exception of two spots, 
a wild, bleak, barren, mossy heath, numerously intersected by 
rain-furrows. There we had to build huts in which to live, and 
try and improve the waste as well as we could ; and, notwithstand- 
ing that we have laboured for the last thirty years, our crofts will 
not yield us to-day as much food on an average as will support 
our families for two months of the year. The ground is of such a 
nature that it can scarcely be improved, and the soil so much re- 
duced by continual cropping, that it is almost useless. The place 
is overcrowded ; there being thirty-four crofts, on which live forty 
families, where formerly there were only three. Our common 
pasture (if it can be called by that name) is extremely bad, so 
much so that in winter, those of us who have cattle must keep 
constant watch else they will stick in the bogs. Human beings 
cannot travel over portions of our crofts in winter. There is no 
fishing or industry of any other kind in the country, from which 
we can derive any support. Formerly we derived some benefit 
from the manufacturing of kelp, but now we are deprived of even 
that. All who are able leave in the beginning of summer to earn 
their livelihood as best they may by sea and land, and thus help 
to improve the condition of their families whom they leave behind. 
Finally, we must admit that we are in poverty, and suffering 
privations and inconveniences of a nature to which the bulk of 
our countrymen are strangers." 

Yachting and Electioneering in tlie Hebrides. 209 

Immediately after breakfast, we set off in the ship's boat for 
the head of the Loch, the wind blowing furiously. It was a 
severe and lengthy pull, of four or five miles, the wind unfavour- 
able, and the tide so adverse that, at one point, the four rowers, 
aided by two men going to the meeting, and who had asked for 
their "passage," could not for a time maintain their ground, far 
less make any head-way. At last we reached the Kelp Works, at 
the head of the Loch, where a carriage was waiting to take us 
into the village of Clachan. There we had a very good and hearty 
meeting, presided over by the worthy Free Church minister, the 
Rev. Mr. Maclean. At Carinish, close to the North Ford,* and 
about three miles from Clachan, are the ruins of Teampull na 
Trianaid, or Trinity Temple, said to have been erected, but, in 
point of fact, only repaired, about 1390, by Algive or Amy Mac- 
Ruari of Garmoran, first wife of John, first Lord of the Isles.f 

In 1 60 1, a sanguinary fight took place at Carinish between a 
party of Macleods and a trusty band of Macdonalds. According 
to tradition, the Macleods, numbering forty, had plundered North 
Uist, and were feasting upon some of the spoils, in the Temple of 
Carinish, when Donald Maclan Sheumais, III. of Kingsburgh, 
attacked them with twelve of his clan, and with such effect that 
only two of the Macleods escaped to bear the tale to their Chief, 
who was waiting with his galleys at Port-na-long. The bodies of 
the dead Macleods were buried at the scene of the fight, known 
as Feithe-na-fola, or the Morass of Blood, while their skulls were 
placed in the windows of the Temple, where they were to be seen 
until recent years. 

* In connection with the North Ford, I may relate an amusing incident which 
occurred when, in company with two friends, I drove across it in the month of Feb- 
ruary, 1885. When about half-way across, we met a dog-cart, coming from the Ben- 
becula side, and containing, much to our surprise, a jet-black negro. As the dog-cart 
passed us, one of my companions jocularly cried out to its sable occupant, Ciamar 
tha sibh 'H diughi (How are you to-day?) when, to our astonishment, the reply came 
immediately, Tha gasda ; ciamar tha sibh fheinl (Fine; how are you?) Almost 
doubting his ears, my companion again enquired, Co as a thainig tui (Where do you 
come from?) and again, in unmistakeable Gaelic, the negro shouted, A Beinn-a- 
vihaol! (From Benbecula !) An appeal to our driver solved the mystery. The 
Gaelic-speaking African was a negro pedlar, who had settled in Uist several years 
ago, and, during his residence there, acquired the Gaelic language with almost the 
fluency of a native. 

t "The chapel was apparently a Culdee Church, and therefore built before the 
time of Cristina, the daughter of Alan, who lived about the year 1309." Foot Note, 
Origines Parochiales Scotia, Vol. II., Part I. 

2io The Celtic Magazine. 

Next day (Saturday) was perhaps the stormiest we had yet 
experienced on shore. Our first meeting was held in the Free 
Church at Paible. The Rev. Mr. Mackinnon, F.C., who presided, 
opened the meeting with prayer, while the Rev. Mr. Macrae, 
Established Church, closed it in the same way. On leaving, our 
horses were unyoked and our carriage dragged by the people a 
considerable distance towards Baleloch, where we had luncheon 
in the Manse. 

From Baleloch we ' proceeded to Dunskellar. When about a 
mile from Dunskellar we were met by an enthusiastic crowd, who 
accompanied us to the meeting-house. When leaving, after a 
hearty meeting, presided over by Mr. Angus MacAulay, an 
interesting and pleasing incident took place. The women of the 
township turned out in a body, waving scarfs, handkerchiefs, 
shawls, and other improvised banners, dancing before us on the 
road, and singing Gaelic songs of welcome to their future Member 
of Parliament. 

We then drove to Lochmaddy, the gale having now increased 
to a hurricane. On our arrival, we found the yacht had arrived 
and was lying at anchor in the Loch. It was, however, impossible 
to communicate with her, and we had to remain until Monday 
morning in Mr. Maclnnes's comfortable Hotel at Lochmaddy, 
where a very hearty meeting was held on Saturday night. The 
s.s. Dunara Castle, like the Carlotta, had arrived on Saturday, 
and from Saturday afternoon till Monday morning both vessels 
had to keep up steam to ease the strain upon the anchors. We 
had intended to steam on Monday to Berneray, thence through 
the Sound of Harris, to the Island of Scarp, but, as the Captain 
positively declined to go to the Atlantic side of Harris, he was in- 
structed to make for Obbe, in that Island, without us, as soon as 
possible on Monday. Lochmaddy is not a lively place. It is, 
however, admirably adapted for building purposes, but no ground 
is to be had, and thus the progress of a place which might other- 
wise become an important centre is completely stifled. 

(To be continued.) 

An Old Church Process. 211 




THERE was one question referred to in the Answers, which the 
Court now desired further information upon, and the Lords 
ordained the Magistrates to give in " a special Condescendence at 
what time and in what manner the town of Inverness had been 
in use to pay a hundred merks yearly to each of the pursuers in 
name of manse-rent, and whether or not the Town is still in 
possession of the two old Manses belonging to the pursuers." 
Along with a copy of this Interlocutor, the Town's Agent sent a 
memorandum of certain information which was required for the 
purpose of preparing the Condescendence, and that memorandum 
contains the only trace we have got of the contents of the Magis- 
trates' letter of 6th June, 1755, already referred to. The memo- 
randum says, "In the Magistrates' letter to William Forbes, their 
agent, dated 6th June last, they say that there was an augmenta- 
tion of 100 merks of stipend in 1665, for which there was no just 
cause, for the Church lands obtained from Queen Mary were in 
the Town's hands, and paid 100 merks of stipend. When they 
were feued off, it was with the burden of the stipends which had 
come into the Town's hands in lieu of the 100 merks, and, though 
the lands continued to pay the same to the Minister, the 100 
merks was also continued to be paid by the Town, and the addi- 
tional 100 merks last imposed was an imposition for easing some 
Heritors. The Town's land-rent was not more than now, 
41 6s. id. sterling (besides the new improvements), and all the 
feuars' land and burgage roods are severally localled for a stipend, 
and therefore cannot be twice charged." The memorandum goes 
on to say that the Town's advisers thought these facts were too 
shortly stated, and they desired the Magistrates to state what was 
meant by Church-lands obtained from Queen Mary ; what these 
lands were ; and what was the right and title the Town got to 
them from Queen Mary; also how it was that the feued lands 

212 The Celtic Magazine. 

were in danger of being twice charged with stipends. Along 
with the memorandum, there came a letter from Mr. Forbes, the 
Town's Agent, also dated loth July, 1755, in which, after re- 
ferring to the Answers given in by the Ministers and by the 
Heritors, he says: "The Lords sett to work yesterday to 
advise them, but it seems they did not understand them, parti- 
cularly the President, who said he had read all the papers twice 
over, but could not take up the meaning of them, and the lawiers 
from the Bar seemed to differ as much as the Lords did ; where- 
for the cause was delayed for a fortnight, and each of the three 
parties are to give in Condescendences of the facts." It is really 
not surprising that the Court did not understand the Answers, and 
that they should have asked for a Condescendence of the facts. 
If the Lords had insisted upon all the extraneous rubbish, with 
which the papers presented to them were overloaded, being 
struck out, and the bare facts left, they would have found it very 
much easier to understand the papers, and to dispose of the case. 
The Condescendence of the facts, lodged in obedience to the 
Interlocutor referred to in Mr. Forbes's letter, was in its way a 
model, and is by far the shortest paper in the whole process. In 
that Condescendence it is stated that, after the Reformation, a 
second Minister was established in the Town of Inverness, but, 
not being provided with a manse, the Town and Heritors of the 
Parish did, about the year 1660, purchase one for their Second 
Minister, but the manse, after the decease of Mr. Gilbert Marshall, 
the incumbent at the time of the purchase, became ruinous and 
uninhabitable. In the year 1703, Mr. Robert Baillie, then Second 
Minister, applied to the Heritors, Magistrates, and Town Council, 
to have the manse repaired, but, as this could not be immediately 
done, it was agreed to allow him 100 Scots annually to rent a 
house for himself until the manse should be repaired ; the Town 
agreeing to pay TOO merks, and the Heritors the remaining 50 
merks, of this allowance. This arrangement continued for two 
years, when, the manse having been repaired, the Town intimated 
to Mr. Baillie that he was not to expect any more money on that 
account, as appears from an Act of the Council of I4th October, 
1706. " Mr. Baillie, however, not judging the manse to have 
been sufficiently repaired, scrupled to possess it, and, in fact, it 

An Old Church Process. 213 

remained uninhabited." By an Act of the Town Council, dated 
in 1/09, "it appears a complaint had been made by the Presbytery 
of Mr. Baillie's wanting a manse, and that he had received nothing 
for manse-rent for three years, and, it being represented that the 
Heritors were not averse to pay the 50 merks," the Town agreed 
to pay the remaining 100, which was raised by voluntary contri- 
bution. The Condescendence further states "that, some time 
prior to 1702, the manse, belonging to the original Parochial 
charge having become ruinous, it appears (from an Act of Council 
in that year) that an application was made to the Magistrates by 
Mr. Hector Mackenzie, the then incumbent of the First Charge, 
setting forth that he wanted a manse, and expected that the Town 
would enable him to do justice to Ids landlord by giving him 100 
merks yearly towards payment of his house-rent, as they had done 
to his colleague." The Magistrates agreed to pay the sum asked 
by Mr. Mackenzie, but guarded themselves against being held 
bound to build or repair the manses of the Ministers in the pro- 
portion within which they were providing for house-rents. 

The Magistrates, being anxious to recover some part of the 
expense they had incurred in repairing the manse of the Second 
Minister, which was lying unoccupied, set it for a few years for a 
school to the precentor or music-master, but this, they say, " soon 
failed, by reason of its being in great disrepair, on which account, 
and of a report of its being haunted by ghosts, no person would 
take it for a dwelling-house, and in fact it has lien waste ever 
since, excepting for a few years that it was possessed by a poor, 
though esteemed a very pious, woman, of superior faith, and not 
affrighted with the rumour of its being haunted with ghosts ; 
but during her possession she paid no rent." The Magistrates 
further stated that the rents they had received had not repaid the 
expense they had incurred in repairing the manse, and they 
offered to account, if the Heritors disputed the statement. It 
will be observed that, although the advisers of the Town wished 
for information as to the Church-lands which the Town had 
acquired from Queen Mary, the Condescendence of the facts does 
not say a word on the subject.* 

* It may be interesting to know that the manse of the First Minister stood on the 
site of the house now occupied by the Rev. Ur. Mackay, in Church Street, and that 
the manse of the Second Minister the haunted house stood where the (Queen's 
Hotel now stands. 

214 The Celtic Magazine. 

On 2Oth February, 1756, the Heritors lodged in Court 
what they call " Observes," upon the Condescendence of the 
Magistrates. The document is mainly argumentative, reciting, 
one after another, each of the statements made by the Magistrates, 
and making remarks upon them. Only one fact is mentioned 
which does not appear in the previous papers that, by a Deed of 
Mortification, dated loth January, 1648, " Mr. John Annan, the 
then Second Minister, and Mr. Murdoch Mackenzie, the First 
Minister, with consent of Thomas Fraser of Strichen, alternate 
patron of the United Kirks of Inverness and Bonach, and with 
consent of the Magistrates of Inverness, did modify and make 
over to said Magistrates, towards purchasing a manse and glebe 
for the said Mr. John Annan, the then Second Minister, certain 
byegone stipends due to them, and that the Magistrates having, 
at the same time, advanced 700 merks for the above purpose, 
they (the Magistrates), with these sums, purchased and modified a 
manse and glebe for the Second Minister, and his successors in 
office." This, the Heritors contended, showed that it was the 
Town, and not the Heritors, who became liable to furnish a manse 
to their Second Minister. The Observes cover two closely-printed 
folio pages, and one's impression on reading them is one of wonder 
that lawyers could at any time have thought it worth while to 
write, far less to print, such a mass of unmitigated twaddle. 

A letter from Mr. Forbes to Provost Hossack, dated 4th 
March, says that an attempt was made to get the cause taken up 
on the previous Wednesday, but that " the Lords would by no 
means take up the cause, and put it off till June." On 7th July 
following, the Court recalled their former Interlocutor, in so far as 
it found the Magistrates liable for 100 merks in lieu of manse- 
rent, and for the expense of Communion elements, out of the 
Common Good, and the Interlocutor modified .100 Scots to the 
Ministers for Communion elements. The question as to the 
manses was not disposed of, but the right of parties to have it 
disposed of before any Judge competent was reserved, and the 
Interlocutor proceeds, "and supersede advising the other points 
as to the proportion of stipend payable out of the Town's Common 
Good, or what may fall due out of the new taken-in lands, and the 
proportioning the Communion elements money till the locality; 
and remit to the Lord Ordinary to proceed accordingly." 

An Old Church Process. 215 

A process of locality is never a summary one, and the Inver- 
ness locality in 1756 was no exception to the rule. The parties 
discussed the questions between them, apparently in a very 
leisurely fashion. The Heritors and the Magistrates now had 
the field to themselves, and the object of each was to shift as 
much as possible of the burden of Minister's stipend on to the 
shoulders of the other. The Magistrates appear to have resisted 
any increase upon the stipend payable out of the Common Good 
under the decree of 1665, while the Heritors contended that the 
teind was payable out of the lands reclaimed from the sea in 1746. 
What the other questions between them may have been does not 
appear, either from the papers preserved by the Burgh officials, or 
from the Report of the action in the Faculty Collection, but the 
cause seems to have lingered on before the Lord Ordinary from 
the time it was remitted in July, 1756, until the end of 1758 or 
the beginning of 1759. At all events, the next trace we have of 
it is on 2 ist February, 1759, when, according to the Faculty Re- 
port, the Lords found the lands recovered from the sea not teind- 
able, while the full Interlocutor, a copy of which has been preserved 
among the Town's papers, says that the Lords " find the town of 
Inverness liable for the sum of two hundred merks yearly to the 
Ministers, out of their Common Good, in terms of the decreet of 
locality 1665, including therein the teind of forty-one pounds, six 
shillings, and eight pennys Scots, now only remaining with the 
said Common Good unfeued out, and, in respect of the great 
expense of taking in and upholding the piece of ground gained 
off the sea, belonging to the Town, find that the said piece of 
ground cannot be liable in payment of teind, either to the Minister 
or Titular, in time coming." This was for the Magistrates a 
victory all along the line, but even now there was no undue haste 
in reporting the matter to the Town Council, for, although the 
judgment was pronounced in February, it was not until the I7th 
of September following that the Provost thought it necessary to 
report to the Town Council the very important fact that a litiga- 
tion, which had extended over a period of more than four years, 
had ended successfully for the Town. 



The Celtic Magazine. 


Ill MMos.] AM MART, 1886. 



]) AN CIAD CHR. 13 LA 1. 17 F. ( AN CR. MU DHEIR. 27 LA 10.44 M. 


An Lan 


An Lite. 

An Grianaly. 






M. DI. 

.. l.aiilh. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 



Bas Neill Ghobha, 1807. 

7. 9E 


9- 9 




Breith Phrionns Tearlach, 1720. 

5-45 L 







Bas a' Bhaird Mhic Griogair, 1830. 

7- 3E 







Bas a' Bhaird Ghalloway, 1794. 

5- SOL 







Bas Fionnaghail Nic Dhomhnuill, 








Faotainn a mach uaigh Bhruce, 1818. 








Didonaich Inid. 




i. 6 




Bas Righ UMleam III., 1702. 








An Inid. 

6.48 E 







Diciadaoin na Luath. 

6. 2 L 




3- 2 



Posadh a' Phrionnsa, 1863. 

6.42 E 


6. 3i. 3-19 




[n] Bas Dheorsa Ghardner, 1849. 

6. 6L 







Bas Wade, 1751. 

6.37 E 




5- 6 

J 4 


/. Didonaich de^n Charghns. 

6. II L 


9- i 





Breith Ralph Erskine, 1685; An 


6.32 E 

9 . 4 6 






Bas Uilleam Thomson, Oil. Lagh., 


6.15 L 




9. 2 



An fheill Padruig. 

6.27 E 






Breith Ban-phrionnsa Louisa, 1848. 

6. 19 L 




ii. 7 



Bas I. A. Ros, 1841. 

6.21 E 


2- 3 





Seisdeadh lonarlochaidh, 1746. 

6.23 L 






II. Didonaich de'n Charghns. 

6.17 E 

3- 9 



i. 7 



Breith Neill Ghobha, 1727. 

6.27 L 


4. 9 





Breith Raibeart Fhionnlaidh, Oil. D., 


6. 1 1 E 







6.31 L 




3- 9 



Bas Uilleam Hamilton, 1754. 

6. 5 E 







Breith Iain Mayne, 1759. 



7- 3 

4. 8 




[28] Bas Phadruig Fhoirbeis, 1635. 

6. I E 


8. i 




///. Didonaich de'n Charghtis. 






2 9 


Bas a' Bhaird Mhic Lachlainn, 1822. 

5-55 E 

10. O 


7. 6 




[29] Bas Iain Chill' losa, Oil. D., 1796. 

6.43 L 

II. 12 



9- i 



An fheill Ribhinn. 

'5-50E ... 

o. 18 


10. 2 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 2 1 7 



THE year of God, 1588, there were some secret emulations and 
factions at Court. The Earl of Huntly being in favour with His 
Majesty, obtained the Captaincy of His Majesty's Guards, which 
the Master of Glamis had before; for this cause the Master of 
Glamis and his associates, joining themselves to the English 
Ambassador, then lying at Edinburgh, do surmise to the King's 
Majesty, that some letters of the Earl of Huntly 's, sent by him 
to the King of Spain, were intercepted in England. Huntly was 
called to make his answer ; he compears, and denies these letters 
to have been written or sent by him, but only devised by his 
enemies, thereby to put him in disgrace with his master; yet he is 
warded in the Castle of Edinburgh in the latter end of February, and 
being tried, he is released the /th day of March following ; where- 
upon the Earls of Huntly, Crawford, and Errol address themselves 
into the North, and take journey towards St. Johnstown, where 
they were advertised that the Earls of Athol and Morton and the 
Master of Glamis had convened forces to entrap them within St. 
Johnstown. Huntly, Errol, and Crawford issued forth of that town, 
with such small companies as they then had, and rencountered 
with the Marquis of Glamis, whom they chased and apprehended 
in Kirkhill, and carried him prisoner with them into the North. 

Chancellor Maitland and the rest of the Master of Glamis's 
faction at Court, hearing of this accident, they inflame the King 
with anger against Huntly and his associates, and do persuade His 
Majesty to take a journey into the North. Huntly, in the mean 
time, assembles all his friends and dependants, to the number of 

218 The Celtic Magazine. 

10,000 men, and came forward to the Brig of Dee, with a resolu- 
tion to fight against his enemies, the 2Oth of April, the year 1589; 
but being certainly informed that the King was coming in person 
against him, he dissolved his army, and submitted himself to His 
Majesty, withal releasing the Master of Glamis from captivity; 
whereupon Huntly was committed to ward at Edinburgh, then at 
Borthwick, thereafter at Finnerin ; from whence he was shortly 
afterward released by His Majesty. The Earl of Errol was also 
warded in Edinburgh Castle, where he was detained until he paid 
a sum of money, which was employed to the use of Chancellor 


The year of God, 1597, there happened an accident in Ross, 
at a fair in Lagavraid, which had almost put Ross and all the 
neighbouring counties in a combustion. The quarrel did begin 
betwixt John Macgillichallum (brother to the Laird of Raasay), and 
Alexander Bane (brother to Duncan Bane of Tulloch). The 
Munroes did assist Alexander Bane, and the Clan Kenzie took 
part with John Macgillichallum, who was there slain, with John 
Mac-Murdo Mac- William, and three others of the Clan Kenzie. 
Alexander Bane escaped, but there were killed on his side John 
Munro of Culcraggie, with his brother, Hutcheon Munro, and 
John Munro Robertson. Hereupon the Clan Kenzie and the 
Munroes began to employ the aid and assistance of their friends 
from all parts to invade one another; but they were in some 
measure reconciled by the mediation of indifferent friends and 


Sir Lauchlan Maclean's ambition, together with his desire of 
revenge, thrust him on to claim the inheritance of the whole Isle 
of Isla, being always the possession and ancient inheritance of the 
Clan Donald, all which Maclean thought easily now to compass, 
Sir James Macdonald (the just inheritor thereof) being young, 
and his father, Angus Macdonald, aged. Sir Lauchlan assembled 
his whole forces, and, in warlike manner, invaded Isla, to take 
possession thereof by virtue of a new right which he had then 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 219 

lately obtained, which Sir James Macdonald (Maclean's sister's 
son) understanding, he convened his friends, and went likewise 
into the same island (being his own and his forebear's possession) 
to interrupt, if it were possible, the proceedings of his unkind 
uncle, Maclean. Being both arrived in the island, such as did 
love them and desired peace, did mediate a long time betwixt 
them, and took great pains in essaying to agree them. Sir James 
(being the more reasonable of the two) was content to let his 
uncle have the half of the island during his lifetime, although he 
had no just title thereto, providing he would take it in the same 
fashion as his predecessors, the Clan Lean, had it even before his 
time, to wit, holden of the Clan Donald ; and, moreover, he 
offered to submit the controversy to the King's Majesty's arbitra- 
ment, thereby to eschrew all debate with his uncle. But Mac- 
lean, running headlong to his own mischief, much against the 
opinion of his friends, who advised him to the contrary, did refuse 
all offers of peace, unless his nephew would then presently resign 
unto him the title and possession of the whole island. Whereupon 
they do both resolve and prepare to fight, Sir James being far in- 
ferior in number of men, but some of these he had with him were 
lately before trained in the wars of Ireland. Thus there ensued a 
cruel and sharp battle, at the head of Loch-Gruinart, in Isla, 
courageously fought a long time on either side. Sir James, in the 
beginning, caused his vanguard to make a compass in fashion of a 
retreat, thereby to get the sun at his back, and the advantage of a 
hill which was hard by. In the end, Sir James, having repulsed 
the enemies' vanguard, and forcing their main battle, Maclean 
was slain, courageously fighting, together with 80 of the most 
principal men of his kin, and 200 common soldiers lying dead 
about him. His son, Lauchlan Barrach Maclean (being sore 
wounded) was chased with the rest of his men even to their boats 
and vessels. Sir James Macdonald was dangerously wounded, 
whereof he hardly recovered afterward, for he was shot with an 
arrow through the body, and was left the most part of the ensuing 
night for dead amongst the slain bodies. There were slain of the 
Clan Donald about 30 in all, and above 60 wounded, which 
happened, the year of God, 1598. And thus the war began by 
Maclean, without reason, the year of God, 1585, ended now, this 

220 The Celtic Magazine. 

year, by his death. Maclean had three responses from a witch 
before he undertook this journey into Isla; first, desiring him not 
to land there upon Thursday; the next was, forbidding him to 
drink of the water of a well beside Gruinart ; and thirdly, she told 
him that one called Maclean should be slain at Gruinart. The 
first he transgressed unwillingly, being driven into that island by 
a tempest on a Thursday. The second he transgressed negli- 
gently, and drank of that water before he knew the name of the 
place, and so he died at Gruinart, as was foretold him, but doubt- 
fully, and as commonly all such responses be. These broils and 
uproars did so move the King against the Macdonalds, that His 
Majesty afterwards finding the inheritance both of Kintyre and 
Isla to beat his own disposition, he gave all these lands to the Earl 
of Argyll and the Campbells; whereupon proceeded the troubles 
that arose since betwixt the Campbells and the Clan Donald in 
Kintyre and Isla, after His Majesty's coming to the Crown of 
England, which I omit to relate; only thus far, that Sir James 
Macdonald was, by Argyll's means, warded in the Castle of Edin- 
burgh, and was kept there a long time ; from whence he escaped 
by the means and diligence of his cousin, MacRanald, who fled 
with Sir James into Spain and Flanders, where they were enter- 
tained by the Spaniards ; from whence they are now (upon the 
Earl of Argyll's flight thither to the King of Spain) both recalled 
home by His Majesty, the year of God, 1620, and are now in 
England, at this time, with the King, who hath given Sir James a 
yearly pension of 1000 merks sterling, and a yearly pension of 
200 merks sterling to MacRanald, together with a pardon for all 
their bye-gone offences. 


Donald Gorm Macdonald of the Sleat had married Sir Rory 
Macleod of the Harris's sister, and for some displeasure or jealousy 
conceived against her, he did repudiate her ; whereupon Sir Rory 
Macleod sent a message to Donald Gorm, desiring him to take 
home his sister. Donald Gorm not only refused to obey his 
request, but also intended divorcement against her ; which when 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 221 

he had obtained, he married Kenneth Mackenzie, Lord of Kin- 
tail's sister. Sir Rory Macleod took this disgrace (as he thought 
it) so highly, that, assembling his countrymen and followers with- 
out delay, he invaded, with fire and sword, a part of Donald 
Gorm's lands in the Isle of Skye, which lands Sir Rory claimed 
to appertain to himself. Donald Gorm, impatient of this injury, 
convened his forces, and went into the Harris, which he wasted 
and spoiled, carried away their store and bestial, and killed some 
of the inhabitants. This again did so stir up Sir Rory Macleod 
and his kin, the Siol Tormoit, that they took a journey into the 
Isle of Uist (which appertained to Donald Gorm), and landing 
there, Sir Rory sent his cousin, Donald Glas Macleod, with some 
40 men, to spoil the island, and to take a prey of goods out of the 
precinct of Kiltrynaid, where the people had put all their goods 
to be preserved as in a sanctuary, being a church. John Macian- 
Macjames (a kinsman of Donald Gorm's) being desired by him 
to stay in the island, accompanied with 20 others, rencountered 
with Donald Glas Macleod. This small company of the Clan 
Donald behaved themselves so valiantly, that, after a sharp 
skirmish, they killed Donald Glas Macleod, with the most part 
of his company, and so rescued the goods. Sir Rory, seeing the 
bad success of his kinsmen, retired home for that time. 

Thus both parties were bent headlong against others with a 
spirit full of revenge and fury, and so continued mutually infesting 
one another with spoils and cruel slaughters, to the utter ruin and 
desolation of both their countries, until the inhabitants were forced 
to eat horses, dogs, cats, and other filthy beasts. In end, Donald 
Gorm assembled his whole forces the year of God, 1601, to try 
the event of battle, and came to invade Sir Rory's lands, thinking 
thereby to draw his enemies to fight. Sir Rory Macleod was then 
in Argyle, craving aid and advice from the Earl of Argyll against 
the Clan Donald. Alexander Macleod (Sir Rory's brother) re- 
solves to fight with Donald Gorm, though his brother was absent ; 
so, assembling all the inhabitants of his brother's lands, with the 
whole race of the Siol Tormoit, and some of the Siol Torquil, 
out of the Lewis, he encamped beside a hill called Ben-a-Chuilinn, in 
the Isle of Skye, with a resolution to fight against Donald Gorm 
and the Clan Donald the next morning, which were no sooner 

222 The Celtic Magazine. 

come but there ensued a cruel and terrible skirmish, which lasted 
the most part of the day, both contending for the victory with 
great obstinacy. The Clan Donald, in the end, overthrew their 
enemies, hurt Alexander Macleod, and took him prisoner, with 
Neil MacAlister Roy, and 30 others of the chiefest men among 
the Siol Tormoit, killed two near kinsmen of Sir Rory Macleod's, 
John MacTormoit and Tormot MacTormoit, with many others. 
After this skirmish there followed a reconciliation betwixt them, 
by the mediation of old Angus Macdonald of Kintyre, the Laird 
of Coll, and others. Then Donald Gorm delivered unto Sir 
Rory Macleod all the prisoners taken at Ben-a-Chuilinn together 
with his brother, Alexander Macleod ; since which time they 
have continued in peace and quietness. 

A. M. 
(To be continued.) 

The Evicted Widow. 223 




GLENFALCON is one of the most charming places in the Highlands. 
The beautiful bay which bears its name is in the form of a horse 
shoe, around which the little village is built. On three sides, the 
bay is surrounded by hills and walls of rock, sloping towards the 
sea. Outside the bay, to the east, lies a picturesque loch a 
long, narrow inlet of the sea, with two pretty islands at its mouth. 
To the north, is a narrow stretch of fertile land, while the Isle of 
Skye lies to the west, thus forming a great basin of water 
sheltered on every side. In the centre of this basin lies a beauti- 
ful group of islands, making as fair a scene as the eye could wish 
to rest upon. On the western side of the bay is a fine glen, 
divided into two parts by the action of a mountain torrent that, 
by long ages of hard work, has made a deep bed for itself in the 
solid rock through which it tumbles noisily till it reaches the bay. 
In this glen the mournful spectacle of seven or eight ruined 
cottages may still be seen. These humble dwellings were 
desolated, and their inhabitants turned adrift to find other 
homes, or starve, by the despotic will of one man. 

Our story opens on a beautiful evening in the middle of 
August, 1 8 . The sun is just disappearing over the cliffs, and 
his parting rays throw a red glow over the sails of the fishing 
boats in the bay. A few old women, too feeble to do harder 
work, sit at their doors spinning or knitting. Among them is a 
widow, named Cameron, and her daughter, Jessie, a delicate child 
of twelve years, who is employed in reading aloud. Mrs. 
Cameron's husband was drowned at the herring fishing two years 
before, and the widow and her child had been left totally unpro- 
vided for. The men of the West are under the necessity of risking 

224 The Celtic Magazine. 

their lives at the fishing, as, in consequence of the unjust laws, 
they cannot get a living from the soil. 

The neighbours were willing to assist the poor widow to the 
full extent of their power; but as one cannot get blood from a 
stone, neither can money be got from people who are drained of 
their last farthing by the exactions of rack-renting landlords. The 
kindly people did what they could to help the widow and the 
fatherless child, by tilling her little croft for her. Thus, with a 
struggle, Mrs. Cameron managed to live, and keep Jessie at 
school. The poor child had always been delicate ; the cold breath 
of winter in that Northern isle dealt hardly with her. During the 
two previous winters she had suffered much, and she was yet very 
weak and ailing, sorely needing that good living and medical 
advice which her mother's poverty prevented her having. She 
was like a summer flower that could only live in the bright sun- 
shine. The widow dreaded the approach of winter, on account 
of the suffering it caused to her only child, whom she loved more 
than her own life. 

Owing to an exceptionally bad season, the crofters had been 
unable to pay their rents at the last term. The proprietor of 
the estate was a hard, stern man. No excuses would be accepted 
by him for non-payment of rent. When informed that his tenants 
were unable to pay, and craved a little indulgence until the next 
summer, he gave orders to his factor that, unless he were paid, 
not only the sum due at Martinmas, but also the arrears, the 
tenants, one and all, should be evicted. These harsh instructions 
were duly made known to the people ; but what could they do ? 
They had no money, and they had no place to go to. The next 
year's rent was due on November nth, so, after consultation 
together, they again drew up an urgent appeal for indulgence till 
the summer. The only reply vouchsafed was a repetition of the 
former threat. The people were in despair, but were powerless 
to help themselves ; their only hope was that, at the last moment, 
the landlord might relent. In this miserable state of uncertainty 
the dreaded nth of November came and passed, without any 
further intercourse between the landlord and his tenants. 

On the morning of the 23rd November, the head factor of the 
estate, the under factor, a sheriff-officer, and a party of policemen 

The Evicted Widow. 225 

made their way to Glenfalcon. This was the landlord's answer to the 
tenants' appeal for mercy. It was a bitterly cold morning; the 
snow was falling heavily, and the piercing north wind was enough 
to freeze the marrow in one's bones. Everything looked dreary 
and miserable. It was bad enough to be obliged to live in such 
wretched hovels, as the poor people had, at any time, even in the 
middle of summer ; but this armed party came to turn the inhabi- 
tants out into the bleak winter day, leaving them no shelter but 
the snow-laden sky, and no flooring but the snow-covered heath. 
In the first house the evicting party entered there lived a man, 
named Macdonald, who was out at the time, but his wife and 
his seven children, clad in rags, and half-famished, crouching 
round a mere handful of peat fire, was a sight that might have 
moved the hardest heart. On seeing such a formidable party enter 
her poor dwelling, the poor woman started to her feet, and cried 
out in alarm : 

" Oh ! what are you going to do ? " 

" Don't you know," replied Macneil, the under factor, " that 
we have orders to turn you out ? " 

" But surely," pleaded the poor woman, "you will not turn us 
out in this weather in the snow. What will become of my poor 
children ? " 

"You were warned, and you must go," replied Macneil 
gruffly, trying to hide his feeling of pity under a rough exterior. 
" It is not my fault. Blame your landlord, Mr. Campbell, not 
me. I must obey orders." 

He then, anxious to shift all responsibility for such cruelty 
from his own shoulders, spoke to the factor, and asked if they were 
to proceed with the disagreeable task. The answer was a peremp- 
tory order to remove the furniture at once. At this moment the 
husband, Macdonald, returned, and took in the situation at a 
glance ; but he was perfectly helpless in the matter, and could 
only look on with an apathy born of despair, while his few poor 
household gods were roughly thrown outside. He and his family 
were then ordered to leave the house, and the roof was quickly 
pulled down, the door was fastened with lock and key, and the 
wretched family were forbidden even to seek the shelter afforded 
by the four bare walls of their late home. 


226 The Celtic Magazine. 

Who can tell the agony that wrings a father's and a mother's 
heart in a case like this ; their house ruined, their children starv- 
ing with hunger and cold, no place to go to for shelter, not a 
gleam of hope anywhere. No wonder that they should have 
prayed that death would soon end their unbearable misery. 

Regardless of the tears of mother and children, and the earnest 
expostulations of well-nigh desperate men, the evicting party 
proceeded from house to house, leaving behind them untold 
misery and desolation. At length they came to the humble 
house of Mrs. Cameron, which was the last habitation in the glen. 
The widow fell on her knees, and clasped her hands imploringly. 

" Have mercy ; have mercy ; " she cried, " my child is dying. 
If you turn us out in this bitter weather, it will kill her at once. 
Surely you would not commit murder !" 

" My good woman," replied the factor, affected in spite of 
himself at the scenes of heart-breaking misery he had caused, " it 
is useless asking me for mercy. I cannot help myself. Your 
daughter may be very ill, but my orders are imperative, and I 
must obey." 

He then walked away and left his subordinate to carry out the 
distasteful orders. As Macneil entered the little room where 
Jessie lay in bed, with death legibly written in her wasted form 
and attenuated features, she cried, 

"Oh, Mr. Macneil, you will not turn us out. Look, it is 
snowing," pointing to the little window, "we will die in the snow; 
you will not be so cruel." 

Macneil turned aside to hide the feelings which he was 
ashamed to show, but which did credit to his manhood. 

" If," he muttered, " I dared feel for anyone, it would be for 
this poor child and her widowed mother, but I cannot afford to 
pity anyone." 

Then, turning again to the sick girl, he said, " Indeed, it is not 
my fault, Jessie, that you must go; but if I can find you a place of 
shelter anywhere, I will." 

He then went out and left the rest of the party to do their 
dirty work. Their little furniture was soon thrown out, and the 
heartbroken mother, lifting her dying child in her arms, tottered 
out into the snow crying aloud in her misery, 

The Evicted Widow. 227 

"Heaven pity us, for man will not; there is nothing left for 
us but to die." 

" Hush, mother," said Jessie, " do not talk so, Mr Macneil 
says he will try to find us a shelter somewhere." 

Soon the work of destruction was completed, the roof was 
torn off, and the snow was falling on the hearth, where the remains 
of the peat fire still smouldered. The men had buttoned their 
coats, and were preparing to depart, when they were startled by a 
dreadful scream from Mrs. Cameron, who fell fainting to the 
ground, and no wonder, for her beloved Jessie had just expired. 
She died, as many others have died in the Highlands of Scotland, 
and in the south and west of Ireland, a victim to the unjust land 
laws of our country laws which deliver arbitrary power into the 
hands of one class, which is only too often used to crush and op- 
press another. But these victims have not suffered in vain ; 
their blood has cried aloud for justice, and we are at length 
awakening to the full knowledge of the cruelties perpetrated 
under shadow of these iniquitous laws, the repeal of which the 
nation now demands with a voice of thunder not to be gainsaid. 

When the widow recovered consciousness, her first words 
were, "My daughter!" She staggered to her feet, and, clasping 
the dead body of her child in her arms, covered her cold face with 
passionate kisses; then, with a lingering hope, she eagerly placed 
her trembling hand on her child's heart, only to find that it was 
indeed stilled for ever. She looked once more on the calm, 
white face on which the snow was thickly falling; she looked at 
her ruined home, and then again at her dead child, when a heart- 
rending cry of bitter anguish broke from her pallid lips, the cry of 
a broken heart, from which all joy and hope had now been for ever 
crushed. Then, with her grey locks falling in disorder over her 
pale face, and her eyes fiercely gleaming with a strange light, she 
turned to the group of awe-stricken men, and, pointing to the 
corpse, cried out, 

" You have murdered her ; I call God to witness that you have 
murdered her. But you are not so much to blame as your 
master. Listen ! Here, in the sight of Heaven, and by the side 
of my ruined home and my dead child, I curse him, and pray 
that if there is justice in Heaven it will fall and crush him as he 
has crushed .others." 

228 The Celtic Magazine. 

As the poor woman uttered these fearful words, she raised 
her clenched hands and streaming eyes to Heaven. She spoke 
sensibly enough, but, alas ! the bystanders saw only too well by her 
excited gestures, and the lurid light that shot from her eyes, that 
the light of reason had fled, and that she was mad. 

"I think," said the factor, "we had better take her with us, 
she is certainly out of her mind." 

"I think we had," agreed Macneil, "and let us go at once. 
No good can come of this day's work." 

So, taking the widow and the body of her daughter along 
with them, they turned down the glen. It would be difficult to 
picture a more heartrending scene than that which they had to 
pass through on their way out of the place. Every hut was 
destroyed, and the poor wretches who had been so ruthlessly 
evicted crouched under the walls of their ruined homes for shelter 
from the ever-increasing storm. Old men and women who could 
scarcely walk; little children who did not understand what was 
wrong; and sick people who had to be carried out, sat there 
shivering and moaning with cold and grief. More than one of 
the poor wretches died soon afterwards from the effects of the 

Hastening to quit such a painful scene, the men hurried 
forward, and soon reached the mouth of the glen, where the road 
runs along the brow of a steep cliff, overhanging the torrent rush- 
ing and foaming below. When they had reached this point, the 
widow, who had hitherto accompanied them quite quietly, suddenly 
broke away, and, with a wild cry, rushed forward, and before they 
could prevent her, flung herself over the cliff, and in a moment 
all that remained of the hapless woman was a mangled mass of 
quivering flesh lying on the rocks below. 

(To be continued.) 

The Late Henry Brads haw, M.A. iig 

Librarian of the Cambridge University. 

"WRITING to me about the edition of 1713, which he had 
borrowed of me to compare with that of 1700, he says: 'The 
Oratio Dominica has been of great use. I tabulated the contents 
of the several books, and so got pretty well at the pedigree of the 
whole thing. I have the papers, which I hope to show you some 
day, but, of course, I have never quite finished the thing off.' 7 
wish Mr. BradsJiaw had not said 'of course.' Those who know 
him, know but too well what this ' of course ' may mean. For he 
has by him an endless store of bibliographic gold but, ' of course ' 
he has ' never quite finished the thing off.' Alas ! that art is long, 
and life so short." 

Thus I wrote in the Celtic Magazine no longer ago than 
September last; and now, as the sheets of this number of the 
magazine are going to press, the sad news has reached me that 
Mr. Bradshaw is no more. On the morning of Thursday last he 
was found dead in his chair, with the pen in his cold hand, and on 
the table before him yet another piece of work that now, "of 
course," will never be "quite finished off." The night before, he 
was one of a small dinner-party at the house of his friend, Mr. J. 
W. Clarke, where, though far from robust, he was in his usual 
state of health. At half-past ten he returned to his bachelor 
chambers, as a Fellow of King's College, where he at once settled 
down to his books and his writing-table, as was his wont. In the 
morning, his servant found him dead ; and the medical examina- 
tion of his cold, stiff body, showed at a glance that death must 
have taken place very shortly after his return to his rooms. Like 
so many a literary brother in these days, and like his own uterine 
brother, who but recently died with equal suddenness, Mr. Brad- 
shaw had long suffered from weakness of the heart, and there is 
little doubt that to this cause his sudden and untimely death is to 
be traced. The mysterious passage from life to death, in his case, 
is likely to have been painless and momentary. 

230 The Celtic Magazine. 

Among Celtic scholars, Mr. Bradshaw's name will always be 
honourably associatad with The Book of Deir, whose precious MS. 
he brought to light, and was the means of giving to the world. 
His discovery of the long lost Morland MSS., soon after his first 
appointment as assistant librarian at Cambridge, I have already 
described in the Celtic Magazine (vol. x., pp. 512-518). A full 
account of these interesting MSS., from his own hand, will be 
found, reprinted from the Transactions of the Cambridge Anti- 
quarian Society, as an Appendix to Dr. Todd's Book of the 

In writing for the press, Mr. Bradshaw was, unhappily, 
fastidious to a fault one might almost say, morbidly fastidious. 
To his literary friends and various correspondents, he would dash 
off sheet after sheet, in a fine round hand, without a flaw or a 
blot. In looking over some dozens of his letters now before me, I 
cannot find one single word that had been deleted, or even altered. 
And yet there is not one of these letters that might not go straight 
to the press. But it seemed as if he himself could never make up 
his mind in regard to any literary production that it was "quite 
finished off," and ready for the printer. With the modern printer, 
one might say that he had little in common. His interest and his 
sympathies seemed to be almost exclusively conversant with the 
printers of the past. Among the master-works of the great typo- 
graphers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries he was in his 
element. He knew them as a father knows his children. On the 
special characteristics by which the several workmanship of each 
old master of the early typographic art may be differentiated, he 
was undoubtedly the first authority in the world. Of the special 
beauties of the various styles of types used by the early printers, 
he was an enthusiastic admirer. His typographic treasures he 
simply doted upon with mingled feelings of reverence and affec- 
tion. The same may be said of his wide and affectionate fami- 
liarity with the rarest treasures of the vast field of early illuminated 
manuscripts. Was it this whole-heartedness of his loving absorp- 
tion in the manuscripts and printing of the past, that made him so 
heartily abjure that grimy imp, with all his works, who is popularly 
supposed to preside over the modern printing office ? Be that as 
it may, there is reason to fear that, through this strange reluc- 
tance to send anything to the press, the greater part, at least, of 

The Late Henry Bradshaw, M.A. 251 

his vast knowledge has now died with him. But I am not without 
hope that much valuable matter may yet be found among his 
papers. In his letters he often writes in such a way as to justify 
this hope. Here, for example, is what he says in a letter addressed 
to me, in the spring of 1883, from Pau, where he was then staying 
for the benefit of his health: "When I have a few hours to 
spare, I must work out into clean shape the pedigree I made of 
the collection of versions of the Oratio Dominica. It is extremely 
interesting, especially the point about Waldensis, to which you 
first directed my attention. It is worth putting on record some- 

In looking over these kindly letters, in which the rich stores of 
his vast learning are so freely and so unostentatiously poured out 
for my benefit, I am reminded of what, above his learning and 
the well-ordered stores of his wonderful memory, was the great 
outstanding characteristic of the man. This was the warm 
humanity the open, frank generosity the charming courtesy- 
which was to him as natural as the breath of life. Of this gracious 
natural instinct his letters are full to overflowing. Here, for 
example, is a long letter of eight pages. In it he enters with 
warm interest into the work on which I was engaged, winding up 
with some reference to Robert Kirke, of Balquhidder. He then 
concludes his long and courteous letter as follows : " I bought at 
David Laing's sale an extremely interesting copy of F. O'Molloy's 
Grammatica Latino- Hibernica, which belonged formerly to this 
very Robert Kirke. But you will have had enough. Only pray 
don't feel that it is anything but a pleasure to me to write and 
investigate about these matters. Anything connected with either 
Irish or Erse printed books has an especial interest for me." 
Another specimen of this charming courtesy will close this short 
tribute to the memory of the learned and most delightful English 
gentlemen whose sudden and lamented death leaves England and 
our age the poorer. One of the volumes which he borrowed from 
me had somehow fallen aside. There was a good deal of delay in 
returning it; and, for a time, he ceased to write me. But in good 
time the lost volume was found, and immediately it was returned 
with one of his old, familiar, delightful letters. This letter, too, 
Was written from Pau, and closed in these terms : " I shall be 

232 The Celtic Magazine. 

back to Cambridge at the end of this week, and if there is any- 
thing, at any time, that I can do for you, I can only hope to be 
more attentive to your wishes than I have been on previous 

While these sheets are passing from my hand, this week's 
Cambridge Review, the gift of a very distinguished undergraduate, 
whose grandfather I knew long ago as minister of Dornoch, 
has reached me. Speaking of Mr. Bradshaw, the Review says 
that he lived for others rather than for himself, that he was care- 
less of his own fame, and anxious only that the truth should be 
found, but that he never was eager to claim credit for discovering 
it. The Review then continues : " And so he lives for the most 
part in the work of others ; his energy not wasted, but transferred 
in many modes. To some he was the germ of new ideas, the 
light which illuminated unknown ways ; to others he surrendered 
his own results to be incorporated in theirs, or to be the indis- 
pensable groundwork of a finished edifice ; for some he unwound 
a thread which, once grasped, could lead them through a 
labyrinth; to others he was a wholesome tonic, or a model of 
self-reliance and originality. There are probably few students, in 
the fields of learning which he made peculiarly his own, in whom 
he does not live again, after some such manner few who would 
not acknowledge that they owe him a moral and an intellectual 
debt. . . . It is not only that the students of Chaucer or of 
early printing, the learned in manuscripts and Irish history, in the 
Celtic languages or ancient service-books, acknowledge him as the 
first, or one of the first, in all these departments ; but professors of 
the Semitic tongues and students of middle-German, enquirers 
into mediaeval economics and fifteenth-century art, the historian of 
Rome and the explorer of University archives, even the philolo- 
gist, the mathematician, and the man of science, have from time 
to time confessed the benefit which they have derived from con- 
versation with him. . . . His rooms were always open to his 
friends. Young and old, graduate and undergraduate, found in 
those rooms a second home ; and time after time, often deep into 
the night, his precious leisure has been given up to the discussion 
of college difficulties, or of philosophical problems, to the auditing 
of the accounts of undergraduate clubs, or to conversation which 

Gaelic Version of "Waes me for Prince Qiarlie" 233 

has left an undying mark on the thoughts and characters of those 
who shared it. Such a life has its best memorial, not in bulky 
volumes or in wide-spread fame, but in the silent and tearful 
gratitude which surrounded his tomb, and in the enduring im- 
pulses which the spectacle of a noble and unselfish life can rouse. 
. . . Though his time for undisturbed work was so short, and 
though so much of his labour can only be seen in the work of 
others, the amount of original work which was published under 
his name is larger than is often supposed ; while the amount of 
unpublished material or collectanea, much of which, it is hoped, 
may yet see the light, is numerous. Much of his best work exists 
in the shape of letters to friends or fellow-students, often to those 
whom he had never seen." 

Mr. Bradshaw was born on February 2, 1831, and died at the 
early age of 54. 

But, Oh ! for the touch of a vanished hand, 
And the sound of a voice that is still. 

Edinburgh, February 18, 1886. 



DEAR MR. EDITOR, If it is not too late by a whole month, 
let me offer you all the kindly greetings of the New Year. 

I take leave to send you herewith a very excellent rendering 
into Gaelic singable, for it is in the time and measure of the 
original of "Wae's me for Prince Charlie," one of the most 
affecting and beautiful compositions, both words and air, in our 
inimitable repertory of exquisitely beautiful songs the Jacobite 
Minstrelsy. The translation is by the late Rev. Dr. Macintyre, of 
Kilmonivaig, one of the best and pleasantest men I have ever 

234 The Celtic Magazine. 

Perhaps you can make room for it in the Celtic Magazine, in 
which so many good things are constantly appearing. 

Please permit me to call attention to a small error in your 
Gaelic Almanac for the month of February in last Celtic. You 
give the date of LatJia Innerlochaidh the day of Inverlochy 
as February ist. The battle of Inverlochy, so glorious to the 
arms of the loyal clans under the great and good Montrose, was 
really fought, not on the " ist," but on Candlemas Day Sunday, 
the 2nd February, 1645. Believe me, Dear Mr. Editor, faithfully 
and very Celtically yours, NETHER-LOCHABER. 


Gu'r dorus thainig eoinein beag, 
'S e seinn gu binn, 's gu failidh, 
'S b'e brigh a chiuil 'us purp a dhain, 
" Mo chreach-sa caradh Thearlaich !" 
'Nuair chualam ceol an eoinein bhig, 
Na deoir le m' lie bha tearnadh, 
'Ghrad thug a nuas mo chomhdach cinn, 
Tha gaol mo chridh' air Tearlach. 

Ach, 'eoinein, bhoidhich, bhoidhich chrin, 
An sge'ulachd iosaid 'thagad ? 
Am briathran beol iad, cosach, sliom ? 
No 'n duanag bhroin, 'us aimbeairt? 
" Cha sgleo, ach bron 'tha 'm oran fein, 
Moch thriall 's a' ghrian a' dearsadh, 
Ach, chiar an la le gaoith 's le sion, 
Mo chreach ! gun dion aig Tearlach ! " 

Feadh ghleann 'us bheann a chorach fein, 

Mar choigreach eiseach anra'ch ; 

Air gach laimh tha airc 'n a thaic, 

'Us air gach taobh tha teanndachd. 

An raoir do chunnacas e 'n cian-ghleann, 

'S mo chridh' bha teann air sgaineadh, 

Cia mor am muthadh 'th' air a dhreach ! 

Mo chreach ! mo chreach ! Prionns' Tearlach ! 

"Thuirling oidhche, an doinionn bheuchd, 
Thair shleitibh 'us thair ghleanntaibh ; 
Ach, ciod an uig 'n do laidh am Prionns' 
'Bu duth bhi 'n luchairt ghreadhnaich, 
Shuain mu 'n cuairt d'a bhreacan guailn', 
Bu ghann o 'n f huachd a thearmunn, 
'Us rinn prioban suaimhn' fo phreasan uain? 
Mo chreach-sa ! cruadal Thearlaich ! " 

Air faicinn dha luchd cota dheirg, 

Le feirg a sgiathan dh' eargnaich, 

"Cha tir i so gu c6mhnuidh innt', 

'S gum fag mi 1 gun dearmad. " 

Ach, 'n uair a dh' eirich ard 's an spe'ur, 

'S' thug suiP na dhe'igh 's gach cearnaidh, 

B' e bladh a dhain, 'us seadh a the'is', 

" Mo chreach ! 's mo le'ir ! Prionns' Tearlach ! " 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 235 



THE great interest excited by the International Forestry Exhibi- 
tion, recently held in Edinburgh, which proved so great a social 
and educational success, gave rise to a spirit of inquiry as to the 
part which trees have played in the history of the human race. 
This paper was originally headed " Plant Myths and Flower 
Lore," but the accumulation of interesting material became so 
great that it has been found necessary to limit the subject now in 
hand to "Tree Myths and Forest Lore," leaving aside, in the 
meantime, the no less attractive division of the smaller plants. 
It is intended to indicate the more notable myths, fables, and 
superstitions that have gathered round trees those commanding 
natural objects which have in every age and nation called forth 
man's admiration, awe, and gratitude, in view of their beauty, 
grandeur, and usefulness. 

Very early in the history of literature we find references to 
plant-life woven into the verses of poets and the discussions of 
philosophers. Homer sings the virtues of Molu, supposed to 
mean the A Ilium Magicum, a kind of garlic, as a safeguard against 
witchcraft, and of Nepenthes, the plant which, according to Milton, 
is of such power to stir up joy and to drive out of men's minds all 
sense of ill and sorrow. To Aristotle, who "took all knowledge 
for his province," the qualities of plants formed a subject of investi- 
gation. Theophrastus, his pupil, wrote a " History of Plants," 
which remains a curious record of what the Greeks knew and 
thought about "sleeping animals," as plants have been poetically 
called. Pliny's "Natural History" gives us similar insight into 
the state of the Roman knowledge. The facts and fancies about 
plants in the minds of the schoolmen of the Middle Ages are 
shown in the work on the "Virtues of Herbs," by the reputed 
Albertus Magnus. In the year of the Spanish Armada (1588), 
Dr. Porta, of Naples, published his Repertory of Herbs; and, 

* Read at the last monthly meeting of the Inverness Field Club. 

236 The Celtic Magazine. 

coming to our own times, apart from the great work of scientific 
observation and classification, we have, among others, the valuable 
works of the German Mannhardt, whose " Tree worship of Ger- 
many," and Professor Gubernatis, of Florence, whose "Mythology 
of Plants," have raised the folk-lore of plants to a distinguished 
place in the far-reaching modern science of Comparative Mytho- 
logy. Fergusson's "Tree and Serpent Worship," and Sir George 
Cox's " Mythology of the Aryan Nations," are two of the most 
important contributions of British writers to the new science. 
This paper is to a great extent made up of selections from the 
works of the ancient and modern authors just enumerated, with 
an attempt at the consolidation and arrangement of very miscel- 
laneous matter not easy to bring under a scheme of divisions. A 
recent writer holds Mythology to be in large measure based upon 
" metaphors of speech. The phenomena of Nature were explained 
by likening them to those human actions with which primitive 
man was acquainted ; and when, in course of time, a higher level of 
knowledge had been reached, and the original meaning of the 
traditional epithets had been forgotten, they came to be taken 
literally and interpreted as referring to beings of a superhuman 
world." Andrew Lang has mischievously said that this mode of 
regarding myths is simply resolving all their romance into a series 
of remarks about the weather. The same writer, in his " Custom 
and Myth," has lately shown that this is a very partial explanation 
of the origin of myths, which are demonstrated, in some cases at 
least, to be only folk-tales glorified. Myths, which have been 
called " faded metaphors," are sufficiently marked off from folk- 
lore, inasmuch as the latter, seen, for example, in our most common 
nursery tales, is destitute of the theological element which either 
appears, or is supposed to be latent, in thorough-going myths. 
And, again, the later development into fable has a distinct character 
from folk-lore, from the prominence in fable of a moral or lesson 
of some sort as the reason for its existence. Everything in the 
world that appeared marvellous or excited wonder was naturally 
apt to give rise to myths. The marvellous (in the vulgar sense) 
diminishes in proportion as science explains it; and thus myths 
are the product of early ages, and are only possible at a time of 
popular ignorance. 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 237 

Man's first instincts being the sustenance of his body and the 
propagation of the species, he found the elements of nourishment 
and reproduction so beautifully exemplified in the trees with 
which he was familiar, that they have been conjectured to have 
become his first ideal. Arguing from the known cases of savage 
tribes, it may be inferred that he would begin with the worship of 
an individual tree conspicuous among its fellows, and regarded as 
a conscious personal being, worthy of adoration and sacrifice; this 
would lead to the worship of many trees, then to the grove of 
trees, and finally to the worship of some personal being as animat- 
ing the grove. Mr. Macbain, in his recent careful and interesting 
work on Celtie Mythology* thus speaks of groves as centres of 
worship : "The classical writers continually mention 'groves' as 
especial places where Celtic worship was conducted. A grove 
was a secret recess embowered by tall trees, and marked by votive 
offerings, insignia of the gods, and an altar of stone or some equi- 
valent. Groves are prior in time to temples, and Grimm has 
analysed the Teutonic word for ' temple ' to signify wood or even 
grove." (P. 88.) Stories long current among the people tell of trees 
which shed drops of blood, or which become dried up all at once, 
thus announcing the death of heroes with whose lives the trees 
have been associated. To this day there are families in Germany 
and Switzerland who plant a tree of good omen on the birth of a 
child an apple tree for a boy, and a pear tree for a girl so that 
the child and the tree may grow up together. The tree becomes 
the object of much loving care, and blight overtaking it, or any 
other mishap, causes apprehensions for the life of the child. In 
Saxony it is thought that when an infant dies in the house, Death 
passes out to the garden and plucks a flower. " Botanic supersti- 
tions," says Gubernatis, "are as old as the human mind. They 
set at defiance all sciences and philosophies, and, still more, all 
mere passing religions." Heaven itself is often represented to the 
early imagination as a tree of immense size; the sun and moon 
are trees which rise under its shadow. The thunder-cloud takes 
sometimes the form of a shower-tree, which distils the water of 
life, while its leaves dance and its branches make sweet music. 

A. & W. Mackenzie, Inverness, 

238 The Celtic Magazine. 

A Russian story tells of an old man who once mounted to Heaven 
on a high tree, where he saw a bird which did not burn in fire, or 
drown in water. This obviously refers to the sun unconsumed in 
its own fires, and seeming to plunge into the ocean. 

Probably none of the many versions of the origin of the world 
and of the introduction of man upon the earth, which have been 
given by different religious systems, can be found in which trees 
do not play a part. Under the various names of the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil, the tree of Adam, the tree of the 
Serpent, Yggdrasil (the Scandinavian ash), the man-producing 
tree, the tree of Buddha, &c., the tree has become the symbol of 
universal life, and, by extending the idea, of immortality. In the 
Mosaic account in Genesis, three trees have a prominent place 
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the tree of life, and 
the fig-tree. Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat the fruit of the 
first; and when they had done so, they made aprons to them- 
selves of fig-leaves, and they were driven out of Eden to prevent 
them from eating of the tree of life, and so living for ever. Several 
curious embellishments of this narrative are due to the imagina- 
tion of the East and North. For instance, the tree of life is said 
to have sent its roots down to hades, covering the whole sky with 
its branches, and on its summit in heaven affording a shining 
throne for the Infant Jesus. According to a Russian tradition, 
Adam, when very old, boasted before God that he was a strong 
man and immortal. He was told that his pride would be punished, 
that he would be afflicted with headaches, that his hands and feet 
would refuse to serve him, and that, finally, he would die. Adam 
paid no heed to these warnings ; but, as soon as he felt their truth, 
he hastily sent Seth to the Garden of Eden to pluck a golden 
apple for him. But, instead of an apple, his son brought the rod 
by which Adam had been driven from the Garden. Adam cut it 
in three parts and bound them round his head ; his headache was 
cured, but he was little the better of that, for he died immediately. 
The bits of the rod were then planted and grew up to be three 
trees a cypress, a cedar, and the "thrice-blessed tree" the 
olive, out of which last came the Cross of Christ the regenerator, 
so connecting Adam with immortality. 

The Mahometan account of the forbidden fruit is not materi- 
ally different from the Bible narrative. Many Mussulman doctors 

Tree Mytlis and Forest Lore. 239 

say that it was the banana-tree which gave occasion to the Fall, and 
they think it a point of religion to avoid eating bananas and figs as 
stimulating the passions, since it is thought that it was through 
eating the fruit that Adam and Eve became aware of the meaning 
and purpose of sex. 

Buddhism has its famous Bo-tree, the source of life, the 
dispenser of wisdom, and the way to Heaven. In the Rig-veda, 
the sacred book of the Brahmans, the god Brahma himself is 
identified with the sacred tree, of which all the other gods are 

The prevalence of tree-worship would naturally develop a 
belief in the descent of men from trees. So that there was even 
a real, and not merely a metaphoric, sense in which men spoke of 
the roots and branches of a family. A traveller on the Malabar 
Coast, 500 years ago, found the people talking of trees which, 
instead of fruit, bore men and women of a diminutive size; and 
Colonel Yule, in our day, mentions a similar tradition among the 
Arabs. A Scandinavian myth relates that Odin and his two 
brothers, in their wanderings, found the ash and elm, and gave 
them power to beget men. The Pelopidae, among the Greeks, 
professed to trace their pedigree to a plane-tree. The converse 
of this belief has prevailed in some quarters. Dr. Tylor says that, 
in the Eastern Archipelago, childless women and uncharitable 
men are believed to migrate to scrubby plants, while good and 
fruitful people go to fruit-bearing trees, after death. 

In the Middle Ages it was universally believed (our own 
Bishop Leslie even later believed it) that the Bernacle-goose grew 
as a fruit on a tree in the Orkneys ; and, on dropping into the 
water, the covering of the fruit burst, and the goose came out. 
In the Hindoo legend of the "Rose of Bakavali," mention is 
made of a pomegranate-tree, the fruits of which resembled earthen- 
ware pots. When these were opened, birds of the finest plumage 
flew out. 

The attitude of the early Christian Church towards tree- 
superstitions was at first hostile ; they were denounced as inven- 
tions of the devil ; but the superstitions persisting in spite of this, 
the Church tried to utilise them in its own service by giving a 
Christian, instead of a Pagan, direction to them, It blessed the 

240 The Celtic Magazine. 

most ancient and venerated trees, and raised Christian altars and 
images of the Virgin near the same trees where Pagan priests had 
sacrificed to their divinities. St. John has inherited the trees and 
plants formerly consecrated to sun-worship. The Virgin Mary 
has succeeded to the floral honours of the chaste goddess Diana. 
The part that trees have played in Christian doctrine, from Eden 
to Calvary, from the tree of the Fall onwards to the tree of the 
Cross as the tree bringing salvation, was recognised by early 
Christian Fathers. The remainder of this paper will be devoted 
to the folk-lore and superstitions that have gathered round various 
trees, taking the latter term in a wide sense. The subject will be 
arranged under the following heads : 

I. Folk-tales. 
II. Supernatural and Mythical Beings. 

III. Religious Observances, Scriptural Characters, Saints, &c. 

IV. Symbolic Uses. 

V. Courtship and Marriage. 
VI. Death. 
VII. Weather-lore. 
VIII. Animal-lore. 

IX. Medicinal and Magical Superstitions. 

(To be continued.) 

THE CELTIC CHURCH IN SCOTLAND. The paper on this subject, 
from the Rev. yEneas Chisholm, Banff, reached us too late for insertion this jnonth, 
It will appear in the April number, 


No. CXXVI. APRIL, 1886. VOL. XI. 




THE chiefs, however, soon found out that Ochiltree was not 
altogether to be depended upon. Angus Macdonald of Isla, 
having agreed to everything that was asked of him, was permitted 
to go home ; but rinding the others not quite ready to do Ochil- 
tree's bidding in all things, he invited them on board the King's 
ship Moon to hear a sermon preached by his chief counsellor, 
Bishop Knox of the Isles, after which they were to dine with 
him. Rory Mor shrewdly suspecting some sinister design, refused 
to go aboard the ship, and his suspicion proved only too well- 
founded ; for immediately after dinner Ochiltree informed his guests 
that they were his prisoners by the king's orders, and, weighing 
anchor, he at once set sail with them to Ayr, and thence marched 
them to Edinburgh, where they were confined, by order of the 
Privy Council, in the Castles of Dunbarton, Blackness, and Stirling^ 
The imprisonment of these chiefs induced many of their followers 
to submit to the king's representatives, and the arrangements which 
were afterwards made became a starting point for a gradual but 
permanent improvement in the Highlands and Western Isles. 

In 1609, the famous "statutes of Icolmkill " were agreed to by 
the Island chiefs (who had meanwhile been set at liberty), with the 


242 The Celtic Magazine. 

Bishop of the Isles, among the rest Rory Mor of Dunvegan. The 
statutes are summarised as follows in Gregory's Western Highlands 
and Isles: The first proceeded upon the narrative of the gross 
ignorance and barbarity of the Islanders, alleged to have arisen 
partly from the small number of their clergy, and partly from the 
contempt in which this small number of pastors was held. To 
remedy this state of things, it was agreed that proper obedience 
should be given to the clergy (whose number, much diminished 
by the Reformation, it was proposed to increase) ; that their 
stipends should be regularly paid ; that ruinous churches should 
be re-built ; that the Sabbaths should be solemnly kept ; and that, 
in all respects, they should observe the discipline of the Reformed 
Kirk as established by Act of Parliament. By one of the clauses 
of this statute, marriages contracted for certain years were declared 
illegal ; a proof that the ancient practice of handfasting still pre- 
vailed to a certain extent. The second statute ordained the 
establishment of inns at the most convenient places in the several 
Isles; and this not only for the convenience of travellers, but to 
relieve the tenants and labourers of the ground from the great 
burden and expense caused to them through the want of houses 
of public entertainment. The third was intended to diminish the 
number of idle persons, whether masterless vagabonds, or belong- 
ing to the households of chiefs and landlords ; for experience had 
shown that the expense of supporting these idlers fell chiefly upon 
the tenantry, in addition to their usual rents. It was therefore 
enacted that no man should be allowed to reside within the Isles 
who had not a sufficient revenue of his own ; or who, at least, did 
not follow some trade by which he might live. With regard to 
the great households hitherto kept by the chiefs, a limit was put 
to the number of individuals of which each household was to consist 
in future, according to the rank and estate of the master ; and it 
was further provided that each chief should support his household 
from his own means, not by a tax upon his tenantry. The fourth 
provided that all persons, not natives of the Isles, who should be 
found sorning, or living at free quarters upon the poor inhabitants 
(an evil which seems to have reached a great height), should be tried 
and punished by the judge ordinary as thieves and oppressors. 
The fifth statute proceeded upon the narrative that one of the 

History of the Madeods. 243 

chief causes of the great poverty of the Isles, and of the cruelty 
and inhuman barbarity practised in their feuds, was their inordinate 
love of strong wines and aquavite, which they purchased partly 
from dealers among themselves, partly from merchants belonging 
to the Mainland. Power was, therefore, given to any person 
whatever to seize, without payment, any wine or aquavite im- 
ported for sale by a native merchant; and if an Islander should 
buy any of the prohibited articles from a Mainland trader, he was 
to incur the penalty of forty pounds for the first offence, one 
hundred for the second, and for the third, the loss of his whole 
possessions and moveable goods. It was, however, declared to be 
lawful for an individual to brew as much aquavite as his own 
family might require ; and the barons and wealthy gentlemen were 
permitted to purchase in the Lowlands the wine and other liquors 
required for their private consumption. The sixth statute attri- 
buted the " ignorance and incivilitee " of the Islanders to the 
neglect of good education among the youth ; and to remedy this 
fault it enacted that every gentleman or yeoman possessed of sixty 
cattle should send his eldest son, or, if he had no male children, 
his eldest daughter, to school in the Lowlands, and maintain 
his child there till it learned to speak, read, and write English. 
The seventh statute forbade the use of any description of fire- 
arms, even for the destruction of game, under the penalties 
contained in an Act of Parliament passed in the (then) present 
reign, which had never yet received obedience from the Islanders 
"owing to their monstrous deadly feuds." The eighth statute 
was directed against bards and other idlers of that class. The 
gentry were forbidden to encourage them; and the bards them- 
selves were threatened, first with the stocks, and then with banish- 
ment. The ninth statute contained some necessary enactments 
for enforcing obedience to the preceding Acts. Such were the 
statutes of Icolmkill ; for the better observance of which, and of 
the laws of the realm and Acts of Parliament in general, the 
Bishop took from the assembled chiefs a very strict bond. This 
bond, moreover, contained a sort of confession of faith on the part 
of the subscribers, and an unconditional acknowledgment of his 
Majesty's supreme authority in all matters both spiritual and tem- 
poral, according to his "most loveable Act of Supremacy." 

244 TJie Celtic Magazine. 

We shall give the first of those Statutes, agreed to by the 
Island chiefs, at length. It is as follows : 

" For remedy whereof [the ignorance, etc., of the people], 
they have all agreed in one voice, Like as it is presently concluded 
and enacted, That the ministers, as well planted as to be planted 
within the parishes of the said Isles, shall be reverently obeyed ; 
their stipends dutifully paid them ; the ruinous kirks with reason- 
able diligence repaired ; the Sabbaths solemnly kept ; adulteries, 
fornications, incest, and such other vile slanders severely punished ; 
marriages contracted for certain years, simpliciter discharged, and 
the committers thereof repute and punished as fornicators and 
that conform to the loveable acts of Parliament of this realm and 
discipline of the Reformed Kirk ; the which the foresaids persons 
and every one of them within their own bounds faithfully promise 
to see put to due execution." 

The Bond which the Bishop took from the nine Island chiefs 
on this occasion, Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan's being the fifth 
signature upon it, is as follows : 

"WE, and every one of us, principal gentlemen, indwellers 
within the West and North Isles of Scotland, under-subscribers, 
Acknowledging, and now by experience finding, that the special 
cause of the great misery, barbarity, and poverty, unto the which 
for the present our barren country is subject, has proceeded of the 
unnatural deadly feuds which have been fostered among us in this 
last age : in respect that thereby not only the fear of God and all 
religion, but also the care of keeping any duty and giving obedi- 
ence unto our gracious sovereign the King's Majesty and his 
Highness's laws, for the most part was decayed : and now seeing 
it has pleased God in His mercy to remove these unhappy dis- 
tractions, with the causes of them, all from among us; and under- 
standing that the recovery of the peace of our conscience, our 
prosperity, weal, and quietness, consists in the acknowledging of 
our duty towards our God and His true worship, and of our 
humble obedience to our dread sovereign and his Highness's laws 
of this his Majesty's kingdom : and also being persuaded of 
mercy and forgiveness of all our bypast offences of his Majesty's 
accustomed clemency; binds and obliges ourselves by the faith 
and truth in our bodies, under the pain of perjury and defamation 
for ever, and further under such other civil penalties as it shall 
please his Majesty and his honourable Council to subject us unto 
at our next compearance before their Lordships ; that as we 
presently profess the true religion publicly taught, preached, and 
professed within this realm of Scotland, and embraced by his 

History of the Macleods. 245 

Majesty and his Estates of this realm as the only and undoubted 
truth of God ; so by his Grace we shall continue in the profession 
of the same without hypocrisy to our lives' end ; and shall dutifully 
serve his Majesty in the maintenance of that truth, liberty of the 
same, and of all the laws and privileges of any part of his Highness's 
dominions, with our bodies and goods, without excuse or wearying 
to our last breath : likeas also we and every one of us protest, 
in the sight of the everliving God, that we acknowledge and 
reverence our sovereign lord his sacred Majesty allenarly supreme 
judge under the eternal God in all causes and above all persons, 
both spiritual and temporal, avowing our loyalty and obedience to 
his Highness only, conform to his Majesty's most loveable Act of 
Supremacy, which we embrace and subscribe unto with our 
hearts;, and, further, under the same oath and pains, we faithfully 
promise dutiful obedience to the whole laws, Acts of Parliament, 
and constitutions of this his Highness's Kingdom of Scotland, and 
to observe and keep every point and ordinance of the same as 
they are observed by the rest of his Majesty's most loyal subjects 
of the realm ; and to be answerable to his Majesty and to his 
Highness's Council as we shall be required upon our obedience 
thereto; and, further, as shall be more particularly enjoined unto 
us for our weal and reformation of this our poor country by his 
Majesty and Council having consideration what it may be and we 
are able to perform ; and also, as more specially we have agreed 
unto, set down and established as necessary laws to be kept among 
ourselves in our particular Courts, holden by his Majesty's Com- 
missioner, Andrew, Bishop of the Isles, and subscribed with all 
our hands in his presence. And, finally, we bind and oblige our- 
selves, under the oath and pains foresaid, that in case any of us 
and our friends, dependers, or servants, upon any evil or turbulent 
motion (as God forbid they do), disobey any of the foresaid 
ordinances, or be found remiss or negligent in observing of the 
special points of our obligation above written, and being convicted 
thereof by the Judge Ordinary of the country, spiritual or tem- 
poral ; that then, and in that case, we shall assuredly concur 
together, conjunctly and severally, as we shall be employed by his 
Highness or the said Judge Ordinary or Sheriff; and shall concur 
with the said Sheriff or Judge whatsoever, having warrant of his 
Majesty, to pursue, take, apprehend, and present to justice the 
said disobedient person ; intromit with his lands, goods, and gear, 
and dispone thereupon as we shall have commission of his 
Majesty ; and hereto we and every one of us faithfully promise, 
bind, and oblige us by our great oaths, as we shall be saved and 
condemned upon the great day of the Great Judge of the world, 
to observe, keep, and fulfil the premises; and for the more 

246 The Celtic Magazine. 

security, if need be, we are content, and consent that these pre- 
sents be inserted and registered in his Highness's Books of Secret 
Council of this realm, and the same to have the strength of an 
Act and Decreet of the Lords thereof interponed hereto with 
executorials to be direct hereupon in form as effeirs ; And to that 
effect makes and constitutes [blank] our Procurators, conjunctly 
and severally, in uberiori forma, promitten, derato ; In witness 
whereof, etc." 

This bond is dated the 23rd of August, 1609. On the follow- 
ing day, the 24th of August, in the same year, Roderick Macleod 
entered into a bond of friendship and mutual forgiveness with 
Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat, in the following terms : 

"At Icolmkill, the twenty-fourth day of August, the year of 
God, 1609 years: It is appointed, concorded, contracted, and 
finally agreed and ended betwixt the right honourable persons 
[the] parties underwritten, to wit, Donald Gorm Macdonald of 
Sleat, on the one part, and Rory Macleod of Harris, on the other 
part, in manner, form, and effect, as after follows : That is to say, 
forasmuch as the foresaid persons, [the] parties above-named, being 
certainly persuaded of their dread Sovereign his Majesty's clemency 
and mercy towards them, and willing of their reformation, and 
their living hereafter in peace, as his Highness's quiet, modest, 
and peaceable subjects, and that by his Majesty's and Lords of his 
Secret Council's will and directions committed to one reverend 
father, Andrew, Bishop of the Isles ; and the said parties, consider- 
ing the Godless and unhappy turns done by either of them, their 
friends, servants, tenants, dependants, and part-takers, to others, 
which from their hearts they and each one of them now repents : 
therefore the said Donald Gorm Macdonald and Rory Macleod, 
[the] parties above-rehearsed, taking the burden on them, each one 
of them for their own kin, friends, servants, tenants, dependants, 
and allies, to have remitted, freely discharged, and forgiven, like 
as, by the tenor hereof, they from their hearts freely remit, 
discharge, and forgive each one of them, the other and 
their foresaids, for all and whatsoever slaughters, murders, 
heirschips, spulzies of goods, and raising of fire committed by 
either of them against the other, their friends, servants, tenants, 
and dependants, at any time preceding the date hereof; renounc- 
ing all actions or pursuit whatsoever, criminal or civil, that can or 
may be competent in either of their persons or their foresaids 
against the other for the same, pise lite et causa for ever ; without 
prejudice to either of the foresaid parties to set whatsoever lands 
alleged to pertain to either of them, lying within the other's 

History of the Maeleods. 247 

bounds, as law will ; and for their further security, binds and 
obliges them, taking the burden on them, as said is, each one to 
make, subscribe, and deliver letters of slains to the other for what- 
soever slaughters [were] committed by either of them on [the] 
other's friends, servants, and tenants in due and competent form, 
if need be, so that the said parties and each one of them by their 
own moyens and diligence may deal and travel with his Majesty 
and Council for his Highness's remission for the same ; and hereto 
both the parties bind and oblige them by the faith and truth in 
their bodies to observe, keep, and fulfil the promises each one to 
[the] other, and never to come in the contrar hereof, directly or 
indirectly, under the pain of perjury and defamation for ever : 
and, further, faithfully promise, bind, and oblige them to live 
hereafter in Christian society and peace, and each one of them to 
assist and maintain [the] other in their honest and lesome affairs 
and business. And for the more security, if need be, they are 
content, and consent that these presents be inserted and registered 
in the Books of Council and Session, and the same to have the 
strength of an Act and Decreet of the Lords thereof interponed 
hereto with execution to direct hereupon in form as effeirs," 
etc., etc. 

The document is signed by both the parties, duly tested and 
witnessed in proper form. 

On the 4th of May, 1610, Roderick obtained remission from the 
King for all his past crimes. On the 28th of June, he presented 
himself before the King in Edinburgh, with Macdonald of Sleat, 
Mackinnon of Strath, and three others of the leading Island 
chiefs, to hear his Majesty's pleasure declared to them, when they 
were taken bound to give securities in a large amount to appear 
before the Privy Council in May, 1611, and that they should aid 
the King's Lieutenants, Justices, and Commissioners in all matters 
connected with the Isles ; that they should themselves, ever after, 
live together in "peace, love, and amity," and that all questions of 
difference arising between them should be settled in the ordinary 
course of law and justice. In consequence of these arrangements, 
there were scarcely any disturbances in the Isles during that 

On the i8th of July, 1611, he purchased from Kenneth, 
first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, the five unciate lands of Water- 
nish, which the latter had purchased from Sir George Hay and 
ochers, who got possession of them on the forfeiture of the 

248 The Celtic Magazine. 

Macleods of Lewis, to whom they belonged. In part payment of 
the lands of Waternish, he disponed to Mackenzie of Kintail the 
two unciates of land in Troternish, which belonged to Macleod, 
with the Bailliary of the old extent of eight marks which had been 
united to the Barony of the Lewis, and in which William Macleod 
had been served heir to his father, Tormod, in 1585. On the 
following day, the ipth of July, he obtained from Sir George 
Hay, who had now become Viscount Duplin, and the other Fife 
Adventurers to whom all Macleod's estates were granted on 
Roderick Macleod's forfeiture in 1597, when he declined to 
produce his titles in terms of the Act of that year a disposition 
of all his lands, except Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist; and on 
these titles, and on his own resignation to the Crown, he obtained, 
on the 4th of August, 1611, a new charter, under the Great Seal, 
of the lands of Dunvegan, Glenelg, Waternish, etc., containing a 
Novadamus, taxing the ward and erecting the whole into a 
Barony, to be called the Barony of Dunvegan, in favour of him- 
self and the heirs-male of his body, with remainder to Alexander 
Macleod of Minginish, his brother-german, and the heirs-male of 
his body, with remainder to William, alias Mac William Macleod 
of Meidle, heir-male of Tormod, second son of John VI. of 
Macleod, and the heirs-male of his body, whom all failing to his 
own nearest lawful male-heirs whatsoever. He was infeft on this 
charter on the 22nd of October in the same year. 

(To be continued.) 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 249 



EARLY on Monday morning, we drove to the Berneray Ferry, 
calling on the way at Newton, the residence of Mr. John Mac- 
donald, factor for North Uist. This gentleman's sister, Mrs. 
Macneil, is an enthusiastic antiquarian, and has gathered together 
a very rare and interesting collection of antiquities, mostly from 
the adjacent Island of Berneray. These relics of the past were 
kindly brought out for our inspection by Mrs. Macneil, who be- 
trays a very pardonable pride in her fine and unique collection. 
Bone buttons, pins, needles, combs, beads, and brooches ; flint 
knives, arrow and spear heads, silver and bronze pins, needles, 
and brooches, side by side with nuts from the South Pacific, 
and glass floats from Holland, thrown upon the Hebridean coast 
by the mighty Atlantic. Even outside the house, the antiquarian 
tastes of the occupants are indicated by the number of quern-stones, 
and what were described as ancient baptismal fonts, which confront 
one outside the house. They are seen at the front-door, upon the 
window-sills, and in the garden-rockeries. The garden itself was 
a treat. There, in the extreme north of Uist, were abundance of 
fruit, flowers, and vegetables, flowering luxuriantly, and quite equal 
to those grown in the most fertile spots on the Mainland. 

Not very far from Newton is Loch Scolpeg, which we passed 
on the previous Saturday. On a small island in the middle of 
the lake are the remains of a small octagonal building, erected 
some years ago upon the site of an ancient Dun. About the 
beginning of the i6th century, this Dun was the scene of a terrible 
murder, when Donald Herrach, I. of Balranald, was treacherously 
put to death by his natural brother, Gillespic Dubh, and a few 
other desperate characters. This Gillespic, wishing to get posses- 
sion of Donald Herrach's lands in North Uist, inveigled him into 

250 The Celtic Magazine. 

the Dun of Loch Scolpeg, where, after they had partaken of 
refreshments, he proposed some gymnastic feats. The first 
engaged in was the high leap. A wooden partition divided the 
apartment in which the game took place, from the adjoining one, 
and, on the other side of this partition, one of Gillespic's 
accomplices, named Paul Hellach, was stationed. As soon as 
Donald Herrach attempted the leap, Paul threw a rope with a 
noose over his head from the other side, and, while Donald was 
hanged and struggling in the noose, a red-hot spit was thrust 
through his body by Gillespic Dubh. 

Leaving Newton House, we crossed to the Island of Berneray 
by the ferry boat, and, after holding a meeting there, visited the 
old Chapel of Berneray, which now presents nothing more than 
the aspect of a ruined dwelling-house. Here was born Sir Norman 
Macleod of Berneray, as will be seen from the following inscription 
cut upon the wall : 





The people of Berneray, which island is a part of South Harris, 
though lying close to North Uist, complained bitterly of the 
unequal distribution of the land, the best half of the Island, by far, 
being let to a non-resident tacksman, the factor for Sir John Orde, 
and tenant of some of the largest and best farms in North Uist. 
The Berneray people would be comparatively comfortable if the 
whole Island were divided among them. They are a nice, hospit- 
able, obliging people, and offered their biggest boat to take us 
across to Obbe, in South Harris, where we were to meet our 
yacht in the evening. Having gladly accepted their offer, we 
started, and set sail, favoured with a fresh breeze, in a large boat 
manned by a crew of five stalwart men. 

Stretching from Berneray, a considerable distance into the 
Sound of Harris, is a narrow bank of gravel, perfectly symmetrical 
in form, and visible at low tide. The natives account for it 
by saying that it was the work of a celebrated Long Island witch, 
who was attempting to make a high-road to Skye through the 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 251 

Sound, but, her spade having broken when she had finished a 
considerable part of it, she could not proceed further with her 
operations ! 

Arriving at Obbe about six in the evening, we found the yacht 
awaiting us. Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh wished to see the old 
Cathedral of St. Clement's, at Rodel, and, as we could find no 
conveyance in Obbe, we set off on foot. As we passed the black- 
smith's house, we observed a dogcart standing at the gable, and, 
the smith's son coming out at the moment, we asked him if he 
could drive us to Rodel. With the native generosity and polite- 
ness of the true Highlander, he at once replied that he would, and 
immediately went away to get his horse, which was grazing on the 
hill. He returned, however, in about half-an-hour, having been 
unable to find it, but said that, if we would walk on, he would go 
back, and, if he found the horse, he would drive after us, and bring 
us back, at any-rate. We, accordingly, walked on, and arrived at 
Rodel precisely at eight o'clock. Immediately on our arrival, we 
sent a boy whom we met there to Rodel House, asking Lord 
Dunmore to oblige us with the key of the Cathedral. In a 
quarter of an hour, as the boy did not return, I walked over to the 
House, and sent a message to his Lordship by one of his servants, 
saying that Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh had walked from Obbe to see 
the building, and asking him to favour us with the key. After 
waiting some little time, I was told by the housekeeper that his 
Lordship had already sent his valet with a message to Mr. Fraser- 
Mackintosh, but further than that I was unable to get any satis- 
faction. I then returned to the Church-yard, but found that no 
messenger had reached Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh from Lord Dun- 
more, and none arrived afterwards. By this time it was dark, and, 
as the blacksmith's son had now arrived from Obbe with his con- 
veyance, we prepared to go away. Before we actually left, 
however, the boy whom we had first sent to Rodel House 
returned, telling us from Lord Dunmore, that no one was admitted 
to the building after seven o'clock. It was now nine o'clock, more 
than an hour after our arrival at Rodel.* 

The Cathedral of Rodel is a cruciform building, with a fine old 

* As Lord Dunmore has since attempted to deny the above, the substance of 
which appeared at the time in the Scottish Highlander, I have given my version of 
the/w/j in full. H.R.M. 

252 The Celtic Magazine. 

tower, the age of which is said to be exceeded only by some parts 
of St. Mungo's Cathedral in Glasgow. The style of architecture is 
Early English upon Norman foundations, and there are some 
quaint bits of carving, both inside and out. Perhaps the most 
interesting sculpture to a Highlander is one upon the outside of 
the wall, portraying a man in full Highland dress kilt, plaid, and 
all complete a convincing proof of the antiquity of the costume. 
Inside the Cathedral, which was restored some years ago by the 
Dowager-Countess of Dunmore, are some fine old tomb-stones, 
with figures of recumbent warriors upon them. Some of the 
inscriptions upon these tombs were given in the Celtic Magazine 
for August, 1885. The Cathedral is now comfortably fitted up for 
public worship, and services are frequently held in it. At one 
time there was a noted monastery at Rodel, one of the twenty- 
eight established in Scotland by the Canons- Regular of St. Augus- 
tine ; and the present Cathedral is believed to occupy the site of 
it. In company with my father (the Editor of the Celtic Magazine) 
and Mr. Kenneth Macdonald, Town Clerk of Inverness, I visited 
the Cathedral in the previous month of April, and our recep- 
tion then was as cordial and pleasant as this one was discourteous 
and disagreeable. 

On returning to Obbe, we had a most hearty meeting with the 
people there, which unmistakeably proved that their landlord, the 
Earl of Dunmore, was as completely at variance with the wishes 
and aspirations of his tenants, as he was disobliging and rude to 
Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh. On being told of the incident, they not 
only expressed their astonishment, but their indignation, that a 
gentleman occupying the position of Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh, as 
Member of Parliament for the Highland Capital, and then the 
popular candidate for the great County of Inverness, should have 
been treated in such a manner in Harris, for centuries famed for 
the hospitality of its historic chiefs and warm-hearted people. 

On Tuesday, I5th September, we steamed from Obbe to 
Tarbert, the meeting at Scarp, which was the next in our pro- 
gramme, having to be put off, as the Captain declined to go 
there. Soon after passing Eilean-Glas Lighthouse, we met 
a large steamer, which hoisted the Dutch flag, politely dipping 
it to our British ensign, hoisted in reply. At Tarbert, 
Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh met an old friend, the Rev, Mr, 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 253 

Maclean, who treated us most hospitably. The Tarbert Free 
Church Manse and surroundings, erected by the late Dr. 
Mackintosh-Mackay, are, perhaps, the finest in the Isles. 
The meeting at Tarbert, a very large one, was attended by 
several ladies. Next day we steamed to the Island of Scalpay, 
which has a beautifully-sheltered little harbour. The Island is 
much overcrowded, numbers of people having been driven there 
from North Harris, to make way for sheep, which, in their turn, 
had to make room for deer. We were told that it used to be a 
common saying, that whoever, in the past, offended the proprie- 
tor or the factor, was banished to Scalpay, as to a penal settle- 
ment. After a good meeting here, we steamed for Manish, 
anchoring in Loch Finsbay. To get to Manish was one of the 
most difficult trials encountered during our whole trip, there 
being no roads in that part of Harris. The prospect was every- 
where most dismal. For miles, as far as the eye could reach, 
nothing was to be seen but reddish-grey rock, varied occasionally 
by a small loch. And yet there was a large population even in 
in this desolate place. Down in the hollows, wherever a few 
blades of corn or a plot of potatoes could be grown, the hardy 
crofters built their cottages, and cultivated their little patches of 
ground if such they could be called. These unfortunate people have 
been turned out of Rodel, Luskintyre, and other fertile places. 
The Rev. Mr. Davidson, Free Church minister of Manish, is a 
fine old gentleman, considerably over seventy years of age, 
hailing from Strathnairn, but who has spent more than half his 
lifetime in this dreary place. His fine figure scarcely 
bowed with the weight of years fresh complexion, and long 
swinging stride, attest the healthiness of the climate, and his 
natural physical hardihood. As we approached his manse, after 
our weary tramp, the good man came to meet us, his white hair 
streaming in the wind, his face beaming with beneficence and 
good nature, and his hands outstretched to welcome us. 

After a good meeting in the Church, and having been hospit- 
ably entertained in the manse, we left, and, after a long and 
weary walk, escorted by willing guides, at length got on board 
our yacht at a very late hour, feeling that there were some things 
which we might forget, but Manish never ! We had now 
finished the Long Island, and next day we steamed across from 

254 The Celtic Magazine. 

Harris to the Isle of Skye, dropping anchor about nine o'clock in 
the morning in the beautiful Bay of Uig. 

On Thursday morning, i;th September, we landed at Uig, 
and drove thence to Stenscholl, round by Kilmaluag and Kilmuir, 
and back to Uig, holding meetings at all four places. The village 
of Uig is scattered round the shores of the lovely Bay of that name, 
one of the best anchorage-grounds in the Hebrides. 

On Sunday, the I4th of October, 1877, the parish of Kilmuir, 
of which Uig is the centre, was the scene of a terrible flood. The 
burns in the vicinity rose with startling rapidity, the Uig burying- 
ground was flooded, bridges were destroyed, and, according to a 
contemporary account of the disaster, " great boulders were swept 
away by the current as if they had been pebbles." Uig Lodge, 
the residence of the proprietor, which stood near the shore of the 
Bay, was overwhelmed and completely wrecked by two mountain- 
streams in the neighbourhood, which also destroyed the plantation 
and garden attached to the house. Mr. D. Ferguson, manager 
on the estate of Kilmuir, who was the only occupant of the Lodge 
at the time, was drowned in the house by the flood, and his body 
was carried out to sea and afterwards washed ashore by the tide 
some three miles away. The havoc made by the flood in the 
graveyard was appalling. Numbers of coffins and dead bodies 
were washed out of the graves, and carried, some out to sea, and 
others into the Lodge garden, where they were afterwards found. 
Six bodies were washed ashore and re-interred at Grishornish and 
Lynedale, places some eight miles distant. The coast of Uig 
round to Cuidrach was strewed with bones washed away from the 
burying-ground. The Lodge has never been rebuilt, and the 
traces of the terrible flood are still to be seen upon the spot. 

The view, as we drove slowly up the side of the hill forming 
the north side of Uig Bay, was magnificent. Below was the sea, 
smooth as a mirror, the Carlotta, with all her flags flying, and 
the strains of the bagpipes rising melodiously from her deck, 
swinging lazily at anchor ; the bold headlands forming the entrance 
to the Bay, Loch Snizort running inland, like a silver streak, 
Waternish Point and Dunvegan Head beyond, jutting far out 
into the sea, and the blue hills of Harris filling up the background. 
Close to the seashore, immediately below us, were a number of 
crofters' huts, with little strips of land belonging to each running 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 255 

up the steep face of the hill to the edge of the road. The huts 
were most wretched-looking, and the land not much better. A 
group of men, standing at the end of one of the cottages, gave us 
a hearty cheer as we passed, and, a little further on, three little 
boys, carrying home peats on their backs in creels, gave us another, 
no less hearty. 

Glenuig, a beautiful opening between the hills, runs eastward 
from the head of Uig Bay. Some fifteen or sixteen years ago, 
this glen was filled with well-to-do crofters ; it is now part of the 
Uig Inn farm, the crofters having been huddled down to the sea- 
shore, or driven away elsewhere. Many other evictions have 
taken place in the parish of Kilmuir in recent times. The town- 
ships of Delista, Graulin, Balgown, Feaull, Lachsay, and Scorr, 
have all been cleared of their inhabitants within the last twenty 
years, and the lands added to the neighbouring sheep-farms, 
Monkstadt and Duntulm getting the lion's share. 

About four miles from Uig, we passed the most wretched hut, 
I think, I have ever seen. It stood upon a slight eminence on 
our left, a short distance off the road, and in the midst of a dreary- 
looking moss. The roof appeared to be falling in, the walls to be 
falling out everything about it seemed to be going rapidly to 
decay. This miserable place was the abode of a shepherd on one 
of the largest and best-known sheep-farms in the Island. 

On reaching the top of the ridge separating Uig from the 
district of Eastside, a magnificent view presented itself. On our 
left was the fantastic rock-face forming the entrance to the far-famed 
Quiraing ; away to our right extended in serried ranks the 
picturesque and forbidding-looking cliffs which seem like so many 
monsters keeping guard over the valley they enclose, while below, 
the road went winding down the gully to Staffm. In front of us 
lay the Sound of Gairloch, and Loch Torridon, flecked here and 
there with a tiny brown sail, the north point of Rona Island, with 
its lighthouse, just appearing on the right ; while in the far distance, 
the serrated peaks of Ross-shire glittered in the sun-light. The 
mountains of Torridon, Gairloch, and other ranges, lay piled 
one upon another in majestic confusion, while away to the left 
rose the bold outline of Ru Rea, the most north-westerly point on 
the mainland of Scotland. Descending the ravine, we soon reached 
Staffin Lodge, a shooting-box erected a few years ago by Major 

256 The Celtic Magazine. 

Fraser of Kilmuir, and recently used as barracks for a detachment 
of the Royal Marine Artillery, sent, at the instance of the warlike 
Sheriff of the County of Inverness, Mr. William Ivory, to overawe 
the people in this " lawless and disturbed district." A little further 
on is a heath-covered slope, dignified with the name of Staffin 
Park, which formed the bone of contention in the now well-known 
Garafad Interdict Case. 

Crossing the Kilmartin River, a turbulent, noisy, little stream, 
we reached Stenscholl. In this district the Land Law Reform 
agitation first took practical shape in the Highlands. The leader 
of the people here is Mr. Archibald Macdonald, merchant and 
crofter, Garafad, a man of great intelligence and influence among 
the crofters of the whole parish. He accompanied us on our 
drive to Kilmaluag and Kilmuir. 

The MacQueens of Garafad were once a family of considerable 
note in Skye. They had the farm of Garafad, for many centuries, 
free, with the exception that they had to give a certain number of 
salmon yearly, at a fixed price, to the proprietor. It is said that 
they got deeply into arrears with their strange rent, and, in con- 
sequence, lost their tenure. A Mrs. MacQueen, the widow of the 
last of the family, had a pendicle of the farm until her death within 
recent years. 

On our way to Kilmaluag, the chief place of interest was the 
farm-house of Flodigarry, for some years the residence, after her 
marriage, of the famous Flora Macdonald. The house stands, 
surrounded by some fine old trees, a short distance below the 
road near the seashore. The low grounds all around are covered 
with little, grass-covered, natural tumuli, giving the place a very 
curious appearance. 

At Kilmaluag there is a very active branch of the Highland 
Land Law Reform Association, the moving spirit of which is Mr. 
W. H. B. Macdougall, Duntulm, a young man of good education, 
enlightened ideas, and indomitable energy. The people of Kil- 
maluag, though now much curtailed in their pastures, by the 
encroachments of Duntulm, are most active and industrious. Many 
of their cattle are perfect specimens of the real West-Highland 


(To be continued.} 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 257 



LET us begin with the Maple, because there is a Hungarian 
legend told of it containing many obvious relations with folk-lore 
in other fields, such as the stories of " King Lear " and " Beauty 
and the Beast"; the Biblical narratives of "Cain and Abel," and 
"Joseph and his Brethren"; the legend of "Romulus and 
Remus"; the story of the "Reed and the Dove"; the "Hindoo 
Legend of Sakuntala"; the story of Polydorus changed into a dog- 
berry tree; the myth of Orpheus; and the stories of the "Magic 
Flute," the "Strawberries," the " Red Boots," and the two brothers 
quarrelling about a peacock's feather. The points of agreement 
between these stories and the following narrative would seem to 
point to their common origin. I shall indicate these stories at the 
points of agreement in the course of the narrative. 

A King had three daughters. The youngest was fair-haired, 
and of great beauty and sweetness of disposition (Cordelia). A 
young shepherd, who fed his flock near the palace, played the 
flute every evening (Orpheus), and the young princess (Eurydice) 
listened to him. One night the king, the shepherd, and the 
princess had each a bad dream. The king dreamed he had lost his 
crown-diamonds ; the young princess, that she had gone to see her 
mother's tomb, and had not returned ; and the shepherd, that wild 
beasts had devoured the pet-lamb of his flock (Joseph). After 
this dream the king called his three daughters and told them that 
the first of the three who should bring him a basket of strawberries 
should become his best-loved daughter, who should possess his 
crown and his seven kingdoms (King Lear). The princesses went 
away to search for strawberries, and came to a green hillock. The 
eldest cried, "Basket, be filled, that I may receive my father's 
crown." But the basket remained empty. The second daughter 

258 The Celtic Magazine. 

said, " Basket, be filled, that I may receive the seven kingdoms of 
my father." Yet the basket remained empty. After these two 
dark-haired sisters (the two halves of the Night) had thus spoken, 
the youngest, with the fair hair (the Aurora or Dawn), said 
tenderly, " Basket, be filled, in order that I may become the well- 
beloved daughter of my father." Immediately, her basket filled 
with strawberries. Seeing this, the two envious sisters, fearing to 
lose the royal crown and kingdoms (Cain), put their sister to 
death ; and, having buried her under an old maple-tree, broke her 
basket, and divided the fruit between them. They went home 
and told their father that their sister had ventured too far into the 
forest and been devoured by a wild beast (Joseph). Their father 
then put ashes on his head (Jacob), and cried, "Alas! I have lost 
the most precious diamond in my crown." At the new moon, the 
shepherd tried to play his flute, but it would not play. Indeed, 
why should the flute play, when there was no fair princess to hear 
it ? Near the green hillock, on the third night, he saw a fresh 
young shoot springing up near the old maple-tree at the spot 
where the princess had been buried. As time wore on, the shoot 
grew, and he wished to make a new flute of it. As soon as he had 
put this flute to his lips (stories of Sakuntala, Polydorus, Dog- 
berry tree, and Magic Flute), the enchanted flute sang thus : 
" Play, my dear ; formerly I was a king's daughter ; now I am a 
shoot of maple, a flute of a maple shoot." The shepherd took the 
flute to the king, who tried to play it, and it sang the same 
refrain. The two wicked sisters then tried it, and the instrument 
sang : " Play, my murderer ; formerly I was a king's daughter ; 
now I am a flute of maple." Then the king cursed his two 
daughters, and drove them out of his kingdom. Such is the 
story, but it is evidently incomplete. From the details furnished 
by other similar stories, there should follow the resurrection of the 
princess slain by her envious sisters. 

The maple is still an object of veneration in many parts of 

The Palm-tree, one of the chief beauties of an Eastern land- 
scape, has been the subject of many myths, especially in countries 
bordering on the Mediterranean. According to an Adriatic 
legend ; " A shipmaster in Venice saw seven witches come on 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 259 

board his ship at night-fall; he concealed himself to see what they 
would do; in a single night they drove the ship to Alexandria, in 
Egypt ; he went ashore and broke a branch of a tall tree, and took 
it on board. The witches then brought the ship back to Venice 
the same night, and disappeared at cock-crow. The captain found 
at daybreak that the branch was covered with dates, which con- 
vinced him that he had really been at Alexandria, since dates do 
not grow at Venice. We have here a new version of the noctur- 
nal voyage of the sun, of which the palm-tree is the personifica- 
tion; it is during the night that he recovers his golden dates, 
shown to the world in the morning sunshine." The association of 
the palm-tree with the sun, as victor over darkness, is seen in some 
Hindoo myths, one of which relates that Arguna stole a small 
branch of the Betel-palm when in Paradise, and planted it on 
earth. This explains why the Hindoos always steal a shoot of Betel 
when wishing to plant it. Hercules is said to have carried a palm- 
tree with him in his miraculous journeys. In Arabia, it is believed 
to have been formed from the residue of the clay of which Adam 
was made. 

The Cedar has long been accounted a sacred tree, of which 
the wood-work of Jewish and Greek temples was usually made. 
A Chinese legend runs thus : " Hanpang, Secretary to King 
Hang, had a young and fair wife, named Ho, whom he tenderly 
loved. The king, having taken a fancy for this woman, put her 
husband to death. She threw herself from a steep place, and was 
taken up dead. In her scarf was found a letter addressed to the 
king, asking, as a last favour, that he would bury her in the same 
grave as her husband. But the king, in his wrath, ordered her to 
be buried in a far separate place. During the night, two cedars 
shot up, one from each tomb, and in ten days they had become so 
tall and strong that they managed to interlace their branches and 
roots, although widely apart. The people then named these 
cedars " the trees of faithful love." 

The Elm, which Virgil calls the " Tree of Dreams," a name it 
still retains in France, may have got this name from the fact of 
village-justice having been often administered under its shadow, 
the prophetic or inspired character of early judges being supposed 
to be re-inforced in states of trance or dream. In the story of 

260 The Celtic Magazine. 

Orpheus making plaint on his lyre for the death of his wife, 
Eurydice, the elm is said, for the first time, to have sprung into 
life in sympathy with his dirge. 

A Spanish legend regards the White Poplar as the first tree 
God made, and as the immediate progenitor of Adam. The 
Black Poplar, according to a Greek myth, was the form into which 
the gods changed the sisters of the solar hero, Phaeton, when 
they mourned his disappearance in the ocean. 

The Oak, king of British forests, has had its full share of myth. 
The ancient Greeks thought it the oldest tree. Scandinavian 
story ascribed man's origin to the oak or the ash a myth also 
prevalent among the Romans. The Arcadians believed their 
ancestors were oaks before they became men. As showing the 
persistence of such myths after all faith has gone out of them, it 
is said that in Piedmont, to this day, in order to evade the awk- 
ward questions of children as to the arrival of babies, people say 
that they are born out of the trunk of an old oak akin to the 
practice of Scotch mothers who assign that function to the 

The Pomegranate is, in the East, emphatically the tree conse- 
crated to love. The worship of Rimmon, denounced in the Old 
Testament, was the worship of the Syrian Adonis, Rimmon being 
the Syriac for the pomegranate. " In a Hindoo story, the parents 
of a princess confine her in a garden which nobody can enter; at 
the same time, they announce that whosoever will enter the 
garden and carry off three pomegranates on which the princess 
and her attendants sleep, will marry her." 

The Walnut figures in a Slavonic legend of the Deluge, in 
which the good people who escape and re-people the world are 
saved in a walnut-shell. 

The Apple, having been regarded as the fruit, has appropriated 
to itself the word pomum in Latin, which is a generic name for 
fruit (specially of fruit having stones or seeds, as the apple, pear, 
quince, pomegranate, fig, etc.), while Pomona is the goddess in 
charge of all fruit trees. Adam's apple is equivalent to Adam's 
fruit ; and it is a waste of time to discuss whether it was an apple 
or an orange, or a fig, or any other fruit full of seeds. According 
to a Hanoverian legend : " A young girl descended to hades by a 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 261 

ladder which appeared under an apple-tree in her garden. In 
the lower regions she saw a garden in which the sun seemed even 
more beautiful than on earth ; and the trees were laden with fruit. 
She filled her apron with apples, which became golden as soon 
as she came back to the earth." This is supposed to represent 
the sun's journey at night ending in the golden dawn. A German 
popular song begins : 

" Bitterly wept the dear Sun 

In the apple-garden ; 
From the apple-tree has fallen 

The golden apple. 
Weep not, little Sun, 

God is making another 
Of gold, of iron, and of silver. " 

The sun at first loses his golden apple and weeps ; people try 
to put him to sleep in the orchard, and to make him hope to find 
his golden apple in the morning ; he still weeps, and they tell him 
he will have another, of the three metals, representing the grey 
morning, the dawn, and the full sun-glow. A Swedish mytho- 
logical enigma thus runs : " Our mother has a bed-cover 
which nobody can fold; our father has more gold than any- 
one can count; and our brother has an apple which nobody 
can bite." The explanation is : " Our mother is the earth : 
the earth's counterpane is the sky; our father is in Heaven; 
his golden stars are countless ; our brother is the Divine Saviour, 
whose apple is the sun." The identity of the sun and the apple 
in such myths is scarcely open to question. 

The Pear-tree has never been so popular as the apple, perhaps 
on account of the rapidity with which it succumbs to corruption. 
According to a Thuringian legend, a mad cow was at first changed 
into a pear-tree, and afterwards into an old woman. This legend 
is supposed to figure three seasons of the year the hot sun be- 
comes a pear-tree in autumn, and a sterile old woman in winter. 

The Alder appears in a Tyrolese legend, thus: "A boy 
mounted a tree and saw what the witches were doing below ; they 
cut to pieces a woman's body and threw the bits up in the air ; the 
boy caught a rib, and kept it beside him. When the witches 
counted the bits, they found one amissing, and they replaced it 
by a bit of alder ; then the body revived." They say in Germany 

262 The Celtic Magazine. 

that alders begin to weep, to speak, and to shed drops of blood, 
when people speak of cutting them down. 

The Lime-tree, or linden, bulks largely in Scandinavian 
mythology, where Sigurd, after slaying the dragon Fafnir, bathes 
in its blood ; a leaf of lime-tree falls on his shoulder and renders 
him vulnerable in that place only, while he is proof against injury 
in every other part of his body. 

The Hazel has been the centre of many popular beliefs, 
especially about fairies, with whom it was a favourite tree. In the 
" Manners of the Ancient Irish," the hazel is the subject of the 
following myth : "The Irish bards taught that there were fountains 
in which the primitive rivers had their sources ; over each foun- 
tain grew nine hazel-trees, which produced beautiful red nuts that 
fell into the fountains, and floated on their surface until the salmon 
of the river came up and swallowed the nuts. It was thought 
that the eating of the nuts caused the red spots on the salmon's 
belly, and whoever caught and ate one of these salmon was 
inspired with the sublimest poetical ideas." Hence the expressions, 
" the nuts of science," and " the salmon of knowledge." 

The Cypress, honoured in nearly all mythologies, is the subject 
of these two Greek myths : " Cypresses, before becoming trees, 
had been the daughters of Eteocles. Carried off by goddesses in 
an endless round, they at last fell into a lake ; the earth-goddess 
took pity on them, and changed them into cypresses. " " Cyparissus 
was very fond of a tame stag. One day he killed it by accident, 
and he was so sorry that he wished to die. Apollo immediately 
transformed him into a cypress." 

The Beech, a prophetic tree to the ancient Greeks, is still a 
privileged tree among the peasantry of some districts of France. 
They relate that "A man, while hammering red-hot iron on an 
anvil, struck sparks into the eyes of the good God himself, who 
cursed him, and condemned him to be changed into a bear, with 
the condition that he should be allowed to mount at his will every 
tree except the beech." 

From the point of view of the Solar mythologists, a good 
example of the growth and transformation of myth is found in the 
Laurel and the story of Daphne. "The Arcadians say that 
Daphne was daughter of the earth-goddess, and was loved by 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 263 

Apollo. The gods interfered when he was persecuting her in his 
passion, and they turned her into a laurel-tree." Max Miiller's 
explanation is that the Dawn was called in Greek Daphne, meaning 
burning; so was the laurel; hence the myth, from the double 
meaning of the Greek word. But Andrew Lang's destructive 
criticism, too elaborate for insertion here, should be taken into 
account, in dealing with the Daphne myth. 

The sweet-smelling Myrtle was the subject of several Greek 
and Roman myths, such as "The nymph Myrsine, having, at a 
race, out-run her friend, the goddess Pallas, the angry goddess 
killed her on the spot ; from her body sprang the myrtle, a tree 
which Pallas herself afterwards loved, perhaps from remorse for 
slaying her friend." "Venus, being once afraid of being seen 
naked, hid behind a myrtle, and ever after adopted it as her favourite 

The Fir, with its curious cones, has always been held in high 
esteem in northern countries. "In the Battle of the Birds, the 
young prince goes to the top of a fir, by order of the giant, to 
look for the magpie's eggs ; his bride, who felt her father's breath 
burning her back (the dawn followed by the sun), has marked 
with her fingers the steps of the ladder on the trunk of the fir, 
and, thanks to this ladder, the prince reaches both his bride and 
the bird's eggs." 

The Birch, called the " Queen of Scotia's glens," is especially 
dear to German peasants. "An Esthonian peasant had seen a 
stranger asleep under a tree when a great storm was about to burst 
over them. He awoke the stranger, who thanked him, and said 
' When you are far from your native land, and feel home-sick, 
you will see a twisted birch ; strike it, and ask " Twisted fellow, 
are you at home ? " ' One day, the peasant, engaged as a soldier 
in Finland felt sad, as he thought of his home and his children 
far away ; he then saw a twisted birch, and he did as the stranger 
advised him. The stranger appeared again and ordered his 
quickest spirits to transport the soldier to his native land, with a 
bag of money." 

About the Vine, dear to Bacchus, we have this Persian legend : 
" In order to console the poor and the wretched, God sent to 
the earth the angels, Aroth and Maroth, with orders to put no one 

264 The Celtic Magazine. 

to death, to commit no unjust act, and to drink no wine. Having 
looked on a beautiful woman, they forgot their commission and 
drank wine, which led them to oppression and iniquity." 

The Orange is, perhaps, the finest of fruits accessible to every- 
body. "In popular Piedmontese stories, the rich and marvellous 
kingdom is often Portugal ; and oranges are always called Porto- 
gallotti in Piedmont. Portugal is the most westerly country of 
Europe ; in heaven, it is at the extreme west, at sun-set, that the 
kingdom of the blessed was placed. It was also at the extreme 
west that Hercules found the garden of Hesperides with its tree 
of golden apples." Portugal, the western region, and this garden, 
are, in myth, the same country ; the orange, the Portogallotto, and 
the Hesperides apple, are the same fruit. The Greeks also called 
oranges Portagalea. How is this name explained ? Is it because 
oranges are better or more abundant in Portugal than elsewhere ? 
No. It is because the cultivation of the orange in Europe began 
in Portugal. 

The Fig, the first tree mentioned by name in the Bible, is the 
subject of a legend told by Hesiod : " As soon as the divine 
Mopsus succeeded in counting the figs on the fig-tree before 
Calchas, Calchas died ; whoever eats a fig off that tree, acquires a 
new lease of life ; he becomes like the immortals ; but the fig-tree 
itself is condemned to perish, and Calchas ceases to live as soon as 
the number of figs on the tree has been counted, representing the 
days of his own life." 

The Rose-tree has many mythological relations. A Hindoo 
story follows: "A king had become blind. All the doctors 
declared that he could not be cured except by the Rose of Bakavali, 
the virtue of which was so great that it could even give sight to a 
man born blind. The king's sons went in search of it. The siren 
Lakka (the moon) told one of them ' The rose you seek is only 
found in the region of the sun, and no bird even can reach it.' 
Bakavali is daughter of the fairy-king ; this rose is found in her 
garden, in the middle of a basin of rose-water, sparkling with 
diamonds. The prince plunges into the water and brings away 
the rose, extremely beautiful, and of an excellent perfume. By 
rubbing the king's eyes with this flower they become luminous as 

There is a pretty fable told of the moss-rose. "An angel had 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 265 

slept under the shade of a rose-tree, and, feeling grateful, offered 
to do it a service. At its request, he threw over the roses a veil 
of moss." Hence the moss-like growth on the calyx of the moss- 

The Cotton-tree is contemptuously spoken of in Hindoo songs, 
because it has no smell and gives no fruit fit for food to man or 
monkey. Agassiz tells a strange story as current in Brazil : " Caro 
Sacaibu, the first of men, was a demi-god. His son, Prairu, an 
inferior being, obeyed the orders of his father, who hated him. 
In order to get rid of him, Sacaibic made an armadillo and stuck 
it in the earth, leaving its tail on the surface, after rubbing it with 
mistletoe ; then he ordered his son to bring the armadillo to him ; 
but the animal pulled him down through the earth. But Prairu 
managed to get back again, and told his father he had seen men 
and women under-ground, who might be brought up to till the 
earth. Sacaibu went down to see for himself, having woven a 
cotton cord, to produce which he had sown cotton seed for the 
first time. The first men whom he drew up with the cotton cord 
were short and ugly ; but, the more he drew up, the better and 
taller they grew, until the cord broke, and the finest specimens of 
humanity were thus left for ever underground. This is why, in 
this world, beauty is so rare an endowment." 
(To be continued.) 


Dear Sir, In my short notice of the late Mr. Henry Bradshaw, there are two small 
misprints, which you will, perhaps, allow me to correct. The word "gentlemen," 
on page 231, seven lines from the foot of the page, should be printed "gentleman" ; 
and, at the close of my paper, the sentence " Mr. Bradshaw was born on February 
2, 1831, and died at the early age of 54" should read simply " Mr. Bradshaw was 
born on February 2, 1831." The way in which this last mistake originated may be 
taken as an illustration of the origin and life-history of a large class of curious typo- 
graphic blunders. The first sheets sent you, stated, on the authority of the Times 
obituary, that " Mr. Bradshaw died at the early age of 54" ; but, in the supple- 
mentary sheet which followed, I was able to correct this mistake, and to give the 
exact date of Mr. Bradshaw's birth." I, accordingly, closed this supplementary 
sheet with the words "Mr. Bradshaw was born on February 2, 1831." But the 
printer put these two things together, with the result of begetting a very curious 
arithmetical prodigy. 

Of this, I do not at all complain. You had no time to send me a proof; and, 
moreover, my paper was, of necessity, very hurriedly written. In these circumstances, 
it is much to the credit of your press that the misprints should be so few. I am, 
yours faithfully, DONALD MASSUN. 

Edinburgh, March 3, 1886. 

266 The Celtic Magazine. 


THE real question of interest, with regard to the Celtic Church in 
Scotland, is the much vexed one whether she was in communion 
with the Church of Rome, and acknowledged her authority, or 
whether she was a separate, distinct church, and opposed to her. 
Both the Presbyterians and Episcopalians of the present day 
claim her on the latter ground as their common parent. The 
latest contribution on the subject, is a very interesting paper by 
Provost Macandrew, in the Celtic Magazine (January and February 
numbers) of this year, in which he favours the view that the old 
Church was a distinct, separate church from Rome, that its 
representative at the present day, is the Episcopal, not the Presby- 
terian, Church of Scotland. What I undertake to show is, that 
the Celtic Church was essentially Roman. 

The learned Provost touches the heart of the matter when he 
says that the nature and character of the Celtic Church in Scotland, 
founded by St. Columba, must be determined by the nature and 
character of the Church in Ireland, from which it came. The 
Provost acknowledges that the Church founded by St. Patrick in 
432 did not differ in any respect from the Church in other parts 
of Western Europe, which was undoubtedly Roman. But, "soon 
after the time of Patrick, all intercourse between Ireland and 
the outer world seems to have ceased for upwards of 100 years, 
and, during this time, there grew up in Ireland a Church, con- 
stituted in a manner entirely different from that founded by St. 
Patrick," and it was from this new Church, he says, that the Church 
of Scotland arose. The reasons which seem strong enough to the 
Provost to warrant him in making such an astounding assertion 
are three, ist, The Celtic Church was monastic, and its bishops 
owed obedience and jurisdiction to the Abbot of lona. 2nd, 
According to its computation of the Calendar, Easter sometimes 
fell upon a different Sunday from that celebrated by the Western 
Churches; and, 3rd, The form of the monks' tonsure was a little 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 267 

different from that of other monks. I commence by granting at 
once the truth of these three allegations. What then ? They are 
totally inadequate to prove the Provost's assertion that the Celtic 
Church was a separate, distinct Church, independent of Rome. 
Why ? These were matters of pure discipline, and had nothing to 
do with doctrine. In many of the national Churches (Catholic), 
at the present day, there are far greater discrepancies and differences 
in matters of discipline and ritual, between them and the Church 
at Rome, than ever there were between the latter and the Celtic 
Church. Who would ever dream of saying that these Churches 
were on that account independent of Rome ? Take one example 
out of many. Take the case of the Catholic Greek Church. There 
a priest can retain his wife, if he had been married before ordina- 
tion, and Rome would find a greater difficulty in breaking through 
this custom than she found in the case of the Eastern controversy 
with the Columbite Church. More than that, I have a letter 
before me, from a much-respected citizen of Inverness Mr. Colin 
Chisholm who informs me, that almost in his own days, the 
Catholics of Strathglass were Columbites, in the matter of old and 
new styles ! 

The fact of the bishops in the Celtic Church yielding a sort of 
civil jurisdiction to their Abbot being regarded as sufficient grounds 
to stamp her a distinct Church from that pf Rome, is beyond my 
comprehension. Besides, the worthy Provost does not seem to 
see that his line of argument hits his friends harder than his foes. 
It is of the essential constitution of the present Episcopal Church 
that her bishops rule their separate dioceses independently of a 
higher authority. What, then, can they have in common with a 
church whose bishops obeyed one who was not even a bishop ? 
and where are the Episcopal monks and abbots ? Again, suppos- 
ing, for the sake of argument, that, as Provost Macandrew says, 
a new Church had sprang up in Ireland after the time of St. 
Patrick, what follows ? In the first place, it must have broken 
away from the parent Church ; it must then have set up a new 
establishment of its own, with a new form of government new 
doctrines, new practices and then, we find, that it set about 
evangelizing other nations and spreading its new doctrines, and that 
" incredibile dictu " Rome acknowledged it as its own, and enrolled 

268 The Celtic Magazine. 

its saints in her own Calendar ! Provost Macandrew himself quotes 
Bede, an Ultra Roman, as eulogizing the Celtic Church, while the 
only fault which he finds with its teachers is their perversity in not 
celebrating Easter on the proper Sunday ! 

Bede refers to the peculiar custom of its bishops' obedience to 
their Abbot, but he never dreams of that as a reason why he should 
look upon the Celtic Church as different from his own. At the 
same time, he puts the matter in its proper light, for, while 
lamenting these customs, with a vigour, which, to us, seems almost 
uncalled for (and this itself is surely an indication that, in essentials, 
there was perfect unity between them), he takes pains to tell us 
that they were tolerated on account of the circumstances of the 

But it will be urged that the Columbite Church did come in 
contact with Rome on the Easter question ; that Rome demanded 
submission, and, by its refusal to submit, the Columbite Church 
showed her independence of Rome. 

It is not true that Rome ever demanded submission on this 
point. The testimony of Bede is sufficient to show the very 

What is true is, that the Celtic Church celebrated Easter on a 
different day from the Saxon Church, and, when the latter began 
to spread, and communication to be opened between the two 
Churches, it happened that confusion and disorder arose from this 
discrepancy in their calenders. Accordingly, Bishop Wilfrid of 
York, wishing to bring about uniformity in discipline, as there was 
in doctrine, endeavoured to persuade the bishops of the Celtic 
Church to adopt the Roman, and more correct computation, for 
which purpose a council was held under Oswy, King of Northum- 
bria, Bishop Colman representing the Columban Church. 

From the account given by Bede of this council (Eccles. History, 
1. III., c. 25), it is quite evident that the Celtic Church acknowledged 
the supremacy of the Church of Rome as being the representative 
of that of Peter. For King Oswy, who acted as arbiter between 
the two Bishops, having asked Bishop Colman if he acknowledged 
that the power of the keys was given to St. Peter, and he having 
replied that he did, and did not claim a similar power for his 
Columba, continued, thus- "You are both then agreed that the 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. , 269 

keys of Heaven were given by our Lord to Peter ? Yes, they both 
answered together." Upon this, the King gave his decision in 
favour of Wilfrid, as being the representative of the Church of 
Peter, and the assembly agreed with the decision, except Colman, 
whose obstinacy would not let him yield to this brother bishop. 
But Bede tells us that the Celtic Church, a few years afterwards, 
adopted the Roman computation, and this, surely, is an argument 
that she acknowledged the right of Rome, particularly when we 
bear in mind that this submission was brought about by the 
solicitations of Celtic prelates themselves, from Ireland, on the 
very plea that they owed obedience and submission to the Roman 

Usher relates that the well-known Cumian wrote a letter to 
Segenus, Abbot of lona, about the year 623, calling upon him to 
yield, even in matters of discipline, to Rome, "as children to their 
Mother," declaring that "every Irish tradition was not good, but 
only such as were approved by the source of their baptism and 
wisdom, Rome, and that to blame even the customs of Rome was 
an act deserving excommunication." 

Provost Macandrew himself refers to the letters of Cumian 's 
contemporary Columbanus to several Popes, and in these very 
letters is a complete refutation of his statement that after the time 
of St. Patrick the Church in Ireland had developed into a church 
that knew not Rome. For Columbanus, addressing Pope Gregory, 
calls him "the holy Lord and Father in Christ, the chosen watch- 
man possessed of the divine treasureship," he says, " It is in 
accordance neither with place nor with order, that anything should 
be set before thy great authority by way of discussion, lawfully 
sitting as thou doest in the chair, to wit, of Peter the apostle and 
key-bearer." To Boniface IV., his words are still more explicit ; 
one could almost fancy that he had foreseen that the day would 
come when his faith, and that of his countrymen, would be called 
in question, and so he put in record, in burning words of eloquence, 
his love and submission to the See of Rome, that his spirit might 
speak, as it were, from the tomb, and point to the words of his 
soul, behold the teaching of my fathers, my country's faith, and 
my own. The following are some of the expressions bearing on 
the supremacy. The letter begins thus " To the most beautiful 

270 The Celtic Magazine. 

head of all the churches in Europe, to the very sweet Pope, to the 
pastor of pastors, the lowliest to the highest, the last to the first, 
to Boniface, the father, dareth to write Columbanus." He calls the 
Pope "the first pastor set higher than all mortals." "The pilot 
of the spiritual ship," he says, " that his sentences strengthen the 
traditions of our elders." "The Irish are bound to the chair of 
Peter." " It is only through this chair that Rome is great and 
bright among the Irish." " Rome is the principal seat of the 
orthodox faith." " The Irish are the sons, the scholars, the servants 
of the Pope." Could words be plainer or stronger than these? 
Could the most pronounced ultramontane of the present day 
describe in more explicit language the supremacy of Rome ? Is 
it not a most gratuitous assertion to declare, in the face of these 
expressions, that the Church in Ireland was ever anything but 
loyal and submissive to Rome ? And, must we not conclude, as 
a consequence, that the Celtic Church in Scotland, which came 
from Ireland, and was in everything, if I may use the expression, 
ultra Irish, was equally with the parent Church the child, the 
scholar, the servant of the Pope ? 

To put the matter beyond the possibility of a doubt, we have 
a confession of faith, made in the name of the whole Church in 
Great Britain and Ireland, before the Pope in Rome. 

Bede informs us (lib. 5, C. 19) that Bishop Wilfrid went to 
Rome about the year 679, to appeal against Archbishop Theodore. 
He arrived while a council was being held by 125 bishops, under 
Pope Agatho, against the Monotholite heresy. On being called 
in to the council, his case heard, and he himself acquitted, he was 
requested to make a confession of faith, his own as well as that of 
the several Churches of the Island whence he came ; and Bede 
says that this declaration which he made was inserted in the acts 
of the council in these words: "Wilfrid, the beloved of God, 
Bishop of York, appealing to the Apostolic See in his cause, and 
being by that authority acquitted of certain and uncertain things, 
and seated in judgment with the other 125 bishops in the Synod, 
made confession of the true and Catholic faith, and subscribed the 
same, in the name of all the Northern parts, to wit, the Isles of 
Britain and Ireland, which are inhabited by the nations of the 
English and Britons, and by those of the Picts and Scots, and in 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 271 

all their names made confession of the true Catholic faith, and 
subscribed it with his subscription." 

This appears to be convincing ; of course it may be asked who 
commissioned Wilfrid to speak in the name of the Scottish Church ? 
Are we bound to accept him as the mouthpiece of that Church ? 
I am content to claim him, as contemporary evidence, that he and 
the Scottish Church were one in faith, and that is sufficient for my 
purpose. To establish his theory, Provost Macandrew must 
produce contemporary evidence, as strong and explicit, that the 
Scottish Church was not in communion with the Saxon or Roman, 
and denied the latter's supremacy. This, neither he nor any one 
else has shown. But it may be said that Wilfrid could have said 
what he thought proper to please the Pope ! But, in the first 
place, if the Scots had an enemy it was Wilfrid, who opposed them 
at Whitby. If Bishop Colman's refusal to submit on that occasion 
was a proof that he did not acknowledge the supremacy, who 
would have known it better than Wilfrid ? and, if he looked upon 
the Scots as schismatical, how could he have stood up in open 
council before the Pope and declared that he and they were of the 
same faith ? To please the Pope ? But Protestant writers tell us 
that Wilfrid was a haughty, overbearing man, who could not brook 
opposition. Was not this his opportunity to turn the tables upon 
his so-called enemies, and denounce them to the Pope as schismatics ? 
To please the Pope forsooth ! I know that explanation has been 
given to satisfy the Episcopal mind ; so eager is a drowning man 
to grasp a straw! Just fancy His Grace, the present Archbishop 
of Edinburgh, proceeding to Rome, and, before an assembly of 
bishops and the Pope, professing the same faith as the Episcopal 
Church, and this to please the Pope ! Let us sum up in conclusion. 
We have seen that there were differences between the Scottish 
Church and the Church of Rome ; but these differences were mere 
matters of discipline, not of faith, and Bede expressly tells us that 
they were tolerated. They utterly fail, then, to prove that the 
Celtic Church held a different faith from that of Rome, or that 
there was anything in her constitution or practice which could 
hinder that ultra Romanist, Wilfrid, from professing that he and 
the Scotch were of the same Catholic faith, and that they, as he, 
were obedient sons of Rome. 

Mount Carmel, Banff. AENEAS CHISHOLM. 


The Celtic Magazine. 


IY MMos.] M (HBLIO, 1886. 


% AN SOLUS UR 4 LA 2.3! F. 

O AN SOLUS LAN 18 LA 2.59 F. 

J) AN CIAD CHR. II LA 8.44 F. 

( AN CR. MU DHEIR. 26 LA 5-l6M. 

M. DI. 


An Lan 

An Lite. 

An Lan 
An Grianaig. 






U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 



Latha "Gnothach na Cubhaige. 


5-47 E 


I. 2 





Latha na Beirbhe, 1801. 

6.49 L 



II. 6 




Binn Chlann-Ghriogair, 1603. 

5.42 E 




12. O 



IV. Didonaich de'n Charghns. 







Bas Napoleoin I., 1821. 


3- i 






Sith nan Staidean, 1865. 

6.57 L 



i. 9 




Breith Adhaimh Ghib, 1714. 

5-32 E 

4- 5 



2. 2 



Breith Righ Lochlann, 1818. 

7. i L 


5- i 


2. 3 8 

9 jH 

Bas Mhic Shimidh, 1747. 

5.27 E 







Breith Uilleam Reid, 1764. 

7- SI- 

6- 5 



4- i 



Didonaich na Paisc. 

S' 21 E 

7- o 






A' Chailleach. 

7- 9L 

8.1 1 



6. 2 



Lagh na Saorsa, 1829. 

5.16 E 







Bas Sheosaidh Ghrainnd, 1835. 

7-13 L 



8- 5 




Ceitein na h-Oinsich. 

5.II E 

o. 3 





Latha Chuil-fhodair, 1746. 








An f heill Donnain. 

5- 6E 




1 1-35 



Didonaich Shlat Pailm. 

7.21 L 

2. 5 





Cogadh America, 1775. 

5. I E 


3- 5 





Breith Raibeart Fhoulis, 1707. 

7. 25L 



i. 4 




Diciadaoin a' Bhrath. 


4- 5 



2- 5 



Diordaoin Bangaid. 



5- 5 





Dihaoine na Ceusda. 




3- 2 




Disathurna na Caisge. 

7-33 L 

6. 9 



4- i 



Didonaich Caisge. 

4-47 E 







Breith Dhaibhidh Hume, 1711. 

7-37 L 







Latha Creag Choineachain, 1650. ' 4.42 E 







[27] Latha Dhunbar, 1296. 

7.41 L 




8. 8 



4-37 E 







Latha Fhontenoy, 1 745 ; Oidhche 


7-45 L 



10. 4 

A Song by " Ian Mac-MhurcJiaidJi" the Kintail Bard. 273 


AT a meeting of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, held on the 3rd of February, Mr. 
Colin Chisholm recited several "Unpublished Gaelic Songs," adding historical notes 
and traditions. Among the songs was one composed by "Ian Mac-Mhurchaidh," 
the Kintail Gaelic Bard, on a certain interesting occasion, when a young woman to 
whom he was engaged to be married a daughter of Donald Macrae of Torloisich 
married Kenneth Og Maclennan. Mr. Chisholm, who, at the time, did not wish his 
name to be given, supplied us in 1882 with all that he then knew of the Kintail 
Bard's poems, and they will be found in vol. vii., pp. 271, 322, 387, 426, and 464. 
The pieces there given, with the following song, comprise nearly all that are now 
known in this country of " Ian Mac-Mhurchaidh 's " poems : 

Oh, 's mor is misde mi 
Na thug mi thoirt dhi ; 
Ge b'e de ni ise, 
Dh' fhag i mise bochd dheth. 

Aithnichear air mo shugradh 
Nach 'eil mi geanach ; 
Cha thog mi mo shuil 
Ann an aite soillear. 
'Nuair a chi mi triuir 
A' dol ann an comunn, 
Saoilidh mi gur giim 
A bhios gu mo dhomail. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

Gu'm beil mi fo ghruaimean 
'S mi ann am mulad ; 
Cha lugha mo thruas 
Ris a h-uile duine. 
Liughad fear a luaidh i 
'S nach d' rinn a buinnig ; 
'S fortanach ma thamh iad 
Na'n slainte buileach. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

Thainig am fear liath sin 
A mhilleadh comuinn ; 
Ged dh' fhanadh e shios 
Gum bu bheag an domail. 
'S dana leam na dh' iarr e 
Chur mu mo choinneamh, 
'S cha ghabhadh e deanamh 
Gun chiad a thogail. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

Sin nuair thuirt a mathair, 
Cha tugainn i idir 
Do dhuine dhe cairdean 
Cha b' fheaird' iad ise ; 
Chreid mi am fear a thainig 


274 The Celtic Magazine. 

Mi leis an fhios sin 
Gur iad fein a b' fhearr 
Chumadh ann am meas i. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

Oh biodh i nise 
Mar tha ise togar ; 
Gheibh sibh ann an sud i 
Bho'n is mise a thog i ; 
Cha bu mhasladh oirre 
Ged bu phairt de coire 
Gu'm biodh mo theacairean 
Dha cur na roghuinn. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

A Choinnich Mhic Dhonuil, 
Bu mhor am beud learn 
Do theachdaire chomhdach 
Le storaidh breige ; 
Mas a duine beo mi 
Cha bhi thu 'n eis dheth 
Gum faigh thu i ri phosadh 
Le ordugh Cleire. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

'S misde mi gu brach e 
Ge d' gheibhinn saoghal ; 
Cha leasaicheadh each mi 
'S na thug mi ghaol dhuit ; 
'S muladach a tha mi 
Nach d' rinn mi d'f haotainn ; 
'S fortanach a tharladh dhomh 
Bhi tamh mar ri m' dhaoine. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

Thog iad mar bhaoth-sgeul 
Orm air feadh an aite 
Gun caillinn mo chiall 
Mur faighainn lamh riut ; 
'S iongatach leam fein 
Ciod e chuir fos 'n aird sud, 
Mur d' aithnich sibh fein 
Gu'n deach eis air mo mhanran. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

Sguiridh mi dheth 'n oran 
Mu 'n gabh sibh miothlachd, 
Gus am faic mi 'n cord ribh 
Na tha dheth deanta ; 
Na creidibh a storaidh 
Air feadh nan criochan 
Cha 'n 'eil aonan beo 
Chuireadh as mo chiall mi. 
Oh 's mor, &c. 

The Evicted Widow. 275 



MR. CAMPBELL'S house stood in a little wood close to the sea. 
The mountain-stream that came tumbling down the rocks, ran 
almost past his door, ere it lost itself in the waters of the bay. About 
two hundred yards from the house, the stream was spanned by a 
wooden bridge, and close beside this bridge was situated the little 
graveyard of Glenfalcon. Here they buried the poor widow and 
her child, beside some others who had died from the effects of the 
harsh proceedings which had been so ruthlessly carried out a few 
days previously. The news of the tragic results from the recent 
evictions had spread all over the district, consequently, large 
numbers gathered to the funerals of the victims of oppression. A 
single glance at the gloomy faces of the bystanders revealed the 
fact that there were others feelings at work besides the usual grief 
at the death of relations and neighbours, and after the interment 
was over, and as the people wended their way home in groups, many 
were the comments made on the widow's sad fate, and on her 
curse. A new feeling animated the people. Men asked 
themselves why such things should be allowed, yea, and 
have the sanction of the law too, and the first dawning of 
the spirit of independence and determination to get justice 
began that day to stir in the breasts of the long-suffering 
and down-trodden people, which will never again be stilled 
until the present land laws are abolished, and men will once 
more dare to call their souls their own, without fear of laird or 

The day of the funeral was excessively gloomy, the sky was 
heavy with unshed rain ; a thaw had set in, and the ground was 
like a sponge. During the night, the rain fell in torrents, and it 

276 The Celtic Magazine. 

continued to fall with unabated force the whole of the next day 
and night. Not for many years had the inhabitants seen anything 
approaching the violence of the present storm,. All nature seemed 
to be weeping ; inky clouds obscured the sun, so that it appeared 
more like night than day. As night came on, the storm grew still 
worse ; the people cowered in their miserable huts, listening, with 
awe-stricken faces and sinking hearts, to the fearful warring of the 
elements, to the pelting rain, the roar of the mountain torrent, and 
the loud blasts of wind, which threatened every moment to blow 
their frail dwellings into space. 

On this dreary night, Mr. Campbell sat alone in the parlour 
of his house. A tall, spare man, with a cold, hard face, indicative 
of a stern unyielding nature. No affectionate wife smoothed the 
wrinkles from his brow ; no loving children climbed on his knee 
and taught the stern mouth to smile ; for he was a bachelor, 
wrapped up in his own selfishness. 

The unusual severity of the storm even disturbed the nerves 
of this iron-willed man. He could not settle to his reading ; his 
thoughts oppressed him, and, as he walked restlessly through the 
room, he muttered, 

" I do not know what is the matter with me to-night. A 
feeling of dread which I cannot shake off hangs about me. I wish 
Macneil had not given me such full particulars of that affair up the 
Glen the other day. The woman cursed me, too. Tuts ! I am 
getting superstitious, when the ravings of a mad woman could thus 
affect me." A louder blast than ever, that threatened to break in 
the window, made him start and look shudderingly round the 
room, as if he half expected to see the ghost of the widow by his 
side. Rousing himself, with an effort, from the eerie feeling 
creeping over him, he went to the window, and, drawing up the 
blind, looked out, but he could see nothing but the big rain-drops 
running down the glass ; all without was dense darkness. Turning 
away, with a muttered oath, he sat down before the fire, and stirred 
it into a ruddy glow ; the next moment he again started to his 
feet, as his eyes fell on a picture of The Deluge which hung over 
the mantelpiece. 

" I cannot bear to look on that picture to-night, it makes me 
feel more miserable than ever," he said. " I wish the night was 

The Evicted Widow. 

over ; I can hear the torrent roaring as if it meant to sweep the 
house away. I never felt so nervous before ; I must have some- 
thing to cheer me up." 

Ringing the bell, he ordered the servant to bring some whisky 
and hot water, and then she might retire for the night, as he 
should want nothing more. Determined to shake off his most 
unusual depression of spirits, he mixed a stiff glass of toddy, and, 
sitting down to the table, busied himself with his accounts. Finding 
the whisky cheered him up, he did not spare, it but continued 
drinking and writing until near midnight, when suddenly he dropped 
his pen, and started up with affright. The tempest seemed to have 
reached a climax ; the howling of the wind and the roar of the 
stream now mingled with an appalling sound of rushing water. 

" Good heavens ! what was that," he cried in alarm ; " I thought 
I heard a rush of water close by, but there is such a terrible noise 
outside that I can hardly distinguish one sound from another ; 
perhaps it was only the wind, or my excited imagination." Thus 
saying, he again resumed his seat, and mixed another toddy. 

Before long, his deep potations began to tell ; his pen dropped 
from his fingers, his head sank on his breast, and he fell into a 
profound sleep. In a little while, his heavy breathing and con- 
vulsive movements showed that his sleep was anything but 
refreshing. Suddenly he woke with a start, and cried out in a 
terror-stricken voice, 

" Keep off! Go back to the grave ! Go back to the grave ! " 

In his agitation, he overthrew the table and upset the lamp, 
which became extinguished, thus leaving the room in darkness. 
This increased his fright, and he rushed wildly to the door, only 
to find it locked. He had locked it to secure himself from intrusion, 
and had placed the key on the table, and now, in the pitch dark- 
ness, was unable to find it. He was now thoroughly awake, but 
trembling in every limb from the effects of his frightful dreams. 
His horror of the supernatural was changed into a vivid fear for his 
personal safety, as he discovered what he had not, in his agitation, 
noticed before that he was standing ankle deep in water. 

He shouted in vain for assistance ; his voice was drowned in 
the fearful noise of the hurricane. Nearly at his wit's end he ran 
to the window ; it was firmly fastened, and his agitation was too 

278 The Celtic Magazine. 

great to allow him to open it. Every moment the water was 
rising ; now it was up to his knees, and the furniture began to float 
about. In utter desperation, he smashed the glass of the window, 
but the heavy frame defied his utmost endeavours. All the while 
the water kept rising steadily, inch by inch. In vain the unhappy 
man threw himself against the door, and then tried to force out 
the window, only to cut and bruise himself. He at length realised 
that he was doomed ; the water had now reached his waist, and, 
as he recalled the widow's curse, he cried aloud in his agony at its 
speedy fulfilment, as he found himself entombed alive with no 
companion but the merciless water, ever creeping up higher and 
higher. He climbed upon some furniture, and was clinging dis- 
pairingly to a shelf, when, with a loud crash, the door was broken 
from without, and, on the volume of water that rushed in, was 
borne a black object, which, striking Mr. Campbell on the side, 
threw him backward, senseless, on the floor, where he was speedily 

On this memorable night, Macneil, the factor, went to the 
house of a tenant who lived on the other side of the bay, to transact 
some business. He stayed until a late hour, hoping the storm 
would abate ; but at last, seeing no hopes of its getting better, he 
determined to face it, so, wishing his neighbour good night, he 
put on his greatcoat, and, lantern in hand, set out on his way 
home. He had nearly two miles to go ; but, as he knew every 
inch of the road, he had no fear of losing his way, though the 
darkness was such as might be felt. 

" I did not think it was quiet so bad as this," he said to himself, 
as he groped his way along, half blinded by the rain which beat in 
his face, " but I won't turn back now I have started ; I will go 
home, be the weather ever so bad." 

Slowly and cautiously he plodded on until he reached the 
hollow where the bridge spanned the stream. Here he was up to 
his knees in water, and, as he stood for a moment to gain breath 
and heard the torrent as it thundered down the rocks with terrific 
force, he said " I should not be surprised to find the bridge 
damaged ; I must be careful." So, holding his lantern before 
him, he slowly and cautiously advanced. He knew he must be 
near the bridge, and, once over that, he would be safe, as the road 

The Evicted Widow. 279 

was uphill, and his home was within three hundred yards of the 
bridge. Just then his progress was arrested by something that 
lay like a log of wood right across his path ; lowering his lantern, 
he peered through the darkness to see what it was. His horror 
can be imagined, when he saw that it was a coffin, the lid of which 
had been partly torn off, and the ghastly face of a dead man, met 
his horrified gaze. Firm as were Macneil's nerves, they received 
a rude shock, but a moment's thought was sufficient for him to 
regain his self-possession. He rightly conjectured that the torrent 
had overflowed and had washed part of the graveyard away, and 
he was more than ever convinced of the necessity of the greatest 
caution on his part, as, doubtless, the bridge had likewise been 
destroyed. Suddenly, so suddenly that he never clearly compre- 
hended how it happened, he felt himself lifted off the ground, and 
carried away on a swift stream of rushing water. He was a 
powerful swimmer, but swimming was of little avail in such a mad 
torrent, especially encumbered as he was with heavy clothes. He 
struggled desperately to keep above water, but he must have gone 
down had he not managed to catch hold of a piece of wood, as it 
floated past him ; clinging to this, he was borne swiftly along, until, 
at last, he was dashed against what appeared to be a wall. The 
top was about two feet above the level of the water, and, though 
greatly exhausted and severely bruised by his rapid transit through 
the flood, Macneil managed to climb to the top of this wall. He had 
now time to rest and collect his scattered senses, as he lay on the 
wall and held on with both hands. The storm still raged with 
great fury ; all around him was a mass of rushing, seething water, 
but he could distinguish the sound of the wind among trees, and 
he at once knew he must be near the proprietor's house, as there 
were no trees anywhere else in this direction. A terrible thought 
crossed his perturbed mind : What if Mr. Campbell's house had 
been swept away, and the inmates drowned ? He might be even 
now on one of the ruined walls, for all he knew. The more he 
considered, the more convinced be became that it must be so. 
The house occupied a very low position, to which the water would 
inevitably rush, after sweeping away the bridge ; and, he thought, 
if he were indeed on the ruins of Mr. Campbell's house, he might 
be able to get a safer and more comfortable position than the one 

280 The Celtic Magazine. 

he now occupied, so he very slowly and carefully crawled along 
the top of the wall until he came to an angle where the wall 
rose higher. This was what he expected, and he still continued 
to grope his way along, feeling on the inner side of the wall with 
his hands, to ascertain if any part of the rooms remained intact ; 
at last he felt what were evidently some slates, which, he knew, 
must have fallen on the floor of one of the upper rooms. He 
cautiously lowered himself, still keeping a firm hold on the wall 
with both his hands, until he tested the strength of his standing 
place. Finding it firm, he did not venture further, but sat down 
on the floor, under the slight shelter afforded by the fragment of 
wall left standing. Fortunately, he had some matches in a tin box 
in an inner pocket which the water had not reached, so, striking 
one, he attempted to ascertain his position. He saw that he was 
in the ruins of a room in the upper story ; nearly all the roof had 
fallen, and the floor on which he stood was covered with the debris. 
A few feet from where he stood was a great hole in the floor, 
through which he would have fallen had he ventured to move 
forward without a light. Although his situation was bad enough, 
he felt in comparative safety, especially as the gale was lessening 
in force, and the water evidently subsiding, so he made up his 
mind to stay where he was until morning, when he could see 
where to go. Body and mind had now been on the rack for, at 
least, five hours. The sense of safety took away the excitement that 
had acted like a stimulant while he was in danger, and, although 
drenched to the skin, and very imperfectly sheltered from the 
storm, he fell asleep. But, as may be readily imagined, his 
slumbers were very disturbed. He was still, in his dreams, 
stumbling over coffins and battling with floods. He dreamed of 
a precipice towards which he was being irresistibly hurried. He 
struggled wildly in this terrible nightmare, and woke with a cry 
of terror, as he felt himself falling through the hole in the floor, to 
which he had rolled in his disturbed sleep. He fell with a splash 
into the water which flooded the room below ; but his fall was 
broken by his alighting on a soft substance. Putting out his hand 
to feel what he had fallen upon, he withdrew it with horror, for it 
had touched the face of a dead man. 

"Good God!" he cried, in terror, "are the horrors of this 
night never to cease ? " 

The Evicted Widow. 281 

He staggered to his feet, and, when he had somewhat 
recovered from the great shock he had received, he struck a 
match, and, holding it down, saw, staring up at him through the 
surrounding darkness, the ghastly dead face of poor Mr. Camp- 
bell, made still more horrible by the look of wild terror that death 
had frozen on it. 

"The widow's curse has been fulfilled," said Macneil, tremb- 
ling and shaking with fear, yet afraid to move. Thus he stood 
for what seemed to him a long time, till at last the cold, grey 
light of coming day diffused itself over the pitiable scene. But 
the faint light only increased poor Macneil's terror, for it only 
served to make darkness visible ; and his over-strained imagina- 
tion saw spectres on every side, while he could not take his eyes 
off the pale face of his late master, gleaming ghastly through the 
struggling light of early morn. 

" If I do not get out of this I shall go mad," said he, at last, 
making an effort to throw off a sensation of dread which chained 
him to the ground. He made a step forward, when he stumbled 
over some heavy object and fell, striking his head against some 
furniture so severely that, for a time, he lay quite stunned. When 
he recovered, the daylight was strong enough for him to see 
plainly his dread surroundings. On raising himself, and turning 
to see what had caused his fall, he nearly lost his senses again 
with horror, for what did he see but the body of Mr. Campbell 
with the head supported on a coffin, the broken lid of which 
revealed to his terror-stricken view the mangled remains of the 
widow Cameron. 

" It is a judgment from heaven," he exclaimed ; " better for 
me to drown outside than to stay amid these horrors." So saying, 
he rushed out of the door, and, half wading, half swimming, he 
managed at length to reach the road leading to his own house ; 
but, as soon as he felt himself on firm ground, and in the open 
day-light, he fell insensible to the ground, utterly worn out with 
the varied emotions and dangers he had encountered. Thus he 
was found by some neighbours, soon afterwards, and carried home, 
where he kept his bed for some weeks, suffering from the effects 
of his exposure and fright during that never-to-be-forgotten night. 

When the sun rose on Glenfalcon, its rays illumined as sad a 

282 TJie Celtic Magazine. 

scene as could well be found. The graveyard and the bridge had 
been carried away by the mad torrent, which tore up every object 
in its destructive career. Several of the crofters' houses were 
levelled with the ground. Dead sheep and cattle were to be seen 
floating amid the waste of water ; some were even washed right 
out into the bay. Mr. Campbell's house was a complete wreck, 
and around it lay scattered the contents of the graveyard. Coffins 
lay around in all directions, many of them broken, revealing their 
ghastly contents in all stages of decomposition. Human bones 
and skulls lay all around ; but the most fearful sight was inside the 
house, where the people found Mr. Campbell lying, as Macneil 
described, with his head pillowed on the coffin of the victim of 
his cruelty. 

A feeling of intense awe crept over the people at this fearful 
sight. " It is a judgment," was the universal verdict, as they re- 
called the widow's curse. The excitement went down with the 
flood. The dead bodies were collected and reinterred, and things 
resumed their usual course. A new and more substantial bridge 
was built, and the estate passed into the hands of a distant relative 
of Mr. Campbell, who had the ruins of the ill-fated house levelled 
with the ground. 

It is years since these events happened, but they are still fresh 
in the memory of the old people in the district, who yet 
relate the story of the dreadful flood, and some aver that the 
widow's curse still hangs over the place where the proprietor's 
house once stood, and that, on dark stormy nights, when the wind 
howls mournfully through the glen, the sheeted dead leave their 
graves and mingle their ghostly voices with the storm. 

" THE MASSACRE OF THE ROSSES. "A reprint of a very rare pamphlet, of 
about 40 pages, bearing the above title, has just been issued by A. & W. Mac- 
kenzie, Celtic Magazine Office, Inverness. This little work gives a detailed and 
thrilling account of one of the most heartless clearances ever carried out even in the 
Highlands of Scotland, and which, in point of official brutality, is without parallel in the 
history of evictions. The pamphlet has been for many years out of print, the one 
from which this edition is reprinted being the only one ever seen by the Editor. The 
author was the late Mr. Donald Ross, who recorded the atrocities of the Knoydart, 
Suishinish, Boreraig, and other evictions, in other pamphlets, largely quoted in Mr. 
Mackenzie's History of the Highland Clearances. The brutal proceedings described 
in this brochure occurred as recently as 1854 ! Mr. Ross procured his information at 
the time on the spot, and his statements are corroborated by several trustworthy and 
respectable persons, among them, the Rev. Dr. Gustavus Aird, then and now of 
Creich, whose letter on the subject, written at the time, forms part of the pamphlet. 
The edition is limited price sixpence By post sevenpence. 

From Nether Loekaber. 283 


Dear Mr. Editor, Looking over a deskful of old papers this 
morning, I find another very happy rendering into Gaelic of a 
once popular song, by my friend, the late Rev. Dr. Macintyre, of 

Shortly after one of his daughters had emigrated to her 
brothers in Australia, the venerable Doctor somewhere heard 
sung the plaintively sweet song, " Do they miss me at home ?" 
and both words and air having, for the family at the Manse, a 
direct and particular meaning and appropriateness with reference 
to the absent one, the translation into Gaelic was the result. 

It is now many years since I heard this song sung either in 
English or Gaelic, but my recollection is that the air was either 
the same or very similar to that better known, perhaps, as " Tarn 

Dear Mr. Editor, 

faithfully yours, 

8th March, 1886. NETHER LOCHABER. 


Do they miss me at home, do they miss me ? 

'Twould be an assurance most dear, 
To know that this moment some loved ones 

Were saying, " We wish she were here," 
To feel that the group at the fireside 

Were thinking of me as I roam, 
Oh, yes, 'twould be joy beyond measure, 

To know that they miss'd me at home ! 

To know, &c. 
When twilight approaches, the season 

That ever is sacred to song, 
Does some one repeat my name over, 

And sigh that I tarry so long ; 
And is there a chord in the music, 

That's miss'd when my voice is away, 
And a chord in each heart that awaketh 

Regret at my wearisome stay ? 

Regret at, &c. 
Do they set me a chair near the table 

When evening's home pleasures are nigh, 
When the candles are lit in the parlour, 

And the stars in the calm, azure sky ? 
And when the " Good Nights " are repeated, 

And all lay them down to sleep. 

284 The Celtic Magazine. 

Do they think of the absent, and waft me 

A whispered " Good Night" while they weep? 

A whispered, &c. 
Do they miss me at home, do they miss me, 

At morning, at noon, or at night ? 
And lingers one gloomy shade round them, 

That only my presence can light ? 
Are joys less invitingly welcome, 

And pleasures less hale than before, 
Because one is missed from the circle, 
Because I am with them no more ? 

Because I, &c. 
Manse of Kilmonivaig, March 23rd, 1859. 


A bheil iad' gam ionndrain o 'n bhaile ? 

Bu ghaolach le m' chridhe 's an am-s" 
A' chlnnt gu bheil gradhaich a' guidhe, 

" Oh b' fhearr leinn gu'n robh i 'so 'n drast' " 
Am fios gu'n robh 'n croilein mu'n teallaich 

A' smuaineachadh orm-s' tha air falbh, 
Dearbh-bheachd gu bheil ionndrain aig bail' orm, 

B' ard-sholas gun tomhas an sealbh ! 

B'ard-sholas, &c. 
'Nuair 'chiaras am feasgar, an trath sin, 

'Tha coisrigt' do 'n dan, cian nan cian, 
'Bheil neach ann a luaidheas air m'ainm-sa, 

'S a their " 'S thad air falbh' uainn mo mhiann "? 
'S am mothaichear meang anns an oran 

'S gun mo ghuth-sa a' comhnadh na teis' ? 
No 'n duisg e teud-bhroin anns gach anam 

Mi 'bhi uapa air m' aineol, an cein ? 

Mi 'bhi, &c. 
An suidhich iad cathair aig bord dhomh 

'N 'am eibhneis an teaghlaich 'bhi dluth ? 
'N uair lasar na coinnlean a' s' t-seomar, 

'S na reultan 's a' ghorm-speur gu ciuin ? 
'N uair' ghabhas gach aon cead d' a cheile, 

'S a theid iad, fa leth 'ghabhail tainih, 
'M bi cuimhn' air an te' th' air a h-aineol, 

'S an guidh iad, fo smalan, dhi " slaint' " 

'S an, &c. 
'A' bheil iad' ga m' ionndrain o'n bhaile 

Tra maidne, tr i feasgair, tra noin ! 
'S na tharmaich neul dubhach mu' n cuairt doibh 

Nach soillsioh a ghruainn ach mo neoil-s' ! 
'Bheil sugradh 'us manran cho taitneach, 

'S a bha cion a b' ait' bha mi leo ? 
No' bheil iad fo cheal, o 'n nach dogh dhomh 

'Bhi 'n caidribh a' chroilein ni's mo ? 
'Bhi 'n caidribh, &c. 

Number of the Celtic Magazine will contain a Poem, by the Rev. Alexander 
Stewart, LL.D., " Nether Lochaber," entitled, " A Legend of Loch-Eild." 

The Camerons of Rannoch. 285 


THERE are, in Rannoch, two distinct septs of the Clan Cameron, 
viz. the Camerons of Camuserochd on the North, and of 
Camghuran on the South side of the Loch. The former are 
styled in the vernacular, Cloinn-ic-Mhartainn na Leitirach, and the 
latter, Cloinn-Ian-Cheir, and Cloinn-Ian-Bhiorraich. 

The history of the Camerons of Camuserochd derives its 
interest both from their being representative of the ancient House 
of Letterfinlay in Lochaber, and from their intimate connection 
with the Macgregors of Ardlarich and Dunan, two of the principal 
families of the Clangregor. The iniquitous persecution of that 
brave clan, by the Government of the day, afforded their enemies of 
Lochaber the occasion for settlement on the sides of Loch Rannoch, 
and it is therefore necessary briefly to review the conditions which 
led up to an event so foreign to the spirit of the age as the 
peaceable intrusion of a hostile clan on the lands of a powerful 

At the instigation, to serve his own ends, of the crafty Earl of 
Argyll, Alister Macgregor of Glenstrae collected bis clansmen of 
Rannoch, and marched, it is said, from Ardlarich, to ravage the 
country of the Colquhouns of Luss. The overthrow and slaughter 
of the Colquhouns, at the famous battle of Glenfruin, so creditable 
to the prowess of the Macgregors, was represented to King 
James VI. and his Council in a most distorted light groundless 
charges of barbaric cruelty and wantonness being preferred against 
the clan and their chief. Alister soon found out, to his dismay, 
that he had been led into a trap, and that the wily Earl a veritable 
wolf in sheep's clothing whose tool he had been, was the first to 
turn on him. The unfortunate chief was arrested and executed, 
along with several of his principal clansmen, at the Market Cross 
of Edinburgh, in the year 1604. A commission of extermination 
was given to the Earl of Argyll, and other chiefs, against all who 
bore the name of Macgregor, and the ruthless manner in which it 
was carried out may be judged from the fact that instances are 

286 The Celtic Magazine. 

related of payment of rents being demanded, not in the ordinary 
currency, but in so many heads of Macgregors. Not even the 
closest family ties afforded protection. Duncan Macgregor of 
Dunan, styled in the Decreta 1612, Doncha Mac landuy, who was 
married to a daughter of Cameron of Glenevis, being hotly 
pursued by his enemies, shortly after the battle of Glenfruin, in 
which he had taken part, is said to have sent his wife to her brother, 
to see if he would afford her any protection ; but Glenevis, having, 
along with others, accepted the commission to extirpate the whole 
race of Macgregors, gave, as his advice, that both she and her 
husband could do nothing better than cut their own throats. The 
poor woman returned dejected and exasperated at the reception 
accorded to her, which she communicated to her husband, and he 
immediately set off to Ireland. He left his wife in his possessions 
of Camuserochd, where her subsequent treatment exemplifies the 
truth of the adage that the pen is mightier than the sword, and 
forcibly illustrates the melancholy mistake of the Clangregor in 
scorning all right to their lands save that of their own strong 
arm. During Duncan's absence in Ireland, where he remained 
seven years, the Laird of Menzies, who had long before obtained 
a Crown charter over them, gave a grant of Macgregor's possessions 
in Camuserochd to one of the name of Kennedy from Lochaber, 
known in the country as Gillandhurst-beg, and from whom the 
Kennedys or Clan Gillandhurst in Rannoch are descended. It 
appears that Duncan Maclanduy's wife still remained on the 
estate and was much oppressed by Gillandhurst, who obliged her 
to perform the most servile work for her livelihood. On her husband's 
return home, accompanied by his comrades in exile, Gillandhurst 
was summarily ejected, and, betaking himself to Castle Menzies, 
was speedily followed thither by Duncan. Macgregor, on being 
admitted into the audience chamber, is said to have been accosted 
thus by the Laird of Menzies : 

"Suidh sios a MhicGrigair is leig le Gillandhurst suidhe suas." 
To which Macgregor responded 

" Suidh thusa sios a Gillandhurst-bhig is leig le MacGrigair 
suidhe suas," and, suiting his action to the word, took Gillandhurst 
by the neck, and thrust him to the door. 

On this occasion, the Laird of Menzies is said to have offered 

The Camerons of Rannoeh. 287 

him an exclusive right to his possessions on very easy terms, 
which, however, Macgregor rejected with disdain ; but, after 
expelling Gillandhurst, he continued to occupy the lands as before, 
unmolested. Duncan's daughter, Rachel, celebrated for beauty 
and the theme of Gaelic song, married, under romantic circum- 
stances (of which presently), Donald Cameron of Blarachaorin, in 
Lochaber, son of Duncan Cameron of Letterfinlay, the progenitor 
of the Camerons of Camuserochd. 

Duncan Macgregor of Dunan was succeeded by his son, Patrick, 
whose name occurs in the Leny Papers in September, 1655, and 
who is referred to in the Privy Council Records as Patrick Mac 
Doncha-vic landuy of Dunan in Rannoeh. He purchased the 
wadset of the lands of Dunan and Kinnachlachar on tha 22nd 
April, 1675, under reversion of 5000 merks and the sasine ; and 
the same wadset from Sir Alex. Menzies, is recorded 8th December, 
1675. In the troublous times that followed the affair of Glenfruin, 
when the sanguinary enactments of the Privy Council against the 
Macgregors were little calculated to ensure respect for law and 
order, especially in the districts occupied by the proscribed clan, 
the shores of Loch Rannoeh were frequently the scene of lawless- 
ness and rapine. Abductions were as common then as are 
elopements now. Rachel Macgregor of Dunan, already alluded 
to as sister of Patrick and neice of Cameron of Glenevis, had, it 
would seem, many wooers, and, among the rest, a "gentle old 
bachelor" in Lochaber, said to be Raonal na Keppoch, son of 
Macdonald of Keppoch, whose addresses she despised and 
rejected. Determined, however, to gain his point, he conceived 
the project of carrying her off by force or stratagem. Accordingly, 
he induced about a dozen of his comrades, young men of good 
families in Lochaber, to proceed with him to Rannoeh and take 
her, nolens volens, provided they got an opportunity. On arriving 
near Dunan in the evening, they lay in wait, and watched till they 
saw her walking alone in a birch wood near her father's house. 
The fellows then rose from their ambush, seized her, and carried 
her off across the mountains towards Lochaber, by an unfrequented 
path, so as to avoid pursuit. They entered a lonely bothy or 
sheiling, where Raonal, now that she was in his power, demanded 
her surrender to his suit But, his appearance being anything 

288 The Celtic Magazine. 

but prepossessing, and entertaining a natural repugnance to him, 
born, probably, of family feuds, Rachel would on no account 
consent to marry him. They tried all fair means to persuade the 
obdurate beauty, but to no purpose, when one, less principled 
than the rest, proposed, by way of punishment for her tenacity, 
that she should be dishonoured, and then allowed to return to her 
father if she pleased. Another objected to this brutal proposal, 
saying that it was as discreditable to themselves as it was shameful 
to the girl, and made the chivalrous suggestion that all the 
gentlemen present (and blackguards too, most likely) should be 
drawn up in line, and that she should be allowed to choose which 
of them she pleased for a husband. Expressing her heartfelt 
gratitude for his magnanimity, Rachel immediately fixed on him- 
self ; "as," said she, "you have given me proof of your humanity, 
generosity, and good sense, I choose no other than you." Cameron 
of Blarachaorin, the man of her choice, is said to have been an 
exceedingly handsome youth. Next day the marriage was 
solemnised by a priest at Lochaber, and a messenger at once 
despatched to Dunan to inform her father of her fate.* 

(To be continued '.) 

* The song " Air an Airidh 'm Braidh Raineach," the air of which is sto beau- 
tiful, is said to have been composed on the occasion of Rachel Macgregor's abduction 
from Dunan. 


No. CXXVII. MAY, 1886. VOL. XI. 




RORY MOR, shortly before this, got into special favour with James 
VI., who, on the i8th of May, 1610, wrote him a letter, requiring 
his assistance in an affair, the nature of which the King communi- 
cated to him through the Earl of Dunbar, and which, His Majesty 
said, " We shall not fail to remember when any occasion fit for 
your good shall be offered." King James, by a letter dated at 
Whitehall, the 5th of November, 161 1, granted to Andrew, Bishop 
of the Isles, " all and whatsoever sums of money shall be resting, 
owing to His Majesty," by Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan, and 
several other Island and Highland chiefs therein mentioned, for 
their shares of whatsover taxations had been granted to His 
Majesty, within his kingdom, at any time preceding the first day 
of July, 1606. 

Early in 1613, the King conferred upon him the honour of 
knighthood. In the month of June, His Majesty wrote no less 
than three separate letters, dated Greenwich, recommending Sir 
Roderick and his affairs, in the strongest terms, to the favourable 
consideration of the Privy Council. This year, Sir Roderick 
Macleod of Harris, Donald Gorm of Sleat, Hector Maclean of 


290 The Celtic Magazine. 

Duart, and Donald MacAllan Macdonald of Clanranald, are men- 
tioned in " James Primrois' Information," and in the Records of 
the Privy Council from January to July, as having settled with the 
Exchequer, and continuing in their obedience to the laws of the 

In the same year, Sir Roderick found himself in possession of the 
person of Neil Macleod, the Bastard, who stood out so long against 
the Mackenzies in the Lewis, and had finally to abandon the Rock 
of Berrisay, where he held out for three years after all the Macleods 
had been driven from the mainland of the Island. Being forced 
to evacuate this rock by Sir Roderick Mackenzie, tutor of Kintail, 
Neil escaped to Harris, " where he remained for a while in secret, 
but at length surrendered himself to Ruari Macleod of Harris, 
whom he entreated to take him to the King of England. This, 
the Chief of Harris undertook to do ; but, when at Glasgow with 
his prisoner, preparing to embark for England, he was charged, 
under pain of treason, to deliver Neil Macleod to the Privy Council 
at Edinburgh, which he accordingly did ; and, at the same time, 
gave up Neil's son, Donald. Neil was brought to trial, convicted 
and executed, and died 'very christianlie/ in April, 1613." Ac- 
cording to the Mackenzie family manuscripts, it was Sir Roderick 
Mackenzie of Coigeach who was instrumental in getting Macleod 
of Harris charged to give up Neil the Bastard to the Privy Council, 
and Rory Mor, according to the same authorities, prevailed upon 
Neil and his son to accompany him to Edinburgh to seek forgive- 
ness from the King in person, upon which pretence Roderick 
induced Neil and his son to go, and, on their arrival in Edinburgh, 
he at once delivered them to the Privy Council, when, as we have 
seen, Neil was executed, and his son was banished to England, 
where he remained for three years, under the protection of Sir 
Robert Gordon, tutor of Sutherland, and afterwards went to 
Holland, where he died, without issue. 

On the 1 6th of September, 1613, Sir Roderick is served heir 
in special, to his uncle, William Macleod, in the lands of Troter- 
nish, Sleat, and North Uist, and, on the nth of February, 1614, 
he was infeft in these lands on a precept from Chancery. 

In 1615, Sir James Macdonald of Islay, having escaped from 
prison, and broken out, with his followers, into open rebellion, Sir 

History of the Macteods. 291 

Roderick Macleod, the Captain of Clanranald, and Macdonald of 
Sleat, received instructions to defend their own estates against an 
old pirate, Coll MacGillespick, who assisted Macdonald, with two 
hundred men each. These three, it was afterwards alleged, 
entered into a special bond of friendship with Sir James Macdonald 
of Islay, and other arrangements had to be made. In 1616, Sir 
Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan, Macdonald of Clanranald, the 
Chiefs of Duart, Lochbuy, and Coll, and Mackinnon of Strath, 
appeared before the Privy Council, when strict measures were 
taken for their future obedience. They had to bind themselves 
mutually as sureties for each other that they would observe the 
following conditions : First, That their clans should keep good 
order, and that they themselves should appear before the Council, 
annually, on the loth of July, and oftener if required, on being 
legally summoned. Secondly, That they should exhibit annually 
a certain number of their principal kinsmen, out of a larger number 
contained in a list given by them to the Council. Duart was to 
exhihit four ; Macleod, three ; Clanranald, two ; and Coll, Lochbuy, 
and Mackinnon, one of these chieftains, or heads of houses, in their 
clans, respectively. Thirdly, That they were not to maintain in 
their household more than the following proportions of gentlemen, 
according to their rank viz., Duart, eight ; Macleod and Clan- 
ranald, siz ; and the others three each. Fourthly, That they were 
to free their countries of "sorners" and idle men having no lawful 
occupation. Fifthly, That none of them were to carry hackbuts 
or pistols, unless when employed in the King's service ; and that 
none but the chiefs and their household gentlemen were to wear 
swords, or armour, or any other weapons whatever. Sixthly, That 
the chiefs were to reside at the following places, respectively viz., 
Macleod at Dunvegan ; Maclean of Duart at that place ; Clan- 
ranald at Elantirim ; Maclean of Coll at Bistache ; Lochbuy at 
Moy ; and Mackinnon at Kilmorie. Such of them as had not 
convenient dwelling-houses corresponding to their rank at these 
places were to build, without delay, " civil and comelie " houses, 
or repair those that were decayed. They were likewise to make 
" policie and planting " about their houses, and to take "mains," or 
home-farms, into their own hands, which they were to cultivate, 
" to the effect they might be thereby exercised, and eschew idleness." 

292 TJie Celtic Magazine. 

Clanranald, who had no "mains" about his Castle of Elantirim, 
choose for his home-farm the lands of Howbeg, in Uist. Seventhly, 
That, at the term of Martinmas next, they were to let the 
remainder of their lands to tenants, for a certain fixed rent, in lieu 
of all exactions. EigJithly, That no single chief should keep more 
than one birlinn, or galley, of sixteen or eighteen oars ; and that, 
in their voyages through the Isles, they should not oppress the 
country people. Ninthly, That they should send all their children, 
above nine years of age, to school in the Lowlands, to be instructed 
in reading, writing, and speaking the English language ; and that 
none of their children should be served heir to their fathers, or 
received as a tenant by the King, who had not received that 
education. This provision regarding education was confirmed by 
an act of Privy Council, which bore that " the chief and principal 
cause which has procured and procures the continuance of barbarity, 
impiety, and incivility, within the Isles of this kingdom, has 
proceeded from the small care that the chiefs and principal 
clansmen of the Isles have had of the education and upbringing of 
their children in virtue and learning, who being careless of their 
duties in that point, and keeping their children still at home with 
them, where they see nothing in their tender years but the barbarous 
and uncivil form of the country, they are thereby made to apprehend 
that there is no other form of duty and civility kept in any other 
part of the country ; so that, when they come to the years of 
maturity, hardly can they be reclaimed from these barbarous, rude, 
and uncivil forms, which, for lack of instruction, were bred and 
settled in them in their youth ; whereas, if they had been sent to 
the Inland (the low country) in their youth, and trained up in 
virtue, learning, and the English tongue, they would have been 
the better prepared to reform their countries, and to reduce the 
same to Godliness, obedience, and civility." Lastly, The Chiefs 
were not to use in their houses more than the following quantities 
of wine, respectively viz., Duart and Macleod, four tuns each ; 
Clanranald, three tuns; and Coll, Lochbuy, and Mackinnon, one 
tun each ; and they were to take strict order throughout their 
whole estates that none of their tenants or vassals should buy or 
drink any wine. A very strict act of the Privy Council against 
excess of drinking accompanied this obligation of the Chiefs. It 

History of the Madeods. 293 

proceeded on the narrative that " the great and extraordinary 
excess in drinking of wine, commonly used among the commons 
and tenants of the Isles, is not only an occasion of the beastly and 
barbarous cruelties and inhumanities that fall out among them, to 
the offence and displeasure of God and contempt of law and 
justice, but, with that, it draws numbers of them to miserable 
necessity and poverty, so that they are constrained, when they 
want from their own, to take from their neighbours." In terms of 
their engagement the previous year, Sir Roderick Macleod, and 
the other Island chiefs, presented themselves and their kinsmen, 
of whom Macleod had to produce three, before the Council, in 
July, 1617, and continued to do so, with fair regularity, until 1619, 
when the date of the visit, was, at their own request, changed from 
July to February. In 1621, however, the date was again altered 
from February to July, owing to the roughness of the weather in 
the early spring months of the year. 

On the i6th of June, 1616, the King granted Sir Roderick a 
licence, under his own hand and seal, by which he was permitted 
to travel out of Scotland, and go to the English Court, whenever 
he should find it convenient to do so, without anyone having the 
right to challenge or pursue him for so doing. 

In 1618, he disponed the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and North 
Uist, so long in dispute between the families of Sleat and Dun- 
vegan, to Sir Donald Gorm Og Macdonald. There had been an 
action at law going on in connection with these lands between 
Macleod and Donald Gorm Mor, who died in December, 1616. 
This action had been continued by his nephew and successor, Sir 
Donald Gorm Og, and in 1618 an agreement by arbitration was 
come to under which a certain sum of money was awarded to Sir 
Roderick Macleod for his claim on these lands, and in order to 
secure payment of this award it was agreed that he should keep 
possession of the lands for several years, and pay himself with the 
rents, when, at the time named in the decree arbitral, they should 
pass to Sir Donald Gorm Og and his heirs. 

In 1622, Sir Roderick presented himself, with several others 
of the Highland chiefs, on which occasion several important 
acts, relating to the Isles, were enacted by the Privy Council. 
By the first of these, they were bound to build and repair 

2Q4 The Celtic Magazine. 

their parish churches to the satisfaction of the Bishop of the 
Isles, whom they promised to meet at Icolmkill, to make the 
necessary arrangements as to the form, manner, and time, in which 
this act was to be carried out.* By another act, masters of vessels 
were prohibited to carry more wine to the Hebrides than the 
quantity granted to the chiefs and gentlemen of thelsles by the Act 
of 1617, the quantity allowed Sir Roderick Macleod being, it will be 
remembered, four tuns per annum. According to the preamble 
of the Act of 1622, the chief cause which retarded the civilisation 
of the Isles was the great quantity of wine imported to them 
yearly. We are told that " with the insatiable desire whereof the 
said Islanders are so far possessed, when there arrives any ship or 
other vessel there with wines, they spend both days and nights in 
their excess of drinking so long as there is any of the wine left ; 
so that, being overcome with drink, there falls out many incon- 
veniences among them, to the break of His Majesty's peace." By 
a third act, Sir Roderick Macleod, Sir Donald Gorm Macdonald 
of Sleat, Macdonald of Clanranald, and Mackinnon of Strath, were 
bound not to molest those engaged in fishing in the Isles, under 
very severe and heavy penalties. 

In 1624, Macleod, with other chiefs who had previously be- 
come answerable for the good conduct of the Maclans of Ardna- 
murchan, was called upon to exhibit the leaders of that tribe 
before the Privy Council in January, 1625, they having broken 
out in rebellion during the year. Failing to comply with this 
order, he was, along with the other sureties, denounced a rebel, 
according to law. The Clan Ian were for a time the terror of the 
whole West Coast of Scotland and the Isles, and we find them 
being chased out of Skye, in 1625, by Sir Roderick Macleod and a 
body of his clan, by whom they were pursued to Clanranald's 
lands, where they hid themselves in the woods. Soon after, Mac- 
leod was joined by Lord Lorn, who, with his forces arrived at 

* The agreement is as follows : "At Edinburgh, 23rd July, 1622, the whilk day 
Sir Donald Gorme, Sir Rorie Macleud, and the Lairds of Mackynnoun, Coill, and 
Lochbuy compeir, and personallie befoir the Lordis of Secrete Counsel!, thay acted 
and oblist thame to builde and repaire their Paroche Kirkisat thesicht of the Bishope 
of the His ; and that thay shall convene and meit with the Bishope at Icolmekill 
upoun suche daye and dayis as with mutuall concert sail be aggreit upoun, and thair 
confer, ressoun, resolve, and conclude upoun the forme and maner and upoun the 
tyme quhen and in what forme the said kirkis sail be biggit. " 

History of the Madeods. 295 

Ardnamurchan, where, meeting Macleod and others, engaged 
against the Clan Ian, they joined together, speedily suppressed 
the insurrection, and killed or banished the leaders. From that 
date the warlike Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan are never again met 
with as a separate and independent tribe, the survivors of them 
seeming to have joined and identified themselves with their 
neighbours, the Macdonalds of Clanranald. 

Sir Roderick is described as a man of noble spirit, celebrated 
for great military prowess and resource. His hospitality was un- 
bounded, and he was in all respects well entitled to be called 
" Mor," or great, in his time, in all the good qualities that went to 
constitute a great Highland chief and leader of men in those 
days. The Gaelic bards were enthusiastic in their praise of his 
great qualities of head and heart. No wonder, says a recent 
writer,* that his piper, Patrick Mor MacCrimmon, should have 
taken his death very much to heart. He could no longer wait at 
Dunvegan Castle, but, shouldering his great pipe, he made for 
his house at Borreraig, and composed and struck up, as he went 
along, Cumha Ruairidh M/ioir" Rory Mor's Lament which is 
considered the most melodious, feeling, and melancholy 
PiobaireacJid known. "The Gaelic words to this air," he says, 
" may be here given with an English translation " (by D. Mack- 
intosh) : 

" ' Tog orm mo phiob 'us theid mi dhachaidh, 
'S duilich learn f hein, mo leir mar thachair ; 
Tog orm mo phiob 'us mi air mo chradh, 
Mu Ruairidh Mor, mu Ruairidh Mor. 

' Tog orm mo phiob tha mi sgith ; 
'S mur faigh mi i theid mi dhachaidh ; 
Tog orm mo phiob tha mi sgith, 
'S mi air mo chradh mu Ruairidh Mor. 

' Tog orm mo pbiob tha mi sgith, 

'S mur faigh mi i theid mi dhachaidh, 

Clarsach no piob cha tog mo chridh, 

Cha bheo fear mo ghraidh, Ruairidh Mor.' " 

' My pipe hand me, and home I'll go, 
This sad event fills me with woe ; 
My pipe hand me, my heart is sore, 
My Rory Mor, my Rory Mor. 

' My pipe hand me I'm worn with woe, 
For if you don't then home I'll go ; 

Cameron's History and Traditions of the Isle of Skye, p. 69. 

296 The Celtic Magazine. 

My pipe hand me I'm weary, sore, 
My heart is grieved for Rory Mor. 

' My pipe hand me I'm worn with woe, 
For if you don't then home I'll go, 
Nor harp nor pipe shall cheer me more, 
For gone's my friend, my Rory Mor. ' " 

The following note, bearing on the hospitality of Sir Rory 
Mor, is appended to one of the editions of Scott's Lord of the 
Isles : " There is in the Leabhar Dearg a song, intimating the 
overflowing gratitude of a bard of Clan Ronald, after the exuber- 
ance of a Hebridean festival at the patriarchal fortress of Macleod. 
The translation, being obviously very literal, has greatly flattered, 
as I am informed, the enthusiastic gratitude of the ancient bard ; 
and it must be owned that the works of Homer and Virgil, to say 
nothing of MacMhuirich, might have suffered by their transfusion 
through such a medium. It is pretty plain that when the tribute 
of poetical praise was bestowed, the horn of Rorie M6re had not 
been inactive : 


"The six nights I remained in the Dunvegan, it was not a 
show of hospitality I met with there, but a plentiful feast in thy 
fair hall, among thy numerous host of heroes. 

" The family placed all around under the protection of their 
great chiefs, raised by his prosperity and respect for his warlike 
feats, now enjoying the company of his friends at the feast. 
Amidst the sound of harps, overflowing cups, and happy youth 
unaccustomed to guile or feud, partaking of the generous fare by 
a flaming fire. 

" Mighty Chief, liberal to all in your princely mansion filled 
with your numerous warlike host, whose generous wine would 
overcome the hardiest heroes, yet we continued to enjoy the 
feast, so happy our host, so generous our fare." 

Sir Roderick Macleod married Isabel, daughter of Donald 
Macdonald, eighth of Glengarry, with issue, five sons and six 
daughters : 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Roderick, afterwards Sir Roderick Macleod of Tallisker, 

tutor of Macleod, of whom and his family hereafter. 

3. Norman, afterwards Sir Norman Macleod of Bernera, was 

History of the Macleods. 297 

Lieutenant-Colonel of the Macleod regiment at 
the Battle of Worcester, and became one of 
the most distinguished of the name. Most of the 
famous Mary Macleod's compositions, supposed 
hitherto to have been composed to the chiefs of 
the clan, were composed to him, and hence the reason 
why she was transported to the Island of Mull by the 
chief, who became envious of her laudations of his dis- 
tinguished relative. This will be dealt with at length, 
hereafter, in connection with the history of the family 
of Bernera and Muiravonside, who were descended from 
this distinguished soldier and diplomatist. 

4. William Macleod of Hamer, from whom the Macleods of 

Waterstein and others, and of whom hereafter. 

5. Donald Macleod, progenitor of the Macleods of Grisher- 

nish, of whom in their order. 

6. Margaret, who married Hector Mor Maclean, eldest son 

and heir of Hector Maclean of Duart, without issue. 
She married secondly, as his second wife, ^Eneas 
Macdonell, seventh of Glengarry, with issue a 
daughter, Margaret, who married Cuthbert, of Castle- 
hill, Inverness. She thus became the progenitrix of 
the famous Charles Colbert, Marquis of Seignelay, 
Minister of Louis XIV. of France.* 

7. Mary, who married Sir Lachlan Maclean of Morvern, first 

Baronet, with issue two sons and two daughters. 

8. Moire or Marion, called " Moire Mh6r," who married John 

Macdonald, tenth of Clanranald, with issue. 

9. Janet, who married John Garbh Macleod, of Raasay, with- 

out issue. 

10. Florence, who married Donald MacSween. 

11. A daughter, who married Lachlan Maclean, of Coll, with 

issue three sons and two daughters. 

Sir Roderick Mor Macleod died in 1626, when he was suc- 
ceeded in the family estates by his eldest son. 
(To be oontimied.) 

* See History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, p. 303. 

Tlie Celtic Magazine. 


SOON after leaving Kilmaluag, we alighted, in order to visit the 
ruined Castle of Duntulm, an ancient seat of the Macdonalds of 
Sleat, which stands upon a lofty and precipitous rock overhang- 
ing the sea. It is supposed to have been originally a Danish fort, 
the residence of one of the Vikings, called David, from whom it 
took the name Dun Dhaibhidh, or David's Fort. It is recorded 
that the word DAVID was cut upon a stone in front of the original 
tower, but the stone, with many others having sculptures upon 
them, was carried away as a curiosity by some antiquarian visitor. 
When King James V. made his tour through the Isles in 1540, 
he inspected, and expressed his admiration of, the fortifications of 
Duntulm. In 1549, Dean Monro mentions the Castle of 
" Dountwyline " as one of the five castles in Skye. Towards 
the end of the i6th century, the Castle was occupied by Donald 
Gorm Mor, VII. of Sleat. This chief's nephew, Uistean Mac- 
Ghilleaspuig Chleirich, laid a plot to obtain possession of his 
uncle's property, but, his designs having become known to his 
uncle through the accidental substitution of a letter Uistean had 
written his confederates, for one he had written Donald Gorm, he 
was seized and cast into the dungeon of Duntulm Castle, where 
he was chained in the centre of the floor. After he had been left 
without food until on the point of starvation, a plate of salt meat 
and a covered pitcher were placed in the dungeon. Uistean de- 
voured the meat ravenously, and was soon seized with a fearful 
thirst He took up the pitcher to have a drink, but, to his horror, 
it was empty! After undergoing untold agonies for many days, 
death at length put an end to his terrible sufferings. The dungeon is 
still in good preservation, and, at the time of my visit, was filled with 
lobster-pots ! Sir Donald Macdonald, XII. of Sleat, is said to have 
been the last of the family born in the Castle of Duntulm, and, accord- 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 299 

ing to Alexander Smith, in his delightful work on Skye, he, clad 
in full armour, in the witching hours of night, is still occasionally 
seen ascending and descending from basement to turret in his 
loved abode. 

The ruins present a picturesque appearance from every point 
of view, but they have been considerably marred within recent 
years by a former tenant of the farm of Duntulm, who, I was in- 
formed by Mr. Archibald Macdonald, actually had portions of the 
Castle blown up with gunpowder, to obtain stones for a dyke he 
was building on the farm ! It seemed to me almost incredible 
that anyone could be guilty of such Vandalism, but I was assured 
that it was a fact. 

Shortly before reaching Kilmuir, we passed, some distance to 
the left, the old burying-ground of Kilmuir, where, in 1790, the 
remains of Flora Macdonald were interred in presence of several 
thousand people of all ranks from Skye and the adjacent Isles. 
The spot is now marked by a fine monument of Aberdeen 
granite, in the form of an lona Cross, 28 feet high, erected some 
years ago by public subscription. There is a splendid view from 
the Free Church Manse and Church of Kilmuir, and the sunset, 
on the evening we were there, lighting up a great stretch of the 
Outer Hebrides, was perfectly magnificent. Passing Kilmuir, we 
observed, on our right, the old house of Monkstadt, near which 
Prince Charles landed on his arrival in Skye from the Long 
Island, accompanied by Flora Macdonald, during his wanderings 
after the Battle of Culloden. The Prince spent the night in a 
cave by the sea-shore near at hand, while Flora stayed at Monk- 
stadt House, where, by her conversation, she completely misled 
Captain John Macleod, a Government officer, as to the where- 
abouts of the Prince. I understand there is some interesting old 
furniture in the house, which was for some time the residence of 
the Macdonald family. 

Close to Monkstadt House there is a fine stretch of arable 
land, in a hollow a little below the road, extending to some 230 
acres. This tract was the bed of Loch-Colum-cille, which was 
drained about sixty years ago at a cost of several thousand pounds. 
It was proposed to drain it as early as 1715, and the work was 
actually commenced, under the superintendence of Sir Donald 

300 The Celtic Magazine. 

Macdonald, XI. of Sleat, but, on his being attainted for his share 
in the Rising under the Earl of Mar, the operations ceased. In 
1763 the work was recommenced by the then proprietor, and this 
time an oaken boat was discovered deeply imbedded in the bottom 
of the lake. The trenches, however, were allowed to get choked, 
and the Loch again filled up. In 1824 the drainage was again 
commenced by the Lord Macdonald of that day, who employed a 
great number of crofters at the work, and, after operations which 
extended over a period of five years, the Loch was completely 
drained. On an eminence which once formed a little island in 
the centre of the Loch, are still to be seen the foundations of an 
ancient building, supposed to have been a monastery dedicated to 
St. Columba. Before being drained, the Loch was yearly the 
resort of large flocks of swans, which appeared on the 25th October 
annually, and remained for about five months. "In autumn, 
after the lake was drained, they made their appearance at the 
usual time, but, on observing the destruction of their favourite 
haunt, they hovered, with a cry of sadness, for a brief period over 
it, then disappeared, and have seldom been seen since near the 
place."* For some time after the Loch had been drained, the 
land thus reclaimed was allotted to the crofters, who, by dint of 
hard work, converted it into splendid arable land. But mark the 
sequel ! No sooner had the bed of the Loch been made avail- 
able for agricultural purposes, than the proprietor took it away 
from the crofters, through whose exertions the result had been 
achieved, and added it to the already large sheep-farm of Monk- 
stadt. It was simply the old story the proprietor appropriating 
the labour of the reclaiming crofters. The Highlands can furnish 
innumerable instances of this injustice, even at the present day. 

It was late in the evening ere we got on board the Carlotta 
again in Uig Bay, after as hard a day's work as occurred during 
our travels. 

On Friday, i8th September, we had meetings at Bernisdale, 
Loch Snizort, and Stein in Waternish ; on Saturday, at Glendale 
and Dunvegan ; and, on Monday, at Struan, in Bracadale. We 
steamed, on Friday morning, from Uig Bay to Loch Snizort, the 

* Nnu Statistical Account of the Parish of Kilmuir, by the late Rev. 
Alexander Macgregor, M.A. 

Yachting- and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 301 

shores of which are replete with Jacobite associations. On the 
left is the farm of Peinduin, where Flora Macdonald died, on the 
5th of March, 1790. On the same farm are the ruins of Caisteal 
Uistean, or Hugh's Castle, said to have been erected shortly after 
the middle of the i6th century, by the same Uistean Mac- 
Ghilleaspuig Chleirich who died of thirst in the dungeon of 
Duntulm Castle, as already narrated. It was built on a rock by 
the seashore, and had neither doors nor windows, but was to be 
entered at the top, by means of a ladder. A little further up the 
Loch, on the same side, stood Kingsburgh House, where Prince 
Charles received a night's shelter from its hospitable proprietor, 
on the return of the Prince from the Long Island, after the Battle 
of Culloden. The site of the garden is still marked by a square 
of old plane-trees. At the head of Loch Snizort stands Skeabost 
House, a fine modern residence, upon which the proprietor, Mr. 
Lachlan Macdonald of Skeabost, one of the best landlords in the 
Highlands, was, at the time of our visit to the Loch, making 
extensive improvements. At Bernisdale we met a fine old man, 
John Nicolson, Tote, who, though verging close upon seventy 
years of age, is the acknowledged leader of the people in the 
parish of Snizort. Mr. Nicolson has fought well in the service of 
his country, having been all through the Crimean Campaign and 
a great part of the Indian Mutiny with the 42nd Regiment. He 
has received medals or clasps for Sebastopol, Balaclava, the Alma, 
and Lucknow, besides the Turkish medal. In India, he was in 
five engagements. He attained the rank of sergeant, and was 
discharged with a pension after the Mutiny. It was worth 
while to see the brave old veteran marching to meet us, at the 
head of his neighbours, his medals displayed upon his breast, and 
the old military swing in his walk, head up, chest well forward, 
hands in a line with seam of trousers all in the regulation manner. 
From Loch Snizort we steamed for Stein, Waternish. When 
rounding Waternish Point, we experienced a very uncomfortable 
swell, caused by the cross-currents from Lochs Snizort and 
Dunvegan. The old Church of Trumpan, the scene of a sanguinary 
encounter between the Macleods and the Macdonalds, is a 
conspicuous object upon the coast of Waternish, and in its church- 
yard was interred the ill-fated Lady Grange. Soon after passing 

3O2 TJie Celtic Magazine. 

it we entered Loch Bay, an offshoot of Loch Dunvegan. On our 
right lay the Island of Isay, which, in the early part of the i6th 
century, became the scene of one of the most cruel and cold- 
blooded massacres on record. Allan MacRuari, who then held 
the lands of Gairloch, on the mainland of Ross-shire, had married, 
as his first wife, a daughter of Alexander lonraic, VI. of Kintail, 
by whom he had two (or three) sons. He married, secondly, a 
daughter of Roderick Macleod of the Lewis, by whom he had one 
son. Roderick determined to murder all the male issue of the 
Macleods of Raasay, and those of Gairloch by Allan's first wife, 
in order that his own grandson, by Allan's second marriage, might 
succeed to Gairloch and Raasay. With this view, he invited all 
the members of the two families to the Island of Isay, pretending 
he had matters of great consequence to communicate to them. 
All the members of both families, and their more immediate 
relatives and friends, accepted the invitation. Roderick feasted 
them sumptuously on their arrival, at a great banquet. In the 
middle of his festivities he informed them of his desire to have 
each man's advice separately, and that he would afterwards make 
known to them the momentous business on hand, and which closely 
concerned each of them. He then retired into a separate apart- 
ment, and called them one by one, when they were each, as they 
entered, stabbed to death with dirks by a number of murderous 
villains who had been appointed by Roderick to execute the crime. 
Not one of the family of Raasay was left alive except a boy nine 
years of age, who, being fostered away from home, did not go to 
Isay with the rest. Macleod of Gairloch's sons, by his second 
wife, were all murdered.* 

In 1549, Dean Monro described Isay as "ane faire laiche 
maine ile, inhabit and manurit, verey fertill and fruitfull for corne 
and gerssing." Not very many years ago there were twelve crofts 
upon it, but the occupants were evicted, and crowded into the 
already congested district of Glendale, while their holdings in Isay 
were given over to deer. 

The village of Stein lies at the head of Loch Bay. It was 
originally established by the British Fisheries Society, but turned 
out a failure as a fishing-station, and appears to be going rapidly 

* History of the Clan Mackenzie. 

Y ac Jit ing and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 303 

to decay. The residence of the proprietor, Captain Allan Mac- 
donald of Waternish, a handsome building with a grand outlook, 
is surrounded with a fine plantation. Waternish is one of the six 
Baronies once belonging to Macleod of Macleod. Its next 
possessor, a century since, was a Mr. Shaw, banker in Inverness ; 
then it passed to the Grants, and, finally, to the present family. 
Several respectable families of some standing, such as those of 
Ardmore and Gillen, had their cheerful homes on this estate. The 
present laird of Waternish is the descendant of that gallant 
Jacobite, Macdonald of Belfinlay, so dreadfully wounded at 
Culloden. The particulars are very minutely related by Bishop 
Forbes, together with Belfinlay 's miraculous preservation thereafter. 
A little one-masted sailing-yacht, belonging to Waternish, lay at 
anchor in the Bay as we entered, and her crew of two red-capped 
seamen came aboard the Carlotta while we were ashore, and 
exchanged notes with our men. The minister of Waternish, the 
Rev. Donald MacCallum, has become a man of considerable note 
in Skye within recent years in connection wilh the Land Agita- 
tion. A fearless and outspoken preacher, and a pulpit-orator of 
no mean order, he has secured for himself considerable influence 
with the whole people of Skye, and has earned the soubriquet of 
the "Prophet of Waternish." 

It was getting dark ere we left Waternish, and we had still 
some eight or nine miles to steam before reaching Dunvegan, 
where we intended to lie at anchor until Monday morning. At 
length, the lights of Dunvegan Castle apprised us that we were 
near our destination, and in a few minutes more we were at anchor. 
The Castle, with its many windows, nearly all lighted up, presented 
a beautiful appearance. The oldest part of this fine building is 
said to have been erected in the pth century. A high tower was 
added, four centuries later, by Alastair Crotach, and, in the reign 
of James VI., these two portions were united by a long low 
building by the famous Rory Mor. Several additions have been 
made since that time, and the whole now forms a very handsome 
and imposing structure. " It is situated on a precipitous rock, 
washed on one side by the sea ; on another by a stream of some 
size ; on a third it is guarded by what was at one time a moat, 
consisting of a natural hollow between the Castle rock, and 

304 The Celtic Magazine. 

another steep rock at some yards' distance ; on the fourth 
the base is easily accessible, but, owing to the height of the rock, 
and to its being surmounted everywhere by a wall with deep 
embrasures, even here it would be difficult to storm it, if at all well 
garrisoned. The entrance was of old from the seaside, by a very 
long, steep, and narrow stair ; but a new approach has been of late 
formed by throwing a bridge over the chasm already noticed, 
which now renders it of easy access. There is a small but very 
convenient harbour right before it, and a spring of excellent water 
rising on the top of the rock which forms the courtyard."* In the 
Bay, there lay near us an ugly but powerful-looking steam-yacht 
belonging to the shooting-tenant of Dunvegan ; and the celebrated 
Postal Packet, which plies between Dunvegan and Lochmaddy. 

Next morning (Saturday) we drove from Dunvegan to Glen- 
dale. As we skirted the head of Loch Colbost, an offshoot of 
Loch Dunvegan, the Dunara Castle had just come into the Loch, 
and was putting ashore a number of Glendale men who had been 
at the East Coast fishing. Groups of women were hurrying down 
to the seashore, and, as each man stepped from the boat, he was 
hugged and kissed by his wife, mother, or sweetheart, as the case 
might be, in the most affectionate manner, while a torrent of 
welcoming and endearing terms was poured forth with all the 
fervour of which the Gaelic language alone is capable. Driving 
on, we met several more women on the road, coming to meet 
their friends. A young man who was trudging along in front of 
us, with his heavy trunk upon his broad shoulders, seemed to be 
a particular favourite, and received a cordial greeting from every- 
one he met. At length we saw a good-looking young woman 
running towards him as fast as she could, while, at the same time, 
the young man dropped his trunk and ran to meet her. A close 
embrace, a sounding kiss, and a few affectionate enquiries, and 
then the two, with entwined arms, returned to where the trunk 
had been so unceremoniously abandoned. The last I saw, as a 
turn of the road hid them from sight, was the two walking briskly 
along, carrying the trunk between them, and conversing with 
great animation. They were sweethearts, our driver informed us, 
waiting patiently until better days should enable them to marry. 

* New Statistical Account. 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 305 

A little further on, we observed a white flag displayed upon an 
eminence close to the road. As we drove past, a man came out 
of a cottage near at hand, and, plucking the flag out of the ground, 
waved it over his head, cheering us lustily as he did so. 

The men of Glendale are, without doubt, the finest-looking 
fellows I have come in contact with. The majority are tall and 
broad-shouldered. They are industrious, well-clothed, and courteous 
to strangers. John Macpherson, the " Glendale Martyr " and 
leader of the people, is a good type of the average Glendale-man. 
He is a broad-shouldered, hardy-looking Celt, with a bushy 
brown beard, just tinged with grey. His forehead betokens con- 
siderable brain-power, his eyes are brimful of intelligence, and his 
hard-set chin and firm lips denote decision of character. But it is 
as a speaker that John Macpherson is seen at his best. When 
thundering forth his denunciations of the oppressor and the tyrant 
to an enthusiastic audience of his own countrymen, at one moment 
rousing them to the highest pitch with some faithfully-drawn 
picture of the wrongs suffered by the people, at another causing 
roars of merriment by some apt simile or well-aimed hit it is then 
that one can fully realise and appreciate the power which Mac- 
pherson possesses over the minds and feelings of his fellow-High- 
landers. He is about fifty years of age, and was born in the 
township of Milivaig, Glendale, where he has been a crofter for 
thirty years. He belongs to a talented family, being a nephew of 
Donald Macleod, " Domhnull nan Grain," known as the " Skye 
Bard," and having several relatives holding good positions in the 
South. His present croft consists of about three acres of very 
shallow land, for which he pays 4 45. of rent and nine shillings 
of rates. He is married, and has seven of a family, most of whom 
bid fair to inherit the patriotic feelings and ability of their father. 
In the early part of 1883, Macpherson was apprehended, with two 
other Glendale-men, for breach of interdict, and sentenced, by 
Lord Shand, in the High Court of Justiciary, Edinburgh, to two 
months' imprisonment. From this circumstance, he has ever 
since been known at home and abroad as the " Glendale Martyr," 
a name of which he is naturally proud. His co-leaders in the Glen 
are Donald Campbell, Hamara, Alexander Gillies, Milivaig, and 
Peter Mackinnon, Lephin. The story of Peter Mackinnon's life, 


306 The Celtic Magazine. 

as told by himself before the Crofters' Commission, is an interest- 
ing but sad one. A native of Glendale, born at Borrodale in 1828, 
he left the Glen at the age of sixteen, enlisted in the Royal Navy 
in 1852, passed his examination as first-class gunner of the Royal 
Marine Artillery at Portsmouth in 1853, and embarked on board 
H.M.S. Royal George, in the same year, for service in the Baltic. 
In 1854 he was transferred to H.M.S. Spiteful, for the Black Sea 
Fleet, as lance-bombardier, and was present at all the engagements 
from that time until the end of the Russian War. He afterwards 
served in H.M.S. Nile and Sanspareil, and was invalided at Haslar 
Hospital in 1860, through injuries received in his country's service, 
being discharged with first-class certificates for ability, gallantry, 
and good conduct, and being also awarded a pension. Retiring 
to his native Glendale, he erected and opened a shop near the road 
at Lephin, and was afterwards appointed postmaster of the district. 
From that time, he says, he became the subject of persecution by the 
factor, and received no less than four summonses of eviction. He 
has now been deprived of the Post Office, which has been removed 
to a highly unsuitable place near the sea, and depends almost 
entirely upon his small pension for support. 

(To be continued.) 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 307 




IN the introduction, some general statements were made regarding 
the worship of trees. Feelings of fear or curiosity, and primitive 
speculations on the uses to which trees might be put by super- 
natural beings, have given rise to various other, beliefs, of which a 
brief summary follows. 

Showing the popular notions of the food of the gods, 
some tribes in India propitiate their divinities by offerings 
of cocoa-nuts previous to undertaking any enterprise. The 
old Greeks not only imagined that each tree concealed a 
divinity or a nymph, but attributed to it a divine or mythical 
origin thus: The plane-tree had been planted by Menelaus, 
the oak by Zeus, the olive by Minerva, and the laurel and cherry 
by Apollo. Forests, according to the Romans, were guarded by 
the nymph Egeria. Even Cato, the Censor, in his book on 
Country Affairs, warns the farmer not to cut down any tree 
without first asking pardon from the unknown gods concealed in 
it. We are told that Socrates swore by the oak, a tree said to 
have been the chosen abode of Jupiter, whose priests pretended 
to know his will through the rustling of the leaves of an oak grove. 
Jupiter had nearly as many favourite trees as he had wives. His 
sceptre was made of cypress ; so were the arrows shot by the god 
of love. While Minerva presented the olive-tree to the Athenians 
as the best gift in her power, Bacchus had the credit of originating 
the luscious fig-tree, and of making the heart-cheering vine his 
constant companion. Venus is often represented with an apple 
or a quince in her hand ; but the rose was most closely identified 
with that goddess ; our common phrase, "under the rose," being 
traceable to the rites of Venus, which were under the guardianship 

308 The Celtic Magazine. 

of the god of silence, signifying that the rites of love should not 
be revealed. Roses are painted or hung over tables in Germany, 
and formerly in England, to forbid "telling tales out of school." 
The old Scandinavian worship consecrated the oak to Thor, the 
thunder-god. The mistletoe, tendril of the oak, plays a part in 
the legend of the Norse god, Balder. He was so much loved 
that everything living on earth had sworn to save him from harm. 
But the mistletoe that grows on trees, and not on the earth, had 
been forgotten ; Loki, the devil, killed him by means of a twig of 
it. It was then ordained that it should never again be used to 
man's hurt until it touched the earth, hence it is now hung from 
the ceiling to invite the friendly kiss. The Druids, to whom the 
oak-forest was the only fit temple, venerated both oak and mistle- 
toe especially, cutting the latter with a golden knife, amid imposing 
ceremonies. Naturally, every race venerated the tree most 
conspicuous in its own climate. The Hindoos thus incorporated 
the wide-spreading pippul-tree in the Buddhist worship. Buddha, 
before he became a deity, is said to have retired under its shade 
for meditation and fasting. His queen, becoming troubled at his 
long absence, gave orders to cut down the tree. But, at the sight 
of the levelled tree, Buddha was so grieved that he fainted. On 
regaining consciousness, he poured 100 pitchers of milk on its 
roots, and then, prostrating himself on the ground, he vowed that, 
if the tree did not revive, he would never rise to his feet again. 
The tree immediately threw out its branches, and, by degrees, 
rose to its present height of 120 feet. It is now called the famous 
Buddha or Bo-tree. 

The fear of demons, especially of the arch-fiend, had many 
connections with the popular notions about trees. The cherry 
and the chestnut were particularly assigned as abodes to evil 
spirits. The walnut was the favourite haunt of witches ; while 
fairies were partial to the hazel. It was of a hazel-nut that Queen 
Mab's coach was made. 



Much of the beautiful symbolism of Christianity the Vine, the 
Lily, the seed in the parables is borrowed from the plant-world. 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 309 

Intimately associated with it also are the fateful trees in Eden, and 
the tree of the Cross, not to mention the tree on which Judas hung 
himself, and the barren fig-tree. This bond of union between 
religion and vegetation has been fully admitted by men of catholic 
breadth of view. 

As we might expect, the legend of the first man, Adam, has 
many tree-connections. Nearly every large fruit has competed 
for the doubtful honour of having been the instrument of his ruin. 
The fruit most common in their own climate has usually decided 
the people's belief on the point. Traditions concur in fixing on 
the fig-tree, as both furnishing a fit covering for his nakedness, 
and as giving him an asylum of retreat from the presence of his 
Maker. The following lines give the plant-lore of his expulsion 
from Eden : 

" When Adam fled from Eden, 

He seized the bunch of dates, 
And snatched the single wheat-ear ; 

And, as he passed the gates, 
He plucked the leaves of myrtle, 

And clasped them to his breast, 
And, driven by the Angel, 

Fell fainting towards the West. " 

A Jewish tradition declares Abraham to have raised an altar to 
God near a clump of turpentine-trees (much venerated by the 
Jews) in the valley of Hebron. Josephus maintained that these 
very trees were as old as the creation ; Eusebius says they were 
pointed out as Abram's trees in his time. 

From Abraham to the Virgin Mary is a long stretch of time. 
The following is a tree-myth respecting her : In journeying with 
Joseph and the infant Jesus to Egypt, to escape Herod's persecu- 
tion, she felt tired and thirsty, and, seeing a palm-tree with fruit, 
she sat down under its shade, and said to Joseph " I much desire 
to eat of the fruit of this tree." He answered "Mary, I marvel 
much you should wish to eat of this fruit." Then the child Jesus, 
who was sitting on her knee, ordered the palm-tree to bow down 
and let his mother eat of the fruit at her pleasure. The tree 
obeyed, and Mary satisfied her longing for the fruit. As the tree 
still continued to bow, Jesus permitted it to resume its upright 
position, and, for its devotion, chose it as the symbol of eternal 

3IO The Celtic Magazine. 

life for the dying, and declared he should make his triumphal entry 
into Jerusalem with a palm branch in his hand. At another time, 
in the same journey, when they came up to an orange-tree in 
charge of a blind man, Mary asked him to spare an orange for 
her thirsty child ; the man gave her three one for Jesus, another 
for Joseph, and the third for herself. Then the blind man 
received his sight. 

The Weeping Willow was believed, in early Christian days, to 
have wept since the time when its twigs were used to inflict stripes 
on the Saviour, whose Crown of Thorns gave rise to these lines on 
the Hawthorn : 

" The Hawthorn's knotted branches frown, 
As when they formed that cruel crown, 
With which the Roman and the Jew 
Did mock the Saviour neither knew." 

Of the Holm Oak, this legend is related : " When it was 
decided at Jerusalem to crucify Christ, all the trees met, and 
unanimously vowed not to allow their wood to be made the 
instrument of shame. But there was also a Judas among the trees. 
When the Jews came with axes to cut the Cross destined for 
Jesus, all the trunks broke into a thousand little pieces, so that it 
was impossible to utilise them for the Cross. The holm oak alone 
remained standing quite whole, and gave up its trunk for the bad 
purpose. This is why Ionian woodmen are afraid to tarnish their 
axes by touching this cursed tree. Such is the fate of many 
benefactors in this world; but Jesus Himself did not share this bad 
opinion of the tree. He seems, on the contrary, to have shown 
a preference for the generous tree, which, in dying with Him, 
shared the fate of the Redeemer. We are told that the Christ 
showed Himself most frequently to the saints near a holm oak. 

Cameron states that, in the Highlands, the Aspen-tree (Gaelic 
critlieann trembling) is believed to be the wood of which the 
Cross was made ; hence, its leaves have trembled ever since. The 
Elder has been popularly taken for the tree on which Judas hung 
himself a tradition Shakespeare mentions in Love's Labour's 

The Rose, the flower of Venus, has become, under Christianity, 
the flower of the Virgin Mary ; thus, it has long been the custom 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 3 1 1 

for the Popes to send every year a golden rose to the most pious 
of Christian princes ; and the Rosary itself, on which pious women 
count their prayers, is said to have got its name from the red hips 
of the dog-rose, which formed the original beads. 

The traditions regarding Mahomet give some prominence to 
certain trees. The rose is said to have sprung up out of the sweat 
he dropped on the ground in an agony of prayer. And, at the 
hour of his death, he is represented as inhaling the sweet odour 
of apples, brought him by his angel-guides to Paradise. 


Will now be considered : 

Whatever may be the explanation given by Gaelic scholars as 
to how it came about, it is a singular fact that the names of the 
letters of the Gaelic Alphabet, from A to U, are the names of 
trees, beginning with the Elm, and ending with the White Thorn. 
It would be interesting to learn (but the living authorities do not 
seem to know) on what principle the names first belonging to trees 
were afterwards distributed among the letters of the alphabet. 

Apart from the obvious symbolic language of plants in the 
Lovers' Calendar, their symbolic use in other fields is common in 
our day. The Primrose, as a modest souvenir of Lord Beacons- 
field, is a recent example ; still more recent is the proposal made 
at a Liberal gathering to wear a button-hole decoration in honour 
of Mr. Gladstone on his birthday, to consist of a lily for purity, 
supported by leaves of oak and ivy, to represent strength and 

With the Jews, the Almond-tree was the emblem of vigilance, 
because it is the first to show by its flourish that spring has come. 
The Spaniards adopt the Pomegranate as the national tree, on 
account of its many-seeded fruit, the emblem of fecundity ; the 
Prussians thus adopt the Linden or Lime-tree, the emblem of 
married love, while the English have the national Rose for beauty, 
and the Oak for strength. Grandeur and dignity are well attri- 
buted to the Ash and the Elm. The Sycamore, perhaps because 
it was the hiding-place of Zaccheus, is emblematic of curiosity, and 
the Holly, of forethought; while the Quince symbolises temptation, 
following the story of the fatal apple ; the Pear-blossom stands for 

312 The Celtic Magazine. 

affection, and the Myrtle, for love. The Orange-blossom implies 
chastity ; the tree itself, generosity. Intemperance is the ungrate- 
ful meaning given to the heart-cheering Vine. The Olive fares 
better as the immemorial emblem of peace ; and the Myrrh, as 
dropping gladness. The Hazel tells of reconciliation ; the Haw- 
thorn, of hope ; the Palm, said to grow faster for being weighed 
down, of victory ; and the Cedar, of immortality. Death and 
regeneration are signified by the Walnut and the Cypress, while 
sorrow and mourning find representatives in the Yew and the 
Willow. The Poplar typifies bravery ; the trembling Aspen, fear ; 
and crime is fitly symbolised by the Tamarisk, the leaves of which 
were used by the Romans to cover the eyes of criminals on the 
way to death. 


Most villages and towns, not hopelessly prostrate before the 
aggressive inroads of an unromantic civilisation, possess one or 
more " Lovers' Walks," for which an avenue of trees to line the 
path seems to be a great recommendation. Trees and their fruit 
have had much to do with the mysteries of love. Our own 
Hallowe'en rites are proof of this, in the burning of hazel nuts to 
discover the matrimonial future, as graphically described by Burns. 
Akin to this game is the custom among young girls in Belgium 
on St. Michael's Day. They mix together full walnuts with nuts 
that have been emptied, but sealed up again ; then, blindfolded, 
they take one at random. She who gets a full one will soon get 
a husband ; if an empty one, she will continue a " wanter." 

When two Greek lovers part, they exchange, as a test of 
fidelity, the halves of a leaf of plane tree. When they next meet, 
each produces his or her half; both together must form a complete 
leaf, or the courtship would be imperilled. Roman lovers used to 
plant a rose-tree on the grave of a sweetheart dying before 
marriage. In some Danubian districts, a young woman is engaged 
to her lover when he offers and she accepts an apple, which is an 
essential symbol of nuptial gifts. In Southern Italy, when apples 
are served at a wedding dinner, each guest takes one, and, having 
made an incision, he puts a piece of silver in it. All the apples 
are then handed to the bride, who bites into the apples, and 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 313 

retains the money as a luck-penny. Sicilian girls, on St. John's 
Day, throw apples from their windows to the street, and then 
watch who will pick them up. If a man does so, the girl will be 
married within a year ; if a woman, no marriage that year ; if the 
person looks at it, without touching it, that foreshadows early 
widowhood for her ; if a priest passes first, the girl will die un- 
married. At marriage ceremonies in Corsica, the church-door is 
decked with garlands of laurel, supposed to prevent domestic 
brawls. Formerly, near Bologna, when a daughcer was born, it 
was the custom, if the family could afford it, to plant 100 poplars, 
of which great care was taken till the girl's marriage, when they 
were cut down and sold, to provide a dowry for her the most 
sensible thing recorded of all these curious practices. It had pro- 
bably been derived from a Roman usage of planting cypresses on 
the birth of a girl, the trees being called, from that time, her dowry. 

(To be continued?) 

THE MASSACRE OF THE ROSSES. The Christian Leader says regarding 
this pamphlet : " The remarkable change for the better that has come over the public 
sentiment in regard to the Highland crofters receives a striking illustration in the 
story of a pamphlet, The Massacre of the Rosses in Strathcarron, by Donald Ross 
(Inverness: A. & W. Mackenzie). [Price sixpence.] It was first published little 
more than thirty years ago, when the horrible incidents it narrates took place ; but 
the impression it made, save in a limited circle of sympathetic souls, was comparatively 
slight, and so rare had the pamphlet become that, when collecting materials for his 
"History of the Highland Clearances," Mr. Mackenzie of Inverness was unable to 
procure a copy. Having now succeeded in recovering one, he has reprinted it ; and, 
at length, three decades after the faithful Highland citizen of Glasgow wrote it with 
his heart on fire, the story procures an audience. Truth to tell, the nation thirty 
years ago did not adequately realize the barbarous cruelties that were being practised 
upon the peasantry of the Highlands. Mr. Ross called the attention of the Lord- 
Advocate of the day to the shocking work that was wrought in Strathcarron in 1854 
upon an inoffensive people who had paid their rents regularly, but were being evicted 
from the land their forefathers had cultivated for centuries, in order to make room 
for sheep. Like his successor in office in our own day, the only reply his lordship 
vouchsafed was to the effect that the majesty of the law must be vindicated ! Happily, 
the nation is now thoroughly aroused on this subject ; and never again will it be 
allowed to sink out of sight until an honest endeavour has been made by the legisla- 
ture to rectify the evil. The Bill at present before Parliament is insufficient, evading 
the most essential points, especially that which relates to the absolutely needful 
enlarging of the crofts ; and continued agitation, deepening in intensity, is therefore 
inevitable. With upwards of a hundred true and resolute friends in the House of 
Commons, the crofter's case is no longer hidden away, and his ultimate deliverance 
is certain." 

314 The Celtic Magazine. 



THE following verses were composed on a half-tide spring-well in the shores of Loch- 
Eriboll, Sutherlandshire ; and the legend concerning it runs thus : Many years ago, 
on a communion Sabbath in the heat of summer, the services were held on the hill- 
side, and the people were parched with thirst. Many of them had travelled far ; 
the services continued until late in the afternoon, and there was no water to be had, 
the brook having run dry. One good man knelt in his distress on the seashore and 
prayed for relief, and, immediately, this spring bubbled up, pure and sweet, amidst 
the rough pebbles of the shore ; he to!d the others, and they all crowded to it, with 
thankful hearts, and were refreshed. Since composing this poem, I discovered another 
spring of the same kind in the shore of Fassiefern, Lochiel-Side, entirely covered at 
half-tide, and, when the sea recides beyond that again, its waters are cool, sweet, 
and refreshing. 


What hath made thee, little fountain, 

Spring beneath the ocean's flow, 
Where a bird will never seek thee, 

Where the grass can never grow ? 

Sweet thy waters are, O springlet, 

Yet, how wild is thy unrest ; 
Ever, while the tide is flowing, 

Hidden in the ocean's breast. 

Springlet, I would rather see thee 

Shining in the leafy grove, 
Where, at noon or dewy evening, 

Hind and fawn would lightly rove. 

Where the stag would come at dawning, 

From his lofty mountain bed, 
Eager for the crystal waters, 

That had made his coat so red. 

Where the hunter's eye would seek thee, 

Coming wearied from the hill, 
And he'd bound away so lightly, 

When he'd drink from thee at will. 

Where the little birds, in joyance, 

Would refresh their tuneful throats, 
Ere they woke the fragrant woodlands 

With their wild and gladsome notes. 

Where thou would'st a trysting place be 

For the maiden fair and young, 
Where she'd list the honey'd whispers. 

From her lover's ardent tongue. 

Ancient Image- Worship in StratJmairn. 315 

Stealing glances of her beauty, 

In the mirror of thy wave, 
And he grudging thee her kisses, 

When her lips in thee she'd lave. 

There I fain would see thee, springlet, 
Far away from the rude shore, 

Where thou pourest thy sweet waters, 
In the salt sea evermore. 

And not all thy fragrant streamlets, 
Flowing through the years to be, 

Can this rugged shore make smoother, 
Nor make sweet the bitter sea. 


WE have to express our obligations, for the following interesting 
fragment of old local lore, to Mr. Macgillivray, formerly teacher at 
Culloden, and now resident in Inverness. We have no doubt the 
decisive action of the Presbyter}' of Inverness, in demolishing the 
obnoxious idol, had the same satisfactory results as followed the 
somewhat similar, but much more extensive, destruction of images 
at St. Andrews, described by Tennant in his " Papistry Stormed," 

' ' The sinfu' people o' the Elie 

Were spained frae image-worship hailie. " 

We should like some of our local antiquarians to throw further 
light on the interesting circumstance to which the subjoined 
extracts refer. 

At Inverness, 23rd November, 1643. 
Convened, all the Brethren, 

That day, report was made to the Presbitrie, that there was in the Parroch of 
Dunlichitie, ane idolatrous image called St. Finane, keepit in a private house 
obscurelie, the brethren, Mr. Lachlan Grant, Mr. Patrick Dunbar, and Alexander 
Thomson, to try, iff possible, to bring in the said image the next Presbitrie day. 

At Inverness, 7th December, 1643. 
Convened, the whole Brethren, 

Alexander Thomsone presentit the idolatrous image to the Presbitrie, and it 
was delyverit to the ministers of Inverness, with ordinance that it should be burnt at 
their Market Corse the next Tuysday, after sermone. 

At Inverness, 2ist December, 1643. 
Convened, all the Brethren except Mr. Lachlan Grant, 

The ministers of Inverness declairit that, according to the ordinance of the 
Presbitrie the last day, they caused burne the idolatrous image at the Market Corse, 
after sermone, upon Tuysday immediatlie following the last Presbitrie day. 

316 The Celtic Magazine. 




THE year of God, 1602, the Lord Kintail, and his kin the Clan 
Kenzie, fell at variance with the Laird of Glengarry (one of the 
Clan Donald), who, being unexpert and unskilful in the laws of 
the realms, the Clan Kenzie intrapped and insnared him within 
the compass thereof, and charged him, with a number of his men 
and followers, to compear before the Justice at Edinburgh, they 
having, in the mean time, slain two of his kinsmen. Glengarry, 
not knowing or neglecting the charges, came not to Edinburgh at 
the prefixed day, but went about, at his own hand, to revenge the 
slaughter of his kinsmen. Thereupon, the Lord of Kintail, by his 
credit in Council, doth purchase a commission against Glengarry 
and his countrymen ; which, being obtained, Kintail (with the 
assistance of the next adjoining neighbours, by virtue of his Com- 
mission) went into Morar (which appertained to Glengarry), and 
wasted all that country ; then, in his return from Morar, he besieged 
the Castle of Strome, which, in end, he took, by treason of the 
Captain unto whom Glangarry had committed the custody thereof. 
Afterward, the Clan Kenzie did invade Glengarry's eldest son, 
whom they killed with forty of his followers, not without some 
slaughter of the Clan Kenzie likewise. In end, after great slaughter 
on either side, they came to an agreement, wherein Glengarry 
(for to obtain his peace) was glad to requite and renounce to the 
Lord of Kintail, the perpetual inheritance of the Strome with the 
lands adjacent. 


In the month of August, 161 1, there happened an accident in the 
Isle of Raasay, which is among the West Isles, where GilleCallum, 
Laird of Raasay, and Murdoch Mackenzie (son to the Laird of 
Gairloch), with some others, were slain, upon this occasion. The 
lands of Gairloch did sometime pertain to the Lairds of Raasay, 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 317 

his predecessors, and when the surname of Clan Kenzie began 
first to rise and to flourish, one of them did obtain the third part 
of Gairloch in wadset ; and thus once getting footing therein, 
shortly thereafter doth purchase a pretended right to the whole, 
which the lawful inheritors did neglect ; whereby, in process of 
time, the Clan Kenzie do challenge the whole, whereof the Laird 
of Gairloch, his father, obtains the possession, excluding the Laird 
of Raasay and his kin, the Clan Vic-GilleChallum, whom Gairloch 
and the Clan Kenzie did pursue with fire and sword, and chased 
them out of Gairloch. In like manner, the Clan Vic-GilleChallum 
invaded the Laird of Gairloch and his country with spoils and 
slaughters. In end, the Laird of Gairloch apprehended John 
MacAllan, and chased John Tolmach, two principal men of the 
race of Clan Vic-GilleChallum, and near cousins to the Laird of 
Raasay, at which skirmish there was slaughter on either side, the 
year of God, 1610. The Laird of Gairloch, not fully satisfied 
herewith, he sent his son Murdoch, accompanied with Alexander 
Bayne (son and heir to Alexander Bayne of Tulloch), and some 
others, to search and pursue John Tolmach ; and, to this effect he 
did hire a ship (which then, by chance, happened to lie upon that 
coast) to transport his son Murdoch, with his company, into the 
Isle of Skye, where he understood John Tolmach to be at that 
time. But how soon Murdoch, with his company, were embarked, 
they turned their course another way, and (whether of set purpose, 
or constrained thereto by contrary winds, I know not) arrived at 
the Isle of Raasay, running headlong to their own destruction. 
The Laird of Raasay, perceiving the ship in the harbour, went 
aboard to buy some wines and other commodities, accompanied 
with twelve men. How soon Murdoch did see them coming, he, 
with all his company (least they should be known or seen), went 
to the lower rooms of the ship, until the other party had gone 
away. The Laird of Raasay entered the ship, and, having spoken 
the mariner, he departed with a resolution to return quickly. 
Murdoch, understanding that they were gone, came out of the 
lower rooms, and perceiving them come again, he resolved not to 
conceal himself any longer. The Laird of Raasay desired his 
brother, Murdoch MacGilleChallum, to follow him into the ship 
with more company, in another galley, that they might carry to 

318 The Celtic Magazine. 

the shore some wine and other provisions which he had resolved 
to buy from the mariner ; so the Laird of Raasay, returning to 
the ship, and finding Gairloch's son there, beyond his expecta- 
tion, he adviseth with his men, and thereupon resolveth to take 
him prisoner, in pledge of his cousin, John MacAllan, whom 
Gairloch detained in captivity. They began first to quarrel, then 
to fight in the ship, which continued all the day long. In the 
end, the Laird of Raasay was slain, and divers of his men ; so was 
Murdoch, the son of Gairloch, and Alexander Bayne killed, with 
their whole company, three only excepted, who fought so manfully 
that they killed all those that came into the ship with the Laird of 
Raasay, and hurt a number of those that were with Murdoch 
MacGilleChallum in two galleys hotly pursuing them. At last, 
feeling deadly hurt, and not able to endure any longer, they sailed 
away with prosperous wind, and died shortly thereafter. 

(To be continued.) 



Sir, In the Celtic Magazine for the present month I see a Gaelic translation, 
forwarded to you by " Nether Lochaber," of the once popular lyric, " Do they miss 
me at home?" Your correspondent ascribes the translation to the late Rev. Dr. 
Macintyre of Kilmonivaig, and, in corroboration of the fact, he supplies the circum- 
stance which is believed to have prompted the translation. I find, however, the 
same Gaelic version in Vol. II. of the Gael (1873-4), where it is credited to the late 
Mr. James Munro, author of the well-known Gaelic Grammar. Both gentlemen 
were highly competent Gaelic scholars, and perfectly able to translate the song into 
that language, but equally true it is that neither of them would claim as his own 
what belonged to the other. Unfortunately, however, they are both dead, and it 
remains with the living to settle the award in this case as best they can. Perhaps 
" Nether Lochaber " can furnish some additional evidence that the translation is that 
of Dr. Macintyre. I confess that beyond some linguistic peculiarities favoured by 
Munro, but which may equally have been accepted by Dr. Macintyre, I have 
nothing to urge on Munro's behalf in addition to the direct assertion in the Gael that 
he was the author of the translation. Yours &c. , I. B. O. 

I3th April, 1886, 

The Sheiling. 319 



"Up, girls, and busk ye ! vernal flowers are blooming, 
Up and make ready ! Beltain-tide is coming ; 
The withe-bound panniers on the old grey mare, 
Your mother's hands have packed with eident care, 
All that you need is there ; up, girls, away ! 
(And, hark ! the birds trill forth their song of May), 
Time you were off ! by a good hour and more 
The sun is up and south of Ben-an-Or. " 

Thus spake the father to his daughters three ; 
To Flora fair, and dark-eyed Kate and me ; 
Ours for the summer months to milk the cows 
In sheiling circled round by heathery knowes, 
Far up amongst the mountains stern and wild, 
At whose feet nestles calm the fair Loch-Eild. 

We were three sisters in that sheiling lone ; 

The busy happy days were all our own, 

The calves grew up apace ; the cows with coats of silk 

Fill'd the hooped cogs with streams of richest milk ; 

With butter kits and many a kebbuck round 

Of choicest cheese, the sheiling walls were crowned. 

And morn and eve, our dairy labours done, 

We sat and laugh'd and knitted in the sun. 

Now and again a shepherd swain would come 

With welcome tidings of the folk at home ; 

But oftenest (bearer of glad tidings still), 

Came Ranald Bane, the hunter on the hill ; 

Chief of the Forest, guardian of the wild, 

And all the antler'd race that drink of Eild. 

Of an old clan whose honour ne'er knew stain 

Handsome, and brave, and true was Ranald Bane. 

When Ranald came, my sister's cheek blush'd high, 
(My winsome Kate, girl of the black-brown eye !) 
Ranald had told his love, as lovers do, 
And Kate soon felt that all he told was true. 
Love begets love, and when his tale was done, 
A whisper told that Kate was all his own. 

One evening as we sat beside the burn, 
That by the sheiling murmurs its sweet croon, 
Seeking Loch-Eild by many a winding turn, 

32O The Celtic Magazine. 

Hidden or seen, still murmuring that old tune ! 
Until at last through hazel-copse, and brake, 
With lap and lisp it mingles with the lake. 

All on a bank impearl'd with many a flower, 

We sat and knitted all the afternoon ; 

With song and story passed the pleasant hour 

On that bright summer eve of golden June. 

And when it fell to Kate a song to sing, 

We made the rocks with the loud chorus ring. 


Up on the hills after the deer, 

(Ho hi, ho h6, Ranald away !) 
The stag in the come is trembling with fear 

And the mavis sings sweetly at dawn of day. 

The stag and hind are down the wind, 

(Ho hi, ho ho, Ranald away !) 
Oscar, though swift, is far behind, 

And the mavis sings sweetly at dawn of day. 

The hunter shot his bolt too soon, 

(Ho hi, ho ho, Ranald away !) 
He might as well have shot at the moon, 

And the mavis sings sweetly at dawn of day. 

Oscar returns from a bootless chase, 

(Ho hi, ho h6, Ranald away !) 
He ran amain, but he lost the race, 

And the mavis sings sweetly at dawn of day. 

The hunter descends by corrie and cairn, 

(Ho hi, ho ho, Ranald away !) 
But the stag is couched amongst the fern, 

Till the mavis sings sweetly at dawn of day. 

When next the hunter bends his bow, 

(Ho hi, ho h6, Ranald away !) 
That antler'd head will be lying low, 

When the mavis sings sweetly at dawn of day. 

Whilst yet the echo of my sister's song 

Was lingering 'mongst the hollows of the dell, 

Adown the steep came bounding fast along, 

Oscar, young Ranald's dog, we knew him well ; 

A staghound bold, lean-flank'd, though strong of limb, 

And Ranald loved him as the dog loved him. 

As Oscar fawned upon us each in turn, 

Ranald appear'd himself, and laughing, said 
" I hid me in a hollow by the burn, 

The Sheiling. 321 

And heard your song, my Kate O saucy maid, 
Wait till September, girls, and you shall know 
How Oscar runs and Ranald bends the bow. 

' But come, my Kate, I promised you erewhile 

Some summer eve to row you on the lake ; 
I'll take you in my boat to Willow Isle, 

Where wild fowl breed the tern and kittiwake, 
The wild duck, sunderling, and many more, 
That find their food in Eild, and haunt its shore. " 

And Kate went with her lover in his boat ; 

We watch'd and saw them landing on the Isle ; 
As we watch'd still, they were again afloat, 

And paddling through the dimples of the smile 
That the lake smil'd back to the golden sun, 
Whose long day's race at length was nearly run. 

Sudden, beneath the sunlit mirror's sheen, 

The boat went down as if it were a stone ! 
A single shout, so piercing, loud, and keen, 

Rose from the skimmering ripples that went on, 
Widening and widening their circles in the beam 
Of golden light that fell on hill and stream. 

And they were lost alas and well-a-day ! 

Clasped in each others arms the twain were found ; 
And still our maidens sing a mournful lay 

Of how the lovers in Loch-Eild were drowned ; 
And still, beside the lake, you may discern, 
In memory of the event, a rude, grey cairn. 

And ever as midsummer eve comes round, 

'Tis said that sweetest music still is heard, 
Floating along in cadences that sound 

Sweeter than maiden's voice, or harp of bard 
A heavenly music, heavenly-sweet and clear, 
O'er the reed-margin'd mirror of the mere. 

And well-a-day, and well-a-day, the times 

Are not now what they were ; the world is changed ; 

Memories of the past may ring their chimes ; 
But from all joys of earth I'm far estranged. 

Last of my race ! when summer bowers are green, 

I dream a waking dream, and think of what has been. 



3 22 

The Celtic Magazine. 


V MMos.] AM MAIGH, 1886. 


AN SOLUS UR 4 LA -3.43 M. 1 Q AN SOLUS LAN 18 LA 1.47 M. 

]) AN CIAD CHR. II LA 2. 2O M. | ( AN CR. MU DHEIR. 25 LA 5.16 F. 

An Lan 

An Lan 


An Lite. 


M. DI. 






U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 



A' Bhealltainn. 

4-33 E 


I. I 





A 1 Mhionchaisg. 

7-49 L 



n. 4 




La an Roid. 







Latha Allt-Eire, 1645. 



2. 4 8 

o. 4 




Bas Livingstone, 1873. 


3- 6 



I. 2 



[5] Bas Chilli endras Gheddes, 1844. 

7-57 L 


4 . I 








2. 2 




Bas Shir Seumas MacCoinnich, 1691. 

8. I L 

5- 4 



3- 5 



//. Donaich an dtigh na Caisge. 



6.2 S 





Breith Shir Iain Sinclair, 1754. 

8. 5L 



4 .2I 




[10] Breith Iain Hope, 1725. 

4.II E 

8. 4 

8. 4 2 





Latha Langside, 1568. 

8. 9 L 


10. 3 


7- 9 



An t-seann Bhealltainn. 

4- 7E 


ii. 9 





Bas Raibeirt Kirke, 1692. 







Bas Shir Sheumais Dhomhnullaich, 

C.M.F.,* 1857. 

4- 3E 

o. 5 






///. Donaich an dtigh na Caisge. 








Bas an Ollaimh Mhic Aoidh, 1873. 

4. OE 


2. 6 





An Eaglais-Shaor, 1843. 



2. 4 8 

O. I 




Fosgl. Ardsgoil Chill-Ribhinn, 1411. 


3- 7 



i. 4 



Coinneamh nan Ardsheanadh. 

8. 2 4 L 


4- 3 





Bas mhentros, 1650. 




2. 2 




Latha lonaruiridh, 1308. 

8.27 L 

5- i 






IV. Donaich an dtigh na Caisge. 

3-5 E 


6- 5 





Breith na Banrigh, 1819. 








Bas Dheorsa Fhordyce, 1802. 

3-47 E 







Breith Sheosaidh Ghrannd, 1805. 








Breith Shir Thomais Mhunro, 1761. 

3-45 E 


10. 4 





Comunn Gaidhealach Lunnainn, 1778. 

8.37 L 


" 3 





Bas a' Chardinail Pheutoin, 1546. 

3.42 E 







V. Donaich an deigh na Caisge. 

8.31 L 



IO. 2 



Bas Deorsa Chalmers, 1825. 



I. O 



* A' chrois mhor Feadhnach [G.C.B.] 

The Past and Present Position of the Skye Crofters. 323 


MR. LACHLAN MACDONALD of Skaebost, Isle of Skye, has 
recently issued a valuable pamphlet, for private circulation, 
entitled " The Past and Present Condition of the Skye Crofters." 
We present it to our readers, for whom, it will be seen, it was 
originally written, in the following abridged form. A series of 
23 valuable full-page tables are printed at the end of the pamphlet. 
These would be unsuitable for our pages. We, however, think 
that Skaebost should publish the whole pamphlet in the usual 
way, and so make it accessible to the general public : 

It is scarcely an exaggeration [he writes] to say that, were the Island of Skye polled 
to-morrow, and the wishes of the people taken, the voice of the large majority would 
be Perish Landlordism, and let the land be divided among us. 

' ' Give us more land, and restore to us the land robbed from our forefathers under 
cover of Landlord-made laws, " has been the demand of the crofters ever since the 
present agitation commenced ; and no doubt this feeling had its origin, and possibly 
still exists, from a sense of indignation arising out of a widely-spread belief among 
them, that a great and grievous wrong was done to their ancestors, from the con- 
sequences of which the present generation is now suffering. 

My object in writing this is to try and ascertain, if possible, the truth of the above 
charge, and to what extent the Skye crofters were injured by the Skye proprietors, 
and whether the Skye crofters of to-day are justified in the attitude they have 
assumed towards the Skye proprietors. The way in which I propose tackling this 
knotty problem is by an examination of authentic figures, showing the past and 
present rentals, and distribution of the lands of the Isle of Skye. 

According to the return presented to Parliament in 1872-73, popularly known as 
the Domesday Book, the Island of Skye contained 408,657 acres, and in former times 
219,596 acres of this land belonged to the Macleods, and was called and known as 
Macleod's country ; the remaining 189,061 acres belonging to the^Macdonalds and 
Mackinnons. The following figures embrace the whole of these lands, with the 
exception of 13,000 acres of the Mackinnon lands, now belonging to Mr. Alexander 
Macalister of Strathaird, and entered in the Valuation Roll for 1885 at a rental of 
939 I9s., of which about n per cent, is paid by crofters. Also, say about 5000 
acres now belonging to Lord Matdonald, and entered in the Valuation Roll for 1885 
at a rental of ,538 i6s., and which is occupied by 68 crofters, paying ^488 IDS., and 
one other tenant paying ^50 6s. 


In 1664, the whole of Macleod's country belonged to the Macleod of Macleod of 
the day ; now the same lands are owned by eight different proprietors. 

324 The Celtic Magazine. 

Macleod's country was occupied in 1664 by 

73 Tacksmen rented at ...... ^,"917 4 8 

105 Joint-tenants rented at 246 I 8 

178 1163 6 4 
The same lands were held in 1885 as follows : 

5 Proprietors rated at .3242 o o 

10 Tacksmen rented ,,------ 6219 15 8 

8 Farmers ,, ,, 277 14 o 

745 Crofters ,, ,, 3052 2 5 

12 Others paying 296 17 6 

780 13,088 9 7 

Those figures show that a great change has taken place since 1664. They show that 
the rent is now more than eleven times greater in Macleod's country than it was in 1664; 
and, in the second place, that the tacksmen class of that day has become extinct. They 
show also that the lands occupied by 73 tacksmen, then paying 78^ per cent, of the entire 
rental, are now mostly held by 10 large graziers, and by 5 proprietors paying 72^ per 
cent of the present rental ; and that the lands then occupied by 1 78 individuals are 
now held by no fewer than 780 persons. At the same time, the figures make it 
apparent that, whoever has cause to complain of the joining of field to field, the 
crofters do not seem to have suffered so much as is generally supposed. Those 
paying under 30 a year now pay 23 per cent, of the rental, and other small fanners 
pay 2 per cent, or a total of 25 per cent, against 2\\ per cent, paid by joint-tenants 
in 1664. This proves that, instead of the crofters' possessions decreasing, they have 
increased. But it may be said anything can be proved by statistics, and it may 
doubtless be asked, how can we account for all the green spots which we find here 
and there surrounded by wildernesses of heather, and marking the sites of former 
habitations, as, for instance, in Bracadale, that Parish in Macleod's country which is 
most coveted by the crofters, and to which the Royal Commission pointed as an 
instance of the reduction of numbers ? 

An examination of its figures will show that this Parish of Bracadale was formerly, 
as now, mostly occupied by the gentry, and that the crofters' ancestors (those of them 
who are descended from joint-tenants) never had much of a footing, either in it or in 

The present Parish of Bracadale consists of part only of the ancient Barony of 
Bracadale, and of the whole of the Barony of Minginish, and the lands which now 
comprise it were held in 1664 by 

32 Tacksmen rented at the sum of 44% 2 

1 7 Joint-tenants rented at 50 12 4 

49 498 12 6 
The same lands were occupied in 1885 as follows : 

I Proprietor rated at the sum of .... 1620 o o 

5 Tacksmen paying a rental of- - - - - 3849 3 6 

6 Small farmers ,, 200 o o 

57 Crofters ,, 91 50 

3 Other persons ,, ,, ----- 131 10 o 

72 5891 18 6 

Showing that the crofters pay about l^ per cent, of the rental, and that the other 
small tenants pay nearly 3| per cent., or a total of only 5 per cent,, against IO per 

The Past and Present Position of the Skye Crofters. 325 

cent, paid by joint-tenants in 1664. And here we have a clear case of a decrease in the 
crofters' interests, and which might be made much of by one, from a party point of 
view, intent only on showing that lands held by joint-tenants in former days are now 
held by tacksmen ; and, consequently, that the descendants of the joint-tenants who 
occupied those lands in 1664 must have been expatriated. Yet this would be quite 
an unfair conclusion to arrive at, for the descendants ot the joint-tenants of 1664 were 
only removed from one part of the parish to another part, or, at most, to a neighbour- 
ing parish. 

The crofters of to-day seem to be under the impression that there were no removals 
or changes under the government of the ancient Chiefs ; but this is a mistake, which 
is proved by the evidence of the joint-tenants and cottars of 1733- 

The barony known as Bracadale, in the 1664 rental, comprised that part of the 
present parish of Snizort, south and west of the Skaebost River ; and the barony of 
Minginish, in the 1664 rental, is now included in the present parish of Bracadale. In 
1664 those lands were occupied by 

38 Tacksmen paying a rental of - - - - - $l6 9 ^ 
17 Joint-tenants ,, ',, 50 12 4 

55 567 I 10 

Showing the joint-tenants paid 9 per cent, of the rental, and the same lands are now 
held by 

2 Proprietors rated at the sum of .1820 o o 

6 Tacksmen paying a rental of 3994 3 6 

7 Small farmers ,, 2 47 
154 Crofters ,, ,, 540 I 4 

6 Other persons ,, ,, 174 15 o 

175 ^6775 19 10 

By which it is seen that the crofters contribute 8 per cent., and other small farmers 
pay about 3^ per cent., or a total of n per cent., against 9 per cent, paid by joint- 
tenants in 1664. 

The present parish of Duirinish comprises the whole of the lands of the ancient 
baronies of Duirinish and Waternish, as given in the 1664 rental, and those two 
baronies were then held by 

35 Tacksmen paying a rental of .... ^400 15 2 
88 Joint-tenants ,, ,, 195 9 4 

123 '596 4 6 

Showing that the joint-tenants paid 33 per cent, of the rental at that time, and the 
same lands were held in 1885 by 

3 Proprietors rated at the sum of ^1422 o o 

4 Tacksmen paying a rental of - .... 2225 12 2 
I Small Farmer ,, ,, 30 14 o 

591 Crofters ,, ,, 2512 I I 

6 Other persons ,, """ I22 2 6 

605 ^"6312 9 9 

By which it is seen that the crofters of to-day pay 40 per cent, of the rental, against 
33 per cent, paid by joint-tenants in 1664. Yet, did we apply the same test to a part 
of the lands of this Parish as I did to a portion of Bracadale, it would be found that 
in the ancient barony of Waternish the joint-tenants paid 55 per cent, of the rental, 

326 The Celtic Magazine. 

and the tacksmen the remaining 45 per cent. In 1885, the tables are exactly 
reversed the tacksmen and proprietors paying 55 per cent., and the crofters the 
remaining 45 per cent. The true solution is, therefore, only to be found in a com- 
parison of the statistics for the whole of Macleod's country, which show, as before 
mentioned, that the crofter class of to-day pay 25 per cent, of the entire rental, against 
2i per cent, paid by the joint-tenants in 1664. The fact of finding one part of the 
country stocked with sheep, and another part overcrowded with crofters, may simply 
be put down as the accidents incidental to experiments. I must mention that the 
population of Duirinish was always excessive compared with the rental and acreage 
of the parish ; for, when examining the figures, in order to ascertain the probable 
number of cottars in Duirinish, I could not possibly account for 700 of the population, 
though I could account for all in Bracadale except 139. 

There were in all 114 farms in Macleod's country, rented at ,1163 6s. 4d. in 
1664. 56 of those farms, originally rented at 618 l$s. 2d. , were always held by 
tacksmen or proprietors ; and 12 farms, originally rented at .126 I2s gd., were 
always occupied either by joint-tenants or crofters- So those 68 farms, originally 
rented at ,745 5s. lid., being accounted for as unchanged, we have only the remain- 
ing 46 farms, originally rented at ,418 os. 5d. , to deal with, and they are the farms 
really constituting the crofters' grievance in Macleod's country. Of those 46 farms, 
12, originally rented at ,119 8s. lid., and which were occupied by joint-tenants in 
1664, are now held by proprietors or tacksmen. 12 farms, originally rented at 
;io8 153. lid., and held by tacksmen in 1664, were made overto crofters at various 
periods between 1745 and 1880; the crofters were afterwards removed from those 
farms, and they are now possessed by proprietors or tacksmen. Putting these farms 
together, we have a total of 24, originally rented at .228 43. iod., to which the 
crofters can point as once having belonged either to their ancestors or to themselves ; 
and many of them can point to such land, now under sheep, as the land that gave 
them birth. But 22 farms, originally rented at ,189 153. 7d., and held by tacksmen 
in 1664, are now possessed by crofters. So to balance the account, and to show the 
actual wrong done, and to what extent the changes have operated to the disadvan- 
tage of the crofters, we have only to place the figures thus 

From 24 farms to which crofters can lay claim as once 

having belonged to them, and originally rented at ' .228 4 10 

Deduct 22 farms now possessed by crofters, which formerly 

belonged to tacksmen, originally rented at- - - 189 157 

2 Farms .... Balance - - - 38 9 3 
By this analysis it is seen that the crofting interest has been reduced to the extent 
of two farms, and the money value of ^38 gs. 3d,, according to the old valuation, 
from what it was in their palmiest days. But let it be born in mind that the 
possessions of the present crofters are considerably larger than were the possessions 
of the joint-tenants in 1664 ; for in those days 105 joint-tenants held 24 farms, 
valued at ,246 is. 8d. , against which we have now 745 crofters and 8 small farmers 
occupying 34 of the old farms, which were originally rented at ^316 8s. 4d. 

I shall now proceed to examine the figures regarding 


The Macdonald lands had a much larger proportion of joint-tenants on them than 
either the Macleod or the Mackinnon lands had. The joint-tenants on the Mac- 

T/ie Past and Present Position of the Skye Crofters. 327 

donald lands paid 40 per cent, of the rental against 2\\ per cent, paid by the joint- 
tenants on the Macleod lands, and 24 per cent, paid by joint-tenants on the 
Mackinnon lands, and though the Macdonald possessions in Skye were not 
so extensive as the Macleod possessions, yet the Macdonalds outnumbered 
them. The Macleod lands were possessed by only 178 tenants, whereas the 
Macdonald lands had 428 tenants, which may account for the latter having been 
able to hold possession of Troterness by no other title than the sword for nearly a 
century, notwithstanding Macleod of Macleod's crown charter. 

The present rental of the Macdonald and Mackinnon lands is nine and a half 
times greater than in 1733 and 1751. I have gone into this question of the increase 
of rental in detail, and find some great and striking differences between some of the 
present and past rentals, but even in instances where the present rentals are found to 
be twenty times higher than the figures at which they stood in former days, I find 
that they are now really no higher rented than the neighbouring lands, where the 
increase is only eight or ten times higher than in old times. Waternish, which had 
a large proportion of joint-tenants in 1664, has a present rental of only eight times 
greater than it was upwards of 200 years ago, and Kilmuir, which is so loudly 
complained of as being rack-rented, stands only nine times higher than it did in 

The Macdonald and Mackinnon lands were occupied as follows in 1733 and 


135 Farms held by 64 Tacksmen and Proprietors, 

rated at - .... ^1090 18 II 

77 Farms held by 374 Joint-Tenants, paying - - 654 16 n 

212 1745 *5 i 

By which it is seen that Tacksmen and Proprietors paid 62^ per cent, of the rental, 
and the joint-tenant the remaining 37^ per cent. 
The present rental and distribution are 

2 Proprietors rated at the sum of - - - - 

19 Tacksmen paying a rental of 

4 Small farmers .... 

1298 Crofters ,, .... 

20 Others ,, .... 

1343 16,323 5 7 

The tacksmen's interests in the land, instead of having increased, have been 
reduced, for they now pay only 56 per cent, of the rental, against 62^ per cent, paid 
by their class in 1733 and 1751, and the crofting interests have slightly increased, for 
the crofters pay 38^ per cent., and if the if per cent, paid by the small farmers be 
added, we find that in all they pay 40 per cent, of the entire rental, against 37^ 
paid by the joint-tenants in 1733 and 1751. 

I shall now subject the changes that took place on the Macdonald and Mackinnon 
lands to the same test as I applied to the changes that took place in Macleod's 

Ninety-eight farms, originally rented at 747 143. 6d. , were always held by 
tacksmen, and 46 farms, originally rented at 438 1 5s. 6d. , were always occupied 
either by joint-tenants or by crofters ; so those 144 farms formerly rented at 1186 
IDS. id., being accounted for as unchanged since 1733 and 1751, we have only to 
consider the remaining 68 farms, originally rented at 559 5s. 7d. 

328 The Celtic Magazine. 

The total figures show that the crofters were deprived of 38 farms^ originally 
rented at 271 8s. iod (), but against this must be put figures, showing that in 
return they got 30 farms, originally rented at 287 i6s. gd. (f), or a loss to the 
crofters of 8 farms, and a gain to them in land of the yearly value of 16 7s. lo^d. , 
according to the old valuation. From what I have said, it must not be supposed 
that I uphold all the changes, or the system under which such changes were possible. 
On the other hand, I quite approve of fixity of tenure. 

The figures for the Mackinnon lands only give the names of 10 tacksmen, but as 
19 pennies of land were held by joint-tenants, I think we may calculate the number 
as having been about 38, which would make a total of 654 tenants for the whole of 
Skye ; and taking 5 persons to represent a family, we have 3273 souls who had a 
direct interest in the land. 

The general impression among Reformers is that this Island contained a larger 
population in former days than it does now. In 1750 it was given at 10,671, and 
previous to that date it could not have been larger and live ; and probably it was as 
large in 1664 as in 1733. Constant loss on the battlefield and periodical famine 
would have kept it at its normal figure. We know from tradition and from accounts 
given by travellers shortly after this time, and before any great changes had taken 
place, and from the stones and mounds that still mark the spots on which stood the 
cottars' huts, that the cottars must have been a numerous class, though it is utterly 
impossible to determine the number who held lands from tacksmen, and who paid 
rent either in money, or in kind, or in labour. 

In the judicial rental for 1733, we have the evidence of 36 cottars in Slate, and of 
4 cottars in Kihnuir, and from their positions, and from the evidence of some of the 
tacksmen, especially that of Alex. Macdonald of Glentalton, I take six or seven 
pennies of land and about 20 of a rental to have been say the maximum a 
tacksman kept in his own hands, and all lands held over that value I count as subset. 
On this assumption I base my calculation of the probable number of cottars in the 
island at the time the judicial rentals were taken. The calculation is, of course, 
uncertain, but I have no more trustworthy source of information. We know the 
tacksmen required a certain number of hands to do the tillage of their farms, as in 
those days every available spot was cultivated. The stock consisted of black cattle, 
requiring to be hand-fed in winter, the easier method of putting most of the land 
under sheep not having been introduced till about the beginning of the present 
century. And in making the following calculation, I have kept before me the size 
of the farms and the probable number of small tenants in the neighbourhood. The 
average rental paid by joint-tenants in the Barony of Macdonald was i us. id. 
In Slate it amounted to 2 is. 2d. , but in Snizort only to i 53. 8d. The smallest 
rental I could find paid by a joint-tenant direct to his chief was 53. 3d. yearly. The 
Slate cottars paid at an average of igs. 2d., and held a little more than a farthing of 
land each ; but we are bound to conclude there must have been very many small 
holdings to enable us to account for the population, and probably a farthing of land 
was the maximum for a cottar to hold. The following, from the judicial rental of 
1733, refers to this question : 

"Thereafter, several of the sub-tenants or cottars of the said Alex. Macdonald 
"of Glentalton were called and examined on the rent of their possessions under him, 
" and they declared that they have their possessions sub-sett to them at the same rate 
"that Glentalton has the lands himself from Sir Alexander Macdonald, only that 

TJie Past and Present Position of the Skye Crofters. 329 

" some of them who possess a farthing pay, give an acknowledgment to the Lady 
" Glentalton of a wedder and two merks and a half of * kitchen for being continued 
" from year to year on their possessions." 

Including the number of cottars required to work the various tacks, I have 
allowed in all for Slate 69 cottars, for Strath 118, for Portree 80, for Snizort 140, for 
Kilmuir 106, for Bracadale and Minginish 260, and for Duirinish and Waternish 258 
total 1031 cottars, which, multiplied by 5, gives 5155, and added to 3270 already 
accounted for, we have a total of 8425 out of a population of 10,671 accounted for, 
leaving 2246 who must have existed by some other means. 

To sum up the position, the lands mentioned were held in the past by 

132 Tacksmen or proprietors paying - - - ,2008 3 7 

517 Joint-tenants paying 900 18 7 

and say 1031 Cottars holding from tacksmen. 

1690 ,2909 2 2 
The actual [present] position is 

7 Proprietors rated at - - ,3652 i o 

29 Tacksmen rented at H.94 1 6 2 

12 Fanners paying 556 14 o 

2043 Crofters ,, 9357 9 o 

32 Other persons paying 904 5 o 

2123 29,41 1 15 2 

It now only remains to be added, in order to enable the reader to judge of the 
probable condition of life enjoyed by the inhabitants of the past, with the position of 
life enjoyed by the present generation, to mention what the output of the Island was 
in past times. Pennant estimated it in 1772 as follows : 

4000 Cows at 2 IGS. each - - - - - ^10,000 o o 
250 Horses, but he does not mention the price, 

say ; i o at most, 2500 o o 

9000 Bolls of meal at I 9000 o o 

,21,500 o o 

which would be nearly 2 per head, in a favourable year, but which would be down 
to zero in a bad one. 

At the time Pennant made this rough estimate of say ,21, 500 as the output of 
the Island, he remarked that the rentals had risen by an "unnatural force," in some 
instances to double and treble what they had been in 1750. So if we take say 
,7000 as representing the rental of 1772, the output was about three times greater 
than the rental, and matters have not changed much, comparatively speaking, or 
rather proportionately, since then ; for the present agricultural rental, in round figures 
for the whole Island, amounts to say ,30,500, and the output now-a-days may be 
put down at about ,95,000, which makes it very nearly, as it was in 1772, about 
three times greater than the rental. 

So far, therefore, as the resources of the land are concerned, they are now, as 
they always were, meagre in the extreme, as compared with the population to be 
supported. If we suppose a family of 5 persons to live on ,70 a year, the Island at 
this rate would support only 1357 families ; but, as a matter of fact, we have fully 
more than 3600 families now living in it, and our yearly expenditure is more than 

*This term applies to dairy produce, such as butter and cheese. 

330 The Celtic Magazine. 

a quarter of a million, so we are practically much more dependent on the state of 
trade, and on our fishings, and on the demand for labour in the South, than we are 
on the land. 

I commenced compiling the statistics I now give, with the intention that they 
should appear in the pages of the Celtic Magazine, to which periodical I had 
contributed other papers on the crofter question, but as they have become so bulky, 
I now print them in pamphlet form, and as the public attention is at present 
directed to the crofter legislation now under the consideration of Parliament, I hope 
they may be found to be of some interest as showing the position of affairs, past and 
present, regarding this question in the Island of Skye. 

Skaebost, Isle of Skye, L. MACDONALD. 

March 12, 1886. 



DONALD CAMERON of Blarachaorin was, as already stated, 
son of Duncan Cameron of Letterfinlay, a cadet of the 
House of Lochiel, commonly styled Doncha vie Mhartainn. 
The traditions of the oldest residents in Rannoch, written down 
towards the end of last century by the late Lieut. Alexander 
Macgregor of Tempar, are to the effect that one of the Lochiels 
of the day married the heiress of Letterfinlay, and, afterwards, 
bestowed the estate on a younger son whom he had named Martin 
after his mother, and from whom the Macmartin Camerons are 
descended. Be that as it may, Cameron of Blarachaorin was 
styled in the vernacular by his patronymic of Mhic-'ic-Mhar- 
tainn na Leitirach, and his descendants in Rannoch are known, 
to the present day, as the Cloinn-'ic-Mhartainn. 

Tlte Camerons of Rannoch. 331 

Blarachaorin's marriage with Rachel Macgregor proved to be 
a happy one, and a warm friendship soon sprung up between him 
and his father-in-law, who not only condoned the abduction of 
his daughter, but allowed her a handsome marriage portion. This 
friendship, so singular in origin, cemented by frequent inter- 
marriages, subsisted to the latest times between the Camerons of 
Camuserochd, where Blarachaorin's descendants were settled for 
several generations, and the Macgregors of Dunan and Ardlarich. 
Indeed, the present account of the Camuserochd family has been 
largely compiled from the genealogical researches of the grandson 
of the last of the Macgregors of Ardlarich, the late Captain John 
Macgregor of the 24th Regiment, whose MSS. are in the posses- 
sion of his nephew, Robert Cameron, of Prospect Hill, Gourock. 

Cameron of Blarachaorin had, by his wife, a son John, the 
immediate ancestor of the Camerons of Camuserochd, and a 
daughter, who married her cousin, landuy Oig of Dunan. 

I. John Cameron, commonly called John Ban Abrach, and 
sometimes Mac-'ic-Mhartainn na Leitirach, settled at Camuserochd 
about the year 1677, and was the first of the name who owned 
lands in Rannoch. His uncle, Patrick Macgregor of Dunan, being 
very old, and feeling that his end was near, sent for John Ban, 
and, by an offer of the lands of Camuserochd, obtained from 
him a promise to marry his young widow (as to whose future 
Patrick was very solicitous) after his demise. Patrick had been 
thrice married, his third wife being a daughter of John Macgregor 
of Ardlarich, whose name is mentioned in the decree against the 
tenants of Slismine, dated 24th May, 1695. By the widow of 
Patrick, John Ban had three sons, Donald Roy, who succeeded 
him, Duncan, and John, who, along with their kinsman, Duncan 
Mac landuy Oig, took part in the rising of the clans in 1715. 

II. Donald Cameron, commonly called Donald Roy vie 
Mhartainn, when quite a boy, succeeded his father, who died circa 
1690. He married Miss Kennedy, daughter of Kennedy of 
Lionachan in Lochaber, by whom he had a numerous family of 
sons and daughters. His eldest son, Alister, joined in the rebellion 
of 1745 under Major Menzies of Shian and Robert Macgregor of 
Ardlarich, and was killed at the Battle of Culloden. A younger 
brother, also in the army of Prince Charles, is supposed to have 

332 The Celtic Magazine. 

been cut off in the retreat from Derby. Donald was succeeded 
in Camuserochd by his second son, Ewen. 

III. Ewen Cameron married Miss Robertson, daughter of 
Robertson of Drumachaon in Rannoch. He was a tall, powerful 
man, of whose feats of strength several anecdotes are recorded. 
He is said to have been endowed with the second sight,* and 
many weird tales are related of his visions, particularly referring 
to the disastrous events of the Rebellion, in which two of his 
brothers, whom he had tried to dissuade from joining the army 
of the Pretender, had met the fate that awaited so many of their 
fellow-clansmen in that romantic but ill-starred enterprise. The 
following anecdote is told of Ewen : 

The eldest of his boys was named after Robertson of Druma- 
chaon, his father-in-law, the second after Ewen's own father. 
While yet little fellows, they one day quarrelled and fought. The 
youngest knocked down his elder brother and was on top of him, 
whereupon the father sung out this extempore verse : 

Tha an seol so mur bu choir dha, 
'San doigh so mur bu dual dith, 
t Gnasach Bein-a-brichda 
Air muin slichd JBein-a-chuallach. 

Ewen's oldest boy having died young, he was succeeded by 
the second son, Donald. 

IV. Donald Cameron was born in Camuserochd in 1735, and 
married, in 1758, Janet Macgregor, of the family of Dunan, by 
whom he had several sons and daughters. Like his father, Donald 
was endowed with the second sight, and many stories are told of 
him in this connection by his grandson, Robert, now living, who 
himself speaks of the second sight with the greatest reverence, 
and would almost rank as a blasphemer anyone who should speak 
of it disrespectfully. He writes : 

"The gift of the second sight, though sneered at and dis- 
credited by pseudo-philosophers of the present day, was not at all 

* A very unhappy rendering of An da Shcalladh, which means rather the double 
sight, a vision, that is, at once of the present and the future. Deuteroscopia is an 
ignorant and barbarous term for second sight. 

f The native inhabitants of Ben-a-brichda, near Ben Nevis. 

I A hill north of Mount Alexander, and then the property of the Robertsons of 
Drumachaon, a district on the north side of the River Tummel. 

The Cameron s of RannocJi. 333 

a rare thing among the inhabitants of Rannoch in my youth. 
There must be something in it when the sceptic Dr. Johnson was 
converted into the belief of it during his tour in the Western 

" 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. ' " 

On one occasion Donald went to see a sick neighbour who 
Was then on his death-bed. He found in the house of the bed- 
ridden man a number of other friends and acquaintances, all of 
whom Donald saluted, except one whom he looked at but did not 
further notice. When the company, including this person, left 
the room, the people of the house expressed to Donald their 
surprise at his strange conduct in ignoring the presence of one of 
his nearest neighbours. " Good heaven," replied Donald, " was 
it that man ? I did not recognise him, for his whole person and 
face were enveloped in a shroud." Next day the startling news 
came of the person's death. He had passed away even before the 
sick man whose last moments he had come to witness on the 
previous night ! 

So common were apparitions of this nature in the Highlands, 
that the number of one's days on earth could be foretold with 
almost scientific precision by those who had the gift of the second 
sight. In a company of people one might be seen with a shroud 
covering his legs, or perhaps a small portion of his body besides, 
indicating that death was yet a long way off. But if the shroud 
reached high up, so as to cover the face or the entire person, it 
was a sure sign that the grave was about to close over him for 

Besides daughters, Donald had five sons, Ewen, the eldest, 
who succeeded him ; Angus and John, who lived and died in 
Rannoch ; Donald and Duncan, who emigrated to Nova Scotia 
and leave descendants there. 

V. Ewen Cameron, called sometimes Ewen Du an Daraich 
(Black Ewen of the Oak), factor to Sir Neil Menzies, Bart. He 
was born at Camuserochd in 1759 and died there in 1844, aetat 85. 
He married, in 1805, Rachel, daughter of Macgregor of Lerigan, 

334 The Celtic Magazine. 

and grand-daughter of Alister Mac-Gillespa,* the last of the ancient 
family of Macgregors of Ardlarich.f Rachel lived till the year 
1871, and was 94 years old at her death. Her brother, the late 
Captain John Macgregor of the 24th Foot, has left a MS. history 
of the Macgregors and Camerons of Rannoch, embodying the 
result of much careful research. 

Two of Ewen's sons are still alive ; (i), Robert, the eldest of 
the family; (2), Angus, born 1819, residing at St. George's, 
Gloucester. He married Jessie, daughter of the late Dr. Johnstone 
of Edinburgh, with issue three sons and three daughters. 

VI. Robert Cameron, Prospect Hill, Gourock, the present 
representative of the family, was born in Rannoch in 1809. He 
married, in 1840, Jessie, daughter of the late Lieutenant John 
Macdonald of the East India Company's service, with issue 

(i.) John, M.D., Edinburgh, J.P. for Argyleshire. 

(2.) Evan, M.D., died 1871. 

(3.) Ann, married with issue. 

(4.) Christina. 

(5.) Duncan, M.A., Indian Civil Service, married, in 1885, 
Jessie-Sophia, daughter of the late Captain Russell 
Thomas Birch, of the 2Oth Foot, and grand-daughter 
of Sir William Russell, Bart, of Charlton Park, 

(6.) Robert William Dickenson, M.D., Edinburgh. 


Besides the Cloinn-'ic-Mhartainn, there is in Rannoch another 
sept of Camerons on the south side of the loch at Camghuran, 
who are known as the Cloinn-Ian-Cheir and the Cloinn-Ian- 
Bhiorraich. Their origin is involved in obscurity, but a small 

* Captain Macgregor states that his grandfather, this Alexander Macgregor of 
Ardlarich, was the heir of the Macgregors of Glenstrae, and, as such, claimed the 
title of Chief of the Clan Gregor. Alexander died in 1788 at the age of 88. His 
only son died young, and with him the male line became extinct. 

f The families of Ardlarich, Dunan, and Lerigan were offshoots of the House of 
Roro, in Glenlyon, 

The Camerons of Rannocli. 335 

colony of Camerons, from Glenevis principally, seems to have 
settled on that side of Loch Rannoch towards the end of the 
seventeenth century. 

Between them and the Macgregors there were frequent feuds, 
and, on one occasion, they were well nigh exterminated by the 
latter. One of the chief men of Camghuran was married to a 
Macgregor from Ardlarich, and a tragic tale is told of how her 
seven boys, all but one, were butchered before her eyes by her 
own kinsmen. A party of Camerons, who had gone to Ardlarich 
with corn to be ground at a mill there, impudently tethered their 
horses to her father's stacks, and, on being remonstrated with, 
one of them loosened his horse's halter, with which he dealt 
Macgregor, an old man, such a violent blow on the face that he 
fell bleeding and insensible. This insult was speedily followed by 
a terrible retribution. The old man's sons and others of his 
relatives, on hearing what had happened, were highly 
incensed, and demanded of the Camerons of Camghuran the 
immediate surrender of the man who had dared to offer a Mac- 
gregor such an indignity. A refusal, couched in sarcastic language, 
being returned, the Macgregors resolved to be avenged on their 
contumaceous neighbours. They invited the assistance of The 
Mackintosh from Badenoch, and fell suddenly on the Camerons, 
whom they slaughtered without mercy, old and young alike. 
Several who tried to save themselves by swimming the loch, got 
entangled in the weeds, and were either killed or drowned. One 
man actually succeeded in making good the opposite shore, but 
he had no sooner got out of the water than he was seized by a 
party of Macgregors who had hurried round the loch to intercept 
him. Being brought before The Mackintosh, and asked whether 
he would prefer to throw himself on his mercy or that of the 
Macgregors "Co dhiu a chuireas thu fein fo mheachainn Mhic- 
Griogair na fo mheachainn Mhic-an-Toishich ?" Cameron, who 
despised that it should be said that he owed his life to the grace 
of a Mackintosh, replied " Fhad sa bhitheas Griogarach beo air 
thalamh cha chuirinn mi fhein fo mheachainn cait."* He was 
immediately despatched, Mackintosh remarking that had he relied 

* Referring to the motto of the Mackintoshes, 


The Celtic Magazine. 

on his favour he might have come better off. 

A single Cameron only, a little child the youngest of seven 
is said to have escaped on this occasion. The mother of this 
family, a Macgregor, referred to above, whose husband had just 
been put to death before her face, was told that if she begged on 
her knees for the life of her children they would be spared to her. 
With the pride characteristic of the Macgregor race, she scorned 
to humble herself. Never, said she, would a tear be seen in her 
eye although the last of them were slain. With all the fortitude 
of a stoic she beheld her children brought out one by one and 
brained against a stone before her eyes. But when the last of 
them, an infant only a few weeks old, was about to be similarly 
despatched, the maternal instinct so overpowered her pride that 
she implored its life in a flood of tears.* This infant, the only 
one of the name of Cameron that survived the massacre, is said 
to have been the progenitor of those who are known at the present 
day as the Cloinn-Ian-Cheir and the Cloinn-Ian-Bhiorraich of 

About sixty years ago the population of Rannoch was con- 
siderable, and a full half of the people were Camerons. But since 
then they have become scattered in all directions by the harshness 
of the land laws and other causes. Many found their way to 
Athole and Argyleshire, and a great number emigrated, chiefly to 
Canada and Nova Scotia, so that ve~ry few of the name are now 
to be found in the district. Alas ! the Rannoch of to-day is a vast 
solitude given over to sheep and deer. 

" 111 fares the land to hastening ills a prey 
Where deer accumulate and men decay." 

* " A bhean gun cheill," said Mackintosh to her, "b' fhearr a chianamh n'an drasd. " 

THE CELTIC CHURCH IN SCOTLAND. Provost Macandrew's reply to 
the Rev, /Eneas Chisholm is too late for this issue, It will appear in our next, 



No. CXXVIII. JUNE, 1886. VOL. XI. 




XIV. JOHN MACLEOD of Harris and Dunvegan, on the 9th 
of November, 1626, was served heir to his father, Sir Roderick 
Macleod, in the various lands forming the Barony of Dunvegan, 
including the Castle of that name, and five uticiate of the lands of 
Waternish of the old extent of 18 133. 4d., and infeft in the 
whole family estates, on a precept from Chancery. He was after- 
wards, on a decreet of the Privy Council of Scotland, proceeding 
on the contract, already referred to, entered into by his father, Sir 
Roderick, with the Earl of Argyll, obliged to resign his lands of 
Glenelg into the King's hands, in favour of the Earl's son and 
successor, and to take a charter of it, holding it of him, while he 
had to pay him 20,000 merks for taxing the ward, marriage, and 
relief, by which tenure it was held by the Macleods of Dunvegan. 
During the reign of John Macleod, some difficulty arose between 
the Island Chiefs and the Court, in connection with the fishings 
on their coasts. The landowners were charged with exacting 
sundry duties from His Majesty's subjects, to their great prejudice, 
when fishing in the West ; and, also, with " bringing in strangers 
and loading the vessels with fish and other native commodities, 
contrary to our laws." Charles the First wrote a letter to the 
Privy Council, dated the 26th of May, 1634, requested their lord- 


338 The Celtic Magazine. 

ships to call before them " the landlords of the Isles where the 
fishing is, and taking account of them by knowing upon what 
warrant they take these duties." The Privy Council appointed the 
Lord of Lorn and the Bishop of the Isles to make the enquiry 
demanded by the King. These gentlemen appeared personally 
before the Lords of the Privy Council at Edinburgh, on the 2Oth 
of November following, and handed in a report at Inveraray, dated 
the Qth of August. Here, in response to the summonses calling 
upon them to appear before the Commissioners, the following 
landlords and heritors presented themselves for examination : 
Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat ; John Macleod of Harris and 
Dunvegan ; John Macdonald, Captain of Clanranald ; Neil Mac- 
Neil of Barra ; Sir Lauchlan Maclean of Movern ; Murdoch Mac- 
lean of Lochbuy ; Lauchlan Maclean of Coll ; and Lauchlan, son 
of Charles Mackinnon, for the laird of that ilk. Each was asked 
in turn by the Commissioners what duties they exacted from people 
fishing on their respective coasts, when Sir Donald Macdonald ; 
John Macleod of Dunvegan ; the Captain of Clanranald ; and Neil 
MacNeil of Barra, declared viva voce "that it was the ancient 
custom, before the date of the contract after-specified (which they 
think to be about years or thereby), for everyone of 
them in whose bounds the herring fishing fell out, to exact of 
every bark and ship resorting thereto, for anchorage or ground 
lease, one barrell of ale or meal, in the owner's option ; and, for 
each anchor laid on shore, six shillings and eightpence ; and, out 
of every last of herring slain there, three pounds of money ; to- 
gether with the benefit of every Saturday s fishing ; and that now 
they exact, only, from His Majesty's subjects of the Association, 
for each ship and bark that comes to the herring fishing, tJdrty-si* 
shillings, Scots money ; and, for each ship that comes to the gray 
and white fishing, twenty merks ; and this for anchorage and 
ground lease, conform to a contract passed between the said Sir 
Donald, John MacRanald [of Clanranald] and [the] umquhile Sir 
Rorie Macleod, and some others of the Islanders, on the one part, 
and certain of the Burghs in the East country on the other part, 
in 1620 or thereby." In answer to questions, they maintained 
that they were entitled to make the charges complained of, in 
terms of this contract ; that they uplifted the duties, being heritors 

History of the Macleods. 339 

of the grounds, and, therefore, entitled to do so, it being an ancient 
custom past memory of man. The other Chiefs named, declared 
that there were no fishings within their bounds, but, if there were, 
" they would be content to exact no more than the said North 
Islanders do "! The document is signed by all those whose names 
are mentioned in the body of it, as well as by Lord Lorn and the 
Bishop of the Isles Macneil, Maclean of Coll, and Lauchlan 
Mackinnon, declaring that their names were written "at our com- 
mands, because we cannot write ourselves." 

On the /th of August, 1635, a Proclamation was issued in 
which it stated that "great insolencies" had been committed 
upon His Majesty's subjects, fishing in the Isles, by the Islanders 
coming in troops and companies to the lochs where the fish are 
taken, and there violently spoiling the King's subjects of their fish, 
"and sometimes of their victuals and other furniture ; pursues them 
of their lives, breaks the shoals of the herring, and commits more 
insolencies upon them, to the great hinder and disappointing of 
the fishing, hurt of His Majesty's subjects, to the contempt of his 
Majesty's authority and laws"; for the preventing of which dis- 
orders John Macleod of Dunvegan and the others named, this 
time including the Earl of Seaforth and Sir Donald Campbell of 
Ardnamurchan, in addition to those named in the previously 
quoted document, are charged ; " that none of them presume nor 
take upon hands to give warrant to any persons whatsoever under 
them, but to such for whose good rule they will be answerable. 
These documents show the nature of the claims made by the land- 
owners of those days even to the shoals of herring that frequented 
their coasts. 

On the i Qth of September, 1628, John Macleod of Dunvegan 
entered into a contract with the Earl of Seaforth, Sir Donald 
Macdonald of Sleat, John Macdonald of Clanranald, Sir Lauchlan 
Mackinnon of Strath, and Alexander Macleod of Raasay, for the 
preservation of deer and other game on their respective estates, and 
for the punishment of any persons trespassing in pursuit of game. 
The agreement is, in many respects, so like our modern game 
laws, including the provision that one witness shall be sufficient to 
procure a conviction, that we give it almost entire, simply 
modernising the orthography. Having given the names of the 

34O The Celtic Magazine. 

contracting parties by whom, "It is condescended, contracted, 
finally and mutually agreed and ended " between them, the 
document proceeds as follows : 

"That is to say, for as much as there has been diverse and 
sundry good Acts of Parliament made by His Majesty's predeces- 
sors, Kings of Scotland of worthy memory, wherein shooting with 
guns, bows and hounds, are absolutely forbidden for slaying and 
shooting of deer and roe and other beasts pasturing within His 
Majesty's bounds of Scotland as, at more length is contained in 
the said Acts of Parliament ; for keeping and fulfilling whereof 
and for preserving and keeping the deer and roes within everyone 
of the honorable parties' forests, Isles and bounds, alive, and for 
keeping good society and neighbourhood among them ; wit ye 
that the said honorable parties are hereby become bound and 
obliged, like as by the tenor hereof they faithfully bind and oblige 
them each one of them for their own parts and taking the full 
burden in and upon them respectively for their whole kin, men- 
tenants, and countrymen within every one of their bounds and 
isles, that they nor either of them, their kin, friends, men-tenants 
nor countrymen, shall nowise hereafter in time coming, presume 
nor take upon hand to hunt with dogs, to slay with hagbut or 
bow, any hart, hind, deer, roe, or doe, or any other beasts, either 
of the said honorable parties' forests, either on the continent, 
main, or isles, pertaining to either of the said honorable parties, 
without special license had and obtained in writing of the superior 
of the forest to the forrester of the forest ; and whatsoever person, 
gentleman-tenant, or common countryman that presumes here- 
after to hunt with dogs, shoot with guns or bow, any deer or roe 
in either of the foresaid honorable parties' forests, without the said 
license, purchased at the said superior's hands, the offender gentle 
[man] breaker of this contract and condescending shall hereby be 
bound and obliged to pay and deliver to the honorable party, 
owner of the forest, for the first fault, the sum of one hundred 
merks money of this realm, and the hagbut or bow to be taken 
from him and to be delivered to the superior of the forest in whose 
bounds, forest, or isles, the same wrong and contempt [may] be 
committed and done, and toties quoties for every breach of this 
present contract and condescending ; the tenant to be hereby 
such-like bound and obliged to pay and deliver to the party, owner 
of the forest, lor the first fault, the sum of forty pounds money, 
and the hagbut to the superior of the forest, and toties quoties for 
every breach of this present contract; and whatsoever common 
man or any other straggling person that [may] be found carrying 
a hagbut or bow through any of the said honorable parties' forests 

History of the Macleods. 341 

for slaying deer or roe, and that he be not solvendo, nor worthy 
the unlaw to be imposed upon him for his contempt, the hagbut 
or bow [is] to be delivered to the superior of the forest where he 
shall happen to be found and his body [is] to be punished accord- 
ing as pleases the superior of the forest : Like as it is condescended 
by the said honorable parties in respect that many witnesses do 
not haunt nor travel through the said forests by reason the same 
is far distant and spacious from them, that one witness shall be 
sufficient probation against whatsoever person that [may] be found 
in manner foresaid in either of the said honorable parties' forests 
with hagbut, bow, or hound, and the party challenging and delaying 
to have for his pains and reward the third of the offender's fine, 
and the hagbut to the superior : Such-like the foresaid honorable 
parties are hereby become bound and obliged, like as they by the 
tenor hereof bind and oblige themselves, to deliver the transgressor 
and offender to the effect the party wronged and offended may 
censure and fine him according to the gravity of his contempt and 
fault, after trial thereof by famous and honest men ; and [that] the 
party offending be presented to the said superior offended within 
fifteen days after the wrong is committed, under the pain of one 
hundred pounds money foresaid to be paid to the party wronged 
and offended, by the superior of him who commits the wrong 
and contempt of this present contract ; and what the said famous 
and honest men after trial descerns [against] the transgressor for his 
fine and contempt, his superior shall be hereby bound and obliged 
to deliver to the honorable party wronged and offended his readiest 
goods and gear ; aye, and until the honorable party wronged and 
offended be completely paid of the offender's fine, under the like 
pains of one hundred pounds toties quo ties : And, finally, it is 
hereby specially condescended with consent of the said honorable 
parties above written that none or either of their countrymen or 
people shall take their course by boats, either to the lochs or 
harbours within the forests of Lewis and Harris, excepting the 
Lochs of Herisole in Lewis pertaining to the said noble earl ; the 
Loch of Tarbert in Harris, pertaining to the said John Macleod ; 
Lochmaddy, Lochefort, Loch-Mhic-Phail, and Kilrona in Uist, 
pertaining to the said Sir Donald Macdonald, in case they be not 
driven and distressed by stress of weather ; and in case they be 
driven and distressed by stress of weather in any other lochs within 
the Islands of Lewis and Harris, it is hereby condescended that 
the keepage of every boat that shall happen to come in with their 
boats to any of the lochs above-written (except before excepted) 
with hagbuts, bows, or dog, shall not pass nor travel from their 
boats one pair of ' buttis ' ; and if any be found with gun, bow, or 
dog, to exceed the said bounds, hereby [he] shall be holden as an 

342 The Celtic Magazine, 

offender and ' contempnar ' of this present contract and condes- 
cending, and to be punished and fined as is above-written ; and 
ordains this present minute of contract and condescending to be 
put in more ample form if need require." 

The usual agreement follows to have the document registered 
in the Books of Council, that it shall have the' strength of a Decree 
of their Lordships, and that Letters of execution, poinding, and 
horning may follow thereon, " on a charge of ten days," in the 
usual form. It is subscribed by all the parties thereto, and 
witnessed by John Mackenzie of Lochslinn ; William Macleod of 
Tallisker ; John Mackenzie of Fairburn ; and John Nicolson and 
John Ross, Notars. 

John Macleod, on account of his great strength and size, was 
known among his countrymen as " Ian Mor," or Big John. He 
has a charter, under the Great Seal, of the lands and barony of 
Dunvegan, Glenelg, and others, dated the nth of June, 1634. 
He was a great loyalist, strongly attached to the interests of 
Charles I., who wrote him a very friendly and kindly letter, dated 
Durham, the 2nd of May, 1639, thanking him for his services and 
promising him his constant favour. He continued in his loyalty 
all his life, though he appears to have refused to join Montrose. 
This may be accounted for from the fact that Alexander Macdonald, 
Montrose 's Lieutenant, devasted the lands of the Earl of Argyll, 
who was Macleod's Superior in large portions of his estates. He is 
said to have been a most benevolent man, remarkable for his 
piety, and to have been at great pains to improve the morals and 
civilize his countrymen, who seem to have been much in need of 
it ; for he secured for himself the designation of " Lot in Sodom," 
to indicate the contrast between his manner of life and that of 
those by whom he was surrounded in the Isles. He appears in 
the Valuation Roll for the County of Inverness, in 1644, as "Sir 
John Macleod of Dunvegan," his rental in Skye being, in that 
year, 7000 Scots., the highest rented proprietor appearing 
in the County at that time. His four brothers appear on the 
same Roll : Roderick (of Tallisker), in Eynort and Bracadale, at 
;i2OO; Norman (afterwards Sir Norman of Bernera), in the 
Parish of Kilbride, at 533 6s. 8d. ; William (of Hamer), in Kil- 
muir, at the same sum ; and Donald, of Greshornish, at ,666 

History of the Maeleods. 343 

133. 4<d., all Scots money. Macleod of Raasay's rental, at the 
same date, was exactly the same amount as Donald's of Greshornish. 
John Macleod married Sibella, daughter of Kenneth, first Lord 
Mackenzie of Kintail, by his second wife, Isobel, daughter of Sir 
Gilbert Ogilvie of Powrie. She was thus half-sister of Colin, 
first, and full sister of George, second Earl of Seaforth. By her 
(who, as her second husband, married Alexander Fraser, Tutor of 
Lovat ; and, as her third husband, Patrick Grant, Tutor of Grant), 
Macleod had issue, two sons and five daughters : 

1. Roderick, his heir and successor. 

2. John, who succeeded his brother, Roderick. 

3. Mary, who married, first, as his second wife, her cousin, Sir 

James Macdonald, ninth of Sleat, with issue, John 
Macdonald of Backney. She married, secondly, Muir 
of Rowallson. 

4. Marion, who married her cousin, Donald Macdonald, 

eleventh of Clanranald, with issue, among others, Allan 
and Ranald, twelfth and thirteenth Chiefs of the family 
in succession. Her husband died at Canna in 1686, and 
her son, Allan, was killed at Sheriff-Muir. 

5. Giles, or Julian, who married, first, Sir Allan Maclean, 

third Baronet of Morvern and Duart, with surviving 
issue Sir John Maclean, fourth Baronet, who fought, 
when quite a young man, under Dundee, at Killie- 
crankie, and, afterwards, led his Clan to Sheriff-Muir, 
where he fought at their head under the Earl of Mar. 
She married, secondly, Campbell of Glendaruel. 

6. Sybella, who married Thomas Fraser of Beaufort, tenth 

Lord Lovat, with issue, among others, Simon Lord 
Lovat, beheaded in 1746, for his part in the Rising of 
1745 ; and Alexander, from whom John Fraser of Wales, 
the claimant to the Lovat honours and estates, claims 

7. Margaret, who married Sir James Campbell of Lawers, 

without issue. 

John Macleod died early in September, 1649, when he was 
succeeded by his eldest son. 

(To be continued.) 

344 The Celtic Magazine. 




LIKE the newspaper announcements, death is here treated after 
marriage. Trees have been called the most living symbols of life. 
Immortality has been held typified in the revival of the trees in 
spring, notwithstanding the paraphrased language of Job : 

' ' The woods shall hear the voice of spring, 
And flourish green again, 
But man forsakes this earthly scene, 
Ah ! never to return. " 

The mournful appearance of some trees, such as the cypress 
and the weeping willow, has rendered appropriate their dedication 
to the dead. The old Romans had a complete rubric for the 
employment of certain trees for funerary purposes. When a man 
fell sick, a branch of laurel was hung over the door of the house 
in compliment to Apollo, the god of medicine. If the sickness 
ended in death, the laurel was taken down, and black boughs of 
cypress (emblem of Pluto, god of the lower regions) were substi- 
tuted, or boughs of larch, which Pliny calls the funeral tree. 
Upon the coffin were placed wreaths of cypress leaves, decked 
with lilies and leaves of olive, laurel, and white poplar. And, 
during the procession to the grave, torches made of pine were 
burned, while the mourners, carrying sprigs of cypress, walked to 
the music of flutes, made only of boxwood. It has been supposed 
that the sprigs of cypress indicated the belief that the dead had 
died for ever. 

The old Celtic inhabitants of our country, and some 
even yet, were so attached to trees, and thought man's life so 
intimately bound up with them, that they believed that for every 
tree cut down, somebody in the district would die in the same 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 345 

year. The 'withering of the bay-laurel was once, in England, 
taken for an omen of death. In Richard II., Shakespeare has it: 

' ' 'Tis thought the King is dead. We will not stay, 
The bay-trees in our country are all withered. " 

The ancient Germans used to put hazel-nuts in tombs, as good 
auguries of regeneration and immortality, a practice still in force 
in some places. In Russia, when a coffin is being borne to the 
cemetery, it is covered with branches of pine or fir trees, because 
of their evergreen foliage, held symbolic of the immortality of 
the soul. Coles, in his Introduction to the Knowledge of Plants, 
says : " Cypress garlands are of great account at funerals amongst 
the gentler sort in England, but rosemary and bays are used by 
the commons, both at funerals and weddings." 

The Yew, a favourite church-yard tree, emblematic of the 
resurrection, is called, by Shakespeare, "The double fatal yew," 
because its leaves are poisonous, and its wood was used for bows. 
The German and Celtic tribes highly venerated it. " Here," says 
Ossian, " rests their dust, Cuchullin ; these lonely yews sprang 
from their tomb, and shade them from the storm." 

The Willow is the distinctively funerary tree of the Chinese. 
M. Schlegel tells us that it has been used by them for the last 
3000 years to cover their coffins, and to be borne in the hands of 
mourners as the symbol of another life. Although with us its 
employment is not so extensive, its frequent use in church-yards 
testifies to the bond of union joining East and West in the matter 
of funeral observances. 


Before the days of meteorology, many superstitions, crediting 
trees with powerful influence in changes of weather, were current. 
These can be mainly reduced to the domain of fable the cloud- 
dropping tree, the rain-producing tree, and the storm-compeller, 
being all obviously of a purely imaginary description. The Celts 
had a great regard for the Mountain Ash, which was thought a 
lucky tree. Fishermen used to fasten a small piece of it to their 
boat, as a charm to bring good weather and a good catch. It is 
by means of palm-tree leaves that the natives of Southern India 
pretend to invoke or drive away rain. In North Italy, laurel-leaves 

346 The Celtic Magazine. 

are used to ascertain whether the crops will be good and the 
weather favourable. The leaves are burned ; if they crackle, there 
will be a good crop ; if not, bad. As a charm against thunder- 
storms, the country people round Venice hang an olive branch 
over the chimney, with this invocation : 

" Holy Barbara and St. Simon, 

Keep away the lightning-stroke ; 
Keep away the rolling thunder, 
Barbara, we thee invoke. " 

The Romans believed the laurel a safeguard against lightning ; 
and the Germans ascribed the same virtue to the hawthorn. 

"A Hindoo popular tale about the Bul-bul, a species of 
nightingale, tells us that this bird remained sitting for twelve 
years on a cotton-tree, refusing to share it with other birds, for 
fear they would pluck the expected fruit When it saw the 
beautiful flourish come, it rejoiced, but it in vain expected the 
fruit, which never came. Then it was exposed to the ridicule of 
all the other birds whom it had chased from the tree." In Alsace, 
the people used to blame the bat for spoiling the stork's eggs. 
The touch of the bat killed the young bird. To avoid this, the 
story goes that the stork put in its nest some twigs of maple, 
which alone had the power of keeping bats at a distance. The 
doors of houses used also to be hung with maple to prevent visits 
from bats. 

Shepherds were once in the habit of cutting branches of Elder 
in order to make flutes, but only in places where they could not 
hear the cock crow, perhaps from a notion that the vicinity of that 
bird might have imparted a disagreeable tone to the wood. 
Juniper, many German ostlers think an excellent means of 
strengthening horses. It is usual to give them, three Sundays in 
succession, before dawn, three handfuls of salt and 72 juniper 

In Sanscrit, the Oleander is called the " Horse-killer," a name 
and superstition found also in Italy. The Ass of Apulenis had a 
mortal dread at the presence of the Oleander. On the contrary, 
the hazel is thought in Germany to have a good effect on horses, 
their oats being touched with a branch of hazel during certain 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 347 

Sunday processions. In North Germany, when cows are taken 
for the first time to pasture, the last one is often decked with small 
branches of fir, supposed to assist her in calving. When a cow 
takes ill in some parts of France, and worms are supposed to be 
the cause, the peasants take a handful of dwarf-elder leaves, rubbing 
them in their hands, then saluting the tree, and addressing it in 
these terms : " Good morning, Monsieur Dwarf-Elder ; if you 
do not drive the worms from their present place I shall cut you 
down." This threat, they believe, generally effects a cure ; or, if 
they cut down the tree, they think the cure certain. 

This paper will conclude with a few instances under the 
last head 


" O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies, 
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities," 

says Shakespeare in " Romeo and Juliet." In days before doctors 
were a necessary part of the equipment of a community, their 
place was taken, however imperfectly, by priests and magicians. 
Diseases were imagined to be removeable chiefly in one of two 
ways either by the prayers of the priest, if a good spirit had sent 
the disease, or by the incantations of the magician, working mainly 
with plants, which were also used for other purposes within the 
magic circle. Trees were called into frequent use in this 

Homeopathy would seem to be only a revival of the views 
current prior to the scientific study of medicine. " Like should 
cure like." " Similia Similibus." The red juice of the mulberry, 
like blood, was thought to be a cure for all kinds of bleeding. The 
leaves of the Weeping Willow, old medical works assure us, are a 
sovereign remedy for the same disorder. The Almond was 
thought by the Romans to arrest the influence of intoxicating 
liquor. Plutarch tells a story of a physician who, after dinner, 
defied anybody to make him drunk ; but once he was caught 
before dinner chewing bitter almonds, when he confessed that, 
if he had not taken that precaution, a small quantity of wine would 
have intoxicated him. Pennant says " In many parts of the 

348 The Celtic Magazine. 

Highlands, at the birth of a child, the nurse puts the end of a 
green stick of ash into the fire, and, while it is burning, receives 
into a spoon the juice which oozes out at the other end, and 
administers this to the new-born babe." A similar practice exists 
in Brittany. When a child there is weak, they put birch-leaves in 
an oven to dry, and then place them in a cradle to strengthen the 
child. Birch-leaves were held in the Highlands as good for 
keeping away serpents, the bites of which were thought, in Italy, 
to be curable by the application of juniper berries. Pliny seriously 
attributed to the ash-tree a magical power against serpents. In 
some Mediterranean countries, warts are believed curable by rotten 

The leaves of the ash and the juniper, when burnt, were held 
to be a sure cure for the common scourge of leprosy, four centuries 
ago. It appears to be a practice still in force, near Venice, to 
bind a tree with ropes for the cure of fever, and then to say thrice 
without taking breath " I place thee here, I leave thee here, and 
I am going to take a walk." The fever should then leave the 
patient, but the tree ceases to bear fruit. This is another instance 
of the tree being supposed to act as a substitute for man, and, by 
its death, to save his life. 

The Elder-tree furnishes a popular German remedy for tooth- 
ache, which Russian peasants try to guard against by dipping 
Oak-bark in a neighbouring river and keeping it carefully in their 

German peasants say that evil spirits avoid places where 
juniper is hung. Holly used to be held as a charm against evil 
spirits in England, and it is still so considered in some continental 
countries. The magician's wand had to be made of hazel-wood, 
which also furnished the divining-rod for the discovery of hidden 
treasure, water-springs, and metallic mines a belief in the virtue 
of which is not yet extinct. It was a hazel-rod that Donstieswivel 
in the Antiquary used in searching for the buried gold. Mistletoe- 
leaf was once believed to open all locks on pronouncing certain 
formulae ; and the oak leaf is still regarded by Italian peasants as 
an infallible protection against bullet-wounds, and is carried by 
young army recruits in that belief. The German peasants believe 
that the man who stands under an apple-tree on Christmas Eve 

Tree Myths and Forest Lore. 349 

will see Heaven open. In Scotland, the apple is associated with 
a sight of "the other place," which Burns has immortalised in 
" Hallowe'en." 

Many other curious notions under this head might be given, 
but the writer has ridden his hobby long enough on this 
occasion, and he concludes with expressing a hope that what he 
has written and culled from many sources may induce others to 
continue the investigation of the subject, which is fascinating in 
itself, and throws light, in many unexpected ways, on the mental 
and social history of man. 



DRIVING back from Glendale, we held a meeting at Dunvegan, 
at which several ladies attended, and then went on board the 
Carlotta. We lay in the Loch all Sunday, and, early on Monday 
morning, steamed for Struan, Loch Bracadale. The passage 
was a very stormy one. So long as we were in the Loch, we got 
on pretty well, but no sooner had we rounded Dunvegan Head 
than the yacht commenced to pitch and roll in the most uncom- 
fortable manner. Feeling rather squeamish, I went below to my 
sleeping-cabin to lie down for a while, but was soon driven on 
deck again by the water coming in upon me through the port- 
hole. Not caring to be soaked through, which was evidently not 
a very remote possibility, I hastily went on deck, just in time to 
see Macleod's Maidens appearing dimly through the spindrift on 
the left. Rounding Idrigill Point, a magnificent headland of 
black rock, rising vertically from the sea to a height of some 400 

350 The Celtic Magazine. 

feet, we entered the comparatively smooth waters of Loch Braca- 
dale, and soon afterwards dropped anchor at Struan. At the 
Struan meeting we had hoped to have present the old catechist, 
Donald Macqueen, whom Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh had seen when 
the Commissioners were in Skye. He was said to be 106 years 
old in 1883. He was unwell at the time of our visit to Struan, 
and consequently we did not see him. I lately observed a notice 
of his death. 

We had intended in the afternoon to steam to the Island of 
Eigg, but, on reaching the mouth of Loch Bracadale, we found 
that it would be sheer madness to attempt the passage. The sea 
outside was fearful, and, as Captain Maclachlan said, the yacht 
"wouldn't look at it," we were compelled to run for shelter into 
Loch Harport, an offshoot of Loch Bracadale, where we dropped 
anchor, in perfectly smooth water, opposite the Carbost Distillery. 

Next day, Tuesday, 22nd September, seeing that the storm 
showed no signs of abatement, we despatched a messenger to 
Sligachan, eight miles distant, for a conveyance to take us to 
Portree, and, in less than four hours afterwards, we were on our 
way thither in a light dog-cart, leaving the Carlotta at anchor in 
Loch Harport, until the weather should permit her coming round 
to Portree, our next destination. During the whole of the drive 
from Carbost to Sligachan, we 'did not meet a living soul, except 
three tinkers in a cart. A picturesque burial-ground, which we 
passed, surrounded with fine old trees, told of old times, when 
families, such as the Macleods of Gesto, and others, lived and 
flourished in the district in numbers and plenty. The whole 
country Bracadale, the " Garden of Skye " is now given over to 
sheep. At intervals, the solitary residence of a shepherd broke 
the monotony of the landscape, but, for the most of the way, 
nothing was to be seen but heather, bracken, and moss, where, 
not so many years ago, there was a large and thriving population. 
On every side were to be seen the traces of former cultivation. 
Every slope, every hollow, every flat, was seamed and furrowed 
by the operations of the cas-chrom, but the heather and the bracken 
now waved undisturbed over the spots where the ripening corn 
once gladdened the eyes of the toiler, and the sheep cropped the 
grass from the place where the crofter's cottage once stood. All 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 351 

around bespoke "man's inhumanity to man." It was a saddening 
spectacle, but one, alas, too common in the Highlands. 

With a brief halt at Sligachan Inn, we proceeded on our way, 
observing much land out of cultivation, and reached Portree in 
the evening, after a fearful day of rain and wind, and put up in 
Mr. Maclnnes's comfortable hotel. 

Next morning, we hired a sloop to take us to Clachan of 
Raasay. The weather was stormy, and the skipper and his three 
seamen kept expressing the most melancholy forebodings regard- 
ing the ultimate result of our journey. They appeared to find a 
morbid pleasure in giving us at brief intervals the cheering infor- 
mation that, at the exact spot we were then passing over, a boat, 
precisely the same as ours, had been capsized in similar weather, 
and all hands lost. Whenever a dark squall came sweeping over 
the surface of the sea towards us, the skipper, in doleful tones, 
reminded us that "them squalls wass fery dangerous," and that 
many boats had been capsized by such gusts of wind on previous 
occasions. However, the skipper's sound and careful seamanship 
amply compensated for his Jeremiad, and we at length rounded 
an ugly-looking reef, and cast anchor safely in the pretty little Bay 
of Clachan, just in front of the fine modern residence of the 
proprietor, the late Mr. E. H. Wood of Raasay. This house 
absorbs the one in which Dr. Johnson and Boswell were so hospi- 
tably entertained by the Laird of Raasay and his family, when on 
their tour through the Western Isles. His room still remains. 
The Doctor writes, of his visit to Raasay, that he "found nothing 

but civility, elegance, and plenty When it was 

time to sup, the dance ceased, and six-and-thirty persons sat down 
to two tables in the same room. After supper, the ladies sung 
Erse [Gaelic] songs, to which I listened as an English audience 
to an Italian opera, delighted with the sound of words which I did 
not understand." 

After a good meeting at Clachan, we set sail, this time with a 
favourable wind, for Torran, near the northern extremity of the 
Island, and, having held another meeting there, started again 
about five o'clock in the evening for Portree. In no part of our 
travels were the evils of undue game preservation more accentuated 
than at Raasay. It was quite dark when we entered Portree Bay, 

352 The Celtic Magazine. 

but the lights showed us that the Carlotta had arrived from Loch 
Harport, and, in company with four other steam-yachts, and a 
number of fishing-crafts, was lying at anchor in the Bay. On 
landing, we found that a splendid reception had been prepared 
for Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh. A large crowd had assembled on the 
quay, and a carriage was also waiting for us, with a stout rope 
attached. As soon as we were seated in the conveyance, a score 
of willing hands seized the rope, and, with a loud huzza, we were 
run swiftly up the steep brae leading from the harbour, until we 
reached the Portree Hotel. 

Next morning, we steamed to the Braes, accompanied by Mrs. 
Mary Macpherson, better known as Mairi Nighean Iain Bhain, 
the "Skye Poetess." At the Brae Schoolhouse we met a fine, 
gentle specimen of the old Highland matron, the mother of the 
school-master. Most of the people followed us to a high cliff 
overlooking the small Bay (where the Carlotta, waiting for us, 
cruised about, her steam up, and all flags displayed), formed into 
one great line, and, waiting until we got on board, cheered and 
waved their handkerchiefs until we were out of sight, the circum- 
stances deeply impressing all present. We then left for Kirkton 
of Glenelg. The view, as we steamed down the Sound of Raasay, 
was magnificent. Passing through Kyle-Akin, and opposite to 
Castle Moil, the Poetess sung, with admirable expression, the 
famed pathetic air, composed within its walls by Coll of Barris- 
dale's devoted adherent, warning him of his danger, the words 
" Colla mo run, Colla mo run," and the music seem, as I write, to be 
as fresh and vivid as though heard but yesterday. On the right, 
just outside the entrance to the Kyle, is an ugly-looking rock, 
marked by a red barrel. This rock, known as the Cailleach, has 
an interesting historical incident connected with it. In the earlier 
part of the i/th century, during the time of Kenneth, first Lord 
Mackenzie of Kintail, Angus Macdonald, younger of Glengarry, 
came to Mackenzie's lands with a large fleet of galleys, and, having 
ravaged the shores of Loch Carron and massacred a number of 
old men, women, and children there, was returning with his fleet, 
laden with plunder, through the Kyle. He passed Kyle-Akin in 
safety, but, in the meantime, the alarm had gone through Lochalsh 
and Kintail, and a number of Kintailmen set out from Inverinate 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 353 

in a large twelve-oared galley, to intercept the Macdonalds and 
contest their passage through Kyle-Rhea. When the Mackenzies 
neared the Cailleach, it was seen to be covered with snow. The 
sea was calm, and the night dark. Here they met Macdonald's 
great galley, which was some distance ahead of the rest of the fleet. 
Macdonald challenged the Kintail boat three times, being answered 
the third time by a full broadside from Mackenzie's brass cannon, 
which disabled his galley and threw it upon the Cailleach rock. 
The men on board Macdonald's galley, thinking it had been driven 
on shore, rushed to the bows in their efforts to escape, thus cap- 
sizing and filling the vessel. A few of the Kintailmen, meanwhile 
landed, and killed any of the Macdonalds who attempted to save 
themselves by swimming ashore. Others killed or drowned those 
who remained in the disabled galley, and not a soul escaped alive 
out of it, except Angus himself, who, however, died from his 
wounds before morning. The remainder of Macdonald's fleet, 
numbering twenty-one, hearing the uproar, betook themselves to 
Kyle-Akin in terror and confusion. The men landed in Strath- 
ardale, and, abandoning their ships, with their ill-gotten spoils, 
upon the shore, fled to Sleat, from whence they were taken across 
to the mainland in small boats. 

Passing through Kyle-Rhea, we turned into the Bay of Kirkton, 
and landed, the yacht immediately returning to Portree to coal. 
On shore, a large bonfire was burning, and an enthusiastic pro- 
cession escorted us to the place of meeting. Close to the shore 
of Kirkton Bay are the ruins of the Bernera Barracks, built by the 
Hanoverian Government in 1722 to overawe the people of the 
West Highlands, and stamp out their inherent loyalty to the House 
of Stuart. The whirligig of Time has worked strange changes 
with the old Barracks. The building, which was originally erected 
to subdue the people, is now regularly used, in its ruined state, as 
the meeting-place of the Glenelg branch of the Highland Land 
Law Reform Association ! 

On Friday, while waiting the Carlottrfs return from Portree, 
Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh was sent across by Mr. Fraser, school- 
master, in his nice pleasure-boat, to Kyle Rhea, where he addressed 
several of the people, and, at noon, we started for Arisaig. On 
landing there, after a stormy passage and a very lengthened pull 


354 The Celtic Magazine. 

ashore, making us five hours late, we were met and welcomed by 
Mr. Eneas R. Macdonell of Camusdarroch, and a large concourse 
of people, notwithstanding the long detention headed by two 
pipers in full Highland dress. After the Arisaig meeting, Mr. 
Macdonell, it being now dark, drove us to the Bridge of Morar, 
a distance of about eight miles, in the midst of a furious gale of 
wind and rain. It is most agreeable to find that the only gentle- 
man remaining of the old families, from Knoydart to Moydart, is 
one who, in appearance, is a king among men, and, in spirit, 
thoroughly with the people. At the Bridge, we found a considerable 
number of people, some from as great a distance as Knoydart, the 
majority of whom had been waiting patiently, in the midst of the 
severe storm, for several hours, until we should arrive. There was no 
house near, so the meeting was held in a disused quarry by the 
roadside. Mr. Macdonell and Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh, closely 
enveloped in their tartan plaids, the earnest faces around, the noisy 
river, in great flood, roaring and tumbling in front, with the dark 
face of the quarry behind, the whole lighted up by the flickering 
glare of a carriage-lamp, made up a curious picture. At intervals, 
the moon, emerging from behind a cloud, shed a silvery brightness 
upon the group. The attendant sounds added to the impressive- 
ness of the meeting. The roar of the falls above the bridge, the 
ceaseless murmur of the waves upon the sands at the mouth of the 
river, the champing of the spirited horses, and the voices of the 
speakers, who exerted themselves vigorously in Gaelic, con- 
stantly interrupted by enthusiastic bursts of applause from the 
delighted audience, formed a weird and striking symphony. This 
meeting at Morar, taking it all in all, was one of the strangest and 
most interesting incidents in our whole trip, and will give one a 
good idea of the difficulties and vicissitudes of an electoral cam- 
paign, in a great Highland County, under the extended franchise. 
The meeting over, we drove back to Arisaig, getting on board 
the yacht to our dinner about half-past eleven, and, next morning 
(Saturday), steamed across to the Island of Eigg, dropping anchor 
in the channel between it and Castle Island. The leader of the 
people in Eigg was Mr. Thomas D. Macdonald, an intelligent 
young man, and one who has already made a prominent figure in 
the Highland Land Law Reform movement. The priest of the 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 35$ 

Island, the Rev. Father Maclellan, and the Free Church minister, 
Mr. Mackenzie, are both in perfect sympathy with the people, 
and with each other, upon the Land Question.* 

After a very good meeting in the Eigg Schoolhouse, we, 
accompanied by Mr. Macdonald, Mr. Maclellan, and Mr. Mac- 
kenzie, ascended the Scuir, an immense rock overtopping the 
Island. From the summit, 1339 ^ eet above the level of the sea, 
a magnificent view was obtained, extending over a very large area. 
The fertile Island of Muck was at our feet, and Ben Nevis easily 
discernible. The day was fortunately beautiful. From the top, 
the height of the Scuir is not properly realised, but, on descending 
to the base, we were able fully to admire its grandeur. We then 
made our way down the grassy slope at the base of the rock to 
the seashore, and in a short time reached the mouth of the famous 
Cave, in which 395 Macdonalds, men, women, and children, were 
cruelly suffocated by the Macleods in the month of March, 1577. 
The following interesting tradition in connection with the massacre 
was supplied to me by Mr. Macdonald : Before blocking up the 
entrance to the Cave, Macleod of Macleod offered to spare the 
life of a lady of some rank among the Macdonalds, and told her 
to come out. This she would only do on condition that she 
would be allowed the life of one of her kinsmen also. Her choice 
lighted upon one whom Macleod had specially marked for ven- 
geance, and he accordingly refused the lady's petition, but offered 
instead to allow her another kinsman for every finger on her hand. 
The lady, however, was resolute, and said she would either have 
her first choice, or remain where she was. Macleod would not 

* A curious and amusing incident afterwards occurred in connection with the 
electors of Eigg on the polling-day. Those who intended to support Mr. Fraser- 
Mackintosh had hired a sloop for themselves to convey them to the polling place at 
Arisaig, and they offered the five or six in the Island who intended to vote for Mr. 
Reginald Macleod, the Conservative candidate, a passage. A message had been 
sent to the Eigg people, who were expected to vote Conservative, that Mr. Platt's 
yacht from Dunvegan Castle would come to Eigg for them and take them over to 
Arisaig, and they accordingly declined the offer made to them by the popular party. 
The yacht, however, owing to the severity of the weather, never turned up, and they 
accordingly lost the chance of recording their votes, whilst the occupants of the 
sloop, accompanied by the priest, arrived safely at Arisaig, and voted to a man for 
the People's Candidate. 

356 The Celtic Magazine. 

give in, and the noble-minded lady accordingly perished with the 
rest. The entrance to the cave, which is within a few yards of 
high-water mark, is a small opening in the face of a large gray 
rock, surrounded with beautiful grasses and moss. A little stream 
of water trickles down the sides of the opening from above, and 
forms a pool just before it. Creeping along the narrow passage, 
some twelve feet in length, upon our hands and knees, and 
lighting the candles we had brought with us, we found ourselves 
in the interior of the cavern. The floor was covered with stones 
and fragments of rock, of all shapes and sizes, rendering walking 
somewhat difficult. The air was humid and earthy, and the 
darkness so thick that the light of the candles served only to make 
it the more perceptible. The only sound to be heard, save our 
own footsteps and voices, was the intermittent drip of the water 
which here and there fell from the roof. A feeling of awe crept 
over me as I stood in the middle of the great cave, and thought 
of the terrible atrocity which had been committed within it. The 
very ground beneath my feet was partially formed of the ashes of 
the dead ; those walls, now dark and silent, had echoed the des- 
pairing shrieks of the doomed Macdonalds, and reflected the red 
glare of the fire from the entrance. Even yet the bones of the 
unfortunate victims are to be found in the cave, decayed and 
blackened with age. Sir Walter Scott is said to have carried 
away a skull, much to the horror of his sailors. For many days 
after leaving Eigg his vessel was detained by calms a judgment, 
the seamen averred, for Sir Walter's sacrilegious act. I myself 
committed similar sacrilege in a small way, for I found and carried 
away three small bones. A doctor, to whom I have since shown 
them, at once pronounced them to be human, one being a finger, 
and another a toe-bone, both of which, the doctor said, must have 
belonged to a very large man ; the third is a child's rib. The 
whole length of the cave is said to be 213 feet, the average breadth 
being about fourteen. Our voices, when raised above a whisper, 
sounded weird and unnatural, and the black walls seemed to 
re-echo angrily the noise made by the intruders into the vast 
hecatomb. I was glad to emerge once more into the open air 
and the light of day. 

Going on board the Carlotla, we steamed round the Point of 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 357 

Ardnamurchan for Tobermory, Mull, arriving there late in the 
evening, to remain until Monday. Our cruise in the Hebrides 
was now over, but we had still to visit the historic district of 
Moidart, and one or two other places on the mainland. 

(To be continued?) 


Lord Ronald to the wars had gone, 

And, being long away, 
A neighbouring clansman seized his lands, 

With keep and rock-bound bay. 

The bonnie Lady Jean alone 

Held Ronald was not dead ; 
Her uncle swore she should be forced 

Her cousin Roy to wed. 

The lady wept, the lady pled, 

He heeded not her prayer, 
The priest stood ready in the church, 

And all were gathered there. 

When lo ! amid them stood a knight, 

Of noble mien and size, 
The jewels flashed upon his breast, 

The fire flashed in his eyes. 

With haughty air and hasty stride, 

He reached the bridal pair ; 
(Oh ! knew ye ever such ado ? 

Or saw ye plight so rare ?) 

He pushed the bridegroom rudely by, 

Kneeled by the ladye's side, 
Spake in her ear, then, rising, cried 

" I claim my promised bride." 

The servants smiled, the lady blushed, 

Her face no longer sad, 
They wrung his hands, they sobbed for joy, 

The priest himself looked glad. 

Oh then what feasting in the hall ! 

What dancing on the green ! 
Such rollicking and frolicking, 

I wote had never been. 


358 The Celtic Magazine. 



IF your space will permit, I would like to say a few words in 
answer to the animadversions of Father Chisholm on my paper 
on this subject, which you recently published. 

In the outset, it will be well to define what the point is which 
is in controversy between us. What I stated in my paper was, 
that th,e Celtic Church had certain peculiarities which distinguished 
it from other churches ; and that it was "a monastic tribal Church, 
not subject to the jurisdiction of Bishops." I certainly assumed 
that it was a separate and distinct Church, and that it was not 
subject to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, or of the Church 
over which he presided ; but I neither said nor implied more than 
this, and this is what I now propose to maintain. Father Chisholm, 
however, states the points in dispute in a much wider and more 
ambiguous way. He says that the question is whether the Celtic 
Church was "in communion with the Church of Rome, and 
acknowledged her authority, or whether she was a separate, 
distinct Church, and opposed to her," and he undertakes to show 
that, "the Celtic Church was essentially Roman," meaning by 
Roman " Catholic." Here is room for a good deal of misappre- 
hension. I did not say, and I do not now maintain, that the 
Church ruled by the Bishop of Rome, and the Church ruled by 
the Abbot of lona, when, after a century of separation, they again 
came into contact, refused to hold communion with each other. 
On the contrary, there is ample evidence that they did. They 
were both Missionary Churches then, in the presence of Heathen, 
and they did not think of excommunicating each other. I did 
not say, and I do not now maintain, that the Celtic Church denied 
the authority of the Church of Rome or of its Chief, within the 
limits of his Episcopal or Pontifical jurisdiction that is, within the 
limits of what had been the Western Empire ; on the contrary, it 
fully acknowledged this authority, and, moreover, it looked up to 
the Roman Church as the mother of all the Western Churches. 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 359 

I did not say, and I do not now maintain, that the Celtic Church 
opposed the Church of Rome ; on the contrary, it was quite willing 
to co-operate with it in the work of proclaiming the truth and 
converting the heathen. And I did not say, and do not maintain, 
that the Celtic Church was not Catholic. Perhaps I might be 
inclined to say that it was the Catholic Church. Having cleared 
away so much, I will proceed to adduce some evidence in favour 
of the two propositions which I do maintain, premising that they 
are very much involved the one in the other. 

Leaving out of view as much as possible, in the first place, the 
question of jurisdiction, I say that the Columban Church was a 
separate and distinct Church, on the following grounds : (i), It 
grew up and developed for a hundred years, without any com- 
munication whatever with the Church of Rome, in perfect isolation 
and independence. (2), It developed and perfected a form of 
ecclesiastical polity and organisation, not only different from, but 
diametrically opposed to, that of the Church of Rome. The 
Church of Rome was ruled by bishops possessing territorial 
jurisdiction, and to whom all ecclesiastics within the territory were 
bound to submit. The Columban Church was ruled by an abbot, 
who might and generally was a Presbyter, and to whom every 
ecclesiastic in the whole Church, whether Bishop, Presbyter, or 
Deacon, was bound to submit. It was not a case of the Bishop 
yielding a " sort of civil jurisdiction to the Abbot," as Father 
Chisholm somewhat unfairly puts it. The Abbot was the superior 
and ruler of the whole Church in all matters ecclesiastical, all 
matters of faith and worship, in as full, and even in a fuller, sense 
than the Pope was ruler of his Church, and the Bishops as such 
had no rule or authority. In matters civil, the Columban clergy 
owed obedience to the temporal rulers, and were not even exempt 
from military service. (3), The Columban Church felt that 
it had, and it exercised, a separate mission, and it sent its mis- 
sionaries, not only among the heathen, but into territories already 
occupied by Roman clergy, and within the admitted jurisdiction 
of the Roman Pontiff, as witness the mission of Columbanus to 
Gaul, and Aidan to Northumbria ; and (4), It had certain peculiar 
customs and observances to which it rigidly adhered, although, as 
I will afterwards show, these were held to be so important by the 

The Celtic Magazine. 

Roman clergy as to make the abandonment of them, in their 
opinion, essential to the inclusion of the Church within the 
" Catholic Unity." Surely this is enough to satisfy anyone that 
the Columban Church was separate and distinct. 

As to the question of jurisdiction, I think I will be held to 
have proved my point if I can show that, in a matter enjoined by 
the highest authority in the Roman Church, and considered vital 
to Catholic Unity, the Columban Church persistently refused to 
conform to Rome. I will say nothing under this head on the 
question of tonsure, because, although it was considered of very 
great importance, Abbot Ceolfrid was Catholic enough to say, in 
his letter to King Nectan to be afterwards noticed that he 
would not go the length of pronouncing all who were obstinate on 
this point worthy of damnation. I will take the question of the 
proper time for observing Easter. Father Chisholm says this 
was a matter of no vital importance, but a mere matter of discipline. 
It does seem very absurd that it should be made a matter of 
importance, but we must take it as the parties looked on it at the 
time. They did not look on it as indifferent, but as essential, to 
unity. I will adduce some instances of this: (i), The mode of 
computing the time for the observance of Easter was, in the 
Roman Church, made a matter of formal Canon. The fourth 
Council of Orleans (541) decreed this method of computation to 
be observed, and directed that the festival should be observed by 
all at the same time.* Obedience to this Canon was incumbent in 
all who acknowledged the authority of the Roman Church. (2), 
In 596, Augustine was sent to Britain by Pope Gregory to convert 
the English. After he had been in this country for some time, 
he wrote to the Pope, asking for instructions as to how he was to 
deal with the Bishops of Gaul and Britain ; meaning by the latter, 
the Bishops of the Welsh Church which had remained Christian 
from the time of the Roman occupation. Gregory replied " We 
give you no authority over the Bishops of France, because the 
Bishop of Aries received the pall, in ancient times, from my 
predecessor." "But, as for the Bishops of Britain, we commit 

* Skene, Celtic Scotland, Vol. II., page 9. 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 361 

them to your care."* In 603, Augustine had a conference with 
these same British Bishops, who were committed to his care, with 
the object of bringing- them to " Catholic Unity " with him, and, 
after a long disputation, he said to them "You act, in many 
particulars, contrary to our custom, or, rather, the custom of the 
Universal Church, and yet, if you will comply with us in these 
three points, viz. To keep Easter at the due time ; to administer 
baptism, by which we are again born to God, according to the 
custom of the Holy Roman Apostolic Church ; and jointly with 
us to preach the Word of God to the English nation we will 
readily tolerate all the other things you do, though contrary to our 
customs." The British Bishops answered that they would do none 
of these things, nor receive him for their Archbishop, and, there- 
upon, Augustine doomed them all to destruction, and left them.f 
(3), In 605, Laurentius, the successor of Augustine as Archbishop 
of Canterbury, hearing that the course of life and profession of the 
Scots, as well as of the Britons, "was not truly ecclesiastical, 
especially that they did not celebrate the solemnity of Easter at 
the due time," wrote to their " Lords Bishops and Abbots " on the 
subject. In this letter, he says " But, coming acquainted with 
the errors of the Britons, we thought the Scots (Irish) had been 
better, but we have been informed by Bishop Dagun, coming into 
the aforesaid Island, and the Abbot Columbanus in France, that 
the Scots in no way differ from the Britons in their behaviour ; for 
Bishop Dagun, coming to us, not only refused to eat with us, but 
even to take his repast in the same house where we were entertained." 
This same Laurentius, and the other English Bishops, also wrote 
to the British Bishops to endeavour to confirm them in 
"Catholic Unity," "but," says Bede, "what he gained by so doing 
the present times " (that is about 73 1 when Bede finished his 
history) "still declare."! (4), In the case of the famous controversy 
between Wilfrid and Colman (664), the matter was looked upon 
as so vital by Colman that, when King Oswy resolved to adopt 
the Roman custom, he did not submit or conform, but retired 
with all who adhered to him to lona, to consult the authority 

* Bede's Ecclesiastical History, Book I., Chapter 27. 
t Bedell., 2. 
J Ibid. II., 4. 

362 The Celtic Magazine. 

which he acknowledged and from which he held his mission, and 
the result was that the connection between the Columban Church 
and Northumberland ceased entirely.* (5), When Nectan, the 
King of the Picts (710,) wrote to the Abbot Ceolfrid for instruction 
about this matter, the latter wrote a long letter, in which he gives 
all the arguments in favour of the Roman methods of computation, 
and, in this letter, he says " He, therefore, who shall contend 
that the full Paschal moon can happen before the Equinox, deviates 
from the doctrine of the Holy Scripture in the celebration of the 
greatest mysteries, and agrees with those who confide that they 
may be saved without the grace of Christ forerunning them, and 
who presume to teach that they might have attained to perfect 
righteousness though the true light had never vanquished the 
darkness of the world by dying and rising again. "f (6), I will 
take the case of the letter which Cummain wrote to Seginus, 
third Abbot of lona (623), which Father Chisholm himself refers 
to. Cummain belonged to the Suthern portion of the Irish 
Church, which had, at this time, been induced to conform to 
Rome in the matter of Easter, and the object of his writing to 
Seginus was to get the Columban Church, over which he ruled, 
to follow this example. He puts the matter so high as to say 
that to blame even the customs of Rome deserved excommunica- 
tion. Yet the Columban Church did not conform, and it was 
Seginus who sent the mission to Northumberland. (Lastly), 
Wilfrid, then a priest, returned to England from Rome about 
664, and was admitted to the friendship of King Alfrid, " who had 
always followed the Catholic Rules of the Church," and Alfrid, 
finding him to be a " Catholic," gave him the Monastery of thirty 
families at Ripon. This place Alfrid had previously given to 
"those that followed the doctrines of the Scots" to build a monas- 
tery upon. " But, for as much as they afterwards, being left to 
their choice, would rather quit the place than adopt the Catholic 
Easter and other canonical rites, according to the custom of the 
Roman Apostolic Church, he gave the same to him, whom he 
found to follow better discipline and better customs." This is 

* Rede III., 25. 
t Ibid. V., 21. 

The Celtic Church in Scotland. 363 

afterwards mentioned by Bede as the banishment of the "Scottish 

Here there is ample authority for saying that, at the time of 
which I am treating this matter of the time of observing Easter, 
was a matter on which the highest authority in the Roman Church 
the Pope in Council had enjoined a rule ; and that both parties 
to the controversy regarded the difference as one vital to Catholic 
Unity. Yet, from the first contact of the Columban and Roman 
Churches, about 569, till the time of Nectan in 710, the Roman 
Church was constantly urging conformity on the Columban 
Church (as well as on the British and Irish Churches), and the 
Columban Church persistently refused to conform. Even at the 
last mentioned date, when Nectan compelled his people to adopt 
the Roman custom, he could only effect his purpose by expelling 
the Columban Clergy and introducing others from England, and 
thus laying the foundation of the claim of the English metropolitans 
to supremacy over the Scottish Church, which long afterwards 
caused so much trouble. Surely this is enough to show that the 
Celtic Church of Scotland did not acknowledge the jurisdiction 
of the Bishop of Rome or the supremacy or authority of the 
Roman Church or its Councils. 

I will now say a few words on the instances which Father 
Chisholm gives in support of what he contends for : (i), He 
refers to the respectful and deferential terms in which Columbanus 
addresses the Bishop of Rome ; but this is quite consistent with 
his claim for freedom from his jurisdiction, and right to retain his 
own customs. The object of this letter in which these expressions 
occur was to assert and maintain his freedom. He was then 
residing in Gaul, within the bounds of the Roman Empire, and 
admittedly within the territory of the Roman Chnrch; yet he 
claims to be still "in his fatherland, and not bound to accept the 
rules of these Gauls ; but as placed in the wilderness, and offending 
no one, to abide by the rules of his elders"; and he quotes and 
founds on the decree of the Second Council held at Constantinople 
in 381, which declares that churches among the Barbarians, or 
beyond the limits of the Roman Empire, shall be regulated by 

* Bede V., 19. 

364 The Celtic Magazine. 

the customs of their fathers.* (2), He says that, in the Controversy 
between Wilfrid and Colman, already referred to, Colman acknow- 
ledged the supremacy of the Roman Church as representing St. 
Peter. But this is not so. It must be borne in mind that we get 
the account of this Controversy from Bede, who was a Roman 
Churchman, and he, naturally, gives the best of it to Wilfrid. But 
what he tells us is, that Colman claimed to rest his practice on the 
authority of St. John, that Wilfrid claimed a higher authority for 
the Church of Rome as representing St. Peter, and quoted the 
well-known passage in which the keys were committed to Peter. 
Oswy asked if it was admitted that these words were "principally 
directed to St. Peter, and that the keys of heaven were given to 
him by our Lord." Bede says that both answered in the affirma- 
tive, and that then Oswy, like a wise and prudent man, said he 
would be on the side of the keeper of the keys, " lest, when I 
come to the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven, there should be 
none to open them, he being my adversary who is proved to have 
the keys."t But this argument had no weight with Colman, and 
he accordingly retired to lona, abandoning the Monastery of 
which he was the head, and the Bishopric over which he ruled 
rather than conform ; and (3), He quotes the declaration of WWrid 
at the Council of Rome, under Pope Agatha, that the nations of 
the English, the British, the Picts, and the Scots, were of the true 
Catholic faith, as contemporary evidence that the Roman and the 
Scottish Churches were one in faith. But, at this time, W'ilfrid 
was a fugitive from his own Church, having been expelled from 
his diocese. He had no kind of authority from the Scottish 
Church, and, at this very time, the South Saxons were not even 
Christian, and were afterwards converted by him. It is impossible 
now to say what Wilfrid meant by the " true Catholic faith," but 
I have sufficiently shown that the Churches were not in " Catholic 
Unity " about a point which both looked on as essential. 


*SkeneII., 11. 
t Bede III., 25. 

Tdladk Na Bean Shith. 365 


THE following peculiar relic of antiquity may prove interesting to 
your Gaelic readers, especially to the Macleods, whose history you 
are at present writing. 

Regarding this Tdladh, tradition goes on to say that, many 
years ago, on a calm autumn evening, a fairy of considerable 
beauty and graceful form, dressed in green, entered Dunvegan 
Castle, the seat of the Chief of the Macleods, in Skye, and that 
she marched, quietly and silently, through every chamber and 
department of it, until she came to the room in which the heir of 
the family, a boy of about a year old, was lying sound asleep in 
his cradle. 

His nurse was sitting in the room at the time busy sewing, of 
whom the fairy did not condescend to take the least notice. 

The fairy sat beside the cradle and took the child upon her 
knee, and, with almost unearthly beautiful voice, she began to sing 
the aforesaid Tdladh. After doing so, she laid the child back 
again into his cradle, and took her departure in the same manner 
as she came, but from whence or where remains a mystery. The 
nurse was spell-bound, and awe-struck with the whole affair. But 
the peculiarity of the words, and the wild, but beautiful, melody 
of the music, took such a hold upon her mind that she could 
repeat and sing it herself ever after. For many years afterwards, 
this Tdladh was considered a valuable relic in Dunvegan Castle. 
So much so, that they would not allow a nurse in the family but 
one able to sing it ; as it was firmly believed to have a certain 
charm, or settn, in it, and that boys, to whom it was frequently 
sung, were sure to thrive. Especially in the hour of battle and 
danger, not unfrequently occurring in those days, it was believed 
the bean shlth would use her influence to shield and protect her 
favourite from the deadly spear and arrow of the enemy. One 
thing certain regarding this Tdladli is, that it must be very old. 
Some people gave the great poetess, Mary Macleod or, as she 
was commonly called, Mairi Nighean A las fair Ruaidk the credit 

366 The Celtic Magazine. 

of being the author of it ; but I have heard from very old men, 
who were told by older men, that it was in existence, and well 
known in Skye, for many long years before Mary Macleod's time. 
I do not pretend to give the whole of this Tdladk, nor anything 
like it ; but I give what I have, and, perhaps, some of your 
numerous readers may be able to give a more complete version 
of it. 



'Se mo leanabh mingileiseach, maingeileiseach, 
Bualadh nan each, glac nan luireach, 
Nan each cruidheach 's nan each snagach, 
Mo leanabh beag. 

'S truagh nach fhaicainn fhin do bhuaile, 
Gu h-ard, ard air uachdar sleibhe, 
C6ta caol caiteanach uaine, 
Mu d' dha ghuallainn ghil, 'us leine. 
Mo leanabh beag. 

'S truagh nach fhaicinn fein do sheisreach, 
Fir 'g am freasdal 'n am an f heasgair ; 
Mna-comhnuill a' tighinn dhachaidh, 

'S na Catanaich a' cur sil. 

O mhile bhog, O mhile bhog, 
10 chioch a si 
'S mo ghluin a tl 

Mo bhru a rug, mo chioch a shluig, 


'S e mo leanabh m' ultach iudhair, 
Sultmhor reamhar, mo luachair bhog, 
M' fheoil 'us m' uidhean a ni bhruidhinn, 
Bha thu fo' mo chrios an uiridh, lus an toraidh, 
'S bidh tu 'm bliadhna gu geal guanach 
Air mo ghuallainn feadh a' bhaile, 
Mo leanabh beag. 

O bhireinn o bhp, na cluinneam do Icon, 

O bhireinn o bho, gu 'm bioraich do shron, 

O bhireinn o bh6, gu 'n liath thu air choir ; 

O bhireinn o bhinn thu, cha'n ann de chlann Choinnich thu. 

O bhireinn o bhinn thu, cha'n ann de chloinn Chuinn thu, 

O bhireinn o bhinn thu, siol is docha linn thu, 

Siol nan Leodach nan lann 's nan luireach 

B'e Lochlainn duthchas do shinnsir. 

The Old Graveyard. 367 


The summer's day is sinking fast, 
The gloaming weaves its pall, 

As shadows weird the willows cast 
Beyond the broken wall ; 

And the tombstones gray like sentinels rise 

To guard the dust that 'neath them lies. 

The whispering breezes solemn bear 

A requiem, knell-intoned, 
As the steeple's throbs alarm the air 

And through the valley sound 
To bid the weary seek repose 
When dies the day at twilight's close. 

Then silken silence murmurs rest, 
And the peace that reigns supreme 

Seems but awaiting God's behest, 
To wake it from its dream ; 

While yet it soothes the hearts that weep, 

Lament for those that lie asleep. 

The moon, deciphering virtue's claims 

To deeds of duty done, 
Illumes anew the graven names 

That time hath not o'ergrown, 
Though the deeds of all are in the book 
Where time hath never dared to look. 

Five generations slumber here, 
Beneath these crowding mounds, 

And still their spirits hover near, 
As memory makes its rounds ; 

When widowed love here finds retreat, 

And sympathetic echoes meet. 

The first to find their rest were those 

Who saw the hamlet's birth, 
When hum of industry arose, 

To blend with rural mirth ; 
When progress first beheld its dawn, 
Amid the bloom of Cartha's lawn. 

But now the glebe a surfeit knows 

Though scarce a century old, 
And undisturbed the rank grass grows 

Above the tear-dewed mould, 
While men in thousands claim it theirs, 
Where lie their kindred and their tears. 

And oft 'tis here we learn to die, 

As sorrow sifts the soul, 
When love's sweet longings seem to sigh 

And with our griefs condole, 
To make us feel what joy it is 
To know that Death makes all things his. 

368 The Celtic Magazine. 

For if tradition reads its lore, 

In lines of dismal light, 
Our higher hopes the tints restore 

To dissipate the right, 
And courage us to think of death 
A change beatified by faith. 
Quebec. J. M. HARPER. 



Dear Mr. Editor, I am obliged to your correspondent " I. B. O." for direct- 
ing my attention to the fact that the same Gaelic translation of " Do they miss me at 
home," which I sent you as the work of my friend, the late Dr. Macintyre of Kil- 
monivaig, appeared some dozen years ago in the Gael, and is there attributed to 
James Munro of Blarour, who was also my friend, and with whom I was very 
intimate far and away the most accomplished Gaelic Scholar I have ever known. 
Upon what grounds or authority the translation in question was attributed to Munro, 
I am entirely ignorant, but I am confident that he had no more to do with it than I 
had myself. The translator was Dr. Macintyre, and no one else. The manuscript 
copy which I sent you was in Dr. Macintyre's own hand, and duly signed and dated 
as you would have observed. It was sent to me by the Doctor as his own composi- 
tion, and it was upon that footing that my opinion on it was asked, and that I 
solicited, and was allowed to retain, the hologragh from which you printed. It was 
always sung in the Manse of Kilmonivaig and often, I can remember, when Munro 
himself was present as Dr. Macintyre's composition. In all this I am corroborated 
by Mr. Alexander Macraild, late of Inverness, now of Fort-William, and at that 
time of Spean Bridge, who assures me that he remembers perfectly well that it was 
he that wrote out the first clean copy of the translation from the original rough draft 
in Dr. Macintyre's hand. I am, in a word, persuaded that not more certainly is the 
very admirable and amusing "Tha Dai'idh marbh" the composition of "I. B. O." 
himself, than that the translation of "Do they miss me at home," as it appears in the 
Celtic Magazine of April, 1886, is the composition of my large-hearted and accom- 
plished friend, the late Rev. Dr. John Macintyre of Kilmonivaig. 

Dear Mr. Editor, faithfully yours, 


The Conflicts of the Clans. 369 




RORY MACLEOD of the Lewis had three wives ; he married, first, 
Barbara Stewart, daughter to the Lord Methven, by whom he had 
Torquil Oighre, who died before his father, without issue. After 
Barbara Stewart's death, Rory married Mackenzie's daughter, who 
bore Torquil Connaldagh, whom Rory would not acknowledge as 
his son, but held him always a bastard ; and, repudiating his 
mother, he married Maclean's sister, by whom he had Torquil 
Dow and Tormot. Besides these, Rory had three base sons 
Neil Macleod, Rory Oig, and Murdo Macleod. After the death 
of old Rory Macleod, his son, Torquil Dow Macleod (excluding 
his brother Torquil Connaldagh as a bastard), doth take possession 
of the Lewis, and is acknowledged by the inhabitants as the lawful 
inheritor of that Island. Torquil Connaldagh (by some called 
Torquil of the Cogaidh) perceiving himself thus put bye the 
inheritance of the Lewis, hath recourse to his mother's kindred, 
the Clan-Mackenzie, and desires their support to recover the same. 
The Lord Kintail, Torquil Connaldagh, his brother Murdo 
Macleod, and the Brieve of the Lewis, met altogether in Ross, to 
advise by what means Torquil Connaldagh might obtain the 
possession of the Lewis, which they were out of all hope to effec t 
so long as Torquil Dow was alive ; whereupon the Brieve of the 
Lewis undertook to slay his master, Torquil Dow, which he brings 
thus to pass : The Brieve, being accompanied with the most part 
of his tribe (the Clan-vic-Gill-Mhoire), went in his galley to the 
Isle of Rona ; and, by the way, he apprehended a Dutch ship, 
which he brought by force along with him to the Lewis ; he invites 
his master, Torquil Dow, to a banquet in the ship ; Torquil Dow 
(suspecting no deceit) went thither, accompanied with seven of 



The Celtic Magazine. 

the best of his friends, and sat down in the ship, expecting some 
drink ; instead of wine, they bring cards ; thus were they all ap- 
prehended and bound by the Brieve and his kindred, who brought 
them to the Lord of Kintail's bounds, and there beheaded them 
every man, in July, 1597. Neither did this advance Torquil Con- 
naldagh to the possession of the Lewis ; for his brother, Neil 
Macleod, opposed himself, and pursued the Brieve and his kin in 
a part of the Island called Ness, which they had fortified, where 
he killed divers of them, and made them leave the strength. Thus 
did Neil Macleod possess the Island, to the behoof of his brother, 
Tormot, and the children of Torquil Dow, whom he acknowledged 
to be righteous heirs of the Island. Torquil Connaldagh had now 
lost both his sons, John and Neil, and had married his daughter 
to Rory Mackenzie (the Lord Kintail's brother), giving her in 
marriage the lands of Coigeach. Hereupon, Kintail began to 
think and advise by what means he might purchase to himself the 
inheritance of that Island, having now Torquil Connaldagh and 
his brother, Murdo Macleod, altogether at his devotion, and having 
Tormot Macleod in his custody, whom he took from the schools ; 
so that he had no one to oppose his designs but Neil Macleod, 
whom he might easily overthrow. Kintail deals earnestly with 
Torquil Connaldagh, and, in end, persuades him to resign the 
right of the Island into his favour, and to deliver him all the old 
rights and evidents of the Lewis. 

In this meantime, the barons and gentlemen of Fife, hearing 
these troubles, were enticed, by the persuasion of some that had 
been there, and by the report of the fertility of the Island, to 
undertake a difficult and hard enterprise. They conclude to send 
a colony thither, and to civilise (if it were possible) the inhabitants 
of the Island. To this effect, they obtain, from the King, a gift 
of the Lewis, the year 1599, or thereabouts, which was alleged to 
be then at his disposal. Thereupon, the adventurers, being joined 
together in Fife, assembled a company of soldiers, with artificers 
of all sorts, and did transport them into the Lewis, where they 
erected houses and buildings, till, in end, they made a pretty little 
town, in a proper and convenient place fit for the purpose, and 
there they encamped themselves. Neil Macleod and Murdo (the 
sons of old Rory) withstood the undertakers. Murdo Macleod 

The Conflicts of tJie Clans. 371 

invaded the Laird of Barcolmy, whom he apprehended, together 
with his ship, and killed all his men ; so, having detained him six 
months in captivity in the Lewis, he released him upon his promise 
to pay him a ransom. 

Now, Neil Macleod was grieved in heart to see his brother, 
Murdo, entertain the Brieve and his tribe, being the chief instru- 
ments of their brother, Torquil Dow's, slaughter ; and, thereupon, 
Neil apprehended his brother, Murdo, which, when the undertakers 
heard, they sent a message to Neil, showing that, if he would 
deliver unto them his brother Murdo, they would agree with him- 
self, give him a portion of the Island, and assist him to revenge 
the slaughter of his brother, Torquil Dow. Whereunto Neil 
hearkened, delivered his brother, Murdo, to the undertakers ; then 
went Neil with them to Edinburgh, and had his pardon from the 
King for all his byepast offences. Murdo Macleod was executed 
at St. Andrews. 

Thus was the Earl of Kintail in despair to purchase or obtain 
the Lewis ; and therefore he lends all his wits to cross the under- 
takers ; he setteth Tormot Macleod at liberty, thinking that, at his 
arrival in the Island, all the inhabitants would stir in his favour 
against the undertakers ; which they did indeed, as the natural 
inclination is of all these Islanders and Highlanders, who, of all 
other people, are most bent and willing to hazard and adventure 
themselves, their lives, and all they have, for their lords and 
masters. The King was informed, by the undertakers, that the 
Lord of Kintail was a crosser and hinderer of their enterprise ; 
whereupon he was brought into question, and committed to ward 
in the Castle of Edinburgh, from whence he was released, without 
the trial of an assize, by the Lord Chancellor's means. Neil 
Macleod, returning into the Lewis with the undertakers, fell at 
variance with them ; whereupon, he went about to invade their 
camp, and they began, in like manner, to lay a snare for him. 
The Laird of Wormistoun, choosing a very dark night, sent a 
company to apprehend Neil ; who, perceiving them coming, 
invaded them, and chased them, with slaughter, to their camp. 
By this time, came Tormot Macleod into the Island, at whose 
arrival the inhabitants speedily assembled, and came to him as to 
their lord and master. Thereupon, Tormot, accompanied with 


The Celtic Magazine. 

his brother, Neil, invaded the camp of the undertakers, forced it, 
burnt the fort, killed most part of their men, took their command- 
ers prisoners, and released them, after eight months' captivity. 
Thus, for a while, Tormot Macleod commanded in that Island, 
until the undertakers returned again to the Lewis, being assisted 
by the forces of all the neighbouring countries, by virtue of the 
King's commission, directed against Tormot Macleod and his kin, 
the Siol-Torquil. How soon their forces were landed on the 
Island, Tormot Macleod rendered himself to the undertakers, 
upon their promise to carry him safe to London, and to obtain 
him a remission for his byepast crimes ; but Neil Macleod stood 
out, and would not submit himself. Tormot being come to 
London, the King gives him a pardon ; but, withal, he sent him 
home into Scotland, to be kept in ward at Edinburgh, where he 
remained until the month of March, 1615, that the King gave him 
liberty to pass into Holland, where he ended his days. Tormot 
thus warded in Edinburgh, the adventurers did settle themselves 
again, for a little while, in the Lewis, where, at last, the undertakers 
began to weary ; many of the adventurers and partners drew back 
from the enterprise ; some, for lack of means, were not able ; others 
died ; others had greater occasion and business elsewhere to abstract 
them ; many of them began to decline and decay in their estates ; 
and so, being continually vexed by Neil Macleod, they left the 
Island, and returned into Fife. 

The Lord of Kintail, perceiving all things thus fall out to his 
mind, did now show himself openly in the matter. He passed a 
gift of the Island in his own name, under His Majesty's great 
seal, by the Lord Chancellor's means, by virtue of the old right 
which Torquil Connaldagh had before resigned in his favour. Some 
of the adventurers complained hereof to the King's Majesty, who 
was highly displeased with Kintail, and made him resign his right 
into His Majesty's hands ; which right, being now at His Majesty's 
disposition, he gave the same to three of the undertakers, to wit, 
the Lord Balmerino, Sir James Spence of Wormistoun, and Sir 
George - Hay ; who, now, having all the right in their persons, 
assembled their forces together, with the aid of most part of all 
the neighbouring counties ; and so, under the conduct of Sir 
George Hay and Sir James Spence, they invaded the Lewis 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 373 

again, not only to settle a colony there, but also to search for 
Neil Macleod. 

The Lord Kintail (yet hunting after the Lewis) did, under- 
hand, assist Neil, and publicly did aid the undertakers by virtue 
of the King's commission ; Kintail sent a supply of victuals, in a 
ship from Ross, to the adventurers. In the meantime, he sent 
quietly to Neil Macleod, desiring him to take the ship by the way, 
that the undertakers, trusting to these victuals, and being dissap- 
pointed thereof, might be forced to return, and abandon the 
Island ; which fell out accordingly ; for Sir James Spence and 
Sir George Hay, failing to apprehend Neil, and being scarce of 
victuals to furnish their army, began to weary, and so dismissed 
all the neighbouring forces. Sir George Hay and Wormistoun 
then retired into Fife, leaving some men in the Island to defend 
and keep the fort until they sent them a fresh supply of men and 
victuals ; whereupon, Neil, being assisted by his nephew, Malcolm 
Macleod (the son of Rory Og), invaded the undertakers' camp, 
burnt the same, apprehended all those which were left behind in 
the Island, and sent them home safely ; since which time they 
never returned again into the Lewis. Then did the Lord Bal- 
merino, Sir George Hay, and Sir James Spence, begin to weary 
of the Lewis, and sold their title of that Island to the Lord of 
Kintail for a sum of money ; whereby, in end, after great trouble 
and much blood, he obtained that Island. And thus did this 
enterprise of the Fife undertakers come to no effect, after they 
had spent much time, and most part of their means, about it. 

Kintail was glad that he had now, at last, caught his long- 
expected prey ; and thereupon he went into the Island, where he 
was no sooner landed but all the inhabitants yielded unto him, 
except Neil Macleod, and some few others. The inhabitants 
yielded the more willingly to Kintail because he was their neigh- 
bour, and might still vex them with continual excursions if they 
did stand out against him ; which they were not able to do. Neil 
Macleod was now forced to retire to a rock, within the sea, called 
Berrissay, which he kept for the space of three years. During 
the time of his stay in the fort of Berrissay, there arrived an Eng- 
lish pirate in the Lewis, who had a ship furnished with great 
wealth; this pirate (called Peter Lowe) entered into friendship 


The Celtic Magazine. 

and familiarity with Neil, being both rebels; at last, Neil took 
him prisoner with all his men, whom he sent, together with the 
ship, to the Council of Scotland, thinking, thereby, to get his own 
pardon, and his brother, Tormot, released out of prison ; but 
neither of them did he obtain ; and all the Englishmen, with 
their captain, Peter Lowe, were hanged at Leith, the year 1612. 
Neil Macleod, being wearied to remain in the fort of Berrissay, 
abandoned the same, and, dispersing all his company several ways, 
he retired into Harris, where he remained a certain while in secret ; 
then he rendered himself unto his cousin, Sir Rory Macleod, 
whom he entreated to carry him into England to His Majesty ; 
which Sir Rory undertook to do ; and, coming to Glasgow, with 
a resolution to embark then for England, he was charged there, 
under the pain of treason, to deliver Neil, whom he presented 
before the Council at Edinburgh, where he was executed in April, 
1613. After the death of Neil, his nephew, Malcolm Macleod 
(the son of Rory Og), escaping from the Tutor of Kintail, associated 
himself to the Clan Donald, in Isla and Kintyre, during their 
troubles against the Campbells, in the years 1614, 1615, and 1616; 
at which time Malcolm made a journey from Kintyre to the Lewis, 
and there killed two gentlemen of the Clan Mackenzie; then he went 
into Spain, and there remained in Sir James Macdonald's company, 
with whom he is now again returned into England, in the year 

(To be continued.) 

TJte Gaelic Almanack, 



VI MMos.] A' CHmilTB, 1886. 


AN SOLUS UR 2 LA 1.55 F. Q AN SOLUS LAN 1 6 LA 1-39 F. 

J) AN CIAD CHR. 9 LA 7.27 M. ( AN CR. MU DHEIR. 24 LA 4-35 F. 

An Lan 

An Lan 


An Lite. 

An Grianaig. 

M. DI. 






U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 



Breith Adhaimh Dhonncha, 1731 


1. 21 



II.I 3 



Latha Dhrumclog, 1679 

8.43 L 

2- 3 





Diordain Deasghabhail 



3- 4 





[3] Bas Dhughaill Bhuchannain, 1768 

8.46 L 



I. 2 




Achd an Arphuntachaidh, 1746 


4- 7 


I. 4 8 




Donich an deigh no, Deasghabhail 

8.49 L 







Bas Bhruce, 1329 








Eaglais na h-alba, 1696 








An fheill Chaluim 

3-31 E 







La Banrigh Mairghread 


9- 3 






Breith Dheorsa Ros, 1744 








Bas Righ Seumas III., 1488 








Didonaick Caingis 

3.29 E 






Latha Naseby, 1645 



i. i 





Meadhon an t-Samhraidh 

3.29 E 



o. 4 



B. Shir Iain an Fhasaidh-fhearna, 1815 


2. IO 






Latha Raon-Ruairidh, 1689 




i. 6 




Latha Waterloo 

9. L 




2. 2 



Breith Righ Seumas VI., 1566 


4- 3 






Didonaich na Trianaid 

9. O L 


5- * 

2. 5 6 




An la 's fhaide 's a' bhliadhna 








Latha Drochaid Boiseil, 1679 

9. L 

6. o 






[24] An fheill Eathain 

3.28 E 


7- 7 





Diordaoin Chuirp Chriosta 

9. O L 


8. 2 



2 5 


Bas Raibeart Fhleming, 1694 



9. 2 





Bas an Ollaimh Mhic a' Ghobha, 1807 

9. L 





//. Donaich na dtigh na Caingis. 



ii. 7 





Crimadh na Banrigh, 1838 

9. L 




29 M 

La Pheadair 's Phoil 

3-32 E 

0. I 






Bas Mhr. Stiubhart Chill-Fhinn, 1789 

9. L 




" 5 

376 The Celtic Magazine. 


THE origin of distillation is surrounded by doubt and uncertainty, 
like the origin of many other important inventions and discoveries. 
Tradition ascribes it to Osiris, the great god, and, perhaps, the 
first King of Egypt, who is said to have reclaimed the Egyptians 
from barbarism, and to have taught them agriculture and various 
arts and sciences. Whether the tradition be true or not, all will 
admit the beauty and fitness of the conception which ascribed to 
the gods the glory of having first revealed to poor humanity the 
secret of distilling the water of life, as aqua vita or uisge-beatha, 
whose virtues, as a source of solace, of comfort, of cheer, and of 
courage, have been so universally recognised and appreciated. 
Truly, such a gift was worthy of the gods. 

But however beautiful the tradition of Osiris, and however 
much in accord with the eternal fitness of things the idea that the 
gods first taught man the art of distillation, a rival claim has been 
set up for the origin of the invention. It does not require a very 
lively imagination to picture some of the gods disrelishing their 
mild nectar, seeking more ardent and stimulating drink, visiting 
the haunts of men after the golden barley had been garnered, and 
engaging in a little smuggling on their own account. But even 
this reasonable view will not be accepted without challenge. The 
Encyclopaedia Britannica, in its article on alcohol not written by 
Professor Robertson Smith states that the art of separating 
alcohol from fermented liquors, which appears to have been known 
in the far East, from the most remote antiquity, is supposed to 
have been first known to and practised by the Chinese, whence 
the knowledge of the art travelled westward. Thus we find the 
merit of the invention disputed between the gods and the Chinese. 
I am myself half inclined in favour of the " Heathen Chinee." 
That ingenious people who, in the hoariest antiquity, invented 
the manufacture of silk and porcelain, the mariner's compass, the 
art of block-printing, and the composition of gunpowder, may well 

* Read before the Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Smuggling in the Highlands. 377 

be allowed the merit of having invented the art of distilling alcohol. 
Osiris was intimately connected with the agriculture of Egypt, 
and, among the Chinese, agriculture has been honoured and 
encouraged beyond every other species of industry. So that if 
the Egyptian grew his barley, the Chinaman grew his rice, from 
which the Japanese at the present day distil their sake. Instead 
of being an inestimable blessing bestowed by the gods, it is just 
possible that the art of distilling alcohol, like the invention of 
gunpowder, may be traced to the heathen Chinese, and may be 
regarded as one of the greatest curses ever inflicted on mankind. 
Where doctors differ, it would be vain to dogmatise, and on such 
a point everyone must be fully persuaded in his own mind. 
Whether we can agree as to alcohol being a blessing or a curse, 
we can agree that the origin of distillation is at least doubtful, 
and that, perhaps, no record of it exists. 

Early mention is made in the Bible of strong drink as distin- 
guished from wine. Aaron was prohibited from drinking wine 
or strong drink when going into the Tabernacle. David com- 
plains that he was the song of the drinkers of strong drink. 
Lemuel's mother warns her son against the use of strong drink, 
and advises him to " Give strong drink unto him that is ready to 
perish, and wine unto him that is heavy of heart. Let him drink 
and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more" 
words which, with characteristic tact and unerring good taste, our 
own National Bard used as a motto for " Scotch Drink," and para- 
phrased so exquisitely : 

" Gie him strong drink until he wink, 

That's sinking in despair ; 
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid, 

That's prest wi' grief an' care ; 
There let him bouse and deep carouse, 

Wi' bumpers flowing o'er, 
Till he forgets his loves and debts, 

An' minds his griefs no more. " 

But the strong drink of the Bible was not obtained by distillation. 
The Hebrew word " Yayin " means the wine of the grape, and is 
invariably rendered " wine," which was generally diluted before 
use. The word " Shechar," which is rendered " strong drink," is 
used to denote date ivine and barley wine,- which were fermented 

378 The Celtic Magazine. 

liqours sufficiently potent to cause intoxication, and were made by 
the Egyptians from the earliest times. The early Hebrews were 
evidently unacquainted with the art of distillation. 

Muspratt states that there is no evidence of the ancients 
having- been acquainted with alcohol or ardent spirits, that, in 
fact, there is every reason to believe the contrary, and that 
distillation was unknown to them. He quotes the case of 
Dioscorides, a physician of the time of Nero (A.D., 54-68) who, in 
extracting quicksilver from cinnabar, luted a close cover of stone- 
ware to the top of his pot, thus showing that he was unacquainted 
with the method of attaching a receiver. Muspratt further states 
that neither poets, historians, naturalists, nor medical men make 
the slightest allusion to ardent spirits. This is more significant, as 
the earliest poets and historians make constant references to wine 
and ale, dilate on their virtues, and describe the mode of their 

The Egyptians, however, are said to have practised the art of 
distillation in the time of Dioclesian (A.D. 204-305), and are sup- 
posed to have communicated it to the Babylonians and Hebrews, 
who transmitted it westward to the Thracians, and Celtae of Spain 
and Gaul ; but it was unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. 
The distillation of aromatic waters is said to have been known 
from very remote times to the Arabians. The word " alcohol " is 
Arabic, meaning originally " fine powder," and becoming gradu- 
ally to mean " essence," " pure spirit," the " very heart's blood," 
as Burn says of John Barleycorn. You remember the exclama- 
tion of poor Cassio when he sobered down after his drunken row : 
" O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be 
known by, let us call thee devil !" We have now got a name for the 
intoxicating element of fermented liquors, and call it alcohol, 
which may go some way to prove that the Arabians were early 
acquainted with the art of distillation. A rude kind of still, which 
is yet employed, has been used for distilling spirits in Ceylon 
from time immemorial, and Captain Cook found among the 
inhabitants of the Pacific Islands a knowledge of the art of 
distilling spirits from alcoholic infusions. 

It is said the art was first introduced into Europe by the Moors 
of Spain about 1150. Abucasis, who lived about that time, is 

Smuggling in the Highlands. 379 

spoken of as the first Western philosopher who taught the art of 
distillation, as applied to the preparation of spirits. In the 
following century, Arnoldus de Villa Nova, a chemist and 
physician, describes distilled spirit, and states that it was called by 
some the " water of life ;" and about the same time Raymond 
Lully, a chemist, noticed a mode of producing intoxicating spirit 
by distillation. But, for my purpose, the most interesting fact is 
that shortly after the invasion of Ireland by Henry II. in 1170, 
the English found the Irish in the habit of making and drinking 
aqua vitce. Whether the Irish Celts claim to have brought the 
knowledge of the art from their original seat in the far East, or to 
have more recently received it from Spain, I do not know, but, 
without having access to purely Irish sources of information, this 
is the earliest record I find of distilled spirits having been manu- 
factured or used in the British Islands. Whether Highlanders 
will allow the Irish claim to Ossian or not, I fear it must be 
allowed they have a prior claim to the use of whisky.* Uisge-beatha 
is no doubt a literal translation of the Latin aqua vitce (water of 
life), supposed to be a corruption of acqua vite (water of the vine). 
" The monasteries being the archives of science, and the original 
dispensaries of medicine, it is a natural surmise that the term 
acqua vite was there corrupted into the Latin and universal appella- 
tion, aqua vitce (water of life) from its salutary and beneficial 
effects as a medicine ; and, from the Latin tongue being the 
general conveyancer of scientific discovery, as well as of familiar 
correspondence, the term aqua vita may have crept into common 
use to signify an indefinite distilled spirit, in contradistinction to 
acqua vite, the mere extract of the grape." (Muspratt.) Whisky is 
simply a corruption of the Gaelic uisge or uisge-beatha. The 
virtues of Irish whisky, and directions for making it, both simple 
and compound, are fully recorded in the Red Book of Ossory, 
compiled about 500 years ago. Uisge-beatha was first used in 
Ireland as medicine, and was considered a panacea for all 
disorders. The physicians recommended it to patients indis- 
criminately, for preserving health, dissipating humours, strength- 

* My attention has been called to the fact that in Mr. Skene's " Four Ancient 
Books of Wales," the Gael are in some of the 6th or 7th century poems called " dis- 
tillers," furnace distillers," "kiln distillers." 

380 The Celtic Magazine. 

ening the heart, curing colic, dropsy, palsy, &c., and even for 
prolonging existence itself beyond the common limit. It appears to 
have been used at one time to inspire heroism, as opium has been 
used among the Turks. An Irish knight, named Savage, about 
1350, previously to engaging in battle, ordered to each soldier a 
large draught of aqua-vitae. Four hundred years later we find 
Burns claiming a similar virtue for Highland whisky : 

" But bring a Scotsman frae his hill, 
Clap in his cheek a Highland gill, 
Say, such is Royal George's will, 

An' there's the foe, 
He has nae thought but how to kill 

Twa at a blow. " 

And again, in that " tale of truth," "Tarn o' Shanter " 

" Wi' tippenny we fear na evil ; 
Wi' usquebae we'll face the devil. " 

A similar idea is expressed in Strath-mathaisidh's Gaelic Song 
" Communn an Uisge-bheatha." 

" Bidh iad Ian misnich 'us cruadail, 
Gu h-aigiontach brisg gu tuasaid, 
Chuireadh aon fhichead 'san uair sin 
Tearlach Ruadh fo'n chrun duinn. " 

By this time you are wondering what has become of the 
smugglers and Highland whisky. Although I did not expect to 
find that Adam, who, of course, spoke Gaelic and was no doubt a 
thorough Highlander, had engaged in smuggling outside the walls 
of Eden, or that the plucky Maclean, who sailed a boat of his own 
at the Flood, had an anchor of good old Highland whisky on 
board, yet, when I innocently undertook to write this paper, I 
must admit that I was under the impression that there was some 
notice of Highland whisky long before the I2th century. I had 
in view Ossian, sometime in the third or fourth century, spreading 
the feast and sending round the " shell of joy " brimming with 
real Highland uisge-beatha, " yellowed with peat reek and 
mellowed with age." After some investigation, I am forced to 
the conclusion that the Fingalians regaled themselves with ale or 
mead, not with whisky. There is nothing to show that they had 
whisky. The "shell of joy" went round in stormy Lochiin as 

Smuggling in the Higlilands. 381 

well as in streamy Morven, and we know that ale was the favourite 
drink of the Scandinavians before and after death. " In the halls 
of our father, Balder, we shall be drinking ale out of the hollow 
skulls of our enemies," sang fierce Lodbrog. The scallop-shell 
may seem small for mighty draughts of ale, but our ancestors 
knew how to brew their ale strong, and, as to the size of the shell, 
we learn from Juvenal that in his time shells were used by the 
Romans for drinking wine. Egyptian ale was nearly equal to 
wine in strength and flavour, and the Spaniards manufactured ale 
of such strength and quality that it would keep for a considerable 
time. However anxious to believe the contrary, I am of opinion 
that Ossian's shell was never filled with real uisge-beatha. But 
surely, I thought, Lady Macbeth must have given an extra glass 
or two of strong whisky to Duncan's grooms at Inverness, when 
they slept so soundly on the night of that terrible murder. I 
find that she only " drugged their possets," which were composed 
of hot milk poured on ale or sack, and mixed with honey, eggs, 
and other ingredients. At dinner the day after the murder 
Macbeth calls for wine, " give me some wine, fill full ;" so that 
wine, not whisky, was drunk at dinner in Inverness 800 years ago. 
There is no mention of whisky in Macbeth, or for centuries after, 
but we may safely conclude that a knowledge of the process of 
distillation must have been obtained very early from Ireland, 
where whisky was distilled and drunk in the twelfth century. 

At a very remote period Highlanders made incisions in birch 
trees in spring, and collected the juice, which fermented and 
became a gentle stimulant. Most of us, when boys, have had our 
favourite birch tree, and enjoyed the _/&?. The Highlanders also 
prepared a liquor from the mountain heath. Lightfoot, in his 
Flora Scotica, (1777) says "Formerly the young tops of the 
heather are said to have been used alone to brew a kind of ale, 
and even now I was informed that the inhabitants of Islay and 
Jura still continue to brew a very potable liquor by mixing two- 
thirds of the tops of heather to one-third of malt. It is a matter 
of history that Britain was once celebrated for honey, and it is 
quite probable that, when in full bloom and laden with honey, a 
fermentable infusion could be obtained from heather tops. Alco- 
hol cannot, however, be obtained except from a saccharine basis, 

382 The Celtic Magazine. 

and I fear that any beverage which could have been extracted 
from heather itself must have been of a very teetotal character. 
Mixed with malt something might be got out of it. Now, heather 
is only used by smugglers in the bottom of their mash-tun for 
draining purposes. I have often wondered whether Nature 
intended that our extensive heaths should be next to useless. 
The earliest mention of the drinking and manufacture of whisky 
in the Highlands is found in the famous " Statutes of Icolmkill,' 
which were agreed to by the Island Chiefs in 1609. The 
Statutes, as summarised in Gregory's Western Highlands and 
Islands, are quoted in Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds. 
" The fifth Statute proceeded upon the narrative, that one of the 
chief causes of the great poverty of the Isles, and of the cruelty 
and inhuman barbarity practised in their feuds, was their inordi- 
nate love of strong wines and aquavitae, which they purchased 
partly from dealers among themselves, partly from merchants be- 
longing to the mainland. Power was, therefore, given to any 
person whatever to seize, without payment, any wine or aqua- 
vitae imported for sale by a native merchant; and if any 
Islander should buy any of the prohibited articles from a main- 
land trader, he was to incur the penalty of forty pounds for the first 
offence, one hundred for the second, and for the third the loss of 
his whole possessions and moveable goods. It was, however, 
declared to be lawful for an individual to brew as much aqua- 
vitae as his own family might require ; and the barons and wealthy 
gentlemen were permitted to purchase in the Lowlands the wine 
and other liquors required for their private consumption." 

For some time after this, claret appears to have been the 
favourite drink. The author of Scotland Social and Domestic, 
states that notwithstanding the prohibition of 1609 against the 
importation and consumption of wine, the consumption of claret 
continued, and the Privy Council, in 1616, passed an "Act agans 
the drinking of Wynes in the Yllis," as follows : 

" Forsamekle as the grite and extraordinar excess in drinking of wyne commonlie 
vsit amangis the commonis and tenentis of the yllis is not onlie ane occasioun of the 
beastlie and barbarous cruelties and inhumaniteis that fallis oute amongis thame to 
the offens and displesour of God and contempt of law and justice, bot with that it 
drawis nvmberis of thame to miserable necessite and powertie sua that they ar 
constraynit quhen they want of thair nichtbouris. For remeid quhairof the Lords of 

Smuggling in the Highlands. 383 

Secret Counsell statvis and ordains, that nane of the tenentis and commonis of the 
Yllis sail at ony tyme heirefter by or drink ony wynes in the Yllis or con- 
tinent nixt adiacent, vnder the pane of twenty poundis to be incurrit be every 
contravenare Mies quoties. The ane half of the said pane to the King's 
Maiestie and the vther half to their maisteris and landlordis and chiftanes. Com- 
manding heirby the maisteris landislordis and chiftanes to the sadis tenentis and 
commonis euery ane of thame within their awine boundis to sie thir present act pre- 
ceislie and inviolablie kept, and the contravenaries to mak rekning and payment of 
the ane halff of the said panes in Maiesteis exchequir yierlie and to apply the vther 
halff of the saidis panes to thair awne vse. " 

In 1622 a more stringent measure was passed, termed an "Act 
that nane send wynes to the His," as follows : 

" Forsamekle as it is vnderstand to the Lordis of secreit counsell that one of the 
cheiff caussis whilk procuris the continewance of the inhabitants of the His in their 
barbarous and inciuile form ot leeving is the grite quantitie of wynes yeirlie caryed to 
the His with the vnsatiable desire quhair of the saidis inhabitants are so far possesst, 
that quhen their arryvis ony ship or other veshell thair with wynes they spend bothe 
dayis and nightis in thair excesse of drinking, and seldome do they leave thair drink- 
ing so lang as thair is ony of the wyne rest and sua that being overcome with drink 
thair fallis out money inconvenientis amangis thame to the brek of his Maiesteis 
peace. And quihairas the cheftanes and principallis of the clannis in the yllis ar 
actit to take suche ordour with thair tenentis as nane of thame be sufferit to drink 
wynes, yitt so long as thair is ony wynes caryed to the His thay will hardlie be with- 
drane from thair evil custome of drinking, bot will follow the same and continew 
thairin whensoeuir they may find the occassoun. For remeid quhairof in tyme come- 
ing the Lordis of secreit Counse'.l ordanis lettres to be direct to command charge and 
inhibite all and sindrie marsheantis, skipparis and awnaris of shippis and veshells, be 
oppin proclamation at all places neidful, that nane of them presoume nor tak upon 
hand to carye and transport ony wynes to the His, nor to sell the same to the inhabit- 
antis of the His, except so mekle as is allowed to the principall chiftanes and gentle- 
men of the Ilis, vnder the pane of confiscatioun of the whole wynes so to be caryed 
and sauld in the His aganis the tenour of this proclamatioun, or els of the availl and 
pryceis of the same to his Maiesties vse." 

" These repressive measures," the author continues, " deprived 
the Hebrideans of the wines of Bordeaux, but did not render 
them more temperate. They had recourse to more potent bever- 
ages. Their ancestors extracted a spirit from the mountain 
heath ; they now distilled usque-beatha or whisky. Whisky be- 
came a greater favourite than claret, and was drunk copiously, not 
only in the Hebrides, but throughout the Highlands. It did not 
become common in the Lowlands until the latter part of the last 
century. The Lowland baron or yeoman who relished a liquor 
more powerful than claret formerly used rum or brandy." 

Whisky was little used among the better classes for upwards 


The Celtic Magazine. 

of a hundred years after this. " Till 1780," says the same author, 
" claret was imported free of duty, and was much used among the 
middle and upper classes, the price being about fivepence the 
bottle. Noblemen stored hogsheads of claret in their halls, 
making them patent to all visitors ; guests received a cup of wine 
when they entered, and another on their departure. The pota- 
tions of those who frequented dinner-parties were enormous; 
persons who could not drink remained at home. A landlord was 
considered inhospitable who permitted any of his guests to retire 
without their requiring the assistance of his servants. Those who 
tarried for the night, found in their bedrooms a copious supply of 
ale, wine, and brandy to allay the thirst superinduced by their 
previous potations. Those who insisted on returning home were 
rendered still more incapable of prosecuting their journeys by 
being compelled, according to the inexorable usage, to swallow a 
deoch-an-doruis, or stirrup-cup, which was commonly a vessel of 
very formidable dimensions." 

(To be continued?) 



No. CXXIX. JULY, 1886. VOL. XI. 




XV. RODERICK MACLEOD, commonly called "Rory the Witty," 
was a minor at the death of his father. His uncle, Sir Roderick 
Macleod of Tallisker, his tutor, took charge of the Clan, and sup- 
ported Charles the Second against Cromwell. When Charles 
arrived in Scotland in 1650, he issued a proclamation requesting 
all his Scottish subjects to gather to his Standard, when Sir Roderick 
Macleod raised a regiment of 700 men, nearly all composed o 
Macleods, his nephew's Clansmen. The Lieutenant-Colonelcy of 
this fine body he gave to his brother, Norman Macleod of Bernera, 
a brave and distinguished soldier. Having joined, and remained 
for some time with, the Royal Army, Colonel Norman Macleod 
was ordered to raise an additional three hundred men to complete 
his regiment and bring it up to a thousand, which he did in a very 
short time, but he had great difficulty in supplying them with 
arms. He applied to John Buncle, then Commissary, to supply 
these, but he declined to advance them unless Roderick Macleod 
of Tallisker gave his bond for them. This the Tutor agreed to do, 
and the arms were obtained ; but afterwards, during the usurpa- 
tion, this cost him no end of trouble, for the bond was assigned 


386 The Celtic Magazine. 

to a William MacCulloch, who pressed it against Sir Roderick, by 
legal diligence. He was, however, finally relieved of the claim by 
an Act of Parliament passed in 1661. This fine regiment of 
Macleods, with the two gallant brothers at its head, accompanied 
the army of King Charles II., in 1651, to the Battle of Worcester, 
where most of them fell ; and those who did not were taken 
prisoners, and transported to the plantations in South Carolina, 
so that scarcely one of them ever returned home. The Clan was 
almost ruined ; its whole manhood having been thus almost cut off 
by one terrible stroke. So great was the slaughter among them, 
that it was agreed to by the other Clans in the North that the 
Macleods should not take part in any other conflict until they had 
time to multiply and recover their losses on this fatal field. Tal- 
lisker managed to escape capture, and, in disguise, to find his way 
back to the Highlands; but his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Norman, was taken prisoner, kept in confinement for eighteen 
months, at the end of which he was then tried for his life. Through 
a flaw in the indictment, procedure was sisted ; he was sent back 
to prison, and finally escaped, after which he succeeded in making 
his way to the Isle of Skye, where he continued in his loyalty to 
the King, by whom, after the Restoration, he and his brother, 
Roderick of Tallisker, were knighted. 

At a general meeting of the Chiefs who still continued loyal 
to King Charles, held at Glenelg on the 2ist of April, 1653, it 
was agreed to raise a body of two thousand Highlanders for His 
Majesty's service ; and, at the same time, it was resolved to send 
a messenger, with proper credentials, signed by the principal 
heads of Clans who attended this Council, to King Charles at 
Paris, the King of Denmark, the Princess Royal, and the States of 
Holland ; and to advise them fully as to the condition, resolution, 
and desires, of the Highland Chiefs there assembled. To carry 
out this important and somewhat dangerous embassy, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Norman Macleod, who had so recently escaped from an 
English prison, was fixed upon, and he cheerfully undertook the 
duty. He succeeded in his journey, delivered his message into 
the King's own hands, and was received as graciously as the 
importance of his message, and the faithful and successful manner 
in which it was carried out, so fully deserved. He brought back 

History of the Maeleods. 387 

a message from the King to his faithful Highlanders, addressed 
to Roderick Macleod of Tallisker, full of the most kindly expres- 
sions and grateful acknowledgements, dated at Chantilly, the 3ist 
of October, 1653. In this letter, he expressed the strongest 
resolution of rewarding Tallisker for his services, and his cheerful- 
ness in concurring in and conducting that good work upon which 
the King's interest and " the honour and liberty of the country, 
and the preservation of the whole nobility and gentry, so much 
depended." Sir Norman performed several other important services 
to King Charles during the remainder of his life, before and after 
the Restoration, but these, and the manner in which they were 
rewarded by His Majesty will be more suitably detailed under 
" The Maeleods of Bernera," the family founded by this brave and 
distinguished soldier. 

After the defeat of General Middleton's army by General 
Morgan, at Lochgarry, it was decided at a Council of War that 
no more could be done for the Royal cause, under existing condi- 
tions. General Middleton, accompanied by Dalziel, Drummond, 
and several other officers, retired to Dunvegan, under the protec- 
tion of the Maeleods, while others took up their quarters in 
Lochaber, under the roof of the famous Sir Ewen Cameron of 
Lochiel. During the winter, Sir Ewen accompanied his guests 
to Dunvegan Castle, where several other Highland Chiefs attended 
to meet him. A Council was held, and, after much and serious 
deliberation, it was decided that they should all submit, before 
they were altogether ruined, and make the best terms they could 
with Cromwell's lieutenants ; for Charles was now quite unable to 
support them with any money, men, or arms. It had previously 
been intimated, through secret sources, to the Highland Chiefs, 
that, if they laid down their arms, they would be restored to their 
fortunes and estates; and, with this knowledge, they acted the 
wiser part by agreeing to submit. The Royalist commanders were 
well received and hospitably entertained at Dunvegan Castle. 
The Tutor's loyalty, activity, and sufferings in the Royal cause 
were well known to them, and, before leaving, they thought it 
right to acknowledge his conduct and the fidelity of his family and 

K31an, by recording such services, and recommending him to the 
ing in the following terms : 

388 The Celtic Magazine. 

" Seeing it is incumbent on us to do whatsoever may tend to 
the honour, safety, and advantage of those whose signally loyal 
and faithful adherence to His Majesty's service, have deserved, we 
do hereby testify and declare, that this noble gentleman Colonel 
Roderick Macleod, hath not only given singular proof of his 
fidelity, prudence, conduct, valour, and industry in His Majesty's 
service, and suffered much for it in former times, as is no less 
known to His Majesty than to us ; but having been at expence, 
charges, and pains, and chiefly instrumental and active in the 
enlivening and promoting this late undertaking, hath in the pro- 
gress of it behaved himself with such clear honour, integrity, 
discretion, constancy, and gallant resolution on all occasions, as 
became a person of eminent worth, dignity, and virtue, having 
not only transcended others in the common duty of a loyal subject 
and a good commander, but also performed many particular and 
important offices, in order to the continuance of His Majesty's 
service, and advantage of his affairs, which are hardly to be paral- 
leled ; and whatever may have been the miscarriages of any person 
or persons to the prejudice of His Majesty's service, and those 
that are concerned in it, we do, upon our certain knowledge like- 
wise declare, that the said Colonel Roderick Macleod is not only 
absolutely freed from any accession to it, and untainted with it, 
but also hath been principally instrumental in frustrating all 
designs and attempts undertaken to our prejudice, and author of 
our preservation ; by all which he hath not only deserved that his 
deportment should by us be duly represented to His Majesty, but 
that they should be suitably rewarded, and his honour and merit 
made manifest to the world ; and we do hereby likewise not only 
allow and authorize, but do most earnestly desire him to apply 
himself to such courses as may be most expedient for his safety 
and preservation, by private address, capitulation, or otherwise. 
In testimony whereof we have signed and sealed these presents at 
Dunvegan, the last day of March, 1655. (Signed), John Middle- 
ton ; Dalyell ; W. Drummond." 

After this, Sir Roderick of Tallisker lived quietly at home in the 
Isle of Skye, until after the Restoration of Charles II., when he 
proceeded to pay his respects to His Majesty in London. He 
was most graciously received, as his services so justly merited, and 
the King conferred upon him the honour of knighthood. We 
shall have more to say regarding him and his descendants under 
" The Macleods of Tallisker," of whom he was the progenitor and 

Roderick Macleod of Macleod, to whom we now return, now 

History of the Maeleods. 389 

became of age, and succeeded in getting the sequestration of his 
estate removed, and getting himself admitted under the protection 
of Oliver Cromwell, through the influence of General Monk, upon 
his finding security for his future peaceable behaviour to the 
amount of ^6000 sterling, and paying a fine of ,2500 sterling. 
From this agreement, following on his capitulation, and which is 
dated the 3Oth of May, 1655, both his uncles Roderick Macleod 
of Tallisker, and Norman Macleod of Bernera are expressly 
excluded. On the 22nd of November following, he was served heir 
in special to his father, and, on the 24th of February, 1656, he was 
duly infeft in the family estates by a precept from Chancery, 
except the lands of Glenelg, in which he was infeft on the I9th 
of October, 1657, in virtue of a precept of Clare Constat and 
Charter of Novodamus from the subject superior. 

After the restoration of Charles II., in 1660, Roderick Macleod 
went to London to pay his homage to the King, and was very 
kindly received by His Majesty. Macleod was, however, so much 
cut up because Charles made no reference to the ruin of his family 
and the Clan Macleod at the Battle of Worcester, and its mourn- 
ful results in Skye, that he returned home at once. He had 
taken his piper, Patrick Mor MacCrimmon, who had also been at 
the Battle of Worcester, with him to Court on this occasion, when 
he was allowed "to kiss hands," as a very special honour. Mac- 
Crimmon appears to have thought a great deal more about this 
incident than of the decimation of his clansmen at the Battle of 
Worcester, and he commemorated the honour conferred upon 
him, and the other polite attentions paid to him by the King, by 
composing that famous Piobaireachd " Thug mi pog do laimh 
an Rigk" (I kissed the King's hand) one of the verses of which 
is as follows : 

Thugmipog 'us pog 'us pog, 
Gun d' thug mi pog do laimh an Righ ; 
'S cha d' chuir gaoth an craicionn caorach, 
Fear a fhuair an fhaoilt ach mi. 

It was to this Chief that Mary Macleod" Mairi Nighean Alas- 
tairRuaidh "the famous Skye Poetess, composed the well-known 
elegy "Cumha do Mhac-Leoid." From this poem it would appear 

390 The Celtic Magazine. 

that Roderick died away from his native land, certainly not at 
home ; for she says 

Ge goirt learn an naigheachd, 
Tha mi faighinn air Ruairidh, 
Gun a chorp bhi 'san duthaich, 
Anns an tuama bu dual da. 

It would also appear from the same poem that he had a son 
Norman, who predeceased his father, for the Author says, in 
another stanza 

Ach a Ruairidh Mhic Iain, 

'S goirt learn fhaighinn an sgeul-s' ort, 

Se mo chreach-sa mac t' athar, 

Bhi na laidhe gun eiridh ; 

Agus Tor mod a mhac-sa t 

A thasgaidh mo cheille ! 

Gur e aobhar mo ghtarain, 

Gun chailleadh le chat 1 iad. 

He had also a daughter, who married Stewart of Appin, and 
whose husband claimed the estate, on the death of her father 
without male heirs. The Poetess resents this claim in a burst of 
patriotic fervour, and exclaims 

Mhic Iain Stiubhairt na h-Apunn, 
Ged a's gasd' an duin' og thu, 
Ged tha Stiubhartaich beachdail, 
'S iad tapaidh 'n am foirneart, 
Na gabhsa meanmadh, no aiteas, 
A's an staid ud nach coir dhut ; 
Cha toir thu i dh'aindeoin, 
'S cha'n fhaigh thu le deoin i. 
C'uim an tigeadh fear coigreach, 
A thagradh ur n' oighreachd ; 
Ged nach eil e ro-dhearbhta, 
Gur searbh e ri eisdeachd ; 
Ged tha sinn' air ar creachadh 
Mu chloinn mhac an fhir fheillidh, 
Sliochd Ruairidh Mhoir Allail, 
'S gur airidh iad fhein oirr'. 

This Chief, whose death the Poetess so bitterly mourns, and whose 
career she so highly extols, would seem to be the same Macleod 
who had banished her to the Island of Mull, where she appears 
still to be at the time of his death, and where she, apparently, 
composed his elegy. In Douglas' Baronage, it is stated that 

History of the Macho ds, 391 

Roderick died without issue. It is, however, clear, from " Cumha 
Mhic-Leoid," that he had both male and female issue ; though 
his son, Norman, predeceased him. John Mackenzie, of "The 
Beauties of Gaelic Poetry," in a foot-note to the above-quoted 
poem, says, that " Stewart of Appin was married to a daughter of 
[this] Macleod of Dunvegan, which made the Macleods afraid 
that he should claim a right to the estate, on account of Macleod 
having left no male-heir." Roderick married Margaret, eldest 
daughter of Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat (eldest son of Sir 
Roderick Mackenzie, Tutor of Kintail, and progenitor of the 
Earls of Cromarty), by Margaret, daughter of Sir George Erskine 
of Innerteil, a Lord of Session, without, as we have seen, any 
surviving male issue. She married, as her second husband, Sir 
George Campbell of Lawers, in the County of Perth. 

Roderick Macleod died in January, 1664, when he was suc- 
ceeded by his only brother. 

(To be continued.) 

392 The Celtic Magazine. 



AT the commencement of the period of which we are treating, 
the Highlands had entered on a state of social and economic 
change. Influences, which had long been at work in other parts 
of the country, and had gradually produced their results there, 
were all at once brought to bear on the Highlands, and were 
producing a dissolution of the old bonds of society. The defeat 
of the last rebellion resulted in the effective disarmament of the 
clans, the deprivation of the chiefs and landlords of all judicial 
and territorial power over their tenants and the residents on their 
lands, and in the making effectual and patent all over the High- 
lands the power of the Central Government, and the authority of 
the law of the land administered by judges appointed by the 
Crown. The law did not attempt to interfere with that feeling of 
kinship, of common origin, and of tribal loyalty, which, apart from 
territorial connection, bound the chief and the clan together. It 
had never recognised this tie, and, in the case of the Dunmaglass 
succession, it was not very long ago declared, on the highest 
judicial authority, and after careful and antiquarian investigation, 
that the law knew of no such corporation or body as a clan, could 
not define it, and could not, therefore, give effect to a provision in a 
deed which confined the succession to an estate to the members 
of Clan Chattan. But, by the opening up of the country, and 
the visible exhibition of the powers of the Central Government, in 
the shape of garrisons all over the country, it brought home, to 
chief and clansman alike, that the most powerful clans could effect 
nothing, either against the Government or against hostile clans, 
and that the clan tie had passed from a powerful fact, which 
enabled a few gentlemen, with a total revenue of about .6000 
for that was the rental of the estates which passed under the charge 
of the Commissioners on forfeited estates after the rebellion to 

Social and Literary History. 393 

raise a powerful army, and almost to upset the Government of 
Great Britain, into a sentiment which, however pleasing, could 
produce no practical result. The chief had thus practically 
revealed and brought home to him the fact that he was, in the 
eye of the law, at least, but the owner of the soil, but, also, that 
he was the absolute owner, with no power over his tenants but 
the power to exact rent or to remove them ; while, to the clans- 
man, it was equally brought home that he had no right to the 
land on which he and his ancestors had resided from time im- 
memorial, but in respect of the rent which he paid a rent which 
he soon practically found could be increased at the will of the 
landlord, unless when there was the protection of a lease, and, 
against the raising of which, the clansman had no remedy but to 
relinguish his possession. The military leader, by divine right, of 
a tribe of soldiers, every man of whom went every day armed and 
wearing the tartan and badges of his tribe, was transformed into a 
mere landlord entitled to exact rent, and the armed clansman was 
transformed into a mere cultivator or herdsman, forbidden to wear 
arms or to wear the distinctive tartan of his tribe. 

Here was a change of relations, calculated to produce great 
social results; but, naturally, these results took some time to 
manifest themselves. The chiefs who had actually called out their 
clans and led them in the Forty- Five, and the clansmen who had 
actually fought under the banners, could not, all at once, cast 
behind them the old feelings which bound them together, or 
realise all at once that "the good old times had passed away"; 
and, when the estates were not forfeited, matters continued for 
a time to go on as before. On the forfeited estates, too, the 
management was lenient ; there was no attempt whatever to 
remove possessors ; on the contrary, leases of forty years were, as 
a rule, granted to the existing possessors, and rents were so 
leniently dealt with that, in some cases, the tenants were able to 
send the old rents to the exiled chiefs, as well as to discharge 
their obligations to the Government. Up till the beginning of 
the time of which we are treating, therefore, there was little actual 
change in the possession of land or in the social relations of the 
people. The mould in which the social system had been cast, 
and which had hitherto protected it, was removed, and the struc- 

394 The Celtic Magazine. 

ture, deprived of its protection, was left to the influence of causes 
intended and calculated to break it up, but which were now only 
beginning to show their effects. Let us endeavour to realise, 
then, what this system was. 

We find, then, all over the Highlands at this time, a social 
system representing the very earliest state of settled society. The 
whole population was dependent on the land, on its cultivation, 
and on the pasturage on it of domesticated animals. The land 
was possessed in property either by the chiefs of clans or by 
smaller proprietors who had, in various ways, of which we cannot 
here treat, acquired charter rights to portions of the original tribe 
lands, and who, although holding these lands under the Crown 
or under some intermediate feudal superior, to whom they owed 
feudal service up to the extinction of such services, were yet 
members of the clan to which they belonged by descent, and had, 
invariably, and often despite their feudal superiors, followed their 
chiefs. These proprietors were resident on their estates, parts of 
which they held in their own hands, and cultivated, or managed 
the cattle on them, by their own servants. Next in social rank to 
these came the tacksmen, as they were called, who held consider- 
able tracts of land for payment of rents in money and kind. These 
were the gentlemen of the clan ; they held their possessions from 
father to son, and were often men of great power and influence 
sometimes leaders of distinct septs. Next to them came the 
smaller tenants, holding, sometimes, and perhaps principally, of 
the tacksmen as sub-tenants, and sometimes direct of the proprie- 
tor. These were of various degrees, and, as a rule, they lived in 
small communities, holding the arable land in run-rig and dividing 
it every year, and possessing the pasture attached to the holding 
in common ; and, beneath these, were cottars, who held houses 
and small patches of land from the landlords, the tacksmen, or 
the sub-tenants, and paid for these almost entirely in services, and 
the servants, or scallags, who also received the great part of their 
remuneration in the possession of a house, a small piece of land 
which they were allowed one day in the week to till and in food. 
And, besides all these, there was a class who cultivated pieces of 
land, receiving the seed from the landlord or tacksman, and 
receiving as their remuneration a certain portion of the produce, 

Social and Literary History. 395 

or who leased cattle, giving for the use of them a return of so 
much butter and cheese. 

The agriculture of this time was rude and primitive. Each 
farm, whether held by the landlord, the tacksman, or the com- 
munity of small tenants, was divided into infield and outfield land, 
green pasture, and hill pasture, and meadow. The arable land, 
green pasture and meadow, was divided from the hill by a fence 
called the head dyke. The infield land was cultivated continuously, 
and the whole manure made on the holding was applied to it. 
There was no rotation of crops, for turnips were not yet in use, and 
potatoes were only just coming into use ; and, if the infield land 
was rested at all, it was rested in bare fallow. The outfield land 
was broke up occasionally, and cropped as long as it yielded 
a return for the seed, and, when it would no longer do so, it was 
allowed to rest in grass until it had regained sufficient fertility to 
bear another series of crops the meadow lay in patches inter- 
spersed among the arable land, and bare a scanty crop of hay. On 
the green pasture within the head dyke, the milk cows were grazed, 
and in the hill pasture beyond the houses yeld cattle, sheep, and 
goats were grazed in early Summer and Autumn. The old wooden 
plough was in general use on the larger farms, worked by a 
number of horses, yoked one in front of another ; but on small 
patches of land, and among the smaller tenants, the cas-crom, or 
hand plough, which is still in common use in the West and in 
the Islands, was the principal instrument of agriculture. Water 
mills had long been in use, but the quern, or hand mill was still 
in general use, and corn, instead of being threshed out and dried 
in a kiln before being ground, was still very commonly graddaned, 
that is, burnt out of the husk either by burning the straw and 
ears together, or burning the ears alone, and thus separating the 
corn and drying it by one operation, tedious, no doubt, if only the 
husks were burned, and wasteful if the straw also was burned. 
This was a system of agriculture primitive and rude enough, but 
it must be borne in mind that the only object was to produce 
enough grain for domestic use, and that fifty or sixty years earlier 
the description, with the exception of the quern and the process 
of graddaning, would apply equally to the South of Scotland. 
The great wealth of the community consisted in cattle ; sheep 

396 The Celtic Magazine. 

and goats were kept, the former for their wool for domestic use 
and for their mutton ; the goats for their flesh and milk ; but 
cattle were the only article of commerce, and the care of these was 
the principal occupation of life. The stock of cattle on a good 
farm in Skye is described as consisting of 50 cows, 40 yearlings 
or stirks, 35 heifers, two years old, 30 heifers, three years 
old, and 20 heifers fit for breeding ; and from this stock Pennant 
says the owner could sell only 20 cows at 455. each, and make 
butter and cheese enough for domestic use, but none to sell the 
cows not yielding more than three English quarts at a meal. 
But, besides this stock, there would be sheep and goats, and 
Pennant must have been misinformed as to the number sold ; for, 
besides old cows, there must have been oxen to sell at some age 
or other. The rent of such a farm, he says, was formerly sixteen 
pounds, but, at the time he wrote, it had been raised to fifty pounds. 
And, in considering the quantity of dairy produce, we must keep 
in mind that on such a farm 20 servants were employed, and 
these and their families had to be fed, and one considerable ele- 
ment in their food was milk in various forms. 

Beyond the hill pasture attached to each farm, and which did 
not usually exceed a few hundred acres, there extended the great 
mountain ranges, the bogs, and high glens. These were either 
wastes, or appropriated by the King, the Chiefs, and the great 
nobles as hunting grounds for there are some great tracts, such 
as the forests of Mar and of Athole, the Black Mount, Ben-Alder, 
and others, which have been appropriated to sport from the 
earliest times of which we have any record but when they were 
not so appropriated, these wastes were vast commons, over which 
the people of whole communities grazed in common, and cut 
turf and peats. To these wastes, in the Summer, the whole com- 
munity migrated with the cattle, and remained there while the 
grass lasted. This annual migration was one of the most beauti- 
ful and joyous features of that old times. The people went out in 
a procession with their cattle and other domestic animals, headed 
by pipers. They lived in temporary huts of turf and branches, 
moving as the necessities of the stock required, and leading a free 
and joyous life. The men occupied in the care of the stock, and in 
fishing and shooting to help to provide themselves with food ; the 

Social and Literary History. 397 

women in the work of the dairy, in knitting and spinning, and the 
whole joining in the evening in song and dance. 

The cattle were usually disposed of in the Autumn, and were 
purchased by drovers, and driven by them in herds to the South 
of Scotland and England, and sold to grazers. The occupation 
of a drover was not then considered beneath a gentleman of good 
family, or even of estate. In an older time, we know that Rob 
Roy began life as a drover, and I have come across various pieces 
of evidence that gentlemen of estate often engaged in the occu- 
pation of purchasing cattle and taking them to the Southern 
markets. Sometimes the factor on large and remote estates 
became the purchaser of the cattle of the tenantry, and in some 
cases, no doubt, insisted on getting them at very low prices, but 
this was rare. As a rule, these sales and purchases were conducted 
with good feeling and confidence on both sides. The cattle were 
taken generally by the same person the drover of the district 
for a course of years, no price being fixed at the time of 
delivery, the understanding being that the price to be paid was to 
be according to the markets ; and, with the prices paid or the 
bills granted by the drovers, rents and all other pecuniary obliga- 
tions were discharged. 

Of money, in the shape of coin or bank notes, there was very 
little indeed in the country. Dr. Johnson and Boswell, during 
their famous tour in the Hebrides, had great difficulty in getting 
a 30 bill on Edinburgh cashed ; and, in the remote parts, there 
were no shops, and for supplies of all foreign productions the 
natives were dependant on pedlars, or, if they lived on the coast, 
on passing vessels and on wrecks. 

(To be continued.} 

398 The Celtic Magazine. 



THAT claret was the favourite drink among the better classes 
to the end of last century is remarkably corroborated by Burns's 
song of " The Whistle " 

" The dinner being over the claret they ply, 
And every new cork is a new spring of joy." 

The competitors having drunk six bottles of claret each, Glen- 
riddle, "a high-ruling elder, left the foul business to folks less 
divine." Maxwelton and Craigdarroch continued the contest and 
drank one or two bottles more, Craigdarroch winning the whistle. 
Burns is said to have drunk a bottle of rum and one of brandy 
during the contest. There is a Highland story which would make 
a good companion to the foregoing Lowland picture. The time is 
much later, perhaps sixty years ago, and the beverage whisky. 
The laird of Milnain, near Alness, visited his neighbour the laird 
of Nonikiln. Time wore on, and the visit was prolonged until 
late at night. At last the sugar got down, and toddy is not very 
palatable without sugar. In those days no shop was nearer than 
Tain or Dingwall, and it was too late to send anywhere for a 
supply. Convivialities were threatened with an abrupt termination 
when a happy thought found its way into Nonikiln's befogged 
brain. He had bee-hives in the garden, and honey was an 
excellent substitute for sugar. A skep was fetched in, the bees 
were robbed, and the toddy bowl was replenished. The operation 
vras repeated until the bees, revived by the warmth of the room, 
showed signs of activity, and stung their spoilers into sobriety. 
Dr. Aird, Creich, I understand, relates this story with great 

There can be no doubt that till the latter part of last century, 
wine, ale, rum, and brandy were more used than whisky. Ian 
Lom, who died about 1710, in his song, " Moch 's mi 'g eirigh 'sa 

Smuggling in the Highlands. 399 

Mhaduinn," mentions " gucagan fion," but makes no reference to 
whisky. Lord Lovat having occasion to entertain 24 guests at 
Beaufort in 1739, writes "I have ordered John Forbes to send 
in horses for all Lachlan Macintosh's wine, and for six dozen of 
the Spanish wine." (Transactions, Vol. XII). Colonel Stewart 
of Garth writing about 1820, says "Till within the last 30 years, 
whisky was less used in the Highlands than rum and brandy, 
which were smuggled from the West Coast. It was not till the 
beginning, or rather towards the middle of last century that spirits 
of any kind were so much drank as ale, which was then the uni- 
versal beverage. Every account and tradition go to prove that 
ale was the principal drink among the country people, and 
French wines and brandy among the gentry. Mr. Stewart of 
Crossmount, who lived till his iO4th year, informed me that in 
his youth strong frothing ale from the cask was the common 
beverage. It was drunk from a circular shallow cup with two 
handles. Those of the gentry were of silver, and those used by 
the common people were of variegated woods. Small cups were 
used for spirits. Whisky house is a term unknown in Gaelic. 
A public-house is called Tigh-Leanna, i.e., ale-house. In addi- 
tion to the authority of Mr. Stewart, I have that of men of perfect 
veracity and great intelligence regarding everything connected 
with their native country. In the early part of their recollections, 
and, in the time of their fathers, the whisky drank in the High- 
lands of Perthshire was brought principally from the Lowlands. 
A ballad composed on an ancestor of mine in the reign of Charles 
I., describes the laird's jovial and hospitable manner, and, along 
with other feats, his drinking a brewing of ale at one sitting. In 
this song whisky is never mentioned, nor is it in any case, except 
in the modern ballads and songs." 
Here is a verse of it : 

Fear Druim-a'-charaidh, 

Gur toigh leis an leann ; 
'S dh'oladh e 'n togail 

M' an togadh e 'cheann. 

All the evidence that can be gathered goes to show that the 
manufacture and use of whisky must have been very limited until 
the latter part of last century. This is clearly shown by the small 

4OO The Celtic Magazine. 

quantities charged with Excise duty. On Christmas day, 1660, 
Excise duty was first laid on whisky in this country, the duty in 
Scotland being 2d., 3d., and 4d. per gallon, according to the 
materials from which the spirits were made. No record exists of 
the amount of duty paid until 1707, when it amounted only to 
.1810 155. i id., representing about 100,000 gallons, the popu- 
lation being 990,000. No record of the quantity charged exists 
until 1724, when duty was 3d. and 6d. In that year 145,602 
gallons were charged, the duty amounting to 3504 I2s. iod., 
the population being little over one million. Last year the popu- 
lation was 3,866,521, the gallons of whisky charged 6,629,306, 
and the duty 3,314,680 lOs. Since 1724, 160 years ago, the 
population of Scotland has increased nearly four times, the quantity 
of spirits charged for home consumption forty-five times, and the 
amount of duty over nine hundred and forty-seven times. In 
proportion to population, the people of Scotland are now drink- 
ing eleven times as much whisky as they did 160 years ago, so 
that our forefathers must have been much more temperate than 
we are, must have drunk more foreign wines and spirits or ale, or 
must have very extensively evaded the Excise duty. 

Although much of the whisky manufactured at this time must 
have been distilled on a small scale within the homes in which it 
was consumed, there is early mention of public distilleries. In 
1690 reference is made to the "Ancient Brewary of Aquavity," 
on the land of Ferintosh, and there is no reason to doubt that 
Ferintosh was the seat of a distillery before the levying of the 
Excise duty in 1660. The yearly Excise of the lands of Ferin- 
tosh was farmed to Forbes of Culloden in 1690, for 400 merks, 
about 22, and the history of the privilege is interesting. As in 
later times Forbes of Culloden sided with the Revolution party, 
and was of considerable service in the struggle which led to the 
deposition of James II., he was consequently unpopular with 
the " Highland Rebels," as the Jacobites were termed by the 
loyalists, and, during his absence in Holland, his estate in Ferin- 
tosh, with its "Ancient Brewary of Aquavity," was laid waste in 
October, 1689, by a body of 700 or 800 men, sent by the Earl of 
Buchan and General Cannon, whereby he and his tenants suffered 
much loss. In compensation for the losses thus sustained, an 

Smuggling in the Highlands. 401 

Act of Parliament, farming to him and his successors the yearly 
Excise of the lands of Ferintosh, was passed as follows : 

"At Edinburgh, 22nd July, 1690. 

" Our Sovereign Lord and Ladye, the King and Queen's Majesties and the three 
Estates of Parliament: Considering that the lands of Ferintosh were an Ancient 
Brewary of Aquavity ; and were still in use to pay a considerable Excise to the 
Thesaury, while of late that they were laid waste of the King's enemies ; and it being 
just to give such as have suffered all possible encouragement, and also necessary to 
use all lawful endeavours for upholding of the King's Revenue ; Therefore their 
Majesties and the Estates of Parliament for encouragement to the possessors of the 
said Lands to set up again and prosecute their former Trade of Brewing and pay a 
duty of Excyse as formerly ; Do hereby Perm for the time to come the Yearly Excyse 
of the said lands of Ferintosh to the present Heritor Duncan Forbes of Culloden, and 
his successors Heritors of same for the sum of 400 merks Scots, which sum is declared 
to be the yearly proportion of that annuity of 40,000 sterling payable for the Excyse 
to his Majestie's Exchequer. The brewing to commence at the term of Lambas next 
to come, and payment to be made to the ordinary Collector of Excyse for the Shyre 
of Inverness. " 

Another Act was passed in 1695 continuing and confirming 
the privilege, after the Excise was " raised off of the Liquor and 
not of the Boll ?" The arable lands of Ferintosh extended to about 
1800 acres, and calculating 5 bolls of barley to the acre, and a profit 
of 2 per boll, the gain must have been considerable. Mr. Arnot 
states that more whisky was distilled in Ferintosh than in all the rest 
of Scotland, and estimates the annual profit at about*^ 1 8,000. Such 
a distinguished mark of favour, and so valuable a privilege were 
sure to raise envy against a man who was already unpopular, and 
we find the Master of Tarbat complaining to Parliament, inter 
alia : 

' ' That Culloden's tack of Excyse wrongs the Queen's Revenue in 3600 merks per 

"That his tack of Excyse wrongs his neighbours, in so far as he can undersell 
them, and monopolise the brewing trade. 

" That his loss was not above a year's rent." 
In answer Culloden states : 

"That he understands the meaning of the Act to be for what grows on his own 

" That whatever grain shall be carried from any place into his land (except it be 
to eat or sow), shall be lyable to Excyse. 

"That the amount of the loss sustained by himself and tenants was 54,000 
Scotch, as ascertained by regular proof. " 

After the establishment of a Board of Excise in 1707, frequent 
representations were made to the Treasury to buy this right, in 
consideration of the great dissatisfaction it created among the 


AQ2 The Celtic Magazine. 

distillers, who did not complain without cause, as in 1782 the duty 
paid was 22, while according to the current rate of duty 20,000 
should have been paid. (Owens.) These representations pre- 
vailed, and the Act 26, G. III., cap. 73, sec. 75, provided for the 
purchase as follows : 

"Whereas Arthur Forbes of Culloden, Esq., in the county of Inverness, is pos- 
sessed of an exemption from the duties of Excise, within the lands of Ferintosh under 
a certain lease allowed by several Acts of Parliament of Scotland, which exemption 
has been found detrimental to the Revenue and prejudicial to the distillery in other 
parts of Scotland, enacted That the Treasury shall agree with the said Arthur Forbes 
upon a compensation to be made to him in lieu of the exemption, and if they shall 
not agree, the barons of Exchequer may settle the compensation by a jury, and after 
payment thereof, the said exemption shall cease." 

In 1 784 the Government paid 21,000 to Culloden, and the 
exemption ceased after having been enjoyed by the family for 
nearly a century. Burns thus refers to the transaction in " Scotch 
Drink," which was written in the following year 

Thou Ferintosh ! O sadly lost ! 

Scotland laments frae coast to coast ! 
Now colic grips and barking hoast 

May kill us a' ; 
For loyal Forbes' chartered boast 

Is ta'en awa ! 

The minister of Dingwall, in his account of the parish, writing 
a few years after the abolition of the exemption, tells that during 
the continuance of the privilege, quarrels and breaches of the 
peace were abundant among the inhabitants, yielding a good harvest 
of business to the procurators of Dingwall. When the exemption 
ceased, the people became more peaceable, and the prosperity of 
attorneyism in Dingwall received a marked abatement. (Dom. 
An. of Scot, Vol. III.) 

Colonel Warrand, who kindly permitted me to peruse the 
Culloden Acts, stated that the sites of four distilleries can be still 
traced in Ferintosh. An offer of 3000, recently made for per- 
mission to erect a distillery in the locality, was refused by Culloden, 
who feared that such a manufactory might be detrimental to the 
best interests of the people. Although there is no distillery, nor, 
so far as I am aware, even a smuggler in the locality, an enter- 
prising London spirit-dealer still supplies real " Ferintosh," at 


Smuggling in the Highlands. 403 

least he has a notice in his window to that effect. This alone is 
sufficient to show how highly prized Ferintosh whisky must have 
been, and we have further proof in Uilleam Ross' " Moladh an 
Uisge-Bheatha" (1762-90): 

Stuth glan na Toiseachd gun truailleadh, 
Gur ioc-shlaint choir am beil buaidh e ; 

'S tu thogadh m' inntinn gu suairceas, 
'S cha b'e druaip na Frainge. 

And again in his " Mac-na-Bracha "- 

Stuth glan na Toiseachd gun truailleadh, 

An ioc-shlaint is uaisle t'ann ; 
'S fearr do leigheas na gach lighich, 

Bha no bhitheas a measg Ghall. 
'Stoigh leinn drama, lion a' ghlaine, 

Cuir an t-searrag sin a nail, 
Mac-na-brach' an gille gasda, 

Cha bu rapairean a chlann. 

The duty had been 3d. and 6d. per gallon from 1709 to 1742. 
It had been raised gradually until in 1784, when the Ferintosh ex- 
emption ceased, it was 33. iid. and 15 per cent, the gallons 
charged in that year being 239,350, and the duty paid 65,497 
155. 4d., the population being 1,441,808. Owing to the difficulty 
and cost of collection in the thinly populated portions of Scotland, 
the duties, while low, had been farmed out for periods not exceed- 
ing three years. Mr. Campbell of Islay farmed the Excise Revenue 
of that Island for a small sum as late as 1795, and even so late as 
1804 the Commissioners were wont to receive lists of the names 
of persons recommended by the heritors of the Highland parishes, 
from which they elected two persons for each parish, to supply 
the parochial consumption from spirits distilled from corn grown 
in the vicinity. But, prior to these dates, the general farming of 
the duties had ceased, the Commissioners took the management 
in their own hands, and, as the duty was gradually increased, it 
was levied and collected by their own officers, much to the incon- 
venience and discontent of the people. A graphic picture of the 
state of matters caused by the high duties and stringent regula- 
tions is given by Burns, in his " Earnest Cry and Prayer," written 
in 1785, a year after " Forbes' chartered boast was taen awa"- 


The Celtic Magazine. 

Tell them wha hae the chief direction, 
Scotland an' me's in great affliction, 
E'er sin' they laid that curst restriction 

On Aqua-vitae, 

An' rouse them up to strong conviction, 
An' move their pity. 

Paint Scotland greeting owre her thissle ; 
Her mutchkin stoup as toom's a whistle, 
An" Excisemen in a bussle, 

Seizin' a still, 
Triumphant cmshin't like a mussle 

Or lampit shell. 

Then on the tither hand present her, 

A blackguard Smuggler* right behint her, 
An' cheek-for-chow, a chuffie vintner, 

Colleaguing join, 
Picking her pouch as bare as winter 

Of a' kind coin. 

Tell yon guid bluid o' auld Boconnock's, 
I'll be his debt twa mashlum bannocks, 
An' drink his health in auld Nanse Tinnock's 

Nine times a week, 
If he some scheme like tea and ivinnocks, 

Wad kindly seek. 

No doubt the poet's strong appeal helped the agitation, and 
before the end of the year the duty was reduced to 2s. 7^d., 
at which it remained for two years. Matters, however, were still 
unsatisfactory as regards the Revenue. The provisions of the law 
were not inadequate, but the enactments were so imperfectly 
carried out that the duty was evaded to a considerable extent. 
With the view of facilitating and improving collection, Scotland 
was divided in 1787 into Lowland and Highland districts, and 
duty charged according to the capacity of the still instead of on 
the gallon. When we are again about to divide Scotland for 
legislative purposes into Lowland and Highland districts, it is in- 
teresting to trace the old boundary line which was defined by the 
Act 37, G. III., cap. 102, sec. 6, as follows: 

* " Smuggler " is here used in its proper sense one who clandestinely introduces 
prohibited goods, or who illicitly introduces goods which have evaded the legal 
duties. Although popularly used, the term "Smuggler" is not correctly applicable 
to an illicit distiller. 

Smuggling in the Highlands. 405 

A certain line or boundary beginning at the east point of Loch-Crinan, and 
proceeding from thence to Loch-Gilpin ; from thence along the great road on the 
west side of Lochfine, to Inverary and to the head of Lochfine ; from thence along 
the high road to Arrochar, in county of Dumbarton, and from thence to Tarbet ; 
from Tarbet in a supposed straight line eastward on the north side of the mountain 
called Ben-Lomond, to the village ot Callendar of Monteith, in the county of Perth ; 
from thence north-eastward to Crieff ; from thence northward along the road by 
Ambleree, and Inver to Dunkeld ; from thence along the foot and south side of the 
Grampian Hills to Fettercairn, in the county of Kincardine ; and from thence north- 
ward along the road to Cutties Hillock, Kincardine O'Neil, Clatt, Huntly, and 
Keith to Fochabers ; and from thence westward by Elgin and Forres, to the boat on 
the River Findhorn, and from thence down the said river to the sea at Findhorn, and 
any place in or part of the county of Elgin, which lies southward of the said line 
from Fochabers to the sea at Findhorn. 

Within this district a duty of 1 45. per annum was imposed 
upon each gallon of the still's content. It was assumed that a 
still at work would yield a certain annual produce for each gallon 
of its capacity. It was calculated that so much time would be 
required to work off a charge, and the officers took no further 
trouble than to visit the distilleries occasionally, to observe if any 
other stills were in operation, or if larger ones were substituted 
for those which had been already gauged. The distillers soon 
outwitted the Excise authorities by making improvements in the 
construction of their stills, so that instead of taking a week to work 
off a charge, it could be worked off in twenty-four hours, after- 
wards in a few hours, and latterly in eight minutes. These im- 
provements were carried so far that a still of 80 gallons capacity 
could be worked off, emptied, and ready for another operation in 
three and a-half minutes, sometimes in three minutes. A still of 
40 gallons could be drawn off in 2.\ minutes, until the amount of 
fuel consumed and consequent wear and tear, left it a matter of 
doubt whether the distiller was a gainer (Muspratt.) To meet 
those sharp practices on the part of distillers, the duty was in- 
creased year after year until, in 1814, it amounted to 7 i6s. od. 
per gallon of the still's content and 6s. 7^d., two-thirds additional 
on every gallon made. This mode of charging duty made it so 
much the interest of the distiller to increase the quantity of spirits 
by every means possible, that the quality was entirely disregarded, 
the effect being a large increase of illicit distillation consequent 
upon the better flavour and quality of the spirits produced by the 
illicit distiller. In sheer desperation, the Government, in 1814 

406 The Celtic Magazine. 

(54, G. III., cap. 173, sec. 7), prohibited the use of stills of less 
capacity than 500 gallons, a restriction which increased the evil 
of illicit distillation. Colonel Stewart of Garth clearly shows how 
the Act operated. 

" By Act of Parliament, the Highland district was marked out 
by a definite line, extending along the southern base of the 
Grampians, within which all distillation of spirits was prohibited 
from stills of less than 500 gallons. It is evident that this law was 
a complete interdict, as a still of this magnitude would consume 
more than the disposable grain in the most extensive county 
within this newly drawn boundary ; nor could fuel be obtained 
for such an establishment without an expense which the com- 
modity could not possibly bear. The sale, too, of the spirits pro- 
duced was circumscribed within the same line, and thus the 
market which alone could have supported the manufacture, was 
entirely cut off. Although the quantity of grain raised in many 
districts, in consequence of recent agricultural improvements, 
greatly exceeds the consumption, the inferior quality of this 
grain, and the great expense of carrying it to the Lowland dis- 
tillers, who, by a ready market, and the command of fuel, can 
more easily accommodate themselves to this law, renders it 
impracticable for the farmers to dispose of their grain in any 
manner adequate to pay rents equal to the real value of their 
farms, subject as they are to the many drawbacks of uncertain 
climate, uneven surface, distance from market, and scarcity of 
fuel. Thus hardly any alternative remained but that of having 
recourse to illicit distillation, or resignation of their farms and 
breach of their engagements with their landlords. These are 
difficulties of which the Highlanders complain heavily, asserting 
that nature and the distillery laws present unsurmountable obstacles 
to the carrying on of a legal traffic. The surplus produce of their 
agricultural labour will therefore remain on their hands, unless 
they incur an expense beyond what the article will bear, in con- 
veying to the Lowland market so bulky a commodity as the raw 
material, and by the drawback of prices on their inferior grain. 
In this manner, their produce must be disposed of at a great loss, 
as it cannot be legally manufactured in the country. Hence they 
resort to smuggling as their only resource. If it be indeed true 
that this illegal traffic has made such deplorable breaches in the 
honesty and morals of the people, the revenue drawn from the 
large distilleries, to which the Highlanders have been made the 
sacrifice, has been procured at too high a price for the country." 

(To be continued.) 

Yachting and Electioneering' in the Hebrides. 407 



ON Monday, 28th September, we steamed from Tobermory to 
Salen, Loch Suinart, a lovely spot, surrounded by fine woods. 
Here we got a very old-fashioned but comfortable brougham from 
the hotelkeeper, to take us to Mingarry School-house, where our 
next meeting was to be held. The road along which we drove 
was shaded for a considerable distance by very pretty woods, then 
in the full beauty of their autumnal tints. Shiel Bridge, marking 
the boundary between the counties of Inverness and Argyll, is a 
solid stone structure of one arch, spanning the River Shiel, a 
famous salmon stream, which flows from the loch of that name 
into the sea. Crossing the bridge, we entered the historic district 
of Moidart, a name indissolubly connected with Prince Charles 
Edward and many of his gallant adherents during the Forty-Five. 
The neat stone and lime cottages of the people, all roofed with 
slate or corrugated iron, were a striking contrast to most of the 
wretched huts we had been accustomed to see for the previous 
few weeks in the Hebrides. The people themselves, though, 
doubtless, they have their grievances, had a comfortable and 
prosperous look, not seen in their fellow-crofters in the Islands. 
At the School-house, we were cordially welcomed by the genial 
priest of Moidart, the Rev. Father Charles Macdonald, a native of 
Inverness, and one of the first scholars enrolled on the books of 
Dr. Bell's Institution. The School-house was the prettiest I have 
seen, the walls being completely hidden by climbing flowers, 
while the interior displayed the artistic taste of the lady in charge 
in the chaste floral and folial decorations with which it was adorned. 
Before the meeting, we drove back, accompanied by Father 
Macdonald, to Shiel Bridge, whence a road to the right, following 
the bank of the river, brought us opposite the fine Highland resi- 
dence of Lord Howard of Glossop. A few hundred yards from 

408 The Celtic Magazine. 

the windows of the mansion-house, stand the ruins of the old 
Castle of Eileantyrim, once a famous stronghold of the Mac- 
donalds of Clanranald, and now, we believe, with the little island, 
or rather peninsula, upon which it stands, forming the last remnant, 
possessed by the hereditary chief of Clanranald, of the wide 
domains once held by his powerful and warlike ancestors. While 
Father Macdonald went to ask Lord Howard for the key of the 
ruined Castle, Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh and I walked over to the 
ruin, and had a look at the exterior. The Castle proper is com- 
pletely surrounded and concealed from view by a strong outer 
wall, having no windows, and very few loopholes. This wall is in 
excellent preservation, and, doubtless, contributed largely to the 
protection of the inner building, which, though ravaged by fire, 
is still fairly complete. By the time we had finished our survey 
of the exterior, Father Macdonald arrived with the key, and we 
were admitted into the courtyard. From this another door gave 
us access to the principal apartments. Above this door was a 
hollow shaft of masonry, intended, we were told, for pouring 
boiling water or molten lead upon an enemy attempting to force 
an entrance. A low archway, of great thickness, led us into the 
dungeon, a dark, loathsome hole, but larger than is usually found 
in old castles. On the threshold, a strange and inexplicable 
phenomenon is always present. The black ground appears 
covered over a small surface with vivid red spots, varying in size, 
but exactly resembling drops of blood. These spots are composed 
of a fluid which oozes out of the ground. Rubbed away with the 
foot, they appeared again in a few moments exactly as before. 
No one has ever yet been able to account for this strange circum- 
stance. Father Macdonald told us that an eminent Glasgow 
analyst, who visited the place a few years ago, at once took the 
spots to be blood, and carried away some of the stained soil with 
him to make the matter sure by analysis. On reaching home, 
however, and applying the usual tests, he found that the spots 
were not blood-stains, but what else he could not make out, so the 
matter has always remained a puzzle and a mystery to all who 
have seen it. 

The following particulars of the burning of the Castle, and 
some interesting antiquarian discoveries in connection with it, 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 409 

were supplied to me by Father Macdonald : Castle Tyrim was 
burnt, by orders of Clanranald himself, in 1715. The Chief had 
just gathered the Islesmen under his sway, and his retainers on 
the mainland, in order to take part in the Rising organised by the 
Earl of Mar. Fearing, however, that the Duke of Argyll might 
seize upon the Castle in his absence, and throw a garrison into it 
whom it might be difficult afterwards to dispossess, he judged it 
prudent to set the old family residence in flames. Some say that 
this excellent Chief had a strong presentiment that he would never 
return from the expedition, and, as a matter of history, he was one 
of the very first to fall at SherirTmuir, being shot through the 
heart. His name was Allan Macdonald of Clanranald, commonly 
called " Allan Muideartach," and he was the last in the direct line 
from the original ancestor of the family. The property, after 
his death, passed into the nearest collateral branch Macdonald of 

There always had been a tradition in Moidart, since Allan's 
death, that, in the hurry of departure from the Castle, a certain 
sum of money had been forgotten, which might be found buried 
under part of the ruins. It was also a tradition that, previous to 
Allan's time, another iim had been stolen from one of the chiefs 
then resident at Castle Tyrim, and that, doubtful as to the real 
culprit, the chief hanged his butler, his cook, and another servant, 
all of whom he had strong reasons to suspect. Most people, 
except the natives, looked upon these traditions as idle stories, for 
there never yet has been a ruined castle without its legend of some 
secret treasure being buried beneath its vaults, or stored away in 
some secret chamber which no one can find. However, in the 
present case, the tradition turned out to be correct. When Mr. 
Hope Scott bought the adjoining property from the late Loch- 
shiel, he took steps to have the inner court of Castle Tyrim cleared 
of a large mass of debris which blocked the entrance, and which 
filled the court to a depth of several feet. About a week after 
commencing operations, one of the workmen, in clearing away 
the fragments of a beam which had been reduced almost to char- 
coal, perceived a small heap, which he at first imagined to be a 
part of this charcoal, but which, on a closer examination, he dis- 
covered to be cloth or leather but so worn or burnt as to make 

4io T/te Celtic Magazine. 

it difficult to determine its true substance. Inside the heap there 
was a heavy coagulated mass of coins, large in shape, and encrusted 
with verdigris. The find was, of course, handed over to Mr. Hope 
Scott. Upon examination, and after a thorough cleaning and 
burnishing of the whole, it was discovered that these coins were 
Spanish and German silver dollars, solid like our own crown-pieces 
lately in circulation, and of beautiful design. Ultimately, they 
passed into the hands of Admiral Sir Reginald Macdonald of 
Clanranald, so that, after a lapse of one hundred and sixty years, 
they may be said to have returned to their legitimate owner. 

A few years after this, that portion of Moidart, latterly called 
Dorlin, was bought from Mr. Hope Scott by the late Lord Howard 
of Glossop. Amid the many schemes for improving the estate, 
inaugurated by that enlightened nobleman, was one of opening 
up a path along the cliffs overhanging the sea-shore, eastward of 
Dorlin House, towards a deserted hamlet called Briac. When 
the cutting had reached one of the roughest spots, a small open 
space, barely visible from below, was discovered, and in its centre 
a heap of loose stones, which, on being dispersed, revealed a pile 
of silver coins, about the size of our present shilling pieces. So 
far as can be judged, there must have been a hundred and fifty, 
or thereabouts, of them. They all belonged to the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth, and were of the very basest metal. This, undoubtedly, 
was the money stolen from one of the earlier chiefs, and for which 
his hapless servants suffered. 

It is well known that it formed part of the policy of the Eng- 
lish Government in those days to bribe the Highland chiefs, and 
to encourage them to give as much trouble as possible to the 
Scottish throne. Probably the money disinterred, after a lapse 
of three hundred years, under the Dorlin cliffs, had something to 
do with such unprincipled bribery. 

Leaving the Castle, we drove back to Mingarry, and, after a 
good meeting there, at which Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh alluded, with 
great feeling, to the historic interests and romantic surroundings 
of the district, were hospitably entertained, in his own house, by 
Father Macdonald, who also showed us the pretty chapel adjoin- 
ing, where he officiates. We then returned to Salen, and, going 
on board our yacht, steamed for Corran Ferry, Loch Linnhe, 

Yachting and Electioneering in the Hebrides. 411 

where we cast anchor shortly after dark. Next day, Tuesday, 
29th September, at Onich, North Ballachulish, we had the pleasure 
of meeting Dr. Stewart of Nether-Lochaber, the well-known 
antiquarian and naturalist. The grandeur, variety, and beauty of 
the scenery, seen from his windows, are magnificent, and it is 
hardly to be wondered at that they have inspired his pen to those 
fine depictions which have delighted thousands. Encouragement 
to build should be given by Lochiel, all along the north shores of 
Loch Leven, which would prove a source of wealth to himself 
and to the country. Steaming to Fort- William in the afternoon, 
we had a crowded and most enthusiastic meeting there in the 
Drill Hall. On Wednesday, we steamed through the Caledonian 
Canal as far as Garelochy Locks, driving thence to Roy Bridge 
and Blairour, and returning to the yacht in the evening. Thurs- 
day brought us to Fort-Augustus, whence we drove to Invergarry, 
returning to Fort-Augustus and holding a crowded meeting there 
in the evening, not a whit behind those in the Islands. 

At ten o'clock on the forenoon of Friday, 2nd October, we 
bade farewell to the Carlotta and her crew, with mutual regret 
and good wishes. The ) 7 acht was decked from peak to stern with 
flags ; the cook marched the deck with his bagpipes, playing " Cha 
till mi tuilleadh," and " Cabar-Feidh," while the Captain and crew 
cheered lustily as we drove away to Invermoriston. Two meet- 
ings were held at Torgoil and Invermoriston, and, by eleven 
o'clock at night, after a day of incessant rain, we reached Inverness 
once more, having passed a busy month of rough, but pleasant, 
travel, among a people and a peasantry, who, though long down- 
trodden and oppressed, and only now perceiving the dawn of their 
emancipation, can yet show a bright example to the world for 
hospitality, politeness, and good morals, and of whom a kindly 
recollection will ever linger in the writer's mind. To do justice in 
some degree to the people, and to place on record the impressions 
made at the time, was the chief inducement to my writing these 
articles. That such a people, with a not unfertile soil, and sur- 
rounded with valuable fishings, should be in such a wretched state 
of poverty, is most deplorable. The time has come when wiser 
heads than mine must solve the problem. Alas ! what are the 
landlords doing ? Why, in place of assisting and encouraging 


The Celtic Magazine. 

the people, they cry out for armed forces to crush them. " Oh, 
the pity o' it." 

I cannot close the recital without a tribute to Captain Mac- 
lachlan and his crew. To the Captain's admirable seamanship 
we owed much, while his politeness and attention was unremitting. 
He was ably seconded by his mate, Sandy Mackellar, than whom 
a better seaman never trod a deck, and whose fine figure and 
winning manner will always be recalled with pleasure by those 
who know him. Of the rest, including our caterer and steward, 
Mr. Peter Kerr, little need be said they all did their work, so far 
as we were concerned, thoroughly well. 

One word more, and I have done. The meetings, from the 
beginning to the end of the trip, were, without exception, of the 
most hearty and enthusiastic character. In the Western Islands, 
especially, the people welcomed Mr. Eraser-Mackintosh with 
processions, flags, music, and bonfires. As he himself, in his 
speech at Portree, said " I must say that I have obtained a 
reception in the Islands of Inverness-shire which, I don't believe, 
has ever been given to any private individual before. If I might 
be allowed to put myself for one moment in comparison with a man 
who was once the greatest chief in the Highlands Somerled of 
the Isles I don't believe he was received in his journeyings more 
cordially than I was." The example set by the people of the Isles 
was extensively followed on the Mainland. 

The result of the Election, which took place on Thursday, 
3rd December, was an overwhelming triumph for the Popular 
Cause and the People's Candidate. The official declaration of 
the poll, made on 5th December, read as follows : 

Mr. Reginald Macleod - 2031 

Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie - *%97 


The Conflicts of the Clans. 413 



IN l6l2. 

THE year of God, 1612, there happened some discord and dis- 
sensions betwixt Sutherland and Caithness, which troubled a 
little the peace of that part of the Kingdom. The occasion was 
this : One Arthur Smith (a false coiner), being, together with his 
servant, apprehended for making and striking of false money, 
were both sent to Edinburgh, the year of God, 1 599, where his 
servant was executed, but Arthur himself escaped, and retired into 
Caithness, and dwelt there with the Earl of that country. The 
report hereof coming to the King's ears, the year of God, 1612, 
His Majesty gave a secret commission to his servant, Sir Robert 
Gordon (the Earl of Sutherland's brother), for apprehending this 
Arthur Smith ; but, as Sir Robert was going about to perform the 
same, he received a commandment from His Majesty to accompany 
Sir Alexander Hay (then Secretary of Scotland) in apprehending 
John Lesley of New Lesley, and some other rebels in Gereagh ; 
which Sir Robert obeyed, and committed the execution of the 
commission against Arthur Smith unto his nephew, Donald Mac- 
kay of Farr, John Gordon of Gospeter, younger (nephew to 
George Gordon slain at Marie, the year 1587), and to John 
Gordon, son to John Gordon of Backies. These three, parting 
from Sutherland with 36 men, came to the town of Thurso in 
Caithness, where Arthur Smith then dwelt, and there apprehended 
him ; which, when John Sinclair of Skirkag (the Earl of Caith- 
ness's nephew) understood, he assembled the inhabitants of the 
town, and opposed himself to the King's commission. There 
ensued a sharp skirmish upon the streets of Thurso, where John 
Sinclair of Skirkag was slain, and James Sinclair of Dun left there, 
deadly hurt, lying upon the ground ; Arthur Smith was there 

The Celtic Magazine. 

likewise slain ; divers of the Sutherland men were hurt ; but, per- 
ceiving Smith dead, they left Thurso, and retired themselves all 
home into their own country. 

Thereupon, both the parties compeared before the Secret 
Council at Edinburgh. The Earl of Caithness did pursue Sir 
Robert Gordon, Donald Mackay, and John Gordon, for the 
slaughter of his nephew. These, again, did pursue the inhabitants 
of Caithness for resisting the King's commissioners. The Secret 
Council (having special commandment from His Majesty to that 
effect) dealt earnestly with both the parties ; and, in end, per- 
suaded them to submit these questions and debates to the arbitri- 
ment of friends. A certain number of the Lords of Council were 
chosen as friends for either party. The Archbishop of St. 
Andrews and the Earl of Dunfermline, Chancellor of Scotland, 
were appointed oversmen by consent of both the parties. These 
friendly judges, having heard the business reasoned in their 
presence, and, finding that the examination thereof would prove 
tedious and intricate, they direct a power to the Marquis of Huntly 
to deal in the matter ; desiring him to try, if, by his means and 
mediation, these contentions might be settled, happening betwixt 
parties so strictly tied to him by blood and alliance, the Earl of 
Sutherland being his cousin-german, and the Earl of Caithness 
having married his sister. The Marquis of Huntly did his best, 
but could not prevail, either party being so far from condescend- 
ing to the other's demands, and so he remitted the business back 
again to the Secret Council ; which Sir Robert Gordon perceiving, 
he moved the King's Majesty for a pardon to Donald Mackay, 
John Gordon, and their associates, for the slaughter of John 
Sinclair of Skirkag ; which His Majesty earnestly granted, seeing 
it was committed in the execution of His Majesty's service ; yet, 
nevertheless, there still remained a grudge in the minds of the 
parties, searching by all means and occasions to infest one another, 
until the year of God, 1619, that the Earl of Caithness and Sir 
Robert Gordon (then, by his brother's death, Tutor of Sutherland) 
were reconciled by the mediation of George Lord Gordon, Earl 
of Enzie, by whose travel and diligence all particulars betwixt the 
Houses of Sutherland and Caithness were finally settled ; and then 
went both of them familiarly to cither's houses ; whose perfect 

The Conflicts of the Clans. 415 

reconciliation will, doubtless, tend to the peace and quiet of these 
parts of the kingdom. 

The year 1592, the Ministry and Church of Scotland thought 
it necessary that all such as professed the Roman religion in the 
kingdom should either be compelled to embrace the reformed 
religion, or else that the censure of excommunication should be 
used against them, and their goods decerned to appertain to the 
King so long as they remained disobedient. Mr. George Carr, 
doctor of the laws, was the first that withstood, and was excom- 
municated ; the next was David Graham of Fintrie. This Mr. 
George Carr, considering that hereby he could have no quiet 
residence within his native country, did deliberate with himself to 
pass .beyond sea into Spain ; and, therefore, that he might be the 
more welcome there, he devised certain blanks, as if they had been 
subscribed by some of the Scottish nobility, and directed from 
them to the King of Spain, to be filled up at his pleasure ; which 
project was first hatched by the Jesuits, and chiefly by Father 
Crightoun, who, for some discontentment, had, a few years before, 
left Scotland and fled into Spain, where he endeavoured to 
insinuate himself with King Philip's favour, and published a book 
concerning the genealogy of his daughter, the Infante, married to 
the Archduke ; wherein he did his best to prove that the two Crowns 
of England and Scotland did appertain unto her ; and, that this 
cunning Jesuit might the rather move King Philip to make war 
against the King of Scotland, he wrote books and pamphlets in the 
disgrace of his own native Prince. Then he adviseth with himself 
that his next and readiest way was to solicit some of his friends in 
Scotland, who were of his faith ; and, to this effect, he wrote 
letters, this year, 1592, to this George Carr, and to such of his own 
colleagues, the Jesuits, as were then in this kingdom, whereby he 
made them understand what great favour and credit he had with 
the King of Spain, who, by his persuasions, was resolved both to 
invade England, and to establish the Catholic faith in Scotland ; 
but, first, that King Philip would be assured of the good-will of 
the Catholics of Scotland ; wherefore he behoved to have certain 
blanks subscribed by the Catholics, and that he should cause them 
to be filled up afterwards ; which, if he did obtain, he had promise 

416 The Celtic Magazine. 

of the King of Spain to send them 250,000 crowns to be distri- 
buted among them. After this advertisement of Father Crigh- 
toun's, this George Carr (by the advice of the Jesuits then resident 
in Scotland) devised these blanks, to the effect that George Carr 
might transport them into Spain. Carr addressed himself to the 
town of Ayr to have taken shipping there, and, lying in the Isle 
of Cumrye, attending a fair wind, he was discovered, by the indis- 
cretion of Father Abercromby, and apprehended in the ship ; 
from whence he was carried back to Ayr, and from thence con- 
veyed to Edinburgh. With him was found a packet of letters, 
directed (as it were) from some Scottish noblemen into Spain and 
some parts of France ; therein were found blanks alleged sub- 
scribed by the Earl of Angus, the Earl of Huntly, the Earl of 
Erroll, and Sir Patrick Gordon of Achindoun, uncle to the Earl 
of Huntly. The blanks were thus, Imprimis, two missive bills 
directed to the King of Spain ; the one subscribed de votre 
Majest^ tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur, Francois Comte 
d" Erroll ; another on this manner, de votre Majestf tres humble et 
tres obeissant serviteur, Guillaume Comte d Angus ; item, another 
blank subscribed by them all four, as it were by form of contract 
or obligation conjointly, thus Gulielmus Angusiae Comes, Georgius 
Comes de Huntley, Franciscus Erroliae Comes, Patricius Gordon de 
Achindoivne Miles ; item, a blank subscribed apart by Franciscus 
Erroliae Comes ; item, one by Georgius Comes de Huntley ; item, 
one by Gulielmus Angusiae Comes. Hereupon the Ministers sent 
some of the Privy Council to the King to Alloway (where His 
Majesty then lay) to advertise him of these blanks. The King came 
to Edinburgh, where all the matter was debated to him at length, 
partly by Mr. Bowes Leiger, Ambassador for the Queen of England 
in Scotland, and partly by Mr. Robert Bruce, Principal Minister at 
Edinburgh, showing that the realm of Scotland was in apparent dan- 
ger of Spaniards to be brought in, by the forenamed earls being 
Papists ; and, thereby, both His Majesty's crown was in danger 
and the Established religion in hazard to be altered. That Mr. George 
Carr had sufficiently declared the whole circumstance of the business 
in his confession, accusing the Popish lords as guilty of these 
blanks ; and thus, taking the matter already pro confesso, they 
urge the business vehemently, and do entreat His Majesty to 

The Conflicts of tJie Clans. 417 

proceed against them with all celerity and rigour. Then was 
David Graham of Fintrie apprehended, arraigned, and executed 
at Edinburgh, in February this year, 1592 (or 1593 stilo novo\ 
who, thinking to save himself thereby, did write a long letter, 
subscribed with his own hand, directed to the King, wherein he 
made mention that the Roman Catholics of Scotland had under- 
taken to receive such a number of soldiers as the King of Spain 
and his Council should appoint ; and, in case he would bestow 
any money for levying of men here, they should willingly both 
convey the King's army into England, and retain a certain number 
in Scotland, for reformation of religion, and to purchase liberty of 
conscience ; that he himself had given counsel thereunto divers 
times, after that the matter was communicated to him by the 
Jesuits, and because he fore-knew this purpose, and concealed 
the same, he was in danger of the law ; for this cause, he desired 
not to be tried by a jury, but offered himself unto the King's 
mercy and will, when he was arraigned at the bar. The King 
(nottheless of this his voluntary confession) commanded to proceed 
against him according to the law ; which was done. 


IN the days of our boyhood, the name of William Ross was a 
household word in the North-West Highlands and Islands ; and 
his songs were in everybody's mouth (or ears.) Mothers hushed 
their infants to sleep, crooning, in their own peculiar and happily 
natural style 

"Seinn eibhinn, seinn eibhinn, 

Seinn eibhinn an dail ; 
Seinn eibhinn, bhinn eibhinn, 

Seinn eibhinn gach la ; 
Seinn eibhinn, binn eutrom, 

Seinn eibhinn do ghna, 
Seinn eibhinn, seinn eibhinn, 
Chuireadh m' eislein gu lar." 

41 8 The Celtic Magazine. 

The sturdy, sinewy boatmen, as they bent to their oars, would 
chant, in measured cadence 

" Beir mo shoraidh le durachd, 
Gu ribhinn nan dluth-chiabh, 
Ri an trie robh mi sugradh 

Ann am bruthaichean Ghlinn-bhraoin. " 

The pensive milkmaid, as she drew forth the snow-white stream, 
would dreamily break into 

" Gu 'm b' annsa na bhi 'm aonar, 

Mo lamh 's mo ghaol thoirt uam, 
Maraon is lubadh farasda 
Le oigfhear fearail, stuam'. " 

The shepherd, as he reclined on the verdant hillside, with a keek 
at the sun and a glance towards his flock, his thoughts on "some- 
body " he should like to have beside him there, would strike up 
" Eh ho-ro, mo run an cailinn, 

Eh ho-ro, mo run an cailinn, 

Mo run cailinn suairc a mhanrain, 

Tha gach ta a tigh'n fodh m' aire. " 

The health-revealing ploughboy, as he leisurely followed his team, 
would alternately whistle in rollicking style 
' ' A dheilbhinn, thoir a ghealach ort, 
Gabh aite measg nam planaidean ; 
Cha'n ionad comhnuidh'n talamh dhuit, 
Ach speuran soilleir sar-ghlan. " 

In the " Tigh-ceilidh," the funny man of the company, as he ogled 
the prettiest girl, would, with inexpressible relish, have a turn at 

" Ye bonny young virgins, ge sgiobalt ur ceum, 
Be careful gun treig sibh an fheill so gun dail, 
For though ye be handsome, 's ge meachair ur beul, 
'S fior nonsense gun cheill mur a reitich sibh trath. " 

And the sentimental youth would follow with 

" Air faillirin, illirin, uillirin, 

O's mi caoidh, 
'S cruaidh fhortain gun fhios, 

A chuir mis' ann an luib do ghaoil," 

Amid the whisperings, grimaces, and giggling, of all the maiden 
element, much to the amusement of their seniors. 

The cronies, " O'er a wee drappie o't," would make the rafters 
ring again and again to the chorus of 

" Ho ro gur toigh leinn drama," 

The Poems of William Ross. 419 

The favourite verses being repeated so often that seldom or never 
was the song satisfactorily finished. The most popular quatrain 
almost invariably was 

"Is tu mo laochan, soitheamh, siobhalt, 
Cha bhi loinn ach far am bi thu ; 
Fograidh tu air falbh gach mi-ghean, 
'S bheir thu sith a' aimhreit. " 

Let each one judge for himself how much or how little truth is in 
this estimate of the virtues of aqua vitce. 

In the " Tigh-luadhaidh," in the harvest-field, and watching at 
the kiln in fact, wheresoever two or three were gathered together 
except on serious occasions there Ross's songs were largely 
drawn upon, and always received full justice. He was a universal 
favourite ; his admirers were legion ; and the fair sex adored him 
--dead ! 

We sometimes wonder if William's lyrics are so well known 
and so often sung now-a-days. We fear not. There have been 
influences at work for long in those parts which have tended to 
wipe out the memories and usages of other and happier times 
among the peasantry ; and the everlasting struggle for dear life, 
which has been year by year pressing heavier upon them, has 
gone far to crush the spirit and change the character of a proud, 
generous, devoted race ; while, to a great extent, the best man- 
hood of the nation is being drained or driven away to enrich the 
colonies and other countries, where the Highlander can hold his 
own with the foremost in the fight ; where he gets all he asks a 
fair field and no favour. 

After a first perusal, it would be difficult for one to determine 
in what kind of poetry Ross most excelled, for he appears to have 
been equally at home in all branches of composition grave and 
gay. His songs never weary one ; and the oftener we read them 
the better we like them. Is that not a good test of poetic merit ? 
Ross's diction is never strained ; his rhyme and rhythm are seldom 
faulty; and a quiet, unassuming, yet confident, style, runs through- 
out all his poems. But the general conclusion arrived at, and we 
may say accepted, is that, if his amorous pieces were left out, the 
remainder would not be classed higher than mediocrity. In his 
Love Songs, therefore, we have Ross's greatest charm, and his 

42O The Celtic Magazine. 

best title to a high place among the many sons of song who have 
enriched the poetic literature of our Scottish Highlands. In such 
compositions, he outshines any known Gaelic bard of the past; 
and, if he had left us anything more pretentious than a lyric, 
Alexander Macdonald and Duncan Maclntyre might well tremble 
for the possession of their higher niches in the Temple of Fame. 
But William, with his own hands, in a fit of despondency, we are 
told, committed all his MSS. to the flames shortly before he died ; 
and thus, we know not how much we have lost. We may safely 
conjecture it was a great deal, for we know what he was capable 
of doing by what has been preserved of the fruits of his muse. 
He was known to have had several pieces of considerable length 
and merit among those MSS., and some say the whole had been 
prepared for the press ; but such a design, if projected, was for 
ever frustrated by his own rash act. What remains have been 
rescued are due to the memory of others, so that we have actually 
nothing that we are sure is correct and complete as William 
would himself have left it. He is said to have been careful in 
revising his work ; and this cannot be said in every case for the 
poems as they now stand. Had William lived in peace and 
comfort to an average age, his name and fame would probably 
have eclipsed those of all his rivals ; but alas ! his career was brief 
and unhappy, and his work ended before it had much more than 
well begun. 

In the collection before us (that made by John Mackenzie of 
" Sar Obair nam Bard Gaidhealach," to whom Gaelic literature 
owes much besides), there are, at least, two pieces which should 
certainly have been consigned to oblivion ; and, had William him- 
self lived to publish his poems, we are sure, from the estimate we 
have formed of his character, that the pieces we allude to would 
not have been included, as they are in every way quite unworthy 
of a place among the exquisite gems embraced in the collection. 
We are at a loss to know why these two very improper poems 
were given to the public, as, in point of merit, they are as far 
below William Ross's standard of composition as they are antago- 
nistic to our notions of pure literature. The coarsest of these 
was a youthful production ; but, if this is any excuse for its exis- 
tence, it can be no excuse for its publication which was extremely 

The Poems of William Ross. 421 

ill-judged ; and, when next edition is taken in hand, we trust that, 
for the sake of all concerned, these two pieces will be suppressed ; 
and also a part of the satire upon the lazy fellow whom the poet 
had engaged to do some manual labour, but who had gone to 
sleep over it which is otherwise an admirable "skit." 

It was particularly fortunate that Ross was himself a good 
vocalist and musician ; for, by his having set many of his songs 
to simple and catching airs, they came into general use among 
the people, and were thus preserved when many of his other poems 
were forgotten in whole or in part. 


These were, of course, most in vogue among the young 
people ; and, taken as a whole, are the most important and most 
perfect of what has been so preserved. Those inspired by his 
baneful passion for Marion Ross are brimful of exquisite ideas and 
sentiments, and will last as long as the Gaelic language. The 
praise he bestows is such as we should fancy would be about 
enough to turn the head of any ordinary girl. Take, for example, 
from " Feasgar Luain ": 

" Dhiuchd mar aingeal mu mo choinneamh 
'N ainnir og bu ghrinne snuadh ; 
A seang shlios fallain air bhlath canaich, 
No mar an ealla air a chuan ; 
Suil-ghorm mheallach fo 'caol mhala 
'S caoin a sheallas 'g amharc uaith, 
Beul tlath, tairis, gun ghne smalain, 
Dha'n ghnath carthantachd gun uaill. 

" Mar ghath grein' am madainn cheitein 
Gu'n mheath i mo leirsinn shuil ; 
'S i ceumadh urlair gu reidh, iompaidh, iulmhor, 
Do reir pungannan a chiuil. 
Ribhinn modhail 's fior-ghlan foghlum, 
Dh' fhion-fhuil mhoralach mo ruin ; 
Reul nan oighean, grian gach coisridh, 
'S i'n chiall chomhraidh, cheol-bhinn, chiuin. 

' ' 'S tearc an sgeula sonnailt d'aogaisg 
Bhi ri fhaotainn 'san Roinn-Eorp ; 
Tha mais' is feile, tlachd is ceutachd 
Nach fhacas leam fhein fa m' choir ; 
Gach cliu a fas riut, a 'muirn 'san aillteachd, 
An sugradh is a' manran beoil ; 

422 The Celtic Magazine. 

'S gach buaidh a b'aillidh bh'air Diana 
Gu leir mar fhagail tha aig Moir. 

' 'S bachlach, duallach, cas-bhuidh, cuachach. 
Caradh suaimhneas gruaig do chinn ; 
Gu h-aluinn, boidheach, fainneach, 6r-bhuidh, 
An caraibh seoighn' 's an ordugh grinn. 
Gun chron a fas nut a dh' fhaot aireamh 
Bho do bharr gu sail do bhuinn ; 
Dhiuchd na buaidhean, oigh, mu'n cuairt dut, 
Gu meudachdain d' uaill 's gach puing. 

" Bu leigheas eugail slan on' Eug 

Do dh' fhear a dh' fhaotadh 'bhi ad choir ; 
B' fhearr na'n cadal bhi riut fagaisg 
'G eisdeachd agallaidh do bheoil. 
Cha robh Bhenits a measg leugaibh 
Dh' aindeoin feuchantachd cho boidh'ch, 
Ri Mor, nigh 'n mhin, a Icon mo chridh, 
Le' buaidhean 's mi 'ga dith ri m' bheo. " 

Or, again, take the following from " Cuachag nan Craobh": 

" 'S cama-lubach d' fhalt, fainne-bhuidh nan cleachd. 
'S fabhradh nan rosg aluinn ; 
Gruaidhean mar chaor, broilleach mar aol, 
Anail mar ghaoth garaidh. 

" 'S milis dobheul, 's comhnard do dheud, 
Suilean air lidh airneig ; 
Ghiulaineadh breid uallach gu feill. 
'S uasal an reul aluinn ! 

" 'S tu 'n ainnir tha grinn, mileanta, binn, 
Le d' cheileir a seinn oran ; 
'Se bhi 'na do dhail a dh' oidhche 's a la, 
'Thoilicheadh cail mi oige. 
Gur gile do bhian na sneachd air an fhiar. 
Na 'n canach air sliabh mointich ; 
Nan deanadh tu, 'ruin, tarruinn rium dluth 
Dheanainn gach turs' f hogradh. " 

This last quoted pathetic and charmingly melancholy effusion 
was one of the last efforts of Ross's muse, and is, perhaps, at once 
the most powerful and the most beautiful of his poems. How 
touchingly he addresses the bird in the tree overhead, whose 
sympathy he invokes before unburdening his soul ! How graphi- 
cally he pictures the joys he would experience in the society of 

The Poems of William Ross. 423 

his beloved! Suddenly, "a change comes o'er the spirit of his 
dream," for the vision of a bridal pair glides in, to remind him 
that she whom he adores is for ever lost to him. Then comes a 
bitter, despairing wail from his overcharged heart, and a sad fore- 
cast of the consequences to himself is indited, which indeed was 
to prove only too true. He fondly dwells upon the beauties and 
graces of her person and her charming ways, breaking into some- 
thing like a reproach for her indifference to himself. Then, for a 
moment, he hurls his curse on the nurse who had not given him 
a " quick despatch " out of the world on his arrival in it, so that 
he could never have met his goddess, to sigh and to die in vain 
for her. But it is only for a moment this savage feeling is allowed 
to pervade his breast. The next, he turns to the object of his 
fateful attachment with tender blessings and so ends this singu- 
larly fascinating poem. 

The other three songs on the same theme, and in a similar 
strain, are, one and all, excellent productions ; and, although so 
sad and painfully depressing in their influence, we would not have 
them divested of this power, for therein is their grandest charm 
and essence. We only wish there was more of them. In the 
one beginning 

"Tha mise fodh mhulad 's an am," 

We have some splendid imagery. Take, for instance 
' ' Tha mise ri osnaich 'n ad dheidh 
Mar ghaisgeach an deis a Ie6n, 
'Na laidhe 's an araich gun fheum 

'S nach teid anns an streup ni's mo. " 
" 'Se dh' fhag mi mar eudmhail air treud, 
Mar thear nach toir speis do mhnaoi, &c." 

His comparing himself to a wounded warrior, lying disabled 
on the battlefield, never more to take part in the strife of the 
brave, is a good simile and well expressed. Then notice the 
masterly play upon words that he introduces here : 

" Mo sheanair ri paidheadh mail, 
Is m' athair ri maifeiA riamh ; 
Chuireadh iad gearrain an crann, 
Is ghearrainn-sz. rann roimh chiad. " 

The substance here shows that William had a very fair opinion 
of his own ability, for he says, and says truly, that, notwithstanding 

424 The Celtic Magazine. 

he had been slighted by some, and called " a bard of no regard," 
he could shape a stanza better than a hundred could. Then, who 
could be callous to the exquisite beauties and forcible language of 
the last two stanzas of this poem, which none but a masterhand 
could have written a master mind have planned : 

" Is fad a tha m' aigne fodh 'ghruaim, 

Cha mhosgail mo chluais ri ceol ; 

Am breislish mar anrach a chuain 

Air bharraibh nan stuadh ri ceo. 

'Se 'g ionndrainn d' abhachd uam 

A chaochail air snuadh mo neoil, 

Gun sugradh, gun mhire, gun uaill, 

Gun chaithream, gun bhuaidh, gun treoir. 
" Cha duisgear learn ealaidh air aill'. 

Cha chuirear leam dan air doigh ; 

Cha togar leam fonn air clar ; 

Cha chluinnear leam gair nan 6g. 

Cha dirich mi bealach nan ard 

Le suigeart mar bha mi 'n tos, 

Ach triallam a chadal gu brath 

Do thalla nam bard nach beo." 

No more would he sing a melody, nor compose a poem, nor 
play a tune, nor hear the joyous laughter of the children. No 
more could he ascend the mountain with the elastic step and 
light heart of his byegone days: he must depart to sleep for ever 
in the halls of the bards who had gone before ! 

Had we never seen more of Ross's work than these sixteen 
lines, we could tell that the author possessed rare and subtle 
genius, though, perhaps, leaning towards the melancholy side 
rather much. But that would not be a just estimate of Ross at 
all, for the melancholy vein was not his most natural one. His 
temperament had much more of the humourist, and his lapsing 
into the melancholy mood was clearly the result of accident. 

In several of his other poems Ross manages to throw in allu- 
sions to Marion's charms, and the only wonder is how he sang so 
much about her and always found so many new and elegant things 
to say in her praise. The circumstances were peculiarly fitted to 
draw out all the tenderness of the poet, and John Mackenzie truly 
observes, "His poetry deserves to be styled the poetry of the 
heart of a heart full to overflowing with noble sentiments, and 
with sublime and tender passions." 

The Poems of William Ross. 425 

Ross certainly had too large a heart commensurate with the 
strength of his frame ; but his genius exalted the excess of senti- 
ment with which he was surcharged, and we can scarcely point to 
a line in these love songs which does not betoken strength of in- 
tellect, which gathers fresh charm from depth of feeling ; and the 
pure sound, manly ring of the whole is thus enhanced, enriched, 
and adorned. 

But all William's amorous pieces were not composed to the 
one charmer. Marion Ross was not his first love. While in 
Edinburgh probably attending the University he composed 
two or three capital songs to some other fair damsel, resident in 
the Highlands; and that was, no doubt, before he met Marion. 
" Eh ho r6, mo run an cailinn," " Bruthaichean Ghlinn bhraoin," 
and the song beginning 

" 'S a mhadainn 's mi 'g eirigh 's neo-eibhinn a ta mi, 
Cha b'ionann is m' abhaist air airidh nan gleann," 

are of this class. The first two used to be highly popular in the 
West Highlands, and are still great favourites with Gaelic 

(To be continued.) 

The Celtic Magazine. 


ABOUT the year 1760 there lived in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh, 
a worthy man of the name of Grant, who followed the occupation 
of a brewer on a small scale. He was married, but had no family, 
and his wife, though a good wife and a religious woman, was apt 
to run after novelties in the way of her devotions. Any new 
preacher or fresh doctrine was sure to find Mrs. Grant among the 

The restless yearning after something or other they hardly 
know what is often observable in married women, who are child- 
less. Their natural instincts have no vent in maternal duties, so 
they take up with some hobby or other to distract their attention. 
Some make pets of dogs, cats, and birds, others give themselves 
up to visiting, gossip, and scandal, while many turn to religion as 
a solace, and are noted as indefatigable workers at church bazaars, 
excellent collectors of subscriptions, and energetic members of 
Dorcas Societies. Among this latter class we must place Mrs. 

At the time of our story, the famous preacher, George Whit- 
field was in the zenith of his popularity, and was in the habit of 
making an annual visit to Edinburgh with the double object of 
making converts and collecting subscriptions for an Orphan's 
Home he intended starting at Georgia, Carolina. 

Mrs. Grant was one of his numerous admirers, and one of the 
most regular attendants on his ministrations. She was very 
anxious to contribute something handsome towards his laudable 
purpose, but unfortunately for her well-meant intentions, her 
husband's business was not in a very flourishing condition at the 
time, and the brewer had enough to do to make both ends meet. 

In vain his spouse endeavoured to prevail upon him to accom- 
pany her to hear the famous divine, feeling sure his eloquence 
would loosen her husband's purse; but no, the brewer would 
neither go to hear, nor, what was even worse in the eyes of his 
wife, would he contribute a farthing towards the Orphan's Home 

The Brewer and tJie Minister. 427 

in America. In fact, the honest man was so annoyed at this 
latest fad of his wife, that in his anger he did not scruple to call 
the eminent divine a cheat, little better than a pickpocket, induc- 
ing silly women to give him money which they had much better 
apply to domestic uses. Mrs. Grant being a woman of great 
spirit, resented these outspoken views of her husband ; but finding 
that her angry recrimination only had the effect of making him 
more stubborn in his refusal, she determined that if he would 
not give her a subscription willingly, she would manage to 
get some money unknown to him, quieting her conscience with 
the old axiom that the end justifies the means. 

She had not long to wait before an opportunity occurred to 
put her new-formed project to the test. One day her husband, 
while sitting at his desk counting over some money, was called 
away, and meaning to return immediately he merely closed his 
desk without locking it. 

Here was the opportunity Mrs. Grant had been waiting for ; 
so, hastily going to the desk, she saw a small heap of guineas, 
which her husband was going to pay away for barley. Quickly 
appropriating ten of the shining coins, she closed the desk and 
resumed her seat as if nothing had happened, as her husband 
returned, and, after working at his desk for a little while, locked 
it, and left the room without apparently having missed the 

Mrs. Grant was now in a hurry to present her ill-gotten sub- 
scription to Mr. Whitfield, so, going to her room, she wrapped 
the ten guineas in a piece of paper and laid it on the dressing- 
table, while she donned her outdoor habiliments. Before she 
was quite ready, she remembered some directions she wished to 
leave with the servant, and went into the kitchen for that purpose. 
In the meanwhile her husband, whose suspicions had been 
aroused, stepped into the bedroom, and seeing the small packet 
lying on the table, opened it, and found, as he expected, the ten 
guineas, which he at once conveyed to his own pocket, and sub- 
stituted 10 coppers in their place. Leaving the packet seemingly 
untouched, he quietly withdrew to watch the result. 

Mrs. Grant returned, finished her toilette, took up the packet 
of coins and went direct to the lodgings of her favourite minister. 

428 The Celtic Magazine. 

Arrived there, and, being shown into Mr. Whitfield's presence, 
she made a neat little speech, assuring him of the great benefit she 
had received from his administrations, and begging his acceptance 
of the accompanying subscription as her mite towards his great 
and good undertaking. The flattered minister thanked her 
heartily, and placing the little packet in his pocket, without open- 
ing it, he accompanied his visitor to the door, with many expres- 
sions of goodwill and gratitude. 

Hardly had he closed the door, when he opened the paper, 
and his astonishment was only equalled by his indignation at 
seeing only a few worthless coppers instead of the handsome sum 
he expected. In his annoyance he jumped to the conclusion that 
the whole affair was meant as a deliberate insult, and, the old 
Adam getting the better of him, he opened the door and called 
loudly after the retreating figure of the lady. 

Mrs. Grant returned at once, though somewhat surprised at 
the peremptory tone ; but her surprise was quickly turned to 
indignation when Mr. Whitfield, with a severe look and solemn 
voice, rebuked her for her ill-timed levity, and asked how she had 
dared to insult him by offering such a paltry sum, at the same 
time showing her the coppers. The astonished lady in turn 
asked him what he meant, as she was sure she had given him ten 
good guineas. This assertion only incensed the divine the more, 
and, in no very measured terms, he denounced the lady's conduct, 
and insisted that when he opened the paper he only found the 

Mrs. Grant being, as already said, a high-spirited woman, 
was not slow in defending herself, and, remembering how 
often her husband had warned her against Mr. Whitfield, she 
came to the conclusion that he was indeed the cheat he had been 
represented to be, so, giving reins to her passion, she poured 
fourth such a volley of abuse and accusation, that the discomfited 
minister, after a vain attempt to withstand the onslaught, had at 
last to fairly turn tail and retire into the house and shut the door 
on his infuriated antagonist, who, finding she had had the best of 
the encounter, and had succeeded in routing the enemy, began to 
smooth down her ruffled plumage as well as she could, slowly 
wending her way home, a sadder if not a wiser woman. 

The Celtic Lyre. 429 

To her agreeable surprise, her husband did not appear to have 
missed the money, as he never mentioned the subject, nor did he 
evince any surprise at the sudden cessation of the frequent 
attendances at Mr. Whitfield's meetings. Like a wise man, the 
honest brewer kept his own counsel as well as his money, and had 
many a quiet chuckle to himself on the way he had out- 
witted his wife. He had also the satisfaction of seeing that 
the lesson he had given her, though sharp, was permanent, for 
ever after she was content to go with him to their own church, 
and ran no more after strange preachers or new doctrines. 

M. A. ROSE. 

THE CELTIC LYRE : A Collection of Gaelic Songs, with 
English Translations. By " Fionn," Part III. Edinburgh : 
Maclachlan & Stewart, 1886. 

A great deal of most excellent work has been done in recent 
years to rescue from decay and to place in permanent form 
the lyric music of the Highlands. The pages of Highland 
magazines and newspapers, our own among the number, have 
been freely given to the good work of preservation to which we 
have referred. The recent labourers in the field have been 
numerous, and, in the main t intelligent. It was not always so, 
for while, in former times the collectors were not scant, the 
canons and habits of Gaelic music were very imperfectly under- 
stood, and, consequently, much of what was published was in 
forms quite repellent to the lovers of Gaelic song, who, though 
they might not have been able to state precisely what was 
amiss, could not help feeling that the music of the books 
was not the singing of the people. By the popularising of 
music in recent years, juster and more correct principles 
have been applied to the work, and the result is that we 
have now growing up on our hands a very valuable and 
substantial collection of genuine Gaelic music, in singable 
form and correctly noted, in many cases, from the sing- 
ing of the most popular of our Highland singers. In 

430 The Celtic Magazine. 

this good work no one has taken a more prominent and 
successful part than " Fionn " (Mr. Henry Whyte) the 
compiler of the work before us. This is the third part of 
Lyre, and we are glad to see that more is promised. It 
contains 16 of our Gaelic songs set to music in both notations, 
with an English translation to enable our Saxon friends to judge 
of the quality of our song. The pieces given are edited with 
great care, and the set of the airs are melodious and pure. Of 
course, these folk-songs differ in different localities, and thus each 
person may not meet with the precise form of any given melody 
with which he himself was familiar ; but we can at least say that, 
as given in this work, they are familiar in some district or other of 
the Highlands. We cordially commend the Celtic Lyre to our 
readers, and thank " Fionn " for his patriotic and valuable efforts 
to give permanency to one of the choicest treasures of the Celts 
their music and song. 

SALAMMBO of Gustave Flaubert : Englished by M. FRENCH 
SHELDON, 1886. Saxon & Co., London and New York. 

The story of " Salammbo," which has been well named the 
" Resurrection of Carthage," has been almost unknown to English 
readers until the publication of the present masterly translation 
by M. Sheldon. The tale is based upon the revolt of the slaves 
and mercenaries against Carthage, and the principal interest of 
the story is woven around the lives of Matho, the Libyan leader, 
and Salammbd, the daughter of the Suffete Hamilcar. The 
various characters in the book are portrayed with a power and 
knowledge of mankind which rivet them upon the mind of the 
reader. The fierce, leonine love of Hamilcar for the little Hanni- 
bal, the burning passion of Matho and his mysterious fascination 
over Salammbd, the fanatical devotion of the priest Schahabarim 
to the goddess Tanit, all bear the impress of the hand of an ardent 
and faithful student of human nature. The great scenes in the 
book, the feast and riot of the Barbarians, the preaching of the 
revolt by Spendius, the nocturnal entrance into the Temple of 
Tanit, the arrival of Hamilcar from Sicily, the Carthaginian 

Robert Burns, 431 

prisoners in the ditches, the execution of Hanno, the Barbarians 
enclosed in the Defile of the Battle-axe, the hideous holocaust to 
Moloch, and the death of Salammbd, are literary gems of the 
purest water. It is a pity that such a work should be to some 
extent marred by a number of unsightly typographical errors. 

ROBERT BURNS: An Anniversary Poem. By DUNCAN 
MACGREGOR CRERAR. Marcus Ward & Co., Limited, 
London, Belfast, and New York. 

This little work consists of a poem composed in connection 
with the celebration, at New York, of the I26th anniversary of 
the birth of our national poet, Robert Burns. The author has 
selected a number of the best known of Burns' songs and poems 
as his texts for a series of highly pleasant and smooth-flowing 
reflections on the life, character, and songs of Burns. That Mr. 
Macgregor Crerar is a poet as well as a patriot, remains not to be 
told to the readers of the Celtic Magazine, for our pages have 
more than once been enriched by the labours of his muse. The 
work before us will certainly enhance his reputation in both re- 
spects in the estimation of those who may be fortunate enough to 
secure a copy. His appreciation of the work of Burns is no mere 
manifestation of national partiality for him as a Scotsman. Mr. 
Crerar enters with kindred feelings into the sentiment of the poet; 
while, at the same time, his bosom glows with pardonable pride 
as he touches on the best known songs and poems of Burns, 
which have supplied solace and inspiration to Scotsmen all over 
the world. We do not in the slightest degree detract from the 
merits of Mr. Crerar's own work when we say that the great 
charm of the book is the great number of admirable sketches with 
which it has been illustrated. In point of fact, the whole get up 
of the work is a perfect luxury of printing and artistic labour. 
Mr. Crerar, for the text, and Messrs. Marcus Ward & Co. for the 
delightful finish and the quaint neatness with which they have 
turned out the work will, we are quite sure, earn high commenda- 
tion from all who possess it. 


The Celtic Magazine. 


VII MMos.] Iff T-mCHAB, 1886. 



O AN SOLUS LAN 1 6 LA 3.9 M. 

J) AN CIAD CHR. 8 LA I. l8 F. 

( AN CR. MU DHEIR. 24 LA 7-2J M. 

AN SOLUS UR 31 LA 5.26 M. 

M. DI. 


An Lite. 

An Lan 
An Grianaig. 






U. M. 

U. M. 

U. M. 

"U. M. 

U. M. 



Latha na Boinne, 1690 



2. 2 





Latha Alford, 1645 



2. 4 8 




Coinneamh na h-Iarmhainstir, 1643 







///. Donaich na deigh na Caingis. 





2. 2 



Glacadh Lite, 1560 

3-37 E 







An t-Sean fheill Eathain 



6. 4 





Breith Shir Ruiseart Granville, 1540 



7- i 

4. 2 




Bas Mhorair Deorsa, 1769 



8. 2 





Breith Chalvin, 1509 



9- 7 





Bas Alasdair Mhunro, ou. D., 1767 








IV. Donaich an deigh na Caingis 

3-44 E 




8. 3 I 



Latha Aghrim, 1691 

8.51 L 


9- 5 




Crunadh Righ Alastair III., 1249 

3-47 E 



10. 6 




Blar Leine, 1545 

8.48 L 

i. 9 






La Mhartainn Builg 







Bas Shir Iain Triath Chlann-Ghriog- 
air. 1822 

8.46 L 



o. 8 




Latha Namur, 1695 





i. 8 



V. Donaich an deigh na Caingis 

8.44 L 


4- 3 





Crunadh Righ Deorsa IV., 1821 




2. I 




Glacadh Shruibhla, 1304 

8.41 L 







Bas Raibeart Bhurns, 1796 




3- 7 




Latha na h-Eaglaise-Brice, 1298 





4. o 



Cath Gharrich, 1411 

4. 2E 







Bas an t-Seanaileir Mhoir, 1692 




5- 3 




VI. Donaich an deigh na Caingis 

4- SE 







Bas Sheumais Ghreum, 1772 

8.31 L 







Pbsadh Banrigh Mairi a's Dharnley, 


4- 9E 







Bas Chowley, 1667 







Glacadh Sheine, 1798 




i o.i 6 




Crunadh Righ Seumas VI., 1567 

8.24 L 







Oidhche Lunasdal 

4.l6 E 



o. 8 



No. CXXX. 

AUGUST, 1886. 





XVI. JOHN MACLEOD, known among his own countrymen as 
" Ian Breac,' or Speckled John, was served heir in special to 
his brother on the nth of August, 1664, and infeft in the estates 
of the family held of the Crown on a precept from Chancery, and 
in Glenelg, on a precept of clare constat, from the subject superior 
at the same time. John Breac, one of the most popular of the 
Macleods, was, according to his contemporaries, a model 
Highland Chief. His good qualities of head and heart are com- 
memorated in the songs of his country. He kept a bard, harper, 
piper, and fool at his residence of Dunvegan Castle, all of whom 
were most liberally provided for, and treated with all the respect 
and consideration due to them in those days. His bard was the 
famous Mairi NigJiean Alastair Ruaidh, whom he had recalled 
from her banishment in Mull. To his second son Norman, who 
afterwards succeeded John's brother, Roderick, as Chief of the Clan, 
she composed her famous " Cronan" one of the best and most 
peculiar poems in the Gaelic language. In another of her com- 
positions Mary says that she nursed five Chiefs of the Macleods 
and two Lairds of Applecross. She is said to have died in 1693, 


434 The Celtic Magazine. 

at the great age of 105, in the same year in which died her 
favourite Chief, John Breac Macleod, of whom we now write.* 

John's harper was the famous Clarsair Dall, Roderick Morrison, 
the son of an Episcopalian minister in the Island of Lewis, born, 
brought up, and educated as a gentleman ; and Macleod always 
treated him as such. He is said to have been the last man in the 
Highlands who possessed the combined talents of poet and harper 
and composer of music in an eminent degree. Of his musical 
attainments no specimens have been preserved from which we 
can, in the present day, judge of his merits, but several of his 
poems have been preserved, and they conclusively prove that he 
possessed poetical talents of a very high order. 

John Mackenzie explains how Rory the Harper became 
acquainted with Macleod, and the manner in which he was after- 
wards treated by that genuine Highland Chief. Morrison's 
superiority as a musician, Mackenzie says, and his respectable 
connexions, served him as a pass-word to the best circles in the 
North. He was carressed and idolized by all who could appreciate 
his minstrelsy. Induced by the fame of his fellow-harpers in 
Ireland, he visited that country. On his return to Scotland he 
called at all the baronial residences in his way. The nobility and 
gentry of Scotland were at the time paying Court to King James 
at Holyrood Palace. The harper wended his way thither, and 
during that visit to the Scottish Capital, " he met with that sterling 
model of a Highland chieftain, John Breac Macleod of Harris," 
who at once eagerly engaged him as his family harper. During 
the Harper's stay in Dunvegan Castle, he composed several 
beautiful tunes and songs, and among the rest that fascinating 
melody known as " Feill nan Crann" which originated out of the 
following incident : Roderick, sitting one day by the kitchen fire, 
chanced to let drop the key of his harp in the ashes, and he began 
to rake among the cinders with his fingers to pick it up, when 
Macleod's wife, a daughter of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, 
entered the room and asked one of the servants " Ciod e tJia dhith 

* John Mackenzie, in the " Beauties," says that she was born as early as 1569, 
but this is impossible, from what we know of her after-life. Mackenzie is unfortun- 
ately inaccurate in almost all he says regarding her and those to whom she composed 
her poems. There was no " Sir Tormod " Chief in her day, or, indeed, any Macleod 
Chief of that name. 

History of the Macleods, 435 

air Riiairidk " f (What is it that Rory seeks ?) The maid 
replied, " Tha a chrann; chaille 'san luath e (His key ; he lost it in 
the ashes.") Ma ta feumair crann eile 'cheannach do Ruairidh. 
(Then another key must be bought for Rory), replied the lady : 
when the gifted minstrel, availing himself of the more extended 
meaning of the word crann, forthwith composed the tune " cloth- 
ing it in the words of side-splitting humour," and at the same 
time representing all the kitchen maids as ransacking all the 
shops in the kingdom to procure for him his lost crann, or key. 

Soon after this the celebrated minstrel must have left Dunvegan, 
for shortly after we find him occupying the farm of Totamor, in 
Glenelg, which his patron, whose property Glenelg then was, 
granted to him rent-free. He remained there until he was re- 
moved by John Breac's successor ; and many of his best musical 
and poetical pieces were there composed. 

The harper " was fondly attached to his patron, whose fame 
he commemorated in strains of unrivalled beauty and excellence. 
The chieftains of the Clan Macleod possessed, perhaps, greater 
nobleness of soul than any other of the Highland gentry; but it 
must be observed that they were peculiarly successful in enlisting 
the immortalising strains of the first poets in their favour our 
author [the harper] and their own immortal Mary. Rory's elegy 
on John Breac Macleod, styled ' Creaeh na Ciadain,' is one of 
the most pathetic, plaintive, and heart-touching productions we 
have read, during a life half-spent amid the flowery meadows of 
our Highland Parnassus. After deploring the transition of Mac- 
leod's virtues, manliness, and hospitality from the earth, he breaks 
forth in sombre forebodings as to the degeneracy of his heir, and 
again luxuriates in the highest ingredients of a Lament. ' Oran 
Mor Mhic-Leoid,' in which the imaginative powers of the minstrel 
conjure up scenes of other days, with the vividness of reality, is a 
masterpiece of the kind. It comes before us in the form of a 
duet, in which Echo (the sound of music), now excluded, like 
himself, from the festive hall of Macleod, indulges in responsive 
strains of lamentation that finely harmonise with the poignancy of 
of our poet's grief."* This last-named song was composed after the 

* The Beauties of Gaelic Poetry and Lives of the Highland Bards, By John 
Mackenzie, pp. 85-86. 

436 The Celtic Magazine. 

Harper was ejected from his farm in Glenelg by John Breac's suc- 
cessor, and while he was on his way back to take up his residence 
in his native Island of Lewis. 

During Macleod's life, Morrison praised his excelle