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Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 



























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aaum u THKIR SOCIAL ntnoTirasTs, ram STOSTS, 

000010, ruxTOKa M/UIB EznmiLT ro THM won. 






Said to have belonged to Prince Charles Edward. 








BROOCH OP BRASS, 3} inch dia. 


List of Coloured Illustrations 

Carrying Fern, 
Threshing Corn, . 

The Hand-Mill, . 
Girls Washing, 
Highland Foot Post, 
Highland Shepherd, 
Going to School, . 
Gillies with Game, 
Gathering Dulse, . 
Spinning with the Distaff, 
Herring Fishery, . 
Robbing an Eagle's Nest, 
Fording a River, . 
Spearing Salmon, . 
Whiskey Still, 
Throwing the Stone, 
Mac Phee, the Outlaw,. 
Signal for the Boat, 
Gille Calum, 
Carrying Peat, 

Tail-Piece Illustrations 

Lochaber Axes, 

Large Luckenbooth Brooch, . 

Quaich of Ebony and Ivory, . 

Brooch of Brass, 

Spade of Oak, 

Cruisie or Oil Lamp, 

Harris Pottery, 

Steel Strike Lights, 

Target used by Prince Charlie, 

Ornamented Pins, . 

Brass Cooking Pot, 







. 22, 51, 241 

42, 81, 91, 101, no 


Powder Horn, 1672, 102 

Circular Silver Brooch, in 

Skian Dhu worn by Prince Charlie, . . 121 
Highland Targe of Wood, . . . 122, 131 
Prince Charlie's Double Barrelled Flint-lock, 141, 181 

Bell of St. Fillans, 142 

Watch carried by Prince Charlie, . . . 151 
Cruisie or Oil Lamp with Iron Stand, . ". 162 
Wooden Drinking Vessel with Handles, . . 171 
Silver Brooch with Interlaced Ornamentation, 182 
Drinking Cup used by Prince Charlie, . . 190 

Powder Horn, 1678, 191 

Powder Horn, 1783, 202 

Sporran worn by Prince Charlie, . . .231 
Bronze Armlet 250 

These Tail-Piece Illustrations are mostly from blocks kindly 
lent by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 


JOHNSON undertook a jour- 
ney to the Highlands of Scotland and 
the Hebride Isles, in 1773, curious to see a 
people whose military habits, simple and 
vigorous rules of government, and primitive 
manners, had, after their last daring attempt, 
in 1745, to restore the exiled line of Scottish 
kings, brought them so prominently under 
public notice. 

Remarking that mountainous countries 
contain the original and oldest race of men, 


who from the nature of their territories, and 
their warlike habits, are not easily conquered, 
he observes, that " to the southern inhabitants 
of Scotland the state of the mountains and the 
islands is equally unknown with that of 
Borneo or Sumatra ; of both they have only 
heard a little, and guess the rest. They are 
strangers to the language and the manners, 
to the advantages and the wants of the people, 
whose life they would model, and whose evils 
they would remedy." " Never perhaps," he 
elsewhere adds, "was any change of national 
manners so quick, so great, and so general, 
as that which has operated in the Highlands 
by the last conquest and the subsequent 
laws." True as this may be, much still 
remains of that system of antiquated life, 
characteristic of those who have not advanced 
beyond the primitive state in which mankind 

in alpine situations is long retained, by the 


difficulty of access to their secluded homes. 
Toilsome as travelling in the rugged and 
sequestered regions of Caledonia was at that 
time, especially to such a man as Johnson, 
he stoutly encountered the obstacles of the 
way: now, the Highlands can be traversed 
in most parts by the best of roads, and its 
coasts explored by means of numerous steam- 

Considerable attention was drawn to this 
part of the kingdom by the amusing journey 
of the Doctor, and the works of subsequent 
writers ; but the volumes of Sir Walter Scott 
have done more to attract tourists to the 
scenes he has depicted than was perhaps ever 
accomplished by any writer. Not only have 
natives crowded to these romantic scenes and 
hospitable tribes, but foreigners of highest 
distinction have been attracted to this portion 
of the northern world. Her Gracious Majesty 


and Illustrious Consort unbend the bow of 
Royal etiquette amid the quietness of a 
mountain retreat, breaking the monotony of 
seclusion by the healthful and exhilarating 
pursuits peculiar to a Highland life, deriving 
entertainment from the athletic and convivial 
performances of their loyal Gaelic subjects. 
The stream of visitors flows annually to the 
north, and the Highlands are better known 
in part to many than their native countries ; 
but this knowledge does not often extend 
beyond the mere exterior aspects of the land 
and its inhabitants. Guide books, pictorial 
illustrations, and historical productions, have 
appeared in imposing abundance for the 
gratification of the inquirer; but the social 
state of the Celtic population of Britain is still 
comparatively but little known. In order to 
become acquainted with the peculiarity of 
their manners and customs, a lengthened 



and familiar intercourse with the people is 
requisite. The rapidity of steam conveyance 
permits but a slight knowledge of a country 
or its inhabitants ; and even by the sportsman, 
who sojourns among the mountains during 
the shooting season, much is to be learned 
that does not meet his transient view. 

Most of the European nations are now so 
highly civilized and refined, that it is quite 
refreshing to meet with those who are yet 
simple and unsophisticated. The Gael have 
preserved a peculiar language, a singular garb, 
and a mode of life alike to the nomadic, 
pastoral state of the most ancient people; 
and rapid as the march of innovation has 
been, they still retain much of their primitive 
features. If they cannot boast a literary 
history, they retain an oral record which in 
antiquity sets other nations distant far. When 

Mr. Stone and Mr. Hill, neither of them 


natives, gave to the world several translated 
portions of that beautiful poetry which Mac 
Pherson some years after more industriously 
collected, arranged, and published, it was 
not dreamt that the Highlanders were in 
possession of national poetry the most ancient 
in Europe, and could glory in the immortal 
Ossian as their countryman. Is it less matter 
of pride for them, that when the Christian 
world had almost been overwhelmed, in the 
sacred fane of St. Columba the religion of 
the cross was preserved in purity to re- 
enlighten the nations of the west? 

It is deemed the more useful thus to place 
on record the games, the sports, the pastimes, 
the social and domestic employments of the 
Gaelic tribes, inasmuch as in the progress of 
improvement and change they may at last be 
swept away. It will be long, however, ere 
the manners of this people are assimilated 



to those of the Saxon race, if they ever can be 
entirely so, but assuredly the changes produced 
on others must gradually affect them ; and 
laudably as individuals and associations strive 
to keep in vigour the ancient spirit of the 
people by the encouragement of their national 
language, poetry, music, dress, and amuse- 
ments, they have gradually declined since the 
breaking up of the bond of clanship, the 
patriarchal rule, that natural safeguard of the 
pristine manners which so remarkably distin- 
guished the Gaelic population. The legal 
abolition of this antique system produced, in 
the course of thirty years, "a rapid, incredible, 
and total change," in the state of Highland 
society, rendering all record of their peculiar 
and decaying manners, an acceptable acquisition 
to the present and succeeding generations. 
In the former publication, entitled " The 

Clans," this once formidable branch of the 


Celtic race, was exhibited in its genealogies, 
military character, social state and importance ; 
the peculiarities of the costume and arms were 
illustrated with graphic skill ; and striking 
views were presented of their former strength, 
alliance, and influence. 

The GAELIC GATHERINGS display in the 
following pages the people engaged in their 
domestic employments, in their pastoral, 
agricultural, piscatorial, and hunting occupa- 
tions; and in their sports and recreations 
they indicate otherwise the nature of the 
country and character of the people. 

"The Clans" and "The Gatherings" com- 
prise such a series of historical illustrations of 
the Highlanders as few other nations can 
show of themselves or approach in interest, 
and the pictorial accuracy and effect of the 
prints, with the research and lucid detail of 
the letterpress, recommend these works to 


the use of tourists, native or foreign, render 
them elegant and desirable productions for 
the table of the drawing room, and highly 
valuable as books of authentic reference to 
the historian and general inquirer. 






Threshing Corn. 

agricultural state of society succeeds 
the pastoral. Mankind, in the earliest 
stage of social existence, is found rearing 
herds and feeding numerous flocks ; but the 
practice of agriculture indicates a considerable 
advance in civilization. On the formation 
of settled communities, the occupations of 
the shepherd and tiller of the ground are 
pursued at the same time, as a double means 
of providing for comfortable subsistence ; and 
nations, in the practice of both, frequently 
pay more attention to the former than to 
the latter, which is attended with a greater 
amount of care and labour. 


We find from the Commentaries of Caesar 
that the Britons, on the first Roman descent, 
raised ample stores of corn, a proof that they 
were not in the savage state which some 
writers have represented. Caesar arrived in 
Britain on the 26th August, B. c. 55, accord- 
ing to Dr. Halley, and the harvest was then 
almost finished, as only one field was seen 
uncut, having been later than usual in ripen- 
ing. The ingenious method by which the 
Gauls reaped their fields is described by 
Pliny ; but the inhabitants of Britain do not 
appear to have made any improvement on 
the sickle. 

Both Gauls and Britons, however, used a 
Flail in separating the ears from the straw, 
when among the Romans the clumsy and 
dilatory practice of treading it by cattle was 
still in use. The Flail consists of two pieces 
of hard round wood, about four feet in 
length, loosely fastened together by thongs of 
sheep-skin, or other hide ; and a dexterity, 
acquired by long practice, is necessary to 
perform the work, and save the workman's 


head, as he whirls the implement around in 
making each successive stroke. 

Threshing is usually performed in the 
barn, but, in fine weather when the corn has 
been sufficiently dried, and the weather is 
favourable, the Highlander performs the 
operation on the field ; by which he is 
enabled speedily to remove the crop, a matter 
of no slight importance in a watery climate, 
like that of the West Highlands. For this 
purpose a floor is constructed of planks, on 
which is placed a sail or piece of canvas, 
where such may be had, and in many places 
a mat of sufficient size is spread underneath, 
formed of rushes, woven or plaited, as we 
find similar articles of furniture from India. 
On this platform, in general temporary, called 
Lar-bualadh, the vigorous workmen very 
cleanly and expeditiously detach the grain 
from the stalk, contriving in the operation 
to cast the straw to one side. It is then 
carried home and stored up until a suitable 
time for the Fasgna', or winnowing from 
the chaff, preparatory to grinding. The 



Threshers are called Buailtearan, from Buail, 
to strike, or beat. 

Women in the Highlands perform most 
of the operations of agriculture, and they 
may be seen carrying on their backs, from 
the field, loads of the straw or the corn 
sheaves ; but this is not to be considered a 
proof of any disrespect to the fair, for the 
Gael have a high regard for their females ; it 
is one of the many practices derived from 
their ancestors. M. de Cubieres, writing 
on the services rendered to agriculture by 
females, shows that in all primitive nations, 
while the men were employed in hunting, 
fishing, and in war, the women attended to 
agriculture, the dairy, and their domestic 
avocations an onerous accumulation of 

If the use of oats is not now so exclusively 
prevalent among Scotsmen in the low country 
as it was in the days of Dr. Johnson, it is 
still so in the Highlands. His definition of 
this grain, as being "the food of horses 
in England and men in Scotland," gave an 


offence which has not yet been forgiven ; but 
the Doctor, without intending it, passed a 
high eulogium on this grain, for it is well 
ascertained, and recent scarcity has drawn 
particular attention to the subject, that it is a 
much more nutritious substance than wheaten 
flour, being lighter and more digestive ; and 
hence the use of oatmeal is often prescribed 
by medical men to patients of weakly 
stomachs. It has been observed that the 
products of a country have been adapted 
by Providence to the circumstances of its 
inhabitants. In this respect the oatmeal and 
milk of the Gael have served on many an 
occasion to carry them through severe and 
protracted exertion, and prolonged their 
health and lives to a goodly term. It is 
farther proved that a Scottish labourer will 
perform a greater amount of work, with 
unabated strength, on his humble fare, than 
that of an Englishman in similar employment, 
say field labour on a much greater propor- 
tion of his wheaten bread, dumpling, and 
bacon ; and it has been wittily remarked, 


that the horses of England and workmen in 
Scotland, fed on the same materials, are the 
most useful and best specimens of their kind. 

The subject of illustration is from a party 
at work near the old castle of Inverlochie, 
in the county of Inverness, within twenty 
yards of a spot where thirteen gentlemen of 
the Campbells lie buried, side by side, having 
fallen in the battle which took place in the 
vicinity, anno 1645, when the Earl of Argyle, 
with the whole power of his clan, opposed 
the Marquis of Montrose in arms for King 
Charles, whom he thought to subdue with 
facility, but suffered an unexpected attack 
and complete defeat, with the loss of 1500 
men, leaving the royalists to proceed south- 
wards to further conquest. This plain was 
battle ground from an earlier period. 

The turbulence of Clan Donald induced 
the government to commission the Earls of 
Caithness and Mar to attempt a pacification, 
taking the precaution, at the same time, to 
back their persuasions with a powerful army ; 
but the energetic Donull du', or black Donald 


Ballach of the Isles, landed in 1431, and with 
inferior numbers, he at once engaged his 
enemies, defeated and compelled them to 
a speedy retreat. Very different are the 
pursuits of the group here represented ; their 
swords, if not converted into Suistean, or 
flails, are, happily, no longer required to 
guard the produce of their labour. 


TN the matter introduced on the illustration 
of the Shepherd, in Number II., it was 
observed that cattle constituted the riches 
of the ancient Gael, with whom the possession 
of many herds was synonymous with afflu- 
ence. This was the case with all branches of 
the Celtic race, and instances are there given 
of the amazing numbers which belonged to 
some individuals. We read in those vener- 
able records of ancient manners, the Welsh 
Triads, of various herds which numbered 
2 1 ,000 each ; those of Nudd, a noted prince, 
who flourished in the sixth century, amounted 


to 20,000 ; and the three shepherds of 
Britain, i.e., Wales, tended no fewer than 
1 20,000 ! Such numbers can scarcely be 
paralleled in later times ; but the booty 
of 50,000 head of cattle carried off in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, from Sorle bui' 
Mac Donald, of the Glens, a famous chief 
in Antrim, is no slight indication of pastoral 

The inhabitants of mountainous countries 
depend chiefly on pasturage, and pursue it as 
a source of livelihood and enrichment, dispos- 
ing of their surplus stock to supply the wants 
of a denser population, engaged in manufac- 
tures and commerce. From the Highlands 
have been derived, from time immemorial, 
abundant supplies of black cattle and sheep, 
which are either sold in the fairs of the 
country or are driven southwards to England. 
Graziers and butchers frequently purchase 
in the Highlands ; but the droves are gene- 
rally taken to the south and the low country, 
where purchasers meet them. Falkirk, near 
the borders of the Highlands, has long been 


celebrated as the great cattle market, which is 
held nine or ten times a year. 

Farmers may convey their own ' beasts ' to 
these markets, and great proprietors may 
occasionally send their shepherds with them ; 
but the Highland Drover is a person whose 
special employment it is to do so, and he 
may be intrusted with various lots, amounting 
to a numerous drove. The drovers are an 
important class, and are men of the greatest 
integrity : large sums of money coming into 
their custody, and peculiar qualifications are 
necessary for their duties, of which a good 
knowledge of the value of cattle is an 

The trade, although of considerable diffi- 
culty and hardship, suits the spirit of a Celt. 
He drives his native herds, of which he is for 
a time the owner, with something of the 
pride of his ancestors, when carrying off the 
fat oxen of the Sassenaich, and his solicitude 
is to carry his charge safely and in good 
condition to their ultimate destination. The 
drover moves on by easy stages, crossing the 


country by certain tractways, less circuitous 
than the public roads, soft for the feet of the 
cattle, and affording them a mouthful of 
grass as they pass along. 

In the Highlands, the hardy drover rests 
on the heath among the wearied animals, 
whose heat in cold weather serves to keep 
him in warmth ; even when he reaches the 
plains, he cares not to avail himself of the 
shelter of a lodging, although his cattle he 
places within inclosure. Often do these 
trusty fellows travel from the northern High- 
lands to the south of England, as far as 
Barnet and Smithfield, with their horned 
stock, not losing one from their numerous 
droves, during the long and wearisome 
journey. It is surprising that in the darkness 
of night no animal gets astray ; but the 
acuteness of hearing possessed by those en- 
gaged in droving, enables them to detect, 
although unseen, those that may have left 
the herd to snatch a browse of the tempting 
herbage by the way they will immediately 
spring in pursuit and drive the stragglers back. 


The importance of this class of High- 
landers, and the responsibility of their occupa- 
tion, obtained for them an exemption from 
the operation of the Disarming Act, passed in 
1725, and renewed with more stringent 
clauses in 1748, when the national dress itself 
was proscribed ! They were allowed to carry 
their usual arms for personal protection. 

The young men engaged in droving, hold 
themselves of some consequence, for as they 
must speak English, and are acquainted with 
so many parts of Scotland and England, and 
are, moreover, occasionally men of a little 
substance, they are held in much respect. 
Their manners, also, become a little more 
polished than those who have never passed 
the Garbh-criochan, or Highland boundary. 
The author of a " Journey through Scotland 
in 1726," says, "At the fair of Crief, they 
were mighty civil, dressed in their slashed 
short waistcoats, trousing," etc. 

Many stories have the drovers to tell of 
their travels to their neighbours during the 
winter evenings, and many adventures do 


they truly meet ; numerous strange and 
laughable anecdotes being current respecting 
them, their unacquaintance with southern 
manners leading them at times into ludi- 
crous positions. In the " Chronicles of the 
Canongate," Sir Walter Scott has given an 
interesting tale of two drovers, in which 
their 'difficult trade' is very truly de- 
scribed : 

The Highlanders, in particular, are masters of this 
difficult trade of driving, which seems to suit them as 
well as the trade of war. It affords exercise for all their 
habits of patient endurance and active exertion. They 
are required to know perfectly the drove-roads, which 
lie over the wildest tracts of the country, and to avoid as 
much as possible the highways, which distress the feet of 
the bullocks, and the turnpikes, which annoy the spirit 
of the drover ; whereas on the broad green or grey track 
which leads across the pathless moor the herd not only 
move at ease and without taxation, but, if they mind 
their business, may pick up a mouthful of food by the 
way. At night the drovers usually sleep along with 
their cattle, let the weather be what it will; and many 
of these hardy men do not once rest under a roof during 
a journey on foot from Lochaber to Lincolnshire. They 
are paid very highly, for the trust reposed is of the last 



importance, as it depends on their prudence, vigilance, 
and honesty whether the cattle reach the final market in 
good order, and afford a profit to the grazier. But as 
they maintain themselves at their own expense, they 
are especially economical in that particular. At the 
period we speak of) a Highland drover was victualled 
for his long and toilsome journey with a few handfuls 
of oatmeal and two or three onions, renewed from time 
to time, and a ram's horn filled with whisky, which 
he used regularly but sparingly every night and 

His dirk, or $kene-dhu (i.e. black-knife), so worn as to be 
concealed beneath the arm, or by the folds of the plaid, 
was his only weapon, excepting the cudgel with which 
he directed the movements of the cattle. A Highlander 
was never so happy as on these occasions. There was a 
variety in the whole journey which exercised the Celt's 
natural curiosity and love of motion; there were the 
constant change of place and scene, the petty adventures 
incidental to the traffic, and the intercourse with the 
various farmers, graziers, and traders, intermingled with 
occasional merry-making, not the less acceptable to 
Donald that they were void of expense; and there was 
the consciousness of superior skill, for the Highlander, a 
child amongst flocks, is a prince amongst herds, and his 
natural habits induce him to disdain the shepherd's 
slothful life, so that he feels himself nowhere more at 
home than when following a gallant drove of his country 
cattle in the character of their guardian. 


The print from Landseer's painting of 
Drovers setting out with their Herds, justly 
celebrated as a work of art, is a striking 
representation of the animated scene. 

The print represents drovers in their pro- 
gress stopping to refresh themselves with a 
little bruithiste, or brose, being a simple 
mixture of oatmeal and water, which with, 
perchance, a few onions and a little butter, 
is their wonted fare. Those of a former day, 
dispensed with the pot, and were content 
with cold water, and it is a very probable 
etymology for Bannockburn, that it was so 
called from the circumstance of the High- 
landers attending the * tryst ' of Falkirk or 
Eaglais-breac, as it is known to them, 
stopping on the banks of the stream, from 
which they laved the water for their humble 

As they travelled at their own expense, they 
were the more careful to avoid any luxurious 
seductions ; but a supply of whiskey in a 
ram's horn, used sparingly night and morn- 
ing, was an indispensable necessary. 


Black cattle is a description more particu- 
larly applied to the breed of the north High- 
lands. They are small and hardy, seldom 
weighing above thirty stone, but fattening 
rapidly in rich pastures, and Furnishing 
admirable beef. Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, 
and Lincolnshire, are the chief counties in 
which the graziers put them to pasture. 



The Hand-Mill. 

/ "T" V HE art of reducing grain to meal for 
human food is coeval with the first 
practice of agriculture. The corn productions 
of the earth were ground by manual labour, 
the simple method of using a Hand-mill 
being common to all people in the early 
stages of civilization, and it is still in practice 
among those whose primitive circumstances 
have not estranged them from the artless 
manners of their fathers. Baking and boiling 
were the only preparations in ancient use, and 
Sarah is the first on record who kneaded 
meal, and she has left, says the quaint and 



honest Thomas Fuller, in "The Holie State," 
the prints of her knuckles in the leaven to 
this day. 

The circumstances recorded in Holy Writ 
of Esau having parted with his birthright for 
a mess of porridge, is a proof of the early 
use of meal in the state so generally served 
up in the north; and although the people in 
that part of the kingdom may be jeered on 
the subject of their roughish fare, as the 
Sybarites of old were on their black broth, it 
is now fairly proved by analysis, that oatmeal 
contains more nutritious substance than the 
flour of wheat, or that of any other grain. 

The Hand-mill is called in Gaelic, 
Muillean-bra', which will strike one as being 
a term very similar to the French Moulin a 
bras; in -the Irish idiom it is Bronn, and in 
the Lowland Scots it is named Quern. The 
stones are eighteen to thirty inches in 
diameter, the undermost being rather larger 
than the upper, and having a spike in the 
centre as a pivot on which the other is 
turned. The women, when at work, seat 
4 6 


themselves on the ground, beside the 
Muillean, and with a stick, which is fixed 
into a hole in the margin of the stone, turn 
it round while they pour in the grain by a 
central opening. There are generally two 
females employed, who sit opposite to each 
other, and as usual in almost all their 
avocations, they lighten their labours by 
appropriate songs. In this employment we 
are reminded of the Scriptural passage, 
Matthew xxiv. 41 : "Two women shall be 
grinding at the mill ; the one shall be taken 
and the other left ; " and we are told by Dr. 
Shaw, that the Arabs at this day use two 
small grindstones, the uppermost turned by 
a handle of wood placed in its edge, and 
when expedition is required, then two persons, 
who are generally women, sit at it. 

When water and windmills were intro- 
duced, the lairds very strictly prohibited the 
use of the hand-stone, by which they were 
deprived of their thirlage dues, and the 
miller of his lawful multure ; consequently, 
wherever found they were broken up. In 



1284, it was er acted by King Alexander III., 
that "na man sail presume to grind Quheit, 
Maishlach, or Rye, with a Hand Mylne, 
except he be compellit be storm, or be in 
lack of mylnes quhilk suld grind the samen ; " 
if he was found to do so, he was mulcted of 
the thirteenth measure, or multure, and by a 
repetition of the offence, he was to " tyne," 
or lose, "his hand-mylne perpetuallie." The 
exception permitted their very general use in 
remote parts, where they cannot yet be laid 
aside, and in caves and beside the ruins of 
ancient houses these stones are frequently 

The conversion of grain into bread, or 
other food, was an operation which did not 
occupy much of the time of a Highland 
goodwife, as will be seen from the following 
account, among many others that could be 
given. It is furnished by Ian fada, or long 
John, of Ben Nevis, a much respected gentle- 
man and true-hearted Celt. He verges on 
the patriarchal age of fourscore, and recollects 
when a boy having been sent by his grand- 



father, Ian du', or dark John of Aberarder, 
on a message to a distant part of the country, 
and when he reached the end of his journey, 
he found there was no bread, or other 
eatables, where he was to take up his 
quarters for the night. The woman of the 
house, however, speedily supplied this want ; 
for taking a reaping-hook, she went to the 
field, cut a sufficient quantity of corn, and 
quickly separating the grain from the straw, 
winnowed it in the open air, dried it in an 
iron pot, ground it by the Quern, and 
presented it in well-baked Bonaich-cloich, 
or cakes prepared on a stone before the turf 
fire; the time occupied in these various 
operations not exceeding half an hour ! Long 
John is a Mac Donald of the brass of 
Lochaber, and adds to his other qualifications 
that of being one of the best and most 
extensive distillers of the native Uisge-bea', 
or Whiskey. 

The corn and meal prepared in this ancient 
manner is called Graddan, from grad, quick, 
speedy, and the operation after reaping is 



thus performed : A woman sitting down 
takes a handful of corn, and holding it by the 
stems in her left hand, she sets fire to the 
ears, which immediately flame up; but to 
prevent them being burnt, with a small stick 
held in her right hand, she dextrously beats 
the grain off the straw, the moment when 
it is sufficiently done. For sifting the meal 
from the husks, a sheep's skin, perforated 
by a small hot iron, is stretched on a 

It is maintained all over the Highlands, 
that the meal thus manufactured is more 
pleasant to the palate and is more wholesome 
than what is dried and ground by the aid 
of machinery, and the graddan meal is pre- 
ferred for bannocks, brose, brochan, lite, or 
porridge, fuarag, a mixture of meal with 
cream, or water, and other culinary prepara- 
tions of the Celtic housewives. 

The practice of burning corn in the straw 
prevailed among the Irish; but as they 
performed it so recklessly as to destroy 
most part of the straw, an Act of Parlia- 


ment was passed in 1635, which declared it 

Oats and rye, we find, were raised by the 
Britons before the introduction of wheat and 
barley, and in the barbarous ages acorns were 
ground for bread, hence, by the Welsh laws, 
the oak tree is declared to be common 


Girls Washing. 

'TP'HE important domestic operation of 
Washing is generally performed by 
the Highland females, in the clear, purling 
streams of their native glens, the water from 
its softness being excellent for the purpose 
of cleansing. 

Blankets and the heavier linen are always 
taken to this natural lavatory, but smaller 
articles are occasionally ' beetled,' that is, they 
are laid upon a stone in the river and beaten 
with a wooden mallet ; but treading with the 
bare feet, as here represented, is the usual 
process of purification. 


This method is generally termed Strampail 
na Plaideachan, or ' tramping the blankets,' 
as these are the stuffs most frequently washed 
in this manner. 

Companies of young women are sometimes 
engaged in this work at the same time, and 
on the margin of the river at Inverness, which 
is reckoned the capital of the Highlands, 
fifty or sixty girls may be seen busily em- 
ployed in this necessary part of their domestic 
duties, which they call ' posting,' and it 
presents an animated scene, from its singu- 
larity, particularly striking to a stranger. 

The beautiful banks of the stream are a 
favourite promenade of the citizens, and the 
younger portion of the male community are 
no doubt fond of sauntering by the river, but 
no offensive curiosity is displayed. Were 
any persons, by unbecoming levity of be- 
haviour or expression, to draw on them the 
resentment of these Celtic Naiads, an uncere- 
monious drenching in the Ness would be the 
least penalty they might expect to pay for 
their indiscretion. 



This simple practice, once equally common 
in more southern towns, is giving place to 
genteeler modes of executing a work indis- 
pensable in Highland housekeeping. 

Allan Ramsay celebrates Habbie's How, a 
romantic spot in the vicinity of Edinburgh, 
as a favourite resort of the rural laundresses 
of that city, and very prettily describes it, in 
his interesting composition, ' The Gentle Shep- 
herd,' as 

" A flowery howm atween twa verdant braes, 
Where lasses use to wash an' spread their clai's, 
A trottin' burnie wimplin' through the ground, 
Its channel pebbles, shinin' smooth an' round; 
Between twa birks out o'er a little lin, 
The water fa's an' mak's a singin' din ; 
A pool breast-deep beneath, as clear as glass, 
Kisses in easy whirls the borderin' grass : 
Here view twa barefoot beauties clean an' clear, 
First please your eye, next gratify your ear." 

Sir Walter Scott, also, in the ninth chapter 
of ' Waverley,' describes the appearance of the 
Baron of Bradwardine's maids when at this 
work : 



" The garden, which seemed to be kept with 
great accuracy, abounded in fruit-trees, and 
exhibited a profusion of flowers and ever- 
greens, cut into grotesque forms. It was 
laid out in terraces, which descended rank by 
rank from the western wall to a large brook, 
which had a tranquil and smooth appearance, 
where it served as a boundary to the garden ; 
but, near the extremity, leapt in tumult over 
a strong dam, or wear-head, the cause of its 
temporary tranquillity, and there forming a 
cascade, was overlooked by an octangular 
summer-house, with a gilded bear on the top 
by way of vane. After this feat, the brook, 
assuming its natural rapid and fierce char- 
acter, escaped from the eye down a deep and 
wooded dell, from the copse of which arose 
a massive, but ruinous tower, the former 
habitation of the Barons of Bradwardine. 
The margin of the brook, opposite to the 
garden, displayed a narrow meadow, or 
haugh as it was called, which formed a ^small 
washing-green ; the bank, which retired be- 
hind it, was covered by ancient trees. 


" The scene, though pleasing, was not quite 
equal to the gardens of Alcina ; yet wanted 
not the ' due donzelette garrule ' of that en- 
chanted paradise ; for upon the green aforesaid, 
two bare-legged damsels, each standing in a 
spacious tub, performed with their feet the 
office of a patent washing-machine. 

" These did not, however, like the maidens 
of Armida, remain to greet with their 
harmony the approaching guest, but, alarmed 
at the appearance of a handsome stranger 
on the opposite side, dropped their garments 
(I should say garment, to be quite correct) 
over their limbs, which their occupation 
exposed somewhat too freely, and, with a 
shrill exclamation of ' Eh, sirs ! ' uttered 
with an accent between modesty and 
coquetry, sprung off, like deer, in different 

The girls generally select a retired and 
romantic spot, where, in some cases, they are 
secluded by rocks, with trees, overhanging 
foliage, and other beauties of the sylvan scene ; 
and here, when the large pot or cauldron 


is used to assist the labour, they light their 

Sometimes two girls trample together in 
the same tub, when with one arm encircling 
each other's waist, they go round, while their 
motions are accompanied with a simple and 
melodious song, the arms being frequently 
changed as they move in a contrary direction. 
Judging from the hilarity which prevails, the 
burnside washing seems to be a favourite 
1 ploy ' with these damsels. 

The Highlanders, like all primitive people, 
when at work, always accompanied their 
labours with appropriate songs, which modu- 
lated their operations and lightened their toil. 
The Oran Luathadh is the melody chanted 
by the women engaged in washing, and is 
more particularly referable to the ancient 
practice of cleansing and fulling their woollen 

The process of Luatha', the * waulking ' of 
the low country, is likewise performed by the 
feet ; but the parties, eight, ten, or more, sit 
on the ground opposite to each other, having 


the wet material laid between, on a long hurdle 
or piece of grooved woodwork. The cloth 
is then rubbed and tossed about with great 
vigour and dexterity until it becomes properly 
thickened, the swell of voices and rapidity of 
execution rising to a climax as the work pro- 
ceeds ; and the story is told of an English 
gentleman, who having come unexpectedly 
on a number of women in the heat of their 
work, made a speedy retreat, believing he had 
discovered a company of lunatics ! This 
singular operation forms the subject of one 
of the prints in * Pennant's Tour in Scot- 
land,' 1772. 

The wash-house, or laundry, in the house 
of a Highland gentleman, is called Tigh Nig- 

The picture was made from sketches stolen 
from three mountain belles, natives of the 
lonely vale of Glenco, interesting as the birth- 
place of Ossian, the prince of Celtic bards, and 
long the possession of a branch of the great 
Clan Donald, most of whom were treacherously 
slain in a winter midnight, by order of King 


William III., the intention being to cut off the 
whole. These nymphs bear the euphonious 
appellations, Isabell ruadh, Caorag ruadh, 
Morag dubh, and Cairistin dail, but they are, 
of course, all Mac Donalds. 





Highland Foot Post. 

* I ^HE conveyance of written communica- 
tions is one of the most important objects 
of civilized society, and without the considera- 
tion of telegraphic dispatch, it is accomplished 
by railroad in these days with a celerity and 
certainty altogether astonishing. 

The only written correspondence which took 
place in former ages was between princes on 
matters of state, or the more powerful nobility, 
on matters of consequence to themselves, and 
the functionaries to whom the responsible duty 
of its conveyance was entrusted, were called 
Nuncios. Edward IV. of England, during his 


war with the Scots in 1481, established Posts 
twenty miles distant from each other, where 
relays of horses were stationed for the trans- 
mission of letters from one to another, which 
was duly performed at the rate of two hundred 
miles a day. From this early arrangement, it 
would thus appear, arose the name of the 
national establishment which has now attained 
such universal magnitude. 

Long after this time the public conveyance 
of literary correspondence remained in the 
hands of private individuals, but letters were 
transmitted by special messengers among the 
higher classes, who did not choose to commit 
them to the dilatory progress and uncertainty 
of the stage-waggon, or horseman ; for the 
injunction which so frequently accompanied 
the superscription, ' haste poste, haste,' indi- 
cates an occasional want of punctuality in 
those carriers of the good old times. 

It was soon perceived that the ' promiscuous 
use of transmitting or taking up of letters, 
whereby the secrets of the realm might be 
disclosed,' ought not to be entrusted to 



private enterprise, but that it was of political 
and pecuniary importance for Government to 
assume the sole management of epistolary 
conveyance. A proclamation of Charles I. 
was issued in 1635, for regulating the 'letter 
office,' and a running post was established 
between Edinburgh and London, to go thither 
and return in six days. The city of London 
and other parties, nevertheless, maintained for 
a considerable time a rivalry with the Govern- 
ment ' master of the posts, messengers, and 
couriers,' but all opposition was finally put 
down in 1656, by an Act which instituted 
* one general post-office and one postmaster- 
general of England.' 

The post-office of Scotland was settled by 
Act of 1698, but it was so troublesome and 
unprofitable, that a grant of 300 a-year, with 
the whole receipts, would not induce Sir Robert 
Sinclair to retain his situation of superintendent! 
The penny postage which had been established 
in Edinburgh by Peter Williamson, a person 
who attained celebrity by having lived many 
years among the American Indians, into whose 


hands he had fallen, was purchased by Govern- 
ment about 1760. 

From the nature of the country, it was 
much more difficult to establish a regular 
system of post conveyance in the northern 
part of the kingdom ; and at this day the 
transmission of letters in many Highland 
districts is accomplished with considerable 
difficulty and delay. It would seem, at the 
same time, that the post-office authorities 
decline the conveyance of letters to parts of 
the country which do not pay the ex- 
pense, or are considered too insignificant 
to receive the favour, for the proprietors 
of remote districts, as the Isles of Lewis, 
Barra, etc., are obliged to keep yachts for 
the purpose of communication with the main- 
land ! 

It is said that the first Duke of Gordon, 
who received the tide in 1684, was accustomed 
to dispatch a confidential retainer to the south 
country, in order that he might glean in his 
travels all news of importance, which he was 
to relate faithfully to his Grace on return, 



and traditions exist as to the same practice 
in other families. These messengers were 
expected to bring home an ample budget 
of various information from * beyond the 

The Gille-ruithe, or running footman, was 
a member of the Luchdtachd, a body of per- 
sonal attendants kept by a Highland laird, and 
his most important duty was to carry through- 
out the country, at his chief's behest, all missives 
and messages. 

The Highland postman must be qualified 
for his toilsome occupation by great activity 
and hardihood, having to traverse unremit- 
tingly, in all weathers, a country, in many 
parts very uninviting in the finest season. He 
has not often the advantage of a regular road, 
but knowing all the localities, he urges his way 
even in the darksome night, through hill and 
glen, fording the streams when they cross his 
path. This last is one of his greatest perils, for 
the mountain torrents come down so suddenly, 
that the wayfarer is often surprised by finding 
a flooded river when it is quite unlooked for. 


The post bags sometimes get wet to the damage 
of their contents, and it is said that one of those 
useful and adventurous couriers, in passing a 
river while her Majesty sojourned at Ard 
Ferigie, having got the mail packet wet, the 
circumstance gave rise to the idle story of 
some of the royal letters having been opened 
in transitu ! 

An old man, who died about thirty years 
ago, carried the letters for Braemar during 
thirty-six years, in which time it was calculated 
he had walked no less than about 260,000 
miles ! 

The postman here represented is a speci- 
men of these hardy pedestrians, who, it will 
be seen, are occasionally loaded with other 
property than letters or papers. He is always 
a welcome visitor, except, indeed, when he 
unhaply brings evil news. When he has any 
time to spare, he gratifies his eager hearers with 
all the news he has acquired ; and as those for 
whom he has letters are often in remote locali- 
ties, the epistles are frequently left with others, 
who cheerfully undertake to transmit their 


charge to the proper parties, either by some 
one going the way of their dwellings, or per- 
sonally delivering the letters on meeting them 
at kirk or market. 


Highland Shepherd. 

/ TpHE Highlands are the natural breeding- 
* grounds for black cattle and sheep. 
The inhabitants were not inattentive to agri- 
culture ; but their herds and flocks were the 
staple commodities, either for their own con- 
sumption or disposal to the dealers of the 
south, and the extensive proprietor of kine 
was formerly synonymous with a rich man. 

The Duke of Cumberland's soldiers drove 
in from around the neighbourhood a herd 
of 20,000 in the short time during which 
they lay at Killi-Chuimin, after the battle 
of Culloden. 


In the north of Ireland, the people being of 
the same race as the Scots Highlanders, were 
in a similar state of Society; and an expedi- 
tion sent, in 1585, by Queen Elizabeth against 
Sorle buidh, a celebrated chief, carried off no 
fewer than' 50,000 head of cattle ! 

The hurricane which burst from the High- 
lands in 1745, spreading consternation and 
fear as it swept victoriously along, was 
followed by measures of coercion, which were 
characterised by neither statesmanship nor 
humanity. The legislative enactments which 
followed, and dissolved the patriarchal state 
in which the Highlanders had lived, repressed 
their warlike propensities, and secluded them 
long from the public view. 

The country was scarcely known, save from 
the numerous droves of well-pastured cattle, 
which supplied the southern markets, but a 
great revolution in its social state was going 
on. The altered state of chiefs and gentle- 
men required other means of preserving their 
position in society than by a numerous clan of 
humble tenants, who were no longer wanted 


for service in war, and could add little or 
nothing to the increased exigencies of the 
proprietor, nor do anything to better their 
own dependent condition ; and as the land 
was found admirably adapted for rearing 
sheep, long ranges of glen and muir were ' 
thrown into extensive Sheep-walks, yielding a 
greatly increased rental. 

The Store farmer now occupies the place of 
a very superior order of tenants called Tacks- 
men blood relations of the chief and men of 
education, who in many cases had seen much 
of the world by military service, either in the 
British army or that of foreign states. To 
this class portions of land were leased on 
moderate, and occasionally nominal terms, 
and besides maintaining a number of servants 
for management of the stock, proportionate 
crofts were sublet by them to a numerous 
body of poorer cottars, who claimed with 
them, a propinquity of blood. 

From this change, unhappy for the people, 
the ruins of houses and hamlets are so 
frequently met with throughout the High- 


lands, and as every farm had its Bothan- 
Airidh, or mountain Sheilings, where the 
dairy-maids sojourned during the months of 
summer, preparing their cheese and butter, 
the number of abandoned dwellings is more 
strikingly increased. 

Those solitary ruins, around which the 
green sward and marks of cultivation may 
still be seen, impart a melancholy character to 
the view, and one is more prone to fancy the 
desolate sites, where hundreds dwelt, were 
the scenes of continued peace and comfort, 
rather than the witnesses, mayhap, of warlike 
feuds and predatory forays. 

Much has been written on the system of 
sheep-farming. The expatriation of a race, 
who may be called the indigenous possessors 
of the land, is a subject which painfully 
touches the chord of human sympathy; but 
the Act of 1748, which abolished the 
hereditary rights of clanship, made so com- 
plete a change in the constitution of Highland 
government, that the natural and reciprocal 
bonds of service and protection were violently 



dissolved, and the country, under the regal 
law, seemed no longer suitable for the dis- 
heartened people, or the people for it. 

The introduction of sheep- farming has not, 
it must at the same time be noted, been 
the sole cause of depopulation. Many 
proprietors, whose pecuniary wants were 
above the requirements of such means of 
increasing their rental, gratified their other 
desires in a different manner. A gentleman 
writing lately, says : 

" In Glentilt, we counted, in a few hours' 
walk, upwards of thirty ruined villages, not 
one house of which has been rebuilt, so that 
that fine and once cultivated district, is now a 
solitary waste, used only as a huge Deer- 
forest with a few sheep farms." 

The loss of the Kelp manufacture, by the 
introduction of Barilla, was a heavy blow to 
both landlord and tenant ; but the fleeces of 
the numerous flocks now pastured throughout 
the Highlands, would furnish material for a 
manufacture which the country is in every 
way adapted for, and which would give use- 


ful employment to thousands who now are so 
often subject to great distress. 

Sheep-walks are sometimes of incredible 
extent, many farms being thrown into one, 
and their tenants are generally from the 
southern districts of Scotland. The wages of 
a shepherd vary in different localities, and are 
dependent on the extent of the duty to be 
performed. He usually receives between io/. 
and I2/. yearly, if he live in his master's 
house. If he occupy one of his own, he will 
be allowed ground for raising potatoes, three 
to five or six bolls of meal per annum, 
grazing for two or three cows, a horse, and 
perhaps fifty to seventy sheep, with ground 
sufficient to raise winter fodder. 

The shepherds wear the grey plaid common 
in the great sheep districts of the border 
counties, and now so well known every- 
where as a material of general use. It is not, 
however, of Highland origin, but was first 
seen on the shoulders of the southern farmers, 
who visited the north in the way of business. 
The late Mac Leod of Luskintire asserted 



that the first plaid of this pattern seen in 
Skye, was worn by Hogg,* the celebrated 
"Shepherd" poet; but even the gamekeepers 
and foresters on the estates of some High- 
land nobles and gentlemen, are seen at the 
present day, arrayed in dresses of this homely 

The sketch was made from Duncan Mac 
Niven, or Doncha' mor Mac Gille Naomh, 
in the vernacular ; a shepherd in the service 
of Campbell of Monzie, at that time dwelling 
in the farm of Dalness. 

*We know that the great shepherd poet wore his 
plaid during his journey through the Western Highlands 
and Islands in 1803. He says, "On the twenty-seventh 
of May I again dressed in black, put one shirt, and two 
neckcloths in my pocket ; took a staff in my hand, and 
a shepherd's plaid about me, and left Ettrick on foot, 
with a view of traversing the West Highlands, at least as 
far as the Isle of Skye. I took the road by Peebles for 
Edinburgh, and after being furnished with letters of 
introduction to such gentlemen as were most likely to 
furnish me with the intelligence which I wanted respect- 
ing the state of the country, I took a passage in the 
* Stirling Fly ' for that town. I got only a short and 
superficial view at the old palace of Linlithgow, and 


satisfied myself with only making my uncle's observation 
on viewing the Abbey of Melrose, " Our masons can mak 
nae sic houses now-a-days." 

Again in Glenfalloch he says, " Musing on certain 
objects I fell into a sound sleep, out of which I was at 
length awaked by a hideous, yelling noise. I listened 
for some time before I ventured to look up, and on 
throwing the plaid off my face, what was it but four huge 
eagles howering over me in a circle at a short distance ; 
and at times joining all their voices in one unconceivable 
bleat. I desired them to keep at a due distance, like 
Sundhope's man, for I was not yet dead, which, if I had 
been, I saw they were resolved that I should not long 
remain a nuisance amongst the rocks of Glenfalloch." 






Going to School 

country is more celebrated for its 
educational institutions than Scotland, 
the advantages of moral and intellectual 
improvement being 'secured to all, by the 
legal provision for a school and teacher in 
every parish throughout the kingdom. This 
system, so admirably adapted for the low 
country, is less effective in the rugged land 
of the Gael, where the great extent of the 
parishes was found to require subsidiary 

It is not merely the elementary branches 
of education which are taught in these 


seminaries; the schoolmasters having to go 
through a classical curriculum before being 
admitted to a parochial charge, and being, 
indeed, often licentiates for the ministry, 
their acquirements are sufficient to enable 
them to prepare pupils for college. 

The numbers who attend the parish 
schools, vary, of course, with the popula- 
tion ; but there are always fewer in the 
summer months, as parents then require 
the assistance of their children in agricul- 
tural or pastoral occupations. 

Fees are paid by all who are able to do 
so, but the children of the poor have a 
claim to gratuitous education, a liberal pro- 
vision, but far from the constitution of a 
charity school. 

The subject of illustration is a scene in 
Lochaber, representing a peculiar custom. 
One of the poorer boys is appointed to 
muster his fellow pupils to their morning 
tasks, which he does at half-past eight in 
summer, and nine in winter : and this juvenile 
official is known as the Gille an Adharc, or 


the Boy of the Horn, from the instrument 
he uses to "gather his motley clan," a duty 
for which he receives one penny a quarter 
from each scholar. 

It is the practice in rural parishes for 
each boy to carry a peat, or piece of turf, 
to school every morning, by .which means 
a good fire is kept up for the general 
benefit. These ragged-looking, bare-legged 
urchins, wading through the snow of a cold 
morning, are, notwithstanding, strong and 
healthy, and in general hardier than children 
whose parents wrap them in more comfort- 
able-looking garments. They are also of 
sharp intellect; and there are few boys in 
the Highlands of twelve or fourteen years 
of age who cannot read and write. 

The aptitude of the race for the acqui- 
sition of knowledge, although assertions 
have repeatedly been made to the con- 
trary, has been, from the days of 
Druidism, one of its characteristics, which, 
to Roman refinement, appeared only an idle 
and importunate curiosity in the people. 


Thiery, speaking of a later division than 
the Gael, more truly observes in them a 
predilection for " the cultivation of letters, 
that power of imagination," in which he 
sees " a trace of their Celtic origin."* 

The Highlanders have been rashly pro- 
nounced an illiterate people. Unacquainted 
with the early history of those whose lan- 
guage is unknown to their accusers, such 
writers may be forgiven, but waving con- 
sideration of the Bardic remains, so carefully 
held in oral preservation, and the series of 
illustrious teachers in the far-famed isle of 
lona, for ages the conservators of Gospel 
light in Western Europe, it will be admitted 
that their general literary history equals 
neither that of the Celts of Ireland nor the 
Cumri of Wales, cognate branches of the 
same great race. The Highlanders were 
not, unfortunately, in a state so favourable 
to the pursuits of peace and the gratification 
of mental solace as that of their neighbours. 
It was the attachment of the great Buchanan 

* Hist. Norman Conquest. 


to the court of King James, that gave him 
opportunity to display his classical acquire- 
ments and literary talent. 

The first book printed in Gaelic was the 
Liturgy of Dr. Carsewell, Bishop of the 
Isles, in 1566, since which time typography 
has steadily progressed. Dictionaries and 
grammars have been long published; well- 
conducted periodicals have, from time to 
time, appeared, and a cheap newspaper is 
now circulated. The names of Doctors Mac 
Leod, Mackay, Mac Pherson, Ross, Dewar, 
Armstrong, Stewart, Smith, Ewen Mac 
Lachlan, and many others, would throw 
lustre on the literature of any country. 

In the Highlands, there are about 400,000 
persons who speak Gaelic, of whom it is 
calculated that 80,000 know no other. How 
surprising therefore it must appear, that 
among a people so careful of moral and 
intellectual education, there should not exist 
in any of the Scottish colleges a chair for the 
qualification of future teachers in a gram- 
matical knowledge of that language ! 


If, as it has been stated, in a congregation 
of 500 persons, not more perhaps than fifty 
would be found who could understand an 
English sermon perfectly throughout, the 
magnitude of such an evil is lamentably 

A spirit has frequently prevailed, strongly 
opposed to the continuance of old lan- 
guages, as serving to keep up inconvenient 
distinctions, and at one time the Assembly 
of the Scottish Kirk, the guardian of parochial 
education, thought it right to interdict all 
tuition through the vernacular tongue. It 
was alleged by the advocates of this profound 
policy, that the Gaelic was an insurmountable 
barrier to all mental improvement. The 
children were, therefore, taught in English, 
and the lesson was acquired, and correctly 
repeated too, without being at all under- 
stood ! 

The latent nationality of some individuals, 
who saw the absurdity and injustice of such 
a method of instruction was roused, and 
funds having been provided, in 1811, "The 


Gaelic School Society" was established. The 
plan met with eminent success, and not only 
did the young joyfully attend, but cases have 
frequently been reported where the aged 
have gone to school, learning to read the 
Scriptures along with their children and 
offspring! The Venerable Assembly thus 
stimulated, repealed the insane regulation, 
and schoolmasters, now most properly, give 
the first lessons in the mother tongue of the 
children, the only one which in early life a 
majority of the population can understand. 


Gillies with Game. 

ILLE is the Gaelic term applied to a boy, 
or young man, and is used also for a 
servant, being given, like the Irish buachal, 
to those who have long surmounted the age 
of youth, and even of manhood. ' Gille-cois,' 
is a footman * Gille-each,' a groom, &c. 

The love of field sports, for which the 
country is admirably adapted, is so strong in 
the Highlander, that it may be said to be 
innate. No greater delight can be afforded a 
boy than to be allowed to accompany the 
sportsmen to the hills or the rivers, and 
their services are exceedingly useful, especi- 


ally to those who are not well accustomed 
to traverse the rugged and boggy muirs and 

They lead the way with sure footing 
across morasses, a matter, occasionally, of 
no small difficulty, nor always devoid of 
danger ; they bound over the heath with 
surprising agility, and in walking or running 
up hill, few of the gentlemen from the south 
country who go to the shooting could keep 
pace with them. 

In wooded districts the deer are frequently 
' driven ' from their coverts, as they cannot in 
such a situation be { stalked,' and lads from 
ten to sixteen years of age are generally the 
most efficient for the purpose, as they make 
their way both bare-legged and bare-footed 
through heather, whins, and underwood, 
where grown-up men could not very easily 
follow, and numbers are sometimes so 

Possessed of much endurance and greater 
temerity than those more advanced in years, 
these lads will perform feats, the hazard of 



which might well deter others from the 
attempt. On precipitous and giddy preci- 
pices they will pursue the game, and an 
instance lately occurred of a boy, who, 
at ten years of age, killed with his own 
hand no less than nine foxes in one year, 
on most rugged parts of the mountain of 
Ben Nevis. , 

The artist has related of a Gillie, only 
twelve years old, that going out alone in one 
of the wildest parts of Ross-shire, for the 
purpose of stalking deer, he brought down a 
fine stag, which he greallached, i.e., opened 
and cut up on the spot. He is now alive 
and no longer a poacher ; but the rifle is his 
loved companion, and he is a most excellent 
shot and a worthy Highlander. 

Indeed, the Highlanders are the surest of 
marksmen, and their proficiency is solely the 
result of their early and constant practice ; 
neither Highlanders nor any others being 
' naturally good shots,' as a tourist in Scotland 
very simply observes. The nature of the 
country leads to the frequent use of gun and 


rod, and hence the dexterity acquired by the 

A Highlander having proved himself a 
most skilful stalker and an unerring shot, it 
was jocularly proposed by a hunting party, 
that he should shoot a deer, then in view, 
through the off eye ! The Gael at once 
undertook to do so, and giving a loud whistle, 
the animal immediately turned round his head, 
when instantly the fatal ball, true to its mark, 
went through the devoted eye ! 

The principal figure in the print is given 
from a sketch of Corie bui' 6g, nephew to 
Ewen Mac Fee, the outlaw of Glenquoich, 
taken in Glen Nevis, where the stag, the 
brown and white, or alpine, hare, and the 
birds, which he carries, were killed within two 
hours, near the curious natural caves, in one 
of which the Lady Glennevis, her child, and 
servant, were concealed in the lamentable 

The exhilarating effect of a hunting expedi- 
tion, accompanied by the hardy tenants of the 
hills, is acknowledged by the numerous parties 



who leave the south for its enjoyment. The 
scenes in the good old days were quite capti- 
vating to strangers from their novelty and 
rude grandeur. 

When at peace, the lairds kept alive the 
spirit of their clans by congregating the Gillies 
to this sort of military exercise, and when 
meditating war, it served as a pretext for a 
general mustering without any suspicion of 
the design being excited. 

The eccentric Taylor, called * The Water 
Poet,' from having been a waterman of South- 
wark, went, in 1618, on a * pennilesse 
pilgrimage' as far northwards as Banffshire, 
and having been invited to accompany Lord 
Erskine to a deer hunt, he witnessed a 
meeting of noblemen, with a retinue of 
fourteen or fifteen hundred, and most of 
these were the hardy Gillies who drove 
in the game from the recesses of the 
forest of Mar, which he describes as 
follows : 

" I thank my good Lord Erskine (says the poet) ; hee 
commanded that I should always bee lodged in his 


lodging, the kitchen being always on the side of a banke, 
many kettles and pots boyling, and many spits turning 
and winding with great variety of cheere, as venison 
baked, sodden, rost, and stu'de ; beef, mutton, goates, kid, 
hares, fish, salmon, pigeons, hens, capons, chickens, 
partridge, moorcoots, heathcocks, caperkillies, and terma- 
gents ; good ale, sacke, white and claret, tent (or Alle- 
gant), and most potent aquaevitas. 

" All these, and more than these, we had continually 
in superfluous abundance, caught by faulconers, fowlers, 
fishers, and brought by my lord's (Mar) tenants and 
purveyres to victual our campe, which consisted of 
fourteen or fifteen hundred men and horses. 

" The manner of the hunting is this : five or six 
hundred men doe rise early in the morning, and they doe 
disperse themselves divers wayes, and seven, eight or ten 
miles compass they doe bring or chase in the deer in 
many heards (two, three, or four hundred in a heard) to 
such or such a place as the noblemen shall appoint them; 
then when the day is come, the lords and gentlemen of 
their companies doe ride or go to the said places, some- 
times wading up to the middles through bournes and 
rivers ; and then they being come to the place, doe lye 
down on the ground till those foresaid scouts, which are 
called the Tinckell, do bring down the deer ; but as the 
proverb says of a bad cooke, so these Tinckell men doe 
lick their own fingers ; for besides their bows and arrows, 
which they carry with them, wee can heare now and 
then a harquebusse or musket goe off which they doe 


seldom discharge in vaine : then after we had stayed 
three houres, or thereabouts, we might perceive the deer 
appeare on the hills round about us (their heads making 
a shew like a wood), which being followed close by the 
Tinckell, are chased down into the valley where wee lay; 
then all the valley on each side being waylaid with a 
hundred couple of strong Irish greyhounds, they are let 
loose as occasion serves upon the hearde of deere, that 
with dogs, gunnes, arrowes, durks, and daggers, in the 
space of two houres, fourscore fat deere were slain, 
which after are disposed of, some one way and some 
another, twenty or thirty miles ; and more than 
enough left for us to make merrey withall at our 
rendevouse. Being come to our lodgings, there was 
such baking, boyling, resting, and stewing, as if cook 
Ruffian had been there to have scalded the devill in 
his feathers." 

Inspired with the scene, his muse burst 
forth in these quaint and curious lines : 

" If sport like this can on the mountains be, 

Where Phoebus' flame can never melt the snow : 
Then let who list delight in vales below, 

Skie-kissing mountains pleasure are for me. 

What braver object can man's eyesight see, 
Than noble, worshipfull, and worthy wights, 
As if they were prepared for sundry fights, 

Yet all in sweet society agree ? 



"Through heather, moss, 'mong frogs, and bogs, and 


'Mongst craggy cliffs, and thunder-battered hills, 
Hares, hinds, bucks, roes, are chaced by men and dogs, 

Where two hours hunting fourscore fat-deer kills. 
Lowlands, your sports are low as is your seat : 
The Highland games and minds are high and great" ! 





Gathering Dulse 

71 I ''HIS marine production, which grows in 
leaves of a deep chocolate colour, over- 
spreads the sea rocks, from which it is gathered 
when the tide recedes, chiefly by women and 
children, who carry it home in creels, Croid- 
hleagan, as represented in the illustration, or 
in a smaller sort borne under the arm, called 

The Dulse of the low country is the Gaelic 
Duilasg, the Dulisc of the Irish, and the Fucus 
palmatus of naturalists. 

When freshly picked and washed it is an 
agreeable and wholesome article of food, and 


is in perfection when it has been " three times 
bathed in the May flood." The Ollamh 
Mhaolich, or the celebrated doctor of Mull, 
held this production in high estimation, and 
a saying of his is preserved, which intimates 
that did the people know its excellence they 
would gather it from the rocks as if their 
nails were like iron. It is much improved 
when intermixed with a small pungent plant 
called pepper dulse the fucus primatifidus. 
Some prefer it dipped in scalding water, and 
we have had it roasted with a hot poker, but 
when properly boiled it forms a rich, gela- 
tinous sort of soup, a piece of butter being 
added to it, and seasoning according to one's 
means or taste, in which state it may be 
preserved for some time. It is at times 
boiled with milk, or a mixture of cream is 
added when served up, by which it is much 

Slaik is another marine plant, less abundant 
than dulse, which is used in a similar manner. 
The leaves are transparent, of a brown colour, 
and being of so extremely delicate a texture, 



they are dissolved in boiling into a beautiful 
jelly, in the preparation of which some old 
dames are very nice. Dulse is regularly sold 
in the northern towns, and women attend 
the markets from great distances, with heavy 
loads in creels slung on their backs. 

The severity of the climate in the High- 
lands of Scotland is in many seasons exceed- 
ingly great, subjecting the natives to frequent 
painful privations, the poorer cottars, from 
their situation, being often reduced to utter 
want on the failure of their little crops. The 
temperature is not so excessively low, being 
mollified, especially in the islands and along 
the coasts of the mainland, by the ocean ; 
but the country is subject to long-continued 
winds and rains, which with the early in- 
setting of winter and the late advance of 
spring, frustrate the labours of the industrious 
farmer and leave him in sad destitution. 

Of late years, and at the present time, this 
is lamentably the case with the hardy popu- 
lation of these parts, whose patient endurance 
of their sufferings is worthy of the highest 


praise, and if we do not read of such dire 
calamities as famine and consequent disease 
ravaging the Highlands in former ages, we 
must conclude that under the patriarchal rule 
of clanship the people were saved by the 
chiefs, their natural protectors, from such a 
fate, being provided for when in distress by 
them and their more fortunate friends, and 
assisted through their difficulties by the frater- 
nal co-operation of the clan. 

The social state of the Gael is now very 
different, and it is unfortunately found that 
they can no longer live with comfort, or even 
without the frequent occurrence of periods 
of starvation in their native land. Emigra- 
tion is the political panacea for both their 
own distress and the burden of their support 
thereby thrown on the lairds. The solitude 
of sheepwalks, hunting grounds, and forest 
preserves, are already more commonly seen 
than the cultivated fields and grazings of the 
tenantry, and the destruction of that class, 
never to be restored " a bold peasantry, 
their country's pride," cannot be averted ; 



sic tempora mutantur in the progress of society 
the Highlanders have outlived their pristine 
state, and must yield to changes not to be 
eluded. Tenaciously have they clung to their 
fathers' institutions, delighting in the recollec- 
tion of a system no longer in existence. 

The wars, for which they were so useful 
in the British armies, opportunely met their 
wonted feelings and habits ; but even now 
when these are legally subverted, they have 
not been able, generally speaking, to adapt 
themselves entirely to the wide alteration of 
their circumstances. The philosopher and 
patriot may regret this melancholy change, 
but the Highlander's fate appears inevitable. 

When a people are visited with want of 
food, what expedients will be resorted to for 
alleviation of the pains of hunger ! In the 
late periods of destitution, old and young 
resorted daily to the rocks of a stormy ocean 
as the only source, whence they strove to 
pick the means of life ; but, truly, much may 
there be found to serve for human food, 
and of no inferior sort. Besides the dulse 


and slaik, there are wilks, limpits, mussels, 
oysters, crabs, etc. Of the first an excellent 
and substantial broth is made, with the addi- 
tion of butter, and, at times, oatmeal. Groups 
of children are often seen around a fire 
kindled among the rocks, broiling the shell 
fish which have just been taken from their 
oozy bed, rejoicing at their humble feast, and 
furnishing pleasing subjects for the artist. 






T)EFORE the application of machinery 
for carding and spinning wool, these 
operations were most efficiently performed 
by manual labour : they are among those 
primitive domestic occupations of the High- 
land females which have not yet been 
superseded. If, in the march of improve- 
ment, carding could be accomplished with 
greater expedition, it could not certainly be 
done in greater perfection by artificial process. 
The superiority of home-wrought materials 
is well known, and the people very indus- 
triously prosecute carding, spinning, weaving, 


and wauking or fulling linen, tartan, and 
other cloth, in preference to sending it to 
the mill or the manufacturer, where, as old 
women will say, "the heart is taken out 
of it." 

The sheep's fleece is divided into short, or 
clothing, and long, or combing, wool. The 
first varies in length from one to four 
inches, and it is carded with the implements 
represented in the print, which are furnished 
with fine short wire teeth, thickly set on 
leather on a wooden frame, by which the 
material is mixed or matted, one being 
held firmly on the knee. This is generally 
spun soft, and is chiefly used for * cath-da ' 
hose and coarse thick cloth. 

Long wool, which is from three to eight 
inches in length, is prepared by a different 
process. The carding is so called from the 
' Card,' with which it is performed : for long 
fleece, the Cir na-Olain, or wool-comb, is 
used, of which there are, in most families, 
two or three sets. These, having been 
moderately heated, the one in which the 


teeth, about four inches in length, are widest 
apart, is filled with the wool, and, when 
sufficiently combed, it is in a similar manner 
put through the second, and being thus nicely 
smoothed in one direction, it is transferred to 
the finest, and drawn strongly through it by 
the hand, operations requiring considerable 
patience and strength. When completed the 
wool is carefully rolled up for spinning, and 
the residue sticking in the teeth is placed 
among the short wool. 

Before the wool is submitted to the card or 
the comb, for the poor can seldom afford to 
separate the fine, it is thoroughly washed, 
dried, and greased, or saturated with oil, of 
which a quantity equal to a fifth, sixth, or 
more, of its weight is required. As fish-oil 
will not do, tallow, lard, and the butter from 
ewe's milk is generally used in the West 
Isles and remote parts. Long wool may be 
spun in soft or hand yarn, but the latter 
requires greater length of staple. It is of 
course a matter of pride to have fine thread, 
and this is usually called * fingering,' from the 



careful process of spinning. The whole 
furnishes very ingenious and useful employ- 
ment for the female inmates of a Highland 
farm-house during the winter nights, pro- 
ducing scenes of joyous industry and content. 
Cloth among primitive nations must have 
been first formed of the undyed wool, or 
a mixture of the natural white and black, still 
common. The manufacture of wool is 
supposed to have been introduced by the 
Belgae, who are said to have arrived in Britain 
about three hundred years A. c., and it is 
evident that woollen garments were used in 
the time of Julius Cassar. If the robe 
interwoven with various colours which distin- 
guished the renowned Bonduica, otherwise 
Boadicea, was not a tartan plaid, it is difficult 
to imagine of what other material it could be 
formed. Of the same nature were the 
dresses worn by the Gauls, described by 
Diodorus, as "saga virgata, crebrisque 
tesselis florum instar distincta seu floribus 
conspersas " ; and the inference is, that 
their descendants, so tenacious of ancient 


usages, retained the manufacture of their 

Be that as it may, tartan, as known in 
later times, may be indisputably held to be 
an original Scottish production, and these 
beautiful stuffs, now so popular, were until 
recent years peculiar to the northern portion 
of the kingdom. The fabrics of these 
manufactures are often exceedingly good in 
material and design, and the old webs are far 
from inferior to those of the present day. A 
plaid of elegant pattern has been obligingly 
submitted to us by Mrs. Mackintosh, of 
Stephen's Green, Dublin, a lady of the family 
of Mac Pherson of Crubin in Badenach. 
The colours and texture are very fine, and 
there is a considerable intermixture of silk. 
She states, that when placed on the shoulders 
of her grand-daughter, it is the seventh 
generation by whom it has been worn ; and, 
although thus more than two hundred years 
old, it is still in good condition, but rather 
threadbare. It is of the hard manufacture, 
and believed to have been the veritable 



tartan worn by her ancestors, the clan 
Mhuirich ; having been submitted, with other 
specimens, to George IV. and the Emperor 
Alexander, who wished to possess Highland 
costumes, it was the pattern which they 
selected. Several remains of garments worn 
by Prince Charles and others, in 1745, and 
before that period, have likewise come under 
our observation, which display very fine 
thread, and colours which are still vivid. 

The subject is given from an aged woman 
called Kirsty Mac Cail, the wife of an old 
Islesman, who adheres to the fashion of a 
century back, and the figure is seen in almost 
the same dress which the old dame wore 
when she became a guidwife. 

The square piece of tartan, worn over the 
shoulders in manner of a shawl, is the 
Tonnag ; the covering of the head, assumed 
on marriage, is called Breid, and consists of 
a square of fine linen, neatly fastened round 
the head, and hanging down behind. She is 
busily occupied in carding, as depicted, and, 
at the time the sketch was taken, she was 


relating to her attentive great-grandchild, with 
characteristic earnestness, Gaelic traditions of 
other years : of raids and reivers of bygone 
days, and rencontres of the red-coats and the 
Gael ; thus handing down, with oral precision, 
those stirring details of her country's history, 
too frequently overlooked by the general 
writer. The abode of this almost centenarian 
is at Balme, Bunawe, the property of Camp- 
bell of Monzie, situated on the borders of 
Loch Etive, near the old castle of Dunstaff- 
nage, long the residence of royalty, but now 
in unarrested ruin, although its brightly 
polished keys are often proudly displayed 
at the girdle of its hereditary keeper. Nearer 
to the humble cottage of Mac Cail stand the 
noble ruins of Ardchattan Priory, also suffered 
to fall into utter decay, with its monuments 
and tombstones, so highly interesting as relics 
of remote antiquity, and curious specimens of 
sculptural art. Loch Etive is scarcely inferior 
in romantic beauty to any salt-water lake 
throughout the Highlands. 

To no department of national industry has 



more sedulous attention been devoted than to 
the wool trade and its manufacture. The 
Acts of Parliament on the subject are 
exceedingly numerous, and no small anxiety 
was at times manifested for the proper 
formation of Cards, which, it was complained, 
were often made of old leather. It is a 
curious evidence of the estimation in which 
this * staple of England ' was held by the 
British legislature, that in the House of 
Peers, the most distinguished seat retains 
its ancient name and impressive form of a 
Wool Sack. 


Covered with Leather and studded with Nailheads. 


/ T~" V HIS sport has been denounced as a cruel, 
unsocial, and foolish amusement, by 
many eminent writers Johnson, Byron, and 
others ; but opposed to their opinion we have 
that of Walton, the prince of anglers, a man 
of gentle and amiable nature, of Dr. Paley, 
Sir Humphrey Davy, and a host of the distin- 
guished and good. Certain, however, it is, 
that sensitive minds revolt at a pastime by 
which fish, guiltless of committing any injury, 
as in the case of many land animals, are 
ensnared and killed whilst harmlessly playing 
in their native element. The sport may be 


well defended ; but the unfeeling argument 
that neither the bait nor the fish have the sen- 
sation of pain must be reprobated. 

No creature is exposed so much to the 
attacks of man as the inoffensive salmon. If 
it escapes the draught, stake, and bag nets in 
the sea and lower stream, it is intercepted in 
ascending by the impassable cruives, and 
should it get upwards during the * Saturday 
slap,' when they are opened from twelve 
o'clock at night until twelve next night, the 
devoted fish is pursued by the skilful angler 
with his hook, and the poacher with his 
deadly trident. Indeed, so greatly have 
salmon decreased in the Scottish rivers, as 
anglers are well aware, that the Duke of 
Sutherland has just ordered them a year of 
jubilee throughout his extensive northern 
estates; and if other proprietors do not 
imitate so judicious an example, this will 
assuredly in time become one of the rarer 
breeds of fish. 

The salmon is called Bradan by the High- 
landers, and a trout is termed Breac, from its 


spots; and he who angles is the lasgair, 
literally the fisherman. 

The salmon, although properly a sea-fish, 
is never caught afar off, but on the coasts 
adjacent to the mouths of rivers. They are 
impelled to forsake this element periodically, 
to get rid of vermin which attach themselves 
to the sides under the fins ; but ere they leave 
the streams, other parasites, in the form of 
worms, fix themselves about the gills. The 
salmon possess the wonderful instinct of un- 
deviatingly returning to the river in which 
they were spawned; but some cases have 
occurred in which, after floods, they have 
mistaken their native stream, and been found 
in others, being easily known by experienced 

In making their way to the upper 
streams for the purpose of depositing their 
spawn, they encounter obstacles which it is 
surprising they surmount. After urging a 
passage for many miles along the rocky 
channel of a rapid stream, a perpendicular 
waterfall may present to the now greatly 


enfeebled fish, a formidable impediment to 
their farther progress. The Keith, a fall 
on the river Erich, in Perthshire, is a direct 
down pour of upwards of thirteen, feet, 
the water rushing through a gap of the 
width of a few feet only. In seasons of 
drought, the channel is so ebb, that the 
salmon cannot attempt the necessary leap, 
and they may be seen in the pool below, 
waiting, in shoals two or three deep, the 
swelling of the waters. When the rain 
produces a sufficient stream, the salmon then 
essay the arduous task, and often do they leap 
before they get fairly a head, the falling water 
dashing them back; but according to the 
height, they seem to calculate the requisite 
force, and all at last get over the cascade. 
These falls are called easan in the Highlands, 
and linn in the Low Country, which is the 
Gaelic for the pool which they form. They 
occur on almost every stream, and it is 
amusing to witness a shoal of salmon thus 
actively engaged. When the spawning season 
is over, the fish pass down to the sea in a state 


of such weakness as scarcely to be able to 
swim, even with the stream. 

It is needless to give any particular descrip- 
tion oi the tackle used in this sport, the least 
expensive and perhaps the most easily acquired 
of all others. The rod and line are known 
to almost every one ; the manner of using 
them is, like all other accomplishments, 
acquired by practice. An angler must have 
a knowledge of the flies which are in exist- 
ence at the different seasons ; and those found 
about particular streams, and the proper mode 
of busking artificial ones on the hook, requires 
considerable skill. 

No rivers are better adapted for the enjoy- 
ment of nature and this exhilarating and 
health-giving amusement than those of the 
Highlands. The Gael, from early infancy, 
betake themselves to angling, and at an early 
age become such adepts, that they will some- 
times hook and land salmon almost as big as 
themselves. Boys of ten or twelve years of 
age have been known, in favourable streams, 
to kill upwards of a hundred good trout in 


one day ; and Coll, son of Mac Donald of 
Inch, a youth equally expert with his gun as 
with his rod, has taken in the Spean, which 
flows from Loch Laggan, six fine salmon 
before breakfast. 

As the breed of salmon decreases, so also 
does the size. The largest we recollect of 
late was one caught two years ago in the Tay, 
which weighed forty-five pounds ; but in that 
river, which of all others in Scotland has pro- 
duced those of greatest weight, there have 
been taken beautiful fish of sixty and even 
seventy pounds. Next to the majestic Tay, 
in this respect, ranks the beautiful Tweed. 

Before the expedient of preserving them in 
ice was adopted, salmon were generally boiled 
and pickled; the Highlander kippers them, 
which is performed by cutting them open, 
salting and drying them over wood or turf 
fires, and in this state they are to him a con- 
venient provision, as the bacon is to the Eng- 


- Covered with Leather and studded with Nailheads. 


/ T^HIS is the most notable of all field- 
sports, as regards the majestic character 
of the prey, and its keenness of instinct, the 
qualities necessary for the hunter, and the 
grandeur of the scenery where he pursues his 
game. The deer, notwithstanding its great 
strength and fleetness, is an extremely shy 
and solitary animal, and so vigilantly does it 
guard against the approach of man, that it 
is a matter of the greatest difficulty to get 
within reach of shot. The deer possesses the 
keenest of eyes, and its olfactory powers are 
surprising ; hence it is scarcely possible to 


advance, especially on the weather side, the 
animal never, but from necessity, going 
' down the wind,' without giving alarm, while 
still perhaps at an unseen distance. 

It is further remarkable of the deer, that 
in a herd there is always a stag of com- 
manding age and size, which takes the van, 
and is indeed the leader, the whole following 
his movements, and taking warning of danger 
from him. The sportsman must, therefore, 
have recourse to the most skilful manoeuvring 
to get within reach of his game, with which 
he has to deal much in the way of the red 
warriors of America, adopting the same 
tactics to entrap his prey as the Indian prac- 
tises to surprise his enemy. Like him, also, 
he must possess the necessary qualities for 
the arduous task : energy perseverance 
endurance of bodily fatigue and privation- 
quickness of sight, and precision of aim. The 
Highland deer-hunter will have to go through 
numberless fatigues ; wading through bogs 
and streams, swimming rivers, clambering 
among rugged mountains, lying prostrate for 


hours, advancing on hands and knees a 
movement in sporting parlance called ealadh 
and even creeping like a snake among the 
lank heather, are some of the pleasures of 
this manly recreation. A bivouac on the 
naked heath after a day spent in the above 
evolutions, and a frugal breakfast of oatcake 
and water, happily, at times qualified by a 
glass of whiskey, are not to be reckoned 
hardships. When the deer are discovered, 
the softened exclamation Eid, passes quickly 
along the company. 

There is not, throughout the Highlands, 
a man who possesses a superiority in every 
qualification required in a hunter of the hills 
to John Mac Rae, gamekeeper to Grant of 
Glenmoriston, in Inverness-shire, and from a 
sketch of this worthy the principal figure in 
the print is taken. 

The stealthy manner in which the deer is 
slain is called Stalking ; but although a 
covert attack, resembling the method used 
by illegal trespassers, is thus made on the 
game, which is incompatible with the rules 


of the open chase, it must in nowise be 
confounded with poaching. The country 
does not permit the deer to be followed as 
on the gentle uplands in the southern por- 
tion of the kingdom, with the exhilarating 
attendants of hound and horn. 

When hunting was necessarily pursued for 
the supply of food, or, in accordance with 
a Gaelic practice, to honour the visits of 
strangers, it was on a scale which gave it 
the aspect of a military campaign. The 
Scottish monarchs frequently retired from 
the cares of royalty to enjoy the chase in 
their Highland dominions ; and our most 
gracious Queen, like the unhappy Mary of 
Scotland, evinces a partiality for this ' royal 

This ancient mode of hunting was per- 
formed by surrounding a large extent of 
country by numbers of men, who, at a signal, 
advanced slowly with loud shouting, and by 
these means roused the game, and drove the 
whole towards a certain point, where the 
animals were shot or cut down by the broad- 


sword. This extensive battue is not in exact 
accordance with the modern rules ; but it had 
formerly necessity in its favour, and it is so 
agreeable to a Highlander's habits, that it is 
not yet abandoned when such a circumstance 
occurs as a royal visit. It is called Timchioll 
na Sealg, or the Circuit of Hunting. Curious 
accounts are preserved by olden chroniclers 
of several of these magnificent huntings, 
which have been made the subject of an 
entertaining article in the ' United Service 
Magazine ' for November, 1 844. 

At that held in honour of Queen Mary, 
1563, there were collected, besides fallow and 
roe, 2000 red deer, of which more than 360 
were killed. In another of these ' hunting 
matches,' given by the Earl of Athol to King 
James V., there fell " thirty score hart and 
hynd, with other small beasts, as roe, wolf, 
fox, and wild cats." 

Taylor, an English writer, called the Water- 
Poet, accompanied Lord Erskine, ancestor of 
the Earl of Mar, to the Highlands of Aber- 
deenshire, where he witnessed a splendid deer 


hunt, with the subsequent banquet, and gives 
a very particular detail of the whole pro- 
ceedings, in quaint prose and quainter verse. 
The camp contained 1400 or 1500 men, who 
were sumptuously regaled. 

"The modern method of deer-stalking, though not 
carried out with such semi-barbaric display, has very 
largely increased during the last half of the nineteenth 
century. This is more strikingly illustrated when we 
state that the deer-forests of Scotland cover a space of 
over two million square acres. These are chiefly rented 
by English noblemen, wealthy merchants, or American 
millionaires. Though called deer-forests in Scotland, 
there is really now little wood in them. They chiefly 
consist of large tracts of ground, lofty mountains, 
pasture, heather, moorland, and sheltered corries. 
These vast solitudes are supposed to be more favourable 
for the purpose of breeding the deer and for sport, 
if other game, sheep and cattle, are excluded. It is 
a debatable point whether the extension of these 
forests has done much to displace the crofters and 
sheep in the Highlands. The great deer-forests of 
Scotland are nearly all in the counties of Aberdeen, 
Sutherland, Ross, Argyll, Perth, and Inverness." 

As may be supposed, the English terms 
of venery are not in use among the High- 


landers. A deer is called Fiadh, a male roe 
Boc, a female, Earb, and Earbag, the dimi- 
nutive, is usually applied to a fawn. The 
young at six months of age is called Laogh, 
a calf. Mang or fiadh 6g will correspond 
with the English term brocket ; when the 
animal is three years old, it acquires the 
name Damh, which it retains until it is five, 
and is afterwards called Lan-damh, a full 
stag. The same terms are applied to the 
roe, except that after the third year the 
female obtains the name of Eilid. 

The Antlers are called Cabar, from which 
the deer is frequently called Cabarach. A 
male deer at the age of one year has knobs, 
or cnapan, on his forehead and small brow 
antlers appear. The horns are shed annually, 
and the new-attain their full growth in three 
months, when a velvet-like coat, called 
Mogan, which covers them at first, drops 
off. The horns are the perquisites of the 
gamekeeper, and they are valuable, but are 
so seldom found in comparison with the 
numbers which are cast, that it has often 


excited surprise. From so many being found 
in lakes and marshes, it is supposed that 
the animal resorts to these places at the 
time the horn begins to get loose. 

The size of the stag depends on the 
supply of pasturage in the range he in- 
habits : eighteen or twenty stone is the 
average weight; but instances have occurred 
of their weighing thirty. The longevity of 
the deer is very great. By a Gaelic Rann, 
or verse, it is said to be three times the 
age of a man, and cases have occurred which 
fully verify the calculation. 


(Left Side). 



Spinning with the Distaff. 

/ TT^HE art of forming threads from wool, 
* flax, cotton or other material, was 
practised in the most early ages. In the 
sculptures of ancient Egypt are representations 
of females spinning, who use the spindle and 
distaff in precisely the same manner as repre- 
sented in the illustrative print; and in the 
Bible record, frequent allusion is made to 
this manual occupation, as one of the most 
excellent of female qualifications. In Exodus 
xxxv. 26, the Jewish women are extolled for 
their diligence and skill in spinning ; and in 
that beautiful book, the Proverbs xxxi. 13, a 


strong recommendation of a good wife is that 
" she seeketh wool and flax, and worketh 
willingly with her hands." It is the most 
natural expedient that could have been 
adopted for the combination of fibres, and 
the primitive operation continues in practice 
among the inhabitants of our Celtic countries, 
and in the rural districts of the continental 

The Dealgan, or Spindle, the Whorl of the 
low country, is a piece of hard wood, round, 
smooth, and tapering at one end to a small 
point, the thicker end being downwards, 
which serves to give it sufficient impetus to 
spin round. The whorl, or whirling part, 
is, however, often composed of a circular bit 
of wood, sometimes even of bone or ivory, 
through which the spindle is thrust, fixing 
it near the lower end. The Fearsaid differs 
from the Dealgan in being formed like a 
slender cone of such weight as to maintain a 
proper velocity. 

The Cuigeil or Distaff, called Kogel by the 
Welsh, is the staff, around the top of which 


is wrapped the material to be spun, and it 
is kept upright at the side by being fixed in 
the string or belt, fastened around the waist. 
This part is frequently carved, as the dirk 
hilts are, with tracery, much similar to the 
implements used by the Indian tribes, and 
they are preserved for generations. It 
appears that this part of the simple apparatus 
was often held in the hand, and the spindle 
was twirled on the ground, on which the 
women were seated, in the same manner as 
children spin their tops ; but by a simple 
noose which prevents the thread from un- 
winding, the fearsaid, or spindle, can be 
suspended so that the spinner may work 
while standing or walking, thus gaining a 
greater length of thread. Having set it in 
motion by the fingers and thumb, or a smart 
roll against the thigh, the fibres which have 
been attached to the small end are twisted 
into thread of the requisite fineness, and the 
spinner continues to draw off proportionate 
supplies until a convenient length is obtained, 
when she winds it around the thicker part 


of the spindle, repeating the operation and 
removing the balls of worsted or thread until 
the task is completed. When the spindle 
was worked on the ground and rapidly 
whirling, the spinner was enabled to make 
it wind up the thread by bending it with 
the finger to right angles with the spindle, 
and when it was thus wound up, the spinning 
was recommenced without stopping, a process 
requiring the greatest dexterity. 

The great, or one thread wheel, was the 
first improvement on this tedious occupation. 
By this the spindle is worked horizontally, 
the end, to which the thread is attached, 
projecting beyond its frame. The wheel 
being driven quickly round, which gives 
great velocity to the spindle ; as it continues 
to revolve, the spinner goes backwards, 
supplying the wool, which is not put on a 
distaff, but held in the hand or affixed to 
the side ; and when a sufficient line of thread 
is formed, it is either wound up in the manner 
above described, or allowed to wind itself 
up as the person slowly walks towards the 


wheel. Ardess and toilsome as these modes 
of spinning may appear, they require an 
attention and dexterity which nothing but 
long and careful practice can produce. 

The Saxon, or small wheel, for spinning 
linen thread, common elsewhere for house- 
hold use, is so little known in the Highlands, 
that it is unnecessary to say more respect- 
ing it. 

By these methods of spinning one thread 
only is formed, and when two or more are to 
be united, so many balls are put in a basket 
and wound into one as in the first operation, 
or an instrument is used for the purpose, 
called Caitir-leasg, or Catti-suirig. 

The simple reel on which the threads are 
wound preparatory to making them into 
iornan or hanks, is represented in the figure 
carding wool in Number III. 

.The picture was made from a sketch taken 
in Strathglas, Inverness-shire, a romantic glen 
near the baronial castle of the Chisholm. 
The costume of these damsels is such as is 
commonly worn by Highland girls in these 


days rather modern, especially the cap. 
The short upper frock, called in parts of 
the low country, a wrapper, is the Bedagoun 
of the Gael, a term derived, it is presumed, 
with the garment from the Saxon. The want 
of stockings or shoes is no privation to the 
Highland fair sex, for in going to church or 
elsewhere, when it is becoming to wear them, 
it is done with reluctance, and in returning 
they will often be seen to sit down by the 
way and denude themselves of such un- 
pleasant restraint. 

The cottage walls are formed partly of turf 
and stone, a very usual mode of building, and 
the roof is thatched with straw. The * Hake ' 
on which the fish are hung, is a usual appen- 
dage to the cottager's house, except in the 
more inland parts, where from the want of 
conveyance, that excellent food cannot readily 
be procured. 

The horse-shoe is placed over the door to 
prevent the effects of witchcraft or intrusion 
of the Sithichean, or fairies, who, although 
they are called ' the good people,' no High- 






lander wishes in any way to encounter. This 
potent preservative is also affixed to the masts 
of boats and ships to save them from being 
wrecked by malevolent spirits ; but the 
superstition is not confined to the Gael, 
it is prevalent among the higher civilized 
English; and we have seen the talisman at 
the threshold of more than one house, even 
in London. 



Herring Fishery. 

' I V HIS branch of our national commerce, 
the source of great wealth, gives em- 
ployment to many thousands, and affords a 
cheap and excellent food to millions. 

The name of this prolific and useful fish 
is derived from the German Heer, an army, 
a term descriptive of the prodigious numbers 
in which they appear ; in Gaelic it is called 

The shoal which proceeds from Iceland, 
occupies an extent of surface equal to that 
of Great Britain and Ireland. It reaches the 
shores of these kingdoms about the middle 


of June, and dividing, one division proceeds 
southwards by the east coast, as far as Great 
Yarmouth, while the other passes by the 
Hebrides and west coast of Scotland, to 
Ireland and Wales. They are in full roe 
until the end of June, and are in good con- 
dition until the beginning of winter, when 
they begin to deposit their spawn and dis- 
appear from the southern seas, retiring, it 
is supposed, to their native haunts in the 
polar ocean. 

The Dutch have obtained the credit of 
being the first to engage in the herring 
fishing, and they have for centuries enjoyed 
the best part of it ; but there is good reason 
to believe that the inhabitants of Britain had 
devoted their attention to it at an earlier 
period. From Anderson's " History of Com- 
merce," it appears that traders from the 
Netherlands resorted to Scotland in 836, for 
the purchase of salted fish ; and in the 
" Annals of Batavia," it is recorded that 
the Scots were accustomed to sell their her- 
rings there in the ninth century, a traffic 


which led to a commercial alliance, which 
long subsisted, between the two countries. 
The Dutch, who date their regular fishing 
from 1163, nevertheless, appear to have 
acquired a sort of monopoly of the herring 
fishery, while it became much neglected by 
the Scots. To revive this trade, King James 
III., considering it " expedient for the com- 
mon good of the realm, and great increase 
of riches," enacted, in 1471, that certain 
lords, spiritual and temporal, and burghs, 
should make or procure "ships, busses, 
and other pink boats, with nets, etc., for 
fishing." This was confirmed by James IV., 
when the burghs were ordered to provide 
ships and boats of not less than twenty 
tons, with nets and all other necessaries, 
according to the substance of each burgh. 
Subsequently the attempt was made to 
establish towns in the Highlands for the 
promotion of fishing, which after many 
years' perseverance by the " Undertakers," 
or barons and gentlemen, empowered for 
the purpose, in the island of Lewes, was 



ultimately frustrated by the opposition of 
the Highlanders. 

It has been remarked by the author of 
" Caledonia," that no encouragement has in- 
duced the Celtic race, in Ireland, Wales, or 
Scotland, to enter with spirit into the fisheries, 
for which their coasts are so favourable ; the 
herring is, however, so desultory in its habits, 
that the Highlanders may be unjustly blamed, 
for sometimes a loch, or tract of coast, will 
be entirely deserted for years ; neither does 
it appear that in other portions of the empire 
have even bounties and privileges produced 
greater enterprise. The herring fishery has 
been regulated by many Acts of the Legis- 
lature ; but the first bounty on the expor- 
tation of herrings was granted by the Scottish 
parliament, in 1705. 

The Highland Society of Scotland, with 
characteristic patriotism, charged itself with 
the duty of framing a bill for the revival of 
this important branch of employment, which 
was passed in 1808, and by the encourage- 
ment given by subsequent regulations, and 


the services of the Board for Fisheries, etc., 
it has since been prosecuted with spirit. 

The art of curing herrings is supposed to 
have been discovered by William Beukelings, 
a Dutchman, who died in 1397 ; but there 
is reason to believe that he was only an im- 
prover on the art, for from 1306 to 1360, 
the herring fair and fishery of Yarmouth 
formed a great branch of its trade ; and, in 
1313, a ship of Lynn, a neighbouring town, 
was captured, which had been fishing for 
herrings on the Norwegian coast. 

The herrings of the west coast are not so 
plentiful, but are much superior to those of 
the east ; and, as the season commences, the 
Highlanders pass round in great numbers, 
when the town of Wick, in Caithness, the 
most noted place of resort, presents a highly 
animated appearance. When multitudes of 
boats from both north and south are col- 
lected, the scene is singular and pleasing. 
In the northern latitudes, a dim twilight con- 
tinues during the mid-summer nights, and 
the boats are often within hail of each other. 


The stillness is broken by the occasional 
mirth of the crews, or the plaintive lorrams, 
or boat songs of the West Highlanders, 
whose thoughts are of their distant home 
and the relatives and friends they have there 

When the boats arrive with their cargoes, 
which are reckoned by crans, or barrelfuls, 
the fish to be cured have the entrails taken 
out by a particular nip, leaving the melt and 
roe ; but they are not opened, as several of 
the most esteemed Encyclopedias describe ; 
they are then put into a strong brine, where 
they are allowed to remain from twelve to 
sixteen hours, and when taken out are 
well drained, and packed closely on their 
backs, in a circular form, the cooper 
finishing the process by putting in the 
heads of the barrels very tightly. This is 
called the White pickle. Red herrings must 
be kept in the salt water twenty-four hours, 
they are then strung by the head on wooden 
spits, and placed, to the number of many 
thousands, in chimneys, where brushwood, or 


turf, is kindled on the floor, and managed 
so as to give a great deal of smoke without 
flame, from which is derived their peculiar 
flavour and colour. They are generally dry 
in about twenty-four hours, when they are 
put into barrels for keeping. These barrels 
will hold from 500 to 800 fish. 

The sketch was taken on the side of Loch 
nan Uagh, in Arisaig, and the male figure 
is that of a man not more experienced as a 
fisher than notorious as a smuggler ; and it is 
said that in barrels, such as represented, he 
has at times contrived to convey without 
detection, a keg of good poit du', or whiskey, 
concealed among the fish. A curious cir- 
cumstance had occurred at the time the 
artist made his drawing. The fishermen, 
having one night caught a young whale, 
the old one making its appearance, attacked 
the boats furiously, and continued in the loch 
for some days, so that without harpoons or 
other weapons they could not venture on 
an attack. The group represents an idle 
peasantry, in their usual costume, having 



at the time no avocation to withdraw them 
from ' a friendly crack ' about the country 

It is matter of just complaint that the 
Dutch should be allowed to fish so near the 
coasts, and drive a lucrative trade on our 
very shores ; it indicates a laxity in the en- 
forcement of the international laws, which 
regulate the mutual rights of different 





Robbing an Eagle's Nest. 

f I V HE Eagle, sacred to Jove, is called 
lolair, by the Highlanders, as a generic 
name, but a common designation is Fioreun, 
a term composed of Fior, perfect, true, and 
Eun, a bird, and it well merits such a title of 
distinction, holding the first rank among 
birds, as the lion does among quadrupeds. 

The towering flight of the eagle has been 
often alluded to with admiration ; in the 
height to which he soars he is frequently lost 
to view; yet, from this altitude, he appears, 
by his extraordinary visual powers, to discover 
his prey, on which he descends with amazing 


rapidity. When, however, the bird is flying 
low, the speed is not remarkably great; 
and notwithstanding his surprising strength, 
majestic mien, and expanse of wing, the act 
of rising from the ground is accomplished 
with difficulty. 

This noblest of British birds is so keenly 
pursued as a destroyer of game, that they 
have, in general, much decreased; yet, it is 
observable, that in those parts of the High- 
lands where the population has been removed, 
it has been favourable to the increase of the 
lolairean, and game on which they prey has 
become, consequently, scarce ; the lambs of 
the solitary shepherd, more particularly, afford- 
ing them a frequent and favourite repast. 

The districts of Arisaig, Muidart, and 
Morar, on the Western coast of Inverness- 
shire, still known by the natives as ' the 
country of Clan Rannald,' though now in 
possession of the stranger, are rather famed 
for the stock of these monarchs of the 
feathered race ; and in the former locality, 
the interesting circumstance took place which 
1 66 


forms the subject of the accompanying print, 
and which the young man to whom it 
occurred himself related to the artist. On 
the summit and ledges of its inaccessible 
crags, the eagle rears its young, and may be 
observed looking abroad, fearless of molesta- 
tion, searching with its piercing eyes the lake 
and the plains, whence it so often, to the 
shepherd's grief, bears off its prey. 

The anecdote was thus detailed : Having 
repeatedly lost his lambs, a watch was care- 
fully set, and the lawless 'lifter' was detected 
by the Buachail, or herdsman, in the very 
act a splendid eagle, seizing a lambkin, bore 
it away, high in mid air to feed its young. 
The nest was built in the cliff of a perpen- 
dicular rock, on the north side of Loch nan 
uagh, or Lake of the caves, noted as the place 
where Prince Charles landed, in the rising of 
1745. The eyrie was thus discovered; but a 
height of two hundred feet from the surface 
of the lake seemed to preclude the shepherd 
from all modes of assault. Determined to 
succeed, the fearless Celt formed the resolution 


of descending from above, as practised by the 
fowlers in the island of St. Kilda and the 
North Isles, and slung himself by a rope over 
the dizzy steep. He had reached the nest, 
where lay his lamb, the provender for two 
voracious eaglets, when suddenly he was 
pounced on by the old birds, arrived with a 
fresh supply. The peril of his situation may 
be conceived ; on plain ground the fierce 
encounter with two such infuriated assailants 
would have been sufficiently trying, but in 
his position it was appalling. He defended 
himself long from their furious attacks, and 
at last succeeded in wounding both with 
his sgian-dubh ; when, fastening to his girdle 
the eaglets and the relics of the lamb, with the 
knife in his mouth, ready for further defence, 
he warped himself up, and fortunately reached 
the summit, bleeding and quite exhausted! 
A similar exploit is recorded as having taken 
place in the province of Connaught, Ireland ; 
but in this case the hero was let down the 
precipice in a basket, which gave him a great 
advantage over the Highlander; yet he was 
1 68 


glad to escape, after wounding one of the 
eagles, without accomplishing his object. 

The plunder which eagles may amass is 
astonishing, both from its quantity and variety, 
and their predacious habits require an extended 
range : from their power of wing and talons, 
and the deadly stroke of beak, none of the 
weaker animals can make defence. Naturalists 
have at the same time observed, that they do 
not indulge in wanton destruction, are inclined 
to solitude, and roam only in search of food. 
It is told of a gentleman in Strathspey, near 
whose residence a couple of large eagles had 
taken up their abode, that if, on the arrival of 
guests or otherwise, he was in want of pro- 
vision, he sent to the eyrie of his providers, 
where hares, rabbits, poultry, game, and lambs 
were procured. Salmon and trout might even 
be found among the multifarious products of 
the forage, for it is known that they will 
watch by the breeding fords of the fish, and 
destroy numbers when weakly and intent on 
forming the beds for their spawn; but 
instances are on record where the salmon has 


destroyed the eagle, by carrying it under 
water, when incapable of extricating his deep 
sunk talons, and having his plumage drenched 
in the stream. 

A Highlander, who had found out a nest 
with young, contrived, by fixing rings around 
the eaglets' throats, to restrict their appetite, 
to live sumptuously, by carrying away, daily, 
the best provision which the old eagles had 
collected for their brood. In some countries 
young eagles are trained to the chase. 

The voracity of the eagle sometimes equals 
that of the vulture, and it is not unusual to 
find the bird so gorged over a carcase, that, 
unable to get away, it is overtaken and killed. 
It lives to a very old age, being known 
to have reached considerably upwards of a 

As the eagle is reckoned the most noble 
bearing in heraldry, so it affords the mark of 
distinction among the Gael. By the Ossianic 
compositions, we learn that a pinion distin- 
guished the heroes of old. The Highlander 
carries one feather in his bonnet, the Duine- 


uasal, or higher order, display two, and the 
chief is known by bearing three. Had the 
enterprise of Prince Charles been successful, 
it is said that a Celtic order of the mountain 
eagle was to have been instituted. 




Fording a River 

f I V HE streams which descend from a 
mountainous country are difficult to 
be passed, and when swollen it is often 
impossible for a considerable time to get 
across them, where no bridges have been 
erected. Channels, which in summer are 
almost dry, become raging torrents during 
winter, and continue full until the summer 
is advanced, from the melting of the snow 
in the mountain hollows. 

The heavy falls of rain, also, which 
frequently take place, bring down the waters 
suddenly as to cause great damage, and 


they rush onwards with such rapidity that 
instances are recorded of loss of life from 
being surprised by the impetuous flood ; but 
a Highlander can distinguish the peculiar 
noise of the coming stream before it emerges 
from the mountains. 

Water spouts occasionally burst in the 
hills, when trees, corn, cattle, and houses, 
are carried away, gravel and stones of 
enormous size being left on the fertile 
haughs, or meadow land ; and sometimes a 
new channel is formed for the stream, and 
where in such case it is the march or boun- 
dary of estates, disputes have arisen as to 
the proprietorship of the dissevered portion 
of land. 

On the broader rivers, where boats 
are used, they have not unfrequently 
been swamped in the passage, and this was 
more particularly the case in the olden 
time, when Curraghs, or small vessels con- 
structed of hides, stretched on a wicker 
frame work, or boats formed from the 
massive trunks of trees were used, as was 


the case within memory of man in 

An ingenious contrivance is to be seen 
at the castle of Abergeldie, 1 in Braemar, 
where the passenger takes himself across 
the Dee in a basket, or ' cradle,' suspended 
from a rope passed from each bank of the 
river; stilts are, also, sometimes used where 
the bottom is not rocky and uneven, which 
seems a practice introduced from the south, 
where it is quite common; but it being 
necessary for the Highlanders to ford the 
streams without artificial assistance, great 
strength, fortitude, and particular skill, are 
required to do so with safety. 

1 While the 'cradle ' at Abergeldie existed until recently, 
much of the danger and romance which survive in the 
story and legends of the Highlands in connection with 
the fords and ferries by which the 'crossing of the stream ' 
was effected has been swept away by the onward march 
of civilization. Many of those ferries, deep and rapid 
rivers, and innumerable smaller streams, subject to 
frequent and sudden floods or ' spates,' have long since 
been provided with the requisite bridges and necessary 
roads leading thereto, chiefly provided for by statute 



If the river is very rapid, the stones and 
pebbles are rolled violently along its rugged 
bed, which renders the passage more dan- 
gerous; and as a means of strengthening 
his resistance to the water, the Highlander 
will carry a heavy stone in his plaid as 
ballast ; but when two are in company, they 
are enabled by their joint energies to ford 
deep and strong rivers, by grasping each 
other at arms' -length and using a strong 
stick in the other hand as a support. If 
the ford admits it, the more who are thus 
locked together, * gualibh ri cheile,' or shoulder 
to shoulder, as it is expressed, so much the 

labour. The first result of this was the substitution of 
carts and other wheeled vehicles instead of ponies for 
the internal commercial intercourse of the people, and 
consequently partial disuse of the 'fords.' In more 
recent times still, the utilitarian spirit of the age has 
provided, either at the public expense or by private 
generosity, bridges almost wherever they were required. 
Thus all the glamour and mystery connected with 
nearly every fordable Highland stream will henceforth 
only exist as legends and traditions preserved in local 



better, although their confidence often exposes 
parties to great danger. 

A company returning from a funeral in 
Strathglas, resolved to ford the river, a 
practice which the more spirited Highlanders 
prefer, even when a bridge is nigh. It was 
then greatly swollen, or in a ' spate,' and 
they arranged themselves as usual with the 
strongest men towards the stream ; but when 
they reached the middle, so insecure was 
their footing, that, afraid to proceed, and 
unable to retreat, they came to a stand still. 

Those who had accompanied them to the 
water, and the others, who, having passed 
round by the bridge and awaited their 
landing, beheld in anguish their imminent 
and helpless situation, as they stood in the 
raging flood, which every moment threatened 
to carry them off. 

The cries of the friends of Ian mor, who 
stemmed the torrent, were, that he should 
loose hold of his neighbour, and seek to 
save his own life : advice to which the 
generous Celt would give no ear. Some of 


the weaker occasionally gave way, but were 
upheld by their companions : and a short, 
thick-set fellow, Cailain dubh, or dark Colin, 
who flanked the lower end of the line, having 
fastened a heavy stone across his shoulders 
with the rope that had been used to lower 
the coffin, firmly kept his feet, until, towards 
nightfall, by cautious steps, they all got 
safely over! 

Ian mor's brogs, by the effect of the 
gravel and water, had lost their soles 
and worked up to his knees; but he 
and his friends were becomingly thankful 
that the coffin rope, to which they owed 
their salvation, had been brought with 

The Spean, through which the figure in 
the illustration is passing, discharges in a 
rapid stream a great body of water, and 
as the fords in most places are narrow, 
and bordered by pools of great depth, it 
is a very dangerous river to those who 
may attempt its passage. Some years ago 
a party, consisting of Mr. Eraser, sheriff 


of Fort William, Mr. Mac Donald, of 
Inch, and their ladies, with the author of 
these illustrations, were nearly lost by 
fording it in the night. Since this mishap, 
the place has been pointed out as glac an 
t-Siorra, ' the sheriff's pass.' 

The figure of the Highlander here repre- 
sented is taken from an old but sturdy fellow, 
called Mac Gillie Mhantich, and it is very 
usual to ford the river in this manner; a 
plaid being put around the woman, the ends 
are taken over the neck of the man, who, pro- 
vided with a stout staff, or as here shown, the 
Cromag, or Crook, makes his way, with the 
female on his back, steadily through his watery 
path. When there are two men, by grasping 
each other as before described, a person can 
sit securely between them, the arms being 
put around their necks. This way is more 
particularly suited to females in delicate 

There is a Gaelic rann, or verse, which 
celebrates the most fearless forders of their 
native streams in these words : 


u Mac Garranich, Mac Glasich's, Mac Uthich, 
Triur 's fhear a chuireas 
An Amhuin an Alba," 

which signifies, that, ' The men of the Garry, 
the Glass, and the Ewe, are the three best to 
cross any river in Britain.' 


(Right Side). 







Spearing Salmon 

/ TPO the rivers, friths, and lochs of Scot- 
land, this excellent species of the finny 
tribe resorts in great abundance, and the 
streams afford to the angler the most excel- 
lent amusement. 

It was an early observation, that among 
the Celtic race a prejudice to fish existed, 
and reference has been made in modern times 
to its still lingering existence. In some old 
poems, catching salmon is spoken of as a 
Highland sport, yet a proverb is retained ex- 
pressing something like contempt for those 
who feed on fish ; and certain it is that some 


writers of a former generation who visited 
the Highlands, felt surprised to find that the 
trout, with which many streams abounded, 
should not be molested by the natives. It 
is to be feared that dire necessity, from their 
want of cattle and failure of their crops, has 
since forced such prejudice to give way. Too 
happy would the hungry be to carry home 
a load of trout, fattened in the moss-imbued 
waters of the lake or burn. 

The nature of all mountain streams is well 
known : in winter and in spring they pour 
down in rapid torrents, when the trout and 
salmon leave the sea, and urge, with amazing 
strength and instinct, their passage to the 
upper parts, where they deposit their spawn. 
Here they continue, until often they are left 
in numbers, imprisoned in pools by the de- 
clining stream, thus affording a plentiful and 
easy capture. The anti-game preserving 
ideas of the Highlander, lead him to con- 
sider the taking of salmon little breach of 
moral propriety ; yet " black fishing," as it 
is called, is not only illegal, but lamentably 
1 86 


destructive to the brood of this valuable fish, 
as they are then foul, or in their passage to 
the spawning ground. 

Like all such exhilarating sports, the young 
are greatly pleased when engaged in it, and 
Highland boys are often dexterous salmon 
spearers, even by day, when it is much more 
difficult to strike a fish than by night, the 
usual time for operation. 

The scene represented was sketched in 
Lochaber, where two men are seen busily 
engaged, but more may be supposed present, 
as parties of ten, twenty, or thirty sometimes 
go out, and pursue their occupation all night. 
They are generally men from a neighbouring 
district, who are more likely to avoid detec- 
tion ; and as those who engage in such 
pursuits are of determined character, no one 
who values a whole head and unbroken bones 
would venture to molest them. 

One man holds the torch, which is com- 
posed of pieces of tar barrels, old ropes, bog 
fir, etc., and another carries the instrument, 
which he can use with unerring dexterity ; 


and a company will sometimes be so success- 
ful as to carry off creels full of fine salmon, 
sufficient to load several native garrons, or 

The spear is called Muirgheadh in Gaelic, 
but is otherwise named the leister, and, as 
shown in the print, it is barbed, so that when 
the fish is struck its capture is sure. If the 
spearman can approach so near as to transfix 
the salmon, he brings it up ; but the instru- 
ment is often thrown by a good marksman, 
with equal certainty, and in this case it has 
sometimes a rope attached, to recover it and 
the fish with facility. A man in Glenspean 
has been known to kill a salmon nine times 
out of ten attempts, at a distance of forty 
yards. It is best to strike at the head or 
middle, for if fixed by the tail, from its great 
strength, the fish may give considerable 

Spearing salmon affords a scene of the 
most novel and striking description, the wild 
excitement of which must be witnessed to be 
rightly appreciated. The picturesque effect 

1 88 


of the blazing torches on the darksome 
waters, on which are thrown shifting and 
fantastic shadows, the lurid glare discovering 
the expected prey the sound of the rushing 
stream in the gloomy night the splashing 
of both men and salmon, with the shouts of 
laughter as some poor fellow, intent upon 
the sport, slips over a stone into a sullen 
pool the occasional dash of a heavy fish as 
it springs from the water through the legs of 
the spearman, altogether form a picture of 
the strangest character to the eye of one 
unaccustomed to the sight. 

It is a scene the more interesting, as 
among other effects of refined civilization, 
spearing salmon may be among those things 
which once have been. This valuable fish 
has been decreasing for years, and if the 
breed continue to decline in the same propor- 
tion, experienced fishermen say it must, ere 
long, become extinct. 

The salmon fishery, in a national point of 
view, is highly important, and although 
numerous Acts of Parliament have been 


passed to protect it, and various individuals, 
as the late Sir Francis Mac Kenzie, of Gair- 
loch, have exerted themselves in the discovery 
of means for the safety of the spawn, the 
root of the evil has not been reached. It 
is the new, and it is believed illegal, use of 
bag-nets, introduced about twenty years ago, 
which is the chief cause of this result ; they 
are not only placed in rivers, but along the 
whole coast, and their effect may be seen 
from the fact, that in this year there arrived 
in London market, of grilse or young salmon, 
5100 boxes less than in 1846, which was 
itself one of the worst years of fishing ever 





Whiskey Still. 

TT is a curious fact that the means of 
producing artificial excitation, or a 
pleasing flow of animal spirits, is one of 
the earliest objects of human solicitude. 
No sooner have herds been domesticated 
and the land brought into cultivation, than 
the invention of man discovers the art of 
preparing an exhilarating beverage. To the 
people of the east and the southern countries 
of Europe, the vine afforded a delicious 
treat, the want of which the Gauls and 
Britons supplied from grain, and the liquor 
prepared from it they named Curmi, a word 


retained in close resemblance by the Welsh, 
whose term for beer is Cwrw ; the Gael have 
lost this word, but they retain Cuirm, a feast, 
and call ale Loinn, the Llyn, or liquor of the 

It was reserved for the northern descend- 
ants of the Celtic race to improve on the 
process of fermentation, and by distilling 
the Brathleis, or wort, they became the 
noted preparers of Uisge beatha. This term 
is literally " the water of life," corresponding 
to Aqua vitae, Eau de vie, &c., and it is 
from the first portion of the word that 
* Whiskey ' is derived. It is otherwise called 
Poit du', or the black pot, in the slang 
vocabulary of the smuggler, the Irish Poteen, 
or the little pot, being of similar import. 

The superiority of small still spirits to that 
which is usually produced in large licensed 
distilleries, is supposed to arise from the more 
equable coolness of the pipe, a regular supply 
of spring water being introduced for the 
condensation of the steam and the Braich, 
or malt, is also believed to be of a better 


quality, being made in small quantities, and 
very carefully attended to. As the prepara- 
tion of malt for private distillation is illegal, 
it must be managed with great secrecy, and 
the writer has seen the process carried on 
in the Eird houses, often found on the muirs, 
which, being subterraneous, were very suitable 
for the manufacture. These rude construc- 
tions had been the store-houses for the grain, 
to be used in another form, of the original 
inhabitants. Whiskey may be sometimes of 
inferior quality; but where the people are 
generally so good judges of its worth it is not 
likely that a bad article will be produced, and 
it may be observed that the empyreumatic 
taste, vulgarly called 'peat reek,' is a great 
defect. Tarruing dubailt is double distilled, 
Treasturruing, three times, and when it is 
wanted to be still stronger, it is "put four 
times through," and called Uisge bea'a ba'ol. 
From the nature of the traffic, the most 
secluded spot is selected for the plantation of 
the simple distillery. Caves in the mountains, 
coiries or hollows in the upland heaths, and 


recesses in the glens, are chosen for the 
purpose, and they are, from fear of detection, 
often abandoned after the first ' brewst.' 
The print exhibits a Whiskey Still at work 
in a moonlit night, attended by two gillean, 
or youths, and the primitive construction of 
the apparatus is sufficiently made out. Into 
the tub, or vessel, through which the ' worm,' 
or condensing pipe is conveyed, although not 
seen in the picture, there is a small rill 
conducted, which, running through, affords 
a constant supply of the cold stream. 

National as the love of whiskey appears to 
be, it is matter of doubt whether it has been 
long known to the Highlanders. Some 
writers seem to have no doubt that the 
ancient Caledonians possessed the art of 
preparing alcohol ; but to arrive at the 
distillation of spirits an acquaintance with 
chemistry is requisite, and society must be 
in an advanced state of improvement ere 
such a manufacture could be attempted. 
Writers who have directed their attention 
to the subject, maintain that no satisfactory 

proof can be found of whiskey having been 
in use at an earlier period than the beginning 
of the fifteenth century. Certain it is, that 
malt liquor formed the chief beverage of the 
old Highlanders, who do not seem to have 
had so fond a relish for uisge beatha as their 
successors, and however useful a dram of 
good Glenlivet may be in a northern climate, 
it does not appear that the present race are 
more healthy and hardy than their fathers. 
General Stewart gives the evidence of a 
person who died in 1791, at the age of 
104, that lionn-laidir, strong ale, was the 
Highland beverage in his youth, whiskey 
being procured in scanty portions from the 
low country ; yet Prince Charles, at Coireairg, 
in 1745, elated to hear that Cope had declined 
battle, ordered whiskey for the common 
soldiers, to drink the general's health, which 
would prove it to have been then plentiful. 

Illicit distillation was at one time perse- 
veringly carried on throughout Scotland, and 
whiskey was indeed a staple commodity. 
Many depended for payment of their rents 


upon what they could make by this means, 
and landlords had obvious reasons to wink at 
the smuggling which prevailed with their 
knowledge to such an extent among their 
tenants; some years ago several justices of 
the peace in Aberdeenshire were deprived 
of their commissions, for stating it as impos- 
sible to carry into effect the stringent acts 
passed for the suppression of the illegal 

In the fastnesses of the Highland districts 
it was difficult to discover the bothies, where 
the work was carried on, and prudence often 
forbade the gauger from attempting a seizure ; 
but in more accessible parts of the country, 
his keen search could only be evaded by the 
utmost vigilance. In Strathdon, Strathspey, 
and neighbouring localities, where a mutual 
bond of protection exists, it is the practice, 
when the exciseman is seen approaching, to 
display immediately from the house-top, or a 
conspicuous eminence, a white sheet, which 
being seen by the people of the next ' town,' 
or farm steading, a similar signal is hoisted, 


and thus the alarm passes rapidly up the glen, 
and before the officer can reach the trans- 
gressors of the law, everything has been 
carefully removed and so well concealed, 
that even when positive information has 
been given, it frequently happens that no 
trace of the work can be found. 

The life of a smuggler is harassing, and the 
system has a demoralising tendency ; from 
the time he commences malting he is full of 
anxiety, and the risk he runs of having the 
proceeds of his painful labour captured in its 
transit to the customer is not the least of his 
troubles. Sometimes the low-country people 
will meet the Highlanders, and purchase the 
article at their own risk; but it is generally 
taken by the latter to the towns, and they 
travel frequently in bodies with horses and 
carts. Information is often obtained of these 
expeditions, and the exciseman intercepts it, 
taking, if necessary, a party of soldiers ; but 
sometimes, after a severe encounter, the 
smugglers have got off, carrying back a 
portion of the spirits, and, mayhap, leaving 


wounded or dead on both sides. When the 
party reaches the vicinity of a town the 
greatest caution must be observed in going 
about with the sample of " the dew," and 
all sorts of expedients are adopted to convey 
it, when sold, to the premises of the buyer. 





Throwing the Stone. 

A THLETIC sports form one of the 

favourite pastimes of people in a state 

of society similar to that of the Scottish 
Highlanders, the inhabitants of mountainous 
countries delighting in the perils of Alpine 
adventures and the trials of strength and 
hardihood. These are the most congenial 
amusements to those of masculine, agile 
frames, and impetuous spirits, and they 
greatly promote both mental animation and 
warlike prowess. 

The famed Olympic games, founded in 
the infancy of Greece, and instituted for the 



display of feats of strength and agility, were 
proudly supported through after ages. The 
Athletae were professional exhibitors, but 
the most exalted personages also entered the 
heroic arena, and often carried off the prize. 
The Olympiads bore a close resemblance 
to the Bardic festivals still maintained in 
Wales, and the competition gatherings so 
frequently held in the Scottish Highlands. 

Indoor employments are less suitable to 
the taste of a Gael, than the invigorating 
recreations of the field, yet, when not called 
abroad, some divertisement is naturally re- 
quired to alleviate the tedium of the evening 
hours, during the long and darksome winter, 
in which he is enwrapt. For this he is well 
provided with many amusing social recrea- 
tions, some of which are unknown in the 
low country. Mairi, nighean Alasdair ruadh, 
a poetess of high renown, who flourished 
about 1620, tells us that "the game of 
Chess and the music of the harp the history 
of the feats of the Fingalians, with the 
relations of the pleasures of the chase, 


were what the good son of Mac Leod 

The antiquity of Chess among the High- 
landers is proved by a curious discovery 
which was made in the Isle of Lewis 1831 of 
a number of the pieces, antiquely carved 
from the tusks of the Walrus, and a king- 
piece of similar workmanship found in the 
ruins of Dunstafnage Castle, Argyleshire. 

The love of gambling was particularly 
observable among the ancient Gauls and 
Irish, for the latter would lie in wait for any 
one whom they might induce to play, and 
the former would continue the amusement, if 
the term can be used for so serious an affair, 
until all being lost, they staked their freedom 
on the chance and would thus place them- 
selves in slavery ! 

The Cymro branch of the Celtic race, so 
remarkable for the minute regulation of all 
their customs, did not overlook the impor- 
tance of manly exercises. From 'Proberts 
Welsh Laws ' as published in the Archasology, 
the following among " the twenty-four excel- 


lencies," which formed the proper education 
of youth, are given as applicable to the 
present subject. 

Feats of strength. 







Fencing with sword and buckler. 

Fencing with the two handed sword. 

Fencing with the double pointed stick. 

Coursing with grey hounds. 

Chasing birds. 


Playing at Chess. 

The first ten only are accounted manly, the 
others being either "youthful" or "trivial." 
The Quinquertium, or five principal games 
at the Olympian festival were running, leap- 
ing, wrestling, throwing the javelin and quoits. 
Among the Highlanders, are racing, leaping, 


the running leap, much practised for its use- 
fulness, wrestling, club and foot ball, tossing 
the caber, throwing the hammer, putting or 
throwing the stone, lifting a heavy stone, 
contests in swimming and many other feats 
of sheer strength and agility. The weight of 
the stone, called clach-neart or the stone of 
strength, which was to be lifted from the 
ground, was sometimes very great, and it 
was frequently placed near the church and 
sometimes in the Kirkyard, that the men 
might exercise their ' vis inertia ' after the 
conclusion of religious service. One of this 
sort, named the Puterach, remains near the 
Kirk of Balquhider in Perthshire, which the 
strongest may boast having raised from the 
ground, breast high, which is the trial, and 
he is accounted a muscular man who can do 
so. Clach-cuid-fir was a stone of two hun- 
dred pounds weight and upwards, which was 
to be lifted from the ground and placed on 
another four feet high at least, and the youth 
who could perform this feat was forthwith 
reckoned a man. 



It is judicious in several respects to encour- 
age national sports and pastimes, especially 
when they are of a manly and invigorating 
character. It affords pleasure to the tenantry 
who are excited to a generous rivalry, and 
circulates money in localities where it is some- 
times of great use. We accordingly find 
throughout Scotland, numerous associations 
tor promoting competition in these exercises, 
supported by the nobility and gentry. Be- 
sides the Highland Society of London and its 
branches, the chief objects of which, are the 
encouragement of Language, Literature, and 
ancient Music, and that of Scotland, which is 
principally devoted to Agriculture, the follow- 
ing may be enumerated as more particularly 
engaged in the patronage of athletic games. 
The Celtic, the Bannockbura and Stirling, the 
St. Fillan, the Athol, the Braemar, the Strath- 
earn, the Glasgow, the Perth, the Dunkeld, 
the Fort William, the Dornoch, established by 
the Duke of Sutherland, the Holyrood and 
the Roslin Gymnastic, the Heather dub of 
Edinburgh, and the St. Ronan on the border. 



In the game here illustrated which is called 
Putting, two sorts of stones are used, the 
light and the heavy. The first is about six- 
teen pounds in weight, the latter from twenty 
to twenty-four pounds ; but the regulation 
differs in several societies. Sometimes a few 
paces run is taken to increase the impetus. 
We have seen a stone of twenty-two pounds 
thrown a distance of thirty-three feet, but it 
is often propelled considerably farther. The 
prizes are sometimes in money and at others 
in dresses, swords, dirks, powder horns, 
brooches, snaoisin mulls or snuff horns, 
medals, etc. 

Mac Phee, the Outlaw. 

A FTER the risings of 1715 and 1745, 
numerous individuals, and even bands 
of Highlanders, lived in undisguised hostility 
to the constituted authorities of the realm ; 
being either legally proscribed on charge of 
rebellion, or having voluntarily disclaimed 
allegiance to the House of Hanover. These 
lived in the ' troublous times ' ; but that any 
one in the present day should be able to 
maintain himself in safety when outlawed, is 
somewhat surprising. 

There is considerable interest in the life 
of the Highlander, here the subject of 


illustration, who has lived so long at the 
ban of the law, and has grown grey in a 
state of roving independence. 

It is about forty years since Ewen Mac 
Phee, then a fine athletic young man, was 
enlisted by his landlord in one of the 
Highland regiments embodied at that time. 
The profession was well suited to Ewen's 
disposition, and he was noted as a sprightly 
and able soldier ; but having very improperly 
been led to expect a commission, he became 
greatly discontented ; and when, after serving 
some time, he found no prospect of the 
realization of his hopes, he formed the 
resolution to desert. 

He did not attempt this object in the usual 
clandestine manner, but quite deliberately left 
parade, and marched home to the Highlands. 
He was, of course, quickly pursued, and was 
speedily captured, handcuffed, and marched 
off under a file of soldiers. In passing 
through Stratheric, the prisoner, watching 
a favourable opportunity, bounded from his 
guard, and plunging down a precipitous 


bank escaped the musquets of the party, 
and was quickly lost in the thicket. He 
qpntinued his flight until he reached a 
lonely cottage, where, with the assistance 
of the shepherd, the handcuffs were knocked 
off by a stone, and the deserter was 
again free in his mountain wilds. He pro- 
ceeded to Coiriebuie, a secluded retreat 
on the estate of Locheil, where he lived 
unmolested for many years, supporting him- 
self by hunting, fishing, and rearing a few 
goats, and occasionally assisted in floating 

He was well known by his countrymen, 
but met with no molestation, for although he 
avoided giving any offence, his determination 
to die rather than be retaken, and his being 
constantly armed, served to overawe any who 
might intend to arrest him ; and it was 
matter of prudence not to arouse his sense 
of danger. On one occasion he was pointed 
out to a person anxious to see a character 
so noted, by the incautious observation, 
" there he is," on which Ewen drew his 


dirk, and in the confusion which arose, Mac 
Kenzie, the stranger, was wounded. 

Being at last hotly pursued, he was obliged 
to leave Locheil, and he took possession of 
an island in Glenquoich, one of the chain 
of lakes in the line of the Caledonian canal. 
It is of small dimensions, scarcely a half 
acre in extent ; but the situation is highly 
romantic and solitary, the few birch trees 
which it produces contrasting agreeably with 
the dark mountains on either side, which are 
streaked with snow almost throughout the 

He had, when in Locheil's country, won 
the affection of a girl of fourteen, who is now 
his faithful wife, and mother of five children. 
In this islet they constructed a hut with 
branches of trees and turf, and he found, or 
formed, a boat, to enable him to get to the 
mainland, where he pastured some goats. 
These supplied him with milk and flesh, 
and his rod and gun procured him other 

Ewen is held in fear by the neighbouring 


tenants, from his daring character and 
supposed supernatural powers, which he 
believes himself to possess, and hence offer- 
ings of meal and money are not unfrequently 
conveyed to the island. This residence, 
however, must in winter be exceedingly 
cheerless ; and the situation of his family, 
bred up in lawless wildness, is a painful 
consequence of Ewen's singular position ; 
although it is believed the mother, who is 
still comparatively young and active, may 
impart a certain amount of instruction and 
Christian duty. 

Ewen is represented as much attached to 
his family, and a melancholy evidence of 
this lately occurred on occasion of the death 
of one of his sons. He had no wood 
wherewith to form a coffin, and if he had 
possessed the materials, he was so over- 
whelmed with grief, that he could not, as he 
said, "steady his hand for the work." He 
therefore left the desolate isle in his boat, 
and sought the assistance of a shepherd, who, 
procuring some herring barrel staves, was 


able to form a rude receptacle for the 
body, which was interred in a romantic 
burying-ground used by the people of the 
glen, and situated in another island in the 

Ewen, although well stricken in years, is 
still strong and healthy, and his muscular 
frame gives promise of a protracted age. 
The dangers to which his irregular mode of 
life exposes him, require his utmost vigilance, 
and frequently his greatest physical exertion. 
To prevent surprise, he has always a loaded 
gun close to his bed by night, and his dirk 
by his side during day : it seems even his 
wife is not unused to the rifle. 

His goats, a flock of sixty, had pastured 
on the farm of Mr. Cameron, of Coirechoillie, 
for which Mac Phee had never paid ' grass 
mail'; so one day in February, 1842, during 
his absence, the whole were driven off. Mrs. 
Mac Phee, a modern Helen Mac Gregor, 
gave quick pursuit, firing several times upon 
the party, but could not rescue the spoil ; yet 
the dread of the outlaw's, retaliation on 


Cameron's sheep, induced him at last to 
pay for the goats. 

When Mr. Edward Ellice had purchased 
the property of Glenquoich, Ewen paid him 
a visit, and in the style of ancient vassalage, 
or rather independent lairdship, he presented 
him with some goat milk cheese, and coolly, 
but with great politeness, informed the new 
proprietor, that he wished him well, and if no 
disturbance were offered to him, he should 
never think of molesting Mr. Ellice ! The 
island is, indeed, not perhaps worth a shilling ; 
but it was well adapted for the residence of 
this stern Highlander. Yet he has been 
lately ejected from his domain, and lives at 
Fort William, without much fear of being 
farther troubled by civil or military 

The foregoing is graphically described in 
Mr. Edward C. EUice's book on Place- 
Names in Glengarry and Glenquoich^ published 
in 1898. 

" Macphee was a well-known character throughout 
Inverness-shire about 50 years ago. Enlisting into the 


army as a young man, he soon found the restraints of 
discipline irksome to his restless nature, and, after a 
short term of service, deserted, and returned to his 
native Glengarry, where he lived in concealment 
with his sister at Feddan. The regimental authorities, 
however, hearing of his hiding-place, sent a sergeant 
with a. posse of soldiers to arrest him, and these, coming 
to Feddan unawares, captured him without much 
difficulty, and marched him off to the steamer at 
Corpach. Just as the steamer was starting, Ewen 
suddenly bent down, and, snapping his handcuffs 
against an iron bar which lay on the deck, leapt 
ashore. The steamer was off, and so was Ewen, and 
bounding over the heath, he was soon out of reach, 
unharmed by the few bullets which the soldiers sent 
after him. For two years he wandered about the 
woods which line the shores of Loch Arkaig, when, 
finding that he was no longer pursued, he made up 
his mind to build himself a bothy on the island in Loch 
Quoich, which now bears his name. His bothy built, he 
must needs have a wife ; so one fine morning he stepped 
across the hill to Glen Dulochan, where he had 
previously made the acquaintance of a girl, and, 
without much more courting, popped her on his back, 
and returned to his island, where they were duly 

When Mr. Ellice first came to Glenquoich he 
found Macphee in possession of his island. He was 
looked up to by all the poor people of the glen as a 
" seer " ; cows that were ill were brought to him to 
be cured, and he was also a noted weaver of charms. 
Mr. Ellice's first interview with Ewen was characteristic 
of the man. The former and a friend were sitting 
one night after dinner at Glenquoich Lodge, then 
quite a small house, " a but and a ben," drinking their 


whisky-toddy, when in walked Macphee, attired, as 
usual, in full Highland dress. Mr. Ellice, in the course 
of conversation, asked him by what right he lived on 
the island ; for answer, Ewen drew his dirk and, 
plunging it into the table, said : " By this right I have 
kept it, and by this right I will hold it." 

Macphee lived for many years on the island, and 
was a great favourite with Mr. Ellice, in spite of his 
notoriously wild character. Many are the anecdotes 
told in Glenquoich of his escapes from the sheriff's 
officers ; but as time went on his sheep-stealing pro- 
pensities grew on him, and at last the neighbouring 
shepherds, alarmed at the losses in their flocks, de- 
termined to try and bring the thefts home to him. 
They had not long to wait ; one snowy morning they 
found the tracks of a man and some sheep which led 
down from the hill to the lochside just opposite his 
house. The sheriff was informed, and two officers were 
sent to his house; these rowed over from Glenquoich 
to the island. Ewen, of course, was away on the hill; 
not so his wife, who without much ado commenced 
to fire on the officers as soon as they approached the 
island ; these, being quite unprepared for this style of 
reception, found in discretion the better part of valour, 
and retired to Inverness. Then, next week, however, 
they returned in force and this time well-armed. Ewen 
Macphee was caught and taken to prison, where he 
eventually died ; and on searching the place, bales 
upon bales of tallow and skins were found hidden in 
the loch under the banks of the island." 


Signal for the Boat. 

of the great inconveniences of a 
Highland and insular life, is the 
necessity in traversing the country for cross- 
ing rivers, lochs, and arms of the sea. The 
state of the weather renders this frequently 
impossible for some length of time; rivers 
become swollen, lochs and seas are in 
tempestuous agitation during a great part 
of the winter, the inhabitants of remote 
places consequently suffering at times con- 
siderable privation from the stoppage of 
regular communication with the mainland 
or more favoured localities. Should the 


weather, however, be favourable for a 
passage, it is necessary to apprise the Fear 
a bhata, or Boatman, on the opposite side, 
which may be a mile or more distant, that 
his services are required by some weary 
traveller, anxious to reach his destination. 
The hoisting a flag on a tall pole con- 
spicuously fixed, might well answer the 
purpose of a signal, but a more ready and 
natural expedient is practised in the High- 
lands. Turf is found plentifully in almost 
every part of the country, with which a fire 
is speedily got up, the smoke giving the 
necessary notice. 

In these days of universal improvement, 
the Highlanders doubtless avail themselves 
of the use of chemical matches in the most 
remote districts, but when this valuable 
article is not at hand, a light is procured 
as in former times, from a neighbouring 
cottage, or a live peat may be carried from 
some distance. It is otherwise obtained by 
the sparks elicited from flint and steel, the 
back of a dirk, a sword, or the flash of the 


powder from the lock of a pistol or gun. 
Those who possessed a lens have used it 
during the warm days of summer to raise 
a fire by the well known concentration of 
the sun's rays. 

There was much agreeable excitement in 
journeying through the West Highlands in 
days of yore. It was then incumbent on 
the tourist to engage a boat with able rowers 
to transport him from isle to isle or across 
the numerous lochs or inlets of the ocean ; 
horses and guides were also to be procured, 
and in these ways a considerable amount of 
money was left among the Highlanders, 
while the intercourse was in other respects 

It is quite otherwise now that steam boats 
ply all around. In these the travellers 
generally embark at Glasgow when bound 
to the west and north, and they are carried 
to the far-famed Staffa, the venerated lona, 
the Caledonian canal, and other places, where 
they are allowed an hour or two to land 
and examine the natural and antiquarian 


curiosities, which offer themselves to notice, 
and thus they pass through the country, 
without perhaps leaving a shilling behind. 
The poor Highlanders feel the loss of this 
source, whence a seasonable accession to their 
scanty means was often obtained. 

The boat fire is always made on the same 
spot, that it may not be mistaken. It is 
generally kindled on a projecting point of 
land, and when the smoke is seen ascending, 
the people on the opposite side announce it 
to the ferryman, " Smuid suas ! " the smoke 
is up, on which the boat puts off to convey 
the awaiting passengers across their watery 
way. The smoke, which it is desirable to 
render dense, is seen from a great distance 
when the day is fine, but in wet and foggy 
weather the mist which overhangs the water 
is embarrassing. 

At night the brightness of the fire will 
render it the obvious means of giving signal 
for a boat. " The warning flame " was the 
primitive telegraph by which aid was requested 
and danger indicated, and the same means 


are yet employed in military operations. 
The proper distribution and management of 
" Bail fires " were regulated by Scottish 
Parliament, and the proper time for the 
immortal Bruce's descent upon Carrick for 
the recovery of his kingdom, was indicated 
by the kindling of a fire in a certain 

An affecting tale, in which we find the 
use of fire, as the only mode of conveying 
information, is preserved in the islands of 
the west. 

St. Kilda, or Hirta, as it is called by the 
natives, is the farthest inhabited islet in this 
range, and it has only one place where a 
landing can be effected, while it is exposed to 
the unopposed fury of the Atlantic Ocean. 
The people live chiefly on the sea fowl which 
abound among the rocks, and with the 
feathers their little rent is paid. To procure 
these birds the greatest perils are encountered, 
and loss of life is often the result of the 
adventurous toils. 

A boat had gone on one occasion to a 


precipitous rock at some distance from St. 
Kilda, in search of the usual game, when 
unfortunately the boat was dashed to pieces, 
while the crew got safe upon the rugged isle. 
The storm increased, and here were the for- 
lorn men exposed to its severity with no 
means of escape, or any hope of relief from 
their grieving friends, who could do nothing 
for their rescue or ascertain their fate. In 
these afflicting circumstances the unfortunate 
men lighted as many fires as there were 
survivors, and at night, when these beacons 
were seen, and the number reckoned, night 
by night, the people of St. Kilda knew, by 
this device, how many had been saved, and 
until the weather moderated so that assistance 
could be sent to take them off their sea-girt 
prison, they contrived to subsist on such fowl 
and fish as could be procured. 

The artist has sketched a man and woman, 
waiting the arrival of the boat for which they 
have raised the smoke, the well-known signal, 
which has been obeyed. In cold weather 
the fire is agreeable, if the party has long 


to wait, and there is usually a quantity of 
fuel prepared for use, as necessary for the 
working of this Celtic Trajectus, which is 
sometimes maintained at the expense of the 
landed proprietor or surrounding gentlemen. 



Gille Calum. 

'"TpHIS dance so popular in the Highlands 
* is more properly the Sword Dance, a 
performance which requires great agility and 
admits of considerable grace in its execution. 
Dancing is one of those beautiful exercises 
and agreeable amusements in which all nations 
indulge. The savage, with whom it is either 
a matter of enjoyment, a defiance to the foe, 
or incentive to fight, enters into the wonted 
evolutions with the same spirit, and threads 
its maddening mazes, with as much punctilio, 
as the accomplished performer of the grave 
minuet and the more exhilarating waltz. 

, % 


It is deemed by many of the more austere 
to be unbecoming the composure and good 
sense of civilized mankind, if not morally 
reprehensible, to engage in dancing ; but we 
have the example of no less a personage than 
Socrates, who in his advanced life addicted 
himself to the practice, and to one who, 
having found him so engaged, expressed sur- 
prise at the philosopher's levity, he answered, 
that, were his friend to know how much 
pleasure and advantage in point of health 
were derived from the pastime, he also would 
learn the art. 

Dancing was a part of religious worship 
among ancient nations, and it is intro- 
duced in the ceremonials of some modern 
people. We find King David dancing 
with joy and gladness before the ark of 
the Lord. On the escape of the Israel- 
ites from Pharaoh, Miriam, the sister of 
Aaron, went out, followed by all the 
women chaunting with timbrels and with 
Dances, a solemn song of praise for 
their deliverance, and the daughters of 


Shiloh danced in an yearly feast of the 

With the Greeks and Romans it was a 
principal part of worship, and the Welsh 
were accustomed to form a dance in the 
churchyard on the conclusion of service. 

There is, perhaps, no people who take 
more delight in dancing than the Gael, both 
of Scotland and Ireland. It is indicative of 
a strong musical genius and buoyancy 
of spirits, for they will resort to it as a 
recreation after the hard labours of the day. 
The figures and steps are admirably adapted 
to the national music ; the Jigs of the one, 
and the Reels and Strathspeys of the other 
being well known characteristics of the two 

The effect of Scottish dancing is very 
much heightened by the picturesque costume, 
as well as the manner of using the arms 
by the men, and knacking the finger and 
thumb, with an occasional shout of exhilara- 
tion in unison with the notes, which we think 
peculiar to Scotland. The steps and passes 


are varied, and in many cases elegant, 
generally requiring great agility to be well 

In variety, they are a contrast to those 
of Ireland. George IV. on witnessing some 
of the reeling, at the Ball given in the 
palace of Holyrood, 1822, repeatedly ex- 
pressed his applause by clapping his hands ; 
and our excellent Queen orders the native 
dances to be gone through, not only in her 
visits to the Highlands, but at all Court 

Military dances have been in practice 
among most nations of antiquity, and are 
found with those who still retain their 
primitive manners. The Indians exhibit with 
fervent enthusiasm that striking scene in 
savage life, the wild war dance, and the 
Greeks, so highly refined, joyed in the 
Pyrrhic, in which the actors clashed their 
swords and bucklers in imitation of a combat. 

The Gauls and their descendants, the 
Caledonians, doubtless, had similar warlike 
excitements. The Highlanders have the 


Dirk Dance now almost forgotten, and the 
Sword Dance, known all over the country, 
as * Gille Calum,' from the name of the tune 
by which the movements of the performer 
are regulated, but it has no relation to the 
performance itself, being simply the name 
of a man, about whom some unimportant 
verses are repeated. 

The air played to the dancer does not 
appear to have been uniformly the same, 
different districts having had particular com- 
positions ; in Perthshire, the tune was called 
' Mac an Rosaich,' being of that grave de- 
scription called ' Port.' Its original name, 
it would appear, was * Mac an' orsair,' which, 
with the mode of dancing, General Stewart 
of Garth tells us, has disappeared; but he 
had seen it executed by some old men. 

As now performed, two naked swords are 
laid across each other on the floor, and the 
person who dances, moves nimbly around 
them, dextrously placing his feet by a peculiar 
step in the intervals between the blades, at 
first by a single step, but as he proceeds 


the movement becomes rapid and compli- 
cated, exciting a dread in spectators lest he 
may wound his ancles. The object is to 
avoid the blades, as the dance is broken 
should either be touched ever so slightly. 

This is the Sword Dance as now per- 
formed, which does little more than shew, 
like those of several other nations, its martial 
origin. As danced by old men, according 
to descriptions I have received, it was more 
in character, for in the course of the dance 
they took up the swords and made certain 
flourishes as if engaged in fighting or defying 
an enemy. 

It was also appropriately called ' an Baiteal,' 
or the Battle Dance, and was performed by 
thirteen persons at Perth in 1633, before 
King Charles. In Rolt's life of the Earl of 
Crauford, Colonel of the 42nd Highlanders 
in 1739, we are told, that "he performed 
in a noble way the Highland dance habited 
in that dress, and flourished a naked broad 
sword, similar to the Pyrrhic dance. He 
performed before the King and full court, 


also before a grand assembly at Cormorra, 
in Hungary, in the costume of that country." 

' Gille Calum ' has not certainly been im- 
proved by the loss of this variation, which 
would give so much effect and character to 
an interesting relic of the ancient Gaelic 

The figure in the illustration dances to 
the music of the Jew's-harp, a simple instru- 
ment which the Highlanders play with great 
effect, and for excellence in which prizes 
were formerly bestowed. An old man whistles 
as an accompaniment. 



2 4 I 

Carrying Peat. 

f I ""HE supply of fuel in a northern country 
* of variable climate, is an object of 
primary solicitude to the inhabitants. 

In the north and west parts of Scotland 
the only material in general use for the 
domestic hearth is turf or peat, called in 
the Highlands foid and moin. It is un- 
necessary to describe so well known a natural 
feature as a moss or bog, and the manner 
of its formation from the marshy deposit 
of vegetable substances, accumulating for 
ages. Such a tract is sometimes of wide 
extent, and although in many cases shallow, 


in others the depth is found astonishingly 
great. One at the foot of the Grampian 
Mountains in Aberdeenshire was sounded 
by an auger of forty feet without meeting 
other soil! 

Mosses are often an unsightly blemish on 
the fair fields of a proprietor, and are fre- 
quently brought under tillage and rendered 
excellent soil by agricultural skill. This is 
accomplished sometimes by cutting up the 
surface, which is burned and the ashes 
scattered around ; at other times, judicious 
irrigation speedily transforms the dusky heath 
into a verdant field; and, in the case of 
the great Blair Drummond Moss in Perth- 
shire, the turf being cut deeply out, it was, 
by an ingenious contrivance, carried away 
by water and floated into the river Forth. 
Where the fuel is plentiful, a moss may be 
brought into cultivation without hardship 
to the people, and should it be wanted in 
future, the peat will be again found under 
the surface soil. 

The destruction of the Caledonian forest, 



which covered the Highlands, and the pro- 
gress of improvement has denuded the 
country of its ancient wood, and where 
coal is wanting, mosses afford a supply, as 
if by the order of Providence, of an article 
of the first necessity, for which no substitute 
is to be found. 

In some parts where peat is valuable, 
the several farms have certain allotments, 
or ' peat banks,' specified in the tack or 
lease ; but great liberality is generally shown 
in this matter, the poorer tenantry being 
by most landowners allowed to supply them- 
selves with as much as they require during 
the year. Some proprietors have, indeed, 
restricted this practice, of immemorial obser- 
vance, at which the people, very reasonably, 
grumble, as an interference with their ancient 

The peat-harvest, to assume an expression, 
takes place in the months of summer, and 
the cutting or ' casting ' begins in May, the 
operation being performed with an implement 
called Torrisgian, by which the turf is cut 


into pieces of the form of a brick, but 
thinner and some inches longer. The sur- 
face being taken off, the torrisgian is applied, 
and the spade part being furnished with a 
sharp projection at right angles, cuts the 
moin into the shape described. This is 
done within a certain breadth, the workman 
passing alternately from side to side, and 
the operation is continued to a suitable 
depth, the pieces being detached with rapidity 
and thrown to the bank, where a person 
dextrously catches them ; and when there 
are no wheelbarrows, and plenty of hands, 
the peats are passed from one to another, 
spread out to harden, and then set on end 
by threes and fours to dry. If the weather 
is propitious and the people diligent, they 
are then removed home and ' stacked,' or 
built up in an oblong form beside the house, 
like a small hut, and protected from wet 
by a covering of the upper part of the 
moss. They are often, however, left in 
this state on the muir, and portions carried 
home when required for use. The primitive 


stack was conical, and hence called Cruach 
mhoine, as descriptive of its form. 

The poorer people have their * firing ' cut 
and taken home for them by their friendly 
neighbours, and there is often seen a spirit 
of cheerful co-operation, such as a Socialist 
might envy. A certain farmer wishes to 
have the whole quantity of fuel which he 
requires cut up at once, he therefore intimates 
his desire, when all the adjacent tenants 
turn out, both men and women, and the 
work is speedily accomplished generally in 
one day. This affords a scene of great 
animation, for casks of whiskey and ale, 
bread, cheese, fish, and mutton are provided 
in cheering abundance, and now-a-days the 
female portion of the labourers are provided 
with their valued beverage, the heart-healing 
tea. This is a mutual service rendered to 
each other with great delight, and is particu- 
larly remarkable in the county of Sutherland. 

Peat-fuel is burned on the hearth, and 
considerable skill is said to be necessary in 
its right management. It makes a cheerful 


fire, throwing out great heat with a smell 
which pervades the whole house, but is not 
disagreeable, and its effects are said to be 
less injurious than those of coal. The ashes 
are carefully preserved and are a useful 
manure, especially when mixed with sea- 
weed or other substances. 

The illustration represents two Cailleagan 
carrying home a portion of their winter 
comfort, from the Maol a Cruadh, in Loch- 
aber, by a path where it is evident neither 
horse nor cart could be used. The principal 
figure was sketched from a Glenco girl, 
named Caorag rua' ; both are in the usual 
costume of Highland peasants, and the 
basket, the Scottish creel, is called Cliabh. 
The open work is for the convenience of 
lifting it, and reeving the rope by which it 
is carried. 




Carrying Fern 

(See Frontispiece.) 

* I K HIS beautiful plant, the Filix of botanists, 
is found in the greatest abundance and 
luxuriance in most parts of the Highlands, 
rapidly spreading wherever it takes root, a 
single leaf often bearing no less than one hun- 
dred millions of seeds, and when it gets into 
land under cultivation for grass or crop, it is 
a matter of great difficulty to expel it from 
the soil. It is chiefly found in wooded 
situations, but it is otherwise seen over- 
spreading large tracks, forming a contrast 
to the brown or purple heathy muirs. In 
autumn, when it assumes a deep golden 


colour, some of the small uninhabited isles 
of the west present a pleasing and a singularly 
gorgeous appearance. 

The Fern is called Raineach in- Gaelic, 
and receives the name of Braikens in the 
south and east of Scotland, a term which is 
properly applied to the female plant, and 
is evidently derived from the word ' breac,' 
signifying spotted, the seeds appearing in 
numerous brown specks or clusters beneath 
the leaf. 

The Raineach is applied to different pur- 
poses by the economic Highlanders. It serves 
as a ready and excellent litter for cattle, 
and it forms no unpleasant bed for a weary 
traveller. It is highly valuable as a com- 
pound in manure, either of itself when 
green or taken from the cowhouse. It forms 
an excellent covering for corn stacks and 
houses, being much cheaper, while it is 
greatly superior for this purpose, to straw 
or rushes ; it is next to Heath in durability 
as an article for thatching, and if well laid 
on it will last without requiring any repair, 


from fifteen to twenty years, heather being 
equal to slate and standing as long as eighty 
to a hundred, if the timber do not decay! 

The practice in thatching, Tughadh in 
the vernacular, is to lay an under covering 
of Foid, scotice, divots or thin cuttings of 
turf, which are placed with care and regu- 
larity in manner of fish scales, on cabers or 
pieces of wood laid transversely on the 
rafters or great beams, which in the houses 
of old construction spring from the ground, 
giving great strength to the building. On 
this the Fern is carefully spread, but it is 
frequently the sole covering. The plant is 
first laid at the top of the side walls, the 
stems being usually placed downwards and 
successive layers are added as the work 
advances upwards to the ridge, where it is 
terminated by a fastening of divot or turf; 
sometimes also its security is increased by 
ropes of straw or birch twigs, held in their 
place by wooden pegs. 

To the above applications of this useful 
plant may be mentioned that of having it 

burned when green, to procure a lye for 
the process of bleaching. 

It has been observed in a former number, 
that in all primitive society, a large pro- 
portion of work is performed by women, 
more particularly that which appertains to 
the management of flocks, and the domestic 
regulation of the household. The same 
practice is continued to a great degree in 
the Highlands, and from observing the per- 
formance of duties which, from their severity, 
seem to devolve with more propriety on 
the men, travellers have taken frequent 
occasion to charge them with the harsh 
treatment of the females, an assertion al- 
together groundless and uncharacteristic of 
the people. When travellers observe the 
women engaged in what appears hard work, 
in fishing villages and habitations on the 
coast, they must recollect, that the men are 
spending their weary days and nights seeking 
a precarious livelihood on a stormy sea. 
Many duties in rural life necessarily fall to 
the care of the females, by whom they are 


performed with cheerfulness, however labori- 
ous, and such, indeed, is the force of habit, 
that they would not willingly be prevented 
from these acts of attention, which they 
believe it incumbent on them to perform. 
One of these employments is conveying 
home Ferns. From their lightness a quantity 
of great bulk may be easily carried, and the 
Highland girl, with a light heart and an 
agile step, bounds along the dusky plain 
and across the roughly rushing brook, with 
her sylvan load. The Raineach stubble and 
the wiry heath are not, to be sure, the softest 
materials on which the naked feet may tread, 
but habit has inured the peasant to the 
practice, and shoes would sadly cramp the 
elasticity of gait so observable in the High- 
land population : in fact, the females have 
a dislike to the use of shoes and stockings, 
although they may have them. 

The visit of Her Majesty to Badenach, 
last year, afforded the artist an opportunity 
of sketching one of many girls employed to 
cut and carry from the hills the choicest 



Ferns to ornament the rustic arches raised 
in honour of the Royal landing at Fort 
William. The dress is that which is now 
worn, and has nothing in it more particular 
than what has been shewn in the illustrations 
of some former numbers. Heretofore the 
gown was open in front, which allowed it to 
be tucked behind with a degree of grace 
and convenience. In this figure it is parti- 
ally pinned up, loose, and neglige, without 
the appearance of scantiness; neat, and 
befitting the nature of alpine and pastoral 

In elder times, while the men marched 
bare thighed to the field of honour, the 
better part of human creation went with 
uncovered leg to those employments which 
threw comfort and happiness around their 
mountain dwellings, and enhanced the solace 
of their " ain fire side." 



Abergeldie Castle, 176. 

Acts against illicit distilling, 

Albert, Prince, his Highland 

home, 15. 
Alexander, Emperor of Russia, 


Alexander II. of Scotland, 48. 
Allegiance to House of Hanover 

disclaimed, 212. 
Amusements of the Highlanders, 


Anderson's " History of Com- 
merce," 155. 
Angling, 125. 
Angling, Opinions for and 

against, 125. 

" Annals of Batavia," 155. 
Antlers, or cabar, 139. 

Antlers, shed annually, 140. 
Archaeological remains, Ard- 

chattan, 120. 
Archery, 208. 
Ardchattan Priory, 120. 
Argyle, Earl of, in battle, 30. 
Arisaig, famous for eagles, 166. 
Armlet, Bronze, 250. 
Athol, Earl of, and James V., 


Attacked by a whale, 160. 
Axe, Lochaber, 71. 

Badenach visited by Queen 
Victoria, 255. 

" Bail Fires " regulated by Par- 
liament, 229. 

Ballach, Black Donald, 30. 

Balme, Buna we, 120. 



Balquhidder, Kirk of, 209. 

Bardic festivals, 206. 

Bardism, 208. 

Barilla, Introduction of, 78. 

Battle dance, 239. 

Bedagoun, The, 150. 

Bell of St. Fillans, 142. 

Benkelings, William, 158. 

Bird chasing, 208. 

Black and white cloth, 117. 

Black cattle, 42. 

" Black fishing," 186. 

Blair Drummond Moss, 245. 

Boadicea's robe, 117. 

Boat, Signal for the, 225. 

Boat, Waiting for the, 230. 

Boat fire kindled, 228. 

Boats swamped in crossing a 

river, 175. 

Book first printed in Gaelic, 89. 
Bothan-Airidh,or mountain sheil- 

ings, 77. 

" Boy of the Horn," 87. 
Bradan, or salmon, 126. 
Braikens, or ferns, 252. 
Bradwardine, Baron of, his 

washing maids, 56. 
Brass cooking pot, 82. 
Breac, or trout, 126. 
Breid, The, 119. 
Britons, Early, Corn stores of, 26. 
Brooch, Brass, 10. 
Brooch, "Large Luckenbooth," 


Brooch, Silver, in, 182. 
Buachail, or herdsman, 167. 
Buailtearan, or threshers, 28. 
Buchanan, George, 88. 
Burning corn in the straw 

illegal, 50. 
Byron, Lord, on angling, 125. 

Cabar, or antlers, 139. 

Caesar landed in Britain B.C. 55, 

Caesar's " Commentaries," 26. 

Caithness, Earl of, 30. 

Caitir-leasg, 149. 

" Caledonia," by Chalmers, 157. 

Caledonian Forest, 245. 

Caledonian's knowledge of dis- 
tilling, 197. 

Cameron of Coirechoillie, 219. 

Camp at a deer hunt, 139. 

Campbell of Monzie, 120. 

Carrying fern, 251. 

Carrying peat, 242. 

Carsewell, Dr., Bishop of the 
Isles, 89. 

Cattle, Black, 42. 

Cattle, some wonderful herds, 32. 

Celtic prejudice to fish, 185. 

Chalmers's " Caledonia," 157. 

Charles, Prince, 119. 

Charles, Prince, and Cope, 198. 

Charles, Prince, and the "order 
of the mountain eagle," 171. 

Charles, Prince, his pistol, 141. 



Charles, Prince, his skian dhu, 


Charles, Prince, his target, 61. 
Charles, Prince, his watch, 151. 
Charles, Prince, landed, 1745, 


Chase, The, 137. 
Chasing birds, 208. 
Chess, Antiquity of, 207. 
Chess, Game of, 206. 
Chess men found at Dunstafnage, 


Chess playing, 208. 
Chisholms, The seat of the, 149. 
Christianity in early Scotland, 

Circuit of hunting, an old 

method, 138. 
Clanship abolished, 77. 
Clanship, Breaking up of, 19. 
Cloth, Black and white, 117. 
Club and foot ball, 209. 
Coffin made from herring-barrel 

staves, 218. 

Coiriebuie in Lochiel, 216. 
Caber, Tossing the, 2(39. 
Columba, St. , see St. Columba. 
Communication, Stoppage of, 


Competition gatherings, 206. 
Connaught, Ireland, 168. 
Cooking pot, Brass, 82. 
Cope, Sir John, 198. 
Cormorra, in Hungary, 240. 

Corn burning in the straw illegal, 

Com grinding, 27. 

Corn store, 26. 

Com threshing, 25. 

Costume of spinner girls, 150. 

Coursing with grey hounds, 208. 

Crauford, Earl of, dances sword 
dance, 239. 

Crieff: "Drovers at fair of 
Crieff," 38. 

Croidhleagan, or creel, 105. 

Crusie, or oil lamp, 162. 

Crossing rivers, 225. 

Cubieres, De, 28. 

Cuigeil, or distaff, 146. 

Culloden, 20,000 cattle cap- 
tured, 72. 

Cumberland, Duke of, drove in 
20,000 cattle at Culloden, 72. 

Curraghs, Description of, 175. 

Dance, Battle, 239. 
Dance, Sword, 232. 
Dances, Military, 237. 
Dancing, Antiquity of, 235. 
Dancing, Socrates advocates, 


Dancing, Universality of, 232. 

Dancing a part of early wor- 
ship, 236. 

Dancing in Bible times, 235. 

David, King of Israel, and danc- 
ing, 235. 



Davy, Sir Humphrey, on Ang- 
ling, 125. 

Dealgan, or spindle, 146. 

Deer, Age of, 140. 

Deer, an exceedingly difficult 
animal to hunt, 132. 

Deer herds, 135. 

Deer-hunter, Privations of a, 


Deer-hunting, Ancient mode of, 


Deer-hunting, 98. 
Deer-hunting in Highlands, 95. 
Deer- stalking, 132. 
Deer-stalking a regal sport, 137. 
Diodorus describes dresses worn 

by the Gauls, 117. 
Dirk dance, 238. 
Disarming Act, 38. 
Distaff, 145. 
Distaff, Celtic veneration for, 


Distillation, Illicit, 198. 
Distillation, Private, illegal, 196. 
Distilling, an old industry, 192. 
Donald Ballach of the Isles, 30. 
Donald, Clan, in rebellion, 30. 
Drinking cup used by Prince 

Charlie, 190. 
Drovers, 32. 
Drovers, keen sense of hearing, 


Drovers, tale of two drovers, 39. 
Drovers, their work, 36. 

Drovers exempted from Dis- 
arming Act, 38. 

Dulochan Glen, 221. 

Dulse, a wholesome article of 
food, 105. 

Dulse, Description of, 105. 

Dulse gathering, 105. 

Dulse, Various ways of cooking, 

Dunstafnage Castle, 120. 

Dunstafnage Castle, Chess men 
found at, 207. 

Dutch and Scotch Fishers, 155. 

Eagle, Fight with an, 167. 

Eagle and the Highlander, 170. 

Eagle in heraldry, 170. 

Eagle sacred to Jove, 165. 

Eagles attack sheep, 166. 

Eagles' feathers denote rank, 

Eagles' great strength, 166. 

Eagles greatly decreasing in 
numbers, 166. 

Eagles, Longevity of, 170. 

Eagle's nest, Robbing an, 165. 

Eagles, some of their good 
habits, 169. 

Eagles, Voracity of, 170. 

Eagles, their plunder, 169. 

Eagles and salmon, Fights be- 
tween, 169. 

Edinburgh and London Post, 67. 

Education free, 86. 



Educational institutions, 85. 

Edward IV. established posts, 
66. [220. 

Ellice, Edward, of Glenquoich, 

Ellice, Edward C. , Place-names 
in Glengarry, 220. 

Emigration for Highlanders, 108. 

Erich, River, in Perthshire, 128. 

Erskine, Lord, 138. 

Erskine, Lord, and his deer- 
hunt, 98. 

Etive, Loch, 120. 

Excitement of travelling in West 
Highlands, 227. 

Falkirk, a great cattle market, 35. 
Fasgna, or winnowing from the 

chaff, 27. 

Fear a bhata, or boatman, 225. 
Fearsaid, The, 146. 
Feathers, Eagles', denoting 

rank, 170. 
Feathers, Three, denoting a 

chief, 170. 

Feathers as rent, 229. 
Feats of strength, 208. 
Fencing, Various modes of, 208. 
Fencing with sword and buckler, 


Ferns, an excellent manure, 252. 
Ferns, Carrying, 251. 
Ferns used for litter, 252. 
Ferns used for thatch, 252. 
Festival, Bardic, 206. 

Fiadh, or deer, 139. 

Fight between eagle and salmon, 

Fight with an eagle, 168. 

Fights between smugglers and 
excisemen, 200. 

Fingalian feats, 206. 

Fire, Methods of getting, 226. 

First book printed hi Gaelic, 89. 

Fishery, Herring, 152. 

Fishing, 208. 

Fishing Laws, Laxity of, 161. 

Flail described, 26. 

Flail used by Britons, 26. 

Flame, Warning, 228. 

Fly-fishing, 129. 

Football, 209. 

Fording a river, 172. [177- 

Fording incident at Strathglass, 

Foxes, boy kills 9 foxes, 96. 

Fraser, Mr., Sheriff of Fort- 
William, 179. 

Free education, 86. 

Fuller, Thomas, "The Holie 
State," 46. 

Funeral in Strathglass, 177. 

Gael, Social state of, 108. 

Gaelic gatherings, 20. 

Gaelic language, need for a 

chair at a university, 89. 
Gaelic language, number of 

people who speak Gaelic, 89. 
Gaelic language preserved, 17. 



Gaelic School Society, 91. 

Gaels' love for dancing, 236. 

Gambling, Love of, among High- 
landers, 207. 

Game laws, 186. 

Games, Olympic, 205. 

Garbh-criochan, or Highland 
boundary, 38. 

Gathering dulse, 105 

Gatherings, Gaelic, 20. 

" Gentle Shepherd," Allan 
Ramsay, 56. 

George IV., 119. 

Gille Calum, Description of, 

Gille Calum or sword dance, 

Gille-ruithe, or running footman, 

Gillie, or servant, 92. 

Gillies with game, 92. 

Girls washing, 52. 

Glencoe, birthplace of Ossian, 

Glencoe, Massacre of, 59. 

Glenquoich, MacPhee in, 217. 

Glenspean, 188. 

Goats, Flock of, belonging to 
MacPhee, 219. 

Gordon, Duke of, and his con- 
fidential retainer, 68. 

Graddan, or meal, 49. 

Grant of Glenmoriston's game- 
keeper, 136. 

Grinding corn, 27. 

Grinding corn by hand-mill, 45. 

Great Yarmouth, 155. 

Habbie's How, 56. 

Hake, The, 150. 

Halley, Dr., 26. 

Hammer, Throwing the, 209. 

Hand-mill, 45. 

Hand-mill, how used, 47. 

Hand-milling forbidden by law, 

Hanover, House of, Hostility to, 


Harp, Jew's, 240. 
Harp, Music of the, 206. 
Harris' pottery, 22, 51, 241. 
Hebrides, Johnson's Journey to, 


Heraldry, The eagle in, 170. 
Herring, Derivation of, 152. 
Herring curing, 158. 
Herring curing described, 1 59. 
Herring fishing, 152. 
Herring Fishery Legislature, 

Herring shoal, enormous area of, 


Herrings, Red, 159. 
Highland children healthy, 87. 
Highland foot post, 65. 
Highland games, Prizes at, 


Highland gatherings, 206. 



Highland girls without shoes, 


Highland names of deer, 139. 
Highland risings of 1715 and 

1745, 212. 

Highland societies, List of, 210. 
Highland Society of Scotland 

and herring fisheries, 157. 
Highland targe of wood, 122, 


Highlander and the eagle, 170. 

Highlander carries stone in his 
plaid, 176. 

Highlanders' literary qualities, 

Highlanders simple and un- 
sophisticated, 17. 

Highlanders, Social condition of, 
1 6. 

Highlanders foretell a flood, 175. 

Highlanders of keen intellect, 

Highlanders true sportsmen, 96. 

Highlands, Johnson's Journey to, 


Hill, Mr., 17. 

Hirta, or St. Kilda, 229. 

Hogg, James, the Ettrick Shep- 
herd, 80. 

Home-spun materials, 112. 

Horse shoes for good luck, 150. 

Horsemanship, 208. 

Horn, Powder, 102. 

Horns, See Antlers. 

Hunting, Examples of Highland, 


Hunting, old methods, 138. 
Hunting expeditions, 96, 97. 
Hunting matches, 138. 

lasgair, a fisherman, 127. 

Ian du, or Dark John of Aber- 

arder, 49. 
Ian fada, or Long John of Ben 

Nevis, 48. 

Ian m6r fording a river, 178. 
Illicit distillation, 198. 
Illicit stills, 196. 
Inverlochie, Battle near, 1645, 


Inverlochie Castle, 30. 
Inverness, Washing scenes at, 

lorrams, or boat songs, 159. 

James III. revives fishing trade, 
James V., 138. [156. 

Javelin, Throwing the, 208. 
Jew's harp, 240. 
Johnson's definition of oats, 28. 
Johnson, Samuel, "Journey to 

the Highlands," 13. 
Johnson, Samuel, on "Angling," 

Jumping, 208. 

Keith, Fall of, 128. 
Kelp manufacture, 78. 



Laggan, Loch, 130. 
Landseer, Edwin, 41. 
Language, Gaelic, preserved, 17. 
Lar-bualadh, The, 27. 
Leister, or spear, 188. 
Lens used to produce fire, 227. 
Lewis, Barra, etc., 68. 
Life, Gaelic mode of, 17, 
Light. Steel strike-light, 42, 81, 

91, 101, no. 

Literature of Highlanders, 17. 
Live peat as a signal, 226. 
Lochaber axes, 2, 71. 
Lochaber, Salmon spearing at, 


London and Edinburgh post, 67. 
Luatha' or " waulking," 58. 
Luckenbooth brooch, 6. 
Lynn, A ship of, captured, 1 58. 

MacCail, Kirsty, 119. 
MacDonald, Coll, a young fisher, 


MacDonald, Mr., of Inch, 179. 
MacDonald, Sorle" bui', 35. 
MacKenzie, Sir Francis, 190. 
MacKintosh, Mrs., 118. 
MacPhee, The outlaw, 212. 
MacPhee, Ewen, an outlaw, 97. 
MacPhee, Ewen, captured, 215. 
MacPhee, Ewen, enlists in a 

Highland regiment, 215. 
MacPhee, Ewen, deserts, 215. 
MacPhee, Ewen, escapes, 216. 

MacPhee, Ewen, death of, 222. 
MacPhee, Ewen, his wife, 217. 
MacPhee, Ewen, short sketch of 

his wanderings, 220-3. 
MacPherson of Crubin, 1 18. 
MacPherson, James, 18. 
MacRae, John, deerstalker, 136. 
Main, nighean Alasdair ruadh, 


Manly exercises, 208. 
Manners, change of national, 14. 
Mar, Earl of, 30. 
Mary, Queen. Deer hunt in 

her honour, 138. 
Mhuirich, Clan, 119. 
Military dances, 237. 
Mill, hand. See Hand-mill. 
Mode of life, Gaelic, 17. 
Mogan, 140. 

Montrose, Marquis of, 30. 
Monuments of antiquity Ard- 

chattan, 120. 

Monzie, Campbell of, 120. 
Morar, famed for eagles, 166. 
Muidart, famous district for 

eagles, 166. 

Muillean-bra", or hand-mill, 46. 
Muirgheadh, or spear, 188. 
Mnrlan, or creel, 105. 
Music of the harp, 206. 
Mustering for school, 86. 

National sports, their uses, 210 
Nuncios, or postmen, 65. 



Oatmeal medically recom- 
mended, 29. 

Oats, Dr. Johnson's definition 
of, 28. 

Oats used in Scotland, 28. 

Olympiads, The, 206. 

Olympic games, 205. 

" Order of the mountain eagle," 

Ornamented pins, 62. 

Ossian, Poetry of, 1 8. 

Ossian's birthplace, 59. 

Outlaw, Story of an, 215. 

Paley, Dr., on angling, 125. 
Parish schools, 85. 
Peat ashes used as manure, 249. 
Peat banks specified in the lease, 


Peat carrying, 242. 
Peat casting or cutting, 246. 
Peat cutting described, 246. 
Peat, live, as a signal, 226. 
Peat moss, Great depth of a, 

Peat, old practice of carrying 

peats to school, 87. 
Peat smoke less injurious than 

coal, 249. 
Peat stacks, 247. 
Pennant's tour in Scotland, 59. 
Penny postage established by 

Peter Williamson, 67. 
Pepper dulse, 106. 

Pins, Ornamented, 62. 

Pistol, Prince Charlie's, 141-181. 

Plaid of a shepherd, 79. 

Pliny and the Gaul's method of 

reaping, 26. 
Poetry, Gaelic, 18. 
Porridge, Antiquity of, 46. 
Postage, Penny, established, 67. 
Post bags, Mishaps to, 70. 
Post, Highland foot, 65. 
Postman, Highland, 65, 69. 
Post offices taken over by 

Government, 67. 
Posts established by Edward IV., 


Pot, Brass cooking, 82. 
Pottery, Harris, 51. 
Powder horn, 102, 191, 202. 
Prizes at Highland games, 211. 
Probert's Welsh Laws, 207. 
Puterach, The, 209. 
Putting the stone, 209. 

Quaich of ebony and ivory, 8. 
Quoits, 208. 

Raineach of Fern, 252. 

Ramsay, Allan, describes a wash- 
ing scene, 56. 

Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, 

Recreations, Social, 206. 

Red herrings, 159. 

Reels, Scotch, 236. 



River, Fording a, 172. 
Rivers become swollen, 225. 
Rivers cause great damage to life 

and property, 175. 
Rivers, Difficulty in crossing, 172. 
Robbing an eagle's nest, 165. 
Rolt's Life of Earl of Crauford, 


Ruins of hamlets in the High- 
lands, 76. 

Running, 208. 

Running leap, 209. 

Roads in the Highlands, 15. 

St. Columba, 18. 

St. Kilda, or Hirta, 229. 

St. Kilda. Fowlers, 168. 

St. Kilda, Wrecked at, 230. 

St. Fillans, Bell of, 142. 

Salmon a much hunted creature, 

Salmon, Large, 130. 

Salmon, Preserving, 130. 

Salmon and eagle, Fight be- 
tween, 169. 
| Salmon Fishery Acts, 189. 

Salmon leaps, 128. 

Salmon spearing, 185, 187. 

Shield. See Targe. 

Silver brooch, HI. 

Skian dhu worn by Prince 
Charlie, 121. 

School attendance in summer, 

School fees, 86. 

School, Going to, 85. 

Schools, Parish, 85. 

Scotch fisheries in olden times, 


Scotch reels, 236. 

Scotland, climate of, 107. 

Scott, Sir Walter, and Scottish 
scenery, 15. 

Scott, Sir Walter. Tale of two 
drovers, 30. 

Sheep farming, 77. 

Sheilings, 77. 

Shell-fish broth, 109 

Shepherd, Highland, 72. 

Shepherd's tartan plaid, 79. 

Shepherd's wages, 79. 

"Sheriff's pass," 179. 

Sickle mentioned, 26. 

Signal for the boat, 225. 

Signalling the approach of an 
exciseman, 199. 

Sinclair, Sir Robert, as post- 
master, 67. 

Singing when at work, 58. 

Slaik, description, 106. 

Small-still spirits, Superiority of, 

Smuggler's life, 200. [195. 

Smuggling, Difficulties of, 200. 

Smuggling whisky, 160. 

" Smuid suas," the smoke is up, 

Social condition of Highlanders 
little known, 16. 



Social recreations, 206. 
Societies, Highland, List of, 210. 
Society, altered state of, after 

1745. 75- 

Socrates on dancing, 235. 
Spade of oak, n. 
Spate, Rivers in, 177. 
Spean, River, 178. 
Spearing salmon, 185, 187. 
Spinner girls, Costume of, 150. 
Spinning an art, 149. 
Spinning, Antiquity of, 145. 
Spinning, description of the 

process, 147. 
Spinning, Scriptural quotations 

on, 145. 

Spinning in ancient Egypt, 145. 
Spinning with the distaff, 145. 
Sporran worn by Prince Charlie, 


Sport, Highlanders' love of, 92. 
Sport, Some instances of fine, 96. 
Sports, Highland, 16. 
Sports, List of, 208. 
Sports, National, Uses of, 210. 
Sports promote warlike prowess, 

Steel strike-light, 42, 81, 91, 

1 01, IIO. 

Stewart, General, 198. 
Stewart, General, of Garth, on 

Highland dances, 238. 
Stewart, Charles Edward. See 

Charles, Prince. 

Still, Whiskey, 192. 

Still, Whiskey described, 197. 

Stills, Illicit, 196. 

Stilts used for fording a river, 


Stone, Mr., 17. 
Stone, Putting the, 209. 
Stone, Throwing the, 205. 
Stone carried in the plaid, 176. 
Store farmer, 76. 
Strampail na Plaideachan, or 

tramping the blankets, 55. 
Strathdon, Illicit stills at, 199. 
Strathglass, Fording incident at, 


Strathglass, Inverness, 149. 
Strength, Feats of, 208. 
Strike-light, Steel, 42, 81, 91, 

10!, IIO. 

Suistean, or flails, 31. 
Superstitions of the Highlanders, 

Sutherland, Duke of, and his 

salmon, 126. 
Swimming, 208. 
Sword dance, or Gille Calum, 


Targe, Highland, 122, 131. 
Target used by Prince Charlie, 


Tartan, A very old, 1 1 8. 
Tartans, Antiquity of, 118. 
Tay, River, 130. 



Taylor, the Water Poet, 98, 

Thatched roofs, 150. 

Thatching, Method of, 253. 

Thiery on the Gaels, 88. 

Three feathers, 170. 

Threshing corn, 25. 

Throwing the javelin, 208. 

Throwing the stone, 205. 

Tigh-Nigheachain, or wash- 
house, 59. 

Timchioll na Sealg, or circuit 
of hunting, 138, 

Tonnag, The, 119. 

Torrisgian, The, for cutting 
peats, 246. 

Tossing the caber, 209. 

Travelling in West Highlands, 
Excitement of, 227. 

Travelling then and now, 227. 

Triads, Welsh, 32. 

Trout, Good catches of, 129. 

Tweed, River, 130. 

Uagh, Loch Nan, 160. 
Uisge-bea, or Whiskey. 
"Undertakers," 156. 
United Service Magazine, 138. 

Venery, Highland Terms of, 


Victoria, Queen, Her Highland 
Home, 15. 

Victoria, Queen, visits Bade- 

nach, 255. 
Vine, In eastern countries, 192. 

Waiting for the boat, 230. 
Walrus tusks, 207. 
Walton, Isaac, on angling, 125. 
Warning flame, Uses of the, 


Washing clothes, 52. 
Washing scenes at Inverness, 55. 
Watch carried by Prince Charlie, 


Water Poet, Taylor, 98, 138. 

Water spouts, 175. 

Waverley, Sir Walter Scott, De- 
scription of washing scene, 56. 

Welsh laws, 207. 

Welsh trials, 32. 

Whale attacks a fishing party, 

Whiskey, Long John, A famous 
distiller, 49. 

Whiskey, Various names for, 195. 

Whiskey still, 192. 

Whorl, The, 146. 

Wick in the fishing season, 158. 

William III., 59. 

Williamson, Peter, Established 
penny postage, 67. 

Wooden drinking vessel with 
handles, 171. 

Wool, Fingering, 116. 

Wool long and short, 115. 



Wool, Manufacture of, intro- 
duced, 117. 
Wool, process of preparation, 

Wool carding, 112. 
Wool carding, Legislature, 121. 
Wool sack, The, 121. 
Woman's work in the High- 
lands, 254. 
Women working in fields, 28. 

Women, Highlanders' high re- 
gard for, 28. 

Wreck at St. Kilda, 230. 
Wrestling, 208. 

Yachts kept for postal authori- 
ties, 68. 

Yarmouth, Great, 155. 
Yarmouth, herring fishery, 158. 



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