Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of the Scottish Highlands, Highland clans and Highland regiments Volume 2"

:;; 



P
, 
sf8c 


, 


H\rE' 
1 8 ( 
'I,.v 
r, t 




, 



A 


HISTORY 


OF TIlE 


SCOTTISH 


HIGHLANDS 


RIG HLAND CLANS 


AND 


HIGHLAND REGIMENTS 


WITH AN ACCOU1'JT 01<' 


THE GAELIC LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, AND l\IUSIC 
By THE REV. THO
IAS l\IACLAUCHLAN, LL.D., F.S.A. SCOT. 


AND AN ESSAY ON HIGHLAND SCENERY 


By THE LATE PROFESSOR JOll
 \VILSON 


EDITED BY 
JOHN S. KEI"TIE, F.S.A. SCOT. 


JJII1t
trafrb 


WITH A SERIES OF POHTRAITS, VIEWS, MAPS, ETC., ENGHA VED ON STEEL, 
CLAN TARTANS, AND UPWARDS OF TWO IIUXDRED WOODCUTS, 
INCLUDING AmIORIAL BEARINGS 


VOL. II. 


A. FULL.L\RTON & CO. 
EDINBURGH AND LONDON 


1875 


, 



CO:NTENTS OF V OL U
IE II. 


XLII. 


PAR'r FIRST contimwd.-GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 
Social Condition of the Highlal1l1s-Cbiefs-LamI Distrilmtion-At,'Ticulture- 
Agricultural Implements-Live Stock-Pasturage-Farm Servants-Harvest 
\Vork-Fuel-Food-Social Life in Former Days-Education-Dwel1ings- 
Hal)its-\Vages-Roads-Present State of Highlandjò\, . 
State of Highlands subsequent to 17-l5-Progress of Innovat.ion-Emigration- 
Pennant's account of the country-Dr Johnson-\Vretched condition of the 
Western lRlands-Introduction of Large Sheep Farms-Ejection of Small 
'fen ants- The Two Sides of the Highland Questioll- Large and Small Farms 
-Depopulation-Kelp-Introduction of Potatoes into the Highlands-Amount 
of Progress made during latter part of 18th century, 
Progrcss of Highlands during the present century-Depopulat.ion and Emigration 
-Sutherland clearings-Recent State of Highlands-l\Ieans of Improvcment 
-Population of chief Highlaml COlmties-Highlanù Colonies--Attachment 
of Highlanders to their Old Home-Conclusion, 
GAELIC LITERATURE, L.\.NGUAGE, AND l\IuSIC. By the Rev. THO
IAS l\IAcLAUCHLAN, 
LL.D., F.S.A.S., . 


rAGE 
1 


CliAPTER 


1 


XLIII. 


31 


XLIV. 


54 


XLV. 


66 


PART SECOND.-HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


l. Clanship-Principle of Kin--l\Iormaordoms-Traditions as to Origin of ClallS- 
Peculiarities amI Consequences of Clanship-Customs of Succession-High- 
lanc1l\Iarriage Customs-Position amI Power of Chief-Influence of Clanship 
on thE: People-NumlJe
 and Distribution of Clans, &c., 116 
Il. The Gallgael or 'Vestcrn Clalls- Lords of the Isles-The various Islaml 01an8- 
The l\Iacdonalds or Clan Donalù- The Clanranald l\facdonalds- The l\Iac- 
donnells of GlengalTJ, 131 
III. The l\Iacdougalls-l\Iacalisters-Siol Gillevray- Macneills-l\Iaclacl1lans -l\Iac- 
Ewens-Siol Eachern-l\Iacdougall CamplJells of Craignish-Lamonds, 139 
IV. Robertsons or Clan Donnachie-l\Iacfarlanes-Argyll Campl>elh! and offshoots- 
Breadalbane Campl>ells and off::>hoots-l\Iaclemls, 169 
V. CLAN CHATTAN -l\Iackin toshes-l\Iacphersons-l\Iacgillivrays-Shaws- Farq uhar- 
sons-l\Iac beans- Macphails-Gows-l\Iacq ueen8-Cattanachs, 197 
VI. Camerous-l\Iacleans- -l\Iacnaughtons-l\Iackenricks-Macknights- Macllayers- 
MacbraYlles-Munroes-l\Iacmillalls, 217 
VII. Clan Anrias or Ross-l\Iackenzies--l\lathiesons-Siol Alpine-l\Iacgregors-Grants 
-l\IacnalJs-Clan Duffie or Macfie-Macquarries-l\Iacaulaya, 235 
VII I. Mackays- Macnicols-Sutherlande-Gullns-l\1aclaurin or Maclaren - 
1acraes- 
Buchallalls-Colq uhouns- ForlJeses- U rq uharts, 265 
IX. Stcwarts- Fmsers-Menzies-chisholms-Stewart Murray (Athole)- Drummonds 
-Grabams-Gol'llons-Cummings-Ogilvies--Fergm>ons or Fcrgu880ns, 297 



iv 


CONTENTS. 


PART THIRD.-HISTORY o.F THE HIGHLAND REGIMENTS. 


PAGE 
I
TRODUCTION.-
Iilitary Character of the Highlands, 321 
42KD ROYAL HIGHLAND REGHIE1'JT (Am Freiceaàan Dnhh, "The Black -Watch "), 324 
ApPE:8DIx.-Ashantee Campaign, 803 
Loudon's Highlanders, 17-15-1748, 451 
Montgomery's Higbhmders, or 77th Regiment, 1757-1763, 453 
Fraser's Highlanders, or Old 78th and 7lst Regiments- 
Old 78th, 1737-1763, 457 
Old 71st, 1775-1783, 465 
Keith's and Campbell's Highlanders, or Old 87th and 88th Regiments, 475 
89.th Highland Regiment, 1759-1765, 478 
Johnstone's Highlanders, or 101st Regiment, 1760-1763, 
 179 
7IST HIGHLAND LIGHT INFA1\'l'RY, formerly the 73rt! or Lord l\Iacleod's Highlanders, 479 
Argyle Higblanders, or Old 74th Regiment, 1778-1783, . 519 
Macdonal(l's Highlanders, or Old 76th Highland Regiment, 520 
Athole Highlanders, or Old 77th Regiment. 1778-1783, 522 
72xD REGIMENT, or DUKE OF ALBA:8Y'S OW
 HiGHLANDERS, formerly the 78th or Seaforth's 
Highlander:-, ')24 
Aberdeenshire Highland Regiment, or Old 815t, 1777-1 ï83, 565 
Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment, or Old 8-1th, 1775-1783, 565 
Forty Second Royal Highland Rcgiment, Second Battalion, now the 73l'l1 ltcgiment, 566 
ì4TH HIGHLAKDERS, 571 
78TH HIGHLANDERS or ROSS-SHIRE BUF.F:'5, 617 
79TH QUEEN'S OWN CAMERO:8 HIGHLANDERS, 697 
9IsT PRINCESS LOUISE ARGYJ,LSHIRE HIGHLANDERS, 726 
92ND GORDON HIGHLANDERS, 756 
93RD SLTHERLAND HIGHLAN.DERS, 777 
Appendix to the 42nd Ro:ral Highland ltcgimcnt (mack Watch), 1873-1875 (Ashantee 
Campaign), 803 
Fenciù]e COJI/ s , 807 
INDEX, S08 



LIST OF ILL USrrRArrIONS. 


VOL IJJ\IE II. 


Painterl by 


Engraved by 


Subject. 
!'lIAr SHOWING THE DISTRICTS OF THE E I . 11 D 1 1 1 II J B h I ' ro r. . ' lce t i tle. 
HIGHLAND CLANS, ) llte()y r -'- ac aHC 1 an, . )art oomew, Ii 
VIEW OF CASTLE URQUHART, LOCH NESS, 
COLONELS OF THE 42ND ROYAL HIGHLANDERS, 
(1.) John, Earl of Crawforù. 
(3.) Sir Jolin 
Iacdonalù. K.C.B. 
LORD ('LYDE (Sir Colin Campbell), 
.MONUMENT IN Dt;NKELD CATHEDRAL TO THE 
42ND ROYAL HIGHLANDERS, 
COLONELS OF THE 7lST AND 72D HIGHLANDERS, From Original Sources, H. Crickrnore, 
(1.) John, Lord 
Iacleod. (2.) Sir Thomas Reynell, TIt., KC.B. 
(3.) Kenneth, Earl of Seaforth. (4.) Sir Neil Douglas, K.C.B., K.C.H. 
COLONELS OF THE 78TH AND 79TH HIGHLANDERS, Ii'roill Original Sources, H. Crickmore, 
(1.) F. H. Mackenzie, Lonl Seaforth. (2.) Sir Patrick Grant, G.C.B., G.C.M.G. 
(3.) Sir Ronald Craufnrd Fuguson, G.C.B. (4.) Sir James Macilonell, K.C.B., K.C. H. 
THE PRINCESS LOUISE, From Photograph by Hill and Stìl.mders, \V. Holl, 
THE MARQUIS OF LORNE, "" Elliot and Fry, " 
COLONELS OF THß 91sT, 92D, AND 93D HIGH- } F 0 " 1 S H C . k 
LANDERS, . . . . . . . rom ngma ources, . l'lC -more, 
(1.) General Duncan Campbell of Loclllleli. (2.) George, Marquis of Huntly. 
(3.) l\Iajor-General W. Wemyss ofWemyss. (4.; Sir H. W. Stisted, K.C.B. 
11AP-CRIl\IEA, WITH PLAN OF SEBASTOPOL, J. Bartholomew, 


TARTANS. 


MACDONALD. . 136 
1IACDOUGALL, 159 
MACLACHLAN,. 1 (35 
ARGYLL CA?,IPDEI.L, . 1 ï3 
BREAD.\.LDANE CA1.IPBELL, 186 


1IACKINTOSII , 
F ARQUIIARSON, 
1\IACNAUGHTON. 
1\L-\.CGREGOR, 
GRANT, 


J. Flcming, 'V. Forrest, 
From Original Sources, H. Crickmore, 
(2.) Sir George Murray, G.C.B., G.C.H. 
(4.) Sir Duncan A. Cameron, K.C.B. 
H. 'V. PhiUips, 'V. Holl, 


201 
215 
229 
243 
250 


MACNAB, 
1IACK_\. Y, 
GUNS, 
FORBES, 
MENZIES, 


'VOODCUTS IN THE LETTERPRESS. 


i 4. Olù Scotch plough, and Casc1noim, or 
crooked spade, . 9 
75. Quem, ancient Highland, 18 
76. A Cottage in Islay in l7U, 25 
77. 1\T nsic, ancient Scottish, scalC'. . .] 06 
78. 
Iacdonalù coat of arms, crest, and motto, 136 
79. Clanranald ,," 153 
80. Macllonnell of Glengarry " 156 
81. l\Iaedougall 159 
82. Macneill 162 
83. Maclachlan 165 
84. Lamond 168 
85. Robertson 169 
86. l\Iacfarlane 173 
87. Argyll Campbf'll ] 75 
88. Breadalbane Campbell 186 
89. Macleod 191 
90. l\I,1Ckintoc;h "" 201 
91. "Mackintosh's Lament," b,tgpipe music, 04 


Page 


296 
323 


409 


.43-1 


4ï!) 


617 


726 
72G 


756 


7ïi 


258 
266 
278 
290 
306 


92. Da1cross Castle, . . . . . 2()9 
93. Macpherson coat of arms, crest, and motto, 210 
94. James Macpherson, editor of the Ossianic 
poetry, . . . . . . 211 
95. Farquharson coat of armf;, crest, and motto, 215 
96. Cameron 217 
97. Maclean" 223 
98. Sir Allan Maclean,.. .. 2'27 
99. Macnaughton coat ofanl1!
,crest,and motto, 229 
100. Munro of FouUs " 231 
101. Ross 23;' 
102. Mackenzie ",. 238 
103. Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugll, 240 
104. Macgregor coat of arms, crest, and motto, 243 
105. Rob Roy, . .. . 245 
] 06. Grant coat of anns, crest, anù motto, 250 
107. Castle Grant,. ., .. 254 
108. Mackinnon coat of arms, crest, and motto, 256 
109. 1\T acnab 258 


, 



,i 


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIOK8. 


llO. The last Laird of Macnab, . . . 
111. Macquarrie coat of arms, C'rpst, and motto, 
ll2. :Mackay 
113. Sutherland 
ll4. Dunrobin Castle, " . 
115. Cunn coat of arms, crest, and motto, 
ll6. Maclaurin (or Maclaren) 
ll7. :M acmo 
118. Buchanan 
119. Colquhoun 
120. Old Rossdhu Castle, 
121. Forbes coat of arms, crest, a11d motto, 
122. Craigievar Castle, . . 
123. Urquhart coat of arms, crest, and motto, . 
124. Lorn 
125. Fraser " " 
126. Bishop Fraser's Seal, . . 
127. Sir Alexander Fraser of Pllilorth, 
128. Menzies coat of arms, crest, and motto, 
129. Chisholm " " " 
130. Erchless Castle (seat of "the Chisholm "). 
131. Stewart :Murray (Athole) coat of arms, 
crest, and motto, 
132. Blair Castle, as restored in 1872. 
133. Drummond coat of arms, crest, and motto, 
134. Graham 
135. Gordon 
136. Gordon Castlp, .. . 
137. Cumming coat of anns, crest, and motto, 
138. Ogih'y " " " 
139. Crest and motto of 42nd Uoyal Highlanrlers, 
140. Farquhar Sllaw of the "mack 1Vat<:h" 
(1743), ... 
141. Plan of the Siege of Ticonderoga (1758), . 
142. British Barracks, Philadelphia, in 1764, . 
143. Sir Halph Abercromby in Egypt, Portrait, 
144, l Regimental .Medal of the 42nd Royal 
145. i Highlanders, issued in 1819, . . 
146. bledal to the officers of the 42nd Royal 
Highlanders for services in Egypt, . 
147. Colonel (afterwards Major-General Sir) 
Hobert Henry Dick.. . . . 
148. Vase presented to 42nù Royal Highlanders 
by the Highland Society of London, . 
149. Co1. Johnstone's (42nd)Cephalonian medal, 
150. "Highland Pibroch," bagpipe music, 
151. View of Philadelphia, U.S., as in 1763, . 
152. Sir David Baird, . . . . . 
153. Monument in Glasgow Cathedral to Colond 
the Hon. Henry Cadogan (71st),. . 
154. 1.rajor-General Sir Denis Pack, K.C.B., . 
155. Monument erected by the 71st Highlanders 
in Glasgow Cathedral,. . . . 
156. Crest of the 72nd, Seaforth Highlanders, . 
157. General James Stuart, . . . . 
158. "Cabar Feirlh," bagpipe music, . 
159. 1.rajor-Grnf'ral William Parke, C. B., 
160. Map of Kaffraria,. . 
161. Crest of the 74th Highlanders, 
162. Major-General Sir Archibald Campbell, 
Hart., R.C. n. (74th),. . . . 
163. Plan of Assaye, 23rd Sept. 1803, 
164. Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. Sir Robert 
Le Pocr 'french (74th), . . . 
165. Medal conferred on the I1on-commi<;sioned 
officers and men of the 74th for meri- 
torious conduct during the Peninsular 
campaign, 


Page 
261 166. Waterkloof, scene of the death of Lieu- 
262 tenant-Colonel Fordyce (74th), 
266 167. Crest of the 78th Highlanders, 
272 168. Facsimile of a poster issued by Lord 
277 Seaforth)n Ross and Cromarty in raising 
278 the Hoss-shire Buffs (78th), 
279 169. Plan of the Battle of Assaye,. . . 
280 170. Major-General Alexander Mackenzie Fraser, 
281 171. Colonel Patrick Macleod of Geanies (78th), 
284 172. Major-General Sir Henry Havelock, K.C. B., 
289 173. Suttee Chowra Ghât, scene of the second 
290 Cawnpoor Massacre, 15th July 1857, . 
294 174. Plan of the action near Cawnpoor, 16th 
296 July 1857, . '" 
299 175. :Map of the scene of Havelock's operations 
302 in July and August, 1857,. . . 
302 176. Mausoleum over the 1Vell of the Massacre 
303 at Cawnpoor,. ". 
306 177. Plan of the operations for the relief of Luck- 
307 now in September and Noveml1er, 1857, 
308 178. Monument to the memory of the 78th 
Highlanders, erected on Castle Esplan- 
309 ade, Edinburgh, . '. 
312 179. Centre Piece of Plate l1resented by the 
313 counties of Hoss and Cromarty to the 
314 78th, Ross-shire Bulls, . . . 
316 180. Crest of the 79th Queen's Own Cameron 
318 Highlallllers,.... 
318 181. Major-General Sir John Douglas, K.C.I3., 
319 182. llichard James Mackellzie, 1\1. D., F.H.C.S., 
324 183. Lieutenant-Colonel W. C. Hodgson (79th), 
184. 1I10nument erected in 1857 in the Dean 
330 Cemetery, Edinburgh, in memory of the 
338 79th who fell in action during the cam- 
354 paign of 1854-55, . . . 
372 185. Crest of the 91st Princess Louise Argyll- 
shire Highlanders, . . . . 
374 186. The 91st crossing the l'yumie or Chumie 
River, . . . . . . 
374 187. Brass Tablet erected in 1873 in Chelsea 
Hospital to the memory of Colonel 
396 Edward W. C. Wrig1lt, C.B. (91st), 
188. Lieutenant-Colonel Bertie Gordon (91st), . 
400 189. Major-General J olm .F. G. Campbell (91st) 
407 190. Biscuit. Box presented by the men of the 
446 91st Princess Louise Argy lIshire High- 
455 landers to the PrinceRs Louise on the 
4::;2 occasion of her marriage, 
191. Crest of the 92l1d Gordon Highlanders, 
498 192. Gt'neral Sir John Moore,. . . 
504 193. Coat of Arms of Col. J olm Cameron (92nd), 
194. Colonel John Cameron (92nd), . 
517 195. Sir John Macùonald, Ie C. B., of Dalchosnie, 
5
4 196. Major-General Archibald Inglis Lockhart, 
530 C. ß. (92nd), 
533 197. Badge of the 93rd Sutherland High- 
557 landers,... 
564 198 Sir Duncan 1.1 'Gregor, K. C. R, 
571 199. The Hon. Adrian Hope (93rd), 
200. The Secunder Bagh, . . 
572 201. Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. 1I1'ßean, V.C. 
,j74 (93rd),....... 
2C2. Centre Piece of Plate, belonging to the 
583 Officers' .Mess of the 93rd Sutherland 
Highlanders, . . . . . 
203. Map of Asllantee Country anù Gold Coast, 
204. Sir Garnet J. Wolscley, K.C.J\LG., C.B., . 
591 205. Sir John C. M'Leod, K.C'. B. (42nd), 


Page 


598 
617 


618 
631 
642 
650 
664 
668 


669 


671 


672 


677 


689 


691 
697 
7ll 
715 
719 


722 


726 


737 


742 
744 
746 


752 
756 
758 
762 
764 
768 


770 


777 
782 
788 
791 
800 


801 
803 
804 
805 



cc 
'" 



 

 



 
.... 
";è. 


... 
.... 


::c. 


.. 
z 


..... 
<!". 



 

 
t- 



 



 :::;: 



 


'" 


:;.. 



 



 


..... 



 

 



I 



 
l 


t\\. 



1" 
1 
I! 
I 



 


-!i 


I 
I: 


-..... 
x; 

 
 


1:1 
J. 

' 

I 
 

I 
 
-ß 
 i I 
i:! 
, '
I 
"I 
I, 

î : l- 1 : 
;si....) I 
- '" i 
I " 
, I 
i<ñ I 
<;< 
et:: 


UJ 
 
r 

 r 
"JJ 
 
 
 
..... ;:J " d 
::...., Q 

 i I 
..... q ti II 
'>- I 

 
 
 I' 

 c.. 
 A 
 
i 1 i U 
< == 
:
 
::1-
 
 
 
 
 
::E P 
"- 
 ';; ,... 
--1".1 ç" (' 
.
 I 
- 
 -- 
;' 
 
 
.- 
 
 ç
 
= 
 J 
'l:. ;-J 

 L.d 
 

 . I _ ---ll 
,.. o! . 
"J. 
 '" 
.- IQ 

 r 
- -
 






 


MACGREGOR. 


F 



. " .' . 
" 
I: . . 
.. 


-- 
- 
- 
" 
,. . . . 
- 
. :. . 



 


BREADALBAN E. CAM PB ELL. 



 


, 



j 
"'f"" 


-i" 
II 


,:it: 


-.........-
 


::.:-: 


..,#- 


.::,. 


.. 
"ff"':: 


:"'.". 


"
" 


:::it.,.: 


:.:' 


.r 
:íI" 


'.::ii, 

: 


CH ISHOLM. 


+ 


-t 



::.. 


:'1 
i!: 


:"j 


III 


=1 


MACDONALD. 



 



\; 


L 


PART FIRST-Oontinued. 


I 
Ii 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


CHAPTER XLII. 


Social condition of the Highlands-Black 
Iail- 
"Tatch Money-The Law-Power of the Chiefs- 
Land Distribution-Taeksruen-Tenants-Rents- 
Thirlage-\Vretched 
tate of Agriculture-Agricul- 
tural Implements-The Casch-roim-The Rccstle- 
Methods of Trausportation-Drawbacks to Cultiva- 
tion-Management of Crops-Farm Work-Live 
Stoek - Garrons-Sheep-Black Cattle-Arable 
Land - Pasturage - Farm Servants - The BaiUe 
Geamhrc- Davoch -lands-1IIilk-Cattle Drovers- 
Harvest 'York-The Quern-Fuel-Food-Social 
Life in Former Days-Education-Dwellings- 
Habits- Gartmore Papers- W ages- Roads- Pre- 
sent State of the Highlands. 


As we have already (in ch. xviii.) given a 
somewhat minute description of the clan- 
system, it is lmnecessary to enter again in 
detail upon that suhject here. \Ve have, per- 
haps, in the chapter referred to, given the most 
brilliant side of the picture, still the reader 
may gather, from what is said there, some 
notion of what had to be done, what immense 
barriers had to be overcome, ere the High- 
lander could be modernised. Pilly furth
r de- 
tails on this point will be learned from the 
Introduction to the History of the Clans. 
As might have been eApected, for some time 
after the allaying of the rebellion, and the 
passing of the various measures already referred 
to, the Highlands, especially those parts which 
bordered on the Lowlands, were to a certain 
extent infested hy what were known as cattle- 
lifters-Anglicé, cattle-stealers. Those who 
took part in such expeditions were generally 
" broken" men, or men who belonged to no 
particular clan, owned no chief, and who were 
l'cgarded generally as outlaws. In a paper 
6aid to have been written in 1747, a very 
gloomy awl lamentahle picture of the state of 
11. 


the country in this respect is given, although 
we suspect it refers I'ather to the perioù pre- 
ceding the rebellion than to that succeeding it. 
However, we shall quote what the writer says 
on the matter in question, in onlrr to give the 
reader an idea of the nature and extent of 
this system of pillage or " requisition :"- 
" .Although the poverty of the people prin- 
cipally produces these practices so ruinous to 
society, yet the nature of the country, which 
is thinnely inhabitate, by reason of the ex- 
tensive moors and mountains, and which is 
so well fitted for conceallments by the many 
glens, dens, and cavitys in it, does not a little 
contribute. In SUcl1 a country cattle are pri- 
vately tl'allsported from one place to another, 
and securely hid, and in such a G,ountry it is 
not easy to get informations, nor to apprehend 
the criminalls. People lye so open to their 
resentment, either for giving intelligence, or 
prosecuting them, t11at they decline either, 
rather than risk their cattle being stoln, or 
their houses burnt. Anù then, in the pursuit 
of a rogue, though he was almost in hanùs, 
the grounds are so hilly and unequall, anù so 
much covered with wooù or brush, and so full 
of dens allll hollows, that the sight of him i::; 
almost as SOOll lost as he is discovered. 
" It is not easy to determine the number of 
persons employeù in this way; but it may be 
safely affirmed that the horses, cows, sheep, 
and goats yearly stoln in that country are ill 
value equall to .t5,OOO; that the expellces lost 
in the fruitless endeavours to recover them will 
not be less than .t
,OOO; that the extraordi- 
nary expences of keeping herds and servanto 
to look more narrowly after cattle on account of 
A 


I; 


I, 



2 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAK DS. 


r.tealling, otherways not necessary, is 1:10,000. 
There is paid in black7nail or watch-money, 
openly and privately, .f5 000; and there is a 
rearly loss by understocking the grounds, by 
reason of theifts, of at If'ast 1:15,000; which 
is, altogether, a loss to landlurds and farmers 
ill the Highlands of .f3ï,000 sterling a year. 
Uut, besides, if we consider that at least one- 
half of these stollen effects quite perish, by 
reason that a part of them is buried under 
ground, the rest is rather devoured than eat, 
and so what would serve ten men in the ordi- 
nary way of living, swallowed up by two or 
three to put it soon out of the way, and that 
some part of it is destroyed in concealed parts 
when a discovery is suspected, we must allow 
that there is 1:2,500 as the value of the half 
of the stollen cattle, and 1:15,000 for the 
article of understock quite lost of the stock of 
the kingdom. 
II "These last mischiefs occasions another, 
which is still worse, although intended as a 
remedy for them-that is, the engaging com- 
panys of men, and keeping them in pay to 
prevent these thiefts and depredations. As 
the government neglect the country, and don't 
protect the sul)jects in the pusseRRion of their 
property, they have been forceù into this 
method for their own security, though at a 
charge little less than the land-tax. The per- 
son chosen to command this 'lcatch, as it is 
called, is colllmonly one deeply concernpd in 
the theifts himself, or at least that hath been 
in correspondence with the thieves, and fre- 
quently who hath occasioned thiefts, in order 
to make this watch, by which he gains con- 
siderably, necessary. The people employed 
travell through the country armed, night and 
day, under pretence of enquiring after stollen 
cattle, and by this means know the situation 
and circumstances of the whole country. And 
I II 
as the people thus employed are the very 
roòrues that do these mischiefs, so one-half of 
them are continued in their former bussiness 
of stealling that the busieness of the other 
half may be necessary in recovering." 1 
This is prubably a somewhat exaggerated 
account of the extent to whif'h this species of 
robbery was carried on, especially after the 
suppression of the rebellion; if written by one 
1 Gartmore MS. in Appendix to Dul't's Letters. 
II===-=- 


of the Gartmore family, it call scarcply l
 rh 
garded as a disinterested account, seeing th:it 
the Gartmore estatp. lies just on the southern 
skirt of the Highland parish of Aberfoyle, 
formerly notorious as a haunt of the :Macgregors, 
affording every facility for lifters getting rapidly 
out of reach with their" ill-gotten gear." Still, 
no doubt, curùed and dispirited as the IIigh- 
bnders were after the treatment they got from 
Cunlberland, from old habit, anù the assumed 
necessity of living, they wOl.Ùd attempt to re- 
sume their ancient practices in this and other 
respects. But if they were carried on to any 
extent immediately after the rebellion, when 
the Gartmore paper is said to have been writ- 
ten, it could not have been for long; the law 
had at last reached the Highlands, and this 
practice ere long became rarcr than highway 
robbery in England, gradually dwindling down 
until it was carried on here and there by one 
or two" desperate outlawed" men. Long be- 
fore th
 end of the century it seems to have 
been entirely given up. "There is not an in- 
stance of any country having made so sudden 
a change in its morals as that of the High- 
lands; security and civilization now posse83 
every part; yet 30 years have not elapsed since 
the whole was a den of thieves of the most 
extraordinary kind." 2 
As we haye said aboye, after the suppres- 
sion of the rebellion of 1 ï 45--6, there are 11ù 
stirring narratives of outward strife or inward 
broil to be 11an-ateù in connection with tho 
Highlands. Indeed, the history of the High- 
lanùs from this time onwards belongs strictly 
to the history of Scotland, or rather of Britain. 
Still, before concluding this division of tlte 
work, it may be well to give a brief sketch of 
the progress of the Highlands from the time of 
the suppression of the jurisdictions down t
 
the present day. Not that after their disar- 
mament the Highlanders ceased to take part 
in the world's strife; but the important part 
they have taken ùuring the last century or 
more in settling the destinies of nations, falls 
to be narrat
d in another section of this work. 
'Vllat we shall concern ourselves with at 
present is the consequences of the aoolition of 
the heritable jurisdictions (and with them the 
importance and power of the chiefs), on the 
II Pennant's TOllT in Scotland. 


I I 



3 


PO"VER OF THE CHIEFS. 


internal state of the Highlands; we shall en- 
cleavour to show the alteration which took place 
in the social condition of the people, their 
mode of life, their relation to the chiefs (now 
only landlords), their mode of farming, their 
religion, education, and other points. 
II }-'rom the nature of clanship-of the relation- 
ship between chief and J:!eople, as well as from the 
state of the law and the state of the Highlands 
generally-it will be perceived that, previous 
to the measure which followed Culloden, it 
was the interest of every chief to surround 
himself with as many fullowers as he coultl 
muster; his importance and power of injurx 
and defence were reckoned by government and 
his ncighbours not according to his yearly 
income, but according to the number of men 
he could bring into the field to fight his own 
or his country's battles. It is told of a chief 
that, when asked as to the rent of his estate, 
he replied that he cOlùd raise 500 men. Pre- 
vious to '45, money was of so little use in 
the Highlands, the chiefs were so jealous 
of each other and so ready to take advantage 
of each other's weakness, the law was so 
utterly powerless to repress crime and redress 
wrong, and life and property were so insecure, 
that almost the only security which a chief 
could have was the possession of a small army 
of followers, who would protect himself and his 
property; and the chief safety and means of 
livelihood that lay in the power of the ordi- 
nary clansman was to place himself under the 
protection and among the followers of some 
powerful chief. "Before that period [1745] 
the authority of law was too feeble to affor<l 
protection. 3 The obstructions to the execution 


S As a specimen of the lUanneI' in which justice was 
allministered in oM times in the Highlands, we give 
the following: In the second volume of the Spalding 
Club Miscellany, p. 128, we read of a certain "J ohn 
MacAlister, in Dell of Rothemurkus," cited on 19th 
July 1594 "before the Court of Regality of Spynie." 
He was" decm'ned by the judge-ryplie aduysit \\ith 
the action of spuilzie persewit contrane him be the 
Baron of Kincardine, . . . . to have vrongouslie in- 
tromittit with and detenit the broune horse lybeIlit, 
and thairfor to content and pay to the said Com- 
plainer the soume of threttene schillings and four 
pennis money." The reader will notice the ùelicate 
manner in which what looks very like a breach of the 
eighth commandment is spoken of in a legal docu- 
ment of that period. John the son of Alister " con- 
fl'sseù" the intromission with the brown horse, but 
pled in defence that he "took him away onlowrlie 
anù nocht spulye,l, but be vertue of the Act of Athell, 


of any legal warrant were such that it was 
only for objects of great public concern that 
an extraorilinary effort was sometimes made to 
overcome them. In any ordinary case of 
private injury, an individual could have little 
expectation of redress unless he could avenge 
his own cause; and the only hope of safety 
from any attack was in meeting force by force. 
In this state of things, every person above the 
COUlmon rank depended for his safety and his 
consequence on the number and attachment 
of his servants and dependants; without 
people ready to defend him, he could not 
expect to sleep in safety, to preserve his house 
from pillage or l1Ís family from murder; he 
must have submitted to the insolence of every 
neighbouring robùer, unless he had rnaintainell 
a numerous train of followers to go with him 
into the field, and to fight his battles. To 
this essential object every inferior consideration 
was sacrificed; and the principal advantage of 
landed property consisted in the means it 
afforded to the proprietor of multiplying his 
dependants." 4 
Of course, the chief had to maintain his 
followers in some way, had to fmd somo 
means by which he would be able to attach 
them to himself, keep them near him, and 
command their services when he required 
them. There can be no doubt, however chi- 
merical it may appear at the present day, that 
the attachment and reverence of the High- 
lander to his chief were quite independent of 
any benefits the latter might be able to confer. 
The evidence is indubitahle that the clan 
regarùed the chief as the father of his people, 
and themselves as his children; he, they 
believed, was bound to protect and maintain 
them, while they were bound to regard his 
will as law, and to lay down their lives at his 
command. Of these statements there can he 


boynd for nne better J10rse f'puilzcat be the said 1'cr- 
Sf
war from the said Defenùer." Vvhether this was 
the truth, or whether, though it wpre tl1le. John the 
son of Alister was justitiecl in seizing upon the Baron's 
broune horse in lieu of the one taken by the Huron 
from him, or whether it was that the Baron was the 
more powerful of the two, the judge, it will Jlave 
been noticed, decerned against the said John 1\1 'Alis- 
ter, not, however, ordaining him to return the horse. 
hut to pay the Baron" thairfor" the sum of thirteen 
shillings.-flfcmorials of Clan Shaw, by Rev. W. G. 
Shaw, p. 24. 
4 Obscrmtions on tlw Prl'scnt State of lIighlanr!::. 
hy the Earl of Selkirk, p. 13. 


I 
II 


, 



II 


4 


GENERAL HISTORY OF TIlE HIGHLAXDS. 


uo doullt. "This power of the chiefs is not his people, and distribute among them a fair 
supported by interest, as they are landlords, sharc of the lands which he held as their 
but as lineally descended from the old representative. " The chief, even against the 
patriarchs or fathers of the families, for they laws, is bound to protect his followers, as they 
hold the same authority when they have lost are sometimes called, be they never so criminal. 
their estates, as may appear from several, and He is their leaJer in clan quarrels, must free 
particl.Ùarly one who commands in his clan, the necessitous from their arrears of rent, and 
though, at the same time, they maintain him, maintain such who, by accidents, arC' fallen 
having nothing left of his own."b Still it was into decay. If, by increase of the trihe, any 
assuredly the interest, and was universally small farms are wanting, for the support of 
regarded as the duty of the chief, to strengthen such addition he splits others into lesser por- 
that attachment and his own authority and tions, because all must be sonwlww pro'Cided 
influence, by bestowing upon his followers for
' and as the meanest among them pretend 
what material benefits he could command, and to be his relatives by consanguinity, they insist 
thus show himself to be, not a thankless upon the privilege of taking him by the hand 
tyrant, but a kind and grateful leader, and an wherever they llleet him." 6 Thus it was con- 
affectionate father of his people. Theoretically, sidered the duty, as it was in those turbulent 
in the eye of the law, the tenure and distribn- times undoubtedly the interest, of the chief to 
tion of land in the Highlands was on thc same see to it that everyone of those who looked 
footing as in the rest of the kingdom; the upon him as their chief was provided for; 
II chiefs, like the lowland barons, were supposed while, on the other hand, it was the interest 
to hold their lands from the monarch, the nomi- of the people, as they no doubt felt it to 1e 
nal proprietor of all landed property, and these their duty, to do all in their power to gain the 
again in the same way distributed portions of favour of their chiefs, whose will was law, who 
this territory among their followers, who thus could make or unmakl3 them, on whom their 
bore the same relation to the chief as the latter very existence was dependent. Latterly, at 
did to his superior, the king. In the eye of least, this utter dependence of the people on 
the law, we say, this was the case, and so their chiefs, their being compelled for very 
those of the chiefs who were engaged in the life's sake to do his bidding, appears to have 
rehellion of 1715--45 were subjected to forfei- been regarded by the former as a great hard- 
tur6 in the same way as any lowland rebel. ship; for, a3 we have already saill, it is well 
But, practically, the great body of the High- known that in both of the rebellions of last 
landers knew nothing of such a tenure, and century, many of the poor clansmen pled in 
even if it had been possible to make them justification of their conduct, that they wore 
understand it, they would prolJably have compelled, sorely against their inclination, to 
repurliated it with contempt. The great prin- join thc rebel army. This only proves how 
ciple which seems to have ruled all the rela- strong must l1ave been the power of tIle chiefs, 
I, tion
 that subsisted betwecn the chief and his and how completely at their mercy the people 
clan, including thc mode of distributing aud felt themselves to be. 
holding lawl, was, previous to 1746, that of To understand adequately the social life of I 
the family. The land was regarded not so the Highlanders previous to 17-16, the distri- 
much as belonging absolutely to the chief, but bution of the land among, the nature of thcÜ' 
as the property of the clan of which the chief tenures, their mode of farming, and similar 
II was head and representative. Not only was matters, the facts above stated must be borne 
the clan bound to render obedience anù re\'e- in mind. Indeed, not only diù the above in- 
rence to their head, to whom each member fluenccs affect these matters previous to the 
I supposed himself related, and whose name was suppression of the last rebellion, but also for 
the common name of all his people; he also long after, if, indeed, they are not in active 
was rega<<I:
I::::
:
v:
:::t:i:.aml protect I operation i
 ;::: :::e v :::: :
 the High. II 
11= 



:) 


II 
II 


TACKSMEN-TENANTS. 


lands even at the present flay; moreover, 
t.hey afford a key to much of the confusion, 
misunderstanding, and miSerjT that followed 
upon the abolition of the heritable jurisdic- 
tions. 
Next in importance and dignity to the chief 
or laird were the cadets of his family, the 
gentlemen of the clan, who in reference to the 
lUode in which they held the land allotted to 
them, were denominated tacksmen. To these 
tacksmen were let farms, of a larger or smaller 
size according to their importance, and often 
at a rent merely nominal; indeed, they in 
general seom to have considered that they had 
as much right to the land as the chief himself, 
and when, after 1746) many of them were 
deprived of their farms, they, and the High- 
landers generally, regarded it as a piece of gross 
and unfeeling injustice. As sons were born to 
the chief, they also had to be provided for, 
which seems to have been done either by cut- 
ting down the possessions of those tacksmen 
further removed from the family of the laird, 
appropriating those which became vacant bjT 
the death of the tenant or otherwise, and by the 
chief himself cutting off a portion of the land 
immediately in his possession. In this way 
the descendants of tacksmen might ultimately 
become part of the commonalty of the clan. 
Next to the tacksmen were tenants, who held 
their farms either directljT from the laird, or as 
was more generally the case, from the tacks- 
men. The tenants again frequently let out 
part of their holdings to sub-tenants or cottars, 
who paid their rent bjT devoting most of their 
time to the cultivation of the tenant's farm, 
and the tending of his cattle. The following 
extract from the Gartmore l)aper written in 
1747, and published in the appendix to Burt's 
Letters, gives a good idea of the manner gene- 
rally followed in distributing the land among 
the various branches of the clan :- 
"The propertjT of these Highlands belongs 
to a great many different persons, who are 
more or less considerable in proportion to the 
extent of their estate:;, and to the command of 
men that live upon them, or follow them on 
account of their clanship, out of the estates of 
others. These lands are set by the landlord 
I during pleasure, or a short tack, to people 
whom theyeall good-men, and who are of a 
I 


II 


I 

 I 
I II 


superior station to the commonality. Thes
 
are generally the sons, brothers, cousins, 01' 
nearest relations of the landlord. The younger 
sons of famillys are not brecl to any business 
or employments, but are sent to the French or 
Spanish armies, or marry as soon as they are 
of age. Those are left to their own gooù 
fortune and conduct abroad, and these are 
preferred to some advantageous farm at home. 
This, by the means of a small portion, awl the I 
liberality of their relations, they are able to 
stock, and which they, their children, and 
grandchildren, possess at an easy rent, till a 
nearer descendant be again preferred to it. 
As the propinquity removes, they become less 
considered, till at last they degenerate to be of 
the common people; unless some accidental 
acquisition of wealth supports them above 
their station. As this hath been an ancient 
custom, most of the farmers and cottars are of 
the name and clan of the proprietor; amI, if 
they are not really so, the proprietor either 
obliges them to assume it, or they are glaid to 
do so, to procure his protection and favour. 
" Some of these tacksmen or good-men pos 
sess these farms themselves; but in that case 
they keep in them a great number of cottars, to 
each of whom they give a house, grass for a 
cow or two, and as much ground as will sow I[ 
about a boll of oats, in places which their own I 
plough cannot labour, by reason of brush or 
rock, and which they are obliged in many i ij 
places to delve with spades. This is the only 
visible subject which these poor people possess 
for supporting themselves and their famillys, II 
and the onljT wages of their whole labour awl I 
serVICe. 
" Others of them lett out parts of their farms 
to many of these cottars or subtennants; anù 
as they are generally poor, and not allways in 
a capaeity to stock these small tenements, the : 
tacksmen frequently enter them on the ground I 
laboured and sown, and sometimes too stocks 
it with cattle; all which he is obliged to re- 
deliver in the same condition at his removal, 
which is at the goodman's pleasure, as he is 
usually himself tennent at pleasure, and for 
whieh during his possession he pays an extra- 
vag.mtly high rent to the tacksman. 
" Dy this practice, farms, which one family 
and four horses pre sufficient to labour, 'wil1 


I I 
I 


I 
-
 l 



--=-, 


(ì 


GEXEHAL HISTOHY ü.F THE HIGHLANDS. 


have from fom to sixteen famill
.s Ii, iug upon 
tllC'm." j 
" In the case of very great families, or ,,-hen 
the domains of a chief became very extensi ,"e, 
it was usual for the head of the clan oecasion- 
ally to grant large territories to the younger 
l)ranche
 of his family in return for a trifling 
quit-rent. These persons were ealled chieftains, 
to whom the lower classes looked up as their 
immediate leader. These chieftains were in 
later times called tacksmen; but at all periods 
they were cunsidered nearly in the same light 
as proprie
ors, and acted on the same prin- 
ciples. They were the officers who, under the 
chief, commanded in the military expeditions 
oÎ the clans. This was their employment; 
and neither their own dispositions, nor the 
situation of the country, inclined them to 
cngage in the drudgerjT of agriculture any 
farther than to supply the necessaries of life 
for their own families. A part of their land 
was usually sufficient for this purpose, and the 
lemainrler was let off in small portions to cot- 
tagers, who differed but little from the small 
occupiers who held their lands immediateljT 
from the chief; excepting that, in lieu of rent, 
thejT were bound to a certain amount of labour 
for the advantage of their immediate superior. 
The more of these people any gentleman 
could collect around his habitation, with tllP 
greater facility could he carryon the work of 
his own farm; the greater, too, was his per- 
sonal safety. Besides this, the tacksmen, 
holding their lands from the chief at a mere 
quit-rent, were naturally solicitous to merit his 
favour by the number of their immediate de- 
pendants whom they could bring to join his 
standard. "8 
Thus it will be seen that in those times 
everyone was, to a m.ore or less extent, a cul- 
tivator or renter of land. As to rent, there 
was very little of actual money paid either by 
the tacksmen or by those beneath them in 
position and importance. The return expected 
hy the laird or chief from the tacksmen for 
the farms he allowed them to hold, was that 
they should be ready when required to produce 
tlS many fighting men as possible, and give 
him a certain share of the produce of the land 


I
 


7 Burt's Letters, vol. ii. pr- 341-3. 
8 Bea'UÚ!s oj Scotland, vol. v. pp. 184, 5. 


they held from him. It was thus the intcl'cst 
of the tacksman to parcel out their land into 
as small lots as possible, for the more it was 
suhdivided, the greater would be the number 
of men he cOlùd have at his command. This 
liability on the part of the subtpnants to bl 
called upon at any time to do service for the 
laird, no doubt counted for part of the rent of 
the pendicles allotted to them. These pendi- 
cles were often very small, and evidently of 
themselves totally insufficient to afford the 
means of subsistence even to the smallest 
family. Besides this lial1ility to do service 
for the chief, a very small sum of money was 
taken as part of the rent, the remainder being 
paid in kind, and in assisting the tacksmen to 
farm whatever land he may have retained in 
his own hands. In the same way the cottars
 
who were subtenants to the tacksmen's tenants, 
had to devote most of their time to the serviee 
of those from whom they immediately held 
their lands. Thus it will be seen that, although 
nominally the various tenants held their land 
from their inlmediate superiors at a merely 
nominal rent, in reality what was actually 
given in return for the use of the land would, 
in the end, probably turn out to be far more 
than its value. From the laird to the cottar 
there was an incessant series of exactions and 
services, grievous to be borne, and fatal to 
every kind of improvement. 
Besides the rent and services due by each 
class to its immediate superiors, there were 
numerous other exactions and services, to 
which all had to submit for the benefit of 
their chief. The most grievous perhaps 
of these was thirlage or multure, a rl ue 
exacted from each tenant for the use of the 
mill of the district to convert their grain into 
meal. All the tenants of each district or 
parish were thirled or bound to take their 
grain to a particular mill to be ground, the 
miller being allowed to appropriate a certain 
proportion as paJTment for the use of the mill, 
and as a tax payable to the laird or ehief. In 
this way a tenant was often deprived of a con- 
siderable quantity of his grain, varying from 
one-sixteenth to one-eighth, and even more. 
Tn the same way many parishes were thirled to 
a particular smith. By these and similar ex- 
actions anrl eOlltributions did the proprietors 



II 
II 


UE:YTS. 


and chief men of the clan manage to support 
themselves off the produce of their land, keep 
a numerous hand of retainers arounrl them, 
have plenty for their own use, and for all who 
had any claim to their hospitality. This seems 
especially to have been the case when the 
Highlanders were in their palmiest days of 
independence, when they were but little mo- 
lested from without, and when their chief 
occupations were clan-feuds and cattle. raids. 
But latterly, and long before the abolition of 
heritable jurisdictions, this state of matters 
had for the most part departed, and although 
the chiefs still valued themselves by the num- 
Ler of men they could produce, they kept 
themselves much more to themselves, and 
showed less consideration for the inferior 
members of the clan, whose condition, even 
at its best, must appear to have been very 
wretched. "Of old, the chieftain was not so 
much considered the master as the father of 
his numerous clan. Every degree of theRe 
followers loved him with an enthusiasm, which 
made them cheerfully undergo any fatigue or 
danger. Upon the other hand, it was his in- 
terest, his pride, and his chief glory, to requite 
such animated friendship to the utmost of his 
power. The rent paid 11Ím was chiefly con- 
sumed in feasts given at the habitations of his 
tenants. 'Vhat he was to spend, and the time 
of his residence at each village, was known 
and provided for accordingly. The men who 
provided these entertainments partook of them; 
they all lived friends together; and the de- 
parture of the chief and his retinue never fails 
to occasion regret. In more polished times, 
the cattle and corn consumed at these feasts 
of hospitality, were ordered up to the land- 
lord's habitation. 'Vhat was friendship at the 
first became very oppressive in modern times. 
Till very lately in this neighbourhood, Camp- 
bell of Auchinbreck had a right to carry off the 
})est cow he could find upon several properties 


:1 


at each Martinmas by way of mart. The 
Island of Islay paid 500 such cows yearly, and 
so did Kintyre to the Macdonalds."9 Still, 
there can be no doubt, that previous to 1746 
it was the interest of the laid and chief tacks. 
men to keep the body of the people as con- 
tented as possible, and do all in their power to 
attach them to their interest. :ßloney was of 
but little use in the Highlands then; there 
was scarcely anything in which tt cOlùd be 
spent; and so long as his tenants furnished 
him with the means of maintaining a substall- 

ial and extensive hospitality, the laird was not 
likely in general to complain. " The poverty of 
the tenants rendered it customary for the ehief, 
or laird, to free some of them every year, from 
all arrears of rent; this was supposed, upon an 
average, to be about one year in five of the 
whole estate."l 
In the same letter from w hieh the last sen- 
tence is quoted, Captain Burt gives an extract 
from 11 Highland rent-roll, of date probably 
about 1730 ; we shall reproduce it here, as it 
will give the readt'r a better notion as to how 
those matters were managed in these old times, 
than any description call. " You will, it is 
likely," the letter begins, "think it strange 
that many of the Highland tenants are to 
maintain a family upon a farm of twelve 
merks Scots per annum, which is thirteen 
shillings and fourpence sterling, with perhaps 
a cow or two, or a very few sheep or goats; 
but often the rent is less, and the cattle are 
wanting. 
"In some rentals Y011 may see seven or 
eight columns of various species of rent, or 
more, viz., money, barley, oatmeal, sheep, 
lambs, butter, cheese, capons, &c.; but every 
tenant dues not pay all these kinds, though 
many of them the greatest part. ""\Yhat fol- 
lows is a specimen taken out of a Highland 
rent-roll, and I do assure you it is genuine, and 
not the least by lUany :- 


Scots Money. English. Butter. Oatmeal Muttons. 
Stones. Lb. Oz. Bolls. B. P. Lip. 
Donald mac Oil vic ille Challum ...æ3 10 4 ÆO 5 10
 0 3 2 0 2 1 3 
 and .,111" 
:.Murdoch mac ille Christ. ... ........... 5 17 6 0 9 9 1 0 6 4 0 3 3 3 ! and Ùr 
Ii 
Duncan mac ille rhadrick............. 7 0 6 o 12 3 t 0 7 8 1 0 3 O
 ! and 1 
2 II 


I shall here give you a computation of the I of the same farm and rent, as you may percei \ II 
first article, besides which there are seven more by the fraction of a sheep in the last column - 


II Old Statistical Account of North Knapùale. 


1 Burt's Letters, vol. ii. p. 57. 


7 


II 


II 


,I 
II 
I I 
II 



I- 
I 1 '- 

 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


II 


The moncy................. . .. ......... ............æo 5 10
 
trrling. 
The butter, three pounds two ounces, at 4ù. per lb. ........... 0 1 I
 
Oatmeal, 2 bushels, I peck, 3 lippys and !, at Gd. per peck... 0 4 9! and 
 
Sheep, one-eighth and one-sixteenth, at 28.......... ... . 0 n 4
 


The yearly rent oCthe farm is.................__. ..1:0 12 14 and 11J1'" 


. It is plain that in the majority of cases the I tance, anrl consequently the crops raiseù, sel 
Iùl'ms must have been of very slllall extent, dom anything else but oats anù barley, were 
almost equal to those of Goldsmith's Golden scanty, wretched in quality, and seldom suffi. 
Age, " .when every rood maintained its man." cient to support the cultivator's family for 
,. In the head of the parish of Buchanan in the half of the year. In general, in the High- 
Stirlingshire, as wen as ill several other places, lands, as the reader will already have seen, 
there are to be found 150 families living upon each farm was let to a number of tenants, who, 
grounds which do not pay above Æ90 sterling as a rule, cultivated the arable ground on the 
of yearly rent, that is, each family at a medium system of run-rig, i.e., the ground was divided 
rents lands at twelve shillings of yearly rent." 2 into ridges which were so distributed among 
Tlùs certainly seems to indicate a VerjT wretched the tenants that no one tenant possessed two 
state of matters, and would almost lead one to contiguous ridges. Moreover, no tenant 
expect to hear that a famine occurred every could have the same ridge for two jTears 
year. But it must be remembered that for the running, the ridges having a new cuIti- 
reasons above given, along with others, farms vator every jTear. Such a systcm of allo- 
were let at a very small rent, far 11elow the real cating arable land, it is very evident, must 
value, and generally merely nominal; that be- have been attended with the worst results so 
sidcs money, rent at that time was all but uni- far as good farming is concerned. The only 
versally pairl in kind, and in services to the recommendation that it is possible to urge in 
bird or other superior; and that many of the its favour is that, there being no inclosures, it 
people, especially on the border lands, had would be the intercst of the tenants to join 
other means of existenee, as for example, together in protecting the land they thus held 
cattle-lifting. Nevertheless, making all these in common against the ravages of the cattle 
allowances, the condition of the great mass of which were allowed to roam about the hills, 
the Highlanders must have been extremely and the depredations of hostile clans. As we 
wretched, although they themselves might not have just said, there were no inclosures in the 
have felt it to be so, they hall heen so long Highlanr1s previous to 1745, nor were there 
accustomed to it. for very manjT years after that. 'Vhile the 
In such a state of matters, with the land so crops were standing in the ground, and liable 
mueh subdivided, with no leases, and with to be destroyed by the cattle, the latter were 
tenures 80 uncertain, with so many oppressive kept, for a few weeks in summer and autumn, 
exactions, with no incitements to industry or upon the hills; but after the crops were 
improvement, but with every encouragement gathered in, they were allowed to roam un- 
to idleness and inglorious self-contentment, it heeded through the whole of a district or 
is not to be supposed that agriculture or any parish, thus affording faeilities for the cattle- 
other industry would make any great progress. raids that formed so important an item in the 
1'01' centuries previous to 17 -t.J, and indeed for means of obtaining a livelihood among the 
long after it, agriculture appears to have re- ancient Highlanders. 
mained at a stand-still. The implemf'nts in 
\.s a rule, the oIÙy crops attempted to he 
use were rude and inefficient, the time devoted raised were oats and barlejT, and sometimes a 
to the necessary farming operations, generally little flax; green crops wero almost totally 
a few weeks in spring and autumn, was totally unknown or despised, till many years after 
insufficient to produce results of any impor- 1743; even potatoes do not seem to have 
been at all common till after 1750, although 
latterly they beeame the staple food of the 


1- 


II Gartmore :'Irs. 



1\
RETCHED STATE OF AGRICULTUIlE. 


--TI 
9 


Highlanders. Rotation of crops, or indeed I or 100 acres, was sometimes under the U('('(.
- 
any approaeh to scientific a.r!riculture, was sity of buying meal for his family in the sum- 
totally unknown. The ground was divided Iller season. 3 
into infield and outfield. The infield was I Their agricultural implements, it may ea.<;ily 
constantly cropped, either with oats or bear; be surmised, were as rude as their system of 
one ridge being oats, the other bear alter- j farming. The chief of these were the old 
nately. There was no other crop except a Scotch plough and the caschmim or crooked 
ridge of flax where the ground was thought spade, which latter, though primitive enough, 
proper for it. The outfield was ploughed seems to have been not badly suited to the 
three years for oats, and then pastured for turning over of the lanel in many parts of 
six years with horses, black cattle, and sheep. the Highlands. The length of the Highland 
In order to dung it, folds of sod were made plough was about four feet and a half, a11l1 
for the cattle, and what were called flakes or had only one stilt or handle, by which the 
rails of wood, removable at pleasure, for fold- ploughman directed it. A slight moulù-boarù 
ing the sheep. A farmer who rented GO, 80, was fastened to it with two Imther straps, anù 


I 
I 
I 
I 
II 
i 



, 
 ,... 


, III " 


......... 


---:.. 


1. Old Scotch plougJ). 2. Gasehroi7n, or crook ell spaùe. 


the sock awl eoulter were bound together at I and sometimes two men, whose business it 
the point with a ring of iron. To this plough was to lay down with a spade the turf that 
there were yoked abreast four, six, and even 
more horses or cattle, or both mixed, in traces 
made of thongs of leather. To manage this 
unwieldy machine it requil'Cd three or four 
men. The ploughman walked by the side of 
the plough, hoMing the stilt with one hand; 
the driver walked backwards in front of the 
horses or cattle, having the reins fixed on a 
cross stick, which he appears to have held in 
his hands. 4 Dehind the ploughman eame one 


3 Old Statistical Account, vo1. ix. p. 494. 
4 "When I first saw this awkward method as I then 
thought it, I rode up to the person who guided the 
machin\'. to ask him some questions concerning it: he 
6poke pretty good English, which made me conclude 
IL 


he was a gentleman; and yet, in quality of a proprie- 
tor and conductor, might, without dishonour, employ 
himself in such a work. :My first question was, 
whether that method was common to the Highlands, 
or peculiar to that part of the country î and, by way 
of answer, he asked me, if they ploughed otherwise 
anywhere else î Upon my further inquiry why the 
man went backwards î he stopped, and very civilly 
informed me that there were several small rocks, 
which I did not see, that had a little part of them 
just peeping on the surface, and therefore it was 
necessary his servant should see and avoid them, by 
guiding the horses accordingly, or otherwise his 
plough might be spoiled by the shock. The answer 
was satisfactory and convincing, amI I must here take 
notice that many other of their methods are too well 
suited to their own circumstances, and those of the 
country, to be easily amended by such as under- 
take to deride thern."-Burt's Letters, vol. ii. pp. 42, 
43. 


--I 


ß 



10 


GEKERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


I 
I 


was torn off. In the Hf'1n'ides and some other 
places of the Highlands, a curious instrument 
called a Rustle or Restle, was used in conjunc- 
tion with this plough. Its coulter was shaped 
somewhat like a sickle, the instrument itself 
lwing otherwise like the plough just described. 
ft was drawn by one horse, which was led bjT 
a man, another man holding and directing it 
by the stilt. It was drawn before the plough 
in order to remove obstructions, such as roots, 
tough grass, &c., which would have been apt 
to obstruct the progress of a weak plough like 
the above. In this way, it will be seen, five 
or six men, and an equal number if not 
more horses or cattle, were occupied in this 
single agricultural operation, performed now 
much more dfectively by one man and two 
horses. 5 
The Casrh?'oim,i.e., the crooked foot or spade, 
was an instrument peculiarly suited to the cul- 
ti vation of certain parts of the Highlands, 
totally inaccessible to a plough, on account of 
the broken and rocky nature of the ground. 
Moreover, the land turned over with the cas- 
chroilll was considerably more productive than 
that to which the above plough had been used. 
It consists of a strong piece of wood, about six 
feet long, bent near the lower end, and having 
a thick fiat wooden head, shed at the extremity 
with a sharp piece of iron. A piece of wood 
prujected about eight inches from the right 
side of the blade, and on this the foot was 
placed to force the instrument diagonally into 
the ground. " ",Vith this instrument a High- 
lander will open up more ground in a day, and 
render it fit for the sowing of grain, than could 
be done by two or three men with any other 
spades that are commonly used. He will dig 
as much ground in a day as will sow more 
than a peck of oats. If he works assiduously 
frum about Christmas to near the end of April, 
he will prepare land sufficient to sow five bolls. 

\.fter this he will dig as much land in a day as 
will sow two pecks of bere; and in the course 
of the season will cultivate as much land with 
his spade as is sufficient to supply a family of 
seven or eight persons, the year round, with 
meal and potatoes. . . . It appears, in general, 
that a field laboured with the caschroim affords 
wmally one-third more crop than if laboured 


I: 
II 


II 


I \Y alkcr's Hebrides, vol. i. p. 12
. 


with the plough. Poor land will afford near 
one-half more. But then it must be noticed 
that this tillage with the plough is very imper- 
feet, and the soil scarcely half laboured."6 No 
duubt this mode of cultivation was suitable 
enuugh in a eountry overstocked with popula- 
tion, as the Highlands were in the early part 
of last century, and where time and labour 
were of very little value. There were plenty of 
men to spare for such work, and there was 
little else to do but provide themselves with 
food. Still it is calculated that this spade 
labour was three times more expensive than 
that of the above clumsy plough. The cas- 
chroim was frequently used where there woul\l 
have been no diffiClùty in working a plough, 
the reason apparently being that the horses and 
cattle were in such a wretched condition that 
the early farming operations in spring com- 
pletely exhausted them, and therefore much of 
the ploughing left undone by them had to be 
performed with the crooked spade. 
As to harrows, where they were used at all, 
thejT appear to have been of about as little usö 
as a hand-rake. Some of them, which re- 
sembled hay-rakes, were managed by the hand; 
others, drawn by horses, were light and feeble, 
with wooden teöth, which might scratch the 
surface and cover the seed, but could have no 
effect in breaking the soil. 7 In some parts of 
the Highlands it was the custom to fasten the 
harrow to the horse's tail, and when it became 
too short, it was lengthened with twisteù 
sticks. 
To quote further from Dr \Valker's work, 
which describes matters as thejT existed about 
17GO, and the statements in which will apply 
with still greater force to the earlier half of the 
century :-" The want of proper carriages in 
the Highlands is one of the great obstacles to 
the progress of agriculture, and of every im- 
provement. Having no carts, their corn, straw, 
manures, fuel, stone, timber, seaweed, and kelp, 
the articles necessary in the fisheries, and every 
other bulky commodity, must be transported 
from one place to another on horseback or on 
sledges. This must triple or quadruple the 
expense of their carriage. It must prevent 
particularly the use of the natural manUl'es 
with which the country abounds, as, with- 


15 Walker's IlI'bridcs, vol. i. p. 127. 7 Idem, un. 



11 



 I 
II 


.l\lANAGKl\IENT 01" CROPS. 


out chcap carriage, they cannot be rendered 
profitable. The roads in most places are so 
had as to render the use of wheel-carriages 
impossible; but thejT are not brought into 
use even where the natural roads would admit 
them." 8 
As we have said already, farming operations 
in the Highlands lasted only for a few weeks 
in spring and autumn. Ploughing in gencral 
ùicl not commence till March, and was con- 
cluded in May; there was no autumn or winter 
ploughing; the ground was left untouched and 
unoceupied except by some cattle from harvest 
to spring time. It was only after the introduc- 
tion of potatoes that the Highlanders felt 
themselves compelled to begin operations about 
.T anuary. As to the modus operandi of the 
If ighland farmer in the olùen time, we quote 
the following from the old Statistical Account 
of the parish of Dunkeld and Dowally, which 
may be taken as a very fair representative of 
all the other Highland parishes; indeed, as 
being on the border of the lowlands, it may be 
regarded as having been, with regard to agri- 
culture and other matters, in a more advanced 
state than the generality of the more remote 
parishes :-" The farmer, whatever the state of 
the weather was, obstinately adhered to the 
immemorial practice of beginning to plough on 9 Old Slatist-ica.l Account, vol. xx. p. 74. 
Old Candlemas Day, and to sow on the 20th 1 "Nothing is more common than to hear the High- 
landers boast how much their country might be im- 
of l\Iarch. Summer f.'1llow, turnip crops, and proved, and that it would produce double what it does 
sown grass were unknown; so were compost at present if better husbandry were introduced among 
them. For my own part, it was always the only 
dunghills and the purchasing of lime. Clumps amusement I had in the hills, to observe every minute 
of brushwood and heaps of stones everywhere thing in my way; and I do assure you, I do not re- 
member to have seen the least spot that would bear 
interrupted and deformed the fields. The corn uncultivated, not even upon the sides of the hills, 
ellstomarjT rotation of their general crops was where it could be no otherwise broke up than with a 
1 B 1 2 0 spade. And as for manure to supply the salts and 
-. ar ey; . ats; 3. Oats; 4. Barley; and enrich the ground they have hardly any. In summer 
eaeh year they had a part of the farm employed their cattle are dispersed about the shcelings, and 
. . . fl Th . . almost aU the rest of the year in other parts of the I 
III raIsmg ax. e operatIOns respectmg hills; and, therefore, all the dung they can have must 
these took place in the following succession. be from the triHing quantity made by the cattle while . 
They began on the day alread y mentioned to they are in the house. I never knew or heard of any 
limestone, chalk. or marl, thpy have in the country; 
'rib the ground, on which they intended to sow and, if some of their rocks might serve for limestone, 
lJarley, that is, to draw a wide furrow, so as in that case their kilns, caITiage, and fuel would ren- 
der it so expensive, it woulLl be the same thing to 
merely to make the land, as they termed it, them as if there were none. Their great dependence 
red. In that state this ground remained till is upon the nitre of the snow, and they lament the 
disappointment if it does not faU early in the season." 
the fields assigned to oats were ploughed and -Burt's Letters, vol. ii. p. 48-9. 
sown. This was in general accomplished by 2" An English lady, who found herself something 
decaying in her health, and was advised to go among 
t!18 end of April. The farmer next proceeded the hills, and drink goat's milk or whey, told me 
to prepare for his flax crop, and to sow it, lately, that seeing a Highlander hasking at the foot of 
a hill in his full dress, while his wife and her mother 
which occupied him till the middle of May: were hard at work in reaping the oats, she asked the 
olLl woman how she could be contented to f;ee her 
I daughter labour in that manner, while her husband 


I I 
II 
, I 
I I 
I 


B Walker's Hebrides, vol. i. p. 133. 


I 
\ _u 


when he began to harrow, and dung, and sow 
the ribbed barley land. This last was some- 
times not finished till the month of 
T une." {} 
As to draining, fallowing, methodical manur- 
ing anù nourishing the soil, or any of th( 
modern operations for making the best of tlw 
arable land of the country, of these the High- 
lander never even dreamed; and long after I 
they had become COlllmon in the low country, 
it was with the utmost difficulty that his rooted 
aversion to innovations could be overcome. 
They literally seem to have taken no thought 
for the morrow, and the tradition anù usage of 
ages had gIven them an almost insuperable 
aversion to manual labour of any kind. This pre- 
judice against work was not the result of inherent 
laziness, for the Highlander, both in ancient and 
modern til1les,has clearly shown that his capacitjT 
for work and willingness to exert himself are ae 
strong and active as those of the most indus- 
trious lowlander or Englishman. The humblest 
Highlander believed himself a gentleman, hav- 
ing blood as rich and old as his chief, and he 
shared in the belief, far from being obsolete 
even at the present dajT, that for a gentleman 
to soil his hands with labour is as degrading 
as slavery.2 This belief was undoubte(UjT one 


II 



,-=- 


12 


GENERAL HISTOltY U.F THE HIGHLANDS. 



I 


I 
I 
I 


of tho strongest prillci pIes of action which 
guided the ancient Highlanders, and accounts, 
we think, to a great extent for his apparent 
laziness, and for the slovenly and laggard way 
in which farming operations were conductor]. 
There were, however, no doubt other reasons 
for the w].'etched state of agriculture in the 
Highlands previous to, and for long after, 1745. 
The Highlanders had much to struggle against, 
and much calculated to dishearten them, in the 
nature of the soil and climate, on which, to a 
great extent, the success of agricultmal operations 
is dependent. In many parts of the Highlands, 
especially in the "West, rain falls for the greater 
part of the year, thus frequently preventing 
the completion of the necessary processes, as 
well as destroying the crops when put into the 
ground.. As to the soil, no unprejudiced man 
who is competent to judge will for one moment 
deny that a great part of it is totally unsuited 
to agriculture, but fitted onljT for the pastmage 
of sheep, cattle, and deer. In the Old Statis- 
tieal Account of Scotland, this assertion is 
being constantly repeated by the various High- 
la.nd ministers who report upon the state of 
their parishes. In the case of many Highland 
districts, one could eonceive of nothing more 
hopeless and discoumging than the attempt to 
forre from them a crop of grain. That there are 
spots in the Highlands as susceptible of high 
culture as some of the best in the lowlands 
cannot be denieù; but these bear but a small 
proportion to the great quantity of ground that 
is fitted only to yield a sustenance to cattle 
and sheep. N ow all reports seem to justify 
the conclusion thai, previous to, and for long 
after 1745, the Highlands were enormously 
overstocked with inhabitants, considering the 
utter want of manufactures and the few other 


II 


was only an idle spectator 1 And to this the woman 
answered, that her son-in-law was a gentleman, and it 
would be a disparagement to him to do any such work; 
and that both she and her daughter too were suffi- 
ciently honoured by the alliance. 'l'his instance, I 
own has something particular in it, as such; but the 
thin:" is very common, a la Palatine, among the mid- 
.llin 
 sort of people. "-Burt's Letters, vol. ii. p. 45. 
The Highlander at home is indolent. It is with 
impatience that .he allows 
imself to be 
iverted 
from his favounte occupatIOn of traversmg the 
mountains and moors in looking after his flocks, a 
few days in spring and au,tumn, for th
 pUfJ)Oses of 
his narrow scheme of agnculture. It IS remarked, 
howevpr, that the Highlander, when remoypù beyond 
his native bounds, is found capahle of abundant exer- 
tion and industry.-Grahwn's Perthshire, 235. 


outlets there were for labour. Thus, we think, 
the Highlander would be apt to feel that any 
extraordinary exertion was ahsolutely useless, 
as there was not the smallest chance of his 
ever being able to improve his positioL, or to 
make himself, by Uleans of agriculture, better 
than his neighbour. All he seems to have 
sought for was to raise as much grain as ,
:;uld 
keep himself and family in bread during the 
miserable winter months, and meet the de- 
mands of the laird. 
The small amount of arable land wa.s no 
doubt also the reason of the incessant cropping 
which prevails, and which ultimately left the 
land in a state of complete exhaustion. "To 
this sort of management, bad as it is, the inha- 
bitants are in some degree constrained, from 
the small proportion of arable land upon their 
farms. From necessity they are forced tù mise 
what little grain they can, though at a great 
expense of labour, the produce being so incoll- 
siderable. A crop of oats on outfielù ground, 
without manure, they find more beneficial than 
the pasture. But if they must manure for a 
crop of oats, they reckon the crop of natural 
grass rather more profitable. But the scarcity 
of bread corn-or rather, indeed, the want of 
bread-obliges them to pursue the less profit- 
able practice. Oats and bear being necessary 
for their subsistence, they must prefer them to 
every other produce. The land at present in 
tillage, anù fit to produce them, is very limited, 
and inadequate to the consumption of the 
inhabitants. They are, therefore, ol)liged to 
make it yield as much of these grains as pos- 
sible, by scourging crops." 3 
Another great discouragement to good farm- 
ing was the multitude and grievous nature of 
the services demanded from the tenant by the 
lanrUord as part payment of rent. So multi 
farious were these, and so much of the farmer's 
time did they occupy, that frequently his own 
farming affairs got little or none of his per- 
sonal attention, but had to be entrusted to his 
wife and family, or to the cottars whom he 
housed on his farm, and who, for an acre or so 
of ground and liberty to pasture an ox or two 
and. a few sheep, performed to the farmer ser- 
vices similar to those renùered by the latter to 
his lairel. Often a farmer had only one day ill 


I I 
I 


3 Walker's Hebrides, &c., vul. i. p. Wi. 


_I 



FARM 'VORK. 


13 


the week to himself, so undefined and so Ull- after the abolition of the jurisdictions that thC' 
limited in extent were these services. Even grievous oppressive hardship, injustice, and 
in some parishes, so late as 1790, the tenant obstructiveness of the system became evident. 
for his laird (or 1naste'r, as he was often called) Previous to that, it was, of course, the laird's 
had to plough, harrow, and manure his land or chief's interest to keep his tenants attachclI 
in spring; cut corn, cut, winnow, lead, and to him and contented, and to see that they did 
stack his hay in summer, as well as thatch not want; not only so, but previous to that 
office-houses with his own (the tenant's) turf epoch, what was deficient in the supply 01 
and straw; in harvest assist to cut down the food produced by any parish or district, was 
master's crop whenever called upon, to the generally amply compensated for by the levies 
latter's neglect of his own, and help to store it of cattle and other gear made by the clans 
in the cornyard; in winter frequently a tenant upon each other when hostile, or upon their 
had to thrash his master's crop. winter his lawful prey, the Lowlanders. But even with 
cattle, and find ropes for the ploughs and for all this, it would seem that, not unfrequently, 
binding the cattle. )Ioreover, a tenant had the Higlùanders, either universally or in cer- 
to take his master's grain from him, see that it tain districts, were reduced to sore straits, an(l 
was properly put through all the processes even sometimes devastated by famine. Their 
necessary to convert it into meal, and return it crops and other supplies were so exactly squared 
read
r for use; place his time and his horses at to their wants, that, whenever the least failure 
the laird's flisposal, to buy in fuel for the took place in the expected quantity, scarcity or 
latter, run a message when eyer summoned to cruel famine was the result. According to Dr 
do so; in short, the eondition of a tenant in "\Valker, the inhabitants of some of the "\Vestern 
the Highlands during the early part of last Isles look for a failure once in every four years. 
century, and even down to the end of it in -'Iaston, in his Description of the TVestern 
some plaees, was little better than a slave. 4 Isla w ls, complaineù that many died from 
X ot that, previous to 174:5, this state of mat- famine arising from years of scarcity, and 
tel'S was universally felt to be a grievance by ten- about 17 4
, many over all the Highlands ap- 
ants and farmers in the Highlands, although it pear to have shared the same fate from the 
hall to a large extent been abolished both ill same cause. 5 So that, even under the old 
England and the lowlands of Scotland. On the sY8tem, when the clansmen were faithful and 
contrary, the people themselves appear to have obedient, and the chi'3f was kind and liberal, 
accepted this as the natural and inevitable and lllany cattle and other productions werc 
state of things, the only system consistent with importell free of all cost, the majority of the 
the spirit of clanship with the supremacy of the people lived from hanù to mouth, and fre- 
chiefs. That this was not, however, univer- quently sufferell from scarcity and want. In- 
sally the case, may be seen from the fact that, finitely more so was this the case when it ceasell 
so early as 1729, Brigadier Macintosh of Bor- to be the interest of the laird to keep arou1ll1 
lulU (famous in the affair of 1715) published a him numerous tenants. 
houk, or rather essay, on 1Vays (11l,d JIeansfu1" All these things being taken into considera- 
Enclosing, Fallmcing, Planting, <J.c., Scotland, tion, it is not to be wondered at that agricul- 
whichhe prefaced by a strongly-wordeù exhorta- ture in the Highlands was for so long in such 
tion to the gentlemen of Scotland to abolish this a wretched condition. 
degraùing and suicidal system, which was as ThejT set dHlch store, however, by their small 
much against their own interests as it was op- black cattle and diminutive sheep, and appear 
pressive to the tenants. Still, after 17 -f::5, there in many districts to have put more dependclIce 
scems to be no doubt that, as a rule, the ordinary upon them for furnishing the means of exist- 
Highlander acquiesced contentedly in the esta- ence, than upon what the soil could yiclt1. 
blished state of things, and generally, &0 far as The live-stock of a Highland farm consistc/I 
his immediate wants were concerned, suffered mainly of horses, sheep, and cattle, all of them 
little or nothing from the syswm. It was only 
:; 
ee accounts of various Highland parishes in the 
4 Old :::ítatistical Account, vul. x. }I. Ii. I Old 1:itatistical ACCollnt. 


. 



14 


GENERAL HI
TORY O.F THE HIGHLANDS. 


of a peculiarly small breed, and capable of 
yielding but little profit. The number of 
horses generally kept by a farmer was out of 
all proportion to the size of his farm and the 
number of other cattle belonging to him. The 
proportion of horses to cattle often ranged from 
one in eight to one in four. For example, 
Dr 'Yebster mentions a farm in Kintail, upon 
which there were forty milk cows, which with 
the young stock made one hundred and twentjT 
head of cattle, about two hundred and fifty 
goats and ewes, young and old, and tell horses. 
The reason that so great a proportion of horses 
was kept, was evidently the great number tllat 
were necessary for the operation of ploughing, 
and the fact that in the greater part of the 
Highlands carts were unknown, and fuel, 
grain, manure, and many other things gene- 
ralljT carried in machines, had to be conveyed 
on the backs of the horses, which were of a 
very small breed, although of wonderful 
strength considering their rough treatment and 
scanty fare. They were frequently plump, 
active, and endurable, though they had neither 
size nor strength for laborious cultivation. 
They were generally from nine to twelve l1ands 
I high, short-necked, chubby-headed, and thick 
and flat at the withers. 6 " They are so small 
that a middle-sized man must keep his legs 
almost in lines parallel to their sides when 
carried over the stony ways; and it is almost 
incredible to those who have not seen it how 
nimbly they skip with a heavy rider among 
the rocks and large moor-stones, tUrJúng zig-zag 
to such places as are passable."7 'Valker 
believes that scarcely any horses could go 
through so much labour and fatigue upon so 
little sustenance. 8 They were generally called 


Ii Walker's Hebrides, &c., vol. ii. p. 159. 
7 Burt's Letters, vol. ii. p. 38. 
a Still they would seem to have been of compara- 
tively little use for farming operations; for Dr 
Waiker, writing about 1760, when the breed was at 
least no worse than it was previous to 1745, speaks 
thus :-" The number of horses is by far too great 
upon every Highland farm. They are so numerous, 
hecause they are inefficient; and they are inefficient, 
because they have neithcl" stature nor food to render 
them sufficiently useful. Their number has never 
been restrained by the authority of the landlords, like 
that of the sheep. }'or in many l,lllCBs, they are bn'd 
and sold off the farm to advantage, being sent in 
droves to the south. In this case, their numbers upon 
a farm may be proper. But in general, there are six, 
eigJJt, or ten horses upon the smaller farms, and 
sixteen, twenty, or more upon the larger; without 
:my being brcd for ::;ale, and even few for sUPTJOrting 


I 
I 
Iii 
I 
I
__- 


f/ll1'}.ons, and seem in many respects to havt\ 
resembled the modern Shetland pony. These 
horses for the greater part of the .year were 
allowed to run wild among the hills, each 
having a mark indicating its owner; during 
the severest part of winter they were sometimes 
brought down and fed as well as their owners 
could afford. They seem frequently to have 
been bred for exportation. 
Sheep, latterly so intimately associated with 
the Highlands, bore but a very small propor- 
tion to the number of black cattle. Indeed, 
before sheep-farming began to take place upon 
so large a scale, and to receive encouragement 
from the proprietors, the latter were generally 
in the habit of restricting their tenants to a I 
limited number of sheep, seldom more than one I 
sheep for one cow. This restriction appears to I 
have arisen from the real or supposed interest 
of the lanillord, who looked for the money part I 
of his rent solely from the produce of sale ot 
the tenants' cattle. Sheep were thus con- 
sidered not as an article of profit, but merely I 
as part of the means by which the farmer's ! II 
family was clothed and fed, and therefore the 
landlord was anxious that the number should I 
not be more than was absolutely necessary. 
In a VerjT few years after 1745, a complete 
revolution took place in this respect. 
The old native sheep of the Highlands, now 
rare, though common in some parts of ShetlalHI, 
is thus described by Dr 'Valker. "It is the 
smallest animal of its kind. It is of a thin 
lank shape, and has short straight horns. The 
face and legs are white, the tail extremely 
short, and the wool of various colours; for, 
besiùe black and white, it is sometimes of a 
bluish grey colour, at other times brown, and 
sometimes of a deep russet, and frequently an 
individual is blotched with two or three of 
these different colours. In some of the low 
islands, where the pasture answers, the wool of 
this small sheep is of the finest kinll, and the 
same with that of Shetland. In the moun- 
tainous islands, the animal is found of the 
smallest size, with coarser wool, and with this 
the stock. N one of them perform the work of a 
horse; even where such numbers are kept, and pureìy 
for labour, each of them, in many places, do not 
plough two acres of lanù annually. They get no food 
the wlwle year round, but what they can pick up 
upon the ilil1S, and their sustenance is therefore 
unluckily accounteù as nothing.' 



]5 


SHEEP-J
LACK CATTLE-ARABLE LAND. 


\"ery remarkable cha,racter, that it has often 
four, and sometimes even six horns. 
" Such is the original breed of sheep over all 
the Highlands and IslanJs of Scotland. I t varies 
much indeed in its properties, according to the 
climate and pasture of different districts; but, in 
general, it is so diminutive in size, and of so 
bad a form, that it is requisite it should be 
given up, wherever shcep-farming is to be fol- 
lowed to any consid8ri'.hle extent. From this 
there is only one exception: in some places the 
WOO! is of such a superior quality, and so 
vaiuable, that the breed perhaps may, on that 
account, be with advantage rptained." 
The small, shaggy black cattle, so well 
known even at the present day in connection 
with the Highlands, was the principal live- 
stock cultivated previous to the alterations 
which followed L 7.i5. This breed appears to 
have been excellent in its kind, and the best 
adapted for the country, and was quite capable 
of being brought to admirable perfection by 
proper care, feeding, and management. But 
little care, however, was bestowed on the 
rearing of these animals, and in general they 
were allowed to forage for themselves as best 
they could. As we have said already, the 
Highland farmer of those days regarded his 
cattle as the only money-producing article with 
which his farm was stocked, all the other pro- 
,lucts being necessary for the subsistence of 
himself and his family. It was mainly the 
\:attle that paid the rent. It was therefore 
\'ery nahlral that the farmer should endeavour 
to have as large a stock of this commodity as 
l}ossible, the result being that, blind to his own 
real interests, he generally to a large extent 
overstocked his farm. According to Dr 'V alker, 9 
over all the farms in the north, there was kept 
above one-third more of cattle than what under 
the then prevailing system of management 
could be properly supported. The consequence 
of course was, that the cattle were generally in 
a half-fed and lean condition, and, during 
winter especially, they died in great numbers. 
As a J'111e, the arable land in the Highlands 
bore, and still bears, but a very small propor- 
tion to that devoted to pasture. The arable 
land is as a rule by the sea-shore, on the sidp 
of R river or lake, or in a valley; while tlll' 


II 


f["vrid.'s, &c., vol. ii. p. 50. 


rest of the farm, devoted to pasturage, stretches 
often for many miles away among the hills. 
The old mode of valuing or dividing lands in 
Scotland was into shilling, sixpenny, and 
threepenny lands of Scotch money. Latterly 
the English denomination of money was used, 
and these divisions were termed penny, 1 half- 
penny, and farthing lands. 
\.. tacksman gene- 
rally rented a large number of these penny 
lands, and either farmed them himself, or, as 
was very often done, sublet them to a number 
of tenants, none of whom as a rule held more 
than a penny land, and many, having less than 
a farthing land, paying from a few shillings to 
a few pounds of rent. 'Vhere a number of 
tenants thus rented land from a tacksman 01 
proprietor, they generally laboured the arabIc 
land in common, and each received a portion 
of the produce proportioned to his share in the 
general hol(ling. The pasturage, which formed 
by far the largest part of the farm, they had in 
common for the use of their cattle, each tenant 
being allowed to pasture a certain number of 
cattle and sheep,soumed or proportioned 2 to the 
quantity of land he held. "The tenant of a 
penny land often keeps four or five cows, with 
what are called their followers, six or eight horses, 
and some sheep. The followcrs are the calf, a 
one-year-old, a two-year-old, and a three-year- 
old, making in all with the cow five head of 
black cattle. TIy frequent deaths among them, 
the number is seldom complete, yet this penny I 
land has or lllay have upon it about twenty 'Jr 
twenty-five head of black cattle, besides horses 
and sheep." The halfpenny and farthing lands 
seem to have been allowed a larger proportion 
of live stock than the penny lands, considcring 
theÏI size. 3 It was seldom, however, that a 
tenant confined himself stri.::.tly to the number 
for wbich he was soumed, the desire to havc 
as much as possible of the most profitable 
commodity frequently inducing to overstock, 
and thus defeat his main purpose. 
During summer and autumn, the cattle and 
other live stock were confined to the hills to 
prevent them doing injury to the crops, for 


1 A penny land apparently containeù about the 
tenth part of a davoch, i.e., about forty acres. 
2 The rule in souming seems to have been that one 
cow was equal to eight, in some places ten, sheep, 
anù two cows equal to one horse. 
s 
Walker's lIebrides, &c., vol. i. p. 56. 



f6 


GENERAL HI:::;TURY OE THE HIGHLANDS. 


the lands wore totally unprotected by enclo- 
sures. After the ground was cleared of the 
crops, the animals were allowed to roam pro- 
miscuously over the whole farm, if not over 
the farills of a whole district, having little or 
nothing to eat in the winter and spring but 
what they could pick up in the fields. It 
seems to have been a common but very absurd 
notion in the Highlands that the housing of 
cattle tended to enfeeble them; thus many 
cattle died of cold and starvation every winter, 
those who survived were mere skeletons, and., 
moreover, the farmer lost all their dung which 
could have been turned to good use as manure. 
Many of the cows, from poverty and disease, 
brought a calf only once in two years, and it 
was often a month or six weeks before the 
cow could give sufficient milk to nourish her 
offspring. Thus many of the Highland cattle 
were starved to death in their calf's skin. 
A custom prevailed among the Highlanders 
of old, common to them with other mountainous 
pastoral countries, e.g., Switzerland. During 
winter the tenants of a farm with their families, 
cottars, and servants, lived in the Bailie 
Gcamhre, or winter town, in the millst of the 
arable land j but in summer, after all the 
sowing was done, about the middle of June, a 
general migration was made to the hills along 
with the cattle, the arable ground with aU its 
appurtenances being allowed to take care of 
itself. The following passage, quoted from the 
old Statistical Account of Doleskine and Aber- 
tarff, Inverness-shire, will give a notion of the 
working of this practice :- 
"The whole country, with two exceptions, 
consists of a variety of half davoch-Iands, each 
of which was let or disponed by the Lovat 
family or tlleir chamberlain to a wadsetter or 
principal tacksman, and had no concern with 
the sub-tenantry; each sub-tenant had again a 
variety of cottars, e'lually unconnected with the 
principal tacksman; and each of these had a 
number of cattle of all denominations, propor- 
tional to their respective holdings, with the 
produce whereof he fed and claù himself and 
whole family. As there were extensive sheal- 
lings or grasings attached to this country, in 
the neighbourhood of the lordship of Dadenoch, 
the inhahitants in thö beginning of summer 
removed to these sheallings with their whole 


cattle, man; woman, and child; awl it was no 
uncommon thing to observe an infant in one 
creel, and a stone on the other side of the 
horse, to keep up an equilibrium; anJ when 
the grass became scarce in the sheallings, they 
returneJ again to their principal farms, where 
they remained while they had sufficiency of 
pasture, and then, in the same manner, went 
back to their sheallillgs, and observeJ this 
ambulatory course during the seasons of vege- 
tation; and the only operations attended to 
during the summer season was their peats or 
fuel, and reþairing their rustic habitations. 
1Vhen their small crops were fit for it, all 
hands descended from the hills, and continued 
on the farms till the same was cut and secured 
in barns, the walls of which were generally 
made of dry stone, or wreathed with branches 
or boughs of trees; and it was no singular 
custom, after harvest, for the whole inhabit- 
ants to return to their sheallings, and to 
abide there till driven from thence by the 
snow. During the winter and spring, the 
w hole pasturage of the country was a common, 
and a poind-fold was a tlling totally unknown. 
The cultivation of the country was all per- 
formed in spring, the inhabitants having 110 
taste for following green crops or other modern 
improvements. " 
The milk produced by the small Highland 
cows was, and indeed is, small in quantity, but 
in quality it resembles what in the Lowlands 
is known as. cream. Of course, the butter and 
cheese made from such milk is unusually rich. 
About the end of August or beginning of 
September, the cattle had generally been got 
into good condition by their summer feeding, 
the beef then, according to Captain Hurt, 
being "extremely sweet and succulent." It 
was at this time that the drovers collected their 
herds, and drove them to the f.'tirs and markets 
on the borders of the lowlands, amI sometimes I 
so far south as the north of England. As from 
the want of good roads and any means of rapid 
conveyance, the drovers took a considerable 
time to reach their destination, and had in the 
meantime to be fed, a certain sum per head had 
to be paid to the owners of the territories 
through which they passed, for the liberty of I 
being alloweJ grazing for the cattle. Burt 
gives tho following graphic aceonnt of a seellO II 



----I 


CATTLE DROVERS-HARVEST 'VORK. 


11 


he himself witnessed on the march south of one 
of these herds of cattle. "I have several times 
seen them driving great numbers of cattle 
along the side.:; of the mountains at a great 
distance, but never, t;xcept once, was near them. 
This Wa.'! in a time of rain, by a wide river, 
where there was a boat to ferry over 
he 
drovers. The cows were about fifty in number, 
and 
ook the water like .:;paniels; and when they 
were in, their driver.:; made a hideou.:; cry to 
urge them forward.:;: this, they told me, they 
did to keep the foremo.:;t of them from turning 
about; for, in 
hat ca.:;e, the rest would do 
the like, amI 
hen 
hey would be in danger, 
especially the weakest of them, to be driven 
away and drowned by 
he torren
. I thought 
it a very odd sigh
 to see so many no.:;e.:; 
and eyes just above water, and nothing of 

hem more to be seen, for they had no horns, 
and upon the land 
hey appeared like so many 
large Lincolnshire calves." These drovers do 
no
 seem as a rule to have been the owner.:; of 
ca

le, but a cIas.:; of men whose business it was 
to co]]ed in
o one herd or drove the saleable 
ca
ne of a number of farmers, take 
hem south to 

he markets and bring back the money, recei ving 
a small commission for their trouble. As a rule 
they seem to have been men who, when their in- 
legritywas relied on, made i
 a poin
 of honour Lo 
be able to render a .:;a
isfactory accoun
 of every 
animal and every far
hing; although probably 
no one would be more ready to join in a aeach 
or ca
Ue-lifting expedition, wmch in those days 
was considered as honourable a.:; ,,;arfare. The 
drovers "conducted the cattle by easy stages 
across the country in trackways, which, whilst 
they were less circuitous than public ro3.ds, 
were softer for the feet of the animals, and he 
often rested at night in the open fields with hi.:; 
herds."4 A good idea of the character of this 
class of Highlanders may be obtained from Sir 
'V alter Scott's Chronicles of the Canongate. 5 


4 Logan's Scottish Gael, vol. ii. p. 65. 
II The follo\\ing remarks, taken from the Gartll10re 
MS. at the end of Burt's Letters, gives one by no means 
a favourable idea of these drovers. but it must be borne 
in mind that the writer lived on the border of the 
most notorious and ill-behaved part of the Highlands, 
Rob Roy's country, and that he himself was properly 
a Lowlander. The extract will scrve to show how busi- 
ness transactions were conducted in the Highlands. 
" It is all edged, that much of the Highlands lye at a 
great distance from publick fairs, mercates, and places 
of commerce, and that the access to these places is both 
II. 


All the other operations connected with 01 
arising out of agticlùture were conducted in 
as rude and ineffective a manner as those above 
mentioned. The harvest was always an anxious 
season with the Highlander, as fl'OIll the wet- 
ness of the climate and tbe early period at 
which rain set in, their crops might never como 
to useful perfection, or might be swept away ùy 
floods or heavy rains before they could be 
gathered in. 6 Dr 'Yalker declares thùt in the 
Hebrides anù \Yestern Highlands the people 
made up their minds to lose one harvest in 
four on account of the wetness of the clillla
e. 
If the crops, however, escaped destruc
ion from 
the elements, the farmers were glad to get them 
reaped as quickly as possible. As a nùe, the 
common sickle seems to have been used for 
cutting down the grain, although it appears 
to have been not uncommon to tear it from the 


difficult and dangerous; by reason of all which, trail- 
ing people decline to go into the country in order to 
traffick and deal with the people. It is on this account 
that the farmers, having no way to turn the produce 
of their farms, whieh is mostly cattle, into money, 
are obliged to pay their rents in cattJe, which the land- 
lord takes at his o\\n price, in regaird that he must 
either grase them himself, send them to distant mar- 
kets, or credite some person with them, to be againe at 
a certain profite disposed of by him. This introduced 
the busieness of that sort of people commonly known 
by the name of Droverso These men have little or no 
substance, they must know the languag
, the ditTerent 
places, and consequently be of that country. Tho far- 
mers, then, do either sell their cattle to these drovers 
upon credite, at the drovers price (for ready money 
they seldom have), or to the landlord at his price, for 
payment of hiE rpnt. If this last is the case, the land- 
lord does again dispose of them to the drover upon 
eredite, and these drovers make what profites they cau 
by selling them to grasiers, or at markets. These dro- 
vers make payments, and keep credite for a few years, 
and then they either in reality become bankrupts, or 
pretend to be so. The last is most frequently the case, 
and then the subjpct of which they have cheatrd is pri- 
\Oately transftrred to a confident person in whose name, 
upon that reall stock, a trade is sometimes carried on, 
for their behoof, till this trustee gett into credite, and 
prepaire /d.s atfairs for a bankruptcy. Thus the farmers 
are still keept poor; they nrst sell at an under rate, and 
then they often lose alltogether. 'fhe landlorús, too, 
must either turn traders, and take their cattle to mar- 
kets, or give these people cTedite, and by the same 
means suffer. "-Burt's Letters, vol. ii. pp. 364, 365. 
6 "The latter part of the season is often very wet; 
and the corn, particularly oats, suffer very much. 
June and August are the months which have least rain. 
September and October are frequently very wet: during 
these months, not only a greater quantity of rain falls, 
hut it is more constant, accompanied by a. cold and 
cloudy atmosphere, which is very unfavourable either 
to the ripening of grain, or drying it after it is cut. 
In July and August a good deal of rain falls; but it is 
in heavy showrrs, and the intervals are fine, the sun 
shining clear and bright often for se\'eral days to- 
gether. "-Garnett's Tour, vol. i. p. 24. 
C 



-- 
I 


18 



 II 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHL
\NDS. 


I 
I I I 
I I 
I 
I 


eal'Lh by the roots. 7 The harvest work seems 
to have been generally performed by women, as 
is indeed the case still in some parts of Scotland. 
This, Burt thinkR, tendeJ much to retard the 
harvest, as it sometimes took a woman and a 
girl a fortnight to do what with the aiù of a 
man might have been done in a couple of 
days. 8 So short-lived was the supply of grain, 
and so ill-off were the people sometimes, that 
it was not uncommon for them to pluck the 
ears as they ripened, like fruit, and even scorch 
the grain when green and squeeze it into an 
unwholesome pulp. 9 
The flail appears to have been the only article 
used to separate the grain from its husk, and the 
only winnowing it got was from the draught 
that passed through the rude barn, which had 
two doors opposite each other for the purpose. 
The qnern or hand-mill is the oldest machine 
used for grinding grain. It consisted of two 
stones, one above the other, the former turned 
round by a handle and having an opening in 


7 Buchanan's Trovels i'lt the IIcbrides, p. 154. 
8 .. In larger farms belonging to gentlemen of the 
clan, where there are any number of women employed 
in harv
t-work, tJley all keep time together by seve.. 
ral barbarous tUIl&. of the voice, and stoop and rise 
together as regularly as a rank of soldiers when they 
ground their arms. Sometimes thpy are incited to 
their work by the sound of a bagpipe, and by either 
of these they proceed with f,'Teat alacrity, it bein
 dis- 

raceflll for anyone to be out of time with the sickle." 
This custom of using music to enable a number of 
common workers to kepp time, seems to have been in 
vogue in 11Jany operations in the Highlands. "\Ve 
(luote the following graphic account of the process of 
fulling given by Burt in the same letter that contains 
the aùove quotation, (vol. ii. p. 48.) "They use the 
samp tone, or a piper, when they thicken the newly- 
woven plaiding, instead of a fulling-mill. This is 
done by six or eight women sitting upon the ground, 
near some river or rivulet, in two opposite ranks, 
with the wet cloth between them; their coats are 
tucked up, 
IHI with their l1aked feet they strike one 
against another's, keepÍl
g exact time as above men- 
tioned. Awl among numbers of mpn, employed in 
any work that ]'{'quires strength and joint labour 
(as Ule launching a large boat, or the like), they must 
have the piper to regulate their time, as well as usky 
to keep up their spirits in the performance; for pay 
they often have little, or none at all." - Rurt.s 
Lrftcrs. 
9 Burton's Scotll1.1ul (1689-1748), vol. iL p. 395.- 
" The poverty of the field labourers hereabouts is de- 
plorable. I was one day riding out for air and exprcise, 
,mil in my way I saw a woman cutting green barley in 
a little plot before her hut: this induced me to turn 
aside anù ask her what use she intended it for, anù 
she told me it was to make bread for ller family. The 
grain was so green fin(l soft that I easily pressed some 
of it betwel'll my fingers; so that when she had pre- 
pared it, certainly it must havð been more like a poul- 
il tice 
hàn what she called it, bread. "-Burt's Letters, 
vvl. 1. p. 224. 


the top to admit the grain. This primitive 
kind of mill, even for long after 1745, was u
ed 
all over the Highlands to convert the scant.y 
supply of grain into meal. The quem was gellt'- 
rally (lriven b.r two women.sittillg opposite each 


II 


Quem, from the collection of the late Sir James Y. 
Simpson, Bart. 


other, but it was also adapted to a mile water- 
wheel, the axle of which was fixed in the upper 
stone. This rude water-mill is still used in Shet- 
land, and is of the very simplest construction. 
A common method of prepaÚng the grain for 
the qnern was called I)mddaning, which con- 
sisted in taking a handful of corn in the 
stalk, setting fire to it, and when it had bUTUt 
long enough, knocking the grain from the head 
by means of a stick; thus both thrashing anù 
drying it at the same time. This of course 
was 't wretched and most extravagant mode of 
procedure, blackening and otherwise spoiling 
the grain, and wasting the straw. This pro- 
cess wa-s common in the 'Vestern Islands, where 
also t.here was a kind of very rude kiln, on the 
hiH-' ribs of which were put the heads of the 
grain, which, when dried, were ptùled down 
on the floor and immediately thmshed and 
winnowed, and stored up hot in plates, ready 
for the quern. Thus couiLl a man have cut 
the sheaves, dry anJ thrash the barley, dean 
it for the quem, and make his breakfast thereof 
after it was ground. ] Another method common 
in Badenoch and the central Highlands was 
to switch the com out of the ear with a stick, 
separate it from the chaff, and put it in a pot 
on the fire, while a person kept stirring it 


1 nuchanan's Hebrides, p. 156. 


I 
------- 



THE QUERN-FUEL. 


--I 


1
 


with a wooden spatula. " I have seen," says a 
gentleman from Laggan, "the corn cut, dried, 
ground, baked, and eaten in less than two hours. 9 
There must, however, have been a mill on a 
somewhat larger scale than either the hand or 
water-quem, situated in a great many of the 
Highland districts, as it is well known that in 
the Highlands as well as the Lowlands, multure 
and thirlage were common exactions by which 
the tenants were oppressed. The tenants would 
ùe no doubt glad in many cases to escape the 
heavy mill-dues by grinding their grain fur 
themselves, as well as their rude contrivances 
would allow them. But the convenience of a 
well-constructed mill in a district is evident, and 
of course it i8 but fair that those who take advan- 
tage of the mill shOlùd pay for it. l\Ioreover, 
in early times, when large mills were first 
introduced into a district b.y the laird or pro- 
prietor, it was natural enough that he should 
endeavour, either by bargain or force, to get his 
tenants to take their grain to the district-mill 
to be ground, as only l)y this means cOlùd the 
expense of building and keeping up of the mill 
be defrayed and a miller induced to rent 
it. As money was scarce in thosc days, aud as 
rent and other dues were paid in kind, it was 
natural and fair enough that the landlord should 
exact a small portion of the grain taken to his 
mill as due to him for keeping the mill up, and 
also for the miller to take payment for his trouble 
and time by keeping to himself a certain 
proportion of the meal into which he had con- 
verted the grain. But like eycry other custom, 
this was liable to abuse, and did in the end 
turn out to be a most grievous exaction and a 
great hindrance to agricultural improvement. 
Every farmer was thirled to a particlùar mill, 
thirlage being a due payable to the landlord; 
and the miller, besides having a croft or slllall 
farm attached to the mill, was allowed to exact 
multure, or a proportion of meal, to pay himself 
for his trou blc. Desides these there appears to 
have been other eXi\ctions which could be maùe 
by the miller on various pretexts, and the 
amount of which depended pretty much upon 
his own caprice. Altogether they not un- 
frequently amounted to an eighth or a tenth of 
the meal produced by the grain. Yet for long 
after 1745, even into the present century, did 
II Logan'!; Garl, vnl. ii p. 9ï. 


these exactions continue to be in force in many 
parts of the country; and an almost universal 
complaint by the writers of the articles on the 
Highland parishes in the Old Statistical Ac- 
count, is the grievous nature of these and 
other exactions. 
Almost the only fuel used by the High- 
landers, not only in the early part but during 
the whole of last century, was peat, still used 
in many Highland districts, and the only fuel 
used in a great part of Orkney and Shetland. 
The cutting and preparing of the fuel, com- 
posed mainly of deca.yed roots of various plants, 
consumed a serious part of the Highlander's 
time, as it was often to be found only at a 
great distance from his habitation; and he 
had to cut not only for himself but for his 
laird, the process itself being long and troublc- 
some, extending from the time the sods were first 
cut till they were furmed in a stack at thc side 
of the farmer's or cottar's door, over five or six 
months; and after all, they frequently turned 
out but a wretched substitute for either wood or 
coal; often they were little ebe than a mass of 
red earth. It generally took five people to cut 
peats out of one spot. One cut the peat::;, which 
were placed by another on the edge of the trench 
from which they were cut; a third spread 
them on the field, while a fuurth trimmcli them, 
a fifth resting in the meantimc ready to relievc 
the man that was cutting. 
I 
As would natmally be expected, the houses 
and other buildings of the HighlanJers were II 
quite in keeping with their at,'Ticultural im- 
plement::; and gencral mode of life. Even 
the tacksmen or gentlemen of the claB, 
the relations of the chief, livell in huts or 
hovels, that the poorest farmer in most parts 
of Scotland at the present day, woulLl shudder 
to house his cattle in. In most cases they ap- 
pear to have been pretty much the same as those 
of the small farmers or cottars, only perhaps 
a little larger. Burt mentions such a house 
belonging to a gentleman of the clan, which he 
visited in one of his peregrinations round 
Inverness. He says3 it consisted of one long 
apartment without any partition, "where the 
family was at one end, and some cattle at the 
other." The owner of this rude habitation must 
have been somewhat shrcwd and sensible, as he 
3 Letters, vol. ii. p. 7. 


:1 


I. 



\I 
20 


GEXERAL HISTORY OF THE IIIGHLAXDS. 


: I 
! I 


could not only perceive the disadvantages of this going to the university; and the eldest daugh- 
mode of life to which he was doomed, but had ter, about sixteen, sat with us at table, clean 
insight and candour enough to be able to account and genteelly dressed."4 
for his submission to them. " The truth is," There is no reason to doubt Burt's statement 
Captain Burt reports him to have said, "we when he speaks of what he saw or h.eard, but 
are insensibly inured to it by degrees; for, when it must be remembered he was an Englishman, 
very young, we know no better; being grown with all an Englishman's prejudices in favoUl' 
up, we are inclined, or persuaded by our near of the manners and customs, the good living, 
relations, to marry-thence come children, and and general fastidiousness which characteriS{> 
fondness for them: but above all," says he, his own half of the kingdom, and many of an 
" is the love of me/' ckief, so strongly is it in- Englishman's prejudices against the Scotch gen- 
"Tlk:Üed to us in our infancy; and if it were eraDy and the turbulent Highlanders in parti- 
not for that, I think the Highland!'! would be cular. His letters are, however, of the utmost 
much thinner of people than they now are." value in giving us a clear and intereRting glimpse 
How much truth there is in that last statement into the mode of life of the Highlanders shortly 
is clearly evidenced by the historyofthe country before 17 45,andmost Scotchmen at least will be 
after the abolition of the hereditary jurisdic- able to sift what is fact from what is exagger- 
tions, which was the means of breaking up the ation and English colouring. Much, no doubt, 
old intimate relation between, and mutual de- of what Burt tells of the Highlanders when 
pendellce of, chief and people. Burt says else- he was there is true, nut it is true also of people 
where, that near to Inverness, there were a few then living in the sllme station in other parts 
gentlemen's houses built of stone and lime, but of Scotland, where however among the better 
that in the inner part of the mountains there classes, and even among the farmers, even then, 
were no stone-buildings except the barracks, there was generally a rough abundance com- 
and that one might have gone a hundred miles bined with a sort of affectation of rudeness of 
without seeing any other dwellings but huts of manner. It is not so very long ago since the 
tmf. JJy the beginning of last century the I son of the laird, and he might have been a duke, 
houses of most of the chiefs, though compam- and the son of the hind were educated at the 
tively small, seem to have been substantially same parish school; and even at the present 
huilt of stone and lime, although their food and day it is no uncommon sight to see the sons of 
manner of life would seem to have been pretty the highest Scottish nobility sitting side by side 
much the same as those of too tacksmen. The on the same college-benches with the sons of day- 
chilllren of chiefs and gcntlemen seem to have labourers, ploughmen, mechanics, farmers, and 
lw,en allowed to run about in much the same ap- small shop-keepers. Such a sight is rare in the 
parentlyuncured for condition as those of the ten- English universities; where there arc low-born 
ants, it having been a common saying, according intruders, it will in most cases be found that they 
to Burt, "that a gentleman's bairns are to be belong to Scotland. "T e do not make these re- 
,listinguished by their speaking English." To marks to prejudice the reader in any way against 
illustrate this he tells us that once when dining the statements of Burt or to depreciate the value 
with a laird not very far from In verness-pos- of his letters; all we wish the reader to under- 
sibly Lord Lovat-he met an English 8ùldier at stand is that he was an Englishman, nther fond 
the house who was catching birds for the laird of gossip, and perhaps of adding point to a story 
to exercise his hawks on. This soIL lieI' told Burt at the expense of truth, with all the prejudices 
1"3at for three or four days after his first coming, and want of enlightenment and consmopolitan- 
he had observed in the kitchen (" an out-house ism of even educated Englishmen of 150 years 
hovel") a parcel of dirty childrE.'D half naked, ago. He states facts correctly, but from a 
whom he took to belong to some poor tenant, pecruiar and very un-Scottish point of view. 
but at last discovered they were part of the His evidence, even when stripped of its slight 
family. "But," says the fastidious English colouring, is invaluable. and, even to the 
Captain, "although these were so little regarded, 
the 
'oung laird, about the age of fourteen, was 4 Burt's Letters, vol. ii. p. 96. 


II 
I 
I 


1- __ 



SOCL\L LIFE IN FOInTER DA í:3. 
l 


illudeI'll Highlander, must prove that his an- places even at the present day, resembling in 
cestors lived in a very miserable way, although this respect most people living in a wild ana 
they themselves might not have I'ealised its dis- not much frequented country. As to the every- 
comfort and wretchedness, but on the contrary, day fare above mentioned, those who partook 
may have been as contented as the most well-to- of it would consider it no hardship, if Ílldeed 
do English squire or prosperous English farmer. Burt had not been mistaken or been deceived 
Even among the higher members of the clans, as to details. Oatmeal, in the form of porriùgo 
the tacksmen and most extensive farmers, the and brose, is common even at the present dHY 
fare does not seem to have been by any means among the lower classes in the country, anJ 
abundant, and generally was of the commonest tJven among substantial farmers. As for the 
kind. For a few months in the end of the year, other part of it, there must have been plenty 
when the cattle and sheep were in condition to of salmon anll trout about the rivers and 
be killed, animal food appears to have been plen- lochs of Inverness-shire, and abunùance of 
tiful enough,. as it must also have heen after grain of various kinds on the hills, so that the 
any successful cattlA-foray. But for the rest of gentlemen to whom the inquisitive Captain 
the year, the food of even the gentlemen in refers, must have taken to porriùge ami pickled 
many places must have been such as any mo- herring from choice: and it is well known, that 
,lern farmer would have turned up his nose at. in Scotland at least, when a guest is expected, 
In other districts again, where the chief was the hoot ende3vours to provide something better 
wcll-offand liberal, he appears to have been will- than common for his entertainment. Burt also 
ing enough to share what he had with his rela- declares that he has often seen a lai:td's lady 
tions the higher tenants, who again would do coming to church with a maid behind her car- 
their best to keep from want the under tenants rying her shoes and stockings, which she put 
and cottars. Stillit will be seen, the living of all on at a littlc:: distance from the church. Indeed, 
was very precarious. "It is impossible for me," from what he says, Ït would seem to have 
says Burt,5>" from my own knowledge, to give beeT) quite common for those in the position of 
you an account of the ordinary way of living ladieB dnd gentlelUen to go about in this free 
II of these gentlemen; because, when any of us and easy ta
hion. Their motives for doing so 
(the English) are invited to their houses therc were no doubt those of economy and comfort- 
is always an appearance of plenty to excess; . not because they had neither shoes nor stock- 
and it has been often said they will ransack ings to put on. The practice is quite common at 
all their tenants rather than we should think the present day in Scotland, for both respectable 
meaIÙY of their housekeeping: but I have heard men and women when travelling on a dusty 
it from many whom they have employed, and road on a broiling summer-ùay, to do so on their 
perhaps had little regard to their observations as bare feet, as being so much more comfortable 
inferior people, that, although they have been at- and less tiresome than travelling in heavy boots 
tended at dinner byfive or six servants, yet, with and thick worsted stockings. .N 0 one thinks 
all that state, they have often dined upon oat the worse of them for it, nor infers that they 
meal varied several ways, pickled herrings, or must be wretchedly ill off. The practice has 
other such cheap and indifferent diet." Durt evidently at one time been much more common 
complains much of their want of hospitality; even among the higher classes, but, like many 
but at this he need not have been surprised. He other customs, lingers now only among the com- 
and every other soldier stationeù in the High- mon people. 
lands would be regarded with suspicion and even From all we c3.nlearn, however, the chiefs and 
,I dislike by the natives, who were by no means their more immedia.te dependants and relations 

 I likely to give them any encouragement to fre- appear by no means to have been ill-off, so far 
I quent their houses, and pry into their secrets as the necessaries of life went, previous to the 
I and mode of life. The Highla.nders were ...ve11- rebellion of 1745. They certainly lJad not a 
known for their hospitality, and are so in many superfluity of money, but many of the chiefs 
. were profuse in their hospitality, anù had al- 
Ii Letters, vol. ii. p. 97. I ways abundancc if not variety to cat and drink. 



1--;- 


GEKERAL HISTORY uF THE HIGHL
\.NDS. 


a spacious hall, containing a large table, where hH 
ancl his family and dependants eat their two 


lnlleed it is well known, that about 200 years 
before the rebellion, an enactment had to be 
made by parliament limiting the amount of 
wine and brandy to be used by the various 
chiefs. Claret, in Captain Burt's time, was as 
common in and around Inverness as it was in 
Edinburgh; the English soldiers are said to 
have fouml it selling at sixpence a quart, and 
left it at three or four times that price. In 
their habits and mode of life, their houses and 
other surroUJll1Ïngs, these Highland gentlemen 
were no doubt rough and rude and devoid of 
luxuries, and not over particular as to clearui- 
ness either of lJodyor untensils, but still always 
dignifiecl and courteous, respectful to their supe- 
riors and affable to their inferiors. Highlaml 
pride is still proverbial, and while often very 
amusing and even pitiable, has often been of 
considerable service to those who possess it, 
stimulating them to keep up their self-respect 
and to do their best in whatever situation they 
may be placed. It was this pride that made 
the poorest and most tattered of the tacksmen 
tenants with whom r;urt came in contact, 
conduct himself as if he had been lord of 
all he surveyed, and look with suspicion and 
perhaps with contempt upon the unknown 
English red-coat. 
As a kind of set-off to Burt's disparaging ac- 
count of the condition of Highland gent1c:
ll(>n, 
and yet to some extent corroborating it, we 
quote the following from the Old Statistical 
AccOlUlt of the parish of Roleskine and Aber- 
tarf in Inverness-shire. The district to which 
this account refers was at least no worse 
than most other Highland parishes, and in 
some respects must have been better than those 
that were further out of the reach of civilisa- 
tion. 6 "Till the beginning of this century, all 
the heritors and wadsetters in this parish 
lived in houses composed of cupple trees, and 
the .walls and thatch mad.e up of sod and 
di vot; but in every wadsetter's house there was 


6 The following quotations from lIIr Dunbar's 
Sodal Life in Former Days, giving details of house- 
hold furniture and expenses, may be taken as "a 
correct index of the comforts and conveniences" of 
the best off of the old Highlanù lairds; for as they 
refer to Morayshire, just on the borders of the High- 
lands, they cannot be held as referring to the High- 
lands generally, the interior and westem districts c,f 
whir.h were considerably behind the borùer lands .in 
I many respects :- 
J= 


"SIR ROBERT GORDON'S ALLOWANCE FOR illS LADY AND 
FFAMILY, FRml DECEIIIBEIt 14TH Hol0 TO DECEMBER 14TH 
1741. 


Imprimis, to 36 bolls malt, at 8 shillings and 4 prnce 
per boll, . . . . . 
Itcm, to 36 bolls mcal, at same price, . . . 
Item, to 10 bolls wheat, at 13 shillings and 4 p('IlC'e 
per boll, . . . . . 
Item, to 12 beeves at .t:l pcr pirce,. . 
Item, to meal to servants without doors,. . 
Itcm, to sen-ants' wages witJlin and without doors, 
Item, to cash instantJy delh ered, 
Item, to be pllid monthly, .t:4, 48., 


Sterling. 
.t: S. D. 


15 0 0 
15 0 0 
{) 13 4- 
12 0 0 
11 7 {) 
41 5 0 
,'jQ 6 2 
50 8 0 
-- 
.t::WO (j 0 


.. Sermnts' Wages 1";"41. 
Imprimis to gentle',"omen, . 
Item, to five maid
, . 
Item, to two cooks, 
Item, to two portrrs, . 
Item, to Robin's sen-ant, 
Item, to the groom, . 
Item, to the neighbour, . 
Item, to three oout-scITants., 
Item, to two herds, 


10 0 0 
5 (j 8 
o II 
" 0 0 
100 
5 0 
6 8 
o 0 
{) 8 
.t:41 0 


.. IKVENTAR OF PLI'KI!'I1I1W IN THI:NDERTON.S LoDGING IN 
lJUFFUS, MAY 25, 1708. 
.. St1'ypt Room. 
.. Camlet hangings IInd curtains, feather bed and bolster, two 
pillows, five pair blankets, and an Inglish blanket, a green and 
white cover, a blew and white chamber-pot, a blew and white 
bason, a black jopand t3ble and two looking-gla
ses, a jopalld 
tee-table W.ith a tee-pat and 111ate, and nine cups and ninp. dyshes, 
and a tee sIlver SpOOll, two glass sconces, two little bowles, with 2\ 
]eam stoap and II. pewter head, eight black ken chairs, ,\ith eight 
bilk cushens conform, an easie chair with a big cushen, a jopaud 
cabinet with a walnut tree stand, a grate, shuffle, tongcs, aud 
brush; in the closet, three piece of papcr hangings, a chamber 
box, with a pewter pan therein, and a brush for cloaths. 
.. Closet next tlle Strypt Room. 
.. Four dishes, t".o IIssiers, six broth plates, and twch'e flesh 
plates, a quart fiagon, and a pynt fiagon, a pewter pOI'euger, and 
a pewter ftacket, a white iron jaeu]ate pot, and a skellet pann, 
twenty-one timber plates, a winter for warming plates at the 
fire, two High]und plaids, and a sewed blunket, a bolster, and 
four pillows, a charnlJeI'-box, a sack with wool, and a wJIite iron 
dripIJing pann. 
.. III tile fewest Clnset. 
.. Seventeen drinking glasses, with a g]a
s tumbler and two 
decanters, a oil cruet, and a vincgar cruet, a urinal glass, a larj;!"c 
blew and white posset pot, a whitc learn posset pat, a blew IlIld 
whitc bowl, a dozen of blew and white learn plates, three milk 
dl
hes, a blew and white learn pOl'enger, and a white leÐ.I1I 
pm'enger, four jelly pots, and a little butter dish, a cr;:-ir.:r chair, 
anù n silk craddle. 
.. In ill" Jloylwi1" Room. 
.. A sute of stamped cloath hangings, and a moyhair bed witl. 
feather bcd, bolster, and two pillows, six puir blaMkets, and an 
Inglish blanket and a twilt. a learn chamber-pat, th-e moyhllil" 
chairs, two looking-glasses, a cabinet, a table, two stands, a 
table cloak, and window hangin/ls, a chambrr-box with a 
pewter pann, a learn bason, with a grate and tongs and a 
brush; in the closet, two carpets, a piceI' of Arres. three pieces 
Iyn'd shTPt hangings, three wawed sh'ypt cm.tains, two piece 
gilded leather, three trunks and a craddle, a chamber-box, and a 
pewter pann, thirty-three pound of heckled lint, a ston of 'ax, 
and a firkin of sop, and a brush for cloaths, two pair blankets, 
and a singlc b:anket_ 
.. In tlle Dyning-Roolll. 
"A !Oute of gilded hangings, two folding table
, eil!htecn 
low-backcd ken chairs, a grate, a fender, a brass tongs, bhnffie, 
brush, ami timber brush. umi a poring iron, and a glass kes. 
.. In my Lady's Room. 
.. Gilded hanging., standing bcd, and box bed, stamped 
dI"ngged hanging'. feather hcd, bObter, and two pillows, a 
pallise, fivc pair of blankets, and a singlc one, nnd a twilt, and 
two pewtpr chamber-pots, six chairs_ tall]e, and 100kin
Nd:lss 
a little folding table, and a chist of drawers, tongcs, shuffle, 
]1()rrin-iron, and a hnIsh, two window curtuins of lineu; in the 
Lllirù's closct, two trunks, two chists, and a cilrcna cllbinct. . 


II 



23 


ED ù CATION-D\Y ELLIN liS. 


;1 


meals a-day with this single distinction, that 
he and his family sat at the one end of the 
table, antI his dependants at the other; and it 
was recKoned no disparagement for the gentle- 
men to sit with commoners in the inns, such 
as the country then afforded, where one cop, 
and afterwards a single glass, went round the 
whole company. As the inhabitants expe- 
rienced no want, and generally lived on the 
produce of their farms, they were hospitable 
to strangers, providing they did not attempt a 
settlement among them. But it was thought 
then disgracefnl for any of the younger sons 
of these wad setters to follow any other profes- 
sion than that of arms and agriculture; and 
it is in the remembrance of many now living, 
when thp, meanest tenant would think it dis- 
paraging to sit at the same table with a manu- 
facturer.)I 
 
The following quotation from the Statistical 
Account of Rannoch, in Perthshire, will give 
an idea of another phase of the life of High- 
land gentlemen in those days, as well as enable 
the reader to see how it was, considering the 
general poverty of the country, the low rent, 


table, and & lookinp;-glass, the dow holes, two carpet chairs, and 
a chamber-box with a. pewter pan, and a litHe bell, and a brush 
for clo.th. 
.. JIy Lady's Closet. 
.. A cabinet, three presseS, three kists, and a spicerie bo'{. a 
dozen learn white plates, a blew and white learn plate, a little 
blew butter plate, a. white learn porenger, and three gelly 
pots, two leam dishes, and two big timber capes, four tin congs, 
a new pewter basson, a pynt chnpen, and rnutchken stoups, two 
eoppel' tankers, two pewter salts, a pewter mustard box, a white 
iron peper and suggar box, two white iron graters, a pot for 
starch, and II penter spoon, thirteen candlesticks, five pair 
snuffers and snuf dishes conform, a brass mortar and pistol, a 
lILntern, a timber box, a. dozen knives and a dozen forks, and a 
carpet chair. two milk congs, a milk cirn, and kirn staff, a 
sisymìlk, and creamen dish and a cheswel, a. neprie basket;, and 
two new pewter chamber pots. 
.. A Note of Plate. 
i.Three silver salvers, four salts, a large tanker, a big spoon, /lnd 
thirteen littler spoons, two jugs, a. sugar box, a mustard box, a 
peper box, Itnd two little spoons. 
.. An Account of BotHes in the Salt Cellar. 
.. JUTUJ the first 1708. 
5 1 
3 3 
o 7 
4 4 
9 0 
15 10 
5 0 
o 9 
010 
o 3 
o 2 
1 3 
1 3 
1 7 


Of Sack, five dozen and one, . 
Of Brandie, three dozen and three, 
Of ViDegar and Aquavitie, seven, 
Of3trong Ale, four dozen and fOllr, 
Of other Ale, nine dozen,. . . 
In the ale cellar, fifteen dozen and ten, 
In the hamper, five dozen empty,. . 
In the wine cellar, nine with In/!;Iish All', 
White Wine. ten, 
Of Brandy, three, . 
With Brandy and Suro}), two, 
With Claret, fifteen,. . 
With 1\lum, fifteen,. . 
Throw the house, nineteen, 


There is in all, forty-nine dozen and two, 
And of mutchkin bottles twenty-five, . 


II Received ten dozen and one of chapen bottles full of claret. 
More received-elevcn dozen and one of pynt bottles, whereof 
tht're waR six broke in the home-coming. 1709, June the 4th 
received from Elgin forty-three chopen bottles of claret." ' 


the unproduetiveness of the soil, and the low 
price of cattle, they were still aÎ)le to keep 
open tahle and maintain more retainers than 
the laurl could support. "Defore the year 
17 J!) Rannoch was in an uncivilized barbarous 
state, under no check, or restraint of laws. 
As an eviL1ence of this, one of the principal pro- 
prietors never could be compellell to pay his 
debts. Two messengers were sent from Perth, 
to give him a charge of homing. He ordered 
a dozen of his retainers to bind them across two 
hanel-barrows, and carry them, in this state, to 
the briùge of Cainachan, at nine miles Jistance. 
His property in partiClùar was a nest of 
thieves. They laid the whole country, from 
Stirling to Coupal' of Angus, under contribu- 
tion, obliging the inhabitants to pay them II 
Black l\Ieal, as it is called, to save their pro- 
perty from being plundered. This was the 
centre of tlns kind of traffic. In the months 
of Septembcr and October they gathered to the 
number of about 300, built temporary huts, 
drank whisky all the time, settled accounts for 
stolen cattle, and received balances. Every 
man then bore arms. It would have required 
a regiment to have brought a thief from that 
country." 
As to the education of the Highland gentry, 
in this respect they seem not to have been so far 
hehind the rest ofthe country, although latterly 
they appear to have degenerated in this as in other 
respects; for, as will be seen in the Chapter 
on Gaelic Literature, there must have been 
at one time many learned men in the High- I ' l l 
lands, and a taste for literature seems not to 
have been uncommon. Indeed, from various 
authorities quoted in the IntroJuction to Stu- 
art's Costume of the Ohms, it was no uncommon 
accomplishment in the IGth anL117th centuries 
for a Highland gentleman to be able to use 
both Gaelic and Latin, even when he eOlùd 
scarcely manage English. "If, in some in- 
stances," says 3\Irs Grant,7 " a chief had some 
taste for literature, the Latin poets engaged 
his attention more forcibly than the English, 
which he possibly spoke and wrote, but inward- 
ly despised, and in fact did not understand well 
enough to relish its delicacies, or taste its poetry." 
"Till of late years," says the same writer on 


I 
I I 
II I 
I 
I 
I 
I 
I 
I 


II 
'I 


49 2 
2 I 


7 Essays, vo1. Í. p. 30. 


- J 


. 



), 



! 


GE
ERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


the same page," letters were unknown in the temporary accounts. The dingiest hovel in the 
Highlands except among the highest rank of dirtiest narrowest" close" of Edinburgh may be 
gentry and the clergy. The first were but taken as a fair representative of the house in- 
partially enlightened at best. Their minds habited formerly in the HigWands by the great 
I had heen early imbued with the stores of know- mass of the farmers and cottars. And yet 
ledge peculiar to their country, and having no they do not by any means appear to have re- 
view beyond that of passing their lives among garded themselves as the most miserable of 
their tenants and dependants, they were not beings, but on the contrary to have been light- 
much anxious for any other. . . . . In some hearted and well content if they could manage 
instances, the younger brothers of patrician to get the year over without absolute starvation. 
families were sent early out to lowland sem- No doubt this was because they knew no bet- 
illaries, and immediately engaged in some active t.er state of things, and because love for the 
pursuit for the advancement of their fortune." chief would make them endure any thing with 
In short, so far as education went, the majority patience. Generally the houses of tho sub- 
of the Highland lairds and tacksmen appear tenants and cottars who occupied a farm were 
to have been pretty much on the same footing built in one spot, "all irregularly placed, 
I with those in a similar stat.ion in other parts of some one way, some another, and at any dis- 
the kingdom. tance, look like so many heaps of dirt." 
From what has been said then as to the They were generally built in some small vallcy 
conùition of the chiefs or lairds and their or strath by the side of a stream or loch, and 
more immediate dependants the tacksmen, pre- the collection of houses on one farm was known 
vious to 1745, it may be inferred that they as the" to on " or town, a term still used in Shet- 
were by no means ill-off so far as thc necessa- land in the very same sense, and in many parts 
ries and even a few of the luxuries of life went. of Scotland applied to the building occupied hy 
Their houses were certainly not such as a even a single farmer. The cottages were gene- 
gentleman or even a well-to-do farmer would rally built of round stones without any cement, 
rare to inhabit now-a-days, neither in build thatched with sods, and sometimes heath; 
nor in furnishing; but tho chief and principal sometimes they were divided into two apart- 
tenants as a rule had always plenty to eat and ments by a slender partition, but frequently no 
,lrink, lived in a rough way, were hospitable such division was made. In the larger half 
to their friends, and, as far as they were a11le, residell the family, this serving for kitchen, eat- 
kind and lenient to their tenants. ing, and sleeping-room to all. In the mitldle 
It was the sub-tenants and cottars, the of this room, on the floor, was the peat fire, 
common people or peasantry of the HigWands, above which was a gaping hole to allow the 
whose condition called for the utmost com- escape of the smoke, very little however of this 
miseration. It was they who suffered most finding its way out, the surplus, after every 
from the poverty of the land,the leannpss of the corner of the room was filled, escaping by 
cattle, the want of trades and manufactures, the door. The other half of the cottage was 
the want, in short, of any reliable and sJ'stematic devoted to the use of the live-stock when" they 
means of subsistence. If the crops failed, or did not choose to mess and lodge with the 
disease or a severe winter kiHerl. the half of the family." 9 Sometimes these cottages were built 
cattle, it was they who suffered, it was they of turf or mud, and sometimes of wattle-work 
who were the victims of faminE', a thing of not like baskets, a common system of fencing even 
rare occurrence in the Highlands. 8 It seems yet in many parts of the Highlands whero 
indeed impossible that anyone now living could young wood is abundant. As a rule these huts 
imagine anything more seemingly wretched and had to be thatched and otherwise repairell 
miserable than the state of the Highland sub- every year to keep them habitable; indeed, in 
tenants and cottars as descrihed in various con- many places it was quite customary every 
spring to remove the thatch and use it as mr.l.n- 
8 There appears to have been a dreadful one just I 
thrpe years before' 4::í. See Stat. Accoullt of various 
Highland parishes. 9 Ganlett's Tour, vol. 1. p. 121. 



Ii 


II 



5 


D'VELLIXGS. 


ure. Buchanan, even in the latter half .of the I spect at . least, it is not likel
 th
y were in 
18th century, thus speaks of the dwellmgs of worse plIght than those who hved m the early 
tenants in the \Vestern Isles: and, in this re- part of the century. "The huts of the op- 


--- =--=--- 




-"- - - 

 -: 


iii 


- 
--=-- 
 -'
 

-- - 


- 


1'; " ,
 
 


. . 


 


r=-- 


l 
- - - ê\ 

 
=1 1 
-- = 1 
--
 
-=- 
-, 
I 
I 


-- 
= 





 -
- .=.- 


;
 -., 


t== 
>i

.(, \ '

 "-111 

 ,
c' _'I .' 
 

 
- ( - _ -,
 
 ':J 
'(- ...:....-::s-," 
;:
 


-_ ->-"_ --"'- 
 I .
 
 

 .2. '<>: - 
 v- 
 - - '="1 
- - 
 - --:: 
 - - - - -c;------ 
 


..
 .



:
 

_.
 

 


$
 

\'''i

:'';:._


4.. 

;-<.':.
,..r; _ I..:\.-; 
5:"'-


-_ "::: 
 == -

 -. ::.-- _ -=-- 

 L"'-/


' 
!!!! _-=-- _
_

i

 ---- -- ,
 


A Cottage in Islay. From Pennant'!! Voyage to the Hebrides, 1774. 


pressed tenants are remarkably naked and open; 
quite destitute of fllrnitnre, except logs of 
timbers collected from the wrecks of the sea, to 
sit on about the fire, which is placed in the 
middle of the honse, or upon seats made of 
straw, like foot hassacks, stuffed with straw or 
I stubble. Many of them must rest satisfied 
with large stones placed around the fire in 
I order. As all persons mnst have their own 
. blankets to sleep in, they make their bed, in 
\ whatever corner suits their fancy, and in the 
I . mornings tl:e h y all folù l 
hem np in l to k a small 
compass, wIt t lelr gowns, C oa s, coats, 
and petticoa.ts, that are not in use. The 
cows, goats, and sheep, with the ducks, hens, 
and dogs, must have the common benefit of 
the fire, and particularly the young and ten- 
derest are admitted next to it. This filthy 
sty is never cleaned but once a-year, when 
they place the dung on the fields as manure 
for barley crops. Thus, from the necessity of 
laying litter below these cattle to keep them 
dry, the dung naturally increases in height 
almost mid-wall high, so that the men sit low 
II. 


about the fire, while the cattle look dowu from 
above upon the company." 'Ve learn from the 
same authority that in the Hebrides every 
tenant must have had his own beams and siùe 
timbers, the walls generally belonging to the 
tacksman or laird, and thesc were six feet 
thick with a hollow wall of rough stones, 
packed with moss or earth in the centre. A 
t;enant in removing carried his timbers with 
him to his new location, and speedily mounted 
them on the top of four rude walls. But in- 
deed the condition of many of the 'Vestern IslEs 
both before and after 1745 and even at the pres- 
ent day, was frequently much more wretched 
than the Highlands in the mainland gene- 
rally. Especially was this the case after 
1745, although even before that their condi- 
tion can by no means be taken as typical of 
the Highlands generally. The following, how- 
ever, from the Statistical Account of the island 
of Tiree, might have applied at the time 
(about 1745), to almost any part of the High- 
lanl1s. "About 40 years ago, a greltt put 
of the 1a1111s in this pm.'ish lay in t.heir natu- 
D 


, 



,- 
I 
f 


26 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


raJ uncultivated state, and such of them as 
were in culture produced poor starved crops. 
The tenants were in poor circumstances, the 
rents low, the farm houses contemptible. 
The communication from place to place was 
along paths which were to be known by the 
footsteps of beasts that passed through them. 
K 0 turnips, l)otatoes, 01' cab bages, unless a 
few of the latter in some gardens; and a 
great degree of poverty, indolence, and mean- 
ness of spirit, among the f,'Teat body of the 
people. The appearance of the people, and 
their mode of thinking and acting, were but 
mean and indelicate; their peats were brought 
home in creels; the few things the farmer 
had to sell were carried to market upon the 
hacks of horses; and their dunghills were hard 
by their doors." 'Ve have reliable testimony, 
however, to prove, that even the common 
Higlùand tenants on the mainland were but 
I little better off than those in the islands; their 
houses were almost equally rude and dirty, and 
their furniture nearly as scanty. The Sta- 
tistical Account of the parish of Fol'tingal, in 
Perthshire, already quoted, gives a miserable 
account of the country and inhabitants pre- 
vious to 1745, as does also the letters of Cap- 
tain Burt in reference to the district which 
C:1me under his observation; and neither of 
these districts was likely to be in worse con- 
dition than other parts of the Highlands, 
further removed from intercourse with the 
Lowlands. " At the above period [1745], the 
I I bulk of the tenants in Hannoch had no such 
thing as beds. They lay on the ground, with 
a little heather, or fern, under them. One single 
hlanket was all their bed-cloaths, excepting 
their body-cloâths. Now they have standing- 
up beds, and ahundance of blankets. At that 
time the houses in TIannoch were huts of, what 
they called, 'Stake and Rife.' One could 
not enter but on all fours; and after entering, 
it was impossible to stand upright. Now 
there are comfortable houses built of. stone. 
Then the people were miserably dirty, and 
foul-skinned. Now they are as cleanly, 
and are clothed as well as their circumstances 
will admit of. The rents of the parish, at 
that period, were not much above Æ1500, 
and the people were starving. Now they pay 
Æ4660 1)('1" annum, and upwards, and the 


II 


people have fulness of bread. It is hardly 
possible to believe, on how little the High- 
landers formerly lived. They bled their cows 
several times in the year, boiled the blood, 
eat a little of it like bread, and a most lasting 
meal it was. The present incumbent has 
known a poor man, w 110 had a small farm 
hard by him, by this means, with a boll of 
meal for every mouth in his family, pass the 
whole year." This bleeding of the cattle to 
eke out the small supply of oatmeal is testi- 
fied to by many other witnesses. Captain 
Burt refera to it; 1 and Knox, in his View (if 
the B1'itÙ;h Emp;'re, 2 thus speaks of it :-" In 
winter, when the grounds are covered with 
snow, and when the naked wilds afford them 
neither shelter nor subsistence, the few cows, 
sman, lean, and ready to drop down through 
want of pasture, are brought into the hut wherf' 
the family resides, and frequently share with 
them their little stock of meal, which hall 
been purchased or raised for the family only, 
while the cattle thus sustained are bled occa- 
sionally to afford nourishment for the cJlÌldren, 
after it has been boiled or made into cakes." 
It must be borne in mind that at that time 
potatoes were all but unknown in the High- 
lands, and even in the Lowlands had scarcely 
got beyond the stage of a garden root. Tho 
staple food of the common Highlander was the 
various preparations of oats and barley; even 
fish seems to have boen a rarity, but why it is 
difficult to say, as there were plenty both in 
the sea and in freshwater rivcrs and lochs. 
For a month or two after l\Iicbaelmas, the 
luxury of fresh meat sef'ms to have been not 
uncommon, as at that time the cattle were in 
conùition for being slaughtered; and the more 
proviùent or less needy might even go the 
length of salting a quantity for winter, but 
even this practice does not seem to have been 
common .except among the tacksmen. " N 0- 
thing is more deplorable than the state of this 
people in time of winter." Then they were 
completely confined to their narrow glens, and 
very frequently night and day to their houses, 
on account of the severe snow and ra.in sto11ns. 
" They have no diversions to amuse them, but 
sit brooding in the smoke over the fire till 


1 Letters, vol. ii. 28. 


, Vol. i. p. 124. 



HABITS. 


27 


their legs and thighs are scorched to an extra- 
ordinary degree, and many have sore eyes and 
some are quite blind. This long continuance 
in the smoke makes them almost as black as 
chimney-sweepers; and when the huts are not 
water-tight, which is often the case, the rain 
that comes through the roof and mixes with 
the soootiness of the insicle, where all the 
sticks look like charcoal, falls in drops like 
ink. But, in this circumstance, the High- 
landers are Hot very solicitous about their 
outward appearance." 3 ",Ye need not wonder 
under these circumstances at the prevalence of 
a loathsome distemper, almost peculiar to the 
Highlands, and the universality ofvariouB kinds 
of vermin; and indeed, had it not been that 
the people spent so much of their time in the 
open air, and that the pure air of the moun- 
tains, and been on the whole temperate in 
drinking and correct in morals, their condition 
must have been much more miserable than it 
really was. The misery seems to have been 
I apparent only to onlookers, not to those whose 
lot it was to endure it. No doubt they were 
\ \ most mercilessly oppressed sometimes, but even 
I I , this oppression they do not seem to have re- 
garded as any hardship, as calling for com- 
plaint on their part:-they were willing to en- 
ùure anything at the hands of ihe chief, who, 
I they believed, could do no wrong. 
As a rule the chiefs and gentlemen of the clan 
appear to have treated their inferiors with kind- 
ness and consideration, although, at the same 
time, it was their interest and the practice of 
most of them to encourage the notions the 
people entertained of their duty to their chiefs, 
and to keep them in ignorance of everything that 
would tend to diminish this profitable belief. 
No doubt many of the chiefs themselves be- 
lieved as firmly in the doctrine of clanship as 
their people; but there is good reason to believe, 
that many of them encouraged the old system 
from purely interested and selfish motives. 
Burt tells us that when a chief wanted to get 
rid of any troublesome fellow, he compelled 
him, under threat of perpetual imprisonment 
or the gallows, to sign a contract for his own 
bani
hment, when he was shipped off from the 
nearest port by the first vessel bound for the 


3 Burt, ii. p. 34. 


",VestIndies. Referring no doubt to Lord Lovat,4 
he informs 1\s that this versatile and long- 
headed chief acted on the maxim that to ren- 
der his clan poor would double the tie of their 
obedience; and accordingly he made use of all 
oppressive means to that end. "To prevent 
any diminution of the number of those who 
do not offend him, he dissuades from their 
purpose all such as show an inclination to 
traffic, or to put their children out to trades, 
as knowing they would, by such an alienat on 
shake off at least good part of their slavish at- 
tachment to him and his family. This he 
does, when downright authority fails, by tell- 
ing them how their ancestors chose to live 
sparingly, and be accounted a martial peopll:J, 
rather than submit themselves to low and mer- 
cenary employments like the Lowlanders, 
whom their forefathers always despised for the 
want of that warlike temper which they (his 
vassals) still retained, &c." This cunning chief 
was in the habit, according to Dr Chambers's 
Dornestic Annals, of sending from Inverness 
and paying for the insertion in the Edinburgh 
Cmt1.ant and J.1Iercw.y of glaring accounts of 
feasts and rejoicings given by himself or held 
in his honour. 5 And it is well known that 
this same lord during his life-time erected a 
handsome tombstone for himself inscribed with 
a glowing account of his heroic exploits, in- 
tended solely for the use of his clansmen. By 
these and similar means would crafty selfish 
lairds keep their tenants and cottars in ignor- 
ance of their rights, and make them resigned 
to all the oppressive impositions laid upon 
them. No doubt Lovat's was an extreme 
case, and there must have been many grada- 
tions of oppressions, and many chiefs who 
really cared for their people, and did their 
best to make them happy and comfortable, al- 
though, considering their circumstances and 
general surroundings, it is difficult to see how 
they could succeed. Yet notwithstanding their 
miserable and filthy huts, their scanty and poor 
food, their tattered and insufficient clothes, 
their lean cattle and meagre crops, their 
country wet above and below, their apparent 
want of all amusements and of anything to 
lighten their cheerless condition, and the op- 
4 Letters, vol. i. p. 51. 
:s Fraser-Mackintosh's Antiquarian Not6S, T" 1 



-- 


ï
8 - 
il 


GEKERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


II 


pressive exactions of their chiefs, the High- 
landers as a body certainly do not seem to have 
been an unhappy or discontented people, or to 
have had any feeling of the discomfort attend- 
ing their lot. 6 There seems to ha.\re been little 
or no grumbling, and it is a most remarkable 
fact that suicide was and probably is an but 
unknown among the Highlanders. Your 
genuine Highlander was never what could 
strictly be called a merry man; he never had 
any of the effervescence of the French Celt, 
nor of the inimitable never failing light-heart- 
ed humour of his Irish brother; but, on the 
other hand, under the old system, at heart he 
showed little or no discontent, but on the 
contrary seems to have been possessed of a 
self-satisfied, contented cheerfulness, a quiet 
resignation to fate, and a belief in the power 
and goodness of his chief, together with an 
ignorance and contempt for all outside his own 
narrow sphere, that made him feel as happy 
and contented as the most comfortable pea- 
sant farmer in France. They only became 
tliscontented and sorely cut up when their 
chiefs,-it being no longer the interest of the 
latter to multiply and support their retainers,- 
1:Iegan to look after their own interests solely, 
and show little or no consideration for those who 
regarded them with reverence alone, and who 
thought their chief as much bound to support 
and care for them and share his land and his 
bread with them, as a father is to maintain 
his children. After the heritable jurisdictions 
were abolished, of course everything was 
changed; but before that there is every reason 
to believe that the Highland tenants and cot- 
tars were as contented and happy, though by 
no means so well off, as the majority of those 
in the same condition throughout the United 
Kingdom. Indeed the evils which prevailed 
formerly in the Highlands, like all other evils, 


II 


II 


6 "The manners and habits of this parish [as of 
all other Highland parishes] havo undergone a mate- 
rial change within these 50 ypars; before t1mt period 
they lived in a plain simple manner, experienced few 
wants, and possessed not the means, nor had any 
desire, of procuring any commodities. If they had 
Ralt [upon which there wa,; a grievous duty] anù 
tobacro, paid their pittance of rents, anù performed 
their ordinary services to their superiors, and that 
their conduct in general met their approbation, it 
seemed to be the height of their ambitioll. "-Old 
Statistical Account of Boleskin and Aberlarf, Inv
l'- 
ness-shire (1798). 


look far worse in prospect (in this case retro. 
spect) than they do in reality. Misery in 
general is least perceived by those who are in 
its midst, and no doubt many poor and ap- 
parently miserable people wonder what chari- 
table associations for their relief make so much 
fuss about, for they themselves see nothing to 
relieve. Not that this misery is any the less 
real and fruitful of evil consequences, and de- 
manding relief.; it is simply that those who are 
in the midst of it can't, very naturally, see it in 
its true light. As to the Highlands, the tra- 
dition remained for a long time, and we believe 
does so still in many parts, that under the old 
regime, chiefs were always kind as fathers, 
and the people faithful and loving as children; 
the men were tall and brave, and the women 
fair and pure; the cattle were fat and plentiful, 
and the land produced abundance for man and 
beast; the summers were always warm, and 
the winters mild; the sun was brighter than 
ever it has been since, and rain came only 
when wanted. In short everybody had plenty 
with a minimum of work and abundance of 
time for dtUlcing and singing and other amuse- 
ments; everyone was as happy as the day was 
long. It was almost literally "a land flowing 
with milk and honey," as will be seen from the 
following tradition :7_" It is now indeed idle, 
and appears fabulous, to relate the crops raised 
here 30 or 40 years ago. The seasons were 
formerly so warm, that the people behoved to 
unyoke their ploughs as soon as the sun rose, 
when sowing barley; and persons .yet living, 
tell, that in traveling through the meadows in 
the loan of Fearn, in some places drops of 
honey were seen as the dew in the long grass 
and plantain, sticking to their shoes as they 
passed along in a :May morning; and also in 
other parts, their shoes were oiled as with 
cream, going through such meadows. Honey 
and bee hives were then very plenty. . . Cattle, 
butter, and cheese, were then very plenty and 
cheap." This glowing tradition, we fear, must 
melt away before the authentic and too sober 
accounts of contemporaries and eye-witnesses. 
As for wages to day-labourers awl mechanics, 
in many cases no money whatever was giveu ; 
every service being frequently paid for in kind; 


7 Old Statistical Account of Fearn, Ross-shire. 



where money was given, a copper or two a day 
was deemed an ample remuneration, and was 
probably sufficient to provide those who earned 
it with a maintenance satisfactory to them- 
selves, the price of all necessary provisions 
being excessively low. A pound of beef or 
mutton, or a fowl could be obtained for about 
a penny, a cow cost about 30 shillings, and a 
boll of barley or oatmeal less than 10 shillings; 
butter was about twopence a pound, a stone 
(21Ibs.) of cheese was to be got for about two 
shillings. The following extract, from the 
Old Statistical Account of Caputh, will give 
the reader an idea of the rate of wages, where 
servants were employed, of the price of pro- 
visions, and how really little need there was for 
actual cash, every man being able to do many 
things for himself which would now require 
perhaps a dozen workmen to perform. This 
parish being strictly in the lowlands, but on 
the border of the Highlands, may be regarded 
as having been, in many respects, further 
ad vanced than the maj ority of Highland 
parishes. 8 "The ploughs and carts were usually 
made by the farmer himself; with little iron 
about the plough, except the colter and share; 
none upon the cart or harrows; no shoes upon 
the horses; no hempen ropes. In short, every 
instrument of farming was procured at small 
expense, wood being at a very low price. Salt 
was a shilling the bushel: little soap was used: 


8 "The spades, ploughs, harrows, and sledges, of 
the most feeble and imperfect kinds, with all their 
harnessing, are made by the farmer and his servants' 
as also the boats, with all their tackle.-The boat ha
 
a Highland plaid for a sail; the running rigging is 
maùe of leather thongs and willow twigs; and a large 
stone and a heather rope serve for an anchor and 
cable; anù all this, among a people of much natural 
ingenuity and perseverance. There is no fulling mill 
nor bleachfield; no tanner, maItster, or dyer; all the 
yarn is dyed, and all the cloth fulled or bleached by 
the women on the farm. The grain for malt is steepeù 
in sacks in the river; and the hides are tanned, and 
the shoes made at home. There are, indeed, itinerant 
shoemakers, tailors, wrights, and masons, but none 
of these has full employment in his business, as all 
the inhabitants, in some measure, serve themselves in 
these trades: hence, in the royal boroughs of Inver- 
aray, Campbelton, anù Inverness, and in the con- 
sidcmble villages of Crieff, Callander, Oban, lIary- 
burgh, Fort Augustus, and Stornoway, there are fewer 
tradesm.en, and l
ss demand for the workmansIlip of 
mechalllcs, than 1Il any other places of the same size; 
yet these are either situated in, or are next adjacent 
to, a n3or
 extensive and populous country, than any 
other sImIlar towns or villages in Scotland. ., -Walker's 
Hebrides, vol. ii. pp. 374, 5. 


\VAGES. 


2U 


they had no candles, instead of which they 
split the roots of fir trees, which, though 
brought 50 or 60 miles from the Highlands, 
were purchased for a trifle. Their cbthes were 
of their own manufacturing. The average 
price of weaving ten yards of such cloth was 
a shilling, which was paid partly in meal anù 
partly in money. The tailor worked for a 
quantity of meal, suppose 3 pecks or a firlot a- 
year, according to the number of the farmer's 
family. In the year 1735, the best ploughman 
was to be had for L.8 Scots (13s. 4d.) a year, 
and what was termed a bounty, which con- 
sisted of some articles of clothing, and might 
be estimated at lIs. 6d. ; in all L.1, 4s. 10<1. 
sterling. Four years after, his wages rose to 
L.24 Scots, (L.2) and the bounty. Female 
servants received L.2 Scots, (3s. 4d.) and a 
bounty of a similar kind; the whole not ex- 
ceeding 6s. or 7 s. Some years after their 
wages rose to 15s. Men received for harvest 
work L.6 Scots, (10s.); women, L.5 Scots, 
(8s. 4d.). Poultry was sold at 40 pennies 
Scots, (31d.) Oat-meal, bear and oats, at LA 
or L.5 Scots the boll. A horse that then cost 
100 merks Scots, (L.5 : 11 : It) would now 
cost L.25. An ox that cost L.20 Scots, 
(L.1 : 13 : 4) would now be worth L.8 or L.9. 
Beef and mutton were sold, not by weight, but 
by the piece; about 3s. 4d. for a leg of beef of 
3! stones; and so in proportion. No tea nor 
sugar was used: little whisky was drunk, anù 
less of other spirits: but they had plenty of 
good ale; there being usually one malt bam 
(perhaps two) on each farm."9 
",Vhen a Highlander was in need of anything 
which he could not produce or make himself, 
it was by no means easy for him to obtain it, 
as by far the greater part of the Highlands was 
utterly destitute of towns and manufactures; 
there was little or no commerce of any kind. 
The only considerable Highland town waslnver- 
ness, and, if we can believe Captain Burt, but 
little business was done there; the only other 
places, which made any pretensions to be towns 
were Stornoway and Campbeltown, and these 
at the time we are writing of, were little better 
than fishing villages. There were no manufac- 
tures strictly speaking, for although the people 


\I Old Stat. Account, vol. ix. pp. 494, 5. 



30 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


spun their own wool and made their own 
doth, exportation, except perhaps in the case 
of stockings, seems to have been unknown. 
In many cases a system of merchandise some- 
what similar to the ruinous, oppressive, and 
ubstructive system still common in SlJetland, 
seems to have been in vogue in many parts of 
the Highlands. By this system, some of the 
more substantial tacksmen would lay in a 
stock of goods such as w0uld be likely to be 
needed by their tenants, but which these could 
not procure for themselves, such as iron, corn, 
wine, bmndy, sugar, tobacco, &c. These goods 
the tacksmen would supply to his tenants as 
they needed them, charging nothing for them 
at the time; but, about the month of Ma.y, the 
tenant would Imnd over to his tacksman-mer- 
chant as many cattle as the latter considered 
an equivalent for the goods supplied. As 
the people would seldom have any idea of the 
real value of the goods, of course there was 
ample room for a dishonest tacksman to realise 
an enormous profit, which, we fear, was too 
often done. "By which traffic the poor 
wretched people were cheated out of their 
effects, for one half of their value; and so are 
kept in eternal poverty."1 
As to roaùs, with the exception of those made 
for military purposes by General "\Vade, there 
seems to have been none whatever, only tracts 
here and there in the most frequented routes, 
frequently impassable, and at all time unsafe 
without a guide. Captain Burt could not 
move a mile or two out of Inverness without a 
glliùe. Bridges seem to have been even rarer 
than slated houses or carriages. 
"\Ye have thus endeavoured to give the reader 
a correct idea of the state of the country and 
people of the Highlands previous to the abo- 
lition of the heritable jurisdictions. Our only 
aim has been to find out the truth, and we 
have done so by appealing to the evidence of 
contemporaries, or of those whose witness is 
almost as good. "
e have enùeavoured to ex- 
hibit both the good and bad side of the picture, 
and we are only sorry that space will not 
permit of giyiug further ùetails. However, 
from what has been saiù above, the reaùer must 
see how much had to be accomplished by the 


1 Gartmore raper, in Burt's Letters, yolo ii. 1'. 3G4. 


Highlanders to bring them up to the level of 
the rest of the country, and will be able to 
understand the nature of the changes which I 
from time to time took place, the difficulties 
which had to be overcome, the prejudices which II 
had to be swept away, the hardships which 
had to be encountered, in as&imilating the I 
Highlands with the rest of the country. I 
Having thus, as far as space permits, shown 
the condition of the Highlands previous to 
1745, we shall now, as briefly as possible, I 
trace the history down to the present day, 
showing the march of change, and we hope, of 
progress after the abolition of the heritable 
jurisdictions. In doing so we must necessarily 
come across topics concerning which there has 
been much rancorous and unprofitable contro- 
versy; but, as we have done in the case of 
other disputed matters, we shall do our best to 
lay facts before the reader, and allow him to 
form his opinions for himself. The history 
of the Highlands since 1745 is no doubt in 
some respects a sad one; much misery and cruel 
disappointment come under the notice of the 
investigator. But in many respects, and, we 
have no doubt in its ultimate results, the llis- I 
tory is a bright one, showing as it does the , 
progress of a people from semi-barbarism anù 
slavery and ignorance towards high civilisation, 
freedom of action with the world before them, 
and enlightenment and knowledge, and vigorous I 
awl successful enterprise. Formerly the High. 
landers were a nuisance to their neighbours, ancl 
a drag upon the progress of the country; now 
they are not surpassed by any section of her 
:Majesty's subjects for character, enterprise', 
ellucation, 10yalty, aud self-respect. Consiùer- 
ing the condition of the country in 1745, what 
could we expect to take place on the passing 
and enforcing of an act such as that which 
aholished the heritable jurisdictions 1 "\Yas it 
not natural, unavoidable that a fermentation 
should take place, that there should be a war of 
apparently conflicting interests, that, in short., 
as in the achievement of all great results l)y 
nations and men, there should be much experi- 
menting, much groping to finù out the best way. 
much shuffling about hy the people to fit them- 
selves to their new circumstances, before matters 
could again fall into somethinglike a settled con- 
ùition, before each man wouIcI finl 1 hi
 p1:1c(' in the 



r 
I 


31 


PHE:::;EXT STATE UF THE HIGHLAND
. 


new adjustment of society 1 .l\Ioreover, the High- 
landers had to learn all inevitable and a salutary 
lesson, that in this or in any country under one 
goyernment, where prosperity and harmony are 
desired, no particular section of the people is to 
consider itself as having a right to one par- 
ticular part of the country. The Highlands 
for the Highlanders is a barbarous, selfish, 
obstructive cry in a united and progressive 
nation. It seems to be the law of nature, as 
it is the law of progress, that those who can 
make the best use of any district ought to have 
it. This has been the case with the world at 
lal'ge, and it has turned out, and is still turning 
out to be the case with this country. The 
Bighlands now contain a considerable lowland 
population, and the Highlanders are scattered 
ov('r the length and breadth of the land, and 
indeed of the world, honourably fulfilling the 
noble part they have to play in the world's 
history. Ere long there will be neither High- 
lander nul' Lowlander; we shall all be one 
people, having the best qualities of the blood uf 
the formerly two antagonistic races running in 
our veins. It is, we have no doubt, with men 
as with other animals, the best breeds are 
got by judicious crossings. 
Of course it is seldom the case that any 
great changes take place in the Bocial or political 
policy of a country without much individual 
suffering: this was the case at all events in the 
Highlands. ::\Iany of the poor people and 
tacksmen had to undergo great hardships 
tIming the process of this new adjustment of 
affairs; but that the lairds or chiefs were to 
blame for this, it would be rash to assert. Some 
of these were no doubt unnecessarily harsh and 
unfeeling, but even where they were kindest and 
most considerate with their tenants, there was 
much misery prcvailing among the latter. In 
the general scram ble for places unùer the new 
arrangements, everyone, chief, tacksman, 
tenant, and cottar, had to look out for himself 
or go to the wall, and it was thercfore the most 
natural thing in the world that the instinct of 
self-preservation and self-advancement, which 
is stronger by far than that of universal bene- 
volence, should urge the chiefs to look to thpir 
own interests in preference to those of the people, 
who unfortunately, from the habit of centuries, 
looked to their superiors alone for that help 


which they should have been able to give 
themselves. It appears to us that the results 
which have followed from the abolition 
of the jurisdictions and the obliteration of 
the power of the chiefs, were inevitable; that 
they might have been brought about in a much 
gentler way, with much less suffering and 
bitterness and recrimination, there is no doubt; 
but while the process was going on, who had 
time to think of these things, or look at the 
matter in a calm and rational light 1 Certainly 
not those who were the chief actors in bringing 
about the results. 'Vith such stubl,ornness, 
bigotry, prejudice, and ignorance on one side, 
and such power and poverty and necessity for 
immediate and decided action on the other, and 
with selfishness on both sides, it was all but 
inevitable that results should have been as they 
turned out to be. 'Ve shall do what we can 
to state plainly, briefly, awl fairly the real 
facts of the case. 


.... -- 


CHAPTER XLIII. 


State of Highlands suhse'luent to 1745-Progress of 
Illnovatioll- First mention of Emigration-l'eu- 
nant's account of the coulltry- Dr J ohnsoll- 
Emigration fairly commenced in 1760-The Tacks- 
men the first to suffer and emigrate-Consequences 
to those who remained-"\V retched condition of 
the "\Vestern Islands-Introduction of large sheep- 
farms-Ejection of small tenants-" Mailers"- 
Hebrides-Real Highlan,l grievance-Title-dpeds- 
The two sides of the Highland Question-Truth 011 
both sides-Exces:ôive population-Argument of 
those who condemn depopulation - 'fhe senti- 
mental amI militm-y arguments-Testimony as 
to wretched condition of Highlanders-High- 
lands admirably suited. for sheep-Effect of 
sheep-farming on Highland scenery-Highlands 
unsuited to black ('attIe -Large and small farms 
-Interference-Fishing and farming cannot be 
suc('essfully united-Raising rents-Depopulation 
-How far the landlords were to blallle-Kelp- 
A,lvantages and disadvantages of its manuf,lcturc 
- Potatoes - Introùuction into the Highlanùs- 
Their importance- Failures of Crop - 'Disease - 
Amount of progress made during latter part of 
18th century. 


As we have saic{ already, the Highlanders, 
chiefs and people, wcre so confounderI, amI 
prostrated hy the cruel proceedings and strin- 
gent measures which followed Culloden, that 
it was some time cre they could realise the 
new position of affairs. Little alteration ap- 
!,C'ars to hayc, for some years, heen ctìeded 


, 



GENERAL Hlt;TORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


32 


1 


in the relationship subsisting between p('ople 
and chiefs, the latter being now simply land- 
lords. The gentlemen and common people of 
the clans continued to regard their chief in 
the same light as they did previous to the 
abolition of the jurisdictions, for they did not 
consider that their obedience to the head of the 
clan was in the least dependent upon any 
legislative enactments. They still considered 
it their duty to do what they could to support 
their chief, and were stiH as ready as ever to 
make any sacrifice for his sake. At the same 
time, their notions of the chief's duty to his 
people remained unaltel'ed; he, they thought, 
WM bound as much as ever to see to it that 
they did not want, to share with them the land 
which belonged to the chief not so much as a 
proprietor, but as the head and representative 
of his people. The gentlemen, especially, cf 
the clan, the tacksmen or large farmers, most 
1innly and sincerely believed that they had as 
much right to a share of the lands as the chief 
himself, their relation; he was as much bound 
to provide for them as a father is bound to 
make provision for his children. There is no 
doubt also that many of the chiefs themselves, 
especially the older ones, held the same belief 
I on this matter as their subordinates, so that in 
many instances it was not till the old laird 
had passed away, and a new one had filled his 
place, that the full effect of the measures already 
described began to be felt. Of course, many 
of the chiefs and gentlemen who had taken 
part in the rebellion had been compelled to 
leave the country in order to save their lives, and 
many of the estates had been forfeited to govern- 
ment, which entrusted the management of them 
to commissioners. It was probably these estates 
upon which changes began to be first effected. 
All the accounts we have of the Higlùands 
from travellers and others down to the end of 
the 18th century, show the country in a state 
of commotion and confusion, resulting from the 
changes consequent on the rebellion, the break- 
ing up of old relationships, and the gradual 
encroachment of lowland civilisation, lowland 
modes of life, and lowland methods of agricul- 
ture. Up to the end of the century, the 
positive changes do not appear to have been 
h'Teat or extensive, they seem more to have been 
of a tentative experimental kind, attempts to 


find out the most suitable or profitable way of 
working under the new regime. The result of 
the::;e experiments of this unsettling of mo,lIY- 
century-old customs and ideas, and of the con- 
sequent shifting and disturbing of the people, 
"as for a long time much discontent and 
misery. The progress of change, both with 
regard to place and in respect of the nature of 
the innovations, was b'Tadual, beginning, as a 
rule, with those districts of the Highlands 
which bordered on the lowlands, and proceed- 
ing in a direction somewhat north-west. It 
was these border districts which got first settled 
down and assimilated in all respects to the 
lowlands, and, although in some instances the 
commotion was felt in the "\Vestern Islands amI 
Highlands a few years after 1746, yet these 
localities, as ft. rule, were longest in a(Ij usting 
themselves to the new state of things; indeet!, 
in many western districts, the commotion has 
not yet subsided, and consequently misery and 
discontent still frequently prevail. In the 
same way it was only little by little that 
changes were effected, first one old custom 
giving way and then another, their places 
being filled by others which had prevailed in 
the lowlands for many years before. Indeed, 
we think the progress made by the Highlands 
during the last century has been much greater 
than that of the lowlands during the same 
period; for when, in the case of the Highlands, 
the march of progress commenced, they were ill 
many respects centuries behind the rest of 
the country, .'Whereas at the present day, with 
the exception of some outlying districts above 
mentioned, they are in abnost every respect as 
far forward and as eager to advance farther as 
the most progressive districts of the south. 
This is no doubt owing to the extra pressure 
which was brought to bear upon them in the 
shape of the measures which followed Culloden, 
without which they no doubt must have pro- 
gressed, but at a much slower rate. Perhaps 
this is the reason why certain outlying districts 
ha ve lagged behind and are still in a state of 
unsettlement and discontent, the people, and 
often the lairds, refusing to acknowledge awl 
give way to the necessity for change, but even 
yet attempting to live and act in accordance 
with the old-fashioned clannish mode of manag- 
ing men and land. 



E
nGRATION FAIRLY CO
DIENCED I.N 1760. 


33 


The unsettled state of the Highlands, and 
the fact that many Highlanders were leaving 
the country, attracted attention so early as about 
1750. For in 1752, a pamphlet was published 
I by a Mr John Campbell, pretending to give 
"A Full and Particular Description of the 
Highlands," and propounding a scheme which, 
in the author's estimation, would "prove 
effectual in bringing in the most disaffected 
among them." There is little said in this book 
of the actual condition of the Highlanders 
at that time, only a few details as to thpir 
manners, funeral-customs, mauiages, &c., and a 
lamentation, ever since repeated, that so many 
should be compelled to leave their native land 
I and settle among foreigners. The author docs 
not mention emigration to America; what he 
chiefly deplores is the fact that so many High- 
landers, from the unkindness of their superiors 
at home, should have taken service in various 
capacities, civil and military, in other European 
countries, frequently fighting in foreign armies 
I against their fellow-countrymen. However, 
from the general tone of his remarks, it may be 
gathered that he refers mainly to those who 
were compelled to leave the country on account 
of the part they took in the late rebellion, and 
I not on account of any alterations which had .yet 
taken place in the internal affairs of the High- 
lands. Still it is plainly to be inferred that 
already much misery and discontent prevailed 
in the country. 
Pennant made his two tours in Scotland in 
the years 1769 and 1772. His travels in the 
Highlands were confined mainlJ' to the "\Vestern 
Islands and the districts on the west coast, 
and his account is little else than a tale of 
famine and wretchedness from beginning to 
end. 'Yhat little agriculture there was, was 
as bad as ever, the country rarely producing 
enough of grain to supply the inhabitants, and 
in many places he fcars "the isles annually 
experience a temporary famine." In the island 
of Islay a thousand pounds worth of meal was 
annually imported, and at the time of Pennant's 
visit" a famine threatened." Indeed, the normal 
state of the W estern Highlands at least appears 
for long to have been one bordering on famine, 
or what would have been considered so in any 
less wretched country; and periodically many 
Eeem to have died from absolute want of fuod. 
If. 


Here is a sad pict.ure of misery; Pennant is 
speaking more particularly of Skye, but his 
remarks might have been applied to most of 
the "\Yestern Islands. "The poor are left to Pro- 
vidence's care; they prowl like other animals 
along the shores to pick up limpets and other 
shell-fish, the casual repasts of hundreds during 
part ofthe year in these unhappy islands. Hun- 
dreds thus annually drag through the season 
a wretched life; and numbers, unknown, in all 
parts of the 'Yestern Highlands, fall beneath 
the pressure, some of hunger, more of the 
putrid feyer, the epidcmic of the coasts, 
originating from unwholesome food, the dire 
effects of necessity." 1 No chango for the 
better to record in agriculture, the fanus still 
overstocked with horses, black cattle and men, 
the fishing still all but neglected, hovels 
wretched as ever, and clothes as tattered and 
scanty-nothing in short to be seen but want 
and wretchedness, with apparently no inclina- 
tion in the people to better their condition. 
Johnson, who visited the 1Vestern Islands in 
the autumn of 1773, has a very similar report 
to make. Everything seemed to be in a state 
of transition; old relationships were being 
broken up, and a spirit of general discontent 
and feeling of insecurity were abroad. As to 
the poor condition of the people generally, 
Johnson essentially confirms the statements of 
Pennant, although he hints that they did by 
no means appear to be unhappy, or able to 
realise their wretched condition. 
At the time of Pennant's and Johnson's 
yisits to the Highlands, the new leaven of 
change had fairly begl.ID to work. Already 
had depopulation and emigration begun, and to 
some extent sheep-farming on a large scale had 
been introduced. 
Emigration from the Highlands to America 
seems to have fairly commenced shortly after 
l7GO, as, in a pamphlet 2 published in 1784, it 
is stated that between tho years 1763 and 1775 
above 20,000 Highlanders left their homes to 
settle on the other side of the Atlantic. The 
first apparently to suffer from the altered state 
of things in the Highlands, the decreasing 
value of men and the increasing value of 
money, were the tacksmen, or large farmers, 


1 Pennant's Tnvr, yolo ii. p. 305. 
2 A View oftlw Higltlands, æc. 
F 



34 


GE
EIL\.L HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


the relations of the 0111 chiefs, who llad held laud immediately from the ousted tacksmen. 
theIr farms from generation to generation, who ..A number of these sub-tenants would take a 
regarde(l themselves as having about as much large farm among them, sub-dividing it as they 
right to the land as the lairds, and who had chose, and cach becoming liable for his propor- 
hitherto been but little troubled about relit. tion of the rent. The farms thus let were geue- 
After a time, when the chiefs, now merely rally culti,-ated on the run-rig system already 
lairds, began to realise their llew position and referred to, the pasture bcing common to all the 
to feel the necessity of making their land yield tenants alike. 
them as large an income as possible, they very That certain ad,'antages followed these 
naturally sought to get a higher rent for the changes there is no doubt. Every account we 
Üu'mR let to these tacksmen, who, in most have of the Highhwls during the earlier 
cases, wprc the only immediate hoMers of lanù part of the 18th century, agrees in the 
fl'Om the rr,
prietor. These t
cksmen, in many fact that the Highlands were over-peoplpd 
ca3CS, appcar to have rcsented this procedure and over-stocked, that it was impossil)lc 
as tllPY would a personal injury from their for the lund to yield sufficient to support 
dearest friends. It was not that the addition the men and beasts who lived upon it. 
to the rents was excessive, or that the rents Hence, this drafting off of a considerable por- 
were already as high as the land could bear, tion of the population gave that w hith remained 
for generally the additions seem to have been breathing-room; fewer people were left to 
trifling, anù it is well known that the pro- support, amI it is to be supposed that the 
pl'ietors received nothing like the rents their condition of these would be improvcl1. 
I(/l'(
- 
lands should have 
'ieldcd under a proper over, they would probably have their farms at 
system of management. 1nJat seems to have a elwaper rent than under the old system, when 
hurt thtse gentlemen was the idea that the the demands of both tacksmen and laird had 
laird, the father of his people, should evcr to be satisficd, the former, of course, having 
think of anything so mercenary as rent, or let the lan..l at a much higher rate than that at 
should evcr by an.y exercise of his authority which they held it from their snperior. Now, 
indicate that he had it in his power to give or it was possible enough for the laird to get a 
let his farms to the highest bidders. It was higher rent than before, and at the same time 
bad enough, they thought, that an alien the people might have their farms at a lower 
goverl1l111'nt should interfere with their old rent than they had previously given to the 
ways of doing; but that their chiefs, the heads I tacksmen. There would also be fewer opprcf:I- 
of their race: for whom they were ready to lay si ,'e services demanded of these small tenants 
down their lives and the lives of all over whom I than under the old system, for llOW they had 
they had any power, should turn against them, only the laird to satisfy, whereaR previously 
was ruore than they could bear. The con- they had both him and the tacksman. There 
sequence was that many of them, especially in would still, of course, be services required ljy 
the west, threw up their farms, no doubt the laird from these tenants, still would part of 
thinking that the lairds would at once ask the rent be paid in kind, still wOlùd they be 
them to remain on the old terms. This, how- thirleù to particular mills, and have to suhmit 
ever, was but seldom done, and the consequence to many similar exactions, of the opprcssiveness 
w:!s that ruany of these tacksmen emigrated to of which, lJOwever, it was long before they 
America, taking with them, no doubt, servants becamc conscious; but, on the whole, the 
and sul)-tenants, and enticing out more by the condition of those districts from which emigra- 
glowing accounts they sent home of thcir good tions took place must to some extent have been 
fortune in that far-off land. the better for the consequpnt thinning of the 
In some cascs, the farms thus vacated were population. StilI no alteration apþears to have 
let to other tacksmen or large tenants, but in taken place in tlw mode of farming, the nature 
most instances, the new system was introduced of tenures, mode of paying rent, houses, clothes, 
of letting the land directlJr to whctt were for- food of the people. In some parts of the High- 
merly the sub-tenants, those who had 11eM the lands and islan(ls, no alteration whatevl'r appears 



CO
SEQUE
CES O:b' E:\IIGRATION. 


35 


to have been ma(le on the old system; t
e tacks- 
men were allowed to remain undisturbed, and 
I the people lived and held land as forwerly. 
I But even in those districts from which emigra- 
tions were largely made, little or no improve- 
ment seems to have been the consequence, if 
we may tmst the reports of those who saw how 
things stood with their own eyes. Pennant, 
Johnson, Buchanan,s Newte,4 the Old Statisti- 
cal Account, all agree that but little improve- 
ment was noticeable oyer the greater part of 
the Highlands from 174:5 down till near the 
end of the 18th century. 
One reason why emigration made so little 
difference in the way of improvement on the 
I condition of those who remained in the country 
was, that no check was put upon the over- 
stocking of the farms with men and animals. 
In spite of emigration, the population in many 
districts increased instead of diminished. A 
common practice among those tenants who con- 
jointly held a large farm was for a father, on 
the marriage of a son or daughter, to divide his 
share of the farm with the young couple, who 
either lived in the old man's house or built a 
hut for themselves and tried to make a living 
out ofthe share dthe pendicle allotted to them. 
To such an extent was this practice carried, that 
often a portion of land of a few acres, originally 
let to and sufficient to maintain one family, 
lllight in a few years be divided among six or 
eight families, and which, even if cultivated in 
the best manner possible, could not support its 
occupants for more' than two or thrpe months a 
year. Un account of this ruinous practice, 
Skye, which in 1750 had 15,000 inhabitants, 
most of whom were in a condition of misery 
and want, in 1857, in spite of large and 
repeated emigrations, had a population of aboi.1t 
23,000. This custom was common in many 
Highlant.l (chiefly western) districts down to 
only a few years ago, and was fruitful of many 
pernicious consequrnces-of frequent famines, 
the constant impoverishing of the soil, the 
over-stocking of pasture-land, and continual 
wretchedness. 
In some cuses, the farms vacated by the old 
tacksmen, instead of being let to the oM sub- 
tenants, were let to whatever stranger would 


3 Travels in the Western Islands. 
· l'Q'llr in England and Scotland (1785,. 


give the highel:>t offer. On farms so let, the 
condition of the sub-tenants who were con- 
tinued on the old footing, appears often to have 
been miserable in the extreme. These new- 
come tacksmen or middlemen cared nothing 
either for chiefs or people; they paid their rent 
and were determiued to squeeze from those 
under them as large a return as possible for their I 
outlay. In confirmation of these statements, 
and to show the sad conditio_l of many parts I 
of the Highlands in their state of transition, 
we quote the following passage from Buchanan's 
Tnwels in the Hebrides, referring to about 
1780. .Even allowing for exaggeration, al- 
though there is no reason to believe the writer 
goes beyond the truth, the picture is almost 
incredibly deplorable :- 
"At present they are obliged to be much 
more submissive to their tacksmen than ever 
they were in former times to their lainls or 
lords. There is a great difference between that 
mild treatment which is shown to sub-tenants 
and even scallags, by the old lessees, descended 
of ancient and honourable families, and the 
outrageous rapacity of those necessitous stran- 
gers who have obtained leases from absent 
proprietors, who treat the natives as if they 
were a conquered and inferior race of mortals. 
In short, they treat them like beasts of bur- 
then; and in all respects like slaves attached 
to the soil, as they cannot obtain new habita- 
tions, on account of the combinations already 
mentioned, and are entirely at the mercy of 
the laÎ1>d or tacksman. Formerly, the per- 
sonal service of the tenant did not usually ex- 
ceed eight or ten days in the year. There lives 
at preseut at 
calpa, in the Isle of Harris, a 
t::wksman of a large district, who instead of 
six days' work paid by the sub-tenants to his 
predecessor in the lease, has raised the predial 
service, called in that and in other parts of 
Scotlaud, manerial bOlldnge, to fifty-two days 
in the year at once; besides many other 
services to be performed at different though 
regular and stated times : as tanning leather 
for brogues, making heather ropes for thatch, 
digging and drying peats for fuel; one pan- 
nier of peat charcoal to be carried to the 
smith; so many days for gathering and shear- 
ing sheep and lambs; for ferrying cattle from 
I i:;lan<l to island., and other distant places, and 



36 


GEKER
\L HISTOHY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


several days for going on distant errancls; 
so many pouIllls of wool to he spun into 
yarn. And over and above all this, they 
must lend their aid upon any unforeseen 
occurrence whenever they are called on. The 
constant service of two months at once is per- 
formed at the proper season in the making of 
kelp. On the whole, this gentleman's sub- 
tenants may be computed to devote to his 
service full three days in the week. nut this 
is not all: they have to pay besidcs yearly a 
certain numbpr of cocks, hells, butter, and 
cheese, called CAORIGH-FERRIN, the 'YIF
'S 
PORTION! This, it must be owned, is one of 
the most severe and rigorous tacksmen de- 
scended from the old inhabitants, in all the 
'Yestern Hebrides: but the situation of his 
suh-tenants exhibits but too faithful a picture 
of the sub-tenants of those places in general, 
and the exact counterpart of such enormous 
oppression is to be found at Luskintire." 
Another cause of emigration and of depopu- 
lation generally, was the introduction of sheep 
on a large Bcale, involving the junction into 
one of several small farms, each of which 
might before have been occupipd by a number 
of tmants. These subjects of the introduction 
of sheep, engrossing of farms, and consequent 
depopulation, have occupied, and still to some 
extent do occupy, the attention of all those 
who take an interest in the Highlands, and of 
social economists in general. Various opinions 
have been passed on the matters in question, 
some advocating the retention of the people at 
all costs, while others declare that the greatest 
part of the Highlands is fit only for pasture, 
and it would be sheer madness, and shutting 
our eyes wilfully to the sad lessons of experi- 
ence, to stock a land with people that is fit 
only to sustain sheep, und which at its very 
best contains mere specks of arable ground, 
which, even when cultivated to the utmost, 
can yield "hut a poor and unprofitable return. 
'Yhatever opinion may be passed upon the 
general question, there can be no doubt that at 
first the introduction of sheep waf:; fruitful of 
misery and discontent to those who had to 
vacate their old home awl leave their native 
glens to find shelter they knew not well wllPre. 
Many of those thus displaced by sheep and by 
one or two lowland sllPphpnls. Pllligmtecllike 


the discontented tacksmen to America, those 
who remained looking with ill-will and an evil 
eye on the low lawl intrurlers. Although often 
the intruder came from the South country, 
and brought his sheep and his shepherds with 
him, still this was not always t.he case; for 
many of the old tacksmen and even sub- 
tenants, after thoy saw how immensely more 
profitable the new system was over the old, 
wisely took a lesson in time, and following the 
example of the new lowland tenant, took large 
farms and stocked them with sheep and cattle, 
and reduced the arable land to a minimum. 
nut, generally speaking, in cases where farms 
formerly subdivided among a number of 
tenants were converted into sheep farms, the 
smaller tenant had to quit and find a means 
of living elsewhere. The landlords in genera] 
attempted to prevent the ousted tenants from 
leaving the country bÿ setting apart some 
particular spot either by the sea-shore or on 
waste land which had never been touched by 
plough, on which they might build houses and 
have an acre or'two of land for their support. 
Those who were removed to the coast were 
encouraged to prosecute the fishing along with 
their agricultural labours, while those who 
were settled on waste land were stimulated to 
bring it into a state of cultivation. It was 
mainly by anum her of snch ousted High- 
landers that the great 
md arduous undertaking 
was accomplished of bringing into a state of 
cultivation Kincardine ]\foss, in Perthshire. 
At the time the task was undertaken, about 
1767, it was one of stupendous magnitude; 
but so successfully was it carried out, that 
in a few years upwards of 2000 acres of finp 
clay-soil, which for centuries had been covered 
to the depth of seven feet with heath and 
decayed vegetable matter, were bearing luxu- 
riant crops of all kinds. In a similar way, 
many spots throughout the Highlands, for- 
merly yielding nothing but heath and mol'S, 
were, by the exertions of those who were de- 
prived of their farms, brought into a state 
of mùtivation. Those who occupied ground 
of this kind were known as mailers, and, as 
a nùe, they paid no rent for the first f(> w 
years, after which they generally paid the 
proprietor a shilling or two per acre, which 
was gradually increased as the lancl improvecl 



HEAL HIGHLAND GlUEV ANCEB. 


:.s7 


and its cultivation extended. For the first I of the large rents offered by the 10wiallCl 
season or two the proprietor usually either lent graziers. One proprietor in Argyleshire, who 
or presentßd them with seed and implements. I had some miles of pasture let to a number of 
In the parish of Urray, in the south-east of small tenants for a few shillings yearly, on 
Ross-shire, about the year 17!W, there were being offered by a lowlande
' who saw the 
2.18 families of this kind, most of whom had place Æ300 a year, coulll not resist, but, how- 
settled there within the previous forty years. ever ruefully, cleared it of his old tenants, and 
Still the greater number of these, both tacks- gave it up to the money-making lowlander. 
men and sub-tenants, who were deprived of It was this engrossing of farms and the turning 
their farms, either on account of the raising of of immense tracks of country into sheep-walks, 
the rents or because of their conversion into part of which was formerly cultivated and in- 
large sheep-walks, emigrated to America. The habited by hundreds of people, that was the 
old Statistical Account of 
"'orth U ist says great grievance of the Highlanders during the 
that between the years 1771 and 1775, a latter part of last century. Not that it could 
space of only four years, several thousands aggravate their wretchedness to any great ex- 
emigrated from the 'Yestern Highlands and tent, for that was bad enough already even 
Islands alone. At first few of the islands before 174:5 ; it seems to have been rather the 
appear to have been put under sheep; where fact that their formerly much-loved chiefs should 
any alteration on the state of things took treat them worse than they could strangers, 
place at all, it was generally in the way of prefer a big income to a large band of faithful 
raising rents, thus causing the tacksmen to followers, and eject those who believed them- 
leave, who were succeeded either by strangers selves to have as great a right to the occupancy 
who leased the farms, or by the old sub-tenants, of the land as the chiefs themselves. "The 
among whom the lands were divided, and who great and growing grievance of the Highlands 
held immediately from the laird. It was long, is not the letting of the land to tacksmen, but 
however, as we have already indicated, before the making of so many sheep-walks, which 
the innovations took thorough hold upon the sweep off both tacksmen and sub-tenants all 
Hebrides, as even down almost to the present in a body."5 The tacksmen especially felt 
time many of the old proprietors, either from naturally cut to the quick by what they deemed 
attachment to their people, or from a love of the selfish and unj ust policy of the chiefs. 
feudal show, struggle to keep up the old These tacksmen and their ancestors in most 
system, leaving the tacksmen undisturbed, cases had occupied their farms for many gene- 
and doing all they can to maintain and keep rations; their birth was as good and their 
on their property a large number of sub- genealogy as old as those of the chief himself, 
tenants and cottars. Almost invariably, those to whom they were all blood relations, and to 
proprietors who thus obstinately refused to whom they were attached with the most un- 
succumb to the changes going on around them, shaken loyalty. True, they had no writing, no 
suffered for their unwise conduct. :Many of document, no paltry "sheep-skin," as theycalleJ 
them impoverished their families for genera- it, to show as a proof that they had as much 
tions, and many of the estates were disposed of right to their farms as the lair(l himself. nut 
for behoof of their creditors, and they them- what of that 
 'Vho would ever have thought 
splves had to sink to the level of landless that their chiefs would turn against them, anà 
gentlemen, and seek their living in commerce try to wrest from them that which had been 
or otherwise. gifted by a former chief to their fathers, who 
Gradually, however, most of the proprieton"l, wOlùd have bitten out their tongue before they 
especially those whose estates were on the would ask a bond 1 The gift, they thought, 
mainland Highlands, yieldell, in general no was none the less real because there was no 
doubt willingly, to change, raised their rents, written proof of it. These part:hments were 
abolished small tenancies, and gave their quite a moùern innovation, not eyen then uni 
lands up to the sheep farmers. The tempta.tion 
was, no doubt, often very great, on account 15 Kewtc. 



3R 


GENERAL HISTOHY ÜI!' THE HIGHLA
DS 


v
l'sally acknowledged among the Highlanders, 
t.o whom the only satisfactory proof of pro- 
prietorship and chiefship was possession from 
time immemorial. Occasionallr a chief, who 
could produce no title-deed to his estate, was 
by law deprived of it, and his place filled by 
another. But the clan would have none of 
this; they invariably turned their backs upon 
the intruder, and acknowletlged only the ousted 
chief as their head and the real proprietor, 
whom they were bound to support, and whom 
they frequently did support, by paying to him 
the rents which were legally due to the other. 
In some cases, it would seem, 6 the original 
granters of the land to the tacksmen conveyed 
it to them by a regular title-deed, by which, of 
course, they b('came proprietors. And we 
think there can be no doubt, that originally 
w hen a chief bestowed a share of his property 
upon his son or other near relation, he intended 
that the latter should keep it for himself and 
his descendants; he was not regarded merely 
as a tenant who had to pay a yearly l'ent, but 
as a sub-proprietor, who, from a sense of love 
and duty would contribute what he could to 
support the chief of his race and clan. In 
many cases, we say, this was the light in which 
chief, tacksmen, and people regarded these 
farnls tenanted by the gentlemen of the clan; 
and it OlÙY seems to have been after the value 
of men decreased and of property increased, 
that most of the lairds began to look at the 
matter in a more commercial, legal, and less 
romantic light. According to .N ewte-and 
what he says is supported to a considerable 
extent by facts-" in the southern parts of 
Argyleshire, in Perthshire, Aherdeenshire, 
:\Ioray, and Ross, grants of land were made in 
writing, while in Inverness-shire, ðutherland- 
shire, the northern parts of Argyleshire, and 
the "r estern T slands, the old mode was con- 
tinued of verbal or emblematical transference. 
In Ross-shire, particularly, it would appear 
that letters and the use of letters in civil 
-lffairs had been early introduced and widely 
spread; for property is more equally divided 
in that country than in most other counties in 
Scotland, and than in any other of the High- 
lands. Agreeahly to these observations, it is 


6 Newte's Travels, p. 12i. 


from the great estates on the northern and 
western sides of Scotland that the descewlants 
of the original tacksmen of the land, wilh 
thril' families, have been obliged to migrate by 
the positive and unrelenting demands of rent 
beyond what it was in their power to give, 
and, imleed, in violation of those conditions 
that were understood and observed between 
the original granter and original tenant and 
their posterity for centuries."s These state- 
ments are exceedingly 1)lausiLle, and we be- 
lieve to a certain extent true; but it is unne- 
cessary here to enter upon the discussion of 
the question. "\Yhat we have to do with is the 
unquestionable fact that the Highhmd pro- 
prietors did in many instances take advantage 
of the legal power, which they undoubtedly 
possessed, to do with thl'ir land as they pleased, 
and, regardless of the feelings of the old 
tacksmen and sub-tenants, let it to the highest 
bidders. The consequence was that these 
tacksmen, who to a certain extent werc 
tlemoralised and knew not how to us(' the land 
to best advantage, hall to leave the homes of 
their ancestors; and many of the small farmers 
and cottars, in the face of the new system of 
large sheep-farms, becoming cumbcrcrs of the 
ground, were swept from the face of the 
country, and either located in little lots by the 
sea-side, where they became useful as fishers 
and kelp-burnm's, or settled on some waste 
moor, which they occupied themselvC's m re- 
claiming from its nati\'e barrenness, or, as was 
frequently the case, followed the tacksmen; and 
sought a home in the far west, where many 
of them became lairùs in their own right. 
These then are the great results of the 
measures which followed the rebellion ûf 
1745-6, and the consequent breaking up of 
the old clan system-extensive sheep-farming, 
accompanied with a great rise in the rent of 
land, depopulation, awl emigration. As to the 
legality of the proceedings of the proprietors, 
there can be no douht; as littlc douht is there 
that the immediate consequence to many of the 
Highlanders was grcat suffering, accompanied 
by much bitterness anù discontent. As to the 
morality or justice of the laird's conduet, 
various opinions have been, and no doubt for 


7 Sewte's Tra
'cls, p. 127. 



3a 


THE 'l'\\TO SIDES O:F THE HIGHLA.KD QLESTIü
. 


long will be, expressed. Oue sille maintains 
that it was the duty of these chiefs upon whom 
the people depended, whom they revered, and 
for whom they were ready to die, at 
ll events, 
to see to it that their people were provided for, 
and that ultimately it wOlùd have been for the 
interest of the proprietors and the country at 
large to do everything to prevent from emigrat- 
inR in such numbers as they did, such a 
splendid race of men, for whose services to the 
cOlmtry no money equivalent could be found. 
It is maintaineù that the system of large farms 
is pernicious in every respect, and that only by 
the system of moderate sized farms can a 
country be made the best of, an adequate rural 
popuhttion be kept up, and self-respect and a 
high moral tone be nourished and spreatl 
throughout the land. Those who adopt this 
siùe of the question pooh-pooh the common 
maxims of political economy, and declare that 
laws whose immediate consequences are wide- 
spread suffering, and the unpeopling of a 
country, cannot be founded on any valid basis; 
that proprietol's hold their lands O1
ly in trust, 
and it is therefore their duty not merely to 
consider their own narrow interests, but also 
to consult the welfare ann consult the feelings 
of their people. In short, it is maintained by 
this party, that the Highland lairds, in acting 
as they did, showed themselve3 to be unjust, 
selfish, heartless, unpatriotic, mercenary, and 
blind to their own true interests and those ot 
their country. 
On the other haud, it is maintained that 
what occurred in the Highlands subsequent to 
174:5 was a step in the right direction, and that 
it was only a pity that the innovations had not 
been more thorough and systematic. For long 
previous to 1745, it is asserted the Highlands 
were much over-peopled, and the people, as a 
consequence of the vicious system under which 
they had lived for generations, were incurably 
lazy, and could be roused frow. this sad 
lethargy only by some such radical measures as 
were adopted. The whole system of Highland 
life and manners and habits were almost bar- 
barous, the method of farming was thoroughly 
pernicious and unproductive, the stock of 
cattle worthless and excessi\Te, and so badly 
managed that about one half perished every 
wint.el'. On account of the excessivc popnla- 


tion, the laml was by far too much subdivided, 
the majority of so-called farmers occupying 
farms of so small a size that they could furnish 
the necessaries of life for no more than six 
months, and consequently the people were 
continually on the verge of starvation. The 
Higlùands, it is said, are almost totally un- 
suited for agriculture, amI fìt only for pasturage, 
and that consequently this subdivision into 
small farms could be nothing else than per- 
nicious; that the only method by which the 
land could be made the most of was that of 
large sheep-farms, and that the proprietors, 
while no doubt studying their own interests, 
adopted the wisest policy when they let out 
their land on this sJTstem. In short, it is 
maintained by the advocate's of innovations, the 
whole body of the Highlanders were thoroughly 
dernoralised, their numhc:,r was greater hy far 
than the land coulcl Rupport e\Ten if managed 
to the best ad vantage, and was increasing every 

'ear; the whole system of renting land, of 
tenure, and of farming was ruinous to the 
people and the land, and that nothing but a 
radical change could cure the many evils with 
which the country was afflicted. 
There has been much rather bitter discuesion 
between the advocates of the two sides of the 
Highland question; often more recrimination 
and calling of names than telling argument. 
This question, we think, is no exception to the 
general rule which governs most disputed 
matters; there is truth, we believe, on both 
sides. 'Ye fear the facts already adduced in 
this part of the book comprise many of the 
assertions made by the advocates of change. 
As to the wretched social condition of the 
Highlanders, for long before and after 1745, 
there can be no doubt, if we .can place any re- 
liance en the evidence of contemporaries, and 
we have already said enough to show that the 
common system of farming J if worthy of the 
name, was ruinous and inefficient; while their 
small lean cattle were so badly managed that 
about one half died yearly. That the popula- 
tion was very much greatpr than the land, 
even if used to the best advantage, could 
support, is testified to hy every candid writer 
from the Gartmore papers down almost to tbe 


8 Burt's Leltf'TS, AppPIa1Ïx. 


. 



40 


GENERAL HISTORY OJ!' TIi}: 1IIGHLANDK 


present day. The author of the Gartmore I world, for-and it is quite true-thfJ Highland 
paper, written about 1747, estimated that the soldier has not his match for bravery, moral 
population of the Highlands at that time character, and l)atriotism. 
amounted to about 230,000 ; "but," he says, These statements are no doubt true; it 
"according to the present economy of the certainly is a pity that an inoffensive, brave, 
Highlands, there is not business for more than and moral people should be compelled to leavc 
one half of that number of people. The their native land, and devote to the cultivation 
other half, then, must be idle and beggars of a foreign soil those energies which might be 
whil
 in the country." "The produce of the used to the benefit of their own country. It 
crops," says Pennant,9 " very rarely arc in any would also be very bad policy in government. 
. degree proportioned to the wants of the illhabi- to lose the chance of filling up the ranks of 
tants; golden seasons have happened, when the army with some of the best men obtainable 
they ha,re had superfluity, but the years of anywhere. But then, if t11ere was nothing for 
famine are as ten to one." It is probable, the people to do in the country, if their con- 
from a comparison with the statistics of Dr clition was one of cln'onic famine, as was 
1Yebster, taken in 1753,1 that the estimate of undoubtedly the case with the Highlanders, if 
the author of the Gartmore paper was not far the whole productions of the country were 
from being correct; indeed, if anJrthing, it insufficient even to keep them in bare life, if 
must have been under the mark, as in 1755 eyery few J'ears the country had to contribute 
the population of the Highlands and Islands thousands of pounds to keep these people 
amounted, according to "
ebster, to about alive, if, in shert, the majority of them were 
290,000, which, in 1795, had increased to little else than miserable beggars, an encum- 
325,566,2 in spite of the many thousands who brance on the progress of their country, a 
had emigrated. This great increase in the continual source of sadness to all feeling men, 
population during the latter part of tho 18th gradually becoming more and more demoralised 
century is amply confirmed by the writers of by the increasingl)' wretched condition in which 
the Statistical Accounts of the various Highland they lived, and by the ever-recurring necessity 
parishes, and none had better opportunities of of bestowing upon them charity to keep them 
knowing the real state of matters Ulan they. alive,-if such were the case, the advocates for 
The great majority of these writers likewise a thinning of the population urge, whom would 
assert that the population was far too large in it profit to keep such a rabble of half-starved 
proportion to the produce of the land and creatures huddled together in a corner of the 
means of employment, and that some such country, reaping for themselves nothing but 
outlet as emigration was absolutely necessary. misery and degradation, and worse than useless 
Those who condemn emigration and depopula- to everybody else. :Moreever, as to tlle mili- 
tion, generally do so for some merely senti- tary argument, it is &.n almost universal 8tate- 
mental reason, and seldom seek to show that ment made l,y the writers of the Old Statistical 
it is quite possible to maintain the large popu- Account (about 1790), that, at that time, in 
lation without disastrous results. It is a pity, almost all the Highland parishes it was scarcely 
they say, that the Highlander, possessing so possible to get a single recruit, so grcat was tJ)e 
many noble qualities, and so strongly attached aversion of the people both to a naval and 
to his native soil, shoul<l be compelled to seek military life. Besides, though the wlwle of 
a home in a foreign land, and bestow upon it the surplus population had been willing to 
the services which might be profitably em- volunteer into the army, of what value would 
l)loyed by his mother country. n,y permitting, it have been if the country had no use for 
they say, these loyal and brave Highlanders to them; and surely it would be yery qucstion- 
leave the country, Britain is throwing away ahle policy to kcep thousands of men in 
Rome of the finest recruiting material in the idleness on the bare chance that they might 
be required as soldiers. 
The sentimcntal and military arguments arc 
no doubt vcry touching and very convincing to 


9 Tour, ii. 306. 
1 See Walkcr's Hebrides, vol. i. pp. 24, 28. 
, Walker, vol. i. p. 31. 



THE T\VO SIDES OF THE HIGHLAKD QUESTIOX. 


41 


, men in whom impulse and imagination pre- 
I dominate over reason and clearness of vision, 
and are fitting subjects for a certain kind of 
poetry, which has made much of them; but 
they cannot for one moment stand the test of 
facts, and become selfishly cruel, impracticable, 
and disastrou.c::;, when contrasted with the 
teachings of genuine humanity and the best 
interests of the Highlanders. On this subject, 
the writer of the Old Statistical Account of the 
"Oarish of Lochgoilhead makes some remarks 
so sensible, and so much to the point, that wo 
are tempted to quote them here. "It is 
frequent," he says, "with people who wish 
well to their country, to inveigh against the 
practice of turning several small farms into one 
extensive grazing, and dispossessing the former 
tenants. If the strength of a country depends 
upon the number of its inhabitants, it appears 
a pernicious measure to drive away the people 
by depriving them of their possessions. This 
complaint is very just with regard to some 
places in Scotland; for it must be greatly 
against the interest of the nation to turn rich 
arable land, which is capable at the same time 
of supporting a number of people, and of pro- 
ducing much grain, into pasture ground. TIut 
the complaint does not seem to apply to this 
country. The strength of a nation cannot 
surely consist in the number of idle people 
which it maintains; that the inhabitants of 
this part of the country were formerly sunk in 
indolence, and contributed very little to the 
wealth, or to the support of the state, cannot 
be denied. The produce of this parish, since 
sheep have become the principal commodity, is 
at least double the intrinsic value of what it 
was formerly, so that half the number of hands 
produce more than double the quantity of pro- 
visions, for the support of our large towns, and 
the supply of our tradesmen and manufac- 
turers; and the system by which land returns 
the most valuable produce, and in the greatest 
abundance, seems to be the most beneficial for 
the country at large. Still, however, if the 
people who are dispossessed of this land 
emigrated into other nations, the rrcsent system 
might be justly condemned, as diminishing the 
strength of the country. But this is far from 
being the case; of the great number of people 
who have been 
eprived of their farms in this 
II. 


parish, for thirty 
Tears past, few or none have 
settled out of the kingdom; they generally 
went to sea, or to the populous towns upon the 
Clyde. In these places, they have an easy 
opportunity, which they generally embrace, of 
training up their children to useful amI profit- 
able employments, and of rendering tllcm 
valuable members of society. So that the 
former inhabitants of this country have been 
taken from a situation in which they contri- 
buted nothing to the wealth, and very little to 
the support of the state, to a situation in which 
their labour is of the greatest public utility. 
N or has the present system contributed to 
make the condition of the inhabitants of the 
country worse than it was before; on the con- 
trary, the change is greatly in their favour. 
The .partiality in favour of former times, and 
the attachment to the place of their nativity, 
which is natural to old people, together with 
the indolence in which they indulged them- ' 
selves in this country, mislead them in drawing a 
comparison between their past and their present 
situations. But indolence was almost the only 
comfort which they enjoyed. There was 
scarcely any variety of wretchedness with 
which they were not obliged to struggle, or 
rather to which they were not obliged to sub- 
mit. They often felt what it was to want 
food; the scanty crops which they raised were 
consumed by their cattle in winter anù sluing; 
for a great part of the year they lived wholly 
on milk, and even that in the end of spring 
and beginning of winter was very scarce. To 
such extremity were they frequently reduced, 
that they were obliged to bleed their cattle in 
order to subsist for some time upon the blood; 
and even the inhabitants of the glens and 
valleJTs repaired in crowds to the shore, at the 
distance of three or four miles, to pick up the 
scanty provision which the shell-fish afforded 
them. They were miserably ill clothed, and 
the huts in which they lived were dirty and 
mean beyond expression. How different from 
their present situation 1 They now enjoy the 
necessaries, and many of the comforts of life 
in abundance: even those who are supported 
by the charity of the parish feel no real want. 
Much of the wretchedness which formerly pre- 
vailed in this and in other parishes in the 
Highlands, was owing to t.he indolence of the 
F 


, 



42 


GENEHAL HISTOHY OF THE II IUHLA::\D:::;. 


IIl'opIe, and to their want of management; but 
a country which is neither adapted for agricul- 
turf> nor for rearing black cattle, can never 
maintain any great number of people COlll- 
fortably. " 
I I No douht the very men who deplore what 
they call the depopulation of the Highlands 
, would ad\"ocate the advisability of emigration 
I in the case of the unemployed surplns popula- 
tion of any other part of the country. If their 
arguments against the f'migration of the High- 
lawlt>rs to another country, and in favour of 
their being retained in tllCir own district wcre 
logically carried out, to what ahsurd and 
disastrous conserluences would they lead 1 
Supposing that all the peo})le who have 
emi 6 'Tated from this country to America, Aus- 
tralia, and elsewhere, bad been kept at home, 
where wouM this country have been 1 There 
would scarcely have been standing room for the 
population, the great majority of whom must 
}lave been in a state of indescribable misery. 
The country would have heen ruined. The 
same arguments might also be used against the 
emigration of the natives of other countries, 
many of whom are no douht as attached to 
their native soil as the Highlanders; and if 
the principle had been rigidly carried out, 
what direful consequences to the world at 
large would llave been the result. In fact, 
there would llave been little elsp but universal 
barbarism. It seems to be admittpd by all 
thoughtful men that the best outlet for a 
redundant or idle population is emigration; it 
is beneficial to the mother country, beneficial 
, to the emigrants, and beneficial to the new 
country in which they take up their abode. 
Only thus can the earth be subdued, and made 
the most of. 
"'11Y then should there be any lamentation 
over the Highlal1!lers leaving their country 
more Ulan over any other class of respectable 
willing men1 Anything more hopelessly 
wrf'tched than their positi
 at various tinlf's 
from 1745 down to the present day it would 
be impossible to imagine. If one, however, 
trusted the descriptions of SOllle poets and 
I 8cntimentalists, a happier or more comfortably 
situated people than the Highlanders at one 
time were could not be found on the face of 
the gloLe. They were always clean, and tidy, 


and well dressed, lived in model cottages, 
surrounded l)y model gardens, had always 
abundance of plain wholesome food and drink, 
were exuherant in their hospitality, doated on 
their c1lÏefs, carefully cultivated their lauds 
and tended their flocks, but had plpnty of 
time to dance and sing, and narrate round the 
cheerful winter hearth the legends cf their 
people, and above all, feared God and honoured 
the king. Now, these statements have no 
foundation in fact, at least within the historical 
period; but generally the writers on this side 
of the question refer generally to the period 
previous to 1745, and often, in some cases, to 
a, time subsequent to that. Every writer who 
pretends to record facts, the result of obse}'va- 
tion, and not to draw imaginary Arcadian 
pictures, concurs in descriLing the conntry as 
hcing sunk in the lowest state of wretchedness. 
The tlescription we have already given of tho 
condition of the people before 17-15, applies 
with intensified force to the greater part of tho 
Highlands for long after that year. Inst<,ad 
of improving, and often there were favourable 
opportunities for improvement, the peoplo 
seemed to be retrograding, getting more and 
more demoralisell, more and more miserable, 
more and more numerous, and more and more 
famine-struck. In proof of what we say, we 
refer to all the writers on and trayellers in tllO 
Highlands of last century, to Pennant, Roswell, 
.T ohnson, K ewte, Buchanan, 3 and especially the 
Old Statistical Account. To let the read<'r 
judge for himself as to the value of t.he state- 
ments we make as to the condition of the 
Highlands during the latter part of last 
century', we quote below a longish extract 
from a pamphlet written by one who had 
visited and enquired into the state ûf the 
Highlands about the year 1780. 4 It is written 


3 TVestcrn Isles. 
4 "(T pOll the '\Ohole, the sihution of tIlCse people, in- 
hahitants of Britain! is such as no lfin
uage can 
desc,'ihe, nor {allI'Y conceive. If, with great labour 
and fatigue, the fal"mer raises a SH'no.cr cmp of oats 
and barley, the autumnal rains often bame his utmost 
elrorts, aud frustrate all his expectations; and instea.ù 
of being ab!t' to pay an exorbitant rcnt, he sees .hIs 
family in danger of l't'l"ishing dming the. e.n
nlIlg 
winter, when he is IH'ccludcd from any nos:'.lblhty of 
assi!>tance e)sewllere. 
":K or arc his cattle in a better situation; iu summer 
they pick up a scanty support amongst the morasfies 
01' heathy mountains; but ill willter, when the grounds 
arc covered with snow, fiud when the naked wilds 



WRETCHED CONDITION G:F HIGIlLA
l>.EnS. 


43 


by one who deplores the extensive emigration 
which was going on, but yet who, we are in- 
afford neither sllc1ter nor subsistence, the few cows, 
small, lean, and ready to drop down through want of 
pasture, are brought into the hut where the family 
resides, and freqnently share with them the small 
stock of mea] which had been purchased, or raised, for 
the family only; while the cattle thus sustained, are 
bled occasionally, to afford nourishment for the chil- 
dren after it hath been boiled or made into cakes. 
.. The sheep being left upou the open heaths, seek to 
shelter themseln-s from the inclemency of the weather 
amongst the hollows upon the lee-side of the moun- 
tains, and here they are frequently buried under the 
snow for several weeks together, and in senre seasons 
during two months or upwards. They cat their uwn 
and each other's wool, and hold out wonderfully under 
cold and hunger; but ewn in moderate winters, a 
considerable number are generally found dead after 
the snow hath disappeared, and in rigorous seasons 
few or none are left alive. 
"Meanwhile the steward, hanI pressell by letters fl"1m 
Almack's or Newmarket, demands the rent in a tone 
which makes no great allowance for unpropitions 
seasons, the death of cattle, and other accidental mis- 
fortuuEs ; disguísing the feelings of his own breast- 
his Honour's wants must at any rate be suppli
d, the 
bills must be dnly negotiated. 
"Such is the state of fanning, if it may be so called, 
throughout the interior parts of the Highlands; but 
as that country hath an extensive coast, and many 
islands, it may be supposed that the inhabitants of 
those shores enjoy all the benelits of their maritime 
situation. This, however, is not the case; those gifts 
of nature, which in any other commercial kingdom 
would have been rendered subservient to the most 
,'aluable purposes, are in Scotland lost, or nearly 
so, to the poor natiYes and the public. The only 
dilference, therefore, between thb iuhabitants of the 
interior parts and those of the more distant coasts, 
consists in this, that the latter, with the laùours of 
the field, have to encounter alternately the dangers of 
the ocean and all the fatigues of navigation. 
"To the distressingcircumstanees at home, as stated 
above, new di.fficulties and toils await the devoted 
farmer when abroad. He leaves his family in Octo- 
ber, accompanied by his sons, brothers, and frequently 
an aged parent, and embarks on board a smaJl open 
boat, in quest of the herring fishery, \\ith no other 
provision than oatmeal, potatoes. and fresh water; no 
other bedding than heath, twigs, or straw, the cover- 
ing, if any, an old sail. Thus provided, he searches 
from bay to bar, through turbulent seas, frequently 
for several weeks together, before the shoals of herrings 
are discovered. The glad tidings serve to vary, but 
not to diminish his fatigues. Uuremitting nightly 
labour (the time when the herrings are taken), pinch- 
ing cold winds, heavy seas, ullinhahited shores covered 
with snow, or deluged with rains, contribute towards 
filling up the measure of hÜ, distresses; while to men 
of such exquisite feelings as the Highlanders generally 
possess, the scene which awaits him at home does it 
Dlo;,t effectually. 
"Having disposed of his capture to the Busses, he 
returns in January through a long navigation, fre- 
qllPntly aùmidst unceasing hurricanes, not to a com- 
f<>ltable home and a cheerful family, but to a hut 
cum posed of turf, without windows, doors, or chim- 
ney, environI'd with snow, and almost hid from the 
eye by its astonishing depth. Upon entering this 
solitary manSIun, he genemlly finds a part of his 
family, sometimes the whole, lyillg upon heath or 
straw, languishing through want or epidemical disease; 
while the few surviving cows, which possess the other 


dined to believe, has slightly exaggerated the 
misery of the Highlanders in order to make 
the sin of absentee chiefs, who engross farms, 
and raise enormously the rents, as great as 
possible. Still, when compared with the state- 
ments malle by other contemporary authorities, 
the exaggeration seems by no means great, amI 
making allowances, the picture presented is a 
mocking, wc:ird contrast to the fancies of the 
sentimentalist. That such a woful state of 
things required 
dical and uncompromising 
measures of relief, no one can possibly deny. 
Yet this same writer laments most pitiably that 
20,000 of theso wretcheù people had to leave 
their wretched homes and famine-struck con- 
dition, and the oppression of their lairds, for 
lands and houses of their own in a fairer and 
more fertile land, where independence and 
affluence were at the command of all who 
cared to bend their backs to labour. 'Vhat 
gooù purpose, divine or human, could be served 
by keeping an increasing population in a land 
that cannot produce enough to keep the life in 
one-half of its people 1 Nothing but misery, 
and degradation, and oppression here; happi- 
ness, advancement, riches, and freedom on the 
other side of the water. Is there more than 
one conclusion 1 
In spite of all the emigration that has taken 
place from this country, 110 one has, we daresay, 
any real dread of depopulation; the population 
is increasing over all the land every year, not 
excepting the Highlands. As for soldiers, no 


end of the rottage, instead of furnishing further 
supplies of milk or blood, demand his immediate 
:1.ttention to keep them in existence. 
" The season nGW approaches when he is again to 
delve and labour the ground, on the same slender 
prospect of a plentiful crop or a dry haITest. The 
cattle which have survived the famine of the winter, 
are turned out to the mountains; and, having put his 
domestic affairs into the best situation which a train 
of ticcumulated misfortunes admits of, he reSllmes the 
oar. either in quest of the herring or the white fishery. 
If successful in the latter, III' St'ts out in bis open boat 
upon a voyage (taking the Hehrides ana the opposite 
coast at a medium di
tance) of 200 miles, to vend his 
(,aI'go of dried corl, ling, &c., at Greenuck or Glasgow. 
The produce, which seldom exceeds twelve or fifteen 
pounds, is laid out, in conjunction with his com- 
panions, uponllleal and fishing tackle; and he returns 
throu
h the same tedious navigation. 
" The autumn calls his attention again to the field; 
the usual round of disappointment, fatigue, and dis- 
tress awaits him; thus dragging through a \\retched 
existence in the hope of soon arriving in that country 
where the weary shall be at rest."-A View of the 
Highlands, &c., pp. 3-7. 


, 



44 


GENERAL HISTOHY o.F THE HIGHLAND:-3. 


doubt plenty win be forthcoming when wanted; 
if not so, it is not for want of men wen enough 
fitted for the occupation. As everyone 
knows, there is selùom a want of willing 
workers in this country, but far more fre- 
quently a great want of work to do. 
That by far the larger part of the surface 
of the Highland districts is suited onl)" for 
the pasturage uf sheep, is the testimony of 
everyone who knows anything about the 
subject. Those who Rpeak otherwise must 
either ignore facts or speak of what they 
do not know, urged merely by impulse and 
sentimentalism. Truo, there are many spots 
consisting of excellent soil suiteù for arable 
purpcscs, but generally where such do occur 
t
le climate is so unfavourable to successful 
agriculture that no expenditure will ever pro- 
duce an adequate return. 5 Other patches 
again, not, however, of frequent occurrence, 
have everJthing in their favour, and are as 
capable of producing luxuriant crops as the 
most fertile district of tlJe lowlands. Rut 
nearly all these arable spots, say those who 
advocate the laying of the whole count!')' ulHler 
f;heep, it is absolutely necessary to retain as 
winter pasturage, if sheep-farming is to lJe 
carried on successfuHy. The mountainous dis- 
tricts, comprising nearly the whole of the 
Highlands, are a(lmirably suited for sheep 
pasturage when the weather is mild; but in 
winter are so bleak and cold, and exposeJ to 
destructive storms, that unless the sheep 
during winter can be brought down to the low 
and sheltered grounds, the loss of a great part 
of the flocks wouM inevitably be the con- 
sequence. Hence, it is maintained, unless 
nearly the wholo of the country is allowed to 
lie waste, or unless a sheep farmer makes up 
his minel to carryon an unprofitable business, 
the amble spots in the valleys and elsewllere 
must, as a rule, be retained as pasture. And 
this seems to be the case in most districts. It 
must not be imagined, however, that the 

urface of the Highlands is one universal 
expanse of gre('n and brown fragrant heath('r ; 
every tourist knows that in almost every glen, 
by the side of many lochs, streams, and bogs, 
patches of cultivated land are to be met with, 


5 See Olù and New Statistical Accounts, passim. 


bearing good crops of oats, barley, potatocs, 
and turnips. These productions chiefly helong 
to the large sheep farmers, and are intended 
for the use of themselves, their servants, and 
cattle, and but seldom have they any to dis- , 
pose of. Others of these arable spots belong to 
small farmers, the race of whom is happily not 
yet extinct. But, on the whole, it would 
seem that so far as agricultural products are 
concerned, the Highlands selL1om, if ever, pro- 
duce sufficient to supply the wants of the 
inhabitants, importation being tIms necessary. 
A curious and interesting point connected 
with the introduction of sheep into the High- 
lands may be mentionerl here :-By means of 
this innovation, the whole aspect of the 
country seems to have been changed. Pre- 
vious to that, the whole country seems to have 
borne a universal aspect of blackness, rarely 
relieyed by a spot of green, arising from the 
fact that almost the only product of the moun- 
tains was dark-brown heath. Captain Burt 
and others who visited the High)ands previous 
to the extensive introduction of sheep, indulgo 
in none of the raptures over Highland scenery, 
that the most common-place and prosy tourist 
thinks it his duty to get into at the present 
day. They speak of the country almost with 
horror, as a black howling wilderness, full of 
bogs and big boulders, and almost unfit for 
human habitation. They could see no beauty 
in the country that it should be desired; it 
was a place to get out of as soon as possible. 
How far these sentiments may have been 
justified b)' facts it is impossible now to say; 
but it is the almost universal assertion by the 
writers in the Old Statistical Account, that the 
appearance of the Highland hills was rapitlly 
changing, and that instead of the universal 
dark-brown heath which previously covered 
them, there was springing up the light-brown 
heath and short green bcnt or strong grass so 
well known to all modern tourists. If the 
Highland hills formerly bore anything like 
the aspect presented at the present day by 
the dreary black wet hills of Shetland, the 
remarks of Burt and others need not clluse 
astonishment. But as the great outlines and 
peculiar features of the country must have 
been the same then as now, we suspect that 
these early English adventurers into the High- 



1- 


HIGHLANDS UNSUITED TO BLACK CATTLE. 


4ri 


lands wanted training in scenery or were 
determined to see nothing to admire. But, 
indeed, admiration of and hunting for fine 
I scenery seem to be quite a modern fashion, 
I and were quite unknown to our ancestors 
in the beginning of last century, or were 
confined to a few crazy poets. 1\1eu require 
to be trained to use their eyes in this as in 
many other respects. There can be no doubt 
that the first impulse to the admiration of 
I the HigWanùs and Highlanders was giyen by 
the poems and novels of Sir Walter Scott; 
it was he who set the sheepish stream of 
I tourists agoing, and indirectly to him many a 
Highlaud hotel-keeper owes a handsome for- 
tune. The fact at all events seems unquestion- 
able, that the extensive introduction of sheep 
has to a large extent changed the external 
aspect of the Highlands. 
It must not be imagined that, previous to 
the changes we are speaking of, there were no 
sheep in the Highlands; there were always a 
few of a very small native breed, but the 
staple stock of the Highland farmer was, as we 
previously mentioned, black cattle. The sheep, 
however, have also to a very large extent 
superseded them, a fact which is deplored by 
those who lament the many innovations which 
which have been introduced since 1745. But 
by all accounts much of the country is un- 
suited to the pasturage of black cattle, and as 
cattle and sheep do not thrive well together, 
the only alternative seems to be the introduc- 
tion of sheep alone into those districts unsuited 
for cattle. " 1\10re than one-third of the 
country consist8 of mountains and declivities 
I too steep and abrupt for black cattle, and the 
grass they produce too short and fine to afford 
them a tolerable pasture except in the height 
of summer. The greater part of the pasture is 
therefore lost, though it might all be benf'fi- 
cially consumed with sheep. A flock of sheep 
will thrive where cows and oxen would starve, 
and will go at all seasons of the year to such 
heights as are inaccf'ssiLle to black cattle. . . . 
In a situation of this kind the very wocl of a 
flock would amount to more than the whole 
profit to be obtained by black cattle."6 The 
only conclusion to be dmwn from these state- 


1- 


CI Walker's 1/ebrides and Highlands. 


ments is, that the wisest thing that could be 
done was to introduce sheep into those dis- 
tricts which were being wasted on black 
cattle. 
Along with the introduction of sheep, in- 
deed, to a great extent caused by that, was the 
enlargement of farms, which with the mising I 
of rents led to the depopulation of many dis- 
tricts. The old system of letting farms in 
the Highlands has already been sufficiently 
explained, and the introduction of sheep 
seems to haye rendered it necessary that this 
old system should be abolished, and that 
a large extent of country should be taken 
by one man. The question between large I 
and small farms does not appear to US to 
be the same as between the old and new 
system of letting land. Under the old system, 
a farm of no great extent was often let to a I 
large number of tenants, who frequently sub 
divided it still more, by either sub-letting part, 
or by sharing their respective portions with 
their newly-married sons and daughters. The ' 
testimony as to the perniciousness of this old 
system is uniyersal; it 'YaS, and until recently 
continued to be, the chief source of all the 
misfortunes that have afflicted the Highlands. 
As to whether, however, this old system should 
have been entirely abolished, or wh!:!ther some 
modification of it might not have been retained, 
has ùeen a matter of dispute. Some maintain I 
that the Highlands can be profitably managed 
only on the large farm system, and only thus 
can sheep be made to pay, while others assert 
that, though many districts are suitable for 
large farms, still there are others that might 
with great profit be divided into small hold- 
ings. By this latter method, it is said, a fair 
proportion of all clases would be maintained 
in the Highlands, noblemen, gentlemen, 
farmers large and small, cottars, labourers, 
and that only when there is such a mixture 
can a country be said to be prosperous. 

roreover, it is held a proprietor, who in this 
country should be considered as a steward 
rather than the ah
flluto owner of his estate, 
has no right to exdude the small farmer from 
having a chance of making a respectable living 
ùy the occupation f'll' which 118 is suited; that 
he stands in the "V;:\] of llÌs own and hi;i 
I country's interests when he discourages the 
---1 


, 



'-I 
I 
I 
I 
I 
J 
I 
I 


4G 


GE
ERÀL IIISTOTIY OF THE HIGHLAXDS. 


small farmer, for only by a mixture of the two they have fair play-will ultimately lead to 
sJ stems can the land be made the most of; the best system of managing the land of tho 
and that, to say the least of it, it is selfish and Highlawls and of every other district, both in 
wrong in proprietors not to consider the Case the interests of the proprietors and those of 
of the poor as well as the rich. the tenants. If proprietors find it most pro- 
Ou the question as to the expediency of fitable to let their laIllls in large lots, either 
large or small farms we cannot pretend tu be for agriculture, for cattle, for sheep, or fur 
able to jlHlge; we know too little of its real deer, there is no reason why they should not 
merits. However, it appears to us that there do so, and there is no doubt that in the end 
is no reason why both systems cannot he very what is most ad vantageous to the proprietor is 
well combined in many parts of the Highlands, so to the tenant, and vice ve1.sa, as also to the 
although there are many distIicts, we helieve, country at large. If, on the other hand, it be 
totally unsuited for anything else but sheep- found that letting land in small lots is more 
farms of the largest dimensions. 'V ere the fJrofitable than the other practice, few pro- 
small farms made large enough to sufficiently prietors, we daresay, would hesitate to cut up 
support the farmer and his family, and remu- their land into suitable lots. But all this, we 
nerate him for his cutlay aud labour, were think, must be left to experiment, and it can- 
precautions taken against the subdivision of nut be said that the Highlands as a whole 
these moderate-size II hoMings, aUlI were leases have 'IS yet got beyond the stage of probation; 
of sufficient duration grantell to all, jt seems to changes from small to large and from large to 
us that there is nothing in the nature of things slllall farms-mostly the former-and chanb('
 
why there should not be farms of a small size in from sheep to deer and deer to sheep are still 
the Highlands as well as farms covering many going on; but, no doubt, ere long both pro- 
tuiles in extent. \\T e certainly do think it too prietors and tenants of land will find out what 
bad to cut out the small respectaltle class (If their real common interest is, and adjust tllPJn- 
farmers entirely, and put the land of the selves ill their proper relations to each other. I 
country in the hands of it sort of farmer aris- It is best to leave them alone anll allow them 
tocracy; it is unfair and prejndicial to the to fight the battle out between themRelves. 
best interests of the country. Ðut the small Interference was attempted at the end of last 
farmers must first show that they deserve to century to stop emigration and to settle the 
be considered; certainly the small farmers I ousted tenants on small lots by the sea-shore, 
under the old Highland system, which we where both fishing and farming couhl be 
believe is not yet quite extinct in some carried on, but the interference did no goud. 
remote districts, deserved only to have the Emigration was nut diminished, although 
land they so Iuismanage,l taken from them and curiously it was the proprietors themselvcs, 
g-iven to otlJers who could make a better nse of who subsequently di(l their best to promote 
it. Some consiùeration, we think, ought to be emigration, that at this time attempted to stop 
had towards the natives of the cOUlltry, those it. The people seem generally until lately to 
whose ancestors have occupied the lanJ for have been quite willing and even anxious to 
centuries, and if they are able to pay as good emigrate at least tlwse of most intelligence; 
a rent as otheI'!3, and show themselves willing not that they caTed not for their country, but 
to manage the land as well, in all humanity that, however much they loved it, there was 
they ought to have the preference. lJut these no good in staying at home when nothing but 
are matters which we think ought to he left to misery and starvation stared them in the face. 
al1just themselves according to the inevitablc "r e say that the lanùlorùs awl others, includ- 
laws which regulate all human 
tffairs. 1nter- I ing the Highland Society, interfered, and 
ference in any way between landlord anll cnù\'.avoured to get government to interfere, to 
tenant by way of \lenunciation, vituperation, or prevent the great emigrations which were 
legislation, seems to us only to make matters going on, and which they feared would {Ire 
worse. It seems to u
 that the simplest COIll- long leave the country utterly peopleless. TIut 
mercialmaxims-the laws of profit and loss, if the intcrference was of no use, and was quite 



FISHING AND F.é\n:
IING CANNOT DE PROFITABLY UNITED. 47 


uncalled for. Emigration still went on, and 
will g0 on so long as there is a necessity for 
it; and the country will always have plenty of 
inha1Jitants so long as it can afford a decent 
subsistence. "\Vhen men know better the laws 
of sociology-the laws which govern human 
affairs-interft'rellce of this kind will be simply 
laughed at. 
The scheme of the landlorlls-who, while 
they raised the rents and extended their farms, 
were still loath to lose their numerous tenants 
and retainers-of settling those on the coast 
w here they could combine farming and fishing, 
failed also, for the simple reason that, as it has 
lleen fairly proved, one man cannot unite 
successfully the two occupations in his own 
person. In this sense "no man can serve two 
masters." "No two occupations can be more 
incompatible than farming and fishing, as the 
seasons which require undivided exertion in 
fishing are precisely those in which the greatest 
attentioll should be devoted tù agriculture. 
Grazing, which is less incompatible with 
fishing than agriculture, is even found to dis- 
tract the attention and prevent success in 
either occupation. This is demonstrated by 
the very different success of those who unite 
both occupations from those who devote thelll- 
sehres exclusively to fishing. Indeed, the 
industrious fisher finds the whole season barely 
sufficient for the labours of his proper occupa- 
tion."7 It seems clear, then, that the High- 
land proprietors should be left alone and 
allowed to Jispl
se of their land as they think 
fit, just as the owner of any other commercial 
commodity takes it to whatever market he 
chooses, and no harm accrues from it. If the 
Highland pcasantry and farmers see it to be to 
their advantage to leave their native land and 
settle in a far-off soil where they will have 
some good return for hard work, we do not 
see that there is allY call for interference or 
lamentation. Give all help and counsel to 
those who require and deserve them by all 
means either to stay at home or go abroad; but 
to those who are able to think and free to act 
for themselves nothing is neceseary lmt to be 
left alone. 
As we have already said, another cause 


7 "Essay on The FisherÙ's of Scotland, in Highland J 
Society Pri;;e Essays, vol. ii. 


of emigration besiùes sheep-farming, though 
to some extent associated with it, was the 
raising of rents. K aturally enough, when 
the number of tenants upon a laird's estate 
ceased to make him of importance and give 
him power, he Bought by raising his rents to 
give himself the importance derived from a 
large income. There can be no doubt that, 
previous to this, farms were let far helow their 
real value, and often at a merely nominal rent; 
and thus oue of the greatest incitements to 
industry was wanting in the CaBe of the High- 
land tenants, for when a man knows that his 
landlord will not trouble him about his rent, 
but would rather let him go scot.free than lose 
him, it is too much to expect of human nature 
in general that it will bestir itself to do what 
it feels there is no absolute necessity for. 
Thus habits of idleness were engendered in the 
Highlanders, and the land, for want of indus- 
trious cultivation, was allowed to run compara- 
tively waste. That the thinning of the popu- 
lation gave those who remained a better chance 
of improving their condition, is testified to 
by many writers in the Old Statistical Account, 
and by other contemporary authorities, in- 
cluùing even Dr "r alker, who was no friend 
to emigration. He says,8 "these measures 
in the management of property, and this emi- 
gration, were by no means unfriendly to the 
population of the country. The sub-tenants, 
who form the bulk of the people, were not 
only retained but raised in their Rituation, and 
rendered more useful and independent." It is 
amusing now to read Dr \Valker's remarks on 
the consequences of emigration from the High- 
lands; had his fears been substantiated,-and 
had they been well grounded, they ought to 
have been by this time, for sheep-farming, 
rent-raising, depopulation
 and emigration have 
neen going on rapidly ever since his time-the 
Highlands must now have been "a waste 
howling wilderness." "If the [Hig1Jlanders]," 
he says,9 "are cxpe1l0d, the Highlands neyer 
('an he reclaimed or improved by any other set 
of men, but must remain a mere grazing-field 
for Englanù and the South of Scotland. By 
this alteration, indeed, the present rents may, 
no doubt, bo augmented, but. they must becomo 


ts Hf'b1"'idcs and HighlallAs, vol. ii. p. 406. 
9 Idem, p. 409. 



18 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAXDS. 


immediately stationary, without any prospeet I tion as Dr 1Yalker and others do in the fac( 
of further advancement, and will in time from of such woful facts as are known concerning 
obvious causes be liable to great diminution. the condition of the Highlands is mere selfish 
All improvement of the country must cease and wicked sentimentalism. 
when the people to improve it are gone. Tho Another fact, stated by the same author, and 
soil must remain unsubdued for ever, and the which might have taught him better doctrines 
progress of Ule Highlands must be finally in connection with some of the border parishes, 
stopt, while all the cultivated wastes of the is worth introducing here. The population of 
kingdom are advancing in population and seventeen parishes in Dumbartonshire, Perth- 
wealth." How these predictions have been shire, and Argyllshire, bordering on the low 
I belied by facts, all who know anything of the country, decreased in population between 1735 
progress of the Highlanùs during the present anù 1795, from 30,525 to 26,748, i.e., by 3,787; 
century must perceive. All these changes and these parishes having been during that time to 
even grievances have taken place, and yet the a great extent laid out in cattle and sheep. 
Highlands are far enough from anything K ow, according to the Old Statistical Account 
approximating to depopulat.ion or unproùuc- (about 1795), these very parishes were on the 
tiveness, and rents, we believe, have not 
'et whole among the most prosperous in the 
ceased to rise. Highlands, those in 'which improvements were 
Notwithstanding the large emigration which taking place most rapidly, and in which the 
llas been going on, the population of the conùition of the people was growing more and 
Highlands at the census of 1861 was at least more comfortable. It appears to us clear that 
70,000 greater than it was in tho time of Dr the population of the Highlands diù require 8 
"T alker. l The emigration, especially from the very considerable thinning; that depopulation 
west, does not seem to have been large enough, to a certain extent was, and in some places 
for periodically, up even to the present day, still is, a necessary condition to improvement. 
8 rueful call for help to save from famine The main question is, we think, how to get 
comes from that quarter." This very year these districts which are in a state of \\"retch- 
(1863) the cry of destitution in Skye has been edness anù retrogression from over-population 
loud as ever, and yet from no part of the rid of the surplus. Unless some suddeD 
Highlands has there been a more extensivo check be put upon the rate of increase of 
emigration. J.;
rom the very earliest period in the general population, there never will be 
the history of emigration down to this date, a lack of hands to bring in the waste places 
Skye has been largely drawn upon, and yet the when wanted, and to supply all other de- 
body of the people in Skye were never more manùs for men. No doubt, it is a pity, if it 
wretched than at this moment."2 Dr 'Yalker be the case, that any extrnsive districts which 
llÏmself states that, in spite of an emigration of could be brought tt) a high style of culti. 
about 6000 between the years 1771 and 1794 vation, and wOlùd then be better employed 
from the Hebrides and 'Yestern Highlands, the than in pasture should be allowed to lie waste, , 
poptùation had increased by about 40,000 when there is every necessity for the land 
during the forty years subsequent to 1750. 3 being made to yield as much as possible. And 
Yet though he knew of the wretched condition if the Highlanders are willing, it certainly does 
of the country from an over-crowded popula- seem to be better to keep them at home and 
tion, practical man as he was, he gives way to employ them for such purposps rather than let 
the vague and unjustifiable fears expressed them go a"Proad and give their services to 
above. It is no doubt sad to see the people of strangers. 'Ye should fancy the larger 8 
.t country, anù these possessing many high population there is in a country whcre there is 
qualities, compelled to leave it in order to get room enough for tllem, and which can give 
room to breathe; but to tirade against emigra- them enough to eat and drink, the better for 
that country. All we maintain is, tJ"lat it 
being proved that the population in many 
parts of the Highlands having been redundant. 


1 Rocial Science Transactions for 1863, p. 608. 
2 Idem. 
, Hebrides, &c., vol. ii. p. 401 



R
USING RENTS-DEPOPULATION. 


49 


80 much so as to lead to misery and degrada- all uniformly acted towards their old tenants 
tion, it was far better that the surplus should with humanity, judiciousness, and unselfish- 
emigrate than that they should be kept at ness, much misery, misunderstanding, and 
I home to increase the misery and be an ob- bitter ill-will might have been avoided. It 
I struction to the progress of the country. Keep is, we venture to believe, quite against th9 
them at home if possible; if not, permit them spirit of the British constitution as it now 
without any weak sentimental lamentation to exists, and quite out of accordance with en- 
go abroad. It has been said that if the High- lightened reason and justice, not to say huma- 
lander is compelled to leave his native glen, nity, that these or any other landed proprietors 
he would ag soon remove to a distance of 4000 should be allowed to dispose of their land as 
as to a distance of 40 miles; and that indeed they choose without any cO'llsideration for the 
many of them, since they must move, prefer people whose fathers have been on it for cen- 
to leave the country altogether - rather than turies, or without regard to the interests of the 
settle in an;r part of it out of sight of their country to which the land belongs. J\Ianyof 
native hills. There is no doubt much truth the Highland proprietors, in their haste to get 
in this, so that the outcry about keeping the rich, or at least to get money to spend in the 
Highlanders at home is to a great extent fashionable world, either mercilessly, and with- 
uncalled for; they don't wish to stay at home. out warning, cleared their estates of the tenants, 
ötill many of them have been willing to settle or most ullseasonably oppressed them in the 
in the lowlands or in other parts of the High- matter of rf'nt. The great fault of many of the 
lallds. \Ve have already referred to the great landlords-for they were not all alike-was 
services rendered by the ousted tenants on the in bringing about too suddenly changes, in 
borders of the Perthshire and Dumbartonslùre themselves, perhaps, desirable enough. Uents 
Highlands who settled in the neighbourhood seem to have been too suddenly raised to such 
of Stirling and reclaimed many thousand acres a rate as tended to inspire the tenant with de- 
of Kincardine moss, now a fertile strath. spair of being able to meet it. Some also, in 
Similar services have been rendered to other their desire to introduce the large farm system, 
barren parts of the country by many High- swept the tenants off the ground without warn- 
landers, who formerly spent their time in ing, and left them to provide for themselves; 
lolling idleness, but who, when thus given the while others made a show of providing for 
opportunity, showed themselyes to be as them by settling them in hamlets by the sea- 
capable of active and profitable exertion as side, where, in general, they were worse off 
any lowland peasant or farmer. J\IallY High- than ever. It was in their utter want of con- 
landers also, when deprived of their farms, sideration for these old tenants that many of 
removed to some of our large towns, and by the Highland landlords were to blame. Had 
their exertions raised thems('lves and their they raised the rents gradually, extended the 
families to an honourable and comfortable size of their farms slowly, giving the old 
position, such as they could never have hoped tenants a chance under the new system, and 
to reach had they never left their native hills. doing their best to put these necessarily ejected 
By all means keep the Highlanders at home if in a way of making a living for themselves, 
they are willing to stay and there is work for tried to educate their people up to the age in 
them to do; but what purpose can be served the matter of agriculture, social habits, and 
in urging them to stay at home if the conse- othcr matters; lived among them, and shown 
quence be to increase the alre
t<ly enormous them a good example ;-in short, as proprietor::;, 
sort of pauperism 
 rigidly done their duty to their tenants, as 
That the landlords, the representatives of descendants of the old chiefs treated with 
the old chiefs, were not accountable for much some tender consideration the Bons of those 
of the evil that flowed from Ule changes of who worshipped and bled for the fathers of 
which we have been speaking, no one who their clan, and as men, shown some charity and 
knows the history of the Highlands during the kindness to their poorer brethren, the improvtJ- 
l
t cf3ntury will venture to assert. Had they Iment of the Highlands might have been brought 
II. 0 



50 


GENERAL HISTORY O:F THE HIGHLANDS. 


about at a much less expense of misery and 
rancour. That these old Hignlanders were 
open to improvement, enlightenment, and edu- 
cation, when judiciously managed, is proved 
'hy what took place in some of the border and 
other districts, where many improvements were 
'3ffected without great personal inconvenience 
t) anyone, and without any great or sudden 
diminution of the population. Especially in 
the "r estern and .x orthern Highlands and the 
Islands, the lancllords went to extremes in 
both directions. Some of them acted as we 
have just indicated, while others again, moved 
by a laudable consideration for, and tenderness 
towards the old tenants, retained the old system 
of small holdings, which they allowed to be now 
and then still more subdivided, endeavouring, 
often Ullsuccessfully, to obtain a rise of rent. 
III most cases the latter courso was as fatal and 
as productive of misery and ruin as the former. 
Indeed, in some cases it was more so; for not 
only was the lot of the tonant not improved, 
but the laird had ultimately to sell his estate 
for behoof of his creditors, and himself emi- 
grate to the lowlanrls or to a foreign country. 
This arose from the fact that, as the number 
of tenants increased, the farms were diminished 
ill size more and more, until they could neither 
support the tenant nor yield the landlord a 
rent adequate to his support. In this way 
have many of the old hospitable chiefs with 
small estates dropped out of sight; and their 
places filled by some rich low land mel'chants, 
who would show little tenderness to the 
helpless tenantry. 
But it is an easy matter now to look calmly 
back on these commntions and changes among 
the Highlanders, and allot praise or blame to 
chiefs and people for the parts they played, 
forgetting all the time how difficult these parts 
were. Something decisive had to be done to 
prevent the Highlands from sinking into in- 
concei vaùle misery and barbal'ism; and had the 
lairds sat still and done nothing but allow
d 
their estates to be managed on the old footing, 
ruin to themselves and their tenants would 
have been the consequence, as indeed was the 
case with most of those who did so. It was 
very natural, then, that they should deem it 
better to save themf:elves at the expense of 
their tenants, than that both lan(l and tenallts 


should be involved in a common ruin. The
' 
were not the persons to find out the best mode 
of managing their estates, so that they them- 
selves might be saved, and the welfare of their 
tenants only considered. In some cases, no 
doubt, the lairds were animated by utter in- 
difference as to the fate of their tenants; but 
we are inclined to think these were few, and 
that. most of them would willingly have done 
much for the welfare of their people, and many 
of them did what they could; but their fin;t 
and most natural instinct was that of self- 
preservation, and in order to save themselves, 
they were frequently compelled to resort to 
measures which brought considerable suffering 
upon their poor tenants. We have no doubt 
most did their best, according to their know- 
ledge and light, to act well their parts, and 
deal fairly with their people; but the parts 
were so difficult, and the actors were so Ull- 
accustomed to their ne"w situation, that they 
are not to be too severely blamed if they 
sometimes blundered. No matter how gently 
changes might have been brought about, suf- 
fering and bitterness would necessarily to a 
certain extent have followed; and however 
much we may deplore the great amount of un- 
necessary suffering that actually occurreù, still 
we think the lasting benefits which have ac- 
crued to the Highlands from the changes which 
were maùe, far more than counterbalance this 
temporary evil. 
"\Vhat we have been saying, while it applies 
to many recent changes in the Highlands, re- 
fers chiefly to the period between 1750 and 
1800, during which the Highlands were in a 
state of universal fermentation, and chiefs and 
people were only beginning to realise their 
position and perceive what were their true in- 
terests. "\Ve shall very briefly notice one or 
two other matters of interest connected with 
that period. 
The only manufacture of any consequence 
that has ever been introduced into the High
 
lands is that of kelp, which is the ashes of 
various kinds of sea-weed containing some of 
the salts, potash, and chiefly soda, used in 
Rome of the manufactures, as soap, alum, gla
s, 
&c. It is used as a substitute for barilla, im- 
ported from Spain, America, and other places 
(luring the latter part of last century. on 



MANUFACTURE OF KELP. 


51 


account of the American amI continental wars, 
as well as of the high duties imposed on the 
importation of salt and similar commodities. 
The weeds are cut from the rocks with a hook 
or collectell on the shore, and dried to a cer- 
tain degree on tlle beach. They are afterwards 
burnt in a kiln, in which they are constantly 
stirred with an iron rake until they reach a 
fluid state; and when they cool, the ashes be- 
come condensed into a dark blue or whitish- 
coloured mass, neady of the hardness and 
solidity of rock. The manufacture is carried 
on during June, July, and August; and even 
at the present day, in some parts of the Islands 
and Highlands, affords occupation to consider- 
able numbers of both sexes. 4 This manufac- 
ture seems to have been introduced into some of 
the lowland parts of the Scottish coast early in 
the eighteenth century, but was not thoroughly 
established in the Highlands till about the 
,year 1750. At first it was of little import- 
ance, but gradually the manufacture spread 
until it became universal over all the western 
islands and coasts, and the value of the article, 
from the causes above-mentioned, rose rapidly 
from about Æl per ton, when first introduced, 
to from Æl2 to .f20 per ton 5 about the begin- 
ning of the present century. "rhile the great 
value of the article lasted, rents rose enor- 
mously, anli the income of proprietors of kelp- 
shore rose in proportion. As an example, it 
may be stated that the rent of the estate of 
Clanranald in South Uist previous to 1790 was 
Æ2200, which, as kelp increased in value, 
rapidly rose to Æ 15,000. 6 'Yhile the kelp 
season lasted, the whole time of the people was 
occupied in its manufacture, and the wages 
they received, while it added somewhat to 
their scanty income, and increased their com- 
fort, were small in proportion to the time and 
labour they gave, and to the prices received by 
those to whom the kelp belonged. :Moreover, 
while the kelp-fever lasted, the cultivation of 
the ground and other agricultural matters seem 
to have been to a great extent neglected, ex- 
travagant habits were contracted by the pro- 
prietors, whose incomes were thus so consider- 
ably increased, and the permanent improve- 


-I B
alltirs of Scotland, vol. v. p. 95. 
6 Kew Statistical ACCO'llnt of Bamy. 
41 New Stat. Account of South Uist 


ment of their estates were neglected in their 
eagerness to make the most of an article whose 
value, they did not perceive, was entirely 
factitious, and cOlùd not be lasting. Instead 
of either laying past their surplus income or 
expending it on the permanent improvement of 
their estates, they very foolishly lived up to it, 
or borrowed heavily in the belief that kelp 
would never decrease in value. The c.onse- 
quence was that when the duties were taken 
off the articles for which kelp was used as a 
substitute in the earlier part of the 19th 
century, the price of that article gradually 
diminished till it could fetch, about 1830-40, 
only from .f2 to Æ4 a ton. 'Yith this the 
incomes of the proprietors of kelp-shores also 
rapidly decreased, landing not a few of them 
in ruin and bankruptcy, and leading in some 
instances to the sale of the estates. The 
income above mentioned, after the value of 
kelp decreased, fell rapidly from .,t15,OOO to 
Æ5000. The manufacture of this article is still 
carried on in the 1Vest Highlands and Islands, 
and to a greater extent in Orkney, but although 
it occupies a considerable number of hands, it 
is now of comparatively little importance, much 
more of the sea-weed being employed as manure. 
"
hile it was at its best, however, tho manu- 
facture of this article undoubtedly increased to 
a very large extent the revenue of the West 
Highlands, and gave employment to and kept 
at home a considerable number of people who 
otherwise might have emigrated. Indeed, it 
was partly on account of the need of many 
hands for kelp-making that proprietors did all 
they could to prevent the emigration of those 
rel1'0ved from the smaller farms, and tried to 
ind nce them to settle on the coast. On the 
whole, it would seem that this sudden source 
of large income lùtimately did more harm than 
good to the people and to the land. 'Vhile 
this manufacture flourished, the land was to a 
certain extent neglected, and the people some- 
what unfitted for agricultural labour; instead 
of looking upon this as a temporary source of 
income, and li\Ting accordingly, both they and 
the proprietors lived as if it should never fail, 
so that when the value of kelp rapidly de- 
creased, ruin and a1Jsolute poverty stared both 
proprietors and people in the face. 
roreover, 
by preventing the small tenants from leaving 



5
 


GENETIAL-. HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


the country, and accumulating them on the 
coasts, the country became enormously over- 
peopled, so that when the importance of this 
AOlITCe of employment waned, lllultitudf's were 
left with little or no means of livelihood, and 
the temporary benefits which accrued to the 
Highlanders from the adventitious value of 
krlp, indirectly entailed upon them ultimately 
hardships and misfortunes greater than ever 
they experienced before, and retarded consider- 
ably their progress towards permanent im- 
provement. 
By all accounts the potato, intrOlluced from 
Chili into Sl)ain about the middle of the 
ßixteenth century, was first introduced into 
Ireland by or through the instrnmentality of 
Sir 'Yalter Raleigh about the end of that cen- 
tury. :From IrPland it seems shortly after to 
havo been introduced into England, although 
its cultivation did not become anything like 
common till more than a century afterwards, 
and its use seems to have been restricted to the 
upper classes. 7 Its value as a staple article 
of food for the poorer classes remained for long 
unappreciated. According to the Old Statisti- 
cal Account of Scotland, potatoes were first 
cultivated in the fields there in the county of 
Stirling, in tho year 173:.1, although for long 
aft or that, in many parts of the country, they 
were planted only as a garden vegetable. 
According to Dr 'Yalker, potatoes were first 
introduced into the Hebritles from Ireland in 
the year 1743, the island of South Uist being 
the first to welcome the strange root, although 
the welcome from the inhabitants seems to 
have been anything but hearty. The story of 
its introdu
tjon, as told by Dr 'Yalker,8 is 
amusing, though somewhat ominolls when read 
in the light of subsequent melancholy facts. 
"In the spring of that year, old Clanronald 
was in Ireland, upon a visit to his relation, 
l\[acdonnel of Antrim; he saw with surprise 
awl approl)atioll the practice of the country, 
and having a vessel of his own along with him, 
brought home a large cargo of potatoes. On 
his arrival, the tenants in the island were con- 
vened, and directed how to plant them, but 
they all refused. On this they were all com- 
mitted to prison. After a little confinement, 


7 Rural Cyclopædia, article POT A TO. 
!' Hebrides ancllIigltlands, vol. i. p. 251. 


they agreed, at last, to plant these unknown 
roots, of which they had a very unfavourable 
opinion. "\Yhen they were raised in autunm, 
they were laid down at the chieftain's gate, by 
some of the tenants, who said, the Laird in- 
deed might order them to plant these foolish 
roots, but th
f would not be forced to eat 
them. In a very little time, however, the in- 
habitants of South Uist came to know better, 
when every man of them wOlùd have gone to 
prison rather than not plant potatoes." 
By the year 1760 potatoes appear to have 
become a common crop all over the country; 
and by 1770 they seem to have attained to 
that importance as a staple mticle of food for 
the common people which they have ever since 
maintained. 9 The importance of the introduc- 
tion of tbis valuable article of food, in respect 
both of the weal and the woe of the Highlands, 
cannot be over-estimated. As an addition to 
the former scanty means of existence it was 
invaluable; had it been used only as an addi- 
tion the Highlanders might have been spared 
much suffering. Instead of this, however, it 
ere long came to be regardf'd as so all-impor- 
tant, to be cultivated to such Ii large extent, 
and to the exclusion of other valuable produc- 
tions, and to be depended upon by the great 
majority of the Highlan(lers as almost their 
sole food, that one failure in the crop by disease 
or otherwise must inevitably have entailf'd 
famine and misery. For so large 8 share of 
their food did the common lIigWanders look 
to potatoes, that, according to the Old Statis- 
tical Account, in many places they fed on little 
else for nine months in the year. 
The first remarkable scarcity subsequent to 
1 'i 45 appears to ha,re been in the year 1770,1 
arising apparently from the unusual severity of 
the weather, causing the desbruction of most of 
the crops, and many of the cattle. That, how- 
ever, of 1782-83 seems to have been still more 
terrible, and universal over all the Highlands, 
according to the Old Statistir:al Account. It 
was only the interference of government and 
the charity of private individuals that prevented 
multitudes from dying of starvation. Neither 
of these famines, however, seem to have been 


9 Tennant's Tour, vol. ii. p. 306. 
1 Johnson's TouT,.p. 196, and Pennant in se\'cral 
places. 



PROGRESS )IADE IN THE EIGHTEEKTH CENTURY. 


53 


caused by any failure ill the potato crop from 
disease, but simply by the inclemeney of 
seasons. But when to this latter danger tl1ere 
came subsequently to be added the liability of 
the staple article of food to fail from disease, 
the chances of frequently recurring famines 
came to be enormously increased. About 
1838 potatoes constituted four-fifths of the 
food of the common Higlanders. 2 However, 
we are anticipating. It is sufficient to note here 
as a matter of great importance in connection 
with the later social history of the Higlùands, 
the universal cultivation of the potato some- 
time after the midcUe of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Even during the latter part of last cen- 
tury, potato-disease was by no means unknown, 
I though it appears to have been neither so 
destructive nor so widespread as some of the 
L'orms of disease developed at a later period. 
Sew forms of disease attacked the root during 
the early part of the present century, working 
at times considerable havo\"), but never appa- 
rently inducing anything approaching a famine. 
But about 1840, the potato disease par excel- 
lence seems to have made its first appearance, 
and after visiting various parts of the world, 
including the Highlands, it broke out generally 
in 1845, and in 1846 entailed upon the High- 
lands indescribable suffering and hardship. 
Of this, however, more shortly. One effect 
attributed frequently in the Old Btatisb"cal 
Account to the introduction and immoderate 
use of the potato is the appearance of diseases 
before unknown or very rare. One of the 
principal of these was dropsy, which, whethcl' 
owing to the potato or not, became certainly 
more prevalent after it came into common use, 
if we may trust the testimony of the writers of 
the Stafistical AN'ount. 
In looking back, then, by the aid of the 
authority just mentioned, along with others, 
on the progress made by the Highlands during 
the latter half of the eighteenth century, 
while there is much to sadden, still thorc is 
much that is cheering. The people generally 
appear in a state of ferment and discontent 
with themselves, and doing their Lest hlindly 
I to gn'pe their way to a better position. 'Vhile 
still there remain many traces of the old 



 Ful1arton & Dairll's RC1na1"ks on the Ilighlands 
(!,lid Islmuls, p. 10. 1838. 


thraldom
 there are many indications that 
freedom and a desire after true progress were 
slowly spreading among the people. :Many of 
the old grievous services were still retained; 
still were there many districts thiTled to par- 
ticular mills; still were leases rare and tenures 
uncertain, and rents frequently paid in kind; 
in many districts the houses were still unsightly 
and uncomfortable huts
 the clothing scanty, 
and the food wretched and insufficient. In 
most Highland districts, we fear, the old 
Scotch plough, with its four or five men, and 
its six or ten cattle, was still the principal 
instrument of tillage; drainage was all but r 
unknown; the land was overstocked in many 
places with people and cattle; the ground was ' 
scourged with incessant cropping, and much I 
of the produce wasted in the gathering and in ! 
the preparing it for food. Education in many 
places was entirely neglected, schools few and 
far between, and tf'achers paid worse thall 
ploughmen! The picture has certainly a bìack 
enough background, but it is not unrelieved hy 
a few bright and hopeful strf'aks. 
On many parts of the border-Highlands im- 
provements had been introduced w hi
h placed 
them in every respect on a level with the low- 
lands. :Mauy of the old services had been 
aholished, leases introduced, the old and in- 
efficient agricultural instrument repl3.ced 11Y 
others made on the most approved Bystem. 
Houses, food, and clothing were all improved; 
indeed, in the case of the last art.icle, there is 
frequent complaint made that too much atten- 
tion and money were expended on mere orna- 
mentation. The old method of constant 
cropping had in not a fpw districts been 
abolishe(l, and a proper system of rotat.ion 
established; more attention was paid to pro- 
per manuring and ingathering, and instead of 
restricting the crops, as of old, to oats and 
barley, many other new cereals, and a variety 
of green crops and grasses had been intro- 
duced. Not only in the districts bordering on 
the Lowlands, but in many other parts of the 
Highlands, the breed of sheep, and cattle, anll 
horses had been improved, and a much more 
profitable Systl'lll of management introlhwed. 
By means of merciful emigration, the by far 
too redundant population of the Highlawls 
had been considerably reduc(>d, the positioll 



54 


GENERAL HISTORY OF fHE HIGHLANDS. 


of those who left the country vastly improved, 
and more room and more means of living 
afforded to those who remained. A more 
rational system of dividing the land prevailed 
in many places, and sheep-farming-for which 
alone, according to all unprejudiced testimony 
 
the greater part of the surface of the HighlandH 
is fitted - had been extensively introduceò.. 
The want of education was beginning to be 
felt, and in many districts means were being 
taken to spread its advantages, while the 
moral and religious character of the people, as 
a whole, stood considerably above the average 
of most other districts of Scotland. In short, 
the Highlanders, left to themselves, were 
ad vancing gradually towards that stage of 
improvement which the rest of the country 
had reached, and the natural laws which 
govern society had only not to be thwarted 
and impertinently interfered with, to enable 
the Highlanders ere long to he as far furward 
as the rest of their countrymen. From the 
beginning of this century down to the present 
time they have had much to struf;gle with, 
many trials to undergo, and much unnecessary 
intmference to put up with, but their progress 
has been sure and steady, and even compara- 
tively rapid. 'Ve must glance very briefly at 
the state of the Highlands during the present 
century; great detail is uncalled for, as much 
that has 1een said concerning the previous 
period applies with equal force to the present. 


-+-- 


CHAPTEH. XLIV. 


Progress of Highlands during present century-De- 
population and emigration-Questions between 
landlords and tenants-Hardships of the ousted 
tenants-Sutherland clearings-Compulsoryemigra_ 
tion-Famines-Poorer tenants compelled to take 
service--
Ï1. John M 'Neill's Report -Changes com- 
plained of inevitahle-Emigration the only remedy 
-Large and small farms-Experiments-Hig-h_ 
landers succeed when left to themselves-Suhstitu- 
tion of deer for sheep-Hecent state of Highlands- 
Means of improvement-Increased facilities for 
intercourse of great value-Population of chief 
Highland counties- Highland colonies-Attach- 
ment of Highlanders to tllt
ir old home-Conclu- 
sioll. 


THE same causes have heen at work and the 
same processes. going on since 1800, as there 
\Vere during the latter half of last century. 


Taking stand at the date, about 1840, 
()f the New Strdistical Account, and looking 
back, the conclusion which, we think, any 
unprejudiced inquirer must come to is, 
that the Highlands as a whole had im- 
proved immensely. 'Yith the exception of 
some of the 'Yestern Islanl1s, agriculture and 
sheep-farming at the above date were generally 
abreast of the most improved lowland system, 
and the social condition of the people was but 
little, if any, bemnd that of the inhabitants of 
any other part of the country. In most places 
the old Scotch plough was abolished, and the 
improved two-horse one introduced; manuring 
was properly attended to, and a system of 
rotation of crops introduced; runrig was all 
but abolished, and the land properly inclosell; 
in short, during the early half of the pre- 
sent century the most approved agricultural 
methods had been generally adopted, wherü 
agriclùtnre was of any importance. Tbirl- 
age, multures, services, payment in kiwI, 
and other oppressions aud obstructions to 
improvement, were fast dying out, and over a 
grcat part of the country the houses, fool 1, 
clothing, and social condition of the people 
generally were vastly improved from what they 
were half a century before. Education, more- 
ovcr, was spreading, and schools were multi- 
plied, especially after the disruption of the 
Established Clnirch in 18--13, the Free Church 
laudahly planting schools in many places where 
they hall never been before. In short, one 
side of the picture is bright and c1leering 
enough, although the other is calculated to fill 
a humane 01scrver with sadness. 
Depopulation and emigration went on even 
more vigorously than befure. Nearly all the 
old lairùs and those imLued with the ancient 
spirit of the chiefs had died out, and a YOWlg 
and new race had now the disposal of the 
Highland lanas, a race who had little sympathy 
with the fcelings and prejudices uf the people, 
and who were, naturally, mainly anxious to 
increase as largely as possible their rent-roll. 
I n the earlier part of the cf'ntury at least, as in 
the latter half of 1110 previous one, few of the I 
proprietors wished, strictly speaking, to depopu- 
late their estates, and compel the inhabitants 
to emigrate, but simply to clear the interior of I 
the small fauns inte which many propert
 



DEPOPULATION AND EMIGRATIO:Y. 


55 


were divitled, convert the whole ground into 
sheep pasture, let it out in very large farms, 
and remove the ejected population to the 
coasts, there to carryon the manufacture of 
kelp, or engage in fishing. It was only when 
the value of kelp decreasell, and the fishing 
proved unprofitable, that compulsory emigra- 
tion was rf'sorted to. 
It is unnecessary to say more here on the 
question of depopulation and emigration, the 
question between Highland landlords and 
Highland tenants, the tlispute as to whether 
large or small farms are to be prefeITed, and 
whether the Highlands' are best suited for 
sheep and cattle or for men and agriculture. 
Most that has been written on the subject has 
been in advocacy of either the one side or the 
other; one party, looking at the question exclu- 
sively from the tenant's point of view, while 
the other writes solely in the interests of the 
landlords. The question has scarcely yet been 
dispassionately looked at, antl perhaps cannot 
be for a generation or two yet, when the bitter 
feelings engendered on both sides shall have 
died out, when both landlords and tenants 
will have found out what is best for themselves 
and for the country at large, and when the 
Highlands will be as settled and prosperous as 
the Lothians and the Carse of Gowrie. There 
can be no doubt, however, that very frequently 
landlords and their agents acted with little or 
no consideration for the most cherished old 
feelings, prejudices, and even rights, of the 
tenants, whom they often treated with less 
clemency than they would have done sheep 
and cattle. It ought to have been remembered 
that the Highland farmers and cottars were in 
a condition quite different from those in the 
lowlands. l\Iost of them I'ented farms ,,'hich 
had been handed down to them from untold 
generations, and which they had come to re- 
gard as as much belonging to them as did the 
castle to the chief. They had no idea of low- 
land law and luw land notions of property, so 
that very often, when toM to leave their farms 
and their houses, they could not realise the 
order, and could scarcely believe that it came 
from the laird, the descendant of the old 
I chiefs, for whum their fathers fought and died. 
I Hence the sad necessity often, of laying waste 
their farms, driving off their cattle, amI burn- 


ing their houses about their ears, before the legal 
officers conld get the. old tenants to quit the 
glens and hill-sides where their fathers had for 
centuries dwelt. It was not sheer pig-headed 
oh:-;tinacy or a wish to defy the lë:1w which 
induced them to act tlms; unly once, we think, 
in Sutherland, was there anJTthiug like a dis- 
turbance, when the people gathered together 
and proceeded to drive out the sheep which 
were gradually displacing themselves. The 
mere sight uf a soldier dispersed the mob, awl 
not a drolJ of blood was spilt. 'Vhen forced 
to su1nnit and leave thcir homes they did so 
quietly, having no spirit to utter even a word 
of remonstrance. They seemed like a people 
amazed, bewilùered, taken by surprise, as much 
so often as a family would be did a father turn 
them out of his house to make room for stran- 
gers. In the gI'eat majority of instances, the 
people seem quietly to have done ,,'hat they 
were told, and removed from their glens to the 
coast, while those who could afford it seem 
generally to have emigrated. Actual violence 
seems to have been resorted to in very few 
cases. 
Still the hardships which had to be endured 
by many of the ousted tenants, and the unfeel- 
ing rigour with which many of them were 
treated is sad indeed to read of. l\Iany of 
them had to sleep in caves, or shelter them- 
sel ves, parents and chil<.lren, under the lee of a 
rock or a dyke, keeping as near as they could 
to the ruins of their burnt or fallen cottage, and 
living on what shell-fish they could gather on 
the shore, wild roots dug with their fingers, or 
on the scanty charity of their neighhours; for 
all who could had emigrated. l\Iany of the 
proprietors, of course, did what they coulJ. to 
provide for the ousted tenants, believing that 
the driving of them out was a sad necessity. 
Houses, and a small piece of ground fur each 
family, were provitled by the shore, on some 
convenient spot, help was given to start the 
fishing, or employment in the manufacture of 
kelp, and as fitI' as possible their new condi- 
tion was made as bearable as possible. Indeed, 
we are inclined to believe, that but few of the 
lantllords acted from mere wantonness, or were 
entirely dead to the interests of the old tenants ; 
but that, their own interests naturally being of 
the greatest importance to them, antl SPInA 



56 


GEXERAL HISTOHY OF THE IUGHL
\.NDS. 


mdical change being necessary in the manage- 
ment of lands in tho Highlands, the lairds 
thoughtlessly acted as many of them did. It 
was the natural rebound from the old sJstem 
when the importance and wealth of a chief 
were rated at the number of men on his estate; 
and although the consequeut suffering is to be 
deplored, still, perhaps, it was scarcely to be 
avoided. It is easy to say that ha<.l the chiefs 
done this or the government done the other thing. 
much suffering might haye been spared, and 
much benefit accrued to the Highlanders; but 
all the suftering in the world might be 
spared did people know exactly when and how 
to interfere. It would be curious, indeed, if 
in the case of the Highlands the faults were 
all on one side. ",Ye believe that the pro- 
prietors acted frequently with harshness and 
selfishness, and did not seek to realise the 
misery they were causing. They were boun<.l, 
more strongly bound perhaps than the pro- 
prietors of any other district, to show some 
consideration for the people on their estates, 
and not to act as if proprietors had the sole 
right to benefit by the land of a country, and 
that the people ha<.l no right whatever. Had 
they been more gentle, introduced the changf's 
gradually and judiciously, an<.l given the natiw 
Highlanders a chance to retrieve themselves, 
much permanent good might have been done, 
and much suffering and bitterness spared. 
But so long as the world is merely learning 
how to live, groping after what is best, so long 
as men act on blind unreasoning impulse, 
until all men learn to act according to the 
immutable laws of .Nature, so long will scenes 
such as we have been referring to occur. The 
blame, however, should be laid rather to igno- 
rance than to wanton intention. 
Of all the Highland counties, perhaps 
Sutherland is better known than any other in 
connection with the commotions which agi- 
t.-ited the Highlands during the early part of 
this century, and, according to all accounts, 
the depopulation is more marked there than 
anywhere el
e. The clearance of that county 
of the old tl'nants, their removal to the coast, 
and the conversion of the country into large 
sheep-farnls commenced about 1810, under the 
Marquis of Staft'onl, who had married the 
heiress of the Sutherland estate. The clearing 


was, of course, carried out by Mr Sellar, tllC 
factor, who, on account of some of the proceed- 
ings to which he was a party, was tried before 
a Court of Justiciary, hela at Inverne:.;s in 
1816, for culpable homici<.le and oppression. 
J\Iany witnesses were examined on both si<.les, 
and, after a long trial, the jlUY returned a 
verdict of "
ot guilty," in which the judge, 
Lord Pitmilly, completely concurred. This, 
we think, was the only verdict that could 
legally be given, not only in the case of the 
Sutherland clearings, but also in the case 
of most of the other estates where such lllea- 
sures were carried on. The tenants were all 
duly warned to remove a considerable number 
of weeks before the term, and as few of them 
ha<.l many chattels to take with them, this could 
easily have been done. l\Iost of them gene- 
rally obeyed the warning, although a few, 
generally the yery poor aud \'ery old, refused to 
buùge from the spot of their birth. The factor 
and his officers, acting quite according to law, 
compelled them, sometimes by force, to quit 
the houses, which were then either burnt or 
pulled to the ground. AB a rule, these officers 
of the law seem to have done their duty as 
gently as law officers are accustomed to do; 
but however mildly such a duty had been per- 
formed, it could not but entail suffering to 
some extent, especially on such a people as 
many of the Highlanders were who knew not 
how to lllake a living beyond the bounds of 
their native glen. The pictures of suffering 
drawn, some of tholll we fear too true, are 
sometimes very harrowing, and anyone who 
has been brought up among the hills, or ha.s 
dwelt for a summer in a sweet Highland glen, 
can easily fancy with how sad a heart the 
Higlùander must have taken his last long 
lingering look of the little cottage, however 
rude, where he passed his happiest years, nest- 
led at the foot of a sunny brae, or guar<.led 
hy some towering crag, and surrounded with 
the multitudinous beauties of wood and vale, 
heather and ferns, soft knoll and ruggell 
m()Uutain. The same result as has followed in 
the Highlands has likewise taken place in other 
parts of the country, without the same outcry 
about depopulation, suffering, emigration, &c., 
simply because it has been brought ahout 
grad.ually. The process commenced in tht> 



F Al\IlXES. 


57 


lIighlü.nds only about a hundred years since, 
was commenced in the lowlands and elsewhere 
centuries ago; the Highlanders have had im- 
provements thrust upon them, while the low- 
landers were allowed to develope themselves. 
After the decline in the price of kelp (about 
1820), when it ceased to be the interest of the 
proprietors to accumulate people on the shore, 
they did their best to induce them to emigrate, 
many proprietors helping to provide ships for 
those whom they had dispossessed of their 
lands and farms. Imleed, until well on in the 
present century, the Highlanders generally 
seem to have had no objections to emigrate, 
but, on the contrary, were eager to do so when- 
ever they cOlùd, often going against the will of 
the lairds and of those who dreaded the utter 
depoplùation of the country and a dearth of 
recruits for the army. But about 184:0 and 
after, compulsion seems often to have been 
used to make the people go on board the ships 
provicled for them by the lairds, who refused 
to give them shelter on any part of their pro- 
perty. But little compulsion, however, in the 
ordinary sense of the term, seems to have been 
necessary, as the Highlanders, besides having 
a hereditary tendency to obey their superiors, 
were dazed, bewildered, and dispirited by what 
seemed to them the cruel, heartless, and unjust 
proceedings of their lairds. 
The earliest extensive clearing probably took 
place on the estate of Glengarry, the traditional 
cause of it being that the laird's lady had 
taken umbrage at the clan. "Summonses of 
ejection were served over the whole property, 
even on families most closely connected with 
the chief." 3 From that time down to the 
present day, the clearing off of the inhabi- 
tants of many parts of the Highland::; has been 
steadily going on. "\Ve have already spoken of 
the Sutherland clearings, which were con- 
tinued down to a comparatively recent time. 
All the Highland counties to a greatf'r or less 


3 Those who wish fl1rther details may refer to the 
following pamphlets :- The GlC1l{Jarry Evutions, by 
Donald Ross; Hist. of the Hebrides, by E. O. Tre- 
gelles; Twelve Days i/
 Skye, by Lady 111 'Caskill ; 
Extenninations of the Scottish Peasantry, and other 
works, by Mr Robertson of Dundonnaehie; High- 
Zemel Clearances, by the Rev. E. J. Filldlater; Sltthfr- 
land as it was and is; and the pamphlet in last note. 
On tl](' other side, see Selkirk on Emigration; Sir J. 
1\1 'K eill's report and article in Eelin. Review for Oct. 
1857. 
11. 


extent have been subjected to the saIne kind of 
thinning, and have contributed their share of 
emigrauts to America, Australia, New Zea- 
land, and elsewhere. It wOlùd serve no pur- 
pose to enter into details concerning the clear- 
ing of the several estates in th<> various 
Highland counties; much, as we have said, 
has been written on both sides, and if faith 
can be put in the host of pamphlets that have 
been issued during the present century on the 
sille of the ejected Highlanders, some of the 
evictions were conducted with great cruelty; 4 
much greater cruelty and disregard for the 
people's feelings than we think there was any 
need for, however justifiable and necessary the 
evictions and clearings were. 
"\Ve have already referred to the frequent 
occurrence of famines during the past and 
present centuries in the Highlan<.ls, arising 
from the failure of the crops, principally, 
latterly, through the failure of the potatoes. 
These frequent famines gave a stimulus to 
emigration, as, of course, the people were 
anxious to escape from their misery, and the 
proprietors were glaJ to get quit of the poor 
they would otherwise have had to support. 
TIesides the failure of the crops, other causes 
operated, according to 1\11' Tregelles, in the 
pamphlet already referred to, to produce the 
frequent occurrence of distress in the High- 
lands; such as the relation of landlord and 
tenant, the defective character of the poor-law, 
the excessive division and subdivision of the 
land, the imprudence and ignorance of some of 
the peasantry, inertness, also consequent on 
chronic poverty, want of capital. Every few 
years, up even to the present time, a cry of 
distress ('omes from the Highlands. TIesides 
the famines already referred to in 1837 an<.l 
1846, a still more severe and distressing one 
occurred in 1850, and seems, according to the 
many reports and pamphlets issued, to have 
continued for some years after. In the one of 
1837, many Highland proprietors and private 
gentlemen, forming themselves into an associa- 
tion, did what they could to assist the High- 
landers, mainly by way of emigration. Not 
omy was it for the advantage of Highlaud pro- 
prietors, in respect of being able to let tlu:il' 


.& The Depopulation System in the Highlands, by an 
Eye- Witness. Pamphlet. 1849. 
H 



58 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND
. 


lands at a better rent, to do what they could 
to enable the people to emigrate, but by doing 
so, and thus diminishing the number of poor 
on their estates, they consiJerably decreased 
the large t.ax they haJ to pay under the recent 
Scotch Poor-law Act. "Formerly the poor 
widows and orphans and destitute persons 
were relieved by the parish minister from the 
poors' box, by voluntary subscriptions, which 
enahled the extremely needy to receive four or 
five shillings the quarter; and this small pit- 
tance was felt on all hands to be a liheral 
bounty. The lanJlord added his five or ten 
pound gift at the beginning of the year, and a 
laudatory announcement appeared in the n9WS- 
paper. But the Act for the relief of the poor 
of Scotland now provides that a rate shall be 
levied on the tenant or occupier, and some of 
those who formerly paid Æ10 per annum, and 
were deemed worthy of lUuch commendation, 
have now to pay Æ400 per annum without 
note or COlUment! Can we be surprised, then, 
that some of the landlorJs, with increased 
claims on their resources, and perhaps with 
tliminished ability to meet such claims, should 
look round promptly and earnestly for a re- 
medy 
 One of the most obvious and speedy 
l"emedies was emigration; hence the efforts to 
clear the gronnd of those who, with the lapse 
of time, might become heavy encumbrances. 
It need not be matter of surprise that the 
landlord should clear his ground of tenants 
who, for a series of years, had paid no rent; 
although perhaps a wiser and Letter course 
woulJ have been to have sought for and found 
some good means of continued lucrati \'e f'm- 
ployment. . . . The lands are Jivided and 
subdivided until a family is found existing on 
a plot which is totally inaJeq uate for their 
support; and here we see their imprudence 
and ignoranC'e. Families are reared up in 
misery, struggling with impossi1)ilities, pro- 
ducing at last that inertness anJ dimness of 
vision whieh result from a sick heart." ã l\Iost 
of those who write, like l\Ir Tregelles, of the dis- 
tress of the Highlands in 1850 aIlll succe811ing 
years, do so in the same strain. They declare 
there is no need for emigration, that the land 
and sea, if properly worked, are quite suffi- 


r; Tregclles' Hints on the Hebrides. 


cient to support all the inhabitants that werc 
ever on it at any time, and that the people 
only need to be helped on, encouraged and 
taught, to make them as prosperous and the 
land as productive as the people and land of 
any other part of the kingdom. 'Yhile thi:5 
may be true of many parts, we fear it will not 
hold with regard to most of the 'Vestern 
Islands, where until recently, in most places, 
especially in Skye, the land was so subdivided 
and the population so excessh e, that under 
the most productive sptem of af,'Ticulture the 
people could not be kept in food for more than 
half the year. Even in some of the best off of 
the islands, it was the custom for one or more 
members of a family to go to the south during 
summer and harvest, and earn as much as 
wOlùd pay the rent auJ eke out the scanty 
income. "The fact is, that the working 
classes of Skye, for lllany years anterior to 
1846, derived a considerable part of their 
means from the wages of labour in the south. 
Even before the manufacture of kelp had been 
abandoneJ, the 
rofters of some parts at least 
of Skye appear to have paid their rents chiefly 
in money earned by labour in other parts of 
the kingùom. 'Yhen that manufacture ceased, 
the local employment was reduced to a small 
amount, and the number who went elsewhere 
for wages increased. The decline of the 
herring-fishery, which for several ;years hall 
yielded little or no profit in Skye, had a simi- 
lar effect. The failure of the potato crop in 
1846 still further reduced the local means of 
subsistence and of employing labour, ana forced 
a still greater number to work for wages in 
different parts of the country. From the 
PentlanJ Firth to the Tweed, from the Lewis 
to the Isle of Man, the Skye-men sought the 
employment they could not find at home; and 
there are few families of cottars, or of crofters 
at rents not exceeJing Æ10, from which at 
]mst one individual did not set out to earn by 
labour elsewhere the means of paying rent and 
buying meal for those who remained at home. 
Before 1846, only the younger members 0f the 
family left .the district for that purpose; since 
that year, the crofter himself has often found 
it necessary to go. But young and old, crofters 
and cottars, to whatever dista.nce they may 
have gone, return home for the winter, with 



59 


SIR JOHN 11'NEILL'S REPORT. 


rare exceptions, anù remain there nearly alto- 
gether idle, consuming the produce of the 
croft, and the proceeds of their own labour, 
till the return of summer and the failure of 
their supplies warn them that it is time to set 
out again. Those whose means are insufficient 
to maintain them till the winter is past, and 
who cannot find employment at tllat season at 
home, are of course in distress. and, having 
exhausted their own means, are driven to 
various shifts, and forced to seek charitable 
aid. " 
The above extract is from the Report by 
Sir J ohn 
f'X eill, on the distress in Highlands 
and Islands in 1850-51, caused by the failure 
of the crops. He went through most of the 
western island and western mainland parishes 
examining into the condition of the people, 
and the conclusion he came to was, that the 
I population was excessive, that no matter how 
the land might be divided, it could not support 
the inhabitants without extraneous aid. and 
that the only remeùy was the removal of the 
surplus population by means of emigration. 
'Yllether the population was excessive or not, 
it appears to us, that when the sudùen, deep, 
and extensive distresses occurred in the High- 
lands, it was merciful to help those who had 
no means of making a living, and who 
were half starving, to remove to a land 
where there was plenty of well-paid work. 
Sir John believes that even although no pres- 
sure had been used by landlonls, and no dis- 
tresses had occurred, the changes which have 
been rapidly introducecl into the Highlands, 
extending farms and diminishing population, 
would have happened all the same, but would 
have been brought about more gradually and 
with less inconvenience arHI suffering to the 
population. "The change \V hich then (end of 
last century) affected only the parishes bor- 
dering on the Lowlands, has now extended to 
the remotest parts of the Highlands, and, 
whethpr for good or for evil, is steadily advanc- 
ing. Every movement is in that direction, 
because the tendency must necessarily be to 
assimilate the more remote districts to the rest 
of the country, and to carry into them, along 
with the instruction, industry, and capital, the 
agricultural and commercial economy of the 
wealthier, more intelligent, and inflmmtial 


majority of the nation. If it were desirable to 
resist this progress, it would probably be found 
impracticable. Every facility afforded to com- 
munication and intercourse must tend to hasten 
its march, and it is not to be conceived that 
any local organisation could resif:t, or even 
materially retard it. If nothing had occurred 
to disturb the orùinary course of events, this 
inevitable transition would probably have been 
effected without such an amount of suffering as 
to call for special intervention, though no such 
change is accomplished without suffering. The 
crofter wOlùd have yielded to the same power 
that has elsewhere converted the holdings of 
small tenants into farms for capitalists; but 
increased facilities of communication, and in- 
creased intercourse, might previously have done 
more to assimilate his language, habits, and 
modes of living and of thinking to those of 
men in that part of the country to which he is 
now a stranger, and in which he is a foreigner. 
" There would thus have been opened up to 
him the same means of providing for his sub- 
sistence that were found by those of his class, 
who, during the last century, have ceased to 
cultivate land occupied by themselves. But 
the calamity that suddenly disabled him from 
producing his food by his own labour on his 
croft, has found him generally unprepared 
to provide by either means for his maintenance. 
All the various attempts that have yet been 
made in so many parishes to extricate the 
working classes from the difficulties against 
which they are unsuccessfully contending, 
have not only failed to accomplish that object, 
but have failed even to arrest the deterioration 
in their circumstances and condition that has 
been in progress for the last four years. In 
every parish, with one or two exceptions, men 
of all classes and denominations concur unani- 
mously in declaring it to be impossible, by 
any application of the existing resources, or 
by any remunerative application of extra- 
neous resources, to provide for the perma- 
nent subsistence of the whole of the present 
inhabitants; and state their conviction that the 
poplùationcannot be made self-sustaining, unless 
a portion removes from the parish. . . . . The 
working classes in many parishes are convinced 
that the emigration of a part of their number 
affords the only prospect of escape from a 



tiO 


GENERAL HlöTORY OF THE HIGHLAKDS. 


position otherwise hopeless; and in many 
cases individuals have earnestly prayed for aill 
to emigrate. Petitions numerously signed by 
persons desirous to go to the North American 
colonies, and praying for assistance to enahle 
them to do so, have been transmitted for pre- 
sentation to Parliament. In some of the 
parishes where no desire for emigration bad 
been publicly expressed, or was supposed to 
exist, that desire began to be announced as 
soon as the expectation of extraneous aid was 
abandoned. It has rarely happened that so 
many persons, between w}wm there was or 
could have been no previous concert or in- 
tercourse, and whose opinions on many im- 
portant subjects are so much at variance, 
have concuITed in considering anyone mea- 
sure indispensable to the welfare of the 
community; and there does not appear 
to be any good reason for supposing that 
this almost unanimous opinion is not well 
founded.." 6 
These are the opinions of one who thoroughly 
examined into the matter, and are corroborated 
by nearly all the articles on the Highland 
parishes in the New Statistical Account. That 
it was and is still needful to take some plan 
to prevent the ever-recurring distress of the 
1Vestern Highlands, and especially Islands, no 
one can doubt; that emigration is to some ex- 
tent necessal'y, especially from the islamls, we 
believe, but that it is the only remedy, we are 
inclined to doubt. There is no doubt that 
many proprietors, whose tenants though in 
possession of farms of no great size were yet 
very comfortable, have cleared their estate, 
and let it out in two or three large farms solely 
for sheep. Let emigration by all means be 
brought into play where it is necessary, but 
it is surely not necessary in all cases to go from 
one extreme to another, and replace thousands 
of men, women, and chi1<lren by }]alf-a-dozen 
shepherds and their dogs. Many districts may 
be suitable only for large farms, but many 
others, we think, could be <.livi<.led into farms 
of moderate size, large enough to keep a farmor 
and his family comfortably after paying a fair 
rent. This system, we believe, has been pur- 
sued with success in some Highland districts, 


6 Sir John Jf'Keill's Report, pp. xxxiv.-xxxv. 


especi<llly in that part of Inverne
s-shire occu- 
picd b;y the Grants. 
In Sir John M'N eill's report there aro 
some interesting and curious statements which, 
we think, tend to show that when the High- 
lan<.lers are allowed to have moderate-sized 
farms, and are left alone to make what they 
can of thcm, they can maintain themselves in 
tolerable comfort. In the island of Lewis, 
where the average rent of the farms was Æ2, 
12s., the farmer was able to obtain from his 
farm only so much produce as kept himself 
and family for six months in the year; his 
living for the rest of the year, his rent and 
other necessary expenses, requiring to be ob- 
tained from other sources, such as fishing, 
labour in the south, &c. So long as things 
went well, the people generally managed to 
.;truggle through the year without any great 
hardship; but in 1846, and after, when the 
potato crops failed, but for the interference of 
the proprietor and others, many must have 
perished for want of food. In six years after 
1846, the proprietor expellllell upwards of 
Æ100,OOO in providing work and in charity, to 
enable the people to live. Various experiments 
were tried to provide work for the inhabitants, 
and more money expende<.l than there was 
rent received, with apparently no good result 
whatever. In 1850, besides regular paupers, 
there were above 11,000 inhabitants receiving 
charitable relief. Yet, notwithstanding every 
encouragement from the proprietor, who ofl'ere(l 
to cancel all arrears, provide a ship, furnish 
them with all necessaries, few of the people 
cared to emigrate. III the same way in Harris, 
"immense SUIllS were expended to help the 
people to live, with as little success as in 
Lewis; the number of those seeking relief 
seemed only to increase. As this plan seeme(l 
to lead to no good results, an attempt was 
made to improve the con<.lition of the people by 
increasing the size of their farms, which in the 
best seasons suffice<.l to keep them in pro- 
visions for only six months. The following is 
the account of the experiment given by Mr 
J\Iacdonal<.l, the resiùent factor ;-" At 1Vhit- 
sunllay 184:8 forty crofters were remove<.l from 
the island of Bernera, then occupied by eighty- 
one; and the lands thus vacated were divided 
I among the forty-one who remaine<.l. Those 



EXPERDIENTS. 


61 


who were remove<.l, with two or three excep- 
tions, were placed in crofts upon lands pre- 
viously occupied by tacksmen. Six of the 
number who, with one exception, had occupied 
crofts of about five acres in Eernera, were 
settled in the Borves on crofts of ten acres of 
arable, and hill-grazing for four cows, and their 
followers till two years old, with forty sheep 
and a horse,-about double the amount of 
stock which, with one exception, they had in 
Bernera. The exceptional case referred to was 
that of a man who had a ten-acre croft in 
Eernera, with an amount of black cattle stock 
equal to that for which he got grazing in the 
Borves, but who had 110 sheep. They are all 
in arrear of rent, and, on an average, for up- 
wards of two years. The8e six tenants were 
selected as the best in Bemera, in respect to 
their circumstances. I attribute their want of 
success to the depreciation in the price of black 
cattle, and to their not having sufficient capital 
to put upon their lands a full stock when they 
entered. Their stiplùated rent in the Dorves 
was, on an average, Æ12. Of the forty-one 
who remained, with enlarged crofts, in Eemera, 
the whole are now largely in arrear, and have 
increaseù their arrears since their holdings 
were enlarge<.l. I attribute their want of suc- 
cess to the same causes as that of the people in 
the Borves. The result of his attempt to im- 
prove the condition of these crofters, by enlarg- 
ing their crofts, while it has faile<.l to aCCOlll- 
plish that object, has at the same time entailed a 
considerable pecuniary loss upon the proprietor. 
" An attempt was made, at the same time, to 
establish some unsuccessful agricultural crofters, 
practised in fishing, as fishermen, on lands 
previously occupied by tacksmen, where each 
fisherman got a croft of about two acres of 
arable lan<.l, with grazing for one or two cows, 
allù from four to SL'\: sheep, at a rent of from 
.eEl to Æ2 sterling. This expel"iment was 
equally unsuccessful. It is doubtful whether 
they were all adequately provided with suitable 
boats and tackle, or ' gear;' but many of them 
were; and some of those who were not origi- 
nally well provideù were supplied with what 
was wanted by the destitution fund. Of these 
fishermen l\lr 1\Iacdonal<.l says :-' Not one of 
them, since entering on the fishing croft, has 
l)aiù an amount equal to his rent. The 


attempt to improve the ccn<.lition of those men, 
who had previously been unsuccessful as agri- 
cultural crofters, by placing them in a position 
favourable for fishing, has also failed; and 
this experiment also has entailed a consi<.lerable 
pecuniary loss upon the proprietor, who is not 
now receiving from these fishermen one-fourth 
of the rent he formerly received from tacksmen 
for the same lands. I therefore state confi- 
dently, that in Harris the proprietor cannot 
convert lands held by tacksmen into small 
holdings, either for the purposes of agriculture 
or fishing, without a great pecuniary sacrifice; 
and that this will continue to be the case, 
unless potatoes should again be successfully 
cultivated. I cannot estimate the loss that 
woul<.l be entailed upon the proprietor by such 
a change at less than two-thircls of the rental 
paid by the tacksmen. The results of the ex- 
perim
nts that have been maùe on this pro- 
perty would, in every case, fully bear out this 
estimate. It is my conscientious belief and 
firlll conviètion, that if this property were all 
divided into small hol<.lings amongst the pre- 
sent occupants of land, the result would be, 
that in a few years the rent recoverable would 
not be sufficient to pay the public burdens, if 
the po
atoes continue to fail, and the price of 
black cattle does not materially improve.'" 7 
Yet not one family in Harris woul<.l accept 
the proprietor's offer to bear all the expense of 
theiI .-migration. 
The ;.:ondition of Lewis and Harris, as above 
shown, may be taken as a fair specinlPn of 
the \Vestern Islands at the time of Sir J olm 
:Thl'Neill's inquiry in 1851. 
An experiment, which if properly managed, 
might have succeeded, was tried in 1850 and 
the two following years; it also proved a 
failure. The following is the account glwu 
in the Edinb1l'l'[jh Review for October 1857. 
The reader must remember, however, that the 
article is written by an advocate of all the 
modern Highland innovations :-A number of 
people in the district of Sollas in North Uist 
had agreed to emigrate, but" a committee in 
the town of Perth, which had on hand Æ3000 
collected for the Highland Destitution Relief 
Fund of 1847, resolverl to form these peop
f3 


7 Sir John lI[']{cill's Rrport, pp. xxii., xxiii. 



62 


GENERAL HISTORY ÜF THE illGHLA:YDS. 


into a' settlement,' Lord :Macdonald assenting, evils which foHoweù the abolition of the juris- 
and giving them the choice of any land in the dictions. They had been accustomed to look 
island not under lease. TIle tenants, about to their chiefs for generations to see that they 
sixty in number, removed to the selected place were provided with houses, food, and clothing; 
in autumn 1850, provided by the committee and it could only be when they were thoroughly 
with an agricultural overseer. In the follow- emancipated from this slavish and degrading 
ing spring a large crop of oats and potatoes habit that they could find scope for all their 
was laid down. The oats never advanced latent energies, have fair play, and feel the 
above a few inches in height, and ultimately necessity for strenuous exertion. 
I withered and died, and the potatoes gave little As a contrast to the above accounts, and as 
or no return. A great part of the land so dealt showing that it is perfectly possible to carry 
with has never since been touched, and it is out the small or moderate farm system, even 
now even of less value than before, having on the old principle of runrig, both with com- 
ceased to produce even heather. This result, fort to the tenants and with profit to the pro- 
however, we are bound to mention, was at the prietors; and also as showing what the High- 
time, and perhaps still, popularly ascribed, like landers are capable of when left entirely to 
all Highland failures, to the fault of those in themselves, we give the foHowing extract from 
authority. A new overseer was therefore sent, Sir J. l\I'X eill's Roport, in reference to the 
and remained about a year and a half; but in . rrosperity of Applecross in Ross-shire :_ 
1852 a third of the people, becoming painfully "The people have been left to depend on their 
impressed with the truth of the matter, went own exertions, under a kind proprietor, who 
off to Australia. In 1853 a third manager was was always ready to assist individuals makinO' 
sent 'to teach and encourage;' 'but as the proper efforts to improve their condition, bu
 
money was now running short, he had little to who attempted no new or specific measure for 
give but advice, and a.s the people coul<l not the general advancement of the people. Their 
subsist on that any more than on the produce rents are moderate, all feel secure of their 
of their lots, they went off to seek employment tenure so long as they are not guiHy of any 
elsewhere-and so encled what was called 'this delinquency, and a large proportion of those 
interesting experiment,' but of which it seems who hold land at rents of Æ6 and upwards, 
to be now thought inexpedient to say anything have leases renewable every seven years. Dur- 
at all. The results were to spend Æ3000 in ing the fifteen years ending at 'VIÜtslmday 
making worse a piece of the worst possible 1850, they have paid an amount equal to 
land, and in prolonging the delusions and suf- fifteen years' rent. .l\Iany of the small crofters 
f-erings of the local population, but also in sup- are owners, or part owners, of deckelI vessels, 
plying one more proof of the extreme difficulty of which there are forty-five, owned by the 
or impossibility of accomplishing, and the great crofters on the property; and a considerable 
mischief of attempting, what so many paper number have deposits of money in the banks. 
authorities in Highlall<l matters assume as alike The great majority of these men have not 
easy and beneficial." relied on agriculture, and no attempt has been 
It woulù almost seem, from the failure of made to direct their efforts to that occupation. 
the above and many other experiments which I.eft to seek their livelihood in the lUanneI' in 
have been tried to improve the condition of which they could best find it, and emancipated 
the Highlanders, that any extraneous positive from tutelage and dependence on the aid and 
interference by way of assistance, experiments, guidance of the proprietor, they have prospereù 
charity, and such like, learIing the people to de- more than their neighbours, apparently because 
pend more on others than on themselves, leads they have relied less upon the crops they could 
to nothing but disastrous results. This habit raise on their lands, anù have pursue(l other 
C)f depending on others, a habit many centuries occupations with nlOre energy and persever- 
()ld, was one which, instead of being encouragerI, ance. 
(Ought to have been by every possible means " Of the crofters or small tenants on this 
disc0uraged, as it was at the nottom of all the property who are not fishermen, and who are 



HIGHLAXDERS SUCCEED '\YHEN LEFT TO THE:\ISEL YES. 63 


dependent solely on the occupation of lanù, 
the most prosperous are those who have relied 
upon grazing, and who are still cultivating their 
arable land in 'runrig.' These club-farmers, 
as they are called, hold a farm in common, 
I each having an equal share. They habitually 
purchase part of their food. They have paid 
their rents regularly, and several of them have 
deposits of money in bank. Mr. .:\Iackinnon, 
who has for more than fifteen years been the 
factor on the property, gives the following 
account of the club-farmers of Lochcarron :- 
" , Of the lotters or croftel's paying Æ6 and 
upwarùs, a large proportion have long had 
leases for seven years, which have been renewed 
from time to time. Those paying smaller 
rents have not leases. The lots which are 
occupied by tenants-at-will are much better 
cultivated than those which are held on leases. 
I don't, of course, attribute the better cultiva- 
tion to the want of leases; all I infer from this 
fact is, that granting leases to the present 
occupants of lots has not made them better 
cultivators of their lots. The most successful 
of the sUlall tenants are those who have taken 
farms in common, in which the grazings are 
chiefly stocked with sheep, and in which there 
happens to be a sufficient extent of arable land 
connected with a moderate extent of grazing to 
enable them to raise crops for their own sub- 
sistence. Since the failure of the potatoes, 
however, all the tenants of this class have 
1>een obliged to buy meal. On those farms 
which are held on lease, the land is still culti- 
vated on the' runrig' system. There are five 
such fanns on :ßIr. Mackenzie's property in the 
parish of Lochcarron. One of these is let at 
Æ48, to six persons paying Æ8 each; another 
I for .:t56, to seven lllen at Æ8 each; another 
for Æ72, to eight men at .t9 each; another to 
eight men at Æ13, IDs., equal to Æ108; 
another to eight men at Æl5 each, equal to 
.t120. The cultivation on all of these farms 
is on the 'mmig' system. Their sales of 
stock and wool are made in common,-that is, 
in one lot. Their .stock, though not common 
property (each man having his own with a 
distinctive mark), are managed in common by 
a person employed for that purpose. The 
tenants of this class have paid their rents with 
great punctuality, and have never been in 


arrear tü any alllount worth mentioning. A 
considerable number of them have money in 
bank. They have their lands at a moderate 
rent, which is no doubt one cause of their 
prosperity. Another cause is, that no) one of 
the tenants can subdivide his share without 
the consent of his co-tenants and of the pro- 
prietor. The co-tenants are all opposed to 
such su bdi vision of a share by one of their 
number, and practically no sub-division has 
taken place. Their families, therefore, as they 
grow up, are sent out to shift for themselves. 
Some of the children find employment at 
home,-some emigrate to the colonies.'''8 
Of course it is not maintained that this is 
the most profitable way for the proprietor to 
let his lands; it is not at all improbable that 
by adopting the large-farm system, his reut 
might be considerably increased; only it shows, 
that when the Highlanders are left to them- 
selves, and have fair play and good oppor- 
tunities, they are quite capa11e of looking afteI 
their own interests with success. 
A comparatively recent Highland grievance 
is the clearance off of sheep, and the conver- 
sion of large districts, in one case extending 
for about 100 miles, into deer forests. Great 
complaint has been made that this was a wanton 
abuse of proprietorship, as it not only dis- 
placed large numbers of people, but su1Jstituted 
for such a useful animal as the sheep, an 
animal like the deer, maintained for mere 
sport. No .J0ubt the proprietors find it more 
profitable to lay their lands under deer than 
under sheep, else they would not do it, and by 
all accounts 9 it requires the same number of 
men to look after a tract of country covered 
with deer, as it would do if the same district 
were under sheep. But it certainly does seem 
a harsh, unjust, and very un-British proceeding 
to depopulate a whole district, as has sometimes 
been done, of poor but respectable and happy 
people, for the mere sake of providing sport 
for a few gentlemen. It is mere sophistry to 
justify the substitution of deer for sheep, by 
saying that one as well as the other is killed 
and eaten as food. For thou8ands whose 
daily food is mutton, there is not more than 
one who regards venison as anything else than 


8 Sir John If/'Neill's Report, xxvi. xxvii. 
9 See Edin. Rev. for Oct. 1857. 



6-1 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


, a rarity; and by many it is considered un- I comfort, that change alone would not secure 
palatable. Landlords at present can no doubt the future prosperity and independence of 
I ùo what they like with their lands; but it those who remain. It may be doubted whC'ther 
seems to us that in the long-run it is profitable any specific measures calculated to have a 
neither to them nor to the nation at large, that material influence on the result, could now be 
large tracts of ground, capable of maintaining suggested that have not repeatedly been pro- 
such a universally useful animal as the sheep, posed. Increased and improved means of 
or of being divided into farms of a moderate education would tend to enlighten the people, 
size, should be thrown away on deer, an ani- and to fit them for seeking their livelihood 
mal of little value but for sport. in distant places, as well as tend to break 
As we have more than once said already, the bonùs that now confine them to their 
the Highlands are in a state of transition, native localities. nut, to accomplish these 
though, we think, near the end of it; and we objects, education must not l)e confined 
have no doubt that erelong both proprietors to reading, writing, and arithmetic. The 
and tenants will find out the way to manage object of all education is not less to excite 
the land most profitable for both, and life there the desire for knowledge, than to furnish the 
will be as comfortable, and quiet, and undis- means of acquiring it; anll in this respect, 
turbed by agitations of any kind, as it is in education in the Higlùands is greatly deficient. 
any other part of the country. Instruction in agriculture and the management 
Since the date of the New Statistical Account of stock would facilitate the production of the 
and of. Sir J. 
I'Xeill's Report, the same pro- means of subsistence. A more secure tenure 
cesses have been going on in the Highlands of the lands they occupy would tend to make 
with the same results as during the previous industrious and respectable crofters more dili- 
half century. The old population have in gent and successful cultivators. But the 
lllany places been removed from their sillall effects of all such mcasure
 depends on the 
crofts to make way for large sheep-farmers, spirit and manner in which they are carried 
sheep having in some districts been giving out, as well as on the general management 
place to deer, and a large emigration has been with which they are connected throughout a 
going on. Much discontent and bitter writing series of years. It is, no doubt, in the power of 
have of course been caused by these proceed- evpry proprietor to promote or retard ad vance- 
ings, but there is no doubt that, as a whole, the ment, and he is justly responsible for tho 
Highlands are rapidly improving, although manner in which he uses that power; but
its 
improvement has doubtless come through much extent appears to have been much overrated. 
tribulation. Except, perhaps, a few of the The circumstances that determine the progress 
remoter districts, the Highlands generally are of such a people as the inhabitants of those dis- 
as far forward as the rest of the country. tricts, in the vicinity, and forming a part of a 
Agriculture is as good, the Highland sheep and great nation far advanced in knowledge and in 
cattle are famous, the people are about as com- wealth, appear to be chiefly those which deter- 
fortable as lowlanders in the same circum- mine the amount of intercourse between them. 
stances; education is well diffused; churches of \\There that intercourse is easy and constant, 
I all sects are plentiful, and ere long, doubtless, the process of assimilation proceeds rapidly, 
so far as outward circumstances are concerned, and the result is as certain as that of opening 
there will be no difference between the High- the sluices in the ascending lock of a canal. 
lands and Lowlands. How the universal \Vucre that intercourse is impeded, or has not 
improvelllent of the Highlands is mainly to be been established, it may perhaps be possible 
accomplished, we shall state in the words of to institute a. separate local civilization, an 
Sir J oIm l\l'N eill. 'Vhat he says refers to the isolated social progress; but an instance of its 
state of the country during the distress of 18,31, successful accomplishment is not to be found 
but they apply equally well at the present day. in those districts. 
"It is ovidcn.t that, \\'ere the population re- ,,\\Thatever tends to facilitate and promote 
duced to the number that can live in tolerable intercourse betwC'en the distress
d districts 



POPULATION OF THE CHJEF HIGHLAXD COUNTIES. 


65 


and the more advanced parts of the country, 
tends tù assimilate the habits and modes ()f 
life of their inhabitants, and, t.herefore, to pl'O- 
I mote education, industry, good management, 
and eyerything in which the great body ex- 
cels tho small portion that is to Le assimi- 
lated to it." 1 
Notwithstanding the immense number of 
people who have emigrated from the High- 
lands during the last 100 years, the population 
of the six chief Highland counties, including 
the Islands, was in 1861 upwards of 100,000 
more than it was in 1755. In the latter year 
the number of inhabitants in Argyll, Inverness, 
Caithness, Perth, Ross, and Sutherland, was 
332,332; in 1790-98 it was 392,263, which, 
by 1821, had increased to 447,307; in 1861 
it had reached 449,875. Thus, although 
latterly, happily, the rate of increase has been 
slllall compared with what it was during last 
century, any fear of the depopulation of the 
Highlands is totally unfounded. 
Until lately, the great majority of Highland 
tJrnigrants preferred British America to any 
other colony, and at the present day Cape 
Breton, Prince Edward's Island, K ova Scotia, 
New Brunswick, and many other districts of 
British North America, contain a large High- 
land population, proud of their origin, and in 
many instances still maintaining their original 
Gaelic. One of the earliest Highland settle- 
ments was, however, in Georgia, where ill 
1738, a Captain :\Iackintosh settled along with 
a considerable number of followers from Inver- 
ness-shire. Hence the settlement was called 
New Inyerness. 2 The favourite destination, 
how('vcr, of the earlier Highland emigrants 
\Vas North Carolina, to which, from about 1760 
till the breaking out of the American war, 
many hundreùs removed from Skye and other 
of the "\Vestern Islands. During that war 
these colonists almost to a man adhered to the 
British Government, and fonned themselves 
into the Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment, 
which did good service, as will be seen in the 
account of the Highland Regiments. At the 
conclusion of the war, many settled in Carolina, 
while others removed to Canal la, where land 


1 Sir John ltl'.'\?eill's Report, xxxviii. xxxix. 
2 The American Gazetteer. Lond. 1762. Art. 
lm:erness, New. 
u 


was allotted to them Ly Government. That 
the descendants of these early settlers still 
cherish the oM Highland spirit, is testified to 
by all travellers; some interesting notices of 
their present condition may be seen in ]HI' David 
:\Iacrae's American Sketches (1869). Till quite 
lately, Gaelic sermons were preached to them, 
and the language of their forefathers we believt' 
has not yet fallen into disuse in the district, 
being spoken even by some of the negroes. 
Those who emigrated to this region seem mostly 
to have been tacksmen, while many of the 
farmers and cottars settled in British America. 
Although their fortunes do not seem to have 
coma up to the expectations of themselves and 
those who sent them out, still there is no doubt 
that their condition after emigration was in 
almost every respect far better than it was 
before, and many of their descenùants now 
occupy responsible and prominent }ìositions 
in the colony, while all seem to be a
 
comfortable as the most well-to-do Scottish 
farmers having the advantage of tho latter 
in being proprietors of their own farms. 
According to the Earl of Selkirk, who 
himself took out and settled se\'era1 bands 
of colonists, " the settlers had every incitement 
to vigorous exertion from the nature of their 
tenure. They were allowed to purchase in fee- 
simple, and to a certain extent on credit. 
From 50 to 100 acres were allotted to each 
family at a very moderate price, but none was 
given gratuitously. To accommodate those 
who llad no superfluity of capital, they were 
not required to pay the price in full, till the 
third or fourth year of their possession; and ill 
that time an industrious man may have it in 
his power to discharge his debt out of the pro- 
duce of the land itself."3 Those who went out 
without capital at all, could, such was the high 
rate of wages, soon save as much as would 
ellable them to undertake the management of 
land of their own. That the Highlanders were 
as capable of hard and good labour as the 
low landers, is proved by the way they set to 
work in these colonies, when they were entirely 
freed from oppression, and dependance, and 
charity, and had to depend entirely on their 
own exertions. 


a Selkirk on Emigration, p. 212. 
1 


. 



66 


GE
ERAL HISTORY O:F THE HlGHLAKDS. 


Resideò the above settlements, the mass of I Highlands or not, there can be no doubt of its 
the population in Caledonia County, State of lùtimate unspeakable benefit to the Highland 
New York, are of HigWand extraction, and emigrants themselves, and to the colonies in 
there are largo settlements in the State of which they have settled. Few, we believe, 
Ohio, besides numerous families and individual however tempting the offer, would care to quit 
settlers in other parts of the United States. their adopted home, and return to the bleah. 
Highland names were numerous among the hills and rugged shores of their native land. 
generals of the United States army on hoth sides 
in the late civil war. 4 
The fondness of these settlers for the old 
country, and all that is characteristic of it, is 
well shown by an anecdote told in Camp- 
bell's Travels in X orth America (1793). The 
spirit manifested here is, we believe, as strong GAELIC LITERATURE, LANGUAGE, 
even at the present day when hundreds will AKD MUSIC. 
flock from many miles around to hear a Gaelic BY THE REV. TH01IAS MACLAUCHLAN,LL.D.,F.S.A.S. 
sermon by a Scotch minister. Campbell, in his 
travels in British America, mainly undertaken 
with the purpose of seeing how the new Highland 
colonists were succeeding, called at the house 
of a ]'HI' Angus 
Iackintosh on the K ashwack. 
He was from Inverness-shire, and his wife told 
Campbell they had every necessary of life in 
abundance on their own property, but there 
was one thing which she wisheà much to have 
-that was heather. "And as she had heard 
there was an island in the Gulf of St Law- 
rence, opposite to the mouth of the Merimashee 
river, where it grew, and as she understood J 
was going that way, she earnestly entreated I 
would bring her two or three stalks, or cows 
as she called it, which she would plant on a 
larren brae behind her house where she sup- 
posed it would grow; that she made the same 
request to several going that way, but had not 
got any of it, which she knew would greatly 
beautify the place; for, said she, , This is an 
ugly country that has no heather; I never yet 
saw any good or pleasant place without it.'" 
Latterly, very large numbers of Highlanders 
have settled in Australia and New Zealand, 
where, by all accounts, they are in every respect 
as successful as the most industrious lowland 
emigrants. 
No doubt much immediate suffering and 
bittcrness was caused when the Highlanders 
were compelled to leave their native land, 
which by no means treated them kindly; but 
\v hether emigration has been disastrous to the 


4. Dr M'Lauchlan'g paper in Social Science Tr
ns- 
actions for 1863. 


. 


CHAPTER XLV. 


Extent of Gaelic literature-Claims of Ireland-Cir- 
cumstances adverse to preservatiOll of Gaflic lite- 
rature-"The Lament of Deirdre "-"The Children 
of U snoth" -" The Book of Deer "-The Legend of 
Deer-The memoranda of grants-The "Albanic 
Duan "-" Muireadhach Albannach "-Gaelic char- 
ter of H08-Manuscripts of the 15th centur:r- 
"The Dean of Lismore's TIook"-Macgregor, Dean 
of Lismore -" Ursgeul" - .. Ras Dhiarmaid"- 
Ossian's Eulogy on Fingal-Macpherson's Ossian- 
" Fingal " - Cuchnllin's chariot - " 'femora" - 
Smith's Sean Dana" -Ossianic collections-Fin- 
gal's adùress to Oscar-Ossian's adùress to the getting 
5un-John Knox's Liturgy-Kirk's Gaelic Psalter- 
Irish Bible-Shorter Catechism-Confession of Fai th 
-Gaelic Bihle-Translations from the English- 
Original prose writings-Campbell's Ancient High- 
land Talf's-" :r.Iaol A Clùiobain "-" The man in 
the tuft of wool"-Alexander Macdonald-Macin- 
tyre-Modern poetry-Rchool-books-The GlWlic 
language-Gaelic music. 


THE literature of the Highlands, although not 
extensive, is varied, and has excited not a little 
interest in the world of letters. The exist- 
ing remains are of various ages, carrying us 
back, in the estimation of some writers, to the 
second century, while contributions are making 
to it still, and are likely to be made for several 
generations. 
It has been often said that the literature of 
the Celts of Ireland was much more extensive 
than that of the Celts of Scotland-that tho 
former were in fact a more literar)' people- 
that the ecclesiastics, and medical men, awl 
historians (seanaclz-ies) of Scotland had less 
culture than those of the sister island, and 
that they must be held thus to have been a 
stage behind them in civilisation and pro- 
gress. .Tudging by the remains which exist, 
there seems to be considerable ground for such 



CLAI
IS OF IRELAKD DISCUSSED. 


67 


a conclusion. 
cotland can produce nothing presumptive evidence that many of these early 
like the 
IS. collections in possession of Trinity missionaries took their departure from Scotland, 
College Dublin, or the Royal Irish Academy. and carried with them their Scottish literature 
There are numerous fragments of considerable to the Continent of Europe. And the lan- 
value in the Advocates' Library, E,linburgh, guage of the writers is no evidence to the con- 
and in the hands of private parties throughout trary. In SO far as the Gaelic was written at this 
I:3cotland, but there is nothing to compare with early period, the dialect used was common to Ire- 
the nook of Lecan, Lcabhar na lz-uidll1'e, and land and Scotland. To say that a work is Irish 
the other remains of the ancient literary culture because written in what is called the Irish dia- 
ef Ireland, which exist among the collections leet is absurd. There was no such thing as an 
now brought together in Du l)lill; nor with Irish dialect. The written language of the w holc 
such remains of what is called Irish scholar- Gaelic race was long the same throughout, and 
ship as are to be found in :Milan, Brussels, and it would haye been impossible for any man to 
other places on the continent of Europe. have said to which of the sections into which 
At the same time there is room for ques- that race was divided any piece of writing 
tiolling how far the claims of Ireland to the belongm1. This has long been evident to men 
whole of that literature are good. Irish scholars who have made a study of the question, but 
are not backward in pressing the claims of recent relics of Scottish Gaelic which have 
their own country to everything of any interest come to light, and have been published, put the 
that may be called Celtic. If we acquiesce in matter beyond a doubt. :Mr 'Vhitley Stokes, 
these claims, Scotland will be left without a than whum there is no better authority, has 
shred of aught which she can call her own in sailluf a pa
sage in the" Book of Deer" that the" 
the way of Celtic literature; and there is a language of it is identical with that of the MS
. 
class of Scottish scholars who, somewhat more which form the basis of the learnell grammar 
generous than discriminating, have been dis- of Zeuss: amI there can be no doubt that the 
})osed to acquiesce but too readily in those "Book of Deer" is of Scotti::;h authorship. It 
daims. 'Ve have our doubts as to Ireland is difficlùt to convince Irish scholars of this, 
I having furnished Scotland with its Gaelic popu- but it is no less true on that account. Illdeell, 
lation, and we have still stronger doubts as what is called the Irish dialect has been em- 
to Ireland having been the source of all the ployed for literary purposes in Scotland down 
Celtic literature which she claims. A cer- to a recent period, the first book in the ver- 
tain class of writers are at once prcpared to nacular of the 
cottish Highlands having been 
allow that the ]
oLbio MS8. and those other printed so lately as the middle of last century. 
continental Gaelic )188. of which Zeuss has ÂIlII it is important to observe that this litc- 
maùe such admirahle use in his Grwmnatica rary dialect, said to be Irish, is nearly as far 
C'elt ira , are all Irish, and they are taken as apart from the ordinary Gaelic vernacular of 
illustrative alike of the zeal and culture of the Ireland as it is from that of Scotland. 
early Irish Church. Awl yet there is no evi- But besilles this possibility of having writings 
dence of such being the case. The language that are really Scottish counted as Irish from 
('ertainly is not Irish, nor are the names of such their being written in the same dialect, the 
I of the writers as are usually associated 'with the Gaelic literature of Scotland has suffered from 
I writings. Columbanus, the founder of the other causes. Among these were the changcs 
lJobbio Institution, may have been an Irish- in the ecclesiastical condition of the country 
l Ilian, but he may have been a Scotchman. HI' which took place from time to time.' First of 
may have gone from Durrow, but he may have all there was the change which took place 
gone from IOlla. The latter was no less under the government of Malcolm III. (Ceann- 
famous than the former, and had à staff of men mol') and his sons, which led to the downfall 
quite as remarkable. 'Ye have authentic of the ancient Scottish Church, and the sup- 
information regarding its ancient history. It planting of it by the R:nnan Hierarchy. 
Sf'nt out Ai<lan to N orthulltbf'rland, and numA- Any literahuA existing in the 12th century 
rous successors aftl'r him, and there is lllueh I would have been of the ohler church, and 


. 



68 


GEXEn
\.L HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


would lJave little interest for the institution 
which took its place. That there was such 
a literature is obvious from the "nook of 
Deer," and that it existed among all the insti- 
tutions of a like kind in Scotland is a fair amI 
reasonable inference from the existence and 
character of that book. "\Yhy tlus is the only 
fragment of such a literature remaining is a 
question of much interest, which may per- 
haps be solved by the fact that the clergy 
of the later church could have felt little in- 
terest in preserving the memorials of a period 
whicl.l they must have been glad to have seen 
passed away. Then the Scottish Reformation 
and the rise of the Protestant Church, how- 
eVer favourable to literature, would not havú 
been favourable to the preseryation of such 
literature. The old recf'ptacles of such writings 
were broken up, and their contents probably 
destroyed or dispersed, as associated with what 
was now felt to be a superstitious worship. 
There is reason to believe that the Kilbride 
collection of l\I:SS. now in the Advocates' 
Library, and obtained from the family of 
Maclachlan of Kilbride, was to some extent a 
portion of the old. library of Iona, one of the 
last Ahbots of which was a }<'erquhard 
l\I'Lachlan. 
Besides these influences, unfavourable to the 
preservation of the ancient literature of the 
Scottish Highlands, we have the fierce raid 
of Ed ward I. of England into the country, and 
the carrying away of all the national muni- 
ments. Some of these were in all probability 
Gaelic. A Gaelic king and a Gaelic kingdom 
were then things not long past in Scotland; 
and seeing they are found elsewhere, is there 
not reason to believe that among them were 
lists of Scottish and Pictish kings, and other 
documents of historical importance, such as 
formed the basis of those .Dardic addresses 
made by the royal bards to the kings on the 
occasion of their coronation? These might 
have been among the records afterwards in- 
tended to be returned tù Scotland, and which 
perished in the miserable shipwreck of the 
vessel that bore them. These causes may 
account for the want of' a more extensive 
ancient Celtic literature in Scotland, and for 
the more advantageous position occupied in 
this respect by Ireland. Ireland neither suf- 


fered from the popular feeling evoked at the 
Reformation, nor from the spoliations of an 
Edward of England, as Scotland did. And 
hence the abundant remains still existing of a 
past literature there. 
And yet Scotland does not altogether want 
an ancient Celtic literature, and the past few 
years have done much to bring it to light. It 
is not impossible that among our public li- 
braries and private repositories relics may be 
still lying of high interest and historical value, 
and which more careful research may yet bring 
into view. The Dean of Lismore's book has 
only been given to the world within the last 
six )Tears, and more recently still we have the 
" nook of Deer," a relic of the 11 th or 12th 
century. 
On taking a survey of this literature, it 
might be thought most uatural to commence 
with the Ossianic remains, both on account of 
the prominence which they have received and 
the interest and controversy they have excited, 
and also because they are held by many to have 
a claim to the highest antiquity,-to be the off- 
spring of an age not later than the 2d or 311 
century. But it is usual to associate literature 
with writing, and as the Gaelic language has 
been a written one from a very early period, 
we think it best to keep up this association, 
find to take up the written remains of the 
language as nearly as may be in their cJll'ono- 
logical order. The first of these to which refer- 
ence may be made is 


TIlE LAMENT OF DEIRDRE. 
This poem is fonnd in a 
I:S. gi vell to the 
Highland Society by Lord Dannatyne, anll 
now in the archives of the Adyocates' Library. 
The date of the :MS. is 1238, but there is 
every reason to believe that the poem is of 
much higher antiquity. The preserved copy 
bears to have been written at Glenmasan, a 
mountain valley in the parish of Dunoon, in 
Cowal. The .US. contains other fragments of 
tales in prose, but we shall refer only to the 
poetical story of Deirdre, or, as it is usually 
called in Gaelic, " Dàn Chloinn Uisneachain." 
The tale is a famous one in the Highlands, 
and the heroes of it, the sons of Usnoth, have 
given name to Dun l\Ihac Uisneachain, or Dun 
:\Iac Sniochain, said to be the Homan Bere- 



69 


THE LAMENT OF DEIRDRE. 


iJonium, in the parish of Ardchattan in Argyle- I poem as it appears in the Report of the High- 
shire. 'Ve give the following version of the land Society on the Poems of Ossian (p. 2D8). 


Do dech Dcardir ar a héise ar crichibh Alban" agus 
ro chan an Laoidh '- 
Inmain tir in tir ud thoir, 
Alba cona lingantaibh 
N ocha ticfuinn eisdi ille 
Mana tisain Ie N aise. 
[nmain Dun Fidhgha is Dun Finn 
[mnain in Dun os a cinn 
Inmain Inis Draignde 
Is inmain Dun Sùibnei. 
Caill cuan gar tigeadh Ainnle mo nuar 
Fagair lim ab bitan 
Is Naise an oirear Alhan. 
Glend Laidh do chollain fan mboirmin caoimh 
Iasg is sieng is saill bruich 
Fa hi mo chuid an Glend laigh. 
Glend masain ard a crimh geal a gasaiu 
Do nimais colladh corrach 
Os Inbhar mungach :Masain. 
Glend Eitchi ann do togbhus mo ched tigh 
Alaind a fidh iar neirghe 
Buaile grene Ghlind eitchi. 
.Mo chen Glend U rchaidh 
TIa hetlh in Glend direach dromchain 
U allcha feara aoisi mil. N aise 
An Glend L rchaidh. 
Glend da ruadh 
Mo chen gach fear da nn aual 
Is binn guth cuach 
AI' craeib chruim 
AI' in mbinn os Glellndaruadh 
Inmain Draighen is tren traigh 
Inmain Auichd in ghainimh glain 
N ocha ticfuin eisde anoir 
:Mana tisuinn lem Inmain. 


There is some change in the translation as 
compared with that given in the Highland 
Society's Report, the meaning, however, being 
nearly identical in both. The tale to which 
this mournful lyric is attacheù,-the story of 
the chilùren of Usnoth and their sad fate, 
bears that Conor was king of Ulster. Visiting 
on one occasion the house of Feilim, his scan- 
achic, Feilim's wife, was delivered of a daughter 
while the king was in the house. Cathbad the 
Druid, who was present, prophesied that many 
disasters should befal Ulster on account of the 
child then horn. The king resolved to bring 
her up as his own future wife, and for this 
end enclosed her in a tower where she was 
excluded from all intercourse with men, except 
her tutor, her llurse, and all attendant cailcù 
Lavarcam. It happeneù that in the course of 
I time, by means of this Lavarcam, she came to 
I see N aos, the son of U snoth. She at once 
l 
rmoo 
 warm -=tion for hiln; tho affection 


English Translation. 
DcÚ'dre looked back on the land of A lban, and sllng 
this lay :- 
Beloved is that eastern land, 
Alba (Scotland), with its lakes. 
Oh that I might not depart from it, 
Unless I were to go "ith N aos ! 
Beloved is Dunfigha and Dunfin. 
Beloved is the Dun above it. 
Beloved is Inisdraiyell (I mstrynich 1), 
A nd beloved is Dun Sween. 
The forest of the sea to which .A.innle would come, 
alas! 
I leave for ever, 
And Naos, on the seacoast of Alban. 
Glen Lay (Glen Luy 1), I would sleep by its gentle 
murmur. 
Fish and venison, and the fat of meat boileu, 
Such would be my food in Glen Lay. 
Ulenmasan ! High is its wild garlic, . fair 1':.5 
branches. 
I would slpep wakefully 
Over the shaggy Invermasan. 
Glen Etive! in which I raised my first house, 
Delightful were its groves on rising 
\Vhen the sun struck on Glen Etive. 
:My delight was Glen Urchay; 
It is the straight vale of many ridges. 
Joyful were his fellows around N aos 
In Glen Urchav. 
Glendaruadh (Glendnrucl 1), 
:My delight in every man who belongs to it. 
Sweet is the voice of the cuckoo 
On the bending tree, 
Sweet is it above Glendaruadh. 
Beloved is Drayen of the sounding shore I 
Beloved is Avich (Dalavich ?) of the pure sand. 
Oh that I might not leave the east 
Unless it were to come along with me! Beloved- 


was reciprocated, and Naos and Deirdre, by 
which name the young woman was called, fled 
to Scotland, accompanied by Ainle and Ardan, 
the brothers of N aos. Here they were kindly 
received by the king, and had lands given them 
for their support. It is not unlikely that these 
lands were in the llcighbourhood of Dun 
l\Ihac Uisneachain in Lorn. Here they lived 
long and happily. At length Conor desired 
their return, and sent a messenger to Scotland, 
promising them welcome and security in Ire- 
land if they would but return. Deirdre strongly 
objected, fearing the treachery of Conor, but 
she was overruled by the urgency of her hus- 
band and his brothers. They left Scotland, 
Deirdre composing anù singing the above 
mournful lay. In Ireland they were at first 
received with apparent kindness, but soon after 
the house in which they dwelt was surrounded 
by Conor and his men. and after deeds of 
matchless valour the three brothers were put 


, 



ïO 


GENERAL HISTORY OJ? THE HIGHLANDS. 


to death, in defiance of Conor's pledge. The 
broken hearted Deirdre .cast herself on the 
grave of N aos anù died, having first composed 
and sung a lament for his death. This i::> 
one of the most touching in the catalogue of 
Celtic tales j and it is interesting to oùserve 
the influence it exerted over the Celtic mind 
by its effect upon the topographical nomen- 
clature of the country. There are several Dun 
Oeirdres to be found still. One is prominent 
in the vale of the Nevis, near Fortwilliam, and 
another occupies the summit of a magnificent 
rock overhanging Loch Ness, in Stratherrick. 
N aos, too, has given his name to rocks, and 
woods, and lakes ranging from Ayrshire to 
Inverness-shire, but the most signal of all is 
the great lake which fills the eastern portion 
of the Caledonian valley, Loch Ness. The 
old Statistical 
\..ccount of Inverness states 
that the Ilame of this lake was understood to 
he derived from some mythical person among 
the old Celts j and thf're can be little doubt 
that the person was N aos. The lake of N aos 
(Naise in the genitive), lies below, and over- 
hanging it is the Tower of Deirdre. The pro- 
pinquity is natural, and the fact is evidence of 
the great antiquity of the tale. 
There are other l\ISS. of high antiquity in 
existence said to ùe Scotch; but it is sutfi!'ient 
to refor for an account of these to the Appendix 
to the Report of the Highland Society on the 
Poems of Ûssian, an account written by an 
admirable Celtic scholar, Dr Donald Smith, 
the brother of Dr Jolm Smith of Camp bel- 
town, so distinguished in the same field. 
The next relic of Celtic literature to which 
we refer is 


THE BOOK OF DEER. 
This is a vellum .MS. of eighty-six folios, 
about six inches long by three broad, discovered 
in the University Library of Cambridge, ùy 
1\[1' Bradshaw, the librarian of the University. 
It had belonged to a distinguished collector of 
Looks, Bishop 1\1oore of Norwich, anù after- 
wards of Ely, whose library was presented to 
the University more than a century ago. 1'110 
chief portion of the book is in Latin, and is 


said to be as old as the 9th century. This 
portion contains the Gospel of St J olm, and 
portions of the other three Gospels. The MS. 
also contains part of an Office for the visita.tion 
of the sick, and the Apostles' Creed. There is 
much interest in this portion of the book as 
indicati ve of the state of learning in the Celtic 
Church at the time. It shows that the eccle- 
siastics of that Church kept pace with the age' 
in which they Ii ved, that they Imew their 
Bible, and could both write and read in 
Latin. The .MS. belonge'd to a Culdee estab- 
lishment, and is therefore a memorial of the 
ancient Celtic Church. It is a pity that we 
possess so few memorials of that Church, con- 
vinced as we are that, did we know the truth, 
many of the statements Illade regarding it by 
men of a different age, and belonging to a 
differently constituted ecclesiastical system, 
would be found to be unsupported by the 
evidence. It is strange that if the Culdee 
establishments were what many modern writers 
make theni to have been, they should have lHld 
so many tokens of their popularity as thi8 
volume exhibits; and "re know well that that 
Church did not fall before the assault8 of a 
hostile population, but before those of a hostile 
king. 
But the more interesting portion of the 
Book of Deer, in connection with our inquiry: 
will be found in the Gaelic entries on the 
margin and in the vacant spaces of the yolunw. 
These have all been given to the world in the 
recent publication of portions of the book 1,y 
the Spalding Club, under the ctlitoröhip of 
Dr John Stuart. Celtic scholars are deeply 
indebted to the Spalding Club for this admir- 
able publication, and although many of th8m 
will differ from the editor in some of the views 
which he gives in his accompanying disquisi- 
tions, and even in some of the readings of the 
Gaelic, they cannot but feel indebted to him 
for the style in which he has furnished them 
with the original, for it is really so, in the 
plates which the volume contains. On theFO 
every man can comment for himself and form 
his own inferences. 'Ve have given llR ill II 


this MS. 



71 


THE LEGEND OF DEER. 


THE LEGEND OF DEEH. 


ColumcilIe acusdrostán mac cosgrpg adálta tan- 
I gator áhi marroalseg día doíb goníc abbordobóir acus- 
béde cruthnec robomormær bûchan aragínn acusessé 
rothídnaíg dóib ingathráig sáin insaere gobraíth ómor- 
maer acu
óthóséc. tangator asåáthle sen incathráig ele 
acusdoráten ricolumciUe sì iàrfalIán dórath dé acus- 
ùorodloeg arinmormær-i 'bédé gondas tabrád dó acus- 
níthárat.acusroga,b mac dó galår iarnéré naglerêc acus- 
robomaréb act máùbec iarsén dochuíd inmonnaer 
dattác naglerec gondendæs ernacde les inmac gondisád 
sIánté dó acusdórat inedbaírt doíb uácloic intiprat 
goníce chJóic petti mic garnáit doronsat innernacde 
acustanic sIante dó; larsén durat coIlumcilIe dóùros- 
tin inchadráig sén acusrosbenact acusforacaib im- 
brether gebe tisaid ris nabad bIienec buadacc tangator 
deara drostån arscarthåin fIi coIIumcille rolaboir 
columciIIe bedeár áním ó hÚnn ímácé. 


Such is the legend of the founùation of the 
old monastery of Deer, as preserved in this book, 
and written probably in the twelfth century. It 
was in all probability handed down from the 
cluse of the sixth or from a later period, but it 
must not be forgotten that a period of six hun- 
dred years had elapsed between the events here 
recorded and the record itself as it appears. 
It is hard to say whether Columba ever made 
this expedition to Buchan, or whether Drostan, 
whose name is ill all likelihood British, lived 
in the time of Columba. The Aberdeen 
Breviary makes him nephew of the saint, but 
there is no mention of him in this or any 
other connection by early ecclesiastical writers, 
and there is every reason to believe that he 
belonged to a later period. I t was of some 
consequence at this time to connect any such 
establishment as that at Deer with the name of 
Columba. There is nothing improbable in its 
having been founded by Drostan. 
It is interesting to observe several things 
which are brought to light by this legend of 
I the twelfth century. It teaches us what the 
men of the period believed regarding the sixth. 
The ecclesiastics of Deer believed that their 
own institution had been founded so early as 
the sixth century, and clearly that they were 
the successors of the founders. If this be true, 
gospel light shone among the Picts of Buchan 
almost as soon as among the people of lona. 
It has been maintained that previous to Co- 
lumba's coming to Scotland the country had felt 


English Translation. 
ColumciIle and Drostan, son of Cosgreg, his pupil, 
came from I as God revealed to them to Aberdour, and 
Bede the Pict was Mormaor of Buchan before them, 
and it was he who gifted to them that to\\n in free- 
dom for ever from mormaor and toiseach. After that 
they came to another town, and it pleased Columcille, 
for it was full of the grace of God, and he asked it of 
the :Mormaor, that is Bede, that he would give it to 
him, and he would not give it, and a son of his took 
a sickness after refusing the clerics, and he was dead 
but a little. .After that the :Mormaor went to entreat 
of the clerics that they would make prayer for the son 
that health might come to him, and he gave as an 
offering to them from Cloch an tiprat (the stone of the 
well) as far as Cloch Pit mac Garnad (the stone of 
Pitmacgarnad). They made the prayer, and health 
came to him. After that Collumcille gave that town 
to Drostan, and he blessed it, and left the word, 
'Vhosoever comes against it, let him not be long- 
lived or successful. Drostan's tears came (Deara) on 
separating from Collumcille. Collumcille said, Let 
Deer (Tear) l,e its name from hence f()rward. 
powerfully the influence of Christianity, 1 and 
the legend of Deer would seem to corroborate 
the statement. From the palace of Brude the 
king, in the lleighbourhood of Inverness, on to 
the dwelling of the l\Iormaor, or Governor of 
Buchan, Christianity occupied the country so 
early as the age of Columba. nut this is a 
legend, and must not be made more of than it 
iq worth. Then this legend gives us some 
view of the civil policy of the sixth century, as 
the men of the twelfth viewed it. Th
 chief 
governor of Buchan was DetIe, the samß name 
with that of the venerable Northumbrian 
historian of the eighth century. He is simply 
designated as Cruthnec (Cruithneach) or the 
Pict. '\Vas this because there were other in- 
habitants in the country besides Picts at the 
time, or because they were Picts in contrast 
with the people of that day 
 The probability 
is, that these writers of the twelfth century 
designated Bede as a Pict, in contradistinction 
to themselves, who were probably of Scotic 
Ol'lgm. Then the names in this document arc 
of interest. Besides that of Bede, we have 
Drostan and Cosgreg, his father, and Garnaid. 
TIede, Drostan, Cosgreg, and Garnaid, are 
names not known in the Gaelic nomenclature 
of Scotland or Ireland. And there are names 
of places, Aberdobhoir, known as Aberdour to 
this day, Buchan also in daily use, Cloch in 
tiprat not known now, and Pit mac garnaid also 


1 Early Scottish Church, p. 146. 



72 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


become obsolete. Aberdobhoir (Aberdwfr) is 
purely a British name; Buchan, derived from 
the British Bwcll, a cow, is also British; Pit 
mac garnaid, with the exception of the :Mac, is 
not Gaelic, so that the only Gaelic name in the 
legend is Cloch in tiprat, a merely descriptive 
term. This goes far to show what the cha- 
racter of the early topography of Scotland 
really is. 
Then there is light thrown upon the civil 
arrangements of the Celtic state. 'Ye read 
nothing of chipfs and clans, but we have 1\101'- 
maors (great officers), and Toiseachs (leaders), 
the next officer in point of rank, understood 
to be connected with the military arrangements 
of the country, the one being the head of the 
civil and the other of the military organisation. 
At this time there was a Celtic kingdom in 
I Scotland, with a well established and well 
organised government, entirely different from 
what appears afterwards under the feudal 
system of the Anglo-Saxons, when the people 
became divided into clans, each under their 
separate chiefs, waging perpetual war with each 
other. Of all this the Book of Deer cannot 
and does not speak authoritatively, but it 
indicates the belief of the twelfth century with 
regard to the state of the sixth. 
The farther Gaelic contents of the Book of 
Deer are notices of grants of land conferred by 
the friends of the institution. N one of these 
are real charters, but the age of charters had 
come, and it was important that persons hold- 
ing lands should have some formal title to 
them. Hence the notices of grants inscribed 
on the margin of this book, aU without date, 
save that there is a copy of a Latin charter of 
David 1., who began his reign in the year 
1124. 
The memoranda of grants to the monastery 
are in one case headed with the following 
blessing-Acus bennact inclwmded arcpcmoJ"- 
llW1. acusal'cecfosech clwmallfas ac usda nsil 
daneis. " And the blessing of the one God on 
every governor and every leader who keeps 
this, and to their seed afterwal'ds." The first 
grant recorded follows immediately after tl16 
lcgend given above. It narrates that Com- 
geall mac eda gave from Orti to l<'urene to 
Columba and to Drostan; that l\Ioridacll 

I'Morcunn gave Pit mac Garnait antI 
\.cha(l 


toche temni, the former being Mormaor and 
the latter Toiseach. Matain 1\l'Caerill gave a 
1\Iúrmaor's share in Altin (not Altere, as in the 
Rpaldil1g Club's edition), and Culn (not Culii) 
1\I'Batin gave the share of a Toiseach. Dom- 
naIl l\[,Giric and :\Iaelbrigte l\I'Cathail gave 
Pett in muilenn to Drostan. Cathal l\I':l\Ior- 
cunt gave Achad naglerech to Drostan. Dom- 
naIl :\l'Rnadri and l\Ialcolum l\I'Culeon gave 
Eidbin to God and to Drostan. l\Ialcolum 
l\I'Cinatha (Malcolm the Second) gave a king's 
share in Bidbin and in Pett l\I'Gobroig, and 
two davachs above Rosabard. :Malcolum 
l\['
Iailbrigte gave the Delerc. l\Ialsnecte 
1\[' Luloig gave Pett )[alduib to Drostan. 
Domnall 1\Fl\Ieic Du l)hacin sacrificed every 
offering to Drostan. Cathal sacrificed in the 
same manner his Toiseach's share, and gave 
the food of a hundred every Christmas, and 
every Pasch to God and to Drostan. Kenneth 
:l\fac meic Do barcon and Cathal gave Alterin 
alIa from Te (Tigh) na Camon as far as 
the birch tree between the two Alterins. 
Domnall and Cathal gave Etclanin to God 
and to Drostan. Cainneach and DOI1lnall and 
Cathal sacrificed all these offerings to God and 
to Drcstan from beginning to end free, from 
:\10rmaors and from Toiseachs to the day of 
j ndgment. 
It will be observed that some of the words in 
this translation are different from those given 
in the edition of the Spalding Club. Some 
of the readings in that edition, notwithstand- 
ing its general accuracy, are duubtful. In 
the case of uethe no camone, unless the ue 
is understood as standing for frmn, then' is no 
starting point at all in the passage describing 
the grant. Besides, we read .Altin all end, as 
the name of Altin or Alterin in another grant. 
This seems to have escaped the notice of the 
learned translator. 
These grants are of interest for various rpa- 
sons. 'Ye have first of all the names vf the 
grantees and others, as the n
unes common 
during the twelfth and previous centuries, for 
these. grants go back to a periolI earlier than the 
reign of l\lalcolm the Second, when the first 
change began to take place in the old Celtic 
system of polity. 'Ye have such names as Com- 
gealllJ/ac Edfl, probably lJ/acAoidh, 01', as 
pelt 
now in English, Mackay; Jlol'idach 111' Jlm.. 


J 



NAMES OCCURRING IN ANCIENT GRANTS. 


73 


Cllnn (JIorgan), or, as now spelt, J\I':ßlorran; 
}'Iatain J.1ICaerl7l, Matthew l'I'Kerroll; Caln 
I }'f'Botin, Colin l'I'ßean; Domhnall J.lf'Gir-ig, 
Donald :ßl'Erig (Gregor or Eric?); }'Ialbrigte 
.Jf'Caflwil, Gilbt'rt J\I'Kail; Cathal }'f'.L1Ior- 
I czud, Cathal J\I':\1orran; Domhnall J.lf'Ruadri, 
Donald :ßI'Rory; J.1Ialcolum ill' Culeon, }'1alcolm 
}'l'Colin; }'Ialcolum }'I'Cinnatlza, }'1alcolm 
:\f'Kenneth, now l\l'Kenzie. This was king 
:\Ialcolm the Second, whose Celtic designation 
is of the same character with that of the other 
parties in the notice. 
falcollt1n 1.1I'.JIailbrigte, 
:àlalcolm J\I'
Ialbride; the nearest approach to 
the latter name in present use is Gilbert. 
l\Ialsnecte J\I'Luloig, .JIalsnechta 
I'Lul({ich. 
The former of these names is obsolete, but 
l\:l'Lullich is known as a surname to this day. 
Domnall ßl':\1eic Dubhacin (not Dubbacin), 
the latter name not known now. The name 
Dobharcon is the genitive of Dobharcu, an 
otter. The names of animals were frequently 
applied to men at the time among the Celts. 
The father of King Bruùe was 
Iialclw, a 
greyhound. Loilgheach (Lulach), a man's 
name, is in reality a milch cow. 
The next set of grants entered on the mar- 
gin of this remarkabllj record are as follows: 
, -Donchad l\I'l\Ieic Dead mec Hidid (pro- 
bably the same with Eda, and therefore Aoidh), 
gave Acchad 1'1adchor to Christ and to Dros- 
I tan and to Coluimcille; :Malechi and Comgell 
and Gillecriosd :\l'Fingun witnesses, and 1\1al- 
coluim J\f'l\Iolini. Cormac l\I'Cennedig gave as 
far as Scali merlec. Comgell J\l'Caennaig, the 
Toiseach of Clan Canan, gave to Christ and 
to Drostan and to Columcille as far as the 
Gortlie mol', at the part nearest to Aldin 
Alenn, from Dubuci to Lurchara, both hill and 
field free from Toiseachs for ever, and a blessing 
on those who observe, and a curse on those 
who oppose this. 
The names here are different from those in 
the former entry, with few exceptions. They 
are Duncan, son of Macbeth, son of Hugh or 
Ay, Malachi, Comgall, Gilchrist M'IGmwn, 
and Malcolm M'::\Iillan, Comgall J\l'Caennaig 
pI'Coinnich or 1'1'Kenzie 1) In this entry we 
have the place which is read Altere and 
Alterin by 1'11' vYhitley Stokes. It is here 
entered as Aldin Alenn, as it is in a former 
grant entered as Alti7t. In no case is the 
II. 


el. written in full, so that AHerin is a guess. 
But there is no doubt that Aldin Alenn 
and Altcrin alla are the same place. If it 
be Alterin the Alla may mean rough, stony, 
as opposed to a more level and smooth place 
of the same name. It will be observed that 
in this entry the name of a clan appears 
Clande Canan (Clann Chanain). There was 
such a clan in Argyleshire who were treasurers 
of the Argyle family, and derived their name 
from the Gaelic Cd in, a Tax. It is not impro- 
bable that the name in Buchan might have 
been applied to a family of hereditary tax- 
gatherers. 
The next series of grants entered on the 
margin of the" Book of Deer" are as follows: 
-Colbain Mormaor of Buchan, and Eva, 
daughter of Gartnait, his wife, and Donnalic 
M'Sithig, the Toiseach of Clenni Morgainn, 
sacrificed all the offerings to God and to 
Drostan, and to Columcilli, and to Peter the 
A postle, from all the exactions made on a 
portion of four davaclzs, from the high monas- 
teries of Scotland generally and the high 
churches. The witnesses are Brocein and 
Cormac, Abbot of Turbruaid, and J\Iorgann 
l'I'Dollnchaiù, and Gilli Petair J\I'DollllChaid, 
and Malæchin, and the two J\I'J\1atni, and the 
chief men of Buchan, all as witnesses in Elaill 
(Ellon). 
The names in this entry are Colban, the 
mormaor, a name obsolete now-although it 
would seem to appear in M'Cubbin-Eya, and 
Gartnait. The former seems to have been the 
Gaelic form of Eve, and the latter, the narnl' 
of Eva's father
 is gone out of use, unless it 
appear in l\I'Carthy-Donnalic (it is Donna- 
chac, as transcribed. in the edition of the Spald- 
ing Club), l\l'Sithig or Donnalic J\PKeich, the 
surname well known still in the llighlands-- 
B1"Ocein, the little badger, Cormac, llIorgan, 
Gillepedai1', J/alæchin, the servant of Each- 
ainn or Hector, and }'I'lIlatlli or J\I'l'1ahon, the 
English Matheson. There is another instance 
here of a clan, the clan Morgan. 
The most of these names must be understood 
merely as patronymic, the son called, accord- 
ing to the Celtic custom, after the name of Ilis 
father. There is no reason to think that thc
e 
were clan names in the usual sense. King 
Malcolm II. is called 1.1/alcolll7n .JI'Cinuatlw, 
K 



I 
! 


74 


GENERAL Hl
TORY OF THE HIGHL
\.YDS. 


or :Malcolm the son of Kenneth, but it would I There is one curious entry towarùti the clo!';e 
be sufficiently absurd to conclude that l\Ialcolm of the .ß1S.-" FO'l'chuÙU8 caichduini ÙnùÙl 
was a Mackenzie. And yet there are two armfh in lebran. (Jolli. amtardda bendacht 
clans referred to in these remarkable records, I fo'ranmain in tntagan mdscriùai. . . . . 7," 
the clan Canan and the clan l\Iorgan. There which is thl!s translated by l\fr \Vhitley 
is no reason to Lelieve that either the nuch- I Stokes :-" ne it on the conscience of every 
anans of Stirlingshire or of Argyleshire had one in whom shall be for grace the booklet 
any connection with the tribe of Canan men- r with splendour; that he give a blessing on the 
tioned here; but it is possible that the l\bckays sOl!l of the wretchoc
 wb-o wrote it." 
of the Reay countrr, whose ancient name was This is probably the true meaning of the 
Clan :Morgan, may have derived their origin Gaelic. But the original might be rendered 
from Duchan. It is interesting to observe in English by the following translation:- 
that the Toiseachs are associated with these "Let it be on the oonscience of each man 
clans, Comgell .ilIac Gacnnaig being called the ill whom shall be for gooù fortune the 
Toiseach of Clan Canan, and Donnalic M'Sithig booklet with colour, that he give a blessin
 
the Toiseach of Clan :ì\Iorgan, although neither on the soul of the poor one who wrote it." 
of the men are deiignated by the clan name, Bafh is good fortune, and li is coloQ.r, referring 
[t would seem that l!nder the l.Iormaors the probably to the coloured portions of the writ- 
family system existed and was acknowledgeù, ing, and Trllflghan is the Gae!ic syrl.onym of 
the .J.1Iorma01. being the representative of the the "miserus" or "miserimus" of the 0111 
king, and the Toiseach the head of the sept, Celtic church. l\fr ",Vhitley Stokes, as quotell 
who led his followers to battle when called by Dr Stuart, says (p. l
), "In point of lan- 
upon to do so. At the same time the clan guage this is identical with the olùest Irish 
system would seem to have been in an entirely glossps in Zeuss' Gmmmatica Celtica." 
difteren.t condition from that to which it at- 
tained after the introduction of the feudal 
system, when the chiefs for the first time got 
feudal titles to their laTIlls. 
l\Iany other inferences might be made from 
these interesting records, It is enough, how- 
ever, to say that they prove beyond a ques- 
tion the existence of a literary culture and a 
aocial organisation arrwng the ancient Celts 
for which they do not always get credit; and 
if i;uch a book existed at Deer, what reason is 
there to doubt that similar books were nume- 
rously dispersed over the other ecclesiastical 
instÏtutioIl.8 of the country 1 


A polcha Alban uile, 
A shluagh feuta foltbhuidhe, 
C'ia ceud ghabhail, au eòl dniLh, 
Ro ghabhasdair Alhanbruigh. 
Albanus 1'0 ghabh, lià a shlugh, 
Mac sen oirderc lsicon, 
Brathair is Briutus gan brath, 
o raitear Alba eathrach. 
Ro ionnarb a brathair bras, 
Uriotus tar muir n-Irht-n-amhnas, 
Ro gabh Bl"iutus Albain ain, 
Go rinn fhiadhnach Fotudain. 
Fota iar m-Briutus m-blaith, m-bil, 
no ghabhsad Clanna N emhidh, 
Erg-Ian iar teacht as a loing, 
00 aithle thoghla thnir COlluiug. 


TIlE ALDA.1'JIC ])UA:N. 


Thf,g relic of Celtic literature might have 
been taken as chronologically preceding the 
.Book of Deer, but while portions of the latter 
are looked upon as having been written pre- 
viou.s to the ninth century, the former, SLI 
far as we know, is of the age of :Malcolm III. 
It is said to have been sung by the Gaelic 
hard of the royal house at the coronation of 
::\Ialcolm. It is transcribed here as it appears 
in the Chronicles of the Picfs and Scots, where 
it is given as copied from the :M'Firbis ])J8. 
in the Ro)'al T rish Aca(lemy :_ 
ßnglish Translation, 
Ye learned of Alban altogether 
Ye people shy, yel1o\\--haired 
Which was the first invasion, do ye know 
That took the land of .AlLan l 


Albanus took it, active his men, 
That famous son of Isacon, 
The brother of Briutus without guile 
From whom Alba of the ships is said. 
Briutus banished his l>ü]d hrother 
Over the stormy sea of Icht. 
Brintns took the beautiful Alban 
To the tl>mpestuous promontory of Fotudan. 
Long after Briutus the noble, the good, 
The race of N eimhidh took it, 
Erglan, after coming out of his 
hip 
After the destmction of the tower of Conaiu;..:'. 



h - 
I THE ALBANIC DUAX. 
Cruithnigh ros gabhsad iarttain, 
Tar ttiachtain a h-Erean-mhuigh, 
.X.righ tri fichid righ ran, 
Gabhsad diobh an Cruithcan-chlar. 


75 


Cathluan an ced righ diobh-soin, 
Aisnedhfead daoibh go cumair, 
Rob e an righ degheanach dhibh 
An cur calma Cusaintin. 


The Cruithne took it after that 
On coming out of Erin of the plain, 
I::ieventy noble kings of them 
Took the Cruithnean plain. 
Cathluan was the first king of them, 
I tell it you in order, 
The last king of them was 
The brave hero Constantine. 


A ceathair ficheat, nil' fhann, 
Do bhliadhnaibh do chaith Domhnall, 
Da bhliadhain Conaill, cern nogle, 
Is a ceathair ChonaH ele. 


The children of Eoehy after them 
Seized Alban after a great fight, 
The children of Conair, the gentle man, 
The choice of the Lrave Gael. 
Three sons uf Erc the son of Eochy the joyous, 
Three who got the blessing of Patrick, 
Seized AlLan; great was their courage, 
Lorn, Fergus, and Angus. 
Ten years to Lorn, by which was renown, 
In the sovereignty of Oinr Alban, 
After Lorn the generous and strong 
Seven and twenty years to Fergus. 
Domangart, son of the great Fergus, 
Had the number of five terrible years. 
Twenty-four years without a fight 
\Vere to Comghall son of Domangart. 
Two years of success without contempt 
After Comghall to Gobhran. 
Three years with five without divisiun 
Was:king Conall son of Comghall. 
}'our and twenty peaceful years 
\Vas king Aodhan of many songs. 
Ten years with seven, a true tale, 
In so\-ereignty Eochy buy. 
Connchadh Cearr a quarter, star of renown, 
Sixteen years to his son Ferchar, 
After Ferchar, see the poems, 
Thirteen years to Donald. 
After Donald breac of the shouts, 
\Yas Conall, Dungal ten years, 
Thirteen years Donald DOlin 
After Dungal and Conall. 
:Maolduin, son of Conall of spoils, 
Seventeen years to him rightfully. 
Ferchar fadd, see you it 
Spent one year over twenty. 
Two years was Eochy of steeds, 
Bold was the king of palaces. 
One year was king after that 
Aincellach the good, son of Ferchar. 
Seven years was Dungal the impetuolls 
And four to Ailpin. 
Th
ee years 111 urdoch the gooJ, 
Tlmty to Aodh as high chief. 
Eighty, not feeble 
Years did Donald spend. 
Two years Conall, a noble course 
And four anotlJer Conall. ' 
Nine years Constantine the mild 
Nine Angus over Alban, ' 
Four years the excellent Aodh, 
And thirteen Eoghanan. 
Thirty years Kenneth the hardy, 
Four Donald of ruddy face, 
Thirty years with eirect 
'1'0 the hcro, to ConstantÏ1w. 


(,lanna Eathach ina n-diaigh, 
Gabhsad Albain iar n-airdghliaiJh, 
Clanna Conaire an chaomhfhir, 
Toghaidhe na treun Ghaoidhil. 
Tri mec Erc mec Eachdach ait, 
Trial' fuair beannachtair Patraicc, 
Ghabhsad Alhain, ard a n-gus, 
Loam, Fearghus, is Aonghus. 
Deeh m-bliadhlla Loam, ler bladh, 
I fflaitheas Oirir Alban, 
Tar es Loam fhel go n-gus, 
Seacht m- bliadhna ficheat Fearghus. 
Domhangart mac d'Fheargus ard, 
Aireamh cuig m-bliadhan m-biothgarg, 
A .XXXIIII. gan troid, 
Do Comghall mac Domhangoirt. 
Da bhliaùhan Conaing gan tail', 
Tar es Comhghaill do Gobhran, 
Ti bliadhna fo cuig gan roinn 
Ba l'i Conall mac Comhghoill. 
Cethre bliadhna ficheat tall 
Ba ri Aodhan na n-iol-rann, 
Dech m-hliadhna fo seacht seol n-gll', 
I ffiaitheas Eathach buillhe. 
Connchadh Cean raithe, reI bladh, 
A .XVI. dia mac Fearchar, 
Tar es Ferchair, feaghaidh rainn, 
.XIIII. bliadhna Domhnaill. 


Tar es DOlllhnaill bric na m-bla, 
Con all, Dunghall .X. m-bliadlma, 
.XlII. bliadhna Domhnaill duÏ1m 
Tar es Dunghail is Chonail. 
:Maolduin mac Conaill na ccreach 
A .XVII. do go dlightheach, 
Fearchair fadd, feagha leat, 
Do chaith bliaùhain thar .XX. 
Da bliadhain Eachdach na-n-each, 
Ro ba calma an ri rightheach, 
Aoin bhliadhain ba tlaith iarttain, 
Ainceallach l11aith mac Fearchair. 
Seachd m-b1iadhna Dunghail ùt-in, 
Acus a ceither do Ailpen, 
Tri bliadhlla 
luireadhiogh mhait li, 
. XXX. do Aodh na ardfhlaith. 


Naoi m-bliadhna Cusaintin chain, 
A naoi Aongusa ar Albain, 
Cethre bliadhna Aodha ain, 
Is a tri deng Eoghallain. 
Triocha bliadhain Cionaoith chruaidh, 
A ceathair Domhnall drechruaidh, 
. XXX. bliadhain co na bhrigh, 
Don chl1radh do Cllsaintin. 



76 


GEXERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAXDS. 


Da righ for chaogad, cluine, 
Go mac Donnchaidh drech ruirp, 
Do shiol Erc ardghlain anoir, 
Gabhsad Albain, a eolaigh. 
Although thi::> poem is given in Gaelic as it 
appears in the Chronicles 01 tlle Piets and 
8eots, 2 the English translation differs in some 
places. At p. 60 Tri bliadll1la 10 euig 3 is 
trarslated by Mr Skene "three years five 
times," while in the same page deeh m- 
bliadlma /0 seacht is translated "ten years The name of l\Iuireadhach Albannach is well 
and seven." There is no apparent gr(lund for known among the literary traditions of Celtic 
such a distinction. So in p. 61 eeatlw1' fieheat, Scotland. In a curious genealogy by Lachlan 
eighty, i5 translated" four and tw 3nty," which 
Iac Mhuireadhaich or V uirich, usually called 
is at variance with the usus of the Gaelic lan- Lachlan .l\I'Pherson, given in the Report of 
guagf3. The above translation seems the true the Highland Society of Scotland on Ossian/' 
one. the said Lachlan traces his own genealogy , 
This poem is manifestly of great antiquity back through eighteen generations to this 
anrl of deep historical interest. Of the author- 
fuireadhach or :J\Iurdoch of Scotland, and 
ship little is known. It has been suggested states that his ancestors were bards to 
that it is of Irish origin. 4 This is possible, for 1I'Donald of Clanronald during the period. 
jullging by the synchronisms of Flann 1\Iainis- The original Murdoch was an ecclesiastic, anll 
treach, the Irish seanachies were well informed has probably given their name to the whole 
on Scottish matters. But whether Irish or )I'Pherson clan. There is a curious poetical 
Hot, the whole poem rpfers to Scotland, and is dialogue giyen in the Dean of Lismore's Book 
entitled to a place among the Celtic remains between him and Cathal Cròdhearg, King of 
of the country. It is our ol<.lest and most Connaught, who flourished in the close of the 
authentic recorrl of the Scottish kings, and ill 12th century, upon their pntering at the same 
2 P.57. time on a monastic life. The poem would 
3 Fo IH're ana elsewhere in the poem seems to re- seem to show :Murdoch to have been a man of 
prescnt fa, upon, rather than ar, as 1111' Skenc SUP- I 
1")8('8. 
J Chroniclus oj lite Fic18 (tlLd &ol8, lut. p. xxxvii. 6 P. 275. 


Va. bhliadhain, ba daor a ùath, 
Va brathair do _\oùh fhionnscothach, 
Domhnall mac Cusaintin chain, 
Ro chaith bliadhain fa cheathair. 
Cnsaintin ba calma a ghleac, 
Ro chaith a se is da fhicheat, 
l\laolcoluim cethre bliaùhna, 
Iondolbh a h-ocht airdriagla. 

eacht m-bliaùhna Dubhoù der. 
Acus a ceathair Cuilen, 
A .XXVII, os gach cloinn 
Do Cionaoth mac 1Ilaolcholuim. 
Seacht m- bliadhna Cusaintin cluin 
ACllS a ceathail' l\Iacdhuibh 
'l'riochadh bliadhain, breacaid minn 
Ba ri l\Ionaidh 1Ilaolcoluim. 
Se bliadhna Donuchaiù glain gaoith 
.X\-U. bliadhna mac Fionnlaoich 
'Tar es Mecbeathaidh go m-blaidh 
. vii mis i ffiaithios Lughlaigh. 
::\Iaolcholuim anosa as ri, 
lilac Donnchaidh dhata dhrecbbhi, 
A re nocha n-fiùir neach, 
Acht an t-eolach as eolach 
A eolclla. 



 


'Two years, sad their complexion, 
'To his brothcr Aodh the youthfully fair, 
Donald, son of Constantine the mild, 
Spent a year above four. 
Constantine, bold was his conflict 
Spent forty and six. 
Malcolm four years. 
Inùulf eight in high sovereiguty. 
Seven years Dubhoda the impetuous, 
And four Cuilen. 
And twenty-seven over all the tribæ 
'To Kenneth the son of l\Ialcolm. 


Seven years Constantine, listen, 
And four to Macùuff, 
Thirty years, the verses mark it, 
Was king of l\Ionaiùh, l\Ialcolm. 
Six years was Duncan of pure wisdom, 
Seventcen years the sou of Fiulay, 
After him l\Iacbeth with l'enown, 
&ven months in sovereignty Lulach. 
Malcolm is now the king, 

on of Duncan the yellow-coloured, 
His time knoweth no one 
But the knowing one who is knowing, 
Ye learneù. 


Two kings over fifty, listen, 
'To the son of Duncan of coloured face, 
Of the seed of Erc the noble, in the east, 
Possessed Alban, ye learned. 


this respect commended itself to the regard of 
Pinkertcn, who was no friend of anything that 
was creditable to the Celts or helped to estab- 
lish their claims. 


ltIUIREADHACH ALBANN.\.CII. 



",.. 
I , 


l\ILrIREADH
\.CH ALBANNACH. 


high birth, while his own compositions are 
evidence both of his religious earnestness and 
his poetical talent. Until the publication of 
the Dean of Lismore's book, it was not known 
that there were any remains of his composi- 


Mithich domh triall gn tigh Pharais, 
'N nail' a' ghuin gun e soÏI'bb. 
Cosnaim an tigh treun gun choire, 
Gun sgeul aig neach 'eil oirnn. 
Dean do sriuth ri do shagairt 
'8 coil' cuimhne ach gn dlÜ umad ole. 
N a beir do thigh righ gun agh 
Sgcul a's priomh ri agradh ort. 
N a dean folehainn a'd pheacadh, 
Ge grain ri innseadh a h-olc ; 
Leigeadh de'd chuid an cleith diomhar, 
l\lur be angair a gabhail ort. 
Dean do shith ris an luchd-dreuchd, 
Ge dona, ge anmhuinn le'd chor, 
Rguir rïd lochd, do ghul dean domhain, 
i\l u'm bi olc ri fhaighinn ort. 
l\lairg a threigeadh tigh an Ardrigh, 
Aig ghràdh Jleacaidh, turagh an ni, 
An t-olc ni duine gu dioIllhair 
Iomadh an sin fiachan mu'n ghniomh. 
.Aig so searn10in do shiol an Adhaimh, 
.Mar shaoilim nach bheil se an bhreug, 
Fulang a bhais seal gu seachainn 
An fear nach domh gn'n teid. 
Fhir a cheannaich siol an Adhaimh 
D'fhuil, a cholla, 'us da chridhe, 
Air a reir gu'n dt:anadh sealga, 
Gel' ge dian ri 'm pheacadh mi. 


It is not necessary to give farther specimens 
of :l\lurdoch of Scotlanù's poetry here, as those 
existing are very similar to the above; but 
several specimens will be found in the Dean 
of Lismore's Book, from which the above is 
taken. The original has been difficult to read, 
and in consequence to render accurately, but 
there is little doubt that the real meaning of 
the poem is given. If the Book of Deer 
I be a specimen of the Gaelic at the close of the 
12th century in the east of Scotland, the above 
is a specimen of the same language from the 
I west, probably from the Hebrides. 


GAELIC CH.\RTER. 


In 1408, Donald, LorI! of the Isles, the hero 
of Harlaw, made a grant of lands in Islay to 
Brian Vicar :Mackay, one of the old 
rackays 
of the island. The charter conveying these 
]ands still exists, and is written in the Gaelic 
language. As it is now published by tht' 
Uecord Commission, it is not nece::sary to give 
it here, but it is a document of much interest, 
\\ ritten by Fergus M'Büth or Beaton, one of 


- 


tions in existence, but that collection contains 
several, all on religioU3 subjects. The follow- 
ing is a specimen of his composition, and 
of the Gaelic poetry of the 12th or 13th 
century :- 


E/I(Jlish Translation. 
'Tis time for me to go to the house of Paradist' 
'Vhile this wound is not easily borne, 
Let me win this house, famous, faultless, 
While others can tell nought else of us. 
Confess thyself now to thy priest, 
Remember clearly all thy sins; 
Carry not to the house of the spotless King 
Aught that may thee expose to charge. 
Conceal not any of thy sins 
However hateful its evil to tell ; 
Confess what has heC'n done in secret, 
Lest thou expose thyself to wrath; 
1Ilake thy peace now with the clergy 
That thou mayst be safe as to thy state; 
Give up thy sin, deeply repent, 
Lest it;; guilt be found in thee. 
"'tV oe to him forsook the great King's house 
For love uf sin, sad is the decd ; 
The sin a man commits in secret 
Much is the debt his sin incurs. 
Thi8 is a sermon for Adam's race, 
r think I've nothing said. that's false, 
Though men may death for a time avoid, 
'Tis true they can't at length escape. 
Thou who hast purchaseJ Adam's mct', 
Their blood, their body, and their heart, 
The things' we cherish thou dost assail 
However I may sin pursue. 6 


the famous IJeatolls who were physicians to 
the Lord of the Isles, and signed with tho 
holograph of the great ishnd chief himself. 
The lands conveyed are in the eastern part of 
tho island, north of the l\Iull of Oa, and 
embrace such well-known places as Baile- 
Vicar, Cornabus, Tocamol, Cracobus, &c. 
The style of the charter is that of the usual 
feudal charters written in Latin, but the re- 
markable thing is to find a document of the 
kind written in Gaelic a
 a time when such a 
thing was almost unknown in the Saxon 
dialects of either Scotland or England. 


:MA
USCRIPTS OF TilE 15TH CENTURY. 


The Highlands seem to have had a large 
number of men of letters during the 15th 
century, and most of our existing manuscript 
materials seem to be of that age. These mate- 
rials are of various kinds. They consist of 
short theological treatises, with traditional 
anecdotes of saints and others which seem to 


6 From Dean of LÙnn01'C's Book, with a fcw verbal 
alteratiolls, p. 157. 



II 
I 


78 


GEXERAL Hr
TOnY OF TIlE HIGHLA:YDS. 


have been prevalent in the church at the 
time. One of the theological treatise
 now in 
the library of the Faculty of Advocates in 
Edinburgh, has reference to the Sacrament of 
the Supper, and maintains the purely Protestant 
(loctrine that the sacrament can only profit 
those who receive it in faith. There are anec- 
dotes of priests, often called by the Gaelic 
name of maighistir, which would indicate that 
the priests of the period had wives, and that 
the doctrine of celibacy had not then entered 
the Scottish church. 
Some of the manuscripts are genealogical, 
and as such are of much value to the Scuttish 
historian. They show what the ideas of the 
[!eanochies of the thirteenth century were re- 
garding the origin of the Highland clans. 
ëome of these genealogical records have been 
publi
hed by the Jona Club, aIlll are in this 
way accessible to the general reader. They 
are indicative of the care taken at the period 
to. preserve memorials of family history, and 
were of value not only as conducing to the 
gratification of family pride, but to the pre- 
servation of family property, inasmuch as these 
were the only means in accordance with which 
succession to property could be determined. 
The consequence is, that they are not always 
very reliable, favour being apt to bias the re- 
corder on one side, just as enmity and ill-will 
were apt to bias him on the other. It is remark- 
ablo how ready the seanochy of a hostile clan 
was to protlaim the line of the rival race 
illegitimate. This affects the value of these 
records, but they are valuable notwithstanding, 
and are to a considerablo extent reliable, espe- 
cially within the period where authentic infor- 
mation could be obtaineJ by the writer. 
A portion of these manuscripts deals with 
meJical and metaphysical subjects, the two 
being often combineJ. '\T e are hardly prel)ared 
to learn to how great an extent these subjects 
were studied at an early period in the High- 
lands. 'Ye are apt to think that the region 
was a barbarous one without either art or 
science. A sight of the scullJtures which dis- 
tinguished the 14th and 15th centuries is 
prone to remove this impression. 'Y" e find a 
style of sculpture stiU remaining in ancient 
crosses and gravestones that is characteristic 
of the Highlands; elaborate ornampnts of a 


distinct character, rich and well executed 
tracery, figures well designed and finished. 
Such sculptures, following upon those of the 
prehistoric period fouml still within the ancient 
Pictish territory, exist chiefly throughout the 
'Vest Higlùamls, and indicate that one art, at 
least, of native growth, distinguished the Gaelic 
Celts of the Middle Ages. 
The medical manuscripts existing are chiefly 
the productions of the famous 
Iacbeths or 
Beatons, the hereditary physicians of the Lonls 
of the Isles for a long series of years. The 
eharter of lands in Islay, already referred to, 
Jrawn out by Fprgus Deaton, is of a date as early 
as 1408, and three hundred years after, men of 
the same race are found occupying the same po
i- 
tion. Hereditary physicians might seem to offer 
but poor prospects to their patients, and that 
especially at a time when schools of medicine 
were almost if not altogether unknown in the 
country; but the fact is, that this was the only 
mode in which llwrlical knowledge could bo 
maintained at all. If such knowlerlge were not 
transmitted from father to son, the probability I 
Ivas that it would perish, just as was the caRe 
with the genealogical knowledge of the scar/a- 
rides. This transmission, however, was pro- 
vided for in the Celtic system, and while there 
was no doubt a considerable difference between 
individuals in the succe.:ision in point of nlPntal 
endowments, they would all possess a certain 
measure of skill and acquirement as the result 
of family experience. These men were students 
of their seience as it existed at the time. The 
:Moors were then the chief writers on medicine. 
Averroes and Avicenna were men whose names 
were distinguished, and whose works, although 
little known now, extended to folios. Along 
with their real and substantial scientific acquire- 
ments, they dived deep into the secrets of 
.\str010gy, aml our CE:ltic stud(>llts, while ready 
disciples of them in the former study, foUowed 
them most faithfully and zealously m thE: latter 
likewise. There are numerous medieal and 
astrological treatises still existing written in 
the Gaelic language, and taken chiefly from 
the works of 
Ioorish and Arabian writers. 
How these works reached the Scottish High- 
lands it is ha1'l1 to say, nor is it easier to under- 
st
nd how the ingredients of the medical 
prescriptions of these practitioners could 10 



THE DEAN OF LISJ\IORE'S BOOK. 


';!) 


obtained in a region so inaccessible at the I Gaelic of medical manuscripts, is taken from 
time. The following specimen of the written Dr O'Donovan s grammar :- 7 


"Laùhrum anois do leighes na h-eslainti so oir is 
eigin nethi imda d'fhaghbhail d'a leighes; ocus is é 
céd leighes is ferr do dhénamh dhi. 1. na lenna tru- 
aillighthi do glanad maille caterfusia; óir a deir 
Avicenna 's an 4 Cän. co n-déin in folmhughadh na 
leanna loisgi d'inarbad. An 2.ní oilemhain bidh 
ocus dighi d'orùughadh dóibh; an tres ní, an t-adhbhar 
do dhileaghadh; an 4.ní a n-innarbadh go h-imlán ; 
an 5. ní, fothraicthi do dhénum dóibh ; an 6. ní, is eígin 
lictuber comhfhurtachta do thobhairt dóib. An 7.ní, 
is eígin neithi noch aentuighius rin do thobhairt 
dóib muna roib an corp línta do droch-Ieannaibh," 


English Translation. 
"Let me now speak of the cure of this disease 
(scurvy), for many things must be got for its cnre; 
the first cure which is best to be made is to clean the 
corrupt humours with caterfusia; for Avicenna says 
in the fourth Canon that evacuation causes an expul- 
sion of the burnt humours. The second thing, t: 
order the patients a proper regimen of meat and drink 
the third thing, to digest the matter; the fourth thing, 
to expel theru completely; the fifth thing, to prepare 
a bath for them; the sixth, it is necessary to give 
them strengthening lictub. The seventh, it is neces- 
sary to give them snch things as agree with them, 
unless the body be full of baJ humours." 


This extract is taken from an Irish manu- been open to :Macpherson, and especially for 
script, but the language is identical with that such written remains as might still be found 
in use in the writings of the Beatons. Celtic in the country. Among others they applied 
Scotland and Celtic Ireland followed the same to the Highland Society of L
mdon, whose 
system in medicine as in theology and poetry. secretary at the time, J\Ir John Mackenzie, 
The metaphysical discussions, if they may be was an enthusiastic Highlander, and an excel- 
so called, are very curious, being characterised lent Gaelic scholar. The Society furnished 
by the features which distinguished the science several interesting manuscripts which they had 
of metaphJ'sics at the time. The most remark- succeeded in coUecting, and among these an 
I able thing is that there are Gaelic terms to ancient paper book which has since been called 
express the most abstract ideas in metaphysics; the "Book of the Dean of Lismore." This 
-terms which are now obsolete, and would book, which now lies in the library of the 
not be understood by any ordinary Gaelic Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, is a small 
speaker. A perusal of these anciel1t writings quarto very much defaced, of about seven inches 
shows how much the language has declined, square, and one inch and a quarter in thickness. 
and to what an extent it was cultivated at an It is bound in a piece of coarse sheepskin, and 
early period. So with astrology, its terms are seems to have beon much tossed about. The 
translated and the science is fully set forth. manuscript is written in what may be called 
Tables are furnished of the position of the phonetic Gaelic, the w0rds being spelled on 
stars by means of which to foretell the cha- the same principle as the 'Vels11 and :Manx, 
racter of future events. 'Vhatever literature although the application of the principle is 
existed in Europe in the 14th and 15th very different. "Athair," lather, is "Ayr;" 
centuries, extended its influence to the Scottish "Saar," ji'ee, is " Seyr;" "Fhuair," found, is 
Highlands. The nation was by no means in "Hoar;" "Leodhas," Lewis, is "Looyss j" 
such a state of barbarism as some writers would "iuchair," a k,('y, is "ewthir ;" "ghràùh," lo
'e, 
lead us to expect. They had legal forms, for is" Zrau." This principle of phonetic spelling, 
we have a formal legal charter of lands written with a partial admission of the Irish eclipsis and 
in Gaelic; they had medical men of skill and I the Irish dot in aspiration, distinguishes the 
acquirement; they had writers on law and whole manuscript, and has made it very difficult 
theology, and they had men skilled in archi- to interpret. The letter used is the English 
tecture and sculpture. letter of the 13th and 16th centuries, and 
the :MS. .was transcribed by the late l\Ir Ewen 

l'Lachlan of Aberdeen, an admirable Gaelic 
scholar. But no attempt was made to transfer 
its contents into modern Gaelic, or to interpret 
them, save in the case uf a few fragments which 


THE DEAK OF LIS:MORE'S BOOK. 


'Vhen the Highland Society of Scotland 
were engaged in preparing their report on the 
poems of Ossian, they thought it important to 
!Search with all possible diJigence after such 
sources of ancient Gaelic poetry as might have 


7 Irish Grammar, r. 4 H). 


, 



80 


GEXER
\L HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


were transferred and interpreted by Dr I:':Jmith Ossianic, numerous songs in praise of that clan. 
for the Highland Society. Recently, however, It seems, however, that l\I'Gregor had a brother 
the whole manuscript, with few exceptions, has called Dougal, who designates himself da01.- 
Leen transcribed, presented in a modern Gaelic ogl((ch, or "apprentice," who had some share in 
dress, translated and annotated, by the writer; making the compilation. These l\l'Gregors 
and a historical introduction and additional belonged to Fortingall in Perthshire, although 
notes have been furnished by Dr 'V'". F. James helcl office in the diocese of Argyll. He 
Skene. was vicar of the parish of Fortingall, and it is 
The volume is full of interest, as present- presumed usually resided there. 
ing a view of the native literature of the In giving specimens from l\l'Gregor's collec- 
Highlands in the IJth and 16th centuries, tion, it may be desirable to treat of the whole 
while it contains productions of a much earlier of what is called the Ossianic poetry. It is 
age. The fragments which it contains are in this collection that we find the earliest 
both Scottish and Irish, showing how familiar written specimens of it, and although :Mac- 
the bardic schools were with the produc- pherson's Ossian did not appear for two ceu- 
lions of both countries. l\Iuch of the cou- turies later, it seems better to group the whole 
tents consists of fragments of what is usually together in this portion of our notice. The 
called Ossianic poetry-compositions byOssian, word "ursgeul" \Vas applied by the High- 
by Fergus filiùh his brother, by Conall l\Iac- landers to these poetical tales. This worù 
Edirsceoil, by Caoilte l\I'Ronan, and by has been translated "a new tale," as if the 
poets of a later age, who imitated these ÙJ. here meant "new" in contradistinction to 
ancient bards, such as Allan Mac Rorie, Gillie- older tales. But the word ùr meant" noble" 
callum 1IIac an Olla, and others. The col- or" great," as \vell as "new," and the word as 
lection bears on one of its pages the name so used must be understood as meaning a 
"Jacobus )I'Gregor ùecanus Lismorensis," "noble tale" in contradistinction to the sgell- 
James JI' GJ.eg01., Dean of LÙ:mw1"e, and it has laclul, or other tale of less note. From what 
been conjecture!l from this fact and the resem- source l\f'Gregor derived his materials is not 
blance of the writing in the signature to that said, but the probability is that he was indebted 
of the body of the manuscript, that this was both to manuscripts and to oral tradition for 
the compiler of the work. That the manuscript them. \Ve shall here give a specimen of the 
was the work of a )I'Gregur is pretty evident. . Dean's collection as it appears in the original, 
It contains a series of obits of important with a version in regular Gaelic spelling, and 
men, most of them chief.o;; and other men of an English translation. It is the poem usually 
note of the clan Gregor, and there are among called "TIàs Dhiarlllaid," or the Dmth (if Diar- 

he poetical pieces of a date later thall the mad. 


A HOUl>1It so ALLANE .M'RoYREE. 


1Jf odcrn Gaelic. 
A H-ÙGHDAIR so AILEAN :M'RUADHRAIDH. 
Gleannsìth an gleann so ri'm thaobh, 
'8 am binn fcidh al-,'llS loin, 
Is minig a rachas an Fheinn 
Air an t-srath so an deigh an con. 
An gleann so fa Bheinn Ghulbainn ghuirm. 
Is aillidh tulcha fo'n ghréin, 
N a sruthana a ruith gu dearg, 
An deigh shealg 0 Fhionn na Feinn. 
Eisdibh beag mar dh'fhalbh laoch, 
A chuideachd chaoimh so uam, 
Air Bheinn Ghulbainn 'us air Fionn fiaT, 
'Us air 111' O'Dhuinn, sgcul truagh : 
Gur Ie Fionn fa truagh an t-sealg 
Air .Mhac O'Dhuinn a's deirge lith, 
Dhol do Bheinn Ghulbainn do shealg 
An tuirc nach faodainn airm dhith. 
Le 1I1ac O'Dhuinn an airm aigh, 
Do'm b'e gu'n torchradh an tore, 
GeiHear roimhe, bu dh'fhoiH FhiDn. 
Is e esan a rinn do lochd. 


Glennschee in glenn so rame heive 
A binn feig agus Ion 
l\lenik redeis in nane 
Ar on trath so in dey Ilgon 
A glen so fa wenn Zwlbin zwrm 
Is haald tulchi fa zran 
N er wanew a roythi gi dark 
In dey heTga 0 inn na vane 
Estith beg ma zalew leith 
A chuddycht cheive so woym 
Er wenn Zulbin is er inn fail 
Is er l\l'ezoynn skayl troyg 
Gur lai finn fa troyg in shelga 
Er V'ezwn is derk lei 
Zwll di wenn Zwlbin di helga 
In turkgi nach fadin erm zei 
Lai .M'ezwnn narm ay 
Da bay gin dorchirre in tork 
Gillir royth ba zoiH finn 
Is sche assne rin do locht 



THE DEATH OF DIARl\IID. 


8
1 


I 
I 
I i 


Er fa harloW' a zail 
1If'ozunn graw nin sgoll 
Aeh so in skayll fa tursyeh mnaan 
Gavr less di layve an tork 
Zingywal di lach ni wane 
Da f,'llrri ea assi gnok 
In schenn tork schee bi garv 
Di vag hallerych na helve mok 
Soeyth finn is derk dreac h 
Fa wenn zwlbin zlass in telga 
Di fre dinnit less in tork 
11101' in tolga a rin a shelga 
Di clastich cozar ni wane 
Nor si narm teach fa a cann 
Ersi in a vest 0 swoyn 
Is glossis woyth er a glenn 
Curris ri faggin nin leich 
In shen tork schee er freich borb 
Bi geyr no ganyth sleygh 
Hi traneiseygh na gath bolga 
l1'ozwnn ni narm geyr 
Frager less in na vest olk 
'Va teive reyll trom navynyth gay 
Currir sleygh in dayl in turk 
Brissir in cran les'3 fa thre 
Si chran fa reiI' er in mwk 
In sleygh 0 wasi waryerka vlaye 
Bait less nochchar hay na corp 
Targir in tan lann 0 troyle 
Di chossin mol' loye in nann 
11arviss l1'ozunn fe!:ìt 
Di hanyth feyn de hess slane 
Tuttis sprocht er Inn ne wane 
Is soyis sea si gnok 
1I1akozunn nar ,lult dayve 
Olk less a hccht slane 0 tork 
Er weith zoyth faddi no host 
A durt gar wolga ri ray 
'l'othiss a zermit 0 hocht 
Ga maid try sin tork so id taa. 
Char zult ay a chonyth finn 
Olk leinn gin a heacht cIa bygh 
Toissi tork er a zrum 
l1'ozunn nach trome trygh 
Toiss na ye reiss 
A zermit gi meine a torc 
Fa lattis troygh ya chinn 
A zil nin nann l'im gort 
Ymbeis bi hmrus goye 
Agus toissi zayve in tork 
Gunne i freich neive garve 
Boonn in leich bi zarg in drod 
Tuttis in sin er in l'ein 
11' O'Zwne nar eyve fealle 
Na la di heive in turk 
Ach sen ayd zut gi dorve 
A la schai in swn fa creay 
M' O'Zwne keawe in gleacht 
Invakane fullich ni wane 
Sin tulli so chayme fa art 
Saywic swlzorme essroye 
Far la berrit boye gi ayr 
In dey a horchirt la tork 
Fa hulchin a chnokso a taa 
Dermit 111' O'Zwne oyill 
H uttom tra ead nin noor 
Hi gil a wrai no grane 
Bn derk a. wail no blai k . . . 
Fa boe inn is a alt 
Fadda rosk barglan fa lesga 
Gurme agus glassi na h w Ie 
:Maissi is cassi gowl ni gleac1lt 
Binni!:ì is grinnis na zloyr 
Gil no zoid varzprk vlmL 
Mayd agis evycht sin leich 


Fear fa tharladh an gaol, 
Mac O'Dhninn gràdh nan sgoil, 
Ach so an sgeul fa tursach mnath!tn, 
Gabhar leis do laimh an torc. 
Diongal do laoch na Feinn 
Do chnireadh e as a chnoc, 
An seann tore Sithe bu ghairbhe, 
Do fhac ballardaich na h-alla-muic. 
Suidhidh Fionn is deirge dreach, 
Fa Bheinn Ghulbailln ghlais an t-seilg, 
Do frith dh' imich leis an torc, 
Mòr an t-olc a rinn a shealg. 
Ri clàisdeachd co-ghair na Feinn 
'N nail' 's an a;m a teachd fa 'ceann 
Eireas a bheisd 0 shuain, 
'Us gluaiseas nath' air a ghleann. 
Cuireas ri fagail nan laoch, 
An seann tore 'us e air friodh borb, 
Ru gheire no gath nan sleagh, 
Bu treine a shaigh no gath bolga. 
Mae O'Dhuinn nan arm geur, 
:Freagras leis a' bheisd olc, 
0' thaobh thriall trom, nimhneach, gath, 
Cuirear slpagh an dail an tuire. 
Brisear a crann leis fa thri, 
Is i a crann fa rèir air a' mhue, 
An t-sleagh 0 bhos bhar-dhearg, bhlàth, 
Raitleis noeh char e' na corp. 
Tairngear an tan lann 0' truaill, 
Do choisinn mòr luaidh an arm, 
l\Iarbhas !\Iac O'Dhuinn a' bheisd, 
Do thainig e féin as slàn. 
Tuiteas sprochd air Fionn na Feinn, 
'Us suidhcas e 's a chnoe, 
Mac 0' Dhuinn nach do dhiult daimh 
Olc leis a thighinn slim o'n tore. 
Air bhith dha fada 'n a thosd, 
A dubhairt, ged a b' ole ri l'àdh, 
Tomhais, a Dhiarmaid 0' shoc, 
Cia meud troidh 's an tore a ta. 
Char dhiult e athchuinge Fhinn, 
Ole leinn gun e theachd d'a thigh. 
rromhaisidh an tore air a dhruim, 
lilac O'Dhuinn nach trom troidh. 
Tomhais 'n a aghaidh a ris, 
A Dhiannaid gu mion an tore j 
Fa leat is truagh dha chinn, 
A ghille nan arm roinn ghoirt. 
Imicheas, bu thums goimh, 
Agus tomhaisidh dhoibh an tore. 
Guinidh a fhriogh nimh, garbh 
Bonn an laoich bu gharbh an trod. 
Tuiteas an sin air an raon, 
l\Iae O'Dhuinn Dior aoibh feall j 
'N a luidhe do thaobh an tuire, 
Ach sin e dhuit gu doirbh. 
A ta se an sin fa chreuchù 
:Mac O'Dhuinn caomh an gleachd j 
AOll mhacan fulangach nam Fiann 
'S an tulach so chitheam fa fheart. 
Seabhag sltiIghorm Easruaidh, 
Fear le'm beireadh buaidh gach àir, 
All deigh a thorchairt Ie torc 
Fa thulchain a chnuic so a ta. 
Diarmad Mac O'Dhuinn aibheil, 
A thuiteam troimh eud; mo nuar I 
Bu ghile a bhràgh'd no grian, 
Bn dheirge a bheul no blàth caora. 
.Fa buidhe inllis a fhalt, 
Fada rosg barghlan fa liosg, 
Guirme agus glaise 'n a shì1Ïl, 
Maise 'us caise cùl nan cleachd. 
Binneas 'us grinneas 'n a ghlÓir, 
Gile 'n a dhoid bhar-dhearg bhlèth, 
Meud agus éifeachd 's an laoeh 
L 


u. 


, 



82 


GEKEUAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLA
DS. 


SenO' is ser no kn
ss ba\"]) 
Coythtyc is maaltor bail 
M' O'Zwne bi VOl' boye 
In tuni char hog swle 
o chorreich wr er a zroy 
Immin de it eyde is each 
Fer in neygin creach nar cbarre 
Gilli a bar gasga is seith 
Ach troyg mil' a teich so glenn 
Glennschee. 


English Translation. 
THE AUI'IIOR OF THIS IS ALLAN l\I'R.ORIE. 
Glenshee the vale that close beside me lies 
\Yllere i!wcetest sounds are heard of deer and elk, 
And where the Feillll did oft rursue the chase 
Followin a their hounds along the lengthening vale. 
Below th
 areat Ben Gnlbin's grassy height, 
Of fairest k
lOlls that lie beneath the sun 
The valley" inds. It's streams did oft run red, 
After a hunt by Finn and by the Feinn. 
Listl>n now while I detail the loss 
Of one a hero in this gentle band; . 
'Tis of Ben Gulbin and of generous Fmn 
And :Mac O'Dnine, in truth a piteous tale. 
A mournful hunt indeed it was for Finn 
\Yhen l\Iac O'Duine, he of the ruddiest hue, 
Up to Ben Gulbin went, resolved to hunt 
The boar, whom alms had never yet sn
dned. 
Though l\Iac O'Duine of brightest 
urlllshed arms, 
Did bravely slay the fierce, and furlOu.s boar, 
Yet Finn's deceit did him induce to YIeld, 
And this it was that did his grievous hurt. 
Who among wen was so belov'd as he? 
Brave :Mac O'Duine, beloved of the schools; 
\Vomen all mourn this sad and piteous tale 
Of him who iirmly grasped tlw murderous spear. 
Then bravely did 'the 
ero of the Fe
nn . 
l
ouse from his cover In the mountam sIde 
The great old boar, him so well known in Shee, I 
The greatest in the wild boar's haunt. e'er seen. 
Finn sat him down, the man of rudùIest hue, 
Beneath Ben Gulbin's soft and grassy side; 
For swift the boar now coursed along the heath; 
Great" as the ill came of that dreadful hunt. I 
'Twas wlll'n he heard the Feinn's loud ringing sholl t, 
And saw approach the glittering of their arms, I 
The monster wakened from his heavy sleep 
Awl stately moved before them down the vale. 
First to distance them he makes attempt 
The 
reat old boar, his bristles stilt" on end, 
Thes
 bristles sharpf'r than a pointed speaJ", 
Their point more pier
ing than the qu
ver's shaft. 
Then lUac O'Duine, wIth arms well pomted too, 
Answt:'rs the horrÍlI beast with ready hand; 
Away from his side then rushed the heavy spear, 
Hard. folIo" in a on the course the boar pursued. 
The javelin's 
l
ft fell shÏ\Tel'ed i?to three, . 
The shaft recOllmg from the boar 8 tough hIde. 
The spear hurl'd by his warm red-fingered hand, 
N e'er penetrated the body of th.e bo
r. , 
Then from its sheath he drew hIS thm-leav d sword, 
Of all the arms most crowned with viC'tory. 
Mac O'Duine did then the monster kill 
'Vhile he himself escaped without a wound. 
Then on Finn of the :Feinn did sadness fall, 
And on the mountain side he sat him down; 
It grieved his soul that generous Mac. O'Duine 
Should have escaped unwounded by the boar. 
For lon a he sat, and never spake a word, 
Thpn thus he spake, although't be sad to tell ; 
"Measnre Diarmad the boar down from the snout, 
And tell how many feet's the brute in length;" 
What Finn did ask he never yet refused; 
Alas! that he should never see hi,> home. 


Seang 'us saor 'n a chneas bàn. 
Coth,Üch 'us mealltair bhan, 
Mac O'Dhninn bu mhòr buaidh, 
's an t-suiridh cha thog Sllil. 
o chuireadh ùir air a ghruaidh. 
Immirdich fhaoghaid 'us each, 
Fear an éigin chteach nar char, 
Gille b'fhearr gaisge 'us sitheadh, 
Ach is truaah mal' a theich 's a ghleann. 
ð Gleannsìth. 


Alona the back he measures now the boar, 
Liaht-footeù l\Iac 0' Duine of active step. 
" ïleasure it the other way against the hail', 
And measure, Diarmad, carefully the boar. 
It was indeed for thee a mournful dectl, 
Furth of the sharply-pointcd, piercing arms, 
He went, the errand grievous was and sad, 
And measured for them once again the boar. 
The envenomed pointed bristle sharply pierced 
'rhe soul of him the bravest in the field. 
Then fell and lay upon the grassy plain 
'rhe noble lIIac O'Duine, whose look spoke truth; 
lIe fell and lay along beside the boar 
And then you have my mournful saddening tale. 
There does he lie now wounded to the death, 
Brave :Mac O'Duine so skilful in the fight, 

'he most enùuring even among the Feinn, 
Up there where I see his grave. 
The blue-eyed hawk that dwelt at Essaroy 
'fhe conqueror in every sore-fought field 
Slain by the poisonetl bristle of the boar. . 
N ow does he lie full-stl'Ptched upon the hill, 
Brave noble Diarmad l\1ac O'Duine 
Slain 'it is shame! victim of jealousy. 
\Yhiter his body than the sun's bright light, 
Redder his lips than blossoms tinged with red; 
Long yellow locks did rest upon his. head, 
His eye was clear beneath the covermg brow, 
Its colour minaled was of blue and gray; 
WaviIig and g
eful were his locks behind, 
His speech was elegant and swe
tly soft.; 
His hands the whitcst, fingers tIpped wIth rel ; 
Elegance and p
)\ver we:re in his form, 
His fail' soft skm covenng a.faultless sha1'<', 
No woman saw him but he won her love. 
Mac O'Duine crowned with his countless victories 
N e'er shall he raise his eye in courtshIp more; 
Or warrior's wrath give colour to his 
heek ; 
The following of the chase, the prancmg ste
d, 
'Will never move him, nor the search for.spOiI. 
He who could bear him wpll in wary fight, 
Has now us sadly left in that wild vale. 
Glenshee. 


This is, in every way, a fair specimen of the 
Dean's MS., anù ûf the story of the death of 
Diarmarl as it existed in Scotland in the year 
1512. The story is entirely a Scottish one, I 
Glenshee being a well-known locality in the 
county of Perth, and Ben Glùbin a well-known 
hill in Glenshee. This has been called an 
Ossiallic poem, bu t, accorùing to Dean ::\I'Gregor, 
it was not composed by Ossian, but by a poet 
obviously of more recent times ;-Allan M:ac- 
Horie, who was probably a composer of the 15th 
century. The resemblance of Diarrnad to 
AchiHes will occur at once to the classical 
reader, and there is no reason to doubt tJJat 



83 


OSSIAN'S EULOGY O
 FIl\GAL. 


there were large classes in the Highlands in 
the middle ages well acquainted with classical 
literature. 

-\.nother specimen of the Dean's poems may 


Modern Gaelic. 
AUCTOR HUJUS OnnAN :MAC FlII
N. 
Sé la gus an dé 0 nach fhaca mi Fionn, 
Cha-n fhaca ri'm ré se bu gheirc leam; 
Mac l1ighinn O'Théige, rìgh nam buillean tròm, 
:M 'oide, 'us mo rath, mo chiall 'us IDO chon. 
Fa filidh fa flatb, fa rìgh air ghéire, 
Fionn flath, rìgh na Feinn, fa triath air gacb tìr ; 
Fa IDiall mòr mara, fa leobhar air leirg, 
:Fa seabhag glan gaoithe, fa saoi air gach ceaird. 
Fa h-oileanach ceart, fa marcaicb Ilior mhearbb, 
Fa h-ullamb air ghniomh, fa steith air gacb seirm; 
Fa fior, ceart, a bhreith, fa tamhail'he tuaith. 
:Fa ionnsaichte 'n a àigh, fa brathach air buaidh ; 
I
a hoe an teachdair ard, air chalm'us air cheòl, 
Fa diÌ1ltadh nan daimh 0 dh'fhàg graidh na gloir. 
A chneas mar an cailc, a ghruaillh mar an ròs, 
13u ghlan gorm a rosg, 'fholt mar an t-òr. 
Fa dùil dailllh 'us daoine, fa aireach nan àgh, 
Fa h-ullamh air glmiomh, fa mìn ri mnathaibh. 
Fa hoe am miall mòr, mac muirne gach magh, 
B'fhear loinneadh nan lann, an crann os gach fiodh. 
Fa saoibhir an l'Ìgh, a bhotul mòr glas, 
l)'fhion dhoirt ghenr dhoibh, tairùh nochchar threa 
.. broinn bhàin 
. . . air au t-sluagh, fa bu chrl1aidh cheum, 
, Fa chosnadh an gniomh, fa Bhanbha nam beann 
Gnn d'thug am flath triochaid catha fa cheann, 
I Air sgraiteach dha, 11 'Cumhail nior cheil, 
A deiI' fa ghò, nì clos gò 'n a bhenl; 
N i euradh air neach, a fhuair fear 0 Fhionn, 
Cha I'Obh ach rìgh gréine, rìgh riamh os a chionn. 

ior dh'fhàg beist an loch, no nathair an nimh, 
An Eirinn nan naomh, nar mharbh an saor seimh. 
:Ki h-innisinn a ghniomh, a bhithinn gu de bhràth, 
Nior innisinn uam, trian a bhuaidh 's a IDhaith. 
Ach is olc a taim, an deigh Fhinn na Feinn, 
Do chaith leis an fhlath, gach maith bha 'na dheigh. 
Gun anghnath aoin mhòir, gun eineach glan gaoithe, 
Gun òr 'us nmathaibh rìgh, 's gun bhreith nan laoch. 
Is tuirseach a taim, an deigh chinn nan cend, 
Is mi an crann air chrith, is mo chiabh air n-eug 
Is mi a chno chith, is mi an t-each gun sréin, 
Achadan mi an uair, is mi an tuath gun treith ; 
Is mi Oisian l\1acFhinn, air trian de'm gbniomh, 
An fbad 's bu bhcò Fionn, do bu leam gacb ni. 
Seachd slios air a thigh, 1\['CumI1ail gon fleadh, 
Seachd fichead sgiath chlis, air gach slios diu bh sin; 
Caogad uidheam olaidh an timchioll mo rìgh, 
Caogad laoch gun iomagain anns gach uidheam dhiubh. 
Deich bleidh bàn, 'n a thalla ri òl, 
Deich eascradh gorm, deich corn de'n òr. 
Acb bu mbaith an treahh, a bh'aig Fionn na Feinn, 
Gun doichioll, gun drùth, 
un gleois, gun gléidh. 
Gun tàrchuis ann, air aon fllear d'a Fheinn, 
Aig dol air gach nì, do bhì càch d'a réir. 
Fionn flath an t-sluaigh, sothran air a luaidh, 
Rìgh nan uile àigb, roimh dhuine nior dhiiilt. 
Nior dhiÌ1lt Fionn roimh neach, ge bu bheag a loinn, 
Char chuir as a theach, neach dha'r thainig ann. 
l\raith an duine Fionn, maith an duine e, 
N ocb char thiodhlaic neacb, leth dhe'r thiodhlaic se. 
Sé. 


be given as one w
ich the compiler attributes 
to Ossian. It is Ossian's eulogy on his father 
Finn, or Fil1gal, as he is called hy 1\I'Pher- 
son:- 


English Translation. 
THE AUTHOR OF THIS IS OSSIAN, THE SON OF FIXK. 
'Twas yesterJay week I last saw Finn, 
N e' er did 1 feel six days so long; 
Teige's daughter's son, a powerful king; 
:My teacher, my luck, my mind, and my light, 
Both poet and chief, as brave as a king, 
Finn, chief of the Feine, lord of all lands, 
Leviathan at sea, as great on land, . 
Hawk of the air, foremost ill arts, 
Courteous, just, a riùer bold, 
Of vigorous deeds, the first in song, 
A righteous judge, firm his rule, 
Polished his mein, who knew but victor
'. 
Who is like him in fight or song 
 
Resists the foe in house or field, 
:Mat-hle his skin, the rose his cheek. 
Blue was his eye, his hair like gold, 
All men's trust, of noble mind. 
Of ready deeds, to women mild, 
A giant he, the field's dplight, 
Best polished spears, no wood like thpir shnfts. 
Hich was the king, his great green bottle 
Full of sharp wine, of substance rich. 
Excellpnt he, of noble form, 
His people's head, his step so firm, 
'Vho often warrell, in beauteous Banva, 
There thirty battles he braYf'ly fought. 
'Vith miser's mind from none withheld, 
Anything false his lips ne'er s})oke. 
He never grudged, no, never, Finn; 
'rhe sun ne'er SolW king who him excelled, 
The monsters in lakes, the serpent by lantl, 
In Erin of saints, the hero slew. 
N e'er could I tell, though always I lived, 
Ne'er couIJ I tell the third of his praise. 
But sad am I now, after Finn of the Fcinn; 
Away with the chief, my joy is all fled. 
No friends 'mong the great, no courtesy; 
No gold, no queí'n, no princes and chief
; 
Sad am I now, our head ta'en away! 
I'm 3. shaking tree, my lea\'es all gone; 
An empty nut, a reinless horse. 
Sad, sad am I, a feeble kern, 
Ossian I, the son of Finn, strengthless indeed. 
"Then Finn did live all things were mine; 
Seven sides had the house of Cumhal's SOil, 
Seven score !:ìhields on every side; 
Fifty robes of wool around the king; 
Fifty warriors filled the robes. 
'j'en bright cups for drink in bis hall, 
Ten blue flagons. ten horns of gold. 
A noble house was that of Finn. 
No grudge nor lust, babbling nor sham; 
No man despised among the Fcinn; 
The fir!:ìt himself, all else like him. 
Finn was our chief, easy's bis praise; 
Noblest of kings, Finn ne'er refused 
To any man, howe'er unknown; 
N e'er from his house sent those who came. 
Good man was Finn, good man was he; 
No gifts e'er given like his so free. 
'Twas yesterday week. 


This iR a specimen of a peculiar kind of I music, and has a remarkable resemblanc.e to 
ancient Celtic poetry. It was usually sung to some of the hymns of the early Latin Cl111 feh. 


, 



84: 


GENER
\.L HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


There is another compusition of the same kind 
in praise of Gaul, called usually" Rosg Ghuill," 
or the ",y. ar-80ng of Gaul. 
It is unnecessary to givo further specimens of 
these remains of the ancient heroic poetry of the 
lIiglùands here, nor is it nccessary to quote any 
of the more modern compositions with which the 
Dean of Lismore's 1\18. abounds. It is enough 
to remark how great an amount of poetry was 
composed in the Highlands in the 14-th, 15th, 
and 16th centuries. That was indeed an age 
of bards when poetical genius was amply re- 
wardell by grcat and liberal chiefs. I t is of 
interest further to observe how ample the 
answer furnished by the Lismore 1\11::). is tu the 
ill-natured remarks of Dr Johnson, who main- 
tained that there was not a word of written 
Gaelic in the Highlands more than a hundred 
years old. ".... e shall now dismiss the Dean's 
MS., but we shall exhaust the subject of 
Ossian's poems by a cursOl'Y view of the other 
and later collections of those poems, and espe- 
cially the collection of )Iacphpl'son. 


:M.\CPHERSON'S OSSIAX. 
It is quite unnecessary here to entcr on the 
question of the authcnticity of the poems of 
Ossian, as edited by :Macpherson. s The sub- 
ject has been so largely tl'eated ill numerous 
publications, that we consider it ùetter to give 
a short historical sketch of the publication, 
with such specimens as may serve to show the 
character of the work. 
The first of :ì\Iacpherson's pulJlications ap- 
prared in the year 1760. It is entitled, "Frag- 
ments of Ancient I)oetry collected in the High- 
lands of Scotland, and translated from the 
Gaelic or Erse Language." The first edition 
of this volume was immediately followed by a 
second, and the cleepest interest was excitcd in 
the suhject of Celtic literature among literary 
men. The work originally consisted of fifteen 
fragments, to which a sixteenth was added in 
the second edition. These are all in English, 
there not being one word of Gaelic in the 


8 This question has been recently discussed by the 
Rev. Archibald Clerk of Kilmallie, in his elegant 
edition of the Poems of Ossian, publiRh(;rl since the 
I above was written, under the auspices of the :Marquis 
of Bute. 'Ve refer our reaJers to Mr Clerk's treatise 
for a great deal of varied and interesting information 
on this suhject. 


book. X ot that there is any reason to doulJt 
that the fragments are genuine, and that :Mac- 
pherson spoke what was perfectly consistent 
with truth when he said, as he does at the be- 
ginning of his preface, "The public may de- 
pen<l on the following fragments as genuine 
rcmains of ancient Scottish poetry." Still it 
is to be regretted that the original Gaelic of 
these compositions was not given. It would 
have enabléd the public, in the Hig1ùands at 
least, to l1ave judged for themselves on the 
question of their authenticity, and it wotùd 
}lave afforded a guarantee for the accuracy of 
the translation. This, however, was not done, 
and there are none of the fragments containrd 
in this little volume, the original of which can 
now be found anywhere. 
In his preface to these "Fragments," :Mac- 
pherson gives the first intimation of the exist- 
ence of the poem of "Fingal." He says:- 
"It is Lelieved that, ùy a careful inquiry, 
many morc remains of ancient genius, no less 
valuable than thosc now given to the worM, 
might be found in the same cOllntry whero 
these have been collecte,l. In particlùar, there 
is rcason to hope that one work of considerable 
length, and which deserved to Le styled an 
heroic poem, might be reco\rered and trans. 
lated, if encouragement were given to such an 
undertaking. The subject is an invasion of 
Ireland by Swarthan, king of Lochlyn, which 
is the name of Dcnmark in the Erse language. 
Cuehulaid, the gencral or chief of the Irish 
tribes, upon intelligence of the invasion, assem- 
bles his forces; councils are held, and battles 
fought; ùut after several unsuccessful engage- 
ments the Irish are forced to submit. At 
length Fingal, king of Scotland, called in this 
poem 'The Desert of the Hills,' arrives with 
his ships to assist Cuchulaid. He expels the 
Danes from the country, and returns home 
victorious. This poem is heM to be of greater 
antiquity than any of the r('st that are pre- 
served; and the author speaks of himself as 
present in the expedition of Fingal." In the 
"Fragments" the opening of this poem is given, 
but whether from tradition or 1\18. is not said. 
It proceeds :-" Cuchulaid sat hy the wall, by 
the tree of the rustling leaf. His spear leaned 
against the mossy rock. His shield lay by 
him on the grass. ",Vhilst he thought OD 



1\IACPHERSON'S OSSIAN. 


the mighty Carbre, whom he slew in battle, 
the scout of the oCl"an came, l\Ioran the son 
of Fithil." In 1762 there appeared a quarto 
volume, edited by .Macpherson, containing the 
poem of " Fingal" and several other composi- 
tions. The poem commences, "CuchuHin sat 
by Tura's walls; by the tree of the rustling 
leaf. His spear leàned against the mossy rock. 
His shield lay by him on the grass. As he 
thought of mighty Carbar, a hero whom he 
slew in war, the scout of the ocean came, 
l\Ioran the son of :Fithil." It will be seen 
that there are several variations in the two 
yersions, and as we proceed these will appear 
to be more numerous and more marked. It is 
somewhat remarkable that the Garve of the 
earlier version should become Swaran in the 
second. The whole compariñon is interesting, 
and sheds some light on the progress of ihe 
poems in the hand of the editor. It may be 
interesting, in juxtaposition with the above 
extracts, to give the Gaelic, as furnished at a 
later period, by the executors of 
Iacpherson. 
It is as follows :- 


" ShuiJh CuchulJin aig bal1a Thura, 
Fo dhùbhra craoibh <lhuille na fuaim; 
Dh'aom a shleagh ri carraig nan còs, 
A sgiath mhòr r'a thaobh air an them. 
Bha smaointean an fhir air Cairbre, 
Laoch a thuit leis an garbh-chòmhrag, 
'N uair a thitinig fear-coimhid a' chuain, 
Luath mhac Fhithil nan ceum àrd." 


I I 


The English in both the vel'sions-that of 
1760 and that of 1762-is a pretty accurate 
rendering of this. In some cases the Gaelic 
expletive is awallting, as in " garbh-chòmhrag," 
aud the name l\Ioran is, in the last line, suhsti- 
tuted for the Gaelic description, "The swift 
son of Fithil, uf bounding steps." These, how- 
ever, are allowa1le liberties in such a case. 
Tho variations are, however, more considerable 
as the sev('ral versions proceed, Imt that of 
1760 turns out to be a mere fragment of the 
fir
t hook of the grpat epic of 1762. The 
other fragments have also their representatives 
in the larger work. Some of them appear in 
the poem called "Carrickthura," and somo of 
them in the epic of "Fingal," but in all these 
cases the later compositions are great expan- 
sions of the shorter poems given in the earlier 
work. A comparison of these versions is full 
of interest, and in the hands of fair and acute 
criticism, is capal)le, as already said, of shedding I 


85 


much light on the whole question of l\Iac- 
pherson's Ossian. One thing is beyond ques- 
tion, that the names of Ossian's heroes were 
familiar to the Scottish Highlanders from the 
earliest period; that they knew more of. their 
deeds, and spoke more of them than of those 
of 'Yallace and Druce; that the country was 
teeming with poetical compositions bearing to 
have these deeds as their subjects; that 1he 
topography of the country was in every quarter 
enriched with names drawn from Fingal and 
his men; and that to say that the whole of 
tIlls was the invention of :l\Iacpherson, is no- I 
thing but what the bitterest national prejudice I 
could alone receive as truth. ! 
There are many of the pieces in ::\Iacpherson's 
Ossian of marvellous power. The description 
of Cuchullin's chariot in the first book of 
Fingal is equal to any similar composition 
among the great classical epics. It proceeds:- 


" CaI"bad! carbad garbh a' chòmhraig, 
'GluasaJ thar 'cllOlllhnanlle bàs; 
Carbad cuimir, luath, Chuchullin, 
Sitr-mhac Sheuma nan cruaidh chàs. 
Tha 'earr a' litbadh siòs mar thonn, 
No ceò mu thom nan carragh geur, 
Salus chlocha-buadh mu'n cuairt, 
Mar chuan mu eathar 's an oiJhehe. 
Dh'iubhar faileusach an crann; 
SuiJhear ann air chnàmhaibh caoin; 
's e tuineas nan sleagh a th'ann, 
Nan sgiath, nan lann, 's nan laoch. 
Hi taobh deas a' mhòr-charbaiJ 
Chithear an t-eaeh meanmnach, séidear, 
Mac anl-mhuingeach, cliàbh-fharsuing, dorcha, 
ArJ-leumach, talmhaidh, na beinne; 
'8 farumach, fuaimear, a chos; 
Tha sgaoileadh a Ilhasain sImas, 
Mal' cheathach air àros Ilan os; 
Bn shoilleir a dhreach, 's bu luath 
'ShiulJhal, Sithfada b'e 'ainm. 
l{i taobh liile a charbaid thall 
Tha each fiarasach nan srann, 
Caol-mhuingeach, aiginneach, brògach, 
Luath-chosach, srònach, nam beann. 
Dubh-sròn-gheal a ù'ainm air an steud-each. 
Làn mhìle Jh'ialIaiùh tana 
'Ceangal a' charbaid gu h-ànl; 
Cmaidh chabstar shoilleir naIl srian 
'Nan gialaibh fo chobhar bàn; 
'fha clochan-boillsge Ie buaiJh 
'l'romadh sios mu mhuing nan eaell, 
Nan each 1ha mar cheò air sliabh, 
A' giltlan all triath gu chlilt. 
Is liadhaiche na fiadh an colg, 
('0 làidir ri iolair an neart; 
Tha 'm fuaim mar an geamhraùh borb 
Air Gorm-mheall mÌ1chta fo shneachd. 
'Sa charbaJ chithear an triath, 
Sar mhac trenn nan gPIU lann, 
CuchnIlin naIl gorm-bhallach sgiath, 
J\lac Sheuma mn'll éireadh Jan. 
A ghruaillh mar an t-inbhair caoin, 
A shuil narh b'fhaain a' sgaoileadh àrd, 
Fo mhala chruim, Jhorcha, chaoil; 



8G 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


A chiabh bhuiùhe 'n a caoir m'a cheanu, 
'Taomadh ron ghnùis àlninn an fhir, 
'S e 'tarrning a shleagh 0 'chill. 
Teich-sa, shàr cheannard nan long, 
Teich o'n t-sonn 's e 'tighinn a naB, 
:Mar ghaillinn 0 ghleann nan srnth." 


It is dillicult to give an English renùering 
of the ahove passage that would convey the 
elegance and force of the original. The aù- 
mireI' of Gaelic poetry cannot but regret that 
the English reader cannot peruse the Gaelic 
version, assured, as he feels, that his doing so 
would raise consideralJly his estimate of the 
Gaelic muse. There is not, perhaps, in any 
language a richer piece of poetical description 
than the above. Macpherson's English version 
of it is as follows:- 
" The car, the car of battle comes, like the 
fiame of death; the rapid car of Cuchnllin, tl18 
noble son of Semo. It bends behÏ1111 like a 
wave near a rock; like the golden mist of the 
heath. Its sides are em bossed with stones, 
and sparkle like the sea rOllnd the boat of 
night. Of polished yew is it.<; beam, and its 
seat of the smoothest bone. The side;,; are re- 
pleni;,;hed with spears; and the bottom is the 
footstool of heroes. Before the right side of 
the car is seen the snorting horse, the high- 
tnaned, broad-breasted, proud, high-leaping, 

trong steed of the hill. Loud and resounding 
i8 his hoof; the spreading of llis mane above 
is like that stream of smoke on the heath. 
IJright are the sides of the steed, and his name 
is Sulin-sifadda. Defore the left sille of the 
car is seen the snorting horse; the thin-maned, 
high-hea<1ed, strong-hoofed, fleet, bounding son 
of the hill; his llame is Dusronnal among the 
stormy sons of the sword. A thollsanù thongs 
bind the car on high. Hard polished hits 
shine in a wreath of foam. Thin thongs, 
bright.studded with gems, bend on the stately 
llec
s of the steeds-the steeds that, like 
wreaths of mist, fly over the streamy vales. 
The wildness of deer is in their course, the 
strength of the eagle descending on her prey. 
Their noise is like the l)last of winter on the 
sides of the snow-headed Gm'mal. 
" \Vitlún the car is seen the chief, the strong, 
stormy son of the sword; the hero's name is 
I ('llchullin, son of 
elllo, king of shclk His 
rt'J cheek is like my poli;,;hed yew. The look 
i I of his blue rolling eye is wide beneath the rlal'k 
I 


a1'l.h of hi;,; brow. Hi" hair flies from his head 
li]\.e a flame, as, bending forward, he wields 
the spear. Fly, king of ocean, fly; he comes 
like a storm along the streamy vale." 
The (hclic bcholar will at once observe that 
the above is a free hut a fair translation of the 
original Gaelic, and the character of the trans- 
lation is such as to give no idea of imposition. 
It is just such a translation as a man of poetic 
temperament and talent would give of the 
piu;:;age. 
III 17G3 Macpherson publi:;hed a second 
quarto containing the popm of Temora in eight 
hooks, along with several other pieces. The first 
hook of the former had appeared in the collection 
of 1762, the editor saying that it was merely 
the opening of the poem; but the great interest 
about the publication of 1763 is that here for 
the first time we are presented with the Gaelic 
original of one of the books of the poem. It 
is not true that Macpherson never offered to 
publish allY portion of the original until he 
was 011iged to do so by the pressure of public 
opinion, for in this case he puùlishecl the Gaelic 
original of a part of the work altogether of his 
own accOl'd. III a short introductory paragraph 
t0 the Gaelic, he says that he chooses the 
seventh hook of Temora, "not from any other 
superior merit than the variety of its versifica- 
tion. To print any part of the former collec- 
tion," he aùds, "was ullneces:3ary, as a copy of 
the originals lay for many months in the book- 
seller's hands for the inspection of the curious." 
Of this new pu11ication, however, he sees. it 
right to furnish a portion "for the satisfaction 
of those who doubt the authenticity of Ossian's , 
poems." The editor adds that "though the 
erroneous orthography of the bards is departed 
from in many instances in the following speci- 
men, yet seve
al quiescpnt conson:mts are re- 
tained, to show the derivation of the words." 
He accounts fIll' the uncouth appearan
e of the 
language by the use of the nOmaD letters, 
whieh are incapal)le of expres
lIlg the sounds 
of the Gaelic. 'Vhat kind of orthography 
l\Iacpl,C'rson would have selected he ùoes not 
say. He could not be unacquainted \vith the I 
phonetic orthography of the Dean of Lismore's II 
book, and may, perhaps, have had it in view 
in the above remarks. nut the orthography II 
which he himself uses is nC'ithcr the 
:m1ic nor 



87 


SMITH'S SEAN DANA. 


the phonetic, and is more uncouth than any 
orthography which the bards were in the habit 
of using. One thing is clear, that the Gaelic 
of the seventh book of Temora was never 
copied from any manuscript written by a bard. 
The book opens as follows :- 
" 0 linna doir-choille na Lci'lo 
Air uair, eri' ceo taobh-ghórm nan tón; 
Nuair dhunas dorsa na h'oicha 
Air iulluir slmil-greina nan speur. 
Tomhail, liO Lara nan sruth 
Thaomas ùu' -nial, as doricha cruaim ; 
:Mar ghlas-scia', roi taoma nan Ilial 
Rnamh seachaù, ta Gellach na h'oicha. 
I.e so edi' taisin o-shean 
An dlù-ghleus, a measc na gaoith, 
's iad leumach 0 OSIla gn osna 
Air du' -aghai' oicha nan sian. 
An taobh oitaig, gu palin nan seoid 
'l'aomas iad cëach nan speur 
Gorm-thalla do thannais nach beo 
Gu am eri' fón marbh-rán nan teud." 


Translated by l\Iacpherson thus :- 
"From the wood-skirted waters of Lego ascend at 
tim('s grey-bosomed mists; when the gates of the west 
are closed, on the sun's eagle eye. "Tide over Lara's 
stream is poured the vapour dark and deep; the moon 
like a dim shield, is swimming through its folds. 
With this, clothe the spirits of old their sudden 
gestures on the wind wlH'n they stride from blast to 
blast along the dusky night. Often, blended with the 
gale, to some warrior's grave, they roll the mist, a 
grey dweHing to his ghost until the songs arise." 


Any reader who understands the Gaelic 
must allow, without hesitation, that while this 
is a free it is a fair rendering of the original; 
while he will be constrained to add that in 
point of force and elegance the Gaelic is superior 
to the English version. l\Iany of the expletives 
in Gaelic are not rendered in English at all, 
and these add largely to the poetic force and 
beauty of the former. The orthography of 
the Gaelic will be seen to be most uncouth 
and unphilosophical. "Linna" for" Linne" 
has no principle lo warrant it; so with "oicha" 
for "oidhche," "Gellach" for "gealach," 
" cruaim" for "gruaim," "taisin" for "taibh- 
sean." Then there are no accents to guide the 
reader except that the acute accent is used in 
such extraordinary words as "tón," "fón," 
which are written for" tonn," "fonn." Alto- 
gether it would appear that the writer of the 
Gaelic of this book of Temora was to a large 
extent unacquainted with Gaelic orthography, 
and was unable to write the Gaelic language 
accurately. The orthography is, indeed, a 
mere jumble. Still the fact is an interesting 
and significant one as connected with the whole 


history of the Ossianic poetry that, at so early 
a period, l\Iacpherson should have given, as a 
debt which he felt to be due to the public, a 
large specimen of the original of one of his 
poems. If there is any cause of regret con- 
nected with the matter, it is that he did not 
let the country know where he found these I 
poems, and refer others to the sources whence 
he derived them himself. These have never 
been discovered by any body else, although 
munerous pieces of Ossianic poetry are well 
known in the Highlands to the present day. 
There were various versions of )Iacpherson's 
collection, but the most interesting of all was 
the Gaelic original of the whole poems pub- 
lished in 1807. In this edition a Latin trans- 
lation was furnished by l\Ir TIobert l\l'.Farlane. 
The book is a very handsome one, and in every 
way creditable to its editors. :ßIr l\I'Lachlan 
of Aberdeen revised the Gaelic, and no man 
was more competent for such a duty. The in- 
troduction to the edition of 1818 is understootJ 
to have heen written by an excellent Gaelic 
scholar, the late Hev. Dr Hoss of Luchbroom, 
and is an eloquent and powerful composition. 
Several translations of Ossian's poems have 
appeared, but the interest of the work is mainly 
associated with the name and labours of Jamcs 
:ßIacpherson. 


S:\IITH'S SEAN DANA. 


In 1780 appeared a volume of Ossian's 
Poems, translated and edited by the Rev. J olm 
Smith of Kilbrandon, afterwards the Rev. Dr 
Smith of Campbeltown. The volume is en- 
titled "Gaelic Antiquities, &c.," containing, 
among other things, " A Collection of Ancient 
Poems, translated fr0m the Gaelic of Ullin, 
Ossian, &c." Dr Smith was an admirable 
Gaelic scholar, as was evidenced by his trans- 
lation of a portion of the Scriptures into that 
language, and his metrical version of the 
Gaelic Psalms. The work before us is a work 
highly creditable to Dr. Smith's talents and 
industry, and although he complains of the 
reception which his efforts on behalf of Gaelic 
literature met with, it is still prized by Gaelic 
scholars. 
In the year 1787 appeared the Gaelic ver
 
sion of the same poems in an octavo volume, 
entitled, " Sean Dana Ie Oisian, Onan, Ulann, 




 GENERAL HISTORY OF TIlE HIGIILA:'ìD& 
I " 
s a pity that the two versions did not the Gaelic scholar, aml the J<:nglish translation 
I appear sinnùtaneously, as there have not been is done with a skill little inferior to that of 
wanting those who have charged Dr. Smith, )lacpherson himself 
as was done in the case of Macphdrson, with 
composing himself much of the poetry which he 
gives as Ossian's. The same has been said of 
another collector of the name of Kennedy, 
I who collected a large number of poems which 
now lie in 1\1S. in the Advocates' Library in 
, Edinburgh; but it is a curious fact that some 
, of the pieces which Kennedy is said to have 
acknowledged having composed, can be shown 
to be ancient. 
Dr. Smith's collection begins with the poem 
called" Dan an Deirg," the fiong of Dm.go, or 
tlie Red .J.1Ian. It is a famous song in the 
Highlands, as is indicated by the proverbial 
saying, " Gach dàn gu dàn an Deirg," Ecery 
Bong yields to the 80ng of Dm'go. It was sung 
to a simple, touching air, which is still known. 
This poem is given by Dr. Smith in two sec- 
tions, entitled severally, "A' cheud chuid," and 
"An dara cuid." The song is given by the 
1\f'Callums (referred to below), but it is most 
perplexing that not one word of their version 
agrees with Dr. Smith's. Their version is mani- 
festly of the ancient form and rhythm, with the 
usual summary at the head of it given by Gaelic 
reciters ere beginning one of their songs. None 
of this is found in Dr. Smith's version, which 
is cast very much in the mould of 1\Iacphcr- 
son's Gaelic Ossian. 1\lr. J. A. Campbell, in 
his. Popular Tales of the Highlands (\'01. iii., 
p. 51), gives a few lines of the lament of the 
, wife of Dargo for her husband, but they do 
not correspond in one line with the version of 
Dr. Smith. The same may be said of Dr. 
Smith's" Diarmad," which is entirely different 
from all the existing versions of the same poem. 
The versions of the Dean of Lismore and of 
Gillies (mentioned below) are idcntical, and so 
are to a large extent other existing versions 
taken down from oral recitation, but Dr. 
Smith's differs largely from them in locality, 
matter, and rhythm. It removes the story of 
the death of this Fingalian hero from Glenshee 
to Sliabh Ghaodhail, in Kint)Te. At the 
same time, it is quite possible that different 
poems existed bearing the same name; and 
Dr. Smith's poems are compositions of decided 
excellence. They add nmch to the stores of 


OTHER COLLEaTIONS OF OSSIANIC POEì\IS. 


The earliest collector and publisher of the 
poems of Ossian was 1\11'. Jerome Stone at I 
Dunkeld, who furnished the Scots .JJfagaziue 
in 1756 with a translation in rhyme of" Bàs 
Fhrao
ch," or the Death of Fraoch. Stone 
(lid not give the Gaelic original of this or of 
any other of his collections, but they were 
found after his death, and a selection of them 
is printed in the Report of the Highland 
Society on Ossian. A 1\11' Hill, an English 
gentleman, made some collections in Argyle- 
shire in 1780; and several pieces were pub- 
lished by a bookseller of the name of Gillies 
at Perth, who llUblished an excellcnt volume 
of Gaelic poetry in 1786. 
Gillies's pieces have the true ring of the 
ancient poetry of the Highlands, and are in 
many cases to be found Hoating still among 
the traditional poetry of the people. The 
Ossianic pieces are numerous. They are- 
"Suiridh Oisein air Eamhair àluinn," the 
Cow.tship of Ossian and EvÙ"alin
' "Comhrag 
Fhinn agus l\Ihanuis," the Conflict of Fingal 
anq, .J.1Ianlls; "1\larbhaclh Chonlaoich Ie Cuchu- 
lain," tlte Slaughter of COlllach by Ollclml1in; 
"Aisling l\Ihailmhìne," JJlalviuu's Dream; 
" Briathran Fhinn ri O::;car," Fingal's Address 
to Oscar
' "Rosg Chuill," the JVar-song of 
Gaul; "D
m na h-Inghin," the Song of the 
Jlaiden, usually called U Fainesoluis; "Conn 
mac an Deirg," Corl1l, ,c;on of Dm.go j "Duan 
Fhraoich/' the SOllg of Fmoch
' "Cath righ 
Sorcha," the Battle of the ]{ing of Sorcha; 
" Marbh-rann Oscair," the Death-song of Oscm.; 
"Ceardach 1\Ihic Luinn, "the Smithy of the 
Son of Linn j "Duan a 1\Ihuireartaich," the 
Soug (If .Jfuirew.tach
' "Caoidh Dhéinlir," 
Deirdre's Lame1d, in which the poem given 
already from the old )18. of 1268 appears as 
a part of it. It is most interesting in this case 
to compare the written with the traditional 
poem; "Bàs Dhiarmaid," tlte Death of Diar- 
mad; "Dearg mac Dcirg," tlie Song oj 
Dargo,. "Teanntachd mòr na Fcinn," tlte great 
f1.ial of the Fingaliu7/.s
' "Laoidh Laomuinn 
mhic an Uaimh-fhir," the SUltg of La071luinn ,. 



80 


.FINGAL TO OSCAR 


. Eairagan," Em.ragvn,. " N a Drataichean," the 
Banners
' "Dàs Oscair," the D!!ath of Oscar; 
in all twenty-one fragments or whole pieces, 
some of them of considerable length, and al- 
most all, if not all, taken down from oral 
recitation. This list is given in full, in order 
to show what pieces of professed Ossianic 
poetry could be found in the Highlands soon 


BRIATHRAN FlJINN RI OSCAR. 
A mhic mo mhic 's e thubhairt an rìgh, 
Oscair, a righ nan òg fhlath, 
I Chunnaic mi dealradh do lainne 's b'e m' uaill 
'Bhi 'g amharc do bhuaidh 's a chath. 
Lean gu dlÚ ri Cliil do shinnsireachd 
'8 na dìbir a bhi mar iadsan. 
'N uair bu bheò Treunmhor nan mth, 
'Us Trathull athair nan treUlllaoch, 
Chuir iad gach eath Ie buaidh, 
'U s bhuannaich iad cliù gach teugbhail. 
'U s mairidh an iomradh 's an dàn 
Air chuimhn' aig na baird an déigh so. 
O! Oscair, claoidh thus' an treun-armacll, 
'8 thoir tearmunn do'n lag-Iamhach, fheumach; 
Bi mar bhuinne-shruth reothairt geamhraidh 
Thoirt gleachd do naimhdibh na Feinn, 
Ach mar fhann-ghaoth sheimh, thlàth, shamhraidh, 
Bi dhoibhsan a shireas do chabhar. 
.Mar sin bha Treunmhor nam buadh, 
S bha Trathull nan ruag 'n a dheigh ann, 
'S bha Fionn 'na tLaic do 'n fharm 
'G a dhion 0 ainneart luchd-eucoir. 
'N a aobhar shìninn mo lamh, 
I.e failte rachainn 'n a choinnimh, 
'Us gheibheadh e fasgath 'us cairù, 
Fo sgàil dhrithlinneach mo loinne. 


after the publication of .nIacphersoll's wûrk by 
other and independent compilers. A COlll- 
parison of those pieces with J\Iacpherf:on's 
Ossian is interesting to the inquirer in this 
field. The following specimen of one of Gillies's 
alleged compositions of Ossian may be given 
here :- 


English Translation. 
AVDItr::;s OF FINGAL TO OSCAR. 
Son of my son, so said the king, 
Oscar, prince of youthful heroes, 
I have seen the glitter of thy blade, and 'twas my IJride 
To see thy triumph in the conflict. 
Cleave thou fast to the fame of thine ancestors, 
And do not neglect to be like them. 
.When 'l'reunmor the fortunate liveù, 
And Trathull the father of warriors, 
'l'hey fought each field triumphantly, 
And won the fame in every fight. 
And their names shall flourish in the song 
Commemorated henceforth by the bards. 
Oh! Oscar, crush thou the armed hero, 
But spare the fpe1Jle and the needy; 
Be as the rushing winter, spring-tide, stream, 
Giving battle to the foes of the Fingalians, 
But as the gentle, soothing, summer breeze 
To such as seek for thy help. 
Such was Treunmor of victories, 
And Trathull of pursuits, thereafter, 
And Fingal was a help to the weak, 
'1'0 save him from the power of the oppressor. 
In his cause I would stretch out my hand, 
'Vith a welcome I would go to meet him, 
And he should find shelter and friendship 
Beneath the glittering shade of my sword. 


The above is a true relic of the ancient I Donald )l'Innes, teacher, Gribun, Uull; Dr. 
Ossianic poetry, full of power and full of life, l\I'Donald of Killean, from whom "Teann- 
and indicates the existence of a refinement! tachd mòr na Feinn" was obtained --the Doctor 
among the ancient Celts for which the oppo- maintaining, it appears, that his version was 
nents of l\Iacpherson would not give them a better one than that giyen by Gillies; Al'chi- 
credit. Gillies tells us that his collection was bald l\l'Callum in Killean; aucl others who 
made from gentlemen in every part of the furnish" Laoidh nan ceann," a poem found ill 
Highlands. It is perhaps the most interesting the collection of the Dean of Lismore, as are 
collection of Highland song which we possess. several others of the l\I 'Calhllns' collection. 
In 1816 there appeared a collection of Gaelic This collection is a very admirable one, 
poetry by Hugh and John .:\l'Callum. It was perfectly honest, allll presf'nts us with sùmo 
printed at l\lontrose, and the original Gaelic compositions of high poetic merit. The ad- 
version and an English translation were puh- dresses of Ossian to the sun, which l\Iacpher- 
lished simultaneously. The work is called son declines to give in Gaelic, substituting for 
"An Original Cc llection of the Poems of one of thf'IIl a series of astf'risks, although he 
Ossian, Orann, Ulin, amI other bards who gives it in English, are here given in hoth 
flourishecl in the same age." There are twenty- languages; and the Gaelic versions are perhaps 
six pieces altogether, and the editors give the the finest compositions in the hook. The 
sources whence they were all derived. These address to the setting sun is here given as .L 
are such as Duncan l\Iatheson in Snizort. Isle specimen of the l\!'Callullls' collection :- 
of Skye; Hector l\l'Phail in Torasay, .Mull; 


II. 


)1 



90 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


OISIAN DO 'N GUIlEU, AN AM LUIDH. 
An d' fhùf{ tha gorm astar nan speuT, 
A mhic gun bheud a's òr bhuidh ciabh? 
'l'ha ùorsa na h-oidhche dhuit féin, 
Agus lJàilliuin do chlos 's an lar, 
Thig na tonna mu'n cuairt gu mall 
'Choimhead an fhir a 's gloine gruaidh, 
A' togail fo eagal an ceann 
m 'ù fhaicinn cho àiJlidh a'ù shuaiD; 
'l'heicll iadsan gun tU
lr o'ù thaobh. 
Gabh-sa codal ann ad uaimh 
A ghrian, 'us pill an tùs Ie h-aoibhneas. 
:Mar bhoillsge grein' 's a gheamhraùh 
's e ruith 'n a dheann Ie raon Lena 
Is amhuil Iaithe nam Fial1n. 
Mar ghrial1 eadar frasaibh a' tréigsinn 
DL' aom neoil chiar-dhubh nan speur, 
'U s bhuin iad an deò aoibhinn 0 'n t-sealgair, 
Tha lorn gheugan na coil!' a' caoidh, 
Is maoth lusrach an t-sleibh' a' seargadh; 
Ach pillidh futhasd a' ghrian 
Ri doire sgiamhach nan geug ùra, 
'Us nì gach craun's a Chéitean gàire 
Ag amharc an àird ri mac au speura. 


The collection of the }'l'Callums was a real 
addition to the stores of Gaelic poetry, and is 
most helpful in bringing to a satisfactory con- 
clusion the whole question of the ancient 
Gaelic poetry of Scotland. "
ere there no 
other Gaelic compositions in existence save 
those pieces which this volume contains, they 
would be sufficient to prove the high character 
of the heroic poetry of the Scottish Gael for 
everything that constitutes true poetic power. 
It would be wrong in such a sketch as this 
to overlook the interesting and ingenious con- 
tribution made to the discussion of the Ossianic 
q llestion in the third and fourth volumes of 
1\lr. J. Campbell's Tules úf the TVest Hi"glt- 
lands. The whole four volumes are full of in- 
teresting materials for the student of Gaelic 
literature and antiquities, but the third amI 
fonrth volumes are those in which a place is 
given to the ancient Ossianic poems. l\Ir. 
Campbell, the representative of a distinguished 
Higlùand family, and unlike many of the class 
to which he belongs, an excellent Gaelic scholar, 
made collections on his own account all over 
the Highlands. He had as his chief coadjutor 
in the work l\lr. Hector J\l'Lean, teacher in 
Islay, aud he could not have had a better-l\Ir 
J\1'Lean being possessed of scholarship, en- 
thusiasm, and sound judgment. The result is 
a very rcmarkallc collection of the oral litera- 
ture of the Highlands, including selections from 
a large amount of poetry attributed to Ossian. 
This book \s 3 truly honest book, giving the 


English Translation. 
Oi::ìSIAN'g ADDRESS TO THE SETTING ::;Vl1". 
Ha.<St thou left the blue course of the sky4 
Faultless son of golden locks? 
The gates of the uight are for thee, 
And thy place of repose is in the west. 
The wayes 
ather slowly around 
To see him of fairest countenance; 
Raising their heads in fear. 
As they witness thy beauty in repose, 
They fled pale from thy side. 
Take thou rest in thy cave, 
o sun, and return with rejoicing. 
As the sunbeam in the winter time 
Descending quick 011 the slope of Lena, 
So are the days of the Fingalians. 
As the sun becomillg darkened among showers, 
'l'he dark clouds of the sky descended 
And Lore away the joyous light from the huntsma.n. 
The hare branches of the wood weep, 
And the soft herbage of the mountain withers. 
But the sun shall return again 
To the beautiful forest of the fresh-clothed brandl, 
And each bough shall smile in the early summer, 
Looking up to the son of the sky. 
compositions collected just as they were found 
among the native Highlanders. "\Ve shall take 
occasion again to refer to the Sgeulachds, or 
tales, and shall only refer at present to the 
Ossianic rcmains presented to us by l\Ir. 
Camp bell. 
l\1r. Campbell's collections include most of 
the pieces that have been brought together in 
the same way, with such variations, of course, 
as must be looked for in the circumstances. 
He furnishes us with a version of the Lay of 
Diarmad (vol. üi., 50), having peculiar features 
of its own, but to a large extent identical with 
the versions of the Dean of Lismore and of 
Gillies. It is of much interest to compare this 
version, taken down within the last few years, 
with one taken down one hundred years ago, 
and another taken down three hundred and 
fifty years ago. The retentive power of human 
memory for generations is remarkably illus- 
trated by the comparison. Mr Campbell also 
gives us " The Lay of Oscar," "The Praise (If 
Gaul," "The Poem of Oscar," and several 
other minor compositions, some of which had. 
never before been printed. These, with Mr. 
Campbell's own disquisitions, are full of in. 
terest; but for the details we must refer the 
reader to Mr. Campbell's volumes. 
From all that has been written on the sub- 
ject of these ancient Gaelic poems of Ossian, 
it is perfectly clear that Ossian himself is no 
creation of James Macpherson. His name has 
been familiar to the people both of the High- 



91 


MODERN GAELIC LITERATURE. 


lauds and Ireland, for a thousmid years and 
more. "Oisian an deigh na Feiun," Ossian 
aftn. the Fingalians, has been a proverbial 
saying among them for numberless generations. 
Nor did :Macpherson invent Ossian's poems. 
There were poems reputed to be Ossian's in 
the Highlands for centuries before he was 
I born, and poems, too, which for poetic power 
and interl3st are unsurpassed; which speak 
home to the heart of every man who can sym- 
I pathise with popular poetry marked by the 
, richest felicities of diction; and which entitles 
them justly to all the commendation bestowed 
upon the poems edited by :Macpherson. 


:l\IODERN G
\.ELIC LITERATURE. 
It will be seen that a large proportion of 
the existing Gaelic literature of the early period 
is poetical. Not that it is so altogether, by 
any means; and if any large amount of it had 
come down to us, there is no reason for be- 
lieving that so large a share of it would be 
poetical. But the prose 
r3. writings of the 
ancient Gael have, with the few exceptions 
already referred to, perished; and have left us 
with such poetical compositions as adhered to 
the national memory. 
As we enter upon the era of printing, we 
ål'e disposed to look for a more extensive lite- 
rature, and no doubt we find it. But with the 
era of printing came the use of another lan- 
guage, and the Gaelic ceased to be the vehicle 
fOl' carrying abroad the thoughts of the learned. 
Heligion still continued to make use of its 
services, but it ceased to be the handmaid of 
science and philosophy. 
The first printed Gaelic book which we find 
is Bishop Carsewell's Gaelic translation of the 
Liturgy of John Knox. It is well known that 
Knox cOlupiled a prayer-bonk for the U8e of 
the Scottish Reformed Church, and that it was 
thought desirahle that this prayer-book should 
he translated into the Gaelic language for the 
use of the Highlanders. The translation was 
undertaken by 
Ir. John Carsewell, who was 
I :tppointed superintendent of the ancient dio- 
cese of Argyle, which office he filled for many 
years. The book was printed at Edinburgh, 
in 15G7. The language is what is in mo(lem 
times called Irish, but might in Carsewell's 
time be calh
d Scotch, for none other. ",,"as 


written in Scotland III so far as Gaelic was 
written at all. There are but three copies 
of this book known to exist - an entire 
copy in the libral'Y of the Duke of Argyle, 
and two imperfect copies, one in the library 
of the University of Edinburgh, and one 
in the 13ritish l\Iuseum. This book was 
printed before one line of Irish Gaelic was 
printed. Extracts from the volume will be 
found in the Hi!Jhlwul Society's Report upon 
Ossian, and in 
I'Lauchlan's Celtic Gleanings. 
The former extract is made to show that the 
names of Fingal and the Fingalians were well , 
known in the Highlalllls at the period of the 
Reformation. III 1631 a translation of Cal- 
vin's Catechism appeareJ, probably execute,l 
by Car8ewell. 
In 1659 appeared the first fifty of the Psalms 
of David in metre by the Synod of Argyle. 
It is called "An ceud chaogad do Shalmaibh I 
Dhaibhidh a meadrachd Gaoi(lhilg," the fi1'St 
Fijly of the Psalms of David ill Garlic 
1Iet/'e. 
The language of the original here is what is 
called Irish, although it is, as is the Gaelic 01 
Carsewell, the ordinary written Gat'lic of the 
period. This translation forms the ground- 
work of all the editions of the Psalms. that 
have been used since in the Scottish Church. 
The rest of the Psalms followed the first fifty 
in 1694, and the Psalter of the Argyle Synod 
became then complete. The introduction to 
the little volume of 1659 details the difficulties 
which the authors met in converting the Psalms 
into Gaelic metre, one of which, they say, was 
the necessity of aJapting them to the structure 
of the English Psalm tunes. How Gaelic con- 
gregational singing was con,lncteJ in the 
Highlands previous to this little book appear- 
ing, it is harJ to say. The introduction con- 
clwles with the words, "Anois, a Legthora. 
dense dithchea11 ann sann obair hhigse l}hui- 
liughadh gu maith, agus gui(lh ar an Tigh- 
earn a é fein do bheanllughadh an tshoisgeil 
ann sna tirthaibh gaoidhlachsa, agus lasair 
shoi11eir litn teasa do dheanamh don tsraiLl 
hhig do lasaclh cheana ionta. Grasa maille 
1'oi t." 
Engl ish 'l'ranslttf iu?t. 
" And IlOW, réaLlpr, stri \Te to use this littlC' 
work, auJ pray the LorJ that He himself 
woulJ bless the gospel III these Gaelic lands, 



92 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAXDS. 


and that He wonld make a bright flame full Imthigh a Dhuilleachain gu dàn, 
h h h b Le Dan glan diagha duisg iad thall. 
of heat of this little spark w ic as een Cuir failte air Fonn fial na bFionn, 
now lighted in it." AI' garbh-chriocha, 's IndseaJh gall. 
This little volume is now scarce, but full of English Translation. 
interest to the Gaelic student. Go, little leaflet, boldly, 
With pure holy songs wake them yonder, 
Alongside of the Synod of Argyle, another Salute the hospitable land of the Fillgalians, 
indefatigable labourer in the same field was at The ruggerl borders, and the Isles of the strangers. 
work. This was 
Ir Robert Kirk, minister at " The land of the Fingalians" was the High- 
Dalquhidder. There seems to have been no lands generally j "the rugged borders" was 
Roh Iloy in the district at the time, and 1\11'. the west coast of Inverness-shire and Ross- 
Kirk appears to have had a quiet life in his shire; and " the Isles of the Strangers" were 
Highland parish; more so, indeed, than other the Hebrides, so called from being long in 
Scottish ministers of the time, for he seems to possession of the Norsemen. 
have been engaged in his translation during In 16DO Mr Kirk edited ih Roman letters 
the heat of the persecution of the Covenanters, an edition of Bedel's Irish Bible, with O'Don- 
and it was pu blished in 1 (i8!, four years nell's New Testament, for the use of the High- 
before the Revolution. Kirk is said to have landers. Kirk says in the title-page of the work, 
Leen so anxious to have precedence of the "N ocha ta anois chum maitheas coit-cheann 
Synod of Argyle, that he invellted a machine na nGaoidheil Albanach athruighte go hair- 
for awakening him in the morning by means each as an litir Eireandha chum na mion-litir 
of water made to fall upon his face at a certain shoileighidh Romhanta" u:hicll, Ù now for tlte 
hour. His Psalter preceded that of the Synod common good of the J-/i:ghlanders changed care- 
ùy a period of ten years. fuZ1y from the In.slt letter to the small readable 
1\1r Kirk dedicates his volume, which is Roman letter. At the close of the book there 
published with the sanction of the Privy is a vocabulary of Irish words with their 
Council, and with the approbation of "the Lords Gaelic equivalents. l\1any of the equivalents 
of the Clergy, and some reverend ministers are as difficult to understand as the original 
who best understand the Irish language," to Irish. 
the .Marquis of Athole, &c., of whom he says In 1694 the completed Psalm-book of the 
that his "Lordship has been of undoubted Synod of Argyle appeared. It was very gene- 
courage and loyalty for the king, and still rally accepted, and although some editions of 
alongst inflexible to the persuasions or threats Kirk's Psaltrr appeared, the Synod's Psalter 
(If frozen neutralists or flaming incendiaries in became the Psalter of the Church, and was 
Church or State." Kirk further states that the basis of all the metrical versions of the 
the work was "done by such as attained not Gaelic Psalms that have appeared since. 
the tongue (which he calls Scottish-Irish) with- The Shorter Catechism was published in 
out indefatigable industry," manifestly point- Gaelic by the Synod of Argyle ahout the same 
ing to himself as one who had so acquired it. time with their first fifty Psalms. Numerous 
This little volume of the minister of 13al- editions have becn printed since, and perhaps 
quhidder is a most interesting contribution to there is no better specimen of the Gaelic lan- 
our Gaelic literature. The language is what guage in existence than what is to be found 
many writers call Irish, although there is in the common versions of it. The earlier ver- 
no reason to believe that 1\11' Kirk ever was sions are in the dialect so often referred to, 
in Ireland, or conversed with speakers of called Irish. The title of tho book is "Foir- 
Irish Gaelic. He knew and used the dialect ceadul aithghearr cheasnuighe, an tIus ar na 
which writers of the Gaelic language had used ordughadh Ie coimhthional 11a N diaghaireadh 
for centuries, and used at the time. No Irish ag 1\ iarmhanister an Sasgan, &c." That may 
writer could use a dialect more purely Irish be called Irish, but it was a Scottish book 
than that found in Kirk's Gaelic preface. written by Scottish men. 
Kirk concludes his preface with the following In 172:J the Synod of Argyle, who cannot 
lines :- : be too highly commended for their anxiety to 



GAELIC BIBLE. 


93 


promote the spiritual good of their countrymen 
in the Highlands, published a translation of 
the Confession of ..Faith into Gaelic. It is a 
small duodecimo volume printed at Etlinburgh. 
The Larger and Shorter Catechisms, with the 
Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and 
the Creed follow the Confession. The Luok is 
well printed, and the language is still the so- 
called Irish. The title runs :-" Admhail an 
Chreidimh, air an do reitigh air ttus coimh- 
thionol na nDiaghaireadh aig .Kiarmhoinister 
an Sasgan; &c... ar na chnr a N gaoidheilg Ie 
SeanacUl Earraghaoidheal." The Confession of 
Pltith, 9-c., translated into Gaelic by the Synod 
of Artjyle. 
It is interesting with respect to the dialect 
in which all the works referred to appear, to 
inquire whence the writers obtained it, if it be 

imply Irish. Carse well's Prayer-book ap- 
}'eared before any work in Irish Gaelic was 
printed. The ministers of the Synod of 
.Argyle were surely Scottish Highlanders and 
not Irishmen. 1\11' Kirk of Balq uidder was a 
lowland Scot who acquired the Gaelic tongue. 
Xow these men, so far as we know, were never 
in Ireland, and there were no Irish-Gaelic 
+ books from which they could acquire the 
I tongue. There might l)e manuscripts, but it is 
not very probable that men would inspect 
manuscripts in order to enable them to write 
in a dialect that was foreign to the people 
whom they intended to benefit. Yet these all 
write in the same dialect, and with the identical 
f'ame orthography. Surely this proves that 
the Scottish Gael were perfectly familiar with 
that dialect as the language of their literature, 
that its orthography among them was fixed, 
that the practice of writing it "vas common, as 
much so as among the Irish, and that the 
people readily understood it. It is well known 
that the reading of the Irish Dible was common 
in Highland churches down to the beginning 
of this century, and that the letter was, from 
the abbreviations used, called" A' chorra litir," 
aud was familiar to the people. At the same 
time, the language was uniformly called Irish, 
as the people of the Highlands were called Irish, 
although there never was a greater misnomer. 
8uch a designation was never employed by the 
people themselves, and was only used by those 
who wrote and spoke English. In the title of 


the Confession of :.Faith published in Gaelic in 
1725, it is said to be translated into the Irish 
language by the Synod of Argyle. 


GAELIC BIBLE. 
Religious works formed the staple of the 
literature issued from the Gaelic press from 
the period now spoken of to the present day. 
The great want for many years was the Bible. 
For a long time the clergy used the Irish 
edition reprinted for the use of the Highlands 
by l\fr Kirk; but this was not satisfactory, 
from the difference of the dialect; many in 
consequence preferred translating from the 
English. This habit pervaded all classes, amI 
it is not improbable that there are in the High- 
lands still persons who prefer translating the 
Scriptures for their own use to the common 
version. Certain traditional forms of transla- 
tion were at one time in general use, and occa- 
sionally the trarlslations given bordered on the 
ludicrous. A worthy man was once translating 
the phrase ".Ami they were astonied," and he 
made it "Eha iml air an clachadh,' They were 
stoned. It was in every way desirable that a 
correct translation of the Gaelic Bible should 
be provided for the use of the Highlands, and 
this was finally undertaken by the Society for 
Propagating Christian Knowled.ge. The per- 
son cmployed to perfonn the work was the 
Rev. James Stewart of Killin, a man fully 
qualified for it, and although his translation 
retained too much of the Irish dialect of 
O'Donnell's Irish New Testament, it was wel- 
cOllled as a highly creditable work, and as a 
great boon to the Ilighlallds. 1\Iany minor 
changes have been made in the Gaelic New 
Testament of 17G7, but it has been the basis 
of all subsequent editions which have sought 
merely to render certain portions of the work 
more idiomatic and pleasing to a Scottish ear. 
The publishing of this version of the New 
Testament proved a great benefit to the High- 
lands. 
Soon after the publication of the New Testa- 
ment, it was resolved that the Old Testament 
should be translated into Gaelic also. This 
work, like the fonner, was undertaken by the 
Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, 
assisted by a collection made throughout 
the congregations of the Church of Scotlallli 



!H 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


amounting to .tl.t83. The principal translator 
emplo;red was the Hev. Dr John Stewart of 
Luss, son of the translator of the .New Testa- 
llHmt, who translated three portions of the 
work, while a fourth portion, including the 
Prophets, was executed by the Rev. Dr Smith, 
of Campbellton, the accomplished editor of 
the Sean Dana. The whole work was 
completed and published in the year 1801. 
This work has been of incalculable service 
to the Highlands, and is one of the many 
benefits conferred upon that portion of the 
country by the excellent Society who under- 
took it. Objpctions have been taken to the 
many Irish idioms introduced into the language, 
and to the extent to which the Irish ortho- 
graphy was follow ell. but these are minor fault:;, 
amI the work itself is entitled to all commenda- 
tion. 


TRANSLATIONS FRml TilE EXGLISH. 
l\Iuch of our modern Gaelic prose literature 
consists of translations from the Engli::;h. In 
this the Gaelic differs from the "\V cl::;h, in which 
is to be found a large amount of original prose 
writing on various subjects. This has arisen 
from the demand for such a literature being 
less among the lIighlanllers, among whom the 
English language has made greater progress, so 
much so, that whcn a desire for extensive read- 
ing exists, it is gencrally attended ,,-ith a suffi- 
cient knowledge of Euglish. Tran::;lations of 
religious works, however, have been relished, 
and pretty ample provision has been made to 
mret the llemand. The first book printed in 
modern Scottish Gaclic was a translation of 
Baxter's Call to tlte Unconverted, executed by 
the Rev. Alex. l\I'Farlane, of Kilninvel', and 
puLli:::hed ill 17.30. There is much of the 
Irish orthography and i<liom retained in this 
work, but it is a near approach to the modern 
spoken language of the Highlands. Since 
then many of the works of well-known religious 
authors }mve been translateLl and publislJed, 
among wl1Ích may be mentioned works b;r 
Boston, lJlln,yan, 1Jl'ookes, Colquhoun, and 
lJoddrilige. These are much prized and read 
throughout the Highlands. The translations 
are of various excellence; some of them accurate 
and elegant, while others are deficient in 
both these qualitif>s. Dr 
mÍth's version of 


Alleine's Alm.m is an admirable specimen of 
translation, and is altogether worthy of the 
fame of Dr Smith. The same may be said of 
1\lr 1\l'Farlane's translation of The JIistm'y oj 
Joseph, which is an excellent specimen (,f 
Gaelic writing. The l1Ionthly Visitor trad 
has been translateù by the writer for the la
t 
twelve years, and it has a large c.irculation. 


ORIGIN AL PROSE "\Y RITINGS. 
Of these 1\11' Heid, in his Biblioilteca Scoto- 
Celtica, gives but a scanty catalogue. He gives 
but a list of ten, most of them single sermons. 
There are several other such writings, however, 
which have been adfled sinco TIeid's list was 
made up. .Among these appears l\I'Kenzie's ' 
ßliadhna Tltea1"laiclz, "Charles's year," a 
vigorolls well-written account of the rebdlion of 
1715-6. l\l'Kenziewas the compiler of a volume 
of Gaelic poetry in which the best specimens of 
the works of the bards are generally given, and 
although having ideas of his 0-,n1 on the subject 
of ol'thograpll,y, few Illell knew the Gaelic lan- 
guage better. "T e have also a volume on astro- 
nomy by the Rey. D. Connell; and a .History 
of Scotland by the Rev. Angus ::\lackenzie, l)oth 
of them creditable performances. It is douMful 
how far these works have been patronised by 
the public, and how far they have been of 
pecuniary benefit to their authors, but theyar(' 
deserving works, and if they have not proved 
a remunerative investment, it is from want of 
interest on the part of the readers more than 
from want of ability on the part of the writers. 
In addition to these have been severalmaga- 
zines, the contents of ,,-hich have in some in- 
stances been collected into a volume an,ll'ub- 
lished separately. Of these are An tCflclulair 
GaÙllwalach, "The Gaelic l\Iessenger," editell 
hy the late Hev. Dr 1\I'Leod of Glasgow, and a 
Free Church magazine An Fhianuis, "The "Tit_ 
ness," edited by the Rev. Dr :Mackay, now of 
Harris. "The Gaelic Messenger," An TPltch- 
daire G1lidhealach, contained a large propor- 
tion of papers furnished by the editor, Dr 
.:\l'Leod. 1'he::;e have been since that time col- 
lected into a volume by his son-in-law the Hev. 
Archibahl Clerk of Kilmallie, and publisheJ 
under the title of Carairl nan Gaidheal, "The 
J'riend of the Highlanders." This is an admir- 
able volume, containing, as it does, our be5t 



05 


OIUGINAL PROSE \rRITIKGS. 


specimens of racy, idiomatic Gaelic, of which of the Celt, while others are ohviously of 
Dr 1\I'Leod was a master. It is a most in- c1assical origin, aIlll are an adaptation of 
teresting addition to our Gaelic literature. ancient Greek and Latin stories to the 
Besides this, Dr 1\l'Leod produced Lertbhar taste of the Celt of Scotland. Mr Camp- 
nan Cnoc, "The Rook of the Knowes," a school bell, in his disquisitions accompanying the 
collection of prose and poetry, and several tales, which are often as amusing and instruc- 
other lesser works. The Leabhar nan Cnoc is . tive as the tales themselves, traces numerous 
an admirable collection of fragments, well I bonds of connection between them and similar 
adapted for school use, and at the same time legends common to almost all the European 
interesting to the general reader, nations. He shows where they meet and 
But the most remarkable addition that has where they diverge, and makes it very clear 
recently been made to Gaelic prose literature that most of them must have had a common 
is 1\11' J. F. Campbell's collection of "Sgen- orlgm. It has been maintained that many of 
bchdan" or ancient Highland tales. It was these legends were brought to Scotland by re- 
lung kno\vn that a large amount of this kind turning Crusaders; that they were often the 
of literature existecl in the Highlands; that it amusement of the camp among these soldiers 
formed the treasure of the reciter, a character of the ancient Church; and that, related 
recognised and appreciated in every small COIll- among hearers of all nations, they became dis- 
munity; and that it was the staple fireside pel'sed among those nations, and that thus 
amusement of many a winter evening. Speci- Scotland came to obtain and to retain her 
mens of this literature appeared occasionally in share of theIll. 
print, and one of great interest, and remarkal1ly That Scotland felt largely the influence of 
well given, called Spiomd nrr h-aoise, "The the Cru:>ades cannot be denied by any 01ser- 

pirit of Age," appears in Lrnbhar nan Cnoc, I vant student of her history. Her whole politi- 
tlLe collection already spoken of. :ì\1r Campbell cal and social system was moclified by them, 
set himself to collect this literature from the while to them is largely due the place and 
traditions of the people, and he has embodied power which the mediæval Church obtained 
the rcsult in four gOOtU.\- volumes, which every under the government of David 1. That Scot- 
lovcr of the language and literature of the Celt tish literature should have felt their influence 
must prizc. :ì\1any coadj utors aided ]\1r Camp" is more than likely, and it is possible, although 
l.en in his undertaking, and he was happy in it is hardly safe to go further, that some oÎ 
finding, as has been already said, in }\1r Hector these tales of the Scottish Highlands owe 
::\1'Lean, teacher, Islay, a most efficient collector their existence to the wanderings of Scottish 
awl transcriber of the tales. These tales were Crus3.clers. TIe their origin, however, what it 
known among the Highlanders as "Sgculach- may, they afford a deeply interesting fielll of 
clan" Tales, or "Ursgeulan" X oble Tales, the enquiry to the student of the poplùar literature 
latter having reference usually to stories of the of the country. In our own view, they are of 
:Fillgalian heroes. They are chiefly "Folk great value, as presenting us with admirahle 
lore" of the kinds which are now known to specimens of idiomatic Gaelic. \\r e transcribe 
pervade the world amongst a certain class as one tale, making use of the ordinary ortho- 
their oral literature. The Tales themselves are graphy of the Gaelic, -:\lr Camphell haying used 
of various degrees of merit, and are manifestly forms of spelling which might sen'o to cxprcs 
derived from various sources. Some of them the peculiarities of the dialect in which he 
took their origin ill the fertile imagination found them couchelL 


MAOL A CIiLIOBAI!i. 


Bha bantrach ann roimhe so, 'us bha trì nigheanan 
a
('p, 'us thubhairt iarl rithe, gu'n rachadh iad a dh'iarr- 
aldh an fhortain. Dhea3aich i trl bonnaich. TllU- 
bhairt i ris an té mhòir, "Cò aca is fhearr leat an leth 
bheag 'us mo bheannachrl, no'n leth mhòr 's mo mhaIl- 
achd î" "Is fhearr learn, ars' ise, an leth mhòr 'us do 
mhallacllll.' Thuùhairt iris an té mheaùhonaich, 


English Translation. 
There was a widow once of a time, and she ha,l 
three daughters, and they said to her that they were 
going to beek their fortunes. 
he prepared three 
bannocks. She said to the big daughter, "'Vhether 
do you like best the little half with my blessing, or 
the big half with my curse î" "I like best," said 
she, "the big half with your curse." She said to the 



96 


GEKERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGIILAKDS. 


"Co aca's fhearr leat an leth bheag 'us mo bheannaehd 
no'n leth mhòr 'us mo mhallachd." "Is fhean lea
 
an leth mhòr 'us do mhallachd," ars' ise. Thubh:lirt 
iris an té bhig, Co aea's fhearr leat an leth mhòr 'us 
mo mhallachd, no'n leth hheag's mo bheannaehd 1" 
"Is fhearr leam an leth bheag'us do bheannachd." 
Chord so r'a màthair, 'us thug i dhi an leth eile cuid- 
eachd. 
Dh' fhalbh iad, ach cha robh toil aig an dithis 'hu 

hine an té 'b'òige 'bhi leo, 'us cheangail iad i ri carr- 
agh cloiche. Ghabh iad air an aghaidh, 's 'n uair a 
dh'amhairc iad as an déigh, co a chunnaic iad ach ise 
'us a' chrcig air a muin. Lcig iad leatha car treis gus 
an d'ràinig iad cruach mhòine, 'us cheangail ia r l ris a 
chrnaich lllhòine i. Ghabh iad air an aghaidh treis, 
'us dh'amhairc iad 'n an déigh, 'us cò a chunnaic iad 
a,
h ise a' tighinn, 's a' chruach mhòine air a muin. 
Leig iad leatha car tacan gus an d'rainig iad craobh, 
'us cheangail iad ris a'chraoibh i. Ghabh iad air an 
aghaiLlh treis, 'us 'n'uair a dh'amhairc iad 'n an déigh, 
cò a chunllaic iad ach ise a' tighinn, 's a'ehraobh air a 
llluin. Chunllaic iad nach robh maith bhi rithe. 
Dh'fhuasgail iad i 'us leig iad leo i. Eha iall a' falbh 
gus an d'thàinig an oidhche orra. Chunllaic iad solus 
facIa uatlla, 'us rua b'fhada uatha, cha b'fhada bha 
iadsan 'g a ruigheachd. Chaidh iarl a stigh. Ciod e 
bha so ach tigh famhair. Dh'iarr iad fllireach 's an 
oidhche. Fhllair iad sin 'us chuireadh a luidhe iad Ie 
trì nigheanan an fhamhair. 
Hha caran de chneapan òm bair mu mhuinealan 
nigheanan an fhamlluir, agus sreangan gaosaid mu'm 
muinealan-san. Choidil iad air fad, a('h cha do c110idil 
l\Taol a' chliohain. Feadh na h-oidhche thàinig path- 
adh air an fhamhar. Ghlaodh e r'a ghille maol carrach 
ui
ge 'thoirt d'a ionnsuidh. Thubhairt an gille maol 
f'arrach nach robh deur a stigh. " .\Iarbh, ars' esan, 
té dc na nigheanan coimlwach, 'us thoir a'm ionnsuidh- 
se a fuil." "Ciamar a dh' aithnieheas mi eatorra 1" 
ars' an gille maGI carrach. "Tha caran de chneapan 
'Illn mhuinealan luO nigheanan-sa, agns caran gaosaid 
nlU mhuinealan chàich." Chuala :Maol a chliobain am 
famhar, 'us cho dis 's a b'urrainn i, chnir i na srean- 
ganan gaosaid a bha m'a muineal féin agus mu mlmi- 
nealan a peathraichean mu mlminealan nigheanan an 
fhamhair, agus na cneapan a bIla mu mhuinealan 
nigheanan an fhamlHlÎr m'a muineal féin agus nm 
mhuinealan a pcathmichean, 'us luidh i sios gu samh- 
ach. Thàinig an gille maol carrach, 'us mharhh 
e té de nigheanan an fhamhair, 'us thug e an fhuil d'a 
ionnsuidh. DIÚan e tuilleadh a thoirt d'a ionnsuitlh. 
Mharbh e an ath thé. Dh'iarr e tuilleadh 'us mharbh 
e an treas té. Dhi1Îsg :Maol a' chliobain a' peathraich- 
ean, 'us thug i air a muin iall, 'us ghabh i air falbh. 
Mhothaich am famhar dith 'us lean e i. 
Na spreadan' tcine a bha ise 'cur as na clacllan Ie a 
sàiltean, bha i:ul a' bualadh an fhamhair 's an smigead; 
agus na spn>adan tEine a bha am famhar 'toirt as na 
clachan Ie barraibh a chos, bha iad a' bualadh Mhaol 
a' chliobaill an cùl a' chinn. Is e so 'bu dual doibh 
gus an d'ràinig iad amhainn, Leum Maol a' chliobain 
an amhainn 'us cha b'urrainn am famhar an amhaiun 
a leum. "'l'ha tlm thall, a Mhaol a' chliobain." 
"'1'113, ma's oilleat." "Mharbh tlm mo thrì nigh- 
eanan maola, ruagha." "Mharbh, ma 's oil leat." 
" , Us c'uine thig thu ris 1" "Thig, 'n uair bheir mo 
glmothuch ann mi." 
Ghabh iall air an agllaidh glIs an d'ràinig iad tigh 
tuathanaich. Dha aig an tuathanach tri mic. Dh'iunis 
lad mar a thachair dhoibh. AI's' an tuatll" ach ri 
Maol a'chliobain, "Dheir mi mo mhac a's sine do'd 
l'hiuthair a's sine, 'us faigh dhomh cìr mhìn òir, 'us 
cìr gharbh airgid, a th'aig an fhamhar," "Cha chosd 
e tuilleadh dhuit," ars' Maol a' chliobain. Dh'fhalbh 
i 'us ràini
 i tigh an fhamhair. Fhuair i stigh gun 
fhios. Thug i leatha na cìrean 'us dhalbh i macho 


middle one, "Whether do you like best the big half 
with my curse, or the little half with my blcssing 1 " 
"I like best," said she, "the big half with your 
curse." She said to the little one, "'Vhether do you 
like best the big half with my curse, or the little half 
with my blessing 1" "I like best the little half with 
your blessing." This pleascd her mothcr, and she 
gave her the other half likewise. 
They left, but the two older ones did not wish to 
have the younger one with them, and they tied her tc 
a stone. They held on, and when they looked be- 
hind them. whom did they see coming but her with 
the rock on her back. They let her alone for a while 
until they reached a stack of peats, and they tied her 
to the peat-stack. They held on for a while, when 
whom did they see coming but her with the stack of 
peats on her back. They let her alone for a while 
until they reached a tree, and they tied her to the 
tree. They héld on, and whom did they see coming 
hut her with the tree on her back. They saw that 
there was no use in meddling with her. They loosed 
her, and they let her come with them. They were 
travelling until night overtook them. They saw a 
light far from them, and if it was far from them they 
were not long reaching it. They wcnt in. What 
was this but the house of a giant. They asked to 
remain overnight. They got that, and they were set 
to bed with the three daughters of the giant. 
There were turns of amber bcads around the necks 
of the giant's daughters, and strings of hair around 
their necks. 'fhey all slept, but Maol a chiiobain 
kept awake. During the night the giant got thirsty. 
He called to his bald rough-skinncll lad to bring him 
water. The bald rough-skinned lad said that there 
was not a drop within. " Kill," said he, "one of 
the strange girls, and bring me her blool1." "How 
....:ill I know them 1" said the bald rough-&kinncd lal1. 
"There are turns of bealls about the necks of my 
daughters, and turns of hair about the necks of the 
rest. " !lIaol a chliobain heard the giant, and as 
quickly as she could she put the strings of hair that 
were about her own neck and the necks of her sisters 
about the necks of the giant's daughters, and the 
beads that were about tho necks of the giant's <laugh- 
ters about her own neck and the necks of her sisters, 
and laid herself quietly down. The bald rough- 
skinned lad came and killell one of the daughters of 
the giant, and brought him her hlood. He bade him 
bring him more. He killed the second one. He bad/> 
him bring him more, and he killed the third. Maol 
a chliobain wakened her sisters, and she took them on 
her back and went away. The giant observed her, 
and he followed her. 
The sparks of fire which she was driving out of thE' 
stones with her heels were striking the giant in the 
chin, and the sparks oÏ fire that the giant was taking 
out of the stones with the points of his feet, they were 
striking .Maol a chliohain in the back of her head. 
It was tlms with them until thcy reached a river. 
lIIaol a chliobain leaped the river, and the giant could 
not leap the liver. " You are over, l\laol a chlio- 
bain. " " Yes, if it vex you." " You killed my 
three LaId red-skinned daughters." "Yes, if it vex 
you." "And when will you come again 1" "I will 
come when my business brings me, " 
They went on till they reached a fanner's house. 
The farmer had three sons. Thcy told what happened 
to them. Says the farmer to Maol a chliobain, "I 
will givc my èldest son to your eldest sister, and get 
for me the smooth golden comb and the rough silver 
com b that the giant has." "I t won't cost you more, " 
said Mool a chìiobain. She left and reached the giant'!! 
house. She got in without being seen. She took thf' 
combs and hastened out. The giant observed her, and. 



ORIGINAL I>ROSE 'VTIITINGS. 


97 


Itlhotltaich am famhar dhith; 'us as a deigh a hha e 
gus an d'ràillig e an amhainn. Leum ise an amhainn 
'us cha b'urrainn am fanùlar an amhailln a leum. 
"Tha tlm thall, a .Mhaol a' chliobain." "Tha, ma 's 
oilleat." " 1\1harbh, tlm mo thrì nigheanan maola, 
ruagha." "1\lharbh, ma 's oil leat." "Ghoid thu 
JUO chir mhin òir, 'us JUO chir gharbh airçid." 
.. Ghoid, ma 's oil leat." "C' uine thig thu TIs?" 
"Thig, 'n uair bheir mo ghnothuch ann mi." 
Thug i na cìrean thun an tuathanaich, 'us phòs a 
piuthair mhòr-sa mac mòr an tuathanaich. 
"Bhcir mi mo mhac meadhonach do'd phiuthair 
mheadhonaich, 'us' fai
h dhomh claidheamh soluis an 
fhamhair." "Cha chosd e tuilleadh dhuit," ars' 
I .Maol a' chliobain. Ghabh i air falbh, 'us ràinig i tigh 
I an fhamhair. Chaidh i suas ann an barr craoibhe 
'bha os cionn tobair an fhamhair. Anns an oidhche 
thainig an gille maol carrach, 'us an claidheamh 
soluis leis, a dh'iaITaidh nisge. An nair a chrom e a 
thogail an uisge, thainig .Maol a' chliobain a nuas, 'us 
phut i sios 's au tobar e 'us bhàth i e, 'us thug i leatha 
an claidhearnh soluis. Lean am famhar i gus an 
d'ràinig i an arnhainn. Leum i an amhainu, 'us cha 
, b'urrainn am famhar a leantuinn. .. 'fha thu thall, a 
:Mhaol a' chliobain." .. Tha, ma's oilleat." "Mharbh 
I thu mo thrì nigheanan maoIa, ruadha." " l\Iharbh 
ma 's oilleat." "Ghoid tlm mo chìr mhln òir, 's mo 
chìr gharbh airgid." "Ghoid, ma 's oil leat." 
"bIharbh thu mo ghille maol carrat'h." " Mharbh 
ma's oilleat." "Ghoid thu mo chlaidheamh soluis." 
"Ghoid, ma 's oil leat." "C'uine thig thu rÌs." 
"Thig, 'n uair bheir mo ghnothuch ann mi." Ràinig 
i tigh a.n tuathanaich leis a' chlaidheamh sholuis, 'us 
phòs a piuthair mheadhonach 'us mac meadhonach an 
tuathauaich. 
" Bheir mi dhuit féill mo mhac a's òige," ars' an 
tUttthanach, .. 'us thoir a'm ionnsuidh boc a th'aig an 
fhaJUhar. II "Cha chosd e tuilleadh dhuit" ars' Maol 
a' chliobain. Dh'fhalhh i 'us ràmig i tigh an fhamh- 
air, ach an uair a bha greim aice air a bhoc, rug am 
famhar,oirre. "Ciod e" ars' am famhar, "a dheanadh 
tus' ormsa, nan deanainll uibhir a choire ort 's a rinn 
thus' ormsa, .. .. Bheirinn ort gu'n sgàineadh tu thu 
fMin Ie brochan bainne; chuirinn an sin ann am Jloc 
tlm; chrochainn tlm ri druim an tighe; chuirinn tcine 
fothad; 'us ghabhainll duit Ie cabar gus an tuitea\lh tlm 
'n ad chual chrionaich air an lular. Rinn am famhar 
brochan bainne 'us thugar dhith ri òl e. Chuir ise am 
brochan bainne m' a benl 'us m' a h-endainn, 'us luidh 
i seachad mar gu'm bitheadh i marbh. Chuir am 
fanlhar ann am }loc i, 'us chroch e i ri druim an tighe, 
'us dh'fhalbh e fhéin 'us a dhaoine a dh'iarraidh fiodha 
do'n choille. Bha màthair an fhamhair a stigh. Their- 
cadh .Maol a' chliobain'n nair a dh'fhalbh am famhar, 
"Is mise 'tha 's an t-sòlas, is mise 'tha 's a chaithir 
òir." "An leig thu mise ann 1" ars' a' chailleach. 
"Cha leig, gn dearbh." Mu dheireadh, leig i nuas 
am poca; chuir i stigh a' chailleach, 'us cat, 'us laogh, 
'ns soitheach uachdair; thug i h'atha am boc, 'us 
dh'fhalbh i. An uair a thainig am famhar, thoisich e 
fhéin 'us a dhaoine air a' phoca leis na cabair. Eha a' 
chailleach a' glaodhaich, .. '::; mi fhéin a th' ann." 
.. Tha fios agam gur tu fhéin a th 'ann," theireadh am 
famhar, 'us e ag éiridh air a' phoca. '1'hàinig am poc' 
a nuas 'n a chuar chrionaich 'us ciod e 'bha ann ach a 
mhàthair. An uair a chunnaie am famhar mar a bha, 
thug e as an déigh Mhaol a' chliobain. Lean e i gus 
an d'ràinig i an amhainn. Leum Maol a' chliobain an 
amhainn 'us cha b'urrainn am famhar a leum. .. 'l'ha 
thu thall, a 1I1haol a' chliobain." .. '1'ha, ma 's oil 
leat. " .. Mharbh thu mo thrl nigheanan maola, 
ruadha." .. 11har\:>h, rua 's oil leat" .. Ghoid tlm 
mo chìr mhin òir, 'us mo chìr gharbh airgid." 
.. Gl1Oid, ma 's oil leat." .. Mharbh t
IU mo ghille 
maol, carrach." .. 1\lharbh, ma 's oil leat. .. Ghoid 
u. 


after her he went uutil they reached the river. She 
leaped the river, and the giant could not leap the 
ri \'er. " You are over, :Maol a chliobain." .. Yes, if 
it vex you." .. You killed my three hald red -skinned 
daughters." .. Yes, if it vex you." "You stole my 
smooth golden comb and my rough silver comb." 
.. Yes, if it vex you." .. 'Vhen will you come agaiu." 
.. When my business brings me." 


She brought the combs to the farmer, and the big 
sister married the big son of the farmer. 
" I will give my middle son to your middle sister, 
and get for me the giant's sword of light." .. It won't 
cost you more," says Maol a chliobain." She went 
away, and reached the giant's house. She went up 
in the top of a tree that was above the giant's well. 
In the night the bald, rough-skinned lad came for 
water, having the sword of light with him. When 
he bent over to raise the water, Maol a chliobain 
came down and pushed him into the well and drowned 
him, and took away the sword of light. The giant 
followed her till she reached the river. She leaped 
the river, and the giant could not follow her. .. You 
are over, 1\1aol a chliobain." " Yes, if it vex vou." 
.. You killed my three bald red-haired daughiers." 
" Yes, if it vex you." "You stole my 
mooth golden 
comb and my rough silver comb." .. Yes, if it vex 
you." .. You killed my bald rough-skinned lad. II 
" Yes, if it vex you." .. You stole my sword of 
light. " .. Yes, if it vex you." "'When will you 
come again?" "When my business brings me." 
She reached the farmer's house with the sword of 
light, and her middle sister married the middle son 
of the farmer. 


"I will give yourself my youngcst son," said the 
farmer, .. and bring me the buck that the giant has." 
.. It won't cost you more," said Maol a chliobain. 
She went and she reached the giant's house, but as 
she got hold of the buck, the giant laid hands upon 
her. .. 'Vhat," said the giant, "would you do to me 
if I had done to you as much harm as you have done 
to me?" "I would make you burst yourself with 
milk 'Porridge. I would then Imt you in a bag j I 
would hang you to the roof of the house; I would 
place fire under you; and I would beat you with 
sticks until you fell a bundle of dry sticks on the 
floor." The giant made milk porridge, aud gave it 
her to drink. She spread the milk porridge over her 
mouth and her face, and lay down as if she had been 
dead. The giant put her in a bag which he hung to 
the roof of the house, and he and his men went to the 
wood to get sticks. 'fhe mother of the giant was in. 
When the giant went away, Maol a chliobain cried, 
" It is I that am in comfort; it is I that am in the 
golden seat." .. Will you let me th6fe?" said thc 
hag. .. No, indeed." A t length she let down thc 
hag; she put the hag inside, and a cat, aud a calf, 
and a dish of cream; she took away the buck, and 
she left. \Vhen the giant came, he and his meH f(.lJ 
upon the bag with the sticks. The hag was crying 
out, .. It's myself that's here." .. I know it is your- 
self that's there," the giant would say, striking the 
bag. The bag fell down a bundle of dry sticks, anel 
what was there but his mother. When the giant saw 
how it was, he. set off after Maol a chliobain. He 
followed her till she reached the river. Maol a 
chliobain leaped the river, but the giant could not 
leap the river. " You are over, 1\laol a chlioùain." 
.. Yes, if it vex you." .. You killed my three bald 
red-skinned daughters. II .. Yes, if it vex you." 
.. You stole my smooth golden comb and my rough 
sil ver com b. " .. Yes, if it vex you." " You killed 
my bald, rough-skinned lad." .. Yes, if it vex you." 
.. You stole my sword of li!jht." " Yes, if it vex 
N 



!}S 


GENER
\.L HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


thu mo chlaidheamh soluis." "Ghoid, ma 's oilleat." 
".Mharbh thu mo mhàthair." " .Mharbh, ma 's oil 
leat." "Ghoid thu mo bhoc." "Ghoid, ma 's oil 
leat." "C'uine a thig tlm rìs 
" " Thig 'n uair bheir 
mo ghnothuch ann mi." "N am bithcaùh tusa b1l0s 
'us mise thall" ard' am famhar, "Cioù e dheanadh tu 
airson mo leantuinn '? " "
topainn mi fhéin, agus 
dh'olainn gus an traoghainn, an amhainn." Stop am 
famhar e fhéin, 'us dh' òl e gus an do sgàin e. !'hòs 
Maol a' chliobain Mac òg an tuathanaich. 


you. ., " You killed my mother." " Yes, if it vex 
you." "You stole my buck." "Yes, if it vex you." 
"When will you corne again '?" "When my business 
brings me. " "If yon were over h
n'e and lover there, 
what would you do to follow me 1" "I would stop 
mysclf up, and I would drink until I dried the river." 
The giant stopped himself up, and drunk until ho 
burst. Maol a chliobaill married the young son of 
the farmer. 


The above is a fair specimen of these tales I referring to the famous Tom na h-iùbhraich, in 
with which the story-tellers of the Higlùanùs the neighbourl1ood of Inverness. It was taken 
were wont to entertain their listeners, and pass I down bJr the writer from the recital of an 
agreeahly a long winter evening. The ver- Ardnamurchan man in Edinburgh, and has 
sions of such tales are various, but the general never been printed before. The resemblance of 
line of the narrative is always the same. a portion of it to what is told of Thomas the 
Scores of these tales may still be picked up Rhymer and the Eildon Hills, is too close to 
in the ".,. est Higlùands, although Mr Campbell eSCUl)e observation. These tales are valuable 
has sifted them most carefully and skilfully, as preserving admirable specimens of the 
and given to the public those which are Ull- idioms of the Gaelic language. 
ùoubteilly best. The following is a specimen 


NA FIAKTAICHEAN. 
FEAR A' GHEADAIN CLÒUnIE. 
Ella fear air astar uaireigin mu thuath, a réir coslais, 
mu Shiorramachd Illbhirnis. Eha e a' coiseachd là, 
'us chunnaic e fear a' buain sgrath leis an làr-chaipe. 
'l'hainig e far an robh an duine. Thubhairt e ris, 
"Oh, nach fean sibhse, 'ùhuinc, ris an obair sin." 
Thubhairt an duine ris, "Oh, nam faiceadh tu m'atIlair, 
is e a 's sinE' na mise..' " D'athair" ars' an duine, 
"am bheil d'athair beò 's an t-saoghal fhathasd 1" 
"Oh, tha" arg' esan. "C'àite am bheil d'athair" 
ars' esan, "am b'urrainn mi 'fhaiciun '?" "Uh, is 
urrainn" ars. esan, "tha e a' tarruing dhathigh nan 
sgrath. " Dh'innis e an rathad a ghabhadh each am 
faiceadh e 'athair. Thàinig e far an robh e. Thu- 
bhairt e ris, .. Nach scan sibhse, 'dhuine, ris an obair 
sin." " Uh," arg' esan, "nam faiceadh tu m' athair, 
is e a 's sine na mise." " Oh, fim bheil d'athair 's an 
t-saoghal fhathasd f' "Uh, tlm," ars' esan. "C'aite 
am bheil e" ars' esan, "an urrainn mi 'fhaicinn î II 
"Uh, is urrainn," ars' esan, "tha e a' tilgeadh nan 
sgrath air an tigh." Ràinig e am fear a bha 'tilgeadh 
nan sgrath. " Oh, nach sean sibhse, 'dhuine, ris an 
obair sin," aI'S' esan. " Uh, Ilam faiceadh tu m'athair," 
ars' esan, "tha e mòran na 'w sine na. mise. II " Am 
bheil d'athair agam r'a fhaicinn ,?" "Uh, tha," ars' 
esan, "rach timchioll, 'us ehi thu e a'cnr nan sgrath," 
Thainig e 'us chunnaie e am fear a bha 'cur naIl 
sgrath. "011, a dhuine" ars' esan, "is mòr an aois 
a dh'fheumas sibse a blli." " Oh," ars' esan, .. nam 
faiceadh tu m'athair." "An urrainn mi d'athair 
fhaicinn '?" ars' esan, "C'àite am bheil e 1" "Mata" 
ars' an duine, is òlach tapaidh eoltach thu, Hla mi 
'croiJsinn gu'm faod mi m'athair a shealltuinn duit. 
" Tha e," ars' egan, "stigh ann an geaùan clòimhe an 
ceann eiIe an tighe." Chaidh e stigh leis 'g a fhaicinn. 
Bha na h-uile gin diùbhsan ro mhòr, nach 'eil an 
lcithid a nis r'a fhaotainn. .. Tha duine beag an so," 
ars esan, 'athair, "air am bheil coslas òlaich thapaidh, 
Alùannach, 'us toil aige 'ur faicinn." Bhruidhinn 
e ris, 'us thubllairt e, "Co as a thàinig tIm'? Thoir 
dhomh do làmh, 'Albannaich." Thag a mhac Htmh air 
smnn choltair croinn a bha 'na luidhe làimh riu. 
Shnaim e c.odach uime. " Thoir dha sin," ars' esan 
ris an Albannach, "'us na toir dha do làmh." !tug 


EngllfJh Tmnslation. 
THE FnWALIA.NH. 
TnE MAN IN THE TUFT OF WOOL. 
There was a man once on a journey in the north, 
according to all appearance in the sheriffdom of Inver- 
ness. He was travelling one day, and he saw a man 
casting divots with the ftaughter-spade. He carne to 
where the man was. He said to him, "Oh, you are 
very old to be employed in such work. II The man 
said to him, "Oh, if you saw my father, he is much 
older than I am." "Your father," said the man, 
"is your father alive in the worlù still '?" " Oh, 
yes," said he. "Where is your father'? II said he ; 
"couId I see him'?" "Oh, yes," said he, .. he is 
leading home the divots." He told him what way 
he should take in order to see l1is father. He came 
where he was. He said to him "You are old to be 
engaged in sucL work..' " Oh," said be, "if you saw 
my fath"r, he is older than I." "Oh, is your father 
still in the world'?" "Oh, yes, II said he. " \Vhere 
is your father'?" said he; .. can I see him! " " Oh, 
yes," said he, "he is reaching the divots at the house." 
He came to the man who was reaching the divots. 
" Oh, you are old," said he, "to be employed in such 
work." .. Oh, if you saw my father," said he, "he is 
much older than I." "Is your father to be seen'? II 
said he. " Oh, yes, go rounù the house and you will 
see him laying the divots on the roof." He came and 
he saw the man who was laying the divots on the 
roof. " Oh, man," said he, "you must be a great 
age." "Oh, if you saw my father." "Oh, ean I see 
your father; where is he '?" " \Vell," said the man, 
" you look like a clever fellow; I daresay I Dlay show 
you my father." "He is," said he, "inside in a tuft 
of wool in the further end of the house." He went 
in with him to show him to him. Everyone of tbese 
men was very big, so much so that their like is not to 
be found nO\v. " There is a little man here," said he 
.to his father, "who looks like a clever fellow, a 
Scotchman, and he is wishful to see you. " He spoke 
to him, and &'tid, "\Vhere did you corne from 1 Give 
me your hand, f:;cotchman." His son laid hold of the 
old coulter of a I'lough that lay there. He knotted a 
cloth around it. "Giye him that," saiù lIe to the 
Scotchman, "and don't give him your l)and." The 
old man laid hold of the coulter, while the man held 



GAELIC POETRY. 


99 


an seann dui
e air a' choltair, 'us a' cheaun eHe 
ig 
an duine eile 'na làimh. 
\.n àite an coltair a bhi 
lcath
nn, rinn e crninn e, 'us dh'fhàg e làrach nan 
cuier meur ann, mar gu'm bitheadh uibe taois ann. 
"Nach crnadalach an làmh a th'agad, 'Alhanuaieh," 
ars' esan, "N am bitheadh do chridhe cho cruaùalach, 
tapaidh, dh'iarrainnse rud ort nach d'iarr mi' air fear 
I roimhe." "Ciod e sin, a dhuine 
" ars' esan, "ma 
tha ni ann a's urrainn mise 'dheanamh, ni mi e." 
" Bheirinnse dhuit " ars' csan, "fìdeag a tha an so, 
agus iìosraichidh tu far am bheil Tòm na h-iilbhraich, 
laimh ri lnbhirnis, agus an uair ft theid tlm ann, chì 
thu creag bheag, ghlas, air an dara taobh dheth. .An 
uair a' theid tlm :i. dh'ionnsuidh na creige, chi tlm DIU 
mhl'udacllli domis, 'us air cnmadh doruis bhige air a' 
chreig. Buail sròn do choise air tn uairean, 'us air 
an uair mu dheireaùh fosgailidh e. Dh'fhalLh e, 'us 
ràinig e 'us fhuair e an dorus. Thubhairt an seann 
dlline ris, "An uair a dh'fhosgaileas tu an dorus, 
seirmidh tu an fhìdeag, bheir tlm tri seirmean oirrc 
'us air an t-Heirm mu dheireadh," ars' esan, "ciridh 
leat na bhithcas stigh, 'us ma bhitheas tu cho tapaidh 
, 'us gun dean thu sin, is fheairrd thu fhéin e 'us do 
mhac, 'us d' ogha, 'us d'iar-ogha. 'rhug e a' cheud 
sheirm aÜ" an fhìdeag. Sheall e 'us stad e. Shìn n8. 
coin a bha 'n an luidhe làthair tis na daoinibh an 
cosan, 'us charaich na daoine uile. Thug e an ath 
sheirm oirre. Dh'éirich na daoine air an uilnibh 'us 
dh'éirich na coin 'n an suidhe. Thionndaidh am fear 
ris an dorus, 'us ghabh e eagal. Tharruing e an dorus 
'n a dhéigh. Ghlaodh iadsan uile gu léir, "Is miosa 
'dh'fhàg na flmair, is miosa 'dh'fhàg na fhuair." 
Dh'fhalbh e 'n a ruith. 'l'hàinig e gu lochan uisge, a 
hha an sin, 'us thilg e an fhìdeag anns an 10chan. 
Dhcalaich mise riu. 


These specimens give a goed idea ef the popu- 
lar prose literature of the Higlùands. \Vhence 
it was derived it is difficult to say. It may 
have originated with the people themselves, 

)ut many portions ef it bear the marks of 
baving been derived even, as has been said, 
from an Eastcrn source, w hilc the last tale 
which has Lecn transcribed above gives the 
Highland version of an cld Scottish tradi- 
tion. 


POETRY. 
Gaelic poetry is voluminous. Exdusive of 
the Ossianic poetry which has 1een rcferred 
to already, thcre is a long catalogue of modern 
poctical works of various mcrit. Fragmcnts 
eÀist of poems written early in the 17th ceu- 
tury, snch as these prefixed to the edition of 
Calvin's Catechism, printed in lG31. One of 
these, Faosid Eoin Steuart TigherlT1z net Hap- 
Dcn, "The Confession of John Stewart, lair<.l of 
Appin," savours more of the Church of Rellle 
than of the Protestant faith. To this century 
helongs also the poetry of John :l\facdonell, usu- 
ally called Eoin Lorn, and said to have been 
poet-laureate to Charles II. for Scotland. OtlH'r 
pieces exist of the same period, but littlc would 


the other enll in his hand. Instead of the coulter 
being broad, he maùe it round, and left the mark of 
his five fingers in it as if it were a lump of leaven. 
" You have a brave hand, Scotchman," saiù he. "If 
your heart were as brave and clever, I would ask some- 
thing of you that I never askeù of another." "What 
is that, man 
" said he; "if there is anything that I 
can do, I shall do it. " " I would give you," said he, 
" a whistle that I have here, anù you will find out 
where Tomnahurich i::; near Inverness, and when you 
find it you will see a little grey rock on olle side of it. 
When you go to the rock you will see about the size 
of a door, and the shape of a little door in the rock. 
Strike the point of your foot three times, and at the 
third time it will open." He went away, and he 
readlcd and found the door. "\Vhen you open the 
door," the old man said, " you will sounù the whistle; 
you will sound it thrice. At the thirll sounding all 
that are within will rise along with you; and if you 
be clever enough to ùo that, you, and your son, and 
your grandson, and your great-gralHlson, will be the 
better of it." He gave the first sound on the whistle. 
He looked, and he stopped. The dogs that lay near 
the men stretcheù their legs, and all the men moved. 
He gave the second sound. The men rose on their 
elbows, and the dogs sat up. The man turned to 
the door and became frightened. He drew the door 
after him. They all cried out, "Left us worse than 
he found us ; left us worse than he found us. ., He 
went away running. He ca.me to a little fresh water 
loch that was there, and he threw the whistle into 
the loch. I left them. 


seem to have been handed down to us ef thG 
poetry of this century. 
\Ye have fragments belollging to the early 
part of the 18th century in thc introduction to 
" Lhuyd's Archæologia." These are of much 
interest to the Gaelic studcnt. In 1751 ap- 
pearcd the first edition of Songs by Alexander 
)Iacdollald, usually called }'Iac Mhaighi.stir 
Alasdair. These songs are admirable speci- 
mens of Gaelic versification, giving the highest 
iùea of the author's poetical powers. Many 
editions of them have appeared, and they are 
very popular in the Highlands. l\facint.J1'e's 
poems appeared in 17G8. Macdonald anù hc 
stand at the very top of the list of Gaelic 
popts. They are both distinguished 1y the 
power and the smoothness of their composi- 
tion. Macdonald's highcst gifts arc repre- 
sented in his Biorlllillll Chloinn fl(wlluill, 
"Clan Hanalù's Galley," and .Macintyre's in 
his Beillll Dobhmill, " BCll Douran." 
Later than Macintyre, Uonald :l\I'l)oJ)altl, 
commonly called Raonull Du1h, or Black 
TIanald, pullishcd an cÀcellellt collpction of 
Gaelic songs. This Ranahl was son to Alpx- 
ander already referrell to, and was a school- 
master ill t.he island of Eigg. His collection 


, 



lUO 


GENERAL HISTOUY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


is largely made up of his father's compositions, 
but there are songs of his own and of several 
other composers included. Many of the songs 
of this period are Jacobite, and indicate in- 
tense disloyalty to the Hanoverian royal family. 
Gillies's Collection in 1786 is an admirable 
one, containing many of the genuine Ossianic 
fragments. This collection is of real value to 
the Gaelic scholar, although it is now difficult 
to be had. 
In addition to these, and at a later period, 
we have Turner's Collection and Stewart's 
Collection, both of them containing many ex- 
cellent compositions. 'Ve have, later still, 
1\1'Kenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, and we 
have, besides these, separate volumes of vari- 
ous sizes; by the admirable religious bard, 
Dugald Buchanan; by Rob donn, the Reay 
bard j 'Villiam Ross, the Gairloch bard; and 
many others, who would form a long cata- 
logue. As might be supposed, the pieces in- 
cluded in these collections are of various merit, 
but there is much really good poetry worthy 
of the country which has cultivated the poetic 
art from the earliest period of its history, and 
a country which, while it gave to Gaelic poetry 
such a name as Ossian, gave to the poetry of 
England the names of Thomas Campbell and 
Lord Macaulay. 


GRAMMARS. 
There are no early treatises on the structure 
and composition of the Gaelic language, such 
as the ancient MS. writings which still exist 
on Irish Grammar. Still, so early as the 
middle of last century, the subject had ex- 
cited notice, and demands began to exist for a 
grammatical treatise on the Gaelic language. 
The first attempt to meet this demand was 
made by the Rev. William Shaw, at one time 
minister of Ardclach, in N airnshire, and after- 
wards a resiclent in England; the author of a 
Gaelic dictionary, and an associate of J ohn- 
son's in opposing l\I'Pherson and his Ossian, 
as it was called by adversaries. Shaw's Gram- 
mar is made of no account by Dr Stewart, in 
the reference which he makes to it in his ex- 
cellent grammar; but the work is interesting 
as the first attempt made to reduce Gaelic 
grammar to shape at all, and as showing seve- 
ral indications of a fair, if not a profound 


scholarship. That the volume, however, is to 
be held in any way as a correct analysis of the 
Gaelic language, is out of the question. Mr 
SlJaw presents his readers, at the end of hi., 
volume, with specimens of Gaelic writing, 
which he intcnds to settle the orthography of 
the language. Anything more imperfect than 
the orthography of these specimens can hardly 
be conceived-at least it is of a kind that 
makes the language in many of the words un- 
intelligible to any ordinary reader. Mr Shaw's 
Gram
ar reached a second edition, showing 
the interest that was taken in the subject at 
the time. 
An abler scholar, in the person of the Rev. 
Dr Stewart, of Moulin, Dingwall, and the 
Canongate, Edinburgh, successively, took up 
the subject of Gaelic grammar after Mr Shaw. 
1\11' Stewart was an eminent minister of the 

cottish Church. :Few ministers stood higher 
than he did as a preacher, and few laboured 
more assi<luously in their pastoral work; still 
he found time for literary studies, and to none 
did he direct more of his care than to that of 
his native Gaelic. A native of Perthshire him- 
self, he made himself acquainted with all the 
dialects of the tongue, and gives an admirable 
analysis of the language as it appears in tho 
Gaelic Bible. Few works of the kind are 
more truly philosophical. The modesty which 
is ever characteristic of genius distinguishes 
every portion of it, while the work is of 
a kind that does not admit of much emenda- 
tion. If it be defective in any part, it ÍB 
in the part that treats of syntax. There the 
rules laid down comprehend but few of those 
principles which govern the structure of the 
language, and it is necess
.ry to have recourse 
to other sources for information regarding 
many of the most important of these. 
A third grammar was published about thirty 
years ago by l\Ir James Munro, at the time 
parish schoolmaster of Kilmonivaig. This 
volume is highly creditable to Mr l\Iunro's 
scholarship, and in many respects supplied a 
want that was felt by learners of the language. 
The numerous exercises with which the work 
abounds are of very great value, and must aiù 
the student much in its acquisition. 
A double grammar, in both Gaelic and 
Engli
h, by the Rev. 1\11' Forbes, latterly 



101 


DICTIONARIES. 


minister of Sleat, presents a very fair view of 
the structure of the Gaelic language, while 
grammars appear attached to several of the 
existing dictionaries. There is a grammar pre- 
fixed to the dictionary of the Highland Society, 
another to that of :Mr Armstrong, and a third 
to that of 1\1r 
I'Alpine. All these are credit- 
able p81formances, and worthy of perusal. In 
fact, if the grammar of the Gaelic language be 
not understood, it is not for want of gramma- 
tical treatises. There are seven or eight of 
them in existence. 
Mr Shaw, in the introduction to his grammar, 
says :-" It was not the mercenary considera- 
tion of interest, nor, perhaps, the expectation 
of fame among my countrymen, in whose 
esteem its beauties are too much faded, but a 
tast.e for the beauties of the original speech of 
a now learned nation, that induced me either 
to begin, or encouraged me to persevere in 
reducing to grammatical principles a language 
, spoken only by imitation; while, perhaps, I 
might be more profitably employed in tasting 
I the various productions of men, ornaments of 
human nature, afforded in a language now 
teeming with books. I beheld with astonish- 
ment the learned in Scotland, since the reviyal 
of letters, neglect the Gaelic as if it was not 
worthy of any pen to give a rational account 
of a speech used upwards of 2000 years by the 
inhabitants of more than one kingdom. I saw 
with regret, a language once famous ill the 
western world, ready to perish, without any 
memorial; a language by the use of which 
Galgacus having assembled his chiefs, rendered 
the Grampian hills impassable to legions that 
had conquered the world, and by means of 
which Fingal inspired his warriors with the 
, desire of immortal fame." 
That the Gaelic language is worthy of being 
studied, the researches of modm'n philologers 
have amply proved. :For comparative philology 
it is of the highest value, being manifestly one 
of the great links in the chain of Aryan lan- 
guages. Its close relation to the classical 
languages gives it a place almost peculiar to 
itself. In like manner its study throws light 
on national history. Old words appear in 
charters anù similar documents which a 
knowledge of Gaelic can alone interpret, while 
for the study of Scottish topography the 


knowledge of it is essential. From the Tweed 
to the Pentland Frith words appear in every 
part of the country which can only be analysecl 
by the Gaelic scholar. In this view the study 
of the language is important, and good grammars 
are of essential value for its prosecution. 


DICTIONARIES. 
At an early period vocabularies of Gaelic 
words began to be compiled for the benefit of 
readers of the language. The first of these 
appears attached to 1\11' Kirk's edition of 
Bedell's Irish Bible, to which reference has 
been made already. The list of words is not 
very extensive, and, as has been said, the 
equivalents of the words given are in mal1Y 
cases as difficult to understand as the words 
themselves. 
Ir Kirk's object in his vocabu- 
lary is to explain Irish words in Bedell's Bible 
to Scottish leaders. 
In 1707 Lhuyd's A'l"chæologia Britannica 
appeared. It contains a grammar of the 
Iberno-Scottish Gaelic, and a vocabulary which 
is in a large measure a vocalmlary of the Gaelic 
of Scotland. All th:1t this learned writer did 
was done in a manner worthy of a scholar. 
His vocabulary, although defective, is accurate 
so far as it goes, and presents us with a very 
interesting and instructive view of the state of 
the language in his day. Lhuyd's volume is 
011e which should be carefully studied by every 
Celtic scholar. 
In 1738 the Rev. David l\Ialcolm, minister 
at Duddingstone, published an essay on the 
antiquities of Great Britain and Ireland, with 
the view of showing the affinity betwixt" the 
languages of the ancient Britons and the 
Americans of the Isthmus of Darien." In 
this essay there is a list of Gaelic words 
beginning with the letter A, extending tu six- 
teen pages, amI a list of English words with 
their Gaelic equivalents, extending to eight 
pages. Mr Malcolm brought the project of 
compiling a Gaelic dictionary before the Gene- 
ral Assembly of the Scottish Church, and he 
seems to have had many conferences with 
Highland ministers friendly to his object. 
The AssembJy appointed a committee on the 
subject, and they reportf'd most favourably of 
Mr "Malcolm's design. Still the work never 
seems to have gone farther; and lwyoml tho 



102 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


lists referred to, we have no fruits of l\Ir Mal- 
colm's labours. 1\[1' Malcolm calls the lan- 
guage Irish, as was uniformly done by English 
writers at the time, and spells the words after 
the Irish manner. 
Three years after the publication of M:r 
1\1 alcolm's essay in the year 1741, the first 
attempt at a complete yocalmlary of the Gaelic 
language appeared. The compiler was Alex- 
ander 1\f'Donalù, at the timc schoolmaster uf 
Ardnamurchan, known throughout the lIigh- 
lands as Mac 1\Ihaighistir Alasdair, and a bard 
of high reputation. The compilation was 
made at the suggestion of the Society for Pro- 
pagating Christian Knowledge, in whose service 
1\I'Donald was at the time. The Society sub- 
nutted the matter to the Presbytery of 1\1ull, 
and the Presbytery committed the matter to 
1\1'Donald as the most likely man within their 
bounds to execute the work in a satisfactory 
manner. 1\f'Donald's book is dedicated to the 
Society, and he professes a zeal for Protest- 
antism, although he turned over to the Church 
of Rome himself on the landing of Charles 
Edward in the Highlands in 1745. The 
vocabulary is arranged under the heads of 
subjects, and not according to the letters of the 
alphabet. It ùegins with words referring to 
God, and so on through every subject that 
might suggest itself. It is upon the whole 
well execl
ted, seeing that the author was the 
pioneer of Gaelic lexicographers; but the 
publishers found themselves obliged to insert 
a caveat in an advertisement at the close of 
the volume, in which they say that" all or 
most of the verbs in this vocabulary from page 
143 to page IG2 are expressed in the Gaelic 
by single words, though our author generally 
expresses them by a needless circmnlocution." 
1\I'Donald's orthography is a near approach to 
that of modern Gaelic writing. 
In 1780 the I
ev. 1\11' Shaw, the author of 
the Gaelic grammar already referre(l to, pub- 
lished a dictionary of the Gaelic language in 
two volumes, the one volume being Gaclic- 
English, and the other English-Gaelic. This 
work did not assume a high place among 
scholars. 
Following upon Shaw's work was that of 
Robert l\I'Farlane in 17a.). This vocabulary 
is of little value to the studcnt. 


Robert 1\I'Farlane's volume was followed in 
1815 by that of Peter 1\l'Farlane, a well known 
translator of religious works. The collection 
of words is pretty full, and the work upon the 
whole is a creditable one. 
Notwithstanding all these efforts at provid- 
ing a dictionary of the Gaelic language, it was 
felt by scholars that the want had not been 
really supplied. In those circumstances Mr 
R A. _\rmstrong, parish schoolmaster of 1(e11- 
more, devoted his time awl talents to the pro- 
duction of a work that lllight he satisfactory. 
The Gaelic language was not Mr Armstrong's 
mother tongue, and he had the great labour to 
undergo of acquiring it. Indefatigable energy, 
with the genius of a true scholar, helped him 
over all his difficulties, and, after years of toil, 
he produced a work of the highest merit, and 
one whose authority is second to none as an 
exposition of the Scoto-Celtic tongue. 
M:r Armstrong's dictionary was succeeded 
by that of the Highland Society of Scotland, 
which was published in two quarto volumes 
in 1828. A portion of the labour of this great 
work was borne by 
Ir Ewen Maclachlan of A ber- 
deen, the most eminent Celtic scholar of his 
day. l\fr Maclachlan brought the most ample 
accomplishments to the carrying out of the 
lmdertaking; a remarkable acquaintance with 
the classical languages, which he could writo 
with facility, a very extensive knowledge of 
the Celtic tongues, and a mind of remarkable 
acuteness to discern distinctions and analogies 
in comparative philology. But he died ero 
the work was far advanced, and other scholars 
had to carry it through. The chief of these 
was the nev. Dr 
l'Leod of Dundonald, aided 
by the Rev. Dr Iryine of Little Dllnkeld, and 
the Rev. Alexander l\l'Donalll of Crieff; and 
the whole was completed and edited under the 
superintendence of the nev. Dr 
[ackay, after- 
wards of Dunoon, to whose skill and care 
much of the value of the work is due. 
In 1831 an octavo dictionary ùy t.he Rev. 
Dr ::\facleod of Glasgo\\r, and the nev. D. 
Dewar, aftcrwards Principal Dewar of Aber- 
deen, appeared. It is drawn largely from the 
dictionary of the Highland Society, and is an 
exceedingly good and useful book. 
There is a still later dictionary by :Mr Keil 
1\f'Alpino, schoolmaster in I
lay. It is an 


- 



GAELIC LANGUAGE. 


103 


e'{cellent vocabulary of the Islay dialect, with 
some features peculiar to itself, especially 
directions as to the pronouncing of the words, 
which, from the peculiar orthography of the 
Gaelic, the learner requires. 
It will be seen from the above list that there 
is no lack of Gaelic dictionaries any more than 
of Gaelic grammars, and that some of the 
dictionaries are highly meritorious. And yet 
there is room for improvement still if com- 
petent hands could be fonnel. The student of 
Scottish topography meets with innnmerable 
words which he feels assured are of the Scoto- 
Celtic stock. He applies to his dictionaricR, 
and he almost uniformly finds that the words 
which puzzle him are absent. There seems to 
have been an entire ignoring of this source for 
words on the part of all the Gaelic lexico- 
graphers, and from the number of obsolete 
words found in it, but which an acquaintance 
with ancient 1\1S. literature helps to explain, 
a large supply, and a supply of the deepest 
interest, might be found. Irish dictionaries 
afford considerable aid in searching this field, 
but Gaelic dictionaries furnish very little. At 
the same time it must be remembered that 
topography is itself a recent study, and that 
men's minds have only latterly òeen more 
closely directed to these words. 
1Ve have thus given a general view of the 
literature of the Scottish Gael. It is not ex- 
tensive, but it is full of interest. That the 
language was at one time subjected to cultiva- 
tion cannot be doubted by any man acquainted 
with the literary history of the Celtic race. 
The l\ISS. which exist are enough to demon- 
strate the fact, of which no rational doubt can 
exist, that an immense number of such 1\ISS. 
have perished. An old Gaelic MS. was once 
seen in the Hebrides cut down by a tailor to 
fOlm measuring tapes for the persons of his cus- 
tomeI'S. ThesA 1\1S8. treated of various subjects. 
Philology, theology, and science found a place 
among Celtic scholars, while poetry was largely 
cultivated. The ordcr of bards ensured this, an 
order peculiar to the Celts. Johnson's estimate 
of the extent of ancient Celtic culture was an 
entirely mistaken one, and shows how far pre- 
juùice may operate towards the perversion of 
truth, even in the case of great and good 
men. 


GAELIC LANGUAGE. 
Of the Gaelic language in which this litera- 
ture exists, this is not the place to say much. 
To know it, it is necessary to study its gram- 
mars and dictionaries, and written works. 
""'ith regard to the class of languages to which 
it belongs, many and various opinions were 
long held; but it has been settled latterly 
without room for dispute that it belongs to the 
Indo
European, or, as it is now called, the 

\ryan dass. That it has relations to the 
Semitic languages cannot be denied, but 
these are no closer than those of many 
othcrs of the same class. Its relation to 
both the Greek and the Latin, especially to 
the latter, is very close, many of the radical 
words in both languages being almost identical. 
Natural objects, for instance, and objects 
immediately under observation, have terms 
wonderfully similar to represent them. Mons, 
a mountain, appears in the Gaelic lIIonadh,. 
Amnis, a river, appears in Am1winn,. Oceanus, 
the ocean, in Cuan,. AI uir, the sea, in 1IIw.e,. 
Cahallus, a horse, in Cllpull,. Equll8, a horse, 
in Each,. Canis, a dog, in Cu,. Sol, the sun, 
in Solus, light; Salus, l!iafety, in Slainte,. 
Rex, a king, in Righ,. VÙ", a man, in Few'" 
Tectum, a roof, in Tigh,. lII()nile, a necklace, 
in lIIuinf'al. This list might be largely ex- 
t('nded, and serves to bring out to wlmt an 
extent original terms in Gaelic and Latin 
correspond. The same is true of the Greek, 
btlÌ not to the same extent. 
A t the same time there is a class of words 
in Gaelic which are derived directly from the 
Latin. These are such words as have been 
introduced into the service of the church. 
Christianity having come into Scotlawl from 
the European Continent, it was natural to 
suppose that with it terms familiar to ecclesi- 
astics should find their way along with the 
religion. This would have occurred to a 
larger extent after the Roman hierarchy and 
worship had been received among the Scots. 
Such words as Peacadh, sin; SgriobtllÍ'l', the 
scriptures; Fa osaid, confession; aoibhrinn, 
mass or offering; Caisg, Easter; Inid, initium 
or shrove-tide; Ca , laÙzn Ilew year's day; 
Nollaig, Christmas; Dmnltnach, God or Domi- 
nus; Disea'l"l, a hermitage; E(lglaits, a church; 
Sll']art, a prif'st; Pem.sa or Peorsoin, a parson; 



]04 


GE:Nl
RAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


Reilig, a buryi ng place, from '1"eliquiæ; Ifrionn, 
hell; ure all manifestly from the Latin, and a 
little care might add to this list. It is mani- 
fest that woròs which did not exist in the 
language must be borrowed from some source, 
and whence so naturally as from the language 
which was, in fact, the sacred tongue in the 
early church. 
But besides being a borrower, the Gaelic 
has been largely a contributor to other lan- 
guages. 'Yhat is usually called Scotch is per- 
haps the greatest debtor to the Gaelic tongue, 
retaining, as it does, Humerous Gaelic words 
usually thought to be distinctive of itself. A 
list of these is not uninteresting, and the fol- 
lowing is given as a contribution to the object: 
-Braw, from the Gaelic Brcagh, pretty; Burn, 
from Burn, water; Airt, from Airde, a point 
of the compass; Baugh, from Baath, empty; 
Kebbuck, from Càbaif], a cheese; Dour, ii'om 
Dùr, hard; Fey, from Fé, a rod for measuring 
the dead; Teem, from Taom, to empty; 
Sicker, from Slâckm., sure, retained in Manx; 
Leister, from Listcr, a fishing spear, Manx; 
Chiel, from Gille, a lad; Skail, from S!faoil, 
to disperse; Ingle, from .A ingeal, fire; ArIes, 
from Em.las, earnest; Sain, from Scan, to 
consecrate. This list, like the formor; might bE! 
much increased, and shows how relics of the 
Gaelic language may be traced in the spoken 
tongue of the Scottish Lowlands after the lan- 
guage itself has retired. Just in like manner, 
but arising from a much closer relation, do 
relics of the Celtic languages appear in the 
Greek and I
atin. The fact seems to be that 
a Celtic race and tongue did at one time occupy 
the whole of Suuthern Europe, spreading them- 
selves from the Hellespont along the shores of 
the Adriatic, and the western curves of the 
Mediterranean, bounded on the north by the 
Danube and the Rhine, and extending to the 
western shores of Ireland. Of this ample 
evidence is to be found in the tOl)()graphy of 
the whole region; and the testimony of that 
topography is fully borne out by that of the 
whole class of languages still occupying the 
rebrion, with the exception of the anomalous 
language of Biscay, and the Teutonic speech 
carried by tho sword into Britain and other 
northern sections of it. 
:Mere resemblance of worùs does not estahlish 


identity of class among languages, such a 
Rimilarity being often found to exist, when in 
other respects the difference is radical. It 
requires similarity of idiom and grammatical 
structure to establish the existence of such an 
identity. This similarity exists to it remark- 
able extent between the Gaelic and the Latin. 
There is not space here for entering into 
details, but a few examples may be given. 
There is no indefinite article in either language, 
the simple forIn of the noun including in it 
the article, thus, a man is fear, Latin vir, the 
former having in the genitive lb., the latkr 
1'iri. The definite article am, an, a', in Gaelic 
has no representati \'e in Latin; thus an duine 
represents honw. The inflection in a large 
class \.If Gaelic nouns is by attenuation, while 
the nominative plural and genitive singular of 
such nouns are alike. So with the Latin, 
monachus, gen. ?nonacid, nom. plur. monac7d; 
Gaelic, manach, gen. manaich, nom. plur. 
manaich. The structure of the verb is remark- 
ably similar in both languages. This appears 
specially in the gerund, which in Gaelic is the 
only form used to represent the infinitive and 
the present participle. The use of the sub- 
junctive mood largely is characteristic of the 
Gaelic as of the Latin. The prepositions which 
are so variously and extensively used in Gaelic, 
present another analogy to the Latin. But 
the analogies in grammatical structure are so 
numerous that they can only be accounted for 
by tracing the languages to the same source. 
Another series of resemblances is to be founl1 
in the peculiar idioms which charactel'ise both 
tongues. Thus, possession is in both repre- 
sented by the peculiar use of the ver b to 
be. Est mihi liber, there is to me a book, is 
represented in Gaelic by tha leublwr (lgam, 
which means, like the Latin, a book is to 
me. 
But there is one peculiarity which distin- 
guishes the Gaelic and the whole class of Celtic 
tongues from all others. l\Iany of the changes 
included in inflection and regimen occur in the 
initial consonant of the word. This chango 
is usually held to be distinctive of gender, but 
its effect is wider than that, as it occurs in 
cases where no l1istinctioll of gender is ex- 
pressed. This clmnge, usually called aspira- 
tion, implies a softening of the initial conso- 



105 


THE :i\IUSIC O:F THE HIGHLANDS. 


nants of words. Thus b becomes v, m be- 
comes v, p becomes f, g becomes y, d be- 
comes y, c becomes ch, more or less guttural, 
sand t become h, and so on. These changes 
are marked in orthography by the insertion of 
the letter h. This is a remarkable peculiarity 
converting such a word as mòr into VÒ1., spelled 
mhòr j úås into vàs, spelled bhàs ,: duÙze into 
yuine, spelled dhuine. This peculiarity partly 
accounts for the number of letters h introduced 
into Gaelic spelling, loading the words appa- 
rently unnecessarily with consonants, but really 
serving a very important purpose. 
It is not desirable, however, in a work like 
this to prosecute this dissertation farther. 
Suffice it to say, that philologists haye come to 
class the Gaelic with the other Celtic tongues 
alllong the great family of Aryan languages, 
having affinities, some closer, some more dis- 
tant, with almost all the languages of Europe. 
It is of much interest to scholars in respect 
both of the time and the place which it has 
filled, and fills still, and it is gratifying to all 
Scottish Celts to know that it has become 
more than ever a subject of stucly amonp- 
literary men. 


TIlE ::\f USIC OF THE HIGHL.\.NDS. 
Among the Celts, poetry and music walked 
hand in hand. There need be no controversy 
in this case as to which is the more ancient 
art, they seem to have been coeval. Hence 
the bards were musicians. Their compositions 
were all set to music, and many of them com- 
posed the airs to which their verses were 
adapted. The airs to which the ancient 
Ossianic lays were sung still exist, and several 
of them may be found noted in Captain Fraser's 
excellent collection of Highland music. They 
are well known in some parts of the Highlands, 
and those who are prepared to deny with 
Johnson the existence of any remains of the 
ancient Celtic bard, must be prepared to 
maintain at the same time that these ancient 
airs to which the verses were sung were, like 
themsel Yes, the offspring of modern imposition. 
But this is too absurd to obtain credence. In 
fact these airs were essential to the recitation 
of the bards. Deprive them of the music with 
which their lines were associated, and you de- 
prived them of the chief aid to their memon r . 
(I. 
 , 


but give them their music, and they could 
recite almost without end. 
The same is true of the poetry of the modern 
bards. Song-singing in the IIighlands was 
usually social. Few songs on any subject were 
composed without a chorus, and the intention 
was that the chorus should be taken up by all 
the company present. A verse was sung in the 
interval by the individual singer, but the object 
of the chorus was to be sung by all. It is 
necessary to keep 
his in view in judging of 
the spirit and effect of Gaelic song. Sung as 
songs usually are, the ohject of the bard is 
lost sight of, and much of the action of the 
music is entirely overlooked. nut what was 
intended chiefly to be said was, that the com- 
positions of the modern bards were all intende<l 
to be linked with music, sung for the most 
part socially. 'Ve do not at this moment 
know one single piece of Gaelic poetry which 
was intended merely for recitation, unless it 
be found among a certain class of modern 
compositions which are becoming numerous, 
and which are English in everything but the 
language. 
The music to which these compositions were 
sung was peClùiar; one can recognise a Gaelic 
air at once, among a thousand. Quaint and 
pathetic, irregular and moving on with the 
most singular intervals, the movement is still 
self-contained and impressive,-to the Celt 
eminently so. It is beyond a question that 
what is callütl Scottish music has been derived 
from the Gaelic race. Its characteristics are 
purely Celtic. So far as the poetry of Burns 
is concerned, his songs were composed in 
many cases to airs borrowed from the High- 
lands, and nothing could fit in better than the 
poetry and the music. But Scottish Lowland 
music; so much and so deservedly admired, is 
a legacy from the Celtic muse throughout. 
There is nothing in it which it holds in 
common with any Saxon race in existence. 
Compare it with the common melodies in use 
among the English, and the two are proved 
totally distinct. The airs to which" Scots wha 
hae,"" Auld Langsynð," ,; ROy'3 'Vife," "ü' a' the 
airts," and" Y e Banks awl Brae's," are sung, aro 
airs to which nothing similar can be found in 
England. They are Scottish, and only Scot- 
ti
h, and can "be recognised as such at oncC'. 
o 



106 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


But airs of a precisely similar character can be 
found among all the Celtic races. In Ireland, 
melodies almost identical with those of Scot- 
land are found. In fact, the Irish claim such 
tunes as "The Legacy," "The Highland 
Laddie," and others. So with the Isle of Mau. 
The national air of the Island, "J\Iollacharalle," 
has all the distinctive characteristics of a 
Scottish tune. The melodies of 'Vales have a 
similar type. Such a tune as "The Men of 
Harlech" might at any time be mistaken for a 
Scottish melody. And if we cross to Brittany 
and hear a party of Bretons of a night singing 
a national air along the street, as they often 
do, the type of the air will be found to be 
largely Scottish. These facts go far to prove 
the paternity of what is called Scottish music, 
and show to conviction that this music, so 
sweet, so touching, is the ancient inheritance 
of the Celt. 
The ancient Scottish scale consists of six notes, 
as shown in the annexed exemplification, No. 1. 
The lowest note A, was afterwards added, to 
admit of the minor key in wind instruments. 
The notes in the diatonic scale, No.2, were 
added about the beginning of the fifteenth 
century, and when music arrived at its present 
state of perfection, the notes in the chromatic 
scale, No.3, were farther added. Although 


No. 1. 




 
.... - 
A CD E G A C 



2. 
 _ 
 
---- 
 
- 
 == - 
! -=--8=Ë- 
-.
 -. -- 
ABC D E F GAB C 


No.3. 


. 
E, F
 


B
 CD B
 D
 

-l
 . l
 
lÄ;t Be C# D D# E 


 n" c
 B# D
 
* ==r=
 
= 
 - i - i-=l [ß 

 F F; G G; A A
 n C ('# 


many of the Scottish airs have had the notes 
last mentioned introduced into them, to please 
modern taste th p }' can be playe,l without them, 


and without altering the character of the 
melody. Any person who understands the 
ancient scale can at once detect the later addi- 
tions. 
"The Gaelic music consists of different 
kinds or species. 1. :Martial music, the Goll- 
traidheacht of the Irish, and the Brosnachadh 
Catha of the Gael, consisting of a spirit-stirring 
measure short and rapid. 2. The Geantraid- 
heacht, or plaintive or sorrowful, a kind of 
music to which the Highlanders are very partial. 
The Coronach, or Lament, sung at funerals, is 
the most noted of this sort. 3. The Suan- 
traillheacht, or composing, calculated to calm 
the mind, and to lull the person to sleep. 4. 
Songs of peace, sung at the conclusion of a war. 
5. Songs of victory sung by the bards before 
the king on g,1Ïning a victory. 6. Love songs. 
These last form a considerable part of the 
national music, the sensibility and tenderness - 
of which excite the passion of love, and 
stimulated by its influence, the Gael indulge 
a spirit of the most romantic attachment and 
adventure, which the peasantry of perhaps no 
other country exhibit." 
The last paragraph is quoted from J\Ir 
Logan's eloquent and patriotic work on the 
Scottish Gael,! and represents the state of 
Gaelic music when more flourishing and more 
cultivated than it is to-day. 
The following quotation is from the same 
source, and is also distinguished by the accu- 
racy of its description. 
"The ancient Gael were fond of singing 
whether in a sad or cheerful frame of mind. 
TIacon justly remarks, 'that music feedeth 
that disposition which it findeth:' it was a sure 
sign of brewing mischief, when a Caledonian 
warrior was heard to 'hum his surly hymn.' 
This race, in all their labours, used appropriate 
songs, and accompanied their harps with their 
voices. At harvest the reapers kept time by 
singing; at sea the boatmen did the same; and 
while the women were graddaning, performing 
the luadhadh, or waulking of cloth, or at any 
rural labour, they enli vened their work by 
certain airs called luinneags. 'Vhen milking, 
they sung a certain plaintive melody, to which 
thp animals listened with calm attention. The 


1 Logan on the Scottish Gael, vol. ii. 252-3. 



107 


THE :MUSIC OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


attachment which the natives of Celtic origin 
:have to their music, is strengthened by its 
intimate connection with the national songs. 
The influence of both on the Scots character 
is confessedly great-the pictures of heroism, 
love, and happiness, exhibited in their songs: 
are indelibly impressed on the memory, and 
elevate the mind of the humblest peasant. 
The songs, united with their appropriate music, 
affect the sons of Scotia, particularly when far 
distant from their -native glens and majestic 
, mountains, with indescribable feelings, and 
excite a spirit of the most romantic adventure. 
In this respect, the Swiss, who inhabit a 
I country of like character, and who resemble 
the Highlanders in many particulars, experience 
similar emotions. On hearing the national 
Ranz de vaclzes, their bowels yearn to revisit 
the ever dear scenes of their youth. So power- 
fully is the amor patriæ awakened by this 
celebrated air, that it was found necessary to 
prohibit its being played, under pain of death, 
among the troops, who would burst into tears 
on hearing it, desert their colours, and even 
die. 
" No songs could be more happily con- 
structed for singing during labour than those 
I of the Highlanders, every person being able to 
join in them, sufficient intervals being allowed 
for breathing time. In a certain part of the 
song, the leader stops to take breath, when all 
the others strike in and complete the air with 
R chorus of words and syllables, generally with- 
out signification, but admirably adapted to 
give effect to the time." The description pro- 
ceeds to give a picture of a social meeting in 
the Highlands where this style of singing is 
practised, and refers to the effect with which 
such a composition as "Fhir à bhàta," or the 
Boatman, may be thus sung. 
Poetical compositions associated with music 
are of various kinds. First of all is the Laoidlt, 
or lay, originally signifying a stately solemn 
composition, by one of the great bards of anti- 
quity. Thus we have "l..aoidh Dhiarmaid," 
The lay of Diarmad; "L'1oidh Oscair," The 
lay of Oscar; "Laoidh naIl Ceann," The lay 
of the heads; and many others. The word is 
now made use of to describe a religious hymn; 
a fact which proves the dignity with which 
this composition was invested in the popular 


sen timen t. Then there was the ".l\ r ar bhrann," 
or elegy. Few men of any mark but had. their 
eJegy composed by some bard of note. Chiefs 
and chieftains were sung of after their deaths 
in words and music the most mournful which , 
the Celt, with so deep a vein of pathos in his I 
soul, could devise. There is an elegy on one 
of the lairds of .l\Iacleod by a famous poetess 
"Mairi nighean Alasdair .Ruaidh," or .l\h,ry 
l\I'Leod, which is exquisitely touching. :Many 
similar compositions exist. In modern times 
these elegies are mainly confined to the religious 
field, and ministers and other men of mark in 
that fiüld are often sung of and sung sweetly 
by such bards as still remain. Then there are 
compositions called "Iorrams" usually con- 
fined to sea songs; "Luinneags," or ordinary 
lyrics, and such like. These are all "wedded" 
to music, which is the reason for noticing 
them here, and the music must be known in 
order to have the full relish of the poetry. 
There are several collections of Highland 
music which are well worthy of being better I 
known to the musical world than they are. 
The oldest is that by the Rev. Peter .l\fac- 
donald of Kilmore, who was a famous musicial1 
in his day. More recently Captain Simon 
Fraser, of Inverness, published an admirable 
collection; and collections of pipe music have 
been made by :Maodonald, :Mackay, and, more 
recently, Ross, the two latter pipers to her 
l\Iaj esty, all of which are reported of as good. 
The secular music of the Highlands, as 
existing now, may be divided into that usually 
called by the Highlanders "An Ceol mòr," 
the great music, and in English pibrochs. 
This music is entirely composed for the High- 
land bagpipe, and does not suit any other 
instrument well. It is composed of a slow 
movement, with which it begins, the move- 

nt proceeding more rapidly through several 
variations, until it attains a speed and an 
energy which gives room for \he exercise of 
the most delicate and accurate fingering. 
Some of these pieces are of great antiquity, 
such as ":ì\fackintosh's Lament" aud "Cogadh 
na Sith," Peace or 'Var, and are altugetJlCr 
remarkable compositions. l\lendelssohn, on his 
visit to the Highlands, was imprcssed b)' them, 
and introduced 11. portion of a pibroch into one 
of his finest compositions. Few musicians take 



108 


GENERAL HISTURY U.F THE HIGHLANDS. 


the trouble of examining into thc structure of I Scotland, a moderately rapid movement well 
these pieces, and they are condemned oftcn known to every Scotchman; there is the jig in 
with little real discrimination. N ext to those i th time, common to Scotland with Ireland; 
we have the military music of the Highlands, and there is the reel, pretty much of the same 
also for the most part composed for the pipe, class with the Strathspey, but marked by 
and now in general employed by the pipers of greater rapidity of motion. 
Highland regiments.. This kind of music is There is one thing which strikes the hearer 
eminently characteristic, having features alto- in this music, that there is a vein of pathos 
gether distinctive of itself, and is much relished runs through the whole of it. The Celtic mind 
by Scotsmen from all parts of the country. is largely tinged with pathos. If a musical 
Recently a large amount of music of this c1'1.ss symbol might be employed to represent them, 
has been adapted to the bagpipe which is the mind of the Saxon may be said to be oast 
utterly unfit for it, and the effect is the oppo- in the mould of the major mode, and the mind 
site of favourable to the good name either of of the Celt in the minor. The majority of 
the instrument or the music. This practice is the ordinary airs in the HigWands are ill the 
in a large measure confined to regimental pipe minor mode, and in the most rapid kinds of 
mnsic. Such tunes as "I'm wearying awa', nmsic, the jig and the reel, an acute ear will 
Jean," or "Miss :Forbes' :Farewell to Banff," detect the vein of pathos running through the 
have no earthly power of adaptation to the whole. 
notes of the bagpipe, and the performance of In sacred music there is not much that is 
such music on that instrument is a violation tlistinctive of the Celt. In forming their 
of good taste and all musical propriety. One metrical version of the Gaelic Psalms, the 
cannot help being struck with the peculiar Synod of Argyll say that one of the greatest 
good taste that pervades all the compositions difficulties they had to contend with was in 
of the 
I'Crummens, the famous pipers of the ada.pting their poetry to the forms of the 
:Macleods, and how wonderfully the music amI English psalm tuncs. There were no psalm 
the instrument are adapted to each other tunes which belonged to the Highlands, and it 
throughout. This cannot be said of all was necessary after the Reformation to borrow 
pibroch music, and the violation of the prin- such as had been introduced among other Pro- 
ciple in military music is frequcntly most testants, whether at home or abroad. More 
offensive to an accurate ear. This has, no lately a peculiar form of psalm tune has 
doubt, led to the unpopularity of the bagpipe developed itself in the North Highlands, 
and its music among a large class of the which is deserving of notice. It is not a 
English-speaking community, who speak of class of new tunes that has appeared, but a 
its discordant notes, a reflection to which it peculiar method of singing the old ones. The 
is not in the least liable in the case of com- tunes in use are only six, all taken from the 
positions adapted to its scale. old l)salter of Scotland. They are-French, 
Next to these two kinds follows the song- Dundee, Elgin, York, Martyrs, and Old Lon- 
mnsic of the Gael, to which reference has been don. The principal notes of the original tunes 
made already. It abounds in all parts of the are retained, but they are attended with snch 
Highlands, and is partly secular, partly sacred. a numlJer of variations, that the tune in its 
There are beautiful, simple, touching airs, to new dress can hardly be at all recognised. 
which the common songs of the country are These tunes Illay not be musically accurate, 
sung, and there are airs of a similar class, but and artists Illay make light of them, but sung 
distinct, which are u80d with the religious by a large body of people, they are eminently 
hymns of Buchanan, :Matheson, Grant, and impressive and admirably adapted to purposes 
other writers of hymns, of whom there are of worship. Sung on a Communion Sabbath 
many. The dance music of the Highlands is by a crowd of worshippers in the open air, on 
also distinct from that of any other country, the green sward of a Highland yallcJT, old 
and broadly marked by its own peculiar fea- Dundee is incomparable, and exercises over 
tures. Thore is the strathspey confined to the Highland mind a powerful influence. 



MUSIC OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


109 


And truly, effect cannot be left out of view 
as an element in judging of the character of 
any music. The pity is that this music is fast 
going out of use even in the Highlands. It has 
always been confined to the counties of Caith- 
ness, Sutherland, Ross, and part of Inverness. 
Some say that this music took its complexion 
from the old chants of the mediæval Church. 
One thing is true of this and all Gaelic psal- 
mody, that the practice of chanting the line is 
rigidly adhered to, although from the more 
ad vanced state of general education in the 
Highlands the necessity that once existed for 
it is now passed away. 
Connected with the Gaelic music, the musical 
instruments of the Celts remain to be noticed; 
but we sball confine our observations to the 
harp and to the bagpipe, the latter of which 
has long since superseded the former in the 
Highlands. The harp is the most noted in- 
strument of antiquity, and was in use among 
many nations. It was, in particlùar, the 
favourite instrument of the Celts. The Irish 
were great proficients in harp music, and they 
are said to bave made great improvements on 
the instrument itself. So honourable was the 
occupation of a harpcr among the Irish, that 
none but freemen were permitted to play on 
the harp, and it was reckoned a disgrace for a 
gentleman not to have a harp, and be able to 
play on it. Tbe royal household always in- 
cluded a harper, who bore a distinguished 
rank. Even kings did not disdain to relieve 
the cares of royalty by touching the strings of 
the harp; and we arc told by J\Iaj or that 
James I., who died in 1437, excelled the best 
harpers among the Irish and the Scotch High- 
landers. But harpers were not confined to the 
houses of kings, for every chief had his harper 
as well as his bard. 
"The precise period when the harp was 
superseded by the bagpipe, it is not easy to 
ascertain. Roderick Morrison, usually called 
Ruaraidh Dall, or Blind Roderick, was one of 
the last native harpers; he was harper to the 
Laird of l\l'Leod. On the death of his master, 
Morrison led an itinerant life, and in 1650 he 
paid a visit to Uobertson of Lude, on which 
occasion he composed a Port or air, called 
Suipeir Thighearna Leoid or The Laird of 
Ludt/s Supper, which, with other pieces, is 


still preserved. l\l'Intosh, the compiler of the 
Gaelic Proverbs, relates the following anecdote 
of 1\11' Robertson, who, it appears, was a harp- 
player himself ()f some eminence: - ' One 
night my father, J ames !vI'1ntosh, said to 
Lude that he would be happy to hear him 
pla,y on the harp, which at that time began to 
give place to the violin. After supper Lude 
and he retired to another room, in which there 
was a couple of harps, one of which belonged 
to Queen Mary. James, says Lude, here are 
two harps; the largest one is the loudest, but 
the small one is the sweetest, which do you 
wish to hear played 
 James answered the 
small one, which Lude took up and played 
upon till daylight.' 
The last harper, as is commonly supposed, 
was Murdoch l\l'Dollald, harper to l\l'Lean of 
CoIl. He received instructions in playing 
from Rory Dall in Skye, and afterwards in 
Ireland; and from accounts of payments 
made to him by .l\I'Lean, still extant, Mur- 
doch seems to have continued in his family 
till the year 1734, when he appears to have 
gone to Quinish, in .1\1ull, where he died." 
The history of the bagpipe is curious and 
interesting, but such history does not fall 
within the scope of this work. Although a 
very ancient instrument, it does not appear to 
have been known to the Celtic nations. It 
was in use among the Trojans, Greeks, and 
Romans, but how, or in what manner it came 
to be introduced into the Highlands is a ques- 
tion which cannot be solved. Two suppositions 
have been started on this point, either tllat it 
was brought in by the Romans or by the 
northern nations. The latter conjecture ap- 
pears to be the most probable, for we cannot 
possibly imagine that if the bagpipe had been 
introduced so early as the Roman epoch, no 
notice shouJd have been taken of that instru- 
ment by the more early annalists and poets. 
TIut if the bagpipe was an imported instrument, 
how does it happen that the grent Highland 
pi pe is peculiar to the Highlanùs, and is per- 
haps the only national instrument in Europe 
 
If it was introduced by the Romans, or by the 
people of Scandinavia, how has it happened 
that no traces of that instrument in its present 
shape are to be found anywhere except in tho 
Highlands 1 There is, indeed. some plausi- 



110 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


bility in these interrogatories, but they are 
easily answered, by supposing, what is very 
probable, that the great bagpipe in its present 
form is the work of modern improvement, and 
that originally the instrument was much the 
same as is still seen in l1elgium and Italy. 
The effects of this national instrument in 
arousing the feelings of those who have from 
infancy been I.lccustomed to its wild and war- 
like tunes are truly astonishing. In halls of 
joy and in scenes of mourning it has pre- 
vailed; it has animated Scotland's warriors in 
battle, and welcomed them back after their 
toils to the homes of their loye and the hills 
of their nativity. Its strains were the first 
sounded on the ears of infancy, and they are 
the last to be forgotten in the wanderings of 
age. Even Highlanders will allow that it is 
not the quietest of instruments, but when far 
from their mountain homes, w hat sounds, 
however melodious, could thrill round their 
heart like one burst of their own wild native 
pipe 
 The feelings which other instruments 
awaken are general and undefined, }Jecause 
they talk alike to Frenchmen, Spaniarùs, 
Germans, and Highlanders, for they are com- 
mon to all; but the bagpipe is sacred to Scot- 
land, and speaks a language which Scotsmen 
only feel. It talks to them of home and all 
the past, and brings before them, on the burn- 
i ng shores of India, the wilù hills and oft- 
frequented streams of Caledonia, the friends 
that are tJlÍnking of them, and the sweet- 
hearts and wives that are weeping for them 
there; and need it be told here to how many 
fields of danger and victory its proud strains 
have led! There is not a battle that is honour- 
able to Dritain in which its war-blast has not 
sounded. ",Vhen every úther instrument has 
been hushed by the confusion and carnage of 
the scene, it has been borne into the thick of 
battle, and, far in the advance, its bleeding 
but devoted bearer, sinking on the earth, has 
sounded at once encouragement to his country- 
men and his own coronach. 


CATALOGUE 


OF 


GAELIC AKD nUBH MA
USCRIPTS. 


As connected with the literary history of 
the Gaelic Celts, the following lists of Gaelic 
and Irish manuscripts will, it is thought, be 
considered interesting. 


CATALOGUE OF ANCIENT GAELIC 1IISS. IN TliE POSSES- 
SION OF THE HIGHLAND SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND. 
1. A folio :MS., beautifully written on parchment 
or vellum, from the collection of the late M3jor .Mac- 
lauchlan of Kilbride. Tllis is the oldest 1\1S. in the 
possession of the Highland Society of Scotland. I t is 
marked Vo. A. No. I. The following remark is 
written on the mal'gin of the fourth leaf of the 1\[S. : 
--" Oiùche beaItne ann a coimhtech mo Pupu 1\luir- 
ciusa agus as olc lium nach marunn diol in linesi dem 
dub .Misi Fithil acc fnrnuiùhe na scoile." Thus 
Englished by the late Dr Donald Smith :-" The 
night of the first of :May in Coenobium of my Pope 
ltIurchus, and I regret that there is not left of my ink 
enouO'h to fill up this line. I am Fithil, an attendant 
on the school." This MS" which, from its ortho- 
graphy, is supposed to be as old as the eighth or ninth 
century, "consists (says Dr Smith) of a poem, moral 
and r{'ligions, some short historical anecdotes, a critical 
exposition of the Tain, an Irish tale, which was com- 
posed in the time of Diarmad, son of Cearval, who 
reigned over Ireland from the year 544 to 565 ; and 
the Tain itself, which claims respect, as exceeding in 
point of antiquity, every production of any other ver- 
nacular tongue in Europe." 1 
On the first pagc of the vellum, which was originally 
left blank, there are genealogies of tlle families of 
Argyll and Mac Leod in the Gaelic handwriting of 
the sixteenth century. The genealogy of the Argyll 
family ends with Archibald, who succeeded to the 
earldom in 1542, and died in 1588. 2 This is supposed 
to be the oldest Gaelic :MS. extant. Dr Smith con- 
jectures that it may have come into the possession of 
the J\faclachlans of Kilbride in the sixteenth century, 
as a Ferquhard, son of Ferquhard l\faclachlan, was 
bishop of the Isles, and had 10na or I Colum Kille in 
commendam from 1530 to 1544.-Scc Keith's Cata. 
loguc of Scottish Bishops. 
To the Tain is prefixed the followiJ]g critical expo- 
sition, giving a brief arconnt of it in the technical 
terms of the Scots literature of the remote age in 
which it was written. "Ccathardha connagur in cach 
calatImin is cuincda don tsairsisi na 'rana. Loc di 
ceduIllus lighe Fercusa mhic Roich ait in rou lmth- 
nachd four mach Nai. Tempus umorro Ularmuta 
mhie Ceruailt in rigno Ibeimia. Pearsa umorm Fer- 
gusa mltic Roich air is e rou tirchan do ua hecsib ar 
chellu. A tucaid scriuint dia ndeachai Smnchan 
Toirpda cona 111. ri ecces . . . do saighe Cuai,'c rig 
Condacht." That is-the four things \\hich arc rc- 
quisite to be known in every regular composition are 
to be noticed in this work of the Tain. The place of 
its origin is the stone of Fergus, son of Hoich, where 
he was buried on the pl3in of Nni. The timc of it, 
besides, is that in which Diarmad, son of Cervail, 
reigned over Ireland. The author, too, is Fergus, 


1 Report of the Committee of the ITIghlanc1 Society of Scuth1l1<1 
. on the Poems of Ossilln, App. No. xIx., p. 290. 
I 2 It is, therefore. probable that these genealogies were written 
about the middle of the sixteenth century. A file simile of the 
writing is to be found in the Hcport of the Committee of the 
Highland Society on the authenticity of O

ian, Plate II, 



ANCIENT GAELIC AND IRISH MSS. 


111 


son of Roich; for he it was that prómpted it forth- 
with to the bards. The ctJ,use of writing it was a visit 
which Shenachan Torbda, with three chief bards, 
made to Guaire, king of Conn aught. 3 
0' Flaherty thus cuncisely aut accurately describes 
the subject and character of the Tain:-"Fergusius 
Rogius solo pariter ac solio UItoniæ exterminatus, in 
Connactiam ad OlIilum et Mandam ibidem regnantes 
profngit; quibus patrocinantibus, memorabile exarsit 
bellum sephnnale inter Connacticos et Ultonios muItis 
poeticis figmentis, ut ea ferebat ætas, adornatum. 
Hujus belli circiter medium, octennio ante caput 
æræ Christianæ Mauda regina Connactiæ, Fergusio 
Rogio ductore, immensam bonum prædam conspicuis 
agentium et insectantium virtutibus memorabilem, e 
Cualgnio in agro Louthiano re portavit."" 
From the expression, "Ut ea ferebat ætas," Dr 
Smith thinks that O'Flaherty considered the tale of 
the Tain as a composition of the age to which it re- 
lates; and that of course he must not have seen the 
Critical Exposition prefixed to the copy here described. 
From the silence of the Irish antiquaries respecting 
this Exposition, it is supposed that it must have been 
either unknown to, or overlooked by them, and conse- 
quently that it was written in Scotland. 
The Exposition states, that Sheannachan, with the 
three bards and those in their retinue, when about to 
depart from the court of Guaire, being called upon to 
relate the history of the Tain bho, or cattle spoil of 
Cuailgne, acknowledged their ignorance of it, and 
that having ineffectually made the ronnd of Ireland 
and Scotland in quest of it, Eimin and :Muircheartach, 
two of their number, repaired to the grave of Ferguf' 
son of Roich, who, being invoked, appeared at 
 th
 
end of three days in terrific grandeur, and related the 
whole of the Tain, as given in the twelve Reimsaeala 
or Portions of which it consists. In the histo
ical 
anecdotes allusion is made to Ossian, the son of Fin- 
gal, who is represented as showing, when young an 
i?clination t
 in
ulge in solitude his natural propen- 
SIty for medItatIOn and song. A fac simile of the 
characters of this 1\IS. is given in the Highland 

ociety's Report upon Ossian, Plate I., fig. 1, 2, and 
m Plate II. 
2. .Another parchment MS. in quarto, equally 
beautIful as the former, from the same collection. 
It consists of an Almanack bound up with a paper 
list of all the holidays, festivals, and most remark- 


)le 
aints' days in verse throughout the year-A 
lreahse on Anatomy, abridaed from Galen-Observa- 
tions on the Secretions, &c.
The Schola Salernitana 
in Leonine verse, drawn up about the year 1100, fo; 
th
 
se of R
bert, Duke of Normandy, the son of 
WIlham the Conqueror, by the famous medical school 
of Salerno. The Latin text is accompanied with a 
Gaelic explanation, which is considered equally faith- 
ful and elegant, of which the following is a speci- 
men :- 


Caput I.-Angl(lmm rcgi scripsit schola tota Salemi. 
I. As iat scol Salemi go hu1idhe do seriou na fearsadh 50 do 
chum rig 58
 san do choimhed a shlainnte. 
Si vis incC'lumem, si vis te reddere sanum ; 
:Curas toile graves, irasci ercde prophanum. 
. Mad.h ail bhidh fa
lann, agus ma<1h aill bhidh sIan; Cuir na 







a troma dlut, agus creit gurub diomhain duit fcarg do 


Th.p words Leabhar Giollacholai1n }'íeigbeathadh are 
wntten on the last page of this 1'IS., which being in 
the same form and hand, with the same words on a 
paper MS. bound up with a number of others written 
up
n ,:enn
 in the Advocates' Library, and before 
whIch IS wntten Libcr l
Ialcolmi BetJmnr, it has been 


:s Report. of the Committee of the High!and Society on Ossian 
^pp. No. XIX., p. 291. ' 
4 Ogyg., }1. 275. 


conjectured that both works originally belonged to 

Ialcolm .Bethnn
, a mell,b
r of a family distinguished 
lor learmng, WhICh suþphed the Western Isles for 
many ages with physicians.õ 
. 3. A s.mall quarto paþer 1\1S. from the same collec- 
tIon, WrItten at Dunstatlhage by Ewen 1\1acphaill, 
12th. Octob
.r 1603. It c.onsists of a tale in prose con- 
cermng a lung of Lochlm and the Heroes of Fingal : 
An Address to Gaul, the son of l\1orni, beginning- 
Goll mear mileant- 
Cellp na Crodhachta- 
An Elegy on one of the earls of Argyle, beginning- 
A Mhic CaiUn a ehosg" lochd ; 
and a poem in praise of a yonng lady. 
. 4. A 
mall octavo paper 1I1S. from the same collec- 
tIon, WrItten by Eamonn or Edmond Mac Lachlan 
1654-5. This consists of a miscellaneous collection of 
sonnets, odes, and poetical epistles, partly Scots and 
partly Irish. There is an Ogham or alphabet of 
ecret 
writing near the end of it. 
5. A quarto paper 1\IS. from same collection. It 
wants ninety pages at the beginning, and part of the 
end. 'Vhat remains consists of some ancient and 
modern tales and poems. Tho names of the authors 
are not given, but an older MS. (that of the Dean of 
Lis.more) ascrib?s one of the poems to Conal, son of 
Ednskeol. ThIs 1I1S. was written at Aird-Chonail 
upon Lochowe, in the years 1690 and 1691, by Ewan 
M.ac .Lean. fo! Colin Campbell. "Caillain Caimpbel 
leIs III leIs III leabharan. 1. Caillin mac Dhonchai 

hic Dhughil mh
c Chaillain oig." Colin Campbell 
IS the owner of tIns book, namely Colin, son of Dun- 
can, son of Dougal, son of Colin the younger. The 
above Gaelic inscription appears on the 79th leaf of 
the MS. 
6. A quarto paper 1\IS., whic11 belongrd to the Rev. 
James MacGregor, Dean of Lismore, the metropolitan 
ch1!rch of the see of Argyle, dated, page 27, 1512, 
wntte
 by Du

m
 the son of Dougal, son of Ewen 
the Gnzzled. I hIS 1118. consists of a larae collection 
of. Gaelic poetry, upwards of 11,000 v
rses. It is 
saId to have been written "out of the books of the 
Hi
tory of the Kings." Part of the 1\IS., however, 
w!nch closes an obituary, commencing in 1077, of the 
kmgs of S
otland, and oth
r eminent persons of Scot- 
land, parhc.ularly .of the sImes of Argyle and Perth, 
was not wntten tIll 1527. The poetical pieces are 
from the times of the most ancient bards down to the 
b
ginning of the sixteenth century. The more ancient 
pIeces ar
 poems of Conal, son of Edirskeol, Ossian, 
s?n .of Fmgal, Fearghas Fili (Fergus the bard), and 
CaOllt! son of 
Olum, U
e friends and contemporaries 
of OssIan. ThIs collectIon also contains the works of 
Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurchay, who fell in the 
battle of Flodden, and Lady Isabel Campbell, daughter 
of the Earl of Argyle, and wife of Gilbert Earl of 
Cassilis. 1I "The writer of this 1\IS. (says D
 Smith) 
rejected the ancient character for the current hand- 
writi.ng of the time, and adopted a new mode of 
spellmg conformable to the Latin and En<rlish sounds 
of his own age and country, but retained the aspirate 
r:1a
k (') . .. The Welsh had long before made a 
sImIlar change in their ancient orthography. 1\lr 
Edward Lhuyd recommended it with some variation 
in. a. letter to the Scots and irish, prefixed to hi; 
DI
tIon
ry of their langnage in the Archæologia 

r
tanlllca. The bishop of Sodor and .Man observed 
It m the devotional exercises, admonition, and cate- 
chism, which he published for the use of bis diocese. 
It was continued in the Manx tramIation of the 
Scriptures, amI it has lately been adopted by Dr 


15 Appendix, !It 81lpra, No. xix. 
6 neport of the Highland Society on Ossinn. p. 92. 



112 


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE HIGIILAXDS. 


Reilly, titular Primate of Ireland, in his TAGASG 
KllEESTY, or Christian Doctrine. But yet it must be 
acknowledged to be much infl'rior to the ancient mode 
of orthography, which has not only the advantage of 
being grounded on a knowledge of the principles of 
grammar, and philosophy of language, but of being 
also more plain and easy. This volume of the Dean's 
is curious, as distinguishing the genuine poetry of 
Ossian from the imitations made of it by later bards, 
and as ascertaining the degree of accuracy with whil'h 
ancient poems have been transmitted by tradition for 
the la::;t three hundred years, during a century of 
which the order of bards has been extinct, and ancient 
manners and customs have suHered a great and rapid 
change in the Highlands." 7 A fac simile of the 
writing is given in the Report of the Committee of the 
Hiahland Society, plate III. No.5. Since the above 
wa
 written, the whole of this manuscript, with a few 
unimportant exceptions, has been transcribed, trans- 
lated, and annotated by the Rev. Dr M'Lauchlan, 
Edinburgh, and an introductory chapter was furnished 
by W. F. Skene, Esq., LL.D. The work has been 
published by :J\Iessrs Edmonston & Douglas, of 
Edinburgh, and is a valuable addition to our Gaelic 
literature. 
7. A quarto paper 1\1S. written in a very beautiful 
regular hand, without date or the name of the writer. 
It is supposed to be at least two hundred years old, 
and consists of a number of ancient tales and short 
poems. These appear to be trm13cribed from a much 
older MS" as there is a vocabulary of ancient words in 
the middle of the :MS. Some of the poetry is ascribed 
to Cuchulin. 
8. Another quarto paper :MS. the beginning and 
end of which have been lost. It consists partIy of 
prose, partIy of poetry. With the cxception of two 
loose leaves, which appear much older, the whole ap- 
pears to have been written in the 17th century. The 
poetry, though ancient, is not Fingalian. The nanle, 
'fadg Og CC., before one of the poems near the end, 
is the only one to be seen upon it. 
9. A quarto parchment MS. consisting of 42 leaves, 
written by different hands, with illuminated capitals. 
It appears at one time to have consisted of four 
different J\ISS. bound to together and covered with 
skin, to preserve them. This MS. is very ancient and 
beautiful, though much soiled. In this collection is 
a life of St Columba, supposed, from the character, 
(being similar to No. 27,) to be of the twelfth or thir- 
teenth century. 
10. A quarto parchment medical MS. beautifully 
written. No date or name, but the b'IS. appears to 
be very ancient. 
11. A quarto paper :MS., partly prose, partly verse, 
written in a very coar3e and indifferent hand. No 
date or name. 
12. A small quarto MS. coarse. Bears date 1647, 
without name. 
13. A small long octavo paper MS. the bt-ginning 
and end lost, and without any date. It is supposed 
to have been written by the Macvurichs of the 
fifteenth ccntury. Two of the poems are ascribed to 
'l'adg Mac Daire Bruaidheadh, others to Brian 
O'Donalan. 
14. A large folio parchment :MS. in two columns, 
containing a tale upon Cuehullin and Conal, two of 
Ossian's hereos. Without date or name and very 
9.ncien t. 
15. A large quarto parchment of 7 
 leaves, supposed 
by Mr Astle, author of the work on the origin and 
lJrogress of writing, to be of the ninth or tenth century. 
Its title is Emanuel, a name commonly given by the 
old Gaelic writers to many of their miscellaneous 
writings. Engraved specimens of this 1.18. are to be 
, Appendix to the Highland SOciety's RepOlt. fl. :100-1. 


seen in the first edition of 1Hr Astle's work at.Qve- 
mentioned, 18th plate, Nos, 1 and 2, and ill his I 
second erlition, plate 22, Some of the capitals in tht: 
:MS. are lJainted red. It is written in a strong beauti- 
ful hand, in the sallle character as the rest. 'l'his MS. 
is only the fragment of a large work on ancient history, 
written on the authority of Greek and Roman writers, 
and interspersed with notices of the arts, armour, 
dress, superstitions, manners, and usages, of the Scots 
of the author's own time. In this .MS. there is a 
chapter titled, "Slogha Clwstlir an Inis BhTeatan, " 
or Cæsar's expedition to the island of Britain, in which 
Lechlin, a country celebrated in the ancient poems 
and tales of the Gäel, is mentioned as separated from 
Gaul by "the clear current of the Rhine." Dr 
Donald Smith had a complete copy of this work. 
16. A small octavo parchment .MS. consisting of a 
tale in prose, imlJerfect. Supposed to be nearly as 
old as the last mentioned :MS. 
17. A small octavo papcr :MS. stitched, imperfect; 
written by the Macvurichs. It begins with a poem 
upon Darthula, different from .Macpherson's, and 
contains poems wIitten by Cathal and Nial1l10r .Mac- 
vurich, (whose names appear at the beginning of some 
of the poems,) composed in the reign of King James 
the Fifth, Mary, and King Charles the First. It also 
contains some Ossianic poems, such as Cnoc an àir, 
&c. i. e. The Hill of Slaughter, supposed to be part 
of Macpherson's Fingal. It is the story of a woman 
who came walking alone to the Fingalians for protec- 
tion from Taile, who was in pursuit of her. TaHe 
fought them, and was killed by Oscar. There was an- 
other copy of this poem in Clanranald's little book- 
not the Red book, as erroneously supposed by Laing. 
The Highland Society are also in possession of several 
copies taken from oral tradition. The second Ossianic 
poem in this MS. begins thus: 
Sè la gus an dè 
o nach fhaca mi fein Fionn. 
It is now six days yesterday 
Since I have not seen l<lngal. 


18. An octavo paper MS. consisting chiefly of 
J,oetry, but very much defaced. Supposed to have 
been written by the last of the Macvurichs, but with- 
out date. The names of Tadg Og and Lauchlan Mac 
Taidg occur upon it. It is supposed to have been 
copied from a more ancient .MS. as the poetry is good. 
19. A very small octavo MS. wi"itten by some of 
the 1\1acvurichs. Part of it is a copy of Clanranald's 
book, and contains the genealogy of the Lords of the 
Isles and others of that great clan, The second part 
consists of a genealogy of the kings of Ireland (ancestors 
of the .Macdonalds) from Scota and Gathelic. The 
last date upon it is 1616. 
20. A paper MS. consisting of a gf:nealogy of the 
kings of Ireland, of a few leaves only, and without 
date. 
21. A paper US. consisting of detached leaves of 
different sizes, and containing, 1. The conclusion of a 
Gaelic chronicle of the kings of Scotland down to 
King Robert III.; 2. A Fingalian tale, in which the 
heroes are Fingal, Goll Mac Morui, Oscar, Ossian, 
and Conan; 8. A poem 11Y lIfa0donald of B
nbecula, 
dated 1722, npon the unwritten part of a letter sent 
to Donald Macvurich of Stialgary; 4. A poem by 
Donald Mackenzie; 5. Another by Tadg Og CO, 
copied from some other MS.; 6. A poem by Donald 
l\Iacvurich upon Ronald .Macdonald of C'lanranald. 
Besides several hymns by Tadg, and other poems by 
the Macvurichs and others. 
22. A
 paper MS. consisting of religious tracts aml 
genealogy, without name or date. 
23. A paper MS. containing instruction for children 
in (;;Lrlic and English. .Modern, and without date. 



ANCIENT GAELIC AND IRISH )lS8. 


113 


24. Fragments of a paper MS., with the name of 
Cathelus Macvurich upon some of the leaves, and 
Niall :Macvurich upon some others. Conn .J.1/ac an 
Deirg, a well known ancient poem, is written in the 
Roman character by the last Niall Macvurich, the 
last Highland bard, and is the only one among all the 
Gaelic 1.1SS. in that character. 
With the exception of the first five numbers, all the 
hefore mentioned MSS. were presented by the High- 
land Society of London to the Highland Society of 
Hcotland in January, 1803, on the application of the 
committee appointed to inquire into the nature ann 
authenticity of the poems of Ossian. All these 1IISS. 
(with the single exception of the Dean of Lismore's 
volume,) are written in the very ancient form of 
character which was common of uld to Britain and 
Ireland, and supposed to have been adopted by the 
Saxons at the time of their conversion to Christianity. 
This form of writing has been discontinued for nearly 
eighty years in Scotland, as the last specimen which 
the Highland Society of Scotland received of it consists 
of a volume of songs, supposed to have been written 
between the years 1752 and liû8, as it contains a 
song written by Duncan1llacintyre, titled, An l'aileir 
Jlac Neachdail1, which he composed the former year, 
the first edition of Macintyre's songs having been 
published during the latter year. 8 
25. Besides these, the Society possesses a collection 
of 1IIS. Gaelic poems made by Mr Duncan Kennedy, 
formerly schoolmaster at Craignish in Argyleshire, in 
three thin folio volumes. Two of them are written 
out fair from the various poems he had collected about 
sixty years ago. This collection consists of the fol- 
lowing poems, viz., Luachair Leothaid, Sgiathan mac 
Sgairbh, An Gruagach, Rochd, Sithallan, .Mùr Rheura, 
Tiomban, Sealg na Cluana, Gleanncruadhach, Uirnigh 
Oist\in, EmTagan, (resembling Macpherson's Battle of 
Lora,) Manus, Maire Borb, (Maid of Craca,) Cath 

isear, Sliabh nam Remm Fionn, Bas Dheirg, Uas 
Chuilln, Righ Liur, Sealg na Leana, Dun an Oil', An 
Cu dubh, Gleann Diamhair, Conal, Bas CIÜuinlaich 
Diarmad, Carril, Bas Ghuill (different from the Death 
of Gaul published by Dr Smith,) Garaibh, Bas Oscair, 
(part of which is the same narrative with the opening 
of Macpherson's Tcmora,) in three parts; Tuiridh 
!lam Fian, and Bass Osein. To each of these poems 
Kennedy has prefixed a dissertation containing some 
account of the Sgealaehd story, or argument of the 
poem which is to follow. It was very emnmon for 
the reciter, or history-man, as he was termed in the 
Highlands, to repeat the Sgealachds to his hearers be- 
fore reciting the poems to which they related. Several 
of the poems in this collection correspond pretty 
nearly with the ancient .MS. above mentioned, which 
belonged to the Dean of Lismore. 9 
26. A paper, medical, :MS. in the old Gaelic charac- 
tl'1', a thick volume. written by Angus Conn acheI' at 
Ardconel, Lochow-side, Argyleshire, 1612, presented 
to the Highland Society of Scotland by the late 
William :Uacdonald, Esq. of St Martins, W.S. 
27. A beautiful parchment :MS" greatly mutilated, 
in the same character, presented to the Society by the 
late Lord Bannatyne, one of the judges of the Court 
of Session. The supposed date upon the cover is 1238, 
is written in black letter, but it is in a comparatively 
modern hand. "Gleann Masain an cuige la deag do 
an . . . :Mh : : : do bhlian ar tsaoirse :Mile cIa chead, 
trichid sa hocht." That is, Glen-Masan, the 15th 
day of the. . . of M : : : of the year of our Redemp- 
tion 1238. It is supposed that the date has been 
taken from the MS. when in a more entire state. 
Glenmasan, where it was written, is a valley in the 
district of Cowal. From a note on the margin of the 


I R"port on Ossian, Appendix, p. 
12. 
>> p'pport on Oisian. PI>. IOP,- 9. 


11. 


15th leaf, it would appear to have formerly belonaed 
to the Rev, William Campbell, minister of Kilchre
an 
and Dalavich, and a native of Cowal, and to wllOm 
Dr D. Smith supposes it may, perhaps, have descended 
frum his grand-uncle, Mr Robert Campbell, in Cowal, 
an accomplished scholar and poet, who wrote the 
eighth address prefixed to Lhuyd's Archæo
ogia. 
The MS. consists of some mutilated talps in prose, 
intersrersed with verse, one of which is part of the 
poem of "Clan Uisneachan," called by Macpherson 
Darthula, from the lady who makes the pIiDdpaJ 
figure in it. The name of this lady in Gaelic is Deir 
dir, or Dearrluil. A lac simile of the writing is given 
in the a-ppendix to the Highland Society's Report all 
Ossian. Plate iii. No.4. 
28. A paper MS. in the same character, consistillg 
of an ancient tale in prose, presented to the Societ) 
by Mr Norman Macleod, son of the Rev. IIII' .Macleod 
of :Morven. 
29. A !Small paper MS. in the same character, on 
religion. - 
311. A paper MS. in the same character, presented 
to the Highland Society by James Grant, Esquire of 
Corymony. I t consists of the history of the wars of 
Cuchullin, in prose and verse. This MS. is much 
worn at the ends and edges. It formerly belon
,.1 to 
to 
Ir Grant's mother, said to have been an excellent 
Gaelic scholar. 


CATALOGUE OF ANCI:LST GAEl.IC M.SS. WHICH BE- 
LONGED TO TIlE LATE MAJOR IIfACLAUCHLAN OF 
KILBRIDE, BESIDES THE FIVE FIRST ENUM.ERATED 
IN THE FOREGOING LIST, AND WHICH ARE NOW IN 
THE ADVOCATES' LIBRARY, EDINBURGH. 
1. A beautiful medical MS. with the other MSS. 
formerly belonging to the collection. The tiUes of the 
different articles are in Latin, as are all the medical 
Gaelic MSS., being translations from Galen and other 
ancient physicians. The capital letters are flourished 
and painted red. 
2. A thick folio paper MS., medical, written by 
Duncan Conacher, at Dunollie, Argyleshire, 1511. 
3. A folio parchment MS. consisting of anl'Íent 
Scottish and Irish history, very old. 
4. A folio parchment medical MS. beautifully 
written. It is older than the other medical MSS. 
5. A folio parchment medical MS. of equal beauty 
with the last. 
6. A folio parchment MS. upon the same subject, 
and nearly of the same age with the former. 
7. A folio parchment, partIy religious, partly medi- 
cal. 
8. A folio parchment MS. consisting of the Histories 
of Scotlanù and Ireland, much damaged. 
9. A folio parchment medical MS., very old. 
10. A folio parchment MS. Irish history and poetry. 
11. A quarto parchment MS., very old. 
12. A long duodecimo parchment MS. consisting 
of hymns and maxims. It is a very beautiful MS" 
and may be as old as the time of St Columba. 
13. A duodecimo parchment MS. much damaged 
and illegible. 
14. A duodecimo parchment MS. consisting of 
poetry, but not Ossianic. Hardly legible. 
15, A duodecimo parchment MS. much injured by 
verinin. I t consists of a miscellaneous collection of 
history and poetry. 
16. A duodecimo parehment MS, in large beautiful 
letter, very old and difficult to be understood. 
17. A folio parchment 1\1S. consisting of the genea- 
logies of the l\lacdonalds, Macniels, :M.acdo4gals, 
l\laclauchlans, &c. 
All these MSS. are written in the old Gaelic charac- 
ter, and, with the exception of No.2, have neither 
date nor name attached to them. 
l' 



114 


GENEllAL HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANDS. 


Besides those enumerated, there are, it is belie\ eel, I A chronological history of 1relanrl, by Jeffrey Keat. 
many ancient Gaelic MSS. existing in nrivate libraries. I ing, D.D. 
The followin cr are known :- IT .F. l 
A Deed otFosterage between Sir Norman Macleod Among the Clarendon !f.LSS. at O'V 0 1"L arc-- 
of Bernera, and John Mackenzie, executed in the year Annales Ultonienses, sic dicti quod rrecipué conti- 
1640. This circumstance shows tll'lt the Gaelic lan- neant res gestas Ultoniensium. Codex antiquissimus 
guage was in use in legal obligati
ns at that pe
iod in caractere Hibernico scriptus; sed sermone, partim 
the Highlands. This MS. was III the possessIOn of Hibernico, partim Latino, Fol. membr. The 16th 
the late Lord Bannatyne. and 17th specimens in Plate xxii. of Astle's work are 
A variety of parchment MSS. on medicine, in the taken from this MS., which is numbered 31 of Dr 
GaPllc character, formerly in the possession of the late Rawlinson's. MSS, 
Dr Donald Smith. He was also possessed.of a com- Annales Tigernaci (Erenaci. ut opiniatnr 'Varæus 
I'lete copy of the Emanuel MS. before mentIoned, R1!-d Clonmanaisensis. Vid. Annal. Ulton. ad an. 1088), 
of copies of IIlany other MSS., which he made at dlf- mutili in initio et alibi. Libel' charactere et lingua 
ferent times from other 1\1SS. lIibernicis scriptus. l\1emb. 
Two paper !\IS. Gaelic grammars, in the same These annals, which are written in the old Irish 
character, formerly in the possession of the late Dr character, were originally collected by Sir James 
\Yri"ht of Edinburgh. .Ware, and came iLto the possession successively of the 
'f
'o ancient parchment 1\1SS, in th<: same character, Earl of Clarendon, the Duke of Chandos, and of Dr I 
formerly in the possession of J;he late Rev. J am
s Rawlinson. 
:\laclagall, at Blair-Athole. N ow in possession of Ius Miscellanea de Rebus Hibernicis, metricè. Lingua 
family. It is chiefly Irish history. . partim Latina, pmtim Hibernica ; collecta per CEngu- 
A paper MS. written in the Roman cI;aracter, In 
he sium O'Colode (fortè Colidium). Hic libel' vulgò 
possession of 111' 1Ilatheson of Fearnmg, Ross-shue. Psalter N a rann appellatur. 
It is dated in 1688, and consists of songs and hymns Elegiæ Hibernicæ in Obitus quorundam Nobilium 
by different persons, some by Carswell, Bishop of the fo. 50. 
Isles. There is reason to fear that this l\lS. has been N otæ quædam Philosophicæ, partim Latiné, partim 
lost. Hibernicé, Characteribus Hibernicis, fo. 69. Membr. 
A paper MS. formerly in the possession of a Mr Anonymi cujusdàm Tractatus de varies apud Hiber- 
Simpson in Leith. nos veteres occllltis scribendi Formulis, Hibernicé 
The Lilium l\ledecinæ, a paper folio l1S. written Ogum dictis. 
and translated by one of the Bethunes, the physicians Finleachi 0 Catalai Gigantomachia (vel potiùs Acta 
of Skye, at the foot of Mount Peliop. It was given Finni 
lac Cuil, cum Prælio de Fintra), Hibernicé. 
to the Antiquarian Society of London by the late Dr Collo(luia quærlam de Rebus Hibernicis in quibus 
Macqueen of Kilmore, in Skye. colloquentes introducuntur S. Patricius, Uoillius, et 
'fwo treatises, one on astronomy, the other on medi- Ossenus Hihernicé f. 12, Leges EccIesiasticæ Biber- 
cine, written in the latter end of the thirteenth or nicé f. 53. l1embr. 
brginning of the fourteenth century, formerly in the Vitæ Sanctorum Hibernicorum, per Magnum sive 
possession of Mr Astle. Manum, filium JIugonis O'Donnel, Hibernigé de- 
scriptæ. An. 1532, .Fol. Membr, 
Calieni Prophetiæ, in Lingua Hibernica. Ejusdem 
libri exrmplar extat in Bibl. Cotton, f. 22. b. 
E>..tracto ex Libro Killensi, Lingua Hibernica, f. 
39. 
Historica quædam, Hibernicé, ab All. 130, ad An. 
1317, f. 231. 
A Book of Irish Poetry, f. 16. 
Tractatus de 8criptorihus IIibernicis. 
Dr Keating's History of Ireland. 


GAELIC A1'JD mum ?IISS. IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES. 


IN THE ADVOCATES' LIBRARY. 


'1'hree volumes l1S. in the old character, chiefly 
medical, \\ ith some fragments of Scottish and Irish 
history; and the life of 8t Columba, said to have been 
translated from the Latin into Gaelic, by Father 
Calohoran. 


IN THE HARLEIAN LIDnARY, 
A MS. volume (1'0. 5280) containing twenty-one 
Gadic or Irish treatises, of which 1\11' Astle has given 
seme account. One of these treats Ðf the Irish militia, 
under ji'ion Maccumhail, in the reign of Cormac-Mac- 
Aid, king of Ireland, and of the course of probation 
or exercise which eal:h soldier was to go through before 
Lis admission therein. Mr Astle has given alae simile 
of the writing, being the thirteenth specimen of Plate 
xxii. 


I 
I 
! 
I I 


IN THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY, OXFORD. 
An old Irish 1I1S, on parchment, containing, among 
other tracts, An account of the Conquest of Britain 
by the Romans :-Of the Saxon Conqnest and their 
Heptarchy :-An account of the hish Saints, in verse, 
written in the tenth century :-The Saiuts of the 
Roman Breviary :-An account of the Conversion of 
the Irish anù English to Christianity, with some other 
subjects. Laud. F. 92. This book, as is common in 
old Irish manuscripts, has here and there some "Latin 
notes intermixed with Irish, and may possibly contain 
')ome hints of the doctrines of the Druids. 
An old vellum MS. of 140 pages, in the form of a 
music-book, containing the works of St Columba, in 
verse, with some account of his own life; his exhorta- 
tions to princes and his prophecies. Laud. D. 17. 


IrÍ8h !fI88. in Trinity Oollrge, Dublin:- 
Extracto ex Libro de Kells Hibernicé. 
A book in Irish, treating,-l. Of the Building of 
Babel. 2. Of Grammar. 3. Of Physic. 4. Of 
Chirurgcry. Fol. D. 10. 
A book containing several ancient historical matters, 
especially of the coming of :Milesius out of Spain. 
B.35. 
The book of Balimote, containing,-l. The Genea- 
logies of all the ancicnt Families in Ireland. 2. The 
Uracept, or a book for the education of youth, written 
hy K. Comfoilus Sapiens. 3. The Ogma, or Art of 
Writing in Characters. 4. The Hi-;tory of the Wars 
of Troy, with other historical matters contained in the 
book of Lecane, D. 18. The book of Lecane, alias 
Sligo, contains the following treatises :-1. A treatise 
of Ireland and its divisions into provinces, with the 
history of the Irish kings and sovereigns, answerable 
to the general history; but nine leaves are wanting. 
2. How the race of Milesius came into Ireland, and of 
their mlventures since Moses's passing through the 
RCd Sea. 3. Of the descent and years of the ancient 
fathers. 4. A catalogue of the kings of Ireland in 
verse. 5. The maternal genealogies and degree:'! of 
the Irish saints. 6, The genealogies of our Lady, 



AKCIEXT GAELIC AKD IRISH :MSS. 


in Ireland, from the time of Leogarius the son of 
N elus l\Iagnus, alias Neale of the nine hostages in the 
time of Roderic O'Conner, monarch of Ireland, fo1. 
parchment. D. 19. 
De Chirurgia. De Infirmitatibus COll?oris humane, 
Hibernicé, f. l\1embr. C. 1. 
Excerpta quædam de antiquitatibus Incolarum, 
Dublin ex libris Bellemorensi et Sligantino, Hiber- 
nicé. 
Hymni in landem B. Patricii, Brigidæ et Columbiæ, 
Hibern. plerumque. Invocationes Apostolorum et 
:5S. cum not. Hibern. interlin. et margin. Orationes 
quædam excell?tæ ex Psalmis ; partim Latiné, partim 
Hibernicé, fo1. Membr. I. 125. 
Opera Galeni et Hippocratis de Chirurgia, Hiber- 
nicé, fo1. :Membr. C. 29. 
A book of Postils in Irish, fo1. Membr. D. 24. 
Certain prayers, with the argument of the four 
Gospels and the Acts, in Irish (10.), 'Fiechi Sleb- 
thiensis. Hymnus in laud em S. Patricii, Hibernicé 
(12.), A hymn on St Bridget, in Irish, made by 
Columkill in the time of Eda l\Iac Ainmireck, cum 
Regibus Hibern. et success. S. Patricii (14.), Sanctani 
Hymnus. Hibern. 
Reverendissimi D. Bedelli Translatio Hibernica S. 
Bibliorum. 


Joseph, and several other saints mentioned in the 

cripture. 7. An alphabetic catalogue of Irish saints. 
8. The sacred antiquity of the Irish saints in verse. 
9. Cormac's life. 10. Several transactions of the 
monarchs of Ireland and their provincial kings. 11. 
'J'he history of Eogain 111'01', Knight; as also of his 
children and posterity. 12. O'Neil's pedigree. 13. 
Several battles of the Sept of Cinet Ogen, or tribe of 
Owen, from Owen Mac N eile !lIac Donnoch. 14. 
:Manne, the son of King Neal, of the nine hostages 
and his family. 15. Fiae ha, the son of Mac Neil and 
his Sept. 16. Leogarius, son of Kelus 1\1agnus, and 
his triùe. 17. The Conn aught book. 18. The book 
of Fiatrach. 19. The book ofUriel. 20. The Leinster 
l'ook. 21. The descent of the Fochards, or the 
N olans. 22. The descent of those of Leix, or the 
O'
Iores. 23. The descent of Decyes of Munster, or 
the Ophelans. 24. 'rhe coming of l\Iuscrey to }Ioy- 
l,reagh. 25. A commentary upon the antiquity of 
Albany, now called Scotland. 26. The descent of 
some Septs of the Irish, different from those of the 
most known sort, that is, of the posterity of Lugadh 
Frith. 27. The Ulster book. 28. The British book. 
29. The Dracept, or a book for the education of youth, 
written by J<. Comfoilus Sapiens. 30. The genealogies 
of St Patrick and other saints, as also an etymology 
of the hard words in the said treatise. 31. A treatise 
of several prophecies. 32. The laws, customs, ex- BRITISH MUSEUM. 
ploits, and tributes of the Irish kings aud provincials. In addition to the above, there has been a consider- 
33. A treatise of Eva, and the famous women of able collection of Gaelic 1\1SS, made at the British 
ancient times. 34. A poem that treats of Adam and l\Inseum. They were all catalogued a few years aO'o 
his posterity. 35. 'rhe Munster book. 36. A book by the late Eugene O'Curry, Esq. It is unnecessa
y 
containing the etymology of all the names of the chief to give the list here, but:Mr O'Curry's catalogue \ViÌl 
territories and notable places in Ireland. 37. Of the be found an admirable directory for any inquirer at 

,,'veral invasions of C'lan-Partholan, Clall-nan vies, the Museum. Foreign libraries also contain man,r 
Firbolhg, Tu'atha de Danaan, amI the Milesians into I such MSS, 
Ireland. 38. A treatise of the most considerable men 


I: 
, 


115 


I 
II 
! I ! 
I I 


I 
_
 I 



I 
I, 


PART SECOND. 


TIISTOHY OF THE IIIGHLAKn CLANS. 


CHAPTER I. 


Clanship-Principle of kin-l\Iormaordo1l1s-Tradi- 
tions as to origin of Clans -Distinction between 
Feudalism and Clanship-Peculiarities of Clanship 
-Consequences of Clanship-JJfanrent-Customs of 
Succession-Tanistry and Gavpl-Highland :Mar- 
riage Customs-Hand-fasting-JIighland gradation 
of ranks-Calpe-Native-lIlen-Righ or King- 
l\Iormaor, Tighern, 'l'hane-Tanist-Ccantighes- 
Toshach-" Captain" of a Clan-Ogtiern-Duine- 
wassels, Tacksmen, or Goodnwn--Rrehon-Position 
and power of Chief-Influence of Clanship on the 
people-Chiefs sometimes ahandoned by the people 
-Number and Distribution of Clans. 


: I 
I 


THE term clan, now applied almost exclusively 
to the tribes into which the Scottish High- 
landers were formerly, and still to some 
extent are divilled, was also applied to those 
large and powerful septs into which the Irish 
people were at one time divided, as well as 
to the communities of freebooters that in- 
habited the Scottish borders, each of which, 
like the Highland clans, had a common sur- 
name. Indeed, in an Act of the Scottish 
Parliament for 1587, the Highlanders and 
Borderers are classed together as being alike 
"dependents on chieftains or captains of clans." 
The border clan!':, however, were at a com- 
paratively early }-.eriod broken up and weaned 
from their pn>datory and warlike habits, 
whereas the system of clanship in the High- 
lands continued to flourish in almost full 
vigour down to the mi(ldle of last century. 
As there is so much of romance surrounding 
lhe system. especially in its latf'r manifesta- 


tions, and as it was the caUSe of much annoy- 
ance to Britain, it has become a subject of 
interest to antiquarians and students of man- I 
kin(l generally; and as it flourished so far 
into the historical period, curiosity can, to a 
great extent, be gratified as to its details awl 
working. 
A good deal has been written on the subject 
in its various aspects, and among other autho- 
rities we must own our indebtedness for much 
of our information to Skene's Highlande1"ð 
(l Scotland, Gregory's Highlands and Isles, 
Robertson's Scutlv.nd 'Under her Eorly ]{illg.
, 
Stewart's Sketches of the HigltlawllTs, Logan's 
Scottish Gael and Clans, and The JOlla Club 
T1.ansacfinn,c;, besides the publications of thp 
various other Scottish Cluhs. 
''"t e learn from Tacitus and other historians, 
that at a very early period the inh,\hitants of 
Caledonia were divitled into a number of tribes, 
caeh with a chief at its head. These trihe!':, 
from all we can learn, were independent of. 
and often at war with each other, and only 
united under a common elected leader when 
the neeessity of resisting a common foe com- I 
pelled them. In this the Caledonians only 
followed a custom which is common to all 
barbarous and semi-barbarous peoples; but 
what was the bond of union among the mem- 
bers of the various tribes it is now not Ulsy to 
ascertain. 'Ye learn from the researches of 
::\Ir E. 'V. Robertson that the feeling of kiu- 
dred was very strong among all the early Celtir 



PRIXCIPLE OF KIN. 


117 


and even Teutonic nations, and that it was on 
the principle of kin that land was allotted to 
the members of the various tribes. The pro- 
perty of the land appears to have been vested 
in the Cean-cinneth, or head of the lineage for 
the good of his clan; it was " burdened with 
I the support of his kindred and Amasach" 
( military followers), these being allotted par- 
cels of land in proportion to the nearness of 
their relation to the chief of the clan. 1 The 
word clan itself, from its etymology,2 points to 
the principle of kin, as the bond which united 
I the members of the tribes among themselves, 
and bound them to their chiefs. As there are 
good grounds for believing that the original 
Caledonians, the progenitors of the present 
genuine Highlanders, belonged to the Celtic 
family of mankind, it is highly probable that 
when they first entered upon possession of 
Alban, whether peaceably or by conquest, 
they divided the land among their various 
tribes in accordance with their Celtic prin- 
ciple. The word clan, a!'! we have said, sig- 
nifies family, and a clan was a certain number 
of families of the same name, sprung, as was 
believed, from the same root, and governed 
by the lineal descendant of the parent family. 
This patriarchal form of society was probably 
common in the infancy of mankind: and seems 
to have prevailed in the days of Abraham; 
indeed, it was on a similar principle that 
Palestine wa3 divided among the twelve tribes 
of Israel, the descendants of the twelve sons of 
Jacob. 
As far back as we can trace, the Highlands 
appear to have been divided into a number of 
iistricts, latterly known as .Mormaordoms, each 
tInder the jurisdiction of a Mormaor, to whom the 
Reveral tribes in each district looked up as their 
common hearl. It is not improbable that Gal- 
gacus, the chosen leader mentioned by Tacitus, 
may have held a position similar to this, and 
that in course of time some powerful or popular 
chief, at first elected as a temporary leader, may 
have contrived to make his office permanent, 
and even to some extent hereditary. The title 
110rmaor, however, is first met with only after 
the various divisions of northern Scotland had 


I Scotlltnd under hpr Early Kings, Ap. D. 
2 Gaeli.c, clann; hish, clann, or eland.. Manx, 
cloan, clllhlren, offspriug, tribe, 


been united into a kingdom. "In Scotland 
the royal offieial placed over the crown or 
fiseal lands, appears to have been originally 
known as the lrIaor, and latterly under the 
Teutonic appellation of Thane. . .. The 
original Thanage would appear to have been 
a district held of the Crown, the holdel', :Maor 
or Thane, being accountable for the collection 
of the royal dues, and for the appearance of 
the royal tenantry at the yearly 'hosting,' 
and answering to the hereditary Toshach, or 
captain of a clan, for the king stood in the 
place of the Cean-cinneth, or chief. . .. 'Vhen 
lands were strictly retainetl in the Crown, the 
Royal Thane, or Maor, was answerable directly 
to the King; but there was a still gl'eater 
official among the Scots, known under the 
title of iJIorma01., or Lord High Steward . . . 
who was evidently a l\1aor placed over a pro- 
vince instead of a thanage-an earldom or 
county instead of a barony-a type of Har- 
fager's royal Jarl, who often exercised as a 
ruyal deputy that authority
 which he had 
originally claimed as the independent lord of 
the distriet over which he presideù." 3 Ac- 
cording to )11' Skene,4 it was only about the 
16th century when the great power of these 
l\10rmaors was broken up, and their provinces 
converted into than ages or earldoms, many of 
which were held by Saxon nobles, who pos- II 
sessed them by marriage, that the clans first 
make their appearance in these districts and I 
in independence. By this, we suppose, he I 
does not mean that it was only when the above I 
change took place that the system of clanship I 
sprang into existence, but that then the various 
great divisions of the clans, losing their cean- 
cin1letlz, or head of the kin, the individual clans 
becoming inùependent, sprang into greater 
prominence and assumed a stronger indi- 
viduality. 
Among the Highlanders themselves various 
traditions have existed as to the origin of the 
clans. }'Ir Skene mentions the three principal 
ones, and proves them to be entirely fanciful. 
The first of these is the St;oltüh or I1.ish system, 
by w}Üch the clans trace their origin or founda- 
tion to early Irish or Scoto-Irish kings. The 
second is what l\Ir Skene terms the heroic 


3 Robertson's Early Kings, i. 102, 103, 10.t, 
" Highlanders, i. 16. 



us 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


system, by which many of the HigWalld clans 
are deduced from the great heroes in the 
fJ.bulous histories of Scotland and Ireland, by 
identifying one of these fabulous heroes with 
an ancestor of the clan of the same name. 
The third system did not spring up till the 
17th century, "when the fabulous history of 
Scotland first began to be doubted, when it 
was considered to be a principal merit in an 
antiquarian to display his scepticism as to all 
the old traditions of the country."5 Mr Skene 
terms it the Norwegian or Danish system, and 
it was the result of a furor for imputing every- 
thing and deriving everybody from the Danes. 
The idea, however, never obtained any great 
credit in the Highlands. The conclusion to 
which Mr Skene comes is, "that the Higlùand 
clans are not of different or foreign origin, but 
that they were a part of the original nation, 
who have inhabited the mountains of Scotland 
as far back as the memory of man, or the re- 
cords of history can reach; that they were 
divided into several great tribes possessing 
their hereditary chiefs; and that it was only 
when the line of these chiefs became extinct, 
and Saxon noblE's came into their place, that 
the Highland clans appeared in the peculiar 
situation and character in which they were 
afterwards found." }\1r Skene thinks this 
conclusion strongly corroborated by the fact 
that there can be traced existing in the High- 
lands, even so late as the 16th century, a still 
older tradition than that of the Irish origin of 
the clans. This tradition is found in the often 
referred to letter of "John Elder, clerk, a 
Reddschanke," dated 1542, and addressed to 
KIng Henry VIII. This tradition, held by 
the Highlanders of the "more auncient stoke" 
in opposition to the" Papistical curside spirit- 
ualite of Scotland," was that they were the 
true descendants of the ancient Picts, then 
known as " Redd Schankes." 

Thatever may be the value of Ml' Skene's 
conclusions as to the purity of deseent of the 
present Highlanders, his researches, taken in 
conjunction with those of }\1r E. "'V. Robert- 
son, seem pretty clearly to prove, that from as 
far back as history goes the Highlanders were 
divided into tribes on the principle of kin, 


II Highlanders, p. 7, et. scq. 


that the germ of the fully developed clan- 
system can be found among the earliest Celtic 
inhabitants of Scotland; that clanship, in 
short, is only a modern example, systematised, 
developed, and modified by time of the ancient 
principle on which the Celtic people formed 
their tribes and divided their lands. The clans 
were the fragments of the old Celtic tribes, whose 
mormaors had been destroyed, each tribe di vicl- 
ing into a number of clans. When, according 
to a recent writer, the old Celtic tribe was 
deprived of its chief, the bolder spirits among 
the minor chieftains would gather round them 
each a body of partisans, who would assume 
his name and obey his orders. It might even 
happen that, from certain favourable circum- 
stances, a Saxon or a N orman stranger wOlùd 
thus be able to gain a circle of adherents out 
of a broken or chieftainless Celtic tribe, and 
so become the founder of a clan. 
As might be expected, this primitive, patri- 
archal state of society would be liable to be 
abolished as the royal authority became ex- 
tended and established, and the feudal system 
substituted in its stead. This we find was the 
case, for under David and his successors, dur- 
ing the 12th and 13th centuries, the old and 
almost independent mormaordoms were gra- 
dually abolished, and in their stead were 
substituted earldoms feudally dependent upon 
the Crown. In many instances these mor- 
maordoms passed into the hands of lowland 
barons, favourites of the king; and thus the 
dependent tribes, losing their hereditary 
heads, separated, as we have said, into a 
number of small and independent clans, al- 
though even the new foreign barons them- 
selves for a long time exercised an almost 
independent sway, and used the power which 
they had acquired by royal favour against the 
king himself. 
As far as the tenure of lands and the herit- 
able j urisrlictions were concerned, the feudal 
system was easily introduced into the High- 
lands; but although the principal chiefs readily 
agreed, or were induced by circumstances to 
hold their lands of the Crown or of low- 
country barons, yet the system of clans hip 
remained in full force amongst the native 
Highlanders until a very recent period, and 
its spirit still to a certain extent survives in 



DISTINCTIO
 DETW'EEN FEUDALIS:\I AND CLAXSHIP. 


119 


the affections, the prejudices, the opinions, and 
the habits of the people. 6 
The nature of the Highlands of Scotlaml 
was peculiarly favourable to the clan system, 
and no doubt helped to a considerable extent 
to perpetuate it. The division of the country 
into so many straths, and valleys, aud islands, 
separated from one another by mountains or 
arms of the sea, neeessarily gave rise to 
val'iou3 distinct societies. T}
eir secluded 
situation necessarily rendered general inter- 
course difficult, whilst the impenetrable ram- 
parts with which they were surrounded made 
defence easy. The whole race was thus broken 
into many individual masses, possessing a 
community of customs and character, but 
placed under different jurisdietions; every dis- 
trict beeame a sort of petty independent state; 
and the government of each community or 
clan assumed the patriarehal form, being a 
speeies of hereditary monarchy, founded on 
custom, and allowed by general consent, rather 
than regulated by positive laws. 
The system of clanship in the HigWands,i 
although possessing an apparent resemblance 
to feudalism, was in prineiple very different 
indeed from that system as it existed in other 
parts of the country. In the former case, the 
people followed their chief as the head of their 
race, amI the representative of the common 
ancestor of the clan; in the latter, they obeyed 
their leader as feudal proprietor of the lands to 
which they were attached, and to whom they 
owed military service for their respective por- 
tions of these lands. The Highland chief was 
the hereditary lord of all who belonged to his 
clan, wherever they dwelt or whatever lands 
they occupied; the feudal baron was entitled 
to the military service of all who held lands 
under him, to whatever race they might indi- 
vidually belong. The one dignity was per- 
sonal, the other was territorial; the rights of 
the chief were inherent, those of the baron 
were accessory; the one might Jose or forfeit 
his possessions, but could not thereby be 
di vested of his hereditary character and privi- 


6 For details conceming the practical working or 
I !he clan system, in addition to what are given in this 
mtroduction, we refer the reader to chaps. xviii. 
xlii., xliii., xliv. of Part First. 
7 Weare indebted for much of what follows to 
Skene's Highlanders of Scotland, vol. i. p. 153, et seg. 


leges; the other, when divested of his fee, 
ceased to have any title or claim to the ser- 
vice of those who occupied the lands. Yet 
these two systems, so different in principle, 
were in effect nearly identical. Both exhibited I 
the spectacle of a subject possessed of nn- I 
limited power within his own territories, and 
exacting unqualified obedience from a numerous 
train of followers, to whom he stood in the 
several rehÓons of landlord, military leader, 
and jUllge, with all the powers and preroga- 
tives belonging to eaeh of those characters. 
Doth were equally caleulated to aggrandise 
turbulent chiefs and :p..vbles, at the expense of I 
the royal authority, which they frequently 
defied, generally resisted, and but seldom 
obeyed; although for the most part, the chief 
was less disloyal than the baron, probably 
because he was farther removed from the seat 
of government, and less sensible of its inter- 
ference with his own jurisdiction. The 011e 
system was adaptE'd to a people in a pastoral 
state of society, and inhabiting a country, like 
the Highlands of Scotland, which from its 
peculiar nature and conformation, not only 
prevented the adoption of any other mode of 
life, but at the same time prescribed the divi- 
sion of the people into separate familif>s or 
clans. The other system, being of a defensive 
character, was necessary to a population occu- 
pying a fertile but open country, possessing 
only a rude notion of agriculture, and exposed 
on all sides to aggressions on the part of neigh- 
bours or enemies. But the common tendeney 
of both was to obstruct the administration of 
justice, nurse habits of lawless violellec, ex- 
clude the cultivation of the arts of peace, and 
generally to impede the progress of improve- 
ment; and hence neither was compatible with 
the prosperity of a civilised nation, where the 
liberty of the suhject required protection, awl 
the security of plOperty demanded an equal 
admmistration of justice. 
The peculiarities of clanship are nowherc 
better described than in Burt's Lettf'l"s from 
an o.tficer of Eu{/ineers to his Friend in Lon- 
don. 8 "The Highlanders," he sa,y3, "are 
divided into tribes or clans, under chiefs or 


8 Letter xix., part of which has already been quoted 
in ch. xlii., but may with advantage be again intro- 
duced here. 



120 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAXD CLANS. 


I I 
I I 
I 


chieftains
 and each clan is again divided into 
branches from the main stock, who have chief- 
tains over them. These are subdivided into 
smaller branehes of fifty or sixty men, who 
deduce their original from their particular 
chieftaim, and rely upon them as their more 
immediate protectors and defenders. The 
ordinary Highlanders esteem it the most sub- 
lime degree of virtue to love their chief and 
pay him a blind obedience, although it be in 
opposition to the government. K ext to this 
love ùf thpir chief is that of the particular 
branch whence they sprang; and, in a third 
degree, to those of the whole clan or name, 
whom they will assist, right or wrong, against 
those of any other tribe with which they are 
at variance. They likewise owe good-will to 
such clans as they esteem to be their particular 
well-wishers. And, lastly, they have an ad- 
herence to one another a3 Highlanders in op- 
position to the people of the low country, 
whom they despise as inferior to them in 
courage, and believe they have a right to 
plunùer them whenever it is in their power. 
This last arises from a tradition that the Low- 
lands, in old times, were the possessions of 
their ancestors. 
"The chief exereises an arbitrary authority 
over his vassals, determines all differences and 
disputes that happen among them, and levies 
taxes upon extraordinary occasions, such as 
the marriage of a daughter, building a house, 
or some pretence for his support or the 
honour of his name; and if anyone shouM 
refuse to contrihute to the best of his ability, 
he is sure of severe treatment, and, if he per- 
sists in his obstinacy, he would be cast out of 
his tribe by general consent. This power of 
the chief is not supported by interest, as they 
are landlords, but by consanguinity, as lineally 
descended from the oM patriarchs or fathers 
of the families, for they hold the same autho- 
rity when they have lost their estates, as may 
appear from several instanees, and particularly 
,hat of one (Lord Lovat) who commands his 
clan, though at the same time they maintain 
him, having nothing left of his own. On 
the other hand, the chief, evcn against the 
laws, i3 bound to pro teet his followers, as they 
are sometimes called, be they never so criminal. 
He is thcir leader in clan quarrels, must free 


the necessitous from their arrears of rent, and 
maintain such who by accidents are fallen to 
total decay. Some of the chiefs have not only 
personal dislikes and enmity to each other, 
bu t there are also hereditary feuds between 
clan and clan, whieh have been handed down 
from one generation to another for several ages. 
These quarrels descend to the meanest vassals, 
and thus sometimes an innocent person suffers 
for crimes committed by his tribe at a vast 
distance of time before his being began." 
This clear and coneise description will serve 
to convey an idea of clanship as it existed in 
the Highlands, about the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, when the system was in 
full force and vigour. It presented a singular 
mixture of patriarchal and feudal government; 
and everything connected with the habits, 
manners, customs, and feelings of the people 
tended to maintain it unimpaired, amidst all 
the changes which were gradually taking plaee 
in other parts of the country, from the diffu- 
sion of knowledge, and the progress of improve- 
ment. There was, indeed, something almost 
oriental ill the character of immutability which 
seemed to belong to this primitive institution, 
elllleared as it was to the affections, and singu- 
larly adapted to the condition of the people 
amongst whom it prevailed. Under its influ- 
ence all their habits had been formed; with 
it all their feelings and associations were indis- 
soluhly blended. "Then the kindred and the 
followers of a chief saw him surrounded by a 
body of adherents, numerous, faithful, and 
brave, devoted to his interests, and ready at 
all times to saerifice their lives in his service, 
they could conceive no power superior to his; 
and, when they looked back into the past his- 
tory of their tribe, they found that his pro- 
genitors had, from time immemorial, been at 
their head. Their tales, their traditions, their 
songs, constantly referred to the exploits or 
the transactions of the same tribe or fraternity 
living under the same line of chiefs; and the 
transmission of command and ohedience, of 
protection awl attachment, from one genera- 
tion to another, became in consequence as 
natural, in the eye of a Highlander, as the 
transmis:sion of blood or the regular laws of 
deseent. This order of things appeared to him 
as fixed and as ÏIwiolable as the constitution 



CONSEQUENCES UF CLA
SHIP. 


121 


of nature or the revolutions of the seasuns. 
lIence nothing could shake his fidelity to his 
chief, or induce him to compromise what he 
believed to be fo1' the honour and interest of 
his clan. He was not without his feelings of 
independence, and he would not have brooked 
oppression where he looked for kindness and 
proteetion. But the long unbroken line of 
chiefs is of itself a 8trong presumptive proof 
of the general mildness of their sway. The 
individuals might change, but the ties whieh 
bound one generation were drawn more closely, 
a] though by insensible degrees, around the 
succeeding one; and thus each family, in all 
its various successions, retained something like 
the same sort of relation to the parent stem, 
which the renewed leaves of a tree in spring 
preserve, in point of form and position, to 
those which had dropped off in the preeeding 
autumn. 
:l\Iany important eonsecpwneeR, affecting the 
character of the IIighlandel'
, resulted from 
this division of the people into small tribes, 
each governed in the patriarehal manner al- 
ready deseribed. The authority of the sove- 
reign, if nominally recognised, was nearly 
altogether unfelt and inoperative. His man- 
dates could neither arrest the mutual depreda- 
tions of the clans, nor allay their hereditary 
hostilities. Delinquents could not be pursued 
into the bosom of the clan which protected 
them, nor could the judges administer the 
laws, in opposition to the will or the interests 
of the chiefs. Sometimes the sovereign at- 
tempted to strengthen his hands by fomenting 
divisions between the difièrent clans, and en- 
tering occasionally into the interests of one, in 
the hope of weakening another; he threw his 
weight int.o one seale that the other might 
kick the beam, and he withdrew it again, that, 
by the violence of the reaction, both parties 
might be equally damaged and enfeebled. 
"Many instances of this artful policy occur ill 
Scottish history, which, for a long period, was 
little else than a record of internal disturb- 
ances. The general government, wanting the 
power to repress disorder, sought to destroy its 
elements by mutual collision; and the imme- 
diate consequence of its inefficiency was an 
almost perpetual system of aggression, warfare, 
depredation, and contention. Besiùes, the 
\1. 


little principalities into which the Highlands 
were divided touched at so many points, yet 
they were so independent of one another; 
they apvroached so nearly in many respects, 
yet, in some others, 'were so completely sepa- 
rated; there were so many opportunities of 
encroachment on the one hand, anù so little 
disposition to submit to it on the other; and 
the quarrel or dispute of one individual of thp 
tribe so naturally involved the interest, the 
sympathies, anù the hereditary feelings or ani- 
mosities of the rest, that profound peace 01' 
perfect cordiality searcely ever existed amongst 
them, and their ordinary condition was either 
a chronic or an active state of intp1'nal warfare. 
From opposing interests or wounùed pride, 
deadly feuds frequently arose amongst the 
chiefs, and being wal'lllly espoused by the 
clans, were often trasmitted, with aggravated 
animQsity, from one generation to another. 
If it were profitable, it might be curious to 
trace the negotiations, treaties, and bonds of 
amity, or mam'81lt as they were called, by 
which opposing clans strengthened themsel VGS 
against the attaeks and eneroachments of their 
enemies or rivals, or to preserve what may be 
called the balance of power. Amongst the 
rudest communities of mankind may be dis- 
covered the elements of that science which 
has been applied to the government and diplo- 
macy of the most civilised nations. By such 
bonds they came under an obligation to assist 
one anothel'; and, in their treaties of mutual 
support and proteetion, smaller clans, unable 
to defend themselves, and those families or 
septs which had lost their chieftains, were also 
included. "l1en such confeùeracies were 
formed, the smaller clans followed the for- 
tunes, engaged in the quarrels, and fought 
under the chiefs, of the greater. Thus the 
l\IacRaes followed the Earl of Seaforth, the 
:Mac ColIs the Stewarts of Appin, and the Mac- 
Gillivrays and 
IacBeans the Laird of :Mack- 
intosh; but, nevertheless, their ranks were 
separately marshalled, and were led by their 
own subordinate chieftains and lairds, who 
owned submission only when necessary for the 
success of combined operations. The union 
had for its object aggression or revenge, and 
extended no further than the occasion for 
which it had been formed; yet it serycd to 
(,! 



1 ')') 
-.... 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


prevent the smaller clans from being swallowed 
up by the greater, and at the same time nursed 
the turbulent and warlike spirit which formed 
the comlllon distinction of all. From these 
and other causes, the Highlands were for ages 
as constant a theatre of petty conflicts as 
Europe has been of great and important 
struggles; in the former were enacted, in 
miniature, scenes bearing a striking and amus- 
ing analogy to those which took place upon a 
6'Tand scale in the latter. The spirit of oppo- 
sition and rivalry between the clans perpet- 
uated a system of hostility; it encouraged the 
eultivation of the military at the expense of 
the social virtues, and it perverted their ideas 
both of law and morality. Revenge was ac- 
counted a duty, the destruction of a neighbour 
a meritorious exploit, and rapine an honour- 
able employment. ",Yherever danger was to 
he encountered, or bravery displayed, there 
they conceived that distinction was to be ob- 
tained; the perverted sentiment of honour 
rendered their feuds more implaeable, their 
inroads more savage and destructive; and 
superstition added its influence in exasperating 
animosities, by teaching that to revenge the 
tleath of a kinsman or friend was an act agree- 
a hle to his manes; thus engaging on the side 
of the most implacable hatred and the darkest 
vengeance, the most amiable and domestic of 
all human feelings, namely, reverence for the 
memory of the dead, and affection for the 
virtues of the living. 
Another custom, which once prevailed, con- 
tributed to perpetuate this spirit of lawless re- 
venge. " Every heir or young chi
ftain of a 
tribe," says Martin, who had studied the char- 
acter and manners of the Highlanders, and 
understood them well, "was obliged to give a 
specimen of his valour before he was owned 
and declared governor or ]eader of his people, 
who obe,yecl and followed him on aU occasions. 
This chieftain was usually attended with a re- 
tinue of young men, who had not before giv"en 
any proof of their valour, and were ambitious 
of such an opportunity to signalise themselves. 
It was usual for the chief to make a desperate 
incursion upon some neighbour or other that 
they were in feud with, and they were obliged 
to hrillg, by open force, the cattle they found 
in the land they attacked, or to die in the at- 


tempt. After the perfOrmal.i.Ce of this achieve- 
ment, the young chieftain was ever after 
reputed valiant, and worthy of government, 
and such as were of his retinue acquired the 
like reputation. This custom being recipro- 
cally used among them, was not reputed rob- 
bery; for the damage wh.ich one tribe sustained 
by the inauguration of the chieftain of another, 
was repaired when their chieftain came in his 
turn to make his speeimen. "9 Rut the prac- 
tice seems to have died out about half a cen- 
tury before the time at which Martin's work 
appeared, and its disuse removed one fertile 
source of feuds and disorders. Of the nature 
of the depredations in which the Highlander
 
commonly engaged, the sentiments with which 
they were regarded, the manner in which they 
were conducted, and the effects which the
T 
produced on the character, habits, and manners 
of the people, an ample and interesting account 
will be fo'md in the first volume of General 
Stewart's valuable work on the Highlands. 
It has been commonly alleged, that ideas of 
sue cession were so loose in the Highlands, that 
brothers were often preferred. to grandsons and 
even to sons. Rut this assertion proceeds on 
a most erroneous assumption, inasmuch as 
election was never in any degree admitted, and 
a system of hereditary succession prevailed, 
whieh, though difierent from that which has 
been instituted by the feudal law, allowed of 
no such deviations or anomalies as some have 
imagined. The Highland law of succession. 
as Mr Skene observes, requires to be considered 
in reference, first, to the chiefship and thE' 
superiority of the lands belonging to the clan; 
and secondly, in respect to the property or the 
land itself. The suecession to the chiefship 
and its usual prerogatives was termed the law 
of tallisl1'y j that to the property or the land 
itself, gavel. Rut when the feudal system was 
introduced, the law of tanistry became the law 
of succession to the property as well as the 
chiefship; whilst that of gavel was too directly 
opposed to feudal principles to be suffered to 
exist at all, even in a modified form. It ap- 
pears, indeed, that the Highlanders adhered 
strictly to suceession in the male line, and that 
the great peculiarity whieh distinguished their 


9 Description of the lVestcrn Islands. London, 
1703. 



TANISTHY AND GAVEL. 


123 


law of succession from that established by the 
feudal system, consisted in the circumstanee 
that, aecording to it, brothers invariably suc- 
ceeded before sons. In the feudal system pro- 
perty was alone considered, and the nearest 
relation to the last proprietor was naturally 
accounted the heir. But, in the Highland 
system, the governing principle of succession 
was not property, but the right of chiefship, 
derived from being the lineal descendant of 
the founder or patriarch of the tribe; it was 
the relation to the common ancestor, to whom 
the brother was considered as one degree nearer 
than the son, and through whom the right was 
derived, and not to ....he last chief, which regu- 
lated the succession. Thus, the brothers of 
the chief invariably succeeded before the sons, 
not by election, but as a matter of right, and 
according to a fixed rule which formed the law 
or principle of succession, instead of being, as 
some have supposed, a departure from it, occa- 
sioned by views of temporary expeùiency, by 
usurpation, or otherwise. In a word, the law 
of tanistry, however much opposed to the 
feudal notions of later times, flowed naturally 
from the patriarchal constitution of society in 
the Highlands, and was peculiarly adapted to 
the circumstances of a people such as we have 
described, whose warlike habits and love of 
military enterprise, or armed predatory expedi- 
tions, made it necessary to have at all times a 
chief competent to act as their leader or com- 
mander. 
But if the law of tanistry .was opposed to 
the principles of the feudal system, that of 
gavel or the succession to property amongst the 
Highlanders was still more aò.verse. By the 
feudal law the eldest son, when the suecession 
opened, not only acquireù the superiority over 
I the rest of the family, but he also succeeded 
to the whole of the property, whilst the 
younger branches were obliged to push their 
fortune by following other pursuits. But in 
the Highlands t1w case was altogether different. 
By the law of gavel, the property of the clan was 
divided in certain proportions amongst all the 
male branches of the family, to the exclusion 
of females, who, by this extraordinary Salic 
anomaly, could. no more succeed to the property 
than to the chiefship itself. The law of gavel 
in the Highlands, therefore, differed from the 


English custom of gavel-kÜlIl in being ex- 
clusively confined. to the male branches of a 
family. In what proportions the property was 
divided, or whether these proportions varied 
according to circumstances, or the will of the 
chief, it is impossible to ascertain. But it 
would appear that the principal seat of the 
family, with the lands immediately surrounding 
it, always remained the property of the chief; 
and besides this, the latter retained a sort of 
superiority over the whole possessions of the 
clan, in virtue of which he received from each 
dependent branch a portion of the produee of 
the land as an acknowledgment of his chiefship, 
and also to enable him to support the dignity 
of his station by the exercise of a commen- 
surate hospitality. Such was the law of gavel, 
which, though adverse to feudal principles, 
was adapted to the state of society amongst 
the Highlands, out of which indeed it originally 
sprang; because, where there were no other 
pursuits open to the younger braÌlChes of 
families except rearing flocks and herds during 
peace, and following the chief in war; and 
where it was the interest as well as the 
ambition of the latter to multiply the con- 
nexions of his family, and take every means 
to strengthen the power as well as to secure 
the obedience of his clan, the division of 
property, or the law of gavel, resulted as 
naturally from sueh an order of things, as that 
of hereditary succession to the patriarchal 
government and chiefship of the clan. Hence, 
the chief stood to the ca(lets of his family in 
a relation somewhat analogous to that in which 
the feudal sovereign stood to the barons who 
held their fiefs of the crown, and although 
there was no formal investiture, yet the tenure 
was in effect pretty nearly the same. In 
both cases the principle of the system was 
essentially military, though it apparently led 
to opposite results; and, in the Highlands, 
the law under consideration was so peculiarly 
adapted to the constitution of society, that it 
was only abandoned after a long struggle, and 
even at a comparatively reeent period traces of 
its existence and operation may be observed 
amongst the people of that country. 1 
Similar misconceptions have prevailed re- 


1 Skene's lIighlanders of Scotland, vol. ii. ch. 7. 



l:U 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLA NR 


I 
I I 


garding Highland marriage-customs. This chiefs, by which it was agreed that the heir of 
was, perhaps, to be expected. In a country one should live with the daughter of the other 
where a bastard son was often found in as her husband for twelve months and a day. 
undisturbed possession of the chiefship or If in that time the lady became a mother, or 
property of a clan, and where such bastard proved to be with child, the marriage became 
gcnerally receiyed the support of the clansmen good in law, even although no priest hall 
against the claims of the feudal heir, it was performed the marriage ceremony in due form; 
natural to :;uppose that very loose notions of but should there not have occurred any 
succession were entertained by the people; appearance of issue, the contract was con- 
that legitimacy conferred no exclusive rights; sidered at an end, and eaeh party was at 
and that the title founded on birth alone liberty to marry or hand-fast with any other. 
might be set aside in favour of one having no It is manifest that the praetice of so peculiar 
otlwr claim than that of election. But this, a species of marriage must have been in terms 
although a plausihle, would nevertheless be an of the original law among the Highlanders, 
erroneous supposition. The person here con- otherwise it would be difficult to conceive how 
sidered as a bastard, and described as such, such a custom could have originated j and it is 
was by no means viewed in the same light by in faet one which seemR naturally to have 
the Highlanders, because, aceording to their arisen from the form of their society, which 
law of marriage, which was originally very rendered it a matter of such vital importance 
different from the feudal s,ystem in this matter, to secure the lineal succession of their chiefs. 
his claim to legitimacy was as undouhted as It is perhaps not improbable that it was this 
that of the feudal heir afterwards became. It peculiar custom whieh gave rise to the report 
is well known that the notions of the High- handed down by the Roman and other his- 
landers were peculiarly strict in regard to toriaIls, that the ancient inhabitants of Great 
matters of hereditary succession, and that no Britain had their wives in common, or that it 
people on earth was less likely to sanction any was the foundation of that law of Scotland by 
flagrant deviation from what they believed to which natural children became legitimized by 
be the right and true line of descent. All subsequent mal'1'iage; and as this custom rc- 
their peculiar habits, feelings, and prejudices mained in the Highlands until a very late 
were in direct opposition to a practice, which, period, the sanction of the ancient custom was 
had it been really acted upon, must havc sufficient to induce them to persist in regarding 
introduced endless disorder and confusion; the offspring of such marriages as legitimate." 2 
an(l hence the natural explanation of this It appears, indeed, that, as late as the 
apparent anùmaly seems to be, what 1\11' Skene sixteenth century, the issue of a hand-fast 
has stated, namely, that a pcrson who was marriage claimed the earldom of Sutherland. 
feuùally a bastard might in their view be The claimant, aecording to Sir Robert Gordon, 
eonsidered as legitimate, and therefore entitled described himself as one lawfully descendeù 
to be supporte\l in accordance with their strict from his father, John, the third earl, because, 
Ideas of hereditary right, and their habitual as he alleged, "his mother was lwnd-f((sted 
tenacity of whatever belonged to their ancient allCl fianced to his father;" anù his chim was 
usages. Nor is this mere conjecture or bought ofl' (which shows that it was not con- 
hypothesis. A singular custom regarding mar- sidered as altogether incapable of being l1laiu- 
riage, retained till a late period amongst the tained) by Sir Adam Gordon, who had married 
Highlanders, and clearly indicating that their the heiress of Earl John. Such, tlH'n, was the 
law of marriage originally differed in some nature of the peculiar and temporary cunnexion, 
essential points from that estahlished under which gave rise to the apparent anomalies 
the feudal system, seems to afford a simple and which we have been considering. It was a 
natural explanation of the diffieulty by which custom which had for its object, not to inter- 
genealogists have been so much puzzled. rupt, but to preserve the lineal succession of 
" This custom was termed lwnd:fusting, and 7 
2 Skene's Highlanders of Scotland, yol. i. chap. , 
consisted in a species of contract between two pp. lGG, IG7 



HIGHLAND GRADATION OF RANKS 


125 


the chiefs, and to obviate the very evil of which 
it is conceived to afford a glaring example. 
But after the introduction of the feudal law, 
which, in this respect, was directly opposed 
to the ancient Highland law, the lineal and 
legitimate heir, according to Highland prin- 
ciples, came to be regarded as a bastard by the 
government, which accordingly considered him 
as thereby incapacitated for succepding to the 
honours and property of his race; and hence 
originate<llllany of those disputes concerning 
succession and chiefship, which embroiled 
families with one another as well as with the 
government, and were productive of incredible 
disorder, mischief, and bloodshed. :No allow- 
ance was made for the ancient usages of the 
people, which were probably but ill undpr- 
òtood; and the rights of rival claimants were 
decided according to the principles of a foreign 
system of law, which was long resisted, anll 
Hever admitted except from necessity. J t is 
to be observed, however, that the Highlanders 
themselves drew a broad distinc.tion between 
bastard sons and the issue of the hand- fast 
unions above described. The former were 
rigorously excluded from every sort of suc- 
cession, but the latter were considered as 
legitimate as the offspring of the most regularly 
solemnized marriage. 
Having said thus much respecting the laws 
of succession and marriage, we proceed next 
to consider the gradation of ranks which ap- 
pears to have existed amongst the Highlanders, 
whether in relation to the lands of which they 
were proprietors, or the clans of which they 
were members. And here it may be observed, 
that the classification of society in the High- 
lands seems to have borne a close resemblance 
I to that which prevailed in "\Vales and in Ire- 
I land amongst cognate branches of the same 
I general race. In the former country there 
were three different tenures of land, and nine 
degrees of rank. Of these tenures, the first 
was termed :Maerdir, signifying a person who 
has jurisdiction, and included three ranks; 
the second was called Uchilordir, or property, 
and likewise consisted of three ranks; and the 
third, denominated Priodordir, or native, in- 
cluded that portion of the population whom 
we would now call tenants, divided into the 
degrees of yeomen, labourers, and serfs. A 


similar order of things appears to have prevailed 
in Ireland, where, in the classification of the 
péople, we recognise the several degrees of 
:Fuidir, Biadhtach, and Mogh. In the High- 
lands, the first tenure included the three de- 
grees of .L\.rd Righ, Righ, and J\Iormaor; the 
Tighern or Thane, the Armin and the Squire, 
were analogous to the three "r elsh degrees in- 
cluded in the U chilordir; and a class of per- 
sons, termed native men, were evidently the 
same in circumstances and condition with the 
Priudordir of 'Yales. These native men were 
obviously the tenants or farmers on the pro- 
perty, who made a peculiar acknowledgment, 
termed calpe, to the chief or head of their 
clan. For this we have the authority of :Mar- 
tin, who informs us that one uf the duties 
"payable by all the tenants to their chiefs, 
though they did not live upon his lands," was 
called" calpich," and that" there was a stand- 
ing law for it," denominated "calpich law." 
The other duty paid by the tenants was that of 
herezeld, as it was termed, which, along with 
calpe, was exigible if the tenant happened to 
occupy more than the eighth part of a davoch 
of land. That such was the peculiar acknow- 
ledgment of chiefship incumbent on the native 
men, or, in other words, the clan tribute pay- 
able by them in acknowleJgment of the power 
and in support of the dignity of the chief, 
appears frum the bonds of amity or 'lnllnl'ent, 
in which we find them obliging themselves to 
pay" calpis as native men ought and should 
do to their chief." 
But the native men of Highland properties 
must be carefully distinguished from the 
cumerlaclz, who, like the kaeth of the "\Yelsh, 
were merely. a sppcies of serfs, or adsC1"ipli 
glehæ. The former could not be removed from 
the land at the will of their lord, but there 
was no restriction laid on their personal 
liberty; the latter might be removed at the 
pleasure of their lord, but their personal liberty 
was restrained, or rather abrogated. The native 
man was the tenant who cultivated the soil, 
and as such possessed a recognised estate in 
the land which he occupied. As long as he 
performed the requisite services he could not 
be removed, nor could a greater proportion of 
labour or produce be exacted from him UlaD 
custom or usage had fixed. It appears, there- 



126 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


fore, that these possessed their farms, or hold- 
ings, by a sort of hereditary right, which was 
not derived from their lord, and of which, 

pringing as it did from immemorial usage, 
and the very constitution of clanship, it was 
not in his power to deprive them. The Cllmer- 
loch were the cottars and actual labourers of 
the soil, who, possessing no legal rights either 
of station or property, were in reality absolute 
serfs. The changes of succession, however, 
occasionally produced important results, illus- 
trative of the peculiarities above described. 
""\'
en a .Korman baron," says :Mr Skene, 
" obtained by succession, or otherwise, a High- 
land property, the Gaelic natil'i remained in 
actual possession of the soil under him, but at 
the same time paid their calpes to the natural 
chief of their clan, and followed him in war. 
"\Vhen a Highland chief, however, acquired by 
the operation of the feudal succession, an addi- 
tional property which had not been previously 
in the possession of his clan, he found it pos- 
sessed by the nativ': of another race. If these 
nativi belonged to another clan which still 
existed in independence, and if they chose to 
remain on the property, they did so at the risk 
of being placed in a perilous situation, should 
a feud arise between the two clans. But if 
they belonged to no other independent clan, 
and the stranger chief had acquired the whole 
possessions of their race, the custom seems to 
have been for them to give a bond of manrent 
to their new lord, by which they bound them- 
selves io follow him as their chief, and make 
him the customary acknowledgment of the 
calpe. They thus became a dependent sept 
upon a clan of a different race, while they 
were not considered as forming a part of that 
clan." 3 
The gradation of ranks considerpd in re- 
ference to the clan or tribe may be briefly 
described. The highest dignitary was the 
righ or king, who in point of birth and station 
was originally on a footing of equality with the 
other chiefs, and only derived some additional 
dignity during his life from a sort of regal pre- 
eminence. "Among the ancient Celtæ the 
prince or king had nothing actually his own, 
but everything belonging to his followers was 
3 Skene's lIighlanders of Scotland, vol. i. pp. 172, 
173. 


freely at his service;" of their own accord 
they gave their prince so many cattle, or a 
certain portion of grain. It seems probable 
that the Celtic chief held the public lands in 
trust for his people, and was on his succession 
invested with those possessions which he after- 
wards apportioned among his retainers. Those 
only, we are told by Cæsar, had lands, " magi- 
strates and princes, and they give to their fol- 
lowers as tbey think proper, removing them at 
the year's end." 4 The Celtic nations, accord- 
ing to Dr 
Iacpherson, limited the regal I 
authority to very narrow bounds. The old 
monarchs of North Britain and Ireland were 
too weak either to control the pride and inso- 
lence of the great, or to restrain the licentious- 
ness of the populace. :Many of those princes, 
if we credit history, were dethroned, and some 
of them even put to death by their subjects, 
which is a demonstration that their power was 
not unlimiteà. 
N ext to the king was the l./ormaor, who 
seems to have been identical with the 
Tighern 5 and the later Thane. As we have 
already indicated, the persons invested with 
this distinction were the patriarchal chiefs or 
heads of the great tribes into which the High- 
landers were formerly divided. But when the 
line of the ancient mormaors gradually sank 
under the ascendant influence of the feudal 
system, the clans forming the great tribes be- 
came independent, and their leaders or chief:; 
were held to represent each the common an- 
cestor or founder of his clan, and derived all 
their dignity and power from the belief in such 
representation. The chief possessed his office 
by right of blood alone, as tbat right was 
understood in the Highlands; neither election 
nor marriage could constitute any title to thi
 
distinction; it was, as we have already stated, 
purely hereditary, nor could it descend to any 
person except him who, according to the High- 
land rule of succession, was the nearest male 
heir to the dignity. 
Next to the chief stood the tanist or person 
who, by the laws of tanistry, was entitled to 
succeed to the chiefship; he possessed this 
title during the lifetime of the chief, and, in 



 Logan's Scottish Gael, i. 17I. 
li According to Dr Macphersor, T
qhl'T1t IS derived 
from two words, meaning "a man of lami." 



TANIST-CEA.KTIGHES- TOSHACH. 


. 


127 I 


virtue of his apparent honours, was considered to heirs male, and that the great peculiarity of 
as a man of mark and consequence. "In the the Highland system was that brothers in- 
settlement of succession, the law of tanistry variably were preferred to sons. This perhaps I 
prevailed in Ireland from the earliest accounts arose partly from an anxiety to avoid minorities 
of time. According to that law," says Sir "in a'nation dependent upon a competent leader 
J ames "\,
 are, "the hereditary right of succes- in war." This principle was frequently exem- 
sion was not maintained among the princes or plified in the succession to the mormaordoms, 
the rulers of countries; but the strongest, or and even to the kingly power itself; it formed 
he who had the most followers, very often the one of the pleas put forward by Bruce in his 
eldest and most worthy of the deceased king's competition for the crown with Ratiol. 
blood and name, succeeded him. This person, After the family of the chief came the cean- 
by the common suffrage of the people, and in tighes, or heads of the subordinate houses into 
the lifetime of his predecessor, was appointed which the clan was divided, the most powerful 
to succeed, and was called Tau'ist, that is to of whom was the tois'ieh, or toshach, who was 
say, the second in dignity. "
llOever received generally the oldest cadet. This was a natural 
this dignity maintained himself and followers, consequence of the law of gavel, whieh, pro- 
partly out of certain lands set apart for that ducing a constant subdivision of the chief's 
purpose, but chiefly out of tributary imposi- estate, until in actual extent of property he 
tions, which he exacted in an arbitrary manner; sometimes came to possess less than any of the 
impositions from which the lands of the church other branches of the family, served in nearly 
only, and those of persons vested with parti- the same proportion to aggrandise the latter, 
culal' immunities, were exempted. The same and hence that branch which had been longest 
custom was a fundamental law in Scotland for separated from the original became relatively 
many ages. Upon the death of a king, the the most powerful. The toshach, military 
throne was not generally filled by his son, or leader, or captain of the clan, certainly appears 
daughter, failing of male issue, but by his to have been at first elected to his offiee Rmong 
brother, uncle, cousin-german, or near relation the Celtic nations, as indeed were all the digni- 
of the same blood. The personal merit of the taries who at a later period among the High- 
successor, the regard paid to the memory of his landers suceeeded to their positions according 
immediate ancestors, or his address in gaining to fixed laws. S As war was the principal 
a majority of the leading men, frequently ad- occupation of all the early Celtic nations, the 
vanced him to the crown, notwithstanding the office of toshach, or "war-king," as 1\Ir Robert- 
precautions taken by his predecessor." (; son calls him, was one of supreme importance, 
According to 1\1r E. "\V. Robertson,7 the and gave the holder of it many opportunities of 
Tanisf, or heir-apparent, appears to have been converting it into one of permanent kingship 
nominated at the same time as the monarch or although tbe Celts carefully guarded against 
chief, and in pursuance of what he considers a this by enforcing the principle of divided 
true Celtic principle, that of a "divided autho- authority among their chiefs, and thus main- 
I rity;" the office being immediately filled up in taining the" balance of power." Tbe toshach's 
case of the premature death of the Tanist, the duties were strictly military, he having nothing 
I same rule being as applicable to the chieftain to do with the internal affairs of the tribe or 
I of the smallest territory as to the chosen leader nation, these being regulated by a magistrate, 
of the nation. According to Dr :M
cpherson, judge, or vergobreitlz, elected annually, and in- 
it appears that at first the Tanist or successor vested with regal authority dnd the power of 
to the monarchy, or chiefship, was elected, life and death. It would appear that the 
but at a very early period the office seems to duties of toshach sometimes devolved on the 
have become hereditary, although not in the fanist, though this appears to have seldom 
feudal sense of that term. 1\11' Skene has been the case among the Highlanders. 9 From 
shown that the succession was strictly limited I a very early time the oldest cadet held the 
6 Dissertation, Pl'. 1û5-6. I 8 Robertson's Early Kings, i. 24. 
'I Early Kings II Logan's Gael, i. 188. 



128 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


I highest rank in the clan, next to the chief; 
and when the clan took the field he occupied, 
as a matter of right, the principal post of 
honour. On the march he headed the van, 
and in battle took his station on the right; 
he was, in fact, the lieutenant-general of the 
chief, and when the latter was absent he com- 
manded the whole clan. l Another function 
exercised by the oldest cadet was that of maor, 
or steward, the principal business of whieh 
officer was to collect the revenues of the chief; 
but, after the feudal customs were introduced, 
this duty devolved upon the baron-bailie, and 
the l1W01. consequently discontinued his fiscal 
labours. 
The peculiar position of the toshach, with 
the power and conseqnence attached to it, 
naturally pointed him out as the person to 
whom recourse would be had in cir
umstances 
of difficulty; and hence arose an apparent 
anomaly which has led to no little misconcep- 
tion and confusion. The difficulty, however, 
may easily be cleared by a short explanation. 
\Yhen, through misfortune or otherwise, the 
family of the chief had become so reduced that 
he could no longer afford to his clan the pro- 
tection required, and which formed the corre- 
lative obligation on his 'part to that of fealty 
and obedience on theirs, then the clansmen 
followed the oldest cadet as the head of the 
most powerful sept or branch of the clau; and 
he thus enjoyed, sometimes for a considerable 
period, all the dignity, consequence, and pri- 
vileges of a chief, without, of course, either 
possessing a right, Jw'e sanguinis, to that 
station, or even aequiring the title of the office 
which he, de facto, exercised. He was merely 


1 "Toisich," says Dr i\Iacpherson, "was another 
title of honour which obtained among the Scots of the 
middle ages. Spdman imagined that this dignity was 
the same with that of Thane. But the Highlanders, 
among whose predecessors the word was once common, 
distinguished carefully in their language the toisich 
from the fanislair or the tierna. 'Vhen they enume- 
rate the diff.'rpnt classes of their great men, agreeably 
to the language of former times, they make use of 
these three titles, in the same sentence, with a dis- 
junative particle between them." "In Gaelic," he 
adds, "tzts, los, and losich signify the beginning or 
fi1"St part of anything, and sometimes the front of an 
army or battle," Hence perhaps the name toisich, 
inlplying the post of honour which the oldest cadet 
a
ways occupielÌ as his peculiar privilege and distinc- 
tiOn. 1111' Robertson, howev
r, thinks toslLach is 
deri ved from the same root as the Latin duæ. (Early 
Kings, i. 26.) 


a sort of patriarchal regent, "ho exercised the 
supreme power, and enjoyed prerogatives of 
royalty without the name. 1Vhile the system 
of clanship remained in its original purity, no 
such regency, or interregnum, could ever take 
place. Rut, in process of time, many circum- 
stances occurred to render it both expedient 
and necessary. In fact, clanship, in its ancient 
purity, could scarcely co-exist with the feudal 
system, which introduced changes so adverse 
to its true spirit; and hence, when the territory 
had passed, by descent, into the hands of a 
Lowland baron, or when, by some unsuccess- 
ful opposition to the government, the chief had 
brought ruin upon himself and his house, and 
was no longer ill a condition to maintain his 
station and afford protection to his clan, the 
latter naturally placed themselves under the 
only head capable of occupying the position of 
their chief, and with authority sufficient to 
command or enforce obedience. In other words, 
they sought protection at the hands of the 
oldest cadet; and he, on his part, was known 
by the name, not of chief, which would have 
been considered a gross usurpation, but of 

(lptain, or leader of the clan. It is clear, 
therefore, that this dignity was one which 
owed its origin to circumstances, and formed 
no part of the orig.inal system, as has been 
generally but erroneously supposed. If an 
anomaly, it was one imposed by necessity, 
and the.. deviation was confined, as we have 
seen, within the narrowest possible limits. 
It was altogether unknown until a recent 
period in the history of the Highlands, and, 
when it did come into use, it was principally 
eon fined to three clans, namely, Clan Chattan, 
Clan Cameron, and Clan Ranald; an un- 
doubted proof that it was not a regular but an 
exceptional dignity, that it was a temporary 
expedient, not part of a system; and that a 
captain differed as essentially from a chief as 
a regent differs from an hereditary sovereign. 
" It is evident," says ){1' Skene, who has the 
merit of being the first to trace out this dis- 
tinction clearly, "that a title, whieh was not 
universal among the Highlanùers, must ha\'e 
arisen from peculiar circulllstances connected 
with those clans in which it is first found; 
and when we examine the history of these 
clans, there can be little doubt that it was 



DUINK\YA:s
ELS-BREHO
. 


129 


simply a person who had, from various causes, 
become de facto head of the clan, while the 
person possessing the hereditary right to that 
dignity remained either in a subordinate situa- 
tion, or else for the time disunited from the 
rest of the clan." 2 
Another title known among the ancient 
Highlanders was that of ogtiern, or Zesse?" 
tighenl, or Thane, and was applied either to 
the son of a tighem, or to those members 
of the clan whose kinship to the chief was 
I beyond a certain degree. They appear to 
have to a large extent formed the class of 
duinewassels, or gentry of the clan, inter- 
mediate between the chief and the body of 
the clan, and known in later times as tacks- 
men or gondmen. " These, again, had a circle 
of relations, who considered them as their im- 
mediate leaders, anù who in battle were placed 
under their immediate command. Over them 
in peace, these chieftains exercised a certain 
authority, but were themselves dependent on 
the chief, to whose service all the members of 
the clan were 'submissively devoted. As the 
duinewassels received their lands from the 
bounty of the chief, for the purpose of sup- 
porting their station in the tribe, so these 
lands were occasionally resumed or reduced to 
provide for those who were more immediately 
rf::lated to the laird j hence many of this class 
necessarily sank into commoners. This tran- 
sition strengthened the feeling which was 
possessed by the very lowest of the com- 
munity, that they were related to the chief, 
from whom they never forgot they originally 
sprang." 2 The duinewassels were all cadets of 
the house of the chief, and each had a pedi- 
gree of his own as long, and perchance as 
complicated as that of his chief. They were, 
as might be expected, the bravest portion of 
the clan j the first in the onset, and the 
2 Skene's Highlanders, vol. ii. pp. 177, 178. That 
the cal)tains of clans were originally the olùest cadets, 
is placed beyond all doubt by an instance which !II' 
Skene has mentioned in the part of his work here re- 
ferrcù to. " The title of captain occurs but once in 
the family of the Macdonalds of Slate, and the single 
occurrence of this peculiar title is when the clan 
Houston was led Ly the uncle of their chief, then in 
minority. In 1545, we find Archibald Maconnill, 
captain of the clan Houston; and thus, on the only 
occasion when this clan followed as a chief a person 
who had not the right of blood to that station, he 
styles himself captain of the clan." 
3 Logan's Gael, i. 173. 
u. 


last to quit the strife, even when the tiJe 
of battle pressed hardest against them. They 
cherished a high and chivalrous sense of 
honour, ever keenly alive to insult or re- 
proach j and they were at all times ready to 
devote themselves to the service of their chief, 
when a wrong was to be avenged, an inroad 
repressed or punished, or glory reaped by deeds 
of daring in arms. 
Another office which existed among the old 
Gaelic inhabitants of Scotland was that of 
Breho71, deemster, or judge, the representa- 
tive of the vel'gobl'eith previously referred to. 
Among the continental Celts this office was 
elective, but among the HigWanders it ap- 
pears to have been hereditary, and by no 
means hpld so important, latterly at least, as 
it was on the continent. As we referred to 
this office in the former part of this work, we 
shall say nothing farther of it in this place. 
To this general view of the constitution of 
society in the Highlands, little remains to be 
added. The chief, as we have seen, was a 
sort of regulus, or petty prince, invested with 
an authority which was in its nature arbitrary, 
but which, in its prac.tical exercise, seems 
generally to have been comparatively mild 
and paternal. He was subjected to no theo- 
retical or constitutional limitations, yet, if 
ferocious in disposition, or woak in under- 
standing, he was restrained or directed by the 
elders of the tribe, who were his standing coun 
sellors, and without whose advice no measure 
of importance could be decided on. Inviolable 
custom supplied the deficiency of law. As his 
distinction and power consisted chiefly in the 
number of his followers, his pride as well as 
his ambition became a guarantee for the mild- 
ness of his sway; he had a direct and imme- 
diate interest to secure the attachment and 
devotion of his clan; and his comlesceusion, 
while it raised the clansman in his own esti- 
mation, served also to draw closer the ties 
which bound the latter to his superior, with- 
out tempting him to transgress the limits of 
propriety. The Highlander was thus taught 
to respect himself in the homage which he 
paid to his chief. Insteail of complaining of 
the difference of station and fortune, or con- 
sidering prompt obedience as slavish degrada- 
tion, he felt conyinced that he was supporting 
R 



130 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


his own honour in showing respect to the head 
of rus family, and in yielding a ready com- 
pliance to his will. Hence it was that the 
Hig1ùanders carried in their demeanour the 
politeness of courts without the vices by which 
these are too frequently dishonoured, and 
cherished in their bosoms a sense of honour 
without any of its follies or extravagances. 
This mutual interchange of condescension and 
respect served to elevate the tone of moral 
feeling amongst the people, and no doubt con- 
tributed to generate that principle of incor- 
ruptible fidelity of which there are on record so 
many striking and even affec.ting examples. 
The sentiment of honour, and the firmness 
sufficient to withstand temptation, may. in 
general be expected in the higher classes of 
society; but the voluntary sacrifice of life and 
fortlme is a species of self-devotion seldom 
display('d in any community, and never per- 
haps exemplified to the same extent in any 
country as in the Highlands of Scotland. 4 
The punishment of treachery was a kind of 
conventional outlawry or banishment from 
society, a sort of aquæ et ignis Ùderdictio even 
more terrible than the punishment inflicted 
under that denomination, during the preva- 
lence of the Roman law. It was the judgment 
of all against one, the condemnation of society, 
not that of a tribunal; and the execution of 
the sentence was as complete as its ratification 
was universal. Persons thns intercommuned 
wer(' for ever cut off from the society to which 
they belonged; they incurred civil death in its 
most appalling form, and their names descended 
with infamy to posterity. "\Vhat higher proof 
could possibly be produced of the noble senti- 
ments of honour and fidelity cherished by the 
people, than the simple fact that the breach 
of these was visited with snch a fearful retri- 
bution 
 
On the other hand, when chiefs proved 
worthless or oppressive, they were occasionally 
deposed, and when they took a side which 


4 "All who are acquainted with the events of the 
unhappy .nsurrection of 1745, must have heard of a 
gentleman of the name of M'Kenzie, who had 1'10 re- 
markahle a resemblance to Prince Charles Stuart as 
to 
i
c ris
 t? the m.ist
ke to which he cheerf
lly 
sacrIficed hIS lIfe, contlllumg the heroic deception to 

h
. laJ?t, and exclaiming with his expiring breath, 
'\ 11lallls, you have killed your Prince.' " (Stewart's 
Sketches, &c.. vol. i. p. 59). 


was disapproved by the clan, they were aban- 
doned by their people. Of the former, there 
are several well authenticated examples, and 
General Stewart has mentioned a remarkable 
instance of the latter. " In the reign of King 
"\Villiam, immediately after the Revolution, 
Lord TullibarJine, eldest son of the Marquis 
of Athole, collected a numerous body of Athole 
Hig1ùanders, together with three hundred 
Frasers, under the command of Hugh, Lord 
Lovat, who had married a daughter of the 
:Marquis. These men believed that they were 
destined to support the abdicated king, but 
were in reality assembled to serve the govern- 
ment of "\Villiam. \""11en in front of Blair 
Castle, their real destination was disclosed to 
them by Lord Tullibardine. Instantly they 
rushed from their ranks, ran to the adj oining 
stream of :Banovy, and filling their bonnets 
with water, drank to the health of King 
James; then with colours flying and pipes 
playing, fifteen hundred of the men of Athole 
put themselves under the command of the 
Laird of Ballee-hin, and marched off to join 
Lord Dundee, whose chivalrous bravery and 
heroic exploits had excited their admiration 
more than those of any other warrior since the 
days of Montrose." 
The number of Highland clans has been 
variously estimated, but it is probable that 
when they were in their most flourishing con- 
dition it amounted to about forty. Latterly, by 
including many undoubtedly Lowland houses, 
the number has been increased to about a 
hundred, the additions being made chiefly by 
tartan manufacturers. :Mr Skene has found 
that the various purely Highland clans can be 
clearly classified and traced up as having be- 
longed to one or other of the great mormaordoms 
into which the north of Scotland was at one 
time divided. In his history of the individual 
clans, however, this is not the classification 
wruch he adopts, but one in accordance with 
that which he finds in the manuscript genea- 
logies. According to these, the people were 
originaily divided into several great tribes, 
the clans forming each of these separate tribes 
being deduced from a common ancestor. A 
marked line of distinction may be drawn be- 
tween the different tribes, in each of which 
indications may be traced serving more or less, 



NUMBER AND DISTRIBUTION O:F CLANS. 


131 


according to Mr Skene, to identify them with 
the ancient mormaorships or earldoms. 
In the old genealogies each tribe is invari- 
ably traced to a common ancestor, from whom 
all the different branches or clans are supposed 
to have descended. Thus we have-I. De- 
scendants of Conn of the Hundred Battles, in- 
eluding the Lords of the Isles, or Macdonalds, 
the :Macdougals, the :ðlacneills, the Maclachlans, 
the l\Iacewens, the :M aclaisrichs, and the :Mac- 
eacherns j 2. Descendants of Fem.char Fada 
.ill ac Feradaig, comprehending the old mor- 
maors of l\Ioray, the :l\Iackintoshes, thel\.facphel'- 
sons, and the 
racnauchtans; 3. Descendants 
of CO'l"rnac .ilIac Oirbertaig, namely, the old 
Earls of Ross, the 
lackenzies, the l\lathiesons, 
the :Macgregors, the :Mackinnons, the Mac- 
quarries, the Macnabs, and the Macduffies; 4. 
Descendants of Fergus Leith Dew.g, the :Mac- 
leods and the Campbells; and 5. Del
cendants 
of Krycul, the l\iaenicols. 
"\Yhatever may be the merits or defects of 
this distribution, it is convenient for the pur- 
pose of classification. It affords the means of 
refening the different clans to their respec.tive 
tribes, and thus avoiding an arbitraryarrange- 
ment; and it is further in accordance with the 
general views which have already been sub- 
mitted to the reader respecting the original 
constitution of elanship. We shall not, how- 
ever, adhere stricUy to l\Ir Skene's arrangement. 


. 


CHAPTER II. 
I The Gallgael, or Western Clans-Fiongall and Dubh- 
gall-Lords of the Isles-Somerled-Suibne-Gille- 
bride }lac Gille Adomnan-Somerled in the West 
-Defeat and death-His children-Dugall and his 
desceudants-Ranald's three sons, Ruari, Donald, 
Dugall-Roderick-Ranald-The Clan Donald- 
Origin-Angus Og-His son John-His SOllS God- 
freyand Donald-Donald marries .Mary, sister of 
Earl of Hoss-Battle of HarlRw-Policy of James I. 
-Alexander of the Isles-Donald Balloch-John 
of the Isles-Angus Og declares himself Lord of the 
Isles-Seizes Earl and Countess of Athole- Intrigues 
with England-Battle of Lagebread-Battle of 
Bloody Bay-Alexander of Lochalsh-Expedition 
of James IV.-Donald Dubh-Donald GaZda-- 
I )onald Gorme-Donald Dubh reapppars-Somer- 
led's descendants fail-The various Island Clans- 
The Chiefship--Lord Macdonald and Macdonald of 
('Ian Ranald-Donald Gorme Mor-Feuds with the 
Macleans and Macleods-Sir Donald, fourth Baronet 
-Sir Alexander's wife befl"Íends Prince Charles- 

ir James, pighth Baronet-Sir Alexander, ninth 
Baronet, created a peer of Ireland-Present Lord 
Macdonald-Macdonalds of Islay :Lnd Kintyre- 


Alexander of Islay's rebellions-Angus .Macdonald 
-Feud with Macleans-Sir James imprisoneù- 
His lands pass to the Cau
pbells-:Macdonalùs of 
Keppoch, or Clanranald of Lochaber - Disputes 
with the :Mackintoshes-The lIIacdonalds at CuI- 
Ioden--Clanranald :Macdonalds of Garmoran alld 
their offshoots-Battle of Kinloch-lochy or Blar- 
nan-leine-lIIacdonalds of Benbecula, BoisdaIe, 
Kinlochmoidart, Glellaladale- :Marshal .Macdonald, 
Duke of Tarentum - Macdonalds of Giellcoe- 
Macdonllells of Glengarry - Feud between the 
Glengarry !lIacdonalds and :Mackenzie of Kintail- 
General Sir James Macdonnell-Colonel Alexander 
Ranaldson Macdonnell, last specimen of a Highland 
Chief-Families descended from the :M"acdonnells 
of Glengarry-Strength of the Macdonalds-Cha- 
racteristic in the arms of the Coast-Gael. 
THE clans that come first in order in l\Ir 
Skene's classification are those whose pro- 
genitor is said by the genealogists to have 
been the fabulous Irish King Conn "of the 
hundred battles." They are mostly all located 
in the "\Vestern J slands and Highlands, and are 
said by Mr Skene to have been descended from 
the Gallgael, or Gaelic pirates or rovers, who 
are said to have been so called to distinguish 
them from the Norwegian and Danish Fingall 
and Dugall, or white and black strangers or 
rovers. 1\11' Skene advocates strongly the un- 
mixed Gaelic descent of these clans, as indeed 
he does of almost all the other clans. He 
endeavours to maintain that the whole of these 
western clans are of purely Pictish descent, not 
being mixed with even that of the Dalriadic 
Scots. "\Ve are inclined, however, to agree 
with ]\'[1' Smibert in thinking that the founders 
of these clans were to a large extent of Irish 
extraction, though clearly distinguishable from 
the primitive or Dalriadic Scots, and that from 
the time of the Scottish conquest they formed 
intimate relationships with the Northern Picts. 
" From whatever race," to quote the judicious 
remarks of :Mr Gregory, " whether Pictish or 
Scottish, the inhabitants of the Isles, in the 
reign of Kenneth l\IacAlpin, were derived, it 
is clear that the settlements and wars of the 
Scandinavians in the Hebrides, from the time 
of Harald Harfager to that of Olave the Reù, 
a period of upwards of two centuries, must 
have produeed a very considerable change in 
the population. As in all cases of conquest, 
this change must have been most perceptible 
in thf' higher ranks, owing to the natural ten- 
dency of invaders to secure their new posses- 
sions, where practicable, by matrimonial al- 
liances with the natives. That in the Heùridcs 



 


, 



132 


HISTORY OF THE HTGHLA
D CLANS. 


a mixture of the Celtic and I::3candinavian blood 
was thus effected at an early period seems 
highly probable, and by no means inconsistent 
with the ultimate prevalence of the Celtic lan- 
guage in the mixed race, as all history suffi- 
ciently demonstrates. These remarks regarding 
the p
pulation of the Isles apply equally to 
that of the adjacent mainland districts, which, 
lleing so accessible by numerous arms of the 
sea, could hardly be expected to preserve the 
blood of their inhabitants unmixed. The 
extent to which this mixture was carried is a 
more difficult question, and one whieh must 
be left in a great measure to conjecture; but, 
on the whole, the Celtic race appears to have 
predominated. It is of more importance to 
know which of the Seandinavian tribes it was 
that infused the greatest portion of northern 
1Il00d into the population of the Isles. The 
Irish annalists divide the pimtical bands, 
which, in the ninth and following centuries 
infested Ireland, into two great tribes, styled 
hy these writers Fiongall, or white foreigners, 
and DnMgall, or black foreigners. These are 
believed to represent, the former the N 01'- 
wegians,. the latter the Danes; and the dis- 
tinction in the names given to them is supposed 
to have arisen from a diversity, either in their 
c10thing or in the sails of their vessels. These 
tribes had generally separate leaders; but they 
,vere occasionally united under one king; and 
although both bent first on ravaging the Irish 
shores, and afterwards on seizing portions of 
the Irish territories, they frequently turned 
their arms against each other. The Gaelic title 
of Righ Fhiongftll, or King of the Fiongall, so 
frequently applied to the Lords of the Isles, 
Sf>ems to prove that Olave the Red, from whom 
they were descencled in the female line, was so 
styled, and that, consequently, his subjec.ts in 
the Isles, in so far as they were not Celtic, 
were Fiongall or Norwegians. It has been re- 
marked by one writer, whose opinion is entitled 
to weight, ã that the names of places in the 
exterior Hebrides, or the Long Island, derived 
from the Scandinavian tongue, rescmble the 
names of places in Orkney, Shetland, and 
Caithness. On the other hand, thf' corre- 
sponding names in the interior Hebrides are 


1\ Chalmers' Caledonia. vol. i. p. 2Gf3. 


in a different dialect, resembling that of which 
the traces are to be found in the topography 
of Sutherland; and appear to have been im- 
posed at a later period than the first mentioned 
names. The probability is, however, that the 
difference alludell to is not greater than might 
be expected in the language of two branches 
of the same race, aftp,r a certain interval; and 
that the Scandinavian population of the He- 
brides was, therefore, derived from two succes- 
sive Norwegian colonies. This view is furthe'" 
confirmed by the fact that the Hebrides, 
although long subject to K orway, do not 
appear to l1ave ever formed part of the posses- 
sions of the Danes." 6 
As by far the most important, and at one 
time most extensive and powerfúl, of these 
western clans, is that of the Macdonalds, and 
as this, as well as many other clans, according 
to some authOl'ities, can clearly trace their 
ancestry back to Somerled, the progenitor of 
the once powerful Lords of the Isles, it may 
not be out of place to give here a short sum. 
mary of the history of these magnates. 
The origin of Somerled, the undoubted 
founder of the noble race of the Island Lords, 
is, aecording to }\Ir Gregory, involved in con- 
siderable obscurity. Assuming that the clan 
governed by Somerled formed part of the great 
tribe of Gallgael, it follows that the inde- 
pendent kings of the latter must in all pro- 
bability have been his ancestors, and should 
therefore be found in the old genealogies of his 
family. But this scarcely appears to be the 
ease. The last king of the Gallgael was 
Suibne, the son of Kenneth, who died in the 
year 1034; and, according to the manuscript 
of 1450, an ancestor of Somerleù, contemporary 
with this petty monarch, bore the same name, 
from which it may be presumed that the person 
referred to in the genealogy and the manuscript 
is OIle anù the same individual. The latter, 
however, calls Suibne's father Nialgusa; and in 
the genealogy there is no mention whatever of 
a Kenneth. But from the old Scottish writers 
we learn that at this time theré was a Kenneth, 
whom they call Thane of the Isles, and that one 
of the northern mormaors also bore the same 
name, although it is not very easy to say what 


6 IV estern Highlands, p. ï. 



SO:\IERLED AND THORFIN.N. 


133 


precise claim either had to be consiùered as 
the father of Suibne. There is also a further 
discrepancy observable in the earlier part of 
the Macdonald genealogies, as compareù with 
the manuseript; and besides, the latter, with- 
out making any mention of these supposed 
kings, deviates into the misty region of Irish 
heroic fable and romance. At this point, in- 
deed, there is a complete divergence, if not 
contrariety, between the history as contained in 
the Irish Annals, and the genealogy developed 
in the manuseriut; for, whilst the latter men- 
tions the Gallgael under their leaders as far 
I baek as the year 856, the former connect 
8uibne, by a different genealogy, with the 
kings of Ireland. The fables of the HigWand 
aud Irish Senuachies now beeame connected 
with the genuine history. The real descent of 
the chiefs was obscured or perplexeù by the 
Irish genealogies, and previously to the eleventh 
century neither these genealogies nor even that 
of the manuseript of 1450 can be considered 
as of any authority whatsoever. It seems 
somewhat rash, however, to conclude, as :Mr 
Skene has done, that the Siol-Cuinn, or de- 
scendants of Conn, were of native origin. This 
exceeds the warrant of the premises, which 
merely carry the difficulty a few removes 
backwarùs into the obscurity of time, and 
there leave the question in greater darkness 
than ever. 
From the death of Suibne till the acces- 
sion of Gillebride :Mac Gille Adomnan, the 
father of Somerleù, nothing whatever is known 
of the history of the clan. The latter, having 
been expelled from his possessions by the 
Lochlans and the Fingalls, took refuge in 
Ireland, where he persuaded the descendants 
of Colla to espouse his quarrel and assist him 
in an attempt to recover his possessions. Ac- 
cordingly, four or five hundred persons put 
themselves under his commaml, and at their 
heaù he returned to Alban, where he effected 
a landing; but the expedition, it would seem, 
proved unsuecessful. Somerlecl, the son of 
Gillebride, was, however, a man of a very 
different stamp. At first he lived retired, 
musing in solitude upon the ruined fortunes 
of his house. But when the time for action 
arri ved, he boldly put himself at the head of 
the inhabitants of )rorven; attacked the Nor- 


wegians, whom, after a considerable struggle, 
he expelled; made himself master of the whole 
of )Iorven, Lochaber, and northern Argyle; 
and not long afterwards added. to his other 
possessions the southern districts of that 
country. In the year 1135, when David J. 
expelled the K orwegians from "Jlall, Arran, 
and Eute, Somerled appears to have obtained 
a grant of those Islands from the king. But 
finrling himself still unable to contend with 
the Norwegians of the Isles, whose power re- 
mained unbroken, he resolved to recover by 
policy what he despaired of acquiring by force 
of arms; and, with this view, he succeeded in 
obtaining (about 11-10) the hand of Hagnhildis, 
the ùaughter of Olaf, surnamed the Red, who 
was then the Norwegian king of the Isles. 
This lady brought him three sons, namely, 
Dugall, Reginald, and Angus; anù, by a pre- 
vious marriage, he had one named Gillecallum. 
The prosperous fortunes of 80merled at length 
inflamed his ambition. lIe had already attained 
to great power in the Highlands, and success 
inspired him with the desire of extending it. 
His grandsons having formerly claimed the 
earldom of :Moray, their pretensions were now 
renewed, and this was followed by an attempt 
to put them in actual possession of their 
alleged inheritance. The attempt, however, 
failed. It had brought the 'J'egullls of Argyll 
into open rebellion against the king, and the 
war appears to have excited great alarm 
amongst the inhabitants of Scotland; but 
Somerleù, having eneountered a more vigorous 
opposition than he had anticipated, found it 
neeessary to return to the Isles, where the 
t
Trannical conduct of his brother-in-law, God- 
red, had irritated bis vassals and thrown 
everything into confusion. His presence gave 
confidenee to the party opposed to the tyrant, 
and Thorfinn, one of the most powerful uf the 
Norwegian nobles, resolved to depose Godred, 
and place another prince on the throne of the 
Isles. Somerled readily entered into the views 
of Thorfinn, anù it was arrallged that Dugall, 
the elùest son of the former, should oecupy tJw 
throne from which his maternal uncle wa
 to 
be displaeed. But the result of the projected 
deposition diù not answer the expectations of 
either party. Dugall was committed to the 
care of Thorfinn, who undertook to conduct 



134 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLANJ) CLANS. 


him through the Isles, and compel the chiefs I tinguished for the happy talent, rare at any 
not only to acknowledge him as their sovereign, period, of profiting by circumstances, am} 
but also to give hostages for their fidelity and making the most of success. In the battle of 
allegiance. The Lord of Skye, however, re- Renfrew his son Gillecallum perished by his 
fused to comply with this demand, and, having side. Tradition says that Gillecallulll left a 
fled to the Isle of :Man, apprised Godred of the son Somerled, who succeeded to his grand- 
intended revolution. Somerled followed with father's possessions in the mainland, which he 
eight galleys; and Godred having commanded held for upwards of half a century after the 
his ships to be got ready, a bloody but inde- latter's death. The existence of this second 
cisive battle ensued. It was fought on the Somerled, however, seems very doubtful al- 
night of the Epiphany; and as neither party though Mr Gregory believes that, besides the 
prevailed, the rival chiefs next morning entered three sons of his marriage with Olave the 
intoasortof compromise or convention, by which Red, Somerled had other sons, who seem to 
the sovereignty of the Isles was divided, and have shared with their brothers, according to 
two distinct principalities established. By this the then prevalent custom of gavelkind, the 
treaty Somerled acquired all the islands lying mainland possessions held by the Lord of Argyle; 
to the southward of the promolltory of Ardna- whilst the sons deseended of the House of 
murehan, whilst thuse to the northward re- Moray divided amongst them the South Isles 
mained in the possession of Godred. ceded by Godred in 1156. Dugall, the eldest 
Dut no sooner had he made this acquisition of these, got for his share, :Mull, ColI, Tiree, 
than he became involved in hostilities \, ith the and Jura; Reginald, the second son, obtained 
government. Having joined the powerful party Isla and Kintyre; and Angus, the third son, 
in Scotland, which had resolved to depose Bute. Arran is supposed to have been divided 
Maleolm IV., and place the boy of Egremont between the two latter. The Chronicle of 
'fan 
on the throne, he beg:m to infest various parts mentions a battle, in 1192, between Reginald 
of thp coast, and for sOllle time carried on a and Angus, in whieh the latter obtained the 
vexatious predatory warfare. The project, victory. He was killed, in 1210, with his 
however, failed; and )[alcolm, convinced that three sons, by the men of Skye, leaving no 
the existence of an independent chief was in- male issue. One of his sons, James, left a 
compatible with the interests of his government daughter and heiress, Jane, afterwards married 
and the maiutenance of public tranquillity, re- to Alexander, son and heir of "'\Valter, High 
quired of Somerled to resign his lands into the Steward of Scotland, who, in her right, clairnell 
hands of the sovereign, and to hold them in the i
le of Bute. 
future as a vassal of the crown. I:; 0 merlf'tl, Dugall, the eldest son of his father by the 
however, was little disposed to comply with second marriage, seems to .have possessed not 
this demanù, although the king was now pre- only a share of the Isles, but also the district 
paring to enforee it by means of a powerful of Lorn, which had been allotted as his share 
army. Emboldened by his previous suceesses, of the territories belonging to his ancestors. 
he resolved to anticipate the attack, aud having On his death, however, the Isles, instead of 
appeared in the Clyde with a considerable descending immediately to his children, were 
furce, he landed at Renfrew, where being met acquired by his brother Reginald, who in con- 
by the royal army under the command of the sequence assumed the title of King of the Isles, 
High Steward of Scotland, a battle ensued but, by the same law of succession, the death 
which ended in his defeat and death (1164). of Reginald restored to his nephews the in- 
This celebrate(l chief has been traditionally heritance of their father. Dugall left two 
.lescribed as "a well-tempered man, in body sons, Dugall Scrag and Dunean, who appear 
shapely, of a fair piercing eye, of middle in the northern Sagas, under the title of the 
stature, and of quick tliscernment." He ap- I Sndereyan Kings. They appear to have ac- 
pears, indeed, to have been equally brave and knowledged, at least nominally, the authority 
sagacious, tempering courage with prudence, of the Norwegian king of the Hebrides; but 
and, excepting in the last act of his life, dis- actually they maintained an almost entire in- 



KINGS OF THE ISLES. 


135 


dependence. Haco, the king of Norway, 
therefore came to the determination of re- 
d.ucing them to obedience and subjection, a 
design in which he proved completely success- 
ful. In a night attack the Norwegians defeated 
the Sudereyans, and took DugalI prisoner. 
Duncan was now the only member of his 
family who retained any power in the Sude- 
reys; but nuthing is known of his subsequent 
history except that he founded the priory of 
Ardchattan, in Lorn. He was succeelled by 
his son Ewen, who appears to have remained 
more faithful to the Norwegian kings than his 
predecessors had shown themselves; for, when 
solicited by Alexander II. to join him in an 
attempt he meditated to obtain possession of 
the \Vestern Isles, EW13n resisted all the pro- 
mises and entreaties of the king, and on this 
occasion preserved inviolate his allegiance to 
Haco. Alexander, it is well known, died in 
Kerreray (1249), when about to commence an 
attack upon the Isles, and was succeeded by 
his son Alexander III. ""11en the latter had 
attained majority, he resolved to renew the 
attempt which his father had begun, and with 
this view excited the Earl of Hoss, whose pos- 
sessions extended along the mainland opposite 
to the 
 orthern Isles, to commence hostilities 
against them. The earl willingly engaged in 
the enterprise, and having landed in Skye, 
ravaged the country, burned churches and 
villages, and put to death numbers of the 
inhabitants without distinction of age or sex. 
Haco soon appeared with a Norwegian force, 
and was joined by most of the Highland chiefs. 
But Ewen having altered his views, excused 
himf;elf from taking any part against the force 
sent by the Scottish king; and the unfortunate 
termination of Haco's expedition justified the 
prudence of this timely change. In the year 
1263 the Norwegians were completely defeated 
by the Scots at the battle of Largs; and the 
Isles were, in consequence of this event, finally 
ceded to the kings of Scotland. This event, 
however, rather increased than diminished the 
power of Ewen, who profited by his seasonable 
defection from the Norwegians, and was 
favoured by the government to which that 
defection had been useftù. But he died with- 
out any male issue to succeed him, leaving only 
two daughters, one of whom married the Nor- 


wegian king of Man, and the other, Alexander 
of the Isles, a descendant of Reginald. 
The conquest and partition of Argyle by 
Alexander II., and the subsequent annexation 
of the 'Yestern Islands to the kingdom of 
Scotland, under the reign of his successor, 
annihilated the power of the race of Conn as 
an independent tribe; and, from the failure of 
the male descendants of Dugall in the person 
of Ewen, had the effect of dividing the clan 
into three distinct branches, the heads of which 
held their lands of the crown. These were the 
clan Ruari or Rory, the clan Donald, and the 
clan Dugall, so called from three sons of Ranald 
or Reginald, the son of Somerled by Ragn- 
hildis, daughter of Olave. 
Of this Ranald or Reginald, but little com- 
paratively is known. According to the High- 
land custom of gavel, Somerled's property was 
dividf;d amongst all his sons; and in this 
division the portion which fell to the share of 
Reginald appear8 to have consisted of the island 
of Islay, with Kintyre, and part of Lorn on the 
mainland. Contemporary with Reginald therc 
was a Norwegian king of Man and the Isles, 
who, being called by the same name, is liable 
to be confounded with the head of the Siol 
Conn. Reginald, after the death of his brother 
Dugall, was designated as Lord, and sometimes 
even as King, of the Isles; 1 and he had like- 
wise the title of Lord of Argyle and Kintyre, 
in which last capacity he granted certain lands 
to an abbey that had been founded by himself 
at Sad del in Kintyre. But these titles did not 
descend to his children. He was succeeded by 
his eldest son R.oderick,8 who, on the conquest 
of Argyle, agreed to hold his lands of Rory, or 
the crown, and afterwards was commonly styled 


7 "Both Dugall and Rpginald were called Kings of 
the Isles at the same time that Reginald, the son of 
Godred the Black, was styled King of Man and the 
Isles; and in the next generation we find mention of 
these kings of the Isles of the race of Somerled exist- 
ing at one time. " The worrl king with the Norwegians 
therefure corresponds to :Maguate.-Gregory, 17. 
8 "The seniority of Roderick, son of Reginald, has 
n.:>t been universally admitted, some authors making 
Donald the elder by birth, But the point is of little 
moment, seeing that the direct and legitimate line of 
Uoderick, who, with his immediate progeny, held a 
large portion of the Isles, terminated in a female in 
the third generation, when the succession of the house 
of Somerled fell indisputably to the dEscendants of 
Donald, second granrlson of Somerled, and head of the 
entire and potent clan of the Macdonalds. "-Smibert, 
p.20. 



136 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


Lord of Kintyre. In this Roderick the blood 
of the Norwegian rovers seems to have revived 
in all its pristine purity. Preferring "the good 
oM way, the simple plan" to more peaceftù and 
honest pursuits, he became one of the most 
noted pirates of his day, and the annals of the 
period are filled with accounts of his predatory 
expeditions. But his sons, Dugall and .Allan, 
had the grace not to follow the vocation of 
their father, for which they do not seem to 
have eVlllced any predilection. Dugall having 
gi\ren important aid to Haco in his expedition 
against the "\Yestern Isles, obtained in conse- 
quence a considerable increase of territory, and 
died without descendants. Allan succeeded to 
the possessions of this branch of the race of 
Conn, and, upon the annexation of the Isle3 
to the crown of Scotland, transferred his alle- 
giance to Alexander III" along with the other 
chiefs of the Hebridés. 9 
Allan left one son, Roderick, of whom almost 
nothing is known, except that he was not con- 
sidered as legit.illlate by the feudal law, and in 
consequence was succeeded in his lordship of 
Garmoran by his daughter Christina. Yet the 
custom or law of the Highlands, according to 
which his legitimacy could 'moult no feather,' 
had still sufficient force amongst the people to 
induce the daughter to legalise her father's 
possession of the lands by a formal resignation 
and reconveyance; a circumstance which shows 
how deeply it had taken root in the habits anrl 
the opinions of the people. Roderick, how- 
ever, incurred the penalty of forfeiture during 
the reign of Robert Bruce, "probably," as 1\11' 
Skene thinks, "from some connection with the 
Soul is conspiracy of 1320;" but his lands were 
restored to his SOIl Ranald by David II. 
Ranald, however, did not long enjoy his ex- 
tensive possessions. Holding of the Earl of 
Ross some lands in Korth Argyle, he unhappily 
became embroiled with that powerful chief, and 
a bitter feud, engendered by proximity, arose 
between them. In that age the spirit of hos- 
tility seldom remained long inactive. In 134(3, 
IJavid II. having summoned the barons of 

cotland to meet him at Perth, Ranald, like 


\I In the list of the Barons who assembled at Scone 
in 1284 to decJare ::\largaret, the .Maid of Norway 
heiress to the crown, he appears under the name of 
Allangus filius Rodericl. 


the others, obeyed the call, and having made 
his appearance, attended by a considmable 
body of men, took up his quarters at the 
monastery of Elcho, a few miles distant from 
the Fair City. To the Earl of Ross, who was 
also with the army, this seemed a favourable 
opportunity for revenging himself on his enemy; 
and accordingly having surprised and entered 
the monastery in the middle of the night, he 
slew Ranald and seven of his followers. By 
the death of Ranald, the male descendants of 
Roderick became extinct; and John of the 
Isles, the chief of the Clan Donald, who had 
married Amy, the only sister of Ranald, now 
claimed the succession to that principality. 


THE MACDONAJ
DS OR CLAN DONALD. 


t, 


-'\".", 


, 
",'I 




 


., 



 ,.... 


(' 


. " 


J. .-':'" - " 

- ..
,-:
 
1_
 =. 


..... 


..... 


1 



 


? 


Ð\lb-
1f, ,
, 


.., 

 
 

 1&' 
 
. 


BADGE.-ITf'ath. 


The Clan Donald clerive their origin from a 
son of Reginald, who appears to have inherited 
South Kintyre, and the island of Islay; but 
little is known of their history until the an- 
nexation of the Isles to the crown in the year 
1266. According to Highland traditlon,Donaid 
made a pilgrimage to Rome to do penance, and 
obtain absolution for the various enormities of 
his former life; and, on his return, evinced his 
gratitude and piety by making grants of land 
to the monastery of Salhlel, and other religious 
houses in ScotlaI1l1. He was succeeded by his 
son, Angus J\Ior, who, on the arrival of Haco 
with his fleet, imme(liately joined the Nor- 
wegian king, and assisted him during t.he 
whole of the expedition; yet. when a treaty 
of peace was afterwards concluded betweüJl the 
kings uf Norway and Scotland, he does not 
appear to have suffered in consequence of the 



- 


ANGUS 
IACDONALD. 


131 


part which he took in that enterprise. In the 
year 1284 he appeared at the convention, by 
I which the :\faid of Norway was declared heiress 
of the crown, and obtained as the price of his 
support on that occasion a grant of Ardna- 
murchan, a part of the earldom of Garmoran,l 
and the confirmation of his father's and granù- 
, father's grants to the monastery of Saddel. 
Angus left two sons, Alexander and Angus 
Og (i.e, the younger). Alexander, by a mar- 
riage with one of the daughters of Ewen of 
Ergadia, acquired a considerable aùdition to 
his possessions; but having joined the Lord of 
Lorn in his opposition to the claims of Robert 
Bruce, he became involved in the ruin of that 
chief; and being obliged to surrender to the 
king, he was imprisoned in Dundonald Castle, 
where he died. His whole possessions were 
forfeited, and given to his brother, Angus Og, 
who, having attached himself to the party of 
Bruce, and remained faithful in the hour of 
adversity, now received the reward of his 
fidelity and devotion. Angus assisted in 
the attack upon Carrick, when the king 
recovered "his father's hall;" and he was 
present at Bannoekburn, where, at the head of 
I his clan, he formed the reserve, and did battle 
"stalwart and stout," on that never-to-be-for- 
I gotten day. Bruce, having at length réaped 
the reward of all his toils and dangers, and 
secured the independence of Scotland, was 
not unmindful of those who had participated 
I m the struggle thus victoriously consummated. 
Accordingly, he bestowed upon Angus the 
lordship of Lochaber, which had belonged to 
the Comyns, together with the lands of DUr- 
rour and Glencoe, and the islalllis of Mull, 
Tyree, &c., which had formed part of the pos- 
8essions of the family of Lorn. Prudence might 
have restrained the royal bounty. The family 
of the Isles were already too powerful for sub- 
jects; but the king, secure of the attachment 
I and fidelity of Angus, contented himself with 
making the perm i 3sion to erect a castle or 
fort at Tarbat in Kintyre, a condition of the 
grants which he had made. This distinguished 
chief died early in the fourteenth century, 
leaving two sons, John his successor, and 


1 "The Lordship of Gar1'noran (also called Garbh- 
chrioch) comprehends the districts of Moidart, Arisaig, 
Moral', and Klloydart."-Grcgory, p. 27. 
II. 


John Og, the ancestor of the .i\Iacdollalds of 
G lencoe. 
Angus, as we have already seen, had all his 
life been a steady friend to the crown, and had 
profited by his fidelity. But his son John does 
not seem to have inherited the loyalty along 
with the power, dignities, and possessions of 
his father. Having had some llispute with the 
Regent conceming certain lands which had been 
granted by Bruce, he joined the party of Eùwanl 
Baliol and the English king; and, by a formal 
treaty concluded on the 12th of December 1335, 
and confirmed by Edward Ill. on the 5th October 
1336, engaged to support the pretensions of the 
former, in consideration of a grant of the lands 
and islands claimed by the Earl of Moray, be- 
sides certain other advantages. But all the 
intrigues of Eùward were battled; Scotland was 
entirely freed from the dominion of the English; 
and, in the year 1341, David II. was recalled 
from France to assume the undisputed sove- 
reignty of his native country. Upon his 
accession to the throne, David, anxious to 
attach to his party the most powerful of the 
Scottish barons, concluded a treaty with J 0hn 
of the Isles, who, in consequence, pleLlged him- 
self to support his government. But a circum- 
stance soon afterwards occurred which threw 
him once more into the interest of Balio1 and 
the English party. In 1346, Ranald of the 
Isles having been slain at Perth by the Earl of 
Ross, as already mentioned, John, who had 
married his sister Amy, immediately laid claim 
to the succession. The government, huwever, 
unwilling to aggrandise a chief already too 
powerful, determined to oppose indirectly his 
pretensions, and evade the recognition of his 
claim. It is unnecessary to detail the pretexts 
employed, or the obstacles which were raised 
by the government. Their effect was to restore 
to the party of Baliol one of its mo
t powerful 
adherents, and to enable John in the mean- 
while to concentrate in his own person nearly 
all the possessions of his ancestor Somerled. 
But ere long a most remarkable change 
took place in the character and position of 
the different parties or factions, which at 
that time divided Scotland. The king of 
Scotland now appeared in the extraordinary 
and unnatural character of a mere tool 
or partisan of Ed wal'll, and even seconded 
s 



138 


II 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


covertly the endeavours of the English king to 
overturn the independence of Scotland. Its 
effect was to throw into active opposition the 
part) which had hitherto supportcd the throne 
and the cause of independence; and, on the 
other hand, to secme to the enemies of both 
the favour and countenance of the king. But 
as soon as by this interchange the English 
party became identified with the royal faction, 
John of the Isles abandoned it, and formed a 
connection with that party to which he had for 
many years been openly opposed. At the head 
of the national party was the Steward of Scot- 
land, who, being desirous of strengthening 
himself by alliances with the more powerful 
barons, hailed the accession of John to his in- 
terests as an extraordinary piece of good fortune, 
and cemented thcir union by giving to the Lord 
of the Isles his own daughter in marriage. The 
real aim of this policy was not for a moment 
misunderstood; but any open manifestation of 
force was at first cautiously ayoided. At 
length, in 1366, when the heavy burdens 
imposed upon the people to raise the ransom 
of the king had produced general discontent, 
and David's jealousy of the Steward had dis- 
played itself by throwing into prÏ!:;on the 
acknowledged successor to the throne, the 
northern barons broke out into open rebellion, 
and refused either to pay the tax imposed, or 
to obey the king's summons to attend the par- 
liament. 
In this state matters remained for some time, 
when David applied to the Steward, as the only 
person capable of restoring peace to the country, 
and, at the same time, commissioned him to put 
down the rebellion. The latter, satisfied that 
his objects would be more effectually forwarded 
by steady opposition to the court than by 
avoweùly taking part with the insurgents, 
accepted the commission, and employed every 
means in his power to reduce the refractory 
barons to obedience. His efforts, however, 
were only partially successfnl. The Earls of 
:Mar and Ross, and other northern barons 
whose object was now attained, at once laid 
down their arms; John of Lorn and Gillespie 
Campbell likewise gave in their submission; 
but the Lord of the Isles, secure in the dis- 
tance and inaccessible nature of his territories 
refused to yielù, and: in fact, set the royai 


I 


power at defiance. The course of events, 
however, soon enabled David to bring this 
refractory subject to terms. Edward, finding 
that France required his undivided attention, 
was not in a condition to prosecute his am- 
bitious projects against Scotland; a peace was 
accordingly concluded between the rival coun- 
tries; and David thus found himself at liberty 
to turn his whole force against the Isles. "\Vith 
this view he commanded the attendance of the 
Steward and other barons of the realm, and 
resolved to proceed in person against the re- 
bels. But the Steward, perceiving that the 
continuance of the rebellion might prove fatal 
to his party, prevailed with his son-in-law to 
meet the king at Inverness, where an agree- 
ment was enttred into, b.r which the Lord of 
the Isles not only engaged to submit to the 
ruyal authority, and pay his share of all public 
burdens, but further promised to put down all 
others who sholùd attempt to resist either; 
and, besides his own oath, he gave hostages to 
the king for the fulfilment of this obligation. 
The accession of Robert Steward or Stewart to 
the throne of Scotland, which took place in 
1371, shortly after this act of submission, brough t 
the Lord of the Isles into close connection 
with the court; and during the whole of this 
reign he remained in as perfect tranquillit
., 
and gave as loyal support to the government 
as his father Angus had done under that of 
King Robert Bruce. 2 In those barbarous and 
unsettled times, the governmcnt was not always 
in a condition to reduce its refractory vassals 
by force; and, from the frequent changes an (1 
revolutions to which it was exposed, joined to 
its general weaknef':s, the penalty of forfeiture 
was but little dreaded. Its true policy, there- 
fore, was to endeavour to bind to its interests, 
by the ties of friendship and alliance, those 
turbulent chiefs whom it was always difficult 
and often impossible to reduce to obedience 
by the means commonly employed for that 
purpose. 
The advice which King Robert Bruce hall 
left for the guidance of his successors, in regard 
to the Lords of the Isles, was certainly dictated 



 The properties of Moidart, Arisaig, 1Iforar, and 
Knoidart, on the mainland, and the isles of Uist, 
Barra, Rum, Egg, and Harris, were assigned and con- 
firmed to him and his heirs by charter dated at Scone 
March 9, 13ïI-2. 




 
is known of the history of John, 
 III 
posed to have died about the year 1380. 
During the remainder of this king's reign, 
and the greater part of that of his successor, 
I
obel't III., no collision seems to have taken 
place between the insular chiefs and the general 
government; and hence littlc ornothingis knowll 
of their proceedings. nut when the dissensions 
of the Scottish barons, occasioned by the mar- 
riage of the Duke of Rothesay, and the subse- 
quent departure of the Earl of March to the 
English court, led to a renewal of the wars be- 
tween the two countries, and the invasion of 
Bcotland by an English army, the insular chiefs 
appear to have renewed their intercourse with 
England; being more swayed by considerations 
of interest or policy, than by the ties of rela- 
tionship to the royal family of Scotland. At 
this time the clan was divided into two 
branches, the heaùs of which seeme<l to have 
possessed co-ordinate rank and authority. 
Godfrey, the eldest surviving son of the first 
marriage, ruled on the mainland, as lord of 
GarIDoran and Lochaber; Donald, the eldest 
son of the second marriage, held a considerable 
territory of the crown, then known as the feu- 
dallordship of the Isles; whilst the younger 
brothers, having received the provisions usually 
allotted by the law of gavpl, held these as vas- 
sals either of Godfrey or of Donald. This 
temporary equipoise was, however, soon diR- 
turbed by the marriage of Donald with Mary, 
the sister of Alexander Earl of Hoss, in conse- 
quence of which alliance he ultimately SHC 
ceeded in obtaining possession of the earldom, 
Euphemia, only child of Alexander, Earl of 
Ross, entered a convent and became a nun, 
having previously committed the charge of the 
earldom to her grandfather, Albany. Donald, 
however, lost no time in preferring his claim to 
the succession in right of his wife, the conse- 
sequences of which have already been narrated 
in detail. 3 Donald, with a considerable force, 
invaded Ross, and met with little or no resist- 
ance from the people till he reached Dingwall, 
where he was encountered by Angus Dhu :Mac- 
kay, at the head of a considerable body of men 
from Sutherland, whom, after a fierce conflict., 
he completely defeated and made their leallcr 


THE MACDON ALDS. 


by sound political wisdom. He foresaw the 
danger which would result to the crown were 
the extensive territories and consequent in- 
fluence of these insular chiefs ever again to be 
concentrated in the person of one individual; 
and he earnestly recommende1 to those who 
should come after him never, under any cir- 
cumstance
, to permit or to sanction such 
aggrandisement. But, in the present instance, 
the claims of John were too great to be over- 
looked; and though Robert Stewart could 
scarcely have been insensible of the eventual 
danger which might result from disregarding 
the admonition of Bruce, yet he had not been 
more than a year on the throne when he 
granted to his son-in-law a feudal title to all 
those lands which had formerly belonged to 
Ranald the son of Roderick, and thus conferred 
on him a boon which had often been demanded 
in vain by his predecessors. King Hobert, 
however, since he could not with propriety 
obstruct the accumulation of so much property 
in one house, attempted to sow the seeds of 
future disLOrd by bringing about a division of 
the pr0perty amongst the different branches of 
the family. \Yith this view he persuaded 
John, who had been twice married, not only 
to gavel the lands amongst his offspring, which 
was the usual practice of his family, but also 
to render the children of both maniages 
I feudally independent of one another. Ac- 
I cordingly King Robert, in the third year of 
his reign, confirmed a charter granted by John 
to Reginald, the second son of the first mar- 
riage, by which the lands of Garmoran, form- 
ing the dowry of Reginald's mother, were to 
be held of John's heirs; that is, of the 
descendants of the eldest son of the first mar- 
riage, who would, of comse, succeed to all his 
possessions that had not been feudally destined 
or devised to other parties. N or was this all. 
A short time afterwards John resigned into 
the king's hands nearly the whole of the 
western portion of his territories, and received 
fl'Olll Robert charters of these lands in favour 
of himself and the issue of his marriage with 
the king's daughter; so that the children of 
the second marriage were rendered feudally 
independent of those of the first, and the seeds 
úf future discord and contention effectually 
sown nctween them. After this period little 


3 For details, see vol. i., p. 69, et seq. 



140 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


prisoner. Leaying the district of noss, which 
now acknowledged his authority, he advanced 
at the head of his army, through Moray, 
and penetrated into A berJeenshire. Here, 
howeycr, a decisive check awaited him. On 
the 24th of July, IH 1, he was met at the 
village of Harlaw by the Earl of Mar, at 
the head of an army inferior in numbers, but 
composed of better materials; and a batHe 
ensued, upon the event of which seemed to 
dcpellll the decision of the question, whether 
the Celtic or the Sassenach part of the popula- 
tion of Scotland were in future to possess the 
supremacy. The immediate issue of the con- 
flict waR doubtful, and, as is usual in such 
cases, both parties claimed the victory. But 
the superior numbers and irregular valour of 
the Highland followers of Donald had received 
a severe check from the steaùy discipline and 
more effective arms of the Lowland gentry; 
they had been too roughly handled to think úf 
renewing the combat, for which their opponents 
seem to have been quite prepared; and, as in 
such circumstances a drawn battle was equi- 
yalent to a defeat, Donald was compelled, as 
the Americans say, "to advance backwards." 
The Duke of Albany, having obtained rein- 
forcements, marched in person to Dingwall; 
but Donald, having no desire to try again the 
fate of arms, retired with his followers to the 
Isles, leaving Albany in possession of the 
whole of Ross, where he remained during the 
winter. Next summer the war was renewed, 
and carried on with various success, until at 
length the insular chief found it necessary to 
('orne to terms with the duke, and a treaty was 
concluded hy which Donald agreed to abandon 
his claim to the earldom of Ross, and to become 
a vassal of the crown of Scotland. 
The vigour of Albany restored peace to the 
kingdom, and the remainder of his regency was 
not disturbed by any hostile attempt upon the 
part of Donald of the Isles. But when the 
reyenge of James I. had consummated the ruin 
of the family of Albany, Alexander, the son of 
Donald, succeeded, without any opposition, to 
the earldom of Ross, and thus rcalised one 
grand object of his father's ambition. At 
almost any other period the acquisition of 
such extensive territories would have given a 
decided and dangerous prcpondf'rance to the 


family of the Isles. The government of Scot- 
land, however, was then in the hands of a man 
who, by his ability, energy, and courage, 
proyed himself fully competent to control his 
turbulent nobles, and, if necessary, to destroy 
their power and influence. Distrustful, how- 
ever, of his aLility to reduce the northern 
barons to obedience by force of arms, he had 
recourse to stratagem; and having summoned 
them to attend a parliament at Inverness, 
whither he proceeded, attended by his prin- 
cipal nobility and a considerable body of 
troops, he there caused forty of them to be 
arrested as soon as they made their appear- 
ance. Alexander, Earl of Ross and Lord 
of the Isles, his mother the Countess of 
Ross, and Alexander 
IacGodfrey, of Gar- 
moran, were amongst the number of those 
arrested on this occasion. Along with several 
úthers, MacGodfrey was immediately executed, 
and his whole possessions forfeited to the crown, 
and the remainder were detained in captivity. 
By this bold stroke, James conceived that 
he had effectually snbdued the Highland 
chiefs j and, under this impression, he soon 
afterwards liberated Alexander of the Isles. 
But he seems to have forgotten that "vows 
made in pain," or at least in durance, Hare 
violent and void." The submission of the 
captive was merely feigned. As soon as he 
had recovereù his liberty, the Lord of the 
Isles flew to arms, with what disastrous re- 
sults to himself has already been told. 4 So 
vigorously did the king's officers follow up the 
victory, that the insular chief, finding con- 
cealment or escape equally impossible, was 
compelled to throw himself upon the royal 
clemency. He went to Edinburgh, and, on the 
occasion of a solemn festival celebrated in the 
chapel of Holyrood, on Easter Sunday 1429, the 
unfortunate chief, whose ancestors had treated 
with the crown on the footing of independent 
princes, appeared before the assembled court in 
his shirt and drawers, and implored on his 
knees, with a naked sword held by the point 
in his hand, the forgiveness of his offended 
monarch. Satisfied with this extraordinary 
act of humiliation, James granted the sup- 
pliant his life, and directed him to be forth- 
with imprisoned in Tantallon castle. 
4 See vol. i. p. 73. 



DONALD BALLOCH. 


141 


The spirit of clanship cOlùd not brook such 
a mortal affront. The cry for vengeance was 
raised; the strength of the clan was mustered; 
and Alexander had scarcely been two years in 
captivity when the Isles once more broke out 
into open insurrection. Under the command 
of Donald Balloch, the cousin of Alexander 
and chief of clan Ranald, the Islanders burst 
into Lochaber, where, having encountered an 
army which had been stationed in that country 
for the purpose of overawing the Highland
rs, 
they gained a complete victory. The king's 
troops were commanded by the Earls of l\Iar 
and Caithness, the latter of whom fell in the 
action, whilst the former saved with difficulty 
the remains of the discomfited force. Donald 
Balloch, however, did not follow up his victory, 
but having ravaged the adjacent districts, with- 
drewfirst to the Isles, and afterwards to Ireland. 
In this emergency James displayed his usual 
energy and activity. To repair the reverse 
sustained by his lieutenants, he proceeded in 
person to the .North; his expedition was at- 
tended with complete success; and he soon 
received the submission of all the chiefs who 
had been engaged in the rebellion. Not long 
aftel'\Yards he was presented with what was 
believed to be the head of Donald Balloch; 
"but," says l\Ir Gregory, "as Donald Ealloch 
certainly survived king James many years, it is 
obvious that the sending of the head to Edin- 
burgh was a stratagem devised by the crafty 
islander, in order to check further pursuit," 
The king, being thus successful, listened to the 
voice of clemency. He restored to liberty the 
prisoner of Tantallon, granted him a free par- 
don for his various acts of rebellion, confirmed 
to him all his titles and possessions, and further 
, conferred upon him the lordship of Lochaber, 
which, on its forfeiture, had been given to the 
Earl of Mar. The wisdom of this proceeding 
soon became apparent. Alexander could 
scarcely forget the humiliation he had un- 
dergone, and the imprisonment he had en- 
dured; and, in point of fact, he appears to 
have joined the Earls of Crawford and 
Douglas, who at that time headed the oppo- 
sition to the court; but during the remainder 
of his life the peace of the country was not 
I again disturbed by any rebellious proceedings 
on his part, and thus fal' the king reaped the 


reward of his clemency. Alexander died ítbout 
1447, leaving three sons, John, Hugh, and 
Celestine. · 
The opposition of Crawford, Douglas, and 
their associates had hitherto been chronic; 
but, on the death of Alexander, it broke out 
into active insurrection; and the new Lord of 
the Isles, as determined an opponent of the 
royal party as his father had been, seized the 
royal castles of Inverness, Urquhart, and 
Ruthven in Badenoch, at the same time de- 
claring himself independent. In thus raising 
the standard of rebellion, John of the Isles 
was secretly supported by the Ead of Douglas, 
and openly by the barons, who were attached 
to his party. But a series of fatalities soon 
extinguished this insurrection. Douglas was 
murdered ill Edinburgh Castle; Crawford was 
entirely defeated by Huntly; and John, by the 
rebellion of his son Angus, was doomed to 
experience, in his own territories, the same 
opposition which he had himself offered to the 
general government. Submission was, there- 
fore, inevitable. Having for several years 
maintained a species of independence, he was 
compelled to resign his lands into the hands 
of the king, and to consent to hold them as a 
vassal of the crown. This, however, was but 
a trifling matter compared with the rebellion 
of his son, which, fomented probably b
y the 
court, proved eventually the ruin of the prin- 
cipality of the Isles, after it had exi<;ted so 
long in a state of partial independence. 
Various circumstances are stated as having 
given rise to this "extraordiuary contest, al- 
though in none of these, probably, is the true 
cause to be found. It appears, however, that 
Angus Og,5 having been appointed his father's 


Ii "The authority of Mr Skene is usually to be re- 
ceived as of no common wpight, but the account 
given by him of this portion of the .Macdonald 
annals does not consist with unquestionable facts. 
As such, the statements in the national collections of 
Foedera (Treaties), and the Records of Parliament, 
ought certainly to be regarded; and a preference 
must be given to their testimony over the counter- 
assertions of ancient private annalists. Some of the 
latter parties seem to assert that John II., who had 
no children by Elizabeth Livingston (daughter of 
Lord Livingston), had yet" a natural son begotten of 
Marduffie of Colonsay's daughter, and Angus Og, his 
legitimate son, by the Earl of Angus's daughter." 
No mention of this Angus' marriage OCCUI'8 in anyone 
public document relating to the Lords of the Isles, or 
to the Douglases, then Earls of Angus. On the 
other hand, the acknowledged wife of John of the 



142 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLA
D CLANS. 


lieutenant and representative in all his posses- 
sions, took advantage of the station or office 
which was thus conferred on him, deprived 
his father of all authority, and got himself 
declared Lord of the Isles. How this was 
effected we know not; br t scarcely had he 
attained the object of his ambition, when 
he resolved to take signal vengeance upon 
the Earl of Athole, an inveterate enemy of his 
house, and, at the same time, to declare him- 
",elf altogether independent of the crown. 
'Yith this view, having collected a numerous 
army, he suddenly appeared before the castle 
of Inverness, and having been admitted by thE; 
governor, who had no suspicion whatever of 
his design, immediately proclaimed himself 
king of the Isles. He then invaded the 
district of Athole; stormed and took Blair 
Castle; and having seized the earl and coun- 
tess, carried them prisoners to Islay. The 
reason given by :Mr Gregory for Angus's 
cnmity against the Earl and Countess of 
Athole is, that the former having crossed over 
privately to Islay, carried off the infant son of 
Angus, called Donald Dllblt, or the Black, and 
committed him to the care of Argyle, his 
maternal graIll1father, who placed him in the 
Castle of Inchconnely, where he was detained 
for many years. :Mr Gregory places this event 
after the Battle of Bloody Bay. On his re- 
turn to the Isl{'s with the booty he had 
obtained, the marauder was overtaken by a 
violent tempest, in which the greater part of 
his galleys foundered. Heaven seenwd to de- 
clare against the spoiler, who had adùed sacri- 
lege to rapine by plundering and attempting 
to burn the chapel of St Bridget in Athole. 
Stricken with remorse for the crime he had 
committed, he released the earl and countess, 
and then sought to expiate his guilt by doing 


Isles, Elizabeth Livingston, was certainly alive in 
1475, at which date he, among other charges, is 
accused of makíng .. his bastard SOIl" a lieutenant to 
hi
 in .. insurrectionary convocations of the lieges j It 
and Angus could therefore come of no second mar- 
ri:,-g
. He indu
itably is the same party still more 
dlstmctly ßlnned m subsequent Parliamentary Records 
as .. Angus of the Isles, bastard son to umquhile John 
of the Isles." The attribution of noble and legitimate 
hirth to Angus took its origin, without doubt, in the 
circ?mstaI?-ce of 
ohn's want of children by marriage 
havmg . raIsed hIs natur:,-l son to a high degree of 
pO\wr In the clan, whICh the active character of 
.\ngus well fitted him to ust'! as he willed. It-Smibert's 
Clans pp. 23, 24. 


penance on the spot whcre it had been in- 
curred. 
As a proof of the sincerity of his repentance, 
this Angus Og next engaged in treason upon a 
larger scale. At the instigation of this hopeful 
son, his father, whom he had already deprived 
of all authority, now entered into a compact 
with the king of England and the Earl of 
Douglas, the object of which was nothing less 
than the entire subjugation of Scotland, and its 
partition amongst the contracting parties. By 
this treaty, which is dated the 18th of Feb- 
ruary 1462, the Lord of the Isles agreed, on 
the payment of a stipulated sum, to become 
the sworn ally of the king of England, and to 
assist that monarch, with the whole body of 
his retainers, in the wars in Ireland and else- 
where; and it was further provided, that in 
the event of the entire subjugation of Scotland, 
the whole of that kingdom, to the north of the 
Firth of Forth, should be equally divided be- 
tween Douglas, the Lord of the Isles, and 
Donald Balloch of Islay; whilst, on the other 
hand, Douglas was to be reinstated in posses- 
sion of those lands between the Forth and the 
English borders, from which he had, at this 
time, been excluded. Conquest, partition, and 
spoliation, were thus the objects contemplated 
in this extraordinary compact. Yet no pro- 
ceeding appears to have been taken, in conse- 
quence of the treaty, until the year 1473, 
when we find the Lord of the Isles again in 
arms against the government. He continued 
several years in open rebellion; but having 
recei ved little or no support from the other 
parties to the league, he was declared a traitor 
in a parliament held at Edinburgh in 1475, 
his estates were also confiscated, and the Earls 
of Crawford and Athole were directed to march 
against him at the head of a considerable force. 
The meditated blow was, however, averted by 
the timely interposition of his father, the 
Earl of Ross. By a seasonable grant of the 
lands of Knapdale, he secured the influence 
of the Earl of Argyll, and through the 
mediation of that nobleman, received a re- 
mission of his past offences, was reinstated in 
his hereditary possessions, which he had re- 
signed into the hands of the crown, and created 
a peer of parliament, by the title of the Lord of 
the Isles. The earldom of Ross, thf' lands of 



IJATTLE OF LAGERREAD. 


14-3 


Knapdale, and the sheritfðhips of Inverness and 
Nairn were, however, retained by the crown, 
apparently as the price of the remission granted 
to this doubly unfortunate man. 
But Angus Og was no party to this arrange- 
ment. He continued to defy t.he power of the 
government; and when the Earl of Athole was 
sent to tlie north to reinstate the Earl of Hoss 
in his remaininig possessions, he placed himself 
at the head of the clan, and prepared to give 
him battle. Athole was joined by the Mac- 
kenzies, Mackays, Frasers, and otlwrs; l)llt 
being met by Angus at a place called Lage- 
bread, he was defeatcù with great slaughter, 
and escaped with great difficulty from the HeM. 
The Earls of Crawford and Huntly were then 
sent against this desperate rebel, the one by 
sea and the other by land; but neither of them 
prevailed against the victorious insurgent. A 
third expedition, under the Earls of Argyll and 
Athole, accompanied by the father of the rebel 
and several families of the Isles, produced no 
result; anù the two earls, who scem to have had 
little taste for an encounter with Angus, re- 
turned without effecting anything. John the 
father, however, proceeded onwards through the 
Sound of Mull, accompanied by the l\Iacleans, 
1\Iacleods, l\Iacneills, and others, and having 
encountered Angus in a bay on the south side 
of the promontory of Arclnamurchan,6 a des- 
pm'ate combat ensueù, in which Angus was 
again -victorious, and his unfortunate parent 
overthrown. By the battle of the Bloody 
]Jay, as it is called in the traditions of the 
country, Angus oùtained possession of the ex- 
tensive territories of his clan, and, as " when 
treason prospers 'tis no longer treason," was 
recognised as its head. Angus, some time 
before 1490, when marching to attack Mac- 
kenzie of Kintail, was assassinated by an Irish 
harper. 7 
The rank of heir to the lordship of the 
Isles devolved on the nephew of John, Alex- 
ander of Lochalsh, son of his l)rother, Celestine. 
Placing himself at the head of the vassals of 
the Isles, he endeavoured, it is said, with 
John's consent, to recover possession of the 
earl.lom of Ross, and in 1491, at the head of a 


1\ Gn'gory (p. 52) says tbis combat was fought in a 
L..y in the Isle of 
lull, nenr Tobprmor,}". 
7 Sce GI'egory's IIighlands, p. 54. 


large body of western Highlanders, he advanced 
from Lochaber into TIaùenoch, where llC was 
joineù by the clan Chattan. They thenlllarchcd 
to Inverness, where, after taking tl]O royal 
castle, and placing a garrison in it, they pro- 
ceeded to the north-east, and plundercd the 
lands of Sir Alexander U rq uhart, sheriff of 
Cromarty. They next hastened to Strath- 
connan, for the purpose of ravaging the lands 
of the l\Jackenzies. The latter, however, sur- 
prised and routed the invaders, and expelled 
them from Ross, their leader, Alexander of 
Lochalsh, being wounded, and as some say, 
taken prisoner. In consequence of this in- 
surrection, at a meeting of the Estates in 
Edinburgh in :May 14Ð3, the title and posses- 
sions of the lord of the Isles were declared to 
ùe forfeitel1 to the crown. In January follow- 
ing the aged John appeared in the presence of 
the king, and made a voluntary surrender of 
his lordship, afi.er which hc appeal'S to have 
remained for some time in the king's house- 
hold, in the receipt of a pension. He finally 
retired to the monastery of Paisley, where he 
died about 14ÐB; anù was interred, at his own 
reqnest, in the tomb of his royal ancestor, 
Robert II. 8 
1Vith the view of reducing the insular 
chiefs to subjection, and establishing the royal 
authority in the Islands, James IV., soon after 
the forfeiture in 1493, proceeded in person to 
the vVest Highlands, when Alexander of Loch- 
alsh, the principal cause of the insurrection 
which had led to it, and John of Isla, grand- 
son and representative of Donald Balloch, 
were among the first to make their submission. 
On this occasion they appear to have obtained 
royal charters of the lands they had previously 
held under the Lord of the Isles, and were both 
knighted. In the following year the king 
visited the Isles twiee, and having seized and 
garrisoned the castle of Dunaverty in South 
Kinty
e, Sir John of Isla, deeply resenting this 
proceeding, collected his followers, stormed the 
castle, and hung the governor from the wall, in 
the sight of the king and his fleet. "\Vith four 
of his sons, he was soon aftcr apprehended at 
Isla, by Madan of Ardnamurchan, and being 
conveyed to Edinburgh, thpy were there exe- 
cuted for high treason. 
S Gregory, p. 
81. 


, 



144 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLAXS. 


In 14Ð5 King James assembleù an army at 
Glasgow, and on the 18th 
ray, he was at the 
castle of "Mingarry in Ardnamurchan, when 
I several of the Highland chiefs made their 
submission to him. In 14:97 Sir Alexander 
of Lochalsh again rebelled, and invading the 
more fertile districts of Ross, was by the 

Iackenzies and :Munroes, at a place called 
I Drumchatt, again defeated and driven out of 
Ross. Proceeding southward among the Isles, 
he endeavoured to rûuse tbe Islanders to arms 
in his behalf, but without success. He was 
surprised in the island of Oransay, by :Madan 
of Arùnamurchan, and put to death. 
In 1501, Donald Dubh, whom the islanders 
regarded as their rightful lord, awl who, from 
his infancy, had been detained in confinement 
in the castle of Inchconnell, escaped from 
prison, and appeared among his clansmen. 
They had alwaJTs maintained that he was the 
lawful son of Angus of the Isles, by his wife 
the Lady l\Iargaret Campbell, daughter of the 
first Earl of Argyll, but his legitimacy was 
denied by the govprnmpnt when the islanders 
combined to assert by arms his claims as their 
hereditary chief. His liberation he owed to 
the gallantry and fidelity of the men of 
Glencoe. Repairing to the isles of Lewis. 
he put himself under the protection of its lûrd, 
Torquil Macleod, who had married Katherine, 
another daughter of Argyll, and therefore sister 
of the lady whom the islanders believed to be 
his mother. A strong confederacy was formed 
in his favour, and about Christmas 1503 an 
irruption of the islanders and western clans, 
under Donald Dltbh, was made into Badenoch, 
which was plundered and wasted with fire and 
sword. To put down this formidable rebellion, 
the array of the whole kingdom north of :Forth 
and Clyde was called out; and the Earls of 
Argyll, Huntly, Crawford, and :Marischal, 
and Lord Lovat, with other powerful barons, 
were charged to lead this force against the 
i:-;landers. Rut two years elapsed before the 
insurrection was finally quelled. In 1505 the 
Isles were again invaded from the south by the 
king in person, and from the north by Huntly, 
who took several prisoners, but none of them 
I of Rny rank. In these various expeditions the 
fleet under the celenrated Sir 
\.ndrew ,y ood 
L 
'l Robclt Barton was employed against the 


islanders, and at length the insurgents were 
dispersed. Carniburg, a strong fort on a small 
isolated rock, near the west coast of Mtùl, in 
which they had taken refuge, was reduced; 
the 
Iacleans and the l\Iacleods submitted to 
the king, and Donald DuM, again made a pri- 
soner, was committed to the castle of Edinburgh, 
where he remained for nearly forty years. 
After this the great power formerly enjoyed 
by the Lords of the Isles was transferred to the 
Earls of Argyll and Huntly, the former having 
the chief rule in the south isles and adjacent 
coasts, while the influence of the latter pre- 
yailed in the north isles and Highlands. 
The children of Sir Alexander of Lochalsh, 
the nephew of John the fourth and last Lord of 
the Isles, had fallen into the hands of the king, 
and as they were all young, they appear to have 
been brought up in the royal household. 
Donald, the eldest son, called by the High- 
landers, Donald Galda, or the foreigner, from 
his early residence in the Lowlands, was al- I 
lowed to inherit his father's estates, and was 
frequently permitted to visit the Isles. He was 
with James IV. at the battle of Flodden, and 
appears to have been knighted under the royal 
banner on that disastrous fiehl. Two months 
after, in Kovember 1513, he raised another in- 
surrection in the Isles, and being joined by the 
:\Iacleods and :Macleans, was proclaimed Lord 
of the Isles. The numbers of his adherents 
(laily increased, nut in the course of 1515, 
the Earl of Argyll prevailed upon the insur- 
gents to submit to the regent. At this time 
Sir Donald appeared frequently before the 
council, relying on a safe-conduct, and his re- 
conciliation to the regent (John, Duke of 
Albany) was apparently 80 cordial that on 
24th September 151G, a summons was de- 
spatched to '"1\Ionsieur de Ylis,' to join the 
royal army, then about to proceed to the bor- 
ders. Ere long, however, he was again in open 
rebellion Early in 1517 he razed the castle of 

Iingarry to the grounrl, and ravaged the whole 
district of Ardnamurchan with fire and sword. 
His chief leaders now deserted him, and some 
of them determined on delivering him up to 
the l'egent. He, however, effected his escape, 
but his two brothers wer.e made prisoners by 
Maclean of Dowart and Macleod of Dun- 
vegan, who hastened to make their su b- 



DONALD GOR
IE OF SLEAT. 


145 


mission to the government. In the following I were at Knockfergus, in Ireland, with a force 
year, Sir Donald was enabled to revenge the of 4000 men and 180 galleys, when they took 
murder of his father on the l\1acIans of Ardna- the oath of allegiance to the king of England, 
murchan, having defeated and put to death at the command of I.ennox, while 4000 men 
their chief and two of his sons, with a great in arms were left to guard and defend the Isles 
number of his men. He was about to be for- in his absence. Donald's plenipotentiaries then 
fcited for high treason, when his death, which proceeded to the English court with letters 
took place a few weeks after his success against from him both to King Henry and his priv
' 
the .l\IacIans, brought the rebellion, w!1Ïch had council; by one of which it appears that the 
I lasted for upwards of five Jears, to a sudden Lord of the Isles had already received from the 
close. He was the last male of his family, and English monarch the sum of one thousand 
<lied without issue. crowns, and the promise of an annual pension 
In 1539, Donald Gorme of Sleat claimed the of two thousand. Soon after the Lord of the 
lordship of the Isles, as lawful heir male of Isles returned with his forces to Scotland, but 
John, Earl of Ross. 1Vith a considerable force appears to have returned to Ireland again with 
he passed over into Ross-shire, where, after Lennox. There he was attacked with ic\"('r, 
ravaging the district of Kinlochewe, he pro- and dierl at Drogheda, on his way to Dublin. 
ceeded to Kin tail, with the intention of SUI- \Vith him terminated the direct line of the 
prising the castle Eilandonan, at that time Lords of the Isles. 
almost without a garrison. Exposing himself All hopes of a desceI].dant of Somerled again 
rashly under the wall, he received a wound in governing the Isles \\ ere now at an end; and 
the foot from an arrow, which proved fatal. frem this yeriod the race of Conn, unable to 
In 1543, under the regency of the Earl of regain their former uni
ed power and conse- 
..Arran, Donald Dubh, the grandson of John, quence, were divided into various branches, 
last Lord of the Isles, again appeared upon the the aggregate strength of which was rendered 
scene. Escaping from his long imprisonment, unavailing for the purpose uf general aggran- I 
he was received with enthusiasm by the insular disement, bythejealousy, disunion, and rivalrJ, 
chiefs, and, with their assistance, he prepared which prevailed among themselves. 
to expel the Earls of Argyll and Huntly from After the forfeiture of the Lords of the Isles, 
their acquisitions in the Isles. At the head of and the. failure of the successive attempts which 
1800 men he invaded Argyll's territories, slew were made to retrieve their fortunes, different 
many of his vassals, and carried off a great clans occupied the extensive territories which 
quantity of cattle, with other plunder. At first had once acknowledged the sway of those insular 
he was supported by the Earl of Lennox, then princes. Of these some were clans, which, al- 
attached to the English interest, and thus re- though dependent upon the l\Iacdonalds, were 
mained for a time in the undisputed possession not of the same origin as the race of Conn; and, 
of the Isles. Through the influence of Lennox, with the exception of the l\Iacleods, l\1acleans, 
the islanders agreed to transfer their alliance and a few others, they strenuously opposed all 
from the Scottish to the English crown, and in the attempts which were made to effect the resto- 
I June 1545 a proclamation was i
sued by the ration of the family of the Isles, rightly calcu- 
rcgent Arran and his privy council against lating that the Buccess of such opposition would 
'Donald, alleging himself of the Isles, and tend to promote their own aggr:lndisement. 
other Highland men, his partakers.) On the Another class, again, were of the same origin 
I 28
h July of that ;rear, a commission was as the family of the Isles; but having branched 
I granted by Donald, 'Lord of the Isles, and off from the principal stem before the succes- 
Earl of Ross,' with the ad vice and consent of sion of the elder branches reverted to the clan, I 
Lis barons and council of the Isles, of whom in the person of John of the Isles, during the I 
seventeen are named, to two commissioners, for reign of David II., they now appeared as 
treating, under the (lirections of the Eall of separate clans. Amongst these were the :Mac- 
, Lennox, with the English king. On the 5th I alisters, the l\IacIans, and somé others. Thf' 
II of August, the lord and IJarons of the hIes }hcalisters, who are traced to AJistcr, a son of 
II. T 


t 



146 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHL
'\.!iD CLA
S. 


Angus Mol', inhabited the south of Knapdale 
and the north of Kintyre. Mter the forfp.iture 
of the Isles they became independent; but 
being exposed to the encroachments of the 
Campbells, their principal possessions were 
ere long absorbed by different branches of that 
powerful clan. Tho MacIans of Ardnamurchan 
were descended from John, a son of Angus 
1\101', to whom his father conveyed the pro- 
perty which he had obtained from the crown. 
The )[acdonalds of Glencoe are also J\IacIans, 
being descended from John ]'raoch, a son of 
Angus Og, Lord of the Isles; and hence their 
history is in no degree different from that of 
the othor branches of the J\1acdonalds. A 
third class consisted of the descendants of the 
different Lords of the Isles, who still professed 
to form one clan, although the subject of the 
representation of the race soon introduced great 
dissensions, and all adopted the generic name 
of Macdonald in preference to secondary or 

ollateral patronymics. 
\Ve shall now endeavour to give a short 
account of the different branches of the .l\1ac- 
donalds, from the time of the annexation of 
the Lorùship of the Isles to the crown ill 
1540. 
Since the extinction of the direct line of the 
family of the Isles, in the middle of the 16th 
century, Macdonald of Sleat, now Lord J\Iac- 
donald, has always been styled in Gaelic ltlac 
Dhonuill nan Eilean, or Macdonald of the 
Isles. 9 
As the claim of Lord J\Iacdonald, however, 
to this distinction has been keenly disputed, 
we shall here lay before the reader, as clearly 
as possible, the pretensions of the different 
claimants to the honour of the chiefship of the 
clan Donald, as these have been very fairly 
stated by Mr Skene. 
That the family of Sleat are the undoubted 
representatiyes of John, Earl of Ross, and the 
last Lord of the Isles, appears to be admitted 
on all sides; but, on the other hand, if the 
descendants of Donald, from whom the clan 
received its name, or even of John of tho Isles, 
who flourished in the reign of David II., are 
to be held as constituting one clan, then, 
according to the Highland principles of clan- 


II Gregory's Highlands, p. 61. 


ship, the jus sanguinis, or right of blood to the 
chiefship, rested in the male representative of 
John, whose own right was undoubted. By 
Amy, daughtoc of Roderick of the Isles, John 
had three sons,-John, Godfrey, and Ranald; 
but the last of these only left descendants; 
and it is from him that the Clan Ranald 
derive their origin. Again, by the daughter 
of Robert II. John had four Bons-Donald, 
Lord of the Isles, the ancestor of the 1\:Iac- 
donalds of Sleat; John Mol', from whom pro- 
ceeded the Macconnells of Kintyre; Alister, 
the progenitor of Keppoch; and Angus, who 
does not appear to have left any descendants. I 
That Amy, the daughter of Roderick, was 
John's legitimate wife, is proved, first, by a 
dispensation ,vhich the supreme Pontiff granted 
to John in the year 1337; and secondly, by a 
treaty concluded between John and David II. 
in 1369, when the hostages given to the king 
were a son of the second marriage, a grandson 
of the first, and a natural son. Besides, it is 
certain that the children of the first marriage 
were considered as John's feudal heirs; a cir- 
cumstance which clearly establishes their legi- 
timacy. It is true that Robert II., in pur- 
snance of the policy he had adopted, persuaded 
John to make the children of these ref::pective 
marriages feud ally independent of each other, 
and that the effect of this was to divide the 
possessions of his powerful vassals into two 
distinct and ind{'pendent lordships. These 
were, first, the lordship of Garmoran and 
Lochaber, which was held by the eldest son of 
the first marriage.-and secondly, that of the 
Isles, which passed to the eldest son of the 
second marriage; and matters appear to have 
remained in this state until 1427, when, as 
formerly mentioned, the Lord of narmoran was 
beheaded, and his estates were forfeiteù to the 
crown. James I., however, reversing the policy 
which had been pursued by his predecessor, 
concentrated tbe possessions of the 1\Iacdonalds 
in the person of the Lord of the Isles, and 
thus sought to restore to him aU the power 
and consequence which had originally belonged 
to his house; "but this arbitrary proceeding," 
says 1\[1' Skene, "could not deprive the de- 
scendants of the first marriage of the feudal 
representatíon of the chiefs of the clan Donald, 
which now, on the failure of thp issue of 



CLAN RAN ALD. 


147 


, Godfrey in the person of his son Alexander, I possessed that jus 8an[Juini.
 of which no usur- 
l10volved on the feudal representative of Regi- pation could deprive them. I::;uch arb the 
naId, the youngest son of that marriage." results of 1\11' Skene's researches upon this I 
The clan Hanald are believed to have de- subject. Latterly, the family of Glengarry 
lived their origin from this Reginald or Ranald, have claimed not only the chiefship of clan 
"ho was a son of John of the Isles, by Amy Ranald, but likewise that of the whole clan 
UacRory, and obtained from his father the Donald, as being the representative of Donald, 
i lordship of Garmoran, which he held as vassal the common ancestor of the clan; and it can 
I, of his brother Godfrey. That this lordship scarcely be denied that the same evidence 
I : continued in possession of the clan appears which makes good the one point must serve 
evident from the Parliamentary Records, in equally to establish the other. Nor does this 
1dÜch, under the date of 1587, mention is appear to be any new pretension. "\Vhen the 
made of the clan Ranald of Knoydart, 1Ioy- services rendered by this family to the house 
dart, and Glengarry. But considerable doubt of Stuart were rewarded by Charles II. with a 
1ms arisen, and there has been a good deal of peerage, the Glengarry of the time indicated 
controversy, as to the I'Ïght of cbiefship; his claim by assuming the title of Lord lilac.. 
whilst of the various fanlilies descended from dOllnell and Aros; and although, upon the 
I
anald each has put forward its claim to this failure of heirs male of his body, this title did 
distinction. On this knotty and ticklish point not descend to his successors, yet his lands 
we shall content ourselves with stating the formed, in consequence, the barony of Mac. 
cùnclusions at which Mr Skene arriVé(l 'after,' · donnell. 
as he informs us, 'a rigid examination' of the Donald Gorme, the claimant of the lordship 
whole subject in dispute. According to him, of the Isles mentioned above as having been 
the present family of Clanranald have no valid slain in 1539, left a grandson, a minor
 known 
title or pretension whatever, being descended as Donald ::\lacdonald Gormeson of Sleat. His 
from an illegitimate son of a second son of the title to the family estates was disputed by the 
old family of .Moydart, who, in 1531, assumed Macleods of Harris. He ra11ged himself on the 
the title of Captain of Clalll'anald; and, conse- side of Queen Mary when the disputes about 
quently, as long as the descendants of the her marriage began in 1565. He died in 1585, 
eldest son of that family remain, they can have and was succeeded by Donald Gorme l\Ior, 
no claim by right of blood to the chiefghip. fifth in descent from Hugh of Sleat. This 
He then proceeds to examine the question
- Donald Gorme proved himself to be a man of 
"Tho was the chief previous to this assumption superior abilities, and was favoured highly by 
of the captaincy of Clanranald 
 and, from a James YI., to whom he did important service 
I genealogical induction of particulars, he con- in maintaining the peace of the Isles. "From 
I eludes that Donald, the progenitor of the this perioù, it may be observed, the family 
family of Glengarry, was the eldest son of the were loyal to the crown, and firm supporters 
Heginald or Ranald above-mentioned; that of the national constitution and laws; and it 
from J ùIm, the eldest son of Donald, pro- is also worthy of notice that nearly all the 
ceeùeù the senior branch of this family, in clans attached to the old Lords of the Isles, on 
which the chiefship was vbsted; that, in con- the failure of the more direct line in the person 
sequence of the grant of Garmoran to theLOl'd of of John, transferred their warmest affections to 
the Isles, and other adverse circum
tances, they those royal Stuarts, whose throne they had 
lJecame so much reùuced that the oldest caùet before so often and so alarmingly shaken. 
obtained the actual chiefship, unùer the ordi- This circumstance, as all men know, becamë 
llary title of captain; and that. on the extinc- strikingly apparent when misfortune fell heavily 
tion of this branch in the beginning of the in turn on the Stuarts." 1 
seventeenth century, the family of Glengarry Donald Gorme Mor, soon after succeeding 
descended from Alister, second son of Donald, his father, found himself involved in a deadly 
became the legal representatives of Ranald, the 
common ancestor of the clan, and consequently 1 Smibert's Clans, p. 25. 



148 


H
STORY OF THE HIGHLAXn CLANS. 


feud with the l\Iacleans of Dowart, which 
raged to such an extent as to lead to the 
interference of government, and to the pass- 
ing in 1587 of an act of parliament, com- 
monly called "The general Bond" or Band 
for maintaining good order both on the borders 
and in the HigWands and Isles. By this act, 
it was made imperative on all landlords, bailies, 
and chiefs of clans, to find sureties for th e 
peaceable behaviour of those under them. The 
contentions, however, between the Macdonalds 
and the )Iacleans continued, and in 1589, with 
the view of putting an end to them, the king 
and council adopted the following plan. After 
remissions under the privy seal had bef'n 
granted to Donald Gorme of Sleat, his kins- 
man, Macdonald of Islay, the princip
l in the 
feud, and Maclean of Dowart, for all crimes 
committed by them, they were induced to 
proceed to Edinburgh, under pretence of con- 
sulting with the king and council for the good 
rule of the country, but immediately on their 
arrival they were seized and imprisoned in 
the castle. In the summer of 1591, they 
were set at linerty, on paying each a fine to the 
king, that imposed on Sleat beingÆ4,000, under 
the name of arrears of feu-duties and crown- 
rents in the Isles, and finding security for 
their future obedience and the performance of 
certain prescribed conditions. They also bound 
themselves to return to their confinement in 
the castle of Edinburgh, wbenever they should 
be summoned, on twenty days' warning. In 
consequence of their not fulfilling the con- 
ditions imposed upon them, and their con- 
tinuing in opposition to the government, their 
pardons were recalled, and the three island 
chief.", were cited before the privy council on 
the 14h July 1593, when, failing to appear, 
summonses of treason were executetl against 
them awl certain of their associates. 
In 1601, the chief of Sleat again brought 
upon himself and his clan the interference of 
government by a feud with Macleod of Dun- 
vegan, which led to much bloodshed and great 
misery and distress among their followers and 
their families. J Ie had married a sister of 
Macleod; but, from jealousy or some other 
C,lUf::e, he put her away, and refused at her 
brother's request to take her back. Havin? 
procureù a divorce, he soon after married a I 


sister of Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail. 
Macleod immediately assembled his clan, and 
carried fire and sword through :Macdonald's 
district of Trotternish. The latter, in revenge, 
invaded Harris, and laid waste that island, 
killing many of the inhabitants, and carrying 
off their cattle. " These spoliations and incur- 
sions were carried on with so much inveteracy, 
that both clans were brought to the brink of 
ruin; and many of the natives of the districts 
thus devastated were forced to sustain them- 
selves by killing and eating their horses, dogs, 
and cats." The l'Iacdonalds having invaded 
l\Iacleod's lands in Skye, a battle took place 
on the mountain Benqllillin between them 
and the l\Iacleods, when the latter, under 
Alexander, the brother of their chief, were 
defeated with great loss, and their leader, with 
thirty of their clan, taken captive. A recon- 
ciliation was at length effected between them 
by the mediêltion of l\lacdonald of Islay, l\Iae- 
lean of ColI, and other friends; when the 
prisoners taken at Benquillin were released. S 
In 1608, we find Donald Gorme of Sleat- 
one of the Island chiefs who attended the 
court of Lorrl Ochiltree, the king's lieutenant, 
at Aros in ::\Iull, when he was sent there for 
the settlement of order in the Isles, and who 
afterwards accepted his invitation to dinner 
on board the king's ship, called the l\Ioon. 
"Then dinner was entled, Ochiltree told the 
astonished chiefs that they were his prisoners 
by the king's order; anù weighing anchor he 
sailed direct to A":JT, whence he proceeded I 
with his prisoners to Edinburgh and pre- 
sented them before the privy council, by,;-hose 
order they were placed in the castles of 
Dumbarton, Dlackness, and Stirling. Peti- 
tions were immediately presented by the 
Ünprisoned chiefs to the council submitting , 
themselves to the king's pleasure, and making 
many offers in order to l'rocnre their liberation. 
In the following year the bishop of the Isles 
was deputed as sole commis
ioner to visit and 
survey the Isles, anù all the chiefs in prison 
were set at liberty, 011 finding security to a 
large amount, not only for their return to 
E,linburgh by a certain fixed tlay, but for 
their active concurrence, in the meantime; 



 Gregory's Highlands, p. 
Hï. 


___I 



149 


DONALD GORME OF SLEAT. 


with the lJi:;hop in making the proposed survey. 
Donald Gorme of Sleat was one of the twelve 
chiefs and gentlemen of the Isles, who met 
the bishop at Iona, in July 1609, and sub- 
mitted themselves to him, as the king's re- 
presentative. At a court then held by the 
bishop, the nine celebrated statutes called the 
" Statutes of Icolmkill," for the improvement 
and order of the Isles, were enacted, with 
the consent of the assembled chiefs, and their 
bonds aud oaths given for the obedience thereto 
of their clansmen. 3 
In 1616, after the suppression of the re- 
bellion of the Clanranald in the South Isles, 
certain very stringent conditions were imposed 
by the privy council on the different Island 
chiefs. Among these were, that they were to 
take home-farms into their own hands, which 
they were to cultivate, "to the effect that they 
might be thereby exercised and eschew idle- 
ness," and that they were not to use in their 
houses more than a certain quantity of wine 
respectively. Donald Gorme of Sleat, having 
been prevented by sickness from attending 
the council with the other chiefs, ratified all 
their proceedings, and found the req uired 
suretif's, by a bond dated in the month of 
August. He named Duntulm, a castle of his 
family in Trotternish, Skye, as his residence, 
when six household gentlemen, and an annual 
consumption of four tun of wine, were allowed 
to him; and he was once-a-year to exhibit to 
the council three of his principal kinsmen. 
He died the same year, without issue, and was 
I succeeded by his nephew, Donald Gorille Mac- 
donald of Sleat. 
On July 14th 1625, after having concluded, 
in an amicable manner, an his disputes with 
the :Macleods of Harris, and another controversy 
in which he was engaged with the captain 
of Clanranald, he was created a baronet of 
Nova Scotia by Charles I., with a special 
clause of precedency placing him second of 
that order in Scotland. He adhered to the 
cause of that monarch, but died in 1643. He 
had married Janet, commonly called "fair 
Janet," second daughter of Kenneth, first Lord 
:\Iackenzie of Kintail, by whom he had several 
chililren. His eldest son, Sir James M ac- 


3 Gregory s Highlands, p. 330. 


donald, second baronet of Sleat, joined the 
Marquis of :l\Iontrose in 1645, and when 
Charles II. marched into England in 1631, 
he sent a number of his clan to his assistance. 
He died 8th December 1678. 
Sir James' eldest son, Sir Donald l\Iac- 
donald, third baronet of Sleat, died in 16!)5. 
His son, also named Sir Donald, fourth 
baronet, was one of those summoned by the 
Lord Advocate, on the breaking out of the 
rebellion of 1715, to appear at Edinburgh, , 
under pain of a year's imprisonment and other 
penalties, to give bail for their allegiance to 
the government. Joining in the insurrection, 
his two brothers commanded the battalion of 
his clan, on the Pretender's side, at Sheriff- 
muir; and, being sent out with the Earl 
:Marischal's horse to drive away a reconnoitring 
party, under the Duke of Argyll, from the 
heights, may be said to have commenced the I 
battle. Sir Donald himself had joined the I 
Earl of Seaforth at his camp at Alness with 
700 l\Iacdonalùs. Mter the suppression OP the 
rebellion, Sir Donald proceeded to the Isle of ' 
Skye with about 1000 men; but although he 
made no resistance, having no assurance of 
protection from the government in case of a 
surrender, he retired in to one of the Uists, 
where he remained till he obtained a ship 
which carried him to France. He was for- 
i ; ' , 
feited for his share in the insurrection, but 
the forfeiture was soon removed. He died in I 
1718, leaving one son and four daughters. I 
His son, Sir ..Alexander :Macdonald, seventh I 
baronet, was one of the first persons asked by 
Prince Charles to join him, on his arrival off 
the "\Vestern Islands, in July 1745, hut refused, 
as he had brought no foreign force with him. 
Mter the battle of Preston, the prince sent 
.Mr Alexander Macleod, advocate, to the Isle 
of Skye, to endeavour to prevail upon Sir 
Alexander Macdonald and the laird of Macleod 
to join the insurgents; but instead of doing 
so, these and other well-affected chiefs enrolled 
each an independent company for the service 
of government, out of their respective clans. 
The Macdonalds of Skye served unùer Lord 
Loudon in Ross-shire. 
After the battle of Culloden, when Prince 
Charles, in his wanderings, took refuge in Skye, 
with Flora :Macdonald, they landed near Moy- 


, 



130 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLJL"N"S. 


dhstat, or 1\1 ugstot, the seat of Sir Alexander 
Macdonald, near the northern eÀtremity of 
that island. Sir Alexander was at that time 
with the Duke of Cumberland at :Fort 
Augustus, and as his wife, Lady l\Iargaret 
.:\Iontgomerie, a daug11ter of the ninth Earl of 
Eglinton, was known to be a warm friend of 
the prince. Miss Macdonald proceeded to 
announce to her his arrival. Through Lady 
)Iargaret the prince Wag consigned to the care 
of 1\11' :Macdonald of Kingsburgh, Sir ..Alex- 
ander's factor, at whose house he spent the 
night, and afterwards departed to the island 
of Rasay. Sir Alexander died in .November 
17 46, leaving three sons. 
His eldest son, Sir James, eighth baronet, 
styled" The Scottish Marcellus," was born ill 
1741. At his own earnest solicitation he was 
sent to Eton, on leaving which he set out on 
his travels, and was everywhere received by 
the learned with the distinction due to his 
unrivalled talents. At Rome, in particular, 
the most marked attention was pai<l to him by 
several of the cardinals. He died in that city 
on 26th July 1766, when only 23 years old. 
Tn extent of learning, and in genius, be 
resembled the admirable Crichton. On his 
death the title devolved on his next brothel', 
Alexander, nintb baronet, who was created a 
peer of Ireland, July 17, 1776, as Baron 
Iac- 
donald of Sleat, county Antrim. He married 
the eldest daugbter of Godfrey Bosville, Esq. 
of Gunthwaite, Y orkshirp, and had seven sons 
and three daughters. Diana, the eldest daugh- 
ter, married in 1788 the Right Hon. Sir John 
Hinclair of Ulbster. His lordship died Sept. 
12, 1795. 
His eldpst son, Alexander \Yentworth, second 
Lord .:\Iacdonald, died unmarried, June 9, 1824, 
when his brother, Godfrey, became third Lord 
)Iacdonald. He assumed the additional name 
of Bosville. He married Louise l\faria,daughter 
of Farley Edsir, Esq.; issue, three sons and 
seven daughters. He died Oct. 13, 1832. 
The eldest son, Godfrey \Villiam \Yent- 
worth, fourth Lord Macdonald, born in 1809, 
married in 1845, daughter of G. T. \Yyndham, 
Esq. of Cromer Hall, K orfolk ; i;;sue, Somerled 
James Brudenell, born in 1849, two other sons 
and four daughters. 
The MACDO
ALDS of I!5LA and KIXTYRE, 


called the Clan IAN V OR, whose chiefs were 
usually styled lords of Dlmyveg (from their 
castle in Isla) and the Glens, were descended 
from J olm 
lor, second son of "the good J olm 
of Isla," and of Lady l\Iargaret Stewart, daughter 
of King Robert II. From his brother Donald, 
Lord of the Isles, he received large grants of 
land in Isla and Kintyre, and by his marriage 
with l\lmjory Bisset, heiress of the district of 
the Glpns in Antrim, he acquired possessions 
in Ulster. He was murdered before 1427 by 
an individual named James Campbell, who is 
said to have received a commission from King 
..T ames I. to apprehend him, but that he 
exceeded his powers by putting him to death. 
His eldest son was the famous Donald 
TIalloch. From Banald Bane, a younger 
brother of Donald Balloch, sprang the Clan- 
ranalùbane of Largie in Kllityre. 
Donald BaIloch's grandson, J olm, surnamed 
Catlzanach, or warlike, was at the head of the 
clan Ian Yor, when the lordship of the Isles 
was finally forfeited by James IV. in 1493. 
In that :year he was among the chiefs, for- 
merly vassals of the Lord of the Isles, who 
made their submission to the king, when he 
proceeded in person to the "\Vest Highlands. 
On this occasion he and the other chiefs were 
knighted. 
Alexander of ],.la w
s with Sir Donald of 
Lochalsh when, in 1518, he proceeded against 
the father-in-law of the former, :MacIan of 
Ardnamurchan, who was defeated and slain, 
with two of his sons, at a place called Craig- 
anairgid, or the Silver Craig in ?Iorvern. The 
death of Sir Donald soon after brought the 
rebellion to a close. In 1529 Alexander of 
Isla and his followers were again in insurrec- 
tion, and being joined by the l\Iacleans, they 
made descents upon Roseneath, Craignish, and 
other lands of the Campbells, ,,'hich they 
ravaged with fire and sword. Alexander of 
Isla being considered the prime moyer of the 
rebellion, the king resolved in 1531 to pro- 
ceed against him in person, on which, hasten- 
ing to Stirling, undpf a safeguard and protec- 
tion, he submitted, and received a new grant, 
during the king's pleasure, of certain lands in 
the South Isles and Kintyre, and a remission 
to himself and his followers for all crimes 
committed by them during the late rebcUion. 



ANG US AND SIlt J A1\IES .MACnON ALD. 


151 


In 1543, on the second escape of Donald 
Dubh, grandson of John, last lord of the Isles, 
and the regent Arran's opposing the views of 
the English faction, J ames 
r acdonald of Isla, 
son and successor to Alexander, was the only 
insular chief who supported the regent. In 
I the following year his lands of Kintyre were 
ravaged by the Earl of Lennox, the head of 
the English party. 
Mter the death of Donald Dubh, the 
\ islanders chose for their leader James .l\Iac- 
donald of Isla, who married Lady Agnes 
Campbell, the Earl of Argyll's sister, and 
though the most powerful of the Island chiefs, 
he relinquished his pretensions to the lord- 
ship of the Isles, being the last that assumed 
that title. 
A dispute between the :11acleans and the 
clan Ian VOl', relative to the right of occupancy 
of certain crown lands in Isla, led to a long 
and bloorly feud between these tribes, in which 
both suffered sever{'ly. In 1562 the matter 
was brought before the privy council, when it 
was decided that James Macdonald of Isla 
was really the crown tenant, and as :l\Iaclean 
refused to become his vassal, in 1565 the rival 
chiefs were compelled to find sureties, each to 
I the amount of .t10,OOO, that they would 
I abstain from mutual hostilities. 
James having been killed while helping to 
defencl his family estates in Ulster, Ireland, 
his eldest son, Angus Macdonald, succeeded 
to Isla and Kintyre, and in his time the feud 
with the .Macleans was renewed, details of 
which will be found in the former part of this 
work. In 1579, upon information of mutual 
hostilities committed by their followers, the 
king and council commanded Lauchlan l\fac- 
lean of Dowart and Angus Macdonald of 
Dunyveg or Isla, to subscribe assurances of 
indemnity to each other, under the pain of 
treason, and the quarrel was, for the time, 
patched up by the marriage of l\Iacdonald with 
l\Iaclean's sister. In 1585, however, the feud 
came to a height, and after involving nearly 
the whole of the island clans on one side or the 
other, and causing its disastrous consequences 
to be felt throughout the whole extent of the 
Hebrides, by the mutual ravages of the con- 
tending parties, government interfered, and 
measures were at last adopted for reducing to 


obedience the turbulent chiefs, who had caused 
so much bloodshed and distress in the Isles. 
James Macdonald, son of Angus 
Jacdonalù 
of Dunyveg, had remained in Edinburgh for 
four years as a hostage for his father, and early 
in 1596 he received a license to visit him, in 
the hope that he might be prevailed upon to 
submit to the laws, that the peace of the Isles 
might be secured. He sent his son, who was 
soon afterwards knighted, back to court to 
make known to the privy council, in his 
father's name and his own, that they would 
fulfil whatever conditions should be prescribed 
to them by his majesty. At this time Angus 
made over to his son all his estates, reserving 
only a proper maintenance for himself and his 
wife during their lives. '\
hen I::;ir 'Villiam 
Stewart arrived at Kintyre, and held a court 
there, the chief of Isla and his followers 
hastened to make their personal submission to 
the king's representative, and early in the 
following year he went to Edinburgh, when 
he undertook to find security for the arrears 
of his crown rents, to remove his clan and 
dependers from Kintyre and the Rinns of 
Isla, and to deliver his castle of Dunyveg to 
any person sent by the king to receive it. 
Angus 
lacdonald having failed to fulfiJ 
these conditions, his son, Sir James, was in 
1598 sent to him from court, to induce him to 
comply with them. His resignation of his 
estates ill favour of his son was not recognised 
by the privy council, as they had already been 
forfeited to the crown ; but Sir James, on his 
arrival, took possession of them, and even 
attempted to burn his father and mother in 
their house of Askomull in Kintyre. Angus 

Iacdonald, after having been taken prisoner, 
severely scorched, was carried to Smerbie in 
Kintyre, and confined there in irons for several 
months. Sir James, now in command of his 
clan, conducted himself with such violence. 
that in June 1598 a proclamation for another 
royal expedition to Kintyre was issued. He, 
however, contrived to procure from the king a 
letter approving of his proceedings in Kintyre, 
and particularly of his apprehension of his 
father; and the expedition, after being delayed 
for some time, "as finally abandoned. 
In August of the following year, with the 
view of being reconcileù to government, Sir 



152 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAYD CLANS. 


James appeareu m presence of the king's 
comptroller at :Falkland, and made certain 
proposals for esta"LJishing the ro.yal authority 
in Kintyre and Isla; but the influence of 
Argyll, w 110 took the part of Angus Mac- 
donald, Sir James's father, aud the Camp bells, 
having been used against their being carried 
into effect, the arrangement came to nothing, 
and Sir James and his clan were driven into 
irremediable opposition to the government, 
which ended in their ruin. 

ir James, finding that it was the object of 
Argyll to obtain for himself the king's lands 
in Kintyre, made an attempt in 1606 to 
escape from the castle of Edinùurgh, where he 
was imprisoned; but being unsuccessful, was 
put in irons. In the following year a charter 
was granted to Argyll of the lands in North 
and South Kintyre, and in the Isle of Jura, 
which had been forfeited by .Angus l\Iacdonald, 
and thus did the legal right to the lands of 
Kintyre pass from a tribe which had heM 
them for many hundred years. 4 
Angus Macdonald and his clan immediately 
took up arms, and his son, Sir James, after 
many fruitless applications to the pri vy council, 
to be set at liberty, and writing both to the 
king and the Duke of Lennox, made another 
attempt to escape from the castle of Edin- 
burgh, but having hurt his ancle by leaping 
Îrom the wall whilst encumbered with his fet- 
ters, he was retaken near the 1Yest Port of that 
city, and consigned to his former dungeon. 
Details of the subsequent transactions in this 
rebellion will be fouud in the former vart of 
this work. 5 
After the fall of Argyll, who had turned 
Roman Catholic, and had also fled to Spain, 
where he is said to have entered into some 
very suspicious dealings with his former an- 
tagonist, Sir James ::\Iacdouahl, who was living 
there in exile, the latter was, in 1620, with 

IacRanald of Keppoch, recalled from exile by 
King James. On their arrival in London. Sir 
James received a pension of 1000 merks 
ter- 
ling, while Keppoch got one of 200 merks. 
His majesty also wrote to the Scottish privy 
council in their favour, and grantelÌ them 
;-emissions for all their offences. Sir James, 
4 Gregory's Highlands and Isles p 312 
ð VoL i.. chap. x. '" 


however, never again visited 
cotland, and 
died at London in 1626, without issue. The 
clan Ian VOl' from this period may be said to 
have been totally suppressed. Their lands 
were taken possession of by the Campbells, 
and the nlúst valuable portion of the property 
of the ducal house of Argyll consists of what 
had formerly belonged to the Macdonalds of 
Isla and Kintyre. 
The :MACDONALDS of GARRAGACH and KEP- 
pocH,called the CLANRANALDof LOCHABER, Were 
descended from Alexander, or Allaster Carrach, 
third son of John, Lord of t.he Isles, and Lally 
Margaret Stewart. He was forfeited for join- 
ing the insurrection of the Islanders, under 
Donald Balloch, in 1431, and the greater part 
of his lauds were bestowed upon Duncan 
:ThIackintosh, captain of the clan Chattan, which 
proved the cause of a fierce and lasting feud 
between the :Mackintoshes and the .l\Iacdonaltls. 
It was from Ranald, the fourth in descent 
from Allaster Carrach, that the tribe received 
the name of the Clanranald of Lochaber. 
In 1498, the then chief of the tribe, Donald, 
elder brother of 
,Ulaster l\IacAngus, grandsoll 
of Allaster Carrach, was killed in a battle with 
Dougal Stewart, first of Appin. His son 
J oIm, who succeeded him, having delivered 
up to Mackintosh, chief of the clan Chat tan, 
as steward oî Lochaber, one of the tribe 'who 
had committed some crime, and had fled to 
him for protection, rendered himself UJ1popular 
among his clan, and was deposed from the 
chiefship. His cousin and heir-male l)re- 
sumptive, Donald Glas .l\IacAllaster, was 
elected chief in his place. During the reign 
of James IV., says :àIr Gregory, this trilJe 
continued to hold their lands in Lochaber, as 
occupants merely, and without a legal claim to 
the heritage. 6 In 154:6 Ranald Macdonald 
Glas, who appears to have been the son of 
Donald Glas l\IacAllaster, and the captain of 
the clan Cameron, being present at the 
slaughter of Lord Lovat and the Frasers at 
the battle of Kinloch-lochy, and having also 
supported all the rebellions of the Earl of 
Lennox, concealed themselves in Lochabel, 
when the Earl of Huntly entf'red that district 
with a considerable force and laid it wa:;te, 


IS Highlaltds and Isles, p. 109. 



153 


II 


THE MACDOXALDS AT CULLODE
. 


taking many of the inhabitants prisoners. I battle of Killiecrallkic, and, 011 the breaking 
Having been apprehended by 1Yilliam Mack- out of the rebellion of 1715, he joined the 
intosh, captain of the clan Chattan, the two Earl of Mar, with whom he fought at Sheriff. 
chiefs were delivered over to Huntly, who muir. His son, Alexander Macdonald of 
conveyed them to Perth, where ther were Keppoch, on the arrival of Prince Charles in 
detained in prison for some time. They were Scotland in 1745, at once declared for him, 
afterwards tried at Elgin for high treason, and and at a meeting of the chiefs to consult as to 
being found guilty, were beheaded in 1547. tlle course they should pursue, he gave it as 
Allaster l\IacRanald of Keppoch and his his opinion that as the prince had risked his 
eldest son assisted Sir James ::\Iacdonald in person, and generously thrown himself into the 
his escape from Edinburgh Castle in 1615, hands of his friends, they were bound, in duty 
and was with him at the head of his clan at least, to raise men instantly for the pro- 
during his subsequent l'ebellion. On its snp- tection of his person, whatever might be the 
I pression, he fled towards Kintyre, and nar- consequences. 
rowly escaped being taken with the loss of his At the battle of Culloden, on the three 
vessels and some of his men. Macdonald regiments giving way, Keppoch, 
In the great civil war the Clanranald of seeing himself abandoned by his clan, ad- 
Lochaber were very active on the king's side. vanced with his drawn sword in one band 
Soon after ihe Restoration, Alexander l\Iac- and his pistol in the other, but was brought 
donald Glas, the young chief of Keppoch, and to the ground by a musket shot. Donald Roy 
his brother were murdered by some of their ::\Iacdonald, a captain in Clanranald'.s regiment, 
own discontented followers. CoIl ::\Iacdonald followed him, and entreated him not to throw 
was the next chief. Previous to the Revolu- away his life, assuring him that his wound was 
tion of 1688, the feud between his clan and not mortal, and that he might easily rejoin his 
the l\IackintosrLes, regarding the lands he occu- regiment in the retreat, but Keppoch, after 
pied, led to the last clan battle that was ever recommending him to take care of himself, 
fought in the Highlands. The Mackintoshes received another shot, which killed him on the 
I haying invaded Lochaber, were defeated on a spot. There are still numerous cadets of this 
height called Mulroy. So violent had been family in Lochaber, but the principal house, 
Keppoch's armed proceedings before this event says:Mr Gregory,7 if not yet extinct, has lost 
that the government had issued a commission all influence in that district. Latterly they 
of fire and sword against him. After the de- changed their name to Macdonnell. 
feat of the Mackintoshes, he advanced to Inver- 
ness, to wreak his vengeance on the inhabitants 
of that town for supporting the former against 
him, if they did not purchase his forbearance 
by paying a large sum as a fine. Dundee, 
however, anxious to secure the friendship of 
the people of Inverness, granted Keppoch his 
own bond in behalf of the town, obliging him- 
self to see Keppoch paid 2000 dollars, as a 
compensation for the losses and injuries he 
alleged he had sustained from the
Iackintoshes. 
Keppoch brought to the aid of L ulldee 1 COO 
Highlanders, and as Mackintosh refused to 
attend a friendly interview solicited by Dun- 
ùee, Keppoch, at the desire of the latter, drove 
away his cattle. Weare tolù that Dundee 
" used to call him CoIl of the cowes, hecause 
he found them out when they were driven to 
the hills out of the ,vay," He fought at the 
II. 


CLANRANALD. 


... 
..." 


\;, 


, 
-\ ( t 


h:.. 
. 
;-_
/lr, 
.

-; 
.
 
---............ 



....:s
 _" -'> 

 rlEOm .:,C 
 
 U:V..AUd: .E ", 
t:iIII!" . 
 
 


BADGE.-Hcath. 


7 Highlands and Isles, p. ,n 5. 
U 



154 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAXD CLANS. 


The CLANR\NALD 1\L\.CDONALDS OfGAR
IORAN 
are descended from Ranald, younger son of 
John, first Lord of the Isles, by his first wife, 
Amy, heiress of the 1IIacRorys or 1\Iacruaries 
of Garmoran. In 1373 he received a grant of 
the North Isles, Garmoran, and other lands, 
to be helù of J olm, Lord of the Isles, anù his 
heirs. His descendants comprehended the 
families of )Ioydart, :Moral', Knoydart, and 
Glencrarry and came in time to forlll the 
most I:) nUl
erous tribe of the Clamlonald. 
Alexander 1\Iacruari of 1\Ioydart, chief of the 
Clanranald, was one of the principal chiefs 
seized by James 1. at Inverness in 1427, and 
soon after beheaded. The great-grandson of 
l
anald, named 
U}an 1tIacruari, who became 
chief of the Clanranald in 14tH, was one of 
the principal supporters of Angus, the young 
Lord of the Isles, at the battle of Bloody 
Bay, anù he likewise followed Alexander of 
Lochalsh, nephew of the Lord of the Isles, in 
his invasion of Ross and Cromarty in 1491, 
when he received a large portion of the booty 
taken on the occasion. 8 In 14-95, on the 
second expedition of James IV. to the Isles, 
Allan 1\Iacruari Was one of the chiefs who 
made their submission. 
During the whole of the 15th century the 
Clanranald had been engaged in teuds regard- 
ing the lands of Garmoran and Uist ; first, with 
the Siol Gorrie, or race of Godfrey, eldest 
brother of Banald, the founder of the tribe, 
and afterwards with the Macdonalds or Clan 
huistein of Bleat, and it was not till 1506, that 
they succeerleù in acquiring a legal title to the 
disputed lands. John, eldest son of Hugh of 

neat, having no issue, made over all his 
estates to the Clauranald, incluùing the lands 
occupied by them. Archibalù, or Gillespock, 
Dubh, natural brother of John havincr slain 
Donald Gallach and another of J
}lIl'S b;thers, 
endeavoured to seize the lands of Bleat, but was 
expelleù from the North Isles by Ranald Bane 
Allanson of Moydart, eldest son of the chief of 
Clanranald. The latter married Florence, 
daughter of l\IacIan of Ardnamurchan, and had 
four sons-I. Ranald Bane; 2. Alexander, who 
had three BOns, John, Farquhar, and Angus, 
and a daughter; 3. Hanald Oig ; and 4. Angus 


8 Gregory's Hi!Jhlands and Isles, page 66. 


Reochson. Angus Reoch, the youngeRt son, 
had a son named DowIe or Coull, who had a 
son named Allan, whose son, Alexander, was 
the ancestor of the 1\Iacdonells of :Morar. 
In 1309 Allan .l\Iacruari was tried, con- 
victed, and executed, in presence of the king 
at Dlair-Athol, but for what crime is not 
known. His eldest son, Ranald Dane, obtained 
a charter of the lanùs of l\Ioydart and Arisaig, 
Dec. 14, 1540, and died in 1541. He married 
a daughter of Lord Lovat, and had one son, 
Ranald GaIda, or the stranger, from his being 
fostered by l1Ís mother's relations, the Frasers. 
On the death of Ranald Bane, the fifth chief, 
the clan, who had resolved to defeat his son's 
right to succeed, in consequence of his relations, 
the Frasers, having joined the Earl of Huntly, 
lieutenant of the north, against the l\lacdonalùs, 
chose the next heir to the estate as their chief. 
This was the young Ranald's cousin-german, 
John 1\Ioydartach, or John of :Moydart, eldest 
son of Alexander Allanson, second son of 
Allan 1\Iacruari, and John was, accordingly, 
acknowledged by the clan captain of Clan- 
ranald. Lovat, apprised of the intentions of 
the clan agaillst his granùchild, before their 
scheme was ripe for execution, marched to 
Castletirrim, and, by the assistance of the 
Frasers, placed Ranal<l GaIda in possession of 
the lands. The Clanranald, assisted by the 
1\Iacdonalds of Keppoch and the Clan Cameron, 
having laid waste and plundered the districts 
of Abertarf and Stratherrick, belonging to 
Lovat, and the lands of Urquhart and Glen- 
moriston, the property of the Grants, the 
Earl of Huntly, the king's lieutenant in the 
north, to drive them back and put an end to 
their ravages, was obliged to raise a numerous 
force. He penetrated as far as Inverlochy in 
Lochaber, and then returned to his own terri- 
tories. The battle of Kinloch-lochy, called 
Blar-nan-Ieine, "the field of shirts," followed, 
as related in the account of the clan Fraser. 
The :\Iacdonalds being the victors, the result 
was that John .l\Ioydartach was maintained in 
possession of the chiefship and estates, and 
transmitted the same to his descendants. On 
the return of Huutly with an army, into 
Lochaber, John 1\Ioydartach fled to the Isles, 
where he remained for some time. 
The Clanranalù distinguished themsel ves 



l\lACDO.N ALDS OF BENBECULA, BOISDALE, ETC. 


155 


under the :Marquis of :Montrose in the civil \ 
Iacallan, came the family of Kinlochmoidart, 
wars of the 17th century. At the battle of' which terminated in an heiress. This lady 
Killiecmnkie, their chief, then only fourteen married Colonel 
obertson, who, in her right. 
years of age, fought under Dundee, with 500 assumed the name of :Macdonald. 
of his men. They were also at Sheriíl'muir. From John Oig, uncle of Donald l\Iacallan, 
In \he rebellion of 1745, the Clanranald took descended the l\Iacdonalds of Glenaladale 
an active part. l\Iacdonald of Boisdale, the "The head of this family," says !Ir Gregory, 
brother of the chief, then from age and "J olm Macdonald of Glenaladale, being 
infirmities unfit to be of any service, had an obliged to quit Scotlanù about 1772, in con- 
interview with Prince Charles, on his arrival sequence of family misfortunes, sold his Scot-- 
off the island of Eriska, and positively refused tish estates to his cOllsin (also a l\Iacdonald), 
to aid his enterprise. On the following day, and emigrating to Prince Edward's Island, 
however, young Clanranald, accompanied by with about 200 followers, purchased a tract of 
his kinsmen, Alexander l\Iacdonald of Glenala- 40,000 acres there, while-the 200 Highlanders 
dale and Æneas Macdonald of Dalily, the have increased to 3000." 
author of a Journal and .Memoirs of the Expe- One of the attendants of Prince Charles, 
dition, went on board the prince's vessel, and who, after Culloden, embarked with him for 
readily offered him his services. He after- France, was Neil MacEachan :l\Iacdonald, a 
wards joined him with 200 of his clan, and gentleman sprung from the branch of the 
was with him throughout the rebellion. Clanranalù in Uist. He served in France as a 
At the battles of Preston and Falkirk, the lieutenant in the Scottish regiment of Ogilvie, 
l\lacdonalds were on the right, which they and was father of Stephen James Joseph 
claimed as their due, but at Culloden the 
Iacdonald, marshal of France, and Duke of 
three Macdonald regiments of ClanranalJ, Tarentum, born Nov. 17, 1765 ; died Sept. 24, 
Keppoch, and Glengarry, fonned the left. It 184:0. 
was probably their feeling of dissatisfaction at The :MACDONALDS of GLENCOE are ùcscended 
being placed on the left of the line that caused from John Ug, surnamed Fraoclt, natural son 
I the Macdonald regiments, on observing that of Angus Og of Isla, and brother of John, 
I the right and centre had given way, to turn first Lord of the Isles. He settled in Glencoe, 
their' 'acks and fly from the fatal field without which ig a wild and gloomy vale in the district 
striking a blow. of Lorn, Argyleshire, as a vassal under his 
_\t Glenboisdale, whither Charles retreated, brother, and some of his descendants still 
after the defeat at Culloden, he was joined by posse3S lands there. This branch of the 
young Clanranald, and several other adherents, Macdonalds was known as the clan Ian Abrach, 
who endeavoured to persuade him from em- it is supposed from one of the family being 
barking for the Isles, but in vain. In the act fostered in Lochaber. After the Revolution, 
of indemnity passed in June 17 H, young l\IacIan or Alexander Macdonald of Gleneoe, 
Clanranald was one of those who were was one of the chiefs who supported the cause 
specially excepted from pardon. of King James, having joined Dundee in 
The ancestor of the Macdonalds bf Benbe- Lochaher at the head of his clan, and a 
cuI a was Ranald, brother of Donald l\Iacallan, mournful interest attaches to the history of 
who was captain of the Clanranald in the this tribe from the dreadful massacre, by 
latter part of the reign of James VI. The which it was attempted to exterminate it in 
.:'tlacdonalds of Bnisdale are cadets of Benbe- February 1692. The story has often been 
cula, and those of Staffa of Boisdale. On told, but as full details have been given in the 
the failure of Donald's descendants, the family former part of this work, it is unnecessary to 
of Benbecula succeeded to the barony of repeat them here. 
Castletirrim, and the captainship of the Clan- The l\Iacdonalds of Glencoe joined Prince 
ranald, represented by Reginalil George :Mac- Charles on the- breaking out of the rebellion 
don aId of Clanranald. in 1745, and General Stewart, in his Sketches 
From J aIm, another brother of DonalJ of the Highlanders, relates that when the 



15G 


lIISTOHY OF THE HTGHL
\.ND CLAXS. 


insurgent army lay at Kirkliston, near the 
seat of the Earl of Stair, grandson of Secretary 
Dalrymple, the prince, anxious to save his 
lordship's house and property, and to remove 
from his followers all excitement and revenge, 
proposed that the Glencoe-men should be 
marched to a distance, lest the TPmembrance 
of the share which his grandfather had in the 
order for the massacre ofthe clan should rouse 
them to retaliate on his descendant. Indignant 
at being supposed capable of wreaking their 
vengeance on an innocent man, they declared 
their resolution of returning home, and it was 
not without much explanation and great per- 
suasion that they were prevented from march- 
ing away the following morning. 


.MACDON
ELL OF GLENGARRY. 



 
AY R- ì'i
_ 

 .

 



 


,.. 


l".:t 



 
. O "';T\'
: 
,\ 
,/ ' 

 '.. 

1)11J\ 
"'> 
I 
 '.
 
i>\ 


IaA:1J. 


k 


BADGE.-Heath. 


I \1 


The GLEXGARRY branch of the Macdonalds 
spell their name :MACDONNELL. The worll 
Dlwnuill, whence the name Donald is derived, 
is said to signify "brown eye." The most 
proper way, says Mr Gregory, of spelling the 
name, according to the pronunciation, was that 
formerly employed by the :Macdonalds of 
Dunvegan and the Glens, w ho used .ßI acdunnell. 
Sir James 
1acdonald, however, the last of 
this family in the direct male line, signed 
.ßI akdonall. Ð 
The family of Glengarry are descended from 
Alister, second son of Donald, who was eldest 
son 
f Heginald or Ranald (progenitor also of 
the Clanranald), youngest son of ,John, lord of 


· 1l i!JhllllLlls llnd Isles, p. 417, .K ote. 


the Isles, by Amy, heiress of l\IacRory. Alex- 
ander Macdonnell, who was chief of Glen- 
garry at the beginning of the 16th century, 
supported the claims of Sir Donald :Macdonald 
of Lochalsh to the lordship of the Isles, and 
in November 1513 assisted him, with Chis- 
holm of Comer, in expelling the garrison and 
seizing the Castle of Urquhart in Loch Ness. 
In 1527 the Earl of Argyll, lieutenant of the 
Isles, received from Alexander Macranald of 
Glengarry and North Moral', a bond of man- 
rent or service; and in 1545 he was among 
the lords and barons of the Isles who, at 
Kllockfergus in Ireland, took the oath of alle- 
giance to the king of England, "at the com- 
mand of the Earl of Lennox." He married 

Iargaret, eldest daughter of Celestine, brother 
of John Earl of Ross, and one of the three 
sisters and coheiresses of Sir Donald :Mac- 
donald of Lochalsh. His son, Angus or 
Æneas :Macdonnell of Glengarry, the represen- 
tative, through his mother, of the house of 
l..ochalsh, which had become extinct in the 
male line on the death of Sir Donald in 1518, 
married Janet, only daughter of Sir Hector 
Maclean of Dowart, and had a son, Donald 
Macdonnell of Glengarry, styled Donald l\Iac- 
Angus l\IacAlister. 
In 1581 a serious feud broke out between 
the chief of Glengarry, who had inherited one 
half of the districts of Lochalsh, LochcalTon, 
and Lochbroom in "
ester Ross, and Colin 
:Mackenzie of IGntail, who was in possession 
of the other half. The l\Iaclcenzies, having 
made aggressions upon Glengarry's portion, the 
latter, to maintain his rights, took up his tem- 
porary residence in Lochcarron, and placed a 
small garrison in the castle of Strone in that 
district. \Yith some of his followers he un- 
fortunately fell into the hands of a party of 
the Mackenzies, and after being detained ill 
captivity for a considerable time, only procured 
his release by yielding the castle of Lochcarron 
to the l\1ackenzies. The other prisoners, in- 
cluding several of his near kinsmen, were put 
to <leath. On complaining to the privy coun- 
cil, they caused :Mackenzie of Kintail to be 
detained for a time at Eilinburgh, and subse- 
quently in the castle of Blackness. In 1602, 
Glengarry, from his ignorance of the laws, 
was, bJ the craft of the clan Kenzie; as Sir 



FEUD BET'VEEN GLENGARRY AND :MACKENZIE OF KINTAIL. 157 


Robert Gordon says, "easalie intrapped within 
the corn pass thereof," on which they procured 
I a warrant for citing him to appear before the 
justiciary court at Edinburgh. Glengarry, 
however, paid no attention to it, but went 
about revenging the slaughter of two of his 
kinsmen, whom the l\Iackenzies had killed 
after the summons had been issued. The con- 
sequence was that he and some of his followers 
were outlawed, and Kenneth 
1ackenzie, who 
was now lord of Kintail, procured a conunis- 
sion of fire and sword against Glengarry and 
his men, in virtue of which he invaded and 
wasted the district of North :Moral', and carried 
off all the cattle. In retaliation the :Mac- 
donalds plundered the district of Applecross, 
and, on a subsequent occasion, they landed on 
the coast of Lochalsh, with the intention of 
burning and destroyÌ11g all "Mackenzie's lands, 
as far as Easter Ross, but their leader, Allaster 

IacGorrie, having been killed, they returned 
home. To revenge the death of his kinsman, 
Angus :Macdonnell, the young chief of Glen- 
garry, at the head of his followers, proceeded 
lloìth to Lochcarron, where his tribe held the 
castle of Strone, now in ruins. After burning 
many of the houses in the district, and killing 
the inhabitants, he loaded his boats with the 
plunder, and prepared to return. In the 
absence of their chief, the J\Iackenzies, en- 
couraged by the example of his lady, posted 
themselv{,s at the narrow strait or kyle which 
separates Skye from the mainland, for the 
purpose of intercepting them. .Kight had 
fallen, however, before they made their appear- 
ance, and taking advantage of the darkness, 
some of the Mackenzies rowed ont in two boats 
towards a large galley, on board of which was 

'Olmg Glengarry, which was then passing the 
kyle. This they suddenly attacked with a 
volley of musketry and arrows. Those on 
board in their alarm crowding to one side, the 
galley overset, and all on board were thrown 
into the water. Such of them as were able to 
reach the shore were immediately despatched 
by the l\IaC' kenzies, and among the slain was 
the young chief of Glengarry himself. The 
rest of the l\Iacdonnells, on reaching Strath- 
airJ in Skye, left their boats, and proceeded 
on foot to Moral', Finding that the chief of 
the J\Iackenzies had not returned from Mull, a 


large party "as sent to an island near which 
he must pass, which he did next day in Mac- 
lean's great galley, but he contrived to elude 
them, and was soon out of reach of pursuit. 
He subsequently laid siege to the castle of 
Strone, which surrendered to him, and was 
blown up. 
In 1603, "the Clanranald of Glcngarry, 
under Allan :Macranald of Lundie, made an 
irruption into Brae Ross, and plundered the 
lands of Kilchrist, and others a(1jacent, be- 
longing to the Mackenzies. This foray was 
signalized by the merciless burning of a 
whole congregation in the church of Kil- 
christ, while Glengarry's piper marched round 
the building
 mocking the cries of the unfor- 
tunate inmates with the well-known pibroch, 
which has been known, ever since, under the 
name of Kilchrist, as the family tune of the 
Clanranald of Glengarry."1 Eventually, Ken- 
neth :l\Iackenzie, afterwards Lord Kintail, suc- 
ceeded in obtaining a crown charter to the 
disputed districts of Lochalsh, Lochcarron, and 
others, dated in 1607. 
Donald 1\IacAngus of Glengarry died in 
1603. By his wife, :Margaret, daughter of 
Alexander 
lacdonalù, Captain of Clanranald, 
he had, besides Angus above mentioned, two 
other sons, Alexander, who died soon after his 
father, and Donalù :Macdonnell of Scothouse. 
Alexander, by his wife, Jean, daughter of 
Allan Cameron of Lochiel, had a son, Æneas 
Macdonnell of Glengarry, who was one of the 
first in 1644 to join the ro)'alist army under 
:Montrose, and never left that great com- 
mander, "for which," says Bishop vYishart, 
,; he deserves a singular commendation for his 
bravery and steady loyalty to the king, 
and his peculiar attachment to 1\Iontrose. "2 
Glengarry also adhered faithfully to the cause 
of Charles II., and was forfeited by Crom- 
well in 1651. Åß a reward for his faith- I 
ful services he was at the Restoration created I 
a peer by the title of Lord 1\Iacdollnell aUfI 
Aross, hy patent dated at 'Yhitehall, 20th I 
December 1660, the honours being limited to 
the heirs male of his body. This led him to I 
claim not only the chiefship of Clanranald, but 
likewise that of the whole Clandonald, as 
II 


I (hegory's Highlands, pp. 301--303. 
2 Jlcmoirs, p. 155. 



158 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


being the representative of Donalù. the com- 
mon ancestor of the clan :- and on 18th July 
1672, the privy council issued an order, com- 
manding him as chief to exhibit before the 
council several persons of the name of Mac- 
donald, to find caution to keep the peace. 
The three branches of the Clanranald en- 
gaged in all the attempts which were made for 
the restoration of the Stuarts. On 27th 
August 1715, Glengarry was one of the chiefs 
who attended the pretended grand hunting 
match at Braemar, appointed by the Earl of 
l\Iar, previous to the breaking out of the 
rebellion of that year. After the suppression 
of the rellellion, the chief of Glengarry made 
his submission to General Cadogan at Inver- 
ness. He died in 1724. By his wife, Lady 
Mary :Mackellzie, daughter of the third Earl of 
Seaforth, he had a son, John Macdonnell, who 
succeeded him. 
In 1745, six hundred of the l\Iacdonnells of 
Glengarry joined Prince Charles, under the 
command of 1\Iacdonnell of LochgalTY, who 
afterwards escaped to France with the prince, 
and were at the battles of Preston, Falkirk, 
and Culloden. The chief himself seems not to 
llave engaged in the rebellion. He was how- 
ever arrested, and sent to London. 
General Sir James Macdonnell, G.C.B., who 
distinguished himself when lieut,-col. in the 
guards, by the bravery with which he held the 
buildings of Hougomollt, at the battle of 
,r aterloo, was third son of Duncan l\Iac- 
donnell, Esq. of Glengarry. He was ùorn at 
the family seat, Inverness-shire, and died 
Iay 
15, 1857. 
Colonel Alexander Ranaldson :Macdonnell of 
Glengarry, who, in January 1822, married 
TIebecca, second daughter of Sir\VilliamForbes 
of Pitsligo, baronet, was the last genuine 
specimen of a II ighland chief. His character 
in its more favourable features was drawn by 
Sir 'Yalter Scott, in his romance of 'Vaverley, 
a
 Fergus Mac Iv or. He always wore the 
dress and adhered to the sty Ie of living of his 
ancestors, and when away from home in any 
of the HigWand towns, he was followed by a 
body of retainers, who were regularly posted 
as sentinels at his door. He revived the 
claims of his family to the chiefship of thp 
Macdonalds, styling himself aho of Clanranald. 


In January 1828 he perished in endeavouring 
to escape from a steamer which had gone 
ashore. As his estate was very much mort- 
gaged and encumbered, his son was compelled 
to dispose of it, and to emigrate to Australia, 
with his family and clan. The estate was 
purchased by the l\Iarquis of HuntIy from the 
chief, and in 184:0 it was sold to Lord \Yard 
(Earl of Dudley, :Feb. 13, 1860,) for .-t91,000. 
In 1860 his lordship soM it to Ed ward Ellice, 
Esq. of Glenquoich, for .-t120,000. 
The principal families descended from the 
house of Glengarry, were the :Macdonnells 
of Barrisdale, in Knoydart, Greenfield, and 
Lundie. 
The strength of the :Macdonalds has at all 
times been considerable. In 1427, the l\Iac- 
donnells of Garmoran and Lochaber mustered 
2000 men; in 1715, the whole clan furnished 
2820; and in17 45, 2330. In a memorial drawn 
up by President Forbes of Culloden, and trans- 
mitted to the government soon after the insur- 
rection in 1745, the force of every clan is de- 
tailed, accOl'ding to the best information which 
the author of the report could procure at the 
time. This enumeration, which proceeùs upon 
the supposition that the chieftain calculated on 
the military services of the youthful, the most 
hardy, and the bravest of his followers, omit- 
ting those who, from advanced age, tender 
years, or natural debility, were unal>le to carry 
arms, gives the following statement of the 
respective forces of the different branches of 
the 
Iacdonalds : - 


1Iacdonald of Sleat, 
Macdonald of Clanranald, 
Macdonell of Glengarry, . 
Macdonell of Reppoch, . 
Macdonald of Glencoe, ' 
In all, 


!lien. 
iOO 
iOO 
500 
300 
130 


2330 


K ext to the Campòells, therefore, who could 
muster about 5000 men, the l\Iacdonalcls were 
by far the most numerous and powerful clan 
in the Highlands of Scot1an(l. 
"The clans or septs," says ]\Ir Smibert,3 
" sprung from the 1\Iacdonalds, or adhering to 
and incorporated with that family, though 
bearing subsidiary names, were very numerous. 


· Clans, 29. 



THE :M.ACDa UGALLS. 


Dugall, who was the eldest son of Somerled, 
the common ancestor of the clan Donald; 
and it has hitherto been supposeJ, that Alex- 
ander de Ergadia, the undoubted ancestor of 
the clan Dugall, who first appears in the year 
1284, was the son of Ewen de ErgaJia, who 
figured so prominently at the period of the 
cession of the Isles. This opinion, however, 
J\Ir Skene conceives to be erroneous; first, 
because Ewen would seem to have died with- 
out leaving male issue; and, secondly, because 
it is contradicted by the manuscript of 1450, 
which states that the clan Dugall, as well as 
the clan Rory and the clan Donald, sprung 
not from Ewen, but from TIanald, the son of 
;:;omerled, through his son Dugall, from whom 
indeed they derived their name. Mr 
mibert's 
remarks, however, on this point are deserving 
of attention. "It seems very evident," he 
sa)'s, " that they formed one of the primitive 
branches of the roving or stranger tribes of 
visitants to Scotland of the Irish, or at least 
Celtic race. Their mere name puts the fact 
almost beyond doubt. It also distinguishes 
them clearly from the Norsemen of the "\Vestern 
Isles, who were always styled Fiou-galls, that 
is, Fair Strangers (ltovers, or Pirates). The 
COUlmon account of the origin of the J\Iac- 
dougalls is, that they sprung from a son or 
grandson of Somerled, of the name of Dougal. 
But though a single chieftain of that appel- 
lation may have flourished in the primitive 
periods of Gaelic story, it appears most pro- 
bable, from many circumstances, that the clan 
derived their name from their descent and 
character generally. They were Dhu-Galls, 
'black strangers.' The son or grandson of 
Somerled, who is said to have specially founded 
the Macdougall clan, lived in the 12th cen- 
tury. In the 1 
th, ho\yeyer, they were nume- 
rous and strong enough to oppose Bruce, and 
it is therefore out of the question to suppose 
that the descendant of Somerled could do 
more than consolidate or collect an alrpady 
existing tribe, even if it is to be admitted as 
BADGE.-Cypress; accorùing to others, Bell Heath. taking from him its name."4 
The first appearance which this family makes 
THE next clan that demands our notice is that in history is at the convention which was held 
of the l\1acdougalls, l\Iacdugalls, :Macdovals, in the year 1284. In the list of those who 

1acdowalls, for in all these ways is the name I 
spelled. The clan derives its descent from 4 Clans, 44, 45. 


One point peculiarly marks the Gael of the 
coasts, as this great connection has already 
been called, and that is the device of a Lym- 
J!had or old-fashioned Oared Galley, assumed 
and borne in their arms. It indicates strongly 
a common origin and site. The J\Iacdonalds, 
l\Iaclachlans, :Macdougals, :Macneils, Macleans, 
and Campbells, as well as the Macphersons, 
.Mackintoshes, and others, carry, and have always 
carried, such a galley in their armorial shields. 
Some families of Macdonald descent do not 
bear it; and indeed, at most, it simply proves 
a common coast origin, or an early location 
by the western lochs amI lakes. " 


CHAPTER III. 


The :\Iacdougalls-Bruce's adventures with the l\Iac- 
dougalls of Lorn-The Brooch of Lorn-The Stewarts 
acquire Lorn-Macdougalls of Hamy, Gallanach, 
anù Scraba- 11acalisters- Siol Gillevray- Macneills 
-Partly of Norse descent-Two branches of Barra 
and Gigha.--Sea exploits of the formcr-Ruari the 
'l'mbnlent's two families-Gigha l\Iaweills- Mac- 
neills of Gullochallie, C'arskeay, and Tirfergus- 
The chiefship-Macneills of Colonsay-Maclauch- 
lans-Kindreù to the Lamonds and MacEwens of 
Otter-Present r<'presentative-C'astle Lachlan- 
Force of the clan-Caùets-l\IacEwens-Macdougall 
Campbells of Craignish-Policy of Argyll Camp- 
bells-Lamonds-l\Iassacred by the Campbells- 
The laird of Lamonù and MacGregor of Glenstrae. 


l\IACDO UGALL. 


"'iE:"'","JI' 




e 


c 



 


\
 

- 
"\

I ....
 
\. 


, II 





 
,1>, 

 
){) "'II 
' 

 
L 



 


.' 

'\
j f \. 
êl'V!\
t. I'
 
,'l...,1
 
 )< 

 


159 


. 



160 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHL.AXD CLAKS. 


attended on that occasion, we find the name of I slew l
illl at the first blo
v,". 'Vhether the 
.Alexander de Ergadia, whose presence was story IS true or not, and It ]S by no means 
probably the consequence of his holding his improba1le, it shows the reputation for gigantic 
lands by a crown charter; but from this period strength which the doughty Bruce haù in his 
we lose sight of him entirely, until the reign uf day. It is said to have been in this contest 
Robert Druce, when the strenuous opposition that the king lost the magnificent brooch, since 
offered by the Lord of Lorn and by his son famous as the" brooch of Lorn." This highly- 
John to the succession of that king, restored prized trophy was long preserved as a remark- 
his name to history, in connection with that able r('lic in the family of Macdougall of 
of Bruce. Alister having married the third I hmolly, and after having been carried off 
daughter of the Red Comyn, whom Bruce during the siege of Dunolly Castle, the family 

lew in the Dominican church at Dumfries, residence, it was, about forty years ago, again 
became the mortal enemy of the king; and, restored to the family. 5 In his day of adver- 
upon more than one occasion, during the early sity the J\Iacllougalls were the most per- 
part of his reign, succeeded in reducing him to severing and dangerous of all King Robert's 
the greatest straits. enemies. 
Bruce, after his defeat at l\fethven, on the nut the time for retribution at length arrived. 
19th of June 1306, withdrew to the moun- 'Vhen Robert Bruce had firmly established hirn- 
tainous parts of Breadalbane, and approached self on the throne of Scotland, one of the first 
the borders of Argyleshire. His followers did objects to which he directed his attention, was 
not exceed three hundred men, who, dis- to crush his old enemies the .Macdougt.tlls,6 and 
heartened by defeat, and exhausted by pri- to revenge the many injuries he had suffered 
vation, were not in a condition to encounter a at their hands. 1Vith this view, he marched 
superior force. In this situation, however, he into ArgJ.leshire, determined to lay waste the 
was attacked by .Macdougall of Lorn, at the country, and take possession of Lorn. On 
head of a thousand men, part of whom were advancing, he found John of Lorn and his 
-:\Iacnabs, who had joined the party of John followers posted in a formidable defile between I 
Haliol; and, after a severe conflict, he was Ben Cruachan amI Loch A we, which it seemed 
compelled to abandon the field. In the re- impossible to force, and almost hopeless to 
treat from Dalree, where the battle had been turn. But having sent a party to ascend the 
fought, the king was hotly pursued, and mountain, gain the heights, and threaten the 
especially by three of the clansmen of Lorn, 
probably personal attendants or henchmen of 
the J\lacdougalls, who appear to have resolved 
to slay the Bruce or die. These followed the 
retreating party, and when King Robert en- 
tered a narrow pass, threw themselves sud- 
denly upon him. The king turning hastily 
round, cleft the skull of one with his hattle- 
axe. "The spcond had grasped the stirrup, 
and TIobert fixpd and held him thcre by press- 
ing down his foot, so that the captive was 
dragged along the ground as if chained to the 
horse. In the meantime, the third assailant 
had sprung from the hillside to the back of the 
horse, and sat behind th(' king. The latter 
turned half round and forced tIle Highlander 
forward to the front of the 8addle, where' he 
clave the hea,l to the hams.' The secon
 
assailant was still hanging by the stirrup, and 
Robert now struck at him vigorously, and 


5 l\Ir Smibert (Clans, p. 46) thus describes this 
interesting relic :-" That ornament, as observed, is 
silver, and consists of a circular plate, about four 
inches in diameter, lla\"ing a tongue 1ike that of :I 
eommon buckle on the under side. The upper side is 
magnificently ornamented. First, from the margin 
rises a neatly-formed rim, with hollows cut in the 
edge at certain distances, like the embrasures in an 
embattled wall. From a circle within this rim rise 
eight rounù tapering obelisks, about an inch ailil a 
quarter high, finely cut, and each studded at top with 
a river pearl. Within this circle of obelisks there is 
a second rim, also ornamented with caf\'ed work, aIllI 
\\ithin which risps a neat circular case. occupying the 
whole centre of the brooch, and slightly overtopping 
the obelisks. The exterior of this case, instead of 
forming a plain circle, projects into eight semi- 
cylinders, which relieve it from all appearance of 
heaviness. The upper part is likewise carved very 
elegantly, and in the centre there is a large gl'm. 
This c'\se may be taken off, and within there is a 
hollow, which might han contained any small articles 
upon which a particular value was set." 
6 In referring to this incident in tllP first part of 
this work (p. 63), the name .. StEwart" (which Iiall 
crept into the old edition) was aHowed to remain in- 
stead of that of "Macdougall." The Stewarts d it! 
not possess Lorn till some years after. 



THE 
IACALISTERS. 


161 


enemy's rem', Bruce immediately attacked them 
in front, with the utmost fury. .For a time 
the :Macùougalls sustained the onset bravely; 
but at length, perceiving themselves in danger 
of being assailed in the rear, as well as the 
front, and thus completely isolated in the defile, 
they betook themselves to flight. Unable to 
escape from the mountain gorge, they were 
slaughtered without mercy, and by this reverse, 
1 their power was completely broken. Bruce 
then laid waste Argy leshire, besieged anù took 
the castle of Dunstaffnage, and received the 
submission of Alister of Lorn, the father of 
John, who now fled to England. Alister was 
allowed to retain the district of Lorn: but the 
rest of his possessions were forfeited and given 
to Angus of Isla, who had all along remained 
faithful to the king's interests. 
\Vhen John of Lorn arrived as a fugitive in 
, England, King Edward was making prepara- 
tions for that expedition, which terminated 
in the ever-memorable battle of Bannock- 
burn. John was received with open arms, 
appointed to the command of the English 
fleet, and ordered to sail for Scotland, in 
order to co-operate with the land forces. But 
I the total defeat and diRpersion of the latter 
soon afterwards confirmed Bruce in possession 
of the throne; anù being relieved from the 
apprehension of any further aggression on the 
part of the English kings he resolved to lose no 
time in driving the Lord of Lorn from the Isles, 
where he had made his appearance with the fleet 
under his command. Accordingly, on his 
I return from Ireland, whither he had accom- 
panied his brother Edward, he directed lús 
course towards the Isles, and having arrived 
at Tarbet, is said to have caused his galleys 
to be dragged over the isthmus which con- 
nects Kintyre and Knapdale. This bold pro- 
ceeding was crowned with success. The Eng- 
lish fleet was surprised and dispersed; and its 
I commander having been made prisoner, was 
sent to Dumbarton, and afterwards to Loch- 
leven, where he was detained in confinement 
during the remainder of King Robert's reign. 
In the early part of the reign of David 
II., John's son, John or Ewen, married a 
grand-daughter of Robert Bruce, and through 
her not only recovered the ancient possessions 
of his family, but even obtained a grant of the 
IT. 


property of Glenlyon. These extensive ter- 
ritories, however, were not destined. to remain 
long in the family. Ewen died without male 
issue; and his two daughters having married, 
the one J olm btewart of J nnermeath, and the 
other his brother TIobert Stewart, an arrange- 
ment was entered into between these parties, 
in virtue of which the descendants of John 
Stewart acquired the whole of the Lorn posses- 
sions, with the exception of the castle of 
Dunolly and its dependencies, which remained 
to the other branch of the family; and thus 
terminated the power of this branch of the 
descendants of Sornerled. The chieftainship 
of the clan now descended to the family of 
Dunolly, which continued to enjoy the small 
portion which remained to them of their an- 
cient possessions until the year 1715, when 
the representative of the family incurred the 
penalty of forfeiture for his accession to the 
insurrection of that period; thus, by a singular 
contrast of circumstances, " losing the remains 
of his inheritanace to replace upon the throne 
the descendants of those princes, whose acces- 
sion his ancestors haù opposed at the expense 
of their feudal grandeur." The estate, how- 
ever, was restored to the family in 1745, as a 
reward for their not having taken any part in 
the more formidable rebellion of that year. 
In President Forbes'R Report on the strength 
of the clans, the force of the l\Iacdougalls is 
estimated at 200 men. 
The l\Iacdougalls of Raray, represented by 
:Macdougall of Ardencaple, were a branch of 
the house of Lorn. The principal cadets of 
the family of Donolly were those of Gallanach 
and Somba. The l\Iacdougalls still hold pos- 
sessions in Galloway, where, however, they 
usually style themselves Macdowall. 


.MACALISTERS. 
A clan at one time of considerable importance, 
claiming connection with the great clan Donald, 
is the :Macalisters, or MacAlesters, formerly in- 
habiting the south of Knapdale, and the north 
of Kintyre in Argy leshire. They are traced to 
Alister or Alexander, a son of Angus Mor, of 
the clan Donald. Exposed. to the encroach- 
ments of the Campbells, their pl'incip31 pos- 
sessions became, ere long, absor1Jed by dif- 
ferent branches of that powerful clan. The 
x 



16
 


HISTORY OF THE lIIGHLA
D CLAXS. 


chief of this sept of the 
facùonalds is ::)omer- 
yille MacAI
ster of Loup in Kintyre, and 
Kenuox in Ayrshire. In 180,) Charles 
Somerville J\Iac
\.lester, Esq. of Loup, assumed 
the name and arms of Somerville in addition 
to his own, in right of his wife, J anf't Somer- 
yille, inheritrix of the cntaileù estate of 
Kcnnox, whom he had marriell in 1792. 
From their descent from Alexander, eldest 
son of Angus :Mor, Lord of the Isles aud 
Kintyre in 1284:, the grandson of Somerled, 
thane of Argyle, the MacAlesters claim to be 
the representatives, after :MacDonell of Glen- 
garry, of the ancient Lords of the Isles, 
as heirs male of Donald, grandson of Somerled. 
After the forfeiture of the Lords of the 
Isles in 14-93, the 1IIacAlesters became so 
numerous as to form a separate and independent 
clan. At that period their chief was named 
J olm or Ian Dubh, whose residence was at 
Ard Phadriuc or Ardpatrick in South Knap- 
dale. Uue of the family, Charles 
lacAlcster, 
is mentioned as steward of Kintyre in 1481. 
Alexander MacAlester was one of those 
Highland chieftains who were held responsible, 
hy the act" called the Black Baud," passed 
in 1587, for the peaceable behaviour of their 
clansmen and the "broken men" who lived 
on their lanùs. He died when his son, Godfrey 
or Gorrio l\IacAlester, was yet under age. 
In 1618 the laird of Loup was named one 
of the twenty barons and gentlemen of the 
shire of .Argyle who were made responsible for 
the good rule of the earlclolll during Argyll's 
absence. He married Margaret, daughter of 
Colin Camphell of KilLerry, and though, as a 
vassal of the ßlaquis of ArgJTll, he took no 
part in the wars of the J\Iarql1is of :Montrose, 
many of his clan fought on the siùe of the 
latter. 
The principal cadet of the family of Lonp 
was l\IacAlester of Tarbert. Tllere is also 
MacAlister of Glenbarr, county of Argyle. 


SIOL GILLE\'RAY. 
Under the head of the Siol or clan Gillevray, 
I ::\Tr Skene gives other throe clans said by the 
genClLlogists to have heen descended from the 
family of Somerlerl, and included hy 1\[1' Skene 
und('r the Gallgael. The three clans are those 
of the Macneills, the l\Iaclauchlans, and the 


l\Iacewens. According to the :MS. of 14-50, 
the Sial Gillevray are descended from a certain 
Gillebride, surnamed King of the Isles, who 
lived in the 12th century, and who derived 
his descent from a brother of Suibne, the 
ancestor of the 
Iacdonalds, who was slain in 
the year 1034. Even:Mr Skene, however, 
doubts the genealogy by which this GillebÚdo 
is derived from an ancestor of the .Macdonalds 
in the beginning of the II th century, but I 
nevertheless, the traditionary affinity which is 
thus shown to have existed between these clans I 
and the race of Somerled at so early a period, I 
he thinks seems to countenance the notion that 
they haJ. all originally sprung from the same 
stock. The original seat of this race appears 
to have been in Lochaber. On the conquest 
of ..Argyle by Alexander II., they were involved 
in the ruin which oyer to ok all the adherents 
of Somerled; with the exception of the l\Iac- 
neills, who consented to h0ld their lands of the 
crown, and the J\Iac1auchlans, who regaineJ. 
their former comsequence l)y means of mar- 
riage with an heiress of the Lamonds. After 
the breaking up of the clan, the other branches 
appear to have followed, as their chief, ì\Iac- 
dougall Campbell of Craignish, the head of a 
family, which is descended from the kindred 
race of l\IacInnes of Ardgour. 


I'IIACKEILL. 


". 


BADGE. -Sea "VIr are. 


The l\Iacneills consisted of two indq)emltmt 
branches, the 1\f acneills of J
arra and the 
Macneills of Gigha, said to be descendrd from 
brothers. Theil' badge was the sea ware, but II 



THE 
rAGKEILLS. 


L63 


they had different armorial bearings, and from 
this circumstance, joineù to the fact that they 
were often opposed to each other in the clan 
fights of the period, and that the Christian 
names of the one, with the exception of X eill, 
were not used by the other, l\Ir Gregory thinks 
the traditionoftheir common descent erroneous. 
1)art of their possessions were completely sepa- 
rated, and situated at a considerable distance 
from the rest. 
The clan Neill were among the secondary 
vassal tribes of the lords of the Isles, and its 
heads appear to have been of Korse or Danish 
orlgm. Mr Smibert thinks this probable from 
I the fact that the :Macneills were lords of Castle 
Swen, plainly a Norse term. "The clan," he 
sa
's,7 "was in any case largely Gaelic, to a 
certainty. 1Ye speak of the fundamental line 
of the chiefs mainly, when we say that the 
Macneills appear to have at least shareù the 
blood of the old Scandinavian inhabitants of 
the western islands. The names of those of 
the race first fmmd in history are partly 
indicative of such a lineage. The isle of 
Barra and certain lands in Uist were chartered 
to a Macneill in 1427 ; and in 1472, a charter 
of the Macdonald family is witnessed by 
Hector JIactorquil :i\Iacneill, keeper of Castle 
Swen. The appellation 'l\lac-Torquil,' half 
Gaelic, half Norse, speaks strongly in favour 
of the supposition that the two races were at 
this very time in the act of blending with one 
people. After all, we proceed not beyond the 
conclusion, that, by heirs male or heirs female, 
the founders of the house possessed a sprinkling 
of the blood of the ancient Norwegian occu- 
pants of the western isles and coasts, inter- 
fused with that of the native Gael of Albyn, 
and also of the Celtic visitants from Ireland. 
The proportion of Celtic blood, beyond doubt, 
is far the largest in the veins of the clan 
generally. n 
About the beginning of the 15th century, 
the l\Iacneills were a considerable clan in 
Knapdale, Argyleshire. As this district was 
not then included in the sheriffdom of Argyle, 
it is probable that their ancestor had consented 
to hold his lands of the crown. 
The first of the family on record is 


7 Clans, p. 84. 


Nigellus Og, who obtained from llobert Bruce 
a charter of Barra awl SOllle lands in Kin- 
tJre. His great-grandson, Gilleonan Roderick I 
Muchanl l\Iacneill, in 1427, received from 
Alexander, Lord of the Isles, a charter of ' 
that island. In the same charter were in- 
cluded the lands of Doisdale in South Uist, 
which lies about eight miles distant from 
Barra. 1Yith J olm Garve :Maclean he dis- 
puted the possession of that island, and was I 
killed by him in Coll. His grandson, Gil- 
leonan, took part with John, the old Lorù of 
the Isles, against his turbulent SOIl, Angus, I 
and fought on his side at the battle of Bloody 
Day. He was chief of this sept or division of 
the l\Iacneills in 1493, at the forfeiture of 
the lordship of the Isles. 
The Gigha l\Iacneills are supposed to have 
sprung from Torquil l\Iacneill, designated in 
his charter, " filius Kigelli," who, in the early 
part of the 15th century, received from the 
Lord of the Isles a charter of the lands of 
Gigha and Taynish, with the constabulary of 
Castle Sweyn, in Knapd3.1e. He had two 
sons, X eill his heir, and Hector, ancestor of 
the family of Taynish. l\Ialcolm Macneill of 
Gigha, the son of K eill, who is first mentioned 
in 1478, was chief of this sept of the l\Iac- 
neills in 1{93. After that period the Gigha 
branch followed the banner of l\Iacdonalù of 
Isla and KintJ're, while the Barra Macneills 
ranged themselves under that of ::Maclean of 
Dowart. 
In 1545 Gilliganan Macneill of Barra was 
one of the barons and council of the Isles who 
accompanied Donald Dubh, styling himself 
Lord of the Isles and Earl of Hoss, to Ireland, 
to swear allegiance to the king of England. 
His elder son, Roderick or Ruari Macneill, 
was killed at the battle of Glenlivet, by a 
shot from a fieldpiece, on 3d Oct. 1594. He 
left three sons-Roderick, his heir, called 
Ruari the turbulent, John, and l\Iurdo. Dur- 
ing the memorable and most disastrous feud 
which happened between the l\Iadeans and 
the Macdonalds at this period, the Barra l\Iac- 
neills and the Gigha branch of the same clap 
fought on different sides. 
The :Macneills of Barra were expert seamen, 
and did not scruple to act as pirates upon 
occasion. An English ship having been 



161 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS.' 


seized off the island of Barra by Ruari the 
turbulent, Queen Elizabeth complaineLl of this 
act of piracy. The laird of Barra was in con- 
se4.uellce surumo 1 led to appear at Edinburgh, 
to answer for his conduct, but he treated the 
SUllimons with contempt. All the attempt.:; 
made to appreheIid him proving unsuccessful, 
Mackenzie, tutor of Kintail, undertook to effect 
his captme by a stratagem frequently put in 
practice against the island chiefs when sus- 
pecting no hostile dpsign. Under the pre- 
tence of a friendly visit, he arrived at M-ac- 
neill's castle of Chisamul (pronounced Kisimul), 
the ruins of which stand on an insulated rock 
in Castlebay, on the south-east end of Barra, 
and invited him and all his attendants on 
board his vessel. There they were well plied 
with liquor, until they were all overpowered 
with it. The chiefs followers were then sent 
on shore, while he himself was carried a pri- 
soner to Edinburgh. Being put upon his trial, 
he confeRsed his seizure of the English ship, 
I but pleaded in excuse that he thought himself 
I Lound by his loyalty to avenge, by every means 
in his power, the fate of his majesty's mother, 
so cruelly put to death by the queen (If England. 
This politic answer procured his pardon, but 
his estate was forfeited, and given to the tutor 
I of Kintail The latter restored it to its owner, 
on condition of his holJing it of him, and pay- 
ing him sixty merks Scots, as a yearly feu duty. 
It had previously been helJ of the crown. 
Some time thereafter Sir James .Macdonald of 
Sleat married a daughter of the tutor of Kin- 
tail, who made over the superiority to his 
son-in-law, and it i."! now possessed by Lord 
.l\Iacdonald, the representative of the house of 
8leat. 
The old chief of Barra, Ruari the turbulent, 
had several sons by a lady of the family of 
Maclean, with whom, according to an ancient 
practice in the Highlands, he had lumdfaðted, * 
instead of marrying her. He afterwards mar- 
ried a sister of the captain of the Clanranald, 
and by her also he had sons. To exclude the 
senior family from the succession, the captain 
of the Clanranald took the part of his nephews, 
whom he declared to be the only legitimate 
sons of the ]
arra chief. Having apprehended 
the eldest son of the first family for having 
b('('n concerned in the piratical seizure of a 


ship of Bourdeaux, he conveyed him to Edin. 
burgh for trial, but he died there soon after. 
His brothers-german, in revenge, aS8istell by 

Ia('lcan of Dowart, seized Neill Macneill, the 
eldest son of the second family, and sent him 
to EJinburgh, to be tried as an actor in the 
piracy of the same Bourddhux ship; and, 
thinking that their father was too partial to 
their half brothers, they also seized the old 
chief, and placed him in irons. Neill .Mac- 
neill, called 'Veyislache, was found innocent, 
and liberated through the influence of his 
uncle. TIarra's elder sons, on being charged 
to exhibit their father before the privy council, 
refused, on which they were proclaimed rebels, 
and commission was given to the captain of 
the Clanranald against them. In consequence 
of these proceedings, which occurred about 
1613, Clanranald was enabled to secure the 
peaceable succession of his nephew to the 
estate of Barra, on the death of his father, 
which happened soon after. 8 
The island of narra and the adjacent isles 
are still possessed by the descendant anel re- 
presentative of the family of :Macneill. Their 
feudal castle of Chisamul has been already 
mentioned. It is a building of hexagonal 
form, strongl)' built, with a wall abovß. thirty 
feet high, and anchorage for small vessels 
on every side 'of it. Martin, who visited 
Barra in 1703, in his Description of the 
JVetdel.u, Islands, says that the Highland 
Chroniclers or sennachies alleged that the then 
chief of Barra was the 34:th lineal descendant 
from the first :Macneill who had held it. He 
relates that the inhabitants of this and the 
other islands belonging to 
racneill were in the 
custom of applying to him for wives and hus- 
bands, when he named the persons most suit-. 
able for them, and gave them a bottle of strong 
waters for the marriage feast. 
The chief of the 
racIleills of Gigha, in the 
first half of the 16th century, was :Keill :ß1ac- 
neill, who was killed, with many gentlemen of 
his tribe, in 1530, in a feud with Allan 
rac- 
lean of Torlusk, called Ailen nan Sup, brother 
of l\1aclean of Dowart. His only daughter, 
Annabella, made over the lands of Gigha to 
her natural brother, K eil!. He sold Gigha to ' 
* Vol. II. p. 124. 
ts Gregory's lIigMands and Isles, p. 346. 



THE MACLACHI.ANS. 


165 


James 
Iacdonald of Isla in 1551, and died 
without legitimate issue in the latter part of 
the reign of Queen :Mary. 
On the extinction of the direct male line, 
.N eill 
Iacneill vic Eachan, who had obtained 
the lands of Taynish, became heir male of the 
family. His descendant, Hector Macneill of 
Taynish, purchased in 1590 the island of 
Gigha from John Campbell of Calder, who 
had acquired it from 
Iacdonald of Isla, so 
I that it again became the property of a Mac- 
neill The estates of Gigha and Taynish 
were possessed by his descendants till 1780, 
when the former was sold to 
Iacneill of 
Colonsay, a cadet of the family. 
The representative of the male line of the 
)Iacneills of Taynish and Gigha, Roger 
Hamilton :Macneill of Taynish, married Eliza- 
beth, daughter and heiress of Hamilton Price, 
Esq. of Raploch, Lanarkshire, with whom he 
got that estate, and assumed, in consequence, 
the name of Hamilton. His descendants are 
now designated of Raploch. 
The principal cadets of the Gigha :Macneills, 
besides the Taynish family, were those of 
Gallochallie, Carskeay, and Tirfergus. Tor- 
quil, a younger son of Lachlan )Iacneill TIuy 
of Tirfergus, acquired the estate of U gadalE' in 
Argyleshire, by marriage with the heiress of 
the }\Iackays in the end of the 17th century. 
The present proprietor spells his name l\Iacneal. 
From 
Ialcolm Beg )Iacneill, celebrated in 
Highland tradition for his extraordinary 
prowess and great strength, son of John Oig 
)Iacneill of Gallochallie, in the reign of James 
VI., sprung the :M acneills of Arichonan. 
'l\Ialcolm's only son, K eill 
ig, had two sons, 
J olm, who succeeded him, and Donald )Iac- 
neill of Crerar, ancestor of the 1\Iacneills of 
Colonsay, now the possessors of Gigha. 1\Iany 
cadets of the )Iacneills of Gigha settled in the 
north of Ireland. 
Both branches of the clan K eill laid claim 
to the chiefship. According to tradition, it 
has belonged, since the middle of the 16th 
century, to the house of Barra. Under t.he 
date of 1550, a letter appears in the register 
of the privy council, addressed to "Torkill 

Iacneill; chief and principal of the clan and 
surname of J\Iacnelis." J\Ir Skene conjectures 
this Torkill to have been the 11Pre(litary kppper 


of Castl
 Sweyn, and connected with neither 
branch of the J\facneills. He is said, however, 
to have been the brother of Neill Macneill of 
Gigha, killed in 1530, as aboye mentioned, 
and to have, on his brother's death, obtained 
a grant of the non-entries of Gigha as repre- 
sentative of the family. If this be correct, 
according to the above designation, the chief- 
ship was in the Gigha line. Torquil appears 
to have died without leaving any direct suc- 
cession. 
The first of the family of Colonsay, Donald 
:Macneill of Crerar, in South Knapdale, ex- 
changed that estate ill 1700, with the Duke of 
Argyll, for the islands of Colonsay and Oroll- 
say. The old possessors of these two islands, 
which are only separated by a narrow sound, 
dry at low water, were the J\Iacduffies or 
1\Iacphies. Donald's great-grandson, Archi- 
bald :Macneill of Colonsay, sold that island to 
his cousin, John Macneill, who married Hester, 
daughter of Duncan l\Iacneill of Dunmore, 
and had six sons. His eldest son, Alexander, 
younger of Colonsay, became the purchaser of 
Gigha.. Two of his other sons, Duncan, I
ord 
Colonsay, and Sir John 1\Iacnaill, have dis- 
tinguished themselves, the one as a lawyer and 
judge, and the other as a diplomatist. 


MACLACHLAN. 


. 
.- I 
I.- 


lt
 


y
 


)-r- 


. 
..?-
 
, " L ' \ 1- J 
 
- 

 

 
 
\ 

--:


 
íFO
 ------. 
 \ 


BADGE.--Mountain Ash. 


1\Iaclachlan, or l\Iaclauchlan, is the name of 
another clan classified by Skene as belonging to I 
the great race of the Siol Conn, and in the 
[R, 
so much valued by this writer, of 1450, tl
e 
J\[aclachlans are traced to Gilchrist, a graLd- 
Ron of that Anradan or Henry, from whom all 



II IGû HTSTOTIV OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 
I the clans of. the Siol Gillevray are said to be :Maclachlan was in possession of the lands 
descended. They possessed the barony of still retained by the family, during the oc- 
I Strathlachlan in Cowal, and other extensive cupation of Scotland by Edward 1. in I29û. 9 
possessions in the parishes of Glassrie amI In 1314, Archibald :Mac1achlan in Ergadia, 
I Kilmartin, and on Loch Awe side, which were granted to the Preaching Friars of Glasgow 
separated from the main seat of the family by forty shillings to be paid yearly out of his 
Loch Fyne. lands of Kilbride, "juxta castrum meum quod 
They were one of those Gaelic tribes who dicitur Castellachlan." He died before 1322, 
adopted the oared galley for their special and was succeeded by his brother Patrick. 
device, as indicative of their connection, The latter married a daughter of James, 
either by residence or descent, with the Isles. Steward of Scotland, and had a son, Laclùan, 
An ancester of the family, Lachlan 1\101', who who succeeded him. Lachlan's son, Donald, 
lived in the 13th century, is described in the confirmed in 14:56, the grant by his predecessor 
I Gaelic }\fRo of 14fiO, as "son of Patrick, Archibald, t.o the Preaching Friars of Glasgow 
son of Gilchrist, son of De dalan, called the of forty shillings yearly out of the lands of 
clumsy, son of Anradan, from whom are de- Kilbride, with an additional annuity of six 
Bcended also the clan Neill." shillings and eightpence "from his lands of 
By trarlition the l\Iaclaclùans are said to leil bryde near Castellachlan." ) 
have come from Ireland, their original stock "Lachlan, the 15th chief, dating from the 
being the O'Loughlins of 1\Ieath. time that written evidence can be adduced, 
According to the Irish genealogies, the clan was served heir to his father, 23d September 
Lachlan, the LI.Illonds, and the l\IacEwens of 1719. He married a daughter of Stewart of 
Ottet, were kindred tribes, being descended Appin, and was killed at Culloden, fighting 
from brothers who were sons of De dalan on the side of Prince Charles. The 18th 
above referred to, and tradition relates that chief, his great-grandson, Robert Maclachlan 
they took possession of the greater part of the' of l\Iaclachlan, convener and one of the 
district of Cowal, from Toward Point to deputy-lieutenants of Argyleshire, married in 
Strachur at the same time; the Lamonds 1823, Helen, daughter of\Yilliam A. Carruthers 
being separated from the .MacE"rens by the of Dormont, Dumfries-shire, without issue. 
I'iver of Kilfinan, and the 1\IacEwens.from the His brother, the next heir, George l\Iaclachlan, 
1\1aclachlans by the stream which separates the Esq., has three sons and a daughter. The 
parishes of Kilfinan and 8trath Lachlan. family seat, Castle Lachlan, built about 1790, 
De dalan, the common ancestor of these near the old and ruinous tower, formerly the 
families, is stated in ancient Irish genealogiefl residence of the chiefs, is situated in the 
to have been the grandson of Hugh Atlaman, centre of the family estate, which is eleven 
the head of the great family of O'Neils, kings miles in length, and, on an average, a mile amI 
of Ireland. a half in breadth, amI stretches in 011e con- 
About 1230, Gilchrist :l\Iaclachlan, who is tinued line along tile eastern side of Loch 
mentioned in the manuscript of 14:50 as chief Fyne. The effective force of the clan previous 
of the family of "Maclachlan at the time, is a to the rebellion of 1745, was estimated at 300 
witness to a charter of Kilfinan granted by men. TheirOTiginal seat, according to 1\Ir Skene, 
Laumanus, ancestor of the Lamonds. appears to have been in Lochaber, where a 
In 12!:12, Gilleskell\Iaclachlan got a charter very old lJranch of the family has from the 
of his lands in Ergadia from Baliol. earliest period been settled as native men of 
In a document preserved in the treasury of the Camerons. 

er Majesty's Exchequer, entitled "Les peti- In Argyleshire also are the families of 
tlOns de terre demandees en Escoce," there is Maclachlan of Craiginterve, Inchconnell, &c., 
the following entry,-" Item Gillescop :Mac- 
loghlan ad ùemanùi la Daronie de l\Iolbryùe II See Sir Francis Palgrave's Scottish Documents, 
juvelle, apelle Strath. que fu pris contre Ie foi vol. i. p. 319. 
d I 111lunime'llta Fratrum Predicato'rurn de Olasgn. 
e {oi." From this it appears that Gillespie Maitland ClulJ. 



l\IACE'VENS-MACDOUGALL CAJ\fPJ3ELLS. 


lfì7 


anù in Stirlingshire, of Auchilltroig. The 
Maclachlans of Drnmblane in :Monteith were 
of the Lochaber branch. 


:MAcEwE8S. 
Upon a rocky promontory situated on the 
cor"st of Lochfyne, may still be discerned the 
vestige of a buillling, called in Gaelic Chaistel 
l\Ihic Eobhuin, or the castle of :l\IacEwen. 
I In the Old Statistical L'tcconnt of the parish 
I of Kilfinnan, quoted by Skene, this :MacEwen 
is described as the chief of a clan, and pro- 
prietor of the northern division of the parish 
called Otter; ancl in the manuscript of 1430, 
which contains the genealogy of the Clan 
Eoghan na Ho'Ífreic, or Clan Ewen of Otter, 
they are derived. from .Anradan, the common 
ancestor of the 1\Iaclauchlans and the "1Iacneills. 
This family soon became extinct, and their 
property gave title to a branch of the Camp- 
bells, by whom it appears to have been sub- 
sequently acquired, though in what manner 
we have nó means of ascertaining. 


SIOI, E.\CHEnN. 
Under the name of Siol Eache1'n are in- 
cludeù by 1\11' Skene the :Macdougall Campbells 
of Craignish, aml the Lamonds of Lamond, 
both very old clans in Argyleshire, and snp- 
posed to have been originally of the Bame race. 


:l\IACDOUGALL CAl'tIPBELLS OF CRAIGNISH. 
"The policy of the Argyll family," says !III' 
Skene, "led them t,o employ every means for 
the acquisition of property, and the extension 
of the clan. One of the arts which they used 
for the latter purpose was to compel those 
clans which had become dependant upon them 
t.o adopt the name of Campbell; and this, 
when Ruccessful, was generally followed at an 
after period, by the assertion that that clan 
was descended from the house of Argyll. In 
general, the clans thus adopted into the race 
of Campbell, are sufficiently marked out by 
their being promoted only to the honour of 
their being an illegitimate branch; but the 
tradition of the country invarial]ly distin- 
guishes between the real Campbells, and those 
who were compelled to adopt their name." Of 
tho policy in question, the Campbellg of Craig- 
nish are said to have afforùed a remarkable 


instance. According to the Argy II system, as 
here described, they are reprc::;ented as the 
descendants of Dugall, an illegitimate ::;on I I 
of a Campbell, who lived in the twelfth I I 
century. But the common belief amongst 
the people is, that their ancient name wag I 
:MacEaclJel'n, and that they were of the same 
race with the JlvIacdonald::;; nClr are there 
wanting circumstances which seem to give 
COlllltenance to this trallition. Their arms are 
charged with the galley of the Isles, from the 
mast of which depends a shield exhibiting 
some of the distinctive bearings of the Camp- 
bells; and, what is even more to the purpose, 
the manuscript of 1450 contains a genealogy 
of the "1IacEacherns, in which they are derived 
from a certain Nicol :Mac
Iurdoch, who lived 
in the twelfth century. Besides, when the 
)IacGillevrays anù MacIans of Morverll and ' 
.Ardgour were broken up and dispersed, many of 
their septs, although not resident on the pro- 
perty of the Craignish family, acknowleùged 
its head as their chief. nut as the :Mac Gille- 
vrays and the :MacIans were two branches of 
the same clan, which hacl separated as early as 
the twelfth century; aud as the MacEacherns 
appear to have been of the same race, 
Illr- 
doch, the first of the clan, being contemporary 
with :Murdoch the father of Gillebride, the 
ancestor of the Siol Gillevray; it may be COll- 
cluded that the Siol Eachern and the :MacIans 
were of the same clan; and. this is further 
confirmeù by the circumstance, that there was 
an old family of l\IacEacherns which occupied 
Kingerloch, bordering on Ardgour, the ancient 
property of the l\laclans. That branch of the 
Siol Eachel'll which settled at Craignish, were 
callell Clan Dugall Craignish, and oùLaineù, it I 
is said, the property known by this nallle from 
the brother of Campbell of Lochow, in the 
reign of David IV' The laIllls of Colin Camp- 
bell of Lochow having been forfeited in that 
reign, his brother, Gillespie Campbell, appears 
to have obtained a grant of them from the 


2 .. Nisbet, that acute hcraldist," says Smibpl't, 
"discovered an old seal of the family, 011 which the 
words are, as nearly as they can be made out, S(iyil- 
lwn) DW/alli de Cmiynisll, shov.ing that the Call1p- 
bells of Craignish were simply of the DIm-Gall mee. 
The seal is very old, though nuticed only hy its use 
in 1500. It has the grand mark upon it of Lhe bear- 
ings of all the Cael of the Western Coasts, namely, the 
Oared GaIItY_" 


I 
I 
I 
_ ----1 



168 


II 
Steward of Scotland, married Jean, the daugh- I 
tel' of James, son of Angns l\IacRory, 'who is 
styled Lord of Eute; and, from the manuscript 
of 1450, we learn that, about the same period, 
Gilchrist l\Iaclauc hlan married the daughter of 
Lachlan l\IacRory; from which it is probable 
that this Roderic or nory was the third indi- 
vidual who obtained a crown charter for Lower 
Cowal, and that by these intermarriages the 
property passed from his family into the hands 
of the Stewarts and the 
Iachlauchlans. The 
coincidence of these facts, with the tradition 
above-mentioned, would seem also to indicate 
that Angus MacHory was the ancestor of the 
Lamonds. 
After the marriage of the Steward with the 
heiress of Lamond, the next of that race of 
whom any mention is made is Duncan Mac 
Fercher, and "Lauman us," son of Malcolm, 
and grandson of the same Duncan, who appear 
to have granted to the monks of Paisley a 
charter of the lands of l{ilmore, near Lochgilp, 
anù also of the lands "which they and their 
predecessors held at Kilmun" (quas nos et ante- 
cessores nostl'i apud Kilmun llablle/"ll7d). In 
the same year, "Lauman us," the sou of 
ral- 
colm, also granted a charter of the lands of 
Kilfinnan, which, in 1295, is confirmed by 
Malcolm, the son and heir of the late" Lau- 
manus" (domini quondam La wnall is). TIut 
in an instrument, or deed, dated in l4GG, be- 
tween the monastery of Paisley and John 
Lamond of Lamond, regarding the lands of 
Kilfinan, it is expressly stated, that these 
lands had belonged to the ancestors of John 
Lamond;. and hence, it is evident, that the 
" Laumanus," mentioned in the previous deed, 
must Lave been one of the number, if not 
indeed the chief and founder of the family. 
"From Laumanus," sa)Ys 
Ir Skene, "the clan 
appear to have taken the name of :Maclaman 
or Lamond, having previously to this time borne 
the name of 
racerachar, and Clall Mhic 
Earachar. " 
The connection of this clan ,vith that of 
Dugall Craignish, is indicated by the same 
circumstances which point out the connection 
of other branches of the tribe; for whilst the 
Craignish family preserved its power it was 
followed by a great portion of the Clan Mhic 
Eamchar, '\lthough it possessed no feudal right 


HISTOHY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


crown; and it is not improbable that the clan 
Dugall Craignish acquiL'ed from the latter their 
right to the property of Craignish. After the 
restoration of the Lochow family, by the re- 
moval of the forfeiture, that of Craignish were 
obliged to hold th(Jir lands, not of the crown, 
but of the house of Argyll. Nevertheless, 
they continued for some time a considerable 
family, maintaining a sort of independence, 
until at length, yielding to the influence of 
that policy which has already been described, 
they merged, like most of the neighbouring 
clans, in that powerful race by whom they 
were surroundec1. 3 


LAl\IO
D. 


i 



 


:, 


\ , 

 
f 
 \'- 
" 
'r j ....., 

T 
y
 

 '

J 
""" 
 ' 

-" F- " -::'M :c Iõ. 1> . 
pjl..."R 
 
 E 
- 

 
tlADGE.-Cra
-Apple Tree. 


I! 


It is an old and accredited tradition in the 
Highlands, that the Lamonds or Lamonts were 
the most ancient proprietors of Cowal, and 
that the Stewarts,l\laclauchlans, and Campbells 
obtained possession of their property in that dis- 
trict by marriage with daughters of the family. 
At an early period a very sIllall part only of 
Cow-a! was included in the sheriffüom of Upper 
Argyle, the remainder being comprehended in 
that of Perth. It may, therefore, be presumed 
that, on the conquest of .Argyle by Alexancler 
II., the lord of Lower Cowal had submitted 
to the king, and obtained a crown charter. 
Rut, in little more than half a century after 
that event, we find the High Steward in pos- 
scssion of Lower Cow aI, and the Maclauchlans 
in possession of Strathlachlan, It appears, 
indeed, that, in 1242, Alexander the High 


3 Skene's Highlanders. 



- 


169 


nOBETITSOKS, OR CLA
 DON
ACHIE. 


to their services. "There is one peculiarity I 
connected with the Lamolllls," says l\Ir Skene, 
"that although by no means a powerful clan, 
their genealogy can be proved by charters, at 
a time when most other Highland families are 
obliged to have recourse to traJ.ition, and the 
genealogies of their ancient sennachies; but 
their antiquity could not protect the Lamonds 
from the encroachments of the Campl)ells, by 
whom they were soon reduced to as small a 
portion of their original possessions in Lower 
Cowal, as the other Argyleshire clans had 
been of theirs." t The Lamonds were a clan of 
the same description as the l\Iaclauchlans, 
and, like the latter, they have, notwithstanding 
, "the encroachments of the Campbells," still 
retained a portion of their ancient possessions. 
The chief of this family is Lamond of L'tmond. 
According to Kisbet, the clan Lamond were 
originally from Ireland, but whether they 
sprung from the Dalriarlic colony, or from a 
still earlier race ill Cowal, it is certain that 
they possessed, at a very early period, the 
superiority of the district. Their name con- 
tinued to be the prevailing one till the middle 
I of the 17th century. In June 1646, certain 
chiefs of the clan Campbell in the vicinity of 
Dunoon castle, determined upon obtaining the 
ascendency, took advantage of the feuds and 
disorders of the period, to wage a war of exter- 
mination against the Lamonds. The massacre 
of the latter by the Campbells, that year, 
formed one of thc charges against the l\Iarq uis 
of Argyll in 1661, although he does not seem 
to have been any party to it. 
An interesting tradition is recorded of one 
of the lairds of Lamond, who bad unfortunately 
killed, in a sudden quarrel, the son of l\Iac- 
Gregor of Glenstrae, taking refuge in the house 
of the latter, and claiming his protection, 
which was readily granted, he being ignorant 
that he was the :;layer of his son. On being 
informed, l\IacGregor escorted him in safety to 
I his own people. 'Vhen the MacGregors were 
proscribed, and the aged chief of Glenstrae 
had become a wan(lerer, Lamond hastened 'to 
protect him and his family, and received them 
into his house. 


I I 
I 


4 Skene.s Highlander!, '\"'01. ii. part ii. chap. 4. 


H. 


CHAPTER IV. 


Robertsons or Clan Donnaehie-Macfarlanes-Camp- 
bells of Argyll amI offshoots-Hoyal 1\Iarriage- 
Campbells of 13readalbane-1\Iaeartlmr Campbells of 
Strachur-Campbells of Cawdor, Abcruchill, Arll- 
namurchan, Auchinbreck, .Arùkinglass, Barea]ùine, 
Dunstatfnage, :Monzie-The l\Iac1eods of Lewis ami 
Harris--l\lac1eods of Hasay. 


H.OBERTSON. 


;6' 

 

 


"J 
-:
 
 
 
1 



 


I"" 


-þ 


rn-
 


r 



 


r- 'i-B 
. 

 J, 

 . 
 -, 
'<<oJ" '
\ 
I G:(.o R"J' 


) - 

:" 


BADGE.-Fern or Brackens. 


TIESIDES the clans already noticed, there are 
other two which, accorùing to Skene, are set 
down by the genealogists as having originally 
belonged to the Gallgael or Celts of the 
'Yestern Isles; these are the Robertsons or 
clan Donnachie, and the l\Iacfa.rlanes. 
Tradition claims for the clan Donnachie a 
descent from the great sept of the l\Iacdonalds, 
their remote ancestor being said to have been 
Duncan (hence the name Donnacltie) the Fat, 
son of Angus 1\lor, Lord of the Isles, in the 
reign of 'Yilliam the Lion. Smibert thinks 
this is certainly the most feasible account of 
their origin. Skene, however, endeavours to 
trace their descent from Duncan, King of 
Scotland, eldest son of Malcolm Ill., their 
immediate ancestor, according to him, having 
been Conan, second son of Henry, fourth and 
last of the ancient Celtic Earls of Athole. 
This Conan, it is said, received from his father, 
in the reign of Alexander II., the lands of 
Generochy, afterwards called Strowan, in Gaelic 
Strllthan-that is, streamy. Conan's great- 
grandson, Andrew, was styled of Athole, de I 
AfllOlia, which was the uniform designation of I 
y 



170 


HISTOTIY UF THE HIGHLAXD CLAKS. 


the family, indicative, Mr ::;kene thinks, of 
their descent from the ancient Earls of Athole. 
According to the same authority, it was from 
.Andrew's son, Duncan, that the clan derived 
their distinctive appellation of the clan Don- 
''''fchip, or children of Duncan. Duncan is said 
to have been twice married, and aClluired by 
both maITiages considerable territory in the 
di:strict of Hannoch. By his first wife he had 
a son, Hobert de Atholia. 
As it is well known that 1111' Skene's Celtic 
prejuùices are yery strong, and as his deri va- 
tion of the Hobertsons from Duncan, king of 
Scotlallll, is to a great extent conjectural, it is 
only fair to give the other side of the question, 
viz., the proba1Jility of their derivation from 
the Celts of the 'Yestern Isle::'!. 'Ve shall take 
the liberty of quoting here 
lr Smibert's jUùi- 
cious and acute remarks on this point. " There 
unquestionably exist doubts about the deriva- 
tion of the Hubertsons from the "Macdonalùs; 
but the fact of their acquiring large possessions 
at so early a period in Athole, seems to be 
I decisive of their descent from some great and 
:.;;trong house among the 1Vestern Celts. And 
I what house was more able so to endow its 
scions than that of Somerled, whose heads 
were the kings of the west of Scotland 
 The 
Somerlcli or .:\Iacdonald power, moreover, ex- 
tended into Athole beyond all question; anJ, 
indeed, it may be said to have been almost the 
sole power which could so have planted there 
one of its offshoots, apart from the regal autho- 
rity. Accordingly, though DUllcan may not 
have been the son of Angus :\[or (Macdonald), 
a natural son of the Lord of the Isles, as has 
been commonly averred, it by no means follows 
that the family were not of the Macdonald race. 
The proof may be difficult, but probability 
must be accepted in its stead. An opposite 
course has been too long followed on all sides. 
'Vhy should men conceal from themselves the 
plain fact that the times under consideration 
were barbarous, and that their annals were 
necessarily left to us, not hy the pen of the 
accurate historian, but by the dealers in song 
and tradition 7" 
Heferring to the stress laid by Mr Skene 
upon th(' designation de Athnlia, which was 
uniformly assumed by the Robertsons, 1I1r 
Smibert remark:.;;,-" r n tlH' first place, the 


designation De Atlwlia can really be held to 
prove nothing, since, as in the case of De 
Insulis, such phrases often pointed to mere 
residence, and were especially used in reference 
to large districts. A gentleman' of Atholc' is 
not necessarily connected with the Duke; and., 
as we now use such phrases without any meaning 
of that kind, much more natural was the cus- 
tom of old, when general localities alone were 
known generally. In the second place, are the 
Hobertsons made more purely Gaelic, for such 
is partly the object in the view of 1\11' Skene, 
by being traced to the aneÏent Athole house 
 
That the first lords of the line were Celts may 
be admitted; but heiresses again and again 
interrupted the male succession. 'Vhile one 
wedded a certain Thomas of London, another 
found a mate in a person named Daviù. de 
Hastings. These strictly English name's speak 
for themselves; and it was by the Hastings 
marriage, which took place shortly after the 
year 1200, that the first house of Athole was 
continued. It is clear, therefore, that the sup- 
position of the descent of the Hobertsons from 
.the first lords of Athole leaves them still of 
largely mingled blood-Norman, Saxon, and 
Gaelic. Such is the result, even when the 
conjecture is admitted. 
As a Lowland neighbourhood gave to the 
race of llobert, son of Duncan, the name 
of Robertson, so would it also intermingle 
their race and blood with those of the Low 
landers." J 
It is from the grandson of Robert of .Athole, 
also named Robert, that the clan Donnachic 
derive their name of Robertson. This rrobert 
was noted for his predatory incursions into the 
Lowlands, and is historically known as the 
chief who arrested and delivered up to the 
vengeancp. of the government Robert Graham 
and the Master of Athole, two of the murderers 
of James I., for which he was rewarùed with 
a crown charter, dated in 1451, erecting his 
whole lands into a free barony. He also re- 
ceived the honourable augmentation to his 
arms of a naked man manacled undel' the 
achievement, with the motto, Vidntis r;loria 
me1"Ccs. lIe was mortally woundecl in the 
head near the village of .Auchtergavell in f.I. 


1\ Smibert's Claus, pr. 77, 78. 



II I 


ROBEHTSÜN
, OR CLAN DOX.NACHIE. 


171 


conflict with Robert Forrester of Torwood, 
with ,,-hom he had a dispute regarding the 
lands of Little Dunkelù. Eintling uJ) hiB head 
with a white cloth, he rode to Perth, and ob- 
I taineù from the king a new grant of the lands 
of 
trowan. On his return home, he died of 
his wounds. He had three sons, Alexander, 
I Robert, and Patrick. Robert, the second son, 
was the ancestor of the Earls of Portmore, a 
I title now extinct. 
The eldest son, Alexander, was twice mar-. 
ried, his sons becoming progenitors of various 
families of Robertsons. He died in, or shortly 
prior to, 1507, and was succeeded by his grand- 
son, 'Villiam. This chief had some dispute 
with the Earl of Athole concerning the marches 
I of their estates, and was killed by a party of 
the earl's followers, in 1530. Taking ad van- 
I tage of a wadset or mortgage which he held 
over the lands of Strowan, the earl seized 
nearly the half of the family estate, which the 
rrobertsol1S coulù never again recover. \Yil- 
liam's son, Robert, had two sons- \Yilliam, 
who died without issue, and Donald, who 
succeeded mm. 
Donald's grandson, 11 th laird of Strowan, 
died in 1li36, leaving an infant son, Alexander, 
in whose minority the government of the clan 
devolved upon his uncle, Donald. Devoted 
to the cause of Charles 1., the latter raised a 
regiment of his name amI followers, and was 
I with the )Iarquis of :l\Iontrose in all his battles. 
After the Restoration, the king settled a pen- 
sion upon him. 
His nephew, Alexander Robertson of Strow- 
an, was twice married. By his second wife, 
:Marion, daughter of General Baillie of Letham, 
he had two sons and one daughter, and died in 
1 G88. DUllcan, the second son by the second 
marriage, served in Russia, with distinction, 
under Peter the Great. 
Alexander, the elder son of the second mar- 
riage, was the celebrated Jacobite chief and 
poet. Eorn about IG70, he was destined for 
the church, and sent to the university of St 
Andrews; but his father and brother by the 
first marriage dying within a few months of 
each other, he succeeded to the family estate 
and the chiefship in 1G88. Soon after, he 
joined the Viscount Dundee, when he appeared 
in arms in the Highlands for the C3,use of King 


James; but though he does not appear to have 
neen at Killiecl'ankie, and was still under age, 
he was, for his share in this rising, attainted 
by a decreet of parliament in absence in 1G90, 
and his estates forfeited to the crown. Hr 
retired, in consequence, to the court of the 
exiled monarch at 8t Germains, where he lived 
for several years, and served one or two cam- 
paigns in the French army. In 1703, Queen 

\..nne granted him a remission, when he re- 
turned to Scotland, and residea unmolested on 
his estates, but neglecting to get the remission 
passed the seals, the forfeiture of 1 G90 was 
never legally repealed. 'Yith about 500 of 
his clan he joined the Earl of Mar in 1715, 
and was taken prisoner at the battle of Sheriff- 
muir, but rescued. Soon after, however, he 
fell into the hands of a party of soldiers in the 
Highlands, and was ordered to be conducted 
to Edinburgh; but, with the assistance of his 
sister, he contrived to escape on the way, when 
he again took refuge in France. In 1723, I 
the estate of Strowan was granted by the 
government to l\Iargaret, the chief's sister, by 
a charter under the great seal, and in 172G she 
disponed the same in trust for the behoof of 
her brother, substituting, in the event of his 
death without lawful heirs of his body, Dun- 
can, son of Alexander Robertson of Druma- 
chune, her father's cousin, and the next lawflù 
heir male of the family. l\Iargaret died un- 
mart:ied in 1727. Her brother had returned 
to Scotland the previous year, and obtaining 
in 1731 a remission for his life, took possession 
of his estate. In 1745 he once more "mar- 
shalled his clan" ill behalf of the Stuarts, but 
his age preventing him from personally taking 
any active part in the rebellion, his name was 
passed over in the list of proscriptions that 
followed. He died in his own house of 
Carie, in Rannoch, April 18, 1749, in his 
81st year, without lawful issue, and in him 
ended the direct male line. A volume of 
his poems was published after his death. 
An edition was reprinted at Edinburgh in 
1785, 12mo, containing also the "History 
and l\Iartial Achiev(Jments of the Robertsons 
of Strowan." He is said to have formed 
the prototype of the Baron of Eraùwarùine in 
" "
averlcy." 
The portion of the original estate of Strowan 


, 



172 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


which remained devolved upon Duncan Hobert- 
son of Drumachune, a property which his 
great-grandfather, Duncan 11101' (who died in 
1687), brothcr of Donald the tut'Jr, had 
acquired from the Athole family. As, how- 
ever, his name was not included in the last 
act of indemnity passed by the government, he 
was dispossessed of the estate in 1752, when 
he and his family retired to France. His son, 
I Colonel Alexander Robcrtson, obtained a resti- 
tution of Strowan in 1784, and died, unmar- 
I ried, in 1822. Duncan .1Ilm.'s second son, 
Donald, had a son, called Hobert BflllP, whose 
grandson, Alexander no bertson, now succeeded 
to the estate. 
The son of the latter, l\Iajor-general George 
Duncan Hobertsoll of Strowan, C.B., passed 
I upwards of thirty years in active service, and 
I received the cross of the Imperial Austrian 
I order of Leopold. He was succeeded by his 
son, George Duncan Hobertson, born 26th 
July 1816, at one time an officer in the 42d 
Highlanders. 
The force which the Robertsons could bring 
into the field was estimated at 800 in 1715, 
anù 700 in 1745. 
Of the branches of the family, the Robert- 
sons of LUlIe, in Blair-Athole, are the oldest, 
being of contemporary antiquity to that of 
Str:nvan. 
Patrick de Atholia, eldest son of the second 
marriage of Duncan de Atholia, received from 
his father, at his death, about 1358, the lands 
of Lude. He is mentioned in 1391, by'V)'n- 
toun (Book ii. p. 367) as one of the chieftains 
and leaders of the clan. He had, with a 
daughter, married to Donald, son of Farquhar, 
, ancestor of the Farquharsons of Invercauld, two 
sons, Donald and Alexander. The latter, 
known by the name of Rlla or Red, from the 
colour of his hair, acquired the estate of Stra- 
loch, for which he had a charter from James 
II. in 1451, and was ancestor of the Robert- 
sons of Straloch, Perth shire. His descend- 
ants were called the Barons Rua. The last 
of the Barons Rlla, or Red, was Alcxandcr 
Rol)ertson of Straloch, who died about the 
end of the last century, lcaving an only SOIl, 
John, who adopted the old family sOUlJl'iqllet, 
an!l called himself Reid (proba1ly hoping to 
be recogni'ìed as the chief of the neids). J olm 


Reid entered the army, where he rose to the 
rank of Gcneral, and died in 1803, leaving the 
reversion of his fortune (amounting to about 
Æ70,OOO) for the endowment of a chair of 
music, and other purposes, in the U niver- 
sity of Edinburgh. This ancient family is 
represented hy Sir Archibald Ava Campbell, 
Hart. . 
Donald, the elder son, succeeded his father. 
He resigned his lands of Lude into the killg'S 
hand on February 7, 1447, but died before he 
could receive his infeftment. He had two 
sons: John, who got the charter umler the I 
great seal, dated March 31, 1448, erecting the 
lands of Lude into a barony, proceeding on 
his father's resignation; and Donald, who got 
as his patrimony the lands of 8trathgarry. 
This branch of Lude cnded in an heiress, 
who married an illegitimate son of Stewart 
of Invermeath. About 1700, Strathgarry 
was sold to another family of the name of 
Stewart. 
The Robertsons of Inshes, Inverness-shire, 
are descended from Duncan, second son of 
Duncan de Atholia, dominus de Ralllluh, above 
mentioned. 
The Ro bertsons of Kindeace descend from 
\Villiam Robertson, third son of John, ances- 
tor of the Robertsons of the Inshes, by his 
wife, a daughter of .Fearn of Pitcullen. He 
obtained from his father, in patrimony, several 
lands about Inverness, and having acquired 
great riches as a merchant, purchased, in 
1615, the lands of Orkney, Nairnshire, and 
in IG39, those of Kindeace, Ross-shire; 
the latter becoming the chief title of the 
family. 
The Robertsons of Kinlochmoidart, In- 
verness-shire, are descended from J olm 
Robertson of :11uirton, Elginshire, second 
son of Alexander Robertson of ßtrowan, by 
his wife, Lady Elizabeth, daughter of the Earl 
of Athole. 
The fifth in succession, the Rev. 'Villiam 
Robertson, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, 
was father of Principal Robertson, and of 
::\Iary, who married. the Rev. James Syme, and 
had an only chiltl, Eleonora, mother of Henry, 
Lord Brougham. The I>rincipal had three 
sons and two daughters. 



113 


TIlE 1IIACF AllLANES. 


MACFARLANE. 



 '1\oI.
J4; 

 "
l 
 
. . 
" ,', Ila . 
 . 
> 
 jf:
 
" "",,,,'") ,'J{,.... 
(þ" ' 
< '" ^ 
'- 
 .' 


, 
I 
'1\\ 


,,'" 



\ '--. 
!II 


.f\" 


..... 



- 
I )...r 


-.
 



x- 


\: . 

.... \
- 
s !L 0 

,. 


BADG E. -Cloudberry bush. 


Of the clan :Macfarlane, 1Ifr Skene gIVes 
the best account, and we shall therefore take the 
I liberty of availing ourselves of his researches. 
According to him, with the exception of the 
clan Donnachie, the clan Parlan or Pharlan is 
the only one, the descent of which from the 
ancient earls of the district where their posses- 
sions were situated, may be established by the 
authority of a charter. It appears, indeed, 
that the ancestor of this clan was Gilchrist, 
the brother of l\Ialdowen or l\Ialduin, the third 
Earl of Lennox. This is proved by a charter 
of -:\Ialdowen, still extant, by which he gives 
to his brother Gilchrist a grant " de terris de 
superiori Arrochar de Luss;" and these lands, 
which continued in possession of the clan 
until the death of the last chief, have at all 
times constituted their principal inheritance. 
But although the descent of the clan from 
the Earls of Lennox be thus established, the 
origin of their ancestors is by no means so 
easily settled. Of all the native earls of Scot- 
land, those of this district alone have had a 
foreign origin assigned to them, though, appa- 
rently, without any sufficient reason. The 
first Earl of Lennox who appears on record is 
Aluin comes de Levenox, who lived in the early 
part of the 13th century; amI there is some 
reason to believe that from this Aluin the 
later Earls of Lennox were descended. It is, 
no doubt, impossible to determine now who 
this Aluin really was; but, in the absence of 
direct authority, we gather from tradition that 
I the heads of the family of Lennox, before 


being raised to the peerage, were hereditary 
seneschals of Stratheal'n, and bailies of the 
Abthanery of Dull, in A thole. Aluin was 
succeeded by a son of the same name, who 
is frequently mentioned in the chartularies 
of Lennox and Paisley, and who died before 
the year 1225. In Donald, the sixth earl, 
the male branch of the family became ex- 
tinct. :l\Iargaret, the daugliter of Donald, 
married "\Valter de Fassalane, the heir male 
uf the family; but this alliance failed to ac- 
complish the objects intended by it, or, in 
other words, to preserve the honours and power 
of the house of Lennox. Their son Duncan, 
the eighth earl, had no male issue; and his 
eldest daughter Isabella, having married Sir 
Murdoch Stuart, the eldest son of the Re- 
gent, he and his family became involyed in 
the ruin which overwhelmed the unfortunate 
house of Albany. At the death of Isabella, 
in 1460, the earldom was claimed by three 
families; but that of Stewart of Darnley even- 
tually overcame all opposition, and acquired 
the title and estates of Lennox. Their acces- 
sion took place in the year 1488; upon which 
the clans that had been formel'lyunited with the 
earls of the old stock separated themselves, 
and became independent. 
Of these clans the principal was that of the 
1\Iacfarlanes, the descendants, as has already 
been stated, of Gilchrist, a younger brother of 

Ialdowen, Earl of Lennox. In the Lennox 
charters, several of which he appears to have 
subscribed as a witness, this Gilchrist is gene- 
rally designated as fmtm. co-mitis, or brother 
of the earl. His son Duncan also obtained a 
charter of his lands from the Earl of Lennox, 
anù appears in the Ragman's roll under the 
title of "Duncan 1\Iacgilchrist de Levenaghes." 
From a grandson of this Duncan, who was 
called in Gaelic Pa'J"lan, or Bartholomew, the 
clan appears to have taken the surname of 
lrIacfa1"lane; indeed the connection of Parlan 
both 'with Duncan and with Gilchrist is clearly 
established b.y a charter granted to Malcolm 
Macfarlane, the son of Parlan, confirming to 
him the lands of Arrochar and others; and 
hence Malcolm may be considered as the real 
founder of the clan. He was Rucceeded by 
his son Duncan, who obtained from the Earl 
of Lennox a charter of the lands of Arrochar 



174 


HISTOHY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


as ample in its provisions as any that had been 
I granted to his predecessors; and married a 
daughter of /::)ir Colin Campbell of Lochow, as 
appears from a charter of confirmation granted 
in his favour by Duncan, Earl of Lennox. 

ot long after his death, however, the ancient 
I line of the Earls of Lennox became extinct; 
and. the 
Iacfarlanes having claimed the earl- 
dom as heirs male, offered a strenuous opposi- 
I tion to the superior pretensions of the feudal 
heirs. Their resistance, however, proved alike 
uIlSuccessflÙ and d.isastrous. The family of 
the chief perished in defence of what they 
believed to be their just rights; the clan aho 
I suffered severely, and. of those who survived 
the struggle, the greater part took refuge in 
remote parts of the country. Their destruc- 
tion, indeed, wOlùd have been inevitable, but 
for the opportune support given by a gentle- 
man of the clan to the Darnley family. This 
was Andrew Macfarlane, who, having married 
the daughter of John Stewart, Lord Darnley 
and Earl of Lennox, to whom his assistance 
had been of great moment at a time of diffi- 
culty, saved. the rest of the clan, and recovered 
the greater part of their hereditary possessions. 
The fortunate individual in question, however, 
though the good genius of the race, does not 
appear to have possessed any other title to the 
chiefship than what he derived from his posi- 
tion, and the circumstance of his being the 
only l)erson in a condition to afford them pro- 
tection; in fact, the clan refused him the title 
of chief, which they appear to have considered 
as incommunicable, except in the right line; 
and his son, Sir John Macfarlane, accordingly 
contented himself with assuming the secondary 
or subordinate designation of captain of the 
clan. 
From this time, the ::\Iacfarlanes appear to 
have on all occasions supported the Earls of 
Lennox of the Stewart race, and to have also 
followed their banner in the field. JTor several 
generations, however, their history as a clan 
is almost an entire blank; indeed, they appear 
to have merged into mere retainers of the 
powerful family, under whose protection they 
enjoyed. undisturbed possession of their here- 
ditary domains. But in the sixteenth century 
Duncan Macfarlane of Macfarlane appears as a 
steady supporter of Matthew, Earl of Lennox. 


At the head of three hundred men of his own 
name, he joined Lennox and Glencairn in 
1544, and was present with his followers at 
the battle of Glasgow-Muir, where he shared 
the defeat of the party he supported. He was 
also involved in the forfeiture which followed. 
but having powerful friends, his property was, 
througb their intercession, restored, and he 
obtained a remission under the privy seaL 
The loss of this battle forced Lennox to retire 
to England; whence, having maITied a niece 
of Henry YIII., he soon afterwards returned 
with a considerable force which the English 
monarch had placed under his command. The 
chief of 1\1 acfarlane durst not venture to join 
Lennox in person, being probably restrained 
by the teITor of another forfeiture; but, acting 
on the usual Scottish policy of that time, he 
sent his relative, 'V alter :Macfarlanc of Tarbet, 
with four hundred men, to reinforce his friend 
and patron; and this body, according to Holin- 
shed, did most excellent service, acting at once 
as light troops and as guides to the main body. 
Duncan, however, did not always conduct 
himself with equal caution; for he is said to 
have fallen in the fatal battle of Pinkie, in 
1547, on which occasion also a great number 
of his clan perished. 
Andrew, the son of Duncan, as bold, active, 
and adventurous as his sire, engaged in the 
civil wars of the period, and, what is more 
remarkable, took a prominent part on the side 
of the Regent l\IuITay; thus acting in opposi- 
tion to almost all the other Highland chiefs, 
who were warmly attached to the cause of the 
queen. He was present at the battle of Lang- 
side 'with a body of his followers, and there 
" stood the Regent's part in great stead;" for, 
in the hottest of the fight, he came up with 
three hundred of his friends and countrymen, 
and falling fiercely on the flank of the queen's 
army, threw them into irretrievable disorder, 
and thus mainly contributed to decide the for- 
tune of the day. The clan boast of having 
taken at this battle three of Queen :Mary's 
standards, which, they say, were preserved for 
a long time ill the family. :Macfarlane's rewarù 
was not such as afforded any great cause for 
admiring the munificence of the Regent; but 
that his vanity at least might be conciliated, 
:Murray bestowed upon him the crest of a 



ARGYLL CAl\fPBELLS. 


175 


demi-savage proper, holùing in his dexter hand 
a sheaf of arrows, and pointing with his sinister 
to an imperial crown, or, with the motto, This 
I'll defend. Of the son of this chief nothing 
is known; but his grandson, 'V alter :Macfar- 
lane, returning to the natural feelings of a 
Highlander, proved himself as sturdy a cham- 
pion of the royal party as his grandfather had 
been an uncompromising opponent and enemy. 
During Crom,,'ell's time, he was twice besieged 
in his own house, and his castle of Inveruglas 
was afterwards burned down by the English. 
But nothing could shake his fiùelity to his 
party. Though his personal losses in adhering 
to the royal cause were of a much more sub- 
stantial kind than his grandfather's reward in 
opposing it, yet his zeal was not cooled by 
adversity, nor his ardour abated by the ven- 
geance which it drew down on his head. 
Although a small clan, the Macfarlanes 
were as turbulent and predatory in their way 
as their neighbours the :Macgregors. By the 
Act of the Estates of 1587 they were declared 
to be one of the clans for whom the chief was 
made responsible; by another act passed in 
1594, they were d
nounceù as being in the 
habit of committing theft, robbery, and op- 
pression; and in July 1624 many of the clan 
were tried and convicted of theft and robbery. 
Some of them were punished, some pardoned; 
while others were removed to the highlands of 
Aberdeenshire, and to Strathaven in Banffshire, 
where they assumed the names of Stewart, 
l\I'Caudy, Greisock, }'I'J ames, and 
l'Innes. 
Of one eminent member of the clan, the 
following notice is taken by .1\lr Skene in his 
WOl'k on the Highlands of Scotland. He says, 
,( It is impossible to conclude this sketch of 
the history of the Macfarlanes without alluding 
to the eminent antiquary, 'V alter :Macfarlane 
of that ilk, who is as celebrated among histo- 
rians as the indefatigable collector of the an- 
cient records of the country, as his ancestors 
had been among the other Highland chiefs for 
their prowess in the field. The family itself, 
however, is now nearly extinct, after having 
held their original lands for a period of six 
hundred years." 
Of the la1.r<1s of :Macfarlane thpre have been 
no fewer than twenty-three. The last of them 
went to North America in the early part of 


the 18th century. A branch of the family 
settled in Ireland in the reign of James VII., 
and the headship of the clan is claimed by 
its representative, l\Iacfarlane of Hunstown 
House, in the county of Dublin. The descen- 
dants of the ancient chiefs cannot now be 
traced, and the lands once possessed by them 
have passed into other hands. 
Under the head of Garmoran, 1\1r Skene, 
following the genealogists, includes two western 
clans, viz., those of Campbell and l\lacleod. 
\Ve shall, however, depart from }'lr Skene's 
order, and notice these two important clans 
here, while treating of the clans of the 
western coasts and isles. 1\lr Skene,6 on very 
shadowy grounds, endeavours to make out that 
there must have been an ancient earldom of I 
Garmoran, situated between north and south . 
Argyle, and including, besides the districts of I 
Knoydart, 1\lo1'3r, Ari'3aig, and 
'Ioydart (form- 
ing a late lordship of Garmoran), the districts 
of Glenelg, Ardnamurchan, and Morvern. 
He allows, however, that "at no period 
embraced by the records do we discover Gar- 
moran as an efficient earldom." As to this, 1\1r 
E. W. Robertson 7 remarks that "the same 
objection may be raised against the earldom of 
Garmoran which is urged against the earldom 
of the }'1erns, the total silence of history 
respecting it." 


ARGYLL CA:\lPBELL. 




 
,
 
of. 


,
 
l 


rt 


,. 


'I ë1;'
I
:. 
 
, \- .. 1 '\. 


þ -- 
 " 
I ., 1- 'lr 0 
 'll'1I! " 0 C <<I , 


 

\ 


BADGE-Myrtle. 
The name CAMPBELL is undoubtedly one of 
considerable antiquity, anù the clan has long 
(\ Highlanders, ii. 266. 
7 Early Kings, i. 75. 



176 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


been one of the most numerous and powerful 
in the Highlands, although many families 
I have adoptell the name who have no connec- 
tion with the Campbells proper by blood or 
descent. The ArgJ'll family became latterly 
so powerful, that many smaller clans were 
absorbed in it voluntarily or compulsorily, and 
assumed in course of time its peculiar designa- 
tion. The origin of the name, as well as of 
the founder of the family, remains still a matter 
of the greatest doubt. The attempt to deduce 
the family from the half-mythical King Arthur, 
of course, is mere trifling. 
The name is by some stated to have been de- 
rived from a Korman knight, named de Campo 
Bello, who came to England with 'Villiam the 
Conqueror. As respects the latter part of the 
statement, it is to he observed that in the list 
of all the knights who composed the army of 
the Conqueror on the occasion of 11Ìs invasion 
of England, and which is known by the name 
of the Roll of Battle-Abbey, the name of 
Campo Bello is not to be found. But it does 
not follow, as recent writers have assumed, 
that a knight of that name may not have come 
over to England at a later period, either of his 
reign or that of his successors. 
It has been alleged, in opposition to this 
account, that in the oldest form of writing the 
name, it is spelled Cambel or Rambel, and it 
is so found in many ancient documents; but 
I these were '''fitten by pal,ties not acquainted 
with the individuals whose llame they recorù, 
as in the manuscript account of the battle of 
Halidon Hill, by an unknown English writer, 
preserved in the British :Museumj in the Hag- 
man's noll, which was compiled by an English 
clerk, and in \\rpltoun's Chronicle. There is 
no evidence, however, that at any period it 
was written by any of the family otherwise 
than as Campbell, notwithstanding the extra- 
I ordinary diversity that occurs in the spelling 
of other names by their holders, as shown by 
Lord Lindsay in the account of his clan j and 
the invariable employment of the letter p by 
the Campbells themselves would be of itself 
a strong argument for the southern origin of 
the name, did there not exist, in the record 
of the parliament of Robert Bruce held in 
1320, the name of the then head of the family, 
entered as Sir Nigel de Campo Bello. 


The writers, however, who attempt to sus- 
tain the fabulous tales of the sennachies, assign 
a very different origin to the name. It is 
personal, say they, "like that of some others 
of the Highland clans, being composed of the 
words cam, bent or arched, and beul, mouth j 
this having been the most prominent feature 
of the great ancestor of the clan, Diarmid 
O'Dubin or O'Duin, a brave warrior celebrated 
in traditional story, who was contemporary 
with the heroes of Ossia,n. In the Gaelic lan- 
guage his descendants are called Siol Diarmid, 
the oftspring 01' race of Diarmid." 
Besides the manifest improbability of this 
origin on other grounds, two considerations 
may be adverted to, each of them conclusive :_ 
First, It is known to all who have examined 
ancient genealogies, that among the Celtic I 
races personal distinctives never have become 
hereditary. :Malcolm CamnO'ì'e, Donald Bane: I 
Rob Roy, or Evan Dhu, were, with many 
other names, distinctive of personal qualities, 
but none of them descended, or could do so, 
to the children of those who acquired them. 
Secondly, It is no less clear that, until after 
w hat is called the Saxon Conquest had been 
completely effected, no hereditary surnames 
were in use among the Celts of Scotland, nor 
by the chiefs of Norwegian descent who 
governed in Argyll and the Isles. This cir- 
cumstance is pointed out by Tytler in his 
remarks upon the early population of Scot- 
land, in the second volume of the History of 
Scotland. The domestic slaves attached to the 
possessions of the church and of the barons 
have their genealogies engrossed in ancient 
charters of conveyances and confirmation copied 
by him. The names are all Celtic, but in no 
one instance does the son, even when bearing 
a second or distinctive name, follow that of 
his father. 
Skene, who maintains the purely native 
origin of the Campbell, does so in the follow- 
ing remarks :- 
" \Ye have shown it to be invariably the 
case, that when a clan claims a foreign origin, 
and accounts for their possession of the chief- 
ship anù propCltyof the clan by a marriage 
with the heiress of the old proprietürs, they 
can be proved to be in reality a cadet of that 
older house who had usurped tIle chiefship, 


- -- ----- - ----
 -
-- - - 


....... 
....... 


"'-.. 



ARGYLL CA
IPBELLS. 


177 


while their claim to the chiefship is disputed 
by an acknowledged descendant of that older 
house. To this rule the Camp bells are no 
exceptions, for while the tale upon which they 
found a .Korman descent is exactly parallel to 
those of the other clans in the same situation, 
the most ancient manuscript genealogies deduce 
them in the male line from that very family of 
O'Duin, whose heiress they are said to have 
married, and the :Macarthur Campbells, of 
Strachur, the acknowledged descendants of the 
older house, they have at all times disputed 
the chiefship with the Argyll family. Judging 
from analogy, we are compelled to admit that 
the Carnpbells of Strachur must formerly have 
been chiefs of the clan, and that the usual 
causes in such cases have operated to reduce 
the Strachur family, and to place that of 
Argyll in t11at situation, and this is confirmeJ 
by the early history oÎ the clan." 
"T" e shall take the liberty of quoting here 
some ingenious speculations on the origin of 
the name anJ the founder of the clan, from 
the pen of a gentleman, a member of the 
clan, who, for several years, has devoted his 
leisure to the investigation of the subject, 
and has placed the results of his researches 
at our disposal. He declares that the name 
itself is the most inflexible name in Scotland. 
In all old documents, he says, in which it 
occurs, either written by a Campbell, or under 
his direction, it is spelled always Campbell, or 
Campo-Bello j and its southern origin he be- 
lieves is past question. It has always seemed 
to him to have been the name of some Roman, 
who, after his countrymen retired from Britain, 
had settled among the Britons of Strath-Clyde. 
"I am not one," he continues, "of those 
who suppose that the fortunes of Campbell 
depended entirely on the patrimony of his 
wife. As a family who had been long in the 
country, the chief of the name (it is improbable 
that he was then the sole owner of that name, 
although his family is alone known to history), 
as a soldier, high in his sovereign's favour, 
was likely to have possessed lands in Argyle 
before his marriage took place. :Men of mark 
were then necessary to keep these rather wild 
and outlandish districts in subjection, and 
only men high in royal favour were likely to 
have that trust,-a trust likely to be so well 
H. 


rewarded, that its holder wouhl be an eligible 
match for the heiress of Paul In-Sporl'an. 
"It is also quite likely that Eva O'Duin 
was a king's warù, and on that account her 
hand wOlùd be in the king's gift j and who so 
likely to receive it as a trusted knight, con- 
nected with the district, and one whose loyalty 
was unquestioned 
 
" Again, we put little stress on the Celtic 
origin of the name,-from the crooked mouth of 
the first chief, as if from cam, bent or crooked, 
and bellZ, mouth. No doubt this etymology is 
purely fanciful, and may have been invented 
by some one anxious to prove the purely 
Celtic origin of the family; but this seems 
really unnecessary, as a Celtic residence, Celtic 
alliances, and Celtic associations for nearly 
800 years, is a Celtic antiquity in an almost 
lU1bl'oken line such as few families are able to 
boast of; indeed, no clan can boast of purer 
Celtic blood than the Campbells, and their 
present chief." 
The conclusion which, we think, any un- 
prejudiced reader must come to, is, that the 
question of the origin of the Campbells cannot, 
until further light be thrown upon it, be 
determined with certainty at the present 
day. It is possible that the story of the 
genealogists may be true; they declare that 
the predecessors of the Argyll!! family, on the 
female side, were possessors of Lochow or Loch- 
awe in Argyleshire, as early as 404 A.D. Of this, 
however, there is no proof worthy of the name. 
The first of the race who comes prominently 
into notice is one Archibald (also called Gil- 
lespie) Campbell, as likely as not, we think, 
to be a gentleman of Anglo-Norman lineage, 
who lived in the 11th century. He acquired 
the lordship of Lochow, or Lochawe, by mar- 
riage with Eva, daughter and heiress of Paul 
O'Duin, Lord of Lochow, denominated Paul 
Insporran, from his being the king's treasurer. 
Another Gillespie is the first of the house 
mentioned in authentic history, }1Ís name oc- 
curring as a witness of the chartcr of the lands 
of the burgh of Newburgh by Alexander III. 
in 1246. 


· In March 1870, the present Duke, in answer to 
inquiries, ",rote to the papers stating that he spells 
his name Argyll, becau<;e it has been sr
neù so by 
his ancestors for generations past. 
Z 



178 


HISTORY OF THE RIG HLAND CLANS. 


Sir Colin Campbcll of Lochow, the real 
founder of the family, sixth in descent from 
the first Gillespic, distinguished himself by his 
warlike actions, and was knighted by King 
Alexander the Third in 1 
80. He added 
largely to his estates, and on account of his 
great prowess he obtained the surname of :Mohr 
or :More (" great "); from him the chief of the 
Argyll family is in Gaelic styled Mac Chaillan 
More. 9 
Sir Colin Campbell had a quarrel with a 
powerful neighbour of his, the Lord of Lorn, 
I and after he had defeated him, pursuing the 
victory too eagerly, was slain (in 1294) at a 
place called the String of Cowal, where a 
great obelisk was eI'ected over his grave. This 
is said to have occasioned bitter feuds betwixt 
the houses of Lochow and Lorn for a long 
period of ;years, which were put an end to by 
the marriage of the daughter of the Celtic 
proprietor of Lorn, with John Stewart of 
Innermeath about 1386. Sir Colin manied 
a lady of the name of Sinclair, by whom he 
hall fi ye sons. 
Sir Niel Campbell of Lochow, his eldest 
son, swore fealty to Edward the First, but 
afterwards joined Robert the Bruce, and fought 
by his side in almost every encounter, from 
the defeat at Meth ven to the victory at Ban- 
nockburn. King Robert rewarded his services 
by giving him his sister, the Lady :Mary Bruce, 
in marriage, and conferring on him the lands 
forfeited by the Earl of Athole. His next 
brother Donald was the progenitor of the 
Campbells of Loudon. By his wife Sir Niel 
had three sons,-Sir Colin; John, created Earl 
of Athole, upon the forfeiture of David de 
Strathbogie, the eleventh earl; and Dugal 
Sir Colin, the eldest son, obtained a charter 
from his uncle, King Hobert Bruce, of the 
lands of Lochow and Artornish, dated at Ar- 
broath, 10th February 1316, in which he is de- 
signated Culinu8 filius Niyclli Carlibel, militis. 
As a reward for assisting the Steward of Scot- 
land in 133! in the recovery of the castle of 
Dunoon, in Cowal, Sir Colin was made here- 
ditary governor of the castle, and had the 
. ' T
is, throug
 the 'f!1is-spelling, int('ntional or un- 
mtenhonal.. of Sa 'V alter Scott, is oftcn popularly 
corrupted mto Maccallum More, which, of course, is 
wrong, as the great or big ancestor's name was Colin 
not Callu,iJt. ' 


grant of certain lands for the support of his 
dignity. Sir Colin died about 1340. By his 
'wife, a daughter of the honse of Lennox, he 
had three sons and a daughter. 
The eldest son, Sir Gillespic or Archibald, 
who added largely to the family possessions, 
was twice married, and had three sons, Duncan, 
Colin, and David, and a daughter, married to 
Duncan :Macfarlane of Arrochar. Colin, the 
second son, was designed of Ardkinglass, and 
of his family, the Campbells of Ardentinny, 
Dunoon, Carrick, Skipnish, Dlythswood, Shaw- 
field, Rachan, Auchwillan, and Dergachie are 
branches. 
Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow, the eldest 
son, was one of the hostages in 1424, under 
the name of Duncan, Lord of Argyll, for the 
payment of the sum of forty thousand pounds 
(equivalent to four hundred thousand pounds 
of our money), for the expense of King James 
the First's maintenance during his long im- 
prisonment in England, when Sir Duncan was 
found to be worth fifteen hundred merks a-year. 
He was the first of the family to assume the 
designation of Argyll. By King James he 
was appointed one of his privy council, and 
constituted his justiciary and lieutenant within 
the shire of .Argyll. He became. a lord of 
parliament in 1445, under the title of Lord 
Campbell. He died in 1453, and was buried 
at Kilmun. He married, first, Marjory or 
Mariota Stewart, daughter of Uobert Duke of 
Albany, governor <?f Scotland, by whom he hatl 
three sons,-Celestine, who died before him; 
Archibald, who also predeceased him, but left 
a son; and Colin, who was the first of Glenorchy, 
and ancestor of the Dreadalbane family. Sir 
Duncan married, secondly, :Margaret, daughter 
of Sir John Stewart of Blackhall and Auchin- 
gown, natural son of Uobert the Third, by 
whom also he had three sons, namely, Dun- 
can, who, according to Crawford, was the an- 
cestor of the house of Auchinbreck, of whom 
are the Campbells of Glencardel, Glensaddel, 
Kildurkland, Kilmorie, 'Vestcr Kearns, Kil- 
berry, and Dana; Niel, progenitor, accOl'ding 
to Crawford, of the Campbells of Ellrngreig 
and Orllladale; and Arthur or Archibald, ah- 
cestor of the Campbells of Ottar, now extinct. I 
According to some authorities, the Campbells I 
of Auchinbreck and thcir cadets, also Ellen- 



17!J 


ARGYLL CA
IPBELLS. 


greig and urmadale, descend from this the 
JToungest son, and not from his brothers. 
The first Lord Campbell was succeeded by 
his grandson Colin, the son of his second son 
Archibald. He acquired part of the lordship 
of Campbell in the parish of Dollar,l by mar- 
rying the eldest of the three daughters of 
John Stewart, third Lord of Lorn anù Inner- 
meath. He did not, as is genemlly stated, 
acquire by this maniage any part of the lord- 
ship of Lorn (which passed to "T alter, brother 
of John, the fourth Lord Innermeath, and heir 
of entail), but obtained that lordship by ex- 
changing the lands of Baldunnillg and Inner- 
dunning, &c., in Perthshire, ,yith the said 
'V alter. In 14:57 he was created Earl of 
Argyll. In 1470 he was created baron of 
I"orn, and in 14:81 he received a grant of many 
lands in Knapdale, along with the keeping of 
Castle Sweyn, which had previously l)een held 
by the Lord of the Isles. He died in 1493. 
By Isabel Stewart, his wife, elùest daughter 
of John, Lord of Lorn, the first Earl of Argyll 
had two sons and seven daughters. Archibald, 
his elùer son, became second earl, and Thomas, 
the younger, was the ancestor of the Campbells 
of Lundie, in Forfal'shire. Another daughter 
was married to Torquil 
Iacleod of the Lewis. 
Al'chibald, second Eal'l of Argyll, suceeeded 
his father in 1493. In 1499 he and others 
received a commission from the king to let on 
lease, for the term of three years, the entire 
lordship of the Isles as possessed by the last 
lord, both in the Isles and on the mainland, 
excepting only the islancl of Isla, and the 
lands of North and South Kintyre. He also 
received a commission of lieutenancy, with 
the fullest powers, over the lordship of the 
Isles j anù, some montlls later, was appointed 
keeper of the castle of Tarbert, and bailie and 
governor of the king's lands in Knapdale. 
From this period the great power formerly en- 
joyed by the Earls of Ross, Lords of the Isles, 
was transferred to the Earls of Argyll and 
Huntly; the former having the chief rule in 


1 In 1489, by an act of tIle Scottish par1iament, the 
name of Castle Gloom, its former designation, was 
changed to Castle C'al11pbeU. It continued to be the 
frequent and favourite residence of the family till 
IG-14, ",hen it was bumt ùown by the 1\laclcans in the 
army of the Marquis of :Montrose. The castle and 
lordship of Castle Campbell remained in the posses- 
sion of the ArgyU family ti1l 1808, when it was sold. 


the south isles and adjacent coasts. At the 
fatal battle of Flodden, 9th September 1513, 
his lord
hip and his 1rother-in-law, the Earl of 
Lennox, commanded. the right wing of the 
royal al'my, and with King Jhmes the 
Fourth, were both killed. Dy his wife, 
Lady Elizabeth Stewart, eldest daughter of 
.J ohn, first Earl of Lennox, he llad four sons 
and five daughters. His eldest son, Colin, was 
the third Earl of Argyll. Archibald, his second 
son, had a charter of the lands of Skipnish, 
and the keeping of the castle thereof, 13th 
August 1511. His family ended in an heir- 
female in the reign of l\Iary. Sir John Camp- 
bell, the third son, at first sty led of Lorn, and 
afterwards of Calder, married .Muriella, daugh- 
tel' and heiress of Sir John Calder of Calùer, 
now Caw-dor, near Nairn. 
According to tradition, she was captured in 
childhood by Sir John Campbell and a party 
of the Campbells, while out with her nurse 
near Calder castle. Her uncles pursued and 
overtook the division of the Campbells to 
whose care she had been intrusted, amI would 
have res
ued her but for the presence of mind 
of Campbell of Inverliver, who, seeing thcir 
approach, inverted a largc camp kcttle as if to 
conceal her, and commanding his seven sons 
to defend it to the death, hurried on with his 
prize. The young men were all slain, and 
when the Calders lifted np the kettle, no 

Iuriel was there. l\Ieanwhile so much time 
had been gained that farther pursuit was use- 
less. The nurse, just before the child was 
seized, bit off a joint of her little finger, in 
order to màrk her identity-a precaution which 
seems to have been necessary, from Campbell 
of Auchinbreck's reply to ono who, in the 
midst of their congratulations on aITiving 
safely in Argyll with their charge, a::;ked what 
was to be done should the child die before she 
was marriageable 
 " She can never die," said 
he, " as long as a red-haired lassie can be found 
on either side of Lochawe !" It would appear 
that the heiress of the Calùers had red hair. 
Colin Campbell, the thÍ1'd Earl of Argyll, 
was, immediately after his accession to the 
earldom, appointed 1y the council to assemble 
an army and proceeù against Lauchlan l\Iac- 
lean of Dowart, and other Highland chief- 
tains, who had broken out into insurrection, 



180 


IlIsTOny OF THE HIGHLAXD CLA
S. 


ami proclaimed Sir Donald of Lochalsh Lord 
of the Isles. Owing to the powerful in- 
fluence of Argyll, the insurgents submitted 
to the regent, after strong measures had been 
adopted agaimt them. In 1517 Sir Donald 
of Lochalsh again appeared in arms, but being 
deserted by his principal leaders, he effected 
his escape. Soon after, on his petition, he re- 
ceived a commission of lieutenancy over all the 
Isles and adjacent maÍ1ùand. 
For some years the Isles had continued at 
peace, and Argyll employed this interval in 
extending his influence among the chiefs, and 
in promoting the aggrandisement of his family 
and clan, being assisted thereto by his brothers, 
Sir John Campbell of Calder, so designed after 
his marriage with the heiress, and Archibald 
, Campbell of Skipnish. The former was parti- 
cularly active. In 1527 an event occurred, 
which forms the groundwork of Joanna 
Baillie's celebr-ated tragelly of "The Family 
Legend." It is thus related by Gregory :- 
"Lauchlan Cattanach :Maclean of Dowart 
had married Lady Elizabeth Campbell, 
daughter of Archibald, second Ead of Argyll, 
and, either from the circumstance of their 
union being unfruitful, or more probably 
owing to some domestic quarrels, he de- 
termined to get rid of his wife. Some ac- 
counts say that she had twice attempted her 
husband's life; but, whatever the cause may 
have been, ) [aclean, following the ad vice of 
two of his vassals, who exercised a considerable 
influence over him from the tie of fosterage, 
causell his lady to be exposed on a rock, which 
was only visible at low water, intending that 
she should be swept away by the retur.n of the 
tide. This rock lies between the island of 
l..ismore and the coast of Mull, and is still 
known hy the name of the 'Lady's Rock.' 
From this perilous situation the intelllled victim 
was rescued by a boat accidentally passing, 
and conveyed to her brother's house. Her 
relations, although much exasperated against 
Maclean, smothered their resentment for a 
time, but only to break out afterwards with 
greater violence; for the laird of Dowart heing 
in Edinburgh, was surprised when in bed, amI 
aRsassinated by 
ir ,T ohn Camphell of Calder. 
the lady's bruther. The Madeans instantly 
took arms to revenge the death of their chief, 


and the Campbells were not slow in preparing 
to follow up the feud; but the government I 
interfered, and, for the present, an appeal to 
arms was avoided."2 
On the escape of the king, then in his seven- 
teenth year, from the power of the Douglases, I 
in :May 1528, Argyll was one of the first to I 
join his majesty at Stirling. Argyll after- 
wards received an ample confirmation of the 
hereditary sheriffship of Argyleshire and of 
the offices of justiciary of Scotland and master 
of the household, by which these offices be- 
came hereditary in his family. He had the 
commission of justice-general of Scotland re- 
newed 25th October 15
9. He died in 1530. 
By his countess, Lady Jane Gordon, elde3t 
daugl1ter of Alexander, third Earl of Huntly, 
the third Earl of Argyll had three sons and a 
daughter. His sons were, Archibald, fourth 
Earl of Argyll; John, ancestor of the Camp- 
bells of l.ochnell, of which house the Cam p- 
bells of Balerno and Stonefield are cadets; 
and Alexander, dean of :Moray. 
Archibald, the fourth Earl of Argyll, was, 
on his accession to the title in 1530, appointed 
to all the offices held by the two preceding 
earls. A suspicion being entertained by some 
of the members of the privy council, which 
is said to have been shared in by the king 
himself, that many of the disturbances in the ' 
Isles were secretly fomented by the Argyll 
family, that they might obtain possession of 
the estates forfeited by the chiefs thus driven 
into rebellion, and an opportunity soon pre- 
senting itself, the king eagerly availed himself 
of it, to curb the increasing power of the Earl 
of Argyll in that remote portion of the kiug- 
dom. Alexander of Isla, being summoued to 
answer certain charges of Argyll, made his 
appearance at once, and gave in to the council 
a written statement, in which, among other 
things, he stated that the disturbed state of 
the Isles was mainly caused by the late Earl 
of Argyll and his hrothers, öir John Camp- 
bell of Calder, and Archibald CamplJell (If 
Skipnish. The king made such an examination 
into the complaints of the islanders as satisfied 
him that the family of Argyll had been acting 
more for their own benefit than for the welfare 


t Highlands a1ul Isles of Scotland, p. 128. 



ATIGYLL CA
IrBELLS. 


181 


of the country, and the earl was summoneù sions than one, to reconcile them after some 
before his sovereign, to gÏ\re an account of domestic quarrels. 3 Her majesty passed the 
the duties and rental of the Isles received by summer of 15ß3 at the eal'l's house in Argyle- 
him, the result of which was that James com- shire, in the amusement of deer-hunting. 
mitted him to prison soon after his arrival at .Argyll died on the 12th of September 1575, 
court. He was soon liberated, but James was aged about 43. His count<.>ss, Queen Mary's 
so much displeased with his conduct that he half-sister, having died without issue, was 
deprived him of the offices he still held in the buried in the royal vault in the ablJcy of 
Isles, some of which were bestowed on Alex- Holyrood-house; and he married, a second 
ander of Isla, whom he had accused. Mter time, Lady Johanna or J on eta Cunningham, 
the death of James the Fifth he appears to second daughter of Alexander, fifth Eal'l of 
have regained his authority over the Isles. Glencairn, but as she also had no children, he 
He was the first of the Scotch no11es who was succeeded in his estates and title by his 
embraced the principles of the TIeformation, brother. 
anù employed as his domestic chaplain 
[r On the 28th of January 1581, with the king 
John Douglas, a converted Cannelite friar, and many of the nobility, the sixth earl sub- 
who preached pu11icly in his house. The scribed a second Confession of Faith. He died 
Archbishop of St Andrews, in a letter to the in October 158-1, after a long illness. He 
earl, endeavoured to induce him to dismiss married, first, Janet, eltlest daughter of Henry, 
Douglas, and return to the Romish church, first Lord 
rethven, without issue; secOlllUy, 
but in vain, and on his death-bed he recom- Lady Agnes Keith, elùest daugllter of 'Yilliam. 
mended the support of the new doctrines, and fourth Earl 
Iarischal, widow of the TIegent 
the suppression of Popish superstitions, to his 1\1 oray, by whom he had two sons, .Archihald, 
son. He died in August 1558. He was twice seventh Earl of Argyll, and the Hon. S\r Colin 
married. By his first wife, Lady Helen Hamil- Campbell of Lundie, created a bal'onet in 1ß27. 
ton, eldest daughter of James, first Earl of In 15
!, although then only eighteen, the 
Arran, he had a son, Archibald, fifth Earl of seventh Earl of Argyll was appointed king's 
Argyll. His second wife was Lady Mary lieutenant against the popish Earls of HUlltly 
Graham, only daughter of 'Yilliam, third Earl and Errol, who had raised a rehellion. In 
of ) Ienteith, by whom he had Colin, sixth 15
9, when measures were in progress for 
earl, and two daughters. bringing the chiefs of the isles under SlÜJ- 
.Archibald, fifth Earl of Argyll, was educated jection to the king, the Earl of Argyll and his 
under the direction of 1\11' John Douglas, his kinsman, John Campbrll of CallIer, w.ere 
father's domestic chaplain, and the first Pro- accused of having secretly used their influence 
testant Archbishop of St Andrews, and dis- to prevent Sir James Macdonald of Dunyveg 
tinguished himself as one of the most able and his clan from being reconciled to the 
among the Lords of the Congregation. In the government. The frequent insurrections whi('h 
transactions of their times the earl and hi
 occUlTed in the South Isles in the first fifteen 
successors took prominent parts; hut as these ,years of tho seventeenth century have also 
are matters of public history, anù as so much been imputed by Mr Gregory to Argyll awl 
the history of the Highlands, in which the I the Campbells, for their own purposes. Tho 
Argylls took a prominent part, has been alrearly proceedings of these clans were so violent and 
given in the former part of this work, we illegal, that the king hecame highly incensed 
shall coufine our attention here to what be- against the Clandonald, amI finding, or sup- 
longs to the history of the family and clan. posing he had a right to dispose of their 
The earl had married Jean, natural daughter possessions both in Kintyre and Isla, he made 
of King James the Fifth hy Elizabeth daughter a grant of them to the Earl of Argyll and tllf' 
of John, Lord Carmichael, but he does not Campbells. This gave rise to a number of 
seem to ha\re lived on very happy terms with bloody conflicts between the Camphells and 
her, as we find that John Knox, at the request 
of Queen l\Iary, endeavoured, on more occa- 3 Calrlf'l'u"(ln{l, vol. Ii. p. 215. 



I 
I 
II 


182 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


the Clandonald, in the years IGI4-, IGI5, and 
1616, which ended in the ruin of the latter, 
and for thc details of which, and the intrigues 
and proceedings of the Earl of Argyll to 
possess himself of the lands of that clan, 
reference may be made to the part of the 
General History pertaining to this period. 
In 1 G03, the :\[acgregors, who were already 
under the ban of the law, made an irruption 
into the l.ennox, and after defeating the 
Colquhouns and their adherents at Glenfruin, 
with great slaughter, plundered and ravaged 
tlle whole district, and threatened to burn the 
town of Dumbarton. :For some 
Tears pre- 
viously, the charge of keeping this powerful 
and warlike tribe in order had been committed 
to the Earl of Argyll, as the king's lieutenant 
in the "bounds of the clan Gregor," and he 
WitS answerable for all their excesses. Instead 
of keeping them under due restraint, Argyll 
has been accused by various writers of having 
from the vel'y first made use of his influence 
to stir them up to acts of violence and aggres- 
sion against his own personal enemies, of whom 
the chief of the Colquhouns was one; and it 
is further said that he had all along meditated 
the destruction of both the J\Iacgregors amI 
the Colquhouns, by his crafty and perfìdious 
policy. The only evidence on which these 
heavy charges rest is the dying declaration of 
.Alister )[acgl'egor of Glenstrae, the chief of the 
clan, to the effect that he was deceived by the 
Earl of Argyll's" falsete and inventiouns," and 
that he had been often incited by that nobleman 
to "weir and truble the laird of Luss," and 
others; but these charges ought to be received 
with some hesitation by the impartial historian. 
However this may be, the execution of the 
severe statutes which were passed against the 
:Macgregors after the conflict at Glenfruin, was 
intrusted to the Earls of Argyll and Athole, 
and their chief, with some of his principal 
fullowers, was enticed by Argyll to surrender 
to him, on condition that they would be al- 
lowcd to leave the country ArgyJl received 
them kindly, and assurcd them that though he 
was commanded by the king to apprehend 
them, he had little doubt he would be able to 
procure a pardon, and, in the meantime, he 
would send them to England under an escort, 
which would convey them off Scottish ground. 


It was :Macgregor's intention, if taken to Lou- 
don, to procure if possible an interview with 
the king; but Argyll prevented this; yet, that 
he might fulfil his promise, he sent them under 
a strong guard beyond the Tweed at Berwíck, 
and instantly compelled them to retrace their 
steps to Edinburgh, where they were executed 
18th January IG04. How far there may have 
been deceit used in this matter,-whether, ac- 
cording to Birrel, Argyll" keipit ane Hieland- 
man's promise; in respect he sent the gaird to 
convey him out of Scottis grund, but thai were 
not directit to pairt with him, but to fetch 
him bak agane;" or whether their return was 
by orders from the king, cannot at the present 
time be ascertained. 
In 1 G 17, after the suppression by him of 
the Clandonald, Argyll obtained from the 
king a grant of the whole of Kintyre. For 
some years Argyll had been secretly a Catho 
lic. His first countess, to whom Sir 'Yilliam 
Alexander, afterwards Earl of Stirling, in- 
scribed his "Aurora" in 1 G04, having died, 
he had, in November 1GIO, married a second 
time, Anre, daughter of Sir 'Villiam Cornwall 
of Brome, ancestor of the Marquis Cornwallif? 
This lady was a Catholic, and although the 
earl was a warm and zealous Protestant when 
he mårried her, she gradually d1'ew him over 
to profess the same faith with herself. After 
the year 1615, as Gregory remarks, his per- 
sonal history presents a striking instance of 
the mutability of human affairs. In that year, 
being deep in debt, he went to England j but 
as he was the only chief that could keep the 
:l\1acdonalds in order, the Privy Council wrote 
to the king urging him to send him home; 
and in his expedition against the clan Donald 
he was accompanied by his son, Lord Lorn. 
In 1618, on pretence of going to the Spa for 
the l)enefit of his health, he received from the 
king permission to go abroad; and the news 
soon arrived that the earl, instead of going to 
the Spa, had gone to Spain j that he had there 
made open defection from the Protestant re- 
ligion, and that he had entered into very sus- 
picious dealings with the banished rebels, Sir 
James Macdonald and Alister :\facHanald of 
IÜppoch, who had taken refuge in that country. 
On the 16th of February he was openly de- 
clared rebel and traitor, at the market cross of 



THE CAMPDELLS OF ARGYLL. 


183 


Edinburgh, and remained under this ban until 
the 22d of November 1621, when he was de- 
clared the king's free liege. Nevertheless, he 
did not venture to return to Britain till 1638, 
and died in London soon after, aged 62. From 
the time of his leaving Scotland, he never 
exercised any influence over his great estates; 
the fee of which had, indeed, been previously 
conve
'ed by him to his eldest son, Archibald, 
Lord Lorn, afterwards eighth Earl of Argyll. 
By his first wife he had, besides this son, four 
daughters. By his second wife, the earl had a 
son and a daughter, viz., James, Earl of Irvine, 
and Lady l\hry, married to James, second Lord 
Rollo. 
Archibald, eighth Earl and first :ßIarquis of 
Argyll, after his father, went to Spain, as has 
been above said, managed the affairs of his 
family and clan. So full an account of the 
conspicuous part played by the first Marquis 
of Argyll, in the affairs of his time, has been 
alreaùy given in this work, that further detail 
here is unnecessary. Suffice it to say, that in 
1641 he was created :Marquis, and was beheaded 
with the" Maiden," at the cross of Edinburgh, 
-:\Iay 27, 1661; and whatever may be thought 
of his life, his death was heroic and Christian. 
By his wife, Lady Margaret Douglas, second 
daughter of 'Villiam, second Earl of 
Iorton, 
he had three daughters and two sons. The 
eldest son Archibald, became ninth Earl of 
Argyll, the second was Lord Niel Campbell, 
of Ardmaddie. 
On the death of the eighth earl, his estatf'S 
and title were of cour:3e forfeited, but Charles 
II., in 1663, sensible of the great services of 
Lord Lorn, and of the injustice with which he 
had been treated, restored to him the estates 
and the title of Earl of Argyll. The trivial 
excuse for the imprisoning and condemning 
him to death, has heen already referred to, 
and an account has been given of the means 
whereby he was enabled to make his escape, 
by the assistance of his step-daughter, Lady 
Sophia Lindsay. Having taken part in l\Ion- 
mouth's rebellion, he was taken prisoner, and 
being carried to Edinburgh, was beheaded upon 
his former unjust sentence, June 30, 1685. 
.\rgyll was twice married; first to Lady :Mary 
Stuart, l'ldest daughter of James, fifth Earl of 
\f omy; and secondly, to Lady Anna ::\lackenzie, 


second daughter of Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, 
widow of Alexander, first Earl of Balcarres. 
By the latter, ho had no issue; but by the 
former he had four sons and three daughteI's. 
He was succeeded by his son Archibald, tenth 
Earl and first Duke of Argyll, who was an 
active promoter of the Revolution, and accom. 
panied the Prince of Orange to England. He 
was one of the commissioners deputed from 
the Scots Parliament, to offer the crown of 
Scotland to the Prince, and to tender him the 
coronation oath. For this and other services, 
the family estates, which had been forfeited, 
were restored to him. He was appointed to 
several important public offices, and in 16!"W, 
was made colonel of the Scots horse-guards, 
afterwards raising a regiment of his own clan, 
which greatly distinguished itself in Flanders. 
On the 21st of June 1701, he was created, 
by letters patent, Duke of Argyll, Marquis of 
Lorn and Kintyre, Earl of Campbell and 
Cowal, Viscount of Lochow and Glenila, Haron 
Inverary, l\Iull, Morvel'll, and Tiree. He died 
28th September, 1703. Though undoubtedly 
a man of ability, he was too dissipated to 1e a 
great statesman. He married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Bir Lionel Tollmash, by whom he 
had two sons, the elder being the celehrated 
Duke of Argyll and Greenwich. 
J Ollll, second Duke of Argyll, and also Duke 
of Greenwich, a steady patriot ana celebrated 
general, the eldest son of the preceding, was 
born October 10, 1678. On the death of his 
father in 1 ï03, he became Duke of Argyll, 
and was soon after sworn of the privy coun- 
cil, made captain of the Scots horse-guards, 
and appointed one of the extraordinary lords 
of session. He was soon after sent down as 
high commissioner to the Scots parliament, 
where, being of great service in promoting the 
projected Union, for which he became very 
unpopular in Scotland, he was, on his return 
to London, created a peer of England by the 
titles of Baron of Chatham, and Earl of Green- 
wich. 
In 1706 his Grace made a campaign in 
Flanders, under the Duke of :Marlborough, and 
rendered important services at various sieges 
and battles on the continent, and on Decem- 
ber 20, 1 ïl 0, he was installed a knight of the 
Garter. On the accession of George I., he was I 


, 



184 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


made groom of the stole, and was one of the 
nineteen members of the regency, nominated 
by his majesty. On the king's arrival in 
England, he was appointed general and com- 
mander-in-chief of the king's forces in Scotland. 
At the breaking out of the Rebellion in 
1715, his Grace, as commander-in-chief in 
Scotland, defeated the Earl of Mar's army at 
Sheriffmuir, and forced the Pretender to retire 
from the kingdom. In March 1 716, after 
putting the army into winter quarters, he re- 
turned to London, but was in a few months, 
to the surprise of all, divested of all his em- 
ployments. In the beginning of 1718 he was 
again restored to favour, created Duke of 
Greenwich, and made lord steward of the 
householù. In 1737, when the affair of Cap- 
tain Porteous came before parliament, his Grace 
exerted himself vigorously and eloquently in 
behalf of the city of Eùinlmrgh. A bill having 
been brought in for punishing the Lord Provost 
of that city, for abolishing the city guard, and 
I for depriving the corporation of several ancient 
privileges j and the Queen Regent having 
threateneù, on that occasion, to convert Scot- 
land into a hunting park, .Argyll r
pìied, that 
it was then time to go down and gather his 
beagles. 
In April 1740, he delivered a speech with 
such warmth against the administration, that 
he was again deprived of all his offices. To 
these, howevcr, on the resignation of Sir 
Robert '\T alpole, he was soon restored, but 
not approving of the measures of the new 
ministry, he gave up all his posts, and never 
afterwards engaged in affairs of state. This 
amiable and most accomplished nobleman has 
been immortalised by :Pope in the lines, 
" Argyle, the statp's whole thunder born to wield, 
Anù shake alike the senate and the fielù." 
He was twice married. I1y his first wife, Mary, 
daughter of John Drown, E::;q. (and niece of 
Sir Charles Ihm(;ombe, Lord Mayor of London 
in 1708), he had no issue. I
y his second 
wife, Jane, ùaughter of Thomas "\VarLurton of 
"Tinnington, in Cheshire, one of the maids of 
honour to Queen Anne, he haù five daughters. 
As the duke dipù without male issue, his Eng- 
lish titles of Duke and Earl of Greenwich, and 
Baron of Chatham, became extinct, while his 
Scotch titles and patrimonial estate devolved 


on his brother. He died October 4, 1743; and 
a beautiful marble monument was erected to 
his memory in "T estminster Abbey. 
Archibalù, third Duke of Argyll, the brother 
of the preceding, was born at Ham, Surrey, in 
June lü82, and educateù at the university of 
Glasgow. In 1705 he was constituted lord 
high treasurer of Scotland; in 170ü one of 
the commissioners for treating of the Union 
between Scotland and England; and 19th 
October of the same year, for his services in 
that matter, was created Viscount and Earl of 
Isla. In 1708 he was made an extraorùinary 
Imd of session, and after the Union, was chosen 
one of the sixteen represen tati ve peers of Scot- 
land. In 1710 he was appointed justice- 
general of Scotland, and the following year 
was called to the privy council. 'Vhen ihe 
rebellion broke out in 1715, he took up arms 
for the defence of the house of Hanover. By 
his prudent conduct in the 'Vest Highlands, 
he prevented Geneml Gordon, at the head of 
three thousand men, from pmletrating into the 
countr,r and raising levies. He afterwards 
joined his brother, the duke, at Stirling, and 
was 'wallUded at the battle of Sheriffmuir. In 
1725 he was appointed keeper of the privy 
seal, anù in 1734 of the great seal, which 
office he enjo)red till his death. He excelleù 
in eünversation, and besides building a yery 
magnificent seat at Inverary, he collected one 
of the most valuable private libraries in Great 
Britain. He died suùdenly, while sitting in 
his chair at dinner, April 15, 1761. He mar- 
ried the daughter of Mr "
hitficld, paymaster 
of marines, but had no issue by her grace. 
The third Duke of Argyll was succeeded by 
his cousin, J olm, fourth duke, son of the 
Hon. John Campbell of l\Iamore, secoM son 
of Archibald, the ninth Earl of Argyll (who 
was beheaded in 1 (85), by Elizabeth, daughter 
of J olm, eighth Lord ]
lphjnstone. The fourth 
ùuke was born about lü!)3. nefma he suc- 
ceeded to the honours of his family, he was an 
officer in the army, and saw some scrvice in 
France and Hulland. "\Yhen the rc bellion of 
1745 broke out, he was appointed to the 
command of all the troops and. garrisons in 
the west of Scotland, and arrived at Invetary, 
21st December of that ymr, and, with his 
eldest son joined the Duke of Cumberland at 



THE CAMP13ELLS OF ARGYLL-ROYAL MARRIAGE. 


1
5 


Perth, on the 9th of the following February. I George John Douglas, the eighth duke, born 
He died 9th 
ovember 1770, in the 71th in 1823, married in 1844, Lady Elizabeth 
year of his age. He married in 17:W the Hon. Georgina (born in 1824), eldest daughter of 
Mary Bellentlen, third daughter of the second the second Duke of Sutherland; issue, J olm 
Lord Bcllenden, anù had four sons and a Douglas Sutherland, Marquis of Lorn pI.P. 
daughter. for Argyleshire), born in 1845, and other 
John, fifth Duke of Argyll, born in 1723, children. His Grace has Jistingui
hed himself 
eldest son of the fourth duke, was also in tht: not only in politics, but in science; to geology, 
army, and attained the rank of general in March in particular, he has devoted much attention, 
1778, and of field-marshal in 17!,)6. He was and his writings proye him to be possessed of 
created a British peer, in the lifetime of his considerable literary ability. lIe is author of 
father, as Baron Sundridge of Coomb-bank in "An Essay on the Ecclesiastical History of 
Kent, 19th December 1766, with remainder Scotland since the Reformation," "The Heign 
to his heirs male, and failing them to his of Law," &c. He was made Chancellor of 
brothers, Frederick and \Vllliam, and their the University of St Andrews, 1851; Lord 
heirs male successively. He was chosen the Privy Seal, 1853; Postmaster-general, 1855-8; 
first president of the Highland Society of Knight of the Thistle, 1856; again Lorù 
I Scotland, to which society, in 1806, he made Privy Seal, 1859; Secretary of State for 
a munificent gift of one thousand pounds. as India, 1868. The Duke of Argyll is heredi- 
the beginning of a fund for educating young tary master of the queen's household in Scot- I 
men of the \Vest Highlands for the navy. land, ket:per of the castles of Dunoon, Dun- 
He died 24th May 1806, in the 83d year of staffnage, and Carrick, and heritable sheriff of 
I his age. He married in 1759, Elizabeth, Argyleshire. 
widow of James, sixth Duke of Hamilton, the It has been foretold, says tradition, that all 
second of the three beautifull\1iss Gunnings, the glories of thE' Campbell line are to be re- 
daughters of John Gunning, Esq. of Castle newed in the first chief who, in the hne of 
Coote, county Roscommon, Ireland. By this :his locks, approaches to Ian Roy Cean (John 
lady the duke had three sons and two daugh- Red Head, viz., the second duke). This pro- 
teI's. phecy some may be inclined to think, has been 
George 'Yilliam, sixth Duke of Argyll, was royally fulfilled in the recent marriage of the 
born 22d September 1768. He married, 29th present duke's heir, the :Marquis of Lorn, with 
November 1810, Caroline Elizabeth, daughter the Princess Louise, daughter of Her ,Majesty 
of the fourth Earl of Jersey, but had no issue. Queen Victoria. This event took place on 
His Grace died 22d October 1839. the 21st March 1871, amiù the enthusiastic 
His brother, John Douglas Edward Henry rejoicings of all Scotchmen, and especially 
(T...ord John Campbell of Ardincaple, M.P.) Highlandmen, and with the approval of all 
succeeded as seventh duke. He was born the sensible portion of Her Majesty's subjects. 
21st Decemùer 1777, and was thrice married; Her Majesty conferred the honour of knight- 
first, in August 1802, to Elizabeth, eldest hood on the :Marquis of Lorn, after the cere- 
daughter of \Villiam Campbell, ]
sq. of Fair- mony of the marriage, and invested him with 
field, who died in 1818; secondly, 17th April, the insignia of the Orùer of the Thistle. 
1820, to Joan, daughter and heiress of John There are a considerable number of impor- 
Glassel, Esq. of Long Niddry ; and thirdly, in tant offshoots from the clan Campbell, the I 
January 1831, to. Anne Colquhoun, eldest origin of some of which has been noticed 
daughter of J olm Cunningham, Esq. of Craig- above; it is necessary, however, to give a more 
enùs. By his second wife he had two sons particular account of the most powerful branch I 
and a daughter, namely, John Henry, born in of this extensive clan, viz., the DRE.\DALI1.\NE 
January 18
1, died in }'Iay 1837; George CAIIIPBELLS. 
Douglas, who succeeded as eighth duke; and 
Lady Emma Augusta, horn in 1825. His 
Grace died 26th April 1847. 
11. 2 A 



1186 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


BRF ADALBANE CA
lrBELL. 


\ . 



L OW 
 . 




. 


- I 
I I, 





-
 



 



 

i 


'. 
I." 


.. 



 


BADGE.-lIyrtle. 


As we have already indicated, the ancestor 
of the Breadalbane family, and the first of the 
house of Glenurchy, was Sir Colin Campbell, 
the third
on of Duncan, fir
t Lord Campbell 
I of Lochow. 
In an old manuscript, preserved in Tay- 
month Castle, named "the Black Book of 
I Taymouth" (printed by the Bannatyne Club, 
1833), containing a genealogical account of 
the Glenurchy family, it is stated that "Dun- 
can Campbell, commonly callit Duncan in Aa, 
knight of Lochow (lineallie descend it of a 
valiant man, surnamit Campbell, quha cam to 
Scotland in King Malcolm Kandmoir, his 
time, about the year of God 1067, of quhom 
came the house of Lochow), flourisched in 
King Davill Bruce his dayes. The foresaid 
Duncan in Aa had to wyffe Margarit Stewart, 
dochter to Duke Murdoch [ a mistake evidently 
for Uobert], on whom he begat twa sones, the 
elder eallit Archibald, the other namit Colin, 
wha was first laird of GlenlUchay." That es- 
tate was settled on him by his father. It had 
come into the Campbell family, in the reign 
of King David the Second, by the marriage of 
Margaret Glenurchy with John Campbell; 
and was at one time the property of the war- 
like clan .MacGregor, who were gradually ex- 
pelled from the territory by the rival clan 
Campbell. 
In 1-14:0 he built the castle of Kilchurn, on 
a projecting rocky elevation at the east ('ud of 
Lochawe. under the shadow of the majestic 


I B
n Cruachan, where-now a picturesque 
rurn,- 
.. grey and stern 
Stands, like a spirit of the past, lone old Kilchurn." 


According to tradition, Kilchurn (properly 
I Coalchuirn) Castle was first erected by his 
lady, and not by himself, he being absent on 
I a crusade at the time, and for seven years the 
I principal portion of the rents of his lands are 
I said to have been expended on its erection. 
I Sir Colin died before June 10, 1478; as on 
I that day the Lords' auditors gave a decreet in 
I a civil suit against "Duncain Cambell, son 
3.nd air of uIlllluhile Sir Colin Cambell of 
Glenurquha, knight." He was interred in 
Argyleshire, and not, as Douglas says, at :Fin- 
larig at the north-west end of Lochtay, which 
afterwards ùecame the burial-place of the 
family. His first wife had no issue. His 
second wife was Lady l\Iargaret Stewart, the 
second of the three daughters and co-heiresses 
of John Lord Lorn, with whom he got a third 
of that lordship, still possessed by the family, 
and thenceforward quartered the galley of 
Lorn with his paternal achieyement. His 
third wife was Margaret, daughter of Robert 
Robertson of Strowan, by whom he had a SUll 
and a daughter. Sir Colin's fourth wife was 
Margaret, daughter of Luke Stirling of ReiI', 
by whom he had a son, John, ancestor of the 
}:arls of Loudon, and a daughter, l\Iariot, mar- 
ried to "\Villiam Stewart of Baldoran. 
Sir Duncan Camp-bell, the eldest son, ob- 
tained the office of bailiary of the king's lands 
of Discher, Foyer, and Glenlyon, 3d Septem- 
ber 14098, for which office, being a hereditary 
one, his descendant, the second Earl of Bread. 
albane, received, on the abolition of the herit- 
able jurisdiction in Scotland, in 1747, the 
sum of one thousand pouuds, in full of his 
claim for six thousand. Sir Duncan also got 
charters of the king's lands of the port of 
Lochtay, &c. 5th l\Iarch 1492; also of the 
lands of Glenlyon, 7th September 1502; of 
:Finlarig, 
2J April 1503; and of other lands 
in Perth shire ill May 1308 anù September 
1511. He fell at the battle of Fludùen, 
He was twice marrieù. He was succeeded 
by Sir Colin, the eldest SOil, who mar- 
ried Lady l\Iarjory Stewart, sixth daugh- 
ter of J olm, Earl of Athole, brother uterine 



THE CAl\IPBELLS OF GLENURCHY. 


187 


I of King James the Second, and had three 
sons, viz., Sir Duncan, Sir John, and Sir 
Colin, who all succeeded to the estate. The 
last of them, Sir Colin, became laird of Glen- 
urchy in 1550, and, according to the "Black 
Book of Taymouth," he " conquessit" (that is, 
acquired) "the superiority of M'N abb, his 
hailliandis." He was among the first to join 
the Reformation, and sat in the parliament of 
1560, when the Protestant doctrines received 
the sanction of the law. In the "Black 
Book of Taymouth," he is represented to 
have been "ane great justiciar all his tyme, 
throch the quhilk he sustenit the deidly feid 
of the Clangregor ane lang space; and besides 
that, he causit execute to the death many 
notable lymarris, he behiddit the laird of .Mac- 
gregor himself at Kandmoir, in presence of the 
Erle of Athol, the justice-clerk, and sundrie 
I other nobilrnen." In 1580 he built the castle 
of Balloch in Perthshire, one wing of which 
I still continues attached to Taymouth Castle, 
the splendid mansion of the Earl of Breadal- 
1)ane. He also built Edinample, another seat 
.)f the family. Sir Colin died in 1583. By 
his wife Catherine, second daughter of 'Yil- 
liarn, second Lord Ruthven, he had four sons 
and four daughters. 
Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, his 
eldest son and successor, was, on the death of 
Colin, sixth Earl of Argyll, in 1584, nominated 
I by that nobleman's will one of the six guar- 
dians of the yuung earl, then a minor. The 
disputes which arose among the guardians 
I have been already referred to, as well as the 
assassination of the Earl of Moray and Camp- 
bell of CaMeI', and the plot to assassinate 
the young Earl of Argyll. Gregory expressly 
charges Sir Duncan Campbell of GJenurchy 
with being the principal mover in the branch 
of the plot which led to the murder of Calder. 
In 1617 Sir Duncan had the office of herit- 
able keeper of the forest of 
Iamlorn, Bendas- 
kerlie, &c., conferred upon him. He after- 
wards obtained from King Charles the First 
the4sheriffship of l>erthshire for life. He was 
created a baronet of Nova Scotia by patent, 
bearing date 30th .May 1625. Although re- 
presented as an ambitious and grasping charac- 
ter, he is said to have been the first who 
'lttpmpted to civilise the people on his exten- 


sive estates. He not only ßet them the ex- 
ample of planting timber trees, fencing pieces 
of ground for gardens, and manuring their 
lands, but assisted and encouraged them in 
their labours. One of his regulations of 
police for the es
ate was "that no man shall 
in any public-house drink more than a chopin 
of ale with his neighbour's wife, in the absence 
of her husband, upon the penalty of ten 
pounds, and sitting twenty-four hours in the 
stocks, toties quoties." He died in June 1631. 
He was twice married; by his first wife, Lady 
Jean Stewart, second daughter of John, Earl 
of Athole, Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, 
by whom he had seven sons and three daugh- 
ters. Archibald Campbell of Monzie, the fifth 
son, was ancestor of the Campbells of Monzie, 
Loclùane, and Finnab, in Perthshire. 
Sir Colin Campbell, the eldest son of Sir 
Duncan, born about 1577, succeeded as eighth 
Jaird of Glenurchy. Little is known of this 
Sir Colin save what is highly to his honour, 
namely, his patronage of George Jamesone, the 
celebrated portrait painter. Sir Colin married 
Lady Juliana Camp1ell, eldest daughter of 
Hugh, first Lord Loudon, but had no issue. 
He was succeeded by his brother, Sir Rubert, 
at first1styled of Glenfalloch, and afterwards of 
Glenllrchy. Sir Robert married Isabel, daugh- 
ter of Sir Lauchlan Mackintosh, of Torcastle, 
captain of the clan Chattan, anclhad eight sons 
and nine daughters. 'Villiam, the sixth SOIl, 
was ancestor of the Campbells of Glenfalloch, 
the representatives of whom have succeeded to 
the Scottish titles of Earl of Breaùalbane, &c. 
Margaret, the eldest daughter, married to John 
Camerun of I"ochiel, was the mother of Sir 
Ewen Cameron. 
The eldest son, Sir .Tohn Campbell of Glen- 
urchy, who succeeded, was twice married. 
His first wife was Lady :Mary Graham, eldest 
daughter of 'Villiam, Earl of Strathearn, 
Ien- 
teath, and Airth. 
Sir John Campbell of Glenurchy, first Earl 
of Breadalbane, only son of this Sir John, was 
born about 1635. He gave great assistance to 
the forces collected in the Highlands for 
Charles the Second in 1653, under the com- 
mand of General :Middleton. He subsequently 
used his utmost enùeavours with General 
:Monk to declare for a free parliament, as 



188 


HISTORY O:F THE HIGHLAXD CLANS. 


the most effectual wa.y to bring about his 
1\Iajest,y's restoration, Being a principal cre- 
ditor of George, sixth Earl of Caithness, 
whose debts are said to have exceeded 
a million of marks, that nobleman, on 8th 
October 1072, made a disposition of his 
wholo estates, heritable jurisdictions, and 
titles of honour, after his death, in favour of 
Sir .Tolln Campbell of Glenurchy, the latter 
taking on himself the burden of his lordship's 
d('Lts; and he was in consequence duly infefted 
I in the bnlls and carldom of Caithness, 27th 
}'ehruary 1673. The Earl of Caithness died 
in -:\fay 1676, when Sir John Campbell ob- 
tained a patent, creating him Earl of Caith- 
ness, dated at ",Vhitehall, :38th June 1G77. 
But George Sinclair of Keiss, the heir-male of 
the last earl, being found by parliament en- 
I titled to that dignity, Sir John Campbell ob- 
tained another patent, 13th August 1G81, 
creating him instead Earl of ]
readalbane and 
I Holland, Viscount of Tay and Paintlaml, Lord 
Glenurchy, Benederaloch, Ormelie, and 'Veik, 
with the precedency of the former patent, and 
remainder to whichever of his sons by his first 
wife he might designate in writing, and ulti- 
mately to his heirs-male whatsoever. On the 
accession of James II., the Earl was sworn 
a privy councillor. At the Hevolution, he 
adhered to the Prince of Orange; and after 
the hattle of Killiecrankie, and the attempted 
reduction of the Highlands by the forces of the 
new government, he was em powereù to enter 
into a negotiation with the Jacobite chiefs to 
induce them to submit to King 'Villiam, full 
details of which, as well as of his share in the 
massacre of GI('ncoe, have been given in the 
funnel' part of the work. 
","nen the treaty of Union was unller discus- 
si'}n, his Lordship kept aloof, and did not 
('ven aWmll parliament. At the general ('lec- 
tion of 1713, he was chosen one of the sixteen 
Scots representative peers, being then seventy- 
I eight years uld. At the hreaking out of the 
I rebellion of 1715, he sent five hundreil of his 
I I clan to join the standard of the Pretender; 
I I and he was one of the Suspf'cted persons, with 
I his second son, I
ord Glennrchy, summoned to 
I I appear at Edinhurgh within a certain specified 
period, to give lJail for thpir allegiance to the 
I government, hnt no fnrther notiee was taken 


úf his conduct. The }:arl died in 1716, in 
his 81st year. Ho maITied first, 17th De- 
cember 1G57, Lady Mary Rich, third tlaugh- 
tel' of Henry, first Earl of Holland, who had 
Leen executed for his loyalty to Cha.rles the 
}ïrst, 9th March 1649. By this lady he 
had two sons - Duncan, styled Lord 01'- 
mdie, who survived his father, but was 
passed ovcr in the succession, alHI J oIm, in 
his fath{'r's lifetime styled Lord Gleuurchy, 
who became second Earl of Breada1bane. He 
married, secondly, 7th April 1G78, Lady)lary 
Campbell, third daughter of Archihald, Mar- 
quis of ArgyH, dowager of George, sixth Earl 
of Caithness. 
John Campbell, Lord Glenurchy, the second 
son, born 19th November 1662, was by his 
father nominated to succeed him as second 
Earl of Breadalbane, in terms of the patent 
conferring the title. He died at Holyrood- 
house, 23<1 February 1752, in his ninetieth 
year. He married, first, Lady Frances Caven 
dish, second of the five daughters of Henry, 
second Duke of N ewca.stle, She died, 'with- 
out issue, 4th February 1690, in hcr thirtieth 
year. He married, secondly, 23d :May IG95, 
Henrietta, second daughter of Sir Edward 
Villiers, knight, sister of the first Earl of J er- 
sey, and of Elizabeth, Countess of Orkney, tIle 
witty but plain-looking mistress of King ",'Til_ 
ham III. By his second wife he had a son, 
J olm, third earl, and two daughters. 
John, third earl, born in 1 G9G, was ellu- 
cated at the university of Oxford, and after 
holding many highly important public offices, 
died at Holyroodhouse, 2Gth January 1782, 
in his 8Gth year. He was twice malTied, and 
had three sons, who all predeceased him. 
The male line of the first peer having thus 
b{'come extinct, the clause in the patent in 
favour of heirs-general transferred the peer- 
age, and the vast estates belonging to it, to 
his kinsman, John Campbell, born in 1762, 
eldest son of Colin Campbell of Carwhin, 
descended from Colin Campbcll of l\rochaster 
(who died in 1(78), third son of Sir RuLert 
Campbell of Glennrthy. The mother of the 
fourth Earl and first Marquis of Breadalbano 
was Elizabeth, daughter of Arl:hiLald Camp- 
bell of Stonefielù, sheriff of 
\.rgyleshire, and 
sister of .J ohn Campbell, judicially styled Lord 



MACARTHUR CAMPBELLS OF STRACHUR. 


189 


Stonefield, a lord of session and justiciary. 
In 178-1: he was elected one of the sixteen re- 
presentative peers of Scotland, and was re- 
chosen at all the subsequent elections, until 
he was created a peer of the United Kingdom 
in November 1806, by the title of Baron 
Rreadalbane of Taymouth, in the county of 
Perth, to himself and the heirs-male of his 
body. In 1831, at the coronation of "\Villiam 
the Fourth, he was created a marquis of the 
United Kingdom, under the title of Marquis 
of Breadalbane and Earl of Ormelie. In 
public affairs he did not take a prominent or 
ostentatious part, his attention being chiefly 
devoted to the improvement of his extensive 
estates, great portions of which, being unfitted 
for cultivation, he laid out in plantations. In 
the magnificent improvements at Taymouth, 
his lordship displayed much taste; and the 
park has been frequently described as one of 
the most extensive and beautiful in the king- 
dom. He married, 2d September 1793, Mary 
Turner, eldest daughter and coheiress of David 
Gavin, Esq. of Langton, in the county of Ber- 
wick, and by her had two daughters and one 
son. The elder daughter, Lady Elizabeth 
I :Maitland Campbell, married ill 1831, Sir 
John Pringle of Stitch ell, baronet, and the 
younger, Lady U ary Campbell, became in 
I 1819 the wife of Richard, :Marquis of Chandos, 
, who in 1839 became Duke of Buckingham. 
I The marquis died, after a short illness, at 
Taymouth Castle, on 29th March 1834, aged 
seventy-two. 
The marquis' only son, John Campbell, 
Earl of Ormelie, born at Dlmdee, 26th Octo- 
I bel' 1796, 8ucceeded, on the death of his 
father, to the titles and estates. He married, 
23d November 1821, Eliza, eldest daughter of 
George Baillie, Esq. of J erviswood, without 
issue. He died November 8th, 1862, when 
the marquisate, with its secondary titles, in 
the peerage of the United Kingdom, became 
extinct, and he was succeeded in the Scotch 
titles by a distant kinsman, John Alexander 
Gavin Campbell of Glenfalloch, Perthshire, 
born ill 1824. The claim of the latter, how- 
ever, was disputed by several candidates for 
the titles and rich estates. As we have already 
indicated, the title of Glenfalloch to the estates 
was descended from 'Yilliam, sixth son of Sir 


I 
i I 


Robert Campbell, ninth laird and third baron 
of Glenurchy. He married, in 1850, l\Iary 
Theresa, daughter of J. Edwards, Esq., Duh- 
lin, and had issue two sons, Lord Glenurchy 
and the Honourable Ivan CampbeIl; and one 
daughter, Lady Eva. This the sixth earl died 
in London, March 20, 1871, and has been 
succeeded by his eldest son. 
Of the l\IACARTHUR CAMPBELLS of STRACHUR, 
the old Statistical Account of the parish of 
Strachur says :-" This family is reckoned by 
some the most ancient of the name of Campbell. 
The late laird of :Macfarlane, who with great 
genius and assiduity had studied the ancient 
history of the Highlands, was of this opinion. 
The patronymic name of this family was Mac- 
arthur (the son of Arthur), which Arthur, 
the antiquary above-mentioned maintains, was 
brother to Colin, the first of the Argyll family, 
and that the representatives of the two brothers 
continued for a long time to be known by the 
names of lrlacmÛLUr and lrlaccClellein, before 
they took the surname of Campbell. Another 
account makes Arthur the first laird of 
Strachur, to have descended of the family of 
Argyll, at a later period, in which the present 
laird seems to acquiesce, by taking, with a 
mark of cadetcy, the arms and livery of the 
family of Argyll, after they had been quartered 
with those of Lorn. The laird of Strachur has 
been always accounted, according to the cus- 
tom of the Highlands, chief of the clan Arthur 
or :Macarthurs." 'Ye have already quoted l\fr 
Skene's opinion as to the claims of the ]\,lac- 
arthurs to the chiefship of the clan Campbell; 
we cannot think these claims have been 
sufficiently made out. 
:Macarthur adhered to the cause of Robert 
the Bruce, and received, as his reward, a con 
siderable portion of the forfeited territory of 
MacDougall of Lorn, Bruce's great enemy. He 
obtained also the keeping of the castle of 
Dunstaffnage. Mter the marriage of Sir Neil 
Campbell with the king's sistèr, the power 
and possessions of the Campbell branch rapidly 
increased, and in the reign of David II. they 
appear to have first put forward their clainui 
to the chieftainship, but were successfully re- 
sisted by Macarthur, who obtained a charter 
" Arthuro Call1plJl
ll quod nulli subjicitur pro 
terris nisi regi." 



111 90 HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CL ANS. 
I In the reign of James I., the chief's name The CA
IPBELLS of ARDKINGLASS were an old 
was John )Iacarthur, and so great was his branch of the house of Argyll, Sir Colin Camp- 
following, that he could bring 1,000 men into bell, son and heir of James Campbell of 
the fieM. In 1427 that king, in a progress Ardkinglass, descended from the Carnpbells 
through the north, held a parliament at Inver- of Lorn, by Mary, his wife, daughter of Sir 
ness, to which he summoned all the Highland Robert Campbell of Glenurchy, was made a 
chiefs, and among others who then felt his baronet in 1679. The family ended in an 
vengeance, was John l\Iacarthur, who was be- heiress, who married into the Livingstone 
headed, anù his whole lands forfeited. From family; and on the death of Sir Alexander 
that period the chieftainship, according to Livingstone Campbell of Ardkinglass, in 1810, 
Skene, was lost to the l\facarthurs ; the family the title and estate descended to Colonel 
subsequently obtained Strachur in Cowal, and James Callander, afterwards Sir James Camp- 
portions of Glenfalloch and Glendochart in bell, his cousin, son of Sir John Callander 
Perthshire. Many of the name of :Macarthnr of Craigforth, Stirlingshire. At his death in 
are still fúlmd about Dunstaffnage, but they 1832, without legÜimate issue, the title be- 
have long been merely tenants to the Campbells. came extinct. 
The l\facarthurs were hereditary pipers to the The family of BARCALDINE and GLE
URE, in 
l\IacDonalds of the Isles, and the last of the Argyleshire, whose baronetcy was conferred iL 
race was piper to the Highland Society. 1831, is descended from a younger son of Sir 
In the history of the main clan, we have Duncan Campbell, ancestor of the l\farquis of 
noted the origin of most of the off
hoots. .llreadalhane. 
It may, however, not be out of place to refer The CAMPBELLS of DU
STAFF
AGE descend 
to them again explicitly. from Colin, first Earl of Argyll. The first 
The CAMPBELLS of CAWDOR or CALDER, now baronet was Sir Donald, so created in 1836. 
represented by the Earl of Caw dol', had their The ancient family of CAMPBELL of l\IONZIE, 
origin in the marriage in 1510, of l\Iuriella in Perth shire, descend, as above mentioned, 
I heiress of the old Thanes of Cawdor, with Sir from a third son of the family of Glenurchy. 
John Campbell, third son of the second Earl of 'Ve have already devoted so much space 
.Argyll. In the general account of the clan, to the account of this important clan, that it 
we have already detailed the circumstances is impossible to enter more minutely into the 
connected with the bringing about of this history of its various branches, and of the 
marriage. many eminent men whom it has produced. 
The first of the C.UIPBELLS of ABERUCHlLL, In the words of Smibert, "pages on pages 
in Perthshire, was Colin Campbell, second might be expended on the minor branches 
son of Sir John Campbell of Lawers, and of the Campbell house, and the list still be 
uncle of the first Earl of Loudon. He got defective." The gentry of the Campbell 
from the Crown a charter of the lands of name are decidedly the most numerous, on 
Aberuchill, in 1596. His son, Sir James the whole, in Scotland, if the clan be not 
Campbell, was created a baronet of Nova indeed the largest. But, as has been before 
Scotia in the 1 nh century. observed, the great power of the chiefs called 
The CAMPBELLS of ARDNAMURCHAN are de- into their ranks, nominally, many other families 
scenùed from Sir Donald Campbell, natural besides the real Campbells. Tlw lords of that 
son of Sir John Campbell of Calder, who, line, in short, obtained so much of permanent 
as already narrated, was assassinated in 1592. power in the district of the Dhu-Galls, or 
For services performed against the l\Iacdonalds, I Irish Celts, as to bring these largely under 
he was in 162j made heritable proprietor of their sway, giving to them at the same time 
the district of Ardnamurchan and Sunart, and that general clan-designation, respecting the 
was created a baronet in 1628. origin of which enough has already been said. 
The AUCHINBRECK family is descended from The force of the clan was, in 1427, 1000; 
Sir Dugald Campbell of Auchinl)reck, who in 1715, 4000; and in 1745, 5000. 
was c:
 a 
aronet of Xova Scotia in 1
28
 ___AlthOngh each hranch of _th
CaIDPhcll
 




IACLEODS OF LE'VIS AND HARRIS. 


191 


no authority whatever for such a descent, and 
"The Chronicle of 
Ian" gives no countenance 
to it, we think the probabilities are in its 
favour, from the manifestly Norwegian names 
borne by the founùers of the clan, namely, 
Tormod or Gorman and TOl'quil, and from 
their position in the Isles, from the very 
commencement of their known history. The 
clan itself, there can ùe no doubt, are mainly 
the descendants of the ancient Celtic inhabi- 
tants of the western isles. 
Tormod's grandson, "Malcolm, got a charter I 
from David II., of 
wo-thil'ds.of Glenelg, on the 
mainland, a portion of the forfeited lands of the 
Dissets, in consideration for which he was to 
proviùe a galley of 36 oars, for the king's use 
whenever required. This is the earliest charter 
in possession of the Macleods. The same :l\Ial- 
colm obtained the lands in Skye which were 
long in possession of his descendants, by 
marriage with a daughter of 
IacArailt, said 
to have been one of the Norwegian nobles of 
the Isles. From the name, however, we 
would be inclined to take this MacArailt for 
a Celt. The sennacrnes sometimes made sad 
slips. 
1\IACLEOD of HARRIS, originally designated 
The clan LEOD or bIAcLEOD is one of the "de Glenelg," that being the first and princi- 
most considerable clans of the 'Vestern Isles, pal possession of the family, seems to have 
anù is divided into two branches independent been the proper chief of the clan Leod. The 
of each other, the :\Iacleods of Harris and the island, or rather peninsula. of Harris, which is 
l\IacIeods of Lewis. adjacent to Lewis, belonged, at an early period, 
To the progenitors of this clan, a Norwegian to the Macruaries of Garmoran and the North 
origin has commonly been assigned. They Isles, under whom the chief of the Siol Tor- 
I are also supposed to be of the same stock as mod appears to have possessed it. From this 
tlle Campbells, according to a family history family, the superiority of the Nor
h Isles 
referred to by Mr Skene, which dates no passed to the )facdonalds of Isla by marriage, 
farther back than the early part of the 16th and thus Harris came to form a part of the 
century. lordship of the Isles. In the isle of Skye the 
The genealogy claimed for them aS8erts Siol Tormod possessed the districts of Dun- 
that the ancestor of the chiefs of the clan, vegan, Duirinish, Bracadale, Lyndale, T.rotter- 
and he who gave it its clan name, was nish, and Minganish, being about two-thirds 
I
oyd or Leod, eldest son of King Olave of the whole island. Their principal seat was 
the Dlack, brother of 
Iagnus, the last king Dunvegan, hence the chief was often styled of 
of Man and the Isles. This Leod is said that place. 
to have had two sons: Tormod, progenitor The first charter of the l\IACLEODS of LEWIS, 
of the M:acleods of Harris, hence called the or Siol Torquil, is also one by King David II. 
Sial Tormod, or race of Tormodj and Torquil, It contained a royal grant to Torquil Macleod 
of those of Lewis, called the Sial Torquil, or of the barony of Assynt, on the north-western 
race of Torquil. Although, however, 
Ir I coast of Sutherlandshire. This barony, how- 
Skene and others are of opinion that there is ever, he is said to have obtained by marriage 


has its own peculiar arms, still there runs 
through all a family likeness, the difference 
generally being very small. All the families 
of the Campbell name bear the oared galley 
in their arms, showing the connection by 
ongm or intermarriage with the 'Vestern 
Gaels, the Islanù Kings. Breadalbane quar- 
ters with the Stewart of Lorn, having for 
supporters two stags, with the motto Follow 
.i1Ie. 


MACLEOD. 



DU
 
.- )
 
...... 


'. 


c 
'" 


- 



 r' 
r 


Q 
J 




 I 
. . 
I.JIL- 
 
. 
;i:-r "- -'Jo-"j , 
'"-":: _
 . --=-If -.; .,. 


, :', C . 
,
 - -- - 11" 
of '9, I' _ .----, 
'" ......-:;;-ç$, .. i',
_1!>41F; 
'.<r'1\i'-
.I1;r.'_ 
"'e:..... 
 
BADGE.-Red WhortIeùerry. 


, 



192 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


with the heiress, whose name was :ßlacnicol. 
It was held from the crown. In that charter 
he has no designation, hence it is thought that 
he had then no other property. The Lewis 
:ßlacleods held that island as vassals of the 
:1\Iacdonalds of Isla from 1344, and soon came 
to rival the Harris branch of the Macleods in 
power and extent of territory, and even to 
I I dispute the chiefship with them. Their 
I armorial bearings, however, were different, the 
family of Harris having a castle, while that of 
Lewis had a burning mount. The possesÛons 
of the Siol Torquil were very extensive, 
comprehending the isles of Lewis and Rasay, 
the district of 'Vaterness in Skye, and those 
of Assynt, Cogeach, and Gairloch, on the 
I mainland. 
To return to the Harris branch. The 
grandson of the above-mentioned Malcolm, 
'Villiam Macleod, surnamed Achlemch, or the 
clerk, from being in his youth designed 
for the church, was one of the most daring 
chiefs of his time. Having incurred the 
resentment, of his superior, the Lord of the 
Isles, that powerful chief invaded his territory 
I with a large furce, but was defeated at a place 
called Lochfi;ligachan. He was, however, one 
of the principal supporters of the last Lord of 
the Isles in his disputes with his turbulent 
and rebelìious son, Angus, and was killed, in 
1481, at the battle of the Bloody Bay, where 
also the eldest son of Roderick :l\Iacleod of the 
Lewis was mortally wounded. The son of 
'Villiam of Harris, Alexander l\Iacleod, called 
Allaster Crottach, or the Humpbacked, was 
the head of the Siol Tormod at the time of 
the forfeiture of the lordship of the Isles in 
1493, when TIoderick, grandson of the above- 
named Hodcrick, was chief of the Siol Torquil. 
This Roderick's father, Torquil, the second 
son of the first Roderick, was the principal 
I supporter of DonalJ Dubh, when he escaped 
from prison and raised the lJanner of insurrec- 
tion in 1501, for the purpose of regaining the 
lordship of the Isles, for which he was for- 
feited. He maried Katherine, daughter of the 
first Earl 01 Argyll, the sister of Donald 
Vubh's mother. The forfeited estate of Lewis 
was restored in 1511 to :1\Ialcolm, Torquil's 
brother. Alexander the Humpback got a 
charter, muter the great seal, of all his land., 


in the Isles, from James IV., dated 15th 
June, 14G8, under the condition of keeping in 
readiness for the king's use one ship of 26 
oars and two of 16. He had also a charter 
from James V. of the land::! of Glenelg, dated 
13th :February, 1539. 
'Vith the :Macdonalds of Sleat, the Harris 
l\facleods had a feud regarding the lands and 
office of bailiary of Trotternish, in the i
;lt: of 
Skye, held by them under several crown 
charters. The feud was embittered by :Macleod 
having also obtained a heritable grant of the 
lands of Sleat and North Uist; and the Siol 
Torquil, who had also some claim to the Trotter- 
nish bailiary and a portion of the lands, siding 
with the Macdonalds, the two leading branches 
of the Macleods came to be in opposition to 
each other. Under Donald Gruamach (" grim- 
looking") aided by the uterine brother of 
their chief, J olm MacTorquil :1\Iacleod, son of 
TOl'quil Macleod of the Lewis, forfeited in 
1506, the Macdonalds succeeded in expelling 
Macleod of Harris or Dunvegan from Trotter- 
nish, as well as in preventing him from taking 
possession of Sleat and North Uist. The 
death of his uncle, Malcolm Macleod, and the 
minority of his son, enabled Torquil, with the 
assistance of Donald Gruamach, in his turn, to 
seize the whole barony of Lewis, which, with 
the leadership of the Siol Torquil, he held 
during his life. His daughter and heiress 
married Donald Gorme of Sleat, a claimant for 
the lordship of the Isles, and the son and 
successor of Donald Gruamach. An agree- 
ment was entered into between Donald Gorme 
and Ruari or Roderick Macleod, son of :1\1al- 
colm, the last lawful possessor of the Lewis, 
whereby Roderick was allowed to enter into 
possession of that island, and in return 
Roderick became bound to assist in putting 
Donald Gorme in possession of Trotternish, 
against all the efforts of the chief of Harris 01' 
Dunvegan, who had again obtained possession 
of that district. In 1\1ay 1539, accordingly, 
Trotternish was invaded and laid waste by 
Donald Gorme and his allies of the Siol 
Torq uil; but the death soon after of Donald 
Gorme, by an arrow wound in his foot, under 
the walls of :l\Iackenzie of Killtail's castle of 
Ellandonan, put an end to his rebellion and 
his pretensions together. 'Vhen the powelfu1 




 
z 
 
-
 
 
0 .. 
1 
r:x.. 
0 
í'-' U) 
. 

 I 
'1,\ 
I CY 

 
ttW -0:: 
'\ I, , 
 

 

 a 
::r: l>- 
E-< 
,
 


\ 
 
/ ::> 

 
\ 
) U' 

 
"1 '.... L 
, (\. ..... il;"" Z; 
.( 
. 

 




 
 . :. .
 



<!if
 ,

.

"<\
:'
:, "'" ' ", i '. ' 
, - 
''\!ii ':
"") ,:-. } 
'T\" 

ê:'. .

 ".
"" . ,/
:
>'\: ::;

 
" - i
:i
':
'"f;:;r)t \ ,
"" 
. - 
 
\ I 'J,," -, · :.
 
'. ,:'
 
"w "..' . 
 J#.í.,,, J ,.;\\' 
':,

" ",
 ,'; '''
 l ' .


' ,,;!ii 
.
.
'>:. . . :10. 'J_'
'I" '."1('/. 
 ..1
\>"3:,; 
ï.'t'J...':i' 
'ò..k. ' ' . , ' ,,;-1." ",M>' ... 
. '! .,
.t.: ' ''f'f
; ",:--'4""-" 

 '<'
 

' . :". . ': . &' .';j,' 
. . "kH , 

;'1 
__."; o-:i!'
" '''-.<
t..
 
 
1t
" . f , 1,\; 
,.:
'
 t }
:
 H l 
. 
... 
 
,;" 
:t' "
'


 . ' 
': 
'";
i L . -; 
"' 
"" . .

---..o; 
.,' 
,' .' \1, .: f'" ; :


 
z'" ,c<. 
'
<
'J
:
' 

'
r

 
" \ 
'
t." '>.

'. .
 
's. 1 
,;''}; A
\ 
 .-.>/'I
 
 
i" f ,;,t '^
. " 
":';
 
;
\...' ': 

'.
 


;' 
 "I 
'. '1! .

 
 
. :.11 Ä '( .i( 
'.. ? :.',P' 
Ø:''; 

. II 
 ',,;1:" ... 
,} , j\i;
 


Û
1î1
' -;f\ 
'
j'.
 \ "r '. 7' 
 
 . 
'\' 
, 4,.>", 1
 '.i'_,..;v_!(!I,:\IfIJ
 . 
-;.r I 

 b.&
.J...}", 
 .1.;; I 
.. '1 ì , ,; 

1-
;

<"
'f S'-, 
Ij 
.
. ' 
 "{
':fr""

 - F
 
',
.. :" \
1, 


N

J111 
-::"1 
"" ' I ' t
 d



 1 \ 'I
 '
-:J 
Ióo.


-" . il ,t. :J1
1;,f., ' 1f.- A . 
.'11: 
' ' 
 ,p I 'îr;v," 'l 
.
 

} .' J.. r :
:w;l. . - , ...;. 
 
." .
 ',' 
 v. Cti(!ifi.:'\'J.' \\
 
, 
 11 .., 
1'11 '" 
,., 
.';: , r" ,
" 
' í7ld',i
,'" ' 
d .'''; ., " ,., . ",J, 'ili/; ",1'1 
-{ 
., , . " I /':,' . . ';Â"'''''f"..J'' '. 
, ".,." \'/ ,/ c' : . .;_, . . r 
 .. 'r "
 -: of.' 
. ,. ,"'" .,.' . '11 . .. j '" 
,.", ,.". ;0\ '. '""" '.t ' " ' 
"t.';i , ".,
, r;:,;:..... ,,' ; {' '. .. . 
 .' 
f '.:." ;\."'. '. Ifill;:> '. w' " ' .,.:.; .' .-", 
1/. 
..,. 
.',. .1f.,....., ..., ".
' ,,,' v./.",.", 
t 
,." ",. 'i . ,/.;'., ',.' ,. . ., - '., '.' I. . ' t .
?,,-t'!'tll"
 
/"'""... ....: 4 \ I .' \ 'J""" 
', 
....',', ' . <!";..v,,
,,, 
'. ,1.'>' ':.' 
" " -ò .d....' .' .' ,... . <,,,,"'-' 
. ! . l' " 
. ,. ,_ :'" " 'I! ", ' '... . . ., i " 11,)>,.( [ , 
;r
 'if ....l.:' ! 
\':. >i;b

.,
, .. ,2 ...' /
 ,",r"'
 ,I' ,',.1 :. 
 
 
 

' \ .:
 . "
 
t. 
 .

 v ' l J::..........-;::.,.. -, 
t .I;; ... .
 ., t , , ,I "' ð "l" 
'" .' '., ..
" -' 
', ,-., .... ;." ,; , 
,"/, ". ,"" ',', ," _ ...
. '. . 1 ..".',., 
. .'.d" ;::7...;;' " .. ,,,",; .,,
 "..... ': 

 t ,....." .",,'" . " .\ ' . ,,
, 
 .

 . f- , 
 
 
," " è'"'' " 
, ' .
 1
' I." 1< i ': ,)'I' 
 .,,: ..., . ., 
 "I.if. ; 
. . . ,<, 'j",","" .. ,... - L - ;,'#1J1dfI 
,,,",,, , . ..' .'" . i'f"'i 
. 
'. t{:; :! 
" . "' " . "fl. \ 
. ì: ... :J .,.....Þ J 

' 

:.,\ 



 
1 
, 


::. 


.., 


- - I- 



.p 


,'- 



 


, J 




. 



.- . 
.:' .' / 
.
 II., 
 
.... ::.: 


8 


_" ..a:...... 
:.' 
 


'. 


--- 


.> 


/l..J 


/ .,:,., 
.',:' 


\ 



/ 


=1 ROSS. . F 





 


. 


. 


11 


. 


.. 


-tf- 


--:$- 


CAMERON OF LOCHlEL. 


... 


. 


1= 



.. 


-- 
- 


-- . - 
- 
::::1 ..- 
..- 
. . I 
!n .. ii: 


. 


...........:-. 
 =... 


.1 


. 


U!i :; 

 :. 


.1. ", 
;
._i 


.: 


- 
- 


, , ill 
. . 'f I I 'i: 
Ii = :: 
" 1 
 - 
=: ,:= - - 
II 
II I! 
,.:i' - ..-., 
" '11 ;_._
 
U ;U U:;,i: 
.. ..' .. 
. .. 
. 


:\: 


" 
n 


t: 


t 


.. ii:: :i 


::. - : 
.---: 
:, ' I " . 
, , 


.1 


:1' ..1 


. l 


- 
--- 


.......-.... Nt, 


.: 
 ===... 


.1 


=1 


FARQU HARSQN 


. 
 


. 



- 


:MACLEODS OF HARRIS. 


193 


fleet of J amps V, arrived at the isle of Lewis worse than nugatory, as they threatened to 
the following year, Roderick "Macleod and his involve him in a feud with that powerful and 
principal kinsmen met the king, and were warlike tribe, in case he should take any steps 
made to accompany him in his farther PTO- to enforce them. In these circumstances, 
gress through the Isles. On its reaching Donald Madeol seized, apparently with the 
Skye, Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan was consent of his clan, the estates which legally 
also constrained to embark in the royal fleet. belonged to his niece, the heiress; and thus, 
\Vith the other capt.ive chiefs they were sent in practice, the feudal law was made to yield 
to Edinburgh, and only liberated on giving to ancient and inveterate custom. Donald did 
hos
es for their obedience to the laws. not enjoy these estates long, being murdereel 
Alexander the Humpback, chief of the in Trotternish, by a relation of his own, J oIm 
Harris Macleods, died at an advanced age in Oig :Macleod, who, failing Tormod, the only 
the reign of Queen :l\Iary. He had three sons, remaining brother of Donald, would have 
'Villiam, Donald, and Tormod, who all suc- become the heir male of the family. John 
ceeded to the estates and authority of their Oig next plotted the distruction of Tormod, 
family. He had also two daughtBrs, the elder who was at the time a student in the univer- 
of whom was thrice married, and every time sity of Glasgow; but in this he was foiled by 
to a :Macdonald. Her first husband was the interposition of the Earl of Argyll. He 
James, second son of the fourth laird of Sleat. continued, notwithstanding, to retain pos- 
Her second was Allan MacIan, captain of the session of the estates of the heiress, and of 
Clanrauald; and her third husband was l\Iac- the command of the clan, till his death in 
donald of Keppoch. ThE- younger daughter 1559." The heiress of Harris was one of 
became the wife of )Iaclean of Lochbuy. Queen Mary's maids of honour, and the Earl of 
'Villiam :Macleod of Harris had a danghter, Argyll, having ultimately become her guardian, 
:Mary, who, on his death in 1554, became she was given by him in marriage to his 
under a particular destination, his sole heiress kinsman, Duncan Campbell, younger of 
in the estates of Harris, Dunvegan, and Auchinbreck. Through the previous eff01'ts 
Glenelg. His claim to the properties of Sleat, of the earl, Tormod Macleod, on receiving a 
Trotternish, and 
 orth Uist, of which he was legal title to Harris and the other estates, 
the nominal proprietor, but which were held renounced in favour of Argyll all his claims 
by the Clan donald, was inherited by his next to the lands of the Clandonahl, and paid 1000 
brother and successor, Donalù. This state of merks towards the dowry of his niece. He 
things placed the latter in a very anomalous also gave his bond of service to Argyll for 
position, which may be explained in 
fr himself and his clan. 
Iary Macleod, in 
Gregory's words :--" The Siol Tormoù," he consequence, made a complete surrenùer to 
says,' "was now placed in a position, which, I her uncle of her tìtle to the lands of Harris, 
though quite intelligible on the principles of Dunvegan, and Glenelg, and Argyll obtained 
feudal law, was totally opposed to the Celtic I for him a crown charter of these estates, dated 
customs that still prevailed, to a great extent, 4th August, 1579. Tormod adhered firmly 
throughout the Higlùands and Isles. A I to the interest of Queen Mary, and died in 
female and a minor was thlJ legal proprietrix of 158-1. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 
the ancient possessions of the tribe, which, by I 'Villianl, under whom the Harris l\Iacleods 
her marriage, might be conveyed to another assisted the Macleans in their feuds with the 
and a hostile family; whilst her uncle, the :ßIacdonalds of Isla and Skye, while the Lewis 
natural leader of the clan according to ancient )Iacleods supported the latter. On his death 
custom, was left without any means to keep in 1590, his brother, Roderick, the Rory :Mor 
up the dignity of a chief, or to support the of tradition, became chid of the Harris 
clan against its enemies. His claims on the I :ßIacleods. 
estates possessed by the Clandonald were I In December 15!J7, an act of the Estates 
I had been passed, by which it was made 
: imperative upon all the cùieftains and lan(l- 
2B 


4 Histor1.J of the Highlands and Tiles, ('. 20-1. 
II. 



194 


HISTORY OF THE IIIGHLAND CLA
S. 


lorùs in the Highlands and Isles, to produce I cate what he conceived to be his rights. In 
their title-deeds before the lorùs of Exchequer his pretensions he was supported by the 
on the 15th of the following May, under the I Mackenzi.es. Roùerick was apprehendeù al1d 
pain of forfeiture. The heads of the two detained four years a prisoner in the castle of 
branches of the 
Iacleods disregarded the act, .8tornoway. The feud between the .M:acdonalds 
and a gift of their estates was granteù to a and l\Iackenzies was put an end to by tho 
number of Fife gentlemen, for the purposes of mediation of the Regent Moray. Before be- 
colonisation. They first began with the Lewis, ing released from his captivity, the old chief I 
in which the experiment failed, as narrated in was brought before the Regent anù his privy 
the General History. Roderick Macleod, on council, and compelled to resign his estate 
his part, exerted himself to get the forfeiture into the hands of the crown, taking a new 
of his lands of Harris, Dunvegan, and Glenelg, destination of it to himself in liferent, and 
removed, and ultimatoly succeeded, having after his death to Torquil Connanach, as his 
obtained a remission from the king, dated 4th son and heir apparent. On regaining his 
:May, 1610. He was knighted by King liberty, however, he revoked all that he had 
J ames VI., by whom he was much esteemed, done when a prisoner, on the ground of coer- 
and had several friendly letters from his cion. This led to new commotions, and in 
majesty; also, a particular license, dated 16th 1576 both Roderick and Torquil were sum- 
June, 1616, to go to London, to the court, at moned to Eùinburgh, and reconciled in pre- 
any time he pleased. By his wife, a daughter sence of the privy council, when the latter 
of Macdonald of Glengarry, he had, with six I was again acknowledged as heir apparent to 
daughters, five sons, viz., John, his heir; Sir the Lewis, and received as such the district of 
Roderick, progenitor of the l\Iacleods of Cogeach and other lands. The old chief some 
Talisker; Sir Norman of the l\Iacleods of time afterwards took for his third wife, a 
Bernera and l\Iuiravonside; 'Villiam of the sister of Lauchlan :Maclean of Dowart, and had 
l\Iacleods of Hamer; and Donald of those of by her two sons, named Torquil Dubh and I 
Grisernish. Tormod. Having again disinherited Torquil 
The history of the Siol Torquil, or Lewis Connanach, that young chief once more took 
Macleods, as it approached its close, was most up arms, and was supported by two illegiti- 
disastrous. Roderick, the chief of this branch mate sons of Roderick, named Tormod Uigach 
in 1569, got involved in a deadly feud with and Murdoch, while three others, Donald, 
the Mackenzies, which ended only with the Rory Oig, and Neill, joined with their father. 
destruction of his whole family. He had He apprehended the old chief, Roderick 
married a daughter of J olm Mackenzie of Macleod, and killed a number of his men. 
Kintail, and a son whom she bore, and who All the charters and title deeds of the Lewi
 
was named Torquil Connanach, from his re- were carried off by Torquil, and handed over 
sidence among his mother's relations in Strath- to the 
Iackenzies. The charge of the castle 
connan, was disowned by him, on account of of Stornoway, with the chief, a prisoner in it, 
the alleged adultery of his mother with the was committed to John Macleod, t11e son of 
breve or Celtic judge of the Lewis. She Torquil Connanach, but he was attacked hy 
eloped with John l\IacGillechallum of B.asay, Rory Oig and killed, when Roderick l\Iacleod 
a cousin of Roderick, and was, in consequence, was released, and possessed the island iu peace 
divorced. He took for his second wife, in ùuring the remainder of his life. 
15-11, Barbara Stewart, daughter of Andrew On his death he was succeeded by his son 
Lord Avondale, and by this lady had a son, Torquil Dubh, who married a sister of Sir 
likewise named Torquil, and surnamed Oighre, Roderick 
Iadeod of Harris. Torquil Dubh, 
or the Heir, to distinguish him from the other I as we have narrated in the former part of 
Torquil. About 1566, the former, with 200 the work, was by stratagem apprehended by 
attendants, was drowned in a tempest, when the breve of Lewis, and carried to the country 
Bailing from I
ewis to Skye, and Torquil ' of the l\Iackenzies, into the presence of Lord 
Connanach immediately took up arms to vinùi-I Kintail, who ordereù Torquil Dubh and his 



195 


l\lACLEODS OF RASA Y. 


companions to be beheaded. This took place 
in July 1597. 
Torquil Dubh left three young sons, and 
their uncle Neill, a bastard brother of their 
fa.ther, took, in their behalf, the command of 
the isle of Lewis. Their cause was also sup- 
portod by the ::\lacleods of Harris and the 
:Macleans. The dissensions in the Lewis, fol- 
lowed by the forfeiture of that island, in con- 
sequence of the non-production of the titIe- 
deeds, as required by the act of the Estates of 
1597, already mentioned, afforded the king an 
opportunity of trying to carry into effect his 
abortive project of colonisation already referred 
to. The colonists were at last compelled to 
abandon their enterprise. 
The title to the Lewis having been acquired 
by Kenneth l\Iackenzie, Lorù Kintail, he lost 
no time in taking possession of t
e island, 
expelling Neill Macleod, with his nephews, 
Malcolm, 'Villiam, and Roderick, sons of Rory 
Gig, who, with about thirty others, took refuge 
on Berrisay, an insulated rock on the west 
coast of Lewis. Here they maintained them- 
I selves for nearly three years, but were 
t length 
driven from it by the l\Iaékenzies. Neill sur- 
rendered to TIoderick Macleod of Harris, who, 
on being charged, under pain of treason, to 
deliver him to the privy council at Eùinburgh, 
gave him up, with his son Donald. Neill was 
brought to trial, convicted, and executed, and 
is said to have died "very Christianlie" in 
April 1613. Donald, his son, was banished 
from Scotland, and diell in Holland. Roderick 
and 'Villiam, two of the sons of Rory Oig, 
were seized by the tutor of Kintail, and 
executed. :Malcolm, the other son, apprehend- 
ed at the same time, made his escape, and 
continued to harass the Mackenzies for years. 
He was prominently engaged in Sir James 
Macdonalù's rebellion in 1615, and afterwards 
went to Flanders, but in 1616 was once more 
in the Lewis, where he killed two gentlemen 
of the l\Iackenzies. He subsequently went to 
Spain, whence he returned with Sir James 
:Macdonald in 1620. In 1622 and 1626, com- 
missions of fire and sword were granted to 
Lord Kintail and his clan against ":Malcolm. 
l\facRuari :I\Iacleod." Nothing more is known 
of him. 
On the extinction of the main line of the 


Lewis, the representation of the family de- 
volved on the :Macleods of Rasay, afterwards 
referred to. The title of Lord Macleod was 
the second title of the :11ackellzies, Earl8 of 
Cromarty. 
At the battle of 'V orcester in 1651, the 
:Macleods fought on the side of Charles II., 
and so great was the slaughter amongst them 
that it was agreed by the other clans that they 
should not engage in any other conflict until 
they had recovered their losses. The Harris 
estates were sequestrated by Cromwell, but the 
chief of the Macleods was at last, in l\lay 
1665, admitted into the protection of the 
Commonwealth by General Monk, on his find- 
ing security for his peaeeable behaviour under 
the penalty of Æ6,000 sterling, and paying a 
fine of Æ2,500. Both his uncles, however, 
were expressly excepted. 
At the Revolution, )IACLEOD of :MACLEOD, 
which became the designation of the laird of 
Harris, as chief of the clan, was favourable to 
the cause of James II. In 1715 the effective 
force of the l\lacleods was 1,000 men, and in 
1715, aoo. The chief, by the advice of Presi_ 
dent Forbes, did not join in the rebellion of the 
latter year, and so saved his estates, but many 
of his clansmen, burning with zeal for the 
cause of Prince Charles, fought in the ranks 
of the rebel army. 
It has been mentioned that the bad treat- 
ment which a daughter of the chief of the 
)Iacleods experienced from her husband, the 
captain of the Clanranald, had caused them 
to take the fir
t opportunity of inflicting a 
signal vengeance on the l\Iacdonalcls. The 
merciless act of :Macleod, by which the entirû 
population of an islanù was cut off at once, is 
described by l\lr Skene,5 and is shortly thus. 
Towards the close of the 16th century, a small 
number of l\Iacleods accidentally landed on 
the island of Eigg, and were hospitably re- 
ceived by the inhabitants. Ofle,ring, however, 
some incivilities to the young women of the 
island, they were, by the male relatives of the 
latter, bound hand and foot, thrown into a. 
boat, and sent adrift. J3eing met and rescueù 
by a party of their own clansmen, they were 
Drought to Dunvegan, the resiùence of their 


II 1I ighlandcrs, vol. ii. p. 277.. 


, 



[1 196 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


chief, to whom t}wy told theIr story. Instantly ously massacred by one of their own kinsmen, 
manning his galleys, :Macleod hastened to Eigg. under the following circumstances. John 
On descrying his approach, the islanders, with :MacGhilliechallum .l\Iacleod of Rasay, called 
their wives and children, to the number of Ian na Tuaidlt, or John with the axe, who 
200 persons, took refuge in a large cave, situ- had carried off Janet l\1ackenzie, the first 
ated in a retired and secret place. Here for wife of his chief, Roderick :l\Iacleod of the 
two days they remained undiscovered, but Lewis, married her, after her divorce, and 
having unfortunately sent out a scout to see if had by her several sons and one daughter. 
the l\Iacleods were gone, their retreat was The latter became the wife of Alexander 
detected, but they refused to surrender. A Roy 1\Iackenzie, a grandson of Hector 01' 
stream of water feU over the entrance to the Eachen Roy, the first of the 1\1ackenzies of 
cave, and partly concealed it. This Macleod Gairloch, a marriage which gave great offence I 
caused to be turned from its course, and then to his clan, the Siol vic Gillechallum, as the 
ordered aU the wood and other combustibles latter had long been at foud with that par- 
which could be found to be piled up around ticular branch of the Mackenzies. On Janet 
its mouth, amI set fire to, """hen all within the l\1ackenzie's death, he of the axe married a 
cave were suffocated. sister of a kinsman of his own, Ruari :MacalIan 
The Siol Torlliod continued to possess Macleod, who, from his venomous disposition, 
Harris, Dunvegan, and Glenelg till near the was surnamed NÙnhneach. The latter, to 
close of the 18th century. The former and obtain Rasay for his nephew, his sister's son, 
the latter estates have now passed into other resolved tû cut off both his brother-in-law and 
hands. A considerable portion of Harris is his sons by the first marriage. He accordingly 
the property of the Earl of Dunmore, and invited them to a feast in the island of Isay in 
many of its inhabitants have emigrated to Skye, and after it was over he left the apart- 
Cape Breton and Canada. The climate of the ment. Then, causing them to be sent for one 
island is said to be favourable to longevity. by one, he had each of them assassinated as 
Martin, in his account of the 1Vestern Isles, they came out. He was, however, balked in 
I says he knew several in Harris of 90 years his object, as Rasay became the property of 
of age. One Lady::\Iacleo,l, who passed the Malcolm or GhilliechaUum Garbh 1\Iacallaster 
most of her time here, lived to 103, had th
n Macleod, then a child, belonging to the direct 
a comely head of hair and good teeth, and en- line of the Rasay branch, who was with his 
joyed a pel'fect understanding till the week foster-father at the time. 8 Rasay no longer 
she died. Her son, Sir Norman l\Iacleod,. belongs to the }'Iacleods, they having been 
I died at 96, and his grandson, Donald 1\Iac- compelled to part with their patrimony some 
leod of Bernera, at 91. Glenelg became the years ago. 
property first of Charles Grant, Lord Glenelg, The :Macleods of ASSYNT, one of whom be- 
and afterwarùs of 1\11' Baillie. From the trayed the great Montrose in 1650, were also 
family of Bernera, one of the principal branches a branch of the l\Iacleods of Lewis. That 
of the Harris Macleods, sprung the l\1acleods estate, towards the end of the 17th century, 
of Luskillder, of which Sir 1Yilliam l\Iacleod became the property of the 11ackenzies, and 
Bannatyne, a lord of session, wa.s a cadet. the family is now represented by 1\1acleod of 
The first of the house of RASAY, the late Geanles. The J\Iacleods of Cadboll are cadets 
proprietor of which is the representative of of those of Assynt. 
the Lewis branch of the 
Iacleods, was 
:l\falcolm Garbh l\1acleod, the second son of 6 Gregory's Highlands and Isles of Scotland, p. 
21I. 
l\1alcolm, eighth chief of the Lewis. In 
the reign of James V. he obtained from his 
father in patrimony the island of Rasay, which 
lies between Skye and the Ross-shire district 
of Applecross. In 1569 the whole of the 
R'1.say family, except one infant, were barbar- 


--+- 



l
;-I 
ing their lands in chief of the crown. But it 
seems tolerably evident that the }'IS. of 1450 
is by no means to be relied upon; Mr Skene 
himself says it is not trustworthy before A.D. 
1000, and there is no good ground for suppos- 
ing it to be entirely trustworthy 100 or even 
200 years later. The two principal septs of 
this clan in later times, the Marphersons and 
the :Mackintoshes, 
Ir Skene, on the authority 
of the :MS., deduces from two brothers, K each- 
tan and K eill, sons of Gillicattan Mol', and on 
the assumption that this is correct, he proceeds 
to pronounce judgment on the rival claims of 
l\facpherson of Cluny anL1 Ì\Iackintosh of 
l\1ackintosh to the headship of clan Chat tan. 
:1\1r Skene, from "the investigations which 
he has made into the history of the tribes 
of :Moray, as well as into the history and 
nature of Highland traditions," conceives 
it to be established by "historic authority," 
that the 
Iacphersons are the lineal. anll 
feudal representatives of the ancient chiefs of 
the clan Chattan, and " that they possess that 
right by blood to the chiefship, of which no 
charters from the crown, and no usurpation, 
however successful and continued, can deprive 
them." It is not very easy to understand, 
however, by what particular process of reason- 
ing l\Ir Skene has arrived at this conclu- 
sion. For supposing it were established ".be- 
yond all doubt," as he assumes it to be, by 
the manuscript of 1450, that the :Macphor- 
sons and the Mackintoshes are descended 
from N eachtan and Neill, the two sons of 
Gillichattan-more, the founder of the race, 
it does not therefore follow that" the Mack- 
intoshes were an usurping branch of the 
clan," and that" the :Macphersons alone pos- 
sessed the right of blood to that hereditary 
dignity." This is indeed taking for granted 
the very point to be proved,.in fact the wholo 
matter in dispute. Mr Skene affirms that the 
descent of the :Macphersons from the ancient 
chiefs "is not denied," which is in reality 
saying nothing to the purpose; hecause the 
question is, not whether this pretended descent 
has or has not been denied, but whether it can 
now be established by satisfactory evidence. 
To make out a case in favour of the l\Iacpher- 
sons, it is necessary to show-first, that the 
descendants of :N eachtan formed the eldest 


THE CLAN CRATTAN. 


CHAPTER V. 


Clau Chattall--Chicfship-liIackintoshes-Battle of 
:N orth lnch- :Macphersons- Mn.cGilli vrays-Shaws 
-Farquharsons- Macbeans-1\Iacphails-Gows- 
.MacQueens-CattanRchs. 


THE CLAN CHATTAN.7 
OF the clan Chattan little or nothing authentic 
is known previous to the last six hundred years. 
Their original home in Scotland, their paren- 
tage, even their name, have been disputed. One 
party })rings them from Germany, and settles 
them in the district of :l\Ioray; another brings 
them from Ireland, and settles them in Loch- 
aher; and a third makes them the original 
inha1)itants of Sutherland and Caithness. 
"
ith regard to their name there is still greater 
variety of opinion: the Catti, a Teutonic tribe; 
Catav, "the high side of the Ord of Caith- 
ness;" Gillicattan ltIú1', their allrged founder, 
said to have lived in the reign of Malcolm II., 
1003-1033; wt, a weapon,-all have been 
advanced as the root name. \Ve cannot pre- 
tend to decidtj on such a matter, which, in the 
entire absence of any record of the original 
clan, will no doubt ever remain one open to 
dispute; and therefore we refrain from entering 
at length into the reasons for and against 
these various derivations. Except the simple 
fact that such a clan existed, and occupied 
Lochaber for SOllie timc (how lmg cannot be 
said) before the 14th century, nothing further of 
it is known, although two elaborate genealogies 
of it are extant-one in the :MS. of 1450 
iliscovered by 1\11' Skene; the other (which, 
whatever its faults, is no doubt much more 
worthy of credence) compiled by Sir Ælleas 
Macpherson in the 17th century. 
111' Skene, on the authority of the MS. of 
1450, makes out that the clan was the most 
important of the tribes owning the sway of 
the native Earls or Maormors of }.[oray, alid 
represents it as occupying the whole of Bade- 
noch, the greater part of Lochaber, and the 
districts of Strathnairn and Strathdearn, hold- 


7 For much of this account of the clan Chattan 
we are indebb'd to the kindness of A. Mackintosh 
Shaw, 1:s11. of London, who has revised the whole. 
His forthcoming history of the clan, we have reason 
to believe, will be the most valuable clan history yet 
published. 


---.--- 


, 



II 


198 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLANS. 


branch, and consequently were the chiefs of only child of Dugall Dall, chief of clan Chat- 
the clan; secondly, that the :Macphersons arc tan, in the end of the 13th century, and with 
the lineal descendants and the feudal repre- her obt..'l.ined the lands occupied by the clan, 
sentatives of this same N eachtan, whom they with the station of leader, and that he was 
claim as their ancestor; and, laRtly, that the 'received as such by the clansmen. Similar 
Mackintoshes are really descended from Neill, instances of the abrogation of what is calleù 
the second son of the founder of the race, and the Highland law of succession are to be found 
not from Macduff, Earl of Fife, as they them- in Highland history, and on this ground alone 
selves have always maintained. But we do the title of the Mackintosh chiefs seems to be 
not observe that any of these points has been a good one. Then again we find them owned 
formally proved by evidence, or that l\1r Skene and followed as captains of clan Chattan even 
has deemed it necessary to fortify his assertions by the l\1acphersons themselves up to the 17th 
by arguments, and deductions from historicftl century; while in hundreds of charters, bonds 
facts. His statement, indeed, amounts just to and deeds of every description, given by kings, 
this-That the family of Macheth, the de- Lords of the 1.3les, neighbouring chiefs, and 
scendants of Head or Heth, the son of N each- the septs of clan Chattan itself, is the title 
tan, were" identical with the chiefs of clan of captain of clan Chattan acceded to them- 
Chattan;" and that the clan Vurich, or Mac- as early as the time of David Ii. 1\11' Skene, 
phersons, were descended from these chiefs. indeed, employs their usage of the term Captain 
But, in the first place, the" identity" which to show that they had no right of blood to the 
is here contended for, and upon which the headship-a right they have never claimed, 
whole question hinges, is imagined rather than although there is perhaps no reason why they 
proved; it is a conjectmal assumption rather should not claim such a right from Eva. By 
than all inference deduced from a series of an argument deduced from the case of the 
probabilities: a.nd, seconùÌ y , the descent ill Camerons-the weakness of which will at once 
the clan Vurich from the l\lacheths rests solely be seen on a careful examination of JlÏs state- 
upon the authority of a Celtic genealogy (the ments-he presumes that they were the oldest 
manuscript of 1450) which, what eyer weight cadets of the clan, and. had usurped the chief- 
may be given to it when supported by col- ship. No doubt the designation captain was 
lateral evidence, is not alone sufficient autho- used, as J\Ir Skene says, when the actual leader 
rity to warrant anything beyond a. mere con- of a clan was a pcrson who had no right by 
jectural inference. Hence, so far from granting blood to that position, but it does not l)y 
to 1Ifr Skene that the hereditary title of the any means foHow that he is right in assuming 
J\Iacphersons of Cluny to the chiefship of clan that those who are calJed captains were oldest 
Chattan has been clearly established by him, cadets. Hector, bastard son of Ferquhard 
we humbly conceive that he has left the Mackintosh, while at the head of his clan 
question precisely where he found it. The during the minority of the actual chief, his 
title of that family may be the preferable one., distant cousin, is in several deeds styled 
but it yet remains to be shown that such is capta-in of clan Chattan, and he was certainly 
the case. not oldest cadet of the house of Mackintosh. 
Tradition certainly makes the 1\facphersons It is not for us to offer any decided opinion 
of Cluny the male representatives of the chiefs respecting a matter where the pride and pre- 
of the old clan Chattan; but even if this is tensions of rival families are concerned. It 
correct, it does not therefore follow that they may therefore be sufficient to observe that, 
have now, or have had for the last six hundred whilst the Macphersons rest their claims chiefly 
years, any right to be regarded as chiefs of the on tradition, the l\Iackintoshes have prorluced, 
clan. The same authority, fortified by written and triumphantly appealed to charters and 
evidenco of a date only about fifty years documents of every description, in support of 
later than Skene's :MS., in a 1\fS. history of their pretensions; and that it is not very easy to 
the :Mackintoshes, states that Angus, 6th I see how so great a mass of written evidence fan 
chief of Mackintosh, married the daughter and be overcome by merely calling into court 


- 



THE CLAN CRATTAN. 


199 


Tradition to give testimony adverse to its 
credibility. The admitted fact of the Mack- 
intosh family styling themselves captains of 
the clan docs not seem to warrant any inference 
which can militate against their pretensions. 
On the contrary, the original assumption of 
this title obviously implies that no chief was 
in existence at the period when it was assumed; 
and its continuance, unchallenged and undis- 
puted, affords strong presumptive proof in 
support of the account given by the :l\Iackin- 
toshes as to the original constitution of their 
title. The idea of usurpation appears to be 
altogether preposterous. The right alleged by 
the family of Mackintosh was not direct but 
collat(\)ral; it was founded on a marriage, and 
not derived by descent; and hence, probably, 
the origin of the secondary or subordinate 
title of captain which that family assumed. 
TIut can anyone doubt that if a claim founded 
upon a preferable title had been asserted, the 
inferior pretension must have given way1 Or 
is it in any degree probable that the latter 
would have been so flÙly recognised, if there 
had existed any lineal descendant of the 
ancient chiefs in a condition to prefer a claim 
founded upon the inherent and indefeasible 
right of blood 
 
Further, even allowing that the ::\Iacpher- 
sons are the lineal male representatiyes of the 
old clan Chattan chiefs, they can have no 
possible claim to the headship of the clan 
Chattan of later times, which was composed 
of others besides the descendants of the 
old clan. The l\Iackintoshes also repudiate 
any connection by blood with the old clan 
Chattan, except through the heiress of that 
clan who married their chief in 1291; and, 
indeed, such a thing was never thought of 
untill\Ir Skene started the idea; consequently 
the Macphersons can have no claim oyer them, 
or over the families which spring from them. 
The great body of the clan, the historical clan 
Chattan, have always owned and followed the 
chief of :Mackintosh as their leader and cap- 
tain-the term captain being simply employed 
to include the whole-and until the close of 
the 17th century no attempt was made to de- 
prive the :Mackintosh chiefs of this title. 
Among many other titles given to the chief 
of the :l\lackintoshes within the last 700 )'ears, 


are, according to .Mr :Fraser-l\lackilltosh, those 
of Captain of Clan C/lOftan, Chief of Clan 
Chatfan, and Principal of Clan C/wttan. The 
following on this subject is from the pen of 
Lachlan Shaw, the historian of l\Ioray, whose 
knowledge of the subject entitled him to speak 
with authority. It is printed in the account 
o
 the Kilravock Family issued by the Spald- 
ing Club. "Eve Catach, who married :1\Iac- 
Intosh, was the heir-female (Clunie's ancestor 
being the heir-male), and had :MacIntosh as- 
sumed her surname, he would (say the l\Iac- 
PhErsons) have been chief of the Clanchatan, 
according to the custom of Scotland. nut this 
is an empty distinction. For, if the right of 
chiftanry is, jure sanguinis, inherent in tho 
heir-female, she conveys it, anù cannot but 
.convey it to her son, whateyer surname he 
takes; nmn jura sanguinis non præscribunt. 
And if it is not inherent in her, she cannot 
convey it to her son, although he assume her 
surname. TIe this as it will, l\IacIntosh's 
predecessors were, for above 300 years, de- 
signed Captains of Clanchatan, in royal char- 
ters and commissions, Ín bonds, contracts, 
history, heraldrie, &c.; the occasion of which 
title was, that several tribes or clans (every 
clan retaining its own surname) united in the 
general designation of Clanchatan; and of this 
incorporated boùy, l\IacIntosh was the head 
leader or captain. These united tribes were 
MacIntosh, MacPherson, Davi!lson, Shaw, 
l\IacTIean, l\IacGilivray, 
IacQueen, Smith, 
l\IacIntyre, MacPhail, &c. In those times of 
barbarity and violence, small and weak tribes 
found it necessary to unite with, or come under 
the patronage of more numerous and powerful 
clans. And as long as the tribes of Clanchatan 
remained united (which was till the family of 
Gordon, breaking with the family of Mac- 
Intosh, disunited them, and broke their coali- 
tion), they were able to defend themselves 
against any other clan." 
In a MS., probably written by the saUH' 
author, a copy of which now lie3 before us, a 
lengthened enquiry into the claims of the rival 
chiefs is concluùed thus :-" In a word, if by the 
chief of the clan Chattan is meant the heir of 
the family, it cannot be doubted tltat Cluny is 
chief. If the heir whatsoever is meant, then 
unquestionably Mackintosh is chief; and who- 



200 


HTSTORY OF THE HIGHL
\.ND CLANS. 


ever is chief, since the captaincy and command 
of the collective body of the clan Chattan was 
for above 300 years in the family of l\lackin- 
tosh, I cannot see but, if such a privilege now 
remains, it is still in that family." In refer- 
ence to this much-disputed point} we take the 
liberty of quoting a letter of the Rev. 1V. 
G. Shaw, of Forfar. He has given the 
result of his inquiries in several privately 
printed brochures, but it is hoped that ere 
long he will place at the disposal of all who 
take an interest in these subjects the large 
stores of information he must have accumu- 
lated on many matters connected with the 
Highlands. "r riting to the editor of this 
book he says, on the subject of the chiefship 
of clan Chattan:- 
" Skene accords too much to the }.Iacplli=',.- 
sons in one way, but not enough in another. 
" (Too l1wch)- He says that for 200 years 
the Mackintoshes headed the clan Chattan, 
but only as captain, not as chief. But during 
these 200 years we have bonds, &c., cropping 
.uP now and then in which the Macphersons 
are only designated as (AI. or N.) Macphm.son 
of Cluny. Their claim to head.
hip seems to 
have been thoroughly in abeyance till the mid- 
dIe of the 17th century. 
"(Too little)-For he says the 1\facphersons 
in their controversy (I (72) before the Lyon 
King, pled only tradition, whereas they pled 
the farfs. 
"De jure the Macphersons were chiefs; de 
facto, they nerer were; and they only claimed 
to use the title when clanship began to be a 
thing of the past, in so far as fighting was 
concerned. 
"The }'Iacphersons seem to have been 
entitled to the chieftainship by right of birth, 
but de facto they never had it. The might of 
'the Alacintosh' had made his 'right, as i
 
evidenced in ha1f-a-hundred bonds of man rent, 
deeds of various kinds, to be found in thE' 
'Thanes of Cawdor,' and the Spalding Club 
:Miscellany - passim. He is always called 
Capitane or Captane of clan Quhattan, the 
spelling being scarcely ever twice the same." 
Against 1Ilackintosh's powerful claims sup- 
rorted by deeds, &c., the following statements 
are given from the Alacpherson AIS. in Mr 
'V. G. Shaw's possession:- 


I. In 1370, the head of the :Macphersons 
disowned the head of the :Mackintoshes at In- 
vernahavon. Tradition says Macpherson with- 
drew from the field without fighting, i. e., 
he mutinied on a point of precedence between 
him and :Mackintosh. 
II. Donald More :Macpherson fought along 
with Man at Harlaw, againsf Donald of the 
Isles with lIIackintosh 011 his side, the two 
chiefs being then on different sides (1411). 
III. Donald Oig Macpherson fought on tho 
side of Huutly at the battle of Conichie, and 
was killed; Mackintosh fought on the other 
side (1562). 
IV. Amlrew :Macpherson of Cluny heM the 
Castle of Ruthven, A.D. 1594, against Argyll, 
:ì\Iackintosh fighting on the side of Argyl1.8 
This tends to show that when the :Macp1.1er- 
sons joined with the :Mackintoshes, it was (they 
alleged) volunta1'ily, and not on account of 
their being bound to follow :Mackintosh as 
chief. 
In a loose way, no doubt, Mackintosh may 
sometimes have been called Chief of Clun 
Chattan, but Captain is the title generally 
given in deeds of all kinds. He was chief of 
the }'Iackintoshes, as Cluny was chief of the 
l\Iacphersons-by right of blood,. but by agree- 
ment amongsttheShaws, J\Iacgillivrays, Clarkes, 
(Clerach), Clan Dai, &c., renewed from time 
to time, :Mackintosh was recognised as Captain 
of Clan Clwttftn. 
'Ye cannot forbear adding as a fit moral to 
this part of the subject, the conclusion come 
to by the writer of the MS. already quoted:- 
"After what I have said upon this anf,rry point, 
I cannot lmt be of opiniou, that in our day, 
when the right of chieftanrie is so little re- 
garded, when the power of the chiefs is so 
much abridgod, when armed convocations of 
the lieges arc discharged by law, and when a 
clan are not obliged to obey their chief unless 
he bears a royal commission,-when matters 
are so, 'tis my opinion that questions about 
chieftainrie and debates about precedency of 
that kind, are equally idle and unprofitable, 


8 1111' Mackintosh Shaw says that, in 1591, Huntly 
obtained a bond of mament from Anùrew Macpherson 
aud his immediate family, the majority of the :Mae- 
phersons remaining faithful to :Mackintosh. State- 
ments H. and III. are founùed O'fLly on the :Macpher- 
Bon MS. 



201 


THE MACKIXTOSHES. 


and that gentlemen should live in strict friend- 
ship as they are connected by blood, by affin- 
I ity, or by the vicinity of their dwellings and 
the interest of their families." 
The clan Chattan of history, according to 
1Ir Fraser-Mackintosh of Drummond,!) was 
composed of the following clans, who were 
either allied to the :Mackintoshes and Mac- 
phersons by genealogy, or who, for their own 
protection or other reasons, had joined the 
confederacy:-The Mackintoshes, 
Iacpher- 
sons, Macgillivrays, Shaws, :Farquharsons, 
Macbeans, Macphails, clan Tarril, Gows (said 
to be descended from Henry the Smith, of 
North Inch fame), Clarks, 1Iacqueens, David- 
song, Cattanachs, clan Ay, Nobles, Gillespies. 
"In addition to the above sixteen tribes, the 
Macleans of Dochgarroch or clan Tearleach, 
the Dallases of Cantra.y, and others, generally 
followed the captain of clan Chat tan as his 
friends." Of some of these little or nothing 
is known except the name; but others, as the 
:Mackintoshes, 
Iacphersons, Shaws, Farquhar- 
sons, &c., have on the whole a complete and 
well-detailed history. 


:MACKINTOSH. 


i 



, 
r= 
-, 
 . ---- < 

 
 ,
 


 " 

 "...... 
 


 
V
 
-:'Iv,-:J 
 CAr I 
lt G.,"' 


BADGE-According to Borne, Boxwood, others 
Rcd WhortIeberry. ' 


Accorùing to the },[ackintosh 1\1S. Histories 
(the first of which was compiled about 1500, 
other two dated in the 16th century, all of 
which were embodied in a Latin MS. by Lach- 
tan :Mackintosh of Kinrara about 1680), the 


9 Antiquarian Kotes, p. 358. 


progenitor of the family was 
haw or Seacb, 
a son of :ßIacùutf, Earl of Fife, who, for his 
assistance in quelling a rebellion among the 
inhabitants of J\Ioray, was presenteù by King 
:l\Ialcolm IV. with the lands of Petty and 
Breachly and the forestry of Strathearn, being 
made also constable of the castle at Inverness. 
From the high position and power of his father, 
he was styled by the Gaelic-speaking population 
l\Iac-an-Toisich, i. e., "son of the principal or 
foremost." Tus, tos, or tosich, is "the beginning 
or first part of anything," whence" foremost" 
or " principal." :Mr Skene says the tosich was 
the olùest caùet of a clan, and that :Mackin
 
tosh's ancestor was olùest cadet of clan Chat- 
tan. Professor Cosmo Innes says the tm,ich 
was the administrator of the crown lands, the 
head man of a little district, who became under 
the Saxon title of Thane hereditary tenant; 
and it is worthy of note that these functions 
were performed by the succeSSÐr of the above 
mentioned Shaw, who, the family history says, I 
"was made chamberlain of the king's revenues I 
in th03e parts for life." It is scarcely likely, 
however, that the name :l\Iackintosh arose 
either in this manner or in the manner stated 
by ßIr Skene, as there would be many tosachs, 
and in every clan an oldest cadet. The name 
seems to imply some peculiar circumstances, 
and these are found in the son of the great 
Thane or Earl of Fife. 
Little is known of the immediate successors 
of Shaw :Macduff.. They appear to have made 
their residence in the castle of Inverness, which 
they defended on several occasions against the 
marauding bands from the west. Some of 
them adùed consiùerably to the possessions of I 
the family, which soon took firm root in the 
north. Towards the close of the 13th century, 
during the minority of Angus J\IacFerquhard, 
Gth chief, the Comyns seized the castle of 
Inverness, and the lands of Geddes and Rait 
belonging to the Mackintoshes, and these 
were not recovered for more than a century. 
It was this chief who in 1291-2 married Eva, 
the heiress of clan Chattan, and who acquired 
with her the lands occupied by that clan, 
together with the station of leader of her 
father's clansmen. He appears to have been 
a chief of great activity, and a staunch sup- 
porter of Robert Druce, with whom he took 
2c 


II. 



202 


HISTORY UF THE HIGHLA.ND CLANS. 


part in the battle of .Dannockburn. He is J decide the questiun by making the Macpher- 
placed second in the list of chiefs given by sons and Daviùsons the combatant clans. l 
General Stewart of Garth as present in this 'Yyntoun's words are- 
battle. In the time of his son 'Villiam the 
sanguinary feud with the Camerons broke out, 
which continued up to the middle of the 17th 
century. The dispute arose concerning the 
lands of Glenlui and Locharkaig, which Angus 
:Mackintosh had acquired with Eva, and which 
in his absence had been occupied by the 
I Camerons. 'Villiam fought several battles 
for the recovery of these lands, to which in 
1337 he acquired a charter from the Lord of 
the Isles, confirmed in 1357 by David II., but 
his t'fforts were unavailing to dislodge the 
Camercms. The feud was continued by his 
successor, Lauchlan, 8th chief, each side occa- 
sionally making raids into the other's country. 
In one of these is saiù to have occurred the 
well-known dispute as to precedency between 
two of the septs of clan Chattan, the J\Iac- 
phersons anù the Davidsons. According to 
tradition, the Camerons had entered TIadenoch, 
where Mackintosh was then residing, and had 
seized a large" spreagh." Mackintosh's force, 
which followed them, was composed chiefly of 
these two septs, the Macphersons, however, 
considerably exceeding the rest. A dispute 
arising between the respective leaders of the 
Macphersolls and Davidsons as to who should 
lead the right wing, the chief of Mackintosh, 
as superior to both, was appealed to, and de- 
cided in favour of Davidson. Offended at 
this, the J\Iacphersons, who, if all accounts are 
true, had undoubtedly the better right to the 
post of honour, withdrew from the field of 
battie, thus enabling the Camerons to secure 
a victory. 'V1wn, however, they saw that 
their friends were defeated, the l\Iacpher- 
sons are said to have returned to the field, 
and turned the victory of the Camerons 
into a defeat, killing their leader, Charles 
1\IacGillonie. The date of this affair, which 
took place at Invernahavon, is variously fixed 
at 1370 and 138J, and some writers make 
I it the cause which led to the famous battle 
I on the North Inch of Perth twenty-six years 
later. 
I As is well known, great controversies have 
raged a8 to the clans who took part in the 
, I Perth fight, and those writers just referred to 
I 


" They three score ware clannys twa, 
Clahynuhe Qwhewyl and Claehin)'ha, 
Of thir twa kynuys war thay meu, 
Thretty again thrctty theu, 
Aud thare thay had thair ehiftanys twa, 
SCHA F ARQWHARIS SONE wes ane of thay, 
'fhe tother CHRISTY JOIINESONE." 


On this the Rev, 'V. G. Shaw of Forfar re- 
marks,-" One writer (Dr 1rfacpherson) tries to 
make out that the clan Yha or Ha was the clan 
Shaw. Another makes them to be the clan 
Dhai or Davidsons. Another (with Skene) 
makes them Macphersons. As to the clan 
Quhele, Colonel Robertsoll (author of ' Histo- 
rical Proofs of the Highlanders,') supposes that 
the clan Quhele was the clan Shaw, partly 
from the fact that in the Scots Act of Parlia- 
ment of 1392 (vol. i. p. 217), whereby several 
clans were forfeited for their sharo in the raid 
of Angus [descrihed in vol. i.], there is mention 
made of Slurach, or (as it is supposed it ought 
to have been written) Sheach 2 et omnes clan 
Quhele. Then others again suppose that the 
clan Quhele was the clan :Mackintosh. Others 
that it was the clan Cameron, whilst the clan 
Yha was the Clan-na-Chait or clan Chattan. 
"j."rom the fact that, after the clan Battle 
on the Inch, the star of the :Mackintoshes was 
decidedly in the ascendant, there can be little 
don1t but that they formed at least a section 
of the winning side, whether that side were 
the clan Yha or the clan Quhele. 
" 'V yntoun declines to say on which side 
the victory lay. lIe writes- 


, "Tha had the waur fare at the last, 
I will nocht say.' 


It is not very likely that subsequent writers 
knew more of the subject than he did,.so that 
after all, we are left very much to the tradi- 
tions of the families themselves for information. 
The Camerons, Davidsons, Mackintoshes, and 
l\Iacphersons, all say that they took part in 


1 For details as to this celebrated comnat, see vol. 
i, ch. v. The present remarks are supplementary to 
the former, and will serve to correct several inac- 
curacies. 
! Everyone acquainted with the subject, knows 
what havoc Lowland scribes have all along made of 
Gaelic namcs in legal and puhlic documents. 



BATTLE OF KORTH I
CH. 


203 


the fray. The Shaws' tradition is, that their 
ancestor, being a relativ6 of the Mackintoshes, 
took the place of the aged chief of that section 
of the clan, on the day of battle. The chroni- 
clers vary as to the names of the clans, but 
they all agree as to the name of one of the 
leaders, viz., that it was Shaw. Tradition and 
hÜ:tory are agreed on this one point. 
" One thing emerges clearly from the confu- 
sion as to the clans who fought, and as tú 
I which of the modern names of the contending 
clans was represented by the clans Yha and 
Quhele,-one thing emerges, a Shaw leading 
the victorious party, and a race of Shaws 
springing from him as their great-if not their 
first-founder, a race, who for ages afterwards, 
lived in the district and fought under the 
banner of the Laird of Mackintosh."3 
As to the Davidsons, the tradition which 
vouches fcr the particulars of the fight at 
Invernahavon expressly says that the David- 
sons were almost to a man cut off, and it is 
scarcely likely that they would, within so 
8hort a time, be able to muster sufficient men 
either seriously to disturb the peace of the 
country or to provide thirty champions. Mr 
Skene solves the question by making the 
:Mackintoshes and )Iacphersons the combatant 
clans, and the cause of quaITel the right to the 
headship of clan Chattan. But the traditions 
of both families place them on the winning 
side, and there is no trace whatever of any 
lispute at this time, or previous to the IGth 
century, as to the chiefghip. The most pro- 
bable solution of this difficulty is, that the 
clans who fought at Perth were the clan 
Chattan (i. e., :Mackintoshes, )Iacphersons, and 
others) and the Camerons. 1\Ir Skene, indeed, 
says that the only clans who have a traùition 
of their ancestors having been engaged are the 
Mackintoshes, Macphersons, and Came ro ns, 
though he endeavours to account for the pre- 
sence of the last nameù clan by making them 
assist the l\Iacphersons against the :\Iackin- 
toshes. 4 The editor of the l.Il'moiJ's of Locldel, 
mentioning this tradition of the Camerons, as 
well as the opinion of Skene, says,-" It may 
be observcd, that the siùe allotted to the 
3 The )lackintosh MS. of 1500 states that Lauchlan, 
the Mackintosh chief, gave Rhaw a grant of Hothie- 
murrhus " for his va]our on the Inch that day." 
4Ì Vol. ii. pr. 1ï5-178. 


II 


Camerons (viz. the unslJcccð;:;jul side) affords 
the strongest internal evidence of its correct- 
ness. Had the Camerons been described as 
victors it would have been very ùifferent." 
The author of the recently discovered 
IS. 
account of the clan Chattan already referred 
to, says that by this conflict Cluny's right to 
lead the van was established; and in the 
meetings of clan Chat tan he sat on :Mackin- 
tosh's right hand, and when absent that seat 
was kept empty for him. Henry"\V ym1e 
likewise associated with the clan Chattan, 
and his descendants assumf'd the name of 
Smith, and were commonly called Sliochd a 
Gow Chroim. 
Lauchlan, chief of Mackintosh, in whose I 
time these events happened, died in 1407, at 
a good old age. In consequence of his age I 
and infirmity, his kinsman, Shaw:Mackintosh, 
had headed the thirty clan Chattan cham- I 
pions at Perth, and for his success was re- 
warded with the possession of the lands of 
Rothiemurchus in Badenoch. The next 
chief, Ferquhard, was compelled by his clans 
men to resign his post in consequence of 
his mild, inactive disposition, and his uncle 
Malcolm (son of "\Villia.m 1\Iac-Angus by a 
second marriage) succeeded as 10th chief of 

Iackintosh, and 5th captain of clan Chattan. 
:l\Ialcolm was one of the most warlike and suc- 
cessful of the :l\Iackilltosh chief::3. During his 
long chief::3hip of nearly fifty years, he made 
frequent incursions into the Cameron teITi- 
tories, and waged a sanguinary war with the 
Comyns, in which he recovered the lands taken 
from his ancestor. In 1411 he was one of the 
principal commam1ers in the army of Donal( 1, 
Lord of the Isles, in the battle of Uarlaw, 
where he is by some stated incorrectly to 
have been killed. In 1-1:29, when Alexander, 
Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross; broke 
out mto rebellion at the head of 10,000 
men, on the advance of the king into Loch- 
aber, the clan Chat tan and the clan Came- 
ron deserted the earl's banners, went over 
to the royal arm
v, and fought on the royal 
side, the rebels being defeated. In 1431, 
:Malcolm Mackintosh, captain of the clan 
Chattan, received a grant of the land::3 of 
Alexander of Lochal)cr, unde of the Earl 
of TIoss, that chieftain having been forfeited 



204 


HISTORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLAKS. 


THE MACKINTOSH'S LAMENT,* 



 ::
-1._
 

 - :r- 
=--__
e_,. 1- 
 
- ---
-I---=:; 



 }

---;
C

 

 . ;J

'

 . 
 
S & j 
 s 
 



 
 S & 
 
 _ 

 
n
4-<O-#
 1 r __
- [ 
 fJr
 
H i -Þ }}
 ! 
.d I 
..m- 


t

r

 j-.r' & 
J
 J
 r=i 



 r '
 
n}= .1 1' J'_L 
 


Arranged/or the Bagpipes by PIPE-].I<\.JOR A. M'LENNAN, Highland Light Infantry]Jfilitia, bwcrncss. 
J 
 F 
 f. 
 
 
 
 



r .) eI 83. 

 ,J 



 - í




 
· 
 
 
 ffi 

 _
--.J.r.-. 
 _
 
 . r 
.J
 _ I,J I 
_rt 
 
--"--+ø 
. I 
 _. . 
 
 
, 
 _ 
 _ .t--
 
. ======
 r 
 
 

lJ, 
-rF:+Tr
JL 
rJ F 
 
t 
 }} E 

 p 
"i L'P I' . r-y-f
.. .J p 
 
r = ___ 
 I 
 r 


s 



 
- ...===
- . 
-- '---'- 
 
"- ----- 
E E E!E E 

 .. -F1.J 
 S 
 · èa. · 
.- 

I-j . 
 . 

-F--'
 - 
 
J 
) : E = 


 
 
 
g .; m
 
 
#- -r- '__-==+ 
- - 
f-l
 F - 
 I'-.! . 


j } FF=1' 
 

t:- '" 
 -"'-
 .., . J - .'- - 
!!...
 -. 
 
 " -; - 
 -- 
 --!::---J---'- 

----T-Þ=
 
 
--,--.- . - --f>
 I 
 
 - t-:== - -- 
" . I - 
 , _- 
v-- I 


· THE MACKINTOSH'S LAMF
T.-For the copy of the Mackintosh's Lament llere gi\en, the eùitor alH] puhIisherR 
are indebted to the kindncss of The Mackintosh. In a note which accompauieù it that gcntlcman gives the followiIU: 
iuteresting particulars :- 



THE MACKINTOSH'S LA1\IE
T. 


205 


VARIATION 1st. 


. 


) 
 
 S .
 8 ) 
 e J " & B 

 
 .... oJ. oJ oJ . .... 
oJ oJ oJ oJ 
:; 
 t:
 iJ 



=c
 J-I 
ii i i I!. III I
 
-H'-'.J .J .J .J .J .J .J . .J .J 

"/ nFF
 0; 
I_-rl
- 
E e 
 ) e & 
 B 
 i 
 
 

tz

u r 
--þy&


 
s