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Historical and Traditional Sketches of Highland Families and of the Highlands
Lord President Forbes


Few names occupy a more prominent or distinguished place in the annals of Scotland, than that of Lord President Forbes; and in the eventful era in which he lived, he stands pre-eminently distinguished in the history of the times, as one of whom it would be difficult to decide whether his public or his private virtues preponderated, or exercised the greater influence over his actions. In whatever light his conduct is viewed whether as a man, a Christian, or a patriot, we are struck with the consonance,--the uniformity, and the consistent harmony of his life, in thought, principle, and action, in all the multifarious and frequently conflicting circumstances which influenced and sometimes controlled his conduct. It is difficult to say whether simplicity, integrity, or benevolence, were the most prominent characteristics of his mind,--his patriotism was deeply tinged with benevolence, his political character was marked by the strictest moral integrity, and his most comprehensive plans as a statesman (and his were the only comprehensive plans of and for the time,) are no less to be admired for their simplicity than their ability and wisdom.

Amidst the heterogenous mass of mercenary sycophants, corrupted parasites, and sincere patriots, who supported the Government, or swelled the ranks of those interested, discontented or mistaken hosts that thronged round the standard of the Stuarts, there is not one man who took a principal part in the stirring events of that period, whose motives are so pure and praiseworthy, whose conduct is so blameless, or who conferred on his country a tithe of the benefits which resulted from the prudence and wisdom of President Forbes. While he was devoting his best energies to secure the throne and consolidate the Government, he was no less laborious in his exertions to save the Chiefs and clans who sided with Prince Charles, and were doing all in their power to dethrone the King and overturn the Government. Like Blanche in the play of King John, he seemed to think that he had a divided duty, and to say,—

"Which is the side that I must go withal?
I am with both: each army hath a hand;
And in their rage, I having hold of both,
They whirl asunder and dismember me."

Firmly attached to the Government, he sincerely wished it success, and yet afraid of the terrible fate which would await the friends of the Prince in the event of defeat, he could not contemplate the success of the Government but with a feeling of horror. Ordinary minds would have shrunk under such conflicting feelings, but the very necessity which called for the most constant watchfulness, exertion, and intrepidity, on the part of the President, appeared to give him renewed will and power for the discharge of the duties which his position in the Government, and his attachment to his friends, would seem to have imposed on him.

Of such a man it would indeed be presumptuous in the humble narrator of a few disjointed facts connected with the family of the Forbeses, of Cullodon, to attempt any biographical Sketch; and it would be still more unpardonable to attempt to give an analysis of the qualities and conduct of President Forbes. In the foregoing observations we have only endeavoured to give expression to the feelings and opinions with which the President was regarded in and about Inverness during his life time, and by those who knew him best,—who had good opportunity, from their intimacy with himself, and from their knowledge of his conduct and their personal acquaintance, with the circumstances in which he was so prominent a performer, of forming a just estimate of his merits.

Before we proceed to narrate those traditional and historical facts with which we became acquainted in our youth, concerning the President, we think it right to lay before our readers a short account of the history of his ancestors, from the time at which they settled in Inverness shire.

Duncan Forbes, or Dunachac na. Boiceannan, the first of this family of Forbes who came to Inverness-shire, and who was the founder of the family, was the eldest son of Mr John Forbes of Badenley, second son of Alexander, Laird of Tolquhoun. Mr John Forbes having died young, leaving a wife and three children (Duncan being the eldest) the widow was induced to entrust Duncan to the care of a gentleman who became tutor to Lovat, and who was married to Duncan’s aunt, and Duncan accompanied them to their residence, Beaufort Castle, about the year 1560. He was then 16 years of age. His aunt and her husband paid every attention to his health and education, and both prospered under their fostering care. At the age of 20, Duncan Forbes had few superiors in the Highlands for strength, agility, and intelligence. And in 1594, having, as was the prevailing practice of the age, betaken himself to "the use of arms," he distinguished himself at the battle of Glenlivat, where he exhibited surprising courage, and had the honour of assisting the Earl of Argylie and his (Duncan’s) relative, Lord Forbes, in the cause of the King against the Lords Huntly and Erroll.

He very shortly thereafter bade farewell to the profession of arms, and was by his step-uncle employed in a more peaceable but more intricate business, viz., in examining and adjusting certain accounts and family matters, at which he made but slow, or at all events, but unprofitable progress. The consequence was, that he left the business intrusted to him by his step-uncle, and took up his residence in Inverness, where he commenced business as a skin merchant.

Being of an amiable, affable, and humane disposition, he gained the esteem and good wishes of those who had the pleasure of coming in contact with him, and as his friendship was becoming more extensive and firm with his fellow-men, his business was the more rapidly prospering. His country residence was Drakies, now known as Ashtown, the property of AEneas Mackintosh, Esq. of Raigmore. Speaking of the estate of Raigmore, comparing it eighty years ago with what it is now, a strange contrast is perceptible—then it was mostly a cold, barren, and bleak moor— now it is one of the most beautiful and fertile properties in the country, adorned by an elegant mansion house, surrounded with shrubberies and plantations. A short distance from Raigmore House there is a small pond, of which a few swans and geese keep possession in mutual fellowship. These improvements were principally made by the late proprietor, and show how sterile wastes can be converted into most fruitful fields. Below the house where it now stands, ran the uncontrollable burn, Ault Mournaick, reputed as the rendezvous of witches, and which no traveller, after night fall, had the hardihood to pass; but now a good Parliamentary road renders it safe at all hours of the night. To return to Mr Forbes, or as he was more familiarly known in Gaelic, Dunachac na’m Boiceannan. Mr Forbes, on one occasion, invited a party of gentlemen to dinner at Drakies, and requested his lady to prepare a good dinner for them. At the appointed hour the guests arrived—among them was Cuthbert of Castlehill and his son; but Mrs Forbes, either from penurious motives, or from having no great regard for some of the party, prepared nothing more than the ordinary family dinner, which hurt the feelings of her hospitable husband so much, that as on former occasions when he was likewise very much provoked, he determined for a time to "cut her acquaintance." The morning following that on which the dinner party took place, Mr Forbes rose very early, as if going to town; but to town he did not proceed. Night came on, but he did not return to his own fireside—the next morning came and still there was no appearance of the absent husband. Mrs Forbes became greatly alarmed for his safety, and accused herself of having offended an affectionate husband, and would now give worlds, if she had them at disposal, to have him back again. Weeks, months, and even years rolled on, but they brought no tidings of the worthy burgess who had so precipitately disappeared from the arms of a loving wife, and a large circle of admiring and attached friends and acquaintances.

At length, however, Mr Forbes. was discovered in the Western Isles, pursuing his business more extensively than before, purchasing all sorts of skins—shipping them to Liverpool and other ports in England. In the Hebrides he continued for some years, but having gone to London to settle affairs with different merchants, be purchased a vessel, which he loaded with all sorts of fancy goods, and sailed for Inverness. The vessel being noticed from the town at the mouth of the river Ness, the majority of the population ran down to see the largest vessel that ever entered the river. Amongst the spectators was Mrs Forbes; and, as the ship neared the quay, she noticed her long-sought husband standing beside the captain at the helm. In an instant she gave a frantic scream of joy, and, fainting, fell into the arms of a lady who accompanied her. Mr Forbes well knew the voice, and, quickly leaping ashore amidst the plaudits of the people, clasped his senseless wife to his bosom. She soon rallied, but her sudden joy threatened to be too much for her to bear. The joyful demonstrations of the people was beyond description. He now commenced business still more extensively as a general merchant and ship-owner, being the only one at the time in the northern metropolis. Taking a walk one fine summer evening with his lady, they strolled out in the direction of Culloden, then the property of The Mackintosh. When they reached Culloden, the masons were after laying the foundation stone of the Castle. Mr Forbes gave the men a shilling (no small sum in those days,) to drink, but Mrs Forbes demurred a little, at the piece of extravagance, to which her husband replied, "Who knows, my dear, but you and I may be the occupants of this Castle, and possessors of Culloden." Six months had scarcely elapsed from the time when this conversation took place, when Mr Forbes was the possessor of Culloden. That took place in 1624. Only one storey of the Castle was then above the ground, when Mr Forbes completed it. On the lintel above the main door, were the Mackintosh’s initials and part of the armorial bearings, which were never defaced. In the year 1625, Mr Forbes built a splendid edifice as a town house in Church Street, Inverness, which was pulled down in 1810. In 1626 he became chief magistrate of Inverness, a situation which he filled for several years with credit to himself and benefit to the town and its inhabitants. In 1654, having been 30 years in possession of the estate of Culloden, he was gathered to his kindred at the age of 82, much regretted by all who knew him. His likeness is still to be seen in a state of good preservation at Culloden House.

In the chapel-yard, Inverness, over his tomb and that of his lady, are the following lines:--

"These polished stones
Placed here above thy bones, -
Add to thy honour not a whit,
Which was before, and stiIl remains, complete,
Thy memory shall ever recent be
Preserved by such as draw their blood from thee,
Who in regard of thy good fame,
Receive reward by claiming to thy name;
For thy remains do honour to this place,
And thy true virtue honours all thy race."

Duncan Forbes was succeeded by his eldest son John, who, from the treasures left him by his father, was enabled to purchase the barony of Ferrintosh, which afterwards become so celebrated for the distillation of whisky, although for many years past not a single drop has been made on that property. He subsequently (in the year 1670,) purchased the property of Bunchrew, a favourite resort of the great President.

John was succeeded by his son Duncan, who was a very amiable man, and who, like his father, was a pious and exemplary man. He again was succeeded by John, the fourth laird, who was a very active patriot. He sat for some years in Parliament, where he frequently distinguished himself for his patriotism and his advocacy of his countrymen. Ha died in 1734, and was succeeded by his brother Duncan, then lord Advocate.

Duncan Forbes, the most eminent Scottish patriot and statesman of his time, and as a statesman, perhaps the most distinguished that the country has ever produced was born in the year 1685, in a small unpretending, but not uncomfortable house close to the seaside on the estate of Bunchrew, about three miles to the west of Inverness,--a retreat interesting not only on account of its being the birth place of this truly great man, but also, and still more interesting, as the favourite retreat to which he withdrew in his secessions from severe labour to mature fresh plans for the benefit of his country.

Having completed his studies at home, he made a tour to the continent, visiting and making some stay in those towns renowned for learning, where, no doubt, he overlooked nothing of interest to the scholar, and gained information which proved of the greatest utility afterwards.

Mr Forbes, on his return from the continent, applied himself to the study of the law. He resided for some time with his uncle, Sir David Forbes of Newhall, Mid-Lothian, who was an eminent lawyer. In due time he was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates, and had subsequently the office of Lord Advocate conferred upon him; and he also represented the Inverness District of Burghs in Parliament. Of his Parliamentary conduct it is not our province to speak at length; but there are one or two points connected with it which we feel called upon to notice. In 1725, we find Mr Forbes, then Lord Advocate, introducing a Bill for disarming the Highlanders. Strange to say, some of the clauses of the Bill were rejected, or rather dropped, in consequence of the opposition of the English members, and Lord Advocate Forbes’ attempt at legislation, while it proved distasteful to the Highlanders, was opposed by the English squires. The Bill, although harsh in appearance, was in reality the best course that the Government could have pursued. It is gratifying to observe that even in the Parliament of 1725, while the work of corruption was at its height, that a majority of the English members, entertaining more extended notions on, and having a better appreciation of, the principles of liberty as secured by the Constitution, resisted parts of the Bill of Mr Forbes the Lord Advocate, himself a Scotchman and a Highlander. But while we cannot help expressing our admiration of the motives which influenced the opponents of the Bill, we are bound to say, that no better measure could have been suggested for the purpose of preventing any rising in the Highlands. The provisions of the Bill were applied in our own time in principle, for successive years, in the Irish Arms’ Bill, and without entering into political discussion on the justice or harshness of that measure, we may remark that in applying it to the Highlands of Scotland, inhabited by a purely military people, immediately after they had taken arms against the Government, and at a time when the people of the country made little secret of their desire to see the Government overturned – the same principle which was resorted to one hundred years afterwards, and with all the advantage of the experience of that period, in the case of Ireland, proves at all events, if not the wisdom or the justice of Lord Advocate Forbes’ Bill in 1725, that he is entitled to the credit of the plan, and that as regards Scotland it was subsequently successfully carried out.

Mr. Forbes, during the whole of his Parliamentary career, was not only consulted by the Government, but was in fact, the chief law officer of the Crown in Scotland, and also the representative of the interests of the whole kingdom, in Parliament, as well as his Majesty’s advocate for his Majesty’s interest. Mr Forbes having risen to the highest position at the bar, was elevated to the bench. His talents and knowledge of law as well as his patriotism, were soon rewarded with the highest judicial appointment recognized in Scotland—Lord president of the Court of Session, and the next great measure with which we find his name associated is, the scheme for raising the independent Highland companies. This was in 1739. As the measure to which we have before referred was intended to deprive the Highlanders of the power of doing mischief to themselves or to the Government, that to which we now advert had for its object to confer upon them the power of doing good, both to the Government and to themselves. This plan, although it was at the time when it was first proposed rejected, was eventually substantially carried out, and the benefits which it conferred on the Highlands, were not only largely felt at the time, but are participated in at this moment by thousands of the descendants of gallant soldiers, who availed themselves of the honourable employment thrown open to them by the Government.

The most interesting feature to the public in the character of this noble-minded and highly-gifted man, was the judicious and patriotic part he acted in the eventful and stirring rebellion of 1745-46. Hearing that prince Charles Stuart landed on the West Coast of Inverness-shire, and that several chiefs, with their clansmen, were mustering and enrolling themselves under his banner, he cast his official wig aside, and hastened down to Culloden to warn his tenantry and friends of the portending danger, and prevent their enlisting in the Pretender’s ranks. The Prince‘s claim to the throne, the means at his command to make good the same, the futility of these, and the consequences to the country, he impartially laid before the Government and the clans; in consequence of which, together with his powerful influence and assiduity, it is allowed that fully ten thousand men were dissuaded from taking up arms in behalf of Charles. So heartily attached was the President to the House of Hanover, that he raised, clothes, and paid out of his own private means, a regiment of fine men, for which he received no compensation whatever, and, which had the effect further of greatly embarrassing the family for some time.

The President, when arrived at Culloden, instantly had the Castle fortified, and he himself was busily employed, day and night, writing despatches to different parts of the country, and wherever the Pretender happened to be, he was sure of finding that President Forbes had been there before him with his letters, causing the people to keep quiet and not join with him. Charles was, of course, aware of the sway exercised by President Forbes over the people, and was not a little chagrined at the success attending it; but of all the chiefs who embraced his cause, none was more enraged at the President than my Lord Lovat, for which it was well known he entertained private and selfish motives. First, he expected in the event of Charles Edward bringing the enterprise in which he was engaged to a successful termination, of which he entertained not the slightest doubt, a dukedom would be conferred upon him; and secondly, that the picturesque estate of Bunchrew, the property of the President, but originally that of the Frasers, would be added to his other estates in the Aird. Illustrative of the feeling entertained by Lord Lovat towards President Forbes, it may be noticed, that on each side of the road at Bunchrew grew some large black thorn bushes, overtopped here and there with alder trees, proving an eyesore to his Lordship as he passed to and from Inverness, and the great agricultural improvements which were made on the estate likewise added fuel to the flame already burning within him, so that when he entered Inverness, the first person he was sure of calling upon was the amiable Provost Fraser, who would generally inquire of his Lordship—"What news from the Aird?" "Nothing, but that the black thorns of Bunchrew stab me to the very heart’s core every time I pass." President Forbes likewise planted those portions of Bunchrew not adapted to agriculture with trees, some of which can still be seen towering majestically above the mansion-house.

Bunchrew was the spot, during vacation time, which the worthy President delighted to frequent, and where he always resided. His great partiality for this beautiful locality must have been owing to its being his birth-place, and the pleasure and delight he experienced in improving and ornamenting it, must be ascribed to the same cause. At Bunchrew, likewise, he further delighted to receive and entertain many of the more highly respectable visitors who came to the neighbourhood, who were quite enchanted with the President’s affable manners, and the decorations of his estate. Some of them mentioning so to Lovat, contrasting the aspect of both properties, galled the latter not a little, while few, if any, visited him at Beaufort Castle, save his friend the chief of Macleod.

The President, sojourning at Bunchrew on one occasion, where he often kept convivial parties, invited the Town Council of Inverness to dinner. The deacon of the weavers, on sitting down to dine with his brother councillors, began to show the extent of his knowledge, and appreciation of modern discoveries and refinements, by calling for a dish of tea, just then as great a delicacy as could be named in the house of the Highland laird. Hospitality, however, placed everything within command, at the service of the guest, although it was out of the regular order. A domestic having prepared and brought in the tea, with a valuable set of china, placed the beverage on a side table, the deacon being invited to move to it to partake of the tea. The dinner table groaned under a loud of subtantia1 Highland cheer, and the civic functionary, intent on that which was immediately before him, so far forgot the cap of gentility he had assumed, as to break out into a violent passion, declaring it an insult to request him to take refreshment at a table separate from his companions. During this paroxysm of rage, he commenced laying about him in wild Highland style, demolishing the valuable service of china in a very brief space of time. The President, instead of imitating the rage of his guest, passed over the damage and misbehaviour by humorously saying, "Well, well, deacon, it cannot be helped; I will make the shuttle pay for it some day," alluding to the offender’s craft. This mild reproof, while it formed a striking contrast to the weaver, was in keeping with the high character for personal and domestic worth and piety for which the President was so justly celebrated. The members of the Council, on leaving the ever-hospitable house of Bunchrew, were each presented with a hat, some of whom up to that time, never had a hat on their heads. So important a present was then only worn on state occasions, being at other times carefully laid by in the "muckle kist;" and the deacon above alluded to, was, in his latter days, the first and only tradesman in Inverness who began to wear a hat every day, and the novelty was so great, that crowds followed him wherever he went. At times it was with difficulty he kept them at a respectful distance when he took up his evening station upon the "old bridge," to contemplate the beauties of the scenery around his native town. The honest deacon at last had to give vent to the disapprobation he felt at the conduct of his admirers, whom he reproved by saying, "What do you see about me, sirs? am I not a mortal man like yourselves?" These reproofs had often to be administered, and being generally in the same words, the expression, "Am I not a mortal man like yourself," became a cant phrase in the town and neighbourhood for many years afterwards.

But to return to the "troubles" of the year ‘45. After a course of uncertainty, the Laird of Macleod at length became a firm supporter of the Government in consequence of the persuasion of the Lord President. Frequent communications took place between them, Macleod’s valet was kept constantly on the road with despatches betwixt his master and the Lord President. The valet had to come in contact on his journey with some of the Prince’s followers, and for fear of being searched by them, to discover what his frequent missions were, he always carried a large staff, with a hole, so artfully and neatly executed, as to defy the closest scrutiny. In this cavity, was deposited the letter; and the Dunvegan "gille maol" passed and repassed the rebel parties without detection.

It having come to the knowledge of President Forbes that Lord Lovat was secretly engaged in forwarding the interests of Prince Charles, he immediately despatched a messenger with a remonstrance, warning him of his danger, but to his friendly advice his Lordship replied he took no part whatever, but believed his stiff-necked son did. The Master of Lovat a few days afterwards hearing of this, told his hoary-headed parent in tears, "I’ll go myself to the President and tell him the whole truth;" but the fears of the youth were soon calmed, when his father told him that Prince Charles would be triumphant, and that then he would be raised to the dignity of a Duke. To the young amiable Earl of Cromertie, to whom he was particularly attached, the President was also sending friendly advices, which Lord Lovat understanding, he on his part was sending him his trust and confidential servant, Donald Cameron, urging him to be firm in the Prince’s cause, and heed not the delusive advices of either the President or the Rev. Mr Porteous. The President’s indefatigable exertions in support of the dynasty of the House of Hanover, were now so well known, and the success generally attending these, that the wrath of the rebels against him became so fierce and deadly that several plots were devised to cut him off but few were found hardy enough to carry these into execution. However, Mr John Fraser of Ericht, in the parish of Dores, Inverness-shire, even though a staunch Presbyterian, and notwithstanding the urgent remonstrances of his father-in-law, the good and pious Mr Chisholm, first Presbyterian minister of Kilmorack, and his own parish clergyman, the worthy Mr Ballantyne of Dores, was so thoroughly bound up in the Prince’s cause, that all arguments to dissuade him proved of no avail. Mr Fraser held the rank of captain in the rebel army; and about ten days previous to the battle of Culloden, Captain Fraser, heading a party of his clan, all bound by oath that they would neither eat or drink until they had taken President Forbes dead or alive, marched at midnight to Culloden Castle, to take it by surprise and seize the President; but on nearing the Castle they were observed by a sentinel stationed on one of the turrets, who gave the alarm, and the assailants were received with a fearful discharge of shot, which wounded many but killed none. Captain Fraser and his 1awless band quickly retreated. He escaped unhurt, as he likewise did on Culloden Moor, which sealed the claims of the Prince, and brought ruin on those of his adherers who escaped the bloody day. One of those was Ericht, with him the narrator was intimately acquainted, and many a time have they sat down together to relate the events of Ericht’s life, mourning over the wreck of his home, and the loss of his beautiful little estate, and the blindness which reduced him from affluence to penury, and expressing sorrowful compunctions for neglecting the sound counsels of his dearest, friends and relatives. Ericht was one of the most handsome Highlanders ever seen, and when in his better days, a guard of honour, consisting of twelve men in full Highland costume, escorted him to and from the kirk. When the gallant and brave General Simon Fraser, after the taking of Quebec, where he highly distinguished himself, returned to his native country, to resume possession of his patrimonial estates, forfeited by his father, whose treasonable conduct he more than atoned for, hearing that Ericht still living and very poor, sent for him and, offered to procure him a commission in the army, but this he refused, Poor Ericht, reduced from independence, now to the greatest poverty, and when his locks were grey, went to Perth, and there as a private soldier, enlisted in the Grant’s regiment.

Another gentleman, who had the good fortune, when the rebellion was in infancy, to receive a pressing invitation from President Forbes to spend a few days with him at Culloden, was Sir Alexander Macdonald of Sleat, in Skye. The President was led to believe that Sir Alexander, with his clan, contemplated joining the rebels on his landing in Skye, and being well aware of the sway he exercised in these places, as well as his anxiety for him as a friend, had therefore sent for him to prove the utter fallacy of the claims of the Pretender, and the ruin consequent on the attempt and, happily for Sir Alexander, he returned home convinced, after spending a few agreeable days with the worthy President. The flag of rebellion was unfurled in the Isles; but it found Sir Alexander firm at his post. The result being already well known, it is needless here to repeat it. Suffice it to say, that Charles Edward Stuart, accompanied by the faithful Flora Macdonald, compelled to relinquish his aspiring views, was a refugee, with a price set upon his head, and after many hair-breadth escapes, eluded the pursuit of his enemies, at last reached Skye, and with Sir Alexander Macdonald’s knowledge, was at one time concealed within a mile of his house of Monkstad, where, at the time he was entertaining a party of royalist officers. "War tests the magnanimity of man,-- sweet the humanity that spares a fallen foe." Sit Alexander, though he knew the very spot where the unfortunate Prince lay hid, and the easy certainty with which he could be captured, despised betraying him into the power of his enemies. Many true and faithful Highlanders acted a like noble part.

After the battle of Culloden, President Forbes exerted all his influence and ingenuity to save the lives and property of those who had taken up arms against the Government, but his efforts were not always successful. The fiendish thirst for blood evinced by the Duke of Cumberland, could not be satiated,—the prisoners, the wounded, and the dying, were butchered without mercy, and in the ranks of the conquering army the only cry was "kill, kill." The President again and again raised his voice against the massacre, and entreated the victors to "spare," but the work of death went on, and the ministers of vengeance heard not his voice. Even in his own house the work of destruction went forward. After the battle, eighteen wounded officers, unable to join in the flight of their companions, secreted themselves in a plantation near Culloden Castle. They were, however, discovered, brought to the Castle, where they were kept for two days in a room under ground, in a state of the utmost torture, without receiving medical or other aid, except such as was afforded to them by the kindness of the President’s steward. They were then huddled into carts, carried out of the court-yard, ranged in a row against a wall, and shot to death. The destroying fiends proceeded in their work. Mr Hossack, the Provost, who had, under the President, performed good service to the Government, was induced to apply to the Duke of Cumberland to entreat him to stay his destroying hand. The Duke was attended by General’s Hawley and Huske, who were deliberating with him as to the speediest mode of putting his prisoners’ to death at one fell swoop. The Provost said, "as his Majesty’s troops have happily been successful against the rebels, I hope your excellencies’ will be so good as to mingle mercy with judgment." Hawley in a rage, cried out, "D—n the puppy, does he pretend to dictate here? carry him away!" An officer in attendance, offered to kick Hossack out, and the order was obeyed. The Provost of Inverness, a firm and useful friend of the Government, was kicked down stairs by a servile hireling, because he pleaded for mercy! Oh, Glenco! Oh,Culloden! The God of justice and of battles will yet avenge thee!

On his return from Skye: the President himself went to the Duke, and with that firmness and candour which distinguished him, he stated to the Duke that the wholesale slaughter that was going forward, was not only inhuman and against the laws of God, but was also contrary to the law of the land, which he called upon his Royal highness to observe. But what said the Duke to the man, of all others, to whom the House of Hanover was most indebted? "The laws of the country, my Lord!" said the Duke with a sneer. "I’ll make a brigade give laws, by God." Shortly afterwards he visited London, and being asked by the King if the reports in circulation of the atrocities committed by the Duke of Cumberland were true, he answered, "I wish to God that I could consistently with truth assure your Majesty that such reports are destitute of foundation." The King abruptly, and in displeasure left him—his accounts with the Government were with difficulty passed, an immense balance was left unpaid, the House of Hanover had discharged its debt of gratitude, and President Forbes was thought of no more!!!

But it is painful to dwell on this subject. It is difficult to say which excites most surprise, the cruelties of Cumberland, or the ingratitude of the King and the Government. But what is even more surprising is, that in more, peaceful and juster times, the claims of the Culloden family should have been forgotten by successive Governments, and that the possessors of the Crown have not remembered to whom in a great measure they own it.

As a christian, President Forbes was a man who truly ruled his own house. Morning and evening, a bell was rung for worship, and none were permitted to absent themselves on any pretext. The narrator recollects seeing a small volume entitled The Life of Faith, which had formed part of the President’s library, and the margin of every page of which was covered with his criticisms. His public character was a most upright and exemplary one—his private one nothing less, he was beloved and happy in his family—esteemed by his domestics and dependants, and surrounded by attached relatives, friends, and acquaintances, and worn with over study and care, this amiable and distinguished individual was, in the year 1747, and at the age of sixty-two, "like a clock worn out with eating time," gathered to his fathers. His name and fame will live for generations yet to come. He was succeeded by his son John, likewise a most exemplary man.

The beetling stone, which supplied the place of a mangle, on which Mrs Urquhart, the President’s washerwoman, used to dress his linens, is still in the narrator’s possession. This stone was bequeathed as a legacy by Mrs Urquhart to his mother, then the principle washerwoman in Inverness.

The Culloden family from the first were eminent for their loyalty, and in the person of the present amiable young laird the virtues of his ancestors are reflected.


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