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Early Travels in Scotland
An article from the Transactions of the Gaelic Society


When your secretary asked me to read you a paper, I was quite at a loss for a subject; but being much interested in the references made from time to time as to the visits of early travellers to Scotland, I thought a few notes collected and thrown together might interest you, and give some light on the position occupied by Scotland in the minds of the travellers of the past. I fear I cannot offer you any original matter. I shall therefore briefly run over the names of the best-known writers, and make a few quotations from their works.

Roman.

Beginning then with early Homan writers, we find certain references to the country and people, but they are vague and dim, and they do not enable us to arrive at any very definite idea of the country. We are told that in the third century “ barbarians tribes inhabit the mountains wild and waterless, and plains desert and marshy, having neither walls nor cities, nor tillage, but living by pasturage, the chase, and certain berries.'’

“And that many parts being constantly flooded by the tides of the ocean become marshy."

I fear this writer, Dio, must have been drawing on his imagination, and when he speaks of “waterless mountains", as applied to Scotland, he is far astray. Though the country at that time did not boast of cities or regularly built towns, yet the inhabitants had forts, and soon after we find Columba and his followers draining morasses, cultivating land, founding and building churches, and importing pictures and works of art from abroad; and the large number of altars, coins, tiles, etc., left by the Romans in the southern parts of Scotland occupied by them, shews great progress, and their example must have helped to educate and advance the native Briton in arts and civilisation.

I do not mean to dwell long on this part of the subject, but I may just refer to Arculfus, a bishop from Gaul, who visited Adamnan at Iona, where he was storm-stayed for a winter. He had travelled in Palestine and the East, and Adamnan took down in writing his account of his travels .(see Skene’s, p. 271).

It is mainly through these Churchmen that we get glimpses of the condition of Scotland in these times, and I may be excused for giving a short extract from a paper I wrote some time ago on Early Church Architecture, shewing the extraordinary advance which church architecture had made as early as the 7th and -8th centuries.

Bede, &c.

The Venerable Bede, who lived in the early part of the 8th century, tells us that Abbot Benedict Bisoop, waving received from King Ecgfrid, in 676 a.d., a grant of 70 hides of land in the North of England on which to found a monastery, went to France in search of masons, and within twelve months the church was roofed. He then brought from Gaul makers of glass, for the purpose of glazing the windows, and all vessels and vestments necessary for the service of the altar and church, were brought from abroad, because they were not to be found in England. Not content with this, he went to Rome in the year 678, and brought home further ornaments, books, paintings, eta, and he introduced the Roman method of singing and playing on instruments into the service of the Church. For the decoration of the Church of St Peter, which he had erected, he brought pictures of the blessed Virgin and twelve Apostles. He also brought ornaments for the larger monasteries at Weormouth and Jarrow.

We find traces of the working in glass shortly after this. In a letter from Abbot Gutherbert to Bishop Lul, the successor to Boniface at Mayenoe, the Abbot asks if there be any one in Lus diocese who is skilled in making Vistrea Vasa, and, if there be such, he asiks that he may be sent to the writer; and if he is beyond the Bishop’s jurisdiction, that he would persuade him to coma The Abbot also adds a request that he would, if possible, send him a harper. Adamnan, Abbot of Iona, visited Ceolfrid in Northumbria, and no doubt would have seen these structures, and would naturally try to reproduce them to some extent; and accordingly we find him, on his return, sending twelve vessels from Iona to Lorn for oak trees to furnish the necessary timber, etc.

Before and during the 12th century, Scotland, suffered much from the incursions of the Norsemen, and though we have certain accounts of the country, we do not find the regular traveller’s visit described before the 14th century. I shall therefore content myself with noticing the various writers who appeared after that date. Between 1295 and 1689, Mr Hume Brown, from whose book I shall make free extracts, as follows, gives an account of no less than 24 travellers who visited Scotland, but few managed to get to the Highlands, contenting themselves with visiting the Lowlands. The earliest one accompanied Edward I. in 1295) but who he was is not known. He did not, apparently, get beyond Elgin and Rothes, returning south by Kildrumy and the Meams, and his account is simply an itinerary of the march.

Frossart.

The next is Jean Frossart, the chronicler. He attended the Court of David 2nd, about the year 1389. He gives interesting accounts of Scotland and the Scots. “The Scots are bold, and much inured to war. When they make their invasions into England, they march from twenty to twenty-four leagues without halting, as well by night as by day, for they are all on horseback except the camp followers, who are on foot. The knights and esquires are well mounted on large bay horses, the common people on little Galloways. They bring no carriages with them, on account of the mountains they have to pass in Northumberland. Neither do they carry with them any provisions of bread or wine; for their habits of sobriety are such, in time of war, that they will live for a long time on flesh half sodden, without bread, and drink the river water, without wine. They have no occasion for pots or pans: for they dress the flesh of their cattle in the skins, after they have taken them off; and, being sure to find plenty of them in the country which they invade, they carry none with them. Under the flaps of his saddle, each man carries a broad plate of metal; behind the saddle, a little bag of oatmeal. When they have eaten too much of the sodden flesh, and their stomach appears weak and empty, they place this plate over the fire, mix with water their oatmeal, and when the plate is heated, they put a little paste upon it, and make a thin cake, like a crackel or biscuit, which they eat to warm their stomachs; it is therefore no wonder that they perform a longer day’s march than other soldiers.” He also gives an account of the expedition of the French Auxiliaries into Scotland in Robert III/s time, 1385. This expedition was a failure in every way. The Scots did not like the French, and the French did not give a good account of the Scots. But a good insight is given into the country and people; for no sooner did the news spread of their arrival than some began to murmur and say: “What the devil brought them here? Who sent for them? Cannot we carry on our wars with England without their assistance? We shall never do any effectual good so long as they are with us. Let them be told to return again, for we are sufficiently numerous in Scotland to fight our own quarrels, and do not want their company. We neither understand their language, nor they ours, and we cannot converse together. They will very soon eat up and destroy all we have in the country, and will do us more harm, if we allow them to remain amongst us, than the English could in battle. If the English do bum our houses, what consequence is it to us? We can re-build them as cheap enough, for we only require three days to do so, provided we have five or six poles and boughs to cover them.” Such was the conversation of the Scots on the arrival of the French; they did not esteem them, but hated them in their hearts, and abused them with their tongues as much as they could, like rude and worthless people as they are. When these barons and knights of France, who had been used to handsome hotels, ornamented apartments, and castles, with good soft beds to repose on, Saw themselves in such poverty, they began to laugh, and to say before the Admiral: “What could have brought us hither? We have never known till now what was meant by poverty and hard living. We now have found the truth our fathers and mothers used to tell us, when they said: ‘Go, go; thou shalt have in thy time, should’st thou live long enough, hard beds and poor lodgings;' all this is now come to pass.” They said also among themselves: “Let us hasten the object of our voyage, by advancing towards England; a long stay in Scotland will be neither honourable nor profitable” The knights made remonstrances respecting all these circumstances to Sir John de Vienne, who appeased them as well as he could, saying: “My fair sirs, it becomes us to wait patiently, and to speak fair, since we are got into such difficulties. We have a long way yet to go, and we cannot return through England. Take in good humour whatever you can get. You cannot always be at Paris, Dijon, Beaune, or Chalons, it is necessary for those who wish to live with honour in this world to endure good and evil.” The French marched back from England the way they had come. When arrived in the Lowlands, they found the whole country ruined; but the people of the country made light of it, saying that with six or eight stakes they would soon have new houses, and find cattle enough for provision, for the Scots had driven them for security to the forests. You must, however, know that whatever the French wanted to buy they were made to pay very dear for, and it was fortunate the French and Scots did not quarrel with each other seriously, as there were frequent riots on account of provision. The Scots said the French had done them more mischief than the English; and when asked, “In what way?” they replied, “By riding through their com, oats, and barley, on their march, which they trod under foot, not condescending to follow the roads, for which damages they would have a recompense before they left Scotland; and they should neither find vessel nor mariner who would dare put to sea without permission.” Many knights complained of the timber they had cut down, and of the; waste they had committed to lodge themselves. When the Admiral, with his barons and knights and squires, were returned to the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, they suffered from famine, as they could scarcely procure provisions for their money. They had but little wine, beer, barley, bread, or oats; their horses therefore perished from hunger, or were ruined through fatigue; and when they wished to dispose of them, they could not find a purchaser who would give them a groat either for their horses or housing. These lords remonstrated with their commander on the manner in which they were treated, a circumstance well known to himself. They said they could not longer endure such difficulties, for Scotland was no country to encamp in during the winter, and that if they were to remain the ensuing summer, they should die of poverty. If they were to spread themselves over the country to better their condition, they were doubtful if the Scots, who had so villainously treated their foragers, would not murder them in their beds when they should be divided. The Admiral, having fully weighed what they said, saw dearly they were justified in thus remonstrating; notwithstanding, he had intentions of wintering there, and of sending an account of his situation to. the King of France and Duke of Burgundy, who, as the Admiral imagined, would hasten to him reinforcements of stores, provisions, and money, with which in the course of time he would be enabled to carry on an advantageous war against England. But having considered how ill-intentioned the Scots were, and the danger his men were in, as well as himself, he gave permission for all who chose to depart. But how to depart was the difficulty, for the barons could not obtain any vessels for themselves and men. The Scots were willing that a few poor knights who had no great command should leave the country, that they might the easier govern the rest. They told the barons of France “that their dependants, when they pleased, might depart, but that they themselves should not quit the country until they had made satisfaction for the sums that had been expended for the use of their army.,," This declaration was very disagreeable to Sir John Vienne and the other French barons.

The Earls of Douglas and Moray, who pretended to be exasperated at the harsh conduct of their country men, remonstrated with them that they did not act becoming men-at-arms, nor as friends to the Kingdom of France by this behaviour to its knights, and that henceforward no Scottish knight would dare to set his foot in France. These two earls, who were friendly enough to the French barons, pointed out the probable effect their conduct would have on their vassals; but some replied: “Do dissemble .with them, for you have lost as much as we.” They therefore told the Admiral they could do nothing for him; and if they were so anxious about quitting Scotland, they must consent to make good their damages. The Admiral, seeing nothing better could be done, and unwilling to lose all, for he found himself very uncomfortable surrounded by the sea, and the Scots of a savage disposition, acceded to their proposals, and had proclaimed through the realm that all those whom his people had injured, and who could show just cause for amends being made them, should bring their demands to the Admiral of France, when they would be fully paid. This proclamation softened the minds of the people; and the Admiral took every debt on himself, declaring he would never leave the country until every debt was completely paid and satisfied. Upon this many knights and squires obtained a passage to France, and returned through Flanders, or wherever they could land, famished and without arms or horses, cursing Scotland and the hour they haft set foot there. They said they had never suffered so much in any expedition, and wished the King of France would make a truce with the English for two or three years, and then march to Scotland and utterly destroy it, for never had they seen such wicked people nor such ignorant hypocrites and traitors.

AEneas Sylvius Piccolomini (Pius II.).

The next writer quoted is AEneas Sylvius Piccolomini, afterwards Pope Pius II. He visited Scotland in the reign of James the First, towards the end of the 15th century. He says: — “Scotland is the remotest part of the island in which England is situated. It stretches in a northerly direction, possesses no large rivers, and is separated from England by a mountain. Here I once lived in the season of winter, when the sun illuminates the earth little more than three hours. At that time James I. was King, robust of person, and oppressed by the English; he had been kept a prisoner for eleven years, and on his return (with an English wife), he was eventually slain by his own subjects. After his death had been fully avenged, his son succeeded him in the kingdom.” He then gives a curious account: —“I had previously heard that there was a tree in Scotland that, growing on the banks of rivers, produced fruits in the form of geese, which, as they approached ripeness, dropped off of their own accord, some on the ground and some on the water; that those which fell into the ground rotted, but that those submerged in the water immediately assumed life, and swam about under the water, and flew into the air with feathers and wings, When I made enquiries regarding this story, I learned that the miracle was always referred to some place further off, and that this famous tree was to be found not in Scotland, but in the Orkney Islands, though the miracle has been represented to me as taking place among the Scots. In this country I saw the poor, who almost in a state of nakedness begged at the church doors, depart with joy in their faces on receiving stones as alms. This stone, whether by reason of sulphurous or some fatter matter which it contains, is burned instead of wood, of which the country is destitute.” This shews a curious want of coals in France, and the early use of them in Scotland. AEneas found the following facts relating to Scotland worthy of mention: —“Scotland makes part of the same island as England, stretching northward 200 miles with a breadth of 50. Its climate being cold, it produces few crops, and is scantily supplied with wood. A sulphurous stone dug from the earth is used by the people for fuel. The towns have no walls, and the houses are for the most part constructed without lime. The roofs of the houses in the country are made of turf, and the doors of the humbler dwellings are made of the hide of oxen. The common people are poor, and destitute of all refinement. They eat flesh to repletion, and bread as a dainty. The men are small in stature, bold and forward in temper; the women fair in complexion, comely and pleasing, but not distinguished for their chastity, giving their kisses more readily than Italian women their hands. There is no wine in the country unless what is imported. All the horses are amblers, and are of small size. They are never touched either with an iron brush or a wooden comb, and they are managed without bit. Hides, wool, and salt fish are exported to Flanders. Nothing pleases the Scots more than the abuse of the English. There are said to be two distinct countries in Scotland, the one cultivated, the other covered with forest and possessing no tilled land. The Scots who live in the wooded region speak a language of their own, and sometimes use the bark of trees for food. There are no wolves in Scotland. The crow is unusual in the country, and consequently the tree in which it builds is the King's property. At the winter solstice in Scotland [the season when AEneas was there] the day is not above four hours long.”

Don Pedro de Ayala.

The next I shall note is Dom Pedro de Ayala, the Spanish Ambassador of the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, about 1498. He describes the King, James IV. He says, “He is of noble stature, neither tall nor short, and as handsome as man can be. He speaks Latin, German, Flemish, Italian, and Spanish. The King, besides, speaks the language of the savages who live in some parts of Scotland ” (Professor Mackinnon says this is the latest statement he knows of regarding a Scottish King's knowledge of Gaelic). Dom Pedro says: —“The country is large, and Your Highnesses know that these kingdoms form an island. Judging by what I have read in books and seen on maps, and also by my own experience, I should think that both kingdoms are of equal extent, in the same proportion that England is longer than Scotland, so Scotland is wider than England; thus the quantity of land is the same. Neither is the quality very different in the two countries; but the Scotch are not industrious, and the people are poor. They spend all their time in wars, and when there is no war they fight with one another. The people are handsome. They like foreigners so much that they dispute with one another as to who shall have and treat a foreigner in his house. They are vain and ostentatious by nature. They spend all they have to keep up appearances. They are as well dressed as it is possible to be in such a country as that in which they live. They are courageous, strong, quick, and agile. They are envious (jealous) to excess. The Kings live little in towns and cities. They pass their time generally in castles and abbeys, where they find lodgings for all their officers. They do not remain long in one place; the reason thereof is twofold. In the first place, they move often about in order to visit their kingdom, to administer justice, and to establish police where it is wanted. The second reason is that they have rents in kind in every province, and they wish to consume them. While travelling neither the King nor any of his officers have any expenses, nor do they carry provisions with them. They go from house to house, to lords, bishops, and abbots, where they receive all that is necessary. The greatest favour the King can do his subjects is to go to their houses. The women are courteous in the extreme. I mention this because they are honest though very bold. They are absolute mistresses of their houses, even of their husbands, in all things concerning the administration of their property, income as well as expenditure. They are very graceful and handsome women. They dress much better than in England, and especially as regards the head-dress, which is, I think, the handsomest in the World. The towns and villages are populous. The houses are good, all built of hewn stone, and provided with excellent doors, glass windows, and a great number of chimneys. All the furniture that is used in Italy, Spain, and France is to be found in their dwellings. It has not been bought in modem times only, but inherited from preceding ages. The islands are half a league, 1, 2, 3, or 4 leagues distant from the mainland. The inhabitants speak the language and have the habits of the Irish. But there is a good deal of French education in Scotland, and many speak the French language. For all the young gentlemen who have no property go to France, and are well received there, and therefore the French are liked.

“Now I shall describe where Scotland is situated, and by what countries she is surrounded. She borders on England by land, and by sea on Brittany, France, Flanders, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Ireland. Scotland is powerful enough to defend herself against her neigbuours, should any one of them attack her without fear of God. No King can do her damage without suffering greater damage from her; that is to say, in a war on land, for they know that on the sea there are many kings more powerful than they are, although they possess many fine vessels. On land they think they are the most powerful kingdom that exists; for they say the King of Scots has always a hundred thousand men ready to fight, and they are always paid. Towards the west there is no land between Scotland and Spain. Scotland is nearer to Spain than London, and the voyage is not dangerous. Scotland has succoured most of her neighbours. With regard to France and Flanders this is notorious.”

Fynes Moryson.

Next is Fynes Moryson, a student of Cambridge, who travelled in the year 1598 through the South of Scotland, mainly about Edinburgh and Fifeshire. He says of Edinburgh: —

“This city is the seat of the King of Scotland, and the Courts of Justice are held in the same. The city is high seated, in a fruitful soile and wholesome aire, and is adorned with many Noblemen’s Towers lying about it, and aboundeth with many springs of sweet waters. The length of the city is about a mile from east to west, and so narrow it cannot be more than half a mile broad/’ He describes the Cathedral Church, and the King’s seat in it, leaning against a pillar near the pulpit; and near it, and very like it, another Beat, in which the "incontinent used to stand and doe penance.” A gentleman, a stranger, thinking it reserved for the quality, boldly entered it in sermon time, till he was driven away by the laughter of the common sort. Moryson gives some interesting statistics, and says: —“The navy or shipping of Scotland was of small strength in the memory of our Age, neither were their Mariners of great experience; but to make them more diligent merchants, their kings had formerly laid small or no impositions or customs on them. And while the English had warre with the Spaniards, the Scots, as neutral, by carrying of English commodities into Spain, and bv having their ships for more security laden by English merchants, grew somewhat richer, and experienced in Navigation, and had better and stronger shippes then in former time. And surely since the Scots are very daring, I cannot see why their mariners should not be bold and courageous; howsoever, they have not hitherto made any long voyages—rather for want of. riches than for slothfulness or want of courage. The inhabitants of the Western parts of Scotland carry into Ireland and neighbouring places red and pickled Herrings, Sea coales, and Aquavit*, with like commodities, and bring out of Ireland Yame and cowes hides or silver. The Easteme Scots carry into France coarse cloathes, both linnen and woollen, which be narrow and shrinkle in the wetting. They also carry salt and the Skinnes of goates, Weathers, and of conies and divers kindes of Fishes, taken in the Scottish sea, and neere other Northeme Lands, and after smoked or otherwise dried and salted. And they bring frogn thence Salt and wines, but the cheefe trafficke of the Scottish is in foure places, namely, to Camphire in Zealand, whether they carry Salt and wines, the skinnes of weathers, otters, Badgers, and martens, and bring from thence come. And at Bordeaux in France, whether they carry cloathes and the same skinnes, and bring from thence Wines, Prunes, Walnuts, and Chessenuts. Thirdly, within the Balticke sea, witherthey oarry the said Clothes and Skinnes, and bring thence Flax, Hempe, Iron, pitch, and Tarre. And lastly, in England, whether they carry Linnen cloathes, Yame, and Salt, and bring thence Wheat, oates, Beanes, and like things. Touching their diet, They eat much red Colwort and Cabbage, but little fresh meat, using to salt their mutton and Geese, which made me more wonder that they used to eat Beefe without salting. The Gentlemen reckon their revenues, not by rents of monie, but by ohauldrons of victual, and keepe many people in their Families, yet living most on Come and Rootes, not spending any great quantity on flesh. My selfe was at a knight’s house, who had many servants to attend him, that brought in his meat with their heads covered with, blew caps, the table being more then half furnished with great plattes of porridge, each having a little peece of sodden meat, And when the table was served, the servants did sitt downe with us, but the upper messe insteade of porridge, had a pullet with some prunes in the broth. And I observed no art of cookery, or furniture of household stuffe, but rather rude neglect of both, though my selfe and my companion, sent from the Govemour of Barwicke about bordering affairs, were entertained after their best manner. The Scots living then in factions, used to keep many followers, and so consumed their revenew of victuals' living in some want of money. They vulgarly eate hearth cakes of oates, but in Cities have also wheaten bread, which for the most part was bought by courtiers, gentlemen, and the best sort of citizens.

“When I lived at Barwicke, the Scots weekly upon the market day obtained leave in writing of the govemour to buy Pease and Beanes, whereof, as also of Wheate, their Merchants at this day send great quantity from London into Scotland. They drinke pure Wines, not with sugar as the English, yet, at Feasts they put Confits in the wine after the French manner, but they had not our Vintners fraud to mixe their Wines. I did never see nor heare that they have any publike Innes with signs hanging out, but the better sort of citizens brew ale, their usual drinke (which will distemper a stranger’s bodie), and the same citizen will entertaine passengers upon acquaintance or entreaty.”

That the Scottish monarchs did their best to establish comfortable inns throughout the country, the following extracts from the General Index to the Acts of the Parliament of Scotland will show: —“All who sell bread and beer in burghs to receive travellers and supply their wants at current prices." (anno 1356). “The chamberlains ordered to see that wants sufficient inns are provided in the burgh ” (1366). “Their bedsteads were then like Cubbards in the wall, with dores to be opened and shut at pleasure, so we climbed up to our beds. They used but one sheete, open at the sides and top, but close at feet and doubled. Passengers did seeke a stable for their horses in some other place, and did there buy horsemeat, and if perhaps the same house yeeled a stable, yet the payment for the horse did not make them have beds free as in England. I omit to speak of the Innes and oxpences therein, having delated the same in the Itintrary of the first Part, expreessely treating thereof. When passengers goe to bed, their customs was to present them with a sleepingcapper of wine at parting. The country people and merchants used to drinke largely, the gentlemen somewhat more sparingly.”

Sir Anthony Weldon.

The next I shall notice is a sort of a pasquinade, written, it is thought, by Sir Anthony Weldon (1617), and who is said to have attended King James 6th into Scotland. This Weldon’s forefathers, it is said, took their origin in Queen Elizabeth’s kitchen. He gives a most fantastic and amusing account of Scotland and its people. He says: —“They have great stores of deer, but they are so far from the place where I have been, that I rather believe than go to disprove it: I confess, all the deer I met withal, was dear lodgings, dear horse, and dear tobacco and English beer. As for fruit, for their grandesire Adam’s sake they never planted any, and for other trees, had Christ been betrayed in this country (doubtless he should, had he come as a stranger), Judas had sooner found the grace of repentance than a tree to hang himself on. They have many hills, wherein they say is much treasure, but they shew none of it: nature hath only discovered to them some mines of coal, to shew to what end she created them. I saw little grass but in their pottage; the thistle is not given of nought, for it is the fairest flower in their garden. The word hay is Heathen-Greek unto them—neither man nor beast knows what it means. Com is reasonable plenty at its time, for since they heard of the King’s coming, it hath been as unlawful for common people to eat wheat as it was in the old time for any but the priests to eat shewbread. They prayed much for his coming, and long fasted for his welfare; but in the more plain sense, that he might fare the better. All his followers were welcome but his guard, for those, they say, are like Pharaoh’s lean kine, and threaten death wheresoever they come; they could persuade the footmen that oaten cakes would make them long-winded, and the children of the chapel they have brought to eat of them for the maintenance of their voices.

“Now I will begin briefly to speak of the people according to their degress and qualities: For the lords spiritual, they may well be termed so indeed, for they are neither fish nor flesh, but what it shall please their earthly God, the King, to make them. They have taken great pains and trouble to compass their bishopricks, and they will not leave them for a trifle; for the deacons, whose defects will not lift them up to dignities, all their study is to disgrace them that have gotten the least degree above them; .and because they cannot Bishop, they proclaim they never heard of any. The Scriptures, they say, speak of deacons and elders, but not a word of bishops. Their discourses are full of detractions, their sermons nothing but railing, and their conelusions nothing but heresies and treasons. For the religion they have, they hold it above reach, and, God willing, I will never reach for it. They christen without the cross, marry without the ring, receive the sacrament without reverence, die without repentance, and bury without divine service; they keep no holy days, nor acknowledge any saint but St Andrew, who they said got that honour by presenting Christ with an oaten cake after His forty days’ fast. They say, likewise, that he that translated the Bible was the son of a maltster, because it speaks of. a miracle done by barley-loaves: whereas they swear they were oaten cakes, and that no other bread of that quantity could have sufficed so many thousands.”

Truly a fantastic and lamentable account of Scotland and the Scots.

Taylor.

A more genial and intelligent traveller we have in Taylor, the Water Poet. In 1618 he undertook to accomplish the journey to Scotland on foot, and without a coin in his pocket. This whimsical wager he so far carried on. He was well received by the nobility and gentry, who gave him a kindly welcome. His journey occupied three months. He published and hawked through London an account of his journey, and is said to have profited thereby. He came into Scotland by Moffat, through Edinburgh. He travelled north over Mount Keene into Braemar, and Lord Mar put him in the way of seeing a great drive for game. He says:—“From Sterling I rode to St Johnstone, a fine towne it is, but it is much decayed by reason of his Majesties yeerely camming to lodge there. Mine host told me that the Earl of Marr and Sir William Murray of Abercamy were gone to the hunting to the Brea of Marr, but if I made haste I might perhaps finde them at a towne called Breeken (or Brechin), two and thirty miles from Saint Johnstone, whereupon I took a guide to Breekin the next day, but before I came, my Lord was gone from thence foure dayes. Then I took another guide, which brought me such strange wayes over mountains and rockes, that I thinke my horse never went the like: and I am sure I never saw any wayes that might fellow them. I did go through a country called Glenaske, where passing by the side of a hill, so steepe as the ridge of a house, so fearful and horrid that if either a man or horse had slipped, he had fallen without recovery a good mile downright. Thus with extreme travel ascending and descending, mounting and alighting, I came at night to the place where I would be, in the Brea of Marr, which is a large country all composed of such large mountains as that Highgate hill, Hampstead hill, Bird hill, or Malvems hill are but mole hills in comparison. There I saw mount Benawue, with a furr’d mist upon its snowie head instead of a nightcap; for you must understand that the oldest man alive never saw but the snow was on the top of divers of those hills both in summer as in winter. There did I finde the truely noble and right honourable Lords John Erskine, Earl of Marr, and others. For once in the yeere, which is the wnole month of August, and sometimes part of September, many of the nobility and gentry of the kingdome (for their pleasure) doe come into these high-land countries to hunt, where they doe conforme themselves to the habits of the Highland man, who for the most part speake nothing but Irish, and in former time were those people which were called the Red-shankes. Their habite is shoes with but one sole apiece: stocking (which they call short hose) made of a warm stuff of divers colours, whiche they call tartane: as for breeches, many of them, nor their forefathers, never wore any, but a jerkin of the same stuffe that their hose is of: their garters being uands or wearthes of hay or straw, with a plaid about their shoulders, which is a mantle of divers colours, much finer and lighter stuffe then their hose, with blue flat caps on their heads, a handkerchiefe knit with two knots about their necke; and thus are they attyred. Now their weapons are long bowes and forked arrowes, swords and targets, harquebusses, muskets, durks, and Loquhaboraxes. With these armes I found many of them armed for hunting. As for their attire, any man of what degree soever that comes amongst them must not disdain e to weare it; for if they doe they will disdaine to hunt or willingly to bring in their dogges, but if men be kind unto them, be in their habit, then are they conquered with kindness, and the sport will be plentiful!. This was the reason that I found so many noblemen and gentlemen in those shapes. But to proceed to the hunting. My good Lord of Marr having put me into that shape, I rode with him from his house, where I saw the ruines of an old castle, called the castle of Eindroghit. It was built by King Malcolm Canmore (for a hunting house), who reigned in Scotland when Edward the Confessor, Harold, and Norman William reigned England. I speake of it because it was the last house that I saw in those parts; for I was the space of twelve days after, before I saw either house, come field, or habitation for any creature, but deere, wilde horses, wolves and such like creatures, which made n fee doubt that I should never have seene a house againe Thus the first day we travelled eight miles, where there were small cottages built on purpose to lodge in, which they call Lonquhards. I thanke my goode Lord Erskine, he commanded that I should always be lodge in his lodging, the kitchin being always on the side of a banke, onany kettles and pots boy ling, and many spits turning and winding with great variety of cheere; as venson bak’t, sodden, rost and sten’de beefe, mutton, goatee, kid, hares, fresh salmon, pidgeons, hens, capons, chickens, partridge, moore-cootes, heathcocks, caperkeUies, and termagantes; good ale, sackes white, white and claret tent, or allegant, with most potent Aquavite. All these and more then these we had continually in superfluous abundance, caught by faulconers, fowlers, fishers, and brought by my lord's tenants and perveyers, to victuall our camp, which consisteth of fourteen or fifteene hundred men and horses. The manner of the hunting is this—five or six hundred men do rise early in the morning, and they do disperse themselves divers ways, and seven, eight, or tenne miles compasse, they do bring in or chase in me deere in many herds, two, three, or four hundred in a herd, to such or such a place, as the noblemen shall appoint them. When the day is come the lords and gentlemen of their companys doe ride or goe to the said places, some limes wadeing up to the middle through bournes and, rivers; and then they being come to the place, do lye downe on the ground til those four said scouts, which are called the tinckhell, doe bring down the deere; but as the proverb says, as bad cooks, so these tinckhell men do lick their fingers, for besides their bows and arrows which they carry with them, we can hear now and then a harqubusse or a musket goe off, which they seldom discharge in vain; then after we had stayed three hours or thereabouts, we might perceive the deer appear on the hill round about us (there heads making a show like a wood), which being followed by the tinckhell are chased down to the valley where we lay. Then all the valley on each side being way-laid with a hundred couple of strong Irish greyhounds, they are let loose as occasion serves upon the herd of deere, that with dogges, gunnes, arrowes, durkes, and daggers in the space of two houres four scores off fat deere were slain, which afterwards are disposed of, some one way and some another, and more than enough for us to make merry with all at our rendezvous.

“Being .come to our lodging, there was such baking, boyling, roasting, and stewing, as if cook Ruffin had been there to have scalded the devils in their feathers, and after supper a fire of fir wood as high as an indifferent may pole; for I assure you that the Earl of Marr will give any man that is his friend, for thanks, as many fir trees (that are as good as any ship’s masts in England) as are worth if they were in any place near the Thames or any other portable river the best earldome in England or Scotland either. For I dare affirme he hath as growing there as would serve for masts (from this time until the end of the world) for all the ships, carrackes, hoyes, galleys, boats, drumlers, barkes, and water crafts that are now or can be in the world these forty years. This sounds like a lie to an unbleiver; but I know that I and many thousands do know that I speak within the compass of truth, for indeed they do grow so far from any paswage of water, and withal in such rocky mountains that no way to convey them is possible either with cart, horse, or boat. Thus having spend certain days in hunting in the brea of Marr, we went to the next county, called Bagnoch.”

It is curious that, exactly a hundred years afterwards, the Earl of Mar should have made a great hunting match the pretence to raise the standard on the Braes of Mar for the exile Stuarts, in 1715.

Taylor afterwards visited Damaway, the seat of the Earl of Moray. He says the county of Moray is the most pleasant and plentiful county in an Scotland. From thence he went to Elgin, “an ancient city where stood a fair and beautiful church with three steeples, the walls and steeples all standing; so after thirty and five days' hunting and travelleing I returned home by Strathbogie, thp Camamount, to Brechin and Forfar, and so on by Berwick on to London".

Sir William Brereton.

The next we come to is Sir William Brereton, 1636. He was a strong Puritan, with great aversion to the government of the Church. He arrived in Berwick, and describes its bridge over the Tweed, consisting of fifteen arches, built by King James. He also notes the extent of the salmon fishings, and also the fortifications. Passing along from Berwick to Dunbar, he notes the seaweed being used for manure..

“Here,” he says, "is my Lord Rocksbume’s house or castle, seated with(in) six score of the main sea, where groweth and prospereth many kinds of wood; the highest thorns that I ever saw; this I admired, because I have observed all the sea-coasts whereby we passed, almost an hundred miles, and could not find any manner of wood prospering near the sea-coasts. Here, in the village, we observed the sluttish women washing their clothes in a great tub with their feet, their coats, smocks and all, tucked up to their breech.

“From Dunbarr to Edenburgh we came this day in the afternoon; it is called but twenty miles, but it is twenty-five or twenty-six miles at least; and by the way we observed very many stately seats of the nobles. One we passed which is the Earl of Winton’s, a dainty seat placed upon the sea. Here also are apple-trees, walnut-trees, sycamore, and other fruit-trees, and other kinds of wood which prosper well, though it be very near unto, and within the air of, the sea. In this house the King lodged three nights; and in this earl’s chamber at Edenborough, in Mr William Callis his house in the high-street near the cross, I lodged, and paid one shilling and sixpence per noctern for my lodgings.

“About six or seven miles from the city [Edinburgh] I saw and took notice of divers salt-works in poor houses erected upon the sea coast. I went into one of them, and observed iron pans eighteen foot long and nine foot broad; these larger pans and houses than those at the Sheildes. An infinite, innumerable number of salt-works here are erected upon this shore; all make salt of sea-water. About four miles hence stands Mussleborrow, touching which they have this proverb: Mussleborrow was a borrow when Edenborough was none, and shall be a burrough when Edenborough shall be none.

“Touching the fashion of the citizens, the women here wear and use upon festival days six or seven several habits and fashions; some for distinction of widows, wives, and maids, ethers upparalled according to their own humour and phantasy. Many wear (especially of the meaner sort) plaids, which is a garment of the same woollen stuff whereof saddle cloths in England are made, which is cast over their heads, and covers their faces on both sides, and would reach almost to the ground, but that they pluck them up, and wear them cast under their arms. Some ancient women and citizens wear satin straightbodied gowns, short little cloaks with great capes, and a broad boun-grace coming over their brows and going out with a comer behind their heads, and this boun-grace is, as it were, lined with a white stracht cambric suitable unto it. Young maids not married all are bareheaded; some with broad thin shag ruffs, which lie fiat to their shoulder, and others with half bands with wild necks, either much stiffened or set in wire, which comes only behind; and these shag ruffs some are more broad and thick than others.

“The greatest part of the Scotts are very honest and zealously religious. I observed few given to drink or swearing; but if any oath, the most ordinary was, ‘Upon my soul.’ The most of my hosts I met withal, and others with whom I conversed, I found very sound and orthodox, and zealously religious. to their demands they do not so much exceed as with us in England, but insist upon and adhere unto their first demand for any commodity. I observed few bells rung in any of the churches in Edenborough and, as. I was informed, there are but few bells in the King’s palace. Herein is a ring of bells erected by King Charles immediately before his coming into Scotland, anno Dom. 1635, but none here knew how to ring or make any use of them, until some came out of England for that, purpose, who hath now instructed some Scotts in -this art In most of the eminent churches in this city, the king hath a stately seat placed on high, almost round about some pillar opposite to the pulpit.

“Here, by the way, we were showed the relics of a stately wood cut down, which belonged to this Earl of Weghktom. There is very little or no timber in any of the south or west parts of this kingdom, much less than in England. I have travelled near 100 miles; all the country poor and barren, save where it is helped by lime or seaweeds. Limestone here is very plentiful, and coals; and where there are no coals, they have abundance of turves. Poorest houses and people that I have seen inhabit here; the houses accommodate with no more light than the light of the door, no window; the houses covered with clods; the women only neat and handsome about the feet, which comes to pass by their often washing with their feet”

He says—“About one hour we came to the city of Glasgow, which is thirty-six miles from Edenburgh, eighteen from Fall-kirk. This is a archbishop’s seat, at ancient university, one only college consisting of about 120 students, wherein are four schools, one principal, four regents. There are about six or seven thousand communicants, and about twenty thousand persons in the town, which is famous for the church, which is fairest and stateliest in Scotland, also for the toll-boothe and bridge.

“This church I viewed this day, and found it a brave and ancient piece. It was said, in this church this day, that there was a contribution throughout Europe (even Rome itself contributed), towards the building hereof. There is a great partition or wall ’twixt the body of the church and the chancel; there is no use of the body of the church, only divine service and sermon is used and performed in the quire or chancel, which is built and framed church-wise; and under this quire there is also another church, which carries the same proportion under this, wherein also there is two sermons every Lord’s day. Three places or rooms one above another, round and uniformed, like unto chapter-houses, which are complete buildings and rooms.

“The prime cities in Scotland.: Edenborough, St Andrewes, Dondye, Aberden, Glasgoaw, Perth or St Jonstone, Lightgow, Aire, Sterling, Dumbarton, Erwing, Don Frise, Haddington, Dunbarr, Erwin, Elgin, Murray, Banffe, Envemess, Boughan.

“We Lodged at Glasgoaw, in Mr David Weyme’s House; his wife's name is Margrett Cambell (the wives in Scotland never change, but always retain, their own names).

“I came from Glasgoaw about eight hour, and came to Erwin about twelve hours, which is sixteen miles. We passed through a barren and poor country, the most of it yielding neither corn nor grass, and that which yields com is very poor, much punished with drought. We came to Mr James Blare’s in Erwin, a well-affected man, who informed me of that which is much to be admired: Above ten thousand persons have within two years last past left the country wherein they lived, which was betwixt Aberdeen and Ennemess, and are gone for Ireland; they have come by one hundred in company through this town, and three hundred have gone hence together shipped for Ireland at one tide; none of them can give a reason why they leave the country, only some of them who make a better use of God’s hand upon (them), have acknowledged to mine host in these words, ‘that it was a just judgment of God to spew them out of the land for their unthankfulness.’ This country was so fruitful formerly as that it supplied an overplus of com, which was carried by water to Leith, and of late for two years is so sterill of com as they are constrained to forsake it. Some say that, these hard years, the servants were not able to live and subsist under their masters, and therefore, generally leaving them, the masters being not accustomed, nor knowing how to frame, to till, and other their land, the ground hath been untilled. So as that of the prophet David is made good in this their punishment: ‘A fruitful land makes He barren, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein ’; for it is observed of these, that they were a most unthankful people. One of them I met Vsithal and discoursed with at large, who could (give) no good reason, but pretend the landlords’ increasing their rents; but their swarming in Ireland is so much taken notice of and disliked, as that the Deputy hath sent out a warrant to stay the landing of any of these Scotch that came without a certificate. Threescore of them were numbered returning towards the place whence they came, as they passed this town. Some of them complain of hard years (the better to colour and justify this their departure), but do withal acknowledge that com is as cheap with them, as in this town.”

Thomas Tucker.

Perhaps the most instructive writer was Thomas Tucker, a Commissioner under the Commonwealth, who came north through Scotland in 1655. He gives a very interesting account of the trade and dimensions of the different towns. He says:—

“According to the most eminent places of trade, the commissioners have erected or established eight severall head ports or offices for customes and excise. Those lyeing on the east sea are Leith, Burrostones, Brunt Island, Dundee, Aberdeene, .and Inverness; those on the west are only two, Glasgoe and Ayr.”

Of Leith he says—“On the one side thereof, of a good length for landing of goods, this place formerly, and soe at this time, is indeed a storehouse not only for her owne traders, but alsoe for the merchants of the citty of Edinburgh, this being the port thereof; and were it not that citty (jealous of her oune safety) obstruct and impede the groweing of this place, it would from her slave, in a few yeares become her rivalL” This jealousy has not yet disappeared. See Town Council remarks. “This port being the chiefe port of all Scotland, the commissioners, out of a willingnesse to have a particular eye upon the transacting of things, have therefore made election of it for theyr particular residence.

“The towne of Dunbarre, or village rather (for all the townee of Scotland, unless the burgh townes, deserve noe other appellation, did not use the custome of speech give them a biger title), is a fisher towne, famous for the herring fishing, who are caught thereabout, and brought thither, and afterward made, cured, and barrelled up either for merchandize, or sold and vended to the country people, who come thither farre and neere at the season, which is from about the middle of August to the later end of September, and by greate quantityes of fish, which they carry away, and either spend them presently or els salt and lay up for the winter provision of theyr familyes. The trade here is little els but salt, which is brought hither and layd up, and after sold for the fishing; the people of these parts who are not fishermen, employing themselves in tillage and in affaires of husbandry. But yett the conveniency of an indifferent good harbour and landing-place hath occasioned the plaoedng of a wayter here, not only for preventing any goods from being brought privately on shoare, but alsoe to looke backward as farre as Eyemouth.

“On the other side of the port (but of the same side of the Firth) is Elphiston, a small towne, where there is pretty store of .greate coale shipped for beyond the seas. And although there bee never a vessel belong to this place, yett the Dutch mosly, and some others, choose to lade there because of the goodness of the coale and its measure. The river here being narrowe, the waiter on the opposite side take care as well as aocom.pt of what is shipped here.

“The port of Dundee comes next in view, which is a pretty considerable place, lyeing by the mouth of the river Tay, which, springing out of the mountaynes of Albany, and running through the fields, at length spreading itself into a lough full of islands, and afterwards constnictiog itself, taketh in Amund (a river of Athol), passed on to Dunkell, and thence by Scoone maketh its way into the German Ocean. The towne of Dundee was sometime a towne of riches and tifade, but the many recontres it hath nuett with all in the time of domestick comotions, and her obstinacy and pride of late yeares rendring her a prayer to the soldier, have much shaken and abated her former grandeur; and notwithstanding all, shee remaynes still, though not glorious, yett not contemptible. The trade of this place inward is, from Norway, the couutrey Holland, and France; and outward, with salmon and pladding. Here is a collector, a cheoquer, and five wayters constantly reside here, and the rest are bestowed in the member ports, which are: —

“St Johnstons (or Perth), an handsome walled towne, with a cittadell added thereunto of late yeares, lyeing a good way up the river Tay, where there is a wayter alwayee attending, not so much because of any great tradeing there, as to prevent the carreing out wools, skyns, and hide, of which comodityes greate plenty is brought thither out of the Highlands, and there brought up and engrossed by the Lowlandmen.

“The port of Aberdeene lyes next northward, being a very handsome burgh, seated at the mouth of the river Donne, and is commonly called the New towne, for distinguishing it from another towne heard by, erf the same name, but more antiquity, lying at the mouth of the river Dee, some a mile distant from the New towne, and is the chief academie of Scotland. This being a place more for study than trade, hath willingly resigned her interest that way, unto the new towne, which is noe despicable burgh, either for building or largenesse, having a very stately mercat place, sundry houses well built, with a safe harbour before it for vessells to ride in. The trade of this place (as generally all over Scotland), is, inwards, from Norway, Eastland, Holland and France; and outwards, with, salmon and pladding, camodityes caught and made Hereabout in a greater plenty than any other place of the nation whatsoever.

“The last port northerly is Inverness, lyeing at the head of the Frith of Murray, not farre from Loquh Nesse, where the towne is a small one, though chiefe of the whole north, and would be yett worse, were it not for the large cittadell built there of late yeares. This port hath for its district all the harbours and creekes of the shires of Murray, Ross, Southerland, and Caithness, with the isles of Orkney; in which, although there bee many large rivers which, lisedng in the hills, runne downe into the sea, and the oceane hath indented many more creeks and inietts, with its stormy waves still beateing on the shore, yett few of them are serviceable, and those few much too bigge for any trade that is or may be expected in these parts. For as the roughness of the sea and weather lye constantly on the east of them, so on the west they have the hills for theyr portion. The inhabitants beyond Murray land (except in the Orkneys) speak generally Ober Garlickh or highlands, and the mixture of both in Inverness is such that one halfe of the people understand not one another. The trade of this port is onley a coast trade, there being noe more than one single merchant in all the towne, who brings home sometimes a little timber, salt, or wine. Here is a collector, a checque, one wayter, who attends here, and lookes (as occasion serves) to Garmouth and Findome in Murray-land, two small places, from whence some 60 lasts of salmon in a yeare are sent out, for which salt is brought in from France, and sometimes a small veseell comes in from Holland or Norway.

“In the shire of Rosse there are only two ports, the one called Cromarty, a little towne in a bottome, with one of the delicatest harbours reputed in all Europe, the tide comeing in a greate depth betwixt two stately rockes (called the Sooters), through which the water passes into a large bay, where the greatest shipps of burden may ride in safety; and the other Tayne, a small towne lyeing neere the mouth of a river of that name To the former of these nothing comes more than a little salt to serve the country, and to the other it may bee a small barke once in a yeere from Leith, to fetch deales, which are brought down thither from the hills.”

Richard Franck.

Another interesting traveller is Richard Franck, born in 1642. He died in 1708. His first acquaintance with Scotland was made as a trooper in the army of Cromwell in 1650. It was probably in 1656 or 1657, however, that ha made the north tour of which his “Memoirs” is the record.

The book is in the form of a dialogue between Amoldus (Franck himself) and Theophuus, which is resolutely maintained without a break throughout their tour. Beginning with a discourse on the glories of creation, on man’s place in the general order, and the effects of Adam’s first sin, the interlocutors (at the fifteenth page) at length propose the northern journey; and the remainder of their dialogue is made up of rambling talk on angling, Scottish scenery, and of theosophic disquisition.

“In the next place, we are to consider the merchants and traders in this emenent Glasgow, whose store houses and ware houses are stuffed with merchandize, as their shops swell big with foreign commodities, and returns from France, and other remote parts, where they have agents and factors to correspond, and inrich their maritime ports, whose charter exceeds all the charters in Scotland, which is a conciderabie advantage to the city-inhabitanoe, because blest with privileges as large, nay, larger than any other corporation. Moreover, they dwell in the face of France, and a free trade, as I formerly told you. Nor is this all, for the staple of their country consists of linens, friezes, furs, tartans, pelts, hides, tallow, skins, and various other small manufactures and commodities, not comprehended in this breviat. Besides, I should remind you, as they naturally super-abound with fish and fowl; some meat does well with thear drink. And so give me leave to finish my discourse of this famous Glasgow, whose ports we relinquish to distinguish those entertainments of Dunbarton, always provided we scatter no corn".

He says, among other things: —“The famous Lough-Ness, be much discoursed for the supposed floating island, for here it is if anywhere in Scotland [some say Loch Lomond], nor is it any other than a natural plantation of seges and bulrushes matted and knit so close together by natural industry, and navigated by winds that blow every way, floates from one part of the loch to the other of the surface of the solid deeps of the small medi-terrane; and here it is, in these slippery streams, that an English ship, by curious invention, was hailed over the mountains to this solitary Lough; brought hither on purpose to reclaim the Highlander.”

“If so, it’s strange that a vessel of ner forse should leap out of the ocean, and over the hills, to float in a gutter surrounded with rocks.”

“Not so strange as true, for here she is.”

“Was there a possibility of her sailing from, the citadel to this eminent Lough Ness, when a boat of ten tun can’t foroe her passage half way up the river? This looks romantick beyond the ingenuity of art, or possibility of invention.”

“First you must conclude no vessel, without a miracle, could remove herself so far from sea; and Tie assure in this here’s nothing miraculous. Then you are to oondder that so eminent a ship could never shove hersdf to reach this limit, as extends from the Orchean seas to this obscure Lough Ness, without probable endeavours, and very considerable assistance. Lastly, to admit of a violent motion, were a kind of madness; because to impose a contradiction upon the design.”

“And this is that famous and renouned Lough Ness (Loemon excepted), inferiour to none in the kingdom of Scotland; whose streams are strewed with eel and trout, whilst her deeps are saluted with the rase of salmon; whose fertile banks and shining sands are hourly moistned by this mediterrane; which I fancy is beseiged with rooks and mountains; whilst her polite shores are frozen in winter, by the frigid lungs of blustring Boreas, that perplexes her banks, and masquerades her rocks with' a cristalline hue of polished ice. Where the Tritons and Sea-nymphs sport themselves on the slippery waves, sounding an invasion to her moveable inmate; supposed by some, the floating island.”

“Do these fair mountains that interdict the dales, survey the forcible streams of Inverness?”

"Yes, surely, these torrents, which you now discover, frequently wash the walls of Inverness (a derivative from Lough Ness), at the west end whereof stands a diminutive castle, about a mile distant from that magnificent citadel, that subjects those precarious Northern Highlanders. This Inverness, or model of antiquity (which we now discourse), stands commodiousiy situated for a Highland trade; defended with a weather-beaten tottering wall, that’s defaced with age and the corruptions of time, where yet there remains two parish-churches. But I remember a third, that was a kind of a cathedral or collegiat-church, that now, like old Troy, sleeps in dust and ashes, as part of the walls do, charging time and neglect with their tottering decays.”

“North and by east, near the forcible streams of the Ness, stands the fortress, or pentagon, drawn out by regular lines, built all with stone, and girt about with a graft, that commodes it with a convenient harbour.”

“The houses in this fair fortress are built very low, but uniform; and the streets broad and spacious, with avenues and intervales for drilling of foot, or drawing up horse.”

“I must confess, such and so many are the advantages and conveniencies that belong to this citadel, it would be thought fabulous, if but to numerate them; for that end I refer my self to those that have inspected her magazines, provideres, harbours, vaults, graifs, bridges, sally-ports, cellars, bastions, horn-works, redoubts, counterscarps, &c. Ocular evidence is the best judg, and gives the plainest demonstration; which, without dispute, will interpret this formidable fortress a strength impregnable; and the situation, as much as any, promises security, by reason it's surrounded with boggy morasses; standing in swamps, on an isthmus of land, that divides the Ness from the Orchean Seas.”

“Yet here is one thing more among our northern novelties very remarkable; for here you shall meet with a wooden bridg to convoy you over the rapid Ness; but certainly the weakest, in my opinion, that ever stradled over so strong a stream. However, it serves to accommodate the native, to those pleasant and fragrant meadows, north and north-west, that direct to the demolishmeifts of the Castle of Lovet, near to which stand the antiquities of Brawn, planted upon the brow of a considerable bank, that hangs, one would think, o’re a spacious river, above all in Scotland, replenished with salmon; whose numbers are numberless, if not improper to say so; and careless of their lives, they cast them away.”

“Here’s another Hellespont; must we cross this also?”

“Yes, surely, we must cross this rugged ferry.” This was at Inverbreakie. Here, he says, “the natives assert there are no mice or rats in Ross-shire, and so fond are they of this idea that they transport the earth of Ross in to most other parts of Scotland, persuading themselves that if they do but sprinkle it in the fields, fens, moores, mountains, morish, or boogy grounds the very scent of it will force the rats to become exiles. This odd kind of creed I had when resident among them, yet to the best of my observation I never saw a rat, but for mice there is great pleanty, that were they a commodity, Scotland might boast on’t.”

The next curiosity is in the country of Southerland. Crossing from Tain to Dornoch, he travelled down Strathnavar, where, he says, “a rude sort of inhabitants dwell (almost as barbarous as canibals), who, when they kill a beast boil him in his hide, make a caldron of his skin, browis of his bowels, drink of his blood, and bread and meat of his carcase; knowing no better method of eating.”

This traveller returned south by Aberdeen, and Edinburgh, and, although mixed up with fantastic writing, he gives a considerable amount of information.

Thomas Kirke.

The next I shall notice is Thomas Kirke, a Yorkshire esquire, who travelled in the year 1677. He penetrated as far north as the Orkneys, visiting Banff, Elgin, and Inverness on his way. His accounts are very prejudiced indeed, and far from complimentary. Of Edinburgh he says: —“Their cities are poor and populous, especially Edinburgh, their metropolis, which so well suits with the inhabitants that one character sketch will serve them both, namely high and dirty. Their castles of defence in this country are almost impregnable; they are built on high and almost inaccessible rocks, only one forced passage up to them; so that few men can easily defend them. Some few houses there are of later erection that are built of better form, with good walls and gardens about them; but their fruit rarely comes to any perfection. The houses of the commonalty are very mean, mud wall and thatch at the best, but the poorer sort live in such miserable huts as ever I beheld. The habit of the people is very different, according to the qualities and places they live in as lowland or highland men. The lowland gentry go well enough habited, but the poorer sort go almost naked, only an old cloak or part of their bed cloathes thrown over them. The Highlanders wear slashed doublets, commonly without breeches, only a plaid tied about their waists and thrown over their shoulders, with short stockings to the gairting place, their knees and part of their thighs being naked. In one side of their girdle they stick a durk or knife about a foot or half a yard long, very sharp, and the back of it is marked with divers notohes wherein they put poison; on the other side a brace of brass pistols. They also add a sword if they can afford it.

The people are vain, arrogant, vain-glorious boasters, bloody, barbarous, and inhuman butchers. Couzenage and theft are in perfection amongst them, and they are perfect English haters. They show their pride in exalting themselves and depressing their neighbours. The nobility and gentry lord it over their poor tenants, and use them worse than galley-slaves. They are ail bound to serve them, men, women, and children. The first fruit is always the landlord s due* Those of his name who are inferior to him must all attend him (as he himself must do his superiors of the same name), and all of them attend the chief. If he receives a stranger, all his train must be at his back armed as foredaid; if you drink with them in a tavern you must have all this rubbish with you; and if you offend the laird his durk shall soon be sheathed in your body. Every laird of note hath a gibbet near his house, and has power to condemn and hang any of his vassals.” He also says : —“Music they have, but not the harmony of the spheres, but loud temeran noises like the bellowing of beasts; the loud bagpipe is their chief delight, stringed instruments are too soft to penetrate the organs of their ears, that are only pleased with sound of substance.

“The highways in Scotland are tolerably good, which is the greatest comfort the traveller meets with in amongst them. They have no Inns but change-houses, poor small cottages, where you must be content to take what you find. The Scots gentlemen commonly travel from one friend’s house to another, so seldom make use of a change-house.”

Kirke travelled north by Dundee. “Here,” he says, “we took a footman along with us for a guide, it being the custom in these parts to travel on hired horses, and they send a footman along with them to bring them back again. This footman serves as guide all the way, and when you alight he takes care of the horse. They will undertake to run down the best horse you can buy in seven or eight days. They run by the horse’s side all the way, and travel thirty or forty miles a day with ease. You may have a horse and guide for two pence a mile.”

Passing by Aberdeen and Forres, he visited Lord Moray at Damaway Castle, where his lordship supplied them with sack and claret, for which, he says, we had reason to remember him. We had twenty-eight miles from his house to Inverness, and though we were very few and the evening coming on, yet he never invited us to stay with him; so we ventured on, but before we had rode half a mile I trusted myself to my servant’s care, being unfit to take care of. myself, and the man and I were both left to the mercy of a barbarous country. We, however, managed to get to Inverness about two o’clock, failing to get the ferry at Ardersier on account of the ferryman bedng an the other side.” He notices Castle Stuart, and also the salt water mill at Petty, crossing by a bank a quarter of a mile long, in the middle of which was a pair of flood-gates, whereby the dam was filled by the tides and supplied the mill at low water; and although it was only the 22nd of June, he observed snow on the hills. He describes Inverness very much as other travellers. He undertook the journey to Orkney by a yacht, which formerly belonged to the King, and now to a nobleman. After a rough voyage, they arrived at Orkney. He describes the Orkneys at some length, and on his return journey he visited Tain, and which he also describes. Leaving Tain, he came to a ferry called Cromarty. He says: —It is a fine harbour; on the north side is my Lord Tarbet’s house and several preetty sites along. Here is a very bad boat; we had like to be caste away, and it was a great mercy we ever came to land again. Six miles farther we crossed the ferry at Ardersier in a good boat.” He passed south by Aberdeen and Glasgow, and on to Ireland.

William Lithoow.

I may here mention a fantastic writer and traveller, a native of Ayrshire. He had made two voyages to Orkney and Shetland in his youth, and afterwards travelled over a great part of Europe, Asia, and Africa. In his later years he, after his return home, in 1627, revisited the Highlands. His first stay was with the 'Marquis of Hamilton in Arran, which he extols in no measured language.

Returning to the mainland, he landed in Galloway. Of the wool in this country he says it is nothing inferior to that of Biscay, in Spain, providing they had skill to weave and labour it as they should. “ Nay, the Calabrian silk had never better lustre nor softer grip than I have touched the growing wool on sheep’s back; and the mutton thereof excellest in sweetness.”

He says: —“The length of the kingdom lieth north and south, that is, between Duncan’s Bay Head and afore said Mull of Galloway, being distance p. 'rectum leineam' (which my weary feet have trade over from point to point) to three hundred and twenty miles, which I retaken to be four hundred and fifty English miles; confounding here by the ignorant presumtion of blind ocemo-graphers, who in their maps make England longer than Scotland, when contrary-wise Scotland outstrips the other in length, a hundred and twenty miles. The breadth, I grant, is narrower than England. Yet extending between the extremities of both coasts in divers parte to sixty, eighty, and a hundred miles, but because of the sea engulfing the land and cutting it into so many angles, making so many great lakes, bays, and dangerous firths on both sides of the kingdom, it cannot be certainly fixed.”

He says that Loch Long and Loch Ness are the greatest fresh water lakes. Of Loch Ness he says:—“The river whereof that graces the pleasant and commodious situation of Inverness no frost can freeze, the property of which water will quickly disolve any hard congealed lumps of frozen ice, be it on man, beast, stone, or timber. The third and beautiful soil is the delectable planure: of Joray, thirty miles long and six in breadth, whose comely grounds enriched with corns, planting, pasturage, stately dwlleings, over faced with a genecrous Octamian gentry, and topped with noble Earl, its chedf patron, it may be called a second Lombardy, or pleasant meadow of the north. But now leaving prodigals to their purgatorial postings, I come to trace Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness, soils so abundant in all things fit to illustrate greatness, embelish gentry, and succour commons that their fertile goodness far exceeded my expectation, and affability of the better sort of deservings; being all of them the best and most bountiful Christmas keepers (the Greeks excepted) that ever I saw in the Christian world. ’ Forsaking Caithness, I embraced the trembling surges (a,t Duncansbay Head) of struggling Neptune, which ingorgeth Pentland or Pictland Firth, with nine contrarious tides: each tide overwarting another with repugnant courses, have such violent streams and combustious waves, that if these dangerous births be not rightly taken in passing over, the passengers shall quickly lose sight of life and land for ever; yea, one of these tides is so forcible, at the back of Stromaii, that it will carry any vessel backward, in despite of the winds, the length of its rapid current. This dreadful frith is in breadth, between the continent of Caithness and the isle of South Ranaldshaw in Orkney, twelve miles, and I denote this credibly, in a part of the north-west end of this gulf there is a certain place of sea where these distracted tides make their rencountering rendezvous, that whirleth ever about, cutting in the middle circle a sloping hole, with which if either ship or boat shall happen to incroach, they must quickly eiter throw over something into it, as a barrel, a piece of timber, and such like, or that fatal curipns shall then suddenly become their swallowing sepulchre, a custom which those inhabiting Caithness and Orkneys have herefore observed.”

Coming somewhat Later down, we have such travellers ab Dean Munro, who wrote an account of the Western Isles; Martin; Burt, go well known to you all; Ray, the volunteer with the Duke of Cumberland; Pennant, Dr Johnson, and many others, each in his own way most interesting and instructive; but time will not permit me to take them up to-night. I shall therefore content myself with noticing three other travellers, who, as they travelled through Ross-shire and make reference to the Black Isle, may be more interesting to you—I mean Bishop Pococke, Bishop Forbes, and Macculloch.

Bishop Pococke.

The first of the travellers before mentioned was Pococke, Bishop of Meath, in Ireland. He travelled much, in the East, in Egypt and Palestine, and it is amusing to find him comparing views in Scotland to portions of the Holy Land. Thus, he compares Dingwall to Jerusalem, about as unlike districts as you could well imagine.

He visited Scotland in 1747, and again in 1750. Travelling by the West Coast, he visited Iona. Travelling through Lough Abber, he passed down by General Wade's road to Fort-Augustus, where he notes the copper mines on the way, “which are rich, and it is said there is some gold in the ore.”

The idea of great mineral wealth in the Highlands was almost a craze with the speculators in the last century, and companies were formed to work silver and lead, iron and copper. The remains of these workings are to be found in Strathspey, Invergarry, Bonawe, Gairloch, Stray in Strathgiass, Strontian in Argyleshire, where I have myself seen hundreds of men working. Needless to say, none of these ventures have turned out a success. For though undoubtedly all these metals exist in the Highlands, yet not in paying quantities.

Passing Glenmoriston, Bishop Pooocke notes the existence of a very fine linen factory, built out of the forfeited estates. “They teach 40 girls for three months to spin, then take in fourty more; they buy flax and employ six looms. They buy yam also from the country people, who raise a large quantity of it. It [the factory] consists of the principal building, and an office for the manufacturer on each side. There are two more. One at Loch-carron, the other at Loch Broom, both on the west.” He might have added Inverness, and Spinningdale in Sutherland.

The Bishop devotes a few sentences to the town, of Inverness. After referring to the beauty of the situation, he says: —“It is a pretty good town, of two streets. They [the people] have trade in imports, and an export of salted salmon, caught in the river Beauly and also near the town in the river Ness. They had an export of malt to Holland, but it is at an end, and all the malt houses all in ruins.” These malt houses and breweries remained till well into the present century. I can myself recollect the remains of four or five, the last one in operation being on the site of the present Free High Church.

He further says: —“The salt salmon was sent to London, thence exported to the East Indies.”

The Bishop went to see the new fort, in process of construction on the sandy point opposite Fortrose. It was began in 1747, and the Bishop was shewn over it by General Skinner, who designed it. He was to have built it at Inverness,’ but the Magistrates were so exhorbitant in their demands that the Duke of Cumberland became annoyed, and had it built on the present site The Bishop passed north by Beauly, and on to Dingwall, which he describes as one long street, and says “they have some linen factories here.”

Going by Tain, he passed Rosehall, and by Loch Shinn to Durness and Cape Wrath, returning by Tongue. He says: — “The people here live a very hardy life, principally on milk, curds, whey, and a little oatmeal, especially when they are at the sheals in the mountains with their cattle, in June, July, and August. Their best food is oat and barley cakes, a porridge made of oatmeal, kail, and sometimes a piece of salt meat in it, is their top fare. They are mostly well bodied men of great activity, and go the Highland trot with wonderful expedition.

“Leaving Tongue, we come to the seat of Lord Reay, where the late Lord had made a handsome terrace, a bowling green, between the house and the bay, and a kitchen garden behind the house, planted with all kinds of fruit except peaches. Apricots, plums, cherries, and apples are planted against the walls, and in the middle of the garden is a pillar entirely covered with dials. There are large plantations of beech, elm, ash, sycamore, and some other quicken or mountain ash.” It is worthy of observation that the Bishop notes at almost every gentleman’s seat the well-stocked gardens.

Visiting Thurso, he passed over to Stromness in Orkney, of which he gives an amusing account. He says: —“It is about half a mile in length, on the side and foot of a hill on the sea, but very irregularly built. They are all, except on factor, publicans and shop-keepers. They are above 200 families in the town. The women are great knitters. Most ships going northward and westward touch here, but the chief are four large ships which go every May to Hudson’s Bay with all kinds of sortments of goods, and bring back hovers’ skins for hats and Martains for muffs and tippets, which are bought only by the sailors, and sell here for about 5s a piece. The principal trade of the country is at this place, which consists of fish-odl, salt beef, and butter. They also send out oatmeal, malt, hams, dried geese, tallow, coddling, skins of calves and rabbits and foxes, goose feathers, coarse friezes, fine stockings, knit gloves, and linen. They have apples and pears against the walls, and say they will not grow above the walls.” He visited Kirkwall, which he describes as pleasantly situated on a flat near the beach, about a mile long, ill-built, and streets paved with irregular flags.” The Provost visited him, and offered him the freedom of the town, but he could not wait to receive it.

He says: “The wives and daughters of more of the better sort are of the Church of England, and do not go to the kirk, but read prayers to themselves at home, and I found it would have been very agreeable to them if I could have stayed there some days.”

Keith, in his history, says that the people in these islands would not at first attend the service of the new religion. He says there were six gentlemen of this island in the rebellion in 1746. The population was 33,800. They have taken to sea service; their genius lies entirely to navigation. They drees like seamen, and never in the Scotch dress, except that the women wear the plaid like the hood. There is now no Norse or Norwegian spoken, but all English with \he Norwegian accent.”

Going south, he passes through Cromarty, which he praises, and tells of the fine harbour. “Their trade," he says, “is only accidental from such ships as touch there, except that three or four ships come in a year from London with groceries, hops, etc. They prepare some flax, and spin much more, which they sell to the company in Edinburgh. They had a herring fishery, but since it has failed they apply very little to fishing. To the east a hill covered with com rises, like Mount Olivet over Jerusalem.” (Every now and then the good Bishop sees something that reminds him of Jerusalem and Palestine).

On his way south from Beauly, Inverness, he crossed at Fort-George to see Fortrose. He describes the Cathedral. He says: “Fortrose is a poor, small town, but beautifully situated on a fine flat spot of ground under the hill. They have some little manufacture of linen yarn, and a small fishery.”

Re-crossing the ferry, he visited Kilravock, and so passed on to the south via Elgin, Aberdeen, Perth, and Edinburgh.

This is a most comprehensive tour, and is full of accurate and interesting observations, and he especially notes the fine orchards and rare trees; for instance, at Scone he notes arbor-vitae cypress, 2 feet diameter at the bottom. He also speaks in raptures of the fine trees at Taymouth, and Blair, and Glands, where he describes an avenue three-quarters of a mile long consisting of four or five rows of trees; the first row of firs and the second of lime trees. At the latter place he says the fields are divided by rows of trees, after the manner of St James’s Park, and have a very grand appearance. How different from Dr Johnson, who only saw and moralized on people, and was not a lover of nature, nor was of a scientific turn,

Bishop Forbes.

The next is Bishop Forbes, who was a Scotchman, and an Aberdonian, yet I rank him as one of the most interesting travellers that visited the Highlands in the last century. He was an intense Jacobite, and prepared that most interesting work, “The Lyon in Mourning,” while on his journey through the Highlands in 1761 and 1770. He was elected Bishop of Ross and Caithness in 1762, and immediately after set out with Mrs Forbes to visit his diocese, confirming no less than 616 people on his tour.

Leaving Leith, he crossed in a pinnace to Kinghom, thence travelled in a four-wheel chaise, at 1s per Scotch mile, via Perth, Dunkeld, and so on to Inverness. He gives an interesting account of his approach to Inverness. “Coming over the hill above the town at Leys,” he says, “though you see the ruinous fort and tops of the steeples at some small distance, yet you see not the town of Inverness till you be almost close upon it, and then the river Ness, abounding with salmon and trout, appears, with a bridge of seven arches over it, which has a prison or pit in one of its pillars that can contain twelve people to lie in it.” He arrived at Inverness, and set up at Mrs Mackinnon’s, the best tavern in the town. The Bishop tells of wonderful strawberries which, grow in Slockmuich, also that there is always “clean salmon to be got in the Ness,” and that in Inverness “you have the best strong ale for nought,” and the “worst for money.”

On the occasion of the visit of Queen Mary, in 1588, the Provost, Rose by name, went out to meet the Queen, and addressed her in the following laconic speech: — ‘Your Grand-sires, Goodeesires Majesty/' was welcome to this town of tree, and so are you or ye.” He called it a town of tree because all the houses were of wood, two or three only excepted..

The Bishop left Inverness on July 9th, leaving Mrs Forbes behind, as he was not sure of the roads in Ross-shire; but he found the roads, though only natural, extremely good. He says:

“We chose to travel by Ardersier rather than Kessock, because of the fineness of the road, though the longest of the two. Passing by, he notes Castle Stuart, the new village of Campbelltown, so called from Campbell or Calder. He says: “This village being in the neighbourhood of the great fort, is much on the increase, and may yet come to rival Inverness. I fear the fulfilment of the Bishop’s prophecy is rather distant as yet. The Bishop’s crossing was somewhat slow, as the boat could not take over the passengers and chaise at one trip; but having got across, he set up at the house of Kenneth Matheson, one of the best taverns I have ever been in, and the readiest service; for though they knew not of our coming, they had a genteel and plentiful dinner on the table in a very short time, with a glass of good claret, at two shillings per choppin bottle,” and the Bishop naively notes: “But I found out that Matheson imported it himself so as to pay no duty.”

Speaking of Fortrose, he says: “Fortrose has one of the most charming situations I ever beheld, in view of the Moray Frith up and down, and of Inverness, at the foot of rising ground enlivened with the rays of the sun every day of the year, from the rising of the same to the going down thereof, whereby it is surrounded up to the top of the hill with the most fertile fields, which laugh and sing in the verdant and golden robes of richest com.” The Bishop entertained many friends, and went to see everything remarkable about the town. He visited St Boniface’s Well, the Dovecote Well, and the Doupach Well, “a most plentiful spring of the finest and coolest water, so that Fortrose is one of the best watered places in the known world.” The Bishop says his bill at Fortrose was very moderate: “With vails it amounted only to 2 15s 4d, though I had several persons dining and supping with me, seven or eight dishes of the best meat on the table at once, and drinking good claret, white wine, and punch, besides two servants and three horses.” I suspect Mr Matheson of Channonry was not the only one that imported direct, so as to save the King trouble.

Leaving Fortrose, the Bishop went to Raddery and Killumi, thence to Bennetsfield, whence he saw Culloden and the Inverness Frith. He says of Munlochy Bay: “Running at high water two miles up the bay, into which a vessel can roll without masts or rigging, and be quite safe on clay and sand, and land locked” He notes two com mills driven by salt water in Munlochy Bay. He also notes the fine fruit gardens at Allangrange. Mr Matheson made the Bishop a present of a fine long staff, with a head and two faces, curiously cut by himself with a knife. This style of walking-stick seems to have been affected about this time, for we find a similar staff, which Prince Charlie had with him, was sold at Culloden sale, a few months ago, at 150, and afterwards presented to the Queen. In the Prince’s case, the carving represented two faces, Wisdom and Folly.

Passing on, the Bishop visited Belmaduthy, Allangrange, and Kilcoy. He says of Kilcoy : “It is an old strong tower and a most amiable seat, with two gardens, with the frith of Beauly under your eye. The Bishop visited Ord, Bralian Castle, Kinkell, and crossed the Conon by boat at Scuddel, and so to Dingwall. He visited Cadboll, and confirmed Lady Cadboll, and performed service in the diningroom. This was the first time that ever “England's Book of Common Prayer ” had been used in Cadboll’s house, he being so keen a Scotsman that he would have nothing to do with England at all, insomuch that he was for dissevering the two kingdoms altogether in every respect, and for having a king over Scotland alone independent of England, and that the English have a king for themselves.

The Bishop continued his journey on to Tain, passing over “one of the pleasantest roads I ever travelled over, and then a green plain of three miles and about nine miles in circumference, upon which fine ground I saw 1000 sheep browsing.”

He left Tain on horseback. “as there is no chaise road through Caithness, but through Sutherland a chaise may drive very well.” He notes the fine gardens at Dunrobin; indeed, both Bishop Pococke and Bishop Forbes refer frequently to the well-stocked gardens and the variety of fruits everywhere in Scotland.

Staying at Clyne, four miles beyond Golspie, he arranged with Mr Innes, his companion, to start early and get to Helmsdale for their breakfast, which they did, arriving about 20 minutes past 6 a.m., where they got “fine great oates for their horses, and a good dram and a piece of bread for themselves.” Here the landlord, John Mitchell, a canty old man of 84, had been bred a gardener, “of which he shewed us a notable specimen, for he led us to a little snug garden, made out of the greatest wild with his own hand, in which we saw gooseberries, apples, the hundred-leafed rose, white lilies, and small nurseries of firs, ash, beech, oak, etc.

Arriving at Helmsdale Inn, the first house you come to in Caithness, his companion, Mr Innes, said to the landlady: “We have a good mind to breakfast here, if you can give us tea?” She answered very briskly: “Pray, sir, what kind of tea will you desire to have, Mr Innes?’' “Well, good woman, what kind can you give us?” “Well, sir, I can give you green tea, Rohea tea, or coffee".' Greatly surprised, they had a good breakfast even in the wilds of Caithness. The Bishop had been advised to take a wheat loaf and some good bread along with him, Caithness being so poor and despicable a country that I could have nothing to eat in it.” He found it bleak and mossy, yet one of the most plentiful and hospitable countries in the world.

The Bishop must have been a strong, able-bodied man, for he pushed right on and over the Ord of Caithness to Thurso; from Dunbeath he crossed the country by the Causey Mire, reaching Thurso late the same night—from Clyne to Thurso, 36 Scottish miles, or equal to 50 miles on a good plain road. He says: “Here is a good salmon fishing, and it is well known with two or three draughts of a net in the morning 2000 and some odd scores have been caught.” After describing the town and country, he sees some planting, “but very low and scrubby, or so dwarfish that it makes a very poor appearance, for it will by no means thrive in this place.” He also remarks: “Here are plenty fine gardens, and wall fruit cherries, and red currants. Here also we had plenty good wine and very fine strong ale.”

Returning by the Meikle Ferry, he had a strange illustration of the want of roads. “Seeing in front of the inn a fine gilded four-wheeled chaise, and well coloured with waxcloth, without company or servants, I begged to know the history of it. *Why" said the innkeeper, ‘the history of it is extremelv comical, so very diverting that you perhaps have not heard the like of it in all your travels. The chaise belongs to Lord Reay, who himself came with it in the ship to this place from your south country, and left it here to send a ship or some other vessel to take it about to his own castle at Tongue in Srathnaver, and there is no other drive for it in that country but only to the kirk of Tongue, about three-quarters of a mile.”

Returning south, he spent a night at Castle Leod, and another at the old Castle of Fairbum. It is interesting to note that all these old castles—Kilcoy, Kinkell, Castle Leod, etc.—were at that time occupied by their owners. He describes the gardens of Redcastle as abounding with rare fruits of all kinds.

On the 22nd of August he passed through Avoch, noting the kirk and the manse, and stayed over a Sunday at Fortrose, where he preached and confirmed 21 persons. He did not dine till after vespers. A number sat down to dinner in Mr Matheson s house, whereof sixteen were ladies. In the evening he visited Mr Wood, the minister of Rosemarkie, the first of three Woods who occupied the parish. The Bishop returned by Kessock, much pleased with his visit to the Black Isle. Before setting out he had been told that the people in these parts would curse him to his face, but he received every attention, and not one unbecoming word. After visiting the Falls of Foyers, he returned south via Aviemore, and so on to Leith.

Later on we have Johnson and Pennant, but time will not allow me to go further. Pennant is perhaps the most valuable of all as a book of reference, and would well repay a lengthened review. I shall therefore close these notes with some extracts from Maoculloch, who wrote some pungent criticisms on the Highlanders, which were bitterly resented.

He is, however, very complimentary to this district. He says: “When I have stood in Queen Street and looked towards Fife, I have sometimes wondered whether Scotland contained a finer view in its class. But I have forgotten this on my arrival at Inverness; and I will not say that I forgot Inverness when I stood on the shore at Cromarty, nor do I know now which to choose. Surely if a comparison is to be made with Edinburgh, excepting its own romantic disposition, the Frith of Forth must yield the palm to the Moray Frith, the surrounding country must yield altogether, and Inverness must take the highest rank. The mountains, as screens, are finer, more various, and more near; each outlet is different from the other, and each is beautiful, whether we proceed towards Fort-George, or towards Moy, or enter the valley of the Ness, or skirt the shores of the Beauly Frith, while a short and commodious ferry wafts us to the lovely country opposite, rich with woods, and country sites, and cultivation”. So far good, as a sample of the other side. “As to Nairn what can I say? They build ships in ditches and in the sand, and cut them out when ready. Part of the people speak Gaelic and the rest English, because it is the Highland boundary. The baker and the brewer are not so rich as at Inverness, and the attorney, being poorer, is probably a greater rogue. Those who trust to the apothecary, die of him, here as elsewhere. The old maids abuse their neighbours, and those who have the misfortune to come into the town get out of it again as fast as they can. What can Naim have done to deserve such a character?

These notes are not intended to give any connected history, but are merely extracts from the various travellers calculated to give you some idea of the impressions formed on their minds, and so throw a side-light on the state of. the country at the various times embraced.


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