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Deeside Tales
Note IX


“Clann-Fhiunnlaidh Bhraidh-Mh&rr,
Buidheann ceannsgalach, ard,
'Nuair a ghlaoidhte Adbhans ’s iad dh’cireadh.”

Clan Finlay of Braemar, a band noble and commanding; when the Advance is sounded, ’tis they would rise.
—Col. John Roy Stewart.

DURING the period with which “Deeside Tales” deals and for long before, the two ruling families in Upper Deeside were the Farquharsons and the Gordons. In popular language it is usual to speak of the former as a clan, but not of the latter; and historically there is ground for the distinction. The Farquharsons all along were more strictly Highland. They make their first appearance at the head of Dee, a district where the Celtic language and way of life prevailed, while the Gordons, though they owned lands as far up the valley as Abergeldie from the middle of the fifteenth century, were of an alien race. Their main possessions lay in the Lowlands, and at the height of their power they might be described rather as a confederation which had a considerable Highland following, than as a clan proper.

Purists might perhaps detect certain imperfections in the Farquharsons too, considered as a thorough-bred Highland clan. For one thing, the antiquity of most of the great c of the north and west, such as the MacDonalds, Mackays, Campbells, &c., is considerably greater. The Farquharsons do not figure prominently dll towards the end of the sixteenth century. Another point that claims notice is that in their own territory their name neither has, nor had, the preponderance that might be expected. In the Poll Book we have the names of practically all the inhabitants about 1696, and they are surprisingly varied. Besides those specially characteristic of the district, such as Coutts, Michie, or MacHardy, surnames of clans whose headquarters were elsewhere are found in abundance. MacLeans, MacRaes, MacDonalds, MacDougalls and many others had somehow made their way to the Braes of Mar, and remind us that the smaller tenants must have moved about within the Highlands and changed their landlords much more frequently than is sometimes supposed.

Thus the term "the Farquharsons” is a decidedly conventional expression. In saying that “three hundred of them joined Prince Charles and fought at Culloden,” nothing is implied as to their birth and blood relationship, though doubtless many did bear the name and many who did not would be proud to reckon themselves of the race of Finlay. What is meant is that they were tenants of Farquharson landlords or in some way allied with or dependent on them. The same state of matters would be found in greater or less degree in all the clans, each of which may be regarded in some respects as a regiment which recruited itself from any suitable quarter, according as the chief had land at his disposal.

In spite, however, of the presence of a large non-Farquharson element in the district—the explanation of which will presently be suggested—there is no sufficient reason to refuse, as some have done, to the Farquharsons the right of ranking as a clan. The truth is that clans were never legal institutions or susceptible of strict legal definition. For practical purposes the Farquharsons and their following were recognised as a clanned community. So much so, that the Privy Council, for instance, in 1672 held Invercauld responsible for the peaceable behaviour not only of his own tenants but of all “those persons of his name, descended of his family, wheresoever they dwell.”

As regards size and importance, the clan was not one of the largest, but it was high up in the secondary rank. Lord President Forbes of Culloden credits it sometime before the ’45 with being able to put 500 fighting men into the field. The figures for some of the others are: Campbells 3000, Macgregors 700, Grants 850, Mackintoshes 800, Macphersons 400, MacDonell of Glengarry 500, Seaforths 1000. There is a story told of the Farquharson of Monaltrie, who died in 1828, that “having been bred to the law in Edinburgh he was while there one of a party invited to meet the poet Bums. In the course of the evening, the poet happening to make some enquiries as to the position of his clansmen in the north, Mr. Farquharson was proceeding with characteristic modesty to represent them as a minor clan, when Bums interrupted him with ‘ Hold, sir; you have no reason to be ashamed of your clan; see that they have no reason to be ashamed of you.’”

The Earldom of Mar and the Farquharsons.— Before, however, the Farquharsons appeared on the scene at all and for two hundred years after, the chief potentates on the Upper Dee were the Earls of Mar. The relation between the two requires some explanation.

The history of this peat Earldom, which embraced lands on Donside as well (Kildrummy Castle being the chief fortress), leads back to the days of the Celtic kings. A Mormaer of Mar was present at the battle of Clontarf in Ireland in 1014 with a Scottish contingent, and the names of several of these Mormaers, who by and bye became known as Earls, have come down to us. Such names as Ruadri, Malcolm, Ego, Gillechrist, Morgund, which are extant in writs, show that the Earldom was slow to become Normanised. With its history during these early centuries, however, we are not concerned. About the end of the 14th century its vicissitudes began. The direct original line ended in a Countess. The notorious Alexander Stewart, illegitimate son of “ The Wolf of Badenoch ” and grandson of Robert II., seized her vi et amiis, and forced her to marry him and grant him a charter of her possessions. On his death in 1435 the Earldom fell into the hands of the Crown to the exclusion of the heirs of the original line. Sometimes the kings granted it to their sons or favourites, sometimes the Earls of Huntly had a spell of possession, but these giants were all temporary, and from 1502 to 1565 the title was in abeyance and the lands were administered as royal property.

These changes must have had important consequences for the population of Mar, and it is to the situation created by them that the rise of the Farquharsons is probably due. Had the Highlands of Deeside remained continuously under native Earls, ruling from their castles of Kildrummy and Kindrochit, it is difficult to see how any of their vassals could have grown so great as to rank as an independent clan on the territory of their own Superior. The absence, however, of a local chief would leave the field clear for some of the principal tenants to play the part There are grounds for believing, as we will show, that something like this was what really happened.

Origin of the Clan.—Turning first to the accounts of their origin given by the Farquharsons themselves, we find that the clan, like ail others, is well supplied with histories and genealogies of its early heroes. As usual with such accounts when they are submitted to critical examination, they turn out to be a compound of demonstrable error, possible or probable truth, and a residuum of proved fact, the whole being coloured with the obvious desire to make out an ancestry as ancient and honourable as possible. They have been ably dealt with in a series of papers in the Aberdeen Free Press* and shown to be mostly of late date and deficient in authority and credibility. In one particular, however, the accounts are in agreement, that the original progenitor of the family was one Farquhar, who belonged to the Shaw branch of the Mackintoshes, and came over from Rothiemurchus and settled in Braemar. From him the clan takes its designation Clann Fhearchair. This much may be accepted, but to the questions when this Farquhar lived or what was his position in his new country the answers are so wildly at variance that it is plain nothing authentic can be learned. According to one account he lived in the reigns of Robert II. and Robert III. (1371-1406), and “had considerable possessions in Braemar”; according to another he “came over to Mar and possessed himself of the Braes thereof” about the time of the above-mentioned Alexander Stewart (1435), and was made Baillie and Chamberlain of the Earldom after it was annexed by the Crown. Popular tradition has quite a different story to tell. Farquhar Cam (gleyed Farquhar) was a poor basket maker who made his living by selling the produce of his labour in the braes of Angus and bringing home meal in exchange. An unsympathetic Macgregor narrative* relates that he and his sons were little better than caterans, but admits that somehow or other they prospered and managed to get hold of Inverey, which was the foundation of their fortunes.

The original Farquhar, therefore, is a dim, uncertain figure. National and public records contain no mention of his name. This much, however, may safely be hazarded, that he was a man who in some way made his mark among his fellows; otherwise we should be at a loss to explain why his descendants should have chosen to be known by his Christian name, and to regard him as the founder of a new sept While recognising the difficulties and inconsistencies of the various traditions, we believe that it is reasonably probable that a Farquhar Shaw or Mackintosh did obtain some footing in Braemar under one or other of the Earls or the Crown, and left his affairs in such train that his successors were able to climb the ladder a few steps higher.

Finlay Mor.—The most famous of these, as all accounts unite in holding, was Fionnladh M6r. Finlay's relationship to Farquhar is variously stated. Some call him the grandson, some the great-grandson, and others a still remoter descendant. However this may be, the family had been rising in the meantime. His father is said to have acquired Invercauld by marrying the daughter and only child of the laird, who was at that time a Stewart Particulars as to Finlay’s own additions to his patrimony are wanting, but he is universally represented as having so strengthened and consolidated the clan that he may be regarded as its “virtual founder.” Certain it is that after his day it rather called itself Clann Fhionnlaidh than Clann Fhearchair. The genealogists say of him:—

“Findla, commonly called Findla More on account of his gigantic size and great strength of body, who was also a man of fine parts, remarkable bravery and fortitude, was killed at the battle of Pinkie, anno 1547. He accompanied the Earl of Huntly, who procured him the carrying of the banner royal. His body lies interred in the churchyard of Inveresk. The place is known to this day by the name of ‘The Lang Highlandman’s grave.’ His first son, William, succeeded, and of the other five since that time are descended the families of Monaltrie, Inverey, Craignite, Broughderg, Auchriachan, Finzean, Whitehouse, Allanquoich, Shanallie, CamdelL”

Till recently all that was known of Finlay depended on tradition. No contemporary evidence of any kind could be pointed to, even for his existence. This want, however, has now been supplied, and not only have we learnt much about him, but a considerable amount of information regarding Upper Deeside in his day is now available. The archives of Castle Grant give us our first reference. It appears that about 1527 a clan feud of more than ordinary violence had been raging between the men of Deeside and the Grants of Strathspey. There had been plundering and bloodshed on both sides (“truncacionem et depopulacionem hominum, ac asportacionem animalium, granorum rerumque aliarum”). The parties negotiated with each other like belligerent powers, and at Dalvorar in Strathavon a treaty of peace was ultimately signed. The first among the Deeside signatories is Finlay Farquharson. There can be no doubt that this is Finlay Mor. He is described in the deed along with the others, as tenant of the King’s lands in Strathdee. What lands he held is not stated. This deficiency, however, can fortunately be supplied from one of the recently published State papers. During the period 1435 to 1565 as already mentioned, the Earldom of Mar was generally in the hands of the Crown, that is to say, it was part of the Royal estate, and the rents of the lands were paid into die Exchequer. Turning to the' accounts for the year 1539 (Exchequer Rollsf we find not only a complete list of the King’s lands and rentals in Braemax, Strathdee, and Cromar, but also the names of all the tenants. Here again Finlay figures. He is returned as tenant of Invercauld, Keloch, Cluny, and the half of Inverey. There are a few other big holders. Thomas and Duncan Donaldson are tenants of Dalmore, Corriemulzie, Craggan, Wester Allana-quoich and part of Castleton. Unfortunately their surname is only a patronymic, and it is impossible to identify them, but they must have been substantial men. Stewarts were in Auchallater and Auchindryne, and other holdings. Further down the valley, the tenancies are more split up. Crathienaird has six tenants, Easter and Wester Micras nineteen. The list of course does not include the multitude of subtenants, with whom the Crown had nothing to do; they paid their rents to the crown holders.

The traditions, therefore, which represent the Farquharsons as being “in possession of the Braes of Mar” at this time exaggerate their position, and in two respects. In the first place, Finlay was no more than a crown tenant; and in the second, though he was evidently the principal one, there were many others, great and small, each with his own following of dependants. This being the state of matters, the reason why there should be such diversity of names in what was now or soon after “the Farquharson country” becomes clear. We may remark in passing that many of these smaller tenancies continued to exist as separate possessions for nearly two hundred years. In 1635 there were in Crathie alone eighteen different proprietors.

Finlay Mor, then, was a crown rentaller, a position which, as some have pointed out, did not make him in the eye of the law a “landed man.” He was in Invercauld, not of Invercauld. It is easy, however, to make too much of this. In the Lowlands the distinction would have been vital, but in the Highlands of the day it did not count for so much. The practical point to notice is that, though he may have held his lands by an inferior tenure, Finlay commanded the obedience of the people* who lived on them; they followed him in war and peace. As society existed in the Highlands then and for two hundred years after, a chief of some sort was indispensable, and Mar having lost its own Earls, Finlay (or some of his ancestors) was able to fill the vacancy.

Growth of the Clan.—He must have transmitted a considerable share of his ability to his posterity, for not long after his death the greater part of Braemar and Strathdee, with the exception of Glenmuick and Abergeldie, is found in their possession. The clan was to all intents and purposes formed, and when in 1565 the Earldom was restored to the Erskines, the heirs of the original line, the Farquharsons continued to hold their lands as vassals by duchas, a form of hereditary tenancy very characteristic of the Highlands and much beloved there. The first of the new Earls was guardian of James VI. in his minority, and regent of Scotland; his son was Treasurer; and they had large estates in the south. Thus their main interests lay outside the narrow circle of the Aberdeenshire mountains, and we may suppose that they were quite content to draw their rents there, and leave the management to the men on the spot In 1584, Donald Farquharson of Monaltrie was appointed by James VI. keeper of the Royal forests in these parts, and a few years later he is called chief of his clan, and ordered by the Privy Council to answer for their good behaviour. By about this time too, branches of the family had spread into the neighbouring parts of Banffshire, Perthshire and Forfarshire, and obtained a footing there, but with these cadet houses we are not here concerned.

As the descendants of Finlay extended their power and possession, clan sentiment grew up pari passu around the name of Farquharson. This is well illustrated in one of the “ genealogies,” which tells that the original Farquhar “had three sons, Donald, John, and Finlay; Patrick and James are said also to be his sons or at least his brethren. Of Patrick is descended the Patersons in the north ; and of James, who was called Don or Doun from his brown hair, are descended the Dons, Downies, and the Cowins.

Branches of the Clan.—Although the house of Invercauld ultimately acquired such preponderance in wealth and influence that it has become in popular parlance almost synonymous with the whole clan Farquharson, this was far from being the case in the earlier centuries. In fact, the clan was remarkable for the number of its separate branches. At first the position of Invercauld was no more than that of primus inter pares9 if indeed it was so high. The original estate of Invercauld was a comparatively small holding in the vicinity of the present mansion house, but the good management of successive lairds gradually surrounded this nucleus with important possessions, both to the east and west on Deeside and in Perthshire on the south.

Finlay Mor (c. 1484 - 1547) of Invercauld is said to have left seven sons by his two wives. One of the sons belonging to the first family obtained Craigniety in Glenisla, and severed his connection with Deeside. The eldest of the second family was Donald, who was laird of Castleton, Monaltrie, Tiliygarmonth in Birse, and Cennakyle and Ballatrach in Inchmamoch. He was apparently accounted the chief of the clan, and died about 1619. He had a large family, who, besides carrying on the direct line of Castleton-Monaltrie, became the founders or progenitors of the founders of many cadet branches, of which the most important were those of Whitehouse in Cromar, Finzean, Allanaquoich and Inverey. The Whitehouse family became extinct in the male line in 1896 only; Finzean is still happily flourishing; Allanaquoich disappeared in the 18th century. As stated in chap. xiiL, the Invereys were known as the MacHamish Farquharsons, their founder being James, son of Donald of Castleton. To this family belonged the Farquharsons of Auchindryne, Balmoral, and Tullochcoy. The last laird sold Inverey, Auchindryne and Balmoral to the Earl of Fife towards the end of the 18th century; Tullochcoy was parted with in 1772. The number of branches could be considerably increased by including the minor lairdships. Thus the idea of Clan Finlay as an organisation ruled by a single leader is quite erroneous; it was a confederacy of separate and independent interests which might or might not act together. As a matter of fact, they usually did.

The Invercauld Farquharsons were descended from Robert, second son of Finlay Mor, and younger brother of Donald of Castleton. If Finlay is to be called chief of the clan, and if the succession was determined by primogeniture, it is clear that the headship never rightly belonged to the Invercauld branch at all. The strict rule, however, gave place to practical considerations. By the time of Robert’s son John (died about 1635), the family had acquired such weight that its headship was tacitly acknowledged by the other branches.

The prosperity of this house, though it may have owed something to fortune, is sufficiently explained by the character of the lairds, especially Robert, second of the name, who died about 1655. While their neighbours were content to remain fighting Highland chieftains, they learnt to appreciate the value of money and to identify themselves with the more settled life of the Lowlands, where alone it could be made. This Robert marked out a line of policy which had a decisive effect on the subsequent fortunes of his family.

He was educated at the Grammar School of Aberdeen, where we find him in 1612 as one of the ringleaders in a revolt and “barring-out” organised by the boys against their masters. He acquired the estate of Cloak in Lumphanan and appears as a lender of monies to various lairds. He invested in the salmon fishings belonging to the Aberdeen Town Council, and was a member of the Committee on Loan monies and taxations for the shire. As a result of his financial transactions he became interested in the estate of Wardes in the Garioch, the laird of which, Sir John Leslie, had got entangled in a maze of bonds and borrowing which led finally to his having to part with the property, much against his will. Curiously enough, we may remark in passing, some years before Invercauld entered into possession a band of his relatives had descended upon the unfortunate Leslie and seized his house vi et artnis. It would appear that they were acting on behalf of the Earl of Mar, who probably had some bond on the estate. Leslie is found complaining to the Privy Council that the Farquharsons of Inverey, Finzean, Monaltrie, and others, to the number of 30 persons, “ came to the place of Wardes, brake all the lockes aff the yron yets in peeces, forciblie entered within the toure, and as yet maisterfullie keepes the same, and hes putt ane nombre of lawles Hieland men thairin who shoots voleyes of gunnis out at the windowis of the hous, so as nane dares pas by the same for feare of thair lyves.” After acquiring this estate, Robert of Invercauld is very commonly described as Farquharson of Wardes, and he is said to have been the first of his family or clan to use armorial bearings.

As a man of property he was all on the side of law and order and a keen enemy of “broken men.” Spalding tells that the Committee of Estates agreed with him “for a certain sum of money” to defend Angus, Meams, Aberdeen and Banff from the depredations of the Macgregor cater&ns, and that he effectually bridled them as long as the bargain lasted. Two other appearances which he makes in contemporary records point to the high local consideration in which he was held. During the height of the Montrose campaigns, the Earl of Mar was anxious that his important fortress of Kildrummy should not fall into unfriendly hands. There is a commission* of Sept., 1645, which begins:—“Obligatione and tie upon their trest freind, Robert Ferquharsoune of Invergald to the Earle of Mar and Lord Areskine touching the keeping and defending of thair house of Kildrummie.” And again, in the year after the battle of Dunbar, when the Royalists in the south were preparing to make one more effort for the King, Lord Erskine writes from Alloa to Invercauld requesting him to undertake the levying of the Earl’s northern vassals. The tone of the letter must have been flattering to his self-esteem. Some of the expressions Erskine uses are: “I am resolved to cast myself upon the counsel you gave me . . . the only invitation I had to follow this course proceeded from yourself ... I have told the King you are about to do this ... so committing the trust and care of all to your diligence, I, with your help, will putt home.” In a later hand there is a copy among the Invercauld papers with the laudatory phrases carefully underlined.

The most original step in the life of this highly successful laird—his course of action in the civil war—remains to be mentioned. Almost all the branches of the Farquharson name, like the Highlanders generally, took the Royalist and anti-Covenanter side, owing in some measure no doubt to their traditional connection with the Gordons, the Royalist leaders in the north. Whatever may have been the cause, Robert of Invercauld was more in sympathy with what may be called Lowland political views, and instead of embarrassing his affairs in fruitless campaigns with Huntly and Montrose (like Donald of Monaltrie, for example), he preferred to watch the struggle from his own fireside. The execution of King Charles brought him into line with the other Royalists of his clan, as the above mentioned letter of Erskine implies, and he was prepared to take the field, but the battle of Worcester put an end to all such attempts.

Prudence and good management continued to distinguish the Invercaulds. At the Revolution the laird was a minor, and did not join Dundee. About this time Wardes was sold, but other estates in Cromar and elsewhere were bought Within the lifetime of laird John (1672-1750) fell the two great Jacobite risings of the '15 and die ’45. The first of these was, as is well known, planned and initiated on Deeside; in fact, Invercauld’s house was for a time the headquarters of the great gathering of Jacobite lords and chiefs, with the Earl of Mar as leader. The Farquharson chieftains and the fighting tenantry were eager in the cause. But the laird’s cool commonsense was proof against the prevailing enthusiasm; he had no belief in the possibility of success, and was dead against the whole venture. As vassal of the Earl, however, he had to obey, and once engaged he played his part stoutly and skilfully. He was taken prisoner at Preston, but received a pardon on the ground that he had been forced into the rebellion.

If the prospects of success did not tempt him in 1715, still less had he any illusions in 1745. By this time he was an old man, and frankly on the Hanoverian side, but the sentiment of the clan was as Jacobite as ever; so he judged it best to slip off to Leith till the storm blew over, leaving the field clear for his nephew, Francis Farquharson of Monaltrie, “the Baron Ban,” who promptly raised a large contingent of the clansmen.

The last of the Farquharsons of Invercauld in the direct male line died in 1805. The titular chiefship of the clan then passed to the Farquharsons of Whitehouse, where indeed it had long lain as far as right of primogeniture was concerned; and on the death of Andrew Farquharson of Whitehouse in 1896, the family of Finzean became the representatives of the eldest male line of Donald of Castleton, eldest of the Deeside sons of Finlay Mor.

Notabilities of the Clan.—Though Clann Fhearchair enjoyed a high reputation for bravery and enterprise, it cannot be said that it produced any celebrities whose fame extended much beyond the north-east of Scotland. On the local sta^e, however, some of its leaders played a leading part in their day and generation, and a few of their names are not yet totally forgotten.

Donald Farquharson of Monaltrie was a keen Royalist and able soldier in the wars of the Continent While Huntly was in the field, Monaltrie was his right hand man, and the leader of his Highland following. He afterwards served in the Montrose campaigns as Colonel, losing his life in Aberdeen in 1645, two months after the magnificent victory of Inverlochy. Spalding speaks of him with warm affection, and Patrick Gordon’s elaborate sketch of his character in Britands Distemper presents the picture of an ideal cavalier and Highland chieftain. Brave to a fault, affable, modest, generous, and constant in his loyalty, “if the sad fate of his untimely death had not broke the chain of his virtues, he had assuredly been as great as he was good, and he had adorned nobility, nobility not him.” The local stories concerning him, which may be found in Grant’s Legends, mythopoeic as most of them evidently are, still delineate the same man as is seen in Gordon’s contemporary sketch. Among his own people he was known as DdmhnuU Og na h-Alba, in allusion to the story current on Deeside that when on a visit to England he had so impressed the Southrons that they called him u Donald of Scotland.”

After his death the leadership of the Deeside Highlanders under Montrose was taken up by William Farquharson of Inverey, commonly called William Maol (“bald”), who was quite as indefatigable a King’s man. He served all through the Montrose campaigns, and even joined the distracted rising led by Glencaim in 1652, by which time almost all the other Deeside partisans of the Stuarts had come to look upon resistance to Cromwell as hopeless.

His son and successor, John, the Black Colonel, is a well-known name. Having killed Gordon of Braichlie in 1666 he was outlawed, though it would appear that Gordon was really the aggressor, and thereafter lived an uneasy and more or less perilous existence. The surprising thing is that, in spite of his outlawry and his participation in the rising under Dundee, when he burned Mar Castle and ejected the Whig garrison, the family managed to keep hold of the estate. In the days of the Black Colonel and his son the prestige of the Invereys was at its height The Earl of Mar even wished that John of Invercauld and his men should serve under Peter of Inverey in the Jacobite army, a proposal which, it is needless to say, the pride of the bigger laird found totally unacceptable.

In contradistinction to the house of Invercauld, which, as we have pointed out, followed a policy peculiar to itself, the Farquharsons of Monaltrie, Inverey, Auchindryne, and Balmoral, some or all of them, answered every call on the Stuart behalf from the Trot of Turriff to Culloden; nor were those of Whitehouse, Allanaquoich and other minor families less forward, not to mention the branches in the adjoining counties. The verse of the Gaelic poet which stands at the head of this article says no more than the bare historical truth.

The story of the clan being thus for the most part a recital of its deeds of military prowess, the casual reader may be excused for exaggerating the importance of this feature of old Highland life. It is much to be regretted that, while authentic history is so voluble on the sturt and strife, it is almost entirely silent on the peaceful, every-day existence of the people. Nothing but a “drum and trumpet” history of the Farquharsons, or of Highland Mar in general, is possible, simply because any other kind of material for reconstructing the past is almost totally wanting. Yet after all, creachs and civil wars were not the staple business of life, nor was the Fiery Cross always flying from clachan to clachan. In the 17th and 18th centuries, at all events, long decades passed during which, apart from sporadic cateran outbursts, the clansmen tended their black cattle in the hills, and grew their patches of bere and oats as peacefully as their neighbours of the lowlands.

In this connection, another common misconception regarding the Highlanders may be mentioned in passing. The idea that they were cruel is as widespread as that they were incorrigibly lawless. The prevalence of this slander among Lowlanders and Englishmen is, no doubt, to be accounted for partly by the human weakness of believing the worst of an enemy, and partly by the fact that the Highlanders were made known to the outside world almost entirely by hostile observers—Government agents of various kinds, Covenanters, Whigs, and Hanoverians. Plenty of evidence could be adduced to show that the Highlanders conducted their warfare with as much humanity as was usual at the time, but one fact alone will be mentioned here, which of itself is perfectly conclusive as to the true character of the Highland soldier. When Highland regiments began to be raised for service under the British Crown in the Seven Years’ war and the war of the American revolution, the baselessness of the calumnies that had hitherto passed current was at once discovered, just as a closer acquaintance with the Boers has led to a similar revisal of opinion. It was found that these regiments were not merely distinguished for bravery (that was no more than every one expected), but that in humanity and self-command, and the virtues springing therefrom, they were a model to the army. “Their conduct and manners softened the horrors of war.” “The higher crimes were totally unknown among them: corporal punishment conveyed to their minds a greater degree of horror and shame than death itself.” “Their behaviour was exemplary, as they felt known to their comrades, and would return disgraced to their native glen, and bring dishonour on their families.” Such was the impression that the sons and grandsons of the wild Redshanks who had shaken George’s throne made on their contemporaries; and we may be sure that, as national manners change but little from one generation to another, the Redshanks themselves were essentially the same men.

The Farquharsons and Clan Chattan.—The strength of patriarchal and tribal sentiment in the Highlands is well illustrated in the case of the Farquharson and Clan Chattan, to which confederacy they considered themselves to belong in virtue of their descent from Alexander Ciar Mackintosh or Shaw. They owed of course no sort of feudal obedience to the Mackintoshes, but the ties of kinship were not forgotten. Down to the 17th century they often sign their names “Farquharson alias Mackintosh,” and there are several bonds of alliance in which they acknowledge the Mackintosh as their “natyff chieff.” More than once they gave Clan Chattan armed assistance. When young Inverey killed Braichlie and brought the whole race of Gordon about his ears, it was to the Mackintosh and not to Invercauld that he turned in his need,* and apparently not in vain. They even hunted out their Clan Chattan kinsmen in the far Hebrides. There is among the Invercauld papers a bond of alliance in which the parties are John Farquharson of Invercauld on behalf of the whole kin and surname on Deeside and Donald Schaw (also descended from Alex. Ciar Mackintosh) within the bounds of Inchegaull (Island of Lewis). The date is 1625 and the place Kirk of Kindrocht, Braemar. It narrates “that baith the saidis parteis has throche remotnes and distance of their dwelling places bein ignorant of otheris [each other], and seeing the saidis pairteis acknowledges themselves to be one blood and to be cum of one stock and race, therefore they for themselves and their kind bind themselves to seccour and defend each other in all honest causes.”

In the last two Jacobite risings the Farquharsons were either incorporated in the Clan Chattan brigade or acted along with it. The part played by Invercauld’s daughter, Lady Mackintosh, in die ’45 is related elsewhere.

The last Farquharson of Invercauld died in 1805, and with him the family became extinct in the male line, as already mentioned He left an only daughter. Some years before his death an arrangement seems to have been contemplated which would have re-united the sept with the parent clan. According to the late C. Fraser-Mackintosh, who had good means of knowing, “well-wishers of Clan Chattan had, even before marriageable age, suggested a suitable matrimonial alliance for this great heiress, but it came to naught” The favoured suitor was Lockhart Ross of Balnagowan, who on his marriage assumed the name of Farquharson.


 


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