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Gairloch in North-West Ross-Shire
Appendices G


RECORDS and EXTRACTS relating to Sir George Hay and the Manufacture of Iron.

Act anent the Making of Iron with Wood. This Act was probably
INTENDED TO SUITRESS SlR GEORGE Hay's IRONWORKS. SCOTS ACTS, VOL. IV., P. 408.

"Act anent the making of Yrne with Wode.

"Apud Edinburgh xxvij die mens is January 160Q.—Forsamekle as it hes pleasit god to discover certane vaynes of ritche mettall within this kingdome : as alsua certane wodis in the heylandis: whilkis wodis by reasoun of the savagnes of the inhabitantis thairabout wer ather vnknawin or at the leist vnproffitable and vnused: and now the estaitis presentlie conveyned being informit that some personis vpoun advantage of the present generall obedience in those partis wald erect yrne milnis in the same pairtis : To the vtter waisting and consumeing of the saidis wodis: whilkis mycht be reserved for mony bettir vseis : and vpoun moir choise and profitable mettaillis for the honnour benefite and»esti-matioun of the kingdome : Thairfore the estaitis presentlie conveyned Statutis and ordanis : and thairwith commandis chairgeis and inhibitis all and sindrie his maiesties leigis and subiectis: That nane of thame presome nor tak vpoun hand To woork and mak ony Irne with wod or tymmer vnder the pane of confiscatioun of the haill yrne that salbe maid with the said tymmer : to his maiestes vse : And ordaines publicatioun to be maid heirof be oppin proclamatioun at all places needful quhairthrow nane pretend ignorance of the same."

Ratification to Sir George Hay of the Gift of the Manufacture of Iron and Glass. Scots Acts, 1612.

"Ratificatioun To Sr George Hay off his gift and privilege of making ofyron gias-workis passed October 23d 1612.

"Oure Souerane Lord with aduise and consent of his Estaittis of parliament Ratifies apprevis and confermis The Commission and Licence grantit be his Maiestie vnder his hienes great seall To his Maiesties Louit Sr george hay of Nethirliff knycht gentilman of his Maiesties privie chalmer his airis executouris and assignais Be him selff his factouris and servandis and vtheris haueand his licence tollerance and permissioun within the haill boundis of the kingdome of Scotland To mak yrne and glass within the said kingdome of Scotland In forme and manner specifeit in the said Commissioun And that during the space of threttie ane zeris nixt efter the dait efter specifeit of the said Commissioun As the samyn contening diuerse and sindrie vtheris priuilegis prouisiones and conditiones off the dait At quhitehall the twentye foure day of December ane thowsand sex hundreth and ten zeris at mair lenth proportis In All and Sindrie pointis part heides articles clauses conditiones and circumstances quhatsomeuir thairin contenit Efter the forme and tennoure thairof with all that hes followit or may follow thairvpoun Lykeas his Maiestie with Aduise and consent foirsaid Statutis decernis and ordains That the forsaid Commissioun and this pnt ratificatioun thairof Sal be ane sufficient lauchfull and valide rycht To the said Sr george hay and his foirsaidis for vsing of the haill rychtis priuilegis and liberties thairin contenit and vplifting of the haill proffites and dewities comprehendit or that may be comprehendit vnder the said Comission during the space aboue specifeit thairin contenit Efter the forme and tennoure thairof in all pointis."

Proclamation restraining the Export of Iron Ore out of Scotland. Regist. Secreti Concilii Acta, Folio 166. Probably intended to assist Sir George Hay's Enterprise.

"Apud Edinburgh Septimo Aprilis 1613. — Forsamekle as certane of his maiesties subiectis oute of thair affectioun to the credite reputatioun and commoun weill of this thair natiue countrey haueing interprysit the practise and making of yrne within the same and haueing with verie grite travellis chargeis and expenssis broght that work to ane ressounable good perfectioun of purpois and resolutioun to prosequute and follow out the same work for the good of the countrey, Thay ar lyk to be hinderit and disapointit in the cours and progres of the saidis workis by the frequent transport of the Irne vr furth of this realme, whiche transport is now become sa ordinar and commoun alsweill in the personis of strangeris as of the borne subiectis of this realme as thair can nocht be haid sufficientlie whairwith to interteny the saidis workis and since this art and practise of making of Irne is most necessar and expedient for the commonweill of the countrey and that the same can nocht be intertenyed and haldin fordwart yf thair be nocht aboundance and sufficiencie cf vr within the countrey whairwith to work the same, Thairfoir the lordis of secrete counsell hes thocht meitt and expedient for the commoun weill and benefite of the countrey to discharge lyk as the saidis lordis by these presentis discharges the transport of ony kynd of vr furth of this realme, and ordanis lettrez to be direct to command charge and inhibit all and sindrie his maiesties lieges and subiectis as alsua all streangearis resorting and repairing within this realme be appin proclamatioun at all placeis neidfull That nane of thame presvme nor tak vpoun hand at ony tyme after the publicatioun heirof to carye or transport furth of this realme ony Irne vr vndir the pane of the confiscatioun of the same and of the rest of the movable goodis partening to the awnaris and transportaris and siclyk to command charge and inhibit all and sindrie skipparis maisteris awnaris and marchantis of shippis and veshellis that nane of thame ressaue within thair saidis shippis and veshellis ony Irne vr to be transportit furth of this realme vndir the pane of confiscatioun of the saidis schipis and veschellis to his maiesteis vs, certifeing all and sindrie personis who sail violatt and contravene this present act and ordinance in maner foirsaid that thair saidis goodis vr schippis and veshellis sal be confiscat to his maiesteis vse as said is."

Licence to Sir George Hay anent Selling his Iron.

"Licence to Sr George Hay Annent Selling off his Irne% Scots Act passed August 4th 1621.

"Oure Souerane Lord With advyse and consent of the Estaittis of Parliament, And in speall with advyse and consent of the Commissionaris off the haill ffrie burrowes Royall within this Realme, Gevis and grauntis full and frie Libertie, Licence, and powar to S«" George Hay off kinfawnis knicht Clerk off his hienes Regr be him self! his seruantis and vyeris in his name, To transport and Carye ony Irone maid be him and his saidis servantis in his name within this realme To any poirt or harbrie off any ffrie burgh Royall or ony vther place within ye samen, To vnloade weigh and dispone vpoun the said Irone to any persoun qt sumeuir within this realme that they sail think expedient, And that notwithstanding off ony privilegis or Liberties qt. sumeuir formarlie grauntit to the saidis burghes To be contrar heiroff Quhairanent his maiestie with advyse and consent foirsaid dispensse be thir pntis, Provyding Alwayis that this pntt act Sail nawayis hurt nor preiudge the liberties and priviledges of the saidis Royall burghis in any vther caices, And that in regaird they thame selffis haif consentit to this priviledge."

Remarks on Dr Samuel Johnson's Journey to the Hebrides. By the Rev. Donald M'Nicol, A.M., London, 1779.

Page 139.—"Several English companies come to different parts of the west coast for charcoal, and bring ore all the way from England to be there smelted."

Page 155 et seq.—"The smelting and working of iron was well understood and constantly practised over all the Highlands and Islands for time immemorial. Instead of improving in that art we have fallen off exceedingly of late years, and at present make little or none. Tradition bears that they made it in the blomary way, that is, by laying it under the hammers in order to make it malleable, with the same heat that melted it in the furnace.

"There is still in the Highlands a clan of the name of MacNuithear, who are descended from those founders, and have from thence derived their surname. I am likewise well informed, that there is in Glenurchy, in Arglyeshire, a family of the name of MacNab, who have lived in the same place, and have been a race of smiths, from father to son, for more, perhaps, than three hundred years past; and who, in consequence of the father having instructed the son, have carried down so much of their ancient art, that they excel all others in the country in the way of their profession ; even those taught in the south of Scotland, as well as in England, not excepted. A tinker or smith of the name of Mac Feadearon, a tribe now almost extinct, was the most famous of his time for making arrow-heads.

"It is certain that Mac Donald was formerly possessed of most of the western isles, as well as of several large districts upon the continent or mainland. He had many places of residence, such as Ardtorinish, &c, but the most common one was in an island in Lochsinlagan in Isla. Near this place, and not far from Port Askaic on the sound of Isla, lived the smith Mac Cregie (that is, the son of the Rock), and his posterity for a great length of time. There is still pointed out, by the inhabitants, the rock out of which he dug his iron ore. Near the rock is a large solid stone, of a very hard consistency, on which he knapped his ore; and, at a little distance, there is a cascade on a rivulet, where stood his mill for polishing, or otherwise preparing the iron which he had manufactured. He and his descendants made complete suits of armour, according to the fashion of the times; such as helmets, swords, coats of mail, &c. The Isla hilt for the broadsword is well known, and so famous as to have become proverbial."

Extract from Douglas's Peerage.—Kinnoul.

"George Hay, the second son [of Peter Hay of Melginche] born in 1572 ; went about 1590 to the Scots College at Douay, where he studied some years under his uncle Edmund, and returning home about 1596, was introduced at Court by his cousin Sir James Hay of Kingask. King James the VI. was pleased to appoint him one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber, and to bestow on him the Carthusian priory or Charter House of Perth, with a seat in Parliament, 18th Feby. 1598: also the ecclesiastical lands of Errol by another charter dated the 1st of that month. But finding the rents too small to support the dignity of a lord of Parliament, he returned back his peerage to his Majesty. He attended the King to Perth, 5th August 1600, when the Earl of Gowrie was killed in his treasonable attempt on his Majesty's life. Mr Hay applying to the profession of the law, acquired considerable property, was designed of NetherleifF, and had charters of Dunninald, in Forfarshire, 17th May 1606, and of Lewes, Glenelg, Barra, &c, 24th July 1610. He was appointed Clerk Register in 1616 and knighted. Sir George Hay of NetherleifF had charters of an annual rent of Red-castle, 18th July 1620; of the barony of Kinfauns, 20th July 1620; of Tulliehow, 20th March 1622 ; and of Innernytie, Kincluer, Ac, 15th May 1622. He was constituted High Chancellor of Scotland 16th July 1622 ; had charters of Craigton 28th August 1622, of the land and earldom of Orkney and Zetland 22d August 1624 ; of the barony of Aberdalgy, Duplin, &c, 29th July 1626. He was created a peer by the title of Viscount of Duplin, and Lord Hay of Kinfauns, 4th May 1627, to him and the heirs male of his body, and advanced to the dignity of Earl of Kinnoul, Viscount of Duplin, and Lord Hay of Kinfauns, by patent, dated at York, 25th May 1633, to him and his heirs male for ever. His Lordship enjoyed the Chancellor's place with the approbation of the whole kingdom and the applause of all good men, for his justice, integrity, sound judgment, and eminent sufficiency till his death, which happened at London on the 16th December 1634. His body was conveyed to Scotland, and on the 19th August 1635, was interred in the Church of Kinnoul, where a sumptuous monument was erected to his memory, being a statue of his Lordship of the full size, dressed in his robes as chancellor, and reckoned a strong likeness. There is no inscription on the monument: but an epitaph on him by Dr Arthur Johnston is published in Crawford's lives of the Officers of State, beginning thus:—

Gone is the wise Lycurgus of our time, The great and grave dictator of our clime. His Lordship married Margaret, daughter of Sir James Halyburton of Pitens, and by her, who dying 4th April 1633, was buried at Kinnoul 7th May following, had issue—

1. Sir Peter Hay, who had charters to Peter Hay, eldest son of George Hay of Neyerleiff, of the ecclesiastical lands and right of patronage of Errol, 8th Jany 1602-3 J and of the lands of Dunnynald, 23d May 1611. He died before his father, unmarried.

2. George, second Earl of Kinnoul."

Portrait of George Hay, ist Earl of KinnoulL, now in Dupplin Castle. Extracted from the Life of George Jamesone, the Scottish Vandyck, by John Bullock, 1885, p. 150.

"This picture bears evident trace of Jamesone's hand, but it has been largely repainted. He wears a fine cap, richly ornamented with lace, and a common ruff over a plain doublet. It is a usual feature of these repainted portraits that the dates 01 Jamesone's pictures are generally sacrificed by the restorer.

"He was the youngest son of Peter Hay, and was appointed a Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and honoured with the dignity of knighthood (1598). He was created Baron of Kinfauns and Viscount Dupplin in 1627, and in 1633 was created Earl of KinnoulL He married Margaret, daughter of Sir James Haliburton of Pitcur. He died in 1634."

The portrait of Sir George Hay, 1st Earl of Kinnoull, above described, is reproduced amongst our illustrations.

Another portrait of the illustrious ironfounder of Loch Maree, also at Dupplin Castle, forms another illustration. It is entitled "Portrait of Sir George Hay of Megginish, by Ferdinand." It represents Sir George as a young man in armour.

On a map of "the Kingdome of Scotland," by John Speed, published in 1610, there is marked to the north or north-east of Loch Hew "mines of iron." The sheet of water called on the map " Loch Hew " is evidently Loch Maree.


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