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The Lairds of Glenlyon:  Historical Sketches
Chapter 31


AT the time of the purchase of the estate by Sir Donald Currie, the boundaries of Glenlyon and Garth intersected in an irregular and inconvenient manner, and as regards certain outlying portions of the moorland some uncertainty prevailed with respect to the rights of the laird of Glenlyon and the claims of neighbouring proprietors. The estate of Glenlyon was by no means a compact one, a considerable portion being entirely separated from the rest by the lands of Garth. Indeed the large extent of 2801 acres of the hill ground was held in common between Glenlyon and Garth; and 511 acres known as Rynacra, and situated to the north-east of the Garth property, at a considerable distance from the Glenlyon moor, were held in common between the proprietor of Glenlyon and the Marquis of Breadalbane. It was in the north-western corner of Glenlyon estate that the question of boundaries was a source of confusion and dispute. In one case, common ownership of 351 acres was claimed both by Glenlyon and Lassintullich; and in another there were conflicting claims by Dunalastair and Glenlyon with regard to the ownership of about 238 acres on the slopes of Craig-an-Earra.

Naturally it is the desire of proprietors to have the boundaries of their estates defined, and joint rights of ownership eliminated. The complication in the case of Lassintullich was settled by the purchase by Sir Donald Currie of the rights claimed by Mr. Greig the proprietor of that estate. The controversy between Dunalastair and Glenlyon estates as to the respective rights of Dunalastair and Glenlyon upon Craig-an-Earra was also brought to a settlement. The new proprietor of Dunalastair, Mr. H. T. Tennent, claimed that he had a joint proprietary right with the owner of Glenlyon in the Craig-an-Earra ground, his predecessors having from time to time shot over the ground, while, on the other hand, it was maintained on behalf of Sir Donald, that the estate of Dunalastair was entitled to a servitude of grazing only, in virtue of a Decreet Arbitral, dated 1723.

In order to have an authoritative decision of the matter in dispute, it was mutually agreed between Mr. Tennent and Sir Donald Currie that the question should be referred to the arbitration of the then Lord Advocate, the Right Hon. J. B. Balfour, M.P., who in due time gave the following Award:

Edinburgh, 6th August, 1886.

Having considered the statements for the parties, productions and whole process, I find that Sir Donald Currie, as proprietor of the Estate of Glenlyon, has the sole and exclusive right of property in and to the piece of ground in question, extending to about 238 or 241 acres, being the southmost portion of the ground known as Craig-an-Earra, and that Mr. Tennent, as proprietor of Easter Tempar, forming part of the domain of Dunalastair, has no right of property in the said ground, but only a right of pasturage over the same, and that consequently Sir Donald Currie has the sole and exclusive right of shooting over the said piece of ground and decerns.

(Signed) J. B. Balfour.

The right of pasturage which belonged to Mr. Tennent was afterwards transferred by him to Sir Donald Currie by friendly arrangement.

The eastern slope of Craig-an-Earra, extending to 96 acres, and known as the Shiellings of Comrie, was the property of the Marquis of Breadalbane, but by agreement with Sir Donald Currie, this ground was purchased for the Glenlyon estate and added to it.

With a view to the compactness of the two estates of Garth and Glenlyon respectively, Sir Donald Currie divided the two properties by distinct boundaries, transferring to Garth the Glenlyon commonty rights on the moorland, formerly held between the two estates, and placing Rynacra commonty ground within the Garth property. The lands lof Easter Drumchary and Nether Blairish which formed detached portions of Glenlyon, fitted in more naturally as parts of Garth, and were consequently taken from the one estate and added to the other. The land acquired from Lassintullich and Breadalbane by purchase, as well as that of Craig-an-Earra referred to in the award of the Lord Advocate were added to the estate of Glenlyon.

Sir Donald Currie has further redeemed the feu duties and casualties of superiority exigible from both estates.


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