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The Northern Highlands in the Nineteenth Century
No. 4


The administration of Lord Goderich, which has been aptly described as "the weakest administration of the century," came to an end at the close of 1827, and a new Government came into office at the beginning of 1828, with the Duke of Wellington as Prime Minister and Sir Robert Peel as Home Secretary. The Whig section, led by Huskisson, joined the reconstructed Ministry, but there was friction from the outset, and by-and-bye pronounced differences of opinion appeared. The session is memorable for the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, which removed the disabilities of Dissenters, and was a victory for the Whigs.

In April 1828 Mr Robert Carruthers came to Inverness as editor of the "Courier," and three years afterwards became proprietor. He conducted the paper with unrivalled distinction for the long period of fifty years. At the splendid banquet to which he was entertained in 1871, Dr Carruthers gave interesting reminiscences of his arrival in Inverness and of his early experiences.—

"I have a very vivid recollection," he said, "of my first journey in the Highlands, from Perth to Inverness, and of the interest and anxiety with which I watched from the top of the mail coach every turn of that wild, sinuous, picturesque road, which

‘Winds with the vale and wins the long ascent.’

It was in spring of 1828, forty-three years and a-half since and I had brought with me a letter received shortly before from our late townsman, Mr Roderick Reach, who was then, along with another valued friend, Provost Ferguson, a proprietor of the ‘Courier.’ The Reform Bill broke up that business connection, as it did many other connections, and in the year 1831 threw the paper entirely into my own hands but, it caused no estrangement or coldness on the part of my early and affectionate Inverness friends. Mr Reach afterwards removed to London, and became the prince of newspaper correspondents, in which capacity I was largely indebted to him. He was a man of a kind and generous nature, of very striking and varied talent."

Dr Carruthers mentioned the fact that the first editor of the paper was Mrs Johnstone, a lady who afterwards attained considerable reputation as the author of several books and the editor of Tait’s Magazine. She had left, however, about three years before Carruthers came, and in the interval the paper had been somewhat neglected. "To be local and to be useful" was the chief desire of the new editor, and the change was at once visible in the news columns. Dr Carruthers points out that a busy and stormy period as regards public affairs set in with the year 1828. "Indeed," he said, "1828 stands as a sort of isthmus between the old and the new systems of Government." The Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel were in office; Lord Eldon still clung to the Great Seal. But Ministers locked one way and rowed another. They had adopted Lord John Russell’s resolution for repealing the Test and Corporation Acts, thus freeing the Dissenters from the nominal restriction or stigma which degraded them." It was the new editor’s first duty to chronicle the second reading of the bill, and it gave him great satisfaction to congratulate the country on the conduct of the Premier and the Government. He mentions in his speech some of the taxes on knowledge which then existed. "The newspaper of 1828 was a small, meagre sheet, price sevenpence, burdened with a paper duty of threepence per pound weight, a stamp duty of fourpence on every sheet, and a duty of three shillings and sixpence on every advertisement. In 1828 we had just three newspapers north of Aberdeen—two in Inverness and one in Elgin, then recently established." The last mentioned was the "Elgin Courier," conducted by Mr James Grant, afterwards editor of the "Morning Advertiser."

The dissensions in the Duke of Wellington’s Cabinet came to a head in May. "The Ministry," says Mr Spencer Walpole, "had not lasted for half-a-year, but it had been rent during the whole period by internal divisions. The members of it held radically different views on almost every question which came before them. They could not agree upon foreign policy; they could not agree upon the corn-laws; they could not agree about Reform; they only abstained from quarrelling on the Roman Catholic question because they had agreed from the first to differ upon it." The first rupture occurred on the Corn Bill, but it was patched up, although Charles Grant was with difficulty prevented from resigning. Then came a dispute about the disfranchisement of the borough of East Retford, which returned two members, and had been proved to be corrupt. On the question whether the two seats should be transferred to the adjacent hundred or given to the town of Birmingham, Peel supported the enfranchisement of the hundred and Huskisson voted against it. On going home, Huskisson wrote a hasty letter to the Duke of Wellington, giving him the opportunity of "placing my office in other hands," and the Duke, wearied with dissensions, treated this as a resignation, and accepted it. The retirement of Huskisson was followed by that of Palmerston, Grant, Dudley, and Lamb. Grant, brilliant but irresolute, had with difficulty been dissuaded from resigning in March. There was no difficulty in persuading him to resign in May."

Among the new appointments was that of Vesey Fitzgerald, the member for Clare, as President of the Board of Trade. The appointment vacated the seat, and Daniel O Connell contested it with him, and was triumphantly returned. The question of Catholic Emancipation was thus brought to a crisis. During the rest of the year there was violent agitation in Ireland, which by-and-bye spread to ether parts of the kingdom. Peel and the Duke were forced to consider the situation afresh, and at the opening of Parliament in 1829 they accepted the necessity, and announced that they were to bring in a bill for Catholic Emancipation.

From the "Inverness Courier."
1828.

January 2.—The report of a meeting of the Northern Institution says —"A very novel kind of a donation was presented at this meeting being no other than a live alligator from John Fraser, Esq., merchant, Charlestown, Carolina, a native of Inverness. The animal was but young, and his confinement appears to have rendered him comparatively tame." One would like to know what became of that alligator. It was an uncanny gift for a Scientific Society.

January 23 and 30.—The first date is absent froom the file. It contained an account of the death of Macdonell of Glengarry, who was killed on the 14th of January, when he jumped ashore from the wrecked steamer "Stirling CastIe" at Corran, near Fort-William. In the issue of the 30th there are spirited verses which describe him as "like his own mountain torrent, impetuous and proud," and proceed—

"Noble his form was and lordly his bearing.
Well suited the tartan and heather his wearing,
And ne’er did the erne his dark plumage bestow,
To nod o’er a statelier, manlier brow."

Glengarry was the last Highland Chief who adhered to the style of living of his ancestors, and went about with a full retinue of kilted attendants, who went by the name of "Glengarry’s tail." The historians of the Clan Donald admit that he had grave faults of character which often led him into serious scrapes; but they also dwell on his noble qualities. "Many of his faults were traceable to his having been left, like Byron, without a strong guiding hand in youth, lacking the discipline so greatly needed by a nature so intense and volcanic as his. On the other hand. his virtues were all his own. He was kind-hearted and generous, and dispensed a noble hospitality, so that one of the gentlemen of his own CIan has truly placed on record that Glengarry had the heart of a prince." His lavish expenditure embarrassed his estates, and ultimately led to their being sold. Scott is supposed to have drawn many of the features of Fergus M’Ivor from the character of Glengarry, whom he knew well.

January 30.—"Died at Nessbank, Inverness, on the 23rd inst., after a short and severe illness, in the 67th year of his age, Captain Robert Sutherland of Nessbank formerly of the 72nd Regiment of Foot." The paper devotes an article of some length to Captain Sutherland, who was evidently a man of humour, talent, and sterling character, as well as of varied experience. "He had spent his early life in India, and had seen much of the world, its manners and customs. He had turned these opportunities to good account, he had observed and read much, but had reflected more. His home had long been on the ‘tented field and stormy sea,’ and he inclined occasionally to relate anecdotes of the times when Cornwallis directed the energies of British soldiers on the plains of Hindostan and Hughes battled on the wave. To these anecdotes he could impart that interest which arises from clear recollection and lucid arrangement of the facts."

Ibid.—There is an article on eminent living persons of the name of Grant. They make a distinguished roll. There were eight living persons of the name who were then, or had been, members of the House of Commons.

February 6.—The remains of Glengarry were interred on the 1st inst. There was a large gathering. About 150 gentlemen sat down to dinner at noon in a room in the Square of Glengarry and the other attendants, numbering about 1500, were plentifully supplied with bread, cheese, and whisky. "The procession commenced about two o’clock afternoon, and reached Kilfinnan, the place of interment, distant about five miles from Invergarry between four and five o clock. The body, enclosed in a double coffin, lead and wood, was borne breast-high by [the number is indistinct] Highlander’s, who were relieved at regular intervals. The day was uncommonly tempestuous; and the procession had to pass through a swollen burn, reaching above the knees of the people in the procession. The whole ceremony was over by five o’clock in the afternoon. The chief mourner was the young Chief of Glengarry, the only surviving son of the late Mac Mhic Alister. Young Glengarry was dressed in the full Highland garb of his ancestors, with an eagle’s feather in his bonnet, covered with crepe. He was supported by his maternal uncle, Lord Medwyn, and his paternal uncle, Colonel Macdonell, of the Guards. Some hundreds of the people were arrayed in the Highland garb; the mournful pibroch was wailed forth by the pipers; and none of the formalities usually attendant on the obsequies of a great chief were omitted; at least none that were fitted to give a character of impressiveness to the solemnity. By the judicious arrangements made, those scenes of drunkenness and quarrelling which in former day’s, and, we are ashamed to add, in more recent times, have disgraced similar occasions in the Highlands were prevented. The whole was conducted with the utmost order, decorum, and solemnity, suited to the mournfulness of the occasion and the better sense of propriety which begins to prevail in the Highlands." Colonel Macdonell, mentioned above, the brother of Glengarry, was the hero of Hougomont at the battle of Waterloo.

March 5.—On the 23rd ult. there was the formality of a county election, on the acceptance by the Right Hon. Charles Grant of the offices of President of the Board of Trade and Treasurer of the Navy. Mr Grant was re-elected without opposition. The motion for his return was made by Colonel Macdonell, of the Guards, and seconded by Mackintosh of Mackintosh. Mr Charles Grant was not himself present, but was represented by his brother, William Thomas Grant., who presided at the usual dinner given by the newly—elected member.

March 12.—"Our Jail at present contains no less than twenty offenders against the Excise laws, fined in penalties from £6 to £20. Four of these poor people are women; one of them 70 years old."

Ibid.—The following paragraph is quoted from a book of tours in Scotland by Robert Chambers:- "Cromarty is one of the neatest, cleanest, prettiest towns of the size in Scotland. It is not a Royal burgh, though the chief town in the vagrant, incomprehensible county to which it gives a name. It lies upon a promontory jutting into the Firth, and the ground being slightly elevated, it has the advantage of a dry as well as it pleasant situation. Most of the houses are whitewashed, owing to the generosity of a candidate for the representation of the county in Parliament, who, anxious to gather golden opinions from all sorts of men, offered this to adorn the house of any person who so desired; the consequence of which has been that Cromarty came cleaner out of the election business of 1826 than perhaps any other town in his Majesty’s dominions."

March 6.—A quotation from a paper which publishes "Parliamentary Portraits" describes the member for the County of Inverness. The writer speaks of his knowledge not only of the great interests of the country, but of minor details, and proceeds—"Mr Grant’s views are altogether liberal and enlarged; and he is fully impressed with the truth of those theories of Mr Huskisson, of which the country is beginning to reap the benefit. Independently of this office knowledge - perhaps the most important for Mr Grant’s province—as a speaker he has very high pretensions. Indeed, with the exception of Tierney, Brougham, and Mackintosh, perhaps Mr Grant is one of the most eloquent men in the Lower House. To great enthusiasm of mind he joins much fervency and impressiveness of manner; and his language is strong, nervous, sustained, and in a high degree oratorical. Ill-health, however joined to constitutional indolence or timidity, or perhaps that deep religious feeling with which he is imbued, have prevented Mr Grant from taking the active part in debate for which his talents, his station, his knowledge, arid experience so admirably fit him. This is lamented by his friends, as well as the country, who are the chief losers by his silence."

March 26.—Sir Alan Cameron, K.C.B., Lieut.-General, who largely by his personal influence raised the 79th or Cameron Highlanders, died at Fulham, Middlesex, on 9th March. A sketch of his active career is given in this issue. The closing sentences are pathetic: —"A great sufferer in body from severe infirmities, contracted by continued exposures and fatigues in service, Sir Alan nevertheless lived to an advanced age. But he was doomed to see his family drop around him—his youngest son, when his aide-de-camp, early in the Peninsular campaign from privations and fatigues; his eldest when gallantly leading on the immediate advance of the British at Fuentes d’ Onor, his nephew and his orphan grandson, both of whom perished from the baneful effects of West Indian service. His nephew was the officer who, holding only the rank of lieutenant, bravely led on the Cameron Highlanders at the battle of Waterloo, when all his superior officers had been either killed or wounded. Of his own immediate kindred, Sir Alan has left only one son, Lieut. -Colonel Cameron, who until the close of the war, when the corps was disbanded, commanded the Second Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders, and who followed to the grave the worn-out remains of his aged and veteran parent."

April 2.—A paragraph on shipbuilding at Inverness says that it was only within a few years that this branch of industry had been carried on to any extent at the port. "Of late, however, several fine vessels have been built here; one of them, the Caledonia, now in the London and Inverness trade, was much admired for the beauty of her model and the excellence of her workmanship. She was built by Mr Munro. We learn that another fine smack, intended for the Inverness and Leith trade, will be launched from his yard in the course of a few days. He has also a brig and schooner on the stocks pretty far advanced, so that we shall have the pleasure of witnessing not less than three launches from his yard within a very short time of each other."

April 16.—Macleod of Macleod was elected M.P. for the Burgh of Sudbury, in Suffolk. His opponent, the unsuccessful candidate, was John Abel Smith. of the banking firm of Smith, Payne, & Smith.

April 23.—This issue bears the imprint,—"Printed by B. Carruthers for the Proprietors."

Ibid.—An article appears on the state of the poor in Inverness, the facts being derived from a report drawn up by a Committee of the Society for the Suppression of Begging. The annual produce of the Kirk-Session funds (including £100 from collections at church doors) amounted to £367. The Society just mentioned seems to have been disappointed in its work. The Sub-Committee agreed in condemning all public and systematic support of the poor, excepting that of Kirk-Sessions, and recommending the ancient gratuitous system, whose ostensible resources are the Kirk-Session funds and occasional collections. They had taken this idea from the success of Dr Chalmers’s work in Glasgow, but the Editor pointed out that this success was due to the personal influence of the great preacher and organizer.

April 30.—At a meeting of the Northern Institution there was read a memoir of the late Duke of Gordon, the first President of the Society, prepared by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder. "His Grace’s attainments and practical acquaintance with almost every branch of science, and especially mechanical philosophy, and the encouragement he bestowed on every institution designed for the improvement of this country, are generally known and appreciated, and were done ample justice to in this memoir." It is stated that not the least interesting part of the memoir was a sketch of his Grace’s secretary and librarian, Mr James Hoy, who was an inmate of Gordon Castle for 46 years. He was a native of Selkirkshire. Mr Hoy was a devoted student of astronomy, entomology, and botany. He was quite indifferent either to fame or riches. "When his kind and indulgent patron voluntarily offered him an addition to his sixty pound salary, he replied - "Keep it to yoursel', my Lord Duke, I'm no needin’ mair; ye has as muckle need o’t as I hae.’" Hoy was a Seceder, and every Sunday, wet or dry, rode into Elgin to attend the Seceder Chapel. He left orders in his will that his remains should be interred in the Church-yard of the Cathedral, "near his auld frien’ Mr Duncan, the Seceder minister," to whom he had listened for so many years.

Ibid.—There are long and interesting extracts from the report of the Commissioners on Roads and Bridges, prepared apparently by Mr Joseph Mitchell, C.E. It is stated that during the summer no fewer than seven different stage coaches passed daily to and from Inverness. Three of these, including the mail, ran between Inverness and Aberdeen; one between Inverness and Perth along the Highland Road; two between Inverness and Dingwall, Invergordon, Cromarty, and Tain; and the mail coach along the Northern coast road from Inverness to Wick and Thurso. Previous to 1800 there was no public coach in the Highlands. In that year an attempt was made to establish coaches between Inverness and Perth and Inverness and Aberdeen, but at that time they had to be discontinued. As to steam communication, the report says that the previous year "three steamboats plied regularly for the conveyance of passengers along the Caledonian Canal, and five others from Glasgow along the West Coast, and to the different islands of Skye, Mull, Islay, &c., as well as one occasionally from Leith along the East Coast to Inverness."

May 7.—"The Test and Corporation Acts are at length repealed. On Monday se’enight the bill was read a third time and passed without a division. The conduct of the Duke of Wellington on this occasion reflects upon him the highest honour, and will, we doubt not, be properly appreciated by the nation."

Ibid.—At a public meeting in Inverness it was resolved that the ministers and elders should have the entire management of the poor, "including the Kirk-Session fund and the Soup Kitchen Society."

lbid.—At a meeting of Commissioners of Supply at Tain, Mr Mackenzie of Kilcoy was appointed Convener of the County.

May 14.—"There are no less than six natives and proprietors of Inverness-shire members of the House of Commons at the present time, viz., the Right Hon. C. Grant, returned for the County of Inverness; the Hon. Colonel Grant, for the county of Moray; Colonel Baillie of Leys, for Hedon; John Stewart, Esq. of Belladrum, for Beverley; Macleod of Macleod, for Sudbury; Sir James Mackintosh, for Knaresborough; and Robert Grant, Esq. of Dromore, for the Inverness Burghs."

May 21.—Mr Thomas Gilsean of Bunaghton had resigned the office of Sheriff~Substitute of the County of Inverness, and Mr John Edwards, solicitor in Inverness, was appointed his successor. "Mr Gilzean was, we believe, the oldest Sheriff-Substitute in Scotland; he was appointed in the year 1785, and during the long period of 43 year he has been the Chief Magistrate resident in this quarter. . . Mr Gilzean was an active, able, and upright judge, devoting his whole time and mind to the discharge of the important duties with which he was entrusted. Business was to him both a duty and a recreation."

Ibid.—The Church Courts of Ross-shire had before them at this time the case of the Pariah of Kiltearn. There were differences of long standing between the minister and his parishioners. The church, it is reported, was utterly forsaken by the people, and there were no less than forty children in the parish who had not been baptised.

May 28.—"Several gentlemen of Inverness and its vicinity have long entertained a wish that bridges should be erected over the River Ness at the western extremity of the town, in order to open up the island to the public and to connect the walks on the opposite banks of the river. The island is upwards of four acres in extent, and is unquestionably the most beautiful spot in the environs of Inverness, it is now, however, inaccessible to the public, and the individuals with whom the proposed improvement originated conceive that to form an easy access to the Island by means of chain tension bridges, and to lay it out in graceful and varied walks, would at once form a lasting ornament to the town, a powerful attraction to strangers, and a source of healthful recreation and enjoyment to the inhabitants." This is the first paragraph in an advertisement, and a list of subscriptions follows, amounting it £458. The Duke of Gordon gave £30, and Mr Charles Grant, M.P.; Mr Robert Grant, M.P.; and Mr David lnglis, Marden Park, London, gave 50 guineas each. Provost Grant, Mr John Ross of Berbice, and Mr John Ross, agent for the British Linen Company’s Bank, each gave 10 guineas. A paragraph states that there were well-frequented walks on each side of the river as far as the island (the spelling is still in the singular number though it subsequently appears that then, as now, there were two islands) but hitherto there had been no bridges.

Ibid.—There is an interesting article, evidently written by the new editor, on the Highland peasantry and smuggling. It states that smuggling had of late years diminished, though in some parishes it had increased. "Thus in the Black isle, which formerly literally swarmed with smugglers, there is scarcely one left, whereas in the district of Strathgass they have increased prodigiously." The writer calculates that after paying cost of materials, the smuggler made only from ten to twelve shillings to cover time, labour, fuel, and the wear and tear of his distilling apparatus. "Yet in spite of repeated seizures, fines, and imprisonment he clings to the illicit traffic with astonishing pertinacity. There are now in the Jail of Inverness two men convicted of smuggling, and imprisoned for non-payment of their fines, whose wives have since been detected in committing the same offence."

June 4.—The political news of the day is the split in the Government. There was special interest in the matter in the Highlands, as Charles Grant had resigned the office of President of the Board of Trade.

Ibid.—At the meeting of the General Assembly there was a report on the state of education in the Highlands and Islands submitted by Principal Baird. Within the two previous years 70 schools had been established, and 5670 children were being educated from the funds of the Assembly. Dr Baird and Dr Norman Macleod of Campsie had made a tour of inspection throughout the Highlands, travelling upwards of 1600 miles, and spending two months on the journey. The great body of heritors deserved much praise for their liberality in support of the schools. An Association had also been formed "for the education of the female youth of the Highlands."

June 11.—"We learn from good authority that James Dick, Esq., late a merchant of London, who during his lifetime made various donations to the poor of Morayshire, his native county, has bequeathed the sum of £130,000 to form a fund for the purpose of giving an additional salary of £50 each to every parish schoolmaster in the counties of Moray, Banff, and Aberdeen. Mr Dick, the testator, was a native of the town of Forres, of humble parentage. He laid the foundation of his fortune in the West Indies, and increased it by commercial industry and enterprise in the English Metropolis, where he died about ten days ago at the advanced age of eighty-five." A lawsuit on the subject was threatened by the next-of-kin.

Ibid.—Great interest was excited about this time by a course of scientific lectures delivered in connection with the Northern Institution by Mr William Nicol, a lecturer from Edinburgh. The series was attended by large audiences.— The Northern Missionary Society held its annual meeting at Inverness. The collections amounted to £54 1s 6d, and the subscriptions and contributions to £23 3s 7d.

June 18.—There is an article on the debate in the House of Lords on the subject of Catholic Emancipation. The motion in favour of Catholic claims was moved by the Marquis of Lansdowne, but was rejected by a majority of 45. The "Courier" supported Emancipation.

Ibid.—The retired Sheriff-Substitute, Mr Thomas Gilzean, was entertained by the Inverness solicitors to dinner in the Caledonian Hotel, and presented with a piece of plate as a memorial of his public services. There is a long list of toasts. Mr Reach proposed "the memory of the most distinguished individual Inverness, or perhaps Scotland, ever produced, Duncan Forbes of Culloden, Lord President of the Court of Session."

Ibid.—The Rev. Charles Mackintosh was appointed assistant and successor to his father, the venerable minister of Tain.

June 25.—The Sheep and Wool Market was held on the previous week. Cheviot wedders fetched from 18s to £1 7s 6d; Cheviot ewes from 12s to 15s; Cheviot lambs from 7s to 8s 3d; black-faced wedders from 15s to 18s; blackfaced ewes from 8s to 11s; blackfaced lambs from 5s to 7s 6d. Cheviot wool, 8s to 9s 6d per single stone; blackfaced wool from 11s to 12s per double stone. The price of wool was depressed from several causes, one of which was a new American tariff. There was a meeting to discuss a proposal for postponing the date of the market. Considerable opposition was manifested, and the proposal was for the time departed from.

July 2.—"A rare and beautiful relic of the olden time has just been presented to the Museum of the Northern Institution by William Mackintosh, Esq. of Millbank, an ancient virginal, the favourite musical instrument with keys, which was in use among our ancestors prior to the invention of the spinet and harpsichord. This virginal formerly belonged to a noble family in this neighbourhood, and is considered to be almost the only one remaining in Scotland. It is made of oak, inlaid with cedar, and richly ornamented with gold. The cover and sides are beautifully painted with figures of birds, flowers, and leaves, the colours of which are comparatively fresh and undecayed. On one part of the lid is a grand procession of warriors, whom a bevy of fair dames are propitiating by presents or offerings of wine and fruits."

Ibid.—In Captain Franklin’s narrative of his second expedition to the shores of the Polar Sea, frequent mention is made of one of the crew, Gustavus Aird, who lost his life in attempting to pass a cataract. The young man was a native of Ross-shire. brother of Mr Walter Aird, schoolmaster of Balintore, near Tain. The boat, of which he happened at the moment to be the sole occupant, was carried over Pelican Fall, on the Stove River, 28th June 1827. The young man was 26 years of age.

July 16.—The election of Daniel O’Connell for the County of Clare is recorded. "He may be said to have been borne into Parliament on the shoulders of the forty shilling freeholders." The final result of this election was the concession of Catholic Emancipation.

Ibid.—"In consequence of the want of employment. arising from a redundancy of population and other causes, hundreds of our poorer countrymen on the Western Coast are now quitting their native shores for North America. A brig went off lately from the Isle of Harris freighted with passengers for Upper Canada, and on the 4th inst. two vessels sailed from Lochmaddy, in North Uist, with no less than 600 souls on board. Another is daily expected to sail from Canna." It was added that fresh exportations were to follow as soon as opportunities occurred. The increase of population, the low price of wool, and the destruction of the kelp trade by the introduction of barilla, are given as the causes of distress in the Western Islands. The blow to the kelp trade had been most disastrous. "Several Highland proprietors who were formerly possessed of large revenues are now very much embarrassed, and many thousands of individuals, male and female, who had ample employment in the manufacturing of kelp, have been reduced to the greatest indigence. In the Long Island alone from four to five thousand persons had been employed in the manufacture of kelp. In Skye the labourers had been principally employed in the making of roads and bridges; but a proportion had also been engaged in the manufacture of kelp, both within the island and on the opposite shore. "Since the roads and bridges have been completed, both the late Lord Macdonald and the present have, in order to afford employment for their numerous dependents, chalked out work for them on the estate, without any reference to future emolument or remuneration. In this way we believe above £15,000 have been expended in the mere article of labour, but of course it will be necessary to assign a limit to the exertions of individual benevolence." The writer expresses sorrow that circumstances of State policy or national misfortune should ever compel the people to leave the shores to which they were so strongly attached.

Ibid.—At the last general meeting of the Highland Society of Scotland the Marquis of Stafford proposed that a general show of live stock should be held at Inverness in 1831. The proposal was referred to a Committee, whish reported favourably upon it.

lbid.—At a meeting of the Inverness Gas and Water Company a dividend of 24 per cent. was declared. The Company resolved to proceed with the introduction of a supply of water into the town. The cost was estimated at £4000.

July 23.—The revenue of the Burgh of Inverness for the previous year is given at £2295. The Common Good is entered at £1118 10s. There was a surplus of revenue over expenditure amounting to £623 5s.

July 30.—The late Mr Grant, minister of Cawdor, whose death had been recently recorded, was among the survivors of those who had conversed with Dr Johnson during his tour in 1773. Mr Grant was at that time minister of Daviot, but he saw Dr Johnson at Cawdor, and afterwards supped with him at the Inn at Inverness. It was on the latter occasion that Johnson described "an extraordinary animal called the Kangaroo," which had recently been discovered in New South Wales, and imitated the animal by putting out his hands as feelers, gathering up the skirts of his huge brown coat, and making two or three vigorous bounds across the room!

August 13.--"On Tuesday, the 5th inst., a woman named Jean Miller died at Moy, at the advanced age of 100. She had been thirty years in the family of the late Sir Æneas Mackintosh of Mackintosh and in the course of her long and faithful services had nursed the family of the late Sir Ludovick Grant, father of Lady Mackintosh. The old woman retained the entire use of her faculties almost to the last, and her general health continued unimpaired till within the last five or six years, when an accidental fall down stairs dislocated one of her limbs, and tended to debilitate her frame. She remembered distinctly the Forty-five, and used to tell of having seen the young Chevalier, and also witnessed one day, during the progress of the Royal forces, three men hung up on a tree at Moy for some offence. The latter days of the aged nurse were spent in peace and comfort. She was supported solely by the bounty of Lady Mackintosh, who assigned her a room in Moy House, and provided her, as the old woman herself used to say, "with everything that her heart could desire."

Ibid.—"Hundreds of Highland peasants, male and female, are now migrating to the South for employment during the harvest. On Monday we met about 150 near Moy, journeying in parties according to their respective districts, and each accompanied by a piper. The greater part were from Sutherlandshire and the Black Isle, in Ross-shire. The sound of the bagpipe seemed to give a tone of gaiety to the scene, but there was after all more of sorrow than of merriment in the strain."

September 3.—The Northern Missionary Society met at Tain. Contributions and donations amounted to £88 1s 1d. A letter was read regarding the Sutherland settlers in North America, whereupon the Society voted a grant of £30 to the Glasgow Society for promoting the religious interests of Scottish settlers in British North America, with a recommendation that not less than £5 be spent in supplying settlers in Prince Edward’s Island with books in the English or Gaelic language.

September 10.—A public dinner was given in the Caledonian Hotel to the Right Hon. Charles Grant, M.P., as a mark of respect for his public and private character. Provost Grant was in the chair, and the croupiers were Sheriff Fraser-Tytler, Convener of the County, and Mr J. M. Grant of Glenmoriston. The room was filled to overflowing, many having travelled from thirty to fifty miles to be present at the dinner. The Chairman proposed the health of their guest, and Sheriff Fraser-Tytler gave the same toast in another form, "Mr Grant and Freedom of Trade." Mr Grant, in reply, spoke eloquently of the soundness of the commercial principles of Mr Huskisson.

September 17.—Rev. Dr Andrew Thomson visited Inverness and addressed a large meeting on the Apocrypha controversy. There is a sketch of Dr Thomson’s appearance and methods. In person he was "stout, manly, and robust," with a firm, clear voice, The chief characteristic of his mind was strength, not elegance. "In preaching he is a strict mathematical reasoner. His conclusions flow as naturally from the premises as water does from the fountain." The meeting is reported at a length of several columns. Dr Thomson was strongly opposed to the circulation, in any circumstances, of the Apocrypha with the Scriptures. The Inverness Auxiliary concurred in his opinions, but did not wish to break altogether with the British and Foreign Bible Society. They resolved for the ensuing year to apply their funds for the benefit of the Highlands exclusively.

September 24.—James Grant of Bught re-elected Provost of Inverness.

September 24.—"On the estate of Dochfour, near Inverness, there lives an old man named Donald M'Culloch—a relic of the fatal field of Culloden. Donald is now in his 98th year, and is tolerably hale and healthy, but is miserably poor. In the Forty-five he lived in the Leys, and on the memorable 16th of April 1746, accompanied by a cousin, attached to the rebel army, and some other lads went to the field of battle. He describes the day as one of mist, storm, and extreme cold. His relation was wounded, and he himself and his companions fled from the moor to avoid the murderous weapons of the dragoons. The Dunmaglass men were stationed near him, and truly graphic is his narration of the arrival of the fugitives at a neighbouring burn—some falling headlong, never to rise again, and others quenching their thirst in long and heavy draughts."

October 1.—"A. monument is about to be erected to the celebrated Gaelic poet, Rob Donn, in the church-yard of his native parish Durness, among what Sir Walter Scott calls ‘the immeasurable wilds of Reay,’ in Sutherlandshire. The scheme has originate! with some of the bard’s admirers in that district, and the structure, we understand, will be a handsome one."

Ibid.—The Northern Meeting was held the previous week. The attendance was smaller than usual. The races continued to be held.

October 8.—"A new lighthouse is in course of erection at Cape Wrath, and will be finished and lighted by December next. It is about fifty feet high, and is built on the summit of the Cape."

Ibid.—There is a long report of the case of a schoolmaster at Kirkhill, who was charged before the Presbytery with various offences. The case had dragged on for two years and a-half. The Presbytery at length decided against the schoolmaster by a majority of one vote. The case was expected to be carried to the Court of Session. It created a great deal of keen feeling and newspaper correspondence.

October 15.—The death is announced of Sir Ewen Cameron of Fassifern at the advanced age of ninety. Sir Ewen obtained his baronetcy in consequence of the gallant conduct of his son, "the valiant Fassifern," who fell at the head of the 92nd on the field of Quatre Bras.

October 22.—The Gaelic Dictionary, prepared under the direction of the Highland Society of Scotland was now published. It was in two large quarto volumes.

Ibid.—A twelvemonth before, Sir John Riddell, proprietor of Strontian, in Argyllshire, established a manufactory of straw hats, as a means of improving the condition of the people on his estate. The venture was successful, and was extended to the preparation of ladies’ bonnets and the substratum of gentlemen’s silk hats. The male population of Strontian were engaged in working lead mines in the neighbourhood.

October 29.—The members of the Forres Trafalgar Club held their anniversary dinner in the Forres New Assembly Rooms on the 21st inst. Mr Grant of Kincorth was in the chair, and Mr Macleod of Dalvey croupier. There was also an outside gathering, at which copious libations of porter were served round a blazing bonfire.

Ibid.—The Magistrates of Inverness met to consider a petition from the bakers, craving an increase in the price of bread, which they stated was necessary in consequence of the advance of flour. The following assize was fixed to commence on Friday following :—The quartern loaf of fine bread weighing 4 lbs. 5½ ounces, 10d; ditto of second flour, 8d. Smaller bread in the same proportion.

November 5.—An article is quoted from the "Quarterly Journal of Agriculture" on the origin and cause of smuggling in the Highlands written by General Stewart of Garth. It states that previous to the year 1793 smuggling was not practised except by a few individuals. The practice, he says, grew up owing to the increased cultivation of the land, the depopulation of the higher glens, and the production of surplus grain for which there was no adequate market.

November 12.—The remains of Sir Ewen Cameron of Fassifern were interred in the family burying-ground at Corpach, Kilmallie, close by the side of his gallant son. The funeral was attended by no less than 3000 persons. The issue gives the inscription on the monument erected to the memory of Colonel Cameron.

November 19.—A bill had been introduced into Parliament for the purpose of providing at least one secure gaol in each county, to be called "The County Gaol." The provisions of the bill were regarded as burdensome for the burghs.

November 26.—The Rev. Alexander Fraser was on Thursday, the 20th inst., ordained and admitted minister of Cawdor.

December 3.—A movement was set on foot for the establishment of a Mechanics’ Institute.

December 10.—The Inn on the north side of Kessock was opened. Sir William Fettes, who was then proprietor of Redcastle estate, had carried out a good many improvements. New and commodious piers had been built at the Ferry, and a steam ferry-boat placed on the passage.

December 24—"On Sunday last the Hon. Mrs Fraser, wife of T. A. Fraser, Esq. of Lovat, was safely delivered of a son and heir. This conspicuous event was hailed with acclamation by all the tenantry on the extensive estate of Lovat, and bonfires were blazing in all directions from Inchberry along the whole surrounding country." The next issue gives a fuller account of these rejoicings. The heir thus welcomed was the late Lord Lovat.

Ibid.—The seventh anniversary meeting of the Forres Bible Society was held—Sir Thomas Dick Lauder in the chair. The Apocrypha controversy was the main subject, and there is a long report of the proceedings. The Society, which included the parish minister and two Secession ministers, adhered to the British and Foreign Bible Society. Mr Robert Grant, M.P., was one of the speakers at the meeting.

December 31.—The Burke and Hare murders in Edinburgh had recently horrified the world. There is a report of the trial of Burke and his accomplice, Helen Macdougal, in this issue.

Ibid.—Mr Morrison, bookseller, Inverness, presented to the Northern Institution a large bronze spear head, which had been recently found within the circle of upright stones at Kinchyle, on the road to Dores. "It is," says the report, "one of the largest we have ever seen, being upwards of a foot in length, and forms an important addition to the interesting series of ancient weapons already in the Museum."


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