Northern Highlands in the Nineteenth Century
IN the year 1842 the
Conservative Government, under Sir Robert Peel, which had come into
office as the result of the General Election of 1841, began its
memorable career in financial and other legislation. The financial
policy of the preceding Liberal Government had proved unfortunate. Peel
resolved to revise the tariff. He carried his plan of a sliding scale
for wheat by a majority of 123. He also proposed and carried an income
and property tax, and abolished or reduced taxes on 750 out of 1200
articles which up to that time were subject to customs duties. These
measures were regarded with suspicion by some of the dominant party, and
the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Privy Seal, retired from the Government.
Great riots occurred in Lancashire arising out of disputes in the cotton
The Non-Intrusion controversy in the Church of Scotland was rapidly
approaching a crisis. Preparations were in progress for the Disruption,
which took place in the following year. Sir James Graham, Home
Secretary, refused the claims of the Non-Intrusionists. He did not
understand the situation in Scotland, but it is clear from his Life,
published in 1907, that he acted from conscientious motives. In our
local annals the Daviot case held a prominent position. Threatened
evictions and resistance at Glencalvie, in Ross-shire, attracted much
Tie year is also memorable for the disaster to the British troops in
Afghanistan, of which Dr Brydon was the sole survivor. The war began
under Sir Charles Napier, which ended in the annexation of Scinde.
From the Inverness Courier-
January 5.A presentation in favour of the Rev. D. Macdonald as
assistant and successor to the Rev. Dr Rose, of the Inverness High
Church, was laid before the Presbytery. Some objection was made on the
score of imperfect Gaelic.
Ibid.Owing to the death of Councillor W. Lyon, a vacancy had occurred
in the Inverness Town Council. The question was raised whether his
successor should be elected by the Ward or by the Council. The
Town-Clerk ruled that the election .must be made by the Council, and Mr
William Dallas was accordingly appointed.
Ibid.Return of Mr Murchison, afterwards Sir Roderick, from his second
geological expedition to Russia.
January 12.A controversy had arisen as to the place for holding the
Ross-shire county meetings. At a meeting of deputy-lieutenants,
commissioners of supply, heritors, and justices of the peace, held at
Dingwall, a resolution was passed declaring that all general county
meetings, not otherwise fixed by law, should be held at Dingwall. Before
this meeting was constituted, a protest against its legality was handed
in by Mr Ross of Cromarty, who told its members that he would meet them
again at Philippi.
Ibid.The Rev. Simon Mackintosh was presented to the third charge of the
parish of Inverness. The United Secession congregation at Forres
resolved to give a call to the Rev. Adam Lind Simpson, as colleague and
successor to their pastor, Rev. Mr Stark. February 9.Meetings were held
by the Presbytery of Inverness for the purpose of moderating in a call
to the Rev. John Clark, Gran-town, as minister of the united parish of
Daviot and Dunlichity. The heritors and one communicant were in favour
of the call, but six communicants objected. Testimonies in favour of Mr
Clark were given by the Rev. Mr Clark, Inverness, and) Rev. Mr
Maclauchlan, Moy. The parish had long been vacant.
Ibid.A paper describing improvements made at Corrybrough, in the parish
of Moy, by the proprietor, Mr G. Campbell Smith, was read at a meeting
of the Highland Society. The ground consisted of 54 acres, and after
being cleared, fenced, drained, and top-dressed with lime and bones, its
value had been raised from £24 to £61 a year.
February 16.Sir Robert Peel introduced a new sliding scale of corn
duties. The anti-corn law agitation was in progress.
Ibid.A memoir of the late Chisholm, M.P. for Inverness-shire, had just
been published, and is noticed at some length. Its author was the Rev.
James S. M. Anderson, chaplain in ordinary to the Queen, and perpetual
curate of St Georges Chapel, Brighton. The Chisholm died at the early
age of twenty-eight.
February 23.The road over the stone-bridge here is at present
undergoing repair, and on Saturday last the workmen threw open the vault
built in one of the arches, which was formerly used as a jail, and
afterwards as a cell for maniacs. It was truly a double dungeon made
by wall and wave. About a foot below the surface of the road they came
upon a small iron door, from which a flight of stone steps led down to
the damp and miserable chamber. An iron grating or airhole lighted the
place, which was found to be about twelve feet long, nine feet widle,
and six feet high. There were no indications of a fireplace; a hole on
the floor was used for letting down a pitcher for water; and it is
scarcely possible to conceive a more wretched or horrid receptacle for
human beings. The situation of the captives, with the river rolling
below them, and the sound of vehicles passing over the rest of the cell,
is strongly calculated to impress the imagination. In winter, when the
river was in flood, or during a storm, a sort of wild and fearful
sublimity must have been added to the scene. The last inmate of the cell
was half-devoured by rats! Thank (rod we have in some degree improved
upon the wisdom of our ancestors.
March 2.The Presbytery of Skye resolved to proceed with the call of Mr
Angus Martin to the parish of Duirinish, in Skye, in disregard of the
Veto Act. Mr Martin himself wrote that he was quite willing to conform
to the Act.
March 9.The Non-Intrusion controversy was now drawing to a climax. On
the previous Wednesday the Presbytery of Strathbogie met at Huntly to
receive a presentation in favour of the Rev. Mr Duguld to the Church and
parish of Glass. The occasion passed off quietly, but in case of
disturbance Sir James Graham had given orders for a detachment of
military to be sent from Aberdeen to Huntly. Fifty men of the 71st
Regiment accordingly marched to the spot, and will remain in the
district of Strathbogie for two months.
Ibid.An outlaw named Macphee, living in Glenquoich, pastured sixty
goats on grass lands rented by Mr Cameron, Corrychoilie. As no
remonstrances had any effect, a party of Mr Camerons shepherds,
fourteen or fifteen in number, swept off the whole flock in payment of
grass mail. Macphee was absent, but his wife pursued the shepherd's with
a gun and fired several shots at the party. They fled precipitately
before the modem Helen Macgregor, but managed to drive the goats all
before them, and secured them within the ancient and venerable Castle of
Inverlochywhich was certainly used in its day for nobler purposestill
they can be sold in due course of law. Mr Cameron afterwards paid
Macphee for the goats.
Ibid.The Rev. Simon Mackintosh was ordained to the third charge of the
parish of Inverness. He had been previously presented to Daviot, but had
withdrawn. The new presentee to Daviot, Mr Clark, was also objected to
by six communicants, out of seven, as before stated.
Ibid.The death is announced of Mr William Grant, the oldest member of a
firm of manufactures in Manchester, understood to be one of the
Cheeryble Brothers, represented by Dickens in Nicholas Nickleby. Mr
Grant was a native of Elchies, in Morayshire, and died in his 73rd year.
March 16.The first accounts are to hand of the disaster to British
troops in Afghanistan, and the beginning of the terrible march through
the passes of the Khoord Cabul. Particulars follow in subsequent issues.
Ibid.There is an account of Sir Hubert Peels famous Budget
establishing the Income-tax and reducing duties on 750 articles of
Ibid.Sir Edward Parry, who had been deputed by the Treasury to report
on the Caledonian Canal, gave a decided opinion in favour of improving
and completing the work, as recommended by Mr Walker, engineer.
Ibid.The United Associate Presbytery ordained the Rev. Alexander Munro
to the charge of Queen Street Congregation, Inverness.
March 25.The death is announced of Mr Wm. Young, of Burghead, one of
the most spirited improvers in the North. For upwards of forty years Mr
Young has been engaged! in various public improvements. The great mound
across the firth near Golspie was mainly accomplished by his exertions;
he constructed the harbour at Burghead, reclaimed waste land in
Morayshire, and was otherwise unceasingly engaged in improving the
aspect and resources of the country. In a subsequent issue there is a
biographical sketch of Mr Young.
March 30.Mr Robert S. Taylor, sheriff-clerk of (Sutherland, was
appointed Sheriff-Substitute of the island of Lewis. Mr Roderick Hay was
appointed agent for the North of Scotland Bank at Invergordon, and Rev.
Mr Glass, parochial schoolmaster in Dingwall, succeeded him as
distributor of stamps, &c., in the hitter town.
April 6.The Non-Intrusion party in the Church were preparing for
separation from the State. A circular had been issued bearing the name
of Dr Candlish with a sketch of the proposed Sustentatioir Fund, and of
the general character of the ecclesiastical organisation which
ultimately became the Free Church. The stipend aimed at was £200, chi
at the lowest £150.
Ibid.Trouble had arisen on the property of Glencalvie, part of the
estate of Kindeace, in Ross-shire. On the urlar, as it was called, there
were four joint tenants, who had fourteen sub-tenants and cottars,
making up a population of 88 persons. The four tenants alone were
recognised by the landlord. None of the rent was in arrear. The
Commissioners on the estate had recently advertised the farm to let,
informing the tenants that they had determine cl to continue them in
possession, but meant to demand a full rent and security. Meantime
they had sent a sheriff officer to warn them out. This officer was met
on 25th March at the confines of the farm by a band of men and women who
took the papers from him and burned them. Another effort was made to
serve the summonses on the 28th, the sheriff-substitute and fiscal going
in advance to warn the people of the illegality of resistance. Their
words, however, were futile, and a small force which accompanied was
met by a large number of the excited people, and the papers were again
destroyed. The editor in commenting on the proceedings, while
deprecating violation of the law, expresses regret at the process of
removal, and advises landlords and factors instead of confining their
attention to the rents alone, and putting a few pounds of augmentation
in the scale, against the comfort of scores of their fellow-creatures,
to visit them frequently and make themselves acquainted with their
characters and concerns. If this were done he thought such difficulties
would be avoided.
Ibid.At this time the Inverness Town Council had excited discussions on
a proposal to sell the town lands in order to pay debt. On the previous
Saturday there was a procession of some of the trades bearing placards
with the mottoes No Sale and We will defend our rights. Various
public meetings had also disapproved of the selling scheme. The Town
Council held a meeting, at which the majority approved of the sale.
Ibid.A ploughing match was held at Invergarry, the first ever held in
the district. It took place under the auspices of the Glengarry Farming
Society, an association promoted by Mr Scott, factor for Lord Ward.
April 23.The northern farmers and residents in the islands protested
against Sir Robert Peels financial scheme, which lowered duties on corn
and on live stock. A correspondent in the Lews said it would also be
detrimental to the cod and ling fishing. The proposed tariff had struck
all classes in the island with dismay. The writer said that the average
earnings of each fisherman for eight months in the year were only £5,
and the rest of the time was given to their crofts.
Ibid.In consequence of the opposition offered to the sale of the town
lands, the Council agreed to a proposal by Mr Joseph Mitchell for the
appointment of a committee to consider some other plan to relieve the
town of its difficulties.
Ibid.A gold chain was presented to Provost Robert Urquhart, Forres, to
bo worn by himself and his successors in office.
April 20.There was a great demonstration at Fort-William by small
tenants and cottars against an attempt to enforce the payment of
assessment for county roads. Bands from various districts, headed by
pipers, marched into the town to the .number of five hundred. The legal
case broke down on a technical point, and the gathering dispersed in a
April 27.A letter from Australia gives some account of sheep farming
there and the condition of emigrants. Sheep had suffered from catarrh
and were low in price. Among the gossip about Highland settlers the
writer mentions one gentleman who had tried New Zealand but preferred
Australia. He had been surprised at meeting Glengarry at an inn. The
chief was fully armed, and his countryman mistook him for a bushranger.
An explanation followed: and they spent the night together discussing
Lochaber no more. Glengarry had just bought 100 cows at £10 each.
Ibid.A suggestion had been thrown out to cut down the trees in the
islands to liquidate the burgh debt. It was not a serious proposal, but
the mere mention of it excited indignation. The bridge on the west side
of the Islands had fallen at this time.
Ibid.The Synod of Ross, on the motion of the Rev. Mr Carment, Rosskeen,
by a large majority adopted an overture in favour of the abolition of
Ibid.The death is recorded of a respected townsman, Colonel Nioolso.n,
of the 27th or Enniskillen Infantry. It is stated that his grandfather
was the first Presbyterian minister of the parish of Kiltarlity.
May 4.The funeral of Mr Fraser of Foyers, an aged proprietor, and the
last of his house, is described. His remains were interred on a rocky
promintory on the side of loch-Ness, about half-a-mile from Foyers
House. There was an attendance of about a thousand of the neighbouring
gentry and people. The editor notes that he did not observe a single
person in the Highland dress, although there was more than an ordinary
proportion of women present in white caps and parti-coloured dresses.
The deceased had been very kindly and hospitable. The domestics have
all grown grey in his service, and some of them are of the second and
third generation about the family. One of his shepherds has been with
him for forty, another for fifty years. His butler has been in his house
since his boyhood, the housekeeper since she was a girl, and the cook,
we believe, is not short of ninety years of age. The deceased was aged
83. He had only one child, a daughter, married to Captain Fraser of
Balnain, but she died without issue. Mackenzie mentions in his history
of the Frasers that Foyers had involved his estate by becoming security
for other persons. He left the life-rent to his son-in-law, and the
perpetuity to his nephew, Mr J. M. Grant of Glenmoriston. The estate,
however, had to be sold, but all the debts were paid.
Ibid.At a meeting of the Synod of Moray, in Elgin, an overture was
carried in favour of the abolition of patronage. The Synod had the
Daviot case before it, and the agent for the presentee, Mr Wm. Clark,
gave am interesting history of the division which had taken place in the
parish. The previous minister, Rev. James Macphail, had been incumbent
for about thirty-seven years, his death having occurred in July 1839. In
the early part of his ministry he was very popular. A cate-chist,
however, named Peter Stewart was appointed, who obtained a strong hold
of the people, and under his direction many separated themselves not
only from Mr Macphail, but from other pious ministers of the Church. In
1817 the case was brought before the Presbytery, and Mr Stewart was
deprived of the office of catechist, but this only widened the breach.
He continued to carry on his ministrations, supported by voluntary
contributions, until his death in 1840. The people wanted the Rev.
Archibald Cook, Inverness, to be appointed as successor to Rev. Mr
Macphail, but the Crown declined to make the presentation. In
consequence, six of the ten communicants oppose! the presentation to the
Rev. Simon Mackintosh, who withdrew, and was afterwards appointed to the
third charge of Inverness. The next presentation was in favour of the
Rev. Mr Clark, and though the heritors and a large number of the
parishioners were in his favour, the opposition of the six and of those
who adhered to them, was still maintained. For three years the parish
had been without a minister. The case came before the Synod on an appeal
by Rev. Mr Clark, Inverness, but though his intention was regarded as
commendable, his proposals were considered inadmissible, and the appeal
Ibid.The Town Council approved of the erection of a new wall at the
base of the Castle Hill, as proposed by Mr Burn, architect.
May 11.This issue contains the report of the Parliamentary Committee
recommending that the improvements proposed by Mr Walker and Sir W. E.
Parry on the Caledonian Canal should be carried out.
May 18.The editor of the Courier was in London, and gave an account
of the Literary Fund dinner (at which Prince Albert presided) and of his
own Ramble Southwards.
Ibid.The Daviot case was before the Presbytery of Inverness, which
heard witnesses on behalf of the presentee, and then resolved to report
the case to the General Assembly.
May 25.The Rev. Donald Macdonald (afterwards Dr Macdonald) was ordained
as assistant and successor to the Rev. Dr Rose, Inverness. Delay had
taken place on account of some objections that had been offered to Mr
Macdonald as a preacher in Gaelic, but in the end these were departed
from. The same issue contains a report of the proceedings of the General
Assembly in connection with the Strathbogie interdict, and another
report of a Church defence meeting at Auldearn, addressed by the Rev. Mr
Macrae, Knockbain, and the Rev. Mr Barclay, minister of the parish.
June 1.The proceedings of the General Assembly are reported at length.
The editor says"It is now pretty clear that if the Government hope to
settle the existing differences it must be by conceding all to the Non-Intrusionists.
The Assembly appointed a committee to inquire into the Daviot case.
Ibid.A number of workmen are at present engaged in improving the banks
of our river, and in widening the road below the Castle Hill. Part of
the hill had been cut away, and we observe precautions have been taken
to prevent a slip of the earth, as the soil is light and sandy.
Ibid.A short article on London at Day Break over the initials A.B.R.,
obviously Angus Bethune Reach.
June 8.An attempt to shoot the Queen by a young man named Francis
aroused universal indignation.
Ibid.There is a memoir of Colonel Agnew, a distinguished officer, who
succeeded the late Colonel Baillie of Leys in the Directorate of the
East India Company. He was a brother-in-law of Mr John Fraser, one of
the candidates for the representation of the Inverness Burghs in 1840.
Ibid.There is now fitted up, and in daily operation, in the cupola and
upper chamber of the Inverness Observatory, Mr Ostlers ingenious
apparatus for measuring the direction and velocity of the wind and the
amount of rain.
June 15.Mrs Chisholm, wife of Captain Archibald Chisholm, of the Madras
Army, had begun her work for female emigrants, and was busy establishing
a home in Sydney, New South Wales.A party of cottars had left
Strathbraan, Ross-shire, for Canada, with assistance given by the
Glasgow Emigration Society and local friends, including the proprietor,
Sir Colin Mackenzie of Kilcoy.
Ibid.An attempt at eviction at Lochshell, parish of Lochs, was resisted
by a party of women, who drove off the officers. The place had been
taken as a sheep farm. From three to four hundred people resided on it.
June 22.There is a notice of the Vestiarium Scoticum," published by
John Sobieski Stuart. The illustrated version was issued at the price of
ten guineas. A townsman had secured a copy and was letting it out to
Ibid.A report is given on the state of the Ness Islands, which called
for improvement. The first separate notice of these islands in recent
times which the committee have observed in the Council records is of
date the 20th June 1823, when the Board at that time resolved in future
to set the grass in the Island annually, along with the other branches
of the Common Good. Previous to this the Island had been planted, and
the grass was not cut or pastured, most probably for fear of injury to
the young trees. The improvements begun in 1828 cost between £900 and
£1000, which was raised by subscription, and since then the Council had
incurred some expenditure in executing repairs.
July 6.It was agreed to purchase ground off Academy Street for markets
at the price of £300.
July 13.A vessel sailed from Gairloch, in Rass-sliire, with 215
passengers, voluntary emigrants from Gairloch and Torridon, and a few
from Skye. They were bound, in good spirits, for Canada.
July 20.The Wool Market showed a heavy decline in prices. In sheep
there was not one-half of the usual business transacted, and in wool
scarcely a fourth. In lambs a good many sales took place at a reduction
from last years prices of from ninepence to two shillings each. In ewes
very little was done, particularly of the blackfaced breed. In wedders
the fall was from 2s 6d to 5s each. Cheviot wool sold generally at from
12s 6d to 14s per stone; last year the prices of the same flocks were
from 15s to 16s 6d. At the ordinary, Mr Bowie, W.S., spoke of a large
scheme of emigration that was under consideration to relieve destitution
in the Highlands. He said that no less than £100,000 had been subscribed
towards relief in 1837, and that the Government had afterwards spent
£170,000 in promoting emigration. An association had now been formed
under the name of The Scottish and British American Association, which
had already acquired extensive properties in North America.
August 3.A Parliamentary return showed that no fewer than thirty-nine
Church cases were pending in the Court of Session.
August 17.The House of Lords had confirmed the judgment of the Court of
Session, finding the majority of the Presbytery of Auchterarder liable
in damages to the Earl of Kin-noul, the patron, and to Mr Young, the
presentee to the parish of Auchteraider.
Ibid.There were groat disturbances in the manufacturing districts of
England, having their origin in a reduction of wages in the cotton
trade. Riots occurred on a large scale, especially in Lancashire, where
100,000 operatives struck work. The Chartists were busy inflaming the
situation. Excitement spread to the industrial and mining districts in
August 24.The estate of Bunchrew in this county has been purchased by
our townsman, John Fraser, Esq., late of Cromarty House. The price was
£13,650. Bunchrew was the birthplace of the celebrated Duncan Forbes of
Culloden, and his favourite retirement during the summer months, when he
was Lord-President of the Court of Session. The trees which he planted
now form a fine flourishing wood adjoining the house.
August 31.At this time a lunatic was confined iii the Northern
Infirmary. The house surgeon wrote to the Town Council demanding her
removal in accordance with the rules of the institution, which
prohibited incurables from being retained. It appeared that there was
no asylum which would receive the poor woman, except Morningside, near
Edinburgh. The Town Council repudiated obligation, but appear to have
been willing to continue paying a contribution for her maintenance in
Ibid.There is a long notice of a pamphlet on the subject of emigration
from the Western Isles by Mr William Grierson Yorstoun. The writer was
opposed to emigration, advocating improved culture and a less precarious
tenure. He admits the difficulties of landlords, saying that the Duke of
Argyll, besides granting reductions of £500 from the rental of Tiree,
amounting in all to £3000, discharged arrears to the extent of £1500.
The editor gives unqualified censure to the manner in which whole
districts had been hastily cleared and turned into sheep walks, but he
does not think that emigration can be avoided.
Ibid.A malt still in active operation was discovered lately by Mr
Douglas, excise officer, Beauly, on a spot above Kilmorack. This is the
first occurrence of the kind for two years. Smuggling as a trade is
wholly done away with in the Highlands.
September 7.The first visit of Queen Victoria to Scotland excited great
interest. Her Majesty landed so early at Granton for Edinburgh that the
Provost and Magistrates were caught napping. The Queen afterwards
proceeded to Dalkeith Palace, and to Tay-mouth Castle, Perthshire.
September 14.A Highland gathering was held in Glengarry (under the
auspices of Lord Ward, who was splendidly attired in Highland costume.
The assemblage, it is said, numbered 2000,
Ibid.A correspondent sends an interesting account of a trip by way of
Loch-Maree aodi Poolewe to the island of Lewis.
September 28.Among the curiosities found in the Town House of Inverness
during recent repairs were several old guns, one of which bore the date
1666. It appeared to be of Spanish manufacture.
October 5.The visit of two photographers to Inverness is recorded, and
an account is given of this new and most extraordinary art.
October 12.The Northern Meeting was held on the previous week, and is
described as particularly well attended. Games and races were held at
Ibid.Lady Mary Ross of Balnagown died at Bonnington, in Lanarkshire, on
the 28th ult., and her remains were interred in the Abbey Church of
Fearn on the 10th inst. The deceased lady was a daughter of the Duke of
Leinster, and survived her husband twenty-eight years.
October 19.The scheme for selling the towns lands was again brought
forward, and a motion approving of the proposal was carried by a
majority of the Council.
Ibid.A paragraph describes a fight between sheep dogs and a wild cat
near Corryarrick. The dogs accompanied a flock of sheep on their way
from Caithness. In the fight the dogs were getting lacerated when the
shepherds interfered with staves, plaids, and stones, and the cat was
killed. Being measured, the cat was found to be three feet in length
from the snout to the tip of the tail, and two feet thick.
October 26.The Mackintosh of Mackintosh was married on the 18th inst.
to Miss Charlotte Macleod of Dalvey. Rejoicings were held at Inverness,
Daviot, Moy, and Lochaber.
Ibid.Official reports on the Northern prisons state that Inverness
prison has been much improved, but others were still awaiting
commencement. Of Dingwall we readThe prison is warmed by open fires,
and as the doors and ceilings are of wood there must always be a danger
of the building taking fire; and this danger is increased by the
facility which exists for communicating with people on the outside, and
getting lights into the prison during the night. The prisoners have
themselves to purchase the fuel used. A new prison, however, was about
to be built. There had been no prisoner in Tain for six weeks before the
reporters visit, and there had been few for some time previous. This
was evidently fortunate on more grounds than one. It is recommended,
says the reporter, Mr Frederic Hill, that as a temporary arrangement
the prisoners be permitted to take exercise on the bartizan at the top
of the prison, and that, until a new prison be built, the prisoners be
supplied with guernsey frocks and flannel drawers in winter, and when
from the state of the wind it is not possible to light fires in the
present rooms, they be allowed a hot-water bottle each.
November 2.The lands of Ardmeanach, lately belonging to the town of
Fbrtrose, were sold to General Sir Hugh Fraser of Braelangwell for £955.
November 9.At a meeting of Inverness Town Council three Magistrates,
Bailies Mac-andrew, 'Cameron, and Davidson, submitted a protest against
any bailies being elected in their stead previous to the expiry of their
several periods yet to run as councillors. A majority of the Council,
however, refused to entertain this protest, and elected new bailies. By
the casting vote of the Provost the Council resolved to go on with a
local bill relating to the towns affairs.In Fortrose Mr George
Gillanders was elected Provost.
Ibid.There is an interesting sketch of the career of Allan Cunningham,
who died on October 29.
November 16.At a meeting of the Commissioners of Supply of the county
of Inverness a report was submitted and adopted, approving of the
administration by the local engineer of the Parliamentary roads and
November 23.At a meeting of Commission of General Assembly a report was
submitted on the state of the parish of Daviot, six communicants out of
ten having vetoed the presentation to Mr Clark, as they had previously
vetoed a presentation to Mr Mackintosh. The report admitted that
religious irregularities existed in the parish, arising at first from
the ministrations among them of a catechist, Peter Stewart; that though
he was now dead the same spirit still continued; that there was an
unwillingness to attend church, but that those who did not attend were
the flower of the parish; and that the six communicants had never
withdrawn themselves from ordinances, although they had occasionally
attended the services of Mr Stewart. The Commission almost unanimously
resolved to reject the presentee, in terms of the Veto Act, and to
intimate the same to the patrons. The famous Convocation of
Non-Intrusion clergy, called as a preparation for the Disruption, was
held at this time, but the proceedings were private.
Ibid.The electors of the First Ward in Inverness held a meeting to
discuss the conduct of two of their representatives in voting for the
local bill. The meeting was of a stormy character, and ultimately
broke up in confusion.
November 30.The concluding meeting of the Convocation of Non-Intrusion
clergy was held in public, and a speech by Dr Candlish is reported. The
proceedings of the Convocation extended over seven days, and the
resolutions they arrived at were published. The attendance numbered 478
ministers, including 150 from parliamentary or unendowed charges. One
set of resolutions was signed by 427, another which pointed to
separation from the State, by 352.
Ibid.A great many cases of incendiarism occurred at this time in
England. The cases are not confined to any particular place. In
various counties in England factories, farm-steadings, and corn-yards
have been set on fire, and some of them altogether destroyed. The
Chartist movement was in active operation, and addresses were delivered
by female Chartists.
Ibid.The Martinmas market in Inverness is reported to be fully as large
as in former years. Provost Nicol had succeeded! in getting the carts
arranged in New Street instead of in High Street. The number on the
second day of the market reached a hundred and eighty, filled with
butter, cheese, and vegetables.
December 7.Sir Francis Mackenzie of Gairloch was present at a meeting
of an agricultural society in Essex, and suggested the establishment of
model and experimental farms.
Ibid.At a meeting of Town Council, Provost Nicol intimated that he had
been served with a. summons of declarator and reduction in connection
with the election of bailies. A motion was made for the suspension of
standing orders to discuss another subject, but the Provost refused to
entertain it, and left the meeting along with some of his supporters.
Other members remained, reconstituted the meeting, and passed various
motions. One of these rescinded the resolution for the sale of the town
December 14.A column is given to the Reminiscences of a Clachnacudden
Nonagenarian" just published. The little volume is still well-known and
popular. The issue also contains a report of a sermon delivered by the
Rev. Mr Macrae, Knockbain, on the proceedings at the Convocation. Mi
Macrae was an eloquent member of the Non-Intrusion party.
Ibid.In our obituary this week will be found a notice of the death of
James Grant, Esq. of Bught, one of the oldest and most respectable of
our townsmen, whose name had long been familiar to the northern public.
Mr Grant was a native of Inverness, and he held the offices of Justice
of Peace and Commissary Clerk for nearly half-a-century. He was factor
and law agent to the Earl of Moray and the Earl of Seafield, besides
being confidential agent to the late Charles Grant, M.P. (father of Lord
Glenelg), Mr Baillie of Dockfour, and other proprietors. In 1804 he was
elected Provost of the burgh, and he continued to be the most
influential party in all municipal affairs up to the passing of the
Reform Bill. He was also the principal partner for nearly forty years in
the manufacturing establishment at the Citadel. In private life Mr Grant
was agreeable and facetiousof polished manners and exemplary in the
discharge of his social and relative duties. The Provost and
Magistrates formed part of the large procession at the funeral. Mr Grant
was 74 years of age.
Ibid.The death is recorded of Ensign Alexander Rose, of the Bengal
Native Infantry, son of Major-General Sir John Rose of Holme. He was
killed, the last of several officers, in a desperate struggle near
Charekar, in Kohistan. The Ghoorka soldiers carried his body several
miles, but were then compelled to abandon it. They cried like children
when relating the boys fate (he was only in his twenty-second year).
They said he was no more than a boy, but he was surely a lions
whelpalways for the steel and getting to work hand to hand. His death
occurred in November 1841, and authentic news had only mow reached his
Ibid.Ten years previously a young woman who had fled from Fort-William
with her infant to escape the cholera took with her the seeds of the
disease, and both died in the family cottage in the Braes of Lochaber.
They were hastily interred not far from the house. When the child's
grandmother died in the winter of 1842, the grave was opened in order
that the remains of mother and child might be transferred to the
church-yard. Strange to say, after the inhumation of ten years, they
were found not only entire, but perfectly firm, though black, as if they
had lived and died under the burning sun of Ethiopia instead of our
northern clime. The unsolved question was whether this was due to the
disease or to the nature of the soil.
December 28.A column of motes on Easter Ross is devoted to Tarbat House
and grounds, and to the great improvements which Mr Rose Ross of
Cromarty had made on his estate around Calrossie. Mr Ross is described
as undoubtedly the greatest rural improver of Ross-shire, and there is
a description of his beech and thorn hedges, his plantations, tile-works
and tile draining. The hedges, it is said, extended altogether to about
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