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The Northern Highlands in the Nineteenth Century
No. 1


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 trade.

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 attention.

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-”

1842.

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 George’s 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 Cameron’s 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 Inverlochy—which was certainly used in its day for nobler purposes—till 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 Peel’s famous Budget establishing the Income-tax and reducing duties on 750 articles of consumption.

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 Peel’s 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 happy temper.

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 patronage.

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 was dismissed.

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 Ostler’s 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 readers.

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 year’s 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 Scotland.

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 the Infirmary.

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 the Longman.

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 town’s 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 read—“The 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 reporter’s 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 town’s 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 bridges.

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 lands.

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 facetious—of 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 boy’s fate (he was only in his twenty-second year). “They said ‘ he was no more than a boy, but he was surely a lion’s whelp—always for the steel and getting to work hand to hand.’ His death occurred in November 1841, and authentic news had only mow reached his relatives.

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 forty miles.


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