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The Northern Highlands in the Nineteenth Century
No. XI


In the year 1817 public distress and public discontent both began to assume serious proportions. The discontent was largely due to distress; and several paragraphs in the subjoined notes show how severely the country was suffering. In the chief towns Committees were organised to provide for the unemployed. In Inverness a Soup Kitchen was opened for the first time. Throughout the Highlands the leading proprietors purchased or pledged their credit for large quantities of meal and seed. One ingenious landlord imported 3000 lbs. of rice and 200 cwts. of treacle. Political discontent had not yet appeared in the North of Scotland, but elsewhere it was showing itself in various outbreaks, the most alarming being directed against the Prince Regent. The Government were timid, reactionary, and incompetent to deal with the state of affairs which had come into existence after the peace of 1815.

The Criminal Code was at this date still harsh. At the Inverness Spring Circuit Court of 1817, a woman was sentenced to be executed for housebreaking, or rather for merely assisting the men who committed the crime, and who had escaped. The sentence was not carried into effect: the woman was twice respited, and her punishment ultimately commuted to two years’ imprisonment. In another case the barbarous punishment of public flogging was inflicted by the local authorities on a female delinquent. This is generally said to have been the last instance of the kind in the United Kingdom, but a correspondent of the "Journal" drew attention to the fact that a similar punishment was inflicted in Perth while the bill abolishing it was actually passing through Parliament.

The first Sheep and Wool Market at Inverness was held in 1817. The date was the third Tuesday in June, and the market was held only for one day.

In 1817 a movement sprang up in Scotland in favour of burgh reform. At this time Town Councils elected themselves, and managed the finance of their burghs without control or supervision. A curious incident stimulated the movement for redress. "In 1817," says Mr Spencer Walpole in his History, "the Magistrates of Montrose actually presumed to elect themselves by ballot. It was the first occasion on which secret voting had ever been applied to any municipal election. The authorities, shocked at the recklessness of a municipality which was capable of committing so palpable an illegality, decided on quashing the election, and on issuing a warrant altering what was called in Scotland the "set" or constitution of the burgh. Instead of the old Councillors electing the new, the warrant authorised the burgesses to elect their own Magistrates." This was the "poll" election which other burghs likewise desired to exercise; or if they could not obtain quite so much, they were anxious to confine the action of their Magistrates and Town Councils within the limits of each local constitution, and to look into the disposition of the funds. The bankruptcy of Aberdeen excited widespread consternation. The general movement had effect on local authorities, and specific results in several instances; but municipal reform in the broad sense was not secured until 1833. Inverness, as will by-and-bye appear, had its local machinery upset for a time by the Court of Session.

In December 1817 the "Courier" was established. We have followed the file of the "Journal," however, to the end of the year, and reserve an aecount of the establishment of the "Courier" until our next instalment.

From the "Inverness Journal"
1817.

January 3.—A soup kitchen established for the first time in Inverness. Seven hundred necessitous persons shared in a distribution of coal.

lbid.—"Died, at Ardersier, in this vicinity, within these few days, a gander, well known to have been full grown when the foundation of Fort-George was laid in the year 1748. His helpmate died only two years ago."

January 17.—"On the 5th inst., at Mountgerald, Ross-shire, John Munro, labourer, at the very advanced age of 108 rears. He enjoyed a sound constitution until a short time before his death; his sight and other organs were unimpaired; he could see from his own house a ship or boat at the entrance of Cromarty Firth a distance of 20 miles."

February 7.—Account of a riotous attack on the Prince Regent and his escort as they were returning from the opening of Parliament. An agitation for Parliamentary Reform begins to assume consequence. The more violent reformers were frequently addressed by "Orator Hunt," but meetings of a temperate character were also held.

February 14.—"In these distempered times of riot and discontent, it is gratifying to see the sense of the nation so warmly and promptly manifested with regard to the most atrocious and treasonable attack on the Prince Regent. Addresses pour in from every quarter, and we are glad to see our county join in so proper and seasonable a display of loyalty and attachment to the son and representative of our Sovereign. It is deeply to be regretted that some of the principal actors in the scene were not seized; a salutary example at the present moment could not fail to be beneficial to the advocates of universal suffrage and annual Parliaments; in other words, of anarchy, confusion, and revolution."

February 28.—It is announced that "as the Highland road between Inverness and Perth is now passable," the Caledonian Coach will begin running on the 3rd of March, twice a-week each way.

Ibid-—The Corporation of the City of Aberdeen was at this time found to be bankrupt. The Burgesses of Guild met and adopted a resolution declaring that in their opinion this was "the natural result of the Town Council being self-elected, and the government of it having become, as it were, the inheritance of a few individuals, forming a secret junto, considering themselves not amenable to their fellow-citizens for misrule." The "Journal" made the occurrence a text for criticism of the administration of the Town Council of Inverness.

Ibid.—"Died, suddenly, on the 14th curt., at her house in Edinburgh. the Hon. Euphemia Stewart, widow of William Stewart, Esq., late of Castle Stewart, and sister of Kenneth, late Earl of Seaforth."

March 7.—"In our Journal of the 28th June last it will appear that the Inverness Highland Society resolved on the establishment of a sheep and wool market in our town as the most centrical station in the Highlands. In pursuance of this resolution, a meeting was, by advertisement, convened at Bennet’s Hotel on the 27th last, and was very numerously and most respectably attended. It appeared that from every quarter of the country, and by all the Southern dealers, the most earnest desire was manifested for the establishment of the proposed market at Inverness. A letter was produced from the Secretary of the Sutherland and Caithness Association indicating their cordial support and anxious desire to co-operate, by every means, towards the prosperity of the market; and assurances of approbation were given from the following houses and persons interested in the wool trade; so that the first market may be expected to have a much greater attendance than any ever heretofore held in the Highlands." A list of those approving follows, and an advertisement fixes the date of the market as the third Tuesday of June. Mr Peter Anderson, solicitor, was secretary to the meeting.

March 14.—This issue contains a paragraph condemning the flogging of a woman named Grant through the streets of Inverness. The punishment was inflicted three times within a fortnight. The writer of the paragraph admits that example was necessary, and was made in this case with the best intention; but he urges rightly that the public flagellation of a woman is repugnant to feelings of respect and delicacy. "On the unfortunate object in question, a young and handsome woman, the hardened indifference and audacity with which she bore and ridiculed the punishment, showed that it failed of effect— so much, indeed, that notwithstanding this third flagellation, she returned from her ‘banishment’ the same evening." A few months afterwards, mainly as the result of this case, an Act was passed abolishing the power to whip women publicly; and some years later the sex was exempted from the private infliction of such punishment. In certain States of the American Republic public flagellation, on both sexes, is still occasionally administered.

Ibid-—A correspondent sends a letter stating that a monument had been erected to the memory of Captain Thomas Humberstone Mackenzie, of the 78th Regiment, and of Captain Grant, Lieut. Anderson, and non-commissioned officers and privates of the same regiment who fell at the storming of Ahmednuggur in India on 8th August 1803. "The monument stands on the spot where Captain Humberstone Mackenzie fell, and consists of a massy slab of the most durable stone, securely built in the wall of the town, and arched overhead, with a suitable inscription, surmounted by the Mackenzie crest, a stag’s head and antlers, with the words ‘Cabar Feidh,’ and the regimental motto, ‘Cuidich an Righ.’ It was erected in 1814 by the Hon. Lady Hood Mackenzie of Seaforth, who marked out the site, drew the design and inscription, and gave orders for erecting the work at her own expense. It is worthy of remark that her ladyship (whose father, the late Lord Seaforth, had raised the 78th Regiment) in travelling across the Peninsula from Bombay in 1813, should happen to pass through the very place where that regiment had so admirably distinguished itself; and she was struck with the desire of perpetuating, by some lasting memorial, the gallantry of her young relative, Captain H. Mackenzie, an officer of high promise, and of his countrymen who fell in that memorable assault." The attack, it seems, was unwittingly made at the most impracticable part of the wall, and officers and men fell in a gallant but futile attempt to carry the position. "Captain Mackenzie had gained the summit; he found there no footing, but his gallant spirit would not suffer him to think of retreat; calling to his men to follow him, he instantly leaped into the town amongst the enemy, but the height was so great that his knees on coming to the ground bent under him, and before he could recover himself he was speared in many places. The few men who had gained the top of the wall did not hesitate for a moment in resolving to share his fate; and thus was lost in very early youth an officer of the highest hopes, whose mild and amiable manners were joined to a high and ardent courage, which too soon deprived his country of one whom length of life would have made a shining ornament to his profession. Captain Grant was also an officer of great promise; he had volunteered on that occasion, and on gaining the top of the wall, called out that there was no footing; but forgetful in his own person of the caution which he taught his companions, he received a shot which almost instantly proved fatal; he was a son of Mrs Grant, Fortes. The attack, of course, failed, and the strength of the place and garrison having been ascertained, the siege was subsequently carried out in due form. Captain Mackenzie was also paymaster of the regiment." The above account was furnished to the "Journal" by a gentleman who was personally and intimately connected with the two officers. The official account by Lieut.-Colonel Adams, published by Major Davidson in his History of the 78th says that Captain Mackenzie and Captain Grant were both shot at the top of their respective ladders. Captain Grant at the time was under arrest for fighting a duel, and volunteered for the attack. His father had been Provost of Forres, and he had several brothers who attained distinction. One of them, if we mistake not, Lieut.-Colonel Colquhoun Grant, was an Intelligence Officer of great service to Wellington in the Peninsular War.

Ibid.—The poor of the town and parish of Elgin are represented as suffering severely from the distress of the times. A sum of £300 had been subscribed and a Committee appointed to distribute the fund until the month of September, when it was hoped that harvest labour and the produce of a new crop would enable the people to provide for themselves.

April 4.—The Highland Society of London met on the previous Friday to celebrate the anniversary of the battle of Alexandria, that being also the day of the incorporation of the Society. The Duke of York was in the chair, and the company included the Duke of Argyll, the Duke of Atholl, the Marquis of Huntly, Glengarry, Sir Æneas Mackintosh, and many other Highland gentlemen. The Duke of York, in name of the Society, presented to the 42nd Regiment a piece of plate in recognition of its distinguished services, the Marquis of Huntly, as Commander of the regiment, receiving the gift. The plate consisted of a richly chased silver tripod, the legs ornamented with thistle foliage, and the plinth bearing a medallion portrait of Sir Ralph Abercromby.

Ibid.—Died, at Collumpton, Devon, on the 22nd ult., on his way from Sidmouth to Clifton, William Chisholm of Chisholm, Esq.

April 11.—The Marquis of Huntly procured from Government six hundred bolls of meal, to be sent for the relief of people in the Highlands, with a promise that more was to follow.

April 25.—A citizen writes complaining that half-a-crown had to be paid by a marriage party of townspeople crossing one of the bridges. Tolls at that time existed, but this was considered an exorbitant exaction.

May 2.—"Mr Alexr. Dingwall, plumber in Greenock, has lately paid into the hands of the Kirk treasurer of Dingwall, a legacy of £50 sterling, bequeathed by his deceased brother, Mr Donald Dingwall, late of Demerara, for the behoof of the poor of that parish, where he drew his first breath, and where he at last ended his days."

Ibid.—A paragraph gives an account of what Highland proprietors have done in the way of lowering rents, and importing meal and seed oats for the benefit of their poorer tenantry. Mr Mcpherson-Grant of Ballindalloch, for instance, had secured 800 bolls of meal in Banff-shire and 500 bolls from Berwick for the supply of his estate. Lord Reay had pledged his credit to the Government to obtain a supply of 1800 bolls of meal; and the Marquis of Stafford had sent for the supply of his Sutherland tenantry 5400 bolls of meal and nearly 500 bolls of potatoes for seed, at an expense of at least £7000, besides purchasing black cattle from the tenants, and spending large sums for the employment of the distressed on his English estates. Other Highland proprietors who could not do as much, had lowered their rents from 15 to 20 per cent., and were giving guarantees to the Government for the supply of oats.

Ibid.—A woman named Barbara Mackay, from Caithness, was tried at the Circuit Court for being one of several concerned in breaking into and robbing a shop at Isauld. She was traced by means of a five-franc piece, which was part of the spoil, and; which she endeavoured to pass. The woman confessed that she had kept watch while others carried out the robbery, and that she had received silver and copper. The jury returned a verdict of guilty and the woman was sentenced to be executed at Inverness on the 13th of June. She was subsequently respited and the sentence was commuted.

lbid.—A citizen of Nairn, formerly Chief Magistrate, was convicted of assaulting a lawyer at Elgin to the effusion of blood and danger of life, and was sentenced to six months imprisonment in the Tolbooth of Elgin. The Court would not consent to send the prisoner to be confined at Nairn on account of the "notorious insufficiency" of the jail there, and they threatened to take strong measures unless the jail was made secure.—At the same Court, two men were sentenced to six months imprisonment for deforcing Excise officers; a man was sentenced: to 14 years' transportation for sheep-stealing; and a woman for numerous acts of theft was sentenced to seven years’ transportation. In the two latter cases, the Advocate-Depute restricted the libel to "an arbitrary punishment," otherwise the sentences might have been capital. The restriction to "arbitrary punishment" frequently occurs in the report of Circuit cases. One wonders why it was not adopted in the case of the woman convicted of housebreaking.

May 9.—The Commissioners of Supply voted £50 to the fund for the employment of the labouring poor of Inverness and authorised the payment of another £50 if required.

Ibid—It is announced that the Militia regiments are not to be called out this year for training.

May 16.—Lady Hood Mackenzie of Seaforth pledged her credit to Government for 4000 boIls of oats and 50 tons of potatoes, to be landed at Stornoway and distributed among the people.

May 23.—A list of subscriptions is published towards the issue of a dictionary of the Gaelic language, under the patronage of the Highland Society of Scotland. The total amount of subscriptions is nearly £1900. The Society itself gave £725; the Highland Society of London, £105; and Sir John Macgregor Murray, for certain friends in India and himself, £250.

Ibid.—"The Chisholm’s funeral, which took place on Friday (16th), was conducted with a degree of splendour which rivalled the usage of ancient times in the last tribute of homage and respect to the remains of deceased chiefs. Invitations were very general throughout this and the neighbouring counties, and near 240 guests sat down to a sumptuous entertainment provided by Mr Cant at Beauly. The commonalty, of whom a very large assemblage were in attendance, had not been forgotten; eight bolls of oatmeal baked into bread, ample quantities of cheese, and 20 ankers of whisky were distributed among them; not satisfied, however, with this liberal supply, they made free with Mr Cant’s stores of wines and other liquors, and we regret to understand that a man and two women died of the effects of intoxication. Many battles with sticks and fists and stones were fought, and many cracked crowns were given and received, but beyond the foregoing melancholy instances, we believe no further fatal effects ensued: various depreciations, however, were committed, and amongst others, some of the riders, we understand, discovered next morning that they had come home without their saddle-flaps, the well-dressed leather of which, it had been discovered, would make superior brogue soles." The interment took place in Beauly Priory.

May 30.—"On Wednesday, the 21st May, at Lady Seaforth’s, Charlotte Square, James Alexander Stewart. Esq. of Glasserton, to the Hon. Lady H. Mackenzie of Seaforth." The marriage was celebrated with rejoicings on the Seaforth estates.

Ibid.—The Horticultural Society of London awarded their medal to Sir George S. Mackenzie for his improvement of forcing houses, by giving glass the form of a portion of a sphere.

Ibid.—"The motion for a Committee to inquire into the state of the representation of the people. made by Sir Francis Burdett, and rejected by a majority of 188, was the same made by Mr Pitt an 1782, and lost only by a majority of 20. It was again brought forward in 1812 by Mr Brand, and rejected by a majority of 127, the minority counting 88. Mr Tierney ascribed the falling-off to the intolerance of its advocates, who thought Reform might be carried without the aid of the superior orders of society."

June 13.—The Northern Missionary Society held its annual meeting at Inverness, when the Rev. C. Matheson, of Kilmuir, and the Rev. J. Macdonald, of Urquhart, preached. A collection amounted to £72 13s 6d. The Society resolved to send £100 to the Edinburgh Missionary Society for the support of Gaelic schools in the Highlands, and £50 to the Hibernian Society, engaged in carrying on education in Ireland.— An auxiliary to the Edinburgh Bible Society was formed in Forres.

Ibid.—"We have heard with pleasure that Mr Grant of Elchies has shipped from London to Findhorn 3000 lbs. of rice and 200 cwts. of treacle for the supply of the poor on his estates in the counties of Banff and Elgin."

June 20.—The first Sheep and Wool Market was held at Inverness on the third Tuesday of June. The Committee arranged that the market should last but twenty-four hours, as "it has generally been remarked that when markets are of many days continuance, almost all the business is done on the last.’ An ordinary, purveyed by Mr Bennet, was held in the Northern Meeting Rooms. Mr Grant of Corrimony, "who was among the first of our proprietors to introduce the system of sheep farming," presided. Among the largest purchasers were Mr Lockwood, from Huddersfield, and Mr Mackinnon of Corrychatachan. It is noted that the Fort-William Market had been well attended, and the prices were considerably better than last year, viz., 18s; at the Inverness Market they had increased to 19s 6d, and the Cheviot to 23s per stone; one or two parcels were stated to have been sold at 24s. "The number of gentlemen interested in sheep farming who attended from the Northern Counties was very considerable. Our flocks are so rapidly on the increase that we understand that there is in Sutherlandshire alone not less than 100,000 Cheviot." The Northern Association of Gentlemen Farmers and Breeders of Sheep continued to act on a resolution which they had previously adopted to give liberal premiums for the destruction of foxes, eagles, "and other animals," which were destructive to the growing numbers of their sheep and lambs.

Ibid.—The members of the Nairnshire Meeting in London placed £53 at the disposal of the Committee for the relief of the poor in Nairn.

Ibid.—"Died, on the 8th inst., the Rev. Alexander Macadam, minister of Nigg, Ross-shire, in the 69th year of his age." A cordial tribute is paid to Mr Macadam’s character, learning, and impressive power as a preacher.

June 27.—On the previous Monday two smart shocks of earthquake were felt in Inverness. They were also felt, and rather more severely, in Urquhart and Dores. In some houses the bells were put in motion. A slight shock was said to have been experienced a week or two before, but the Editor himself had not observed it.

Ibid—A long report is given of a gala day held by the Society of True Highlanders at Inverlochy. The Society was making a collection of tartans, and members paid special attention to the completeness and correctness of their Highland dress.

Ibid.—A stone coffin with human skeleton was found in the neighbourhood of Dingwall. A copper [bronze] dagger was found buried in the skull, and an earthen jar beside the skeleton.

July 4.—The number contains verses written on visiting the monument erected near Fort-William to the memory of Colonel Cameron, of the 92nd Highlanders, who fell at Quatre Bras. "The Monument stands northward of the Fort, a simple and plain, but at the same time an elegant and lofty column. The foundation of it was laid on the 7th April last with Masonic honours, by Mr Patrick Henderson, Right Worshipful Master of the Fort-William Lodge, accompanied by the brethren, and the ceremony was concluded with a most suitable and appropriate prayer by the Rev. Duncan Macintyre, minister of the parish of Kilmallie and Chaplain of the Lodge in presence of a vast concourse of people of all ranks, who on this occasion testified a cordial interest highly honourable to the memory of the deceased." The following are two stanzas from the visitor’s eulogium —

"Now, Cameron, rest! while Waterloo
Enrols thee in its annals gory,
It weeps thy loss with sorrow true,
And bids Fame note thy bed of glory...

"Now, Cameron, rest! Yon column high
May tell thy tale in accents bolder,
But many a heart thy name shall sigh,
Till like thine own they, too, shall moulder."

July 11.—"The Strathpeffer Wells have a much gayer and more numerous attendance this season than ever they had before." The hope is expressed that facilities may be given for feuing.

July 25.—"In consequence of contributions from the Second and Strathnairn districts, one of which has given £50 and the other £40, a very considerable improvement is making in the entrance to the town by Castle Street, about a third of the acclivity of which from the pavement will be taken away. The principal advantage to these districts will arise from the greater facility with which lime and manure can be conveyed to them, but the convenience to the town will be great." The work seems to have been carried out under the direction of a Committee, formed for the relief of the unemployed. Incidentally we lean that cattle markets were held somewhere near the top of Castle Street.

Ibid.—The Excise had a conflict at the wood of Spittal, in Ross-shire, with a party which was endeavouring to convey smuggled salt from the West Coast to the Inverness markets. The officers captured 20 horses, with a bag of salt each. In the struggle one of the smuggling party was severely wounded, and one of the horses killed.

August 1.—"The circulating medium was so scarce that there was little business of any description transacted at the market held here last week"

Ibid.—"The stock farmers in the Counties of Sutherland and Caithness having now brought their flocks to that extent and perfection that they annually export to the English market better than fourteen thousand Cheviot sheep, and fifteen thousand stones of Cheviot wool, they think it of importance to establish an annual meeting for the purpose of competition in stock, of rewarding the best shepherds, and for establishing a fair for the sale of tups and choice ewe stock" The meeting was fixed for the 20th of August, at the Kyle of Sutherland being the week of the annual cattle market there, and was duly held on that date.

August 8.—Died, on the 23rd ult., the Rev. Thomas Bain, Rector of the Academy of Fortrose.

Ibid.—"At Knockbain, parish of Kirkhill, on the 3rd inst., John Fraser, aged 102 years. He fought under the banner of the Chief of the Clan at Culloden, and on many other occasions; he has been always a careful, sober man; he could, till within the last two years dance a Highland reel with as much spirit as a man of thirty years of age, had a very extensive memory, and would rehearse many anecdotes regarding his Chiefs exploits."

August 22.—Mr Gilchrist, marble and stone cutter, "a craft hitherto unknown in this quarter," began business in Inverness. He was the first to introduce his trade to Aberdeen, about thirty years before, and still maintained a large establishment there.

September 12.—Six feet of water were admitted into the Caledonian Canal from Loch-Ness, to facilitate the conveyance of materials from Clachnaharry for building the locks at the west end. "On Tuesday a sloop, with 300 barrels of coal, was dragged by a pair of horses from Clachnaharry to Loch-Ness."

Ibid.—"Died, at Dornoch, on the 23rd ult., at the advanced age of 96 years, John Barclay, Esq., Dean of Guild. He was on the Magistracy of that ancient burgh for the last 47 years. The strictest attention to the interest of the community in the discharge of the duties of his office, the most inflexible integrity in every branch of business, and the uniformity of his general character gained him the love and esteem of his friends and fellow-citizens."

September 19.—"The Marquis of Huntly’s party has shot this season upwards of 1400 brace of grouse; and, notwithstanding the very wet weather, the Marquis of Tavistock shot in three days 40, 45, and 51 brace."

Ibid.—"The True Highlanders Fete was this year preceded by the revival of the Ancient Caledonian Hunt, which lasted for three successive days, and, including the Committee meeting, occupied the whole week. This noble recreation produced less venison than was anticipated, though quite as many shots were fired, ball practice being less sure with most Highlanders than it was with their ancestors; yet some of the roe deer fell in capital style at the height of their speed." The writer of the paragraph (a correspondent) glorifies Glengarry. "Such was the enthusiastic feeling abroad," that a gentleman named Macintyre took the silver dirk from his own side and presented it to the young heir of Glengarry; and when the boy refused it the gentleman sent it to Glengarry begging him to accept it on behalf of his son, "as the Macintyres claimed the Chief of the Macdonells as the Chief of their blood likewise and the author of their race." All which and much more of a similar kind is freely punctuated with italics. The frequent communications about this Society seem either to have been written by Glengarry himself, or to have been sent by some one in his immediate circle.

Ibid.—"Here, on the 9th inst. (died] Jean Robertson. This extraordinary character usually employed herself in gathering dulse and shellfish, with which she occupied her station in the market, until within a few days of her death. She would occasionally take a trip to the country to retail tea, and was not ashamed to beg at times. After her death, upwards of £60 in bank bills and £3 in silver were found in her apartment, which she had completely filled with clothes, provisions, and fuel, piled up to the roof, leaving only about four feet round the fire-place of vacant space; yet the poor wretch appeared in the same tattered garb upwards of 20 years, and is supposed to have shortened the period of her existence by abstaining from the common necessaries of life."

Ibid.—An Auxiliary of the Edinburgh Society for the Education of Deaf and Dumb Children was established at Inverness.

September 26.—James Robertson re-elected Provost of Inverness.

October 3.—"On Saturday last a sloop and a barge, laden with coals, went through the Caledonian Canal to Fort-Augustus, having lain for some hours below the Muirtown drawbridge. The inhabitants of Inverness were apprised of the circumstance, and the novelty soon attracted a vast concourse of all ranks and ages; the banks were literally lined with spectators on this occasion."

Ibid. - James Fowler of Grange and Wellfield elected Provost of Fortrose; William Murray, banker, elected Provost of Tain.

Ibid.—Barbara MacKay, prisoner in the Tolbooth of Inverness, under a respite during pleasure, had her sentence commuted into two years’ imprisonment, commencing with the date of her conviction.

October 10.—"At last the monster Self-election has received a wound; the Royal Warrant is issued for a poll election of Magistrates at Montrose." The "Journal" speaks strongly in favour of the necessity for "emancipation" in Inverness. Its columns in this and other issues are full of criticisms of local doings.

October 24.—Among those present at the Northern Meeting were the Marquis and Marchioness of Huntly, Lord and Lady Saltoun, the Hon. Mrs Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth and Mr Stewart Mackenzie; Colonel Macdonell of Glengarry and Mrs Macdonell. Glengarry was in the complete highland garb, belted plaid, broadsword, pistols, dirk, &c. Horse races were held at Fort-George.

October 31.—The Guild-brethren of Inverness met and appointed a Committee to wait on the Provost, and present a petition for the recovery of their rights. It is stated that the Provost "received the deputation with his wonted politeness, and stated that he would lay the petition before the Town Council." In the same issue there is an advertisement of "a letter addressed to the Guild-brethren of Inverness on the subject of Burgh Reform, by Niel McNess." To this was annexed a form of petition.

Ibid.—A movement for reform was also on foot at Forres, and a protest had been lodged against the recent election of Magistrates and Councillors there. The burgesses and Guild-brethren were denied admission to the Court—house to make their protest at the Michaelmas Head Court, but they took their stand in the High Street, and read their protest at the door. A committee was appointed to take measures to obtain redress. It is stated by the Forres correspondent that "besides the demon of self-election which is so justly complained of, it is not held requisite by the present system here to have even the majority of Councillors resident within the burgh; and at last election the three bailies, Dean of Guild, Treasurer, and one councillor were all that the good town was considered capable of furnishing." The Protest bore that—"The Person elected as Provost, and a majority at least of those elected as councillors, are neither merchants, traffickers, nor inhabitants within the said burgh, nor do in any way come within the description of persons eligible to be elected as Provost or Councillors by the Acts of Parliament," &c. Complaint is made that the Provost was, at least at the time of his election, Provost of the burghs of Cullen and Elgin, "offices the conjunction of which in one individual is most unconstitutional and illegal, and to all interests and purposes disqualified him from being elected as Provost of our said burgh, even if otherwise eligible." The Forres burgesses had undoubtedly reason to protest.

November 7.—At a Committee meeting of the Bible Society, the Treasurer was instructed to remit £100 to the British and Foreign Bible Society, being nearly the whole amount of the funds in their hands. An application for 20 Bibles to poor children attending Raining’s School was sustained.

Ibid.—On the 21st inst., the Trafalgar Club dined at Maclean’s Inn at Forres to celebrate the anniversary of the battle. Thomas Dick Lauder of Relugas was in the chair, supported by the Marquis of Huntly and the Rev. John Macdonell. The following was one of the toasts:—"The Prison of St Helena, and may the turnkeys be always on the alert." On the motion of the Chairman, the name was changed from "Club" to "Trafalgar Meeting," and the marquis of Huntly was elected Patron.

Ibid.—Died, at Belfast, on the 18th October, Sergeant Alexander Cameron, pipe-major of the 92nd or Gordon Highlanders. "His merits as a performer on the Highland bagpipe were generally acknowledged, but they could only be duly appreciated by those who felt the inspiring effects of his animating strains on the toilsome march or amid the thunder of battle. He served in the Peninsula during the whole of the last war, and by his zeal attracted the notice of several officers of high rank. Lieut. -General Sir William Erskine, in a letter to a friend after the affair of Rio del Molinas, says—’The first intimation the enemy had of our approach was the piper of the 92nd playing "Hey Johnny Cope are ye waukin’ yet?" To this favourite air from Cameron’s pipe the streets of Brussels re-echoed on the night of the 15th June, when the regiment assembled to march out to the field of Waterloo. How many a brave fellow heard it then for the last time! Once, and once only, was this brave soldier missed in his accustomed place in the front of the battle. and the occasion strongly marks the powerful influence which the love of fame had upon his mind. In a London newspaper a very flattering eulogium had appeared on the conduct of a piper of another regiment. Our gallant musician, anxious that no one should surpass him in zeal or intrepidity, felt hurt that he should not also have gained this flattering distinction, and declared that ‘if his name did not appear in the newspapers he would no more play on the battlefield.’ Accordingly, in the next affair with the enemy, Cameron's pipe [at first] was mute! Some insinuation against the piper reached his ear. The bare idea of his conduct being misunderstood was torture to poor Cameron, and overcame at once the sullen resolution he had formed of remaining silent in the rear. He rushed forward, and not content with gaining his place at the head of the regiment, advanced with a party of skirmishers, and placing himself on a height, in full view of the enemy, continued to animate the party by playing favourite national airs. For the last two years his health sensibly declined. He was afflicted with an asthma which the blowing of the bagpipe tended to aggravate. Notwithstanding, he could not be induced to resign his favourite employment, but continued till very lately to play ‘The Gathering’ for the daily assembly of the regiment. His remains were attended to the grave by several officers, all the non-commissioned officers, and the grenadier company to which he belonged."

November 14.—The death of the Princess Charlotte, which plunged the whole nation into rnourning, is recorded in this issue.

Ibid.—An advertisement announces that on the 4th December a new weekly paper, entitled "The Inverness Courier," will appear. All orders are to be addressed to the publisher, W. Ettles, bookseller, Inverness; Mr Andrew Sievwright, editor; or Messrs Newton & Co., news agents, London.

Ibid.—The Nairnshire Harvest Home Meeting was held in Richardson’s Inn, Nairn, on the 31st ult., attended by the County gentry. "The dancing (of which a variety was exhibited from the French Quadrille to the old Scottish Bumpkin) was kept up with great spirit to an early hour." Colonel Rose of Kilravock presided at the supper.

Ibid.—"Dr Donald Macaskill, of the Island of Eigg, and the Rev. Mr Fraser, minister of the Small Isles, were unfortunately drowned off Eigg on the 24th ult. They were proceeding from Arisaig to Eigg in a boat, when, by the starting of a plank, the boat instantly sank, and they, with the two boatmen, perished." Dr Macaskill left a widow and ten children. A subsequent paragraph states that the boatmen were rescued.

November 21.—It is stated that an Inverness Town Councillor, Mr James Lyon, had declared himself in favour of the abolition of self-election, and had written a letter on the subject to the Provost and another to the Town Council. No answer having been returned to the petition of the Guild-brethren, they had withdrawn it, and now claimed the entire renovation of the Burgh set and a poll election; "and we understand that under the circumstances of some members of the Magistracy being considered illegally appointed, the object is to disfranchise the Burgh.’ The Lord Advocate, Mr Cranstoun, and Mr Jeffrey had been employed on behalf of the burgesses.

Ibid.—"Some oak trees were lately discovered in deepening the channel of the Caledonian Canal through Loch-Dochfour. These were in seven feet of water and buried under a depth of ten feet of gravel. After injuring the dredging machine, with a power of 30 tons, another of 50 was applied, which succeeded in dragging to the surface three trees of very large size. One of them is of a magnitude altogether beyond the ordinary growth of this country in the present day: it is in circumference 20 feet at the insertion of the limbs, 3 in number, and 14 feet 2 inches at the root end. One of the limbs is 8 feet 11 inches in circumference, and the three trees measure 198 solid feet; the wood appears to be perfectly fresh and sound."

Ibid.—The Nairn Friendly Society subscribed £20 towards the erection of a pier at Nairn.

November 28.—This issue contains the text of the petition submitted by the Guild-brethren of Inverness to the Town Council, claiming the right to elect their own Dean of Guild, and to manage and dispose of their own funds. By this time the petition had been considered by the Town Council, and Provost Robertson sent the following reply to one of the petitioners:- "Agreeable to my promise, I laid the petition of yourself and other members of the Guildry before the Town Council yesterday; and I have to intimate to you, for the information of the gentlemen interested, that the Council refuse your desire."

Ibid.—Died, on 1st May, at Travancore, India, in the 58th year of his age, Captain Thomas Arthur, of the Engineer Corps, Madras Establishment, son of the Rev. Mr Arthur, Resolis, Ross-shire. Captain Arthur began his military career under General Harris in the campaign of 1799, and was one of the party *which that year stormed Seringapatam. He remained in India till his death, and was frequently mentioned in military orders.

December 5.—The Guild-brethren of Inverness resolved to raise a subscription to enable them to take legal action for the vindication of their claims. A sum of £430 was speedily subscribed. In Wick, Dingwall, and Elgin, movements had begun on behalf of burgh reform.

Ibid.—"Died lately. in the Scots College, Paris, deservedly lamented, Rev. John Farquharson, superior. He was long Principal or Head of the Scots College at Douay, in Flanders, which he was forced to abandon at the period of the Revolution, and went to Glasgow, where he remained many years, officiating as Catholic clergyman, and was much esteemed for his modesty and humility, and as an honest man."

Ibid.—"On the 13th of June last, at Kakundy, on the Rio Munez, in Upper Guinea, on his return from the interior of Africa, Captain Thomas Campbell, of the Royal Staff Corps then commanding the expedition intended to explore the course of the Niger." The expedition, which suffered severely from the climate, was intended in some degree to trace the route of the famous traveller, Mungo Park. Captain Campbell was a native of Caithness.

December 12.—To a correspondent who inquires about the increase of legal distilleries, the "Journal" gives some information. "In Ross-shire, we are glad to observe, they are making considerable progress though there alone; we believe there are at present in that shire one of 400 gallons one of 200, one of 80, and one of 40, and there is also one establishing at Fortrose of 200, and another at Teaninich of the same content; there are two of 40 gallons each in Morayshire one of 40 gallons in Caithness, and one establishing of 80 gallons in Nairnshire. There are none in Inverness-shire." At Dingwall the previous week several persons had been fined £20 each for illicit distillation.

December 19.—"The Trades of Inverness have established for the benefit of their members a newsroom, which was opened yesterday under the denomination of the Clachnacutin Reading Room." The above spelling is frequently, though not invariably, given to our palladium in the "Journal."

Ibid.—From a letter in this issue we find that the burgh officers and the local hangman were in the habit of going round every Christmas morning for Christmas boxes. Jack Ketch demanded a fee of sixpence, a shilling, or half-a-crown, "just as he thinks you can afford"; and if he did not get what he asked he was wont to be insolent. "Now, in the name of wonder, what right has Jack to lay the inhabitants under contribution? He says for ringing the fish bell; but is be not allowed for this a fish from every creel that is brought to market? Perhaps for keeping the streets clear of beggars; for this duty (while he chose to perform it) he was allowed from the beggars’ fund a shilling for every beggar he turned out of town. I cannot therefore conceive on what ground this man is permitted to molest us, unless it be, indeed, to make up for the 3s 4d a head for flogging unfortunate women through the streets, which he has been deprived of by Act of Parliament. Even with this deduction, I think that his salary and perquisites are from £50 to £60 a-year."

Mr Suter, in his Memorabilia, under date 1817, notes that the new bridge was repaired at a cost of £852, paid by the Burgh, and that Bridge Street was widened and improved at private expense.


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