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Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social
(Second Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Chapter VII. Urquhart and Glenmoriston


THE GRANTS OF GLENMORISTON.

This parish has been so exhaustively dealt with by one of its distinguished sons, Mr William Mackay, that I have little to say. If each parish within the great county of Inverness produced such a worthy and capable historian, the county so rich in story, poetry, and song, would indeed be admirably represented.

The connection of the Lairds of Grant with the parish is a gloomy reminiscence, if not now a standing menace. Founded, if not on fraud, patently on Royal favouritism, it has run what can hardly be termed an honourable course of four hundred years, culminating in depriving the people of any rights to the greater part of the lordship. The expropriation of the old families of Corrimony, Sheuglie, Achmony, and others has been most prejudicial to the Glen and put an end to that independent feeling so necessary and beneficial in a district where one family is territorially supreme.

Although Glenmoriston has during the last fifty years fallen sadly back in population and importance, yet there is still a very kindly feeling held towards the family, who at an early period broke off from the continuous mean and time-serving traditions of its head.

The Grants of Glenmoriston never sided with the Grants of Grant, but not being sufficiently numerous to form a regiment, allied themselves to the Macdonells of Glengarry, and in another place I have mentioned the quota of Glenmoriston officers in the conjunct regiment.

This brought out a warm and lasting friendship, of which perhaps no better illustration could possibly be given than the contract between John Macdonell of Glengarry and John and Patrick Grant, elder and younger of Glenmoriston, dated Invergarry, 1st November, 1735. It was probably executed in duplicate (being referred to in Sir William Fraser's Chiefs of Grant.) I possess one if not the only principal. It is now given-

"Att Invergarry. The first day of November One thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-five years. It is contracted, agreed and finally ended betwixt the parties after mentioned, viz., The Honble John McDonell of Glengary, and John and Patrick Grants of Glenmoristone, elder and younger, with the speciall advices and consent of Alexander Grant of Craskie younger, and Angus Grant of Dalldragon on the one and other parts, In manner following, That is to say, The said John McDonell, and the saids John and Patrick Grants with consent forsaid Hereby Bind and Oblige themselves and their heirs whatsomever, strictly to maintain betwixt the foresaid families of Glengarie Glenmoristone, such Kindness and Friendship as was formerly keeped and observed by their predecessors, and that they shall joyn with one another (In so far as is lawful and just) against any opposition or encroachments or unlawfull attempts to be made against any of the saids families (The family of Grant being always excepted by the saids John and Patrick). And the saids John and Patrick Grants Doe by these presents and with consent forsaid, Bind and Oblidge them and their forsaids That They nor any of their family shall not at any time hereafter maintain, Harbour or resett The person of Allan Grant, son to the said John Grant, or Tiavell with, or assist him, or any of his followers directly or indirectly any manner of way. And the for- named parties contractors, with consent forsaid, Bind and Oblidge them and their forsaids to obtemper, perform, and fulfill their respective parts of this contract to others, under the penalty of Two Thousand pounds Scots money of failtie to be payed to the party performers or willing to perform the promises by and attour performance of this present contract. and that these presents may be registered in the Books of any Judicatory competent, That upon a decree of the Judges thereof Letters of Horning on ten days and other Execution in form as effeirs may pass hereupon, They constitute Their prors, &c. In witness whereof the above contractors with consent foresaid have subscribed these presents (written on stamped paper by James Stewart, sometime Baillie of Maryburgh). Day, place, month, and year of God above written before these witnesses, Ronald Mc 1)onell of Shian, John McI)onell of Drynachan, and the said James Stewart, writer hereof.

Signed) "JOHN McD0NELL of Glengarry.
"Jo. GRANTT.
"PAT. GRANTT.
"RANALD MACKDONELL, Witness.
"JOHN McD0NELL, Witness.
"JAS. STEWART, Witness."

This is one of the most curious papers I ever came across, shewing as it does that apparently for some slight or injury done by Allan Grant, fourth son of lain a' Chraggain, fifth Laird of Glenmoriston according to the genealogy, Allan's father and brother repudiated and disowned him. The genealogy mentions Allan's name but nothing else regarding him. It may have been for a disgraceful cause similar to that which occasioned a sudden and deadly quarrel between two Badenoch proprietors bearing the same name and formerly great allies and cronies.

For years I was in ignorance of the cause of this Badenoch feud until a chance reference in a gossiping letter in 1772 from a lady to her brother in the East Indies cleared the matter up.

The concurring Grants of Crasky and Dundreggan were descended of John the Tutor, and Duncan Caum, second and third Sons of lain Mor a Chaisteil, the third Laird of Glenmoriston.


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