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Social Life in Scotland
Chapter VI. - The Land and its Cultivators


WRITES Mr Tudor: "The source or fountain from which all honour and rights of property were derived, lying in the land itself, the first occupancy of which was held to confer, as it were, a patent of nobility on all descendants of the first possessor, the tenant for life was the Odaller, or Udaller, as in more modern tinges he has come to be called, a name derived from Octal, allodium as contradistinguished from feodum, whilst his male descendants were Odal-born, having rights in futuro over their fathers' land or real property, of which they were unable to divest themselves. Society was thus divided into two classes, the Octal-born or Freemen and the Thralls, Serfs or Unfree. An Odaller's real estate, on his decease, became equally divisible amongst all his family; the only privilege accorded to seniority being that the eldest son could claim the head Bull or Chemis place, i.e., the chief manor or farm. If disputes arose as to the due division of the property, it was settled by a Schynd, or inquest held by the Odallers who constituted the local Thing, or court of the district.

In Orkney and Shetland, where the allodial or octal system prevailed, the sale of land was direct and absolute from the granter to the grantee. The odaller owed no vassalage even to his sovereign, but voluntarily made himself subject to a scat or assessment for the public service.

Up to 1468 the Crown of Scotland paid an annual tribute to the King of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway for the Isle of Man and the Hebrides. But on the 8th September of that year, Christian I., in view of his only daughter Margaret being married to James III., relieved Scotland of the tribute, and further pledged the islands of Orkney to the Scottish monarchy, till he had made payment of 60,000 florins as his daughter's dowry. Though the scat or land-tax of the islands was conveyed to the Scottish exchequer, the sum of two thousand crowns only was realised. Notwithstanding this failure, a claim to the islands was, on behalf of the sovereign of Denmark, made upwards of a century afterwards. The occasion of the demand is thus chronicled by John Scott in his MS. book of protocols: " Monunday, the fyft of Julij 1585, the king of Danmarkis embassadouris came to St Androis and lugeit in Henry Lawmontis hous in Sanct Androis, and thair abaid fywe oulkis vpon the king of Scotlandis anser of thair commissioun for the redemptioune of the landis of Orknay and Zatland, quha came to St Androis with his nobilitie to that effect on the xxviiith of Julij 1585, and maid to theime ane gryt basket on Sunday the viiith day of August 1585, and gaff thame thair ansour in wrytt. And on Monnunday the ixth day of Augest thair-after the king past furth of St Androis to Burlie and thairafter to Striviling, and the embassatouris to their schippis to the east ferrye roid." By Sir James Melville is presented a circumstantial account of the embassy. There were three ambassadors, two being councillors of state, and they were attended with a retinue of one hundred and twenty persons, who were accommodated "in twa braue schippis."

While mildly setting forth their sovereign's claim upon the isles, -- a claim under the circumstances wholly untenable,—the ambassadors expressed in the most becoming manner that their royal master was willing that the league between the countries might be strengthened by intermarriage. Their purpose was discovered by Queen Elizabeth, who instructed Wotton, her envoy, to induce dissension between the parties, in which but for the interposition of Sir James Melville he had succeeded. The result of the negotiation was that after an interval of four years, Anna of Denmark became consort of King James.

The feudal system of land tenure, arising from the tie of service in contradistinction to the tie of blood, under the allodial custom, arose out of that consolidation of royal authority, which has been traced as obtaining origin in the reign of Malcolm II. (1004-34). About a century thereafter the feudal modes were fully maintained by Alexander I., who, asserting a right to the soil, confirmed the tenures of those landowners who acknowledged his authority. On the instrument of grant, a bit of sheepskin, he expressed his sanction by making with a pen the sign of the cross, a mode of verifying documents which by those who cannot write exists in our own times.

The feudal system brought into operation by Alexander I. was consolidated by David I. By the latter were Saxon and Norman settlers invited from the south to obtain for payment vast tracts of un-appropriated territory. In the British Museum is preserved a, charter of David I., in which he grants to Robert de Brus certain lands in the valley of the Nith. Like the charters of preceding reigns the instrument is extremely brief; it includes a list of witnesses. During the reign of David and several of his royal successors, the witnesses to charters, who always included churchmen, were usually from seven to fifteen in number. What money was by David received for lands from foreign settlers he beneficently devoted to the erection and endowment of religious houses.

The Scottish feudal system was vigorously upheld. From time to time in the Western Highlands successive sovereigns are found demanding of the landowners an exhibition of their charters, and confiscating those who could not produce them.

By the feudal system the nobility and barons became bound to uphold the power and sustain the dignity of the crown. And when any of their number proved obnoxious to the King and his royal advisers, he was declared rebel and forfeited. It was to restrain the sovereign and his advisers from the exercise of these despotic severities that the Parliament of 1685 passed the law of entail, whereby possessors of land were enabled to secure them in favour of such heirs as they might select. That act was so generally utilised, that two-thirds of the land in the kingdom, often whole parishes, were made secure to designated heirs. Favoured by the enactment, many landowners who joined in the insurrections of 1715 and 1745 were enabled to avoid forfeiture by the professed loyalty of their sons. Legislative provisions respecting the law of entail have been passed recently, and doubtless under the strong pressure of public sentiment the soil will ere long be liberated from an incubus the outcome of a despotic age and which has in better times been felt to repress industry and fetter enterprise.

Apart from the earls and great barons arose in the reign of David I. that large class of freeholders by knight-service, who became the lesser barons or lairds of a later age. A ploughgate was that portion of land which eight oxen were supposed to be able to bring into tillage in the course of a year; it consisted of 104 acres, and was virtually the equivalent of the hide or curucate, which in English measurement embraced 120 acres. A davoch, derived from the Celtic damh, pronounced dav, an ox, and ach, a field, embraced four plough rates or carucates, that is 416 acres. The possession of a ploughgate was held to constitute a freeholder—being in the valuation called the "Old Extent," passed in the thirteenth century, reckoned of the value of three merks or forty shillings. By granting political qualifications to those small proprietors who were styled freeholders, the sovereign was enabled to counterbalance the ascendancy of the great barons. Freehold privileges in respect of the election of members to serve in Parliament continued till the passing of the first Reform Act in 1832.

Lairds had their appellative from a corrupted form of the Saxon lord, derived in turn from the words half; a loaf, and ord, a place. To the present time in the Highlands the laird or untitled landowner is more frequently designated by the name of his property than by his surname.

The other territorial quantities were husband-land, the equivalent of the English virgate. This consisted of two bovates or oxgangs--that is, twenty-six acres, for thirteen acres was the measure which an ox was field equal to bring into tillage in the course of a year. The possessor of husband-land became familiarly known as the gudeman, an appellative which, originally associated with a portion of ground, came to be applied to the better class of yeomen, and latterly as an ordinary title of respect to any male householder.

Both among the Celts and Saxons the rule of succession in heritage implied that on the death of a landowner his successor should be a male. This obviously arose from the consideration that physical strength was essential to the maintenance of territory. And under the law of tanistry which obtained in Ireland, also in ancient Morayshire, an able-bodied male representative of a deceased chief might be chosen his successor, apart from those nearer in hill. On this principle iiif wt sons and guardians were rejected in favour of kinsmen, who might personally, or by their retainers, defend the family honours.

The legal acquisitions or transfer of land was cumbrous and costly. A crown charter was obtained by a complicated process. A signature containing the substance of the charter required having been handed to the Presenter of Signatures, it was by him borne to the Judges in Exchequer. By an Exchequer Judge, attended by a Writer to the Signet, it was compared with the preceding charter, and if found correct handed for transcription in the Exchequer Record. Returned to the Presenter, it was next conveyed to the Office of the Great Seal, and there impressed with the cachet, a facsimile of the sign-manual. This constituted a warrant for a precept being framed in Latin, and under the signet passed to the Keeper of the Great Seal. This act of process served as a warrant for the charter being extended under the Director of Chancery. When so extended the Great Seal was attached, and the document entered in the Register of Chancery, was complete. Large fees were exacted. The sealing of crown charters was dispensed with by the Titles of Land Act passed in 1858, when other useless and costly forms were also abrogated.

Under the feudal system an heir even to the most inconsiderable portion of soil, behoved to obtain "heritable state and seisin, and real, actual, and corporal possession." When a certain part of the process had been proceeded with in chancery, the portion of land into which the heir was to be served, or the purchaser invested, was visited by a group of persons. These were the superior or vendor, his bailie and his notary; also the heir or purchaser, with his attorney or law agent, and two mule witnesses; in all seven persons. [It was not legally essential that the superior and heir or vendor and purchaser should be present at an infeftment.] Arriving on the ground, the vassal's attorney, in presence of the Superior or vendor, displayed his charter or warrant of sale, which, handing to the bailie, he in turn passed to the notary, who unfolded it, and explaining to the witnesses the nature of the transaction, read the precept of service. When this instrument was returned to him by the notary, the bailie provided himself with earth and stone, which lie handed to the vassal's attorney. Having received the symbol of possession, the attorney placed a silver coin, which he called instruments, in the Bands of the notary, protesting that the feudal investiture of his client was complete. Thereupon followed a deed of infeftment, commencing with the words, "In the name of God. Amen." Framed by rural attorneys, with a due regard to the security of the state, as well as the safety of their clients, some writs of sasine exhibited a strange diction. 'Thus at Stirling, on the 27th December 1727, Anna Alexander was served heir to her father in the lands of Westerton of Tillicoultry—a most inconsiderable holding; yet her attorney conceived himself entitled to burden her instrument of sasine with the following jargon:—"As also it is hereby specially provided and declared that in case it shall happen that the said Anna Alexander to be convict of murder, common theft, or wilfull resett of common theft, that the said person so convict shall thereby amitt and tyne their infeftment of the feufarm of the said lands."

Feudatory symbols were originally staff and baton. They subsequently varied with the character of the subjects. Thus for lands and houses the symbols were earth and stone; for mills, clap and happer; for burgage tenements, hasp and staple; for teinds, grass and cord; for fishings, net and coble; and for a right to ferry, an oar and water. The bailies of the Abbey of Cupar, in the fifteenth century, granted to feuars on their lands symbols of "earth, tree, and stone," and when buildings were conveyed, gave symbols of "thack and duffat," that is of thatch and sod.

By an Act passed in 1845, the ceremony of infeftment on the lands and the use of symbols were abolished, and it was provided that saline could be effectually given and infeftment obtained by producing the warrant to a notary, and expeding and recording an instrument of sasine in terms of the Act.

A General Register of Sasines is kept at Edinburgh, also Particular Registers of Sasine in connection with the several counties and burgles, the latter being periodically deposited in the Register House. Other records connected with the administration of landed property include the Registers of Entails, Adjudications, Inhibitions, Interdictions, Deeds, and Probative Writs; also the important registers of the Great and of the Privy Seal.

The lands which under the feudal system were originally granted by charter, were those adapted for tillage. In the earlier times of cultivation, the incipient husbandman scattered his seed on the seaboard, on the margins of rivers, and amidst the accumulations of debris resting upon mountain slopes. On these last were formed terraces, occasionally protected by a series of dwarf walls rising at regular intervals. Such terraces remain on the eastern side of Arthur's Seat, [Arthur's Seat is a corruption of Ard-tir-sceat, signifying the heights of the Scot.] at Purves Hill, Newlands, and Kilbucho, Peeblesshire, at Dunsyre, Lanarkshire, and on a hill at Markinch, Fifeshire. [See Dr Daniel Wilson's "Prehistoric Annals of Scotland," 2nd edit., 1863, 8vo, Vol. I., pp. 492-4; also a Paper by Dr Robert Chambers on "Ancient Terraces of Cultivation, commonly called Daises," in the "Proceedings of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries," Vol. I., pp. 127-133. If, as is believed, Britain was a corn growing country, sending grain to the continent before the arrival of the Romans, we may readily ascribe to these balks or terraces an antiquity beyond the Christian era. And as on the terraces of Arthur's Seat have been recovered masses of incited bronze, the construction might with no undue stretch of fancy be attributed to the Bronze or Phoencian Age. The hill-terrace method of culture was early adopted in Palestine, and it still prevails on the slopes of Lebanon.] Terraces supported by substantial stone-work are distinctly traceable at the haining, or south-western slope of Stirling Rock.

While the feudal barons obtained grants of scenes of ancient cultivation, their charters bore that the pertinents likewise were conveyed. And so by to liberal interpretation of a phrase which meant only the narrow skirts around their lands, were gradually appropriated vast tracts of common land, which really belonged to the inhabitants. ["Scotch Legal Antiquities," by Cosmo Innes, Edin. 1872, passim.]

The seizure of vast tracts of forest would have been an unprofitable acquisition, if attended with the maintenance of those who had derived from the product a rude support. It therefore became essential to secure the rights of pertinents by claiming not only the soil, but a proprietorship in those who occupied it. These were described as adscripti gleboe, that is, they were held to belong to the soil, as aught else found upon its surface, whether animate or inanimate.

Those enslaved persons were variously designed neyfs, ceorles, villains, bond-serfs, and native-men. Denied every social privilege, and subjected to perpetual toil, they were required to testify submission to the overlord by bending reverently before him, at the same same pulling their forelocks. Touching or seizing the forelock is a kind of salute which still prevails among the peasantry. If a slave attempted to deny his servitude or to effect his escape, his lord was entitled to deprive him of all he possessed save fourpence, and in open court to pull his nose. [Robertson's "ScotIand under her early Kings," vol. ii. p. 314.] On the establishment of burghs, serfs obtained their first earnest of freedom, consequent on the burghal law, which ruled that anyone bound in servitude, who remained one year and a day in a royal burgh without detection, thereby became free. By the same law it was provided that as serfs were restricted to particular estates they might not be sold except in connection with the soil. The Church was the great emancipator. Rich, and increasing in riches, while the landowners remained poor, abbots and monks acquired serfs readily. Nor might secular authority wrest them from the Church. There is preserved in the diocesan treasury at Durham, a letter of Malcolm IV. (1153-1165),which translated reads thus:—"Malcolm, King of Scots, to all good men of his whole land, greeting. I command that wherever the Prior of Goldingaham [Coldingham] or his servants can find fugitive serfs justly belonging to Goldingham, they shall have them justly without disturbance or trouble; and I forbid that any of you detain them unjustly, on pain of my prohibition. Witnesses, Walter the Chancellor, Hugh of Moreville. At Berewic." From William the Lion (1165-1214) the abbot of Scone received a precept, authorizing him or his sergeant to receive two fugitive slaves, which belonged to the lands of the abbey.

Sales of serfs to abbeys and convents are frequently notified. To the monks of Kelso, about the year 1170, Earl Waldev of Dunbar sold "Halden and his brother William and all their descendants." In Part I. of "Facsimiles of the National MSS.," No. 54, is presented the copy of an instrument, executed in the reign of Alexander II. (1214-1249), whereby on a payment of three merks, a serf with his sons and daughters became the property of Coldingham Priory. In English, the document thus proceeds:—"To all who may see or hear these letters, Bertram, son of Adam of Lesser Piston, greeting. Be it known to you all that I have granted, sold, and for myself and my heirs, entirely quit-claimed to the Prior and Convent of Coldirigham, Turkil Hog and his sons and his daughters, for three merks of silver, Which in my necessity they gave me, of money of the House of Coldingham. Wherefore I will and grant that the foresail Turkil and his sons and his daughters be free and quit for ever from all reclamation whether by myself or my Heirs. And in witness of the transaction I have affixed my seal to the writing before these witnesses, Sir William of Hordington, Walter and Andrew of Paxton, Adam of Roston, John son of Helyas, and Maurice of Ayton, Adam of Prendergast, and many others." On the 7th May 1258, Malise Earl of Strathearn crave to the Abbot of Inchaffray, John, surnamed Staines, also his children and descendants. Later in the thirteenth century, Adam of Prendergast sold to the almoner of Coldingham, Stephen Fitz Waldev along with his followers and goods.

At the abbey of Dunfermline was kept a sort of stud-book, containing pedigrees of slaves on the estate, with their marriages, names of the persons whom the daughters had married, and the merchet or tax paid by bondmen when they gave their daughters in marriage, and so deprived the abbey of their services.

Slaves belonging to the Church were recompensed by stipulated wages. By the chartulary of Dunfermline we are informed of a gradual emancipation. On the feast of St Peter ad vincula 1320, was held in the chapel of Logie, an inquest concerning the immunities which the men of Tweedale belonging to the abbey claimed from the abbot. They desired, first, to be delivered from the lay courts by having allowed them a bailiff of their own race; secondly, that any of their number falling into poverty might be sustained by the monastery; and thirdly, that those chargeable with manslaughter should be sheltered in the monastery. By a jury these demands were conceded, but a further request that a portion of any fine inflicted upon them for homicide should be paid out of the abbey revenues was rejected. Twenty years later, by formal charters, the abbot and convent of Dunfermline declared Marcornie and certain other bondmen to be free, and allowed them to obtain lands on a yearly rent. The last process for recovering a neyf was presented before the Sheriff of Banffshire, in 1364, when Alexander Bar, bishop of Moray, obtained the verdict of an assize, finding that Robert Nevyn and Robert Erie were liege men of the church at Moray, and therefore the property of the bishop. Neyfs are mentioned in the Ieases of the abbey of Cupar up to the close of the fifteenth century, but at that period the institution of slavery had practically ceased. [Chartulary of Inchaff'ray; Register of Dunfermline; Register of Moray; Rental Book of Abbey of Cupar; Facsimiles of National MSS. Part I.; Innes's "Scotland in the Middle Ages," and LegaI Antigiuities," passim.]

Alexander III. was a conspicuous promoter of husbandry. His agricultural ardour is described by Wyntoun in these lines:—

Yeoman, poor karl or knawe
That wes of mycht an ox til haw,
He geat that man haive part in pluche
Swa wes corne in [his] land eneuche
Swa then begowth and eff'tyr lang,
Off land wes mesure, ane ox-gang.
Mychty men, that had ma
Oxyn, he girt in pluchys ga,
A pluck off land efftyr that
To nowinyr off oxen mesuryd gat
Be that vertu all hys land
Off corn he gert be aboundand.

According to this description Alexander enforced agricultural industry by insisting that all who owned oxen should use them in tillage. Already had the monks begun to follow an example derived from a remote past. By initiating their dependants in the art of husbandry, they raised upon their granges wheat, bear, oats, and pease. Their monasteries were reared on lands which were unsaleable for lack of culture, but in the sheltered spots on which they were built soon appeared the smile of fertility and abundance. The Cistercian Order was by its rule devoted to agriculture. With this object they avoided ornamentation in their buildings; also in domestic furniture. Even classical learning, and the illumination of MSS, which other orders cherished they usually disregarded. To the Cistercians belonged the abbeys of Melrose, Newbattle, Dundrennan, Kinloss, Cupar, Deer, and Balmerino. At their sites may be traced the evidences of successful husbandry.

Monks not of the Cistercian rule promoted horticulture; on their mains they raised wheat, vegetables, and fruit-trees, and comfortably accommodating their employees at their granges, or chief homesteads, they sent them from thence, under charge of a lay brother, to tend their farms, or convert into tillage their lands at a distance. By a statute of Alexander III., it was ruled that persons in journeying might according to an existing practice, quarter their beasts over night in any barony, save among growing corn, or in the lay meadow. When grain was raised on spaces in which trees had been filed, these were named fields. The forests long crave shelter to the boar, the wolf, the roe, and a species of wild cattle.

In 1435 the court of James I. was visited by neas Sylvius Piccolomini, a Papal envoy, then of the age of thirty; he in 1458 became Pope Pius II. From the narrative of his visit, which has been preserved, we derive a somewhat vivid picture of the time. The country was bleak and wild; there were few trees and little corn. A sulphureous stone, dug out of the earth, was used as fuel; it was at the churches distributed to half-clad beggars. The towns were unwalled, and the houses reared without mortar, were roofed with turf, and had doors of ox-hide. The common people lived on fish and flesh, using wheaten bread only as a dainty. The men were short in stature, but of daring; enterprise; the women were fair, and saluted with their lips as freely as did Italian women with the liquid. The horses were small, and were used without bridles. Trading with Flanders the people exported hides, wool, salt fish, and pearls. They hated the English, who in turn disliked the Scots and dreaded their incursions.

Our earliest details of Scottish farming are derived from the registers and rental-books of the religious houses. Farmers were in the thirteenth century tenants at will. Then and subsequently they farmed under the system of steel-bow, a compound word derived from stahline, permanent, and bow, a herd; for the stocking and implements of every farm were supplied by the landlord and made returnable to him, when the premises were quitted. This mode continues on certain dairy farms in the western counties. A century ago, the hind on a farm who was entrusted with the care of the cattle was called the bow-man.

Rent was payable in money, service, and kind. Money rent or mail, was ordinarily restricted to a few merkes. Service consisted of personal labour for a stipulated number of days on the landlord's enclosures or home farm. In connection with the abbey of Cupar, we learn from the Rental Book, that the special service of the rentallers consisted in their supplying fishing-tackle to the monks when they went a-fishing, and in providing the abbot's carriage with horses. Ordinary service comprehended the providing of fuel, the receiving and preparing of peat, and in driving it to the monastery along with bent, roots and branches of fallen trees. Carriage service was of two kinds, the common, and the great draught. The latter was required once a year, when two horses and four oxen were used in dragging to the monastery goods from Dundee and other ports.

Rent in kind embraced the produce of the cowhouse, which included oxen, calves, sheep and lambs, hogs and kids; of the granary, including oats, bear or barley, oaten straw and horse-corn; dairy produce, including pullets, hens, and capons, also eggs and butter.

The extinction of serfdom having been productive of indolence, a Parliamentary statute, passed in 1424, provided "that men of sempel estate that of resone suld be laborers, haf either half ane ox in the pluch, or else delff ilk werk day seven fute of lenth and seven on bredth, vnder the payn of ane ox to the king." Obtempering this rule, the members of Cupar convent in their leases to cottars of from six to nine acres of land, stipulated a rent of personal service, not to exceed nine days in the year. It was a chief provision of the monastery that without employing a neyf, the tenants should cultivate their own lands and "yairds" or gardens. The latter they were required to enclose, and plant with colewort [Colewort, otherwise lang-kale, was the usual pot herb of the cottagers' croft.] and other vegetables. To every cottar was provided a hut or rude dwelling. Cottars field direct from the monastery, also from the husbandmen; in the latter case it was provided that sub-tenants were not to be displaced without the authority of the convent. On the husbandmen of Cupar was enjoined the practice of sound morals. Dick Scott in 1466 received a renewal of his lease on the condition that it would become null should he not prove "sober and temperate, preserving more strictly a kindly intercourse with his neighbours and relatives." "Tynsall of tack," that is, forfeiture of lease, was to follow conviction for theft or reset of stolen foods; also the destruction of young or the removal of old forest trees. In like manner was made punishable unchaste behaviour, also "sorning," or sponging. Any tenant whose holding included a marsh was enjoined to labour for its "recovery." In casting beats, the tenant was first to remove the superficies; then to gain his fuel by digging into the bog, but to such a depth only as to leave a vegetable layer, on which the surface soil might be replaced. By this mode fair pasture was secured. Pastures were to be irrigated from the adjoining streams.

To improve the aspects of the country, check malaria, and provide shelter, Parliament enacted in 1457 that all freeholders, both temporal and spiritual, should plant on their lands trees, hedges, and broom. Acting upon this injunction, the monks of Cupar bound their tenants to protect trees and hedgerows. Broom was regarded as specially adapted for wet soil; the plants there attaining great size and strength. By plantations of broom were enclosed dwellings, gardens and rabbit-warrens.

By the Cistercian brethren at Cupar, was horticulture warmly encouraged. On obtaining a renewal of his lease in 1549, the tenant of Carsgrange undertook to preserve the trees, keep open the ditches, and watch the orchard. And David Howieson, who leased the three gardens of the monastery, became bound in 1542 to cultivate onions, colewort, parsley, beet, and lettuce. He also agreed to nourish the fruit trees, prune the hedges, repair the stone fences, preserve the alleys, and keep clear the water-courses. In addition he made pledge that he would "nocht lat ane craw big within the bundis."

In the earlier times of Scottish husbandry were chiefly cultivated corn, or oats, and bear or coarse barley. To secure a variety of crop, Parliament in 1426 enacted that "ilk man teland [tilling] with a pleuch of eight oxen, sal saw at the lest ilk year ane firlott of quhete, half a firlot of peis and forty benis, vnder the payn of ten. shillings." Conformably with this requirement, the monks of Cupar stipulated in 1472, that their tenants should "keep the ackis of parliament in the sawyn of quhet, pess, binys and ry."

The cleansing of the land from "guld," that is, marigold, was enjoined by statute. In the Act it is set forth, not without humour, that anyone who planted "guld " deserved punishment as amply, as if he had led an army against the king anal barons. On the 4th November 1478,. John Porter, farming the abbey lands of Navicula, at Cupar, agreed "to keep his land fra guld, ondir payn of guld law," which was the forfeiture of a sheep for every plant found on a farm.

The burning of dried moss and roots led to the general use of manure. In 1462 the monks of Cupar prescribed stable dung as useful in raising barley; also the ashes of peats, and the refuse of the brewhouse and the bakery, and the house of glebes. In raising oats, the tenants were recommended to allow their sheep and hogs and even calves, to graze upon "the blade-corn," but it was ruled that if calves were found "in the corn after the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist "—that is the 24th of June—they would become liable to forfeiture.

Hog feeding was discouraged. In the reign of David II. the Court of Four Burghs enacted that no burgess should permit swine to remain in the fields without a keeper; and it was one of the forest laws that they should be kept out of the plantations and hunting "round. By Parliament it was decreed that the owner of a hog which made as hole in a meadow or open place, should be compelled to fill it with grains of wheat. The monks of Cupar restricted each of their tenants to the feeding of one or two hogs only. Tenants of the abbey mills were required to pay as a portion of rent a fat boar yearly, or "ane sufficient clene-fed boar " every second year.

By a statute passed in 1449, it was provided "for the safetie and favour of the puir pepil that labouris the grunde, that thay and all utheris sall remaine with their tackes unto the ischew of their termes, quhais hands that ever thay landis cum to."

Till the middle of the fifteenth century, leases seldom extended beyond five years, but at that period was introduced a system, which has latterly obtained, of granting to substantial cultivators, a lease of nineteen years. On this subject the ingenious author of the "Beauties of Scotland" offers these pertinent remarks:—"It is probable that this term was fixed upon from the golden number, or cycle of the moon, in astronomical calculations. Our ancestors who had much faith in the influence of the moon, appear to have believed that a farmer did not obtain a fair chance of success in his employment, who was not allowed to occupy his lands for nineteen years because a complete revolution of good and bad seasons did not occur in a shorter time. During the first half of the term, he might have wet summers and bad crops; but during the remainder of the period, it was in this case supposed that he would be compensated by seasons of a contrary description."

While conforming to the usual practice in regard to the length of lease, the brethren of Cupar abbey exercised toward their tenants a considerate liberality. Married tenants were associated with their wives; it being provided that the survivor should retain the farm till the expiry of the lease. The eldest son was occasionally named with his parents, at other times the tenant was allowed to nominate his successor. When the tenant had no sons, but a daughter married, the "crude son," that is son-in-law, was conjoined with him in the lease, and when there were no children, "heirs and assignees" were named. For aged tenants, members of the convent made due provision. Thus in 1546, when a lease was granted to Andrew Oliver and his wife Ellen Allan, these were required to provide meat and clothes to John Allan, the former tenant. Orphans were in like manner provided for, guardians being appointed to them. When leases were renewed to widows, it was stipulated that if they married without permission, their rights would cease; and when a lease was renewed to a widow with children, provision was made for the children. When the widow of a tenant married, her Husband was allowed to share her tenancy; but for this privilege, as well as for a license to marry, a fee was exacted.

By Parliament in 1429, "ragyt clathes" or tattered vestments were prohibited under a penalty. In terms of this statute, the monks of Cupar enjoined that their tenants "sall be Honest [respectable] in thar cleything." For behoof of the humbler tenantry and of those falling into poverty, a bursa pauperaum was kept in the monastery. Operatives and servants of the abbey, were clothed in the monks cast-of garments. In an agreement as to executing the mason work of the abbey in 1492, Thomas Mowbray was promised yearly one of the Abbot's "old albs reaching to the ancles."

From their principal tenants the abbot and monks of Cupar exacted a kind of military service. In their leases, tenants became bound to keep in readiness leathern coats, bows, arrows, swords, bucklers, and axes; [The Scottish or Lochaber battle-axe was a formidable weapon of ancient use. Attached to a shaft of ash or other tough wood, the axe displayed a crescent face, and at the back a hook by which horsemen could be seized and dragged from their saddles. "Nether Lochaber," by the Rev. Alexander Stewart, Edin. 1553, 9vo, pp. 422.3.] also plated armour for the head and legs. With these weapons and protective armour, they were to defend themselves and their neighbours against robbers and vagrants. In leases granted from 1539 onwards, the chief tenantry became bound to provide one or two mounted horsemen, each furnished with a spear or lance, for the service of the queen and abbot. In his feu-charter, dated August 1550, Robert Montgomery undertook to provide an armed horseman for the defence of the abbot and convent against assailants and heretics. As handles for spears and lances, each principal tenant reared in his enclosures "ash-trees, sauchs, and osiers."

The summoning of armed retainers by the Fiery Cross, a Scandinavian custom, obtained in Highland districts. The Fiery Cross consisted of two sticks tied together transversely, and burnt at the ends; it was conveyed by one to another, accompanied by a single word, denoting the place of rendezvous. On receiving the symbol, every man between sixteen and sixty was obliged under the penalty of death or of having his house burned, to repair in arms to the place of meeting. According to Sir Walter Scott, the Fiery Cross often made its circuit during the Rebellion of 1745, the symbol obtaining the needful response. The military exigencies of the State were usually announced by mounted heralds.

A feudal exaction which latterly found favour in the monasteries, is by Sir David Lyndsay in his "Three Estates," made the subject of a scourging satire. The exaction which in reality was the uplifting by a superior of the best ox, or horse, or cow, from the estate of a, deceased vassal, was styled herezeld or heriot, latterly caupe or gift. The original appellaitive was heregeat, signifying a war-gift, in allusion to arms being entrusted by a lord to his tenant or vassal, to be returned at the close of his war service, interpreted as the period of his death. But the practice long survived those times, when there could be any valid pretence for claiming compensation under the name of a loan, or as the privilege of protection. The right of exacting herezeld "of each pleucht gang" was in their leases reserved by the brethren of Cupar; [No heriot was due from tenants of less than the eighth part of a ploughgate, or thirteen Scottish acres.] but there is no record as to the exaction leaving been actually made. Yet, if we are to credit Lyndsay, other religious communities were less considerate, being ready, amidst the lamentations of the bereaved, to demand the better portion of their inheritance. Long after Romish ascendancy had ceased, competing chiefs or heads of clans, three and four in number, would severally plunder the families of the bereaved under the plea of exacting caupe or herezeld. In 1617 the exaction was prohibited by statute. But the herezeld was not abandoned as a privilege due to the actual superior till 1703, when the right of exacting it was commuted into a payment of twenty merkes.

As landlords, churchmen were in the earlier times benevolent and liberal. Among those known as "kindly tenants of the Church," Professor Innes recognises a prototype in the hosbernus, described in the Rental of Kelso of the twelfth century as "our man or administrator." This description of tenant occupied a place midway between the great vassals of the Church, who ranked next to the freeholders of the Crown—and the conventual husbandmen. Sons of the lesser barons, they held rank as "lay brothers." The landed family of Porterfield in Renfrewshire traced descent from one who was porter of Paisley abbey. John Porter, porter of the convent of Cupar, had, in virtue of his office, a considerable portion of land. His office, which became hereditary, was transferred by his heirs in 1589 to a member of the family of Ogilvie, now represented by the Earl of Airlie.

From the convent of Cupar, William Roger, of the family of Roger of Redie, leased in 1454 a twelfth part of the Grange lands of Cupar; his descendant of the same name was in 1542 bailie-depute of the regality, and in virtue of his office "a kindly tenant." On the dissolution of the convent the eldest son of the bailie became a portioner of the lands; he is represented by the present writer.

In earlier times the four husbandmen who together rented a ploughgate, worked in common, assisted by their cottars or hinds. This community of labour was a necessity on account of the ruggedness of the soil, and the cumbrous nature of the implements. The plough, a timber appliance, was most unwieldy. Drawn by eight oxen, not less than four, even five and six persons were employed in conducting it. Two or more led the oxen, one or more held the stilts, and one cleared the mould-board. And by one of the husbandmen, specially skilful, was regulated the breadth of the furrow by means of a long pole attached to the plough by an iron hook.

Through the joint mode of culture originated the system of runfield, or runrig, styled rundale in England. An ordinary plonghgate, which in length extended to forty rods or 220 yards, was separated into strips or ridges, each four rods or twenty-two yards in breadth. In 1695, when different strips in the same field were frequently possessed by different owners, the runrig system was abrogated by statute. But runrig continued, where no legal difficulties intervened, and it is stated in the "Survey of Ayrshire," that the practice prevailed in that county till the middle of the eighteenth century.

Other practices associated with early husbandry became latterly a source of inconvenience. Ridges were formed in curves, while between each arable ridge was left a strip or baIk, [A facetious correspondent of Sir Patrick Waus, laird of Barnbarroch, writing to him about the year 1596, begins by acknowledging his letter, asking him "nocht to mak balkis in his beir land, but to visite hin at his house," meaning that he should not leave his friendship, like a ridge of land, to remain uncultivated." Correspondence of Sir Patrick Waus of Barnballoch," 1540, 1591, by Robert Vans Agnew. Edin., 1882, p. 544.] on which were thrown the stones, roots, and other impediments turned up by the ploughshare. When husbandry had made some progress, balks were with much labour rendered arable. But curved ridges (so constructed with a view of distributing the surface water) continued long afterwards, and the levelling of these was attended with difficulty.

In Perthshire the pastoral portions of a farm were, in the sixteenth century, of two kinds, door-land and shepherd-land. Door land was a term applied to unenclosed meadows near the homestead, including the faces of braes and small fields. On these cattle were teddered, and horses put out to bait. Shepherd land denoted meadow ground and muirland of every sort—or land not intended for regular or occasional tillage.

Cattle fed on northern hills were attenuated and feeble. During winter they were fed on straw and meadow hay. Before being in spring set loose into the meadows, they were subjected to bleeding, from a belief that thereby they would readily acquire flesh. The bleeding process proved so exhausting in the first instance that the tenantry of a district were in the habit of clubbing together to raise up each other's cattle. The blood drawn from the animals was boiled and mixed with dough, converted into cakes and eaten with milk. Cattle in the earlier times were valued chiefly for their hides. The sheep of a district were pastured together on the hills; each sheep owner distinguishing the members of his flock by a cut in the ear or by a hot iron brand upon the nose. Poultry allowed to stray widely in the fields during the day were at night gathered near the fireplace, under the belief that, if kept warm, they would produce a greater number of eggs.

The arable land of a farm was divided into infield and outfield. The former surrounded the homestead, and roughly enclosed, received the farm manure and was kept constantly in tillage. A mode of pulverizing the infield of hard and clayey soils was effected by a rotation, which included pease and beans. In the Register of the Regality of Menteith, it is set forth that, in 1664, pease were sown on a farm at Doune, "for the gooding of the ground."

On such portions of the outfield as were suited for cultivation were raised crops of oats, generally for three consecutive years, when the soil becoming exhausted it was for a period, varying from three to seven years, allowed to remain waste. Then it was re-subjected to a three years' cropping. In 1750 infield land in Forfarshire was rented at from four to ten shillings an acre; outfield land at not more than eighteenpence. After the union of the crowns, husbandry acquired a new start. The wealth of England, it was remarked, was derived chiefly from the soil, and it was held that an effort should be made to cultivate Scottish straths and reclaim the forests. Practically, little was accomplished, for the implements of husbandry continued to be rudely constructed, and the animals used in husbandry were imperfectly sustained. With the lapse of a century improvement carne. Subsequent to the political union of 1707, arose with England a trade in cattle, attended with great advantage to husbandmen. Many gentlemen became cattle-dealers, including the Hon. Patrick Ogilvie, brother of the Earl of Seafield, Chancellor of Scotland. At the great cattle fair held at Crieff in 1723, no fewer than thirty thousand cattle, reared on northern pastures, were transferred to English drovers. And at the close of the century, about one hundred thousand head of cattle were, from all parts of Scotland, sent annually into England.

Rye-grass and red clover seeds brought into England from Flanders, were in 1720 first sown in Scottish fields. About the year 1730, turnips were brought to Scotland from Norfolk. For several years they were raised only in gardens, and when, in 1739, they were introduced on the farm, the seed was sown broadcast. But as the root gained favour, its mode of culture became better understood. In 1756 turnips in drills were to be found in fields extending to fifty acres. Within other ten years the importance of the crop was universally recognised.

About the year 1690, potatoes were cultivated by one or two Scottish gardeners, and in 1701, they were raised largely in gardens at Dalkeith. When, in 1750, they were planted in the fields of Stirlingshire, a notion was entertained by the peasantry that farmers were seeking to substitute them for meal; hence they were generally rejected. But as farmers and even landlords did not disdain to partake of the root, its use by the common people advanced slowly. Before the eighteenth century had closed, potatoes were used in every home. About the year 1800, the system of planting broadcast was abandoned, and the drill method substituted.

A main and important benefit to lowland husbandry consequent on the introduction of potatoes, was a more universal attention to horticulture, of which the lack had been remarked by English tourists. The garden of the Scottish manor in the seventeenth and considerably onward in the eighteenth century, consisted of an enclosure border-mg the mansion, divided into sections by holly hedges, with straight grass-walks, and large patches of boxwood shaped into grotesque figures of men and animals. The flowers were of the simplest sort, consisting of thyme, southern-wood, the common rose, and tulips in considerable variety. Hot-beds were familiar, but according to Dr Somerville in his "Life and Times" green-houses and hot-houses were prior to 1760 unused. When potatoes were generally accepted as an important article of food, the landlord and the farmer and his hinds began to recognise the importance of cultivating garden-ground." And thereupon arose that love of flowers, which has at length resulted in every considerable hamlet leaving its annual flower-show. But the Hebridean and the Shetlander have yet to learn that gardening is both a profit and a solace.

Potatoes were sold in Forfarshire in 1794, at five shillings per boll. But as a source of profit the crop was not fully appreciated till about sixty years ago. In 1814 a writer in the Edinburgh Review quotes as serious objections to the culture of potatoes, "the manure which they require, and their great bulk and weight in proportion to their value." At Carrick, in Ayrshire, of which the soil is especially adapted for potato culture, We were lately conducted into a field of which the tenant had drawn 1000 for the crop of potatoes which it had yielded him.

Tobacco culture was in 1778 attempted in Roxburghshire, and at first successfully. But the crop was found subject to frost blights; its culture was at length prohibited by Parliamentary statute.

An ancient implement of tillage, the cascroim, is still made use of in Orkney and Shetland, also in the Hebrides. This implement consists of a shaft 6 feet long, fastened to a sole about 3 feet in length, which, shod with an iron blade, resembles a one-sided spade. By applying the foot to a pin projecting from the shaft, the iron-shod part is driven into the soil, the shaft acting as a lever in upturning the tilth.

In the reign of David I. was used a plough drawn by eight oxen. Its precise form is unknown, but it probably resembled the one stilted plough still used in the northern isles. Formed of a crooked piece of wood, the Shetland plough has attached a pliable piece of oak which is fastened to the yoke laid across the necks of the oxen, and the man who holds it walks by its side, guiding it with a stilt or handle. A driver precedes, dragging forward the oxen by a rope tied to their horns; several labourers follow with spades to level the furrow and break the clods.

If such was the Scottish plough in its primitive form, a more cumbrous implement supervened; this consisted of a long wooden beam, while the mouldboard and two short stilts were also formed of timber, the sock and coulter only being of iron. Used in clayey and difficult soils this implement was drawn by ten and even twelve oxen; in ploughing it produced a large triangular rut.

The swing-plough, now in use, was invented in 1763 by James Small of Dalkeith. Small's plough was fashioned of iron and could be drawn by two horses, but its possibilities were not readily recognised, for long after it had superseded the elder implement, farmers insisted on yoking it to oxen. In northern parts four oxen with one pair of horses were yoked together to SmalI's plough; its cost in 1794 was about 2. Oxen were in husbandry generally dispensed with about eighty years ago.

About 1847 steam-cultivation was introduced in Scotland by the Marquis of Tweeddale, and in 1855 the brothers William and Thomas Fisken perfected the steam-plough which bears their name. The brothers were natives of Perthshire. William Fisken who was Presbyterian Minister at Stamfordham, Northumberland, died in January 1884.

The harrows used a century ago made of wood, including the tines, were described by Lord Kames as "better adapted to raise laughter than to raise soil." Up to 1740 Hebridean crofters dragged barrows by their horses' docks, and by the tails of oxen. The barbarous practice was frequently condemned by the Privy Council.

From straw the grain was separated by a flail. The mode of thrashing by machinery was discovered by three farmers about the same time; these were Andrew Good, Michael Menzies, and Michael Stirling. The machines of Good and Menzies were tried in 1735. Stirling's invention, made known thirteen years later, and perfected by Andrew Meikle, an ingenious engineer, came thereafter into general use. By substituting a horizontal for a perpendicular axis, Meikle so improved Stirling's machine as almost to justify his claim as an original constructor.

Till 1710 the only winnowing appliance was the wind as it blew between open barn-doors; but in that year fanners were brought to this country from Holland by James Meikle, engineer at Saltoun, father of the perfecter of the thrashing machine. The mechanisin of fanners was in 1737 improved and perfected by Andrew Roger, farmer at Cavers.

Grain was in the earlier times pounded upon stones with oblong hollows, by means of stone grinders or rubbers. Knocking or beating stones, known as clach chrotaidh, are still used in the Hebrides. The knocking stone is a species of boulder, with a cup-like excavation, in which the grain, after being well dried, is struck by a wooden mallet; it is used in preparing pot barley.

The primitive rubber or beating stone had its successor in the quern or panel-mill. The quern consists of two circular flat stones, the upper pierced in the centre with a narrow funnel so as to revolve on a wooden pin. in using the quern, the grinder dropped the brain into the funnel with one hand, and with the other made the upper stone revolve by means of a rude handle. usually formed of stone, the quern was also made of wood. An oak quern was found in Blair-Drummond moss.

The quern was used in every household. When St Columba studied under Finnian, he each evening bruised corn with a quern. At Iona, he caused his disciples so to grind corn for their daily meals.

Into Britain water-mills were introduced by the Romans. Though afterwards used by the Saxons, they were unknown in Scotland prior to the twelfth century. In the thirteenth century they were not uncommon. In 1284 it was enacted that "na man sail presume to grind quheat, marshlock, or rye, with hands' mylne, except he be compelled be storm, or be lack of mills, quhilk sould grind the samen." The statute proceeds, "gif a man grinde at Land mylnes, he sall gif the threttein measure as coulter; and gif any man contravenis this our prohibition, he sall tine his hand mylnes perpetuallie." But the quern was continued among the peasantry, and its use has lingered in the isles up to our own times. When Captain Burt wrote in 1740, querns were in the uplands to be found everywhere. They are still numerous in Shetland, and common in Orkney and the Hebrides, also in the west coast parishes of Sutherland, Ross, and Inverness. In Shetland a quern may be procured for less than five shillings. In the crofters' dwellings it rests upon a timber tray, of which one end is built into the wall, the other being by uprights supported on the floor. In Shetland the quern is placed in the living or day-room; in the Lewis it stands in the porch. In the Hebrides obtains a mode of dressing corn called gradden. Sitting down, a woman takes a handful of corn, and holding it by the stalks in her left hand, sets fire to the ears. With a stick which she holds in her right hand, she beats off the grain at the instant the husk is burnt. Applied to the quern, the grain may be in a ready state for baking into bread within an hour after it has been cut down.

When a corn mill was erected on an estate, the tenants were required to send their grain to that mill only. This was variously called thirlage, or doing debt to a mill, or the service of the sucken.

On a portion of the lands of Cupar abbey, the miller in 1447, received as multure "the ane and twenty corne." This signified the twenty-first sheaf, or nearly five per cent. of the produce. Mill tenants at Cupar were required to provide their own millstones. But this rule did not obtain generally. the tenants of a barony usually became bound both to repair the mill-stank or pond and drag the mill-stones. Each mill-stone was wheeled from the quarry upon its edge, so that the surface might be uninjured. Grains before being carried to the mill, was by every farmer dried in his own kiln. But the system of thirlage to mills became irksome and a source of disputation; it has long been discontinued.

A mechanical contrivance for removing moss from waste lands was invented by George Meikle, son of the improver of the thrashing machine. This was in 1787 erected on the great moss at Blair-Drummond.
It served by means of a Persian wheel to raise the water of the Teith into the moss, which was in portions floated into the Forth, and thence carried to the ocean.

The reaping machine was invented in 1826, by Dr Patrick Bell, latterly minister of Carmyllie. In 1867 he received the testimonial of a thousand pounds. Dr Bell died in April 1869.

By Ossian are applied to horses such epithets as "dark-maned," "high-headed," "broad-breasted," "bounding," and "strong-hoofed.'' During the reign of Alexander II., horses were reared for sporting purposes. When Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, was about to proceed to Palestine in 1247, he sold to the monks of Melrose, for one hundred merkes, his stud of brood mares. Alexander III. was killed in 1286 by falling from his horse in hunting. Heralds mounted on horseback conveyed royal messages.

Till the middle of the eighteenth century, goods were transported from place to place by pack horses, in gangs of thirty and forty. As the roads were narrow, the leading horse carried a bell to warn those approaching from an opposite direction. Both the squire and his tenants rode to church on horseback. The farmer's wife sat behind her husband resting on a pad. In 1760, twelve pack horses carried goods weekly between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Formerly horses were poorly fed, their provender consisting of bob-hay, pease-straw and boiled chaff, also thistles which were purchased at threepence per burden. A horse which in 1283 was valued at 1 Scots, sold in 1550 for 10; and at 25 a century later. According to the minister of Tongland, saddles and bridles were, in the year 1730, unknown. In the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright farmers rode "to kirk and market" upon pillions made of hair. Only the fore feet of their horses were shod. The bridles, reins, and farm ropes of the last century were ordinarily made of rushes or twisted roots of the fir-tree.

Chariots were used by the Caledonians at the battle of the Grampians; they are represented on the sculptured stones. Subsequently vehicles were few. Wains were dragged without wheels. A wheeled cart imported from Flanders was, in the twelfth century, used in transporting skins and fleeces to Berwick for shipment.

Agricultural carts had no wheels till about the year 1770, when, owing to a general improvement of the roads, these became common. In the tale of "The Piper of Peebles," published in 1793, William Anderson, a native of Kingoldrum, Forfarshire, refers to the time, then recent,

Whan coops and carts were unco rare,
An' creels, and currocks, boot to sair
Whan knockit bear made Sunday kail,
An' fouk in pots brew'd braithel ale."

In his "Survey of Ayrshire," Colonel Fullarton describing the state of that county in 1750, remarks that carts and wagons being unknown, manure was drawn to the fields on cars or sledges, or on what was called tumbler-wheels, since they turned with the axle-tree. These latter, the Colonel adds, "were anciently made of oak, rudely fashioned, of three feet in diameter, and wholly unprotected by iron." Writing in 1793 in the "Statistical Account," the minister of Tongland informs us, that sixty years previously there was not a cart in his parish, corn and hay being led home in cars, and in trusses on horseback. Peats and manure were carried on women's backs in creels of wickerwork.

Road-making was introduced by the Romans, but their mode of constructing causeways was by the Britons imperfectly apprehended. A great thoroughfare, of Roman construction, leading from London to Edinburgh and Perth, and thence to Inverness, is, in a charter of 1376, referred to as Via Scoticana.' During the seventeenth century the country was for grazing purposes intersected with green roads, on which sheep and cattle might feed and rest. Between the principal towns the roads were uneven; in winter they were nearly impassable. Across the Tay, at Perth, a bridge existed so early as the reign of William the Lion; it suffered much by an inundation in 1210, and in December 1573 two of the arches fell. Bridges generally, whether of stone or timber, were narrow and insecure. Rivers were crossed at fords, where the ordinary assistants were women. By an easy adjustment of their garments, they waded across the streams, bearing the men upon their shoulders. In reference to this practice James VI. rejoiced to inform his English courtiers, that he had in his native kingdom a town of five hundred bridges. The king facetiously alluded to the small town of Auchterarder, on the Earn, of which all the females were ford-women.

Early in the eighteenth century, the imperfect condition of the roads awakened general attention, and led to a movement for their repair. By an Act of Parliament passed in 1719, the able-bodied males of every district were enjoined to render a week's labour for the improvement of the district roads, —hence the name of statute-labour roads. Subsequently personal labour was commuted into annual cess. In 1720 road-surveyors were appointed, and bridge-erecting became general. It was not, however, till 1726 when, on the authority of Government, General Wade commenced the construction of the great Highland roads, that the country was completely opened up. Of Wade's roads, the most important was that conducting from Dunkeld to Inverness. Of two others of his great roads, one led from Stirling by Crieff and Glenalmond, joining the great road at Dalnacardoch; the other, in the line now marked by the Caledonian Canal, traversed the island. The Turnpike Act of 1750 induced the vigorous completion of operations efficiently initiated. Scottish roads were at length made firm and compact through the genius of Macadam.

So long as the roads were at times impassable, family carriages were rare. Queen Mary of Guise died, in July 1538, her chariot repaired at St Andrews. In 1580 the family coach in its present form first appeared in Britain, one so constructed was, in 1598, conspicuous in the suite of the English Ambassador. To Edinburgh, in 1610, Henry Anderson imported carriages from Pomerania. He had conferred upon him the exclusive privilege for fifteen years of keeping coaches to run between Edinburgh and Leith. So rapidly had the use of family vehicles increased that, in 1700, the king's commissioner to Edinburgh was met eight miles from the city by forty coaches, each drawn by four or six horses. In 1738 a coach-work was established at Edinburgh. The first family coach seen at Inverness was that of General Wade, when he commenced his road-making. The country people were so impressed by the spectacle that they reverently uncovered to the driver. Coaches drawn by six horses were usually managed by a coachman and three attendants. The coachman wielded the reins, while a second driver rode on one of the foremost horses, the two other attendants, who usually stood on the back of the carriage, dismounted from time to time to remove the vehicle from a rut, and restore the equilibrium.

At the commencement of the eighteenth century stage coaches were rare. In 1750 a stage coach was run weekly between Edinburgh and London. Letters which it brought by it to Edinburgh from London were delivered on the evening of the fifth day. Formerly a mounted postman bore the letters between the two capitals in a portmanteau attached to his saddle. Referring to a period forty or fifty years later, Mr Philip Ainslie, in his "Reminiscences," writes thus:-

"Public conveyances consisted of hackney coaches and sedan chairs within the town, in addition to which there were what were termed flys and stage-coaches; there were also the London mail and the 'Royal Charlotte,' both drawn by four horses, and considered to slake their journeys in a wonderfully expeditious manner. The former took the road through Berwick and York, carrying four inside and one outside passenger, charging for the ticket 7, 15s., and accomplishing the journey in three days and two nights. The `Royal Charlotte' followed the route by Coldstream, Cornhill, and Newcastle, and performed the journey in much the same time, but at a less charge. The public conveyances to the near neighbourhood of Edinburgh were heavy lumbering stagecoaches, drawn by two horses, and carrying six passengers inside, but with no accommodation for outsiders either on the roof or beside the driver. The rate of travelling by these vehicles was about three miles and a half an hour, and they went between Musselburgh and Edinburgh four times in the day. There were also coaches to Leith. The journey to Glasgow was accomplished in a post-chase, with a pair of horses, and carrying three passengers, leaving Edinburgh in the morning and reaching the Kirk of Shotts in the evening; there the passengers slept, proceeding on their journey the following morning, and reaching Glasgow in the course of the afternoon. ["Reminiscences of a Scottish Gentleman," London, 1861, pp. 148-9.]

In 1789 the "Fly" " coach was started from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, the fare being two guineas. Three days were occupied in the journey. In 1818 a stage-coach drawn by four horses began to ply weekly between Aberdeen and Inverness.

In connection with the soil, the, eighteenth century opened under a system which to landlords and occupants was alike unsatisfactory and injurious. In many districts, and universally in the West highlands, the lands were leased to tacksmen who, not personally engaging in land-culture, established upon their holdings a body of sub-tenants, without continuity of tenure, and whose domestic condition was allowed to resemble that of the earlier serfs. The degraded state of the land-cultivators on his vast estate attracted the attention of the Duke of Argyle and Greenwich, who sought and obtained the counsel of the celebrated Duncan Forbes of Culloden. Not less remarkable for his agricultural skill than for his high judicial qualities, Forbes agreed to manage the Duke's estate during his absence in Spain; he also did so subsequently. As administrator of the lands, he broke up a system which impoverished the actual tenants, and morally and physically degraded them. In his earlier efforts, he had to contend with the prejudices and prepossessions of the people themselves, many of whom preferred to drag on in the track of their progenitors. But at length a complete change was effected, the land being let to the actual cultivators, on leases direct from the proprietor, and which were made to subsist for a terns of years. In these leases were substituted for personal services, and other troublesome exactions, a stated rent in money. Except in the Hebrides and the northern isles, where up to the present time the cause of husbandry has languished, Forbes's management of the Argyle estates was widely imitated, and middle-men finally dispensed with.

On the 9th November 1723, a "Society for improving in the knowledge of Agriculture " was formed at Edinburgh, with a membership of three hundred persons, chiefly landowners. Under its auspices was established at Clifttonhill a model farm, which resulted in converting a place of marshes into a fertile and beautiful demesne. In landscape culture Mr Hope of Rankeillor took a prominent part; he drained the meadows south of Edinburgh, changing an insalubrious morass into a graceful and healthy suburb. But prominent members of the society cherished wayward fancies. A section insisted on the special importance of linen-bleaching, other members expatiated on the importance of checking the introduction of foreign spirits; others held that certain woollen manufactories should be patronized to the exclusion of others. A. volume of "Proceedings" was issued in 1743, when also the society ceased.

Undigested speculation had received a final quietus in the famine of 1740. A late winter was accompanied with a terrible frost, which binding loch and river, also restrained the husbandman. The frost continued to the end of April, no seed being sown till May. Rough and sunless weather prevailed during summer, resulting in a stunted and almost useless crop. For rent there was no provision, while the fodder was barely sufficient to sustain the cattle. On account of this terrible visitation the progenitors of Robert Burns, who had held a respectable rank as Kincardineshire yeomen were reduced to poverty, and the poet's father was compelled to migrate southward in quest of work. Other northern farmers shared in the common ruin. Many landlords, too, were impoverished, especially those who forty years before had suffered from the collapse of the African Company.

The scarcity of 1740 was followed four years later by an event which menaced more formidable mischief. But the rebellion of 1745 proved otherwise, for the extensive forfeiture of lands held by those who for generations had used the sword in preference to the plough, became an important feature in agricultural progress.

In 1773 the Commissioners of Forfeited Estates entered on a system of agricultural enquiry. They selected as their agent Andrew Wight, farmer, at Ormiston, who, to great agricultural skill, added vast powers of observation. In a series of surveys, extending over a period of ten years, and the results of which he published in four octavo volumes, he laid open the real condition of the country. In his Preface, he wrote thus:—"Fifty years ago a survey of this kind would have been of no avail, because one practice cramped by custom, was the same everywhere, and there was nothing to be learned. Fifty years hence the knowledge and practice of husbandry will probably be spread everywhere, and nothing will remain to be learned." Mr Wight found that farmers generally were wedded to the miserable husbandry of former times. On the other hand he found some strongly inclined to reformation. The more intelligent improvers he discovered among the landowners; of these he honourably names Henry Home, Lord Karnes. Succeeding in 1746 to the estate of Blair Drummond, his lordship warmly interested himself in the cause of husbandry. For existing evils his remedy was twofold. He conceived that the condition of the Husbandman and of his hinds would be materially improved if the garden of the homestead were better cultivated, and vegetables largely reared. But his grand panacea was tree planting. Personally he, did not plant much, for the moss upon his lands repelled vegetation. But. others planted on his counsel, and vast districts of moorland were studded with trees. The mania, for such it was, continued till the century closed.

Intensely whimsical, Lord Karnes clung to many parts of the old system, and was to be commended mainly for stimulating inquiry. In his wake arose Sir John Sinclair, Bart., whose claim to national gratitude cannot be over-estimated. The estate of Ulbster, in Caithness, to which he succeeded in his eighteenth year, extended to 100,000 acres, and was peopled by the families of 900 crofters. Of these, the women acted as pack-horses, carrying on their backs for long distances baskets of peat, grain, and manure. Improving roads and building bridges, Sir John transferred loads and burdens to carts and waggons. Mud huts he swept away, substituting cottages of stone and lime, each containing three and four apartments. For peat as the universal fuel, he substituted coal and logs. To the locality inviting ingenious mechanics he secured the best implements. He obtained superior seed, instructed in the use of lime and manure, and taught a suitable rotation. To the estate he brought improved breeds of cattle, and introduced the fine woolled sheep of South Wales and the Cheviots.

The Ulbster crofters lacked both capital and enterprise. Those thoroughly incapable Sir John relieved of their holdings, with a due provision for their support, while he invested small farms in the hands of those willing and able to adopt his system. He subsequently established the board of Agriculture, and had surveys prepared and printed of every Scottish county. He induced the parochial clergy to contribute an account of their several parishes, which, under his editorship, appeared in twenty-one volumes. By establishing a society for the improvement of wool, he effected general reform in sheep farming, and, inducing the Commissioners of Forfeited Estates to make loans for reclaiming waste lands, he converted vast swamps into regions of fertility.

What Sir John Sinclair commenced in 1772 led in 1784 to the formation of the Highland and Agricultural Society, which three years later was incorporated by Royal Charter. By receiving from Government out of the monies realised from the forfeited estates a benefaction of 3000, and an annuity of 800 from the public exchequer, the Society was enabled to conduct operations on a liberal scale. Offering premiums for improved agricultural implements, and in all departments of husbandry, they excited a wide and general interest. To the father of the present writer, James Roger, afterwards minister of Dunino, the Society awarded in 1796 their gold medal for an essay on the best means of improving the Highlands. In association with George Dempster, of Dunnichen, who on his retirement from political life became a zealous agriculturist, Mr Roger prepared a general "View of the Agriculture of the County of Angus or Forfar" which was included in the eight volumes of County Reports, issued under the authority of the Board of Agriculture; he also conjointly with Mr Dempster originated the Lunan and Vinney Water Farming Society, one of the earliest of those district associations which eminently advanced the cause of husbandry.

Within twenty years after its institution, the Highland and Agricultural Society remarked that outfield lands had ceased, since every portion of the farm received its due share of attention and culture. Clay soils, under the application of lime and manure, became friable. Marl, which in England had upon light soils been used profitably, was, after a trial, found upon northern fields to be worse than useless. Bestial, which in summer had been wretchedly sustained by souming and rouming, that is by outfield pasturing in summer and foddering in winter on the coarse bent of the meadow, were now grazed on fields of artificial grass, and in winter fattened in covered sheds on hay and turnips. The best arable land in Ayrshire which in 1750 was leased at two and three shillings an acre, had before the century closed increased in value eight and ten fold.

The average prices of farm produce at different epochs may be denoted. The cost of grain during the reign of Alexander III. (1249-1296) is thus set forth by Wyntoun:-

"A boll of atys pennys foure
Of Scottys mone past noucht oure;
A boll of bore for aweht or ten
In comowne prys sawld wes then,
For saxtene a boll off qwhete
Or for twenty, the derth wes grete."

In 1329 barley brought 2s. 5d. per boll, oats 11d. In 1424 the prices of wheat, barley, and oats were severally 2s., 1s. 4d., and 6d. per boll. Towards the close of the sixteenth century a boll of oats with the straw sold in Perthshire for 11s., while at the same time a boll of meal, also of bear, was valued at 3. In 1656 oats with fodder sold at 3 per boll. According to Roger's "View" oats sold per boll in 1794 at 12s. sterling, wheat about 20s.

The rental of the entire lands in Scotland in 1664 was 319,000 scots; it had in 1748 increased to 822,857 sterling, and in 1813 to 6,285,389. Now the rental is slightly under twenty millions. It is not unimportant to add that only 11.05 per cent. of the population contribute to the national taxes.


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