Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Volume XII - Aberdeen
United Parishes of Glenmuick, Tullich and Glengairn
PRESBYTERY OF KINCARDINE O'NEIL, SYNOD OF ABERDEEN.
THE REV. HUGH BURGESS, MINISTER.
I.Topography and Natural History.
Name.Glenmuick is compounded of two Gaelic
words, Glean Muic, signifying the swine's valley or glen.
There is a tradition that wild hogs once abounded in an oak forest,
skirting both sides of a small river, called the water of Muick, from
which the parish takes its name.
Tullich is a corruption of a Gaelic word, Tulach,
signifying hillocks; and on such a situation stands a small village,
named Tullich, which gives name to this parish, and also to the
burying-ground around the walls of its old church, now in ruins.
Glengairn is a corrupted compound of three Gaelic
words, Glen-garbh-amhain, signifying the glen of the rough
water; and this is very applicable to a small river intersecting
this parish, and giving name to it, called the Gairn, or rough water, on
account of its rocky and precipitous channel.
Extent. Glenmuick, at an average, is about 15
miles long from east to west, by 5½
miles broad, from north to south. It lies all on the south side of the
river Dee, with the exception of a small part which, at some remote
period, has been evidently cut off, or disjoined from the rest, by the
Dee changing its course.
Tullich, at an average, is about 14 miles long from
east to west, by 7 miles broad from south to north, and lies all on the
north side of the Dee, extending farther to the east than Glenmuick, but
not nearly so far to the west. It is, however, intersected, about the
middle of its length, by the parish of Glengairn, which stretches along
both sides of the water of Gairn about 8 miles,
at the average breadth of 4 miles, in a direction
from north-west to
south-east. This is one specimen of the many injudicious divisions of
parishes at their origin ; for nearly one-half of Tullich lies
on the south-west, and the rest of it on the
north-east side of Glengairn; the latter (with the exception of a small
part of it which is on the south side of Dee), being all on the north
side of Dee, as well as Tullich.
In many places, these united parishes are 18 miles
long, by 15 miles broad; but, as their figure is very irregular, their
average length and breadth is computed to be only 14½
by 12½ miles, making
their extent to be about 180 square miles, that is 82 for Glenmuick, 66
for Tullich, and 32 for Glengairn. They are bounded by the following
parishes, viz. Strathdon, on the north; Coldstone, on the north-east;
Aboyne, on the east; Glentanner, on the south-east; Lochlee, on the
south; Clova, on the southwest; and Braemar and Crathie, on the west.
They are mountainous and hilly, and mostly fit for pasture only.
Mountains.The principal mountains are Lochnagar,
Cairn-taggart, Mountkeen, and Morven. But these mountains are all on the
confines, and none of them wholly within these united parishes. By a
medium of barometrical observations, made by different persons at
different times, the elevation of Lochnagar, partly in Glenmuick, and
partly in Braemar, and distant from this church about ten miles west, is
8814 feet; the elevation of Cairntaggart, partly in Glenmuick, and
partly in Braemar, and distant from this church about fifteen miles
south-west, is said to be 3000 feet; the elevation of Montkeen, partly
in Glenmuick, and partly in Lochlee, and distant from this church about
seven miles south, is 3126 feet; and the elevation of Morven, partly in
Tullich, and partly in Coldstone, and distant from this church about six
miles north, is 2934 feet.
The highest hills are in ranges, varying from 1000 to
2500 feet of elevation. One range, in the east end of the parish of
Tullich, named Culblean, runs from Morven six miles south by east, and
terminates at the river Dee. Another range (whose highest sum-wits have
their distinctive Gaelic names, as have also all those in the other
ranges to be now mentioned), runs westward from the middle of Culblean,
along the north side of Dee, to the valley of Gairn; after disappearing
there, it rises again on the west side of Gairn, and goes along the
north side of Dee as far as the church of Crathie, thus passing through
the south side of Tullich and Glengairn. A third range, in Glenmuick,
and on the south side of Dee,
runs parallel to the former about six miles westward; then it
bends southward, and runs in that direction about
two miles along the right bank of the water of Muick;
then it turns westward, and goes in that direction about twelve miles
more, along the south side of Muick, Loch-Muick, and Loch Dhuloch, till
it meets the parish of Braemar at Mont Cairntaggart, almost due south
from Invercauld. A fourth range, also in Glenmuick, and about four miles
west from the church, runs northward from the left bank of Muick, a
distance of five miles, till it terminates where a small river, called
the Girnac, falls into the south side of the Dee.
Besides these four ranges, there are several detached
hills, one of which, named Craigandarroch, 400 yards north from the
church, is about 1400 feet; and the other, named the Cnoc, about a mile
west from the church, is about 1150 feet of elevation.
The low and flat lands, varying from two furlongs to
two miles in breadth, lie along the banks of the Dee, the Muick, the
Gairn, and some considerable brooks; and these streams, according to
their magnitude and windings, determine the width and bendings of the
valleys. The acclivities, where not too rocky or steep, are cultivated
to the height of from 100 to 200 feet above the bed of the streams, or
from 900 to 1000 feet above the level of the sea.
There are no caves, caverns, nor fissures in these
parishes worthy of notice, except one in Culblean, in the east end of
Tul-lich. This is an object of curiosity to strangers, and, from its
remarkable figure, is termed the Vat, to which vessel it bears a
striking resemblance. It seems to have been formed, in the course of
ages, by the friction of pebbles whirled about by water. It is smoothly
polished, and almost circular; its diameter at the bottom is about 12
feet, increasing gradually towards the top. A stream of water, which,
after thaw or rain, becomes a mountain torrent, falls into it from a
height of not less than thirty feet. There is a small outlet for the
water, at the bottom, on the east side, by which one can enter it. The
surrounding rock is gneiss.
Hydrography.There are no remarkable springs, but
the celebrated wells of Pananich, in the parish of Glenmuick, on the
south side of Dee, about two miles east from the church, and on the
north side of the third range of hills, before noticed, from which they
take their name. By chemical analysis, these wells, four in number, and
all near to one another, have been found not exactly alike in their
properties, but all containing carbonates iron and lime, with small
proportions of other ingredients. are all chalybeate, stimulant, and
tonic, of a cold temperature, but very
agreeable to the taste; and, although injurious to consumptive patients,
they are allowed to be beneficial to those afflicted with gravelly,
scorbutic, and scrofulous complaints. For the accommodation of
water-drinkers, there are comfortable well-aired lodgings at these
wells, and also hot, cold, and shower-baths; and, in the summer season,
a great many people resort to them from distant parts of the country.
There are three lakes in these parishes, viz. Loch
Dhuloch, Loch Muick, and Loch Cannor. Loch Dhuloch lies in the southwest
corner of Glenmuick, and about three miles east from Mount Cairntaggart.
It is of small extent, of a cold temperature, and of considerable depth.
The stupendous overhanging cliffs of Craigdhuloch, surpassing in
grandeur the celebrated rocks of Lochnagar, rise on the south side of it
to the height of more than 1000 feet, and, by throwing their gloomy
shade over it, give a dark and sombre appearance to its limpid water,
from which circumstance it probably took its name Loch Dhuloch, or the
black lake. A mountain rill falls into it from a height of 200 feet,
over a projecting rock on the north side, which renders it altogether
the most awfully sublime object in these parishes. A small stream,
called the water of Dhuloch, issues from this lake, and, running
eastward, forms a series of little cascades, till, at the distance of a
mile and a-half below, it falls into the west end of Loch Muick.
Loch Muick is about two miles long, and half a mile
broad. In some places, this lake is shallow ; in others, which have
never been properly sounded, it is said to be more than forty fathoms
deep. Its temperature is cold, even in the greatest heat of summer,
being fed by several mountain-streams, besides the water of Dhuloch. Its
scenery is bold and romantic, having Lochnagar touching its north side,
and a high range of the Grampians closely encompassing it on the south
and west sides. Towards the west end of it, there is a small island, on
which sea-gulls are always to be found; but there is little wood, either
on the island or the margin of the lake,
except some dwarfish birch.
In the east end of the parish of Tullich, at the foot
of Culblean, and not far from the Vat, there is a third lake, about
three miles in circumference, called Loch
Cannor. This lake is beautifully skirted with birch wood, and studded
with small islands. On the largest of one of these, once stood a
fortress, said to have been built and occasionally occupied as a
hunting-seat, by Malcolm Canmore, whence it probably got its name.
Towards the east end it is shallow, in the middle from three to four
fathoms deep; and its temperature is much warmer than either that of
Loch Dhuloch or Loch Muick.
Rivers.The principal river is the Dee, which
divides these parishes through their whole length. Its source is in the
mountains of Braemar, in the head of the county. It receives many
tributary streams, and runs in an easterly direction, till it falls into
the German Ocean at Aberdeen. Its length, following the windings of its
course, is from 90 to 100 miles; its mean annual breadth at Glenmuick,
about 70 yards; its mean depth, about 4 feet; its mean velocity, about 3
miles an hour; and its mean temperature, between 40° and 42° of
Besides the Dee, there are two smaller rivers or
waters, the Gairn and the Muick. The Gairn has its source from springs
in the east end of Benavon, a high mountain in the parish of Braemar.
The length of its winding course is about 20 miles; its mean breadth,
about 10 yards; its mean depth, about 18 inches; its mean velocity
somewhat greater than of the Dee ; its mean temperature lower. It runs
in a direction from north-west to southeast, and, after intersecting the
parish of Glengairn, it falls into the north side of the Dee, about a
mile and a-half north-west from the church.
The Muick takes its rise from Lochmuick, before
noticed, and runs through a considerable part of Glenmuick, in a
direction from south-west to north-east. The length of its winding
course is about ten miles, and it falls into the south side of the Dee,
at the manse, or about half a-mile west from the church. Its breadth,
depth, and temperature, are nearly the same as those of the Gairn, but
its velocity is less. About the middle of its course, there is a
cascade, called the Lynn of Muick, where the water falls from a height
of thirty-six feet over a perpendicular rock, and in floods, after rain
or thaw, it makes a thundering deafening noise, and dashes its spray in
every direction above and around it.
Geology, &c.The direction and dip of the strata,
and the veins that cut across them, have not yet been well ascertained.
The most prevalent rocks are, gneiss, trap, and primitive limestone. The
two former, particularly the gneiss, are here and there cut across by
veins of quartz, porphyry, &c, containing fluorspar and galena. Some
serpentine has been found, also some amianthus, and plenty of common
asbestos. There is an abundance of granite, not in solid rocks, but in
boulders and isolated masses; bog-iron and ironstone are also very
common. No fossil organic remains, either of the animal or vegetable
kingdoms, have yet been discovered; nor of alluvial deposites can
anything interesting be mentioned. The soil is generally shallow, dry,
sandy, or gravelly; some of it is loamy, and contains boulders of
ironstone, gneiss, or granite; little of it is clayey, and none of it
marly. There is no indication of pit-coal, nor have mines been opened of
Zoology.One species of animal, that of rabbits,
which formerly was never seen here except in warrens, has now overspread
the' country, and is more destructive to turnips and other vegetables
than even hares. It may also be mentioned, as a rare occurrence, that a
number of white rats have lately made their appearance.
The fishes in the lakes and rivers are, pike, eels,
par, trouts, and salmon. Salmon come up the rivers to spawn in October
and November, and return to the sea in January and the two following
months. One species of them, called canavegs, from the smallness of the
head, come up later, and do not return till April and May.
Botany.The rarer species of plants are what are
termed alpine, and are found chiefly on the highest mountains and hills;
but they are seldom or never used for medicinal, or any other purposes.
The forests consist of Scotch fir; the plantations of Scotch fir,
interspersed with larch, pine, mountain-ash, and some other varieties.
Birch, oak, aspen, and hazel, grow spontaneously on dry, gravelly, and
sandy soils; aller on marshy soils, and along the banks of rivers. The
soil is not favourable to the more valuable kinds of timber, such as
plane, elm, ash.
Land-owners.The chief and only land-owners are,
the Marquis of Huntly; Mrs Farquharson of
Invercauld; Michael Gordon, Esq. of Abergeldie; and the Representatives
of the late William Farquharson, Esq. of Monaltrie; and their respective
valued rents, according to the order in which they here stand, are
L.967, 3s. 4d.; L. 1503, 7s. 7d.; L. 507, 5s. 9d.; and L.407, amounting
to L.3384, 16s. 8d. Scotch money for the three parishes.
Parochial Registers.The parochial registers are
very defective, and not voluminous. During the incumbency of Mr John
Ferguson, the earliest minister here on record, the cash and discipline
register begins 23d June 1661, and ends 6th January 1677: then it begins
again at the admission of his successor, Mr David Guthrie, 11th December
1687, and ends 16th February 1696: it begins again at the admission of
his successor, Mr James Robertson, 22d March 1699, and ends 13th
November 1726; then it begins again at the admission of his successor,
Mr William Mackenzie, 5th May 1748, and ends 16th May 1760:! it begins
again, in Mr Mackenzie's time, 8th March 1768, and from this date it has
been regularly kept. The register of baptisms does not begin till 6th
November 1768. Previous to this time, it is said to have been lost
through the negligence of the relatives of the session-clerk, about the
time of his death. The register of marriages does not begin till 4th
June 1792. Since these dates, the registers of baptisms and marriages
are entire; but it does not appear that there ever has been any register
of deaths. Antiquities.There are many large heaps of stones,
commonly called cairns, on a heath or moor near Culblean, in the east
end of Tullich: and they are said to cover the graves of those who fell
in flight after the battle of Culblean or Kilblane, which, according to
Buchanan, B. ix. c. 23, was fought between the adherents of King David
Bruce and the followers of Cummin, Earl of Athole, in 1335. But, as none
of these barrows have yet been opened, it is not known what may be under
them, or whether they may not be of a still earlier date.
Modern Buildings.The chief modern buildings are
the mansion-house of Ballater, now called Monaltrie House; Birkhall, a
seat belonging to Mr Gordon of Abergeldie; the present parochial central
church; and a mason hall, all built of granite and lime, covered with
slates, and having the best Scotch fir for roofing and other
carpenter-work. Of meal-mills there are nine, and three of these have
each a drying-kiln, and all their machinery of a new and improved
construction. Of manufactories there are none, except a carding-mill for
wool, at which also some coarse cloth is made. These mills are all
driven by water.
The number of souls, according to Dr Webster's
report, was . 2270
Sir John Sinclair's Account,
Census 1811, 1894
All these returns show that there has been little
difference in the population for nearly eighty years, except in 1811;
and the cause of the decrease that year cannot now be discovered. It
would seem that the cencus had not been accurately taken that year.
The number of the population residing in villages is
346; viz. in Ballater, 271, and in Kirkton of Tullich, 75; all the rest,
1933, reside in the country.
There are no nobility residing in these parishes, nor
any persons of independent fortune, except one for a few months in
summer. The numbers of proprietors of land of the yearly value of L. 50
and upwards, is only 4.
The general kind of trees planted is Scotch fir and
larch; of indigenous it is birch and aller. Little attention is paid to
the yearly thinning, pruning, and the like.
The total rental of the parishes is L.5105, which
would make the average rent of arable land about L.l, 8s. per acre; but
after deducting the rent of eight sheep farms, and a moderate value for
hill pasture attached to others, it is not fully L.1, 1s. per standard
Live-stock.The common breed of cattle is the
small homebred animals, crossed with the Galloway and some other breeds;
and of sheep it is the black-faced common Scotch, and a mixed breed
between these and others brought from Lanark sheep fair in August. The
cattle are improving in size and shape, in consequence of greater
attention paid of late to their improvement and the store-farmers are at
considerable pains to improve the breed of their sheep, particularly as
to the quantity and quality of their wool. But the small tenants, who
are allowed to keep only a few sheep, in proportion to their rent and
the extent of hill pasture in their respective districts, pay little
attention to their improvement in any respect.
The general character of the husbandry hitherto
pursued is not much to be commended. The specialties which distinguish
it are over-cropping, want of proper attention to cleaning, liming, and
dunging the ground under green crop, and a disregard to any regular
rotation. However, the more slothful and indolent part of the tenantry
are beginning to follow the example of the more active and industrious,
old prejudices and practices are giving way to conviction, a seven shift
rotation is becoming more and more general, and an evident change to the
better has been gradually taking place since smuggling was suppressed.
About 312 imperial acres have been brought under
tillage in the course of the last ten years, by trenching and draining:
embanking has been carried on to a considerable extent; but irrigation,
unless in some rare instances, has not been attempted.
The general duration of leases is nineteen years.
The state of the farm-buildings in general is above
mediocrity; but sufficient enclosures, though becoming more and more
common, are still wanting in some parts of these parishes.
At present, the main obstacles to improvement seem to
be, the low prices of grain, cattle, sheep, and every sort of farm
produce, the distance from markets and sea-ports, and a general scarcity
There are no mines in these parishes, nor any
quarries, except two of limestone, and these are wrought by persons who
sell the limestone to those who want it, at 6d. per cart load. Granite,
without quarrying, is found above ground, in quantities sufficient for
building, and every necessary purpose.
Produce.The yearly average gross amount and
value of raw produce raised in these parishes, for seven years preceding
1833, may be stated as under:
Villages.There are only two villages,Ballater
and Tullich. Ballater, though of recent origin, is much frequented in
summer by strangers from a distance, on account of the salubrity of the
air and the beauty of its scenery. Its streets or lanes cross the main
street at right angles. Its houses are built on a regular plan, and
neatly fitted up for the accommodation of summer lodgers. A post-office
is established in it, and it has the advantage of a daily post to and
Means of Communication.There is an excellent
commutation road on the north side of the Dee to Charleston of Aboyne,
where it joins a turnpike road, 30½ miles in
length, leading to Aberdeen. On this road, three weekly carriers travel
between Ballater and Aberdeen; but, at present, there is no public coach
upon it, except a mail-coach, which runs daily. There is also a good
commutation road to Aberdeen on the south side of Dee, and several cross
roads northward and southward, all kept in a proper state of repair.
As to bridges, this parish has been very unfortunate.
Two excellent stone bridges, each consisting of five arches, have been
swept away by the Dee, within the space of thirty years. The first
catastrophe was occasioned by an unusually high flood in the end of
August 1799; and the last by a still higher flood on the 4th August
1829, of which some notice is taken by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder in his
account of the floods. The second bridge, which stood only twenty years,
was erected near the ruins of the first in 18089; and the expense of
it, between L.4000 and L.5000, was defrayed, the one-half by public
subscriptions, and the other half by a grant from the Parliamentary
Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges. In 1834, a neat
substantial wooden bridge, of four arches, was erected on the site of
the stone bridge, of five arches, destroyed by the flood in August 1829;
and the expense of this third one, amounting to upwards of L.2000, was
defrayed, the one-half by public subscriptions, and the other half by a
grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners for Highland Roads and
Near the manse, there is a stone bridge, of one arch,
across the Water of Muick, in the line of the road on the south side of
Dee. There is also another stone bridge, of one arch, across the Water
of Gairn, in the line of the road on the north side of Dee; and both
these are of great public utility, and are at present in a substantial
Ecclesiastical State.The parish church stands on
the north side of Dee, and in the middle of a large open square in the
village of Ballater. It is as central for the three parishes as
possible; yet, the extremities being too distant, it is not convenient
for a great part of the population. It was built in 1798, has a neat
spire, is in a good state of repair, and accommodates about 800 persons,
who have all free sittings. On most occasions, it is roomy enough,
except on the communion Sabbath,then it is by far too crowded; and the
reason of this is, that a distant part of the parishioners, who attend a
missionary chapel at Rinloan, assemble with others at the parish church
on that day, in order to communicate.
The manse stands on the south side of Dee, and on the
north side of Muick, on a narrow strip of ground, about 200 yards from
the point of their junction; and, following the windings of the road, it
is nearly a mile south-west from the church. A part of it was built
about forty years ago; and a larger and older part appears, from a date
upon it, to have been built in 1725. This older part has been repeatedly
and recently repaired; but it never can be made comfortable, because the
walls of it have been built with clay instead of lime, and that too in a
very insufficient manner.
The extent of the glebe, in lieu of 3, should be 6½
Scotch acres, and its value about L.10 per annum ; but, since the flood
in 1829, an acre of it has been carried away by the Dee. It has been
lately embanked by the heritors at a considerable expense,upwards of
L.100; and it is hoped this will prevent the river from making future
The amount of the stipend is 17 chalders, half meal,
half barley, standard weight and measure, payable in money, according to
the county fiars, with L.8, 6s. 8d. for communion elements. But a part
of it was permanently converted into money by the Court of Teinds, and
is not affected by the fiars.
There is a missionary chapel at Rinloan in Glengairn,
about seven miles from the parish church ; and its minister receives
L.60 annually from the Committee for managing the Royal Bounty, besides
enjoying all the accommodations which they require.
In these parishes, there are no chapels of ease,
Government churches, catechists, Dissenting, Seceding, nor Episcopalian
There is one Catholic chapel on Gairnside, about five
miles north-west from the parish church, and about two miles east from
the missionary chapel at Rinloan; and its bishop resides at Pres-home in
The number of families who are members of the
Established Church is 462; of persons do. 1919. The number of families
who are members of the Catholic Church is 86; of persons do. 360. Divine
service at the parish church, and also at the chapel at Rinloan, is well
attended, except on very bad days. The average number of communicants at
the Established Church, for the last ten years, is 936; the average
number of young communicants for the same period is 31; and the average
of their ages about nineteen years.
No Society for religious purposes has yet been
established in these parishes. The average amount of church collections
yearly for the Indian Mission, the Assembly's Schools, the Infirmary at
Aberdeen, and other religious and charitable purposes, has hitherto been
Education.The total number of schools at present
is 8, viz. 1 parochial, 1 endowed, 1 unendowed, and 5 supported by
subscription among the parishioners. The parochial schoolmaster's salary
is the maximum; the amount of his school fees and other perquisites
about L.20; and he has the legal accommodations. He has also a share of
the Dick Bequest. The teacher of the endowed school has
a salary of L.15, with the usual accommodations; and the amount
of fees paid to him is about L.6. The teacher of the unbowed school has
a salary of L.30, without any accommodation but a house for teaching;
and the amount of fees paid to him is about L.5. The five subscription
schools are taught for only three or four months in winter; and, during
that time, the average of the whole emoluments to each teacher, without
any accommodation but a hovel for teaching, is only between L.5 and L.7.
The number of the young betwixt six and fifteen years
of age who cannot read and write is 370 ; of those upwards of fifteen
years of age it is 240. Some of the people are not so much alive to the
benefits of education as might be expected; but, in general, they begin
to see and appreciate them much better than they did a few years ago.
There are many parts of these parishes by far too
distant from the parochial school; but this inconvenience is, in some
measure remedied by the western and north-eastern extremities being near
to the adjoining schools of Strathgirnac, Crathie, and Logie-Cold-stone.
There are, however, two districts, each of which would require an
additional school,they being five and six miles distant from any school
either within or without these parishes, and having each a population of
more than 300.
Library.A circulating library has been
established in Ballater.
Friendly Society.There is a Friendly Society,St
Nathalen's, a masonic lodge, whose charter from the Grand Lodge of
Scotland is dated 9th May 1815. [This
society has now sold their hall, and divided their funds; but they still
con-tinue to admit new members, and to maintain their connection
with the Grand of Scotland.]
Savings Bank.A parochial Savings Bank was
established on the 26th February 1821, which, besides a treasurer and
clerk, is managed by twelve directors, four of whom go out by rotation
at the end of every year to make room for as many new ones, who are then
elected to continue in office for three years. The investments are
generally made by servants out of their wages, mostly by females; and
the number of depositors has never yet exceeded 50.
Poor and Parochial Funds.Taking the average of
the last seven years, the number of persons receiving parochial aid is
84, and the average proportion of the funds to each is only a fraction
above 14s. per annum; but, according to their age and other
circumstances, the sums which they actually receive vary from 12s. to L.
1 per annum. The average annual amount of contributions their relief is
L.65, 6s. 6d., viz. church collections, L.41, 13s. 8d.; donations, L.6,
13s. 11d.; penalties, L.6, 12s. 6d.; mortcloth
dues, 6s. 5d.; and L.10, the interest of L.250, settled for their behoof,
at 4 per cent. From this is to be deducted L.6
for session-clerk's, precentor's, and kirk-officer's salaries, or L.2
for each, which leaves only L.59, 6s. 6d. to
be divided among 84 paupers. Besides what has been now stated, there is
no other mode of procuring funds for their relief. But here it may be
proper to mention, that John Burnett, Esq. of Dens, and formerly a
merchant in Aberdeen, by a deed of settlement, left his residuary
estate, which turned out to be L.2000 Sterling, for the following
charitable purpose: That is to say he appointed his Trustees and the
Synod of Aberdeen to apportion and divide the interest of it, in the way
he has prescribed, for the behoof of all the parishes within the county
of Aberdeen, with the particular exception of the town and parish of
Aberdeen, for which he had made provision in a prior and separate deed.
And the method pointed out by the latter deed, here referred to, is
briefly this,that his Trustees and the Synod shall, with the exception
of Aberdeen, take all the parishes within this county in rotation ;
that, at the beginning of each rotation, they shall determine the
quantum to be allowed to each parish, according to its population,
the number of its poor, the extent of its funds, and other circumstances
at the time; that no parish shall receive more than L.50 nor less than
L.20 in each rotation; that no distinction shall be made of persons on
account of their religious professions, but that preference shall be
shown to such as have lived soberly and religiously ; that, after having
gone over all the parishes in one rotation, the managers shall, at the
beginning of the next rotation, determine the quantum to each
parish anew, and proceed as formerly ; and so on in all time thereafter.
Our parish has been found entitled to the maximum, L.50, which it has
received twice in rotation since the commencement of the distributions,
viz. in 1816 and in 1832. And, it is to be hoped, that it will come
round again in about half the former time, as an addition has been made
to the original stock from funds lately realized, which will nearly
double the interest.
It must also be mentioned that, besides this, the
Invercauld Trustees have under their management the interest of L.500,
destined for poor householders and others in
reduced circumstances, which they divide
annually. With this our session has no farther concern than in
recommending; to the trustees such persons as it thinks the fittest
objects; and, in this way, it assists our poor's funds, and affords
relief to many of the most necessitous.
Fairs.There are two annual fairs at Ballater for
the sale of horses, cattle, and sheep,the one on the first Tuesday of
May O. S., the other on the second Monday and Tuesday of September, O.
S. There is also a Martinmas fair at the same place for engaging
servants, the sale of grain, and paying and receiving money; and it
holds on Saturday immediately preceding 21st November, N. S.
Inns.In these parishes there are 11 inns and
alehouses, most of them respectable in their way.
Fuel.The general kind of fuel is peats, procured
from mosses in the hills at the cost of from 3s. to 4s. 6d. per single
horse cartload, according to the distance and other circumstances. Wood,
though expensive, is also used ; and coals from Aberdeen at the cost of
2s. per cwt., including carriage, which, dear as they are, many people
consider to be the cheapest kind of fuel.