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The New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Volume XII - Aberdeen
Parish of Lumphanan


PRESBYTERY OF KINCARDINE O'NEIL, SYNOD OF ABERDEEN.
THE REV. CHARLES M'COMBIE, MINISTER.

I.—Topography and Natural History.

Name.—The etymology of Lumphanan, which is spelled in the most ancient writings, Lunfanan, Lonfanan, and Lanfanan, cannot be ascertained with certainty. We may conjecture that it comes from three Celtic words, Llan or Lan, a church—Fan, a descent—and An, water, [Chalmers's Caledonia, Vol. i. p. 54, 23, and Vol. iii. p. 3.]—a derivation which might naturally suggest itself to those who observed that the principal stream in the parish passes near the church, in its descent from the mountains to the Loch of Auchlossan.

Situation, Extent, and Boundaries.—The parish is situate between the Dee and the Don, in the district of Mar, twenty-four miles from Aberdeen.

The length of the parish from north to south is 6 miles; the breadth from east to west, 4 miles.

It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Tough, Leochel, and Coull; on the south by Kincardine o'Neil and Aboyne; on the east by Kincardine o'Neil; and on the west by Coull and Aboyne.

Geology.—The rocks of the parish are of the primitive order, formed chiefly of porphyritic granite and granite.

Zoology.—Besides the domesticated races, the following animals reside during the whole, or a part of the year, in the parish, or occasionally visit it.

Ranunculus lingua and Sedum villosum have been found in the parish by Francis Adams, Esq. Surgeon, Banchory, and Saxifraga Hirculus by Dr Robert Fraser, near the House of Findrack. The common water plants of the country, marsh marigold, marsh trefoil, Lancashire asphodel, &c. grow luxuriantly near the loch of Auchlossan. Equisetum limosum or marsh horse-tail rises from its deepest water; while Carex ampullacea or bottle carex is the principal material of which the green sward on its margin is composed.

II.—Civil History.

Ecclesiastical History.—Alan de Lundin, named, from his office in the King's court, the Doorward or Durward, erected, in 1233, an hospital at Kincardine O'Neil, dedicated to God and the Blessed Mary. He conferred on it the patronage of the church of Kincardine O'Neil, the patronage of the church of Lonfanan, and its chapel of Forthery (probably Fordie), with certain pieces of land, the names of which are given, and the marches accurately described, in the chartulary of Aberdeen. [Chart. Aberdon. pp. 174—78.] In 1330, the hospital and church of Kincardine O'Neil were incorporated with the cathedral establishment of Aberdeen; the rector was raised to the dignity of a prebend; after that period, he had a manse assigned him within the chanonry, while a perpetual vicar resided at Kincardine, and discharged the duties of the benefice. Duncan, Earl of Fife, the inheritor of the possessions of the Durwards, bestowed on the Bishop of Aberdeen the patronage of the church of Kincardine O'Neil, and the chapels annexed to it, reverently depositing, to increase the solemnity of the transaction, with his own hands, on 7th March 1338, the charter of donation on the altar of the Blessed Mary in the cathedral church of the city. [Chart. Aberdon. p. 173-74. Orem's Old Aberd. p. 125. Aberdeen, 1830.] The first Protestant minister was George Levingstoun, who had under his charge the parishes of Kyncardin, Lanfannane, Midmar, and Clwyne. To enable him to perform the labours of this extensive cure, a reader was appointed at Lumphanan, whose name was John Mychell. [Register of Ministers, pp. 63-67.] In 1595, William Strathaucin of Cluny was infeft in the patronages of Kincardine O'Neil, Glentanner, Lumphanan, Cluny, and Midmar, annexed thereto. In 1599, his possession of these patronages was ratified by the parson of Kincardine. In 1617, he disponed them to Mr William Forbes of Craigevar, who obtained, in the same year, a ratification from Bishop Patrick Forbes, and twenty of the chapter of Aberdeen. His son, Sir William Forbes of Craigevar, obtained another ratification, in 1637, from Adam Bellenden, Bishop of Aberdeen; and his lineal representative, Sir John Forbes, Bart. is now the patron of three of these churches,—Kincardine O'Neil, Lumphanan, and Midmar. [Charters in possession of Sir John Forbes of Craigevar, Bart. For. the greater part of this section, as well as for many of the most interesting facts recorded in this article, the writer is indebted to Joseph Robertson, Esq. author of the Book of Bon-Accord,—a gentleman who possesses an extensive acquaintance with the antiquities of Aberdeenshire. See his Collections for a History of Aberdeenshire, pp. 6, 13, 14.]

Historical Notices.—Macbeth was killed and buried in Lumphanan. It is necessary to record the evidence of this fact, furnished by history and tradition, as Shakspeare has represented Dunsinane in Perthshire as the scene of his slaughter.

"Macbeth, the son of Finleg, reigned seventeen years; he was slain at Lunfanan by Malcolm, the son of Duncan;"—is the brief notice of the event in the register of St Andrews. [Regist. Sti. Andr. apud Johnstone's Antiq. Celt. Norm. p. 148.]

"Macbeth seeing his own forces," says Fordun, "daily diminishing, and those of his adversary increasing, suddenly left the southern parts of the kingdom, and fled to the north, in whose narrow passes, and in the depths of whose forests, he hoped to find safety. Malcolm, however, quickly followed him across the mountains to Lunfanan, where he slew him, in a skirmish, with his few followers, on the 5th December 1056." [Forduni Scotichronicon, lib. v. c. vii.]

A similar testimony is borne by Wyntown:—

"He wes rycht wa, and tuk the flycht:
And owre the Mownth thai chast hym than
Til the Wode of Lunfanan.
This Makduff wes thare mast felle,
And on that chas than mast crwele.
Bot a Knycht, that in that chas
Til this Makbeth than nerest was,
Makbeth turnyd him agayne,
And sayd, 'Lurdane, thow prykys in wayne,
For thow may noucht be he, I trowe,
That to dede sall sla me nowe.
That man is nowcht borne of Wyf
Of powere to rewe me my lyfe.'

"The Knycht said, 'I wes nevyr borne;
But of my Modyr Wame wes schorne.
Now sall thi Tresowne here tak end.'

"Thus Makbeth slwe thai than
In-to the Wode of Lunfanan;
And his Hewyd thai strak off thare;
And that wyth thame fra thine thai bare
Til Kynkardyne, quhare the Kyng
Tyll thare gayne-come made byding.
Of that slawchter are thire wers
In Latyne wrythyne to rehers;

"Rex Macabeda decern Scotiae septemque fit annis,
In cujus regno fertile tempus erat:
Hune in Lunfanan truncavit morte crudeli
Duncani natus, nomine Malcolimus."
[Wyntownis Cronykil, Book vi. cap. xviii. 1. p. 382-410.]

The evidence furnished by the ancient chroniclers has been regarded as sufficient by modern historians and antiquaries.

"Malcolm," says Bishop Leslie, "having received from King Edward ten thousand English soldiers, returned to Scotland, and hotly pursued Macbeth to Dounsinnan, and from thence to Lunfanan. There Macduff, the Thane of Fife, whose wife and children he had lately ordered to be slain, killed him, and, presenting his head as a gift to Malcolm, received the highest rewards." [De origine moribus et rebus gestis Scotorum libri decern, Auctore Joanne Les-teo Episcopo Rossensi, lib v. 85.]

"Macbeth," says Dalrymple, "retreated to the fastnesses of the north, and protracted the war. His people forsook his standard. Malcolm attacked him at Lunfanan, in Aberdeenshire: abandoned by his few remaining followers, Macbeth fell (5th December 1056)." [Dalrymple's Annals, pp. 2-3.]

"The Northumbrians," says Chalmers, "led by Siward and his son, Osbert, penetrated probably to Dunsinan. In this vicinity were they confronted by Macbeth, when a furious conflict ensued. The numbers of the slain evince the length of the battle, and the bravery of the combatants. Osbert was slain ; yet Macbeth, after all the efforts of valour and vigour of conduct, was overcome. He retired into the north, where he had numerous friends, and where he might find many fastnesses. Siward returned into Northumberland, and died at York in ]055. Meantime, Macbeth continued his bloody contest with Malcolm; and this uncommon character was at length slain at Lumphanan, on the 5th December 1056, by the injured hand of Macduff." [Chalmers's Caledonia, Vol. i. pp. 409-410.]

"Macbeth," says Sir Walter Scott, "engaged the foe in the neighbourhood of his celebrated Castle of Dunsinane. He was defeated, but escaped from the castle, and was slain at Lumphanan in 1056." [Sir Walter Scott's History of Scotland, Vol. i. p. 18.]

A tradition prevails over a wide district of country, and has been unhesitatingly received for ages, that the murderer, or the victor of "the gracious Duncan," was slain in Lumphanan, and that the heap of stones, which to this day is called Macbeth's Cairn, is the place of his sepulture.

If, then, the evidence of the fact furnished by history and tradition is so strong, why, it may be asked, does Shakspeare, in a drama which has been pronounced, by Augustus William Schlegel, [Lectures on Dramatic Art, Vol. ii. p. 204.] to be grander than any other work that has been produced by man since the time of Æschylus, represent Macbeth as killed in front of the gates of the Castle of Dunsinane? A glance at the Scottish Chronicle of Hollinshead, from whom our immortal poet received his information, [Sir W. Scott's Hist. of Scotland, Vol. i. p. 17.] will enable us to reply to the question.

"Malcolme following hastilie," says this chronicler, "after Macbeth, came the night before the battell unto Birnane wood and when his armie had rested a while there to refresh them, he commanded everie man to get a bow of some tree or other of that wood in his hand as big as he might bear, and to march forth therewith in such wise, that on the next morrow they might come closely and without sight in this manner, within view of his enemies. On the morrow, when Macbeth beheld them coming in this sort, he first marvelled what the matter meant; but in the end remembered himself, that the prophesie which he had heard long before that time, of the coming of Birnane wood to Dunsinane Castell, was likelie to be now fulfilled. Nevertheless, he brought his men in order of battell, and exhorted them to do va-liantlie. Howbeit, his enemies had scarcely cast from them their boughs, when Macbeth, perceiving their numbers, betooke him streight to flight, whom Macduff pursued with great hatred, even till he came to Lunfannaine, where Macbeth, perceiving that Macduff was hard at his back, leapt beside his horse, saying, 'Thou traitor, what meaneth it that thou shouldst thus in vain follow me, that am not appointed to be slaine by anie creature that is born of a woman ; come on, therefore, and receive thy reward, which thou hast deserved for thy pains;' and therewithall he lifted up his sword, thinking to have slain him. But Macduff, quicklie avoiding from his horse, yer he came at him, answered, (with his naked sword in his hand) saying, ' It is true, Macbeth, and now shall thine insatiable crueltie have an end; for I am even he that thy wizzards have told thee of, who was never born of my mother, but ripped out of her womb;' therewithall he stepped unto him, and slew him in the place. Then, cutting his head from his shoulders, he set it upon a pole, and brought it to Malcolm. This was the end of Macbeth, after he had reigned seventeen years over the Scotishmen." [Hollinshead's Scottish Chronicle, i. 351.]

May we not hazard the conjecture that Shakspeare, desirous that the range of the action in the closing scene of his drama should not be extended beyond the ground before the Castle of Dunsinane, and fancying, probably, that Lunfanaine was some insignificant village in the immediate vicinity, specified the place where the contest between Macbeth and Malcolm had been represented by Hollinshead as commencing, and took no notice of the place where the contest had been represented by the chronicler as terminating?

James VI., animated by a desire of extirpating sorcery from his dominions, issued, in 1596-1597, commissions for the purpose of "haulding justice courtis on witches" in Aberdeen. [Preface by the editor of the Miscellany of the Spalding Club, Vol. i. p. 49, John Stuart, Esq.] The trials that took place in these courts have been lately published by the Spalding Club. They are marked by features of folly and atrocity that cannot now fail to awaken feelings of wonder and indignation. Of the preposterous charges brought against the parties, a large proportion of whom were from the parish of Lumphanan, a few specimens may be given.

Of the Dittay against one Issobell Richie, the following charge forms a part:—

"Thow art indyttit for the being at the twa devylische dances, betwixt Lumfannand and Cragleauche, with vmquhill Margerat Bane, vpon Alhallowewin last, quhair thow conferrit with the Dewill; and at that time thow ressauit thy honours fra the Dewyll, thy maister, and were appoynted be him in all tymes thairefter his special domestic, seruand, and furriour, qwhilk thow can nocht denye."

In the Dittay against Margrat Og, this accusation is preferred:

"Thow art indyttit as a notorious witche, for the bevitching of vmquhill Agnes Ross, Lady Auchinhuiff, in maner folowing, to vit: The said vmquhill Agnes having bocht a schowder of mut-toun fra Johne Duged, at the mylne of Auchinhuiff, in the moneth of Merche, fourscoir fyftene yeris; and the said vmquhill Agnes having brocht the said schulder to the houss of Beatrix Robbie, thy dochter, compartner with thee in all thy devilische practizes, quhair the said vmquhill Agnes tareit all that nicht, thow and thy dochter tuk out thrie grippis out of the middist of the said schul-der, and causit rost the same vpon the morne; quhilk being rested, and the said vmquhill Agnes eating thereof, scho instantly contractes a deidlie disease, quhairin scho continowit the space of thrie quarteris of a yere, the ane halff of the day burning as giff it had been in a fyrie fornace, and the vther halff of the day melting avay in a cauld sweyt, quhile scho at last depairtis this lyff. And this thow can nocht deny, for the said vmquhill Agnes, immediatlie befoir her departure, left her dead on the, and thy said dochter."

In the Dittay against Margerat Clerk, this charge is made:—.

"Thow art accusit, that, being desyrit by Alexander Cultis, att the Mylne of Auchlossin, to cum to him, quha had then ane cow caffit, and the said cow wald na wayes suffer hir calff to sowk hir, nether wald the cow taik with the calff, bot continewlie repynit and strak the samen, thow said than to the said Alexander, I sall remeid this, and sall gar the cow taik with the calff, and the calff swek the cow. And immediatlie therefter thow passit in the byre quhair the calff and cow was, and wald not suffer the said Alexander nor his wyff gang in the byre with the, nor no vther, bot pat them all out except thyselff allone, and thair, by thy devilische socerie and inchantment, efter thow had sitten downe in the staw, before the cowis heid, thow gaue ane devilische low and terible voice, quhairthrow the haill houss trimlit and schuik, and immediatlie the cow tuik with the calff, and the calff with gryt feirce-nes to the cow, and sowkit hir; and throw the quhilk terrible cry and devilische [ ] gevyn by the at the time aforesaid, the wyiff of the said Alexander being exceidinglie affrayit and terre-fiet, tuik and contractit immediatelie ane deidlie sickness be thy socerie and witchcraft, and was nevir coyit thereof quill scho de-partit this lyff."

Mr John Ross, minister at Lumphanan, makes this report concerning Agnes Fren:—

"Scho is indyttit to haiff taine thrie heiris out of her avine kawis taill, and to haiff cuttit the sam in smal peiceis, and to haue put-tine it in heir kowe's trouch, quha thairefter gaiff milk and (the) nychtbouris nane."

In the Notes by the parson of Kincardine O'Neil, the following memorandum is found :—

"Isobell Oge, indytet for hinging wpe ane bitill in Cragtoune of Lumquhanan, for lounding of the wind." [Miscellany of Spalding Club, Vol. i.]

Proprietors of Land.—Lumphanan formed a part of the barony of O'Neill, which in the thirteenth century belonged to the Dur-wards. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it passed through a variety of hands, which cannot, in the imperfect records of the period, be accurately traced. [Robertson's Collections for a History of Aberdeenshire.]

About 1330, Randolph, Earl of Moray, tenant to Duncan, Earl of Fife, in the estate of Lumphanan, granted to Sir James de Garvieaugh (Garioch), the lands of Balnacraig, Belode (Beltie), Cloychock (Cloak), and Talanchsyn (Tillyching). From the son of this knight, Andrew de Garvieaugh of Caskieben, Robert de Camera or Chalmers obtained these lands, to be holden of the Earl of Moray for a pair of white gloves rendered yearly at the manor of Caskieben, and became the founder of a house which flourished for more than 400 years. Of the Chalmerses of Balnacraig, Patrick Chalmers, Esq. of Auldbar is, it is believed, a representative. [Nisbet's Heraldry, Vol. ii. Append, p. 115; and charters in possession of Patrick Chalmers, Esq, of Auldbar.]

About 1363, Andrew, second son of William Rose, second baron of Kilravock, acquired the lands of Auchlossin. [Shaw's History of Moray, p. 119.] In 1544, a feudal strife arose between the Forbeses and Strachan of Len-turk, in consequence of the real or imaginary guilt of Strachan in betraying the conspiracy formed by the Master of Forbes against the king's life to the Earl of Huntly. Nicholas Rose of Auchlossin joined the Laird of Lenturk, and fell in one of the conflicts. He was personally obnoxious to the Forbeses, as he had sat on the assize which had found the Master guilty. [Inquis. Retorn. Abbrev.] In 1643, the possessions of the Rosses comprised the barony of Auchlossin, the lands of Bogloch, Deray-croft, and croft of Alderan (Ardenraver). [Charters in possession of John Farquharson, Esq. of Finzean; Robertson's Collections for a History of Aberdeenshire.] In September 1709, Captain Francis Ross of Auchlossan was slain at the battle of Malplaquet; and, in 1715, his estate was sold by his creditors.  [Spottiswoode's Practicks, p. 226.]

The Duguids of Auchinhove were of later origin. In 1634, they pleaded, in an action brought by the Earl of Mar against his vassals, that "they and their predecessors had been infeft in their lands, holding of the king, for the space of 200 years." In 1656, Francis Duguid purchased, from George Forbes of Corse, that part of the barony of O'Neil Corse which lay in Lumphanan, including Easter and Wester Kincraigie, Knowhead-Hillock, and Bogloch. [Charter in possession of Sir John Forbes of Craigevar, Bart.] In addition to these lands, the Duguids possessed, in 1675, Auchinhuiff, Over-Auchinhuiff, Warthill, Tulloch, Whyte-hous, Blelak and boigs thereof, Cornetoun and boigs thereof, Badin-ley and Mariewell, in the parish of Lumphanan, besides an estate in Coull and Aboyne, [ Inquis. Retorn. Abbrev.; Robertson's Collections for a History of Aberdeenshire] In 1745, the representative of the family joined the forces of the Pretender; his mansion-house was burned by a party of the Duke of Cumberland's soldiers; and the spot is still pointed out on the hill of Coull, from which he beheld the progress of the flames. In 1755, the Mains of Auchinhove were adjudged to William Young; the greater part of the estate having been sold at an earlier period. In 1699, Robert Duguid married Miss Teressa Leslie of Balquhain, [The descendant of Robert Duguid obtained possession, about 1780, of the es tate of Balquhain, after a law-suit of forty years duration, the papers connected wit which would fill volumes.] and his descendant now represents that ancient house under the name of Count Leslie.

Camp Hill belonged for a considerable period to a family of the name of Forbes, sprung from the Forbeses of Monymusk, and in 1783 was sold by the Reverend Francis Forbes, minister of Grange, father of the Reverend Dr Patrick Forbes, Professor of Humanity in King's College, Aberdeen, to Sir William Forbes of Craigevar. [Charters in possession of Sir John Forbes of Craigevar, Bart.]

In 1670, Francis Fraser purchased Findrack from Sir Robert Forbes of Learnie. [Charters in possession of Frances Garden Fraser, Esq. of Findrack.] In addition to their estate in Lumphanan, the Frasers acquired at different periods the lands of Tolmads, Drumlassie, and Birselassie, in Kincardine O'Neil.

In 1712, Kintocher passed by adjudication to the Forbeses of Craigevar, [Charter in possession of Sir John Forbes of Craigevar, Bart.] a family which can trace its descent through the Lords Forbes to a remote antiquity, and which has ranked among its members Patrick Forbes of Corse, Bishop of Aberdeen ; John Forbes of Corse, the first Protestant Professor of Divinity in King's College; and Sir William Forbes of Craigevar, the Covenanter.

The Farquharsons of Finzean have for a long period possessed lands in Birse. The property of this family was during last century greatly increased by the purchase, in Lumphanan, of Balna-craig, which had belonged to the Chalmerses of Auchlossan, which had belonged to the Rosses, and of the greater part of Auchinhove, which had belonged to the Duguids.

Land-owners. — The present land-owners of the parish are, John Farquharson, Esq. of Finzean; Mrs Farquharson, senior of Finzean; Alexander Smith, Esq. of Glenmillan; Sir John Forbes of Craigevar, Bart.; Mrs Lamond of Pitmurchie; Joseph Elmslie, Esq. of Camphill; and Francis Fraser, Esq. of Findrack.

Antiquities.The Peel Bog.— The Peel Bog, situate in a marshy hollow near the church, is an interesting monument of antiquity. The circular earthen mound, forty-six yards in diameter, rises about twelve feet above the level of the bog, and is surrounded by a moat. The course by which the water was conveyed from the burn of Lumphanan may still be traced; the measurement of the circumvallation by which the water was confined may still be made; the situation of the drawbridge is still discernible; the path leading from the fosse to the top of the mound may still be trodden; and the sluice by which the water issued from the moat was laid bare by the flood of 1829.

That the Peel Bog, a name which is of Saxon origin, was erected in the beginning of the thirteenth century, when the Saxon language was probably introduced into Scotland; that a wooden castle, erected on the artificial mound, was a residence of the Durwards, who then possessed a wide domain in Aberdeenshire, stretching from Skene to the western boundary of Cromar, and that this ancient structure, guarded by a moat, and surrounded by that "wode of Lunfanan," into which Macbeth, according to Wyntown, had been chased, was, during that century, a strong place of defence against warlike and predatory attacks,—these are conjectures which the writer of this article is disposed to make respecting this fortress.

Edward I., after the battle of Dunbar, marched his victorious army to Aberdeen, where the bishop, Walter Blackwatre, the Dean, Sir Walter de Scherwinglawe, Sir Norman de Lechelyn, Sir Duncan de Frendragh, Sir Hugh de la Hay, &c. took the oath of allegiance to him. On Saturday, 21st July 1296, he road to Lunfanan, accompanied by Sir Walter de Beauchamp, Sir John de Tregotz, Sir Thomas de Bigenore, Sir John Merk, and many other knights and esquires, and received the submission of Sir John de Malevill, a copy of which, extracted from the records, preserved in her Majesty's Exchequer, has been published by Sir Francis Palgrave:

"24 Ed. 1.—Submission and fealty of Sir John de Malvill.

"A touz ceux qui cestes lettres verront ou orront Johan de Malevill Chevaler saluz. Pur ce q je venu a la foi t a la volunte du tres noble Prince mon chier Seigneur Edward par la gace de Dieu Roy d Engletre Seigneur d Irland t Dues d Aquitain: je pmet pur moy t pur mes heirs, &c. Donees a Lunfanan le vintime pri-mer jour de Juyl Ian du regne nostre Seigneur le Roy d Engletre avant dit: vintisme quart.

"(Indorsed—A Lunfanan, xxi die Jul. Lra Dni Johis. de Ma-levile p qua. Ide Stowe quesivit ecciam de Glenberuy.—Lunfanan, xxi. Jul.—Seal lost.") [Documents and records illustrating the history of Scotland, preserved in the Treasury of her Majesty's Exchequer. Collected and edited by Sir Francis Pal-grave, K.H. 1837. Vol. i. p. 177.]

It can hardly be doubted that the Peel Bog which, with the exception of the Bass at Inverury, was then the most important wooden fortress in the county of Aberdeen, was the scene of the submission of Sir John de Malevill to the English monarch.

In 1487, the lands of Halton, Pitmorchie, and Craigamore in Lumphynhanan, were granted by James III. to Thomas Charteris of Kinfauns. [Nisbet's Heraldry, Appendix, p. 140,] In 1546, Thomas Charteris of Kinfauns was served heir to his grandfather Thomas, in the barony of Lunfanan, lying within the barony of O'Neil. [Inquis. Betorn, Abbrev.] In 1655, Patrick Irvine was served heir to his grandfather, John Irvine, in the lands of Halton, Pitmurchie, and Craigton of Lumphanan, lying within the barony of Lumphanan. [Retours published by Record Commissioners, Aberdeen, 325.] The trials for witchcraft published by the Spalding Club, show that John Irvine of Pitmurchie was a person of no little consequence, as he was appointed chancellor of an assize held on 25th April 1597, of which John Ross of Auch-lossin, Alexander Chalmer of Balnacraig, and John Forbes of Camphill were members. [Miscellany of Spalding Club, Vol. i. p. 183.]

A building formed a part of the Peel Bog within the memory of the present generation. That there existed on the top of the mound, before the year 1782, the ruins of an ancient structure fronting the east ; that the northern gable was close to the path which winds from the draw-bridge; that the walls and the southern gable, though decayed and defaced, were distinctly visible; that this building resembled in size, form, and the solid character of its masonry, the old mansion-house of the Duguids of Auch-enhove; that behind these ruined walls a few stunted gooseberry bushes rose out of the green sward; that this ancient structure was called Haa-ton House, belonging to a family that once possessed the surrounding estate, bounded on the west by the Burn of Brankum, and extending towards the east beyond Craigton and Burnside; that about sixty years ago the tenant of Bogloch, animated by a zeal for improvement, razed Haa-ton House to the foundation, and that the stones of which it was composed were employed in erecting the rude dike that now surrounds the mound, and in building houses in the neighbourhood:—these are facts which are attested by eye-witnesses, who, though they have arrived at a mature old age, possess the perfect use of their faculties, and by a multitude of men in middle-life, whose fathers saw the ruins of Haa-ton House, before they were touched by the hands of this zealous agriculturist.

Viewing the facts recorded in ancient documents, in connection with the facts handed down by tradition, we may form the conjecture, that, about the year 1400, the wooden castle erected on the artificial mound was superseded by a building of stone ; that the more modern structure, which bore the name of Haa-ton House, was, during a part of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the residence of families who possessed the surrounding estate, including Halton, which might easily come to be pronounced Haa-ton,—a more natural corruption, indeed, than the modern Hilton, Pitmurchie, and Craigamore or Craigton,—and that the proprietors of the eastern section of the parish of Lumphanan found, in the moat which surrounded their mansion-house, a protection against the attacks of feudal chiefs, animated by the love of plunder, or smarting under the sense of private wrongs.

The Houff.— At a remote period of Scottish history, the Houff was a place of strength; the traces of ancient buildings are still visible; and very little labour would be necessary to complete the moat by which it was surrounded, and fill it with water. At a more recent date, it became the burial-ground of the Duguids,— the tradition of the country being, that one of the lairds of Auch-enhove, to prevent the necessity of his body being carried after his death through the lands of Auchlossan, erected, on his own property, a place of sepulture for himself and his family. [The Houff has probably given its name to the surrounding property,—Auch signifying a field, an of, and hoif, hoff, hove, houff, hufe, a hall, or burial-place.—See Chalmers's Caledonia and Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary. ]

Macbeth's Stone and Macbeth's Cairn.—On the farm of Carn-bady is the Brae of Strettum, where Macbeth, according to tradition, was wounded. It was thought, for ages, unlucky to disturb the spot, which was associated with the memory of the monarch whom the genius of Shakspeare has immortalized; when the attempt was made to plough it, the oxen ran off, and did not stop till they reached the Peel Bog. The Brae of Strettum, however, was successfully cultivated by the late tenant of Carnbady, and nothing now remains to distinguish it from the surrounding ground but Macbeth's stone.

On the Perk Hill, about a mile from the church, is Macbeth's cairn, which, when Mr Shand, the late incumbent of the parish, wrote his Statistical Account, "rose pretty high in the middle," but is now little elevated above the field which surrounds it. The conjecture of Dalrymple, that Macbeth sought an asylum in the Peel Bog, [Annals, Vol. i. p. 2.] is neither probable nor consistent with the narrative of Wyntown. It is very likely, however, that the cairns which are scattered over the Perk Hill, a little to the north, near which sword-blades, stone battle-axes, and other memorials of warfare have been found, mark the spot where the diminished forces of the unfortunate monarch were vanquished.  [Edinburgh, 1776]

Cairns on Glenmillan.—On the estate of Cloak, now called Glenmillan, there were lately some sepulchral cairns of considerable size, in one of which two curious rings of copper were found, apparently designed to ornament the arms or ankles. They have been deposited in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. [See Robertson's Collections for a History of Aberdeenshire.]

Camps.—At the foot of the Hill of Corse is an earthen rampart, 230 yards long, and at the foot of the Hill of Milmahd, exactly opposite to it, at the distance of a quarter of a mile, there is another bulwark of a similar character. As implements of war have been found in the intervening space, and in the immediate neighbourhood, may not the conjecture he hazarded, that, behind these entrenchments, the forces of hostile chiefs, at some remote period of feudal strife, encamped.

Parochial Register.—The earliest entry in the parochial register was made in 1740. The proclamation of banns, and the in-

Rent.—The valued rent of the parish is L.2082, 6s. 8d. Scots ; the real rental is about L.2830 Sterling. If no separate value is supposed to be put on the rough pasture, the arable ground rents about L.1 per imperial acre.

Husbandry.— The soil is a dry and friable loam; the climate is early; the average produce of the imperial acre is about four quarters; the grain is heavy; oats weighing from 40 to 44 lbs.; bear, from 50 to 54 lbs.; and barley, from 54 to 58 lbs. per bushel. The general character of the husbandry is excellent.

The pure Aberdeenshire breed of cattle, which in many parts of the country is corrupted and ruined, has been kept up in this parish ; an intelligent tenantry perceiving that it is much better suited to the soil and climate than those crosses which require rich and sheltered pastures to bring them to maturity. Within the last twenty-five years, great and permanent improvements have been effected; substantial and commodious farm-steadings have been built; farms have been subdivided by fences; marshes have been drained; and the range of cultivation has been gradually extended over our waste moorlands, and up our mountain sides. Under the old leases, the seven course system of cropping was followed, consisting of three grasses, three grain crops, and one green crop. Under the new leases, on Mr Farquharson's Property, the tenants are generally bound to adopt the six course system of cropping, consisting of three grasses, two grain crops, and one green crop. The draining of the Loch of Auchlossan, which consists of about 250 acres, would be an improvement of a valuable character; the cold damp vapours, which in August and September often blast the crops, would be no longer exhaled from its waters; while a large extent of rich alluvial soil, added to the estates of the surrounding proprietors, would amply repay them for the expense [L.1500 according to Mr Walker's estimate.] of executing the work.

If, in addition to this drainage, which might be easily effected as the average depth of the loch is only five feet, and as its level is considerably higher than that of the Burn of Drumdouan when it approaches the Slog of Dess, the hills which surround Mr Far-quharson's estate were clothed with wood, few spots in the county of Aberdeen would surpass in beauty the valley of Lumphanan.

Woods.—The average sum which has been realized from the fellings and thinnings of the woods in the parish, which consist chiefly of larch and Scots fir, has been for some years about L.10.

V.—Parochial Economy.

Means of Communication.— The means of communication are ample. The turnpike from Aberdeen to Tarland runs through the parish from east to west, while the rude military road, made about the year 1746, and the finely kept one, executed under the authority of the Parliamentary Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges, cross it from north to south.

Ecclesiastical Stale.— The church, which was built in 1762, and is placed in as centrical a situation as it could well be, contains 883 sittings.

The manse, which was built in 1782, was repaired and enlarged in 1828.

There are about imperial acres in the glebe. The stipend consists of L.112, 17s. 3d. money; 51 bolls, 1 firlot, 2 pecks, 8| lbs. of meal, and I boll, 1 firlot, and 3 1/5 pecks of bear.

Divine service is well attended in the church. The average number of communicants is 509. There are four Dissenters in the parish.

Collections are annually made for the General Assembly's Schemes, and the Aberdeen Infirmary.

Education.—The following branches are taught, and fees exacted in the parochial school. English reading, 2s. per quarter; English and writing, 2s. 6d.; arithmetic, 3s.; Latin, 4s.; mathematics, 4s.; elements of Greek, 4s.; book-keeping, per set, 15s.; English grammar, 3s. 6d. The schoolmaster has a garden. His salary is L.27. He shares in the Dick Bequest. There is a school at Camphill, the teacher of which receives the interest of L.150, bequeathed by James Hunter, Esq. of Darrabill.

Library.—The library, established in 1814, at Tillyching, now contains more than 400 volumes.

The inhabitants of the parish, with the exception of two individuals, can read and write.

Poor and Parochial Funds. — The average annual amount of the collections made at the church door, during 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840, and 1841, was L.17, 5s. 9d.

The average annual amount during these years of funds derived from interest of money and other sources, that passed through the hands of the kirk-session, was L.10, 6s. 9½d.

The average number of impotent persons during these years receiving relief was 2 1/3.

The average annual sum divided during these years among these impotent persons, was L.6, 11s. 11 2/5d.

The average number of persons, not impotent, receiving relief during these years, was 18 1/3.

The average annual sum divided during these years among persons not impotent, was L.20, 17s. 11¾d.

Since the account of this parish was printed, the writer has discovered some interesting notices respecting the Peel Bog. In 1657, Patrick Irvine obtained from Oliver, Lord Protector, a precept under the Great Seal respecting the lands of Craigtown of Lumphanan, Halton Peill, and Colliescroft. In 1702, Robert Ross granted a disposition in favour of Francis Ross, of the lands of Auchlossan, Cairnbady, Bogloch, Aldcairn, Craigtown of Lumphanan, the Peill thereof, called Halton of Lumphanan, Collie's Croft, Wester Kincardine, Dean's Cotts, and Haughhead.—(Charters in possession of John Farquharson, Esq. of Finzean.) Among the estates which were entailed in 1790 by the trustees of Francis Farquharson, Esq. of Finzean were included "All and haill the lands of Halton, with the Peill and manour-place thereof, houses, biggings, yards, and orchards of the said lands of Halton." —(Appellant's Case, page 4, in the suit respecting the validity of the Finzean entail, now before the House of Lords.) It is obvious that these notices afford a strong confirmation of the opinions expressed in the article respecting the Peel Bog.

January 1843


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