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Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Town of Inverness


Inns, Steamers, &.c.; Objects worthy of Observation; Beauty of the Scenery, 1.—Character of the Surrounding Country, 2.—Origin of the Name; Situation; rslands in the Ness, 3.—Stone Bridge, 4.—Streets, 5.—Jail, 6.—Town-house, 7.—Population; Manufactures; Trade, S —Churches, 9.—Acadeniy; Schools; Infirmary, 10. Improvements; Public Charities; Walks; Country Seats, 11.—Antiquity of lnrerness, 12.—Castles of Inverness; Murder of Kin; Duncan, 13.—history of the Castle; Duke of Gordon, Heritable Keeper; Old Fort-George, 14.—The Burgh Charters, 15.—Early disturbed State; ncient Commerce, 16.—Royal Visits; Queen Mary's Visits, 17.—Crornwell's Fort, 18.—Form of Architecture, 19.—Ancient Politics and Manners, 20.—Magistracy, 21.—Spirit of Irnprovenient, 22.

Principal hotels.

Caledonian (Mr. Spinks), No. 17, Church Street; Union, 18 High Street. Both these are most commodious establishments, where every comfort and luxury can be had. Private Royal (Miss M`Donald), 81-2 Church Street; Vine (Thomas "Mackenzie), 7 Church Street; Commercial (Mrs. Napier), Castle Wynd. On the west side of the river Ness, there are the Gienal yn (Harcomb), Huntly Street; Star, Grant Street (Merkinch); Caledonian Inn, Canal Bridge (Muirtown).

The principal Lodging-houses are—Mr. Tait's,19 Church Street; Mrs. Ilardie's, 18 Douglas Row; Mrs. .'Donald's, 14 Douglas Row; Mrs. Robert Fraser's, 46 Church Street; Miss M'Rae, 70 Church Street; Mrs. More's, Castle Wynd; Miss Kennedy, 9 Bank Street; 'Mrs. M'Kenzie's, Academy Street; Mr. hlaclean's, Bridge Street; Mr. John Clark's, Margaret Street; Mrs. Cameron, 27 lose Street; 31r. Adam M'Donald, confectioner, (Peacock) No. 32, High Street; &c.: and, during the shooting season, the Caledonian and Union and Royal Hotels retain a number of rooms in the houses of private families, in which visitors may be accommodated with beds, and with or without board as they incline.

Newspapers.

Inverness Courier office, No. 12, Bank Lane. Advertiser office, 18, Inglis Street.

Banks.

Caledonian and Savings. High Street; British Linen Company, High Street; Bank of Scotland, Bank Street; National, Church Street; Commercial Bank of Scotland, Church Street; North of Scotland, Academy Street.

Post Office, 27 high Street.—Police Office, 36 Bridge Street.

Booksellers.

James Smith, 49 High Street; Kenneth Douglas, 2 High Street; D. Morrison, 1 Church Street; C. Keith, 21 Church Street; D. Fraser, Castle Street.

Principal Drapers.

Tartan Warehouse, D. M'Dougal, 12 Iligh Street; Andrew Smith, 20 High Street; Donald Fraser, 48 Iligh Street; D. M'Leunan, 41 High Street; D. Matheson, 6 Castle Street. Inverness Woollen Manufactory at helm—shop, No. 4, Bridge Street.

Coaches.

The Post-Office changes often disturb the mail hours.

1. Mail to Perth (4 horses), leaves the Caledonian Hotel and Union Hotel every evening at a quarter to 7 o'clock, and arrives from the south at these Inns, at 6 A.M. Fares—2:5s. inside, and 32s. outside.
2. Aberdeen Mail—leaves the Caledonian and Union Hotels every afternoon at 2 o'clock, and arrives every evening at half-past 7. Four horses. Fares—inside, 2; outside, 21s.
3. North Mail, by Beauly, Dingwall, Tain, Dornoch, to Thurso in Caithness—leaves Caledonian Hotel at 1 past 6 o'clock in the morning, and arrives at 5 P. M., in time to join the Perth Mail. Four horses. Fares—inside, 2:11 : 6; outside, 1:17:6 ; and to Tain, 20s. and 14s.
4. The Duke of Wellington—day stage-coach, 4 horses—in connexion with the Highland or Perth Mail-leaves the Caledonian Hotel every lawful morning, from April to the end of November, at 6 o'clock A.M., and arrives from Perth at 6 P.M.. Fares—inside, 35s.; outside, 25s.
5. The Defiance—daily stage-coach, 4 horses—leaves the Caledonian Hotel, for Nairn, Forres, Elgin, Fochabeis, IIuntly, and Aberdeen, every lawful morning, at 6 o'clock ASS., and arrives from Aberdeen, at half-past 6 o'clock P.M.. Fares—inside, 2; outside, 1: 2s.
6. The Star—daily stage-coach, 4 horses—leaves Caledonian Hotel for Nairn, Forres, and Elgin, at 4 o'clock r.:si. every lawful day, and stops at Elgin, where it arrives at 9 r. rr. that night. Another coach, in connexion with it, proceeds on from Elgin ever' morning at 7 A.M. for Aberdeen; and the Star leaves Elgin every morning at 7 A.M. for Inverness, which it reaches at half-past 12 o'clock A.M. Fares—inside, 16s.; outside, 10s. 6d.
7. The Caberfeigh—stage-coach, 2 horses—leaves Caledonian Hotel, every day in summer, at 3 o'clock for Dingwall (via Kessock Terry) and Strathpeffer, and reaches the Spa Hotel there at 6 P.M.. It leaves Strathpeffer at 8 o'clock every morning, and arrives at Inverness at 11 A.M. Fares—inside, 10s.; outside 6s.
8. The Duke of Wellington to Tain starts at 6 A.M., and from Tain at 3 P.M.; but either this or the Caberfeigh is likely to be discontinued, or to go only to Strathpeffer via Beauly.

Steamers.

1. The North Star, sails from the Thornbush Pier, Inverness, for London, every alternate Monday; and from London for Inverness every other Monday; average length of passage sixty-three hours. Fares—cabin, 3:10s.; forecastle, 2 : 5s. N.B.—Calls at Chanonry Point, Invergordon, Cromarty, Findhorn, Burgh-head, Banff, and Aberdeen.
2. The Duke of Richmond sails from Kessock Ferry roadstead for Leith every Monday morning, and the Queen on Thursday evening, calling at the same ports as the North Star; and they leave Leith on their return voyages every Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Fares—cabin, 16s.; forecastle, 8s.
3. The Maid of Morven leaves Kessock Ferry every Monday- and Thursday morning, for the ports in the Moray Firth above named, and the Little Ferry in Sutherlandshire, and returns every succeeding day. Fares-to Burgh-head, 5s. and 3s. Gd.; to Little Ferry, 10s. and 5s.
4. The Glasgow Steamers by the Caledonian Canal.-Messrs. G. and J. Bums of Glasgow put on in summer a line of swift steamers, by which there is a daily sailing to and from Glasgow and Oban, Fort-William, Corpach, and Inverness; and to and from Oban, Tobermory, Staffs and Iona, and Glencoe. Fares to Glasgow-cabin, 1; forecastle, 8s. Goods Boats (Cygnet and Lapwing) ply at cheaper rates.
NiL-Coaches and Breaks, or Omnibuses, attend from the Caledonian and Union Hotels, to convey passengers to and from the steamers on their departure and arrival, charging 1s. for every passenger; and the heavy goods and luggage are conveyed by carts, which are always in waiting. The steam offices are 9 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, and in Church Street, at the Thornbush Pier and Kessock Ferry, Inverness, where the adver- tiseinents, which are occasionally altered, may be seen.
Carriers of goods leave Inverness, twice a-week, for Beauly, Dingwall, Invergordon, and Fort-George; and once a-week to Fort-Augustus, Kingussie, Nairn, and Forres; and once a fortnight, or when the weather permits and there is employment, to Perth, Kintail, Stratbglass, Loch Carron, and Skye; but in the interior of the country no public carriers can be reckoned upon except in the vicinity of the great roads; and families and sportsmen, in the remoter districts, usually keep pony-cars, or W'hitechapel-carts, for fetching home parcels and provisions.

A passage-boat plies every Tuesday and Friday between Inverness and Fortrose, (fare 3d.); and in summer another goes, on these days, between Inverness and Avoch.

The subjoined note gives ample information as to the cost of living in Inverness, and the same prices and rents prevail (perhaps a shade lower in the country and smaller towns) throughout the Highlands. [Good beef sells at 5d. to 7d. per imperial lb.; mutton from 4d. to 6d.; veal, the quality of which is, however, seldom superior, 5d. to 6d.; pork, (of which no great quantity is exposed, on account of the demand for cured pork for export and shipping,) 3d. to Old. There is an abundant supply of excellent haddocks, which sell at from three to a dozen for 6d.; good whitings about the same price; cod, from 3d. to Is. a-piece, according to the size and quantity; superior skate, 3d. to 9d. each. Herrings vary much in price, as boats only occasionally leave the fishery ground to dispose of this fish so far up the Firth. They sell at from ten to fifty for 6d. Salmon are as high as 1s. to 1s. 6d. and 2s. 6d. per lb.; the salmon-fishers being under an engagement to send almost all that maybe caught to the London market. Grilse sell for 4d. or 6d. per lb. The price of oatmeal is 15s. to 20s. per boll, of 10 imperial stones, and the same for a quarter of Angus or potato oats; of flour, about 46s. per sack of 280 lbs.; potatoes, 8s. to 16s. a boll; hay, 6d. to Is. a stone. Whisky is sold at 7s. to 10s. the imperial gall on; very good strong ale at 17s. or 19s. an anker, which will run five dozen of bottles ; table beer half that sum. Fresh butter sells at 10d. per lb.; salt butter at 16s. to 21s. per stone of 23 lbs., and 16 oz. to the lb. Honey, in the comb, at 6d. to is. per lb. Warm milk at Id., and skim-milk at a halfpenny the English pint. A pair of fowls cost 2s. to 2s. 6d.; but they are not so large or plumply fed as those to be seen in the southern markets. A pair of chickens 8d. to 1s. 6d.; of ducks, 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d.; geese and turkeys bring 2s. 6d. to Is.; grouse, ls. to 3s. 6d. a brace; hares, 1s. 3d. to Is. each ; rabbits, 8d. a pair. Shop goods sell pretty much as in other provincial towns. House rents are moderate, averaging from 30 to 50, and shops the same. The wages of housemaids are 30s. to 3 per hall-year; average, 12. There are generally several country houses to let in the neighbourhood of Inverness, at from x:30 to P200 a-year, furnished and unfurnished, and with garden-ground, offices, and grass parks, and other accommodations. The charges of the principal inns in Inverness are much the same as those in Edinburgh.]

1. INVERNESS, the largest town in the Highlands, and long regarded as the northern capital—its history, also, forming a prominent part in the scanty measure of information that has reached us of the annals of the Highlanders in general--merits a separate description ; more especially as this town is the most convenient central point from which to proceed in visiting most of the interesting scenes which it is the object of this work to delineate.

"Inverness has been strangely underrated," So observes Dr. Macculloch (Letters on the Highlands, vol. i.), who has even gone the length of drawing a comparison between the beauties of its neighbourhood and that of Edinburgh. "The Firth of Forth must yield the palm to the Moray Firth, the surrounding country must yield altogether, and Inverness must take the highest rank. Everything is done, too, for Inverness that can he effected by wood and cultivation; the characters of which, here, have altogether a richness, a variety, and a freedom, which we miss round Edinburgh. The mountain screens are finer, more various, and more near. Each outlet is different from the others, and each is beautiful ; whether we proceed towards Fort-George or towards Moy, or enter the valley of the Ness, or skirt the shores of the Beauly Firth; while a short and commodious ferry wafts us to the lovely country opposite, rich with wood, and country seats, and cultivation. It is the boast, also, of Inverness to unite two opposed qualities, and each in the greatest perfection: the characters of a rich open lowland country with those of the wildest alpine scenery, both, also, being close at hand, and in many places intermixed; while to all this is added a series of maritime landscape not often equalled."

2. Inverness stands on a plain at the meeting of three large openings; namely, the basins of the Moray and Beauly Firths, and the great glen of Albyn, itself also once the channel of the sea, and still covered throughout more than half of its surface with the waters of a chain of inland lakes. The mountains which skirt and hem in Loch Ness diverge at its eastern extremity, and those on the south side, assuming an easterly direction, towards Nairnshire, and finally subsiding into a smooth, inclined, and unbroken ridge nearly twenty miles long, leave as the termination of the Great Glen, a wide champaign country, which extends to the shores of the 'Moray Firth. On the north side of the valley the mountains gradually give place to round-backed hills, with tabular summits and rocky sides, which approach within a mile of Inverness, terminating in the celebrated vitrified fort of Craig Phadrick, where they are cut across by the waters of the sea as these proceed from the main firth to fill the inner basin of the Loch or Firth of Beauly; but, resuming their course on the Ross-shire coast, the same line of hills, softened in feature, is prolonged along the edge of the sea towards Fortrose and the Sutors of Cromarty. Standing thus on a beautiful plain, skirted by variously shaped hills, which are diversified with hanging -woods, cultivated fields, and protruding frontlets of rock, Inverness still farther possesses the advantage of having a bank of terraced ground rising behind it on the southern side of the town which commands the finest views, and on which some of the newest houses and most beautiful villas of the neighbourhood have been erected. This bank, which is about ninety feet high, forms a portion of a great gravel terrace, or coast line, which extends from the confines of Loch Ness, through Inverness, Nairn, and Moray shires, to the mouth of the river Spey, having a Iine of similar height and characters opposed to it on the Ross-shire coast, and thus indicating a former elevation of the sea, or some other great body of water nearly corresponding with the summit level of the Great Glen, which lies between the Lakes Oich and Lochy. The surface of this terrace composes a second plain above that on which the town of Inverness chiefly stands, spreading itself out till it joins the base of the hills on the south. This plain is of various breadth, (generally from one to two or three miles,) is highly cultivated, and adorned by numerous country seats.

The distant mountain screens which close in the view around Inverness are also of very varied aspect. The serrated mountains about Loch Ness terminate in the high dome-shaped summit of Mealfourvounie, a well-known landmark to all the country round, and to the navigators of the adjoining firths. Towards the west the hills of Strathconon and Strathglass, at the head of Loch Beauly, rise in clusters of peaks, while almost the whole northern horizon is occupied by the huge shapeless mountain of Ben Weavis, in Ross-shire, (upwards of 3700 feet in height,) and its extensive ramifications, which are disposed in long round-backed heathy chains, overtopping the eminences which rise from the margin of the Firth of Cromarty. Towards the east, the waters of the Moray Firth, stretching out into the German Ocean, conduct the eye to the dim and distant mountain ranges of Sutherland, Caithness, and Banff shires.

3. The name of Inverness denotes its situation as near the estuary of the river Ness, which flows from the great inland lake, into whose waters fall those of the celebrated cataract of Foyers. Hence the Gaelic word ess, signifying a waterfall, has been bestowed on the whole country, as well as on the loch and river. The course of the last is only about six miles; and it is equally " noble, broad, clear, and strong," whether we observe it at its junction with the sea, or where it flows from its parent lake. Its banks are fringed with rows of trees, and many beautiful seats and villas ; and within a mile of the town it is divided into two branches by an island, or rather a series of islands, luxuriantly wooded. These, in ancient days, were celebrated as the scenes of rural feasts given by the magistrates of Inverness to the King's judges when they came here to hold assize courts. Fresh salmon, caught in an adjoining pool, are said to have formed the chief delicacy at those banquets; while claret, brandy, and hollands, and even the classic sack, circulated in abundance among the guests. Their more refined descendants, a few years ago, cut the surface of the islands into pleasure-walks, and connected the opposite banks by chain-bridges; but a great speat or flood, in January 1849, swept these away, and submerged the islands for some weeks. The broad valley intervening between the eastern extremity of Loch Ness and the sea, is diversified by the wide tabular terrace already alluded to; which also is found, though not so distinctly marked, on the north side, where it is broken into undulating knolls and hillocks. This higher ground, as well as the bottom of the valley, is wholly composed of rolled stones and gravel. A projecting portion of the flat or table-ground adjoining the east bank of the river, formed the site of the ancient castle; and immediately below and around it were clustered the principal and oldest streets and houses of the town, the buildings on the western bank being but of recent erection.

4. In the year 1685, a handsome stone bridge, of seven ribbed arches, was erected across the river by means of public subscriptions, and large contributions from the town's funds. One of the arches contained a vault used as a jail, and latterly as a mad-house, which was only closed up within the last thirty years. The grating, or air-hole was, till lately, visible, whence the poor captive obtained a distant view of the hills, and of the river which rolled beneath him, whose dismal noise was only echoed by the trampling of horses and passengers over the roof of his damp and lonely cell. It is said that this horrible dungeon was only abandoned after a maniac confined in it had been devoured by rats, and in 173the town-treasurer paid 12s. Scots for " burying a man who died in the bridge vault !" A wooden bridge, described by an officer in Cromwell's army as " the weakest, in his opinion, that ever straddled over so strong a stream," previously existed, a few feet below the stone one, and ushered the passengers into the town through a gateway under one of the houses. It fell in September 1664, with upwards of 100 people on it at the time, yet none of them were drowned. Its successor also yielded to the flood in 1849, above alluded to, which was aggravated by certain defects in the works of the Caledonian Canal, the banks of which gave way in several places at the upper reach or summit-level of Loch Oich, and also in front of the lock at Dochgarroch (the lower end of Loch Dochfour), where there was an artificial outlet or overflow made in connection with the raising of the level of the lake, for the surplus water to escape into the river Ness, but which had been constructed too wide for the discharging area of the arches of the Inverness bridge. The community of Inverness have since brought a bill into Parliament for the reconstruction of their bridge, with improved approaches, relying, as they obviously were entitled to do, on Government's defraying the cost, in reparation of the damage which the town had sustained, and the danger to life to which the inhabitants had been exposed.

5. The town occupies both sides of the river ; but the most considerable part, both in extent and style, of the houses lies, as already stated, on the east side. From the stone bridge the mail^ street, divided into compartments, called Bridge Street, High Street, and Petty Street, proceeds eastward at right angles to the river; and from it Church Street and Academy Street diverge northwards in a direction towards (and uniting as they approach) the harbour.

6. At the corner of Church Street is the old Jail, built in 1791; its steeple, erected on a plan somewhat similar to that of St. Andrew's Church in Edinburgh, is 130 feet high, and is a remarkably handsome structure. This building cost about 1800, and the spire 1600 more, which sums were raised by subscription, and contributions from Parliament, and the northern counties whose criminals are sent to the jail of Inverness for trial before the Circuit Courts of Justiciary. Although a great improvement at the time of its erection, this prison has now been superseded by a new jail, erected on the Castle Hill, alongside of and in unison with the Castle, or County Rooms, a handsome castellated structure, also recently built, after a design of Mr. Burns of Edinburgh. From their elevated position these buildings together form one of the most striking features of the town. With all its defects, the late jail of Inverness must have been regarded as a palace, in comparison with the older prison of the town, which was used after the vault in the stone bridge had been changed into a bedlam. Thus, in the burgh records, we find that the town-clerk, on 29th September 1709, "paid an officer 4s. 6d. Scots to buy a cart of peats to be burnt in the Tolbooth to remove the bad scent;" and in December 1737 the magistrates ordered the same functionary to purchase "an iron spade to be given to the hangman for cleaning the Tolbooth:" from which our readers can be at no loss to judge of its condition.

7. Nearly opposite the jail is the Exchange, with the, Townhouse, (erected in 1708,) and the ancient Cross of the burgh, at the base of which lies the Clack-na-cudden, or "Stone of the Tubs," the famous resting-stone on which the maid-servants in passing from the river, were wont to lay down their water-pitchers. It is reckoned the palladium of the town, and at one time, along with the Cross, it stood out on the side or middle of the street. In the wall above are the royal arms, with those of the town; and within the hall are a few good paintings of local benefactors. From the cast end of the Exchange, Castle Street (anciently called Doomesdale Street, because it led up to the Gallows Moor) conducts to the rising ground or terrace above mentioned. Along the banks of the river, the greater part of the newer buildings have been erected ; and towards the harbours a wooden bridge was constructed across the river some years ago, which has proved of much utility.

8. The population of the town and parish, since the year 1791, has nearly doubled. At present, according to the census of 1841, it is 15,308,—the total number within the parliamentary boundaries of the town being 11,575, of whom 5067 were males, and 6508 females. In 1831, it amounted respectively to 14,324 and 9663. About a sixth of the population depend chiefly on agriculture for employment, and a third on trade. The parliamentary constituency of Inverness, at the first registration under the Reform Act, was 466, and that of the other associated burghs of Forres, Nairn, and Fortrose, 241. At present (1850) the number of persons entitled to vote in Inverness for a member of parliament, is 418; and in the sister burghs 300 There are no professions practised peculiar to the burgh (but anciently its maltsters were numerous and wealthy); and though the advantages of its situation for manufactures and commerce are manifestly great, its trade cannot be considered of importance, there being only two manufactories in the place, one for bagging, and the other for woollen cloths ; besides a distillery, a few breweries, and tan-works. But there are in Inverness two public news-rooms, six banking-houses, including a provincial hank, several printing establishments, and two weekly newspapers. Besides steamers, the port possesses 230 coasting vessels of about 10,000 registered tonnage; and it is now becoming a great and cheap resort for the repair and fitting out of ships.

In the year 1847 an act was obtained for deepening the channel of the river Ness and improving the harbour; and under the plans then sanctioned, it is the intention of the harbour trustees to dredge the river and form a wet dock and quays and breastworks adjoining the timber bridge, and between it and the old or Citadel Quay, which will bring the trade close to the doors of the inhabitants, and to the east side of the river, and to a spot adjoining the terminus of the proposed Great North of Scotland Railway. The present Thornbush Pier, near the mouth of the river, but on the west side, it is intended, shall be enlarged for the reception of the largest-sized steamers; and when these operations are finished, in conjunction with the accommodations of the Caledonian Canal basin and wharves, Inverness will have as complete and ample a harbour as any port on the east coast of Scotland, and one which will present peculiar facilities, from the cheapness of labour and timber in the place for the building and repair and outfit of vessels. The town has also lately obtained a police act, under which, and the attendant assessment, it is watched and lighted. It is well supplied with good haberdashery, grocery, ironmongery, wine, bookselling, confectionary, perfumery, fruit, and other shops, and with butcher meat; while the Inverness bread is distinguished for its good quality. The fish market is also pretty regularly and constantly supplied, and at moderate prices, though not with great variety. Dairy produce is abundant, and poultry pretty much so, though not fed as for the southern markets. There is capital salmon-fishing in the river, and permission for rod-fishing to be had by the day or week at reasonable charges.

9. Inverness does not boast of many public buildings erected in good taste. Oliver Cromwell destroyed all the old ecclesiastical ones; and none have since been built with any pretensions to beauty except the Roman Catholic and St. John's Episcopal Chapels. The new Caledonian Bank in High Street, opposite the Exchange, and looking up Castle Street, is unquestionably the finest building in the north, and is deserving of notice. It embraces ample accommodation for business, and also a large house for the manager. The design was furnished by Mr. Mackenzie, architect in Elgin, and on a small scale in some respects resembles the Commercial Bank, Edinburgh. Above the basement, which contains two finely carved archways, is a large portico, with four fluted columns, having beautifully carved Corinthian capitals, which support a massive pediment, within which are arranged a group of allegorical figures, from the classic chisel of Mr. H. Ritchie of Edinburgh. The centre figure is Caledonia, holding in her hand the Roman fasces, emblematical of unity. On the right is a figure representing the Ness, from whose side rises another female form, symbolic of a tributary stream. On the extreme right are two small figures rowing a bark, representing Commerce. On the left is Plenty pouring out the contents of her cornucopia; a reaper, with an armful of cut corn, a shepherd and sheep, emblematical of the rural interests of the country. The group has been generally admired, as have also the foliage and carvings in the lower compartments of the building. The Assembly or Northern Meeting Rooms are clumsy and heavy in the exterior, but large and elegantly fitted up within.

10. The Academy is a plain building, with class-rooms for five masters, besides a hall in which is a beautiful painting of the Holy Family, said to be by Sasso Ferrato, but by some thought to be the work of Perino de Yaga; and a bust, by Westmacott, of Hector Fraser, a teacher of considerable eminence in this place. The number of pupils who attend this seminary is now generally from 150 to 200: formerly the numbers were greater. There is a library and small museum attached to it, collected by the Northern Institution, established here, some years ago, for the promotion of Science and Literature. It is provided with able masters. Inverness is peculiarly well supplied with public schools for the education of the lower orders and the poor. Private schools and academies are also numerous; and being likewise one of the towns comprehended in the late Dr. Andrew Bell of Egmont's munificent bequest for the purposes of education in Scotland, his trustees (the Magistrates and Town Council) have lately opened a handsome institution near the Academy, in which a large number of children are instructed on the -Madras or monitorial system of Dr. Bell. A well conducted seminary has also been opened under the auspices of the Free Church. Connected with the Academy is a fund left, in 1803, by Captain William Mackintosh, of the Ilindostan East Indianian, for the education of boys of certain families of that name. Its whole revenue, with its lands, is now valued at 25,000. To improve the curriculum of instruction for those bursars, it has been proposed that the Academy and Mackintosh funds should be united, in the hope that with the eventual assistance of Government, the number and status of masters in the institution may be so increased and raised, as to render it equal to some of the Scotch colleges, and a general place of resort for the North Highlands. A bill is now before Parliament for so far effecting these very desirable objects.

11. Within a few minutes' walk, by the river side, is the Northern Infirmary, a handsome structure, and a well-conducted institution, supported by parochial collections and private subscriptions. The Caledonian and Union Hotels are spacious and handsome buildings. The town is well paved, watered, and lighted with gas, and the walks around it are unrivalled for the beauty and variety of the scenery they command; and Inverness is one of the most attractive residences for families, and amongst the most regular and well-built provincial towns in Scotland. The climate is mild and salubrious, and families who have been resident in tropical countries find Inverness well adapted for their constitution, owing most probably to its being removed from the keen winds which blow from oft' the German ocean, and in that the air is rendered soft and balmy by the peculiar position and form of the Great Glen, which carry across the Atlantic vapours, and impart somewhat of the west coast character to our climate, without its excessive moisture. The principal seats in the neighbourhood are CulIoden, Raigmore, Muirtown, Leys Castle, Ness Castle, Culduthel, and Dochfour; and the grounds about these are suited to extensive estates. Leys Castle is an imposing and costly structure, in the Gothic castellated style; a square building, with corner and entrance towers, and a central pavilion. Most of the others are elsewhere noticed.

We may direct the stranger's attention to the view from the castle-hill, and to a promenade recently formed to the north of Cromwell's fort, afterwards described, along the mouth of the river on the east side, and leading round by the sea-side, as giving the best idea of the locality, and presenting landscapes not often surpassed.

12. Thus far of the statistics of the town. Its history is interesting. Inverness was frequently visited by the Scottish sovereigns; and for many ages the annals of several adjacent parts of the Highlands are scarcely known, except through their connexion with this burgh.

Without recurring to the usual list of fables which invest Inverness with an antiquity higher even than the commencement of the Christian era, we have the authority of Adamnan, in his Life of Columba, for stating that this saint sojourned "ad ostiam Nessiae," with the view of converting Brudeus, King of the Picts, who resided here; and that in this place he had several conferences with the Scandinavian Earl of Orkney.

13. On the rising ground to the cast of the town, called the Crown, a very old castle stood, around which were built the first houses of the burgh ; and the spot is still shown where the cross is believed to have stood, and a large stone with a hole in the centre for an upright pillar, has recently been discovered underneath. Macbeth, being by birth the Maormor (literally the Great Man) of Ross, and having by marriage become that of Moray, very probably had possession of this castle; but antiquaries seem now agreed that the murder of King Duncan was not perpetrated within its walls.

Malcolm III., or Caenmore, is said to have razed this castle, and to have built another on the eminence already alluded to, close by the river, which continued ever after to be a king's house and royal fortress, till blown up, in the year 1746, by the troops of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

14. Shaw Macduff, a son of the sixth Earl of Fife, having come north with Malcolm IV., and assisted in quelling an insurrection of the men of Moray, assumed the name of Mackintosh (son of the Thaue), significant of his high birth. He acquired great possessions, and was made heritable governor of this castle. In 1245, Sir John Bisset of Lovat, one of the greatest neighbouring barons, was confined in it for his supposed connexion with the murder of the Earl of Athole: he was accused also of acknowledging the Lord of the Isles as a sovereign prince, and doing him homage. During the minority of one of the captains of clan Chattan, or chief of the Mackintoshes, the castle was seized by the Cumings of Badenoch, who retained it till 1303, when it was captured by Edward I. of England, from whom it was in turn taken for Robert Bruce. Bruce was then wandering in the Ebudae; and, it is added, when the news of the seizure of this fortress reached his ears, he was roused to the daring feats which afterwards paved his way to the throne. From this period to the accession of James I., the government of the castle was retained in the hands of the crown. Donald of the Isles, who fought the battle of Harlaw, in 1410, with the Earl of ;liar, burned the town of Inverness on his march. The last-named monarch again bestowed the castle on the captain of the clan Chattan, and at the same time repaired and greatly strengthened it. He held a court in it, to which all the northern chiefs and barons were summoned, three of whom were executed here for treason, while Alexander, Lord of the Isles, son of Donald, was detained in custody for a year. This lord avenged the affront cast upon him by also setting fire to the town: but though the inhabitants were exposed to the rapine of his followers, he was defied in his attempts to wrest the castle from the hands of Mackintosh the governor. This island chief was subsequently defeated by a royal army in Lochaber, and was compelled on his knees to beg his life from the king, in presence of the whole court at Holyrood, and was imprisoned in Tantallon Castle. His successor, John of the Isles, invading the mainland in fulfilment of his treaty with Edward IV., or rather, perhaps Donald Balloch of Isla, also a party to the league with England, took the castle by surprise. His rebellion drew upon John the forfeiture of the earldom of Ross, which, with the sheriffdom of Inverness and Nairn, was annexed to the crown.

In the year 1508, the Earl of Huntly obtained the appointanent of heritable sheriff of the county, and keeper of the castle. For a short time the Regent Moray was sheriff, but soon afterwards the Iiuntly family regained all their possessions; and it was only in 1629 that they resigned their office to the crown, for which a compensation was granted of 2500. At that period it was conferred for life on Sir Robert Gordon, the historian of Sutherland.

During the period of the civil wars, this castle was repeatedly taken by 'Montrose and his opponents, and the whole country, even in this northern corner, then experienced all the horrors of a hostile invasion. In 1649, its fortifications were nearly demolished by Mackenzie of Pluscardine, Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, and a party opposed to the Parliament. The castle chambers, decorated with stucco busts and paintings, and hung round with tapestry, then fell sadly into decay; and the fortress seems to have been totally lost sight of till, in the year 1718, we read of its being again repaired. A governor's house was at that time added to it, and the ancient part formed into barracks for the Hanoverian soldiers. It was then called Fort-George, and, though rendered uninhabitable by Prince Charles' troops in 1746, a large portion of its walls remained entire till a recent period.

15. The first charter granted to the burgh is attributed to Malcolm Caenmore. This is erroneous, there being no Scottish records known earlier than the time of Edgar, his son. Inverness was erected into a royal burgh by David I., and was one of the "loca capitalia per totum reb um." It was thus one of the earliest free towns of the kingdom, and had four charters from William the Lion, which, with various additional grants, were all confirmed by subsequent monarchs ; and at last confirmed and repeated by James III., whose charter, embodying eight previous charters, is printed at full length in Wight's Treatise on the Scotch Election Laws. The great charter of the town, however, was bestowed by King James VI. anno 1591, a translation of which was afterwards ratified and confirmed by the whole estates of Parliament in 1661 (Acts Charles II. 1661, c. 147, folio edit. p. 110 of vol. 7). Three of William's, and several others of the oldest, charters are still extant; and perhaps no burgh in the kingdom can boast of so complete and ancient a series of records as that which is in possession of the magistrates of Inverness.

16. Prior to the invasion of Scotland by Edward I., we find that Inverness was repeatedly visited, and almost made a constant residence of by some of the kings ; whose presence was continually required in repelling the incursions of the Danes and northern Yikingr, and subduing the insurrections of the turbulent and barbarous natives.

After Bruce's accession, and during the feeble sovereignty of the Stuarts, Inverness was exposed to the oppression of the constables of its own castle, besides being the constant prey of the Islemen and Highland clans. Its annals are full of accounts of burnings, ransackings, battles fought in its neighbourhood for its defence, stratagems, and pecuniary imposts resorted to by the magistrates, for keeping off or soothing its barbarous and cruel neighbours. It was evidently the seat of a colony of busy merchants, whose names, from the earliest date, indicate their Flemish or Saxon descent. They possessed a great share of the scanty commerce of the country. In the year 1280, the town was resorted to by a French count as a fit place for building a large ship, his own having been wrecked in the Orkneys; and its exports of hides, herring, salmon, malt, &c., were known in the ports of the Continent, and even on the shores of the Mediterranean. Few of the wealthy burghers were Highland-men ; but to the attacks of these restless and insatiable neighbours they were constantly exposed. Yet it has ever been the fashion to style Inverness the capital of the Highlands, and the metropolis of the north. It was the emporium of commerce but the Highlanders acknowledged no capitals, no places of resort, except the chieftain's castles and strongholds, and the open gathering hills.

17. In this town our monarchs frequently held their courts; those disobedient to the king's summons to attend them being cited at the market-cross of the burgh. Here the justice aires were always held ; and the proprietors who lived on the lines of road conducting to the town were obliged to escort the judges, and see them safe through their territories. It is still the town where the circuit courts of justiciary for the trial of important criminal offences, and civil cases appealed from the local judicatories, sit twice a-year, for the northern counties.

One of the last royal visits to Inverness was paid by Queen Mary, who came north to quell an insurrection of the Earl of Huntly. The queen caused the governor of the castle, who held it for the earl, to be hanged. This unfortunate princess is said to have been much attached to Inverness; and the house in which she lived subsisted till of late years. It was a curious structure, situated close by the bridge, and at the base of that castle wall where her vassal waved his banner and lorded it over his sovereign. Her situation so near the castle was evidently dangerous; but the garrison was overawed by the Frasers, Monroes, and Mackenzies, headed by the Lord Lovat, who crowded to the queen's protection.

18. Cromwell (in 1652-7) built a citadel and fort on the north side of the town, near the mouth of the river. "It cost 80,000 sterling, and was nearly five years in building. It was a regular pentagon, surrounded at full tide with water suflicient to float a small bark. The breastwork was three storeys high, all of hewn stone, and lined with brick inside. The sally-port lay towards the town. The principal gateway was to the north, where was a strong drawbridge of oak and a stately structure over it, with this motto, `Togam tuentur arena.' From this bridge the citadel was approached by a vault seventy feet long, with seats on each side. In the centre of the fort stood a large square building, three storeys high: the lower storey contained the granary and magazine. In the highest was a church well finished within a pavilion roof, surmounted by a steeple with a clock and four bells; at the south-east stood a long building, four storeys high, called the English Building, because built by English masons; and opposite to it a similar one erected by Scottish architects. The accommodations altogether would lodge 1000 men. England supplied the oak planks and beams, Strathglass the fir; recourse was had to the monasteries of Kinloss and Beauly, the bishop's castle of Chanonry, the Greyfriars' Church, and St. Mary's Chapel in Inverness, for the stonework ; and so abundant were the provisions and supplies of the garrison, that a Scots pint of claret sold for a shilling; and cloth was bought as cheap as in England."  On the Restoration this fortress was demolished, in order to please some of the highland chiefs, who were then deemed loyal; and, judging from the dates of many of the older houses in the town, it is supposed that they were built of its materials. A considerable part of the ramparts still remains.

19. For a long time the houses of the burgh seem to have been crowded near the castle, and along the Church Street, which was commanded by it. They were erected in the old Flemish style, with large courts and arched gateways, and gables turned towards the street. Even in the middle of last century, a great proportion of the houses were thatched with heather and straw, and few of the ceilings or rooms in them were plastered. Formerly most of the neighbouring proprietors had houses in Inverness, to which they resorted in the winter season; and hence the society partook of a high aristocratic character. Till within these few years, several of the streets had a very picturesque, though irregular, appearance, from the hanging balconies, and round turnpike stairs and towers which projected in front of the houses.

20. The Invernessians were such staunch Jacobites, that open obstruction was given by the magistrates to the proclamation of George I.'s accession to the throne; and they stirred up the people to a riot. So greatly, too, was Episcopacy rooted in the minds of the people of this town, that, in 1691, when the settlement of a parish minister was ordered under the established Presbyterian Church, armed men were stationed by the burgh rulers at the church door to prevent his admission, and Presbyterianism had to be enforced by the aid of a regiment sent north for that express purpose.

So late as the period of the Disarming Act, men in all parts of the Highlands appeared on Sundays as if fully accoutred for war; and, seventy years ago, only three ladies with straw bonnets were to be seen in the High Church of Inverness. It appears, by the town records, that the streets were for the first time cleaned at the public expense in 1746, by order of the Duke of Cumberland. From the cheapness of foreign wines, spirits, and ale, dissipation prevailed here, and in all the northern towns, even to the end of last century, to a degree almost inconceivable. Now, no distinctions can be perceived in the dress, manners, or modes of living of the inhabitants of the burgh from those of other towns in Scotland. Indeed, the people of Inverness are usually regarded as more advanced in refinement than most of their neighbours ; and their pronunciation is generally considered better than in any other part of Scotland.

21. The town is ruled by a provost, four bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and fourteen councillors. The magistrates walk to church on Sundays, preceded by their lictors, as in the days of ancient Rome; and, till lately, when required, they attended in a body the funerals of the inhabitants.

22. Trade, by means of the Caledonian Canal, is reviving. Living is not dear. The spirit of industry and speculation has called forth several companies for the employment of capital and the embellishment of the town. Steam-boats and coaches have rendered it a great thoroughfare. Access is easily had from Inverness to all parts of the country; and its inns, for elegance and comfort, are nowhere surpassed in Scotland.


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