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Cuthbert


Thereafter, the Secretary read a paper contributed by Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, Esq. of Drummond, entitled “The Cuthberts of Castlehill.” The paper was as follows :—

THE CUTHBERTS OF CASTLEHILL, STYLED “MAC SHEORAIS.”

The recent valuable analysis of the names of the population of Inverness, compiled by Rector Macbain, shows that the predominant surname in the town at present is that of Fraser. That of Mackintosh was predominant in last century, and before then was the once leading name of Cuthbert, now disappeared, like those of Waus and Barbour.

The name Cuthbert is a very ancient Saxon «»ne. St Cuthbert was popular both in England and Scotland, and many churches were dedicated to him.

It is generally admitted that the original Castle of Inverness stood on the Crown lands, and that after its destruction, and the reconstruction of the new one on the height overhanging the river, the words “Auld Castlehill ” came into use. It may also be fairly assumed that the upper part of Castle Street, formerly “Domesdale,” was cut out from the Barnhills, or deepened as it now is, for the greater security of the new Castle.

It will be kept in view that the Castles of Inverness were essentially fortifications, and that while the new one was well defended by the river at its foot on the west side, it was at the same time essential that it should so far as practicable stand isolated from the adjoining heights on the east or Barnhill side.

Anyone who examines the sites of the old and new Castle hills will see at once how much stronger, both for attack and defence, the new position was.

The extent of Auld Castlehill may be fairly arrived at, as it is known that while part extended to the sea, the valley of the Millburn, perhaps the stream itself, would have formed the boundary to the North-East, as it is unquestionable that the lands of Knockintinnel, on which the Barracks are now built, bounded Auld Castlehill on that side.

These lands of Knockintinnel, as also the barony of Culcabock immediately adjoining to the South-West, with Auld Castlehill, comprehended the only lands independent of Inverness burgh until you come to Culloden proper, all the remainder, including Broomhill, Stoneyfield, and Culloden’s Camlaw, being included within the territory of the burgh of Inverness. The property of Castlehill with which the Cuthberts were so long associated is mentioned at a very early date, but the surnames of the early proprietors, if any, have not been handed down.

The authentic antiquity of the family of Cuthbert is sufficient to stand on its own foundation, without giving credence to the imaginary genealogy of the well-known Bore Brief of 1686.

Among some of the oldest Inverness charters existing there are charters to and by the old proprietors of Castlehill, such as by Edoua of the “Auld Castle,” one of the daughters and heiresses of the late Thomas, 4th March, 1351 ; Sir Robt. de Chisholm, superior, 14th September, 1362; and Donald of the “Auld Castle,” 14th April, 1447—all except Chisholm’s without surnames.

The lands were then held in feu, Sir Robert de Chisholm being superior, as already mentioned, in 1362, as was Thomas de Weike in 1458-1477.

The Cuthberts were free barons, although by the Valuation Roll of 1691 the valuation of George Cuthbert only amounted to £224 Scots, whereof £168 lay in Inverness and <£56 in Croy parishes.

In 1644 Janet Mackenzie, Lady Castlehill, is rated at £266 13s 4d Scots. Hence it follows that Auld Castlehill, not extending to £400 Scots of valuation, must to constitute a freehold have been a forty shilling land of old extent.

A Thomas Cuthbert does appear as one of the witnesses to a charter of 1458, but the first Cuthbert of whom authentic record exists connected with Castlehill, and with whom I commence, was

I. William Cuthbert, who is said to have been a son of John and a grandson of George Cuthbert, who fought in 1411 at Harlaw, at the head of the contingent sent by the burgh of Inverness against Donald of the Isles, whose predecessors’ visits to the town, being generally followed by sack and destruction, were not welcomed or appreciated.

From the charter of 1478 it appeal's that the lands of Auld Castlehill, “lying within the Earldom of Moray and the Sheriffdom of Inverness,” were personally resigned into the King’s hands by Sir James Weike, chaplain, and of new granted by James III. to William Cuthbert, burgess of Inverness, at Edinburgh, 23rd July, 1498, these being witnesses—John, Bishop of Glasgow; William, Bishop of Moray, Keeper of the Privy Seal; Thomas, Bishop of Aberdeen; Andrew, Lord Avondale, Chancellor; Colin, Earl of Argyll, Master of the Royal Household; David, Earl of Crawford, Lord Lindsay; James, Lord Hamilton; Mr John de Colquhoun of that Ilk, Knight; Mr Archibald Whitelaw, Archdean of Lothian, the King’s Secretary; Mr Alexander Inglis, Dean of Dunkeld, Clerk of the Rolls and the Register. The next Cuthbert who is noted was

II. John, probably a son of the above William. John was succeeded by his grandson,

III. George, who received from Queen Mary, dated at the monastery of Haddington, 24th July, 1548, a charter as grandson and heir of John Cuthbert, some time of Auld Castlehill. This George, who married Agnes Rose of Kilravock, had with his wife another charter from Queen Mary on the following day, 25th July, 1548, of the following subjects :—

“12 acres of land of the lordship and heritage of Auld Castlehill, in the Sheriffdom of Inverness, viz.— 8 lying continuously between the lands of Saint Michael and the heirs of the late Robert Vans, the Queen’s Street and the sea; 4 acres upon the Castlehill, viz.—one in Milnfield, between the lands of the heirs of the late James Cuthbert, the land of the Chaplain of the Holy Rood, the road which leads to the mill, and the rig which leads to Broom-town; the other in the rield between the lands of John Cuthbert, the land of the said Chaplaincy, the street leading to the mill, and the rig leading to the Draikies ; the third between the lands of the said John Cuthbert and the street leading to the Draikies: the fourth lying between the lands of the late Robert Vaus, the land of the Chaplaincy of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s High Altar, and the way leading to the Draikies ; which the said John Cuthbert of Auld Castlehill resigned, reserving his frank tenement of four acres of said lands, to be holden to the said George and Agnes in conjunct fee, and to his heirs-male of their marriage.”

George was Provost of Inverness and is found in the years 1554 and 1561. In 1559 he, as Provost, with the Bailies, received the property and Church utensils of the Friars, conform to an inventory bearing their receipt and acknowledgment, at Inverness the 22nd of December of 1559, quoted in the Book of Kilravock.

Those who “pulled the ropes” acted with great prudence, and in the interest of the Burgh as they imagined.

The Magistrates had taken step after step for months to possess themselves of the Friars’ property, but had hardly got it when they parted with it, voluntarily or involuntarily it does not appear, but unwillingly—I should hope—to the Cuthberts, which was their game from the moment the Friars were seen to be friendless and powerless and on the brink of being wiped out. Hitherto the Cuthberts had been loyal and devout Churchmen, but now, like the impecunious Scottish nobles, they strove to acquire such ecclesiastical property as they could grasp, and one of them, William, also Provost of Inverness, betwixt the years 1570 and 1578, got a tack, first, of all the Friars’ property, turning out the old occupants, and, later on, getting an absolute right by charter from the Burgh—in other words, from themselves. This clerical zealot Provost, fattening upon the spoils of the ancient Church, is found, in 1573, directing that four men be selected to perambulate the town on Sundays, in order that the public be hunted out and compelled to attend the new worship.

Shortly afterwards the Cuthberts appear to have had some compunctions, and gifted to the Burgh as a place of interment, certain acres surrounding St Mary's Chapel, afterwards and now known as the Chapel-Yard. Over the gate these words, which have disappeared for more than a hundred years, were placed, “Concordia res parvae crescimt,” of a cynical nature, suggesting a very different meaning from that intended by Sallust.

George Cuthbert was succeeded by his son,

IV. John, who was served heir to his father on 25th April,. 1587, and received a Royal charter from James the Sixth, dated at Dalkeith, 19th August, 1592. The charter runs in favour of John Cuthbert of Auld Castlehill and his heirs-male whatsoever “bearing the arms and surname of Cuthbert, the lands, of Auld Castlehill, which the said John resigned for this infeftment, and which the King of new gave to him for his good service ; with mills, multures, mill lands, woods, fishings, as well of salmon as of other fishes in salt waters and in fresh; and incorporated with the same into one free barony of Auld Castlehill, for which one sasine, taken at the Manor House thereof, should stand for all; And whereas the King was aware that these lands were surrounded by insolent men, and of diverse, powerful families, not obeying the laws, who, entering to any part of the said lands during ward, etc., wished continuously to retain them, therefore he wills that whenever these lands shall be in the hands of the King by reason of ward or non-entry, the said John shall pay five marks yearly during the time of ward and non-entry, ten marks for relief, and 100 marks for marriage when they shall happen; for which sums the King grants to the said John, the ward and relief, non-entry and marriage when they shall happen.”

John added to the family estates by the acquisition in respect of unpaid loan, of the lands of Drummond in the parish of Dores. This estate did not remain with the Cuthberts for any time, although at a much later date a succeeding proprietor, finding

Drummond among the subjects included in the old titles, served hirnself heir to that estate, but ineffectually. The name of John is also found in 1600 and 1611, in which latter year the name of his son and apparent heir, William, is found.

V. William, who, on 13th July, 1624, is retoured heir to hi3 father John, but does not appear to have survived long after his succession to the property—for while the retour of William is dated in 1624, a charter under the great seal is granted to his son,

VI. John, dated 1 August 1625. Contemporary with this John was his cousin James Cuthbert of Draikies. It may be convenient here to make some brief reference to the Cuthberts of Draikies, cadets of Castlehill. There were three Draikies—Wester, Mid, and Easter Draikies, whereof Middle and East, otherwise Meikle Draikies belonged to one family, and West Draikies, sometimes called Little Draikies, to another. Meikle Draikies fell into the Castlehill family in the beginning of last century as aftermentioned. After passing through several hands, the three Draikies, as well as Castlehill, have become part and parcel of the Raigmore property.

I happen to have the testament testamentar of Elizabeth Dunbar, the wife of the above-named James Cuthbert of Draikies, who died upon the 5th of April, 1618, under the seal of the Commissariat office of Inverness, 13tli November, 1618. This inventory shows that Mrs Cuthbert was a very industrious person and good manager. She was a sister of Robert Dunbar of Easter l>inns in Moray, and amongst her effects were 17 drawing oxen, 4 queys, 52 sheep and hoggs, 2 work horses, a brown nag, and a brown hackney nag. She also possessed a deal of com, and a chain with a tablet of gold estimated at £11.

Amongst her debtors were Augus Mackintosh of Aldturlies, Duncan “in the Vennel,” Thomas-vic-Allister-vic-Uomas in the Lej's, Joseph Marjoribanks, burgess of Edinburgh; Alexander Mackenzie, fiar of Gairloch; John Dunbar of Benneagefield, Zachary Dunbar, without designation, and Robert Munro of Assynt.

Amongst her creditors were Mr James, Bishop of Inverness, and her servants, John Dow, David Munro, and Sandie Johnston. Her daughters, Christian and Elizabeth, shared her property, excepting that Christian, the eldest, is specially left a gold chain and a pair of gold bracelets.

The above James Cuthbert was Provost of Inverness, and held considerable estates in Ross-shire. George Monro of Meikle Tarrell, dispones to him Lochslyne and Pitnellies by disposition, dated Tarbat, 27th May, 1622. The said George Monro also grants James Cuthbert a disposition of Amatnatua, in Ross, of same date. He did not, however, retain Lochslyne long, for there is a confirmation by the King, dated 25th August, 1624, of a disposition and ratification by him with consent of his wife, Abercrombie, in favour of John Mackenzie of Applecross, dated at the Chanonry of Ross, 3rd June, 1624, witnessed by Colin, Earl of Seaforth; Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, Knight; Donald Mackay of Strathnaver, and others.

In 1737 the last Cuthbert of Draikies conveyed the estate to Castlehill, head of his family. In 1664 and 167th notice is found of John Cuthbert of Alturlies, in the parish of Petty.

It is generally admitted that John, the sixth Cuthbert, served in the Swedish wars under Gustavus Adolphus, as also in Germany, and that after the death of his protector he returned to Scotland and married one of the daughters of Cuthbert of Draikies, probably one of the two heiresses before named, but as the only indication of her Christian name is “ N.,” the identification is not certain. Of John’s marriage there were nine daughters, who were all married, and one son,

VII. George, who succeeded, and married Magdalen, daughter of Sir James Fraser of Brae, with issue—three sons and a daughter. George does not seem to have been retoured heir to his father until 21st April, 1677.

It was in the time of this George that the French branch applied for a certificate from the Scots’ Parliament of gentle birth. The statement is to a great extent fabulous, but there can be no doubt of the antiquity of the French family of Colbert. There is a most interesting little volume, “Note sur la famille Colbert,” printed at Pans in 1863, which I long tried to get without success. Its perusal, however, was kindly given me by the Rev. George Seignelay Cuthbert, present, and 15th of his house, son of the late Seignelay Thomas Cuthbert, and grandson of Lewis Cuthbert, the last laird of Castlehill, afterwards referred to. From it much information can be had, but it must not be relied on on every point. The short preface is signed by “N. J. Colbert,” and it is understood this family is still represented by Baron Colbert, who holds some land near Calais. The family of Colbert in France was long distinguished in the Church, Senate, and Army, holding numerous titles of honour. I have an engraving, in good preservation, of Louis XVI.’s famed minister, dated 1660, an intellectual face, with much reserved power. George was succeeded by his eldest son,

VIII. John, who has a sasine as heir to his father on 20th April, 1699, and married Jean, only daughter of the Right Rev. N. Hay of Dalgetty, last of the old Bishops of Moray, who, upon 7th May, 1700, was infeft in the barony of Castlehill. On 6th November, 1731, John makes his last will and testament. He was succeeded by his eldest son,

IX. George, who, with his wife, Mary Mackintosh of Blairvie, was infeft in Castlehill, in 1735. By this lady, it is recorded, he had a large family, of whom eight were living at their father’s death.

This George was for a long time Sheriff-Substitute at Inverness. His affairs had fallen into disorder, and he was so embarrassed that after his death the family had practically sunk.

The estate was under sequestration for nearly thirty years. The old Lady Castlehill, Jean Hay, bestirred herself on her son’s death, and, with some of her boys, first went to London to crave the aid and protection of her brother, Dr Hay. He was in fair practice, but not in favour with Government, and told his sister to invoke the protection of the French relatives so influential in that country. This the plucky Dowager carriad out, and got two of her grandsons put in a very fair way of succeeding in the world, becoming, and brought up as, Roman Catholics.

X. Alexander, who was known as “L’Abbe Colbert,” came to Edinburgh after an absence of about thirty years and bought back the estate. His eldest sister, Jean, who had married Thomas Alves of Shipland, Inverness, wrote to her brother congratulating him on the purchase, and the Abbe’s reply has been fortunately preserved. It is now given, and I am sure every reader will sympathise with him and appreciate his high-toned and thankful spirit.

“Edinburgh, 5th January, 1780.—Dear Sister,—I received your kind and most agreeable letter, of the 21st December, congratulating me on my success as to the purchasing the old Duchus, for which I return you my most grateful thanks. If I have succeeded, it was indeed against the greatest opposition and difficulties on every side, as you observe. My power and abilities were inconsiderable, but I have all reason to thank God for it, and for believing that He directed and assisted me in obtaining my wish. My patience and perseverance were great and much put to a tryal, but the happy event compensates for all, and the due submission to the will of God commands my gratitude even under these tryals, and gives me hope of His further Almighty protection, without which the wisest undertaking of men will be baffled. I am rejoiced to learn from yourself that you have got the better of your cold, and hope you’ll keep free of it the rest of the session. The winter has been severe on many people’s constitutions here—few or no families have escaped colds and chin-coughs. I have, however, stood it out hitherto, God be thanked. I hope now to continue to do so. With my best wishes of the season to yourself, Miss Molly, the Misses Low, and all friends, I ever remain, dear sister, your most affectionate brother and humble servant, (Signed) “Alex. Cuthbert.”

(Addressed) 44 Mistress Alves of Shipland, at her house on the Shore, Inverness.”

Note.—Letter wafered and appears to have been despatched by private baud—No post mark.—C.F.M.

It would appear that the Abbe could not hold the property, being a Roman Catholic ecclesiastic and naturalised in France, and it passed in respect of a small pecuniary consideration into the hands of his youngest brother, George, who was Provost-Marshal of Jamaica.

XI. George had hardly come into possession of the estate—in fact, never came back to Scotland—when he died, and was succeeded by his brother,

XII. Lewis, who married Jean Pinnock, after whom a farm on the estate of Castlehill was called Pinnockfield, which long since has fallen into disuse. Lewis lived in the North at Cradlehall for some years, and was warmly welcomed by the neighbouring proprietors and the people of Inverness.

To the name of Cradlehall is assigned a curious history. It was occupied after the battle of Culloden for several years by a Colonel Caulfield. The upper part of the house had not been properly finished, and was reached by a moveable stair or ladder. The Colonel was exceedingly hospitable, and many of his visitors could neither find their way home nor be conveyed up these stairs to bed with safety. With the assistance of a confidential English servant of a mechanical turn, who was ofteu puzzled how to dispose of "overcome” guests with unsteady feet, the Colonel contrived An apparatus somewhat in the form of a cradle into which these weak-kneed mortals were placed, and the machine attached to a pulley, they were wound up to the attics. Hence the name of "Cradlehall.” Alexander Baillie, during the re-building of Dochfour House, and later Mr Lewis Cuthbert, lived at Cradlehall. which has retained its name although the cradle itself has long disappeared.

Lewis Cuthbert, when he came to reside at Castlehill, had good prospects of enjoying his new position, and entered on the possession of his property with e rcry disposition to maintain the credit of his ancient house, and in answer to a letter of congratulation, wrote very much in the same terms as the Abbe Cuthbert had done some years previously. I regret to find when writing this paper that the letter, having been mislaid, cannot be given now. He raised considerable sums in Jamaica for the establishment of the Inverness Royal Academy.

It would almost appear as if the family were again to take root and recover their former influential position, but this “was not to be.” Sheriff Cuthbert had not a very good reputation, and in my younger days, when old families with their traditions and old local stories and events were the constant subjects of evening conversation, the ultimate downfall of the Cuthberts was attributed to two causes—1st, their high-handed seizure of ecclesiastical property after the Reformation; and, 2nd, the judicial murder, for it could not be otherwise described, of two poor aged women, who were burnt as witches, under sentence of Sheriff Cuthbert, at the foot of the stream at Altmurnich, which separates Knockintinnel from Broomtown, now Raigmore House grounds. It was also alleged that the unfortunate women called down Heaven’s curse on the Sheriff and his descendants. There can be no doubt that very many families of those who acquired spoils of the Church have, according to a well-known work, died out or become impoverished —whether through the anathemas of the Church or not is a matter of question.

For a few years, between 1792 and 1795, Lewis Cuthbert lived, much respected, at Cradlehall, and I have the good fortune of possessing his best tea service of Rose Swansea china. The road by Cradlehall towards the Culloden woods is one of my favourite drives, but I never pass without regretting that the place, with its commanding outlook, and splendid trees of the old rule, now present such a ragged and down-in-the-world aspect.

Mr Cuthbert unfortunately became security for the holders of certain patent offices in Jamaica, whereby he became seriously involved ; and, for the protection of his bankers in London, had to execute a disposition of his property to Mr Abram Roberts, about the year 1796. The estate had been bought by the Abbe Cuthbert in 1779 for a little over £8000. It had now to be disposed of to clear Mr Lewis Cuthbert’s cautionary obligations, and, like other Highland estates sold before the close of the Peninsular War, it brought an enormous increase, not much short of £80,000—the chief purchasers being Culloden, who extended his lands from Camlaw, by Stoneyfield and Broomtown to Knockintinnel; Gordon of Draikies; the Right. Hon. Charles Grant; Duff of Muirtown; the Hon. Archibald Fraser of Lovat; Welsh of Millburn; and others.

Litigation continued, and as late as the year 1832 the Castlehill affairs were not completely wound up, but notwithstanding the frightful litigations and disputes among the creditors themselves as to preferences, all the debts were paid.

Going back a little, I wish to note that John, the eldest son of Sheriff George (9th) Cuthbert, was killed at Louisburg under General Wolff, and died without issue. Another son went to South Carolina, and his male descendants represent the family.

When this paper first appeared in the newspapers, it attracted the attention of two of the Cuthberts in the United States, viz., Lucius Montrose Cuthbert, formerly of South Carolina, now of Denver, Colorado; and Miss Katharine Trescott, of Washington ; and from both I received most pleasant letters. Miss Trescott, writing on 27th July, 1896, amongst other things says that she is the great-great-grand-daughter of John Cuthbert (8th) and of Jean Hay. That the Abbe Colbert was not a brother, but uncle of the Bishop of Rodez, is shown by a letter from the Bishop to her great-grandfather, which letter is dated Gloucester Place, London, 25th August, 1802, the house of Lord Graj, and immediately after Lewis Cuthbert’s death. Miss Trescott possesses a minute knowledge of the American Cuthberts, and of the family generally. Mr Lucius Cuthbert is great-great-grandson of James, second son of George (9th) of Castlehill, whose eldest brother John was killed at Louisburg fighting under Wolfe. James Cuthbert, who emigrated in 1737, went to South Carolina, and settled at Beaufort, in which place the family continued in honour and comfort on their own estate until the war of 1860-1864, when, joining the Confederates, their estate was devastated by the Federals, and nearly all the family plate, papers, and other valuables either destroyed or appropriated.

James Cuthbert married Miss Hazzard of South Carolina, whose eldest son, James Hazzard Cuthbert, married Miss Furze of South Carolina. Their eldest son, Lucius Cuthbert, married Miss Charlotte Fuller, great-niece maternally of Arthur Middleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Lucius Cuthbert’s eldest son was the Rev. Dr James Hazzard Cuthbert. Dr Cuthbert married Julia Elizabeth Turpin of Georgia, a lady of high English and French descent. One of her predecessors may be mentioned, Louis Jean Baptist Champeron, Chevalier d’ Antignac, Colonel of King Louis’ First Company of Musketeers, who, on settling in America, raised a regiment in 1776 at his own expense, serving with distinction at its head during the Revolutionary Wars. Dr Cuthbert died in 1890, leaving three daughters and two sons, the eldest, Lucius Montrose Cuthbert, my correspondent, and Middleton Fuller Cuthbert, both unmarried. Mr Lucius Cuthbert, notwithstanding the family losses of property, papers, valuables, and the break-up of their ancestral home, has gathered up the threads of his family history, interesting himself greatly in all that concerns them, and it is much to be hoped that fortune will smile upon him and enable him to restore the family to the high position formerly occupied by them, attained through their own merits, and by their marriages with some of the oldest and most historic families of the Southern States, sprung from the ancient nobility of Great Britain and of France.—C. F. M.

Another of George’s sons was Seignelay, Bishop of Rodez, who, on the breaking out of the French Revolution, hud to fly from France, and lived for many years in England, where lie died.

The Bishop was in the North on several occasions, and I have some documents to which his signature is attached. I had one or two letters of his, but they have unfortunately disappeared. His sister, Magdalen, married Major Johnstone, with issue—two sons and one daughter. Neither of the sons had any children. The daughter, Mary Ann, umrried the 15th Lord Gray, and the Bishop himself died at Lord Gray’s house, near London.

One of the Bishop’s brothers was Lewis, as above stated, the last proprietor of Castlehill. There were also two brothers, Lachlan, who died without issue, and George (11th), Provost Marshal of Jamaica, who also died without issue. Of George’s (9th) daughters I have already mentioned Magdalen; the second was Rachel, who married Simon Fraser, last of Daltullich, and left several children; Mary, married David Davidson 1st of Can tray; and Jean, formerly mentioned, married Thomas Alves of Shipland. One of the descendants of the Alves marriage married lnglis of Kingsmills, of whom the present family derive. Another married William Welsh of Millburn.

Lewis Cuthbert died in 1802, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

XIII. George, sometime of Jamaica, who, dyiug without male issue, was succeeded by his brother,

XIV. Seignelay Thomas, of the Honourable East India Company’s Service, thereafter res ding at Clifton.

Lewis Cuthbert at his death was survived by his wife, Jean Pinnock, and two sons—George and Seignela}’ Thomas, above mentioned, and three daughters—Mary, Anne, and Elizabeth.

Though there is not a single Cuthbert now to be found in the north, there are rumerous connections by marriage, the nearest being the families of Cantray and Kingsmills. Merely to enumerate the names in the 17th century would exhaust my limits, so I confine myself to one near connection of the Castlehill family, Alexander Cuthbert, who was Provost of Inverness. He possessed a vast number of small subjects within the town and territory of Inverness, the mere description in the year 1680 extending to twelve closely-printed pages. His heritable estate fell to his grandson, John Cuthbert, Town Clerk, reserving the life-rent to Elizabeth Fraser, the Provost’s widow.

Provost Alexander left a laige family, including, it is said, nine daughters, whereof, according to the information of the venerable Dr Aird, late of Creich, one married John Macpherson of Dalraddy, who purchased the estate of Invereshie, and through whom the present Ballindalloch. The late Thomas Alexander Lord Lovat, in 1832, on behalf of his gieat political ally, the first Sir George Macpherson-Grant, tried to clear up the connection through the late accomplished antiquarian, Mr John Anderson, W.S., but failed, as their idea was that the Cuthbert in the Invereshie pedigree was neither of Castlehill or Draikies. Another daughter, according to Dr Aird, married Davidson of Cautray, but this was not so, as the first Mrs Davidson of Cautray was a Castlehill, as already mentioned. Another daughter married the well-known Provost Hossack, of Inverness. Two others married Ross of Culrossie and his brother; and the youngest, Anne, married the Rev. James Chapman, a native of Inverness, minister, first of Cawdor, and afterwards of Cromdale, who died in 1737, and was uthor of a very curious and fabulous history of the Grants.

Their grand-daughter, Anne, married Gustavus Aird, farmer, in the parish of Kilmuir Easter, who was born a very few years after the Battle of Culloden, father of the worthy and well-known Gustavus Aird, D.D., one of the chief antiquarians of the north, who has the hearty good wishes of all Highlanders in his retirement from active ministerial life.

Upon Seignelay Thomas Cuthbcrt’s death he was succeeded by his son,

XV. The Rev. George Seignelay Cuthbert, formerly Vicar of Market Drayton, and now Rector, residing at The Warden’s Lodge, Clewer, near Windsor.

The Rev. Mr Cuthbert, representative in Britain of Castlehill, paid his first visit to Scotland and the north in the autumn of 1895. Both he and Mrs Cuthbert are deeply attached to the north and the old Duchus, and they were warmly welcomed by those on whom they called during their brief visit, and on whom they created a pleasant impression, mingled with regret that they must have felt as mere sojourners for a time in a strange land.

Mr Cuthbert has no family, but it is hoped that some of the Americau Cuthberts, recovering from their vicissitudes, may yet re-establish the old name of “MacSheorais” permanently among us.


We came across information on this name in the Celtic Magazine of 1879 for which see below...











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