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Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times and Other Papers
Chapter V. Lachlan MacPherson of Buide, Chief of Clan Chattan - Cluny of the '45

“‘And when my weary eyes shall close,
By death’s long slumber blest,
Beside my dear-loved, long-lost home,
For ever let me rest.’

She spoke and died.
In yonder grave
Her dear remains are laid;
Let never impious murmur rise
To grieve her hovering shade.”

—The Wife of Cluny of the ’45.

28. Cluny and Breakachy Burial-place.

WE now come to the burial-place for many generations of the Macphersons of Cluny—the chiefs of Clan Chattan—and of their near relatives, the Macphersons of Breakachy. Within or near the present railed enclosure, although the fact is not recorded on any existing tombstone, there lie the remains of Lachlan Macpherson of Nuide, who on the death of his cousin in 1722 became, as heir male, Macpherson of Cluny and Chief of the Clan. He lived to a ripe old age, “venerable and respected throughout the whole country.” Breaking down with grief and disappointment on hearing the tidings of the sad disaster

On bleak Culloden’s bloody moor, the aged chief, within a very short time afterwards, sunk under the weight of the many misfortunes which then overtook the Cluny family. His wife was Jean, a daughter of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, the Chief of the Camerons, a lady distinguished for her force of character. After her husband’s death in 1746, and the accession of her son to the chiefship, her jointure - house was at Ballintian of Nuide, and it is related that to her funeral a thousand men “ fit for battle ” assembled. When the cortege reached St Columba’s Churchyard, where her husband’s remains had been interred some years previously, the Gynack (a tributary of the Spey in the immediate vicinity of the churchyard) being at the time in high flood, the grave was found to be nearly filled with water. In place of being laid beside her husband, her remains were in consequence interred in the Middle Churchyard — some two hundred yards distant—and her grave is said to be near the northwest corner of the foundation of the church which at one time stood in that churchyard. The severance thus brought about of the remains of husband and wife gave rise, it was supposed, to such poignant distress on the part of the disconsolate chief that he could not rest in his grave, and it was firmly believed by some of the old natives that in the dead of night his ghost continually passed to and fro between the two churchyards. Only a very small portion of St Columba’s Churchyard was enclosed, and, in the recollection of many still living, the site of old “Jess Warren’s” house and garden formed part of what had in olden times been consecrated ground. The road to the present meal-mill was sacrilegiously made right through this ground, and the bed of the old mill-lade dug out among the graves. Before the bridge which stood near the present smithy was constructed, this stream had to be crossed by a ford. Here one dark night James Robertson, the miller and beadle of Kingussie, a worthy somewhat fond of the native mountain - dew, and well known to be of a very superstitious nature, and particularly timorous at night, was confronted by a wag from the village wrapped up in a white sheet. The “ghost,” with menacing voice, pretended to represent the departed chief, and thus remonstrated in the native vernacular with the terror-stricken beadle: “A Sheumais ! a Sheumais! is ole, is ole, a bhuin sibh riumsa agus ri Ino mhnaoi! Is flinch agus fuar mo chasan gach oidhche o’ tighinn g’a h-amharc anus a’ chladh eile ! C'arson, Carson nach do chitir sibh ri m’ thaobh i ? ” (i.e., “James! James! badly, badly have you used me and my wife! Wet and cold are my feet every night going to visit her in the other churchyard! Why, why did you not place her by my side?” Never afterwards, it is said, was the worthy beadle seen out of his house after dark.

The only son of Lachlan of Nuide was the famous Cluny of the ’45, who was born in 1706, and succeeded to the chiefship of the clan on the death of his father.

“Come, listen to another song,
Should make your heart beat high,
Bring crimson to your forehead,
And the lustre to your eye ;
It is a song of olden time,
Of days long since gone by,
And of a baron stout and bold
As e’er wore sword on thigh !
Like a brave old Scottish cavalier,
All of the olden time !
He had his castle in the north,
Hard by the thundering Spey;
And a thousand vassals dwelt around,
All of his kindred they.
And not a man of all that clan
Had ever ceased to pray
For the Royal race they loved so well,
Though exiled far away
From the steadfast Scottish cavaliers,
All of the olden time!”

In some letters addressed by the celebrated Simon, Lord Lovat, to Lochiel of the time, and contributed by the present Lochiel to the ‘Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness,' there is an amusing account given of the courtship and marriage of Cluny of the ’45 to Lord Lovat’s eldest daughter. The following letter “represents,” says Lochiel, “the lover as either very bashful or somewhat unskilful in his addresses, as he was a whole week at Beaufort without finding an opportunity of ‘popping the question’:”—

“My dear Laird of Lochiel,—As I sincerely have greater confidence in you than in many other men upon -the earth, you know, for several reasons that I have past grounds for this confidence that I have in you, this entire trust that I have in your friendship for me, and in your absolute honour and integrity and uprightness of heart, obliges me to send you this express to acquaint you that your cousine Cluny Macpherson came here, and after staying some days, he desired to speak to me by myself, which I very easily granted. After some compliments, he very civilly proposed to marry my daughter Jenyie, who is with me. I was truly a little surprised; I told him all the obligeing things I could think, and told him that I would never let my daughter marry any man if he was of the first rank of Scotland beyond her own inclinations. So that he must speak to herself before I give him any other answer than that I was obliged to him. But the house being very throng with strangers, he could not get spoke to her though he stayed a week here. I advised him to make his visit a visit of friendship, since he had not been here of a long time, and not to speak to her till he should make one other visit; and that in the meantime, since I had as great confidence in his cousine Lochiel as he had, that I would runn one express to you to know your opinion and advise, which he was pleased with, and said he would likewise write to you. I therefore beg of you, my dear cousine, that you let me know candidly and plainly your sentiments without the least reserve, as you know I would do to you. I am quite a stranger to the gentleman’s circumstances, only that I always heard they were not very plentiful. But whatever may be in that, as the connection that his family has with yours, was the motion that did engage me to do all the good offices in my power to all the Macphersons when they were much pursuite (?) by the Duke of Gordon, so that same argument disposes me to be civil to him, and whatever may happen in his present view, I am resolved to behave to him so kindly, so as to persuade him that I have a greater regard for him and his family on your account than I have for most people in the Highlands. The gentleman’s near concern in you, if people knew my writing, might construct it by going in headlong to this affair. But I assure you, my dear cousine, that the plain case is, that I am fully convinced that if he was your Brother, it would have no byass with you to advise me to an affair that would not be honourable and fit for my family, as I am fully convinced that you will send me the real sentiment of your heart, and let me know Clunie’s circumstances, which you cannot be ignorant off. And I declair to you upon honour that I will neither speak to my daughter, nor to any mortal, until I have your return to this. One of my great motives for giving ear to this affair is the view that I have, that it might unite the Camerons, Macphersons, and the Frasers as one man, and that such method might be fallen upon them as might keep them unite for this age that nothing would alter. But this desire will never make me agree to any proposition against my daughter’s inclination, or contrary to a reasonable settlement.”

The above letter is in duplicate, one copy autograph, the other written by an amanuensis, but both signed; one is dated the 10th, the other the 18th February 1742. To the latter is appended a postscript in the same handwriting as the holograph of the 10th. It is as follows :—

“I do assure you, my dear Cousin, that if circumstances answer in a reasonable manner, that I am in my own inclinations entirely for the affair. Adieu, mon cher cousin.”

The next letter, written apparently after Lochiel’s approval had been obtained, shows the importance attached to alliances by marriage as increasing the power and influence of the family thus allied. On the 27th May of the same year Lovat writes :—

“Your Cousin Clunie has been here these three weeks past, and I do assure you that I am obliged to suffer a great many battles for him. The M'lntoshes, who are madly angry at this Match, endeavour to get all those they converse with to cry out against me for making of it, and those who don’t love that the Macphersons should be greater than they are, or that my family should be stronger than it is, make it their business to cry out against it. But I must do justice to my Lord President, that all his friends and Relations cry out against it, yet he heartily approved of it in this house, where he did me the honour to dine with me Monday was se’en-night, and after I told him plainly all the circumstances, and that I trusted myself entirely to you, he told me that I could not trust myself to an honester man in Scotland than to Locheill, and after what I told him, his opinion was that if the young couple lov’d one another they might live happily together; and that it was a very proper alliance for my family, and that it strengthened the interest of my family more than any low country alliance that I could make. His saying so gave me satisfaction, whether he thought it or not; and tho’ I have a hundred to one against me for making this match, yet I do not repent it, and tho’ it were to begin again to-morrow, I would do the same thing over again ; and I must tell you that the more I know your Cousine Cluny the more I love him for a thorrow good-natur’d, even-tempered, honest gentleman. He goes home to look after his affairs in Badenoch for some time, and I precisely design that the marriage shall be consummated towards the latter end of June. But as I told you before, I am positive that I never will allow it to be done till you are present, so that Dyet must be regulate according to the time that your affairs will allow you to come here.”

In a letter from Lovat to the Duke of Gordon, dated Beaufort, 13th August 1742, the marriage is thus alluded to:—

“As your Grace and the worthy Dutchess were so civill to my daughter, I think it my duty to acquaint your Grace that her aunt, the Lady Scatwell, having come here on the Tuesday after your Grace went away, my daughter was married next day to the Laird of Cluny, and they both behaved to the satisfaction of all who were present j and as they are both good-natur’d and of an even temper, I hope they will be very happy. They had the honour to succeed your Grace in the lucky velvet bed, which I hope will have good effect.”

According to Lovat, his son-in-law showed no symptoms of being a henpecked husband. Lovat’s last letter on this subject is dated October 1743, and after compliments (with which he was usually so lavish), and some other amusing matter, he proceeds :—

“Cluny came here Monday night with your brother Archibald; your uncle Ludovic had the gout in his meikle, so that he could not come, and your brother John was sick of distemper, and he would not come, and Cluny brought nobody with him but Inveresci and young Bancher, and another gentleman called Lachlan M'Pherson. Duncan Campbell of Clunies came here likewise one Monday night, and the Laird of Foulis came here on Thursday, and seven of his friends, and dined and stayed all night, and was very merry, so that my house was very throng, as it almost was every other day this [?] and summer. I was mightily desirous that Cluny should leave his daughter with me, who is the finest child I ever saw. But after he first consented to it, he then resiled and carryed her of, which vexed me very much, notwithstand that Dr Fraser of Achnagairn gave his positive advice to Cluny not to carry away his child in the winter-time. But he acted the absolute chief, and carried the poor infant away in a credill a-horseback. Before twenty gentlemen I openly washed my hands from any harm that would happen to the child by carrying her away in this season. But Cluny took the blame upon himself, and there I left it. However, they have had such fine weather that I hope the child will arrive at Cluny in good health. But I cannot think that a house whose walls was not finished two months ago can be very wholesome either for the child or for the mother. But it seems that Cluny is resolved to wear the Britches and the Petty Coats too, so that I am afraid my child will not comb a grey head in that country. However, we must submit and resign all things to Providence.”

The happiness anticipated by Lord Lovat for the young couple at the time of the marriage was, alas! of short duration. About three years afterwards Prince Charlie landed in the Highlands, and raised his standard at Glenfinnan. Cluny had about six weeks previously been offered and had accepted the command of a company in Lord Loudon’s Highlanders, but he was in reality a strong partisan of the Stuart dynasty. While hesitating, we are told, between duty and inclination, his devoted wife, although a staunch Jacobite, earnestly dissuaded him from joining the Prince, assuring him that nothing could end well which began with breaking his oath to Government. But when the Stuarts “claimed their own ”—

“And when the tidings southward came,
That Highland bosoms all aflame,
Glengarry, Keppoch, loved Lochiel,
To their true Prince, for woe or weal,
Were plighting troth, and thronging round
His standard reared on Scottish ground—
Glenfinnan by the lone Loch Shiel” —

Cluny and his clansmen could not resist the appeal to join the standard of the “King of the Highlanders,” regarding him, as they did, as the true heir to the Crown. The Macphersons were, it is said, all the more eager to take an active part in the Rising from a desire to revenge the sad fate of two of their clansmen, Malcolm and Samuel Macpherson of the family of Breakachy, whom they considered had been very unjustly shot on account of the mutiny of the Black Watch two years before. That regiment, having assembled at Perth in the spring of 1743, received orders to march for England, a step which the Highlanders regarded as contrary to what they had been led to understand when the regiment had been formed — namely, that the sphere of their services was not to extend beyond their native country. Against the remonstrances of Lord President Forbes and others, the regiment was ordered to join the British army then serving in Germany. The retreat, in consequence, of a portion of the regiment from London, led by Samuel Macpherson, has been well termed a romance of military history.

Sad and bitter enough was the fate which ultimately overtook Cluny and his wife in consequence of his enthusiastic devotion to the Stuart cause—

“Many a night of mute despair
Saw he the welkin lurid red
With the death-fire’s baleful glare,
From Badenoch o’er Lochaber spread
Far west to Ardnamurchan Head;
And heard dim voices of lament
From the far-off mountains sent,
Homeless wives and famished bairns,
Crying ’mid the misty cairns,
For their sires that slaughtered lay
By the smouldering sheilings far away.”

So keen was the desire of the Government to capture Cluny that a reward of 1000, in addition to the command of a company, was offered for his apprehension, and a detachment of the Royal forces was for a lengthened period stationed in the district for the express purpose of capturing him, dead or alive. For nine years he wandered without home or shelter in the mountain-fastnesses of Badenoch, taking refuge in caves among the rocks, and enduring the most terrible hardships, which his wife, to a great extent, shared with him. So watchful and alert were his clansmen in the way of ascertaining and apprising their “outlawed chief” of the movements of the enemy, that during that long period he succeeded, with many almost miraculous escapes, in eluding the unceasing vigilance and activity of his pursuers.

Towards the end of 1754 Cluny received from Prince Charlie the following letter dated from Paris:—

“For C. M. in Scotld. “ Ye 4th September 1754.

“Sir,—This is to desire you to come as soon as you can conveniently to Paris, bringing over with you all the effects whatsoever that I left in your hands when I was in Scotland, as also whatever money you can come at, for I happen to be at present in great straits, which makes me wish that you should delay as little as possible to meet me for that effect. You are to address yourself when arrived at Paris to Mr John Waters, Banker, &c. He will direct you where to find your sincere friend, C. P.”

What had been the original amount of the money left by the Prince in Cluny’s custody does not appear, but in 1749 Dr Cameron, the brother of Lochiel, received 6000 louis d’ors of it, for which he gave Cluny his receipt. In a letter, dated 22d June 1750, Lochgary informed the Prince, that having gone to Scotland the preceding winter to visit his wife and family, he had seen Cluny, whom he found the same person he always believed him, “a true, worthy, good man, and, in a word, a man of loyalty and honour.” In that letter Lochgary enclosed a statement given him by Cluny, showing “ that no less a sum than 16,000 louis d’ors ” might then have been recovered of the money, and suggested that he and Dr Cameron should be authorised to bring it from Scotland.

Loyal and devoted to the very last to the ill-fated Stuarts, notwithstanding his terrible sufferings in the cause, Cluny, in consequence of the special request contained in the letter from Prince Charlie, soon afterwards contrived to escape to Paris, where he met the Prince and duly accounted for all the effects which had been left in his hands. Pining in his lonely exile for the companionship of his loving wife, and giving expression to that desire in a letter she received from him, she braved what in those days was the long and perilous journey “o’er land and sea,” and joined him in France in 1757, remaining with him till the end. So faithful did his clansmen and tenants prove, that when his estates were forfeited soon after Culloden, they not only paid their rents to Government—who subsequently held the estates—but year after year “another rent” to Cluny as well, down to the date of his death :—

“And when at last war-guns were hushed,
And back to wasted farms they fared,
With bitter memories, spirits crushed,
The few whom sword and famine spared
Saw the old order banished, saw
The old clan-ties asunder torn.
For their chiefs care a factor’s scorn
And iron rule of Saxon law.
One rent to him constrained to bring
‘The German lairdie’ called a king.
They o’er the sea in secret sent,
To their own chief another rent
In his far place of banishment.”

It is related that when George III. expressed on a certain occasion “a strong desire to see some of the surviving Highlanders who had been out in the ’45, a certain number were brought forward, and among them a grim old warrior from Knoydart, named Raonull Mor a’ Chrdlcin. After putting some questions to the latter the king remarked that he must have long since regretted having taken any part in that Rebellion. The answer was prompt and decisive. ‘ Sire, I regret nothing of the kind.’ His Majesty for an instant was taken aback at such a bold answer, but he was completely softened by the old man adding, ‘ What I did then for the Prince, I would have done as heartily for your Majesty if you had been in the Prince’s place.’ This is the very feeling that animates all true Highlanders, although, it must be confessed, the treachery shown in the Massacre of Glencoe and the brutal severities exercised after Culloden are apt to give a spasm even to the most honest loyalty. It is a sedative, however, to have the privilege of abusing and execrating the authors without necessarily implicating or thinking ill of their connections and descendants.”  The old traditional feeling of loyalty to the throne is as freely given by Highlanders to the reigning dynasty now as it was formerly given to the unfortunate Stuarts.

Completely worn out by the exposure and privations he had undergone for so many years, Cluny died at Dunkirk in February 1764 in the fifty-eighth year of his age, and on account of his close adherence to the Protestant faith was buried in the garden attached to the house he occupied at the time.

“Oh! never shall we know again
A heart so stout and true—
The olden times have passed away,
And weary are the new;
The fair white rose has faded
From the garden where it grew,
And no fond tears save those of heaven,
The glorious bed bedew,
Of the last old Scottish cavalier,
All of the olden time!”

Holding, as Highlanders do, the right of sepulture in high veneration, it was a great additional grief to his clansmen and friends that Cluny’s remains could not be taken home to rest beside those of his fathers in the old churchyard. His gentle-hearted and sorely afflicted wife soon afterwards returned to Badenoch, and, dying in April 1765, her remains were interred in the Cluny burial-place. In a touching ballad composed by Mrs Grant of Laggan, with “no exaggeration, no alteration of fact, and very little poetical decoration,” the afflictions of the devoted pair subsequent to the battle of Culloden are thus narrated from the mouth of a faithful and grief-stricken retainer, who had been for upwards of fifty years in the service of the Cluny family.

“My master was a chief renowned
In manhood’s active prime,
My lady was for ev’ry worth
Unequalled in her time.

Her father4 was a wily lord
Well skilled in dangerous art,
But truth and love and goodness filled
His daughter’s gentle heart).

How short, how gay, how bright the smile
That cheered their morning ray!
How dark, how cold, how loud the storm
That raging closed their day!

On Gladsmuir5s heath a comet’s blaze
Deceived their dazzled sight;
On bleak Culloden''s bloody moor
It sunk in endless night.

Why should I tell what noble blood
The sable scaffold stained?
Why should I tell what generous hearts
Ignoble fate disdained?

I see thy dim and dewy eyes,
And spare thy aching heart;
For in my various tale of woe
Thy kindred bore a part.

When to the forest’s deep retreats
My outlawed master fled ;
While vengeance took a deadly aim
At his devoted head.

The ruthless Duke’s fell mandate came
And ruin spread around;
Our Chieftain’s halls were wrapt in flames,
With flames the turrets crowned.

High on yon rock, that to the North
Erects its aged head,
Hard by the screaming goshawk’s nest
He made his pendent bed.

’Twas from yon trembling aspen’s boughs
That wave so high in air,
He saw the wasting flames ascend
In silent stern despair.

But fury shook his manly frame,
And sorrow wrung his heart,
When from the crashing roof he saw
The burning rafters part.

On yon bleak hill that fronts the North
My lady sat forlorn;
In fear she left her home, to shun
The lawless soldiers’ scorn.

With meek and silent awe she sat
And piously resigned;
Fierce blazed her castle through the gloom,
Loud blew the eastern wind.

Oh lady, shun the chilling blasts
That pierce thy tender form;
Oh shun this dreary sight of woe,
And shun the midnight storm!

The lady wiped her streaming eyes,
And raised her drooping head ;
‘Ah! where can I a shelter find?’
In broken words she said.

‘The owl that ’plains from yonder wood
May slumber in her nest;
The fox that howls from yonder hill
Within his cave may rest.

‘ButI, alas! without a home
Must brave the chilling air;
My friends are fallen beneath the sword
That never knew to spare.

‘The fire devoured my father’s halls,
Stern vengeance drank his blood;
And loudly on my consort calls
To swell the purple flood.

‘And can I seek a sheltering roof
Or social comfort taste
While he a lonely alien shrinks,
Hid in the dreary waste?

‘Blow higher winds, blaze fiercer flames,
Rise o’er thy limits, Spey;
No stronger pang my heart can feel
At Nature’s last decay.’

Successive summer suns beheld
My lady’s withering prime;
But on her lord no sun e’er shone
In his cold native clime.

In gloomy caves he past the day,
And by the taper’s light
Consumed the lonely studious hours,
And hoped the coming night:

Then when the world in slumber lay,
Through midnight darkness stole,
And in my lady’s faithful breast
Reposed his sorrowing soul:

Or, fondly gazing while he slept,
Hung o’er his infant son H
And lingering blest th’ unconscious babe
Till glimmering dawn begun:

Or, when the livelong winter night
Had lulled the spies of pow’r,
’Midst faithful friends, a gleam of joy
Shone on the social hour.

With eager search the watchful bands
His secret haunts explored,
And many a faithful vassal knew
The caves that hid their lord.

At last, with sad reluctant sighs,
He left the British strand ;
And sore my lady wept to leave
Her darling son on land.

Upon tiie sea-beat coast of France
We dwelt in mournful guise;
And saw afar, like hovering clouds,
Our native land arise.

Not long upon that alien shore
My banished master pined ;
With silent grief we saw his corpse
To common earth consigned.

No pibroch led the loud lament,
No funeral train appeared ;
No bards with songs of mighty deeds
The hopeless mourners cheered.

When midnight wore her sable robe
We dug his humble grave;
Where fair Narcissus droops its head,
And darkest poppies wave.

We strewed the tomb with rosemary,
We watered it with tears ;
And bade the Scottish thistle round
Erect his warlike spears.

And soon we left the fatal spot
And sought our native shore;
And soon my lady blest her son,
And clasped him o’er and o’er.

‘On thee, my son’ (she fondly cried),
‘May happier planets shine;
And mayst thou never live to brook
A fate so hard as mine :

‘And mayst thou heir thy father’s worth,
But not his hapless doom:
To honour and thy country true
Mayst thou his rights resume.

‘And when my weary eyes shall close,
By death’s long slumber blest,
Beside my dear-loved, long-lost home
For ever let me rest.’

She spoke and died—in yonder grave
Her dear remains are laid.
Let never impious murmur rise
To grieve her hovering shade.”8

On 30th July 1770, the following “Memorial for Captain Duncan M'Pherson of his Majesty’s late 105th Regiment, only son of the. deceast Evan M'Pherson of Cluny ”—i.e., Cluny of the ’45—was presented to the “Commissioners of annexed Estates,” and bears to have been “read 28th Jany. 1771,” viz.:—

“The late Evan M'Pherson of Cluny being unluckily seduced to engage in the late unnatural rebellion, 1745, was attainted, and his estate forfeited and annexed to the Crown. His lady and children were since the forfeiture indulged by Government with possessing the benefits arising from the Mill and Mains of Cluny, and a pendicle called Kylarchil; and she paid the rent yearly to the Crown factor until the year 1757, when she was called by her husband to France, where she remained, till he died in February 1764. Soon after his death she returned to Scotland, and retired to her possession of Cluny, which in her absence had been managed by trustees for her and her family’s behoof; but she dying in April 1765, Major John M'Pherson, brother to Cluny and heir of tailzie to his father, retiring out of the army on account of his age, and of his being disabled by wounds in the British service, entered into the possession for behoof of his brother’s children, and occupied the same until his death in March 1770. Major M'Pherson made a will wholly in favour of his brother’s son, the memorialist, who is at present upon his travels on the Continent; and in his absence, upon his uncle’s death, Captain Duncan M'Pherson of his Majesty’s late 89th Regiment, and who is married to young Cluny’s sister, did, in virtue of a special factory for that purpose, take possession of the farm of Cluny and stocking thereon, for his brother-in-law’s behoof, and applied to the Barons of his Majesty’s Court of Exchequer, by petition in June last, for a lease of that farm in his constituent’s favours ; but as the estate of Cluny is in a few months to be transferred from the Exchequer to the management of the Commissioners of annexed Estates, the Barons declined granting a lease, which puts Captain M'Pherson, as factor for his brother-in-law, to the necessity of applying to Cluny’s friends for their interest to procure him a lease of the farm from the Commissioners of annexed Estates, who, it is hoped, will not deprive the young man, who has nothing else to subsist on excepting his half-pay, of what the Government so long and so generously bestowed upon him for the support of his distressed family, and which they have usually done to others in the like misfortunate circumstances.”

Within the railed enclosure there are four flatstones with the following inscriptions :—

“(1) 1769.

Here lys Evan McPherson, son to Donald McPherson of Breakchy, who died March the 25th, aged 21 years.”

The Donald M'Pherson mentioned in this inscription was married to

Christian, a daughter of Lachlan Macpherson of Cluny, and a sister of the Cluny of the ’45.

“(2) D M P M M K.


I have been unable to trace to whom these initials refer, but the “D M P ” was in all probability one of the Breakachy family. The emblem or figure of a heart, engraved on the tombstone between the initials, would appear to indicate that a happy “union of hearts” had existed between the couple whom the inscription commemorates, and that “in death they were not divided.”

“(3) Hear layes Thomas McPherson of Nessintully, who departed this life the year of our Lord 1771.”

“(4) Co' Dunn McPherson, departed this life Deer 12th Ano Domini 1810, aged 74.”

On a marble tablet in the monument, surmounted by the coat of arms of the clan, there is the following inscription :—

“Sacred to the memory of Colonel Duncan Macpherson of Bleaton, who died at Kingussie the 12th day of December 1810, aged 75 years; and his wife, Margaret Macpherson, who died 6th November 1808, aged 66, and daughter of the late Ewen Macpherson, Esq. of Cluny, and Chief of Clan Chattan.

This monument was erected by their youngest and only surviving son, Colonel Robert Barclay Macpherson, C.B. and K.H.”

The Colonel Duncan Macpherson mentioned in the two last-quoted inscriptions was the “Captain Duncan M'Pherson of his Majesty’s late 89th Regiment,” referred to in the foresaid memorial. The estate of Bleaton, says Mr Fraser-Mackintosh, which Colonel Duncan possessed as early at least as 1786, “is a small property in Perthshire at the foot of Glenshee; but when he acquired it, and when it was parted with, I do not know. He was also proprietor of Gask and of Flichity, both in Strathnairn; but his affairs became embarrassed, and both were sold.” It would appear that he had some intention of purchasing a portion of the Gordon property in the parish of Kingussie. Before he finally settled there, where he died in 1810, we find him writing in 1804 to Mr Tod, the Duke of Gordon’s factor at the time, the following letter:—

“Aviemore, 14th March 1804.

“Dear Sir,—Mrs Macpherson and I went up lately to look at your property in Kingussie, with which we were so much pleased that I do certainly flatter myself with the hopes of deriving (if I live) much comfort from it. The only thing that distresses me is the want of a few tenants to cast and assist in bringing home my peats; where I can find such aid I cannot with propriety say. Strone is the only place that occurs, and would answer my purpose. But I do not feel myself inclined to interfere directly or indirectly with the worthy lady who at present holds it off the Duke, unless there are other offerers for the place. I therefore request the favour of you to acquaint me if there are one or more bidders for Strone and the Glen, as I shall be determined by a report you are pleased to make me on the part of the Duke of Gordon.—I am, dear sir, your most obedient and most humble servant, Dn. M'Pherson.

“Wm. Tod, Esq.”

Colonel (latterly General) Robert Barclay Macpherson (the son of Colonel Duncan), by whom the monument was erected, and whose remains are also interred here, was born at Breakachy in 1774, and died at Stirling on 30th December 1858, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. He entered the army as ensign in the 88th Regiment, Connaught Rangers, 3d June 1795, saw much service in the West and East Indies and South America, and commanded the first battalion of his regiment at Vittoria and Pyrenees, Orthes and Toulouse, and went to Canada in 1814. In 1815 he received the gold clasps for Vittoria and Orthes, with silver medal and clasps for the Pyrenees, Niville, and Nive; in June 1854 he attained the rank of Lieutenant-General, and on the nth of February 1857 obtained the colonelcy of his own regiment. A great-grandson of Simon, Lord Lovat, and grandson of Cluny of the ’45, “ the lamented General’s sympathies were strongly with the brave Highlanders of Scotland, and since 1819 a resident near Stirling, he always spoke of the Highlands as his home. Quiet and unobtrusive in his manners, those who knew him most liked him best; his noble qualities endeared him to every acquaintance. A good man who died full of years and honours. His remains were removed to the Highlands for interment in the burial-place of the Breakachy family at Kingussie, of which he was the last lineal descendant.”

Within the enclosure there are also interred the remains of Marjory the sister (who is stated to have died about 1820) and of her daughter Margaret the niece of Colonel Duncan Macpherson, styled of Bleaton. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh recently erected a very chaste and appropriate tombstone in memory both of the mother and daughter, with the following inscription :—

“In memory of Marjory Macpherson of Breakachy, spouse of Edward Mackintosh, seventh of Borlum; and Margaret Mackintosh, their only child, married firstly to Angus MacEdward, Kerrow; secondly, to John Macpherson, Gallovie; and died without issue at Gallovie, 7th December 1840, aged 68. Erected 1892.”

[In a letter addressed from Gallovie, of date 21st December 1840, by John Macpherson (Ian Ruadh Gheal-agaidh) to one of his sons-in-law—Professor Hawkins—Macpherson mentions that his wife (the niece of Colonel Macpherson of Bleaton) had died two weeks previously, and he gives the following particulars regarding her funeral : “To give you an idea of the estimation she and your poor father-in-law stood in, that notwithstanding the weather being very boisterous and a deep fall of snow, there was not such a collection at an interment in this country for more than 60 years back. They attended from High Bridge in Lochaber till within two miles of Aviemore, a distance of 50 miles. There were 60 gentlemen invited, of which 55 appeared, including 5 parish clergymen. A number of the gentlemen came here to breakfast, and the common people got plenty of bread and cheese, and two bumpers of whiskey. On going to the road, there were 4 men with bottles helping every person we met; halfway we halted, and they got another bumper. On our arrival at Kingussie the common people got as much bread and cheese as they could consume and 4 bumpers of whiskey, and many helped themselves to more. The gentlemen got plenty port and sherry and cakes of all descriptions. It was calculated that there were upwards of 400 people within the walls of the burying-ground, and upwards of 100 returned home. Both men and horses were getting fatigued on the way, the snow was so deep. No accident happened, and no quarrels from first to last, which is very seldom the case at such a gathering.”]

29. Flatstone.

 D. D., 1775.—Her lys Duncan Davidson, that livd Noid They October 1777 y.”

30. Headstone (at the head of No. 29).

“Erected in memory of Angus Davidson, who died at Lynchat, 22nd January

1883, aged 82 years; also Ann Watson, his wife, a good and faithful mother, who died at Dunachton, 15th May 1853, aged 63 years. This stone is erected by their family.”

James Davidson (the father of the Angus Davidson mentioned in the last inscription) was one of the last tenants of Achvourach, on the estate of Belleville; and Angus the son was one of the last residenters in the small township of Raits, on the same estate, of which hardly any trace now remains.

31. Headstone.

“Erected by their sons, John, Donald, and William, in remembrance of William Cattanach, Slater in Newtonmore, who died 4th April 1876, aged 75 years; and his spouse, Isabella Mackintosh, who died 24th Octr. 1849, aged 49 years; also their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Cattanach, who died 20th March 1850, aged 22 years.”

This William Cattanach was a brother of Donald Cattanach, long so well known and so much respected as a catechist in Badenoch, who died on gth May 1891, and is interred in the New Churchyard of Kingussie.

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