Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Leaves from the Journal
Salmon Leistering 13 Sept. 1850

September 13, 1850.

We walked with Charles, the boys, and Vicky to the river side above the bridge, where all our tenants were assembled with poles and spears, or rather “leisters” for catching salmon. They all went into the river, walking up it, and then back again, poking about under all the stones to bring fish up to where the men stood with the net. It had a very pretty effect; about one hundred men wading through the river, some in kilts with poles and spears, all very much excited. Not succeeding the first time, we went higher up, and moved to three or four different places, but did not get any salmon; one or two escaping. Albert stood on a stone, and Colonel Gordon and Lord James Murray waded about the whole time. Duncan, in spite of all his exertions yesterday, and having besides walked to and from the Gathering, was the whole time in the water. Not far from the laundry there was another trial, and here we had a great fright. In one place there was a very deep pool, into which two men very foolishly went, and one could not swim; we suddenly saw them sink, and in one moment they seemed drowning, though surrounded by people. There was a cry for help, and a general rush, including Albert, towards the spot, which frightened me so much, that I grasped Lord Carlisle’s arm in great agony. However, Dr. Robertson [The gentleman who has had from the beginning the entire management of our property at Balmoral, &c. He is highly esteemed, and is a most amiable man, who has carried out all the Prince’s and my wishes admirably,] swam in and pulled the man out, and all was safely over; but it was a horrid moment.

A salmon was speared here by one of the men; after which we walked to the ford, or quarry, where we were very successful, seven salmon being caught, some in the net, and some speared. Though Albert stood in the water some time he caught nothing: but the scene at this beautiful spot was exciting and picturesque in the extreme. I wished for Landseer’s pencil. The sun was intensely hot. We did not get back till after three o’clock, and then took luncheon. The Duchess of Gordon came to see us afterwards; and while she was still with us, Captain Forbes (who had asked permission to do so) marched through the grounds with his men, the pipers going in front. They stopped, and cheered three-times-three, throwing up their bonnets. They then marched off; and we listened with pleasure to the distant shouts and the sound of the pibroch.

We heard afterwards that our men had carried all Captain Forbes’s men on their backs through the river. They saw the fishing going on, and came to the water’s edge on the opposite side; and on being greeted by our people, said they would come over, on which ours went across in one moment and carried them over — Macdonald at their head carrying Captain Forbes on his back. This was very courteous, and worthy of chivalrous times.

Return to Book Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus