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

A History of Moray and Nairn
Chapter IV. County Families of Moray and Nairn


The three families which have exercised the most powerful influence upon local events in Morayshire are the Gordons, Earls and Marquises of Huntly and Dukes of Gordon; the Grants, Lairds of Grant and now Earls of Seafield; and the Duffs, Earls now Dukes of Fife.

The Gordons were beyond comparison the most important of the three. But though they have had for generations their principal seat, Gordon Castle, and their last resting-place, the Gordon Aisle in the cathedral of Elgin, within the county, their position as lieutenants of the north brought them so much more closely in contact with the affairs of the adjoining counties of Banff and Aberdeen that their story more properly belongs to them than to Moray.

So often, indeed, were they out of touch with public opinion in Elginshire, especially in matters of religion, that, according to the local saying, now happily inapplicable—

“The Gordon, the gool, and the hoodie-craw
Were the three worst ills that Moray e’er saw.”

If the district about the mouth of the Spey was the appanage of the Gordons, the strath or valley of the Spey belonged as exclusively to the Grants.

In length of run the Spey holds the fourth place among Scottish rivers. The Tay comes first with a course of 120 miles, the Tweed second with a run of 105, then the Forth with one of 104, and after it the Spey. According to Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, its length is about 96 miles. It takes its rise in Badenoch, about 16 miles south of Fort Augustus, and drains, according to the same authority, not less than 1300 square miles of country. Lachlan Shaw, in his history of the province, thinks it obtained its name “from the Teutonick or Pictish word spe (sputum), because the rapidity of it raiseth much foam or froath.” Be this as it may, few rivers have a worse record. Fierce, sudden, treacherous, and implacable, it is the fitting accompaniment of the wild country through which it runs.

The strath of the Spey is one of the most characteristic examples of the longitudinal valleys of Scotland. Its trend is from north-east to south-west; and, as Shaw observes, it is “inclosed to the north and west by a ridge of hills which, beginning in the parish of Urquhart near the sea, run above Elgin, Forres, Inverness, and Lochness to Locha-ber. And to the south and east a part of the Grampian Mountains runneth along Strathspey and Badenoch, and several glens jutt into these mountains, which shall be described in their proper place.”

To this magnificent tract of Highland country there came in the reign of Robert the Bruce, from Stratherrick in Inverness-shire, a certain John le Grant, who in 1316 obtained a grant of the lands of Inverallan on the west side of the Spey, close to the modem village of Grantown. These were the first lands on Speyside acquired by its future lords. Their next purchase, which was made about a century later, was a parcel of lands lying to the west of their existing possessions, called Freuchie, from the Gaelic fraochach, a word said to mean heathy or heathery. Here they erected a manor-house, which in due time—possibly somewhere about 1536—was rebuilt or enlarged, and converted into a fortalice, and from that time became the principal seat of the family. From this time also the lands of Freuchie were occasionally known by the name of Baliachastell, the town of the castle.

Their next acquisition was a large tract of wild country in the north-west of Inverness-shire. In 1509 they became the proprietors of the lands of Urquhart, Corrimony, and Glenmoriston. In 1540 they feu-farmed the lands of Strathspey from Patrick, Bishop of Moray, and in 1609 those of Abemethy in the parish of Duthil from James, the son and successor of the Bonnie Earl of Moray. These were their principal possessions, but they were not their only ones. “Earth-hunger” was so marked a characteristic of the family, that whenever a parcel of land in the vicinity of any of their more important messuages was in any way capable of acquisition, the Grants became its proprietors as a matter of course. And whenever they had acquired a new estate, their first care was to get it erected into a barony. Thus in 1493 they obtained a grant of barony of the lands of Freuchie from James IV., and similar charters for the lands of Urquhart and Corrimony from the same monarch in 1509. James VI. erected their lands of Cromdale into a barony in 1609. Similar concessions were granted to them at various times for the lands of Mulben, Cardells, and others. Towards the end of the seventeenth century their holdings had become so extensive that they felt justified in applying to the Crown for a recognition of their territorial importance. Accordingly in 1694 they resigned all their vast possessions into the hands of the Crown, and in return obtained from William and Mary a charter consolidating and uniting all their estates into “one whole and free regality,” with jurisdiction to the said regality “of free regality, free chapel and chancery and justiciary, and all other privileges, immunities, profits, and duties pertaining thereto,” including the power to appoint a bailie or bailies of regality “to set, affirm, hold, and continue courts within the said regality for administration of justice civil and criminal, to appoint officers of court, to call before them, try, and condemn delinquents and felons, repledge them from other jurisdictions, and to sit as judges in all actions civil and criminal except lese majeste and treason; *constituting’ the town formerly called Castletown of Freuchie into a burgh of regality, to be called the town and burgh of Grant” (now Grantown), with “ a market-cross to be erected therein, and proclamations to be made thereat,” with right of market and all other usual privileges; ordaining the castle and manor-place of Freuchie to be the principal messuage of the family, and to be called in all time coining Castle Grant; entailing the lands upon Ludovick Grant their then possessor and his heirs, and granting the designation and arms of Grant of that ilk to all such heirs of entail.

The consideration for all these extended honours and privileges was a certain pecuniary reddendo, and “the constant fidelity and loyalty which the said Ludovick Grant and his predecessors had manifested towards their majesties and their service, and their progenitors, in times of peace and war.” These words were not entirely terms of courtesy, though they sound oddly coming from the supplanters of the old line of Scottish kings. Yet in a sense they were true. The Grants had always been loyal to the sovereign —in their own way.

In the reign of James III. John Grant (1485-1528), the heir and grandson of Sir Duncan, first of Freuchie (1434 - 1485), headed the Clan Grant in its march southward to aid the king in his war against England; and even before he succeeded to the family estates he seems to have taken a prominent part in the public affairs of the district He was one of those heads of clans whom James IV. thought of sufficient importance to attach to his interests; and he certainly rendered signal service to the Crown, not only in preserving peace within his own domains, but in bringing freebooters in other districts of the country to justice.

The defeat of James IV. at Flodden once more threw the Highlands into anarchy. Rebellion broke out The Islesmen flew to arms and made a raid into the laird of Freuchie’s country of Urquhart, carrying off, with other unconsidered trifles, “pots, pans, kettles, mops’ [napery], beds, sheets, blankets, coverings, fish, flesh, bread, ale, cheese, butter, and other household stuff, valued at upwards of ;£ioo.” Freuchie, indeed, obtained a decree of reparation against the heads of the marauders. Whether he gained anything by it may be doubted.

The next important service to the Crown rendered by the Grants was the aid they gave the queen’s lieutenant, the Earl of Huntly, in suppressing the insurrection of the Camerons, Frasers, and other Highland clans in 1544. But James, third Laird of Freuchie (1528-1553), who was then their head, had to pay dearly for his loyalty. Another raid on Glen Urquhart ensued, and a large amount of property of the usually miscellaneous character was carried off. In a raid much talked about and long remembered in the lity. In Highland song and story this laird of Freuchie ill known as “Sheumas nan Creach,” or James of the ty. Yet the name may have been derived from his plundering propensities. Certain it is that he made pretensions to superior virtue in this respect here is a curious story told of this “Sheumas nan ich,” which may or may not be true. It is said that the occasion he and his friend Huntly, the head of the ions, made a raid into Deeside to avenge the murder Freuchie’s brother-in-law, Gordon of Brachally. There a great slaughter, and many children were made clans. Huntly, a kind - hearted man, picked out the most promising of them, male and female, to the number between sixty and eighty, and carried them with him to castle of Strathbogie. To feed all his hungry little children he had a long wooden trough constructed, and this filled with provisions. On either side of it he ranged children, then bade them fall to with mouths and hands, which they did with right goodwill One day they arrived when the children were at their mid-day meal. The earl invited him to go and see the orphans abiding at their troch.” The sight is said to have so :bad the laird that, turning to Huntly, he told him that he had been instrumental in the destruction of their ants, it was only fair that he should also aid in the atenance of their offspring. Sweeping away the sitters on one side of the trough, he ordered them to be taken to thspey; those on the other side he left with Huntly; and a summary process of nomenclature not uncommon in « days, no sooner had Freuchie’s quota arrived on Spey-than they found themselves converted into Grants, while those who remained behind became from that day Gordons.

John Grant, fourth laird of Freuchie (1553-1585), who succeeded his father, Sheumas nan Creach, was also drawn within the dangerous whirlpool of public affairs. His relations with the Huntly of the day were as friendly and intimate as had been those of his father and grandfather.

He was present as one of Huntly’s party at Holyrood on the night of the murder of Darnley; and after the queen's escape from Iochleven on 2d May 1568 he, with his chief Huntly, openly espoused her cause as against that of the Earl of Moray the Regent. But the party of the Kirk was too strong for them, and after the battle of Langside both the one and the other had to acknowledge Moray’s supremacy.

The principal incident in the history of John, the fifth laird (1585-1622), is the dissolution of the friendly relations between the Grants and the Huntlys which had lasted for so many generations. Politics and religion were in those days so closely interwoven that anything like agreement was im-|K>ssible between two men who held such opposite views in matters of faith. The discovery of Huntly’s treasonable correspondence with Spain in relation to the Armada led to his taking up arms with others of the northern nobility against the Government. His rebellion was speedily suppressed The earl himself was taken prisoner, and the powers which he and his predecessors had exercised as king s lieutenants in the North taken from him. The justiciary powers of which he was deprived were conferred by the Convention of Estates 00 certain commissioners, of whom the laird of Freuchie was one. Huntly's murder of the Bonnie Earl of Moray a year or two later once more brought the laird of Freuchie to the front. At the head of his clansmen, and in conjunction with the Mackintoshes, he took an active part—and in true Highland fashion—in the work of vengeance. Mutual raids between the two contending parties, murders, housebreakings, puilzies, were the order of the day. The north was “sa rrakit and schakin lowis ” that these and other similar crimes rent on with “far greitair rigour nor it war with forreyne memyis.” Things got so bad that the Earl of Argyll had o be sent to introduce order into the district. But in the choice of a new lieutenant for the North the Government had lot been very fortunate. Argyll's defeat at Glenlivet, very much owing to his own headstrong rashness, only intensified he difficulties of the situation. At length in 1597 the Gorgian knot was cut by the solemn farce of the reconciliation >f the three insurgent earls—Huntly, Angus, and Erroll—to be Kirk, and their restoration to their titles and estates. Two {rears later Huntly was created a marquis. Moved by this signal mark of royal favour, the Grants, the Mackintoshes, the Forbeses, and others of the neighbouring clans who for the last two years had been his most deadly enemies, thought it desirable to renew their amicable relations with the now almost omnipotent “Cock of the North.” Yet no one believed that such a pleasant and peaceful condition of things could endure; and it was not long before the Grants and the Gordons were at loggerheads again. We may, however, leave their tedious quarrels to the oblivion which they deserve.

Yet though he never rose to first rank as a politician, or indeed as anything else, this John Grant was a personage in his day. Strange though it may appear, he has earned the eputation of being a great peacemaker, and he stood high n the royal favour. In more respects than one he was a man after the king’s own heart. Witchcraft he professed to ibominate as heartily as his sovereign. And he shared the ling's views as to episcopacy. So highly was he esteemed by the king, that James is said to have made him the offer >f a peerage. “Then wha’ll be Laird of Grant?” is reported to have been the laird’s reply. He died on the 20th September 1622.

His wife, Lady Lillias Murray, daughter of the Earl of Tullibardine, survived him for the long period of twenty-one years. She was a woman of intelligence and culture far in advance of her times. A great reader, the possessor of a good library, a poetess, or at any rate a lover of poetry, she was besides a lady of much vigour of character. Taylor the Water Poet, who visited Ballachastell in 1618, describes her as “being both inwardly and outwardly plentifully adorned with the gifts of grace and nature.” But what perhaps delighted the “Penniless Pilgrim” even more, was the splendour and heartiness of his entertainment. “There stayed there four days,” he says, “four earls, one lord, divers knights and gentlemen, and their servants, footmen, and horses; in every meal four long tables furnished with all varieties; our first and second courses being threescore dishes at one board, and after that always a banquet; and there, if I had not forsworn, wine till I came to Edinburgh, I think I had then drunk my last.”

The next laird, the son of the preceding, also a John (1622-1637), resembled his father in his peacemaking propensities only. His public life is unimportant But the affairs of his own district gave him plenty to do. The raids of his friends and those of his own clan kept him in constant hot water, and more than once seriously compromised him. These, however, were the least of his troubles. His life was blighted by pecuniary difficulties, brought about in large measure by his profuse style of living and open-handed generosity. Yet he was hardly the spendthrift he is so often alleged to have been, and scarcely deserves the sobriquet of Sir John Sell-the-land which tradition has bestowed upon him. He died in 1637, and was buried in the Abbey Chapel at Holyrood.

James, seventh laird of Freuchie (1637-1663), was compelled by force of circumstances to take as prominent a part in public business as any of his predecessors. And no laird of Freuchie had ever a greater disinclination for the work. An imperturbable good nature, a strong predisposition for a quiet easy life, and, above all, an extra share of Scotch “canniness,” were his chief characteristics. By means of these useful qualities he managed to steer his bark safely through all the perplexities of his times, and succeeded in escaping the shipwreck of his fortunes that so many of his contemporaries made.

Before he came of age he had seen more of life than any previous laird of Freuchie. He had travelled abroad. He had seen camps and service. He had experienced all the joys and sorrows of a love affair of the most romantic order. Scarcely was his father dead when he broke away from all the traditions of his family and declared himself a Covenanter. And a Covenanter in faith he seems to have remained to the end, though his Royalist proclivities forced him into opposition to their political action. So long as the Covenanters aimed at nothing more than a reformation of religion James Grant was their faithful servant. The moment they preferred their self-interest to their loyalty, the Laird of Freuchie cut himself adrift from their counsels and joined the party of the king. He attached himself publicly to the Covenanters in 1639; he as publicly withdrew from their company in 1645.

Perhaps an incident that intervened within these six years may have had something to do with his change of politics. This was his marriage.

On the walls of the entrance-hall of Darnaway Castle hang two portraits which at once attract the notice of the visitor, as much from the fluent grace of their execution as for the attractiveness of their subjects. The one is that of a richly dressed lady in early matronhood. The other is that of a young girl of thirteen or fourteen. The child’s picture is particularly fascinating. The fair silken hair, the dark eyes, the purity and delicacy of her complexion, the quaint dress, the tight bodice, the collar standing out from the neck like the wings of a flying-fish, the emerald jewel in her hair, the rich necklace, the jewelled cross suspended from her beautifully shaped throat, enlist and rivet the interest of the beholder. Both pictures are dated 1626, and bear the well-known inscription of the Flemish painter, Cornelius Janssen. The portrait of the lady is that of Lady Anne Gordon, daughter of George, first Marquis of Huntly, who murdered her husband’s father, the Bonnie Earl of Moray; and the child is her only daughter, Mary Stewart. The resemblance to her grandfather, the Bonnie Earl, is most striking. She inherits not only his beauty but his peculiar shape of countenance. There is another portrait of Mary Stewart in existence. It hangs in the large portrait-room at Castle Grant. Few would at first sight recognise in the ringleted, full-faced matron in lace-bordered hood and tippet the ethereal child of the Darnaway picture; yet the two are the same. Only in the one case she is represented as the daughter of James, Earl of Moray, and in the other as the wife of James, seventh laird of Freuchie.

The Laird of Freuchie’s marriage with Lady Mary Stewart was as romantic in its ciicumstances as, but more fortunate in its termination than, his previous love affair with Lady Jane Fleming, the daughter of the Earl of Wigtown. There had been a long courtship, for the alliance had been opposed, first by the lady’s father, and after his death by her brother. But Lady Mary’s affection surmounted all obstacles. Some of her letters have been preserved. They are full of pathos, and breathe undying constancy. “Absolutlie and only yours” (the last word spelled “yours“yourisand “yowrs ” in the same letter) is the manner in which she subscribes herself. A prettier picture of love braving all difficulties is hardly to be found outside the pages of fiction.

At last in 1640 the steadfastness of the lovers was rewarded. Lady Mary’s brother, the Earl of Moray, had occasion to go to England. Before going he established his sister in a house at Elgin. He “ gave order,” says Spalding, “ for keiping of hir house in honorabill maner. He gave to hir the haill jewellis and goldsmith work belonging to hir defunct mother. But he keipit her poiss1 himself.” No sooner was he gone than the lovers married. The ceremony was performed by the minister of Abemethy, who for having celebrated it without proclamation was suspended by the Synod of Moray “ from his chairge for the space of three Sabbottis.”

Lady Mary, in virtue of her Stewart blood, was a staunch Royalist In virtue of her connection with the Gordons she was also a staunch Roman Catholic. Her views on both these subjects were faiths which could not be shaken; and being a woman of strong individuality, she soon obtained a powerful influence over her easy-going husband. Though she was never able to undermine his Protestantism, she succeeded in altering his political views. From the day of her marriage the unseen hand that guided his future was that of the Lady Mary his wife.

An old MS. volume of anecdotes preserved amongst the Grant records gives a graphic picture of this extraordinary woman. It describes her as an extremely bold and peculiar person. Strangely credulous, she was a profound believer in witchcraft. Having lost several of her children in the beginning of her married life, she took it into her head that they had been bewitched, and sent for an Italian pricker to discover who were the culprits. The only result of his operations was to cause the death of many innocent persons. Her Roman Catholic convictions, of which she does not seem to have made any secret, brought upon her a sentence of excommunication from the Synod of Moray. It does not appear to have harmed her even in the slightest degree. A woman who could successfully defy the thunders of so potent an ecclesiastical court must have indeed been a remarkable person.

There is the highest probability, though there is nothing more, that she had something to do in bringing about an alliance which had undoubtedly much effect upon the future fortunes of her husband. This was the marriage of his sister Mary with Lord Lewis Gordon, third son of the Marquis of Huntly. Freuchie’s relations with his cousins of the house of Gordon were for the moment extremely strained, and he did not approve of the match. But Lord Lewis (who^ it need scarcely be observed, is not the hero of the well-known Jacobite ballad) had the laird’s mother and wife on his side, and they succeeded in overcoming his objections. It is said that Mary Grant’s acquaintance with him began in a very romantic way. Owing to the part he had taken in the troubles of the period, he was for a time in hiding in a cave, which to this day goes by his name, in a rocky glen near Castle Grant. Mary having discovered this, visited him in his retreat, and herself carried supplies to the fugitive. Her kindness to him led to their marriage. It turned out both a happy and a prosperous one. Lord Lewis succeeded his father as third Marquis of Huntly, and in 1684 his and Mary Grants son was created by Charles II. first Duke of Gordon.

After this marriage we find the Laird of Freuchie acting generally in concert with the Gordons, though with no extraordinary zeal, throughout the remainder of Montrose’s gallant but futile campaign in the Highlands.

Between the battle of Inverlochy (now Fort William) on 2d ebruary 1645, in which he so signally defeated the forces of Argyll, and thus had the Highlands at his mercy, and the disbanding of his forces by his master Charles I.’s express command on 2d June 1646, the province of Moray, including the district of Strathspey, not only saw a good deal of Montrose, but engrossed a considerable share of his attention.

After the battle of Inverlochy Montrose proceeded north-'vrards to Inverness, and from there turned his course towards Klgin, “chargeing all maner of men” on his way “betwixt 60 said 16 to ryse and serve the king and him his majesteis liuetenand wnder pane of fyre and suord.” Sundry of the Moray men “cam in to him.” With those who stood out he was as good as his word. The Laird of Ballindalloch’s three houses, “Petcash, Foyness, and Balnadalachs,” were plundered and burned; so were the “places” of Grangehill, Brodie, Cowbin, Innes, and Redhall. The lands of Burgie, Lethen, and Duffus were plundered but not burned; so was the little village of Garmouth. And the salmon-cobles and nets beside it were “cuttit and he win doun, quhairby the water of Spey culd not be weill fishet.” These proceedings naturally “bred gryte fier.” The “Committe of Elgin”—a local body to whom the Estates had intrusted the safety of the district—took to flight, and many of the townspeople, with their “wyves, bames, and best goodis,” followed their example.

On the 19th February Montrose entered Elgin. The very night of his arrival he received a valuable recruit in the person of Lord Gordon, Huntly’s eldest son, who, “ being in the Bog ” (Gordon Castle), “lap quiklie on horss, haueing Nathanell Gordoun, with sum few vtheris, in his company; and that samen nicht cam to Elgyn, salutit Montrose, who maid him hartlie welcum, and soupit joyfullie togedder.” His brother-in-law, the Laird of Freuchie, had already joined the Marquis en route, and sent him 300 men. Every hour of his stay in Elgin brought him some fresh auxiliary. Now it was “ Lodo-vick Gordon,” with whom we are better acquainted as Lewis Gordon, the Laird of Freuchie’s brother-in-law ; now it wa* the Earl of Seaforth, the Laird of Pluscarden, or Sir Robot Gordon of Gordonstoun—the very men who had constituted the “Committe of Elgin,” and who had so dastardly taken to flight a few days before. But their adhesion was not able to save the town from punishment Montrose indeed, on payment of 4000 merks, consented to spare it from being burned. But he would not exempt it from being plundered. The congenial duty he committed to the Laird of Grant’s contingent, who, accustomed to such work, did it heartily and thoroughly. They plundered the town pitifully, says Spalding. They left nothing “tursabill” (removable) unearned away; and they broke down beds, boards, “insicht, and plenishing.” leaving them to their grateful labours, Montrose with the main body of his army marched on to the Bog of Gicht He brought with him all his new allies. Such recruits as the members of the Elgin Committee, he rightly considered, cook! not be trusted any further than he could see. His short stay at the Bog was one of the saddest experiences of his life; for here he lost his eldest son, Ix>rd Graham—a bright boy in his fifteenth year—who had accompanied him during the whole of his anxious and exhausting campaign. He was buried in the kirk of Bellie. But the exigencies of the times left the bereaved father little leisure for sorrow. Four or five days after his arrival at the Bog he was on the march again. On the 9th March he was in the neighbourhood of Atterdcen, receiving a deputation from the townspeople, promising them to do the city no harm if only he received the levies of men, arms, and horses which he demanded as being necessary for the kings service. On the 15th he was at Kintore, waiting to hear the result of the negotiations which were then in progress between himself and the Aberdonians. To Nathaniel Gordon he had committed the task of treating with the town’s authorities. He was accompanied by a party of gay and gallant cavaliers, decked in their richest apparel, amongst whom was Donald Farquhar-son of Braemar, one of the bravest soldiers in his army. As the little band was “at their merriment” within the town, fearing no evil, they were suddenly surprised by Sir John Hurry, the commander of the Kirk’s forces. Farquharson was slain; others were captured; Gordon and those who escaped lost their horses, and had to return to Kintore on foot It is to Montrose’s eternal credit that he did not, as many commanders of his time would have done, avenge this misfortune on the innocent burghers of the city.

Hurry’s dashing exploit was followed by another equally daring, which, however much it may have been applauded in those days, is not likely to receive the same approbation in our own. The death of the young Lord Graham had left Montrose with only one son remaining. He was “a young bairn about fourteen years, learning at the schools” in the pleasant little town of Montrose, “attended by his pedagogue in quiet maner.” With an almost incredible cruelty Hurry, knowing full well the grief which then afflicted the marquis, hastened down to Montrose, seized the poor lad and his tutor, and sent them close prisoners to the castle of Edinburgh. Thus in less than a fortnight Montrose had lost both his children. It was enough to put him beside himself.

However much he suffered—and, with his keen affections and his intense loathing of anything approaching to treachery or ungenerous conduct, his sufferings must have been intense —he never for a moment lost his self-control. Like William of Orange under very similar circumstances, he held on his tranquil path, subordinating all his own feelings, all his own sorrows, to the higher claims of duty. He had one object before him—to assert the supremacy of the king, and, as the corollary of this, to punish the districts where that supremacy was denied. Swooping down upon Kincardine’ shire, he burned the burgh of Stonehaven, the town of Cowie, and the lands of Dunnottar. Then, crossing the Grampians, he fell in with General Hurry’s forces at Fettercaim, about seven miles from Brechin, and chased them across the Esk. More he could not do at the time. It was wonderful that with a Highland army he had been able to efTect so much. In actual battle his “Redshanks” might be gallant enough, but on the march there was no keeping them in hand. Already the Laird of Grant’s men had given him the slip. We find Montrose writing to the laird from Kintore on the 16th March that not only were his men “lyke to Jacob's dayes, bade and feu,” but that they had all played the runaway. And the rest of his force was little more reliable.

Amongst those who deserted him at this critical juncture was Lord Lewis Gordon. The cause of his defection has never yet been satisfactorily explained. But there is reason to believe that it may have been influenced, at least in some degree, by his father, the Marquis of Huntly, who, chafing under the supposed slight put upon him by the king in virtually superseding him in his lieutenancy of the north by the appointment of Montrose as royal lieutenant for the whole of the kingdom, was for the moment sulking in his camp. It is only fair to add that the young Lord lewis’s retirement was, like that of his father, temporary only.

We cannot follow Montrose through all his Highland campaign, vivid though it is with enthralling interest. It was the most brilliant chapter in his brilliant career. His almost audacious attack on Dundee with only a portion of his army; his enforced withdrawal in the very moment of victory; his masterly retreat across the hills, after a march of three days and two sleepless nights, to the lonely depths of Glen Esk; his sudden emergence from his refuge; his startling appearance on the Braes of Balquhidder; his threatened descent upon the Lowlands; his unexpected, almost electrifying, reappearance in the north,—are beyond the scope of these pages. We must resume the narrative only when we find him once more within the boundaries of the province.

By the end of April he was at Skene in Aberdeenshire, short of powder, short of men, short of everything but courage. But his prospects were distinctly brightening. He had been joined by Lord Aboyne, Huntly’s second son. He had effected a reunion with Lord Gordon, who had brought with him iooo foot and 200 horse. About the same time Alastair Macdonell, the celebrated “ Colkitto,”1 of whom we shall hear more in the immediate sequel, also rejoined him with his division. And when Lord Aboyne shortly afterwards by a brilliant exploit had procured for him twenty barrels of gunpowder from the ships lying in the harbour of Aberdeen, he conceived himself to be in a position to give battle to the army of the Covenanters.

Hurry on his part, having effected a union with the northern Covenanters, was equally prepared. At Inverness he had been joined by the Earls of Seaforth and Sutherland, the Frasers of Lovat, the Brodies, Roses, and other local families of Moray and Nairn with their retainers, and he was now at the head of a force of about 3500 foot and 400 horse. Montrose’s strength was undoubtedly smaller, though the discrepancy was in all likelihood very much less than is generally stated.

The battle which was to decide the campaign was now imminent. Both sides were anxious to fight. The only question was, Which was to be the aggressor? It ended by Hurry leaving Inverness with the object of attacking Montrose.

He was aware that the royal forces were encamped a little above the village of Auldearn, about two and a half miles south of the town of Nairn. The distance between Inverness and Auldearn is some sixteen miles. Hurry’s intention was to surprise Montrose at daybreak, and accordingly he left Inverness in the middle of the night of Thursday the 8th May 1645. No sooner had he set out, however, than the rain began also. So heavy was the downfall that the powder in the men’s muskets got “poysoned.” Between four and five miles from Auldearn, accordingly, they turned down to the seaside to fire off their damp charges. But, as ill luck would have it, “the thundering report of the vollie and the suddain changeing of the wynd carried the news to the ears of some scouts who had been sent out from Montrose’s leaguer before daybreak. But for this the surprise would have been complete. As it was, there was only time to get two regiments drawn up under arms before Hurry and his troops came in sight.

Facing the visitor as he approaches the scene of the battle from Nairn, is an irregular, almost semicircular slope. At the right extremity stands the church, and below it a piece of terraced ground, from which a wide view can be obtained of all the country round. The village of Auldearn now lies in the hollow beneath this terrace, its single street bisecting the valley in a straight line. But in those days it followed more closely the undulation of the ground, and instead of lying north and south, lay more nearly east and west

Beginning at the left end of the hamlet, and stretching across the slope towards the west, was a turf or feal dike, now superseded by a belt of trees. The main body of his infantry, and, according to Mr S. R. Gardiner,1 the whole of his cavalry, Montrose concealed behind this dike. His left flank, consisting of about 200 horsemen under Lord Gordon, he stationed at the western extremity of the slope. He had no right flank and no centre, but he placed a few men and cannon in front of the houses of the hamlet. The remainder of his troops he ordered to take up their position on the low ground to the north-west of the church, and the command of these he intrusted to Alastair Macdonell. In front of these was a tolerably level stretch of ground dotted with bushes, gradually sinking into a morass caused by the Kinnudie Burn, which came running down the western declivity of the slope. It was “a stronge ground, and fencible against horsemen.” To render it more so, Macdonell’s first care was to pile up brushwood in front of his position. Thus protected, he would fight at very considerable advantage.

Montrose’s plan of battle was to persuade the Covenanters to attack this position first, and when they were thus engaged to fall upon them with his main body. To induce the enemy the more readily to believe that he was present at this point in person, he gave Macdonell the royal standard. Such was the disposition of the royal forces. A modem writer has pointed out the striking resemblance it bore to the Duke of Marlborough’s plan of battle at Blenheim.

Before noon on Friday the 9th May the battle began as Montrose had designed, by a vigorous assault from one of Hurry’s regiments and two of his troops of horse, on Macdonell’s forces. Stung by the taunts of the Covenanters, who charged him with cowardice in thus fighting under cover, Colkitto, in the teeth of Montrose’s express prohibition not to leave his defences, advanced into the open. Here, however, his raw troops would not fight As the balls whizzed past their ears they ducked their heads in terror. Some of the officers had actually to shoot one or two of them to prevent the panic becoming general Macdonell’s troops were forced to retreat towards the houses, but they fought their ground step by step. Colkitto surpassed himself in deeds of valour. He broke two swords; his targe was covered with the pikes of his enemies, any one of which “could have born doun three or four ordinary men,” but with a stroke of his broadsword he managed to disengage them by threes and fours at a time.

Standing on the terrace below the church, Montrose had witnessed Colkitto’s mortifying blunder. He now rode off to place himself at the head of his troops, to retrieve the situation if that were possible. He had not gone far before he was joined by an orderly, who whispered to him that Macdonell was entirely routed.

“What!” exclaimed Montrose aloud, “Macdonell gaining the victory single-handed! Come, my Lord Gordon, is he to be allowed to carry all before him and leave no laurels for the house of Huntly?”

The gallant youth needed no second order. Dashing out of his place of concealment, at the head of his little troop of horse he spurred down the slope and advanced to Macdonell’s assistance. It was noticed as a novelty in the style of fighting of the day that Gordon forbade all shooting of pistols and carbines by his troopers, and ordered them “only with their swords to charge quyt throwgh ther enemies.” His charge was successful. After an obstinate resistance he managed to disperse the right wing of the Covenanters, driving them off the field with the loss of four or five of their colours.

Montrose lost no time in following up Lord Gordon’s advantage. Drawing his main body of foot from their ambush, he prepared to lead them in person against the main body of the Covenanters, who had now united with their second division, and were forming into line with a view to a general advance.

At this moment a very extraordinary accident threw them into disorder. Major Drummond, who, at the head of the mounted levies of Moray and Naim, was stationed in front of the infantry, suddenly wheeled round his horse, broke through their ranks, and made off. Montrose’s quick eye saw his advantage at a glance, and he immediately ordered a charge. The veterans of Hurry’s army, “all expert and singularly well-trained soldiers,” fought manfully, and “chose rather to be mown down in their ranks than retreat” But the new levies who had joined Hurry at Inverness fled for their lives. The pursuit was continued for miles, and the carnage that ensued was fearful. Hurry’s loss has been estimated at 800 men; that of Montrose was probably not a fourth of that number.

The announcement of the result of the fight was almost immediately followed by a storm of indignation on the part of the Covenanters. Considering Hurry’s own great and well-deserved reputation, and his undoubted numerical superiority, it was incredible to the leaders of the party that such a crushing defeat should have been the result. Very soon whispers of foul play began to get abroad. It was asserted that Sir John Hurry had a secret understanding with the enemy; that several of his officers, especially Major Drummond, were equally compromised; that, in short, the non-success of the forces of the Covenant was the result of treachery of the basest kind. Yet, though Hurry himself not long after joined the party of the Royalists, and was ultimately hanged by Montrose’s side in 1650, and Major Drummond, shortly after the battle, was convicted of having spoken to the enemy before his disastrous movement, and shot, the treason of these two distinguished officers has never yet been satisfactorily established. The withdrawal of their confidence from him by the leaders of the Covenanting party may have had a more powerful influence upon Hurry’s future conduct than his supposed Royalist proclivities, even though he had undoubtedly in days gone by fought by the side of his sovereign at Marston Moor.

After his brilliant victory Montrose marched eastward, taking signal vengeance on all the local gentlemen who had -supported the cause of the Covenant. The Laird of Calder’s house and lands in Nairn were burned, and his goods plundered. The Earl of Moray’s lands shared the same fate. And in this way, desolating the country as he advanced, proceeded to Elgin. He arrived in the little grey town on the evening of Sunday the nth May, and stopped there til£ the Wednesday following. His object was to terrorise the inhabitants out of what he considered their disloyalty. Whether he succeeded in this or not, he at least left no means untried to accomplish it. His three days stay in Elgin was the cruellest experience the burgh had as yet undergone. The houses of the leading Covenanters were burned and plundered right and left. The vengeance he took upon it is not forgotten to this day.

There was a special reason for his severity towards the burgh. Shortly before the battle of Auldearn, James Gordon, son of George Gordon of Rhynie, an Aberdeenshire proprietor—“a werie hopfull and gallant youth,” only eighteen years of age—had been wounded in a skirmish While passing through Moray, not far from Spynie, and conveyed to a labourer’s cottage hard by till his friends could remove him. Here, as he lay in his bed, he was attacked by “ a party from Elgin ” under the command of a son of the Laird of Innes and a certain Major Sutherland, and cruelly murdered. The horror inspired by the deed was extreme. And the incident had been used at Auldearn with good effect in stimulating the ardour of the soldiers. Now that the battle had been fought and won, summary retaliation for the cowardly act had become an actual duty. The lands of Milltown, belonging to Major Sutherland’s wife in life-rent, were burned, and a like fate was accorded to the town of Garmouth, which belonged to the Laird of Innes. No one who had in any degree been concerned in the murder was exempted from punishment.

Still breathing out threatenings and slaughter, Montrose went on to the Bog of Gight. From thence he proceeded to Banffshire, meting out to the Covenanters there the same measure of retribution he had inflicted on those of Naim and Moray. Then came the battle of Alford, in which he signally defeated the forces of “Lieutenant-General Major Baillie,” the Covenanters’ only other general. But “dearly was that victory purchased by Montrose”; for while in the very act of seizing Baillie by the sword-belt, George, Lord Gordon, “the too forward heir of Huntly,” as Napier calls him, “fell in the dust to rise no more.” He was buried amidst universal regret in the aisle of St John the Evangelist, in the “cathedral church of the old town” of Aberdeen.

The battle of Alford was followed by Montrose’s crowning victory of Kilsyth (15th August 1645), when he again vanquished the army of the Covenant From this point his good luck seems to have deserted him. His crushing defeat at Philiphaugh on the 13th of September 1645 annihilated all his chances of success. From that moment to the end of his career Montrose was a doomed and discredited man.

One seeks, but seeks in vain, for any traces of the Laird of Freuchie during all these stirring and dangerous times. With characteristic caution, he seems to have kept aloof from taking any active part in the “troubles.” Yet his sympathies were unquestionably on the side of the Royalists.

And when, after the battle of Philiphaugh, Montrose again made his appearance in the Highlands, we find him installed at Ballachastell, and from there writing to Huntly, with whom he was now acting in concert. But the laird’s advocacy of the royal cause seems to have gone no further than according the rites of hospitality to its unfortunate general. Urge as he might, Montrose could not persuade him to overt action. Huntly was equally unsuccessful; so also was the Laird of Pluscarden, and George, Earl of Seaforth.

The king's surrender to the Covenanters after the battle of Naseby only confirmed the laird in his determination to keep himself aloof from danger. Montrose was actually at Strathspey when he received Charles I.’s commands to disband his forces and “to repaire himself abroad.” And though the laird subsequently appears to have sent renewed testimonies of his loyalty, and even offers of service, to Queen Henrietta Maria and Prince Charles at St Germains, and received grateful replies, it may be doubted whether he had any real intention of endangering his own safety had he been called upon to put his loyalty to the proof.

As time went on he began to see still more clearly the inconvenience, not to say the peril, of his Royalist leanings. He got into trouble with the Kirk; he was in imminent danger of getting into trouble with the Parliament. He was called upon by Argyll, who now ruled the party of the Covenant, to furnish a levy of twenty-three men for his regiment, and was glad to purchase a discharge by paying £40 Scots for each trooper.

In 1649 his perplexities were at a height. Montrose was engaged in making preparations for a last attempt to vindicate the supremacy of his master. A party of ardent Royalists had been formed in Moray to co-operate with him, and rumour connected the laird with the plot. General Leslie, who was then in Huntly’s territory, wrote to the laird, entreating him to persuade his brother-in-law, Lord Lewis Gordon, to have no dealings with the insurgents, evidently meaning his letter as a hint to the laird himself. There is something almost piteous in the worried tone of Freuchie’s reply. “Truly,” he says, speaking of the conspirators, “I know not their intentiones, naither am I privie to them, and I am sorie of their rashnes, being ignorand of their wages. For my owin pairt I resolue (God willing) to keip kirk, king, and state be the hand, to quhom I wishe a suddent happie agreement.” The suppression of the rising before Montrose’s expedition landed in Scotland must have been to the harassed laird a happy relief.

But though Freuchie would have nothing to do with replacing Charles I. on the throne, he was ready enough to give public expression of his devotion to the monarchy by joining with the Estates in welcoming Charles II. to his native shore When the king landed from Holland at Garmouth, at the mouth of the Spey, on the 3d July 1650, there is little doubt that the Laird of Freuchie was among those who greeted his arrival.

The story of the king’s reception is thus graphically given by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder in his work on the Morayshire Floods: “ The vessel which brought Charles to Scotland could not come into the harbour, but rode at anchor in the bay whilst a boat was sent to land the king. The boat could not approach the shore sufficiently near to admit of Charles landing dry-shod,” whereupon a man of the name of “Milne, wading into the tide, turned his broad back to the king at the side of the boat, and resting his hands on his knees, very quietly bade his majesty ‘loup on.' ‘Nay, friend,’ said the king, smiling, though somewhat alarmed at the proposal; ‘ I am too great a weight for so little a man as you.* ‘ Oh! I may be little of stature,’ replied Milne, looking up and laughing in Charles’s face, * but I’se be bound I’m strong an' sturdy, and mony’s the weightier burden I’ve carried in my day.’ Amused with the man, and persuaded by those around him that there was no danger, the king mounted on Milne’s back and was landed safely on the boat-green.” The descendants of this man, who have been distinguished ever since by the appellation of King Milne, were in possession of their celebrated ancestor Thomas Milne’s property at least as late as 1830.

The actual spot at which the king was set ashore is now part of the village of Kingston,—a name derived, not, as the historian states, because it was the landing-place of the king, but from certain wood-merchants from Kingston-upon-Hull, who purchased the timber of the forest of Glenmore from the Duke of Gordon in the early part of the present century.

On his arrival at Garmouth the unfortunate king was taken to a house in the village which was only demolished in 1834, and there, as a condition precedent to his recognition, was forced to sign the Solemn League and Covenant. His miserable experiences as a covenanted king belong to national rather than to local history.

Sometime after Charles II.’s landing we find the Laird of Freuchie appointed to the colonelcy of the infantry to be levied in Moray and Nairn, and on the laird’s own lands, to oppose Cromwell’s progress into Scotland. But the laird was too long-headed to associate himself with any project which might bring him into trouble, and we find him accordingly handing over the command of these levies to his brother Patrick with the title of lieutenant-colonel, and so washing his hands of the business. No doubt he foresaw more clearly than his neighbours that Cromwell’s progress was not possible to be prevented, at least by such untrained and undisciplined troops as a local levy was able to provide. At the same time, it would have incurred suspicion had he absolutely refused the proffered command. Whatever else the laird may have been, he was beyond doubt the incarnation of “canniness and caution.”

Yet when the occupation of Scotland by the troops of the Commonwealth actually ensued, General Monck had so little confidence in his loyalty that he stationed, at any rate for a time, a garrison in Ballachastell. The laird, indeed, was allowed to retain his arms for defensive purposes, and was also permitted to have six horses and his breeding mares above the value prescribed by law. But in return for these privileges he was compelled to give bonds in large sums for the peaceful behaviour of himself and his tenants.

In 1662 came the Restoration. And once again we find the laird siding with the party, for the moment, in power.

Nobody really trusted him. His policy had been all along too much like that of the Vicar of Bray to commend itself to any side. Yet he was clever enough to escape, if not suspicion, at any rate prosecution. And he was even able to persuade Charles II. that, as was possibly true, he had been a consistent Royalist all his life. It is said the king intended to confer upon him the titles of Earl of Strathspey and Lord Grant of Freuchie and Urquhart, and that the royal intention was only frustrated by the laird’s death at Edinburgh in September 1663 before the warrant could be signed.

The next Laird of Freuchie was his son Ludovick (1633-1716), widely known through all the surrounding district by the title of “the Highland King.” He owed the nickname to the Duke of York, afterwards James II. In 1681 the duke came to Scotland as Lord High Commissioner for his brother Charles II., and in that capacity presided over the sittings of the important Parliament which declared the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant to be unlawful, and imposed a Test, which was a solemn profession of Protestantism as contained in the Confession of Faith, on all persons holding office either under the Crown or under corporations. In this Parliament the Laird of Grant sat as one of the members for Elginshire. He had no objections to the principles of either the Declaration or the Test. But at one of the meetings at which the latter measure was under discussion he ventured to dissent from the view of the majority, that the Test should be offered “to the electors of commissioners for shires to the Parliament ”; and not only voted against it, but desired that his dissent should be recorded. On this the duke, rising from his seat, is said to have exclaimed, “Let his-Highland Majesty’s protest be marked.” The tradition may not be true, but there is nothing improbable in the ^tory. For by this time the influence which the Lairds of Grant were able to bring to bear upon public affairs was not only considerable, but every day saw it extending.

The abolition of the Covenant and the imposition of the Test were almost immediately followed by the adoption of stringent measures against all suspected of Nonconformity in any degree. On the 30th December 1684 a commission was appointed to “take order” with the Nonconformists of the north. The commissioners were the Earls of Errol and Kintore and Sir George Monro of Culrain. Their powers gave them authority to prosecute all persons guilty of church disorder and other crimes in all the bounds betwixt Spey and Ness, including Strathspey and Abemethy, and their first meeting was appointed to take place at Elgin on 2 2d January 1685. Their arrival in the Episcopal town was attended with every circumstance of dignity and solemnity. Lord Duflus with a troop of militia, both horse and foot, the sheriffs of the neighbouring counties, the entire body of the clergy, accompanied by their elders and “bedrals,” and all the heritors of the district, assembled to do them honour. According to Wodrow, the first act of the commissioners was to cause erect a new gallows ad terrorem and though happily they had never any cause to use it, no doubt it had the desired effect. None of the Presbyterians of the district had been present at Bothwell, or had been guilty of anything inferring the capital punishment which would have ensued on a conviction for “rebellion.” But, on the other hand, there were few against whom charges of neglect of ordinances, or of attending conventicles, or of intercommuning with outed ministers, could not be successfully brought. Altogether about 250 persons of all classes of society passed through the commissioners hands. Ministers like James Urquhart, John Stewart, Alexander Dunbar, and George Mel-drum, who had preferred to relinquish their cures rather than submit to what they considered the oppressive acts of an oppressive Government, merchants, tradesmen, pordoners, many women of every rank in life, had to suffer fine or imprisonment for conscience’ sake. But it was chiefly upon the landed gentry of Moray and Naim, who were almost to a man favourably disposed towards the Covenanters, that the hand of the commissioners fell most heavily. The “curates,” as they were called, who had been imposed upon the parishes at the restoration of Episcopacy, were very far from being acceptable to the more intelligent classes of the community. Not only were they looked upon as renegades, but they were men of greatly inferior character and ability to those whose places they had taken. It was dissatisfaction with their new spiritual pastors rather than any deep-rooted objection to Episcopacy which had driven the landed gentry into opposition to the Government. Most of them were staunch Presbyterians, and had as little leaning towards any other creed as the commissioners themselves.

This was especially the case with the Laird of Freuchie. No sounder Protestant, no more faithful Presbyterian, existed within the province, yet both he and his wife were cited to appear before this inquisitorial commission. The charges against them were, that they had had dealings with outed parsons, and had withdrawn from the ordinances, or, in other words, had given up attendance at the parish kirk. The first of these charges they would seem to have successfully refuted; the second they confessed. Both were found proved against them, and the monstrous fine of £42,500 —the heaviest fine inflicted by the commission—was imposed upon the laird for his own and his wife’s delinquencies. At the same time a fine of £40,000 was inflicted on Brodie of Lethen, the Laird of Grant’s father-in-law, for similar offences, and other members of the same family shared the same fate. His brother, David Brodie of Pitgaveny, was fined £18,722 and imprisoned in Blackness. Another brother, James Brodie of Kinloss, was fined 200 merks. His cousin, Francis Brodie of Milton, was fined £10,000, and Francis Brodie of Windiehills 5000 merks. The young Laird of Brodie, who no more than his late father, Lord Brodie, the well-known Judge of Session, would “keep his own parish church,” was fined £24,000 Scots. The Brodies, however, had themselves to blame for this severity. For years past they had taken an active part in the propagation of Covenanting principles in the north.

In the following year (1686) the Laird of Freuchie’s fine was remitted, largely in consequence of his services to the Government subsequent to its imposition. But he had cause to remember the commission all the days of his life; for it not only cost him £24,000 to get his fine remitted, but he had to advance his father-in-law £30,000 to assist him in the payment of his.

The death of King Charles II. on 6th February 1685 cut short the work of the commission. But the accession of James II., far from diminishing the sufferings of the country, only tended to aggravate them. If the Government of Charles had chastised the Nonconformists with whips, that of James II. chastised them with scorpions. “The killing-time” was in full force; and James Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, the executioner of the Government, was at the height of his bloody labours.

And to trouble in connection with religion was soon to be added trouble in connection with the occupation of the throne. On the 5th November 1685, William, Prince of Orange, who had married Mary, the daughter of James II., landed at Torbay to assert the rights of Protestantism as against the re-establishment of Roman Catholicism, with which the three kingdoms were now threatened. It was followed by the flight of his father-in-law. And on the 4th April 1689 the Convention of the Estates of the realm, then sitting in Edinburgh, found and declared that King James, being “a profest Papist,” and having infringed the laws and liberties of the nation in connection with Protestantism, and for other high crimes and misdemeanours, which were narrated at length, had “forfaulted the right to the Crown, and the throne had thus become vacant.” This was succeeded a few days later by an offer of the crown of Scotland to William and Mary, then King and Queen of England, France, and Ireland. Their subsequent acceptance of the offer completed the Revolution in Scotland.

To all these proceedings the Laird of Grant had been a consenting party. His Protestant convictions had forced him to sacrifice the loyalty which he and all his ancestors had so freely accorded to the old race of Scottish kings. From this time forward he was as devoted an adherent of William and Mary as in days past he had been of the Stewarts.

Towards the end of April 1689 Dundee began his famous campaign in the Highlands on behalf of the late King James II. Sometime during its course he appears to have visited the now ruined Castle of Duffus, about five miles north of Elgin, as the guest of its proprietor, James, second Lord Duffus, a Jacobite of the staunchest order. An old servant^**, of the family, who only died in 1760, had a lively recollectioiwa of his visit. She used to tell how she brought the claret fronmK the cask in a timber stoup and served it to the company inr^K a silver cup. Dundee she described as a swarthy little mane with keen lively eyes and black hair tinged with grey, while he wore in locks which covered each ear, and were rollers upon strips of lead twisted together at the ends. His death at the battle of Killiecrankie on the 27th July 1689 was a blow from which the Jacobite cause never recovered. It did not, however, put an end to the campaign. It dragged its slow length along, first under Colonel Cannon, and afterwards under General Buchan, till the following spring, when it was brought to a decisive close by the battle of Cromdale.

It shows to what a vanishing-point the hopes of the rebels had come, that such an insignificant affair should put an end to a movement which at first threatened to be so dangerous. The Jacobite force under General Buchan numbered no more than 800 men; the Government troops under General Livingstone amounted to only 1200 horse and foot.

On the night of the 30th April 1689 General Buchan and his Highlanders, on their march towards the country of the Gordons where Buchan hoped to obtain reinforcements, encamped on the Haughs of Cromdale, a stretch of flat land on the southern bank of the river Spey about a mile southeast of the village of Grantown. When passing Ballachastell in the course of the day, they had been observed by Captain John Grant of Easter Elchies, the commander of the garrison posted there. He immediately sent to inform General Livingstone, who with his little army, of whom 300 belonged to the Clan Grant, happened to be posted at no great distance. Livingstone at once put his force in motion. It was two o’clock in the morning before he arrived at Ballachastell. His men were tired with the eight miles’ march; the hour was late; the night was dark. But Captain Grant, taking the general to the top of the tower of the castle, pointed out to him the enemy’s force, and advised an immediate attack, offering himself to be their guide. Livingstone called his officers together and sent them to their respective detachments to inquire if the men were able to bear a little more fatigue.

Having received an enthusiastic answer in the affirmative, he had refreshments served out, and gave the order to march in half an hour. Their first intention was to cross the river at the ford below Dalchapple, but they found it guarded by 100 of the enemy. Leaving a small detachment to engage their attention, they proceeded to another ford about a quarter of a mile lower down, and here they crossed without difficulty.

The surprise which ensued was complete. Four hundred of General Buchan’s troops were killed or taken prisoners, and but for a dense fog which rested on the summit of the hills and prevented Livingstone’s dragoons from following up their advantage, the carnage would have been much greater.

Such was the battle of Cromdale. Though the Laird of Grant was not himself present, his clansmen, with a considerable degree of propriety, chose to regard the victory as their own. And the well-known song which commemorates the event is regarded to this day by members of the clan as only a fitting tribute to their prowess. To this day it is said that the spirit of Hamish the piper, who in their hour of direst extremity encouraged his countrymen to fight, and who afterwards died by a random shot as he was playing their coronach, is still to be seen hovering over the Haughs, terrifying the farmers, as they return from the Grantown market, with his pale and blood-stained countenance, and beckoning to them, with shadowy hand, to follow him to the spot where his slaughtered comrades lie.

During the whole of this anxious campaign the Laird of Grant had not only acted loyally with, but had been of valuable service to, the Government. And the grant of regality conferred upon him four years later was only the fitting record of his services. But with the termination of the military operations came also the termination of the laird's military career. From that time to his death he continued serve the Government, but in a way better suited to his abilities. In his place in Parliament, in his office as sheriff, no one did more useful work; though it is said that as an executive officer of justice he was somewhat inclined to take the law into his own hands. There is a tradition that on one occasion a gentleman of the name of Macgregor, driving a spraith from the laird’s country, was apprehended and carried prisoner to Inverness. Influential friends of the prisoner threatened the laird that if Macgregor was convicted a Grant’s head should fall for every finger on both his hands. The laird’s reply was, that if found guilty the man should hang though a hundred heads should be lost on both sides. Macgregor was convicted and sentenced to death. But on his way to execution there came an express with a reprieve. Without opening the paper the laird inserted it between Macgregor’s neck and the rope, and promptly hanged both at the same time.

Another famous trial of the day in which the laird was also interested was “ the process against the Egyptians,” tried before the sheriff of Banff on the 7th November 1700 and following days. Patrick Broune, Donald Broune, James Macpherson, and James Gordon were indicted as being the leaders of a band of gipsies who for some time past had been going “up and doune the country armed,” “oppressing the lieges in ane bangstrie (disorderlie) manner,” and not only thieving themselves, but acting as “ receptors of thieves.” “ It was quite a familiar sight at a market in Banff, Elgin, or Forres, or any other town in the district, to see nearly a dozen sturdy gipsies march in with a piper playing at their head, their guns slung behind them and their broadswords by their sides, mingling in the crowd, inspecting the cattle for sale, and watching bargain-making, in order to learn who were receiving money.” The band numbered about thirty in all, and included women as well as men. Hitherto they had successfully defied the law. It was now to be decided whether they or the law was the stronger.

The proceedings began by the Laird of Grant taking exception to the jurisdiction of the court in the case of the Brounes, on the ground that they were tenants of his, and that in virtue of his right of regality he was entitled to repledge them from the sheriffs authority. The objection was repelled. The case went to proof, and all the four panels were found guilty and sentenced to death. Public opinion, however, did not ratify the sentence, and without the concurrence of public opinion few sentences in those days could be carried into effect. The personal popularity of Peter Broune, the leader of the band, and of James Macpherson was so great that their fate excited considerable sympathy. Peter Broune, through the Laird of Grant’s influence, obtained a reprieve on his signing an act of voluntary banishment for life from Scotland, and it is thought that Donald Broune also escaped. The laird’s failure to make a similar effort on behalf of Macpherson exposed him to considerable obloquy. According to a broadside of the period—

“The Laird of Grant, that Highland saint,
Of mighty majesty,
Did plead the cause of Peter Broune
But let Macpherson die. ”

But Macpherson had influential friends of his own, who, if they had chosen, might have exerted themselves as warmly in his behalf as the laird did in behalf of the Brounes. For though born of a gipsy mother, he is said to have been the illegitimate son of a member of the family of Invereshie. He is described as having been a man of great strength and beauty of person, distinguished by his skill in the use of arms, and not without a knowledge of more useful arts, such as medicine. He had, in short, many of the qualifications for a. popular hero; and as such he has been accepted by tradition. Readers of Burns will remember the pathetic lines 'which the poet wrote to the tune which Macpherson is said *:o have composed in prison while under sentence of death; sand Sir William Fraser, the editor of the ‘Seafield Book/ states that Sir Walter Scott intended to “ introduce him into *he pages of fiction.” But the whole romantic story of his l>ehaviour on the way to execution—how

"Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly gaed he;
He play’d a spring, and danc'd it round,
Below the gallows-tree;”

how he offered his cherished violin to any one in the crowd who would accept it, and finding none who would accept it, finally broke it across his knee—has no substantial basis. The fact that a similar tale is told of another masterful highwayman in Ireland, who was also a Macpherson, does not tend to induce credence in the pathetic ending of the Banffshire gipsy.

Though he was not a very old man, the anxieties of the times had told upon the laird, and in 1710 he resolved to resign the leadership of the clan in favour of his son Alexander. His abdication of the chieftainship is one of the most striking, and at the same time most touching, incidents in his career. On the day appointed for the ceremony all the members of the clan, “gentlemen as well as commoners,” appeared at Ballintome, their ordinary place of rendezvous, all “wearing whiskers,” by Alexander Grant of Grant’s order, all in kilts “with plaids and tartans of red and green,” and all under arms. When the men were drawn up in order the old laird addressed them for the last time. He told them that owing to his years he was no longer able to command them as formerly, and he had therefore decided to hand over the leadership to his son, who, he said, they would see, promised as well as, if not better than, he did. Then turning to his son, “My dear Sandy,” he said, “I make you this day a very great present—namely, the honour of commanding the Clan Giant, who, while I commanded them, though in troublesome times, yet they never misbehaved, so that you have them this day without spot or blemish. I hope you will use them as well as I did, in supporting their public and private interests, agreeably to the laws of liberty and polity as are now happily established in our lands. God bless you all.”

This was the last public act of the Highland King. He died six years afterwards, in November 1716, and was buried l>eside his father in the Abbey Church of Holyrood.

His son Alexander, who succeeded him, was Laird of Grant for only three years (1716-1719). He was a cultured and accomplished man, who began life as a lawyer and ended it as a brigadier-general. As a member of Parliament for Inverness-shire he was one of the Commissioners appointed to bring about the Treaty of Union with England, and in consequence incurred much odium with the Elgin people, who were almost to a man opposed to the measure. He kept himself and his clan loyal through all the perplexities of the Old Pretenders attempt to regain the crown for the Stewarts, and died in 1719, after a short though honourable and useful life.

The Rising of 1715 never seriously endangered the loyalty of either Moray or Nairn. A few of the gentry in both counties were induced to join it. But on the whole the district stood firm in its adherence to the Hanoverian cause, though it suffered severely from the exactions of both parties. There was scarcely a man of any means who had not cause to regret the forced levies of arms, horses, or forage which were made upon him. Looking at the evidence we possess, it would almost seem as if the Government demands upon the loyalty of the district were heavier than those of the “rebels.”

Amongst those who espoused the cause of the Old Pretender, none was more enthusiastic than the Laird of Altyre. Whether he was acting on his own or by superior authority does not appear, but on 14th September 1715 he sent a party of Highlanders to the house of Robert Tulloch, town clerk of Forres, who wakened him out of his sleep, dragged him from his chamber, and forced him to proclaim James VIII. at the town cross of the burgh. For this he was promptly suspended by the town council. But on the 1st May 1716 he presented a petition to the council, fortified with the depositions of witnesses, praying for reinstatement in his office on the ground that he had been compelled to act “contrair to his inclina-tion.” The eloquent appeal which he made on that occasion is not yet forgotten. He pled the penury to which he had been reduced by the loss of his office, his previous faithfulness in the discharge of his duties, the fact that the town was then in possession of the rebels, his well-known loyalty to King George, his alarm at being “waukened” in the middle of the night, and his sufferings in being “trailled by force” to the cross “as if he had been ane malefactor.” “’Twas ill arguing,” he said, “ with a Highlander’s dirk at yer throat.” It is satisfactory to think that his eloquence was successful, and that the council “ in one voice reponed him ”on his taking “the Abjuration and the other oaths appointed by law.”

Alexander Grant’s younger brother James (1719-1767), who succeeded, him as sixteenth laird, married Anne Colquhoun, the heiress of Luss, and was the first baronet of his family. The circumstances under which he obtained the dignity were peculiar. His father-in-law, Sir Humphrey Colquhoun, was anxious that the title should descend to his son-in-law failing the heirs-male of his own body. Accordingly in 1704 he resigned his baronetcy into the hands of the Crown, and obtained from Queen Anne a new patent regranting the baronetcy to Sir Humphrey and his sons to be born, and failing them, conferring the dignity on James Grant and the heirs-male of his body by Anne Colquhoun. On Sir Humphrey’s death in 1718 James Grant succeeded to the dignity, and became Sir James Colquhoun of Luss. In 1719 his brother Alexander died, and James succeeded to the estates of Grant. He immediately dropped the name and arms of Colquhoun of Luss and resumed his paternal surname of Grant. This was in terms of a clause in the entail executed by Sir Humphrey Colquhoun, which provided that the estates of Luss should never be held by a Laird of Grant. For a time also he dropped the title of baronet, but he afterwards resumed it, and continued to hold it till his death.

Though Sir James Grant was alive at the breaking out of the Rebellion of 1745, it was his son Sir Ludovick (1767-1773) who controlled the action of the clan through all that difficult time. In spite of many temptations, and still more difficulties, the Grants adhered to their traditionary policy of loyalty to the Government in possession. And though they had more than once occasion to complain of the way in which they were treated by King George’s officers, their steadfastness to the Hanoverian cause was never for a moment in doubt.

Ludovick Grants first intimation of the Rising was contained in a letter which he received from Robert Craigie of Glemloick, the then Lord Advocate of Scotland. It was dated the 5th August 1745, and it informed him that “the Pretender’s eldest son ”had embarked“ near to Nantz, in Bretagne, on board a French ship of 64 guns,” attended with “another of 25 guns, having on board 70 gentlemen guards and 300 volunteers, with arms and ammunition, with a design to land in Scotland, where it was expected he would be joined by the Highlanders.” Mr Grant was requested to keep a sharp look-out, and endeavour to discover if there were any motions in the Highlands in consequence of these reports. The information was somewhat exaggerated, but there was a solid basis of truth in its contents. Before it was written Charles Edward had been already twelve days on Scottish soil. On the 23d July he had landed, after a long and tedious voyage of over a month, on the secluded little island of Eriskay, one of the Hebrides, between Barra and South Uist, and he was now in the Moidart district of Inverness-shire. A few days later Sir James Grant received a letter from the Prince himself, dated Kinlochiel, August 22, 1745. In that letter, which was the same as he addressed to other heads of clans, the Prince, after remarking that Sir James could not be ignorant of his having arrived in Scotland, of his having set up the royal standard, and of his firm resolution to stand by those who would stand by him, expressed the hope that he would see Sir James “among the most forward.” The laird, without unsealing the letter, handed it to the Marquis of Tweed-dale, then Secretary of State. Meantime, until the clan was actually called out by the Government, he advised his son to remain passive, only taking up arms if their own lands were in danger.

By this time Sir John Cope was on his way north to meet the rebels. Ludovick Grant at once wrote him offering the assistance of his clan. The offer was not accepted, and the Grants were left to defend their own country as best they could. The result was a certain coolness between them and the royal officers, which, though it never interfered with their loyalty, prevented them from co-operating heartily with the royal troops to the end of the campaign. As no enemy made his appearance, Sir John Cope, after remaining some little time in Inverness, resolved to embark his troops at Aberdeen for the south.

A curious incident of this march to Inverness is recorded by a local historian. On the morning of his arrival at Naira the wife of a fisherman presented her husband with a son. who, in commemoration of the event, was christened John Cope Main. Descendants of this infant are still to be found among the fishing community of Nairn. They still bear the name of Main Cope, or Coup.

The startling success of the Prince which almost immediately ensued, his capture of Perth on the 4th September, which it is said he entered with only a guinea in his pocket, his triumphant entry into Edinburgh, his defeat of Cope at the battle of Prestonpans on the 21st of the same month, and his subsequent march towards London, did little to shake the loyalty of Moray and Nairn. A Jacobite party was indeed formed, but it embraced few men of note within the district. The magistrates of the burghs, the ministen of religion, all who had any stake within the county, with very few exceptions, remained faithful to their posts. This was in great measure owing to the influence which such men as the Lord President, Duncan Forbes of Culloden, the Laird of Grant, the Karl of Findlater, the Laird of Kilravock, and others of the county gentlemen, were able to exert. In the Gordon district about Fochabers and Enzie, where Roman Catholics abounded, the Prince no doubt had many adherents. Though the duke himself remained neutral, his brother Lewis, the hero of the pathetic Jacobite ballad, had thrown himself soul and body into the Prince's cause.

Hut it was not until the Prince actually made his appearance in the district that the Government had any cause for alarm. Then indeed their apprehensions were justified. For the Prince’s personal influence had hitherto been found almost irresistible.

The failure of the Rising had indeed been practically assured by the retreat from Derby (5th December 1745); but the fears of the Government were not yet allayed. Not until the “unnaturall rebellion,” as they chose to regard it, was finally stamped out, did they consider that they could sleep in safety. The end of the campaign, accordingly, was marked by an activity on the part of the Government which had been sadly wanting at the beginning.

The scene now changes to the north.

After the battle of Falkirk (17th January 1746) the suppression of the insurrection had been committed to the Duke of Cumberland; and on 31st January he left Edinburgh, with a strong force, with the object of finally extinguishing it The Prince’s army was for the moment engaged in a vain attempt to capture Stirling Castle; but on learning of Cumberland's advance it made a precipitate retreat to Crieff.

Here the Prince divided his troops into two columns. With the one, which was composed entirely of Highlanders, and was under his own command, he took the Highland road through Blair Atholl to Inverness. The other, which was to follow the coast-road by Montrose and Aberdeen, he committed to the charge of Lord George Murray.

On the 16th February the Prince slept at Inverlaidran, near Carr Bridge, then part of Morayshire. His hostess was Mrs Grant of Dalrachny, whose husband was a strong Hanoverian. Here he met with but sorry entertainment. His Master of the Household, finding himself short of bread, ordered his servants to bake some; but Lady Dalrachny stopped them on the plea that she could not allow any such thing to be done in her house on a Sunday. Not content with this, “she spoke some imprudent and impertinent things to Mr Gib—viz., ‘What a pack ye are! God let me never hae the like of ye in my house again,’” &c. Next day the Prince went on to Moy Hall in Inverness-shire, where he received very different treatment While there he had a narrow escape from being captured.

It having come to Lord Loudoun’s ears that the Prince was travelling with a very slender escort, he sent a party to take him prisoner “ in his bed at Moy Hall.” Old “ Lady Macintosh,” however, the mother of his hostess and the Prince’s constant “ benefactrice,” who was then living at Inverness, heard of this, and at once despatched “Lachlan Macintosh,” a boy of “about fifteen years of age,” to warn the Prince of his danger. On his way the lad fell in with Lord Loudoun’s troops. He found it impossible to pass them without risking discovery, and accordingly lay down “at a dyke-side ” till they had gone by. Then, taking a short cut, he “arrived at Moy about five o’clock in the morning; and though the morning was exceedingly cold the boy was in a top sweat, having made very good use of his time.” The scene that ensued is graphically described by Mr Gib, the Prince’s Master of the Household: “Mr Gib upon the alarm, having been sleeping in his clothes, stept out, with his pistols under his arm, and in the close he saw the Prince walking, with his bonnet above his nightcap and his shoes down in the heels, and [young] Lady' Macintosh [his hostess] in her smock - petticoat, running through the close, speaking loudly, and expressing her anxiety about the Prince’s safety.” Fortunately the alarm had been given in time. The Prince “marched two miles down the country, by the side of a loch,” and there he hid till the danger was over.

Meantime Lord Loudoun’s men were on their way back and had been put to flight by a wry of a lucky stratagem. When they had come within a mile or so of Moy they were perceived by a blacksmith and four other men, who were keeping watch on the moor “with loaded muskets in their hands.” As the party approached, the five men fired their pieces and shot “Macleod’s piper, reported the best of his business in all Scotland, dead.” Then raising their voices, they pretended to summon the Prince's army to their assistance, “calling some regiments by their names.” The darkness favoured their deception, and Lord Loudoun's party, imagining that the Prince’s whole army was in the neighbourhood, immediately beat a retreat. Such was the incident known in Highland history as the Rout of Moy.

On the 18th February the Prince was at Castlehill. The same day his army entered Inverness, Lord Loudon and his men marching out the moment they saw the Highlanders approaching it.

Lord George Murray, with the Prince’s second column, had by this time got no farther than Elgin. According to a complaint presented at a later period to the Government by Sir Richard Gordon of Gordonstoun, “the rebells came into the shire of Murray upon 16th February 1746, where great numbers of them remained until the 11th Aprill thereafter, both inclusive.” Sir Robert, who was a firm adherent of the established form of Government, seems to have fared badly at their hands. He himself was taken prisoner and conveyed from Gordonstoun to Elgin, where he was detained for ten days, and then sent on to Inverness. In his absence Lord George’s troops played havoc with his property. They requisitioned his forage; they set their horses to eat his "pease-stack”; they shot his pigeons; they turned Lady Gordon and her children and servants out of the house, and quartered themselves within it; they carried off his “pork, hams, dry fish, books, &c.” Hones they were particularly anxious to obtain. But Sir Robert was able to save his “labouring horses” by secreting them in a cave at Covesea. Though his complaints were louder than those of his neighbours, Sir Robert was probably no wone off than many another gentleman of the shire. Before many days were over the whole district between the Spey and the Ness was in the Prince’s hands, and his Highlanders, after their wont, “took toll” of friend and foe indiscriminately.

On the nth of March the Prince marched eastward into Moray, where he spent eleven days. For the most of the time he lived in Elgin, but before returning to Inverness he paid a short visit to Gordon Castle.

In Elgin he lodged in Thunderton House, “a noble-looking mansion with a square tower and balcony,” now converted into a temperance hotel. It was a house with a history. Originally known as “The King’s House,” for some cause not now ascertainable, it had come in later times to be called “The Sheriffs House,” from its having been the town-house of James Dunbar of Westfield, heritable Sheriff of Moray. At the time of the Prince’s visit it was occupied by Mrs Anderson of Arradoul, a daughter of Archibald Dunbar of Newton, whose first husband had been Robert Gordon, grandson of Sir Ludovick Gordon of Gordonstoun, and whose second had been Alexander Anderson of Arradoul in Emit She was now a widow for the second time. Mrs Anderson was ardently devoted to the Jacobite cause. It is said that *he carefully preserved the sheets in which the Prince had slept, and at her death, which occurred twenty-five years later, was buried in them. Here the Prince was seized with a feverish cold, and for two days was in serious danger. But after bleeding—the usual remedy of the day—had been applied, he recovered, which, as a contemporary writer expressed it, “caused a joy in every heart not to be expressed.”

The Prince returned to Inverness on the 25th March. On Saturday the 12th April he paid a visit to Kilravock. The laird was none of his adherents; on the contrary, he was a strong supporter of the Government. But the Prince was kindly received and remained to dinner. The Prince charmed his host and hostess by his affability. He asked to see their children, kissed all the three of them, and praised them for. their beauty. Then perceiving an old violin, he asked the laird to play him a tune. Kilravock, who was an accomplished musician, played an old Italian minuet, remarking, when he had concluded, that he believed it was a favourite with his Royal Highness. “That it is so, Mr Rose,” returned the Prince, “is certain; but how ye come to know this I am at a loss to guess.” “That, sir,” replied Mr Rose, “will serve to show you that whatever persons of your rank choose to do or say is certain to be noted.” “I thank you, sir,” said the Prince, courteously, “for your observation.” While dinner was being prepared the laird asked the Prince to walk out and see his grounds. Observing the laird’s workmen busily planting, the Prince remarked, “How happy you must be, Mr Rose, to be thus peacefully engaged when the whole country around you is in a stir.” The laird’s reply to this pregnant observation has not been recorded.

The party at dinner consisted only of the Prince, his secretary, Hay of Restalrig, and his host and hostess. It took place in what is now the parlour of the old castle. Forty of the Prince’s attendants dined in the large hall adjoining. The short passage between the two rooms was guarded by two of the Prince’s officers with drawn swords.

When the cloth had been removed, the laird requested the Prince to allow these gentlemen to go to dinner, observing “ that his Royal Highness might be satisfied that he was quite safe in this house.” “I am well assured of that,” replied the Prince; “desire the gentlemen to go to dinner.”

As the Prince and his host sat over their wine, the secretary suggested that the laird’s famous punch-bowl, which was said to be able to contain sixteen bottles of liquor, should be filled. It was promptly done, “and the Prince in gay humour insisted that as Mr Hay had challenged the bowl, he should stay and see it emptied.” The prudent secretary, however, declined to do more than take a single glass; and shortly after, the Prince and his party took their leave and returned to Inverness.

Meantime the Duke of Cumberland, who had been watching the Prince’s movements as a cat does a mouse, was on his way to meet him. His march from Aberdeen had been delayed by the flooded state of the Spey, but on the very day of the Prince’s visit to Kilravock he succeeded in fording it a little east of Speymouth manse, with the loss of only one man. That night the duke slept at the manse of Speymouth. “The rebels,” says the minute-book of the kirk-session of Speymoutb, “retreated at his approach.”

On Sunday the 13th he passed through Elgin without stopping, and encamped that night on the Moor of Alves. The duke himself took up his quarters at the manse. Next day the march was resumed. Between Findhorn and Nairn the duke’s forces sighted “a body of the rebels, who at once took to flight,” and as Ray, a volunteer officer in the duke’s service, expressed it, “we had a fine hunting-match after them.” As they approached Naim, Lord John Drummond with a strong party of the Prince’s troops attempted to oppose the duke’s entrance to the town. There was a short tussle, but it was speedily brought to a close by the appearance of the main body of the Hanoverian army. This was the only fighting which took place during the Rising either in Moray or Nairn. The duke’s forces, which numbered about 7000 foot and 2000 horse, with a train of artillery, then entered Nairn. The little town was totally unable to supply accommodation for so large a body of men.

Part of the troops were lodged in the tolbooth and other buildings. The old Buffs bivouacked on the haugh on the east side of the river; but the main body had to march to Balblair, about a mile west of the town, where they formed a camp. The officers for the most part found quarters within the town. The duke himself was accommodated within Kilravock’s town-house in the High Street. The manse, Rose of Clava’s town-house (now the Caledonian Hotel), and the houses of the principal inhabitants, had all their quota of welcome or unwelcome guests. The long narrow street was ablaze with the gay uniforms of the soldiers, and guards patrolled the town from its one end to the other.

Next day (Tuesday the 15th) was the duke’s birthday, and he accordingly remained at Nairn, with the double purpose of resting his men and celebrating the anniversary. The wild revelry of the festivities which took place is not yet forgotten in the district. While Cumberland’s troops were thus engaged, those of the Prince were employed, twelve miles distant, in selecting a position for the battle which both parties were well aware was imminent The Prince with his whole force, numbering about 5000 men, had marched out from Inverness to Culloden the day before. Here they spent the night, the Prince sleeping at Culloden House, the property of Lord President Forbes, and the men bivouacking on the parks around. Next morning (Tuesday, 15th April) the Prince led his army to Drummossie Moor. It is a wild shelterless waste on the borders of Nairn and Inverness shire, about a mile and a half south of the mansion-house of Culloden. The river Nairn runs through it on the south. On the opposite side of the river is a narrow boggy haugh; and beyond this a high abrupt ridge, sloping down towards the north—an outwork, so to speak, of the great Highland region behind.

Obviously this moor was the destined battle-field. The only question was, which was the best position for the Prince's troops to take up. Lord George Murray and others of his more exi>erienced officers were of opinion that they should avail themselves of the natural advantages of the ground and encamp on the ridge; but the Prince overruled them. Such a position, he thought, would leave Inverness exposed, and Inverness he conceived to be the key of the situation. It was a fatal mistake, as afterwards turned out: but there was no gainsaying the Prince's opinion. A site on the other side of the river was accordingly selected, almost in a straight line south of Culloden House. loiter on in the day it was suggested l»v Lord George Murray that a night attack on the duke s camp at Nairn might l>e a successful enterprise. There was a good deal of discussion about it; but the Prince was keen for it, and though the troops were in a half-famished condition, owing to the failure of their supply of bread, it was finally resolved upon. Towards nightfall the expedition started in two columns. The first, consisting of the clans, was under the command of Lord George Murray; the second, composed chiefly of Lowland regiments, was led by the Duke of Perth. The Prince with his staff was between the two. The two columns were to pursue their march by different routes, so as to threaten the English army from different sides. But the attack was to be made simultaneously, and the hour fixed for it was two o’clock in the morning. The darkness of the night, however, the roughness of the road, and the exhaustion of the men from want of food, hindered the march, and at the hour appointed for the assault Lord George was still three miles from the Duke of Cumberland’s camp. A halt was called and a hurried consultation took place. “The roll of a distant drum indicated that the English camp were on the alert.” It was decided to give up the attack and retrace their steps. The Prince, who was in the rear, was very angry when he learned the decision, and military writers have agreed with him in calling in question the propriety of Lord George Murray’s judgment. There was, however, no help for it, and with the depressing consciousness that a bold and hopeful design had miscarried, the hungry, jaded army once more took the road to Culloden.

At five Cumberland’s troops were in motion. The duke had slept at Balblair the night before, so as to be ready to start with his soldiers. And as he had learned from his spies that some sort of an attack upon Nairn had been intended, he had taken care to see that not only was each man’s arms and ammunition ready by his side in case of a hurried call, but that he had been provided overnight with a liberal allowance of brandy, biscuit, and cheese.

If tradition is to be trusted, the duke called in at Kilravock in passing. The laird came to the gate to receive him.

“You have had my cousin Charles here,” is said to have been amongst the duke’s first observations.

“Not having an army, sir, to keep him out,” replied the laird, “I could not prevent him.”

“You did perfectly right,” returned the duke, “and I entirely approve of your conduct.”

By this time the Prince’s wearied troops had succeeded in reaching Drummossie, and had taken up their position a little farther west from the one selected on the previous day. It was a cold boisterous morning, with intermittent showers of snow and sleet, which caught the Highlanders in their faces. But the field looked like a review. Many of the ladies of the neighbourhood had ridden out to see the fight By eleven both armies were in sight of each other.

Shortly after, the battle began. There was one heroic charge of the Highland clans in the teeth of a blinding hailstorm. They succeeded in breaking the first rank of the enemy. But the galling fire of Cumberland’s rear rank and of that of a strong body of men under Colonel Wolf, stationed en potence—that is to say, in flank—was too much for them, and in a few minutes the Highlanders lay dead in piles three and four deep.

Such was the battle of Culloden ; and such was the end of an enterprise which at first appeared likely to change the history of the kingdom. The Hanoverian succession had escaped, but it had escaped almost by a miracle.

Amidst all “the distemper of the times,” in spite of repeated temptations, Ludovick Grant had been able to maintain the loyalty of his clan. The Grants had taken no prominent part in the struggle, but they had been very useful in preserving order within their own district, and in lending a moral, and even at times an actual, support to the Government. Still, Ludovick Grant had done little deserving of any special recognition at its hands, and in fact he received no other reward for his services than thanks.

On the death of his father, Sir James, in 1747, Ludovick Grant succeeded to the family estates, and also to the baronetcy in terms of Queen Anne's re-grant of 1704. He resigned his seat in Parliament, which he had held for twenty years, in 1761, and died at Castle Grant on the 18th March 1773, after an illness of only eight days.

The next laird, James Grant (1773-1811), was Sir Ludovick’s only son. He “was one of the most amiable of his race, and is still affectionately remembered in Strathspey as ‘the good Sir James.’ Though when he first succeeded to the Grant estates he found them much encumbered in consequence of the demands made upon his predecessors in connection with the troubles of his times, and was forced to sell a considerable portion of his lands, he was able to found the village of Grantown as the capital of his Strathspey estates; he tried to establish a similar one, to be named Lewistown, for his properties in Glen-Urquhart; he raised a regiment of Fencibles to assist in defending his country when France declared war against Britain in 1793, and in the year following another regiment for more extended services, which was embodied at Elgin, and soon afterwards incorporated with the 42d or Black Watch; he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Inverness in 1794, and in 1795 General Receiver and Cashier of Excise in Scotland. His sister Penuel married Henry Mackenzie of the Exchequer in Scotland, the author of ‘The Man of Feeling'; and, armed with a letter of introduction from him, Robert Bums visited Castle Grant in 1787. The poet found Strathspey “rich and romantic,” and described Lady Grant, who was the daughter and heiress of Alexander Duff of Hatton, as “a sweet pleasant body.”

The nineteenth Laird of Grant was Sir Lewis Alexander (1811-1840), eldest son of uthe good Sir James.” He was an advocate of the Scottish Bar; was provost of Forres, like his father and grandfather before him ; and member of Parliamentt for Morayshire. In October 1811 he succeeded to the title and estates of Earl of Seafield, as heir of line, in right of his grandmother, Lady Margaret Ogilvie, daughter of the fifth Earl of Findlater and second Earl of Seafield. On his accession to the peerage, King George IV. advanced his sisten to the same rank which they would have attained had their father lived to be Earl of Seafield. And of Lady Anne, die eldest of the seven, an amusing story is told.

In 1820 an election of a member of Parliament for the Elgin Burghs took place. The candidates were Mr Farquhar-son of Finzean, who was supported by Lord Seafield, and General Duff, who was backed by Lord Fife. The burghen of Elgin were strongly in favour of General Duff. Lord Se* field with his three sisters, Anne, Margaret, and Penuel, were then living at their town house, Grant Lodge, Elgin. 'Hie ladies, especially l,ady Anne, were keen politicians. The interest they took in the struggle was strongly resented by the people of Elgin. They could scarcely appear in the streets without lx;ing annoyed by the rabble.

Meantime the excitement in the election increased daily, and before long both sides began to adopt tactics which were as unusual as they were unjustifiable. The Grants began by attempting to kidnap two of the most prominent of General Duff's supporters. The Fife party retaliated by seizing Robert Dick, one of the town council, who belonged to the Grant interest, and carrying him off to Sutherland.

The Giants replied by capturing the acting chief magistrate and transporting him across the Firth to join his fellow town councillor. The position of affairs was growing so serious that the ladies at Grant Lodge began to have grave fears as to their own safety. Accordingly a messenger was despatched to Strathspey to inform the clansmen of the treatment to which Lady Anne and her sisters were being subjected. What followed reads like a legend of the seventeenth century. The fiery cross was sent round, and in a very short time an army of Grants, some hundreds strong, was marching to the deliverance of the sisters of their chief.

When they saw the dreaded Highlanders actually entering the grounds of Grant Lodge, the fears of the burghers were of the most abject nature. The Fife tenantry were no doubt in the town, armed with bludgeons, old swords, and all the other weapons they could command. But even these protectors were not sufficient to allay their terrors. The vagaries of the hot Celtic blood when roused were too well known in the past. If they got drunk, if they imagined themselves insulted, as they were sure to do, nothing short of the sack of the town was to be apprehended So critical was the situation that it is said the provost of Elgin slipped into Grant Lodge by a back entrance and besought Lady Anne on his knees to spare the town, and send the Highlanders back to Strathspey. His entreaties, backed by a deputation consisting of the sheriff of the county and all the parochial clergy, were successful.

After Lady Anne had received assurances that the peace of the community would be preserved, and that she and her sisters would be subjected to no further molestation at the hands of the townspeople, she consented, and accordingly that afternoon her bodyguard left The Elgin people, however, were not satisfied. Nothing could persuade them that the Highlanders were not lurking in the woods, meaning to return as soon as darkness fell. They determined to illuminate the town, so that no stranger could enter without being perceived, and to watch all night No enemy, fortunately, appeared. After the election, which of course resulted in the return of Mr Farquharson, the Seafield candidate, the kidnapped town councillors were restored to their afflicted families; and so the incident, which is known in local history as “the Raid of Elgin,” ended.

The Lairds of Grant who have succeeded to the tide have worthily maintained the ancient traditions of their family. In 1858 a peerage of the United Kingdom was bestowed upon John Charles, twenty-first Laird of Grant and seventh Earl of Seafield, with the title of Baron of Strathspey. The present Earl of Seafield is the twenty-sixth chief of this loyal and ancient clan.

No reliable work on the history of the Duffs, Earls now Dukes of Fife, exists beyond the Memoirs of the Duff family compiled by William Baird of Auchmeddan, a connection of the family, rather more than a century ago. The materials, therefore, for a sketch of their career are meagre in the extreme. This is the more to be regretted, because the story of a family which has risen by successful prosecution of the arts of peace has an interest for modem readers which is often found wanting in those of others which have achieved their distinction through the arts of war.

The history of the Duffs is really one of the fairy tales of commerce.

After an obscure though honourable existence for more than four hundred years as small landowners, farmers, lawyers, merchants, and general traders in Banffshire and Morayshire, they are suddenly ennobled without having rendered any special services to Government, and without passing through any of the intermediate steps which are the usual precedent to a peerage. From that moment they are found in possession of a social and political influence capable of competing on equal terms with that of the Lairds of Grant, whose predominance in the district had been the outcome of the careful labour of generations. In little more than a hundred and fifty years they have distanced all rivals, and are able to aspire successfully to a connection with royalty itself.

Gentry the Duffs have always been. There is a tradition in the family that they are in some way or other descended from Macduff, Thane of Fife, and the legend has been perpetuated by their adopting Macduff as their second title. But their descent had never any influence on their fortunes. The position which they have attained they owe to their own industry, frugality, and sagacity—in short, to those qualities which go to make up the successful man of business.

The first of the family of whom we hear is John Duff, who was proprietor of the lands of Muldavit, near Cullen, and died in 1404. Its next noteworthy member is Adam Duff (1598-1674) of Clunybeg, in the parish of Mortlach, Banffshire, who was “a very shrewd and sagacious man,” and as farmer, merchant, and trader “dealing in all country produce,” accumulated considerable wealth. His frugality is said to have been so great that he made his own creels for carrying manure; hence the nickname of “Creely Duff,” by which he is still known in local history. He was a great Royalist, and was fined by the Covenanters in consequence. His two sons, Alexander and John, fought under Montrose, and had their own share in the troubles of the times.

Alexander made a rich marriage and got 100,000 merks tocher with his wife, who was a daughter of Alexander Grant of Dallachie. He was wadsetter of the lands of Keithmore, and died in 1700.

Alexander Duff of Braco succeeded his father Keithmore, but survived him only five years. He had an extra share of the family shrewdness and carefulness of money.1 He had spent some years in the office of a Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, and when he returned to the country in 1675, he was possessed of a stock of legal knowledge, mainly of feodal law, which he found very useful to him in the future. Goie to his father’s property of Keithmore lay the estate of Balvenie, an ancient barony which had belonged to the Cocnyns, the Douglases, and the Atholls respectively, and was now the property of Arthur Forbes, a brother of Alexander Forbes of Blacktown. Forbes had been at one time a trooper in the Guards; but he had managed to “adjudge” the property, which was heavily burdened, from Lord Salton, its last proprietor. To obtain the means to do so he had himself borrowed largely. And among his creditors were Keithmoie and his son Braco. Forbes was not only a man of no capital, but his business capacity was small. Keithmore and his son had long coveted the property; and by dint of buying up all his other creditors' debts, they were soon in a position to treat him as he had treated Lord Salton. In 1687 Balvenie was adjudged to Braco, and although Forbes attempted to set aside the transaction, his death, seven or eight years later, left Alexander Duff in undisputed possession of the estate. Braco was for many years the representative of Banffshire in the Scottish parliament, and was a strong opponent of the Union. He was a man of vehement impulses, and it is said that on one occasion he drew his sword and drove one of his friends into a comer, threatening to “head him like a sybow” for venturing to differ from him on some political matter. He died in 1705.

It was, however, Keithmore’s second son, William Duff of Dipple, who was the true founder of the greatness of his family. At the eastern extremity of the High Street of Elgin, close to the Little Cross, is a small, harled, whitewashed house, with gabled attic windows, and the date 1694 inscribed on one of them. This was Dipple’s office for the last nineteen years of his life. His business was principally that of a banker and money-lender, but he had a large interest in the active trade which then existed between Holland and this district. There was hardly a cargo of “Aberdeins or Elgin pladin, allmed leather, salmond, tallow, winter foxes, otters,” or other “country product” shipped at Findhorn, or a consignment of Rhenish wine, sack, tobacco, spices, “ muslen,” or “ mowming creapp ” landed there, in which Dipple was not concerned. He, his uncle William Duff, provost of Inverness, with whom he learned his business and whose partner he afterwards became, and Sir James Calder of Muirtoun, are said to have carried on almost all the foreign trade north of Aberdeen. His investments in land were on the same extended scale. They were almost all in Morayshire, to which he was much attached, and for the most part in the neighbourhood of Elgin. The lands of Dipple, Pluscarden, Coxton, Quarrywood, and Sheriffmill were all purchased by him ; nor did these exhaust the list of his acquisitions.

In 1718 he succeeded to the estate of Braco under very sad circumstances. On the death of his brother William it had descended to his son, also a William Duff. He was a man of considerable culture, who loved books, and had studied the Civil I<aw at Leyden. But he had fallen victim to the snares of a pretty face, and had married “Helen Taylor,” a very honest, respectable woman, though she “ had wrought a harvest with John Dumo, at Premnay, for which she had got four merks and a pair of shoes.” Helen did her best to make him a good wife. But she was no companion for a man of his tastes. He tried for a time to find solace in foreign travel, but without avail. He returned to Scotland in 1716, and two years later committed suicide in the castle of Balvenie.

Dipple had started in life with a younger son's patrimony of only ^500; but he had used it to such advantage that at his death in 1722 the rental of his heritable property was £6500 a-year, and not only were his estates unencumbered, but he left behind him £30,000 in cash.

None knew better than his only surviving son, William, who succeeded him, and in his early years had been wont to scour the country on his “powney” collecting his lather’s debts, how to employ this vast fortune. But if he made largely, he extended freely, purchasing political influence wherever it was to be found, and at whatever price it was to be obtained, within the district. He had a taste for magnificence and building. The melancholy associations now connected with the old castle of Balvenie induced him to build a new one at a s]x>t lower down the Fiddich. And he also, between the years 1740-43, erected Duff House, rlose to Banff, at a cost of jQ70,000—an enormous sum in those clays—as the princi{>al seat of the family.

In 1735 obtained the reward for which he had been quietly working all his life. He was created a peer of Ireland with the title of Lord Braco of Kilbryde, Co. Cavan. Twenty-five years later he was advanced to the dignity of Viscount Macduff and Earl Fife in the same peerage. He died in 1763, aged sixty-six.

James, second earl (1729-1809), inherited all the character-dc traits of the family. He was as keen a politician, as ctensive and as judicious a purchaser of land, as bent on ^curing local influence, and as indifferent to the cost, as is father. He was a great agriculturist and improver, and lanted about 14,000 acres of barren ground. George III. inferred a peerage of the United Kingdom upon him with le title of Baron Fife. But as it was limited to the heirs-lale of his own body, and he died without issue, the title died with him.

Alexander Duff of Echt, the third earl, was the younger brother of Earl James. He was an advocate of the Scottish bar, and succeeded to the peerage when he was seventy-eight years of age. He held it for only two years, and as succeeded in 1811 by his son James, who was born in 1776.

James, the fourth earl, was a major-general in the Spanish army during the Peninsular War, and was wounded at Talavera, in 1827 he was advanced to the dignity of a peer of the United Kingdom with the same title which had been pos-essed by his uncle. But, as in the case of the previous Jaron Fife, the English honours expired with him. This was as ardent a politician as his two immediate pre-ecessors, and as unscrupulous in the means which he used o attain his object. During the contested election of 1820, which ended in the "Raid of Elgin,” he presented rings, dresses, shawls, and bonnets to the wives of all the tradesmen, and spent enormous sums in the entertainment of the lower lasses in the town. He mixed much in the fashionable world, and was a personal friend of George IV.

He was succeeded in the Irish peerage by his nephew, James, fifth earl of Fife, who in 1857 was created Baron Skene in the peerage of the United Kingdom. He died in 1879.

His son, Alexander William George, sixth earl, was create* an earl of the United Kingdom in 1885, and advanced to the dignity of Duke of Fife and Marquis of Macduff in the sanunnine peerage on the occasion of his marriage with the Princess Louise, eldest daughter of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, on the 27th July 1889.

A family which, though it never attained to historic rank, has impressed itself strongly on local history and tradition, It is that of the Gordons of Gordonstoun. Its founder was Sir Robert Gordon of Kynmonowie, second son of the twentieth Earl of Sutherland, whose wife, a daughter of the Earl of Huntly, was divorced by her first husband, Bothwell, to enable him to marry Mary Queen of Scots. Sir RoL Jbert was the first person created a. Baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles I. in 1625, an honour which was accompanied with a grant of 16,000 acres of land in that colony, but for which he had to pay 3000 merks. He was a gentleman of the bedchamber to the king, and was afterwards sworn of the Privy Council, and he is well and meritoriously known in literature as the author of a *History of the Earldom of Sutherland." His daughter Catherine married Colonel David Barclay of Ury, and was the mother of Robert Barclay, the author of the ‘Apology for die Quakers.’

It was, however, Sir Robert, the third baronet, who is responsible for the very peculiar, indeed eerie, interest attaches to the family name. His fame as a wizard was widely spread over the north of Scotland as was that of Weir over the south. The popular conception of his character is nowhere better expressed than it is by William Hay, the local poet, in the “Lintie of Moray” :—

“Oh! wha hasna heard o’ that man o’ renown,
The wizard, Sir Robert of Gordonstoun?
The wisest o' warlocks, the Morayshire chiel,
The despot o’ Duffus an’ frien’ o’ the Deil!
The man whom the folks o’ auld Morayshire feared,
The man whom the friens o’ auld Satan revered.
Oh! never to mortal was evil renown
Like that o’ Sir Robert of Gordonstoun!”

Wild and picturesque legends cluster round his name. Like Michael Scott, it was thought that he had learned “the art that none may name” in Italy, and, like him, had lost his shadow in acquiring it. In a lower chamber, still pointed out, of his mansion-house of Gordonstoun, he is said to have fitted up a forge, and here night after night for seven long years he sat watching the glowing embers, until at length his patience was rewarded by the appearance of a live salamander. From this creature he tortured many an unearthly secret. But his choice familiar was the archenemy of mankind himself. Often in the long winter evenings the belated traveller on his way to Elgin would see the windows of the house lighted up, and would hear sounds of ribald merriment proceeding from within which made him shake in his shoes. And when the wine had mounted into the heads of both, his guest would change himself into a coal-black charger; his host would mount on his back; the next moment they were on their way through the window to join the revels of the witches in the old kirkyard of Birnie, seven or eight miles distant.

On more than one occasion Sir Robert is said to have put the fiend’s friendship to the test One winter night, having occasion to go to Elgin, he determined, by way of short cut, to cross the Loch of Spynie, which was then frozen over. But his old coachman, Alexander Philip, remonstrated with him, calling his attention to the fact that the ice was so thin

“that it maunna be pressed,
For it yields to the wecht o' the vrater-fowl’s breast.*'

Sir Robert’s only reply was to bid his servant sit steady and not look behind him. The man obeyed till the vehicle had almost touched land, when his curiosity overcame him. He gave a quick look round. He saw a big black “corbie” fly off the back of the carriage. The next moment carriage and horses alike were hopelessly bogged.

More blood-curdling, however, than any of these is the legend of Sir Robert’s death. He had sold his soul to the devil, and on a certain night at the stroke of midnight, as he was sitting drinking with his boon companion the parson of Duffus, the fiend appeared to take possession of his prize. But Sir Robert, in anticipation of his visit, had pot the clock half an hour back, and pointing to the dial, ordered his enemy to be gone till the time was up. No sooner had he retired than, on the advice of his friend the parson, who assured him that if he could gain the kirkyard of Birnie he would be safe from the fiend’s clutches. Sir Robert ran out, and taking a back-way in the hope of deceiving his enemy, who would no doubt take the direct road by Elgin, he set off at full speed for the sanctuary. On his way he met the parson of Birnie, who was returning from a clerical meeting at Alves, and asked him if he was on the right road to his destination. Having been assured that he was, Sir Robert divested himself of his coat and waistcoat, and again began to run. Very soon after he had parted with Sir Robert the parson was met by a black, gruesome-looking figure seated on a black horse foaming at the mouth, with two blood-hounds running by its side. On being asked if he had met any one on the road, the parson replied in the negative, and the rider continued on his way. He had scarcely been gone many minutes when unearthly shrieks were heard piercing the cold and silent air. At that moment the horse and its rider reappeared, and across his saddle-bow hung the dead body of Sir Robert, with one hound hanging on to his throat and the other to his thigh. “So you thought to deceive me,” said the fiend; “but I have not missed my game. Had you told me the truth, no harm would have befallen you. As you have lied to me, prepare for a similar hunt at the same hour to-morrow.” At twelve the next night the sound of a bugle was heard; the parson bolted out of his house, and next morning was found dead in a ditch at some distance from the manse.

Such is the legendary Sir Robert But legend has in this, as in so many other instances, done its subject grievous injustice. The real Sir Robert was one of the most accomplished men of his day. Bom in 1645 or 1646, the eldest of a family of five sons and two daughters, he appears to have had his education abroad. He may have studied, and in all likelihood did study, at one of the Italian universities, where the occult sciences were then much cultivated. Certainly it was neither in Scotland nor in England that he acquired that knowledge of chemistry—or, as we should now call it, alchemy—and mechanics, which distinguished his after-life, and is said to have brought him the honour of a correspondence with the celebrated philosopher Robert Boyle. His education completed, he returned to Scotland, bringing with him the greater part of that magnificent litany whose several transmissions form one of the most curious incidents in bibliopolic history. It numbered nearly 3000 volumes—a large number for the library of a private gentleman in those days—and among its contents were many me and costly works, chiefly in the departments of theology and history. It was purchased by Constable in 1801 for a very small sum. It was sold by him shortly afterwards to John Clerk, afterwards Lord Eldin, for a not much higher price. It was repurchased by Constable from Clerk for £1,000 and a pipe of port, and was finally dispersed in London in 1814 by J. G. Cochrane, a bookseller in the Strand, when it realised £1530. In the catalogue of this its find sale there is, strange to say, hardly a single work on any subject relative to “the black arts”; “but it is believed,* says Mr Thomas Constable, “that before the sale some curious works had been withdrawn.”

We catch a pleasant glimpse of Sir Robert in London in 1686, in the diary of that valiant and most amusing soldier of fortune, General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries; and it is curious how, indirectly, it corroborates the popular idea of the baronet's close-fistedness. The general has jusl arrived from Russia, and is “doing” London, and noting each day in his diary how he has spent his time. On the 16th May 1686 he writes: “At night we did meet with some friends at a taverne, and were very merry, where, contrary to expectation, Sir Robert Gordon payed the schott” And, incidentally also, the same acute observer gives us an inkling of the business which had brought Sir Robert to England. “According to my ordinary custome,” he writes under date April 22, 1686, “I went and waited on the king at his walking in the Park. The king caused try a new invention of the pumpe made by Sir Robert Gordon; but some things breaking therein, it took no effect.” The king was James II., who had been Lord High Admiral of England; and the “pumpe” was “a curious machine for raising of water” on board ship, which was subsequently “tried in the fleet and highly approved of, and found far to exceed anything of that kind then known, both for the facility of working and the quantity of water it discharged.” Oddly enough, in two letters from no less a personage than Samuel Pepys, Secretary to the Admiralty, we learn more about the ingenious invention of the Morayshire laird. It never made his fortune — as no doubt, like other inventors, he expected it would do—and the Admiralty never purchased the secret. But the king paid all the expenses of the experiment, and there the matter apparently ended.

It says a good deal for Sir Robert's common-sense that he never seems to have placed any faith in those vain imaginings about the philosopher’s stone and the transmutation of metals with which the other alchemists of his day—not even excepting his friend Robert Boyle—deluded themselves. On the contrary, anxious though he was to make money, he endeavoured to do so only by the legitimate exercise of his talents, and by the ordinary modes of business. Throughout the whole of his life he appears to have had a keen eye for the main chance. In 1679, while he was yet only “younger of Gordonstoun,” we find him chartering the good ship Penelope of Pittenweem from Alexander Atcheson, its skipper, for a voyage to Drunton (Trondhjem) in Norway with grain, returning with a cargo of “daills” (deals). And in the same year he entered into an agreement with Magnus Prince, “present Thresour of Edinburgh,” for the sale of 500 bolls of bear at the price of five merks per boll—payment to be made, half in cash, and half in sack, French wine, and iron.

And prosperity seems to have attended all his speculations, or he must have been an excellent manager of his patrimonial estate; for he was able not only to support a considerable family, but to purchase from the ancient family of Cumming of Earnside the lands of Garbity, Inchberry, and Ely, and the valuable fishings in the Spey thereto belonging—properties which continued in his successors’ possession until 1812, when they were excambed with the Duke of Gordon for part of the lands of Roseisle.

Much of the stigma which attaches to the legendary Sir Robert is due to his being so constantly confounded with his son and successor, whose Christian name was the same Gloomy, austere, litigious, and irascible, his whole life, if we may believe tradition, was a protest against all the Christian virtues. He was always in hot-water with somebody. He quarrelled with his neighbour, Dunbar of Newton, and to spite him ploughed up the sand on a piece of poor ground whenever the wind was in the east, that it might blow upon his neighbour’s land; but as the west is the prevailing "airt" in those parts, Newton was able to repay him with interest He detested his wife; and relying on a superstition of those days, that if a man wished his wife to die he had only to erect a pigeon-house, he built no fewer than four dovecots upon his land, but without success.

These, however, were mere eccentricities compared to his treatment of his inferiors. It was in his relations with his tenants and dependants that his real character was disclosed In 1740 we find him calling the minister of Duffus a liar. In 1751 he thrashed John Gow’s wife for trespassing on his land. And in a memorial to the Court of Session in 1740, by the friends of Alexander Leslie, a tenant on his estate, we get a glimpse of the manner in which he exercised his baronial jurisdiction. "Leslie was dragged and carried a prisoner to Gordonstoun,” it says, “and put in a prison, which, in place of being a civil prison, is a most nasty dark vault, with an iron grate, having neither door, window, nor chimney, and where he lies in a cold and most miserable condition, and is in much danger of his life, for if it were in winter-time, he behoved to have a foot or two of stones for keeping him from the water, because the vault is underground about two feet . . . The following facts are informed on, which if necessary can be proven—viz., Janet Grant, servant to James Forsyth in Crosshill, was without reason put into the pit at Gordonstoun, who died in a short time after coming out. Margaret Collie, spouse to Alexander Grant in Muir of Drainy, was incarcerated without any warrant, for taking the head of a ling out of a midden or dunghill, which the woman thought was good for curing the gout. James Marshall, James Robertson, and William Robertson, three skippers in Covesea, a fisher-town of Sir Robert’s, were apprehended and kept in the stocks a whole night without any just cause assigned, and had not the privilege of a house, but were confined in the open air in a back-close, in a wild and stormy night; and the said James Marshall was thereafter put another time in prison, in a nasty pit far below ground, where he lay several days, and a short time thereafter died, and upon his death-bed declared the imprisonment to be the reason of his death, which happened about a fortnight thereafter; and James Marshall his son was also imprisoned without any cause, and died also some time thereafter.”

The claim which Sir Robert preferred against the town council of Elgin for the losses he alleged to have sustained during the Rising of 1745-46 has been already referred to. A more important litigation was that which he instituted after the death of William, Earl of Sutherland, in 1766, with the view of establishing his claim to that peerage. It is undentedable that Sir Robert was heir-male of line; but after a long and learned discussion it was finally decided that the peerage descended to females as well as to males, and that Lady Elizabeth Sutherland, the earl’s infant daughter, was entitled to the dignity.

Sir Robert died in 1772 at an advanced age. He was survived for many years by his wife, a daughter of Sir William Maxwell of Calderwood. She was a very eccentric person, and during the latter years of her life lived in the little seaside village of Lossiemouth. It is said that in anticipation of an invasion by the French she had her garden wall coped with broken glass embedded in strong lime. Her faith in this impregnable rampart was fortunately never shaken.

Sir Robert’s two sons, Robert and William, successively succeeded to the Baronetcy. On the death of the latter in 1796 the estates passed into the family of the Cummings of Altyre, whose present representative is Sir William Gordon Gordon-Cumming, Baronet.

The name of Kinnaird is no longer to be found amongst the county families of Morayshire. The family disappears from local history in the end of the seventeenth century, under circumstances almost unexampled in the history of this or any other nation.

The Kinnairds of Culbin, in the parish of Dyke, near Forres, came originally from Perthshire. In 1400 Thomas Kinnaird of that ilk married Giles or Egidia, who was heiress of line of Richard de Moravia, the first proprietor of Culbin, and the seventh son of the famous Freskinus de Moravia, the ancestor of so many distinguished families on both sides of the Moray Firth. Giles Kinnaird's eldest son succeeded on his father's death to her Perthshire possessions. To her second son Giles left her Morayshire estates. And from 460, when he obtained a charter of confirmation, to 1698 be lands and barony of Culbin remained the property of he Kinnairds.

It was one of the best estates in the county. The extent ras about 3600 acres. There were sixteen fair-sized farms upon it, each tenant paying £200 Scots in money, with 40 tolls of wheat, bear, oats, and oatmeal, in kind; and there were numerous small crofts besides. The salmon-fishings were extremely valuable. And such was the fertility of he deep, rich, alluvial soil, the produce of the fine silt carried iown by the Findhorn in times of flood for unnumbered ages, :hat it was known by the name of the “Granary” or “Gimel” yf Moray. No matter what other estates suffered from late frosts or protracted droughts, the crops of Culbin never failed. It is said that one year a heavy crop of barley was reaped though not a drop of rain had fallen since it was sown. The rental of the estate in 1694 was £2720 Scots, 640 bolls of wheat, 640 bolls of bear, 640 bolls of oats, and 640 bolls of oatmeal, in addition to the value of the salmon-fishings, or something not far off ^6000 sterling. The mansion-house was in keeping with this handsome income. It was a large square building of dressed stones embosomed amongst rows of shady trees, with a prolific garden, a spacious lawn, and a most fruitful orchard. In right of its barony the lands of Culbin were entitled to carry a dovecot, and accordingly one stood on a little eminence hard by the house. There was a church too in the immediate vicinity, erected on what still goes by the name of the Chapelhill. Nothing that could conduce to the comfort or convenience of the lairds of “Coubine” was wanting.

The spectator, standing on the top of the Cluny Hill at Forres, sees before him, stretching along the low coast westward from the mouth of the Findhorn, a wide expanse of what looks like undulating sandy dunes, which at once attracts his attention. On closer inspection he finds that these dunes are an accumulation of dome-shaped sandhills, most of then presenting a steep face towards the east with a counter-slope towards the west, much like the form of hill known as and tail in the Scottish Lowlands. Those close to the shore, and those farthest inland, are covered more or less complete)} with bent grass (Care.v arenaria), the only green thing that flourishes in their desolate wastes. But between them is i middle ridge of hills higher than the rest, some of the reaching an elevation of 120 or 150 feet above sea-level, which has evidently been the “highway of the great sand drift.” This higher ridge of hills is in constant motion. The sand is of such extreme lightness and fineness that die merest breath of wind sets it moving. A slight breeze raises the whole surface into a whirling tempest of sand. The result is that the aspect of the scene is continually changing. A night’s gale may level a sandhill 100 feet high, or convert ravine with precipitous sides into a monotonous plain. An amusing instance of this occurred more than a century ago. A party of smugglers had landed a contraband cargo and had hidden it at the base of one of the sandhills, meaning to remove it on the morrow. When they returned at daylight this particular sandhill had disappeared : the whole face of the landscape was altered. And though since then repeated searches have been made, the smugglers’ cache has never been found.

Under this sandy waste—which is now almost three miles in length and two in breadth, and covers 3600 acres, but which two hundred years ago was very much greater—lies buried the old barony of Culbin. The great sand-storm which hid it out of sight for ever occurred in the autumn of 1694. It was only the finishing stroke of a process which had been going on for many years before. For some time previously the old coast-line had been gradually breaking up; and the drift from this and from the great sandhills of Maviestoun, three or four miles farther west, had been encroaching on the lands of Culbin. But the final act in the tragedy came like a thief in the night. A sand-storm unexampled for severity came suddenly sweeping down from the west. “A man ploughing had to desert his plough in the middle of a furrow. The reapers in a field of late barley had to leave without finishing their work. In a few hours the plough and the barley were buried beneath the sand. The drift, like a mighty river, came on steadily and ruthlessly, grasping field after field and enshrouding every object in a mantle of sand. Everything which obstructed its progress speedily became the nucleus of a sand-mound. In terrible gusts the wind carried the sand amongst the dwelling-houses of the people, sparing neither the hut of the cottar nor the mansion of the laird. The splendid orchard, the beautiful lawn, all shared the same fate. In the morning after the first night of drift, the people had to break through the back of their houses to get out. They relieved the cattle and drove them to a place of safety. A lull in the storm succeeded, and they began to think they might still save their dwellings, though their lands were ruined for ever. But the storm came on with renewed violence, and they had to flee for their lives, taking with them such things as they could carry.” To add to their miseries, the sand had choked the mouth of the Findhorn, and its dammed-back waters were now flooding field and pasture. When at length they were able to return to what had once been their homesteads, not a trace of their houses was to be seen. A desert of sand had replaced a smiling landscape. The great estate of Culbin had disappeared for ever. Yet traces of it have from time to time reappeared. About a hundred years ago another furious sand-storm exposed the greater part of the mansion-house. The provident cottagers of the neighbourhood immediately seized upon it, and carried its stones to build their dwellings. Then came another storm, and again it disappeared beneath the sand. At a later period one of its chimneys was seen rising above the sand. A man more courageous than the rest mounted to the top of the sandhill and called down through the open chimney. His call was answered by a ghostly voice. The man turned and fled. Shortly after the chimney disappeared during a night of blinding drift. Since then there has been no further reappearance of the house. But traces of its once fruitful orchard have occasionally been seen. Many years after the estate had been destroyed the branches of a cherry-tree in full blossom were seen protruding from the side of one of the sandhills under which the orchard lay buried. An old man, who died about fifty years ago at the age of eighty, used to relate that in his younger days he had seen an apple-tree appearing above the waste. Once it budded and blossomed and finally bore fruit. Now the only vestiges of the estate are the sandy furrows, which on the level spaces among the sandhills still show the rigs formed by the heavy oxen-drawn plough of former days.

The almost total destruction of their lands completed the ruin of the Kinnairds, which had been for some time impending. The young laird, Alexander Kinnaird, with his wife, the widow of Hugh Rose of Kilravock, and their son, an infant of a few months old, had escaped with their lives, but their means of subsistence were gone. On the 17th July 1695 we find him petitioning Parliament for relief from cess, on the ground “ that the best two parts of his estate of Culbin, by an unavoidable fatality, was quite ruined and destroyed, occasioned by great and vast heaps of sand (which had overblown the same), so that there was not a vestige to be seen of his manor-place of Culbin, yards, orchards, and mains thereof, and which within these twenty years were as considerable as many within the county of Moray.” The relief was granted him. And in further sympathy with his misfortunes Parliament passed the Act (c. 30, 1 William and Mary) still in force, prohibiting under severe penalties the pulling of bent, juniper, or broom, to which cause it assigns the sand-drift. Two years later the laird had to apply to the court for a personal protection against his creditors. And in the year following (1698) he disposed of the small portion of his estates which still remained to him to Alexander Duff of Drummuir, the grandson of Adam Duff of Clunybeg, the predecessor of the Fifes, “ with my goodwill and blessing.” Three months after this he was dead. His wife soon followed him to the grave. Their infant son was taken charge of by a faithful servant, who took him to Edinburgh, where she supported him and herself by needlework. The boy when he had grown to man’s estate enlisted. Shortly after, he was recognised by a half-brother of his mother’s, Colonel Alexander Rose, who procured him a commission. He rose to the rank of captain, and died without issue in 1743.

Of late years an attempt to reclaim parts of the Sands of Culbin, principally on the south and west sides, has been made by the adjoining proprietors, with considerable prospect of success. About 5000 acres of waste have been planted. And though it is to be hoped the “ desert may yet rejoice and blossom as the rose,” the immediate effect of their operations has been to transfer the land so reclaimed into an immense rabbit-warren, to the serious detriment of the young and, as yet, struggling plantations.

Of the county families of Nairnshire the most important are the lairds of Calder or Cawdor; the Roses, barons of Kilravock; and the Brodies, thanes, now lairds, of Brodie.

Before the age of the chroniclers the thanes of Cawdor were personages in the county.

At what period the old Celtic toshach, the administrator of the Crown lands, the collector of rents, the magistrate and headman of the district, received the Saxon title of thane cannot be accurately ascertained. It was, however, certainly not before the time of Malcolm Ceannmor, and probably not much later.

The first thane of Cawdor of whose existence we are assured as a historical fact is Donald, who in 1295 was one of die inquest on the extent of Kilravock and Geddes. Next comes William, who in 1310 obtained from Robert the Bruce a charter granting him the dignity in heritage on payment of twelve merks yearly, on the same conditions as it was held by his ancestors in the reign of his predecessor King Alexander III.

For nearly a century after this we know nothing of Cawdor or its thanes. But in 1405 we find a precept of sasine by Robert, Duke of Albany, in favour of Donald of Cawdor as heir of his father, Andrew of Cawdor, of the offices of sheriff of Nairn and constable of the castle. The document bears to l>e granted by the duke as lord of the ward of Ross, which he held as grandfather of the young Countess Eufam, who had become a nun. How or by what title the Earls of Ross claimcd to hold the superiority we cannot here stop to inquire. But in 1475 the king had got his own again, and from that period the thanage appears to have been always held from the Crown direct.

But the first thane of Cawdor who is anything more to us than a mere empty name is William the sixth in succession, who held the dignity from 1442 to 1468. He owed his success in life to the favour in which he stood with his king, James II. In early youth he had been his personal attendant —his “well-beloved squire” (dilectus familiaris scutifer nostcr). In later years he was advanced to offices of still greater importance and dignity. When, after the fall of Archibald Douglas at Arkinholme in 1455, the king came north to set matters right in the district of which Douglas had claimed to be earl in right of his wife, James took the Thane of Cawdor with him. He found that the rebellious earl, with a view to his own defence, had fortified the castle of Lochindorb, and was in the act of doing the same to the castle of Darnaway, when his death occurred. To the Thane of Cawdor the king committed the destruction of Lochindorb, a service for which he received the sum of ^£. But he himself continued the repairs to the castle of Darnaway, and converted it into a hunting-seat. And when the thane had successfully accomplished his work, James, in reward of his services and fidelity, appointed him his chamberlain for “beyond the Spey.” Three years before this the king had granted the thane a licence to erect a castle of his own. Hitherto, according to Lachlan Shaw, the thanes of Cawdor, “as constables of the king’s house, resided in the castle of Nairn,” which stood beside the river on the site near the bridge now known as the Constabulary Gardens. They had, however, a seat of their own at Old Cawdor, half a mile north from their present seat. The remains of this older castle were visible in Shaw’s day, but have since entirely disappeared.

In terms of the king’s grant, the new castle was to be a house in accordance with the thane’s augmented dignity. It was to have stone walls. It was to be ornamented with little turrets. It was to have a fosse and a drawbridge, and all things necessary for its defence. It was to carry with it all the privileges and rights to which castles of this importance were entitled “according to the custom of our reign.”

The thane seems to have taken the fullest advantage of this licence. Yet the castle of Cawdor as we have it now is something very different from the keep which the king’s grant authorised the thane to erect. The keep, indeed, still remains a stem and stately memorial of the fifteenth century. But the buildings which surround it are of a couple of centuries later, when the estates had passed into other hands, by whom the castle was enlarged, and indeed remodelled.

The castle stands on the steep and rocky bank of the Cawdor2 Hum, a tributary of the Nairn, and has been cut off from the level ground on the landward side by a dry ditch, some parts of which still remain. The keep, the oldest part of the structure, is 45 feet in length and 34 feet in width, and occupies the highest and most central point of the site; and its walls are sufficiently deep to admit of numerous walled chambers, which were used as bedrooms and garde - robes. Round this are grouped, so as to form two sides of a square, the additions of more recent times. The composition is exceedingly good, and the whole appearance of the building as it now stands is picturesque in the highest degree.

Few castles in Scotland have been more embellished by tradition. The legend of its foundation reads like a story from the Sagas. The thane, it is said, unable to deckle on a site for his house, determined to commit its situation to destiny. Binding the coffer containing the treasure which he had accumulated for its erection on the back of an ass. The ass set out in the direction of the Cawdor Bum till it came to a hawthorn-tree. It stopped and looked at it, then it went on. A few yards farther on it came to a second hawthorn, against which it rubbed itself and passed on again. But when it came to a third hawthorn-tree on the banks of the stream, it stopped and lay down with its burden. And round this tree the thane, recognising the finger of fate, proceeded to build his castle. The hawthorn-tree with the coffer beside it still stands in the lowest vault of the keep to mock the incredulity of modem times. Visitors, however, are no longer permitted to cut a chip from its gnarled stem, nor expected to drink to “the toast of the hawthorn-tree—prosperity to the house of Calder.” The first and second hawthom-trees, which were within 100 yards of the present site, seem to have been gifted with an almost miraculous vitality. The one lived to the commencement of the present century, the other to the year 1836.

This, however, is not the only legend connected with the castle. Another relates how the thane, like a second Samson, carried the iron gate of Lochindorb on his shoulder to Cawdor to serve as the door of his donjon in the old keep. A third, more pertinaciously asserted than either of the preceding, claims the house as the scene of Duncan’s murder by Macbeth. A chamber in the castle is still pointed out as the room in which he met his death, and a series of wretched daubs on the whitewashed walls of the apartment are referred to in corroboration of the ridiculous story.

William, the next thane (1468-1503), resigned the thanage in 1492 on the occasion of his son John’s marriage with Isobel, daughter of Hugh Rose of Kilravock—a union which was intended to put an end to an old feud that existed between these two neighbouring families. Unfortunately the marriage had not the desired effect. When John Cawdor died in 1498 (for he predeceased his father) the old thane and his daughter-in-law were at daggers drawn. And the fact that he left no sons but only two infant daughters—Muriel and Janet, probably twins—did not tend to ameliorate the situation.

The surviving sons of Thane William determined to dispute the right of their nieces, and a lawsuit was commenced. Early in the proceedings Janet Cawdor seems to have died. This was immediately followed by a challenge of her sister Muriel’s legitimacy. But after lasting nearly four yean the dispute was terminated by a decision vindicating her birth, and thus establishing her right as heiress to the thanedom.

From her birth the child had been a prize in the matrimonial market sufficiently valuable to excite the cupidity of the foremost in the land. At her father’s death Archibald, second Earl of Argyll, a powerful man in the country and at Court, had solicited and obtained from King James IV. a gift of the marriage and ward of John of Cawdor's lein. He determined to make use of it by bestowing the poor infant and her broad acres upon his third son, Sir John Campbell.

Meantime Muriel was living at Kilravock with her mother’s relations. The first step towards effecting the marriage was to get the child into Argyll's possession. Accordingly in the autumn of 1499 the earl sent Campbell of Inverliver with sixty men to bring the child to Inveraray. The Roses had no serious objections to urge against her removal, especially as they were told she would soon be amongst them again. Hut before she left, old Lady Kilravock, her grandmother, took the precaution to brand the child on the hip with the key of her coffer so as to preserve inconstotable proof of her identity should this be ever challenged. Inverliver accordingly departed with his charge. But when he had got the length of Daltulich, in Strathnaim, he learned that he was being pursued by Muriel’s two uncles, Alexander and Hugh, with a larger force than he had under his command. He ordered six of his men to take the child and gallop on for their lives. Then he took a sheaf of com, dressed it in some of little Muriel’s garments, and placed it under proper guardianship in his rear. That done, he faced round and waited till the Calders came up. There was a sharp fight, in which eight of Inverliver’s sons were killed. But their brave father continued the conflict till he was sure the child was out of reach of her uncles’ clutches. Then he retired, leaving the fictitious child to her pursuers. “Tis said,” says Lachlan Shaw, “that in the heart of the skirmish Inverliver had cried, ‘ ’S fhada glaodh o’ I^ochow! *S fhada cabhair o’ chlan Dhuine! ’ [Tis a far cry to Loch-awe! Far is help from the Clan Duine!], which has become a proverb signifying imminent danger and distant relief.”

The little Muriel was safely conveyed to Inveraray, and in 1510, when she had completed her twelfth year, was married to Sir John Campbell. The year after his marriage she resigned all her possessions into the hands of the Crown. A new charter in favour of Sir John Campbell and his wife was immediately issued, uniting all the lands of Cawdor “with the castle and fortalice into one thanage and free barony.” From that moment the husband of the “little red-haired lass,” as an old record calls her, assumed the title of Sir John Campbell of Cawdor. And thus the Highland family which still possesses the lands supplanted the old line of the native thanes of Cawdor. In 1524 Sir John and his wife came north and settled permanently in Nairnshire.

The new thane was a man of vigour and energy, and did much to strengthen his position and to extend the influence of the family. But he was essentially a Highlander, and his Celtic methods of compassing his ends occasionally led him into trouble with the law courts. By a transaction with the last male representative of the old Cawdors he acquired the heritable sheriffship of Nairn, and died in 1566, leaving a large family both of sons and daughters. His wife survived him for many years.

Space does not permit of our following the fortunes of the family in detail. Nor indeed is this necessary for our purpose For the Cawdors, though important factors in local affairs, as a rule abstained from mixing themselves prominently in politics. Only once do we find them in any danger, and that was during the Rising of 1715. Unlike his neighbours. Sir Hugh Campbell, the fourteenth thane (1654-1716), espoused the Jacobite cause. But his death a few months later prevented any evil consequences accruing to the family by his action.

In 1726 John Campbell, sixteenth thane and old Sir Hugh’s grandson, married Mary, daughter of Lewis Pryse of Gogirthen, in North Wales. She brought her husband “a small estate in land among the Welsh highlands.” This connection had a considerable effect uj>on the future fortunes of the family. John Campbell took up his permanent residence in Wales leaving his Scottish properties to be managed by a factor. But his love for his old home was never obliterated, and to his death, which occurred in 1777, he never ceased to take the warmest interest in his tenantry and estates.

As a member of Parliament John Campbell rose to considerable eminence in the political world. He was for some years a Lord of the Admiralty, and became a Lord of the Treasury in 1742. When the Act abolishing heritable jurisdiction was passed, he lost not only his sheriffship, but his office of con stable of the king's castle. For this last, however, he received £2000 as condensation. Hearing from his factor that the Act abolishing Highland dress was causing much dissatisfaction amongst his tenantry, he suggested that they might be very agreeably accommodated by wearing wide trousers like seamen, made of canvas or the like. Nankeen might be the more genteel. But I would have the cut as short as the philabeg, and then they would be almost as good [as kilts] and yet be lawful.” The laird's thoughtful suggestion does not appear to have been adopted.

Since this thane's time the Cawdor family have continued to make Wales their principal residence. In 1796 they were ennobled as Barons Cawdor of Castlemartin in Wales, and in 1827 they were advanced to an earldom in the peerage of the United Kingdom. The present holder of the title is the second Earl and twentieth Thane of Cawdor.

On the opposite bank of the Nairn, and a little more than a mile farther west from Cawdor, stands another old castle— the castle of Kilravock—very similar in character, and scarcely if anything less picturesque. Both consist of square keeps, surrounded at a later period by extensive buildings. Both are perched on banks overhanging running water. Both are now surrounded by fine old trees. The resemblance between the two is not entirely accidental. The castle of Cawdor was finished in 1454, the “house of fence” of Kilravock was begun in 1460. And both in the seventeenth century were enlarged to their present size.

The word Kilravock indicates the cell or chapel dedicated to some now forgotten saint, and tradition points out the site of the present pigeon-house as the place where it stood. But the charm that legend so liberally lends to Cawdor is wanting in Kilravock. No picturesque fables cluster round its erection. No wild or exciting stories of the past cling like lichens to its grey walls. Our interest in Kilravock, unlike our interest in Cawdor, springs not from the building, but from hi possessors. For the history of the Roses of Kilravock is unique in Scottish history. No other family can show a longer or a more direct descent. For six hundred years and more there has always been a baron of Kilravock, son succeeding father in the possession of the family estates without the interposition of any collateral heir, almost every one bearing die Christian name of Hugh, and none but one ever rising to higher social rank. As for the character of this remarkable family, the description given by the Rev. Hew Rose, minister of Nairn, the biographer of the house, if slightly coloured, is not far from the truth : “ They were of singular ingenuitie and integritie, plain and honest in their dealings, lovers of peace, kindly and affectionate, given to hospitality, temperate and sober. They were rather backward then precipitant in meddling and undertakings, which, if anie think, hindered the enlarging of their patrimony, yet made them take safer coune for preservation of what they had. They were exposed to many troubles, through which God carried them in the way of suffering. . . . Religion, justice, truth, mercie, and the excercise of the fear of God, are surer preservers of a famitic then all the other methods and measures in the world.”

Living a life of quiet, unobtrusive, honourable usefulness, passing their

"silent days In shadie privacie, free from the noise
And bustle of the woild,”

their story scarcely falls within the scope of this book. Yet there is probably more to t>e learned from the lives of such men as Kilravock the Tenth (1543-1597), who lived through all the troublous times of Queen Mary’s checkered reign in peace and amity with men of all parties and of both religions, who could sign himself in the midst of a hot debate between himself and two turbulent neighbours, “Hucheon Rose of Kilravock, ane honest man, ill-guided betwixt them both,” and even aver that such persons were the best friends he could have, “for they made him thrice a-day go to God upon his knees, when perhaps otherways he would not have gone once”; of Kilravock the Sixteenth, whose demeanour towards Prince Charles Edward and his “cousin” the Duke of Cumberland, already related, was the perfection of good breeding, and was recognised as such by both the one and the other; and of many another honest, homely, unaffected scion of the line, than from the lives of others, nobler, more notorious, more successful, but infinitely much less gentlemen, whose career it has been our duty to depict in the preceding pages.

The Roses of Kilravock are of Norman descent, and belong to a family which came over with William the Conqueror. They first settled at Geddes in 1230 ; in 1293 they became proprietors of the neighbouring lands of Kilravock ; and in 1295 we find them in possession of the baronies of Kilravock and Geddes, the first of which they still possess.

The historical importance of the family of Brodie of Brodie rests essentially upon the part they took in vindicating the cause of the Covenant against the encroachments of Episcopacy in the seventeenth century. But for that their career would have been no different from that of many another ancient county family, and would have neither required nor deserved any special notice here.

In the year 1645 Montrose, on his way towards Moray to vindicate the royal authority, caused bum “the place of Broddie, pertening to the I^urd of Broddy.” In that conflagration all the old papers which would have enabled us to trace the career of the family from its beginning were destroyed. But if Lachlan Shaw’s suggestion is to be adopted—and he gives it as nothing more than an opinion—the Brodies “were originally of the ancient Moravienses, and were one of those loyal tribes to whom King Malcolm IV. gave lands about the year 1160, when he transplanted the Moray rebels.” The family, according to the same authority, took their surname from their lands. The ancient name of their property Brothie, softened into Brodie. “In the old Irish, broth signifies a ditch or mire. And the mire, trench, or ditch that runneth from the village of Dyke to the north of Brodie House seemeth to have given to this place the name of Brodie.”

That the Brodies were of native origin, and that they soon acquired a predominant position amongst the local families, is very likely. It is undoubted that there were thanes Brodie in the thirteenth century. We hear of a Malcolrn who was in existence in 1285; of a Michael who got a grant of the thanage of Brodie and Dyke from Robert I. in 1312; and so on. And as the castle which they erected has, in its older portions, all the characteristics of fifteenth - century architecture, we may rest assured of the antiquity and importance of the family.

Passing over traditions of only local consequence, the first time that the family history comes in contact with national history is in 1640, when we find the young laird of Brodie taking part along with Mr Gilbert Ross, “minister of Elgynne,” and the “young laird of Innes” in the destruction of the painted screen “dividing the kirk of Elgin fra the queir.” This act of bigoted Philistinism, which has already been recorded in its proper place, gives us the key to the character of a man who, of all his family before and since is the most notorious. Accident possibly even more thamerit led to his being mixed up in some of the most momentous political transactions of his time. But for this his record would have been no more worth the sketching than that of any other conscientious but narrow-minded religious politician of the day.

Alexander Brodie, fourteenth Laird of Brodie, was born in 1617. His father died when he was fifteen years of age, and his mother some time after married again. This may have had something to do with his early marriage, which took place when he was only eighteen years of age. It was a very happy union so long as it endured. But it lasted for only five years. His wife, who was a daughter of Sir Robert Innes of Innes, died in 1640, leaving the young widower, who never married again, with a son and a daughter. Perhaps it was his wife’s early death that led him to think of more serious things. But from this time to the end of his life his thoughts were occupied with religion and religious politics. Yet beyond the escapade already referred to he took no prominent part in public matters until the year 1643, when he was chosen as member of Parliament for the county of Elgin. Then he began to interest himself in politics. He served on parliamentary committees; he became a ruling elder of the Kirk ; he soon began to be looked upon as a rising man.

In 1649 Charles I. was beheaded. The Scottish Parliament at once proclaimed his son king at the Cross of Edinburgh, declaring, however, that until he gave satisfaction to the kingdom in the matter of religion, with special reference to the maintenance of the Covenants, he should not be admitted to the exercise of his royal powers. In order to obtain the necessary assurance the Estates resolved to send commissioners to the king, who was then residing with his brother-in-law, the Prince of Orange, at The Hague. Brodie was chosen as one of them. The others were the Earl of Cassilis, George Wynrame of Liberton, and Alexander Jaffray, Provost of Aberdeen. They were accompanied by two ministers of religion, Mr James Wood of St Andrews and Mr Robert Baillie of Glasgow. The commissioners' mission was unsuccessful. The king would not accept the terms they offered. This was in March 1649. In June of the same year Wynrame and Brodie, probably in recompense of their services, were appointed Lords of Session.

In September Wynrame was again sent to Holland to wage the king to comply with the request of the Estates. The letters he sent home graphically describe the straits to which the king was reduced. He had not “bread for himself and his servants,” Wynrame writes in November 1649, and “betwixt him and his brother not ane Inglish shilling; and worse yet if I durst wryte it.” France was neither able nor willing to help him. The Prince of Orange was in no better cue. Charles stood out as long as he could, but in the end he had to succumb. In the beginning of 1650 he wrote to the Estates begging them to send over commissioners to treat with him. This request was acceded to; and in the spring the commissioners appointed by the General Assembly and the Estates set out on their mission. Brodie was again of their number. It was plain to the Commissioners from the first that the king’s acceptance of the Covenant was the assent of the life only. But they were as anxious to secure their king as he was to escape from his present “prisone,” as Wynrame called it. And the matter was very soon settled Charles landed in Scotland on 23d June 1650. His coronation and his renewal of the Solemn League and Covenant took place at Scone on 5th January 1651. On the 3d September he was worsted at Worcester by the forces of the Commonwealth, and once more driven into exile.

Cromwells success at Dunbar on the same day the year before (3d September 1650) had placed all Scotland in his power. But months before that the disturbed state of the country had dislocated every description of business. The Court of Session sat for the last time on 28th February. Brodie’s actual experience as a judge had lasted exactly four months. He at once returned to the north and to civil life, having formed a resolution never under any circumstances to accept office under English rule. This resolution, however, he was not able to keep. According to his diary, he fought hard against the temptation for many a long year. But “after much resistance and reluctancy” he succumbed, and in January 1658 took his place amongst the English judges. The Restoration occurred in 1660. Brodie and his colleagues were superseded. In January 1661 his career as an administrator of justice was brought to a final close.

But he never actually lost the favour of the king. Charles could not perhaps forgive what must have seemed to him like time-service. But his inherent good nature would not admit of his treating him with discourtesy. Though he was never employed in public business again, he was not deprived of the privilege of kissing the king’s hand whenever he went to London. Towards the end of his life we find him beginning to persuade his conscience to things which, rigid Presbyterian as he had always posed as being, he had hitherto thought sinful. Over and over again his carnal mind led him into admissions which in his heart of hearts he believed to be wrong. He was loud in his denunciations of Prelacy because the ministry of the bishops was not lively, and because he objected to churchmen holding civil place and office. But he was not opposed to a liturgy, and he had no serious objections to the office of bishop, though he was constantly lamenting that such things were calculated to be a snare to him. His whole life was a pitiful attempt to conform to a doctrine and to principles which he could not curse with his heart, whatever he did with his lips. He was to all outside appearance a pillar of the Covenant in the North. None but himself, however, knew how unstable was its foundation. He died in 1680—a well-intentioned, but, so far as one can judge from his diary, a very miserable man.

His son James, who succeeded him, followed in his father's footsteps. He was if anything more pronounced in his adherence to the Covenant. His stubborn Nonconformity led to his being fined in the enormous sum of £24,000 Scott in 1685, as were also others of his relations. But the same temptations which beset his father afflicted him. “The world,” he writes in his diary, “has been my idol, and the love of it and covetousness the root of much evil, and the Lord justlie may punish in this.” Yet to these sorely tried and much-to-be-pitied men Presbyterianism owes much. In what degree the history of the district would have been modified if they had yielded to their snares we cannot tell. Still less can we estimate their actual worth to the locality. More interesting, i>erhaps more instructive, than any such spoliations, is the study of their characters, to be found in the sincere and fervid diaries in which from day to day father and son in succession had recorded their temptations, their triumphs, their lapses, their remorse, and their hopes.

On the death of James Brodie in 1708 the estates passed into the possession of his cousin, George Brodie of Asleisk, who had married his fifth daughter. He died in 1715, and was succeeded by his son James, who enjoyed the estates for only five years. His younger brother Alexander, afterwards Lyon King-at-Arms for Scotland, followed him. On his death without offering the estates reverted to a collateral branch — the Brodies of Spynie — whose descendants still worthily maintain the honour of the family name.

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