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Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social
(Second Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Chapter VIII. Kilmonivaig


HAVING lately come across a copy of an old Manuscript History of the Frasers prepared between 1740 and 1750, I have extracted all essential references to this famous fight— the portions omitted being chiefly comments by Buchanan and Arthur Johnston, which, although couched in elegant Latin, do not add to the facts.

Bishop Leslie in his History regrets the death of the Master of Lovat, with whom he was acquainted in France, and he tells us that the Master had his education in the University of Paris under the best masters, and that he would have proved an honour to his country as well as to his illustrious family had he not been cut off untimely in the very blossom of his youth. The chronicler's comments upon "Bean Cleireach's" conduct is as follows:-

"Lord Lovat had detached his Tutor or Bean Clerk with moo men to secure a pass with orders not to go out of sight, but to come to their relief if he found it necessary. Every one of the gentlemen present absolutely refused to leave their chief, and so none of them went on that command. Whether it was owing to cowardice, inadvertency, or treachery, he kept out of sight, and came not to the field till all was over, yet it seems it was no treachery, otherwise Lord Alexander would not have given him an honourable discharge for his intromissions, as he did for thirteen years after the battle."

Really this meant nothing, for though Lord Alexander may have been sorry for his father, yet he knew his mother's conduct towards her stepson, the Master of Lovat, resulted as she hoped in her own son succeeding ; and it may be taken for granted that the lady and the "clerk" perfectly realised the situation. Some particulars regarding this Lady Lovat will be given later on. Follows the manuscript account—

"There was indeed a rancour of some standing betwixt Lord Lovat and the Captain of Clanranald that looked likely some time or other to break out into a flame that might occasion much bloodshed. The occasion and rise, as it is still reported, and handed down in the family by uninterrupted tradition, and likewise by those who have committed it to writing was this—

"Lord Lovat had a sister who was married to Clanranald, by whom he had only one son, called by the Highlanders, Ranald Oig, young Ranald, and because he was educated at Lovat they called him Ranald Gilda, i.e. Lowland Ranald, for upon the death of his mother, while he was but an infant, he, according to a custom that then and still somewhat prevails in the Highlands, was taken by Lord Lovat, his uncle, and educated with the Frasers, his mother's relations.

"The father, Clanranald, after the death of his first lady, married a daughter of Torcal Macleod of the Lewis, by whom he had many children, so taking an unreasonable and unaccountable fondness for the son of the second marriage, he resolved to disinherit his eldest son by his former wife, Lord Lovat's sister, and to settle the succession and clanship on the younger brother.

This design could not but be considered by Lord Lovat and his friends as a very high indignity and affront on every gentleman of the family, and the late depredations they had committed in some parts of Lord Lovat's estate inflamed the resentment to a degree that was not easy to be quenched. The Regent, being resolved at any rate to suppress those insolencies and depredations, gives a commission to the Earl of Argyle to pursue them from the south, and at the same time wrote to Lord Lovat that, in virtue of his commission as the King's Lieutenant in these parts, he should convocate the whole country and march at their head against these lawless ravagers, till he met Argyle.

"George, Earl of Huntly, was highly incensed at the honour King James 5th conferred on Lovat in making him his Lieutenant in those parts, and was no less vexed that he exerted himself with such activity that he kept all within his jurisdiction so long in perfect tranquility, which Huntly looked upon as an eclipsing of him and rendering him insignificant.

"And now, when the Regent and Council sent him their orders to raise the neighbouring clans and march at their head himself to join the Earl of Argyle, the Earl of Huntly looked upon himself not only as eclipsed but highly affronted, and therefore employed his emissaries among the Macdonalds, and especially the Clanranalds, to seek to cut off Lord Lovat.

"This noble lord raised about 400 men, consisting mostly of the gentlemen of his name, and with these he marches through Urquhart and Glenmoriston to Chilichuiman, now Fort-Augustus, where he encamped till the other clans joined him. He with great difficulty commanded his son Simon, Master of Lovat, who had come the preceding year from France to stay at home, to take care of the Country.

"When the Grants, Clan Chattan, and others had joined Lord Lovat at Chilichuiman, they all marched in a body through Abertarff, Glengarry, and Lochaber, meeting with no opposition, and found the Earl of Argyle and his forces at Inverlochy. For the Highlanders no sooner understood that an army was marching against them than they scattered and retired to their inaccessible mountains and hidden recesses, so that it was not easy either to follow or attack them.

"The Earl of Argyle and Lord Lovat having concerted measures for preserving the peace and tranquility of the Highlands and stayed for some time at Inverlochy, Lord Lovat put his nephew, Ranald, in peaceable possession of Muidart, and all his forces were ordered to return home.

"When Lord Lovat was on his way home at LetterfInlay, he was informed that the Macdonalds were gathering together to obstruct his passage, upon which his brother-in-law, the Laird of Grant, Mackintosh, and others advised him to alter his route and march another way to disappoint these miscreants who would lie in ambush for him, or if he intended to march straight forward, they would convoy him to his own country. It is probable this kind offer would have been accepted of, but James Fraser of Foyness, a headstrong, obstinate man, dissuaded his chief from it, protesting it would be reckoned cowardice in Lord Lovat and an indignity done to offer him a convoy ; that they were able enough themselves for any that could pretend to obstruct their passage, Upon this, all these chieftains and their men took leave of him, and parted with him.

He marched down directly the south side of Loch Lochy, and about halfway he sent one, Bean Clerach or Clerk, with Too bowmen to guard a pass that was before them, with a charge to keep in sight of the main body, and if he saw danger to come to their assistance. Bean Clerk sets off, but mistaking his orders, kept out of sight on the other side of Drumglach, and so was of no use to the rest, nor any of the 100 men he carried with him.

"When Lord Lovat and the 300 men that were with him came to Lagan-ach-an-Druim near the end of the loch, they observed the Macdonalds coming down the north side of the loch, with 7 displayed banners in 7 battalions of about 600 or 700 men, to secure the pass at the end of the loch."

While it is absolutely certain that the combatants were limited to the Frasers on the one side, and the Macdonalds on the other, with their proper followings, an assertion has lately been made which cannot be overlooked in dealing with the subject.

Mr Alexander Macpherson, factor for Cluny, and who must be held as writing with authority from his constituent, whose papers he has examined, published, in 1893, a hook called Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times, and other tapers. At page 289 in a foot note, referring to Macpherson of Cluny, he says—"On this banner are emblazoned the arms of the chief, being the coat granted in 1672 by Sir Charles Erskine, Lord Lyon, King-at-Arms. The supporters are two of the clansmen as they appeared in 1455, at Blar-nan-leine, or the famous 'Battle of the Shirts ' on which occasion they threw aside their belted plaids, etc., and fought in their shirts and jerkins. In the family charter chest is an extract of his blazon from the books of the Herald College at Edinburgh, but which it seems do not now exist. This extract was made under the superintendence of James Cuming,, keeper of the Lyon Records, by whom it is signed."

As a Fraser, with a deal of Macdonald blood, I take exception to this extraordinary assertion, and cannot—having no ill will towards the Macphersons—but regret observing the persistent efforts of their historians to foist pretentions, and claim, at the expense of others, honours not their due.

1. There is not the shadow of pretence for alleging that two Macphersons fought at Blar-nan-leine, or if they did, that they distinguished themselves in such a way as to justify the Lord Lyon in assigning them such an acknowledgment of pre-eminence, to the detriment of the Frasers and Macdonalds.

2. Mr Macpherson says "two of the clansmen as they appeared." I observe in the coat attached to an authorised portrait of the late Ewen Macpherson of Cluny that, while carrying enormous shields by way of defence, the supporters carry no arms of offence, and if this was the form of their "appearance," of what use could they have been ? The old authoritative description of the supporters has these words "their shirt tied between them," but in the coat above referred to, alas! the shirts have disappeared.

3. The date of the battle given as 1455 is wrong by 89 years, but as the Macphersons by their own accounts seem to be dogged by the errors of printers or transcribers, perhaps Mr Macpherson really wrote 1544.

Follows the continuation of the account of the battle :-

"Lord Lovat immediately calls a council of war, and having all resolved to engage, he encourages his men in a short harangue to this purpose—

"Gentlemen, you are my guard-de-corps, whom I have chosen out of many to accompany me in this honourable expedition for the services of my Sovereign. You are most of you my flesh and blood, the offspring of those heroes who signalised themselves so often in the defence of their country. Remember the honour of your noble ancestors, of whom you are descended, some of which will be for ever on record as illustrious examples of Scotland's pristine bravery. The several branches of our ancient family have upon all occasions distinguished themselves, and to this day never brought the least stain upon the name they bear. The time is short to speak of each of them in particular; methinks I see them all alive in you, and that they have transmitted their courage and bravery as well as their blood and name to you. You are indeed but a handful to encounter yonder formidable crew, but consider the difference in other respects. They are rebels, you are loyal subjects ; they outlaws, you are free subjects. I go on before you. I will hazard my life with you and for you. I by far prefer a noble death to an inglorious retreat, or anything that sullys the glory of my house; and are not you as much concerned in its glory as I am? We have from others the character of men of fortitude and resolution ; we carry our lives on the point of our swords. Let us act as men. Fall on, and refer the event to Almighty God ; 'for the battle is the Lord's, who can save with few as with many.'

He had scarcely ended when the enemy came close to them at the end of Loch Lochy. Hereupon ensued a most fierce and bloody conflict, fought more like tigers than men. The Frasers threw aside not only their plaids, as has been the common practice with the Highlanders, but threw off their very short coats and vests, and engaged in their shirts, with their two-handed swords and Dane axes.

"This conflict is still called by the country people Blar-an-lein, i.e., the Battle of the Shirts. The fronts of both armies engaged so closely without either sides yielding or giving way, that they were felled down on each side like trees in a wood till room was made by these breaches on each side, and at last all came to fight hand to fist. There was none there but met with his match to encounter him; many were seen to fall, but none to fly; they all fought for victory, which still remained uncertain.

"There is one remarkable passage which I cannot omit. I told you above that Lord Lovat had with difficulty prevailed on his son, the Master, to stay at home to take care of the country. He had been on a day's hunting for his diversion in the forest of Corricharbie, and having taken home great plenty of vension, his step-mother, Lady Lovat, told him with a sneer, that it was fine amusement for young men to be chasing birds and beasts, and then to sleep soundly in their beds, when old men were fighting in the fields. This sarcasm touched so sensibly this noble youth that instantly he takes a dozen resolute fellows with him, and sets out resolving to find his father and friends, and accordingly he joined them at Loch Lochy a little after the conflict began, and fell in where the battle was hottest. The first sight of him quite dispirited and confounded his father. All was now at stake, they fought in blood and gore, and when many of theni wearied with their two-handed swords and the heat, they went into the loch in couples and struck each other with their dirks. The Master acted like a hero, and each of the men he brought with him was worth many.

"Lord Lovat fought so gallantly, hewing down all that came in his way, that his enemies called him a "Cruaidh Choscar," i.e., the hardy slaughterer, and when they observed him to fall in the field, it inspired the few that remained of the Clanranald with fresh vigour, crying out with great joy " thuit a Cruaidh Choscar, thuit," the hardy cutter is fallen, is fallen, and as they cried they were knocked down, yea, even those who lay as dead in the field, when an enemy came by would lay hold of a sword and endeavour to cut off a leg or an arm. This they continued from noon till the darkness surprised them, when very few from either side were left alive, and the ictory to this day uncertain. The Mac Ranalds as they were more numerous, so more of them fell in proportion. It is certain that only four of the Frasers came alive out of the field, and not double that number of the Mac Ranalds and their adherents. But the loss on the side of the Frasers was incomparably more regretted, for Lord Lovat himself, and his eldest son, the Master of Lovat, and 300 gentlemen of his name were slain. So that there was not one of the name of Fraser of the quality of a gentleman that was come to the state of manhood left alive. I have seen an account of this unhappy conflict by one who was on the field in a few days after it happened and was affected by the elegant, lively, and pathetic manner in which he lamented Lord Lovat and his son's fall in the words of David for Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam. i. 17 to 26).

History (so far as I heard) does not parallel this unhappy conflict, which was remarkable in many respects. About 1000 men were engaged, of which j2 did not come alive from the field of battle. The Master of Lovat was the last who came to the field of battle and was the first who was slain, which put his father into such a fury, that his death was revenged by the destruction of many.

"There were 80 gentlemen of estates who were killed on the spot, who all left their wives pregnant, and every one of them brought forth a male child, and each of these children arrived at the age of man, so that the over-ruling providence of the wise Disposer of all events did very signally at this time interpose in preserving this family.

"The Macdonalds chose the flower of their numerous clan and yet were defeated in respect of credit and conduct and the number killed. They acknowledge in their poems made on this occasion that they fought with gentlemen, whom they surprised unawares, having no design to fight. 'Cha be clann imme a bh' ann ach claim sgoltag cheann.' That is they did not meet with cowards but with cleavers of heads. Fraser of Foyers was the only gentleman who came alive out of the field of battle. He was miserably mangled and wounded, but being in life was carried by his foster- brother on his back all the way home for which he got free the crofts that he then laboured, and his posterity enjoy it still. [Foyers must have died a few days after as proved by the service of his son Hugh wherein it is proved that he died "in the month of July, 1544."]

"When the news of this unhappy conflict came to Lord Lovat's country, all who stayed at home, men and women, went to the field of battle, from whence they carried the bodys of all their principal gentlemen. Andrew Roy of Kirkhill, who was uncle to Lord Lovat, was so like him that in a mistake they carried his body instead of My Lord's till they came to Cilliwhimman, where Lord Lovat's nurse met them and found it was Andrew Roy, upon which they buried him there, as they did most of the gentlemen they brought out of the field of battle, and returned, bringing Lord Lovats body with them, who with his son and Ronald Galda [Ronald Gallda, by the testimony of the Macdonalds, fought like a hero. His death was caused by a Stontian man called " Mac Dhonuill Ruadh Beg," who, happening to be singled out by Ronald, teacherously called out, "Look behind you," which Ronald incautiously doing, he was instantly pierced in the side and fatally wounded. Ronald, by a supreme effort, dealt a tremendous back stroke, his last, on his assailant's skull. The Moidart people were not at all proud of their neighbour's after boasting of his part at Blar-na. Leine. Father Charles Macdonald in his charming book on " Moidart," published in 1889, says that this man was buried in Eulean-Finnon, the sacred isle of Loch Shie), and the skull, with other bones lying under the altar slab, used to be examined with interest for the purpose of showing the mark of Ronald Gallda's sword, and by one man, among others, living as late as 1889.] were interred at Beauly. The inscription on his tomb was legible till the year 1746. I/ic facet Juice Dominus Fraser de Loyal qui fortissimi J11.11'71a/is contra/ inautizos o:ubzizt July, 17, 15,14. Here lies Hugh, Lord Fraser of Lovat, who fell fighting gallantly against the Clanranalds, 17 July, 1544"

The real date was the 15th of July.


Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry died at Invergarry House on the 23rd of December, 1761, being succeeded by his nephew, Duncan, a minor, son of Lieutenant-Colonel Angus Macdonell, who was accidently killed at Falkirk in 1746. Alexander Macdonell was closely mixed up with the Rising of 1745, and though his father John was then living, having survived until 1st September, 1754, Alexander took the leading part. He made his will on the 29th of April, 1761, leaving his sister, Isabella Macdonell, a lady ignored in histories of the family, as his sole executrix. Alexander left to his brother, Captain James Macdonell of Glenmeddle, his French rifle gun ; to Alexander Macdonell of Wester Aberchalder, his own Fusee ; to Duncan Macdonell, his nephew and apparent heir, the arms belonging to him at Edinburgh, in the custody of Alexander Orme, Writer to the Signet, being family arms ; requests his said sister to call for and recover his trunk at Mrs Foster's in Beaufort Buildings, London, and deliver the sword therein and his picture to the heir male of the family, and to deal with the rest of the contents in the manner he had verbally directed her. The most significant direction is in these words—"I further recommend to my said sister, immediately on my decease, to seal up my cabinet and take care that the same shall not be opened until the friends of the family meet, and then I direct Angus Macdonell of Greenfield, John Macdonell of Leek, and Allan Macdonell of Cullachie, or the survivor of them then present, to see all the political and useless letters among my papers burnt and destroyed, as the preservation of them can answer no purpose." Why Glengarry, who lived several months after the execution of his will, did not himself destroy the papers above alluded to can be conjectured by people for themselves—all that need be said here is that their destruction was a pity, and the reason given unsatisfactory.

After Alexander Macdoneli's death in 1761, his affairs were found to be in a deplorable state, as will be immediately seen by the particulars now given, enabling us to trace the subsequent unprecedented emigrations and clearances to their origin. At this period the Glengarry estates extended not only from the Loch and the River of Oich north westwards to the watershed and the upper sources of the Quoich, but across to the west main coast, having the south or east side of Loch Hourn as the north boundary, both sides of Loch Nevis, with the river and Loch of Morar, as the south boundary. The rental of the lands unburdened by wadset was as follows-

1. Sliesmein a twenty penny land comprehending Faichamiosal, Faichimard, Munerigie, J)aigen, grazing and forest of Glen Quoich, £625 16s. Item £12 super plus rent payable by Donald Macdonell, of Lundie—total £637 16s Scots as the rental of Slesrnein.

II. The twelve penny land of North Morar, comprehending Breckharrerusich, flreckgi'annautor, l3uorblach, Glasnacardich, Brinacorries, Stoul, Finisgaig, Ardnante, Swordland, Kinlochmorar, Camusnabraan, Romisaig, Culnamuck, Ardmurrach, Mallaigmore. Rental, £116 0s 4d. Surplus from Kyllis, £6 Scots. Total of Morar, £122 0s 4d Scots.

III. Achadrom, comprehending Glasterbeg, Killeonan, Carnaculross, Keanloch, Pitmaglaster, and Laggan. Rental, £713 16s. Feu-duty of Shian, £15 6s 8d. Total of Achadrom, £729 25 8d Scots.

IV. Sliesgarve, comprehending Invergairy and Letterfearn, with the miln of Invergarry and salmon fishing on Loch Oich, Glenlie, Boline, Laddy, Ardochie, Garrygullach, l3allachan, and Badcntoig, and part of the forest of Glen Quoich annexed thereto, Frenchorrie grazing, part of said forest. Rental, £1161 14s 8d Scots.

V. Knoydart. Feued to Scotos numerous lands. Duty, id Scots, and to pay the Duke of Argyll over Superior's feu for the whole of Knoydart. The two penny half peony land of Barisdale; the five penny land of Sandaig; the grazing of Corryyorchkill, Kilchoan, comprehending Scottary, and Glenmeddle, Dalardespig and garden thereon, grazings of Glenflatter. Rent, £654 13s 4d, Scots.

VI. Lands in the parish of Abertarff. The four merk land of Wester Aberchalder Alexander Macdonell, wadsetter, who was in use, to pay Glengarry yearly £20 Scots of goodwill ; the six merk land of Middle Aberchalder, £270 4s Scots; Easter Aberchalder, Angus Macdonell, wadsetter, paid of surplus rent £13 6s 8d; the six merk land of Kytric, £304 8s, but deduct £72 Scots for a merk and a half value occupied by James Macpherson, Killyhuntly, at least until he be legally dispossessed thereof; the merk land of Culnaloch and pendicle of Saunachan. Rent, 694 5s 4d. The grazing of I)erachorry and miln of Abertarff. Rental £144 0s 8d. Total in Abertaiff, £774 10s 8d, Scots.

To sum up, Glengarry's free rental stood thus-

The wadset lands, which brought in nothing to the chief, were exceedingly numerous, involving large sums.

I. Sliesmein. i. Drynachan, John Macdonell of Leek, wadset for £1333 0s 8d. Rent uplifted by him, £72 Scots. 2. Lundie and Delchionie, Donald Macdonell of Lundie, principal £1666 13s 4d. Rent, £116. 3. Achluachrach, the said Donald Macdonell, principil £1333 0s 8d. Rent, £104 4s. 4. Ardnabie and Inchiaggan, John Macdonell, principal 4400 merks, and 5. Ardachie with Easter half of Derrylochie, principal 2000 merks. Rental of the various possessions £330 0s 8d Scots. 6. The other half of Derrylochie, John Macdonell of Leek, principal 500 merks, rental, £16 13s 4d. Total wadset monies over parts of Sleismein, £4333 0s 8d, and 6500 merks Scots. Total rental uplifted by the wadsetter £612 Scots.

II. Morar.1i. Mallaig beg, wadset to Barisdale for 1000 merks, rent, £60 6s 8d. 2. Beoraid, wadset held by John Macdonell in Sandaig for 3000 merks, rent, £146 6s 8d. 3. Kyllis Morar, wadset to Randolph Macdonell of Kyllis for 4000 merks, rent £32 13s 4d. Total wadsets over Morar 8000 merks, and total rentals uplifted by the wadsetters, £239 6s 8d Scots.

Ill. Achadrom. No wadset.

IV. Sliesgarve. 1. Achaunie. Angus Macdonell of Greenfield, wadsetter for 2000 rnerks Rent uplifted by him, LuG. 2. The grazing of Lecknafearn, par: of the forest of Glen Quoich, Malcolm Macleod of Raasay, wadsetter for ioo merks, rent uplifted by the wadsetter, L40 Scots. Total wadsets over Sleisgarve, 3200 merks; total rents uplifted by the wadsetters, £156 Scots.

V. Knoydart. 1. The farthing land of Skiarie, the half-farthing land of Caolasbeg, the halfpenny lands of Munial and Camusdown, the penny land of Lee, the halfpenny land of Souriais, the town and lands of Inverie Mor, Milliarie and Brechachy, the halfpenny land of Groab, the town and lands of Riquell, the halfpenny land of Culnacarnich, comprehending the pendicle of Cuilvane, the halfpenny land of Sallachrie, the halfpenny land of Carnachray, the town and lands of Brunsaig and Glaschyle, the town and lands of Ridarroch and Torcruine, and part of the lands of Inverguseran and glen thereof, the three and a half farthing land of Achglyne and halfpenny land of Gorton, all wadset to Barisdale for 27,000 merks. Rent, £123 3s 5d sterling. 2. The two and-a half penny lands of Newgart, the penny land of Sandliman, the penny land of Scammadale, all wadsetted to Macdonell of Scotos for £4666 13s 4d Scots. Rental uplifted by Ronald Macdonell, then of Scotos, £237 13s 4d Scots, 3. The twopenny land of Crowlin, wadset held by John Macdonell of Crowlin for L2000 Scots, rent worth to him £143 6s 8d. 4. Kinlochourn, Angus Macdonald wadsetter thereof for £666, 13s 4d, rent worth to him £63 ôs 8d. 5. The ten farthing land of Inverguseran, wadset to Macdonell of Inverguseran for £1460 13s 4d. Rent uplifted by the wadsetter, £133 6s 8d. 6. The six farthing land of Ardnaslishnish, Allan dacdonell, vadsetter for (sum left blank) his rent £62 Scots. 7. Airor, wadset to John Macdonell for Li000, rental, £90 Scots ; 8. Kyllis, wadset to Randolph Macdonell for £2666 13S 4d Scots, and worth to him in rent £133 6s 8d Scots. Total wadsets over Knovdart (excepting that over Ardnaslinish, blank' as before mentioned) 27,000 merks and £12,460 135 4d Scots, and the rental, £863 Scots, and £123 3s 5d sterling.

VI. Abertarif. 1. The four merk land of Wester Aberchalder, wadsetted to Alexander Macdonell for 2000 merks, rent £148 2. Easter Aberchalder, wadsetted by Angus Macdonell for £1333 6s 8d, rent, £11 6s 8d; 3. The eight merk land of Cullachie, wadsetted orignally to Donald Macdonell of Lochgarry for 8000 merks, rent, £314 13s 8d Scots ; 4. The twelve merk land of Easter and Wester Achteraw, wadsetted to Alexander Macdonell of Achteraw, for £8000, rental, £472 Scots; 5. The three merk lands of Pitmean, wadset to Alexander Macdonell for £2000, rental, £118 Scots; 6. The merk and a half land of Leek, and town and lands of Invervigar and Auchindarroch, wadsetted to John Macdonell of Leek, for 3000 merks Scots, rental, £136 13s 4d Scots. Total wadsets over Abertarff parish lands, 13,000 merks, and £1,333 63 8d ; total rental, £1340 13s 8d Scots. Again to sum up-


The amount of the heritable debt on Glengarry has been already stated, while the personal debts, on the death of Alexander Macdonell in 1761, were large. The wadsets were old and lucrative, but where was the money to pay them off. The next heir was a minor, and his affairs fell into the hands of the lawyers and the courts, resulting in a process of ranking and sale which lasted over several years. Under it North Morar was sold in 1768 to General Simon Fraser of Lovat, and as Morar held of the Crown as part of the lordship of Gartmoran, the price paid for it was considerable. As this occurred prior to the restoration of the Lovat estates, Morar was the first land possessed by General Fraser. The price paid for it relieved the Glengarry personal debts, and for a few years things moved quietly on until 1772, when an event occurred which initiated changes, the effects of which remain to the present day. This was the marriage of Duncan Macdonell of Glengarry in the end of that year to Marjory Grant, eldest daughter of Sir Ludovick Grant of Dalvey. Her fortune was L2000 sterling, whereof one half was paid at the time, the remainder payable at Sir Ludovick's death, who did not long survive, with interest at the rate of 5 per cent. till paid. Duncan Macdonell was a weak man; his wife the very reverse, and her great rise in social importance moved her at once to strive with success but regardless of sufferings to clear off the debts, to raise the rents, and generally to aggrandise the position of the Glengarry family.

The first step was to give notice to the wadsetters, every one of whom, it would have been noticed, were Macdonells and connected more or less with the chief. Being of old date and prices advancing rapidly their position was excellent, for it may be taken as certain that, besides sitting in their own personal occupancies free, the interest of the wadset monies was more than paid by their numerous sub-tenants, crofters, and cottars. Further, being men of education with an assured position in the country, it was galling for them to think of subsiding into the new position of tenants, burdened with a large increase of rent, and hence they nearly all emigrated, taking along with them the choicest of their followers. The emigration, which was to the New England States, was the wisest step for them to pursue, and proved beneficial to them, but it drained the cream of manhood of Glengarry, to the great detriment of the district. Some of the chief men remained, in particular Lundie and Barisdale,

Lundie was unwilling to move, and this is how he had to settle. Glengarry gave him a bond for £250 sterling at five per cent., getting the wadsets discharged, but his rents were fixed at £20 4s 5d for Inshiaggan, a fat cow for Glengarry's table, or £3 15s sterling, and £38 for Faicham, Lundie, and Dulochus, or say, in all £62 sterling, which may be contrasted with his former position. For a time Lundie did well, but times were unpropitious. In 1784 he is described as "late of Lundie," his place being taken at Faicham, etc., by Alexander Macpherson, writer, at a rent of £84, instead of the prior rent of £38. The last I observe of Lundie is in 1785, when in possession of a stock of I to goats, 2 horses, and 8g sheep, but without land, he is pursued by Glengarry for statutory trespass moneys on his old holding. I have been informed that he emigrated in poverty shortly after, and this was the end of the historic family of Lundie, who as far back as 1644 were heritors valued at the respectable figure of L933 6s 3d Scots. I have collected some materials for a brief account of this family which may be utilised some day.

I next refer to the other of the two largest wadsetters who remained, viz., Barisdale. Archibald, the third, who was attainted, tried, and condemned to death many years after Culloden under very strange circumstances, and after his long imprisonment, entered the Government service. Bans- dale itself was only leased by him, the wadset lands of the family being seized by the Crown, and restored at the general giving back of such forfeited estates as remained under charge of the Commissioners. Archibald and his famous son, Coil, fourth Barisdale, maintained their position and came to terms under a reference whereby the wadset was cancelled, when the Barisdales sank to the position of tenants. Coil Banisdale lived chiefly at Auchtertyre in Lochaish, holding under the Seforths, and though in his letters, when he has occasion to refer to private affairs, he says he was never very sure what Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry might do, he held his own with credit, being indeed in appearance, education, and ability a clansmen of whom any chief might be proud. His son Archibald, fifth and last Barisdale, continued in occupation.


I shall now refer to the condition of the people. Burdened with the enlarged rents, they struggled on, but as early as 1780 they were much behind. The year of scarcity, 1782, finished them, and the hornings and poindings in 1783 and 1784 for arrears bulked largely. One special burden, viz., services for carriages, peat cutting, fowls, etc., was converted into a serious money payment, apparently quite disproportionate and oppressive. For instance, in the case of Dugaid Camernn, late cowherd to Glengarry, afterwards tenant of Boline, while his rent was £11 4s 3d, the converted services amounted to £3 2s 8d, and in other cases the proportion appear to be the same, or about one-third additional.

In 1782, the first sheep farmer from the Borders appeared in Glengarry. I observe by a letter from Messrs Thomas Gillespie and Henry Gibson, to a friend who had recommended them, dated Caplegill, April 16th, 1782, they say—

Mr Gillespie and I return you our joint thanks for the kindness and civility shown to Mr Gillespie, junior, in recommending him in such strong terms to Mr Macdonell of Glengarry, with whom he has made a bargain—the articles transmitted to us for our approbation which we have agreed to and wrote Mr Macdonell so begging of him to write us as soon as he receives our letter, that we may take the proper measures for building houses for the reception of our herds against Whitsunday first, which is the term of entry." The lands thus taken were the forest of Glen Quoich, etc., then in the proprietor's hands.

In 1785 I find that the following 55 tenants, crofters, and cottars were warned and the decree of removal and ejection promptly extracted, viz., Donald Scott, Donald Macdonell, senior; Angus Macphee, Donald Macdonell, junior; Duncan Kennedy, Donald Macdonell, Donald Cameron, Archibald Macdonell, Archibald Scott, Allan Macdonell, Neil Kennedy and Angus Macdonell, from Laggan, 12 ; Donald Maclellan, Angus Maclellan, Charles Stewart and Ewen Macdonell, from Glenline, 4; Donald Cameron, from Boline, 1 ; Alexander MacCalkan, Angus Macdonell, John Kennedy, Katharine Macdonell, from Laddy, 4; Duncan Macmillan, Donald Macmillan, Angus Macmillan, tenants in Battenteog and possessors of Pollarie, 3; Margaret Macmillan, Myles Macmillan, Alexander Macmillan, and John Macdonell in Inshiaggan, and possessors of the grazing of -----, 4; Ranald Macdonell, John Kennedy, Duncan Kennedy, Donald Gillies, from Ardnabi, 4; John Campbell, Donald Kennedy, Angus Macdonell, senior; Angus Macdonell, junior; Alexander Macdonell and Donald Macdonell from Dangin, 6; Angus Mackintosh, John Mackintosh, John Macdonell, Katharine Macdonell, Donald Macdonell, Donald Kennedy, Duncan Macdonell, and Allan Macdonell, from Achnaclerach, 8; John Macdonell, Duncan Macdonell, senior; Duncan Macdonell, junior; John Macphee, Widow Janet Macdonell, Anne Macdonell and Alexander Macdonell, from Munerigie, 7; John Macdonell, tenant in Lundie, 1. The total as above mentioned is 55 heads of families, say 300 souls.

In 1786 the four above-named tenants of Ardnabi are warned out of Ardachy, as also James Macdonell, Duncan Gillies, Angus Gillies and John Kennedy, their sub-tenants, 4; Roderick Kennedy, from Munerigie, r ; John Macphee, John Mactavish, and Alexander Mactavish from Achinaclerach, 3. Total, 8 heads of families, say, 40 souls. In this year, as will be afterwards noted, 5oo emigrated from Knoydart under their priest, Mr Alexander Macdonell of the Scotos family.

In 1787 Ranald Macdonell, Alexander Macdonell, James Macdonell, and Duncan Kennedy were warned out of Dirri wargal, Balearie, and Arriurian, 4; Dougal Cameron, Evan Gillies, and Duncan Macdonell, from Boline, 3; Total 7 heads of families, say 35 souls.


In 1788, Glengarry again warned out some of the people warned in former years but afterwards permitted them to remain on a precarious footing ; and of new people, John Macphee, from Poulnonachan; John Macdonald and Duncan Kennedy, from Laggan ; Alexander Macpherson, from Shian and Duncan Macgillies, from Inshavoilt and Breallagie. In the midst of these distresses, Duncan Macdonell somewhat suddenly died, a comparatively young man, at Elgin on the i ith of July, 1788, on his way for the benefit of his health to the waters, then in some repute, of Peterhead, leaving his widow principal trustee of the estate and guardian of her son, Alexander, then in his fifteenth year. No great regret seems to have been felt. A kindly disposed clergyman, the Rev. Patrick Grant of Boleskine, when referring to Glengarry's death, merely says to a friend, under date of 22nd July—"I intended writing you on Monday of last week, but accompanied Glengarry's corpse that day, and only came home Sunday morning." His widow, however, went to considerable expense in restoring the mausoleum at Killionan. In Duncan's time, North Morar was lost, but all the wadsets were redeemed, and progress was made towards the reclamation of Shian and the Aberchalders, while the rental had been increased enormously since 1772.

The Glengarry claims to the representation of the Lords of the Isles, first openly asserted by Lord Macdonell and Aros, was revived in Duncan Macdonell's time. His son, in 1798, desires to recover some family papers which were in possession of a lawyer deceased, "from the period the late Lord Macdonald of Sleat thought proper to dispute my father's right to the Chieftainship of the Clan and Arms of the ancient Lords of the Isles and Earls of Ross. And though that matter is decided, it is far from pleasant to lose a thing of the kind, and therefore I depend on your steady exertions to find them." Duncan's widow, who managed matters with a high hand, ignoring her co-trustees, and in one letter asserting most indignantly that " Factor Butter" was no trustee of her son, continued the same course until her death at Inverness on the 1st of October, 1792. Her eldest son had been alternately crossed and petted, so that before his mother's death, and especially thereafter before attaining his majority, young Glengarry's temper and disposition showed itself as most overbearing. The old and valued friend of the family, Mr William Macdonald of St. Martins, Clerk to the Signet, who had often come to its assistance from the time of John of the '45, though left a trustee, was never consulted. He says in a letter of 13th July, 1793, referring to the young Chief—" I dread his getting into bad hands. Perhaps he may pull up and come to reason, for it grieves me to see the representative of that family running into folly, and must soon involve him." The raising of the Glengarry Fencibles and consequent demand for men had put a stop for a time to removals, and I have not observed any subsequent to those already described, prior to 1800, except in 1797, when two tenants in Glashchoyle, three in Leachaultnakure, and one in Tororay, all in Knoydart, were summoned, but they escaped through the folly of the Sheriff-officer in calling as his witnesses his own two sons, both under 14 years of age. Those families which did not contribute all their available men were severely dealt with, and in one case a poor widow was oppressed because she did not give her two sons. She was warned out, though resident on the Lochiel estate, under pretence that her cattle trespassed. Widow Kennedy was, in reality, a cottar under the Achnasaul tenants, and she gave a son to Glengarry on the promise that she would get an independent croft from him, which he not only did not give but, because she declined giving another son, he warned her, as if she were within his bounds. A clansman of Lochici was very indignant and intervened with effect, observing in reply to the further accusation that the Kennedys were idle and disorderly, that it was not true, "but if Glengarry himself were less so, he would not be obliged to abscond at this date (12th of June, 1798) from the laws of his country "—a reference to the Macleod duel.

The Fencibles being disbanded, pressure was again felt, and in 1802 the second great emigration occurred. In the transactions of the Celtic Society of Montreal, published in 1887, Professor Bryce of Winnipeg says—

"In 1802 three vessels sailed from Fort-William, in Scotland, to Quebec, laden with Highlanders. Many of these were Macdonell's Highlanders—a regiment largely of Glengarry men—who had served in repressing the Irish rebellion of 1798. There were among these people colonists from Glenelg and Kintail, and elsewhere in the Highlands. There were some thousands of these settlers, who chiefly settled in Glengarry County, Ontario, and they have given a backbone to that part of Canada at the very crisis in its history, since their arrival."

In the same volume of Transactions, Mr John Maclennan, of Lancaster, Ontario, whose father was a Kintail man, thus refers to the emigration—

"In 1802 three vessels came from Fort-William to Quebec emigrant laden. Among them were the disbanded soldiers of the Glengarry Fencibles Regiment that had been raised by Alexander Macdonell, chief of Glengarry, for service in Ireland in the repression of the Rebellion of 1798. They were granted free land, and were accompanied by their chaplain, the Reverend Alexander Macdonell, afterwards Bishop of Kingston, and the first in the Province, and who lived to the age of 8o, much esteemed by all classes. The influence over the men who were his clansmen as well as his flock, was deservingly great. They formed a compact colony in the centre of the country, and built the fine church of St. Raphaels."

I refer to Bishop Macdonell later on.

The rental this year, 1802, was as follows, an enormous rise since 1768, when it was only a little over £700 as ad sterling.

Those marked in the rental as crofters were those who paid direct to the proprietor—the numerous body known as crofters and cottars as a rule being sub-tenants of the principal tacksman contributing generally the whole rent, leaving the tacksman to sit rent free.

The great emigration of 1802 did not stop removal, which still continued on a modified scale. In 1803 Mr Donald Macleod of Ratagan is evicted ; and in r8o6 from Pollary, the two Arriveans, and Derryverigyle, Knoydart, John Mackinnon, ground officer, an old retainer of the family, is removed. In 1804 there were warned out, and decrees extracted against them, the following in Knoydart —Ewen Macdonald, John Macdonald, and Alexander Macpherson from Rhiedarroch, 3; James Macdougall, Donald Macdougall, and Evan Ban Cameron, from Doun, 3 Archibald Kennedy, Donald Macdonald, and Lachlan Mackinnon from Airor, 3 ; Duncan Kennedy, and James Kennedy from Kyles, 2 ; in all eleven heads of families.

In 1806, the following were warned out and the decrees against them extracted :—Angus Gillies, Angus Kennedy and Donald Macdonell, from Auchagirnack and SheanTaller, 3; John Hall and William Macdonell from the change-house of Portbain, being part of Letterfearn, 2 William Robertson, from the change-house of Laggan, a part of North Laggan, 1; Alexander Breack Kennedy, Angus Kennedy, Alexander Macdonell, junior; Alexander Macdonell, senior; Angus Macdonell and Paul Macdonell from Leek, 6; John IIacdonell, Angus Macdonell, Donald Macdonell, John Kennedy, Ewen Kennedy, Angus Kennedy and Widow Flora Macdonell or Macrae from Invervigar, 7; in all not less than nineteen heads of families.

In 1808, the following were similarly treated. John Fraser from Portbain of Letterfearn, 1; John Roy Macdonald, Alexander Gillies, John Macdonald, from Laggan, 5; John Cameron, Evan Macdonald and Evan Macphee, from Shian, 3; James Macdonell and John Stewart from Auchgirnach, 2; Donald Macdonald and Donald Macdonell from Old Ground, 2; Alexander Mactavish from Mandally, 1; John Stewart from Invergarry, 1; Donald Buie Macdonald from Skiary, 1; Donald Roy Macdonell from Sandaig, 1; Angus Mackinnon, John Mackinnon, James Macdonell, Angus Macdonell, Ranald Macdonell, Donald Maclellan or Maclennan, and Neil Macphail from Airor, 7; and Donald Macdonell, from Soerges, 1; in all twenty-four heads of families.


Colonel Alexander Macdonell was killed in 1828, leaving much debt, which resulted in Glengarry being sold some years after to the Marquis of Huntly. Alexander's son, Eneas Ronaidson Macdonell, emigrated about 1839 with a number of his people to Australasia, but being unsuccessful he returned to Knoydart, where he died. After his death, that estate fell under trustees, who sold it in 1853 to the late Mr James Baird of Cambusdoon. Part of the bargain included the removal virtually in tote of such of the people as still remained, and the hardships and cruelties of this the last eviction are so fresh and known to so many living, through Mr Alexander Mackenzie's History of the Highland Clearances and otherwise, that it is needless to refer to them.

I have thus in outline shown step by step, when, by whom, and why, these most unhappy evictions and emigrations occurred. It will have been observed that all the wadsetters Of 1768 were Macdonells and of the Chief's house, and though a century has passed it is impossible without emotion even now to think of the numerous Macdonells, tenants and sub-tenants, cottars and dependents, who in turn were dispossessed, a noble race whose predecessors, by their labours, exertions, and services, often to death, were the means through which the House of Glengarry had its renown. But it was all in vain. Rents rose prodigiously, yet the family decayed, lost and lost every acre except the "Craggan an Fhithich" and mausoleum of Killionan, and there is not now a living male descendant of Duncan Macdonell of Glengarry. It is a fact not less painful than preposterous that at the present day (1894) some dozen crofters (all remaining) cannot get sufficient land of the tens of thousands acres of Knoydart to maintain them without the intervention of the Crofters Commission.

The introduction of sheep farmers was most harassing to the people. When not removed, their rents were raised, their grazings curtailed, actions for trespass frequent; in short, ultimate removal through harassment and insolvency became certain. One of the minor grievances was fox hunters' dues, of which I give a specimen, being a dignified remonstrance by the old Knoydart people to the factor on the estate, enclosing a summons to the Fort-William Court served on one of their number for £1 4 9½ for fox hunters' dues, and £1 11s 8d, proportion of his maintenance—a document well worthy of preservation. Here it is-

"Knoydart, 12th February, 1793.

Sir,—We the under written antient tenants of Glengarry in the country of Knoydart, and remains of the former inhabitants, do acquaint you as factor and doer for Glengarry, do acquaint you we say, and remonstrate, how that the farmers who have sheep stock in this country, and particularly from other gentlemen's properties, are daily harassing any who have only black cattle, and charging us with daily pleas and disputing unreasonable as we judge it, so that it will be absolutely impossible for any to stand, unless a step is efficaciously put to their encroachments. In particular one of a very disagreeable nature is started against us presently, with regard to the expense of a fox hunter. In order to which we inform how that at getting our late tacks, no mention was made of any such particular, so that we judged ourselves totally exempt from any such burden. Secondly, last spring they agreed with a fox hunter for five quarters of a year at thirty-three pounds sterling. They pretended that as always so likewise for these space of time we should pay as much as themselves though our proportion of sheep is only a mite to thousands. Neither had they our consent or approbation at the time of feeing a fox hunter, nor did they await for it. Upon our refusal to pay we have all been charged with summons, tho' very ill executed. We beg therefore, that you undertake not only oui cause but as we think it that of justice, bring our law plea to Inverness, where you are yourself; and also represent our situation to our master, who we hope will take pity upon, and repell the presumption of such individuals as think to take advantage, not only of our weakness, but his homage, and turn into their private interest and purses, these pennies we would more cheerfully reserve for his—not only but also his agents and attendants, we would not chose to complain of them in the tone of incomers or intruders, though we were the first servants and guardians of the family, if they behaved discreetly to any of; particularly some others intermixed with them. But these grievances are such as scarcely one brother would bear from another.

"In order, however, to spare ourselves and them too, the expense of law, we appointed a meeting with them, and agreed to pay a competency, provided they 'would give us in write their obligation of giving us no further trouble. This they refused, and the agreement was knocked up. Herein, for a specimen, we have enclosed one of the summones

"From Killichoan (signed)—John Macdonell, John Macdonell, Angus Macdone!!, Angus Macdonell, senr., Donald Maclellan, Donald Macdonell, Angus Mackinnon.

"From Inverie Mor (signed)—Donald Macdone]!, John Macdone!], Rory Macdonell.

"From Brionsaig (signed)—Angus Macdonel!, Allan Macdonell, Ronald Macdonell.

"From Glaschoile (signed)—Angus Maclachlan, Dugald Maclachlan, John Macdonell.

"From Riharroch (signed)— John Macdonell, Angus Macdonell, Malcolm Macaulay, Alexander Macdonell, Rory Macdonell. From Scammadale (signed)—Ranald Macdonell.

"P.S—We wrote to Glengarry and we hope you will take the trouble to forward it when you receive it, and give it the proper direction wherein we represented to our master our grievances and the encroachments and daily harrassments given us by the subtenants of other heritors such as l3arisdale, Sandaig, and Donald Strome."

Before concluding my remarks on the Glengarry Emigrations, the account would be incomplete without referring to the two Alexanders Macdonell, clergymen, so intimately connected therewith.

The first Alexander Macdonell, of the Scotos family, went out to Canada in 1786. Of him Mr J. A. Macdonell of Greenfield, in his most interesting sketches of Glengarry in Canada, published at Montreal in 1893, says—

"Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary war in 1786, a large emigration of Highlanders, numbering, I believe, some five hundred souls, took place, principally froin. that part of the Glengarry estates known as Knoydart, under the leadership of the Rev. Alexander Macdonell, who settled with their clansmen and kinsfolk in Glengarry. The following extract, taken from Neilson's Quebec Gazette, relates to the immigration:-

Quebec, 7th September, 1786.

Arrived ship " Macdonald," Captain Robert Stevenson, from Greenock with emigrants, nearly the whole of a parish in the North of Scotland, who emigrated with their priest (the Reverend Alexander Macdonell, Scotos), and nineteen cabin passengers, together with five hundred and twenty steerage passengers, to better their case, up to Catraqui' (Kingston.)

This priest was one of the earliest Catholic priests or missionaries, other than French, in Upper Canada. He was born at Scotos House in Knoydart, Glengarry, Scotland, I believe, in 1750. He was educated in France, and ordained priest in Paris in 1778. He was founder of the parish of St. Raphael's, the pioneer parish not only of Glengarry, but of all Upper Canada, where he b'iilt the first church known in its day as the "Blue Chapel," and which was succeeded by the present large edifice, erected by Bishop Macdonell. He died at Lachine oil way to Montreal on 24th May, 1803."

The second Alexander Macdonell was born at Inshiaggan in 1762, educated at the Scots College of Paris, afterwards at Valladolid, and there ordained in 1787. He was subsequently missionary in the Brae of Lochaber, and Chaplain of the Glengarry Fencibles. After the emigration of 1802 and his settlement in Glengarry, he, in the words of Greenfield, p. 323—

"Was for 36 years a notable figure in the Province. He possessed an influence over his Highland fellow countrymen, which was exerted without stint for their temporal welfare and advancement, without distinction of creed, and for the furtherance of those sound and loyal principles which were so dear to his heart."

Upper Canada having been united into a Bishopric by Leo XII. in 1826, Alexander Macdonell was appointed its first Bishop. He visited Scotland for the last time in 1839, and was in the Highlands in the autumn of that year. He died early in 1840 in his 8oth year and was interred in Edinburgh, but in 1861 his remains were removed to their final resting place at Kingston, Ontario.

I have the pleasure of giving a letter, written in 1837, from the Bishop to the then Chisholm, which well illustrates his benevolent disposition. With The Chisholm's mother, afterwards Lady Ramsay, sister of Colonel Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry, the Bishop would have been well acquainted prior to 1802—

Kingston, Upper Canada, 26th May, 1837.

"My dear Chisholm,—Lady Ramsay will not be surprised that I should feel interested in the welfare and prosperity of her son, whom she educated with such care and attention, and whose talents improved and developed by education, hold out such high expectations not only to an affectionate parent, but to all his friends and indeed to his country.

"Little did I think when I had the pleasure of seeing you last, at St. John's Wood, near London, on reading a noble specimen of your improvement in your education, which you wrote for the perusal of your worthy uncle, the late Sir Alexander Grant, and myself; that I should have to address you to-day as the representative of the county of Inverness, an honour which has fallen to the lot of very few of the natives of that county since the union of England and Scotland. Although this be the first step of your political career, I hope it will not be the last, and, old as I am, I do not despair of your holding one of the most distinguished situations in the Government of the British Empire.

"This will be handed to you by Major Bonicastle of the Royal Engineers, a particular friend of mine, who will be able to give Lady Ramsay, if in London, every information she may wish to know concerning me, and, if not, I would be greatly obliged to you by mentioning my name to her ladyship when you write to her, and also to your uncle the General, and to say that I am well and in the enjoyment of good health—I have the honour to be, my dear Sir, your most devoted humble servant.

(Signed) "ALEXANDER MACDONELL, "Bishop of Kingston."


The late Abertarff used to say that from the time of his birth, and he feared until his death, he would never be "out of law," to use a common expression. The same may be said of Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry, with this difference, that while Abertarff was the victim of circumstances over which he had no control Glengarry as a rule brought all his legal troubles on himself.

Let me take two of his trials. In the case of Lieutenant Macleod Glengarry was the wrongdoer, but conscious of this, he did all he could to effect an honourable arrangement, in which he was supported by his second, Major Macdonald. Macleod on the other hand was headstrong himself, and had an unsuitable second in the person of Captain Campbell, as obstinate as his principal. It is generally supposed that the original offence was committed at a Northern Meeting ball, but it was really at a Fort-George officers' and county gentlemen's ball held in April, 1798. Miss Forbes of Culloden, a great beauty, who afterwards married Hugh Robert Duff of Muirtown, having agreed to dance with Lieutenant Norman Macleod, grandson of Flora Macdonald, Glengarry spoke and behaved rudely, claiming her hand for the same dance. In consequence a hostile meeting took place near Fort-George on the 3rd of May, Macleod being wounded, but not at the moment thought dangerously. The combatants shook hands and parted. In a few days Macleod died, and in August following Glengarry was tried in the high Court of Justiciary. The prosecution was conducted with virulence, and not a stone was left unturned to press home the capital charge. The trial excited immense interest in the country, and particularly in the North, all the Northern lawyers and Advocates in Edinburgh being present. I have three letters on the subject. James Home, W.S., writing on the 7th August, merely says in a P.S.—" Glengarry has just been acquit;" James Fraser of Gortuleg on the same day says—"Altho it will probably reach you otherways, I cannot avoid congratulating you on Glengarry's escape, which was narrow indeed, since the chancellor of the jury declared it arose only from the tendency to conciliation in the course of the day anterior to the fatal meeting. I sincerely wish he may make a good use of the hairbreadth escape. He must certainly pay a handsome assythment." The fullest account is that given by Coil Macdonell of Dalness, CS., Glengarry's agent, who thus expresses himself on the 14th of August, 1798-

"I have yet scarcely recovered from the fatigues of Glengarrie's trial. You would have several public as well as private accounts of it, but none can give an adequate idea of the whole of what appeared in the course of it. The Lord Advocate exerted the utmost pitch of his abilities, and the verdict returned does not meet with the general approbation of the public, though I for one am convinced that it is a proper verdict, warranted by the evidence adduced. The public voice was so much against Glengarry, that not a single one among his friends thought that he would have been acquitted by a unanimous verdict. If you compare the Mercury and the Advertiser account, it will convey a tolerable good criterion of the import of the evidence, though several material things are omitted in both— particularly no notice is taken of a letter signed "Neill Campbell, Captain, 79th Regiment," which Captain Campbell denied to be his subscription. It was wrote to the publisher of the Courant. The evidence of Mrs Duff is the subject of general talk ; without doubt you will hear it. She remained in Court to the last. The Lord Advocate paid very many compliments to her beauty, etc., in the course of his speech, but the chancellor of the jury said she was the best evidence for Glengarry of all that had been adduced."

Another serious trial in which Glengarry was chiefly interested, was that of Dr Donald Macdonald, Fort-Augustus, concluded in 1807.

Dr Macdonald was a man of dogged and obstinate temper and disposition. He was tenant in the first decade of the century of the sheep farm of Scotos proper, and the ill-feeling between him and Glengarry dated back to 1798, when at the birthday entertainment of that year at Invergarry House, Dr Macdonald assaulted the Macdonell Chief, or at least seized and threatened him. An attempt to adjust matters was afterwards made by the Rev. Dr Thomas Ross of Kilmonivaig, Mr Macdonell, Greenfield, and Mr John Mackay, Innis-na-cardoch, who all begged of Dr Macdonald to apologise to Glengarry for what had taken place, but the Dr would make none, considering himself not in fault. The ill-feeling remained, but did not come to any head until 1805, when according to himself the Doctor was assaulted, threatened, and severely beaten by some of Glengarry's people at a market held in Fort- Augustus on the 30th of September in that year. There was a good deal of general turmoil and disturbance in the place at the time, apart from this particular squabble. The charges made ultimately resolved into a process of injury, oppression, and damages before the Court of Session, and the defenders called were Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry, Alexander Macdonell, at Kinloch, factor for Glengarry; John Macdonell, junior, piper to Glengarry; Ranald Macdonell, tacksrnan of Glenline; Angus Kennedy, commonly called Angus Bàn Kennedy, at Invervigar; and Allan Kennedy, brother to the said Angus Bàn Kennedy. Proof was led in Edinburgh at great length, and the proceedings lingered until the 23rd of June, 1807, when a decision was given. Sufficient details will be found in the following two letters from Glengarry's agent, and interlocutor pronounced by the Court :-

"Edinburgh, 3rd June, 1807.

The fate of Dr Macdonald's case against Glengarry has been determined, and determined with a vengeance. The Lords awarded L2000 sterling of damages, besides expenses, and they also recommended to the Lord Advocate to prosecute criminally. The public expectation was high on account of prejudice, but the decision outstripped the public expectation, at least two-thirds in magnitude. The Court agreed that their opinion should be delivered by the Lord Justice Clerk. He made a very long speech, but even at the funeral of Balnatua, he imputed the blame, and the whole blame to Glengarry.

"To advise Glengarry to acquiesce in the judgment is so very repugnant to my feelings that I will not do it, let the consequences be what they may. Mr Blair, the most eminent lawyer at the Scots Bar, while he gave it as his opinion that damages would be awarded, and that we, ought to prepare for it, considered that they would be small, and that the case was not by any means so bad as he had reason to believe, or cause to expect. Mr Erskine was of the same mind. On the opinion of the former I would place the greatest reliance, but in a matter of this kind where evidence is to be judged of too, according to the laws of common law, I do not apprehend that a judgment dictated by prejudices (for such I must consider it) is to be acquiesced in without an endeavour to overturn it in a place where that prejudice has no room to operate. You will perceive that my meaning is the House of Peers, for I expect no reversal here, though Counsel were so astonished at the decision that they could not bring their mind to say one thing or other."

"Edinburgh, 24th June, 1807.

"Though not recovered from the dismay of our discomfiture, I think it right to communicate a copy of the interlocutor. . . . The malicious are now making an attack on Sir James Montgomery for not taking it up criminally, and to every one concerned a certain share of censure is allotted in the conversation of the Parliament House. In particular, the ladies took a great interest for the doctor.

The following is the interlocutor of the Court :-

"Edinburgh, 23rd June, 1807.

The Lords having considered the state of the process, writs produced, testimonies of the witnesses adduced, and heard counsel for the parties in their own presence, they find that the hail defenders, on the 30th day of September as libelled, on the market day of Fort-Augustus, and at or near that place, were guilty of a violent and atrocious assault on the person of the pursuer, Mr Donald Macdonald, to the effusion of his blood and danger of his life. Find that the said assault did not originate in a sudden quarrel, but was the result of long premediated resentment and a deliberate purpose of revenge, and was attended with many circumstances of great barbarity and peculiar aggravation, especially on the part of the defender, Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry. Therefore finds the hail defenders conjunctly and severally liable to the pursuer in damages; modify the same to two thousand pounds sterling and decern. Find the defenders conjunctly and severally also liable in the expenses of process, and ordain an account thereof to be given in, and remit the same to the Auditor to tax, and report to the Court. And further in respect that the defender, Alexander Macdonell, was at the time of the above assault a Justice of the Peace, and Deputy-Lieutenant for the County of Inverness, and was not only the aggressor in the above assault, and did not interfere to preserve the peace, but did by imprecations and outrageous threats of personal violence, deter and prevent John Mackay, head constable of the County of Inverness, from interfering to assist, and rescue the pursuer when officially called on by him so to do, thereby openly aiding and abetting the other defenders in their attack on the pursuer, and did likewise endeavour to prevent the Military Guard when called for, when coming to the pursuer's relief; the Lords remit this point to his Majesty's Advocate with the view that he may consider how far it is proper that the said Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry, should any longer be continued in the Commission of the Peace and Lieutenancy for the County of Inverness, and in respect of the ungovernable resentment and violence manifested by the said defenders, also to consider whether it would not be proper that they should all of them be be laid under proper security to keep the peace."


Glengarry was a man of undoubted talent and fair business capacity. His extreme sense of this capacity led him to interfere and make, as he thought, complete arrangements which led him into no end of trouble. One of his tenants and factors says of him when called to strict account—

"The truth is that upon these vast estates of Glengarry, he Glengarry, had factors enough; he himself was Primus; his wife was Vice; his agent at Inverness Deputy; and the defendant was merely a Substitute, and for all his intromissions as such substitute he had most faithfully accounted."

He could be bitterly satirical when he chose. An unfortunate clansman with whom he had fallen out and been taken into Court, complains that " he had already such examples of Glengarry's friendship and feelings as to make him not surprised at anything that happens wherein the pursuer is concerned," and he further styles himself "Captain Alexander Macdonell." This title of Captain was strongly objected to by Glengarry, alleging that he "raised him from a private to an ensign in his regiment; that on the reduction of that regiment he made him his factor and entrusted him with the collection of his whole rents of from five to six thousand a year—that he gave him the adjutancy of his Volunteer battalion and afterwards of his local Militia regiment, equal to £10 a year, which he has enjoyed for about ten years." In another place an accusation is made against the poor Captain by Glengarry that one of his petitions "is couched in the same dignified strain which has characterised him for a course of years, and has brought him to a level wit/i his ancestors." In a dispute with Mr Alexander Cameron, tenant of Inverguseran, who complains of having been wantonly brought into court, after doing in his day much for Glengarry, including, according to his own words in 1819,

"In the first place, before I had any holding from Glengarry, and when I had the subset of Inverguseran from Strone and Maclachlan, Glengarry raised his regiment, leaving a great many of the friends of his recruits on every farm in the country, and it happened there was a very good many of them between Newgart and Inveriemor, and after I paid Strone and Maclachian my rents, they would not pay Glengarry unless he was to take these crofters in part payment of his rent. At last Maclachlan went to Invergarry with the rent, and brought a man of business with him, little Archibald Maclachlan, writer in Fort-William, to take a protest, unless the crofters were to be taken in part payment, so that Maclachlan came back with the rent without paying it. When I heard this, I went to Fort-William and desired Maclachian to give me the rent, and that I would go to Invergarry with it. I went and paid Glengarry the rents and the crofters out of my own pocket and ever since till the regiment was disbanded, no less than five, six, or seven crofters with a cow or two each."

This letter throws some light on the inducement given to recruit. Of old, military service was the chief equivalent for rent, and suited to the times. Glengarry had all the honour and glory of command, and also drew high rents from his tenants, but nevertheless he attempted to throw the heavy additional burden on them of supporting the recruits' families. The following observations on the foregoing letter are in his own handwriting. He says :-

"While Cameron was only sub-tenant his ambition led him naturally to be obliging, and it was by such conduct alone he could cherish the hope of such success as afterwards attended him on being received as tenant, and being the resident on these lands he could not help complying with the rules laid down for other occupants. This was merely a hoax in order to make a virtue, if he could, of necessity. Accordingly, when he saw the matter was overdone, he made the best of it, by submitting to the general rule observed by all the other tenants, even those on the forfeited lands. This system of giving house stances, etc., to his relatives, was the line struck out by me in preference to taking recruits from my tenants, the usual mode adopted by neighbouring proprietors, and certainly the easiest for tenants."

In other litigations, important decisions were given against him. With a large sheep farmer Glengarry fell out, and attempted to stop him from heather burning because likely to kill the fibres and roots of natural woods such as birch and oak, and he failed. He was also unsuccessful in stopping a ploughing up at outgoing of land in cultivation at entry, though not since turned over. Again, in absence of express stipulation, it was decided against him that a sheep farmer was not bound to deliver the stock at outgoing by valuation. A parish clergyman. rather pressing for his stipend, is termed an "Eyterkin." A border sheep farmer, supposed to have greatly prospered, and become purse-proud and arrogant, is reminded that his first appearance in Inverness-shire was bare-footed, in "moggans," and that for three years he had consorted with the common fox-hunter, "taking his porridge out of the same cog."

A somewhat interesting point in reference to rights of moss arose in 1813. Prior to the sale of North Morar in 1768, the tenants on both sides of Nevis were in use to cut their peats, on the Knoydart side, at Kyles Knoydart, and this had continued ever since. Latterly, owing no allegiance to Glengarry, the Morar people cut as they liked. Prescription had not run, in consequence of Glengarry's years of minority having to be taken into account. The disposition of Morar was believed to include mosses, niuirs, etc., but I was told that it was found that there being an intervening arm of the sea, though narrow, where Kyles Knoydart and Kyles Morar face—the possession must be held to have been ex gatia.

Lastly, I will refer to the case in which a well-known and respected townsman, Mr Neil Maclean, land surveyor, who died not many years ago, was in the execution of his duty as Glengarry's factor, faced with gun and broadsword This occurred in 1817, and I will give the particulars in Glengarry's own words, dated the 19th of July. Archibald Dhu Macdonald, commonly called "Archie-du-na-Bitaig," being dispossessed from Riefern of South Morar in 1815, and according to Glengarry, "in consequence of his possessing an uncommon address," he got a share in the large farm of Kinloch Nevis, but unable to pay his rent, renounced his rights upon certain conditions. Archie had six or seven sons, all worthy chips of the old block, Glengarry says—

"I am bothered with Bitag; I gave him the grass of four cows in Sourchaise for this year by missive, when he renounced by comprisetnent the sheep stock of Kinloch Nevis, still far short of his debt to me, but he keeps in his sons' names or his own four more milkers, and I believe a young horse without authority or right of any kind. Can I not seize these in part payment of his debt still due to me, and remove him off the farm which he surrendered to me—I mean to its extremity Sourchaise, where his sons live, by my own authority, or am I necessarily to have him ejected, and go otherwise more formally to work. When Mr Maclean and the ground officer went to move him the other day, he ran into the house for a gun, loaded it in their presence, and cocked it, and then taking out an old broadsword worn by his grandfather at Culloden, and backed by his Sons with oak sticks, they outnumbered and browbeat the factor and his adherents, and so maintain illegal and unwarrantable possession of my property by violence alone."

Archie and his sons were afterwards ejected, but the subsequent fate of the broadsword used in 1746 and again unsheathed in 1817 is to me, alas, unknown.


One incident in Glengarry's life connected with the old Stone Bridge of Inverness is worth recalling. He had attended a county meeting, at which he presided, on the 25th of November, 1819, and being detained later than he anticipated had to remain in Inverness all night.

It appeared that he expected company to dinner on the following day, and making the best of matters, sent on his own horses to Invermoriston, intending to post thither from Inverness early next morning, so as to arrive at Invergarry in time for dinner.

The following extract from a complaint to the Justices, at Glengarry's instance and that of the Procurator-Fiscal, shows what befel him at the bridge :-

"That by the law of this, and all other civilized realms, impeding and interrupting of a public high road, or a road upon a bridge, by means of lockfast or closed gates whereby the lawful traveller in a cold frosty morning is prevented from going alongst the bridge upon payment of the lawful dues, is severely punishable. Yet true it is and of verity, that Donald Macdonald at Burnside of Holm, now in Inverness, toilman, bridgeman, or tacksman of the Petty Customs on the Stone Bridge of Inverness, and Margaret Macdonald, his subtenant, are both and each or one or other of them guilty thereof or actors, art and part. In as far as the said Donald Macdonald having become tacksman of the Petty Customs levied at the Old Bridge of Inverness for the last and current year, whereby he became legally entitled to draw from the passengers the accustomed rates, and thereby became bound to serve at all hours of the day and night the passengers, and to attend that they were to receive free egress and regress at all hours of the day and night for payment of the accustomed dues. But notwithstanding thereof; the said Donald Macdonald sublet the toll of the said Old Bridge of Inverness to the said Margaret Macdonald, or set her there as his servant the said Donald Macdonald or Margaret Macdonald, or one or other of them wilfully neglected to attend on and at the said Bridge, and upon the morning of the 26th day of November last or upon one or other of the days of that month, or of the month of October iinmediitely preceding, the private complainer had occasion to pass alongst the said bridge having a four-wheeled carriage and two horses with his lady therein, and when he came with the said carriage to the sirnmit of the said bridge, he then found that the gates on the said bridge were shut against him without a tollman or bridgeman or the tacksman of the said Petty Customs, as is usual, in attendance to open the same. That the private complainer repeatedly called for the said tollman, bridgeman or tacksman to come and open the said gates and allow the said carriage with the said private complainer and his family to pass, but he received no answer, nor was the said gates opened. That the private complainer having thereupon alighted from the carriage and knocked, assisted by his servant, against the gates on the said bridge or on the end of the said bridge, he for about half an hour received no answer, but at length the tollrnan or tacksman or sub-tenant, sub-tacksman or servant who was substitute by the said Donald Macdonald as tollman or bridgeman, was found in a neighbouring whisky house or retail house of spirituous liquors drinking at spirituous liquors, from whence he or she was brought, and the said gates opened. That in this detention the pursuer and his wife and family were upon the bridge for a period of about 30 minutes on a cold frosty morning, and their horses having in the meantime got restive, they ran off on the gates being opened, and the lives of the occupants of the said carriage were thereby in danger."

The tollman had to make a suitable apology and give compensation to the justly offended and aggrieved Chief.

Glengarry was very hospitable and a model in family life. Ile and his wife were a most affectionate and attached couple, and both very proud of their eldest son and successor, Eneas Ronaldson, who seems to have been an excellent scholar and at the head of his classes when at Perth Academy. Of the daughters, Marsali appears to have been the favourite, a girl of high spirit and lively temperament; and the letters I have seen give one a pleasing idea of the family life. Glengarry was a great sportsman of the old school, and as early as 1802, I observe him strictly observing the 12th of August, "iii the hills." For many years he lived at Garry Cottage, Perthshire, and Invergarry House and shootings were let as early as 1810, to the then Lord O'Neill. He kept up pleasant relations with the Antrim family, sending the Countess pieces of the finest woods of Glengarry to be worked into articles of furniture. He sends young deer to the Duke of York, and imports pheasants. Sir Henry Vane Tempest, and he interchange of their choicest herds, for the improvement of their breeds of cattle, lie gives balls at Inverness, and for that held in July 1813 the famous fiddler, Donald Davidson, acknowledges payment of two pounds seven shillings sterling, being at the rate of one guinea for each of two violin players, and five shillings for the bass. In i8o6 he is in London making a stir, and very particular as to his appearance in the Highland dress. " I ordered a pair of brogues in Fort- William to be sent after me, as I peak (pride) myself while mingled with strangers, on being the truest Highlander." Politically, he was not a strong partizan. A rather extreme address to King George IV., having been proposed to be sent from the county of Inverness, Glengarry addressed a sharp letter to the Preses of the meeting, held on the 4th of January, 1821, through the late Mr John Macandrew, solicitor, as he was himself unable to be present :-

To the Preses of the County Meeting called for the 4th instant.

"Perth, 2nd Jany., 1821.

"Sir,—Altho' I am not aware of any particular emergency in the internal state of the country or its relations abroad, which at the present crisis calls forth a special declaration of loyalty or attachment to the Throne, sentiments universally known to pervade the whole population of the Highlands of Scotland in a degree nowhere surpassed I yet, as it is impossible for me to attend the meeting called by the Convener, on what for an extensive county I conceive far too short no/ice, if it was the object to obtain the real sentiments of its proprietors, I deem it proper to declare that in loyalty, pure constitutional feelings and attachment to the Throne 1 will yield to no man ; and that I know this sentiment to be shared by those of all ranks with whom it has pleased Providence to connect me by relations, which it is my pride to avow and my particular anxiety to cherish. I feel it incumbent upon me as an extensive proprietor in Inverness-shire to state, that I will not consider myself a party to what may be done at a meeting so hastily called together, at a season when of all others more than ordinary premonition should have been given by the Convener, if it was not wished to 1-ass off for the feelings and sentiments of the county at large, the opinions, interested or otherwise, of those who reside in and near the county town, situated as Inverness is upon its very eastmost extremity nor will I acquiesce in the resolutions of that meeting as the sense of the county of Inverness.

"I beg also to remark, in opposition to what seems to be implied in the requisition, that in our county nothing of irreligion or sedition is known. The whole population of the Highlands are remarkable for zeal in religion generally and, comparatively speaking, for observance of moral 5rccetts, and certainly to be surpassed by none in their devoted attachment to the Throne, /lie constitution, and the constituted authorities of the land, while the spirit and principles of Radicalism are incomj5aiihle with and diametrically opposite to every feeling of true Highlandism, nay, without a total demoralization of the Highland character or an extinction of the genuine race, that Exotic can never take root amidst Caledonia's mountains.

"A Highlander is naturally generous as well as brave and an enemy to everything wearing the semblance of oppression, and tho' his principles of attachment to those immediately placed over him will necessarily go far to influence his conduct, there is a pitch beyond which (in my opinion) even that may become ineffective, and there is no true son of the mountains in an unbiassed state, who has not regarded all the measures recently adopted against Her Majesty the Queen with keen regard, approaching closely to jealous)', however unwilling they may be to speak out unnecessarily in such delicate circumstances.—I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient humble servt., (Signed) "A. MACDONELL.

"To be delivered in Court to the Preses by Jno. McAndrew, solicitor, Inverness, as Glengarry's agent there."

This letter is much in advance of the general views politically of that day, and it was supported by Rothiemurchus and others, while the resolution was only carried after some amendments.

Glengarry, it is well known, was an enthusiast for Gaelic, and did a great deal to have Mr Ewen Maclachian transferred to Inverness. His children were taught Gaelic by Mr Alexander Campbell, afterwards minister of Croy.

Taking him all in all, faults and vittues, we will never see his like again."


It was an old and general accusation against Highlanders that they did not see the difference between "meum and tuum " when it became a question of taking the property of another. The following papers are given on account of the curious defence broadly stated in a legal paper, signed moreover by a procurator, not a Highlander, though subsequently his descendants became prominently connected with Inverness and the Highlands.

Telford, in bitterness of heart, from his being so often crossed and fleeced during the Canal operations, declared that Highland landlords were the most rapacious in Europe, but it is possible those whom he employed under him, chiefly aliens, did not make things as agreeable as they might, and in this instance John Telford endeavoured to make a mountain of a mole hill.

The Canal Commissioners, and John Telford, residing at Corpach, their manager, with concourse of the Procurator- Fiscal, state to the Sheriff of Inverness-shire in March, 1807, that the Commissioners some time ago purchased from Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry a large quantity of birchwood for the use of the said Canal, part of which was carried to Corpach, but a considerable part of it in the course of conveyance lay on the lands of Laggan and at the west end of Loch Oich, and the Commissioners erected on the said lands of Laggan a saw pit, which they covered with timber. That, regardless of all honesty, John Macdonald, piper, Alexander Gillies, Alexander Macdonell, Alexander Mor Macdonell, John Roy Macdonell, Paul Macdonell, and John Kennedy, all tenants in North Laggan, did not only strip the aforesaid saw pit of its roof, but carried it away, as also forty trees of birch or birch timber, which they disposed of for their own use, whereby they subjected themselves in damages. Service being ordered, answers were given in, in which the allegation of having in any way interfered with the saw pit or its roof is denied, and the respondents say they are most wrongously accused and unjustly charged with a crime which they did not commit. The reply as to the birch trees is given in their own words—

"In regard to the charge of carrying away forty birch trees, they most readily acknowledge that they found a few trifling sticks on the banks of Loch Oich, which the lake had seemingly cast on shore, but they were only fit for firewood, and were applied to that purpose, and whether they belonged in property to the complainers, the respondents knew not. They would be exceedingly sorry to deprive the complainers or any person of their property; but it is a well attested fact that a Highlandman is not accustomed in practice to such refined notions of property as to lead him to suppose he is committing the crime of theft, when he finds a stick of little value seemingly neglected by everybody, and kindles it into a flame to warm his naked limbs during a winter's storm or a spring frost. The respondents would indeed be sorry to consume a tree of any value in whatever state they found it, but they humbly submit if they have committed a crime the damage done is moderate indeed, as the few sticks which they burnt were only fit for firewood, and not known by them to be the property of the complainers."

The complaint was abandoned, but the following much more serious one, in which the Canal Commissioners were also concerned, cost Glengarry a good deal before it was settled. The public prosecutor complains—

"That a breach of the public peace, as also obstructing a public national work and carrying away the boats and vessels used for carrying on that work to a distant part of the country, are crimes severely punishable. Yet Colonel Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry was guilty actor or art and part, in so far as on the morning of 3rd September, i816, he, accompanied by several persons all armed with fire-arms, saws, hatchets, or axes, proceeded to the East End of Loch Oich, where the Canal workmen were preparing to begin work for the day, and he, the said Alexander Macdonell, aided and assisted as aforesaid, seized upon and violently and forcibly carried away a boat employed on the said loch up to Invergarry House, and from thence placed her (sic) in a cart and carried her up to Lochgarry. Further, the said Colonel Alexander Macdonell, aided as aforesaid, threatened the workmen that their lives would be taken away if they did not desist from carrying the said Canal through Loch Gich, and the workmen were so intimidated that they did desist, and the Canal operations were stopped by the lawless behaviour of the said Colonel Alexander Macdonell"

Apropos of the view of the Glengarry Highlanders regarding stray wood such as that above referred to, the following humourous reference by William Macpherson of Invereshie anent the views of the men of Badenoch as to the "right of prey" upon the district of Moray, is well expressed and gives a good idea of the "chaffing" between highland gentlemen and those in the Lower districts, when they met or corresponded. The letter was written while the effects of the dreadful harvest of 1782 were still being felt:-

"Invereshie, 10th May, 1783.

We now begin to feel in this country the sad effects of the last bad harvest. Nothing but hope, the last friend to all in distress (though sometimes a deceitful one), could support our spirits. The present prospect of plenty against next harvest is a comfortable reflection, but I am afraid after every possible exertion is made, that numbers will be in a bad way before the crop in the ground can afford them relief. We are in this end of Badenoch in a much better situation than our neighbours. Either above us or below us we have several farmers who will buy no meal, nay some that have sold, but we have too many that want and must be supplied . . . The moment I3urnside's business is over, I shall move towards Moray land, where in former days, all men took their prey. It would not surprise me if in this season of general distress, some of my countrymen should follow the laudable practice of their worthy predecessors. And if they are driven to it by starvation, what can they help it? The lives of Highlanders are too precious to be lost, nor will they lose them by famine as long as Lowland bodys have a cow or a boll of meal to spare."


I have written at length elsewhere about the Macdonalds of Barisdale, but in giving an account of Glengarry and Knoydart it is impossible to overlook that branch.

The members of the family were as a rule extremely tall, fine-looking men. The coffin of Coil, the second, took six men to raise and carry it. Alexander, the third, is described by Knox as tall, while Coil, the fourth, of whom I am now to speak, was described as standing six feet four inches. The questions with Glengarry and his father were not finally settled under arbitration, until 1790, after the death of both the submitters. From 1788 Coil held a commission to regulate the fisheries. This, in the height of the fishing season, was no easy task and required a firm hand. Not only were there disputes between the fishermen themselves, but apparently thieves made it a regular trade to attend and pick up what they could. On the 6th of November, 1809, Barisdale writes to an official at Inverness—

"This will be handed to you by Sergeant Donald Macdonell who I have sent with a party to convey one Archibald Macphail to the jail at Inverness. I have also inclosed a line for our good Sheriff; and if matters are not so regular as they ought, I hope he will forgive me.

Enclosed are the oaths of the witnesses against him with his own declaration, and that of his brother, taken at Ardhill before Mr Downie. It is absolutely necessary an example should be made of him in some way, for there is more depredations this year among the fishermen than has been for many preceding years. We have now sixty to seventy boats on the coast this season from the south that did not use to frequent our lochs, and they are very much suspected by all the fishermen for stealing and destroying of nets. If this roan is made an example of; it will secure the property of honest men to themselves, at least for some time. He ought at least to be banished to Botany Bay, or to send him on board one of Her Majesty's ships, which last punishment is too good for him. Whatever apology those people may plead, whose greath is taken away by some other rascals, he has nothing to plead of that sort, having neither nets or anything else on board, or no ways concerned with the fishing, except to go about and rob as he found convenient. It is not often these things can he brought home to these sort of depredators, which makes it the more necessay to make an example of this man. I hope his being sent to prison will have some good effect on the coast for some time. I shall only mention to the Sheriff that such a man is sent, and you can convey to him my sentiments on the subject, which are entirely for the good of the public."

Another year, on the 27th of August, Barisdale writes-

" I came home from Loch burn yesterday and found your letter before Inc. I wish I had your Sheriff and all his officers for a week among the different tribes who have gathered there. We had no less than one thousand coasting boats there last week, and every vessel on the fishing. After all a bad fishing in general, and there is not as yet the appearance of ;I anywhere else.

I wish you had been with me to see the procedures of my Courts, short and substantial, always decisive. . . I forgot to mention that I perceive I am charged £2 8s for a four-wheeled carriage. What is the meaning of that ? I never had any, nor never will I am afraid, and as to a riding horse, my volunteer commission exempis me from that tax—at the same time I never kept one."

The poor fishermen now suffer from piracy in another form. If there were officials like Barisdale armed with sufficient powers, trawling within the limits would soon be extirpated.

These letters deal with his public duties. Let us now get his views of men and things, and have a look into his family life. On the 2nd of February, 1814, he says—

We had Parson Rory Macra last night and the dames were highly entertained with his dancing. . . . I had a letter by the post before last from my Chief. He writes in good spirits. I am happy to see that he is better. lie must now be convinced that much depends on himself, and surely he will go on with caution. What signifies estates without health. We are like to be swallowed up with snow—such frost and snow we have not seen for thirty years. The perennial bestial will I am afraid get fewer in number, and this year in many respects is hard upon the Highlands—no fishing, potatoes lost with the frost, and cattle will run away with the little crop."

As regards Glengarry, Barisdale writes on the 16th of April, 1814-

"By what I can understand I am very much afraid my Chief is in a poor way. I feel for him from all my heart. With all his faults he is a sincere and most strenuous advocate for his friends, and, had he been independent, had the heart of a prince."

Gleneig had been sold to Mr Bruce, and there was a "shaking of Macleod bones." Norman Macleod of Eilean Reach, who had long ruled as factor, found his position unbearable. Barisdale says on the 12th of February, 1814-

"Eilean Reach goes to Knock at Whitsunday; he' gives Mrs Cot Macdonald 6300 sterling and takes all the stock at comprisement. She has only three years to run. He pays high for the farm, but is glad to be free of Mr Bruce. Ratagan is still unprovided for, the brother is still in London going fast, I fancy, down snow hill."

Barisdale took charge of Mrs Coil Macdonald of Knock's outgoing in a thorough business like way, and prepared the following advertisement for the Inverness .7ozirnal, which throws some light on the manner of rouping of the time--

"BLACK CATTLE.— To be sold by public roup at Knock, on Tuesday the 17th day of May, 1814.—The whole stocking of black cattle on the farm of Knock, parish of Sleat, consisting of upwards of 30 milch cows, with their rearing of different ages. The cattle which were put on the farm were taken from some of the best stocks in the Highlands, and as they are now to be sold without reserve such another opportunity may not occur for years, for people who wish to be served with a true genuine Highland breed of cattle. Credit will be given on good bills for twelve months."

Barisdale married Helen Dawson, of Graden, Roxburgh, and her house and that of her sister, Mrs Jeffrey, of New Kelso, were perfect seats of hospitality. She died in 1805, barely reaching middle age. Just about the time Barisdale lost his venerable mother, his father-in-law, Mr Dawson also died, leaving considerable means. On the 24th of February, 1815, Barisdale says—

"My late worthy friend and good honest man, will be missed by all his friends. He left considerable legacies among his family and the descendants of his daughters, from four to two thousand pounds according to the number of their children. Of course I fell into the lowest class. Still it is more than I expected or had a right to, so that I ought to be as well pleased as those that get most. There is no saying when we get the cash as the estate must first be sold, but it will always be of service when it comes."

The male line of Barisdale terminated in the person of Archibald, filth and last of the family, which is now represented in the female line by Mrs Head of Inverailort, great grand-daughter of Coil, fourth Barisdale.


In no part of the highlands could there be found better specimens of the real representative Highlander than in the west mainland of Inverness-shire, from Lochalsh to Loch Moidart. I select a specimen, Ronald Macdoneil of Scamrnadale and Crowlin, commonly called " Raonull Mor a' Chrolen," several letters of his being in my possession. Father Charles Macdonald, my late worthy friend, whose death I much regret, in his Moidart; or among the ('lanranalds, says, page 5:-

"When George III. expressed, on a certain occasion, a strong desire to see some of the surviving Highlanders who had been out in the '45 a certain number were brought forward, and among them a grim old warrior from Knoydart, named Raonull Mor a Chrolen. After putting some questions to the latter, the King remarked that no doubt he must have long since regretted having taken any part in that Rebel/ion. The answer was prompt and decisive—' Sire, I regret nothing of the kind.' His Majesty, for an instant, was taken aback at such a bold answer, but was completely softened by the old man adding—

"What I did then for the Prince I should have done as heartily for your Majesty, had you been in the Prince's place.'"

This is very much the same feeling that animates all true Highlanders of the day.

Coil, fourth of Barisdale, writing of Ranald's latest marriage, on the fifth May, 1815, states that he was then in his 95th year, which would make the date of his birth 1720, but in the obituary notice, after referred to, of his death on 27th November, 1815, he is described as in his gist year, making the date of his birth 1724. Ranald is described as natural brother to Coil Macdonald, the second Barisdale, and was thus a son of Archibald, the first Barisdale, who was at Killiecrankie, was out in 1715, took a part in the Rising of 1745 ; his son living, as already stated, down to 1815. Ranald saw the whole five generations of Barisdale —Archibald, first, Coil, second, Archibald, third, Coil, fourth, and Archibald, the fifth.

One of his most praiseworthy acts was his severe punishnient of that obnoxious person known as "Allan of Knock," over whose remains there was placed an inscription not less fulsome than false.

Father Charles says that Ranald in his visits to his half sister, Mrs Macdonald of Rhu, used to be so tiresome in old age, usually speaking of Prince Charles and his own prowess, that his sister would lose patience and take him down somewhat, which raised him to such fury that his forehead would swell, his lips tremble, and his features, at all times harsh and sinister, would assume a ferocious, vindictive look.

Ranald lived latterly at Crowlin, he and his son Captain James having a lease of the two Scammadales and the two Crowlins. In 1809 his affairs became so embarrassed that the lease was renounced, and poor Ranald, like his relative and namesake, old Scotos, was in danger of being a wanderer without any fixed home. In one of the processes against Ranald and his son, Captain James, they say ironically that "in this case the defenders have only a corroboration of the friendly disposition of Glengarry to his grand uncle and cousin." Coil Barisdale, his great nephew interested himself, as I observe by a letter dated the 28th of February, i8io, in which he says—" I hope you will consider the case of the old gentleman. Viewing his own situation as he does at the age of 8, his greatest wish is to die in the country, and as I wrote you already, I am certain it will hurt Glengarry to see him obliged to leave the country."

Not only did he not leave, but he actually married Miss Macdonell of Slaney on the 5th of May, 1815. His object was no doubt to enable the lady to enjoy his pension. It is well known that old officers on their death-beds frequently married on this account. One case was much spoken of in and about Inverness and the Strathglass district—that of the excellent and respected Mrs Colonel Chisholm of Fasnakyle, whose husband died, I think, the very day of the marriage. Becoming a scandal, the War Office prohibited pensions to widows, unless they had been married for a certain stated period. The following discriminating notice appeared after Ranald's death—

"At his house in Knoidart (29th November, 1815), Mr Ranald Macdonell, Skamadale, Ensign on the Retired List of Captain Rose's Independent Company of Veterans, in the gist year of his age, respected and admired as a genuine Highlander of the old school, and quite unmatched in the very general circle of his acquaintances. He followed the fortunes of Prince Charles Stuart from Prestonpans to Culloden, and served with distinguished zeal in both these actions, for which he afterwards suffered banishment to India for seven years, during which period he served in the hussars ; and when returning to England, the vessel in which he sailed happening to be boarded by a French man of war before Ranald was aware of what was passing on deck, and had furnished himself with a cutlass ; he, darting like an eagle among the victors, actually retook the British ship, killing single handed all the astonished Frenchmen who attempted to withstand his athletic rage, and driving the rest over the vessel's broadside into the sea. His retentive memory and mental faculties were spared him until within a few days of his last, and till above ninety he had the use of his powerful limbs. His father, his brother, and his nephew, as well as liimself, all served the Prince at the same time, and were personally known to His Royal Highness ; the father, however, had drawn his first sword with his chief Glengarry, under Viscount Dundee, in the battle of Killiecrankie, who had the Royal standard entrusted to his care, and commanded the whole of the "Clan donall," drawn up as of old on the right of the army, which was composed almost entirely of the Highland clans. The mortal remains of this hero of the last century were deposited with the dust of his fathers in "Killichoan" on Friday the 1st of December, leaving a wife, three daughters, many grand-daughters and several great grand-children, to bewail his death, exclusive of sons who had fallen in the service of their country, two of whom had followed the young Macdonell in the year 1792 into the first fencible regiment, thence into the Glengarry or the first British fencibles, and from thence into the line."
Alluding to Ranald's funeral, Father Charles Macdonald says—

"It was perhaps rather in keeping that a stormy life like this should in its close involve the nearest friends in something of a family disaster. It was while on his way to attend Ranald's funeral that the late Lochshiel (Alexander, nephew of Ranald) was nearly lost off the coast of Morar. The boat was struck by a sudden squall, capsized and, filling rapidly. vent down, the whole crew, three in number, going down with it. It was almost by a miracle that the survivor after a hard struggle, reached the shore, but throughout the rest of his life, which was a long one, he never fully recovered from the effects of the shock received in this lamentable occasion. The old warrior's sword, a true Andrea Ferrara, was supended for years among other interesting memorials at Dalilea House. It was sold at the dispersion of the late Miss Jane Macdonald's effects a few years ago (1889), but as to where it vent, or what became of it since, the writer has been unable to ascertain."

Surely it is not too late to have such an interesting relic of a prominent Knoydart Highlander recovered.


The south-west of the mainland of Inverness-shire of old consisted of three lordships, comprehending all the lands whose waters flow into the Atlantic. These were—Ist, The lordship of Lochaher, which contained the whole of the present parish of Kilmonivaig, including a great part of Kilmallie, from Glengarry to the head of Lochiel; 2nd, the lordship of Mamore, which contained that part of Kilmallie west and south of Kilmonivaig, between Lochs Linnhe and Leven; and 3rd, The lordship of Gartrnoran, which included Ardgour in Kilmallie, Sunart, and Ardnamurchan, and the parish of Small Isles, with all the present west mainland of Invernes-shire from Moydart to Knoydart and Glenelg. I shall here speak more particularly of the lordship of Lochaber, which for a time was possessed, or rather swayed, by a branch of the powerful family of Comyn. These Cornyns were aliens and, differing from those of Badenoch, taking no great root in the territory. In the chartulary of Moray, under date 1234, there is a deed witnessed inter alia by Ferquhar, Seneschal of Badenoch, and by Edward, Seneschal of Lochaber. The former was undoubtedly the predecessor of The Mackintosh, and I identify Edward above-named as Farquhar's younger brother, afterwards predecessor of the Toshachs of Monzievaird. Ferquhar's nephew and in time succsssor, also named Ferquhar, married Mora, daughter, according to the Mackintosh Latin History, "of Angus Oig Macdonald of the Isles, who was son to Angus Mor Macdonald-vicRailt .vic-Soirle-vic-Gilliebride." This connection with the Macdonalds and the subsequent marriage of Angus Mackintosh, only child of the above Ferquhar Mackintosh and Mora Macdonald, with Eva, heiress of the Clan Chattan, in 1291, formed the bases of that close communing and intercourse between the Mackintoshes and Lochaber which has now subsisted for upwards of six hundred years without a break.

After the battle of Bannockburn and the expulsion of the Comyns, the heriditary foes of Bruce, from Lochaher, the lands then in the hands of the Crown were granted to the Macdonalds, the Brae of Lochaber, including the whole parish of Kilmonivaig east of Lochy, being thereafter gifted by John Lord of the Isles to his son, Alexander Carrach, first of Keppoch. Alexander probably had a charter, but his estate being forfeited it fell back to the Lords of the Isles, and powerful, quasi independent as they were, and able for centuries to remain in the Brae in direct descent up to about 1790, leaders of a valiant branch of the Clan Donald, the Macdonells of Keppoch had no indefeasible titles, and were merely tenants or wadsetters of the Mackintoshes and the Gordons. This says much for their indomitable pluck and tenacity.

The Lords of the isles showed great unfriendliness to the Keppochs, and also to the Clan Cameron, but they were most friendly with the Mackintoshes. The latter were in constant trouble with the Camerons as to their lands in Glenlui and Loch Arkaig in Kilmallie, which they inherited through the above Eva; and Alexander of Yle Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles, in reward of past services and to strengthen the Mackintoshes, in 1443 renewed the grant of Glenlui and Loch Arkaig, and gave the Brae of Lochaher to Malcolm, tenth of Mackintosh. This estate of over 30,000 acres comprehends one side of Glen Spean, and both sides of Glen Roy, with the exception of the upper part of the latter, namely, the farms of Glenturrett, Leckroy, and Annat, all now called Braeroy.

Further, in 1447 the above Alexander, whose sister Florence had married Duncan, son and heir of Malcolm Mackintosh, granted the bailliarie or stewarty of all Lochaber to Malcolm in perpetual fee and heritage. The office of ballle, particularly of a lordship, was much sought after in old times, being an office not only of emolument, but in every probability leading to better things. Even the powerful Earls of Argyll got their first hold of Tyree as bailies thereof under the Macleans, who had acquired from Iona. This grant of bailliarie of Lochaber is in splendid preservation, as is also the huge seal of the Earl. It was registered at Edinburgh on the 23rd August, 1781. Translated from the Latin, it is as follows, being the earliest original Lochaber charter I have seen, except the one dated 1443 above referred to :-

"To all who may see or hear this charter, Alexander de Yle, Earl of Ross, and Lord of the Isles, wishes eternal salvation in the Lord. Know ye that we have given, granted, and by this our present writ have confirmed to our most trusty cousin, Malcolm Mackintosh, in recompense of his assistance, all and whole the office of bailliarie or stewardship, of all and sundry the lands of our lordship of Lochaber, to be held and possessed the said office with all and sundry pertmnents to the said office belonging, or can partly in future in any way belong, by the said Malcolm Mackintosh, and all his heirs-male, begotten, or to be begotten, of us and all our heirs, in fee and heritage for ever, as freely peacefully well and in quiet, as any office of bailliarie or stewardship granted for ever in a charter of confirmation, to any other Bailie in the whole kingdom of Scotland. Which office as aforesaid we, Alexander Earl and Lord aforesaid, and our heirs, to the aforesaid Malcolm and his heirs as foresaid against whatsoever mortals, shall warrant as just and forever defend. In testimony of all the premises we have caused our seal to b appended to these presents, at our Castle of Dingwall, the thirteenth day of the month of November, in the year of the Lord one thousand four hundred and forty-seven, these being present as witnesses Torquil Macleod, Lord of the Lewes, John Macleod, Lord of Glenelg, Celestine of the Isles, my natural son (filio meo naturale), Nigel Flemyng my secretary, and Donald my Justiciar, with divers others."

It has to be kept in mind that after the forfeiture of the Lords of the Isles, both the lordships of Mamore and Lochaber fell to the Crown. Mamore sunk and was absorbed into the lordship of Lochaber, which about 1500 was granted to the Earl of Huntly. Mackintosh, having after the forfeiture, been wise enough to get Glenluie, Loch Arkaig, the Brae, and the bailliarie, confirmed to him by the Crown by charter dated 14th July, 1476, was not only entirely free of the Gordons as the new Lords of Lochaber, but had the power, and exercised it, of bailliarie over the whole of Gordon's Lochaber estates. The title of Seneschal or Steward is to this day acknowledged in the Crown charters, for all it is worth since the abolition of Heritable Jurisdictions. Lochiel frequently attempted to stop Mackintosh by force of arms from holding Courts. I have read the minutes of several, the last which I recollect being held at Leckroy by Murdo Macpherson of Clune as Depute Steward in 1677, when, among other business, the escheat of those concerned in the murder of Keppoch is dealt with. When Mackintosh, by the armed interference of Breadalbane, had to sell GlenIuie and Locharkaig, the bailliarie of these lands was included in the sale.

In the old times rights were not safe until confirmed by the superior for the time, so Malcolm Mackintosh, under the hands of a Procurator, insisted that John, third and last Lord of the Isles, should enter him, which John accordingly did by a precept furth of his own chancellarie, dated 14th June, 1456, on which Malcolm was infeft on the 18th July, 1456. Duncan Mackintosh, Malcolm's son and successor, who, I have said, took the precaution of being entered with the Crown in 1476, had previously entered with John, Lord of the Isles, by charter dated the 14th November, 1466. No doubt the Camerons were in possession of lands long before the Gordons, but latterly all Lochaber in Inverness- shire, with the exception of Mackintosh's lands, was held of the Gordon's, such as Lochiel, for his part of Mamore, Letterfinlay, Glenevis, Callart, Kinlochleven, etc.

As their lands in Lochaber lay at a considerable distance from where the Mackintoshes finally took UI) their abode at the Isle of Moy, it followed that old neigbours, or the actual possessors, coveted their ownership. The well- meant action of Alexander, Lord of the Isles, in his grant of the Brae, greatly helped Mackintosh in his contests with Lochiel, but at the same time had the effect of raising a new enemy in the Macdonalds of Keppoch, who, whatever their feuds among themselves, always united against Mackintosh. Pride, family and clan importance, revenge for frequent slaughters, harryings, and slights, combined in a determination by the Mackintoshes never to part with or relinquish the possession of these lands. In 1547, Mackintosh made his most successful attack and succeeded in getting the heads of both Lochiel and Keppoch struck off. The countenance of Huntly, rarely given to Mackintosh, granted for his own ends on this particular occasion, was soon withdrawn, and the struggles were renewed. But it would be out of place here to enlarge upon them.

Besides leasing practically the whole of Brae Lochaber, Keppoch leased or wadsetted from the Gordons the whole of what was lately known as the Loch Treig and Inverlochy estates, and was entered for L400 of cess in the valuation roll of 1691.

The present inhabitants of the Brae are amongst the very few in the Highlands who are the direct representatives of those who have held the same possessions for centuries. Even some of the Keppoch family are still there, and I have a distinct recollection of one of the Inveroy tenants, at Achnacroish, several years ago, giving me the names of his seven predecessors until the line ran into that of the Chief. Under the circumstances, so honourable to the Mackintoshes and their tenants, it may interest at least the latter to know the names of some of the chief tenants in 165, held bound for their sub-tenants, cottars and dependents. These were, the minors Alexander and Ranald Macdonell of Keppoch, sons of Donald Glas, and their uncle Alexander Macdonald Buidhe, their "pretended" tutor, for Keppoch, Inveroybeg, Achaderry, Bregach, Tollie, Uracher, arid Almie ; the tutor personally for Bohuntin, Kinchellie, Auchavaddie and Bohinie; Alastair-vic-Aonas-oig for Bohuntin Ville, Crenachan, Brunachan, Achluachrach and Kilchaoril ; Allister vic Allister, and his sons Allister and Donald, for Reanach ; Allan-vic-Coil-roy-vic-Coil-vic-Allan for Bochasky; Donald vic Robert, and his sons John, Allan, and Donald, for Murligan and Glen Glaster; Allister-vicAonas-vic-Ian dhu, for Tulloch and Dallindundearg; Allister-vic-Aonas-roy for Blarnahinven; and Donald Gorme Macdonald for Inveroymore. At a later period in 1728, the tenants in Inveroymore and Inveroybeg, Keppoch, Acaderry, Bohinie, Crenachan, Blarnahinven, Bochaskie, Reanach, and Brunachan, were as follows, but I much regret that the remaining tenants of the Brae at that period cannot he given. Inveroymore—John Macdonald, tacksman Alexander Macdonald, Duncan Maclachlan, Duncan vic lain, Duncan dhu vic Ewiri, vic lain, John Vic Walter, Duncan Mac lain Oig, alias Cameron, John Macdonald, son to Inveroy. Inveroybeg—Donald Mac Dugald vic Glassich, Angus Mac Harlich, Angus Mac Soirle vic lain reach, I)ugald Mac Aonas vic Glassich, and Donald Maclachian. Keppoch—Ewen Mac Eachen, John Mac Eachen, Angus Mac Dougall, Archibald vic Ewen, Duncan Mac lain vic Iver, Angus Mac Coil Oig, Donald Mac Gillespick, alias Macdonald, Kenneth Ferguson, Kenneth Mackenzie, and Alexander Macphadrick. Achaderry—Donald Mac Ewen, John vic Conchie mor, Alexander Beaton, John Beaton, Donald Beaton, and Donald-vic-lain-vic-Coil-roy. Bohinie—John vic Conchie vic lain, Farquhar vic Conchie vic lain, Angus vic Glassich, Donald Mac Allister, John Macdonald vic Allister, and Allan Macdonald vic Allister. Crenachan—John Macdonald, Angus Cameron, Donald Mac Arthur arid Angus Mac lain. Blarnahinven —Alexander Macdonald, tacksman; Angus Macdonald and John Macdonald. Bochaskie—Angus Macpherson, Donald Macpherson, Donald Macpherson, and Paul Macpherson. Reanach—John Macdonald, and Allan Roy. Brun achan—Alexander Mac Arthur, Donald Mac Arthur, Charles Mac Arthur, Alexander Mac Arthur, and Archibald Mac Arthur.

It was the policy of successive Mackintosh chiefs to give a prominent position to their loyal people in every district, and at an early period the honourable position of hereditary standard-bearer was conferred upon the family of Macdonald of Murligan. It did not necessarily follow that the standard- bearer was of the same name as the chief, and I observe, for instance, that when the Macgregors appeared before George IV. in Edinburgh in 1822, under Sir Evan Murray Macgregor—from long established friendship and succour in the time of need, the Macphersons becoming hereditary standard-bearers of the Macgregors—Captain Mungo Macpherson of the 42nd Highlanders, and Mr Duncan Macpherson, of Kingussie, carried the banner of Clan Gregor.

In Sir Eneas Mackintosh's memoirs, written circa 1774-1784, he says—"the hereditary standard-bearer to Mackintosh is Macdonald, whose descendants live in Glenroy and speak nothing but Gaelic." I have seldom seen a more curious paper than that now to be given. In a period of transition, though some time before the passing of the abolition of Heritable Jurisdictions, it serves to illustrate the views then held by a great chief as to dealing with one of his important office-bearers. The paper is docquetted "Obligation and Declaration. Angus Macdonell of Muirlaggan, to the Laird of Mackintosh, 1727," and is as follows:-

"Be it known to all men, by these presents, me, Angus Macdonell of Murligan : Forasmuch as the Honourable Lachlan Mackintosh of that ilk, Captain of Clan Chattan, my master, has at the date hereof, recognised and preferred me to be his Ensign and Banner Bearer, which my predecessors have always been these three hundred years and upwards—except since the eighty-eighth year of God— (1688) for which service and towards the support of my family, the said Lachlan Mackintosh has at the date hereof allowed me twenty merks Scots yearly of the sum of two hundred merks money foresaid of yearly rent due and payable by me to him for my possession of the lands of Murligan and Glen Glaster, as also upon my granting and performing of this present obligation containing the conditions and provisions after mentioned. Therefore to be bound and obliged, likeas I, the said Angus Macdonell, bind and oblige me, my heirs, executors and successors whomsoever, not only to continue true and faithful to the said Lachlan Mackintosh as his and their Ensigns and Banner Bearers, and to answer and attend him and his forsaids, to perform the said office at all their honourable and lawful occasions when called thereto, but likewise that I and my forsaids, during our possession of the said lands of Murligan and Glen Glaster shall serve and attend the said Lachlan Mackintosh and his above written, with all the fencible men living on the said lands, and all the other fencible men descending of my family (commonly called Sliochd-Donull-vic-Aonas) whom me or mine can stop or lett, in all their reasonable and lawful affairs—except carriages and ariages and such like slavish services as are commonly called and required of common small tenants, always when required thereto upon due and competent premonition—as also to make good and punctual payment of the sum of nine score merks Scots duty yearly for my tack and possession of the said lands of Murligan and Glen Glaster. And in case it shall happen that the said Angus Macdonell of Murligan or my forsaids do prove disobedient, or deficient in performance of the conditions as above, then and in that case, I bind and oblige me and mine above mentioned, to make full payment and satisfaction to the said Lachlan Mackintosh and his above expressed of the said twenty merks allowed me yearly as above, a4d that for all the terms and years from the date hereof to the next term of Whitsunday or Martinmas after our disobedience, if the same shall ever happen, and to forfeit our pretension of bearing the said banner, or receiving any good therefor in all time coming thereafter. And for the said Lachlan Mackintosh and his foresaids their further security in the premises I bind and oblige me and my foresaids to fulfil, implement, and perform all the conditions and provisions above written under the penalty of five hundred merks Scots money by and attour performance, consenting to the registration hereof in the Books of Council and Session or any other Judges books competent, therein to remain for preservation, and if need be that letters of Horning, and all other executorials needful, pass hereon in form as effeirs and to that effect constitute my Procurators. In witness whereof, written by Angus Shaw, factor to the Laird of Mackintosh on this and the preceding page of stamped paper, these presents are subscribed by me at Moyhall, this fourth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and twenty seven years before these witnesses, James Macqueen, younger of Corribrough, and the said Angus Shaw, writer hereof (Signed) "A. MCD" being Angus Macdonell, his ordinary mark. Ja. Mac-queen, witness, Ang. Shaw, witness."

The croft of Lochaber appertaining to the bards of the ancient possessors was at Clachaig, in the midst of the lands granted to Mackintosh and on the West side of the River Spean shortly after it is joined by the River Gulbin. From inattention, neglect, or sufferance in demanding no rent or acknowledgment, when the lordship of Lochaber was afterwards granted to the Gordons Clachaig was held to be included. Here lain Lorn, the immortal bard of Keppoch, lived and died, his remains resting peacefully in the picturesque Dun Aingeal of Kilchaoiril. The whole of Clachaig was only about 150 acres, and being a constant sore to the Mackintoshes, repeated efforts to purchase it were made, but in vain until in 1816, when a sale was effected.

Any one passing through this district by the Fort-William coach will observe the remains of old cultivated land near Clachaig, now part of the splendid farm of Tulloch, and I have in my day wondered who occupied the land, and why it was vacated. There were two traditions regarding Urachar and other townships—one, that there being of old no proper road, and the climate severe, the people had voluntarily left; the other, that the last occupants were such a wild turbulent set that their neighbours in Moy, Torgulbin, Tulloch, and others, demanded their expulsion. Lately I have seen papers which seem to favour the latter view, and they are given to show the lawless disposition of certain Brae Lochaber men, not much more than a century ago, who apparently lived in such comfort as could be afforded by the produce of muir and river, eiked out by thieving.

Donald Macdonell in Daldundearg of Tulloch states that in September, 1779, he had some words with Donald Macdonell, son of Archibald Macdonell in Tulloch, as to hained grass lands, and without provocation was struck in the head with a "naked" dirk, whereby he was wounded and his life endangered. That no sooner was this cruel and barbarous wound given than the said Donald Macdonald ran into the house of the said Archibald Macdonell, his father, and arming himself and his brother Alexander with two guns or fire]ocks, they threatened to shoot any person who would attempt to assist the complainer. That the complainer being a poor man, with a numerous family, was under the necessity of compromising matters by receiving payment of six pounds sterling, for the expense of medicine, doctor's bills, etc.

This story is taken up among other charges by Ronald and Archibald Macdonald's tenants in Moy, and John Macdonald in Torgulbin, in 1781, and thus referred to. After narrating the stroke in the head with the dirk, Donald Macdonell "entered his father's house in Tulloch, and having fully armed himself with two loaded firelocks or guns, in order to defend himself from being apprehended and brought to justice—as he has good cause and reason to believe that a party would be sent after him for that purpose—and accordingly while Donald Macdonell was in danger of life, Alexander Macdonell, tacksman of Tu]loch, his master, with Donald Macdonell, his son, and others, having gone as a party near to the house of the said Donald Macdonell, the culprit, he, the said Donald Macdone]l and Alexander Macdonell, his brother, kept off the said party with the said two loaded guns, threatening to kill the party therewith, before they would allow themselves to be apprehended, or if they, the party, would attempt to come on one step further towards them." Besides the above Donald and Alexander, Archibald had another son, John, and all four kept their neighbours in hot water with their nefarious doings.

Donald Macdonell sold at the Fortingall Fair, November, 1780, two goats, one white with a black head, the other grey; and the sale of the goats being there challenged by Donald Macnab in Inverlair, alleging they had been stolen from him, he, Donald Macdonell, to hush up the matter, paid Macnab more than their value. Archibald Macdonell had no sheep of his own, yet was seen driving several from the farm of Aberarder, tenanted by Mr Mitchell, and both Aberarder and Moy had lost many sheep in an unaccountable manner. Archibald Macdonell was in use of prowling about lands where he had no right, carrying a gun and bag of swan shot, and it was believed he used to shoot and carry away sheep, and more than once sheep were found dead with swan shot in their body. Donald Mackillop, junior, son of Donald Mackillop, a sub-tenant in Tulloch, was told in the hill by Alexander Macdonell to keep his dog tied up, and if not "that the third part of his body would not go home," a curiously expressed threat. Young Mackillop, was however, of a fighting race, and having words on another occasion with Alexander, who snapped his gun at him, Mackillop grappled with him successfully, and deprived him of his gun. Alexander on another occasion, threatened to shoot old Tulloch, his ma-ter, if he interfered with him. Mr Macdonell, Aberarder, having to go to the house of the Macdonells, and the interview not being satisfactory, was abused and threatened by Archibald, the father, armed with a dirk; by Alexander, first with a large knotted stick, thereafter with a loaded gun, and Donald with a cocked pistol, John being present, but not interfering. The meanest of all the charges, with which I conclude, was one by Alexander, who pressed a poor neighbour for repayment of sixpence which he had to reborrow from another neighbour. Not satisfied with the sixpence, Alexander demanded interest, and the debtor saying he had the loan of the sixpence only for a short time was told interest would be taken out of his skin, and he was instantly struck to the ground by a blow in the temple from a stone taken up for the purpose. These Macdonells were in league with one Archibald Bàn Kennedy in Greenfield of Glengarry and they worked into each other's hands, and it is not at all improbable that they were cleared out according to one of the traditions, and no new people substituted.

General Wade chose his route between Lochaber and Badenoch, along the Spey and the Roy, and before his time this was the chief access. It was finished by him up the Roy to the lower marches of Annat and Glenturret, and although he is known to have lived at Leckroy, and probably built the present house, the communication, as a good driving road, was never completed between Dalrioch and Meal Garve. This was an easy road, and for opening up the country, though perhaps not the readiest for passengers, is the best way for a railway between Fort-William and Kingussie. No doubt the making of Loch Laggan coach road was of great importance, and reflects much credit on the three proprietors who made it —the Duke of Gordon, Mackintosh, and Cluny; but there was no road to Loch Laggan of old, properly speaking. At the north, the Drove road from Dalwhinnie passed through Strathmasliic, skirted Brae Laggan, and, passing to the south of Loch Cruineachan, joined the Corryarraick Road before it reached Garvamore. At the south, the road from Rannoch passed Corrour, Fersit, and by Tulloch, keeping close to the bank of the Spean, to Keppoch and High Bridge. There was, as mentioned by Colonel Thornton, an exceedingly bad track as far as the houses of Tullochcrom and Aberarder from the north, but how people got, except on foot, to Maggach, Kyleross, and Moy on the west side of Loch Laggan, and to Inverwidden and Luiblia on the east side, unless by boat, can only be conjectured.

Some particulars of old places, rents, people, and traditions of the Brae will now be given.

First.—Old Rentals.—The whole of Kilmonivaig, east of Loch Lochy, was the property of Mackintosh, the Duke of Gordon, and Letterfinlay, with its cadets of Ratullichs and Annat. I am not able to give any old rental of the latter, only the old rentals of Mackintosh and the Gordons. That of the former for the year 1650 was-

1. Keppoch, Inveroybeg, Achaderry, Bregach, Tollie, Urachar, and Aitmie, £756 13s 4d Scots money, 18 custom wedders, 12 stones of butter, and 12 stone of cheese at converted prices, £96 Scots. Total, £852 1s 4d.

2. Bohuntin, Kinchellie, Achavaddy, and l3ohinie, £280 Scots money; 8 custom wedders, 4 stone butter, 4 stone cheese at converted prices, £36 Scots. Total, £319 Scots.

3. Bohuntinville, Crenachan, Brunachan, Achluachrach and Kilchaorill, £130 Scots; item 12 custom wcdders, 8 stone butter, 8 stone cheese at converted prices, £64 Scots. Total, £494 Scots.

4. Reanach, 666 13s 4d Scots item, 2 custom wedders, 1 stone of butter, and 1 stone of cheese at converted prices, Scots. Total, £75 13s 4d Scots.

5. Bochasky, £40 Scots; item, 2 custorn wedders, 1 stone butter and 1 stone cheese at converted prices, £9 Scots. Total, £49 Scots.

6. Murligan and Glenglaster, £210 Scots item, 5 wedders, 3 stones of butter, and 3 stone of cheese at converted prices, £25 Scots. Total, £235 Scots.

7. Tulloch and Dalindundearg, £210 Scots ; item, wedders, 3 stones of butter and 3 stones of cheese at converted prices, £25 Scots. Total £235 Scots.

8. Blarnahinven, £80 Scots; item, 2 custom wedders, 13½ stone butter, and 13½ stone cheese at converted prices, £11 10s Scots. Total, £9' 105 Scots.

9. Inveroymor, £33 6s 8d Scots.

Total of the Brae, £2382 35 4d Scots, or about £200 sterling.

It may be mentioned that the present land rent is not more than that paid at the beginning of this century.

I now give the Marquis of Huntly's rental, as settled by him "with the men of Lochaber in anno 1667." The Marquis styles the Lochaber occupants as "the men of Lochaber," distinguishing them from those of Badenoch, whom he describes in the lett of 1677 as "the inhabitants of Badenoch." The Marquis' total rent in Kilmonivaig and Kilmaillie was 3535k merks, whereof in Kilmonivaig:-

The above included many smaller possessions, as will be known to those acquainted with the parish, and who will miss such old names as Fersit, Clionaig, Achnacoichan, and others. The present rental of the Gordon lands in Kilmonivaig shows an enormous increase on the foregoing, chiefly sporting rents from forest, muir, and river.

Second.—Old Places and People.—Many old places where important transactions occurred have even in name been forgotten, through merging in others, and the adding of farm to farm. Sheep were fatal to personal occupation, and Brae Roy has suffered, it may be said, extinguishment. What was doing in Annat on 20th October, 1673? The ambitious and no less astute Lord Macdonell and Aros, who had to content himself with that title after having striven in vain for the Earldom of Ross, going to meet the new and equally ambitious Lochaber Chamberlain, fools him bravely, and hails, pen in hand but tongue in cheek, Duncan Macpherson of Cluny, the grandson of Andrew Macpherson, who was happy to act as Mackintosh's forester over his part of the forest of Ben Alder forty years previously, as "Chief and principal man of the baill Macphersons and some others called old Clan Chatten." At Leckroy, on 8th January, 1712, Coll Macdonell of Keppoch, keen, shrewd, and an able penman, completes a transaction for the purchase of twelve mares, eight years old, with six foals, and a stallion, at the price of one thousand merks, from Donald MacAllister Mor, alias Macdonell, in Cullachy of Abertarfi. Keppoch draws out a bond, which is all in his own handwriting, giving John Macdonell of Inveroy and Ronald Macdonell, younger of Clionaig, as his cautioners, having Ronald Macdonald of Gellovie and Archibald Macdonald of Tullochcrom witnesses. General Wade lived for some time and wrote letters from Leckroy. Towards the end of last century the well-known Donald Mor Og Cameron was tenant, betwixt whom, supported by the Duke of Gordon, there was a series of frightful litigations and criminal charges with George Cameron of Letterfinlay, and Fiscal Macpherson. Donald Mor Og, I have often heard, was a grand specimen of the old Highlander, and from its size, his coffin had to be put in and taken out by the window. Coming to Glenturret, so long occupied by a fighting race of Macdonells, it was also the scene of gentlemanly hospitality, terminating with Captain Ranald \Iacdonell, who had married Marcella Maclean of Pennycross. Of the many Glenturrett letters and papers I have, an interesting circumstance consists in the selection of executors by old Glen- turret, Alexander Macdonell, who was at first known as Blarour," showing how little difference in religious views entered at the time into people's heads. Macdonell selected the parish clergyman and the priest, who acted most harmoniously. These were the well-known Dr Thomas Ross of Kilmonivaig, and Father Ranald Macdoncil of Leek, afterwards the well known priest of Uist.

Coming down to Glenroy, Reanach will ever be remembered for its having sheltered Alexander Stuart, Earl of Mar, after his disastrous defeat at Inverlochy, but it and Brunachan are now practically desolate. John Scott, tenant in Brunachan, seems to have been fairly well off; for on 28th April, 1803, he writes that he had at the place 700 sheep, and he sold 100 lambs at 8s 9d each. At Blarnahinven there is now hardly a vestige of former occupation, save a few trees; but let us view it on the second of August, 1679. Then we shall find a comfortable house and a well-to-do tenant of the old stock, in some perplexity as to how to procure the needful for completing a lucrative purchase of cattle, rather beyond his means. At last he makes up his mind to apply to his master, who, though much troubled by refractious tenants, has always shown him kindness, and so he writes to The Right Honourable Lachlan Mackintosh of Torcastle," for the loan of 511 merks, and offers as his securities Ranald Macdonell of Lethindrie, in Duthil parish —a son, I think, of "lain Lom "—and Gorrie Macdonell of Glenturrett. The application was favourably received, and Donald INIacdonell alias Mac-Allister-vic-Aonas-roy, went to Dunachton, and got the money on the 26th of August in presence of Lachlan Mackintosh of Strone. If there were people at any time in Glenglaster, I do not know. Bochasky is also forsaken. In Glen Spean on both sides there is hardly any population until you come to Inverlair and Tulloch respectively ; upon the Gordon side, Fersit, the Loch of the Swords, Bean-a-Bhric, etc., were well-known places, as also the little island at the foot of Loch Treig, the abode of the famous "Owl." Around these localities poetry has left its mark and fancy woven many a pleasing tradition which cannot now be lost, penetrated even as they are by the iron horse with its materialism. There are at present 17 tenants in common in Murligan, Achluachrach, and Glenglaster, etc., which goes by the general term of "Gaelmore." In 1797 there were just 18, and it may interest the men of the Brae to have an authentic list of the joint tenants of that year. The poor people were sadly involved by the failure of one John Macdonell, drover in Dalindundearg, a man of repute and extensive transactions, to whom their stock sales of that year had been given. The others were—Donald Mackillop, and Donald Rankin, managers, Dougald Macintyre, Dougald Rankin, Angus Macgillies, John Rankin, Donald Stalker, Finlay Beaton, Alexander Beaton, John Rankin, Duncan Mackillop, Ewen Cameron, Alexander Maciver, Angus Cameron, Donald Boyle, Donald Beaton, and John Macarthur.

I observe a singular letter, dated 12th November, 1803, from Donald Mactavish, Achaderry, uncle of a boy John Mackintosh, only son to the deceased John Mackintosh, in Easter Bohuntin, complaining that a few days before, the boy, herding in the hill of Bohinie, was fired at without provocation, by "Colin Campbell, son to Duncan Campbell, Strontian, and Ewen Macdonald, son to Glencoe, who were looking for game." Young Glencoe fired the shot, which struck the boy in the face and head, wounding him to the danger of life. The offenders would appear to be both youths, and Campbell instigated the other. The uncle, saying that "he is not able for to keep law with Glencoe," wishes the Procurator-Fiscal to do so. The matter was hushed up and it is likely young Glencoe took warning, for he turned out an honourable man and a distinguished physician in the East India Company's service.


Much has been written, and much more could be written, regarding the family of Keppoch, but here I can only give the barest outline. Alexander Carrach, youngest son of John, Lord of the Isles, had in all probability the whole of Lochaber from his father. He was held in high repute by Highlanders, notwithstanding his burning of the Cathedral of Elgin. His estate was forfeited, and it does not seem as if his son and successor, Angus Macdonald, had any further right than the possession of Fersit, by which title he is known. At all events, by 1443, if not earlier, Alexander, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles, deals with the Brae as his uncontrolled property and gives a charter of it to Mackintosh, without money feu. The Earl's son John being forfeited, Mackintosh thereafter held the Brae, as well as Glenluie and Loch Arkaig—a hundred thousand acres—direct from the Crown. The Macdonalds, however, never lost sight of any chance to recover the lands of Alexander Carrach, and were much aided, in so far as the Brae was concerned, by the Gordons ever since they acquired the lordship of Lochaber about ioo. The Macdonalds were granted tacks by the Gordons to the whole of Kilmonivaig east of the Spean, for some time called "Gergawache"—lands of the value of 40 rnerks of old extent. The Macdonalds and the Camerons, supported by the Gordons, kept Mackintosh in constant trouble, until in 1547, both having given offence to the Earl of Huntly, the latter called in the help of William Mackintosh, who was lucky enough to apprehend both Ewen Allanson of Lochiel and Ronald Mor of Keppoch, and delivered them to Huntly at Elgin, who caused their immediate execution. How foolishly these chiefs acted, and how well Huntly played them off against each other, as circumstances emerged These and such chiefs were the real fighting men and bore the brunt not only of every battle of their own, but also those of their superiors and over lords; whereas, had the chiefs joined amongst themselves, these lords would soon have been cleared out. But no—their own clan and family feuds, notwithstanding marriages of convenience—were their uppermost thought, and they fought the real battles of the over lords, who seldom faced danger themselves, and when they did made but a poor figure, sinking, like Huntly at Corrichie, under the over-protecting weight of their armour, or executing a rapid retreat—some would call it flight—like Argyll at Glenlivet and Inverlochy.

The riddance of Ronald Mor Macdonald, counted as eighth of Keppoch, did not end Mackintosh's troubles, for his successor was concussed by the Regent Moray in 1569 to grant an obligation to come to an arrangement with Keppoch, which would involve his feuing the lands, in all probability for an annual trifling money payment only. The carrying out of this fraudulent design was fortunately stopped by Hamilton's shooting the Regent, known (doubtless as a nickname) as the " Good," in quit of some cruel wrongs.

A temporary truce was patched up between Mackintosh and Keppoch, in 1572, as will be seen by the following, one of the oldest documents I have observed connected with the Brae—

"Be it known to all men by these presents,—Me Ranald vic Donald vic Coll Glass of Gargawache in Lochaber, to be bound and by the tenor hereof; binds and obliges me, my heirs and assignees hereof to serve leally and truly an honourable man, Lachlan Mackintosh of Dunachton and his heirs, by myself; kin and friends, assisters, partakers, and allies, and to take his and their fauld and plain part, assist and concur with him and his heirs, in all and whatever his and their actions, causes, questions, quarrels, and debates which he and his heirs shall happen to have to do with, contrary all mortals, the king's duty and my Lord of Athole allenarly excepted; and that neither I nor my heirs hear or see of his or her, heirs, kin, or friends, evil or skaith, but that I or my heirs shall advertise him and his heirs of the same, and shall give him and his heirs my leal and true counsel in all his actions and causes. As he and they shall require and shall serve him and his heirs leally and truly when and where he or his shall require me or my heirs to do the same, conform to the tenor of the contract made betwixt the said Lachlan and me of the date at Inverness, the 7th June, 1572, under the pains of perjury and inhability and violation of my faith, lealty and honour for ever. In witness whereof to this my bond of manrent subscribed with my hand at the pen led by the nottar under written at my command specially required by me hereto, my proper seal is affixed at the Isle of Moy the 12th June, 1572, before these witnesses, honourable men, James vic Coil Glass of Gask, John Forbes of Tollie, William Cuthbert and John Kerr, burgesses of Inverness; Neil vic Coil vic Neil, servitor to the said Ranald; Donald I)hu vic Ilomnas vic Allister in Badenoch, and Sr John Gibson, parson of Urquhart; Nottar Public with other diverse. . .

The well-known Keppoch, Alexander Macdonald (Allister nan Cleas) gave a similar bond to Mackintosh and his eldest son, Angus, signed at Dunkeld on the 25th January, 1589, before Sir John Stewart of Gartentulich, John Stuart vic Andrew of Inverchynachan, James Stuart of Tillyfourie, William Mac Eachan Macqueen of Corriebrough, and Thomas Gow, Nottar. Keppoch signs with his own hand.

After Glenluic and Loch Arkaig had to be parted with, more determined efforts than ever were made to make the Brae usless to Mackintosh. In these, Keppoch was supported by all the Camerons, except Glenevis—Sir Ewen Cameron personally, as an honourable man, keeping in the back ground. Alister Buidhe, uncle, and reputed murderer and instigator of the assassination of the Keppoch boys, Alexander and Ronald, began the contest, his son Archibald, who died about 1682, keeping it up well. It was reserved, however, for Colt Macdonell, fifteenth of Keppoch, known as "Coll of the cows," to come to the front victorious at the battle of Maolroy, where Mackintosh was ignominiously defeated, with the additional pangs of regret for the prior burning by Keppoch of the old castle of Dunachton, not long rebuilt, with its grounds planted and beautified. Smarting under his treatment, for Government did not bestir itself as wished, Mackintosh declined all Lord Dundee's efforts to get him to rise in 1689, although Lord Dundee was his near relation. In his distress Mackintosh implored and petitioned King William—fortunately in vain—to take the Brae off his hands at £5000 sterling. The Duke of Gordon offered him £3000 sterling and the superiority of all his lands in Badenoch, but this was also fortunately declined. It was about this time that the fortification near the house of Keppoch called the "Sconce" was erected, from which every stone has been removed for the Keppoch buildings.

There are several very handsome larches, which may be 150 years old, and though the railway is too near, even yet the place, if the huge steading were removed, a new house suitable to the importance of the estate erected, and the surroundings laid out and beautified, Keppoch might be made as fine as any place in Lochaber. Coil Macdonell was finally brought to book at Fort-William on the 23rd of May, 1700, and new arrangements being made, both he and his son, the gallant Alexander Macdonell, continued for fifty years, not mere tenants but firm allies and friends of the Mackintoshes. Coil Keppoch's letters are well written, displaying a good knowledge of legal affairs. Alexander the son had a pension of ioo merks from Mackintosh, and this is one of his acknowledgments for his "gratuity," as he terms it, dated Keppoch, 13th January, 1735

"I Alex. Macdonell of Keappoch grant me to have received from Angus Shaw, factor to the Laird of Mackintosh, the soum of one hundred marks Scots money as the said Laird of Mackintosh his gratuity to me for Martinmas one thousand seven hundred and thirty-four years, of the which soum forsaid I grant receipt. In witness whereof I have written and subscribed those presents at Keappoch the 13th of January, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-five years. (Signed) ALEX. MCDONELL."

Alexander Macdonell of Keppoch married Jessie Stuart of Appin, leaving two sons—Ranald his successor; Alexander; and five daughters, Clementina, Anne, Barbara, Jessie, and Catharine. The eldest son, Ranald, married Sarah Cargill, with issue—two sons who died young, when the male representation devolved upon the above Alexander, afterwards Major Macdonald, who had managed his nephew's affairs. Of haughty spirit and temperament, he could not get on with Sir Eneas Mackintosh, who after years of wrangling and difference resolved at last to remove him, and it would seem as if Keppoch and the Macdonells were for ever parted. Major Macdonell removed to Inch, and thereafter to Ireland, and there are descendants in the female line. Mr Alexander Mackintosh, a thriving merchant in Fort- William, was settled in Keppoch, but his circumstances giving way, he had to leave in a very few years. At the beginning of the century, Keppoch was let again to one of the clan Donald, namely, Alexander Macdonald of Glencoe, and later on Mr Angus Macdonell of the family of Keppoch became tenant. He married Miss Christina Macnab, in her own right lineally descended of the old Lords of the Isles. This excellent specimen of the old Highland lady, after the death of her only son, had to relinquish Keppoch and now lives in London with her accomplished daughters. There are still Macdonalds in Keppoch, but Inch, long their habitat, knows them not. The following pathetic notice appeared in the newspapers in 1850 :-

"Died at Keppoch on the 25th March i85o, aged 83, John Macdonell, Esq., the grandson of Keppoch who fell at Culloden and the last Highlander who could say he had the honour of kissing the hand of Charles Edward—Righ nan Gael."

Faithful and true the Keppochs have ever been.

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