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


To all descended of the house of Mackintosh, the parish of Kilmallie will, as the birthplace of Eva, the honoured mother of Clan Chattan, ever be interesting. Fifty-one years ago, 1844, I paid it my first visits, two expeditions remaining indelibly fixed in my memory. One of these was a drive to Glenfinnan to see the monument to Prince Charles, and the other, crossing Lochiel and Loch Linnhe, accompanied by a friend, to see Inverlochy Castle and Fort-William, and on our return nearly drowned in a sudden storm, whence we had to run for several hours into the shelter of Camusnagaul. The day's misfortunes did not end, there, for being dark by the time we left the bay, we went aground on a bank, since, I think, removed, not far from Corpach Heads, where we had to remain in the cold and darkness for some time, until the tide had sufficiently advanced to float us off. All this was in the month of January. My recollections of Fort- William were therefore of a mixed character, in consequence of the after proceedings, but I well recollect its streets as being very dirty and the extraordinary number of public-houses it contained. Fort-William is now the growing place of the West Highlands, and is entering on what I trust and am almost certain will be a long reign of prosperity—a West Highland emporium—having, or to have by and bye, outlets in every direction of the compass.

I wish it, as I have already publicly wished it, every prosperity, and desire that its appearance from the sea may in time be much improved by a carriage marine parade, while the water power available quite at hand should be utilised for electric purposes, and thereby the gas-works and other objectionable smoky erections done away with. The houses if white-washed, rising tier by tier from the sea, would look grand.

It would be idle as well as unprofitable to speculate on the condition of the people in prehistoric times, or even when in possession of the Comyns. The latter left little record and did not perpetuate their name. How different from the Macdonalds? Their possession was not much over 150 years—four generations exactly—yet how the actions of the Lords of the Isles pervade the whole district—and as for the people, then and now, and now as then, the surname of Macdonald dominates and predominates.

The old castle of Inverlochy, of which there are some remains, was no doubt erected in the time of the Comyns, and it is a great pity that such alien names as Fort- Augustus and Fort-William have come in place of the dignified and euphonious Gaelic Killiwhimen, and Innerlochie. When about 1500 the Earl of Huntly got the lordship of Lochaber, he was bound to maintain the Castle of Inverlochy for the King's service, but just as occurred in the case of the Castle of Inverness, the obligation was, on the Earl's supplication shortly after, either modified or practically departed from.

Cromwell fortified and extended the defences of Inverlochy, keeping there a considerable garrison, who, judging from documents preserved, amused themselves, when left alone by Lochiel and others, in framing addresses of that snivelling cant so congenial and natural to the crop-eared Saxon Roundhead. After the restoration the place fell into decay, but after the Revolution, Government saw the prudence of having proper fortifications in this locality ; and early in William and Mary's reign the fort of Fort-William was erected nearer the sea than Inverlochy, and was maintained until well on in the present century. A village sprung up around the Fort, in honour of the Queen called Maryburgh. No regular title seems to have been granted by the Duke of Gordon, but a money payment of £70 a year was made by the Board of Ordnance, for at least 30 years prior to 1787, for the site of the Fort and certain grounds adjoining, occupied for the accommodation of the garrison. The village was a Burgh of Barony, with right to hold a weekly fair. Matters so remained until 1787, when the Duke, desiring to have things put on a permanent footing, entered into a submission with the Board of Ordnance, to Mr David Young of Perth, and Mr Angus Macdonald of Achtriachatan, as valuators. The grounds desired by the Board were found to extend to 53 Scots acres, whereof it may be mentioned 4 acres, 2 roods, 20 poles, represented the Fort; 1 acre, 2 roods, 12 poles, the esplanade; 2 acres, 2 roods, the burial ground; 15 acres, the Point of Claggan in Kilmonivaig, the remainder being accommodation land. The arbiters fixed the annual value at £70, instead of £81 claimed, but declined giving an opinion on the forty years' purchase asked by the
Duke, £4240. Ultimately his Grace accepted £2100, and the necessary writ was granted, referring to a plan prepared by Major Andrew Fraser, chief engineer for North Britain, and reserving to the Duke the salmon fisheries of the rivers and the coast adjoining, rights of anchorage for accommodating the trade and intercourse of the village, as also to the inhabitants and villagers, the use and privilege of the burial ground.

Major Fraser's plan, which was signed in duplicate, went amissing, and in 1820 the Board of Ordnance wished the grounds inspected, measured, and substantial march stones put up. This the Duke agreed to, but the local representatives differed greatly, while the principals also were not at one. The Duke maintained that the fort and esplanade were included in the 53 acres, while the Board held that they were not, the matter ending in the latter acquiescing in the Duke's views.

That "Queen Anne was dead" became proverbial, and as it was also certain that her sister Queen Mary was also dead for many years, the Gordons thought the keeping up the name of Maryburgh inconsistent with their dignity and so altered it to Gordonsburgh. Not to be outdone, Sir Duncan Cameron, who succeeded the Gordons in the Burgh of Barony of Inverlochy, called the village Duncansburgh. It would be difficult, perhaps, to decide which of the two names was the ugliest; nor is that of Fort-William, which has supplanted both, a whit less objectionable.

The old rights in the town were merely entries in the Superior's rent rolls, as so much in name of "feu," while others were by way of "rent," and considerable trouble arose after Sir Duncan Cameron's purchase of Inverlochy in adjusting matters. These have, it is understood, been settled in course of time, while the new feus of Lochiel and Glenevis, are outwith the old settlements in Achintorebeg.

There are now only two proprietors in Kilmallie east of Loch Linnhe, Lochiel and Mrs Cameron Campbell. The former has a magnificent sea frontage from Fort-William to Ballachulish, but it must have been a very severe wrench for him to part with his portion of Ben-a-bhric and its shielings on the upper waters of Loch Leven, even though they never adjoined to or included Lochan-a-Chlaidhe, or the "Fuaran Ard," or the "Cailleach Mhor," Having already given the Gordon rental of Kilmonivaig, that for Kilmallie in 1677 is now given. I regret I cannot give the rentals of the other old heritors—those of Glenevis, Callart, Kinlochleven, and Lochiel's part of Mamore—

One good point is cheerfully put to the somewhat meagre credit side of the Gordons in Lochaber during their three hundred and fifty years' possession, viz, that in 1800 the farm of Drumarban, within two miles of Fort-William, having fallen into the Duke's hands, it was broken up and let into crofts, chiefly for old soldiers of his own fencibles.

So long as there were soldiers at Fort-William and a staff kept up, there was a good deal of stir in the place. The markets were generally well attended. The resident gentry, it might be said, whereof Fort-William was the centre, were, though scattered, fairly numerous, while many of the larger farms were occupied by officers on half pay or retired. Gradually, after the close of the Peninsular War, the strength of the garrison was reduced, the local resident gentry decayed, the old officers died out, and stagnation prevailed. Yet at its best, Fort-William society was not altogether harmonious. Militarism with its parasite train, is ever exclusive, and the West Highland world whereof Fort-William was the centre was a century ago rent in twain by a bitter yet most ridiculous warfare over the Fort- William dancing master, one Kennedy, who had set up in the place a dancing school in 1802, which was attended by those who considered themselves the elite.

Of old Highlanders did not need to be taught, their steps being adapted to the music and its time, and thus perfectly in harmony. Times were changing, however, and so this school was opened in Fort-William. Fired with an emulation rather unsuited to his years and situation in life, Mr J. Macmillan, of the somewhat mature age of 22 for beginning this kind of schoolery, whose daily occupation was while by no means dishonourable yet of an humble nature, viz., that of strapper, presented himself for admission, which the poor dancing master, glad of support, did not hesitate to give him. The rest of the scholars, young ladies and others, with their parents and friends were furious, and insisted that if the objectionable person whose activity when on the floor was rather dangerous to others' limbs were not excluded, they would all leave. This put the poor dancing-master in much distress, and he offered to instruct Macmillan alone for nothing. Backed up by some "friends of man," and "universal brothers," not unknown even in the present day, Macmillan declined, and was in consequence dismissed. He thereupon raised an action of declarator against the dancing master, maintaining that so long as he kept open school he was bound to receive the petitioner in common form with others on payment of the usual fees, and that if he declined he should be found liable in heavy damages. This ridiculous case, alter going through the Sheriff Court, was debated at great length in the Court of Session, talented advocates gravely debating the pros and cons as if important issues depended upon it. Local feeling was much embittered, and large sums were foolishly subscribed to carry on the proceedings.

Alexander Macdonald, son of Charles Macdonald in the Clachan of Aberfoyle, practised for some years in Fort- William as a doctor, and afterwards in Knoydart, but he must not be confused with the well-known surgeon in Knoydart, Alexander Macdonald, alias Maceachin, called the "Doctor Roy." The first-named Alexander Macdonald served his apprenticeship with Dr Robert Graham of Stirling, and his articles were discharged on the 9th of November, 1761. Like many budding surgeons, Alexander was glad to accept an appointment on a Greenland whaling ship, starting on his first voyage early in 1762, as seen by the following certificates:_

"I, Thomas Gairdrier, merchant in Edinburgh, one of the owners of the ships employed from this port on the Greenland, and as an acting manager for the other partners, do certify that the bearer, Alexander Macdonald, surgeon, was by my appointment examined by a physician of skill, and recommended to be employed as a surgeon in our ship "The Campbelltown," on the voyage to Greenland this season, and the commander and crew have reported to me their entire satisfaction with his care and skill in his profession, and constant application when necessary in the way of his business; and, therefore in justice to his merit, I presume to recommend him to any one that shall have occasion to employ him. Given under my hand at Leith, August 10th, 1762. (Signed) "THOS. GAIRDNER."

"I, Commodore Dirck Janson, commander of the ship "Campbell-town" of the Edinburgh Whale Fishing Company, in the voyage this season, do certify to the owners of my ship and all whom it may concern, that Alexander Macdonald, surgeon on the voyage this season, has performed his duty with diligence, care, and as far as I know, with skill in his profession. Certified by me at Leith,

August, 11th, 1762. (Signed) "COMMDR. DIRCK JANSON."

By November, 1763, and probably at an earlier date, Dr Macdonald had settled at Fort-William in fairish practice. Among his patients were Lieutenant John Macdonald of Auchachar; Angus Macdonald of Achnacoichan; Lieutenant Donald Macdonald in Maryburgh; Donald Cameron in Boluick; Duncan Macpherson in Maryburgh ; Donald Maclachlan in Coruanan; Ewen Macphee in Glendessary Allan Cameron at Blairmachdrine; John Stewart of Forleck; Captain Alexander Cameron, at Auchnacarrie ; Duncan Cameron, at Muick; Donald Macphee, in Glendessary James Thomson, merchant in Maryburgh; Marion Wilson, residing in Maryburgh; Mary Cameron, relict of Donald Cameron, tacksman of Drumarban; Donald Mackinnon, at Moy; and Donald Cameron, tenant in Achnasaul.

It will be noticed that the Captain and Commander, whose name strongly reminds one of a famous character in "Guy Man nering," does not certify to Macdonald's skill from personal experience, probably being strong enough to dispense with any medical assistance, but the doctor's operations on the crew needed in all likelihood a heavy hand, which unfortunately stuck to Dr Macdonald. Auchachar and Achnacoichan considered his treatment and physics improper and dangerous, and being taken into Court for his account, the former stated in defence that in the autumn of 1764 there was a severe flying distemper over the country, and that he got alarmed by the appearance of certain blotches. Dr Macdonald undertook the cure, and dosed him with drugs and physic, so that from August 1764 to May 1765, he was unable to leave his room, became emaciated to a skeleton, "more like a ghost than a corporate body"; that Dr Macdonald ultimately acknowledged he did not understand the case, and on being challenged for charging at the rate of 1200 per cent, for his drugs he answered that it was on account of " his straitened circumstances." Upon proper advice Auchachar, by drinking goat whey and "Trefoil" tea, gradually recovered. Achnacoichan's defence was that his son Angus, a boy of twelve at school at Fort-William, caught the prevailing distemper, which the father intended to have dealt with according to a recipe he possessed of his late brother, Dr John Macdonald, but meeting Dr Alexander Macdonald, the latter offered to treat him gratis, and applied mercurial and other drugs to such a degree that the boy became "so enervate and feeble that a kind of paralytic disorder occurred." Thoroughly alarmed, Achnacoichan consulted the garrison surgeon, who said that the drugs supplied were too much for the strongest man, and ordered a radical change. In 1767 Dr Macdonald removed to Knoydart, where I find him practising in 1771. The last notice of him is a letter in a shaky hand, and denoting an old, unpopular, and irascible man, dated, Knoydart, 4th January, 1790. He had apparently assaulted a neighbour, and I give part of his explanation. He says—

"I can prove 1st, that the stroke I aimed at him he never received, so consequently did him no injury ; 2nd, that it was by his repeated endeavours to traduce my character and his insulting language when I desired to know his reasons for traducing my character that I made a stroke at him, not with an oak bludgeon but with an ash stick, which stroke he never received; 3, that he is of a bad character I can easily establish, and that he committed theft and depredations on my own property I can make dear, and that it was after he was found in my garden burthened with my onions, I said that if I caught him in repetitions of the kind I would shoot him in the act as soon as a muir cock."

From Fort-William hundreds of emigrants sailed at different times. Mr Flyter, the well-known lawyer, writing on the 27th June, 1801, says—

"Your friend Mr Denoon left this on Wednesday for Nova Scotia on board the Sarah of Liverpool. The Aberdeen vessel sailed eight days before then, and I hope they will have a pleasant voyage. Both vessels were as full as they could hold of emigrants, and many who wished to go could not be received."

In 1805 the state of the earlier Fort-William Sheriff Court Records was very unsatisfactory, as may be seen from Mr Flyter's letter now given. It is hoped that the old papers were at least to some extent recovered. Mr Flyter's letter dated Fort-William, 18th April, 1805, is as follows :-

I cannot give any account whatever about old processes or any other Records of this Court preceding the beginning of February, 1799, the time I came to this country. It defied me to get a paper except few trifling processes then in dependence from my predecessor, Bailie Cameron. I often applied both to him and my constituent for possession of the Records of Court, but neither paid the least attention to the business. Any process that occurred in my own time I can easily put my hand on, but further I cannot go."

A Custom House had been established for some time at Fort-William with success. Upwards of a hundred years ago Mr Cohn Campbell, one of the most influential men of the district, and much respected, was collector. The estate of Ardnamurchan having changed hands, and the new proprietor, being energetic and having the ear of those in high places, took it into his head to try and get the Custom House removed to the Bay of Kilchoan, and managed to carry matters so far as to enlist the sympathies of the Board of Customs at Edinburgh. The Duke of Gordon was furious, and with the Duchess, who took the matter up warmly, stopped the removal for a time. The natural shelter and other advantages of Tobermory, though like other Government fishing villages, failing as a permanently successful fishery establishment, were such as to give it the preference. Thus, while Riddell failed in his main object, Fort-William was ultimately sacrificed, having in its present prosperity, perhaps some consolation in the thought that its old opponent's descendants have been cleared out of their temporary possession of Ardnamurchan.

The annexed letter from the Board of Customs and the report by the Fort-William authorities may be read with interest at this day. It appears from Mr Tod's letter that Collector Campbell furnished him with early information, seeing with his usual sagacity that in Toberrnory lay the danger. I observe that the Duchess at once applied to Lord Adam Gordon, who then held a high military position in Scotland, and also to Mr Dundas :-

"Number Forty-six.

"Gentlemen—Being informed that in the west side, about two miles from the point of Ardnamurchan, there is a natural wet harbour, that can be made perfectly safe against all winds at a small expense we direct you to report whether it would not be more for the benefit of the Public and Revenue to remove the Custom House from Fort- William to that station, notwithstanding the objections made by you to Kilchoan, and in particular whether the officers would not have it more in their power to check smuggling, especially if a small Boat or Vessel were provided, to be stationed near the place now proposed, and employed under your direction.

"We being perfectly satisfied of your impartiality and that no interested motives will have any weight with you for this information, which is to be transmitted with all possible dispatch.----We are, your loving friends,

(Signed) "J. H. COCHRANE.
"Custom Ho., Edinburgh,
13th June, 1787."

"Number Forty-nine.

"Sirs,—Agreeable to your Honours' orders of the 13th June instant, we beg leave to report that none of the officers of this Port, tho' acquainted by frequently sailing the Sound of Mull, either observed, heard, or had any knowledge of such a natural wett harbour, as your Honours' mention, previous to the above Order; further than it late addvertisment in the Edinburgh newspapers by the Proprietor of his intentions to lett his Estate of Ardnaniurchan, pointing it out, nor is it laid down, as such in any map, chart, or survey of the coast, known or seen by us. On inquiry we are however since informed by some countrymen ; That a Rocky Bank or Island across the Beach of the Bay of Kilchoan of Ardnamurchoan and about two miles from the point, forms a Gutt or Strand that with the highest Spring Tides admitts Boats and small craft below six to seven foot Draught of Water within that Bank. That the Bank at present is no security to even these Boats, as a low Land that near by overflows, without drawing such Boats above water mark on Land, when they touch the Shore of that Beach, that Bank being open on both sides at full sea. We are also assured by several shipmasters well- known on that Coast, and from our own knowledge believe it to be so, That the whole Bay of Kilchoan of which the foresaid Strand forms a part, is neither a safe or commodious Harbour for shipping, known or frequented as such. With several stink Boats in that Bay it is exposed to near one half the points of the Compass as a Lee Shore, particularly to the due South, South East, and South West Winds, nor is it a Roaclsted or proper Inlett or Outgoing that Shipping frequent or touch at in passing the Sound of Mull, or the Point of Ardnamurchan ; in such circumstances, or meeting with Contrary Winds in the Sound, or off the Point, all vessels make for the safe and commodious harbour of Tobermory in the Sound of Mull, if be South the point, and when be North the point, for the Harbours of the Island of Canay (tho' about ten leagues Distant), Isle Oransay in Skye, or other harbours in that neighbourhood, and so far as we can learn there is no safe harbour known even for small craft, on either side of the Mainland of Ardnamurchan within many miles of the point thereof. On that footing we humbly apprehend engineers or professional men in such undertakings can only say the expense of making such a wett harbour perfectly safe, or estimate the sums necessary for quays or such artificial bulwarks on that beach as will effectually secure it a safe harbour for shipping.

Referring to our former report to your Honors of the 19th December last, stating our opinion of the advantages or disadvantages to the public of establishing a Custom House at Kilchoan. The trade and business at Fort-William, and our sedulous endeavours to check smuggling from thence, are so well-known to your Honors and appearing by our various quarterly and yearly returns to the respective offices under your Honourable Board, it does not become us, so nearly interested in the issue, to press our opinion further, how far it would be more for the benefit of the public and revenue to remove the Custom House from Fort-William to any part of the Sound of Mull. We entreat your Honors to refer to others not concerned in the proposal from views of interest, private motives or local attachments, impartially to certify that point. We trust it will thereby appear to your Honours, on every prospect and view of the case, that the Port of Fort-William should not be totally abandoned, or the whole offices thereof removed to a station about 40 miles distant from so large a tract of country as ]yes behind, that has now, and of a long time, felt the benefit of that establishment. But we pray leave to declare it as our avowed and decided opinion, that if, it is thought fitt to be so removed to any part of the Sound of Mull, Tobermory should be the station as most eligible in every respect for every purpose of the Publick and Revenue, and not the Bay of Kilchoan or any part of the country of Ardnamurchan where from what we have already stated, we assuredly apprehend it could answer no publick view whatever.

"We submit to your Honours what services a few Custom House Officers could render the public, stationed on a Point of land surround by the Ocean, without a Harbour on that land, secluded by inaccessible roads for about 24 Scots Miles from even the small village of Strontian, as the nearest post-office of it Weekly runner ; where neither the Proprietor, a Civil Magistrate, or other man of business at least known in Trade, Manufacturer, or Merckantile line, presently reside, without troops nearer than Fort-William to assist them, and tho' a vessel was provyded to check smuggling under such Officers' Directions as that vessel could only in moderate weather touch at, or near the Station of these Officers, and in our opinion, should more properly be stationed or lye at Tobermory with any view of success. It does not occur to us that under these circumstances, the Officers at Kilchoan or such vessel could easily give the necessary intelligence or assistance. And we have said in our former report how unfltt in our idea, a small open Boat is to navigate those Seas for the use of the Revenue but in Moderate or Summer weather.

"In a case of this importance to the public we humbly conceive it to be our Duty to state fully the facts as strike us, and humbly hope they will be confirmed to your Honors as such by the impartial Public at large, and more particularly we beg leave to appeal as to the grounds on which we found our Observations to Captains Crawford, Campbell and Hamilton as Commanders of the Revenue Cutters on that Station and professional gentlemen best informed on the Coast, and to the fishing Traders of Greenock, Campbelltown, and Ohan, who had every access to consider the case with attention which is humbly submitted.

"We have the Honour to be with much respect, Honoured Sir, Your very Obedient hum. Servants, (Signed) "COLIN CAMPBELL., "DUN. AL. BAILLIE.

Customs Ho., Fort-Williarn,
"26th June, 1787."

"Fochabers, 4th July, 1787.

Sir,—As I am uncertain at present where to address a letter to the Duchess I beg you will take the trouble of forwarding to Her Grace the enclosed copy of a late correspondence between the Board of Customs and the officers of the Custom House at Fort-William, concerning the removing of the Custom House from that place to Ardnamurchan.

"As the very existence of the village of Gordonsburgh depends upon the Custom House being continued there, please inform Her Grace of the necessity of her making every possible exertion immediately to prevent Sir James Riddell's plan from being carried into execution. And it will also be proper while Her Grace has access to the Treasury Board and the several gentlemen of the Customs about Edinburgh, that she enter a caveat against the removing of the Custom House at any future period from Fort-William to any of the intended fishing towns, particularly to this same Tobermory which perhaps there is some reason to be afraid of as the rival of Gordonsburgh.

You know what steps it may be necessary to take at Edinburgh to prevent the Board of Customs and the Exchequer from coming to any decision till Her Grace arrives.—I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) WILL TOD.

To Cha. Gordon, Esq. of Cluny, etc., etc.


The hereditary ill-feeling between those surnamed Cameron and Macdonald is well-known. It is not, however, often mentioned in black and white. Before giving the instance alter referred to, I may refer to the claim preferred by the Carnerons to be placed on the right at Culloden. This was directed against the Macdonalds and is thus alluded to in an exceedingly modest but clear account of the Rising of '45 written by Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Macdonell of Lochgarry. It will be recollected that John Macdonell, then of Glengarry, was an old man, and his eldest son Alexander being taken captive before the Rising actually took place, and detained prisoner until it was over, was prevented from taking the field. The clan was therefore in two divisions, led, the one by Lochgarry, old Glengarry's near relation, and the other by the latter's younger son, Angus, accidently killed at Falkirk.

I have recently been favoured by my highly valued friend and ancient ally Mr Macdonell of Morar, with the perusal of an old manuscript bearing to be a "Memorial by Lochgarry for Glengarry." It gives a full account of all that occurred to Lochgarry, one of Prince Charlie's earliest supporters, up to his embarkation for France. The I\IS. is not only signed by Lochgarry but is apparently in his handwriting, and is of such value as calls for its separate publication. The Northern Macdonalds had become divided into four distinct families, Glengarry, Clanranald, Sleat and Keppoch, who, though sharply divided among themselves, had been up to this period steady loyalists. Now alas ! for the first time the house of "Donald Gorm, clann Domhnuill naiz Eilean," appeared not with their brethren. Lochgarry, it will be observed, according to the after-quoted narrative, refrained from giving Lord George Murray's reasons for his unfortunate determination, as if Lord George desired the place for his own men. These reasons, however, have been given by himself. He could have had no object except to what was right, unless high expediency. The major blame undoubtedly lies at the door of Lochiel, who asked what he was not justified in asking, and that too at a very critical moment; while on the other hand Lord George was by this time well aware of the extreme jealousy and exalted punctilio that existed between the Highland chiefs, amounting almost to religious fanaticism. Lochgarry says—

"The Macdonells had the left that day, the Prince having agreed to give the Right to Ld. George and his Atholmen, upon which Clanronald, Keppoch and I spoke to his R.Ils. upon that subject, and begg'd he would allow US our former Right but he intreated us for his sake we woud not dispute it as he had already agreed to give it to Lord George and his Atholmen, and I heard H. R. Hs. say that he repented it much and would never doe the like if he had occasion for it. Your Regmt that I had the Honr. to command at this battle, was about 500 strong, and that same day your People of Glenmorrison were on their way to join us, and likewise about Too Glengarry men were on their march to join us on the other side of Lochness. Att this unlucky battle, we were all on the left, and near on our Right, were the brave Macleans who would have been about 200, as well looked men as ever I saw, commanded by Maclean of Drumnine, ane of the principal gentlemen of that Clan; he and his son were both kill'd on the spot, and I believe 50 of their number did not come off the field. Their leader waited of the Prince on his landing, with a commission from most of the principal Gentlemen of that Clan, who were always known to be among the first in the field when the Royl family had to doe, and wou'd have been all in arias at this time, had not been the unlucky accident of their Chief's being in the Government's hand, which was a cruel loss to the cause, and occasion'd that this brave Clan were not all in the field they live likewise under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Argue, since the Forfeiture of their great Estates, occasioned by their constant attachment to the Royll. Family so consequently live in the neighbourhood of the numerous Clan of the Campbells, who were always dissatisfied to the Royll Cause, and if they had all arisen in arms their familys wou'd have been ruin'd by them, but if their Chief had been at their head, this they would have little regarded. However, I'm sure, including the 200 at Culloden and those Lochiel had out of Swynart, and other parts, with several other young gentlemen that had joined the severall Regmts. of the Macdonells, vou'd have compleated twixt four and five hundred men of that Clan."

Lochgarry's reference to the gallant Macleans, though it does not bear upon what I am writing about will, I know, be excused.

The object of the memorial was, no doubt, to let Glengarry the younger have a full and direct account of the behaviour of the clan.

Barisdale was so unpopular with the Camerons that, without the slightest warrant or authority, they took it on themselves to deport Coil Macdonell, third Barisdale, and his son Alexander to France.

My immediate illustration relates to people, who, though in a humble position, may be expected to throw greater keenness and personality into a struggle than their superiors.

There were two small possessions in Kilmonivaig, Donie and Auchcar, names fallen into desuetude, on the old road by the water of Lundy, passing Lienachan and others, which joined the Glen Nevis road at Poulin More before it reached Loch Treig. Upon the 1st of April, 1780, Donald Macdonell, late volunteer in his Grace the Duke of Gordon's North Fencibles, now tacksman of the fifth part of the farm of Auchcar, his said Grace's lands in the lordship of Lochaber, says that he had the honour of his Grace the Duke of Gordon's acquaintance and his good countenance, for whom he had recruited for his regiment five men, four being Macdonalds of his own friends, and the fifth an Irishman, and that he, Donald, having a throng family of six "wake" children, had to give up soldiering, when he was discharged by his Grace, and a letter of tack for the fifth part of Auchcar given him.

A minute account is then given by Donald of his enjoyment with friends of his pipe and glass in the house of Donald Kennedy, in Maryburgh, on the evening of Friday, 24th March, 1780, when the company were intruded upon by Donald Cameron, tenant in Donie, who used violent language and assaulted them, threatening Donald thus "Donald Duke, for all your great friends, Duke of Gordon and Macdonells, if I get you by yourself, sooner or later, I'll beat you so that you will not be able to travel the road. The principal charge against Cameron is given in Donald's own words. It is—

"That on Saturday the twenty-fifth day of March last, being the day following the encounter in Kennedy's house, when the memorialist and a neighbour were upon the road to Inverness, and had gone about three miles out of Maryburgh, the memorialist having looked behind him he observed the said Alexander Cameron and Donald Cameron, his brother, coming after him with a speedy pace, and the memorialist then dreaded, from the hurry and appearance they had and from the information he, the memoralist, had got the night before, that the said Alexander Cameron was threatening to use him ill, and putting him from walking the road, the memorialist and his neighbour having qot into a hollow part, they vent off the road and shifted their course so as to avoid the said Alexander Cameron and Donald Cameron, and having gone round a knowe, the memorialist was greatly surprised to see the said Alexander and Donald Cameron take a short cut and run both up towards the memorialist, and no sooner had the said Alexander come up to him, but he drew his large oak staff and made a stroke at the memorialist's head, which, if he had received, would have undoubtedly killed him, but was avoided by the memorialist running off, and the stroke only touched him in the heel. The said Alexander then pursued and struck the memorialist with his staff on the crown of the head, cutting him desperately, whereupon the memorialist, seeing he could not then escape, grappled with Alexander Cameron, and they two were allowed a considerable time to pull, haul, and strike at one another—the memorialist had no staff, and received many strokes from Alexander Cameron on the head with his staff,the marks of which are still visible—the memorialist having then by chance got above Alexander Cameron, was seized by the two legs by the said Donald Cameron in Donie, the said Alexander's brother, trailed off him, and Alexander put above him, and the said Alexander having kneed the memorialist, who was all covered over with blood, was allowed to get up with life only in him, being by this time much hurt and faintish; that the said Alexander is a bad member of society, and universally known in the country as a quarrelsome and disorderly person, much given to fighting."

Donald concluded by alleging that the attack was premeditated, and occurred upon the farm of Torlundy, at a place calle'l Glackvirran, and he being "a poor man with a throng family, of the family of Keppoch," trusts that all well disposed persons will contribute to see that he gets justice, seeing the said Alexander and Donald Cameron have expressed no regret for their conduct and no excuse, except that the memorialist "was a Macdonell, to whom they seem to have an utter aversion." The Camerons were bound over to keep the peace in the sum of one hundred inerks each.


In 1803 there was prepared for the Duke of Gordon a hand map of Lochaber for convenient use and reference. It was drawn out by a Mr Clinkscale, either connected with the garrison, or more probably a schoolmaster. It is not to any scale, but being only a few inches square, it is very handy and useful, containing the names and situations of every place on the Gordon estates, as well as the roads.

These may first be referred to, and are of a twofold character. "The dotted lines ........are all good and
passable roads. The roads denoted by single lines, are generally footpaths, but may be travelled on horseback." So the plan states. Taking Fort-William as the centre, a good road follows the shore of Loch Linnhe as far as Inshrigh, and Ardgour Ferry. The old King's road to Glasgow still remains as it then was, by Achintore Mar, and Blarmafoldach to the head of Loch Leven. Before reaching the house of Kinlochlevcn, a minor road struck off to the northeast, by the foot of Loch Eilt to the north of Loch Treig, and to Fersit, while the Glenevis road followed the water until it emerged beyond Craiguanach and joined the last mentioned road north of Loch Treig.

The main road from Fort-William to the east and north, by Inverlochy and Torlundy, made for High Bridge, then divided into two branches, one continuing in the same direction to Low Bridge and the Ratulichs, where it again divided, one branch leading by the sides of Loch Lochy and Oich to Fort-Augustus, the other through Glengloy to Leckroy. The other branch of the main road from High Bridge passed the two Blarours, Tirindrish and Achaneich, making for Glenroy, but for some time keeping a considerable distance from the water, and then joining the Glengloy road at Leckroy. No other road of any kind is shown except the above two, north of the Spean. A minor road led from Torlundy by Leanachan and Corrichoille, ultimately at Poulinmore, joining the Glenevis road before mentioned, and, finally, there was a minor road westward south of the Spean beginning at Inverlochy, keeping close to the River Lochy by Camisky and Lindallie to the old church of Kilmonivaig, at the junction of the Rivers Spean and Lochy, thence by the Spean to High Bridge, Unachan, Killichonate, Inch, Clinaig, Monessie, Achnacoichan, and Inverlair to Fersit. There is not a vestige of road shown on Mackintosh's side of Glen Spean, and of course Roy Bridge did not then exist. There was a ford over the Roy, just as it fell into the Spean, and another across the Spean at Inch, both very dangerous. At the former, Juliet or Shiela Macdonell, the Keppoch poetess, was drowned.

Mr Clinkscale was evidently a man of taste, and denotes the natural woods, in particular "the fine oaks" of Tirindrish. Other wooded places marked are above Leckroy, to the east of Loch Treig, Achnacoichan, Inchrigh, and Culchcnna.

Centuries ago the sea washed the walls of Inverlochy Castle, and I possess a fine engraving showing a galley of some size swinging at anchor below the castle, having one prospect of still waters—the sea. At one time the huge moss of Corpach must have been covered with water, partly by the sea and partly by the overflows and siltings of the Lochy.


I have frequently alluded to the beauty of the valley of the Ness before the Canal operations, and I can imagine the valley of the Lochy must have been at one time equally peaceful and beautiful. The River Lochy before the Canal was made, flowed easily and naturally, by the plain of Dalmacomer, soon after joined by the Spean. On its south side, the ancient Church of Kilmonivaig, on a fine terrace, looked down upon the plain, the meeting of the waters, and the picturesque old burial place of the Macmartins—Cill-'ic-Comer. Now matters are entirely changed ; the surface of the loch hs been much heightened, and the Canal itself, except for the masts and sails of vessels or the cheerful funnels of steamers, is by no means an object of beauty. The fishings in the Lochy have been greatly interfered with, and the three "F's," so much in evidence recently, were not unknown in Lochaber 70 years ago, when Lochiel claimed from the Canal Commissioners compensation for fishing, floating, and ferrying disturbances on the Lochy.

Before referring to these, I wish to notice the cruives in the river which had been set up by the Duke of Gordon and Lochiel, then for a wonder, in alliance as regards their rights of fishing. In 1797 Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry alleged that these two gentlemen had established cruives in the river Lochy, and interdict was sought against him to deprive him of his rights as an upper heritor and user of the river for floating timber and other purposes.

Glengarry taunts the Duke for his ignorance of the law, as brought home to him in the case of the upper heritors of the Spey, where his Grace's obstacles to navigation or floating were declared illegal, and also that it had been similarly decided in the case of the Ness. One or two points of interest came up in course of the proceedings—

"That while yet the manufacture of wood in the country was in its infancy, the firwoods of Glengarry attracted the attention of strangers, more than a century ago a smelting furnace was erected near Invergarry on account of the quantity of charcoal which the wood afforded, and the transportation of timber to the West Coast was carried on upon a large scale. There is yet the trace of the Canal which was then formed betwixt Loch Oich and Loch Lochy for the conveyance of the timber, etc., which afterwards was floated down the river to the sea. The practice which has taken place since, is comformable to it, for not only has the firwood of Lochiel been in use of being floated down the river Lochy, but also the firwoods of Glengarry without interruption. For instance, the only ship built at Fort-William was made from the Glengarry firwoods, and was called 'The Lady Glengarry' on that account, and most of the houses at Fort- William are built of timber from the same woods. The river Lochy is well calculated for the purpose of water carriage from the interior into the sea. On Loch Lochy itself there are several large boats, and it has depth enough for the Royal George to swim in. The proprietors of Kilmonivaig have been in the use of keeping a boat upon the river below the Loch, and there are many instances of boats even going up the river, much more coming down, for different purposes of utility to the inhabitants, so that it is much more calculated for use than the river Spey, whose rapidity renders it less capable.'

Glengarry was successful, and the cruives, apparently more insisted on by the Stevensons, the salmon fishing tenants, than the proprietors, were discontinued. The opening of the Canal changed the question of floating, and Lochiel, in 1834, appears on a different tack. He could of course get his woods carried to Fort-William but he must pay at least dues, if not also freight. Some of the farms along the course of the Canal were deprived of access to wonted roads, banks leaked, culverts became choked, and over all grounds were permanently flooded by the raising of the level. Lochiel accordingly claimed large compensation. Hugh Robertson, wood merchant, stated in support of the loss of floating, that he paid not only canal dues, but that for pulling floats through by boat he got 3s a ton more than he used to receive as a floater, and that the new cut of the river at Gairlochy practically prevented floating, except at special times. As to the claim for loss on fishings Mr Charles Cameron, at Cuichenna, stated that salmon did not now go up the new cut at Gairlochy, that he had seen numbers trying to get up, but were unable to get over the fall. That Lochiel's fishing was an excellent one, the witness having frequently killed two or three salmon before breakfast. The salmon spawned in Lcch Arkaig, and went up the rivers at the head of the lake. That by the fish not getting up to the spawning ground, loss has arisen, not only to the Lochy but to the Arkaig fishings. Other witnesses stated that the ferry rents fell off greatly since the canal was formed, as there was no crossing the Canal formerly except at Banavie. The sum ultimately agreed upon and paid in name of damages and compensation was close upon £5000. This was over and above the large sums originally paid at the formation of the Canal.


No part of the country has during the present century more steadily produced its quota of literary men than Lochaber. During the early part Mr Maclachian was preeminent. After him may be mentioned Mr James Munro, and Dr Macintyre of Kilmonivaig, Dr Clerk of Kilmallie, and ahead of all others stands the evergreen Dr Alexander Stewart of Nether-Lochaher.

"May he live a thousand years."

Mr Maclachian was fortunate in being warmly supported by the influential county gentlemen of his day. He had the knack of pleasing them and exciting the affection and attention of their children, his students. I have many of his letters and some of his Gaelic hooks, including his copy of Alexander Macdonald's Gaelic Dictionary of 1741, with copious notes. From his papers I select part of an elegy on a young student, Alexis Sinclair, as a fair specimen of his style. It has not, I think, been published, though not having a copy of his works beside me, I cannot be certain. The death would have been about i8o6, and the youth was probably a Caithness boy. It is as follows—



The county of Inverness, and particularly the parish of Kilmallie, has suffered much from the high handed dismemberment effected by Lord Lorne in 1633, cutting off from Inverness-shire the districts of Ardgour, Kingair]och, Morven, Sunart, Ardnamurchan, and their isles.

At that time the Argyll family seem to have been superiors of what may be strictly termed the barony of Lochiel, reputed a £30 land. Not only was the dismemberment objectionable, but it was gone about in an extraordinary manner. Attempts have been made of late years to rectify some of the absurdities, and even at this moment there is a point as to the proper designation of proposed new parishes, North and South Kilmallie being suggested, though geographically incorrect. Perhaps the best solution would be to have Kilmallie in Inverness-shire alone, the remainder to be called Ardgour.

The barony of Lochiel extended from Glenlinnon at the south west to Banavie at the north east; the towns of Banavie and Corpach being the last enumerated in the older titles. This is a fine stretch of water frontage, but, except at Fassifern, is narrow and overlapped at the back by Glen Pean, which stretches almost to the head of Loch Morar. Lochiel estate proper was small in comparison with Glenluie and Loch Arkaig, and it was little wonder the Camerons struggled hard for possession of the latter. As it now stands, extending from Loch Eil to Loch Quoich and to the upper waters of the Garry, no finer estate is found in the Highlands.

If one looks at the ordnance sheets he will find that the boundaries in Lower Glenluie have been fixed arbitrarily, absurdly, and with disregard to all natural rules. The important township of Musherlich, with its adjunct of Tor Castle, was detached from the county of Inverness and the property of Mackintosh, who in vain protested against the spoliation. This proceeding was acquiesced in by Lochiel, being a handle against Mackintosh. After the enforced sale, when Argyll and Lochiel well knew that their acts would be closely scrutinised and advantage taken of any flaw, they were in a dilemma as to how Musherlich would be treated in the deed of conveyance. If inserted with Mackintosh's other lands, it would be tantamount to an admission that all the actings since 1633 had been tainted and vitiate; while if not inserted, it would be open to Mackintosh to raise the question that Musherlich was not included in the sale, and that he was entitled to reclaim it. The Argyll lawyers dealt with the point very judiciously. Musherlich was included in the disposition as for greater security only, the Earl alleging that it was already his property, and it was further conditioned that the then Mackintosh should retain the designation of "of Tor Castle," which he was then known by, during his life.

Lachlan Macdonald the last designed of Tor Castle died in 1702.


I now give a rental of Glenluie and Loch Arkaig in 1642. First the tenants' names, and second the rents—

1. Ewen Cameron of Lochiel in Moy.
2. Donald Cameron, Tutor of Lochiel.
3. Ewen Cameron, alias Bodach in Erracht.
4. Ewen Vic Allister More.
5. Donald Vic Coull Vic Allister in Barr.
6. John Dhu Vic Coil Oig in Strone.
7. John Vic Coil Vic lain Vic Conchie in Inveruiskavullen.
8. Duncan Macmartin of Letterfinlay in Kyleross.
9. Duncan Vic Allan Vic Ewen in Clunes.
10. I)uncan Roy Vic lain Vic Allister in Inverarkaig.
11. lain Vic Conchie Vic Ewen in Achnasoul.
12. Allister Vic Conchie Ban in Criew.
13. Ewen Oig Vic Conchie Vic Ewen in Muick.
14. Mulmor Vic lain Vic William in Caillach.
15. Lachlan Vic Coil Vic Gillonie in Keandpol.
16. John Vic Coil Vic Allister in Invermaillie.
17. Ewen Vic Conchie Vic lain in Lagganfearn.
18. Duncan Vic Even Vic Aonas in Glendessarie.
19. Donald Vic lain Dhu Vic Gillony in Glen-Pean.
20. John Vic Ewen in Murliggan.

They are described as "kinsmen and followers of the said Evan Cameron, and principal tenants, occupiers, and inhabitants by themselves and others in their names of Glenluie and Loch Arkaig, and particular towns thereof respective."



The following is an extract from the Mackintosh History:-

"In the year 1580 Mackintosh, for curbing the insolency of the Lochabrians, caused build a little island in the wester end of Loch Lochy, which was called Eilean Darroch, or the Oaken Island, for that it was built on oaken jests within the water. He had 2500 men for 3 months' time in Lochaber while the island was a building, and by means of this island (wherein he kept a garrison) he brought the Lochabrians in subjection to their superior; but how soon that island was surprized and demolished, the country people brake forth again to their wonted rebellion."

Having frequently tested without blot the accuracy of this history, I many years ago, when I had occasion to be frequently in Lochaber, enquired as to this island, but without any result. One day, however, the late Colonel Cameron of Clifton Villa, Inverness, of the historic family so long in Clunes, asked me if I ever heard of Eilean-anToisich, or sometimes called Carn-'ic-an-Toisich, to which I replied that I had not only heard of it, but had been long in search of it, and hoped now to know where it was.

Colonel Cameron then informed me that in his youth, on a remarkable clear day, being in a boat in the Bay of Clunes along with a very elderly man, full of tradition, the old man bade him look closely towards the bottom, when he observed several large hammer-dressed stones, as also logs of timber like joists. He was further told, that before the canal operations these remains were often visible on calm days, but since then only occasionally, and the old man had himself been informed by older people, that that was all now remaining of an artificial stronghold put up by the Mackintoshes to keep the people in order, hence, Eilean or Cam-an-Toisich. Colonel Cameron told me that the wood he saw was very likely oak. He farther stated that as the level of the loch had been much raised since the occasion, he doubted whether now it was possible even on a calm day, and otherwise suitable, to see anything. Finding that I was much interested and that he himself had for the first time learned the object of the structure, Colonel Cameron was good enough to say that perhaps some day we might make a pilgrimage to the spot, for he thought he could come very near it. Though not the eldest son of Allan of Clunes, his father had put the Colonel's name into the lease along with his own at the settlement with Lochiel in 1834, and were it not that the Colonel was on active service when the lease expired in 1853 he would never have given up the place to which he and his family were passionately attached.

I have now almost given up any hope of examining the Bay of Clunes, and indeed without the local knowledge of Colonel Cameron, any search for the remains of the island would probably be unavailing.
The raising of the loch has caused the disappearance of many other landmarks on the shores of Loch Lochy, and notably much of the road on its west side. Being now chiefly forest, neither Lochiel nor Glengarry have any interest in its maintenance or in re-forming it where submerged, but it long served the extensive and once populous territory from Laggan Achindrom to Inverie prior to 1834.


Allan Cameron of Clunes stated that "from the river Arkaig to Goirtean-na-Croigh, including all the arable land in that space, viz., 12 acres at Bun Arkaig ; 15 at Clunes, viz., Chef, Inverbuiebeg, Inverbuiemore, and Goirtean-naCroigh, and about twenty-three acres of pasture, in all about 50 acres, had been submerged, besides a space of about 4 miles, averaging 30 yards in breadth to the Lochiel and Glengarry march at Derragalt, with stumps of trees standing out of the water. It was along this road that the Macdonalds marched on their way to the battle of Blar-nan-leine, and that Prince Charles two hundred years later, after a few hours' rest at Invergarry Castle, moved westward the day after Culloden. By this road also Mackintosh, for the last time, marched in force to Lochaber to meet Lochiel, who was waiting in arms to stop his passage across the Arkaig. A few words from a contemporary writer, personally present on the occasion, may not he without interest. Mackintosh had rendezvoused in Stratherrick and—

"On Saturday, 16th September, 166, marched through the wood of Glastermore to the Clunes, a room belonging to Mackintosh, and upon their approach Lochiel and his kin drew themselves and all their cattle and goods to the south side of the water of Arkaig, a great water, not possible to get over but by boat and one ford which the enemy had guarded, resolving to keep the water between Mackintosh and his forces, and them. Now you are to know that the water of Arkaig being a mile long, which runs out of a loch that is 12 miles in length called Loch Arkaig, into another loch called Loch Lochie, and this water not being passable but by one ford, as said is, it behoved Mackintosh, who had no boats, to march about both sides of Loch Arktig, 24 miles, before he could come at the place where the enemy was encamped."

They proceeded as far as Achnasaul, but in the meantime communings took place and Mackintosh and his people fell back on i8th September, encamping before the island of Loch Arkaig. The writer continues that upon the 19th of September—

"Mackintosh marched to the Clunes where there was a minute of contract drawn up and subscribed by both parties wherein Mackintosh was obliged to sell his lands of Glenluie and Loch Arkaig to Lochiel or any other person he would nominate, and Lochiei did engage himself and six of the specials of his friends under great penalties to pay to Mackintosh the sum of 20,500 merks on the 12th day of January next thereafter, within the town of Perth, and on the aforesaid day also to secure him sufficiently for the remainder of the sum (72,500 merks) to the satisfaction and content of any such persons of Mackintosh's own choosing, and the terms of payment to be Martinnias 1666 and Martinmas 1667. Upon the 20th September, 1665, Lochiel having crossed the water of Arkaig, Mackintosh and he met (24 men on each side) upon the lands of Clunes, and having drunk together in a friendly manner, in a token of perfect reconciliation, exchanged swords and so departed, having in all probability at that time, taken away the old feud which, with great hatred and cruelty continued betwixt their forbears for the space of 360 years. That afternoon Mackintosh and his people marched in order from Clunes to Laggan Achindrom, where after many friendly embracings, the forces of Badenoch and Braemar take leave of Mackintosh and the rest of the friends, and that friendly little army disbanded in peace."

The feud was ended, but naturally there was but little friendliness on either side, and for upwards of 200 years-until 1869—no Mackintosh visited at Achnacarry, nor did a Lochiel set foot within Moyhall.


The subsequent history of Glenluie and Loch Arkaig, subsequent to the purchase by Lochiel, is little known. After the forfeiture of 1715 they were claimed under the Superiors Act by Argyll, but were afterwards restored to Donald Cameron the younger, who in 1745 was the undisturbed owner. Circumstances and the popular verdict have been very favourable to the character and position of the Lochiels since then.

The estate and clan are inseparably mixed up with Prince Charles, but there is no denying that to the heroism and devotion of the people is due the high place acceded to the family ever since and now. The estates were administered by the Forfeited Estates Commissioners until 1784, and though their factors were partial and biassed against the smaller occupants, upon the whole the rents were moderate. It is said that, like other chiefs, the Lochiels when exiles regularly received part of the rent. When such conduct is reported, it is always commented on as extremely honourable to the tenants. So it was, but let it be recollected that in former times, rent in the form of money was a minor, easy consideration—the real burden or tax being services, especially the liability to be called out to fight at any moment. And this burden, so often involving the lives of the bread winners, had become almost intolerable. Therefore the continuous absence or exile of the chief, after the law became generally operative and protective of the people, was really no hardship to them—rather the contrary—and this enabled them to pay a double rent now and then with comparative case.

There is every reason to believe that the Commissioners did not overburden the tenants of Lochiel in the matter of rent, and of this Mr Alexander Mackenzie in his History of the Camerons gives a strong illustration in the case of Erracht. In 1779, a few years only of the current lease at a rent of £22 10s, remained, The elder Erracht, Donald Cameron, second in command in the '45, applied for a renewal, and this was agreed to, at a rent fixed by the estates factor, Mr Henry Butter, who fixed the new rent at £48 9s 9d, but on a strong remonstrance from the tenant the increase was restricted by £3 9s 9d, with a 41 years' lease, whereof the rent for the first 21 was to be £25, and for the remaining 20, £45 beginning as at Whitsunday, 1781. By this time the craze for sheep farms had set in, and at the restoration of the estate to Donald Cameron of Lochiel, in 1784, was in full force.

I shall now give the rental of Lochiel in 1788 from Mr Mackenzie's History, distinguishing Glenluie and Loch Arkaig from the other lands. The total is there said to be £1212 9S old sterling, which Lieutenant Cameron of Lundavra thinks too low, and says, giving farm by farm, that the estate was worth £2665, or more than double, and in token of his sincerity he more than doubles his own rent.

The rentals of 1642 and 1788 may be contrasted with advantage and the rise was by no means high, while the number of tenants holding direct of the landlord had increased. It has been said that the increase of rent was owing to the late Mr Belford, but this is quite erroneous. Mr Belford has enough to answer for in his dealings with the Dochanassie people in Glenfintaig. The mischief was done in the time of the restored Donald Cameron of Lochiel, and

at an early period in his career. Mr Belford only acted as factor for but a very few years for this Donald, his chief sway being from 1833 to 1859, in the time of the second Donald Cameron, a very different man from his father, as will be hereafter seen. It would be going into invidious detail perhaps, not the object of these papers, to give farm by farm, the oppressive doings on the estate after its restoration.

Its restoration, under burden of debt of £3433 9s id 5-I2ths, though humanely meant in this and other instances, in the case of Lochiel, the object being personally unworthy, proved fatal to the people. At the restoration Donald Cameron was only 15 years old, had been loosely and and extravagantly brought up, trained abroad, in habits and feelings having no sympathy with or pride in the family traditions or the prosperity of his people. Indeed he never visited Lochaber until 1790. He was much in debt before his majority, and deeply involved in connection with the Erracht sale and subsequent reduction. Ewen, afterwards Sir Ewen Cameron of Fassiefern, fought his battle with skill and determination, continued by his son Sir Duncan, up to Lochiel's death in 1832. But what could Fassiefern do? Money had to be found, and as early as 1793, by a new set of the estates, the rental was grievously increased. Heritable debt, family provisions, and the expense of building Achnacarry House mounted up to so large a figure that the trustees justly became alarmed, and the estate, already under trust, was put under entail and thus saved from extinction.

At the first set most of the old Cameron tenants became bidders, many of them officers on half-pay, who, by taking advantage of high prices, and changing the old system into sheep farming, were for a time enabled to pay their large rents. But what about the people, the life blood of the clan! They were no longer wanted. On the contrary, they were in the way, and, practically starved out, were glad in large numbers to enlist in Erracht's regiment. The sheep farms wanted but few hands, old cultivation fell out, and houses fell into decay. The people gladly enlisted with Erracht, but it was necessity, which has no law, that compelled the balance of the people to enlist and serve in the Lochiel Fencibles in 1799-1802.

All his life Lochiel was in straits, selling his woods to that extent that Sir Duncan Cameron had to save the woods on Fassiefern by paying for them, leaving them to stand, for which he was repaid by the next Lochiel, a most honourable man.

Soldiering was over in 1815 ; then the Canal operations began and for some years gave employment, when many of the people got lots at Corpach, Banavie, on the flosses of Gaol, Lochyside, etc., where they still are, and this was the fate of the descendants of the gallant and warlike supporters of Lochiel ! Starved out of their valuable farms and grazings in Glenkingie, Glendessary, Glen Pean, and others, most of the warlike and spirited race, the followers of Lochiel who remained in the country had to take up their home in the moss of Corpach, and in future, in the circumstances, to depend on mere casual manual labour for subsistence. That there was, at the time, fair demand for labour was most fortunate.
A few instances of the rise in rent will suffice—

I. Clunes.—By the rental of 1788, Donald Cameron, a most worthy Highlander, paid a rent of £48. Allan Cameron of Lundavra, values Clunes at £180. Now at the first set in 1793, the rent of Clunes was pretty stiffly raised from 448 to £110 7s 4d, upon one of the finest and oldest clansmen of Lochiel. He was on half-pay, and thereby, with close attention and natural cleverness, was able to exist and show that hospitality so peculiar to the family of Clunes, having had the special honour of Prince Charles as his guest. Before his lease expired, there being five years to run, Lochiel and Clunes bargained for a new lease for 19 years from Whitsunday 1815, at the enormous rise of treble the old rent, or £300. A favourite plan of Lochiel's was to ask a grassum, and allow for it in the rent, and here Clunes paid £r000 of grassum, getting the actuarial value in the reduction of rent, while the years to run of the old lease were also taken into account. Nothing but the tenant's intense attachment to the home of his forefathers justified such a rent, and when the place came to be re-set in 1834 to Allan Cameron and his son Captain John, the rent had to be reduced to £200. It may be said that none of the tenants was able to stand the increased rents, and large and regular abatements had to be made yearly.

II. Moy.—The old rent of the two Moys was £57 6s 8d, payable by 16 tenants. Allan Cameron valued the place at £70. Hugh Robertson, Lochiel's factor, became tenant, and in 1823 got a 19 years' lease at a rent of £120, burdened also with rates of is per £ and half the expense of a considerable fence with Erracht.

III. Annat.—The old rent was £22 ios, and Allan Cameron's valuation, £60. In 1815 it is set to John Kennedy of Kirkland for 19 years at a rent of £240, so enormous that at the renewal of 1834 the place only fetched £150, and in 1853, although Achdalew was conjoined to it, both places only fetched £200, from Lieutenant-Colonel John Cameron, Lienassie.

The total rental in 1788, shortly after Donald Cameron's restoration, was £118 8s 6d1 while at his death in 1832 and for some time before it was not less than £6661 95 6d, not a shilling of which was shooting rent.

Upon the accession of the late Donald Cameron of Lochiel in 1832, the estate was in debt to the amount Of £33,000, burdened at the same time with handsome family provisions, and having a rack-rented tenantry, with a fluctuating surplus of some £1600 a year.

The house of Achnacarry had not yet been finished, and thus the younger Lochiel, though a frequent visitor to Lochaber in his father's lifetime, and well acquainted with the people, had no home in the North. His position was a most unhappy one, having every wish to do what was right and proper to one in his position, but possessing insufficient means.

Not a sixpence was left to the late Lochiel from his father's executry, which included the considerable unsettled claim against the Canal Commissioners, and all the woods on the estate, but much to his credit he fought as it were against fate, struggling to do justice to his tenants, even beyond his means. When sheep farming was flourishing, the pinch was not so much felt. South country tenants cropped up, and took the farms and valuations. Later on, however, the demand fell off, and the question of valuation began to be serious, even in the late Lochiel's time. Landlords to a great extent are to blame for having in those days winked at the pernicious valuation system, not in the beginning affecting themselves directly.

It may be interesting to know who, out of the whole Highlands, the late Lochiel singled out as the most reliable valuators, and to be depended on, viz.—Thomas Gillespie of Ardochy, and Coil Macdonell of Inch.

I have said that Mr Belford was not to be blamed for the rise of the Lochiel rents and starving out of the people, but he is to blame for another phase of sheep farming, viz., that of consolidating farms. To landlords, who by the sheep farming system got rid of the people, it was further most advantageous to be freed from the cost of buildings, fences, etc. Hence, even shepherds' houses, fanks, fences, stells, etc., involved on every farm a certain expense which might be greatly reduced by consolidation.


This in time became serious, but I can only give one illustration of how sheep farming grew, extending within itself like a cancer. I do not blame those who, paying enormous rents of necessity, strove to extend their borders and curtail their outlay. "More land and no people" was their object and cry. Alexander Macdonald, of Glencoe, and John Campbell, Younger of Glenmore, were great monopolists on Lochiel, and other estates. Upon their downfall a shrewd careful shepherd, known at first as "John Cameron, drover, Corrychoillie," appears, afterwards becoming one of the most noted men of his day. His first place on Lochiel was the small farm of Coanich and Kenmore, which he entered in 1824 on a ]ease of ten years from Whitsunday 1824, the rent being £70—superseding the old tenants, "Ewen Cameron and others." During the currency of this lease Corrychoillie had added considerably to his possessions, viz., Murligan and Caillich, part of Glenkingie and Glen Pean ; while in 1834 his farms culminated in his obtaining a lease of—1. Munquoich; 2. North Side of Glendessary, both as possessed by the heirs of Alexander Cameron; 3. CrielI; 4. Salachan; 5. Muick; 6. Half or Kenmore, all as possessed by the heirs of Lieutenant-Colonel John Cameron; 7. Murligan; S. Caillich; 9. Grazings of Glenkingie; 10. Coanich; 11. West Kenmore, with the part of Glenkingie attached to Coanich; 12. Glen Pean More; 13. Glen Pean Beg; 14. Coull; and 15. Glaickfearn, all as possessed by Corrychoillie himself. The rent, with is per £ for rates and taxes, was £1430, on a lease of 19 years from Whitsunday, 1834, with a break in favour of either party in 1845. Large as this rent was it was not equal to the old rents exacted by the restored Lochiel, which came to £1700; thus—Glendessary, £590; Glen Pean, £960; Crieff, etc., £150—total, £1700. Lochiel himself did not expect this sum, but would have been contented with £1490. Corrychoillie, whose original offer was £1400, increased it to £1430, which offer, as he would not move further, Lochiel accepted, and in doing so on the 6th of January, 1834, wished the acceptance to be accompanied by these words—

"The gratification I experience at the near prospect of having a tenant of my own name, who by his activity and enterprise has been enabled to hold of his landlord and chief farms of greater value and extent than are in the possession of any one individual in the West Highlands."

This good feeling did not last long, not even to the break in 1845, and the cause of difference singularly was the well-known Ewen Macphee, afterwards called the "Outlaw of Loch Quoich," regarding whom so much was written and said fifty years ago. Macphee had been resident on Glenkingie, by Loch Quoich side, and left undisturbed by the previous tenants. Corrychoillie, a busy man, could not endure idlers, particularly such as inclined to go about with a gun in place of labouring or shepherding. The two met in a hostile manner on several occasions, one of the encounters ending in a threat on the part of Macphee to shoot Corrychoillie. Lochiel tried to mediate, taking up a very proper and considerate position. Upon the 27th of March, 1835, he writes—

"Let me have a particular account of Macphee's proceedings, his manner of life, and what his family consist of. My feeling with regard to this man is that having been so long unused to habits of industry or occupation of any kind, that when turned adrift he may have recourse to lawless proceedings for his support. Men of his stamp are sometimes reclaimed by kindness, when severity might drive them to desperation. On this principle, if I thought the man had any of the better principles of Rob Roy, I would endeavour to provide for him myself. In the meantime there can be no doubt that I am bound to clear the farm of him at the insistence of the tenant."

Again, fifteen months later, on the 23rd of March, 1835, Lochiel writes-

Corrychoillie made repeated complaints to me of the conduct of Macphee, and of loss he has sustained by him, both of which I cannot but think are somewhat exaggerated, as were he really the desperate character represented, surely AlexanderCarneron, Inverguseran, and Thomas Macdonald (former ten )would neither of them have suffered him to remain on the farm. As to the threat of shooting Corrychoillie, I think he is more likely to do so if he and his family are turned adrift at his instance. I should have thought that to a man of Corrychoillie's immense possessions, an acre or two of potato ground would be unworthy of consideration."

Ultimately the question came into Court. Macphee retired to the islet on Loch Quoich, claiming that it was part of Glen Quoich estate, in which he was supported by Glengarry and his successors in that estate. Though the islet lies close to the Lochiel shore, it was found to lie in the parish of Kilmonivaig. Ewen Macphee, who was known as "Ewan-ban-Choribin," rests peacefully in Kilfinan of Glengarry, with his mother's connections, the famous Kennedys of Glengarry, but of this once numerous family I now only know Ewen's nephew, Mr Alexander Macphee, Newtonmore, my trusty ally and friend of thirty years' standing.

At the break, in 1845, Corrychoillie either did not wish to continue, or was removed, and in any case the next tenants, the Cunninghames, according to the rent roll of 1845-6, paid for farms, with others, the enormous rent of £1698 18s, while Kennedy, for Fassiefern and others, paid a rent of £1803 11s. So much for consolidations. Besides abatements, some tenants had allowances made to them for disturbance. In 1820 Alexander Cameron, Inverguseran, then tenant of Bun Quoich and the North side of Glendessary, gets an abatement of £50 a year during the remainder of his lease in respect of his being "illegally deprived of the use of certain accustomed roads and privileges of old pertaining to the farm of Glendessary."

Between i8ro and 1825, Glengarry was busy asserting ancient rights of way through Lochiel to Kylerea and Skye, and stopping exits by the Quoich and Garry. It was about this time, it is understood, that it was found that Lochiel, though owning one side of Loch Quoich, had no right to land on the Glen Quoich side, or use the high way along it to the bridge of Quoich, and the North West, or towards Invergarry, as formerly.

No shooting rents were exacted until 1838 when General Cameron, Clunes, rented the lands north of Arkaig for the sum of £15 15s. Next year, Captain Peter Cameron, Fassiefern, rented the same lands for L. 10. The Marquis of Douro subsequently paid £400, and after him the Earl Malmesbury was tenant for many years and gave the place its high reputation. In his memoirs, Lord Malmesbury makes repeated references to Achnacarry, of which he seems to have been very fond. He had at first all the land west of the Canal, paying £400, but later was restricted to the lands north of the Luic, for which the rent was £300. The forest and shootings are of great value, but the stake fishings in Lochiel, and the fishings in the Lochy and Arkaig, have not hitherto proved of much consequence.

Colonel Donald Cameron re-built, as stated, the house of Achnacarry, but did not finish it, the other additions to the estate by him being the purchase of the patronage of Kilmallie and the right of superiority over Glenluie and Loch Arkaig and the Gordon lands.

The late Lochiel, with Sir Duncan Cameron, divided the Gordon Kilmallie lands. He built the Lochy Bridge and a fairish inn at Banavie. He took little part in public or local affairs and, I think, never appeared in print except as a site refuser.


In 1843 the Rev. Thomas Davidson, minister of Kilmallie, went out, followed by most of the people. The poor Highlanders entered heart and soul into the movement and have paid dearly for it since. No wonder that they now feel humiliated and hurt by the "opportunism" of their leaders, Principals, Professors, and Doctors, trampling under foot their cherished beliefs.

In the present day the idea of site refusing seems so preposterous that it appears almost incredible that such could have occurred within the last fifty years. The following is Lochiel's letter of refusal, shortly after cancelled and a site granted, preceded by a note of what the people, who were very keen, were doing prior to the disruption

"Corpach Cottage, 1st February, 1842.

"I beg leave to inform you that a meeting was held yesterday on the subject of Non Intrusion in the Church of Kilmallie and after a lecture from the Rev. Mr Macrae of Ross-shire on that subject, an association was formed favourable to these principles, and to whom from two to three hundred appended their names before leaving the church, and are to have monthly meetings or oftener, as the Reverend Mr Davidson, shall see cause, and lectures on that question are to be given or delivered at these meetings."

It may be interesting to recall the names of Mr Davidson's chief supporters. They were, Donald Cameron, tacksman of Strone; John Cameron, tacksman of Drumsallie; Duncan Cameron, crofter, Banavie; Donald MacCulloch, schoolmaster, Muirsherloch; Alex. Ross, mason, Canal Bank, Alexander Fraser, lock-keeper, Corpach Alexander Cameron, crofter at Achaphobuill; and Hugh Maclean, crofter, Blaich.

Lochiel's answer to the petition of his tenants for a site to build a "Free" Presbyterian Church was in the following terms—

"My good Friends and Tenants,— I have received your Petition, which has been forwarded to me by your Minister, praying that I would grant a Site on my property for building a New Church, as it is your determination to separate yourselves from the Established Church of Scotland. To the prayer of that Petition, though signed, as I am informed, by nine tenths of the adult male population of the Parish, I regret to say, I cannot, under present circumstances, accede.

"I have no wish, and certainly no right, to interfere with your liberty of conscience ; at the same time I consider myself justified in acting in this matter to the best of my judgment, and in conformity with those views which nothing that has recently occurred has in any degree tended to change.

"Although not myself a member of the Established Church of Scotland, I am not the less alive to the many—very many—blessings she has conferred on our country; therefore to turn round now, and say that you will sacrifice everything hitherto held most dear, because it has pleased certain members of the Church to designate her as 'Erastian,' and as such no longer entitled to the love and respect of every true Presbyterian, is what I cannot bring my mind to contemplate without serious misgivings as to the result.

"The question which now so unhappily agitates Scotland, is not, as far as I understand it, one of 'Doctrine'; but solely arising from an alleged interference of the Courts of Law with the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church. Now, let me ask you; is it worth your while on such grounds, to separate yourselves from the Establishment, and plunge yourselves and others into a sea of difficulties, from which it will be no easy matter to escape.

"Take my advice, therefore; and if I may use a homely phrase, 'Stick to the ship.' By this course you will have a better chance of gaining the harbour than by trusting yourselves to an open boat. I tender you this advice on the purest and most disinterested motives, though I may thereby expose myself to the charge of interfering in matters wherein I have little concern. But such is not the view I take of the subject, for it is my earnest desire you should pause before committing yourselves irrevocably and without due consideration to so hasty, and it may prove, disastrous a step.—With my best wishes for your welfare, believe me your sincere friend and landlord,

(Signed) LOCHIEL."
"Denton Park, Otley, May, 1843."


The present rental of Lochiel in the counties of Inverness and Argyll is about L10,000, of which 3500 may be taken as sporting rent. The number of crofters is considerable, but much fewer than in 1846, and with holdings of less value. In 1845-46, out of a total rent of £6709 13s 7d, exclusive of a good deal then in the proprietor's natural possession, and shootings, no less than £1414 2s 1d was paid by crofters, as follows :-

When Colonel Donald Cameron of Lochiel died at Toulouse, on the 14th of September, 1832, Achnacarry was still unfinished, and it cost his son over Ci,00 to complete it. This was well done in 1836-7 under the superintendence of a superior clerk of works from the south, sent by Mr Burn, architect, Edinburgh. About 1840, a demand for forests and shootings set in, but Lochiel was very unwilling to let, his views being expressed in brief thus—"letting Achnacarry at all goes against the grain."

Lochiel was singularly fortunate in his shooting tenants, and so far as he could, he favoured as tenants for his farms those of his own clan, and on the 9th of January, 1839, when John Cameron was preferred to the farm of Drumsallie, it was because Lochiel "should have felt with regret he should have lost as a tenant the son of one of the oldest, the most worthy, and I firmly believe, one of the most attached followers of the family. The young man may rest assured, I will do all I can to make his residence at Drumsallie as easy and comfortable to him as I can."

In describing past misdeeds, I blame no one now living for them. Indeed, it is but the barest justice to the present Lochiel, who had to bear the brunt, to state that in a few years he restored the reputation of his family, absentees practically from Lochaber for upwards of a century, to a higher position than ever, and, personally filling positions of credit and honour not hitherto attained by any of his predecessors, stands out very prominently among the Highland chiefs of the first rank of this age.

The original tenants were substantial, kind-hearted, and exceedingly clannish. A crofter in Crew, named Cameron, was able to promise no less than £80 in tocher with one of his daughters. Not having paid up, the son-in-law, a Macdonald, naturally applied to Coll Barisdale to help him. As soon as Barisdale interfered, the father-in-law, equally naturally applied to his clansman, Donald Cameron of Clunes, who readily engaged in the fray, which was carried on with determination, Clunes, however, being no match far Barisdale in a legal fight.

I give the annexed letter from old Clunes as a specimen of his kindly disposition, dated the i8th of June, 1787, as also another from Ewen Cameron of Erracht (brother of Sir Allan), likewise a good specimen of the old Cameron Highlander, dated the 30th of March, 1798-

"Clunes, 18th June, 1787.

"Sir,—As Mackay would not take any security for John Cameron at Sallachie but to deliver himself upon the very day appointed, other ways to run the risque of paying the penalty; therefore I hope you'l take the trouble, if it be anyways possible to keep him from going to prison, and I will deliver him to you any day you appoint. I expected to hear from you before now, for I wrote Scothouse a few days ago but had not any return as yet. You'l oblige me and take all the concern you can of John Cameron is all from—

"Sir, yours (Signed) DONALD CAMERON."

Erracht, 30th March, 1798.

"Dear Sir,—The bearer, Charles Cameron, who had the farm of florrichaisteal (Torcastle) with his mother and brother in tack these twenty years back, for which they had a charge of removal lately they are the only people that is to be dispossessed in the county without the least reason for it. Now I think it is very hard for them to be dispossessed this year, as they were not warned about the beginning of the New Year; in the first place, they have no time to look out for another farm as the time is so short, and their stock of sheep they cannot get sold ; also, cannot get the one half of their plowing done. Now the above Charles Cameron goes to you for your advice, and if you would give him some encouragement to stand it out, I direct him to you as active and faithfull to any business you take in hand. I will be very much obliged to you if you will give him your best advice in this business. You and I must be friends and settle our own business amicably at Whitsunday. Offer my best respects to Mrs Macdonell and family.--I am, dear sir, yours sincerely,


"Excuse haste and the scarcity of paper."

The ladies of the time were equally kindly, while in many instances in circumstances of difficulty they bravely struggled with fortune. I have specially in view the case of Mrs Cameron of Strone, who was left the life-rent of everything by her hisband, burdened with heavy bequests. As Captain Cameron died very close to the term, while his son desired the farm, Mrs Cameron was obliged to realize the stock in a hurried manner at a very considerable sacrifice. The estate thus did not turn out anything like what old Strone expected, but the widow pinched and pinched so that the bequests left by her husband should be satisfied, even to giving up her annuity under their contract of marriage, dated the 13th of May, 1820. Mrs Cameron was Isabella Cochrane, and amongst her children were Charles Cameron, merchant in Corpach, George Cameron, Jean, wife of Captain William Cameron of Cam isky; Frances, wife of Captain Ewen Ross, Killinan ; and Miss Jessie Hay Cameron.

The old family of Lundavra, staunch allies of Lochie], left the place at Whitsunday, i8i8, when it was taken by D. C. Cameron, who had made money in the West Indies. He gave great offence to Lochiel by threatening to plough up, at his removal in 1837, old arable land, which had gone out of cultivation. He had the law on his side, and Lochiel had to condescend to ask him not to plough, and that he would be compensated. When D. C. Cameron became tenant, it was let "as formerly occupied by the deceased Mr Allan Cameron, and afterwards by his son," the rent being £120 with a grassum of £400. Upon his removal in 1837, Lundavra was let to Dugald Cameron, sub-tenant of Glenshelloch, and Ewen Cameron, senior and junior, residing there, at a rent of £140.

Murligan, on Loch Arkaig side, was at one time an important and rather populous place. As late as 1817 there was a public-house there. In that year it was set to Alexander and Duncan Cameron. It came afterwards into possession of Sir Alexander Cameron of Inverailort, who assigned the lease of it in 1826 to William Cameron, son of Alexander Cameron of Glendessary. This William Cameron was also tenant of Inveruisk-a-vullin, Erracht, etc., paying a rent of £420. It afterwards became part of Corrychoillie's subject.

Some days after Culloden a few Jacobites who were lurking in the neighbourhood, met at Murligan, and, inspirited by the arrival of a considerable sum of French money, resolved to continue the contest. Why, unless through the malign influence of the Foreign adventurers who had the ear of the Prince, everything was hastily thrown up after Culloden has never been accounted for.

This meeting, early in May, 1746, was attended by Lord Lovat, Lochiel, Dr Archibald Cameron, Cluny, Barisdale, old Glenbucket, and others. Secretary Murray divided what cash he had, and at the same time intimated that 35,003 louis d'ors had actually come.

"What became of this wealth has never been rightly made out, and it is idle now to form any conjecture, but it were by no means a very great stretch of liberality to suppose that a considerable share found its way into some of the leading men's purses or strong boxes."

The writer of the foregoing paragraph, the late Mr John Anderson, M.S., further says—

"About six or seven miles from Corpach at the western mouth of the Caledonian Canal, is an old burying ground; beside which is a very curious mound of earth in the exact form of a horse shoe. I came upon it suddenly one evening (1830) on my return from an excursion to the Parallel Roads of Glenroy, and in answer to enquiries was informed it was very ancient, and was constructed in that singular shape for the accommodation of attendants at funerals in the adjoining resting-place, they being seated in the curve, while the opening gave access to the servants to bring in the vine and spirits consumed on such occasions. It is still the custom to hold orgies on this spot. Some years after the '45 a peasant digging in the vicinity of this barrier, discovered an erthen pot, which he carried to Mr Butter, factor on Lochiel's forfeited estate. Mr Butter, as an old gentleman who had heard the tale in his youth gave me the tradition, sent the jar, which was found to contain a quantity of gold Spanish coin, to St. James' ! But it was known in the country that Prince Charles brought seven of these over with him, which he consigned to the care of Lochel, with directions he should hide them where he judged they would be most secure. A few nights before the battle of Culloden, Lochiel commanded the presence of a blind piper he had, at a very late hour. With this man's assistance he carried the seven jars about three miles, and then bade him dig a pit, and into it he deposited the treasure, which he himself carefully closed up. This person often afterwards told the story. He could, however, give no other clue to the spot, than that he had walked with his master three miles or so, as nearly as he could guess, from Achnacarrie House. But the Highlanders were not slow in imputing Mr Butter's success in life to this happy discovery in place of what was a more likely cause—his own industry."

Mr Butter has not left a good name in the Highland localities over which he was factor under the Forfeited Estates Commissioners. Mr Anderson good naturedly speaks of his industry. Perhaps he was industrious. He generally farmed part of the land he ruled over, but in his relations with the estate of Lochiel he seems to have consoled himself with his brother keeping "a public" at Corpach at a rent, as stated in 1787, of £3 los, no doubt the same place as that which was afterwards called "the Corpach cellars," a perfect sink, which the late Lochiel was long anxious to close and was ultimately successful in doing.

Hugh Cameron, of Annock, in December 1746, an officer in Lochiel's Regiment, a powerful mountaineer, 6 feet 7 inches in height without shoes, was taken in a hut about four miles from Fort-William, by a Lieutenant and party from the garrison. He was in bed when surprised about two o'clock in the morning. By the sudden irruption he was deprived of the use of his pistols, firelock, and broad sword, and was hauled quite naked out of bed, and carried in that state to Fort-William, with the utmost despatch, for fear of escape. Next day he was manacled, tied with ropes to two soldiers, and conveyed to Inverness.

Many instances of the strength and courage of the old Camerons could be given, now alas, to a great extent, either unknown or forgotten, as is perhaps Lord Byron's splendid tribute—

And wild and high the "Cameron Gathering" rose
The war note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard; and heard too have her Saxon foes.
How in the noon of night the pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill But with the breath that fills,
The mountain pipe, so fills the mountaineers
With fierce native daring which instils
The stirring memory of a thousand years,
And Evan Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears.


The families of Dungallon and Glendessary are descended from Donald, uncle and tutor of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel ; and the brothers, Allan of Glendessary, and Archibald of Dungallon, having respectively married Christian and Isabel, daughters of the famous Sir Ewen, became the leading men of the clan next the chief.

Dungallon was a wadset of part of the barony of Ardnamurchan, and of considerable extent, is thus described in a deed of 1757 :-

"All and whole the two merk half merk land of Rannoquhanastrome. The two merk half merk land of Camuscan. The three merk land of Reispoic. The two merk half merk land of Balloch. The two merk half merk land of Pollock. The two merk half merk land of Ardnastaink. The two merk half merk land of Annahall, and the two merk half merk land of Strontian, with mills as well Built as to he Built on the said Lands and multures and sequels thereof, and with all and sundry houses, Biggings, Yeards, Tofts, Crofts, Outsetts, Annexis, Connexis, Loch fishings, as well as of salmond as of other Fishes whatsoever, lying in Sunart, within the Barony of Ardnamurchan and Sheriffdom of Argyle ; and likewise, all and whole the three penny half penny land of Straith or Rannachanmore. The one penny land of Duilet. The three penny lands of Renoxanstrome. The three penny lands of Camuscan and three islands belonging thereto, with the whole pertinents of the said lands ; and likewise all and whole the three penny lands of old extent of the lands of Letterlochsheill, with the Houses, Biggings, Barns, Byres, Grassings, Sheallings, Privileges of Woods for Bigging and upholding of Bigging, parts Pendicles, and universal pertinents thereof. Together likewise with the lands of Achnalia and Drimintorran lying within the Barony and Sheriffdom thereof."

Archibald Cameron of Dungallon, above mentioned, died at Glenahurich on the 19th of September, 1719, leaving by his wife, Isabel Cameron of Lochiel, at least two sons—John and Alexander, and three daughters—Jean, who married Dr Archibald Cameron of Lochie], Mary, who married Alexander Cameron of Glen Nevis, and Christian, who married Hugh Fraser of Foyers. Mrs Isabel Cameron of Dungallon was born in 1687 and was living in 1762.

The following interesting letter from Mr Alexander Stewart, some time writer in Fort-William, whose family carried on business for seventy years, shows what a good, hospitable lady Isabel Cameron was. A shadow fell over her life from 1740, which is hinted at in the same communication :-

"Charlie,—I am surprised at your queries. The affair is now so old, and so much failed in head and hands that you cannot but expect a lame answer. As to your first query. I wrote a contract of marriage wherein the lady was provided to 400 merks but no infeftment, nor was Dungallon himself infeft, nor was his son, John, infeft or served heir, nor was he or any other confirmed exors, nor no division made of moveables. There was no debts as I mind owing to I)ungallon but he was owing of debts—upwards of 12,000 merks, but to what particular persons I do not mind. The lady was born in 1687. Archibald I)ungallon made no written testament. This answers your queries. The late Lochiel and the late Giendessary were in Lochbuy's house in Mull, in Skallisdale, paying a visit, and I was with them, when an express came of I)ungallon's indisposition. The wind was very great and cross, we travelled the whole night and came by daylight to Glenahurich—he lived not a full hour after we came (19th September, 1719). He verbally named his lady before we came, and Donald Cameron, alias Macallan, his cousin, a worthy man, and Allan Cameron in Achnaneilan and Evan Macallan Oig (alias Cameron) to be tutors and overseers to his six children. He left 360 heads or thereabout of horned cattle, and about 70 piece of horses. They employ'd me to keep their accompts and to assist in the management. We met two tymes every year at Gienahurich, to witt at Whitsunday and Martinmas, and continued so till the year 1731 or 32. The whole debts were pay'd and 4000 merks made cash more. There was some communing betwixt these managers (that I do not mind) and Sir Alexander Murray that required a legal title, for which purpose the lady was served curatrix for form's sake at Bunaw. The lady and family with a schoolmr. were allowed a vast allowance that I cannot well mind, but few articles, which were 400 stones and quarts of butter and cheese, and 70 or more boils of meal. She was to a degree a charitable woman and keep'd a housefull of poor people and orphans. The two eldest sons were sent to Edin. to pass their time; Jean, Glendessary's daughter, being then there and very gracious to John Macfarlane employ'd him in their affairs, which put an end to my having any hand in it. So many alterations were made afterwards that I know nothing of, but that I believe their wadset rights is continued by what is called an Elk of Reversion.

"Some differrs fells betwixt John of Dungallon and me, that I did not go see him in his languishing sickness, which I indeed for his father's sake repented not to do; but his being in such able hands as John Macfarlane's that it would seem all was right enough.

" I wrote none of the daughters' contracts of marriages but the Doctor's with Jean, but does not mind the contents, but the tocher was 3000 merks. No doubt all the contracts ran with a discharge of all they could claim in common form. What effects these clauses may have in the several turns these affairs has had since sync is more than I can tell. I kept no correspondence with the late Dungallon, which with my kindest respects to Glenevas is all from.—Your father,

12 June, 1762. (Signed) ALEX. STEWART."

In the year 1740 Mrs Cameron was deprived of her intellectual faculties, by a melancholy disposition, without any interval of reason or judgment, and in this condition and situation she still continues" (1762).

Her two sons, John and Alexander, were most attentive to their mother. Alexander Cameron was Captain in the first Fraser Highlanders, embodied in 1757, and is thus referred to by General Fraser in a letter to Foyers, dated, Moy Hall, 25th September, 1766 :-

'It gave me great pleasure to see your son so genteel and promising a lad. I do assure you, I will make it my business to be of every service I can to him and all your family, who, besides my affection for them as yours, have a very strong claim to every service in my power as the nephews of my worthy friend and old intimate companion, Dungallon."

Dying without issue, John was succeeded by his brother, Alexander, who, having no lawful issue, left his whole estate, heritable and moveable, to Allan Cameron, brother german to John Cameron of Glendessafy, whom failing, to John, and after him to James Cameron, eldest and second sons of the deceased Donald Cameron of Lochiel, by settlement dated, Glasgow, the 14th of November, 1757. Glendessary was Dungallon's heir male, and Dungallon dying before December, 1759, the family and affairs were broken up, and it was necessary for Lady Foyers and Lady Glenevis to see that their mother's affairs were put in proper order and her comfort seen to by being placed legally under their tutelage.

Later on, Dungallon's wadset was redeemed by the Murrays of Stanhope, superiors.


The Camerons of Glendessary are best known in modern times from Miss Jeanie Cameron of the '45 having been one of the family.

Three small portraits of Jeanie Cameron, Flora Macdonald, with Prince Charles in the centre, and the legend underneath, How happy could I be with either," though severe, was not beyond legitimate satire. Mr Noble, bookseller, some years ago was able to secure for me a very handsome portrait of Jeanie in riding dress, with tartan coat, and drawn dagger for a switch, on which I place considerable value. An infamous production, bearing to be her history, and understood to be written by that venal cleric Henderson, is a disgrace even to that age.

By 1745 she was no longer in the springtide of youth. Bishop Forbes, on the authority of Eneas Macdonald and Duncan Cameron, says that at the raising of the standard at Glenfinnan a considerable number of both ladies and gentlemen

"Met to see the ceremony; among the rest was the famous Miss Jeanie Cameron, as she is commonly though very improperly called, for she is a widow nearer 50 than 40 years of age. She is a genteel, well looking, handsome woman, with a pair of pretty eyes, and hair as black as jet. She is of a very sprightly genius, and is very agreeable in conversation. She was so far from accompanying the Prince's Army, that she went off with the rest of the spectators so soon as the army marched; neither did she ever follow the Camp, nor was ever seen with the Prince but in public, when he had his Court at Edinburgh."

Mr Alexander Stewart speaks of her as "very gracious" soon after 1719 with the susceptible John Macfarlane, W.S. Macfarlane had married a lady of great attraction, whose affair with the Saxon John Cayley, Commissioner of Customs, formerly a Captain in the army, created a sensation in Edinburgh in 1716. There was at the time a strong ill-feeling between English and Scots, so that biassed reports appeared. From the Scottish version, it would appear that Cayley having refused to leave Mrs Macfarlane's presence, "She let fly a pistol at him and shot him through the arm, on which he attempted to draw his sword, but she prevented him by taking up another pistol and shooting him a little below the breast, of which wound he immediately dropped down dead." In another place it is said "that Cayley was accounted to be a very fine gentleman and had the respect of everybody, and the manner of his death was much regretted by all who knew him. As for Mrs Macfarlane, she has given an uncommon instance of virtue and honour, and as she was always admired before, for the fineness of her person, so she will now for the grave and resolute defence of her chastity."

The cruel statements circulated about Jeanie Cameron of Glendessary during her life continued after her death. Even the kind hearted Robert Chambers says in his Traditions of Edinburgh, 1825—

"Jeanie Cameron the mistress of Prince Charles Edward (so often alluded to in Tom Jones) was seen by an old acquaintance of ours, standing upon the streets of Edinburgh about the year eighty six (1786). She was dressed in men's clothes, and had a wooden leg. This celebrated and once attractive beauty, whose charms and Amazonian gallantry had captivated a Prince, afterwards died in a stair fit somewhere in the Canongate." In corroboration of this cruel fabrication it is said that a snuff seller in Edinburgh "gave a beggar who entered his shop a groat, and the snuff seller confided to a customer accidentally present in the shop, that the recipient of his charity was no man, though in man's clothes, but a woman and no other than Jeanie Cameron, Prince Charles' too ardent follower in the '45."

Her brother, Captain Allan, I find traces of as living in Edinburgh in 1770, and it is trading far too much on credulity to suppose that a gentleman in his position would permit his sister to be a street beggar. Jeanie's real history prior to her death is recorded in Ure's History of Rutherglen, 1793. The author of that work says :-

"In mentioning the places of note in the parish of East Kilbride, Mount Cameron should by no means be omitted. It is a small eminence about three quarters of a mile south-east from Kilbride, and on which is built a neat and commodious dwelling-house. This place, formerly called Blacklaw, takes its present name from Mrs Jean Cameron, a lady of a distinguished family, character, and beauty. Her zealous attachment to the House of Stuart, and the active part she took to support its interest, in the year 1745, made her well known through Britain. Her enemies, indeed, took unjust freedom with her good name ; but what can the unfortunate expect from a fickle and misjudging world. The revengeful and malicious, especially if good fortune is on their side, seldom fail to put the worst construction on the purest and most disinterested motives. Mrs Cameron, after the public scenes of her life were over, took up her residence in the solitary and bleak retirement of Blacklaw. But this vicissitude, so unfriendly to aspiring minds, did not throw her into despair. Retaining to the last the striking remains of a graceful beauty, she spent a considerable part of her time in the management of domestic affairs. She showed, by her conversation on a great variety of subjects, that she had a discernment greatly superior to the common. But politics was her favourite topic, and her knowledge of that subject was not confined to those of her own country. The particular cast of her mind, especially (luring the latter part of her life, was rather melancholy. A vivacity, however, that was natural to her constitution, often enlivened her features and conversation. Her whole deportment was consistent with that good breeding, unaffected politeness, and friendly generosity which characterise the people of rank in the Highlands of Scotland. She was not remarkable for a more than ordinary attachment to any system of religious opinions or mode of worship, which is not always the case with the unfortunate. She attended divine service in the Parish Church, in which she joined with becoming devotion. Her brother and his family, of all her friends, paid her the greatest attention. She died in the year 1773, and was buried at Mount Cameron among a clump of trees adjoining to the house. Her grave is distinguished by nothing but a turf of grass, which is now almost equal with the ground."


Sir Ewen Cameron had a large family, chiefly daughters, and as they all married, his offspring became very numerous. Mr William Mackay says in his valuable History of Urquhart that Janet, who married as his second wife John, 6th Grant of Glenmoriston, at her death in 1759, aged 84, left upwards of 200 descendants, and she was but one.

The plaintive and popular air of "Lochaber no more" was composed in honour of Jean Cameron of Lochiel, as I observe from the notes of one of the Lady of Glenmoriston's descendants, Captain Grant of Inverwick. Like other old favourites, some of the verses now in use are modern, but the following may be held as of the original

"Lochaher, Lochaber,
Lochaber, no more,
I'll may be no return
To Lochaber no more.
Farewell to Lochaber,
Farewell to my Jean
Where lightsome with thee
I hae mony days been."

With the exception of Jean, all the daughters were very plain, and the composer, said to be Macgregor or Drummond of Balhaldie, who afterwards changed his mind after being refused by Jean, and lamenting his sad state, thinking better of it, returned to Lochaber, and married an elder and plainer sister.

Miss Jean selected Lachlan Macpherson of Nuide, a singularly handsome man, who some years after, on the death of Duncan Macpherson in 1722, succeeded to Cluny, dying in the month of July, 1746.

While Sir Ewen Cameron fought almost to the death for Glenluie and Loch Arkaig he might have had, almost for the asking at the time, Sunart and Ardnamurchan, which would have given him a vast estate, peopled to a great extent by those who were in use to rally to his standard. Dungallon was already settled there, and numerous Camerons even now are there to be found. Many Macleans, north of the Sound of Mull, were out, according to the Lochgarry manuscript, under Donald Cameron of Lochiel in the '45. Sir Ewen would have saved himself much trouble had he taken the opportunity of securing a great estate held direct of the Crown.

It will hardly be credited by those who know the localities, that when the Canal was first finished, there was no bridge at Gairlochy. From time immemorial there was a ford over Lochy at Kyleross. Here Prince Charles crossed on his way south. His route was thus. On the 19th August, 1745, the standard was raised at Glenfinnan, where the Prince rested two days. Upon 22nd of August he was at Kinlochiel, from whence several despatches were sent. On the 23rd at Fassiefern, from whence he passed to Moy, and remaining there three days, crossed the ford of Lochy to Letterfinlay on the 26th of August. From thence he went by the east side of Loch Lochy to Achadrom on the 27th, and from thence to Glengarry House, where he slept that night.

Here Lochgarry, in his Memoirs, says that he had first the honour to kiss His Royal Highness's hand, and had the command of the guard that evening. On the 28th the army moved to Aberchalder, and to stop Cope, rendezvoused as early as 7 A.M. on the morning of the 29th. Meeting with no opposition, they pushed on over Corryarraick, and were at Garvamore by 12 o'clock, a wonderful march.

Cattle, conveyances, and people were in use to cross here in great numbers from the north and west on their way to Highbridge. The Canal blocked this traffic completely, and many droves, coming unexpectedly, were detained, while the farmers in the vicinity west of the Canal were sorned upon and their grass eaten up.

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