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Badenoch: Its History, Clans and Place Names
By Alexander MacBain

5th MARCH, 1890.

On this date, Mr Alexander Macbain, M.A., F.S.A. Scot.,. Inverness, read a paper entitled, “Badenoch: Its History, Clans* and Place Names.” It was as follows:—

[Electric Scotland Note: As there are many Gaelic words in this article I have also provided a copy of it in pdf format and so the account below is simply a rough ocr'ing of it. Also included at the foot of this page is a draft version of "The Spirit of Badenoch" by Judy McCutcheon.]



Badenooh is one of the most interior districts of Scotland; it lies on the northern watershed of the mid Grampians, and the lofty ridge of the Monadhlia range forms its northern boundary, while its western border runs along the centre of the historic Drum-Alban. Even on its eastern side the mountains seem to have threatened to run a barrier across, for Craigellachie thrusts its huge nose forward into a valley already narrowed by the massive form of the Ord Bain and the range of hills behind it. This land of mountains is intersected by the river Spey, which runs midway between the two parallel ranges of the Grampians and the Monadhlia, taking its rise, however, at the ridge of Drum-Alban. Badenoch, as a habitable land, is the valley of the Spey and the glens that run off from it. The vast bulk of the district is simply mountain.

In shape, the district of Badenoch is rectangular, with east-north-easterly trend, its length averaging about thirty-two miles, and its breadth some seventeen miles. Its length along the line of the Spey is thirty-six miles, the river itself flowing some 35 miles of the first part of its course through Badenoch. The area of Badenoch is, according to the Ordnance Survey, 551 square miles, that is, close on three hundred and fifty-three thousand acres. The lowest level in the district is 700 feet; Kingussie, the “capital,” is 740 feet above sea-level, and Loch Spey is 1142 feet. The highest peak is 4149 feet high, a shoulder of the Braeriach ridge, which is itself outside Badenoch by about a mile, and Ben Macdui by two miles. Mountains and rivers, rugged rocks and narrow glens, with one large medial valley fringed with cultivation —that is Badenoch. It is still well wooded, though nothing to what it once must have been. The lower ground at one time must have been completely covered by wood, which spread away into the vales and glens; for we find on lofty plateaux and hill sides the marks of early cultivation, the ridges and the rigs or ftannagan, showing that the lower ground was not very available for crops on account of the forest, which, moreover, was full of wild beasts, notably the wolf and the boar. Cultivation, therefore, ran mostly along the outer fringe of this huge wood, continually encroaching on it as generation succeeded generation.

The bogs yield abundant remains of the once magnificent forest that covered hillside and glen, and the charred logs prove that fire was the chief agent of destruction. The tradition of the country has it that the wicked Queen Mary set fire to the old Badenoch forest. She felt offended at her husband’s pride in the great forest—he had asked once on his home return how his forests were before he asked about her. So she came north, took her station on the top of Sron-na-Beruinn—the Queen’s Ness— above Glenfeshie, and there gave orders to set the woods on fire. And her orders were obeyed. The Badenoch forest was set burning, and the Queen, Nero-like, enjoyed the blaze from her point of vantage. But many glens and nooks escaped, and Rothiemurchus. was left practically intact. The Sutherlandshire version of the story is different and more mythic. The King of Lochlain was. envious of the great woods of Scotland; the pine forests especially roused his jealous ire. So he sent his muijne—it must have been —a witch and a monster, whose name was Dubh-Ghiubhais, and she set the forests on fire in the north. She kept herself aloft among the clouds, and rained down fire on the woods, which burnt on with alarming rapidity. People tried to get at the witch, but she never showed herself, but kept herself enveloped in a cloud of smoke. When she had burned as far as Badenoch, a clever man of that district devised a plan for compassing her destruction. He gathered together cattle of all kinds and their young; then he separated the lambs from the sheep, the calves from the cows, and the young generally from their dams; then such a noise of bleating, lowing, neighing, and general Babel arose to the heaven that Dubh-Ghiubhais popped her head out of the cloud to see what was wrong. This was the moment for action. The Badenoch man was ready for it; he had his gun loaded with the orthodox sixpence ; he fired, and down came the Dubh-Ghiubhais, a lifeless, lump ! So a part of the great Caledonian forest was saved among the Grampian hills.

Modern Badenoch comprises the parishes of Laggan, Kingussio and Insh, and Alvie; but the old Lordship of Badenoch was toe aristocratic to do without having a detached portion somewhere else. Consequently we find that Kincardine parish, now part of Abernethy, was part of the Lordship of Badenoch even later than 1606, when Huntly exchanged it with John of Freuchie for lands in Glenlivet. Kincardine was always included in the sixty davachs that made up the land of Badenoch. The Barony of Glencamie in Duthil—from Aviemore to Garten and northward to Inverlaid-nan—was seemingly attached to the Lordship of Badenoch for a time, and so were the davachs of Tullochgorum, Curr, and Clurie further down the Spey, excambed by Huntly in 1491 with John of Freuchie. On the other hand, Rothiemurchus was never a part of Badenoch, though some have maintained that it was. The six davachs of Rothiemurchus belonged to the Bishops of Moray, and at times they feued the whole of Rothiemurchus to some powerful person, as to the Wolf of Badenoch in 1383, and to-Alexander Keyr Mackintosh in 1464, in whose family it was held till 1539, when it passed into the hands of the Gordons, and from, them to the Grants.

Badenoch does not appear in early Scottish history; till the 13th century, we never hear of it by name nor of anything that took place within its confines. True, Skene, in his Celtic Scotland, definitely states that the battle of Monitcamo was fought here in 729. This battle took place between Angus, King of Fortrenn, and Nectan, the ex-king of the Piets, and in it the latter was defeated, and Angus shortly afterwards established himself on the Pictish throne. We are told that the scene of the battle was 0i Monitcarno juxta stagnum Loogdae ”—Monadh-carnach by the side of Loch Loogdae. Adamnan also mentions Lochdae, which Columba falls in with while going over Dnim Alban. Skene says that Loch Insh— the lake of the island—is a secondary name, and that it must have originally been called Lochdae, that the hills behind it enclose the valley of Glencamie, and that Dunachton, by the side of Loch Insh, is named Nectan’s fort after King Nectan. Unfortunately this view is wrong, and Badenoch must give up any claim to be the scene of the battle of Monadh-camo; Lochdae is now identified with Lochy, and Glencarnie is in Dutliil. But Dunachton is certainly Nectan’s fort; whether the Nectan meant was the celebrated Pictish King may well be doubted. Curiously, local tradition holds strongly that a battle was fought by the side of Loch Insh, but the defeated leader was King Harold, whose grave is on the side of Craig High Harailt.

From 729, we jump at once to 1229, exactly five hundred years, and about that date we find that Walter Cumyn is feudal proprietor of Badenoch, for he makes terms with the Bishop of Moray in regard to the church lands and to the “natives” or bondsmen in the district. It has been supposed that Walter Cumyn came into the possession of Badenoch by the forfeiture and death of Gillescop, a man who committed some atrocities in 1228 —such as burning the (wooden) forts in the province of Moray, and setting fire to a large part of the town of Inverness. William Cumyn, Earl of Buchan, the justiciar, was intrusted with the protection of Moray, and in 1229 Gillescop and his two sons were slain. Thereafter we find Walter Cumyn in possession of Badenoch and Kincardine, and it is a fair inference that Gillespie was his predecessor in the lordship of Badenoch. The Cummings were a Norman family; they came over with the Conqueror, and it is asserted that they were nearly related to him by marriage. In 1068, we hear of one of them being governor or earl of Northumberland, and the name is common in English charters of the 12th century, in the early part of wbich they appear in Scotland ; they were in great favour with the Normanising David, and with William after him, filling offices of chancellors and justiciars under them. William Cumyn, about the year 1210, married Marjory, heiress of the Earldom of Buchan, and thus became the successor of the old Celtic Mormaers of that district under the title of Earl of Buchan. His son Walter obtained the lordship of Badenoch, as we saw, and, a year or two after, h* became Earl of Menteith by marrying the heiress, the Countess of Menteith. He still kept the lands of Badenoch, for, in 1234, we find him, as Earl of Menteith, settling a quarrel with the Bishop of Moray over the Church lands# of Kincardine. Walter was a potent factor in Scottish politics, and in the minority of Alexander III. acted patriotically as leader against the pro-English party. He died in 1257 without issue. John Comyn, his nephew, son of Richard, succeeded him in Badenoch; he was head of the whole family of Comyn, and possessed much property, though simply entitled Lord of Badenoch. The Comyns at that time were at the height of their power; they could muster at least two earls, the powerful Lord of Badenoch, and thirty belted knights. Comyn of Badenoch was a prince, though not in name, making treaties and kings. John Comyn, called the Red, died in 1274, and was succeeded by his son John Comyn, the Black, and in the troubles about the kingly succession, at the end of the century, he was known as John de Badenoch, senior, to distinguish him from his son John, the Red Comyn, the regent, Baliol’s nephew, and claimant to the throne, whom Bruce killed under circumstances of treachery at Dumfries, in 1306. Then followed the fall and forfeiture of the Comvns, and the lordship of Badenoch was given, about 1313—included in the Earldom of Moray—to Thomas Randolph, Bruce’s right-hand friend.

The Cummings have left an ill name behind them in Badenoch for rapacity and cruelty. Their treachery has passed into a proverb—

“Fhad bhitheas craobh ’sa choill
Bithidli foill ’sna Cuiminich.”

Which is equally smart in its English form—

“While in the wood there is a tree
A Cumming will deceitful be.”

It is in connection with displacing the old proprietors—the Shaws and Mackintoshes—that the ill repute of the Cummings was really gained. But the particular cases which tradition remembers are mythical in the extreme; yet there is something in the traditions. There is a remembrance that these Cummings were the first feudal lords of Badenoch; until their time the Gaelic Tuath that dwelt in Badenoch had lived under their old tribal customs, with their toiseachs, their aires, and their saor and daor occupiers of land. The newcomers, with their charters, their titles, and their new exactions over and above the old Tuath tributes and dues, must have been first objects of wonder, and then of disgust. The authority which the Cummings exerted over the native inhabitants must often have been in abeyance, and their rents more a matter of name than reality. However, by making it the interest of the chiefs to side with them, and by granting them charters, these initial difficulties were got over in a century or two. It was under this feudalising process that the system of clans, as now known, was developed.

Earl Randolph died in 1332, and his two sons were successively Earls of Mora}7, the second dying in 1346 without issue, when “Black Agnes,” Couptess of Dunbar, succeeded to the vast estates. The Earldom of Moray, exclusive of Badenoch and Lochaber, was renewed to her son in 1372. [Sir W Fraser, in liis “History of the. Grants,” says:—“After the forfeiture of the Cornyns, Badenoch formed a part of the earldom of Moray, conferred on Sir Thomas Randolph. In 1338, however, it was held l»y the Earl of Ross, and in 1372, while granting the Earldom of Moray to John Dunbar, King Robert II. specially excepted Lochaber and Badenoch.” Sir W. Fraser’s authority for saying that Badenoch was in the possession of the Earl of Ross must be the charter of 1338 granting Kinrara and Dalnavert, to Melmoran of Glencharny ; but a careful reading of that document shows »hat the Earl of Ross was not superior of Badenoch, for he speaks of the services due by him to the “Lord superior of Badenoch.” Besides, in 1467, when Huntly was Lord of Badenoch, we find the Earl of Ross still possessing lands there, viz., Invermarkie, which he gives to Cawdor as part of his daughter’s dowry.] Meanwhile, in 1371 Alexander Stewart, King Robert’s son, was made Lord of Badenoch by his father, as also Earl of Buchan ; and in 1387 he became Earl of Ross through his marriage with the Countess Euphame His power was therefore immense; he was the king’s lieutenant in the North (locum tenens in borealibus partibus regni); but such was the turbulence and ferocity of his character that he was called the “Wolf of Badenoch.” He is still remembered in the traditions of the country as “ Alastair M6r Mac an Righ ”—Alexander the Big, Son of the King—a title which is recorded also in Maurice Buchanan’s writings (a.d. 1461, Book of Pluscarden), wTho says that the wild Scots (Scotis silvestribus) called him “ Alitstar More Makin Re.” Naturally enough he gets confused with his famous namesake of Macedon, also Alastair M6r, but the more accurate of tradition-mongers differentiate them easily, for they call Alexander the Great “Alastair Uabh’rach, Mac Righ Philip”—“Alexander the Proud, son of King Philip.” This epithet of uahKrach or uaibhreach appears as applied to Alexander the Great in that beautiful mediaeval Gaelic poem that begins—

“Ceathrar do bhi air uaighan fhir
Feart Alaxandair Uaibhrigh:
Ro chausat briathra con bhreicc
Os cionn na flatha a Fhinnghreic.”


Four men were at a hero’s grave—
The tomb of Alexander the Proud ;
Words they spake without lies
Over the chief from beauteous Greek-land.

The Wolf of Badenoch’s dealings with his inferiors in his lord ship are not known; but that he allowed lawlessness to abound may be inferred from the feuds that produced the Battle of Invernahavon (circ. 1386), and culminated in the remarkable conflict on the North Inch of Perth in 1396. We are not in much doubt as to his conduct morally and ecclesiastically. He had five natural-born sons—Alexander, Earl of Mar, Andrew, Walter, James, and Duncan—a regular Wolf’s brood for sanguinary embroilments. He had a chronic quarrel with Alexander Bur, Bishop of Moray, which culminated in the burning of Elgin Cathedral in 1390. But in nearly every case the Bishop, by the terrors of the Curse of Rome, gained his point. In 1380, the Wolf cited the Bishop to appear before him at the Standing Stones of the Rathe of Easter Kingussie (apud le standand stanys de le Rathe de Kyngucy estir) on the 10th October, to show his titles to the lands held in the Wolf’s lordship of Badenoch, viz., the lands of Logachnacheny (Laggan), Ardinche (Balnespick, &c.), Kingucy, the lands of the Chapels of Rate and Nachtan, Kyn-cardyn, and also Gartinengally. The Bishop protested, at a court held at Inverness, against the citation, and urged that the said lands were held of the King direct. But the Wolf held his court on the 10th October: the Bishop standing “extra curiam”—outside the court, i.e., the Standing Stones—renewed his protest, but to no purpose. But upon the next day before dinner, and in the great chamber behind the hall in the Castle of Ruthven, the Wolf annulled the proceedings of the previous day, and gave the rolls of Court to the Bishop’s notary, who certified that he put them in a large fire lighted in the said chamber, which consumed them. In 1381, the Wolf formally quits claims on the above-mentioned church lands, but in 1383 the Bishop granted him the wide domain of Rothiemurchus—“Ratmorchus, viz., sex davatas terre quas habemus in Strathspe et le Badenach”—six davochs of land it was. The later quarrels of the Wolf and the Bishop are notorious in Scotch History : the Wolf seized the Bishop’s lands, and was excommunicated, in return for which he burnt, in 1390, the towns of Forres and Elgin, with the Church of St Giles, the maison dieu, the Cathedral, and 18 houses of the canons. For this he had to do penance in the Blackfriar’s Church at Perth. He died in 1394, and is buried in Dunkeld, where a handsome tomb and effigy of him exist.

As the Wolf left no legitimate issue, some think the Lordship of Badenoch at once reverted to the Crown, for we hear no more of it till it was granted to Huntly in 1451. On this point Sir W. Fraser says:—“The Lordship of Badenoch was bestowed by King Robert II. upon his son, the ‘Wolf of Badenoch/ in 137!, and should have reverted to the Crown on the Lord of Badenoch’s death in 1394. But there is no evidence in the Exchequer Roll, or elsewhere, of any such reversion, and Badenoch seems to have been retained in possession by the Wolf of Badenoch’s eldest son, who became Earl of Mar. . . . Alexander, Earl of Mar, and his father, were therefore the successors of the Cornyns as Lords of Badenoch.”

The Lordship of Badenoch was finally granted to Alexander, Earl of Huntly, by James II., by charter dated 28th April, 1451, not in recompense for his services at the Battle of Brechin, as is generally stated, but upwards of a year before that event. The great family of Gordon and Huntly originally came from near the Borders. They obtained their name of Gordon from the lands of Gordon, now a parish and village in the west of the Merse, S.W. Berwickshire. There, also, was the quondam hamlet of Huntly, a name now represented there only by the farm called Huntlywood. The parish gave the family name of Gordon, and the hamlet of Huntly gave the title of Earl or Marquess of Huntly. Sir Adam de Gordon was one of Bruce’s supporters, and after the forfeiture of the Earl of Athole he got the lordship of Strathbogie, with all its appurtenances, in Aberdeenshire and Banff. The direct male Gordon line ended with Sir Adam’s great-grandson and namesake, who fell at the battle of Homildon Hill in 1402, leaving a daughter Elizabeth, who married Alexander Seaton, second son of Sir W. Seaton of Winton. Her son Alexander assumed the name of Gordon, and was created Earl of Huntly in 1449. His son George was Lord Chancellor, founded Gordon Castle, and erected the Priory of Kingussie (Shaw’s Moray). The Gordons were so preeminent in Northern politics that their head was nicknamed “Cock of the North.” In 1599, Huntly was created a Marquis, and in 1684 the title was advanced to that of Duke of Gordon. George, the fifth and last Duke of Gordon, died in 1836, when the property passed into the possession of the Duke of Richmond and Lennox, as heir of entail, in whose person the title of Duke of Gordon was again revived in 1876, the full title being now Duke of Richmond and Gordon.

Save the Church lands, all the property in Badenoch belonged to Huntly either as superior or actual proprietor. The Earl of Ross possessed lands in Badenoch under the lord superior in 1338, which he granted to Malmoran of Gleticarnie: the lands were Dalnavert and Kinrara, and the grant is confirmed about 1440, while in 1467 we find the Earl of Ross again granting the adjoining lands of Invermarkie to the Thane of Cawdor, in whose name they appear till the seventeenth century, when lnvereshie gets possession of them. The Laird of Grant, besides Delfour, which he had for three centuries, also held the Church lands of Laggan and Insh, that is, “Logane, Ardinche, Ballynaspy,” as it is stated in 1541, and he is in possession of them for part of the seventeenth century. Mackintosh of Mackintosh has in feu from Huntly in the sixteenth century the lands of Benchar, Clune, Kincraig, and Dunachton, with Rait, Kinrara, and Dalnavert. The only other proprietor or feuar besides these existing in the 16th century seems to have been James Mackintosh ot Gask. The Macphersons, for instance, including Andrew in Cluny, who signed for Huntly the “Clan Farsons Band” of 1591, are all tenants merely. We are very fortunate in possessing the Huntly rental of Badenoch for the year 1603. Mackintosh appears as feuar for the lands above mentioned, and there are two wadsetters —Gask and Strone, both Mackintoshes. The 17th century sees quite a revolution in landholding in Badenoch, for during its course Huntly has liberally granted feus, and the proprietors are accordingly very numerous. Besides Huntly, Mackintosh, and Grant of Grant, we find some twenty feus or estates possessed by Macphersons; there was a Macpherson of Ardbrvlach, Balchroan, Benchar, (in) Blarach, Breakachie, Clune, Cluny, Corranach, Crathie, Dalraddy, Delfour, Etteridge, Gasklyne, Gellovie, Inver-eshie, lnvemahaven (Inverallochie), Invertromie, Nuid, Phones, and Pitchim. There was a Mackintosh of Balnespick, Benchar, Delfour, Gask, Kinrara, Lynwilg, Rait and Strone—eight in all. Four other names appear once each besides these during the century—M.uslean, Gordon of Buckie, Macqueen, and Macdonald. The total valuation of Badenoch in 1644 was £11,527 Scots, in 1691 £6523, and in 1789 it was <£7124, with only seven proprietors —Duke of Gordon, Mackintosh, Cluny, Invereshie, Belleville, Grant of Grant (Delfour), and Major Gordon (Invertromie). The “wee lairdies” of the jrevious two centuries were swallowed up in the estates of the first five of these big proprietors, who still hold large estates in Badenoch, the Duke of Gordon being represented by the Duke of Richmond since 1836. Only one or two other proprietors on any large scale have come in since—Baillie of Dochfour, Sir John Ramsden, and, we may add, Macpherson of Glentruim. The valuation roll for 1889-90 shows a rental of £36,165 11s 7d sterling.


In the above section we discussed the political history of Badenoch, under the title of the “Lordship of Badenoch,” and in this section we intend to deal with the history of the native population of that district. Badenoch was the principal seat of the famous and powerful Clan Chattan. The territory held by this clan, however, was far from being confined to Badenoch; for at the acme of their power in the 15th century, Clan Chattan stretched across mid Inverness-shire, almost from sea to sea—from the Inverness Firth to near the end of Loch-eil, that is, from Petty right along through Strathnaim, Strathdeam, and Badenoch to Brae-Lochaber, with a large overflow through Rothiemurchus into Braemar, which was the seat of the Farquharsons, who are descendants of the Shaws or Mackintoshes of Rothiemurchus. The Clan Chattan were the inhabitants of this vast extent of territory, but the ownership or superiority of the land was not theirs or their chiefs’, and the leading landlords they had to deal with were the two powerful Earls of Huntly and Moray. From them, as superiors, Mackinto&h, chief of Clan Chattan, held stretches of land here and there over the area populated by the clan, and his tribesmen were tacksmen or feu-holders of the rest, as the case might be, under Moray or Huntly. It was rather an anomalous position for a great Highland chief, and one often difficult to maintain. Major (1521) describes the position, territorially and otherwise, of the Clans Chattan and Cameron in words which may be thus translated:—“These tribes are kinsmen, holding little in lordships, but following one head of their race (caput progenei— ceann ciimidh) as chief, with their friends and dependents.” The lordships were held, alas! by foreigners to them in race and blood.

The Clan Chattan were the native Celtic inhabitants of Badenoch. There are traditional indications that they came from the west—from Lochaber, where the MS. histories place the old Clan Chattan lands. The same authorities record that, for instance, the Macbeans came from Lochaber in the 14th century, “after slaying the Red Comyn’s captain of Inverlochy,” and put themselves under the protection of Mackintosh; and this is supported by the tradition still preserved among the Rothiemurchus Macbeans, whose ancestor, Bean Cameron, had to fly Lochaber owing to a quarrel and slaughter arising from the exaction of the “be ursainn,” or probate duty of the time. It may be too bold to connect this eastern movement of Clan Chattan with the advancing tide of Scotic conquest in the 8th century, whereby the Pictish Kingdoms and the Pictish language were overthrown. That the Picts inhabited Badenoch is undoubted: the place names amply prove that, for we meet with such test prefixes as Pet (Pitowrie, Pictchim, Pitmean) and Aber (Aberarder), and other difficulties of topography unexplainable by the Gaelic language. As in most of Scotland, we have doubtless to deal, first, with a pre-Celtic race or races, possibly leaving remnants of its tongue in such a river name as Feshie, then the Pictish or Caledonian race of Celtic extraction, and, lastly, the Gaelic race who imposed their language and rule upon the previous peoples. The clan traditions are supported in the matter of a western origin for the Clan Chattan by the genealogies given in the 1467 MS., which deduces the chief line from Ferchar Fota, King of Dalriada, in the 7th century.

The name Cattan, like everything connected with the early history of this clan, is obscure, and has, in like manner, given rise to many absurd stories and theories. As a matter of course, the Classical geography of Europe has been ransacked, and there, in Germany, was a people called Chatti, which was taken as pronounced Catti; but the ch stands for a sound like that in loch. The name now appears as Hesse for Hatti. It was never Katti, be it remembered. Yet the Catti are brought from Germany to Sutherlandshire, which in Gaelic is Cataobh, older Cataib—a name supposed thus to be derived from the Catti. Cataobh is merely the dative plural of cat (a cat), just as Gallaobh (Caithness) is the same case of Gall (a stranger, Norseman). The Cat men dwelt in Sutherlandshire; why they were called the Cats is not known. Clan Chattan is often said to be originally from Sutherland, but, beyond the similarity of name, there is no shadow of evidence for the assertion. Others again, like Mr Elton, see in the name Catan, which means, undoubtedly, “little cat,” relics of totemism; this means neither more nor less than that the pre-Christian Clan Chattan worshipped the cat, from whom, as divine ancestor, they deemed themselves descended. We might similarly argue that the Mathesons—Mac Mhath-ghamhuin or Son of the Bear—were a “bear” tribe, a fact which shows how unstable is the foundation on which this theory is built. In fact, animal names for men were quite common in early times. The favourite theory—and one countenanced by the genealogies—connects the Clan Chattan, like so many other clans, with a church-derived name. The ancestor from whom they are represented as deriving their name is Gillicattan‘Mor, who lived in the 11th century. His name signifies Servant of Catan, that is, of St Catan ; for people were named after saints, not directly, but by means of the prefixes Gille and Maol. At least, that was the early and more reverent practice. That there was a St Catan is evidenced by such place names as Kilchattan (in Bute and Lung), with dedication of churches at Gigha and Colonsay. His date is given as 710, but really nothing is known of him. This is probably the best explanation of the name, though the possibility of the clan being named after some powerful chief called Catan must not be overlooked. The crest of the cat is late, and merely a piece of mild heraldic punning.

It is only about or after 1400 that we come on anything like firm historical ground in the genealogy and story of our chief Highland clans. This is true of the Grants and the Camerons, and especially true of the Clan Chattan. Everything before that is uncertainty and fable. The earliest mention of Clan Chattan— and it is not contemporary but fifty years later—is in connection with the fight at the North Inch of Perth in 1396, and here historians are all at sixes and sevens as to who the contending parties really were. The battle of Invemahavon (1386?) and the fight at Clachnaharry (1454) are mere traditions, and the battle in 1429 between Clan Chattan and Clan Chameron, in which the former nearly annihilated the latter, is recorded by a writer nearly a century later (1521). In fact, the first certain contemporary •date is that of Mackintosh’s charter in 1466 from the Lord of the Isles, where he is designated Duncan Mackintosh, “capitanus de Clan Chattan,” and next year as “chief and captain” of Clan Chattan, in a bond with Lord Forbes. Henceforward, Clan Chattan is a common name in public history and private documents. It comprised in the period of its comparative unity (circ. 1400-1600) some sixteen tribes or septs: these were the Mackintoshes, Macphersons, Davidsons, Cattanachs, Macbeans, Macphails, Shaws, Farquharsons, Macgillivrays, Macleans of Doch-garroch, Smiths, Macqueens, Gillanders, Clarks, &c. Of this confederation, Mackintosh was for, at least, two centuries “captain and chief,” as all documents, public and private, testify. These two centuries (circ. 1400 to 1600) form the only period in which we see, under the light of history, the Highland clans in their full development.

The 17th century made sad havoc in the unity of Clan Chattan; Huntly, ever an enemy to Mackintosh, “banded” in 1591 the Macphersons to his own person, and, by freely granting charters to them, made them independent, and detached them from Mackintosh. Macpherson of Cluny claimed to be head of the Macphersons, and in 1673 styled himself “Duncan Mcpherson of Cluney for himself, and taking burden upon him for the heall name of Mcphersons and some others called old Clanchattan as cheeife and principall man thereoff,” in a bond with Lord Mac-donell of Morar. In support of this claim, the Macphersons appealed to the old genealogies, which represented Mackintosh as getting the Clan Chattan lands by marriage with the heiress in 1291, and which further showed that Cluny was the heir male descendant of the old Clan Chattan chiefs. The case in its solemn absurdity of appeal to genealogies reminds one of a like appeal placed before the Pope in the claims of King Edward upon the throne of Scotland. He claimed the Scottish crown as the direct successor of Brutus and Albanactus*, who lived in Trojan times, every link of genealogy being given, while the Scot& repelled this by declaring that they were descended from Gathelus husband of Scota, daughter of the Mosaic King of Egypt; and here, too, all the genealogical links could have been given. Neither doubted the genuineness of each other’s genealogies! So which the Mackintosh-Macpherson controversy about the chiefsliip of Clan Chattan. They each accept each other’s genealogies without suspicion or demur. And yet the manufacture of these and like genealogies was an accomplished art with Gaelic seanachies whether Irish or Scottish. We even see it going on under our very eyes. The early chiefs of Lochiel are the de Cambruns of the 13th and 14th century records—lists and other documents— impressed into the Cameron genealogy, which is doubtless correctly given in the 1467 MS. Again, the Macpherson genealogy in the Douglas Baronage is in several cases drawn from charters granted to wholly different families. Dormund Macpherson, 12 th chief, gets a charter under the great seal from James IV.; but the charter turns out to be one granted to a Dormund M‘Pherson in the Lordship of Menteith, not of Badenoch! John, 14th of Cluny, who “was with the Earl of Huntly at the battle of Glenlivet,” as the veracious chronicler says, to add a touch of realism to his bald genealogical account, gets a charter of the lands of Tullich, &c., lands which lie in Strathnaim, and he turns out to be a scion of the well-known family of Macphersons of Brin! Similarly John, 15th of Cluny, is son of the foregoing John of Brin ; and Ewen, 16th of Cluny, who gets a charter in 1623 of the lands of Tullich, &c., is a cousin of Brin. Donald, 17th of Cluny, who gets a charter in 1643, turns out to be Donald Macpherson of Nuid. And all this time another and a correct genealogy of the Cluny family had been drawn up by Sir AEneas Macpherson towards the end of the 17th century, which must surely have been known to the writer.3 During all the period of 14th to 16th chief here given, there was only one man in Cluny, and his name was Andrew Macpherson, son of Ewen.

The name Mackintosh signifies the son of the toiseach or chief, which is Latinised by Flaherty as “capitaneus seu praecipuus dux.” The Book of Deer makes the relationship of toiseach to other dignitaries quite plain. There is first the King; under him are the mormaers or stewards of the great provinces of Scotland, such as Buchan, Marr, and Moray; and next comes the toiseach or chief of the clan in a particular district. The two clans in the Book of Deer are those of Canan and Morgan, each with a toiseach. This word is represented oftenest in English in old documents by thane, which, indeed, represents it with fair accuracy. Toiseach is the true Gaelic word for “ chief,” but it is now obsolete, and there is now no tiue equivalent of the word “chief” in the language at all. And here it may be pointed out that the word chief itself was not at once adopted or adapted for this particular meaning of chief of a Highland clan As we saw, the word at first employed was “captain,” then “captain and chief,” “captain, chief, and principal man,” “chief and principal,” &c., the idea finally settling down as fully represented by the word “ chief’ in the 16th century. Skene’s attempt to argue that captain denoted a leader temporarily adopted, leading the clan for another, or usurping the power of another, while chief denoted a hereditary office, is condemned by his own evidence, and by the weight of facts. Besides, words do not suddenly spring into technical meanings, nor could chief acquire the definite meaning applicable to Highland chief-ship, but by length of time and usage for this purpose. Hence arose the uncertainty of the early terms applied to the novel idea presented by Highland clans. The word clan itself appears first in literature in connection with Clan Chattan, or rather Clan Qwhewyl, at the North Inch of Perth, where Wyntown speaks of “Clannys twa.” The Gaelic word clan had to be borrowed for want of a native English term; why should we then wonder at the idea of toiseach being rendered first by captain, and latterly by chief?

The Mackintosh genealogies, dating from the 17th century, represent the family as descended from Macduff, thane of Fife, as they and Fordun call him. Shaw Macduff, the second son of Duncan, fifth Earl of Fife, who died in 1154, in an expedition against the people of Moray in 1160, distinguished himself, and received from the King lands in Petty, and the custody of Inverness Castle. Here he was locally known as Shaw Mac an Toiseich, “Shaw, the son of the Thane.” He died in 1179, and was succeeded by (2) Shaw, whose son was (3) Ferchard, whose nephew was (4) Shaw, whose son was (5) Ferchard, whose son was (6) Angus, who in 1291 married Eva, heiress of Clan Chattan, and thus got the Clan’s lands in Lochaber. So far the genealogy. It is a pretty story, but it sadly lacks one thing—verisimilitude. Macduff was not toiseach of Fife. In the Book of Deer he is called comes, the then Gaelic of which was mormaer, now moirear. Shaw Macduff would infallibly, as son of the Earl of Fife, have been ealled Mac Mhoireir. With those who support this Macduff genealogy, no argument need be held ; like the humorist of a past generation, one would, however, like to examine their bumps. The statement that the Mackintoshes were hereditary constables of Inverness Castle is totally baseless and false. At the dates indicated (12th century) we believe that the Mackintoshes had not penetrated so far north as Petty or Inverness, and that we should look to Badenoch as their place of origin, and their abode at this time. Unfortunately documents in regard to the early history of Badenoch are rare, but an entry or two in the Registrum of Moray Diocese may help us. In 1234, Walter Comyn, Earl of Monteith, comes to an agreement with the Bishop of Moray, in regard to Kincardine, and Fercard, son of Seth, is a witness, and in the very next document, also one of Walter Corny n’s, of the same date, appears a witness called Fercard “Senescalli de Badenoch,” that is “steward of Badenoch.” We are quite justified in regarding him as the person mentioned in the previous document as Fercard, son of Seth. Now, one translation of toiseach is steward or seneschal—the person in power next the mormaer or earl. We may, therefore, conclude that this Ferchard was known in Gaelic as Ferchard Toiseach. Similarly in 1440 we meet with Malcolm Mackintosh, chief of the clan, as “ballivus de Badenoch,” a title of equal import as that of seneschal. We should then say that the Mackintoshes derived their name from being toiseachs of Badenoch, the head of the old Celtic clan being now under the new non-Celtic mormaer or earl Walter Comyn. The ease with which the name Mackintosh might arise in any place where a clan and its toiseach existed explains how we meet with Mackintoshes, for instance, in Perthshire, who do not belong to the Clan Chattan. Thus there were Mackintoshes of Glentilt, which was held as an old thanage, and whose history as such is well known. Similarly we may infer that the Mackintoshes of Monivaird were descendants of the old local Toiseachs or Thanes. The Mackintosh genealogists have of course annexed them to the Clan Chattan stock with the utmost ease and success. In 1456, John of the Isles granted to Somerled, his armour-bearer, a davoch of the lands 6f Glennevis, with toiseachdorship of most of his other lands there, and in 1552 this grant is renewed by Huntly to “dilecto nostro Donaldo MacAlister M‘Toschd,” that is, Donald, son of Alister, son of Somerled, the toiseach or bailif, named in 1456. This shows how easily the name could have arisen.

Skene, while unceremoniously brushing aside the Macduff genealogy, advances hypothetically a different account of the origin of the Mackintoshes. In 1382, the Lord of Badenoch is asked to restrain Farchard MacToschy and his adherents from disturbing the Bishop of Aberdeen and his tenants in the land of Brass or Birse, and to oblige him to prosecute his claim by form of law. Skene thinks that Farchard, whom he finds in the 1467 MS. as one of the “ old ” Mackintoshes, was descended from the old thanes of Brass, and that hence arose his name and his claim. Being a vassal of the Wolf’s, he was a Badenoch man too. Rothiemurchus was a thanage, and the connection of the Mackintoshes with it was always close. Alexander Keir Mackintosh obtained the feudal rights to Rothiemurchus in 1464, and a few years later he styles himself “Thane of Rothiemurchus.” Skene then suggests that Birse and Rothiemurchus might have anciently been in the hands of the same toiseach or thane, and that from, him the Mackintoshes got their name. We have suggested thfrt the name arose with Ferchard, son of Seth or Shaw, who was toiseach under Earl Walter Comyn in 1234, and his name appears in the 1467 MS. genealogy as well as in the Mackintosh genealogies.

That a revolution took place in the affairs of Clan Chattan, with the overthrow or extrusion of the direct line of chiefs, in the half century that extends from about 1386 to 1436, is clear from two sources—first, from the 1467 MS., and, second, from the Mackintosh history. The latter acknowledges that Ferquhard, 9th chief, was deposed from his position, which was given to his uncle Malcolm. The reason why he had to retire was, it is said, the clan’s dissatisfaction with his way of managing affairs; but the matter is glossed over in the history in a most unsatisfactory manner. If this was the Ferchard mentioned in 1382 as giving trouble to the Bishop of Aberdeen, it is most unlikely that he was an incapable man; in fact, he must have been quite the opposite, He is doubtless the same person, for he is given also in the 1467 MS. genealogy. But further confusion exists in the Mackintosh account. Malcolm, 10th Mackintosh, who dies in 1457, is grandson through William 7th (died 1368) of Angus who married Eva in 1291, the three generations thus lasting as chiefs from 1274 to 1457, some 183 years ! Malcolm was the son of William’s old age, and his brother, Lachlan 8th, was too old to take part in the North Inchfight in 1396, sixty years before his younger brother died ! This beats the Fraser genealogy brought forward lately by a claimant to the Lovat estates. It is thus clear that there is something wrong in the Mackintosh genealogy here, corresponding doubtless to some revolution in the clan’s history. And this is made clear when we consult the Edinburgh Gaelic MS. of 1467, which gives the genealogies of Highland clans down till about 1450. Here we actually have two genealogies given, which shows that the chiefship of the Mackintoshes or Clan Gillicattan was then either in dispute or a matter of division between two families. We print the two 1467 lists with the Mackintosh MS. genealogy between them, in parallel columns, supplying dates where possible:—

1467 MS, Mackintosh History. 1467 MS.
William and Donald (12) Ferchar (d. 1514) Lochlan
William (9) Ferchar (11) Duncan (d. 1496) Suibne
Ferchar (1382) (8) Lachlan & (10) Malcolm (d. 1457) Shaw
William (7) William (d. 1368)
Gillamichol (6) Anguu (d. 1345)
Scayth (1338) Ferchard Gilchrist Malcolm

Donald Camgilla
Tead (Shaw)

Ferchar (1234) (5) Ferchar (d. 1274)
Shaw (4) Shaw (d. 1265)
Gilchrist William
Aigcol (2) Shaw (d. 1210)
Ewen (1) Shaw (d. 1179)
--Macduff (d. 1154)
--Earl of Fife
[Gillicattan ?]

The similarity between the 1467 first list and that of the Mackintosh history is too striking to be accidental, and we may take it that they purport to give the same genealogy. There are only two discrepancies from about 1400 to 1200 between them. Ferchar 9th is given as son of Lachlan in the Mackintosh history, whereas the 1467 list makes him son of William, not grandson. The 6th Mackintosh in the one list is Gillamichael, and in the other he is called Angus. Perhaps he had borne both names, for Gillamichael mean? “servant of St Michael,” and might possibly be an epithet. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh has drawn the writer’s attention to a list of names published in Palgrave’s “ Documents and Records ” of Scottish History (1837); this is a liet of some ninety notables who, about 1297, made homage or submission to Edward I., and among them is Anegosius Maccarawer, or Angus Mac Ferchar, whom Mr Fraser-Mackintosh claims as the 6th of Mackintosh. There are only two other “Macs” in the list, and Maccarawer is, no doubt, a Highlander, and possibly a chief, and, perhaps, the chief of Mackintosh. In any case, in the middle of the 15th century, the direct line of Mackintoshes was represented by William and Donald, sons of William, whereas the chief de facto at the time was undoubtedly Malcolm Mackintosh. How he got this position is a question.

The second list in the 1467 MS. is a puzzle. Mr Skene called it the genealogy of the “old” Clan Chattan: Why, is not clear. Scayth, son of Ferchard, is mentioned in 1338 as the late Scayth who possessed a “manerium” at the “stychan” of Dalnavert. Mr Skene thinks that he was of the Shaws of Rothiemurchus, and that this is their genealogy; and this may be true, but what comes of his earlier theories in regard to the Macphersons as being the “old” family here represented ? Theories held in 1837 were abandoned in 1880; but in this Mr Skene could hardly help himself, considering the amount of information that has since appeared in the volumes of such Societies as the “Spalding Club,” bearing on the history of the Moravian clans, and especially on that of Clan Chattan.

The turmoil in the Clan Chattan, which changed the chief ship to another line, must be connected more especially with the events which took place when King James, came North, in 1427, when part of the clan stood by the King and part by the Lord of the Isles. We find in a document preserved in the Kilravock papers, that King James grants a pardon to certain of the Clan Chattan, provided they really do attach themselves to the party of Angus and Malcolm Mackintosh; and this shews that Malcolm, who was afterwards chief, stood by the king, and received his favours. Angus possibly was his brother, for a depredating rascal of the name of Donald Angusson, supported by Lachlan “Badenoch,” son of Malcolm, evidently Lachlan’s cousin, gives trouble to various people towards the end of the century. In any case, Malcolm Mackintosh emerged from the troubles that were rending the clan victorious, and his son Duncan was as powerful a chief as lived in the North in his day.

How much the Clan Battle at Perth, in 1396, had to do with the changes in the Clan Chattan leadership it is hard to say. It is accepted as certain that the Clan Chattan had a hand in the fight, for the later historians say so, and the contemporary writer Wyntown mentions the chiefs on both sides, and one of these bears the name of Scha Ferchar’s son, which is an unmistakeably Mackintosh name. He says, in Laing’s edition :—

“Tha thre score were clannys twa,
Clahynnhd Qwhewyl, and Clachinya ;
Of thir twa Kynnys ware the men,
Thretty agane thretty then.
And thare thai had thair chifrtanys twa,
Schir Ferqwharis sone wes ane of tha,
The tothir Cristy Johnesone.”

The two clans here pitted against one another are the clans Quhele or Chewil, and Clan Ha or Hay, or, according to some, Kay. Boece has Clan Quhete, which Buchanan and Leslie improve into Clan Chattan.

As so much theorising has taken place upon this subject already, and so many positive assertions have been made, it may at present serve the interests of historic science if we can really decide what clan names the above cannot stand for. First, there is Clan Quhele or Chewil. This clan is mentioned in 1390 as Clan Qwhevil, who, with the Athole tribes, made a raid into Angus, and killed the Sheriff. They are mentioned again in an Act of Parliament in 1594 as among the broken clans, in the following sequence — Clandonochie, Clanchattane, Clanchewill, Clanchamron, &c. What clan they really were is yet a matter of dispute. The form Chewill points to a nominative, Cumhal or Cubhal, or Keval, but no such name can be recognised in the Clan Chattan district, or near it. Dughall or Dugald has been suggested, and the family of Camerons of Strone held as the clan referred to. But this, like so much in the discussion of this subject, forgets some very simple rules of Gaelic phonetics, which are not forgotten in the spoken language, and in the English forms borrowed from it. Feminine names ending in n never aspire te an initial d of the next word. We have Clan Donnachie, Clan Donald, Clan Dugald, and so on, but never Clan Yonnachie or Yonald, or such. Similarly, Clan Ilay or Ha cannot stand for Clan Dai or Davidsons. Let these simple rules of Gaelic phonetics be understood once for all, and we have made much progress towards a solution of the difficulty. The word Qwhevil evidently commences with a C. Skene suggests it is for Caimgilla, “one-eyed one,” the epithet of Donald, Mureach’s son, in the 1467 pedigree. But the m of cam is never aspirated. 1 gain, as to Ha or Hay. The H initial may stand for tk, sh, or fh ; and the only names that can be suggested are those of Shaw and Fhaidh. The Clan Cameron are called, in the 1467 MS. and other places, the “ Clann Maelan-fhaidh,” the clan of the “ servant of the Prophet,” a name preserved in the Macgillony of Strone, which originally was Mac Gille-an-fhaidh, equivalent to Mael-an-fhaidh in meaning.

The name, however, that best suits the English form is that of Shaw or Seadh, that is, Seth. There is really a difficulty about Meal-an-fhaidh and his clan. The form ouglit to be either Clann-an-fhaidh, which Wyntown would give as Clahinanha or Clahan-anna, or it would be Clann Mhael-an-fhaidh, a form which could not be mistaken, were it handed down. The most popular theory at present is that the combatants were the Camerons and Mackintoshes, who were enemies for three centuries thereafter; the Mackintoshes were represented by the name of Clan Chewill, the chief being Shaw, son of Ferchar, of the Rothiemurchus branch, while the Camerons were the Clan Hay, with Gilchrist Mac Iain as chief. This is practically Skene’s view, and it is the position taken up by Mr A. M. Shaw, the historian of the Mackintoshes. But the phonetics point to a struggle in which the Shaws were the chief combatants, the other side being Clan Kevil, and, on weighing all sides of the question, we are as much inclined to believe that it was the beginning of that struggle in the clan, which is represented by two lines of pedigree, and which latterly gave the chief ship even to a junior branch of one of the lines.

How does the claim of the Cluny Macphersons for the chiefship of Clan Chattan stand in relation to these historic facts ? They do not appear at all in the historical documents, but tradition in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had enough to tell of their share in the crisis. At the battle of Invemahaven, fought against the Camerons, the Macphersons of Cluny claimed the right under Mackintosh as chief, but he unfortunately gave this post of honour to the Clan Dai or Davidsons of Invemahavon; and the Macphersons retired in high dudgeon. The battle was at first lost to Clan Chattan, but the Macphersons, despite anger, came to the rescue, and the Camerons were defeated. Then ensued a struggle, lasting ten years, for superiority between the Macphersons (Clan Chattan) and the Davidsons, the scene of which, in 1396, was shifted to the North Inch of Perth. These, the Macpherson tradition says, were the two clans that fought the famous clan fight. The Macphersons claim to be descended from Gillicattan Mor, progenitor of the Clan Chattan, by direct male descent, and every link is given back to the eleventh century, thus (omitting “father of”)—Gillicattan, Diarmid, Gillicattan, Muirich, ]>arson of Kingussie, whence they are called Clann Mhuirich,. father of Gillicattan and Ewen Ban, the former of whom had a son, Dougal Dali, whose daughter Eva, “the heiress of Clan Chattan,” married Angus Mackintosh in 1291, and thus made him " captain ” of Clan Chattan; Ewen Ban was the direct male representative, then Kenneth, Duncan, Donald Mor, Donald Og, Ewen; then Andrew of Cluny in 1609, a real historic personage without a doubt. In this list, not a single name previous to that of Andrew can be proved to have existed from any documents outside the Macpherson genealogies, excepting only Andrew’s father, Ewen, who is mentioned in the Clanranald Red Book as grandfather of the heroic Ewen, who joined Montrose with three hundred of Clans Mhuiiich and Chattan. The direct Gillicattan genealogy is given in the 1467 MS., and, such as it is, it has no semblance to the Macpherson list. The fact is that the Macpherson list previous to Ewan, father of Andrew, is purely traditional and utterly unreliable. The honest historian of Moray, Lachlan Shaw, says—“ I cannot pretend to give the names of the representatives before the last century. I know that in 1660 Andrew was laird of Clunie, whose son, Ewan, was father of Duncan, who died in 1722 without male issue.” By means of the Spalding Publications, the Synod of Moray Records, and other documents, we can now supplement and add to Lachlan Shaw’s information, though not much. Macpherson of Cluny is first mentioned in 1591 when Clan Farson gave their “band” or bond to Huntly. He is then called “Andrew Makfersone in Cluny,” not of Cluny, be it observed, for he was merely tenant of Cluny at that time. This is amply proved by the Badenoch rental of 1603, where we have the entry—“Clovnye, three pleuches . . . Andro McFarlen (read Farsen) tenant to the haill.” Perhaps Mr Fraser-Mackin-tosh’s inference is right as to the national importance of Cluny Macpherson then, when he says—“ So little known does he seem to have been that Huntly’s chamberlain, who made out the Badenoch rental in 1603, calls him Andro McFarlsn” In 1609, Andrew had obtained a heritable right to Cluny, for then he is. called Andrew Macpherson of Cluny in the bond of union amongst the Clan Chattan, “ in which they are and is astricted to serve Mackintosh as their Captain and Chief.” Huntly had for long been trying to detach the Clan from Mackintosh by “bands,” as in 1591 and in 1543, and by raising the tenants to a position of independence under charter rights, which were liberally granted in the seventeenth century, and which proved fatal to the unity of Clan Chattan. But it was a wise policy, nationally considered, for in 1663-5, when Mackintosh tried to raise his Clan against Lochiel, some flatly refused asking cui bono; others promised to go if Mackintosh would help them to a slice of their neighbours land, and Macpherson of Cluny proposed three conditions on which he would go—(1) if the Chiefs of the Macphersons hold the next place in the Clan to Mackintosh; (2) lands now possessed by Mackintoshes and once possessed by Macphersons to be restored to the latter; and (3) the assistance now given was not of the nature of a service which Mackintosh had a right to demand, but simply a piece of goodwill. When Mackintosh was in 1688 proceeding to fight the “last Clan battle” at Mulroy against Keppoch, we are told that the “Macphersons in Badenoch, after two citations, disobeyed most contemptuously.” Duncan Macpherson, the Cluny of that time, had decided to claim chiefship for himself, and in 1672 he applied for and obtained'from the Lord Lyon’s Office the matriculation of his arms as Laird of Cluny Macpherson, and only true representative of the ancient and honourable family of Clan Chattan. Mackintosh, on hearing of it, objected, and got the Lord Lyon to give Macpherson “ a coat of arms as cadets of 'Clan Chattan.’ ”The Privy Council in the same year called him “Lord of Cluny and Chief of the Macphersons,” but Mackintosh got them to correct even this to Cluny being responsible only for “those of his name of Macpherson descendit of his family,” without prejudice always to the Laird of Mackintosh. In 1724 Mackintosh and Macpherson came to an agreement that Mackintosh, in virtue of marrying the heiress of Clan Chattan in 1291, was Chief of Clan Chattan, Macpherson renouncing all claim, but there was a big bribe held out to him— he received the Loch Laggan estates from Mackintosh. In this way the egging on of Huntly, the reputation gained by the Macphersons in the Montrose wars and otherwise, and an absurd piece of pedigree, all combined to deprive Mackintosh of his rightful honour of Chief, and also of a good slice of his estate! The renown gained by the Clan Macpherson in the Jacobite wars, compared to the supineness of the Mackintosh Chiefs, gained them public sympathy in their claims, and brought a clan, altogether unknown or ignored until the battle of Glenlivbt in 1594, to the very front rank of Highland Clans in the eighteenth century. We see the rise of a clan and its chiefs actually take place in less than a century and a half, and that, too, by the pluck and bravery displayed by its chiefs and its members.


The Ordnance Survey maps, made to the scale of six inches to the mile, contain for Badenoch some fourteen hundred names; but these do not form more than a tithe of the names actually in use or once used when the glens were filled with people, and the •summer shealings received their annual visitants. Every knoll and rill had its name; the bit of moor, the bog or blar, the clump of wood (badan), the rock or crag, the tiny loch or river pool, not to speak of cultivated land parcelled into fields, each and all, however insignificant, had a name among those that dwelt near them. Nor were the minute features of the mountain ranges and faraway valleys much less known and named. The shealing system contributed much to this last fact. But now many of these names are lost, we may say most of them are lost, with the loss of the population, and with the abandonment of the old system of crofting and of summer migration to the hills. The names given to those minutes features of the landscape were and are comparatively easy on the score of derivation, though sometimes difficult to explain historically. For instance, Lub Mhairi, or Mary’s Loop, is the name of a small meadow at Coilintuie, but who was the Mary from whom it got its name?

Of the fourteen hundred words on the Ordnance Maps, we may at once dismiss three fourths as self-explanatory. Anyone with a knowledge of Gaelic can explain them ; or anyone not so endowed but possessed of a Gaelic dictionary ,can by the use of it satisfactorily unravel the mystery of the names. Of the remaining fourth, most are easy enough as regards derivation, but some explanation of an historical character is desirable, though often impossible of being got. Ono of the most interesting names under this last category is that of Craig High Harailt, or the Crag of King Harold, which stands among the hills behind Dunachton;

Yet there is absolutely nothing known about this Scandinavian chief; even tradition halts in the matter. There are only some six score names where any difficulty, however slight, of derivation can occur, and it is to these names that this paper will mostly devote itself. The oldest written or printed form of the name will be given, for often the difficulty of deriving a place-name yields when the oldest forms of it are found. We have fortunately some valuable documents, easily attainable, which throw light on some obscure names. Among these are the Huntly Rental for the Lordship of Badenoch for 1603, and Sir R. Gordon of Straloch’s map of Braidalbane and Moray, which was published in Blaeu’s Atlas in 1662, and which contains a full and intelligent representation of Badenoch. The Badenoch part of this map is reproduced along with this paper for the sake of illustrating it. It was made about the year 1640.

First, we shall deal with the name of the district and the names of the principal divisions of it, and thereafter consider the nomenclature of the leading features of the country, whether river, loch, or mountain, following this with a glance at the names of farms and townships, and at the other points of the landscape that may seem to require explanation. The name of the district first claims our attention.

Badenoch.—In 1229 or thereabouts the name appears as Badenach in the Registrum of Moray Diocese, and this is its usual form there; in 1289, Badenagh, Badenoughe, and, in King Edward’s Journal, Badnasshe; in 1366 we have Baydenach, which is the first indication of the length of the vowel in Bad-; a 14th century map gives Baunagd; in 1467, Badyenach; in 1539, Baidyenoch; in 1603 (Huntly Rental), Badzenoche ; and now in Gaelic it is Bcbideanaeh. The favourite derivation, first given by Lachlan Shaw, the historian of Moray (1775), refers it to badan, a bush or thicket; and the Muses have sanctioned it in Calum Dubh’s expressive line in his poem on the Loss of Gaick (1800)—

“’S bidh mirim arm an Dtithaich nam Badan.”
(And joy shall be in the Land of Wood-clumps).

But there are two fatal objections to this derivation; the a of Badenoch is long, and that of badan is short; the d of Badenoch is vowel-flanked by “ small” vowels, while that of badan is flanked by “ broad” vowels and is hard, the one being pronounced approximately for English as bah-janach, and the other as baddanach. The root that suggests itself as contained in the word is that of beth or bddh (drown, submerge), which, with an adjectival termination in de, would give bdide, “submerged, marshy,” and this might pass into bdidean and b&ideanach, “marsh or lake land.” That this meaning suits the long, central meadow land of Badenoch, which once could have been nothing else than a long morass, is evident. There are several places in Ireland containing the root bddh (drown), as Joyce points out. For instance, Bauttagh, west of Loughrea in Galway, a marshy place; Mullanbattog, near Monaghan, hill summit of the morass; the river Bauteoge, in Queen’s County, flowing through swampy ground : and Curra-watia, in Galway, means the inundated curragh or morass. The neighbouring district of Lochaber is called by Adamnan Stagnum Aporicum, and the latter term is likely the Irish abar (a marsh), rather than the Pictish aber (a confluence); so that both districts may be looked upon as named from their marshes. The divisions of Badenoch are three—the parishes of Alvie, Kingussie and Insh, and Laggan.

Alvie.—Shaw says it is a “parsonage dedicated to St Drostan.” Otherwise we should have at once suggested the 6th centuiy Irish saint and bishop called Ailbe or later Ailbhe, whose name suits so admirably, that, even despite the Drostan connection, one would feel inclined to think that the parish is named after St Ailbhe. In the middle of the 14th century the parish is called Alveth or Alwetht and Alway, and Alvecht about 1400, in 1603 Alvey and Aluay, and in 1622 Alloway. The name, with the old spelling Alveth, appears in the parish of Alvah in Banffshire, and no doubt also in that of Alva, another parish in Stirlingshire. Shaw and others connect the name with ail (a rock), but do not explain the v or bh in the name. Some look at Loch Alvie as giving the name to the parish, and explain its name as connected with the flower ealbhaidh or St John’s wort, a plant which it is asserted grows or grew around its bank. The learned minister of Alvie in Disruption times, Mr Macdonald, referred the name of the loch to Ealari or Swan-isle Loch, but unfortunately there is no Gaelic word i for an island, nor do the phonetics suit in regard to the bh or v. The old Fenian name of Almhu or Almhuinn. now Allen, in Ireland, the seat of Fionn and his Feinn, suggests itself, but the termination in n is wanting in Alvie, and this makes the comparison of doubtful value.

Insh.—Mentioned as Inche in the Moray Registrum in 1226 and similarly in 1380 and in 1603. The name is derived from the knoll on which the church is built, and which is an island or innis when the river is in flood. Loch Insh takes its name from this or the other real island near it. The parish is a vicarage dedicated to “ St Ewan,” says Shaw; but, as the name of the knoll on which the church stands is Tom Eunan, the Saint must have been E6nan or Adamnan, Columba’s biographer, in the 7th century. The old bell is a curious and rare relic, and the legend attached to it is one of the prettiest told m the district. The bell was stolen once upon a time, and taken to the south of the Grampians, but getting free, it returned of its own accord ringing out as it crossed the hills of Drumochter, “Tom E6nan! Tom E6nan.”

Kingussie.—In Gaelic—Cinr^ghiubhsaich—“ (at) the end of the fir-forestcinn being the locative of ceann (head) and giubhsack being a “fir-f orest.” The oldest forms of the name are Kynguscy (1103-1105), Kingussy (1208-15), Kingusy (1226), Kingucy (1380), Kingusy (1538), and Kyngusie (1603). It is a parsonage dedicated to St Columba (Shaw). According to Shaw, there was a Priory at Kingussie, founded by the Earl of Huntly about 1490.

Laggan.—“A mensal church dedicated to St Kenneth” (Shaw). The name in full is Laggan-Choinnich, the laggan or “hollow of Kenneth.” The present church is at Laggan Bridge, but the old church was at the nearest end of Loch Laggan, where the ruins are still to be seen. It is mentioned in 1239 as Logynkenny (R.M.), and Logykenny shortly before, as Logachnacheny and Logykeny in 1380, Logankenny in 1381 (all from R.M.), and Lagane in 1603 (H.R.) The Gaelic word “lagan” is the diminutive of “ lag,” a hollow.

We now come to the leading natural features of the country, and deal first with the rivers and lochs of Badenoch. A loch and its river generally have the same name, and, as a rule, it is the river that gives name to the loch. A prominent characteristic of the river names of Badenoch, and also of Pictland, is the termination ie or y. We meet in Badenoch with Feshie, Trommie, Markie, and Mashie, and not far away are Bennie, Druie, Gel die, Garry, Bogie, Gaudie, Lossie, Urie, and several more. The termination would appear to be that given by Ptolemy in several river names such as Nov-^os, Tob-ios, Libn-tW, &c., which is the adjectival termination ios; but it has to be remarked that the modern pronounciation points to a termination in idh, Zeuss’s primitive adi or idi; Tromie in Gaelic is to be spelt Tromaidh, and Feshie as Feisidh. We first deal with the so-called “rapidest river in Scotland.”

The Spey.—The Highlanders of old had a great idea of the size of the Spey, and also of the Dee and Tay. There is a Gaelic saying which runs thus :—

Sp£, D6, agus Tatha,
Tri uisgeachan ' m5 fo’n athar.

This appears in an equally terse English form:—

The three largest rivers that be
Are the Tay, the Spey, and the Dee.

In Norse literature the name appears as Spse (13th century); we have the form Spe in the “Chronicles” (1165); Spe (1228, <fcc); Spee (Bruce’s Charter to Randolph) and Spey (1451 and 1603). But the Spey is regarded as representing physically and etymolo-gically Ptolemy’s river Tvesis or Tvsesis. Dr Whitley Stokes says:—“Supposed to be Ptolemy’s Tvesis; but it points to an original Celtic squeas, cognate with Ir. scHm (vomo), W. chwyd (a vomit). For the connection of ideas, cf. Pliny’s Yomanus, a river of Picenum. The river name Spean may be a diminutive of Spe.” The changing of an original sqv to sp, instead of the true Gaelic form sg or sc indicates that the name is Pictish. The Spean is doubtless a diminutive arising from a form spesona or spesana.

The Dulnan; in Gaelic Tuilnean, Blaeu’s map Tulnen. It falls into Spey near Broomhill Station. The root is tuil, flood; the idea being to denote its aptness to rapid floods.

Feshie; Gaelic Feisidh. Its first appearance in charters is about 1230, and the name is printed Ceffy, evidently for Fessy. If it is Celtic, its earliest form was Vestia, from a root ved, which signifies “wet,” and which is the origin of the English word wet and water. That Feshie is Celtic, and Pictish may be regarded as probable when it is mentioned that in Breconshire there is a river Gwesyn, the root of the name being gwes (for vest), meaning “what moves” or “ goes.”

Tromie; Gaelic Trom(a)idh. In 1603 it is called Tromye. The Gaelic name for dwarf elder is troman, which appears in Irish as trorn or tromm, with genitive truimm. It gives its name to Trim in Meath, which in the 9th century was called Yadum Truimm,, or Ford of the Elder-tree. Several other Irish place-names come from it. In Badenoch and elsewhere in the Highlands, we often meet with ’rivers named after the woods on their banks. Notably is so the case with the alder tree, Feama, which names numerous streams, and, indeed, is found in old Gaul, for Pliny mentions a river called Vernodubrum. Hence Tromie is the Elder-y River; while Truim, which is probably named after the glen, Glen-truim—“ Glen of the Elder,”—takes its name from the genitive of tromm. Compare the Irish Cala-truim, the hollow of the elder. Glen-tromie is the first part of the long gorge that latterly becomes Gaick, and, in curious contrast to the ill fame of the latter in poetry, it appears thus in a well-known verse :—

Gleann Tromaidh nan siantan
Leam bu mhiann bhi ’nad fhasgath,
Far am faighinn a’ bhroighleag,
An oighreag’s an dearcag,
Cn5than donn air a’ challtuinn,
’3 iass; dearg air na h-easau.

Guinag, Guynack, Guinach, or Gynach (pronounced in Gaelic Goi(bh)neag), falls into the Spey at Kingussie. It is a short, stormy streamlet. All sorts of derivations have been offered ; the favourite is guanag, pretty, but, unfortunately, it does not suit the phonetics of Goi-neag. The name points to primitive forms like gobni- or gomni-, where the o may have been a, and the latter form, read as gamm-} would give us the root gam, which in old Gaelic means “winter.” Hence the idea may be “wintry streamlet.” But the Irish word gaoth, a shallow tidal stream, fordable at low water, should be remembered; this gives name to several places in Ireland, such as the famous Gweedore, and there is a river Gaothach in Tipperary. Old Irish has a word goithlach, signifying swamp, which seems allied, and we might consider Guinag as an older Goith-neoc, referring to the latter part of its course in entering the Spey, which is “tidal” and “swampy.”

The Calder : in Gaelic Calfljadar. This river and lake name recurs about a dozen times in Pictland and the old Valentia province between the Walls, and there is a Calder river in Lancashire. Cawdor and its Thanes probably give us the earliest form of the word, applied to the Nairnshire district. This is in 1295 Kaledor; in 1310, Caldor; and in 1468, Caudor. But the Gaelic forms persist in other places, as in Aber-Callador (1456) in Strathnaim. These forms point to an older Calent-or, for ent and ant become in Gaelic ed or ad, earlier et or at. In the Irish Annals mention is made of a battle, fought, it is supposed, in the Carse of Falkirk, called the battle of Calitros, and certain lands near Falkirk were called in the 13th century Kalentyr, now Callendar. Not far away are several Calder waters. The root is evidently cal (sound, call), as in Latin Calendae, and English Calendar, borrowed, like the Gaelic equivalent word Caladair, from the Latin Calendarium.

The Truim. See under the heading of Tromie.

The Mashie; Masie (1603), in Gaelic Mathaisidh, pronounced Mathisidh. Strathmashie is famous as the residence of Lachlan Macpherson, the bard, the contemporary and coadjutor of James Macpherson of Ossianic renown. The bard’s opinions of the river

Mashie are still handed down; these differed accorded to circumstances. Thus he praised the river:—

Mathaisidh gheal, bhoidheach gheal,
Mathaisidh gheal, bhoidheach gheal,
Bu chaomh leam bhi laimh nut.

But after it carried away his com he said :—

Mathaisidh dhubh, fhrbgach dhubh,
Mathaisidh dhubh, fhr5gach dhubh,
Is mor rinn thu chall orm.

The derivation of the name is obscure. Mathaisidh could come from mathas, goodness, but the meaning is not satisfactory. We might think of maise, beauty, but it has the vowel short in modem Gaelic, though Welsh maws, pleasant, points to a long vowel or a possible contraction in the original.

The Markie; Gaelic Marcaidh. Streams and glens bearing the name Mark and Markie occur in Perthshire, Forfarshire, and Banffshire. The first tributary of the Feshie is Allt Mharkie, at the mouth of which was of old Invermarkie, an estate held by the Campbells of Cawdor in the 15th and 16th centuries. The root is doubtless marc, a horse.

The Pattack; in Gaelic Patag. This river, unlike those which we have hitherto dealt with, does not flow into the Spey, but into Loch Laggan, after making an extraordinary volte face about two miles from its mouth. First it flows directly northwards, and then suddenly south-westwards for the last two miles of its course. Hence the local saying—

Patag dhubh, bhulgach Dol an aghaidh uisge Alba (Dark, bubbly Pattack, that goes against the streams of Alba).

We find Pattack first mentioned in an agreement between the Bishop of Moray and Walter Comyn about the year 1230, where the streams “Kyllene et Petenachy” are mentioned as bounding the church lands of Logykenny. The Kyllene is still remembered in Camus-Killean, the bay of Killean, where the inn is. The Kyllene must have been the present Allt Lairig, or as the map has it, Allt Buidhe; while Petenachy represents Pattack, which in Blaeu’s map appears as Potaig. The initial p proves the name to be of non-Gaelic origin ultimately, but whether it is Pictish, pre-Celtic, or a Gaelicised foreign word we cannot say.

Alt Lowrag lies between Lochan na h-Earba and Loch Laggan. It means the “ loud-sounding (labhar) one.”

The Spean; in Gaelic Spitkean. See under Spey.

We have now exhausted the leading rivers, but before going further we may consider the names of one or two tributaries of these. Feshie, for instance, has three important tributaries, one of which, Allt Mharkie, we have already discussed. Passing over Allt Ruaidh as being an oblique form of Allt Ruadh, “red burn,” we come to the curious river name Femadale; in Gaelic FeamasdaiL The farms of Coramstil-more and Corarnstil-beg, that is, the Corrie of Femsdale, are mentioned in 1603, as Corearaistaill Moir and Corearinstail Beige, and in 1691 the name is Corriamisdaill. Blaeu’s map gives the river as Faimstil. The first portion of the name is easy; it is Feama, alder. But what of sdail or asdail? The word astail means a dwelling, but “ Fern-dwelling” is satisfactory as a name neither for river or glen. The tributary of the Femsdale is called Cdmhraig; in Blaeu Conrik. Comhrag signifies a conflict; but in Irish and early Gaelic it signified simply a meeting whether of road and rivers, or of men for conflict. There are several Irish place names Corick, situated near confluences. Doubtless this stream took its name from its confluence with Femsdale.

On Feshie we meet further up with Allt Fheamagan, the stream of the alder trees; then Allt Gh&bhlach, which the Ordnance map etymologises into Allt Garbhlach, the stream of the rugged place. This may be the true deviation ; it is a big rough gully or corrie with a mountain torrent tumbling through it.

Allt Lorgaidh is named after the mountain pass or tract which it drains (lorg, lorgadh, track, tracing), and which also gives name to the prominent peak of Cam an Fhidhleir Lorgaidh, the Fiddler’s Caim of Lorgie, to differentiate it from the Fiddler’s Cairn which is just beyond the Inverness-shire border, and not far from the other one.

The Eidart, Blaeu’s Eitart, with the neighbouring streamlet of Eindart, is a puzzling name. The Gaelic is Eidird and Inndird according to pronounciation.

We now come to the lochs of Badenoch. Loch Alvie is bound up with the name of Alvie Parish, discussed already. Loch Insh is the Lake of the Island, just as Loch-an-eilein, in Rothiemurchus, takes its name from the castle-island which it contains ; but eilean is the Norse word eyland, Eng. island, borrowed, whereas innis of Loch Insh is pure Gaelic. In Gaick, along the course of the Tromie, there are three lakes, about which the following rhyme is repeated :—

Tha gaoth mhfrr air Loch-an-trSeflich,
Tha gaoth eiT air Loch-an-Diiin;
Ruigidh mise Loch-a’ Biunodainn,
Mu’n teid cadal air mo shiiil.

The rhyme is supposed to have been the song of a hunter who escaped from demons by stratagem and the help of a good stallion on whose back he leapt. The first loch is called Loch-an-t-Seilich, the lake of the willow, and the third of the series is Loch-an-Dmn, the loch of the Down or hill, the name of the steep crag on its west side. The intermediate lake is called Loch Vrodain, Gaelic Bhrodainn, which Sir R. Gordon in Blaeu’s map spells as Yrodin. The Ordnance map etymologises the word as usual, and the result is Loch Bhradainn, Salmon Loch; but unfortunately the a of bradan was never o, so that phonetically we must discard this derivation. There is a story told about this weird loch which fully explains the name mythically. A hunter had got into possession of a semi-supernatural litter of dogs. When they reached a certain age, all of them were taken away by one who claimed to be the true owner, who left with the hunter only a single pup, jet black in colour, and named Brodainn. Before leaving it with the hunter, the demon broke its leg. Brodainn was therefore lame. There was a wonderful white fairy deer on Ben Alder, and the hunter decided he should make himself famous by the chase of it. So he and Brodainn went to Ben Alder, on Loch Ericht Hide; the deer was roused, Brodainn pursued it, and was gaining ground on it when they were passing this loch in Gaick. In plunged the deer, and after it Brodainn dashed ; he caught it in rnid-lake, and they both disappeared never more to be seen t Hence the name of the lake is Looh Vrodin; the lake is there, the name is there, therefore the story is true! The word brodan means a small goad or prod, but how it can have given its name, if at all, to the lake is a mystery : “ lake of the prod ” suits the phonetics admirably. Loch-Laggan takes its name from the lagan or hollow which gave the parish its name, that is, from Laggan-Chainnioh or Lagan-Kenny, at the northern end of the loch. There are two isles in the lake connected with the old kingly race of Scotland. King Fergus, whoever he was, had his hunting lodge on one, called Eilean an Righ, and the other was the dog-kennel of these Fenian hunters, and is called Eilean nan Con. The considerable lake or lakes running parallel to, and a mile to the southeast of Loch Laggan are called Lochan na h-Earba—the lakes of the roe. Looh Crunachan, at the mouth of Glen-Shirra, has an artificial island or crannog therein; the word is rather Crunnachan than Crunachan by pronounciation. A Gordon estate map of 1773 calls it the “ Loch of Sheiromore,” and distinctly marks the •craonog. Taylor and Skinner’s Roads maps, published in 1776 by order of Parliament, give the name as L. Crenackan. The derivation, unless referable to crannog, is doubtful. Loch Ericht, the largest lake in Badenoch, is known in Gaelic as Loch Eireachd. Blaeu calls it Eyrachle (read Eyrachte). The lake is doubtless named from the river Ericht, runing from it into Loch Rannoch. Another river Ericht flows past Blairgowrie into the Isla, nor must we omit the Erichdie Water and Glen Erichdie in Blair Athole. The word eireachd signifies an assembly or meeting, but there is an abstract noun, eireachdas, signifying “ handsomeness,” and it is to this last form that we should be inclined to refer the word.

Let us now turn to the hills ahd hollows, and dales of Badenoch. Many of these place names are called after animals frequenting them. The name of the eagle for instance is exceedingly common in the form of iolair, as Sr6n an Iolair, eagle’s ness, (fee. We shall begin at the north-east end of the district, and take the Monadh-lia or Grey Mountain range first. “Standing fast” as guard between Strathspey and Badenoch is the huge mass of Craigellachie, which gives its motto to the Clan of Grant— u Stand fast: Craigellachie!” The name reads in Gaelic as Eileachaidh, which appears to be an adjective formed from the stem eilec.h, or older ailech, a rock, nominative ail. The idea is the stony or craggy hill—a thoroughly descriptive adjective.

The Moireach; Gaelic, A’ Mhorfhoick} is an upland moor of undulating ground above Ballinluig. On the West Coast, this term signifies flat land liable to sea flooding. It is also the real Gaelic name of Lovat.

Cam Dubh ’Ic-an-Dedir is on the Strathdeam border, and is wrongly named on the map as “ Cam Dubh aig an Doire.” It means—The Black Cairn of the Dewar’s (Pilgrim) Son.

An Sguabach.—There is another Sguabach south of Loch Cuaich, a few miles from Dalwhinnie, and a Meall an Sguabaich west of Loch Ericht. It means the “sweeping” one, from sguab, a besom. The people of Insh—the village and its vicinity—used to speak of the north wind as Gaoth na Sguabaich, for it blew over that hill.

Cnoc Fraing, not Cnoc an Fhrangaich as on the Ordnance map —a conspicuous dome-shaped hill above Dulnan river. There is a Cnoc Frangach a few miles south of Inverness, near Scaniport.

Fraoch frangach means the cross-leaved heather, of which people made their scouring brushes. The brush was called in some parts fraings' in Gaelic

Easga ’n Lochain, with its caochan or streamlet, contains the interesting old word for “ swamp” known as easg, easga, or easgaidhy with which we may compare the river name Esk.

A’ Bhuidheanaich, in the Ordnance maps etymologised into Am Buidh ’aonach, “ the yellow hill or steep,” occurs three times in Badenoch—here behind Kincraig and Dunachton, on the north side of Loch Laggan, and on the confines of Badenoch a few miles south of Dalwhinnie. The idea of “ yellowness ” underlies the word as it is characteristic of the places meant. The root is buidhe (yellow); the rest is mere termination and has nothing to do with aonachy which, in Macpherson’s “ Ossian,” is applied to a hill or slope.

Coire Bog, &c.—Here we may introduce a mnemonic rhyme detailing some features of the ground behind and beside Buidh-eanaich.

Allt Duinne ’Choire Bhuig,
Tuilnean agus Feithlinn,
Coire Bog is Ruigh na h-Eag,
Steallag is Bad-Earbag.

“The Burn of Dun-ness in Soft Corry, Dulnan and Broad Bog-stream, the Reach of the Notch, the Spoutie and Hinds’ Clump ” —that is the translation of the names.

An Suidhe means the Seatit designates the solid, massive hill behind Kincraig.

Craig High HaraiU means King Harold’s Hill, on the side of which his grave is still pointed out. As already said, it is udknown who he was or when he lived.

Coire Neachdradh: Glac an t-Sneachdaidh, <fcc. This corrie at the end of Dunachton burn after its final bend among the hills. Sneachdradh means snows, or much snow—being an abstract noun formed from sneachd.

Ruigh an Roig: the Reach of the Roig (?) is eastwTard of Craig Mhor by the side of the peat road. The map places it further along as Ruigh na Ruaige—the Stretch of the Retreat.

Bad Each is above Glen Guinack: it is mis-read on the Ordnance map into Pait-an-Eich—a meaningless expression. It means Horses’ Clump, and a famous local song begins—

Mollachd gn brath aig braigh Bad Each; curses ever more on upper Bad-each, where the horses stuck and they could not extricate them.

Rhymes about the various place names are common, and here is an enumeration of the heights in the Monadh Liath between Kingussie and Craig Dhubh :—

Creag-bheag Chinn-a’-ghinbhsaich,
Creag-mh6ir Bhail’-a’-chrothain,
Beinne-Bhuidhe na Sr6ine,
Creag-an-16in aig na croitean,
Sithean-m6r Dhail-a’-Chaoruinn,
Creag-an-abhaig a’ BhaiT-shios,
Creag-liath a’ Bhail’-shuas,
’S Creag-Dhubh Bhiallaid,
Cadha-’n-fheidh Lochain-ubhaidh,
Cadh’ is mollaicht’ tha ann,
Cha’n fh&s fiar no fodar ann,
Ach sochagan is dearcagan-allt,
Gabhar air aodainn,
Is laosboc air a cheann.

Glen Balloch; in Gaelic Gleann Baloch. This name is stymologised on the Ordnance map into Gleann a Bhealaich—the Glen of the Pass ; but the word is baloch or balloch, which means either speckled or high-walled. To the left the Allt Mhadagain discharges into the Calder ; this name is explained on the map as Mada coin, which may be right, but it certainly is not the pro-nounciation, which our Madagain reproduces. There are two corries in Gaick similarly named (Coiy Mattakan, 1773).

Sneachdach Slinnean, or Snow Shoulder, is away on the Moy border.

Meall na h-Uinneig, behind Gask-beg considerably, means the Mass or Hill of the Window. There are other places so named— UinneagCoire-an-Eich (Glen-balloch), Uinneag Coir Ardar, Uinneag Coir an Lochain, Uinneag na Creig Moire, Uinneag Coire Chaoruinn and Uinneag Mh\n Choire, the latter ones being all near one another on the north side of Loch Laggan. The meaning of the name is an opening or pass, or a notch in the sky-line.

Iarlraig is the rising ground above Garva Bridge, and is mis-written for Iolairig, place of the eagles. There is here a rock where the eagle nests or nested. Compare Auld Cory na Helrick of 1773 with the Allt Coire nah-Iolair of the Ordnance map, both referring to a stream on Loch Ericht side. There is an Elrick opposite Killyhuntly. The name is common in North Scotland.

Coire Yairack ; Allt Yairack ; in Gaelic Earrag, as if a feminine of Errach (spring). It is spelt Yarig on the 1773 estate map. Perhaps it is a corruption of Gearrag, the short one, applied to a stream.

Shesgnan is the name of a considerable extent of ground near the source of the Spey, and it means morals land, being from seasgann, fenny country, a word which gives several place names both in Scotland and Ireland. The most notable in Scotland is Shisken in Arran, a large, low-lying district, flat and now fertile.

We now cross Spey, and work our way down the south side.

Dearc Beinne Bige, the Dearc of the Little Hill. The pro-nounciation is dire; in the 1773 map it is spelt Dirichk. It is an oblique case of dearc, a hole, cave, cleft; it is found in parly Irish as derc (a cave), and several places in Ireland are called Derk and Dirk therefrom. It occurs at least three times in Laggan— as above ; and in Dire Craig ChcUhalain, the 1773 Dirichk Craig Caulan, or cleft of the Noisy Rock, from Callan, noise ; and in Dearcan-Fheama.

Coire ’Bhein, the 1773 Cory Vein, is a puzzling name. It looks like the genitive case of bian, skin.

Coire Phitridh, at the south comer of Lochan na h-Earba, is given in the map as Corie na Peathraich. The word is probably an abstract noun from pit, hollow.

Beinn Eibhinn, the 1773 Bineven, the “pleasant hill,” is a prominent peak of 3611 feet high, on the borders of Badenoch and Lochaber, from which a good view of Skye can be got.

Ben Alder, Blaeu’s Bin Aildir, in modem Gaelic Beinn Eallar (Yallar). The word is obscure.

Beinn Udlaman, the Uduman of the 1773 map, on the confines of Badenoch and Perthshire, east of Loch Ericht, seems to take its name from the ball and socket action, for udalan signifies a swivel or joint. Some suggest udlaidk, gloomy, retired.

The Boar, An Tore, of Badenoch is to the left of the railway as one enters the district from the south. The “Sow of A thole” is quite close to the “Boar of Badenoch.” We are now at the ridge of Drumochter, in Gaelic, Drumruachdar, or ridge of the upper ground.

Coire Bhoite, or rather Bkoitidk, the Vottie of 1773, is two or three miles away, and finds a parallel in the name Sron Bhoitidh at the top of Glenfishie, where the river bends on itself. The word boitvdh means “pig,” or rather the call made to a pig when its attention is desired.

Coire Suileagach, behind Craig Ruadh and Drumgask, means the Corrie full of Eyes, so named from its springs doubtless. The term suileach (full of eyes) is usually applied to streams and corries with whirlpools therein.

Creag Chr dean, not nan Crdcean as on the map, is near the above corrie, and is named from the deer’s antlers which crdc meana. Similary we often meet with cabar (an antler or caber) in place names.

The hill of Bad na Deimheis, the Bad na Feish of 1773, overlooks Dalwhinnie to the east. The name means the “Clump of the Shears,” a curious designation. We now pass over into the forest and district of Gaick, in Gaelic Gdig, which is the dative or locative of ghg, a cleft or pass. It is considered the wildest portion of Badenoch, and the repute of the district is far from good. Supernaturally, it has an uncanny reputation. From the days of the ill-starred and ill-disposed Lord Walter Cornyn, who, in crossing at Leum na Feinne—the Fenian Men’s Leap—to carry out his dread project of making the Ruthven women go to the harvest fields to work unclothed and naked, was torn to pieces by eagles,4 to that last Christmas of last century, when Captain John Macpherson of Ballachroan and four others were choked to death by an avalanche of snow as they slept in that far-away bothie, Gaick has an unbroken record of dread supernatural doings. Duncan Gow, in his poem on the Loss of Gaick in 1799, says :—

G&ig dhubh nam feadan fiar,
Nach robh ach na striopaich riamh,
Na bana-bhuidsich ’gan toirt ’san lion,
Gach fear leis’m bu mhiannach laighe leath’.

Which means that Gaick, the dark, of wind-whistling crooked glens, has ever been a strumpet and a witch, enticing to their ‘destruction those that loved her charms. How near this conception is to that mythological one of the beauteous maiden that ^entices the wayfarer into her castle, and turns into a savage dragon that devours him! The following verses showing the respective merits of various places have no love for Gaick :—

Bha mi’m Bran, an Cuilc’s an G&ig,
’N Eidird agus Leum-na-L&rach,
Am Feisidh mh6ir bho ’bun gu ’br&ighe
 ’S b’annsa leam ’bhi ’n Allt-a’-Bh&thaich.
*S m6r a b’fhearr leam ’bhi *n Drum-Uachdar
Na ’bhi ’n Gkig nan creagan gruamach,
Far am faicinn ann na h-uailsean
’S iubhaidh dhearg air bharr an gualain.

The poet prefers Drumochter to Glen-Feshie and Gaick of the grim crags. The Loss of Gaick is a local epoch from which to date : an old person always said that he or she was so many years old at Call Ghaig. So in other parts, the Olympiads or Archons-or Temple-bumings which made the landmarks of chronology were such as the “Year of the White Peas,” “the Hot Summer” (1826?), the year of the “ Great Snow,” and so forth.

A’ Chaoimich, the Caorunnach of the Ordnance map, but the Ckoumich of 1773, stands beside Loch-an-Diiin to the left. The-latter form means the “caimy ” or “ rocky ” hill; the other, the “rowan-ny” hill, which is the meaning doubtless. The steep ascent of it from the hither end of the lake is called on the map Bruthack nan Sp&idan, a meaningless expression for Bruthach nan Spardan, the Hen-roost Brae.

Meall Aillig, in the Gargaig Cory (1773), or Garbh-Ghaig (Rough Gaick as opposed to “Smooth ” Gaick or Minigaig as in Blaeu’s map), appears to contain aill (a cliff) as its root form. Some refer it to aileag, the hiccup, which the stiffness of the climb might cause.

Coire Bhran, the Coryvren of Bleau, takes its name from the river Bran, a tributary of the Tromie, and this last word is a well-known river name, applied to turbulent streams, and signifies “raven.”

Caochan a Chaplich, a streamlet which falls into Tromie a little below the confluence of the Bran, contains the word caplach, which seems to be a derivative of capiill (a horse). There is a Caiplich in the Aird—a large plateau, the Monadh Caiplich in Loch Alsh, and a stream of the name in Abernethy.

Croyla is the proment mountain on the left as one enters Glentromie—a massive, striking hill. It is sung of in the Ossianic poetry of John Clark, James Macpherson’s fellow Badenoch man, contemporary, friend, and sincere imitator in poetry and literary honesty. Clark’s (prose) poem is entitled the “ Cave of Creyla,’ and in his notes he gives some topographical derivations. Tromie appears poetically as Trombia, and is explained as Trom-bidh, heavy water, while Badenoch itself is etymologised as Bha-dianachy secure valley. The Ordnance map renders Croyla as Cruaidhleac, a form which etymologises the word out of all ken of the local: pronounciation. Blaeu’s map has Cromlaid, which is evidently meant for Croyla. The Gaelic pronounciation is Croidh-la, the la being pronounced as in English. It is possibly a form of cruadhlach or crvmdhlach (rocky declivity), a locative from which might have been cruaidhlaigk.

Meall-an-Dubh-catha is at the sources of the Comhraig river* It should be spelt Dubh-chadha, the black pass, the word cadha being common for pass.

Cute Mhairearaid or rather Ciste Mhearad, Margaret’s kist or chest or coffin, is part of Coire Fheamagan, above the farm of Achlean. Here snow may remain all the year round. It is said that Margaret, who was jilted by Mackintosh of Moy Hall, and who cursed his family to sterility, died here in her mad wanderings.

Meall Dubhag and not Meall Dubh-ackaidk (Ordnance map) is the name of the hill to the south of Ciste Mairead, while equally Creag Leathain(n), broad craig, is the name of the hill in front of Ciste Mairead, not Creag na Leacainn. Further north is Creaq Ghinbhsachan, the craig of the fir forest.

Creag Mhigeackaidh stands prominently behind Feshie Bridge and Laggan-lia. There is a Dal-mhigeachaidh or Dalmigavie in Strathdeam, a Migvie (Gaelic, Migibhidh) in Stratherrick, and the parish of Migvie and Tarland in" Aberdeenshire. The root part is mig or meig, which means in modem Gaelic the bleating of a goat.

Creag Follais, not Creag Phulach (sic) as on the maps, means the conspicuous crag. Similarly wrong is

Creag Fkiaclack, not Creag Pheacach(l), on the borders of Rothiemurchus, which means the serrated or toothed crag, a most accurately descriptive epithet.

Clack Mhic Cailein, on the top of Creag Follais. The Mac-Cailein meant is Argyle, supposed to be Montrose’s opponent, though it must be remembered that Argyle had also much to do with Huntly at Glenlivet and otherwise.

Sgdr Gaoithe (wind skerry) is behind Creag Mhigeachaidh.

We have now exhausted the natural features of the country so far as the explanation of their names is necessary, and we now turn to the farm and field names—the bailes and townships and other concomitants of civilisation. Commencing again at Craig Ellachie, we meet first after crossing the crioch or boundary the farm of Kinchyle, Cinn-Choille, wood’s-end. Then

Lynwilg, the Lambulge of 1603, Lynbailg (Blaeu), signifies the lane or land of the bag or bulge.

Ballinluigy the town (we use this term for baile, which means “ farm” or “ township”) of the hollow.

Kinrara, north and south, on each side of the Spey. This name appears about 1338 as Kynroreach ; 1440, as Kynroraytk ; and Kynrara (1603). The kin is easy ; it is head” or “end” as usual. The rara or roraJth is difficult. Morath, like ro-dhuine, (great man), might mean the great or noble (ro) rath or dwelling-place (the Latin villa).

Dalraddy, Dalreadye (1603), and Dalrodie (Blaeu). The Gaelic is Dail-radaidh, the radaidh dale. The adjective radaidh is in the older form rodaidh, which is still known in Gaelic in the force of “ dark, sallow.” A sallow-complexioned man might be described as “ Duine rodaidh dorcha.” The root* word is rod, iron scum or rusty-looking mud; it is a shorter form of ruadh (red). In Ireland, it is pretty common, and is applied to ferruginous land. The adjective rodaidh (dark or ruddy) might describe the Dalraddy land. It is in connection with Dalraddy that the great Badenoch conundrum is given :—

Bha cailleach ann Dailradaidh
’S dh’ ith i adag’s i marbh.

(There was a wife in Dalraddy who ate a haddock, being dead). With Dalraddy estate are mentioned in 1691 the lands of Keanintachair (now or lately KingtkchsXr, causeway-end), Knock-ningalliach (the knowe of the carlins), Loyninriach, Balivuilin (mill-town), and the pasturages Feavorar (the lord’s moss-stream), Riocbnabegg or Biachnabegg, and Batabog (now Bata-bog, above Ballinluig, the soft swampy place.) Another old name is Gortincreif (1603), the gort or field (farm) of trees. Croftgowan means the Smith’s Croft.

Delfour, Dalpkour in 1603, and older forms are Dallefowr (1569). The del or dal is for dale, but what is four t The Gaelic sound is fur. The word is very common in names in Pictland, such as Dochfour, Pitfour, Balfour, Letterfour, Tillyfour, Tillipourie and Trinafour. These forms point to a nominative pur, the p of which declares it of non-Gaelic origin. The term is clearly Pictish. The only Welsh word that can be compared is pawr (pasture), pori (to graze), the Breton peur. F&r has nothing to do with Gaelic fuar, for then Dalfour would in Gaelic be Dail-fhuar, that is Dal-uar.

Pitchum, in 1603 Pettechaeme, in Gaelic Bal-chaorruinn, the town of the rowan. The Pictish pet or pit (town, farm), which is etymologically represented by the Gaelic cuid, has been changed in modern Gaelic to baile, the true native word.

Pitourie, in 1495 Pitwery, in 1603 Pettourye, in 1620 Pettevre, <fec.; now BaiVodharaidh. The adjective odhar means “ dun,” and odharack, with an old genitive odharaigh, or rather odharach-mkullach, is the plant devil’s bit. The plant may have given the name to the farm.

Baldow means the black town.

Kincraig, Kyncragye (1603), means the end of the crag or hill, which exactly describes it.

Leaulty Gaelic Leth-allt or half-burn, a name which also appears in Skye as Lealt, may have reference rather to the old force of allt, which was a glen or shore. The stream and partly onesided glen are characteristic of the present Leault.

Dunachton ; Gaelic DiXn-Neackdain^ n J, the hill-fort of Nechtan. Who he was, we do not know. The name appears first in history in connection with the Wolf of Badenoch. St Drostan’s chapel, below Dunachton House, is the cepella de Nachtan of 1380. We have Dwnachtan in 1381, and Dunachtane in 1603. The barony of Dunachton of old belonged to a family called MacNiven, which ended in the 15th century in two heiresses, one of whom, Isobel, married William Mackintosh, cousin of the chief, and afterwards himself chief of the Clan Mackintosh. Isobel died shortly after marriage childless. Tradition says she was drowned in Loch Insh three weeks after her marriage by wicked kinsfolk. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh has written a most interesting monograph on Dunachton, entitled “ Dunachton, Past and Present.”

Achnabeachin ; Gaelic Ach1 nam Beathaichean, the field of the beasts. Last century this land held eight tenants.

Keppochmuir ; Gaelic An Sliabk Ceapanach ; Ceapach means a tillage plot.

Coilintuie or Meadowdde. The Gaelic is Coill-an-t-Suidhe, the Wood of the Suidh, or sitting or resting. Some hold the name is really Ciiil-an-t-Shuidh, the Recess of the Suidh.

Croftcamoch ; Gaelic Croit-ckamach, the Caimy Croft.

Belleville is, in its English form, of French origin, and means, “beautiful town.” The old name in documents and in maps was Raitts, and in the 1776 Roads’ Map this name is placed exactly where Belleville Would now be written. Gaelic people call it Bail’-a’-Bhile, “ the town of the brae-top,” an exact description of the situation. Mrs Grant of Laggan (in 1796) says that Bellavill “ is the true Highland name of the place,” not Belleville; and it has been maintained by old people that the place was called Bail’-a’-Bhile before “ Ossian ” Macpherson ever bought it or lived there. Whether the name is adopted from Gaelic to suit a French idea, or vice versa, is a matter of some doubt, though we are inclined to believe that James Macpherson was the first to call old Raitts by such a name. James Macpherson is the most famous— or rather the most notorious—of Badenoch’s sons ; but though his “ Ossian ” is a forgery from a historical standpoint, and a purely original work from a literary point of view, yet it is to him that Celtic literature owes its two greatest benefits—its being brought prominently before the European world, and, especially, the preservation of the old literature of the Gael as presented in traditional ballads and poems, and in the obscure Gaelic manuscripts which were fast disappearing through ignorance and carelessness.

Lackandhu, the little loch below Belleville, gives the name to Sir Thomas Dick Lauder’s novel.

Raitts—the English plural being used to denote that there were three Raitts—Easter, Middle, and Wester. In 1603 the place is called Reatt, and Blaeu has Rait. The Gaelic is Rett, and this, which is the usual form in Highland place names, is a strengthened form of the older rath or rdith of Old Irish, which meant a residence surrounded by an earthem rampart. It, in fact, meant the old farm house as it had to be built for protective purposes. For the form rht (from rhth-d), compare Bialaid, further on, and the Irish names Kealid from cool and Croaghat from cruach, which Dr Joyce gives in his second volume of Irish Place Names to exemplify this termination in d.

Chapel-parh ; Gaelic Pairc-an-t-Seipeil. This is a modem name, derived from the chapel and kirk-yard that once were there, which was known as the chapel of Ma Luac, the Irish Saint. The older name was the Tillie or Tillie-sow, where an inn existed, whose “ Guidwife” was called Bean-an-Tillie. Some explain Tillie-sow as the Gaelic motto that used, it is said, to be over the olden inn doors, viz., “ Tadhailibh so ”—“ Visit here.”

Lynchat is now BaiP-a’-Chait, Cat-town, instead of Cat’s field (loinn).

An TJaimh MhMr, the Great Cave, is a quarter of a mile away from the highway as we pass Lynchat. It is an “ Erd-house,” the only one of this class of antiquarian remains that exists in Badenoch. It is in the form of a horse-shoe, which has one limb truncated, about 70 feet long, 8 feet broad, and 7 high. The walls gradually contract as they rise, and the roofing is formed by large slabs thrown over the approaching walls. Tradition says it was made in one night by a rather gigantic race : the women carried the excavated stuff in their aprons and threw it in the Spey,

while the men brought the stones, large and small, on their shoulders from the neighbouring hills. All was finished by mom-t ing, and the inhabitants knew not what had taken place. From this mythic ground we come down to the romantic period, when, according to the legend, MacNiven or Mac Gille-naoimh and his nine sons were compelled to take refuge here—some say they made the cave, and long they eluded their Macpherson foes. There was a hut built over the mouth of the cave, and at last it was suspected that something was wrong with this hut. So one of the Macphersons donned beggar’s raiment, called at the hut, pretended to be taken suddenly ill, and was, with much demur, allowed to stay all night. There was only one woman in the hut, and she was continually baking; and he could not understand how the bread disappeared in the apparent press into which she put it and which was really the entry into the cave. He at last suspected the truth, returned with a company of men next night, and slew the MacNivens. It is said that this man’s descendants suffered from the ailment which he pretended to have on that fateful night.

Laggan, the hollow, now in ruins. Here dwelt the famous Badenoch witch, Bean-an-Lagain.

Kerrow; in Gaelic, An Ceathramh, the fourth part—of the davoch doubtless—the davoch of “Kingussie Beige” (1603), with its “ four pleuches.”

Kingussie. Already discussed under the heading of Kingussie parish.

Ardvroilach: Gaelic Ard-bhroighleach; in 1603, Ardbrelache. The form broighleach seems a genitive plural from the same root form as broighleag, the whortleberry. The word broighlich (brawling) scarcely suits with ard, a height.

Pitmain. The Gaelic is only a rendering of the English sounds: Piodme’an. In 1603 it is Petmeane. The reason for their being no Gaelic form of this word is simply this. The great inn and stables of the Inverness road were here, and the name? Pit-meadhan, “middle town,” was adopted into the English tongue. The Gaelic people, meantime, had been abolishing all the pet or pit names, and changing them to Bals, but this one was stereotyped in the other tongne, and the local Gael had to accept the English name or perpetuate an offending form He chose to adopt the English pronounciation.

Balachroan; Bellochroan (1603); Gaelic Baile-Chrothain, the town of the sheepfiold. Above it was Coulinlinn, the nook of the lint, where an old branch of MacpheraoDS lived.

Aldlarie; Gaelic Allt-Lhirigh, the stream of the Idrach or gorge.

Strone means “ nose.”

Newtonmore is the new town of the Moor—An Sliabh.

Clune and Craggan of Chine. The Gaelic cluain signifies meadow land, whether high or low, in dale or on hill.

Benchar, Bannachar (1603), Beandocher (1614), and now Beannachar, Irish beannchar (horns, gables, peaks), Welsh Bangor. It is a very common place name. The root is beann or beinn (a hi11).

Betillid, in 1603 Ballet, in 1637 Ballid, now Bialaid, so named from being at the mouth of Glen-banchor—bial (mouth), with a termination which is explained under Raitts. A “ pendicle” of it, called Corranach, is often mentioned, which probably means the “ knowey” place.

Cladk BhrjHd and Cladh Eadail, Bridget’s and Peter’s (?) Kirk-yards, are the one at Benchar and the other along from Beallid, the latter being generally called Cladh-Bhiallaid. Chapels existed there also at one time.

Ovie, in 1603 Owey (and Corealdye, now Coraldie, corrie of streams or cliffs), Blaeu’s Owie, now Ubhaidh, appears to be a derivative of ubh, egg : it is a genitive or locative of ubhach, spelt and pronounced of old as ubhaigh. Mrs Grant describes Lochau Ovie as beauty in the lap of terror, thus suggesting the derivation usually given of the name, viz., uavnhaidh, dreadful. Some lonesome lakes of dread near Ballintian are called Na h-uath Lochan> the dread lakes.

Cluny, Clovnye (1603), now Cluainidh. The root is cluain (meadow), and the termination is doubtless that in A’ Chluanachy a cultivated plateau behind Dunachton, and the dative singular of this abstract form would give the modem Cluny from the older cluanaigh.

Balgowan, Pettegovan (1603), now Bair-a-Gkobhainn, the town of the smith.

Gask-beg, Gask-more, Gargask, Drumgask—all with Gash, and all near one another about Laggan Bridge. There is an older Gasklone, Mud-Gask, the Gascoloyne of 1603, Gasklyne (1644), and Gaskloan (1691). The form Gash appears in the Huntly rental of 1603. The name Gask is common; there is Gask parish in Strathearn, Perthshire, and there is a Gask in Strathnaim, a Gask Hill in Fife, and Gask House near Turriff. The name Gaskan appears more than once, and in one instance applies to a rushy hollow (Gairloch). We have Fingask in four counties —Aberdeen, Fife, Inverness (in the Aird, but the Gaelic is now

Fionn-uisg1), and Perth. Colonel Robertson, in his “Topography of Scotland,” refers Gask to gasag, diminutive of gas, branch ; but this hardly suits either phonetically or otherwise. The word gasg seems to have slipped out of use : it belongs only to Scotch Gaelic, and may be a Pictish word. The dictionaries render it by “ tail,” following Shaw, and mis-improving the matter by the additional synonym “appendage,” which is not the meaning; for the idea is rather the posterior of an animal, such as that of the hind,which Duncan Ban refers to in this case as “white”—“gasganan geala,” and which makes an excellent mark for the deer stalker. The dictionaries give gasgan, a puppy ; gasganach, petulant; and gasgara (gasgana?), posteriors ; all which Shaw first gives There is also the living word gasgay, a stride, which no dictionary gives. These derivations throw' very little light on the root word gasg, which seems to signify a nook, gusset, or hollow. The Laggan gasgs are now “rich meadows, bay shaped,” as a native well describes them. It was at Gaskbeg that the gifted Mrs Grant of Laggan lived, and here she sang of the beauties of the Bronnach stream—the Gaelic Bronach, the “ pebbly” (?)—which flows through the farm.

Blargie, in 1603 Blair ovey, in Bleau Blarihi, and in present Gaelic Blkragaidh. The termination agaidh appears also in Gallovie, which, in 1497, is Galowye, and now Geal-agaidh, the white agaidh. The word appears as a prefix in Aviemore and Avielochan, both being agaxdh in Gaelic. The old spelling of these words with a v, as against the present pronounciation with g, is very extraordinary. The meaning and etymology of agaidh are doubtful. Shaw gives aga as the “ bottom of any depth,” and there is a Welsh word ag, a “ cleft or opening.” The word may be Pictish.

Coull, in Gaelic Ciiil, means the “ nook, corner,” which the place is.

Ballmishag means the town of the kid, mlseag or minnseag.

Crathie, in 1603 Crathe, in Blaeu Crachy, now in Gaelip Craichidh. The name appears in the Aberdeenshire parish of Crathie. The form Crathie possibly points to an older Gaelic Crathigh.

Garvabeg and Garvamore, the Garvey Beige and Garvey Moir of 1603. The word at present sounds as Garbhath, which is usually explained as garbh-hth, rough ford, a very suitable meaning and a possibly correct derivation.

Shirramore and Shirrabeg, the Waster Schyroche and E*Ur Schiroche of 1603. Sheir o-m ore, in 1773, is in Gaelic Siorrath Mor.

With these names we must connect the adjoining glen name, Glenshirra, Gaelic Glenn Sloro, a name which appears also in Argyleshire, near Inverary, as Glenshira, Glenshyro (1572), traversed by the Shim stream. The root word appears to be sir or sior, long. Some suggest siaradh, squinting, obliqueness.

Aberarder, Blaeu’s Abirairdour, Gaelic Obair ardur. There is an Aberarder (Aberardor in 1456, and Abirardour in 1602) in Strathnaim, and another in Deeside, and an Auchterarder in Stratheam. The Aber is the Pictish and Welsh prefix for “confluence,” Gaelic inver. The ardour is etymologised in the Ordnance map as Ard-dhoire, high grove. The word may be from ard dobhar, high water, for the latter form generally appears in place names as dour.

ArdveriJde has been explained correctly in the “ Province of Moray,” published in 1798, as “Ard Merigie, the height for rearing the standard.” The Gaelic is Ard Mheirgidh, from rrveirge, a standard.

Gallovie.—See under Blargie.

Muccoul is from Muc-cuil, Pigs’ nook.

Achduchil means the field of the black wood.

Dalchully, Gaelic Dail-chuilidh. The word cuilidh signifies a press or hollow. It means the “ dale of the hollow or recess.”

Tynrich is for Tigh-an-Fhraoich, house of the heath.

Catlodge, in 1603 Cattelleitt, and in 1776 Catleak, is in present Gaelic Caitleag, the Cat’s Hollow. The form cait is unusual; we should, by analogy with Muc-ciiil and other names where an animal’s name comes first in a possessive way, expect Catlaig rather than Caitleag.

Breakachy, Brackachye (1603), is usually explained as Breac-achaidh, speckled field ; but the latter part in achaidh is as likely to be a matter of affixes, viz., ach-aigh. We shall now cross the hills into Glentruim and up Loch Ericht side. There at Loch Ericht Lodge we have

Dail-an-Longairt, in 1773 Rea Delenlongart, and on the other side of the ridge is Coire-an-Longairt (Cory Longart 1773), while there is an Eilean Longart above Garvamore bridge and “ Sheals of Badenlongart” in Gaick above the confluence of Bran, according to the 1773 map. * Longart itself means a shealing, the older form being longphort, a harbour or encampment.

Dalhwinnie, in Gaelic Dail-chuinnidh, is usually explained as Dail-choinnimhy Meeting’s Dell; but the phonetics forbid the derivation. Professor Mackinnon has suggested the alternative of

the “narrow dail” Dalwhinnie was a famous station in the old coaching days, and the following verse shows how progress northwards might be made :—

Brakbhaist am Baile-chloichridh Lunch an Dail-na-ceardaich Dinneir an Dail-chuinnidh ’S a’ bhanais ann an R&t.

Presmuckerack, not the Ordnance Presmocachie, is in 1603 Presmukra, that is Preas-Mucraigh, bush of piggery or pigs.

Dalannach, which the Ordnance map etymologises into Dail-gleannach or Glen-dale, was in 1603 Dallandache, and is now Dail-annach. The old form points to the word lann or land, an enclosure or glade. The Irish Annagh, for Eanack, a marsh, will scarcely do, as the name appears in Loch Ennich in its proper Gaelic phonetics.

Crubinmore, Crobine (1603), now Crhbinn. The names Crubeen, Cruboge, Slievecroob, <fcc., appear in Ireland, and are referred by Dr Joyce to crab (a paw, hoof), cruibin (a trotter, little hoof). The Gaelic crkbach (lame), and cruban (a crouching), are further forms of the root word, a locative case from the latter form being possibly our Crubin, referring to the two “much back-bent hills there.”

Etteridge, Ettras (1603), Etrish (1776), is in Gaelic Eatrais. The name of Phoineas canuot be disconnected with Etteridge, for the former in Gaelic is Fothrais or Fotharais, with the Pictish prefix fother, while Etteridge has the proposition eadar (between) as its first part. The terminal part ais, is common in place names, such as Dallas, Duffus, and Forres, the latter being practically our Phoness; and this Lachlan Shaw explains as being uis (water). It seems to be first for an older asti, this for osti, and this again for Celtic vostis, a town or baile. The word fois (rest) is from this root.

Nessintullich, Nerintuliche (1603), now Niosantulaich, is probably for Neasan-tulaich, the place beside the hillock, neasan, the next place, which is an Irish word, from neasa (nearer).

Phoines, Foynes (1603), has already been discussed. How the n comes to stand in the English for Gaelic r is very puzzling.

Invemahavon, Invernavine (1603), means the confluence of the river, that is, of the Truim with Spey.

Balia, Gaelic Rath-liath, means the grey rath or dwelling-place.

Ifuide, Nuid (1603), Noid (1699), now Noid. The derivation suggested for the name is nuadh-id, a topographic noun from the adjective nuadh or nodhct, new; of old, “ Noid of Ralia.”

Knappach, in Gaelic A’ Cknapaich, the hilly or knobby land. It is a common place-name, especially in Ireland, appearing there as Knappagh and Nappagh.

Ruthven, which is also the first form the name appears in in 1370, when the “Wolf” took possession of the lordship of Badenoch. It was here he had his castle. In 1380 the name is Rothven and Ruthan. The name is common all over Pictland, mostly in the form Ruthven, but also at various times and places-spelt Ruthfen, Ruwen, Ruven, Riv(v)en, &c. The modern Gaelic is Ruadhinn, which simply means the “ red place,” from ruadhany anything red. The v of the English form lacks historic explanation. jBrae-ruthven gives the phonetically interesting Gaelic Bre-ruadhnach.

Gordon Hall (so in 1773 also) is in Gaelic Lag-an-Ndtair, the Notary’s Hollow, for it is a hollow. The name and its proximity to Ruthven Castle mutually explain one another: Gordon Hall was doubtless the seat of the Gordon lords of Badenoch, when the castle of Ruthven was changed to barrack purposes. Here the rents used to be “ lifted” for the Gordon estates.

Killiehuntly, Keillehuntlye (1603), Blaeu’s Kyllehunteme, in present Gaelic Coille-Chuntainn, the wood of Contin. Huntly is. in Gaelic Hundaidh, and M‘Firbis, in the 16th century, has Hundon; hence arises the English form. The popular mind still connects it with the Huntlies. Contin is a parish in Ross-shire, and there was a Contuinn in Ireland, on the borders of Meath and Cavan, which is mentioned in connection with Fionn’s youthful exploits. It has been explained as the meeting of the waters, con-(with) and tuinn (waves), but the matter is doubtful.

Inveruglas, Inneruglas (1603), in Gaelic Inbhir-illais, the inver of Ulas, although no such stream exists now, receives its explanation from the old Retours, for in 1691 we have mention of Inveru-glash and its miH-town on the water of Duglass, which means the stream passing the present Milton. Hence it means the inver of the Duglass or dark stream, dubh (black), and glais (stream).

Soillierie, in Gaelic Soileiridh, means the “ bright conspicuous place,” on the rising beyond the Insh village.

Lynchlaggan stands for the Gaelic LoinnrChlaiginn, the Glade of the Skull, possibly referring to the knoll above it rather than to an actual skull there found; the name is applied in Ireland to such skull-like hills.

Am Beithe means the Birch.

Farletter is the old name for Balnacraig and Lynchlaggan, and it appears in 1603 as Ferlatt and Falatne (1691). It took it& name from the hill above, now called Craig Farleitir. The word Farleitir contains leitir, a slope or hillside, and possibly the preposition for (over), though we must remember the Fodderletter of Strathavon with its Pictish Fotter, or Fetter, or Fother (?).

Forr is situated on a knolly ridge overlooking Loch Insh, and evidently contains the preposition for (over), as in orra for /orra, on them. The last r or ra is more doubtful. Farr, in Strath-•deara, is to be compared with it.

Dalnaverty in 1338 and 1440 Dalnafert, in 1603 Dallavertt, now in Gaelic Dail-a’-bheirt, which is for Dail-an-bheart, the dale of the grave or trench, from feart, a grave, which gives many place names in Ireland, such as Clonfert, Moyarty* &c.

Gromaran is possibly for Crom-raon, the crooked field.

Balnain is for Beal an-hthain, the ford mouth.

Ballintian, the town of the fairy knoll, was called of old Countelawe (1603) and Cuntelait (1691), remembered still vaguely as the name of the stretch up the river from Ballintian, and caplained as Cunntadh-l&id, the counting (place) of the loads ! Perhaps, like Con tin, it is for Con-tuil-aid, the meeting of the waters, that is, of Feshie and Fernsdale, which takes place here.

Balanscritlan, the town of the sgriodan or running gravel.

Bulroy, for Bhuaill-ruaidh, the red fold.

Tolvah, the hole of drowning.

Achlean, for Ackadh-Uathainn, is broad field. Beside it is Achlum, for Achadh-lium, the field of the leap.

Ruigh-aiteachain may possibly be a corruption for Ruigh Aitneachain, the Stretch of the Junipers.

Ruigh fionntaig, the Reach of the Fair-stream.

In the Dulnan valley is Caggan, the Gaelic of which is An Caiginn, and there is “a stony hill face” in Glen-Feshie of like name.

The Spirit of Badenoch
Draft version by Judy McCutcheon (pdf)

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