January 6.—"The North Mail Coach has
been prevented for some time back from proceeding further than Tain owing
to the deep fall of snow. The road between Tain and Thurso is in some
places covered with snow to the depth of from 6 to 15 feet. The mail is
carried forward on horseback, with great difficulty, and the hours of
arrival are quite uncertain. The snow is also so deep between Aberdeen and
Fochabers that the South Mail Coach, which used to reach Inverness about
eleven at night has not arrived for some days until seven in the
morning."—It is stated that at Inverness on the 4th and 5th inst. 295
barrels of coal were distributed from the Poor’s Coal Fund to 723 poor
persons residing within the town; also that on New-Year’s Day Provost
Robertson ordered 150 loaves of bread to be distributed among the poor
people connected with the Soup Kitchen.
Ibid.—The following curious notice
is addressed to a correspondent: —‘We are extremely sorry that we cannot
insert the communication from Ross-shire, as every article bearing a real
signature that appears in a newspaper is charged by the Stamp Office as an
Ibid.—An article referring, among
other subjects, to burgh reform, throws some light on the conditions of
the question. The writer, after expressing approval of the "prudent and
cautious extension of the elective franchise," says—’We have not been
clamorous for the revival (if, indeed, they ever existed) of those silly
and narrow laws and obsolete privileges, the benefit of which is claimed
by ancient crafts and corporations, to the manifest exclusion of all the
property, talent, and respectability existing in modern times, under the
denominations of lawyers, physicians, clergymen, teachers, men of letters,
artists, printers, annuitants, &c., because we have no motive in
representing the interests of miserable local factions as the interests of
the community." The writer implies that the "set" or constitution of any
burgh was at best of a restricted kind, and excluded many of the most
intelligent classes from the administration of municipal affairs.
January 13.—A record of the number
and tonnage of vessels entered at the Custom House of Inverness for the
year ending January 5th, 1820, shows an increase on the previous year of
259 vessels and 15,498 tons. The statement comprehends "all the minor
ports within the limits of the Inverness Custom House," but even so there
was room for congratulation on the rapid progress of the shipping trade.
January 27.—Complaint is made that a
recent change in the malt duty was unfavourable to the agricultural
interests of Scotland generally and of the Northern districts in
particular. "We are glad to understand, on the authority of a letter from
the Convener of Ross-shire, that the member for that county, before the
adjournment of Parliament, had an interview with the Chancellor of the
Exchequer for the purpose of pointing out the extreme injustice and
impolicy of a measure which imposes a higher malt duty on Scotland than
was paid during the war; and which must compel all the distillers in the
Northern Counties to abandon their works, and thus operate as a direct
encouragement to smuggling."
Ibid.—"At Moness House, on the 13th
curt., James Robertson, Esq., late of Killichangie, aged 96. He outlived
all his own family (the male part of which honourably bled and died in the
service of their country), and also all the companions of his youth. We
have frequently observed the death of ‘the last’ of Prince Charles
Edward’s followers announced, and now venture to assert, without fear of
contradiction, that this is the last of the officers who fought under him
at the battle of Culloden in 1746. He commanded a company of the Athole
Highlanders upon that memorable day; and being perfectly collected in his
senses to the last moments, his enthusiastic accounts of the deeds of
other years were truly interesting."
Ibid.—"Died, at Grant’s Braes, near
Haddington, on the 14th inst., Agnes Brown, the mother of Burns the Poet,
in the 88th year of her age."
February 3.—"Died, at Moyhall, on
Thursday the 20th ult., Sir Æneas Mackintosh, Bart., Chief of the Clan
Mackintosh, who was justly endeared to his numerous friends, relatives,
and dependents, by singular uprightness of mind and amenity of
disposition. Sir Æneas makes the fourth great Clan Chief whom this part of
the country has lost within the last few years— Seaforth, the Chief of the
Mackenzies; Lovat, the Chief of the Frasers; The Chisholm; and Sir Æneas
Mackintosh, having all died within a short period of each other." A
paragraph in the same issue states that the remains of the deceased Chief
were interred in Petty on New-Year’s Day, the funeral procession being a
very imposing spectacle.
Ibid.—"On the 21st ult., at the
Manse of Abernethy, the Rev. John Grant, minister of that parish, in the
81st year of his age. Early in life Mr Grant was presented to the living
of Arrocher, in Dumbartonshire whence he was in 1765 translated to
Abernethy. In the latter parish he discharged the duties of his station
with exemplary fidelity for the unusual period of 55 years. Happy in the
attachment of his family, and in the respect and esteem of his neighbours,
his time and attention were devoted with unwearied zeal to the spiritual
and temporal interests of his parishioners, by whom the memory of his good
offices and paternal care and solicitude will long be cherished with
feelings of gratitude and veneration."
Ibid.—A list of premiums is given,
awarded by the Highland Society of Scotland to farmers in Nairnshire,
Caithness, Skye, and other districts, for improvements in land and stock.
February 10—The death is announced
of King George Third, in the 82nd year of his age and the sixtieth of his
reign. The same issue contains an announcement of the proclamation of
George Fourth at the Exchange of Inverness, "with due solemnity." A salute
was fired by a party of the Inverness Local Militia who attended, and
patriotic and national airs were played by the band.
Ibid—An advertisement announces that
the Caledonian Coach, beginning on 1st March, would be run thrice every
week, instead of twice as formerly, "betwixt Inverness and Perth, across
the Grampian Mountains." In compliance with a wish very generally
expressed, it was to be run in one day between these places. "To attain
this end, the innkeepers on the road have become contractors, and the
horses will be changed at every stage. The days for starting from
Inverness will be every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and from Perth
every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of each week. The coach will be
despatched from both places at 5 o’clock in the morning; and will, from
calculations made, after allowing ample time for breakfast and dinner, at
suitable stations, reach its destination by ten o’clock at night at
February 17.—A proposal was at this
time on foot for establishing a musical society in Inverness, to be called
the Sacred Music Institution. The promoters were in correspondence with Mr
George Thomson, the friend of Burns, with the view of securing a teacher.
March 2—This number contains an
account of the conspiracy of Thistlewood and others (known as the Cato
Street Conspiracy) for the assassination of his Majesty’s Ministers. "The
traitors were actually met, in a loft they had hired as a rendezvous, and
were completely armed and ready to commence the butchery, when they were
surprised by the peace-officers and a party of the Coldstream Guards."
Ibid.—The exclusion of the Queen’s
name from the Liturgy, recorded in this issue, was the beginning of the
bitter struggle over the claims and character of the Consort of King
March 9.—Parliament was dissolved on
the 1t inst, and a new Parliament called for the 21st of April.
Ibid.—A riot occurred on the estate
of Culcairn through an attempt to remove the tenantry. A force, consisting
of twenty-five men of the Ross-shire Militia and forty constables, was
compelled to beat a retreat by a body of three or four hundred people,
chiefly women posted behind a stone dyke, "who rushed out upon the
soldiers with a hideous yell and attacked them with sticks, stones, and
other missiles." The Sheriff of the County, who accompanied the party,
suffered some injury, and had the panels of his carriage broken. A few
shots were, without orders, fired by the soldiers in self-defence, and two
or three women were severely wounded.
Ibid.—"Married, on the 1st March,
Lieut.-Colonel Colquhoun Grant, Forres, to Miss Margaret Brodie, second
daughter of James Brodie of Brodie, Esq."
Ibid.—"At Ardfreck, in the Isle of
Skye, on the 2nd ult., Mrs Macleod, Dowager of Talisker, at the advanced
age of 91. This excellent and accomplished lady had passed the earlier
years of her life in the politest circles of society in Europe. On the
Colonel’s death, in the year 1789, she retired to her jointure house,
where she passed her disconsolate widowhood, an eminent example of female
worth and dignity to her sex, in the duties of fervent Christian devotion
and extensive charity."
March 16.—In course of the General
Election now in progress, there was a keen struggle between the Fife and
Seafield interests in Elgin. Two of the Councillors in Colonel Grant’s
interest were picked up and carried off to the coast of Sutherland. A day
or two afterwards a force of tenantry from the Grant estates in Strathspey
assembled and marched to Grant Lodge at Elgin. A short account of this,
the last Highland Raid on record, is given in this issue. Full particulars
appeared in our columns some years ago, written by the late Bailie Stuart.
The paper was republished in the 21st Volume of the Transactions of the
Ibid.—"We state with deep regret the
death of Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Avoch, who on Saturday last suddenly
expired at Mullinearn, on his way to the North to attend the Ross-shire
election." Sir Alexander was sixty-five years of age, having been born in
1755. He discovered and explored the Mackenzie River in the North-West of
America, and was the first white man to cross the Rocky Mountains and
reach the Pacific Coast.
Ibid—"Died, at the Manse of Tain, on
the 3rd curt., Mrs Margaret Brodie, widow of the late Rev. Charles Calder,
minister of Urquhart." A long paragraph speaks very highly of this lady’s
character and accomplishments.—"At Sharrow Head, near Sheffield, on the
7th inst., Major-General Patrick Mackenzie, colonel of the 3rd Royal
Veteran Battalion, after 42 years’ active employment in the service of his
Ibid.—It is stated that Colonel
Baillie of Leys had been returned as one of the representatives of the
burgh of Hedon.
March 23.—An important meeting at
Dornoch complained of an Act passed for the encouragement and improvement
of the Irish fisheries. This Act granted higher bounties to the Irish
fish-curers, and privileges not enjoyed by their British competitors; and
as a consequence the latter could not compete in the market with the Irish
fish-curer. It was stated at the meeting that "in several parts of the
North of Scotland, and particularly in the county of Sutherland, the
prosecution of the herring and white fisheries is of recent date"; that in
Sutherland the industry had been fostered by the patronage of the Marquis
of Stafford, and gave employment to a numerous population.
Ibid—Mr Thomas Mackenzie, yr. of
Applecross, was re-elected member for Ross-shire without opposition. His
election was proposed by Mr Macleod of Cadboll, and seconded by Sir Hector
Mackenzie of Gairloch.
Ibid.—Rev. Alexr. Macbean, minister
of Kincardine, writes on the subject of the Culrain riots. He strongly
disapproves of the removal of the tenantry, but announces that they had
accepted the writs served on them by the Sheriff Officer.
Ibid.—The contest at Elgin, with
kidnapping of voters and incursion from Strathspey, recalls the following
anecdote:—"Seventy years since the proprietor of Kinsteary was opposed to
the Laird of Grant as a candidate for representing the county of
Inverness. The men of Strathspey, indignant that any Lowlander should
presume to compete with their Chief, came in datached parties to the
neighbourhood of Inverness, pretending to have lost a great number of
cattle. Ten chosen scouts watched even movement of their destined prey,
and seizing a favourable moment, one threw a plaid over Kinsteary’s head
and the others hoodwinked his companions in the same manner. The candidate
for the county was detained among the hills until the Laird of Grant was
returned for the county, and several years passed before that Chief was
informed what individuals made the bold effort to insure his election."
March 30.—On the 23rd, Mr Macpherson-Grant
of Ballindalloch was elected M.P. for the county of Sutherland. On the
same day Colonel Francis William Grant of Grant was elected member for the
county of Moray.
April 6 and 13.—The Right Hon.
Charles Grant was unanimously re-elected member of Parliament for the
county of Inverness. The nomination was made by Glengarry and seconded by
Glenmoriston. Mr Grant delivered a speech, which is reported at
considerable length, and in the evening entertained a large party to
dinner in the Northern Meeting Rooms. A few evenings thereafter he gave a
supper and ball to the young people.—Mr George Cumming, London, was
re-elected member for the Inverness District of Burghs, the election
taking place at Forres.—The Hon. George Pryce Campbell, captain, R.N.,
second son of Lord Cawdor was elected member for the county of Nairn.—Sir
Hugh Innes of Lochalsh was re-elected for the Northern Burghs.—Mr
Archibald Farquharson of Finzean was elected for the Elgin District of
Burghs by the casting vote of the delegate for Cullen, the presiding
burgh, General Duff being the defeated candidate. In this case no
commissioned delegate appeared for Elgin, but competing minutes of Council
were read in favour of two nominees, each appointed to vote for the rival
candidate; but both votes were rejected.—The Earl of Fife was re-elected
member for Banffshire.
April 13.—This issue gives an
account of proceedings in Glasgow and Paisley in connection with a general
strike of workmen and a threatened rising. Disturbances also occurred at
Ibid.—An epidemic of influenza is
reported in Inverness, the illness being attended by headache, sore throat
and other disagreeable symptoms.
May 4.—This issue contains a report
of the trial of Thistlewood and his companions. Five were sentenced to
Ibid.—A vacancy in the situation of
Latin teacher in the Inverness Academy was filled by the appointment of Mr
Carmichael from the School of Crieff. "The filling up of this vacancy,"
says the report, "is known to have excited a very deep interest in this
part of the country. We formerly mentioned that the contest had added
£1000 to the funds and 20 names to the list of directors; but before the
day was done the money and the names were more than doubled." This is an
indication of the strife of local parties in those days in the burgh.
May 11.—The Treasurer of the
Inverness Auxiliary of the Bible Society reported receipt of sums from
town and county amounting to £248 7s.
Ibid.—"Died, at Garguston of
Redcastle, on the 28th uIt., Alexander Macfarquhar alias Roy (one of the
oldest men in this pert of the country) at the advanced age of 103 years;
he was one of those whose attachment to the unfortunate and Royal Family
of Stewart led him in 1746 to support their cause at the battle of
May 18.—At Milnfield, on the 7th
curt., Mr Alexander Macdonell, who for 37 years practised as a writer in
May 25.—The death is recorded on the
12th inst., in the 70th year of his age, of the Rev. Isaac Ketchen, for
upwards of 40 years minister of the Secession Congregation at Nairn. "No
minister could be better entitled to the character of father and friend of
his people, or more beloved by them and respected by all classes of the
community in the town and neighbourhood. The circumstances of his death
were remarkably solemn and impressive. He had preached on Sabbath with
great animation and effect, on Matthew, 25th chapter, 13th verse: ‘Watch,
therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man
cometh’— rose in his usual health on Friday morning— had come from his
closet (after praying for the last time to his Father who seeth in secret)
to the breakfast room, where the family were assembled for social worship,
and had the Psalm-book in hand to begin, when he leaned his head on the
table, and without a groan breathed his spirit into the hands of his
Father and his God.’
June 15.—The return of the Queen to
England is chronicled, and the excitement which her claims created. The
sympathy of the people was in her favour.
Ibid.—The annual meeting of the
Northern Missionary Society was held on the 14th at Inverness. Collections
were intimated amounting to £93 19s 6d.
June 22.—The annual Sheep and Wool
Market began on the 20th. Little business was done in sheep, but wool sold
at prices rather higher than were expected. Common wool per double stone
from 18s to 20s; Cheviot wool per single stone from 20s to 22s; Cheviot
sheep from 20s to 25s; blackfaced sheep from 20s to 23s; Cheviot lambs
from 10s to 11s; blackfaced lambs from 7s to 8s 6d; croke ewes from 16s to
17s; wedder hoggs from 15s to 16s. At Fort-William Market the previous
week no business was directly done in wool the highest price offered being
16s; but some sales were conditionally made, the prices to be determined
by the Inverness Market
Ibid—The Rev. Mr Martin, of the
Chapel of Ease, Inverness, was presented to the Church of Abernethy,
vacant by the death of Mr Grant.
Ibid.—A steamboat, owned by Mr Bell,
arrived in the Canal Basin, to ply on Loch-Ness. "It is intended that the
steamboat shall go to Fort-Augustus every morning and return to Inverness
June 24.—"The steamboat has now
performed six successful voyages on Loch-Ness and the Caledonian Canal,
going off in the morning, and returning from Fort-Augustus every night.
Nothing more forcibly shows the rapid improvement of this country, and the
enterprising commercial spirit spread abroad among the people than the
facility afforded to travellers. Three daily coaches, and one coach on
alternate days, now set out from and arrive at Inverness, which very few
years back no public vehicle approached; and which within the memory of
living men seemed as unapproachable as Stornoway or Lerwick. The former,
by the way, is now to be brought home, for we understand that a steamboat
is to be established at Stornoway." In the same issue there is an
advertisement of through communication between Inverness and Fort-William.
It was announced that a steamboat would ply regularly three times a-week
between Inverness and Fort-Augustus; and that every Saturday a two-horse
conveyance (or if business would admit one with four horses) and a light
waggon would run from Fort-Angustus to Fort-William, returning the
following Monday. This was to connect with the steamer Comet plying
between Fort-William and Glasgow. The enterprising person who started the
conveyance was Mr. William Geddes, vintner, Inverness. He also proposed to
establish at an early date a conveyance from Invermoriston to Kyle Rhea,
on the Sound of Skye. The fare from Inverness to Fort-Augustus was—Cabin,
5s; steerage, 3s 6d; and from Inverness to Fort-William, 12s. "Thus it
will be in the power of the tourist to go in handsome style from Inverness
to Edinburgh, including boat and coach hires, for the small sum of 54s,
and steerage passengers may go the same distance for the very moderate
fare of 32s." As regards the Loch-Ness steamer, it was stated that it was
"elegantly and commodiously fitted up." that refreshments of every
description, of the best quality, would be sold on board on reasonable
terms; and that books and music would be provided. The vessel sailed from
Muirtown Locks every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and made the return
journey from Fort-Augustus every Monday, Wednesday. and Friday.
July 6.—Died, at Inverness, on
Sunday 25th June last, aged 60, Mr Donald Macpherson, many years one of
the Magistrates of Inverness.
July 13—This issue contains an
account of the proceedings of the House of Lords, when the report of the
Secret Committee on the Queen’s case was submitted, and Lord Liverpool
brought in a bill for the dissolution of the Royal marriage and depriving
the Queen of her rights and privileges.
Ibid.—The Sacred Music Institution
formed at Inverness advertises classes to be conducted by Mr Huntly. A
long letter appears from Mr George Thomson, the correspondent of Burns, on
the improvement of psalmody.
July 27.—A cattle market was held
for the first time at Bridge-End of Alness, on the 19th curt.—The
Invergordon Horticultural Society held its first meeting for the
distribution of premiums "at the village of Invergordon Ness" on the 15th.
August 3.—On Monday, 31st July, the
Rev. Hector Bethune, minister of Alness, was inducted into the church and
living of Dingwall, vacant by the translation of the Rev. Dr A. Stewart to
the Canongate Church of Edinburgh.
August 10.—The hotels and
lodging-houses in Inverness are reported as very crowded. This was partly
due to the facilities afforded by the steamer recently placed on
Loch-Ness, with its through connection via Fort-William. It was announced
that the steamer was to go down the Moray Firth the following week, "for
the purpose of exhibiting her usefulness and stirring up gentlemen of
public spirit to establish a boat on the Firth for conveying goods and
passengers." On several occasions the vessel had been unable to carry all
the goods sent to Muir-town Wharf.
Ibid.—"The Airs and Melodies
Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles, vocally arranged with
symphonies and accompaniments for the pianoforte, &c. Vol. I." is
announced by the editor, Captain Fraser, as about to be published by
subscription. Captain Fraser had before this issued a volume of Highland
melodies, which met with much success in his native country. He had,
however, sent a large consignment abroad, which had resulted in serious
loss, owing, apparently, to the competition of a pirated edition published
August 17.—A meeting was held and a
Committee appointed for the establishment of a subscription library in
August 24.—It is stated that markets
had recently been established at Muir of 0rd, and promised well. The
number of cattle exposed for sale were computed to be from three to four
Ibid.—"Arrived at Bennet’s Hotel,
John Gladtone, Esq., of Liverpool, M.P., and family."
August 31.—A large part of this
issue is devoted to speeches and evidence at the Queen’s trial.—The Rev.
Legh Richmond, of Purvey, in Bedfordshire, visited Inverness to commend a
movement for promoting Christianity among the Jews.
September 7.—The Northern Missionary
Society held its anniversary meeting at Tain on the 30th ult.
Subscriptions and donations were announced to the amount of £122 19s 6d.
lbid.—"Married, on the 23rd August,
at La Columbriere, Jersey, by the Dean of the Island, Major William
Mackay, 68th Light Infantry, to Margaret, only child of Captain Robert
Mackay of Hedgefield, Inverness."—"At Hartfield House, on Tuesday, 22nd
August, James Macdonald, Esq. of Balranald and younger of Lyndale, to Miss
Jane Mackenzie, third daughter of the deceased Captain Mackenzie of
Hartfield. The event was celebrated in the true old style of Highland
hospitality, there being upwards of 30 ladies and gentlemen present, who
did not separate till the end of the week, but tripping it on the light
fantastic toe to the enlivening sounds of Mr Morrison’s excellent band,
and sharing in the liberal hospitalities of Hartfield and Applecross
House, the residence of the worthy member for Ross-shire."
September 14.—The whole of the
evidence for the prosecution of the Queen was now ended, and the House of
Lords adjourned to the 3rd of October.
Ibid.—Three civil cases were tried
at Inverness before Lord Gillies and a jury. The first had reference to a
weir on the River Ness. the second to a commonty claim from Sutherland,
and the third was an action by the Rev. Dr Ross, Lochbroom. The special
interest affecting these cases arose from the presence of Mr Jeffrey and
Mr Cockburn as counsel. The Court was crowded almost to suffocation during
the three days, and the eloquence and ingenuity of the advocates created a
September 21.—There was some
commotion in prospect of the annual election of the Town Council of Elgin.
Eight of the members issued a circular, in which they declared that their
intentions are "to vote into the Town Council such gentlemen only as are
fully qualified agreeably to the set of the burgh," and that "neither
threats nor any consideration whatever" would deter them from exercising
their just rights "in order to restore to the burgesses of Elgin their
lawful franchise, and thereby to put an end to a yoke of the most
degrading and arbitrary nature." The subscribers of the circular call upon
the Sheriffs of the county, the Magistrates, and every good citizen, to
give them that protection which as loyal subjects they were entitled to
claim. In the same issue there is a report on the Royal Burghs of Scotland
by a Select Committee of the House of Commons. Among other matters, this
report calls attention to an extraordinary set of facts disclosed by
Colonel Francis William Grant, M.P. "It appears that Colonel Grant was
Provost of the burgh of Elgin during the years 1816, 1817, and 1818; also
Provost of Forres during two of those same years, 1816 and 1817; and also
in the Council of the burgh of Nairn from the year 1812 to the present
time inclusive. It is required by the sets of three out of the four
burghs, of which Colonel Grant was in Council at the same time, that the
members of Council should be merchants or traffickers within the
respective burghs. It must be superfluous to the Committee to observe that
these four burghs are so far distant from each other as to render the
observance of this provision of the sets of three of them wholly
incompatible with the facto detailed in the evidence." The Committee,
however, add that the irregularity was due rather to the defects of the
system than to the individual.
September 28.—A correspondent
writes:—"A complete revolution has been effected in the burgh management
of Elgin at the present election. The contending parties approached the
goal neck and neck, but the F— interest finally predominated. We now
stand—Alexr. Innes, Esq., Provost; Messrs John Forsyth, Peter Nicholson,
David Connie, and William Dunbar, Bailies; Lewis Anderson, Dean of Guild;
Robert Dick, Treasurer. Last night the town of Elgin was brilliantly
illuminated, and numbers of the inhabitants paraded the streets with
torch-lights to celebrate the present election of Magistrates and Town
Council." This was probably a reaction against the Strathspey Raid.
September 28.—This issue contains
extracts from Mr Loch’s work on the Improvements in Sutherland.
October 5.—Sir William
Gordon-Cumming of Altyre elected Provost of Nairn.—Mr Macpherson-Grant of
Ballindalloch, M.P., elected Provost of Wick. This compliment was paid to
Mr Macpherson-Grant on the motion of Sir John Sinclair, in recognition of
his services to the fisheries.
Ibid.—A sum of £50 was remitted by
Mr Kenneth Macpherson of Jamaica, being subscriptions collected in the
Colony in aid of the Society for Educating the Poor in the Highlands.
October 12.—A long report is given
of the proceedings connected with the trial of the Queen, and the same
subject continues to engross subsequent issues.
Ibid.—"The ladies of Elgin have
presented the new Provost with a handsome gold chain, to be worn by him
and his successors in office so long as the Magistrates and Council
maintain their independence"—Colin Mackenzie of Kilcoy was elected Provost
of Dingwall, and Roderick Macfarquhar Provost of Fortrose.
October 19.—The steamboat between
Glasgow and Fort-William had been so successful that another boat was to
be put on the route, and the voyage performed twice a week.
Ibid—"So great is the interest
excited by the trial of the Queen that a Reading-room has been established
at Brora, where the principal London papers are taken in."
October 26.—The Northern Meeting was
held the previous week. The Marquis of Huntly (described as "the life and
soul of every society") was absent, but otherwise there was a satisfactory
attendance. The chair was filled successively by Mr Macleod of Cadboll,
Sir James Dunbar, and Sir William Gordon-Cumming. Neighbouring proprietors
sent presents of game.
Ibid.—The premiums given by the
Board of Agriculture for the best cultivated farm in the county of Moray
had been adjudged in the previous May to Mrs Geddes of Orbliston, The lady
was permitted to make her own choice of plate, and now received two
handsome cups, a tea-pot, milk-ewer, and sugar bowl, with a suitable
inscription. The improvements were planned by her deceased husband "at a
period when the spirit of agricultural exertion in Morayshire was by no
means so conspicuous as at present" They consisted in the conversion of
"fifty acres of moorish ground, on which previously not a blade of grass
or corn had ever grown, into excellent arable land, by the liberal use of
lime and a judicious mode of subsequent improvement." Mrs Geddes had
continued the work on obtaining a renewal of the lease.
Ibid.—The Right Hon. William Dundas,
M P., was elected Provost of Tain, and the Marquis of Stafford Provost of
November 9.—Mr J. Murray, who was
lecturing on chemistry in Inverness, contributes an article on the
constituents of the water of the River Ness. He says that Loch-Ness does
not freeze because the water is so deep that the severest of our winters
fails to reduce the surface to freezing point.
November 16.—The second reading of
the bill for divorcing the Queen was carried in the Lords by a majority of
28. On the third reading, however, the majority fell to 9, and Ministers
then abandoned the bill.
November 23.—This issue contains a
report of rejoicings throughout the country on the abandonment of the
Divorce Bill. At Inverness an intimation was circulated that a number of
the inhabitants intended to illuminate on the evening of Tuesday, 21st.
The Magistrates thereupon announced that this intimation was wholly
unauthorised by them, and that if any illumination took place, steps would
be taken to secure the public peace. With this view, and to protect those
who did not illuminate, the Magistrates invited a number of gentlemen to
assist in keeping the peace, and also called out the Civil Force and the
detachment of Militia stationed at Inverness. "This force," says the
report, "assembled on Tuesday evening, but happily there was no occasion
for their interference, as the people behaved with propriety and good
humour, which do credit to the character of the town. At the hour
announced (6 o’clock) those intending to illuminate, lighted up; and as
the evening was uncommonly soft and beautiful, a very great concourse of
persons of both sexes traversed the streets to enjoy the novelty of the
scene. The illumination was very partial in the principal streets of the
town, the thick blaze being confined to the west side of the river and the
different suburbs. Fire-works and huzzaing completed the circle of the
ordinary accompaniments of illumination; and if the people were
occasionally a little loud in their exultation, it all passed off very
well on a night consecrated by them to enjoyment. We have heard of no
offence being committed; and have much pleasure in stating that no insult
was offered to the private feelings of either the Lighters or
December 21.—"Sir Hugh Innes, Bart.,
has made arrangements for plying a large steamboat, calculated for the
conveyance of bulky commodities between Kyleakin, in Lochalsh, and
Glasgow, once a week, to commence early in spring." The next issue states
that a steamboat called the Highland Chieftain made the first voyage to
Kyleakin about a fortnight before.