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The Northern Highlands in the Nineteenth Century

The disputed settlement at Kiltarlity continued to excite interest in 1823, and another case occurred in the parish of Croy, which led to several arrests and punishment. In the first half of the year there was a heavy snowstorm, which affected the Highland Road less than other parts of the country. The restoration of the burgh franchise to Inverness excited discussion, and there was an amendment of the law affecting distilleries, made in the hope of putting an end to smuggling. The extent to which illicit traffic was carried on is shown by the fact that at a Justice of Peace Court in Inverness nearly four hundred persons were fined either for making spirits or selling them without a licence.

The death of Charles Grant, on the 31st of October 1823, brought to a close a remarkable career. Mr Mackay in his History of Urquhart traces his lineage, and there is a pretty full account of his life in the Dictionary of National Biography. Mr Grant was descended from a younger branch of the Grants of Shewglie. His mother was a daughter of Donald Macbean, tenant of Aldourie, where the boy was born. His father, Alexander Grant, was out in the ‘45 and was known as the Swordsman. He was wounded at Culloden on the very day of his son’s birth. After a successful career in India, Mr Grant returned to this country, where he acquired fresh reputation as a Director and as Chairman of the East India Company. He represented the county of Inverness in Parliament from 1802 to 1818, and did much to promote Highland interests. Mr Grant was married to Jane, daughter of Thomas Fraser, younger son of the family of Balnain, and left two sons, who acquired distinction, namely, Charles, Lord Glenelg, who was member for the county of Inverness for many years, and Sir Robert Grant, who represented the Inverness Burghs for a time, and was in his later years Governor of Bombay.

From the "Inverness Courier.’

January 9.—On the application of Sir James Dunbar of Boath, his Majesty’s cruiser, the Cherokee, was sent to the Inverness Roads to receive on board Mr Adam, the Rector of the Academy, in order to ascertain the practicability of certain observations at sea. The arrival of the vessel excited great interest. The Cherokee entered the Caledonian Canal, and lay in the basin at Muirtown, "being the first of his Majesty’s ships which has passed through the locks of that great national work." Mr Adam went on board and carried out his observations.

Ibid.—Died at Dumfries, on the 17th ult., aged 65, Mr William Haig. He had been fourteen years teacher in the Inverness Academy, and 18 years teacher in Dumfries. Mr Haig was an accomplished man, versed in the Greek, Latin, and French languages.

January 16.—Three men were tried at the High Court of Justiciary charged with having assaulted the porter of the Caledonian Coach Office at Inverness at the gate of a lodging-house in Church Street, and with having robbed him of a trunk containing bills and papers. The jury convicted two of the prisoners, but recommended them to mercy. The Judge sentenced the prisoners to be executed at Inverness, but promised to forward the jury’s recommendation to the proper quarter. The sentence was afterwards commuted to transportation.

January 23.—There was a very heavy snow storm at this time, general over the kingdom. It was noted as singular that the Highland road from Perth to Inverness was open, while the coast road was almost impassable. The mails to the North of Inverness were carried on horseback.

Ibid.—Died, at his residence, the Barracks, at the head of Loch-Rannoch, on the 17th ult., in the 82nd year of his age, Colonel Alexander Robertson of Strowan, chief of Clan Donnachie. In his youth he served in the Scots Brigade in Holland, and frequently distinguished himself in fighting the battles of the States General. On the restoration of the forfeited estates in 1784, he came to Scotland and took possession of his inheritance. Soon afterwards he went to America as Major in the Duke of Hamilton’s Regiment. "Tired of the bustle of the tented field, Colonel Robertson returned to his native hills to spend the remainder of his life in retirement, and in exerting his influence and his means in promoting the welfare of his clansmen, by whom he was regarded as a father." His remains were interred with imposing ceremony, the coffin being carried to the grave by 12 men of the name of Robertson.

February 6.—At an Inverness County meeting, communications were read from the proprietors of Kelp estates on the Western Islands, and on the coasts of Shetland, protesting against the late reduction of the duty on foreign barilla. The meeting drew up a petition to Parliament on the subject. Mr Fraser of Culbokie stated that the last county meeting had come to the resolution of postponing for some time the consideration of all proposals and plans for erecting a new jail and court-house, on account of the heavy local assessments and the great agricultural distress prevailing. Plans for the improvement of the existing Court-house were submitted, and referred to a Committee. The meeting had also under consideration a bill for maintaining the Highland roads and bridges by means of tolls instead of county assessments. Resolutions were adopted with reference to agricultural distress and the laws relating to distilleries.

February 14.—"Eight of the ten mails due us from the South have arrived this morning." The delay was caused by the great snowstorm.

February 27.—There was strong opposition to the settlement of the Rev. Alexander Campbell, of Dores, as parish minister of Croy. The new minister and a party of friends were met on Sunday by a crowd of parishioners posted behind the Church-yard wall, and were driven off. After "a short but sharp conflict," they retired to the village of Tornagrain. "There they not only rallied, but actually turned upon the too rash advanced guard of the enemy, and made prisoners of two women and three men." These persons and others afterwards arrested were examined before the Sheriff and committed for trial.

March 6.—A decided improvement in agricultural prices is recorded after a long depression.

March 13.—"We understand that Mrs Gibson has resigned the superintendence of the Church Street Boarding School for young ladies, and that it is no longer the intention of the Magistrates to make any allowance from the town funds to any one that may succeed her in that situation."

March 20.—The Right Hon. Charles Grant had been appointed Vice-President of the Board of Trade. He had accordingly to come to the constituency for re-election.

March 27.—The Presbytery of Nairn met the previous Thursday, when objections were heard against the presentee to Croy. The debate lasted nearly four hours. The Presbytory resolved to refer the case to the Synod of Moray for advice.

April 3.—Copies were circulated of the bill brought into Parliament "for erecting toll-gates and levying tolls on certain roads and bridges in the Highlands of Scotland." The "Courier" explains why such a measure was necessary. The roads could not possibly be supported under the provisions of the existing Act. In the county of Inverness the outlay for 1822 amounted to £2,098; and the maximum assessment provided by the Act, with the Parliamentary allowance, amounted to no more than £901 8s 8d, leaving a deficiency of £1196 11s 4d. In the county of Ross there was a similar deficiency of £673 7s 1d; in Sutherland of £38 8s 11d; in Caithness of £119; and in Argyll of £52 16s 9d. "All these additional sums fell to be equally divided between the counties and the Commissioners and the circumstance has been the cause of just complaint from both parties."

lbid.—The same issue contains the report of a debate in the House of Commons on a motion by Lord Archibald Hamilton for production of the Privy Council warrant under which the elective franchise of the burgh of Inverness had been restored. The motion was rejected by a majority of 18, the numbers being 51 to 33. In his speech, Lord Archibald went over the circumstances which had led to the suspension of the municipal constitution of Inverness for several years. "At the end of last year," he added, "it had pleased his Majesty, with the advice of his Ministers, to appoint, by his special warrant, particular persons to elect councillors for this burgh. Under that warrant the same persons had been returned to office who had three years before been turned out by the sentence of the Court of Law." He also mentioned that in the original action to reduce the election of 1817, the petitioning burgesses had been compelled to pay the whole expenses, amounting to £1400, while the Magistrates had defended the action at the expense of the burgh. The Lord Advocate, in opposing Lord Archibald’s motion, said that the warrant which he asked for was a warrant granted not by her Majesty’s Ministers, but by the Privy Council of Great Britain, "authorising these Magistrates to exercise the right previously exercised by those who had preceded them—that of choosing their own successors in office"; and he contended that in issuing the warrant a wise and sound discretion had been exercised. An editorial article on the question recalls the original dispute, and concludes as follows —"The sett of the burgh of Inverness confines the eligibility of Magistrates and Councillors to trafficking merchants or malt-men. As there are now no malt-men, of course the eligibility is confined to traffickers. They alone are qualified to sit at the Council Board and deliberate on the common weal. The lath Magistrates ventured to extend the privilege a little further, by electing three persons, who had every qualification but that arising from shop-keeping traffick. Immediately the hue and cry was raised by the very persons who are perpetually complaining of the narrow selfishness of the burgh system. One might imagine that the offence of the Magistrates had been to confine the eligibility within narrower bounds than the sett prescribed; but it will scarce be credited that the offence lay in extending the eligibility."

Ibid.—A paragraph announces that arrangements had been made for the re-erection and accommodation of the public in the extensive premises called Geddes’s Buildings in High Street, by throwing what was formerly occupied as an Athenaeum into a billiard room and newsroom. Offices were to be established in the same building for coaches and steamboats. A subsequent paragraph says that the management was continued as before.

April 10.—"A steamboat for the Caledonian Canal navigation is now building upon the new construction on the banks of the Canal near Kinmylies. It is proposed to be about sixty feet long, and will be finished in the course of two months."

April 17.—The Right Hon. Charles Grant was unanimously re-elected member of Parliament for the county of Inverness. His election was moved by Mr Grant of Rothiemurchus, and seconded by Mr Baillie of Dochfour. The presiding officer, Sheriff Gilzean, reported that it had been impossible to make intimation of the writ in four parishes of the Long Island on account of the high winds and tempestuous seas which prevailed for eight days together. Affilavits on the point were produced, and a minute recorded. It seemed that the same thing had occurred in 1782 at the time of the election of General Fraser of Lovat. On that occasion the matter was passed over in silence, but it was now considered proper to say that all that was possible to be done had been done, and that therefore the provisions of the law bad been substantially complied with. The newly-elected member was not present, but his father entertained a party of seventy to dinner in the Northern Meeting Rooms.

Ibid—Great regret is expressed at the death of Dr M. T. Bethune, Inverness, son of the late minister of Dornoch, who had been cut off at the beginning of a promising career as a medical practitioner. He is described as "one of our most distinguished citizens."

April 24.—It was announced that a reduction of duties on Scottish whisky would take place on 11th October, but that in the meantime Scottish distillers as well as Irish were to be allowed to bond the spirits without previous payment of the duty.

lbid.—At the Synod of Moray, held at Forres, great interest was taken in the cases of opposed settlement from the parishes of Kiltarlity and Croy. The spokesmen for the Presbytery of Inverness expressed "their perfect readiness to settle the Rev. Colin Fraser in the parish of Kiltarlity under protest that in doing so they would be, nevertheless, at liberty to bring to a close their process of declaration in the Civil Court." This was acquiesced in by the Synod. The case of Croy led to long debate, but it was ultimately carried unanimously that the settlement of the Rev. Mr Campbell should take place in July.

Ibid.—At the Circuit Court of Inverness several persons were indicted for riotous and disorderly conduct in obstructing the entrance of Mr Campbell to the church of Croy. Counsel for the defence challenged twenty of the jurymen summoned for the trial, and the Crown Agent challenged two. This reduced the number of jurymen to thirteen, so that the Court had to desert the diet. The prosecutor, however, intimated that he was determined to try the cases, and would bring them before the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh.

May 8.—"The Senatus Academicus of King’s College, Aberdeen, have conferred the degree of D.D. on the Rev. Angus Mackintosh, minister of Tain. The friends of Dr Mackintosh must feel highly gratified by the unanimous and very handsome manner in which this deserved distinction has been conferred upon him by the University of which he was an alumnus.

lbid.—"Died, at Brahan Castle, on Thursday the 24th April, the Hon. Caroline Mackenzie, third daughter of the late Lord Seaforth; deeply and universally lamented. Her untimely death was occasioned by an accident in a low carriage, in company with her sister, which thus terminated in the prime of life her unobtrusive, though eminently useful and virtuous, career of Christian piety and benevolence.’

May 15.—At the anniversary meeting of the Inverness Bible Society, it was intimated that since the former anniversary a sum of £180 had been remitted to the parent Society, and about four hundred Bibles and Testaments distributed by the Depositary. In addition to the annual subscriptions contributions amounting to £106 were intimated from the Inverness Juvenile Society and from district branches.

lbid.—The settlement of the Rev. Colin Fraser in the parish of Kiltarlity was carried out om the 8th inst. without incident beyond the reading of a notarial protest in terms of the agreement arrived at by the Synod.

lbid.—Died, at the Manse of Uig, on the 1st of May, after a short illness, the Rev. Hugh Munro minister of that parish, in the 76th year of his age and 46th of his ministry. A high tribute is paid to his character, which mentions, among other virtues, that "he was an utter stranger to the malignity of party spirit."

May 22.—Decision was given by the Court of Session on the question raised by a majority of the Presbytery of Inverness in connection with the presentation to Kiltarlity. The Presbytery contended that the presentation granted to Mr Colin Fraser by Lovat’s Cornmissioner was null in respect of Lovat’s own religious faith; and, secondly, that the right of presenting had fallen to the Presbytery through the delay of a presentation by a qualified patron. The defender maintained three pleas: 1st, that the Presbytery stood committed by having actually sustained the presentation in question before it bethought itself of opposition and resistance; 2nd, that even if the presentation by Lovat’s Commissioner was invalid, the right to present by resolution would pass, not to the Presbytery but to the Crown, in terms of the very statute on which the Presbytery itself founded; and 3rd, that at all events the said statute of Queen Anne, by which Catholic patrons are restricted in certain cases from exercising the rights of presentation, did not apply to this case, Mr Fraser of Lovat having neither "signed a presentation" nor refused any test "tendered to him," which are the only cases or circumstances to which the penal statute of Queen Anne refers. The Court (one Judge differing) held that the two preliminary defences were amply sufficient for the defender’s protection, and therefore that it was unnecessary to decide the remaining point. Accordingly their lordships dismissed the action at the instance of the Presbytery, and found the Presbytery liable in expenses.

May 29.—"James Cumming, millwright, died here last week at the advanced age of 101. His wife, aged 90, is now living here. Cumming was a native of Morayshire, being born at Mundole, near Altyre, and had the merit of first executing many excellent meal and thrashing mills in the Northern Counties upon the most improved construction. He had a great genius for mechanics, and there remain many specimens of his curious workmanship."

Ibid.—"Died, at the Manse of Glenshiel, on Sunday the 11th curt., having on that day completed his 75th year, the Rev. John Macrae, 46 years minister of that parish. A man whose vigorous powers of mind, pure integrity, and great warmth of heart, secured him the love and esteem of all who knew him."—"At Nairn, on the 22nd ult., John Gunn, Esq., Sheriff-Substitute of that county. He was a sound and an upright judge, an honourable man; a sincere friend, and an affectionate relative."

June 5.—"At a Justice of Peace Court held here [at Inverness] on Tuesday last for the punishment of offenders against the Excise Laws, nearly four hundred persons from the districts of the Aird, Strathglass, and Urquhart, were convicted and fined in small sums. Those detected in illicit distillation were generally fined in twenty shillings each; and for selling spirits without a licence the general fines were four guineas."

Ibid.—"Married, at Devonshire House, London. on the 26th ult., Earl Gower, eldest son of the Marquis of Stafford to lady Harriet Howard, daughter of Lord Morpeth." The event was celebrated with great rejoicings in the county of Sutherland.

lbid.—The Society for the Suppression of Begging held its annual meeting in the Town Hall. Subscriptions and donations amounted to £251, but the Society had incurred debt to the amount of £24. Subscriptions in the Landward part of the parish had fallen off. The number of persons receiving aid was 114.

Ibid.—At the General Assembly the petition of the Rev. John Fraser, minister of Kiltarlity, was considered. The substance of his complaint was as follows:—"The Presbytery of Inverness delayed the settlement of the petitioner till May 1823, although they were directed to induct him with all convenient speed. A great majority of the members of Presbytery protested against the settlement, and not only caused their protest to be recorded, but also to be read in the Church of Kiltarlity during divine service and on the day of his settlement; and had caused it also to be published in the public newspapers, which circumstance, the petitioner complained, had materially influenced his usefulness and respectability as a minister." The Presbytery did not put in an appearance, and the majority who were concerned in the proceedings were enjoined to appear personally at the bar of the next General Assembly.

June 12.—The Northern Missionary Society held their twenty-third anniversary in the High Church, Inverness. Collections and subscriptions amounted to £88 9s.

Ibid.—On Thursday last the foundation-stone of Anderson’s Institution for the education of the poor children of Forres, Rafford, and Kinloss, was laid in Forres with the usual ceremonies. "This Institution is founded and will be supported from funds left by the late Jonathan Anderson. Esq., of Glasgow, a native of Forres, who also mortified some feu grounds in Glasgow, which yield about £100 sterling per annum for the benefit of poor householders in Inverness."

June 19.—The trial of four men and one woman for rioting at Croy in connection with the presentation of the new minister to the pastorate came off on the 9th inst. before the High Court of Justiciary. The charge against one of the men was found not proven; all the others were found guilty. A petition was laid before the Court from Rev. Mr Campbell, praying the Court to inflict as lenient a punishment as possible, as the prisoners had been betrayed into error, and the bad spirit was rapidly subsiding in the parish. One of the prisoners was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment, and the others, including the woman, to two months, in the jail of Inverness. A second woman who had been indicted did not appear.

Ibid.—On Tuesday, 17th inst., Thomas Alexander Fraser of Lovat (grandfather of the present Lord Lovat) attained his majority. The occasion was celebrated with rejoicing throughout the Lovat estates. Bonfires and entertainments marked every district. "The view from Beaufort presented to the assembled company at the Castle one of the finest scenes that can be conceived. The summit of every hillock, as well as of every higher mountain, started into a blaze. and the whole line of country over the brown heather and along the valleys seemed covered with light and gladness." At Beaufort about one hundred gentlemen sat down to dinner, for which tables were spread in the Court. The health of Lovat was proposed by the Marquis of Huntly, and pledged with great enthusiasm. At Foyers, Mr Fraser, the proprietor, had a bullock killed and distributed with ale and whisky among his tenantry and neighbours. A splendid bonfire was kindled on Cairnderg, a mile above the house of Foyers.

[James Barron, the compiler of these accounts, appears to have confused the Coming of Age celebrations of Thomas Alexander Fraser of Strichen & Lovat (1802-75) in 1823, who did not live at Beaufort Castle, with those of his grandson, Simon Fraser 16th Lord Lovat (1871-1933) in 1892.  A family photo taken at the latter event is included in a biography of the 16th Lord Lovat, written by his brother-in-law Sir Francis Lindley (1872-1950), as well as a photo of the present Beaufort Castle under construction in the 1880s.] - See The Old Lords of Lovat and Beaufort at

June 19 and 26.—On the first date it is stated that the arrivals for the Wool Market began on Monday, and yet till the time of going to press (the paper appeared on Thursday) no definite business had been done. The writer complained that the business, which towards the end was generally concluded in one or two hours, occupied many persons from Monday till Friday, and this delay exposed the parties to much expense and inconvenience. In the issue of the 26th, the reporter speaks of the character of the market and of the prices. "Five or six wool staplers and dealers in sheep from the North of England and South of Scotland come to treat with three or four hundred respectable individuals; and such is their mutual confidence that bargains for wool and sheep to the amount of £150,000 and upwards are concluded even without a sample. Last week our information goes to say that good Cheviot wedders brought each 18s 6d (clad score). This we believe to be the highest price obtained; and wedders of the same description, though of inferior quality, were sold at 14s 6d. Blackfaced wedders fetched from 12s to 16s; Cheviot ewes from 7s to 10s 6d; and blackfaced ewes from 5s to 6s 6d. Blackfaced hoggs brought from 7s to 10s; and wadder lambs of the same kind from 4s to 5s 3d. The sales in Cheviot hoggs and lambs were very few—the former brought 8s 6d and the latter 6s. Cheviot wool was sold so low as 9s per stone of 24 lbs., and the highest price was 10s 6d. The coarse wool from blackfaced sheep sold at from 10s to 11s 6d per double stone, or the stone of 48 lbs. In most of these purchases a reference was made of 6d per stone of wool, and 6d on each sheep, to be decided by the aspect of the markets, and the prices that may be given in the South before September, which is the usual time of delivery. One very important branch of this market is the purchase of smearing materials, and we understand that one contract of very considerable amount (upwards of £1500 worth) was concluded much to the satisfaction of both parties."

June 26.—An article on the distillery laws says that a remission of duty was to be made to an extent quite unexpected, and likely to have the most beneficial results. The effect of the alterations, it was anticipated, would "most effectually quash smuggling." One of the resolutions adopted by the House of Commons was as follows: —"That it is expedient that every distiller or maker of spirits in Scotland and Ireland respectively should be permitted to warehouse the spirits made or distilled by such distiller without payment of the duty of Excise chargeable thereon; and that the duties of Excise chargeable on such spirits shall be payable and paid on their being taken out of warehouse for home consumption."

July 10.—"On Thursday last the Rev. Mr Campbell was admitted minister of Croy, in presence of a very respectable congregation. There was happily no occasion for the interference of the Sheriff or his officers, who attended, no interruption having been offered to the solemn services of the day."

July 17—"The celebrated Miss Edgeworth arrived here last week. During a short stay she visited the Falls of Kilmorack."

July 31.—The Act for the Maintenance of Highland Roads and Bridges was laid before a county meeting. "The former bill left it optional for the counties to have tolls; the present proceeds a step further, and gives the option either to have tolls or to increase their assessment; and its principal feature is to give option and to avoid compulsion." It was conceded to the wishes of the Northern Counties that the mail coach should not be chargeable with any toll whatever, and that cattle might travel from Bighouse in the heights of Sutherlandshire, westward and southwards to Fort-Augustus and so over the Corryarrick Road to Perthshire, without payment of toll, except 10d per score of black cattle and 5d per score for sheep and lambs, payable once at the Pitmain Bridge over the Spey. The counties had not as yet resolved to establish general tolls. A bill was also laid on the table for the building of additional places of worship in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland out of public moneys in the Court of Exchequer, the sum not to exceed £10,000 in any one year, and not exceeding in all the sum of £50,000. The object of this measure was to provide additional churches for large parishes.

August 7.—Died, at Deldriggan of Glenmoriston, on 5th July, Mr Archibald Grant, aged 87 years. His married life extended to 65 years, and his wife survived him. His remains were followed to the grave by 65 children and grandchildren.

August 14.—"Married, at Cossy Hall, in the county of Norfolk, Thomas Alexander Fraser, Esq. of Lovat, to Charlotte Georgina D. Jerningham, eldest daughter of Sir George Jerningharn, Baronet." In the next issue there is an account of meetings held on the Lovat estates to celebrate the happy event.

August 28.—"Died, at Quebec, on the 29th June, Laughlin Smith, Seignoir of St Denis and La Pocatiere. Mr Smith was a native of Inverness, Scotland, and is supposed to be upwards of 100 years of age. He served as a private in General Wolfe’s army at the taking of Quebec."

September 4.—The Northern Missionary Society held its twenty-third anniversary meeting at Tain on 27th August. Collections, subscriptions, and donations were intimated amounting to £94 18s.

Ibid.—The new Distillery Act is summarised. "We find some differences existing between the present Act and the substance of it as published in an abstract in the end of June last. In that abstract it was stated that the duty on every gallon of spirits made from malted corn was 2s 6d, at a strength of 10 per cent. over proof; but instead of that we now find that the duty is 2s on every gallon hydrometer proof. Distillers are allowed to warehouse spirits without payment of duty, the strength of such spirits to he either 25 or 11 per cent. over proof; and where a sale of spirits is realised the quantity taken out of the warehouse, when for home consumption, must not be less than the content of the original cask (100 gallons), upon which the duty is only then payable; and a warehouse rent for report of the revenue is chargeable at the rate of one penny per 40 gallons a week. Distillers from malted corn must produce two gallons of spirits from every bushel of malt, or 12 gallons proof spirits from the standard of Linlithgow boll." After mentioning other points, the article concludes:—"The spirit duty on eight pints Scots (or, as this quantity is called, the Scots gallon) amounts to 8s on proof spirits, which is about 12 per cent stronger than is commonly retailed in this country; and the malt duty on the same quantity at the same strength is 1s, making 9s of spirit and malt duty on eight Scots pints. The former duties on the same quantity amounted to 22s, thus giving a reduction of 13s per Scots gallon. From the weakness of the wash allowed to be used, joined with the liberty of warehousing the spirits, in a short time there is no doubt that a superior spirit can be produced; and the effect of the whole is that we find travellers for spirit dealers in the South are at this moment offering to supply our market here, by the end of October, with spirits at 5s per English gallon, or at the rate of 2s 6d per Sects pint."

September 25.—At the municipal election this year, James Grant of Bught was elected Provost, Mr Robertson of Altnaskiach remaining a member of Council.

October 2.—"It would appear from the population returns made up from the Government abstracts of 1801, 1811, and 1821, that the Highland counties of Ross and Cromarty present the most numerous instances of longevity in proportion to their population—in every 2156 there being one above 100 years, and one above 80 years in every 93. Comparing the population of England and Scotland in this respect the number above 100 returned from the former country is only 168 out of a population of 11,261,437; whereas from the latter the number is 102 in a population of 2,093,459."

Ibid.—On the previous Monday the Constables of the town were sworn into office for the ensuing year, in presence of the Magistrates, when Provost Grant addressed them at some length on the duties and importance of their office. Sergt.-Major John Mackenzie, Castle Street, was elected head constable, and each constable was furnished with a copy of instructions and a baton. These constables were a force distinct from the police and town officers, and were instructed to co-operate with them in preventing crimes and offences. Their authority did not extend beyond the Royalty, and on duty they had always to carry their baton. A copy of their instructions is published in this issue. We reproduce the two following :—"The character and good order of the town are so much concerned in a due and strict observance of decency and propriety on the Sabbath Day, that the Magistrates require the constables to be particularly careful to correct any improprieties which may occur on that day." "The constables are enjoined to maintain a uniform and exact regard to sobriety, decency and civility in their own conduct; bearing bad language and even reproach from persons in liquor when they appear to have no bad intentions; and exercising all the humanity compatible with the due and firm discharge of their duty." After meeting with the constables the Magistrates disposed of the Common Good of the burgh, which then included the shore dues and anchorage at the harbour, and tolls on the bridges. The shore dues and anchorage came to £620, and the total, including these, to £971 14s.

Ibid.—What is called a "new corn market" was opened at Inverness on the previous Tuesday. Upwards of 200 bolls of grain were offered for sale. An address to the Inverness Farmers’ Society led to the establishment of the market. This address stated that while some farmers had regular customers, the majority had to repair to the streets of Inverness on market days, and diligently look out for customers, sometimes for weeks in vain. "Thus the time passes, necessities accumulate, engagements require to be implemented, and the unfortunate farmer is compelled to treat with the smuggler, the mealmonger, or other individuals on terms highly disadvantageous, but frequently considered by the purchaser as favours bestowed on the seller." Many transactions had also to be "managed in the whisky house, by means of a tipple and a drink. It is quite notorious that many of the buyers will not determine without a dram, and perhaps half-a-dozen may be required to produce the desired effect." To obviate these untoward circumstances, the attempt to establish a new corn market was made. It was proposed to effect the sales by samples; and with the concurrence of the Magistrates a booth was to be erected on the Exchange every Tuesday and Friday from 12 till half-past two o’clock. The samples of grain were to be displayed under the superintendence of an intelligent attendant, who was capable of concluding transactions in the absence of parties. A scale of fees, varying from a penny to sixpence, was to be paid to the attendant.

October 2 and 9.—These issues contain reports of the Northern Meeting. Races were held at Duneancroy.

October 9.—The county meeting at Inverness resolved meantime to support the roads by assessment instead of by tolls. They also adopted a resolution in favour of bringing the mails by the Highland Road from Perth.

November 6.—This issue records the death of Mr Charles Grant, long member for the county of Inverness, in the representation of which he was succeeded by his son. "Mr Grant did business at the India House, on the evening of Thursday last. As he was in the practice of managing his extensive correspondence during the quiet of the night, it appears that he did not retire to rest till four on Friday morning, about which time he was seized with spasms in the stomach, which at six o’clock terminated his valuable life." The notice proceeds:—"Mr Grant went out in early life to India, with few advantages save those which his own talents and conduct procured for him. The intimate knowledge which he soon acquired of the Company’s affairs, his integrity, capacity for business, and that indefatigable perseverance which never left him to his latest hour, soon opened up to him an honourable career. He obtained several situations of great trust in Bengal, which paved the way to the important offices which he afterwards filled at home as Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Court of Directors. In 1802 he was chosen member of Parliament for his native county, which he continued to represent till he was succeeded by his son, the present member. Mr Grant was a very kind relation, a zealous friend, and in the kindly and Scottish sense of the phrase, ‘a good countryman,’ as well as in the more unlimited acceptation of the word. It is mentioned in the London papers that Mr Grant was upwards of 80 years of age. He was in his 78th year, having been born in the memorable year of the Rebellion. He received the then beloved name of Charles from the Jacobite partialities of his family."

Ibid.—The same issue records the death of Mr Peter Anderson, solicitor, who was so generally liked and esteemed by his fellow-citizens that his death was felt in Inverness as a private sorrow, as well as lamented as a public loss. "Mr Anderson was still in the prime of life, and of a constitution which promised length of days and the enjoyment of vigorous health. Early yesterday morning he became indisposed, and by seven o’clock he had ceased to live. The frankness of his courtesy, and a facility of benevolence which made him the ready listener to all sorts of grievances, and the ready friend of all sorts of men who were in want of assistance—and these have not been few of late years—formed a character peculiarly calculated to gain on the kindliest sympathies of the heart; and we may truly say that as no member of our community was ever more universally liked than Mr Anderson, no one was ever mourned by high and low with grief more unaffected and genuine."

Ibid.—Mr Adam, Rector of the Inverness Academy, had just returned from a ten days’ cruise on board the Clio. His experiments were meant to determine the situation of a ship by obtaining the altitude of any of the heavenly bodies where the horizon was obscured. The results were said to be more satisfactory than on any former occasion.

December 11.—A county meeting was held at Inverness on the 5th inst., and resolutions were adopted expressing cordial appreciation of the distinguished services of the late Charles Grant during his long connection with the county. Mr J. P. Grant of Rothiemurchus, M.P., was in the chair. The chief resolution bore that "during the last twenty-one years, being the period of the public connection of the late Charles Grant, Esq., with this county, the attention of the Legislature has been directed to the cultivation of the natural advantages of this northern part of the Kingdom, in a greater degree than that which any Government has ever bestowed on a part of its dominions so remote, and contributing so little to its revenue." Several absent members wrote complaining that too short notice had been given of the meeting, but the attendance numbered nearly forty, and it was resolved to proceed with the business rather than adjourn. The resolutions were adopted with acclamation, and copies were ordered to be transmitted to the Right Hon. Charles Grant, and to be advertised in Inverness, Edinburgh, and London newspapers.

December 25.—On the 17th inst. a General Court of the Directors of the East India Company was held at the East India House. Mr James Smith, M.P., submitted the following motion :—"That this Court taking into consideration the great ability, inflexible integrity, and unremitting attention displayed by the late Charles Grant, Esq., during nearly thirty years as a member of the Executive body, after seventeen years of distinguished service in India, and the many important benefits he has rendered to the Company, by his counsels and experience, and by his constant and strenuous exertions in Parliament and elsewhere, to preserve unimpaired their rights and privileges, and improve the condition of the vast population under their rule, desire to record their deep sense of the loss sustained by the death of this valuable director, who, to the last day of his life was actively employed in the discharge of his duty, and testify the high admiration in which they hold his talents, character, and services; and therefore that a marble monument be erected to the memory of the late Charles Grant, Esq, in the Parish Church  of St George’s, Bloomsbury; and that the Court of Directors be requested to take measures to carry the same into effect." The motion was seconded by Sir Charles Forbes, M.P, and both gentlemen eulogised the character and services of the late Director. The proposal for a monument called forth an amendment, submitted by Mr Hume, M.P. for Montrose, on the ground that there was no precedent for conferring such a distinction. Mr Hume also went over the several points on which the mover grounded his motion, and contended that they were not sufficient to warrant the posthumous honour projected. Mr Elphinstone said that "this Company had lasted above a hundred years, and had employed a number of most able and most honest servants, who went out of life without the commemoration of statues." He admitted it to be true that the Company had erected statues to some who had signalised themselves in their service, but they were to such men as Lord Clive, Admiral Pococke, and others, who had acquired and consolidated their great possessions, and between such men and such services, and the Directors and their duties, there could be no point of comparison. Mr Impey, who strongly supported the motion, said that ‘he knew the facility with which the hon. member for Montrose could pry into public efforts; his mind, like some optical glasses, was formed for minute discoveries; it was not Mr Hume’s fault that he was so constituted, it was rather the vice of his nature, for, in the language of Shakespeare, "It is his nature’s plague to pry into abuses." (Loud laughter and cries of "Hear," in which Mr Hume loudly joined). On a division the amendment was rejected by a majority of 54 to 29 votes, and the original motion was then agreed to.

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