THE GRANTS OF
This parish has been
so exhaustively dealt with by one of its distinguished sons, Mr
William Mackay, that I have little to say. If each parish within the
great county of Inverness produced such a worthy and capable
historian, the county so rich in story, poetry, and song, would
indeed be admirably represented.
The connection of the
Lairds of Grant with the parish is a gloomy reminiscence, if not now
a standing menace. Founded, if not on fraud, patently on Royal
favouritism, it has run what can hardly be termed an honourable
course of four hundred years, culminating in depriving the people of
any rights to the greater part of the lordship. The expropriation of
the old families of Corrimony, Sheuglie, Achmony, and others has
been most prejudicial to the Glen and put an end to that independent
feeling so necessary and beneficial in a district where one family
is territorially supreme.
has during the last fifty years fallen sadly back in population and
importance, yet there is still a very kindly feeling held towards
the family, who at an early period broke off from the continuous
mean and time-serving traditions of its head.
The Grants of
Glenmoriston never sided with the Grants of Grant, but not being
sufficiently numerous to form a regiment, allied themselves to the
Macdonells of Glengarry, and in another place I have mentioned the
quota of Glenmoriston officers in the conjunct regiment.
This brought out a warm and lasting
friendship, of which perhaps no better illustration could possibly
be given than the contract between John Macdonell of Glengarry and
John and Patrick Grant, elder and younger of Glenmoriston, dated
Invergarry, 1st November, 1735. It was probably executed in
duplicate (being referred to in Sir William Fraser's Chiefs of
Grant.) I possess one if not the only principal. It is now given-
"Att Invergarry. The first day of
November One thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-five years. It is
contracted, agreed and finally ended betwixt the parties after
mentioned, viz., The Honble John McDonell of Glengary, and John and
Patrick Grants of Glenmoristone, elder and younger, with the
speciall advices and consent of Alexander Grant of Craskie younger,
and Angus Grant of Dalldragon on the one and other parts, In manner
following, That is to say, The said John McDonell, and the saids
John and Patrick Grants with consent forsaid Hereby Bind and Oblige
themselves and their heirs whatsomever, strictly to maintain betwixt
the foresaid families of Glengarie Glenmoristone, such Kindness and
Friendship as was formerly keeped and observed by their
predecessors, and that they shall joyn with one another (In so far
as is lawful and just) against any opposition or encroachments or
unlawfull attempts to be made against any of the saids families (The
family of Grant being always excepted by the saids John and
Patrick). And the saids John and Patrick Grants Doe by these
presents and with consent forsaid, Bind and Oblidge them and their
forsaids That They nor any of their family shall not at any time
hereafter maintain, Harbour or resett The person of Allan Grant, son
to the said John Grant, or Tiavell with, or assist him, or any of
his followers directly or indirectly any manner of way. And the for-
named parties contractors, with consent forsaid, Bind and Oblidge
them and their forsaids to obtemper, perform, and fulfill their
respective parts of this contract to others, under the penalty of
Two Thousand pounds Scots money of failtie to be payed to the party
performers or willing to perform the promises by and attour
performance of this present contract. and that these presents may be
registered in the Books of any Judicatory competent, That upon a
decree of the Judges thereof Letters of Horning on ten days and
other Execution in form as effeirs may pass hereupon, They
constitute Their prors, &c. In witness whereof the above contractors
with consent foresaid have subscribed these presents (written on
stamped paper by James Stewart, sometime Baillie of Maryburgh). Day,
place, month, and year of God above written before these witnesses,
Ronald Mc 1)onell of Shian, John McI)onell of Drynachan, and the
said James Stewart, writer hereof.
Signed) "JOHN McD0NELL of Glengarry.
"RANALD MACKDONELL, Witness.
"JOHN McD0NELL, Witness.
"JAS. STEWART, Witness."
This is one of the most curious papers I
ever came across, shewing as it does that apparently for some slight
or injury done by Allan Grant, fourth son of lain a' Chraggain,
fifth Laird of Glenmoriston according to the genealogy, Allan's
father and brother repudiated and disowned him. The genealogy
mentions Allan's name but nothing else regarding him. It may have
been for a disgraceful cause similar to that which occasioned a
sudden and deadly quarrel between two Badenoch proprietors bearing
the same name and formerly great allies and cronies.
For years I was in ignorance of the
cause of this Badenoch feud until a chance reference in a gossiping
letter in 1772 from a lady to her brother in the East Indies cleared
the matter up.
The concurring Grants of Crasky and Dundreggan were descended of
John the Tutor, and Duncan Caum, second and third Sons of lain Mor a
Chaisteil, the third Laird of Glenmoriston.