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Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside

TO the west of Crannich is the twelve-merk land of Carwhin. This property at one time belonged to Robertsons, probably a branch of the great family de Atholia ; and we find in the Chronicle of Fothergill obituary notices of some of these lairds:—

“1483, February, 4.—Death of Donald Robertson of Keir-quhin.”

“1529, September, 29.—Death of Donald Robertson of Kerquhwin, at that place on the day of St. Michael, the Archangel, and he was buried in the nave of the church at Inchaden.”

“I553—Death of Katherine Neyn Dowyll Vc Ayn, spouse of the Baron of Kyrquhwin, and afterwards spouse of Alexander Maxton of Cwlthequhay, who died at Cultequhay on the last day of April, 1553.”

“1559.—Malcolm, Baron of Keyrquhon, died at Balloch, on the 10th day of March, in the year of the Lord,

1559, and he was buried at Inchaden.”

In a Report by Sub-commissioners of the Presbytery of Dunkeld, of the valued rent, stock, and teind of the several lands in the parish, drawn up in 1630, Sir James Campbell of Lawers is entered as laird of Carwhin. His family possessed the superiority of the property and of the shealing of Rhialdt, since 1526, when it had been conveyed by Haldane of Gleneagles to

James Campbell, the then laird of Lawers. Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Carwhin came into the possession of another branch of the Glenorchy line, the Campbells of Mo-chaster, afterwards styled of Carwhin, and in whose family the territorial title was continued long after they quitted possession of the lands, although Carwhin was in the hands of the Earl of Breadalbane so early as the second decade of last century. The superiority, however, if reserved, would have carried such a right. Colin Campbell, of Mochaster, was the second surviving son of Sir Robert Campbell, third Baronet, and ninth laird of Glenorchy. He married in 1641, Margaret, third daughter of Sir Alexander Menzies of Weem. She died at Carwhin in 1681, and was buried at Finlarig. He died in 1688, leaving two sons, Colin of Carwhin, a Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, and Robert, who held Boreland in Glenlochay by wadset. The latter had a son Colin, styled of Carwhin, who in 1746, fought at Falkirk on the Government side, having in the company of which he was captain, Duncan Ban McIntyre, the Glenorchy bard. He became factor on Lord Glenorchy’s lands in Nether Lorn, and resided at Ardmaddy. In 1758 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Archibald Campbell of Stonefield, by whom he had, Jane, born 1st December, 1758, died 23rd March, 1769; Elizabeth, born 28th July, 1760, died 5th October, 1774; John, born 30th March, 1762, succeeded as fourth Earl of Breadalbane in 1782; and Colin, born 12th December, 1763. Colin, senior, died in his house at Westminster, on 30th March, 1772. His widow died in April, 1813. Colin, the younger, entered the army, and became a captain in the 99th Regiment of Foot. Shortly after his brother succeeded to the earldom, he got from him a grant of the lands of Edinample, Glenogle and Glenbeich. These lands had been purchased by the third Earl in 1779 from James Goodlatt Campbell of Auchlyne. Captain Colin Campbell died, unmarried, at Edinample Castle, on 27th June, 1792. The fourth Earl? who became Marquis of Breadalbane, married Mary Turner Gavin of Langton, by whom he had three of a family, two daughters and a son. The latter succeeded to the titles and estates on the death of his father in 1834. He married Eliza, daughter of George Baillie of Jerviswood, but had no issue, and at his death in 1862, the male line of the Carwhin family became extinct.

The lands of Carwhin were formerly divided into three portions, namely, Carie, Easter Carwhin, and Wester Carwhin, each being a four-merk land. Easter Carwhin included Carwhin proper, Croftvellich and Blairmore; and Wester Carwhin comprehended Tomour, Margphuil, Margdow, and Margnaha. The small isle in Loch Tay, Eilean na Breaban (Ordnance Survey), Brabant or Brippan, belongs to Carwhin.

Within the past hundred years or so, the place-names in Easter Carwhin have undergone a change. Carwhin as the name of an individual holding has been dropped, and in its place Blairmore has been substituted, while the name of the latter holding has been changed to Balnreich. The public road ran past old Blairmore, where there was an ale-house. The meal mill of the property stood on Carwhin proper. The House of Carwhin, unpretentious as the dwelling must have been, is understood to have occupied the bite of the present farm-house of Blairmore, at the eastern end of which there are foundations of a building locally known as Seomar dubh—the black chamber. Close by is Lag-a-mhoit—the court hollow—above which is a precipitous rock, called Craig-na-croich, evidently once a place of execution—an adjunct not unfrequently to be met with near the former abodes of Highland lairds. A spot is pointed out in Blairmore wood, which was formerly the graveyard of the district.

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