Lachlan Shaw.

The history of the province of Moray. Comprising the counties of Elgin and Nairn, the greater part of the county of Inverness and a portion of the county of Banff,--all called the province of Moray before there was a division into counties online

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Online LibraryLachlan ShawThe history of the province of Moray. Comprising the counties of Elgin and Nairn, the greater part of the county of Inverness and a portion of the county of Banff,--all called the province of Moray before there was a division into counties → online text (page 12 of 37)
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parish of Rothes. It is separated from Inveravon by the
river, and extends northwards into the hills about G
miles, to the limits of Dollas and Birnie.

The soil, along the banks of the river, and by the sides
of the brooks winding through the hills from the west
and north, is a sandy gravel. In other situations, it is a
deep wet clay; a very great proportion is of moorish
quality, and wet. There is naturally so little mixture of
calcareous earth, that no ]iart, without the application of
lime, will produce bear, clover, or pease. In the higher
part of the district, a boll of bear, in common, is but half
the weight of that quantity raised upon the coast ; and it
requires two bolls of the oats to yield one of meal.

The climate is healthful : but, from its general elevation,
and the swampy quality of so great a proportion of the
surface, it is severe and cold ; heavy rains falling in the
spring and autumn, and much frost and snow prevailing
in the winter months.

State of Property. — The valued rent of the parish
amounts to £1,987 18s. lOd., of which Robert Grant,
Esq., holds £1,247 7s. 4d. for Wester Elchies, Ballnatom,
and Knockando. The family seat is at Wester Elchies ;
where improvements have been for some time begun, and
are making a gradual advance. A village was built on
the moor of Ballnatom, about the year 17G0, by Sir
Archibald Grant of Monymusk, and some imprqvement,
to the extent of about 24 acres, at the first was made :
but instead of continuing progressive, it has for several
years been rather retrograde. The roads, only formed,
not completed, have fallen into so much disrepair, that to
a wheel carriage the village is only accessible from the
east ; by the south and west roads, the approach on
horseback requires the most careful circumspection.

By an accidental fire, in 1783, many of the houses

were consumed, and their naked roofless walls suggest

the idea of Tadmor in the desert, or of some other eastern

city, on which judgment denounced by some ancient

VOL. I. 8


prophet hath been in part accomplished, for it still retains
the number of about fourscore worthy inhabitants.

General Grant of Ballnadallach has Kirkdales, Glen-
arder, Pitcroy, and Delnapot, at £42G 10s., and the Earl
of Findlater has Easter Elchies, at £314 Is. 6d. Knock-
ando and Easter Elchies were once the mansions of their
respective owners, and are still embellished by manor
houses, gardens, and plantations. Some of the farms are
of considerable extent; but, in general, they do not much
exceed 30 arable acres. The real rent, including £10
arising from the salmon fishery, may bo estimated about
£2,000 sterling: cultivated by 150 ploughs: and the best
arable acre is valued at 14s. The parish supports about
300 horses, 3,000 cattle, and 5,000 sheep.

State Ecclesiastical. — The parish of Macallan, that is,
St. Colin, comprised in Easter and Wester Elchies, was
united to Knockando during the regency of the Earl of
Morton. They were again disjoined during the establish-
ment of Prelacy, for 16 3' ears prior to the Revolution :
since which, they have made one parish under the name
of Knockando, signif3dng in the Gaelic tJte market hill.
The stipend is £93 5s. Gd. and ,27 bolls of meal. The
glebe is IG acres, of which 11 are arable. The right of
patronage appertains to Sir James Grant of Grant. The
salary of the parochial school is 10 bolls of meal and £2
sterling, the value of the office of session clerk, and the
customary fees of about 40 scholars. The Society for
Christian Knowledge have established a school in Ballna-
tom, for the accommodation of the eastern quarter of the
jiarish. The number of the poor on the session roll is 20 :
the fund for their support arises from the contributions
made by the families in their assemblies for public worship,
about £G sterling in the year, and as much, the Interest
of a bequcathment under the care of the session. The
whole inhabitants are of the National Church, amounting
to 1,500.

Miscellaneous Information. — The people are, in general,
sober, discreet, and very economical, but deficient in the
article of industr3^ The navigation of timber in rafts
from Straths[)ey to Garmach is frequently undertaken by
some of them. They make a journey to the forest, and
conduct the raft liy two men to Garmach, returning home
generally within the week, at tlie medium hire of two


guineas for each trip; of which 7s. and maintenance is
allowed by the master-floater to his coadjutor, generally
a young man learning the business.

At the rock of Tomdow, in this parish, the river dashes
with such rapidity at right angles against the cliti" that
by the violence of the collision the rafts were shattered.
To avoid this charybdis, the York Building Company,
when established at Coulnacoill, cut a new channel along
the hypothenuse, and by this course the floating business
is still carried on. Capt. Shank of the Navy resided at
Knockando House in the year 178(3. After having
maturely considered the course of the Spey, he would
have undertaken to render the river navigable, for flat-
bottomed vessels of 40 tons, from its influx up to Gran-
town. There being no trade or manufacture adequate to
the expense, the execution, if practicable, was deferred till
some future age, when the superior improvement of the
country may require such accommodation.] {Survey of
Province of Moray.)


The Kirk of Elchies became ruinous about 1760. The
Easter Elchies burial-aisle is in the south-east corner,
which is still roofed, but the place is ill-cared for. In
the east wall is an elegant monument with a tablet,
flanked by two Corinthian pillars, bearing the following: —

I. Sub hoc marmore in Christi adventum conduntur cineres
JoANNis Grant do Elchies, viri seternum lugendi, qui, dum,
inter vivos, nunquam, adeo sibi suisq quam aliis officia prse-
stare solicitus fuit; amicum certissimum amicis, egenis levamen
promptum, singulis hospitem liberalissimum ubiq se prsestitit ;
de patria vero, propter operam ei in bello posteriore civili non
minus fideliter quam feliciter navatam, optima meritus, et post-
quam tam in sacris quam negotiis secularibus omnium cujuscunq
generis virtutum constanti exercitio xario. nobilitatis character-
isticon adeptus esset, a virtutis Auctore vocatus, fatis cessit
Martii IV'°, anno salutis humanje MDCCXV, setatis LVI*°, hoc
uuicum, jedificium in debitse filialis observanti?e, justiq doloris
tesseram, Patricio, filio unico, extruendura relinquens.

Under this marble, until the advent of Christ, lie the aslies
of John Grant of Elchies, an ever-to-be lamented man, who,
while among the living, was never so anxious to promote the


interests of himself and liis family, as those of others ; to his
friends he ever showed himseK a very sure friend, to the needy
a ready benefactor, to all a very liberal host ; by the not less
loyal than successful services which he rendered to Ids native
land during the late Civil War, he earned a just title to the
deepest gratitude of his countrymen ; and, after he had by the
constant practice of every kind of excellence in sacred as well
as in secular affairs, acquired the distinctive mark of true
nobility, being summoned by the Author of virtue, he departed
this life 4th March, 1715, in his 56th year, leaving this unicpie
structure to be erected by his only son, Patrick, in token of
due filial respect and just regret.

II. Here lyes ane honest woman called jMariorie Chalmers,
spous to William M'Conachie, in Hillhall, Avho departed this
lyfe the day of Dec, 1G87.

III. Here lyes ane honest woman called Isa1)el Warden,
spous to John Sharp, in Hillhall, Avho departed the 29 day of
December 1704.

IV. Here lyes the body of Alexander Gumming, lawful son
of Kobert Gumming indweller in Golargreen, who dept. the
3 day of October 1707 years.

V. Under this stone is laid til the coming of Christ, the
dust of an honest man called John Proctor, sometime indweller
in Glayfurs at Easter Elkies. He died the . . . and Elspet
Grant, his first spouse, who died the 29 of July 1709,
and . . .

VI. Upon a stone bearing representation of a rake,
hedge-shears, and a pruning knife, are the initials, G.M.
CO. Adjoining : —

Jean Gray, wf. of John Shakell, mercht., Elgin, died in
" the flower of her age," 1732, a. 22 : —

In one coffin, below this stone,
Lys both the mother and the son.


The Kirk of Knuckando, which is a long narrow
building with outside stairs to the galleries, has a com-
manding position upon a rising ground, from which there
is a fine view of mountain scenery. A slab over the kirk-
door bears the following text and date: the date refers to
the building of the present place of worship : —
Rom. X. 14. 15.

The three slabs figured at Plate CV. Stuarfs Scidp-
tured Stunes of Scotland, Vol. II., are now placed in the


graveyard of the parish, but are said to have been brought
thither from an old burying-ground called Pulvrenan, on
tlie bank of the river below Knockando House, about 50
years ago. The stones are much weathereii and are

The Inscription on No. 3. is in runes. Professor George
Stephens of Copenhagen read it as "Sinnik." This
appears to be the name of a man, and it occurs on
another Runic monument at Sanda Sodermanland in
Sweden. The Inscription at Knockando is in Scandi-
navian runes of the oldest and simplest class, and may
date from the 9th or 10th century.

The Church has lately been much improved by the
enlargement of the windows, &c.; and an inscribed slab
of white marble, set in black, is in the Wester Elchies

I. Sacred to tlie memory of Margaret, Avife of James William
Grant, Esq. of Elchies, who died in London, Jan. 28, 1855,
born April 10, 1791. Her mortal remains were laid in Kensal
Green Cemetery, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrec-
tion to eternal life. Isa. xxvi. 3.

II. A Templar's tomb (formed of composite) within an
enclosure in the church-yard, covers the ashes of the
husband of the above-named lady. It bears the words
" Craig-o'-Croachan " (the Slogan, or war-cry of the
Grants), also this Inscription : —

III. The Vault of Elchies.

In remembrance of James William Grant of Elchies, in
this county, Avho died the 17th day of Dec, 1865, aged 77
years. His mortal remains are laid in this vault.
Jesu mercy.

Grants appear to have occupied Wester Elchies from
at least 15G5. In the Rental of the Bishopric of Moi-ay of
this date, it is stated that Wester Elchies, with the mill
and fishings of the same, the " ferrie cobbill," also
Kincardie, with fishings on the Spey, were held by James
Grant, for the annual payment of £16 9d. Scots. This
old branch of the Grants (who were cadets of Grant of
Grant), held Wester Elchies, &lc., for several genera-

IV. A fragment which bears a shield with the Dunbar

lis tup: stone of maledipttox at kxockaxdo.

and Uiaut arms impaled, the initials I.D., and these
words : —

.... Odey of Mary D

Lavfvl Davghter to

The above Stone was found in the old offices of the
Manse a few years ago, — supposed to be a fatal stone of
malediction against all future ministers in the imrish, b}'
reason of the minister refusing to give the workmen " a
founding pint" of drink at the building of the manse.
From April 1788 until Dec. 18G6, seven ministers here all
died young, excepting Dr. Asher, who was translated to
Inveravon after having been seven years at Knockando.

V. In memory of the Eev. John AVink, ministt-r of Knock-
ando, who, after 11 years of faithful service, died 11th JMarch
1851, aged 54.

VI. In memory of the Rev. Francis AV. Grant, who, after
3 years of an earnest ministry, died 25th Jan. 1855, in the
32nd year of his age. By his sister, Margaret, teacher,

VII. Erected by the Parishioners of Knockando in affec-
tionate remembrance of the Rev. John Clarke, minister of
Knockando, who, after an acceptable ministry of 11 years,
died 18th Dec. 18GG, aged 47.

In addition to the above, other three parish ministers
are buried at Knockando, who have no tombstones — viz.,
Messrs. Francis Grant, who died in 1805 ; Lauchlan
M'Pherson, who died in 182G; and George Gordon, who
died in 1839.

VIII. . . . Lean, an honest and laborious man that
died 17th June, 174G, and of Margaret Wallace, his wife, a
woman of unaffected simplicity and cheerfulness in manners,
with mispotted integrity, and by her industry reared a young
family. She died 16th May, 17G9. This monument is erected
by xYlex. M'Lean, their dutiful son, gardener at London.

IX. William Watson, Excise Officer, d. 1834, a. 34; his dr.
Hannah d. 1840, aged 9 years.

To Death's despotic sceptre all must l>end,

He spares not parent, child, nor Aveejiing friend ;

Not manhood's l)loom, nor youth's fair tender ilow'r.

Can move his pity, or resist his pow'r.

Meagre consumi)tion here a Father laid.

And Inuning fever slew his lovely maid.


'Twas sin that gave tyrannic pow'r to Death,

And at his summons, these resigned their breath,
Until their Saviour calls them from the grave,
Destroys grim Death, and shews his pow'r to save.

X. Erected by Isabella M'Quine in memory of her son
James Eobertson upar Tamdo, Avho died the 5th My 1840, aged
21 years: —

Remember friends as you pas bay
What you are now so once was I.

XI. In memory of the Rev. Andrew Sprott, who was born
at Stranraer, in July 1806, ordained at West Kilbride in 1837,
inducted at Archiestown in April 1845, and died 4 May 1864.
A laborious and faithful minister greatly beloved.

XII. In affectionate and hallowed remembrance of the Rev.
John Munro, for 50 years the pastor of the Congregational
Church of this parish. He was an eminently devout, able,
and faithful minister of Christ, greatly beloved and respected
in all the relations both of private and public life. He finished
his long, laborious, and useful course, March 20, 1853, in the
79th year of his age.

" Well done," &c.

Upon a headstone : —

XIII. Erected by Helen, Jessie, and Isabella Tulloch, in
memory of their beloved parents Margaret Gillan, who died
on the 19th Feb. 1840, aged 55 years; and her husband Alex-
ander Tulloch, farmer, Crofthead, who died on the Nth Oct.
1840, aged 55 years.

Alex. Tulloch was killed by his son-in-law, Peter
Cameron, Ballintomb. Cameron, who was tried for the
murder at Inverness, 14th April, 1841, pleaded that he
had no intention to kill Tulloch, but only intended to
maim or disable him, so as to prevent him from manying
a woman to whom he was attached. Cameron was found
guilty of culpable homicide, and transported for life. It
is added that, under the circumstances, much sympathy
was felt for Cameron.] {Jervise's Eiyitaphs.)


Anciently and truly written, Bocharn ; for,
over against the plains of Rothes, and on the
east bank of the riyer [Spey], is a high hill called


Ben-eggin, i.e. The Hill with clefts, and round a
great part of the hill this parish ^dudeth : Hence
called BocJiariij i.e. a bow or arch about the
cairn or hill. It is in length about 4 miles, and
in few places above half a mile in breadth, lying
on the east side of a brook that runneth into the
water of Fiddich.

The Church standeth on the south side of the
hill, 2 miles west of Botrifnie, 2 miles north
east of Aberlour, 2J miles south east of Rothes,
and about 3 miles north of Mortlich.

This parish (all in the county of Banff)," was,
in the reign of King AYilliam the Lion, about
anno 1210, the property of William Moray, son
of William, and grandson of Freskyn Moray of
Duffus. He is designed, Dominus de Petty,
Brachlie, Bocharin, cCc. (Cart. Mor.) and from his
son Walter, descended Sir Andrew Moray Lord
Bothwell. Willielmus filius Willielmi Freskin,
had his castle and seat in Boharm, probably at
Galival, where some vestiges do still remain.

At this time, the freeholds are, Arntidlic, the
seat of Alexander Grant, of which he purchased
the freehold from Sir Ludovick Grant, anno
1757. His father, Thomas of Achoinany and
Arntulhe, died 1758, and was son of Walter,
son of John of Ai'ntullie, second son of Archibald

* "With the exception of the lands of Cairntie, Auchroisk,
Mulben, and Muldeary, part of the lieritage of the Earl of Sea-
field, which are in the county of Moray. Originally this terri-
tory was in the pari.sli of Dundurcos. (Ed.)


the first of Bellintom. It is pleasantly situated
at the foot of Ben-eggin, on the bank of Spey,
and capable of great improvement, by inclosing
and planting. This gentleman is likewise pro-
prietor of Galival and of Newton, which lately
pertained to a gentleman of the name of Anderson.
To the east of the church are the lands of
AcJnnadies, the property of Sir James Grant.
And thence northward is the barony of Auclilun-
cart^'' which, for several generations, pertained to
a branch of the House of Innes, and by an heiress
came to a son of Stewart of Tanachie. This
parish is well accommodated with moss ground
for fuel, and generally is a rich and fertile soil,
very early in ripening about Arntullie, but cold
and late on the south-east side of the hill.

[The Church of the parish of Arndilly, in early times
called Artendol, stood on the eminence which is now the
site of the mansion-house of Arndilly, on the banks of the
Spey, in the south-west corner of the present parish.
Vestiges of such ecclesiastical occupation of this lovely
spot remained till within the memory of man ; the ruins
of the church being cleared away to make room for part
of the offices of the mansion-house, and an equivalent
being then given for the glebe, which now forms part of
the lawn. It is conjectured that the Church at Arndilly

* The present proprietor is Andrew Steuart, only son of
Patrick Steuart, by Eachael, daughter of the late Lachlan
Gordon, of Park; born 1822; married 1847 EHzabeth Georgi-
ana Graham, 3rd daughter of the late Thomas Gordon, of
Park, and has issue. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge
(b.A. 1844); entered at the Inner Temple 1851, but was not
called to the Bar, although fond of law-pleas ; was M.P. for
Cambridge 1857-62. Auchluncart House, a large tame erec-
tion, with poor gateways, was built about 1750. (Ed.)


having been allowed to go to ruin, perhaps even before
the Refoi-mation, the chapel of the castle of Bucharm, in a
much more convenient situation, became the place of
worship for the whole district, and gave name to the
parish. In the year 17S8, the parish of Dundurcos, lying
due north from Boharm, on both sides of the Spcy, was
suppressed, and the part of it which lay to the east of the
river was annexed to Boharm, except one small property,
Aikenway, which, M-ith the lands on the west side of the
river, was annexed to Rothes. This annexation added to
Boharm u})wards of a third, both in extent of surface, and
in the number of population. The old parish is in the
county of Banff; the annexation, excepting a small frag-
ment in Banffshire, is in the county of Elgin. A stone,
which was in the wall of the old church at Arndilly, is
now built into the wall of one of the wings of the mansion-
house. It has rude figures carved on it. Another stone,
having very nearly the same figures upon it, was taken
out of the foundation of the old church of Inveravon; and
a third is built into the wall of the Abbey of Deer.
(The New Statistical Account of Scotland, number
xxxviii., pp. 855, S5G, 3G4. See also The Statistical
Account of Scotland, vol. xvii., p. 864, Edin. 179G. See
No. 2 Plate xv., vol. i., Stuart's Sculp. Stones of Scot-

The ruin of the Castle of Gallvall is the only remain of
antiquity in the parish. It was built fronting the east,
on the north side of the valley, towards the western end,
where the declivity hath fallen more gently into an
inclined plain, and that a promontory into the deep
defile formed by the course of the stream of Aldcrmy ;
snugly sheltered from tlie northern blast, with an enliven-
ing extent of arable field rising behind; on either side a
luxuriant landscape spread westward on the winding
banks of the Fiddich. It appears to have been a simple
structure of 119 feet by 24 feet within, divided by an
internal wall, so as to form 2 halls on the ground floor ;
one Go and the other 54 feet in length. The windows
were only 20 inches wide, though the walls were 8 feet
thick. The front and corners were neatly finished with
free-stone. The front and gables are now entirely broken
do^^'Il ; but Avitliiu these fift}^ years they stood to the


height of several storeys. This bulky fabric, on the
eastern front, had lower external accommodations. A
domestic chapel stood in its own consecrated burying
ground (forsaken only in the course of the last sixty
years), about 50 yards from the north end of the castle;
and, though only 24 feet by 12 feet within, must have
been the parent of the present parish church, which was
erected in the year 1G18. (The Statistical Account of
Scotland, vol. xvii., pp. 803, 364).

The Castle of Bucharn, now Galval, is an interesting-
remain, situated on a fine eminence between the brook
Aldernie and the Fiddich, having the vale of Balveny
stretching out in front ; the vale of Boharm to the east ;
the lower part of the valley of the Fiddich to the west ;
and a great extent of well cultivated fields and beau-
tiful woodlands all around. Little of the building is
now standing. Under a stone in the floor of the oratory
of the castle, a silver ring was lately found, having a
small shield fixed upon it which exhibited two martial
figures ; this is now at Arndilly. (The New Statistical
Account of Scotland, number xxxviii, pp. 364, 365.)

The rivulet Aldernie above mentioned, conveys to the
Fiddich the waters of the upper part of the parish ; while
those of the lower part, uniting where the eastern valley
meets with the circular valley, form the Orchill, now
called The Burn of Mulben, which thence descending-
very rapidly to the Spey, which it joins at the place
called Boat of Bridge, has cut a very romantic channel
for itself in the rocks through which it passes. (The
New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. xvii., p. 350.)

The old Church of Boharm is located on the summit of
a beautifully wooded rocky ravine, in grand contrast witli
the site of its bald successor, which, when erected, was
unprotected and unadorned by dyke, whin-bush, or tree.
The belfry-gable remains with its bell, which is only
clinJdt at the funerals of the heritors or members of their
families. " The aul' kirkyard " is shamefully kept — a
few sheep being the conservative gardeners. An eco-
nomical conjoint tomb divided by causeway-stones in the
inside, is set aside in a corner for the mortal remains of
Auchluncart and Arndilly. The public road from JNlulben
Station hereto is tedious and uninterestinsj : there is no


danger of being led captive either by the lust of the eye

or by the pride of life.] (Ed.)


[Situdtion, Soil, Climate. — Bocharn, the ancient name,
in the Gaelic denotes, in one respect, the situation of the
parish, the bending about the hill,\yu-\g around the eastern
side of the hill of Beneagen, from the river S})ey at the
south, till it meets the river again on the northern end of
the mountain ; its breadth stretches back to Botriphnic
and Keith, and its length extends to Bellie, from the con-
fines of Mortlach and Aberlaur. The country behind the
mountain may be conceived as an extensive valley, having
all the arable land hanging on the acclivities of both sides
of the rivulets which wind their courses from the middle
of the dale to the river at either end of the mountain.
The soil on the banks of the river may be accounted
sand}^ light, and warm ; on the eastern side of the hill, it
is a stiff, deep, wet clay, generally on a bed of lime-stone.
The climate also, like the soil, is cold and wet: the clouds,
borne aloft from the ocean, appear sometimes as if attracted
by the mountain, and at otlier times as if dashed upon its
summit by the winds from the north, or from the north-
west. The seed-time can seldom be commenced till the
spring be well advanced: and, in general, the season of

Online LibraryLachlan ShawThe history of the province of Moray. Comprising the counties of Elgin and Nairn, the greater part of the county of Inverness and a portion of the county of Banff,--all called the province of Moray before there was a division into counties → online text (page 12 of 37)