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

. (page 18 of 37)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Bishop Eden, and the Rev. Charles Jupp, Incumbent of
Aberlour — no small " hopes " of benefiting largely by the
lady's death, was not even cut off with tlie proverbial
shilling. Even the public were denied the full revela-
tion of a curious, an interesting, and instructive ro-
mance, and were forbidden to inquire into a history
that does not altogether reflect credit on several of the
principal actors. They were foreclosed from a narrative,
and particularly from certain correspondences, that, had
the suit been closely pressed, must have come under the
eye of the public, and told tales better fitted to humiliate
than to edify. Mrs. Yeatman may in a sense be regarded
as coming off with flying colours. Being jpursuer in the
lawsuit, her counsel had the advantage of making an
opening statement of her case to the jury, only after
whicli was the compromise negotiated. It was speedily
concluded and iunnediately acted upon, but the other side
had, of course, no opportunity of presenting their case.
The " move " was an adroit one, and in its artistic eflect
might have l)een regarded as remarkably successful, had
it not been that the allegations of the next of kin had
already become pretty well known. By Mr. Eraser's
eloijuence, Mrs. Yeatman was depicted as Injured Inno-
cence ; according to the pleadings in the case, she has
been held up by the next of kin as the Incarnation of
Mi.schief. According to her own story, she only left her
parents' houie to dwell with Miss Macpherson (Jrantat


that lady's request, and with the promise that she was to
be made her heir. The contrary theory is that Miss
Temple's continued and prolonged stay with Miss Grant
was due to " mutual consent," and that something like a
marriage had taken place between them. Each pledged
herself to celibacy ; Miss Grant " married " Miss Temple,
placing on the latter's marriage-hnger a suitable ring, and
thenceforth designating her " Charley ; " Miss Temple not
only reciprocated the extraordinary atl'ection, but likewise
manifested similar extraordinary proofs of it — she termed
herself " Wifie " in her letters to Miss Grant, she addressed
the latter as "Jamie," and in short, a lot of remarkable
tomfoolery went on between the two. It is this that
constitutes the romance, the history of which — at least
the investigation of which — is denied the public.

But what promised to be a cause celehve had been sud-
denly stopped, and the public have been denied the grati-
fication of their " sensational " instincts, and certain ex-
posures that would point many a moral and adorn many
a tale have been withheld. One of the leading ecclesias-
tic characters had been dubbed by a probable witness — "a
d d Jesuit; " certain personages would, in all likeli-
hood, have had to pass a mauvais quart dlieiire in the
witness-box ; and a general picture would have been pre-
sented, containing a good deal of light and shade. From
entering into these matters we are, however, practically
foreclosed ; and it will be sufficient, in a few words, to
indicate the end of the "romance" as already made known.
The "pact of celibacy" — if it did exist — was only kept on
one side. Miss Temple, while charged with screening
her "partner" from all possible suitors — even with cutting
off her intercourse with friends and relations — herself
succumbed to the charms of Captain Yeatman, and in due
time became his wedded wife. An estrangement ensued
between her and Miss Grant, and the latter substituted
as her " companion " a young girl who fulfilled the capa-
city of maid. The latter days of the muscular, active,
" strong-minded " lady of Aberlour form a sorrowful pic-
ture, on either alternative of the theories and allegations
as to her habits. On the one side, it is said that she was
rendered irritable by reflection on Miss Temple's breach
of faith — her confidence in her quondam friend having
been such that she refused a good offer of marriage, and


the ultimate revulsion of feeling leading her to make a
<leclaration that thenceforth she should cease to believe in
religious people. On the other side, it was freely asserted
that Miss Macpherson Grant became a victim to drink —
that her abstention for years from tea and cott'ee, an<l her
habitual practice of taking liipior six times a day had
ultimately broken down her constitution, and produced
her death before she had attained her 50th year. There
M'ere not wanting indications that Miss Macpherson
Grant was opposed to the estate of Aberlour passing to
Miss Temple and to her " brats of children " — as the
" strong-minded " but none the less highly respected pro-
prietrix of that fine Speyside property designated tliem ;
and on this ground alone, if on no other, the settlement
was for the better and not for the worse, in behalf of
" distant poor relations." — {Local Nevjspapers.)

Near the influx of the Burn of Aberlour, on the daugh
of Allachie, stand the roofless walls of the old Church,
bought by Grant of Elchies from the other heritors ; and
about oOO yards farther to the east, on the same plain, is
the new Church, erected in 1812, accidentally burnt down
by the overheating of the flue in the beginning of 18(il,
excepting the belfry and tower, which were built in LS4()
by Grant of Aberlour. A still more elegant Church has
since been erected. An old font, formed from a rude
block of mica-schist, lies in the churchj^ard. It is large
enough to immerse inftints. The basin is 2 ft. wide by 1^
ft. deep. An imbecile person, who was rescued from
suicide in the Spey, was kept one night within the Church
for safety, and was found drowned in the font.

When the churchyard was recently enlarged and walled
in at the expense of Miss i\Iacpherson-(irant, the old and oftices were removed, and a door-lintel was
fount! having the initials M. R. S., and date of 1072.
Those correspond with the time of Mr. Robert Ste])hen,
who was minister of Aberlour from IGG!) until his death
in 1705. His son, who was ap})ointcd his assistant and
successor, was translated to Craig, in Forfarshire, in 171 K


1. The following tombstone relates to Mr. Stephen's
immediate piedecessor : —


Sub. spe. Beatse. Resurrectionis. Hie. Requiescit. Georgius.
Speed. Pius. Doctus. Ficlus. Pastor. Parochise. Aberlourensis.
Quam. Voto. Voce. Et. Vita. Diligenter. Instruxit. Anno.s. 28.
Et. Grandi. Piam. Expiravit. Animani. A. JE. C. 1G88. Sobrie.
Juste. Pie. Vixit. Haec. Ti'ia. Perpetuo. Meditare, Adverbia.
Pauli. HiBc. Tria. Sint. Vitte. Regula. Sancta. Tuse. Georgius.
Et Margarita. Speedii. Inhumantur. Hac. Tendimus. Omnes.
— M. G. S.

Translation. — Here resteth, in the hope of a blessed resurrec-
tion, George Speed, a pious, learned, and faithful minister of
the parish of Aberlour, which he diligently instructed for 28
years, by vow, voice, and life. He breathed out his pious
spirit in 1688, at an advanced age. He lived soberlj^ justly,
and piously. On these adverbs of Paul ever meditate. Be
these three of thy life the sacred rule. George and Margaret
Speed are interred here. Here we all tend. — Margaret and
George Speed.

George Speed was schoolmaster at Keith in 1631, and
afterwards at Fordyce. He became minister of Aberlour
about 1640, and died in 1668. He provided that he
should be buried in the churchyard, and not below the
pulpit, as had long been the practice ; quaintly remarking
that, if laid there, "The rest o' the Aberlour folk at the
last day would be o'er the hill o' Tarainruie (an eminence
between Aberlour and Craigellachie) afore he got oot o'
the kirk."

II. A burial aisle, in the Perpendicular style of archi-
tecture, erected over the bodies of her father and mother
by the late Miss Macpherson-Grant of Aberlour, adds con-
siderably to the beauty of the churchyard. Here is also
laid herself, who died 14th April, 1877, xt. 43.

III. A freestone monument in the north dyke, upon
which the Innes and Barclay arms are carved, has : —

W.I : E.B : 1664.

William Innes of Kinnermoni Cawsed Bvild This
Tomb In This Remote Place for Himself and Elizabeth
Barclay His Spovs, That Non might have occasion to
RAis THEIR Bones, And we Rest Heir in Hope of The
Resurrection of ovr Bodies [2 Cor. v. 10.]

Anna Innes, Davghter to the said William Innes, Lyes
Heir, who Died Vnmarried The 22 of November, 1663.

No mention of the above laird of Kinermonie or his


wife is in the " Account of the Family of Innes," but,
according to Douglas' Baronage, he was the second son of
Sir Robert Innes of Balveny ; and when the third baronet
died, the succession devolved upon Walter, son of William
Innes of Kinermonie. He became fourth baronet, and
through him the line of the fnmil}' was carried on.
William Innes of Kinermonie mortified £350 Scots for
the behoof of the poor of the parish.

The property of Kinermonie (anciently Kyueremonet)
" was a part of the lordship of Balvenie, and was given by
Innes of Balvenie to his second son, whose heir exchanged
it for Ortown, and now (1775) it is the property of the
Earl of Fife." The Knights Templars held the superiority
of Kinermonie, where, continues Shaw, " are the walls of
an old Gothic house; and the tradition of the country is
that it was a religious house, and that all the religious in
it were massacred in one night."

IV. From a slab, also in the kirkyard dyke : —

hic et intus ex opposito .tacent cineres progenitor

.... Alexandri Grant de Eudrie Templum sub

DUOBUs his .... conduntur exuvi.(E Janet.e Grant, qui


Translation. — Here and within opposite lie the ashes of the
:incestors of Alexander Grant of Kudrie. Inside the church,
under these two stones, are interred the remains of Janet (J rant,
.spouse of John Grant, and of her daughter Helen Grant, to
whose memorj- the above-mentioned Alexander caused this
monument to be erected.

Alexander Grant of Rudrie was probably one of the
Grants of Allachie, and may have been related to the wife
(if Dufi" of Kcithmore. The property of Ruthrie, now
Lord Fife's, lies to the south of the church. The l^urn of
Aberlour runs past Ruthrie, and when in flood " the Linn
of Ruthrie" becomes a romantic and picturesque waterfall.

V. From a flat stone : —

Opposite to this .... interred Isabel .... ton, spous to
Alexr. Martin in Aberlour, and their children, William and
Margaret. She died Nov. 8, 1758, aged 63, and they in

OLD parishioners' EPITAPHS IN ABERLOUR. 185

VI. The next inscription probably refers to a descendant

of the above : —

Pat. ]\Iartin, mason, Aberlour, d. 24th, and his wf., Elspet
Stewart, on 29th Ap., 1780, a. 66.65. "They Hved in, and
Avas the first that inhabited, Gownie of Aberlour " : —
Twice 19 years they lived man and wife.
Betwixt them there was heard no strife ;
In love they liv'd, both in one week did die,
And in one grave both here they lie.
By their son, William Martin, china merchant in London.

Alexander Moir and son John (1775-6) : —
No wonder tho' men do turn to clay
^Yhen rocks, and stones, and monuments do decay.
And Robert Moir, late farmer in Sockach of Glenrinnes, son of
the aforesaid Alexander Moir, avIio died January, 1800, aged
40, and his wife, Helen Stuart, who died February, 1820,
aged 55.

VII. From an adjoining stone : —

Erected by Robert Gordon of Polduie in memory of Helen
Green, his beloved spouse, who died May 14, 1791, in the 38
year of her age. A Patern of Virtue ; remarkable for hospi-
tality and charity; respected and lamented by all her

VIII. Abridged from a table-shaped stone : —

John Green and Elizabeth Stewart at Edinvillie had 8 sons
and .3 daughters. John Green died at Shindow in 1798, aged
79, and his widow at Rinnachat in 1808, aged 82. Their son
William, farmer, Ruthrie, and his wife, Helen Stewart, died in
18.33, aged 73 and 63 respectively, having had 7 sons and four

Members of this family (an ancestor of whom bequeathed
£(>G los. 4d. to the poor) still occupy the farm of Ruthrie,
and are also bank agents in Aberlour.

IX. The next inscription possibly refers to John
Proctor, who (Shaw says) left £6G 13s. 4d. Scots to the
poor of Aberlour : —

John Proctor, late possessor in Sauchenburn, hath
pit on these two gravestones upon this burial place,
where his deceast parents, wife and children lyeth.

These were probably ancestors of Mr. Proctor, Sheriff-


Substitute of Moray, who married a daughter of Gordon
of Leitclieston. Their only son, Patrick Proctor of
Halkerton, near Forfar, referred to in Sir Walter Scott's
"Demonology" as the seneschal of Glamis Castle, was
widely known. He and his son William were for about
90 years factors for the Earl of Strathmore, and the eldest
son, John, was some time farmer of East Calcots, near
Elgin. One of Sheriff Proctor's daughters, Isobel, married
John Nicoll, corn merchant, Lossiemouth. Their sou was
Principal Nicoll of St. Andrews, who was the leader of
the Church of Scotland, along with Dr. John luglis, father
of the present Lord Justice Clerk, for the ten years follow-
ing the death of Principal Hill, in 1820.

X. Margt. Dick sp. to Jas. Grant, d. 1779 : —
She was the virtuous woman described in Prov. 31. Tlir
loving wife and affectionate motlier. The pains she took in
showing her children the beauties of a pious and virtuous life,
and her charity to the poor and those in distress, leave no
cause to doubt of her soul being in glory. This stone is
deservedly erected to her memory by her husband.

XL A tombstone to the memory of John Findlay
Gownie of Aberlour, who died in 1813, aged 73, bears to
have been erected or "done by his Natural Daughter,
Margaret Findlay."

XIL Abridged from a stone within an enclosure : —
Rev. Wm. Grant, minister of Duthil, died 22d Aug, 1862,
aged 7G. Called to the ministry at the age of 24, he discharged
his duties for o2 years. ^Maiy Garioch, his wife, daughter of
Dr. James Garioch, Old Meldrum, died 18G6, aged 70.

Mr. Grant was previously at Kirkmichael. He was an
able scholar and minister, and liberal in endowing from
his own resources educational institutions in his own
parish, &c. His brother-in-law, Mr. Garioch, of Old
Meldrum, who seceded at the Disruption, was a liberal
benefactor to the Free Church. (Jeri'ises Eintaphs.)

As in many other parts of Scotland, the parish of
Aberlour was divided into DaagJis or Davachs, which
were certain districts which were cither under cultivation
or capable of being so. As such they were assessable for
puV)lic burdens, and, according to their extent, were also
l)()und to furnish s(.)ldiers in time of war. The names of


these seven Davachs are still preserved, viz., Aberlour
(including Charlestown), Allachie, Carron, Druiiit'urrich,
Edinvillie, Kinnermony, and Ruthrie.

Tlie Village of Gharlestoiun of Aberlour was founded
about 1812 by Charles Grant of Elchies. He claimed
descent from Patrick, 2nd son of James Grant of that ilk,
who, in the time of Charles 11., sided with tlie Parliament,
while his clan joined the King. One of the family, who
is said to have fought under Dundee at Killieci'ankie
(1689), was presented by the Viscount with a snuff-mull,
silver-mounted, now at Elchies, having this inscription :
" Presented to John Grant Roy, laird of Ballindalloch,
by Viscount Dundee." Charlestown was created a Burgh
of Barony in 1814, and has a population of 501. The
heritors of the parish are the Earl of Fife, Dr. Proctor of
Aberlour House, and Henry Alexander Grant of Wester

Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, in his " Moray Floods," gives
affecting details of the sad catastrophe which befel Charles
Cruickshanks in the memorable August of 1820.

The Manse of Aberlour, beautiful for site, was then
inundated, and, in the consternation, the cellar was drained
in more ways than one by some obliging hands. Part of
the glebe was swept away.

A berlour House is an elegant modern mansion of three
storeys, with wings, built in the Grecian Doric. It stands
on an eminence above the public highway and railway.
A great portion was accidentally burnt down on the 11th
Dec, 1875. A column with a stone globe on its summit,
erected by Mr. Grant in 1839, in front of the mansion
ominously fell prior to the event. The old house, formerl}-
the seat of Gordons, who were Roman Catholics, stands
to the eastward. The former proprietor, James Gordon,
who had two thumbs on one hand, got involved in bank-
ruptcy, chiefly by trafhcking in a distillery. Latterly he
resided in Fochabers until his death. An upright head-
stone, having a cross indented, marks his grave in the
churchyard of Aberlour.

Carron House is situated about 3 miles from the village
of Aberlour, on a choice haugh between the railway and
the Spey. Graceful birches adorn the surrounding slopes,
and the modern impretending mansion is so embowered
as to render it invisible till quite nigh. William Grant of


Wester Elchies resided here. Spalding details the gallant
deeds of James Grant of Carron, known as James-au-
Tuani, i.e., James of the hill, who was a free-hooter and
an outlaw. In IGSO there dwelt at Carron a branch of
the Grants of Glenmorriston, and at Ballindalloch there
was a rival stock. Frequent raids were made upon the
possessions of Ballindalloch. Roused by these and other
assaults, Grant of Ballindalloch, hearing that John Grant
of Carron and some of his vassals were in the Forest of
Aberncthy cutting timber, assassinated him, on the pre-
sumption that this John Grant was a partizan of his
clansman, Jamcs-au-Tuam. Tlie Earl of Moray, as Lord
Lieutenant, tried to vindicate the rights of Ballindalloch,
and " made a paction with three broken men to gar one
devil ding another." James-au-Tuam was captured after
another daring assail, and lay a prisoner in Edinburgh
Castle for nearly two years, from which he escaped by
means of ropes which his wife secreted in a cask of butter.
Other desperate conflicts ensued between the two clans.
Near the head of the Drum of Carron is shown the cave
where this scion of Carron concealed himself from his
})ursuers, and this hiding-place was subsequently the
resort of another renowned free-booter, James Macpherson,
a famous tiddler, who was executed at the Cross of Banff,
on the IGth Nov., 1700.

" Roy's wife of Aldivalloch " (sung to a Gaelic air, " An
Caimbeallach dudh "), has the accepted author.ship of
Mrs. Grant of Carron, to mark her from another of the
same, viz., Mrs. Grant of Laggan. The maiden name of
the former authoress was Grant. She was born about
the '45 near Aberlour, and was twice married, first to her
cousin, Grant of Carron, about 1703 ; secondly to Dr.
Murray, a physician in Batli, a famous flute-player and
an Irishman. She died there in 1814, and the inspiriting
l>al lad is her sole production known. Like most unique
rhpnes, the original has been contorted by modern refor-
mers, by way of improvement.

Bf'/iri'inv('K,ha\'m<^ a twin-shaped summit called "the
Skurrins," is chiefly in the parish of Aberlour, although
it extends to that of Inveravon. It rises steeply above
the level of the sea 2,747 feet, and 1,87G feet above its
very broad base. It is the highest mountain in the
■district, and, in a clear day, can be descried from the top


the Grampians on the south, and the mountains of,
Sutherland, and Caithness on the north and east, portions
of nine counties far separated, from Caithness to Dum-
barton. It also commands a view of the sea for many
miles along the coasts of Moray and Banff, being a land-
mark to mariners. On the east shoulder there are a
spring, which sometimes developes into a small pond, and
a sort of cave wherein James-au-Tuam made his covert,
hence his cognomen James of the Hill.

The Lynn of Rutltrle, a short way up the Burn of
Aberlour, is a pretty cascade, and has a fall of about .SO
feet, broken in its descent by a projecting rock, and
received into a gloomy pool below. The wood-covered
rocks rising above the waterfall, and reverberating its
sound, contribute to the interest of the scene. The House
of Ruthrie is in the immediate vicinity.

The prebendary of Aberlour was bound to provide a
deacon to serve as his substitute in the Cathedral Church
at Elgin. In 1238, "Andrew, canon of Abyrlouer," is
one of the prebendaries who adhibit their signatures to
the constitutions for the service of the Cathedral, On
the 2nd Aug., 1473, Thomas of Saint Clair or Sinclair, is
prebendary of Abirlour. On the 23rd Oct., 1487, and on
the 8th May, 1489, Master Alexander Sutherland is pre-
bendary of Abirlour. (Regist. Einsc. Moravien.)

"From BrocJcies M.S., p. 3,754, in the Library of Blairs
College, near Aberdeen, it is stated that the monastery of
S. Drostan, commonly Kil Drostan, now Aberlour, was
situated on the right bank of the River Spey, where at
the present day is S. Drostan's Church, in which formerly
the relics of the Saint were garnished and kept with
great veneration. S. Drostan was descended from the
Kings of Scotland, was a scholar of S. Columba at lona,
and was sent to evangelize the people on the Spey, in the
north of Scotland, where he fixed his monastery about A.D.
618. In the archives of the Scotch College of S. James,
at Ratisbon, there is an old catalogue of monasteries
in which occurs this ancient Monastery of Drostan, and
in which it is stated that S. Drostan was sent to the north
from lona by Abbot Fergnus in A.D. 618. Camerarius
places " S. Drostan, Abbot and Confessor," opposite the
11th July. Fordun says that the mother of this saint


was S. Tynewenna, or, as .she is also named, Moneiina,
or Modenna, and that Conrad, the son of the King of
Demeeia, married her, and that S. Drostan was their
offspring. S. Tynewenna (according to Usserius) built
seven churches in Scotland for holy women — 1. Kilcase
in Galloway ; 2. Dundevenel, on the top of the hill ; 8.
Dumbarton; 4. Stirling, in the Castle; 5. Edinburgh; (i.
Dunpelder, or Dunpeller,or Dunpenderlan, in East Lothian,
where S. Kentigern was born ; 7. Langfortin, near Alyth,
in Angus.

aS!. Margaret's {E'piscopal) Church was built in 1876 at
a cost of £10,000. A small part of the nave was defrayed
by Grant of Carron and the late Miss Macpherson-Grant,
whose sudden death was a great loss. Had she lived the
gain to the Episcopal Connnunion would have been great
indeed. The nave was completed, and the chancel and
transepts added by the Rev. Charles Jupp, the present
and first incumbent. The Orphanage, Convalescent Home,
and Servants' Training Institution, stand under the
shade of S. Margaret's, in about 10 acres of land. The
approach is very fine, and the grounds are tastefully laid
out. There are also elegant schools and parsonage.

At Bateshaugh, in this parish, Mrs. Glass or Sellar died
in March, 1870, aged 102 years.] (Ed.)

I now proceed up the river to


Here I must trace the rivers of Avon and Ijivat
that water this parish. The river Avon riseth
out of a lake of that name, about 2 miles in
length, situated in a deep valley between two
of the highest hills in the kingdom, viz., Cairn-
gorm and Cairngormloi ; and running through
Glenavon, and the parishes of Kirkmicliael and
Inveravon, it emptieth into Spey at Ballendallach,
after a course of about 20 miles.

About 8 miles above the mouth of Avon, Livat


falleth into it, which rising in the hills towards

Strathdon, watereth Glenlivat for 7 or 8 miles,

and mixeth with Avon at Drinnin. Both these

waters are very impetuous ; and Avon is so clear

and deceiving, that, where to the eye it appeareth

but a foot deep, it is commonly more than 3


* The river Avon issues in a large stream from its loch in
the very bosom of the Cairngorm mountains with so great
pellucidity through its deep and narrow glen, that many acci-
dents have occurred to strangers by its appearing fordable in
jDlaces which proved to be of fatal depth. Hence the doggerel :
" The Avater of Aven runs so clear. It would beguile a man of