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 24 of 37)
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a rope through a hook of iron at both ends of each,
thereby forming a raft of 2 or 4 lengths of the timber, on
which also a quantity of deals or other wood is laid, to
the value in whole of £10 or £20 sterling, and navigated
down the river by a man seated at each end with an oar.
Before this, they could only carry down a very small
quantity of timber, bound together by a cord, conducted
in a very hazardous manner, by a man seated in a vessel
made of a hide, in a cylindrical or rather conical form, its
inside extended by hoops of wood. It was managed by
a paddle, and the timber tied to the conductor's leg by
the noose of a rope, to be slipped as occasion required,
that he might return behind the raft, to set it free from
any shallow. This vessel the man carried home upon his
shoulders by land, as the tackle of the rafts are yet
brought back. Tradition relates, that this establishment
was the most extravagant set ever known in the country,
that their wasteful prodigality ruined themselves, and in
part corrupted others. Their profusion was frequently
displayed in bonfires of whole barrels of tar ; and entire
hogsheads of brandy were broached among the people, by
which five men in one night died. It is likely, however,
that a plan, wisely concerted for conciliating the favourable
regard of the natives, might appear as astonishing waste-
fulness, among poor and simple Highlandmen, and, like
other marvellous relations, might be exaggerated in the
succeeding repetitions of it.

State Ecdesiastical. — The stipend, lately augmented, is


£105. The right of patronage belongs to the family of
Grant. At Abernethy, the church is a neat well-finished
building; that of Kincliardine, at the distance of 8 miles,
is also in good condition. There is a burying ground at
each, enclosed by a triple fence, a wall, a hedge, and a belt
of wood. The establishment of the parochial school, ex-
clusive of the fees, is £1 1 2s. 2d., and the perquisites of
the office of session clerk. The Society for Christian
Knowledge have established a school in Kinchardinc,
with an a))pointment of £!) ; and he has the best school-
house in the Highlands. The parish is likewise accom-
modated with a catechist, by the royal bounty. The
contributions made in the assemblies for social wor-
ship, in behalf of the poor, amount to about £G ster-
ling, not sufficient to furnish them in shoes half the
year. They are supported by the tenants, in begging
from house to house ; and in this mode 100 bolls of meal
are distributed, supposed at a peck weekly, or 8 bolls in
the year, from each tenant. The whole of the inhabi-
tants, amounting to 1701), are of the national Church.

Miscellaneous Inforimd'wn. — The people are sagacious,
well informed, frugal, very sober, and loyal to a degree
that cannot be surpassed. Political or religious fanaticism
have got no footing among them ; neither misled by the
doctrines of those vagabond fanatics that infest the coast,
nor misled by the tenets of political ])amphlets : they are
only dissatisfied with the mode in which they are by the
landlords obliged to hire their farms. Crystals of some
value, similar to the kind at Bristol, are sometimes found
about the bottom of the mountains of Cairngorum. They
are for tlie most part found by chance, though some pre-
tend to know the vein where they may be found by
digging ; yet it is an employment by no means worth
following.] {tiv.rvey of the Province of Moray.)

I cross the Kiver Spey to


A\'lii('li lietli oil the west side of the river, but
the parisli of Hothieiiiiirclms that is united to it
is oil the east side. Duthil is divided iuto two


parts by a ridge of hills running from south to
north. The south-east side of these hills is called
Deasoil, i.e., southward ; and the north-west side
is called Tuatliail, i.e., northward ; and hence is
the name Duthel.

The rapid rivulet Tuilenan watereth this north
side of the parish. It risetli in the hills betwixt
Badenock and Strathern, and running north-east
through Duthil, it turneth due east, and after a
course of 16 miles falleth into Spey. There are
upon it two stone bridges, one a furlong above
the mouth of it and the other a mile above the

The Church* standeth on the west side of
Tuilenan, 6 miles W.-S.-W. of Cromdale, 4 miles
west of Abernethy, and about 7 miles north of

On Tuilenan, h^om north to south, lies Tulloch-
griban, Mullachard, Achterblair, Inverladenan,
&c., the seats of gentlemen of the name of Grant.

The Deasoil, or south side of the hills, stretcheth
on the bank of Spey from TuUochgorum to the
borders of Badenoch, 5 miles in length, and not
1 mile in breadth.

In the east end is Gartenbeg, the ancient seat
of the Clan Donachie, of whom Sir Ludovick

* The bands of the Kirk door are A^ery rare, made after the
manner of a tree casting out its branches and covering the
whole door after the manner of needle work. {Account of the
Countr II of Strathspey, c. 1680.) (Ed.)


Grant of Dalvey is now the representer. Laiiclilan
Grant, now of Gartenbeg, is of that family.

Upon the west bank of the river, where now
the passage boat of Gartenmore crosseth, stood
the liouse of Cnniming of Glenchernicli, as yet
caUed Bigla's House, because Bigla, heiress of
Glenehernich, married to the Laird of Grant, was
the last of the Cummines that enjoyed that land.
The house stood on a green moat, fenced by a
dry ditch, the vestiges of which are jet to be
seen. A current tradition beareth that at night
a salmon net was cast out into the pool below
the wall of the house, and a small rope, tied to
the net and brought in at the window, liad a bell
hung at it, which rung when a salmon came into
and shook the net.

Next is Kincherdie, the seat of a branch of the
house of Grant.

Farther up is Aviemore, which (with Line-
chuirn) was the residence of a branch of the
family of Glenmoriston, now extinct.

And on the borders of Badenoch is the Western
Craigelachie, which word is a motto of the Grant's
aims, and is the Crie de guerre, or war-cry of the

This parisli is in the shire of Moray for the
most part, and the whole of it is a part of the
estate of Grant.

[Three miles to the east of l^uthil Manse the load
passes close to the old tower of Muckei-acli, the high walls


of which are visible at a great distance. It stands on the
brink of a little dell, on the brow of a hill, which com-
mands an outlook to the west as far as Upper Craigella-
chie and Aviemore, and eastward a great way over the
valley of the Spey. It was the primeval seat of the
family of Eothiemurchus, and was erected in 1598 by
Patrick, second son of John, laird of Grant, and Margaret
Stewart, daughter of the Earl of Athole, who was his first
spouse. The founder's father was called John Baold, the
Simjde, and was the son of Shemis-nan-Creach, the
Ravagcr, who died in 1550.

The lintel stone over the doorway has been carried off",
but still exists in one of the farm houses at Rothiemurchus.
It contains the year 1598, in which the Castle was
finished, with the owner's arms (three antique crowns and
three wolves' heads), and on the scroll, " In God is al
MY Trest." The building forms a most picturesque ruin
and is beautifully situated, but it is a mere shell, its roof
and all the interior partitions having fallen away. It
was only a castellated mansion, and hence had not the
solidity or thickness of wall sufficient to keep it as entire
as many structures more ancient than itself] (Ander-
sons Guide to the Highlands.)


[Situation, Soil, Climate. — The River Spey, on getting
clear of the parish of Alvie, forms the boundary of the
counties of Moray and Inverness. A part of the last
county, still stretching down for 7 miles along the south
side of the river, and for the breadth of 4 miles back to
the bottom of the mountains, is distinguished by the name
of the parish of Rothiemurchus, although it has been a
part of Duthel since 1G25, upwards of 170 years. From
the borders of Alvie on the north side of the river, where
the county of Moray meets with Inverness, Duthel ex-
tends down the river for 14 miles. From the influx of
the Dulnan it extends backward along both banks of this
rapid stream for almost 1(J miles, near its sources to the
north-west, in the mountainous desert which is interposed
between the Spey and Findern, separating this parish
from that of Moy and Dalarossie on the north. It was
once distinguished by a Gaelic appellation, which signi-
fied the valley of heroes ; its modern name, applying to


the course of the Dulnan, which winds through a valley
of almost 1,000 acres, imports the excellent dale. The soil
towards the lower end of this district, which is widened
into a plain of several miles, is rich and deep, but
frequently overHowed by the Dulnan, which in the
original signifies fioody. Towards the upper end, and
distant from the river, although shallow it is fertile
throughout. The skirts of the hills are clothed with fir,
birch, and aller, beyond which is the naked waste and the
brown heath. In the Gaelic, Eothemurchus signifies the
great plain of fir. Although some parts near the Spey be
of a deep and fertile soil yet it is in general shallow. Its
mountains beyond the forest extend backwards to Athol
and Braemar on the south. The climate of the whole
parish is extremely healthful ; the common distempers are
probably occasioned by imprudent changes of warmer
clothing for the Highland garb.

St(de of Properti/. — The district of Duthil appertains
to Sir James Grant of Grant, Bart. It is valued in the
Cess-Books of Moray at £861 17s. 8d. Scots. The
number of its arable acres is 2,183, all under corn and
potatoes, excepting a few under turnip, cabbage, and
sown grass ; they are managed by 105 ploughs. There
are besides, in natural pasturage and wood, 2,407 acres,
and in moor and peat earth 4,650, exclusive of the
mountainous waste. Its real rent may be nearly £1,100
sterling. The only articles of export are black cattle, of
which the district supports 1,022 ; and sheep, which
amount to 8,424; and l)esides these there are also 315

The whole district of Rothiemurchus is the pro})erty of
John Peter Grant, Esq., valued in the Cess-Books of the
county of Inverness at £425 Scots. Its real rent amounts
to about £800 sterling, and as much may be drawn yearly
by the sale of timber. From the number of people
employed in its manufacture an importation of grain is
required for this district, but that of Duthel supplies its
own inhabitants with provisions. The black cattle in
Rothiemurchus amount to the number of 180, and shee])
to 2,800, and the horses to 95.

State Ecclesiastical. — The value of the living, both
glebes excluded, is £105 sterling. The residence is at
the Church of Duthel (mly. Public worship is performed


but each third Sunday at Rothieraurehus. The right ol
patronage appertains to Sir James Grant. The salary
and perquisites of oihce in the parochial school amount
nearly to £12 in the year, the number of scholars about
30. There are two schools established by the Society for
Christian Knowledge. In the district of Rothiemurchus
the appointment is £10 sterling, and the perquisites
drawn in the country are valued at £5 more ; the number
of scholars about 30. In the Duthel district the appoint-
ment is £9, with a few conveniences furnished by the
tenants. The number of poor in the whole parish is 23,
and the contributions made by their neighbours in both
churches are about £8 yearly. The whole inhabitants
are of the Established Church, amounting to 1,110.

Miscellaneous Information. — There are several chaly-
beate fountains ; that at Auchterblair has been found of
use in gravelish complaints. The people are extremely
industrious in the cultivation of their possessions.

The country distinguished b}^ the appellation of Strath-
spey begins where Duthel borders with Alvie, at a lofty
rocky precipice called Craigelachy, the rock of alarm, the
war-cry of the Clan Grant, and a motto in their armorial
coat, distant almost 40 miles from a similar precipice of
the same name, where the parish of Knockando borders
with Rothes. Near the centre of the district of Rothie-
murchus there is a mountain of limestone, and plenty of
fuel in the country. In this quarter are also .two small
lakes, and by the romantic situation of the surrounding-
hills are formed 5 very remarkable echoes. In one of
them, named Lochnellan, the island lake, are the walls
entire of a very ancient castle.] {Survey of the Province
of Moray.)


A rude baptismal font of granite stands at the Church
of Duthil. According to the Old Stat. Account, vol. iv.,
p. 811, the Kirk was built in 1400, which is possibly a
misprint for IGOO or some later date. It stood until
about 1826, when the present house was erected.

A mausoleum of granit«i, belonging to the Earls of Sea-
held, adjoins the Church, and there, it is said, the Grants
of Castle Grant have had their place of burial since the
year 1.585. The first of the Grants is said to have been


Gregory (Sheriff of Inverness in the time of Alexander
II.), who married a daughter of Bisset, Lord of Lovat.
From that time the surname frequently occurs in charters
and other authentic documents. It was in consequence
of Sir Ludovick Grant having married Margaret, daughter
of the 5th Earl of Sealield, that Grant of Grant succeeded
to the estates and titles of the earldom of Seafield, &c.

The mausoleum was built in 1837 from a design b}-
Mr. Plaj'fair, Edinburgh. It is a square structure of
dressed granite, situated at the east end of the Church.
The walls are embattled all round, and in each of the
three sides of the structure are arched doorways with iron
doors. Above the front doorway is engraved in a slab
the armorial bearings of the family, with the motto Stand
Fast. Within the mausoleum ai^e two memorial records.
One of these is a large marble slab, encased in black
marble frame, on the west wall, which is inscribed as
follows . —

Sacred to the memory of Sir James Grant of Grant, Bart.,
Lord Lieutenant of the County of Inverness, &c., &c., wlio
died at Castle Grant on the IStb day of February, 1811, aged
73 years. And to his spouse, Jane, only daughter of Alexandei-
Duff of Hatton, Esquire, by Lady Ann Duff, eldest daughter of
William, 1st Earl of Fife, who died at Castle Grant on the
15th day of February, 1805, aged 59 years.

Sacred also to the memory of the following members of the
family : —

Jane, the third daughter, who died at Grant Lodge on the
22nd day of May, 1819, aged 45 years.

Ann Margaret, their eldest daughter, Avho died at Grant
Lodge on the 3rd day of November, 1827, aged 63 years.

James, eldest son of Colonel the Hon. Francis William
Grant, second son of the said Sir James Grant of Grant, Bart.,
by the said Jane Duff; and of Mary Ann, only daughter of
John Charles Duff, Esq., of Highham House, in the county ol"
Sussex, his spouse, who died in London on the 15th day of
March, 1815, aged 2 years and 11 months.

Mary Ann, above named, spouse of Colonel Grant (now
1841), 6th Earl of Seafield, who died in London, 27th February.
1840, aged 45.

Their eldest surviving son, Francis William Grant, M.B. for
I nvernes.s-shire, wlio died at Cullen House, 11th March. 1840,
aged 26.

Lewis Alexander, 5th EaA of Seafield (eldest son of Sir


James and Lady Grant), who died at Cullen House, 26th
October, 1S40, aged 73.

On the lid of the coffin of the 7th Earl is a coronet and
plate of silver, inscribed : —

John Charles Ogilvie Grant, 7 th Earl of Seafield, 26th Laird
of Grant, 1st Baron Strathspey, K.T. Born at Cullen House,
4-th September, 1815; died at Cullen House, 18th February,

On the small slab in the south wall is inscribed : —
Sacred to the memory of Sir Ludovick Grant of Grant,
Baronet. Born, 13th January, 1707; married, November
1735, to Lady Margaret Ogilvie, eldest daughter of James,
Earl of Findlater and Seafield ; and died at Castle Grant, 18th
.Alarch, 1773.

One part of the enclosure is reserved for the Chief and
liis otispring, vi^hile the outer part belongs to collateral
branches, as the families of Kinchurdy, Tullochgriban,
and Balladirin.

The following inscription, upon a marble tablet within
the Church, relates to a grandson of the under-mentioned
minister of Abernethy, who was previously at Duthil: —

I. Capt. William Grant, 27th Eegt. Bengal N.I., Assistant
Adjutant General of Afghanistan, eldest son of the late Major
(irant, Auchterblair, was killed in action at Gundermuck during
the disastrous retreat of the British Army from Cabool on the
13 of January, 1842, aged 38 years.

Erected by his bereaved widow.

II. The next bears the names of the Uncle and Grand-
father of the above Captain W. Grant : —

Erected by James Augustus Grant, Esq., of Yiewfield, in
memory of his ancestors of the family of Milton, who have had
from a remote period their last resting place here, and where
too are deposited the remains of his father, the Revd. John
Grant, minister of Abernethy, who died 21 January, 1820.

It is told that the minister, having several sons in the
army during the Peninsular war, was in the habit of
reading the newspapers upon Sundays to his congregation,
when anything of importance occurred regarding the pro-
gress of events.

VOL. L 17


III. The following is upon a stone within an en-
closure : —

Alexander Grant of Tullocligonim died 28 February, 1828,
aged 97, and Margaret Grant, his wife, died 15 April, 1850,
aged 67.

Alexander Grant of Tullicligriban, Esq., died 22nd Feb.,
1829, aged 98 years; and his widow, Margaret Grant, died 15
April, 18-i9. Erected by their only child, Isabella Elizabeth,
wife of General Sir Lewis Grant.

John Grant and Elizabeth Lumsden, his spouse, both departed
this life on the 9th Feb., 1806. Their son. Colonel Sir INIaxwell
Grant, K.C., died 22d Oct., 1823.

The above refers to one of the Muckroch family, the
first of whom was the 4th son of Sir John Grant of Grant,
who was knighted by James VI., and died soon after the
year 1625. Muckroch Castle, the ruins of which still
remain, is said to have been built in 1598 ; also, that the
lands of Muckroch were excambed with the laird of
Grant for those of Rothiemurchus.

IV. Margaret Cuming, died 20th June, 1790, aged 82, wife
first of Robert Grant, farmer, Aangormack, next to Patrick
Cuming, farmer at Easter Duthil. " Name what a Consort, a
Parent, and a Friend, in her station, should be — and she was

V. A rough slab, upon Avhich a hammer, square, chisel,
and a gun are rudely carved, bears this brief inscription : —

Here lyes Donald Cuming, son of Patrick Cuming, Duthil.

VI. The next three inscriptions are from tombstones
erected to certain of "The Men" as they are locally
called : —

Duncan Cuming, merchant. Bridge of Endy, Coilum, Rothie-
murchus, who died 21 Feb., 1839, aged G5, "was the last 26
years of his life effectually called to an enlightened mind to
love and to believe the Holy Scripture."

VII. John M'Intosh, late farmer, Torspartan, died 27 Nov.,
1843, aged 65. "A man distinguished for zeal, love, sweet
communion, was, for the last 35 years of his life, called to
repentance. He was gifted with a spirit of love, prayer, and
charitaljle feelings to'distressed .<^oul.s, persuading them to fly
from the wrath to come. This is erected l)y liis affectionate
neighbours as a token of their regards towards liim."


VIII. George Cameron, farmer, Tullochgorum, died 5 Feb.,
1848, aged 79. "For the last 28 years of his life he was
brought to sharp repentance, to be a self-denying Christian,
and to have love to the brethren."

The Men were those who professed to have been brought
to a sense of their error by some miraculous means ; after
which they made it their business to go about and
expound the Holy Scriptures to their neighbours. The
appellation of TJte Men of Ross has been long given to
laymen of that county who acted in the way indicated.
The Men of Duthil had great faith. Not long ago, in the
time of The Men above-named, when the Spey changed
its course at a particular spot, The Men believed that
Providence had made it do so in obedience to their prayers;
and had the same recorded upon a stone, which they
placed at the point where the river had diverged.

The district of Duthil appears to have been the pro-
perty of the Earls of Strathearn prior to the time it fell
into the hands of the Cumins, the old Lords of Badenoch.
It was afterwards owned by Sir John (grandson of
Gregory Grant of Grant), who is said to have married the
heiress of Cumin, and thus acquired the lands. Duthil is
still held by a descendant of Sir John, the Earl of Seafield,
who is accounted chief of the Clan Grant. He married
the youngest daughter of the late Lord Blantyre, and has
issue, Viscount Reidhaven, born 1851.

On the west side of the burial ground, unmarked as yet
by any monument, lie the remains of Ian Manndach, or
Lom, the celebrated Jacobite poet ; who, after the defeat
of his party at Culloden, found, in his flight from the
battlefield, an asylum in the farm house of Lochanhully,
where he died after a brief illness, caused by fatigue and

Although there are few objects of antiquity in the
district, it can boast of many curious and interesting
traditions, the more noteworthy of which have been pre-
served by Sir T. D. Lauder and by local writers, particu-
larly by " Glenmore " in his " Legends of Strathspey."]
(Jeruise's Epita'phs.)



Is ill the Sliire of Iiiverness. It lietii on the
south-east of the river, and, including Glenmore
in Kinchardine parish, it maketh a semicircle,
whereof the river is the diameter, and high
mountains the circumference.

The Chm-ch standeth on the river, a half mile
below the south end of the parish, 6 miles south
from Duthel; 6 miles south-west from Aher-
nethie ; 1-^ mile south-east from Alvie.

Close by the chui'ch is the house of Downe,*
the seat of Patrick Grant of Eothiemurchus, a
baron in the county.


[Signifies Loch of the Island. Dr. MacCulloch has
beautifully described it thus :— A fir-lake, if I may use
such a term, like Loch-an-eilan, is a rare occurrence ; and
indeed this is the only very perfect example in the
country. No other tree is seen ; yet, from the variety of
the shores, there is not that monotony which might be
expected from such limited materials. In some parts of
it, the rocky precipices rise immediately from the dark
water, crowned with the dark woods, that fling a })rofound
shadow over it. In others, the solid masses of the trees
advance to its edge ; while elsewhere, open green shores,
or low rocky points, or gravelly beaches, are seen ; the
scattered groups, or single trees, which, springing from
some bank, wash their roots in the waves that curl against
them, adding to the general variety of this wikl and

* The present IMansion is a modern building without any
ai-cliitcctural pretensions; but the site is most attractive on tlu'
banks of the Spey. The garden, situated in a deep dell among
rich plantations, had its natural beauties much improved by
the late Duke and Duchess of Bedford, who chose this charm-
ing spot as their summer retreat. (Ed.)


singular scene. This lake is much embellished by an
ancient Castle standing on an island within it, and even
yet entire, though roofless. As a Highland castle it is of
considerable dimensions ; and the island being scarcely
larger than its foundation, it appears in some places to
rise immediately out of the water. Its ancient celebrity
is considerable, since it was one of the strongholds of the
Cumyns — the particular individual whose name is attached
to it, being the ferocious personage known by the name
of the Wolf of Badenoch. It has passed now to a tenant
not more ferocious, who is an apt emblem of the red-
handed Highland chief. The eagle has built his eyrie

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 24 of 37)