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 30 of 37)
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Innes Portioner of Urquhart who died June 1695 and John
Innes grandson to Robert Innes who died in October 1739 and
his spouse Helen Chalmers who died in May 1752 and of
William Innes let marchan Elgin who died the 30 August
1779 aged 70.


IX. Here lyes the body of James Simpson who sometime
lived in Byres and died the 7 day of November 1713 and
Margaret Innes his spouse who died the 14 of ... . 1725.

X. Here lyes the body of Roderick Urquhart sometime
ilueller in Walkmill who died the 4th day of JNIarch 1732 and
Mariorie Grant his spouse who dyed the 7 of Oct. 1715.

XL This is the burial place of James Shank who livetl in
nether meaft who died December 20th 173- and his spouse
Isobel Shank.

XII. This is the burial of William Russell farmer in
Urquhart who died January 20 1748 and Ch" Urquhart liis
spouse who died October the 7th 1750. Seven of their cliildren
who died young and William their only surviving child who
died * and Janet Casie his spouse who died *

W. R. C. U.

XIII. This is the burial place of John Rob who lived in
nether meft and died 6 July 1752 and of his spouse Christian
Paul * . . . and their children.

XIV. This Stone is placed here in memory of the deceased
James Sinclair who died in the uper Bins Octr. 25 1794 and
Jean Ogilvie his affectionate widow. {Rev. J. B. Craven's MSS.)


Is SO called either from the British Lhan, a
church, and hride or brigida, i.e., St. Brigida's
Church ; or (it being written in some ancient
manuscripts Lamhnahride) because a lamb, an
emblem of meekness, was taken up and decorated
with many ornaments on St. Bride's Day, as a
memorial of her. This parish lieth south of
Urquhart, and is a mile in length and as much
in breadth.

The Church standeth a mile south of Urqu-
hart, two and a half miles south-east of Elgin.
* Dates liavc never been filled in.


In the south end of the parish is Pitnaseir, a
part of the lands of the preceptory of Maison
Dieu, and now the heritage of Ogilvie of Pitna-
seir, holding of the town of Elgin. In the south
end is Cotts, for some generations the heritage
of a branch of the family of Innes, and in 1757
sold to Alexander Bremner, merchant in Portsoy ;
holding of the Earl Fife.

Below Cotts is Cockstoun, a barony that had
long been the property of a branch of the family
of Innes of Invermarkie. Cockstoun was created
a baronet in 1687, whose grandson, Sir Alexander,
married the heiress of Barclay of Towie. The
whole barony of Cockstoun now belongeth to the
Earl Fife.

[The Manor of Lhanhride belonged to Robert and
Matilda Hod [Hood] in 1225, and was in that year the
subject of a dispute between them and Andrew, Bishop of
Moray, who claimed it as the property of the Church.
On the Pope appointing commissioners to try the question,
King Alexander II. interfered, and insisted on its adjudi-
cation in his courts, as the estate was admitted to be a
barony held of the Crown. The controversy was subse-
quently settled by arbitration, in arranging the terms of
which the King appears to have taken a personal interest,
as is shown by his having affixed his seal to the deed
drawn up on that occasion. The Bishop resigned all
claims to the barony, with the exception of his right to
the Church of the manor and its glebe, while Robert Hod
and his wiie gave on their part, as a free gift, for the
maintenance of the Bishop's table, a davach of Pitnasser
and a piece of land, the boundaries of which were Lochlyn
[Lochnabo] and the stream issuing from it, and another
rivulet named Granuske. In detailing these boundaries
allusion is made to dwelling-houses [mansos], a mill, a
brew-house, and a workshop [fahrica], most probably a

328 coxTON TOWER, PArasii of lhanbryd.

smithy or armourer's forge — all, doubtless, comprised in
the village of the manor. This barony became subse-
quently the property of Sir Malcolm de Moravia of Tuly-
bardyn. He transferred it in 1280 to his son, William de
Moravia, who was most likely the proprietor of it when
Edward I. ])assed through this part of the country.] {Dr.
Taylors " Edward I. of England in the North of Scot-
land," pp. 107, 108.)

[Coxton Toiver. — Not one fragment of history has been
preserved relating to this small but picturesque To\ver,
which is within half a mile of Lhanbryd Railway Station.
It is built of stone, roof and all, fire-proof throughout,
even to the corner turrets. Excepting its two outer doors,
which are backed by massive gates of cross-barred iron,
no wood whatever is used in the whole building. It
resembles many Border towers, having the lower room
or vault for sheltering, or rather securing, the owner's
cattle against marauders. Above this, was the dwelling
of the laird, comprising the scanty accommodation of
three rooms and several small closets, the latter being-
enclosed in the walls. To the lower dwelling-room there
was no access from without, save by a ladder, A poor
stone-stair has of recent years been erected. What is
still more singular, there is no appearance on the exterior
of any means of access to the upper rooms, although there
is a circular newelled stair within the substance of the
wall, in the angle between the cornered turrets. The
sides of the tower, which were formerly protected by the
walled court, have rather a cheerful expression ; but the
opposite angles are sufficiently dismal, and were rather to
be avoided by the stranger in former times, for not a
window nor opening appears in the walls, except so many
port-holes for arrows or musketry. When we considei-
tliat every floor is a heavy semi-circular stone vault, the
absence of external buttresses natuially forces itself upon
our observation. No defect, however, has resulted I'rom
this ; for, by an admirable contrivance, they are rendered
unneces.sary — the floors are vaulted at opposite angles.
Thus, if the sides of the lower room arch stand east and
west, those of the arch innnediately above are north and
south, and so they keep alternating. By this simple
arrangement the weight of one floor or vault acts as a


counterpoise to the arch beneath ; and the efficiency of
this construction is evinced by the state of the building.
Not a crack is visible, and we predict that, until the stone
disintegrates, the Castle will stand. Withiu the rooms is
a singular provision for communication, perfectly inde-
pendent of the stair-case. In the centre of each floor is a
square stone, fitted into a grove. These stones, when
lifted up, show an opening from the summit to the base
of the tower, and by the aid of a rope and pulley the
requirements of its inmates might be attended to, and all
the inconveniences of carriage up the narrow stair-case
avoided. Over the only entrance, on the south front, is a
large carved stone with armorial bearings, and the initials
E.I.A.I. at the top, and I.R.K.G. at the bottom, with the
date 1G44. This has been inserted at a period consider-
ably later (probably a century) than that of its erection.

There is a mound or hill on either side of the Tower,
the one is named Doohill, and the other Galloivhill.
The burly lairds of Coxton were sufficiently expert in
vindicating their feudal rights of 'pot or jnt and galloivs;
for, when the hill was being planted a number of skulls
and human bones was found as palpable evidence in
their favour. Choice engravings are given of the interest-
ing Tower of Coxton in Billings' Baronial Antiquities of
l^cotland, from which has been borrowed the greater
portion of the above letter-press.] (Ed.)

[Innes House is about 4 miles from Elgin, is one of the
baronial seats of the Earl of Fife, and is in the parish of
St. Andrews-Lhanbryd. There are characteristics about
Innes House which keep it entirely distinct from the
other contemporaneous fortified mansions of the north.
It is not so picturesque as many of them are. No one
would think of comparing it with Fyvie or Caudor. Yet,
though its meagreness throws it behind these buildings
in fulness of effect, it belongs to a more ambitious class
of architecture. It contains the same character of detail
with that which imparts to Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh,
its beauty and oriental-looking richness. An elaborate
account or account-book, in the possession of the Spalding
Club, shows that the Laird of Innes contracted to build
the House on the Gth May, 1640, with "Wm. Ross, Mr.
Measoun." The items are particularized : — " Twa hameris

330 REV. WM. Leslie's history of lhanbryd.

and twa craneis maid be the commissar Smith in Elgin."
Six score bolls of lime are, along with iron for " crookis
and windowis," ordered from Leith, 250 miles distant.
The account begins on 4th Sep., 1(]40, and ends on 13th
June, 1653, amounting to £15,206 Scots, or £1,221 3s. 4d.
sterling, no contemptible sum for a Morayshire laird to
pay for his house in the middle of the 17th century.

The owner of Innes House was the representative of
Innes of that ilk, occurring in charters of the 12th century,
which ramified into various north country families of the
name of Innes, and made repeated alliances with other
neighbouring houses. The mother of Duncan Forbes,
Lord President of the Court of Session, was Mary Innes,
a daughter of the owner of this mansion. The name is
of frequent occurrence in the feuds and other northern
historical events of the 16th and 17th centuries. See
Billings' Baronial Antlqidties of Scotland.] (Ed.)


[Situation, Soil, Climate. — When Popery was the estab-
lished religion in the Province of Moray, it was an article
of faith, that the spirits of departed saints, though resi-
dent in heaven, beheld the transactions upon earth, con-
tinued to be concerned in mortal affairs, and had interest
with the Almighty to obtain special favours for their
friends below. Much prayer was therefore made to dead
saints, and many honours were bestowed, in order to win
the regard of such among them as were believed to liave
most credit in heaven, or were by accidental circumstances
more affectionately attached to any particular district of
this lower world. On this account, churches, chaj)els, and
altars, were erected in honour of ])articular individual
saints, even before the division of the kingdom into ])ar-
ishes took place. The apostle Andrew, it was believed,
had appeared in a vision, promising to King Hungus the
victory over the enemy ; and his relics had been also
miraculously employed in converting the nation to the
faith of the gospel : being therefore in those ages a
peculiar favourite, the church, which gave his name to
the parish, was erected to the honour of his memory.

A Welch lass, also, of the name of Bridget, had ac(piired
such distinguished reputation as a saint, that Dr. Mac-
phers(jn of Slate, Diss. 1 5. shews cause to believe, that the


whole of the Western Isles of Scotland were put under
her particular protection, and so much appropriated to her,
that Hebrides or Ey-Brides, being literally translated,
mean the Islands of Bridget: and her Gaelic name of
Bride is still recognised in the denomination of no fewer
than C of the parishes of the Church of Scotland, there
being 4 Killbryds, Panbryd, and Lhanbryd, all signifying
Bridget's Church. For killie being originally the Erse
word for servant, came to denote the Church where the
servant of the Divinity ohiciated; and its signitication was
by degrees extended to imply also the burying-place,
which, on account of the consecrated ground, became in-
separably connected with the Church.

In the other denomination, the word 2>ctn is a corrup-
tion of the Latin fanum, or 'plumum, a temple, derived
from a Greek word signifying light, because oracular
illumination was there vouchsafed. Thus the lands,
which were bestow"ed upon the canons of the Elgin
cathedral, are still named the Pans ; and the adjoining
gate, which led through the college to the cathedral, still
bears the appellation of the Pans Port.

The last denomination Uum, in the original British or
Welch language, is a grove, and from the sacred places
of the Druids, it has been in that tongue appropriated
also for church.

This parish measures about 3 miles from E. to W.
along the high way from Spey to Elgin. Its territory
extends from the sea to the mountain, although the
inhabited ground from N. to S. measures only about
4 miles, exclusive of an improvement one mile distant on
the south, disjoined by an intervening skirt of the parish
of Elgin, to which it pertains. It was originally the
moor where the cattle were collected, for drawing part of
the tithes of both parishes, before they were converted
into money, from which it retains the name Teind-
land ; and on account of its distance from Elgin, the
inhabitants have in general ranked themselves in this
parish. The general appearance of the country is a plain,
interrupted however by several of those low intervening
ridges, by which, as has been .said, this country is diversi-
fied, all of them being covered with corn, or grass, or
plantations of wood. The air is healthful and dry, and the
soil in general sandy, yet fertile w^here it is low and damp.


State of Property. — The parish at present is shared
among 8 proprietors. The Earl of Fife has the ^Yhole of
what had been the parish of Lhanbryd, and the ancient
barony of Kilnalemnoc, in St. Andrews, valued together
in the Cess Books of the county at £1G29 12s. 8d. Scots.
The Hon. George Duff has Barmuckity, in the middle of
the parish, of £462 5s. Scots of valued rent. The Earl of
Findlater holds Linkwood and Linksfield in the west,
with part of the lands of Newmill, amounting to the
valuation of £074 2s. 8d. Scots. William King of New-
mill, Esq., has the lands in the vicinity of Elgin, amount-
ing to £203 Scots of valuation. Although there are
several handsome houses in the, particularly at
Linkwood, yet Pitgaveny, the property of John Brander,
Esq., is the only family seat. It is a superb modern
house, an oblong square of 4 stories, having a double-
ridged roof, rising so far within a battlement, as to foi-m
a plea.sant walk around. The front door is in the western
side, between two lofty Doric columns, rising from the
landing place of a spacious flight of steps, and supporting
a massive pediment above: it opens into the principal
floor, which, besides the hall and stairs, contains an ample
parlour, breakfasting room, library, and bed-chamber; the
great drawing room, and state bed-chambers, are in the
third story. The stone of the walls is superior in white-
ness and durability to the Portland stone, and more easily
formed. The building stands on a gentle eminence, com-
manding Innes house rising through its groves, and the
windings of the river Lossie, on the east; on the west, a
stretch of the lake of Spynie, bending like a great river
between its green banks, which rise to such a height as
to conceal its termination at either end. On the nearest,
stand the ruins of the Bishop's palace: an object perhaps
more desirable in its present desolation, than when occu-
pied by its lordly owners ; who, if the}^ attained that rank
by their own merit, became in general craftily rapacious;
or, if raised to it by mere interest, turned out to be
absurdly arrogant. A wide extent of the richest corn-
field lies everywhere around, enlivened with neat farm-
steads, herds, and plantations : the neighbouring city of
Elgin smokes behind an intervening green hill : at a dis-
tance, the blue mountains of Sutherland skirt the northern
horizon, and the Moray Firtli rolls its azure waves along


their dusky bottoms. The domains of this house extend
over large portions of the parishes of Drainy and of DufFus,
on the other side of the lake. The valuation hero is
£341 2s. 8d. Scots.

[The estate of Pitgaveny was part of the lands belonging
to the Bishopric of Moray, and some time pertained to
a branch of the Bi'odies of Letheny. It was purchased
about a century ago by James Brander, Esq., whose son
and successor, John Brander, Esq., died in 1826, leaving a
son and daughter — James, a Lieut.-Col. in the army, and
Mary, who married the late Sir Archibald Dunbar, of
Northfield, Bart. Lieut.-Colonel Brander, who succeeded
his father as heir to the estate, served with the 42nd
Highlanders in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo,
where he was severely wounded. On his death, in 1854,
his sister, the Lady Dowager Dunbar, succeeded to the
estate, and assumed the additional surname of Brander.
Her son and heir is Captain James Bi-ander Dunbar of
the Scots Greys. Besides Pitgaveny, the estate compre-
hends the ancient barony of Kineddar, on which the
villages of Lossiemouth and Branderburgh, with their
thriving sea-port are situated.] {Morayskire Described.)
(See also Young's Parish of Spynie, page 223. — Ed.)

The lands of Dunkinty and St. Andrews, separated by
the river Lossie, appertain to John Innes, Esq., of Leuchars,
and are valued at £802 Os. Gd. Scots; and there is the
small estate of Scotstownhill, about 50 acres, valued at
£88 14s. 6d. Scots, accounted a 40 shilling land of old ex-
tent, and the freehold of a branch of the family of Altyre.

There is, besides, a small property in the Barflat hills,
a valuation of £24 5s. Id. Scots, which in the last genera-
tion was bestowed by Gordon of Cairnfield, for the support
of the Episcopalian Chapel in Elgin ; making the valued rent
of the whole parish, £4,222 Is. 8d. Scots. The farms in
the parish amount to the number of 80 ; many of them
containing from 100 to 200 acres; about 18 of them are
occupied by people in the character of gentlemen, and
about 12, being in the improvement of the Teindland
ought to be accounted as belonging to the parish of

The rent by the acre, on most of them, is varied every
year by the variation of the price of grain, in which a


portion of the rent is still generally paid. The mean rent
may be stated at 17s. the acre, though a great proportion
of most farms can be only valued at 5s. the acre, while
some part of almost each, if separately let, would exceed
a guinea by the acre of yearly rent.

Ecclesiastical State. — It has not been with precision
ascertained, at what time the division of the kingdom into
])arishes took place. It is presumed this could not be
carried at once into complete etiect ; alterations in the
extent of parishes have from time to time been made, as
the interest or convenience of parties concerned in the
varying circumrotation of human aflairs might suggest;
and convenience in this respect in many cases, is still
far from being yet attained.

In this parish, the Chapel of Kilnalemnock was pro-
bably an apartment consecrated within the Castle at
Forrester seat, and upon its demolition would naturally
fall into St. Andrews: and the Chapel of Inchbroom must
have been disposed of in the same manner, upon the suppres-
sion of the priory of Urquhart, upon which it is supposed
to have depended. It does not appear that there ever
was a burial-place but at the last of these chapels.

In 1642 the parish of Oguestown, at present a part of
he parish of Drainy, was united to St. Andrews. The
bishop drew the great tithes of both ; leaving, with the
whole pastoral duties, the small tithes only to the vicar,
which, valued at £G lis. lid., are continued a part of the
stipend of St. Andrews.

In 1780, the parish was formed into its present shape,
by the annexation of St. Andrews to Lhanbryd. The
stipend is 10 chalders, 4 bolls, and £26 13s. i)d., including
the allowance for Communion elements. The former
burying-grounds are continued; but the Parochial Church
is erected in a situation more commodious for the people
in general, than the old churches were for their present
congregations. The right of patronage is now shared
between the Crown and the Earl of Moray. The mem-
bers of the Established Church are about 700 ; and the
Dissenters, being Episcopalians, Seceders, and Methodists,
are about 40.

In 1704, the schools which were at St. Andrews and
Lhanbr}^! were, by the proprietors of the parish and the
j)resbytery, conjoined into one parochial school, and the


building erected contiguous to the Church. The salary
is 14 bolls of bear, and £4 8s. sterling; the rest of the
emoluments being similar to the other parochial schools
in the country. The fund for the poor arises partly from
4 small bequeathments made in other times, and from the
halfpence given b}'- the people who attend the Parish
Church, amounting in whole to about £16 sterling in
the year ; which, after the legal deduction to the session-
clerk, and a small fee to the church-officer, is, without
expense to the heritors, divided half-yearly among a roll
of about 30 people, in proportion to the urgency of their
respective needs.

Miscellaneous Information. — There is a mineral spring
in the Tiendland, of a strong chalybeate kind. It has not
yet acquired much celebrity, though it has given relief to
all who have made proper trial of its effects. The river
Lossie, entering the parish towards the north-west corner,
divides it there from the town of Elgin, and continuing
its course easterly through the parish for nearly two
miles, turns round towards the north, until it reaches the
sea at tlie village and harbour of Lossiemouth, having a
corner of the parish of Urquhart crossing its channel,
inteijected between the estate of Pitgaveny and the Earl
of Fife's property of Inchbroom.

There are three Lakes on the confines of the parisli.
That of Spynie is the largest, which though equally,
rather more extensively connected with the parishes of
Drainy and Duffus on its northern side, and that of
Spynie itself lying along the greater part of its southern
bank, yet the costly Drain, so advantageously made by
Pitgaveny, naturally leads to its confederation here ; and
to make an entire connected account of it at once, may
avoid repetition, and be more distinct, tlian to narrate the
detached circumstances as they would occur in these par-
ishes apart.

In the account of the parish of Urquhart, it is observed,
that there are evident marks of the sea having receded
from the coast; and there are satisfactory indications in
the appearance of the ground, and particuhirly by the
beds of oyster shells, which, though not now found on the
coast, are frequently discovered on the banks of the river
several feet below the surface of the earth, that at some
other period, this lake must have been an arm or strait of


the ocean, open in breadth at the east, nearly from the
hill of Garmach to the head-land behind Lossiemouth,
and stretching westward over the plain, till it again
joined the Frith at the village of Burghhead. The gene-
ral elevation of this tract does not yet exceed 4 feet
above the level of the sea, save in one narrow space, across
from the corner of the hill of Roseislc, where the eddy-
wind accumulating the drifting sand, it has been raised
to the height of 13 feet.

The irruption of the Goodwin Sands happened in the
10th century, in the reign of Malcolm III., and from
Buchanan's History it might be inferred, that its effects
were not limited to that quarter alone, but must have
extended over all the eastern coast of Britain. " Among
the prodigies of that period," says he, " may be reckoned
an inundation of the German Ocean, so extraordinary^ as
not only to have overspread and overwhelmed the country
with sand, but to have overturned also villages, towns,
and castles." Another storm, extremely violent also, hap-
pened in the loth century, upon the eastern coast of Scot-
land. In the year 1266, a great wind arose from the north,
on the eve of the Feast of the 11,000 virgins ; and the sea
broke in, and many houses and villages were overwhelmed.
" There never was such a deluge," says Fordun, lib. x. c.
22, " since the times of Noah, as appears from its traces at
this day" (slcut udliiic vestigia manifesfant).

To one or both of these irruptions may be ascribed,
with some degree of probability, the separation of the
Lake of Spynie from the sea, which is occasioned by a
beach of pebbles, gravel, and sand, extending southward
from Lossiemouth, for about 3 miles along the shore. In
some places it is more than a mile in breadth, and covers

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 30 of 37)