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 35 of 37)
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The rushes seem to be of supernatural growth ; and the
foliage around the two western towers of the Cathedral are
nondescript for abundance. He also gives the Trial for
Witchcraft, from an old MS., of ]\Iarjory Bisset ; who was
dragged through the stour, in sore plight, with her grey
hairs hanging loose, crying Fiti/,pify. A great multitude
rushed through the Faunis Port, and surrounded the
pool. The Friars repeated to Maister Wiseman, the clerk,
who stood at her trial, that she had muttered her Ave>i or
lldil M<i.ry>^ backwards; and others that the inauldn,
which was started at Bareflat, had been traced to her
dwelling, and that the cattle had died by her connivance.
But she, hearing this, cried the more. Pity, pity, I <im
r/uiltless of tlie faitse crimes, never so hiiich as thocld of
by me. Then suddenly there was a motion in the crowd,
and the people parting on every side, a leper came down
from the House, and in the face of the people, bared his
hand and arm, the which was withered and covered over


with scurfs, most piteous to behold, he said, — At the day
of Pentecost last past, this woman did give unto me a
shell of ointment with which I anointed my hand, to cure
an imposthuDie which had come over it, and behold from
that day forth until this, it hath shrunk and withered as
ye see it now. Whereii])on, the crowd closed round and
became clamorous : but the said Marjory Bisset cried pite-
ously that God had forsaken her, that the ointment was
the gift of her husband who had been beyond seas, and
that she had meant good only and not evil, and had given
it free of reward or hire ; but that if gude was to be paid
back with evil, sorroiu and gif Sathan mot not have
his otun. Whereupon the people did press round and
become clamorous, and they did take the woman and
drag her, amid many tears and cries, to the pool and
plunge her into the water : and when she went down in
the water there was a great shout ; but as she rose again
and raised up her arms as if she would have come up,
there was silence for a space, when again she went down
with a bubbling noise, and they shouted finally To Satana
hingdom she hath gone; and forthwith went their ways.


Was a narrow path between two dykes, leading from
the back of the Tanworks eastward to the Dunkinty
Road. Probably it derived its name from the turnstiles
which were placed in this filthy lane to prevent the
ingress of but one genus of animals.

Excerpt from the Town Council Minutes 1852, Feb. 28:
— The Council having agreed to shut up the old footpath
called " The Furlin' Yetts," in order that it might be
incorporated with the grounds of Grant Lodge. They
received in return about two acres of the land of Burgh-
briggs for a recreation ground to the inhabitants of the
town, a Committee, consisting of the Provost, Magistrates,
and others, was appointed to see that the rights and
interests of the public were properly preserved.


Immediately after the Reformation, the schools were
under the jurisdiction of the Town Council and Magis-
1585. Thomas Moig was Master of the Grammar School.


1594. By Charter dated 22 March this year, James VI.
granted to the Provost, Bailies, Council, and
Community of Elgin, and their successoi*s, the
Hospital and Preceptory of Maison Dieu, with
all lands, tenements, annual rents, farms, profits,
and emoluments belonging thereto, within the
kingdom, under the burden of maintaining cer-
tain poor men called Beadmen, and for support-
ing a master for teaching music and other liberal
arts within the burgh. This Charter was im-
mediately acted upon, and a Music School was

1G52. Wm. Murray was appointed Teacher at a salary of
200 merks yearly; for which he had also to
" take up the Psalms in the Church."

1659. This same Music Master was also directed to teach
English, Writing, and Arithmetic.

1683. George Cumminfj, Schoolmaster, was ordered to
appear before the Council to answer for not
going along with the children to the Loch of
Spynie to pull bulrushes, in case of accidents.

1704. Hugli Tod, Master of the Grammar School, de-
Thomas Gordon, pedagogue to Patrick Barclay, of
Towie, succeeded.

1717. Alex. Roust, appointed in 1717, resigned in 1748.
He died about the middle of the century. His
tombstone still exists in the Cathedral burying-
ground, but is almost illegible. It is said to
have had the following lines upon it : —
Tlie famous Paist is gone; from us,

And mingled into dust ;
But now it is hoped liis soul's above,

Among the spirits just,
In vocal music, lie I'xcelled, kc
He was Master of the Music School.

1727. John Portcous was Teacher of the Grammar School.

1730. 11^7/ /«//i Go/"(7i>/(, Teacher of the Grammar School,
was dismissed in 1739 "for frecpiently sitting up
all night, drinking, and rioting in taverns."

1734. Ilem-y lanes was also dismissed, because "he had
lost authority over the boys, his scholars."


1744. James Crwickshank, Master of the Grammar School,
" being under Church scandal, and had taken to
merchandizing, was dismissed." This led to an
Action in the Court of Session between the
Magistrates and the Ministers as to jurisdiction,
which was settled by agreement in 1748.

1746. William Cruden was appointed Master of the
Music School.

1773. Wm. PeterJdn, Master of the Grammar School, was
presented to the Parish Church of Elgin.

1773. William Farquhar, Master of the ]\Iusic School,
was appointed to succeed the above in the
Grammar School.

1773. John Anderson, Schoolmaster of Fyvie, was elected

Master of the Music School.

1774. Brander, of Pitgaveny, presented two globes, celes-

tial and terrestrial, for the use of the schools.

1781. George Dann, Teacher of the Grammar School. A

dispute arose between him and the Magistrates,
which became a lawsuit in the Court of Ses-
sion, because he preached in Elgin and in the
neighbouring Parish Churches. Resigned in

1782. Alex. Wilson, Teacher at Banff, succeeded. Re-

signed in 1802, having been appointed Minister
of Aberlour. In 1799 the mean fabrics of the
Sang School and Grammar School, having be-
come unsafe and ruinous, were sold by public
roup, and subscriptions (£500) were raised for
The Elgin Academy.
1802. John Anderson, Master of the Latin School.

John Black, Teacher of Arithmetic and Mathe-

M'Comhie, Teacher of the English School.


1802-1815. John Anderson, above, died 1815.
1815-1825. James Thomson. Minister of Keith.
1825-1842. William Duguid. Minister of Glass.
1842-1844. John Allan. Minister of Peterculter.
1844-1859. Donald Morrison, LL.D., Glasgow Academy.
1859-1870. Gavin Hamilton. Retired.


1803-1808. Jame^ Thomson. Minister of Pluscarden.
1809-1821. John Waddel. Died 1821.
1821-1857. Fetev Merson. Resigned upon £50 annuity,
1856-1862. Willla'in Mcicdonald. Retired.
1862-1860. John Garden. Retired.
1867. Roboi Patti><ou.


1803-181}). xilejunder Reid.

1819-1827. Alexander Brand^hy. Died 1827.

1827-1848. James Jenkins. Minister of Aboyne.

1848-1862. James Macdonald. Rector of Ayr Academy.

1862-1863. Charles Anderson.

1863-1866. John Garden.

1867. John Mitchell.

The Ettles Bursary. — Anna and Mary Ettles, Inver-
ness, in 1863, bequeathed £500, ^vhicl^, being the amount
of 50 shares in the Highland Railway Company, yield a
Bursar^' of £21 annual value.

The Macandreiv Prize. — James Macandrew, Elgin, in
1822 bequeathed £200 for Book-prizes in the Latin

''Allans Reivard of Merit!' — John Allan, M.D., a
native of Elgin, in 1833, bequeathed £400 for three
annual prizes in the Latin, Mathematical, and English

Dick's Mortijication. — John Dick; London, in 1786,
bequeathed £120, which yields about £5 yearly to the
Classical Master.

At tlie east end of the Burgh is


Founded by Major-General Anderson. It is a Grecian
quadrangular edifice, two storeys high, with a circular
dome for a clock and bell. The above Inscription is
carved on the front. Fifty children and ten aged persons
are accommodated — the children are admitted at the ago
of 8 or 9 and remain till 14, when they are apprenticed
or sent to domestic service. There is also a public free


school, on the Lancasterian principle, the average daily
attendance of which is about 300. The house-governor
and teacher of the School of Industry has a salary of £5')
yearly, with boai'd and house. The Trustees are the two
Sheriffs, the two Parish Ministers, the Moderator of the
Presbytery, and the Provost.

About the year 1730 there lived in the neighbouring
parish of Drainie a worthy couple of the name of Gilzean
or Gillan. They had a small croft and kept a cow, and
" the gudeman " was occasionally employed at labouring
work on the neighbouring farms. They had one daughter,
an only child, who was universally acknowledged to be
pretty and engaging, and who became attached to a
youth named Andrew Anderson, belonging to the adjacent
parish of Lhanbryd. The old couple thwarted their pro-
posals, and Andrew, in a fit of despair, enlisted into a
regiment then quartered in Elgin. May, or Marjorj%
determined to follow and share the fortune of her suitor.
They were married in 1745. If rumour be true the match
turned out ill, the husband ill-used his spouse. This,
combined with the roughings which fell to the lot of a
wandering life, bad health, and having now an infant in
arms, she was necessitated to seek her native little cot in
Drainie. Having once more reached the shores of Great
Britain, but still far from Moray, the whole of the land
journey from Deal was performed on foot, with the excep-
tion of what portions were passed in lifts from some
countrymen's carts. By slow and fatiguing stages she
reached her goal. In 1748 she came home, but the old
dwelling was empty. John Gillan and his wife (as a
labourer informed their daughter Marjory, who saw her
peering in at the paneless window) were to be " socht in
another place — baith lying aside ither in the kirkyard o'
Kinethart." The shock was too great for the poor lonely
young creature — the fatal news caused her to depart from
the ruinous cottage a hopeless maniac. She, with her help-
less babe (the future General Anderson) took up her abode
in the Lavatory of Elgin Cathedral. This small chamber,
about 5 feet square, at that time was in good repair and
preservation, having a window and chimney, and the
roof, as well as the walls, being of solid masonry. In this
small cold crib, surrounded by melancholy ruins and the
dread-inspiring precincts of a churchyard, did mother and
VOL. I. 25


son for years reside. The pauper-boj'- was soon taken
notice of, and sent to the old Grammar and Sang School.
Judging from his successful career in after life, he was an
apt and persevering pupil, which resulted in the noble
and high honour of General Major in the Honourable
East India Company's Service. Prior to his enlistment
he was apprenticed to an uncle in Lhanbryd, from whom
he absconded for London. He was long in India and
amassed £70,000, which he bequeathed to found and
endow this Institution in 1832. He died in London in
1824 ; l)ut for several j^cars after his retirement from the
army he lived in Elgin in the house which is now con-
verted into the Commercial Bank. It was originally
built by George Fenton, Esq., Sheriff-Substitute, who sold
it to the General.

After her son had left to push his fortune, May Gillon,
or Mrs. Andrew Anderson, wandered about as a beggar
tlirough the country a harmless imbecile, carrying with
her a distaff, or " rock and spindle," commonly in use for
spinning the finest lint or linen yarn. Spinning-wheels
had not come into vogue. True and false traditions have
come down about her peregrinations. At one period she
left her abode in the Cathedral and appears to have
exchanged it for some time in an old house in the vicinity
of Ballindalloch ; but another fatuous rival became so
jealous of May and so annoyed her that she was fain to
quit the debatcable ground. Having returned to Elgin,
she found shelter in a wooden shed which stood near to
the Little Cross, and on the south side of South College
Street. Some ill-disposed individuals, however, destroyed
this frail tenement, and she was obliged to resort to her
old quarters in the Cathedral. Old age was creeping on
apace, and she began to look about her for a more com-
fortable home. A young woman who had been a servant
in a ftimily that May liad frequented, and who had always
shown her great kindness, liaving recently married a man
of the name of Maclcod, was now living in Stotfield.
This hospitable pair gave her a permanent home under
their roof Wherever she went her gentleness and even
religious cast of mind excited sympathy. One night,
during the harvest of 1790, she came to Stotfield com-
phvining of indisposition. Mrs. Macleod ]nit her to bed
and administered to her comforts. At her request a


messenger was despatched for the minister, who could
not be found ; an " elder " was next thought of, but he
had gone to the fishing as well as the others. Mrs.
Macleod endeavoured to supply their place, and read
suitable portions of Scripture, which greatly consoled her.
During the night she grew worse, and next morning her
spirit forsook its frail tenement, and all her trials and
wanderings were over.

The substance of the above was given in The Elrjln
Courier of 28th Feb., 1851, upon the reading of which
the Trustees of Anderson's Elgin Institution resolved to
place a stone over Marjory Gillan's grave in the church-
yard of Kinnedar, which was done shortly after, with the
following Inscription : —

Sacred to the memory of Marjory Gilzean, or Anderson, who
died at Stotfiekl in 1790, and whose remains lie here interred.
This stone is erected by the Trustees of her son, General
Anderson, the benevolent founder of the noble and useful
Institution, which was opened at Elgin in 1832, for the educa-
tion of youth and the support of old age.


I. Hie jacet Eeverendus in Christo Pater D.D. Joannes de
Innes, hujus Ecclesiai quondam Episcopus Moraviensis, qui hoc
notabile opus extruxit, et per septennium Episcopale munus

Translation. — Here lies the Eev. Father in Christ John of
Innes, Doctor of Divinity, formerly Bishop of this Church of
Moray, who erected this remarkable work, and held the Epis-
copal gift for seven years.

Bp. Innes began the building of the great or centre
steeple of the Cathedral, and was buried at the foot of
the north-west pillar of it. Both the monument and the
above inscription were destroyed by the fall of the steeple
in 1711 ; but the latter has been preserved in Monte ith's
Theater of Mortality, 1794.

II. Hie jacet Wills de la Hay quonda. dns. de Lochloy qui
obiit viii" die mensis Decebris anno doni mccccxxi.

Translation. — Here lies William Hay, formerly laird of
Lochloy, who died the 8th day of the month of December, in
the year of our Lord 1421.

The tomb is a sarcophagus in the middle of the choir.


•with a knight recumbent on the top in full armour, with
a lion couchant at his feet. The above was the second
son of Sir John de Hay of Tillybothville, who married
Margaret, niece of King Robert II., by whom he had three
sons. The Hays resided at the Castle of Inshoch, pro-
tected by a morass, of which the ruins exist. The family
flourished for centuries, and were connected by marriage
with the Urquharts of Cromarty, Sutherlands of Duffus,
Roses of Kilravock, Cumings of Altyre, &c. Colonel
William Hay was the last proprietor, in 1704. Shortly
after the lands of Lochloy and Park were sold to Alex.
Brodie of Brodie, Lord Lyon, in which family they

III. In the north transept of the Cathedral, called S.
Thomas a Becket's Aisle, are monuments of several
members of the Dunbar family : —

1. Bishop Columba Dunbar's tomb has a recumbent figure in
vestments (1429-1435). Son of George, 10th Earl of March.

2. Sir Alexander Dunbar of Westfield, Knight, is represented
by a recumbent figure in armour, Avith armorial bearings on his
breast. He was the son of James Dunbar, 5th Earl of Moray.
According to the Kalendar of Feme, now at Dunrobin, he died
on the 10th March, 1497. His widow, Dame Isabel Suther-
land, daughter of Alexander Sutherland of Duffus, died on the
11th Nov., 1595.

Her name "Isabell" is usually latinised "Isabella," as it is
in the Papal Dispensation for her marriage, and in the inquest
which records lier death as " Isabella, relict of the late Sir
Alexander Dunbar, of Westfield, Knight." But occasionally it
is latinised " EHzabcth," as in the Latin Charter of her son^
Bishop Gavin, from which some translated extracts are given

The above monuments were much mutilated by the fall
of the great steeple.

On the 2nd Sept., 1529, Gavin Dunbar, Bishop of Aber-
deen, Sir Alexander's fourth son, founded and endowed,
by charter, with consent of the King, two chaplaincies in
the Cathedral Church of Moray.

" In honour of the Holy Trinity, and of St. Columba and of
St. Thomas the IMartyr, and for the salvation of the souls of
the King and of his predecessors and successors, of Sir Alex-
ander Dunbar of Westfield, Knight, and of Dame Isabell
Sutlierland, his spouse, parents of the Bishop .... Also for


the salvation of the soul of the Bishop, the founder, and of
other Christ's faitliful."

The Charter ordained that the Chaplains were to cele-
brate Mass daily,

"The first in the aisle of St. Columba, for the soul of the
Bishop, and for the other foresaid souls, and he shall be dis-
tinguished by the title of Dean's Chaplain. The second, how-
ever, at the Altar of St. Thomas, in the Cross of the Cluirch,
and he shall be called the Chaplain of Sir Alexander Dunbar,
and shall pray for the soul of him, and of the said Isabell, his
spouse, parents of the Bishop." .... "Moreover the said
first Chaplain, entitled the Dean's Chaplain, shall make the
Canons and Chaplains of the choir to celebrate yearly, with
Gregorian chants, an anniversary, with a Mass of requie jjlaceho
■et dirige for the soul of the Bishop on the day of his decease.

But the second Chaplain, called ' Sir Alexander

Dunbar's,' shall in like manner cause to be celebrated by the
same Canons and Chaplains of the choir another anniversary,
with a Mass of r('(2uie placeho et dirige, for the souls of the said
Sir Alexander, and of Isabell Sutherland, his spouse, parents
of the Bishop, on the 10th day of the month of March."

(The above Charter is recorded in book 23, No. 79, in the
Register of the Great Seal, and a copy of it is printed at pp.
417, 418 of the "Registrum Moraviense).

The subjoined extract is from page 223 of the British
j\[useum copy of Monteith's " An Theater of Mortality/'
published in Edinburgh in 1713 : —

" The Names of the Children of Sir Alexander Dunbar of
Westfield, first Sheriff of Moray, as they are in the Diuibar's
Burial-place, commonly called the Dunbars' Isle, in the North-
side of the Cathedral Church of Morray, in Elgine —

1. Sir James Dunbar of Cumnock.

2. Sir John Dunbar of Mochrume.

3. Alexander Dunbar of Kilboyack.

4. Gavin Dunbar, Bishop of Aberdeen.

5. Janet Dunbar, Lady Innerugie.

6. David Dunbar, of Durrhs.

7. Mr. Patrick Dunbar, Chancellor of Aberdeen.

8. Leonard Dunbar, Student in Paris.
9. Dunbar, who died young."

Of the above.

1. Sir James, of Cumnock and Westfield, heritable Sheriff
of Moray, died on the 20th of April, 1504.


2. Sir John, of Moclirume, Stewart of Kircudbright, -was
killed in 1503 by Alexander Gordon, heir apparent of Loch-
invar. (Sir John's second son, by his second Avife, was Ga^ in
Dunbar, Preceptor of King James V., Archbishop of Glasgow,
and Lord High Chancellor of Scotland.)

3. Alexander, of Auldcash and Kilboyack, was killed in
]\Iarch, 1498, by Alexander Sutherland, of Daldred.

4. Gavin, Dean of Moray in 1487, Clerk of Register and of
Council in 1503, Ai'chdeacon of St. AndreAVs in 1506, was
appointed Bishop of Aberdeen in 1519, and died on the 9th of
March, 1531-2. His tomb may be seen outside the east end of
the Cathedral of Aberdeen.

6. David, of Durris, died on the 23rd of February, 1521-2.

7. ISIr. Patrick, Chancellor of Aberdeen and Caithness, died
on the 8th of September, 1525.

The dates of the deaths of Sir Alexander, and of his sons,
Gavin, David, and Patrick, are taken from the Kalendar of
Feme, now at Dunrobin.

Those of Dame Isabell Sutherland and of Sir James, arc
taken from two inquests recorded in the Sheriffs' Court Books
at Aberdeen.

Unfortunately the upper part of the wall, on which the
names were cut, has disappeared.

IV. On a slab with large cross filling almost 'the centre.
Round the edge is : —

Hie. Jacet. Venerabilis. Yir. JNIagister. Gulielmiis. Lyel.
Quondam. Sub-decanatus. Eccles. Moravien. Obiit. Die. Men.
9 . . . . Anno. Dom. MCCCCCHIL

TravsJatlon. — Here lies a venerable man, ]\Ir. William Lyell,
formerly Sub-Dean of the Church of Moray. He died the 9th
day of the month .... in the year of our Lord 1504.

V. Hie. Jacet. VenerabiHs. Thomas. Lesly. quondam. Recti )r
de Kingusey, qui. obiit. Anno. Domini. MCCCCCXV.

7' ran sJ at 10)1. — Here lies the venerable Thomas Lesl}', formerly
Rector of Kingussie, Avho died in the year of our Lord 1515.

VL Hie. Jacet. Archibaldus. Lesly. quondam Rector de
Rothes, qui obiit 3 Julii INICCCCCXX. Orate pro comnuuii
patria. (The rest effaced.)

Translation. — Here lies Archibald Lesly, formerly Rector of
Rothes, who died 3 July, 1520. Pra}' for the common

VH. (Juiescit. in. Dno. M. Joannis Thorntouu qui.


obiit. Anno. Domini. 1564. M. Jacobus. Thorntoun. Precen-
toris. Moravien. obiit. 1597. M. Henricus. Thorntoun. Judicens.
obiit. 1593. Thomas .... Dedonanus et Elgine. obiit 1605.
Margareta. Spakling. ejus sponsa M. Jacobi. sororis. filia;. obiit.
anno, domini. 1600 .... Hoc. Jacobus. Mihi. filius

VIII. On the west wall of the north Transept there is a
tablet about 3 ft. square, with armorial shields, to the
Dunbars of Bennagefield or Bennetsfield, in the parish
of Avoch, Ross-shire. The inscription is curiously
chiselled : —

Hie jacent M. John Dunbar de Bennethfield qui obiit 2
Deer., 1590, et Mar et Issob Dunbars ejus conjuges quje
obierunt 3 Nov., 1570, et 4 Deer., 1603, et Nicol Dunbar filius
dicti M. Ion, quondam Balivus de Elgin, qui obiit 31 Janr',
1651, et Griss. Mavor, ejus spousa, que obiit 21 Juli, 1648, et
lone Dunbar, spousa Joni Dunbar filii dicti Nicol, que obiit 8
Septr., 1648; ideoque hoc instruendum curavit Job. filius.

Translation.. — Here lie Mr. John Dunbar of Bennetfield, who
died 2nd Dec, 1590; and Margaret and Isabel Dunbars, his
wives, Avho died 3rd Nov., 1570, and 4th Dec, 1603, and Nicol
Dunbar, son of the said Mr. John, late Bailie of Elgin, who
died 31st Jan., 1651, and Grace or Griswell Mavor, his wife,
who died 21st July, 1648, and Joan Dunbar, wife of John
Dunbar, son of the said Nicol, who died 8tli Sep., 1648; and,
therefore, John, the son, took care to have this to be erected.

IX. Requiescunt hie Robertus Innes ab eodem, et Elizabetha
Elphinstone ejus conjux, qui fatis concesserunt 25 Septemb. et
26 Febr. anno sal. mun. 1597, et 1610. Ideoque in piam
gratamque memoriam charissimorum parentum hoc monu-
mentum extruendum curavit Robertus filius.

As a specimen of Mr. Monteith's translation the sequel
is given : —

Here rests Robert Innes of that ilk and Elizabeth Elphin-
stone, his spouse, who died as above. And therefore Robert
Innes, their son, caused this monument to be erected unto the
pious and acceptable memory of his dearest parents.

X. Hie dormit in Domino Reverendus in Christo Pater M.
Alexander Douglas, Prsesul vigilantissimus Qui summa cum
laude huic Urbi pastor, totique Moravioe Episcopus profuit et
pnefuit 41 annos. Obiit setatis suae anno 62, et Christi, 1623,
Maii 11. Relictis Alexandro et Maria liberis, uxoreque

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 35 of 37)