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 7 of 37)
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daughters ; of the sons, George, the eldest, was killed at
the battle of Aldford in his father's lifetime ; Lewis, the
second, was Marquis of Huntly, and Charles, the youngest,
was created Earl of Aboyn ; and of the three daughters,
which were Anne, Henrietta, and Jane, the eldest was
married to James, Earl of Perth; the second, first to
George, Lord Seaton, and secondly to John, Earl of
Traquhar; and the youngest to Thomas, Earl of Had-

Lewis, who was the 3rd Marquis of Huntly, married
Isabel, daughter to Sir John Grant of that ilk, and by her
had a son named George and three daughters ; of which,
Agnes was married to the Count de Crolly, Mary to James,
Earl of Perth, and Jane to Charles, Earl of Dunfermline,
and George, their brother, succeeded his father.

George, who was the04th Marquis of Huntly, was,
by King Charles II., created Duke of Gordon in 1G84;
and by James VII. made one of the Lords of the Treasury,
one of the Privy Council, Governor of Edinburgh Castle,
and Knight of the most noble Order of the Thistle ; and
at the Revolution held out the aforesaid Castle for some
time for his Majesty's interest, but at last, seeing no hope
of relief from his master, he surrendered it to King-
William's troops.

He married the Lady Elizabeth Howard, second daughter
to Henry, Duke of Norfolk, in England, and dying at Leith
in 1710, by her left issue, one son and one daughter ; Jane,
married to James, Lord Drummond, and Alexander, 2nd
Duke, married Henrietta, daughter of Charles, Earl of
Peterborough and Monmouth, and by her had four sons
and seven daughters, viz. — Cosmo George, Marquis of
Huntly, who succeeded his father; Charles, died 1780;
Lewis, died 1754 ; Adam, a Major-General in the army, he
married Sept. 2, 1767, Jane, daughter of John Drummond,
Esq., and widow of James, late Duke of Athol, which
lady died Feb. 22, 1795 ; Henrietta, who died Feb., 1789 ;
Mary, who died July 20, 1782 ; Anne, married to William,
Earl of Aberdeen, and died June 22, 1791 ; Betty, married
to the Rev. Mr. Skelly ; Jane, died unmarried in 1792 ;
Catherine, married to Francis, Earl of Wemys ; Charlotte.

Cosmo George, the 3rd Duke, named after the Duke of
Tuscany, succeeded his father Alexander, who died in
Novemijer, 1728. He, in 17-il, married, at Dunkeld,


Catherine Gordon, daughter of William, Earl of Aberdeen,
by whom, who died in 1779, he had three sons and three
daughters; Alexander, the 4th Duke; William, married
March 1, 1781, Frances Irvine, second daughter of the last
Viscount Irvine, who was born July 12, 17(31, by whom he
had a son, born March G, 1782, named Francis ; George,
died unmarried Nov. 1, 1793; Susan, married 17(57 to
John, late Earl of Westmoreland, to whom she was second
wife, and after his death she married, secondly, Dec. 28,
1778, Colonel John Woodford, of the Foot (jriiards, by
whom she had issue ; Anne, married in 1782 to the Rev.
Alexander Chalmers, and died Jan. 17, 1792 ; Catherine,
married to Thomas Booker, Esq., an officer in the 53rd
Regiment of Foot, and died Jan. 3, 1797. The Duchess,
their mother, married, secondly. General Staates Long
Morris, and died Dec. 10, 1779. ■«■. Cosmo George, dying in
France in Aug., 1752, was succeeded by his eldest son,
Alexander, 4th Duke, who married, Oct. 25, 17()7, Jane,
daughter of Sir William Maxwell, Bart., by whcmi he
had issue ; George, Marquis of Huntly, married in July,
1794, to Miss Maxwell, his cousin ; Charlotte, married
Sep., 1789, to Charles, 4th Duke of Richmond and Len-
nox, by whom she had issue ; Madeline married, Feb. 3,
1789, Sir Robert Sinclair and had issue ; Susannah mar-
ried, Oct. 7, 1793, to the Duke of Manchester; Louisa
married on April 17, 1797, Lord Broome, son to the
Marquis Cornwallis ; Georgiana ; Alexander, born Dec,
1770; a son born Nov. 12, 1785. The ladies were all
born at Gordon Castle.

Long before the decease of the Lady Jane Maxwell,
the 4th Duchess, the lechei^ous eyes of her husband, Duke
Alexander, were set on Jean Christie, whose face and
figure fascinated him. She was of humble descent, and
resided in Fochabers, where he regularly visited her, and
even aired her in his carriage. She bore his Grace nine
children, to whom, " after proclamation on three several
Sabbaths," she was married " on the 3()th day of July,
1820, by the Rev. William Rennie, minister of the parish
of Bellie." Excepting this escapade, Jean Christie's
charities and multifarious good works to the people about
the place were most praiseworthy. She was buried at
Bellie Churchyard on the 2nd August, 1824, cet. 54, in a
vault under a tine mausoleum supported by 12 pillars.


Her name is not recorded upon a marble slab to Adam,
her son. [See page 61.]

Alexander died in 1827, and was succeeded by his sou
George, 5th and last Duke. He married Elizabeth,
daughter of Alexander Brodie of Arnhall, and died with-
out issue in 1836. His corpse was brought by sea in one
of his Majesty's ships to the coast near Gordon Castle,
where it lay in state before being taken to the vault in
Elgin Cathedral. Charles, 5th Duke of Richmond, after
the decease of the above, his maternal uncle, assumed tho
additional surname of Gordon. The title is now Ricli-
mond and Gordon.*

Arms. — 1st, Sapphire, three boars' lieads erased topaz, for
Gordon ; 2nd, Topaz, three lions' heads erased ruby, for Bade-
noch ; 3rd, topaz, three crescents within a double tressure ruby,
for Seaton ; 4th, Sapphire, thi-ee cinquefoils pearls, for Frazer,
supported by two greyhounds pearl, each gorged with a plain
collar ruby, charged with three buckles topaz. Crest in a
Marquis' coronet of the last — a stag's head guardant proper.
Mottoes. — On Crest, " Bydand " ; on Arms, " Animo non astu-
tia." [By courage, not by craft.'\ — (Ed.)

St. Mary's Aisle, Elgin Cathedral, has for ages been
allotted for the sepulture of the family of Gordon.

The following are yet traceable ; albeit they are fast
following the state of the Royal Vault in Holyrood,
wherein a respectable sow would scarcely be put to
litter by an Irishman, certainly by no Scotchman.

I. Alexander de Seton, Lord of Gordon, created Earl of
Huntly by King James II. His coffin is under a sarco-
phagus, having a knight in armour on the top. The
Inscription runs : —

* Shaw's history of the family, being so meagre, has been
expunged, and the above substituted, mainly borrowed from
the rare " British Compendium, or Rudiments of Honour," &c.
vol. 11. London, 1725 ; and Kearsley's " Complete Peerage," &c.
London, 1798. Among the several Histories and Genealogical
Trees, not two accord as to dates, intermarriages, and procrea-
tions. The numerous bastards are omitted. The chief work
from which compilers draw is, " The History of the Ancient,
Noble, and Illustrious Family of Gordon, from their first arrival
in Scotland, in Malcolm the Third's time, to the year 1G90,"
by William Gordon, of Old Aberdeen, published by Thomas
Ruddiman in 1716. Gaps of amour and escalade can be inter-


pic jacct nobilis d pottns pominns Jllcxanbcr ©or^cn,
:primu5 romcs iic 3l)U'^thi, Somiims i^c (5orliou ct ^l;ili5cnoth,
qui obiit iipxxb lljuntlri, Ij Julii, anno iomiui, Vi70.

Translation — Here lies a noble and powerful lord, Alexander
Gordon, first Earl of Huntly, Lord of Gordon and Badenocli,
■\vlio died the 15th July in the year of our Lord, 1470.

II. Adam Gordon, Dean of Caithness, died in 1523.

III. George, 5th Earl of Huntly, died at Strathbogy in
May, 1576.

IV. George, 1st Marquis of Huntly, died loth June,

V. Lady Anne Gordon, Countess of Moray, died at
Elgin, 19th Jan., 1640.

VL Alexander, Duke of Gordon, died 10th Aug., 1682,
VIL Alexander, 2nd Duke of Gordon, died 28th Nov.,

VIII. " The most illustrious Princess Elizabeth Howard,
senior Duchess of Gordon, died July 16th, 1732, aged
seventy-five." [Died at Edinburgh.]

IX. " His Grace Cosmo George, Duke of Gordon, Marquis
and Earl of Huntly, Earl of Enzie, Viscount of Inverness,
Lord Gordon of Badenoch, died at Bretuil, August 5th,
1752, aged thirty-three."

X. " Sacred to the memory of Her Grace, Henrietta,
Duchess of Gordon, who was the only daughter of Charles
^lordaunt, Earl of Peterborough and Monmouth, who
conquered Spain. She was born April 8, 1682, and
manied in 1706 to Alexander, Marquis of Huntly, after-
wards Duke of Gordon, to whom she bore five sons and
seven daughters. She died at Prestonhall the 11th day
of October, 1760, aged seventy-eight years."

Tlie device, medallion, and effigy are fast decaying.
XL " Kathrin, Dowager Duchess of Gordon, died 16th
December, 1777, aged sixty." [Wife of No. IX. ]

lined by the adventurous reader. If the family did not originate
from the lands, and in the parish of Gordon, in Berwickshire,
Cliarlemagne, or even Julius Caesar, the ancestral line may find
the end of its clue in the loins of Adam and Eve, but not when
they basked in the Garden of Eden. For certain, the Gordons
had their residence in Elgin, on the north side of College Street,
the site of which is now within the grounds of Grant Lodge.
George, Earl of Huntly, Avas retoured to his father in a tene-
ment within the Burgh of Elgin, 20th July, 1373.— (Ed.)


XII. Lord Alexander Gordon, died 8th Jan., 1808,

XIII. Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon, died at Loudon,
17th June, 1827, aged 84.

XIV. George, 5th and last Duke of Gordon, died at
London, 28th May, 1830.

XV. Elizabeth Brodie, wife and widow of George, 5th
Duke, died at Huntly Lodge, 81st Jan., 18G4, aged 69.*

Epitaphs in Bellie Churchyard.

I. In this Vault are deposited the remains of Adam Gordon
of Newtongarrie, sou of Alexander, fourth Duke of Gordon,
who died at Burnside, 14th Aug., 1834, in the 37th year of his
age. Deeply regretted by all his friends. This marble was
placed here by his spouse, Jane Grant, as a testimony of her
affection. [See page 58.]

Jane Grant (like her mother-in-law, Jean Christie)
was of lowly parentage. She resided in Buckie or its

vicinity, and subsequently married Reid, a bank

agent in Fochabers.

Adam Gordon, after his forefathers' example, left pro-
creations with and without wedlock.

Near the Churchyard gate is a marble slab within an
enclosure with this Inscription: —

II. This tablet is placed by Jean, fifth Duchess of Gordon, to
the memory of her dear infant daughter, Charlotte, who died
the 10th of Dec, 1810; and also to her beloved mother, Mrs.
Susan Robertson, who died the 2nd of June, 1822, in her
91st year.

III. In the only remaining fragment of the Kirk at
Bellie, a much defaced tablet, with Latin inscription,
bears the name of


who appears to have died in 1770, aged 70.

IV. The gravestone of Mr. William Sanders, which
(Shaw says) bore that " he lived 108 years, and was
minister of Bellie 77 years," is now not visible. It was
in Mr. Sanders' time, on the 15th Sept., 1G32, that the
Earl of Angus " was mareit at the Kirk of Bellie with
Lady Mary Gordon [third] dochter to the Marquess [of
Huntly], be Maister Robert Douglass, minister at Glen-

*See "Life and Letters of EHzabeth, last Duchess of Gordon,
byRev. A. Moody Stuart." London : Nisbet & Co., 1865. —(Ed.)


bervie, whome the Erll of Angous brocht with him of

On the 28th Nov. following, the Master of Abercorn
and Huntly's youngest daughter were married in the
same place, " be ane Irish minister."

V. Near the middle of the churchyard : —

Svb hoc cippo tvmvlatvr corpvs exsangve Elizabeths
MiLNS, Augligense, Audrete Hossack, ivnioris, qvondam
spousoe, priucipis Dvcissaj Gordon, qvondam aucillte, qvse obiit
tertio Octobris, anno Dom. 1687.

Translation. — Beneath this stone is interred the body of
Elizabeth INIilns, a native of England, spouse of Andrew
Hossack, junior, and formerly chief maid to the first Duchess
of Gordon, who died 3rd October, 1687.

VI. From a flat slab : —

Heir lyes Elspet Gordon, spous to Alex. Gordon of Upper
Dalochie, alias Major, who departed May 12, 1690.

AT:I. Here lyes Issobell Knight, spous to Androu Hay,
wywer in Fochabers. Shee departed the 13 of Feb., 1712.
Manney hath donn werteusly, but shee heath excideth
them all.

VIII. Here He the remains of James Ross, Esq., who, with
unblemished integrity, conducted for many years the important
affairs of the great family of Gordon, and, whilst zealously
anxious to promote their interest, raised no fortune to himself.
He departed this life the 8th Sept., 1782, aged 50 years. And
of Katherine Gordon, his wife, who discharged the duties
of a daughter, a wife, and a mother, with a piety and affection,
offering bright example to their descendants. She was born
1st Jan., 1743; died 17th Sep., 1795.

IX. Sacred to the memory of John Ross, Esq., some time
Professor of Oriental Languages in King's College, Aberdeen,
who, after passing a long life in the practice of virtues which
rendered him an ornament and blessing to society, Avas removed
to that better Avorld, where he will meet their just reward, on
9th July, 1814, in the 84th year of his age. This humble
tablet has been inscribed by parental affection.

X. Sacred to the memory of John ]\Ienzies, Esq., Avho died
15th March, 1831, aged 72. The best eulogium of his char-
acter is, that for the long period of nearly 50 years, during
which time he acted as cashier to the Duke of Gordon, his
employer never sustained any loss by his incorrectness or
neglect of duty ; and that the many thousands with whom he
transacted business were equally satisfied with the integrity of


his conduct, against which no complaint was ever heard, even
from tliose who were not his friends.

The above panegyrics may be true, but they are specimens
of that fulsome style of praise which is unfit to appear
above a grave. On luhose soul may God have mercy, is
the most appropriate petition for all Esquires.

XI. Erected by Lieut. -Col. William Marshall, as a sincere
but inadequate tribute to the memory of a revered parent, 1857.

This stone was originally placed by William Marshall over
the graves of his son. Major Alex. Marshall, who died at
Keithmore, 31st Jan., 1807, in his 33rd year; and of Jean
Giles, who died at Newfield Cottage, Dandaheth, 13th Dec,
1824, in the 85th year of her age, whose remains lie both here

Here also lie the remains of William Marshall, Esq.,
husband of Jean Giles, a man of virtue and integrity. From a
humble station in life he rose to distinction by the industrious
cultivation of a natural talent ; eventually he became factor on
the estate of Alexander, Duke of Gordon, an office which he
held for many years, performing its duties with fidelity and to
the satisfaction of his employer and the tenantry. Although
self-taught, he made considerable progress in mechanics and
other branches of natural science, to which his leisure-hoiu-s
Avere frequently devoted. But he was chiefly noted for his
skill and fine taste in music, the Scottish airs and melodi&s
composed by him being Avidely known and appreciated. He
died, universally esteemed, at Newfield Cottage, Dandaleith,
29th May, 1833, in his 85th year.

Of a family of six children, besides the above-named Alex-
ander, Francis, a jeweller, died in London ; John, a Captain
in the army, died in India ; and George, a Lieutenant in the
army, died in Spain. Jane, an only daughter, widow of John
M'Innes, Esq., Dandaleith ; and William, a retired Lieut.-
Col. in the army, being the sole present survivors.

[Another of that class of vainglorious epitaphs so dis-
gusting to the good and inappropriate to the tomb. The
worthy factor was, in the first place, a footman or lackey
at Gordon Castle. Marshall's music to the song ''• O' a'
the airts the wind can blaw " drew forth from Burns a
complimentary letter. Not only did he excel as a first-
rate fiddler, but as a composer of national airs and
beautiful Strathspeys. He was also an ingenious clock-
maker, a specimen of which is preserved in Gordon Castle.
His son, Major Alexander Marshall, served in India,


at the siege of Seringapatara. Captain John, of the 26th
Regiment, was present in the Peninsular War, and died
of cholera at Madras in 1829. Lieutenant George, of the
92nd Regiment, died from fatigue in 1812. Lieutenant-
Colonel William (the 4th son, the erector of the monu-
ment) became a Lieutenant in the Gordon Fencibles in
his 18th year, served in almost all the engagements during
the French Revolution, including those of Aboukir and
Corunna. He was so severely wounded at Waterloo that
his right arm had to be amputated. After this he was
employed in India during the rebellion of 1837, and
afterwards in various responsible military offices at home.
In 1838 he retired and came to reside at Newfield
Cottage, near Craigellachie, where he died on the 29th
Aug., 1870, mi. 91.]— (Ed.)

XII. Here lyes the body of George Geddes, late in Mains
of Kem]>cairn, who dyed the twenty-first day of Octr.. 1746.

In memory of Catherine Milne, of the Mill of Towie, and
relict of Thomas Geddes of Dallachy and Todholes ; she
survived her husband 33 years, and died the first September,
1821, aged 87.

XIII. In this burying-grouud are interred the remains of

Thoi\l\s Geddes, of Dallachy, who died in 1789, aged ;

and of his son, John Geddes, in Orbliston, who died 23rd
Dec, 1817, aged 64, by whose disconsolate widow this simple
record is placed over his grave as a small token of her remem-
brance of his affection and worth.

XIV. Geo. Anderson, fanner, Burnside, "a man distin-
guished for ardent piety and pure benevolence, whos(^ manners
were as simple as his morals were unblemished," died 177'J,
aged 69 ; his wife, Helen Shand, died 1792, aged 71.

Unknown to pomp, and bred to rural soil,

To him the Christian's faith and hoi)e were given ;

Unskilled in art, nor trained in courtly guile.
He lived to God and died — to wake in heaven.

XV. In same grave are deposited the remains of the Rev.
John Anderson, who was 27 years minister of tin; ])arish of
Kingussie and 1 1 of Bellie, previous to his retirement from the
church, and who died on the 22nd of April, 1830, in the 80th
year of his age.

[The General Assembly objecting to Mr. Anderson hold-
ing the conjoint offices of a parish minister and commis-
sioner upon the Gordon estates, he gave uj) the former in
1819 for the more lucrative latter.] — (Ed.)


XVI. Erected at the expense of his fellow-servants to John
Barondon, who died at Gordon Castle, Aug. IG, 1853,

It was in the bloom of manhood's prime

When death to me was sent;
All you that have a longer time,
Be careful and repent.
O, the grave, whilst it covers each fault, each defect,

Leaves untarnished the worth of the just ;
His memory we'll cherish with tender respect,
Whilst his body consumes in the dust.

Among the more interesting features within the policies
of Gordon Castle are the Quarry Gardens — at one time pre-
senting unseemly holes, filled with stagnant water and hill-
ocks of quarry debris. This is now the most enchanting of
places. Apart from nice walks and flower-beds, there are
old carved stones, said to have been brought from Huntly
Castle. Some of these have in monogram, the initials of
the first Marquis and Marchioness of Huntly, and are
oval-shaped; but the centre ornaments and inscriptions
are defaced. The two texts which follow (Ps. xxxiv. 9 ;
Phil. ii. 10), dated 1614, are the only parts decipherable : —


As there are traces of "a glory" or halo upon another
slab, it had probably been adorned with a representation
of our Lord : —

Omne. Genv. Flectatvr Nomine Iesv.

Translation. — At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.

[Situation, Soil, Climate. — The name is Gaelic. Threo
etymological explanations have been suggested. One
supposes it Bealidh, signifying broom; very unlikely to
be right, considering that when the names of places
were anciently imposed, the parish could not have been
peculiarly distinguished by that shrub. Another, which
supposes the name to be Beulaith, the ford mouth, is
more unfortunate still. The hardy inhabitants of ancient
times found the river almost everywhere fordable. The
parish on the other bank must have had an equal claim
VOL. I. 5


to this significantly figurative epithet ; and the channel
of the river, shifted almost by every flood, has in every
age made the shallow to-da}^ the whirlpool to-morrow.
But as ancient record concurs with present appearance to
establish that the sea once flowed farther in upon the
shore, it having retired almost half a mile on the coast of
this parish : even within the memory of people still
alive, it can be hardly doubted that the curvature in the
bank where Gordon Castle stands M'as once a bay of the
ocean. It must be presumed that the Camp near the
Church of Bellie was formed by the Romans in connec-
tion with their fleet, when under Agricola they made the
circuit of the isle. Whether a barbarian town existed
upon their arrival, or whether their general practice of
reconciling themselves, like the adventurers of present
times, to the savages whom the\^ visited, might have
induced a settlement in this vicinity. Such an establish-
ment, in that situation, would naturally be denominated
by the natives Ball-li, or Ball-lith, the toivn of the flood;
and the tradition, that Fochabers once stood near the
churchyard of Bellie, and the Roman camp, corroborates
this explanation of the name.

The parish is in the form of a triangle : the one side,
from south to north along the Spey, is about 5 miles ; the
other along the coast easterly, from the influx of the river
to the mouth of the brook of Tynete, is about 4 ; and the
returning side, from the mouth of that brook back to
Ordyfish on the bank of the Spey, is nearly equal to 6.
From the angle at Ordyfish, the surface of the parish
seems divided into three different flats, each rising about
20 feet above the other, and spreading like the quadrants
of the concentric circles which the fall of a stone forms in
a pond The lowest is along the bed of the river, and so
little above the level of the stream, that much of it is laid
under water by every flood. The second flat begins also
near Ordyfish, and continues s))reading like the first as it
tends towards the coast ; but the first encroaches u])()n it
in the curvature where Gordon Castle stands. And the
third, or highest flat, from near the same corner, is less
regular than the others, encroaching also in some places
on the second, where the mountain seems as if projected
on the plain.

Upon the bank of the river the soil is thin, upon a sole


■of gravel, the bottom either of the shifting river or of the
retiring ocean. Near the coast, where the more still waters
had deposited more sediment, it is a deep and fertile
loam. Upon the higher flats the soil is of a kindly mould,
save where it stretches back into the mountain, where it
is moorish, wet, and spongy. In some places it is of a
■deep red colour, by a fexTuginous or ocreous substance,
superinduced by the streams from the mountain, which
in this quarter, under the moorish surface, is composed of
a vast deep bed of clay gravel, of that quality and colour ;
and each rill, during heavy rain, or a sudden thaw of
snow, appears a wondrous torrent of thick deep red gore.

The air, though healthful, is rather cold and dr}^ yet
temperate on the whole, and the winters generally mild.

State of Fro'perty. — Of all this ]iarish, the valued rent
of which is £3,082 8s. Scots, the Duke of Gordon is pro-
prietor, excepting one farm in its outskirts belonging to
the Earl of Findlater. Towards the southern end of the
parish, on the second flat, is the town of Fochabers ; a
Oaelic name, which, like the parish, has received more
than one explanation. Tlic most probable refers it to the
numerous fountains, where the village was lately placed.
The other, which refers it to the fleld destined for the
vjea/pon sheiu, will be generally rejected, on the considera-
tion that it must have obtained its name before either the

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 7 of 37)