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The Northern Highlands in the Nineteenth Century
No. 8


In this year the revolutionary movement on the Continent worked itself out. At Novara the Sardinians, under their King, Charles Albert, were defeated in March by the Austrians under Radetzky, and other ten years had to pass before there was anything like a united Italy. The insurrection in Hungary also failed, the Magyar army, under Gorgey, capitulating in August to the Russians, who had come to the help of Austria. The flight of Kossuth and his associates to Turkey raised an international question, in which Palmerston encouraged the Porte to refuse the surrender of the fugitives. Pope Pius IX., who had fled from Rome in 1848, remained in exile at Gaeta until April 1850, when he was restored by French troops. In India in January 1849 Lord Gough fought the bloody battle of Chillanwallah with the Sikhs, and finally crushed them in February at Gujerat, the conflict ending with the annexation of the Punjaub.

At home the Navigation Laws were repealed, and there was a revived Parliamentary struggle on the policy of Free-trade, which triumphed with the aid of Sir Robert Peel and his friends. The poverty of Ireland was intensified by wholesale evictions, and the Government had to come to the assistance of the District Unions, while suspending the Habeas Corpus Acts. An Encumbered Estates Bill was also brought in for Re land, along with measures authorising advances for drainage and other improvements, and for the encouragement of emigration. In August Queen Victoria paid a visit to Ireland—the first visit of a British Sovereign for twenty-eight years. Riots occurred in Canada, leading to general attention to Colonial subjects. From this time dates a movement for the improvement of Colonial government.

In the Highlands the month of January is memorable for the great floods which destroyed the stone bridge on the Ness, and inundated the valleys of Strathglass, Strathconan, and other districts. The floods are described as “the most unexampled and disastrous ever experienced, according to oral and written testimony, in the North and West Highlands.” They were preceded by long-continued and heavy rains, accompanied by a remarkable prevalence of lightning. In the autumn an outbreak of cholera occurred in the town, to which Dr John Nicol, formerly Provost, fell a victim. Evictions at Solas in North Uist excited much attention.

From the “Inverness Courier."

1849.

January 4 and 11.—In the first issue there is a letter two columns in length, from Nice, written by Mr James B. Fraser of Reelig, distinguished as a traveller and author. The letter describes the journey through France and Switzerland to Nice, also the town itself and the neighbourhood. The editor begins the year with the hope that 1849 would be more propitious than its predecessor. The revolutionary agitation had spent its force, but there was still agitation abroad and pestilence at home. Though cholera seemed to have been arrested in London, there were many cases in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and other Scottish cities, and one case was supposed to have occurred at Craigton, on the Ross-shire side of Kessock Ferry.

Ibid.—The issue contains a long report of a meeting of the Parochial Board, discussing the vexed question of the mode of assessment. On the 11th there is an account of California, “the new gold country.”—The Nairnshire Farmer Society had celebrated its jubilee. A review appears of Beattie’s life of the poet Campbell.

January 18.—The previous week a disastrous gale swept the east coast from the Firth of Forth northward to John O’ Groat’s. At Peterhead fifteen persons were swept from the quay wall by two successive waves and drowned. The gale was not felt at Inverness, however, but the Isabella, of Beauly, a schooner of 83 tons burden, was lost with all hands near Aberdeen.

January 25.—“The weather throughout the week has been exceedingly bad. One storm of wind and rain has succeeded another, and lightning has been frequent in the evenings.” The Ness and other northern rivers were in great flood. On the night of Wednesday the 24th the Maggot and other low-lying parts of the town of Inverness were under water. The “Courier was printed on Wednesday evening, and, before the impression was worked off, the printing machine was three inches in water.

Ibid.—A correspondent sends a communication regarding a monument on the roadside, at Kishorn, in the west of Ross-shire. The legend ran that the monument commemorated the revenge taken by a freebooter, named Kenneth Core, on his wife and brother who had fled together. Kenneth pursued and killed both.

February 1.—Columns are devoted to the great flood, which carried off the old stone bridge over the River Ness on Thursday, 25th January. Great anxiety was felt throughout the night, and the bridge fell exactly at a quarter past six on Thursday morning. “The bridge lamps had continued to burn, but all at once the lights went out, a slight groaning sound was heard, the centre arch gave way, and a minute afterwards the whole seven arches at once disappeared, beneath the flood, leaving only a portion of the pier and parapet of the arch next Bridge Street, with the lamp attached. The obstruction caused by the fallen materials for a moment forced back the mighty flood. It rose high over the banks, swept up to the houses in Gordon Place, and then as rapidly receded, and the current rushed on, foaming and boiling in frightful waves over the fallen fragments of the bridge.” The last person who crossed was a sailor, named Matthew Campbell, who was “two sheets in the wind,” and who had barely reached the northern bank when the whole fabric disappeared. A few minutes earlier the grand-children of the Rev. Dr Rose, one of the parish ministers, who lived on the northern, or as it is now called the western side, were sent across for safety under charge of a servant, but the minister himself, who was preparing to follow, was separated from them by the torrent. It is stated that Loch-Ness rose on this occasion about fourteen feet, an unprecedented rise due to the heavy rainfall on the west coast, in the district watered by the rivers that pour their streams into the lake. A breach was made in the Canal banks above the locks at Dochgarroeh, placing river and Canal, near the outlet, at the same level, so that the combined waters rushed down their course of five miles, carrying away the stone bridge, and submerging nearly one-third of the town. By means of ladders and boats the people were rescued. In course of the morning a bridge at the Ness Islands, mostly of iron, was swept away, and cast by the stream on the Capel Insh. It is supposed to have struck one of the pillars of the wooden bridge, at Waterloo Place, but the structure, though shaken, stood the strain, and was protected from falling by a hastily prepared barrier of stakes and stones. All the northern rivers were flooded, inflicting great damage and loss. The bridges at Abercehalder and Fort-Augustus were undermined and fell. Friday morning, however, dawned clear and frosty, and the Ness began slowly to subside. On Wednesday, 31st January, it is recorded that the river “now flows at nearly its usual winter level.” The ruins of the stone bridge were partially above the water.

February 8.—Some further details are given as to the result of the floods. Mr Walker, engineer, had promptly come to examine the Canal, and found that all the new works had successfully withstood the strain. Two breaches, however, had occurred in the old bank between Loch-Oich and Aberehalder, and some small breaches between Aberehalder and Kytra, caused by the river running over the Canal banks. The only other breach was at Doehgarroch, about five miles from Inverness. The channel of the River Ness had been deepened, especially from the harbour downwards, where the bed had been excavated by two or three feet. The Ladies’

Walk had been almost destroyed, and the Island were inaccessible. Handsome subscriptions were coming in for relief of the poor, the Highland Destitution Board making a grant of £250.—The issue records the death of Mr J. Smith, factor for Lord Lovat. Two boatmen, named Cameron, perished from exhaustion, near Corpach, on Loch-Linnhe.

Ibid.—Parliament had now opened, and the editor writes:—“It is evident that the leadership of the Opposition will be undertaken by Mr Disraeli, There is, indeed, no other Protectionist in the House half 60 well qualified.”

Ibid.—“The Com-Law ceased on Wednesday last, and its extinction was commemorated at Manchester by the leading members of the League, with a large body of the public. . . . The repeal of these laws has, we verily believe, been one main cause of the peace and order which have been preserved in his country, while all others around us have been torn by convulsions and civil war.”

Ibid.—The following notice appears in the obituary column : —“At Nairn, on the 9th ult., Alexander Dallas, Esq., aged 86. He was distinguished by all that gives life its true character—sterling integrity, warm benevolence, and sincere and undeviating Christian principles. He was the last representative, in the direct male line, of the ancient and respectable family of the Dallases of Cantray, resident there since May 1400.”

February 15.—The London correspondent draws attention to pictures in the “Illustrated London News” giving a vivid representation of the flood at Inverness, and to the description which accompanies it. The correspondent, Mr Roderick Riach, an Inverness man, says that the writer of the description had fallen into a common error “in stating that the old high-roofed house, the inn next to the defunct bridge, is part of Queen Mary’s residence, which she occupied on her visit to the Highlands in 1564 [1562.] It did not exist till a century and more afterwards. The date on the building, 1678, is the date of the erection, and I always understood that it was built by John Forbes of Culloden. The old wine-shop—Provost Ferguson's premises— is the genuine Queen Mary Mansion.” The correspondent goes on to say that when the wine-shop had its two turnpike stairs, its antique windows, peaked gables, and venerable front, it had a look of hoar antiquity, and he regretted that it had been modernised. It was only in the strong walls of the interior that one could see any smack of the olden time, and the writer wished “that the old picturesque house had been left in its ancient glory.” Probably in the interests of accommodation this was impossible.

Ibid.—During the trenching operations carried on the previous season on the estate of Ardross, in Ross-shire, two stone moulds were found near the inn of Stittenham. They were made of a peculiar sort of stone, and were supposed to have been used for the casting of battle-axes. “The moulds are now in the possession of John Baigrie, Esq., Ardmore, factor on the estate of Ardross, who has had several casts in stucco made from them. The moulds were found about sixteen inches under ground, and near to the spot was a small enclosure, containing ashes, and apparently the spot (so conjectures our correspondent) where the weapons were cast.”

Ibid.—A commodious building, erected by Mr and Mrs Matheson of the Lews for an industrial school, was opened at Stornoway on 16th January.

February 22.—A report was submitted to the Edinburgh Section of the Highland Destitution Committee, which gave a favourable account of the results of their policy for the previous year. The funds at their disposal would enable them to continue an organised system to the end of the season; but they did not think that the balance at the disposal of the Central Board at the end of 1849 would enable the two sections to afford relief for another year. The section voted a grant of £12,000 to the Glasgow section to enable them to conclude their operations this year. It was stated that the expenditure of the Glasgow section during 1848 was £28,693, leaving a balance in their hands of £17,049 16s 4d, and the committee anticipated that the expenditure this year would be much the same as in 1848.

Ibid.—Mr A. Mackay, a native of Inverness, had just published a book on America, which he entitled “The Western World.” The London correspondent says, perhaps with pardonable exaggeration, that “after Macaulay’s History it is the book of the season.” There are several notices of it in subsequent issues. The work, in three volumes, can still bo read with interest.

Ibid.—The death is announced of the Rev. Mr Stark, minister of the United Presbyterian Church in Forres, a clergyman long held in great respect. “Mr Stark was inducted to his charge in 1802; his pastoral care of his attached congregation has therefore extended over the long period of forty-seven years.”

Ibid.—“In consequence of the notice which appeared lately in our columns, we have been informed that the family of Dallas, so long resident in Cantray, has a living representative in the person of Robert William Dallas, Esq., the only son of the late Right Hon. Sir Robert Dallas, Lord Chief-Justice of the Court of Common Pleas.”

March 1.—The death is recorded of the Rev. Charles Fyvie, Dean of Moray and Ross, which took place in his fifty-third year. He had been very kind to the poor, and there was a large attendance of all classes at his funeral.—A Calcutta paper pays a high tribute to Captain Dallas, of the Hon. East India Company’s service, son of Mrs Dr Dallas, Inverness. He held the appointment of Secretary to the Military Board, and had been through the Afghan Campaign from 1838 to 1842.

Ibid.—In consequence of the fall of the Inverness Stone Bridge, a ferry-boat service had been started near the site of the bridge. It was intended to establish another near the Northern Infirmary.—The issue reports a meeting of the Inverness Parochial Board, which sat in the Gaelic Church from eleven o’clock forenoon till three next morning, discussing the basis of assessment. With adjournments, the meeting had lasted three days.

March 8.—Mr Walker, civil engineer, in his official report, expressed a decided opinion that the Canal had nothing to do with the losses inflicted on Inverness by the flood. There was some talk of legal proceedings on the part of the town. Meanwhile the magistrates had advertised for contracts for a temporary wooden bridge.—Cases of cholera had appeared at Stornoway.—A collier vessel, the Dorothy of Nairn, had been lost off the Fern islands on the 20th ult.

March 8 and 15.—These numbers contain accounts of the battle of Chillianwallaii, which Lord Gough fought with the Sikhs under hasty and disadvantageous conditions. The British loss amounted to 2000, including 26 officers killed and 66 wounded.

March 22.—There is an account, condensed from the Transactions of the Highland Society, of land improvements carried out by Mr J. Mackintosh, Auchnacloich, near Nairn. The Society awarded Mr Mackintosh a gold medal.—Cholera had appeared at Campbelltown, Ardersier.—The death of an army pensioner at Tain, locally known as the “Pew,” is the subject of a notice. The man perambulated Scotland in pursuit of some fairy tribes, which he called “The Pews,” and attracted attention by his eccentricities.

Ibid.—The ferry over the Ness had been rendered convenient by an ingenious contrivance. “Large posts have been fixed on the bank on each side, and landing quays constructed. From two of the posts a stout rope spans the river. A block travels across this rope, and the boat is attached to it by a short line. The boat is thus held to the rope, and the strength of the stream acting on the keel and the helm is sufficient to carry boat and passengers from the one side to the other in less than a minute.”

March 29.—The total number of cases of cholera at Campbelltown is reported as 34, of which 11 died.

April 5.—In removing rubbish for the foundation of a new breast-wall opposite the house at the end of Bridge Street, Inverness, known as “Tolmie Castle,” the contractor found a curious old stone buried six or eight feet beneath the old roadway. “It is a Redcastle stone, of triangular shape, and has the town’s arms well cut on it, with the word ‘Invernes.’ On the top is a large three-headed Scotch thistle, and the camel and the elephant (supporters of the town’s arms) occupied the centre of the stone. The stone seems to have occupied a place over some window, as it resembles in shape those above the windows of ‘Tolmie Castle,’ but conjecture is at fault as to the house of which it formed a part.”

Ibid.—The River Ness, which was in such flood in January, was now exceptionally low. The ferry boat could hardly find water enough to float it, and little boys waded from bank to bank, the stream hardly reaching their ankles. Men and women also frequently cast their shoes and waded across. “The river, as it passes through the town, is now little more than a succession of shallowed pools, in which the ducks delight themselves, connected by a small thread of running water ; and the long gravel banks and stony shallows, bleached white in the sun, where the river swepr along grand and deep, present an extraordinary and not altogether pleasing sight.” The state of the river was due to the fact that Loch-Ness had been gradually lowered by the running of water through the broken canal bank at Dochgarroch; and when this had been stopped by piles and earthwork, only a small portion of water percolated from the lake through the gravel and amongst the stones beneath the weir. At the moment the level of Loch-Ness was more than two feet below the lowest part of the weir.

Ibid.—The contractor for the jail, Mr Bain, by arrangement with the Town Council, was busy removing the stones of the old bridge. “Large masses of the centre arches had adhered together, but under the hammers of the labourers they are fast disappearing. The old bridge having been built for the most part of small stones, the destruction has been complete, and many of the stones have been carvied down a very long way. From the position of the stones of the small southern arch, Mr Bain is of opinion that it first gave way; the whole force of the current having been directed against its foundations next the street undermined it, and caused it to spring.” In course of the operations for replacing the breast-work at the foot of Bridge Street, the workmen came on a flight of stone steps, about six feet broad, leading down to the bed of the river. On the other side of the river, exactly opposite the steps, the fall of the bridge disclosed an ancient gateway, also leading to the river. “It consists of two narrow towers with handsome projecting Gothic corbels, leaving a passage of about six feet in width, defended by a gate, the marks of which appear. The corbel on the west side has been roughly cut away, apparently to admit the passage of some unusually large body.” The remains were believed to be older than the date of the wooden bridge, which fell in 1664. They were not unlike the work of the religious orders before the Reformation. It was conjectured that they were constructed when communication across the river was by a boat, or a bridge of boats, or perhaps that there was a raised ford. Several piles of the wooden bridge had been laid bare, eight or ten yards further down the river. “The stone bridge had been erected on the site of the original ford or ferry, the towers on the west side as au abutment for the bridge, and the stairs on the east side being covered up when the roadway wa9 formed.”

Ibid.—News had arrived of the final defeat of the Sikhs by Lord Gough.

April 12.—The Free Church Presbytery of Inverness had agreed to the translation of the Rev. Mr Maclauchlan from Stratherrick to the Gaelic Church in Edinburgh. —Vessels were again making the passage of this Caledonian Canal from sea to sea.— The cholera had disappeared from Campbelltown, Ardersier.

April 19.—The Rev. Dr Macdonald of Ferintosh, “for a long period one of the most popular and influential ministers in the North of Scotland,” died on the 16th inst., in the seventieth year of his age. An interesting biographical sketch is given of the deceased, but as his life was published by the late Dr Kennedy, and is also given in the volume of Biographies of Highland Clergymen published at this office, it is unnecessary to go into particulars.

April 19 and 26, and May 3.—Cholera had appeared in Inverness, and ten deaths had occurred before April 26. On 3rd May there was a clean bill of health. Many suggestions were made for sanitary improvement.—The erection of a foot-bridge across the Ness had begun. A silver half-penny of Edward I. was found among the ruins of the old bridge.—A review of the “Life of the Rev. John Macdonald, A.M., late missionary at Calcutta,” a son of Dr Macdonald of Ferintosh, appears on April 26th.

May 10.—A fine barque, the Invermore of Plymouth, about 550 tons register, and drawing about 19 feet of water, was in the Canal basin. She had come from Callao, Peru, with a cargo of guano, being the second direct consignment within a few weeks. This was regarded as a sign of northern agricultural enterprise.—A small flock of Cheviot sheep, reared by Mr Moffatt; Bahulick, Beauly, attracted attention. They were perfectly black, with the exception of a white neck, “very like a minister’s white neck-cloth,” and two streaks, one on each shoulder. The lambs were spotted black and white like carriage dogs.—An advertisement appears announcing the speedy appearance of a new journal, “The Inverness Advertiser.”

May 17.—A schooner, the “Lady Ann,” was launched from a building-yard in the Merkinch.—At the annual meeting of the Trustees of the Findhorn Suspension Bridge it was resolved to appropriate the accumulated funds in the treasurer’s hands, amounting to upwards of £2000, in paying off the original subscriptions. The debt of the Trust had been previously cleared off. —There is a long notice of “Clement Lorinier,” a novel by Angus Reach.

May 21 and 31.—It was expected that the new foot-bridge across the Ness would cost about £500, to be raised as far as possible by subscriptions. There was a proposal to levy a portage, which excited opposition. On the 24th a report is published on the late inundation of the town drawn up by Mr Leslie and Mr Joseph Mitchell, civil engineers. The reporters came to the conclusion that the Canal works had materially tended to increase the floods on the River Ness, and that the community had a good claim for compensation for the loss of the bridge and other damage, as well as a right to insist that measures should be adopted to avert the recurrence of similar calamities.

May 31.—An advance party of the French expedition to Rome had met with a check on the 30th of April, the circumstances of which are described in a private letter written by Mr J. B. Fraser of Reelig, who was then in Rome. The Roman Republicans, he said, had called in “a troop commanded by one Garibaldi, a sort of free captain like the ancient condottieri, who had got together some 1000 or 1200 men, and had been stationed on the Neapolitan frontier. We saw them march in—many most wild and truculent looking savages ; but there were others whose manners, when they spoke to us, showed a most unexpected urbanity, and proved that this free life had attracted many heedless young men of a superior class.”

June 7.—Sir David Dundas, appointed Judge-Advocate-General, was re-elected M.P. for the comity of Sutherland.

.June 14.—Tlio county prison on the Castle Hill, the foundations of which were laid in June 1846, was now completed and occupied. The building was designed by Mr Brown, architect to the General Prison Board.—A new coach between Dingwall and Ivessock, over the Mulbuie, was about to begin running.—A design had been prepared bv Mr Mackenzie, architect, Elgin, for the proposed Culloden monument. “The idea,” says the editor, “is original, and the model is engaging; but we arc afraid the design is too gigantic for the funds— for the coffers are by no means liberally supplied.”—A number of small cottars oil the estate of Glenelg, belonging to Mr Baillie, had applied for means to emigrate to America, and the proprietor had supplied funds with which vessels were to be chartered.

June 21.—The estate of Glen-Nevis, near Fort-William, was purchased by Sir Duncan Cameron of Fassifern for £31,500. —The new timber foot-bridge over the Ness had been opened free to the public. A memorial from the inhabitants was in course of signature to the Home Secretary, asking for redress for the destruction caused by the recent flood, and for protection against a similar calamity.

June 28.—The Marquis of Stafford, eldest son of the Duke of Sutherland, was married on the 20th inst. to Miss Hay Mackenzie of Cromartie. The marriage was celebrated by special licence at Cliveden, the villa residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland.

Ibid.—A report submitted to the Edinburgh section of the Highland Destitution Board stated that the distribution this year greatly exceeds that of the preceding year. The list of persons receiving aid in the southern part of Wester Ross, to which direct relief was now confined, reached the number of 1740 out of a population of 10,000 and in Skye the number was 8162 out of a population of about 25,000. Compared with the previous year the total in Skye had increased upwards of 3000. The prospects for the coming year were also gloomy, as potato disease had already made sad ravages. The highest number relieved in Shetland was 1342.

Ibid.—A Badenoch character, known as “Black Angus,” who had the repute of a warlock, had just passed away. People were long in the habit of propitiating his favour so as to prevent ill to their cattle or to induce him to effect cures. Latterly, however, the superstition decayed, and Black Angus came upon the Parochial Board.

July 5.—The death is announced of Mr Thomas Lockwood, Huddersfield, well known in Scotland as an extensive wool-stapler and wool buyer. “Mr Lockwood made his first journey to Scotland to purchase wool in July 1788. He was then only a lad of fourteen, and he rode all the way from Yorkshire to Jedburgh on horseback. From that time to the present he never missed his summer journey to Scotland; and he had attended our wool fair every year since its commencement.” In 1844 the proprietors and farmers of the northern counties presented him with a piece of plate in token of their appreciation of his integrity.

July 12.—After a long siege Rome surrendered to . the French troops under General Oudinot. Garibaldi, however, had quitted Rome with 5000 or 6000 men. It may be added here that he was ultimately arrested by order of the Sardinian Government, and compelled to leave Italy.

July 19.—Mr John Hay Mackenzie of Cromartie died at Cliveden on the 9th inst., a few weeks after the marriage of his daughter to the Marquis of Stafford. He had been for some time in declining health. “He was warmly esteemed as a landed proprietor and county gentleman.”

Ibid.—Cholera was again very severe in London. Some cases had also occurred at Findhorn, in Morayshire.

Ibid.—On the 13th inst. the barque Liscard sailed from Loch-Hourn for Quebec, with 314 passengers, emigrants of various ages, from the estate of Glenelg. They proposed to join their countrymen in Canada, where there was a district named Glenelg, with a Gaelic-speaking population. The proprietor, Mr James Evan Baillie, had cancelled arrears of rent and provided the means for emigration.

Ibid.—The annual Wool Market was a stiff one. Cheviot wedders, as compared with last year’s prices, were down from 4s to 5s; ewes from 2s to 3s 6d; lambs about 2s. On the other hand Cheviot wool, which sold last year at 11s and 11s 6d, sold this year freely at 15s and 16s. Most of the blackfaced stock was reserved for the Fort-William market, but when this came off there was a fall of from 2s to 3s.

July 26.—This issue contains the first notice of evictions which took place at Sollas in North Uist, and created much excitement at the time. The property belonged to Lord Macdonald, who offered to convey the people to Canada, but they declined to remove. They were said to be very poor and many of them in arrear of rent. Mr Patrick Cooper, commissioner for Lord Macdonald, and Mr Shaw, sheriff-substitute, accompanied by sheriff-officers, went to the island to persuade the people to accept summonses, but the sheriff-officers were deforced. Mr Shaw was popular among the people, and they said they would not hurt a hair of his head, but they threatened instant death to any officer who should attempt to eject them. They said it was too late in the season to go to Canada, even if they were willing to remove.

Ibid.—An account is given of improvements on the farm of Piperhill, Cawdor, occupied by Mr Mackillican, an enterprising tenant. Mr Mackillican possessed no fewer than six silver medals, won in competitions from the Highland Agriculltural Society.—The Shandwick sculptured stone, in Ross-shire, blown down and broken by a gale in May 184^, was still in a fallen state. The steps taken for its erection had not been completed.

August 2.—Many tourists were arriving in Inverness, including several parties of French and Germans. Eight steamers were constantly arriving and departing— three on the canal, three on the east coast line to the Firth of Forth, one to Sutherland, and one to London. Eight coaches were arriving and departing daily, besides a mail gig through the Black Isle.

Ibid.—Operations had begun for the construction of a drive round the Longman “The road commences at the Citadel, and passes round the point to the junction with the road leading from Rose Street. Its width is to be twenty-one feet, as originally proposed, so that the drive will be wide and easy for carriages.” The cost was to be over £1000, to be defrayed by a sum granted by Government, a large subscription made through Mr John Mackenzie, Ness House, a sum from the town, and a payment by the Harbour Trustees for the removal of gravel from the river, to be used in the construction of the embankment and the roadway. The embankment was expected to add from twenty to thirty acres to the town-lands at the Longman.

Ibid.—Six young men lost their lives near Lochs, in the Lews, by the upsetting of a boat belonging to the Rev. Mr Finlayson, Free Church minister there. Two of the young men were sons of Mr Finlayson, and a third was a son of Captain Macaulay, Stornoway.

August 9.—A special reporter went from the “Courier” to give an account of the steps taken for the removal of the people from Sollas in North Uist. All the circumstances, with statements by the people and the officials, are published in detail. Sheriff Colquhoun, Inverness, and the Fiscal, Mr Mackay, went to the island, accompanied by sheriff-oflficers and a force of thirty-three constables, under charge of Mr Macbean, superintendent of county police. Mr Cooper, commissioner for the proprietor, expressed his intention to proceed with the ejection of all the people in the district of Solas, unless the offers previously made as to emigration were agreed to. According to his own statement, the district contained a population of 110 families, consisting of 603 souls. The people were in a state of great excitement, and at various times came into collision with the official party, women being the chief assailants. Four men were arrested. Ten houses were unroofed and the families turned out, but at this point the party paused. The Rev. Mr Macrae, parish minister, did his best to pacify the people, and the officials acted with restraint. In the end the heads of families signed a paper promising to emigrate to Canada at any period from the 1st February to the end of June in the following year, on the terms and with the assistance formerly promised ; or at least that they would then leave the Macdonald estates. The people acknowledged that they did not wish to remove, but they complained especially that they were expected to go at a time of the year when they would be sure to suffer hardships in Canada. On the part of the proprietor it was stated that the rental of the townships was £382 sterling, but that the arrears amounted to £624. “For the last two years,” wrote the Commissioner, “a great part of these people, after exhaust>-ing their crops, have been aided by the Highland Destitution Committee, and the proprietor; and at present they are living on meal furnished by the proprietor gratis.” The Highland Destitution Committee had agreed to assist the emigrants to the extent of 20s for each adult, and 10s for each person under fourteen years of age. Lord Macdonald had offered to remit arrears and take crop and stock at valuation; to supplement the assistance of the Highland Committee by whatever additional sum was necessary to convey the people to Canada; and to send a person with them to see them comfortable, and help the necessitous with clothing. The people, however, alleged that they had been treated with scant consideration, that the notice had been insufficient, and that no definite offer had been made as to the quantity of clothing to be furnished. They said that friends in Canada had warned them against going at that time of the year.

Ibid.—Emigration was taking place to a considerable extent from South Uist, chiefly from the property of Colonel Gordon of Cluny. A large Clyde ship, the Tusker, sailed from Loch-Boisdale for Quebec, with 500 souls, and a second ship was to sail later with 250. Colonel Gordon assisted by taking the crop, and the emigration agent at Glasgow by taking the stock, both at valuation. The Glasgow section of the Destitution Committee also assisted some of the more destitute. The people went away willingly, being represented as indeed anxious to leave.

Ibid.—Sport on the moors was promising. The list of shootings published as having been let numbers over 130. The weather in the opening week®, however, proved unfavourable.

August 16.—Sir Robert Peel had taken the shootings of Eilean Aigas, and the previous week, accompanied by his wife and daughter passed through Inverness, where he had a cordial reception. On Sunday the party attended the parish church of Kilmorack, and witnessed a communion service in the open air.

August 23.—A meeting at Inverness, for the purpose of expressing sympathy with the Hungarians, is reported.—A circular issued by Mr Martyn Roberts, Commissioner for Lord Abinger, on the subject of improving the cultivation of crofts, is discussed. —Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, after a visit to Ireland, had come to Balmoral, having arrived from the sister isle by way of Glasgow.

August 30.—A deputation from the Inverness Town Council, which had gone to London, reported their belief that the claim made by the town on the Government for a new bridge was under favourable consideration. It appeared that the Government had already offered £4000.— The marriage of Arthur Forbes of Culloden, to Miss Louisa Warrand, second daughter of the late Dr Warrand of the East India Company's service, took place on the 28th inst. The rejoicings on the Culloden estates are reported.

September 6.—The handsome buildings for the Caledonian Bank in High Street were completed externally by the placing of a handsome vase on each of the two vacant pedestals on the right and left front of the buildings. On one vase was a medallion of Queen Victoria, on the other a medallion of the Prince Consort, each set in a wreath of flowers. The models were prepared by Mr Park, sculptor, and the likenesses were acknowledged to be excellent.

Ibid.—Sergeant John Macpherson, a veteran soldier living in Kingussie, was proud of a gift and a letter he had received from Sir Robert Peel. The leter was dated from Eilean Aigas, and was as follows:—“Dear Sergeant Maopherson—I think it is just thirty years since we met at Pitmain; but I assure you that I have not forgotten you, and that I heard with great pleasure on passing through Kingussie on Thursday last mat you were in good health. Pray accept the enclosed for the sake of ‘auld lung syne. Sergeant Macpherson had served with Sir Ralph Abercromby, and was wounded at the battle of Aboukir in 1801. He was one of the four sergeants who accompanied Abercromby’s remains to Malta. Afterwards he was employed with the Duke of Gordon as head gamekeeper in Badenoch. It was in 1819 that Reel paid a visit to Pitmain—his first visit to the Highlands—along with the Marquis of Huntly. The latter ordered Macpherson to accompany his guest to the Moors of Coryduer above Kingussie. As these moors were generally reserved for the Marquis himself, Macpherson, thinking it was one of his lordship’s jokes, hesitated for a moment, and the Marquis observing this repeated the order, adding—“Show the young gentleman the best part of the moor, for I will not be surprised to see him yet Prime Minister of England.” Macpherson was delighted that Sir Robert remembered him, and sorry that he was out fishing when the ex-Premier passed through Kingussie. "

September 6 and 13.—Cholera had again broken out in Inverness, and in two weeks there had been 27 deaths. The disease was very virulent in London.

September 13.—The Rev. Mr Macrae of Knockbain, a well-known and influential minister of the Free Church, had accepted a call to the Gaelic Free Church of Greenock. He is described as “a great favourite in Ross-shire, and a man of indomitable energy.” Traditions of Mr Macrae still linger in the Highlands.

Ibid.—Gorgey, the Hungarian military chief, had surrendered to the Austrians, and Kossuth and other leaders were in flight.

September 20.—The preceding day the foundation stone of the Culloden monument was laid on the battlefield with masonic honours. Sir Robert Peel had been asked to perform the ceremony, but declined although he expressed appreciation of the proffered honour and had previously sent a donation of £5 to the funds. There was a procession from Inverness, led by a band of music, and including the six Incorporated Trades and masonic deputations. The stone was laid by Mr William Anderson, R.W.M. of St John’s Operative Mason Lodge of Forres. The monument, which was designed by Mr Mackenzie,, Elgin, was intended to be a gigantic cairn, with flights of rustic steps leading to the top. It was hoped that tablets and memorials to clans and individuals would occupy places in it; also that a group of statuary would be placed in front. “In this respect, however,” the report adds, “everything depends on the public. The subscriptions received will not complete the bare design, and the question of statuary is in the first place a question of money.” As a matter of fact the monument was never completed or indeed carried very far. A portion of it remained for years in a semi-ruinous condition. The present memorial cairn was erected by the late Mr Duncan Forbes of Culloden in 1881.

Ibid.—The four men arrested in connection with the disturbances at Sollas, North Uist, were tried at the Inverness Circuit Court on the 13th inst. They were accused of mobbing and rioting, obstructing, deforcing, and asaulting officers of the law in the execution of their duty. After trial, the jury, by a majority, returned a verdict of guilty, but “unanimously recommend the pannels to the utmost leniency of the Court, in consideration of the cruel, though it maybe legal, proceedings adopted in ejecting the whole people of Solas from their houses and crofts, without the prospect of shelter or a footing in their fatherland, or even the means of expatriating them to a foreign one.” The presiding judge, Lord Cockburn, said this was not a case requiring severe punishment, and he passed sentence of four months’ imprisonment. “Much sympathy,” says the editor, “was felt for the poor men — ignorant of law, ignorant of English, and acting from the strong impulse of untutored feeling.” Mr Cooper, the Commissioner, afterwards wrote that he had given the people ample opportunity of obtaining a free passage to Canada in the second week of July, but they had refused.

Ibid.—The freedom of Dingwall was presented to Mr J. M. Juner, S.S.C., Edinburgh.—Some interesting notes on Erchless Castle, Strathglass, are given in this and other issues.

September 27.—Cholera was still severe in Inverness, and some cases occurred in other parts of the district. The severest blow was the death of Dr John Inglis Nicol, the leading practitioner in Inverness, who was carried off by the disease at the age of 61. Dr Nicol was not only an eminent physician but also a spirited citizen, a scientific agriculturist, and a woollen manufacturer. “His farm at Campfield was the scene of many experiments for improving cultivation and testing the value of manures and different species of crop.” For some years he was Provost of Inverness.

Ibid.—The Northern Meeting was not so well attended this year on account of the presence of cholera.—The Commissioners of Woods and Forests had entrusted the keeping of Beauly Priory to Lord Lovat. The area surrounding the building was now much improved.

October 4.—The sport of the season had been of a somewhat mixed character, but some of it was satisfactory. At Ardverikie the Marquis of Abercorn and party killed 40 stags, some of which weighed as high as 28 stone clean, and carried splendid heads. A correspondent wrote—“I have counted fourteen branches on two or three of them. ‘The King of Beneubhlain’ came home two days ago; his horns are 37 inches long, 36½ inches span, and 9 in. diameter. Some of your readers will be glad to hear that the ‘Queen of Benalder,’ the celebrated white hind known to have been there 100 years ago, is still living. The Marquis had the pleasure of once seeing this sagacious hind. The only persons now living who have repeatedly seen the white hind of Benalder are Angus Macpherson, the standard-bearer of his clan, and Colonel Towers, a celebrated deer-stalker, now above 80 years of age, I believe, who walked up last year from Dormyask to see the alterations here, where he often passed the night, with no other covering than his plaid. About 2000 brace of game have been killed, including black game, ptarmigan, etc.”

Ibid.—An industrial society had recently been formed in the eastern district of Sutherland, chiefly through the exertions of Mr John Hall, Sciberscross. An exhibition of blankets, flannels, plaids, linsey-woolseys, etc., was held at Golspie, and was considered very successful.

October 11.—Inverness was now reported all but clear of cholera. The disease had been in the town for six or seven months. Cases appeared in April, May, and July, but the severity of the epidemic dated from 9th August. The total number of cases from the beginning was 225, of which 112 were cured, 112 died, and only one remained under treatment. 151431 cases had occurred at Portmahomack, in Easter Ross, and in other places.

Ibid.—The fate of Sir John Franklin’s expedition for the discovery of the North West passage was at this time exciting great anxiety. Lady Franklin was at Stromness awaiting intelligence, and news had come of the safety of the expedition. Unfortunately the report proved to be unfounded. Sir John’s expedition started in May 1845, and as many as fifteen search expeditions were sent out by England and America between 1848 and 1854. It was not till 1857 that authentic intelligence was obtained of the disaster which had overtaken the expedition, and even then all hope was not abandoned. In 1878-80 the last relics were found of Franklin’s men.

Ibid.—The interest in the Arctic expedition induces the editor to mention that amone the seamen who sailed with Captain Cook, eighty years before, on his first great voyage round the world, were two young men, natives of Inverness—William Anderson and James Nicholson. There was also a Forbes Sutherland, not an Invernessian, but probably connected with the North. All three died during the expedition.

Ibid.—An account is given of the Rev. Mr Dewar, Avoch, who had died a few weeks before. He was a native of Breadalbane, and educated for the ministry at Mr Haldane’s classes in Edinburgh, and he laboured for forty-three years in the village of Avoch. He was greatly esteemed in the village and district.

October 18 to November 1.—The foreign news is mainly taken up with the cruelties of Austria after the Hungarian insurrection, and the support given by Britain and France to the Sultan of Turkey in the demands made by Russia and Austria for the surrender of Kossuth and other fugitives. Locally there are notes and discussions on the experiments made in the crofting system by Dr Mackenzie of Eileanach on the Gairloch estate. On the 18th there is an account of the extensive improvements completed at Marvpark, on the estate of Ballindalloch

November 1.—The Roman Catholic chapel at Inverness was undergoing decoration with paintings, etc., mostly carried out by Mr Russell, a young artist from Aberdeen. Another artist, Mr Robert Macpherson, a native of the county resident at Rome, had presented a painting representing Saint Peter fleeing from Rome at night and meeting our Lord.

November 8.—The death of Mr James Stuart, factory inspector, gives the editor an opportunity for an interesting bit of biography. He was known in Scotland as Stuart of Dunearn, and was lineally descended from the Regent Murray. His father would have inherited the honours of the Earldom of Moray if the grandfather of the Earl living in 1849 had died without issue. Stuart was a Writer to the Signet, and a leading member of the Whig party, and the attacks made upon him in the press resulted in a duel with Sir Alexander Boswell of Auchinleck, in which Sir Alexander was killed. Stuart was tried and acquitted. “As a land improver and a citizen of some mark and hospitality, Mr Stuart exhausted his means, and his affairs became embarrassed. He then travelled to America, and published an account of his travels. He was next connected with the “London Courier” newspaper, but he soon tired of the slavery of the press, and his political friends procured for him the Government appointment of Inspector of Factories. In this capacity he visited Scotland occasionally, and we remember his delight on witnessing the picturesque mill on the banks of the Neses, on which he heartily congratulated Dr Nicol. He was a shrewd observer, and had seen much of the world, while a memory of singular tenacity enabled him to treasure up a fund of anecdote and observation.” Stuart died at the age of 74.

Ibid.—A letter had been received from the town of London, in Canada, announcing the arrival of the emigrants, about three hundred in number, who left South Uist for Canada in July and August. The writer anticipated some hardships for the new settlers during the winter, but they would have abundance of food, and at least a proportion of them had money, so that they were better provided than was at first supposed. He was sanguine as to their future prospects. The editor mentions that a former townsman, Provost Fraser, was resident in London. Letters from Glengarry emigrants to Australia also gave a satisfactory account of their experiences. They had taken exactly three months in their voyage, “the quickest that ever was made to Port-Philip.”

November 15 and 22.—An important educational scheme was under consideration, namely, the union of the Mackintosh Farr Fund under one trust and management with the funds and property of the Inverness Academy.—The Town Council was in communication with the Government as to the construction of a new bridge over the River Ness, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had asked them to take the preliminary step of preparing Parliamentary notices.—A second edition of the 22nd do-scribes the destruction by fire of the main buildings of Glenalbyn Distillery at Inverness, the property of Mr Sutherland, formerly Provost of the town. The loss was estimated at from £4000 to £5000.

November 29 and December 6.—In the first a long article describes the impoverished condition of the Outer Hebrides.—A portrait of the late Dr Nicol was exhibited in the Town Hall, and it is stated that it was intended for presentation to the Northern Infirmary. Meanwhile subscriptions had been raised for a public memorial to Dr Nicol, and meetings wore being held to consider how the money was to be applied. The Inverness Martinmas market was still “a great annual fair,” and it is described at some length on the 6th inst.

December 13 to 27.—Discussion on the proposal to unite the Mackintosh Farr and Academy funds occupies considerable space. On the 27th there are long reports of rejoicings on the Lovat estates and the Sutherland estates. In the former case the tenantry celebrated the majority of the Master of Lovat (the late Lord Lovat), and in the latter the majority of the Marquis of Stafford (the late Duke of Sutherland).


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