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The Lairds of Glenlyon:  Historical Sketches
Chapter 9

AT Dunkeld, the nynteen day of November Jm VI and nyntie sex yeirs, In presence of John Stewart of Ladywell, Comrie of Dunkeld, Sittand in Judgement Anent the lybelled, as howe persued at the Instance of Helen Lindsay, relict of the deceast Robert Campbell of Glenlyon, persuer, Summonding, Warning, and Chargeing, the persuers defenders undermend personallie or at there dwelling house ; To witt, John Campbell, lawll sone to the defunct Alexander Campbell of Ardeonack, John Stewart of Cammoch in special; And all others having or pretending to have Intrest generallie, at the mercat cross of Dunkeld, To have compeired before the sd comrie, and named the day and dait of thir presents, to have heard and gein the debts & oyrs. underwrite resting be the sd deceast Robert Campbell to the sd Helen Lindsay, perssuer, for herself and as haveing right in maner underwrite to be found Justly adebted to her ; and that she ought to be decerned excrix Creditrix to the goods aftermentiond for payt. of the samen : They are to say, Mr. William Foord, sometyme schoolmaster at Chestill (afterwards at Dunkeld), for ane yeir and ane quarter, the soume ffourscor three punds sex shilling eight pennies : Item, to Mr. John Andersone, sometyme school master yr. the soume of ane hundreth punds Scots money ; Item, to Sibella Ayssome, for sex years and ane halfs for hire, The soume of ane hundred and seventeen punds, being eighteen punds yearly ; Item, to John McGillio-christ, hyre man, the soume of twenty nyne punds sex shillings eight pennies of fie and bounties for two yeirs ; Item, to Patrick Thomsone, hyre man, twenty merks yearly for two yeirs—Inde, twenty sex punds threttein shillings four pennies ; Item, to John Mcewin, Clerich, of by gone fies, The soume of twentie punds ; Item, to Donald Ban McCallum, also servitor, the soums of threttein punds sex shilling eight pennies for ane yeir's fie & bounty ; Item, to Christian M'Nab, late servitrix, of fie & bounty fyve merks ; Item, to Donald Clerich, of fie, four punds ; Item, to Donald M'Kissick, for ane yeir and ane halfs fie, thretty punds ; Item, to Patrick M'Ewin, of fie, for ane yeir, the soume of nyne punds ; Item, to Mr. Neill Stewart, schoolmaster, att Fortingall, preceiding Mertymes Jm. VI & nyntie sex, twelve punds ; Item, to John Mcewin, servitor to the Lady Glenlyone, seven punds sex shillings eight pennies, for ane yeir's fie; Item, to John Mcllline, herd of by gone fies, the soume of twenty two punds threttein shillings four pennies ; Item, to Robert Mcewin, servitor, the soume of seven punds sex shillings eight pennies for ane yeir's fie ; Cathrine McNaughtone, present servitrix, twenty punds for fie & bounty att Mertymes ; Item, to Mary Roy, present servitrix, on pund sex shilling eight pennies; Item, to Donald Reoch, footman, four punds yearly fie, fyve yeir's fie, extending to twentie punds ; Item, the soume of four hundreth & fyfty punds for mantinance of ye family, from the first of August, 1696, to Mertymes nyntie sex, extending in the heall to the sonme of nyne hundreth and forty punds, salvo Justo calctdo ; or else to have compeired and shown ane reasonable cause why the sds soumes ought not to be found and declaired to be resting to the sd persuer by the sd defunct,.....&c, &c. Therefore the Judge decerned, declaired, and ordained, and decerns, declaires, and ordains, in maner adwritten; whereupon Patrick Robertson, as procr-for and in the name of the sd persuer, asked and took act of court; Extractum per me, Jo. Miller.

Robert Campbell left a family of four daughters and three sons. The eldest daughter, Elizabeth was married to Alexander Campbell of Ardeonaig, and had issue. The second, Janet, was first married to Robert Campbell of Boreland; and their great-grandson, afterwards first Marquess, succeeded in 1782 to the Earldom of Breadalbane on the failure of "Pale John's" issue in the third generation; she was married, secondly, to Ewen Cameron, Bore-land. The other two died unmarried. Of the sons, John succeeded to the empty title of Laird of Glenlyon; Robert was a lieutenant in Lord Carmichael's regiment of dragoons; and Alexander died early. Elizabeth and Janet received 2000 merks of tocher, a portion of 1200 merks the piece was given several years after their father's decease to each of the rest, out of the proceeds of the jointure lands in Glenlyon, which were sold about 1700 to Menzies of Cul-dares, but which did not come into his possession until 1729. Jean Campbell, the much married mother of Robert of Glenlyon, on the death of her third husband, returned to Chesthill. When she died, the three Lairds, her sons, assembled their men to the funeral. The time intervening between the death and burial was taken up in the exercise of such games as ./Eneas might have instituted in honour of his father's death, and which Virgil would have with delight described in sounding heroics. In the race, sword-exercise, fencing, wrestling, tossing the caber, throwing the hammer, &c.,the Glenlyon men acquitted themselves with honour; in the putting-stone they and the Stewarts were put to the blush by one of the M'Gregors, who pitching the stone through the fork of a high tree, made a better cast than any of them was able to do without such an impediment. Robert, anxious for the honour of the Glen men, sent off in the night for one of his shepherds, called Robert M'Arthur, who was famous for athletic feats. After walking fifteen miles at the chieftain's behest, the rest of the night or morning was spent by M'Arthur and the Laird trying the cast of the M'Gregor. On the renewal of the game, M'Gregor having cast the stone as before, challenged any present to do the like. M'Arthur taking it up carelessly and without even putting off his plaid, threw the stone in the same way as M'Gregor, and it fell several feet beyond the mark. Robert was so overjoyed at the result, as to give the gillies a double allowance of whisky, and the mirth waxed so fast and furious, that the purpose of their meeting was nearly forgotten, and the interment allowed to lie over for another day.

Laird John having but the little property of Kilmorich, burdened too with his father's debts, and bound to keep up the honour of an old family, was, during many years, never out of difficulties. He set himself resolutely to become free of debt; in effecting his purpose his whole life was nearly spent, but he saw it done. The first duke of Athole, though, as mentioned before, he resisted the claim to the redemption of Glenlyon on the payment of a very moderate sum, became a true and kind friend. In 1710 the Duke excambed with Glenlyon the estate of Fortingall, or as now called, Glenlyon House, for Kilmorich. The Duke allowed himself clearly to have the worst of the bargain. Lord Glenorchy, son of Earl Breadalbane, was a real friend, and lent him money on easy terms. Breadalbane, to remove the coldness resulting from his conduct in the loss of Glenlyon, likewise bestirred himself to a certain extent, without paying up old accounts, however. He interfered between Glenlyon and Colin, his own nephew, and made the latter, and his curator, Lochnell, settle with the former on easy terms. "Pale John" never had an objection to gain a name for liberality at other people's expense. Lochnell's answer to the Earl's request, is as follows:—

My Lord—I received your Lop.'s letter, the 30th Jully, concerning Glenlyon's afaire with your nephew Coline, who in obedience to your Lop.'s commands brought home the whole papers relative to yt afaire; and I'm afraid yt ye have wronged your nephew in soe doing, unlesse your Lop. see the afaire now ended in a friendly manner ; for it may oblidge Coline's doers not to be soe forward for him as they were; who in law would have done his busines if your Lop. had not interfered.

As for the two points your Lop. mentions in your letter—viz. the ad-rents and expenses—I wish Glenlyon verie well, yett in justice I could not but decerne him the whole expence, yt he oblidged Coline to lay out in pursuing yt afaire in law ; and as for the adrents, I could not make it lesse yn qt was condescended to by boath parties in your Lop.'s presence; and the more that the summe condescended upon doeth not exceed the fourth part of the adrent dew in law. As for the cautioners I know nothing about ym, but that I think your Lop. should not allow your nephew to accept of any but sufficient caurs.; and what prejudice may be in Duneaves or his Broyrs being cautioners your Lop. knows best, but if Coline gett oyr sufficient cautioners at your Lop.'s sight, that will please him. I take it to be the same upon the matter.

As for that expedient your Lop. proposes anent Airds, I do not disapprove of the overture, if made effectual by the condescendance of all the parties concerned ; but seeing I am not in the cuntrie to treat with Airds upon the head, I referre to your Lop. with concent of your Nephew, to doe in it as ye think most expedient. If your Lop. were at Castell Kilechurne, and all parties concerned pnt. I doe not doubt but yt your Lop. would see yt afaire concluded to the satisfactione of the wholl parties concerned, but I cane not see thorrowe howe it may be done in heast, the leaving at sich ane distance from one ane oyr, and in the meantyme it putts ane stope to your Nephew's afaire, qeh is not his interest.

To conclude, all that I have to say upon the matter is, that your Lop. see Glenlyone and your Nephew settled in a friendly manner, conforme to artickles condescended to by ym boath in your Lop.'s presence; oyrways yt ye allowe your Nephew seue Glenlyone in law, as formerly; and if that beis the event, as I hope not, ye have done your Nephew noe favour. And more, I'me obliged to give your Lop. the trouble in minding you to doe justice to your Nephew anent his moyr's tocher, oyrways yt ye command him discharge you being yt it lyes in the hands of none to doe him justice in that matter but your Lop.; and though his heart faills him to seue your Lop. in law for it, ye know very well he would come speed if he did it; and if your Lop. would but consider the circumstancs of your Nephew, and of his three portionless brethren, it would be motive enough to oblidge your Lop. to do him justice. And I may freely say, that hitherto I did bear their wholl burdine; and now when they are come to be men, the least that could be expected is that your Lop. would do ym justice, they having the honour to be so nearly interested in your Lop. not asse now, but now and always continue, my Lord, your Lop.'s Cussine and humble Servant,

Mingarie, July 30, 1711. J. Ca. of Lochinell.

A little after the date of the foregoing letter, a circumstance occurred, which, for a time, interrupted the good feeling between Glenlyon and the family of Breadalbane. At the death of Red Duncan, Robert Campbell's grandfather, the latter being but a child, Sir Robert of Glenorchy was one of his curators, and under the pretext of taking better care of it, removed the Clach-Buadha (stone of victory) from Meggernie to Finlarig, It remained with the family of Breadalbane during Robert's lifetime, who was sceptical of its virtues or too easy-minded to make the least effort to regain it. When the excambion with the Duke of Athole was completed, his mother exhorted Laird John to reclaim the stone, as if its possession was more calculated to insure him and his race the enjoyment of the new property than any legal rights and documents whatever. The misfortunes of Robert, and the success of Breadalbane, afforded proof positive of the inestimable value of the wonderful stone. Glenlyon therefore demanded its restoration, and the wily politician and hoary intriguer exhibited his superstitious weakness by giving him a counterfeit. The Glenlyon family having put it to the test, by immersion in water, immediately discovered the fraud. The attempt at imposition roused the Laird to fury, and he at once galloped back to Taymouth, poured out all the vials of his wrath upon the head of the Earl, and wound up a torrent of vituperation with the threat of laying Taymouth Castle in ashes, should not the true stone be restored on the spot. Earl John was old, and in his last days no warrior ; his own followers, he was aware, would not support him in such barefaced injustice, and not being ready for battle, as a demand couched in such language admitted of no other reply, the stone was given up. Glenlyon, it is said, prospered ever after; but be that as it may, at the time it put him into a pretty difficulty with Lord Glenorchy, about the money he owed him. The copy of Glen-lyon's answer to Glenorchy, without a date, given below, has a very different tone from the humble requisition to the Earl in 1696 :—

My Lord—I got your Lop.'s letter from Taymouth last day anent the money I am owing to you by bond, qch should indeed have been paid at Mert. last. I would pay it then without any scruple, had I been discreetlie dealt with. But being treated lyke banckrab by regis-trating my bond and giving a charge of horning, some weeks before the sd term, I thought fitt to employ my money oyrways. And I depend upon some yeir's adrents of an eight hundred merks bond, that your father owes me for the Translation of the Feues my father had in Lome for your Lop.'s payment. For the principal I suppose it will be inteir after your Lop.'s payed. As for Ardeonaick's busines, it's as much to yor own prejudice to delay it as it is to mine; qrfor I think its both yor Lop.'s and father's interest to press it, so long as all parties concerned are living, more than myne. Meintyme your Lop. should desyre the Earle to clear my adrents and so shoon as that is done I shall pay your Lop.—&c. &c.

The Highlanders mortally hated William and Mary. The songs and satires of the celebrated bard, John M'Donald or Iain Lorn, in which the ingratitude of William and un-dutifulness of Mary are portrayed in the darkest colours, spread the unfavourable impression among the very men who had fought in their cause. Fidelity in friendship and affectionate submission to the authority of parents, are undoubtedly stronger principles in a primitive community than among the more civilized ; for in the absence of the strong coercion of artificial laws, the obligations and ties founded on the general law of nature must necessarily exert an active power over the intercourse of men, else they can no longer exist, individually or corporately. Parental authority, by the peculiar institution of clanship, is placed above all other obligations, and hence King William would have been more acceptable to the Highlanders had he been a Khan of the Tartars instead of Prince of Orange, or a daring usurper like Cromwell instead of nephew and son-in-law of the late King. Harvests remarkably unfruitful, a blasting east wind that shrivelled up the produce of the ground, rendered many years of his reign a time of continual dearth. The Highlanders' rude ideas of retributive justice associated the visitation of providence with the crimes and government of the King; they believed the sins of the ruler were visited upon his subjects, and that through the dearth the revenge of heaven fell upon them for tamely submitting to the oppressor of their native prince. But the massacre of Glencoe no less deterred from rebellion that it provoked indignation; and the Highlands after that event remained quietly but anxiously awaiting for William's death as the only escape from misery. In connection with that event, an anecdote which I have heard may be given in proof of what has been said. On the 8th March, 1702, a widow woman in Camusvrachdan, in Glenlyon, astonished her neighbours by the news of the King's death. She had no visible means of information, was far from being suspected of witchcraft, and still she asserted the truth of what she said with wonderful pertinacity. On being pressed for her reason, she replied, "My cow gave me twice the milk I ever had from her at any time for the last seven years." By subsequent information it was discovered William had died on the precise day.

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