In Scotland 1843 is
memorable as the year of the Disruption, which has had so much effect on
the ecclesiastical and religious life of the country, especially of the
Highlands. In other respects also the year was marked by excitement and
agitation. On 21st January, Mr Drummond, private secretary to Sir Robert
Peel, was shot by a man named Macnaughten, who mistook him for Peel. The
disorders in Ireland assumed unusual violence. There was a vehement
revival of the agitation for the repeal of the Union and a sudden rise
of the repeal rent from £500 to £3000 a-week. Daniel O'Connell, the
popular Irish leader, and in the eyes of Britain “the great beggar-man,”
addressed monster meetings, and was ultimately prosecuted on a charge of
high treason. He was convicted of sedition, but the judgment broke down
on appeal to the House of Lords.
Distress increased in the United Kingdom owing to a series of deficient
harvests and the operation of the Corn Laws. In the House of Commons
Lord Howick moved for the appointment of a Committee to inquire into the
prevailing distress. The discussion turned on the Corn Laws, and Sir
Jas. Graham and Mr Gfladstdne admitted the soundness of the principles
of free trade, but pleaded for the continuance of protection to
agriculture on the ground of the interests which had grown up under it.
The motion for inquiry was defeated by a majority of 115 (306 to 191).
Mr Villiers made himself conspicuous by advocating the entire repeal of
the Corn Laws.
The Tractarian movement in England had been going on for some time. In
1843 Dr Pusey was suspended for two years from preaching before the
University of Oxford, on account of his views on the Eucharist.
From the “Inverness Courier-”
January 4.—“We understand that a mail curricle will start immediately,
for the first time, in Skye, under the auspices of Macleod of Macleod.
It commences to run on Thursday next from Kyleakin to Dunvegan, a
distance of about fifty miles; and if a vehicle was put on between
Strome Ferry and the ferry of Kyleakin, travellers would have a public
conveyance the whole way from Dingwall to Dunvegan.”
Ibid.—Three elders, out of six, elected in the parish of Kilteam,
Ross-shire, were objected to as being unmarried. The objection was given
effect to, and! they were not ordained. The same issue states that the
Rev. Mr Macdonald, Ferintosh, delivered addresses in Gaelic and English
on the proceedings of the Convocation and the position of the Church,
his text being from the words, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
January 11.—A meeting was held in the East Church, Inverness (Rev. Mr
Sutherland, minister), to give an opportunity to those who approved of
the proceedings of the Convocation to sign a document to that effect.
Rev. Mr Topp, of Elgin, and Rev. Mr Stewart, of Cromarty, addressed the
meeting and thereafter a number of signatures were appended. Meetings of
a similar kind were afterwards held in other northern towns.
January 18.—An extract from the “Madras Gazette” conveys intelligence of
the death of Mr Hugh Fraser^ assistant to the 'Commissioner of the
district, from wounds received in a skirmish with the Ghouds. Mr Fraser
was a son of the late Dr Fraser of Balnain, and son-in-law of Mr Fraser
Ibid.—Anti-corn law demonstrations were held at Edinburgh and Glasgow,
at which Mr Cobden was present. Mr Bright was one of the deputation at
Edinburgh, and is described as “a member of the Society of Friends, who
had for some time devoted his energies to the propagation of free trade
Ibid.—A vessel, the Linnet, of Sunderland, was wrecked near Balintore,
and seven lives were lost
January 25.—The Court of Session decided in the Stewarton case that
chapel ministers had no right to sit in church courts. This decision was
another important incident in the Non-Intrusion controversy.
January 25 and February 1.—These issues give an account of the
assassination of Mr Drummond, private secretary to Sir Robert Peel,
which created great excitement at the time.
February 1.—The death is announced of Mr Lewis Hoyes, merchant in the
island of Grenada and Speaker of the House of Assembly, in his 58th
year. Mr Hoyes was a native of Forres, but had been a resident of
Grenada for about thirty-four years.
Ibid.—There is a report of a case described as “Advocation of Brieves:
Lord Lovat against the Rev. Alexander Garden Fraser, some time of New
York.” It came on for trial in Edinburgh before Lord Cunninghame and a
jury. “The allegation of Mr Fraser was that he is the grandson of John
Fraser, who died in Greenock in the year 1765, and that this John Fraser
was the younger brother of Simon, the attainted Lord Lovat. He therefore
maintained that he was a nearer relative of the Lovat family than the
present Lord Lovat. He made no appearance in the service. Lord Lovat put
in a great mass of evidence in support of his own pedigree and to1
disprove the statements of Mr Fraser. These documents established that
this John Fraser could not have been the brother of Simon, Lord Lovat;
for the grandfather of the claimant was a weaver in the town of
Lancaster, and according to the claim, died and was buried in Greenock
in 1765, whereas Lord Lovat’s brother died at Inverness in 1716, and was
buried at Kirkhill. Direct testimony of the death and burial of the real
John Fraser was adduced from the charter chests of the Duke of
Sutherland. Culloden, and a variety of other sources." Lord Cunninghame,
in his charge to the jury, said that they “had evidence brought before
them by Lord Lovat showing most conclusively that John Fraser, the
brother of the attainted Lord, died in the year 1716, and not merely
proving the date and the manner of his death, but even the very
circumstances of his burial.” Accordingly, the jury unanimously, and
without hesitation, returned a verdict in favour of Lord Lovat in terms
of his claim.
Ibid.—There is a description of an old gun in Castle Grant, richly
mounted and bearing the inscription —“Domims. Johannes Grant, Miles,
Yicecomes de Innernes. M. E. Fecit in Germania. Anno 1434.” The calibre
was about six or seven-eighths of an inch, the stock reaching almost to
the mouth of the barrel, and the fiat part ornamented with figures on
horseback and animals of the chase.
Ibid.—'The trustees of the First Road District adopted a resolution
prohibiting the throwing out of water, ashes, rubbish, or filth of any
description on the streets or roads of the burgh. “This practice has
prevailed in some parts of the town to a great extent.”
Ibid.—One paragraph describes how a shepherd named 'Christopher Mair
stocked a small burn near the head of Glencannich with trout. Another
describes the conduct of villagers at Hilltown, near Tain, who would not
touch the body of a woman found drowned in a well, as they supposed it
was a case of suicide, although all the evidence went to show that she
had fallen into the water in a fit. “None of them would approach the
body. It was proposed to throw a live dog upon it, as the first touch
would be unlucky. This was negatived; but as soon as the unfortunate
husband took it out of the water they put it into a chest or box, and
the same evening carried it some miles to the seashore and buried it
deep in the sand.” The authorities, however, caused the body to be
disinterred, and gave it decent burial in the burying-ground of St
February 8.—The country suffered from a severe snowstorm. In some
districts the mails had to be carried on horseback.
Ibid.—The Hon. George Stuart, while partridge shooting at Alvie on the
24th ult., shot a quail, “which is always a rare bird in Scotland, and
particularly so in the depth of winter.” A brace of these birds had,
however, been killed in the same district in October.
Ibid.—It is mentioned that lighthouses are to be erected at Chanoury
Point, at Cromarty, and at Lossiemouth.
Ibid.—Nelson’s monument at Forres had been repaired, and a valuable bust
of Lord Nelson placed on a handsome pedestal.
Ibid.—The issue contains a report of the proceedings at the Commission
of Assembly which preceded the Disruption. Numerous meetings on the
Church question are reported in various issues.
February 15.—“A large male wild cat was trapped last week by Mr Stewart,
gamekeeper to Lord Reidhaven, at Balmacaan. This powerful animal weighed
13 pounds; length, 3 feet; circumference of the body, 16j inches, and of
the head, 12£ inches; height at the shoulder, 16 inches.” It is stated
that these animals were now seldom found so large ate in former yeais.
They were being systematically trapped.
February 22.—Since the municipal election a double set of claimants to
the magistracy existed in the burgh of Inverness, and none but the
Provost could perform the duties of the office. The old bailies raised
an action in the Court of Session to have it declared that they were
entitled to remain as bailies, “aye, and until they shall be in the
third of the council going out of office.” The Lord Ordinary, Cockburn,
dismissed the action on the ground that the title of the pursuers was
liable to the same objection as they had made against their opponents.
Both sets of bailies had been elected in the same way.
March 1.—Sir James Graham (February 23) stated explicitly that it n as
not the intention of the Government to bring in any bill on the Scottish
March 8.—Macnaughten, the assassin of Mr Drummond, was found to be
insane and consigned to an asylum.
Ibid.—A report by the secretary to the Northern Infirmary pointed out
that no insane person could be admitted, even for medical treatment,
without a Sheriff’s warrant.
Ibid.—The death is announced of Sir James Wemyss Mackenzie of Scatwell,
and the .succession of his son, James R. Mackenzie.
March 15.—There is a report of the debate in the House of Commons on Mr
Fox Maule’s motion for inquiry on the Scottish Church question. The
motion was defeated by 211 votes to 76.
Ibid.—Mr James Matheson of Achany (afterwards Sir James Matheson of the
Lews) was elected Liberal member for the burgh of Ashburton, in
Devonshire. Mr Matheson, it is stated, had realised a large fortune in
China. “He is the proprietor of the estates of Achany in Sutherland, and
Rockfield in Ross-shire, and is known to have been in treaty with the
family of Seaforth for the purchase of the Island of Lewis. Never was
wealth placed in worthier hands.”
Ibid.—It is stated that a subscription had been begun for the erection
of a new church in Inverness, on Non-Intrusion principles, in which
English only was to be preached. About £300 had been subscribed! in
course of a personal canvass made by Captain Donald Mackintosh, Mr G.
Mackay, Convener Mackenzie, Church Street, &c. This was the origin of
the Free High Church. Subscriptions to the amount of £400 had also been
promised for a Free Church in Elgin.
March 22.—A whale forty-six feet in length was captured near Kessock.
Both the Kilmuir men and the Craigton men were engaged in the capture,
and had a scuffle over the prize. —Two stone cists were found at
Cottarton of Dunearn, but the remains had mouldered to dust.
March 29.—There is a long communicated article on the appointment of a,
Poor-Law Commission, and the probability of its resulting in “a fresh
pecuniary infliction, casting additional gloom on the prospects both of
proprietors and tenants.” It is alleged that the recent changes in the
com-law and tariff had been severely felt in the Highlands and Islands.
April 5.—Thomas Gilzean of Bunachton, ex Provost of Inverness, died on
22nd March in his eighty-seventh year. He was a native of the parish of
Urquhart, in Morayshire, the son of a farmer there, and trained for the
law. He begun business in Elgin, but having been appointed to the office
of Comptroller of Customs at the port of Inverness, he came to this town
in 1783. In 1785 he was appointed principal Sheriff-Substitute of the
county, and some years afterwards was made Distributor of Stamps and
Collector of Stamp Duties. He was Provost of Inverness* for four years,
Chairman and Treasurer of the Royal Academy for many years, leading
manager of the Northern Infirmary, and factor on several estates. “These
various duties would have overwhelmed almost any other person, but Mi
Gilzean had all his time and engagements so finely regulated and
disposed that he was an utter stranger to hurry and confusion. He was at
his labours generally by five o’clock in the morning. devoted to the
investigation of the cases which were to come before him for judgment—to
rigid scrutiny of the truth and to the well-weighed adjustment of
conflicting claims.” As age advanced he relinquished his chief offices,
resigning that of Sheriff-Substitute in 1828. Mr Gilzean was one of the
citizens who met Robert Bums in 1787, when the Provost of the day
entertained the poet at a dinner party. He is described as a mail of
kindliness, good humour and penetration, of a lively and cheerful
temperament, and) a steady friend. The bulk of his fortune was left to
his two grandchildren, the family of Mr Rose Innes of Netherdale, and he
bequeathed £500 to the Northern Infirmary.
Ibid.—There is a report of the proceedings of the Presbytery of
Inverness for the election of representatives to the Assembly, the
question being whether quoad sacra ministers should be included in the
voting and representation. Rev. Dr Rose tendered a protest against their
inclusion, but it was rejected by 8 votes to 7. It is also stated that
Colonel Baillie, M.P., recently appointed Lord-Lieu-tenant of
Ross-shire, had agreed to grant sites on his properties of Redcastle and
Tarradale for Non-Intrusion Churches. “This is almost a solitary
instance among the extensive proprietors in the North.” In a subsequent
issue letters are given from proprietors declining to consider the
Ibid.—A paragraph draws attention to the large additions made to
plantations on the Seafield estate. The Earl of Seafield continued to
carry out the policy of his father, Sir James Grant, who was an
enthusiastic planter. Another paragraph states that owing to the low
price of grain smuggling was again on the increase in the Highlands.
April 12.—A coin of the Roman Emperor, Vespasian, had recently been
found, in a state of excellent preservation, in the neighbourhood of
Sweno’s Stone, Forres. It bore the words “Judaea Capta,’’ and was
therefore one of the coins (or medals) struck to commemorate the
destruction of Jerusalem. The Telic was in the possession of Mr
Mackintosh, jun., Biurgie.
April 19.—Attention is directed for the second time to a series of
dialogues on the Church question issued by the Rev. Mr Clark, of the
West Church, Inverness. “The reverend author, while well-known as an
advocate for the reform of real abuses in the Church, is entirely
opposed to the proceedings of the late Convocation as calculated to
produce results injurious alike to the Church and the country.” Hugh
Miller made these Dialogues the subject of a satirical article.
April 26.—Dr Nicol had previously sent in his resignation as Provost of
Inverness, and as he adhered to his resolution the resignation was now
accepted. The proceedings at the Council had for some time been stormy
in connection with such questions as a Harbour Bill, a new Post-office,
&c. The Provost in his views of business had frequently found himself in
a minority. At the meeting reported on this date only nine members
attended, but the Town-Clerk ruled that they were qualified and bound to
elect a Provost, and their choice fell on Bailie James Sutherland, who
was unanimously appointed.
May 3 and 10.—These issues contain long reports of discussions in the
Synod of Moray and the Presbytery of Inverness. They also contain
paragraphs about ‘‘John o’ Skye,” Sir Walter Scott’s piper, who was on a
visit to Scott’s former factor, William Laidlaw, at Marybank,
May 17.—The Rev. James Begg and the Rev. Thomas Guthrie addressed a
meeting in the East Church on behalf of the Non-Intrusionists. Some of
Guthrie’s humorous sallies are reported.
May 24.—A great part of this issue is devoted to reports of the
Disruption Assembly, and the proceedings in the new Free Church
Assembly. The editor was impressed with the amount of the contributions
to the Free Church (£223,000), but was doubtful how long the liberality
would continue to flow. He perceived, however, that a new era had begun.
An advertisement has been cut out of this issue, doubtless innocently
enough, by some person who wished to make use of it. In a subsequent
issue the following advertisement is quoted as having appeared oil May
24th:—“Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland- The Committee appointed to
provide for the erection of a church in Inverness, in which divine
service may be conducted ex' 4
clusively in the English language, beg respectfully to intimate that the
Wesleyan Church congregation here have kindly given permission to occupy
their chapel in Inglis Street until the new church is erected. The hours
of public worship, for the congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church
of Scotland, will be eleven o’clock forenoon and two o’clock afternoon
on Sabbath first and thereafter.— Inverness, 23rd May 1843. The Rev. Mr
Macnab is to preach on Sabbath first.” The new body is generally
designated “The Free Presbyterian Church” during the first few weeks.
May 31.—The Disruption and its results are still the great topic. On the
previous Sunday, as announced in the advertisement, the friends who>
founded the Free High Church, Inverness, “attended the Methodist Chapel,
when Mr Hooley relinquished1 his pulpit in favour of Mr Macnab, church
probationer.” The paragraph proceeds to say—“In the afternoon Mr Scott,
minister of the Secession congregation (though a decided Voluntary),
with brotherly and Christian liberality, preached in the East Church for
Mr Sutherland, who is now attending the Convocation at Edinburgh. ’’
Ibid.—An account of the Established Church Assembly says—“On Saturday
the settlement of Mr Clark in the parish of Daviot was ordered to be
proceeded with according to the laws of the Church.”
June 7.—“All the pulpits here on Sunday last were filled as usual by
their stated pastors; Mr Sutherland and Mr Cook (though among the
seceders) occupying their former churches. The Rev. Mr Macnab officiated
in the Wesleyan Chapel. At Kirkhill Mr Fraser preached his farewell
sermon; and we understand a site has been obtained on the estate of
Achnagairn for a new church to Mr Fraser and his friends. The Rev. Mr
Macrae, Knockbain, preached in the open air, as did also Dr Macdonald,
Urquhart, who selected the spot used by him on Sacramental occasions, by
the side of the bum in the front of the church. The Rev. Mr Noble,
Fodderty, performed divine service in the large room of the hospital at
Strathpefler. The Rev. Mr Grant, Pettie, is prevented by severe
indisposition from leaving the manse, and divine service was performed
in his church by Mr Matheson, jun., Kilmuir, and in the evening by Mr
Fraser, Kirkhill." A temporary wooden church had already been erected at
Ibid.—At a meting ol Dr Bell’s trustees an application was made for a
piece of ground in Farraline Park, at a feu-duty of £10, for the purpose
of erecting a church for the new Free Presbyterian congregation in
Inverness. A plan was submitted by Mr Ross, architect. A motion was made
to grant the feu and an amendment to postpone the question. The motion
was carried by 11 votes to 5.
June 14.—Sir Francis A. Mackenzie, Bart, of Gairloch, died in London on
the 2nd inst. in the 45th year of his age. He is described as a Liberal
and public-spirited proprietor, warmly devoted to agricultural pursuits,
and anxious to benefit the condition of his Highland crofters. “A member
of the Temperance Society, he presided at various meetings of this body,
and he laboured assiduously to inculcate habits of sobriety among the
people, particularly on his own estate. We remember the enthusiasm with
which he used to describe a rent-day in Gairloch, where no beverage
stronger than coffee was drunk, yet all seamed happy and contented. Such
an event never before, perhaps, happened in the Highlands.” Sir Francis
compiled a volume entitled “Hints for the Use of Highland Tenants and
Cottagers,” drawn up by himself from personal knowledge and
correspondence. Of this he also had a Gaelic translation made. Sir
Francis had communicated to the “Courier” numerous contributions on
rural subjects and natural history. The remains of Sir Francis were
afterwards interred in Beauly Priory.
Ibid.—Various communications relate the farewell services of seceding
ministers or the beginning of service in temporary erections. The extent
of the Disruption in the Highlands was beginning to be realised.
Ibid.—A man named John Joppling died in Strontian from eating hemlock,
which he had mistaken for a plant known in the Highlands as “ennish.”
June 21.—The proposal to erect a Free Church in Farraline Park was
departed from, as the parties had failed to agree about terms.
Ibid.—Mr Edward Ellice, M.P., was continuing to make improvements at
Invergarry, planting trees and laying out gardens. He had built a new
mansion-house and cottages, and was erecting a church at his own
Ibid.—A new Post-office erected in Inverness was taken over by the Town
Council.—Captain G. G. Mackenzie, a native of Nairn, died at Cotacamund
on 9th April, after a residence in India of eighteen years.—The Rev. Mr
Bisset was elected minister of the Secession Church in Nairn.—Church
notes are given from various places, showing the changes going on.
June 28.—“Mr Thomas Maclauchlan. late minister of Moy, preached in a
tent on Sabbath last in the wood near the Bridge of Findhorn, on the
spot where he has obtained a site for his new church. The service was
first in Gaelic, and afterwards in English, and the congregation
amounted probably to 700 persons, including many from Strathspey.”
July 5.—The Ross-shire Head Burgh Bill, making Dingwall the head burgh
of the county, passed through the Commons. A verbal alteration made in
the preamble was objected to by the Speaker, but the House agreed to
pass over the objection.
Ibid.—The Rev. John Clark, of Grantown, was settled by the Inverness
Presbytery in the parish of Daviot.
Ibid.—Lectures on mesmerism were given in Inverness, and experiments
made with boys.
July 12.—The Free English congregation in Inverness, who were
worshipping in the Wesleyan Church, had obtained a site between Fraser
Street and Church Lane for their new building, and workmen were busy
clearing the ground for the foundations. It is stated that the workmen
came upon a rude strong vault about four feet below the surface, and
tliat the stone and clay arch seemed entire. The Rev. Mr Beith had
charge of the congregation, and was busy organising. The editor,
however, states that there was no part of Scotland where the secession
was so limited as in Inverness. Dr Rose and Mr Clark continued to
minister to large congregations. “But the change of which we of this
community are scarcely sensible, except from the knowledge of what is
going on around us, has produced very decided effects and is very
strongly felt, in many parts of the neighbouring country, where the
majority of the clergy and people have left the Established Church.” The
fact that the congregations of the East Church and the North Church, who
had joined the Free Church, retained possession of their buildings, no
doubt prevented excitement in Inverness.
Ibid.—In this and the following issue there are long accounts of a duel
with pistols fought at Camden Town between Lieut.-Colonel Fawcett and
Lieut. Munro, who were married to two sisters. Colonel Fawcett died from
his wound. The unfortunate Lieut. Munro was a native of Ross-shire, the
son of a retired officer residing in Tain.
July 19.—The annual wool market was held the previous week under
unpromising circumstances. “The general depressed state of manufactures
operated against the dealers in wool, trade being both dull and
uncertain; while the diminishing consumption in the south, and the bad
prospects afforded by the turnip fields, were felt to be equally
unfavourable to the disposal of sheep. On the whole, however, the result
has proved better than was anticipated. About forty thousand sheep have
been sold at a reduction of from two to four shillings each from last
year’s prices, and several extensive clips of wool have also changed
owners at prices presenting a similar decrease in value. The Sutherland
stocks were disposed of, but scarcely one of the valuable lots in the
island of Skye. The blackfaced stock was very little in demand, and
Cheviot ewes were almost equally unsaleable, unless at greatly reduced
rates. Ewe stock has- got into disrepute, partly because the rage for
rearing half-bred, or Leicester crosses, has diminished, and partly
because many farmers kept them too long in the north. When prices were
high, ewes were bought in great quantities for the purpose of raising
lambs; and after being kept a year or two beyond the proper time were
sent south and sold, when instead of being productive they soon became
weak and died off.”
Ibid.—A meeting was held to consider an effort made by the Marquis of
Breadalbane to interdict the use of a drove stance oil the farm of
Inverouran. The road leading to this stance, it was stated, was the only
direct and convenient course for driving sheep and cattle to the trysts
and markets in the south. A committee was appointed to report on the
Ibid.—The question of sites for Free Churches was becoming urgent. Many
proprietors were willing to giant sites, but others refused.
July 26.—On the previous Sunday a boat was caught in a squall off
Longman Point and swamped. Four persons were drowned.
Ibid.—The Tain Academy had fallen into a depressed state, and for some
months had been closed. An appeal was made for support, and it was now
resolved to re-open the Academy. Mr David Mackie was appointed rector.
August 2.—An appeal was issued on behalf of the new Free Church in
Inverness. At this time it was not intended to levy seat rents but to
Ibid.—Sixteen families, chiefly Roman Catholics, had just left the
island of Eigg for America.
August 9.—“A legal assessment has now been imposed in this parish
(Inverness), with the acquiescence if not the approval of all parties.”
The amount assessed for, after deducting £130 derived from the
Kirk-Session, &c., and £50 of a balance in the hands of the voluntary
committee, was £1025.
August 16.—On the 8th inst. a new mason lodge, “St Mary’s Caledonian
Operative,” was consecrated in Inverness. In the absence of the
Provincial Grand Master, R. W. M. Thomson, Master of St John’s,
Kilwinning, officiated, accompanied by his office-bearers and a number
of other brethren.
Ibid.—“On its being known on Tuesday that the bill constituting Dingwall
the head burgh of Ross-shire had passed through Parliament, the usual
mode of rejoicing was resorted to. A salute of 21 guns was fired at the
Canal bridge there.”
August 23.—A fine lot of Highland bulls were imported to Scourie, in
Sutherland, by the Duke of Sutherland for the use of his small tenants.
Some of them were taken from the best stocks in the county of
Sutherland, and some were purchased in Skye.
Ibid.—A stage-coach now traversed Glencoe, and a traveller could be
carried, by steamer and coach, in one long day from Glasgow to
Fort-William. The issue contains a graphic column descriptive of the
Ibid.—A great storm of thunder and lightning parsed over the district
the previous Saturday. An old woman at Heathfield was killed, and a pair
of oxen near Invergordon. The storm was accompanied by a heavy fall of
hailstones and pieces of ice. All the glass frames of the hothouse at
Invergordon Castle and the farmhouse at the Mains were completely
Ibid.—The Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel was at this time in the Highlands,
and preached to large congregations in the High Church, Inverness. He
also preached in the house of his relative, Mr Baillie of Hochfour.
Ibid.—The foundation-stone of the new Free Church was laid at Dornoch.
It may be mentioned that in various issues paragraphs appear announcing
vacancies or calls in connection with the Disruption, and recording the
activity of ministers of the Free Church.
August 30.—There is a notice of a book on “Life in the Bush,” written by
Mr John Hood, Stoneridge, Berwickshire, who had made a voyage to New
South Wales in an emigrant ship, and resided some months in Sydney and
the bush.—A meeting was held in Inverness for the purpose of
establishing a steamship company to trade between Inverness, London,
Leith, and Glasgow.—The foundation-stone of the new Free Church at Tain
September 6.—Tain Royal Academy was reopened, and the new rector and his
colleagues installed in office.
September 13.—“The workmen now employed in taking down the old house in
Church Street, which has long been a special object of interest to
visitors, from the circumstance of Prince Charles having slept there the
last night he was in the Highland capital, and it being the same mansion
that received' the Duke of Cumberland after the eventful battle of
Culloden, have come upon two muskets, evidently of an old date,
concealed in the north wall, secreted there most likely to prevent them
from falling into the hands of the redcoats. In proceeding further in
their process of demolition, they also found a jewelled ring buried
under a large stone. A knife and fork, with ivory handles, as carefully
laid out of the grasp of the southern soldiers, were discovered in
another part of the building." In 1746 the house was occupied by the
Dowager Lady Mackintosh, who used to say—“ I’ve had two kings’ bairns
living with me in my time, and to tell you the truth I wish I may never
Ibid.—“Deer-stalking continues a favourite field sport. Deer are
numerous this season, and many a noble head of horns has rewarded the
unwearied sportsman. Those recently killed have their heads clear of
velvet, which has remained very late.” The summer was very hot.
Ibid.—An obituary notice from Pictou, Nova Scotia, states that James
Monro died there on 8th August, aged 72, son of the late James Monro,
minister of Cromarty. “Twenty-three years ago he emigrated to Pictou,
where his integrity and many amiable qualities made aim respected and
esteemed by all who were acquainted with him.”
September 20.—The Rev. Simon Mackintosh, minister of the third charge,
Inverness, preached his farewell sermon before removing to the East
Church, Aberdeen. On his retirement a question arose between the
kirk-session and the Town Council as to the application of seat Tents.
Ibid.—A joint committee of Inverness Town Council and1 citizens was
appointed to procure specifications and estimates for erecting, new
bridges at the islands, with porter-lodges at the extremities.
Ibid.—Mr Machines, artist, Inverness, presented the Town Council with a
copy of the portrait of Duncan Forbes, first laird of Culloden, and
great-grandfather of the Lord President. It is stated that he purchased
the barony of Culloden from Mackintosh of Mackintosh in 1625, and was
member of Parliament and Provost of the town of Inverness. He died in
1654, aged 82. Thanks are expressed to Mr Macinnes for his excellent
copy, and to Mr Forbes of Culloden “for permitting the curious and
valuable original to be copied.”
Ibid.—On the 29th ult. a. party of sheriff-officers were deforced at
Balcladdich, in Assynt, while attempting to carry through a warrant of
ejection against John Macleod, tenant there. About fifty men and women
drove the officers away. The Sheriff of Sutherland! soon afterwards went
to the district with a force of thirty special constables, and
apprehended the chief parties. It is expressly stated that the ease was
“wholly unconnected with the Church agitation or general politics.”
Ibid.—An account is given of the reclamation of waste land on the estate
of Ballindalloch, within two miles of the mansion-house.—A correspondent
describes the gardens of Holme House, in the valley of the Naim. He says
he remembers when the banks of the stream were but barely fringed with
young plantations, “broom, juniper, and alder bushes being their natural
covering;” and now there were beautiful woods, “an uninterrupted mass of
foliage,” at Cawdor, Kilravock, Holme, and Cantray.
September 27.—Mr Swanson, the Free Church minister of the Small Isles,
had entered on possession of a floating manse. He writes to a friend
under date 11th September—“You will see that I am writing from my
floating manse, in which I find myself very comfortable. My cabin is
about 12 feet by 6 in length and breadth, and nearly 6 feet high. It
contains four beds and is well lighted. We have not yet tested the
vessel’s power in a storm, but we shall no doubt have an opportunity ere
long of doing so.”
Ibid.—There are various items of Church interest. The people of Rosskeen,
Ross-shire, resisted the Presbytery of Tain when they went to induct the
new parish minister, and the ceremony had to be conducted at Lower
Kincraig. Other cases of induction passed off without incident. The Rev.
John Fraser was settled as Free Church minister of Kiltarlity. Some
persons at Tongue, in Sutherland, cut off a portion of the bell-rope of
the church, and filled up the keyholes. At Farr the tongue of the bell
was removed and the church otherwise opprobriously treated. The Duke of
Sutherland had refused sites for Free Churches.
Ibid.—The freedom of Tain was conferred on Mr James Matheson of Achany,
M.P. Mr Matheson had been very liberal to the Academy.
Ibid.—The foundation of the new Court-House and jail at Dingwall was
laid with masonic honours by Sir Colin Mackenzie of Kilcoy, Provincial
Grand Master, in presence of the Lord-Lieutenant, the Convener, the
Provost and Magistrates, and most of the proprietors of the western
district of Ross-shire.
October 4.—The death is announced of Mr Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth,
which took place at Southampton. He had! just completed his fifty-ninth
year. The deceased was the eldest son of Admiral the Hon. Keith Stewart,
brother of the seventh Earl of Galloway. He married in 1817 the Hon.
Mary Mackenzie, eldest daughter of the last Lord Seaforth, and widow of
Sir Samuel Hood, assuming by sign manual the inmo of Mackenzie on his
marriage. Seaforth represented Ross and Cromarty in Parliament from 1831
until 1837, and was afterwards Governor of Ceylon and High Commissioner
of the Ionian Islands. “Mr Stewart Mackenzie was well known as a firm
and consistent Whig. He was of active habits, a ready and fluent
speaker, and sin;erely anxious to promote the cause of education.”
Ibid.—There is an account of serious disturbances at Logie and Resolis
in Ross-shire (the latter in the Black Isle), arising from the
introduction of new ministers to these parishes. Crowds surrounded the
churches and prevented entrance by a free use of sticks and stones. At
Resolis a woman was captured and taken to Cromarty jail, but the mob
broke open the doors and released her. The Rev. Mr Stewairt remonstrated
with the people, but without avail. The Ross-shire authorities applied
to the Inverness Constabulary Committee for assistance to preserve the
peace, and they also requested the assistance of military from Edinburgh
Castle. There was some fear of a riot at Kiltearn, but the settlement
there passed off quietly. “It is mentioned that the Rev. Dr Macdonald,
Ferintosh, while preaching at Evanton on the Sunday previous, strongly
inculcated the necessity of the people conducting themselves with
decorum, and even went so fax as to say that he would refuse all Church
privileges to such as should take any part in creating a disturbance. We
have no doubt this admonition had the best effect.”—The
foundation-stones of new Free Churches were laid at Foddeity, Creich,
Ibid.—A woman was tried at Dingwall on a charge of practising fraud by
pretended witchcraft. Two cases were brought against her. Her method was
to tie up and charm a parcel in exchange for one or two pounds of money,
and to tell the applicants to place it under their pillow. The results
being profitless, the deluded persons opened the parcel, and found it to
contain in one case sand and rags, and in another some crumbs of bread.
The woman was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.
October 11.—A detachment of the 87th Regiment or Irish Fusiliers had
landed at Invergordon to be at the disposal of the authorities. The
Church rioters now seemed ashamed of their conduct, and apprehensions
were made without resistance. The Special Commission of the Free Church
issued an address warning the people against taking part in acts of
violence, which were “so much calculated to injure the cause of the
Church, and so certain to bring down on themselves and others misery and
ruin.” The address expresses gratification that the ministers of the
district had strenuously exerted themselves to prevent and repress
excesses; and the Commission appointed, an influential deputation to
proceed to Ross-shire, and! strengthen the hands of the ministers in
Ibid.—The weather at the Northern Meeting had been very unfavourable,
but there was a large attendance, which included Prince Alexander of the
Netherlands, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, the Duke of Richmond,
the Marquis and Marchioness of Douro, &c. At a dinner on Thursday the
party numbered 89, with the Duke of Richmond in the chair, and!
Mackintosh, yr. of Mackintosh, croupier. Highland games were held at the
Ibid.—A party of thirty ladies and gentlemen visited Prince Charlie’s
Cave in Glenmoriston. They were preceded up the glen by a piper, and on
their return dined with Sir Henry Meux at his lodge at Corrigoe.
October 18.—This issue contains the Government proclamation prohibiting
the monster meeting at Clontarif, in Ireland, and a notice of the
indictment against Daniel O’Connell for conspiracy and other
Ibid.—It is now announced that peace and order have been restored in
Ross-shire. “The steamer, Modern Athens, which the Lord Advocate placed
at the disposal of the local authorities to convey troops, prisoners,
and stores as might be necessary, has already left our coast; and the
party of the 87th Regiment, sent north under the command of Captain
Kidd, to quell the riots, have been withdrawn to Fort-George to be
quartered there over winter, within a few hours march of any part of the
disturbed district. But it may be predicted pretty confidently that
their further services will not be required.” The outbreak, it is
pointed out, was confined to a very small area.
October 25.—A controversy about seat-rents had been going on between the
Inverness Town Council and the kirk-session. A series of resolutions was
passed by the Town Council, of which the following is the most
important:—“That this meeting hereby recalls the permission granted to
the ministers and session on the 29th October 1841 to allocate the seats
and sittings in the High Church, and appoint the Town Chamberlaiiq with
the assistance of the Magistrates, as a committee to perform this duty;
and they are hereby authorised to let sittings or seats in the High
Church from and after this date.”
November 1.—A special meeting of the Free Church Assembly had been held
in Glasgow. Among the subjects considered was the question whether women
should have an equal right with men in the election of office bearers.
Several members were strongly in favour of female voting, but others
greatly doubted its expediency. The subject was left to be considered by
Presbyteries, and to be taken up at next Assembly.
November 8.—Sir William Ross, a distinguished artist, was presented with
the freedom of the burgh of Tain. His grandfather was a 'native of the
Ibid.—The island of Raasay, long the property of the Macloods of Raasay,
was sold by auction in London for 35,000 guineas. Dr Johnson during his
journey in 1773 was entertained with great hospitality by the laird of
the day, as commemorated both by Johnson himself and Boswell. In a note
to Boswell’s Journal Dr Carruthers says—“The mansion-house of Raasay was
greatly enlarged, and almost rebuilt by the son of Johnsoin’s liberal
entertainer, and was, with the estate, sold by the creditors of his
grandson. The island was purchased by a lowland gentleman, George Rainy,
Esq., and Raasay after a possession of five centuries was lost to the
Macleods.” The date of the sale is usually given as 1846, but our file
shows that it was in 1843. The last laird of Raasay emigrated to
November 15.—The death is recorded of the Rev. Mr Meclauchlan, minister
of Moy, father of Dr Thomas Maclauchlan. Being in ill-health at the time
of the Disruption he did not actually come out, but his son, who was
assistant and successor, did). There was some correspondence with the
Presbytery,- because the father had attended Free Church services
conducted by his son, but this was cut short by the old gentleman’s
sudden death. Another son was the Rev. Simon Maclauchlan, long Free
Church minister of Cawdor. The deceased was in his 76tli year. He was
minister of Moy for thirty-seven years, and had previously been minister
of the Gaelic Chapel, Edinburgh.
Ibid.—The Town Council of Dingwall resolved to confer the freedom of the
burgh on the Earl of Dalhousie for the assistance he had rendered in
carrying through the bill constituting Dingwall the head burgh, and also
conferred the same complimemt on Mr George Bain, Parliamentary agent,
and John Macgregor, Secretary to the Board of Trade, a native of the
county of Ross.—The freedom of the burgh of Tain was conferred on
Lieut.-Macleod of Cadboll, R.N., in recognition of his gallant conduct
as a naval officer in Syria and elsewhere, and further as a mark of the
respect which the town entertained for his father and grandfather, who
were both beloved as kind and indulgent landlords and promoters of
improvement. Lieutenant Macleod was afterwards entertained to a public
dinner by the tenantry on the estate.
Ibid.—At the municipal elections, it is stated that the results “cannot
be said to have depended on questions of politics or the Church,” and
that “the public seem tired of municipal contests.” Mr James Sutherland
was reelected Provost of Liveliness.
Ibid.—“The marriage of James Matheson, Esq., M.P., to Miss Perceval,
which was celebrated in St John's Episcopal Church [Edinburgh] on
Thursday was attended by a great number of the friends of the
parties—indeed, the chapel was crowded with ladies and gentlemen. The
young and lovely bride was splendidly dressed, and was given away by her
uncle, Colonel Perceval, of the Grenadier Guards.” Rejoicings were held
at Dingwall, Tain, Achany, and Ashburton, in Devonshire. —The same issue
contains tributes to the late Mr Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth.
November 22.—Mr Andrew Lothian Macdonald, solicitor, Tobermory, was
entertained to a dinner there on his appointment as Sheriff-Substitute
of the Lews.
November 29.—Mr Alexander Dallas was admitted a solicitor at the
Inverness bar. Mr Dallas is still well remembered as Town-Clerk of
December 6.—A public dinner was given at Tain to Mr George Cameron,
Sheriff-Substitute, on his removal to Dingwall. Mr Taylor was his
successor as Sheriff at Tain.
December 13.—The Rev. John Kennedy received a call to the Free Church of
Dingwall, signed by 270 male adults.
December 20.—There is an account of the slaughter of Captain Wakefield
and his companions, nineteen in number, by the Maoris in New Zealand.
The British colony was planted iu 1840. and from 1843 until 1869 there
were frequent native wars.
December 27.—The death is recorded of Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, the
hero of Barrosa, at the age of 95. A paragraph mentions that as a boy
Graham was a pupil of Ossian Macpherson, and that they were together at
Moffat when Macpherson met Home and communicated to him translations of
Gaelic fragments which led to the subsequent versions of Ossian.