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selves out of the moss, and to gain another step. In this manner we spent a great part of the day, struggling through an uninhabited morass, without the appearance, in many places, of a path, though, from the declivity of the ground, and the vicinity of hills, whose sloping sides were covered with strata, an excellent road might soon be formed by a company of soldiers.” There is a good road there now—between Kinlochewe and the head of Loch-Torridon. When about four miles from Mr. Mackenzie's house, they were met by a woman with a large wooden bowl of milk for their refreshment. “The wind and rain," says our author, “were so violent, that I could scarcely look up, much less stay to partake of the good woman's bounty; but my fellow-traveller fell behind, and took a good pull at it.” At the head of Loch Torridon Mr. Knox found a population of some 400 in number, which, he says, “as there are many thousand acres of unimproved sloping land, with permanent fisheries, might be increased very considerably." Here Mr. Mackenzie had built a large, modern curing-house for fish, the first of the kind that had been erected in Scotland. From Torridon our author took boat to Gairloch, “along an uninhabited shore, which rises gradually from the water, to no considerable height, and seems well adapted for the hand of the improver.” Gairloch he found to be excellent for the fishing of cod, and in greater numbers than were found elsewhere on the West Coast. “Of this bounty the proprietor fully avails himself. All the fish taken by his servants are delivered to a contractor, who, besides paying a stipulated price to the tenants, engages to pay Sir Hector one halfpenny, or thereabouts, for each fish of a certain size. The fish are delivered once, or at most twice, every week; when those that have been taken first, and lain the longest without salt, may be supposed to be nearly in a state of putrefaction.” In February and March, 1786, the number of fish taken by the natives, exclusive of those caught by strangers, was—cod, 18,000, and ling, 500. In this fishing forty-one boats were engaged. Mr. Knox points out that all the harbours were on the south “and almost uninhabited side" of the Loch. “A small harbour for boats and fishing-vessels could be formed at the head of the Loch, contiguous to the church, curing-house, etc., but the proprietor does not seem inclinable to have a village so near his seat, though he seldom resides there.” From Gairloch, Mr. Knox proceeded north through Poolewe, on to Gruinard and Dundonald, at both of which places he remained for a short time. He speaks highly of the improvements made at the latter place, the proprietor having, by means of planting and otherwise, doubled the value of his estate. In this connection he says, “I have generally observed that those families in the Highlands who remain upon their estates during the whole year, or the greatest part of it, enjoy a thousand comforts which are unknown to the votaries after false pleasures elsewhere. They are also freed from the cares and embarrassments that are the inseparable companions of the roving gentlemen, whose dependence is solely upon the rental of moderate Highland estate, encumbered with jointures and numerous families. Mr. Mackenzie never wanders abroad, and his home is a source of pleasure, the seat of ease, affluence, and health. He has lived to see the trees of his own planting become considerable. He is under the influence of no factor, and he oppresses no tenant; yet his rent-roll increases with his years, and his timber, if permitted to stand another age, will be worth many thousand pounds." From Dundonald, Mr. Knox crossed to Leckmelm and Ullapool, and from thence on to Coigach and Lochinver. At Lochinver he says, the men complained “as usual" of the rise in their rents. “Our fathers,” said they, “were called out to fight our master's battles, and this is our reward.” They spoke with seeming indifference of the cause in which their fathers, and probably some of themselves, had been engaged, which they said they did not understand. From here he proceeded through Assynt, a parish which, he informs us, then contained a population of 2500 souls; the shores of Loch Assynt being then “well peopled.” Now (1886) there is not a soul in the latter district, except a solitary gamekeeper or shepherd. Proceeding northward, Mr. Knox entered Sutherlandshire, passing Loch Laxford and Loch Inchard. The district between the Point of Assynt and Cape Wrath contained a population of “above 2000 people, or ten for each mile.” This number our author thinks unreasonably few. Were he to visit it to-day, we question if he would meet one-fourth the number. At Tongue House he saw a book which contained a correspondence, “from the year 1730 to 1740, between George, Lord Reay, and certain merchants of Glasgow, Renfrew, and Dunbar, relative to herrings caught by his Lordships's tenants upon this coast. It appears from their correspondence that herrings were then plentiful, that his Lordship sold them ready cured ; and that the merchants sent vessels to take them away at a fixed price agreed upon by contract between the parties for a given number of years.” From Loch Inchard to Durness, Mr. Knox informs us that he passed through a part of what was called “the Forest; but it might with greater propriety be called the Desert. Here are no trees, no houses, no people. We did not see a human creature till we came within sight of Durness; and very few cattle. The whole was rock or moss, generally covered with long heath. A few moor fowls rose now and then from among our feet. They were generally in pairs, and might easily have been shot. The deer keep mostly together, probably for their common defence, as well as to protect their young. Seven hundred and upwards appear sometimes in one body.” He noticed that the hills were strewn with large stones, from one to three or four tons weight. Of these, thousands lay scattered over a tract of many miles. Science must have been in a backward state in those days, for our author says that the labour of raising them to such considerable heights “must have been great.” He could not learn the use of these stones, “but it is probable,” he says, “that they served to screen the persons who were on the watch to kill the wild boar, the deer, the fox, the eagle, and other animals, which, in old times, abounded in the Highlands.” In this part of the journey (from Lochbroom), Mr. Knox was accompanied by “a half-pay officer,” named Mackenzie, introduced to him by Mr. Mackenzie of Leckmelm. Half-pay officers do not appear to have been quite so particular as regards their dress at that time as in the present day, for Mr. Knox incidentally tells us that, though the tops of the mountains were covered with snow, he himself “was continually in a sweat, owing to the ascent of the hills, and many bad steps among the swamps, while Mr. Mackenzie, who was not encumbered with boots, travelled with all the agility and ease for which his countrymen are remarkable.” Mr. Knox and his companion soon arrived at Durness, where, we are told, there was a parish church, a manse, and a seat of the family of Reay. At Tongue he completes what he describes as the first part of his Journal; and there we have to leave him.
THE LOCH-FYNE BARD.
THE friends and admirers of Mr. Evan MacColl, and their name is legion, will be glad to learn that he is not only hale and hearty in his old age, he being now 77, but that his popularity is as fresh as ever. We were favoured lately with a copy of the second Canadian edition of his collected English poems, of which we spoke in terms of highest praise when the first edition made its appearance. The present volume has been carefully revised and corrected, is very well printed, and neatly got up. It is further interesting to note that Mr. MacColl has arranged for the issue of a completely new and revised edition of “Clarsach nam Beann,” Mr. MacColl's well-known and ever-popular collection of Gaelic poems. As this work has been comparatively scarce for some years, and as the author's muse has not by any means been idle since the “Clarsach" was first published, Highlanders will look forward with great interest to the forthcoming work. Few of our Gaelic minstrels have been able to give poetic expression to their sentiments with greater fluency and musical sweetness than Mr. Evan MacColl.
AN OLD CHURCH PROCESS.
[BY KENNETH MACDONALD, F.S.A. SCOT.]
THE Ministers, on the other hand, thought the provision too small, and hoped their Lordships would “grant the Ministers of Inverness stipends on which they may decently be subsisted, and not make their livings worse than their neighbour brethren." Their petition begins by stating that the stipend modified in 1665 was nine chalders of victual, 400 merks of money, with the vicarage and small teinds ipsa corpora, 200 merks payable by the town of Inverness out of their Common Good, and £40 for communion elements, while the present stipend was 168 bolls and 659 13s. 7ád. Sterling, including the vicarage, but how the alteration from the decree of 1665 happened they could not declare. The stipend modified by the interlocutor complained of was 48 bolls, I firlot, 2 pecks, 2 lippies victual, half bear, half oatmeal, and £491 8s. 6d. Scots money to each Minister, exclusive of manses and glebes. There was in addition the decernitures against the Magistrates for IOO merks to each Minister for manse rent, and also to furnish the Communion elements. This stipend, the Ministers contend, is too small for such an important parish as Inverness, of which they say that few parishes in Scotland are more extensive, “although there was not a Royal Burgh in the heart of it,” the number of parishioners, which in 1665 included no less than 4000 communicants, being now greatly increased by “the peace and security of the subjects, the trade and riches of the country.” The free teinds, they allege, amount to over 35 chalders victual, and 6 1739 13s. 4d. Scots money, “a fund capable of bearing a suitable and competent provision, without hurting the Titular or prejudicing the Heritors.” The town of Inverness, they say, “lies in the mouth of the Highlands, where two circuits in the year are held, and it is consistent with many of your Lordships' knowledge, who have