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credit for the movement which terminated in that handsome monument. When the writer consulted him on the matter, he not only approved of the proposal, hut liberally encouraged it by asking us to put his name down for any sum wo pleased, and to hold him responsible for any balance not forthcoming from Mackenzie's Celtic admirers. While this was so highly creditable to Sir Kenneth, the result is equally so to our Highland countrymen, who came forward so handsomely that we had no occasion to fall back upon Sir Kenneth for anything beyond his original subscription. This was most gratifying.
Sir Kenneth presided at the inaugural Meeting of the Gaelic Society of Inverness in 1872, on which occasion he delivered a short address full of sympathy with the cause of his countrymen, and of sound common sense. He holds the position of being the first elected Honorary Chieftain of the Society, a life appointment, limited to seven men who are eligible only for marked Highland patriotism or distinction in Celtic literature. In 1874 he succeeded Cluny as Chief of the Society, on which occasion and repeatedly since he has delivered some excellent speeches which have proved most effectual in educating public opinion on the question treated, and which will be found published in full in the Annual Transactions of the Society. We do not know of a single movement which has taken place in the interest of his brother Highlanders for many years, in which he has not taken an active, intelligent, and sympathetic part.
The manly and gallant contest in which he recently engaged in the County of Inverness, and the gentlemanly manner in which he conducted his part are so fresh in the memory of the reader as to require no detailed reference here. And if anything more were wanted to strengthen the feeling of regret among Highlanders generally that he is not a member of the British Parliament, we think it will be found in the facts of his past career here recorded, and that apart altogether from political considerations. The country cannot spare the public services of such a man; and, though we know that Sir Kenneth's extreme native modesty and personal disinclination to enter into public life have, until recently brought out by the calls of duty, kept him in comparative retirement, ho must be sent to Parliament on tho earliest possible opportunity in the interest of the race to which he is so proud to belong; and that we trust for his own native county, where his personal worth is so well-known and so fully appreciated.
On the occasion of his defeat in tho County of Inverness, the Liberal electors proposed to present him, at the recent Banquet given in his honour in the Highland Capital, with his portrait and a service of plate, but this ho respectfully declined.
We could give various instances of the manner in which the lairds of Gairloch—always considerate and kind—havo been held in the high esteem of their tenants, but Sir Kenneth, especially on his West Coast property, has secured for himself their esteem, and even affection, in a very marked and unprecedented degree.
The History of the Clan Mackenzie, published last year, is inscribed to him by the author "as a slight but genuine acknowledgment of his excellent qualities as a representative Highland Chief and as a generous and benevolent landlord"—qualities which, as ho becomes better known, wUl be universally acknowledged as his in an eminent degree.
TRADITIONS OF STEATHGLASS.
In this and the succeeding papers on the traditions of my native glen, I shall only select such legends as truthful and trustworthy people used to recite:
Straghlais a chruidh Chininn
Cha robh mi ann aineol,
'S ro mhath b'eol dhomh
Gleanncanaich an fheoir.
There is an old tradition in Strathglass that all the inhabitants of the name of Chisholm in the district are descended from a colony of emigrants who left Caithness in troublesome times and located themselves in the Glen. From my earliest recollection I used to hear this story among the people. Some believed, some doubted, and some denied it altogether. In Maclan's sketches of the Highland Clans, there is a short account of the Clan Chisholm and how they settled in the Highlands, by James Logan, F.S.A. Scot., written by him for Mac Ian when he was a librarian in the British Museum, where he collected the data from which he wrote his admirable history of the "Scottish Gael." Finding the old Strathglass tradition partly, if not wholly substantiated by the following extract from No. 2, page 1, of the joint sketches by Maclan and Logan, let me place it before the reader, that he may judge for himself:—
"Harald, or Guthred, Thane of Caithness, nourished in the latter part of the twelfth century. Sir Robert Gordon gives him the surname of Chisholm; and the probability is, that it was the general name of his followers. He married the daughter of Madach, Earl of Athol, and became one of the most powerful chiefs in the north, where he created continued disturbances during the reign of William the Lion, by whom he was at last defeated and put to death, his lands being divided between Freskin, ancestor of the Earls of Sutherland, and Manus, or Magnus, son of Gillibreid, Earl of Angus. It seems that, from the rigorous prosecution to which the followers of Harald were subjected, they were compelled, as was the case with several other clans in troublous times, to seek for new possessions; and Strathglass offered an eligible position for maintaining their independence. These proceedings occurred about 1220."
This passage treats of one portion only of the traditional exodus of the Chisholms from Caithness, but the old Seanachies in the district used to say that most of the emigrants from Caithness continued their western march until they reached Strathglass. Yet, some remained behind. As a proof of this, it used to be pointed out that families of the name of Chisholm were found located in almost every district between Strathglass and Caithness. It can hardly be supposed that the newly arrived emigrants found Strathglass a land of milk and honey. If tradition is to be relied on, they had to displace a formidable enemy in the powerful Clan Forbes. It would appear that the Forbeses disputed every inch of what they considered to be their own territory with the Chisholms. The fortunes of war favoured tlio unwelcome- intruders from the east, and their descendants are to this day in possession ot Strathglass. If charters or royal grants of land required attestation on sheepskin in those times, tradition is conveniently silent about such "trifling cobwebs." As might be expected the Chisholms had to guard their newly acquired possessions very sedulously. It is alleged that they kept watch and ward on both sides of the river Glass. The precipitous hill on whose ledgy bosom revels, runs, and leaps the famous Alt-na-glas-stig—(this burn was understood to be the headquarters of all tho goblins of the glen)—was the watch-tower on the northern side of the strath; and on the opposite rocks of Crochail the sentry for the southern side used to be posted. There was no scarcity of loose pieces of rock or boulders of stone on either of these primitive military stations, and woe be to the enemy passing below while an active line of mountaineers continued to pour down such missiles before, behind, and among them. It is stated that by this sort of guerilla warfare the inhabitants of Strathglass turned back an army without coming to close quarters with them. .
It may be inferred that the Clan Forbes looked with a jealous eye on their successors in Strathglass, and small blame to them if they did. Yet the traditions of the district do not reveal any continuous ill-feeling between the two clans. The only incident we heard of the kind among them was a serious affair in the church attached to the Clachan of Comar. In this quarrel, which took place about the middle of the sixteenth century, the principals were Alexander Chisholm and his father-in-law, " big Forbes." The origin of tho dispute is not known, otherwise it would, be related in the tradition. It appears that this Alexander Chisholm was a man of violent and ungovernable temper. The instant big Forbes saw his son-in-law on this occasion getting into a towering passion he sought safety in flight; the cruel son-in-law gave chase, naked sword in hand, and dealt, as he thought, a mortal blow to sever the head of Forbes from his body. He missed his aim, however, and delivered the blow against a stone forming part of the door archway. The roofless walls of this church are still standing intact, and the incision made by the desperate blow is pointed out to strangers and commented on with execration at all tho funerals in the district when people meet; and probably this has been the practice from the time of the occurrence until now. Forbes fled through the churchyard, followed by Chisholm for about a quarter of a mile, until he was caught east of Kerrow, where his brutal son-in-law stabbed him to death. The field where he was assassinated is still called Iomaire an Fhoirbeisich, or Forbes' field.
This barbarous murder would seem to- have been the result of a familyquarrel. In addition to other crimes, it is said that this Alexander Chisholm forced the wife of one of the Macraes of Kintail to leave her children and an affectionate husband to elope with him. At the time this act took place Macrae was residing at Aridhuagan, on the Letterfearn side of Kintail. The injured man appears not to have harboured any great ill-feeling against his wife, for he sent one of her sons after her to Strathglass, possibly under the impression that having one of her children with her would make her happier in her new situation. This son was worthy of a better preceptor than Chisholm, for he became an excellent member of society, and his descendants ranked among the best tacksmen in Strathglass.
From the " Genealogy of the Macraes," the perusal of which I obtained from the editor of the Celtic Magazine since the foregoing was in MS., I find this woman was a daughter of Sir Dugall Mackenzie, "priest of Kintail," and that her husband was Finlay Macrae, whoso brother Duncan lived at Crochail, and that it was during a visit to Duncan, her brotherin-law, that she became acquainted with Chisholm. "Sir Dugall's daughter was a very beautiful woman, but probably verified the saying, Sara eoncordia formm atque prudentim; for Alexander Du Chisholm, son of Chisholm of Comar, falling in love with her, could not conceal his passion, but gave cause to people to think that he designed to decoy her from her husband, in so much that Finlay was advised to return with her home, which be did sooner than he otherwise intended. But the aforesaid Alexander Du Chisholm, with some confidants, going piivately to Kintail, went the length of Arighugan, where Finlay then lived, and waiting the opportunity of his being from home, carried away his wife, and a young boy, his son, named Christopher, who followed his mother to Strathglass, where he became an able and rich man, and lived all his days. Of him are come the Macraes of Strathglass, and severals in Kintail. Finlay thinking his wife had been privy to the plot, disdained to call her back, and so repudiated her."
It is said this Alexander Chisholm murdered one of the Lovat family in Beinn-bhan, a hill between Giusachan and Glenmoriston. There is a cairn built on the spot to commemorate the tragic event, called Carn-mhicShimidh, or Lovat's Cairn. It is said that they were returning home from a battle in the south, and having arrived in sight of Erchless, Chisholm remarked that he could now " perceive Lurga-mhor-Eirchlais, where my brother was murdered." "'Sole an t'ani cuimhnichidh so Alastair" (This is a bad time for reminding me of that event), said MacShimidh. "Cha bhi e nis f hearr an traths " (It will not be better just now), replied the Chisholm. Then began the quarrel that ended fatally for Lovat. The old people of the district assert that men from the Fraser estate were seen in pursuit of the Chisholm, who ran off from his own house in Erchless, one of the Frasers shouting after him—
Seasamh math a Shiooalaich,
Stand fast, Chisholm,
You are in your own country.
This appeal to his pride and manhood stopped him instantly, and his enemies coming up killed him on the spot. It was to avenge the death of his half-brother, the young Chisholm, that Alastair Dubh committed the murder in Beinn-bhan. Enough, however, has been said of this cruel miscreant. What remains to be told is that not one of his descendants is now to be found in the Highlands. And I regret to have to record, in the interests of truth, such misdeeds on the part of a clansman, and to have to mention such a detestable crime on the part of Alastair Dubh Mac-an-t-Siosalaich
(To be Continued.)
THE CRERARS, AND YOUNG MACIAN OF GLENCO.
In a recent number of the Celtic Magazine I observe that one of your correspondents asks for information anent the origin of the name " Crerar." As no one else has, as far as I have seen, volunteered a response to the enquiries of our friend, I give the following version of the matter as I have had it, from men of Breadalbane, which, I am told, is the cradle of the Crerar race.
The first of this name is said to have been a Mackintosh—in hiding for some offences that made him amenable to the penalties of the law. His lurking whereabouts were somewhere on the banks of Lochtay. Closely pursued by the officers of justice, he fled to the village of Acharn, near Kenmore—passed into the meal mill there; and having explained to the miller, whom he knew, the cause of his hasty visit, implored his protection. The miller, a man of ready resource, as the story goes, and who was sifting at the moment the unfortunate fugitive appealed to him, flourished his sieve right over him, and snowed him white from top to toe. To complete this extemporised impersonation he put the sieve into his hands, and bade him play the miller, or miller's man, as occasion might require. Soon his pursuers found their way into the mill; made minute enquiries anent the fugitive, but failed to recognise in the man with the sieve the object of their pursuit. From this incident, which was the means of saving his life, Mackintosh assumed the name of Crerar. Criathar is the Gaelic for sieve, and Griathrar (Crerar) is the Gaelic for sifter. Mackintosh settled at Lochtayside, married, had a family, and is, I am told, ancestor of those that bear this name, some of whom have since resumed the original surname.
It is not uncommon in the Highlands of Perthshire to meet with individuals who have two surnames. Crerars are Mackintoshes, Macomies are Andersons, Mactavishes are Campbells, Mackays and Macvicars are Macnaughtons, and the Cairds make Sinclairs of themselves. How to explain this I do not know; unless in unruly times bygone, others besides our acquaintance Mackintosh were forced, as he was by stress of weather, to hide themselves under the mask of an assumed name.
The second query, which is from your Leith correspondent, and which has reference to the sons of Glenco who perished in the massacre, I can only partially answer. As to the second son I have no information to give. But John, the elder of the two, found refuge with the Macdonells of Livisie, near Inveinoriston. This Glenmoriston tradition has been embodied in the following stanza of "Oran na Faoighe," by Archibald Grant, the Glenmoriston bard:—
Tha Cloinn Iain Ruaidh Libhisie