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from Sir Walter de Leslie and Euphemia Philorth and other lands belonging to the half earldom of Buchan as Johanna's portion.
Philorth has continued in the possession of his descendants to the present day.
1J miles from Philorth.
This is the terminus of the line. Continuing Lord Saltoun's notes :—
About a mile beyond Philorth station lies Fraserburgh, the terminus of this branch of the line. The site of the town and some adjacent lands were of old called Faithlie, and were a part of the half earldom of Buchan already mentioned, and as such were given by David II. to Sir Walter de Leslie and Euphemia, Countess of Ross, his wife, who, upon a resignation of them by a family of the name of Menzers or Menzies, granted them to Andrew Mercer in 1381, and his descendant, Sir Henry Mercer, sold them to Sir William Fraser of Philorth in 1504.
The bold and rocky promontory of Kinnaird Head ("Ceann ard," the high land), said to be the Promontorium Taixatium of Ptolemy, is situated at the north-east angle of Aberdeenshire, the coast trending directly westward in one direction and towards the southeast in the other ; it forms the northern boundary of a bay anciently called the Bay of Philorth, facing the north-east, and terminated at its other extremity by a reef of rocks projecting in that direction from Cairnbulg Point.
In the north-western corner of the bay, close under Kinnaird Head, the small village or town of Faithlie grew up, which in 1546 was erected into a free burgh of barony by royal charter, with the usual privileges to the burgesses and authority to hold markets and to practise various trades, etc.
This highly offended the citizens of Aberdeen, and in the Council Register of that city there is an entry of date 1564 that "The haill toune being warnit . . . grantit and consentit to pursew to the final end, the action and eaiue movit and pursuivit be thame
against Alexander Fraser of Philorth anent the privilege usurpit bi him of ane fre burght in the toune of Faithly, contrar the libertie and privileges of this burght, presently dopendan before the Lords of Council."
In the year 1570 Alexander Fraser, the grandson and successor of the Alexander above mentioned, began to build a castle on Kinnaird Head, and to found a new town on the site of Faithlie, which operations he continued for several years : and in 1576, on the 9th of March, he laid the first stone of a new harbour, "In nomine Patris Filii et Spiritus Sancti." He received from King James VI. different charters in 1588, 1592, and 1601, by which the new town was erected into a burgh of regality and a free port, and ordained to be called the Burgh and Port of Fraser, and empowering him among other privileges to found an university, with colleges, etc., which should have as ample rights, privileges, and immunities as those of any other university in the kingdom, which authority for founding an university was confirmed by Act of Parliament on Dec. 16, 1597, Sir Alexander Fraser and his heirs being authorised to appoint and dismiss the masters, teachers, and officials of the university, and to make such rules and regulations as they might see fit; but, although a college was built and some progress made, the grand design of an university was far beyond the powers of a single family to accomplish. On one occasion (I forget the date), during a pestilence in Aberdeen, the scholars at King's College were transferred to the college at Fraserburgh.
The provost, bailies, and community of Aberdeen were as indignant at the rise of Fraserburgh as they had been at that of Faithlie, and carried on a long but unavailing litigation from 1573 till 1616, when it seems to have dropped. It is curious, however, from a claim put forward on the part of the Aberdonians, that the privileges of trade, etc., granted by former monarchs to Aberdeen included the whole sheriffdom or county of Aberdeen, and that therefore the riceoten of Fraserburgh, or any other burgh of regality and free port within those limits was illegal. They were certainly not free traders in those days.
Fraserburgh, like most of the small towns in the north of Scotland, continued to vegetate after a fashion down to the present century, but of late a great improvement has taken place.
In the year 1800 the revenue of the harbour was about £40 to £50; this year (1880) it is between £10,000 and £11,000. It has become the greatest herring fishing station on the coast of Scotland, about 800 boats fishing from it.
At the census of 1881 the population was 6543. There is a good principal hotel, the Saltoun Hotel, and several others; there are two Established Churches, a Free Church, an Episcopal Chapel, and several other denominational places of worship.
The Town Hall is ornamented with a marble statue of the late Lieut. -General Lord Saltoun, K.T., K.C.B., G.C.H., and Knight of Maria Theresa of Austria and St. George of .Russia, honours which he gained by long and gallant service in the 1st or Grenadier Guards during the great war, having been present at many actions in the Peninsula, and having defended the orchard of Hougoumont at the battle of Waterloo, and commanded the third battalion of the 1st Guards in the repulse and defeat of the grenadiers of Napoleon's Old Imperial Guard, which decided that great victory.
Very great improvements are being carried out in the harbour of Fraserburgh. A breakwater, towards the south-east, is in the course of construction, and nearly completed, at a cost of £60,000; and various other operations are in contemplation which will have the effect of rendering it a deepsea harbour, and one of the most commodious upon the coast.
To the above notes of Lord Saltoun's may be added the following from Dr. Pratt :—
The castle of Kinnaird's Head is built in the form of a parallelogram, 39 feet by 27. The tower, which is the only remaining portion of the castle, is now
converted into a lighthouse ; it is built on an eminence, and has four stories besides the lantern chamber, added for the reception of the lantern apparatus. It was let on lease in 1787 to the Northern Lighthouse Commissioners, and fitted up by them for that purpose. The castle commands an extensive view. Looking westward, the eye traverses the whole expanse of the Moray Firth, resting on the far-off hills of Caithness, which, at the distance of 60 miles, melt into the soft haze of the dipping clouds. The small craft of the coast may occasionally be seen issuing in shoals from the numerous creeks along the Firth; sailing vessels idly loitering, as it were, on the grassy plain ; while a steamer or two, their long dense trail of smoke resting lazily in mid-air, hurry by, regardless, it would seem, of all but the business in hand. The huge crags of Pennan and Troup Head give character to the centre of the picture ; while in the near distance are seen the villages of Pittullie, Sandhaven, and Broadsea, nestling along the shore. Looking eastward, we see the fine bay of Faithlie, with its curving beach embracing a 3 miles circuit, bounded at the further extremity by the fishing villages of Cairnbulg and Inverallochy, and having the harbour of Fraserburgh, the Baths, the rugged rocks, and the Old Wine Tower, in the foreground. All this forms a picture as varied and interesting as the eye could wish to dwell upon.
The Wine Tower is an old quadrangular building rising from a rock which overhangs the sea, about 50 yards east of the castle. It is carried to the height of 3 stories. There was till of late no visible entrance except a sort of doorway in the third story, from which an aperture in the floor admitted to the chambers beneath ; there is no vestige of a staircase either within or without. Under the tower is a cave running into the rock, said to be 70 feet in extent. The present Lord Saltoun suggests that the tower derives its name from a winding pathway from the castle called The Wynd ; this may be so, but the history of this remarkable building, could it be recovered, might suggest a different I derivation.
The Tower has been put in repair, and is now used as a depot for the arms and stores of the Rifle Volunteers. It is made available by a wooden stair leading to the doorway in the third story. On clearing away the rubbish from the south wall a doorway was discovered leading to the ground - floor. The sides as well as the lintel are formed of three entire blocks of hard white freestone. The nearest known quarry of this description of stone is in Morayshire. The Tower is 25 feet 3 inches by 21 feet at the base, and about 25 feet high on the land side, but much higher seaward. No history of this singular structure seems to be extant. Its legend, of course, it has ; and we should not be using it well if we passed it over in silence.
Legend Of The Wine Tower.
Love wove a chaplet passing fair,
Where joyous youth and beauty rare,
But woe is me!—alack the day!
Pride spurned the simple wreath; And scattering all those blooms away,
He doomed sweet Love to death.
No bridal wreath, O maiden fair!
Thy brow shall e'er adorn;
Of pride and avarice born.
What boot to him thy vows, thy tears 7
One rich in pelf, and hoar in years,
Than he who with but love to guide
Keeps tryst in yonder bower; Where ruffians,—hired by ruffian pride,—
His stalwart limbs secure.
* * * #
Where rolls old ocean's surging tide
Right o'er a cavern, deep aud wide,
Dark as the dark expanse of hell
That cavern's dreary space; Whence never captive came to tell
The secrets of the place.
There, bound in cruel fetters, lies
The lover fond and true;
No more to bless her view.
No pitying hand relieves his want,
No loving eye his woe;
He dies in torments slow.
Thus slept the youth in death's embrace ;—
Darkly the tyrant smiled; The corse then dragged from that dread place,
And bore it to his child.
"Ay, say," he cried, "what meets thy view;
"Didst think that these, my brave broad lands,
His love would well repay?
These direful words the maid arrest,
A marble hue she bore,
"No more shall man his will oppose,
Then clasping close that shrouded form,
Which erst her love inspired,
By love aud frenzy fired.
Then plunged beneath the flood.
Excursion Along The Coast.
It will well repay the tourist to continue his ramble along the coast from Fraserburgh to Banff, and this will be most conveniently done by hiring a conveyance, and taking it leisurely.
Some four or five miles from Fraserburgh are the ruins of the old castle of Pittullie. Probably built by the Saltoun family whose arms remain on the building, it seems to have been enlarged by the Cumines, in whose possession it remained for many years. "The castle, which is within half a mile of the sea, faces the south, and is an irregular building with a front about 60 feet in length. Turrets spring (from the corners at about 12 feet from the ground, the corbelled bases of which are still remaining. At the north-west angle there is a square tower, with small angular corbelled turrets on the two corners next the sea, pierced by windows lighting what is popularly called 'The Laird's Room.' The tower seems to be of a more recent period than the other parts of the structure ; the respective dates of these older portions, as recorded on the walls, being 1651, 1674, and 1727. The rooms though small had been well proportioned, and what appear to have been the sleeping apartments must have been more comfortable than was common in some of the castles of that date. The kitchen and store-rooms were of good size, and provided with an abundant supply of water. They were connected with the main building by a covered passage. It is said that the stone on which the family arms of Le Chien were cut was placed in a niche above the principal entrance. If this be true, it would lead to the conjecture that the laird who built this part of the house had married a lady of the family of Cheyne. The stone may now be seen built into the wall of the farmer's byre."
Pitsligo Castle. — About three quarters of a mile further west are the ruins of the Castle of Pitsligo, on a rising ground above the fishing village of Rosehearty. It is thought to have been built in the early part of the 15th century by the founder of the family, Sir "William Forbes, son of Sir John Forbes'of Druminnor, who under James I. came into possession of Pitsligo, Boyndlie, etc., by marriage with the only daughter of Sir William Fraser of Philorth. Patrick Cook, in his "Description of the Parish of Pitsligo," 1723, says: "Toshowthe simplicity and rudeness of these times, the old tower of Pitsligo was built about 300 years ago, 80 foot long and 36 foot broad, the walls 9 foot thick. It was about 114 foot high, divided into three stories, of which two are yet standing. The whole house consisted of three rooms, the lowest was the kitchen, and is 12 foot high; the second was the eating-room and is 25 foot high ; the third, which was taken down about 20 years ago, was the sleeping-room for the whole family, and had in it 24 beds. Both the lower rooms were vaulted."
The tower, Dr. Pratt tells us, Was the oldest part of the building, and was erected in 1424. A stone above the gateway bears the legend— ALP Haec corpus bYDERA MeHteu,.
Another stone bears the Scottish lion and
Above the entrance into the inner court are engraved the arms and initials, and the date 1663; and a stone on the north side of the same court bears the arms and coronet and the same date.
The old tower is now a complete ruin. Some of the other buildings which still remain form now a farmhouse. When the present editor was there in 1839, the vaulted eating-room was doing duty as a corn-loft. When entire, the castle formed an oblong hollow square, erected on a sort of table-land, on the northern slope of a hill about half-a-mile from the sea, its height over the sea being about 100 feet.
Alexander, fourth Lord Pitsligo, and twelfth in descent from Sir William Forbes, the first laird, was the last of the ancient and honourable race who inhabited Pitsligo Castle. This account of him is abridged from a sketch by Sir Walter Scott:—
Lord Pitsligo was born in 1678, and succeeded to the title and estates in 1691. He was for some time resident in France, where he was admitted to the friendship of the celebrated Fenelon, whose warm and enthusiastic religious doctrines he cordially embraced. His religious principles, however, as a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church, remained unaltered, notwithstanding his intimacy with Fenelon and his predilection for the somewhat mystical divinity of that excellent prelate. He formed his taste and habits of society upon the best models which Paris then afforded. He espoused the cause of the exiled house of Stuart, the primary cause of all his subsequent misfortunes.
When he returned from France he took his seat in Parliament in 1700. He resisted the proposal for a national union, and regarding the Acts of Settlement and Abjuration as unlawful, he discontinued attendance on Parliament and retired to his house in the country. Upon the death of Queen Anne, he joined himself in arms with the Highlanders and Jacobites, headed by his friend and relation the Earl of Mar. On the failure of this movement at Sheriffmuir the confederacy was broken, and the nobles concerned in it were obliged to take refuge in flight. Lord Pitsl igo was among the exiles, and spent five or six years abroad—partly at the Court of St. Germains. Disgusted with the petty feuds and crooked intrigues of that miserable Court, Lord Pitsligo returned to Scotland, having, as it is supposed, obtained some assurance that his past conduct would not be challenged. After this he seems to have resided chiefly at Pitsligo Castle, straggling with the difficulties of a small fortune and embarrassed estate, but distinguished for hospitality and kindness towards his neighbours, by charity and benevolence to the poor, and by goodwill to every one.
Lord Pitsligo was past the age of active exertion, being sixty-seven years old, and afflicted with asthma, when, in the autumn of 1745, the young Chevalier landed in the West Highlands on his daring and romantic enterprise. The north of Scotland, Aberdeenshire in particular, abounded with high-spirited cavaliers bred in Jacobite principles; a leader was all they wanted. In this crisis Lord Pitsligo's determination was looked for by all who adhered to the Jacobite cause, he being equally esteemed and beloved by his neighbours. "So when he, who was so wise and prudent, declared his purpose of joining Charles, most of the gentlemen in that part of the country who favoured the Pretender's cause put themselves under his command, thinking they could not follow a better or safer guide."
Lord Pitsligo has left his own testimony that he took a step of this important nature upon the most mature consideration, unblindcd either by ambition or enthusiasm, and with eyes open to the perils in which such a step involved him. The die was, however, cast, and Lord Pitsligo went to meet his friends at the rendezvous they had appointed at Aberdeen. They formed a body of well-armed cavalry, gentlemen and their servants, amounting to
the number of a hundred men. When they were drawn up in readiness to commence their expedition, their venerable leader moved to the front, lifted his hat, and looking up to heaven, pronounced, with a solemn voice, the awful appeal: "0 Lord, Thou knowest that our cause is just!" and then added the signal of departure,—." March, gentlemen!"
Their arrival at the royal quarters in Edinburgh was hailed with enthusiasm, not only on account of the timely reinforcement, but more especially from the high character of their leader. "It seemed," said Hamilton of Bangour, "as if Religion, Virtue, and Justice were entering the camp under the appearance of this venerable old man; and what would have given sanction to a cause of the most dubious right could not fail to render sacred the very best."
When all was lost at Culloden Lord Pitsligo was reduced to the condition of an outlaw and fugitive. The aged peer did not fail to find among the common people of Scotland the same intrepid presence of mind and resolute fidelity which formed the protection of many an adherent of the Jacobite cause. Although the country was exhausted by the exactions of both armies, the half-starved inhabitants never hesitated to share their coarse and scanty meal with the unknown fugitive. Lord Pitsligo's food was often reduced to water brose; and once, when he observed that the addition of a little salt would be an improvement, he was answered,—"Ay, man; but saut's touchy."
It was about this time that the venerable nobleman was under the necessity of making the arch of the old bridge at Craigmaud an occasional place of concealment, or of taking refuge in the obscure cave of Ironhill, which now goes by his name.
As his castle was not yet occupied by Government, Lord Pitsligo took occasion to see it as often as possible. His lady, who still found refuge there, used afterwards to tell how her maid and she provided for the honoured fugitive the dress of a common mendicant. He