Ferintosh History

Ferintosh Community Collage
Raeburn Portrait (Exhibition Guide)
Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness standing in front of map of Ross and Cromarty
 

The Second Statistical Account (1834 - 1845)

The New (or Second) Statistical Account of Scotland built on the previous work carried out by Sir John Sinclair for the First Statistical Accounts by including the knowledge of local doctors and schoolmasters. The Second Statistical Accounts were published between 1834 and 1845.
 

Ferintosh History

The Second Statistical Account for Urquhart and Logie Wester
The following is a transcription of the actual Account of the Parish of Urquhart and Logie Wester from the second or new Statistical Account for Scotland (dated Feb 1840).

United Parishes of Urquhart and Loggie-Wester*  Presbytery of Dingwall, Synod of Ross
THE REV. JOHN MACDONALD, MINISTER
* Drawn up by D. Mackenzie, A.M. and revised by the Rev. J. Macdonald    Minister     of the parish

1. Topography and Natural History.

Name - This parish now known by the name Urquhart, is in all church records designated the united parishes of Urquhart and Loggie-Wester; the former comprehending the eastern and the latter the western district of the parish as now constituted. As the designation intimates, it was originally two distinct parishes, but at what period the union took place has not been ascertained. It seems, however, probable, from a reference made to the parishes in an old manuscript in the Advocates' Library, that they had been incorporated as early as the year 1490, it being therein stated that one, Mr Munro, was at that time, vicar of Urquhart and Loggie-Wester.

In regard to the designation Urquhart it derives its origin, according to a tradition still current in the place, from the first church, on the erection of the parish, having been built by a lady of eminent piety, by name Sophia Urquhart, in Gaelic, Sitheag Urachdan. This tradition is noticed by the writer of the former Statistical Account, who adds that the lady was of the family of Cromarty, whose landed property in this country was anciently of vast extent, and that to the lady referred to, the lands of Urquhart had been allotted as her dowry. He likewise observes that although these lands have long since passed into a different line of proprietors, yet still many of the inhabitants of this, and some of the heritors of the adjacent parishes, are of the name of Urquhart. These circumstances taken together serve, it is conceived, to render this account of the origin of the name extremely probable.

Perhaps it may not be out of place to observe here, that the same tradition also bears that the parish of Urquhart in Inverness-shire, derives its name, in like manner, from the person who first endowed it, called Crostan Urquhart. The designation in the Gaelic is Urachdan mu (ma') Chrostan, Anglice Urquhart, the benefit of, or endowed by, Crostan; the adjunct, ma' Chrostan, being intended to distinguish it from other parishes of the name of Urquhart, of which there are, at least, two more in the north of Scotland.

Loggie - The name of the other parish is a Gaelic word (Laggie from lag), signifying a hollow, and is descriptive of the old church of that parish, the ruins of which are still to be seen in a pleasant valley on the south bank of the river Conan; the grounds contiguous to it receding and rising by a gentle acclivity, while the lands on the opposite side of the water present a bolder ascent, extending to the foot of the precipitous Brahan rock. It is called Loggie-Wester to distinguish it from another parish of the name of Loggie, within the bounds of the synod.

Extent and boundaries - The length of the parish is about ten miles; its breadth, three and a half. The form is a pretty exact rectangle, and it lies in a direction nearly south west and north east. On the east it is bounded by the parish of Resolis; on the south and south west, by the parishes of Knockbain and Killearnan; on the west by the parish of Urray; on the north, the boundary is formed by the Cromarty Frith and River Conan, which separate it from the parishes of Kiltearn, Dingwall, Fodderty and part of Urray.

Topographical Appearances - From the shore and the bank of the Conan, the ground rises with a gradual and pretty uniform slope, to the ridge of hill called the Maolbuie. The surface is nearly regular, there being nothing to diversify it, beyond here and there a knoll or a hollow. There is no elevation that deserves the name of hill, or depression that can be called a valley. In short, to an observer situated on the north of the Frith, this parish presents the appearance of an inclined plane, having the east end somewhat more elevated than the west. The lower grounds are almost entirely brought into cultivation; those parts which the plough has not yet reached are rapidly diminishing in extent, and are generally covered with furze or whin, and broom. But towards the Maolbuie, the uncultivated ground produces nothing better than stunted heath; and in that part of the parish which adjoins Killearnan, there is a moss of some extent, supplying the inhabitants with a spongy kind of peat, which is used for fuel.

Of natural scenery, a surface so uniform can scarcely be expected to present much. With the exception of one or two burns or ravines of rather a romantic character, there is nothing in the parish that merits any notice. One of these, the Findon-burn, has a fine cascade of about 20 feet, which, pouring its waters into a yawning gorge, formed by a sudden widening of the fissure on each side, the banks above rising boldly, and being covered with oak, birch, and hazel, there is nothing wanting to complete the interest of the scene, but a sufficient body of water. This gloomy chasm was in the olden times fully believed by the common people, to be the abode of some ideal being, called in Gaelic a Bhaobh or a Bhean Shith. To what class of animals this same Baobh belongs, naturalists have not, it is supposed, yet been able to decide. That she (for a female she was supposed to be) exercised no slight influence over the fears of the superstitious Highlanders, till a period not very remote, is well known. Her reign, however, in this part of the country terminated long ago, the last of the race who figured in the history of this parish having not been heard of for 100 years. Of this lady a marvellous story used to be related by the old people, who have now gone to the silence of the grave. They fully believed that she held intercourse with a man whose name and residence were specified, and that he was repeatedly absent months from his own family, being on those occasions in the company of his Dulcinea, the Baobh. But happily such silly ideas have vanished before the enlightening influence of Christian education.

But although this parish cannot boast of much scenery within itself, yet it commands an excellent view of one of the most beautiful and magnificent landscapes in the north. Take your stand on almost any spot in the parish, look towards the north, and a delightful scene every where meets the eye! In the foreground, the Frith presents itself, with a number of ships lying on the beach at various points, or perhaps here and there a sloop sailing down with spread canvas, or beating up against the wind. At its termination, it receives the waters of Conon. Directly opposite the middle of the parish, lies the town of Dingwall, surrounded by rows of trees, and finely situated on a rich carse, formed by the abrupt contracting of the Firth to about half its breadth. Ascending rapidly from the edge of the water, a beautiful slope, all the way from Brahan, extends to the east as far as the eye can reach, in the highest state of cultivation, adorned with hedges, rows of trees and clumps of wood, interspersed with neat farm-houses and the splendid mansions of gentlemen. Among these latter may be enumerated, Brahan Castle, Tulloch Castle, Mountgerald House, the princely castle of Fowlis, and Novar House. From the eastern parts of the parish, the celebrated vale of Strathpeffer, lying north-west, beyond Dingwall, is seen to great advantage. On a fine summer evening, when the sun shoots his slanting rays through the masses of mist which roll along the bosom of Ben Wyvis, or through the fleecy clouds that float over Strathpeffer and Dingwall, down on the still waters of the Firth, especially when there happens to be a drizzling rain, the scene as viewed from this side, is highly enchanting. The blaze of the light reflected from the water; the variety of rich tints produced by the refraction of the rays in their passage through the clouds; from the softest green to the most brilliant red, conspire to form a picture exquisitely beautiful, and gorgeous beyond description. In the distance, again, rises to the horizon a range of hills piled on one another, extending in the form of a crescent for about twenty-five miles, commencing with the hills of Urray on the west and terminating in the hills of Ardross on the east. In the centre of this chain, sits in majesty Ben Wyvis, often either capped with snow or enveloped in mist, and erecting its lofty front, as if looking down with contempt on every pretender to elevation around it.

"Verum haec tantum alias inter caput extulit urbes,
Quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi"
Hydrography - It has already been observed that the north of the parish is in part bounded by the Cromarty Frith, which extends along it for about six miles and a half, terminating about a mile to the west of Dingwall. Its breadth at the east end of the parish may be about two miles; towards its extremity, it is less than a mile broad. At Dingwall it suddenly contracts by about a mile. The average depth, in the middle, may be stated at two or three fathoms; but towards the shore it is very shallow. The beach varies, being in some parts sandy, and in others clayey. Its water is muddy, and is rather brackish than salt, in consequence of being mixed with so large a body of fresh water as is discharged by the Conan. Salmon and grilse are taken in two yairs, on the property of Culloden, but, from whatever cause, in much smaller numbers than was the case forty or fifty years ago. The river Conan, which as already noticed, pours its waters into the Frith at its western extremity, rises in a small lake, about thirty miles north west from its mouth. In its course it is augmented by the confluence of several streams, such as the Black River, the Meag, the Orrin etc. Its breadth near its mouth is about 50 yards, and its mean depth two and a half feet. It abounds with salmon of a rich flavour, which is chiefly sent to the London market. The lowest parts of the parish are exceedingly well supplied with springs of the finest water. The upper parts, however, are not so well provided in that respect; the water being inferior in quality, and in dry seasons, deficient in quantity. A few of the springs are slightly impregnated with iron, and are considered to be in some degree medicinal.

Geology - The only kind of rock in the parish is the old red sandstone formation of geologists. There are several quarries of good freestone, which supply the parish, and from which hewn work is sent to Dingwall, and to other places in the vicinity. In regard to the soil, there is considerable variety, being in some parts light and sharp; in other parts a rich clayey loam is to be found; but the prevailing kind is a quick black mould - the "solum putre" of Virgil, which is very fertile. Towards the Maolbuie, the subsoil is a raw unpropitious gravel, or rather rough sand, which being covered only with a thin mossy or spongy layer, the land is consequently there considerably less productive. In former days, a mischievous custom prevailed, of cutting up the surface to obtain turf, which supplied a wretched substitute for better fuel; that process necessarily much impoverished the soil. It may be observed, in general, that in this parish the subsoil is dry and kindly, and that, consequently, the crops are not often materially injured by changes of weather, which not unfrequently occasion much damage in many other districts.

Zoology - None of the rarer animals are to be found among us; and even some of the more common species, which, thirty or forty years ago, were to be met with in the parish, are now seldom or never seen. Reynard himself, who used to make depredations of a serious nature among the poultry, has been forced to decamp, not for want of provision, but for lack of secure quarters. Of breeds of cattle there are various kinds, but it is unnecessary to specify them. Rabbits, introduced some years ago, have multiplied prodigiously, and cause a great deal of damage throughout the parish. Pheasants are found in the woods about Conan. In winter, the woodcock is to be seen, and occasionally the blackcock shows his rich plumage. The snipe also is to be met with; partridges are numerous; groups of plovers may be seen; but the moor fowl has found it necessary to resort to higher ground. The heron is no stranger among us; and the swan is sometimes seen sailing in state on the Frith.

Botany - There is a considerable variety of plants to be found through the parish, especially in the woods, but it has not been observed that there are any of the rarer sorts such as deserve particular notice here. The plants used for medicinal purposes are chiefly the foxglove (Digitalis), both the purple and the white; the latter is, however, very scarce among us; the whortleberry(Arbu-tus Uva-Ursi); the ground-ivy (Hedera terrestris), considered an excellent remedy in cases of dysuria; coltsfoot (Tussilago); trefoil or buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata). It may be proper to observe that monkshood (Aconitum Napellus), though it cannot be classed among the indigenous plants, has been found to have an excellent effect in discussing indolent tumours. It was applied in several cases in the form of a strong tincture, and seemed to act more powerfully than the ointment of the hydriodate of potass. The trees which are indigenous to the parish are, the oak, the ash, birch, quaking-ash, mountain-ash, gean, bird-cherry, holly, &c.
Plantations - There are pretty extensive plantations of fir and larch on the properties of Ferrintosh and Conan. On the latter, there is also a thriving plantation of hard-wood; and the grounds about Conan House, one of the seats of Sir Francis A. Mackenzie of Gairloch, are beautifully ornamented with shrubberies, and rows of trees of various kinds. On each of the properties of Findon and Ferrintosh there is a wood of natural oak, interspersed with birch, mountain-ash, hazel, bird-cherry, &c. which constitute the chief objects of attraction in the aspect of the parish. The oak, however, is not allowed to attain to great size.
   
II. - CIVIL HISTORY
It is believed that there exists no account of the parish either in print or manuscript. Neither are there any traditionary sketches that are deserving of notice, with the exception of one relating to President Forbes, and which forms an interesting episode in the history of the Rebellion. So far as has been observed by the writer, it has not been noticed in any of the published accounts of that eventful period. It has been preserved among the old people in these bounds, and as of its authenticity there can be no doubt, it may not be improper to introduce it here.

Some time previous to the battle of Culloden, a design had been formed by the rebels to surprise President Forbes, Lord Loudon, and other friends of the Government, who were then at Culloden House, guarded by a party of the Ferrintosh and Culloden tenants. To execute this plan, a detachment was sent down with great secrecy from the Aird along the water of Nairn. The officer in command, with a view to ensure the accomplishment of the object proposed, concealed his party in a wood in the vicinity of Culloden House, which he intended to surround in the night, after ascertaining that the loyal party had not previously departed. In this state of things, a woman residing on the mains of Culloden, happened, in looking for some sheep, to go near the wood, when, to her great consternation, a tall Highlander, completely equipped in armour, suddenly presented himself before her, and in a whisper inquired whether she knew the President or not. Instantly suspecting mischief, she made no reply. But the warrior, assuring her that he was no enemy to his Lordship, charged her, if she valued his life, without the least delay, to deliver into his own hand a letter which he pulled out of his sporan, and which he stated contained intelligence of the last importance to the President. The woman, hastening with the letter as directed, arrived at the castle just after the company had taken their seats at the dinner table; she had accordingly great difficulty in obtaining access, but her urgency induced some of the servants in attendance to mention her earnest request to be admitted immediately to his Lordship. She was ordered in, and walking up to the head of the table, with a profound courtesy, delivered the letter, requesting at the same time that it should be forthwith read, as she had reason to believe it related to a matter of great moment to all present. The President was not the man to act the part of the Theban, to whom a letter, warning him of imminent danger, had been brought as he was sitting at a feast, and which, instead of reading, he put sealed under his pillow, saying "in crastinum defero res severas". The sagacious patriot acted differently, and having instantly read the letter, became aware of the perilous situation in which he was placed, in time to escape with his life. For so seasonable and important information, he was indebted, as was said, to the gratitude of Coll Bain (Macdonald) of ___ who had some years before then, stood trial before the Court of Justiciary, on a capital charge, and had been, contrary to his own expectations, acquitted through the able services of the President, at that time practising as an advocate in the courts. Coll, aware of the danger that now threatened his benefactor, repaid him his important services, enabling him, by conveying this timely intelligence, to escape the clutches of his mortal foes. In this critical situation, the President's usual prudence and promptitude did not forsake him. Orders were given to treat the men with ample cheer, the bagpipes were blown, and dancing was commenced on the lawn. Every thing betokened the absence of alarm, till arrangements for a speedy flight were completed. Then the whole party darted away towards the Kessock, and reached the boats just in time to escape the rebels, who, having observed the movement from the castle, gave chase with the swiftness of the mountain stag. As the boats were crossing, some bullets whizzed past the ears of the loyalists, but happily no person received injury. The President and his friends having thus narrowly escaped, pursued their flight to the mountains between Ross and Sutherland, where they skulked for several weeks, in a state of most painful anxiety, enduring the inclemency of the weather, and reduced to the greatest extremity of hunger. The inhabitants of those districts, being generally in favour of Charlie, would afford the fugitives neither shelter nor supply of food; nay, on one occasion, they actually hunted them with dogs. And but for the seasonable kindness of some friend of the Government, who with great secrecy sent them a present of a few sheep, &c. they must have perished of famine. Intelligence of the battle of the 26th April, however, released them from these hardships, and was considered a rich reward for all their privations and sufferings. So reduced were the men, however, on their return to their homes, that their families could scarcely recognize them. A daughter of one of the Ferrintosh tenants, who formed part of the President's escort on this occasion, still survives, and states that she remembers perfectly, having often heard her mother declare, that the children of the family fled affrighted from their father when he first presented himself on his own floor after his return, so greatly was his aspect changed, like Nebuchadnezzar after his sojourn among the beasts of the field.

Ferrintosh Privilege - The history of this celebrated privilege we transcribe without alteration from the former Statistical Account of the parish.The lands belonging to Mr Forbes of Culloden, which go by the name of Ferrintosh, and form the central and largest division of the parish, possessed, from 1690 to 1786, an exemption from the duties of excise on spirits distilled from grain of their own growth. This privilege was originally granted to the present proprietor's great-grandfather, Duncan Forbes of Culloden, one of those patriots who, at the glorious period of the Revolution, stood up in defence of the religion and liberties of their country. By opposing the disaffected, and supporting the loyal subjects in his neighbourhood at much expense he was materially instrumental in quashing a rebellion, which at that time threatened the north of Scotland. Going some time thereafter to Holland, in prosecution of the same patriotic plan, the Popish faction during his absence, laid waste his estates, particularly the barony of Ferrintosh, and destroyed extensive distilleries, of which it was the seat at that time, and before the introduction of the Excise into Scotland. In compensation for the losses which he had thus sustained in the service of Government, the Parliament of Scotland, by an act passed in 1690, farmed to him and his successors, the yearly excise of the lands of Ferrintosh, for the sum of 400 merks Scotch, subject, as explained by a posterior act, to a proportion of any additional duties of excise that might thereafter be imposed by law upon the kingdom. This privilege his successors enjoyed without interruption till the year 1786. As a mark of public favour, it was not more honourably acquired at first, than it was amply merited afterwards by a continued succession of important services in their country's cause. In 1715, the original granter's (grantee's?) son, adhering to the principles of the Revolution, raised all the men upon his estates, and deeply impaired his private fortune, by keeping them in arms at his own expense, till that rebellion was happily quelled.

The services rendered to Government in 1745, by that great man and ornament of his country, the Honourable Duncan Forbes of Culloden, President of the Court of Session, are universally known. At the breaking out of that Rebellion, he applied himself with zeal to nip it in the bud. He successively invited the chieftains to Culloden House, and whilst he delighted them by his conversation and winning manners, he so wrought on them by his persuasive eloquence, that he was the happy instrument of keeping thousands from joining the Pretender's standard. His exertions at that critical conjuncture, whilst they brought his own liberty, and even his life into imminent hazard, involved his family in a debt, double to that with which he had found it loaded, from his predecessor's zeal in the same cause, and amounting together to upwards of L.30,000 Sterling. About two-thirds of that sum, and less than sixteen years' purchase of its proven increasing value, was the allowance made by Government to the present proprietor, on their resumption of this immunity in the year 1786. The singularity of this privilege, and its great influence in a statistical view, on the condition and number of the inhabitants of this parish, have led to this short account of its origin, and of the services by which it was earned.

Eminent Characters - The most distinguished character ever connected with this parish, so far as is known, was President Forbes; but, in consequence of what is stated above regarding him, it is unnecessary to take any further notice of him at present. We must not under this head pass over General John Mackenzie, residing at Balevil, in this parish. He is of the family of Gairloch, and was born at Conan House. While very young he entered the army, and soon distinguished himself as an intrepid soldier. He had the reputation of being a kind and generous officer, and at the same time an exact and efficient disciplinarian. After serving his country in various parts of the globe, such as Holland, India, the Peninsula, &c., he now enjoys his "otium 'cum dignitate" on a farm which he has brought to a high state of improvement.

On this head it will not be improper to enumerate the excellent pastors with which this parish has been favoured, in uninterrupted succession, since the period of the Revolution. The last Episcopalian minister, who held the charge, was a Mr Andrew Ross, said to have been a very pious man, and popular as a preacher. His successor was a Mr Alexander Fraser, who, it appears, was eminent for both piety and talent, and was translated to Inverness. He was succeeded by Mr Alexander Falconer, admitted in 1729. In character he was like his predecessor. After him was Mr Donald Fraser, inducted in 1757. He has been represented as a man of a vigorous and comprehensive mind, and of extensive attainments. As a theologian he was reputed profound; and in expounding the Scriptures few were considered his equals. The late eminent Dr Fraser of Kirkhill, known in the theological world by his "Key to the Prophecies, and Commentary on Isaiah" was a son of this clergyman. Mr Fraser died in 1773. His successor was Mr Charles Calder, who finished his ministry in 1812. Of this eminent servant of Christ, it may be said, that perhaps no minister ever reigned more in the hearts of his people. As a preacher he was solemn, earnest, and affectionate. His discourses were fraught with the theme of redeeming love, and were composed in chaste and elegant language, evincing, in a high degree, a polished mind, and a classical taste. His ministrations were consequently peculiarly attractive, and were attended with abundant success. The heavenliness of his deportment rendered him an object of reverence, while his liberality to the poor, his sympathy with the distressed, his kindness to the young, and the fatherly interest he took in the welfare of all, endeared him to his parishioners. His name is fragrant among the religious community of these bounds, and is embalmed in the memory of such of them as enjoyed his ministry, who still delight in repeating many a striking passage of his sermons, which remain as it were stereotyped on the tablets of their hearts.

Land-owners - The land-owners are Mr Forbes of Culloden; Sir James Wemyss Mackenzie of Scatwell; and Sir Francis A. Mackenzie of Gairloch.

The estate of Findon, forming the eastern portion of the parish, is the property of Sir James. According to a survey made in 1835, it consists of 4214 imperial acres, as follows

  A R P
Arable 1533 1 12
Pasture 2351 0 20
Waste 284 1 15
Woods 46 0 9
Total 4214 3 16
 
The yearly rent is L.1766. Os. 9d. Sterling. It is proper to observe, that considerable improvements are in progress on this property, such as adding to the arable, enclosing farms, and laying out ground for planting.

The far-famed barony of Ferrintosh, belonging to Culloden, forms the central district of the parish. It contains, as appears from a survey made in 1810, 4726 Scotch acres (5960 acres imperial) comprising:-

 
  A R P
Arable 1826 0 14
Pasture 1610 0 25
Moor 1051 2 13
House and Gardens 11 1 27
Roads 16 2 20
Woods 210 3 37
Total 4726 3 14

The quantity of arable is now, however, greatly increased, as hundreds of acres have been brought into cultivation since the survey referred to was taken; and it may be added that much of the reclaimed land is of a superior quality. Improvements on an extensive scale are rapidly advancing on this estate. The yearly rent is about L.2500 Sterling.

Of the estate of Conan, comprising the western portion of the parish, Sir Francis is proprietor. The extent of this property may be estimated at 2400 imperial acres, of which are arable 1500 acres; in pasture, including moor, 300 acres; and in woods 600 acres.

It is due to the worthy Baronet to state that he is distinguished for zeal in agricultural improvements, as respects both the reclaiming of waste ground, and introducing the modern system of husbandry among his tenants. The annual rent is above L.1000 Sterling.

Parochial Registers - The oldest register now extant is dated in 1715. The writer of the former account of the parish makes mention of one commencing in 1709, but if such ever existed it must have been lost, as the present incumbent never saw it. For the first thirty or forty years the entries seem to have been made very irregularly, there being intervals of years during which neither baptism nor marriage was inserted; and in the case of baptism, when recorded, the name of the father alone was registered. Subsequently, however, more attention was paid to this important matter, and for a considerable number of years back, the registers have been kept with great care, baptisms and marriages being punctually entered. Of deaths no record is kept, a circumstance which requires reform.

III. - POPULATION.

  Male Female Total
In 1792 the population was 1357 1544 2901
In 1811 1131 1533 2664
In 1821 1218 1604 2822
In 1831 1318 1546 2864
Census 1831 - Males above 20 years of age 661
Census 1831 - Families 710
Average no. of births for 7 years ending in 1830  64
Average no. of marriages for 7 years ending in 1830  17
Houses inhabited for 7 years ending in 1830 618
Houses uninhabited for 7 years ending in 1830   22
Houses building for 7 years ending in 1830   11
 
Language - The language generally spoken by the natives of the parish is Gaelic, and though English is daily spreading among us, and is now certainly better understood than at any former period, yet it is believed that the original language of the Highlands has not lost ground for the last forty years. This may be easily accounted for, from the fact that almost all the youth are now taught to read the Scriptures in Gaelic as well as in English in the schools. The consequence is that the Gaelic is not only preserved, but actually makes progress among us.

Character of the People - The cottars, who are still by far the more numerous class, cannot be said to enjoy in any considerable degree the comforts of life, but they are in general content with their situation. The better sort of tenants are, however, fast advancing in intelligence, and consequently in respectability of character and circumstances. Since the period of the former Statistical Account, the people have made progress in religious knowledge and in moral conduct. Smuggling, which at one time was very prevalent, is now happily extinct. A single drop of whisky has not been distilled in Ferrintosh for years. What a change! But it is all for the advantage of the morality and circumstances of the inhabitants. Neither can poaching be said to prevail, though a case may now and then occur.

  IV. - INDUSTRY
The great majority of the inhabitants of the parish is employed in agriculture, either as occupiers, feed-servants, or day-labourers. And of those who have a handicraft, the most hold also a small portion of land, so that there are very few who are not, occasionally at least, engaged in husbandry. This circumstance, it is obvious, renders it extremely difficult to classify the people. The extent of the farms varies from 20 to 150 acres, the average being about 50. The possessions of the cottars are small; say, at an average, 4 acres. Of late years, the system of forming large farms out of several small ones has become pretty general, and suitable encouragement is given to the tenantry to build commodious dwelling-houses and offices, as well as to reclaim waste ground, and to introduce the modern improvements in husbandry. Consequently a great change in the appearance of the parish has already been effected, and a greater is in rapid progress. Several comfortable dwelling-houses and convenient farm-steadings have started up; farms have been enclosed and subdivided; many a valuable acre has been brought under the plough; a regular rotation of crops is now pursued; and the most approved farming implements introduced; also lime and bone-dust are employed to a considerable extent to stimulate and fertilize the soil. The spirit of improvement has extended to the cottars, who, perceiving the advantages of the new system, readily adopted it, and not without success. It is scarcely necessary to observe, that the result is a great increase of produce, amounting to double what it was twenty years ago. As further evidence of the rapid march of improvement among us, it may be stated that, at the date of the former Statistical Account, there was not a single thrashing-mill within the bounds of the parish; now, however, there are seven, and the erection of several more is contemplated.

The principal crops of grain raised are oats and barley. Wheat was a few years ago very generally cultivated, but though it succeeded in point of return and quality remarkably well, yet it was found that the growing of this grain considerably injured the land, so that it is now not so extensively sown. The soil is well adapted to pease, beans, potatoes, and turnips. The cultivation of this last-mentioned root is much attended to; and it may be remarked, that of all the improvements introduced into this quarter, the plan of eating off the turnip by sheep on the field, seems the most beneficial to the farmer, this process being almost in every case followed by splendid white crops.
Since the possessions of the cottars are too small either to keep them in constant employment, or to maintain their families, numbers of them generally go to some of the southern counties (after laying down their little crops) in quest of employment as labourers, and remain at such work as they may find till the beginning of winter, when they return with the proceeds of their labour, which go to pay the rent, and to the support of the family. This practice is pursued also by some of our tradesmen, such as masons and carpenters, who visit the large towns of the south with the double view of adding to their earnings, and of improving themselves in their respective crafts. In consequence of the recent improvements in husbandry, an increased demand for labourers is created at home, so that the number of persons who now visit the south in quest of employment, especially as reapers, is materially on the decrease.

Leases - The usual duration of leases is nineteen years. A few of what are called improving leases extend to the term of thirty- one years.

Rent of Land - The average rate of rent for arable land is about L.l. 5s. per acre.

Wages - Ploughmen receive from L.6 to L.8 per annum, together with board. Maid-servants are allowed from L. 3 to
L.4. Men employed as day-labourers are paid at from 1s. 3d. to 1s. 6d. per day. Women for field-work, 6d., and in harvest they are allowed 1s. When day-labourers are provided by their employers with board, about one-third of the usual money wages is deducted.

There is no manufactory in the parish. The machinery of the south has almost entirely superseded the spinning-wheel of the industrious matron, and the simple loom of the country weaver. The good old practice of manufacturing the linen and other apparel for the use of the family, which at one time formed a principal part of the domestic employment of the female sex, is now nearly forgotten. Our young people have accordingly exchanged the simple but comfortable woollen stuffs in which their ancestors attired their limbs, for the more gaudy but less substantial fabrics of Glasgow or Manchester. Whether any benefit accrues to their health from the change may be questioned. Is it improbable that the substitution of their cotton for warm woollen raiment in the humid climate of Britain is a main cause of the prevalence of consumption in the present day?

V. - PAROCHIAL ECONOMY
Market- Towns - There is no market-town in the parish. The nearest is Dingwall, distant from the central parts of the parish, round by Conan Bridge, about five miles. But across the frith, by a boat, at time of high water, and by the sands during ebb time, the distance is not more than two miles. Dingwall is also the nearest post-town, which is obviously an inconvenience to the parish at large, but especially to the eastern parts.

Fairs - At a small village called Culbokie, four fairs are held in the course of the year.

Villages - The village of Conan Bridge, on the line of the great northern road, is a thriving place, with a population of upwards of 300 souls. Culbokie, already noticed, is the only other village.

Means ofCommunication - The Bridge thrown over the Conan, at the village called by that name, in 1810, consisting of five arches, is a handsome solid fabric. It is built of durable freestone, and the cost of erection, was L.6000 Sterling. Between it and the Beauly Bridge, subsequently built, a communication is opened by an excellent turnpike road, along which the mail runs. Another road leads from Conan Bridge, across the Maolbine, to the Kessock, sending off a branch, about half-way, in the direction of Fortrose and the ferry of Fort George. These roads are kept in excellent repair, but the smaller branches which intersect the parish are not at all attended to as they ought, being often in a very insufficient state.

The frith is not of sufficient depth, so far up as this parish, to admit of the approach of vessels of considerable burden. A good deal of trade goes on, however, by means of sloops, which come into a quay erected a few years ago, at a place called Alcaig. They bring us coals, lime, &c., and receive in return props for coal-pits, and timber of larger size for other purposes.

Ecclesiastical State - The parish church is a plain capacious house, situated near the sea-shore, as nearly as possible in the middle of the parish. It was built in 1795, and is in a good state of repair. The number of sitters intended to be accommodated is 1200, but from 1500 to 1800 persons have often been crammed within its wall. The manse was built in 1777, and is still in good condition. It underwent, of course, repairs several times, the last in 1837, when a complete square of offices was erected, one of the best in the county. It was stated in the former Statistical Account that two glebes were attached to the church, each of which was at a considerable distance from the manse. To obviate this inconvenience, the present incumbent, soon after his admission, got both excambed for lands contiguous to the manse, and received in lieu of them - arable, 15 acres, and moor ground 18 acres. Of the latter, he has since reclaimed to the extent of 8 acres; so that the arable now consists of 23 acres. In regard to value, it is equal to the average of the land throughout the parish. The stipend, since the last augmentation in 1834, is 18 chalders, Linlithgow measure, half meal, half barley.

For many years, no fewer than three catechists were employed in this parish by the kirk-session; at present there is only one. To compensate, however, for that apparent diminution in the agency for communicating religious instruction, it is proper to observe that several Sabbath evening schools (to the number of six) have been put into operation in the different districts of the parish, all of which are well attended, and are successful in conveying to the rising generation, as well as to others, much important Scripture knowledge. All these schools are taught without remuneration. There is scarcely a Dissenter in the parish. A considerable number of the inhabitants of the western districts of the parish were, thirty or forty years ago, Episcopalians, but, of that persuasion, there are now very few indeed, almost all the young people having become attached to the Established Church. The attendance upon divine service is very regular throughout the whole year. The number of communicants at present exceeds 150. There is a penny-a-week society, the average amount of whose annual contributions to the cause of religion may be stated at L.10. It has been in operation for upwards of twenty years. The amount of church collections for religious and charitable objects may average, yearly, L.20. Sterling.

Education - There are 3 schools in the parish: the parochial school, in the centre; a school maintained by the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, in the east end; and one, established a few years ago by Sir F. A. Mackenzie on his own property, in the west end; and to which, besides having provided, at his own expense, the whole of the requisite accommodations he very laudably grants a small salary out of his own pocket, and also allows the master a good garden. All these schools, are, especially during the winter and spring months, well attended; consequently, there are but very few, indeed, of the young people who do not obtain some share of education, to the extent, at least, of being taught to read the Scriptures in both languages. The parochial schoolmaster has the legal accommodations; the salary is the maximum; and his fees may amount to L.12 per annum. The emoluments arising to him from the office of session-clerk are from L.4 to L.5. The average attendance of scholars is about 65. The branches taught are, English and Gaelic reading, English grammar, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, Latin, geography, and mathematics. The rate of fees per quarter is: for reading, 2s.; reading and writing, 2s. 6d.; arithmetic, 4s.; Latin, 4s.; mathematics or geography, 7s. 6d; and for three sets of book-keeping, L.1. 1s. The salary of the Society schoolmaster is L.15. In addition, the proprietor allows him a small portion of land.

Poor and Parochial Funds - The number of persons at present receiving parochial aid is 170. It is necessary to observe that none of the poor of this parish depend entirely on the session for maintenance, the most of them shewing a most laudable desire to do all in their power towards their own support; and in cases of total inability through age or sickness, the relatives of the poor are generally ready to extend a helping hand to relieve their wants, and to prevent their becoming a burden on the parish. The funds at the disposal of the session, arising from church collections, rent of land, and interest of invested money, amounting, at an average, after deducting the usual burdens, to L.55 Sterling, are distributed annually; of course, the allowance to each cannot be more than a mere trifle, still it is in almost every case thankfully accepted. In cases of sickness and urgent want, occasional relief is afforded out of the Sabbath collections, and that sometimes to persons not on the poor's roll. When families in indigent circumstances happen to be visited with serious sickness, and death makes breaches in their numbers, the sympathy of the parishioners is promptly manifested in special collections for the relief of the distressed.

Inns - The only Inn in the parish is one at Conan village, on the great northern road, where it is quite necessary, and is very well kept. Of dram-shops there are 3, which might be dispensed with, without any inconvenience to the public, or detriment to the morals of the inhabitants. 

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