Old Statistical Account (1790) Parish of Kilmuir Wester and Suddy

Knockbain Community Collage
Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in CaithnessSir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness standing in front of map of Ross and Cromarty


The First Statistical Account (1790)

On the 25 May 179, Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness wrote to over nine hundred Parish ministers throughout Scotland asking them to contribute to a Statistical Inquiry by answering as best they could,a series of one hundred and sixty-six Queries respecting each Parish.

Knockbain History

Old Statistical Account (1790) for the Parish of Kilmuir Wester and Suddy (Knockbain)

The following is a transcription of the actual Account of the Parish of Kilmuir Wester and Suddy from the first or old Statistical Account.

UNITED PARISHES OF KILMUIR WESTER AND SUDDY (County and Synod of Ross Presybtery of Chanonory)
By the Rev. Roderick Mckenzie.

Name, extent, Climate, Soil, Etc. - KILMUIR is a Gaelic name, signifying "a church dedicated to Mary". It has Wester affixed to it, to distinguish it from a parish of the name of Kilmuir, situated in Easter Ross, within 6 miles of Tain, which is near the extremity of this county. Suddy is a Gaelic name also, that signifies "a good place to settle in" both from its fertility and local situation. The kirk and manse of Kilmuir were built on the S. side of the parish, close by that branch of the Murray Firth, leading towards Beauly, commanding a view of the town of Inverness, the place of Culloden, Fort George, and all the way along that coast to the town of Forres, and for a beautiful situation was inferior to no place in this country.

The kirk and manse of Suddy were built to the N. side of the parish, in the heart of a rich and fertile country.* This parish, which now goes commonly by the name of Knockbain (from the kirk and manse being built on a spot of ground of that name), is rather irregular in its form, being divided by a branch of the Murray that goes toward Beauly, called the Bay of Munlochy. It is also covered on the N. and N.W. by a part of the parish of Killearnan, for at least 2 English miles. Its length from E. to W. is supposed to be from 5 to 6 miles, and from S. to N. from 6 to 7. The air is clear and falubripus, which is in a great measure owing to the immense quantity of open country and moors, which still lie uncultivated in this parish, and to there being no high mountains, nor any large tracks of wood to prevent the free circulation of the air. The inhabitants are healthy, and subject to no diseases but such as are peculiar to their neighbours. The nature of the cultivated soil is various; that along the sea coast is thin stony, but, when properly cultivated, yields good crops of grass and corn, especially if the summer months be moist and rainy; that in the middle of the parish is deep, rich, and having a clay bottom, produces luxuriant crops on such farms as are kept in a good state of culture. As it extends toward the Mulbuy (a long track of common, extending from Cromarty to the public road leading from Beauly to Dingwall, and covering a considerable part of this parish to the N.) the soil, though good, from its high situation is cold; and though it yields tolerable crops of oats and pease, the barley crops are generally poor, owing, in a great measure to the wetness of the ground, and no drains nor fences being made to carry off the hill-waters, or shelter the fields, excepting on the heritor's mains, as also from the people's not giving it a sufficient quantity of good and rich manure. This parish, not withstanding, yields a much greater quantity of grain than is sufficient to support the inhabitants, and from the grain being always early sown, and as early gathered in at harvest, it is found to be of a superior quality for the brewer, the distiller, and mealmonger, and being in the close neighbourhood of the town of Inverness, it is sure of a really market. The whole of the harvest last year, though late all over England and Scotland, was safely ingathered in this parish before the 1st of October, although exposed in some of the neighbouring parishes till the middle of November

*These two parishes, together with the parish of Killernan, were united in the year 1756, at the joint request and application of all the heritors (except Mr. McKenzie of Suddy), and of the 3 incumbents, viz Mr. Donald Fraser of Killernan, Mr Munro of Suddy, and Mr. Robert Munro of Kilmuir, to the Lords of Council and Session, as commissioners for the plantation of kirks and valuations of teinds, and upon the death of the minister of Suddy, which happened in 1762, the kirk and manse of the united parishes of Kilmuir and Suddy were built upon a bleak and barren moor, to the S. side of Munlochy, called, by way of burlesque, Knockbain, where it had a glebe affixed to it of considerable extent, but of little value. This place, no doubt, was chosen for the minister's comfort or advantage. The stipend of the three parishes was equally divided on the death of Mr. Munro of Suddy, which happened in May 1762, between the minister of Killearnan, and the minister of the united parishes, and a considerable part of the parish of Kilmuir, and a small part of the parish of Suddy, were disjoined from it and annexed to the united parish of Kilmuir and Suddy. One thing worthy of remark in this division of the parishes, is that in order to make the stipend payable to the minister of Killernan, although the minister of the united parish is obliged to perform every part of the pastoral office quad sacra, and the inhabitants of the town accommodated with room in the church of the united parish [processor has omitted end of this paragraph]

The small-pox generally makes dreadful havock among the children, and times in a great measure owing to the aversion the common people have at inoculation, which, I am told, has never been practised here, but by the gentlemen and such of their dependents as have been prevailed upon, by earnest persausion and entreaty, to permit their children to be inoculated. However, it is to be expected, that as the people become a bit more acquainted with this happy mean, which has already saved the lives of thousands, and see its salutary effects, that they may be brought to yield to the practice of it, and so save the lives of their own young ones.

Population - According to Dr. Webster's report, the population in 1755 was 668. The number of souls at present in this parish is 1805; of these there are above the age of 10 years 1355, and below 10 years 450; of which there are males 704, females 1101; of the above 704, there are 341 above the age of 15. Number of marriages 1791, 17; in 1792, 20. Births in 1791, 41; in 1792, 45.* The number of tenants is 106, cottagers and mealers 404; of these there is 1 merchant, 62 widows, 13 widowers, 49 shoe and brog-makers, 5 smiths, 17 squre and cart-wrights and millers, 11 maiden lasses keeping house, 3 bachelors keeping house, 41 weavers, 18 tailors, 1fiddler, regular in at Kessockferry, 6 distillers of whisky, 1 ferry, with a sufficient number of boatmen.

*There are many more children born in this parish than the number contained in this report, such as baptized by the Episcopal clergymen, and the names of those children are not engrossed in the parish register. I suppose they keep no register of their own, so that the number cannot be ascertained with any degree of exactness, but may be supposed at 10. No account at all can be given of the number of deaths in the parish, as there is no register of burials kept besides that of many of the inhabitants in the neighbouring church yards, although there be two burial places in the same parish, one at Suddy, and one at Kilmuir. The people of this parish, in general, are healthy though not long lived. There are few instances of men's arriving at the age of 80 years; and this may be owing to their being inured to hard labour from their youth, from their eating little or none of butcher meat, and but very little milk; the principal food of the common people being oatmeal and potatoes, with a little fish in the fishing season. There are a few women now living in this parish, who have attained to the age of 90 years.

This ferry is the property of Mr. Grant of Redcastle, who is to build a pier and an inn, and stables at the ferry, for the accommodation of the public, which, with proper boats, will cost between 700 L. and 800 L. Sterling.

The population of this parish has, of late years, considerably increased, and this to be chiefly attributed to the encouragment given by the family of Kilcoy to mealers and cottagers on the estate. This plan was originally adopted by Mrs. McKenzie, Dowager of Kilcoy, during the minority of her son, and carried on with spirit and success; and as there is still a considerable quantity of waste lands in his property, that is fit for culture, he continues to encourage these new settlers upon liberal and advantageous terms, least to himself and them.*

*There are no Papists, Seceders, Methodists, nor any other religious left from the Established Church in this parish, except about Episcopalians, who have a chapel of their own, and a clergyman to preach to them once in 20 days. This clergyman regularly administers the sacraments, and marries his own hearers, but never without a line from the session-clerk of his parish, certifying the parties having been proclaimed, and the dues paid.

Rents, Heritors, Etc. - The valued rent is 3145L. 11s. 2d. Scots, and the real rent, including the heritor's mains, may be estimated at 2600L. Sterling, some of which is paid in kind, such as barley and oat-meal, the rest in money. Indeed, the gentlemen are converting all their rents into money, all the customs, carriages, and services being converted some time ago, I think, at the rate of 1L. Sterling for every boll of old rent, and now only assess the tenants with as much victual as pays the clergyman's stipend. There are 8 heritors in this parish, 5 of whom have their mansion-houses in it, and reside in them, except Colonel Graham of Dryney, who is with his regiment in America, and Mrs. McKenzie at Chatham.

Two have their family seats in the parish of Killearnan, where their property is considerable, and one, Mr. McKenzie of Pitundy, one of the sheriff-substitutes of Ross, lives on a farm belonging to Mr. Davidson of Tulloch, close by the town of Dingwall. Property has been, for several years back, rather changeable, but no proprietor has been introduced into this parish for upwards of 50 years, except Mr. Grant of Redcastle, and Sir Roderick McKenzie of Scatwell, who sold his property in this parish to the Kilcoy family; the refit of the property, to a considerable quantity of land, that was sold, being bought up by the family of Kilcoy, who is the largest proprietor, and principal heritor in this parish, except a small property purchased pf late by Colonel Graham of Dryney.

Language - The Gaelic is the language commonly spoken here, and though there are a few who have no Gaelic, yet most of the inhabitants speak and understand both languages. All the names of the heritors places of residence in this parish are derived from the Gaelic: thus Allangrange, or, Allan-Chain, "a fertile field of corn"; Suddy, or Sui-us-fbin, "a good place to settle in"; Belmaduthy, or Bakk-ma-duich, "a good country town"; or Ball-ma-duth, "a good black town" from its being situated hard by a black moor.

Agriculture, Etc. - Agriculture is, as yet, in this parish, though a corn country, in state of infancy; excepting on the proprietor's mains, and 1 farm, the rest all adhere to the old mode of culture. The heritors, who have all extensive mains, are improving them with great judgment and spirit, but being all young men, few or none of them have had sufficient time to complete their pleasure ground, or bring their mains to a proper state of cultivation, although they are making fast progress towards it.

From this I must except Mr. Mackenzie of Allangrange, who has brought his mains and the pleasure-ground of his place, to as high, of not higher perfection, than any man I know in this or the neighbouring counties; he has, for several years back, paid the closest attention to the improvement of his place, and now, while the traveller is delighted at seeing these improvements, he him self tastes the profits, and enjoys the comforts of them. This gentleman has, within my knowledge, recovered from 70 to 80 acres from a perfect morass, which is now completely drained, fenced, and yielding strong crops of hay and corn, and has thereby not only beautified his place, but considerably added to his rent-roll: for these lands, which only paid his father 3L. 6s. 8d. he could now set at from 15 to 20 shillings the acre; and he still continues to go on improving other parts of his estate with great assiduity and attention in the farming, shepherd, and planting way. At the place of Allangrange are to be seen several beech trees and poplars of a very large size, as also yew trees of an uncommon magnitude, and two solver firs, that greatly surpass in height and circumference any of the same kind in this country. The mode of farming is various according as the tenants choose, only those upon the estate of Allangrange are restricted, I am told, to a certain rotation; but I do not see that they hold by it, or if they do, I do not find that their circumstances are bettered by it. There are 118 ploughs in this parish, some of oxen, some of horses, and some a mixture of both; none but the gentlemen use 2 horse-ploughs. There is not a farmer in this parish, independent of heritors, who rents 70 acres, except Mr. Munro, factor to Kilcoy; he is the only one who has adopted the new mode and plan of farming, and manages his farm to great advantage. Lands in general let at from 12s. 6d. to 20s. the acre, and on one estate, I am told, they let higher. The causes that generally obstruct the improvement of agriculture here, in my opinion, are the poverty of the people, the smallness of the farms, the prejudices of the farmers in behalf of old established practices, and the short leases granted by heritors; all these co-operate to strengthen each other. And although the heritors improve their own mains with spirit, and are well inclined to give long leases, yet not one among the whole set of tenantry has followed their example, but Mr. Munro, whom I have already mentioned, and has his farm managed with great regularity and judgement.

The stock of his parish consists of black cattle, horses, a few sheep and hogs, and, after supplying the parish with grain, there are large quantities of meal and barley sold to such as are inclined to purchase. It is impossible to ascertain the number of acres under crop, as the estates of the several heritors have not been regularly surveyed, and I am sorry to say, that it is my opinion there are still in this parish two uncultivated acres for every one that is in culture. But in this calculation I include the planted grounds.

The people follow, in general, the occupation of husbandry. Although there is a sufficient number of tradesmen of various kinds, yet they hold some little ground, which they cultivate. The people, in general, are sober and industrious; they confine their whole attention to the working of their lands and their small crofts, and as there is no manufacture of any kind established in this parish, both men and women are equally dextrous at handling the spade, the muck-fork and shovel. The chief crops are oats, barley, pease, potatoes, a little wheat, and some rye; there is also a considerable quantity of clover and rye grass sown every year on the heritor's mains, and answers extremely well, and a few of the tenants sow small spots of ground with the same. Potatoes are a great crop, as they make the principal food of the common farmers and the poor people, which with the herring that frequent this coast almost every autumn, and continue till the spring, make a good and wholesome diet. The herrings are the only fish caught in this coast, except a few salmon caught at State fishing, and some cuddies, of a very small size, in the summer months. These were so numerous this season as to be taken with nets, although the common way of fishing them is with a hook and bait. I cannot here omit mentioning an uncommon kind of fish called gobichs, that made its appearance in this coast about 3 years ago; they darted to the shore with the greatest violence, so that the people took them alive in large quantities. The body of this fish was long, and its head resembled that of a serpent's; its weight never exceeded 3 or 4 ounces; many of them were found dead on the shore. The sowing of oats and pease commences here at February, barley and potatoes in April, so that the whole crop is sown on or before 12th of May. Harvest generally begins along the coast about 12th of August, and in general by the 12th of September.

Stipend, Poor - The kirk was built in 1764, and the manse in 1766; the latter was repaired in 1791, and both are now in a tolerable state of repair. The church holds for ordinary from 600 to 700 people. Captain McKenzie of Cromarty is patron. The stipend is 9 chalders and 1 bolls of barley, 3 chalders and 3 bolls oat-meal, and 98L. 9s. 8d. Scotch of money, of which there are 60L for communion elements. There is, besides, half the glebe of Kilmuir, and a glebe about the manse, of between 30 and 40 acres, which rented at the time of the annexation 7½  bolls, but by its being totally neglected since that time, was of little or no value at the accession of the present incumbent to the living, being mostly all covered over with heath. The number of poor on the roll of the parish is 35, too many for all the funds. However, there was triple this number until the heritors and session, in July 1792, saw the necessity of striking off a great many, or rather they struck off themselves, as the heritors and session would admit none, but such as would sign a bond (under certain limitations) to leave all they were possessed of at their death as a fund for the poor of the parish, the session obliging themselves to see such as signed this bond regularly supplied, as far as the funds would allow, and, in the end, have them decently buried. The Sunday collections amount to 6L. or 7L., a mortcloth brings in about 30s., a small mortification of 16s. 8d. from the lands of Bellmaduthy is all the poor have to depend upon. There is also a bond of 115L. due to the poor, but which, from some untoward circumstances, yielded no relief to them for several years back: however, there is still reason to hope that the principal sum may be recovered. Many of the poor beg from house to house, and it would be deemed impious to refuse alms, or a night's quarters to any. A great many beggars swarm to this parish from other places, particularly from the Highlands, in the months of June, July and August.

Roads, Bridges, Plantations - The roads of this parish are kept in excellent repair, as are also the bridges: these have been hitherto done by statute-labour, the people have now an option of commuting it at 2s. the plough, or 18d. the man, or else passing through this parish; one from Kessock to Fortrose, Cromarty, Invergordon, Alnes and Fowles, for the space of 6 miles in each direction; and the road from Inverness to Dingwall, at the extremity of Allangrange's property, close to Park-town of Redcastle. There is also a road from Kessock, leading along the shore from Redcastle, and the West Highlands.

There is no great deal of natural wood in this parish; that of any extent is upon the estate of Kilcoy, consisting of alder, and is kept with great care and attention. There are very large plantations of firs of various kinds, also, beech, oak. etc, on the estates of several of the heritors; but the most extensive, is that on the estate of Bellmaduthy, being above 300acres, all in a thriving condition, and many of them fit for market. By the time all these plantations come to perfection, or are fit for sale, there will be great abundance of wood for supplying the parishioners with timber and fuel, an article much wanted here, as the mosses in the parish are quite exhausted, and the inhabitants will be necessitated to purchase coals, which with the high duty, is far beyond the reach of the poorer, and middle class of people, and which, if not speedily withdrawn, will oblige the inhabitants to emigrate to other countries, where fire is to be had in greater abundance. Every poor man's countenance here sparkled with joy, at being told of Mr. Secretary Dundas's intention of bringing a bill this session into Parliament, to take the duty off coals coming to this country.

Antiquities - There are evident marks of a battle's being fought in this parish. It is said to have been between the people of Inverness and the McDonalds, and to have happened in the 13th or14th century. The plain on which this battle was fought, is to this day called Blair-na-coi; a name given it from this particular circumstance, that as one of the contending parties was giving way and flying, a tenant and his son who were ploughing on that field, had taken off the yokes with which the oxen were fastened together, rallied the routed troops, and with them recommenced the action and carried the day.*

It would appear the battle was bloody, and desperately fought, from the vast number of cairns of stones that are still to be seen there, covering the dead. These the people still hold so sacred, that though the place was in tillage when the battle was fought, the marks of the ridges being still visible there, and though a great deal of the adjoining moor is now cultivated, not one of there cairns has been ever touched. Another circumstance the strengthens the opinion is, that the heights and adjacent places go by the name of Druim-na-deor, "the height or the Hill of Tears". To the E. of where the battle was fought, are to seen the remains of a Druidical temple, called James's Temple, and to the W. of the field of battle, are to be seen the traces of a camp, and a similar one to it to the S. on the hill of Kessock, the highest hill in this parish, where there is also a pretty large cairn of stones, called Cairn-glas. This hill, which goes by the name of Ord-hill, belongs to Mr. Grant of Redcastle, who has already begin to plant it with firs and other forest trees, and which, when finished, will be an ornament to this and the neighbouring counties, as it lies on the coast opposite to Inverness, and is to be seen as far down as from the town of Elgin.

*I could get no such traditional account of this battle, as could induce me to commit any thing more about it to paper. One circumstance worth of remark is that a very honest and respectable family of farmers date their introduction to this parish from that period; and what is still more extraordinary, amidst the various changes and revolutions of time and proprietors, they have continued in the same possession, and on the self-same Larach, and their antiquity is such as to become a proverb, so that when people speak of a very remote circumstance, it is a common saying among them, "It is as old as the Lobans of Drumderfit."

Schools - There are no less than 3 schools in this parish; a parochial school with a salary of 200 merks; a stated school and dwelling-house, and a kail-yard, attended by 50 or 60 children; a society school with a salary of 16L., attended by from 35 to 45 children; and a Sunday-school established here by Charles Grant, Esq., where 100 or more poor people are taught to read Gaelic and English, and all who attend this school are not only taught but supplied with books at Mr. Grant's sole expense. It is proposed this season to cause the teacher of the Sunday-school open a weekly school in a remote but populous corner of the parish, so as to render this instituition more beneficial to the parishioners.

Birds - There are all sorts of common fowls, such as hens, turkeys, geese, ducks, etc. reared in this parish, and it abounds with such other birds as are peculiar to this climate and country. The cuckoo makes his appearance at the end of April, and the swallow in the beginning of May. The lapwing or green plover in March, and the wood-cock in October. There are a few moorfowl, and a black-cock has been seen in the fir plantations of Allangrange frequently this season. The ground abounds with many partridges. Immense numbers of sea-fowls frequent this shore, especially in the fishing season, and the flocks of ducks of various kinds that frequent the bay of Munlochy are almost incredible, for they sometimes cover the bay from side to side for 2 miles, and it is astonishing what it is they get there to support them, as the herring never enter it. Rude geese and swans sometimes come there in the winter and spring, especially when the frost is intense. There are a few singing birds also in the parish, such as the thrush, blackbird, linnets, goldfinches in great abundance, the bullfinch, which, I am told, has made his appearance in this country about 20 years ago, and a great plenty of larks.

Miscellaneous Observations - There is one large cove in this parish, at a place called Craig-a-chow (a name given it for its famous echo) at the entrance to the bay of Munlochy; it is very large and reaches far into the rock, so far indeed that the farmers in the neighbourhood were obliged to shut it up toward the hill with rubbish, for, when their sheep and goats strayed into it, they were never again seen nor heard of. The mouth of the cave was made up with stone and lime several years ago, by traders who secured and secreted smuggled goods in it, but since that contraband trade has been abolished on this coast, the mason work is fallen to decay. The cave could easily contain, I am told, a whole ship's cargo.*

*In this cave, there is a spring of water to which the superstitious part of the people attribute a medical effect, and still repair to it on the first Sunday of every quarter, for a cure to any malady or disease under which they happen to labour. The water is said to be particularly famous for restoring the sense of hearing by pouring a few drops of it into the affected ear, but this, in my opinion, must be owing to the cold and piercing quality of the water forcing its way through the obstructions of the ear. The coldness of this water is greater than any I ever tasted and no wonder, for the sun shines upon it, and it oozes through a considerable body of rock.

There is a good deal of sea ware or wrack along the coast, which is seldom converted into kelp. The farmers use it for barley, and potatoes are always soft and watery that grow upon it. I am told it is excellent manure for raising kail. There are 8 mills for grinding corn in this parish; 2 of these are wrought by the salt water. There are but 2 lakes, one of them, considerably above the level of the sea, is called the loch of Pitlundy. The neighbouring people allege that there have been water cows seen in or about this lake, but it is of too small an extent to give any shadow of credibity to such an assertion. In several parts of this parish, quarries of freestone have been found, and wrought with success, and all the moors abound with plenty of grey stone fit for building houses and stone fences. For an half mile to the W. of the village of Munlochy, which lies at the head of the bay, there are evident traces of the sea's having once covered that rich and fertile flat, such as beds of shells, etc, but there is none now living who remembers to have seen that ground overflowed by the sea at any period.

Prices, Wages, Etc. - Mutton fells from 3½d. and 4d. down to 3d. and 2½d. the pound. Beef and pork fell at the same rate. Hens at 6d. There is little butter and cheese sold here. These articles are bought at the neighbouring markets at 10s. 6d. the stone of butter, and from 4s. to 5s. the stone of cheese.*

*Day-labourers get 5d. in summer and harvest, and 7d. in winter, a-day; an out-servant gets 6 bolls of meal of 9 stones to the boll, and from 4L. to 5L. wages, with some potatoes, ground, a house and some fuel. House servants get from 4L. to 4L. 10s., and the common servants who work at the farm get from 20s. to 30s. in the year.

Advantages and Disadvantages - One great advantage which this parish enjoys, arises from its being in the near neighbourhood of Inverness, from which it is only divided by a narrow kyle of the sea, over which there is a regular ferry-boat renting 128L Sterling. There the inhabitants get a ready-money market for any commodity they have to offer for sale, and get to purchase any article they wish for, with little trouble and no little loss of time.

Another arises from the close neighbourhood of Fairntosh, from whence there is a constant demand for their barley for making whisky. Another advantage is that there is great plenty of freestone quarries in the parish, and great abundance of clay for building comfortable houses and fencing their fields. Mr Mckenzie of Kilcoy has been making brick of some of this clay for 2 years past for his own use. They have answered exceedingly well, and a manufacture of this kind could be established to large extent on his estate, within a quarter of a mile of the sea. Another is that the inhabitants have water-carriage for any heavy articles they may need, either by Kessock or Munlochy bay. And the last I shall mention is, that the parish every where abounds with great plenty of fresh water, sufficient not only for the use of the inhabitants, but for carrying on any manufacture that might be established among them, that required such an aid.

The disadvantages, on the other hand, are many. The greatest, and that which is most sensibly felt by the inhabitants, arises from the want of fuel, the whole mosses in the parish being quite exhausted, and the people's having recourse to nothing else to make up this want, but the purchasing of a few young planted firs which have little last, and as little warmth or heat in them. The second arises from the want of limestone to help to manure the lands, or any marl, except on the estates of Kilcoy and Bellmaduthy, which, from its scarcity, has been wholly confined to their own mains, and when and where applied, has been found to answer well. A third disadvantage arises from the want of manufactures There are several eligible stations for establishing manufactures in this parish, especially a woollen or linen manufacture which might be carried on here to any extent. Indeed there are 2 stations in this parish so naturally calculated for such a business, that it is rather surprising that they should, till now, be quite neglected; the one of these is at the village of Munlochy, where there is plenty of fresh water to work any machinery, a plain of a considerable extent, at least 100 acres, through every part of which water may be carried with the greatest ease, and it is surrounded with a fine green bank facing the S. for drying clothes, within less than a quarter of a mile of the sea, and in the midst of a populous country where the inhabitants are desirous of employment; and Mr. McKenzie of Kilcoy, the proprietor, I am well persuaded, would encourage a company on liberal terms to set up a manufacture there. There other station is on the shore of Kessock, opposite to the town of Inverness, the property of Mr. Grant of Redcastle. Ships of any burden can come quite close to that shore, and Mr Grant has told me that he would feu out the ground on his property along the shore, on easy terms, to such tradesmen as would wish to settle there, and give a manufacturer all due encouragement.

This place is also surrounded by a vast number of people. The last disadvantage I shall condescend upon arises from the smallness of the farms and shortness of the leases; but this I well know is owing to the poverty and indolence of the present inhabitants, and I am well convinced, if gentlemen farmers, possessed of capitals, came to settle in this place, they would meet with all due encouragement, both as to leases and melioration, from the proprietors, who all wish to encourage agriculture; and I am persuaded, that such adventures would find, upon trial, that it would turn out to their own private advantage.

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