The 1st Statistical Account

- Page 2 -

Parish of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden

(Counties of Cromarty and Ross,* Synod of Ross, Presbytery of Chanonry) * A small part only of this parish is in the county of Ross

Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness (Image taken from Raeburn painting) with background of west coast outline

Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness standing in front of map of Ross and Cromarty

By the Rev Mr Robert Arthur

Heritors, Population, &c.
The property of lands is divided among 7 heritors (the 3 first of whom reside for the most part), viz. Mrs. Urquhart of Braelangwell, proprietrix of the estate of Newhall; David Urquhart of Braelangwell, Esq.; George Gun Munro of Poynterfield, Esq.; Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Scatwell, Bart.; William M’Kenzie of Pitlundie, Esq.; John Urquhart of Kinbeachy, Esq.; and – Duff of Muirtown, Esq.

Besides those of the principal and residing heritors,

there are families of farmers

71

families of mealers and tradesmen,

119

The population in 1755, according to Dr. Webster's report, was

1371

The number of souls in 1780 was

1345

The number of souls in 1789 was

1199

The number of souls in 1791 was

1234

Of the last number,

568 were males;

666 females;

and 201 at and below 8 years of age.*

Millers

4

Weavers

17

Ferrymen

8

Fishermen

4

Merchant

1

Dyers

5

House carpenters

8

Coopers

2

Cartwrights

2

Corn mills

4

Boatbuilder

1

Stills of 40 gallons each

4

Blacksmiths

4

Ferries

2

Wheelwrights

2

Black cattle

712

Shoemakers

9

Horses

356

Tailors with apprentices

11

Sheep

2391

Swine

about 30

* As even the small sum payable to the session-clerk on these occasions is an object to people struggling with poverty, it has been hitherto found impracticable to keep an exact register of baptisms, marriages and burials. The variation that has taken place in the population of this parish, within the short space of 14 years, has arisen from the following causes. The decrease frorn 1780 to I789 was occasioned, in a great measure, by the arrears of rent, and other debts unavoidably incurred by the tenants, through the failure of crop 1782, which obliged them, in l783, to dismiss every servant they could possibly spare and make their children endeavour to supply their places, at a much earlier period than they were wont to do before; and ever since that memorable era, many of the young and stoutest lads have annually gone to Glasgow, and other places in the W. and S. of Scotland, where the price of labour is high, instead of marrying and settling in the parish, as was the custom formerly. This annual drain of young men, has raised the wages of servants, and is severely felt by the tenants.

The increase of population from 1789 to 1792, was owing to the great encouragement given by Mr. and Mrs. Urquhart of Braelangwell and Newhall to people who settled on, and improved moor-ground.

From the farmers keeping an overflocking of cattle and horses, whereby they are obliged to send many of them to cold Highland grazings in summer, while they have little natural and no sown grass to feed properly such as are kept at home, their cattle and horses are of a diminutive size; while an excellent breed and size of both are reared on the extensive and highly improved farms possesed by the residing heritors. The sheep also are very small, except on the above mainses, where the Galloway breed has been crossed by the Cheviot, which promises to answer, even beyond expectation, in increasing the size of their body, and value of their wool. Sheep pastured on the shore are generally healthiest, owing, probably, to their drinking salt-water, eating seaweed, and the grass which is flooded at stream-tides. 100 large sheep, well littered, are said to make a quantity of manure fully sufficient for 5 acres.

Number of Acres, Rent, &c.
As only the estates of Newhall, Braelangwell and Poyntsfield have been surveyed, the incumbent cannot pretend to accuracy as to the number of acres of which the other 4 estates are supposed to consist in the following statement; nor can he even guess at the extent of common belonging to the parish, and therefore it is not mentioned:

Newhall

Braelangwell

Poyntersfield

Other 4 Estates

Total

Acres arable

1112

680

487

740

3019

Acres pasture

550

340

138

180

1208

Acres wood

260

446

162

12

880

Acres moor

1500

2766

356

500

6044

Total, besides the common


11151

(Note – 21.12.01 – the total of acres of moor does not add up to 6044, but there is no way of deciding which figure is wrong.)

The valued rent is 2357L. Scots, and the real gross rent, putting a moderate value upon the mainses, victual rent. customs, &c. is nearly 1500L. Sterling.

Parish of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden continue reading