The 2nd Statistical Account
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PARISH OF URRAY
(PRESBYTRY OF DINGWALL, SYNOD OF ROSS)
Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness standing in front of map of Ross and Cromarty
By the REV. JAMES MACDONALD, MINISTER *
*Drawn up from notes, furnished by Mr Charles Mackenzie, Parochial Schoolmaster of Urray.
II. – CIVIL HISTORY
Parochial Registers –
There is a register of births and marriages, the former commencing with the year 1756 and the latter with the year 1815. The register of births previous to the year 1820 was very irregularly kept, a great many names having been left out, and those in many cases entered improperly. The record was not even signed by the session-clerk.
In whole, there are eleven land-holders in the parish, the principal of whom are the following:
A. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth, his valuation L.711. 6s. 1d.;
George Gillanders, Esq. of Highfield, L.402. 7s. 1d.;
Thomas Mackenzie of Ord, L.342. 2s. 1d,;
Fowler of Fairburn, L.247. 19s. 3d.;
Balfour of Strathconnon, L.247. 19s. 3d.;
Colonel Baillie of Tarradale, L.223. 18s.
Mansion Houses –
These are Brahan Castle, Highfield House, Ord House, Fairburn Tower, now in ruins.
III. – POPULATION
There are no towns or villages in the parish.
The Population in
Number of families in the parish in 1831
Number of families chiefly employed in agriculture
Number of families in trade, manufactures, or handicraft
Illegitimate births in the parish in the course of the last three years,
IV – INDUSTRY
The real rental of the parish is L.2573. 18s.
The principal agriculturist within the parish is Mr Mackenzie of Ord, who has improved his lands very much of late.
A distillery was set agoing about a year and a-half ago, distant about a mile from the parish church. It is conducted by Messrs D. Maclennan, and Robert Johnstone, and is called Ord Distillery.
Salmon-fishing is carried on in the river Connon at the proper season to a small extent.
V. – PAROCHIAL ECONOMY
Ecclesiastical State –
All families in the parish belong to the Established Church, with the exception of 25 families, who are attached to the Episcopal Church, and excepting also one Roman Catholic family. The stipend is fixed at 16 chalders.
The glebe is about 8 acres in extent. The manse was built in 1814, and is at present in excellent condition, having been repaired in 1837.
There are 4 schools in the parish, two parochial schools, one Society school, and one Episcopal school, under the patronage of Mr Gillanders, Highfield. There is only one Sabbath school at present, but other two are in contemplation. All these schools are within the compass of four miles, and no more schools are required. The salary of each of the parochial schoolmasters amounts to L.25 yearly. The probable yearly amount of fees actually paid to one of them is not more than L.6. The other school having newly begun, the amount of fees actually received by the teacher cannot be stated. The probable yearly amount of the other emoluments belonging to the first parochial teacher is L.7. A female School of Industry is about to be opened under the immediate pataronage of Mrs Mackenzie of Ord, a lady of exemplary piety, and full of zeal for supplying the destitute with useful and scriptural education.
The number of persons receiving parochial aid averages from 50 to 70. The average sum allowed to each yearly is about 6s. The average annual amount of contributions for relief of the poor is about L.20, all arising from church collections.