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 (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. 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.

Land-owners
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

1801 was

2063

1811 was

2594

1821 was

2731

1831 was

2768

Number of families in the parish in 1831

634

Number of families chiefly employed in agriculture

418

Number of families in trade, manufactures, or handicraft

70

Illegitimate births in the parish in the course of the last three years,

About 8

IV – INDUSTRY

Rental
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.

Fisheries
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.

Education
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.

Poor
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.

July 1840.

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