(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "History of the valley of the Dee, from the earliest times to the present day"

941.2501 

M21h 

1335217 



GENEAL-OGY C0L.L.ECT10N 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBUC LIBRARY 



J^- ^ 




3 1833 00855 4849 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 



http://www.archive.org/details/historyofvalleyoOOmack 



HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE 







/*' 




i^'" 



JV/v^ ^ou^iu-^^fci^. T-^-V)' 



HISTORY 



OF THE 



VALLEY OF THE DEE 



FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY. 



BY 

JOHN MACKINTOSH, LL.D. 

AUTHOR OF " THE HISTORY OF CIVILISATION IN SCOTLAND 
" THE STORY OF SCOTLAND " 
" THE REVOLUTION OF 1688 AND VISCOUNT DUNDEE " 
" THE VALLEY OF THE DEVERON," a^c, dfc. 



ABKRDEEN 

TAYLOR AND HENDERSON 

LITHOGRAPHERS AND PRINTERS TO THE QUEEN 



MDCCCXCV. 



THE RIGHT OF TRANSLATION RESERVED. 



I 

\ 



CONTENTS. 



V»J 



Chapter I. 

INTRODUCTORY SKETCH. 

Watershed — Source of the Dee — Glen Dee — Course of the River — Page. 

Aspect of the Valley — Tributaries of the Dee — Soil — Climate 
—Plan of the Work 1—9 

Chapter II. 

TRACES OF PREHISTORIC INHABITATION. 

Early Race — Stone Age People — Chambered Cairns — Earth- 
houses — Cremation — Urn Interment — Hill Forts — Crannogs 
— Stone Weapons — Condition of the People . . . 10 — 19 

Chapter III. 

ESTUARY— CULTS. 

Harbour of Aberdeen — Diversion of the Dee — Improvements — 
Old Bridge of Dee — Lands of Pitfodels — Deeside Railway — 
Cults - . . 20—33 

Chapter IV. 

BANCHORY— ARDO—HEATHCOT. 

Lands of Banchory granted to the Abbey of Arbroath — Subsequent 
Proprietors — Banchory House — Church — Ardo Estate — 
Ardo House — Heathcot House — Shannaburn — Auchlunies. 34 — 44 

Chapter V. 

MURTLE— EDGEHILL— CULTER HOUSE- 
PAPER WORKS. 

Lynwood — Bieldside — Murtle House — Lands of iMurtle--Edgehill, 
Dr Webster — Camphill — Culter House — Lands of Culter — 
Peterculter Church — Village of Culter — Paper Works — Snuff 
Manufactory — William M'Combie 45 — 55 

Chapter VI. 

MARYCULTER— DURRIS. 

The Knights Templars at Maryculter — Blairs — St. Mary's College 
— Marybank — Kingcausie House — Lands of Kingcausie — 
Maryculter House — General Gordon — Royal Forest — Crown 



vi CONTENTS. 

Lands — Durris, Families connected with it — Durris House — Page. 
Kirktown, Church of Durris, 56 — 67 

Chapter VII. 

IRVINES OF DRUM— HISTORIC INCIDENTS. 

Scenery — Loch of Drum — Old Church of Drumoak — William 
Irvine, and Robert Bruce — Feud between the Irvines and 
Keiths — Battle of Harlaw — Sir Alexander, Battle of Pinkie 
— The Irvines involved in the Covenanting Struggle — Drum 
Castle taken — Change in the Succession — Alexander Forbes 
Irvine, Francis H. F. Irvine — Drum Castle. . . . 68 — 77 

Chapter VIII. 

PARK— BURNETTS OF LEYS— CRATHES CASTLE. 

Lands of Park, House — Andrew Penny — ^James Penny — Tradition 
of the Burnett Family — Grant of Lands to Alexander Burnett 
— Gilbert — Robert, Lord Crimond — Sir Thomas, a Cove- 
nanter, and a Patron of Learning — The Baronet's Daughter — 
Sir Robert, Sir Thomas — Crathes Castle — Court Book of 
Leys — Loch of Leys — Normandikes . . . - . 78 — 85 

Chapter IX. 

BANCHORY-TERNAN— SCENERY— BURGH- 
REMINISCENCES. 

Scenery — St. Ternan, Old Church — Kirktown — New Village — 
Wood-floating — Burgh of Banchory — Dr. George Campbell 
— Dr. Francis Adams, Dr. Andrew Leith Adams — ^James 
Cuthbert Hadden 86—93 

Chapter X. 

VALLEY OF THE FEUGH— STRACHAN-- 
BIRSE. 

Bridge of Feugh — Old Castle of Tilquhillie — Walter Ogston, 
Thomas, Janet — Douglas of Tilquhillie — Invery House — 
Village of Strachan — Cairn o' Mounth Road — Birse, Church, 
Graveyard, Free Church — Forest of Birse — Lands of 
Finzean, House, Farquharsons of Finzean — Ballogie — 
Balfour — Eminent Natives of Birse ..... 94 — 104 

Chapter XL 

BLACKHALL— KINCARDINE O'NEIL— 

LUMPHANAN. 

Blackhall House — Inchmarlo — Glassel — Campfield — Opening of 
the Aberdeen Water Works — Village of Torphins — Craig- 
myle House, Lands — Learney House, Innes of Raemoir — 



CONTENTS. vii 

Findrack House — Potarch Bridge — Borrowstone House, Page. 

Old Hamlet of Borrowstone — Scenery — Village of Kincar- 
dine O'Neil, Barony of Kincardine O'Neil, Old Church, 
New Church — Kincardine Lodge — Carlogie House — Dess- 
wood House — Distinguished Natives — Village of Lumphanan 
— Glenmillan House — Lands of Auchlossan — Auchenhove — 
Halton, Pitmurchie — Peel Bog — The Houff— Conflict 
between King Duncan and Macbeth — Malcolm HL and 
Macbeth, Battle of Lumphanan 105 — 119 

Chapter XII. 

ABOVNE— GLENTANNER— CULBLEAN. 

Charlestown of Aboyne — Castle of Aboyne — Old Church — 
Tillphoundie, Balnacraig, Families connected with it — 
Glentanner — Smugghng — Sir William Cunliffe Brooks — 
Mansion House of Glentanner, Chapel — Dinnet Church — 
John G. Michie — Dee Castle — Ballaterich — Byron — ^James 
Neil — Dinnet House — Loch Kinnord — Glendavan House — 
Battle of Culblean — Families associated wdth Aboyne . . 120 — 137 

Chapter XIII. 

TULLICH— BALLATER. 

Scenery — Cambus o' May — Old Church and Graveyard of Tullich 
— Francis Farquharson of Monaltrie — Old Village of Tullich 
Pass of Ballater — Burgh of Ballater — Monaltrie House — 
Craigendarroch Lodge — Bridge of Ballater — Alex. Troup . 138 — 146 

Chapter XIV. 

GLENMUICK. 

Churchyard — Families connected with Glenmuick — Old Castle of 
Braickley — Ruins of Knock Castle — Traditions associated 
with it — Birkhall House — Glenmuick House, St. Nathalan's 
Church — Falls of Muick — Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge — Loch 
Muick — Glasallt Shiel • — Glasallt Falls — Scenery — Loch 
Dubh — Summit of Lochnagar — Byron .... 147 — 153 

Chapter XV. 
GLENGAIRN— STRATHGIRNOCK— ABERGELDIE. 

Scenery — Old Church of Glengairn, Graveyard — Roman Catholic 
Chapel — Burial Ground of Dalfad — Macdonald of Rineaton 
— Quoad Sacra Church — Old Castle of Gaim — Abergaim — 
Mining operations — Corndavon Lodge — Polhollick — Strath- 
girnock — Craig-na-Ban — Colliecriech Wood — Geallaig — 
Micras — Castle of Abergeldie — Families connected with 



viii CONTENTS. 

Abergeldie — Clachanturn — Lochnagar Distillery — Easter Page. 
Balmoral — Crathie Churchyard — Old Church of Crathie, 
New Church — ^John Bruce — Alexander Downie — William 
Blair— Peter Coutts— John Ross 154—168 

Chapter XVI. 

BALMORAL. 

Statues and Monuments within the Castle Grounds — Prince 
Albert's Cairn — Families connected with Balmoral — Battle 
of Falkirk — Earl of Fife — Sir Robert Gordon — The Queen 
and Prince Albert — Old Castle of Balmoral — The Royal 
Domain, Forest, Falls of Garbhallt — Laying the Foundation 
Stone of the New Castle, Progress of its Erection, Finished 
— A Fete at Balmoral — Castle of Balmoral — The Queen's 
Excursions in the Highlands — Her Majesty's Annual 
Sojourn at Balmoral 169—182 

Chapter XVII. 

SCENERY— INVERCAULD. 

Site of the Old House of Monaltrie — Carn-na-Cuimhne — Aberarder 
— Bridge of Invercauld — Invercauld House — The Farquhar- 
sons a Branch of the Clan Chattan, Original Possessions of 
this Clan — Farquharson of Invercauld, Donald Farquhar, 
Findla Mor — Robert Farquharson — John forced to join 
Mar's Rising — James — ^James Ross Farquharson — Colonel 
James — Lieutenant Alexander H. Farquharson . . . 183 — 190 

Chapter XVIII. 

CASTLETOWN OF BRAEMAR. 

Craig Clunie — Clunie Cottage — Charter Chest — The Lion's Face 
— Altdowrie Cottage — Braemar Castle — Old Churchyard, 
St. Andrew's Chapel — Surroundings of Castletown — 
Description of the Town— Glen Clunie— Glen Callater . 191—197 

Chapter XIX. 

GLEN QUOICH— INVEREY— GLEN EY— GLEN 
LUI— MAR FOREST. 

Aspect of the Valley — Carr Burn — Water of Quoich — Linn of 
Quoich — "Earl of Mar's Punch Bowl" — Corriemulzie Falls 
— New Mar Lodge — Old Mar Lodge — Village of Inverey — 
John Farquharson of Inverey — Water of Ey — Glen Ey — 
AUt Connie Falls — The Colonel's Cave — John Farquharson 
joined Viscount Dundee — Alltanodhar Shieling — Glen Lui — 
Falls of Lui— Mar Forest— Deer— Linn of Dee — White 
Bridge— Glen Geldie — Geldie Lodge— Bynack Lodge — 
Chest of Dee— Glen Geusachan ....'. 198—210 



CONTENTS. ix 

Chapter XX. 

EARLDOM OF MAR— EARLS OF MAR. 

Extent and Chief Seat of the Earldom — Mormaer of Mar — Early Page. 
Earls of Mar, Ruadri, Morgund, Gratney, Duncan, William 
— Thomas, the last Earl of the Celtic line — His sister suc- 
ceeded to the Earldom ; her daughter, Isabel, became 
Countess of Mar and Garioch ; her unhappy life, tragic, and 
violent incidents — Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, exclud- 
ing the Erskines' Claim — Earldom annexed to the Crown — 
Erskine's Claims rejected — Members of the Royal Family 
made Earls of Mar — The period in which there was no 
Earl of Mar 211—218 

Chapter XXI. 

EARLS OF MAR-RISING OF 1715. 

The Earldom of Mar and Lordship of Garioch restored to John, 
Lord Erskine — A long struggle to reclaim the alienated 
possessions of the Earldom — Efforts of John, second Earl of 
Mar — ^John, third Earl — ^John, fourth Earl of Mar — Charles, 
fifth Earl of Mar — John, sixth Earl, after the accession 
of George I., concerted a Rebellion — Meetings of his 
supporters at Braemar and Aboyne — The Standard Raised, 
and Mar's Army Marched — Arrival of James VIII. — 
Retreat and Disbandment of the Army — Royal Troops sent 
into Braemar 219—227 

Chapter XXII. 

DISARMING THE PEOPLE— RISING OF 1745. 

The People of Braemar subjected to suffering — Disarming Acts — 
Causes of the Rising — Arrival of Prince Charles in the 
Western Isles — Muster in Glenfinnan — Raising the Standard 
— Proclamations — ^Jacobite feeling in Braemar — Advance of 
Charles southward — Capture of Edinburgh — Defeat of 
General Cope — Prince Charles' difficulties — Braemar and the 
Valley of the Dee impHcated in the Rising — Conclusion . 228 — 234 



HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 



Chapter I. 
INTRODUCTORY SKETCH. 

At the outset it seems necessary to indicate some of 
the general features of the subject, and the method of 
treating it. 

The watershed of Scotland runs southward from Cape 
Wrath to the head of Loch Quoich. Thence it turns 
eastward between Lochs Lochy and Oich ; then sweep- 
ing round the top of Strathspey and over the hills above 
the head of Loch Laggan ; thence following a curving 
southerly course past the west end of the Moor of 
Rannoch and the Brae Lyon mountains to Crianlarich ; 
whence across Ben Lomond, and south-eastward over the 
Campsie Fells into the broad Lowland Valley. The 
sources of the Spey and the Dee lie on the highest point 
of the watershed. 

The widest region of the wildest scenery in Britain is 
contained in the one hundred square miles of rugged 
mountain and corry lying between Glen Feshie and Glen 
Quoich, which comprises the summits of Ben Muich Dhui, 
Cairngorm, and other mountains, and the great corries of 
Braeriach and Ben-na-Bhuird. 

The springs and head streams of the Dee rise from 
three high mountains on the confines of Aberdeenshire 
and Inverness-shire, namely, Braeriach, Ben Muich Dhui, 
B 



2 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

and Cairn Toul, in the immediate vicinity of each other, 
and forming the highest mountain-land in Scotland. 
Two perennial springs of clear water issue from a 
declivity near the summit of Braeriach, at a height of 
over 4000 feet above sea level. They unite and form a 
stream which flows a short distance ; and then it descends 
the rocky face of a great corry — forming a series of 
beautiful cascades of 1000 feet in height. The stream 
enters a narrow aud rugged ravine, called Glen Garchary, 
tumbles down through it, and receives other rills in its 
course. Another stream issues from underneath huge 
masses of stones and debris of rock, between Ben Muich 
Dhui and Braeriach, in the hollow of Larig, where several 
pools are formed. This stream is called the Larig Burn, 
and runs through an elevated and narrow glen for about 
a mile and a half, and then joins the Garchary Burn. 
The united stream is called the Dee, and it flows south- 
ward along the base of Cairn Toul ; and further on it 
receives from that mountain the Geusachan Burn. 

Glen Dee, through which the infant river winds its 
way, is very narrow, rugged, and deep, bounded on both 
sides by lofty mountains. These mountains present 
many features of grandeur and sublimity. The scenery 
of the region is on a grand scale, consisting of mountain 
rising above mountain, huge precipices, deep corries, 
crags and serrated rocks, and large bleached boulders, 
which vividly recall the echoes of the mighty power of 
nature. Hogg touched on the region thus : — 

" Beyond the grizzly cliffs which guard 
The infant rills of Highland Dee, 
Where hunter's horn was never heard, 
Nor bugle of the forest bee ; 



INTRODUCTORY SKETCH. 3 

'Mid wastes that dern and dreary lie, 
One mountain rears its mighty form, 

Disturbs the moon in passing by, 

And smiles above the thunderstorm." 

The Geldie Water, a pretty large stream, rises 
between the mountains of An Sgarsoch and Carn an 
Fhidleir, on the confines of the counties of Aberdeen, 
Inverness, and Perth. It flows through a glen of the 
same name a distance of twelve miles, and joins the Dee 
at Dubrach. From this point the Dee flows in an 
easterly direction, though it winds in many parts of its 
course. 

The river runs through or alongside the Parishes of 
Braemar and Crathie ; Glengairn, Glenmuick, and Tullich, 
now united into one parish ; Aboyne, Birse, Kincardine 
O'Neil, Strachan, Banchory-Ternan, Durris, Drumoak, 
Maryculter, Peterculter, Banchory-Devenick and Nigg. 
After a winding and beautiful course of over 87 miles the 
river falls into the sea at Aberdeen. 

Considered as a whole, the Valley of the Dee is com- 
paratively narrow ; but the river receives the drainage of 
a wide and extensive tract of country. On its south side 
there is a continuous chain of mountains (part of the 
Grampian range), which reach their greatest elevation at 
the summit of the far-famed Lochnagar ; thence the 
height of the mountains gradually declines onward to the 
Girdleness. On the north side, in the upper stretch of 
the Valley, the mountains are also high ; but the con- 
tinuous mountain-land terminates in the plain of the 
Moor of Dinnet. The Dee emerges from the Highlands 
by the narrow Pass of Cambus o' May. From this point 
to the sea at Aberdeen, the northern side of the Valley is 



4 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

partly bounded, and often intersected, by hills of no 
great elevation ; and below Banchory-Ternan the ground 
presents finely-undulated heights, sloping towards the 
bed of the river. 

Many glens, passes, and ravines open into the Valley 
of the Dee, with their fine rippling streams, which con- 
tribute much to form the exquisite variety and contrast so 
characteristic of its scenery. The beautifully-diversified 
series of mountains and hills, glens and streams, crags, 
rocks, and falls, pine and larch forests, and birch woods, 
present resplendent scenes when viewed in a fine summer 
day in all their natural glory. 

From the confluence of the Dee and the Geldie, the 
tributary streams of the river generally flow in a direction 
inclined eastward, which renders some of them of con- 
siderable length. The principal tributaries of the Dee on 
the south side of the Valley are the following:— The 
Water of Ey rises from Ben Uarns, and flows through 
Glen Ey in a northerly direction, with a curve to the east 
in one part, and after a course of eight miles it falls into 
the Dee four miles below the confluence of the Dee and 
the Geldie. The Water of Clunie rises on the Cairnwell, 
and runs through Glen Clunie. It receives the Burn of 
Baddoch, and four miles further down the W^ater of 
Callater, and after a northerly course of about ten miles 
it joins the Dee below Castletown of Braemar. The 
Water of Muick issues from a small loch near the 
mountain of Cairn Taggart. It runs south-east through 
a narrow and deep ravine, with high precipices on both 
sides, and dashes against the boulders which strew its bed. 
It then expands into a loch of considerable extent and 
striking grandeur. On issuing from the loch it flows 



INTRODUCTORY SKETCH. 5 

north-east a course of about ten miles, and joins the Dee 
a Httle above Ballater, Glenmuick is remarkable for the 
variety and beauty of its scenery. The Water of Tanner 
rises from the Hare Cairn, and runs in a north-easterly 
direction through Glentanner a distance of fourteen 
miles, and enters the Dee about a mile above Aboyne. 
The Water of Feugh rises on the southern slopes of the 
parish of Birse, at a height 1800 feet above sea level, and 
flows rapidly in an east-north-eastward direction through 
the Parishes of Birse, Strachan, and a part of Banchory- 
Ternan. It has a beautiful course of nearly twenty miles, 
and falls into the Dee below Banchory. The Burn of 
Sheeoch rises on the high hill of Kerloch, and flows 
very rapidly a distance of twelve miles, and joins the 
Dee at the church of Durris. Below this there are 
several small streams which enter the river on the south 
side, but they present nothing very peculiar. 

Turning to the north side of the Valley, the chief 
tributaries of the Dee are: — The Water of Lui, the Water 
of Ouoich, several small streams, and the comparatively 
large Water of Gairn ; but the burns below the mouth of 
the Gairn are not of much volume, owing to the lower 
elevation of the stretch of country drained by the river on 
the north side of the Valley. The Water of Lui rises 
among the mountains on the east side of Glen Dee, and 
it is mainly formed of two streams, the Lui Beg and the 
Derrv, which issue from the south and north-east of Ben 
Muich Dhui. Four miles from their sources the streams 
unite, and form the Water of Lui, which then flows in a 
south-easterly direction through the glen of the same 
name, a distance of over six miles, and falls into the Dee 
a little below the Linn. About three miles eastward, the 



6 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Water of Ouoich rises from two main sources, one on the 
western extremity and near the summit of Ben-na-Bhuird, 
and the other from a small loch at the eastern end of the 
mountain. The two streams unite, and the Quoich flows 
rapidly over a rocky and stony bed — it is remarkable for 
its narrow gorge and rock cavities. On emerging from 
its glen, it spreads over a considerable portion of the level 
haugh in the Valley, and mars its continuity and beauty. 
The Water of Gairn has its sources from rills which come 
down from the mountains of Ben Avon and Craigandal. 
It flows through its glen, in an east-south-eastward 
direction, a distance of twenty miles, and falls into the 
Dee a mile and a half above Ballater. Glen Gairn in its 
upper stretch is rather bleak, bounded by high hills on 
either side, covered with heath and some patches of grass : 
but in its lower portion there are fine grassy pastures 
and cultivated fields. Its scenery, though not specially 
striking, is in some parts attractive, and presents pleasing 
contrasts. The streams below this are comparatively 
small — The Burn ofDinnet ; the Burn of Tarland, which 
runs eastward and joins the Dee below Aboyne Castle ; 
the Burn of Dess, remarkable for its romantic cascade ; 
the Burn of Beltie flows through the Parish of Kincardine 
O'Neil, and enters the Dee on the west side of the Parish 
of Banchory ; and the Burn of Culter. The streams 
noticed in the preceding paragraphs comprise the chief 
tributaries of the Dee, though there are many other burns 
and streamlets which fall into the river. 

It was mentioned that the highest sources of the Dee 
are over 4000 feet above the sea level, and the gradual 
fall of the river in its course seaward may be indicated. 
At the junction of the Dee and the Geusachan Burn, the 



INTRODUCTORY SKETCH. 7 

height above sea level is 1640 feet ; at the confluence of 
the Dee and the Geldie, 1304 ; at the Linn of Dee, 12 14; 
at Castletown of Braemar, 11 80; the old Bridge of 
Invercauld, 1054 ; Balmoral Castle, 926 ; Abergeldie 
Castle, 840; the Bridge of Ballater, 780; the Manse of 
Aboyne, 417 ; the Bridge of Potarch, 270 ; the Bridge of 
Banchory, 172 ; and at the mouth of the Burn of Culter, 
60. The fall from the Linn of Dee to the sea averages 
eighteen feet per mile ; of course the fall is greater in the 
upper stretch than in the lower. In its higher stretch the 
river flows rapid and clear upon a bed of rocks and amid 
boulders ; in the lower stretch it glides along upon a bed 
of stones and pebbles, which tends to purify the water. 
Above Ballater the water of the Dee is comparatively 
pure, and almost free of animal or sewage contamination. 
Although the Valley of the Dee is not naturally very 
fertile, yet the skill and industry of its inhabitants have 
greatly improved it. There are considerable stretches of 
haughs and plains in the Valley, still there are no very 
extensive tracts of good deep soil, or very rich fields. 
Generally boulders and pebbles of granite, gneiss, 
hornblende, and porphyry, form the prevailing soil. The 
pastures in the mountain districts are comparatively good, 
but small in extent ; the green-topped hills are limited, 
and consist of the Coyle hills, the serpentine range of 
Glenmuick, and a portion of Morven. Most of the hills 
and mountains, however, which bound the Valley are 
interspersed with stripes and patches of green grass even 
to their summits. Heath, pine, and birch are the prevail- 
ing plants. The Valley is well wooded. The chief 
native trees are the birch and the pine, but here and there 
many other varieties of trees have been planted. Oak 



8 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

is not very common, but it covers a part of the hill 
of Craigendarroch, in the vicinity of Ballater. Large 
woods of larch, intermixed with spruce and some other 
trees, are frequently seen in various parts of the Valley. 
There are still several pretty extensive forests such as 
Glentanner, Ballochbuie, and Mar. 

In the present century great industry and much art 
has been expended in many parts of the Valley to im- 
prove and beautify it. There are stretches in the Valley, 
which, both in nature and in art, are unrivalled anywhere. 

The usual crops raised in the Valley are oats, barley, 
turnips, and potatoes, ryegrass and clover. There were 
good crops along the Valley in the year 1893. ^ observed 
excellent fields of corn. The industry of the people has 
made fruit-growing a success in various places, not merely 
in gardens, but also in the fields. About Banchory- 
Ternan may be seen fine fields of strawberries ; and in 
the Parish of Strachan this fruit is cultivated in the fields ; 
and also in Kincardine O'Neil I have seen fields of straw- 
berries growing beautifully. Many of the gardens 
attached to the mansions in the Valley, under experienced 
gardeners, are admirably kept and cultivated ; and they 
produce abundance of fruit and vegetables. Flowers of 
many kinds and varieties are also reared and culti- 
vated with remarkable success. Many years ago I ob- 
tained information on this subject from my brother, 
James Mackintosh, who served his apprenticeship as a 
gardener at Banchory House. He was afterward 
engaged at Desswood House, and assisted in laying out 
the garden and the grounds. He had charge of the 
garden at Glassel for six years. Subsequently he 
went to Corsindae, in Mid mar, and had charge of the 



INTRODUCTORY SKETCH. 9 

garden for thirty years. He died at Corsindae House 
in 1889. 

The Valley of the Dee has been recognised as one of 
the healthiest regions in Britain. It is a nerve-giving and 
inspiriting Valley; and amongst its inhabitants there have 
been many instances of great longevity. 

Having thus briefly indicated some of the general 
features of the Valley, and system of streams and glens 
connected with it ; in the subsequent chapters, after 
dealing briefly with the traces of prehistoric inhabitation, 
I will commence at the estuary of the river, proceed up 
the Valley, and touch on its scenery, and also that of the 
glens opening into it ; the mansions and castles and the 
families associated with them ; historic and traditional 
incidents ; the villages and towns which have been 
erected in the Valley ; antiquities, and other objects of 
special interest. 



Chapter II. 

TRACES OF PREHISTORIC INHABITATION. 

In this chapter the traces of prehistoric structures, relics, 
and remains will be briefly treated. 

The earliest prehistoric race in Britain, of whom we 
have any evidence, was a long-headed people of com- 
paratively short stature. Their physical characteristics 
resembled the Berber race and North African tribes ; 
they appear to have spread over the Spanish Peninsula, 
the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean, Southern 
Italy, and a great part of France. This race arrived in 
the south of Britain about the beginning of the polished 
stone period, and gradually spread over the whole 
Island. They were sometimes called Iberians, Basques, 
and other names; and they appear to have inhabited the 
country alone for a very long period. They were a 
stone age people, using stone tools and weapons. They 
usually fixed their settlements on elevated ground and 
moderate heights ; and their dwellings consisted of 
circular huts — sometimes with stone foundations, on 
which a slight structure formed of wood was erected. 
Some of these hut foundations still remain, but many of 
them have been removed by the progress of agricultural 
improvement. This people constructed the long barrows 
of England, and the chambered and horned cairns of 
Caithness, Argyle, and Orkney. They also constructed 
the curious and interesting structures called " earth- 
houses " ; and some specimens of these were known to 



TRACES OF PREHISTORIC INHABITATION. 11 

have existed in Birse and Kincardine O'Neil. In many 
parts of Aberdeenshire, and especially on the higher 
stretch of the basin of the Don, in the Parishes of 
Kildrummy and Auchindoir, within a space of a mile in 
diameter, there are upwards of forty of these " earth- 
houses." The chief characteristics of these underground 
structures are : — I, They are all under the natural level of 
the ground ; 2, a narrow and low entrance apt to escape 
notice, and a narrow passage ; 3, a curved chamber 
gradually winding inwards, and usually terminating with 
a rounded end ; 4, the internal characteristics of the 
chamber, which is usually single, but in some specimens 
small chambers run off the main one to the right and 
left ; 5, converging side walls which support a lintelled 
roof; 6, they are built without mortar or cement of any 
kind. The walls are massive, and usually built of large 
stones. They vary greatly in size, some being over 
seventy feet in length, seven feet in width, and six feet 
in height ; while others are of much smaller dimensions. 

After research and comparison, I arrived at the 
conclusion that these underground structures were 
originated by the stone age people, and that they 
constructed a considerable number of those specimens 
which are still known to exist, though not necessarily 
the whole of them. It appeared to me that the under- 
ground structures were in harmony with the genius, the 
condition, and the circumstances of the stone age people, 
who constructed the chambered aud horned cairns of 
Caithness, which, in several of their characteristics, 
strikingly resemble the " earth-houses." It may also be 
observed that the " earth-houses " were never con- 
tinuously occupied as common dwellings, but only at the 



12 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

seasons of extreme cold and frost, when the people of 
the stone age resorted to them in order to protect them- 
selves in some measure from the inclemency of the 
weather. Traces of over-grown huts in close association 
with the "earth-houses," show that the people lived 
above ground, excepting in the extreme emergencies just 
indicated. 

This people practised cremation, and usually interred 
the remains of the dead under chambered stone cairns. 
Though there are many cairns in the area under 
consideration, few of them have been systematically 
explored ; while the common traditions regarding them 
are of little or no value whatever. In cairns broken into 
for building purposes, or removed for improvements, 
human remains have usually been found in them along 
the Valley. 

Traces of early occupation on the elevated ground of 
Pitfodels and Cults on the north side of the Valley, and 
on the high grounds on the opposite side of the river, 
have frequently been discovered. In the vicinity of 
Cults House, there were several cairns, one of which has 
been entirely removed for building purposes, and in it 
two stone arrow heads were found. In 1850, two stone 
cists were found near Cults House, which contained 
human bones. On the south side of the Dee, in 18 17, a 
stone cist was discovered, in repairing a road on the farm 
of Clashfarquhar. The cist was formed of eight 
stones — one at each end, two at each side, and two form- 
ing the cover ; and it contained the bones of a human 
skeleton, much decayed, and two urns. In 1847, near 
the same place, in a gravel hillock, two urns were found, 
in one of which was a gold ring. When forming part of 



TRACES OF PREHISTORIC INHABITATION. 13 

the turnpike road on the estate of Ardo, a stone cist was 
discovered, which contained an urn and a human skull. 
In the Parish of Maryculter there were a considerable 
number of cairns in which human remains have been 
found. On the property of Auchlee there were two 
stone circles entire in 1839; and it has been ascertained 
that many of the areas of stone circles in Scotland were 
places of prehistoric interments. 

A short distance below the church of Durris, on the 
south bank of the Dee, in 1829, the Rev. Robert Copland, 
when removing a large round cairn of stones, discovered 
that the stones merely covered an artificial mound of 
earth ; and, on opening it, some bones, partly burnt, and 
a number of sharp flint stones of different sizes were 
found. Afterwards, a more thorough excavation was 
made, and at a depth of three feet under the surface of 
an adjoining field, a stone cist, over seven feet in length, 
was discovered. It contained the bones of a human 
skeleton mixed with charcoal. In other parts of Durris 
there are a number of cairns overgrown with heath and 
whins ; and also stone circles, most of which are 
imperfect. 

On the north side of the Valley, in the Parish of 
Drumoak, there were once a considerable number of 
cairns, but the progress of agriculture and other improve- 
ments has removed the most of them. One on the top 
of the Hawkhillock was removed to make way for the 
summer house within the grounds of Park House ; and 
in the operations, three stone cists were discovered, 
containing an urn, human bones, and ashes. 

In Banchory-Ternan there are several places which 
present the characteristics usually associated with the 



14 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

prehistoric sites of human habitation. It seems probable 
that the high ground above the old church was a pre- 
historic site ; and no doubt there was a settlement on 
this ridge above the river, before the introduction of 
Christianity. There are still a number of cairns at the 
foot and on the sides of the hills, and many others once 
existed in the central parts of the parish. Some of them 
which were opened, contained stone cists and human 
bones. When the turnpike road to Aberdeen was 
making, the workmen found a stone cist at a point near 
the manse, which contained an urn and some ashes A 
mile and a half farther westward, in the wood of 
Inchmarlo, between the road and the Dee, there are the 
remains of a stone circle ; forty years ago one of the 
stones was standing, eight feet above the ground, and 
thirteen feet in circumference. It is said that the circle 
was entire about the end of the last century. 

In 1828, at Newton of Tilliecairn, in the Parish of 
Aboyne, several urns containing calcined human bones 
were dug up in trenching a piece of ground. About fifty 
yards from where the urns were discovered, the soil 
presented a blackish appearance, indicating that it had 
been under the action of a strong fire, as small bits of 
charcoal were embedded in it ; and it is supposed that 
the bodies had been burnt here, and the calcined remains 
subsequently placed in the urns. 

About a mile to the east of Newton, on the summit 
of a ridge, there are several small cairns, and one large 
cairn, called Cairnmore. In 181 8, the large one was 
partly opened for building purposes, when a quantity 
of bones were found in it, and a small gold chain 
of four links attached to a pin. The bottom of 



TRACES OF PREHISTORIC INHABITATION. 15 

the cairn was neatly paved, but only a tenth part of it 
was then explored. On the estate of Glenmillan, in 
Lumphanan, there were once a number of sepulchral 
cairns, in one of which two bronze rings were discovered. 
There are still a number of cairns on Perkhill, and in 
their vicinity stone weapons have been found. Cairns 
and tumuli are to be found on every hill and moor in the 
district. And the prehistoric modes of disposing of the 
dead prevailed, namely, urn interment and cairn inter- 
ment. 

Traces of hill forts, more or less distinct, are still 
numerous. Prehistoric hill forts may be divided into 
three classes: — i, Those formed of earth; 2, those 
formed partly or wholly of stones ; 3, those formed of 
stones, and partly vitrified. Elsewhere I have explained 
how " the movement of the tribes from the southern 
parts of the Island, inwards and outwards, issued in the 
first creation of historic conditions in Britain ; and the 
consequent necessity of efforts for self-preservation and 
defence." It seems evident that many of these defensive 
works were constructed several centuries before the 
Christian era. 

The first class of hill forts, which were probably the 
earliest, consist of a number of low mounds of earth 
drawn round the brows or summits of natural heights. 
They are mostly circular or oval in form, but this was 
often modified by the nature of the sites selected ; and 
the number of the enclosing mounds of earth vary for 
similar reasons ; sometimes there are two, three, four, 
or more, which enclose a central space. They differ 
from most of the other early constructions, inasmuch 
as they are adaptations of naturally elevated sites for 



16 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

purposes of defence. They are numerous, and extend 
over the whole area of Scotland. Traces of them may 
be seen on the hills and heights of Aboyne and Kinnord. 
On the summit of the Hill of Mortlich there is a large 
one. 

At Cairnton, on the east side of the wooded Hill of 
Trustach, near a steep bank of the Dee, there is a 
slightly hollow space, overgrown with birch, about 
150 yards square, and at its north and only open side, 
it has two ramparts of earth, each 300 yards long, from 
10 to 15 feet high, and 16 feet broad. They converge 
from the bank on each side, and form two sides of 
a square, the rest of which is formed by the conformation 
of the ground. There is an entrance at the angle 
20 yards wide. The position is elevated, and commands 
a pass between the heights of Inchmarlo and the Dee, 
through which the present road runs. It overlooks almost 
every approach, with the river immediately behind it, 
and the Canny Burn in the haugh below.' 

Traces and remains of the second class of hill forts 
are numerous. There were several of them on the 
slopes of Morven, and traces of two or three have been 
discovered on the north-west of Culbean. At Knockice, 
along the south side and base of MuUoch Hill, 
there was a semi-circle of forts connected with each 
other. The westmost one was 140 yards by 8S, the next 
one longer, and the eastmost one 280 yards by 176 ; and 
a short distance from the north-west corner of the 
smallest one, on a steep rising ground, there were two 
smaller forts, of from 12 to 18 yards diameter, which 

I Mackintosh's " History of Civilisation in Scotland," New Edition, Vol. I. 
PP- 43-45, 65-70, 88-89. 



TRACES OF PREHISTORIC INHABITATION. 17 

overlooked the whole. These and many others of a 
similar character, at a later stage of development, 
became connected with the crannogs constructed in 
Loch Kinnord. So far as has been ascertained, there 
were two ancient crannogs on Loch Kinnord, formed 
by great labour and surprising skill and intelligence. 
Crannogs were often used in connection with hill forts 
on the summits or slopes of the neighbouring hills, as at 
Kinnord, to which the lake dwellers could have gone 
when the lochs were frozen and the crannogs open to 
invasion. 

From time to time four primitive canoes have been 
discovered in Loch Kinnord — all hollowed out of single 
oak logs. On the i6th of June, 1859, a canoe, measuring 
22|- feet in length by 3^ feet wide at the stern, and 
tapering to a point at the prow, was brought to land. 
Two were recovered on the loth of August, 1875, o^c of 
which was 29 feet long and the other 30 feet. 

Regarding prehistoric tools and weapons recently in 
the grounds of Lynwood, Murtle, a stone axe head was 
found, which is 8^ inches in length, and nearly 3 inches in 
breadth. Along the Valley, on both sides, numbers of 
flint arrow-heads and other stone tools and weapons 
have been found, and some bronze weapons and tools 
have occasionally been discovered. 

Few stone relics have been found in Loch Kinnord. 
But stone tools and implements have occasionally 
been found in various parts of Aboyne and the 
neighbouring district. A bronze vessel and a bronze 
spear-head were found in the loch ; and an iron crowbar 
and an iron axe-head were also discovered in it.' 

I J. G. Michie's History of Loch Kinnord, 1877. 



18 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

It is, however, known that a considerable number of 
prehistoric rehcs and objects have been found in and 
around Loch Kinnord, of which no accurate description 
has been preserved. If any inference might be drawn 
from the rehcs and tools found in the loch, it might seem 
that the site and the crannogs had not been occupied in 
the stone age. The evidence and the known circum- 
stances, however, would not warrant such a conclusion ; 
for the simple fact that the largest island in the loch and 
the fort on it was frequently occupied in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries, would account for the dis- 
appearance of many of the relics and objects associated 
with its early occupation. Further, considering the 
length of time which has elapsed since the district was 
inhabited by man, probably three or four thousand years, 
and then the wasting powers of frosts, storms, thaws, 
rains, and floods in such a valley as the Dee, it will 
not appear surprising that the far greater part of the 
handiwork of our prehistoric ancestors should have 
been swept out of view. 

Yet, from the traces and ruins of structures and 
fragments of their works which still remain, we can 
perceive that there was an active and industrious 
population in the Valley at a far-gone period. We can 
discern and trace the evidence of mind and of thought 
even in such ruins and fragments of their handiwork ; 
and we may fairly picture in imagination our early 
ancestors of the prehistoric age as living and moving in 
a state of comparative safety and comfort. They 
possessed herds of domesticated animals — cattle, sheep, 
horse, and swine — and they cultivated grain to some 
extent. They manufactured some kind of woollen cloth. 



TRACES OF PREHISTORIC INHABITATION. 19 

and made pottery. Their food consisted chiefly of the 
flesh of domestic animals and of the milk derived from 
them, and to a less extent of fish, the products of grain, 
and wild animals. Their dress consisted partly of 
animals' skins prepared for the purpose, and partly of 
the cloth above-mentioned. Thus far, the material 
and social condition of the prehistoric people appears 
to have been well advanced. 



Chapter III. 

ESTUARY— CULTS. 

At present the estuary of the Dee presents a very 
different appearance from what it had at a quite recent 
period. As the river approached the sea it flowed 
through a wide basin, extending from the foot of the 
Castle Hill on the north side to the lands of Torry on the 
south. The harbour of Aberdeen then consisted of a 
channel near the north side of the basin, separated from 
the estuary of the Dee by the Inches — a number of low 
sandy patches, usually covered with water at high tide. 
The quayhead was erected where the old weigh-house 
once stood, and access to it from the town was obtained 
by the Shore Brae. The entrance to the harbour was 
extremely bad, owing to a bar at the mouth of the river, 
and at low tide the water was only a few feet deep. In 
1608 an attempt was made to improve it by the erection 
of a bulwark on the south side of the entrance ; and in 
161 8 a large stone lying near the middle of the estuary 
was removed. In 1658, the quay was extended eastward, 
and a considerable stretch of ground was reclaimed below 
the Castle Hill. Another quay was erected in 1755, 
farther down and opposite the village of Torry. Subse- 
quently, from time to time, other improvements were 
effected. But only about twenty years ago the Dee 
wound round the south side of the Inches ; and the Fish 
Market now stands on the old bed of the river. At that 
time, the whole of the space known as the Reclaimed 



ESTUARY— CULTS. 21 

Ground was covered with water at high tide. The 
diversion of the Dee into a new channel was a very great 
improvement ; and was finally consummated by the 
erection of the beautiful granite bridge which spans 
the river in line with Market Street. Standing on the 
centre of the bridge and looking toward the Suspension 
Bridge, the river in its new bed presents a beautiful sheet 
of water ; and the slight curve in the channel lends to 
the scene a peculiar grace of form. 

The transformation of the locality is complete. The 
large extent of space formerly covered by the tidal waters 
is now taken up with offices, stores, warehouses, fishcuring 
establishments, and works of various kinds, presenting a 
busy scene of industry and business; while along both 
sides of the river there are very pleasant walks. 

There is a tradition that Wallace had a castle on or 
near the headland of the Girdleness ; but no trace of it 
remains. The lighthouse on the Girdleness was erected 
in 1 83 1 -3, and is a prominent object in the landscape. 
Subsequently an artillery battery was erected. More 
recently in this locality a new breakwater was constructed 
by the Harbour Board for improving the harbour, and 
rendering the entrance safer for vessels at the mouth of 
the Dee. 

William the Lion granted the Church of Nigg to the 
Abbey of Arbroath, of which he was the founder. 
Alexander II. granted the whole of the lands of the 
Parish of Nigg to the Abbey of Arbroath, which included 
the lands and village of Torry. The Church of Nigg was 
in the diocese of St. Andrews. There is a tradition that the 
Abbots of Arbroath had a residence upon a haugh on the 
south side of the Dee, but all trace of it has disappeared. 



22 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

In 1312, Sir Alexander Fraser had a lease of the lands 
of Torry from Bernard, the Abbot of Arbroath. In the 
latter part of the fourteenth century, Paul Crabb had a 
lease of the lands of Kincorth from the Abbot ; and in 
1380, he gave an annuity out of these lands toward the 
support of the road leading from Stonehaven to Aberdeen,, 
through the " Moor of Drumnawhacket," to the ferry on 
the Dee. 

In 1495, James IV. erected the village of Torry into a 
burgh of barony, and authorised the inhabitants to deal 
in all kinds of commodities, to hold weekly and yearly 
markets, and to erect a cross. It seems probable that 
there was then a chapel at Torry ; but it appears that the 
privileges of the burgh fell into abeyance. In modern 
times the inhabitants of Torry were chiefly engaged in 
fishing. In 1837, the town had three fishing boats, with 
six men to each ; since then the number of fishing boats 
belonging to Torry has greatly increased as well as its 
population. For a generation or two it has been an 
active and busy centre of line fishing and herring fishing. 
Under the recent Extension Act, Torry was incorporated 
with the city of Aberdeen. 

Since the diversion of the Dee into its new channel 
and the erection of the Victoria Bridge, new streets have 
been formed upon the ground on the south side of the 
river. A considerable number of dwelling-houses, shops,, 
and offices have been built ; in short, the locality is 
rapidly developing and becoming a busy quarter of the 
city. Upon the elevated ground called Craiginches, a 
new prison was recently erected. 

Half a mile above the Victoria Bridge is the 
Wellington Suspension Bridge, erected in 1829. A short 



ESTUARY— CULTS. 23 

distance up the Valley the Railway Bridge spans the 
Dee. The arches of this bridge are of iron, and rest 
upon strong stone piers. Beyond the bridge, on the 
north side of the river, lies the large and beautiful 
Duthie Park, which was gifted by the late Miss Duthie 
of Ruthrieston to the citizens of Aberdeen. The work 
of forming the approaches to the park and the enclosing 
walls was executed by the late Mr. James H. Bisset, 
builder. The park was opened by Princess Beatrice in 
1883. It is in a very fine situation, having the rippling 
river in front and the rising ground on the opposite side. 
The park is admirably laid out, and presents many 
attractions. 

In the immediate vicinity of the park is the well-kept 
cemetery of Allen vale. In it there are a great number 
of granite headstones and monuments, many of which 
present fine specimens of monumental art. The Ruthrie- 
ston locality is now within the city boundary. 

The Loch of Loirston lies on the south side of the 
Dee, on an elevated hollow in the west quarter of the 
Parish of Nigg. It is an oblong sheet of water, and 
covers twenty-seven acres. 

About two miles from the mouth of the river stands 
the Old Bridge of Dee. It was one of the many good 
works promoted by the estimable Bishop Elphinstone, 
who founded and began it in 1 5CX). At that period the 
erection of such a bridge was a great undertaking, and it 
is not surprising that the structure was not completed in 
Elphinstone's life-time ; but one of his successors. Bishop 
Dunbar, continued the work, and it was finished in 1527. 
After a protracted negotiation between the Bishop and 
the Town Council of Aberdeen, in which the Council 



24 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

manifested much caution, the charge of the bridge was 
formally conveyed to the town in 1529, on the condition 
that " the Council would uphold it and keep it in repair." 
As originally constructed, the bridge consisted of seven 
groined arches, which had a total span of 432 feet, but 
its width was only i6}r feet. Various dates and brief in- 
scriptions on the bridge itself give some particulars 
touching the building and repairing of it. It was 
thoroughly repaired between 1720-3. It was again 
repaired and widened in 1841-2, to render it fit for the 
increased traffic. A chapel dedicated to St. Mary was 
built at the north end of the bridge, but no vestige of it 
now remains. 

This bridge was of great importance for several 
centuries. It was the leading entry to Aberdeen from 
the south, and on the line of the chief post road between 
Aberdeen and Edinburgh. It was also sometimes 
selected as one of the points for the defence of the city 
against enemies advancing from the south. In this 
relation the bridge is associated with interesting historic 
events. 

In 1589, the Catholic lords, headed by the Earls of 
Huntly, Errol, and Crawford, mustered their followers, 
and rebelled against the King. They assembled at 
Aberdeen in April. The King in person with an army 
marched northward, advancing to within ten miles of 
Aberdeen. The insurgent Earls had posted their men at 
the Bridge of Dee. As the Royal army approached, 
however, they seemed to have lost heart at the last 
moment, and dispersed. The rebellion for a time was 
quelled ; but Huntly and the Catholic nobles again rose 
in revolt, and in 1594 they met the Royal army under 



ESTUARY— CULTS. 25 

Argyle, and completely routed him at Glenlivet. The 
King, however, with another army, advanced to Aberdeen, 
and onward to Strathbogie, and Huntly retired to 
Caithness. 

During the Covenanting struggle the bridge was a 
rallying point. Montrose on his first campaign in the 
north entrapped the Marquis of Huntly, and conveyed 
him and his eldest son as captives to Edinburgh ; but 
Viscount Aboyne, Huntly's second son, a brave youth, 
having received a commission from the King, immediately 
proceeded to muster the clan to defend the Royal 
authority against the Covenanters. He assembled an 
army of about three thousand foot and five hundred 
horse, and re-took Aberdeen. On the 14th of June, 1639, 
he resolved to march southward ; advancing along the 
coast, he descried Montrose's army posted on the heights 
above Stonehaven. A skirmish ensued, in which 
Aboyne's men were defeated, and retired, Aboyne re- 
turned to Aberdeen ; and Montrose continued to advance 
northward. On the 17th, Aboyne ordered his men to re- 
muster, only a small number assembled ; but it was 
resolved to defend the passage of the bridge. A barri- 
cade was hastily thrown up at the south port of the bridge. 
On the 1 8th of June, Aboyne marched to the bridge 
with one hundred musketeers and a number of horse. 
Montrose's army was encamped on the heights above 
Banchory House ; and his force numbered two thousand 
men and some pieces of cannon. He commenced the 
attack on the defenders of the bridge by a cannonade. 
In spite of the cannon and musket shot, the defenders 
held the bridge for two days. Several attacks were made 
at close quarters, which were repulsed. Montrose's 



26 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

battering-rams were tried, but they had no effect on the 
barriers, and the gloom of night closed the first day's 
fighting. At break of day the struggle was re-commenced 
and continued. At last Montrose sent a body of men 
and horse up the south side of the river, moving as if 
they intended to ford it. This had the desired effect. 
Aboyne, with a company of the defenders left the bridge, 
and advanced up the north side of the river ; then 
Montrose's men opened fire on them, and at the same 
time redoubled the attack on the bridge.'. At four in the 
afternoon the bridge was taken. Montrose then marched 
in triumph into the city, imposed a heavy contribution 
upon the citizens, and subjected many of them to dis- 
graceful indignities. Several rude ballads on the conflict 
at the bridge, and the subsequent action of the Covenan- 
ters, are extant ; and the following lines are from one 
said to have been written when the bridge was taken : — 

" The Covenanters that ye see 

Come marching alongest the Green : 

Wer't not for feare of God, they say, 
They would plunder Aberdeine." 

After the Covenanting movement had developed, 
Montrose changed sides, and joined the King and 
the Royalist party. In 1644, he gathered an army and 
raised the Royal standard against the Covenanters. The 
citizens of Aberdeen were then under the Covenantinsr 
leaders ; and when tidings of Montrose's march north- 
ward reached the city, they resolved to guard the bridge, 
and mustered three thousand men to contest the passage 
of the river. But Montrose outwitted them, and forded 
the Dee at Crathes. On the 19th of September, 1644, 
he inflicted a severe defeat on the citizens of Aberdeen. 



ESTUARY— CULTS. 27 

On the east front of the wall of the bridge a stone 
is inserted showing how far the water of the great flood 
of August, 1829, came up. This flood was extremely 
disastrous to many of the bridges on the Dee, and also to 
many of those on its tributary streams. 

Standing on the Bridge of Dee and looking up the 
Valley the view is limited by the rising ground on the 
north side and the winding of the river ; still the scenery 
presents a pleasing aspect. After crossing to the south end 
of the bridge, a good road running in a westerly direction 
along the south side of the Valley passes through a 
stretch of lovely scenery all the way up to Banchory- 
Ternan. There is very little traffic on this road, a 
circumstance which to many lends a special charm to 
the serene beauty of nature around. The highway on 
the north side of the Valley commences at the termin- 
ation of Great Western Road. Near the suburb 
of Mannofield are the lower reservoirs connected 
with the supply of water for the city ; and there 
are other two reservoirs — Slopfield and Hillhead, con- 
nected with pumping stations erected in the Den of Cults. 

After passing the second milestone, a number of 
beautifully-situated mansions and villas attract the eye. 
They occupy the space from the north bank of the river 
to the top of the rising ground on the north side of the 
road. This ground from an early period was called the 
lands of Pitfodels, which extended from the Bridge of 
Dee on the east to Cults on the west, running along the 
north bank of the Dee, thence stretching northward over 
the high ridge on the north side of the turnpike road. 
At the beginning of the fourteenth century Pitfodels was 
held by a branch of the Moray family. In 1390, 



28 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

William Reid, a burgess of Aberdeen, acquired Pitfodels 
from William Moray ; and the Reids held it till the early 
part of the sixteenth century. The family of Menzies 
had obtained some portions of Pitfodels about the middle 
of the fifteenth century ; and Thomas Menzies married 
Marion, the only daughter of Alexander Reid of Pitfodels, 
and by her the Menzies family acquired the whole of the 
lands of Pitfodels. 

The Menzies for a long period were closely associated 
with the municipal government of Aberdeen. It is said 
that they were a branch of the Menzies of Weem, in 
Perthshire, and in the fourteenth century they appeared 
as burgesses of Aberdeen. In 1426, Gilbert Menzies 
became Provost of Aberdeen ; and in 1436 he was 
elected to represent the city in Parliament. He died 
about 1459. Another member of the family who suc- 
ceeded to Pitfodels in 1508, Gilbert Menzies, held the 
Provostship of Aberdeen for 24 years — between 1505 and 
1536. In 1535 he acquired the lands ofBlairs. He died 
in 1542, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas. 
He was elected Provost of Aberdeen in 1525, and held 
office for many years; he died in 1576. Thomas was 
succeeded by his eldest son, Gilbert, born in 1522. He 
was elected Provost of Aberdeen in 1576, and held office 
to 1588. He died in 1589, and was succeeded by his son 
George. He married Margaret, a daughter of Irvine of 
Drum, by whom he had issue. George Menzies died in 
1622, and was succeeded by his son, Gilbert, who attained 
some distinction. In harmony with the tradition of the 
family, he was a firm Roman Catholic, a loyal and warm 
supporter of Charles I., and strongly opposed to the 
Covenanters. As a consequence of this attitude he was 



ESTUARY— CULTS. 29 

much oppressed. He was knighted by Charles I. In 
the unfortunate rising by Montrose in 1650 Menzies' 
eldest son acted as standard-bearer ; and at the skirmish 
of Invercharron he declined to retire, and was slain on 
the field. 

In 1745, Gilbert Menzies of Pitfodels joined the Rising, 
and equipped a detachment of twenty-five men to support 
the cause of Prince Charles. John Menzies, in 1805, ex- 
posed the lands of Pitfodels for sale. No purchaser 
however, appeared ; and he then feued several portions 
of the lands ; and the remainder was purchased by a 
joint stock company, who have feued off and sold it in 
separate lots. John Menzies died at Edinburgh, in 1843, 
at the advanced age of eighty-seven years ; and he was 
the last of the male line of the family. 

Mr. Menzies was a cultured gentleman. He be- 
queathed the greater part of his wealth to the Roman 
Catholic Church. 

The site of Menzies Castle was on a spot near the 
east side of Norwood Hall, but not a vestige of it 
remains. 

i\s indicated above, the greater part of the lands of 
Pitfodels is now studded with beautiful mansions and 
villas, each of which stands amid v/ell laid out and 
carefully kept grounds. They mostly belong to manu- 
facturers and gentlemen engaged in business in Aberdeen, 
and retired gentlemen. A few of them may be 
mentioned. Norwood Hall is the residence of Mr. 
James Ogston, a partner of the well-known firm of soap 
manufacturers ; Garthdee, the residence of the late Mr. 
Alexander Edmond, advocate, Aberdeen ; Inchgarth, 
the residence of the late Captain George S. Tayler ; 



30 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Woodlands, the residence of Mr. Robert Collie, advocate ; 
Cliff House, the residence of Mr. James Catto, merchant ; 
and Viewbank, the residence of Mr. James Collie, 
advocate, Aberdeen. 

The Deeside Railway has contributed much to the 
development of the resources of the Valley, and to the 
increase of the population of its villages and towns. 
This line was opened for traffic to Banchory-Ternan in 
September, 1853 ; and between Aberdeen and Banchory 
there are seven intermediate stations.' Afterwards, the 
line was extended to Charlestown of Aboyne, and 
opened for traffic in December, 1859. It was farther 
extended to Ballater, and opened in 1866. The entire 
length of the line from Aberdeen to Ballater is forty- 
three-and-a-half miles. The railway has drawn to itself 
the traffic on both sides of the Valley, and the turnpike 
roads are comparatively little used. 

The suburban village of Cults has rapidly extended 
in recent years. It stands on a fine situation with a 
southern exposure. The villas and cottages are neat 
and clean, and present the features of convenience and 
comfort. A considerable number of excellent dwelling- 
houses have been erected on both sides of the line in the 
vicinity of the station. The village has beautiful and 
attractive surroundings, and is a charming locality. 

The communication between the north and south 
sides of the parish was carried on by the use of a boat 
until 1837. In that year a foot-bridge was erected 
across the river by Dr. Morison, the minister of the 
parish. The bridge cost ;^I400, and Dr. Morison also 

I In connection with the suburban trains between Aberdeen and Culter, several 
new side stations were opened in 1894. 



ESTUARY— CULTS, 31 

left a sum of money " to maintain and uphold it in time 
coming." He was popular among his congregation, and 
died in 1845. He was succeeded by Rev. William Paul, 
who received the degree of D.D. from the University of 
Aberdeen. Dr. Paul is the author of several works — 
on the Book of Genesis ; " The Scriptural Account of 
Creation " ; the " Books of Moses " ; and a small 
interesting volume entitled " The Past and Present of 
Aberdeenshire." Dr. Paul died in 1884, and was 
succeeded by Rev. William F. Lawrence, M.A., the 
present minister of the parish. 

Owing to the rapid increase of the population of 
Cults, it was resolved to erect a mission hall, which 
stands on the north side of the road a short distance to 
the west of the village. Afterwards, it was formed into 
a mission church ; and, in 1888, Rev. Charles S. Christie 
was appointed to the charge. 

Shortly after the Disruption it was deemed necessary 
to erect a Free Church at Cults. On a site about 
three hundred yards north of the highway, near the 
village, a church was erected, and opened in 1844. For 
a number of years probationers discharged the func- 
tions connected with the church. But in 1861 the 
Rev. William Anderson was appointed. He performed 
his duties to the congregation with much acceptance, 
and was greatly esteemed in the locality. Failing health 
constrained him to relinquish his work, and he died in 1879. 
He was succeeded by the Rev. Charles A. Salmond, who 
continued to minister to the congregation until 1881. 
He was succeeded by the Rev. Robert W^ Barbour. 
Mr. Barbour was an exceedingly kind-hearted and 
scholarly man. He worked very hard, and took a keen 



32 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

interest in everything relating to the welfare of the 
congregation. Unhappily, owing to failing health, he 
resigned the charge, much to the regret of his congrega- 
tion, the inhabitants of Cults, and many others in the 
neighbourhood, who appreciated the character and worth 
of Mr. Barbour. He died recently at Bonskeid, in 
Perthshire. The Rev. Hugh Morrison was appointed to 
the charge of the Free Church congregation of Cults 
in 1887. 

In 1650, the lands of Cults belonged to Mr. Alexander 
Thomson, advocate, Aberdeen. He was succeeded in 
1674 by his son, John, who was served heir to " the lands 
of Cults, the mill, mill lands, and multures, with the 
fishings on the water of Dee belonging thereto in the 
Parish of Banchory-Devenick, and the sheriffdom of 
Aberdeen, held in chief from the king and his successors 
for service of ward and relief." In 1679, Thomson sold 
the estate to Robert Irvine, a son of John Irvine of 
Murtle. In the Poll Book of 1696, the lands of Cults 
were entered at ;^286, on which Irvine for himself and 
his wife was taxed £(^ 12s., and also a tax of ;^2 2s. for 
his six children. For many years Irvine acted as a 
Commissioner of Supply. He died in 1728, at the 
advanced age of eighty-nine years. 

In 1750, Alexander Livingstone, Provost of Aberdeen, 
purchased the estate of Cults from the Irvines. Shortly 
after he entered into partnership with John Dingwall, 
William M'Kenzie, and Andrew Walker, and under the 
name of the Porthill Company, erected a linen manu- 
factory. This undertaking did not prosper; the company 
suspended payment in 1763, and the ex-provost was 
deeply involved. He sold off all his assets, including the 



ESTUARY— CULTS, 33 

lands of Cults, Countesswells, and Loanhead, and thus 
satisfied the creditors. Livingstone then went to Rotter- 
dam, and engaged in business there as a merchant and a 
banker, and shortly amassed a considerable fortune. He 
died in 1783. 

George Chambers, a merchant in Edinburgh, in 1763, 
purchased the lands of Cults for ;^io,5oo. He did not 
hold the estate long, for in 1774 William Durward was 
returned as the owner of it. Toward the close of the last 
century the lands of Cults and Bieldside were held by 
John Burnett of Countesswells. In 1804, he sold them 
in separate lots ; and George Symmers, merchant, 
Aberdeen, purchased two of the lots, which are now 
known as the estate of West Cults. Mr. Symmers 
executed a deed of entail, and after his death, in 1839, 
the lands went to Mr. George Shirra Gibb. Mr. Gibb 
was a quiet, homely, and exceedingly genial gentleman. 
He enlarged the mansion house, and erected a number 
of new houses on the estate. Mr. Gibb disentailed the 
estate in 1876. He died in 1880, leaving the estate to be 
managed by his trustees, who have been feuing it off 



Chapter IV. 

BANCHORY— ARDO—HEATHCOT. 

The lands of Banchory lie on the south side of the 
Valley, in the Parish of Banchory-Devenick, Kincardine- 
shire. In 1 163, Malcolm IV. granted the Church of 
Banchory-Devenick, with its lands and pertinents, to the 
See of Oldmachar — the Church was a prebend of the 
Cathedral. Alexander II. gave the superiority of the 
lands of Banchory-Devenick to the Abbot of the 
Monastery of Arbroath in 1244, subject to an annual tax 
of one hundred shillings and other services. In 1256, 
Abbot Walter granted a charter of the lands of 
Banchory to Alan Durward, the Justiciary of Scotland. 
During the minority of Alexander III., Alan Durward 
was one of the most powerful nobles in the south of 
Scotland. Having married a natural daughter of 
Alexander II., he even aspired to the throne of Scotland. 
The Abbot of Arbroath gave the lands of Banchory- 
Devenick to Alan Durward, to be held by him and his 
heirs, in return for his homage and service ; and " for 
confirming his claim more peacefully, freely, and 
honourably, he and his heirs paying to our successors 
three marks of silver, and giving to the King such 
service as pertains in all things to the said lands." 

After the death of Alexander III., and during the 
"War of Independence, a large portion of the land of the 
kingdom changed owners ; and the Valley of the Dee 
had its share of these changes. It appears that Alan 



BANCHORY. 35 

Durward and his successors did not manage to retain 
the lands of Banchory very long, and they reverted to 
the Abbacy of Arbroath. :L3352J,_7 

In 1333, it was agreed among the religious men and 
the Abbot of Arbroath, on the one hand, and William 
Meldrum, son of John Meldrum, on the other hand : — 
" That the Abbot and Convent of the Monastery unani- 
mously consent to give over, to be held in feu, their 
whole lands of Banchory-Devenick, with pertinents, to 
William Meldrum ; and to be held by him and his heirs 
from the Abbot and Convent and their successors in feu 
for ever, with all the liberties thereto belonging. That 
the said William, for the whole period of his life, shall 
pay to the Monastery yearly for this land six marks 
sterling ; but his heirs shall pay yearly to the Monastery 
for this land forty shillings sterling. Besides, the said 
William and his heirs shall be bound to pay to the King 
;!^5 yearly for this land, and shall make payment in the 
Court of Aberdeen for the same, and render all services 
which are incumbent, or in the future may be incumbent, 
on this land. That the said William, nor his heirs, shall 
in nowise sell, assign, or give over to be held in feu, or 
alienate this land in any way without the special licence 
of the men of the Monastery ; that, if they do so, 
then, they shall lose all claim to this land." In 1346, 
William Meldrum received another charter confirming 
the above, which repeated the prohibition to sell the 
land. 

This William Meldrum was the ancestor of the 
Meldrums of Fyvie. The Meldrums continued to hold 
the lands of Banchory till past the middle of the 
1 6th century. In 1555, Sir George Meldrum of Fyvie 



36 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

granted a charter, by which George Garden of 
Dorlaithers acquired the lands of Banchory. George 
Garden was one of the embassy sent by James VI. to 
Denmark in 1589, in connection with the marriage of 
the King and Princess Anne. He was succeeded in 
1590 by his son, Arthur. He married a daughter of 
Gordon of Gight, by whom he had issue. Arthur was 
succeeded by his son, Alexander, but he became 
embarrassed in circumstances. In 1623, he sold the 
lands of Banchory to William Forbes of Monymusk. 

In 1626, William Forbes was knighted by Charles 
I. He granted a wadset of the lands of Ban- 
chory for a sum of 13,840 marks, advanced by his 
brother, John Forbes of Leslie, and William and 
Alexander, his own sons. The agreement provided that, 
in the event of the Forbeses of Leslie paying a further 
sum of 6000 marks within seven years, then they should 
obtain the lands of Banchory as if they had purchased 
them. A lawsuit ensued, touching the lawful rights 
of parties ; and, finally, it was settled in favour of 
John Forbes of Leslie, and he thus secured the lands of 
Banchory ; and Parliament ratified his title. He had 
acquired the lands of Leslie in 1620 by paying the debts 
then lying upon them ; and he managed to obtain 
several other estates on easy terms. He was a great 
Covenanter, and engaged in the conflicts of his time. 

John Forbes was succeeded by his son, William. He 
married a sister of Lord Duffus, by whom he had issue. 
William Forbes died in 1670, aged fifty-five years ; and 
^was succeeded by his son, John. In 1682, he sold the 
lands of Banchory to Robert Cruickshank, merchant, 
Aberdeen. Mr. Cruickshank was Provost of Aberdeen 



BANCHORY. 37 

from 1693 to 1696. He also represented the city in Parlia- 
ment from 1693 to 1702. In 1724, Mr. Cruickshank 
sold the estate of Banchory to James Gordon, merchant, 
Aberdeen. 

In; 1743, Mr. Gordon sold the lands of Banchory to 
Alexander Thomson, advocate, Aberdeen. In 1768, 
Mr. Thomson mortified a sum of £<, for behoof of the 
poor of the Parish of Banchory-Devenick, payable 
annually after his death, from the lands of Kirkton of 
Banchory. He entailed the whole of his estates, and 
gave ample reasons for this to guide his trustees : — " It 
may be proper to let my friends knov/ some of the 
reasons for executing the deed of entail of my lands of 

Banchory I have many times considered 

the circumstances of my ancient friends and relations 
now dead, that those who made any figure in the world, 
and acquired a competency of means, their eldest sons 
and successors squandered away their estates, and spent 
the same in a foolish, profuse, idle way.'" He then 
proceeds to give illustrative instances. He died in 1773, 
at the age of eighty-two years. 

He was succeeded by his nephew, Andrew Thomson. 
Andrew married Mary, a daughter of Dr. Skene, of 
Aberdeen, and had issue — two sons and one daughter. 
He died in 1781, aged thirty-four years. He was 
succeeded by his eldest son, Andrew, who was born in 
1 77 1, and educated at the University of Aberdeen. He 
married Helen, a daughter of Dr. Robert Hamilton, 
Professor of Natural Philosophy in Marischal College. 
He died in 1806, aged thirty-two years, and was succeeded 

I Henderson's History of Banchor^'-Devenick ; Register of the 
Monastery of Arbroath. 



38 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

by his son, Alexander, a boy of eight years. Alexander 
was educated at the Grammar School of Aberdeen, and 
Marischal College, and graduated in 1816. He then 
proceeded to Edinburgh, and studied for the Scottish 
Bar, and in 1820 he passed as advocate, but never 
entered into practice. 

He directed his attention to the improvement of his 
estates, and to county business. He erected the present 
mansion house of Banchory on the site of the old one. 
The house stands on a fine elevated position, and is a 
pretty large and commodious structure, with the front 
and entrance towards the south. The gardens are large, 
and enclosed with very high walls. There are two 
approaches to the house — one on the east and the other on 
the west — and the pleasure grounds are extensive. 

In the Disruption struggle, Mr. Thomson took an 
active part, and spent time and means in promoting 
the cause of the Free Church. Dr. Chalmers visited 
Mr. Thomson at Banchory House in September, 1843 5 
and on the lOth Dr. Chalmers preached on the lawn to 
a great assemblage. In the General Assembly of the 
Free Church of 1844, Mr. Thomson proposed a scheme 
for providing manses to the ministers; and the institution 
of a Theological Hall in Aberdeen was warmly supported 
by him. He occasionally directed his attention to 
antiquarian and geological subjects, and also inquiries 
touching the social condition of the people. Whatever 
matter he took up, he pursued it earnestly and honestly. 
In 1859, when the late Prince Consort presided at the 
meeting of the British Association held at Aberdeen, 
Mr. Thomson had the honour of entertaining the Prince 
at Banchory House. In commemoration of this event, 



BANCHORY. 39 

he erected a granite obelisk on the Cotcraig Rock at 
Tollo Hill. Though his health began to fail, he still 
continued to pursue the subjects which interested him, 
and published a number of pamphlets on antiquarian 
and scientific subjects. He died on the 20th May, 1868, 
at the age of seventy years. Under his trust settlement 
he bequeathed to the Free Church College of Aberdeen, 
i^i6,ooo, and also the very valuable Library and Museum 
which he had collected at Banchory House. He was 
the founder of the Thomson Science Lectureship in the 
College. 

In 1872, Mr. Thomson's trustees sold the lands of 
Banchory for £y6,ooo, to the late Mr. John Stewart, comb 
manufacturer, Aberdeen. Mr. Stewart was a man of 
exceptional ability and energy. 

In 1830, Mr. John Stewart and Mr. Joseph Rowell 
commenced business as comb manufacturers in Meal- 
market Lane, Aberdeen, as equal partners, under the 
name of Stewart, Rowell, & Co. Both men possessed 
excellent and rare business abilities ; and their arduous 
and united efforts led to signal success. In 1835, the 
manufactory was removed to larger premises in Hutcheon 
Street, where the works and business were admirably 
managed and developed. Mr. Rowell was gifted with 
a methodical and organising faculty, and ingenious 
mechanical skill ; and the firm succeeded by the novel 
introduction of steam power and machinery, in producing 
an unprecedented quality of goods at prices which soon 
commanded the markets of the world ; while Mr. 
Stewart's commercial genius and tact, able and indomit- 
able enterprise successfully introduced the products of 
the firm ; and, in short, the two men were the counter- 



40 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

part of each other, in the founding and developing of this 
world-famous firm of comb manufacturers. Although 
Mr. Rowell retired in 185 1, and the firm then became 
Stewart, Rowell, Stewart, & Co., the establishment and 
the business continued to be conducted by Mr. Stewart 
on the same well founded lines ; and the works have 
been extended from time to time, and now occupy a 
large space of ground. 

Mr. John Stewart also entered into railway and 
shipping enterprises. For a number of years he was 
a director and also chairman of the Great North of 
Scotland Railway. Personally, he was a kind and 
warm-hearted gentleman. He died on the 25 th of 
January, 1887. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, David, the 
present head of the firm. Mr. Stewart is an active and 
able business man, and much respected in the com- 
munity. In 1889 he was unanimously elected Lord 
Provost of the city of Aberdeen ; and he was re-elected 
for a second term of office. 

The Parish Church stands within the graveyard, on 
the south bank of the Dee, and was erected in 1822. 
It is a plain structure. The burial ground has been 
recently extended. There is a large number of tomb- 
stones and headstones in the churchyard, but none of 
them of an early date. A Free Church was erected in 
1844, about a mile to the south of the Parish Church. 
The remains of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomson of 
Banchory were interred in it. 

The scenery on the south side of the Valley, when 
viewed from the opposite side, presents a pleasing 
prospect. There is a charming variety and contrast of 



ARDO. 41 

level haugh, gentle slope, moderate heights, woods, and 
cultivated fields. Ardo House, amid plantations and 
pleasure grounds, is a striking object in the landscape, 
while Heathcot also attracts the eye, Nature and Art 
having co-operated to enhance the external beauty. On 
the north side of the Valley the ground is undulated and 
intersected with slight heights, which are cultivated or 
covered with woods. There is also a greater number of 
villas and cottages on the north side of the river than on 
the south side. 

The estate of Ardo was held by the Meldrums of Fyvie 
in the fifteenth century, and in 1582, George Meldrum 
of Fyvie granted a charter of the lands of Ardo to David 
Mar. Mr. Mar was one of the Bailies of Aberdeen, and 
he also represented the city in Parliament. He sold 
Ardo in 1586, and subsequently the estate passed through 
a number of different owners. In 17 14, John Gordon 
acquired Ardo through his great-grandfather, James 
Gordon. He sold the lands in 1747 to John 
Fordyce, merchant, Huntly, for the sum of ;^2 1,400 
Scots. 

Mr. Fordyce married a daughter of Irvine of Cults, 
by whom he had a daughter. He greatly improved the 
estate and the condition of the tenants. He died in 1794, 
and was succeeded by his only daughter, Agnes. She 
lived in a quiet style, and was exceedingly kind to the 
tenants on the estate. Miss Fordyce died in 1834, at the 
age of seventy-six years, and was interred in the parish 
church of Banchory-Devenick. She bequeathed ^lOO to 
the poor people of the parish; and left the estate of Ardo 
to Andrew Watson, advocate, Aberdeen, who was her 
law agent, but in no way related to her. He then 



42 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

assumed the name of Fordyce ; but he died in 1837, aged 
only twenty-six years. 

His representatives in 1839 sold Ardo to the late Mr. 
Alexander Ogston, soap manufacturer in Aberdeen. In 
1853, Mr. Ogston sold the portion of the estate called 
Cotbank, to the Rev. Dr. James Gillan, who never resided 
on the lands. Mr. Ogston died on nth October, 1869. 
His son, Mr. Alexander M. Ogston, purchased the estate 
from the trustees of his father in 1870, and in 1873, he 
bought the lands of Cotbank from the Rev. James Gillan, 
a son of the Dr. Gillan above mentioned. In 1880, Mr. 
Ogston also purchased the estate of Heathcot, which lies 
adjacent to Ardo. 

In I'^'j'j-'jZ, Mr. Ogston erected the new mansion 
house of Ardo. It stands on a fine elevated situation, 
and is an imposing structure, built in the Scottish 
baronial style of architecture. The grounds are admir- 
ably laid out, and the mansion is sheltered by thriving 
plantations, which lend a shade of serenity to the 
surroundings. 

Heathcot once formed a part of the estate of 
Auchlunies, but in 1793 it was sold by Mr. Ogilvie, 
collector of customs at Aberdeen, to Thomas Gordon of 
Premnay. He was succeeded in 1820 by his sister. 
Lady Mary Bannerman, widow of Sir Alexander B. 
Bannerman, who was a Professor of Medicine in King's 
College, Aberdeen, in the later part of the last century. 
In 1822, Mr. John Garioch acquired the estate of 
Heathcot. He erected a new mansion house, planted 
wood, and otherwise improved the lands. He was suc- 
ceeded by his sister, Margaret, and after her death, her 
trustees sold the estate to James Fraser, merchant, 



HEATHCOT. 43 

Aberdeen. After his death, the estate was purchased by 
the late Mr. i\dam Mitchell, builder. 

Mr. Mitchell was a native of the Parish of Kenneth- 
mont, and served his apprenticeship with the firm of 
Macdonald & Leslie, Aberdeen Granite Works. He 
carried on business as a builder for upwards of twenty 
years, and executed many important contracts. One of 
his large undertakings was the construction of the 
Denburn railway and the Joint Station at Aberdeen. 
He erected bridges over the Don at Strathdon and 
Kinaldie, built the mansion houses of Glenmuick, Corse, 
Lochinver, and others, and the Palace Buildings, 
Aberdeen. It was during Mr. Mitchell's proprietorship of 
Heathcot that the mansion was converted into a hydro- 
pathic establishment. Mr. Mitchell died on the 28th of 
January, 1877. 

Heathcot House stands on a fine level plain, about a 
quarter of a mile from the south bank of the Dee. It is 
a pretty large structure, built in the cottage style, and it 
is well sheltered by woods. Rev. Dr. Alex. Stewart has 
conducted the popular hydropathic establishment with 
remarkable success for a period of seventeen years. 

A short distance west of Heathcot is the mansion of 
Shannaburn, on the bank of a stream. Shannaburn once 
formed a part of the lands of Auchlunies. In the early 
part of the present century Shannaburn belonged to 
George Hogg, merchant in Aberdeen. He died in 1826, 
at the age of seventy-eight years. Shannaburn was the 
property and residence of the late John Reid, advocate, 
Aberdeen. About three-quarters of a mile to the south 
is the house of Auchlunies. In 18 10, the estate of 
Auchlunies was purchased by Alexander Gordon. He 



44 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

held it till 1834, and then sold it to Mr. Peter Duguid, 
merchant, Aberdeen. Mr. Duguid died in 1838, and was 
succeeded by his son, Peter, the present owner of the 
estate. Mr. Duguid resided for many years at the house 
of Auchlunies, but he now resides at the fine old mansion 
on his estate of Bourtie, while his brother, William, 
occupies the house of Auchlunies. Mr. Peter Duguid is 
a cultured and exceedingly genial gentleman. 



Chapter V. 
MURTLE— EDGEHILL— CULTER HOUSE— PAPER WORKS. 

Turning to the north side of the Valley, immediately 
beyond Cults House there are a considerable number of 
very fine villas and cottages, on both sides of the road 
nearly all the way to the village of Culter. On the north 
side of the road is Lynwood, the residence of the late Mr. 
George D. Rutherford, advocate. It is a very fine villa. 
In the immediate vicinity, on the same side of the road, is 
the residence of General Brown. The General has lived 
a quiet life in this beautiful spot for a number of years. 
He has seen many parts of the world, his range of infor- 
mation is wide and varied, and his conversation is exceed- 
ingly interesting and instructive. A short distance 
onward is Fernielee, the residence of Mr. M'Laren, 
merchant. On the south side of the road is Newton Dee, 
the residence of Colonel Johnston. 

Bieldside lies between Cults and Murtle, and is in the 
Parish of Peterculter. It was purchased by Mr. Corbet 
in 1805, and the mansion house was erected in 181 1. He 
died in 1844, and was succeeded by his son, the Rev. Dr. 
Adam Corbet. He was minister of Drumoak from 1826 
until his death in 1876. He bequeathed the estate in 
life-rent to his half-brother, Dr. James Corbet, who died 
recently. 

Dalhibity House stands on the east side of the Den of 
Murtle, and is the residence of Mr. John Whyte, advocate, 
Binghill lies on the west of the Den of Murtle ; and in a 



46 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

wood on this estate there are a stone circle and a large 
cairn. The aqueduct of the Aberdeen Waterworks is 
carried across the Den of Murtle. 

Murtle House stands on a fine site — an elevated bank 
on the north side of the Dee, and close to the east side of 
the Den. The house was erected by the late Mr. John 
Thurburn about sixty years ago. It is a pretty large 
structure, built in the Grecian style of architecture. It is 
well sheltered by woods, and the whole surroundings are 
exceedingly picturesque. The garden is situated in the 
sheltered Den, and it produces excellent fruit. 

In 1 163, Malcolm IV. granted the barony ol Murtle 
to the Bishop of Aberdeen, with its pertinents and 
common pasturage. This was confirmed by William the 
Lion. A curious incident afterward occurred in connec- 
tion with this grant. In 1383, the land of Murtle was 
occupied by John Crab, and an attempt was then made to 
reclaim it from him. A lawsuit ensued under rather 
suspicious forms. The Bishop held a Court for the 
examination of charters, from which Crab appealed to the 
Sheriff on the ground that it was incompetent for the 
Bishop to act in the character of judge and party in the 
case. The civil and the common law, and the laws and 
constitutions of the Kingdom were appealed to, but in 
the end the Church prevailed. In 1388, Bishop Adam 
granted the barony for life to William Chalmers, on the 
condition that he should pay a yearly rent of ten marks ; 
and in 1402 this agreement was renewed to his son, 
Thomas Chalmers. Shortly after. Bishop Henry, in 
recognition of a sum of money paid by Chalmers to the 
fabric of the Cathedral, and at the request of the Earl of 
Mar and Lord Gordon, extended Chalmers' lease for the 



MURTLE. 47 

life-time of his two successors. His son, Alexander 
Chalmers, succeeded, and he was twice Provost of 
Aberdeen — in 1443 and 1446. He died in 1463, and was 
interred in St. Nicholas Churchyard. In 1488, another 
Alexander Chalmers received a lease of the barony for 
life from the Bishop of Aberdeen, at an annual rent of 
ten marks. 

In 1550, the Bishop granted a feu charter to Andrew 
Buk of all the lands of Millton of Murtle, for an annual 
feu-duty of ;^3 lis. Scots, eight bolls of barley and meal 
in equal parts, four sheep, and twenty-four capons. His 
son, Thomas Buk, sold the lands to William Strachan. 
Afterward the lands passed through the hands of several 
persons. In 1659, Dr. William Guild's widow bequeathed 
the lands of Millton of Murtle to the Magistrates of 
Aberdeen, along with other lands, for the purpose of 
maintaining bursars at Marischal College and the 
Grammar School. 

Shortly after, the remainder of the lands of Murtle 
came into the possession of a branch of the Irvine family. 
In 1695, Alexander Irvine sold the Mains of Murtle, 
Oldfold, Stonegavel, Binghill, and Newton of Murtle to 
the Master of Mortifications of Aberdeen at the price of 
;^9463 Scots. In 1758-59, the Town Council divided the 
lands for feuing at the following rate of feu-duties — 
Binghill, £j 15s sterling and twelve bolls of meal; 
Oldfold, ^11 los sterling and sixteen bolls of meal ; 
Mains, £\^ and sixteen bolls of meal ; and Newton, £\6 
and eleven bolls of meal. These properties, subject to 
the above feu-duties, have often changed hands. 

At the beginning of the present century, the lands of 
Murtle attached to the mansion house were held by John 



48 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Gordon. He left large sums of money for charitable and 
religious objects, one of which was a sum of fifty pounds 
per annum for founding lectures on practical religion in 
the University of Aberdeen. 

In 1 82 1, Mr. Gordon's executors sold Murtle to Mr. 
John Thurburn. He was a native of Keith, Banffshire. 
As mentioned before, he erected a new mansion house 
and otherwise greatly improved the estate. Mr. Thurburn 
died on the 31st of January, 1861, at the advanced age of 
eighty years. Mrs. Thurburn survived him, and she 
founded the Thurburn Cooking Depot in Aberdeen for 
the benefit of working people. She died at Murtle on the 
24th of December, 1872. 

Mr. Thurburn's daughter, Anna, married Mr. William 
O. Maclaine, and had issue — two sons and one daughter. 
Mrs. Maclaine died on the loth of October, 1882, and her 
son, Mr. Thurburn Maclaine, succeeded to the estate. 
He was born in 1853, and married Miss Rachel Hay, a 
daughter of the Rev. Patrick L. Miller. In 1892, Mr. 
William Dunn, advocate, Aberdeen, purchased Murtle, 
and has been making improvements on the estate. 

Beaconhill stands on a fine elevated site on the south 
side of the turnpike road, and is the residence of 
Mr. William Yeats, advocate. It was erected about 
fourteen years ago, and is a pretty large mansion, 
surrounded with a fine variety of growing trees and 
beautiful pleasure grounds. 

Avondow House lies on the south side of the 
road, and is the residence of Mr. Alexander Skene, 
merchant. Farther on there are a number of fine 
villas. 

About three hundred yards from the north side of 



CULTER. 49 

the road, an elegant and massive mansion attracts the 
eye. It is Edgehill, the residence of the late Dr. John 
Webster. It is built of clear, light-coloured granite, and 
stands on a fine elevated site with a southern exposure. 
Dr. Webster took an active interest in the municipal 
affairs of Aberdeen ; he was a Town Councillor and 
Provost of the city. He also took a keen interest in 
the University of Aberdeen, and for thirty years he 
acted as assessor to the Lord Rector. 

Dr. Webster was a keen politician, and an active 
member of the Liberal Association, of which he was for 
several years president. On the death of Mr. Farley 
Leith, M.P., Dr. Webster came forward, in 1880, as the 
Liberal candidate for the city of Aberdeen. His opponent 
was the late Mr. James Shaw, who contested for the 
third time the honour of representing his native city in 
Parliament, Great efforts were made on Mr. Shaw's 
behalf, and he was hopeful of winning the seat ; he was, 
however, defeated by a large majority. Dr. Webster 
represented the city for five years, and proved in every 
respect an excellent member. He was specially attentive 
to all matters affecting the interest and honour of the 
city of Aberdeen, and to the requests of his constituents. 
Although he did not often speak in the House of 
Commons, when he did address the House, he was 
always listened to with the utmost respect. He was a 
man of rare tact, and admirably qualified to win con- 
fidence and influence. He retired on the dissolution of 
Parliament in 1885. After the adoption of Home Rule 
for Ireland, Dr. Webster, notwithstanding his admiration 
for Mr. Gladstone, and the warm personal friendship 
which had long existed between them, separated from 
E 



50 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

the Liberal party, and became a Unionist, and there is 
not the least doubt that he acted on the most con- 
scientious considerations. 

Personally, Dr. Webster was an unpretending gentle- 
man, and at all times easily accessible. Yet he had a 
characteristic polish and tact rarely met with even 
among the most cultured class of men. His genial 
company and conversation were widely known ; and 
many distinguished men who came to visit Aberdeen 
enjoyed and highly appreciated his hospitality at 
Edgehill. In the course of a long life he had collected 
a valuable library and a number of rare MSS. and 
letters ; he also manifested a taste for art, and the walls 
of his mansion were graced with many fine, valuable, 
and rare paintings. He was generous to charitable and 
benevolent institutions, and to all movements calculated 
to improve the condition of mankind. He died on the 
31st of May, 1 89 1, and was interred in the churchyard of 
St. Nicholas, Aberdeen. 

Camphill House stands on an elevated bank, a few 
hundred yards from the north brink of the Dee. It is a 
fine site, and the house is embosomed amid trees. 

Culter House is upon the rising ground to the north 
of the turnpike road. There is a tradition that it was 
built in the reign of Queen Mary. It is, however, an 
antiquated-looking structure, and was probably erected 
about the middle of the seventeenth century. 

In the early part of the thirteenth century the lands 
of Culter were held by the Durwards. In 1247, Robert 
Wauchope obtained Culter from Alexander II. ; but the 
lands of this family were forfeited at an early stage of 
the War of Independence ; and about the end of the 



CULTER. 51 

thirteenth century, Culter came into the hands of the 
Comyns, who continued in possession of it till 1729. 
James Comyn of Culter was one of the jury on the trial 
of the Master of Forbes for conspiracy against the life of 
James V. in 1537. During the Covenanting struggle, 
Sir Alexander Comyn and his family were subjected to 
severe persecution. In 1640, he was seized by General 
Munro, and conveyed to Edinburgh and imprisoned. 
He was detained in prison six months, and at last 
liberated on the payment of a heavy fine. In 1644, 
the Parliament empowered Lord Fraser to uplift the 
rents pertaining to Sir Alexander Comyn, who was 
described in the commission as a malignant, and as 
having aided the Irish rebels in this rebellion ! 

In 1672, Sir Alexander Comyn, the fourteenth laird 
of Culter, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia. The 
last Scotch Parliament passed an Act empowering him 
and his heirs to hold markets upon the Moor of Beans- 
hill, on the second Thursday of March and October yearly, 
for the sale of all kinds of goods. He was succeeded by 
his son, Alexander, who became an advocate. But he 
appears to have been an extremely eccentric character ; 
and engaged in wild and bootless projects, which resulted 
in his becoming helplessly involved in debt ; and he died 
in the Charter House, London. 

Large sums of money had been lent on the security 
of the lands of Culter by Patrick Duff of Premnay, a 
scion of the Duffs of Craigston. As the conditions of 
the loan had not been implemented by the borrower, in 
1729 Mr. Duff obtained the lands of Culter by a decree 
of sale of the Court of Session. Patrick Duff died in 
1763, leaving no issue. He was succeeded by his brother 
Robert, Admiral Duff. 



52 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

He had rendered important service to his country. 
Admiral Duff was commander-in-chief of the Mediter- 
ranean Squadron for some years, and he successfully 
defended Gibraltar in the great seige of 1779-83. He 
married Helen, a daughter of the first Earl of Fife, and 
had issue, three sons and one daughter. He acquired the 
estate of Fetteresso in 1782. He died in 1787, and was 
interred in a fine tomb at Culter. He was succeeded by 
his son, Robert W. Duff of Fetteresso. Robert married 
Mary, a daughter of George Morison of Haddo, a grand- 
daughter of General James Abercromby of Glassaugh, 
and had issue. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the 
Forfarshire Militia. He died in 1834, and his son, 
Robert W. Duff succeeded to the estates of Culter and 
Fetteresso. Mr. Duff died in 1861, and was succeeded 
by his nephew, Robert W. Duff. He is proprietor of 
Culter, Glassaugh, and Fetteresso. He was elected 
member of Parliament for Banffshire in 1861, and con- 
tinued to represent the county till the spring of 1893. 
He then retired on being appointed Governor of New 
South Wales. Having received the honour of knighthood, 
Sir Robert sailed for his new home to assume the 
functions of Governor of the colony. 

The Parish Church of Peterculter stands on the 
north bank of the Dee, and was erected in 1779, and 
contains 550 sittings. The original church was dedicated 
to St. Peter. The Free Church stands at the southern 
base of Beanshill. 

The village of Culter has arisen in connection with 
the paper works on the Burn of Culter. It contains a 
few shops, and a public hall on the north side of the 
road. Most of the houses are occupied by the people 



CULTER. 53 

engaged at the works. The Burn of Culter is crossed 
by a bridge at a rather romantic and picturesque spot. 
Above the bridge there are projecting crags on either 
side of the narrow den, but the crags are highest on the 
east, and there a wooden statue has been placed — 
dressed in the character of Rob Roy ! A Httle further 
up, the Den has been turned into a reservoir, and the 
water used for motive power. The paper works are 
on a haugh below the bridge. 

In 1750, Bartholomew Smith obtained a long lease 
of a site for a paper work from Patrick Duff of Culter, 
on the banks of the Culter Burn. For a long time the 
works were on a small scale. Mr. Smith was succeeded 
by his son, Richard, and Lewis Smith continued the 
manufactory ; but only about six men were employed at 
the works towards the end of the last century. In 1820, 
the works were acquired by Alexander Irvine, and car- 
ried on under the name of Irvine & Company till 1837, 
when the mills were purchased by Messrs. Arbuthnot & 
M'Combie. In 1840, the machinery was driven by two 
large water wheels ; and sixty hands were employed at 
the works. The papers then produced in the establish- 
ment were browns, cartridges, and all kinds of wrapping 
papers. In 1856, the Messrs. Pirie, of Stoneywood, pur- 
chased the mills; but, in 1865, they sold them to the 
Culter Mills Paper Company. The production was then 
about fifteen tons per week. Recently the works have 
been greatly extended, new machinery and improved 
appliances requisite for the various processes of the 
manufactures have been introduced ; and the weekly 
produce of paper is upward of sixty tons — or about 
thirty-two hundred tons per annum. The motive power 



54 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

for the machinery is mainly suppHed by steam engines, 
and partly by water, which make a total of over one 
thousand horse power. There are two paper-making 
machines, each seventy-two inches wide, a number of 
cutting, burnishing, super-calendaring, and folding 
machines, &c. The electric light is fitted into the 
principal rooms ; and the gas consumed by the Com- 
pany is also made at the works. The works are built 
of granite, and now cover a large space of ground. 
The railway siding runs into and through the mill, 
round the building, through the grass sheds and 
dust house, passing close to the steam boilers, and 
thus coal can be tipped from the trucks. The manu- 
factures of the Company consists of various qualities and 
styles of the finest writing papers, excellent printing 
papers, and other kinds of papers ; and the products of 
the Company have attained a high reputation in the 
markets of the world. Between four and five hundred 
hands are employed at the works. 

Farther down the Burn, and near its junction with 
the Dee, there was once a snuff manufactory, which 
belonged to the late William M'Combie of Easter Skene. 
In 1843, the factory consisted of a small square thatched 
building. The machinery was driven by a water-wheel 
of eight-horse power ; and three hundred weight of snuff 
was produced per week — or about eight tons per annum. 
This factory was worked by one man, who attended to 
the machinery. 

The M'Combies are a branch of the Clan Mackintosh. 
Their original ancestor was Adam Mackintosh, a son of 
William, the seventh chief of the Clan Mackintosh. The 
Mackintoshes had possessions in Glenshee, Strathardle, 
Glenisla, and Birse in the fourteenth century. The 



CULTER. 55 

M'Combies settled at Finnegand, in Glenshee, about the 
end of the fourteenth century ; and they had also 
possessions in Glenisla. They migrated to Aberdeen- 
shire in the latter half of the seventeenth century, and 
settled first in the parish of Tough ; and rose from the 
position of farmers to landed proprietors. 

William M'Combie, the eldest son of Thomas 
M'Combie of Easter Skene, was born at Aberdeen in 
1802. He was educated at Marischal College, and 
graduated in 1820. On the death of his father in 1824, 
he succeeded to the estate of Easter Skene, and com- 
menced to make improvements, which were continued 
to his death. He planted trees, and erected the spacious 
mansion house of Easter Skene, which is built in the 
Elizabethan style of architecture. It stands on a fine 
elevated site, amid wood and belts of trees, commanding 
a wide prospect of the surrounding country, having the 
Loch of Skene and the lower range of the Grampians 
for the front view. He was a skilful farmer, and a 
successful breeder of cattle. Mr. M'Combie had a keen 
literary and antiquarian taste ; and he spent much time 
and attention in investigating the history of his ances- 
tors ; and he rejoiced exceedingly when their descent 
from the Clan Mackintosh was successfully established. 
He had a well-selected and very valuable library in his 
mansion of Easter Skene ; and he had a rare store of 
interesting and curious information. Mr. M'Combie was 
a man of remarkable stature, being over six feet in height, 
and well built. Personally, he was a very kind and 
warm-hearted man, and easily accessible. He died on 
the 4th July, 1890, at the advanced age of eighty-eight. 

Mr. Peter Duguid, advocate, Aberdeen, succeeded to 
the estate of Easter Skene. 



Chapter VI. 

MARYCULTER— DURRIS. 

On the south side of the Valley, the scenery appears 
more beautiful as we proceed upward ; while the historic 
facts and incidents associated with special localities and 
families become more interesting. 

In 1 1 87, the greater part of the parish of Maryculter 
was granted by William the Lion to the Knights 
Templars ; on their suppression by the Pope in 1 3 1 2, the 
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem succeeded to the lands, 
which they retained until the middle of the sixteenth 
century — a period when a considerable part of the land of 
Scotland passed into the hands of new owners. 

About the middle of the thirteenth century, Walter 
Bisset founded a preceptory of the Knights Templars ; 
and they erected a chapel dedicated to St. Mary, which 
was consecrated in 1288. This chapel stood on the south 
bank of the Dee, in the immediate vicinity of Maryculter 
House, where its ruins may still be seen. It was a long, 
narrow structure of eighty-two feet in length and twenty- 
eight feet in width, with walls three feet thick. The old 
graveyard is beside the ruins of the chapel. About a mile 
to the south a new church was erected, on an elevated 
site, in 1787 ; and a new churchyard was formed. 

The Templars abandoned their home and chapel in 
Maryculter in the year 1548. In 1563, the whole lands of 
the order of St. John Templars were erected into a 
temporal barony for Lord Torphichen. Afterwards these 



MARYCULTER, 57 

lands passed through other hands, which will be indicated 
as I proceed. 

The extent of the estate of Blairs is eleven hundred 
acres, extending from the banks of the river southward to 
the limit of the Parish of Maryculter. The soil along the 
river side is good and well cultivated. In 1535, Gilbert 
Menzies of Pitfodels acquired this estate from the religious 
order before mentioned ; and the transaction was con- 
firmed in 1542 by a charter under the great Seal. The 
estate, however, fell into other hands before the end of 
the sixteenth century. But toward the end of the last 
century it was again acquired by Captain David Menzies. 
He was succeeded by his nephew, John Menzies, 
mentioned in a preceding chapter ; and he bequeathed 
the mansion and lands of Blairs to the Roman Catholic 
Bishops of Scotland in 1827, for the establishment of a 
Roman Catholic College. A few years later the institu- 
tion was opened, under the name of St. Mary's College. 

The College has a resident president and a staff of 
professors ; and at present over eighty students, all of 
them in residence. Candidates for the priesthood com- 
mence their course in the institution, and after passing in 
the arts classes, they then proceed for the study of 
divinity and philosophy to the Scots Colleges at Paris, 
Rome, or the Diocesan Seminary at Glasgow. 

The library of St. Mary's College contains a consider- 
able number of rare and very valuable works, and also 
historic MSS. of much interest. Numerous paintings of 
merit and rare interest grace the walls of the institution. 
There are two portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, one a 
full length, a striking picture ; and the other a three- 
quarter size ; and both are greatly admired. Portraits of 



58 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Cardinal Beaton, Prince Charles Edward, and of several 
Scottish Bishops form a part of the invaluable treasures 
of the College. 

A little further up the Valley, on the south side of the 
road, stands Marybank, the residence of William 
Mackintosh. During the trenching and laying out of 
the grounds a stone cist and urn were found. 

The mansion house of Kingcausie is situated on the 
rising ground, about a quarter of a mile from the south 
bank of the river. The house and lawn front the Dee. 
The background is sheltered with trees ; and the pleasure 
grounds are beautiful. A little to the west of the 
mansion is a romantic little waterfall called the Corbie 
Linn, on a small stream. The locality is noted for its 
flora. 

In 1535, Henry Irvine, a son of Alexander Irvine of 
Drum, acquired the lands of Kingcausie from the Knights 
Templars ; and John Irvine was the proprietor of the 
estate in 1592. He was succeeded by his son, Alexander 
Irvine, and this branch of the Irvine family continued to 
hold the estate. James Irvine of Kingcausie joined the 
Earl of Mar in the Rising of 171 5 ; and he accompanied 
Earl Marischal when the Pretender was proclaimed King 
at the Cross of Aberdeen. The succession in the male line 
having failed, the estate passed to Anne Irvine; and in 1783 
she married Claude Boswell, advocate, subsequently Lord 
Balmuto, by whom she had a son and two daughters. 
Their son, John Irvine-Boswell succeeded to the estate. 
He married Margaret, a daughter of Mr. Christie of 
Durie. Mr. Irvine-Boswell died in i860, at the age of 
seventy-five years ; and a massive granite monument was 
erected to his memory by his widow, which stands upon 



IMARYCULTER. 69 

the hill of Auchlunies. He left no issue, and one of his 
sisters died unmarried ; while his other sister married 
Mr. Syme, drawing-master at Dollar Academy, by whom 
she had a son and a daughter. The son succeeded to 
Balmuto, in Fife, and the daughter became heiress of 
Kingcausie. She married Mr. Archer Fortescue of 
Swanbister, in Orkney, the present proprietor. 

The mansion house of Maryculter is placed on a bank 
overhanging the south side of the Dee, and embosomed 
amid wood. The natural beauty of the site and the 
scene around it is serene and pleasing to the eye. The 
avenue leading to it runs west along the south side of the 
river for a mile, and on either side it is lined by fine old 
trees. A portion of the house was probably built in the 
seventeenth century, and it was thoroughly repaired and 
considerably enlarged in the first quarter of the present 
century by General Gordon. 

In 1618, the house of Maryculter and the adjoining 
lands were purchased by George Menzies of Pitfodels. 
In 181 1, the estate was bought by General Gordon from 
John Menzies. This General, the Hon. William Gordon, 
was a son of the Earl of Aberdeen ; and in 1746, when a 
boy, he succeeded to the lands ofFyvie. He entered the 
army, and attained distinction. He was Colonel of 
the 2 1 St Fusiliers, a Groom of the Bedchamber to George 
III., and a Member of Parliament for a number of years. 
He erected the fourth tower of the Castle ofFyvie in 1777, 
called the Gordon Tower ; formed the beautiful lake 
which stretches along the east side of the avenue, and 
laid out the fine policies ; planted extensive tracts of 
ground in the parish, encouraged agriculture, and took a 
keen interest in the welfare of his tenantry. General 



60 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Gordon died at Maryculter in 1816, and was succeeded 
by his son, William Gordon ; and he carried on the 
improvements which his father had commenced. It 
appears that Mr. Gordon occasionally resided at Mary- 
culter ; but in 1839, he sold the greater part of the estate. 
He died in 1847, and was succeeded by Captain Charles 
Gordon, who died in 1851. He was succeeded by his 
son, Captain William Cosmo Gordon. In 1848, he 
married Mary Grace, a daughter of Sir Robert 
Abercromby, Bart, of Birkenbog and Forglen, but had 
no issue. He was a popular landlord, and took a warm 
interest in his tenantry. He died in 1879, and was suc- 
ceeded by his brother. Captain Alexander H. Gordon, of 
the Indian Navy. Captain Gordon was a considerate 
and generous landlord, and a warm-hearted gentleman. 
He died suddenly at Aberdeen, in March, 1884. Dying 
without issue, he was succeeded by his cousin, Sir 
Maurice Duff Gordon ; but the estate of Fyvie was 
recently purchased by Mr. Leith. 

A mile to the west of Maryculter House is the house 
of Altries. 

Considerable portions of the Parish of Maryculter are 
covered with wood. The trees which appear to be most 
congenial to the soil are the birch, fir, larch, spruce, and 
beech. The district is comparatively rich in plants of 
botanic interest ; some rare species are found among the 
woods.' 

Proceeding up the Valley, it is said that Durris was 
a Royal forest at an early period, but there is little or no 

I. A new Steel Bridge across the Dee at Maryculter is erecting, and was expected to 
be finished in 1804 ; but a severe thunder storm occurred on the night of the 2nd and 
morning of the 3rd of August, which greatly injured the preparations for the erection of 
the Bridge. Great damage was also done to the Crops in the Valley. 



DURRIS. 61 

evidence of this. In the thirteenth century, during the 
reign of Alexander III., a portion of the lands of Durris 
appears to have been in the hands of the Crown ; and at 
that period a considerable extent of land throughout the 
kingdom was in the Crown. This meant that the Sheriff 
of the county, the steward or bailie of a district, accounted 
to the national Exchequer for the rents in money and 
kind payable to the Crown for such lands. But 
some confusion appears to have often arisen in the minds 
of popular writers touching the terms " Royal forest," " in 
forest," " free forest" : such words frequently occur in 
early charters, and require some explanation. The ex- 
pression " Royal forest " did not necessarily mean that 
the territory to which it was applied was under wood or 
uninhabited by man ; at the utmost it only imported that 
when the King thought fit he could traverse such terri- 
tory and hunt in it ; and there is no evidence that these 
territories in early times were uninhabited or unused as 
pastures for sheep and cattle. But the Royal parks — the 
enclosed grounds — were strictly limited as real Royal 
and Crown property ; and altogether different from what 
was vaguely called a forest. Further, the term " in forest" 
was connected with a form of feudal tenure in Scotland, 
and did not mean in general, that the territory granted in 
the charter was quite wooded or in any way wooded at 
all, or uninhabited or uncultivated. Then a grant of " free 
forest " by charter was a form of tenure a degree higher 
than a grant of " free barony," and it had no special con- 
nection whatever with trees or a forest, but it conveyed to 
its holder such a stretch of power and jurisdiction over 
the inhabitants of the lands within the limits of the grant 
as approached to the feudal rights and privileges of an 



62 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

earldom. Thus, the term " Royal forest " in early times 
had a vague meaning, while the expression " Royal park" 
was quite definite ; the phrase " in forest " was used in 
connection with a form of feudal tenure ; and a grant of 
" free forest" was a higher form of feudal tenure than a 
grant of " free barony." 

It appears that the territory of Durris was in the hands 
of Robert I. in 1308. William Fraser, a son of Sir 
Alexander Fraser, held the lands of Durris in the reign 
of David II. His father. Sir Alexander, married Lady 
Mary, a sister of Robert the Bruce, and through her the 
family obtained many grants of lands. William married 
Mary, a daughter of the national patriot. Sir Andrew 
Moray of Bothwell. William Fraser was actively en- 
gaged in the national struggle against the English during 
the minority of David II. ; while his father. Sir 
Alexander, was slain at the battle of Dupplin in 1332. 
It seems that he received the honour of knighthood from 
David II., who, after his return from France, frequently 
visited Aberdeen and the surrounding country. Sir 
William was in the army under the King which invaded 
England in 1346, and he fell in the disastrous battle of 
Durham. He left two sons, mere boys, and the lands of 
Durris were placed in ward under the Crown during the 
minority of the eldest son. Alexander Fraser, the eldest 
son, obtained full possession of the lands in 1363. In 
1369, David II. granted to him the whole lands of the 
thanage of Durris — transformed into the tenure of free 
barony, to be held, under the Crown, by him and his heirs 
on the condition of three annual attendances at the 
Head Court of the Sheriffdom of Kincardineshire and 
the service of one archer in the Royal army. 



DURRIS. 63 

He was present at the Coronation of Robert II. at 
Scone, on the 26th of March, 1371 ; and he was also 
present at the more memorable meeting of Parliament 
at Scone, on the 4th of April, 1372, when the succession 
to the Kingdom of Scotland was limited to the male 
line. On this great occasion, after the document settling 
the succession had been approved and passed by 
Parliament, all present, each individually touched the 
" Holy Gospels and sworn their bodily oath that they 
would inviolably observe these declarations and statutes 
for themselves and their heirs, and cause them to be 
observed to the utmost of their power." One would have 
thought this was sufficient, but Robert II. thought other- 
wise ; and what was instantly enacted to complete the 
validity of the proceedings is of great historic interest and 
significance. The record goes on to state : — " And im- 
mediately thereafter the whole multitude of the clergy 
and the people in the Church of Scone, before the great 
altar, being specially convened for the purpose, the 
aforesaid declaration, ordinance, and statute being ex- 
plained to them in a loud and public voice, each raising 
his hand, after the manner of faith-giving, in token of the 
universal consent of the whole clergy and people, publicly 
expressed and declared their consent and assent. In 
witness of all which, our Lord the King ordered his Great 
Seal to be affixed to the present writing." There is no 
doubt that the latter part of the proceedings — the manner 
of obtaining " the consent and assent of the people " — 
was even at that date an extremely ancient custom in 
Scotland.' 

Sir Alexander Fraser, in 1375, married Johanna, 

I. National MSB. Part II., Nos. 43 A, 43 B. 



64 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

younger daughter of William, sixth Earl of Ross ; and 
Sir Walter Leslie married the elder daughter of the Earl. 
In due time, Sir Walter Leslie became Earl of Ross in 
risfht of his wife ; and Sir Alexander obtained with his 
wife a number of estates in Buchan, which were formed 
into the lordship of Philorth. In 1388, he fought at the 
battle of Otterburn. This Sir Alexander Eraser of 
Durris and Philorth died about 14 10, and was succeeded 
by his son, William. The Erasers continued in the 
possession of Durris and their kinsmen in the lordship of 
Philorth. 

As the chief of the Erasers became a Covenanter in 
1639, the lands and House of Durris were plundered by 
the Royalists. In 1645, Montrose, on his march through 
the district, set Durris House on fire, and destroyed the 
corn, horses, cattle, sheep, and other goods. Shortly 
after, Durris passed into the hands of the Philorth branch 
of the family — Lord Eraser. But in 1669, Sir Alexander 
Eraser, a descendant of the old branch, purchased the 
estate of Durris from Lord Eraser. 

Sir Alexander had several sons and daughters ; and one 
of his sons, Sir Peter Eraser, was the last laird of Durris 
of that name. His daughter and heiress, named Carey, 
was a maid of honour to Catherine, Queen of Charles II. 
She married General Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough 
and Monmouth, by whom she had an only daughter, 
Henriett Mordaunt. This lady married the second Duke 
of Gordon ; and thus the lands of Durris ultimately 
passed into the hands of this ancient and honourable 

family. 

When the lands of Durris became the property of the 
Duke of Gordon great improvements were made. A 



DURRIS. 65 

large tract of territory was planted, and a better method 
of husbandry was introduced into the district. On a 
rounded height near the south side of the Dee, and the 
Bridge of Park, there stands an octagonal tower, nearly 
eighty feet in height, which was erected in 1825 by the 
Duke of Gordon to commemorate his coming into the 
possession of Durris as heir of entail to the Earl of 
Peterborough. 

Towards the end of the last century, the lands of 
Durris were held under a long lease by John Innes, 
Sheriff-Substitute of Kincardineshire. He died in 1852, 
aged eighty years. His son, Cosmo Innes, was born at 
Durris House. He became an advocate ; held the 
appointment of Clerk in the Court of Session ; and sub- 
sequently he was appointed Sheriff of Elginshire, and 
Professor of History in the University of Edinburgh. He 
is the author of a number of works, chiefly relating to the 
early and middle periods of Scottish history. One of his 
latest and best volumes was entitled " Legal Antiquities." 
Mr. Innes also edited and wrote prefaces to a very large 
number of volumes for the Bannatyne Club, Maitland 
Club, and the original Spalding Club. Further, he 
prepared and edited the greater part of the very valuable 
work entitled " The National Manuscripts of Scotland " ; 
and his labour and research in connection with the 
editing of the first volume of the " Record Edition of the 
Acts of the Scottish Parliament " is a great monument of 
record scholarship, and industry. Mr. Innes died in 

1874- 

Under an Act of Parliament the entail of Durris was 
transferred to property in the vicinity of Gordon Castle. 
In 1834, the lands of Durris were sold to Anthony 
F 



66 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Mactier. He died on the 5th of August, 1854, at the 
advanced age of eighty-one years. He was succeeded by 
his son, Alexander, who married, but had no children. 
In 1 87 1, he sold the estate to Dr. James Young of Kelly, 
paraffin oil manufacturer, for a sum of ^^"300,000. 

Dr. Young gained his wealth by his own efforts. He 
was descended from parents in humble circumstances, 
and he worked as a joiner at an early stage of his life in 
Glasgow. He soon became intensely interested in the 
study of chemistry, and attended the chemical classes in 
the Andersonian College. Subsequently he went to 
London, and continued his studies in London University, 
under Professor Graham. Afterward he became manager 
of chemical works at Liverpool ; thence he proceeded to 
Manchester, and was engaged in the branch of the St. 
Rollox Works in that city. On leaving Manchester he 
commenced a series of experiments in connection with 
the manufacture of mineral oil. After much hard and 
continuous work, his efforts culminated in the discovery 
of paraffin. From this and other enterprises, he amassed 
great wealth. Dr. Young died on the 13th of May, 1883. 
In 1890, Henry R. Baird purchased the lands of Durris. 

The mansion house of Durris stands on the east bank 
of a sequestered and picturesque narrow dale. It consists 
of two portions, an old and a new. The old mansion was 
probably built in the later part of the seventeenth 
century, and presents some of the characteristics of the 
Scottish baronial style. A portion of the modern 
structure was erected in 1824, and additions were made 
to it in 1835-38. The two portions of the structure are 
connected by a colonnade. It is built of granite. The 
grounds extend to over two hundred acres, and are well 



DURRIS. 67 

laid out ; the ornamental trees and shrubs are varied and 
attractive. 

The hamlet of Kirkton of Durris is beside the bridge 
which spans the Sheeoch Burn, and it consists of a few 
neat cottages, with some trees in its vicinity. A short 
distance down on the east side of the stream, and the 
south bank of the Dee, stands the Parish Church and 
Manse of Durris, in a pleasant situation. The church is 
a plain structure, and was erected in 1822, by the fifth 
Duke of Gordon. It affords accommodation for five 
hundred and fifty sitters. From a date on the ruins of 
the old church, it appears to have been built in 1537. 
The Free Church is about a mile to the south-west. A 
mile and a half to the west of the Parish Church, the Dee 
is spanned by a bridge, which was erected in 1862 by the 
late proprietor of Durris, Mr. Mactier. 

A quarter of a mile below the church, overhanging a 
rather steep bank of the river, is a small height, called the 
Castle Hill. It has a ditch at the base, and a small rill of 
water runs close past it, which might easily have been 
diverted to fill the ditch. There is a tradition that it had 
been a fort. 



Chapter VIL 

IRVINES OF DRUM— HISTORIC INCIDENTS. 

Proceeding up the Valley, the scenery appears more 
striking and varied. On the south side, the summits of 
the mountain range gradually increase in elevation, while 
trees and plantations give hue and shade to the scene ; 
on the north side, the undulating surface of the ground, 
the knolls and heights covered with wood, present land- 
scapes of touching beauty. 

The Loch of Drum lies about a mile west of Park 
Station. It is an oblong sheet of water, covering eighty- 
four acres, with a depth of from three to four feet. Its 
margin is fringed with alders, and on three sides it is 
bounded by woods. It once covered three hundred 
acres, but its area was reduced by drainage in the early 
part of this century. On the north-east side is the 
"King's Well." There is a tradition that the early 
Kings of Scotland often resorted to the Forest of Drum 
to enjoy the chase. 

The old church of Drumoak stood within the grave- 
yard upon a rising space on the north bank of the Dee. 
It is now a roofless ruin. It was a long and narrow 
structure, with outside stairs upon the north and east, 
and had two doors and five windows. A flat slab near 
the east end is ornamented with an incised cross. The 
present church stands on a flat site, about a quarter of a 
mile from Park Station, and was erected in 1836. It is 
an elegant structure, in the Gothic style, designed by the 
late Mr. A. Simpson, Aberdeen. 



IRVINES OF DRUM. 69 

There is no lack of legend and romance associated 
with the Irvine family. It is supposed by some that 
Drum was in the possession of the Crown prior to the 
fourteenth century, and formed part of a Royal forest. 
There is, however, no evidence of this, though there is 
■evidence of a park — an enclosed space of ground which 
belonged to the Crown. 

The Irvine family trace their descent back to a very 
remote period. At the opening of the fourteenth century 
the family was settled in Dumfries-shire. William Irvine 
of Bonshaw had a son, William, who enrolled himself 
under the banner of Robert Bruce as one of the small 
party who formed the forlorn hope of the Scottish nation. 
Irvine was so faithful to Bruce, and acted so well in the 
desperate struggle which ensued, and culminated in the 
memorable Battle of Bannockburn, that Robert I., in 
1323, granted to him by charter the forest lands of 
Drum ; but reserved the Park — that is, the enclosed 
ground — the real hunting seat. Shortly after, Irvine 
received another charter from the King, conferring on 
him a more complete jurisdiction over the inhabitants 
of the land. 

The feudal enemies of the Irvines in the south of 
Scotland were the Maxwells and the Bells ; while in 
the north they had to do battle with the Keiths and the 
Forbeses. Tradition has transmitted a tale of one of the 
conflicts between the Irvines and the Keiths, which took 
place on a moor on the north side of the Dee, in the 
Parish of Drumoak. In this encounter the Irvines were 
victorious, and drove their enemies across the river at a 
deep, rocky part of the channel, which is called *' Keith's 
Pot " ; and a rock which occasionally appears a few 



70 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

inches above the water, on which one of the fugitives 
had taken refuge, and was killed, yet retains the name 
of " Keith's Stone." The feud between the two families 
rose to such a height that Parliament had to interfere, 
and induced Alexander Irvine, the fourth laird of Drum, 
to marry Elizabeth, a daughter of Sir Robert Keith, 
Marischal of Scotland. It is said that Irvine formed 
this marriage alliance more from a spirit of loyalty than 
any desire to wed the daughter of his feudal enemy. 

In 141 1, when the family quarrel between the Lord 
of the Isles and the Duke of Albany — then Regent of 
Scotland — came to a crisis, Alexander Irvine of Drum 
joined the Earl of Mar, and fought at the Battle of 
Harlaw. Irvine of Drum and a considerable number of 
the chief men of the counties of Aberdeen, Kincardine, 
and Forfar were slain at Harlaw. Thus the Battle of 
Harlaw was a very important local event ; but it had no 
real political, or national, or racial significance whatever, 
for it was entirely a family quarrel between the Duke of 
Albany and the Lord of the Isles, touching the right of 
succession to the Earldom of Ross. Further, the Duke 
of Albany was completely on the wrong side in the quarrel 
which led to the Battle of Harlaw ; for Donald of the Isles 
retained possession of the Earldom of Ross, and his son, 
Alexander, succeeded him ; and James I. granted a charter 
to him confirming his right to the Earldom of Ross. In 
1425, on the 27th of May, in the palace of Stirling, when 
the Duke of Albany (the Regent's son) was tried and 
sentenced to death, Alexander, Earl of Ross and Lord of 
the Isles, was one of the jurymen on the trial. 

Robert Irvine, a brother of Alexander, who fell at 
Harlaw, succeeded to the family estates, and assumed 



IRVINES OF DRUM. 71 

the name of Alexander. In 1423, he was one of the 
commissioners who went to England to negotiate with 
the English Government for the liberation of James I. 
When the King returned home in 1424, he conferred on 
Irvine the honour of knighthood. He attended the 
Parliament held at Perth on the 12th of March, 1425 ; 
and on the ninth day of the Parliament, the King 
arrested and imprisoned twenty-nine nobles and knights, 
and Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum was one of them. 
The King's object was to secure the Duke of Albany, 
and he imprisoned the others to prevent them from 
assisting him or attempting his rescue ; and they were 
released in a few days. The Irvine family have always 
been remarkable for loyalty to the Crown. Sir Alex- 
ander's second son acted so bravely at the Battle of 
Brechin in 1452, under the Earl of Huntly, that his 
lordship afterwards granted to him the lands of Belty, in 
Kincardine O'Neil, as a reward for his service. 

Sir Alexander was succeeded by his son, Alexander 
Irv'ine. In 1470, he held the office of Sheriff-Depute of 
Aberdeenshire. He married a daughter of Abernethy of 
Saltoun, and had issue. The family continued to be 
loyal and powerful ; and, in 1527, James V. conferred 
upon the eldest son of the then Alexander, a gift of 
non-entry to the lands of Forglen, which purported to 
be given " on account of Drum, his said son, and their 
friends, their good and thankful service done to the 
King in searching for, taking, and bringing the rebels to 
justice." The young man thus referred to entered into 
the midst of the struggle in the early part of the 
minority of Queen Mary. He marched southward with 
a company of the citizens of Aberdeen, joined the 



72 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Regent near Musselburgh; and on the loth of September, 
1547, he fell facing the enemy on the disastrous field 
of Pinkie. 

He left six sons and three daughters ; and his eldest 
son, Alexander, succeeded to the estates on the death 
of his grandfather. He married Elizabeth Keith, a 
daughter of Earl Marischal, by whom he had a large 
family. Their eldest son. Sir Alexander, succeeded to 
the lands in 1583. He became a warm patron of learn- 
ing, and benefactor to the poor. In 1629, he devised a 
sum of ;^io,(X)0 Scots for the maintenance of four 
bursars in philosophy, and two in divinity at Marischal 
College ; and four at the Grammar School of Aberdeen ; 
and vesting the right of presentation to all of them in 
the family of Drum. Further, he mortified thirty-two 
bolls of meal to persons living on his property in Drum- 
oak, viz. : — Twelve bolls to poor scholars, eight to the 
parochial schoolmaster for teaching them, and twelve to 
decayed tenants — all of which are divided annually at 
the sight of the kirk-session. He married Marian 
Douglas, a daughter of the Earl of Buchan, by whom 
he had issue. This lady, in 1633, mortified a sum of 
three thousand marks to endow an hospital in Aberdeen 
for widows and aged daughters of decayed burgesses, of 
which the Town Council had the patronage. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Alexander. 
He married Magdalen, a daughter of Sir John Scrym- 
geour of Dudhope, Constable of Dundee. Sir Alexander 
was Sheriff-Principal of Aberdeenshire in 1634, and in 
several subsequent years. At this period the family of 
Drum possessed extensive and valuable estates in the 
counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Forfar ; and the house 



IRVINES OF DRUM. 73 

had then attained the zenith of its wealth and influence. 
The family suffered severely for their adherence to the 
Royal cause in the Covenanting struggle. 

On the 2nd of June, 1640, General Munro and Earl 
Marischal advanced to besiege the Castle of Drum. The 
laird was then from home, but his Lady, accompanied 
by a few determined men, held the Castle, which was 
well supplied with provisions and ammunition. When 
the attacking army came within range, it was saluted by 
a volley, which killed two men, and induced the Cove- 
nanting general to try the effect of a parley. He sum- 
moned the Lady to surrender the Castle ; she requested 
time to form a decision, and twenty-four hours was 
granted that she might obtain her husband's opinion. 
Before the expiry of this time, the Lady resolved to 
surrender, on the condition that her soldiers should be 
permitted to march out with their baggage ; and herself, 
her children, and female servants should be permitted to 
remain and occupy apartments in the place. Those 
conditions were accepted. Monro left a garrison of forty 
men in the Castle to live at free quarters, commanded 
the Lady to send her husband to him on his return 
home ; and on the 5th he left Drum, and proceeded 
triumphantly to Aberdeen. 

The succeeding laird was subjected to greater per- 
secution. In his father's life-time, Alexander married 
Lady Mary Gordon, a daughter of the second Marquis 
of Huntly. Throughout all the changes of the time, 
Alexander Irvine adhered to the Royal cause ; and, in 
1644, he joined the standard of Montrose. The same 
year, he and his brother, Robert, were excommunicated, 
and a reward of eighteen thousand marks was offered 



74 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

for the head of the Laird of Drum. This rendered their 
position extremely perilous, and they resolved to leave 
Scotland. The two brothers embarked on a small vessel 
at Fraserburgh, intending to sail for England ; but they 
were driven by adverse winds on the coast of Caithness. 
They landed at Wick, where a committee of Covenanters 
was sitting ; and, being recognised, they were im- 
mediately seized and conveyed to Edinburgh, and 
imprisoned. Robert sank under the rigorous confine- 
ment, and died in prison. His brother, Alexander, was 
lying in Edinburgh Castle under the sentence of death. 
But the Battle of Kilsyth saved him and a number of 
others from the gallows ; as Montrose, by a rapid march, 
threatened Edinburgh, the prisoners in the Castle were 
liberated. 

In 1646, Irvine of Drum with a troop of horse, and 
Farquharson of Inverey with two hundred foot, beat up 
the quarters of the Covenanters in the Valley of the Dee 
to within a few miles of Aberdeen. They captured 
seventy prisoners, with all their horses, baggage, and 
provisions. 

After the Restoration, Charles II. offered Alexander 
Irvine a peerage. But placed as the family then were, 
from confiscation of their property, heavy fines, and 
other disasters which had befallen them, he wisely 
declined the proffered honour. He died in 1687, and 
was interred in Drum's Aisle, St. Nicholas Church, 
Aberdeen. By his wife, Lady Mary Gordon, he had 
three sons and four daughters ; and his eldest son, 
Alexander, succeeded to the lands. He had no issue, 
and died in 1695. 

Alexander Irvine of Murtle then succeeded to the 



IRVINES OF DRUM. 75 

lands of Drum. He married, and had issue, and died 
in 1 7 19. He was succeeded by his son, Alexander, who 
having died unmarried in 1735, the lands then passed 
into the possession of his uncle, John Irvine. He died 
in 1737, leaving no issue ; and the male line of the 
Murtle branch became extinct. The succession then 
reverted to the descendants of John Irvine of Artamford, 
fifth son of Alexander Irvine of Drum, who inherited the 
estates in 1553, and whose great-grandson, Alexander 
Irvine of Crimond, by the failure of heirs-male in the 
senior branches, became Laird of Drum. He also, in 
1744, became heir-of-line, on the death of Irvine of 
Saphock without male issue. His eldest son died 
without issue, but his second son, Alexander, succeeded 
to the estates of Drum and Crimond. He married 
Mary, a daughter of James Ogilvie of Auchiries, by 
whom he had issue — three sons and three daughters. 
He died in 1761, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Alexander. In December, 1775, he married Jane, only 
daughter of Hugh Forbes of Chivas. Their eldest son, 
Alexander Forbes Irvine was born in 1777. He became 
an advocate at the Scottish Bar ; and on the death of 
his father, succeeded to the lands of Drum. He was 
succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander Forbes Irvine. 
He was for thirty years Convener of the County of 
Aberdeen ; and Sheriff-Principal of Argyllshire for 
many years. He died on 4th April, 1892, and was 
succeeded by his son, Francis H. F. Irvine, the 
twenty-first laird of Drum. He was a popular landlord, 
and very kind to the tenants on his estate. Mr. Irvine 
was a member of the County Council for the Drumoak 
district, a Justice of the Peace and a Commissioner 



76 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

of Supply for the County. He was chairman of Drum- 
oak School Board. He took an active part in the 
movement for the erection of the bridge over the Dee at 
Maryculter ; and, indeed, he was ever willing to promote 
any movement calculated to benefit the community. 
After a few days illness he expired on the evening of the 
25th July, 1894, in the fortieth year of his age. He was 
survived by his wife, and two sons, both of whom are 
minors. 

The Castle of Drum stands upon the east side of an 
eminence, surrounded by woods, and presents a striking 
and picturesque appearance. The Tower of Drum is the 
greatest structure, and the most interesting object of 
antiquity in the Parish of Drumoak. It is oblong in 
form, and rounded at the angles, a massive specimen of 
the early defensive tower. It is fifty feet six inches in 
length, and thirty-eight feet six inches in width, and 
seventy feet six inches in height to the top of the 
battlement. The walls are twelve feet in thickness 
above the ground and still thicker in the vault below. 
The interior consists of three vaulted chambers, 
each forming an entire storey, with a small recess in the 
wall of each of the two uppermost. The original entrance 
seems to be the one near the south-east corner of the 
tower, twelve feet from the ground, and on entering it 
there are two inner doors in front. From one of these a 
narrow stair of nineteen steps leads down to the under- 
ground vault or first storey, which is an apartment of 
twenty-eight feet six inches by fifteen feet six inches, 
and eleven feet high ; and in one corner of it there is a 
draw-well nine feet deep. The other inner door opens 
into the second chamber or storey, which is thirty-two 



IRVINES OF DRUM. 77 

feet by twenty feet nine inches, and twenty-three feet in 
height. From this apartment a narrow stair within the 
wall winds up to the third chamber, which is twenty-four 
feet nine inches high, and of nearly the same area as the 
one below it. In the east end of the vaulted roof, a 
small door leads out to the battlement. The windows 
are small, few, and far from the ground. This great 
defensive tower, presents the main characteristics of the 
earlier specimens of the class to which it belongs^ 
and was probably built about the middle of the thir- 
teenth century. 

The mansion adjoining the tower is a large and 
spacious structure, and was erected in 1619. Important 
alterations have from time to time been made upon it, 
but its original style has been preserved. In the 
immediate vicinity of the house, at the south-west corner, 
there is a neat small chapel, which internally is very 
beautiful. The family tomb is within the chapel. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

PARK— BURNETTS OF LEYS— CRATHES CASTLE. 

The lands of Park were granted by charter from David 
11. to Walter Moigne in 1359 ; and he was succeeded by 
his son, John. In 1389, John Moigne concluded an agree- 
ment with Alexander Irvine, "lord of Drum," reserving 
for his own life-time a chalder of meal, which Irvine was 
wont to pay for upholding the Park, the half of the profits 
arising from the barony courts, and the sale of wood ; 
he agreed that Alexander of Drum and his heirs should 
succeed to the Park at his demise. Park continued in 
the possession of the Irvine family until 1737, when the 
estate was sold to Mr. Patrick Duff of Culter. In 1807, 
the estate was purchased for ^9000 by Thomas Burnett, 
advocate, Aberdeen ; and in 1821 he sold it to Mr. 
William Moir. He erected, in 1822, an elegant mansion 
house, in the Grecian style of architecture ; and laid out 
the grounds and the garden in an admirable form. In 
1839, Park was purchased by Mr. Kinloch for a sum 

of ;^28,500. 

In 1888, Mr. Andrew Penny, silver mine owner, 
purchased the estate of Park from Mr. Kinloch's trustees. 
Mr. Penny was a native of the Parish of Birse, and 
naturally much attached to the Valley of the Dee. By 
his own energy and industry, he had amassed a consider- 
able fortune ; and he had intended to make Park his 
residence in the evening of his days. He was rapidly 
improving and still further beautifying the seat ; but on 



BURNETTS OF LEYS. 79 

his way home from South America he died on the i8th 
of May, 1889, without issue. He was succeeded by his 
brother, Mr. James Penny, who is also making improve- 
ments on the estate. The chief objects of interest 
in the vicinity of this beautiful seat are the Loch of Park, 
the King's Well, the Priest's Well, and the Prophet's 
Well ; a sculptured stone found on Keith's Moor in 1822, 
and the fine policies. The Railway Company erected a 
bridge over the Dee in the neighbourhood of Park. 

The family of Burnett of Leys, according to tradition, 
is of great antiquity. Without attaching much weight to 
the legend that they came over to England with William 
the Conqueror ; yet it appears that there were several 
persons of note in the south of Scotland bearing the name 
of Burnard as early as the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries, whose names occur as witnesses to charters of 
the period. In 1324, Robert I. granted by charter to 
Alexander Burnett the lands of Killienach Clerach, in the 
Parish of Drumoak, and other lands in Banchory-Ternan, 
within the Forest of Drum, but outside the Park of this 
forest. This grant was confirmed in 1358 by David II., 
by a charter under the Great Seal. Alexander was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Robert. John Burnett succeeded his 
father ; and in his time — the beginning of the fifteenth 
century — the lands were erected into a barony, under the 
title of Leys. His son, Robert Burnett, succeeded to the 
lands. In 1557, John, the Commendator of Arbroath 
and the Convent, signed a charter of resignation of the 
lands of Pittenkerrie, Brathens, Invery, and the Kirk 
lands of Banchory in favour of Alexander Burnett and 
his heirs-male ; and in 1595, all these lands were incorpor- 
ated into the barony of Leys, by a charter of James VI. 



80 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

The fourth son of this laird, Gilbert Burnett, was educated 
at the University of Aberdeen. Subsequently he became 
a Professor of Philosophy at Basle, and afterwards at 
Montauban. He was held in great esteem among the 
Protestants of France ; and he is the author of a book on 
Ethics. 

Alexander Burnett, the eleventh laird in succession, 
married Katherine, a daughter of Gordon of Lismore, and 
they had six sons and seven daughters. Their third son, 
James of Craigmyle, was the ancestor of the Burnetts of 
Monboddo, in Kincardineshire. Their fourth son, 
Robert, became Lord Crimond — a lord of Session. Their 
eldest son predeceased his father, and the second son, 
Thomas, succeeded to Leys. He was knighted by James 
VI. In 1626, he was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by 
Charles I. ; and in 1642, the King granted to him the 
lands and barony of Strachan. 

He was a warm Covenanter, and one of the strongest 
opponents of the policy of Charles I. in the north of 
Scotland. In company with the Lairds of Dun, Morphey, 
and Carnegie he proceeded through various districts as a 
Commissioner ; aud they accompanied the Marquis of 
Montrose to Aberdeen, where they subscribed the 
Covenant. Sir Thomas, however, lived on friendly terms 
with the heads of the opposite party ; and at last, finding 
that both sides were unreasonably resolved on extre- 
mities, he retired from public life. 

Sir Thomas was a cultured man and a patron of 
learning. He mortified to King's College, Aberdeen, four 
crofts for three bursars in philosophy ; the annual revenue 
of which had increased in 1842 to ;^3i8 6s. yd. He also, 
conjointly with Dr. Alexander Reid, erected and endowed 



BURNETTS OF LEYS. 81 

two schools in the village of Banchory, a grammar school 
for boys and a sewing school for girls. He further 
erected and endowed with 6300 marks an hospital for six 
poor men or women, which was afterwards commuted 
into an annual allowance in money to the poor on the 
barony of Leys. Some of his papers and letters 
preserv^ed in MS. indicate a cultured mind and a warm 
sympathy with the religion, liberty, and learning of his 
country. 

As indicated above, the first Baronet of Leys was a 
Covenanter, and one of his daughters married Andrew 
Cant of Glendye, in Strachan ; it was from this family of 
Glendye that the famous Andrew Cant, minister of 
Aberdeen, was descended. There is a spirited ballad 
which makes the baronet's daughter marry the Rev. A. 
Cant instead of his relative in Glendye. According to 
the ballad, the lady was first wooed by Montrose, but 
after his defection from the Covenant she consented to 
marry the reverend gentleman. A few verses of the 
ballad may be quoted : — 

The sun shines bright upon bonnie Dee, 

And bright on its birken bowers, 
And steals thro' the shade of the chestnut tree, 

On the Baron's old grey towers. 
And many a flower in the summer tide 

Springs up by the silvery water : 
But the fairest flower on all Deeside 

Was the Baron's youngest daughter. 
Her step was light, her eye was bright, 

Her cheek like summer rose, 
And she was wooed by a gallant knight, 

The young and brave Montrose. 



" Make ready, make ready my good grey steed," 

The trusty Baron said ; 
" For we must ride with spur and speed, 

The Covenant to aid." 



82 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Montrose rode forth with the Baron's band — 

He wore a scarf of blue ; 
And he has vowed by his lady's hand 

To bear him well and true. 



And Margaret's eyes of azure light 

"With watching and tears were dim : ^ 
She asked for news of her own true knight, 

And heard strange news of him. 
And every finger in scorn was raised 
To point at the traitor Montrose ; 
For where the Covenant banner blazed 

He fought among its foes. 
The moonbeams lay on the castle wall, 

And slept upon hill and lea, 
When Margaret stole from her father's hall 

To weep 'neath the chestnut tree. 
A steed is standing in the wood, 

A knight is by its side ; 
A scarf of blue, with stains of blood, 

Upon his arm is tied. 
He listened with a beating heart, 
Then sprang that step to greet, 
And ere the lady could depart 

He kneeled down at her feet. 
" Margaret ! thy father's stern decree 

Forbids our hopes of bliss ; 
But there are lands beyond the sea, 

And fairer homes than this. 
My steed shall bear thee far away 

Safe to some friendly bower. 
And place thee ere the break of day 

Beyond thy father's power." 
She listened with a tearful eye. 
Her colour came and went : 
She glanced upon the silent sky. 

And strength from heaven was sent. 
And passed the tear-drop from her eye. 

The colour from her face. 
And she spoke with spirit strong and high- 

The pride of her ancient race — 
" Oh ! they may lay me 'neath the sod, 

Bound in my white grave clothes, 
Ere I deny my father's God, 

Or wed with false Montrose." 
The lady fled to her lonely bower— 
The knight rode on his way. 



BURNETTS OF LEYS. 83 

And Margaret stood at eventide 

Beneath the chestnut tree, 
A dark stern man was by her side ; 

A Covenanter he. 
" I never thought to wed," she said, 

" Oh trusty Andrew Cant ; 
But my sire's command shall give my hand 

For love of the Covenant."^ 

Sir Thomas Burnett, the third Baronet, and grand- 
son of the above, represented Kincardineshire in the last 
Scottish Parliament, and keenly opposed the Union. Sir 
Robert, the fifth baronet, died unmarried, and the title 
passed to his cousin, Sir Thomas Burnett. He married 
Catherine, a sister of Sir Alexander Ramsay of Balmain, 
and had issue. He died in 1783, and was succeeded by 
his eldest son, Sir Robert, seventh baronet. Sir Robert, 
in the early stage of his career, entered the army, and 
served throughout the first American War. He died in 
1835, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Thomas, 
who died in 1849. His brother, Sir Alexander, then suc- 
ceeded as ninth baronet. He died unmarried in 1856, 
and his next brother, Sir James H. Burnett, became tenth 
baronet Sir James was Lord-Lieutenant of Kincardine- 
shire, and he died in 1876. He was succeeded by his 
son, Sir Robert Burnett. He was an able and enterpris- 
ing business man. Sir Robert died on the 15th of 
January, 1894, in the sixty-first year of his age ; and was 
interred in the family vault at Banchory-Ternan Church- 
yard. He was succeeded by his brother, Colonel Thomas 
Burnett, who is the twelfth baronet of Leys. 

The Castle of Crathes, the family seat of the Burnetts, 
stands on a fine green bank at the edge of a rocky ridge, 
and it is completely surrounded by fine old trees and 

I. Legends of Leys. R. M. Ramsay, 1856. 



84 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

woods. It is on the north side of the turnpike road, and 
may be seen from the railway at two points — a short 
distance east and west on either side of Crathes Station. 
The castle was built in 1528, and presents the charac- 
teristics of the Scottish baronial style of architecture ; 
consisting of a high square tower with ornamental turrets 
and massive walls. Additions have been made to it from 
time to time. The old hall is still preserved, and on its 
walls are a number of family portraits, some of which are 
by Jamesone. 

The Court Book of the Barony of Leys for the period 
between 1621 and 1709 is still extant ; and it contains 
some valuable and curious information of much local 
interest. The greater number of the suits which came 
before the court referred to pecuniary matters, a number 
of petty offences, and some public and private arrange- 
ments. 

The Loch of Leys lay in the middle of a long hallow 
stretching from the Loch of Drum westward ; and in 
early times it covered a large space of ground. There 
was a small island near its southern shore, on which 
traces of a crannog were found. About the middle of the 
present century, the loch was drained, and during the 
progress of the work a canoe hollowed out of a single 
losf of wood was discovered, which crumbled when ex- 
posed to the air ; and a few bronze vessels were found. 

On the north side of the Dee and in the south-west 
corner of the Parish of Peterculter, on a rising ground, 
there are traces of an old camp, locally called the 
" Normandikes." Only a small part of it remains ; but 
originally it was of an oblong form, and enclosed an area 
of forty-eight Scotch acres. Colonel Shand examined this 



BURNETTS OF LEYS. 85 

structure in 1801, and thought it was a Roman camp, and 
several other men who afterward examined it were of the 
same opinion ; but there is not the least evidence that the 
Romans ever were in the Valley of the Dee ; indeed, there 
is no evidence that they ever advanced twenty miles to 
the north of the Tay. The Romans did not conquer 
Fife and Perthshire, or Forfarshire and Kincardineshire. 
In short, the Romans had quite enough of work to 
maintain their line of defence between the Forth and 
Clyde. It is incredible that the Roman legions encamped 
in the Valley of the Dee, more than a hundred miles from 
their line of defence, with a hostile country behind them. 
This hill-fort or earthwork was probably of prehistoric 
origin, and may have been formed centuries before the 
Roman invasion of Britain. 



Chapter IX. 

BANCHORY-TERNAN— SCENERY— BURGH- 
REMINISCENCES. 

The scenery of the Valley in the Banchory district is 
very beautiful, the landscape in every direction is 
pleasingly diversified. The haughs and moderate 
heights which skirt the river on the north side are inter- 
sected by woods, belts, and plots of trees, and cultivated 
fields ; while the most attractive spots are studded with 
elegant villas and mansions, surrounded with pleasure 
grounds and excellent gardens. Farther north from the 
river, for several miles, the ground presents a succession 
of ridges and heights, not rising above five or six hundred 
feet, excepting the Hill of Fare ; these heights in some 
places form a high upper bank along the course of the 
river, gently sloping towards it, or broken and diversified. 
On the south side of the river, and opposite Banchory, 
the first ridge slopes gradually down to the banks of the 
Dee for nearly a mile, and at its west end there is an 
extensive haugh. The highest point of this ridge is 
about one thousand feet, and it has a steep northern 
aspect facing the valley of the Feugh. This stretch is 
wooded and cultivated in nearly equal proportions. On 
the highest part of the ridge, called the Hill of Scolt}% 
there stands a tower erected to the memory of General 
Burnett of Banchory, " a public-spirited gentleman and 
kind landlord, whose memory will be long and gratefully 
cherished in this neighbourhood." Farther off southward 



BANCHORY-TERNAN. 87 

is the Kerloch Hill and Clochnaben. A lover of scenery 
will find in this locality much to interest him, in single 
views of special and delightful spots, and in wider 
prospects, many of which present strikingly picturesque 
features, and others charm by their rich and harmonious 
beauty. The green and shady banks along which the 
Dee glides are enchanting. 

A little below the burgh of Banchory, the Dee is 
spanned by a somewhat singular bridge. It was erected 
by public subscription in 1798, and consisted of a central, 
wooden span of one hundred and seventy-five feet, two 
stone arches, each about eighty-five feet, and one at the 
south end of nineteen feet. After the great flood of 
1829, it had fallen into an unsafe condition, and an iron 
truss arch was then substituted for the wooden one. A 
short distance below the confluence of the Dee and the 
Feugh, two small islands divide the stream of the river. 
The largest one is a low flat of about nine acres, some- 
times nearly submerged by high floods ; the smaller 
islet is more elevated above the stream ; it consists 
mostly of sand, and is covered with trees, which give it a 
pleasing aspect. 

St. Ternan was the patron saint of Banchory, who, 
according to legend and tradition, flourished about 
440 A.D., and was a native of the Mearns ; and a number 
of churches were dedicated to him. From an early 
period the lands in the neighbourhood of Banchory 
belonged to the monastery of Arbroath, and also the 
church and tithes of the parish. The old church stood 
in the burying ground on the brink of the Dee. It was 
rebuilt in 1775. But it had become inadequate to 
accommodate the parishioners ; and, in 1824, it was 



88 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

removed a few hundred yards to a higher site on the 
north side of the turnpike road. It is a plain structure, 
built in the Gothic style, with its tower too low. 

The old village of Banchory — the Kirktown — latterly 
called Townhead, stood above the old church and 
churchyard, in the immediate vicinity of the manse. It 
is mentioned as a village in 1324. A stone cross once 
stood in the centre of it, a fragment of which recently 
remained in position. The main road from Aberdeen 
passed though the village, and in the last century it had 
a good inn. The Barony Court of Leys was usually held 
at it. In 1 841, the village consisted of the old manse, 
two endowed schools, eight labourers' cottages, and a 
farmhouse and steading. 

The new village, at first called Arbeadie, was begun 
by three men in the years of 1805, 1807, and 1809, who 
successively took in feu from one of the local proprietors, 
in all about twenty Scotch acres of ground, at the rate 
of 2s, 6d., 3s., and £1 per acre, for which they continued 
to pay in whole i^ii 4s. 6d. Thirty years later this 
ground was sub-feuing at the rate of ;^I2 to i^i20 per 
acre ; and subsequently at a higher rate. In 1841, there 
were fifty houses in the town, occupied by seventy-two 
families, forming a population of about three hundred 
and fifty. It was then a burgh of barony, and I knew 
one of its Provosts. At that time the burgh had a post- 
office, a prison, an Episcopal chapel, two schools, a 
branch of the Bank of Scotland, and three inns ; and 
there were also in the burgh — one doctor, a constable, a 
dancing master, a watchmaker, a baker, two plasterers, 
four carpenters, four shoemakers, four tailors, three 
weavers, two gardeners, one road contractor, four 



BANCHORY-TERNAN. 89 

sawyers, three floaters, thirteen labourers, and twenty 
servants. The mail coach passed through the burgh 
daily ; and for one half of the year a stage coach ran 
daily between it and Aberdeen ; several carriers also went 
weekly between it and Aberdeen. 

Large quantities of wood were then transmitted from 
Banchory in rafts when the state of the river was favour- 
able, and from the upper stretches of the Valley, to 
Aberdeen. For a long period the wood cut in the 
Valley, was floated in rafts down the river to Aberdeen. 
I have often seen the rafts floating past Banchory ; and 
also numbers of rafts lying at the river-side, south-west 
of Market Street, before the diversion of the Dee into its 
new channel. The occupation of the wood-floater on 
the Dee was a difficult and dangerous one, and attention 
and skill had to be exercised to keep the raft about the 
centre of the river. Since the extension of the Deeside 
Railway to Ballater, the floating of wood down the 
river gradually fell off, and about twenty years ago 
ceased. 

The burgh of Banchory continued to increase and 
prosper. The opening of the railway in 1853 has 
tended greatly to extend and enhance the importance of 
the burgh, and since, its progress has been rapid. Many 
fine villas and houses have been erected in it and its 
immediate vicinity. Its attractions are many and great, 
and it has long been a favourite resort of visitors in the 
summer months. It stands on a fine elevated and dry 
site, with a southern exposure, while the Hill of Fare 
shelters it from the cold north winds. 

In 1885, the community of Banchory adopted the 
Lindsay Act ; and its municipal affairs then came under 



90 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

the administration of a Board of Police Commissioners. 
Under the direction of this Board, an ample supply of 
clear spring water was brought from the Hill of Kerloch, 
on the south side of the Valley, and an efficient system 
of sewerage and sanitary arrangements has also been 
introduced into the burgh. A beautiful public park, at 
the west end of the town, was presented to the citizens 
by the late Sir Robert Burnett, and opened in 1887. 
This park affords ample facilities for outdoor amuse- 
ments and games, and at all times a quiet and pleasing 
retreat to the citizens and sojourners. 

The burgh of Banchory has a population of fourteen 
hundred and fifty inhabitants, whose local and municipal 
affairs are under the control of their own Provost, 
Magistrates, and Commissioners. It is a centre of con- 
siderable trade and traffic. It has eight annual markets, 
three branch banks, a post-office and savings bank, and 
three hotels, a commodious town hall at the west end 
of the town, excellent schools, and four churches and 
chapels, which all form features of this attractive town. 
The citizens are very industrious, quiet, and exceedingly 
obliging. 

The eminent Dr. George Campbell was minister of 
the Parish of Banchory-Ternan from 1747 to 1757. It 
was in Banchory that he formed the plan of translating 
the four Gospels, which he afterwards published. It was 
here also that Campbell thought out and began to 
compose his celebrated treatise, " The Philosophy of 
Rhetoric." 

In the autumn of 1855, I commenced to work in 
Banchory for the late Mr. Fraser, shoemaker ; he 
employed six or seven hands, and occupied a house and 



BANCHORY-TERNAN. 91 

shop which belonged to the late Dr. Adams. Owing 
to this connection, Eraser's men were invited on the 
evening of Hogmanay to the doctor's house, on the 
opposite side of the street, to dance in the New Year. 
Thus it happened that I danced in the year of 1856 
under the roof of the genial and kindly Dr. Adams. 

Dr. Francis Adams was born at Lumphanan in 1796. 
When a boy, he manifested a keen taste for classical 
studies. He attended classes at King's College, 
Aberdeen ; and having resolved to follow the medical 
profession he took the London degree of the College of 
Surgeons. Shortly after, he settled at Banchory and 
commenced to practice. 

Although he soon obtained a good practice, he was 
exceedingly assiduous, and continued to pursue his 
classical studies. The result of this appeared in his 
translation of Paulus ^gineta, the Greek physician, in 
three volumes, with notes and annotations. Afterwards 
he rendered an excellent translation of the works of 
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, in two volumes. 
Further, he translated the extant works of Aretaeus. He 
also gave material assistance in the drawing up of 
Dunbar's Greek Lexicon. These works established his 
reputation as one of the foremost Greek scholars of his 
time ; but Dr. Adams was more than a Greek scholar ; 
he was a gentleman of wide and varied culture. He 
received the degree of LL.D. from the University of 
Glasgow. On the occasion of the Burns' centenary cele- 
bration he wrote an admirable and appreciative essay on 
the poet and his works, which was published. In con- 
junction with his son, Dr. Andrew Leith Adams, he 
published a pamphlet entitled " Ornithology considered 



92 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

as a branch of Liberal Education, containing Notes on 
Birds which have been discovered in Banchory-Ternan, 
with Remarks on those found in India." This, or a part 
of it, was read at the meeting of the British Association 
held at Aberdeen in 1859. 

A number of years before his death, some of the 
leading men of Banchory were anxious to show their ap- 
preciation of the work which the doctor had often done 
gratuitously, and they proposed to get up a subscription 
for him ; but whenever he heard of it, he absolutely 
declined to permit anything of the kind, and said that 
the satisfaction which he felt in having done his best to 
alleviate human suffering, was ample remuneration to him. 
He died on the 26th of February, 1861, in the sixty-fifth 
year of his age. 

The people of Banchory and the locality erected the 
fine granite monument to his memory which stands at the 
south-west corner of the grounds around the house. The 
inscription on it was written by Sir William Geddes. 

His son, Dr. Andrew Leith Adams, was a distin- 
guished graduate of Aberdeen University. He entered 
the army as a surgeon in the 21st foot regiment. While 
serving in the army, he worked assiduously, and produced 
several interesting works: — (i) A volume entitled 
" Wanderings of a Naturalist in India " ; (2) *' Field 
Rambles in Canada" ; (3) '' Pygmy Elephants in Malta," 
an account of an extinct class of diminutive elephants. 
On retiring from the army, he was appointed Professor 
of Natural History in the new College of Science at 
Dublin. Afterwards he was appointed Professor of 
Natural History, Mineralogy, and Geology in Queen's 
College, Cork. In 1881, the University of Aberdeen con- 



BANCHORY-TERNAN. 93 

ferred on him the degree of LL. D. ; he was also elected 
a member of the Royal Society. He was an accom- 
plished and successful professor. Besides the works 
mentioned above, he contributed many valuable papers 
to reviews on scientific subjects. Personally, he was an 
unassuming and kind-hearted gentleman. He died in 
1882. 

James C. Hadden was born in Banchory-Ternan in 
1 86 1. He was for sometime a message boy in Aberdeen ; 
but he soon directed his attention to music and literature, 
in which he has already attained distinction. In 1889, 
he was appointed Organist for St. John's Parish Church, 
Edinburgh ; and there he has worked earnestly and 
enthusiastically. He occasionally gives musical lectures 
and organ recitals ; and he instituted musical Sunday 
evenings for the people in St. John's church. For a number 
of years he has been a contributor to various magazines ; 
and he is a member of the staff engaged by Mr. Leslie 
Stephen on the " Dictionary of National Biography." 
He has written a " Life of Handel," and a " Life of 
Mendelssohn," both of which appeared in 1888. His 
style is very clear and flowing. 



CHAPTER X. 
VALLEY OF THE FEUGH— STRACHAN-BIRSE. 

Crossing the bridge of Banchory and proceeding a short 
distance, a road on the left leads to the Bridge of Feugh. 
It is a plain, narrow structure, built of granite, with three 
arches ; but it spans the stream at a picturesque and 
romantic spot. The Feugh flows rapidly, and when it 
enters the opening of the ridge of hills which skirt the 
south side of the Valley of the Dee, above the bridge, it 
runs between precipitous and wooded banks, dashing 
from pool to pool over naked rocks. As it nears the 
bridge the stream forms a linn and falls over the rocks, a 
height of eighteen feet, into a deep basin below, and 
sweeps on through similar rocks and sand, and enters the 
Dee opposite Banchory Lodge. Along this stretch of the 
Feugh the scenery on both sides is very picturesque and 
beautiful, and there are few that will not see something 
to admire and interest them here. 

On the east side of the Feugh lie the lands of 
Tilquhillie, and the old Castle standing on the slope of the 
elevated ridge. The Castle consisted of several massive 
buildings, communicating with each other, and appear 
to have been erected at different times ; the earliest 
portion was probably erected about the beginning of the 
sixteenth century, and another part was built in 1575. It 
contained many apartments, and had a dark vault ; but 
when it ceased to be the family residence of the 



TILQUHILLIE. 95 

Douglases it fell into ruins, and it is now occupied by the 
tenant of the lands around it. 

In the fifteenth century the lands of Tilquhillie were 
held by Walter Ogston of Ogston and Fettercairn, under 
the Abbot of i\rbroath as the superior. It appears that 
David Douglas, a son of a younger brother of the first 
Earl of Morton, married Janet, a daughter of Thomas 
Ogston of Kirklands of Fettercairn, in 1479 ; and that 
through this marriage the lands of Tilquhillie passed into 
the possession of David Douglas's descendants. Janet 
Ogston survived her husband and also their son, and her 
grandson, Arthur Douglas, succeeded to Tilquhillie in 
1533. He married Janet, a daughter of the laird of 
Balmanno, and had issue, two sons, John and Archibald. 
John held the post of Constable of Edinburgh Castle 
during Morton's regency. Arthur Douglas was suc- 
ceeded by his son John ; and in 1576 he married Giles, a 
daughter of Robert Erskine of Dun, by whom he had two 
sons and two daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest 
son, John Douglas, who married Mary, a daughter of Sir 
Peter Young of Seaton, and they had seven sons and 
three daughters. Their three eldest sons entered the 
army, and the fourth son, James, acquired the estate of 
Inchmarlo. John, the eldest son, fell in battle in 1632 ; 
and his brother. Sir Archibald Douglas, succeeded to 
Tilquhillie. He died without issue, and his brother. Sir 
Robert Douglas, succeeded to the estate in 1647. He 
was a warm supporter of the Royal cause, and sacrificed 
his estate to promote it ; and Tilquhillie for a time was 
lost to the family ; but in 1684 John Douglas of 
Inchmarlo recovered Tilquhillie from his uncle's (Sir 
Robert Douglas) creditors. John Douglas was twice 



96 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

married, and had issue. He died in 1723, and was suc- 
ceeded by his second son, John Douglas of Tilquhillie and 
Inchmarlo. He died in 1749, and was succeeded by his 
only son, John. He married Mary, a daughter of the 
Hon. John Arbuthnott of Fordun, and had issue, two 
sons and three daughters. In 1767, their eldest daughter, 
Margaret, married William Young of Sheddocksley, 
Provost of Aberdeen. John Douglas succeeded to the 
family estates on the death of his grandfather in 1 791. 
He devoted much of his means to local and public 
objects, and died in 1812. His trustees sold Tilquhillie 
and Inchmarlo, and Henry Lumsden purchased 
Tilquhillie. 

But John Douglas left an only son, John — a man of 
great energy and marked ability. He entered into 
manufacturing business in the Tyrol, concentrated his 
attention on it, and won a considerable fortune. He 
married Jane, a daughter of James Kennedy, a manu- 
facturer in Manchester, by whom he had two sons and 
a daughter. Mr. Douglas repurchased the estate of 
Tilquhillie, and also the adjoining estate of Invery, before 
1865. He died in 1870, and his son, John S. Douglas, 
succeeded him. In 1874 he lost his life by a fall from a 
precipice in the Tyrol ; deeply regretted by all who 
knew him. His eldest son, John Douglas, succeeded to 
Tilquhillie and Invery on coming of age in 1886 ; and he 
is the fourteenth in lineal descent from David Douglas 
and Janet Ogston of Tilquhillie. 

It appears that the Douglas family were much 
respected in the locality, and by the tenants on their 
lands ; and a few lines from one connected with the 
family may be quoted — 



STRACHAN. 97 

On every road we find the abode 
Of a friend, be he young or old — 
And Douglas still has the leal good will 
That belongs to the good and the bold. 
Tilquhillie stands on the old, old lands, 
And the name of Douglas is there ; 
And the weak and the poor may ever be sure 
To have tender and Christian care.' 

On the west bank of the Feugh stands the mansion 
house of Invery, on a beautiful site, surrounded with 
woods, and the rippling water of Feugh in front. 
Proceeding up the fine Valley of the Feugh, there is a 
considerable space of well-cultivated land, in which 
patches of strawberries are grown in the fields, and good 
crops of grain. The Feugh is spanned by a stone bridge, 
and a little above it is the village of Strachan. It stands 
on a fine site, and consists of a few houses, the Public 
Schools, the Established Church, and the Free Church. 
The old church stood within the graveyard, and a new 
church was erected in 1866. In 1865 a drinking fountain 
was erected in front of the church, to the memory of 
William B. Ramsay of Banchory Lodge. A short 
distance above the village the Water of Dye joins the 
Feugh. 

The old road across the Cairn o' Mounth passed 
through Glen Dye. About a hundred years ago, this 
road was sometimes infested by robbers, and at an earlier 
period it was more dangerous. There is a ravine about 
four hundred yards from the top of the Cairn Hill on the 
north side, and close by the side of the road, which still 
retains the name of the " Thieves' Bush." Travellers 
crossing the " Mounth " when possessed of money always 

I The Feugh and the Dee. By William Brown, F.R.C.S.E. Mr. Brown was 
married to Ann Douglas, of the Tilquhillie family. She died in 1886 at the advanced age 
of eighty-three years, and Mr. Brown died in 1887. 

H 



98 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

carried defensive weapons. Two centuries ago, a 
Highlander passing to the south on horseback was 
obliged to stop at a smithy, near the ford of Dye, to have 
his horse shod ere he ascended the hill. A man of 
suspicious appearance was sitting in the smithy, who 
proved to be the chief of a gang, though unknown to the 
Celt. While the smith was shoeing the horse, the 
Highlander took a pistol from his pocket and commenced 
cleaning it ; and the smith remarked that the weapon 
was old and useless. The Celt replied that the night 
was dark and the road dangerous, that he had a trifle 
of money which he would not like to lose, and should he 
be attacked, if his pistol " widna fell, it might maybe 
fleg." The smith sought in vain for an opportunity of 
warning him of the character of the stranger who was 
sitting in the smithy. The horse having been shod, the 
Celt proceeded on his journey ; but he had not advanced 
far when he heard the noise of a horse behind him at full 
speed. On turning round he at once recognised the man 
whom he saw at the smithy. This fellow sternly 
demanded his money, backing the demand with a 
cudgel raised over the Celt's head, which he no doubt 
thought an over-match for the old rusty pistol. But the 
sly Celt had a better weapon, and drawing out another 
pistol from under his plaid, shot the robber dead, and 
proceeded safely over the Cairn. 

About three miles above the village of Strachan is 
Whitestones, where there is an inn, usually called 
Feughside Inn. In the period before the railways this 
inn and locality was for many centuries a halting-place 
of cattle dealers and drovers, as it was on the road 
running southward to Forfar and Perth, and northward, 



BIRSE. 99 

through West Aberdeenshire, to the Highlands. Many 
hearty and glorious nights were spent here by the cattle 
dealers and drovers in the good days of old. The greater 
part of the cultivated land in the Parish of Strachan lies 
on either side of the Valley of the Feugh. From the 
form of the Valley in Strachan, it has been supposed that 
at a remote period a large part of it had been a loch. 

Advancing up the Valley the Parish of Birse is 
entered. The surface of the country appears hilly and 
mountainous, and the scenery in many parts of Birse is 
wild, striking, and picturesque. When viewed from the 
highest ground on its western side, it is seen to consist of 
two Valleys, running eastward toward the Dee, and 
separated from each other by ranges of hills. The Valley 
of the Feugh, on the south side, is the larger; the Valley 
of Glen Cat is much smaller, and the Burn of Cattie, 
which drains and intersects it, is shorter. A third district 
of the parish lies along the south side of the Dee. 

The Parish Church and manse of Birse stand in the 
north-west side of the parish, on the bank of the Burn of 
Birse, and about a half-a-mile south of the Dee. The 
church was built in 1779, and is a plain structure, con- 
taining about six hundred sittings. When the old 
church was demolished, a cist slab was found in the 
foundations, on which were incised a double-handled 
sword, an axe, and a cross. The slab is five feet nine 
inches in length, and is preserved in the south wall of the 
churchyard. The burial place of the Farquharsons of 
P'inzean is on the site of the old church, enclosed by a 
wall and iron railing. 

In 1 1 57 it is recorded that the Church of Birse 
belonged to the Bishopric of Aberdeen, and it was the 



100 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

seat of the Chancellor of the Diocese. On the south side 
of the Feugh, at Eastclune, on an eminence, there are 
some ruins of a square tower, which, according to 
tradition, was a hunting seat of the Bishop of Aberdeen ; 
but it is more probable that the tower had been the seat 
of some small landlord. In its vicinity, there was once a 
chapel and a small burying ground. 

A Free Church was erected in 1843, which stands on 
the south side of the road leading to Aboyne, in the 
Birsemore district. There is another Free Church towards 
the other end of the parish, and a Roman Catholic 
Chapel near Potarch. 

On the south-west corner of the parish lies the 
Forest of Birse, which is not now under wood, and what 
is called the forest is the upper part of the glen through 
which the Feugh runs. Near the upper end of the 
glen are the ruins of a square tower, which is said to 
have been built in the sixteenth century by Sir Thomas 
Gordon of Cluny ; some, however, say that it was a 
hunting seat of the Bishop of Aberdeen. The length of 
the tower over the walls was thirty feet, its width 
twenty- two feet, and its height about thirty-three feet. 
The tower was built of granite, and seems to have been a 
pretty complete structure. 

At Woodend, the Water of Feugh rushes down from 
the elevated ground, between hills studded with granite 
rocks rising abruptly from the narrow valley, in which 
there are patches of cultivated land amid natural birches 
and other trees. This is a romantic and beautiful spot. 

The lands of Finzean cover a considerable space on 
the south and east quarters of Birse, and mainly lie in 
the Valley of the Feugh, with the Grampian range on 



BIRSE. 101 

the south, and the lower chain of hills on the north, 
which separate the Feugh from Glen Cat. Finzean 
House stands on an elevated slope, with a southern 
exposure, nearly a mile north from the Feugh. The 
mansion was built at different times. The principal 
part of it was erected in 1686, the north wing was added 
in 1747, and in 18 50 the whole house was thoroughly- 
repaired. The pleasure grounds are beautiful, embel- 
lished with various kinds of trees and shrubs, among 
which are oaks, beeches, and elms of large dimensions. 
A grand hedge of holly wood runs along both sides of 
the approach to the front door, and also along the south 
side of the garden. This hedge is over twelve feet high, 
and six feet wide, and has a striking appearance. 

The Farquharsons of Finzean were descended from 
the Invercauld family. Robert Farquharson, a son of 
Donald Farquharson of Castletown, received a grant of 
Tilliegarmont, in Birse, by charter from the Bishop of 
Aberdeen in 1580. In the beginning of the seventeenth 
century Robert Farquharson purchased the lands and 
barony of Finzean from Gordon of Cluny. Robert mar- 
ried Margaret Mcintosh, and had issue, four sons and one 
daughter. He died in 1632, and was succeeded by his 
eldest son, Alexander Farquharson. He married Mary, 
a daughter of Alexander Keith of Altrie, Brucklay, by 
whom he had two sons and one daughter. Through his 
wife he obtained the lands of Migvie, in Cromar. He 
was succeeded by his eldest son, Francis. Donald, his 
second son, purchased the lands of Balfour. Francis 
was succeeded by his son, Robert, who was succeeded 
by his son, Francis. He made several additions to the 
estate of Finzean, and was succeeded by his son, 



102 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Archibald. He was succeeded by his son, Archibald, 
who died in 1841, without issue, and was succeeded by 
John Farquharson. 

In 1849, E)r. F. Farquharson succeeded to the estates 
of Finzean ; and he died in 1876, leaving three sons; 
and the eldest, Dr. Robert Farquharson, then succeeded 
to the estates, the present proprietor, and the member of 
Parliament for West Aberdeenshire. 

The lands of Ballogie lie on the north side of the 
Burn of Cattie. In the middle of the seventeenth 
century the lands of Ballogie were held by Charles Rose, 
and he married a grand-daughter of the chief of the 
Farquharsons. He was succeeded by his son, Alexander; 
and, in 1720, he was succeeded by his son, Hugh. After- 
wards, the estate passed through several hands ; but, in 
1 8 14, Lewis Farquharson became heir to Ballogie. He 
died in 1830, and was succeeded by his only son, Lewis. 
He died at Aberdeen in 1844 ; and the estate then fell 
to his sisters. They sold it in 1852 to Mr. James 
D. Nicol. 

Mr. Nicol greatly improved the estate. He erected a 
new mansion house in 1856, which stands on a fine 
elevated site, and has a striking appearance. The 
pleasure grounds are extensive and attractive. Mr. Nicol 
was elected member of Parliament for Kincardineshire in 
1 864, and he continued to represent the county until his 
death in 1872. He was succeeded by his son. 

It was stated before that Donald Farquharson pur- 
chased the lands of Balfour, and his descendants held 
the estate till the latter part of the last century, when 
Francis Farquharson sold it to the Earl of Aboyne. In 
1840, it was sold to Francis J. Cochran, advocate in 



BIRSE. 103 

Aberdeen. The lands of Balfour lie to the south-west 
of the Kirkton of Birse. Mr. Cochran built an elegant 
mansion in 1845, laid out a beautiful garden and pleasure 
grounds, and planted wood around the mansion. He 
greath' improved the estate, and the whole of it is 
now cultivated or under wood. Mr. Cochran died in 
1870, and was interred in the churchyard of Birse, where 
a monument was erected to his memory ; and there is 
also an inscribed tablet to his memory within the church. 
He was succeeded by his son, Alexander Cochran. This 
gentleman was for upwards of twenty years the head of 
the firms of Cochran & Smith, Cochran & Macpherson, 
advocates in Aberdeen. Mr. Cochran was an able 
lawyer, and an excellent business man ; and personally 
an exceedingly genial and kind-hearted gentleman. He 
died on the 8th June, 1893. 

The Rev. John Skinner, the well-known author of 
" TuUochgorum," many other fine poems, and other 
works, was born at Balfour in 1721. Among other 
eminent men born in Birse, may be mentioned Dr. 
Alexander Garden, a son of the Rev. Alexander Garden, 
minister of Birse from 1726 to 1777, who was a dis- 
tinguished physician at Charleston, South Carolina, an 
able naturalist, and a correspondent of Linnaeus ; Dr. 
Gilbert Ramsay, who was rector of Christ's Church, 
Barbadoes, and who bequeathed ;^500 to the poor of his 
native parish, ;^500 to endow a free school in it, and a 
sum of money to erect a bridge over the Feugh at its 
eastern end. Robert Dinnie was a native of the Parish 
of Birse. He was a mason to trade ; and was the 
father of the world-wide famous athlete, Donald 
Dinnie. He is the author of several small, interesting, 



104 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

and useful works. " An Account of the Parish of Birse," 
published in 1865; "Songs and Poems," which ap- 
peared in 1876; "The Deeside Guide," 1879; "Anecdotes 
of the Rev. Joseph Smith of Birse," 1882; and "A 
History of the Parish of Kincardine O'Neil," 1885. 
The most distinguished native of Strachan was Dr. 
Thomas Reid, the philosopher of " Common Sense," 
and a successful professor in the Universities of Aber- 
deen and of Glasgow. 

The Rev. Alexander Garden, mentioned before, was 
a violinist, poet, and composer. David Mortimer was 
born in Birse, on the 1 3th of June, 1 8 1 5. He was a famous 
violin player in his day. He died in 1892. His son, 
Peter Mortimer, born on the 26th July, 1849, is also an 
excellent violinist ; and he was a pupil of the celebrated 
William Blair. 

The inhabitants of the Valley of the Feugh and of 
Birse are a vigorous people. They are quiet, and very 
industrious, kind to one another, and remarkably 
intelligent. 



Chapter XI. 
BLACKHALL— KINCARDINE O'NEIL— LUMPHANAN. 

The estate of Blackball lies on the south side of the Dee, 
and the mansion house stands on a fine broad haugh, 
near the south bank of the river, two miles above 
Banchory. The old mansion was built in the castellated 
style. It was once a seat of the Bannerman family. Sir 
Alexander Bannerman died, leaving an only daughter, 
who married Mr. Robert Russell, and the lands of Black- 
hall passed into his hands. They had a daughter, who 
married Archibald Farquharson of Finzean, and he 
became owner of the lands of Blackball. But, in 1828, 
the estate was sold by his trustees, and it was acquired 
by Colonel John Campbell. He was succeeded by his 
son. About ten years ago Blackball was purchased by 
Mr. James T. Hay, and he has made great improvements 
on the estate. The old mansion house was demolished. 
A new mansion was built of granite — a large and massive 
structure, which presents a striking appearance. The 
interior of the mansion is exquisite. The internal 
arrangement is admirable, and the ornamental painting 
on the walls is executed w^ith fine symmetry and har- 
mony, elegant and beautiful. The mansion is well 
sheltered by wooded ridges on both sides of the Valley. 
In 1889 the avenue was entirely reconstructed. The 
porter lodge, at its entrance, is on the south-west side of 
the Bridge of Banchory, and the avenue runs along the 
south bank of the Dee two miles. 



1(>6 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Inchmarlo House stands on a beautiful green bank on 
the north side of the river, nearly opposite Blackball. It 
was indicated in a preceding chapter that Inchmarlo once 
belonged to a branch of the Douglas family. Mr. Walter 
Davidson, a son of the Rev. Dr. Patrick Davidson, 
minister of Rayne, became a successful banker in London; 
and in 1813 he purchased Inchmarlo from the trustees of 
John Douglas. He held the estate for a number of years, 
and afterwards sold it to Mr. Duncan Davidson of Tilly- 
chetly, advocate, Aberdeen. He was descended from 
a family of Davidsons who had been resident in Tarland 
for several centuries, and he was a son of John Davidson 
of Tillychetly, in the Parish of Alford. Mr. Duncan 
Davidson died at Aberdeen on the 8th of December, 
1849, and was succeeded by his son, Patrick Davidson, 
advocate. He was Professor of Law in the University of 
Aberdeen for a period of forty-eight years. He died in 
1 88 1, and was succeeded by his son, the present 
proprietor. 

About two miles to the north-west lies the estate and 
house of Glassel. The house is small, but the gardens 
and grounds are extensive ; there are fifteen miles of 
walks in the grounds, and the estate is well wooded. 
Campfield House stands on a fine elevated site on the 
lower slope of the Hill of Fare, facing the south. 

At Invercanny there is a small hamlet. Further 
westward, at Cairnton, is the intake for the water from 
the Dee, which is conveyed through a rock tunnel to the 
large reservoir at Invercanny — which contains the storage 
water in connection with the water supply of Aberdeen. 
On the 1 6th of October, 1866, the Queen performed the 
ceremon}^ of opening the waterworks. After the usual 



KINCARDINE O'NEIL. 107 

address to Her Majesty, which was read by Sir Alexander 
Anderson, Lord Provost, and presented, Her Majesty 
read her reply. " Then," the Queen says, " came the 
turning of the cock, and it was pretty to see the water 
rushing up." The Queen returned home by way of 
Inchmarlo House, and thence by Ballater to Balmoral. 
The sun was shining bright when Her Majesty turned on 
the water. I was standing on the opposite side of the 
reservoir. The volume of water rose clear, and the sun- 
beams rendered it beautiful. This was one of the great 
days of Sir Alexander Anderson's life ; he drove from 
Aberdeen in a carriage drawn by four horses to meet 
Her Majesty. 

Advancing up the Valley the scenery becomes more 
striking, and the hills increase in elevation. A village has 
recently sprung up at Torphins, in the vicinity of the 
railway station, and is rapidly developing. It has an 
Established Church and public schools, a post-office, and 
branch bank, several shops and an excellent hotel. The 
Free Church is about a mile east from the station. 

Craigmyle House stands on an eminence, amid 
patches of wood, a mile to the east of Torphins. It was 
stated in a preceding chapter that a member of the Burnett 
family of Leys acquired Craigmyle in the middle of the 
seventeenth century, and it was subsequently sold by the 
Burnetts to Alexander Farquharson of Monaltrie. He 
erected the present mansion house, and afterwards sold 
the estate to Mr. John Gordon. He left the estate to a 
relative, Mr. Peter Laing, who then assumed the name of 
Gordon. His son, John L. Gordon, succeeded to the 
estate. The estate of Craigmyle extends to twenty- 
seven hundred and sixty acres, of which about thirteen 
hundred are cultivated and two hundred under wood. 



108 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

The mansion house of Learney stands on an elevated 
site in the bend of the Hill of Fare, and is well sheltered by 
the wooded heights around it. The house was accidentally 
burnt in 1838, but it was rebuilt. It is a comparatively 
large and massive structure. Learney once belonged to 
the Forbeses, and at a later period to the Brebner family. 
Alexander Brebner of Learney had two daughters, and 
Jane, the elder one, married William Innes of Raemoir,' 
and had issue, two sons and one daughter, Alexander 
Innes of Cowie, in Kincardineshire ; and Thomas Innes, 
who was born on the 31st of October, 18 14. Thomas 
studied law and became an advocate. In 1839 he 
married Helen Christian, daughter of Thomas Burnett, 
Esq., of Aberdeen, and has issue. He is proprietor of 
Learney, and he has for many years taken an active and 
intelligent part in the business of the county of Aberdeen. 

Findrack House lies on the bank of the Burn of Beltie, 
on the west side of Learney Hill. It is a comparatively 
small structure, but elegant and commodious. The hill 
on the west and north of the house is wooded, and 
around it on the grounds there are belts and plots of trees. 
In 1670 Francis Fraser purchased Findrack from Sir 
Robert Forbes of Learney, and this branch of the Fraser 
family have continuously possessed the estate to the 
present time. 

The Valley in this stretch is well wooded, and at 
Potarch the scenery is picturesque. The Bridge of 
Potarch, which spans the Dee, was erected in 181 2, and 
cost i^3500, one half of which was paid by the Govern- 
ment and the other half by subscription. It consists of 

I The Inneses of Raemoir are a branch of the Balvenie family, Banffshire, and 
lineally descended from Innes of Edingight, in the Parish of Grange. 



KINCARDINE O'NEIL. 109 

three stone arches, the centre one of sixty-five feet, and 
the other two of sixty feet each. When all the piers were 
built, and two of the arches thrown, the \vhole was 
destroyed by rough trees which were floated down the 
river. The contractor, William Minty, received i^ 1200 of 
damages off the owners of the wood. The great flood of 
1829 greatly injured two of the piers, which were after- 
wards thoroughly repaired and bolted with iron bars by 
the original contractor. This bridge is in the line of the 
old road leading from Perth by Brechin over the Cairn o' 
Mounth, and the ford at Inchbaire is a little below the 
bridge. The bridge is founded on rock. Seventy yards 
above the bridge the channel of the river is narrowed by 
rocks to a linn, which at its narrowest point is about 
seventeen feet. It is said that John Young, one of a gang 
of tinkers, while fleeing from justice, leapt over the river 
above the bridge and escaped for a time — a feat not 
impossible for a young, athletic man, though the risk must 
have been considerable. 

On the southern side of the river at the bridge there 
is a good inn with a fine large lawn in front. Feeing 
markets are held here twice a year. 

Borrowstone House stands on the north side of the 
Valley, near the north Deeside road. It is a spacious 
mansion, surrounded with trees, shrubs, and hedges, a 
garden, and a small steading. Not many years ago there 
was a hamlet at Borrowstone, consisting of a number of 
small cottages. The chief inn of Kincardine O'Neil stood 
there for a long period. The Justice of the Peace Courts 
and Presbytery meetings were held at the inn from 1748 
till 1822. The Justices of Peace before proceeding to 
business were required to sign their names to the Oath of 



110 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Abjuration, in order to show that they were loyal subjects 
to His Majesty King George. 

From this point looking up the Valley a stretch of 
beautiful scenery meets the eye. The river stretches 
away westward through a fine level plain, highly culti- 
vated, while the wooded heights on either side of the 
Valley givQ varied hues of colour and contrast to the 
delightful scenes. 

The village of Kincardine O'Neil stands on the north 
side of this comparatively broad plain ; below it the river 
glides; on its east and west there are wooded heights, and 
on the north the ground rises gently. The village con- 
tains upwards of forty dwelling houses, and a population 
of over two hundred inhabitants. It is a site of great 
antiquity, and was inhabited in the prehistoric ages. 
Even its recorded history stretches back to an early 
period. It was originally within the Earldom of Mar ; 
but in the thirteenth century the barony of Kincardine 
O'Neil included a part of Lumphanan, and it was held 
by Allan Durward. He erected a hospital at Kincardine 
O'Neil in 1233, and granted to it the patronage of 
Lumphanan with its chapel of Forthery and other portions 
of land. Afterward the hospital was attached to the 
Bishopric of Aberdeen, and raised to a prebend of the 
Cathedral. The last of the Durwards connected with the 
barony of Kincardine O'Neil was a female, Anna 
Durward. 

In 1389 the barony of Kincardine O'Neil and Coull 
was confirmed by Robert 11. to his son Robert, Earl of 
Fife and Menteith. Afterward it was acquired by a 
branch of the Forbes family ; and John Forbes sold it to 
John Grant ; and toward the end of the last century it 



KINCARDINE O'NEIL. Ill 

was purchased by Francis Gordon. He died in 1861, 
and was succeeded by his grand-daughter ; and on her 
death by his great-grandson, Mr. Henry K. Scott. 
Recently, Mrs. Pickering purchased the estate of Kincar- 
dine O'Neil, and is erecting a new mansion house. 

The roofless walls of the old church stand on the 
south side of the village, and are covered with ivy in the 
churchyard. The area within the walls of the old church 
is used as a burial ground for the heritors of the parish. 
The present Parish Church stands on the north side of the 
road, and was erected in 1862 ; it is a chaste and com- 
modious structure. The manse is on a slight eminence 
in the vicinity of the church, and was erected in 1846. 
At the west end of the village is an Episcopal Church, 
with a manse and a graveyard. 

Prior to the opening of the Deeside Railway, the 
village of Kincardine O'Neil was a bustling place, as all 
the traffic between Aberdeen and Braemar passed 
through it. For a long period it was a halting-place of 
the cattle dealers and drovers, when driving their herds 
of cattle and sheep to the southern markets. About half- 
a-mile to the north-west of the village, on a moor, two 
annual markets, in May and August, are held. Below 
the village there is a ferry-boat for conveying persons 
across the river. 

There are several excellent mansions in the neighbour- 
hood of the village. Mr. John Grant purchased the 
estate of Kincardine O'Neil in 1780, and erected the 
mansion house on it, now called Kincardine Lodge. This 
house stands on the slope of a ridge in a fine elevated 
position, with a southern exposure, and about a half-a- 
mile eastward from the village. The height on the east 



112 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

and north of the house is covered with wood, and around 
it there are various kinds of trees and ornamental shrubs. 
It is a pretty large and commodious house, and com- 
mands an extensive view of the surrounding district. Mr. 
Grant planted a large quantity of wood, and executed 
many other improvements on the estate. He was origin- 
ally a tailor, but a relative left to him a large sum of 
money, with which he purchased the estate. While he 
was proprietor, Kincardine Lodge was usually in the 
locality called " Needle Ha'," in allusion to his former 
occupation. There is a flat stone at the east door of the 
old church with this inscription — " Sacred to the memory 
of John Grant, Esq. of Kincardine O'Neil. Ob. 9 May, 
1799. yEtatos 63." 

A mile above the village, on the south side of the 
Dee, Carlogie House stands on a fine haugh, amid trees 
and ornamental shrubs. It is built in the cottage style of 
architecture, with the river in front, about a hundred 
and fifty yards off, and the beautifully-wooded and 
sloping heights behind it. In summer, when woods and 
the face of nature are clad with verdure, Carlogie and its 
surroundings vividly recall the thought of a veritable 
paradise. It is truly a charming and delightful spot. 

On the opposite side of the river, Desswood House 
stands on the slope of an eminence, embosomed by 
woods, the residence of Mr. Alexander Davidson, 
advocate. The site is elevated, with a southern exposure, 
and is exceedingly fine and picturesque. Forty years 
ago, new gardens were formed, and the pleasure grounds 
planned and laid out with fine taste and rare skill. In 
the 2"rounds various kinds of ornamental trees were 
planted at intervals, and on the south and east of the 



KINCARDINE O'NEIL. 113 

mansion there are belts of fine growing trees ; while on 
the north side of the house, the summit of the hill which 
rises above it is covered with fir trees. The house itself 
is an elegant and symmetrical structure, and everything 
about it is kept in admirable order. The estate was pur- 
chased by' Mr. Duncan Davidson in the early part of this T^"^ 
centu!^, and he was succeeded by his son, the present ' 
proprietor. ■' , f^^^ 

About the middle of the present century there were _ ^ 
nine licensed houses in the parish ; now there are only 
two inns — one at Torphins, and another in the village of -'--vv^ 
Kincardine O'Neil. The inhabitants of Kincardine O'Neil U^^ 
are sober, industrious, excellent cultivators of the land, 
and very intelligent. In 1842, there were three circulat- 
ing libraries in the parish. 

The parish has produced some distinguished men. 
Alexander Ross, the author of " Helenore," and other 
poems in the Scottish dialect, was the son of a farmer in 
this parish. He followed the honourable and useful 
profession of a parochial schoolmaster, and died at 
Lochlee in 1784, at the advanced age of eighty-five 
years. Mr. John H. Anderson, better known under the 
title of the " Wizard of the North," was a native of the 
parish, and born in 18 14. He began life as a herd-boy. 
Afterwards, he became a famous and successful per- 
former of sleight-of-hand and conjuring tricks. He 
travelled through many quarters of the globe, and every- 
where drew large and distinguished audiences. Mr. 
Anderson died at Darlington in 1874. Peter Milne, a 
native of Kincardine O'Neil, was born on the 30th of 
September, 1824. He was one of the foremost violin 
players in the north of Scotland. In 185 1, he succeeded 
I 



114 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

James Young, as musical leader of the Theatre Royal, 
Aberdeen. He was specially famous as a player of reels 
and strathspeys. He also attained distinction as a 
teacher, and composed a number of pieces. James 
Gerrie, a native of Lumphanan, was born on the 3rd 
of March, 1852. He is a notable harmoniumist and 
vocal composer. 

Lumphanan has many interesting historic associa- 
tions ; and in it and the locality of Kincardine O'Neil 
there are some traces of prehistoric occupation. 

The village of Lumphanan has sprung up in connec- 
tion with the railway in the immediate vicinity of the 
station. The Parish Church is a short distance south- 
west of the station, on the south side of the railway ; and 
the Free Church and Manse stand on the north side of 
the railway. There is a hotel and a branch of the North 
of Scotland Bank in the village. 

Glenmillan House is nearly a mile to the north-east 
of the village. It was the residence of the late Mr. 
Robert Smith, advocate. The estate of Glenmillan, 
under the name of Cloak, was in 1330 granted, along 
with other lands, by Randolph, Earl of Moray, to Sir 
James Garioch. From his son, Andrew Garioch of 
Caskieben, Robert Chalmers obtained these lands, to be 
held of the Earl of Moray. From this Robert Chalmers 
w^ere descended the Chalmerses of Balnacraig and 
Auldbar. 

In 1363, Andrew Rose, a son of the second baron of 
Kilravock, obtained the lands of Auchlossan. This 
branch of the Roses appear to have gradually extended 
their possessions in the district. In 1544, a feud arose 
between the Forbeses and Strachans of Lenturk, owing 



LUMPHANAN. 115 

to the supposed guilt of Strachan in betraying the con- 
spiracy of the Master of Forbes against the Hfe of 
James V. Nicholas Rose of i\uchlossan was one of the 
jury who found the Master of Forbes guilty. He joined 
the laird of Lenturk, and in one of the conflicts with the 
Forbeses, Rose was slain. In 1643, the possessions of 
the Roses consisted of the barony of Auchlossan, the 
lands of Bogloch, Deray Croft, and Croft of Alderan. 
On the nth of September, 1709, Captain Francis Rose 
fell at the Battle of Malplaquet, in France ; and, in 171 5, 
his estate was sold by his creditors. 

The Duguids of Auchinhove, in 1534, pleaded, in an 
action raised by the Earl of Mar against his vassals, that 
*' they and their predecessors had been infeft in their 
lands holding of the King, for a period of two hundred 
years." In 1656, Francis Duguid purchased from 
George Forbes of Corse the part of the barony of O'Neil 
which lay in Lumphanan, comprising Easter and Wester 
Kincraigie, Knowhead-Hillock, and Bogloch ; and, in 
1675, they had also lands in other parishes. The head 
of the family, in 1745, joined Prince Charles. He was 
an officer in the rebel army, and very active in raising 
large sums of money in the district ; and Duguid's 
mansion house was burned by a company of the Duke 
of Cumberland's troops. After the suppression of the 
rising, the greater part of the estate was sold. In 1699, 
Robert Duguid married Teressa Leslie of Balquhain ; 
and their son, Patrick Leslie Duguid, succeeded to the 
estate of Balquhain as heir of entail, after a protracted 
lawsuit. The Duguids of Auchinhove trace a direct 
male line from 1400. 

In the last century the Farquharsons of Finzean pur- 



116 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

chased Auchlossan, which had belonged to the Roses, 
and the greater part of Auchinhove. The Forbeses of 
Craigievar obtained possession of Kintocher in 17 12. 
This branch of the Forbeses was descended from 
Patrick, the third son of James, the second Lord Forbes. 

The lands of Halton, Pitmurchie, and Craigamore, in 
Lumphanan, were granted by James III. to Thomas 
Charteris in 1487 ; and his grandson, Thomas Charteris 
of Kinfauns, was served heir to the barony of Lumphanan, 
lying within the barony of O'Neil, in 1546. In 1655, 
Patrick Irvine succeeded his grandfather, John Irvine, in 
the lands of Halton, Pitmurchie, and Craigton, lying 
within the barony of Lumphanan. John Irvine of 
Pitmurchie was appointed Chancellor of an Assize held 
on the 25th April, 1597, for the trial of witches. 

Turning to traces of ancient structures, the Peel Bog 
lies in a marshy hollow near the church. It is a circular 
earthen mound, forty-six yards in diameter, eleven feet 
above the level of the bog, and surrounded by a moat. 
The Burn of Lumphanan supplied the water for the 
moat. It is conjectured that a wooden fort was erected 
on the mound at an early period. This structure seems 
to have been superseded by a stone building, erected in 
the fifteenth century. The ruins of the stone structure 
existed on the top of the mound in the latter part of the 
last century ; at that time the walls and southern gable, 
though decayed and defaced, were quite visible, and it 
was then called Haaton House. About a century ago, 
the tenant of the farm of Bogloch razed the crumbling 
structure to the foundation, and used the stones for 
building purposes in the neighbourhood. 

The Houff is about a mile from the Peel Bog, and it 



LUMPHANAN. 117 

seems to have been a place of defence in early times ; 
some traces of the structure are still visible. At a later 
period, according to tradition, it became the burial 
ground of the Duguids. The ruins of the Castle of 
Auchinhove lie about a mile to the south-west of the 
Peel Bog ; it was the stronghold of the Duguid family. 

The ruins of the old Tower of Maud stand at the 
west end of Moss Maud. It was a small structure, only 
twenty feet over the walls both ways. The remaining 
walls are only a few feet in height, but very thick and 
strong. It was probably erected in the fifteenth century. 

Two hundred years ago the Loch of Auchlossan 
probably covered an area of six hundred acres ; but 
subsequently its outlet at Drumduan was deepened, 
which reduced its extent to under three hundred acres. 
The loch was a great resort of snipes and other water 
fowls. Nearly forty years ago, Mr. James W. Barclay, 
ex-M.P., completely drained the loch by diverting the 
streams which fed it, and excavating a tunnel which 
carried the surface water into the Burn of Dess. Thus, 
by the enterprise of one man, the area of the loch was 
turned into dry land, and is now a cultivated farm. 

The most interesting and important historic 
event in Lumphanan is associated with Macbeth, 
which I will now present. Upon the death of 
Malcolm II., the lineal descendants in the male 
line of Kenneth M'Alpin, the founder of the Scot- 
tish dynasty, became extinct, and he was succeeded 
by his grandson, Duncan, a son of one of Malcolm's 
daughters. But other aspirants to the throne disputed 
Duncan's right, and he soon became involved in a 
desperate struggle with the local chiefs beyond the Spey. 



118 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Duncan appears to have been a very able prince ; but 
when the other local chiefs beyond the Spey joined 
Macbeth, they proved too strong for him, and after a 
severe struggle, Duncan was slain by Macbeth near Elgin. 

Macbeth then marched southward, crossed the Dee, 
proceeded by Brechin, and mounted the throne at Scone 
in 1040. For five years he reigned undisturbed. He 
was descended from one of the Kings of Dalriada, and 
Gruoch, his wife, was a daughter of Bode, son of Kenneth, 
and thus related to the Royal line. In 1045, Crinan, father 
of Duncan, and lay Abbot of Dunkeld, mustered all his 
followers and the opponents of Macbeth, with the 
intention of driving him from the throne. A severe 
battle ensued, in which Crinan was slain, and Macbeth 
gained a complete victory. He was an able and 
vigorous ruler, and the kingdom seems to have enjoyed 
unusual tranquillity and prosperity under his sway. 

The late King, Duncan, left two sons — mere children 
at the time of his death — their mother being related 
to Siward, the Earl of Northumberland. In 1054, 
Siward mustered a large and well equipped army, and a 
naval force to co-operate with it, and invaded Scotland to 
drive Macbeth from the throne. This army marched 
northward in quest of Macbeth, crossed the Forth at 
Stirling, and proceeded towards the Tay. Macbeth 
posted his army around the Hill Fort of Dunsinnane. A 
great battle ensued, which raged with the utmost fury, 
and many were slain on Doth sides. But the result was 
not decisive, as Siward retired southward, and returned 
home to Northumberland, and died in 1055. The 
expedition, however, had enabled Malcolm, son of 
Duncan, to obtain possession of the country between the 
Forth and the Tweed ; but Macbeth was still King of 



LUMPHANAN. 119 

the country beyond the Forth, and young Malcolm had 
to depend on his own resources to recover the kingdom 
from the grasp of his opponent. Malcolm III. was a prince 
of great energy ; after feeling his way, and gaining the 
support of the people, in 1057 he resolved to try issues 
with Macbeth. 

Malcolm marched northward, and crossed the 
Mounth, and approached the Dee. Macbeth posted 
his followers on a height — probably Perkhill — and there 
stood on the defensive. On discovering his enemy's 
position, Malcolm determined to cross the Dee and risk 
a battle. Macbeth's army was probably as large as that 
of Malcolm. Nevertheless, Malcolm advanced and 
attacked Macbeth, and on the 15th of August, 1057, a 
fierce battle was fought, in which Macbeth and many 
of his followers were slain. Yet the war was not 
terminated, as it appears that the remnant of Macbeth's 
followers had retreated north towards the Don ; and 
then rallied round Lulach, who continued the struggle 
for the throne of Scotland. The war was carried on in the 
region between the Dee and the Deveron ; and it thus 
appears that the people of this district were supporters 
of Macbeth and his successor, Lulach. On the 17th of 
March, 1058, Lulach was defeated and slain at Essy, in 
Strathbogie. Shortly after, Malcolm III. mounted the 
throne of Scotland at Scone. Macbeth's Cairn stood on 
Perkhill, but the stones have been removed, and the site 
planted and enclosed. 

At the foot of the Hill of Corse there was, in 1842, 
an earthen rampart or hill fort, three hundred and thirty 
yards long ; and opposite to it, a quarter of a mile 
distant, at the foot of the Hill of Milmahd, there was 
another fort of a similar description. 



Chapter XII. 

ABOYNE— GLENTANNER— CULBLEAN. 

The stretch of the Valley from the Burn of Dess to Loch 
Kinnord presents many varied features. On both sides 
of the river the scenery is finely diversified. The surface 
of the country on the north side is rather hilly, but not 
mountainous. The highest points are the Hill of 
Mortlich, 1248 feet, and Culblean, 1567 feet; while, on 
the south side, the highest summits of the mountain 
range rise to 3000 feet. On both sides the Valley is 
well wooded. 

Aboyne, with its castle and burgh of barony, is a 
centre of great historic interest and importance, and 
several notable families have been connected with it ; 
while from a prehistoric standpoint the district is ex- 
ceedingly interesting. 

The village of Charlestown of Aboyne stands on a fine 
esplanade on the north bank of the Dee, encircled by 
woods [and groups of different kinds of trees, which 
afford shelter and enhance its beauty. It chiefly con- 
sists of spacious villas and terraces, situated to the west 
and north-west of the railway station, and the business 
part of the burgh. There [is a fine large Green, which 
lends a charming feature to the amenity of the village. 
It affords ample space for all kinds of outdoor amuse- 
ments and games ; while it is also used as the market- 
stance. The Public Hall is on the south side of the Green, 



ABOYNE. 121 

and it contains a library, a reading-room, and a billiard- 
room. The Parish Church was erected in 1842, and 
stands at the top of the Green. It is a chaste and well- 
built structure, and affords room for six hundred and 
thirty sitters. The manse is a short distance west from 
the church, and situated in a beautiful and retired spot 
amid the woods. The Free Church stands on the east 
side of the village ; it is built in the Gothic style, with a 
chaste spire, and forms a pleasing feature in the beautiful 
landscape. Walking from the village westward, towards 
the Suspension Bridge, and looking up and down the 
Valley and across the river, the scenery is exquisitely fine, 
charming, and serene. 

Three-quarters of a mile north from the village is the 
Castle of Aboyne, the residence of the Marquis of Huntly. 
The site seems to have been occupied by a defensive 
structure at a very early period, and surrounded by a 
moat. The present castle stands on a small eminence in 
a fine vale, at a height of four hundred feet above sea 
level. It is a large and massive structure, erected at 
different times. The west wing was built in 1671, by 
Charles Gordon, first Earl of Aboyne ; the east wing was 
erected in 1 801, by the fifth Earl ; and another addition 
was made to the castle in 1869. The castle is surrounded 
by extensive w^oods, which cover about three thousand 
acres of land. The out-lying woods mostly consist of 
pines and larch, but in the immediate vicinity of the 
castle there are a variety of beautiful trees — oak, elm, 
beech, ash, spruce, and birch — some of which are of great 
age and size. The pleasure grounds and gardens are ex- 
tensive, and embrace an artificial loch, which covers 
thirty-two acres — forming a beautiful sheet of water. 



122 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

There are several wooded islets on it. In the policies 
near the castle, a sculptured stone, six feet six inches 
high, with a cross on it, stands on a knoll ; it originally 
stood on the bank of Loch Kinnord, and about eighty 
years ago it was removed to its present site for more 
careful preservation. 

Two miles eastward of the castle are the ruins of the 
mansion house of Tillphoudie, which in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries was the residence of a branch of 
the Gordons of Aboyne. 

The old church of Aboyne stood near the end of the 
loch, and in the old churchyard there are some interest- 
ing monuments. There is a fragment of a sculpture 
stone with an Ogham inscription on it ; only other four 
specimens of this class of inscriptions are known on the 
mainland of Scotland ; the fragment here is, therefore, of 
great interest. Here, within an inclosure, lie the remains 
of the Inneses of Balnacraig and Ballogie. 

Balnacraig lies on the east extremity of the Parish of 
Aboyne, and on the south side of the Dee. Balnacraig 
House stands high on the south shoulder of a hill, and 
on the north a rocky and wooded eminence rises abruptly 
above the house. The site is beautiful and picturesque, 
and the view from it along the Dee westward, and of the 
mountains to the south, is very fine. The greater part of 
the estate is covered with wood. 

A family of the name of Chalmers held the estate of 
Balnacraig at an early period. Subsequently it was ac- 
quired by the Davidsons, from whom it was purchased 
by the Inneses about 1725, The Innes family made 
additions to the mansion house, and being Roman 
Catholics, they formed a chapel in the east wing. It does 



ABOYNE. 123 

not appear that the head of the family joined the Rising 
of 1745 ; but shortly after the battle of Culloden, a com- 
pany of soldiers arrived with the intention of burning the 
house. This, however, seems to have been prevented by 
the hospitality shown to the soldiers. One soldier thrust 
his head into an earthen jar which contained honey, and 
when satisfied with its contents, he found, amid the 
jeering of his comrades, that his head could only be ex- 
tricated by breaking the mouth of the jar. The soldiers 
merely set fire to the poultry-house, and then retired. 
The honey jar, with its broken mouth, was long preserved 
by the representatives of the family. The Inneses of 
Balnacraig and Ballogie became extinct in the early part 
of this century, and were succeeded by their relative, 
Lewis Farquharson, who assumed the name of Innes on 
becoming heir to their property. He died in 1834, and 
his heir sold Balnacraig to James D. Nicol in 1852, who 
was succeeded by his son, William E. Nicol. 

The Suspension Bridge which spans the Dee above 
Aboyne was erected by the Earl of Aboyne in 1828 and 
1 83 1, and it was reconstructed by the Road Trustees in 
1 87 1. Near the bridge, on the south side of the river, 
stands Auldinnie Tower, on a wooded eminence. A burn 
of the same name runs past it and enters the Dee a little 
above the bridge. About a mile above the bridge the 
water of Tanner joins the Dee. The ruins of the old 
church and graveyard of Glentanner lie on the south 
bank of the Dee, on the farm of Cobleheuch. Glentanner 
is comparatively narrow, but the hills on either side are 
not of great elevation. The glen was long famed for its 
pine trees, and there are still long stretches of woods on 
both sides of the glen. Portions of the lower part of the 



124 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

glen are suitable for cultivation, but only a small part is 
under tillage. About fifty years ago the glen was turned 
into a deer forest. 

The water of Tanner is spanned by the Bridge of Ess, 
at a romantic spot half-a-mile above the confluence of 
the Tanner with the Dee. A square loop-holed tower 
guards the bridge, and here the bed of the stream is rocky 
and its banks finely fringed with trees. The old Fir 
Mounth road crosses Glentanner, and thence to the ford 
or ferry of the Dee near the railway station of Dinnet. 
Edward I., in 1296, when returning south on his triumphal 
progress through Scotland, called at Rothes, Kildrummy 
Castle, and Kinnord, crossed the Dee at Boat of Dinnet, 
and marched through Glentanner, and onward to Brechin. 

During the last century and the first quarter of the 
present one, Glentanner was a great centre of smuggling. 
The making of whisky was then considered by the in- 
habitants as a natural right and an honest industry, 
although, especially since the Union, the Government of 
the country had decreed otherwise. This view of smug- 
gling was not confined to the natives of Glentanner or 
the Valley of the Dee, for it prevailed throughout 
Scotland. Indeed, for a considerable time after the 
Union, the struggle with the excisemen and the revenue 
officers was universal over the kingdom, and it led to 
many lively scenes and tragic deeds. It is said that 
thirteen smuggling brewing-houses were often working at 
the same time in Glentanner, which is quite likely, for I 
have frequently observed in the north of Scotland the 
sites and remains of a dozen smuggling brewing- houses 
within a much more limited area than Glentanner. 

Many years ago, Sir William Cunlifife Brooks, Bart., 



ABOYNE. 125 

took a lease of Glentanner from his son-in-law, the 
Marquis of Huntly, and subsequently Sir William 
purchased the Glen. He effected many improvements, 
and greatly enhanced the beauty of the region. The 
deer in the glen sometimes made inroads on the crops of 
the farmers in the locality, and to prevent this Sir 
William has erected many miles of strong iron-wire fenc- 
ing. He has also directed special attention to the 
introducing of an ample supply of the purest water, 
erecting healthier houses for the tenants and workmen on 
his estate, and making good roads, and thus greatly im- 
proving the sanitary conditions. 

The mansion house of Glentanner, Sir William's 
residence, stands on a fine site on the left side of the glen, 
and was erected by him. It is a chaste and artistic 
structure, both externally and internally. The gardens 
and the grounds are extensive and admirably laid out, 
and above the mansion house there are several artificial 
lakelets which enhance the beauties of the landscape. 
The farm-steading and offices are all admirably planned 
and kept in excellent order. On the right bank of the 
stream is the Episcopal Chapel of St. Lesmo, which was 
consecrated by the late Bishop Suther, of Aberdeen, in 
1 87 1. There is a graveyard connected with the chapel, 
and in its immediate vicinity is St. Lesmo's Well, 
inscribed — " Drink, weary pilgrim ; drink and pray.'* 
The sanctuary of the forest surrounds the chapel, and 
within it no animal may be slain or hurt, and the deer 
seem to recognise this great privilege. The scene is 
exceedingly beautiful. 

Sir William is a most hospitable gentleman. Every 
year many strangers, and frequently large companies of 



126 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

ladies and gentlemen, are all heartily welcomed to view 
his remarkable residence, and its striking and well- 
ordered surroundings. 

Up the glen there are no dwelling-houses beyond the 
mansion house, and the carriage road terminates seven 
miles above it, at a trim and picturesque shiel. 

Proceeding up the Valley, at Dinnet, an iron bridge 
spans the Dee, which was erected by the Marquis of 
Huntly, and superseded the ferry boat mentioned before. 
A church has been erected at Dinnet, which stands on 
the south side of the railway, and the manse of Rev. 
J. G. Michie, minister of Dinnet, is situated in a beautiful 
spot at the north-west end of the bridge. 

Mr. Michie is a native of the Parish of Crathie. He 
has keen literary and archselogical tastes, and has a rare 
store of traditional lore and other information touching 
the state of the inhabitants of the Valley of the Dee and 
its glens in bygone ages. He is the author of an exceed- 
ingly interesting and valuable volume of tales and 
traditions of the people of the upper stretch of the Valley 
of the Dee. This volume embodied in a popular form 
much valuable information, which would soon have been 
lost for ever. He is also the author of a very instructive 
work entitled " History of Loch Kinnord," published in 
1877, and I have been much indebted to him for various 
information. 

Mr. Michie doubtless would have given the public 
other works from his store of accurate knowledge, if the 
misfortune of weak health had not overtaken him. I 
believe few men are so well qualified to write the history 
of the Valley of the Dee as Mr. Michie. 

About two miles westward from Dinnet Bridge, on 



ABOYNE. 127 

the south side of the river, is the site of Dee Castle, on a 
small eminence. Its original name was Kandychyle. It 
seems to have been chiefly used as a hunting seat by the 
Huntly family, when they visited their Deeside estates. 
It was burned in 1641, and afterwards became a ruin. A 
fragment of its wall forms part of the modern house 
erected on the site. 

A little further up the Valley, on the same side of the 
river, is the farmhouse of Ballaterich, where Lord Byron 
lived for some time when a boy. It appears that the 
surrounding scenery and the mountains had a wonderful 
fascination over his youthful and glowing imagination. 
Morven occurs in several of his poems, and Mary 
Robertson, the farmer's second daughter, had certainly 
won the warm boyish affection of the young poet, and 
many years after, her image was not effaced from his 
memory. A few lines from the poet may be quoted : — 

When I roved a young Highlander o'er the dark heath, 

And climbed thy steep summit, O Morven of snow ; 
To gaze on the torrent that thundered beneath, 

Or the mist on the tempest that gathered below ; 
Untutored by science, a stranger to fear, 

And rude as the rocks where my infancy grew, 
No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear, 

Need I say, my sweet Mary, 'twas centred in you ? 

James Neil was born in the Parish of Aboyne in 1800. 
He was an excellent violin-player, and instrumental 
composer. He was very popular in the locality. He 
died in 1868, and left three sons, all of whom showed 
musical talents. James Neil, born in 1832, was a fine 
violin-player. He died in 1890, and left a number of 
excellent violins. Alexander, born in 1837, was a good 
violin-player. He entered the army, and attained the 



128 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

rank of Surgeon Major in the medical service. He died 
in 1879. George Neil, born in 1839, is a violin-player, 
and a good teacher of music. 

On the north side of the Valley, a short distance 
westward from the railway station, stands Dinnet House, 
which was recently erected by Charles Wilson, M.P., 
who purchased the lands in the neighbourhood. It is a 
pretty large structure, and a prominent feature in the 
landscape. 

Loch Kinnord and Loch Davan are about half-a-mile 
to the north-west of Dinnet railway station ; they are 
only one hundred yards apart from each other. Loch 
Kinnord covers an area of 225 acres. Loch Davan is 
much smaller. On Loch Kinnord there are several islets, 
finely wooded, and the margins of both lochs are beauti- 
fully skirted with birchwood, alder, and juniper bushes. 
The Hill of Culblean slopes down to their western shores, 
and the burn of Vat issues from the hill and enters Loch 
Kinnord. The Vat, a short distance west of Loch 
Kinnord, is a kind of cave in the bed of the burn of the 
same name, formed by the rocks over which the stream 
falls, and present a very pretty scene. 

On a small eminence near the margin of Loch Davan, 
is Glendavan House, the residence of Dr. Alexander 
Ogston, Professor of Surgery in the University of 
Aberdeen. 

During the minority of David H., Edward Baliol 
aspired to the throne, and supported by a few English 
nobles, who claimed lands in Scotland, he invaded the 
kingdom in 1332. The following year Edward HI. 
threw off the mask, and openly assisted Baliol. In the 
space of five years, Edward III. led in person four 



ABOYNE. 129 

successive invasions into Scotland, and reduced the nation 
tothegreatest extremities. David Strathbogie, ninth Earlof 
Athole, wavered in his allegiance, and repeatedly changed 
sides. At last, in the service of Edward III., he be- 
sieged the Castle of Kildrummy. The garrison, though 
few in number, was brave and determined, and made a 
heroic defence for the national cause. When Sir Andrew 
Moray, the Regent, received tidings of Athole's attack on 
Kildrummy, he immediately marched northward to raise 
the siege. Athole prepared to face the Regent, and 
leaving Kildrummy, he marched his army to a position 
on the wooded slope of Culblean. The Regent was ac- 
companied by William Douglas, Sir Alexander Gordon 
of Strathbogie, the Earl of Dunbar, Ramsay of Preston, 
and other leading men ; the army numbered eight 
hundred fighting men. Athole's following was probably 
much larger, as his territorial power was then very ex- 
tensive. The battle was fought on the 30th of November, 
1335. William Douglas led the vanguard with a strong 
company of stalwart men, and advanced with consummate 
tact, watching his opportunity, and at the proper 
moment ordered his men to couch their spears and 
charge the centre of the enemy's line, and a furious hand- 
to-hand combat ensued. Sir Andrew Moray then rapidly 
advanced with the main body, and assailed the enemy in 
flank with unbearable fury. Athole fell on the field ; his 
followers were completely defeated, and fled in confusion. 
This battle was a very important national event. It 
formed a turning point, as the national party at the time 
were reduced to dire extremity, while Athole was the 
most powerful noble in Scotland, owing to his extensive 
territorial possessions and his connection with the Comyns 
K 



130 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

through marriage ; thus his continued opposition would 
have proved ruinous to the national cause. From this 
time the King's party steadily gained ground, and in 1339 
Baliol finally fled from Scotland, and assumed his natural 
position as a pensioned dependant on England. 

In early times the whole Valley of the Dee was 
within the Earldom of Mar, but in the later part of the 
twelfth century and the early part of the thirteenth the 
greater portion of the stretch of the Valley below Cambus 
o' May was cut off from the Earldom. A considerable 
portion of this land was assigned to the Church and the 
monasteries ; small parts of it were retained for a time 
in the hands of the Crown, and a large part of it was 
given to the Durward family. 

In the early part of the thirteenth century, the Bisset 
family had obtained possession of Aboyne, and in 1242 
Walter Bisset was lord of the barony. It appears that a 
feud existed between Bisset and Patrick, Earl of Athole, 
who was burnt to death at his residence in Haddington. 
Walter Bisset was suspected of having instigated this 
deed, although he cleared himself in a trial at Edinburgh; 
yet he retired to England, and was protected by Henry 
III. Another Walter Bisset received a charter of the 
lands of x^boyne from Robert I., which was confirmed to 
his son, Thomas Bisset, by a charter of David II. The 
male line of the Aboyne Bissets terminated in an heiress, 
and she married John Eraser, a nephew'of Robert I., soon 
after the battle of Culblean. Thus the lordship of 
Aboyne passed into the hands of the Eraser family. 

But the eldest daughter of John Eraser, Margaret, 
married Sir William Keith, the Marischal of Scotland, 
and he received with her Aboyne and other lands, 



ABOYNE. 131 

including the thanedom of Durris, the baronies of 
Strachan, Culperso, Johnstone, and many other estates. 
They had three sons and four daughters, and the 
youngest daughter, Elizabeth Keith, married Sir Adam 
Gordon of Huntly. The eldest son, John Keith, married 
a daughter of Robert II.; but John died shortly after, 
leaving an only son, who also died before his grandfather, 
leaving an only daughter. Lady Jane Keith. This lady 
married Alexander Gordon, first Earl of Huntly, and 
with her he received the lands of Aboyne, Glentanner, 
Cluny, Tullich, and Glenmuick. 

Towards the close of the fifteenth century, Adam 
Gordon, second son of the second Earl of Huntly, married 
Elizabeth Sutherland, and the Earl then assigned to them 
the barony of Aboyne. They resided at Ferrar, where 
their son, Alexander, was born, who became the first Earl 
of Sutherland of the name of Gordon. The Countess 
succeeded to the Earldom of Sutherland in 1515 ; still 
the family continued to reside mostly at i\boyne ; as they 
were much attached to their Deeside residence. The 
Countess died at Aboyne in 1535, and was interred there ; 
and her husband died at Ferrar in 1537, and was interred 
beside the Countess. Their eldest son, Alexander, suc- 
ceeded to the Earldom, as first Earl of Sutherland of the 
name of Gordon. 

George, the fourth Earl of Huntly, was too much 
engaged in the public affairs of the nation to look after 
the improvement of this portion of his wide territories. 
In his personality the power and influence of the house 
of Huntly reached its culmination. In fact, he was for 
some time King of Scotland, north of the Tay ; but the 
rising power and ambition of James Stuart, Earl of Mar, 



132 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Earl of Moray, and Regent of Scotland, for a brief period 
greatly injured the Huntly family. 

Moray had resolved to crush the Earl of Huntly, and^ 
for a time, he was successful. On the 28th of October, 
1562, the Earl of Huntly fell at the battle of Corrichie. 
His titles and estates were forfeited to the Crown ; but in 
truth, the Crown had not sufficient strength to 
carry the forfeiture into effect, even with Moray and 
Lethington as its instigators. In 1565 the titles and 
estates were restored by Queen Mary to his son, the fifth 
Earl of Huntly. He took an active part in the stirring 
events and scenes of the period. He died in 1576, and 
was succeeded by his son, George, the sixth Earl, and 
first Marquis of Huntly. As he was a minor, the 
management of the estates and the leadership of the clan 
fell to his uncle. Sir Adam Gordon — the hero of many a 
a ballad, under the title of " Edom o' Gordon." When 
the young Earl attained his majority, he manifested some 
rashness and extravagance, but the sobering influence of 
experience and years produced a marked improvement 
on his character. In 1599 he was created first Marquis 
of Huntly. He then retired from politics, and devoted 
his attention to the improvement of his estates. He 
covered many a rough moor with plantations, repaired 
and built mansions, not for warlike purposes, but to add 
to the comforts and conveniences of civilised life. Dee 
Castle then became the chief residence of the Marquis 
and his family when they sojourned at their Deeside 
lands. 

The Aboyne peerage commenced in 1627 when 
Charles I. created Lord John Gordon, second son of the 
first Marquis, Viscount of Melgum and Lord Aboyne. 



ABOYNE. 133 

Unhappily, the young Lord was burned to death in the 
house of Frendraught, on 8th October, 1630, which termi- 
nated this peerage. In 1632, George, Lord Gordon, eldest 
5on of the first Marquis, was created Viscount of Aboyne 
during the life of his father, and if he should survive his 
father and succeed to the Marquisate, the title of Viscount 
should then descend to his second son, James, and his 
heirs male. On the death of his father in 1636, he suc- 
ceeded to the lands as second Marquis of Huntly, while 
the Aboyne peerage descended to his second son, James, 
who then became second Viscount of Aboyne. He soon 
after engaged in the Covenanting struggle on the side of 
the King. His father and elder brother were then 
prisoners in Edinburgh, and he mustered the clan in 
order to repel an invasion of their territories by the Earl 
of Montrose, and the battle, which occured at the Bridge 
of Dee, has already been noticed. 

In the summer of 1640 the Covenanters, under Argyle, 
visited the Valley of the Dee, but they did little damage 
to the lands of the Gordons on that occasion. The 
Marquis of Huntly had the Royal commission of 
Lieutenancy of the North, and mustered his clan and 
vassals and fixed his headquarters at Aboyne. At this 
time Viscount Aboyne was in England with the King, 
and Lord Gordon was with the Covenanters. On the 
approach of an army of six thousand men under Argyle, 
Huntly disbanded his men and retired to Strathbogie, 
and afterwards to a sequestered isle in Strathnaver, in the 
north-west of Sutherlandshire, where he lay concealed for 
a considerable time. 

Meantime eight hundred Argyleshire men came to 
Cromar, Aboyne, Strachan, and the districts around, 



134 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

where they had a daily allowance off the country of 
twenty-four bolls of meal, one hundred and twenty sheep, 
and a number of cattle, and sixty dollars of money. They 
drew the rents, and lived upon the Marquis of Huntly's 
lands of Cromar, Glentanner, Glenmuick, and other 
districts, from May to the ist of July. 

As the Marquis of Huntly at the commencement of 
the Covenanting struggle had been entrapped by 
Montrose, he never could;trust him ; but his sons, Lord 
Gordon and Viscount Aboyne, joined Montrose, and 
fought under him against the Covenanters. They were 
both engaged at the battle of Auldearn ; and at the 
battle of Alford on the 2nd July, 1645, Lord Gordon was 
slain. He was twenty-eight years of age, a comely, 
brave, and magnanimous gentleman, and his death was 
greatly and deeply lamented. When the Marquis heard 
of the death of his eldest son he returned from Strath- 
naver to his own country. The Marquis himself was 
always a supporter of the Throne ; even after the King 
was a prisoner with the Scottish army, Huntly made an 
attempt to assist him, which failed. He then disbanded 
his followers, and fled to Lochaber for safety. The Com- 
mittee of Estates offered a reward of ;^iooo sterling to 
any person who should apprehend him. He succeeded 
in eluding the pursuit of his enemies for several months, 
living in caves and the recesses of forests in the wildest 
parts of the Highlands. Aided by a few faithful attend- 
ants, he was lying concealed at the farmhouse of Dalnabo, 
three miles below Inchroy, when his hiding place was 
discovered by the agents of the Government. Toward 
the end of December, 1647, Colonel Menzies, with a com- 
pany of troops at midnight surrounded Dalnabo ; the 



ABOYNE. 135 

Marquis had only ten men around him, some of whom 
were servants, yet they made a heroic stand to protect 
their master against fearful odds. Six of them were 
killed on the spot and the rest mortally wounded. 
Menzies immediately conveyed the Marquis to Blairfindie, 
in Glenlivet, and afterward he was carried to Edinburgh 
and imprisoned. He was confined in prison from the 
end of December, 1647, till March, 1649. A sad fate 
waited him, more heartrending, because at the time, his 
brother-in-law, Argyle, was at the head of the Scottish 
Government. The Marquis of Huntly was executed on 
the 22nd of March, 1649, ^t the cross of Edinburgh. 
There is no evidence that Argyle made any effort to save 
the Marquis' life ; although there is evidence of another 
character, namely, that Argyle made profit to himself off 
the Marquis' estates. 

The Marquis' surviving sons managed to escape; the 
eldest, James, Viscount Aboyne, and Lord Lewis Gordon 
fled to Paris ; Charles, the third son, narrowly escaped 
with his life ; and Henry, the youngest, went abroad and 
entered the serv^ice of the King of Poland. Viscount 
Aboyne died in the spring of 1649, and leaving no issue, 
the Viscounty of Aboyne became extinct. Lewis died in 
1653, leaving an infant son, George. This boy, after the 
Restoration, had the estates and titles restored to him, 
and some twenty years later he was created first Duke of 
Gordon. 

Charles Gordon, uncle of the preceding, was created 
Earl of Aboyne and Lord Gordon of Strathavon and 
Glenlivet in 1660. A portion of the family property was 
then conveyed to him, consisting of all the lands and 
lordship of Aboyne. Thus, Charles was the first Earl of 
Aboyne. For many years he had full charge of the 



136 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Huntly estates, when his nephew, the Marquis, was a 
minor, and he did much to restore the fortunes of the 
family. 

The Earl married Margaret Irvine, a sister of the 
laird of Drum, and by her he had an only daughter. 
Margaret was a lady of great attractions, and poetically 
commemorated as " bonny Peggie Irvine." She died in 
1664. Afterward the Earl married Elizabeth Lyon, a 
daughter of the Earl of Kinghorn, by whom he had 
three sons and one daughter. The Earl was a man of 
great energy, and occasionally indulged in writing verses. 
Several of his pieces occur in manuscript collections of 
this period, and he produced a satire on the Duke of 
Lauderdale. He died in 1681. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Charles, second 
Earl of Aboyne. He died in 1702, and was succeeded 
by his son, John, third Earl of Aboyne. He married 
Grace, a daughter of Sir George Lockhart of Carnwath, a 
well-known Jacobite, and a keen opponent of the Union. 
The Earl joined in Mar's Rising in 171 5, which involved 
him in many difficulties. He died in 1732. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Charles, a boy of six years, fourth 
Earl of Aboyne. 

The Earl had acquired strong Jacobite feelings, and 
probably he would have joined the Rising of 1745, if his 
friends had not wisely conveyed him to Paris under 
colour of completing his education. On attaining his 
majority, he found the property heavily burdened, and in 
order to clear off the debt, in 1749 he sold the Glenmuick 
portion to John Farquharson of Invercauld. He then 
became afraid that, owing to the limits of his estates, he 
would be unable to live in Scotland, and sent his baggage 
to Paris, intending shortly to follow and live abroad. His 



ABOYNE. 137 

love for the land of his birth, however, prevailed, and he 
ordered his baggage to be brought back. 

He then earnestly directed his attention to the im- 
provement of his lands. He planted woods, erected 
about forty miles of stone fences five feet in height, and 
induced his tenants to adopt improved means of agricul- 
ture ; and he soon cleared the lands of debt. In 1759 he 
married Margaret Stewart, a daughter of the Earl of 
Galloway, and by her he had a son and two daughters. 
She died at Aboyne Castle, on the 12th of August, 1762. 
In 1774, the Earl married Mary Douglas, a daughter of 
James, ninth Earl of Morton, and by her he had a son. 
After a very active and upright life, he died at Edinburgh, 
on the 28th of December, 1794, in the sixty-eighth year 
of his age. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, George, fifth 
Earl of Aboyne. In 1791, he married Catherine, a 
daughter of Sir Charles Hope of Brewern, and by her he 
had issue, six sons and three daughters. In 181 5 he was 
created a British peer under the title of Baron Meldrum 
of Morven, and in virtue of this he sat in the House of 
Lords. On the death of George, fifth Duke of Gordon, 
and eighth Marquis of Huntly, in 1836, the Earl of 
Aboyne succeeded to the title of Marquis of Huntly. 
The Marquis died on the 17th of June, 1853, at the great 
age of ninety-two years. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Charles Gordon, 
tenth Marquis of Huntly. In 1844, he married Mary 
Antoinette, a daughter of the Rev. P. W. Pegus, by whom 
he had issue seven sons and seven daughters. He died 
on the 1 8th of September, 1863, in the seventy-first year 
of his age, and was succeeded by his eldest son, the 
present Marquis of Huntly. 



Chapter XIII. 
TULLICH— BALLATER. 

The real Highland stretch of the Valley commences at 
the moor of Dinnet, thence upward the mountains con- 
tinuously rise in elevation ; while the Dee itself emerges 
from the Highlands by the narrow Pass of Cambus o' 
May. The general aspects of the Valley are mountainous 
and woody, ridges and hills rising in elevation as they 
recede from the river. On the south side the highest 
mountains are Mount Keen and Lochnagar, which are 
a considerable distance off; and the intervening space 
between them and the river presents a fine succession of 
hills and ridges, which are partly covered with natural 
woods and bushes, and planted trees. On the north side 
the highest mountains are Culblean and Morven, and a 
succession of lower hills and ridges. From Cambus o' 
May northward along the eastern slopes of Culblean and 
Morven, far up the crags and hill sides, and uncultivated 
ground, natural birch, alder, juniper bushes, and scots fir 
are found. The margins of the river from Cambus o' May 
to the water of Gairn are fringed with natural birch, ash, 
alder, and aspen trees. The woods of Tullich, Monaltrie 
House, and Craigendarroch consist of a variety of 
different kinds of trees. 

The railway station of Cambus o' May stands on a 
beautiful spot at the base of Culblean amid a grove of 
natural birches and close to the edge of the Dee. The 



TULLICH. 13& 

beauty of Cambus o' May has been celebrated in 
poetry : — 

*' Ye may wander at will, from the sea to Glen Lui, 

The grey Silver City to heath clad Braemar ; 
Seek shelter and silence, on stern Ben Muich Dhui, 

Or woo the wild grandeur of dark Lochnagar : 
Yet ne'er in your roaming, from morn -break till gloaming, 

Shall scene more endearing ere lighten the way, 
Than where the Dee gliding, through beauty abiding, 

Salutes with soft murmur sweet Gammas O'May. 



The breezes blow round me from steep Cragendarra' ; 

The owrecome o' sangs I hae gladsomely sung ; 
I hear the loud pibroch, nae music can marrow 

Save the soul-warming thrill o' my auld mither tongue : 
I hae rowed o'er the ferry, for hazel and berry. 

Sailed aften sinsyne across ocean and bay ; 
But thocht ne're would sever from Dee, childhood's river. 

And hours I hae spent at sweet Gammas O'May." ' 

Westward from the station are the ruins of the old church 
and graveyard of Tullich. The church was dedicated to 
St. Nathalan, and the churches of Glenmuick and 
Glengairn were vicarages belonging to Tullich. The 
ruins of the old church present some features of antiquity, 
and it was probably erected about the middle of the 
fifteenth century. Within the walls of the church is the 
burial ground of the Farquharsons of Whitehouse and 
Shiels. To the eastward of the old church, on a birch- 
clad eminence, there is an obelisk of Aberdeen granite, 
erected by his widow, to the memory of William 
Farquharson of Monaltrie, who died on the 28th of 
November, 1828. She died in 1857, and was interred 
in Tullich Churchyard. 

Francis Farquharson of Monaltrie, locally known as 
Baron Ban, joined the Rising of 1745. He led the 

I Under Lochnagar, p. i6o. 



140 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Farquharsons at the battle of Culloden, where he was 
taken prisoner, conveyed to London, tried, and condemn- 
ed to death ; but he received a reprieve, and afterwards 
a pardon. His estates, however, were confiscated ; 
although after the passing of the Act for restoring the 
forfeited estates in 1784, Mr. Farquharson received his 
lands on the payment of ;^i6i3. He was a very liberal- 
minded and enterprising landlord, and did much for the 
improvement of the district by erecting bridges and 
forming roads. Mr. Farquharson also utilised the mineral 
springs at Pannanich, which are on the opposite side of 
the river, and where he erected dwelling-houses, and 
public and private bathrooms. He died in 1790. The 
wells of Pannanich became famous for curing certain 
maladies, and many persons resorted to them. They lie 
on the south side of the Dee nearly two miles below 
Ballater, and in 1842 the following notice of them was 
given in the " Statistical account" : — " By chemical 
analysis these wells, four in number, and all near to one 
another, have been found not exactly alike in their 
properties, but all containing carbonates of iron and lime, 
with small proportions of other ingredients. They are 
all chalybeate, stimulant, and tonic, of a cold temperature, 
but very agreeable to the taste ; and although injurious 
to consumptive patients, they are allowed to be bene- 
ficial to those afflicted with gravelly and scrofulous 
complaints. For the accommodation of water drinkers, 
there are comfortable, well-aired lodgings at those wells, 
and also hot, cold, and shower baths ; and in the summer 
season a great many people resort to them from all parts 
of the country." The establishment in connection with 
the wells is still carried on, and in the summer season a 



TULLICH. 141 

vehicle runs between it and Ballater. There is a very 
nice hamlet at Pannanich. 

The old village of Tullich stood in the immediate 
vicinity of the ruins of the old church ; and in the middle 
of the last century it was the capital of the district, where 
the post-office and inn were located, and in which the 
weaver, shoemaker, and tailor had their workshops ; but 
the success of Pannanich suggested the idea of commenc- 
ing to build at Ballater ; hence the origin of this thriving 
burgh, which soon outstript its older neighbour. 

A few yards to the west of the ruins of the old church,, 
the Burn of Tullich is crossed by a bridge, and from this 
standpoint a grand view of the surrounding mountains 
and scenery is presented to the eye. Indeed, the entrance 
to the Highlands of Braemar by the Pass of Ballater 
presents many features of surpassing variety and sublim- 
ity. The greatest artist could produce but an imperfect 
representation of the landscapes, which in turn attract 
the eye of the beholder. Who could paint the distant 
mountains, rising in rugged grandeur over the peak of 
the range of green hills, with its scarred front dazzling 
dim in the sunshine that throws its fissures into deep 
shade ? "A magnificent mass, truly, is Lochnagar, as 
many a one has felt, and said before now. It may not be 
the king of Scottish mountains, but at this moment, at 
least, I am almost inclined to accord it that pre-eminence. 
There are higher mountains in Scotland, but mere height 
hardly merits supremacy." ' But Lochnagar does not 
alone form the scene. From its broad mass and pictur- 
esque outline there is a continuous lower range of moun- 
tains, and, intervening between us and its base, a beautiful 

I Dr. MacGillivray's Deeside, p. 32. 



142 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

green range of hills. Stretching out before us is the 
plain of Ballater, presenting cultivated fields and thickets 
of birch. " On this side of it is a long rugged range of 
granite hills, the furthest of which seems to have been 
rent by an earthquake, leaving the deep gap, called the 
Pass of Ballater." The river sweeps along the base of the 
steep banks, covered with weeping birches and firs, and 
winds round the promontory and into the plain. 

Near the Bridge of Tullich the road divides into two, 
one road going direct through the Pass of Ballater, and 
the other passing through the burgh of Ballater. Until 
recently the road through the Pass of Ballater was the 
only entrance to the Braemar Highlands. The Pass is a 
a deep and narrow gorge, with Craigendarroch on its 
south side, and Creagant-Seabhaig on the north, and these 
two craggy heights rise very steeply on either side of the 
gorge. It forms an exceedingly curious and picturesque 
feature of the scenery. 

The burgh of Ballater is situated in a fine plain on 
the north side of the Valley, at an elevation of seven 
hundred and fifty feet above sea level, and amid beautiful 
scenery. The Dee sweeps round in a curving form, and 
encompasses the west and south sides of the plain on 
which the town stands ; while the rocky, precipitous, and 
well-wooded hill of Craigendarroch shelters it on the 
north. As the town is of comparatively recent origin, 
none of the houses are old, the greater part of it having 
been built in the present century. The town is laid out 
on a regular plan : the streets and lanes cross the main 
street at right angles, in so far as the original plan has 
been carried out ; but quite recently new terraces and 
streets have been formed, and houses built on them. A 



BALLATER. 143 

considerable number of excellent villas and cottages 
have also been erected in the immediate vicinity of the 
burgh. The Parish Church stands in the square, and was 
built in 1875. It is a pretty, large, and chaste structure, 
with a spire and a clock in it. The Free Church is at 
the north-west side of the town, and is a pretty, handsome 
building. The Albert Memorial Hall is opposite the 
Railway Station, and it contains the Post and Telegraph 
Offices, a Library, which contains a considerable number 
of well-selected and important works ; a reading room, 
and a billiard room. This building was erected by Mr. 
Alexander Gordon, London, a native of the parish, and 
cost a sum of about ^^3000. The Barracks lie at the 
northern extremity of the town, and were erected to 
accommodate the Queen's guard of honour when Her 
Majesty is at Balmoral. The Invercauld Arms — a large 
hotel — is at the south-east end of the town, on the north 
bank of the river. There is also a Temperance Hotel 
near the Square. 

In 1842 the population of the village of Ballater was 
271. It had then a circulating library and a savings 
bank. In 1875 the population had increased to 400; and 
the population of the town now exceeds 1000, and is still 
rapidly increasing. Since 1863 the town has been 
lighted with gas ; and it is now supplied with pure spring 
water from a reservoir on the slope of Glengairn. A few 
years ago the inhabitants adopted the Police Act, and the 
burgh of Ballater has its own Provost, Magistrates, and 
municipal organisation. The sanitary arrangements are 
excellent ; the burgh has a clean appearance, bracing air, 
and the aspect of health and comfort. 

At Ballater, on the 26th of September, 1876, Her 



144 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Majesty the Queen presented new Colours to the Royal 
Scots Regiment of Foot. On the occasion the Queen said : 
— "I have been associated with your Regiment from my 
earliest infancy, as my dear father was your Colonel, I 
now present these^, Colours to you, convinced that you 
will always uphold the glory and reputation of my First 
Regiment of Foot — the Royal Scots." 

Monaltrie House stands on a fine lawn at the base of 
the south-east extremity of Craigendarroch, about half-a- 
mile from Ballater. It is well sheltered by old oak trees, 
and the grounds are intersected with charming walks. 
The lands and the house now belong to Mr. Farquharson 
of Invercauld. 

Craigendarroch Lodge is on the western slope of this 
hill, a short distance from Ballater. It belongs to Mr. 
J. M. Keiller, Dundee, who purchased the estate of 
Morven. Along the south-western slope and the base of 
Craigendarroch, a number of fine villas and cottages have 
recently been erected 

Opposite to Ballater a bridge spans the Dee, but the 
bridges at this point have been very unfortunate. An 
excellent stone bridge of five arches was swept away by a 
high flood in August, 1799. Another massive stone bridge 
of five arches was shortly after erected, which cost nearly 
;^5000. It stood till the great flood of August, 1829, and 
had it not been that a great quantity of trees and brush- 
wood and other debris brought down by the flood blocked 
up the arches the bridge would have stood ; but the 
arches became so jammed with wood and other things, 
including cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry, that the water 
was dammed up to such a height that nothing could 
withstand it. A loud crack was heard, instantly the 



BALLATER. 145 

strong masonry was seen to sway, and with a crash like 
thunder the material burst into pieces, and was hurled 
into the river. In 1834 a strong wooden bridge of five 
arches was erected on the site of the former stone one, 
which cost upwards of ;^2000 ; but it has been superseded 
by a new granite bridge erected on the same site. 

This locality is remarkable for the notable musicians 
associated with it. Francis Gordon was born in this 
neighbourhood on the 7th of November, 1773. He was 
an excellent violin-player, and a man of reputation. 
James M. Cattanach was born in Glengairn in 1779. He 
was a noted violinist, a composer, and a dancing master. 
He died in 1839. 

James Ross was born in the later part of the last 
century, and resided in Tullich. He was a violin-player 
of note in his day : and he had three sons, all of whom 
were violinists. James, born in Tullich on the 4th of 
December, 1818, was a celebrated violin-player. He 
often played with the famous Archibald Menzies. Ross 
especially excelled in playing reels and strathspeys; his 
style was very stirring. He died at Edinburgh in 1882. 
His brother, John, was born in Tullich on the 12th of 
January, 181 5. He was a good violinist, and often played 
on public occasions. William, another brother, was a 
violin-player of note. 

George Stewart was born near Ballater on the 4th of 
December, 1793. He was an excellent violin-player. In 
1850 he went to Australia, where he died in 1866. Rev. 
James M'Naughton was born at Ballater on the 17th of 
September, 1835. He was a fine violin-player; and 
he died at Aberdeen on the 25th of October, 1879. 
John Knowles was born at Ballater on the 5th of 
L 



146 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

October, 1865. He is a popular player and teacher of 
music. 

Alexander Littlejohn was born in Glenmuick, on the 
20th of December, 1854. He is a good violin-player, and 
is the eldest of six brothers, all of whom are musicians : — 
William plays the violin and cornet, John plays the violin, 
Charles the flute, James the violincello, and Andrew the 
violin. They have occasionally played at the Queen's 
balls at Balmoral, and at other gentlemen's balls in the 
surrounding district ; and their services are often in 
request. 

Alexander Troup was born at Dalbadgie, in the vicinity 
of Ballater, on the 15th of September, 1835. He is an 
excellent musician — a violinist and musicographer. He 
has often acted as a judge at pipe and violin competitions ; 
has a wide and accurate knowledge of the works of 
Scottish violin composers ; and possesses a valuable 
collection of works on Scottish music and musicians. He 
is esteemed as one of the highest living authorities upon 
all points relating to Scottish music. He has played on 
various occasions at Balmoral. He is also a good vocal 
musician. In his twenty-first year, he led the psalmody 
in the church of Crathie before Her Majesty the Queen. 
He is a man of rare gifts and energy. His elder 
brother, James, who went to Australia, is also a fine violin 
player.' 



I Musical Scotland Past and Present. By David Baptie, 1894. 



Chapter XIV. 
GLENMUICK. 

The Water of Muick is one of the largest tributaries of 
the Dee from the south side of the Valley, while 
Glenmuick itself contains very fine, diversified, and 
sublime scenery. In its lower part the Glen is pretty 
wide. 

The water of Muick is spanned by a stone bridge, a 
little above its junction with the Dee. Near the bridge 
the manse of the united parish stands on a beautiful spot. 
The Churchyard of Glenmuick is at the north-west end of 
the bridge, and the old church stood in the graveyard, 
and was dedicated to St. Mary, but not a vestige of it 
now remains. The burial ground of the Gordons of 
Abergeldie is in the churchyard, enclosed with an iron 
railing, and within it is a square monument with inscrip- 
tions, to the memory of several members of the family. 

At a very early period the lands of Glenmuick were 
under the Mormaers of Mar, and afterwards the old 
Celtic Earls of Mar : but gradually the central authority 
on the banks of the Tay, at Scone, encroached upon the 
Earl's Kingdom. From 1125 to 1286 the Scottish Kings 
greatly extended their power by grants of lands to 
bishoprics, monasteries, and churches ; and also by grants 
of lands to new Crown vassals under feudal tenure. Thus 
it was that the Bisset family became the landlords of 
Glenmuick in the thirteenth century. They were super- 
seded by the Eraser family, and, after a generation, 



148 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Glenmuick passed, by marriage, to Sir William Keith, 
Great Marischal of Scotland. The Keiths held it for 
about seventy years, but the grasping Duke of Albany, 
when Regent of Scotland, attempted to deprive them of 
these lands, in favour of his own kin, the Earl of Buchan. 
In the middle of the fifteenth century, the lands of 
Glenmuick passed, by marriage, into the hands of the 
Earl of Huntly. 

As stated in a preceding chapter, Glenmuick was pur- 
chased by John Farquharson of Invercauld from the 
Earl of Aboyne. In 1863 the south-east side of 
Glenmuick was purchased from Farquharson of Invercauld 
by the late Sir James T. Mackenzie, Bart, but the left or 
west side of Glenmuick is now attached to the Balmoral 
estates, the lands of Birkhall having been purchased for 
the Prince of Wales from Gordon of Abergeldie. 

The old Castle of Braickley stood on the east side of 
the glen, but scarcely a fragment of it now remains. It 
was occupied by a Gordon in the seventeenth century, and 
some traditions are associated with it. A story is told of 
an encounter between the Baron of Braickley and 
Farquharson of Inverey, in which the former was slain. 
There is also a ballad which gives an account of a con- 
flict between the Farquharsons and the Gordons, when a 
Baron of Braickley is said to have been killed. The 
modern house of Braickley is in the vicinity of the site of 
the old castle. 

The ruins of the old Castle of Knock stand on an 
eminence amid trees, on the west side of the glen, a short 
distance above the bridge of Muick. The ruins show 
that it had been a keep of considerable strength. From 
its elevated position it commands a wide view of the 



GLENMUICK. 149 

surrounding country; but a much earlier tower once existed 
near the same site. Alexander, the third Earl of Huntly, 
appointed one of his own sons to the command of Knock 
Castle. George, the fourth Earl of Huntly, granted the 
lands and Castle of Knock to a brother of the laird of 
Abergeldie, a kinsman of his own. A feud arose between 
the Gordons and the Forbeses, and after the battle of 
Corrichie, in 1 562, it became more embittered. Conflicts 
took place between the Gordons of Abergeldie and the 
Forbeses of Strathgirnock, whose lands intervened 
between Knock and Abergeldie. In 1571, a fight 
between the Gordons and the Forbeses, led by the laird 
of Strathgirnock, occurred at the Crabstane, Aberdeen, in 
which Alister Gordon took Forbes a prisoner. He was 
conveyed to Auchindoun, and imprisoned in Sir Adam 
Gordon's Castle on Glenfiddich. After a time Forbes 
was liberated ; but the feud continued. 

Henry Gordon of Knock was killed in a raid by a 
company of the Forbeses and the Clan Chattan. He was 
succeeded by his brother, Alexander Gordon, who, about 
the beginning of the seventeenth century, erected the 
Castle of Knock, the ruins of which still remain. It ap- 
pears, however, that he did not live long in peace. 
According to tradition, his seven sons were casting peats 
one day, and quite unaware of any hostile movement, 
when a party of the Forbeses led by Strathgirnock, sud- 
denly attacked and slew them. Their father, on receiving 
tidings of this, was completely unnerved, and when 
leaning on the banister of the stair, he fell over it and 
was killed. Forbes was summarily condemned, and 
executed in his own house. His lands were then added 
to Abergeldie, and while Knock Castle continued to be 



150 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

inhabited it was a seat of the Abergeldie family, or oc- 
cupied by some members of that family. 

About a mile further up the glen, and on the west side^ 
Birkhall House stands on a fine site amid trees and near 
the bank of the stream. It is a plain three-storey house, 
but its charming and serene surroundings render it a 
desirable residence. It was erected in 171 5, but it was 
subsequently enlarged. 

On the opposite side of the glen the late Sir James T. 
Mackenzie, Bart, erected Glenmuick House in 1873. It lies 
on a beautiful situation amid extensive plantations, and 
from Ballater it presents an exceedingly attractive appear- 
ance. It is built of granite,and forms three sides of a square^ 
and the north wing is surmounted by a very thick tower, 
seventy-five feet in height ; but this massive structure, on 
a near view, looks extremely heavy. Sir James erected 
an Episcopal church in 1875, called St. Nathalan's, which 
stands within the grounds a little below the mansion 
house ; and beside the church he built a vault in which 
the remains of several members of the family are interred. 
Sir James T. Mackenzie was a son of a silk mercer in 
Aberdeen, and he made money abroad. He died very 
rich, leaving an elaborate will, which in coming genera- 
tions may give work to lawyers and Courts. He was 
succeeded by his son. Sir Allan Mackenzie. 

The glen is almost continuously wooded to the Royal 
lodge of Alltnaguibhsaich. About five miles up, the glen 
becomes narrow, and the scenery varied and beautiful. 
At the falls of Muick the hills that bound the glen 
approach each other on either side, and form a craggy 
pass, where the stream falls over a slanting rock in two 
currents, forming a cascade of forty feet in height, and at 



GLENMUICK. 151 

its bottom a deep, eddying pool is formed, with a rocky 
wall on the southern side, and on its shelves and recesses 
several trees and a variety of plants. The Fall is very 
beautiful, and the scene charming and picturesque. 

Proceeding upward, the glen widens out, and about a 
mile above the Falls, is the small farm of Inschnabobart, 
the only cultivated land now in this stretch of the glen. 
A mile further up stands the sequestered Lodge ot 
Alltnaguibhsaich, which belongs to Her Majesty the 
Queen, It was built in the life-time of the late Prince 
Consort. The lodge consists of two large rooms and 
six or seven bedrooms. It is well sheltered by plantations, 
and is an exceedingly picturesque and charming spot. It 
is on the Abergeldie estate, and the Gordons had a 
cottage here previous to the erection of the present 
lodge. Loch Muick is a mile above the lodge. 

The loch is 1310 feet above sea level. It is over two 
miles in length and half-a-mile in breadth, and in some 
parts it is sixty fathoms in depth. It is a fine sheet of 
water, covering an area of 960 acres. It has one islet. 
The loch occupies the upper part of a narrow plain, and 
it is bounded on the northern side, by a steep scarred 
bank formed by a spur of Lochnagar, and on the southern 
side by a high ridge, with a deep gap in the middle and 
precipices near the lower end. On both sides of the loch 
there are trees and bushes, chiefly in crevices and by the 
rills which rush down the ribs of the hills. The trees 
consist mostly of birch, aspen, alder, rowan, and some 
willows. For its sequestered aspect, grandeur, and sub- 
limity, combined with its picturesqueness, the scenery of 
Loch Muick is unsurpassed anywhere in Scotland. Her 
Majesty the Queen refers to it, and is a great admirer of 
Highland scenery. 



152 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

The Glasallt Shiel is near the upper end of the loch, 
on the bank of the Glasallt Burn at its entrance into the 
loch. It was erected for the Queen in 1868, and is the 
most remote and sequestered of Her Majesty's Highland 
residences. It is a chaste structure of two storeys, sur- 
rounded by fir trees, mostly planted since it was built. 
The Glasallt Burn rises near the summit of Lochnagar. 
Half-a-mile above its entrance into the loch, the burn has 
a grand and beautiful Fall over granite rocks ; the Falls 
are one hundred and fifty feet in height. 

From the Glasallt Shiel to Loch Dubh, a distance of 
nearly two miles, the water of Muick flows amid grand 
scenery. On both sides of the stream the mountains rise 
steep and high, and present magnificent aspects. Loch 
Dubh is 2091 feet above sea level, three-quarters of a mile 
in length, and covers an area of sixty acres. Two high 
mountains encompass the loch on the south and south- 
west, which present great granite rocks and precipices 
overhanging the sheet of water ; at the highest point their 
perpendicular height is eight hundred feet ; the rocks on 
the north-east side of the loch are not so steep, and do 
not come so near the edge of the water. There are plenty 
of trouts in Loch Dubh. On the Lochnagar group of 
mountains there are other lochlets and great corries. 

A very extensive view of the surrounding country is 
obtained from the summit of Lochnagar. A number of 
persons have recorded the extent of their view from this 
elevated point. I will quote Dr. Macgillivray, who says 
his view extended : — " As far as the Lothians, Stirlingshire, 
the southern Grampians, many of the Perthshire moun- 
tains, those of the upper extremity of Aberdeenshire, 
beyond them some of the great prominences of the 



GLENMUICK. 153 

counties of Argyll and Inverness ; ridges and hills even 
beyond the Moray Firth, as well as the lower eastern 
tracts, extending to Aberdeen." ' 

It seems appropriate to close this chapter with 
Byron's poem on Lochnagar — 

Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses ! 

In you let the minions of luxury rove ; 
Restore me the rocks where the snow-flake reposes, 

Though still they are sacred to freedom and love. 
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains, 

Round their white summits though elements war ; 
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth flowing fountains, 

I sigh for the valley of dark Lochnagar. 

Ah ! there my young footsteps in infancy wander'd. 

My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid ; 
On chieftains long perish'd my memory pondered. 

As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade ; 
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory 

Gave place to the rays of the bright Polar star ; 
For fancy was cheer'd by traditional story. 

Disclosed by the natives of dark Lochnagar. 

*' Shades of the dead ! have I not heard your voices 

Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale? " 
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices. 

And rides on the wind o'er his own Highland vale. 
Round Lochnagar while the stormy mist gathers, 

Winter presides in his cold icy car ; 
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers ; 

They dwell in the tempests of dark Lochnagar. 

" Ill-starred, though brave, did no visions foreboding. 

Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause ? " 
Ah ! were you destined to die at Culloden, 

Victory crown'd not your fall with applause ; 
Still were you happy in death's earthly slumber. 

You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar ; 
The pibroch resounds to the piper's loud number. 

Your deeds on the echoes of dark Lochnagar. 

Years have rolled on, Lochnagar, since I left you, 

Years must elapse ere I tread you again ; 
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you. 

Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain. 
England ! thy beauties are tame and domestic 

To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar ; 
O ! for the crags that are wild and majestic — 

The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar ! 

I Deeside, pp. 43-46. 



Chapter XV. 
GLENGAIRN— STRATHGIRNOCK— ABERGELDIE. 

Almost throughout the stretch of the Valley from 
Ballater to Braemar, the scenery is charming and ex- 
quisitely beautiful when viewed in a fine summer day in 
all its variant glories. Hills of moderate elevation and of 
varied forms, some conical and round-topped, others of 
different forms, and very steep, rocky and craggy; and 
these hills are generally covered for a considerable way 
up their ribs, and sometimes to their summits, with woods 
of Scotch fir, birch, and here and there several other 
varieties of trees interspersed. The Valley bounded by 
these hills, though comparatively narrow, is highly cul- 
tivated or closely wooded, and through it the clear and 
beautiful river winds onward in its stony bed. Farm- 
steadings and cottages appear at intervals on the haughs 
along the river side, and on the most beautiful and 
pleasant sites magnificent mansions attract the eye. 

Proceeding upward from Ballater, the road passes 
along the south-western base of Craigendarroch amid 
plantations and fine villas on both sides of the road, and 
on the opposite side of the river the green-topped Colyes 
of Muick appear. A mile and a half above Ballater, the 
water of Gairn is spanned by a stone bridge, and about 
a quarter of a mile below it, this large stream enters the 
Dee. 

A little below the bridge, on the east side of the water 
of Gairn, the ruins of the old Church of Glengairn stand 



GLENGAIRN. 155 

on a haugh within the churchyard. The church was 
dedicated to St. Kentigern, better known as St Mungo. 
Part of the front and gable walls of the church are still 
standing, and several ash trees are growing within its area. 
There are a considerable number of gravestones with in- 
scriptions in it, but none of a very early date. The remains 
of some of the Mackenzies of Dalmore are interred in it, 
and Dalmore was once the name of Mar Lodge. There is a 
tradition that the first of this family was a natural son of 
Kenneth, the ninth Earl of Kintail, who received a grant 
of Dalmore on account of the services of his father to 
James IV. Several gravestones present long ages. A 
headstone has the following inscription to the memory of 
a Roman Catholic priest, a native of Glengairn : — " Pray 
for the soul of Lachlan M'Intosh, priest, who, having 
faithfully discharged the duties of his pastoral office in 
this mission of Glengairn, for about sixty-four years, died 
worn out with age and infirmities, on the lOth of March, 
1846, in the ninety-third year of his age. May he rest in 
peace." 

Two miles above the bridge, on the north side of the 
Gairn, there is a Roman Catholic chapel and mission 
house ; and a little further up the glen is the burial 
ground of Dalfad. It is within an enclosure, in which are 
the ruins of an old Roman Catholic chapel. There are 
four or five tombstones in it, which mark the graves of a 
family of the name of M'Gregor, who were proprietors of 
the lands of Dalfad in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. The M'Gregor clan were excessively and 
savagely persecuted and hunted down by the authority 
of the Government from the later part of the sixteenth 
century till past the middle of the seventeenth. The 



156 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

M'Gregors of Dalfad and other natives of the glen, 
mustered on a haugh on the south side of the Water of 
Gairn to the number of twenty-four men, and marched to 
the Moor of CuUoden, where they fought for Prince 
Charles ; and eighteen of them fell on that fatal field. 

About four miles further up the glen is the burial 
ground of the Macdonalds of Rineaton, which occupies a 
rising ground about half-a-mile west of the old mansion 
house of Rineaton. It contains half an acre of ground, 
and is enclosed by a stone wall, and surrounded by larch 
trees. In its centre there is a square vault ^with tomb- 
stones inscribed. A perpetual right to this burial ground 
was acquired by the Macdonalds for the payment of a 
nominal feu-duty of i^d. per annum. 

The Macdonalds of Rineaton trace their descent from 
the Lord of the Isles. The first Macdonald of Rineaton 
was taken a prisoner at the battle of Harlaw, and shortly 
after that event, the Earl of Mar granted to him the lands 
of Rineaton. They held this property till the present cen- 
tury, when it was sold by William Macdonald to 
Farquharson of Invercauld. The mansion house of 
Rineaton consists of two storeys, and is now usually occu- 
pied by a gamekeeper. 

The quoad sacra church is about five miles up the 
glen, and stands on the left bank of the Gairn. 

There is not much planted wood in Glengairn. At 
the Bridge of Gairn there are small clumps of Scotch firs 
and larch, and at Gairnshiel, five miles up the glen, there 
are belts of larch ; but the margins of the stream and the 
lower slopes of the hills are covered with clusters of 
natural birch, alders, and here and there groups of Scotch 
firs, rowan, and aspen trees. 



GLENGAIRN. 157 

The site of the old Castle of Gairn lies on a small ' * *^ 
eminence, half-a-mile north-east from the bridge, but only k.w>.^C^ 
small fragments of its walls remain. t^A-'-^ «- 

The farm-steading of Abergairn stands on the east - 
side of the glen, a little above the bridge. In this locality 
it has been believed that there were lead mines. Toward 
the end of last century it was stated in the old Statistical 
Account that many pieces of lead had been found near 
the Castle of Glengairn, and that "it is believed there is a 
lead mine there." Owing, however, to the expense of 
working it, no efforts had then been made to discover the 
vein of the metal. Afterwards, various attempts were 
made to open the lead mines of Glengairn, and much 
labour was expended by workmen unskilled in mining 
operations, and it seems that little result was obtained. 
Still an opinion prevailed that there were veins of metal 
in the locality. Twenty years ago, the Marquis of 
Huntly directed investigation and trials to be made in 
order to discover if there were mineral veins in the 
district. The Marquis engaged Mr. Belt, an expert in 
mining operations, and a man of great experience. Mr. 
Belt made a survey of the locality, and on receiving his 
report, the Marquis resolved to mine the ground. 

Skilled workmen and miners were engaged, and 
operations were commenced at the edge of a hollow 
between the castle-hill and the more elevated ridge, just 
behind the farm-steading of Abergairn. The operations 
were systematically continued for a considerable time, 
and at first gave much promise of ultimate success. In 
the course of the operations several veins were discovered, 
but they were not of sufficient richness and continuity,. 
and after considerable expenditure, the enterprise had to 
be abandoned. 



158 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

There is a considerable extent of cultivated land in 
Glengairn, chiefly in its lower stretch ; and also in some 
parts of the glen grassy meadows and stripes of fine 
green pastures. The upper stretch of the glen to Loch 
Builg is occupied as a sheep farm. 

Five miles up the glen, on the side of the stream, is 
Gairnshiel, a shooting-box. Five-and-a-half miles further 
up is Corndavon Lodge, also a shooting-box, for the deer 
forest of Ben Avon, belonging to Farquharson of 
Invercauld. The lodge is 1450 feet above sea level. 
About two-and-a-half miles further up is Loch Builg 
Cottage, which is also connected with the shooting. 

Farquharson of Invercauld is the chief proprietor of 
the north side of the Valley of the Dee, from below 
Ballater to the west of Castletown of Braemar, where the 
Duke of Fife's territory commences. Invercauld also 
possesses a considerable stretch of ground on the south 
side of the Dee. 

Returning to the Valley, half-a-mile beyond the 
Bridge of Gairn, the Dee is spanned by an elegant sus- 
pension bridge for foot passengers, which superseded the 
PolhoUick ferry-boat. The bridge is one hundred and 
ninety-five feet in length and four feet wide. It was 
a gift from Mr. Alexander Gordon, who was mentioned 
in a preceding chapter as a benefactor of Ballater. A short 
distance above it, the burn of Girnock joins the Dee on 
the south side. 

Strathgirnock lies between the wooded hills of Creag 
Phiobaidh and Creag Ghiubhais, and the glen is not of 
great extent. The tradition connected with it was 
already noticed. At the bridge which crosses the 
Girnock burn there is a small hamlet and a post-office. 



STRATHGIRNOCK. 159 

The old mansion house of Strathgirnock stood at the 
foot of Creag Phiobaidh, but not a vestige of it remains. 
Before the days of compulsory and free education, the 
late Prince Consort was instrumental in erecting a school 
for boys and girls at Strathgirnock ; also a school near 
the village of Crathie, and another near Birkhall. There 
are a few farms in the glen, but the inhabitants are not 
numerous. 

Farther westward is the beautifully wooded hill slop- 
ing down to the river, called Craig-na-ban "the Women's 
Craig." It is said that the witches were burnt on its 
summit. The tradition of the burning of the witches is, 
however, vague and of the weird character. 

On the north side of the river, the Coillecriech wood, 
which chiefly consists of birch trees, extends along both 
sides of the road for about two miles. The white silvery 
stems of the trees are very beautiful. It is exceedingly 
pleasant to traverse a birch wood in the morning, inhale 
the sweet fragrance of the trees, and to listen to the 
charming songs of the birds as they fly from twig to 
twig, rejoicing in the sunshine, and observe the various 
hues of the wild flowers which grow amidst the grass on 
which we tread. " What tree is more graceful than the 
slender birch, which, springing from a rift in the rugged 
and lichen-patched crag that overhangs the mountain 
torrent, rears its white stem aloft, and spreads all around 
its branches, dividing into countless twigs, which become 
more and more delicate, until at last they almost 
resemble slender cords, hanging in separate groups, as if 
drawn down by the weight of the numberless tiny and 
glancing leaves that flutter in the breeze. . . . If it 
is associated with other trees of native growth, it will 



160 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

appear more beautiful by contrast. There it stands in 
its simple beauty, pre-eminent among the dark-leaved 
alders, and the light green bushy hazel. . . . Glad- 
ness, and patient endurance, and quiet sorrow find 
sympathy in the birch or emanate from it. The pine 
is a gloomy and stubborn tree ; but the birch responds 
in its graces to the gentler emotions." ' 

The birch attains only a moderate size, seldom 
exceeding forty feet in height and three feet in girth. 
It grows at an elevation of about two thousand feet, 
beyond which it is succeeded by the dwarf birch. The 
birch tree exhibits many variations of form ; its stem is 
generally erect, but sometimes the stems are compound, 
six or more rising from the same root, crooked and 
distorted. They sometimes degenerate into thick 
spreading bushes. There are many varieties of birch 
in Braemar ; one of the most characteristic is called 
" the weeping birch." 

The birch forms a large portion of the wood of 
Braemar. In some places it forms considerable forests, 
as at Coillecriech, in the vicinity of Abergeldie, and 
at Balmoral, and one extending from the mouth of 
Glen Clunie westward between the Dee and Morrone. 

On the north side of the Valley, the highest mountain 
between Ballater and Balmoral is Geallaig — " the white 
mountain " — which attains an elevation of two thousand 
four hundred and thirty-nine feet. At its base, on the 
north side of the road near the forty-seventh milestone, 
there are some traces of the site of the old Roman 
Catholic Chapel of Micras. An ancient standing stone, 

I Dr. Macgillivray's Deeside, p. 176. 



ABERGELDIE. 161 

supposed to have formed part of a circle, now indicates 
the site of the chapel. 

A few small detached cottages stand on the lower 
slope of Geallaig, called the village of Easter Micras. It 
is said that this village half-a-century ago, presented 
a genuine specimen of a Highland clachan. About a 
mile further westward is Wester Micras — a similar 
collection of cottages. Very few of the old style of huts, 
however, are now to be seen ; although it is not long 
since they disappeared, as the following sentence 
shows — " More characteristic specimens of Highland 
huts than those you see occupying very picturesque 
stations on the hillside at Micras, one seldom meets 
with. . . . Their inhabitants are Gaelic-speaking 
Celts.'" It is about forty years since the above was 
written, but a marked change has taken place — for 
instance, very few people in Braemar now speak Gaelic, 
and the rising generation are not learning it at all. 

The Castle of Abergeldie stands on the south bank 
of the Dee, and very near the edge of the river. It 
stands east and west, with its front to the south, and the 
Geldie Burn on the west, which joins the Dee a little 
above the castle. There is a considerable space of level 
ground on the south side of the castle, well wooded ; 
while on the south-east there are extensive woods, 
growing to the summits of lofty ridges. The Birks of 
Abergeldie have been long celebrated in song, and 
universally admired. The castle itself is a compara- 
tively plain structure, with a round tower ; but its 
picturesque site renders it a charming residence. The 
Castle and estate of Abergeldie are leased by Her 

I Dr Macgillivray's Deeside. 

M 



162 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Majesty the Queen, from Mr. H. M. Gordon, the pro- 
prietor. The Queen's mother, the Duchess of Kent, 
occupied the castle for a number of years as a summer 
residence. The Prince of Wales has sometimes resided 
at Abergeldie. 

In former times, communication between Abergeldie 
and the north side of the Valley was maintained by a 
cradle worked on a rope suspended by posts at each side 
of the river. Accidents occasionally occurred, and a 
newly-married couple, while crossing the Dee in the 
cradle, were drowned. An elegant suspension bridge 
for foot passengers was erected by the Queen in 1885. 

The estate of Abergeldie, in early times, formed a 
part of the Earldom of Mar ; and about the middle of 
the fourteenth century, Thomas Gartney, Earl of Mar, 
granted the lands of Abergeldie to Duncan, son of 
Roger ; and Duncan, as the Earl's vassal, had to attend 
three Head Courts annually at Migvie, in Cromar. In 
the latter part of the fifteenth century, when the 
Earldom of Mar was in the hands of the Crown, an 
attempt was made to reclaim Abergeldie. The case 
came before the Privy Council, and the Council decided 
that the lands of Abergeldie were distinct from the 
Earldom of Mar. 

It appears that Sir Alexander Gordon of Midmar, 
second son of the first Earl of Huntly, had acquired 
Abergeldie in the latter part of the fifteenth century. 
Sir Alexander married Beatrice, a daughter of the 
Earl of Errol, by whom he had two sons and four 
daughters. His eldest daughter married Lord Lovat ; 
the second married Mortimer of Craigievar ; the third 
married Oglivy of Clova; and the fourth married Gordon 



ABERGELDIE. 163 

of Dorlaithers. William, his second son, became laird of 
Netherdale — a fine estate in the Valley of the Deveron. 
Sir Alexander died in 1504, and was succeeded by his 
eldest son, George Gordon. He married Grizel Stuart, 
a daughter of the Earl of Buchan, and had issue — one 
son and three daughters. George died in 1530, and was 
succeeded by his son, James. He was a man of great 
energy, fought at the Battle of Pinkie in 1 547, and was 
slain on the field. His son, Alexander, succeeded to 
the estate. 

He married a daughter of Irvine of Drum, by whom 
he had six sons and six daughters. He acted as baillie 
over the Earl of Huntly's estates in the Valley, and 
wielded much power in the locality, and extended the 
territory of the family. His fourth son, George Gordon, 
laird of Knock, fought under Huntly at the Battle of 
Glenlivet in 1594, and fell on the field. Alexander died 
at Abergeldie in 1596, and was succeeded by his eldest 
son, Alexander. He died in 1601, without issue, and 
was succeeded by his brother, William. He married 
Miss Seton, and had issue — five sons and two daughters. 
His eldest daughter married Donald Farquharson of 
Monaltrie ; and the second daughter married Gray of 
Shivas. William died at Abergeldie in 1630, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander. He engaged 
in the civil war against the Covenanters ; and in 1644 
the Castle of Abergeldie narrowly escaped destruction. 
H«^ -married a daughter, of Rose of Kilravock ; and 
having died about 165-5, he was succeeded by his son, 
John, who died, without issue in 1701, and the succession 
then reverted to his sister, Rachel. *^ 

She married Captain Charles Gordon, a son of ** 



104 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Gordon of Minmore, and had issue. Their son, Peter 
Gordon, succeeded to Abergeldie. He was thrice 
married, and was succeeded by his son, Charles. He 
married a daughter of Hunter of Burnside, and had 
issue. Charles died in 1796, and was interred in the 
churchyard of Glenmuick, where there is a tablet to his 
memory, and " Alison Hunter, his spouse." He was 
succeeded by his son, Peter, who was a captain in the 
8 1 St Highland Regiment. Captain Gordon married, 
first, Mary, a daughter of Foulis of Blackford, by whom 
he had a daughter, who died in 1802 ; and, secondly, 
Elizabeth, a daughter of Leith of Freefield. He died 
in 1 8 19, without issue, and was succeeded by his brother, 
David, who died in 1831, and was succeeded by his son, 
Michael F. Gordon. He made improvements on the 
Castle of Abergeldie. Mr. Gordon died in i860, and 
was succeeded by his brother. Admiral Robert Gordon. 
Admiral Gordon having died unmarried, his nephew, 
Hugh Mackay Gordon, Esq., succeeded to the estate, 
the present representative of the family. 

Nearly a mile further up the Valley from Abergeldie 
Castle is the site of the hamlet of Clachanturn, but there 
are few houses in it now. There is a suspension bridge, 
which was erected in 1834, and superseded the ferry 
boat at Clachanturn. It is only used for foot passengers, 
since the Balmoral Bridge was erected over the river 
about half-a-mile further up. A little to the south, on 
the rising ground, stands the Free Church of Crathie, 
on the Abergeldie property. It is a pretty, chaste 
structure, with a spire. In this locality also is the far- 
famed Lochnagar Distillery, the property of Mr. J. Begg. 

A little further up the Valley, on the south bank 



CRATHIE. 165 

of the river, and in the immediate vicinity of the 
suspension bridge, is the beautiful little village of Easter 
Balmoral. It has been mainly erected since the Queen 
came to Balmoral. A little to the westward on the 
rising ground, there are three or four houses standing at 
some distance from each other, on very fine sites, amid 
plantations, which are usually occupied by some of 
Her Majesty's officials. 

Nearly opposite, on the north side of the river, is the 
parish manse of Crathie, on a fine site by the river side. 
In its vicinity is the churchyard, and the ruins of the old 
church of Crathie. The churchyard is kept in excellent 
order. There are a considerable number of tombstones 
and headstones in it, with inscriptions, many of which 
bear Gaelic names. The burial aisle of the Farquhar- 
sons of Monaltrie is within the churchyard. Here also 
stands a tombstone erected by Her Majesty the Queen, 
to the memory of John Brown, her faithful personal 
attendant, which has a long inscription. John Brown's 
ancestors had been resident in the parish for a long 
period, and he erected a stone to the memory of his 
parents and other relatives. The Queen has erected 
gravestones in memory of several royal servants who 
have died at Balmoral. 

A short distance northward, the church of Crathie 
stood on an eminence amid trees, and was erected in 
1806. It was a pretty large and plain structure, and con- 
tained accommodation for about fourteen hundred sitters. 
Until recently Her Majesty the Queen worshipped in 
this church every Sunday during her stay at Balmoral. 
The late Dr. Norman Macleod often preached at Crathie, 
and he was highly respected, admired, and trusted by 



166 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

the Queen. Her Majesty, in her diary, frequently refers 
to Dr. Macleod, and the service in the church. 

But it has been resolved to build a new church at 
Crathie, on the site of the old one. In 1893, the old 
church was removed. A new church has been designed 
by Messrs. Matthews & Mackenzie, architects, Aberdeen, 
estimated to cost from ;^50oo to £6000, and which pre- 
sents elegant and striking architectural characteristics ; 
and, when finished, it will be a prominent feature in the 
landscape of the locality. On the nth of September, 
1893, the foundation stone of the new church was laid by 
Her Majesty the Queen. Naturally, on this occasion, 
there was a large assemblage of people. Portions of 
Scripture were read, and prayer offered up ; then the 
Rev. Mr. Campbell, the minister of the parish, stepped 
forward, and read the address to the Queen, which Her 
Majesty was graciously pleased to accept ; and, in reply, 
the Queen said — " It gives me great pleasure to be 
present on this occasion, and to lay the foundation stone 
of the new church of Crathie, which is to be erected on 
the spot where the old church stood, in which we have 
worshipped together for so many years. I need scarcely 
assure you of my warm attachment to the Church of 
Scotland, which so largely represents the religious 
feelings of the people of this country. I thank you 
sincerely for the kind expressions you have used towards 
me in the loyal address which has been presented to me 
on the part of my co-heritors and parishioners of Crathie, 
and of others who have shown their interest in this 
good work." 

The ceremony of laying the foundation stone was 
then proceeded with ; a silver trowel was handed to the 



CRATHIE. 167 

Queen, and Her Majesty deftly applied it to the mortar. 
When the stone was placed, and the level showed that 
it was all right, with a small ivory-handled mallet, the 
Queen gave three taps on the stone, and said — " I declare 
this stone well and truly laid." Dr. Donald Macleod 
said the prayer of consecration, and the proceedings 
concluded with the singing of the second Paraphrase. 
It was a fine day, and the whole programme was 
admirably carried out. 

The Parish of Crathie has the honour of being the 
birthplace of a considerable number of notable musicians. 
John Bruce was born in Braemar in the early part of the 
eighteenth century, and was a celebrated violinist. He 
was a warm Jacobite, and joined the Rising of 1745. 
Afterwards, he resided for many years in Dumfries, 
where Robert Burns knew him well. Burns says that 
Bruce always claimed the lively air, " O, whistle and I'll 
come to ye, my lad," as one of his own composition. 
He died at Dumfries on the 31st December, 1785. 

Alexander Downie was born in Crathie about 1760. 
He was a notable violinist and dancing-master ; and 
especially celebrated as a player of jigs. He had a son 
who was also a fine player. James Forbes was born in 
Crathie in 1777. He was an excellent violinist. He 
was accidentally drowned near Ballater in May, 1837. 

William Blair was born in Crathie on the 26th of 
October, 1793. He was a famous violinist and composer. 
He belonged to the school of Neil Gow ; and as a player 
of dance music he was surpassed by few in Scotland. 
In the later part of his life he was usually called the 
" Queen's Fiddler," from his having played at festive 
assemblages and balls at Balmoral for upwards of thirty 
years. He was originally a house carpenter ; and died 



168 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

at Belnacroft on the 12th of November, 1884, at the 
advanced age of ninety years. Shortly after his death, 
his musical compositions were published by desire of 
Her Majesty the Queen ; and a tombstone was erected 
to his memory in the churchyard of Crathie. He left 
two sons, both of whom are excellent violinists. 

Peter Coutts was born in Crathie in 18 14. He was a 
celebrated piper, and was for many years piper to the 
Farquharsons of Invercauld. He had a thorough know- 
ledge of music, and composed a number of tunes for the 
bagpipe. Peter Robertson was born in Crathie on the 
nth of February, 1834, and is a notable piper. He was 
for twenty-six years in the service of the Prince of Wales. 
At present he is in the service of Sir Allan Mackenzie 
of Glenmuick. John Ross was born in Crathie in 1853. 
He was a famous piper, having studied under William 
Ross, the Queen's piper. Aftewards, he was successively 
piper to the late Colonel Farquharson of Invercauld, the 
late Sir James T. Mackenzie of Glenmuick, and the late 
Duchess of Sutherland. He was greatly esteemed by 
all good judges of pipe-playing. He died in 1887. 

William Ross, a native of Ross-shire, was born in 
1 81 5. He served his country for twenty-five years in 
the famous 42nd Regiment (Black Watch). In 1854, he 
was appointed piper to Her Majesty the Queen. He 
published, in 1876, a large collection of pipe music, 
embracing forty-one piobaireachds, and four hundred 
and thirty-seven marches, strathspeys, and reels, to 
which was prefixed an " Essay on the Bagpipe and its 
Music," by the late Dr. Norman Macleod. The work 
was dedicated to the Queen ; and a second edition 
appeared in 1885. Mr. Ross died in 1891. 



Chapter XVI. 

BALMORAL. 

In passing along the north side of the Valley, the Castle 
of Balmoral is seen from a considerable distance, both 
from the east and the west. About a mile westward 
from the church of Crathie, the river takes a beautiful 
curving sweep northward, and on its southern bank 
stands the Castle of Balmoral. Communication between 
the castle and the north side of the Valley is maintained 
by a cast-iron bridge. 

Within the castle grounds, which are very extensive, 
there is a considerable number of statues and monu- 
ments. A bronze statue, placed on a rustic base, was 
erected by the Royal Family to the memory of the late 
Prince Consort ; and also an obelisk placed on a small 
eminence, which was erected to his memory by the 
Royal tenantry and the servants. A fine bronze statue 
of the Queen was also erected by the Royal tenantry 
and the servants of the Household. There are other 
monuments relating to members of the Royal Family. 

The Hill of Craig Gowan rises directly to the south 
of the castle, and is fourteen hundred and thirty feet 
above sea level. After the lamented death of the late 
Prince Consort, a cairn and monument was erected to 
his memory on the summit of this hill. On the 2ist of 
August, 1862, the Queen visited the spot, and wrote : — 
" Here, at the top, is the foundation of the cairn — forty 
feet wide — to be erected to my precious Albert, which 



170 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

will be seen all down the Valley. I and my six orphans 
all placed stones on it ; and our initials, as well as those 
of the three absent ones, are to be carved on stones all 
round it. It is to be thirty-six feet high, and the 
following inscription to be placed on it : — 

To the Beloved Memory 

of 

Albert, the Great and Good, 

Prince Consort, 

Raised by his Broken-hearted Widow, 

Victoria R. 

August 21, 1862. 

The form of the cairn is pyramidal, and built of granite 
without any mortar. The inscription is well cut on the 
tablet. A good path was made, which winds up to the 
summit of the hill." ' 

In early times the lands of Balmoral were attached 
to the Earldom of Mar. Afterwards, they were acquired 
by the Farquharsons, the descendants of the family of 
Inverey. The fourth son of Donald of Inverey died in 
the reign of James VI., and was succeeded by his eldest 
son, William. He married a daughter of Gordon of 
Abergeldie, and had issue. Their son, Charles, became 
the first laird of Balmoral of the name of Farquharson. 
After the Revolution of 1688, Charles Farquharson of 
Balmoral j joined Viscount Dundee, and fought at the 
Battle of Killiecrankie for the cause of James VII., in 
which he was wounded. His wound was so severe that 
he was unfit for active service. 

On Charles Farquharson's death, Balmoral reverted 
to his brother ; and he married a daughter of Leith of 

I More Leaves from the Journal of a Life in the Highlands, pp. 1-4. 



BALMORAL. 171 

Overhall, and had Issue. Their son, James Farquharson, 
succeeded to Balmoral, and also to Auchlossan on the 
death of his brother. He married Jane, a daughter of 
William Leith, of Aberdeen. James Farquharson of 
Balmoral joined Mar's Rising in 171 5 ; and after the 
suppression of the Rising, he suffered severely until the 
general indemnity was proclaimed. 

James Farquharson of Balmoral joined the Rising of 
1 745, and led the clan. Shortly before the Battle of Falkirk, 
the following conversation is said to have taken place : — 

" Balmoral," said Lochiel, " why did you not bring 
Invercauld with you ? " 

" Invercauld, you see, thinks differently from us," said 
Balmoral ; " but there is the less to regret, as I see his 
daughter, the Lady Mackintosh, here ; and some of the 
men following her, I could swear, live not ten oxgangs 
from Invercauld." 

The Battle of Falkirk was fought on the 17th of 
January, 1746. Balmoral drew up his men in the form of 
of a wedge, thus — He marched at their head, two men 
followed in the second rank, three in the third, and so on 
to the rear. " Now, my lads," said he, " march in silence. 
Fire not a shot till you can decern the colour of the horses* 
eyes, then give one volley altogether ; throw down your 
guns, and rush upon them, cut the horses' bridles, and we 
will then deal with the men." 

As they advanced, a bullet hit Balmoral in the 
shoulder. " Four men," cried his henchmen, " to carry 
our wounded chief to the rear ! " " Never ! " cried 
Balmoral ; " four men to carry your chief at the head of 
his children into the thickest of the fight." 

After the Battle of Falkirk, Balmoral retired with his 



172 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

wife to the estate of Auchlossan, where he remained in 
hiding till his death. The estate of Balmoral, of course, 
was forfeited after the suppression of the Rising. 

About the middle of the last century, Balmoral was 
acquired by the Earl of Fife. In the second quarter of 
the present century, the Earl of Fife's trustees leased the 
old castle and estate of Balmoral to the Right Hon. Sir 
Robert Gordon, a brother of the Earl of Aberdeen. Sir 
Robert was engaged in the diplomatic department of the 
Government, and held the appointment of Ambassador 
at the Court of Vienna. When not actively engaged in 
the service of his country, he sought a quiet residence in 
the upper stretch of the Valley of the Dee. He repaired 
and made large additions to the old castle ; and also 
extended and greatly improved the garden and the 
pleasure grounds, and thus rendered the site more 
beautiful and attractive. Sir Robert Gordon returned 
from Vienna in 1846, and intended to reside at Balmoral; 
but he did not live to enjoy it long, having died in the 
autumn of 1847. 

Her Majesty the Queen, at an early period of her 
reign, commenced to visit various quarters of the High- 
lands, and from the first she enjoyed and highly 
appreciated the grand and romantic scenery of the 
mountains, valleys, and glens. Associated, as these regions 
are, with many important historic events, closely connected 
not only with the Throne of Scotland, but also with the 
Throne of Britain, in some of the most momentous crises 
which it has ever passed through ; these early visits 
inspired Her Majesty with a desire to have a residence 
in this part of her dominions — a desire which was fully 
shared by the Prince Consort 



BALMORAL. 173 

After the death of Sir Robert Gordon, Balmoral 
was recommended to the Royal couple by the Earl of 
Aberdeen as a very suitable locality. Sir James Clark, 
the Queen's physician, having declared that the climate 
of the Valley of the Dee was one of the healthiest in 
Scotland, it was then decided to adopt the Earl's advice. 

Early in September, 1848, the Royal Family landed at 
Aberdeen, and received a hearty and warm welcome from 
the citizens. They proceeded up the Valley of the Dee, 
and on the 8th of September took possession of their new 
home. The Queen recorded her first impressions of 
Balmoral thus — "On the 8th of September, we arrived at 
Balmoral at a quarter to three. It is a pretty little 
castle in the old Scottish style. There is a picturesque 
tower, and a garden in front, with a high wooded hill ; 
at the back there is a wood down to the Dee ; and hills 
rise all around. 

" There is a nice little hall, with billiard-room ; next 
to it is the dining-room. Upstairs, immediately to the 
right, and above the dining-room, is our sitting-room 
(formerly the drawing-room), a fine large room — next to 
which is our bedroom, opening into a little dressing- 
room, which is Albert's. Opposite, down a (qw steps, 
are the children's and Miss Hildyard's three rooms. The 
ladies live below, and the gentlemen above. 

" At half-past four we walked out, and went up to the 
top of the wooded hill opposite our window, where there 
is a cairn, and up which there is a pretty winding path 
The view from here, looking down upon the house, is 
charming. To the left you look towards the beautiful 
hills surrounding Lochnagar ; and to the right, towards 
Ballater, to the Valley, along which the Dee winds, 



174 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

with beautifully-wooded hills. It was so calm, and so 
solitary, it did one good as one gazed around ; and the 
pure mountain air was most refreshing. All seemed to 
breathe freedom and peace, and to make one forget the 
world and its sad turmoils. 

" The scenery is wild, and yet not desolate ; every- 
thing looks more prosperous and cultivated than at 
Laggan. Then the soil is delightfully dry. We walked 
beside the Dee, a beautifully rapid stream, which is close 
behind the house. The view of the hills toward Inver- 
cauld is exceedingly fine." 

A few years later, Prince Albert purchased the Castle 
and the estate of Balmoral from the Earl of Fife's 
trustees. In 1852, a cairn was erected on the top of 
Craig Gowan to commemorate the taking possession of 
Balmoral by the Royal Family. The estate of Balmoral 
extends from the banks of the Dee southward to the 
summit of Lochnagar, where it is joined by the Aber- 
geldie and the Birkhall estates. Afterwards, Her 
Majesty increased its extent on the west by purchasing 
the Forest of Ballochbuie from Farquharson of Inver- 
cauld. Thus the Royal domain stretches from the 
Water of Muick westward along the south banks of 
the Dee for upwards of twelve miles. 

Balmoral Forest, including Ballochbuie, is pretty 
extensive. Both forests lie between the south banks of 
the Dee and the Lochnagar range of mountains ; and 
both contain considerable stretches of woods and planta- 
tions. On the lower grounds of Balmoral, the woods 
consist of a great variety of different kinds of trees, laid 
out in fine belts and clumps for shelter and ornament ; 

I Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands, pp. 101-102. 



BALMORAL. 175 

and on the higher ridges and hills, such as Craig Gowan 
and Canup Hill, the trees chiefly consist of pine and larch, 
native birch and aspen. The Gelder Burn issues from 
the Loch of Lochnagar, flows through Glen Gelder and 
round the base of Craig Gowan, and joins the Dee 
near Invergelder — the home farm of Balmoral. The 
Queen has a nice little shiel near the middle 
of the glen. The woods of Garmaddie stretch 

from Invergelder westward along the south side of the 
Valley, and consist of fir, birch, larch, and some other 
trees. After these woods come the Forest of Balloch- 
buie, which extends from Connachat Cottage along the 
Dee to the Bridge of Invercauld, a distance of three 
miles, and from one to three miles in breadth southward. 
There is some birch in the lower parts of the forest, and 
here and there among the hills ; but the pine trees pre- 
dominate. Some of the pines are of great age and size, 
while others are young and much smaller. 

The fine stream called the Garbhallt rises on 
Lochnagar, flows through the Forest of Ballochbuie, and 
enters the Dee about a mile below the Bridge of Inver- 
cauld. Nearly a mile up the stream are the celebrated 
and picturesque Falls of Garbhallt. The scenery in many 
parts of these forests is grand and striking. The Queen 
has a small lodge in Ballochbuie forest. Deer and other 
kinds of game are abundant in the forests. 

After a few years' residence, the old castle was found 
to be too small, and quite inadequate for the accom- 
modation of Her Majesty and the Royal Family. It was 
therefore resolved that a new castle should be erected. 
The foundation-stone of the new structure was laid by the 
Queen on the 28th of September, 1853. ^^^ Majesty 



176 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

was accompanied by the Prince Consort, the Royal 
children, and other members of the Royal Family. The 
chief points of the ceremony on the memorable occasion 
were as follows : — " The stone being prepared and sus- 
pended over that upon which it is to rest, in which will be 
a cavity for the bottle containing the parchment and the 
coins ; the workmen will be placed in a semi-circle at a 
little distance from the stone, and the women and home 

servants in an inner semi-circle Her 

Majesty, the Prince, and the Royal Family will 
stand on the south side of the stone, the suite being on 
each side of the Royal party. The Rev. Mr. Anderson 
will then pray for a blessing on the work. Her Majesty 
will affix her signature to the parchment, recording the 
day on which the foundation-stone was laid. Her 
Majesty's signature will be followed by that of the Prince 
and the Royal children, the Duchess of Kent, and any 
others that Her Majesty may command, and the parchment 
will be placed in the bottle. One of each of the current 
coins of the present reign will also be placed in the bottle, 
and the bottle, having been sealed up, will be placed in the 
cavity. The trowel will then be delivered to Her Majesty 
by Mr. Smith of Aberdeen, the architect, and the mortar 
having been spread, the stone will be lowered. The level 
and square will then be applied, and their correctness 
having been ascertained, the mallet will be delivered to 
Her Majesty by Mr. Stuart, clerk of the works, when Her 
Majesty will strike the stone and declare it to be laid. 
The Cornucopia will be placed upon the stone, and oil 
and wine poured out by Her Majesty. The pipers will 
play, and Her Majesty, with the Royal Family will retire. 
As soon after this as it can be got ready, the workmen 



BALMORAL. 177 

will proceed to their dinner. After dinner the following 
toasts will be given by Mr. Smith : — ' The Queen,' ' The 
Prince and Royal Family,' 'Prosperity to the House and 
Happiness to the Inmates of Balmoral.' The workmen 
will then retire from the dining-room, and amuse them- 
selves upon the green with Highland games till seven 
o'clock ; and concluding with a dance in the ball-room, 
which was performed with the greatest spirit." ' 

When the Queen arrived at Balmoral on the evening 
of the 7th of September, 1855, the erection of the new 
castle was well advanced. On that occasion Her Majesty 
says : — "Strange, very strange, it seemed to me to drive 
past, indeed through the old house ; the connecting part 
between it and the offices being broken through. The 
new house looks beautiful. The tower and the rooms in 
the connecting part are, however, only half finished, and 
the offices are still unbuilt . . . there is a long 
wooden passage which connects the new house with the 
offices. An old shoe was thrown in after us into the 
house, for good luck, when we entered the hall." 

The following day Her Majesty recorded : — " The 
view from the windows of our rooms, and from the library 
and the drawing-room, of the Valley of the Dee, with the 
mountains in the background, which we could never see 
from the old house, is quite beautiful. We walked about, 
and along the river, and looked at all that had been 
done ; and afterwards we went over to the poor, dear old 
house, and to our rooms, which it was quite melancholy 
to see so deserted ; and settled about things being brought 
over." 

When the Queen returned to Balmoral on the 30th of 

I Leaves from Our Life, etc., pp. 144-46. 
N 



178 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

August, 1856, the castle was completely finished : — "We 
found the tower finished, as well as the offices, and the 
poor old house gone. The effect of the whole is very 
fine." The following day Her Majesty " walked along 
the river and outside the house. The new offices and 
the yard are excellent ; and the little garden on the west 
side ... as well as the flower beds under the walls of 
the side which faces the Dee." On the 13th of October, 
the Queen wrote : — " Every year my heart becomes more 
fixed in this dear Paradise, and so much more so now, 
that all has become my dearest Albert's own creation, 
own work, own building, own laying out, as at Osborne ; 
and his great taste and the impress of his dear hand have 
been stamped everywhere." ' 

On the occasion of the meeting of the British Associa- 
tion at Aberdeen, in September, 1859, the Prince Consort 
was president. He delivered an excellent and luminous 
address, which was universally admired and highly 
appreciated. On the 22nd of September, a fete came off 
at Balmoral, which was attended by a number of the 
distinguished members of the Association. Her Majesty 
records that — " The Highlanders in their brilliant and 
picturesque dresses, the wild notes of the pipes, the band, 
and the beautiful background of mountains, rendered the 
scene wild and striking in the extreme. The Farquharson's 
men were headed by Colonel Farquharson, the Duffs by 
Lord Fife, and the Forbeses by Sir Charles Forbes — had 
all marched on the grounds before we came out, and were 
drawn up just opposite us, and the spectators (the people 
of the country) behind them. We stood on the terrace, 
the company near us, and the servants also on either side 

I Leaves from our Life, etc., p. 158. 



BALMORAL. 179 

of us, and along the slopes on the grounds. The games 
began about three o'clock — throwing the hammer, tossing 
the caber, and putting the stone. We gave prizes to the 
three best in each of the games. We walked along the 
terrace to the large marquee, talking to the people, to 
where the men were putting the stone ; after this returned 
to the upper terrace to see the race — a pretty wild sight ; 
but the men looked very cold, with nothing but their 
shirts and plaids on ; they ran beautifully. They wrapped 
plaids round themselves, and then came to receive the 
prizes from us. Last of all came the dancing — reels and 
Ghillie Galium. On the latter the judges could not make 
up their minds ; and at last they left out the best dancer 
of all. They said he danced too well. The dancing 
over, we left amid the loud cheers of the people. . . . 
We watched from the window, the Highlanders march- 
ing away, and four weighty omnibuses filled with the 
scientific men. We saw and talked to Professor Owen, 
Sir David Brewster, Sir John Bowring, Mr. J. Roscoe, 
and Sir John Ross. When almost all were gone, we took 
a short walk to warm ourselves, much pleased at every- 
thing having gone off well. 

" The Duke of Richmond, Sir R. Murchison, General 
Sabine, Mr. Thomson of Banchory House, and Professor 
Phillipps, secretary of the Association, all of whom slept 
here, and were additions to the dinner party. . . . All 
the gentleman spoke in very high terms of my beloved 
Albert's admirable speech, the good it had done, and the 
general satisfaction it had caused." 

The Castle of Balmoral stands on a level space of 
ground amid trees, and a background of wooded ridges 

1 Leaves from our Life, etc., pp. 177-79. 



180 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

and hills, rising in elevation as they recede southward to 
Lochnagar ; while on the other side the clear and rapid 
river flows on its rocky bed. Opposite the castle, on the 
north side of the Valley, is Craig Mhor and other 
picturesque hills. All around the scenery is attractive 
and characteristically Highland. 

The castle is built of finely-dressed Crathie granite of 
a light grey colour. The main features of the structure 
were designed by the late Prince Albert, and the plans 
were supplied by the late Mr. William Smith, who was 
for many years city architect of Aberdeen. The castle 
is in the Scottish baronial style of architecture, but shows 
many modifications and improvements on it, which were 
introduced to provide ampler accommodation and more 
convenient arrangement in the interior of the building. 
It is composed of two main parts, connected by wings. 
A striking feature of the castle is the massive tower at 
its eastern extremity, which is thirty-five feet square and 
about one hundred feet in height, surmounted by a 
flag tower, and three ornamental turrets at the corners. 
The main entrance is on the south front. The north 
and west fronts are embellished by elegant mould- 
ings, and the south and east fronts are characterised 
by a symmetrical simplicity of treatment. The masonry 
and workmanship of the whole structure are excellent. 
The internal arrangement of the numerous apartments of 
the castle is admirable. The largest single apartment, 
the ball-room, is sixty-eight feet long and twenty-five feet 
wide. There is a fine clock in the square tower, which 
regulates the time over the whole district. The light 
colour of the granite imparts to the castle an exceedingly 
charming aspect. 



BALMORAL. 181 

During her long and happy reign, Queen Victoria has 
visited almost every quarter of the Highlands of Scotland. 
Her Majesty often started from Balmoral on excursions 
to Perthshire — Dunkeld, Blairs Castle, and Loch Tay, 
through the Passes of Killiecrankie and Glencoe ; 
Sutherlandshire, Glenlivet, and Glen Fiddich in Banff- 
shire, and to many other places. 

On the 7th of October, 1859, the Queen and Prince 
Albert made the ascent of Ben Muich Dhui. In descend- 
ing, Her Majesty rode part of the way, and walked 
wherever it was very steep. " I had a little whisky and 
water, as the people declared that pure water would be 
too chilling. We then rode on without getting off again, 
Albert talking so gaily with Grant. Upon Brown ob- 
serving to me in simply Highland phrase, ' It's very 
pleasant to walk with a person who is always content.' 
. . . Brown said — ' Everyone on the estate says there 
never was so kind a master ; I am sure our only wish is 
to give satisfaction.' I said they certainly did. We 
were always in the habit of conversing with the High- 
landers, with whom one comes so much in contact in the 
Highlands. The Prince highly appreciated the good 
breeding, simplicity, and intelligence which makes it so 
pleasant, and even instructive, to talk to them." ' 

Touching Glencoe, Her Majesty wrote — " Glencoe, 
at the opening, is beautifully green, with trees and 
cottages dotted about along the verdant Valley. There 
is a farm belonging to a Mrs. Macdonald, a descendant 
of one of the unfortunate massacred Macdonalds. The 
Cona flows along the bottom of the Valley, with green 
haughs, where a few cattle are to be seen, and sheep 
which graze up some of the wildest parts of this glorious 

I Leaves from Our Life, etc., p. 187. 



182 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

glen. A sharp turn in the rough, very winding, and, in 
some parts, precipitous roads brings you to the finest, 
wildest, and grandest part of the pass. Stern, rugged, 
precipitous mountains, with beautiful peaks, and rocks 
piled one above the other, two and three thousand feet 
high, tower and rise up to the heavens on either side, 
without any signs of habitation, except where, half-way 
up the Pass, there are some trees, and near them, heaps 
of stones on the side of the road, remains of what once 
were houses, which tell the bloody, fearful tale of woe. 
The place itself is one which adds to the horror of the 
thought that such a thing could have been conceived 
and committed on innocent sleeping people. How and 
whither could they fly? Let me hope that William III. 
knew nothing of it." ' I have quoted this to show the 
Queen's humanity and sound judgment. 

During the Queen's annual sojourn at Balmoral, 
covering a period of nearly fifty years, she has become 
endeared to all classes of the people. Her Majesty has 
always shown great kindness and much sympathy to 
the tenants on the lands of Balmoral, and the whole 
neighbourhood. The Queen has many touching and 
noble features of character, which have rendered her the 
most popular and beloved Sovereign in Scotland since 
the days of James IV., who fell on the field of Flodden 
in 1 5 13. To conclude — 

" Amid our mountain scenes sublime, 

Afar from courtly care, 
Oh, may the loftiest of the land, 

Life's noblest blessings share ! 
Safe in her princely Highland home, 

May she live blithe and free, 
And Britain's honoured Queen long bless. 

The beauteous banks o' Dee ! " 

I Leaves from Our Life, etc., p. 260. 



Chapter XVII. 

SCENERY— INVERCAULD. 

Proceeding up the north side of the Valley, amidst 
woods and mountains, the Feardar Burn joins the Dee, 
and above it rises, to the height of fifteen hundred and 
ninety-eight feet, the picturesque, rocky, and wooded hill 
of Craig Nortie. A little farther on, immediately above 
the Invercauld Arms Inn, is Craig-na-Spaine, another 
striking, rocky, and wooded hill, which in bygone times 
was a famous smuggling centre. Then comes a beauti- 
fully wooded tract, and on the north side of the turnpike 
road is Meall Alvie, rising to an elevation of eighteen 
hundred and forty-one feet, a fine rocky and wooded hill, 
which stretches along the Valley for a considerable 
distance ; while the river below is surging and foaming 
as the water dashes against the rocky ledges, stones, and 
boulders which strew its course. Looking to the south, 
the Forest of Ballochbuie is seen on the opposite side of 
the river, and extending our vision further southward, an 
amphitheatre of hills, covered half-way up their ribs with 
pine and birch, still higher hills rear their peaks in the 
distance, some of which are sprinkled with trees and 
bushes ; and, beyond them, Lochnagar, which seems to 
descend in continuity with the nearer ridges. In a 
fine clear day, the scene is magnificent, beautiful, and 
glorious to behold. 

Near the fifty-first mile-stone, and a short distance 
to the north of the road on the rising ground, is the site 



184 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

of the old house of Monaltrie, a seat of a branch of the 
Farquharsons, which was burned to the ground the year 
after the Battle of CuUoden, and it was subsequently re- 
built near Ballater. A little farther westward, on the south 
side of the road, is Carn-na-Cuimhne — the cairn of remem- 
brance ; it is surmounted by a flagstaff, and enclosed by 
a stone dyke. " Carn-na-Cuimhne " was the war cry of 
the Farquharsons, and the tradition associated with the 
cairn is : — That when the clan resolved on any warlike 
enterprise, they mustered in the vicinity of the cairn, 
and when all were assembled, each clansman laid a stone 
on a clear space, forming a small heap. On their 
returning home, each survivor took a stone from this 
heap, and carried it away, then the stones left told their 
own tale, viz., the number of the slain, and these were 
carefully placed on the Cairn of Remembrance. It is 
simply a rough cairn of comparatively small stones. 

The glen through which the Feardar Burn flows, 
is called Aberarder, and it contains several small farms 
and crofts. It appears that the glen was once more 
populous ; its elevation, however, is not favourable to 
cultivation. There are various traditions associated 
with this locality which chiefly relate to a feud and 
encounters between the Stewarts and Farquharsons. In 
early times there were a considerable number of Stewarts 
in Braemar. 

Fifty-five miles from Aberdeen, the old Bridge of 
Invercauld spans the Dee. It was erected in 1752 under 
the direction of General Wade, and in connection with 
his system of military roads in the Highlands. This 
bridge was directly connected with the road starting 
from Blairgowrie onward by Cardarff, Grantown, and 



INVERCAULD. 185 

thence to Inverness. The bridge looks grey with age, 
and bushes are picturesquely growing out of its sides. 
It is now the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The 
new Bridge of Invercauld, which carries the north road 
to the south side of the Valley, is about one hundred 
and fifty yards above the old one. It is a massive 
structure built of granite, and was erected at the expense 
of the late Prince Albert, on the closing up of the old 
bridge and the Ballochbuie road on the south side of 
the Dee. 

Nearly opposite the old bridge is the entrance gate 
to Invercauld House, on the north side of the road. 
Invercauld House stands on a fine elevated terrace, amid 
beautiful and charming scenery, about four hundred 
yards from the north bank of the Dee. The house is 
eleven hundred and fifty feet above sea level, but it is 
admirably sheltered by trees and woods, with a magnifi- 
cent lawn stretching down to the edge of the river, which 
here winds beautifully in the form of the letter S. The 
view from the house up and down the Valley is exceed- 
ingly fine, while on the opposite side of the river towards 
the south, a grand scene of rocky and wooded hills, 
rugged and steep craigs, is presented to the eye. Behind 
the house a picturesque range of wooded hills form a 
befitting and harmonious background to a site of sur- 
passing natural beauty. The mansion itself is built in 
the Scottish baronial style of architecture, but it exhibits 
various modifications. The main feature of the struc- 
ture is the tower, seventy feet in height, surmounted 
with battlements and staircase, other turrets, and a flag 
tower. In 1875, a series of additions and alterations 
were completed, in the execution of which two or three 



186 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Storeys were added in some parts ; but the old historic 
dining-hall is preserved. A broad staircase ascends to 
an upper hall, which is thirty feet long and fifteen feet 
wide ; and at the end of it is the drawing-room, from the 
windows of which a grand view of the upper stretch of 
the Valley is obtained. 

The Farquharsons were a branch of the Clan Chattan, 
and came to Braemar at an early period. There is a 
mass of traditions connected with the history of the 
Clan Chattan, which in recent years has been well 
scrutinised and thoroughly sifted. The derivation of the 
old Clan Chattan, hovv^ever, is still uncertain ; but it 
seems to have consisted of one or two strong clans, and 
at a later period of five or six septs, who came under the 
protection of the chief clan. In modern times the Clan 
Chattan, who followed Mackintosh as chieftain and 
leader of the clan, consisted of sixteen septs. The 
original possessions of the old Clan Chattan were mainly in 
Lochaber, Badenoch, and Rothiemurchus; while branches 
of the chief clan and septs under the protection of the 
chief settled in other parts of the Highlands. In the 
fourteenth century the Clan Chattan extended from 
Badenoch to the Parish of Birse ; and branches of the 
tribe settled in Glentilt, Glenshee, and Glenisla. 

It may be observed that the Earldom of Mar was 
practically in the hands of the Crown or a member of 
the Royal Family from 1435 until 1561 — a period of 
one hundred and twenty-six years ; and there is no 
doubt that this was favourable to the settlement of the 
Farquharsons in Braemar, and also to members of many 
other families in the Valley of the Dee. 

In 1464, Alexander Mackintosh was chief of the 



INVERCAULD. 187 

Clan Chattan ; and one of his younger sons, named 
Farquhar, from Rothiemurchus, settled in the Braes of 
Mar. He left a son, Donald Farquhar, who entered the 
service of Duncan Stewart, the laird of Invercauld, and 
subsequently he married the laird's daughter. On the 
death of Stewart, his son-in-law succeeded to a portion 
of the lands of Invercauld. Donald Farquhar was 
succeeded by his son, Findla, commonly called Findla 
Mor. He was a man of great energy and force of 
character, and the circumstances of the time were 
favourable to him. As already observed, the Earldom 
of Mar was then in the hands of the Crown. Thus the 
King had ample power, and many opportunities of 
rewarding faithful service to his Government, by grants 
of land within the Earldom ; and Findla Mor had the 
good fortune to be appointed Bailie of Strathdee. For 
his vigorous and effective administration of justice, he 
was rewarded (in accordance with a common practice) 
by several grants of land. 

He was twice married, and had a large family. In 
1547, he fought at the Battle of Pinkie, and fell on that 
disastrous field. Findla Mor was the ancestor of the 
Farquharsons of Invercauld, Castletown, Inverey, Fin- 
zean, Balmoral, Monaltrie, and Whitehouse. 

Findla Mor's son, Robert Farquharson, succeeded 
to Invercauld, and he died in the latter part of the six- 
teenth century. He was succeeded by his son, John 
Farquharson, who was succeeded by his son, Robert 
Farquharson. Robert married a daughter of Erskine of 

1 It seems to be uncertain which of Findla RIor's sons succeeded to Invercauld. But, 
I understand, that Captain James F. Macpherson has been making a careful research 
touching this point, and no doubt will throw more light upon it. 



188 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Pittodrie, and had issue. He acquired the barony of 
Wardes, in the Parish of Kennethmont, but afterwards 
sold it. His daughter, Marjory, married George Leith 
of Overhall. Robert died in the reign of Charles II., 
and was succeeded by his son, Alexander Farquharson. 
He married a daughter of Mackintosh, chief of the 
Clan Chattan, and had issue. But their eldest son, 
William, having died unmarried, he was succeeded by 
his brother, John Farquharson. He was in possession 
of Invercauld when the Earl of Mar raised the Standard 
of Rebellion in 1715. 

John Farquharson of Invercauld disapproved of 
Mar's movement, and was extremely unwilling to join 
it. But he had no alternative, as the Earl was his 
feudal superior. Thus Invercauld was compelled to 
take an active part in the Rising. He was taken a 
prisoner at the surrender of Preston in November, 171 5, 
imprisoned, and confined till 17 17. His liberation was 
facilitated by the efforts on his behalf of the Rev. Mr. 
Ferguson, minister of Logierait, who had once been 
minister of Crathie. Mr. Ferguson was the father of 
Dr. Adam Ferguson, the philosopher and historian. 

John Farquharson was still alive at the time of the 
Rising of 1745. He entirely disapproved of this new 
attempt to restore the Stuart dynasty : while his eldest 
son, James, an officer in the service of the Government, 
also refrained from joining in the Rising. It is well 
known, however, as one of the many romantic features 
associated with this Rising, that Invercauld's eldest 
daughter, Anne, the wife of Mackintosh of Mackintosh, 
exerted herself to the utmost in the cause of Prince 
Charles, With much courage and tact, she defeated an 



INVERCAULD. 189 

attempt of the Earl of Loudon to capture the Prince at 
Moy House, shortly after the Battle of CuUoden. 

John Farquharson died in 1750, at the advanced age 
of eighty years. He was succeeded by his son, James, 
who was a man of great energy and sagacity. He 
directed his attention to the improvement of his estates, 
which, shortly before his accession, had been greatly 
extended by the purchase of the lands of Castletown, 
and a portion of Mar Forest, a part of the forfeited 
estates of the Earl of Mar ; and the reversion of Monal- 
trie on the forfeiture of Francis Farquharson, his 
kinsman. James married the widow of Lord Sinclair, 
who was a daughter of Lord George Murray, Lieutenant- 
General of Prince Charles' army. All his children 
predeceased him, except one daughter, who married 
Captain James Ross, second son of Sir John L. Ross of 
Balnagowan. James Farquharson died in 1806, and 
Captain Ross then assumed the name of Farquharson. 
His son, James R. Farquharson, succeeded to the estates 
of Invercauld. He was an excellent landlord. He died 
in 1862 ; and, on the north side of the Dee, near the 
mouth of the Sluggan Burn, on a small wooded eminence, 
there stands a granite obelisk, fifty feet high, erected to 
his memory by the tenantry. He was succeeded by his 
son, Colonel James R. Farquharson. He was succeeded 
by his son, Lieutenant Alexander H. Farquharson, the 
present proprietor of Invercauld. 

On the occasion of the home-coming of Mr. and Mrs. 
Farquharson after their marriage, great preparations 
were made to give them a hearty and enthusiastic 
welcome. This fete occurred on the 2nd of August, 
1893. In Castletown of Braemar, bunting was displayed 



190 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

on almost every house, and flags floated beautifully from 
both the Fife and Invercauld Arms, Mar Castle, and 
Altdowrie, while the front of Invercauld House was 
decorated with a triple row of banners. Along the road 
from Ballater to Invercauld, there were many signs of 
welcome — flags, floral devices, and strings of bannerettes 
hung across the road. At Ballater, Provost Barnett, 
representing the commissioners, the feuars, and house- 
holders of the burgh, presented an address to Mr. and 
Mrs. Farquharson of Invercauld, heartily welcoming 
them to their home on Deeside. When they reached 
the grounds of Invercauld, they received a most en- 
thusiastic ovation from the tenants on the estate, who 
had assembled to meet them. 



Chapter XVIII. 

CASTLETOWN OF BRAEMAR. 

The new Bridge of Invercauld carries the north road to 
the south side of the Dee, and along this stretch of the 
Valley to the Castletown of Braemar, a distance of three 
and a half miles, all the way the scenery is exquisitely 
grand and picturesque ; on the south side, overhung by 
craggy hills and precipitous rocks, finely wooded along 
their bases, up their steep faces, and even to their 
summits. 

Near the bridge on the north side of the road, is a 
huge stone called " The Muckle Stane o' Clunie," which 
seems to have fallen from Craig Clunie — a rocky hill on 
the opposite side of the road. According to tradition, 
it was once a famous haunt of the fairies. Clunie Cottage 
is on the north side of the road, near the site of the old 
house of Clunie — now demolished. A little farther on 
is the " Charter Chest," a recess in the rocky and steep 
face of Craig Clunie ; it is about three hundred yards up, 
and very difficult of access. There is a tradition that the 
lairds of Clunie, in times of danger, used to hide their 
Charter Chest in it. It is also said that after the Battle 
of Culloden, Farquharson of Clunie hid himself in this 
cave for some time. About three-quarters of a mile 
farther on, is the picturesque mass of rock called " The 
Lion's Face," a spot which has long been much frequented 
by visitors. These precipitous rocky and craggy hills 
present exceedingly striking scenes, as trees and bushes 



192 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

are seen growing beautifully on naked masses of rock. 
One feels amazed as to how the roots of the trees can 
fix themselves in the mere slits of steep rocks, and so 
withstand the severe blasts and the fierce gales of winter. 

Westward from Invercauld House, on the north side 
of the Valley, is Altdowrie Cottage, amid trees, the 
residence of the factor of Invercauld. It is a pretty 
structure, and stands on a fine site. 

On the south side of the river, on a small grassy 
eminence, stands the Castle of Braemar, amid a beautiful 
haugh, lying between Creag Choinnich and the Dee. The 
old castle was built in the latter part of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, when John Stuart, the third son of James III., was 
Earl of Mar. In 1689, the year after the Revolution, 
the castle was burnt by General Mackay's dragoons, 
when in pursuit of Viscount Dundee, who escaped to 
Lochaber. It was afterwards repaired. But after the 
Rising of 171 5, the Earldom of Mar was forfeited to the 
Crown, and John Farquharson of Invercauld purchased 
the castle and its lands. And in 1748, he leased the 
castle and fourteen acres of ground to the Government 
for a period of ninety-nine years ; and the Government 
then erected the present castle, which for a number of 
years was used as a barracks for the soldiers stationed 
in the district. Since, great changes have occurred in 
Braemar ; for nearly a century, athletic games and 
Highland dancing have been annually held under the 
shadow of the old castle. 

A short distance beyond the castle, on the north side 
of the road, is the parish churchyard, in which once 
stood St. Andrew's Chapel, but not a vestige of it now 
remains. Near the centre of the churchyard is the burial 



CASTLETOWN OF BRAEMAR. 193 

aisle of the Farquharsons of Invercauld — a neat, square 
building. In 1893, the churchyard was enlarged, and 
the enclosing wall rebuilt and heightened. 

Castletown, the capital of Braemar, is situated at an 
elevation of eleven hundred and ten feet above sea level. 
It stands on a fine plain formed by the widening out of 
Glen Clunie. The Water of Clunie, a beautiful stream 
with a rocky channel and steep banks, flows through the 
town, and a stone bridge of one arch, erected in 1863, 
connects the two portions of it. Castletown is entirely 
surrounded by high, picturesque, and well wooded hills. 
The high and massive hill of Morrone stretches down 
on the south-western side of Castletown ; while Creag 
Choinnich rises on its eastern side ; and on its north 
side is the plain, the rippling Dee, and, beyond, the 
wooded hills. Thus the scenery around Castletown 
presents a panorama of scenes and landscapes of rare 
variety and characteristic beauty. 

The portion of the town on the east side of the 
Water of Clunie is called Castletown, of which Farquhar- 
son of Invercauld is superior ; and the portion on the 
west side of the stream is called Auchendryne, of which 
the Duke of Fife is superior. But it is becoming com- 
mon to apply the name Castletown of Braemar to the 
whole town. 

Castletown of Braemar is a place of great antiquity. 
According to tradition, Kenneth II. had a hunting 
seat here, but no trace of it remains. It is said that 
Malcolm III., Canmore, erected a castle on the east 
bank of the Clunie, near the bridge, and some ruins of 
an old structure still remain. Whatever historic truth 
there may be in this tradition, it is a well-ascertained 
o 



194 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

fact that Malcolm Can more was in the Valley of the 
Dee in the summer of 1057, when he defeated and slew 
Macbeth at Lumphanan. If he built a castle at Brae- 
mar, it must have been after the above date. 

In the last century, most of the houses in Castletown 
of Braemar were small, and covered with thatch ; but in 
the present century it has made rapid progress. In 
1842, the population of Castletown of Braemar was 
two hundred and fifty ; since that date the population 
of the town has increased to over six hundred ; and in 
the summer season, there are sometimes nearly two 
thousand people living in it and its immediate vicinity. 

Castletown of Braemar is now a pretty town, with 
well-built houses, all of which are slated, and a consider- 
able number of excellent and beautiful villas. It is well 
supplied with pure spring water from a reservoir on the 
Moor of Morrone ; and the town presents an aspect of 
health and comfort. 

In the west side of the town, through which the main 
street runs, there are several very fine terraces branching 
off it. Pretty well up the slope of Morrone, there are 
seven or eight excellent cottages, recently erected, on 
attractive sites. 

The town has two public halls — one built of timber 
in the west division of the town ; and the other in the 
east division or Invercauld side of the water. The latter 
stands on a fine site near the bank of the stream, built 
of granite, and is a pretty large and massive structure. 
On the same side of the Clunie, a little further south- 
ward, there is a very pretty house, called Canmore. It 
is built in the cottage style, with a fine lawn and an 
ornamental space of ground around it. A little nearer 



CASTLETOWN OF BRAEMAR. 195 

the base of Creag Choinnich, there are nine or ten excel- 
lent villas and cottages, placed on charming and beautiful 
sites, amid trees and plantations. 

On the same side, but nearer the stream and the 
bridge, there is a terrace of exceedingly neat little 
cottages. Near this terrace is the Meteorological 
Observatory. It has a set of good instruments, gifted 
to it by the late Prince Consort, who was always ready 
to promote scientific observation, and advance the happi- 
ness of mankind. The Observatory is under the charge 
of Mr. James Aitken, the agent of the Union Bank of 
Scotland, whose office and residence is on the opposite 
side of the street. Observations, including the force of 
ozone, are taken every day, and the results published 
annually. 

The Roman Catholic Chapel stands on a fine elevated 
site at the western extremity of the town. It is a pretty 
large and elegant structure ; and the residence of the 
officiating priest is beside the chapel. The Free Church 
and the Manse are in the west side of the town, and 
stand on a slightly elevated space, within an enclosure. 
The congregation obtained a lease of this space of 
ground from the late Earl of Fife. The church is a 
chaste and elegant structure. It is built of limestone, 
faced with light-coloured granite. It stands east and 
west, and at the east end there i? a fine, tapering spire, 
and a clock in it. The interior of the church is beauti- 
ful. The windows have stained glass, and the internal 
arrangement is excellent and pleasing, and affords ample 
accommodation for the congregation — an active one — 
doing good work in the locality. The first Free Church 
minister of Braemar was the Rev. S. M'Crie, who became 



196 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

pastor of the congregation in 1843. He was succeeded 
by the Rev. Hugh Cobban in 1853. ^^' Cobban 
ministered to the congregation for seventeen years, and 
died in 1870. He was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas 
Siddie, who was inducted in 1871 — the present pastor 
of the congregation. 

The Established Church is on the east bank of the 
Clunie. It is a chaste building, with a spire and a clock. 
The Episcopal Church is also on the east side of the 
stream. 

Braemar has good schools ; and there is a Public 
Library in the town, which contains a considerable 
number of well-selected and useful books. There are 
two large hotels — one on either side of the Water of 
Clunie — the only licensed premises in the locality. 

Not many years ago, most of the natives of Braemar 
spoke Gaelic. But it is not now spoken, although the 
older inhabitants can speak it ; the children and the 
rising generation are not learning Gaelic, and it is rapidly 
becoming extinct in the district. The people of Castle- 
town of Braemar are quiet, sober, very intelligent, and 
ready to communicate any reasonable information. 

Glen Clunie is bounded by hills of moderate eleva- 
tion, stretches southward about nine miles, and meets 
the upper end of Glenshee. Some of the hills are 
rounded, others of various forms, and on either side of 
the glen are green patches and stripes of grass on the 
hills from their bases to their summits, interspersed 
among the heather. Above Castletown, for some 
distance, the hills are partly wooded. In the lower part 
of the glen, there is a considerable space of cultivated 
ground, which yields good crops of grain, turnips, and 



CASTLETOWN OF BRAEMAR. 197 

grass. The stream which drains it is pretty large, and 
glides rapidly on its rocky bed. In some places beds of 
slaty rock project on either side of the steam. About a 
hundred yards above the farm-steading of Auchallater, 
the rocks, projecting on both sides, run across the bed of 
the stream, dividing it into two, and the water rushes 
through two rents in the rock for fifteen yards, and at 
the end of the rents form a deep pool. About two miles 
above Castletown the wood ceases, excepting straggling 
plants and bushes along the margins of the stream. A 
considerable part of the glen is under sheep. 

Two miles above Castletown, Glen Callater opens 
upon Glen Clunie. Glen Callater extends nearly nine 
miles in a south-easterly direction ; it is narrow, and in 
its lower stretch, bounded by hills of moderate elevation, 
but in its upper part, the hills are higher. A stream of 
considerable size rushes through the glen on a very rocky 
and stony channel, and joins the Clunie near the farm 
steading of Auchallater. Loch Callater is three miles 
up the glen ; it is about a mile long, and is fed by rills 
rushing down from the outlying ridges of Lochnagar, 
and two rapid streamlets which issue from the mountains 
at the head of the glen. There is no wood on the margins 
of the loch, or in the glen, excepting a few scattered 
small trees and some bushes. The glen is uninhabited ; 
the only house in it is the gamekeeper's lodge. The 
scenery of the glen is wild and rugged, and it terminates 
in a hollow amid high mountains. 



Chapter XIX. 

GLEN QUOICH— INVEREY— GLEN EY— GLEN LUI— 
MAR FOREST. 

From Castletown of Braemar to Glen Ey the scenery is 
very picturesque. At the bottom of the Valley there is a 
fine stretch of level haughs, which are cultivated or under 
grass ; and on either side of the river the hills are well 
wooded. On the south side of the Valley there is a 
beautiful stretch of woods consisting of birch, pine, larch, 
and other trees interspersed here and there. Many rills 
descending from Morrone form small cascades as they 
rush down the slaty rocks by the roadside. One of 
these, a streamlet called the Carr Burn, in its course 
between the north side of the road and the Dee, has a 
series of very pretty Falls, the highest of which is about 
twenty feet. 

On the opposite side of the Valley is Glen Quoich. 
The Water of Quoich, a stream of considerable size, on 
emerging from the glen, spreads over a portion of the 
fine haugh and greatly mars its beauty. Glen Quoich is 
well wooded, and at its mouth there is a sawmill. A 
short distance up the glen is the Linn of Quoich. Steep 
cliffs and rocks overhang the stream on either side, while 
its channel at the commencement of the fissure in the 
rock is narrowed to about three feet, through which the 
water rushes with great force, surging and foaming into a 
deep pool below. The narrow ravine is finely fringed 
with birch and pine trees, and various wild flowers, which 



GLEN QUOICH. 199 

greatly enhance the picturesqueness of the scene. The 
action of the ice and water has formed a number of 
circular cavities in the rock, which have some resemblance 
to a cup ; and one of the largest of these is called the 
" Earl of Mar's punch bowl." The tradition associated 
with this has a reference to the memorable meeting im- 
mediately before the Rising of 171 5. The Earl and his 
followers having mustered at Quoich, he ordered that 
several ankers of whisky, some ankers of boiling water, 
and a quantity of honey, should |be poured into the 
natural cup at the Linn, and then as each man passed, he 
dipped his horn into the flowing bowl, and drained it to 
the success of the coming James VIII. Since that time 
the bowl has lost its bottom. 

The feudal superiority of Glen Quoich and other 
lands in Braemar was purchased by Duff of Braco, the 
ancestor of the Duke of Fife, after the suppression of 
Mar's Rising. Afterwards he purchased the glen itself. 
In former times several families lived in Glen Quoich ; it 
is now uninhabited, and forms part of the Forest of Mar. 

On the south side of the Valley the Corriemulzie 
Burn rises on Cam na Drochaide, two miles southward 
from the Dee. Three miles from Castletown this stream 
flows through a narrow ravine, which the road crosses by 
a bridge, but there is little to be seen from the bridge to 
indicate the existence of the Falls, excepting the sound 
of the falling water. The ravine rapidly deepens, the 
stream dividing into two, falls down the face of a steep 
rock, at the bottom of which it again unites and forms a 
seething pool ; emerging from the pool, it rushes over 
several other rocks, and winds its way through the ravine 
and onward to the Dee. The height of the Fall is about 



200 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

thirty feet. Both sides of the ravine are covered with 
trees and plants and a variety of wild flowers. The whole 
scene is very pretty and picturesque. A narrow footpath 
leads down the side of the stream, from which a good 
view of the Falls is obtained. 

A little further west, on the south side of the road, is 
New Mar Lodge, the summer residence of the Duke of 
Fife. It is situated at an elevation of 1250 feet on the 
side of Creag an Fhithich, " The Raven's Crag," a beauti- 
fully-wooded rocky hill. It is built in the cottage style, 
a pretty large structure, almost hidden amid the wood. 

Half-a-mile further on, the Dee is spanned by the 
Victoria Bridge, a wooden structure belonging to the 
Duke of Fife, which was substituted for the stone bridge 
destroyed by the great flood of 1 829. The road across it 
leads along an avenue to Old Mar Lodge, which was 
once the principal residence of the Fife family in Braemar. 
Old Mar Lodge is situated at the base of Creag a' Bhuilg, 
a steep and thickly-wooded hill, and in front, between it 
and the Dee, is a fine broad lawn. It is a very plain 
structure, but the surrounding scenery is picturesque and 
attractive. 

The original name of the place was Dalmore, and the 
territory in the neighbourhood on the north side of the 
Valley belonged to the Mackenzies. According to 
tradition, the first laird of Dalmore was a natural son of 
Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, who received a grant of 
it from James IV., on account of services rendered to the 
King by his father. After the suppression of Mar's Rising, 
Mackenzie of Dalmore fell into embarrassed circum- 
stances, and the result was that his lands were sold to the 
first Earl of Fife. 



INVEREY. 201 

The village of Inverey is about five miles from Castle- 
town of Braemar. It is divided into two portions by the 
Water of Ey ; the hamlet on the east side of the Ey is 
called Muckle Inverey, and the one on the west side Little 
Inverey. In Muckle Inverey there are twelve houses, most 
of them recently erected and slated, but three or four of 
the old thatched ones still remain. There is about the 
same number of houses in Little Inverey, five of which are 
thatched, some of the others in ruins, and four or five are 
slated. In the vicinity of the straggling hamlets on 
either side of the Water of Ey, there is a considerable 
space of cultivated ground. The Ey joins the Dee a 
short distance below Inverey. Formerly, Inverey and 
Glen Ey belonged to a branch of the Farquharson family. 

At Muckle Inverey on the north side of the road is the 
public school. Near it lies the ruins of the old Castle of 
Inverey, which seems to have been a structure of some 
strength. There are traditions associated with the castle. 
After the Battle of Killiecrankie it was burned by a party 
of Royal troops, when John Farquharson, its owner and 
occupier, narrowly escaped with his life and fled to the 
cave in Glen Ey. Behind the ruins of the castle is a 
disused burial-ground. 

On the rising ground, on the south side of the road, is 
Inverey Cottage, occupied by the Duke of Fife's forester. 
Alongside of it runs the road through Glen Ey. 

The Water of Ey is a fine large stream, and the road 
crosses it by a bridge between the two Invereys. The 
margins of the stream are beautifully fringed with trees, 
the branches of which in some places meet and form a 
pretty arch above the rippling water. In the lower part 
of Glen Ey there is a pretty stripe of cultivated ground 



202 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

which yields good crops of grain. For a short distance 
up the glen the hills on either side are wooded, and 
farther up all the hills are interspersed with stripes and 
patches of green grass. 

About a mile up the glen there is a rounded hill, and 
on each side of it a stream comes rushing down a narrow 
ravine amid rocks. The stream on the west side is the 
AUt Connie Burn, a tributary of the Ey ; and on the 
east side of the ravine through which this stream descends, 
the rocks are quite perpendicular for several hundred 
yards, and so smooth that they resemble a well-built wall. 
This stream has a series of very beautiful Falls, making 
together a Fall of over sixty feet. Immediately below the 
Falls, the Allt Connie joins the Ey. 

Proceeding up the west side of Glen Ey, about half-a- 
mile above the junction of the Allt Connie with the Ey, 
there is a deep and rugged rent in the rocks, through 
which the stream rushes. On the east side of the road 
a narrow path among the heather leads down to the 
rocky gorge. Then descending a steep and rocky bank 
overgrown with trees and herbage, we stand on a ledge 
of slaty rock ; beneath us is a black, eddying pool, 
formed by the stream which a few yards farther up comes 
rushing, tumbling, and foaming through the rocky gorge. 
From the pool the stream flows over broken ledges and 
fragments of rock ; and here its channel is from ten to 
eighteen feet in breadth. The rocks on either side are 
high, with perpendicular cliffs, covered with ferns and 
various flowering plants, and trees and shrubs growing in 
the rifts of the rocks. 

The ledge of rock mentioned above is only a few feet 
above the level of the stream. It is nearly one hundred feet 



GLEN EY. 203- 

in length, from four to twelve feet in breadth, and at its 
base there is a recess, formed by the overhanging and 
projecting rock, which is twelve feet in length, from two 
to four feet in breadth, and about three feet in height. 
This is the " Colonel's Cave," in which it is said that 
John Farquharson of Inverey hid himself for some time 
after the Battle of Killiecrankie. 

This John Farquharson was locally called the Black 
Colonel, and there are many traditions relating to him. 
It is said that he joined Viscount Dundee before the Re- 
volution, and fought under him at the Battle of Bothwell 
Bridge. In 1689, when Viscount Dundee raised the 
Standard of James VII., he commissioned the Black 
Colonel to muster the men of Braemar. The Black 
Colonel sent the fiery cross through the glens, and a 
company of men assembled, joined Dundee, and fought 
at the Battle of Killiecrankie. After the battle the Black 
Colonel still declined to render his submission to the 
Government ; in consequence his Castle of Inverey was 
burned (as stated before), when he fled for his life to the 
cave in Glen Ey. 

The Black Colonel died about the end of the seven- 
teenth century, and was succeeded by his son, Peter 
Farquharson. It is said that he was of a quiet disposition, 
not at all like his father ; but he joined Mar's Rising, and 
was present at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. After the sup- 
pression of the Rising, he escaped to France, where he 
remained for some time, and his lands were not forfeited^ 
owing to an error in the charge against him. James 
Farquharson, the last laird of Inverey, sold the lands to 
the Earl of Fife in the latter part of the last century. 

In the summer of 1893, on the east side of the glen, I 



204 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

observed a number of cattle grazing opposite the Colonel's 
Cave. At one time a portion of the glen farther up than 
the Colonel's Cave, was under village, and eight families 
once lived in it. The glen is seven miles in length, and 
near the middle of it there is a stretch of fine green 
pasture. It now forms a part of the deer forest of Mar, 
Toward the head of the glen is Alltanodhar Shieling, a 
-small shooting lodge in connection with the forest. 

Between Inverey and the Linn of Dee there is a limited 
space of level ground on the south side of the river ; and, 
in the summer of 1893, I observed good crops of corn, 
potatoes, and turnips in this locality. On the north side 
•of the Dee is the Forest of Mar. 

The Water of Lui enters the Dee about half a mile 
below the Linn. A short distance above its junction 
with the Dee, the stream is spanned by a bridge, which 
carries the north road across it. A little above this 
bridge, the Lui has two very pretty Falls. The stream 
rushes through a narrow gorge on a rocky bed, with high 
rocks on either side, and presents a beautiful scene. 
Glen Lui is pretty wide and open, bounded by rounded 
hills of modern elevation, which are interspersed with 
patches and stripes of green pasture. There is a consider- 
able space of level ground in the glen, which on both 
sides of the stream is covered with fine natural grass ; 
and parts of it seem to have once been under cultiva- 
tion. Some traces of the ruins of houses may still be 
seen, and at one time the glen was inhabited ; at present 
the only inhabitants in it are the gamekeeper and his 
family. 

At a distance of about five miles from its mouth. 
Glen Lui branches off into two glens — Glen Lui Beg and 



MAR FOREST. 205 

Glen Derry. The latter runs in a northward direction 
for nearly five miles, and for about two miles it is well 
wooded. The aspect of the surroundings is solemn and 
sombre — the dark green foliage shows little variation of 
hues ; while the reigning silence is only broken by the 
rippling sound of the stream rushing rapidly over its 
stony bed, the occasional croak of the raven, and the 
notes of the cuckoo. Pine trees are the prevailing wood 
in the forest, with sprinklings of birches here and there. 
The pine trees of Braemar attain a height of from fifty 
to sixty feet, and a girth of ten feet, and sometimes 
more, but many, of course, never reach this growth. The 
straightest and finest trees, most valued for timber, have 
conical tops ; but the most beautiful send out great 
irregular branches. There is a considerable variety of 
form among pine trees, and the least beautiful are the 
densely crowded trees, which have sprung up into slender 
spars almost denuded of branches up to their tops. Up 
the hillsides the trees gradually diminish in size, and are 
intermixed with birch. In many places there are stumps 
and decayed trees, which seems to indicate that in former 
times the forest had been more extended. Along the 
upper stretch of the forest many dead and naked trunks 
are scattered among the living trees ; and on the out- 
skirts of the forest the trees are stunted, bent, and 
twisted, and quite stripped of their bark ; while many 
old trees are lying on the ground, decayed, and reduced 
to dusty soil, covered with vegetation. 

After the continuous wood ceases, in the upper part 
of Glen Derry, there is a long and pretty wide level 
space, covered with natural grass. The glen is well 
adapted for pasture, and affords excellent grazing for the 



!206 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

deer. A few scattered trees grow on the plain and the 
hillsides, and some traces of the ruins of houses are still 
discernable. Further up, the Derry Water turns west- 
ward, and leads to its main source — Loch Etchachan, 
which lies on Ben Muich Dhui at an elevation of thirty- 
one hundred feet. Loch Etchachan is a sheet of water 
about a mile in circumference. The scenery around it 
is somewhat bleak and bare ; but there are plenty of 
trout in the loch. A fine view of Loch Avon may be 
obtained at a point a short distance north from Loch 
Etchachan. 

The track running northward in line with Glen Derry 
leads over an elevated ridge to Loch Avon, in Banffshire, 
and by which the Spey may be reached. 

Glen Lui Beg and its stream extend a distance of 
nearly five miles from its junction with the Derry to 
Lochan Uaine — a tarn on the south side of Ben Muich 
Dhui. The lower part of the glen is wooded, but the 
trees gradually become fewer, scattered, and disappear. 
These glens are included in the deer forest of Mar. 

This deer forest is very extensive, and covers a wide 
extent of territory on both sides of the Dee. The 
greater part of it, however, is not wooded, but consists of 
hills, moors, glens, ravines, and corries. 

There are two species of deer in the Forest of 
Braemar — the red deer and the roe deer. The red deer 
live among the hills and the woods, usually in large 
herds. They are more esteemed for the quality of their 
flesh than the roe deer ; also as animals which afford 
much excitement in hunting. In size and form the stag 
is a fine and beautiful animal, remarkably swift, muscu- 
lar, and strong. The most peculiar feature of the 



LINN OF DEE. 207 

physical organism of the stag is the antlers which adorn 
its head. Usually, during the hunting season, the red 
deer are exceedingly difficult to approach within shoot- 
ing distance. 

The roe deer is a beautiful animal, but much smaller 
than the red deer, having shorter legs and horns. They 
do not live in large herds, but in twos or threes, and may 
occasionally be seen singly, bounding through the woods. 
They live among the woods and thickets, and rarely 
venture upon the hills, except in passing from one wood 
to another. They are very swift, and it is a fine sight to 
see two or three of them at full speed. 

The golden eagle was once common among the moun- 
tains of Braemar, but it is now rarely seen, and seems 
to have ceased breeding in this region. Various species 
of hawks and owls may occasionally be seen in the 
district. On the moors, red grouse is common, and up 
to a considerable height on the hills ; while the grey 
ptarmigan, with its changing plumage, may sometimes 
be seen on the summits of the highest mountains. 

On the south side of the Dee there are a few cottages on 
the road side not far from the Linn. The bridge which 
spans the Dee at the Linn was erected by the late Earl 
of Fife, and opened by Her Majesty the Queen, on the 
8th of September, 1857. The Queen and Prince Consort, 
and other members of the Royal Family, started from 
Balmoral at mid-day, and proceeded to the Linn, where 
a triumphal arch was erected in honour of the occasion. 
The road was lined with Duff men — the pipers playing ; 
and the Earl of Fife and Lady Fife received the Queen 
and Royal Party. On the bridge they all drank, in 
whisky, " prosperity to the bridge." It is built of granite, 



208 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

and has only one arch, formed upon solid rock at either 
side. It is a very elegant structure, and shows excellent 
workmanship. From the bridge a good view of the 
Linn can be obtained, as it stands nearly over the 
middle of the gorge. 

The Linn may be briefly described. Above the 
bridge a ledge of rock runs across the bed of the river, 
and rising a little, causes a continuous ripple of the 
water. The river rushes with great force into a deep 
crevice, making three beautiful cascades, the highest of 
which is about five feet ; as the crevice between the 
rocks become narrower, the water seethes and tumbles 
with tremendous force onward to the end of the fissure in 
the rock ; after escaping, the water forms a very dark 
pool, and then glides away. The Linn is over three 
hundred yards in length, and at the narrowest point, 
which is a little below the bridge, the opening between 
the rocks is about three feet broad. The rocks above on 
either side, and especially below the bridge on the south 
side, are o( considerable height, and overhanging. A 
very striking feature of the Linn, is the number of cup- 
like cavities formed in the solid rock on both sides of the 
fissure, into which the water dashes, eddying and swir- 
ling beautifully. These cavities in the rock are as 
smooth as the finest polished stone. 

On the south side of the bridge, in the immediate 
vicinity of the Linn, there is a pretty large hunting 
lodge, amid thriving young trees, which belongs to the 
Duke of Fife. The late Earl of Fife occasionally stayed 
a few days at this delightful spot in the summer time. 

Above the Linn there is not much wood, but here 
and there straggling small trees and clusters of bushes. 



LINN OF DEE. 209 

About a mile and a half above the Linn, on the south 
side of the Dee, there is " the big and little lord's haugh," 
on which there were once buildings — now in ruins. 
Farther westward, at Dubrach, where the Geldie joins 
the Dee, a party of soldiers was stationed after Mar's 
Rising. A few yards above the junction of the Geldie 
and the Dee, the latter is spanned by a wooden structure, 
called White Bridge. 

Glen Geldie in a limited part of its lower stretch, is 
grassy, and contains good pasture ; but the greater part 
of the glen appears rather bleak, mostly consisting of 
moorland and mosses, while the hills on either side of it 
are bare, and of no great elevation. About four miles 
from White Bridge, on the banks of the Geldie, is Geldie 
Lodge — a hunting seat connected with the Glen Geldie 
part of the deer forest of Mar. About a mile above the 
mouth of Glen Geldie, Glen Bynack opens upon it, and 
the latter is a good pastoral glen. Bynack shooting 
lodge is on the bank of the burn, about two miles from 
the junction of the Geldie and the Dee. 

Half-a-mile westward from the confluence of the Dee 
and the Geldie, there is a striking rapid, called "The 
Chest of Dee." It is a narrow and rocky part of the 
river, about one hundred yards long, through which the 
water rushes with great force into a pool, from which 
the river flows quietly on. A little farther up, on the 
south bank of the Dee, there are some traces of a build- 
ing, said to have been the uppermost hunting lodge of 
the Earl of Mar. Above this, a path leads up Glen Dee, 
passing the Pools of Dee, and onward to Coylum Bridge 
on the Spey. 

As stated in the introductory chapter. Glen Dee is 
P 



210 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

narrow, rugged, and wild, with lofty mountains on both 
sides. It has one opening on the east side — the entrance 
into Glen Lui Beg, which was treated before ; and nearly 
opposite, on the west side, is the mouth of Glen Geusachan. 
This glen is narrow at its mouth, where it branches off 
from Glen Dee ; but it winds round the Devil's Point to 
the south-west of Cairn Toul. As it bends northward 
towards the summit of the mountain, it gradually widens 
out, and at a distance of three miles it loses its features 
as a glen, where its stream approaches an elevation of 
thirty-five hundred feet. 

Thus we have reached the high mountain-land, and 
so far completed the proposed task. Yet, any history of 
the Valley of the Dee would be quite inadequate without 
some account, however brief, of the Earldom and Earls 
of Mar, and the Risings of 171 5 and 1745. Mar is not 
only one of the most ancient of Scottish Earldoms, 
but also in many respects the most remarkable and 
interesting one in the Island. So a few chapters on 
these will be an appropriate conclusion to the preceding 
account of the Valley of the Dee. 



Chapter XX. 

EARLDOM OF MAR— EARLS OF MAR. 

The ancient district of Mar was very extensive. It 
commenced in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen and ex- 
tended all the way to Badenoch, comprising almost the 
whole of the Valleys of the Dee and Don, and the 
territory lying between them. It seems probable that the 
whole of this district was under the Mormaer of Mar. In 
Celtic times the Mormaer was the head and leader of the 
tribe of the land. The old Earls of Mar were descended 
from the Mormaers of Mar, and can be traced from the 
tenth century onward. 

From an early period the Castle of Kildrummy was 
the principal seat of the Earldom of Mar. It is one of 
the oldest castles in Scotland, and was a place of great 
strength ; but it is now ruinous. The castle, with its forti- 
fications, covered three Scotch acres of ground. 

It may be observed that the Gaelic name Mormaer 
was superseded by the title Earl. In 1014, Donald 
Mormaer of Mar proceeded to Ireland to assist the Irish 
in repelling the Danes ; and he was slain at the Battle of 
Clontarf In the reign of Alexander I., Ruadri was the 
Mormaer of Mar ; and he became first Earl of Mar. He 
was succeeded by Morgund, second Earl of Mar, who 
appears as a witness to a number of charters granted 
between 1147 and 1178. Morgund was succeeded by 
Gilchrist, third Earl of Mar, who witnessed charters 
granted between 1170 and 1204. He was succeeded by 



212 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Gratney, fourth Earl of Mar ; and about the year 1225 he 
was succeeded by Duncan, fifth Earl of Mar. Duncan 
was succeeded by his son, William, sixth Earl of Mar,, 
in 1244. 

This Earl, during the minority of Alexander III., came 
into conflict with Alan Durward, who was Justiciary of 
Scotland. Durward had married a natural daughter of 
Alexander II., and he desired the Earldom of Mar, and 
even aspired to the Throne of Scotland. Although 
Alan Durward failed in his main aim, yet he actually 
obtained possession of large portions of the Earldom of 
Mar in the Valley of the Dee, and in other quarters of 
Aberdeenshire. A kind of compromise was thus effected 
between the Earl of Mar and Alan Durward. 

William was succeeded by his son, Donald, seventh 
Earl of Mar. In 1290, during the Interregnum, Donald, 
Earl of Mar, and Duncan, Earl of Fife, appeared before 
the Bishop of St. Andrews and John Comyn, guardians 
of Scotland, and protested against any unwarranted 
action on their part touching the appointment of a King^ 
or placing themselves and their rights under the protection 
of Edward I. ; and also protesting against the choice of 
Baliol in favour of Bruce to the Throne of Scotland, 
This protest, unfortunately, was disregarded, as the Bishop 
of St. Andrews even invited the interference of Edward L 
in the question of the disputed succession to the Throne 
of Scotland. 

This Donald, Earl of Mar, had a son, Gratney, and a 
daughter, Isabel. Gratney married Christiana Bruce, a 
sister of King Robert Bruce ; while King Robert married 
Isabel, Gratney's sister. Gratney obtained with his wife 
the Earldom of Garioch, to be held in free regality. Thus 



EARLS OF MAR. 213 

the Earls of Mar and Robert I. were closely allied. 
Gratney succeeded his father as eighth Earl of Mar. At 
his death, he left a son, Donald, who succeeded as ninth 
Earl of Mar ; and also two daughters, of whom the 
eldest, Ellen, married Sir John Menteith — their daughter, 
Christian Menteith, married Sir Edward Keith — their 
daughter, Janet Keith, married Sir Thomas Erskine;and 
from this relationship sprung the claim and the right of 
the Erskine family to the Earldom of Mar, a century later. 

Earl Donald was confined a prisoner in England 
during the War of Independence. After the death of 
Robert I., the Earl of Mar joined the cause of the young 
Prince David II., his own cousin. On the death of 
Randolph, Earl of Moray, Mar was appointed Regent of 
Scotland. Shortly after, he fell at the disastrous Battle 
of Dupplin in 1332. 

He was succeeded by his son, Thomas, the tenth and 
last Earl of Mar of the Celtic line. His sister, Margaret, 
married William, the first Earl of Douglas. David II. 
granted to Earl Thomas a charter of confirmation of the 
Earldom of Garioch to him and his heirs. He married 
Margaret Stuart, Countess of Angus in her own right; but 
he died in 1377, leaving no issue. 

His sister, the Countess of Douglas, then succeeded 
to the Earldoms of Mar and Garioch. She had a son and 
a daughter to her husband, the Earl of Douglas, who died 
in 1384. He was succeeded by his son, James, Earl of 
Douglas and of Mar. He fell at the Battle of Otterburn 
in 1388; and having left no legitimate issue, his sister, 
Isabel, succeeded to the Earldoms of Mar and Garioch, 
her mother's heritage. She also succeeded to the unen- 
tailed lands of the house of Douglas. This Isabel, 



214 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Countess of Mar and Garioch in her own right, and also 
owner of other lands of wide extent, naturally became an 
object of intrigues, and a network of plots was woven 
around her. 

She married Sir Malcolm Drummond, a brother of 
Annabella — Queen of Robert III. ; but there was no issue 
of the marriage. Her husband. Sir Malcolm, was attacked 
by a party instigated by Alexander Stewart (the hero of 
Harlaw) and murdered. Tytler, the historian, says — 
" There seems to have been little doubt that the successful 
wooer and the assassin of Drummond was one and the 
same person." After the murder of her husband, Isabel 
was residing at the Castle of Kildrummy, a widow, 
childless, and unprotected. In the summer of 1404, 
Alexander Stewart, a leader of broken men, and the 
terror of the country, swooped down upon the Castle and 
his victim. He captured the Countess' castle, seized her 
person, and then extorted from her, under covenant of 
future marriage, a charter dated 12th of August, 1404, by 
which she gifted to Alexander Stewart the Earldoms of 
Mar and Garioch, and all the other lands and superiorities 
belonging to her by hereditary right. The immediate 
effect of this charter was to cut off the Erskines, and 
others who had hopes of succeeding to the Earldom of 
Mar. 

This outrage on the Countess' person and property, 
and extortion of the charter, were too flagrant to stand 
unredressed ; but Stewart's relation to the Royal family 
appears to have saved him from actual punishment 
Accordingly a compromise was arranged, by which the 
rights of other parties were secured. The matter assumed 
a dramatic form. 



EARLS OF MAR. 215 

On the 9th of September, 1404, the Countess, accom- 
panied by the Bishop of Ross, Sir Andrew LesHe, and 
other gentlemen of the district, and a multitude of the 
people, assembled upon a meadow outside the great gate 
of Kildrummy Castle ; and then Alexander Stewart came 
out of the castle, advancing to where the Countess stood, 
and in the presence of the assemblage delivered over to 
her the castle with its charters, the silver vessels and 
other jewels, and everything therein, placing the keys in 
her hands, to dispose of the castle as no longer under any 
constraint. This having been done, the Countess, holding 
the keys in her hands, then made choice of Alexander 
Stewart as her husband before all the people, and gave 
him in free marriage the castle and the Earldoms of Mar 
and Garioch, and all the lands that she 'possessed. Im- 
mediately after this ceremony the charter of the 12th of 
August was renounced by Stewart in favour of the 
Countess, to be reconveyed by her to him, which was 
done by a similar charter of the 9th December ; and this 
was confirmed by a charter of Robert III. on the 21st of 
January, 1405, under the Great Seal. Thus x'\lexander 
Stewart, natural son of the Earl of Buchan (the " Wolf of 
Badenoch") became Earl of Mar. 

The Countess Isabel, the unhappy victim of many 
intrigues, and such violence as indicated above, died about 
three years after her marriage, and left no issue by 
Alexander Stewart ; but he continued to hold the 
Earldom, and endeavoured to secure the succession to his 
natural son, Thomas Stewart. 

On the return of James I., Alexander Stewart resigned 
the Earldom of Mar into the King's hands, and received 
it back by charter on the 26th of May, 1426, to himself 



216 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

for life — and to his natural son, Thomas, in fee, with 
destination to the heir male of Thomas, and with a final 
reminder to the Crown. Thus the Erskines, the real 
heirs to the Earldom were ignored ; but Thomas Stewart 
died childless in his father's lifetime, and on the death of 
Earl Alexander himself, in 1435, James I. annexed the 
Earldom of Mar to the Crown, still ignoring the claim of 
the Erskines. 

After the death of James I., however, Sir Robert 
Erskine took steps in 1438 in the usual form, to secure his 
right of succession to the Earldom of Mar as the lawful a 

heir — a descendant from Ellen, the eldest daughter of 
Donald, Earl of Mar, and Regent of Scotland, who fell at 
the Battle of Dupplin in 1332, as before mentioned. In 
1438, Sir Robert obtained two special retours of service, 
on which he was inducted into the chief messuage of the 
Earldom — the Castle of Kildrummy. He assumed the 
title of Earl of Mar and Lord Erskine, under which he 
granted various charters to vassals of the Earldom, among 
others, a charter dated loth May, 1440, granting the lands 
of Davachdore to Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum. Erskine 
was at once recognised as Earl of Mar in Aberdeen, as 
appears from an entry in the records of the city, dated 
28th December, 1439. 

But the Crown soon began a struggle with the Earl, 
which terminated in depriving him and the Erskine 
family of the Earldom of Mar for a long period. During 
the minority of James II., various arrangements were 
entered into between Lord Erskine and the Government, 
the drift of which was to delay the settlement of his claim 
to the Earldom until the King attained his majority. In 
1452, James II. granted the Earldom of Gariochto Mary, 



EARLS OF MAR. 217 

his Queen, by charter for life. Robert Erskine, Earl of 
Mar and Garioch, died about the beginning of 1453, but 
his son, Thomas, Lord Erskine insisted on his claim to 
the Earldom of Mar. A court was held at Aberdeen on 
the 15th of May, 1457, at which the King was present as 
prosecutor in his own cause, with the Lord Chancellor as 
his advocate ; and there and then Thomas, Lord Erskine's 
demand for a retour of service to his father in the 
Earldom of Mar, in virtue of the retours of 1438, and the 
infeftment thereupon was rejected; and the retours of 1438 
were set aside on the ground that, on the death of 
Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar, in 1435, the Earldom 
then reverted to James L, and was the property of his 
successor, James II., in consequence of the illegitimacy of 
Earl Alexander and his son, Thomas Stewart. 

In 1459, James II. granted the Earldom of Mar to his 
own youngest son, John, then an infant. He became a 
manly and promising prince ; but being obnoxious to 
the favourites of James III., he was arrested and im- 
prisoned in the Castle of Craigmillar, and it is said, bled 
to death. Earl John having died unmarried, the Earldom 
lapsed to the Crown. In 1482, James III. granted the 
Earldom of Mar to his brother, Alexander, Duke of 
Albany. In 1485 he was killed by the splinter of a lance 
while looking on at a tournament in Paris. James III. 
then granted the Earldom of Mar to his third son, John, 
a mere boy, and he died at the age of seventeen. The 
Earldom again reverted to the Crown, and continued in 
its possession for upwards of sixty years ; during this 
period there were no Earls of Mar. 

But large portions of the lands of the Earldom were 
from time to time granted to favourite vassals of the 



218 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

Crown. John Elphinstone of Elphinstone received grants 
by charter from James IV., in 1507, 1509, and 15 10, of 
the lands of Invernochty, and other lands in Strathdon 
and Cromar, the lands of Kildrummy, and also the custody 
of the castle — the chief seat of the Earldom. In 15 10, 
Alexander Elphinstone, who had succeeded his father, 
was created a Lord of Parliament under the title of Lord 
Elphinstone. 

James IV. and his successor James V. retained the 
remainder of the territory of the Earldom of Mar in their 
own hands. Thus the matter continued until the return 
of Queen Mary from France, in 1561. 



Chapter XXL 

EARLS OF MAR— RISING OF 1715. 

In the year 1562, Queen Mary granted what remained 
of the lands of the Earldom of Mar in the hands of the 
Crown to her half-brother, James Stewart, Prior of 
St. Andrews, afterwards the Regent Moray. Shortly 
after, the Queen, however, became aware of the claim of 
the Erskine family to this Earldom ; accordingly, she 
resolved to restore it to the legitimate heirs. In 1565, 
Queen Mary granted by charter the Earldom of Mar and 
the Lordship of the Garioch to John, Lord Erskine, upon 
the ground that he was the legitimate heir to this Earl- 
dom and Lordship as possessed from ancient times by the 
Countess Isabel. Among the lands specified as in the 
Earldom of Mar are Strathdee, Braemar, Cromar, and 
Strathdon, being portions of the Earldom then in the 
hands of the Crown. But seeing that the Barony and 
Castle of Kildrummy, the chief seat of the Earldom, had 
been alienated by the Crown (as indicated in the pre- 
ceding chapter), the Manor of Migvie was declared to 
be a proper place for the infeftment in the entire Earl- 
dom of Mar ; while the Castle of Dunnideer was to serve 
the same purpose for the Lordship of Garioch. The 
Earl at once received possession of the lands still in the 
hands of the Crown, but it was long ere the other lands 
were recovered, and considerable portions of them were 
never recovered. 

John, Earl of Mar, was appointed guardian of the 



220 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

infant King James VI. ; and, on the death of the Regent 
Lennox in 1571, Mar was elected Regent of Scotland. 
He died on the 29th of October, 1572, and was succeeded 
by his son, John, second Earl of Mar. 

This Earl was a man of much energy and ability. 
He made great and prolonged efforts to recover the 
territorial possessions of the Earldom. In 1587, an 
Act of Parliament was passed in favour of John, Earl of 
Mar, protecting his right of regress on legal warrant 
against prescription, on the statement of the rights 
recognised in the charter of restoration of 1565. This 
Act was opposed in Parliament ; the Earl of Huntly, 
Lord Elphinstone, and others interested, protested 
against it. John Wishart, laird of Pittarrow (in the 
Parish of Fordoun, Kincardineshire), protested that " he 
was heritable feuar and immediate tenant to our 
sovereign lord of the lands of Strathdee and Braemar." 
It appears that Wishart's claim originated in a disposi- 
tion granted by James Stewart, the Regent Moray, while 
he was Earl of Mar. Although the Earl of Mar had 
obtained an Act of Parliament to enable him to recover 
the chief seat, and other alienated lands of the Earldom, 
yet this was an extremely difficult process, and many 
years elapsed ere he made much progress. 

I^ I593> he commenced proceedings before the Court 
of Session against William Forbes of Corse, the represen- 
tative of his great-grandfather, Patrick Forbes, a younger 
son of the second Lord Forbes, to whom the lands of Corse 
Muretown, and other lands, which had been granted in 
feu farm to be held of the King, by James III., in 1482. 
This case was ultimately decided in Mar's favour in 
1 62 1. The Earl then renewed his efforts to obtain the 



EARLS OF MAR. 221 

lands and Castle of Kildrummy. The trial of the case 
was very long and difficult ; and the final decision was 
delivered in 1626, by which the lands and Castle of 
Kildrummy were declared to belong to John, Earl of Mar, 
by heritable right from Sir Robert Erskine — legitimate 
heir of Isabel, Countess of Mar and Garioch. After this 
decision, Alexander, Lord Elphinstone, and the Master of 
Elphinstone, agreed to an arrangement whereby John, 
Earl of Mar, undertook to pay to them forty-eight 
thousand merks, on receipt of which the Elphinstones 
should ratify the decree of reduction, and renounce all 
right to the lands and castle in question. 

There were, however, many other estates and rights of 
superiority, though less important than Kildrummy, which 
had been alienated from the Earldom of Mar and 
Lordship of the Garioch by preceding Kings of Scotland, 
and also by Crown vassals ; and the Earl pushed on pro- 
ceedings for the recovery of these possessions and rights. 
But he died in the end of December, 1634. He held the 
office of Treasurer in the Government of Scotland from 
161 5 to 1630. He was succeeded by his son, John, third 
Earl of Mar, and the processes which were pending, were 
determined in favour of the Earl on the 26th of March, 
1635, three months after the death of his father. 

These processes involved a prosecution against 
upwards of one hundred and fifty proprietors in possession 
of lands or superiorities within the Earldom of Mar and 
Lordship of Garioch ; and among whom may be 
mentioned the Earls of Crawford, Kinghorn, and Earl 
Marischal, Lord Forbes, Lord Deskford, and Lord 
Wemyss, Irvine of Drum, Burnett of Leys, Leslie of 
Balquhain, many Gordons, Forbeses, Leiths, and others. 



222 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

All these were to be reduced, so far as the lands specified 
were parts and dependencies of the Earldom of Mar, and 
decision given in favour of the Earl of Mar. No wonder 
that there was a great stirring up of rights and claims, 
much searching in the massive iron chests, with their com- 
plicated locks and secret drawers, which were the 
repositories of the charters in the old Scottish castles and 
towers. Some of those involved in the process had 
possessed their lands for centuries, and many for several 
generations. A considerable number succeeded in 
proving their right to the property in question, or to the 
superiority and property both ; but in the majority of 
cases the superiority was found to belong to the Earl of 
Mar. In a few cases the Earl withdrew his claim. 

Earl John died in 1654, and was succeeded by his 
son, John, fourth Earl of Mar. In the Covenanting 
struggle and the Civil War of the seventeenth century, 
the Earls of Mar adhered to the Royal cause ; and in 
consequence of this, the family suffered serious loss, as the 
debts contracted in the cause of Charles I. and Charles II. 
necessitated the sale of many of their estates. Earl John 
died in 1668, and was succeeded by his son, Charles, fifth 
Earl of Mar. He died in 1689, and was succeeded by 
his son, John, sixth Earl of Mar. 

This Earl was a scheming politician. He was 
appointed Secretary of State for Scotland in 1706. 
Although he had often avowed Jacobite views, yet he 
assisted the Government to carry the Treaty of Union 
through the Scottish Parliament. Lockhart of Carn- 
wath, one of the ablest Jacobites of the time, said — 
" Mar gained the favour of all the Tories, and was by 
many of them esteemed an honest man, and well inclined 



EARLS OF MAR. 223 

to the Royal family. Certain it is he vowed and pro- 
tested so much many a time ; but no sooner was the 
Marquis of Tweeddale and his party dispossessed than he 
returned, as the dog to his vomit, and promoted all the 
Court of England's measures with the greatest zeal 
imaginable His great talent lay in the cun- 
ning management of his designs and projects in which it 
was hard to find him out." Mar embraced the earliest 
opportunity of offering his service to George I. ; but on 
the 24th of September, 17 14, he was dismissed from his 
office of Secretary of State for Scotland, and succeeded 
by the Duke of Montrose. Yet Mar remained for some 
time about the Court ; no special favour, however, was 
granted to him by the new King, and at last Mar resolved 
to be revenged. 

He left London in the beginning of August, 171 5, 
landed in Fifeshire, and proceeded to Braemar, issuing 
intimations as he advanced northward to the Highland 
chiefs and his friends to join him at a great hunting party 
in the Forest of Mar. He reached Invercauld on the 19th 
of August, and immediately commenced preparations for 
the gathering, which met on the 26th of August at 
Braemar. The party assembled round the Earl of Mar 
included the Marquis of Tullibardine, eldest son of the 
Duke of Athole ; the Marquis of Huntly, eldest son of the 
Duke of Gordon ; the Earls of Seaford, Southesk, Errol, 
Marischal, Linlithgow, Carnwath, Traquair, and Nithsdale; 
the Lords Duffus, Rollo, Drummond, Stormont, Strath- 
allan, Ogilvie, and Nairn ; the Viscounts Kinmure, 
Kilsyth, and Kingston ; Gordon of Glenbucket, the lairds 
of Auldbar and Auchterhouse ; and other twenty men of 
note and influence in the Highlands. The number of 



224 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

men then assembled at Braemar was about eight hundred. 

On the 3rd of September a meeting was held at 
Aboyne Castle, to deliberate on the projected Rising. At 
this meeting there were present — the Marquis of Tulli- 
bardine, Earl Marischal, the Earl of Southesk, and Lord 
Huntly ; Glengarry from the clans, Glenderule from the 
Earl of Breadalbane, and gentlemen of Argyleshire ; 
Lieutenant-General Hamilton, Major Gordon, and a few 
others. 

The final resolution having been taken, the die was 
cast. On the 6th of September, 171 5, the Standard was 
raised on the spot where the Invercauld Arms Hotel now 
stands in Castletown of Braemar. From this originated 
the spirited Jacobite song, adapted to the reel tune called 
the *' Braes o' Mar." The ballad itself may be quoted : — 

The standard on the Braes of Mar 

Is up and streaming rarely ; 
The gathering pipe on Lochnagar 
Is sounding lang an' sairly. 
The Highland men, 

Frae hill and glen, j 

In martial hue, 1 

Wi' bonnets blue, 
Wi' belted plaids, 

An' burnished blades, 
Are coming late and early. 



Wha wadna join our noble chief, 
The Drummond and Glengary, 
Macgregor, Murray, RoUo, Keith, 
Panmure, and gallant Harry ? 

Macdonald's men, 

Clanronald's men, 

Mackenzie's men, 

Macgillivray's men, 

Strathallan's men, 

The Lowlan' men 
Of Cal lender and Airly. 



RISING OF 1715. 225 

Fy ! Donald up an' let's awa', 

We canna longer parley, 
WTien Jamie's back is at the wa', 
The lad we lo'e sae dearly. 

We'll go, we'll go, 

An' seek the foe, 

An' fling the plaid. 

An' swing the blade, 

An' forward dash, 

An' hack and slash, 
An' fleg the German carlie ! 

A large number of the Braemar men, and men from 
other parts of the Valley, joined the Rising. Mar 
assumed the place of commander-in-chief ; and his fol- 
lowers, and those of the chiefs, immediately commenced 
to move southward by Spittal of Glenshee. The army 
marched through Moulin and Logierait to Dunkeld, 
receiving large reinforcements as it proceeded ; and at 
Dunkeld the army numbered five thousand men. While 
the mustering and marching of the men proceeded, the 
accession of James VIII., was proclaimed at Aberdeen, 
the northern towns, and other places. On the i6th of 
September, a detachment took possession of Perth ; and 
to this centre the whole army marched, and Mar made it 
his headquarters. By the month of November, the force 
under Mar exceeded fifteen thousand men. 

It would be out of character in this work to enter into 
the details of the Rising. But it may be stated that Mar 
himself was a very poor commander, and manifested no 
military genius whatever. He remained inactive at 
Perth, with the greater part of his army ; and the only 
battle which he attempted was the indecisive action of 
Sherrifimuir. 

James VIII., the Pretender, landed at Peterhead on 
the 22nd of December, and reached Perth on the 6th of 
Q 



226 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

January, 1716. But his presence inspired no new hopes ; 
as this representative of the ancient Stuart line had not 
the mein of a personage likely to lead his followers to 
victory and glory. He took up his state in the Palace of 
Scone, the historic spot associated with the coronation 
of the Scottish Kings. Preparations were made to have 
him crowned on the 23rd of January ; but ere that day 
came, the Stuart King was seriously thinking of retiring 
from the advance of his enemies. 

Argyle was lying at Stirling Castle with the Royal 
army. On the 23rd of January he commenced his 
march upon Perth, but his progress was very slow, owing 
to the depth of snow upon the ground. 

On the 30th of January, at midnight, the insurgents 
commenced to retreat; they crossed the Tay on the ice, 
and marched to Dundee, thence to Montrose. On the 
3rd of February, the Pretender, along with the Earl of 
Mar, went aboard a small French vessel and sailed for 
France. This incident caused many of the men in the 
army to disperse to their homes. General Gordon was 
left in command, and marched the fast diminishing army 
northward, when on reaching Aberdeen, on the 7th, the 
remainder of the army dispersed ; but a considerable 
number of those who joined the Rising, never returned to 
their homes, being either slain or taken prisoners. Many 
of the prisoners were executed, and others exported to 
the plantations in the West Indies. The estates of up- 
wards of forty families were forfeited in Scotland. 

After the suppression of the Rising, the Government 
sent a body of troops into Braemar, which they wasted 
and burned. For a time troops were stationed at 
Dubrach, Mar Castle, and Abergeldie. 



RISING OF 1715. 227 

The Earl of Mar's estates were, of course, forfeited, 
but some years afterwards they were repurchased for the 
benefit of the family ; and the lands belonging to the 
Earldom in the Valley of the Dee were acquired by the 
parties indicated in the preceding chapters, and, after the 
year 1739, the Erskine family, and the subsequent Earls 
of Mar possessed no lands in the Valley of the Dee. 

The forfeited Earl left an only son, Thomas, usually 
styled Lord Erskine ; and a daughter, styled Lady 
Frances Erskine. Lord Erskine died in 1766, leaving no 
issue. Lady Frances then became heir of the Earls of 
Mar ; and she married her cousin-german, James Erskine, 
a son of Lord Grange — the forfeited Earl's younger 
brother. Lady Frances and her husband left a son, John 
Francis Erskine, and to him the title of Earl of Mar was 
restored in 1824. 



Chapter XXII. 

DISARMING OF THE PEOPLE— RISING OF 1745— 
CONCLUSION. 

After the suppression of Mar's Rising, for some time 
the inhabitants of Braemar were subjected to much 
suffering, until the general Indemnity was proclaimed in 
17 17. Soon after, the Government passed measures to 
secure the peace of the country. An Act was passed for 
disarming the Highlanders, embracing the counties on the 
north of the Forth and the Highland districts of the west. i 

The Act imposed severe penalties, rising on the repetition 
of the offence to transportation, against those convicted of 
appearing in arms. This Act, however, failed to attain 
its object, as it provided no means for a regular disarma- 
ment of the inhabitants. General Wade reported to the 
Government that the Act was quite inoperative ; as it 
gave compensation to those who voluntarily gave up their 
arms, he said that the public money was freely given 
away for old useless arms, while the effective weapons 
were kept out of sight. 

In 1725, another disarming Act was passed. It 
ordered that each clan should be summoned to appear at 
a specified place and deliver up their arms. The carrying 
out of this Act was entrusted to General Wade. The 
clans all over the Highlands gave up very large numbers 
of arms, and the General naturally imagined that he had 
performed his task effectively. He even assured the 
King that the Highlander had now become a simple 



M 



RISING OF 1745. 229 

peasant with his staff in his hand. The General further 
explictly assured the King that if the system of roads and 
fortresses planned by him were carried out, any future 
Rising of the Highlanders against His Highness would be 
quite impossible ; but subsequent events proved that the 
General's sanguine anticipations were utterly futile. 

Indeed, it is a painful truth that neither the Govern- 
ment of the time nor its General had the intelligence or 
sagacity to see the real root of the danger of another 
Rising in Scotland. The core of the matter lay in this — 
that so long as the nobles of Scotland and the Highland 
chiefs possessed their feudal jurisdiction over their vassals 
and tenants there could be no security against another 
Rising ; and the Government utterly failed to see this 
until after the second Rising. A feudal Earl was the 
military head of the Earldom, and his vassals and tenants 
were, according to the law of Scotland at that time, bound 
to obey and follow his commands without question. The 
law was different in Royal burghs, as every citizen was a 
subject of the Crown; whereas in an Earldom, a Lordship, 
or a Barony, every man was a subject of the Earl, the 
Lord, or the Baronet. A Lord of a regality in any 
quarter of Scotland had quite as much despotic power 
over his vassals as any Highland chief. So long as these 
conditions continued a Jacobite rebellion might arise at 
any time. 

When Prince Charles arrived at the Western Isles in 
July, 1745, his prospects of success were not very bright ; 
as the Highland chiefs whom Charles first met and con- 
sulted were opposed to his enterprise ; but the young 
Prince was full of hope and faith in his destiny, and by 
his persistent efforts overcame the scruples of the chiefs. 



230 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

It was resolved to muster the clans at Glenfinnan on the 
19th of August. Glenfinnan is a comparatively narrow 
vale, bounded on both sides by lofty and craggy 
mountains, and nearly twenty miles north from Fort- 
William. On the appointed day Charles arrived in the 
glen at eleven in the forenoon, and found only a few in- 
habitants of a hamlet to say — " God save him." At last, 
about four o'clock, the shrill sound of the pibroch was 
heard over the summit of an opposite hill, and imme- 
diately the Prince was cheered by the sight of a strong 
body of Highlanders marching down the slope. It was 
the Camerons under Lochiel, numbering eight hundred 
men, marching in two columns of three men abreast. 

On a small eminence in the centre of the glen, the 
Standard was raised by the aged Marquis of Tullibardine. 
It was a large banner of fine red silk, and its appearance 
was hailed by the stirring strains of the bagpipes, waving 
of bonnets, and loud shouts which re-echoed from the 
surrounding hills. Then Tullibardine read aloud a 
manifesto in the name of James VI 1 1., which presented a 
summary of the public grievances of Britain, expressing 
an earnest intention to do the utmost to redress them, 
and, for this great aim, calling on all his loyal subjects to 
join his Standard, and promising, in the event of his 
restoration, to respect all existing institutions and rights. 
The King had appointed his son, Charles, to be Prince 
Regent, and in this position the Prince's manifesto an- 
nounced that he was come to execute the will of his father 
by raising the Royal Standard, and asserting his unim- 
peachable right to the throne of his ancestors, and offering 
pardon for all treasons to those who should now join him, 
and assist him to recover his just rights and their own 



RISING OF 1745. 231 

liberties. An hour or two after these documents were 
read, Macdonald of Keppoch arrived with three hundred 
men, and in the evening some more men joined the 
Prince. The force mustered in Glenfinnan numbered one 
thousand and two hundred fighting men. Charles stayed 
two days in Glenfinnan. 

Tidings of the arrival of Prince Charles in Scotland 
reached Braemar in the end of July. The people of this 
district were warm Jacobites. Indeed, it has been said 
that, excepting Lord Braco and Invercauld, "the whole of 
the district was Jacobite — rich and poor, young and old, 
men and women ; and be opinions what they may, all 
must allow that the heroes of the '45 were a noble, disin- 
terested, brave, and gallant band." 

On leaving Glenfinnan, the Prince and his army 
moved to the head of Loch Eli — the country of Lochiel, 
the chief of the Camerons. He was daily receiving in- 
telligence of the march of the Royal army northward, 
under the command of General Sir John Cope, whose aim 
was to crush the Rising in the bud ; but he was too late. 
When he was marching through the Highlands to Inver- 
ness, the Prince resolved to invade the Lowlands, which 
were left entirely defenceless. The Prince and his army 
marched through Badenoch to Blair Castle, where he re- 
viewed his troops. Thence he proceeded down the plain 
of Athole, and reached Dunkeld on the 3rd of September, 
increasing his force as he advanced. On the following 
day he entered Perth and took possession of it. Charles 
stayed eight days in Perth, and there his army received 
considerable reinforcements. He became exceedingly 
popular, and an object of intense interest. On the nth of 
September he commenced his march upon Edinburgh, 



232 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

crossed the Forth at the Ford of Frew, and reached 
Falkirk on the 14th ; continuing his advance southward, 
he took possession of Edinburgh on the morning of the 
17th, without any loss of human life on either side. After 
entering the capital, as he rode toward the Palace of 
Holyrood, he was loudly cheered by the crowd of people 
on the street. 

About one o'clock the reign of James VIII. was pro- 
claimed at the Cross of Edinburgh. A great multitude 
of people witnessed this scene, and hearty cheers were 
raised. The same day General Cope, who had returned 
from the futile march to "Inverness, was landing his troops 
at Dunbar. Cope's aim now was to recapture Edinburgh 
from the insurgents, but again he was too late, as the 
Prince at the head of his army marched from Edinburgh 
to meet him, and on the morning of the 21st of September 
attacked the Royal army at Preston, and completely 
defeated it. After the utter rout of his army, Cope fled 
to Berwick, everywhere bringing the first tidings of his 
own defeat. 

After the battle, the Prince and his army re-entered 
Edinburgh in triumph. For some time he held Court at 
Holyrood. Yet his real difficulties were only beginning. 
The possession of Edinburgh was of little avail, as he was 
unable to take the Castle, while comparatively few of the 
Lowland people joined his Standard. 

Returning to the more pertinent part of my subject, it 
appears that James Farquharson of Balmoral was a 
lieutenant-colonel in Prince Charles' army. He was with 
the army in the march through England to Derby. He 
was engaged at the Battle of Falkirk, where he was 
wounded ; and he was one of those excluded from the 
indemnity of 1747. 



RISING OF 1745. 233 

Francis Farquharson of Monaltrie was a colonel in the 
Prince's army. He was very active in raising men in 
Cromar and Aboyne. He was engaged at the Battle of 
Falkirk, and at the Battle of Culloden he led the 
Farquharson clan. He was taken a prisoner, and confined 
for some weeks at Inverness ; and thence he was con- 
veyed to London in June, 1746. In September he was 
brought to trial and convicted, and on the 15th of 
November sentenced to death ; but on the evening before 
the day fixed for his execution he was reprieved, and 
shortly after pardoned. In 1775 he petitioned the 
Commissioners on the forfeited estates, requesting liberty 
to rent a portion of his former estate, on which to spend 
his old age. After some time this was granted. As 
stated in a preceding chapter, his estate was restored to 
him in 1784, on payment of a sum of money. He was 
locally known as " Baron Ban," and he died at Ballater on 
the 22nd of June, 1790, at the advanced age of eighty-one 
years. 

John Burnett of Campfield was a captain of artillery 
in Prince Charles' army. He was taken prisoner at 
Carlisle. David Lumsden, farmer of Auchlossan in 
Lumphanan joined the Rising, and was a captain in the 
army. He was dead before May, 1746. 

Gilbert Menzies of Pitfodels joined the Rising, while five 
of his sons also joined — James and William Menzies were 
in the insurgent army during the whole of the Rebellion ; 
John and David accompanied the army in the march to 
Derby, and fought at the Battle of Culloden; and Gilbert 
also fought at Culloden. 

A considerable number of farmers, labourers, and 
tradesmen in the Valley of the Dee and its glens joined 



234 HISTORY OF THE VALLEY OF THE DEE. 

the Rising. After the Battle of Culloden, they were all 
subjected to great suffering ; but this has been often told, 
and I have no desire to dwell upon it. 

During the century and a half which has elapsed since 
the suppression of the last Rising in this Island, great 
changes have taken place over the whole country. In the 
Highlands the people have long ago become as loyal 
subjects as in any quarter of the Queen's dominions. If 
there is any region in Britain more loyal than another to 
the Royal family, that region is Braemar and the Valley 
of the Dee. 

Since the middle of the last century, as shown in the 
preceding chapters, great progress has been made in the 
Valley of the Dee. Important improvements have been 
effected in the cultivation of the soil, and in the breeding 
of cattle and live stock of every kind. Many new villages 
have arisen, and others which were mere hamlets in the 
last century have been developed into considerable 
towns — centres of business and traffic. Large numbers 
of excellent villas and cottages have been erected through- 
out the Valley ; while roads and bridges and other means 
of communication have been greatly improved and ex- 
tended. Finally, education and culture have been 
rendered easily accessible to all the people. 



INDEX. 



Page. 

Aberarder . . . .184 
Aberdeen 3, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 

32, 36, 39, 42, 43, 48, 49, 
58, 62, 73, 89, 103, 149, 173 
Harbour of . . 20 
University of 47, 48, 72, 80 
Aberdeen, Earl of . . 59, 173 
Aberdeenshire 11, 31, 55, 71, 72, 

75, 99, 151 
Abergairn . . . .157 
Abergeldie Castle, 161 ; Lands of 

162-64 
Aboyne, 120-21 ; Castle of, 121-22; 

Viscount of, 25, 132-35 ; 

Earl of . - 135-37 
Adams, Dr. Francis, 91-92 ; Dr. 

Andrew L. . . 92-93 

Albany, Robert, Duke of, 70, 148 

Alexander . . 217 

Alexander I. . . .211 

Alexander II. . . 21, 34, 50 
Alexander III. . . 34, 61 

Allt Connie Burn . . 202 

Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge . 151 

Altries House ... 60 
Anderson, Rev. William, 31 ; Sir 

Alexander, 107 ; John H., 

113 
An Sgarsoch ... 3 

Arbeadie .... 88 
Arbroath Monastery 



Ardo . 

Argyle, Earl of, 25 ; 

Duke 
Athole, Earl of, 129 ; Duke of 
Auchallater .... 



Auchendryne 
Auchenhove 
Auchlossan . 
Auchlunies . 
Avondow House 



21, 22, 34, 35 

79, 87, 95 

13, 41-2 

Marquis, 133-5 

226 

223 

197 



• 193 

115-17 

114, 117, 171, 172 

. 42-44 
. . . 48 



B 

Page. 

Baddoch Burn ... 4 

Baird, Henry R. . . • 66 

Balfour . . . 101-3 

Ballater, Pass of, 141-42 ; Burgh of, 

142-44 ; Bridge of 144-4S 

Ballaterach . . . .127 

Ballochbuie Forest . 8, 174-75 

Ballogie .... 102 

Balmoral, Grounds of, 169-70 ; 

Lands of, 170-72; Old 

Castle, 172-73 ; Forest of, 

174-75 ; New Castle, 175, 

177, 179-80 

Balnacraig . . . 122-23 

Banchory, 3, Lands of . 34-39 ; 

House of, 38 ; Church of 40 

Banchory-Ternan, 86 ; Bridge of 87 ; 

Church of 87-88; Old Village, 

88 ; New Village, _88 ; 

Burgh of, . 

Bannerman, Sir Alexander 

Barbour, Robert W. . 

Barclay, James W. 



42, 



Beans Hill 

Beltie Bum 

Ben Avon 

Ben Muich Dhui 

Ben-na-Bhuird . 

Ben Uams 

Bieldside 

Binghill 

Birkhall House, 

Birse, 

Bisset, James H., 23 

Thomas 
Blackball House 
Blair, William 
Blairs, 

Borrowstone House . 
Braemar, 3 ; Castle of 

Churchyard 
Braeriach 



>-90 

105 

31 

117 

51-52 

6, 108 

6 

1,6 

1,6 

4 

45 

45-46 

150 

99, 104 

Walter, 

130 

105 
167-68 
28, 57 
109 
192 
192 
1-3 



236 



INDEX. 



B — Continued. 

Page. 

Braickley . . . 148 

Brebner, Alexander . . 108 

Brooks, Sir William C. 124-26 

Brown, General, 45 : John, 165, 181 
Bruce, John . . . 167 

Buchan, Earl of . 77, 148, 215 

Builg Loch . . . 158 

Buk, Andrew ... 47 

Burnett of Leys, 79-83 ; Burnett of 
Craigmyle, 80, 1 07 ; General 
Burnett . . 86 

Bynack Burn . . . 209 

Byron . . . 127, 153 



Cairn o' Mounth . . 97 

Cairn Toul ... 2 

Cairngorm ... i 

Cairnton . . . 16, 106 

Cairnwell ... 4 

Callater Burn, 4 ; Loch . 197 
Cambus o' May . 3, 138-39 
Cameron of Lochiel 171,230-31 

Campbell, George . . 90 

Campfield House . . 106 

Camphill ... 50 

Canny Burn . . . 16 

Canoes .... 17 

Cant, Andrew . . . 81-83 

Canup Hill . . . 175 

Carlogie House . . 112 

Carnegie .... 80 

Cam an Fhidleir . . 3 

Cam na Cuimhne . . 184 

Castletown of Braemar . 193-97 

Cattanach, James, M. . 145 

Cattie Burn ... 99 
Chalmers, William, Alexander 47; 

Robert . . 114 

Chambers, George . . 33 

Charles E. Stuart, Prince 229-32 

Charlestown . . . iao-21 

Charter Chest . . . 191 

Chest of Dee . . . 209 

Clachanturn . . . 164 

Clochnaben ... 87 

Clunie Water, 4; Bridge of 193 



C — Continued, 
Cochran, Francis, 102 



Coilliecriech 
Colonel's Cave 
Comyn, Sir Alexander 
Cope, Sir John . 
Corriemulzie Falls 
Cotbank . 
Coutts, Peter 
Coyle Hills 
Crab, Paul, 22 ; John 
Craig Clunie 
Craig-na-ban 
Craig Gowan 
Craig na Spaine 
Craig Nortie . 
Craigendarroch, 



Page. 
Alexander 
103 

159 

202-203 

51 

231-232 
199 



7, 



Craigmyle House 
Crannogs . 
Crathes Castle 
Crathie, Manse 

Church 
Creag an Fhithich 
Creag Choinnich 
Creag Ghiubhais 
Craig Phiobaidh 



42 
168 

154 
40 
191 
159 
169, 174, 175 
. . 183 
. . 183 
142 ; Lodge of 
144 
107 

17 

. 83-84 

Churchyard, 

. 165-67 

200 

192 

158 

158-59 



of, 



Culblean Hill, 120; Battle of, 128-130 
Culloden . 140, 156, 189, 233-34 
Cults, .... 30-33 

Culter House, 50 ; Village of 52 ; 
Paper Works . 53-54 



Dalfad . . . . 155 

Dalhibity House . . 45 

Dalmore .... 155-200 
Dalnabo . . . . 134 

Davan, Loch of . . 128 

David H. . . 62, 79, 128, 130 
Davidson, Walter, Duncan, John, 
Patrick, 106 i Alexander, 112 
Dee, Sources of, 1-3 ; Course, 2-3 
Dee Castle . . . 126-127 

Deer Forests . 124, 174-75, 206 
Deeside Railway, 30, 84, 89, 107, 

III, 114. 



INDEX. 



237 



D — Continued. 




Derry Burn 
Dess Burn 


Page. 

5, 206 
. 6 


Desswood House 


112 


Dinnet, Bridge of, Church, 


Manse, 


126 ; House . 


128 


Dinnie, Robert . 


103 


Douglas of Tilquhillie 
William 


94-97 
129 


Downie, Alexander 


167 



Drum, Loch of, 68 ; Castle of 76 
Drummond, Sir Malcolm 211 

Drumoak Church . . 68 

Dubrach . . . -3, 209 
DuffofCulter . . . 51-2 
Duguid of Auchenhove 115 17 ; 
Peter, 44; Peter M'Combie, 55 
Dunbar, Earl of, . . 129 

Duncan, King . . . 117-18 
Dunsinnane . . . 118 

Durris, Lands of, 60-66 ; House of, 
66 ; Kirkton, Church, Castle 
Hill ... 67 

Durward, Alan . . 34, 50, no 
Dye, Water of . . . ,97 



Easter Balmoral 




164-65 


Easter Skene 




• 55 


Edgehill . 
Edward I. 




48-49 
124 


Edward IH. 




128-29 


Elphinstone, Bishop, 
Alexander, 


23 
218 ; 


John, 
L,ord 


Elphinstone 
Errol, Earl of . 




221 

24, 223 


Erskine, Sir Thoma 


s, 21 


3; Sir 


Robert, 216-1; 


7;Th 


omas 217 


Ess, Bridge of . 




124 


Ey Water, 4 ; Bridge 


of 


201 



Fare Hill .... 86-89 
Farquharson of Finzean . 101-102 

of Monaltrie, William, 139 ; 

Francis, 139-40, 233 ; of 

Balmoral, Charles, 170; 

James, 171-72, 232 ; of 



F — Continued. 

Page. 

Invercauld, Findla Mor, 

187 ; Robert, 187-88 ; John, 

188-89; James, 189; James, 

R., 189; Alexander H., 189- 

190; oflnverey 201, 202 

Feardar Burn . . . 184 

Ferrar . . . . i^j 

Feugh, Water of, 5, 94 ; Bridge, 94 

Valley of, . . 97, loi 

Fife, Earl of, 172, 195, 200, 203, 207 

208 ; Duke of 158, 193, 200 

Findrack House . . 108 

Finzean House . . . joi 

Fir Mounth . . . 124 

Forbes, John, William . 36 

John, no; Master of Forbes, 

115 ; Forbes of Strathgir- 

nock, 149 ; WMUiam, Patrick 

220 

Fraser of Durris, Sir Alexander, Sir 

William, 62 ; Sir Alexander, 

62-4 ; Lord Fraser, Sir 

Alexander, Sir Peter, 64 ; 

Lady Carey, 64 : Fraser of 

Findrack, 108 ; James, 42-3 ; 

John, ... 130 



Gairn, Water of, 6; Bridge of, 154. 
Garchary . ... 2 

Garden, George, 36 ; Arthur, 
Alexander, 36 ; Dr. Alex- 
ander, 103 ; Rev. Alexander, 

103-4 
Garioch, Earldom of, 212, 213, 215 

216; Lordship of 219,221 

Garmaddie Woods, 

Geddes, Sir William 

Gelder Burn 

Gerrie, James 

Geusachan Burn 

Gibb, George, S. 

Girdleness, 3 ; Lighthouse 

Glen Callater 197 ; Glen Cat, 99 '; 
Glen Clunie, 4, 196 ; Glen 
Dee 2, 209; Glen Derry, 205 
Glen Dye, 81, 97 ; Glen Ey, 



175 
92 

175 

114 

2 

33 
21 : 



238 



INDEX. 



G — Continued. 

Page. 

4, 201-4 ; Glen Gairn, 6, 

154-58 ; Glen Gelder, 175 ; 

Glen Geldie, 3, 209 ; Glen 

Geusachan, 210 ; Glen Lui, 

204; Glen Lui Beg, 204, 206 

Glen Muick, 4, 5, 147-153 5 

Glen Quoich, 198-99 ; Glen 

Tanner, 5, 8, 123-126; 

Glenfinnan . . 230, 231 

Glenlivet . . .25, 163 

Glenmillan House . . 114 

Glenmuick House . . 150 

Glentanner House . . 125 

Gordon, Duke of, 64, 65, 135, 137 

223 : James, 37 ; John, 41 ; 

Thomas, 42 ; John, 47, 48 ; 

Hon. Wilham, 59, 60; Capt. 

Charles, 60; Captain William 

C., Alexander H., 60 ; John, 

John L. , 107 ; Francis, 1 1 1 ; 

Sir Alexander, 129 ; Adam, 

131; Sir Adam, 132; Charles, 

Henry, 135; Alexander, 143, 

158; Henry, Alexander, 149, 

of Abergeldie, 162-164 ; of 

Cluny 100,101, Sir Robt. 172 

Grant, John, . . 110-12 



Hadden, James C. . . 93 

Hamilton, Dr. Robert . 37 

Harlaw, Battle of . . 70 

Hay, James, T., 105 ; Beatrice, 162 
Hawkhillock ... 13 

Heathcot, 42 ; House of 43 

Hill Forts . . . 15-17 

Hogg, James, 2 ; George 43 

Houff .... 116 

Huntly, Earl of, 131-32, 162 ; 

Marquis of, 25, 132-35, 137 

223 

I 

Inchbaire . . . 109 

Inchmarlo House . . 106 

Innes, John, Cosmo, 65 ; William, 

Alexander, Thomas, 108 ; 

Innes of Balnacraig, 122-23 



I — Continued. 

Page. 

Inschnabobart . . 151 

In ver canny . . . 106 

Invercauld, Bridge of, 184-85 ; 

House of . 185-86 

Inverey . . . . 201 

Invery House ... 97 

Invergelder . . . 175 

Irvine of Drum, William, 69 ; Alex. 

Robert, Sir Alexander, 70-74; 

Alexander, F., Francis H. F. 

74-76; of Cults, 32; of Murtle, 

47 ; of Kingcausie, 58 ; of 

Pitmurchie . . 116 



Jacobites 
James I. 
James II. 
James III. 
James IV. 
James V. 
James VI. 



222-24, 231 

70, 71, 215-16 

. 216-217 

. 116, 217 

. 22, 217 

71, 115, 218 

24, 80, 220 



James VIII., Pretender 225-26, 230 

K 

Keiller, J. M. . . 144 

Keith, Sir William . . 130 

Earl Marischal 58, 72-3, 223 

Sir Edward . . 213 

Kerloch ... 5, 87, 90 

Kildrummy Castle 129, 218, 219, 221 

Kincardine O'Neil, 109, Village of, 

no ; Barony of, no ; 



Church of, in ; Lodge of 




Ill, 112 


Kincraigie 
Kingcausie House 
Kinnord Loch 


IIS 

. . 58 
17-8, 128 


Knock Castle 


. 148-50 


Knowles, John . 


145 


L 




Larig Burn 
Learney House . 
Leith of Freefield 


. 2 

108 
164 


Leslie, Patrick . 


115 



INDEX. 



239 



L — Continued. 

Page. 
Leys, Barony of, 79 ; Baronets of, 

80-4 ; Court Book of, 84 ; 

Loch of . . 84 

Linn of Dee . . . 207-208 
Lion's Face . . . 191 

Littlejohn, Alexander, William, 

Charles, James, Andrew 146 
Livingstone, Alexander . 33-2 
Lochnagar . 3, 138, 141, 152-53 
Loirston Loch . . . - ^3 
Lord of the Isles, Donald, Alexander 

70 
Lui Water . . • 5) 204 

Lulach . . . . 119 

Lumphanan, . . . 1 14- 119 
Lumsden, Henry, 96 ; David 233 



M 
Macbeth .... 117-119 

M'Combie, William . . 54-5 

M'Gregor of Dalfad . . 155-56 

M'Intosh, Lachlan . . 155 

Macdonald of Rineaton, 156 ; of 

Glengarry, 224 ; of Keppoch 

231 

Mackay, General . . 192 

Mackenzie of Dalmore . 155-200 

Mackintosh, Clan . 54-5, 186-87 

Mackintosh, James, 8 ; William 58 

Macleod, Norman . . 165 

Malcolm in. . . .118-19 

Malcolm IV. . . . 34-46 

Mar, Earldom of, no, 170, 211 

Early Earls of, 162, 21 1-2 18 

Erskines, Earls of, 219-227 ; 

Lodge . . 200 

David ... 41 

Maud, Old Castle . . 117 

Meall Alvie . . . 183 

Meldrum, William, John, 35 ; Sir 

George . . . 35-6 

Menteith, Sir John . . 213 

Menzies, Gilbert, 28 ; John, 29 

Captain David, 57 ; James, 

William . . 233 

Michie, John G. . . 126 

Micras . . . . 164 



M — Continued 

Page. 
Milne, Peter . . . 113 

Mitchell, Adam ... 43 

Moigne Walter, John . . 78 

Monaltrie, House . 144-183-84 
Montrose, Marquis of, 25-6, 64, 73-4, 

81, 134 

Moray, William, 27-8 ; Sir Andrew, 

Regent, . . 62, 129 

Randolph, Earl of, 114 

James Stuart, Earl of. Regent 

131-32 

Morison, Dr., 30 ; Hugh . 32 



Morrone 
Mortimer, David 
Mortlich Hill . 
Morton, Regent . 
Morven 
Mount Keen 
Muick, Water of 
Mullach Hill . 
Munro, General 



Murtle House, 46 ; Lands of 

N 

Nairn, Lord 

Neil, James, Alexander, 



160, 193, 198 
104 
. 16, 120 

95 

7, 127, 138 

134 

■ 4, 5» 147 

16 

51. 73 
46-8 



Netherdale, 

Newton of Tilliecairn, 

Newton Dee. 

Nigg, 

Normandikes, 



223 

George 

127-28 

163 

14 

45 

3» 21 

84 



Ogilvie, .... 42 

Ogston, James, 29 ; Alexander, 42 ; 

Walter, Thomas, Janet, 

95-6 ; Dr. Alexander, 128 

Overhall, . . . 188 



Pannanich Wells, . . 140-41 
Park House, Lands, Bridge of, 78-9 
Pass of Ballater, . . 141-42 

Paul, William. . . . 31 

Peel Bog, . . . . 116 



240 



INDEX. 



Perkhill, .... 

Peterculter, 3, 45 5 Church of, 

Philorth, . 

Pitfodels, . 

Pitmurchie, 

Pitarrow, . 

Pittodrie, . 

Polhollick, 

Population, 



Continued. 

Page. 

119 

52 
64 

27, 29 
116 

220 

188 

158 

88, 90, no, 143 



Potarch Bridge, 



3i> 



108 



Quoich Water, 5, 6 ; Falls of 198 

R 

Ramsay, R. M., 83; William, B. 97 
of Preston, . . 129 

Reid, William, Alexander, 27-8 
Thomas, . . 104 

Rineaton, . . • • 156 

Robert I., . . 62, 69, 79, 130 
Robert II., • • . 63, no 
Robertson, Mary, 127 ; Peter 168 
Rose, Andrew n4; Nicholas, Francis 

115 
Ross, James, John, William 145 

William . . 168 

Rowell, Joseph . . 39 

Russell, Robert . . 105 

Rutherford, George, D. . 45 

Ruthrieston ... 23 



St. Andrews, 21 ; Chapel . 192 

St Lesmo's Chapel . . 125 

St. Mary's Chapels 24, 56, 147 

St. Mary's College . . 57 

St. Mungo's Church . . 154-55 
St. Nathalan's Churches, 139, 150 
Schools, 80-81-88, 90, 103, 107, 159 
Scolty Hill ... 86 

Shannaburn Burn . . 43 

Sheeoch Burn . . . 5 5 67 
Skene, Dr. 37 ; Alexander 48 

Skene, Loch of . . . 53 

Smith, Bartholomew, Richard, Lewis, 
53 ; Robert . . n4 



S — Continued. 

Page. 
Strachan . . . . 3, 97.9 
Smuggling . . . 124, 183 

Stewart, John, 39, 40 ; David, 40 ; 
Dr. Alexander, 43 ; Duncan 
187 
Strathgirnock . . . 158-59 
Suburban Stations . . .30 

T 

Tanner, Water of . . . 5 
The Queen, 106, 143, 151, 152, 162, 
165-67, 169-70, 172-73, 175, 
177, 181-82, 207 
The Prince Consort, 152, 169, 170, 
172, 178, 180, 181, 185, 195 
Theives Bush . . . .97 
Thomson, Alexander, 32 ; Alexan- 
der, 37 ; Andrew, 37 ; Alex- 



ander 
Thurburu, . 
Tillphoudie, 
Tilquhillie 


. . 38-9 

. 46, 48 

122 

94-7 


Torphichen, Lord 
Torphins . 
Torry 
Townhead . 


. . 56 

107 

20-22 

88 


Troup, Alexander 


146 


Tullich 


139, 141-42 


V 




Vat Burn . 


128 


W 




W^atershed . 
Water Works 
Watson, Andrew 


• . I 

27, 46, 106-7 

41 


Wauchope, Robert 
Webster, John . 
White Bridge . 
Whitehouse 


. . 50 

. 48, 50 

209 

139 


Whitestones 


98 


Whyte, John 
Wilson, Charles . 


45 
128 


Wishart, John . 
Woodend . 


220 
100 



Yeats, William ... 48 

Young, James, 66 ; Sir Peter, 95 ; 
William . . 96 




f