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Laggan, and it is only just to add that in its present form the Gaelic Dictionary is much iadebted to his indefatigable labours, and his philological acuteness and learning have greatly contributed to render it more accurate and complete.”
17. DONALD CAMERON.
1832-1846. Appointed Schoolmaster at Southend in 1815. Admonished by the Presbytery, 28th June, 1816, "for cruelty to his scholars, being censorious and backbiting, and declared to be ill-qualified to be useful." Licenced by the Presbytery of Kintyre, 13th December, 1820. Ordained by the Presbytery of Kincardine O'Neill, 21st March, 1824, as Missionary at Glengairn. Presented by the Trustees of Alexander Duke of Gordon in May, and admitted as Minister of Laggan, 1st August, 1832. Is said to have been possessed of some sterling qualities, but apparently he was of a most coinbative disposition. So little sympathy does he appear to have had with the manly pastimes of the Laggan people that he strongly objected to any members of the KirkSession patronising shinty matches, and the Session Records of the time show that he even frowned upon any of their number appearing at Meetings of the Session in the kilt !
Unfortunately no Session Records of Laggan now exist earlier than 1827. Here is an extract from a Minute of the Session, during Mr Cameron's incumbency, dealing with a profanation of the Sabbath quite prevalent in Badenoch down to within living memory :“ Compeared in terms of citation
----Balmishaig accused of profaning the Lord's Day by proclaiming a Roup at the Churchyard gate on Sabbath last, the 30th ult. The said
-----being interrogated as to his guilt, acknowledges that he did publicly give intimation of said Roup, and expresses his regret for such violation of the Sabbath, and gives in his letter expression of the same that it may be read in face of the Congregation next Lord's Day immediately after Divine Service.”
Mr Cameron died 19th April, 1846, in the 54th year of his age, and 23rd of his ministry.
18. WILLIAM SUTHERLAND.
1846-1850. Translated from Harris. Presented by the Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and admitted as minister of Laggan 24th September, 1846. Was an amiable, genial, and popular minister. Translated to Dingwall, 17th October, 1850.
19. JOHN MACLEOD.
1851-1869. Translated from Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour. Presented to Laggan by the Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and admitted 30th January, 1851. A faithful and most estimable clergyman, universally esteemed throughout the district. In quiet, unassuming, practical usefulness was the beau ideal of a parish minister. Died at Laggan, 8th April, 1869, in the 63rd year of his age. One of his sons is the well-known Dr Donald Macleod, the genial and popular minister of the Scotch National Church in London.
20. DONALD MACFADYEN.
1869-1880. Translated from Ardnamurchan. Presented by the Duke of Rich-. mond and Lennox, and inducted as minister of Laggan, 22nd September, 1869. An excellent preacher, both in Gaelic and English, and a genuine Highlander to the very core, with a most marked personality. Apt though he was, at times, to be carried away by the Celtic warmth and impetuosity of his feelings, and with what, on the surface, appeared a somewhat unattractive manner, no more devoted, kind-hearted minister than Mr Macfadyen ever, I believe, filled the pulpit of Lagyan. Was a capital story-teller-of which he was himself frequently the hero--and had a keen sense of the humorous, as well as of the tender and pathetic, side of the Highland character. Mr Macfadyen died 1st November, 1880. In testimony of their deep and affectionate regard, his Congregation, soon after his death, erected a handsome granite monument to his memory in the Churchyard of Laggan, with the following Gaelic inscription :
“Mar chuinhneachan air Mr Domhnull Macphaidein, ministeir Lagain, a chaochail air a cheud latha de'n Gheamhradh, 1880.
“Duine a choisinn meas 'san eaglais agus urram 'na dhuthaich. Chuir a chomhthional an carragh so aig a cheann.”
Let me give a few extracts from the just and eloquent tribute paid to his memory soon after his death by his old fellow-student, Dr Mackenzie, of Kingussie :
“Your minister was one of my oldest friends. Long before we were neighbours, we were fellow students, thrown very closely together, so that I knew him well. He was a brave fellow-a true man-a real Christian. These features of his character were marked at College ; they continued in a more subdued form to the close of life. When a lad at the University he showed a manly independent spirit. He worked his own way. While attending
the classes he earned his maintenance by extra labour-maintaining a sturdy independence. Amongst his fellow-students he was looked upon as a type of the true Highlander, fearless in his expression of opinion-seeking a fair field and no favour.
“He earned distinction in his classes, and gained a valuable money prize for an essay on a philosophical subject. . . . He resolved at an early period to study for the Church of Scotland. He did so at a time when to do this in the Highlands entailed from many ill will and reproach. When a schoolmaster in Rossshire, his sister was not allowed to take water from a public well, because her brother was a Moderate, and he himself was shunned as an outcast. He boldly faced the trials of that time, and it was a cause of rejoicing to him that he lived to see in the North a wider toleration prevail, and old enmities and feuds laid to rest, by the growth of a kinder and more Christian spirit. . . .
“His career in the Ministry was not a very prosperous one measured by the world's standard. He was called to no eminent charge. His words were not chronicled in newspapers. No crowded congregation hung on his lips. He was a simple Parish Minister trying to do his Master's will, and feeling honoured by the position to which his Master had called him.
“Beginning his Ministry at Aucharacle in Argyleshire, he was, after four years, translated to the Parish of Ardnamurchan-that immense parish which stretches along the western sea-board for miles. There he laboured cheerfully and successfully among a kind and devoted people for nine years. It was a parish that, which to work thoroughly, entailed immense bodily fatigue; distances were great, but by boat or on horseback, the faithful Pastor found his way to the most outlying districts. He loved Ardnamurchan and the sea, and would never, I believe, have left it if he had not been compelled to do so from the state of his health.
“Most of you remember his coming to Laggan at the unanimous request of the Congregation then worshipping in the Church, and all of you know what his ministry here has been. He had his faults, but how few they were compared with his virtues. His impetuosity, which was the side of his character on which perhaps he tended to err, was prompted always by a thorough conviction that he was in the right. He was a pure-minded simple-hearted man, with the guilelessness of a child. I never knew one more guileless and free from double dealing. He was intensely singleminded, and absolutely disinterested in all his dealings. You never could mistake him. As he was at College, so he continued to the last-a true Highlander full of Celtic fire, fond of his kindred, of his country, of its language, of its mountains, brave and full to the brim of courage. I don't think he knew what fear was. . . . . .
“His character was tried at the last as the character of few is tried. With the sentence of death hanging over him for weeks, with pain unceasing and no hope of recovery, his faith never wavered. He looked the last enemy in the face with an unquirering eye. For him, resting on his Saviour, with the everlasting arms around him, death had no terror. He told me that he was full of thankfulness to God for his goodness to him throughout his life, and especially for continuing his faculties to him to the end. If he had sorrow, it was for those he was leaving, not for himself. “ Be kind to my Mcther," were almost his last words as he bade farewell to his aged parent, who had, indeed, been a true mother to him. His death-bed was a peaceful scene. Kind friends and parishioners of all denominations were unceasing in their attention and inquiries. His colleague in the Parish-the Minister of the Free Church-stood more than once at his bedside, and prayed fervently with him and the sad household. May he, when his time comes, not want a man of God to render to him the same holy and blessed ministry he rendered to your Pastor. So your Minister--my friend of many years-passed to his rest in God. The grass on his grave in Laggan Church vard will soon grow green, and other interests will cause him to pass out of mind- no one can be long remembered on earth. But to-day his memory is warm among you. . . . . . Unselfish, true-hearted, brave-spirited Christian soul! We sorrow that thou art gone from us-most of all, that we shall see thy face on earth no more. But we sorrow not without a sure hope of meeting thee again in the land of peace and joy.” . . . . .
21. DUNCAN SHAW MACLENNAN.
1881-The present Incumbert. Translated from Kilcolmonell and Kiberry. Called by the congregation, and admitted as Minister of Laggan, 8th July, 1881. À faithful, upright, and devoted Minister, Mr Maclennan has won the esteem and good-will of all classes of the community. Taking a warm and sincere interest in the welfare of the people of Laggan, he has proved a judicious and prudent counsellor, as well as a most reliable and true-hearted friend.
Soon after the Secession of 1843, the Free Church of Laggan were fortunate in securing the services of the Rev. Dugald
Shaw, who for a period, now extending to nearly half a century,
The fortunes richly strewn by kindly chance,
To live and die lords of a Highland manse.
Be wanting here, the high-perched glittering prize,
Within this bounded compass largely lies-
The sober inspiration to do good,
The working hand leagued with a thoughtful mood;
17th APRIL, 1889. Mr D. Munro Fraser, H. M. Inspector of Schools, Glasgow, was elected a member of the Society at this meeting. Thereafter Mr Colin Chisholm read a paper entitled “A Collection of Unpublished Gaelic Songs, with Notes.” Mr Chisholm's paper is as follows :