« 前へ次へ »
Ejection, whereupon Niel of Assint (who it seems had been negligent in defending himself agst. the forsd accusations) was denounced Rebell, and Commission of fire and sword was obtained in Jully 1672 agst. him and his people, directed to Ld. Strathnair [Strathnaver) and Lovat, Fowles, &c.
The Body of men ordred to execute that Commission to the number as Niel represents of 2300 invaded Assint the forsd year 1672, and committed most horrid Barbarities (particulary narrated in Niel's Informations), till all ye country of Assint was destroyed.
Niel haveing under the benefit of a protection gon to commune with Seaforth, he gave Niel a Certificate of his having obeyed the King's Laws, and 15 days to advise about a proposition he had made him of his disponing his estate to him. But Niel thinking it not safe or fit for him to return, resolved to go South to Edr. and to carry his Charter Chest wt. him. Seaforth being apprehensive, it seems, of the consequence of Assint's goeing to Edr. immediately entered into Correspondence and concert about the matter with the Laird of May in Caithness. The consequence was : Assint being driven by unfavourable wind to the Orkneys, the Laird of May wt. a body of men seized him there, to be sure under the notion of an outlaw, and by Commission from Seaforth stripd him to his shirt, robbd him of everything, particularly of his Charter Chest and of all the Writtes and Evidents belonging to his family and Estate, carried them to the Castle of May qre he was keept prisoner in a Vault. From thence he was carried prisoner under a strong guard to Taine, and at last to Braen, Seaforth's House. In Braen (to which place the Charter Chest was brought, as was afterwards proved in the Process of Spoulizie) Niel was many months detained prisoner in a Vault in most miserable circumstances, still threatened wt. worse usage if he would not agree to subscribe a blank paper, probably designed for a Disposition to his Estate, which was, it seems, the great thing designed to be procured from him by all this bad usage. At last Niel was brought South to Edr., where he arrived after being in 13 or 16 Prisons, and in end he obtained the Remission formerly mentioned.
Its evident that now the McKenzies had as great advantage as they could wish for effectuating yeir design agst Assint and his family and Estate. Their own great interest and power in these times is well known. Tho Assint was not at length found to have any hand in Takeing of Montrose, yet was he for many years harrassd and imprisond on that accott, and was under Cloud for it, it haveing happened in his country and perhaps some of his friends being concerned in it. He was in prison when the ejection was procured agst him. The steps taken in Law agst him, he was by reason of his great distance ignorant of it till it was too late, when he endeavoured to Correspond wt. proper Agents and Lawyers at Edr. for his own defence. He says his expresses or Posts were oftner than once seized and Imprisoned at Chanory. When he was in the South, the contributions of his friends for his support were intercepted; his friends were put to great hardships at home by their new master for showing any inclina'on to succour him in his distress. By all these means the uufortunate gentleman was reduced to great poverty and misery, and was disabled from procureing ye Interest or affording the Expense needful in order to obtain Justice agst. such potent adversaries.
Though the claims to which ye McKenzies pretended when they first possessed his Estate were either formerly payd or now extinguished by their intromission, yet it was easy for them, being now possessd of his Estate, to get in old injust patched claims from such who had them, and, being possessd of his Charter Chest and of the retired Vouchers of Debts therein contained, by all these means to make additional Tittles to the Estate of Assint, while he, poor gentleman ! besides his other misfortunes, was deprived of his writes and of all the Evidences needful to be produced in his defence agst. the claims of his adversaries.
As the McKenzies after possessing the Estate had all the adventages above mentioned wt respect to new Claims and additionall Tittles; it is not pretended to be now told what additional tittles they made. What yey founded yr first possession upon hath been already represented. If oyr grounds of Rights should be afterwards brought furth for McKenzie of Assint it is supposed that these concerned will be Seasonably acquainted therewith in order to give such informations as they can collect from such writtings as may be in their hands.
However, under all his disadvantages Neil endeavoured to do something towards obtaining Justice to himself and his family, and to that end he did Ao. 1679 and 1680 commence a process of reduction, &c., agst Seaforth and all oys (others] whom he knew to have or to pretend to have claims agst his Estate
In this process there are two Acts extracted (which are extent as are the Summts and their executions), and the Last of the Two tearms granted to the defenders having elapsed the 1st of November 1681 ; After intimation yreof and Calling of the Act there was Certification Creaved Nothing having been produced. To prevent ys two things were objected agst Niel, 1 that he had no tittle In his person to the Lands of Assint, 2 That he was at the Horn, and so had no personam Standi in Judices. There is extant an information for Niel Ao. 1682, which contains very pertinent answers to yese objections qch may be Shewen if thre shall be occasion. But the Writes and Evidences that were needfull for Niel in the above and othr processes being taken from him qn he was Robbd of his Charter Chest, and being in the hands of his chief adversaries he was advised stop in his process of Reduction, and to commence a Process of Spoulizie agst Seaforth, May, and oyrs concerned in the Spoulizie and detention of his Chartar Chest and Writtes. Accordingly he raised a Process of Spoulizie agst Seaforth, May, Dumbeth, and some others. By the depositions taken in that process it appeared that the Chartar Chest was brought to Seaforth's house. But Seaforth haveing dyed while the Process was in dependence there appears in the Process an Oath of his Successor, who Swears that he not then nor formerly had the Chartar Chest nor knew what was become of it; And as he was not charged with having a hand in the Spoulizie he was freed yreof and of the consequences of it by the Lords. Neil haveing given in an Inventar of ye writtes contained in his chest, his oath in litem was taken thereanent, And he referred his expense and Dammage to the judgement of the Lords. They did Ao. 1692 decern the Suum of 2000 Libs Scots of Expences and Dammages to be payed To him by the defenders, Supersiding the further modification of the dammages till the Sd Neil should give a more par'lar condescendance yereanent. But it is needless to insist more fully on this part of the information, Seeing a more full and exact view may be easily got by perusing the Decreet of Spoulizie now in the hands of ---,
It is only to be narrated on this head that Neil of his own assigned the Decreet of Spoulizie above narrated to his nephew and Lineal Heir, Captain Donald Macleod of Gainzies, who has done dilligence thereon. The same remains as the ground of a present depending Process Ao. 1738, for what yreof is unpayd.
The unfortunate gentleman Niel M‘Leod, Laird of Assint, being unabled by unparalelled bad usage, trouble, and poverty, and at length by old age, it does not appear that he went any further towards obtaining of Justice than what is above narrated in Relaton to the Process's of Reduction and Spoulizie.
Tho Niel of Assint, under all these disadvantages, and especially by reason of the want of his writts, was able to Doe so little for himself and his family, his adversaries were not wanting to use their Endeavours to make ye best Tittles they could in Law
(however its founded as to materiall Justice) and for this end harrassed him wt Processes of Reduotion, &c. The chief thing that was done this way was by Roderick M‘Kenzie of Preston Hall, i who at length conveyed his claim and Tittles to Mr John M‘Kenzie of Assint,on condition of paying to him the soum of 10,000 merks, which is the foundation of the Claim presently insisted in by Alexr. M‘Kenzie of Frazerdale3 and Hugh Fraser of Lovat, Esqr., his son, agst the Estate of Assint, in relation to which Claim there will be a short information soon sent of objections and what else may occurr.
During the dependence of Niel's Process of reduction abovementioned, seeing he forsaw that he could not himself so easily be able to bring the same to the desired issue So soon as would be necessary for him; yet that his family and Estate might not altogether be lost to his Kindred and next Heir, he did make an agreemt. thereanent with his best and most considerable relation, John, Laird of M‘Leod, and did, for certain onerous causes, make a disposition of his whole Estate of Assint to him, dated at Ednr., Novr. 24th, 1681 years, which Disposition is now the foundation of a Process commenc'd by the present Laird of M‘Leod, his grandson, Ao. 1738.
From what is above briefly narrated, it may be easily perceived by what harsh and unjust and Crewl methods the M‘Leods were deprived and dispossessed of the Estate of Assint, their ancient inheritance. If more par'lar accotts are wanted the nearest relations of yt family, will be ready to give what further information they can from such old papers as are in their hands.
26th MARCH, 1890. The paper for this date was by Mr Alex. Macpherson, solicitor, Kingussie, on the Biallid MSS. Mr Macpherson's paper was as follows :SELECTIONS FROM THE MSS. OF THE LATE CAPTAIN
The following papers have been selected from the manuscripts of the late Captain Lachlan Macpherson of the 52nd Regiment, long so popularly known in Badenoch as “Old Biallid,” who died
1 Brother of Lord Tarbat.
2 Son of Seaforth.
at Biallid, in the Parish of Kingussie, on 20th May, 1858, at the ripe old age of eighty-nine, and whose memory is still cherished with prid, by every native of the district.
Of superior mental capacity and force of character, and as. upright and true-hearted a Highlander as ever trod the heather, Captain Macpherson was widely known and honoured far beyond the limits of Badenoch as one of the ablest and most patriotic men of his time in the North. No less distinguished, as he was, for his intimate and accurate knowledge of the history, traditions, and folklore of the central Highlands, the manuscripts left by him possess considerable historical interest, and have been kindly given to me by his grandson, Mr Macpherson of Corrimony, with permission to have such portions thereof as might be deemed suitable printed in the “ Transactions” of this Society.
The selections which follow have accordingly been made, embracing (1) The Old Deer Forests of Badenoch; (2) Macniven's Cave, or the old cave of Raitts in Badenoch ; (3) The Clan Battle on the North Inch of Perth in 1396 ; (1) The Battle of Glenfruin ; (5) The Battle of Blarleine ; and (6) Colonel John Roy Stewart. To the account of the Badenoch Deer Forests, there is appended a jotting in pencil to the effect that it was writen in 1838 “at Cluny's request, for a gentleman who intended to write a history of the Scottish Forests." That account is, with sundry imaginary dialogues, narrated in Scrope's Deer Stalking in the Scottish Highlands 1—originally published about half a century ago—the narrative being prefaced by the remark that “the account I am about to relate, as well as I can from memory, was most obligingly given to me by Cluny Macpherson, Chief of Clan Chattan, a very celebrated and accomplished sportsman.” The author of that work, in giving the particulars of the Badenoch Forests, lets his imagination run riot in the way of prefacing and interlarding the narrative with the most absurd gibberish put into the mouth of an apocryphal “Gown-Cromb, or blacksmith of some village in Badenoch.” In a colloquy between an Athole man and the so-called “Gown-Cromb,” the Athole man is represented as speaking the most refined Saxon, while the Badenoch.“ Gown” is represented as holding forth in the most incongruous Highland-English, after the following fashion :
“Hout-tout ! ye're a true Sassenach, an' the like o'ye chiels aye ca’ liftin' stealin', which is na joost Christian-like."
“Well, what would you give for such bonny braes, and birks,
1 I am indebted to a learned and courteous correspondent of the Northern Chronicle for directing my attention to this work.