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chiefs, but revered as martyrs, and those to whom self-denial was at all times familiar, became more rigidly abstemious in their habits, that they might, with one hand, pay the rent of the forfeited land to the Crown, * and with the other supply the necessities of their exiled chiefs; while the young men, the sons of their faithful and generous tenantry, were ready with their personal services to forward the welfare, and procure military rank and commissions for the sons of the unfortunate individuals who had lost their estates, f
the kindness and protection of Glenlyon's predecessors, although they considered himself unworthy and criminal. After his death, his widow managed the family affairs so well, that, with the assistance of the tenants, and the surplus of the price paid by the Marquis of Atholl, she was enabled to purchase some lands in the neighbourhood for her son, the father of the late Colonel Campbell.
• See Appendix, W.
f It will be seen in the Appendix, that, in many cases, the tenants on the forfeited estates remitted to their attainted landlords, when in exile, the rents which they formerly paid them, government, at the same time, receiving the full rents of the new leases. This generosity was exhibited on many other occasions, when the objects of their affection and respect required assistance. In the year 1757, Colonel Fraser, the son of Lord Lovat, without an acre of land, found himself, in a few weeks, at the head of nearly 800 men from his father's estate, (then forfeited,) and the estates of the gentlemen of the clan. About the same period, and previously, numerous detachments of young men were sent to the Scotch Brigade in Holland, to procure commissions for the gentlemen who had lost their fortunes. In the year 1777, Lord Macleod, eldest son of the Earl of Cromarty, (attainted in 1746,)found his influence as affective as when his family were in full possession of their estate and honours. By the support of the Mackenzies, and other gentlemen of his clan, 900 Highlanders were embodied under his command, although he was personally unknown to the greater part of them, having been thirty years in exile. Besides these 900, there were 870 Highlanders raised for his regiment in different parts of the north. In the year 1776, the late Lochiel was a lieutenant in the 30th regiment, having returned from France after his father's death, and obtained a commission. This lieutenancy was his only fortune. The followers of his father's family raised 120 men for a company in the 71st regiment. Macpherson of Cluny, also, without a shilling, raised 140 men, for which he was appointed major to the 71st, and thus secured an independency till his family estate was restored
It cannot be doubted, that, by condescension and kindness, this feeling might have been perpetuated, and that the Highland proprietors, without sacrificing any real advantage, have found in the voluntary attachment of their tenants, a grateful substitute for the loyal obedience of their clans. • Amid the gradual changes and improvements of the age, might not the recollections and most approved virtues and traits of chivalrous times have been retained, along with something of the poetry of the Highland character in the country of Ossian? And if unable to vie with their southern neighbours in luxury or splendour, might not gentlemen have possessed in their mountains a more honourable distinction,—that of commanding respect without the aid of wealth, by making a grateful people happy, and thus uniting true dignity with humanity? This many gentlein 1783. It is unnecessary to give more instances of this disposition, which formed so distinguished a trait in the character of the Highlanders of the last generation.
• The following is one of many existing proofs of permanent respect and attachment, testified by the Highlanders to their landlords. A gentleman possessing a considerable Highland property, and descended from a warlike and honourable line of ancestors, long held in respect by the Highlanders, fell into difficulties some years ago. In this state, he was the more sensible of his misfortune as his estate was very improvable. In fact, he attempted some improvements, but employed more labourers than he could easily afford to pay. But, notwithstanding this prospect of irregular payments, such was the attachment of the people to the representative of this respectable house, that they were ready at his call, and often left the employment of others, who paid regularly, to carry on his operations. To this may be added a circumstance, which will appear more marked, to such as understand the character of the Highlanders, and know how deeply they feel any want of respect or return of civility from their superiors. If a gentleman pass a countryman without returning his salute, it furnishes matter of observation to a whole district. The gentleman now in question was educated in the south, and, ignorant of the language and character of the people, and of their peculiar way of thinking, paid little regard to their feelings, and although a countryman pulled off his bonnet almost as soon as he appeared in sight, the respectful salute generally passed unnoticed: yet this was overlooked in remembrance of his family, in the same manner that generous minds extend to the children the gratitude due to the parents.
men have accomplished, and in the full enjoyment of the confidence, fidelity, and gratitude of a happy and prosperous tenantry, are now supporting a manly and honourable independence, while others have descended from their enviable eminence for an immediate or prospective addition to their rent-rolls,—an addition which the short respite or delay, so necessary in all improvements, would have enabled their ancient adherents to have contributed. * In many instances, no more attention was shown to the feelings of the descendants of their father's clansmen, than if the connection between the families of the superiors and the tenantry had commenced but yesterday. In others, again, the people are preserved entire, losing nothing of their moral habits, retaining much of the honourable feelings of former times, and improving in industry and agricultural knowledge; their kind and considerate landlords, having commenced with the improvement of the people as the best and most permanent foundation for the improvement of their lands: while, in other cases, the population of a glen or district seems to have been considered in the same light as flocks that ranged the hills, to be kept in their habitations so long as they were thought profitable, and when it was believed that they had ceased to be so, to be ejected to make room for strangers. • But those whose families and predecessors had remained for ages, on a particular spot, considered themselves entitled to be preferred to strangers, when they offered equal terms for their lands. Men of supposed skill and capital were, however, invited to bid against them. These, by flattering representations of their own ability to improve the property, and by holding out the prejudices, indolence, and poverty of the old tenantry, as rendering them incapable of carrying on any improvement, or paying an adequate rent, frequently obtained the prefe
q Most of the evils which press upon the present age, and which lately desolated Europe, have arisen from the very cause, which has produced such violent changes among the mountains of Scotland; namely, an impatience to obtain too soon, and without due preparation, the advantages that were contemplated, and, from an attempt to accomplish at once, what no human power can effect without the slow but certain aid of time. As an instance of the result of the modern method of management, in hurrying on improvements, regardless of the sacrifice of the happiness of others, contrasted with the effects of improving with moderation and as time and circumstances admitted, I shall state the results of the opposite lines of conduct followed by two Highland proprietors. One of these gentlemen obtained possession of his father's estate, and employed an agent to arrange the farm on a new plan. The first principle was to consider his lands as an article of commerce, to be disposed of to the highest bidder. The old tenants were accordingly removed. New ones offered, and rents, great beyond all precedent, were promised. Two rents were paid; the third was deficient nearly one-half, and the fourth failed entirely, and was paid by the sale of the tenant's stock. Fresh tenants were then to be procured. This was not so easy, as no abatement was to be given: consequently, a considerable proportion of the estate remained in the proprietor's hands. After the second year, however, the whole farms were again let, but another failure succeeded. The same process was again gone through, and with similar results, to the great discredit of the farms, as few would again attempt to settle, without great reduction of rent, where so many had failed. But, in all those difficulties, there was no diminution in the landlord's expenses. Indeed, they were greatly extended by fresh speculations and dreams of increased income. Without detailing the whole process, I shall only add, that his creditors have done with the estate what he did with the farms—offered it to the highest bidder. The other gentleman acted differently. When he succeeded his father, he raised his rents according to the increased value of produce. This continuing to rise, he showed his people, that, as a boll of grain, a cow or sheep, obtained one or two hundred per cent, higher price than formerly, it was but just that they should pay rent in proportion. In this they cheerfully acquiesced, while
they followed his directions and example in improving their land. He has not removed a tenant. In cases where he thought them too crowded, he, on the decease of a tenant, made a division of his land amongst the others. This was the only alteration as far as regarded the removal of the ancient inhabitants, who are contented and prosperous, paying such good and regular rents to their landlord, that he has now saved money sufficient to purchase a lot of his neighbour's estate; and he has also the happiness of believing, that no emissary sowing the seeds of sedition against the king and government, or of disaffection to the established church, will find countenance, or meet with hearers or converts among his tenantry, whose easy circumstances render them loyal and proof against all the arts of the turbulent and factious, whether directed against the king, the church, or their immediate superiors. * See Appendix, X.
rence. In many cases even secret offers have been called for, and received, the highest constituting the best claim ; * notwithstanding the examples exhibited by those true patriots, who, by giving time and encouragement, showed at once the capability of their lands and of their tenants: yet, to one of these strangers, or to one of their own richer or more speculating countrymen, were surrendered the lands of a whole valley, peopled, perhaps, by a hundred families. An indifference, if not an aversion, to the families of the landlords who acted in this manner, has too frequently been the natural result; and, in many places, the Highland proprietors, from being the objects of greater veneration with the people than those of any other part of the kingdom, perhaps of Europe, have lost their affections and fidelity. While many have thus forfeited that honourable influence, (and what influence can be more honourable than that which springs from gratitude and a voluntary affectionate obedience ?) which their predecessors enjoyed in such per
* Nothing, in the policy pursued in the management of Highland estates, has been more productive of evil than this custom, introduced along with the new improvements, of letting farms by secret oners. It has generated jealousy, hatred, and distrust, setting brother against brother, friend against friend; and, wherever it has prevailed on large estates, has raised such a ferment in the country as will require years to allay. Sir George Mackenzie, in his Report of the County of Ross, with reference to this manner of letting farms, thus feelingly expresses himself: "No exaggerated picture of distress can be drawn to convey to the feeling mind the horrible consequences of such conduct as has been mentioned, towards a numerous tenantry. Whatever difference of opinion may exist respecting the necessity of reducing the numbers of occupiers of land in the Highlands, there can exist but one on conduct such as has been described,—that it is cruelly unjust and dishonourable, especially if, as too often happens, the old tenants are falsely informed of offers having been made. Such a deception is so mean, that its having been ever practised, is enough to bring indelible disgrace on us all." Certainly such proceedings must be repugnant to every honourable and enlightened mind. But the disgrace attaches only to those who practise such infamous deceptions. There are many honourable men in the Highlands, who wish nothing but for it fair and honest value for their lands, and would as soon take the money out of their tenants' pockets as act in this manner.
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