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bad qualities, possessed, in a singular degree, the art of securing the love and obedience of his clan. Though attainted and outlawed, and though his estate was forfeited, and given to the next heir of the female line, Mackenzie of Fraserdale, yet such was the fidelity of the clan to their real chief, that they flocked to his standard at the first summons, quitting his rich rival, who, possessed of the estate, had the power of rewarding his friends and supporters. The individuals might change, but the ties that bound together one, were drawn more closely, though by insensible degrees, around the succeeding generation; and thus each family, in all its various successions, retained something like the same sort of relation to the parent stem, which the renewed leaves of a tree in spring preserve, in point of relative position, to those which dropped off in the preceding autumn. *
* The attachment and friendship of kindred, families, and clans, were confirmed by many ties. It has been an uniform practice in the families of the Campbells of Melford, Duntroun, and DunstafTnage, that, when the head of either family died, the chief mourners should be the two other lairds, one of whom supported the head to the grave, while the other walked before the corpse. In this manner friendship took place of the nearest consanguinity; for even the oldest sons of the deceased were not permitted to interfere with this arrangement. The first progenitors of these families were three sons of the family of Argyle, who took this method of preserving the friendship, and securing the support of their posterity to one another.
In a manner something similar, the family of Breadalbane had their bonds of union and friendship, simple in themselves, but sufficient to secure the support of those whom they were intended to unite. The motto of the armorial bearings of the family is " Follow me." This significant call was assumed by Sir Colin Campbell, Laird of Glenorchy, who was a Knight Templar of Rhodes, and is still known in the Highlands by the designation of Caillain Du na Roidh," Black Colin of Rhodes." Several cadets of the family assumed mottos analogous to that of this chivalrous knight, and when the chief called " Follow me," he found a ready compliance from Campbell of Glenfalloch, a son of Glenorchy, who says, ** Thus far," that is, to his heart's blood, the crest being a dagger piercing a heart;—from Achline, who says, " With heart and hand;"—from Achallader, who says, " With courage;"—and from Barcaldine, who says, I'aratm turn: Glenlyon, more cautious, says, Qua- recta stquor. A men to attend him at the chace, or to fight under his banners—a mandate which generally met with ready obedience.
The zeal and courage which the Highlanders displayed in the cause of the Stuart princes, particularly in 1745, excited such alarm, and produced such extraordinary effects, as to give an exaggerated idea of their numbers. The peculiarity of their situation, and the sources of their power, which could no longer be despised, were minutely examined, and a Memorial, * said to be drawn up by the Lord President Forbes of Culloden, was transmitted to Government, detailing the force of every clan, the tenures of every chieftain, and the amount of retainers which he could bring into the field. This enumeration proceeds on the supposition that the chieftain calculated upon the military services of the youthful, the most hardy, and the bravest of his followers, omitting those who were infirm from age, those who, from tender years, or natural inability, were unable to carry arms, and those whom it was found necessary to leave at home, for conducting the business of the country. Besides the clans enumerated in this curious document, there were a number of independent gentlemen, who had many followers, but being what were called broken names, or small tribes, they are omitted in the Lord President's report.
After treating of the general character of the Highlanders, the Memorial particularizes each clan, and subjoins statements of their respective forces, as under, f
• See Appendix, C.
T Argyle - - - 3000
Bread nl banc - - - looo
I.ochnell and other chieftains of the Campbells 1000
Macleans - 500
Maclachlans - - 900
Stewart of Appin - - 300
Macdougals ... 200
Stewart of Grandlully - - 300
Clan Gregor - - - 700
* When the first Marquis of Huntly waited upon King James VI. in
Edinburgh, on being created Marquis, in the year 1590, he stood in the
presence chamber with his head covered; and on being reminded of his
MMaiag want of respect, he humbly asked pardon, assigning as an excuse,
Many important consequences, regarding the character of the Highlanders, resulted from this division of the people into small tribes, and from this establishment of patriarchal . government. The authority of the king was rendered feeble and inefficient. His mandates could neither arrest the depredations of one clan against another, nor allay their mutual hostilities. Delinquents could not, with impunity, be pursued into the bosom of a clan which protected them, nor could his judges administer the laws, in opposition to their interests or their will. Sometimes he strengthened his arm, by fomenting animosities among them, and by entering occasionally into the interest of one, in order to weaken another. • Many instances of this species of policy occur in Scottish history, which, for a long period, was unhappily a mere record of internal violence. The consequence of this absence of general laws was an almost perpetual system of aggression, warfare, depredation, and contention. These little sovereignties touched at so many points, yet were so independent of one another; they approached so nearly, in many respects, yet were, in others, so distant; there were so many opportunities of encroachment on the one hand, and so little of a disposition to submit to it, on the other; and the quarrel of one individual of the tribe so naturally involved the rest, that there was scarcely ever a profound peace, or perfect cordiality between them. Among their chiefs the most deadly feuds frequently arose from opposing interests, or from wounded pride. These feuds were warmly espoused by the whole clan, and were often transmitted, with aggravated animosity, from generation to generation.
It would be curious to trace all the negotiations, treaties, and bonds of amity, (or manrent, as they were called,)
neighbouring knight and baron, Menzies of Menzies, and Flemyng or Moncss, in token of friendship, say, " Will God I shall," and - The deed will show." An ancestor of mine, also a neighbour, says,H Be ware."
* This was acting on the old maxim, " Divide et imprra."
with which opposing clans strengthened themselves, and their coalitions with friendly neighbours, against the attacks and encroachments of their enemies or rivals, or to preserve the balance of power. * By these bonds, f they bound themselves to assist each other; but, however general their internal insurrections and disputes might be—however extended their cause of quarrel with rivals or neighbours, they always bound themselves to be loyal and true to the king. % In these treaties of mutual support and protection, smaller clans, unable to defend themselves, were in*
* It is rather a humiliating consideration for the votaries of ambition, who have made war and politics their sole study, to find, from the history of past ages, that no less art, sagacity, address, and courage, have been displayed in the petty contests of illiterate mountaineers, than in their most refined schemes of policy and their most brilliant feats of arms. That they should be able, by intrigue and dexterity, to attach new allies, and detach hostile tribes from their confederates, is a still more mortifying proof how nearly the unassisted powers of natural talent, approach to the practices of the most profound politicians.
f As a curious document of this nature, I may mention a bond of amity and mutual defence entered into by a number of gentlemen of the name of Stewart in Athole, Monteith, and Appin, to which each affixed his seal and signature, binding himself to support the others against all attacks and encroachments, especially from the Marquis of Argyle, who had sided with the Covenanters. This bond is dated at Burn of Keltney, 34th June 1654. The long continued feuds between the Argyle and Atluilemen, which were latterly much embittered by political differences, were the cause of many skirmishes and battles. The last of these was a kind of drawn battle, in the reign of Charles IL, each party retiring different ways. When the Atholemen heard that the Argylemen were on their march to attack them, they immediately flew to arms, and, moving forward, encountered their foes in Breadalbane, near the east end of Locbtay. The conflict was most desperate. The dead were carried off the field and buried in a small knoll, now included in the parks of Taymouth, where their bones were found in great numbers in 1816, when Lord Breadalbane cut down a corner of this knoll in the formation of ■ road.
X These treaties ran thus: —" Always excepting my duty to our lord the king, and to our kindred and friends." When men who were not chiefs of clans, or of any subordinate tribes, thus bound themselves, their fidelity to the chiefs of their own blood and family formed a particular exception never to be forgotten or infringed.