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was exercised with full severity. There is still to be seen among the papers of the family of Perth, an application from the town of Perth to Lord Drummond, dated in 1707, requesting an occasional use of his Lordship's executioner, who was considered an expert operator. The request was granted, his Lordship reserving to himself the power of recalling him whenever he had occasion for his services. Some time before the year 1745, the Lord President Forbes, travelling from Edinburgh to his seat at Culloden, dined on his way at Blair Castle with the Duke of Atholl. In the course of the evening a petition was delivered to his Grace, which having read, he turned round to the President, and said, " My Lord, here is a petition from a poor man, whom Commissary Bisset, my baron bailie, * has condemned to be hanged; and as he is a clever fellow, and is strongly recommended to mercy, I am much inclined to pardon him." "But your Grace knows," said the President, " that, after condemnation, no man can pardon but his Majesty." "As to that," replied the Duke, " since I have the power of punishing, it is but right that I should have the power to pardon;" and calling upon a servant who was in waiting, " Go," said he, " send an express to Logierait, and order Donald Stewart, presently under sentence, to be instantly set at liberty." f
• A civil officer, to whom the Chief's authority was occasionally delegated.
f The family of Atholl possessed many superiorities in Perthshire; and when they held their courts of regality at Logierait, their followers, to the number of nearly a hundred gentlemen, many of them of great landed property, assembled to assist in council, or as jurymen on such trials as it was necessary to conduct on this principle; and, as these gentlemen were accompanied by many of their own followers and dependants, this great chief appeared like a sovereign, with his parliament and army. Indeed, the whole was no bad emblem of a king and parliament, only changing a chief and his clan to a king and his nobles. The hall in which the feudal parliament assembled (a noble chamber of better proportions than the British House of Commons) has been pulled down, one of the most conspicuous vestiges of the almost regal influence of this powerful family
Independently of that authority which the chiefs acquired by ancient usage and the weakness of the general government, the lords of regality, and great barons and chiefs, possessed the rights of jurisdiction, both in civil and criminal cases, and either sat in judgment themselves, or appointed judges of their own choice, and dependant upon their authority. Freemen could be tried by none but their peers. The vassals were bound to attend the courts of their chiefs, and, among other things, to assist in the trials of delinquents. When they assembled on these occasions, they established among themselves such regulations as, in their opinion, tended to the welfare of the community; and, whenever it became necessary, they voluntarily granted such supplies as they thought the necessity of their superiors required. Their generosity was particularly shown on the marriage of the chief, and in the portioning of his daughters and younger sons. These last, when they settled in life, frequently found themselves supplied with the essential necessaries of a family, and particularly with a stock of cattle, which, in those patriarchal days, constituted the principal riches of the country. *
The laws which the chiefs had to administer were extremely simple. Indeed, his sway was chiefly paternal. Reverence for his authority, and gratitude for his protection, which was generally extended to shield the rights of his clansmen against the aggression of strangers, were the natural result of his patriarchal rule. This constituted an efficient control without many examples of severity. At the same time, the mutual dependence of the clansmen on one another, and their frequent meetings for consulting on their common interests, or for repelling common danger, tended to produce and cherish the social and domestic virtues, together with that ease and familiarity which, when well regulated, prove a source of much endearment, and render it necessary for every individual to cultivate a corresponding spirit of civility and complaisance. These manners and dispositions, both of the people and their superiors, furnish a ready explanation of the zeal with which the former followed their chiefs, protected their persons, and supported the honour of their country and name. In the battle of lnverkeithing, between the Royalists and Oliver Cromwell's troops, five hundred of the followers of the Laird of M'Lean were left dead on the field. In the heat of the conflict, seven brothers of the clan sacrificed their lives in defence of their leader, Sir Hector Maclean. Being hard pressed by the enemy, he was supported and covered from their attacks by these intrepid men; and as one brother fell, another came up in succession to cover him, crying, " Another for Hector." This phrase has continued ever since as a proverb or watch-word when a man encounters any sudden danger that requires instant succour.
destroyed, and many of the recollections of the power and dignity to which it owed its foundation obliterated.
• The above information I received from several old gentlemen who remembered the practice. These were intelligent persons, much habituated to conversation, faithful in recollection, and clear in the communication of their knowledge, from having been chroniclers of what to them was of the greatest importance, the history, the policy, the biography, and the character of their ancestors and contemporaries. To a common observer, no part of their communication would have appeared more extraordinary than the control of the Elders, and the firmness and independence of sagacious peasants, in setting effective limits to arbitrary
The late James Menzies of Culdares, having engaged in the rebellion of 1715, and been taken at Preston in Lancashire, was carried to London, where he was tried and condemned, but afterwards reprieved. * Grateful for this cle
* Two brothers of Culdares were taken prisoners at the same time, and sent to Carlisle Castle. After a confinement of some months, they were released, in consideration of their youth and inexperience; and immediately set off to London to visit their brother, then under sentence of death. Being handsome young men, with fresh complexions, they disguised themselves in women's clothes, and pretending to be Mr Menzies's sisters, were admitted to visit him in prison. They then proposed that one of mency, he remained at home in 1745, but, retaining a predilection for the old cause, he sent a handsome charger as a present to Prince Charles when advancing through England. The servant who led and delivered the horse was taken prisoner, and carried to Carlisle, where he was tried and condemned. To extort a discovery of the person who sent the horse, threats of immediate execution in case of refusal, and offers of pardon on his giving information, were held out ineffectually to the faithful messenger. He knew, he said, what the consequence of a disclosure would be to his master, and his own life was nothing in the comparison. When brought out for execution he was again pressed to inform on his master. He asked if they were serious in supposing him such a villain. If he did what they desired, and forgot his master and his trust, he could not return to his native country, for Glenlyon would be no home or country for him, as he would be despised and hunted out of the Glen. Accordingly, he kept steady to his trust, and was executed. This trusty servant's name was John Macnaughton, from Glenlyon in Perthshire; he deserves to be mentioned, * both on account of his incorruptible fidelity,
them should exchange clothes with their brother, and that he should escape in this disguise. But this he peremptorily refused, on the ground, that, after the lenity shewn them, it would be most ungrateful to engage in *such an affair; which, besides, might be productive of unpleasant consequences to the young man who proposed to remain in prison, particularly as he was so lately under a charge of treason and rebellion. They were obliged to take, what they believed to be, their last farewell of their brother, whose firmness of mind, and sense of honour, the immediate prospect of death could not shake. However, he soon met with his reward: he received an unconditional pardon, returned to Scotland along with his brothers, and lived sixty years afterwards in his native glen,— an honourable specimen of an old Highland Patriarch, beloved by his own people, and respected by all within the range of his acquaintance. He died in 1776.
* A picture of Prince Charles, mounted on this horse, is in my possession, being a legacy from the daughter of Mr Menzies. A brother of Macnaughton lived for many years on the estate of Garth, and died in 1790. He always went about armed, at least so far armed, that when debarred wearing a sword or dirk, he slung a large knife in his belt. He was and of his testimony to the honourable principles of the people, and to their detestation of a breach of trust to a kind and honourable master, however great might be the risk, or however fatal the consequences to the individual himself.
For the further exemplification of this attachment of Highlanders to their superiors, I may refer to the celerity with which regiments were raised by them, even in more
one of the last I recollect of the ancient race, and gave a very favourable impression of their general manner and appearance. By trade he was a smith; and although of the lowest order of the people, he walked about with an air and manner that might have become a Field-Marshall. He spoke with great force and fluency of language, and, although most respectful to those to whom he thought respect was due, he had an appearance of independence and ease, that strangers, ignorant of the language and character of the people, might have supposed to proceed from impudence. As he always carried arms when legally permitted, so he showed on one occasion that he knew how to handle them. When the Black Watch was quartered on the banks of the rivers Tay and Lyon in 1741, an affray arose between a few of the soldiers and some of the people at a fair at Kenmore. Some of the Breadalbane men took the part of the soldiers, and, as many were armed, swords were quickly drawn, and one of the former killed, when their opponents, with whom was Macnaughton, and a smith, (to whom he was then an apprentice,) retreated and fled to the ferry-boat across the Tay. There was no bridge, and the ferryman seeing the fray, chained his boat. Macnaughton was the first at the river side, and leaping into the boat, followed by his master the smith, with a single stroke of his broadsword cut the chain, and crossing the river, fixed the boat on the opposite side,— and thus prevented an immediate pursuit. Indeed, no farther steps were taken. The Earl of Breadalbane, who was then at Taymouth, was immediately sent for. On inquiry, he found that the whole had originated from an accidental reflection thrown out by a soldier of one of the Argyle companies against the Atholemen, then supposed to be Jacobites, and that it was difficult to ascertain who gave the fatal blow. The man who was killed was an old warrior of nearly eighty years of age. He had been with Lord Breadalbane's men, under Campbell of Glenlyon, at the battle of Sheriffnmir; and, as his side lost their cause, he swore never to shave again. He kept his word, and as his beard grew till it reached his girdle, he got the name of Padric na Phaisaig, " Peter with the Beard." Lachlan Maclean, presently living near Tay bridge, in his ninety-fifth year, and in perfect possession of all his faculties, was present at this affray.