A TOUR IN SCOTLAND. MDCCLXIX.
CHESTER: PRINTED BY JOHN MONK. MDCCLXXI.
TO Sir ROGER MOSTYN, Bart. OF MOSTYN, FLINTSHIRE.
A Gentleman well known to the political world in the begin|ning of the present century made the tour of Europe, and before he reached Abbeville discovered that in order to see a country to best advantage it was infinitely preferable to travel by day than by night.
I cannot help making this appli|cable to myself, who, after publish|ing three volumes of the Zoology of GREAT BRITAIN, found out that to Page iv be able to speak with more precision of the subjects I treated of, it was far more prudent to visit the whole than part of my country: struck therefore with the reflection of hav|ing never seen SCOTLAND, I instantly ordered my baggage to be got ready, and in a reasonable time found my|self on the banks of the Tweed.
As soon as I communicated to you my resolution, with your accustomed friendship you wished to hear from me: I could give but a partial per|formance of my promise, the atten|tion of a traveller being so much taken up as to leave very little room for the discharge of epistolary duties; and I flatter myself you will find this tardy execution of my engagement more satisfactory than the hasty ac|counts I could send you on my road: but this is far from being the sole motive of this address.
Page v I have irresistable inducements of public and of a private nature: to you I owe a most free enjoyment of the little territories Providence had bestowed on me; for by a liberal and equal cession of fields, and meads and woods, you connected all the divided parts, and gave a full scope to all my improvements. Every view I take from my window reminds me of my debt, and forbids my silence, causing the pleasing glow of gratitude to diffuse itself over the whole frame, instead of forcing up the imbittering sigh of Oh! si angulus ille! Now every scene I enjoy receives new charms, for I mingle with the visible beauties, the more pleasing idea of owing them to you, the worthy neighbor and firm friend, who are happy in the calm and domestic paths of life with abilities superior to oftentation, and Page vi goodness content with its own re|ward: with a sound judgement and honest heart you worthily discharge the senatorial trust reposed in you, whose unprejudiced vote aids to still the madness of the People, or aims to check the presumption of the Minister. My happiness in being from your earliest life your neighbor, makes me confident in my observa|tion; your increasing and discerning band of friends discovers and con|firms the justice of it: may the reasons that attract and bind us to you ever remain, is the most grate|full wish that can be thought of, by
Your obliged and affectionate Friend, Thomas Pennant.
- I. EIDER Drake and Duck, page 35
- II. Dunkeld Cathedral, 75
- III. Cascade near Taymouth, 80
- IV. View from the King's Seat near Blair, 98
- V. Brae-mar Castle, with a distant View of Inver|cauld, 106
- VI. Inverness, 137
- VII. Freswick Castle, 152
- VIII. The Gannet darting on its Prey, 155
- IX. Castle Urqhuart, 169
- X. Upper Fall of Fyers, 170
- XI. Sterling Castle, 208
- XII. Arthur's Oven, and two Lochaber Axes, 212
- XIII. Pillars in Penrith Church-Yard, 272
- XIV. Roebuck. White Hare, 274
- XV. Cock of the Wood, 278
- XVI. Hen of the Wood. Ptarmigan, 279
- XVII. Saury. Greater Weever, 284
- XVIII. Thorney Crab. Cordated Crab. The last from the Isle of Wight. 286
Opposite Page 1. A View of the gigantic Yew-Tree in Fortingal Church-Yard. The middle part is now decayed to the ground; but within me|mory was united to the height of three feet: Captain Campbell of Glen-Lion having assured me that when a boy he has often climbed over, or rode on the then connecting part.Page viii
|2||30||thick, read deep.|
|48||17||Dele In a small square.|
|95||5||Glein Raidr, Glain Naidr.|
|159||28||Bel-tein, rural sacrifice: for Bel-tein, according to the ingenious Mr. James Mac Pherson, signifies the fire of the rack; and of course is applicable only to the species described, p. 90.|
|174||9||After other, add the descent.|
A TOUR IN SCOTLAND. MDCCLXIX.
ON Monday the 26th of JUNE take my depar|ture from CHESTER,* a city without parallel for the singular structure of the four princi|pal, streets, which are as if excavated out of the earth, and sunk many feet beneath the surface; the carriages drive far beneath the level of the kitchens, on a line with ranges of shops, over which on each side of the streets passengers walk from end to end, in covered galleries, secure from wet or heat. The back courts of all these houses are level with the ground, but to go into any of these four streets it is necessary to descend a flight of several steps.
The Cathedral is an antient structure, very ragged on the outside, from the nature of the red friable stone * with which it is built: the tabernacle work in the choir is very neat; but the beauty, and elegant simplicity of a very antique gothic chapter-house, is what merits a visit from every traveller.
The Hypocaust near the Feathers Inn, is one of the remains of the Romans**, it being well known that this place was a principal station. Among Page 2 many antiquities found here, none is more singular than the rude sculpture of the Dea Armigera Miner|va, with her bird and her altar on the face of a rock in a small field near the Welch end of the bridge.
The castle is a decaying pile. The walk of the city, the only complete specimens of antient for|tifications, are kept in excellent order, being the principal walk of the inhabitants; the views from the several parts are very fine; the mountains of Flintshire, the hills of Broxton, and the insulated rock of Beeston, form the ruder part of the scenery; a rich flat forms the softer view, and the prospect up the river towards Boughton, recalls in some de|gree the idea of the Thames and Richmond hill.
Passed thro' Tarvin, a small village; in the church-yard is an epitaph in memory of Mr. John Thomasen, an excellent penman, but particularly famous for his exact and elegant imitation of the Greek character.
Delamere, which Leland calls a faire and large forest, with plenty of redde deer and falow, is now a black and dreary waste; it feeds a few rabbets, and a few black Terns* skim over the splashes that water some part of it.
A few miles from this heath lies Northwich,* a small town, long famous for its rock salt, and brine pits; some years ago I visited one of the mines; the stratum of salt lies about forty yards thick; that which I saw was hollowed into the form of a temple; I descended thro' a dome, and found the roof supported by rows of pillars, about two Page 3 yards thick, and several in height; the whole was illuminated with numbers of candles, and made a most magnificent and glittering appearance. Above the salt is a bed of whitish clay*, used in making the Liverpool earthen-ware; and in the same place is also dug a good deal of the Gypsum, or plaister stone. The fossil salt is generally yellow, and semi|pellucid, sometimes debased with a dull greenish earth, and is often found, but in small quantities, quite clear and color-less.
The road from this place to Macclesfield is thro' a flat, rich, but unpleasant country. That town is in a very flourishing state, is possessed of a great manufacture of mohair and twist buttons; has be|tween twenty and thirty silk mills, and a very con|siderable copper smelting house, and brass work.
After leaving this place the country almost in|stantly changes and becomes very mountanous and barren, at left on the surface; but the bowels com|pensate for the external sterility, by yielding suffi|cient quantity of coal for the use of the neighboring parts of Cheshire, and for the burning of lime; vast quantity is made near Buxton, and being car|ried to all parts for the purposes of agriculture, is become a considerable article of commerce.
The celebrated warm bath of BUXTON ** is seated in a bottom,* amidst these hills, in a most chearless spot, and would be little frequented, did not Hygeia often reside here, and dispense to her Page 4 votaries the chief blessings of life, ease and health with joy and gratitude I this moment reflect on the efficacious qualities of the waters; I recollect with rapture the return of spirits, the flight of pain, and re-animation of my long, long crippled rheumatic limbs. But how unfortunate is it, that what Pro|vidence designed for the general good, should be rendered only a partial one, and denied to all, ex|cept the opulent or I may say to the (compara|tively) few that can get admittance into the house where these waters are imprisoned. There are other springs (Cambden says nine) very near that in the Hall, and in all probability of equal virtue. I was informed that the late Duke of Devonshire, not long before his death, had ordered some of these to be inclosed and formed into baths. It is to be hoped that his successor will not fail adopting so usefull and humane a plan; that he will form it on the most enlarged system, that they may open not solely to these whom misused wealth hath rendered invalids, but to the poor cripple, whom honest labor hath made a burden to himself and his country; and to the soldier and sailor, who by hard service have lost the use ot those very limbs which once were active in our defence. The honor resulting from such a foundation would be as great, as the satisfaction arising from a consciousness of so benevolent a work would be unspeakable; the charms of dissipation would then lose their force, and dull and tasteless would every human luxury appear to him who had it in his power thus to lay open these fountains of health, and to be able to exult in such pathetic and comfortable strains as these: When the ear heard me,Page 5then it blessed me, and when the eye saw me it gave witness to me;
Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fa|therless, and him that had none to help him.
The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
After leaving Buxton, passed thro' Middleton dale, a deep narrow chasm between two vast cliffs, which extend on each side near a mile in length: this road is very singular, but the rocks in general are too naked to be beautifull. At the end is the small village of Stoney Middleton; here the prospect opens, and at Barsly Bridge exhibits a pretty view of a small but fertile vale, watered by the Derwent, and terminated by Chatsworth, and its plantations. Arrived and lay at
Chesterfield; an ugly town. There is here a great manufacture of worsted stockings, and another of a brown earthen-ware, much of which is sent into Holland; the clay is found near the town, over the bass or cherry* stratum, above, the coal. The steeple of Chesterfield church is a spire, covered with lead, but by a violent wind strangely bent, in which state it remains.
In the road side, about three miles from the town,* are several pits of iron stone, about nine or ten feet deep. The stratum lies above the coal, and is two feet thick. I was informed that the adventurers pay ten pounds per annum to the Lord of the Soil, for liberty of raising it; that the la|borers Page 6 borers have six shillings per load for getting it; each load is about twenty strikes or bushels, which yields a tun of metal. Coal, in these parts, is very cheap, a tun and a half being sold for five shillings.
Changed horses at Worksop and Tuxford; crossed the Trent at Dunham-Ferry, where it is broad but shallow; the spring tides flow here, and rise about two feet, but the common tides never reach this place. Pass along the Foss-Dyke, or the canal opened by Henry I.* to form a communication be|tween the Trent and the Witham; it was opened* the year 1121, and extends from Lincoln to Tor|kesey; its length is eleven miles three quarters, the breadth between dike and dike at the top is about sixty feet, at bottom twenty-two; vessels from fif|teen to thirty-five tuns navigate this canal, and by its means a considerable trade in coals, timber, corn and wool is carried on. In former times, the persons who had landed property on either side were obliged to scower it whenever it was choaked up, and accordingly we find presentments were made by juries in several succeeding reigns for that purpose. Reach
LINCON, an antient but ill-built city, much fallen away from its former extent. It lies partly on a plain, partly on a very steep hill, on whose summit are the cathedral and the ruins of the castle. The first Page 7 is a vast pile of gothic architecture; has nothing remarkable on the outside, but within is of match|less beauty and magnificence: the ornaments are excessively rich, and in the finest gothic taste; the pillars light, the centre losty, and of a surprising grandeur. The windows at the N. and S. ends very antient, but very elegant; one represents a leaf with its fibres, the other consists of a number of small circles. There are two other antient win|dows on each side the great isle: the others, as I recollect, are modern. This church was, till of late years, much out of repair, but has just been restored in a manner that does credit to the Chapter. There is indeed a sort of arch near the W. end, that seems placed there (for the same end as Bayes tells us he wrote one of his scenes) meerly to set off the rest.
The prospect from this eminence is very exten|sive, but very barren of objects, a vast flat as far as the eye can reach, consisting of plains not the most fertile, or of fens * and moors: the last are far less extensive than they were, many being drained, and will soon become the best land in the country. But still much remains to be done; the fens near Revesby-Abby, eight miles beyond Horn|castle, are of vast extent; but serve for little other purpose than the rearing great numbers of geese, which are the wealth of the fenmen.
Page 8 During the breeding season,* these birds are lodged in the same houses with the inhabitants, and even in their very bed-chambers: in every appart|ment are three rows of coarse wicker pens placed one above another; each bird has its separate lodge divided from the other, which it keeps possession of during the time of sitting. A person, called a Gozzard*, attends the flock, and twice a day drives the whole to water; then brings them back to their habitations, helping those that live in the upper stories to their nests, without ever misplacing a single bird.
The geese are plucked five times in the year; the first plucking is at Lady-Day, for feathers and quils, and the same is renewed, for feathers only, four times more between that and Michaelmas. The old geese submit quietly to the operation, but the young ones are very noisy and unruly. I once saw this performed, and observed that goslins of six weeks old were not spared; for their tails were plucked, as I was told, to habituate them early to what they were to come to. If the season proves cold, numbers of geese die by this barbarous cus|tom **.
Vast numbers are drove annually to London, to supply the markets; among them, all the super|annuated geese and ganders (called here Cagmags) which serve to fatigue the jaws of the good Citizens, who are so unfortunate as to meet with them.
Page 9 The fen called the West Fen,* is the place where the Ruffs and Reeves resort to in the greatest num|bers *; and many other sorts of water fowl, which do not require the shelter of reeds or rushes, mi|grate here to breed; for this fen is very bare, having been imperfectly drained by narrow canals, which intersect it for great numbers of miles. These the inhabitants navigate in most diminutive shallow boats; they are, in fact, the roads of the country.
The East Fen is quite in a state of nature, and gives a specimen of the country before the intro|duction of drainage: it is a vast tract of morass, intermixed with numbers of lakes, from half a mile to two or three miles in circuit, communicating with each other by narrow reedy straits: they are very shallow, none are above four or five feet in depth; but abound with fish, such as Pike, Pearch, Ruff, Bream, Tench, Rud, Dace, Roach, Bur|bolt, Sticklebacks and Eels. The fen is covered with reeds, the harvest of the neighboring inhabi|tants, who mow them annually; for they prove a much better thatch than straw, and not only cot|tages but many very good houses are covered with them. Stares, which during winter resort in my|riads to roost in the reeds, are very destructive, by breaking them down by the vast numbers that perch on them. The people are therefore very diligent in their attempts to drive them away, and are at great expence in powder to free themselves from these troublesome guests. I have seen a stock of reeds harvested and stacked worth two or three Page 10 hundred pounds, which was the property of a single farmer.
The birds which inhabit the different fens are verv numerous: I never met with a finer field for the Zoologist to range in. Besides the common Wild-duck, of which an account is given in another place *, wild Geese, Garganies, Pochards, Sho|velers and Teals, breed here. I have seen on the East Fen a small flock of the tusted Ducks; but they seemed to make it only a baiting place. The Pewit Gulls and black Terns abound; the last in vast flocks almost deafen one with their clamors: a few of the great Terns, or Tickets, are seen among them. I saw several of the great crested Grebes on the East Fen, called there Gaunts, and met with one of their floating nests with eggs in it. The lesser crested Grobe, the black and dusky Grebe, and the little Grebe, are also inhabitants of the fens; toge|ther with Coots, Water-hens, spotted Water-hens, Water-rails, Ruffs, Redshanks, Lapwings or Wipes, Red-breasted Godwits and Whimbrels. The God|wits breed near Weshenbrough; the Whimbrels only appear for about a fortnight in May near Spalding, and then quit the country. Opposite to Fossdyke Wash, during summer, are great numbers of Avo|settas, called there Yelpers, from their cry: they hover over the sportsman's head like the Lapwing, and fly with their necks and legs extended.
Knots are taken in nets along the shores near Foss|•yke in great numbers during winter; but they dis|appear in the spring.
Page 11 The short-eared owl, Br. Zool. I. 156. visits the neighborhood of Washenbrough, along with the Woodcocks, and probably performs its migrations with those birds, for it is observed to quit the coun|try at the same time: I have also received specimens of them from the Danish dominions, one of the re|treats of the Woodcock. This owl is not observed in this county to perch on trees, but conceals itself in long old grass; if disturbed, takes a short flight, lights again and keeps staring about, during which time its horns are very visible. The farmers are fond of the arrival of these birds, as they clear the fields of mice, and will even fly in search of prey during day, provided the weather is cloudy and misty.
But the greatest curiosity in these parts is the vast Herony at Cressi-Hall,* six miles from Spalding. The Herons resort there in February to repair their nests, settle there in the spring to breed, and quit the place during winter. They are numerous as Rooks, and their nests so crouded together, that myself and the company that was with me counted not fewer than eighty in one tree. I here had opportunity of de|tecting my own mistake, and that of other Ornitho|logists, in making two species of Herons; for I found that the crested Heron was only the male of the other: it made a most beautifull appearance with its snowy neck and long crest streaming with the wind. The family who owned this place was of the same name with these birds, which seems to be the principal inducement for preserving them.
Page 12 In the time of Michael Drayton, Here stalk'd the stately crane, at though he march'd in war.
But at present this bird is quite unknown in our island; but every other species enumerated by that observant Poet still are found in this fenny tract, or its neighborhood.
Visited Spalding,* a place very much resembling, in form, neatness, and situation, a Dutch town: the river Welland passes through one of the streets, a canal is cut through another, and trees are planted on each side. The church is a handsome structure, the steeple a spire. The churches in general, throughout this low tract, are very handsome; all are built of stone, which must have been brought from places very remote along temporary canals; for, in many instances, the quarries lie at lest twenty miles distant. But these aedifices were built in zealous ages, when the benedictions or maledictions of the church made the people conquer every diffi|culty that might obstruct these pious foundations. The abby of Crowland, seated in the midst of a snaking fen, is a curious monument of the insu|perable zeal of the times it was erected in; as the beautifull tower of Boston church, visible from all parts, is a magnificent specimen of a fine gothic taste.
Passed near the site of Swineshead-Abby,* of which there are not the lest remains. In the walls of a farm house, built out of the ruins, you are shewen the figure of a Knight Templar, and told it was the monk who poisoned King John, a fact denied by our best historians.
Page 13 Returned thro' Lincoln, went out of town under the Newport-Gate, a curious Roman work; passed over part of the heath, changed horses at Spittle, and at Glanford-Bridge, dined at the ferry-house on the banks of the Humber, and after a passage of about five miles, with a brisk gale, landed at Hull, and reached that night Burton-Constable, the seat of Mr. Constable, in that part of Yorkshire called Hol|derness; a dull, flat country, but excellent for pro|ducing large cattle, and a good breed of horses, whose prices are near doubled since the French have grown so fond of the English kind.
Made an excursion to Hornsea, a small town on the coast, remarkable only for its mere, a piece of water about two miles long, and one broad, fa|mous for its pike and eels; it is divided from the sea by a very narrow bank, so is in much danger of being sometime or other lost.
The cliffs on the coast of Holderness are high, and composed of clay, which falls down in vast fragments. Quantity of amber is washed out of it by the tides,* which the country people pick up and fell; it is found sometimes in large masses, but I never saw any so pure and clear as that from the Baltic. It is usually of a pale yellow color within, and prettily clouded; the outside covered with a thin coarse coat.
After riding about twenty-two miles thro' a flat grazing country,* reached Burlington-Quay, a small town close to the sea. There is a design of build|ing a pier, for the protection of shipping; at pre|sent there is only a large wooden quay, which pro|jects into the water, from which the place takes its Page 14 name. From hence is a fine view of the white cliffs of Flamborough-Head, which extends far to the East, and forms one side of the Gabrantuicorum sinus portuosus of Ptolomy, a name derived from the British Gysr, on account of the number of goats found there, according to the conjecture of Camb|den.
A mile from hence is the town of Burlington. The body of the church is large, but the steeple, by some accident, has been destroyed; near it is a large gateway, with a noble gothic arch, possibly the remains of a priory of black canons, founded by Walter de Gant, in the beginning of the reign of Henry I.
This coast of the kingdom is very unfavourable to trees, for, except some woods in the neighbor|hood of Burton-Constable there is a vast nakedness from the Humber, as far as the extremity of Caith|ness, with a very few exceptions, which shall be noted in their proper places.
Went to Flamborough-Head.* The town is on the North side, consists of about one hundred and fifty small houses, entirely inhabited by fishermen, few of whom, as is said, die in their beds, but meet their fate in the element they are so conver|sant in. Put myself under the direction of William Camidge, Ciceroni of the place, who conducted me to a little creek at that time covered with fish, a fleet of cobles having just put in. Went in one of those little boats to view the Head, coasting it for upwards of two miles. The cliffs are of a tre|mendous height, and amazing grandeur; beneath are several vast caverns, some closed at the end, Page 15 others are pervious, formed with a natural arch, giving a romantic passage to the boat, different from that we entered. In some places the rocks are in|sulated, are, of a pyramidal figure, and soar up to a vast height; the bases of most are solid, but in some pierced thro', and arched; the color of all these rocks is white, from the dung of the innu|merable flocks of migratory birds,* which quite cover the face of them, filling every little projec|tion, every little hole that will give them leave to rest; multitudes were swimming about, others swarmed in the air, and almost stunned us with the variety of their croaks and screams; I observed among them corvorants, shags in small flocks, guillemots, a few black guillemots very shy and wild, auks, pussins, kittiwakes *, and herring gulls. Landed at the same place, but before our return to Flamborough, visited Robin Leith's hole, a vast cavern, to which there is a narrow passage from the land side; it suddenly rises to a great height, the roof is finely arched, and the bottom is for a considerable way formed in broad steps, re|sembling a great but easy ftair-case; the mouth opens to the sea, and gives light to the whole.
Lay at Hunmandby, a small village above Filey Bay, round which are some plantations that thrive tolerably well, and ought to be an encouragement to gentlemen to attempt covering these naked hills.
Filey Brig is a ledge of rocks running far into the sea, and often fatal to shipping. The bay is sandy, and affords vast quantities of fine fish, such Page 16 as Turbot, Soles, &c. which during summer ap|proach the shore, and are easily taken in a common sesne or dragging-net.
Set out for Scarborough,* passed near the site of Flixton, a hospital founded in the time of Athelstan, to give shelter to travellers from the wolves, that they should not be devoured by them*; so that in those days this bare tract must have been covered with wood, for those ravenous animals ever inhabit large forests. These hospitia are not unfrequent among the Alps; are either appendages to religious houses, or supported by voluntary subscriptions. On the spot where Flixton stood is a farm-house, to this day called the Spital House. Reach
SCARBOROUGH, a large town, built in form of a crescent on the sides of a deep hill; at one extre|mity are the ruins of the castle seated on a cliff of a stupendous height, from whence is a very good view of the town. In the castle-yard is a handsome barrack for one hundred and fifty men, but at pre|sent untenanted by soldiery. Beneath, on the south side, is a large stone pier, (another is now build|ing) which shelters the shipping belonging to the town. It is a place absolutely without trade, yet owns above 300 sail of ships, which are hired out for freight: in the late war the Government had never less than 100 of them in pay.
The number of inhabitants belonging to this place are above 10,000, but as great part are sailors, nothing like that number are resident, which makes one church sufficient for those who live on shore. It is large, and seated almost on Page 17 the top of the hill. The range of buildings on the Cliff commands a fine view of the castle, town, and shore, and of innumerable shipping that are perpetually passing backward and forward on their voyages. The spaw * lies at the foot of one of the hills, S. of the town; this and the great conveni|ency of sea-bathing, occasion a vast resort of com|pany during summer; it is at that time a place of great gayety, for with numbers health is the pre|tence, but dissipation the end.
The shore is a fine hard sand, and during low water is the place where the company amuse them|selves with riding. This is also the fish market; for every day the cobles, or little fishing boats, are drawn on shore here, and lie in rows, often quite loaden with variety of the best fish. There was a fisherman, on the 9th of May, 1767, brought in at one time, 20 Cods, 14 Lings, 17 Skates, 8 Holibuts, besides a vast quantity of lesser fish; and sold the whole for 3l. 15s. It is superfluous to repeat what has been before mentioned, of the me|thods of fishing, being amply described Vol. III. p. 193, of the British Zoology; yet it will be far from impertinent to point out the peculiar advantages of these seas, and the additional benefit this town might Page 18 experience, by the augmentation of its fisheries. For this account, and for numberless civilities, I think myself much indebted to Mr. Travis, fur|geon, who communicated to me the following Re|marks:
Scarborough is situated at the bottom of a bay, formed by Whitby rock on the North, and Flambo|rough-head on the South; the town is seated directly opposite to the centre of the W. end of the Dogger bank; which end, (according to Hammond's chart of the North Sea) lies S. and by W. and N. and by E. but by a line drawn from Tinmouth castle, would lead about N. W. and S. E. Tho' the Dog|ger bank is therefore but 12 leagues from Flambo|rough-head, yet it is 16 and a half from Scarborough, 23 from Whitby, and 36 from Tinmouth castle. The N. side of the bank stretches off E. N. E. between 30 and 40 leagues, untill it almost joins to the Long-Bank, and Jutt's Riff.
It is to be remarked, that the fishermen seldom find any Cod, Ling, or other round fish upon the Dogger bank itself, but on the sloping edges and hollows contiguous to it. The top of the bank is covered with a barren shifting sand, which affords them no subsistence; and the water on it, from its shallowness, is continually so agitated and broken, as to allow them no time to rest. The flat fish do not suffer the same inconvenience there; for when disturbed by the motion of the sea, they shelter themselves in the sand, and find variety of suitable food. It is true, the Dutch fish upon the Dogger bank, but it is also true they take little except Soles, Skates, Thornbacks, Plaise, &c. It is in the hol|lows Page 19 between the Dogger and the Well-Bank, that the Cod are taken, which supply London market.
The shore, except at the entrance of Scarbo|rough pier, and some few other places, is com|posed of covered rocks, which abound with Lobsters and Crabs, and many other shell fish, (no Oysters) thence, after a space covered with clean sand, extending in different places from one to five or six miles. The bottom, all the way to the edge of the Dogger banks, is a scar; in some places very rugged, rocky, and cavernous; in others smooth, and overgrown with variety of submarine plants, Mosses, Corallines, &c. * some parts again are spread with sand and shells; others, for many leagues in length, with soft mud and ooze, furnished by the discharge of the Tees and Humber.
Upon an attentive review of the whole, it may be clearly inferred, that the shore along the coast on the one hand, with the edges of the Dogger bank on the other, like the sides of a decoy, give a direction towards our fishing grounds to the mighty shoals of Cod, and other fish, which are well known to come annually from the Northern ocean into our seas; and secondly, that the great variety of fishing grounds near Scarborough, extending upwards of 16 leagues from the shore, afford secure retreats and plenty of proper food for all the various kinds of fish, and also suitable places for each kind to de|posit their spawn in.
The fishery at Scarbarough only employs 105 men, and brings in about 5250l. per annum, a Page 20 trifle to what it would produce, was there a canal from thence to Leeds and Manchester; it is proba|ble it would then produce above ten times that sum, employ some thousands of men, give a comfortable and cheap subsistence to our manufacturers, keep the markers moderately reasonable, enable our manu|facturing towns to underfell our rivals, and prevent the hands, as is too often the case, raising insur|rections, in every year of scarcity, natural or artificial.
On discoursing with some very intelligent fisher|men, I was informed of a very singular phoenomenon they annually observe about the spawning of fish*. At the distance of 4 or 5 leagues from shore, during the months of July and August, it is remarked, that at the depth of 6 or 7 fathom from the surface, the water appears to be saturated with a thick jelly, filled with the Ova of fish, which reaches 10 or 12 fathoms deeper; this is known by its adhering to the ropes the cobles anchor with when they are fishing, for they find the first 6 or 7 fathom of rope free from spawn, the next 10 or 12 covered with slimy matter, the remainder again free to the bot|tom. They suppose this gelatinous stuff to supply the new-born fry with food, and that it is also a protection to the spawn, as being disagreeable to the larger fish to swim in.
There is great variety of fish brought on shore; besides those described as British fish, were two spe|cies of Rays: the Whip-Ray has also been taken Page 21 here, and another species of Weever; but these are subjects more proper to be referred to a Fauna, than an Itinerary, for a minute description.
Left Scarborough, passed over large moors to Robin Hood's Bay.* On my round, observed the vast mountains of alum stone,* from which that salt is thus extracted: It is first calcined in great heaps, which continue burning by its own phlo|giston, after being well set on fire by coals, for six, ten, or fourteen months, according to the size of the heap, some being equal to a small hill. It is then thrown into pits and steeped in water, to ex|tract all the saline particles. The liquor is then run into other pits, where the vitriolic salts are precipitated, by the addition of a solution of the sal sode, prepared from kelp; or by the volatile alkali of stale urine. The superfluous water being then evaporated duely by boiling in large furnaces, the liquor is set to cool; and lastly, is poured into large casks, to crystallize.
The alum works of this county are of some an|tiquity; they were first discovered by Sir Thomas Chaloner, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who observing the trees tinged, with an unusual color, made him suspicious of its being owing to some mineral in the neighborhood. He found out that the strata abounded with an aluminous salt.
At that time, the English being strangers to the method of managing it, there is a tradition that Sir Thomas was obliged to seduce some workmen from the Pope's alum-works near Rome, then the greatest in Europe. If one may judge from the curse which his Holiness thundered out against Sir Thomas and Page 22 the sugitives, he certainly was not a little enraged; for he cursed by the very form that Ernulphus* has left us, and not varied a tittle from that most com|prehensive of imprecations.
The first pits were near Gisborough, the seat of the Chaloners, who still flourish there, notwithstand|ing his Holiness's anathema. The works were so valuable as to be deemed a royal mine. Sir Paul Pindar, who rented them, payed annually to the King 12,500l. to the Earl of Mulgrave 1,640l. to Sir William Pennyman 600l. kept 800 workmen in pay, and sold his alum at 26l. per tun. But this monopoly was destroyed on the death of Charles I. and the right restored to the proprietors.
In these alum rocks are frequently found cornua ammonis, and other fossils,* lodged in a stony nodule. Jet is sometimes met with in thin flat pieces, externally of the appearance of wood. Ac|cording to Solinus, Britain was famous for this fossil **.
The sands near Robin Hood's village were covered with fish of several kinds, and with people who met the cobles in order to purchase their cargo: the place seemed as if a great fish fair had been held there; some were carrying off their bargains, others busied in curing the fish; and a little out at sea was a fleet of cobles and five men boats, and others arriving to discharge the capture of the preceding Page 23 tides *. There are 36 of the first belonging to this little place. The houses here make a grotesque appearance, are scattered over the face of a steep cliff in a very strange manner, and fill every pro|jecting ledge, one above another, in the same man|ner as the peasants do in the rocky parts of China. Sand's End, Runwick, and Staitbes, three other fishing-towns on this coast, are (as I am told) built in the same manner.
The country through this day's journey was hilly, the coast high. Reach
WHITBY, called by the Saxons, Streaneshalch, or bay of the light-house, a large town, oddly situated between two hills, with a narrow channel running through the middle, extending about a mile farther up the vale, where it widens, and forms a bay. The two parts of the town are joined by a good draw-bridge, for the conveniency of letting the shipping pass. From this bridge are often taken the viviparous Blenny, whose back-bone is as green as that of the Sea Needle. The river that forms this harbor is the Esk, but its waters are very inconsiderable when the tide is out. Here is a pretty brisk trade in ship-building; but except that, a small manufacture of sail-cloth, and the hiring out of ships as at Scarborough, like that town it has scarce any commerce. It is computed there are about 270 ships belonging to this place. Of late, an attempt has been made to have a share in the Greenland fishery; four ships were sent out, and had very good success. There are very good dry Page 24 docks towards the end of the harbor; and at the mouth a most beautifull pier. At this place is the first salmon-fishery on the coast.
On the hill above the S. side of the town is a fine ruin of St. Hilda's church.* The site was given to that saint by Oswy, king of Northumberland, about A. D. 657; possibly in consequence of a vow he made to found half a dozen monasteries, and make his daughter a nun, should heaven favor his arms. St. Hilda founded a convent here for men and wo|men, dedicated it to St. Peter, and put it under the direction of an abbess. This establishment was ruined by the excursions of the Danes; but after the conquest it was rebuilt, and filled with Bene|dictines, by Walter de Percy. In less enlightened times it was believed that not a wild goose dared to fly over this holy ground, and if it ventured was sure to fall precipitate and perish in the attempt.
Went about two miles along the shore, then turned up into the country, a black and barren moor; observed on the right a vast artificial mount, or Tumulus, called Freeburgh Hill, a monument, in all probability, the work of the Danes, whose custom it was to fling up such Tumuli over the graves of their kings or leaders; or, in memory of the flain in general, upon the spot where they had obtained any great victory. It is possible that this mount owed its rise to the victory gained by Ivar, a Danish prince, over Ella, king of Bernicia, who was on his way from the North to succour Osbert; for we are told that Ivar, after defeating the last, went from York to meet Ella, and fought and flew him on his march.
Page 25 At the end of this moor, about three miles from Gisborough, is a beautifull view over the remaining part of Yorkshire, towards Durham, Hartlepool, and the mouth of the Tees, which maeanders through a very rich tract. The country instantly assumes a new face; the road lies between most delightfull hills finely wooded, and the little vales between them very fertile: on some of the hills are the marks of the first alum works, which were discovered by Sir Thomas Chaloner.
GISBOROUGH, a small town, pleasantly situated in a vale,* surrounded at some distance by hills, and open on the east to the sea, which is about five miles distant. It is certainly a delightfull spot, but I cannot see the reason why Cambden compares it to Puteoli. Here was once a priory of the canons of the order of St. Austin, founded by Robert de Brus, 1129, after the dissolution granted by Edward VI. to the Chaloners: a very beautifull east window of the church is still remaining. The town has at present a good manu|facture of sail cloth.
The country continues very fine quite to the banks of the Tees, a considerable river, which di|vides Yorkshire from the bishoprick of Durham. After travelling 109 miles in a strait line through the first, enter Durham, crossing the river on a very handsome bridge of arches, the battlements neatly panneled with stone; and reach
STOCKTON, lying on the Tees in form of a cres|cent. A handsome town; the principal street is remarkably fine, being 165 feet broad; and several lesser streets run into it at right angles. In the mid|dle of the great street are neat shambles, a town|house, Page 26 and large assembly-room. There is besides a large square. About a century ago, according to Anderson, it had scarce a house that was not made of clay and thatch; but is now a flourishing place. Its manufacture is sail cloth; and great quantities of corn, and lead, (from the mineral parts of the county) are sent off from hence by commission. As the river does not admit of large vessels so high as the town, those commodities are sent down to be shipped.
The salmon fishery here is neglected, for none are taken beyond what is necessary to supply the country. Smelts come up the river in the winter time. On the west side of the town stood the castle; what remained of it is at present converted into a barn. The country from hence to Durham is flat, very fertile, and much inclosed. Towards the west is a fine view of the highlands of the country: those hills are part of that vast ridge which commence in the north and deeply divide this portion of the kingdom; and on that account are called by Camb|den the Appennines of England.
The approach to DURHAM is romantic,* through a deep hollow, cloathed on each side with wood. The city is pretty large, but the buildings old. Part are on a plain, part on the side of a hill. The abby, or cathedral, and the castle, where the Bishop lives when he resides here, are on the summit of a cliff, whose foot is washed on two sides by the river Were. The walks on rhe opposite banks are very beautifull, flagged in the middle and paved on the sides, and are well kept. They are cut through Page 27 the wood, impend over the river, and receive a venerable improvement from the castle and antient cathedral which soar above.
The last is very old *; plain without, and sup|ported within by massy pillars, deeply engraved with lozenge-like figures, and zigzag furrows: others are plain; and each forms a cluster of pillars. The skreen to the choir is wood covered with a coarse carving. The choir neat, but without or|nament.
The chapter-house seems very antient, and is in the form of a theatre. The cloisters large and handsome. All the monuments are defaced, ex|cept that of Bishop Hatfield. The Prebendal houses are very pleasantly situated, and have a fine view backwards.
There are two handsome bridges over the Were to the walks; and a third covered with houses, which join the two parts of the town. This river produces Salmon, Trout, Roach, Dace, Minow, Loche, Bullhead, Sticklebacks, Lamprey, the lesser Lamprey, Eels, Smelts and Samlet, which are called here Rack-riders, because they appear in winter, or bad weather; Rack, in the northern dia|lect, signifying the driving of the clouds by tem|pests. It is observed here, that before they go off to spawn, those fish are covered with a white slime.
There is no inconsiderable manufacture, at Dur|ham, of shalloons, tammies, stripes and callaman|coes. I had heard on my road many complaints of the ecclesiastical government this county is subject Page 28 to; but, from the general face of the country, it seems to thrive wonderfully under them.
Saw Coker,* the seat of Mr. Car; a most romantic situation, layed out with great judgment; the walks are very extensive, principally along the sides or at the bottom of deep dells, bounded with vast preci|pices, finely wooded; and many parts of the rocks are planted with vines, which I was told bore well, but late. The river Were winds along the hollows, and forms two very fine reaches at the place where you enter these walks. Its waters are very clear, and its bottom a solid rock. The view towards the ruins of Finchal-Abby is remarkably great; and the walk beneath the cliffs has a magnificent solemnity, a fit retreat for its monastic inhabitants. This was once called the Desert, and was the rude scene of the austerities of St. Godric, who carried them to the most senseless extravagance *. A sober mind may even at present be affected with horror at the prospect from the summits of the cliffs into a dark|some and stupendous chasm, rendered still more Page 29 tremendous by the roaring of the waters over its distant bottom.
Passed through Chester-le-Street, a small town, near which is Lumly-Castle, the seat of the Earl of Scarborough; a place, as I was told, very well worth seeing; but unfortunately it proved a public day, and I lost sight of it. The country, from Durham to Newcastle, was very beautifull; the risings gentle, and prettily wooded, and the views agreeable; that on the borders remarkably fine, there being, from an eminence not far from the capital of Northumberland, an extensive view of a rich country, watered by the coaly Tyne. Reach
NEWCASTLE, a large, disagreeable, and dirty town,* divided in two unequal parts by the river, and both sides very steep. The lower parts are inhabited by Keelmen and their families, a muti|nous race; for which reason this town is always garrisoned.
The great business of the place is the coal trade. The collieries lie at different distances, from five to eighteen miles from the river; and the coal is brought down in waggons along rail roads, and discharged from covered buildings at the edge of the water into the keels or boats that are to convey it on shipboard. These boats are strong, clumsy and round, will carry about 25 tuns each; sometimes are navigated with a square sail, but generally are pushed along with large poles. No ships of large burthen can come up as high as Newcastle, but are obliged to lie at Shields, a few miles down the river, where stage coaches go thrice every day for the conveniency of passengers. This country is most Page 30 remarkably populous; Newcastle alone contains near 40,000 inhabitants; and there are at lest 400 sail of ships belonging to that town and its port. The effect of the vast commerce of this place is very apparent for many miles round; the country is finely cultivated, and bears a most thriving and opulent aspect.
*Left Newcastle; the country in general flat; passed by a large stone column with three dials on the capital, with several scripture texts on the sides, called here Pigg's Folly, from the founder.
A few miles further is Stannington Bridge, a plea|sant village. Morpeth, a small town with a neat town-house, and a tower for the bell near it. The castle was on a small eminence, but the remains are now very inconsiderable. Some attempt was made a few years ago to introduce the Manchester manu|facture, but without success. There is a remarkable story of this place, that the inhabitants reduced their own town to ashes, on the approach of King John, A. D. 1215, out of pure hatred to their mo|narch, in order that he might not find any shelter there.
This place gave birth to William Turner, as Dr. Fuller expresses it, an excellent Latinist, Graecian, Oratour, and Poet; he might have added polemic divine, champion and sufferer in the protestant cause, physician and naturalist. His botanic wri|tings are among the first we had, and certainly the best of them; and his criticisms on the birds of Aristotle and Pliny, are very judicious. He was the first who flung any light on those subjects in our Page 31 island; therefore clames from a naturalist this tri|bute to his memory *.
Felton, a pleasant village on the Coquet, which, some few miles lower, discharges itself into the sea, opposite to a small isle of the same name, remarkable for the multitudes of water-fowl which resort there to breed.
At Alnwick,* a small town, the traveller is disap|pointed with the situation and environs of the castle, the residence of the Percies, the antient Earls of Northumberland. You look in vain for any marks of the grandeur of the feudal age; for trophies won by a family eminent in our annals for military prowess and deeds of chivalry; for halls hung with helms and haberks, or with the spoils of the chace; for extensive forests, and venerable oaks. You look in vain for the helmet on the tower, the antient signal of hospitality to the traveller, or for the grey-headed porter to conduct him to the hall of entertainment. The numerous train, whose coun|tenances gave welcome to him on his way, are now no more; and instead of the disinterested usher of the old times, he is attended by a valet eager to receive the fees of admittance.
There is vast grandeur in the appearance of the outside of the castle; the towers magnificent, but injured by the numbers of rude statues crouded on the battlements. The appartments are large, and lately finished in the gothic style with a most incom|patible elegance. The gardens are equally incon|sistent, trim to the highest degree, and more adapted Page 32 to a villa near London, than the antient seat of a great Baron. In a word, nothing, except the num|bers of unindustrious poor that swarm at the gate, excites any one idea of its former circumstances.
A stage further is Belford, the seat of Abraham Dixon, Esq a modern house; the front has a most beautifull simplicity in it. The grounds improved as far as the art of husbandry can reach; the plan|tations large and flourishing: a new and neat town, instead of the former wretched cottages; and an industrious race, instead of an idle poor, at present fill the estate.
On an eminence on the sea coast,* about four miles from Belford, is the very antient castle of Bamborough, built by Ida, first king of the Nor|thumbrians, A. D. 548. But, according to the con|jecture of an antiquarian I met with there, on the site of a Roman fortress. It was also his opinion, that the square tower was actually the work of the Romans. It had been of great strength; the hill it is founded on excessively steep on all sides, and ac|cessible only by flights of steps on the south east. The ruins are still considerable; the remains of a great hall are very singular; it had been warmed by two fire-places of a vast size, and from the top of every window ran a flue, like that of a chimney, which reached the summits of the battlements. Many of the ruins are now filled with sand, caught up by the winds that rage here with great impe|tuosity, and carried to very distant places.
This castle, and the manour belonging to it, was once the property of the Forsters; but purchased Page 33 by Lord Crew, Bishop of Durham,* and with other considerable estates, left vested in Trustees, to be applied to unconfined charitable uses. Three of these Trustees are a majority: one of them makes this place his residence, and blesses the coast by his judicious and humane application of the Prelate's generous bequest. He has repaired and rendered habitable the great square tower: the part reserved for himself and family is a large hall and a few smaller apartments; but the rest of the spacious edifice is allotted for purposes which make the heart to glow with joy when thought of. The upper part is an ample grainary; from whence corn is dispenced to the poor without distinction, even in the dearest time, at the rate of four shillings a bushel; and the distressed, for many miles round, often experience the conveniency of this benefaction.
Other apartments are fitted up for the reception of shipwrecked sailors; and bedding is provided for about thirty, should such a number happen to be cast on shore at the same time. A constant pa|trole is kept every stormy night along this tem|pestuous coast, for above eight miles, the length of the manour, by which means numbers of lives have been preserved. Many poor wretches are often found on the shore in a state of insensibility; but by timely relief, are soon brought to themselves.
It often happens, that ships strike in such a man|ner on the rocks as to be capable of relief, in case numbers of people could be suddenly assembled: for that purpose a cannon * is fixed on the top of Page 34 the tower, which is fired once, if the accident hap|pens in such a quarter; twice, if in another, and thrice, if in such a place. By these signals the country people are directed to the spot they are to fly to; and by this means, frequently preserve not only the crew, but even the vessel; for machines of different kinds are always in readiness to heave ships out of their perillous situation.
In a word, all the schemes of this worthy Trustee have a humane and useful tendency: he seemed as if selected from his brethren for the same purposes as Spenser tells us the first of his seven Beadsmen in the house of holinesse was.
Opposite to Bamborough lie the Farn islands,* which form two groupes of little isles and rocks to the number of seventeen, but at low water the points of others appear above the surface;, they all are distinguished by particular names. The nearest isle to the shore is that called the House Island, which lies exactly one mile 68 chains from the coast: the most distant is about seven or eight miles. They are rented for 16l. per annum: their produce is kelp, some few feathers, and a few seals, which the tenant watches and shoots for the sake of the oil and skins. Some of them yeild a Page [unnumbered]
Visited these islands in a coble, a safe but seem|ingly hazardous species of boat,* long, narrow and flat-bottomed, which is capable of going thro' a high sea, dancing like a cork on the summits of the waves.
Touched at the rock called the Meg, whitened with the dung of corvorants which almost covered it; their nests were large, made of tang, and most excessively faetid.
Rowed next to the Pinnacles, an island in the farthest groupe; so called from some vast columnar rocks at the south end, even at their sides, and flat at their tops, and entirely covered with guillemots and shags: the fowlers pass from one to the other of these columns by means of a narrow board, which they place from top to top, forming a nar|row bridge, over such a horrid gap, that the very fight of it strikes one with horror.
Landed at a small island, where we found the female Eider ducks * at that time sitting:* the lower part of their nests was made of sea plants; the upper part was formed of the down which they pull off their own breasts, in which the eggs were surrounded and warmly bedded: in some were three, in others five eggs, of a large size and pale olive color, as smooth and glossy as if varnished over. The nests are built on the beach, among the loose pebbles, not far from the water. The Page 36 Ducks sit very close, nor will they rise till you al|most tread on them. The Drakes separate them|selves from the females during the breeding season. We robbed a few of their nests of the down, and after carefully separating it from the tang, found that the down of one nest weighed only three quar|ters of an ounce, but was so elastic as to fill the crown of the largest hat. The people of this country call these St. Cuthbert's ducks, from the saint of the islands.
Besides these birds, I observed the following:
- Puffins, called here Tom Noddies,
- Auks, here Skouts,
- Black Guillemot,
- Little Auks,
- Black and white Gulls,
- Brown and white Gulls,
- Herring Gulls, which I was told fed sometimes on eggs of other birds,
- Common Gull, here Annets,
- Kittiwakes, or Tarrocks,
- Pewit Gulls,
- Great Terns,
- Sea Pies,
- Sea Larks, here Brokets,
- Jackdaws, which breed in rabbet-holes,
- Rock Pigeons,
- Rock Larks.
Page 37 The Terns were so numerous, that in some places it was difficult to tread without crushing some of the eggs.
The last isle I visited was the House island, the sequestered spot where St. Cuthbert passed the two last years of his life. Here was afterwards esta|blished a priory of Benedictines for six or eight Monks subordinate to Durham. A square tower, the remains of a church, and some other buildings, are to be seen there still; and a stone coffin, which, it is pretended, was that of St. Cuthbert. At the north end of the isle is a deep chasm, from the top to the bottom of the rock, communicating to the sea; through which, in tempestuous weather, the water is forced with vast violence and noise, and forms a fine jet d'eau of sixty-six feet high: it is called by the inhabitants of the opposite coast the Churn.
Reached shore through a most turbulent rippling, occasioned by the fierce current of the tides between the islands and the coast.
Pursued my journey northward. Saw at a dis|tance the Cheviot hills;* on which, I was informed, the green Plovers breed; and that, during winter, flocks innumerable of the great Bramblings, or Snow-flakes, appear; the most southern place of their migration, in large companies.
The country almost woodless, there being but one wood of any consequence between Belford and Berwick. Saw on the left an antient tower, which shewed the character of the times when it was un|happily necessary, on these borders, for every house to be a fortress.
Page 38 On the right, had a view of the sea, and, not re|mote from the land, of Lindesfarn, or Holy Island, once an episcopal seat, afterwards translated to Durham. On it are the ruins of a castle and a church. In some parts are abundance of Entrochi, which are called by the country people St. Cuth|bert's beads.
After a few miles riding, have a full view of Berwick, and the river Tweed winding westward for a considerable way up the country; but its banks were without any particular charms *, being almost woodless. The river is broad; and has over it a bridge of sixteen very handsome arches, eipe|cially two next the town.
BERWICK is fortified in the modern way; but is much contracted in its extent to what it was for|merly, the old castle and works now lying at some distance beyond the present ramparts. The bar|racks are large, consist of a center and two wings. The church was built by Cromwel, and, according to the spirit of the builder, without a steeple. Even in Northumberland, (towards the borders) the stee|ples grew less and less, and as if it were forewarned the traveller that he was speedily to take leave of episcopacy. The town-house has a large and hand|some modern tower to it: the streets in general are narrow and bad, except that in which the town|house stands.
Abundance of wool is exported from this town: eggs in vast abundance collected through all the Page 39 country, almost as far as Carlisle: they are packed in boxes, with the thick end downwards, and are sent to London for the use of sugar refiners. I was told that as many are exported as bring in annually the sum of fourteen thousand pounds.
The salmon fisheries here are very considerable,* and likewise bring in vast sums: they lie on each side the river; and are all private property, except what belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Durham, which, in rent and tythe of fish, brings in 450l. per ann. for all the other fisheries are liable to tythe. The common rents of those are 50l. a year, for which the tenants have as much shore as serves to launch out and draw their nets on shore: the limits of each are staked; and I observed that the fishers never failed going as near as possible to their neigh|bor's limits. One man goes off in a small flat|bottomed boat, square at one end, and taking as large a circuit as his net admits, brings it on shore at the extremity of his boundary, where others assist in landing it. The best fishery is on the south side *: very fine salmon trout are often taken here, which come up to spawn from the sea, and return in the same manner as the salmon do. The chief import is timber from Norway and the Baltic.
Almost immediately on leaving Berwick, enter Page 40 in the shire of Merch, or Mers*. A little way from Berwick, on the west, is Halydon hill, famous for the overthrow of the Scots under the regent Douglas, by Edward III. on the attempt of the former to raise the siege of that town. A cruel action blasted the laurels of the conqueror: Seton, the governor, stipulated to surrender in fifteen days, if not relieved in that time, and gave his son as hostage for per|formance. The time elapsed; Seton refused to execute the agreement, and with a Roman unfeel|ingness beheld the unhappy youth hung before the walls.
The entrance into Scotland has a very unpro|mising look; for it wanted, for some miles, the cultivation of the parts more distant from England: but the borders were necessarily neglected; for, till the accession of James VI. and even long after, the national enmity was kept up, and the borderers of both countries discouraged from improvement, by the barbarous inroads of each nation. This inat|tention to agriculture continued till lately; but on reaching the small village of Eytown, the scene was greatly altered; the wretched cottages, or rather hovels of the country, were vanishing; good com|fortable houses arise in their stead; the lands are inclosing, and yield very good barley, oats, and clover; the banks are planting: I speak in the present tense; for there is still a mixture of the Page 41 old negligence left amidst the recent improvements, which look like the works of a new colony in a wretched impoverished country.
Soon after the country relapses; no arable land is seen; but for four or five miles succeeds the black joyless heathy moor of Coldingham: hap|pily,* this is the whole specimen that remains of the many miles, which, not many years ago, were in the same dreary unprofitable state. Near this was the convent of that name immortalized by the he|roism of its Nuns; who, to preserve themselves in|violate from the Danes, cut off their lips and noses; and thus rendering themselves objects of horror, were, with their abbess Ebba*, burnt in the mo|nastery by the disappointed savages.
At the end of the moor came at once in sight of the Firth** of Forth; a most extensive prospect of that great arm of the sea, of the rich country of East Lothian, the Bass Isle; and at a distance, the isle of May, the coast of the county of Fife, and the country as far as Montrose.
After going down a long descent dine at Old Cambus, at a mean house, in a poor village; where I believe the Lord of the soil is often execrated by the weary traveller, for not enabling the tenant to furnish more comfortable accommodations, in so considerable a thoroughfare.
Page 42 The country becomes now extremely fine; bounded at a distance, on one side, by hills; on the other, by the sea: the intervening space is as rich a tract of corn land as I ever saw; for East Lothian is the Northamptonshire of North Britain: the land is in many places manured with sea tang; but I was informed, that the barley produced from, it is much lighter than barley from other manure.
On the side of the hills on the left is Sir John Hall's, of Dunglas; a fine situation, with beautifull plantations. Pass by Broxmouth, a large house of the Duke of Roxborough, in a low spot, with great woods surrounding it. Reach
DUNBAR:* the chief street broad and handsome; the houses built of stone; as is the case with most of the towns in Scotland. There are some ships sent annually from this place to Greenland, and the ex|ports of corn are pretty considerable. The harbour is safe, but small; its entrance narrow, and bounded by two rocks. Between the harbour and the castle is a very surprising stratum of stone,* in some respects resembling that of Giant's Causeway in Ireland: it consists of great columns of a red grit stone, either triangular, quadrangular, pentangular, or hexangular; their diameter from one to two feet, their length at low water thirty, dipping or inclining a little to the south.
They are jointed, but not so regularly, or so plainly, as those that form the Giant's Causeway. The surface of several that had been torn off appear as a pavement of numbers of convex ends, probably answering to the concave bottoms of other joints once incumbent on them. The space between the Page 43 columns was filled with thin septa of red and white fparry matter; and veins of the same pervaded the columns transversely. This range of columns faces the north, with a point to the east, and extends in front about two hundred yards. The breadth is inconsiderable: the rest of the rock degenerates into shapeless masses of the same fort of stone, irregu|larly divided by thick septa. This rock is called by the people of Dunbar, the Isle.
Opposite are the ruins of the castle, seated on a rock above the sea; underneath one part is a vast cavern, composed of a black and red stone, which gives it a most infernal appearance; a fit represen|tation of the pit of Acheron, and wanted only to be peopled with witches to make the scene complete: it appears to have been the dungeon, there being a formed passage from above, where the poor pri|soners might have been let down, according to the barbarous custom of war in early days. There are in some parts, where the rock did not close, the remains of walls; for the openings are only natural fissures; but the founders of the castle taking ad|vantage of this cavity, adding a little art to it, ren|dered it a most complete and secure prison.
On the other side are two natural arches, through which the tide flowed; under one was a fragment of wall, where there seems to have been a portal for the admission of men or provisions from sea: thro' which, it is probable that Alexander Ramsay, in a stormy night, reinforced the garrison, in spite of the fleet which lay before the place, when closely besieged by the English, in 1337, and galantly de|fended Page 44 for nineteen weeks by that heroine black Agnes, Countess of March*.
Through one of thefe arches was a most pic|turesque view of the Bass Isle, with the fun setting in full splendor; through the other of the May island, gilt by its beams.
Over the ruins of a window were the three legs, or arms of the Isle of Man, a lion rampant, and a St. Andrew's cross.
Rode within sight of Tantallon castle,* now a wretched ruin; once the seat of the powerfull Ar|chibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, which for some time resisted all the efforts of James V. to subdue it.
A little further, about a mile from the shore,* lies the Bass Island, or rather rock, of a most stu|pendous height, on the south side the top appears of a conic shape, but the other over-hangs the sea in a most tremendous manner. The castle, which was once the state prison of Scotland, is now neg|lected: it lies close to the edge of the precipice, facing the little village of Castleton; where I toke boat, in order to visit this singular spot; but the weather proved unfavorable, the wind blew so fresh, and the waves ran so high, that it was im|possible to attempt landing; for even in calmer weather it cannot be done without hazard, there being a steep rock to ascend, and commonly a great swell, which often removes the boat while you are scaling the precipice; so, in case of a false Page 45 step, there is the chance of falling into a water almost unfathomable.
Various sorts of water fowl repair annually to this rock to breed; but none in greater numbers than the Gannets, or Soland geese,* multitudes of which were then sitting on their nests near the sloping part of the isle, and others flying over our boat: it is not permitted to shoot at them, the place being farmed principally on account of the profit arising from the sale of the young of these birds, and of the Kittiwake, a species of gull, so called from its cry. The first are fold at Edin|burgh* for twenty-pence apiece, and served up roasted a little before dinner. This is the only kind of provision whose price has not been ad|vanced; for we learn from Mr. Ray, that it was equally dear above a century ago**. It is un|necessary to say more of this singular bird, as it has been very fully treated of in the second volume of the British Zoology.
With much difficulty landed at North Berwick, three miles distant from Castleton, the place we intended to return to. The first is a small town, pleafantly seated near a high conic hill, partly, planted with trees: it is seen at a great distance, and is called the Law of Berwick; a name given to several other high hills in this part of the island.
Page 46 Pass through Abberladie and Preston Pans:* the last takes its name from its salt-pans, there being a considerable work of that article; also another of vitriol. Saw at a small distance the field of battle, or rather of carnage, known by the name of the bat|tle of Preston Pans, where the Rebels gave a lesson of severity, which was more than retaliated, the following spring, at Culloden. Observed, in this day's ride, (I forget the spot) the once princely seat of the Earl of Wintoun, now a ruin; judiciously left in that state, as a proper remembrance of the sad fate of those who engage in rebellious politicks. There are great marks of improvement on ap|proaching the capital; the roads good, the country very populous, numbers of manufactures carried on, and the prospect embellished with gentlemen's seats. Reach
EDINBURGH,* A city that possesses a boldness and grandeur of situation beyond any that I had ever seen: it is built on the edges and sides of a vast sloping rock, of a great and precipitous height at the upper ex|tremity, and the sides declining very quick and steep into the plain. The view of the houses at a distance strikes the traveller with wonder; then own loftiness, improved by their almost aerial situ|ation, gives them a look of magnificence not to be found in any other part of Great Britain. All thefe conspicuous buildings form the upper part of the great street, are of stone, and make a handsome appearance: they are generally six or seven stories high in front; but, by reafon of the declivity of the hill, much higher backward;, one in particular, Page 47 called Babel, has about twelve or thirteen stories. Every house has a common staircase, and every story is the habitation of a separate family. The inconvenience of this particular structure need not be mentioned; notwithstanding the utmost atten|tion, in the article of cleanliness, is in general observed. The common complaint of the streets of Edinburgh is now taken away, by the great vigi|lance of the magistrates *, and their severity against any that offend in any gross degree **. It must be observed, that this unfortunate species of archi|tecture arose from the turbulence of the times in which it was in vogue; every body was desirous of getting as near as possible to the protection of the castle, the houses were crouded together, and I may say, piled one upon another, meerly on the principle of security.
The castle is antient, but strong,* placed on the summit of the hill, at the edge of a very deep pre|cipice. Strangers are shewn a very small room, in which Mary Queen of Scots was delivered of James VI.
From this fortress is a full view of the city and its environs; a strange prospect of rich country, with vast rocks and mountains intermixed: on the south and east are the meadows, or the publick walks, Harriot's hospital, part of the town over|shadowed Page 48 by the stupendous rocks of Arthur's seat and Salusbury'• Craigs, the Pentland hills at a few miles distance, and at a still greater, those of Muir|foot, whose sides are covered with verdant turf.
To the north is a full view of the Firth of Forth, from Queen's-Ferry to its mouth, with its southern banks covered with towns and villages. On the whole, the prospect is singular, various and fine.
* The reservoir of water * for supplying the city lies in the Castle-street, and is well worth seeing: the great cistern contains near two hundred and thirty tuns of water, which is conveyed to the several conduits, that are disposed at proper dis|tances in the principal streets; these are conve|niences that few towns in North Britain are with|out.
In a small square, on the south side of High-street, is the Parlement Close, a small square, in which is the Parlement-House,* where the courts of justice are held. Below stairs is the Advocate's library, founded by Sir George Mackenzie, and now contains above thirty thousand volumes, and several manuscripts: among the more curious are the four Evangelists, very legible, notwithstanding it is said to be several hundred years old.
St. Jerome's Bible, wrote about the year 1100.
A Malabar book, wrote on leaves of plants.
A Turkish manuscript, illuminated in some parts like a missal. Elogium in sultan morad filium filii Soliman Turcici. Script. Constantinopoli. Anno Hegirae, 992.
Page 49 A Cartulary, or records of the monasteries, some very antient.
A very large Bible, bound in four volumes; illustrated with scripture prints, by the first en|gravers, pasted in, and collected at a vast expence. There are besides great numbers of antiquities, not commonly shewn, except enquired after.
The Luckenbooth row, which contains the Tol|booth, or city prison, and the weighing-house, which brings in a revenue of 500l. per annum, stands in the middle of the High-street, and, with the guard|house, contributes to spoil as fine a street as most in Europe, being in some parts eighty feet wide, and finely built.
The exchange is a handsome modern building, in which is the custom-house: the first is of no use, in its proper character; for the merchants al|ways chuse standing in the open street, exposed to all kinds of weather.
The old cathedral is now called the New Church, and is divided into four places of worship; in one the Lords of the Sessions attend: there is also a throne and a canopy for his Majesty, should he visit this capital, and another for the Lord Com|missioner. There is no music either in this or any other of the Scotch churches, for Peg still faints at the found of an organ.
The same church has a large tower, oddly ter|minated with a sort of crown.
On the front of a house in the Nether Bow, are two fine profile heads of a man and woman,* of Roman sculpture, supposed to be those of SeverusPage 50 and Julia: but, as appears from an inscription * made by the person who put them into the wall, were mistaken for Adam and Eve.
Near the Trone church are the remains of the house once inhabited by Mary Steuart; now a tavern.
At the end of the Cannongate-Street stands Holy-Rood palace,* originally an abby founded by David I, in 1128. The towers on the N. W. side were erected by James V. together with other buildings, for a royal residence: according to the editor of Cambden, great part, except the towers above|mentioned, were burnt by Cromwell; but the other towers, with the rest of this magnificent palace, as it now stands, were executed by Sir William Bruce, by the directions of Charles II. within is a beauti|full square, with piazzas on every side. It contains great numbers of fine apartments; some, that are called the King's, are in great disorder; the rest are granted to several of the nobility.
In the Earl of Breadalbane's, are some excellent portraits, particularly three full lengths, remark|ably fine, by Vandyck, of
And by Sir Peter Lely, the Duke and Dutchess of Lauderdale, and Edward Earl of Jersey. There Page 51 is besides a very good head of a boy, by Morrillio, and some views of the fine scenes near his Lord|ship's seat at Taymouth.
At Lord Dunmore's lodgings is a very large piece of Charles I. and his Queen going to ride, with the sky showering roses on them; a Black holds a grey horse, a boy a spaniel, with several other dogs sporting round: the Queen is painted with a love|lock, and with browner hair and complection, and younger, than I ever saw her drawn. It is a good piece, and said to be done by Vandyck? in the same place are two other good portraits of Charles II. and James VII.
The gallery of this palace takes up one side, and is filled with colossal portraits of the Kings of Scot|land.
In the old towers are showen the appartments where the murther of David Rizzo was committed.
That beautifull piece of gothic architecture the church,* or chapel, of Holy-Rood-Abby, is now a ruin, the roof having fell in, by a most scandalous neglect, notwithstanding money had been granted by Government to preserve it entire. Beneath the ruins lie the bodies of James II. and James V. Henry Darnly, and several persons of rank: and the inscriptions on several of their tombs are preserved by Maitland. A gentleman informed me, that some years ago he had seen the remains of the bodies, but in a very decayed state; the beards remained on some; and that the bones of Henry Darnly proved their owner, by their great size, for he was said to be seven feet high.
Page 52* Near this palace are the Parks first inclosed by James V. within are the vast rocks * known by the names of Arthur's Seat and Salusbury's Craigs; their fronts exhibit a romantic and wild scene of broken rocks and vast precipices, which from some points seem to over-hang the lower parts of the city. Great columns of stone, from forty to fifty feet in length, and about two feet in diameter, regularly pentagonal, or hexagonal, hang down the face of some of these rocks almost perpendicularly, or with a very slight dip, and form a strange appearance. Considerable quantities of stone from the quarries have been cut and sent to London for paving the streets, its great hardness rendering it excellent for that purpose. Beneath these hills are some of the most beautifull walks about Edinburgh, command|ing a fine prospect over several parts of the country.
On one side of the Park are the ruins of St. An|thony's chapel, once the resort of numberless vo|taries.
The south part of the city has several things worth visiting.*Herriot's hospital is a fine old building, much too magnificent for the end pro|posed, that of educating poor children: it was founded by George Herriot, jeweller to James II. who followed that monarch to London, and made a large fortune. There is a fine view of the castle and the sloping part of the city from the front: the gardens were formerly the resort of the gay; and there the Scotch Poets often laid, in their co|medies, the scenes of intrigue.
Page 53 In the church-yard of the Grey Friers is the mo|nument of Sir George Mackensie, a rotunda; with a multitude of other tombs; this, and another near the Cannon-gate being the only caemeteries to this populous city.
The college is a mean building; but no one re|sides in it except the Principal,* whose house is sup|posed to be on the site of that in which George Darnly was murdered, then belonging to the Provost of the Kirk of Field. The students of the university are dispersed over the town, and are about six hundred in number: they wear no habit, nor are they subject to any regulations; but, as they are for the most part volunteers for knowledge, few of them desert her standards. There are twenty-two professors of different sciences, most of whom read lectures: all the chairs are very ably filled; those in particular which relate to the study of medicine, as is evident from the number of ingenious physicians, eleves of this university, who prove the abilities of their mas|ters. The Musaeum had, for many years, been neglected; but, by the assiduity of the present Pro|fessor of natural history, bids fair to become a most instructive repository of the naturalia of these king|doms.
The royal infirmary is a spatious and handsome aedifice,* capable of containing two hundred patients. The operation-room is particularly convenient, the council-room elegant, with a good picture in it of Provost Drummond. From the cupolo of this building is a fine prospect, and a full view of the city.
Page 54 Not far from hence are twenty-seven acres of ground, designed for a square, called George Square: a small portion is at present built, consisting of small but commodious houses, in the English fashion. Such is the spirit of emprovement, that within these three years sixty thousand pounds have been expended in houses in the modern taste, and twenty thousand in the old.
Watson's hospital should not be forgot: a large good building, behind the Grey Friers church; an excellent institution for the educating and appren|ticing the children of decayed merchants; who, after having served their time with credit, receive fifty pounds to set up with.
The meadows, or public walks, are well planted, and are very extensive: these are the mall of Edin|burgh, as Comely Gardens are its Vauxhall.
The Cowgate is a long street, running parallel with the High Street, beneath the steep southern declivity of the city, and terminates in the Grass-Market, a wide street, where cattle are sold, and criminals executed. On several of the houses are small iron crosses, which, I was informed, denoted that they once belonged to the Knights of St. John.
On the north side of the city lies the new town, which is planned with great judgement, and will prove a magnificent addition to Edinburgh: the houses in St. Andrew's square cost from 1800l. to 2000l. each, and one or two 4000 or 5000l. They are all built in the modern style, and are free from the inconveniences attending the old city.
Page 55 These improvements are connected to the city by a very beautifull bridge, whose highest arch is ninety-five feet high.
In the walk of this evening, I passed by a deep and wide hollow beneath Calton Hill, the place where those imaginary criminals, witches and for|cerers, in less enlightened times, were burnt; and where, at festive seasons, the gay and galant held their tilts and tournaments: at one of these, it is said, that the Earl of Bothwell made the first im|pression on the susceptible heart of Mary Stuart, having galopped into the ring down the dangerous steeps of the adjacent hill; he seemed to think that
These desperate feats were the humour of the times of chivalry: Brantome relates, that the Duc|de Nemours galopped down the steps of the Sainte Chappel at Paris, to the astonishment of the be|holders. The men cultivated every exercise that could preserve or improve their bodily strength; the ladies, every art that tended to improve their charms: Mary is reported to have used a bath of white wine; a custom strange, but not without precedent. Jaques du Fouilloux, enraptured with a country girl enumerating the arts which she scorned to use to improve her person, mentions this:
Page 56 At a small walk's distance from Colton Hill lies the new botanic garden *, consisting of five acres of ground, a green-house fifty feet long, two tem|perate rooms, each twelve feet, and two stoves, each twenty-eight: the ground rises to the north, and defends the plants from the cold winds: the soil a light sand, with a black earth on the surface. It is finely stocked with plants, whose arrangement and cultivation do much credit to my worthy friend Dr. Hope, Professor of Botany, who planned and executed the whole. It was begun in 1764, being founded by the munificence of his present Majesty, who granted fifteen hundred pounds for that pur|pose.
During this week's stay at Edinburgh, the prices of provisions were as follow:
- Beef, from 5d. to 3d. 1/2.
- Mutton, from 4d. to 3d. 1/2.
- Veal, from 5d. to 3d.
- Lamb, 2d. 1/2.
- Bacon, 7d.
- Butter, in summer, 8d. in winter, 1s.
- Pigeons, per dozen, from 8d. to 5s.
- Chickens, per pair, 8d. to 1s.
- A fowl, 1s. 2d.
- Green goose, 3s.
- Fat goose, 2s. 6d.
- Large turky, 4s. or 5s.
- Pig, 2s.
- Coals, 5d. or 6d. per hundred, delivered.
Page 57 Many fine excursions may be made at a small distance from this city. Leith, a large town,* about two miles north, lies on the Firth, is a flourishing place, and the port of Edinburgh. The town is dirty and ill built, and chiefly inhabited by sailors; but the pier is very fine, and is a much-frequented walk. The races were at this time on the sands, near low-water mark: considering their vicinity to a great city and populous country, the meeting was far from numerous; a proof that dissipation has not generally infected the manners of the North Britons.
Craigmellar castle is seated on a rocky eminence, about two miles south of Edinburgh, is square, and has towers at each corner. Some few apartments are yet inhabited; but the rest of this great pile is in ruins.
Newbottle, the seat of the Marquiss of Lothian, is a pleasant ride of a few miles from the capital. It was once a Cistercian abby, founded by David I. in 1140; but, in 1591, was erected into a lordship, in favor of Sir Mark Ker, son of Sir Walter Ker, of Cessford. The house lies in a warm bottom, and, like most other of the houses of the Scotch nobility, resembles a French Chateau, by having a village or little paltry town adjacent. The situation is very favorable to trees, as appears by the vast size of those near the house; and I was informed, that fruit ripens here within ten days as early as at Chelsea.
The Marquiss possesses a most valuable collection of portraits, many of them very fine, and almost all very instructive: a large half-length of Henry Darnly represents him tall, aukward and gauky, with a stupid, insipid countenance; most likely Page 58 drawn after he had lost, by intemperance and de|bauchery, those charms which captivated the heart of the amorous Mary.
A head of her mother, Marie de Guise; not less beautifull than her daughter.
A head of Madame Monpensier, and of several other illustrious persons, who graced the court of Louis XIII.
Prince Rupert and Prince Maurice, in one piece. Some small portraits, studies of Vandyk; among which is one of William Earl of Pembroke, of whom Lord Clarendon gives so advantageous a character.
A beautifull half-length of Henrietta, Queen of Charles I. her charms almost apologize for the com|pliances of the uxorious monarch.
His daughter, the Dutchess of Orleans.
The wife of Philip the bold, inscribed Marga Mala, Lodo Mala.
Head of Robert Car, Earl of Somerset; the coun|tenance esseminate, small features, light flaxen or yellowish hair, and a very small beard: is an ori|ginal of that worthless favorite, and proves that the figure given as his among the illustrious heads is erroneous, the last being represented as a robust black man.
His father, Sir Robert Car.
An Earl of Somerset, of whom I could get no account; handsome, with long light hair inclining to yellow: a head.
A full length of James I. by Jameson. Another of Charles I. when young, in rich armour, black and gold: a capital piece.
Lady Tuston; a fine half length.
Page 59 Earl Morton, regent: half-length; a yellow beard.
Two very curious half-lengths on wood: one of a man with a long forked black beard; his jacket slashed down in narrow stripes from top to bottom, and the stripes loose: the other with a black full beard, the same sort of stripes, but drawn tight by a girdle.
The Doge of Venice, by Titian.
Three by Morillio; boys and girls in low life.
A remarkable fine piece of our three first circum|navigators, Drake, Hawkins and Candish, half length.
The heads of Mark Earl of Lothian, and his lady, by Sir Antonio More.
Mark Ker, prior of Newbottle, who, at the re|formation, complied with the times, and got the estate of the abby.*
In the woods adjacent to this seat are some sub|terraneous apartments and passages cut out of the live rock. A few miles distant from there, near Hawthorn-Den, the residence of the celebrated poet Drummond,* are, as I was informed, others of the same nature, but of greater extent, which Doctor Stukeley** calls a Pictish castle. These places, in fact, were excavated by the antient inhabitants of the country, either as receptacles for their provi|sions, or for retreats for themselves or families, in time of war, in the same manner as Tacitus relates was the custom of the Germans†.
Page 60 Two or three miles distant from Newbottle is Dalkeith,* a small town, adjoining to Dalkeith-house, the seat of the Duke of Buccleugh: originally the property of the Douglases, and was, when in form of a castle, of great strength; and, during the time of the Regent Morton's retreat, styled the Lion's Den.
The portraits at Dalkeith are numerous, and some good: among others, the First Duke of Richmond and his Dutchess.
The Dutchess of Cleveland.
Countess of Buccleugh, mother to the Dutchess of Monmouth, and Lady Egglinton, her sister.
The Dutchess and her two sons: the Dutchess of York; her hand remarkably fine: the Dutchess of Lenox.
Mrs. Susanna Waters, mother of the Duke of Monmouth, with his picture in her hand.
Dutchess of Cleveland and her son, an infant; she in character of a Madonna: fine.
The Duke of Monmouth, in character of a young St. John.
Lord Strafford and his Secretary; a small study of Vandyk.
Henry VIII. and Queen Catherine, with the di|vorce in her hand; two small pieces, by Holbein. Anna Bullein, by the same, dressed in a black gown, large yellow netted sleeves, in a black cap, peaked behind.
Lady Jane Gray, with long hair, black and very thick: not handsome; but the virtues and the in|tellectual perfections of that suffering innocent, more than supplied the absence of personal charms.
Page 61 A large spirited picture of the Duke of Monmouth on horseback. The same in armour. All his pic|tures have a handsome likeness of his father.
Dutchess of Richmond, with a bow in her hand, by Sir Peter Lely. A fine head of the late Duke of Ormond.
A beautiful head of Mary Stewart; the face a sharp face, thin and young; yet has a likeness to some others of her pictures done before misfor|tunes had altered her; her dress a strait gown, open at the top and reaching to her ears, a small cap, and small ruff, with a red rose in her hand.
In this palace is a room entirely furnished by Charles II. on occasion of the marriage of Monmouth with the heiress of the house*.
At Smeton, another seat of the Duke of Buccleugh, a mile distant from the first, is a fine half-length of General Monk looking over his shoulder, with his back towards you: he resided long at Dalkeith, when he commanded in Scotland.
Nell Gwinne, loosely attired.
A fine marriage of St. Catherine, by Vandyk.
Left Edinburgh, and pass'd beneath the castle,* whose height and strength, in my then situation, appeared to great advantage. The country I past through was well cultivated, the fields large, but mostly inclosed with stone walls; for hedges are not yet become universal in this part of the kingdom: it is not a century since they were known here. Reach the
Page 62South-Ferry, a small village on the banks of the Firth, which suddenly is contracted to the breadth of two miles by the jutting out of the land on both shores; but almost instantly widens, towards the west, into a fine and extensive bay. The prospect on each side is very beautifull; a rich country, frequently diversified with towns, villages, castles, and gentlemen's seats *. There is beside a vast view up and down the Firth, from its extremity, not remote from Sterling, to its mouth near Mey isle; in all, about sixty miles.
This Ferry is also called Queen's-Ferry, being the passage much used ** by Margaret, queen to Mal|com III. and sister to Edgar Etheling, her residence being at Dumferline. Cross over in an excellent passage-boat; observe midway the little isle called Inch-Garvey, with the ruin of a small castle. An arctic gull flew near the boat, pursued by other gulls, as birds of prey are: this is the species that persecutes and pursues the lesser kinds, till they mute through fear, when it catches up their excre|ments e'er they reach the water: the boatmen, on that account, styled it the dirty Aulin.
Landed in the shire of Fife†, at North Ferry,* near which are the great granite quarries, which help to supply the streets of London with paving stones; many ships then waiting near, in order to take in their lading. The granite lies in great per|pendicular stacks; above which, a reddish earth Page 63 filled with friable micaceous nodules. The granite itself is very hard, and is all blasted with gun|powder: the cutting into shape for paving costs two shillings and eight-pence per tun, and the freight to London seven shillings.
The country, as far as Kinross, is very fine, con|sisting of gentle risings; much corn, especially Bear; but few trees, except about a gentleman's seat, called Blair, where there are great and flou|rishing plantations. Near the road are the last col|lieries in Scotland, except the inconsiderable works in the county of Sutherland.
Kinross is a small town, seated in a large plain, bounded by mountains; the houses and trees are so intermixed as to give it an agreeable appearance. It has some manufactures of linnen and cutlery ware. At this time was a meeting of justices, on a singular occasion: a vagrant had been, not long before, ordered to be whipped; but such was the point of honor among the common people, that no one could be persuaded to go to Perth for the executioner, who lived there: to press, I may say, two men for that service was the cause of the meeting; so Mr. Bos|well* may rejoice to find the notion of honor pre|vale in as exalted a degree among his own coun|trymen as among the virtuous Corsicans.
Not far from the town is the house of Kinross, built by the famous architect Sir William Bruce, for his own residence, and was the first good house in North Britain: it is a large, elegant, but plain building; the hall is fifty-two feet long, the grounds about it well planted, the fine lake adjacent; so Page 64 that it is capable of being made as delightfull a place as any in North Britain.
Lough-Leven, a magnificent piece of water, very broad, but irregularly indented, is about twelve miles in circumference, and its greatest depth about twenty-four fathoms: is finely bounded by moun|tains on one side; on the other, by the plain of Kinross, and prettily embellished with several groves, most fortunately disposed. Some islands are dis|persed in this great expanse of water; one of which is large enough to feed several head of cattle; but the most remarkable is that distinguished by the captivity of Mary Stuart,* which stands almost in the middle of the lake. The castle still remains; consists of a square tower, a small yard with two round towers, a chapel, and the ruins of a building, where, it is said, the unfortunate Princess was lodged. In the square tower is a dungeon with a vaulted room above, over which had been three other sto|ries. Some trees are yet remaining on this little spot; probably coeval with Mary, under whose shade she may have sat, expecting her escape at length effected by the enamoured Douglas*. This castle had before been a royal residence, but not for captive monarchs; having been granted from the crown by Robert III. to Douglas, Laird of Loch-Leven; but had been originally a seat of the Culdees.
Page 65 The fish of this lake are Pike, small Perch, fine Eels,* and most excellent Trouts; the best and the reddest I ever saw; the largest about six pounds in weight. The fishermen gave me an account of a species they called the Gally Trout, which are only caught from October to January; are split, salted and dried, for winter provision: by the description, they certainly were our Char, only of a larger size than any we have in England, or Wales, some being two feet and a half long. The birds that breed on the isles are Herring Gulls, Pewit Gulls, and great Terns, called here Pictarnes.
Lay at a good inn, a single house, about half a mile North of Kinross.
Made an excursion about seven miles west,* to see the rumbling brig at Glen-devon, a bridge of one arch, slung over a chasm worn by the river Devon, about eighty feet deep, very narrow, and horrible to look down; the bottom, in many parts, is covered with fragments of rocks; in others, the waters are visible, gushing between the stones with great vio|lence: the sides, in many places, project, and al|most lock in each other; trees shoot out in various spots, and contribute to encrease the gloom of the glen, while the ear is filled with the cawing of daws, the cooing of wood-pigeons, and the impetuous noise of the waters.
A mile lower down is the Cawdron Glen: here the river,* after a short fall, drops on rocks hollowed in a strange manner into large and deep cylindric cavities, open on one side, or formed into great circular cavities, like cauldrons *; from whence Page 66 the name of the place: one in particular has the appearance of a vast brewing vessel; and the water, by its great agitation, has acquired a yellow scum, exactly resembling the yesty working of malt liquor. Just beneath this the water darts down about thirty feet in form of a great white sheet: the rocks below widen considerably, and their clifty sides are fringed with wood. Beyond is a view of a fine meadowy vale, and the distant mountains near Sterling.
Two miles north is Castle Campbell,* seated on a steep peninsulated rock between vast mountains, having to the south a boundless view through a deep glen shagged with brush wood; for the forests that once covered the country are now entirely de|stroyed. Formerly, from its darksome situation, this pile was called the castle of Gloom; and all the names of the adjacent places were suitable: it was seated in the parish of Dolor, was bounded by the glens of care, and washed by the birns of sorrow. This castle, with the whole territory, belonging to the family of Argyle, underwent all the calamities of civil war in 1645; for its rival, the Marquis of Montrose, carried fire and sword through the whole estate. The castle was ruined; and its magnificent reliques exist, as a monument of the horror of the times. No wonder then that the Marquis expe|rienced so woeful and ignominious a fate, when he fell into the power of so exasperated a chieftain.
Returned to my inn along the foot of the Ochil hills, whose sides were covered with a fine verdure, and fed great numbers of cattle and sheep. The country below full of oats, and in a very improving state: the houses of the common people decent, but Page 67 mostly covered with sods; some were covered both with straw and sod. The inhabitants extremely civil, and never failed offering brandy, or whey, when I stopt to make enquiries at any of their houses.
In the afternoon crossed a branch of the same hills, which yielded plenty of oats; descended into Straith-earn, a beautifull vale, about thirty miles in length,* full of rich meadows and corn fields, divided by the river Earn, which serpentines finely through the middle, falling into the Tay, of which there is a fight at the east end of the vale. It is prettily diversified with groves of trees and gentlemen's houses; among which, towards the west end, is Castle Drummond, the forfeited seat of the Earl of Perth.
Castle Duplin*; the residence of the Earl of Kinnouly seated on the north side of the vale, on the edge of a steep glen. Only a single tower re|mains of the old castle, the rest being modernized. The front commands a pleasing view of the vale; behind are plantations, extending several miles in length; all flourish greatly, except those of ash. I remarked in the woods, some very large chesnuts, horse-chesnuts, spruce and silver firs, cedar and arbor vitae. Broad-leaved laburnum thrives in this country greatly, grows to a great size, and the wood is used in sineering.
Fruits succeed here very indifferently;* even non|pareils require a wall to ripen: grapes, figs, and late Page 68 peaches, will not ripen: the winters begin early and end late, and are attended with very high winds. I was informed that labor is dear here,* notwithstand|ing it is only eight-pence a day; the common people not being yet got into a method of working, so do very little for their wages. Notwithstanding this, improvements are carried on in these parts with great spirit, both in planting and in agriculture. Lord Kinnoul planted last year not sewer than eighty thou|sand trees, besides Scotch firs; so provides future forests for the benefit of his successors, and the em|bellishment of his country. In respect to agricul|ture, there are difficulties to struggle with, for the country is without either coal or lime-stone; so that the lime is brought from the estate of the Earl of Elgin, near Dumferline, who, I was told, drew a considerable revenue from the kilns.
In Castle Duplin are some very good pictures; a remarkable one of Luther, Bucer, and Catherine the nun, by Georgiani di Castel franco.
A fine head of a secular priest, by Titian. St. Nicholas blessing three children. Two of cattle, by Rosa di Tivoli. A head of Spencer. Ruben's head, by himself. A fine head of Butler, by Sir Peter Lely. Of the old Countess of Desmond, by Rembrandt. Mrs. Tosts, in the character of St. Ca|therine, by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Sir George Haye, of Maginnis, in armour, 1640; done at Rome by L. Fer|dinand. Haye, Earl of Carlifle, in Charles the First's time, young and very handsome, by Cornelius Jansen. The second Earl of Kinnoul, by Vandyk. Chancellor Haye, by Mytens. A good portrait of Lord Treasurer Oxford, by Richardson. And a beautifull miniature of Sir John Earnly.
Page 69 Ascended the hill of Moncrief;* the prospect from thence is the glory of Scotland, and well merits the eulogia given it for the variety and richness of its views. On the south and west appear Straithern, embellished with the seats of Lord Kinnoul, Lord Rollo, and of several other gentlemen, the Carse, or rich plain of Gowrie, Stormont hills, and the hill of Kinnoul, whose vast cliff is remarkable for its beau|tifull pebbles. The maeanders of the Ern, which winds more than any river I at this time had seen, are most enlivening additions to the scene. The last turn it takes forms a fine peninsula prettily planted, and just beyond it joins the Tay, whose aestuary lies full in view, the sea closing the prospect on this side.
To the north lies the town of Perth, with a view of part of its magnificent bridge; which, with the fine woods called Perth Parks, the vast plain of Straith-Tay, the winding of that noble river, its islands, and the grand boundary, formed by the distant highlands, finish this matchless scene. The inhabitants of Perth are far from being blind to the beauties of their river; for with singular pleasure they relate the tradition of the Roman army, when it came in fight of the Tay*, bursting into the ex|clamation of, Ecce Tiberim.
On approaching the town are some pretty walks handsomely planted, and at a small distance, the remains of some works of Cromwel, called Oliver's Mount.
PERTH is large, and in general well built;* two of the streets are remarkably fine; in some of the Page 70 lesser are yet a few wooden houses in the old style; but as they decay, the magistrates prohibit the re|building them in the old way. There is but one parish, which has two churches, besides meetings for separatists, who are very numerous. One church, which belonged to a monastery, is very antient: not a vestige of the last is now to be seen; for the disciples of that rough apostle Knox made a general desolation of every aedifice that had given shelter to the worshippers of the church of Rome: it being one of his maxims, to pull down the nests, and the rooks would fly away.
The flourishing state of Perth is owing to two accidents: the first, that of numbers of Cromwel's wounded officers and soldiers chusing to reside here, after he left the kingdom, who introduced a spirit of industry among the people: the other cause was the long continuance of the Earl of Mar's army here in 1715, which occasioned vast sums of money being spent in the place: but this town, as well as all Scotland, dates its prosperity from the year 1745, the government of this part of Great Britain having never been settled till a little after that time. The rebellion was a disorder violent in its operation, but salutary in its effects.
The trade of Perth is considerable:* it exports annually one hundred and fifty thousand pounds worth of linnen, ten thousand of wheat and barley, and about the same in cured salmon. That fish is taken there in vast abundance; three thousand have been caught in one morning, weighing, one with another, sixteen pounds; the whole capture, forty|eight thousand pounds. The fishery begins at St. Page 71Andrew's Day, and ends August 26th, old style. The rents of the fisheries amount to three thousand pounds per annum.
I was informed that smelts come up this river in May and June.
There has been in these parts a very great fishery of pearl, got out of the fresh-water muscles. From the year 1761 to 1764,* 10,000l. worth were sent to London, and sold from 10s. to 1l. 16s. per ounce. I was told that a pearl has been taken there that weighed 33 grains; but this fishery is at present exhausted, from the avarice of the under|takers: it once extended as far as Lough-Tay.
Gowrie House is shewn to all strangers; formerly the property and residence of the Earl of Gowrie, whose tragical end and mysterious conspiracy (if con|spiracy there was) are still fresh in the minds of the people of Perth. At present the house is occupied by some companies of artillery. I was shewn the staircase where the unhappy nobleman was killed,* the window the frighted monarch James roared out of, and that he escaped through, when he was saved from the fury of the populace, by Baily Roy, a friend of Gowrie's, who was extremely beloved in the town.
From the little traditions, preserved in the palace, it seems as if Gowrie had not the left intent of mur|thering the King: on the day his Majesty came to Perth, the Earl was engaged to a wedding-dinner with the Dean of Guild: when the account of the king's design reached him he changed color, on being taken so unprovided; but the Dean forced him to accept the nuptial feast, which was sent over to the Earl's house.
Page 72 When the king fled he passed by the seat of Sir William Moncrief, near Ern-bridge, who happening to be walking out at that time, heard from the mouth of his intrepid Majesty the whole relation; but the Knight found it so marvellous and so dis|jointed, as plainly to tell the King, that if it was a true story, it was a very strange one.
Gowrie was a most accomplished gentleman: after he had finished his studies he held the Pro|fessor of Philosophy's chair for two years, in one of the Italian universities.
Cross the Tay on a temporary bridge; the stone bridge, which is to consist of nine arches, being at this time unfinished; the largest arch is seventy-six feet wide; when complete, it promises to be a most magnificent structure. The river here is very vio|lent, and admits of scarce any navigation above; but ships of eighty or ninety tuns come as far as the town.
Scone lies about a mile and half higher up,* on the east bank of the river. There was once here an abby of great antiquity *, which was burnt by the reforming zealots of Dundee. The present palace was begun by Earl Gowrie; but, on his death, being granted by James VI. to his favorite, Sir David Murray, of Gospatrie, was completed by him; who, in gratitude to the king, has, in several parts of the house, put up the royal arms. The house is built round two courts; the dining-room is large and handsome, has an antient but magnificent chimney-piece, the king's arms, with this motto, Nobis haec invicta miserunt centum sex Proavi.
Page 73 Beneath are the Murray arms. In the drawing|room is some good old tapestry, with an excellent figure of Mercury. In a small bed-chamber is a medly scripture-piece in needle-work, with a border of animals, pretty well done; the work of Mary Stuart, during her confinement in Loch-leven castle: but the house in general is in a manner unfurnished.
The gallery is about a hundred and fifty-five feet long; the top arched, divided into compartments, filled with paintings, in water colors, of different sorts of huntings; and that Nimrod, James VI. and his train, appear in every piece.
Till the destruction of the abby, the kings of Scotland were crowned here, sitting in the famous wooden chair, which Edward I. transported to Westminster-Abby, much to the mortification of the Scots, who esteemed it as their palladium. Charles II. before the battle of Worcester, was crowned in the present chapel. The old Pretender resided at Scone for a considerable time in 1715, and his son made it a visit in 1745.
Re-passed the Tay at Bullion's Boat; visited the field of Loncarty, celebrated for the great victory * obtained by the Scots over the Danes,* by means of the gallant peasant Hay and his two sons, who, with no other-weapons than the yokes which they snatched from their oxen then at plough, first put a stop to the flight of their countrymen, and afterwards led them on to conquest. The noble family of Hay are descended from this rustic hero, and in memory of their action, bear for their arms the instrument Page 74 of their victory, with the allusive motto of Sub jugo. There are on the spot several tumuli, in which are frequently found bones deposited in loose stones, disposed in form of a coffin. Not remote is a spot which supplied me with far more agreeable ideas; a tract of ground, which in 1732 was a meer bog, but now converted into good meadows, and about fifty acres covered with linnen; several other parts with buildings, and all the apparatus of the linnen manufacture, extremely curious and worth seeing, carried on by the industrious family of the Sandi|mans, who annually make four hundred thousand yards of linnen.
The country is good, full of barley, oats, and flax in abundance; but after a few miles travelling, is succeeded by a black heath: ride through a beau|tifull plantation of pines, and after descending an easy slope the plain beneath suddenly contracts it|self into a narrow glen: the prospect before me strongly marked the entrance into the Highlands, the hills that bounded it on each side being lofty and rude.* On the left was Birnam Wood,* which seems never to have recovered the march its an|cestors made to Dunsinane: I was shewn at a great distance a high ridge of hills, where some remains of that famous fortress * (Macbeth's castle) are said yet to exist.
The pass into the Highlands is awefully magnifi|cent; high, craggy, and often naked mountains present themselves to view, approach very near each other, and in many parts are fringed with wood, overhanging and darkening the Tay, that rolls with great rapidity beneath. After some ad|vance Page [unnumbered]
Crossed it in a boat, attended by a tame swan,* which was perpetually solliciting our favours by put|ting its neck over the sides of the ferry-boat. Land in the Duke of Athol's gardens, which are extremely pleasing, washed by the river, and commanding from different parts of the walks the most beautifull and picturesque views of wild and gloomy nature that can be conceived. Trees of all kinds grow here extremely well; and even so southern a shrub as Portugal laurel flourishes greatly. In the gardens are the ruins of the cathedral, once a magnificent aedifice, as appears by the beautifull round pillars still standing; but the choir is preserved, and at present used as a church. In the burial-place of the family is a large monument of the Marquis of Athol, hung with the arms of the numerous con|nections of the family. In another part is a tomb of an old bishop.
On the other side the river is a pleasing walk along the banks of the water of Bran*, a great and rapid torrent, full of immense stones. On a rock at the end of the walk is a neat building, impend|ing over a most horrible chasm, into which the river precipitates itself with great noise and fury from a considerable height. The windows of the pavillion are formed of painted glass; some of the Page 76 panes are red, which makes the water resemble a fiery cataract. About a mile further is another, rumbling brig, like, but inferior in grandeur, to that near Kinross.
The town of Dunkeld is small, and has a small linnen manufacture. Much company resorts here, in the summer months, for the benefit of drinking goats milk and whey: I was informed here, that those animals will eat serpents; as it is well known that stags do.
After a ride of two miles along a narrow strait, amidst trees, and often in fight of the Tay, was driven by rain into a fisherman's hut, who enter|tained me with an account of his business: said, he paid ten pounds per ann. for the liberty of two or three miles of the river; sold, the first fish of the season at three-pence a pound; after that, got three shillings per fish. The houses in these parts began to be covered with broom, which lasts three or four years: their insides mean, and very scantily furnished; but the owners civil, sensible, and of the quickest apprehensions.
The strait now widens into a vale plentifull in oats, barley and flax, and well peopled: on the right is the junction of the Tay and the Tumel: the channels of these rivers are wide, full of gravel, the mark of their devastation during floods. Due north is the road to Blair and Fort Augustus, through the noted pass of Killicrankie; turn to the left; ride opposite to Castle Menzies: reach Tay-mouth, the seat of the Earl of Breadalbane.
Page 77Taymouth* lies in a vale scarce a mile broad,* very fertile, bounded on each side by high moun|tains finely planted. Those on the south are co|vered with trees, or with corn fields, far up their sides. The hills on the north are planted with pines and other trees, and vastly steep, and have a very alpine look; but particularly resemble the great slope opposite the grande Chartreuse in Dau|phinè. His Lordship's policy ** surrounds the house, which stands in the park, and is one of the few in which sallow deer are seen.
The ground is in remarkable fine order, owing to his Lordship's assiduity in clearing it from stones, with which it was once covered. A Blaster was in constant employ to blast the great stones with gun|powder; for, by reason of their size, there was no other method of removing them.
The Berceau walk is very magnificent,* composed of great trees, forming a fine gothic arch; and pro|bably that species of architecture owed its origin to such vaulted shades. The walk on the bank of the Tay is fifty feet wide, and two and twenty hundred yards long; but is to be continued as far as the junction of the Tay and the Lion, which is about as far more. The first runs on the sides of the walk with great rapidity, is clear, but not color|less, for its pellucidness is like that of brown crystal; as is the case with most of the rivers of Scotland, which receive their tinge from the bogs.
Page 78 The Tay has here a wooden bridge two hundred feet long, leading to a white feat on the side of the opposite hill, commanding a fine view up and down Straith-Tay. The rich meadows beneath, the wind|ing of the river, the beginning of Lough-Tay, the discharge of the river out of it, the neat village and church of Kenmor, form a most pleasing and mag|nificent prospect.
The view from the temple of Venus is that of the lake,* with a nearer sight of the church and village, and the discharge of the river. The lake is about a mile broad, and about fifteen long, bounded on each side by lofty mountains; makes three great bends, which adds to its beauty. Those on the south are well planted, and finely cultivated high up; interspersed with the habitations of the Highlanders, not singly, but in small groupes, as if they loved society or clanship: they are very small, mean, and without windows or chimnies, and are the disgrace of North Britain, as its lakes and rivers are its glory. Lough-Tay is, in many places, a hundred fathoms deep, and within as many yards of the shore, fifty-four.
Till the present year, this lake was supposed to be as incapable of freezing as Lough-Ness, Lough-Earn, and Lough-Each; tho' Lough-Raynac, and even Lough-Fine, an arm of the sea, often does. But in March last, so rigorous and uncommon was the cold, that about the 20th of that month this vast body of water was frozen over, in one part, from side to side, in the space of one night; and so strong was the ice, as greatly to damage a boat which was caught in it.
Page 79Lough-Tay abounds with Pike, Perch, Eels, Sal|mon and Trout; of the last, some have been taken that weighed above thirty pounds. Of these spe|cies, the Highlanders abhor Eels, and also Lam|pries, fancying, from the form, that they are too nearly related to Serpents *.
The north side is less wooded, but more culti|vated. The vast hill of Laurs, with beds of snow on it, through great part of the year, rises above the rest, and the still loftier mountain of Benmor closes the view far beyond the end of the lake. All this country abounds with game, such as Grous, Ptarmigans **, Stags, and a peculiar species of Hare, which is found only on the summits of the highest hills,* and never mixes with the common kind, which is frequent enough in the vales †. This species is grey in summer, white in winter; is smaller than the brown Hare, and more delicate meat.
The Ptarmigans inhabit the very summits of the highest mountains,* amidst the rocks, perching among the grey stones, and during summer are scarce to be distinguished from them, by reason of their color. They seldom take long flights, but fly about like pigeons; are silly birds, and so tame as to suffer a stone to be slung at them without rising. It is not necessary to have a dog to find them. They taste so like a Grous, as to be scarce Page 80 distinguishable. During winter, their plumage, ex|cept a few feathers in the tail, are of a pure white, the color of the snow, in which they bury them|selves in heaps, as a protection from the rigorous air.
Royston Crows,* called here Hooded Crows, and in the Erse, Feanagh, are very common, and reside here the whole year. They breed in the hills, in all sorts of trees; lay six eggs; have a thriller note than the common sort; are much more mischievous; pick out the eyes of lambs, and even of horses, when engaged in bogs; but, for want of other food, will eat cranberries, and other mountain berries.
Ring Ouzels breed among the hills, and in au|tumn descend in flocks to seed on the berries of the wicken trees.
Sea Eagles breed in ruined towers, but quit the country in winter; the black Eagles continue there the whole year.
It is very difficult to leave the environs of this delightfull place: and, before I go within doors, I must recall to mind the fine winding walks on the south side of the hills, the great beech sixteen feet in girth, the picturesque birch with its long stream|ing branches, the hermitage, the great cataracts adjacent, and the darksome chasm beneath. I must enjoy over again the view of the fine reach of the Tay, and its union with the broad water of the Lion: I must step down to view the druidical circles of stones, called in the Erse, Tibberd; and lastly,* I must visit Tay-bridge, and, as far as my pen can contribute, extend the same of our military coun|trymen, Page [unnumbered]
Taymouth is a large house, a castle modernized. The most remarkable part of its furniture is the works of the famous Jameson*, the Scotch Vandyke,* an eleve of this family. That singular performance of his, the genealogical picture, is in good pre|servation. Sir Duncan Campbell, Laird of Locbon, is placed recumbent at the foot of a tree, with a branch; on the right is a single head of his eldest son, the chief of the Argyle family; but on the Page 82 various ramifications, are the names of his descen|dents, and along the body of the tree are nine small heads, in oval frames, with the names on the margins, all done with great neatness: the second son was first of the house of Breadalbane, which branched from the other about four hundred years ago. In a corner is inscribed, The Geneologie of the house of Glenorquhie Quhairof is descendit sundrie nobil & worthie houses. Jameson faciebat. 1635. Its size is eight feet by five. In the same room are about twenty heads of persons of the family; among others, that of a lady, so very ugly, that a wag, on seeing it, with lifted hands pronounced, that she was fearfully and wonderfully made. There are in the same house several heads by Jameson; but many of them unfortunately spoiled in the mending.
In the library is a small book, called, from the binding, the black book, with some beautifull draw|ings in it, on vellum, of the Breadalbane family, in water-colors. In the first page is old Sir Duncan, between two other figures; then follow several chiefs of the family, among whom is Sir Colin, Knight of Rhodes, who died 1480, aged 80. At the end is a manuscript history of the family, end|ing, I think, in 1633.
* Went to divine service at Kinmore* church, which, with the village, was re-built, in the neatest manner, by the present Lord Breadalbane: they stand beautifully on a small headland, projecting into the lake. His Lordship permits the inhabi|tants to live rent-free, on condition they exercise some trade, and keep their houses clean: so that, Page 83 by these terms, he not only saves the expence of sending, on every trifling occasion, to Perth or Crief, but has got some as good workmen, in com|mon trades, as any in his Majesty's dominions. The congregation was numerous, decent, attentive, still, well and neatly clad, and not a ragged or slovenly person among them. There were two ser|vices, one in English, the other in Erse. After the first, numbers of people, of both sexes, went out of church, and fearing themselves in the church|yard, made, in their motly habits, a gay and pic|turesque appearance. The devotion of the com|mon people,* on the usual days of worship, is as much to be admired, as their conduct at the sacra|ment is to be censured. It is celebrated but once in a year; when there are, in some places, three thousand communicants, and as many idle specta|tors, as can crowd each side of a long table, and the elements are rudely shoven from one to another; and in some places, fighting and other indecencies ensue; it is often made a season for debauchery; so, to this day, Jack cannot be persuaded to eat his meat like a christian *.
Every Sunday a collection is made for the sick or necessitous; for poor's rates are unknown in every country parish in Scotland. Notwithstanding the common people are but just rouzed from their na|tive indolence, very few beggars are seen in North Britain: either they are full masters of the lesson of being content with a very little; or, what is more probable, they are possessed of a spirit that will Page 84 struggle hard with necessity before it will bend to the asking of alms.
Visited a pretty little island, tusted with trees, in Loch-Tay, not far from the shore: on it are the ruins of a priory, or dependent on that at Scoone; found|ed in 1122, by Alexander the First, in which were deposited the remains of his Queen Sybilla, na|tural daughter to Henry I. it was founded by Alex|ander to have the prayers of the Monks for the re|pose of his soul, and that of his royal confort *. To this island the Campbells retreated, during the suc|cesses of the Marquiss of Montrose, where they de|fended themselves against that hero, which was one cause of his violent resentment against the whole name.
Rode to Glen-lion;* went by the side of the river † that gives name to it. It has now lost its antient title of Duie, or Black, given it on account of a great battle between the Mackays and the Mac|gregors; after which, the conquerors are said to have stained the water with red, by washing in it their bloody swords and spears. On the right is a rocky hill, called Shi-ballen, or the Paps. Enter Glen-lion through a strait pass: the vale is narrow, but fertile; the banks of the river steep, rocky, and wooded; through which appear the rapid water of the Lion. On the north is a round fortress, on the top of the hill; to which, in old times, the natives retreated, on any invasion. A little further, on a plain, is a small Roman camp ‡, called by the High|landers Page 85Fortingal, or the Fort of the Strangers: themselves they style Na-fian, or descendents of Fingal. In Fortingal church are the remains of a prodigious yew-tree,* whose ruins measured fifty-six feet and a half in circumference.
Saw at a gentleman's house in Glen-lion, a curious walking-staff, belonging to one of his ancestors: it was iron cased in leather, five feet long; at the top a neat pair of extended wings, like a caduceus; but, on being shook, a poniard, two feet nine inches long, darted out.
He also favoured me with the fight of a very antient brotche, which the Highlanders use, like the fibula of the Romans, to fasten their vest: it is made of silver, is round, with a bar cross the mid|dle, from whence are two tongues to fasten the solds of the garments: one side is studded with pearl, or coarse gems, in a very rude manner; on the other, are certain letters I could not make out.
Return south, and come at once in fight of Loch-Tay. The day being very fine and calm, the whole scene was most beautifully repeated in the water. I must not omit that on the north side of this lake is a most excellent road, which runs the whole length of it, leading to Teindrum and Inve|raray, in Argyleshire, and is the route which tra|vellers must take, who make what I call the petit tour* of Scotland. This whole road was made at the Page 86 sole expence of the present Lord Breadalbane; who, to facilitate the travelling, also erected thirty-two stone-bridges over the torrents that rush from the mountains into the lake. They will find the whole country excell in roads,* partly military, partly done by statute labor, and much by the munisicence of the great men.
I was informed, that Lord Breadalbane's estate was so extensive that he could ride a hundred miles an end on it, even as far as the West Sea, where he has also some islands. These great properties are divided into districts, called Officiaries: a ground officer presides over each, and has three, four, or five hundred men under his care: he superintends the duties due from each to their Lord, such as fetching peat, bringing coal from Perth, &c. which they do, at their own expence, on horses backs, travelling in strings, the tail of one horse being fastened by a cord, which reaches to the head of the next: the horses are little, and generally white or grey; and as the farms are very small, it is com|mon for four people to keep a plough between them, each furnishing a horse, and this is called a horse gang.
The north side of Loch-Tay is very populous; for in sixteen square miles are seventeen hundred and eighty-six souls: on the other side, about twelve hundred. The country, within these thirty years, is grown very industrious, and manufactures a great deal of thread. They spin with rocks *, which they do while they attend their cattle on the hills; Page 87 and, at the three or four fairs in the year, held at Taymouth, about sixteen hundred pounds worth of yarn is sold out of Breadalbane only.
Much of this may be owing to the good sense and humanity of the chieftain; but much again is owing to the abolition of the seudal tenures, or vassalage; for before that was effected (which was done by the influence of a Chancellor *, whose memory Scotland gratefully adores for that service) the Strong oppressed the Weak, the Rich the Poor. Courts indeed were held, and juries called; but juries of vassals, too dependent and too timid to be relied on for the execution of true justice.
Leave Taymouth; ford the Lion,* and ride above it thro' some woods: on the left bursts out a fine cascade, in a deep hollow, covered with trees: at a small distance to the west is Castle-Garth, a small castle seated like castle Campbell, between two deep glens: keep ascending a steep hill, but the corn country continues for a while: the scene then changes for a wild, black, and mountainous heath: descend into Raynach, a meadowy plain,* tolerably fertile: the lake of the same name extends from East to West; is about eleven miles long, and one broad: the Northern banks appeared very barren; part of the Southern finely covered with a forest of pine and birch, the first natural woods I had seen of pines:* rode a good way into it, but observed no trees of any size, except a birch sixteen feet in cir|cumference: the ground beneath the trees is co|vered Page 88 with heath, bilberies, and dwarf arbutus, whose glossy leaves make a pretty appearance: this place gives shelter to black game, and is at present the farthest Southern resort of roes, for very few ever straggle lower down: near these woods is a saw|mill, which brings in about 180l. per ann. the deal, which is the red sort, is fold in plank to different parts of the country, carried on horses backs, for the trees are now grown so scarce as not to admit of exportation *.
The lake affords no other fish than trouts, and bull trouts; the last, as I was informed, are some|times taken of the length of four feet and a half: many water fowl breed in the birns or little streams that trickle into the lake; among others different sort of grebes, and divers: I was told of one which the inhabitants call Turuvachal, that makes a great noise before storms, and by their description seems to be the Fluder of Gesner.
This country was once the property of Robertson,* of Struan, who had been in the rebellion of 1715; had his estate restored, but in 1745 rebelling a se|cond time, the country was burnt, and the estate annexed to the crown: he returned a few years af|ter, and died as he lived, a most abandoned sot; notwithstanding which he had a genius for po|etry, and left behind him a volume of elegies, and other pieces, in some of which he elegantly laments the ravages of war among his vassals, and the loss of his favourite scenes, and in particular his foun|tain Argentine.
Page 89 The country is perfectly highland; and in spite of the intercourse this and the neighboring parts have of late years had with the rest of the world, it still retains some of its antient customs and supersti|tions;* they decline daily, but least their memory should be lost, I shall mention several that are still practised, or but very lately difused in the tract I had passed over. Such a record will have this advantage when the follies are quite extinct, in teaching the unshackled and enlightened mind the difference between the pure ceremonies of religion, and the wild and anile flights of superstition.
The belief in spectres still exists;* of which I had a remarkable proof while I was in the county of Breadalbane: a poor visionary, who had been working in his cabbage-garden, imagined that he was raised suddenly into the air, and conveyed over a wall into an adjacent corn-field; that he found himself surrounded by a crowd of men and women, many of whom he knew to have been dead some years, and who appeared to him skimming over the tops of the unbended corn, and mingling together like bees going to hive: that they spoke an unknown language, and with a hollow found: that they very roughly pushed him to and fro; but on his utter|ing the name of GOD, all vanished but a female sprite, who seizing him by the shoulder, obliged him to promise an assignation, at that very hour, that day sevenight: that he then found that his hair was all tied in double knots, and that he had almost lost the use of his speech: that he kept his word with the spectre, whom he soon saw come floating thro' the air towards him: that he spoke to her, but she Page 90 told him at that time she was in too much haste to attend to him, but bid him go away, and no harm should befall him; and so the affair rested when I left the country. But it is incredible the mischief these AEgri Somnia did in the neighborhood: the friends and relation of the deceased, whom the old Dreamer had named, were in the utmost anxiety at finding them in such bad company in the other world: the almost extinct belief of the old idle tales began again to gain ground, and the good minister will have many a weary discourse and ex|hortation before he can eradicate the absurd ideas this idle story has revived.
In this part of the country the notion of witch|craft is quite lost: it was observed to cease almost immediately on the repeal of the witch act; a proof what a dangerous instrument it was in the hands of the vindictive, or of the credulous.
Among the superstitious customs these are the most singular.* A Highlander never begins any thing of consequence on the day of the week on which the 3d of May falls, which he styles Lagh Sbeacbanna na bleanagh, or the dismal day.
On the 1st of May,* the herdsmen of every vil|lage hold their Bel-tein*, a rural sacrifice: they cut a square trench on the ground, leaving the turf in the middle; on that they make a fire of wood, on which they dress a large caudle of eggs, butter, oatmeal and milk; and bring, besides the ingre|dients of the caudle, plenty of beer and whisky; Page 91 for each of the company must contribute something. The rites begin with spilling some or the caudle on the ground, by way of libation: on that, every one takes a cake of oatmeal, upon which are raised nine square knobs, each dedicated to some particular being, the supposed preserver of their flocks and herds, or to some particular animal, the real de|stroyer of them: each person then turns his face to the fire, breaks off a knob, and flinging it over his shoulders, says, This I give to thee, preserve thou my horses; this to thee, preserve thou my sheep; and so on. After that, they life the same ceremony to the noxious animals: This I give to thee, 0 Fox! spare thou my lambs; this to thee, O hooded Crow! this to thee, O Eagle!
When the ceremony is over they dine on the caudle; and after the feast is finished, what is left is hid by two persons deputed for that purpose; but on the next Sunday they re-assemble, and finish the reliques of the first entertainment *.
On the death of a Highlander,* the corps being stretched on a board, and covered with a coarse Page 92 linnen wrapper, the friends lay on the breast of the deceased a wooden platter, containing a small quan|tity of salt and earth, separate and unmixed; the earth, an emblem of the corruptible body; the salt, an emblem of the immortal spirit. All fire is ex|tinguished where a corps is kept; and it is reckoned so ominous, for a dog or cat to pass over it, that the poor animal is killed without mercy.
The Late-wake is a ceremony used at funerals:* the evening after the death of any person, the rela|tions and friends of the deceased meet at the house, attended by bagpipe or fiddle; the nearest of kin, be it wife, son, or daughter, opens a melancholy ball, dancing and greeting; i. e. crying violently at the same time; and this continues till day-light; but with such gambols and frolicks, among the younger part of the company, that the loss which occasioned them is often more than supplied by the consequences of that night. If the corps remains unburied for two nights the same rites are renewed. Thus, Scythian-like, they rejoice at the deliverance of their friends out of this life of misery.
The Coranich,* or singing at funerals, is still in use in some places: the songs are generally in praise of the deceased; or a recital of the valiant deeds of him, or ancestors. I had not the fortune to be present at any in North Britain, but formerly as|sisted at one in the south of Ireland, where it was performed in the fullness of horror. The cries are called by the Irish the 'Ulogobne and Hûllulu, two words extremely expressive of the found uttered on these occasions, and being of Celtic stock, Etymo|logists would swear to be the origin of the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Page 93 of the Greeks, and Ululatus of the Latins. Virgil is very fond of using the last, whenever any of his females are distressed; as are others of the Roman Poets, and generally on occasions similar to this.
It was my fortune to arrive at a certain town in Kerry, at the time that a person of some distinction departed this life: my curiosity led me to the house, where the funeral seemed conducted in the purest classical form.
Quodcunque aspicerem luctus gemitusque sonabant, Formaque non taciti funeris intùs erat.
In short, the conclamatio was set up by the friends in the fame manner as Virgil describes that conse|quential of Dido's death.
Lamentis gemituque et faemines ululatu Tecta fremunt.
Immediately after this followed another ceremony, fully described by Cambden, in his account of the manners of the antient Irish; the earnest expostu|lations and reproaches given to the deceased, for quitting this world, where she enjoyed so many blessings, so good a husband, such fine children. This custom is of great antiquity, for Euryalus's mother makes the same pathetic address to her dead son.
Tune ilia senectae Sera meae requies? potuisti relinquere solam Crudelis?
But when the time approached for carrying out the corps the cry was redoubled.
Tremulis ululatibus aethera complent.
A numerous band of females waiting in the outer court, to attend the herse, and to pay (in chorus) Page 94 the last tribute of their voices. The habit of this sorrowing train, and the neglect of their persons, were admirably suited to the occasion: their robes were black, and flowing, resembling the antient Palla; their hair long, and disheveled: I might say,
Vidi egomet nigra succinctam vadere palla Canidiam; pedibus nudis, passoque capillo Cum Sagana mojore ululantem.
Among these mourners were dispersed the females, who sung the praises of the deceased, and were in the place of the Mulieres Praeficae of the Romans, and, like them, were a mercenary tribe. I could not but observe that they over-did their parts, as Horace acquaints us the mourners of his days did.
Ut qui conducti plorant in funera, dicunt Et saciunt prope plura dolentibus ex animo.
The corps was carried slowly along the verge of a most beautifull lake, the ululatus was continued, and the whole procession ended among the vene|rable ruins of an old abby. But to return to North Britain.
Midwives give new-born babes a small spoonfull of earth and whisky, as the first food they taste.
Before women bake their bannocks, or oatmeal cakes, they make a cross on the last.
The notion of second-sight still prevales in a few places:* as does the belief of Fairies; and children are watched till the christening is over, least they should be stole, or changed.
Elf-shots., i. e. the stone arrow heads of the old inhabitants of this island, are supposed to be wea|pon shot by Fairies at cattle, to which are attri|buted Page 95 any disorders they have: in order to effect a cure, the cow is to be touched by an els-shot, or made to drink the water in which one has been dipped. The same virtue is said to be found in the crystal gems *, and in the adder-stone, our Glein Raidr; and it is also believed that good fortune must attend the owner; so, for that reason, the first is called Clacb Bhouaigh, or the happy stone. Cap|tain Archibald Campbell shewed me one, a spheroid set in silver, which people came for the use of above a hundred miles, and brought the water it was to be dipt in with them; for without that, in human cases, it was believed to have no effect.
Left Carrie, the house of Mr. Campbell,* factor for the Struan estate, where I had a very hospitable reception the preceding night. Went due east; passed over a bridge cross the Tumel, which dis|charges itself out of Lough Raynach. Not far off were some neat small houses, inhabited by veteran soldiers, who were settled here after the peace of 1748; had land, and three pounds in money given, and nine pounds lent, to begin the world with. In some few places this plan succeeded; but in gene|ral, was frustrated by the dissipation of these new colonists, who could by no means relish an in|dustrious life; but as soon as the money was spent, which seldom lasted long, left their tenements to be possessed by the next comer.
Saw a stamping-mill, calculated to reduce lime|stone to a fine power, in order to lave the expence of burning, for manure. The stampers beat it into Page 96 small pieces in a trough, which a stream of water passed through, carrying off the fine parts into a proper receptacle, the gross ones being stopped by a grate. I did not find that this project: answered, but was told, that the benefit the land was to re|ceive from it would not appear till the third year.
On going up a steep hill have a fine view of the lake. Where the mountains almost close, is Mount Alexander, where Struan once resided, and which he called his hermitage: it is a most romantic situa|tion, prettily wooded, impending over a fine bason, formed by the Tumel, in a deep hollow beneath. At the bottom of this hill is Argentine,* a little foun|tain; to which he gave that name from the silvery micae it flings up: near this are several rude but beautifull walks amidst the rocks and trees, among which, in clifts and chasms, I was shewn the hard bed of the poor poet, when his disloyalty had made it penal for him to shew his head. Near this the rocks almost meet, and the river rushes with vast violence between. Some outlawed Mc Gregors were once surprized on the opposite precipice, and all killed; one, who made a desperate leap upon a stone in the middle of the water, and another to the op|posite side, had the hard fate to be shot in climb|ing the opposite rocks.
A mile lower are the falls of the Tumel: I have seen higher; but, except that of the Rhine, never law one with more water.
Ascend a very steep and high hill through a great birch wood; a most picturesque scene, from the pendent form of the boughs waving with the wind from the bottom to the utmost summits of the Page 97 mountain. On attaining the top, had a view of a beautifull little Straith, fertile, and prettily wooded, with the river in the middle, forming numbers of quick meanders; then suddenly swelling into a lake, that fills the vale from side to side; is about three miles long, and retains the name of the river. After riding along a black moor, in fight of vast moun|tains, arrive at
Blair*, or Athol-House, seated on an eminence above a plain, watered by the Carrie, an outrageous stream, whose ravages have greatly deformed the vally, by the vast beds of gravel which it has left behind. The house was once fortified, and held a siege against the Rebels in 1746; but at present it is much reduced in height, and the inside highly finished by the noble owner. The most singular piece of furniture is a chest of drawers made of broom, most elegantly striped in veins of white and brown. This plant grows to a great size in Scot|land,* and furnishes pieces of the breadth of six inches.
Near the house is a fine walk surrounding a very deep glen finely wooded, but deficient in water at the bottom; but on the side of the walk on the rock is a small crystalline fountain, inhabited at that time by a pair of Naiads, in form of golden fish. In a spruce sir was a hang-nest of some un|known bird,* suspended at the four corners to the boughs; it was open at top, an inch and a half in diameter, and two deep; the sides and bottom thick, the materials moss, worsted, and birch Page 98 bark, lined with hair and feathers. The streams afford the Parr,* a small species of Trout, seldom exceeding eight inches in length, marked on the sides with nine large bluish spots, and on the lateral line with small red ones *.
This country is very mountainous, has no natural woods except of birch; but the vast plantations that begin to cloath the hills will amply supply these defects. There is a great quantity of oats raised in this neighborhood, and numbers of black cattle reared, the resources of the exhausted parts of South Britain.
Visit the pass of Killicrankie,* about five miles south of Blair: near the northern entrance was sought the battle between the Viscount Dundee and General Mackay, in which the first was killed in the moment of victory. The pass is extremely narrow, between high mountains, with the Carrie running beneath in a deep, darksome, and rocky channel, over-hung with trees, forming a scene of horrible grandeur. The road through this strait is very fine, formed by the soldiery lent by the Government, who have sixpence per day from the country besides their pay. About a mile beyond the pass, Mr. Robertson's of Faskally, appears like fairy ground amidst these wild rocks, seated in a most beautifull meadow, watered by the river Tumel, surrounded with pretty hills finely wooded.
The Duke of Athol's estate is very extensive, and the country populous: while vassalage existed, the chieftain could raise two or three thousand fighting men, and leave sufficient at home to take care of Page [unnumbered]
But hunting meetings, among the great men, were often the preludes to rebellion; for under that pretence they collected great bodies of men without suspicion, which at length occasioned an act of par|lement prohibiting such dangerous assemblies.
Set out for the county of Aberdeen; ride eastward over a hill into Glen-Tilt,* famous in old times for producing the most hardy warriors; is a narrow glen, several miles in length, bounded on each side by mountains of an amazing height; on the south is the great hill of Ben y glo, whose base is thirty-five miles in circumference, and whose summit towers far above the others. The sides of many of these mountains are covered with fine verdure, and are excellent sheep-walks; but entirely woodless. The road is the most dangerous and the most hor|rible I ever travelled; a narrow path, so rugged that our horses often were obliged to cross their Page 102 legs, in order to pick a secure place for their feet; while, at a considerable and precipitous depth be|neath, roared a black torrent, rolling through a bed of rock, solid in every part but where the Tilt had worn its antient way. Salmon force their passage even as high as this dreary stream, in spite of the distance from the sea, and the difficulties they have to encounter.
Ascend a steep hill, on the top of which we re|freshed ourselves with some goats whey,* at a Sheelin, or, as it is sometimes called, Arrie,* and Bothay, a dairy-house, where the Highland shepherds, or gra|ziers, live during summer with their herds and flocks, and during that season make butter and cheese. Their whole furniture consists of a few horn spoons, their milking utensils, a couch formed of sods to lie on, and a rug to cover them. Their food oat-cakes, butter or cheese, and often the coagulated blood of their cattle spread on their bannocks. Their drink milk, whey, and some|times, by way of indulgence, whisky. Such dairy-houses are common to most mountainous countries: those in Wales are called Vottys, or Summer-houses; those on the Swiss Alps, Sennes.
Dined on the side of Loch-Tilt, a small piece of water, swarming with Trouts. Continued our jour|ney over a wild, black, moory, melancholy tract. Reached Brae-mar†; the country almost instantly changed, and in lieu of dreary wastes, a rich vale, plenteous in corn and grass, succeeded. Cross the Dee near its head, which, from an insignificant Page 103 stream, in the course of a very few miles, increases to the size of a great river, from the influx of num|bers of other waters. The rocks of Brae-mar, on the east,* are exceedingly romantic, finely wooded with pine. The clifts are very lofty, and their front most rugged and broken, with vast pines growing out of their fissures.
This tract abounding with game, was, in old times, the annual resort of numbers of nobility, who assembled here to pass a month or two in the amusements of the chace. Their huntings resem|bled campaigns; they lived in temporary cottages, called Lonquhards, were all dressed in an uniform habit conformable to that of the country, and passed their time with jollity and good chear, most admirably described by John Taylor, the water poet, who, in 1618, made there his Pennilesse Pilgrimage, p. 135, and describes the rural luxury with all the glee of a Sancho Panca.
Page 106 Pass by the castle of Brae-mar, a square tower, built about a hundred and fifty years ago, to curb the discontented chieftains; but at present unneces|sarily garrisoned by a company of foot, being rented by the Government from Mr. Farquharson of Invercauld, whose house I reached in less than half an hour.
Invercauld is seated in the centre of the Grampian hills, in a fertile vale, washed by the Dee, a large and rapid river: nothing can be more beautifull than the different views from the several parts of it. On the northern entrance, immense ragged and broken crags bound one side of the prospect; over whose grey sides and summits is scattered the melan|choly green of the picturesque pine, which grows out of the naked rock, where one would think na|ture would have denied vegetation.
A little lower down is the castle above-men|tioned; formerly a necessary curb on the little kings of the country; but at present serves scarce any real purpose, but to adorn the landscape.
The views from the skirts of the plain, near Inver|cauld, are very great; the hills that immediately bound it are cloathed with trees, particularly with birch, whose long and pendent boughs, waving a vast height above the head, surpass the beauties of the weeping willow.
The southern extremity is pre-eminently magni|ficent; the mountains form there a vast theatre, the bosom of which is covered with extensive forests of pines: above, the trees grow scarcer and scarcer, and then seem only to sprinkle the surface; after Page [unnumbered]
Some of these hills are supposed to be the highest part of Great Britain: their height has not yet been taken, but the conjecture is made from the great descent of the Dee, which runs from Brae-mar† to the sea, above seventy miles, with a most rapid course.
Rode to take a nearer view of the environs; crossed the Dee on a good stone-bridge, built by the Government, and entered on excellent roads into a magnificent forest of pines of many miles extent.* Some of the trees are of a vast size; I mea|sured several that were ten, eleven, and even twelve feet in circumference, and near sixty feet high, forming a most beautifull column, with a fine ver|dant capital. These trees are of a great age, having, as is supposed, seen two centuries. The value of these trees is considerable; Mr. Farqubarson in|formed me, that by sawing and retailing them, he has got for eight hundred trees five-and-twenty shillings each: they are sawed in an adjacent saw|mill, into plank ten feet long, eleven inches broad, and three thick, and sold for two shillings apiece.
Page 108 Near this antient forest is another, consisting of smaller trees, almost as high, but very slender; one grows in a singular manner out of the top of a great stone, and notwithstanding it seems to have no other nourishment than what it gets from the dews, is above thirty feet high.
The prospect above these forests is very extraor|dinary, a distant view of hills over a surface of ver|dant pyramids of pines.
This whole tract abounds with game:* the Stags at this time were ranging in the mountains;* but the little Roebucks * were perpetually bounding before us; and the black game often sprung under our feet.* The tops of the hills swarmed with Grous and Ptarmigans. Green Plovers, Whimbrels, and Snow-flecks †, breed here: the last assemble in great flocks during winter, and collect so closely in their eddying flight as to give the sportsman oppor|tunity of killing numbers at a shot. Eagles ‡, Peregrine Falcons, and Goshawks, breed here: the Falcons in rocks, the Goshawks in trees: the last pursues its prey an end, and dashes through every thing in pursuit; but if it misses its quarry ceases after two or three hundred yards flight. These birds are proscribed; half a crown is given for an eagle, a shilling for a hawk, or hooded crow.
Foxes are in these parts very ravenous, feeding on roes, sheep, and even she goats.
Page 109 Rooks visit these vales in autumn, to feed on the different sort of berries; but neither winter nor breed here.
I saw flying in the forests the greater Bulfinch of Mr. Edwards, tab. 123, 124. the Loxia enucleator of Linnaeus, whose food is the seed of pine cones; a bird common to the north of Europe and America.
On our return passed under some high clifts, with large woods of birch intermixed. This tree is used for all sorts of implements of husbandry,* roofing of small houses, wheels, fuel; the Highlanders also tan their own leather with the bark; and a great deal of excellent wine is extracted from the live tree. Observed among these rocks a sort of pro|jecting shelf, on which had been a hut, accessible only by the help of some thongs fastened by some very expert climbers, to which the family got, in time of danger, in former days, with their most valuable moveables.
The houses of the common people in these parts are shocking to humanity,* formed of loose stones, and covered with clods, which they call devish, or with heath, broom, or branches of fir: they look, at a distance, like so many black mole-hills. The inhabitants live very poorly, on oatmeal, barley-cakes, and potatoes; their drink whisky sweetened with honey. The men are thin, but strong; idle and lazy, except employed in the chace, or any thing that looks like amusement; are content with their hard fare, and will not exert themselves far|ther than to get what they deem necessaries. The women are more industrious, spin their own hus|bands cloaths, and get money by knitting stockings, Page 110 the great trade of the county. The common wo|men are in general most remarkably plain, and soon acquire an old look, and by being much exposed to the weather without hats, such a grin, and contraction of the muscles, as heightens greatly their natural hardness of features: I never saw so much plainness among the lower rank of females: but the ne plus ultra of hard features is not found till you arrive among the fish-women of Aberdeen.
Tenants pay their rent generally in this country in money, except what they pay in poultry, which is done to promote the breed, as the gentry are so remote from any market. Those that rent a mill pay a hog or two; an animal so detested by the Highlanders, that very few can be prevaled on to taste it, in any shape. Labor is here very cheap, the usual pay being fifty shillings a year, and two pecks of oatmeal a week.
Pursued my journey east,* along a beautifull road by the river side, in sight of the pine forests. The vale now grows narrow, and is filled with woods of birch and alder. Saw on the road-side the seats of gentlemen high built, and once defensible. The peasants cultivate their little land with great care to the very edge of the stony hills. All the way are vast masses of granite, the same which is called in Cornwall, Moor-stone.
The Glen contracts, and the mountains approach each other. Quit the Highlands, passing between two great rocks,* called the Pass of Bollitir, a very narrow strait, whose bottom is covered with the tremendous ruins of the precipices that bound the road. I was informed, that here the wind rages Page 111 with great fury during winter, and catching up the snow in eddies, whirls it about with such impe|tuosity, as makes it dangerous for man or beast to be out at that time. Rain also pours down some|times in deluges, and carries with it stone and gravel from the hills in such quantity, that I have seen these spates, as they are called, lie cross the roads, as the avelenches, or snow-falls, do those of the Alps. In many parts of the Highlands were bospitia for the reception of travellers, called by the Scotch, Spittles, or hospitals: the same were usual in Wales, where they are styled Yspitty; and, in both places, were maintained by the religious houses: as similar Asylums are to this day sup|ported, in many parts of the Alps.
This pass is the eastern entrance into the High|lands. The country now assumes a new face: the hills grow less; but the land more barren, and is chiefly covered with heath and rock. The edges of the Dee are cultivated, but the rest only in patches, among which is generally a groupe of small houses. There is also a change of trees, oak being the principal wood, but not much of that Refreshed my horses at a hamlet called Tulloch, and looking west, saw the great mountain Lagbin y gair, which is always covered with snow.
Observed several vast plantations of pines, planted by gentlemen near their seats: such a laud|able spirit prevails, in this respect, that in another half-century it never shall be said, that to spy the nakedness of the land are you come.
Dine at the little village of Kincaird. Here|abouts the common people cultivate a great deal of Page 112 cabbage. The oat-fields are inclosed with rude low mounds of stone.
Lay at a mean house at Banchorie, The country, from Bollitir to this place, dull, unless where va|ried with the windings of the river, or with the plantations.
The nearer to Aberdeen,* the lower the country grows, and the greater quantity of corn: in general, oats and barley; for there is very little wheat sown in these parts. Reach
ABERDEEN,* a fine city, lying on a small bay formed by the Dee,* deep enough for ships of two hundred tuns. The town is about two miles in circumference, and contains thirteen thousand souls, and about three thousand in the suburbs. It once enjoyed a good share of the tobacco trade, but was at length forced to resign it to Glasgow, which was so much more conveniently situated for it. At pre|sent, its imports are from the Baltic, and a few merchants trade to the West-Indies and North America.* Its exports are stockings, thread, sal|mon, and oat-meal: the first is a most important article, as appears by the following state of it. For this manufacture, 20,800 pounds worth of wool is annually imported, and 1600 pounds worth of oil. Of this wool is annually made 69,333 dozen pairs of stockings, worth, at an average, 1l. 10s. per dozen. These are made by the country people, in almost all parts of this great county, who get 4s. per dozen for spinning, and 14s. per dozen for knitting; so that there is annually paid Page 113 them 62,329l. 14s. And besides, there is about 2000l. value of stockings manufactured from the wool of the county, which encourages the breed of sheep much; for even as high as Invercauld, the farmer sells his sheep at twelve shillings apiece, and keeps them till they are four or five years old, for the sake of the wool. About 200 combers are also employed constantly. The thread manufacture is another considerable article, tho' trifling in com|parison of the woollen.
The salmon fisheries on the Dee and the Don,* are a good branch of trade: about 46 boats, and 130 men, are employed on the first; and in some years, 167,000lb. of fish have been sent pickled to London, and about 930 barrels of salted fish exported to France, Italy, &c. The fishery on the Don is far less considerable.
The town of Aberdeen is in general well built, with granite from the neighboring quarries. The best street, or rather place, is the Castle-street: in the middle is an octogon building, with neat bas relievos of the Kings of Scotland, from James I. to James VII. The Town-house makes a good figure, and has a handsome spire in the centre.
The east and west churches are under the same roof; for the North Britons observe oeconomy even in their religion: in one I observed a small ship hung up; a common thing in Scotland, a sort of votive offering frequent enough in Popish churches, but appeared very unexpectedly here.
In the church-yard lies Andrew Cant, minister of Aberdeen,* from whom the spectator derives the word to cant; but, in all probability, Andrew canted no Page 114 more than the rest of his brethren, for he lived in a whining age *; the word therefore seems to be derived from canto, from their singing out their discourses.
In the same place are multitudes of long-winded epitaphs; but the following, though short, has a most elegant turn:
Si sides, si bumanitas, multoque gratus lepore candor; Si suorum amor, amicorum charitas, omniumque Be|nevolentia spritum reducere possent, Haud beic situs esset Johannes Burnet a Elrick. 1747.
The college is a large old building,* founded by George Earl of Marechal, 1593. On one side is this strange inscription; probably alluding to some scoffers at that time:
In the great room are several good pictures. A head of the Founder. The present Lord Marechal when young, and General Keith, his brother. Bi|shop Burnet in his robes, as Chancellor of the Gar|ter. A head of Mary Stuart, in black, with a crown in one hand, a crucifix in the other. Arthur Jonston, a fine head, by Jameson. Andrew Cant, by the same. Gordon, of Strakloch, publisher of the maps, and several others, by Jameson.
In the library is the alcoran on vellum, finely illuminated.
Page 115 A Hebrew Bible, Manuscript, with Rabinical notes, on vellum.
Isidori excerpta ex libro: a great curiosity, being a complete natural history, with figures, richly illu|minated on squares of plated gold, on vellum.
A Paraphrase on the Revelation, by James VI. with notes, in the King's own hand.
A fine missal *.
There are about a hundred and forty students belonging to this college.
The grammar-school is a low but neat building.*Gordon's hospital is handsome; in front is a good statue of the founder: it maintains forty boys, children of the inhabitants of Aberdeen, who are apprenticed at proper ages.
The infirmary is a large plain building, and sends out between eight and nine hundred cured patients annually.
On the side of the Great Bleachery, which is common to the town, are the publick walks. Over a road, between the Castle-street and the river, is a very handsome arch, which must attract the atten|tion of the traveller.
On the east of the town is a work begun by Cromwel, from whence is a fine view of the sea: beneath is a small patch of ground, noted for pro|ducing very early barley, which was then reaping.
Prices of provisions in this town were these:* Beef, (16 ounces to the pound) 2d. 1/2. to 5d. mut|ton the same; butter, (28 ounces to the pound) 6d. Page 116 to 8d. cheese, ditto, 4d. to 4d. 1/2. a large pullet, 6d. or 10d. duck, the same; goose, 2s. 3d.
* Cross the harbor to the granite quarries that con|tribute to supply London with paving-stones: the stone lies either in large nodules or in shattery beds, are cut into shape; and the small pieces for the middle of the streets are put on board for seven shillings per tun, the long stones at ten-pence per foot.
Visited old Aberdeen,* about a mile north of the new; a poor town, seated not far from the Don. The college is built round a square with cloisters. The chapel is very ruinous within; but there still remains some wood-work of exquisite workmanship. This was preserved by the spirit of the Provost, at the time of the reformation, who armed his peo|ple and checked the blind zeal of the populace.
The library is large. The most remarkable things are, John Trevisa's translation of Higden's Polychronicon, in 1387; the manuscript excellently wrote, and the language very good, for that time. A very neat Dutch missal, with elegant paintings on the margin. Another of the angels appearing to the shepherds, wish one of the men playing on the bagpipes. A manuscript catalogue of the old trea|sury of the college.
Hector Boethius was the first principal of the col|lege, and sent for from Paris for that purpose, on an annual salary of forty marks, Scots, at thirteen-pence each. The square tower on the side of the college was built by Cromwel, for the reception of students; of which there are about a hundred be|longing to the college, who lie in it.
Page 117 In Bishop Elphinston's hall, who was the founder, is a picture of Bishop Dunbar, who finished. what the other left incomplete. Forbes, Bishop of Aber|deen, and Professors Sandiland and Gordon, by Jameson. The Sybils: said to be done by the same hand, but seemed to me in too different a style to be his; but the Sybilla AEgyptiaca and Erythroea are in good attitudes.
The cathedral is very antient; no more than the two very antique spires and one isle, which is used as a church, are now remaining.
From a tumulus, called Tittie dron, now covered with trees, is a fine view of an extensive and rich corn country; once a most barren spot, but by the industry of the inhabitants brought to its present state. A pretty vale bordered with wood, the ca|thedral soaring above the trees, and the river Don, form all together a most agreeable prospect.
Beneath are some cruives, or wears, to take sal|mon in. The owners are obliged by law to make the rails of the cruives * of a certain width, to per|mit fish of a certain size to pass up the river; but as that is neglected, they pay an annual sum to the owners of the fisheries which lie above, to compen|sate the loss.
In the Regiam Majestatem are preserved several antient laws relating to the salmon fisheries, couched in terms expressive of the simplicity of the times.
From Saturday night till Monday morning, they were obliged to leave a free passage for the fish, which is styled the Saterdayes Sloppe†.
Page 118Alexander I. enacted,
Continue my journey:* pass over the bridge of Don; a fine gothic arch flung over that fine river, from one rock to the other: ride for some miles on the sea sands; pass through Newburgh, a small village, and at low water ford the Ytben, a river productive of the pearl muscle: go through the parish of Furvie, now entirely overwhelmed with sand, (except two farms) and about 500l. per ann. lost to the Errol family, as appears by the oath of the factor, made before the court of sessions in 1600, to ascertain the ministers salary. It was at that time all arable land,* now covered with shifting sands, like the deserts of Arabia, and no vestiges remain of any buildings, except a small fragment of the church.
The country now grows very flat; produces oats; but the crops are considerably worse than in the preceding country. Reach
Bowness, or Buchaness, the seat of the Earl of Errol, perched like a falcon's nest, on the edge of a vast clift above the sea. The drawing-room, a large and very elegant apartment, hangs over it; the waves run in wild eddies round the rocks be|neath, Page 119 and the sea fowl clamor above and below, forming a strange prospect and singular chorus. The place was once desensible, there having been a ditch and draw-bridge on the accessible side; but now both are destroyed.
Above five miles south is Slains, the remains of the old family castle, seated strongly on a penin|sulated rock; but demolished in 1594, by James VI. on the rebellion of the Earl of Huntly. Near this place are some vast caverns, once filled with curious stalactical incrustations, but now destroyed, in order to be burnt into lime; for there is none in this country, that usefull commodity being im|ported from the Earl of Elgin's works on the Firth of Forth.
Here the shore begins to grow bold and rocky, and indented in a strange manner with small and deep creeks, or rather immense and horrible chasms. The famous Bullers of Buchan lie about a mile north of Bowness:* are a vast hollow in a rock, projecting into the sea, open at top, with a communication to the sea through a noble natural arch, thro' which boats can pass, and lie secure in this natural harbor. There is a path round the top, but in some parts too narrow to walk on with satisfaction, as the depth is about thirty fathom, with water on both sides, being bounded on the north and south by small creeks.
Near this is a great insulated rock, divided by a narrow and very deep chasm from the land. This rock is pierced through midway between the water and the top, and in great storms the waves rush through it with vast noise and impetuosity. On the Page 120 sides, as well as those of the adjacent cliffs,* breed multitudes of Kittiwakes*. The young are a fa|vorite dish in North Britain, being served up a little before dinner, as a whet for the appetite; but, from the rank smell and taste, seem as if they were more likely to have a contrary effect. I was told of an honest gentleman who was set down for the first time to this kind of whet, as he supposed; and after demolishing half a dozen, with much im|patience declared, that he had eaten fax, and did not find himself a bit more hungry than before he began.
* On this coast is a great fishery of Sea Dogs †, which begins the last week of July, and ends the first in September. The livers are boiled for oil; the bodies split, dried, and sold to the common people, who come from great distances for them. There are very fine Turbot taken on this coast; and towards Peterbead, good fisheries of Cod and Ling. The Lord of the Manour has 3l. 6s. 8d. per annum from every boat, (a six-man boat) but if a new crew sets up, the Lord, by way of encou|ragement, finds them a boat. Besides these, they have little yawls for catching bait at the foot of the rocks. Muscles are also much used for bait, and many boats loads are brought for that purpose from the mouth of the Ythen. Of late years, a very successfull salmon fishery has been set up in the sandy bays below Slains. This is performed by long nets, carried out to sea by boats, a great com|pass taken, and then hawled on shore. It is re|marked, Page 121 marked, these fish swim against the wind, and are much better tasted than those taken in fresh waters.
Most of the labor on shore is performed here by the women: they will carry as much fish as two men can lift on their shoulders, and when they have sold their cargo and emptied their basket, will re|place part of it with stones: they go sixteen miles to sell or barter their fish; are very fond of finery, and will load their fingers with trumpery rings, when they want both shoes and stockings. The fleet was the last war supplied with great numbers of men from this and other parts of Scotland, as well as the army: I think near 70,000 engaged in the general cause, and assisted in carrying our glory through all parts of the globe: of the former, numbers returned; of the latter, very few.
The houses in this country are built with clay,* tempered in the same manner as the Israelites made their bricks in the land of AEgypt: after dressing the clay, and working it up with water, the la|borers place on it a large stratum of straw, which is trampled into it and made small by horses: then more is added, till it arrives at a proper consistency, when it is used as a plaister, and makes the houses very warm. The roofs are sarked, i. e. covered with inch-and-half deal, sawed into three planks, and then nailed to the joists, on which the states are pinned.
The land prospect is extremely unpleasant; for no trees will grow here, in spite of all the pains that have been taken: not but in former times it must have been well wooded, as is evident from the numbers of trees dug up in all the bogs. The Page 122 fame nakedness prevales over great part of this coast, even far beyond Bamiss, except in a few warm bottoms.
The corn of this tract is oats and barley; of the last I have seen very good close to the edges of the cliffs. Rents are paid here partly in cash, partly in kind; the last is commonly sold to a contractor. The land here being poor, is set cheap. The peo|ple live hardly: a Common food with them is sowens, the husks of oats, first put into a barrel with water, in order to grow four, and then boiled.
Crossed the country towards Bamss,* over oat|lands, a coarse sort of downs, and several black heathy moors, without a single tree for numbers of miles.* See Craigston castle, a good house, once desensible, seated in a snug bottom, where the plan|tations thrive greatly. Saw here a head of David Lesly, by Jameson, and another of Sir Alexander Frazier, by the same. Passed by a small ruined castle, at a place called Castleton, seated on a round hill in a deep glen, and scarce accessible. Ford the Devron, a fine river, over which had been a beau|tifull bridge, now warned away by the floods. Reach
Bamss,* pleasantly seated on the side of a hill; has several streets; but that with the town-house in it, adorned with a new spire, is very handsome: the harbor is very bad, as the entrance at the mouth of the Devron is very uncertain, being often stopped by the shifting of the sands, which are continually changing, in great storms; the pier is therefore placed on the outside. Much salmon is exported Page 123 exported from hence. About Troop head, some kelp is made; and the adventurers pay the Lord of the Manour 50l. per ann. for the liberty of collect|ing the materials.
The Earl of Finlater has a house, prettily seated on an eminence, near the town, with some planta|tions of shrubs and small trees, which have a good effect in so bare a country. The prospect is very fine, commanding the fine meadows near the town, Down a small but well-built fishing-town, the great promontory of Troop-head, and to the north the hills of Rossshire, Sutherland, and Cathness.
The house once belonged to the Sharps; and the violent archbishop of that name was born here. In one of the apartments is a picture of Jameson, by himself, sitting in his painting-room, dressed like Rubens, and with his hat on, and his pallet in his hand. On the walls are represented hung up, the pictures of Charles I. and his Queen; a head of his owh wife; another head; two sea views, and Per|seus and Andromeda, the productions of his various pencil.
Duff House a vast pile of building, a little from the town,* is a square, with a square tower at each end; the front richly ornamented with carving, but, for want of wings, has a naked look: the rooms within are very small, and by no means answer the magnificence of the case.
In the apartments are these pictures: Frances, Dutchess of Richmond, full length, in black, with a little picture at her breast. AEt. 57, 1633, by Vandyk. Fine heads of Charles I. and his Queen. A head of a Duff, with short grey hair, by AlexanderPage 124 of Corsenday. Near the house is a shrubery, with, a walk two miles long leading to the river.
About two miles west of Bamss,* not far from the sea, is a great stratum of sand and shells, used with success as a manure. Sea tang is also much used for corn-lands, sometimes by itself, sometimes mixed with earth, and left to rot: it is besides often laid fresh on grass, and answers very well. Passed by the house of Boyne, a ruined castle, on the edge of a steep glen, filled with some good ash and maples.
Near Portsoy, a small town, is a large stratum of marble, a coarse sort of Verd di Corsica, used in some houses for chimney-pieces. Reach
Cullen House,* seated at the edge of a deep glen full of very large trees, which being out of the reach of the sea winds prosper greatly. This spot is very prettily laid out in walks, and over the en|trance is a magnificent arch sixty feet high, and eighty-two in width. The house is large, but ir|regular. The most remarkable pictures are, a full length of James VI. by Mytens: at the time of the revolution, the mob had taken it out of Holyrood House, and were kicking it about the streets, when the Chancellor, the Earl of Finlater, happening to pass by, redeemed it out of their hands. A por|trait of James Duke of Hamilton, beheaded 1649, in a large black cloak, with a star, by Vandyk. A half-length of his brother, by the same, killed at the battle of Worcester. William Duke of Hamilton, president of the revolution parlement, by Kneller. Old Lord Bamss, aged 90, with a long white square Page 125 beard, who is said to have incurred the censure of the church, at that age, for his galantries *.
The country round Cullen has all the marks of improvement, owing to the † indefatigable pains of the late noble owner, in advancing the art of agriculture and planting, and every other usefull business, as far as the nature of the soil would ad|mit. His success in the first was very great; the crops of beans, peas, oats, and barley, were ex|cellent; the wheat very good, but, through the fault of the climate, will not ripen till it is late, the harvest in these parts being in October. The plantations are very extensive, and reach to the top of the hill of Knock; but the farther they extend from the bottoms the worse they succeed.
The town of Cullen is mean; yet has about a hundred looms in it, there being a flourishing ma|nufacture of linnen and thread, of which near fifty thousand pounds worth is annually made.
Near this town the Duke of Cumberland, after his march from Bamss, joined the rest of his forces from Straithbogie, and encamped at Cullen.
In a small sandy bay are three lofty spiring rocks, formed of slinty masses, cemented together very Page 126 differently from any stratum in the country. These are called the three Kings of Cullen. A little far|ther is another vast rock, pierced quite through, formed of pebbly concretions lodged in clay, which had subsided in thick but regular layers.
Passed through a fine open country,* full of gen|tle risings, and rich in corn, with a few clumps of trees sparingly scatered over it. Great use is made here of stone marle,* a gritty indurated marle, found in vast strata, dipping pretty much: it is of dif|ferent colors, blue, pale brown, and reddish; is cut out of the quarry, and laid very thick on the ground in lumps, but will not wholly dissolve un|der three or four years. In the quarry is a great deal of sparry matter, which is laid apart, and burnt for lime. Arrive at
Castle-Gordou,* a large old house, the seat of the Duke of Gordon, lying in a low wet country, near some large well-grown woods, and a considerable one of great hollies. The principal pictures in Castle-Gordon are, the first Marquiss of Huntly. Fourth Marquiss of Huntly, beheaded by the Co|venanters. His son, the gallant Lord Gordon, Montrose's friend, killed at the battle of Auldsort. Lord Lewis Gordon, a less generous warrior; the plague * of the people of Murray, (then the seat of the Covenanters) whose character, with that of the Page 127 brave Montrose, is well contrasted in these old lines:
The head of the second Countess of Huntly, daughter of James I. A fine small portrait of the Abbé d' Aubigné, sitting in his study. A very fine head of St. John receiving the revelation; a beau|tifull expression of attention and devotion.
The Duke of Gordon still keeps up the diversion of falconry,* and had several fine Hawks, of the Peregrine and gentle Falcon species, which breed in the rocks of Glenmore. I saw also here a true Highland gre-hound, which is now become very scarce: it was of a very large size, strong, deep chested, and covered with very long and rough hair. This kind was in great vogue in former days, and used in vast numbers, at the magnificent stag-chases, by the powerfull Chieftains.
The Spey is a dangerous neighbor to Castle-Gordon;* a large and furious river, overflowing very frequently in a dreadfull manner, as appears by its ravages far beyond its banks. The bed of the river is wide and full of gravel, and the channel very shifting.
The Duke of Cumberland passed this water at Beily church, near this place, when the channel was so deep as to take an officer, from whom I had the relation, and who was six feet four inches high, up to the breast. The opposite banks are very high and steep; so that, had not the Rebels been pro|videntially so insatuated as to neglect opposition, Page 128 the passage must have been attended with consi|derable loss.
The salmon fishery on this river is very great: about seventeen hundred barrels full are caught in the season, and the shore is rented for about 1200l. per annum.
Passed through Forcbabus,* a wretched town, close to the castle. Crossed the Spey in a boat, and landed in the county of Murray.
The peasants houses, which, throughout the shire of Bamss, were very decent, were now become very miserable, being entirely made of turf: the country partly moor, partly cultivated, but in a very slo|venly manner.
* Dine at Elgin*, a good town, with many of the houses built over piazzas; has little trade; but is remarkable for its ecclesiastical antiquities. The cathedral † had been a magnificent pile, but is now in ruins. Jonston, in his encomia urbium, ce|lebrates the beauty of Elgin, and laments the fate of this noble building:
The west door is very elegant, and richly orna|mented. The choir very beautifull, and has a fine Page 129 and light gallery running round it; and at the east end are two rows of narrow windows in an excel|lent gothic taste. The chapter-house is an octagon, the roof supported by a fine single column, with neat carvings of coats of arms round the capital. There is still a great tower on each side of this cathe|dral; but that in the centre, with the spire and whole roof, are fallen in, and form most awefull frag|ments, mixed with the battered monuments of Knights and Prelates. Boethius says that Duncan, who was killed by Macbeth at Inverness, lies buried here. Numbers of modern tomb-stones also crowd the place; a proof how difficult it is to eradicate the opinion of local fanctity, even in a religion that affects to despise it.
About, a mile from hence is the castle of Spinie;* a large square tower, and a vast quantity of other ruined buildings, still remain, which shews its antient magnificence whilst the residence of the Bishops of Murray: the lake of Spinie almost washes the walls; is about five miles long, and half a mile broad, seated in a flat country. Du|ring winter, great numbers of wild swans migrate hither; and I have been told, that some have bred here. Boethius* says they resort here for the sake of a certain herb called after their name.
Between, this and Elgin is a ruined chapel, called Maison dieu. Near it is a large gravelly cliff, from whence is a beautifull view of the town, cathedral, a round hill with the remains of a castle, and beneath, is the gentle stream of the Lossie, the Loxia of Prolomy.
Cross the Lossie, ride along the edge of a vale, which has a strange mixture of good corn and black turberies: on the road-side is a mill-stone quarry.
Arrive in the rich plain of Murray, fertile in corn. The view of the Firth of Murray, with a full prospect of the high mountains of Rossshire and Sutherland, and the magnificent entrance into the bay of Cromartie between two lofty hills, form a fine piece of scenery.
* Turn about half a mile out of the road to the north, to see Kinloss Abby †, the burying-place of many a Scottish monarch. The Prior's chamber, two semicircular arches, the pillars, the couples of several of the roofs, afford specimens of the most beautifull gothic architecture in all the elegance of simplicity, without any of its fantastic ornaments. Near the abby is an orchard of apple and pear trees, at left coeval with the last Monks; numbers lie prostrate; their venerable branches seem to have taken fresh roots, and were loaden with fruit, be|yond what could be expected from their antique look.
Near Forres,* on the road-side, is a vast column, three feet ten inches broad, and one foot three inches thick: the height above ground is twenty-three feet; below, as is said, twelve or fifteen. On one Page 131 side are numbers of rude figures of animals and armed men, with colors flying: some of the men seemed bound like captives. On the opposite side was a cross, included in a circle, and raised a little above the surface of the stone. At the foot of the cross are two gigantic figures, and on one of the sides is some elegant fret-work.
This is called King Sueno's stone; and seems to be, as Mr. Gordon* conjectures, erected by the Scots, in memory of the final retreat of the Danes: it is evidently not Danish, as some have asserted; the cross disproves the opinion, for this nation had not at that time received the light of christianity.
On a moor not far from Forres, Boethius, and Shakespear from him, places the rencountre of Mac|beth and the three wayward sisters, or witches. It was my fortune to meet with but one, which was somewhere in the last county: she was of a species far more dangerous than these, but neither withered nor wild in her attire, but so fair,
She look'd not like an inhabitant o' th' Earth!
Lay at Forres, a very neat town, seated under some little hills,* which are prettily divided. In the great street is the town-house with a handsome cu|polo, and at the end is an arched gateway, which has a good effect. On a hill west of the town are the poor remains of the castle, from whence is a fine view of a rich country, interspersed with groves, the bay of Findorn, a fine bason, almost round, with a narrow strait into it from the sea, and a me|lancholy prospect of the parish of the same name, Page 132* now nearly overwhelmed with sand. This strange inundation is still in motion, but mostly in the time of a west wind: it moves along the surface with an even progression, but is stopped by water, after which it forms little hills: its motion is so quick, that a gentleman assured me he had seen an apple|tree so covered with it, in one season, as to leave only a few of the green leaves of the upper branches appear above the surface. An estate of about 300l. per ann. has been thus overwhelmed; and it is not long since the chimnies of the prin|cipal houses were to be seen: it began about eighty years ago, occasioned by the cutting down the trees and pulling up the bent, or starwort, which gave occasion at last to the act 15th G. II. to prevent its farther ravages.
Cross the Findorn;* land near a friable rock of whitish stone, much tinged with green, an indica|tion of copper. The stone is barren for lime. From an adjacent eminence is a picturesque view of Forres.* About three miles farther, is Tarnaway Castle, the antient seat of the Earls of Murray. The hall, called Randolph's Hall, from its founder Earl Randolph, one of the great supporters of Robert Bruce, is timbered at top like Westminster|-Hall: its dimensions are 79 feet by 35, 10 inches, and seems a fit resort for Barons and their vassals. In the rooms are some good heads: one of a youth, with a ribband of some order hanging from his neck. One unknown, with a black body to his vest, and, brown sleeves. The Fair, or Bonny Earl of Murray, as he: is commonly called, who was murdered, as supposed, on account Page 133 of a jealousy James VI. entertained of a passion the Queen had for him: at left such was the po|pular opinion, as appears from the old ballad on the occasion:
There are besides, the heads of his lady and daugh|ter; all are on wood except that of the Earl. To the south-east of the castle are large birch woods, abounding with Stags and Roes.
Continued my journey west to Auldearne.* Am now arrived again in the country where the Erse service is performed. Just beneath the church is the place where Montrose obtained a signal victory over the Covenanters, many of whose bodies lie in the church, with an inscription, importing, accord|ing to the cant of the time, that they died fighting for their religion and their king. I was told this anecdote of that hero: That he always carried with him a Caefar's Commentaries, on whole margins were written, in Montrose's own hand, the generous sentiments of his heart, verses out of the Italian Poets, expressing contempt of every thing but glory.
Have a distant view of Nairn, a small town near the sea. Ride through a rich corn country, mixed with deep and black turberies, which shew the ori|ginal state of the land. Reach Calder Castle, or Cawdor, as Shakespear calls it,* once the property of its Thanes. The antient part is a great square Page 134 tower; but there is a large and more modern building annexed, with a draw-bridge.
All the houses in these parts are castles, or at left desensible; for, till the year 1745, die High|landers made their inroads, and drove away the cattle of their desenceless neighbors. There are said to exist some very old marriage articles of the daughter of a chieftain, in which the father promises for her portion, 200 Scots marks, and the half of a Mi|chaelmas moon, i. e. half the plunder, when the nights grew dark enough to make their excursions.
Rode into the woods of Calder, in which were very fine birch trees and alders, some oak, great broom, and juniper, which gave shelter to the Roes. Deep rocky glens, darkened with trees, bound each side of the wood: one has a great torrent roar|ing at its distant bottom, called the Brook of Ach|neem: it well merits the name of that of Acheron, being a most fit scene for witches to celebrate their nocturnal rites in.
Observed on a pillar of the door of Calder church,* a joug, i.e. an iron yoke, or ring, fastened to a chain; which was, in former times, put round the necks of delinquents against the rules of the church, who were left there exposed to shame during the time of divine service:* but these penalties are now happily abolished. The clergy of Scotland, the most decent and consistent in their conduct of any set of men I ever met with of their order, are at present much changed from the furious, illiterate, and enthusiastic teachers of the old times, and have taken up the mild method of persuasion, in|stead of the cruel discipline of corporal punish|ments. Page 135 Science almost universally flourishes among them; and their discourse is not less improving than the table they entertain the stranger at is decent and hospitable. Few, very few of them, permit the bewitchery of dissipation to lay hold of them, notwithstanding they allow all the innocent pleasures of others, which, though not criminal in the layman, they know, must bring the taint of levity on the churchman. They never sink their characters by midnight brawls, by mixing with the gaming world, either in cards, cocking, or horse|•aces, but preserve, with a narrow income, a dig|nity too often loft among their brethren south of the Tweed.
The Scotch livings are from 40l. per ann. to 150l.*per ann. a decent house is built for the minister on the glebe, and about six acres of land annexed. The church allows no curate, except in case of sickness or age, when one, under the title of helper, is ap|pointed; or, where the livings are very extensive, a missionary or assistant is allotted; but fine-cures, or fine-cured preserments, never disgrace the church of our sister kingdom. The widows and children of those who die in poor circumstances are of late provided for out of a fund established by two acts, 17th and 22d, G. II.*
Cross the Nairn; the bridge large, but the stream inconsiderable, except in floods. On the west, is Kilravoch Castle, and that of Dalcross. Keep due north, along the military road from Perth; pass Page 136 along a narrow low piece of land, projecting, far into the Firth, called Ardersier, forming, a strait scarce a mile over,* between this county and that of Cromartie*. At the end of this point is Fort George, a small but strong and regular fortress, built since 1745, as a place d'armes: it is kept in excellent order; but, by reason of the happy change of the times, seemed almost deserted: the barracks are very handsome, and form several re|gular and good streets.
Lay at Cambeltown, a place consisting of num|bers of very mean houses, owing its rise and sup|port to the neighboring fort.
Passed over Culloden Moor,* the place that North Britain owes its present prosperity to, by the victory of April 16, 1746. On the side of the Moor are the great plantations of Culloden House, the seat of Duncan Forbes, a warm and active friend to the house of Hanover, who spent great sums in its ser|vice, and by his influence, and by his persuasions, diverted numbers from joining in rebellion; at length he met with a cool return, for his humane but unpolitical attempt to sheath, after victory, the unsatiated sword. But let a veil be slung over a few excesses consequential of a day productive of so much benefit to the united kingdoms.
The young adventurer lodged here the evening preceding the battle; distracted with the dissensions among his officers, evert when they were at the brink of destruction, he seemed incapable of acting, could be scarcely persuaded to mount his horse, Page [unnumbered]
The Duke of Cumberland, when he found that the barges of the fleet attended near the shore for the safety of his person, in case of a defeat, imme|diately ordered them away, to convince his men of the resolution he had taken of either conquering or perishing with them.
After descending from the Moor, got into a well cultivated country; and after riding some time under low but pleasant hills, not far from the sea, reach
INVERNESS, finely seated on a plain,* between the Firth of the same name and the river Ness: the first, from the narrow strait of Ardersier, instantly widens into a fine bay, and again as suddenly con|tracts opposite Inverness, at the ferry of Kessock, the pass into Rossshire. The town is large and well built, and very populous, being the last of any note in North Britain. On the north is Oliver's Fort, a pentagon; but only the form remains to be traced by the ditches and banks. Near it is a very con|siderable rope manufacture. On an eminence south of the town is old Fort George, which was taken and blown up by the Rebels: it had been no more than a very antient castle, the place where Boethius says that Duncan was murdered: from thence is a most charming view of the Firth, the passage of Kessock, the river Ness, the strange shaped hill of Tommin heurich, and various groupes of distant mountains.
Page 138 That singular Tommin is of an oblong form, broad at the base, and sloping on all sides towards the top; so that it looks like a great ship with its keel upwards. Its sides and part of the neigh|boring plains are planted, so it is both an agreeable walk and a fine object. It is perfectly detached from any other hill; and if it was not for its great size, might pass * for a work of art. The view from it is such, that no traveller will think his labor lost, after gaining the summit.
At Inverness, and I believe at other towns in Scot|land, is an officer, called Dean of the Guild, who, assisted by a council, superintends the markets, re|gulates the price † of provisions; and if any house falls down, and the owner lets it lie in ruins for three years, the Dean can absolutely dispose of the ground to the best bidder.
Cross the Ness on a bridge of seven arches, above which the tide flows for about a mile.
Proceed north; have a fine view of the Firth, which now widens again from Kessock into a large bay some miles in length. The hills slope down to the water-side, and are finely cultivated; but the distant prospect is of rugged mountains of a stu|pendous height, as if created as guards to the rest of the island from the fury of the boisterous north. Page 139 Ride close to the water-edge thro' woods of alder, pass near several houses of the Fraziers, and reach
Castle Dunie,* the site of the house of their chief|tain Lord Lovat.
The old house, which was very mean, was burnt down in 1746; but a neat box, the residence of the hospitable factor, is built in its stead on a high bank well wooded, over the pretty river Bewley, or Beaulieu. The country, for a certain circuit, is fertile, well cultivated, and smiling. The bulk of Lord Lovat's estate was in these parts; the rest, to the amount of 500l. per ann. in Straitherick. He was a potent chieftain, and could raise about 1000 men: but I found his neighbors spoke as unfa|vorably of him, as his enemies did in the most distant parts of the kingdom. His property is one of the annexed estates, i. e. settled unalienably on the crown, as all the forfeited fortunes in the High|lands are:* the whole value of which brought in at that time about 6000l. per ann. and those in the Lowlands about the same sum; so that the power and interest of a poor twelve thousand per ann. terrified and nearly subverted the constitution of these powerfull kingdoms.
The profits or these estates are lodged in the hands of Trustees, who apply their revenue for the founding of schools for the instruction of chil|dren in spinning; wheels are given away to poor families, and flax-seed to farmers. Some money is given in aid of the roads, and towards building bridges over the torrents; by which means a ready intercourse is made to parts before inaccessible to Page 140 strangers *. And in 1753, a large sum was spent on an Utopian project of establishing colonies (on the forfeited estates) of disbanded soldiers and sailors: comfortable houses were built for them, land and money given, and some lent; but the success by no means answered the intentions of the projectors.
Ford the Bewley,* where a salmon fishery, belong|ing to the Lovat estate, rents at 120l. per annum.* The country on this side the river is called Leornamo|nach, or the Monk's Land, having formerly been the property of the Abby of Bewly; and the oppo|site side bears the name of Airds,* or the Heights. Pass by some excellent farms, well enclosed, im|proved, and planted; the land produces wheat and other corn. Much cattle are bred in these parts, and there are several linnen manufactures.
Ford the Conan to Castle Braan,* the seat of Lord Fortrose; a good house, pleasantly situated on the side of a hill, commands a view of a large plain, and to the west a wild prospect of broken and lofty mountains.
There is here a fine full length of Mary Stuart, with this inscription, Maria D. G. Scotiae piissima regina. Franciae Dotaria. Anno Aetatis Regni 38. 1580. Her dress is black, with a ruff, cap, hand|kerchief, and a white veil down to the ground, beads and prayer-book, and a cross hanging from her neck; her hair dark brown, her face handsome, and considering the difference of years, so much resembling her portrait by Zucchero, in ChiswickPage 141 House, as to leave little doubt as to the originality of the last.
A small half-length on wood of Henry Darnly, inscribed Henricus Stuardus Dominus Darnly, Aet. IX. M.D.LV. dressed in black, with a sword; it is the figure of a pretty boy.
A fine portrait of Cardinal Richlieu. General Monk, in a buff coat. Head of Sir George Mac|kensie. The Earl of Seaforth, called, from his size, Kenneth More. Dutchess of Beaufort, daughter of the Marquiss of Powis. Earl of Castlemaine, admi|ral in the time of Charles II.
Near the house are some very fine oaks and horse-chesnuts: in the garden, Turky apricots, orange nectarines, and a small soft peach, ripe; other peaches, nectarines, and green gages, far from ripe.
Pass through Dingwall, a small town,* the capital of Rossshire, situated near the head of the Firth of Cromartie: an antient cross, and an obelisk over the burying-place of the Earls of Cromartie's fa|mily, were all I saw remarkable in it.
Ride along a very good road cut on the side of a hill with the country very well cultivated above and below, with several small woods interspersed near the water's edge. There is a fine view of al|most the whole bay, the most capacious and secure of any in Great Britain;* its whole navy might lie there with ease, and ships of two hundred tuns may sail up above two-thirds of its length, which ex|tends thirty miles, from the Sutters* of CromartiePage 142 to a small distance beyond Dingwall: the entrance is narrow; the projecting hills defend this fine bay from all winds; so it justly merits the name given it of Portus salutis.
FOULES,* the seat of Sir Henry Monro, lies about a mile from the Firth, near vast plantations on the flats, as well as on the hills. Those on the hills are six miles in length, and in a very flourishing state. On the back of these are extensive vallies full of oats, bounded by mountains, which here, as well as in the Highlands, in general run from east to west. Sir Henry holds a forest from the crown by a very whimsical tenure,* that of delivering a snow|ball on any day of the year that it is demanded; and he seems to be in no danger of forfeiting his right by failure of the quit-rent, for snow lies in form of a glaciere in the chasms of Benwewish, a neighboring mountain, throughout the year.
Continue my journey along the low country,* which is rich and well cultivated.
Pass near Invergordon,*, a handsome house, amidst fine plantations. Near it is the narrowest part of the Firth, and a ferry into the shire of Cromarty, now a country almost destitute of trees; yet, in the time of James V. was covered with timber, and over-run with wolves †.
Page 143 Near the summit of the hill,* between the Firths of Cromartie and Dornoch, is Ballinagouan, the seat of a gentleman, who has most successfully converted his sword into a plough-share; who, after a series of disinterested services to his country, by clearing the seas of privateers, the most unprofitable of cap|tures, has applied himself to arts not less deserving of its thanks. He is the best farmer and the greatest planter in the country: his wheat and his turneps shew the one, his plantations of a million of pines each year the other *. It was with great satisfaction that I observed characters of this kind very frequent in North Britain; for during the in|terval of peace, every officer possessed of any pa|trimony was fond of retiring to it, assumed the far|mer without flinging off the gentleman, enjoyed rural quiet; yet ready to undergo the fatigues of war the moment his country clamed his services.
About two miles below Ballinagouan is a melan|choly instance of a reverse of conduct: the ruins of New Tarbat, once the magnificent seat of an unhappy nobleman,* who plunged into a most un|gratefull rebellion, destructive to himself and fa|mily. The tenants, who seem to inhabit it gratis, are forced to shelter themselves from the weather in the very lowest apartments, while swallows make their nests in the bold stucco of some of the upper.
While I was in this county, I heard a singular but well-attested relation of a woman disordered in Page 144 her health, who fasted for a supernatural space of time; but the length of the narrative obliges me to fling it into the Appendix *.
Ride along a tedious black moor to Tain, a small town on the Firth of Dornoch; distinguished for no|thing but its large square tower, decorated with five small spires. The place appeared very gay at this time; for all the gaudy finery of a little fair was displayed in the shew of hard ware, painted linnens, and ribbands. Kept along the shore, for about two miles, through an open corn country, and crossing the great ferry, in breadth near two miles, thro' a rapid tide, and in a bad boat, land in the county of Sutherland, and in less than an hour reach its capital,
DORNOCH,* a small town, half in ruins; once the residence of the Bishops of Cathness, and, like Dur|ham, the seat of Ecclesiastics: many of the houses still are called after the titles of those that inhabited them: the Bishop lodged in the castle: the Dean's house is at present the inn: the cathedral was in form of a cross, is now a ruin, except part, which is the present church. On the doors and window-shutters were painted (as is common in many parts of North Britain) white tadpole-like figures on a black ground, designed to express the tears of the country for the loss of any person of distinction. These were occasioned by the affecting end of that amiable pair the young Earl and Countess of Suther|land, who were lovely in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided, for their happiness was interrupted by a very short separation; sanè ubiPage 145idem et maximus et bonestissimus amor est, aliquando proestat morte jungi, quam vita distrabi.
Ride on a plain not far from the sea; pass by a small cross, called the Thane's Cross; and not far from thence the spot where an unhappy creature had been burnt, if I mistake not, in June 1727, for the imaginary crime of witchcraft*.
Cross a very narrow inlet to a small bay at Porth|beg, or the little ferry, in a boat as dangerous as the last; for horses can neither get in or out with|out great risque, from the vast height of the sides and their want of slips. Keep along the shore, pass by the small village of Golspie, and reach
Dunrobin castle, the antient seat of the Earls of Sutherland,* founded about the year 1100, situated on a round hill at a small distance from the sea. The few paintings here are, an Earl of Murray, an Page 146 old man, on wood. His son and two daughters, by Co. G. 1628. A fine full length of Charles I. Angus Williamson, a heroe of the clan Chattan, who rescued the Sutherlands in the time of distress. A very singular picture of the Duke of Alva in coun|cil, with a cardinal by his side, who puts a pair of bellows blown by the Devil into his ear: the Duke has a chain in one hand, fixed to the necks of the kneeling Flemings; in the other he shews them a paper of recantation for them to sign, behind whom are the reformed Clergy.
The demesn is kept in excellent order, and I saw here (lat. 58.) a very fine field of wheat, which would be ripe about the middle of next month. This was the last wheat which had been sown this year in North Britain.
Sutherland is a country abounding in cattle, and sends out annually 2500 head, which sold about this time from 2l. 10s. to 3l. *per head. These are very frequently without horns, and both they and the horses are very small. Stags abound in the hills, there being reckoned not less than 1600 on the Sutherland estate, which, in fact, is the greatest part of the county. Besides these are Roes, Grous, black game and Ptarmigans in plenty, and during winter multitudes of water-fowl on the coast.
Not far from Dunrobin is a very entire antiquity of the kind known in Scotland by the name of the Pictish Castles,* and called here Cairn Lean, or a grey tower: that I saw was about 130 yards in circumference, round, and raised so high above the Page 147 ground as to form a considerable mount: on the top was an extensive but shallow hollow; within were three low concentric galleries, at small dis|tances from each other, covered above with large stones; and the side-walls were about four or five feet thick, rudely made. There are generally three of these places near each other, so that each may be seen from any one. Whether these were the suffugia hiemi aut receptacula frugibus of the Picts, as they were of the Germans, or whether they might not have been used for religious purposes, as such hollows have been in Norway,* I will not pretend to decide: if the last, I would suppose some of the galleries to be for the priests, the others for the victims, who were chosen by lot, and who might be brought to be sacrificed in the concave area above, which was well adapted to retain their blood, that was to be sprinkled on the spectators, on the posts of their houses, and on the sails of their ships†.
Kept along the shore northward. About a mile from the castle are some small cliffs of free-stone;* in one is Straith-leven Cove, an artificial cave, with seats and several shallow circular hollows cut within|side. At some distance, and near the sea, are small strata of coal three feet thick dipping to the east,* and found at the depth of about 14 to 24 yards. Sometimes it takes fire on the bank, which has given it so ill a name, that people are very fearfull of taking it aboard their ships. I am sur|prized *Page 148 that they will not run the risque, considering the miraculous quality it possesses of driving away rats wherever it is used. This is believed by the good people of Sutherland, who assured me seriously of its virtues; and they farther attributed the same to the earth and very heath of their county. They add too, that not a rat will live with them, not|withstanding they swarm in the adjacent shires of Ross and Cathness*.
In Assynt, a part of this county, far west of Dun|robin, are large strata of a beautifull white marble, equal, as I was told, to the Parian. I afterwards saw some of the same kind found at Glenavon in Badenoch.
Cross the water of Brora, which runs along a deep chasm, over which is a handsome bridge of a single arch. Near is a cave, where the Salmon|fishers lie during the season: the roof is pierced through to the surface, which serves for a natural chimney. They take annually about 10 or 12 lasts of fish. In a bank not far from the bridge are found abundance of Belemnitae.
Page 149 The country is very sandy, and the arable, or cultivated part, very narrow, confined on the east by the sea, on the west by lofty black mountains, which approach nearer and nearer to the water, till at length they project into it at the great promon|tory the Ord of Cathness, the boundary between that county and Sutherland, after which the coast is bold and rocky, except a small bay or two.
Ford the very dangerous water of Hemsdale,* rapid and full of great stones. Very large Lampries are found here, fish detested by the Highlanders. Be|neath the stones on the sea-shore are abundance of spotted and viviparous Blennies, Father Lashers, and Whistle Fish. Mackrel appear here this month, but without their roes. I thought them far inferior in goodness to those of our country. Much salmon is taken here.
The grey Water-wagtail quits this country in the winter; with us it resides.
Dined at the little village of Hemsdale, near which are the ruins of a square tower.
Passed through a rich vale full of good barley and oats between the hill of Hemsdale and the Ord.* Ascend that vast promontory on a good road wind|ing up its steep sides, and impending in many parts over the sea, infinitely more high and horrible than our Penmaen Mawr. Beneath were numbers of Seals floating on the waves, with sea-fowl swimming among them with great security. Observed pro|jecting from one part of the Ord, far below, a small and verdant hill, on which, tradition says, was fought a single combat between an Earl of Cathness and a son of the Earl of Sutherland, while their two Page 150 armies looked on from above: the first was killed on the spot, the last died of his wounds.
Beneath this cape are immense caves, the resort of Seals * and Sea-fowls: the sides and top are chiefly covered with heath and morassy earth, which gives it a black and melancholy look. Ride over some boggy and dreary moors. Pass thro' Ausdale, a little highland village. Descend into a deep bot|tom covered with alders, willows, birch and wicken trees, to Langwall, the seat of Mr. Sutherland, who gave me a very hospitable reception. The country abounds with Stags and Roes, and all sorts of fea|thered game, while the adjacent river brings Salmon almost up to his door.
* I enquired here after the Lavellan,†, which, from description, I suspect to be the Water Shrew-mouse. The country people have a notion that it is noxious to cattle: they preserve the skin, and, as a cure for their sick beasts, give them the water in which it has been dipt. I believe it to be the same animal which in Sutherland is called the Water Mole.
Proceed on my journey.* Pass near Berridale. On a peninsula jutting into the sea is the ruin of the castle; between it and the land is a deep chasm, where there had been a draw-bridge. On this castle are stationed, in the salmon season, persons who are to observe the approach of the fish to the fresh waters.
Page 151 Near Clathron is a druidical stone set an end, and of a most stupendous size.
Saw Dunbeth, the seat of Mr. Sinclair,* situated on a narrow neck of land; on one side impending over the sea, on the other over a deep chasm, into which the tide flows: a small narrow garden, with billows beating on three sides, fills the rest of the land between the house and the sea. Numbers of old castles in this county have the same tremendous situation. On the west side of this house are a few rows of tolerable trees; the only trees that I saw from Berridale to the extremity of Cathness*. On the right inland are the small remains of Knackennan castle, built by an Earl of Cathness. From these parts is a full view of the lofty naked mountain of Scaraben and Morven. The last Ptarmigans in Scotland are on the first;* the last Roes about Lang|wall, there being neither high hills nor woods be|yond. All the county on this side, from Dunbeth to the extremity, is flat, or at lest very seldom in|terrupted with hills, and those low; but the coasts rocky, and composed of stupendous cliffs.
Refreshed our horses at a little inn at the hamlet of Clythe, not far from the headland, called Clythe|ness. Reach Thrumster, a seat of Mr. Sinclair's. It is observable, that the names of places in this county often terminate in ter and dale, which savors of Danish origin.
The Sinclairs are very numerous, and possess considerable fortunes in these parts; but BoethiusPage 152 says, that they, the Fraziers, Campbells, Boswels, and many others, came originally from France.
Pass through Wick,* a small burrough town with some good houses, seated on a river within reach of the tide, and at a distance lies the old castle. Somewhat farther, close to the sea, is Archringal tower, the seat of Sir William Dunbar. Ride over the Links of Keith, on the side of Sinclair bay. These were once a morass, now covered with sand, finely turfed over; so in this instance the land has been obliged by the instability of the sand. The old castle of Keiss is seated on a rock, with a good house of the same name near it.
Near Freswick castle the cliffs are very lofty; the strata that compose them lie quite horizontally in such thin and regular layers, and so often inter|sected by fissures, as to appear like masonry. Be|neath are great insulated columns, called here Stacks, composed of the same sort of natural ma|sonry as the cliffs; many of them are hollowed quite thro', so as to form most magnificent arches, which the sea rushes thro' with vast noise and im|petuosity, affording a most august piece of scenery to such who are steady enough to survey it from the narrow and almost impending paths.
Freswick castle is seated on a narrow rock pro|jecting into the sea,* with just room enough for it to stand on: the access to it while the draw-bridge was in being, was over a deep chasm cut thro' the little isthmus that connected it to the main land. These dreadful situations are strongly expressive of the jealous and wretched condition of the tyrant owners.
Page 153 After riding near Freswick bay, the second sandy bay in the county, pass over a very bad morass, and after a few miles travel arrive at Dungsby bay *, a low tract,* consisting of oat-lands and grazing land: the ultima Thule of Mr. Wallace, whose de|scription it answers in this particular.
The beach is a collection of fragments of shells; beneath which are vast broken rocks, some sunk, others apparent, running into a sea never pacific. The contrary tides and currents form here a most tremendous contest; yet, by the skilfulness of the people, are passed with great safety in the narrow little boats I saw lying on the shore.
The points of this bay are Dungsby-head and St. John's head, stretching out into the sea to the east and west, forming a pair of horns; from the re|semblance to which it should seem that this country was antiently styled Cornuna.
From hence is a full view of several of the Orkney islands,* such as Flota, Waes, Ronaldsa, Swanna, to the west the Skerries, and within two miles of land Stroma, famous for its natural mummies,* or the entire and uncorrupted bodies of persons who had been dead sixty years. I was informed that they were very light, had a flexibility in their limbs, and were of a dusky color‡. This isle is fertile in corn, Page 154 is inhabited by about thirty families, who know not the use of a plough, but dig every part of their corn land.
Dine at the good minister's of Cannesby. On my return saw at a distance the Stacks of Dungsby, a vast insulated rock, over-topping the land, and ap|pearing like a great tower.
Passed near the seat of a gentleman not long deceased; the last who was believed to be possessed of the second sight.* Originally he made use of the pretence, in order to render himself more respectable with his clan; but at length, in spite of fine abili|ties, was made a dupe to his own artifices, became possessed with a serious belief of the faculty, and for a considerable number of years before his death was made truely unhappy by this strange opinion, which originally arose from the following accident. A boat of his was on a very tempestuous night at sea; his mind, filled with anxiety at the danger his people were in, furnished him with every idea of the misfortune that really befell them: he suddenly starting up pronounced that his men would be drowned, for that he had seen them pass before him with wet garments and dropping locks. The event was correspondent, and be from that time grew confirmed in the reality of spectral predictions.
There is another sort of divination, called Sleina|nachd, or reading the speal-bone, or the blade-bone of a shoulder of mutton well scraped. When Lord London was obliged to retreat before the Rebels to the isle of Skie, a common soldier, on the very mo|ment the battle of Culloden was decided, proclaimed Page [unnumbered]
I heard of one instance of second sight; or rather of foresight, which was well attested, and made much noise about the time the prediction was ful|filled. A little after the battle of Preston Pans, the president, Duncan Forbes, being at his house of Cul|loden with a nobleman, from whom I had the rela|tion, fell into discourse on the probable consequences of the action: after a long conversation, and after revolving all that might happen, Mr. Forbes sud|denly turning to a window, said, All these things may fall out; but depend on it, all these disturbances will be terminated on this spot.
Returned the same road. Saw multitudes of Gannets,* or Soland Geese, on their passage north|ward: they went in small flocks from five to fifteen in each, and continued passing for hours: it was a stormy day; they kept low and near the shore; but never passed over the land, even when a bay with promontories intervened, but followed (preserving an equal distance from shore) the form of the bay, and then regularly doubled the Capes. I saw many parties make a sort of halt for the sake of fishing; they soared to a great height, then darting down headlong into the sea made the water foam and spring up with the violence of their descent; after which they pursued their route.
Swans resort in October to the Loughs of Hem|prigs and Waster, and continue there till March. Abundance of Land-rails are found throughout the county. Multitudes of Sea-fowl breed in the cliffs: among others, the Lyre; but the season being past, Page 156 I neither saw it, nor could understand what species it was.
* Went along a fine hard sand on the edge of Sin|clair bay. On the south point, near Ross-bead, on the same rock, are Sinclair and Carnego castles; but, as if the joint tenants, like beasts of prey, had been in fear of each other, there was between them a draw-bridge; the first too had an iron door, which dropped from above through grooves still visible.
*Cathness may be called an immense morass, mixed with some fruitfull spots of oats and barley, much coarse grass, and here and there some fine, almost all natural, there being as yet very little artificial. At this time was the hay harvest both here and about Dunrobin: the hay on this rough land is cut with very short scythes, and with a brisk and strong stroke. The country produces and exports great quantities of oatmeal, and much whisky is distilled from the barley: the great thinness of inhabitants throughout Cathness enables them to send abroad much of its productions. No wheat had been raised this year in the county; and I was informed that this grain is sown here in the spring, by reason of the wet and fury of the winters.
The county is supposed to send out,* in some years, 2200 head of cattle; but in bad seasons, the farmer kills and salts numbers for sale. Great numbers of swine are reared here: they are short, high-backed, long-bristled, sharp, slender and long|nosed; have long erect ears, and most savage looks, and are seen tethered in almost every field. The rest of the commodities of Cathness are butter, Page 157 cheese, tallow, hides, the oil and skins of seals, and the feathers of geese.
Here are neither barns or graineries; the corn is thrashed out and preserved in the chaff in bykes, which are stacks in shape of bee-hives, thatched quite round, where it will keep good for two years.
Much Salmon is taken at Castle-hill, Dunet, Wick,* and Thurso. The miraculous draught at the last place is still talked of; not less than 2500 being taken at one tide, within the memory of man. At a small distance from Sinclair castle, near Staxigo creek, is a small herring-fishery, the only one on the coast: Cod and other white fish abound here; but the want of ports on this stormy coast is an ob|stacle to the establishment of fisheries on this side the country.
In the month of November numbers of Seals * are taken in the vast caverns that open into the sea and run some hundreds of yards under ground. Their entrance is narrow,* their inside lofty and spacious. The Seal-hunters enter these in small boats with torches, which they light as soon as they land, and then with loud shouts alarm the animals, which they kill with clubs as they attempt to pass. This is a hazardous employ; for should the wind blow hard from sea, these adventurers are inevitably lost †.
Much lime-stone is found in this country, which when burnt is made into a compost with turf and tang.* The tender sex (I blush for the Cathnesians) Page 158 are the only animals of burden: they turn their patient backs to the dunghills, and receive in their keizes, or baskets, as much as their lords and mas|ters think sit to sling in with their pitchforks, and then trudge to the field in droves of sixty or seventy. The common people are kept here in great servi|tude, and most of their time is given to their Lairds, an invincible impediment to the prosperity of this county.
Of the ten parishes in Cathness, only the four that lie S. E. speak Erse; all the others speak Eng|lish, and that in greater purity than most part of North Britain.
Inoculation is much practised by an ingenious physician (Dr, Mackenzie, of Wick) in this county, and also the Orkneys*, with great success, with|out any previous preparation The success was equally great at Sanda, a poor isle, where there was no sort of fuel but what was got from dried cow-dung: but in all these places, the small-pox is very fatal in the natural way. Other diseases in Cathness are colds, coughs, and very frequently palsies.
* I came here too late † to have any benefit from the great length of days; but from June to the middle of July, there is scarce any night; for even at what Page 159 is called midnight the smallest print may be read, so truely did Juvenal style these people.
Minima contentos nocte BRITANNOS.
On my way between Thrumster and Dunbeth,* again saw numbers of flocks of Gannets keeping due north, and the weather being very calm they flew high. It has not been observed that they ever return this way in the spring; but seem to make a circuit of the island, till they again arrive at the Bass, their only breeding-place on the eastern coast.
On descending a steep hill is a romantic view of the two bridges over the waters of Berridale and Langwall,* and their wooded glens, and of the castle of Berridale*, over the sea, where the Salmon|fishers station themselves to observe the approach of those fish out of the ocean. After a tedious ascent up the King's road of four miles gain the top of the Ord, and lie at Hemsdale. Re-visit the same places, till I pass Dingwall.*
Cross the Conan in a boat, a very beautifull river, not remote from Castle Braan. Was in this neigh|borhood informed of other singular customs of the Highlanders.*
On New-year's day they burn juniper before their cattle, and on the first Monday in every quar|ter sprinkle them with urine.
In some parts of the country is a Bel-tein,* dif|ferent from that before-mentioned. A cross is cut on some sticks, which is dipped in pottage, and the Thursday before Easter one of each placed over Page 160 the sheep-cot, the stable, or the cow-house. On the 1st of May they are carried to the hill where the Bel-tein is celebrated, all decked with wild flowers, and after the feast is over, re-placed over the spots they were taken from. These follies are now sel|dom practised, and that with the utmost secrecy; for the Clergy are indefatigable in discouraging every species of superstition.
In certain places, the death of people is supposed to be foretold by the cries and shrieks of Benshi, or the Fairies wife, uttered along the very path where the funeral is to pass; and what in Wales are called corps candles, are often imagined to appear, and foretell mortality.
* The courtship of the Highlander has these re|markable circumstances attending it: after pri|vately obtaining the consent of the Fair, he formally demands her of the father. The Lover and his friends assemble on a hill allotted for that purpose in every parish, and one of them is dispatched to obtain permission to wait on the daughter: if he is successfull, he is again sent to invite the father and his friends to ascend the hill and partake of a whisky cask, which is never forgot: the Lover ad|vances, takes his future Father-in-law by the hand, and then plights his troth, and the Fair-one is sur|rendered up to him. During the marriage cere|mony, great care is taken that dogs do not pass between them, and particular attention is payed to the leaving the Bridegroom's left-shoe without buckle or latchet, to prevent witches* from de|priving Page 161 priving him, on the nuptial nighty of the power of loosening the virgin zone. As a test, not many years ago a singular custom prevaled in the western Highlands the morning after a wedding: a basket was fastened with a cord round the neck of the bridegroom by the female part of the company, who immediately filled it with stones, till the poor man was in great danger of being strangled: if his bride did not take compassion on him, and cut the cord with a knife given her to use at discretion. But such was the tenderness of the Caledonian spouses, that never was an instance of their neglecting an immediate relief of their good man.
Pass near the abby * of Beaulieu, a large ruin: cross the ferry, and again reach Inverness.
Make an excursion ten miles south of Inverness to Moy-hall,* pleasantly seated at the head of a small but beautifull lake of the same name, full of Trout, and Char, called in the Erse, Tartar-kinich, and in the Scotch, Red Weems. This water is about two miles and a half long, and half a mile broad, adorned with two or three isles prettily wooded. Each side is bounded by hills cloathed at the bot|tom with trees; and in front, at the distance of thirty miles, is the great mountain of Karn Goran, patched with snow.
This place is called Stasach na gail, or the threshold of the Highlands, being a very natural and strongly marked entrance from the north. This is the seat of the Clan Chattan, or the Mc Intoshes,* once a powerfull people: in the year 1715, fifteen Page 162 hundred toke the field; but in 1745, scarcc half that number: like another Absalom, their fair mistress was in that year supposed to have stolen their hearts from her Laird their chieftain: but the severest loyalist must admit some extenuation of their error, in yielding to the insinuations of so charming a se|ducer.
Boethius relates, that in his time Inverness was greatly frequented by merchants from Germany, who purchased here the furs of several sorts of wild beasts *; and that wild horses were found in great abundance in its neighborhood: that the country yielded a great deal of wheat and other corn, and quantities of nuts and apples. At present there is a trade in the skins of Deer, Roes, and other beasts, which the Highlanders bring down to the fairs. There happened to be one at this time: the com|modities were skins, various necessaries brought in by the Pedlars, coarse country cloths, cheese, butter and meal; the last in goat-skin bags; the butter lapped in cawls, or leaves of the broad alga or tang; and great quantities of birch wood and hazel cut into lengths for carts, &c. which had been floated down the river from Lough-Ness.
* The fair was a very agreeable circumstance, and afforded a most singular groupe of Highlanders in all their motly dresses. Their brecban, or plaid, consists of twelve or thirteen yards of a narrow Page 163 stuff, wrapt round the middle, and reaches to the knees: is often fastened round the middle with a belt, and is then called brechan-seal; but in cold weather, is large enough to wrap round the whole body from head to feet; and this often is their only cover, not only within doors, but on the open hills during the whole night. It is frequently fastened on the shoulders with a pin often of silver, and before with a brotche (like the fibula of the Romans), which is sometimes of silver, and both large and expensive; the old ones have very fre|quently mottos.
The stockings are short, and are tied below the knee. The cuoranen is a sort of laced shoe made of a skin with the hairy side out, but now seldom worn. The truish were worn by the gentry, and were breeches and stockings made of one piece.
The fillebeg, i. e. little plaid, also called kelt, is a sort of short petticoat reaching only to the knees, and is a modern substitute for the lower part of the plaid, being found to be less cumber|some, especially in time of action, when the High|landers used to tuck their brechan into their girdle. Almost all have a great pouch of badger and other skins, with tassels dangling before. In this they keep their tobacco and money.
Their antient arms were the Lochaber ax,* now used by none but the town-guard of Edinburgh; a tremendous weapon, better to be expressed by a figure than words.
The broad-sword and target; with the last they covered themselves, with the first reached their enemy at a great distance. These were their antient Page 164 weapons, as appears by *Tacitus; but since the difarming act, are scarcely to be met with; partly owing to that, partly to the spirit of industry now rising among them, the Highlanders in a few years will scarce know the use of any weapon.
Bows and arrows were used in war as late as the middle of the last century, as I find in a manuscript life of Sir Ewin Cameron.
The dirk was a sort of dagger stuck in the belt. I frequently saw this weapon in the shambles of Inverness, converted into a batcher's knife, being, like Hudibras's dagger,
A serviceable dudgeon, Either for fighting or for drudging.
The dirk was a weapon used by the antient Cale|donians, for Dio Cassius, in his account of the expe|dition of Severus, mentions it under the name of Pugio.
The Mattucashlash, or arm-pit dagger, was worn there ready to be used on coming to close quarters. These, with a pistol stuck in the girdle, completely armed the Highlander †.
* It will be fit to mention here the method the Chieftains toke formerly to assemble the clans for any military expedition. In every clan there is a known place of rendezvous, styled Carn a whin,Page 165 to which they must resort on this signal. A person is sent out full speed with a pole burnt at one end and bloody at the other, and with a cross at the top, which is called Crosh-tairie, the cross of shame, or the fiery cross; the first from the disgrace they would undergo if they declined appearing; the se|cond from the penalty of having fire and sword carried thro' their country, in case of refusal. The first bearer delivers it to the next person he meets, he running full speed to the third, and so on. In the late rebellion, it was sent by some unknown disaffectd hand thro' the county of Breadalbane, and passed through a tract of thirty-two miles in three hours, but without effect.
The women's dress is the kirch, or a white piece of linnen,* pinned over the foreheads of those that are married, and round the hind part of the head, falling behind over their necks. The single women wear only a ribband round their head, which they call a snood. The tanac, or plaid, hangs over their shoulders, and is fattened before with a brotche; but in bad weather is drawn over their heads. In the county of Breadalbane, many wear, when in high dress, a great pleated stocking of an enormous length, called ossan. In other respects, their dress resembles that of women of the same rank in Eng|land: but their condition is very different, being little better than slaves to our sex.
The manners of the native Highlanders may justly be expressed in these words:* indolent to a high degree, unless rouzed to war, or to any ani|mating amusement; or I May say, from experience, to lend any disinterested assistance to the distressed Page 166 traveller, either in directing him on his way, or af|fording their aid in passing the dangerous torrents of the Highlands: hospitable to the highest degree, and full of generosity: are much affected with the civility of strangers, and have in themselves a natu|ral politeness and addrese, which often flows from the meanest when left expected. Thro' my whole tour I never met with a single instance of national reflection! their forbearance proves them to be su|perior to the meanness of retaliation. I fear they pity us; but I hope not indiscriminately. Are exces|sively inquisitive after your business, your name, and other particulars of little consequence to them: most curious after the politicks of the world, and when they can procure an old news-paper, will listen to it with all the avidity of Shakespear's black|smith. Have much pride, and consequently are impatient of affronts, and revengefull of injuries. Are decent in their general behaviour; inclined to superstition, yet attentive to the duties of religion, and are capable of giving a most distinct account of the principles of their faith. But in many parts of the Highlands, their character begins to be more faintly marked; they mix more with the world, and become daily less attached to their chiefs: the clans begin to disperse themselves through different parts of the country, finding that their industry and good conduct afford them better protection (since the due execution of the laws) than any their chief|tain can afford; and the chieftain tafting the sweets of advanced rents, and the benefits of industry, damnisses from his table the crowds of retainers, the Page 167 former instruments of his oppression and freakish tyranny.
Most of the antient sports of the Highlanders,* such as archery, hunting, fowling and Billing, are now difused: those retained are, throwing the putting-stone, or stone of strength*, as they call it, which occasions an emulation who can throw a weighty one the farthest. Throwing the penny-stone, which answers to our coits. The shinty, or the striking a ball of wood or of hair: this game is played between two parties in a large plain, and furnished with clubs; which-ever side strikes it first to their own goal wins the match.
The amusements by their fire-sides were, the telling of tales, the wildest and most extravagant imaginable: musick was another: in former times, the harp was the favorite instrument, covered with leather and strung with wire †, but at present is quite lost. Bagpipes are supposed to have been introduced by the Danes;* the oldest are played with the mouth, the loudest and most ear-piercing of any wind musick; the other, played with the singers only, are of Irish origin: the first suited the genius of this warlike people, rouzed their courage to battle, alarmed them when secure, and collected them when scattered. This instrument is become scarce since the abolition of the power of the chieftains, and the more industrious turn of the common people.
Page 168 Vocal musick was much in vogue amongst them, and their songs were chiefly in praise of their antient heroes. I was told that they still have fragments of the story of Fingal and others, which they carrol as they go along; these vocal traditions are the foundation of the works of Ossian.
Leave Inverness,* and continue my journey west for some time by the river-side: have a fine view of the plain, the Tommin, the town and the distant hills. After a ride of about six miles reached Lough-Ness*, and enjoyed along its banks a most romantic and beautifull scenery, generally in woods of birch, or hazel, mixed with a few holly, white|thorn, aspin, ash and oak, but open enough in all parts to admit a sight of the water. Sometimes the road was strait for a considerable distance, and re|sembled a fine and regular avenue; in others it wound about the sides of the hi•ls which over|hung the lake: the road was frequently cut thro' the rock, which on one side formed a solid wall; on the other, a steep precipice. In many parts we were immersed in woods; in others, they opened and gave a view of the sides and tops of the vast mountains soaring above: some of these were naked, but in general covered with wood, except on the meer precipices, or where the grey rocks denied vegetation, or where the heath, now glowing with purple blossoms, covered the surface. The form of these hills was very various and irregular, either broken into frequent precipices, or towering into rounded summits cloathed with trees; but not so Page [unnumbered]
The north side of Lough-Ness is far less beau|tifull than the south. In general, the hills are less high, but very steep; in a very few places covered with brush-wood, but in general very naked, from the Hiding of the strata down their sloping sides. About the middle is Castle Urqhuart,* a fortress founded on a rock projecting into the lake, and was said to have been the seat of the once powerfull Cummins. Near it is the broadest part of the Lough, occasioned by a bay near the castle.
Above is Glen-Moriston, and east of that Straith|Glas, or the Chisolm's country; in both of which Page 170 are forests of pines, where that rare bird the Cock of the Wood is still to be met with. At Glen|Moriston is a manufacture of linnen, where forty girls at a time are taught for three months to spin, and then another forty taken in: there are besides six looms, and all supported out of the forseited lands.
Above is the great mountain Meal Fourvounich, the first land sailors make from the east sea; on the top is a lake said to be 100 fathoms deep.
I was informed that in that neighborhood are glens and cascades of surprising beauty, but my time did not permit me to visit them.
Dined at a poor inn near the General's Hut, or the place where General Wade resided when he in|spected the great work of the roads, and gave one rare example of making the soldiery usefull in time of peace. Near is a fine glen covered at the bot|tom with wood, through which runs a torrent rising southward. The country also is prettily va|ried with woods and corn-fields.
* About a mile farther is the fall of Fyers, a vast cataract, in a darksome glen of a stupendous depth; the water darts far beneath the top thro' a narrow gap between two rocks, then precipitates above forty feet lower into the bottom of the chasm, and the foam, like a great cloud of smoke, rises and fills the air. The sides of this glen are vast pre|cipices mixed with trees over-hanging the water, through which, after a short space, the waters dis|charge themselves into the lake.
About half a mile south of the first fall is ano|ther passing through a narrow chasm, whose sides Page [unnumbered]
At the fall of Fyers the road quits the side of the lake, and is carried for some space through a small vale on the side of the river Fyers, where is a mix|ture of small plains of corn and rocky hills. Then succeeds a long and dreary moor, a tedious ascent up the mountain See-whinnin, or Cummin's Seat, whose summit is of a great height and very craggy. Descend a steep road, leave on the right Lough-|Taarf, a small irregular piece of water, decked with little wooded isles, and abounding with Char. After a second steep descent, reach Fort Augustus*, a small fortress,* seated on a plain at the head of Lough-Ness, between the rivers Taarf and Oich; the last is considerable, and has over it a bridge of three arches. The fort consists of four bastions; within is the Governor's house, and barracks for 400 men: it was taken by the Rebels in 1746, who immediately deserted it, after demolishing as much as they could.
Lough-Ness is twenty-two miles in length;* the breadth from one to two miles, except near Castle Urqbuart, where it swells out to three. The depth is very great; opposite the rock called the Horse|shoe, near the west end, it has been found to be 140 fathoms. From an eminence near the fort is a full view of its whole extent, for it is perfectly Page 172 strait, running from east to west, with a point to the south. The boundary from the fall of Fyers is very steep and rocky, which obliged General Wade to make that detour from its banks, partly on ac|count of the expence in cutting through so much solid rock, partly through an apprehension that in case of a rebellion the troops might be destroyed in their march, by the tumbling down of stones by the enemy from above: besides this, a prodigious arch must have been slung over the Glen of Fyers.
This lake,* by reason of its great depth, never freezes, and during cold weather a violent steam rises from it as from a furnace. Ice brought from other parts, and put into Lough-Ness, instantly thaws; but no water freezes sooner than that of the lake when brought into a house. Its water is esteemed very falubrious; so that people come or send thirty miles for it: old Lord Lovat in particular made constant use of it. But it is certain, whether it be owing to the water, or to the air of that neighbor|hood, that for seven years the garrison of Fort Augustus had not lost a single man.
The fish of this lake are Salmon, which are in season from Christmas to Midsummer, Trouts of about 2lb. weight, Pikes and Eels. During win|ter it is frequented by Swans and other wild fowls.
The greatest rise of water in Lough-Ness is four|teen feet. The lakes from whence it receives its supplies are Lough-Oich, Louch-Garrie, and Lough-|Quich. There is but very little navigation on it; the only vessel is a gally belonging to the fort, to bring the stores from the east end, the river Ness being too shallow for navigation.
Page 173 It is violently agitated by the winds,* and at times the waves are quite mountainous. November 1st, 1755, at the same time as the earthquake at Lisbon, these waters were affected in a very extraordinary manner: they rose and flowed up the lake from east to west with vast impetuosity, and were carried above 200 yards up the river Oich, breaking on its banks in a wave near three feet high; then continued ebbing and flowing for the space of an hour: but at eleven o'clock a wave greater than any of the rest came up the river, broke on the north side, and overflowed the bank for the extent of 30 feet. A boat near the General's Hut, loaden with brush-wood, was thrice driven ashore, and twice carried back again; but the last time, the rudder was broken, the wood forced out, and the boat filled with water and left on shore. At the same time, a little isle, in a small lough in Badenoch, was totally reversed and slung on the beach. But at both these places no agitation was felt on land.
Rode to the Castle of Tor-down,* a rock two miles west of Fort Augustus: on the summit is an antient fortress. The face of this rock is a precipice; on the accessible side is a strong dyke of loose stones; above that a ditch, and a little higher a terrass sup|ported by stones: on the top a small oval area, hollow in the middle: round this area, for the depth of near twelve feet, are a quantity of stones strangely cemented with almost vitrified matter, and in some places quite turned into black scoria: the stones were generally granite mixed with a few grit|stones of a kind not found nearer the place than 40 miles. Whether this was the antient site of some|forge, Page 174 forge, of whether the stones which form this for|tress * had been collected from the strata of some Vulcano, (for the vestiges of such are said to have been found in the Highlands) I submit to farther enquiry.
From this rock is a view of Ben-ki, a vast craggy, mountain above Glen-Garrie's country. Towards the south is the high mountain Coryarich: the ascent from this side is nine miles, but on the other into Badenoch is very rapid, and not above one, the road being, for the ease of the traveller, cut in a zigzag fashion. People often perish on the summit of this hill, which is frequently visited during win|ter with dreadfull storms of snow.
After a short ride westward along the plain,* reach Lough-Oich, a narrow lake; the sides prettily in|dented, and the water adorned with small wooded isles.* On the shore is Glen-Garrie, the seat of Mr. M'Donald, almost surrounded with wood, and not far distant is the ruin of the old castle. This lake is about four miles long; the road on the south side is excellent, and often carried through very pleasant woods.
After a small interval arrive on the banks of Lough-Lochy,* a fine piece of water, fourteen miles long, and from one to two broad. The distant mountains on the north were of an immense height; those on the south had the appearance of fine sheep|walks. The road is continued on the side of the lake about eight miles. On the opposite shore was Acbnacarrie, once the seat of Cameron of Lochiel,Page 175 but burnt in 1746. He was esteemed by all par|ties the honestest and most sensible man of any that embarked in the pernicious and absurd attempt of that and the preceding year. By his influence he prevented the Rebels from committing several ex|cesses, and even saved the city of Glasgow from being plundered, when their army returned out of England, irritated with their disappointment, and enraged at the loyalty that city had shewn. The Pretender came to him as soon as ever he landed. Lochiel seeing him arrive in so wild a manner and so unsupported, entreated him to desist from an enterprize from which nothing but certain ruin could result to him and his partizans. The Ad|venturer grew warm, and reproached Lochiel with a breach of promise. This affected him so deeply, that he instantly went and took a tender and moving leave of his lady and family, foreseeing he was on the point of parting with them for ever. The in|come of his estate was at that time, as I was told, not above 7001. per ann. yet he brought fourteen hundred men into the field.
The waters of this lake form the river Lochy, and discharge themselves into the western sea, as those of Lough-Oich do through Lough-Ness into the eastern. About the beginning of this lake enter Lochaber;* stop at Low-bridge, a poor house;* tra|vel over a black moor for some miles; see abun|dance of cattle, but scarce any corn. Cross
High-bridge, a fine bridge of three arches flung over the torrent Spean, founded on rocks; two of Page 176 the arches are 95 feet high. This bridge was built by General Wade, in order to form a communica|tion with the country. These publick works were at first very disagreeable to the old Chieftains: it lessened their influence greatly; for by admitting strangers among them their clans were taught that the Lairds were not the first of men. But they had another reason much more solid: Lochaber had been a den of thieves; and as long as they had their waters, their torrents and their bogs, in a state of nature, they made their excursions, could plunder and retreat with their booty in full security. So weak were the laws in many parts of North Britain, till after the late rebellion, that no stop could be put to this infamous practice. A contribution, called the black meal, was raised by several of these plundering chieftains over a vast extent of country: whoever payed it had their cattle ensured, but those. who dared to refuse were sure to suffer. Many of these free-booters were wont to insert an article, by which they were to be released from their agree|ment, in case of any civil commotion: thus, at the breaking out of the last rebellion, a M'Gregor,* who had with the strictest honor (till that event) preserved his friends cattle, immediately sent them word, that from that time they were out of his protection, and must now take care of themselves. Barrisdale was another of this class, chief of a band of robbers, who spread terror over the whole coun|try: but the Highlanders at that time esteemed the open theft of cattle, or the making a spreith (as Page 177 they called it) by no means dishonorable; and the young men considered it as a piece of gallantry, by which they recommended themselves to their mistresses. On the other side there was often as much bravery in the pursuers; for frequent battles ensued, and much blood has been spilt on those occasions. They also shewed great dexterity in tracing the robbers, not only through the boggy land, but over the firmest ground, and even over places where other cattle had passed, knowing well how to distinguish the steps of those that were wan|dering about from those that were driven hastily away by the Free-booters.
From the road had a distant view of the moun|tains of Arisaig, beyond which were Moydart, Kin|loch, &c. At the end of Lough Shiel the Pretender first set up his standard in the wildest place that imagination can frame. The inhabitants of this country are mostly Papists, and here the strength of the rebellion lay.
Pass by the side of the river Lochy, now consi|derable.* See Inverlochy Castle with four large round towers *, which, by the mode of building, seems to have been the work of the English, in the time of Edward I. who laid large fines on the Scotch Barons for the purpose of erecting new castles. Reach
Fort William, built in King William's reign, as was a small town near it, called Mary|borough,Page 178 in honor of his Queen; but prior to that, had been a small fortress, erected by order of Crom|wel, with whose people the famous Sir, Ewen Ca|meron* had numerous contests. The present fort is a triangle, has two bastions, and is capable of admitting a garrison of eight hundred men. It was well defended against the Rebels in 1746, who raised the siege with much disgrace. The fort lies on a narrow arm of the sea, called Loch-yell, which extends some miles higher up the country, making a bend to the north, and extends likewise westward towards the isle of Mull, near twenty-four Scotch miles.
This fort on the west, and Fort Augustus, in the centre, and Fort George on the east,* form what is called the chain, from sea to sea. This space is called Glen-more, or the great Glen, which. includ|ing water and land, is almost a level of seventy miles. There is, in fact, but little land, but what is divided by firth, lough, or river; except the two miles which lie between Lough Oich and Lough Lochy. By, means of Fort George, all entrance up the Firth towards Inverness is prevented, Fort Au|gustus curbed the inhabitants midway, and Fort William is a check to any attempts on the west Detahments are made from all these garrisons to Inverness, Bernera barracks opposite to the Isle of Skie, and Castle Duart in the Isle of Mull†. Other Page 179 small parries ate also scattered in huts throughout the country, to prevent the stealing of castle.
Fort William is surrounded by vast mountains, which occasion almost perpetual rain: the loftiest are on the south side; Benevish soars above the rest,* and ends, as I was told, in a point, (at this time concealed in mist) whose height from the sea is said to be 1450 yards. As an antient Briton, I lament the disgrace of Snowdon, once esteemed the highest hill in the island, but now must yield the palm to a Caledonian mountain. But I have my doubts whe|ther this might not be rivaled, or perhaps surpassed by others in the same country, for example, Ben y bourd, a central hill, from whence to the Tea there is a continued and rapid descent of seventy miles, as may be seen by the violent course of the Dee to Aberdeen. But their height has not yet been taken, which to be done fairly must be from the sea. Benevish, as well as many others, harbor snow throughtout the year.
The bad weather which reigned during my stay in these parts prevented me from visiting the cele|brated parallel roads in Glen-Roy. As I am unable to satify the curiosity of the Reader from my own observation, I shall deliver in the Appendix * the informations I could collect relating to these amazing works.
The great produce of Lochaber is cattle:* that district alone fends out annually 3000 head; but if a portion of Invernessshire is included, of which this properly is part, the number is 10,000. There are Page 180 also a few horses bred here, and a very few sheep but of late several have been imported. Scarce any arable land, for the excessive wet which reigns here almost totally prevents the growth of corn, and what little there is fit for tillage sets at ten shillings an acre. The inhabitants of this district are therefore obliged, for their support, to import six thousand bolls of oatmeal annually, which cost about 4000l. the rents are about 3000l. per ann. the return for their cattle is about 75001. the horses may produce some trifle; so that the tenants must content themselves with a very scanty subsistence without the prospect of saying the lest against un|foreseen accidents. The rage of raising rents has reached this distant country: in England there may be reason for it, (in a certain degree) where the value of lands is encreased by accession of com|merce, and by the rise of the price of provisions; but here (contrary to all policy) the great men be|gin at the wrong end, with squeezing the bag, before they have helped the poor tenant to fill it, by the introduction of manufactures. In many of the isles this already shews its unhappy effect, and begins to depopulate the country; for numbers of families have been obliged to give up the strong attachment the Scots in general have for their coun|try, and to exchange it for the wilds of America.
The houses of the peasants in Lochaber are the most wretched that can be imagined; framed of upright poles, which are wattled; the roof is formed of boughs like a wigwam, and the whole is covered with sods; so that in this moist climate Page 181 their cottages have a perpetual and much finer ver|dure than the rest of the country.
Salmons are taken in these parts as late as May; about 50 tuns are caught in the season. These fish never appear so early on this coast as on the eastern.
Phinocs are taken here in great numbers, 1500 having been taken at a draught. They come in August and disappear in November. They are about a foot long, their color grey spotted with black their flesh red; rise eagerly to a fly. The fishermen suppose them to be the young of what they call a great Trout, weighing 30lb. which I suppose is the Grey*.
Left Fort William, and proceeded south along the military road on the side of a hill,* an awefull height above Loch-Leven† a branch of the sea, so narrow as to have only the appearance of a river, bounded on both sides with vast mountains, among whose winding bottoms the tide rolled in with so|lemn majesty. The scenery begins to grow very romantic; on the west side are some woods of birch and pines: the hills are very lofty, many of them taper to a point, and my old friend, the late worthy Bishop Pocock, compared the shape of one to mount Tabor. Beneath them is Glen-Co,* infamous for the massacre of its inhabitants in 1691, and celebrated for having (as some assert) given birth to Ossian; towards the north is Morvan, the country of his hero Fingal.
Page 182 Leave on the left a vast cataract, precipitating itself in a great foaming sheet between two lofty perpendicular rocks, with trees growing out of the fissures, forming a large stream, called the water of Boon.
* Breakfast at the little village of Kinloch-Leven on most excellent minced stag, the only form I thought that animal good in.
Near this village is a single farm fourteen miles long, which sets for only 351. per ann. and from the nature of the soil, perhaps not very cheap.
Saw here a Quern,* a sort of portable mill, made of two stones about two feet broad, thin at the edges, and a little thicker in the middle. In the centre of the upper stone is a hole to pour in the corn, and a peg by way of handle. The whole is placed on a cloth; the grinder pours the corn into the hole with one hand, and with the other turns round the upper stone with a very rapid motion, while the meal runs out at the sides on the cloth. This is rather preserved as a curiosity, being much out of use at present. Such are supposed to be the same with what are common among the Moors, being the simple substitute of a mill.
Immediately after leaving Kinloch-Leven the mountains soar to a far greater height than before; the sides are covered with wood, and the bottoms of the glens filled with torrents that roar amidst the loose stones. After a ride of two miles begin to ascend the black mountain,* in Argyleshire, on a steep road, which continues about three miles al|most to the summit, and is certainly the highest publick road in Great Britain. On the other side Page 183 the descent is scarce a mile, but is very rapid down a zigzag way. Reach the King's house, seated in a plain: it was built for the accommodation of His Majesty's troops, in their march through this deso|late country, but is in a manner unfurnished.
Pass near Lough-Tutta, a long narrow piece of water, with a small pine-wood on its side. A few weather-beaten pines and birch appear scattered up and down, and in all the bogs great numbers of roots, that evince the forest that covered the coun|try within this half century. These were the last pines which I saw growing spontaneously in North Britain. The pine-forests are become very rare: I can enumerate only those on the banks of Lough-Raynach, at Invercauld, and Brae-mar; at Coygach and Dirry-Monach: the first in Straith-navern, the last in Sutherland. Those about Lough-Loyn, Glen-Moriston, and Straith-Glas; a small one near Lough-Garrie, another near Lough-Arkig, and a few scattered trees above Kinloch-Leven, all in Invernesssire; and I was also informed that there are very considerable woods about Castle Grant. I saw only one species of Pine in those I visited; nor could I learn whether there was any other than what is vulgarly called the Scotch Fir, whose synonyms are these:
Pinus sylvestris foliis brevibus glaucis, conis parvis albentibus. Raii hist. Pl. 1401. syn. stirp. Br. 442.
Pinus-sylvestris. Gerard's herb. 1356. Lin. sp. Pl. 1418. Flora Angl. 361.
Page 184Pin d'Ecosse, on de Geneve. Du Hamel Tr•it• des Arbes. II. 125. No. 5. Eyrre, Strom. Sondmor• 12.
Most of this long day's journey from the black mountain was truly melancholy, almost one conti|nued scene of dusky moors, without arable land, trees, houses, or living creature, for numbers of miles.
The roads are excellent; but from Fort William to Kinloch-Leven, very injudiciously planned, often carried far about, and often so steep as to be scarce surmountable; whereas had the engineer followed the track used by the inhabitants, those inconve|niences would have been avoided.
These roads, by rendering the highlands accessi|ble, contributed much to their present improvement, and were owing to the industry of our soldiery; they were begun in 1723 *, under the directions of Gen. Wade, who, like another Hannibal, forced his way through rocks supposed to have been uncon|querable: many of them hang over the mighty lakes of the country, and formerly afforded no other road to the natives than the paths of sheep or goats, where even the Highlander crawled with difficulty, and kept himself from tumbling into the far subjacent water by clinging to the plants and bushes of the rock. Many of these rocks were too hard to yield to the pick-ax, and the miner was obliged to sub|due their obstinacy with gunpowder, and often in places where nature had denied him footing, and where he was forced to begin his labors, suspended from above by ropes on the face of the horrible Page 185 precipice. The bogs and moors had likewise their difficulties to overcome; but all wore it length con|strained to yield to the perseverence of our troops.
In some places I observed, that, after the manner of the Romans, they left engraven on the rocks the names of the regiment each party belonged to, who were employed in these works; nor were they less worthy of being immortalized than the Vexillatio's of the Roman legions; for civilization was the con|sequence of the labors of both.
These roads begin at Dunkeld, are carried on thro' the noted pass of Killicrankie, by Blair, to Dalna|cardoch, Dalwhinie, and over the Coryarich, to Fort Augustus. A branch extends from thence eastward to Inverness, and another westward, over High-bridge, to Fort William. From the last, by Kinloch-Leven, over the Black Mountain, by the King's house, to Teindrum, and from thence, by Glen-urqhie, to Inveraray, and so along the beautifull boundaries of Lough-Lomond, to its extremity.
Another road begins near Crief, passes by Aber|feldy, crosses the Tay at Tay-bridge, and unites with the other road at Dalnacardoch; and from Dal|whinie a branch passes through Badenoch to Inver|ness.
These are the principal military roads; but there may be many others I may have over-looked.
Rode through some little vales by the side of a small river; and from the appearance of fertility, have some relief from the dreary scene of the rest of the day. Reach
Tyendrum, a small village. The inn is seated the highest of any house in Scotland.* The Tay runs Page 186 east, and a few hundred yards further is a little lake, whose waters run west. A lead mine is worked here by a level to some advance; was discovered about thirty years ago: the veins run S. W. and N. E.
* Continue my tour on a very fine road on a side of a narrow vale, abounding with cattle; yet desti|tute both of arable land and meadow, but the beasts pick up a sustenance from the grass that springs up among the heath. The country opens on approaching Glen-Urqhie,* a pretty vally, well cultivated, fertile in corn, the sides adorned with numbers of pretty groves, and the middle watered by the river Urqhie: the church is seated on a knowl, in a large isle, formed by the river: the Manse, or minister's house, is neat, and his little demesn is decorated in the most advantageous places with seats of turf, indicating the content and satisfaction of the possessor in the lot Providence has given him.
In the church-yard are several grave-stones of great antiquity, with figures of a warrior, each fur|nished with a spear, or two-handed sword: on some are representations of the chase; on others, elegant fret-work; and on one, said to be part of the coffin of a M'Gregor, is a fine running pattern of follage and flowers, and excepting the figures, all in good taste.
On an eminence on the south side of this vale dwells M'Nabb, a smith, whose family have lived in that humble station since the year 1440, being always of the same profession. The first of the line was employed by the Lady of Sir Duncan Campbell,Page 187 who built the of castle of Kilchurn when her husdand was on a croisade: some of their tombs are in the church-yard of Glen-Urqhie; the oldest has a ham|mer and other implements of his trade cut on it. I here was favored with several translations of some English poetry into the Erse language, an epi|taph, and an elegy, to be found in the Appendix*, by those whose turn leads them to peruse per|formances of that kind. After breakfast, at a good inn near the village, was there present at a christen|ing, and became sponsor to a little Highlander, by no other ceremony than receiving him for a mo|ment into my arms.
Pursue my journey, and have a fine view of the meanders of the river before its union with Lough-Aw; in an isle in the beginning of the lake is the castle of Kilchurn,* which had been inhabited by the present Lord Breadalbane's grandfather. The great tower was repaired by his Lordship, and garrisoned by him in 1745, for the service of the government, in order to prevent the Rebels from making use of that great pass cross the kingdom; but is now a ruin, having lately been struck by lightening.
At a place called Hamilton's Pass, in an instant burst on a view of the lake, which makes a beau|tifull appearance;* is about a mile broad, and shews at lest ten miles of its length. This water is pret|tily varied with isles, some so small as meerly to peep above the surface; yet even these are tufted with trees; some are large enough to afford hay and pasturage; and in one, called Inch-hail, are the Page 188 remains of a convent *. On Fr••••-Elan,** the Hes|perides of the Highlands, are the ruins of a castle. The fair Mego longed for the delicious fruit of the isle, guarded by a dreadfull serpent: the hero Fraoch goes to gather it, and is destroyed by the monster. This tale is sung in the Erse ballads, and is translated and published in the manner of Fing ••
The whole extent of Lough-Aw is thirty miles, bounded on the north by Lorn, a portion of Argyle|shire, a fertile country, prettily wooded near the water-side. On the N. E. are vast mountain:* among them Crouachan† towers to a great heights it rises from the lake, and its sides are snagged wich woods impending over it. At its foot is the discharge of the waters of this Lough into Lough-Elive, an arm of the sea, after a turbulent course of a series of cataracts for the space of three miles. At Bu|naw, near the north end, is a large salmon-fishery; also a considerable iron-foundery, which I fear will soon devour the beautifull woods of the country.
Pass by Scotstown,* a single house. Dine at the little village of Cladish. About two miles hence, on an eminence is sight of the convent on Inch-Bail, is a spot, called Croisch an Tsleahd, or the cross of bowing, because, in Popish times, it was always customary to kneel or make obeisance on first sight of any consecrated place ‡
Page 189 Pass between hills finely planted with several sorts of trees, such as Weymouth pines, &c. and after a picturesque ride, reach
Inveraray.* the castle the principal seat of the Dukes of Argyle, chief of the Campbells; was built by Duke Archibald; is quadrangular with a round tower at each corner and in the middle rises a square one glazed on every side to give light to the staircase and galleries, and has from without a most dis|agreeable effect. In the attic story are eighteen good bed chambers: the ground-floor was at this time in a manner unfurnished, but will have several good apartments. The castle is built of a coarse lapis •ll•ris, brought from the other side of Lough-Fine, and is the same kind with that found in Nor|way of which the King of Denmark's palace at Copenhagen is built. Near the new castle are some remains of the old.
This place will in time be very magnificent; but at present the space between the front and the water is disgraced with the. old town, composed of the most wretched hovels that can be imagined. The founder of the castle designed to have built a new founder on the west side of the little bay the house stands on: he finished a few houses, a custom-house, and an excellent inn: his death interrupted the completion of the plan, which, when brought to perfection, will give the place a very different appearance to what it now bears.
From the top of the great rock Duniquaich is a fine view of the castle the lawn sprinkled with fine trees, the hills covered with extensive plantations, a country fertile in corn, bordering the Lough, Page 190 and the Lough itself covered with boats. The trees on the lawn about the castle are said to have been planted by the Earl of Argyle: they thrive greatly, for I observed beech from nine to twelve feet and a half in girth, pines nine, and a lesser maple between seven and eight.
But the busy scene of the herring-fishery gave no small improvement to the magnificent environs of Inveraray. Every evening * some hundreds of boats in a manner covered the surface of Lough-Fine, an arm of the sea, which, from its narrow|ness and from the winding of its shores, has all the beauties of a fresh-water lake: on the week-days, the chearfull noise of the bagpipe and dance eechoes from on board: on the sabbath, each boat approaches the land, and psalmody and devotion divide the day; for the common people of the north are disposed to be religious, having the example before them of a gentry untained by luxury and dissipation, and being instrusted by a clergy, who are active in their duty and who pre|serve respect amids all the disadvantages of a narrow income.
The length of Lough-Fine,* from the eastern end to the point of Lamond, is above thirty Scotch mises; but its breadth scarce two measured: the depth from sixty to seventy fathoms:* It is noted for the vast shoals of herrings that appear here in July and continue till January. The highest season is from September to Christmas, when near six hun|dred Page 191 boats, with four men in each, are employed. A chain of nets is used (for several are united) of a hundred fathoms in length. As the herrings swim at very uncertain depths, so the nets are sunk to the depth the shoal is found to take: the success therefore depends much on the judgement or good fortune of the fishers, in taking their due depths; for it often happens that one boat will take multitudes, while the next does not catch a single fish, which makes the boatmen perpetually enquire of each other about the depth of their nets. These are kept up by buoys to a proper pitch; the ropes that run through them are fastened with pegs, and by drawing up or letting out the rope (after taking out the pegs) they adjust their situation, and then replace them. Sometimes the fish swim in twenty fathom water, sometimes in fifty, and oftentimes even at the bottom.
It is computed that each boat gets about 40l. in the season. The fish are either salted, and packed in barrels for exportation, or sold fresh to the country people, two or three hundred horses being brought every day to the water-side from very distant parts. A barrel holds 500 herrings, if they are of the best kind; at a medium, 700: but if more, for some|times a barrel will hold 1000, they are reckoned very poor. The present price 1l. 4s. per barrel; but there is a drawback of the duty on salt for those that are exported.
The great rendezvous of vessels for the fishery off the western isles is at Cambeltown, in Cantyre, where they clear out on the 12 th of September, and some|times three hundred busses are seen there at a time: Page 192 they must return to their different ports by January 13th, where they ought to receive the praemium of 2l. 10s. per tun of herrings; but it is said to be very ill paid, which is a great discouragement to the fishery.
The herrings of Lough-Fine are as uncertain in their migration as they are on the coast of Wales. They had for numbers of years quitted that water; but appeared again there within these dozen years. Such is the case with the loughs on all this western coast, not but people despair too soon of finding them, from one or two unsuccessfull tryals in the beginning of the season; perhaps from not adjusting their nets to the depth the fish happen then to swim in: but if each year a small vessel of two was sent to make a thorough tryal in every branch of the sea on this coast, they would undoubtedly find shoals of fish in one or other.
*Tunnies,* called here Mackrel-Sture, are very frequently caught in the herring season, which they follow to prey on. They are taken with a strong iron hook fastened to a rope and baited with a her|ring: as soon as hooked lose all spirit, and are drawn up without any resistance: are very active when at liberty, and jump and frolick oft the sur|face of the water.
* Crossed over an elegant bridge of three arches upon the Aray, in front of the castle, and kept riding along the side of the Lough for about seven miles: saw in one place a shoal of herrings, close to the surface, perfectly piled on one another, with a flock of Gulls, busied with this offered booty.
Page 193 After quitting the water-side the road is carried for a considerable way through the bottoms of naked, deep and gloomy glens. Ascend a very high pass with a little lough on the top. Reach the end of Lough-Long, another narrow arm of the sea, bounded by high-hills, and after a long course terminates in the Firth of Clyde.
Near this place see a house, very pleasantly situ|ated, belonging to Colonel Campbell, amidst plan|tations, with some very fertile bottoms adjacent. On ascending a hill not half a mile farther, appears LOUGH-LOMOND. North-Britain may well boast of its waters;* for so short a ride as thirty miles presents the traveller with the view of four most magnificent pieces. Lough-Aw, Lough-Fine, Lough-Long, and Lough-Lomond. Two indeed are of salt-water; but, by their narrowness, give the idea of fresh-water lakes. It is an idle observation of tra|vellers, that seeing one is the same with seeing all of these superb waters; for almost every one I visited has its proper characters.
Lough-Leven is a broad expanse, with isles and cultivated shores.
Lough-Tay makes three bold windings, has steep but sloping shores, cultivated in many parts, and bounded by vast hills.
Lough-Raynach, is broad and strait, has more wildness about it, with a large natural pine wood on its southern banks.
Lough Tumel is narrow, confined by the sloping sides of steep hills, and has on its western limits a flat, rich woody country, and is watered by a most serpentine stream.
Page 194 The Lough of Spinie is almost on a flat, and its sides much indented.
Lough-Moy is small, and has soft features on its banks, amidst rude environs.
Lough-Ness is strait and narrow; its shores abound with a wild magnificence, lofty, precipi|tous and wooded, and has all the greatness of an Alpine lake.
Lough-Oich has lofty mountains at a small dis|tance from its borders; the shores indented, and the water decorated with isles.
Lough-Lochy wants the isles; its shores slope, and several straiths terminate on its banks.
Lough-Aw is long and waving: its little isles tusted with trees, and just appearing above the water, its two great seeds of water at each ex|tremity, and its singular lateral discharge near one of them, sufficiently mark this great lake.
Lough-Lomond,* the last, the most beautifull of the Caledonian lakes. The first view of it from Tarbat presents an extensive serpentine winding amidst lofty hills: on the north, barren, black and rocky, which darken with their shade that contracted part of the water. Near this gloomy tract, beneath Craig Ros|ton,* was the principal seat of the Mc Gregors, a murderous clan, infamous for excesses of all kinds; it length, for a horrible massacre of the Colquhuns, or Cabouns, in 1602, were proscribed, and hunted down like wild beasts; their very name suppressed by act of council; so that the remnant, now dis|persed like Jews, dare not even sign it to any deed. Their posterity are still said to be distinguished among the clans in which they have incorporated Page 195 themselves, not only by the redness of their hair; but by their still retaining the mischievous disposi|tion of their ancestors.
On the west side, the mountains are cloathed hear the bottoms with woods of oak quite to the water edge; their summits lofty, naked and craggy.
On the east side, the mountains are equally high; but the tops form a more even ridge parallel to the lake, except where Ben-Lomond*, like Saul amidst his companions, overtops the rest. The upper parts were black and barren; the lower had great marks of fertility, or at left of industry, for the yellow corn was finely contrasted with the ver|dure of the groves intermixed with it.
This eastern boundary is part of the Grampian hills,* which extend from hence through the coun|ties of Perth, Angus, Mearns, and Aberdeen. They take their name from only a single hill, the Mons Grampius of Tacitus, where Galgacus waited the approach of Agricola, and where the battle was fought so fatal to the brave Caledonians. Anti|quarians have not agreed upon the particular spot; but the able Mr. Gordon† places it near Comerie, at the upper end of Straithern, at a place to this day called Galgachan Moor. But to return.
The road runs sometimes through woods, at others is exposed and naked; in some, so steep as to require the support of a wall: the whole the work of the soldiery: blessed exchange of instruments of destruction for those that give safety to the traveller, and a polish to the once inaccessible native.
Page 196 A great headland covered with trees separates the first scene from one totally different. On pass|ing this cape an expanse of water bursts at once on your eye, varied with all the softer beauties of na|ture. Immediately beneath is a flat covered with wood and corn: beyond, the headlands stretch far into the water, and consist of gentle risings; many have their surfaces covered with wood, others adorned with trees loosely scattered either over a fine verdure, or the purple bloom of the heath. Numbers of islands are dispersed over the lake of the same elevated form as the little capes, and wooded in the same manner; others just peep above the surface, and are tusted with trees; and num|bers are so disposed as to form magnificent vistos between.
Opposite Luss, at a small distance from shore, is a mountainous isle almost covered with wood; is near half a mile long, and has a most fine effect. I could not count the number of islands, but was told there are twenty-eight: the largest two miles long, and stocked with Deer.
The length of this charming lake is 24 Scotch miles; its greatest breadth eight: its greatest depth a hundred and twenty fathoms. Besides the fish common to the Loughs are Guiniads, called here Poans.
The country from Luss* to the southern ex|tremity of the lake continually improves; the mountains sink gradually into small hills; the land is highly cultivated, well planted, and well inha|bited.
Page 197 I was struck with rapture at a sight so long new to me: it would have been without alloy, had it not been dashed with the uncertainty whether the mountain virtue, hospitality, would flourish with equal vigor in the softer scenes I was on the point of entering on; for in the Highlands every house gave welcome to the traveller.
The vale between the end of the lake and Dun|barton is unspeakably beautifull, very fertile, and finely watered by the great and rapid river Levin, the discharge of the lake, which, after a short course, drops into the Firth of Clyde below Dunbarton: there is scarcely a spot on its banks but what is cultivated with bleacheries, plantations and villas. Nothing can equal the contrast in this day's journey, between the black barren dreary glens of the morn|ing ride, and the soft scenes of the evening, islands worthy of the retreat of Armida, and which Rinaldo himself would have quitted with a sigh.
Before I take my last leave of the Highlands,* it would be proper to observe that every entrance into them is strongly marked by nature.
On the south, the narrow and wooded glen near Dunkeld instantly shews the change of country.
On the east, the craggy pass of Bollitir gives a contracted admission into the Grampian hills.
On the north, the mountains near Lough-Moy appear very near, and form what is properly styled the threshold of the country; and on the West, the narrow road impending over Lough-|Lomond forms a most characteristic entrance to this mountainous tract.
Page 198 But the Erse language is not confined within these limits; for it is spoken on all sides beyond these mountains. On the eastern coast it begins at Nairn; on the western, extends over all the isles. It ceases in the north of Cathness, the Orkneys, and the Shetland islands*; but near Lough-Lomond, is heard at Luss, at Buchanan, east of the lake, and at Roseneth, west of it.
Cross the ferry over the Levin at Bounel, and after a ride of three miles reach
Dunbarton,* a small but good old town, seated on a plain near the conflux of the Levin with the Firth of Clyde; it consists principally of one large street in form of a crescent. On one side is the Tolbooth, and at the south end the church with a small spire steeple. The waites of the town are bagpipes, which go about at nine o'clock at night and five in the morning.
* The castle is seated a little south of the town on a two-headed rock of a stupendous height, rising in a strange manner out of the sands, and totally detached from every thing else. On one of the summits are the remains of an old light-house; on the other, the powder magazine: in the hollow between is a large well of excellent water fourteen feet deep. The sides of the rocks are immense precipices, and often over-hang, except on the side where the governor's house stands, which is defended by walls and a few cannon, and garrisoned by a, few invalids. From its natural strength, it was in former times deemed impregnable; so that the Page 199 desperate but successfull scalado of it 1571 * may vie with the greatest attempts of that kind, with the capture of the Numidian fortress, in the Jugur|thine war, by Marius; or the more horrible surprize of Fescamp†, by the gallant Bois-rosè.
From the summits of this rock is a fine view of the country, of the town of Dunbarton, the river Levin, the Firth of Clyde, (the Glota of Tacitus) here about a mile broad, and of the towns of Greenock and Port Glasgow, on the opposite shore. The bu|siness of this country is the spinning of thread, which is very considerable. There is also a great salmon-fishery:* but in this populous country, so great is the demand for them that none can be spared for curing. Gilses come up the river in June, and continue in plenty about twenty days; and many Salmon Trout are taken from March to July. Phinocs, called here Yellow Fins, come in July, and continue about the same space of time as the Gilses: the fishermen call them the young of some great Sea Trout. During May, Parrs appear in such numbers in the Levin, that the water seems quite animated with them. There are besides in that river Perch and a few Poans‡.
Pass by the ruins of Dunglas castle,* near the banks of the Clyde, which meanders finely along a rich plain full of barley and oats, and much in|closed with good hedges, a rarity in North Britain.
Page 200 At a distance are some gentle risings, interspersed with woods and villas belonging to the citizens of Glasgow,
* The best built of any modern second-rate city I ever saw: the houses of stone, and in a good taste. The principal street runs east and west, and is near a mile and a half long; but unfortunately, is not strait. The Tolbooth is large and handsome. Next to that is the Exchange: within is a spacious room with full-length portraits of all our monarchs since James I. and an excellent one, by Ramsay, of Archibald Duke of Argyle, in a Judge's robe. Before the Exchange is a large equestrian statue of King William. This is the broadest and finest part of the street: many of the houses are built over piazzas, but too narrow to be of much service to walkers. Numbers of other streets cross this at right angles, and are in general well built.
* The market-places are great ornaments to this city, the fronts being done in a very fine taste, and the gates adorned with columns of one or other of the orders. Some of these markets are for meal, greens, fish, or flesh. There are two for the last, which have conduits out of several of the pillars; so that they are constantly kept sweet and clean.
Near the meal-market is a publick grainary, to be filled on any apprehension of scarceness.
The guard-house is in the great street, which is kept by the inhabitants, who regularly do duty. An excellent police is observed here, and proper officers attend the markets to prevent any abuses.
The old bridge over the Clyde consists of eight arches, and was built 400 years ago by Bishop Page 201Rea; two others are now building. The tide flows three miles higher up the country, but at low water is fordable. There is a plan for deepening the channel; for at present the tide brings up only very small vessels; and the ports belonging to this city lie fourteen miles lower, at Port Glasgow and Greenock, on the west side of the Firth.
Near the bridge is a large alms-house, a vast nailery, a stone-ware manufacture, and a great porter brewery, which supplies some part of unin|dustrious Ireland. Within fight, on the south side, are collieries; and much coal is exported into the last-mentioned island, and into America.
The great imports of this city are tobacco and sugar: of the former,* above 40,000 hogsheads have been annually imported, and near 20,000 again exported into France. The manufactures here are linnens, cambricks *, lawns, tapes, sustians, and striped linnens; so that it already begins to rival Manchester, and has in point of the conveniency of its ports, in respect to America, a great advantage over it.
The college is a large building, with a handsome front to the street,* resembling some of the old col|leges in Oxford. Charles I. subscribed 2001. to|wards this work, but was prevented by the troubles from paying it; but Cromwell afterwards fulfilled the design of the royal donor. It was founded in 1450, by James II. Pope Nicholas I. gave the bull, but Bishop Turnbull supplied the money. There are about 400 students belonging to the col|lege, Page 202 who lodge in the town: but the Professors have good houses in the college. Young gentlemen of fortune have private tutors, who have an eye to their conduct; the rest live entirely at their own discretion.
The library is a very handsome room, with a gal|lery round it, supported by pillars. That benefi|cent nobleman the late Duke of Chandos, when he visited the college, gave 500l. towards building this apartment.
Messrs. Robert and Andrew Faulis, printers and booksellers to the university, have instituted an academy for painting and engraving; and like good citizens, zealous to promote the welfare and honor of their native place, have at vast expence formed a most numerous collection of paintings from abroad, in order to form the taste of their cleves.
The printing is a very considerable branch of business, and has long been celebrated for the beauty of the types and the correctness of the edi|tions. Here are preserved in cases numbers of monumental and other stones*, taken out of the walls on the Roman stations in this part of the kingdom: some are well cut and ornamented: most of them were done to perpetuate the memory of the vexillatio, or party, who performed such or such works; others in memory of officers who died in the country.
The cathedral is a large pile,* now divided into two churches: beneath, and deep under ground, Page 203 is another, in which is also divine service, where the congregation may truely say, clamavi e pro|fundis: the roof is fine, made of stone, and sup|ported by pillars; but the beauty much hurt by the crowding of the pews. Near this is the ruin of the castle, or Bishop's palace.
The new church is a very handsome building, with a large elegant porch; but the outside is much dissigured by a slender square tower with a pepper-box top: and in general, the steeples of Glasgow are in a remarkable bad taste, being, in fact, no favorite part of architecture with the church of Scotland. The inside of that just spoken of is most neatly finished, supported by pillars, and very prettily stuccoed: it is one of the very few excep|tions to the slovenly and indecent manner in which Presbitery keeps the houses of GOD: reformation in matters of religion seldom observes mediocrity: here it was outrageous; for a place of worship commonly neat was deemed to savor of popery; but, to avoid the imputation of that extreme, they run into another; for in many parts of Scotland our LORD seems still to be worshipped in a stable, and often in a very wretched one. Many of the churches are thatched with heath, and in some places are in such bad repair as to be half open at top; so that the people appear to worship, as the Druids did of old, in open temples.
Went to see Hamilton House, twelve miles from Glasgow:* rode through a rich and beautifull corn country, adorned with small woods, gentlemen's seats, and well watered. Hereabout I saw the first muddy stream since I had left Edinburgh; for the Page 204 Highland rivers running generally through a bed of rock, or pure gravel, receive no other teint, in the greatest floods, than the brown crystalline tinge of the moors, out of which they rise.
See on the west,* at a little distance from the road, the ruins of Bothwell castle, and the bridge, remarkable for the Duke of Monmouth's victory over the Rebels in 1679. The church was colle|giate, founded by Archibald Earl of Douglas, 1398, and is, as I heard, * oddly incrusted with a thin coat of stone.
Hamilton House,* or Palace, as it is called here, is seated at the end of a small town; is a large disagreeable pile of building, with two deep wings at right angles with the centre. The gallery is of great extent, and furnished (as well as some other rooms) with most excellent paintings: that of Da|niel in the Lion's den, by Rubens, is a great per|formance: the fear and devotion of the prophet is finely expressed by his uplifted face and eyes, his clasped hands, his swelling muscles, and the violent extension of one foot: a Lion looks fiercely at him with open mouth, and seems only restrained by the almighty power from making him fall a victim to his hunger; and the signal deliverance of Daniel is more fully marked by the number of human bones scattered over the floor, as if to shew the instant fate of others, in whose favor the Deity did not interfere.
The marriage-feast, by Paul Veronese, is a fine piece, and the obstinacy and resistance of the in|truder, Page 205 who came without the wedding garment, is strongly expressed.
The treaty of peace between England and Spain, in the reign of James I. by Juan de Pantoxa, is a good historical picture. There are six Envoys on the part of the Spaniards, and five on that of the English, with their names inscribed over each: the English are the Earls of Dorset, Nottingham, Devon|shire, Northampton, and Robert Cecil.
Earls of Lauderdale and Lanerk settling the co|venant, both in black, with faces full of puritanical solemnity.
Several of the Dukes of Hamilton. James Duke of Hamilton, with a blue ribband and white rod. His son, beheaded in 1649. His brother, killed at the battle of Worcester. The Duke who fell in the duel with Lord Mohun.
Fielding, Earl of Denbigh*; his hair grey, a gun in his hand, and attended by an Indian boy. The finest I ever saw of Vandyk's portraits: it seems per|fectly to start from the canvass, and the action of his countenance looking up has matchless spirit. His daughter, and her husband the Marquiss of Hamilton.
Old Duke of Chatelherault, in black, with an order about his neck.
Two half-lengths in black; one with a fiddle in his hand, the other in a grotesque attitude; both with the same countenances; good, but swarthy; Page 206 mistakenly called David Rizzo's; but I could not learn that there was any portraits of that unfor|tunate man.
Maria Dei Gratia Scotorum Regina, 1586. AEt. 43. a half-length; a stiff figure, in a great ruff, au|burne hair, oval but pretty full face, of much larger and plainer features than that at Castle Braan, a natural alteration from the increase of her cruel usage, and of her ill health; yet still with a resem|blance to that portrait. It was told me here, that she sent this picture, together with a ring, to the Duke of Hamilton, a little before her execution.
A head, said to be Anna Bullen, very handsome, dressed in a ruff and kerchief edged with ermine, and in a purple gown; over her face a veil, so transparent as not to conceal
The bloom of young desire and purple light of love.
Earl Morton, Regent of Scotland.
The rough reformer John Knox.
Lord Belhaven, author of the famous speech against the union.
Philip II. at full length, with a strange figure of Fame bowing at his feet with a label and this motto, Pro merente adsto.
About a mile from the house,* on an eminenco above a deep wooded glen, with the Avon at its bottom, is Chatelberault; so called from the estate the family once possessed in France: is an elegant banqueting house, with a dog-kennel, gardens, &c. and commands a fine view of the country. The park is now much inclosed:* but I am told that there are still in it a few of the breed of the wild Page 207 cattle, which Boethius* says were peculiar to the Caledonian forest, were of a snowy whiteness, and had manes like lions: they were at this time in a distant part of the park, and I lost the sight of them.
I regret also the not being able to visit the falls of the Clyde near Lanerk, which I was informed were very romantic, consisting of a series of cata|racts of different heights from ten to fifteen feet, some falling in sheets of water, others broken, and their sides bounded by magnificent rocks covered with trees.
Returned to Glasgow.
Crossed the country towards Sterling. Passed through the village of Kylsithe,* noted for a victory gained by Montrose over the Covenanters. Thro' a bog, where numbers of the fugitives perished, is now cutting part of the canal that is to join the Firths of Forth and Clyde. Saw the spot where the battle of Bannockbourne was sought, in which the English under Edward II. had a shamefull defeat. Edward was so assured of conquest that he brought with him William Baston a Carmelite, and famous poet, to celebrate his victory; but the monarch was defeated, and the poor bard taken and forced by the conqueror, invitâ minerva, to sing his success, which he did in such lines as these:
* Went through the small town of St. Ninian*, a mile south of Sterling. The church had been the powder-magazine of the Rebels, who, on their re|treat, blew it up in such haste, as to destroy some of their own people and about fifteen innocent spectators.
Sterling and its castle,* in respect of situation, is a miniature of Edinburgh; is placed on a ridged hill, or rock, rising out of a plain, having the castle at the upper end on a high precipitous rock. Within its walls was the palace of several of the Scotch Kings, a square building, ornamented on three sides with pillars resting on grotesque figures projecting, from the wall, and on the top of each pillar is a statue, seemingly the work of fancy. Near it is the old parlement-house, a vast room 120 feet long, very high, with a timbered roof, and for|merly had a gallery running round the inside. Below the castle are the ruins of the palace belonging to the Earls of Mar, whose family had once the keep|ing of this fortress. There are still the Erskine arms and much ornamental carving on parts of it. The town of Stirling is inclosed with a wall; the Page [unnumbered]
From the top of the castle is by far the finest view in Scotland. To the east is a vast plain rich in corn, adorned with woods, and watered with the river Forth, whose meanders are, before it reaches the sea, so frequent and so large, as to form a multi|tude of most beautifull peninsulas; for in many parts the windings approximate so close as to leave only a little isthmus of a few yards. In this plain is an old abby, a view of Alloa, Clack|manna, Falkirk, the Firth of Forth, and the coun|try as far as Edinburgh. On the north, the Ochil hills, and the moor where the battle of Dumblain was fought. To the west, the straith of Menteith, as fertile as the eastern plain, and terminated by the Highland mountains, among which the summit of Ben-Lomond is very conspicuous.
The Sylva Caledonia, or Caledonian Forest, begun a little north of Sterling, and passing through Men|teith and Straithern, extended, according to Boe|thius, as far as Athol on one side, and Locbaber on the other. It is very slightly mentioned by the an|tients *; but the supposed extent is given by the Scottish historian.
Lie at Falkirk, a large ill-built town,* supported by the great fairs for black cattle from the High|lands, it being computed that 24,000 head are annually sold here. There is also a great deal of Page 210 money got here by the carriage of goods, landed at Carron wharf, to Glasgow. Such is the increase of trade in this country, that about twenty years ago not three carts could be found in the town, and at present there are above a hundred that are sup|ported by their intercourse with Glasgow.
In the church-yard, on a plain stone, is the fol|lowing epitaph on John de Graham, styled the right hand of the gallant Wallace, killed at the battle of Falkirk in 1298 *:
Mente manuque potens, et VALLAE fidus Achates Conditur hic Gramus bello intersectus ab Anglis. 22. Julii. 1298.
Near this is another epitaph, occasioned by a second battle of Falkirk, as disgracefull to the Eng|lish as the other was fatal to the Scots: the first was a well disputed combat; the last, a pannic on both sides, for part of each army flew, the one west, the other east, each carrying the news of their several defeats, while the total destruction of our forces was prevented by the gallant behaviour of a briga|dier, who with two regiments faced such of the rebels as kept the field, and prevented any further advantages. The epitaph I allude to is in memory Page 211 of Sir Robert Monro*, the worthy chieftain of that loyal clan, a family which lost three brothers the same year in support of the royal cause. Sir Robert being greatly wounded in the battle was murthered in cool blood, by the Rebels, with his brother Dr. Monro, who with fraternal piety was at that time dressing his wounds: the third was assassinated by mistake for one who well deserved his death for spontaneous barbarities on Highlanders approach|ing according to proclamation to surrender their arms.
I have very often mentioned fields of battles in this part of the kingdom; scarce a spot has escaped unstained with gore; for had they no publick enemy to contend with, the Scots, like the Welsh of old, turned their arms against each other.
Page 212*Carron iron-works lie about a mile from Falkirk, and are the greatest of the kind in Europe: they were founded about eight years ago, before which there was not a single house, and the country a meer moor. At present, the buildings of all sorts are of vast extent, and above twelve hundred men are employed. The iron is smelted from the stone, then cast into cannon, pots, and all sorts of utensils made in sounderies. This work has been of great service to the country, by teaching the people in|dustry and a method of setting about any sort of labor, which before the common people had scarce any notion of.
Carron wharf lies on the Forth, and is not only usefull to the works, but of great service even to Glasgow, as considerable quantities of goods destined for that city are landed there. The canal likewise begins in this neighborhood, which, when effected, will prove another benefit to these works.
At a small distance from the sounderies, on a little rising above the river Carron,* stood that cele|brated antiquity called Arthur's Oven, which the ingenious Mr. Gordon* supposes to have been a sacellum, or little chapel, a repository for the Roman Insignia, or standards: but, to the mortification of every curious traveller, this matchless edifice is now no more; its barbarous owner, a gothic knight, caused it to be demolished, in order to make a mill-dam with the materials, within less than a year, the Naiades, in resentment of the sacrilege, came down in a flood and entirely swept it away.
Page 213 Saw near Callendar-House some part of Anto|minus's Wall,* or, as it is called here, Graham's Dyke *. The vallum and the ditch are here very evident, and both are of a great size, the last being forty feet broad and thirteen deep; it extended from the Firth of Forth to that of Clyde, and was defended at proper distances by forts and watch|towers, the work of the Roman legions under the command of Lollius Urbicus, in the reign of Anto|ninus Pius. According to Mr. Gordon, it began at old Kirk Patrtik on the Firth of Clyde, and ended two miles west of Abercorn, on the Firth of Forth, being in length 36 miles, 887 paces.
Passed thro' Burrowstoness, a town on the Firth, inveloped in smoke from the great salt-pans and vast collieries near it. The town-house is built in form of a castle. There is a good quay, much frequented by shipping; for considerable quantities of coal are sent from hence to London; and there are besides some Greenland ships † belonging to the town.
The whole country from Falkirk for some distance from the Firth is very low, and in many places protected from the sea by banks. I ob|served in certain places far from the water, vast Page 214 beds of oister-shells; a mark of it having once been possest by that element.
Reach Hopeton-House,* the seat of the Earl of Hopeton; a house began by Sir William Bruce, and finished by Mr. Adams: is the handsomest I saw in North Britain: the front is enriched with pilasters; the wings at some distance joined to it by a beau|tifull colonade: one wing is the stables, the other the library.
The great improvements round the house are very extensive; but the gardens are still in the old taste: trees and shrubs succeed here greatly; among others were two Portugal laurels thirty feet high. Nothing can equal the grandeur of the approach to the house, or the prospect from it. The situation is bold, on an eminence, commanding a view of the Firth of Forth, bounded on the north by the county of Fife; the middle is chequered with islands, such as Garvey, Inch Keith*, and others; and to the south-east is a vast command of East|Lothian, and the terminating object the great conic hill of North Berwick.
The whole ride from Sterling to Queen's-Ferry (near Hopeton-House) is not to be paralleled for the elegance and variety of its prospects: the whole is a composition of all that is great and beautifull: Page 215 towns, villages, seats, and antient towers, deco|rate each bank of that fine expanse of water the Firth; while the busy scenes of commerce and rural ceconomy are no small addition to the still life. The lofty mountains of the Highlands form a distant but august boundary towards the north|west; and the eastern view is enlivened with ships perpetually appearing or vanishing amidst the nu|merous isles.
Pass by Queen's-Ferty; fall into the Edinburgh road, and finish, this evening, in that capital, a most agreeable and prosperous Tour. It was im|possible not to recall the idea of what I had seen; to imagine the former condition of this part of the kingdom, and to compare it with the present state, and by a sort of second-sight make a probable con|jecture of the happy appearance it will assume in a very few years. Nor could I forbear repeating the prophetic lines * of Aaron Hill, who seemed seized with a like rêverie:
After a few days experience of the same hospi|tality in Edinburgh that I had met with in the High|lands,*Page 216 kinds, I continued my journey south, through a rich corn country, leaving the Pentland hills to the west, whose sides were covered with a fine turf. Before I reached Crook, a small village, the country grew worse: after this it assumed a Highland appearance, the hills were high, the vales narrow, and there was besides a great scarcity of trees, and hardly any corn; instead, was abundance of good pasturage for sheep, there being great numbers in these parts, which supply the north of England. The roads are bad, narrow, and often on the edges of precipices, im|pending over the river Tweed, here an inconsiderable stream. Reach
MOFFAT,* a small neat town, famous for its spaws; one said to be usefull in scrophulous cases, the other a chalybeate, which makes this place much resorted to in summer. Doctor Walker, mi|nister of the place, shewed me in manuscript his natural history of the western isles, which will do him much credit whenever he savors the world with it.
The country between Mossat and Lockerby is very good,* a mixture of downs and corn-land, with a few small woods: the country grows quite flat and very unpleasant. Cross a small river called the Sark, which divides the two kingdoms, and enter CUMBERLAND.
About three miles farther cross the Esk over a handsome stone-bridge, and lie at the small village of Longtown. The country is very rich in corn, but quite bare of trees, and very flat. Near this village, at Netberby, are the ruins of a Roman sta|tion, Page 217 where statues, weapons and coins are often dug up.
Cross the Eden to Carlisle, a pleasant city, sur|rounded with walls,* like Chester, but they are very dirty, and kept in very bad repair. The castle is an|tient, but makes a good appearance at a distance: the view from it is fine, of rich meadows, at this time covered with thousands of cattle, it being fair-day. The Eden here forms two branches, and insulates the ground; over one is a bridge of four, over the other one of nine arches. There is besides a pros|pect of a rich country, and a distant view of Cold|fells, Cross-fells, Skiddaw, and other mountains.
The cathedral * is very imperfect, Cromwell hav|ing pulled down part to build barracks with the materials. There remains some portion that was built in the Saxon times, with very maffy pillars and round arches. The rest is more modern, said to have been built in the reign of Edward III. who had in one part an apartment to lodge in. The arches in this latter building are sharp-pointed: the east window remarkably fine.
The manufactures of Carlisle are chiefly of printed linnens, for which near 3000l;. per ann. is paid in duties. It is also noted for a great manu|facture of whips, which employs numbers of chil|dren.
Salmons appear in the Eden in numbers so early as the months of December and January; and the London, and even Newcastle markets, are supplied with early fish from this river: but it is remarkable, Page 218 that they do not visit the Esk in any quantity till April, notwithstanding the mouths of both these waters arc at a small distance from each other. I omitted in its proper place an account of the New|castle fishery, therefore insert here the little I could collect relating to it: the fish seldom appear in the Tyne till February: there are about 24 fisheries on the river, besides a very considerable were, and the whole annual capture amounts to about 36,000 fish. I was informed that once the fish were brought from Berwick and cured at Newcastle; but at pre|sent, notwithstanding all goes under the name of Newcastle Salmon, very little is taken there, in comparison of what is caught in the Tweed.
The country near Carlisle consists of small en|closures; but a little farther on, towards Penrith, changes into coarse downs. On the east, at a dif|tance, are ridges of high hills running parallel to the road, with a good inclosed country in the inter|vening space. Above Penrith is a rich inclosed tract, mixed with hedge-row trees and woods. On the south-west, a prospect of high and craggy mountains. After I left Lockerby, Nature, as if exhausted with her labors in the lofty hills of Scot|land, seemed to have lain down and reposed herself for a considerable space; but here began to rise again with all the sublimity of alpine majesty.
PENRITH is an antient town,* seated at the foot of a hill: is a great thoroughfare for travellers; but has little other trade, except a small one of checks. The church is very neat, the gallery sup|ported by large columns, each formed of a single stone. In the chuech-yard is s monument of great Page 219 antiquity, consisting of two stone pillars eleven feet six inches high, and five in circumference in the lower part, which is rounded; the upper is square, and tapers to a point: in the square part is some fret-work, and the relievo of a cross. Both these stones are mortifed at their lower part into a round one: they are about fifteen feet asunder; the space between them is inclosed on each side with two very large but thin semicircular stones; so that there is left a walk between pillar and pillar of two feet in breadth. Two of these lesser stones are plain, the other two, have certain figures at present scarce intelligible.
Cross the Emot, a small river, and soon after the Lowther,* over Yeoman's Bridge, near which I enter WESTMORLAND. About four miles farther cross Clifton Moor, where the Rebels made a short stand in 1745, and sacrificed a few men to save the rest of their army. Pass over Shap Fells, more black, dreary, and melancholy, than any of the High|land hills, being not only very barren but destitute of every picturesque beauty. This barren scene continued till within a small distance of
KENDAL, a large town on the river Kent, in a rich and beautifull vale,* well cultivated, and pret|tily wooded. Here is a very great trade in knit worsted-stockings, some linsies, and a coarse sort of cloth, called cottons, for the Guinea trade.
Near Burton enter LANCASHIRE. Reach its ca|pital, Lancaster, a large and well-built town, seated on the Lune,* a river navigable for ships of 250 tuns as high as the bridge. The custom-house is a small but most elegant building, with a portico Page 220 supported by four ionic pillars, on a beautifull plain pediment. There is a double flight of steps, a rustic surbase and coins; a work that does much credit to Mr. Giller, the architect, an inhabitant of this town.
The church is seated on an eminence, and com|mands an extensive but not a pleasing view. The castle is entire, the courts of justice are held in it; and it is also the county jail. The front is very handsome, consists of two large angular towers, with a handsome gateway between.
Hastened through Preston,* Wiggan, Warrington, and Chester, and finished my journey with a rap|ture of which no fond parent can be ignorant, that of being again restored to two innocent prat|tlers after an absence equally regretted by all parties.Page 221
NUMBER I. Concerning the Constitution of the Church of Scotland.
PResbyterian government in Scot|land took place after the refor|mation of popery, as being the form of ecclesiastical government most a|greeable to the genius and inclina|tions of the people of Scotland, When James VI. succeeded to the crown of England, it is well known, that du|ring his reign and that of his succes|sors of the family of Stewart, designs were formed of altering the constitu|tion of our civil government and ren|dering our kings more absolute. The establishment of episcopacy in Scot|landPage 222 was thought to be one point proper in order to facilitate the exe|cution of these designs. Episcopacy was accordingly established at length, and continued to be the government of the church till the revolution, when such designs subsisting no lon|ger, presebyterian government was re|stored to Scotland. It was established by act of parliament in 1690, and was afterwards secured by an express article in the treaty of union between the two kingdoms of England and Scotland. Among the ministers of Scotland, there subsists a perfect equality; that is, no minister, con|sidered as an individual, has an au|thoratative jurisdiction over another. Jurisdiction is competent for them only when they act in a collective body, or as a court of judicature: and then there is a subordination of Page 223 one court to another, or inferiour and superiour courts.
The courts established by law are the four following, viz. Church Ses|sions, Presbyteries, Provincial Synods, and above all a National or General Assembly.
A Church Session is composed of the Minister of the parish and certain discreet Laymen, who are chosen and ordained for the exercise of discipline, and are called Elders. The number of these Elders varies according to the extent of the parish. Two of them, together with the Minister, are necessary, in order to their holding a legal meeting. The Minister always presides in these meetings, and is called Moderator; but has no other authority but what belongs to the Praeses of any other court. The Page 224 Church Session is appointed for in|specting the morals of the parishioners, and managing the funds that are ap|propriated for the maintainance of the poor within their bounds. When a person is convided of any instance of immoral conduct, or of what is in|consistent with his christian profession, the Church Session inflicts some eccle|siastical censure, such as giving him an admonition or rebuke: or if the crime be of a gross and publick na|ture, they appoint him to profess his repentance in face of the whole con|gregation, in order to make satisfac|tion for the publick offence. The highest church censure is excommu|nication, which is seldom inflicted but for contumacy, or for some very atrocious crime obstinately persisted in. In former times there were cer|tain civil pains and penalties which followed upon a sentence of excom|munication, Page 225 but by a British statute these are happily abolished. The church of Scotland addresses its cen|sures only to the consciences of men; and if they cannot by the methods of persuasion reclaim offenders, they think it inconsistent with the spirit of true religion, to have recourse to compulsive methods, such as tempo|ral pains and penalties.
If the person thinks himself ag|grieved by the Church Session, it is competent for him to seek redress, by entering an appeal to the Presbytery, which is the next superiour court. In like manner he may appeal from the Presbytery to the Provincial Synod, and from the Synod to the Assembly, whose sentence is final in all ecele|siastical matters.
Page 226 A Presbytery consists of the, Mini|sters within a certain district, and also of one ruling Elder from each Church Session within the district. In settling the boundaries of a Presbytery, a re|gard was paid to the situation of the country. Where the country is po|pulous and champaign, there are in|stances of thirty Ministers and as many Elders being joined in one Pres|bytery. In mountainous countries where travelling is more difficult, there are only seven or eight Ministers, in some places fewer, in a Presbytery. The number of Presbyteries is com|puted to he about seventy. Presby|teries review the procedure of Church Sessions, and judge in references and appeals that are brought before them. They take trials of candidates for the ministry: and if upon such trial they had them duly qualified, they license Page 227 them to preach, but not to dispense the sacraments. Such licentiates are called Probationers. It is not com|mon for the church of Scotland to or|dain or confer holy orders on such li|centiates till they be presented to some vacant kirk, and thereby acquire a right to a benefice.
It is the privilege of Presbyteries to judge their own members, at least in the first instance. They may be judged for herefy, that is, for preach|ing or publishing doctrines that are contrary to the publick standard im|posed by Act of Parliament and As|sembly; or for any instance of im|moral conduct, prosecutions for heresy were formerly more frequent than they are at present; but happily a more liberal spirit has gained ground among the Clergy of Scotland. They think more freely than they did of Page 228 old, and consequently a spirit of in|quiry and moderation seems to be on the growing hand; so that prosecu|tions for herefy are become more rare, and are generally looked upon as in|vidious. Some sensible men among the clergy of Scotland look upon sub|scriptions to certain articles and creeds of human composition as a grievance, from which they would willingly be delivered.
Presbyteries are more severe in their censures upon their own members for any instance of immoral conduct. If the person be convicted, they suspend him from the exercise of his ministe|rial office for a limited time: but if the crime be of a heinous nature, they depose or deprive him of his cle|rical character; so that he is no lon|ger a minister of the church of Scot|land, but forfeits his title to his bene|fice, Page 229 and other privileges of the esta|blished church. However, if the per|son thinks himself injured by the sentence of the Presbytery, it is law|ful for him to appeal to the Provin|cial Synod, within whose bounds his Presbytery lies: and from the Synod he may appeal to the National Assem|bly. Presbyteries hold their meetings generally every month, except in re|mote countries, and have a power of adjourning themselves to whatever time or place within their district they shall think proper. They chuse their own Praeses or Moderator, who must be a Minister of their own Presbytery. The ruling Elders who sit in Presbyteries must be changed every half-year, or else chosen again by their respective Church Sessions.
Provincial Synods are the next supe|riour courts to Presbyteries, and are Page 230 composed of the several Presbyteries within the province and of a ruling Elder from each Church Session. The ancient dioceses of the Bishops are for the most part the boundaries of a Synod. Most of the Synods in Scot|land meet twice every year, in the months of April and October, and at every meeting they chuse their Praeses or Moderator, who must be a clergy|man of their own number. They review the procedure of Presbyteries, and judge in appeals, references and complaints, that are brought before them from the inferiour courts. And if a Presbytery shall be found negli|gent in executing the ecclesiastical laws against any of their members, or any other person within their juris|diction, the Synod can call them to account, and censure them as they shall see cause.
Page 231 The General Assembly is the su|preme court in ecclesiastical matters, and from which there lies no appeal. As they have a power of making Jaws and canons, concerning the discipline and government of the church, and the publick service of religion, the King sends always a commissioner to represent his royal person, that no|thing may be enacted inconsistent with the laws of the state. The person who represents the King is gene|rally some Scots nobleman, whom his Majesty nominates annually some time before the meeting of the assembly, and is allowed a suitable salary for de|fraying the expence of this honourable office. He is present at all the meet|ings of the assembly, and at all their debates and deliberations. After the assembly is constituted, he presents his commission and delivers a speech; Page 232 and when they have finished their bu|siness, which they commonly do in twelve days, he adjourns the assembly, and appoints the time and place of their next annual meeting, which is generally at Edinburgh in the month of May.
The Assembly is composed of Ministers and ruling Elders chosen an|nually from each Presbytery in Scot|land. As the number of Ministers and Elders in a Presbytery varies, so the number of their representatives must hold a proportion to the number of Ministers and Elders that are in the Presbytery. The proportion is fixed by laws and regulations for that pur|pose. Each Royal Burgh and Uni|versity in Scotland has likewise the privilege of chusing a ruling Elder to the Assembly. All elections must at least be made forty days before the Page 233 meeting of the Assembly. Their ju|risdiction is either constitutive or ju|dicial. By the first they have autho|rity to make laws in ecclesiastical matters: by the other they judge in references and appeals brought be|fore them from the subordinate courts, and their sentences are decisive and final. One point which greatly employs their attention is the settle|ment of vacant parishes. The com|mon people of Scotland are greatly prejudiced against the law of pa|tronage. Hence when a patron pre|sents a candidate to a vacant parish, the parishioners frequently make great opposition to the settlement of the presentee, and appeal from the infe|riour courts to the Assembly. The Assembly now-a-days are not disposed to indulge the parishioners in unrea|sonable opposition to presentees. On the other hand, they are unwilling to Page 234 settle the presentee in opposition to the whole people, who refuse to sub|mit to his ministry, because in this case his ministrations among them must be useless and without effect. The Assembly therefore for the most part delay giving sentence in such cases, till once they have used their endea|vours to reconcile the parishioners to the presentee. But if their attempts this way prove unsuccessful, they pro|ceed to settle the presentee in obe|dience to the act of parliament con|cerning patronages. Upon the whole it appears that in the indicatories of the church of Scotland, there is an equal representation of the Laity as of the Clergy, which is a great secu|rity to the Laity against the usurpa|tions of the Clergy.
The business of every Minister in a parish is to perform religious worship, Page 235 and to preach in the language of the country to his congregation every Sunday, and likewise on other extra|ordinary occasions appointed by the laws and regulations of the church. The tendency of their preaching is to instruct their hearers in the essential doctrines of natural and revealed re|ligion, and improve these instructions in order to promote the practice of piety and social virtue. Of old, it was customary to preach upon con|troverted and mysterious points of divinity, but it is now hoped that the generality of the Clergy confine the subject of their preaching to what has a tendency to promote virtue and good morals, and to make the people peaceable and useful members of so|ciety.
Ministers likewise examine their parishioners annually. They go to Page 236 the different towns and * villages of the parish, and in an easy and fami|liar manner converse with them upon the essential doctrines of religion. They make trial of their knowledge by putting questions to them on these heads. The adult as well as children are catechised. They likewise visit their parishes and inquire into the be|haviour of their several parishioners, and admonish them for whatever they find blameable in their conduct. At Page 237 these visitations the Minister incul|cates the practice of the relative and social duties, and insists upon the ne|cessity of the practice of them. And if there happen to be any quarrels among neighbours, the Minister en|deavours by the power of persuasion to bring about a reconciliation. But in this part of their conduct, much depends upon the temper, prudence, and discretion of Ministers, who are cloathed with the same passions, pre|judices and infirmities, that other men are:
To this sensible account of the Church of North Britain, I beg leave to add another, which may be consi|dered as a sort of supplement, and may serve to sling light on some points untouched in the preceding: it is the extract from an answer to some que|ries I sent a worthy correspondent in Page 238 the Highlands, to whom I am in|debted for many sensible communi|cations:
NUMBER II. Account of the fading Woman of Rosshire.
Dunrobin,Aug. 24, 1769.
The Information of Mr. Rainy, Mis|sionary—Minister in Kincardine, anent Katharine M'Leod.
KAtharine M'Leod, daughter to Do|nald M'Leod, farmer in Croig, in the parish of Kincardine, Rosshire, an unmarried woman, aged about thirty|five years, sixteen years ago contracted a fever, after which she became blind. Her father carried her to several phy|sicians and surgeons to cure her blind|ness. Their prescriptions proved of no effect. He carried her also to a lady skilled in physic, in the neigh|borhood, Page 249 who, doubtfull whether her blindness was occasioned by the weak|ness of her eye-lids, or a defect in her eyes, found by the use of some medi|cines that the blindness was occasioned by a weakness in her eye-lids, which being strengthened she recovered her fight in some measure, and discharged as usual every kind of work about her father's farm; but tyed a garter tight round her forehead to keep up her eye-lids. In this condition she con|tinued for four or five years, enjoying a good state of health, and working as usual. She contracted another lin|gering fever, of which she never re|covered perfectly.
Some time after her fever her jaws fell, her eye-lids closed, and she lost her appetite. Her parents declare that for the space of a year and three-quarters they could not say that any meat or liquid went down her throat. Page 250 throat. Being interrogated on this point, they own'd they very fre|quently put something into her mouth. But they concluded that nothing went down her throat, because she had no evacuation; and when they forced open her jaws at one time, and kept them open for some time by putting in a stick between her teeth, and pulled forward her tongue, and forced something down her throat, me coughed and strained, as if in danger to be choaked. One thing during the time she eat and drank nothing is remarkable, that her jaws were unlocked, and she recovered her speech, and retained it for several days, without any apparent cause for the same; she was quite sensible, re|peated several questions of the shorter catechisms; told them that it was to no purpose to put any thing into her mouth, for that nothing went down Page 251 her throat; as also that sometimes she understood them when they spoke to her. By degrees her jaws thereafter fell, and she lost her speech.
Some time before I few her she re|ceived some sustenance, whey, water|gruel, &c. but threw it up, at least for the most part, immediately. When they put the stick between her teeth, mentioned above, two or three of her teeth were broken. It was at this breach they put in any thing into her mouth. I caused them to bring her out of bed, and give her something to drink. They gave her whey. Her neck was contraded, her chin fixed on her breast, nor could by any force be pulled back: she put her chin and mouth into the dish with the whey, and I perceived she sucked it at the above-mentioned breach as a child would suck the breast, and imme|diately Page 252 threw it up again, as her pa|rents told me she used to do, and she endeavoured with her hand to dry her mouth and chin. Her forehead was contracted and wrinkled; her cheeks full, red, and blooming. Her parents told me that she slept a great deal and soundly, perspired sometimes, and now and then emitted pretty large quantities of blood at her mouth.
For about two years past they have been wont to carry her to the door once every day, and she would shew signs of uneasiness when they neg|lected it at the usual time. Last sum-summer, after giving her to drink of the water of the weil of Strathconnen, she crawled to the door on her hands and feet without any help. She is at present in a very languid way, and still throws up what she drinks.
NUMBER III. Parallel Roads in Glen-Roy.
ALL the description that can be given of the Parallel Roads, or Terrasses, is, that the Glen of itself is extremely narrow, and the hills on each side very high, and generally not rocky. In the face of these hills, both sides of the glen, there are three roads at small distances from each other, and directly opposite on each side. These roads have been mea|sured in the compleatest parts of them, and found to be 26 paces of a man five feet ten inches high. The two highest are pretty near each other, about 50 yards, and the lowest double that distance from the nearest to it. They are carried along the sides of the glen with the utmost regularity, Page 254 nearly as exact as drawn with a line of rule and compass.
Where deep burns or gullies of wa|ter cross these roads, they avoid both the descent and ascent in a very cu|rious manner; so that on the side where the road enters those hollows, they rather ascend along the slope, and descend the opposite side until they come to the level, without the traveller being sensible of ascent or descent. There are other smaller glens falling into this Glen-Roy. The parallel roads surround all these smaller ones; but where Glen-Roy ends in the open country there are not the smallest vestiges of them to be seen. The length of these roads in Glen-Roy are about seven miles. There are other two glens in that neighbour|hood where these roads are equally visible, called Glen-Gluy and Glen-Spean,Page 255 the former running north-west and the latter south from Glen-Roy, Both these roads are much about the same length as Glen-Roy.
It is to be observed that these roads are not causeway, but levelled out of the earth. There are some small rocks, though few, in the course of these roads. People have examined in what manner they made this passage through the rocks, and find no vestige of roads in the rock; but they begin on each side, and keep the regular line as formerly. So far I am indebted to Mr. Trapaud, Governor of Fort Au|gustus.
I cannot learn to what nation the inhabitants of the country attribute these roads: I was informed that they were inaccessible at the east end, open at the west, or that nearest to the sea, Page 256 and that there were no traces of build|ings, or druidical remains, in any part, that could lead us to suspect that they were designed for oeconomi|cal or religious purposes. The coun|try people think they were designed for the chace, and that these terrasses were made after the spots were cleared in lines from wood, in order to tempt the animals into the open paths after they were rouzed, in order that they might come within reach of the bow|men, who might conceal themselves in the woods above and below. Ridings for the sportsmen are still common in all great forests in France, and other countries on the continent, either that they might pursue the game without interruption of trees, or shoot at it in its passage.
Mr. Gordon, p. 114, of his Itine|rary, mentions such terrasses, to the Page 257 number of seventeen or eighteen, raised one above the other in the most regu|lar manner, for the space of a mile, on the side of a hill, in the county of Tweedale, near a village called Romana, and also near two small Roman camps. They are from fifteen to twenty feet broad, and appear at four or five miles distance not unlike a great am|phitheatre. The same gentleman also has observed similar terrasses near other camps of the same nation, from whence he suspects them to be works of the Romans, and to have been thrown up by their armies for itinerary en|campments. Such may have been their use in those places: but what could have been the object of the contrivers of the terrasses of Glen-Roy, where it is more than probable those conquerors never came, remains a mystery, except the conjecture above given should prove satisfactory.
NUMBER IV. GALIC PROVERBS.
1. LEAGHAIDH a Chòir am bèul an Anmbuinn.
Justice itself melts away in the mouth of the feeble.
2. 'S làidir a thèid, 's anmbunn a thig.
The strong shall fall, and oft the weak escape unhurt.
3. 'S fàda Làmb an Fhèumanaich.
Long is the hand of the needy.
4. 'S làidir an t' Anmbunn ann Uchd Treòir.
Strong is the feeble in the bosom of might.
5. 'S maith an Sgàthan Sùil Càrraid.
The eye of a friend is an unerring mirror.
6. Cha hhi 'm Bochd sogh-ar Saihhir.
The luxurious poor shall ne'er be rich.
Page 259 7. Fer an tain' an Ahhuin, 's àm at mùgha a fùaim.
Most shallow—most noisy.
8. Cha neil Clèith air an Olc, ach gun a dhèanamh.
There is no concealment of evil, but not to commit it.
9. Gihht na Cloinne-hìge, hhi 'ga tòirt 's ga gràd|iarraidh.
The gift of a child, oft granted—oft recalled.
10. Cha neil Saoi gun a choi-meas.
None so brave without his equal.
11. 'S mìnic a thainig Combairle ghlic a Bèul Ama|dain.
Oft has the wisest advice proceeded from the mouth of Folly.
12. Tuishlichidh an t' Each ceithir-chasach.
The four-footed horse doth often stumble; so may the strong and mighty fall.
Page 260 13. Mer a chaim•eas Duin' a Bheatha, hheir a Brèith air a Chhòimhear snach.
As is a man's own life, so is his judgment of the lives of others.
14. Fànaidh Duine sona' re Sìth, 's bheir Duine dòna duì-heum.
The fortunate man awaits, and he shall arrive in peace: the unlucky bastons, and evil shall be his fate.
15. Che do chùir a Ghuala ris, nach do chuir Tuar haris.
Success must attend the man who bravely struggles.
16. Cha Ghlòir a dhear abhas ach Gnìomh.
Triumph never gain'd the sounding words of boast.
17. 'S tric a dh' shàs am Fuigheal-fochaid, 's a mheith am Fuigheal-faramaid.
Oft has the object of canseless scorn arriv'd at honour, and the once mighty scorner fallen down to contempt.
Page 261 18. Cha do deìohair FEAMM Righ nan Làoch riamh Fear a làimhe-deise.
The friend of his right-hand was never de|serted by FINGAL the king of heroes.
19. Thìg Dia re h' Airc, 's cha 'n Aire nar thig.
GOD cometh in the time of distress, and it is no longer distress when he comes.
Translated into Galic.
A Sailor's Epitaph in the Church-yard of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
Translated into Galic.
Translated into Galic.
EPITAPH on a LADY, in the Parish-Church of Glenorchay, in North-Britain.
1. LOW she lies here in the dust, and her me|mory fills me with grief: silent is the tongue of melody, and the hand of elegance is now at rest.
2. No more shall the poor give thee his blessing: nor shall the naked be warmed with the fleece of thy flock. The tear shalt thou not wipe away from the eye of the wretched. Where, now O Feeble, is thy wonted help!
Page 265 3. No more, my fair, shall we meet thee in the social hall: no more shall we sit at thy hospitable board. Gone for ever is the found of mirth: the kind, the candid, the meek is now no more. Who can express our grief! Flow ye tears of Woe!
A young LADY'S Lamentation on the Death of her LOVER. Translated from the Galic.
GLoomy indeed is the night and dark, and heavy also is my troubled soul: around me all is silent and still; but deep has forsaken my eyes, and my bosom knoweth not the balm of peace. I mourn for the loss of the dead—the young, the beauteous, the brave, alas! lies low.—Lovely was thy form, O youth! lovely and fair was thy open soul—Why did I know thy worth—Oh! why must I now that worth deplore?
Length of years seemed to be the lot of my Love, yet few and fleeting were his days of joy—Strong he flood as the tree of the vale, but untimely he fell into the silent house. The morning Sun saw thee flourish as the lovely rose—before the noon|tide heat low thou droop'st as the withered plant.
Page 266 What then availed thy bloom of youth, and what thy arm of strength? Ghastly is she face of Love—dim and dark the soul-expressing eye—The mighty fell to arise no more!
Whom now shall I call my friend? or from whom can I hear the sound of joy? In thee the friend has fallen—in thy grave my joy is laid.—We lived—we grew together. O why together did we nor also fall!
Death—thou cruer spoiler! how oft hast thou caused the tear to flow! many are the miserable thou hast made, and who can escape thy dart of woe?
Kind Fate, come lay me low, and bring me to my house of rest. In yonder grave, beneath the leafy plane, my Love and I shall dwell in peace. Sacred be the place of our repose.
O seek not to disturb the ashes of the dead!
NUMBER V. Of the Columns in Penrith Church-Yard.
SINCE the printing of p. 218, I have been favored with two beautifull drawings of the pillars* in Penrith Church-Yard. One was com|municated to me by the Rev. Mr. Farish of Carlisle, and represents them in their present state; the other by the Rev. Mr. Monkhouse, Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, which is a view of them before they were muti|lated. The first is certainly a most authentic representation of them; the last varies in many particulars from the form they now appear in: in that Page 268 the columns are drawn entirely square from top to bottom, whereas the lower part of the pillars now extant are rounded. There is no fret-work on the old drawing of these columns, but instead are two small rude figures of human heads. The thin semicircular stones are deeply and regularly in|dented on their edges, which appear of an equal thickness throughout; whereas the others are very sharp, or ridged at one extremity, and dilate gradually till they arrive at a consi|derable thickness at the other. The figures in the old sketch are of a boar, and perhaps a bear. The upper ends of these pillars seem faithfully to sup|ply what has been destroyed, a cross and a capital.
How this great variation in the drawings of the same columns hap|pened, is not easy to say; for it does Page 269 not appear that there ever were any others in the place. Time has obli|terated the figures of the animals but whether any workman had chiz|zled the whole shafts of the pillars to their present form, is, I think, scarcely to be conjectured; they bear all the appearance of antiquity. The old drawings are done with much ele|gance, and are copied from some col|lections in the custody of Mr. Monk|house, formed by Hugh Todd, D. D. Prebendary of Carlisle and Vicar of Penrith, as materials for the antiqui|ties of the diocese he belonged to. Notwithstanding my doubts about the entire fidelity of the old drawing, (which was done about the year 1690) I cause it to be engraven as a com|panion to the other, in hopes that some antiquarian of the country will oblige the Publick by clearing up the point.
Page 270 By Mr. Monkhouse's permission I annex Doctor Todd's account of these antiquities:
A Recapitulation of the ANIMALS mentioned in the TOUR, with some additional Remarks in Natural History.
* THE offspring of them now domesticated are said to be found in Hamilton Park. Vide p. 206.
* Inhabits the forests on the south of Lough-Raynach, those in the neigh|borhood of Invercauld, the woods near Tarnaway and Calder castles, and about Lough-Moy and Lough-Ness; and its most northerly haunts are the woods of Langwall, at the entrance into Cathness.
A full-grown Roe weighs 60lb. the hair in summer is short, smooth, and glossy, red at the tips, cinereous beneath. At approach of winter the hair grows very long and hoary, and proves an excellent defence against the rigor of the highland air. The rump and underside of the tail white. The tail very short. Below the first joint of the outside of the hind leg is a long tuft of hair, such as is found on the legs of certain Antelopes. The Page 274 horns of a Roebuck of the second year are strait, slender, and without any branch: in the third become bi|furcated: in the fourth, trifurcated, and grow more scabrous and stronger, in proportion to their longevity. It feeds during summer on grass, and is remarkably fond of the Rubas Saxatilis, called in the Highlands on that ac|count the Roebuck Berry. When the ground is covered with snow it feeds on the extreme branches of the pine and juniper. It brings two young at a time. The Fawns are elegantly spotted with white. It is extremely difficult to rear them; commonly eight out of ten dying in the attempt. The flesh of the Roe is by some accounted a delicacy: to me it seemed very dry. They keep in small families of five or six.
* Notwithstanding it is not quite pe|culiar to Scotland in a wild state, yet is mentioned here on account of some singularities relating to its natural history, which I collected in my jour|ney. Stags abound all over the High|lands and in the Isle of Skie. In the last are so numerous as to oblige the farmer to watch his corn: are very Page [unnumbered]
* Is the kind which Boethius takes no|tice of, and says is one of the three that are not to be found any where else. He calls it, Genus venaticum cum celerrimum turn audacissimum: net modo in feras Jsd in hostes etiam La|tronesque; praesertim si dominum duc|toremve injuriam affici cernat aut in eas concitetur.
This sort of dog is become very rare. Vide p. 127.
* I saw at Gordon castle a dog the off|spring of a Wolf and Pomeranian bitch. It had much the appearance of the first, was very good-natured and sportive; but being slipped at a weak Deer it instantly brought the animal down and tore out its throat. This dog was bred by Mr. Brook,Page 276 animal-merchant, in London, who told me that the congress between the wolf and the bitch was immediate, and the produce at the litter was ten.
* Peculiar to the summits of the highest mountains of the Highlands: is less than the common Hare; its limbs more slender; its flesh more delicate: it never descends into the values, or mixes with the common kind: is very agile and full of frolick when kept tame: is fond of honey and carraway comfits, and prognosticates a storm by eating its own dung: in a wild state, does not run an end, but seeks shelter under stones as soon as pos|sible.
During summer its predominant color is grey: about September it be|gins to allume a snowy whiteness; the alteration of color appearing about the neck and rump, and becomes en|tirely white, except the edges and tips of the ears: in April it again resumes its grey coat.
A small animal,* mentioned by Sir Robert Sibbald, as being common in Cathness, living in the water, and whose breath is noxious to cattle. I Page 277 suspect from the description that I had given me, that it is the same with the Water Shrewmouse, Br. Zool. ittustr. p. 83.
I could get no account of Sir Ro|bert's mouse with a black back, which he says kills moles.
* The Seals on the coasts of North-Britain are the common and the great. Syn. Quad. Nris. 265. 266. But I could not learn that the Walrus was ever seen in any of the SCOTTISH Seas; notwithstanding it was found about the Orkney Isles in the days of Boethins. Vide Desc. Regn. Scotiae, xvi.
* The Sea Eagle breeds in ruined towers, and leaves its summer haunts before winter. The Ring-tail Eagle, Br. Zool. breeds in rocks, and con|tinues in North-Britain the whole year.
* The Peregrine and the Gentil Falcons breed in Glenmore, and other lofty rocks of the Highlands. The Gyr-Falcon has been shot in Aberdeenshire. A large white Hawk, I suppose an un|spotted Page 278 bird of the last species, has bred for these last twelve years at Hil|leigh-Green, near Hackness, four miles from Scarborough.
* Breed in trees in the highland part of Aberdeenshire.
* The great-horned or Eagle Owl has been shot in the shire of Fife.
* The common species is very rare in the Highlands, there being scarce any other sort found there than the Roy|ston or Hooded Crow, which resides there the whole year. Whence those that visit us annually during winter migrate from is uncertain.
* Visits the neighborhood of Edinburgh annually, appearing in flocks during winter, and feeds on the berries of the mountain ash.
* Is found in the farthest parts of Glen|lion, and near Achmore.
* Another of the grous kind, common on the summits of the highest high|land hills. Vide p. 79. and Br. Zool. illustr. p. 21. If I mistake not, I have heard that a few are still found on the Cumberland mountains.
* Now extinct in Scotland. Boethius says that in his days it was found in Merch.
* I found in the Journal of Mr. James Robertson an ingenious eleve of Doctor Hope, that these two birds are found in great abundance during summer in the Isle of Aryan. Ring-Ouzels are very common in the Highlands.
* Not found in North-Britain.
*Br. Zool. illustr. p. 59. Found during summer in the pine-forests of Aber|deenshire, and probably breeds there.
* I have had lately an opportunity of comparing this bird with the greater Brambling, and find them to be dif|ferent, and not as I once thought, varieties of the fame kind. The size of this is less, and the claw of the hind toe much shorter. A few of these birds breed with the Ptarmigans on the summits of the highest moun|tains; but the greatest numbers mi|grate from the most distant north, even from Greenland and Spitzbergen. Vide Br. Zoel illustr. p. 17.
* Breeds in the hills about Invercauld.
* Breeds in Lincolnshire. For the list of other fen birds, vide p. 9, 10.
* The black-billed Auk and lesser Guil|lemot appear during winter in flocks Page 281 innumerable in the Firth of Forth, and are called there Marrots. Their summer retreat is not yet traced. The little Auk is sometimes shot near Aber|deen.
* Is called in North Britain the Dirty Aulin. I saw one flying over the Firth of Forth near the Queen's Ferry.
* Doctor Walker of Moffat shewed me one killed during summer in the western isles; also some other birds which were supposed to have migrated out of Great-Britain. He also disco|vered in the Isle of Tirey the Tringa interpres.
* A new British Snake was discovered in Aberdeenshire by the late Doctor David Skene, a gentleman whose loss will be deplored by every lover of natural history; for to great know|lege was added the most liberal and communicative disposition. The ac|count he favored me with of this rep|tile was this: Its length was fifteen inches: it had no scuta abdom. or caudalia, but was entirely covered with small scales, which on the upper Page 282 part of the held were larger than the rest: the tongue was broad and fork|ed: the nostrils small and round, and placed near the tip of the nose: the eyes lodged in oblong fissures above the angle of the mouth: the belly was of a bluish lead-color with small white spots irregularly dispersed: the rest of the body of a greyish brown with three longitudinal blackish brown lines, one extending from the back of the head to the point of the tail, the two others were broader and extended the whole length of the sides. Doctor Skene informed me that it was the same with the Anguis Eryx of Linnaeus, p. 392.
* This species frequents the Firth of Clyde and the seas of the western isles: the Trustees for the forfeited estates encourage the fishery, and furnish the adventurers with money to purchase the proper materials.
* Swarms on the eastern coast of Scot|land, and is taken and cured for the use of the common people. Mr. James Robertson observed near the Page 283 Isle of Skie a species called there the Blind-hive, which is reckoned a great restorative.
*Draco major seu araneus Salvian. 70. This species was taken near Scar|borough, and communicated to me by Mr. Travis.
Its length eleven inches; greatest depth one inch and three-quarters: head flat: eyes large: edges of the jaws rough with minute teeth; the lower jaw the longest, and slopes less than that of the common species: the head covered with minute tubercles; cheeks and gills covered with small scales; on the last is a sharp spine.
First dorsal fin is black, and con|sists of five spines; the second reaches within a small distance of the tail: the pectoral has thirteen branched rays; the ventral six; the anal ex|tends as far as the second dorsal: tail large, triangular, and even at the end.
The scales run in oblique lines from the back to the belly, with a division between each row.
*Saurus Rondel. 232. After a violent storm from the N. E. in November last, a great num|ber of these fish were flung on shore in the Firth of Forth on the sands of Leith. An account and an accurate figure of one of them was commu|nicated to me by Mr. George Paton of Edinburgh, a gentleman who is a zealous promoter of natural know|lege.
Its length is eleven inches: the nose slender: the jaws produced like those of the Sea Needle, but of equal lengths, and the upper mandible slightly recurvated; their length one inch: eyes large: body slender and anguilliform, but towards the tail grows suddenly smaller, and tapers to a very inconsiderable girth: on the lower part of the back is a small fin, with six spurious between that and the tail, like those of the Mackrel: correspondent to these are the anal Page [unnumbered]
Rondeletius describes this fish among those of the Mediterranean; but speaks of it as very rare even there.
*Cancer spinosus, maximus, orientalis Seb. Mus. 56. tab. xxii. fig. 1. Can|cer spinosus amboinensis—44. tab. xviii. fig. 10. C. Horridus Lin. syst. 1047. C. spinosus, thorace cordato, mucro|nato: pedibus tantum tribus cursoriis: chelis inoeq, ped. minoribus, Gronov. Zooph. No. 976. Body of a heart-shape: length from the snout to the end of the back five inches one-tenth: snout projecting and bifurcated: the upper crust co|vered with thick spines; those on the margins very long, sharp and strong: the claws covered on all sides with great spines; the right claw twice as large as the left: the fangs beset with small tufts of hair: on each side only three legs echinated like the claws, Page 286 and nine inches long. No British crustaceous animal is so well guarded as this.
I have seen this species almost wholly incrusted with the Lepas ba|lanus, and Anomia squammula. Doctor Skene favored me with a fine speci|men, it being taken on the coast of Aberdeen.
- Oestrum, Sea on the Torkshire coast.
- Psora, ibid.
- Marinus, ibid.
- Oceanicus, ibid.
- Trifurcatus novus, ibid.
- Quadratus novus, ibid.
- Grossipes, Sea near Aberdeen. Dr. Skene.
- Balaenarum, ibid.
QUERIES, Addressed to the Gentlemen and Clergy of North-Britain, respecting the Antiquities and Natural History of their respective Parishes *, with a View of exciting them to favor the World with a fuller and more satisfactory Account of their Country, than it is in the Power of a Stranger and transient Visitant to give.
I. WHAT is the ancient and modern name of the parish, and its etymology?
II. What number of hamlets or villages are in it, their names and situation?
III. What are the number of its houses and in|habitants?
IV. What number of people have been married, christened and buried, for the space of 20 years last Page 288 past, compared with the first 20 years of the re|gister? When did the register begin? If there are any curious remarks made therein, please to give an account thereof.
V. Are there any vaults or burial places peculiar to any ancient or other families? What are they, and to whom do they belong?
VI. Are there any ancient or modern remarkable monuments or grave-stones in the church or chan|cel, &c. Please to give the inscriptions and arms, if any, on the same, if worthy notice, especially if before the 16th century.
VII. Are there any remarkable ones in the church-yard? Please to give an account what they are. Are there any paintings in the windows either of figures or arms? Add a copy or description.
VIII. Are there any tables of benefactions or other inscriptions which are worthy notice, on any of the walls of the church, either within or with|out? Please to insert them at full length.
IX. Are there any particular customs or privi|leges or remarkable tenures in any of the manors in the parish?
X. What ancient manor or mansion-house, feats or villas, are in the parish?
Page 289 XI. Are there any annual or other processions, perambulations, or any hospital, alms or school|house; by whom and when founded, and who has the right of putting people into them?
XII. Have you any wake, whitson ale, or other customs of that sort used in the parish?
XIII. Is there any great road leading thro' the parish, and from what noted places?
XIV. Are there any crosses or obelisks or any things of that nature erected in the parish?
XV. Are there any remains or ruins of mo|nasteries or religious houses? Give the best account thereof you can.
XVI. Are there any Roman, Pictish, or Danish castles, camps, altars, roads, forts, or other pieces of antiquity remaining in your parish; what are they, and what traditions are there, or historical accounts of them?
XVII. Have there been any medals, coins, or other pieces of antiquity dug up in your parish; when and by whom, and in whose custody are they?
Page 290 XVIII. Have there been any remarkable battles fought, on what spot, by whom, when, and what traditions are there relating thereto?
XIX. Has the parish given either birth or bu|rial to any man eminent for learning or other re|markable or valuable qualifications?
XX. Are there any parks or warrens, the num|ber of deer, and extent of the park, &c. any he|ronries, decoys, or fisheries?
XXI. Do any rivers rise in or run thro' the pa|rish, which are they; if navigable, what sort of boats are used on them, and what is the price of carriage per hundred or ton, to your parish?
XXII. Are there any, and what bridges, how are they supported, by private or public cost, of what materials, what number of piers or arches, the length and breadth of the bridge and width of the arches?
XXIII. Are there any barrows or tumuli, and have any been opened, and what has been found therein?
XXIV. Are there any manufactures carried on in the parish, and what number of hands are em|ployed?
Page 291 XXV. What markets or fairs are kept in the parish, what commodities are chiefly brought for sale; if any of the manufactures or produce of the country, live cattle, or other things, that toll is paid and to whom, and where are they kept?
XXVI. Is there any statute fair for hiring of servants, and how long has it been established; what are the usual wages for men and maids, &c. for each branch of husbandry?
XXVII. Are there in any of the gentlemen's houses, or on their estates, any pictures which give insight into any historical facts, or any portraits of men eminent for any art, science, or literature; any statues, busto's, or other memorial which will give any light to past transactions?
QUERIES Relating to the Natural History of the PARISH.
I. WHAT is the appearance of the country in the parish; is it flat or hilly, rocky or mountainous?
II. Do the lands consist of woods, arable, pasture, meadow, heath, or what?
III. Are they fenny or moorish, boggy or firm?
IV. Is there sand, clay, chalk, stone, gravel, loam, or what is the nature of the soil?
V. Are there any lakes, meers or waters, what are they, their depth, where do they rise, and whi|ther do they run?
VI. Are there any subterraneous rivers, which appear in one place, then sink into the earth, and rise again?
VII. Are there any mineral springs, frequented for the drinking the waters; what are they; at what seasons of the year reckoned best, and what distempers are they frequented for?
Page 293 VIII. Are there any periodical springs, which rise and fall, ebb and flow, at what seasons, give the best account you can?
IX. Are there any mills on the rivers, to what uses are they employed?
X. Are there any and what mines; what are they; to whom do they belong; what do they produce?
XI. Have you any marble, moorstone, or other stone of any sort, how is it got out, and how worked?
XII. What sorts of manure or amendment do they chiefly use for their land, and what is the price of it on the spot?
XIII. What are the chief produce of the lands, wheat, rye, oats, barley, peas, beans, or what?
XIV. What sorts of fish. do the rivers produce, what quantities, and what prices on the spot, and in what seasons are they best?
*XIV. What quadrupeds and birds are there in your parish? What migratory birds, and at what times do they appear and disappear?
Page 294 XV. Are there any remarkable caves, or grot|toes, natural or artificial? give the best description and account thereof you can.
XVI. Are there any and what quantities of saf|fron, woad, teazels, or other vegetables of that sort, growing in the parish, and the prices they sell for on the spot?
XVII. Is the parish remarkable for breeding any cattle of remarkable qualities, size, or value, and what?
XVIII. Are there any chalk-pits, sand or gravel|pits, or other openings in the parish, and what?
XIX. On digging wells or other openings, what strata's of soil do they meet with, and how thick is each?
XX. How low do the springs lye, and what sort of water do you meet with in the several parts of the parish?
XXI. Is there any marl, Fuller's earth, potters earth, or loam, or any other remarkable soils, as ochre, &c.
XXII. Are there any bitumen, naptha, or other substances of that nature found in the earth?
Page 295 XXIII. Does the parish produce any quantities of timber, of what sort, and what are the prices on the spot, per load or ton? Are there any very large trees, and their size?
XXIV. Are any quantities of sheep raised or fed in the parish, and on what do they chiefly feed?
XXV. Are the people of the country remarkable for strength, size, complexion, or any bodily or natural qualities?
XXVI. What are the diversions chiefly used by the gentry, as well as the country people, on par|ticular occasions?
XXVII. What is the nature of the air; is it moist or dry, healthy or subject to agues and fevers, and at what time of the year is it reckoned most so? and, if you can, account for the causes.
XXVIII. Are there any petrifying springs or waters that incrust bodies, what are they?
XXIX. Any hot waters or wells for bathing, and for what distempers frequented?
XXX. Are there any figured stones, such as echinitae, belemnitae, &c. Any having the impres|sion of plants or fishes on them, or any fossil ma|rine Page 296 bodies, such as shells, corals, &c. or any petrified parts of animals: where are they found, and what are they?
XXXI. Is any part of the parish subject to inun|dations or land floods, give the best account, if any things of that nature have happened, and when?
XXXII. Hath there been any remarkable mis|chief done by thunder and lightning, storms or whirlwinds, when and what?
XXXIII. Are there any remarkable echoes, where and what are they?
XXXIV. Have any remarkable phaenomena been observed in the air, and what?
If the Parish is on the SEA COAST,
XXXV. What sort of a shore, flat, sandy, high, or rocky?
XXXVI. What sorts of fish are caught there, in what quantity, at what prices sold, when most in season, how taken, and to what market sent?
XXXVII. What other Sea animals, plants, sponges, corals, shells, &c. are found on or near the coasts?
Page 297 XXXVIII. Are there any remarkable Sea weeds used for manure of land, or curious on any other account?
XXXIX. What are the courses of the tides on the shore, or off at Sea, the currents at a mile's distance, and other things worthy remark?
XL. What number of fishing vessels, of what sort, how navigated, and what number of hands are there in the parish?
XLI. How many ships and of what burthen belong to the parish?
XLII. Are there any and what light-houses, bea|cons, or land-marks?
XLIII. What are the names of the creeks, bays, harbours, headlands, sands, or islands near the coasts?
XLIV. Have there been any remarkable battles or sea-fights near the coasts, and when did any re|markable wrecks or accidents happen, which can give light to any historical facts?
XLV. If you are in a city, give the best account you can procure of the history and antiquity of the place; if remarkable for its buildings, age, walls, sieges, Page 298 sieges, charters, privileges, immunities, gates, streets, markets, fairs, the number of churches, wards, and guilds, or companies, or fraternities, or clubs that are remarkable; how is it governed? if it sends members to parliament, in whom does the choice lye, and what number of voters may there have been at the last poll?
- 21 Miles Chester, Deonna, Devana PTOL. Deva ANTON. RAV. CHOROG. Deva, colonia legio cretica vicessima valeria victrix R. C.
- 18 Miles Northwich, Condate R. C.
- 8 Miles Knutsford,
- 12 Miles Macclesfield,
- 10 Miles Buxton,
- 13 Miles Middelton,
- 11 Miles Chesterfield,
- 16 Miles Worksop,
- 12 Miles Tuxford,
- 8 Miles Dunham Ferry, on the Trent, Trivona fl. R. C.
- 10 Miles Lincoln, Lindum PTOL. ANTON. RAV. CHOROC. R.C.
- 6 Miles Washenbrough and back to Lincoln,
- 12 Miles Spittle,
- 12 Miles Glanford Bridge,
- 12 Miles Barton, Humber River, Abus PTOL. R. C.
- 5 Miles Hull,
- 8 Miles Burton Constable,
- 22 Miles Burlington Quay, Its bay, Gabrantuicorum portuosus sinus PTOL. Portus faelix R. C.
- 5 Miles Flamborough Head, Brigantum extrema R. C.
- 10 Miles Hunmanby,
- Page 300 10 Miles Scarborough,
- 13 ½ Miles Robin Hood's Bay,
- 6 ½ Miles Whitby,
- 13 Miles Skellin Dam,
- 9 Miles Guisborough,
- 12 Miles Stockton, Tees River, Tisis fl. R. C. its mouth, Dunum sinus PTOL.
- 20 Miles Durham, Were River, Vedra fl. R. C.
- 6 Miles Chester le Street, Epiacum R. C.
- 9 Miles Newcastle, Pons Aelii NOTIT. IMP.
- Tyne River, Vedra fl. TTOL. Tina fl. R. C.
- 14 Miles Morpeth,
- 9 Miles Felton,
- 10 Miles Alnwick, Alauna RAV. CHOROG.
- 16 Miles Belford,
- 16 Miles Berwick, Tuessis RAV. CHOROG.
- Tweed River, Alaunus PTOL. Tueda R. C.
- 16 Miles Old Cambus,
- 10 Miles Dunbar, Ledone RAV. CHOROG.
- 6 Miles North Berwick,
- 14 Miles Preston Pans,
- 8 Miles EDINBURGH,
- 9 Miles South Ferry,
- Fifth of Forth, Boderia PTOL. Bodotria TACITI. R.C.
- Page 301 2 Miles. North Ferry,
- Fife County, Horestii R. C. Caledonia TACITI.
- 15 Miles Kinross,
- 20 Miles Rumbling Brig, Castle Campbell, and back to Kinross.
- 13 Miles Castle Duplin, Duablisis RAV. CHOROG.
- 8 Miles Perth, Orrea R. C.
- Tay River and its mouth, Taus TACITI. Tava AEst. PTOL. R. C.
- 1 Miles Scone,
- 1 Miles Lunkerty,
- 13 Miles Dunkeld,
- 20 Miles Taymouth,
- 15 Miles Carrie on Lough Raynach,
- 20 Miles Blair,
- 35 Miles Through Glen-Tilt to Invercauld,
- 18 Miles Tulloch,
- 15 Miles Kincairn,
- 9 Miles Banchorie,
- 18 Miles Aberdeen,
- Dee River, Diva fl. PTOL. R.C.
- Ythen River, Ituna fl. R. C.
- 25 Miles Bowness,
- 27 Miles Craigston Castle,
- 9 Miles Bamff,
- Devron River, Celnius ft. R.C.
- 8 Miles Cullen,
- 12 Miles Castle Gordon,
- Spey River, Celnius fl. PTOL. Tuessis R. C.
- 8 Miles Elgin, Alitacenon RAV. CHOROG.
- Page 302 10 Miles Forres,
- 17 Miles Tarnaway Castle, Calder, Fort George.
- Firth of Murray, Tua. AEst. PTOL. Varar AEst. R.C.
- 12 Miles Inverness, Pteroton, castra alata R. C.
- 10 Miles Castle Dunie,
- 18 Miles Dingwall Foules.
- Eirth of Cromartie, Loxa fl. R. C.
- Rossshire, Creones R. C. the same writer places at Channery in this county, Ara finium Imp. Rom.
- 15 Miles Ballinagouan,
- 6 Miles Tain, Castra alata PTOL.
- 9 Miles Dornoch. Its Firth, Vara ast. TTOL. Abona fl. R.C.
- Sutherland County, Logi R. C.
- 9 Miles Dunrobin Castle,
- 18 Miles Hemsdale,
- Ord of Cathness, Ripa alta PTOL.
- Cathness County, Carnabii, Cattini R. C.
- Virubium promontorium R. C.
- 8 Miles Langwall,
- 15 Miles Clythe; Clytheness, Vervedrum prom. R. C.
- 8 Miles Thrumster,
- 3 Miles Wick,
- Wick River, Ilea fl. TTOL.
- 16 Miles Duncan's or Dungby Bay, and John a Grout's house.
- Dungsby Head, Berubium promontorium PTOL. Caledonia extrema R. C.
- Page 303 Stroma lsle, Ocetis Insula R. C.
- 2 Miles Canesby, and back the same road to
- 137 Miles Inverness,
- Inverness County, Caledonii R. C.
- 17 Miles General's Hut,
- 15 Miles Fort Augustus,
- Lough Lochy, Longus fl. R. C.
- 28 Miles Fort William. R. C. places Banatia near it.
- 14 Miles Kinloch-Leven,
- 9 Miles King's House,
- 19 Miles Tyendrum,
- 12 Miles Dalmalie,
- 16 Miles Inveraray,
- 22 Miles Tarbut,
- Loch-Lomond, Lincalidor Lacus R. C.
- 8 Miles Luss,
- 12 Miles Dunbarton, Theodosia R. C.
- Firth of Clyde, Glota TACITI. Clotta est. R.C.
- 15 Miles Glasgow, Clidum RAV. CHOROG.
- 24 Miles Hamilton, and back to Glasgow,
- 13 Miles Kylsithe,
- 18 Miles Sterling,
- 8 Miles Falkirk,
- Calendar, Celerion RAV. CHOROG.
- 15 Miles Hopeton House,
- 11 Miles EDINBURGH,
- 18 Miles Lenton,
- 18 Miles Bild,
- 18 Miles Moffat,
- 18 Miles Lockerby.
- 21 Miles Longtown in Cumberland, Netherby, Castra exploratorum ANTON. Aesica RAV. CHOROG.
- 9 Miles Carlisle, Lugavallium ANTON.
- 18 Miles Penrith, Bereda RAV. CHOROG.
- 11 Miles Shap in Westmorland,
- 15 Miles Kendal, Concangium NOTIT. IMP.
- 11 Miles Burton in Lancashire, Coccium R. C.
- 11 Miles Lancaster, Lengovicus NOTIT. IMP.
- Lune River, Alanna fl. R. C.
- 11 Miles Garstang,
- 11 Miles Preston,
- 18 Miles Wiggan,
- 13 Miles Warrington,
- 21 Miles Chester,
- 21 Miles Downing in Flintshire.
The antient names of places marked R. C. are bor|rowed from the late Dr. Stukeley's account of Richard of Cirencester, with his antient map of Roman Brittain and the Itinerary thereof, published in 1757. The rest from Mr. Horsly's remarks on Ptolemy, Antonine's Itinerary, Ne|•i•i• imperii, and Ravennatis Britannia Chorographia.
- New, Page 112
- Old, Page 116
- Alnwick Castle, Page 31
- Alum works in Yorkshire, Page 21, 22
- Amber, Page 13
- Appenines of England, Page 26
- Argentine, Struan's favorite fountain, Page 96
- Arthur's Oven, Page 212
- Augustus, Fort, Page 171
- Auldearne, Page 133
- Avosetta, Page 10
- Aw, Lough, Page 187
- Bamborough Castle, well regulated charity there, Page 32, 33
- Bamff, Page 122
- Bass Isle, Page 44
- Beggars, few in Scotland, Page 83
- Bel-tein, a singular superstition. Page 90
- Benevish, higher than Snowdon, Page 179
- Berridale, Page 150
Berwick on Tweed,
- its salmon-fishery, Page 38, 39
- North, Page 45
- Birch tree, its great use, Page 109
- of Lincolnshire, Page 9, 10, 11
- Flamborough Head, Page 15
- Farn Islands, Page 36
- Birnam Wood, Page 74
- Black-meal, a forced levy so called, Page 176
- Blair House, Page 97
- Bodotria of Tacitus, Page 41
- Ballitir, Pass of, Page 111
- Botanic garden at Edinburgh, Page 58
- Bawness Castle, its strange situation, Page 118
- Braan Castle, Page 141
- Brae-mar, Page 103
- Bran, fine cascade on the, Page 75
- Brotche, Page 83
- Bulfinch, greater, Page 109
- Bullers of Buchan, Page 119
- Burlington, Page 13
- Burnet, Bp. amiable in his episcopal character, Page 236
- Buxton, its salubrious waters, Page 3
- Caldor, or Cawdor Castle, Page 133
- Cambus, Old, Page 41
- Campbell, Castle, Page 66
- Carron Iron-works, Page 212
- Cathness, Page 156
- Cattle, wild, Page 206
- Cawdon Glen, a cataract there, Page 65
- Chain the, what, Page 178
- Chatterer, Page 278
- its singular streets, Page 1
- Cathedral, ibid
- Hypocaust, ibid
- Chesterfieid, Page 5
- Chester Le Street, Page 29
- Church Scotch, its constitution, Page 221
- Clan-Chattan, or M'Intoshes, Page 161
- Clergy Scotch, commendable conduct of, Page 134
- Coal of Sutherland, its miraculous quality, Page 147
- Cobles, a small boat, Page 35
- Cock of the Wood, Page 278
- Coker, its romantic situation, Page 28
- Coldingham Moor and Abbey, Page 41
- Coranich, or howling at funerals, Page 92
- Cottages, wretched in the Highlands, Page 109
- Crab, the Thorney, Page 285
- Craigston Castle, Page 122
- Crane, now unknown in England, Page 12
- Cromartie, Firth of, Page 141
- Crows, Royston or Hooded, Page 80, 278
- House and Town, Page 124, 125
- singular rocks near, Page 125
- Culloden House and Moor, 136.
- Customs, singular ones in the Highlands, Page 90, 159
- Cuthbert's Ducks, Saint, Page 35
- Days, long in Cathness, Page 158
- Dalkeith, pictures there, Page 60
- Dean of Guild, what, Page 138
- Page 308Delamere Forest, Page 2
- Dingwall Town, Page 141
- Dogger Bank, great fishery near, Page 18
- Dornoch, Page 145
- Dunbar, Page 42
- Dunbeth Castle, Page 151
- Dungsby Bay, Page 153
- Dunkeld, Page 75
- Dunrobin Castle, Page 145
- Dunfinane, Page 72
- Duplin Castle, pictures there, Page 67
- Durham, Page 26
- Eagles, Page 277
- Eider Ducks, Page 35
- its lofty situation, Page 46
- inconveniences, Page 47
- reservoir, Page 48
- University, Page 51
- a good town, Page 128
- its cathedral, ibid
- Erse language, where spoken, Page 158, 198
- Fairies, belief in, Page 94
- Falcons, Page 277
- great cattle fairs there, Page 209
- Battle, Page 210
- Fern Islands, Page 34
- Page 309 Fasting woman, extraordinary case of, Page 248
- Ferr, East, its fish and birds, Page 9, 10
- Fiery cross, what, Page 164
- Finchal monastery, Page 28
- Fine, Lough, its herring-fishery, Page 190
- Flamborough-Head, its birds, Page 15
- Flixton, Page 16
- Forchabus, Page 128
- Forfeited estates, how applied, Page 139
- Forres, great column near, Page 130
- Foss-dyke, Page 6
- Fraoch-Elan, the Hesperides of the Highlands, Page 188
- Freeburgh Hill, a large Tumulus, Page 24
- Freswick Castle, horrid situation of, Page 152
- Funeral customs, Page 91
- Fyers, fall of, Page 170
- Gannet, Page 45, 155, 159
- Geese, how often plucked, Page 8
- Fort, Old, Page 137
- New, Page 136
- Gishorough, Page 25
- Glen-Co, Page 182
- Glen-Roy, strange roads there, Page 179, 253
- Glen-Tilt, a dangerous pass, Page 101
- Glen-Urqhie, Page 186
- Godric, Saint, his austeries, Page 28
- Gordon Castle, Page 126
- Gowrie conspiracy, Page 71
- Page 310Graham, John De, his epitaph, Page 210
- Graham's Dyke, Page 213
- Granite Quarries
- at N. Ferry, Page 62
- Aberdeen, Page 116
- Gre-hound, the Highland, Page 127, 275
- Grout's, John a, house, Page 153
- Gull, Arctic, Page 62
- Halydon Hill, battle of Page 40
- Hares, white, Page 79, 276
- Heronry, a great, Page 11
- Herring fishery, Page 190, 191
- High-bridge, Page 175
- awefull entrances into, Page 74
- Dress of the Highland Men, Page 162
- Women, Page 165
- Arms, Page 163
- Character of the Highlanders, Page 165
- Sports and amusements of, Page 167
- Hopeton House, Page 214
- Huntings, magnificent in old times, Page 99, 103
- the painter, Page 81
- Fine picture of his at Taymouth, ibid
- Other pictures of his, Page 122, 123
- Jet, where found, Page 22
- Inoculation practised as far as Shetland Isles, Page 158
- Insects, Page 286
- Page 311Inveraray Town and Castle, Page 189
- Invercauld, its magnificent situation, Page 106
- Inverlochy Castle, Page 177
Inverness, Page 137
- Fair, Page 162
- Joug, what, Page 134
- Itinerary, Page 299
- Kilchurn Castle, Page 187
- Killicrankie, Pass of, Page 98
- Kinloch-Leven, Page 182
- Kinloss Abbey, Page 130
- Kinross, Page 55
- Kittiwake, a sort of Gull, Page 120
- Labor, its price in Scotland, Page 68, 110
- Late wake, a strange funeral custom, Page 92
- Lavellan, the Water Shrew-mouse, Page 150, 276
- Leith, Page 57
- Lincoln, its beautifull cathedral, Page 6
- Lochaber, Page 175, 179
- Lochiel, his seat, Page 176
Loch-Leven, Page 64
- its fish and birds, Page 65
- Loncarty, battle of, Page 73
- Lossie River, Page 129
- Lothian, East, its fertility, Page 42
- Macclesfield, Page 3
- Mackrel-sture, Page 192
- Mac Nabbs, an antient family of smiths, Page 186
- Marble, white, Page 148
- Marriage customs, singular, Page 160
- Moffat, Page 216
- Monrief, Hill of; its fine view, Page 69
- Monro, Sir Robert, his epitaph, Page 211
- Morpeth, Page 30
- Mountain, the black, Page 182
- Mummies, natural, Page 153
- Natural history, recapitulation of, &c. Page 273
- Lough, Page 168, 171
- agitations of, in 1755, Page 173
- New-bottle, pictures there, Page 57
Newcastle on Tyne, Page 29
- its salmon-fishery, Page 218
- Nightingale, none in Scotland, Page 279
- Ord of Cathness, a high promontory, Page 149
- Orkney Isles, Page 153
- Ouzels, Ring, Page 80
- Pearls, Page 71
- Penrith, the pillars at, Page 218, 267
- a fine town, Page 69
- its trade, Page 71
- Pictish castles, Page 146
- Pine forests, Page 107, 183
- Pines, vast plantations of, Page 142, 143
- Poetry, Erse, 261, &c.
- Preston Pans, Page 46
- Proverbs, Erse, Page 258, &c.
- Provisions, prices of,
- at Edinburgh Page 56
- at Aberdeen, Page 115
- at Inverness, Page 138
- Ptarmigans, Page 79, 279
- Queries relating to the antiquities and natural history of North Britain, Page 287
- Quern, a hand-mill, Page 182
- Raynach, Lough, pine forest near, Page 87
- how paid in the Highlands, Page 110
- raising of, ill effects of, Page 180
- Roads, parallel in Glen-Roy, Page 253
- Roads, the military, Page 184
- Robin-Hood's Bay, Page 22
- Roe-bucks, Page 273
- Royston Crows, Page 80, 278
- Rumbling Brig
- near Glen-devon, Page 65
- near Dunkeld, Page 76
- Sacrament, indecently received in N. Britain, Page 83
- Sailors and Soldiers, an attempt to colonize, Page 95
- Salmon fisheries,
- antient laws to preserve, Page 117
- in England, Page 24, 26, 39
- in Scotland, Page 70, 115, 120,128, 157
- Salt-Pits at Northwich, Page 2
- Sand, inundations of, Page 118, 131
- Saury, a new British fish, Page 284
Scarborough, Page 16
- its fisheries, Page 18
- Scone, Page 72
- Scotland, unpromising entrance into, Page 40
- Seals, Page 149, 157, 277
- Second sight, Page 154
- Sheelins, or summer dairies, Page 102
- Slain's Castle, Page 119
- Snake, a new species, Page 281
- Snowflake, Page 280
- Soland Geese, Page 45, 155, 159
- Spalding, Page 12
- Spectre story, Page 89
- Spey, a violent river, Page 127
- Spinie Castle and Lake, Page 129
- Stags, Page 274
- Steuart, Mary, pictures of, Page 140
- Stocking trade in Aberdeen, Page 112
- Stockton, Page 25
- Straithearn, a fertile tract, Page 67
- Stroma Isle, Page 153
- Page 315Struan, Robertson of, a poet, Page 88
- Swineshead Abbey, Page 12
- Syhilla Queen, where buried, Page 84
- Tantallon Castle, Page 44
- Tarnaway Castle, Page 133
- Lough, Page 78
- never frozen till this year, ibid
- Isle, and convent on it, Page 84
- Tay-Bridge, inscription on it, Page 81
- Tay-Mouth, its beauties, Page 77, &c
- Theft of cattle, once held not dishonorable, Page 176
- Tordown Castle, its singular cement, Page 173
- the falls of, Page 96
- Lake, Page 97
- Tunny, Page 192
- Turner, Dr. William, the naturalist, Page 30
- Tweed, Page 38
- Tyendrum, highest seated house in Scotland, Page 185
- Urqhuart Castle, Page 169
- Venereal patients, where formerly confined, Page 214
- Weever, Greater, Page 283
- Were, its fish, Page 27
- Page 316 Page
- Whitby, Page 23
- Wick, Page 152
- William, Fort, Page 177
- where burnt, Page 55, 145
- Macheth's, Page 131
- of Thurso, Page 145
- Wolves, how long existing in Scotland, Page 178
- Women, the common, hardly treated in North Britain, Page 121, 157
- Yew tree, a great, Page 85
- Ythen River, Page 118