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OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 241



Sir James Grant.—The Forty-Five.—The Three Alexanders of
Urquhart Support Prince Charles.—A Message of Welcome to
the Prince.—Agitation and Threatenings.—Jacobite Recruits
from Urquhart and Glenmoriston.—Ludovick Grant’s Policy
of Caution. — The Prince’s Letter to the Gentlemen of
Urquhart.—His Cause Espoused by the Minister.—A Sabbath-
Day’s Meeting in Support of the Prince.—The Factor’s
Reports to Ludovick.—Ludovick’s Letters to the Factor.—
Patrick Grant of Glenmoriston joins the Prince.—Their First
Interview.—Prestonpans.—Colonel Macdonell's Demand.—
Achmonie’s Mission to Castle Grant.—Ludovick’s Message
to the Gentlemen of Urquhart.—Macdonell in Urquhart.—
An Interrupted March.—The Macdonalds and the Frasers in
Urquhart.— The Conference of Torshee. — Doubts and
Hesitations. — Corrimony and Achmonie visit Ludovick.—
The Earl of Cromartie, the Master of Lovat, and Macdonald
of Barisdale, in the Parish.—Achmonie’s Undertaking to
the Laird of Grant.—The Cause of the Prince Prospers
in the Parish. — The Factor in Despair. — The Prince’s
Arrival in Inverness.—New Recruits from Urquhart.

Brigadier Grant, who died childless in 1719. was
succeeded by his brother, Sir James Grant. Sir
James sat in Parliament from 1722 till his death in
1747 ; and in his latter years he left the manage­
ment of his estates to his son, Ludovick Grant—
the “ Ludovick Colquhoun” of our last chapter.
Ludovick had practised for a time as a Scots



advocate, and he put his legal training to good use
in steering clear of both Hanoverian and Jacobite
complications during the struggle of The Forty-Five.
After the unfortunate Rising of The Fifteen, the
Old Chevalier made no serious effort to regain the
crown of his forefathers. But he was still looked on
by the Jacobites as their rightful monarch, and
their hopes rose as his son, Charles Edward, grew in
years and began to show signs of the manliness and
energy of the old Stewart race. In 1743 these
hopes seemed about to be realised. France prepared
to invade Britain with 15,000 men, and invited the
young Prince to accompany the expedition. Charles
ardently responded ; but the ships which were to
carry the army across the English Channel were
scattered in a storm, and the enterprise was
abandoned. In vain did Charles appeal to the
French Government not to forsake him. Vain also
were his appeals to the Spanish Court. Both French
and Spaniards promised much, and did nothing ;
and in the end the eager Prince resolved to gain an
empire without their aid, or perish in the attempt.
Sailing from France in a small vessel belonging to a
private gentleman, he arrived at Loch-nan-Uamh
on 19th July, 1745, accompanied only by seven
friends and one attendant. He landed on the 25th,
and despatched letters to such of the Highland
chiefs and other persons of influence as were likely
to assist him. The news of his landing speedily
spread, and, notwithstanding the feelings of disap­
pointment with which the Highlanders heard of the

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.               243

wretchedness of his retinue and the slenderness of
his stores, many hastened to take part in what
must have appeared to the most sanguine of them
as an all but desperate attempt to drive the Guelphs
from the British throne.

The Camerons and the Macdonalds early joined
the Prince, and endeavoured to induce the men of
Urquhart and Glenmoriston to follow their example.
In this they had the co-operation of the Three
Alexanders of Urquhart — Alexander Grant of
Corrimony, who had his own tenants at his beck
and call ; Alexander Grant of Shewglie, to whom
the inhabitants of the then populous districts of
Shewglie, Lochletter, and Inchbrine, looked for
guidance ; and Alexander Mackay of Achmonie, the
friend and adviser of the inhabitants of the
“ Strath,” or the portion of the Glen lying to the
east of Allt-a’-Phuill, or the Burn of Polmaily. Of
these Shewglie was the oldest, the ablest, and the
most enthusiastic.1 His sympathies were with the
Stewarts in 1715, and his loyalty to them grew as
his years increased.2 As soon as he heard of
Charles’ landing, he sent James Grant, son of his
cousin-german, Robert Grant, who had fought at

1  Ludovick Grant described him as a man very remarkable for Highland
cunning.”—Memorial to the Attorney-General (copy at Castle Grant).
The documents quoted in this chapter are at Castle Grant, except where
otherwise indicated, and some of them are printed in the “ Chiefs of Grant.”

2 Shewglie’s “ connections” were strong Jacobites. His father was that
James Grant who fought for King James at Killicrankie, and was slain at
Corribuy. His first wife was a daughter of The Chisholm ; his second, a
daughter of Iain a’ Chragain, and grand­daughter of Sir Ewen of Lochiel.
One of his daughters was married to Cameron of Clunes, in Lochaber.


Sheriffmuir, to him with a message of welcome.
He composed songs in his praise, which were sung
at every fireside in the Parish. The sympathies of
the people were with the Prince, and the friends of
King George began to be alarmed. Lord President
Forbes of Culloden, writing on 15th August to Sir
John Cope, who was leading an army northward
towards Corriarrack and Fort­Augustus, informs him
that, according to report, the Camerons and Mac-
donalds “ are endeavouring, by threats, to force
their neighbours, the Grants of Glenmoristone and
Urquart, to join them in arms,” and concludes—“ If
what I have before mentioned is true, that the
Highlanders who have joined the Adventurer from
France are beginning to use threats to compel their
neighbours to join them, it will naturally occur to
you that the immediate presence of the troops is
necessary.”1 On the same day Brodie of Brodie
writes Ludovick Grant that “ Sir John Cope will be
at Fort-Augustus probably on Saturday with his
troops, so that your people of Urquhart need not be
afraid of the threatenings sent them, of which the
bearer Corrymonie will give you the particulars.”

The threatenings of the Camerons and Mac-
donalds were not necessary to induce the young
men of our Parish to place themselves under the
standard of the Prince. That standard was raised
at Glenfinnan on 19th August. The men of Glen-
moriston joined immediately afterwards, and the
Macdonalds and Camerons in Glen-Urquhart were

1 Culloden Papers, 372.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 245

eager to follow. These circumstances were reported
by Sir James Grant’s brother — Major George
Grant, Governor of the Castle of Inverness, or
Fort George, as it was then called—to the Lord
President, who replied on 26th August :—“ I am
willing to believe that the intelligence you sent me
from Urquhart is not precisely true. That fools
might have join’d I doubt not ; but I flatter myself
their numbers are small ; and yet I shall give notice
to Sir John [Cope] of the rumor. In my opinion
you ought forthwith to acquaint your nephew
[Ludovick Grant] with the arrivall of Sir John
amongst us, that he may give the proper directions
to hold his people in readiness to join him, and to
act by his directions, if there shall be occasion.”1

On the same date Major Grant wrote to Ludo-
vick, as Culloden suggested, informing him of Sir
John Cope’s movements, and adding — “ Glen-
moristone and Glengary’s people joyned them [the
Jacobites] on Saturday, and I’m affraid some of the
McDonalds and Camerons in Urquhart will follow
their example on account of the threatenings they
have got.”

The Prince arrived at Aberchalder in Glengarry
on the 27th, and next day marched across Corri-
arrack into Badenoch. Finding that Sir John Cope
had turned towards Inverness, he hastened south­
ward, and took possession of Perth on 4th September.

Ludovick Grant appears to have been at heart a
sincere enough Whig. The new dynasty had, how-

1 Culloden Papers, 388.


ever, no great claim upon his services. His grand­
father suffered much in the cause of William the
Third ; but his prayers for compensation were left
unanswered. In the Rising of The Fifteen, his uncle,
Brigadier Grant, made large sacrifices for George
the First, and got little thanks for his pains. The
practice of giving without receiving had, in Ludo-
vick’s estimation, been carried far enough, and he
followed the example of certain other Highland
chiefs, and adopted a policy of caution.1 At an
interview with Corrimony, on the 15th or 16th of
August, all he exacted from his vassal was a promise
that, in the coming struggle, he should do nothing
on either side contrary to his will. At a later
period he took a somewhat similar undertaking from
another vassal, Mackay of Achmonie. In his letters
to Urquhart he urged the gentlemen and tenants
of that country to stay peaceably at home, without.
indicating in the slightest degree that they were
under any obligation to fight for King George ; and,
while he himself kept up a fair appearance towards
the Government, he did nothing, so long as the issue
was doubtful, that might subject him unduly to the

1 As early as 1737, Ludovick wrote his father in the following terms :—
“Upon reflecting what our familie has suffered by polliticks, and throwing
out our money upon all occasions for the service of the Government, without
ever getting ourselves reimbursed, and at the same time observing that
former services seem rather to be a drawback upon us, in place of recom­
mending us to the favour of the present Ministrie, I think it highlie prudent
to live retired, and to endeavour to recover the losses our familie has sustained.
. . . I see our familie in possession of noething but a vast manie fair
promises made, as appears to me, without anie view of being performed. You
know verie well what assurancess I had, and you know what friendship I met

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 247

vengeance of the Jacobites in the event of the
Prince’s ultimate success. He raised six hundred
men in Strathspey, ostensibly in support of the
Whig Government ; but beyond accompanying
Macleod of Macleod for a few days in an expedition
into Aberdeenshire, and sending to his uncle, the
Governor of Inverness Castle, a hundred men who
subsequently surrendered to the Prince, and some
of whom joined his standard, he made no real effort
for King George until after Charles was crushed at
Culloden. According to a Strathspey tradition, he
in all this followed the advice of a faithful clansman,
Alexander Grant, better known as Alasdair Mor
Og—Big Alexander the Younger—who recom­
mended him to let those fight who had nothing to
lose.1 His conduct met with the approbation of his
father, who desired him, in a letter written from
London, and which was intercepted by the Highland
army, “ to stay at home and take care of his
country, and join no party.”2 It was, however,
impossible entirely to restrain the men of Urquhart.
The Three Alexanders continued to agitate for the
Prince, and their appeals were seconded by the
Rev. John Grant, minister of the Parish. Charles
acknowledged Shewglie’s welcome by addressing a
letter to himself and the other gentlemen of
Urquhart, which was publicly read by the minis­
ter at a meeting held in Kilmore churchyard

1 Tradition communicated to the Author by Alexander’s descendant,
Major William Grant, factor of Urquhart.

2 Letter, John Grant, factor of Urquhart, to Ludovick Grant, dated 17th
September, 1745.


immediately after divine service upon a Sunday in
the end of August.1 Charles’ Declaration, and his
father’s Manifesto were also read and interpreted,
and a proposal made that a certain number of the
tenants should join the Prince. Among those
present was John Grant of Ballintomb, factor of
Urquhart, who hastened to Castle Grant for Ludo-
vick’s instructions. These were that the Urquhart
men should remain peaceably at home. Corrimony
and his companions represented to the people that
the young Laird, although outwardly on the side of
King George, had a “secret will” in favour of the
Prince. Their word was accepted, and Ludovick’s
orders were disregarded. The factor again reported,
and Ludovick wrote him as follows, on 5th Septem­
ber :—“ I have just now received yours, about eight
at night. I know you have numbers of people
spreading numbers of stories of purpose to intimidat
my people of Urquhart to run to their ruin. I
know it’s said the late Earl Marshall has landed
with several thousands. I can assure you not one
word of that is founded on truth ; whereas I have
certain information last night that there is 5000
good troops at Edinburgh, and severals of the
regiments from Ostend have landed ; as also 6000
Dutch are daylie expected, and as many Dains ; this
being the case, you may judge what must happen to
any who appear against the Government. For my
own part, what I desire and require of my friends

1 Memorial by Ludovick to the Attorney­General (copy at Castle Grant),
and letter, John Grant, factor of Urquhart, to Ludovick.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 249

and tennents is to remain at home, and cutt down
their conies peaceably, as we are doing in Strath­
spey, and as most of Strathdoun and Glenlivat are
determined to do. ... I shall conclude my
letter with desiring you make my compliments to
the gentlemen of Urquhart, and let them know that
I desire you and them to spirite up the tennents
and inhabitants of Urquhart to remain peaceable at
home, and to assure them of all encouragement from
me, nay, of favours, if they are obedient ; whereas,
be they who they will that will act otherways than
I desire, they may expect the treatment that they
will justly merite from me. This I desire you read
publickly ; and if any after this spirite up my
tennents to act a part against me, they may come
to suffer for it. Let nobody pretend to make the
people imagine I have a secret and revealed will ;
for, if they insinuate any such malicious notions
among my tennents, assure you the people they are
deceiving them, and hurrying of them to their
destruction ; and, that my sentiments may appear,
I desire you keep this letter as an evidence against
them.” And in a postscript he adds—“ I begin to
think that some people want to send off some of my
tennents of purpose to make a complyment of them
poor people, without the least regard to their real
interest ; but warn you the tennents to take care of
themselves, as I shall do of them conform to their
behaviour upon this occasion. I must take care of
my tennents, who pay me my rent, and will show
them marks of kindness which none other can do ;


and before they be much older, if they behave well,
I will do them what nobody who may spirite them
up against me can do. Some folks who may hear
this letter read ought to consider well what they are

This message was more explicit in its terms than
the Laird of Grant’s tenants had been led to expect,
and the immediate effect of it was to prevent them
from joining Corrimony, who, with twenty of his
own people, had come as far as Milton on his way to
the Highland army. Upon the advice of Shewglie,
Corrimony returned home “ this tyme ;” but he
declared that if Ludovick did not soon join the
Prince, he would “ beg his excuse, and follow his
own inclinations.”1 Two of Shewglie’s sons, Robert
and Alexander, were not so considerate. They set
out for the Prince’s army on the 11th, taking with
them a dozen young fellows from the Braes. On
their way through the Strath their little company
increased to twenty. Among their followers were
their relations, Alexander Grant, tenant of Easter
Inchbrine, or Balbeg, and his brother James,
who had conveyed Shewglie’s message to the Prince.
Alexander’s conduct cost him the post of forester,
for which he was an applicant when the troubles
began ; but before they ended a son was born to him,
whom he named Charles after the Prince, and who,
as one of the results of Culloden, went to India, and
in time became chairman of the East India Com-

Letter, the factor to Ludovick.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                251

pany.1 The situation of forester was given to “ a
very honest fellow” named Macmillan, but for whom,
reported the factor, “ all the Macmillans of this
country would have joined Lochiel.”

Shewglie’s sons were joined at Invermoriston,
on the 12th, by the Laird of Glenmoriston—
that Patrick who opposed the Forfeited Estates
Commissioners in 1721, and who was popularly
known by the name of Padruig Bui, or Patrick the
Yellow—with such of his men as were not already
with the Prince. The force thus formed—about
350 men — hastened south across Corriarrack, and
reached Edinburgh at daybreak on the 20th, having,
in their eagerness to take part in the expected battle
between Charles and Sir John Cope, travelled all
night.2 Patrick Bui, travel-stained and unshaven,
rushed into the Prince’s presence at Holyrood, and
tendered his own and his companions’ services.
Charles received him with a remark, probably half-
jocular, regarding the rough condition of his beard.
“ It is not beardless boys who are to do your Royal
Highness’s turn,” retorted the offended chieftain.3
“ The Chevalier,” says Sir Walter Scott, “ took the
rebuke in good part ;” the men of Urquhart and
Glenmoriston, placing themselves under the banner
of Glengarry, instantly joined in the march out of

1  Alexander is referred to by Lord Lovat in 1737, as “ One Alexander
Grant, a soldier in Captain Grant’s company, and son to Robert Grant in
Milntown, a cousin-german of Shewglie’s.”—Chiefs of Grant, II., 362.

2 Henderson’s History of the Rebellion ; Caledonian Mercury of 23rd
September, 1745.

3 Seott’s “ Waverley,” note 36.


Edinburgh ; and on the early morrow, and in the
right wing of the Highland army, they had their
full share in the destruction of Cope’s forces on the
field of Prestonpans. After the battle the bulk of
the Glenmoriston men returned to their homes, but
about a hundred, along with the twenty men of
Urquhart, followed Charles into England, took part
in the stirring events of his masterly retreat, and
were present at “ every engagement the young Pre­
tender had, until they were defeated by the Duke of
Cumberland at Culloden.”1

The Jacobite leaders rightly judged that the
victory of Preston would have the effect of
encouraging such as were well affected towards the
Prince, but had not as yet ventured to join his
army ; and with the view of bringing such under
his standard, Colonel Angus Macdonell, second son
of Glengarry, a chivalrous youth of nineteen, was
sent north with a small company. Macdonell had
his eye especially on Urquhart, where the leading
men were known to be friendly, and on 30th Sep­
tember he wrote from Dalwhinnie the following
letter to the factor :—

“ Dear Sir,—These serves to give notice that I
am thus farr on my way to Glengarry, and being
clad with the Prince’s orders to burn and harass all
people that does not immediatly joyn the standard ;
and, ase I have particullar orders to raise your
contrie, I doe by these beg the favoure you, on

1 Letter, Ludovick Grant to the Duke of Newcastle, 1746—copy at Castle

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                253

receipt of this line, to have att lest one hundred
men readdie in five days after receipt of this, to joyn
my standart at Invergarrie ; and tho contrarie to
my inclinations, in caice of not dew observance to
this my demand, I shall march to your contrie with
the gentlemen here in company, Keapoch’s brother,
and Tirnadrish, &c., and shall putt my orders in
execution with all rigour ; and, ase I have the
greatest regaird for Grant and all his concerns, I beg
you give nether your contrie or me any truble I doe
not choose to give ; and your readdie complyance to
this favour will much oblidge him who is sincerely,
dear sir, your most humble servant,

“Angus McDonell.”

“P.S.—Lett me have your answer per bearer,
which will determine me how to behave.”

The bearer of this letter also conveyed a message
to the Three Alexanders of Urquhart, who deliberated
earnestly regarding the course they should follow.
Anxious to know what effect the Prince’s successes
had upon Ludovick’s mind, they despatched Ach-
monie to Castle Grant. The wary young Laird was
still sitting on the fence, and the course of events
had not yet clearly shown him on which side he
should leap. He therefore, on 6th October, delivered
to Achmonie a letter addressed “ to the Gentlemen
of Urquhart,” in which he spoke much of their
fealty to himself as their feudal superior, but not
one word of their higher duty—from the Whig
point of view—to his own superior, King George.
“ Achmonie,” he wrote, “has communicate to me


the subject you have had latelie under your delibera­
tion. All the return I will give you, considering
what I formerlie writt to my Chamberlane, and
which he communicate to you, is this, that whoever
among you don’t complie with my directions in this
present conjuncture, which is to remain peaceable at
home, and to be readie to receive my directions as
your superior, and as master of my own esteat, must
resolve to disobey me at your own perrill ; and as I
have firmlie determined that whoever shall insult
me, or disturb anie part of’ my esteat, shall meett
with the returns such ane insult will merite, I am
hopefull non of my neighbours will act a part by me
which I could not and can’t allow myself to think
them capable of. I can’t conceive the least tittle
anie man can have to commande anie of my vassals
or tennants but myself ; therfor whoever deserts
me to follow anie other at this time, I must look
upon it as a disobedience to me, which I will never
forgive or forgett to them and theirs. I am perfectlie
perswaded all the tennants will adhere and keep
firm to me if they are not lead astray by bad advice,
which I hope they will not follow. I am, gentle­
men, your friend, and will continue so if not your
own faults.—Lud. Grant.”1

Achmonie returned to Glen-Urquhart with this
message, but resolved to respect it only so far as
it suited his purpose to do so. He found Colonel
Macdonell in the Glen, not burning and harassing

1 Copy Letter at Castle Grant.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                255

the country, as threatened in the Dalwhinnie letter,
but doing what he could, by fair promises and glow­
ing accounts of the Prince’s triumphs and prospects,
to induce the people to follow him. Ludovick
had previously ordered the factor to convene the
tenants of Urquhart, should they be unduly pressed
by the Jacobites, and to bring them to Strathspey,
where they would be more under his own
eye. The men were accordingly got together on
8th October, and such as consented to go to Strath­
spey marched as far as Drumbuie, where they were
stopped by Colonel Macdonell, accompanied by
Shewglie, Corrimony, and Achmonie. The factor
may be allowed to tell the story :—“ In obedience
to your orders,” he writes to Ludovick, “ I convien’d
all the tenants of this country this day, in order to
march them to Strathspey, and there was only sixty
or seventy of the tenants that agreed to goe with
me. Dell1 and I came with all the men that joyn’t
ous, the lenth of Drumbuie,2 so farr upon our way
to Strathspey, and Collonell McDonald and all the
gentilmen in this country came up with ous there,
and one and all of the gentilmen, but Shewglie and
his sone, swore publickly to the tenants, if they did
not return imediately, or two nights thereafter, that
all there corns would be burnt and destroyed, and
all there cattle carried away ; and when the tenants

1 James Grant of Dell in Strathspey, a tenaut in Urquhart.

2 That is, Upper Drumbuie,” the original Drumbuie, past which the old
road to Inverness, by Abriachan and Caiplich, went. The factor’s farm of
Drumbuie was, until recently, known as Kerrowgair.


was so much thretned by the gentilmen, as well as
by Mr McDonald, they wou’d not follow me one
foot further ; and, upon the tenants returning, Mr
McDonald assur’d me that this country wou’d be
quit safe from any hurt from him ; and not only so,
but as some of the gentilmen that came north with
him hade the same orders as he had to distroy this
country if wee did not joyn them, he sincerely
assur’d me that he wou’d do all he eou’d to prevent
those gentilmen from comeing, and if he cou’d not
preveall upon them to keep back, that he wou’d run
me ane express in a few days, to put me on my
guard and acquaint me of there comeing ; but one
thing I asure you of, or [before] ten days that this
country will be ruin’d.

“ Lord Lovat has not apointed a day for his
marching as yet, for am told that he has the meall
to make that he carrys alongs with him for his men’s
subsistence. There’s a report here this day that
ther’s two thousand French landed at Cromarty
last Saturday, with Prince Charles’ brother. You’ll
please lett me have your advice how to behave, for
am in a very bade situation.” And he adds in a
postscript—“ Achmonie did not act a right part.”

By this time Lord Loudon was on his way with
his regiment of Whig Highlanders to Inverness,
which he reached on the 11th : and tidings had
reached the North of the arrival of foreign troops in
support of King George, and of the great prepara­
tions made in England to suppress the insurrection.
To Ludovick it appeared hardly possible that

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.               257

Charles could prevail against the mighty armies
which were being got together to oppose him. He
therefore began to see more clearly on which side of
the fence his interest lay ; and in his reply to the
factor—dated 10th October—he showed more of the
Hanoverian partisan than he had hitherto done.
“ I am not at all surpris’d,” said he, “ at the conduct
of the gentilmen of Urquhart, for, as they seem
determd to disobey my repeated orders, they want
to preveall with my tenants to do so likeways ;
however, now that they most have heard that
General Legonier, with at least 18,000 of our troops
that have come from Flanders, and the Dutch, and
that there 12,000 Danes and the remainder of the
British troops dayly expected, and that no bodie
even at Edinburgh pretend to say that the French
can spare any of there troops, I fancie they will
soon see there follie, and they must be satisfied that
in a little tyme I will make them repent there
conduct, and they will see the numbers they belived
would joyn the rebells dwindle to very few, if any
at all. Whenever you hear any motion among your
neighbours, make the best of your way for this place
[Castle Grant], and see to bring those men with you
who were comeing last day, and as many more as
you can, and assure them I will see what losses they
sustain repaid, and shall do all in my power after­
wards to serve them when others must fly the
country. Don’t lett any of the gentilmen know the
day you design to march over with the men, other-
ways they may bring a possie to stope you,



which will not be in there power if you be upon
your guard. I think you ought to have spyes in
the neighbouring countrys. See if you can gett
money from the tenants who are dew, that wee may
clear when you come over.”

The Government preparations which made the
young Laird incline so visibly to the side of King
George had the effect of throwing the less cautious
gentlemen of Urquhart more unreservedly into the
cause of the Prince. On the 14th Corrimony was
at Castle Downie in consultation with old Lord
Lovat, who secretly worked for Charles and openly
wrote letters to Government officials protesting his
zeal for the King. The result of the interview was
that next day Corrimony wrote Ludovick declar­
ing his determination to “ rise in arms to join the
Prince,” and informing him that the Master of
Lovat was to come with three hundred men
to force the Urquhart men to join the Frasers,
who were about to march for the Highland army.
On the 16th six score Macdonalds arrived in the
Glen, and threatened that they and the Frasers
would “ spreath the country if the whole people did
not join them.” The factor advised the people to
let the Macdonalds drive their cattle away rather
than yield to their threats, and promised that any
loss which they might sustain would be made good
by Ludovick ; and for the moment his advice was
taken. But the Prince’s friends continued the
agitation. On the 22nd a great meeting, convened
by Corrimony, Achmonie, and James Grant, Shew-
glie’s eldest son, was held at Torshee The Master

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                259

of Lovat and Macdonald of Barisdale attended, and
urged the Prince’s claims with such effect that about
sixty of the tenants agreed to join them. The
factor, however, did his best to dissuade them, and
the Macdonalds having foolishly threatened to
harry the country if they did not rise, they
changed their minds in anger, declared that
“ they would not disobey Mr Grant, their Master’s,
positive commands to them to continue dutiful, and
swore while there was a drop blood in their bodies
they would not allow the Macdonalds carry off their
cattle.” By their boastings the Macdonalds had
spoiled the game ; and Barisdale and the Master of
Lovat withdrew, disappointed, to Castle Downie,
leaving their followers behind them. The interference
of the factor gave great offence. Young Lovat
promised to return with two hundred more men
for the purpose of “forcing” the Urquhart men
who had accepted his advice ; and Corrimony, Ach-
monie, and young Shewglie vowed that the first of
them who should meet him would give him a
beating. It was, however, found unnecessary to
carry these threatenings into effect. The dispeace
raised by the Macdonalds quickly abated, and
when, on the 25th, they and the Frasers marched to
Castle Downie, they were accompanied by forty of
the Urquhart tenants. Lord Lovat, however, was
not yet prepared to send his clan to the Prince, and
the Urquhart men returned to their homes to await
his final decision.1

1 Letters and memorials at Castle Grant ; and Narrative prepared in 1746
by Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk, at Castle Grant.


Ludovick Grant had for some time been pressed
to send to Lord Loudon, who was at Inverness, the
independent company which he had raised, and
which was commanded by a son of Grant of
Rothiemurchus ; but he found excuses for keeping
it in Strathspey. When, however, he heard of the
proceedings at the meeting of the 22nd, he intimated
to the Lord President his intention to march with
500 men through Inverness to Urquhart, “ in order
to prevent any more of the people of that country
being forced out upon the other side, contrary to
their inclinations and their duty to him.”1 This
intimation was conveyed in a letter from Lord
Deskford to the Lord President, which only arrived
on the morning of the 26th—the very day on which
the Grants were to reach Inverness. The Lord
President at once consulted Lord Loudon. They
were surprised and alarmed at the sudden energy
displayed by a man who had not hitherto shown
excessive zeal for the King, and whose real senti­
ments were not wholly beyond suspicion. “ I
wish with all my heart,” immediately replied the
President, “ and so does Lord Loudon, that Mr
Grant had communicated his design to us before he
set out with such numbers, which may have the
effect to begin horse­play before we are sufficiently
prepared. However, since he is in the way, and has
given no notice of his route, I cannot tell how, even
if it were necessary, to prevent it ; and we must now
do the best we can.”2

1 Culloden Papers, 431. Sir Archibald Grant, who accompanied Ludovick,
states the number of his men at 700.—Narrative, at Castle Grant.
2 Culloden Papers, 431.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                261

There was no great cause for the President’s
alarm. Early on the 26th, the factor and Dell
arrived at Ludovick’s camp, with news of the
departure of the Macdonalds from Glen-Urquhart ;
and if he ever really intended to leave the bounds
of Strathspey, the intention was now dropped.
“ This day,” he wrote to the President, from Inver-
laidnan, in Duthil, “ I proposed to have marched to
relieve the poor tenants of Urquhart, who have been
most scandallouslie used ; but just now I have ane
express from that countrie, informing me that
the Macdonells and Frasers have left the countrie,
after carrying about fortie of the men with them.
This day Rothie’s1 companie shall be compleated,
and will be at Inverness Tuesday or Wednesday at
farthest : for the men, who have been all here since
Wednesday, will require a day or two at home to
gett readie.”2

Forbes was relieved to learn that Ludovick had
not started on his expedition to Urquhart ; but he
could not understand the delay in sending the com­
pany to Inverness. “ I am not sorry,” he wrote him
on the 27th, “ that the whole number did not then
come, as no plan had been concerted for the disposi­
tion of them ; but I am under some concern that so
many of them as were proper for composeing Rothie’s
company did not come, because those were expected
some time ago, and the company from Sutherland
arrived the night before the last. What I therefore

1 Rothiemurchus.

2 Culloden Papers, 432.


send you back this messenger for, is, to beg that
Rothie’s company may march without loseing a
moment ; because we have rely’d upon them ; and
the example to others will be bad, if they who were
rely’d on should prove dilatory. The oppression of
your Urquhart people, I am affraid, continues still,
and there may, for ought I know, be occasion to
march a considerable body to relieve them from it ;
but that in due time may be concerted properly and
executed, tho’ it ought not to hinder the immediate
march of the company, who, in all events, will be so
far in their way.”1

Rothie’s company, consisting of 100 men, arrived
in Inverness on 3rd November, and was employed
to garrison the Castle under Ludovick’s uncle, Major
George Grant. In the following February the
Major surrendered the Castle to the Jacobites :
whereupon some of his Grants went over to the

The efforts of Corrimony and Achmonie to raise
the men of Urquhart did not meet with the success
they expected, and they became somewhat uneasy
regarding their own safety. They therefore jour­
neyed to Castle Grant on 28th October to confer with
Ludovick, and took with them Jane Ogilvie, Corri-
mony’s wife, to intercede for them. A letter from
the watchful factor reached Ludovick before them.
“ With the greatest submission,” wrote he, “ I think
you ought to see non of them, as they have acted

2 Culloden Papers, 433.



such a part by you as they have done ; and I asure
you that I can prove againest them what will forfite
both their esteats ; and if you forgive them when
they are so much in your power, you ought in justice
to meet with the same disaster if there was a
disturbance in the nation yearly, which am sure will
be the case if you’ll not use this two lairds as they
deserve. Corimonie belives that his lady will
make his peice with you, which I hope he will be
mistaken in.” The two lairds had undoubtedly
done enough to forfeit not only their estates but also
their lives, but they had reason to believe that
Ludovick, notwithstanding his letters, did not yet
wish to commit himself irretrievably to the cause of
King George, and they did not hesitate to place
themselves in his power. So far as he was concerned
the time for final resolve had not yet arrived ; and,
despite the factor’s advice, he received and conferred
with the Jacobite leaders of Urquhart, and allowed
them to return to their homes in peace.

On leaving Urquhart Barisdale proceeded to
Lochbroom and Assynt, where, in concert with the
Earl of Cromartie, he endeavoured to force the
people to rise. In this he failed. Early in
November he returned to Castle Downie, with
the intention of marching south with the Master of
Lovat and the Frasers, while Lord Cromartie and
his son proceeded to Urquhart with 150 or 160 men,
and there awaited him.1 Barisdale and his Mac-
donalds, and young Lovat, with six or seven hundred .

1 Culloden Papers. 247.


Frasers, arrived in Urquhart on the 13th or 14th,
and were met by a great number of people in public
meeting at Pitkerrald.1 The Laird of Grant’s
tenants still hesitated, and the old threat of taking
their cattle and destroying their corn was resorted
to. A quarrel between Barisdale and the Master of
Lovat, who both claimed the right to command them
when they should have made up their minds to join
the Prince’s army, probably saved them. A severe
snowstorm also helped to cool the ardour of the
Frasers, and they returned to their own country.2
Barisdale proceeded to Glenmoriston, having previ­
ously written Grant of Duldreggan ordering him to
have the men of that Glen ready to march with him
to Perth, “ otherwise he would destroy and burn it
stoop and roop.” His threat was disregarded by
Duldreggan, but some of the Glenmoriston men
joined him, and the burning and destruction did not
take place.

Lord Lovat made the visit of the Frasers and
the Macdonalds to Urquhart the subject of a
strange correspondence with the Earl of Loudon.
That visit had undoubtedly been made at his own
instance, and for the sole purpose of raising the
country for the Prince. But it did not suit him to
admit so much. He wrote Loudon on the 19th
informing him that his son had been in Urquhart
protecting the people from the Macdonalds ; and in
another letter, which he addressed to the Earl on

Ludovick Grant’s Memorial to the Attorney-General.
2 Ibid. Trial of Lord Lovat.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 265

the 23rd, he wrote—“ I can tell your Lordship with
pleasure that there is not a man belonging to me,
or who are called my people, but are at home, and
peaceable in their own houses. The last of them came
home Wednesday night from Urquhart, where they
were with my son, who went to Urquhart of purpose
to preserve the Grants in Urquhart from being
opresst by the M’Donells, and I am glad to hear he
has behaved so well that he has the blessings of all
that country people ; and the Laird of Grant’s doers
have promised to represent to their master, who is
my son’s cousin-germain, how kindly and oblidgeing
The Master of Lovat behaved to all the country. It
was but his duty ; but in the days that we are in it
is very rare to find a man that does what he ought
to do to a friend and relation.”1 These letters, it is
needless to say, were intended to deceive. Loudon,
however, refused to be imposed upon, and when the
time of reckoning came, Lovat’s duplicity cost him
his life.

After the departure of the Frasers and the Mac-
donalds, the Three Alexanders of Urquhart made
themselves more active than ever in endeavouring
to enlist volunteers for the Prince. These “ fresh
attempts to debauch his vassals and tenants in
Urquhart “ did not meet with Mr Ludovick Grant’s
approval, and “ he got, by contrivance, Mr Mackay
of Achmunie (a gentleman of that country), whom
Mr Grant was informed was a chief instrument in
endeavouring to debauch his people, to Castle

1 See Lovat correspondence in Transactions of Gaelic Society of Inverness, XIV.


Grant, and there prevailed with him, by a solemn
writ under Mackay’s own hand, and by oaths, to
renounce all these bad measures, and to promise
that he should never attempt the like for the future,
but should, with all his influence, be at Mr Grant’s
call whenever he pleased.” So said Sir Archibald
Grant of Monymusk, who was employed after Cullo-
den to write a vindication of Ludovick’s conduct ;
but, as a matter of fact, the writ, which is pre­
served at Castle Grant, makes no allusion to the
insurrection, or to Achmonie’s part in it, and it
was left to the fortunes of war to decide whether
it was to be interpreted as an obligation to support
King George, or as one to fight for Prince Charles :
—“ I, Alexr. M‘Cay alias M‘Gilies,1 of Achmunie, do
hereby promise and declare that I will be constantly
affectionate and faithful to the Laird of Grant, my
superior, and will further and serve his interest to
the utmost of my power, and will use all the moyan
[influence] and interest I can have with others so to
do, particularly with the other feuars and tenants
of the Estate of Urquhart, and will be assistant to
his bailies and chamberlains in these matters when­
ever the said Laird’s orders and directions are made
known to me ; that I will answer his call, and attend
him to receive his directions, as oft as I shall be
required so to do ; and will advise and induce, not
only my own tenants, but all the other feuars and
tenants of the Barony of Urquhart, to do the like
as oft as they shall be required ; and that I will

1 Macgillies was the patronymic of the family of Achmonie.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 267

never, directly or indirectly, act in the contrary. In
witness whereof I have written and subscribed these
presents at Castle Grant, this 6th day of December,
1745 years.—Alexr. M’Cay.”

In Achmonie’s view this obligation, wrested
from him by the masterful Ludovick, who had got
him into his power “by contrivance,” was only to
be respected so long as he was within the reach of
his strong arm ; and on his return to Urquhart he
set it at nought, and, in conjunction with Shewglie
and Corrimony, continued to work for the Prince.
Their efforts were not without success. “ I rune
you this express,” wrote the now threatened and
almost despairing factor to Ludovick on 20th
December—the day on which Charles and his army
crossed the Border on their retreat from England—
“to acquaint you that the people of this country
has past my power to keep them any longer from
joyning the Highland armie. Ther’s fifty or sixty
of them to goe for Perth the begining of next
week. There goeing is all oweing to Angus Grant,
who goes alongs with your tenants. Corimonie and
Achmony sends a part of there tenants, which I
belive in justice ought to bring them in equaly
guilty, as they went themselves. Am told Ach-
mony’s brother goes. The country people here and
I do not agree one minute, as am againest there
goeing to Perth. Corimonie and I quarald last
Friday, and upon the Saturday he sent for severalls
of the men of his faimly, who came in full arms with
him in order to atact me, and after they came to


Millntown, where I was then, they thought proper
to lett me alon. This is the situation am in for
some tyme past—am not only threatned by the
Highlanders for disuading your tenants from joyning,
but are threatned by the country people here.
Within thir [these] few days my house and corns
were threatned to be burnt, and I don’t know how
soon this may hapen, if am not suported by you.
Am always ready to riske my life in your service.
I hope if any of the small effects I have are
destroyed, that you’ll see me redress’d, as you know
that my little moveabls are the greatest subject I
have to depend upon for the support of my faimly.

“ If you’ll be so good as to give me a posscession
elsewhere, to accomodate my wife and faimly and
cattle for some little tyme till the present troubls in
the nation are quell’d, I’le always stay here while
you’r pleas’d to imploy me, and obey your orders as
farr as lays in my power. If this you’ll be so good
to agree too, it will be very oblidging, and if you
should not, I’le allways submitt myself to your
pleasure, and not put any little fonds I have in
ballance with serveing my chief.”

And after giving this touching expression to his
anxiety for the safety of his wife and children, and
his devotion to his master, he adds this interest­
ing information :—“ Ther’s eight companys of the
Frasers at Perth. The Master of Lovet has not
gone as yet. The most part of the Camrons are
come home ; ther’s not three hundred of them with
there chief. All the McDonalds of Brea-Lochaber

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                269

are come home too, thirty or forty ; and ther’s not
forty of the Glenmoristone men from home. The
Glengerry McDonalds stood it out best ; ther’s few
of them came home, accept those that returned to

Before the end of the month, the Master of Lovat,
with a further detachment of Frasers, and the
Chisholms of Strathglass and Buntait, under The
Chisholm's youngest son, Roderick, marched south­
ward through our Parish, and joined the Prince’s
army at Stirling early in January. With a few
exceptions, however, the Laird of Grant’s tenants
still held back, wavering between their allegiance
to Ludovick and their loyalty to Charles. But
when the Prince arrived in Inverness, on 18th
February, and the Urquhart men who had been in
his army returned for a brief season to their homes,
and told of their wonderful experiences in England,
of the brilliant brush with the enemy at Clifton, in
the honours of which they shared, and of the glorious
victory at Falkirk—glorious in their eyes, notwith­
standing the loss on the field of their brave young
leader, Robert Grant, son of Shewglie, and the
accidental death after the battle of their colonel,
Angus of Glengarry1—it was impossible for the
factor to restrain them any longer ; and the Three
Alexanders brought about sixty of them to the
Prince, in addition to those who had already

1 Angus was married to a daughter of Robertson of Struan. Their
young daughter, named Angus or Angusia, after him, became the wife of
Alexander Mackay of Achmonie,


served him.1 Placed under the banner of Baris-
dale, who had succeeded Angus Macdonell in the
command of the Glengarry regiment, they took
part in the pursuit of Lord Loudon and the Lord
President in Ross and Sutherland. They returned
to fight, and many of them to die, on the Moor
of Culloden.

Memorial, at Castle Grant.

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