St Christina, virgin and martyr, beginning of 4th century. St Declan, first bishop of Ardmore, Ireland, 5th century. St Lupus, bishop of Troyes, confessor, 478. Saints Romanus and David, patrons of Muscovy, martyrs, 1010. St Kinga or Cunegundes of Poland, 1292. St Francis Solano, confessor, 16th century.
Born. – John Philpot Curran, distinguished Irish barrister, 1750.
Died. – Caliph Abubeker, first successor of Mohammed, 634, Medina; Don Carlos, son of Philip II. of Spain, died in prison, 1568; Alphonse des Vignoles, chronologist, 1744, Berlin; John Dyer, poet, author of Grongar Hill, 1758, Coningsby, Lincolnshire; Armand Carrel, French political writer, died in consequence of wounds in a duel, 1836.
THE FIRST ROAD-TRAMWAY.
In 1801, Dr James Anderson, of Edinburgh, in his Recreations of Agriculture, set forth, in very glowing terms, the anticipated value of horse-tramways.1 ‘Diminish carriage expenses by one farthing,’ he said, ‘and you widen the circle of intercourse; you form, as it were, a new creation, not only of stones and earth, trees and plants, but of men also, and, what is more, of industry, happiness, and joy.’ In a less enthusiastic, and more practical strain, he proceeded to argue that the use of such tramways would lessen distances as measured by time, economise horse-power, lead to the improvement of agriculture, and lower the prices of commodities.
1 Dr James Anderson, originally a Scotch farmer, by his periodical work, The Bee, published all through the years 1791, 2, and 3, might be considered as the first to exemplify a respectable cheap literature. His daughter was the wife of Mr Benjamin Outram, and these were the parents of the Bayard of India, Sir James Outram. Mrs Outram died recently at an advanced age.
On this Day in Other Sources.
These feuds were followed by a formidable insurrection in fourteen hundred and eleven by Donald, Lord of the Isles, of such a serious nature as to threaten a dismemberment of the kingdom of Scotland. The origin of this rebellion arose out of the following circumstances. The male succession to the Earldom of Ross having become extinct, the honours of the Peerage devolved upon a female, Euphemia Ross, wife of Sir Walter Lesley. Of this marriage there were two children, Alexander, afterwards Earl of Ross, and Margaret afterwards married to the Lord of the Isles. Earl Alexander married a daughter of the Duke of Albany. Euphemia, Countess of Ross, was the only issue of this marriage, but becoming a nun she resigned the earldom of Ross in favour of her uncle John Stewart, Earl of Buchan. The Lord of the Isles conceiving that the Countess, by renouncing the world, had forfeited her title and estate, and, moreover, that she had no right to dispose thereof, claimed both in right of Margaret his wife. The duke of Albany, governor of Scotland, at whose instigation the Countess had made the renunciation, of course refused to sustain the claim of the prince of the islands. The Lord of the Isles then raised the standard of revolt; and having formed an alliance with England, from whence he was to be supplied with a fleet far superior to the Scottish, he, at the head of an army of ten thousand men, fully equipped and armed after the fashion of the islands with bows and arrows, pole-axes, knives, and swords, burst like a torrent upon the Earldom and carried every thing before him. He, however, received a temporary check at Dingwall, where he was attacked with great impetuosity by Angus Dubh Mackay of Farr, or Black Angus, as he was called, but Angus was taken prisoner, and his brother Roderic Gald and many of his men were killed.
Flushed with the progress he had made, Donald now resolved to carry into execution a threat he had often made to burn the town of Aberdeen. For this purpose he ordered his army to assemble at Inverness, and summoned all the men capable of bearing arms in the Boyne, and the Enzie, to join his standard on his way south. This order being complied with, the Lord of the Isles marched through Moray without opposition. He committed great excesses in Strathbogie and in the district of Garioch, which belonged to the earl of Mar. The inhabitants of Aberdeen were in dreadful alarm at the near approach of this marauder and his fierce hordes; but their fears were allayed by the speedy appearance of a well equipped army, commanded by the earl of Mar, who bore a high military character, assisted by many brave knights and gentlemen in Angus and the Mearns. Among these were Sir Alexander Ogilvy, sheriff of Angus, Sir James Scrymgeour, constable of Dundee and hereditary standard bearer of Scotland, Sir William de Abernethy of Salton, nephew to the duke of Albany, Sir Robert Maule of Panmure, Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum, and Sir Robert Melville. The Earl was also joined by Sir Robert Davidson, the Provost of Aberdeen, and a party of the burgesses.
Advancing from Aberdeen, Mar marched by Inverury, and descried the Highlanders stationed at the village of Harlaw, on the water of Ury near its junction with the Don. Mar soon saw that he had to contend with tremendous odds, but although his forces were, it is said, as one to ten to that opposed to him, he resolved, from the confidence he had in his steel-clad knights, to risk a battle. Having placed a small but select body of knights and men-at-arms in front, under the command of the constable of Dundee and the sheriff of Angus, the Earl drew up the main strength of his army in the rear, including the Murrays, the Straitons, the Maules, the Irvings, the Lesleys, the Lovels, the Stirlings, headed by their respective chiefs. The Earl then placed himself at the head of this body. At the head of the Islesmen and Highlanders was the Lord of the Isles, subordinate to whom were Mackintosh and Maclean and other Highland chiefs, all bearing the most deadly hatred to their Saxon foes, and panting for revenge.
On a signal being given, the Highlanders and Islesmen, setting up those terrific shouts and yells which they were accustomed to raise on entering into battle, rushed forward upon their opponents; but they were received with great firmness and bravery by the knights, who, with their spears levelled, and battle axes raised, cut down many of their impetuous but badly armed adversaries. After the Lowlanders had recovered themselves from the shock which the furious onset of the Highlanders had produced, Sir James Scrymgeour, at the head of the knights and bannerets who fought under him, cut his way through the thick columns of the Islesmen, carrying death every where around him; but the slaughter of hundreds by this brave party did not intimidate the Highlanders, who kept pouring in by thousands to supply the place of those who had fallen. Surrounded on all sides, no alternative remained for Sir James and his valorous companions but victory or death, and the latter was their lot. The constable of Dundee was amongst the first who suffered, and his fall so encouraged the Highlanders, that seizing and stabbing the horses, they thus unhorsed their riders whom they despatched with their daggers. In the mean time the earl of Mar, who had penetrated with his main army into the very heart of the enemy, kept up the unequal contest with great bravery, and, although he lost during the action almost the whole of his army, he continued the fatal struggle with a handful of men till nightfall. The disastrous result of this battle was one of the greatest misfortunes which had ever happened to the numerous respectable families in Angus and the Mearns. Many of these families lost not only their head, but every male in the house. Lesley of Balquhain is said to have fallen with six of his sons. Besides Sir James Scrymgeour, Sir Alexander Ogilvy the sheriff of Angus, with his eldest son George Ogilvy, Sir Thomas Murray, Sir Robert Maule of Panmure, Sir Alexander Irving of Drum,1 Sir William Abernethy of Salton, Sir Alexander Straiton of Lauriston, James Lovel, and Alexander Stirling, and Sir Robert Davidson, Provost of Aberdeen, with five hundred men-at-arms including the principal gentry of Buchan, and the greater part of the burgesses of Aberdeen who followed their Provost, were among the slain. The Highlanders left nine hundred men dead on the field of battle, including the chiefs, Maclean and Mackintosh. This memorable battle2 was fought on the eve of the feast of St James the Apostle, the twenty-fourth day of July, in the year fourteen hundred and eleven, “and from the ferocity with which it was contested, and the dismal spectacle of civil war and bloodshed exhibited to the country, it appears to have made a deep impression on the national mind. It fixed itself in the music and the poetry of Scotland; a march, called the Battle of Harlaw, continued to be a popular air down to the time of Drummond of Hawthornden, and a spirited ballad, on the same event, is still repeated in our age, describing the meeting of the armies, and the deaths of the chiefs, in no ignoble strain.”3
– History of the Highlands, pp.144-162.
1 The Laird of Maclean according to a tradition in the family of Irving of Drum, was killed by Sir Alexander Irving. Genealogical collections, MS. Advocates’ Library, Jac. v. 4. 16. Vol. I. p. 180.
2 The site of the battle is thus described in the manuscript geographical description of Scotland, collected by Macfarlane and preserved in the Advocates Library, Vol. I. p. 7. “Through this parish (the chapel of Garioch formerly called Capella Beatæ Mariæ Virginis de Garryoch, Chart. Aberdon, p. 31.) runs the king’s high way from Aberdeen to Inverness, and from Aberdeen to the high country. A large mile to the east of the church lies the field of an ancient battle called the battle of Harlaw, from a country town of that name hard by. This town, and the field of battle, which lies along the king’s highway upon a moor, extending a short mile from S. E. to N. W. stands on the north east side of the water of Urie, and a small distance therefrom. To the west of the field of battle, about half a mile, is a farmer’s house, called Legget’s Den, hard by, in which is a tomb, built in the form of a malt steep, of four large stones, covered with a broad stone above, where, as the country people generally report, Donald of the Isles lies buried, being slain in the battle, and therefore they call it commonly Donald’s tomb.” This is an evident mistake, as it is well known that Donald was not slain. Mr Tytler conjectures with much probability that the tomb alluded to may be that of the chief of Maclean or Mackintosh, and he refers, in support of this opinion, to Macfarlane’s genealogical collections (MS. Advocates’ Library. Jac. V. 4. 16. Vol. I. p. 180.) in which an account is given of the family of Maclean, and from which it appears that Lauchlan Lubanich had, by Macdonald’s daughter, a son, called Eachin Rusidh ni Cath, or Hector Rufus Bellicosus, who commanded as lieutenant-general under the earl of Ross at the battle of Harlaw, when he and Irving of Drum, seeking out one another by their armorial bearings on their shields, met and killed each other. This Hector was married to a daughter of the earl of Douglas.
3 Tytler, vol. III. 177.
The Governor [charges] a parliament to be held at Edinburgh the 24th of July, this year ; and by it, by a herald, with sound of trumpet, at Edinburgh cross, he cites the Earl of Angus, and his brother, [William Douglas] the prior of Coldingham, with the Lairds of Dalhousie [William Ramsay], Somerville [Hugh], Wedderburn [David Home], Cambusnethan [Sir John Ross], Langton [William Cockburn], and diverse others of that faction, to [appear] before parliament, and to render an [account] of their lewd and wicked pranks.
– Historical Works, pp.238-275.
Lord Lindsay, on the morning of the 24th of July 1567, was sent to Lochleven, to obtain the Queen’s signature, to her own resignation of the crown, and to the commissions of regency. He was selected, for this abominable business, as being the most ferocious and brutal, and the greatest zealot of all those brutish, and perfidious nobles, who then domineered over Scotland. We have now seen, from the most indubitable evidence, that the whole instruments of the Queen’s resignation, as well as the Privy Seal, proceeding thereon, were obtained, by threats, by violence, by force: and of consequence were unwarrantable, and void. We have now seen clearly, that Murray, Morton, and their associate commissioners, who asserted, at York, that the Queen’s resignation of her sovereignty was voluntary, were the most egregious falsifiers.
– Life of Mary, pp.155-184.
FROM KING JAMES VI.
TO OUR TRUSTIE AND WELBELOUED SIR DUNCAN CAMPBELL
OF GLENURQUHAY, KNIGHTE.
JAMES R. – Trustie and welbeloued, wee greete yow well. Wee have understood as well by your letter to our seruant Sir Patrik Murray as by the reporte of our seruant Scandoner, your careful and earnest endeuouris for the performance of whatsoeuer yee can imagine to tende to our seruice, and likewise your speciall care and good enterteynment of Scandoner himselfe, which, as it hath giuen him occasioun to speake of that our kingdome in generall and of yow in particulare as of people deutifullie deuoted to their prince and well affected to strangers, so wee give yow moste heartie thankes for the same. Wee haue also, by your letter to Sir Patrik Murray, understood your honest offer for bringing of deere into Glen Aumonde, which, as it hath proceeded of your speciall desire to procure our contentment, so wee verie well esteeme thereof, and therefore desire you to go on, assuring you that thereby yee shall do us verie acceptable seruice, whereof, when occasion shalbe offered, we will not be unmindefull. Farewell. Giuen at our Mannour of Theobaldes, the 24th day of Julie 1622.
– Sketches, Appendix VII.
Previous to 1662 there was no quay at all at the Broomielaw. Under date 24th July of that year the following minute appears in the council records: “The said day it is concludit for many guid reasons and considerations for the moir commodious laidining and landing of boats that there be ane little key builded at the Broomielaw, and that the samyn be done and perfectit with the best convenience be sight and advys of the magistratis Deane of Gild and Deacon Conveiner.” This first structure, which extended above what is now the site of Jamaica Street Bridge, appears to have been of stone, but it must have been of very small dimensions.
– Old Glasgow, pp.248-266.
“London, July 18. There is erected in Scotland, according to Acts of Parliament confirm’d by the Union, a Society call’d the Union Company, for carrying on Fishing and Manufactures. That Society has according to Law assum’d several Gentlemen, Merchants and others in England, who desired to join with them in an Undertaking, so necessary for retrieving and advancing the Commerce of the Island now under general Decay; and the Society having a fair Prospect of great Advantage by that Fishery, from which the Dutch, &c. annually reap vast Profit, they agreed to raise a Stock for carrying it on. That every one shall pay in one Per Cent. on what they sign, and that no one Person shall be admitted to sign above 5000 lib. Sterling.
They have also provided Cask and Salt, and made Contracts with Gentlemen, on the Scots fishing Coasts, for their Men and Vessels, which are now actually employed in the Company’s Service.
Such as have already paid in one per Cent. and not got their Receipts, may have them from Messieurs Shales and Smithin, Bankiers at the Vine in Lombart Street; and others who have a mind to sign, may also sign, may also have receipts there, with a printed Abstract of the Acts of Parliament, on which the Company is founded, and a Brief Account of its Constitution.”
– Caledonian Mercury, Monday 24th July, 1721.
– Treaty of Union Articles, 1700-1750.
Both articles from the Advertisement pages of the Caledonian Mercury, Midlothian – Thursday 24th July, 1794:
BARONY OF GRUIDS,
TIMEOUS NOTICE is hereby given to FARMERS and CROFTERS, that the leases upon that extensive Property will expire at Whitsunday 1796, and as few Highland districts present more advantageous inducements in either the cattle or sheep farming line, or both, those having any such views cannot, it is presumed, be more happily situated.
The Barony is situated in nearly the most western extremity of the county of Sutherland; its boundaries are well ascertained and marked, and the property contiguous and uninterrupted; its extent is from 27 to 30 miles in length from south-east to north-west, and from about 4 to 8 miles upon an average in breadth, the greatest breadth being towards the southern extremity. The proportion of arable land is equal to, if not beyond, what is generally to be met with on properties of the like extent in the north Highlands.
The eastern boundary is entirely water, viz. Loch Shin about 27 miles long (whereof 9 to 12 miles on the south-west shore is a fine skirting of birch-wood) and about from three to four miles of the River Shin, boldly issuing out of the Loch, on which there is a coble ferry. The river runs further from 3 to 4 miles from the southern extremity of this property and falls into the Dornoch Frith at Invershin. Very little labour and expense may make a most excellent carriage road from the Loch-end to the Dornoch Frith, being only about 7 miles, chiefly on a hard rocky and gravelly bottom; and the western extremity also of Loch-shin is but a trifling distance from water communication with the western sea.
The whole estate will be either let entire or in separate farms on LEASE, from 7 to 19 years as offerers may induce.
Further information may be had by applying to Messrs DAVIDSON and GRAHAM of London, trustees of the estates of Sir George Munro of Poynzfield, deceased; to Major George Sutherland at Rearchar [Rearquhar], by Dornoch, one of their factors; or to George Andrew, writer in Edinburgh.
N.B. – George Munro, ground-officer of the Barony, will attend any person desirous to view the property.
AN EXCELLENT SHEEP FARM
WITH THE STOCKING THEREON – FOR SALE.
To be exposed to public Roup and Sale, within the Old Exchange Coffeehouse, Edinburgh, on Friday the 17th day of October 1794, between the hours of five and six after-noon.
A SUBSET of All and Whole the LANDS, GRAZINGS, and SHEEP FARM of CULLACHY, KYTRIE, and Others, as possessed by Lieutenant Evan Macpherson and his Subtenants, under lease, of which there are twelve years to run from Whitsunday 1794.
This farm is situated close to Fort Augustus, in the county of Inverness, extending from the river Oich southward [lacuna] to the ridge of the high mountains of Corryerrack, along the military road leading by Garvamore to Perth and Edinburgh; and from east to west two miles, along the military road leading from Inverness by Fort-William and the [lacuna] Mount to Glasgow. It comprehends at least twenty-[lacuna] miles of surface, of which upwards of 200 acres are [lacuna] land of the best quality in that country, and a great deal of fine meadow ground, which yields fine crops of natural hay.
The soil is in general very rich, producing a profusion of sweet and strong grass finely intermixed, and which has been found, from long experience, to be peculiarly well adapted for rearing and feeding sheep and black cattle at all seasons of the year, as the farm affords, from its abundant pasture and good shelter, perfect security in the most severe winters.
Along with the Sublease will be exposed,
The WHOLE STOCKING on the Farms, conform to inventory. The present Stocking consists of near four thousand Black faced Sheep and Black Cattle are not inferior to any flock in the Highlands of Scotland, either for bone, fashion, or [lacuna]; and after seven years trial, the farm has proved itself perfectly equal to maintain this number, besides having a considerable portion of the arable land kept constantly under a corn crop.
Within the last seven years about 700l. Sterling has been laid out in various useful improvements upon this farm which renders further expence unnecessary during the remainder of the lease, either in the erection of houses, sheep [lacuna], dykes, or inclosures of any kind; and the purchaser will also be intitled to draw certain meliorations from the proprietor, at the termination of the lease.
There are upon the premisses a complete set of office-houses, in good repair, and an excellent garden, containing half an acre of ground, well stored with young fruit trees, and sufficiently inclosed.
The dwelling-house is a commodious substantial new building neatly finished, and fit to accommodate a genteel family. It contains a large dining-room, a breakfasting parlour, four bed-rooms, three bed-closets, a kitchen, servants hall, three cellars, and three large garrets. The house, from its windows, commands a delightful view of the lake and banks of Lochness, the garrison and village of Fort Augustus, and of the wild and romantic scenes of Glentarse.
This place is peculiarly well adapted for a Summer Residence or Shooting Quarters; the adjacent hills and mountains abound with red deer, grouse, black cock, and tarmagan, and low grounds with hare, partridge, woodcock, and wild duck. The lakes and rivers, which are numerous, produce a great variety of excellent trout; and Lochness and the river oich abounds with salmon.
All necessary supplies from market can be easily and cheaply conveyed from Inverness, only 32 miles distant, by means of the navigation of Lochness, and the mail arrives at Fort Augustus three times a-week from Inverness, and as often from Fort William.
The farms being in a high state of improvement, the purchaser may reasonably expect, by proper management, a free profit from 300l. to 400l. per annum, during the currency of the lease. The subtenant will be entitled to take possession as at Martinmas next; and the price only payable at Whitsunday thereafter.
In a word, this purchase deserves the attention of sheep farmers in particular in point of profit – of the sportsman for his pleasure – and of every gentleman of taste, who wishes for a delightful, convenient, and healthy retirement in the country. In all these respects such an opportunity seldom occurs as the present sale offers.
Any of the shepherds or servants at Cullachy will show the farms and stocking; and for further particulars enquire at Alexander Stewart, Esq. of Achnacoan, or the Rev. Mr John Kennedy, at Aucheraw [Auchterawe], by Fort Augustus, or James Robertson, writer, Castlehill, Edinburgh, who will show the principal lease, and articles of roup.
Transcribed directly from the British Newspaper Archive. [Lacuna]s are just where the type couldn’t be deciphered or was too faded to read.
See Sallachy Hunting Lodge and Suidhe Viewpoint in Googlemaps for an idea of the area described.
– Gloomy Memories, Contemporary Newspaper Advertisements of Highland Land.
To the Editor of the Scottish Herald.
SIR, – An unaccountable apathy has come over the press this some time past regarding Highland affairs. Twelve months ago the nation was made to ring with indignant exclamations at the oppressions and privations under which our Celtic countrymen have been long groaning; but now there is as little said on the subject, as if the people on whose behalf so much complain of. This, however, is not the case. The grievances of the Gael still remain unredressed. They still continue to live, steeped in the same poverty and degradation which have been their lot since they were burned out of their ancient habitations in the valleys, and planted like sea fowls on the outskirts of their country. While a Highlander is left to shiver out a miserable existence on that dismal, sea-begirt locality which he has been compelled to exchange for his once comfortable inland farm – while one glen remains unoccupied, capable of affording adequate shelter and nourishment to him, the public ought not to be satisfied, and the press betrays its trust by remaining silent.
I have been led into these remarks in consequence of accidentally perusing an admirable work on the state of the Highlands, published in 1785 by Mr. John Knox, a man celebrated for his patriotism and enlightened philanthropy. About the period Mr. Knox wrote his book, the depopulating projects of the Highland lairds were in full operation, and this warmhearted individual resolved, if possible, to avert the ruin he saw impending over his country. He accordingly travelled alone through the glens and mountains of the north on horseback, with the view of convincing the chieftains of the cruelty and error of their conduct towards their unoffending clansmen, and devising schemes for the immediate relief and permanent elevation of those unhappy sons of toil; and since Mr. Knox’s day no author that I am aware of has written so powerfully on the distress of the Highlanders [‘A Tour through the Highlands of Scotland and the Hebride Isles’ (1786)], or displayed so minute and accurate a knowledge of the remedies best adapted for their condition. True, Mr. Knox was no flatterer of the great, no visionary dreamer. He did not, as is the modern custom, go to the Highlands to calumniate the natives, to represent them as drones and cumberers of the ground, in order to minister to the designs of a few rapacious capitalists and hard-hearted landowners; no, he went there to console the inhabitants under the hardships they were suffering – to proclaim to the world their patient industry, and the many noble virtues by which they were distinguished. But he was sensible his work was only half done when he accomplished these things. A practical benefactor, he examined into the fishing and agricultural capabilities of the country, and having, after incredible labour, satisfied himself that the Highlands teemed with resources, sufficient to sustain ten times the umber of human beings that were starving in those regions, he points out how the resources he had discovered might be called forth, and the aboriginal tribes thereby kept at home, and made useful citizens, instead of being banished like felons into far distant climes. O that Scotchmen of the present day would imbibe a little of Mr. Knox’s wisdom and fervour in this cause, and look with the same compassionate eye that he did towards the neglected hills of Caledonia: but, alas! I fear everything like a disinterested, manly public spirit is dead among us, and the age is vanished when the Highlanders would have disdained to ask any other aid save that of their own good swords to right their own wrongs. But did Mr. Knox content himself with using soft words while witnessing those terrible exhibitions of havoc, oppression, and expulsion which were then prevalent in the Highlands? Very far from it; being convinced that the chieftains were for their own mean and selfish ends madly bent on destroying a community that might be the glory and stay of their country inthe hour of peril, his indignation rose in proportion to the magnitude of crime those infatuated men were committing, and he speaks of their doings in the following emphatic terms:-
“I shall not waste paper on arguments which with some minds pass as tinkling sounds. Since neither the precepts of Christianity nor philosophy can make any impression – since humanity and avarice never can assimilate – we must change our ground, and trace the subject to its origin. The earth which we inhabit was given for the general support and benefit of all mankind, by a Being who is incapable of partiality or destinction; and though in the arrangements of society the earth is divided into very unequal proportions, and these confined to a few individuals, whilst the great body of the people are totally cut off, this distribution doth not give the possessors a shadow of right to deprive mankind of the fruits of their labour. The earth is the property of Him by whom it was called into existence; and, strictly speaking, no person hath an exclusive right to any part of it who cannot show a charter or deed handed down from the original and only Proprietor of all nature; if otherwise, they hold their possessions upon usage only. Grants of land were made by princes to their champions, friends and favourites; and these have been handed down from father to son, or by them transferred to new possessors; but where are the original charters from the Author of nature to those monarchs? In vain may we search the archives of nations from one extreme of the globe to the other. If so, and who can controvert it? the man who toils at the plough from five o’clock in the morning to sunset, and who sows the seed, hath undoubtedly a right to the produce thereof, preferably to the lounger who lies in bed till ten, and spends the remainder of the day in idleness, extravagance, and frivolous or vicious pursuits. The tenure of the former is held from God, founded on the eternal law of justice; the claim of the latter is from man, held in virtue of the revolutions and casual events of nations.
“He therefore who denies his fellow-creatures the just earnings of their labour counteracts the benevolent intentions of the Deity – deprives his king and country of an industrious and useful body of the community, whom he drives from starvation at home to slavery abroad – ought to be considered as an avowed enemy of society, particularly the man who can take the cow from the aged widow, and afterwards the bed, the kettle, and the chair – thus turning out the decrepid at fourscore to wander from door to door, till infirmities and grief close the scene of tribulation.
“Since human laws do not reach such persons, while petty rogues are cut off in dozens, their names ought to be published in every newspaper within these kingdoms, and themselves excluded from any place of honour or profit, civil or military.”
Now, Sir, let it be observed, these are not the sentiments of a person who had revolutionary or party purposes to serve, but the deliberate opinions of a philosophic, humane, generous, and independent spirit; who could take an enlarged view of the matter he had in hand, and sincerely feel for the distresses, and show that he had a thorough perception of the inalienable rights of his fellow-creatures. But I fatigue you, and I would just add in conclusion, let your readers ponder well the quotation I have just given them from Mr. Knox’s publication, and ask themselves the question, whether it is not as capable of being applied to landowners, both in the Highlands and Lowlands, in the 19th, as it was in the 18th century. I could instance facts to prove this; but, as I understand Mr. Donald McLeod is to give you a few sketches of some pictures of wretchedness he saw in Sutherland lately, I forbear in the meanwhile, and shall simply refer you to him for practical illustrations of the truth of the general statements contained in this epistle.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Edinburgh, 24th July, 1844.
– Gloomy Memories, pp.71-134.