The Story behind the Stone – the families, estates and stories of Kirkmichael, Cullicudden, the Black Isle and beyond

The Urquhart of Kinbeachie Memorials,
the Newhall v Kinbeachie boundary dispute, and the longest ha-ha in the North

text: Dr Jim Mackay    photography as set out below each image

The memorials in the Urquhart of Kinbeachie enclosure at Cullicudden are beautifully ornamented. Heraldic devices and symbols of mortality feature on the stones which bear dates from the 1600s to the 1800s. The oldest slabs have been broken but still present much information.

The Urquharts of Kinbeachie have been little studied, but the family contained some wonderful characters.

This is the story behind the stones and the people commemorated in the Urquhart of Kinbeachie enclosure. There are related stones nearby, including the matching pair to Alexander Urquhart in St Martin’s and his wife Agnes Monro, daughter of Andrew Monro of Novar, from the early 1600s. There is also a beautiful but undated Urquhart slab simply bearing the initials “AV” along with the three boar heads of the Urquharts. These are undoubtedly memorials of relations. But we’ll focus on the group within the enclosure, which itself is a balustered 17th century structure similar to the Grants of Ardoch enclosure at Kirkmichael and other family enclosures of that era in Highland kirkyards.


the Urquhart of Kinbeachie enclosure in Cullicudden Burial Ground; photo by Jim Mackay


photo by Jim Mackay

A group of Kirkmichael Trust volunteers descended on Cullicudden at Christmas 2020 to deal with the rash of young trees beginning to get a grip in amongst the wonderful memorials here. The damage that unchecked trees can cause in graveyards is colossal. Prevention is better than cure!


in a few years, that wall would be seriously damaged by that shrub if unchecked; photo by Jim Mackay


awkward location for a tree to choose! photo by Andrew Dowsett


some of the more substantial stems going to a good home; photo by Jim Mackay

What published information there is about the early Urquhart of Kinbeachie family is rather conflicting, and hence I have gone back to primary sources such as charters, legal cases, bonds and sasines rather than utilise secondary sources. Much of my information has never been published before. I’ll be happy to add to this story where there is hard information to supplement it.

Kinbeachie, an estate of considerable antiquity, was in extent very small. And even then the arable acreage was limited compared to acreage of moor and meadow. The mill, however, was of significance, as explained in our story about the Forbes of Cullicudden here, copied thus:

You would not think Kinbeachie Mill would be a going concern. But tenants were “thirled” or bound to the Kinbeachie Mill from much further afield. I have lists of Newhall Estate tenants from 1816 and 1820 who were thirled to the Miln of Kinbeachie, and they included tenants in Toberchurn, Craighouse, Cullicudden, Bog of Cullicudden, Woodhead and Culbo. The Kinbeachie Miller could thus be assured of a good trade and was a person of importance in the area.

Most of the Parish of Resolis lay in the Shire of Cromarty, but the Estate of Kinbeachie lay entirely in the Shire of Ross, with much of the estate boundary forming the boundary between the two shires.

 

Kinbeachie House

Nothing remains now on the ground of Kinbeachie House. The site was the subject of a NOSAS investigation in 2017. You can read the very thorough report by members of NOSAS including Meryl Marshall here.

One of the conclusions of the investigation was that the site held both an earlier castle or keep and a later laird’s house. Some features, such as the 1564 datestone seen in photography above the lintel of the fireplace of the laird’s house, must therefore have been incorporated from the earlier castle. Curiously, one inhabitant of the laird’s house, Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1765–1840), didn’t seem to have picked up on this. In writing from London to Mackenzie of Seaforth on 7 February 1834 (GD46/1/83/1) he said:

Perhaps when you consider, that Kinbeachie is the only part of the Cromartie property of the Urquharts remaining in the family– That the old House upon it was built by Walter Urquhart in 1546, then married to a daughter of Seaforth, and I was among the last of the family and name that lived in it. This I hope will plead my excuse for the trouble I am giving you, and the request I now make.


image courtesy of the late Mrs Essie Munro, Alness Ferry


from a photograph in my possession, thought to be from 1952; a potato crop surrounds the remains of Kinbeachie House

The panel bearing two shields above the fireplace also bore the date: 1546. I would be very surprised if the Cullicudden photographer Donald Fraser (1872–1917), who produced as postcards scenes of many of our local antiquities, had not published one of Kinbeachie House. We can live in hope that an earlier detailed photograph might yet appear!

 

The Kinbeachie Memorial Stones in Cullicudden Burial Ground

The focus of this story is on the memorial stones associated with the family. The Urquhart family had been established in Kinbeachie for a couple of generations by the time of the earliest memorials to have survived at Cullicudden. Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie, whose memorial we are about to discuss, inherited Kinbeachie in 1630 on the death of his brother, Walter Urquhart, fiar of Kinbeachie. The published summary of the Retour or Service of Heirs gives:

Jun. 1. 1630. Thomas Urquhart, haeres Walteri Urquhart feoditarii de Kinbeachie, fratris,– in terris de Kinbeachie extendentibus ad dimidietatem davatae terrarum, cum brasina de Kinbeachie et crofta eiusdem;– molendino de Kinbeachie, infra episcopatum Rossensesm et vicecomitatum de Inverness.– E. 7s. 4d. &c.       xi. 33.

 

Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (–1656)
and his two wives, Janet Williamson and Agnes Monro (–1661)

We have two inscribed stones for this generation, in the 1600s, when Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie married first Janet Williamson and then Agnes Monro.


photo by Jim Mackay

The panel mounted on the inside of the east wall of the enclosure is the broken-off top half of a highly ornate but typical six foot slab. There are two perimeter lines within which text runs clock-wise from the top left corner. Typically such a slab would read “Here lies ane honest/gentle/virtuous man/woman named … who departed this life/died …”. In this case, with only half the slab present and the top right corner knocked off, all we have is:

(top) HEIR LEYS A… … …
(right side) … … …S VRQVHART OF KENBE… …
(bottom missing) … … … … … …
(left side) … … …656

That last digit is not easy to read until some night-time oblique lighting clearly shows it to be a 6, making the year 1656.


photo by Jim Mackay

Just the information on this half slab is enough to confirm that it commemorates Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie who died in 1656. The central initialed panel is very helpful. It is designed to look like an ancient scroll, unrolled from each side. At the top we have initials TV and IW for Thomas Urquhart and Ianet Williamson. Below there are the three boar heads of the Urquhart family. We have many examples of these boar heads in both Cullicudden and Kirkmichael. They can vary from a very stubby version to the more streamlined head seen here that, if it weren’t for the tusks, would be more akin to that of a wolf! Below the boar heads we have the initials of the next Urquhart of Kinbeachie, the son of Thomas Urquhart and Janet Williamson, John Urquhart of Kinbeachie. He married Isobel Cuthbert, daughter of Inverness merchant James Cuthbert, and you’ll see her initials beside those of John’s.

I’ve seen different dates given for Isobel’s birth, but I note from the Inverness baptism register a “bairne” named “Issobel” baptised to James Cuthbert on 21 March 1643. I don’t know if this is our Isobel, of course, particularly given a supposed marriage date of 1658. The Cuthbert family is quite well-researched, and it would be good to see how Isobel, daughter of merchant James, fitted in. One of the chief creditors of the famous Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty was one James Cuthbert of Inverness, and it would be nice to think that Urquhart of Kinbeachie instead of fighting them joined them!


photo by Jim Mackay


photo by Jim Mackay

Nearby, turned upside down and buried at depth, are two more large segments of this slab. There are other smaller pieces of sandstone buried at depth so I imagine all of it could be found.


I have roughly adjusted the three sections to show how they fit together. You can see one piece has yet to be located.

We can thus expand the inscription of the slab as a whole to:

(top) HEIR LEYS A… … …
(right side) … … …S VRQVHART OF KENBE… … WHO DEPERTED OVT
(base) OF HIS MORTAL LYF
(left side)THE 23 OF IANVARI 1656

Now, this slab was clearly commissioned by John Urquhart to commemorate his father and his biological mother. But what of Thomas’s second wife and John’s stepmother, Agnes Monro? She is commemorated on her own slab, which lies broken on the north side of the Urquhart enclosure. It must originally have been one of the most beautifully carved slabs in Cullicudden.


photo by Jim Mackay


photo by Jim Mackay

I took the pictures above back in the 1990s and nowadays I would organise artificial angled lighting to bring out the features better. It bears ligatured text around perimeter. On the top half, there is the “unrolled scroll” effect, just as on the wall panel slab, with eight scrolled pieces (one above, one below, three on either side) surrounding two shields, one above the other. The upper shield contains three boar heads, with T V below it. The lower shield contains another shape, presumably an eagle, with A M midway down at outer edges of shield. Below the scrolls is the quotation from Revelations, and below that a complex interweaving of TV and AM. The inscription reads, clockwise from top-left:

Heir lies ane honest / woman called AGNES MONRO spovse to THOMAS / VRQVHART of Kinbeachie who departed lyfe the 6 of Agovst 1661. / Blessed is the / dead that dis / in the Lord they / rest from ther / labors and ther / [works do] follow them

By the way, those seeking confirmation of the relationships here can find them in various documents of the period. I have used the following sasines, all available at the NRS in Edinburgh: RS37/5 folio 191; RS37/7 folio 179; RS38/1 folios 74, 75; RS38/2 folio 223; RS38/5 folio 31; RS38/8 folios 520, 521, 522; RS38/9 folios 75, 76. Much additional information about the family can be gleaned from these sasines. For example, starting on folio 75 verso of RS38/1 is a sasine registered in 1662. It implements the passing to John Urquhart of Kinbeachie of the land and mill of Kinbeachie from ye deceist Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie his father. The precept of sasine within it was signed at “Cromertie ye thrid day of Jannarie ye yeir ane thowsand sex hundred & three scoir yeirs” so one can assume that Thomas had died in the year before, 1659, if not earlier. Other sources say 1660, but he was already deceased when that document was signed. (Subsequent to this, I have established that in fact he died 23 January 1656). Other relatives appear from sasines. I note in this one that witnesses included tenants in Kinbeachie, Mackenzie of Findon and one “Alexro Urquhart fratre dicto Joanne Urquhart” or Alexander Urquhart, the brother of the said John Urquhart. And in a Grant of Dunskeath sasine of 1682 (RS38/5 folio 163 verso) one of the witnesses was James Urquhart sone to John Urquhart of Kinbeachie.


nice clear Kinbeachie sasine from 1662 – they are not all like this! photo by Jim Mackay

Another brother pops up in the records of the Sheriff Court of Tain, in 1678, in the case “James Innes of Lichnet agst Jon Urqrt of Kinbeackie”. In this, tenants in Kinbeachie, Toberchurn and Drumcudden were being pursued for unpaid fees and I see “Jon Urqrt of Kinbeachie & Rob Urqrt in Craighous his Broyr con[junct]ly & se[ver]ally of the soume of four punds Scots money”. This is therefore evidence of a brother Robert Urquhart residing locally. Alexander Mackenzie in his “History of the Munros of Fowlis” (1898) states that Hector Munro of Findon, who died before 1627, married, as a second wife, Jane, daughter of Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie with issue, one sone and two daughters. Mackenzie’s histories were not always correct, but if true then that identifies Jane Urquhart, another of John’s siblings.

 

John Urquhart of Kinbeachie and Isobel Cuthbert

The memorial commemorating John Urquhart of Kinbeachie and Isobel Cuthbert is also inserted on the west face of the east wall of the enclosure. It seems to have been constructed from the outset as a wall panel, unlike the broken slab beside it. It is also beautifully carved and has IU and IC at the top, separated by a heart. Mantling tumbles down each side of the shield. On the left of the shield are the three boar heads of the Urquharts, and in this carving each boar head has a brutish snout, a projecting tongue and upward thrusting tusk. And on the right is a clearly carved arrow surrounded by four mullions or five pointed stars. A fess stretches across the shaft of the arrow. The Cuthbert crest has been described as “Vert a fesse engr. betw. four mullets ar. and an arrow in pale surmounting the fesse point downwards ppr.”

Below the shield is the very clear date 1658. The most likely meaning of this date would be the year of marriage of John and Isobel. I wonder if this could have been a marriage stone originally in place at Kinbeachie and moved here to commemorate them in the family enclosure?


photo by Jim Mackay

The first sasine I see within which Isobel Cuthbert is mentioned as the spouse of John Urquhart of Kinbeachie is RS38/1 folio 74, registered in 1662. Unfortunately I have lost the relevant page, and, following lockdown, will need to obtain another copy! But hopefully it might confirm when the marriage occurred. The very next sasine is the one quoted above, and refers to John’s father Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie as being deceast.

The Cuthberts of Draikies and Castlehill were an important family of the time, with various Cuthberts being Baillies and Provosts of Inverness, and successful businessmen. John Urquhart of Kinbeachie was therefore marrying into a well-established and, more importantly, financially-secure family when he married Isobel Cuthbert. Perhaps that explains the proliferation of well-carved Urquhart memorials in Cullicudden stemming from this period!

We have not yet identified any memorials in Cullicudden to the childen of John Urquhart and Isobel Cuthbert. Of the parents, John was the first to die, and Isobel seems to have been alive round about 1690. William MacGill in “Old Ross-shire and Scotland as seen in the Tain and Balnagown Documents” (1909, pages 400 to 403) gives an extract from a document, which he considered to date about 1690. It states:

Heretors, Wadsetters, and liferenters within the shyre of Ross– … Cullicudden– Geo. Dallas of St Mertines, James Innes of Lichnet, Thos. Urqrt of Kinbeachie or Cuthbert his moyr; …

 

Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie

Son Thomas was indeed the next Urquhart of Kinbeachie, but I have not yet seen a stone commemorating him. There is a blank slab between the Agnes Monro slab and the tablestones within the enclosure, which I am fairly sure is actually upside down. And there are lots of broken pieces of sandstone buried at depth. The workmen installing the two tablestones in 1831 took a very pragmatic approach to clearing space! Anyway, I see no record of this Thomas marrying and, on his death, his weak-willed younger brother John was to inherit the estate and take over as Urquhart of Kinbeachie.

I note that when James Houston, the minister of the united parish, wrote a long testimonial to the character of indwellers in the parish (GD305/1/160/67 and dated 24 January 1688), thereby usefully identifying many of the tenants at that time, whom did he seek to act as witnesses but “Thomas Urqrt off Kinbeachie & John Urqrt his brother.” At this time they were clearly considered among the most reputable men in the parish!

 

John Urquhart of Kinbeachie and Anna Smith

John was clearly not up to the job of managing his finances, and eventually transferred Kinbeachie to his son Thomas, a much more stable character. The weak-willed John features in various debt proceedings. Just read this bond I found in the NRS in Edinburgh to get a grasp of his problems:

24 March 1731 … Bond of Interdiction Urquhart to Urquhart.
… Be it known to all men be thir present letters me John Urquhart broyr. german to the deceast Thomas Urquhart of Kenbeachie Considering be the faulty and simplicity of my nature I may be induced or entyced to become Caution for diverse and Sundry persons my estate may be ruined and my lands goods and gear adjudged and poyned from me my heirs and exers. And sic like I being ignorant of the knowledge of the law be induced be Crafty and Subtile persons who may advise or Concill me to like ruin of my estate if I be not directed or advised by Some of my Speciall friends who shall be Careful of my lands goods and gear be not evicted from me my Exers. and Succ.ors through my Cauthionery that I shall be oblidged in hereafter for whatsomever person or persons and being willing to be directed and concelled be the advice of Some of my nearest relations that I be not Seduced or deceived in manner @specified and having sufficient proof and experience of the fidelity goodwill and favour of Mr James Urquhart preacher of the Gospell and James Cuthbert writer in Inverness my Cousines germans my Speciall good friendship they have towards me and being Confident of the earnestness [blank half line] care to prevent me and my foresaids from incurring any Skaith in my estate through Cautionery or any way or manner whatsomever therefore and for diverse oyr good causes and considerations moveing me to be bound and oblidged Likeas I bind and oblige myself to the said Mr James Urquhart and James Cuthbert that I shall not be considered Cautioner to no person or persons nor shall make no … translation resignation or disposition nor oyr … or Securitys whatsomever of my lands & estate nor any oyr mealls or duties furth of the samen nor grant long … tacks nor Contract or bargain be word or write with any person or persons any manner of way In time comeing after this hereof without the Speciall advice consent and assent of the sd Mr James Urquhart and James Cuthbert @mentioned or any one of them who may be present … in witness whereof I have subt. thir presents (written by Mr Andrew Junor Schoolmaster at Culbo) at Kinbeachie the Seventh day of December Jaivii& and therty years before these witnesses William Mckenzie Student at Culbo and the said Mr. Andrew Junor and David Mackay mert. in Culbo

The formally appointed friends are of interest. Cousin James Cuthbert must have been the nephew of Isobel Urquhart ms Cuthbert, and he is given here as a writer (solicitor) and in sasine RS38/9 folio 75 recto as messenger (another legal role). And cousin Reverend James Urquhart in 1736 is given in sasine RS38/9 folio 75 recto as “Minister of the Gospel at Loggieriech” which is the old name of Logie Wester. The kirk of Logie Wester went out of use around 1749, when the parish, which was conjoined with Urquhart before that, began to use just Urquhart church. The inscriptions within the disused kirkyard of Logie Wester were recorded in 2018 by Friend of Kirkmichael Anne MacInnes (read the excellent report by Anne and colleagues in NOSAS here), but she tells me that no memorial mentioning the Reverend James Urquhart was found. He is not mentioned in the Fasti Ecclesiae, nor is he mentioned in the kirk session records for the unified parish which cover the period 1729 to 1773. They refer, for instance, on 29 June 1729 to the need for the Kirk to be thatched with heather, and the Minister, not James Urquhart, was appointed to organise the thatching. How could the Reverend James Urquhart be “Minister of the Gospel at Loggieriech” if not in the records? Answers on a postcard, please!


one of the wonderful memorials at Logie Wester; photo by Jim Mackay

That Bond of Interdiction was entered into on 7 December 1730. It seems to have had little effect as within a fortnight John was entering into a substantial new debt with William MacCulloch, which of course was not repaid and it comes to light in the court case to compel payment from three years later.

16 October 1733 Bond Urquhart to McCulloch
I John Urquhart of Kinbeachie hereby grant me to have borrowed and received from William McCulloch merchant in Cromarty all & hail the sum of one thousand merks Scots money renounceing all objections in the Contrair which sum of one thousand merks money foresaid of princll. with the due and ordinary @rent yrof from the date hereof to the term of payment underwrin. I hereby bind and oblidge me my heirs Exers and successors thankfully to content pay and again deliver to the said William McCulloch his heirs Exers or Assigneys at and against the term of Whitsunday next to Come but longer delay with the sum of two hundred merks money foresaid of liqt. expences in case of faillie Together also with the due and ordinar @rent of the said prinll. sum yearly termly and proportionally during the not payment thereof after the sd. term of payment Consenting to the registration hereof in the books of Councill and Session or oyrs Competent to have the strength of a decreet interponed thereto that Letters of horning on six days and all oyr Executiorialls needful may pass hereon in form as Effeirs and to that effect I constitute Lookup my prors& In witness whereof (wrin on stampt paper by Hugh Dallas town Clerk of Tain) I have subd. thir pnts. At Balblair the Sixteenth day of December Jaivii& and thirty years before thir witnesses Alexander in Ballacherry and the said Hugh Dallas signed John Urquhart Alexr. Barkly witness Hugh Dallas witnes

So here we have the weak-willed John Urquhart operating the Estate of Kinbeachie under the control (theoretically) of two cousins. This lasted for half a dozen years and then his eldest son, Thomas, took on the estate, with the acquiescence of his father and minders. There was one key provision: that in so doing the son would meet all the prior debts of the father. This would prove to be some undertaking. The sasine also left Kinbeachie Mill in the liferent of John and his wife, Anna Smith, in order to maintain them. And it reveals three further boys that would have to be looked after: John, James and Alexander.


Kinbeachie Mill, beside the remnants of Kinbeachie Castle, demolished in the 1950s, and the Mains of Kinbeachie further west. The lade comes from Kinbeachie Loch; OS 6 inches to the mile, surveyed 1871–1875

The transaction is recorded in the particular Register of Sasines RS38/9 folio 75 recto. This sasine is so interesting that I include large chunks as below:

be it known to all men by this present publick instrument that upon [24 Oct 1736] in presence of me notary publick & witnesses subscribing compeared personally upon the ground of the land & wtin the miln afterment. Donald Fraser alias Miller indweller in Kinbeachie bailly in that part constitute by the precept of sasine after insert. And also compeared Thomas Urquhart eldest lawfull son to John Urquhart of Kinbeachie having & holding in his hands ane Right & Disposition of the date underwritten containing therin the said precept of sasine made & granted by the sd John Urquhart wherby & for the causes yrin specifit The sd John Urquhart of Kinbeachie Brother german to the deceast Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie heritable proprietor of the lands & others after disponed with the pertinents with the special advice & consent of Mr James Urquhart Minister of the Gospel at Loggieriech & of James Cuthbert messenger at Inverness to whom he is Interdicted gave granted sold annailzied & disponed from his heirs & successors to & in favour of the said Thomas Urquhart his eldest lawfull son … All & heall the toun & lands of Kinbeachie extending to ane half Davoch land with the principall dwelling house of Kinbeachie office houses adjacent thereto miln yrof miln-lands multures sucken sequells and knaveship of the same & heall other houses yards parks meadows tofts Crofts Woods grasings mosses muirs parts pendicles & universall pertinents yrof used & wont therto all lyeing wtin the united parishes of Cullicuddin and Kirkmichael and Sheriffdom of Ross bounded as follows viz Having ye lands of Meikle Findon at the west, the lands of Craighouse Toperchurn and Cullicudden at the North, the lands of Drumcudden & Saint Martines at the east and the lands of Culbo & Woodhead at the south parts respective … Providing & Declareing nevertheless that the sd Thomas Urquhart his son and his forsaids by the acceptation thereof are bound & obliged to free relieve harmless & skaithless keep him & his forsds from all and whatsoever debts and sums of money due & contracted by him preceeding the dates of the said disposition and also to purge & disburden the sd lands and others forsd from all & sundry debts … and always expressly reserving to him the sd John Urquhart and Anna Smith his spouse furth & from his said Disposition their Life rent Right of the said Miln of Kinbeachie wt the burden of paying yearly the bishoprents due & payable furth yrof to the collector yrof for the time being and farder reserveing to them the liferent of the Kiln Park or ward and the two bolls & ane half pay Laboured by the said John Urquhart bewest the wood of Kinbeachie Together wt the six firlots pay of land bewest the Kiln ward formerly in use & wont to be payed & allowed the common miller of the said miln for furnishing Stone & Iron to the same And reserving likeways the liferent use & possession of the principall dwelling house of Kinbeachie at least ay & until the said Thomas Urquhart their son build & erect ane convenient dwelling house hard by the sd miln for their dwelling and longest liver of them when and at which time they oblige them to cede & quite possession of the said Mansion house of Kinbeachie and no sooner. And in case the said Anna Smith shall happen to survive the said John Urquhart of Kinbeachie her husband she is therby restricted to a liferent of sixteen bolls oat meal only payable yearly furth of the said miln without any burden whatever And further the said Thomas Urquhart is expressly burthened with the pasturage & graseing of twenty head of sheep one cow & one horse for his said mother. Item to furnish her a Kailyard & lead home for her use yearly eighty loads turf and likways to give her as much of the land of Kinbeachie yearly as she will be capable to muck with the said sheep horse & cow in the event of her being the longest liver only and because the said Thomas Urquhart pays no multure at the said Miln of any part furth of ye grouth of his labouring & possession And with which the sd John Urquhart his father with his consent forsaid Dispenses dureing his lifetime In consideration wherof the said Thomas Urquhart is bound & obliged to keep the water gang or Channel of the said miln in sufficient repair so as to serve all those astricted thereto Also in regard the rest of the said John Urquhart of Kinbeachie his sons … John James & Alexander Urquharts are all unprovided & got no part of their father’s effects and considering that the said Thomas Urquhart their brother is putt in fee of the saids lands miln & pertinents the said Thomas Urquhart and forsaids are bound & obliged not only to free & relieve his said father of the burden of the said children in time comeing but also to bestow on giving each of the said children handcrafts & honest employments & aliment them until that happen

The process of implenting sasines of this period incorporated symbolic transfers, for farmland, of earth and stone. But when a mill was involved, the symbols were the “Clapp & Happer” of the mill. The “Happer” was the hopper, or the box above the mill-wheels, into which the grain was poured and slowly dropped down to be crushed, and the “Clapp” was the clapper or piece of wood that struck the hopper.

Attour to the effect the said Thomas Urquhart & his forsaids may be lawfully infeft & sased in the lands & others @disponed … I hereby with consent forsd make constitute & ordain Donald Fraser alias Miller indweller in Kinbeachie and ilk one of you conjunctly & severally my baillys in that part speciallie constitute that incontinent after sight hereof to pass to the ground of ye lands and oyrs above & after specified and ther give & deliver heritable & irredeemable state sasine … and that by delivering to the sd Thomas Urquhart of his certain attorney in his name bearer of thir presents of Earth and Stone of the Ground of the said lands and of the Clapp & Happer of the said miln within the same as use is…

So we have John Urquhart who married Anne or Anna Smith transferring the Estate of Kinbeachie to his eldest son, Thomas, in a document that mentions three young brothers, John, James and Alexander. I have seen a secondary source which also refers to three sisters (Isabel, marrying John McNeil in 1749; Margaret, marrying Alexander McLane in 1750; Jean, marrying Gregor Grant). The last sister is confirmed by a line on the genealogical stone in the Grant of Ardoch enclosure at Kirkmichael. It reads:

In memory of / WILLIAM GRANT of Ardoch son of / JOHN GRANT of Moyness parish of / Auldearn who died in 1728 aged 90 & / of his first wife FLORENCE DUNBAR / daughter of DUNBAR of Boath who / died 1680 & of his second wife KATE / McKENZIE eldest daughter of COLIN / McKENZIE & AGNES BAYNE of Kincraig / Also of / GREGOR GRANT tacksman of Polnicol / son of the above WM GRANT & KATE / McKENZIE born in 1687 & died in 1764 & / of his first wife CHRISTIAN MILLER / daughter of JOHN MILLER Baillie of / Fortrose & of his second wife JANE / URQUHART daughter of URQUHART of Kinbeachie

This genealogical stone is not entirely correct as it skips a generation (see our Story here).


the Grant of Ardoch enclosure at Kirkmichael, prior to being restored; photo by Jim Mackay


Grant of Ardoch genealogical stone; photo by Jim Mackay

 

Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (–1797) and Isobel Macleod

So Thomas Urquhart took on the Estate, and with it responsibility for the debts of his father, the maintenance of his parents, and the education or training of his young brothers. The clearest example of his clearing of debts I can find is in a substantial debt he had taken out from Sir William Gordon of Invergordon away back in 1706, when John Urquhart was known as “tennent in Ardoch” as his brother Thomas was alive and had Kinbeachie. The Gordons had accumulated considerable Urquhart lands already and were always pleased to loan the Urquharts money to get their hands on more. The agent for Sir William was John Gorry, a frequent visitor to these pages!

RD4/163/1 20 June 1739 discharge John Gorry to John Urquhart
Be it Known to all men by these presents Me John Gorry factor to Sir Wm Gordon Invergordon Bart conform to my commission and factory dated [26 Oct 1731] … whereby I am impowered to ingather his rents and debts resting to him and upon payt discharges for the same to grant as the same more fully bears forasmuchas John Urquhart now of Kinbeachy (designed in the bond after ment.) tennent in Ardoch by his bond dated [21 Aug 1706] for the causes therein specd. bound and obliged him his heirs exers successers and intromitters with his goode and gear qtsomever to have contented and payed to the sd Sir Wm Gordon (thereindesigned of Dalpholly) his heirs Exers or assignies the princl. sume of One hundred and thirty eight pound Scots agt the term of Mart. then next to come with the @rents thereof so long as the same should remain unpaid Together with the sum of fourty pound Scots of Liqd. expences in case of faillie which bond is Registrat in the books of Session upon [9 Jan] last past and whereupon Letters of horning and Caption followed Likeas Thomas Urquhart younger of Kinbeachie by his bond of Corroberation dated [8 Jun] last past did not only Corroborat the forsd bond and diligence but also bound and obliged him his heirs exers & successors to content pay and deliver to the said Sir Wm Gordon his heirs Exers or assigneys the forsd princll. sume of one hundred and thirty eight pound Scots money again the term of Mart. then next now last past under the said Sume of Fourty pounds money forsd of penalty and liqd. expences in case of faillie and haill bygone @rents of the said princl. sume bygone resting unpaid to the said term of Mart. last past and thereafter ay and while payt. of the said princl. be the said Regrat. bond horning Caption and bond of Corrobration in themselves more fully proports And Now Seeing The said Thomas Urquhart has made payt. of the forsaid princll. sume haill bygone @rents thereof and Expences of Raiseing and Executeing Dilligence whereof … Therefore I as factor and having power in manner forsaid hereby Exoner Quiteclaime freely and Simpr. Discharge the said John and Thomas.

Other examples of Thomas paying off his father’s debts may be found in SC25/71/9. This bundle of documents ostensibly is from the time of Thomas Urquhart (1765–1840) but in fact a few earlier documents are buried within it. Itemised accounts from Edinburgh writer John Dingwall for carrying out the legal work of the earlier Thomas Urquhart are in there for accounts paid in years 1736, 1746, and 1759. Here are a few examples of the legal activity:

Novem [1735]To Mr Henrie Horne of Consultation on the process of furthcoming Mr Wm. Duff agt. your father 12.12.-

To Clerks servant for Writing prorogation of the term assigned you and your father for deponing in Mr Duff's furthcoming against you as Debitors to Huiston -12 -

To summonds multiple poinding at Kinbeachies instance agt Duff &c 1.10.-

1736 Janry 16 To postage from James Cuthbert with sum[mons] multiplepoindg at your father’s instance agt Bralanguel Huiston & oyers -12.-

To postage with report act and Commission in the process at Wm. Duff’s instance agt your father as debitor to James Huiston 1.-.-

[from account paid 30 October 1746] To a Summonds of Mutiplepoinding & Reduction at your instance of your father’s Bond to George Urquhart for 1100 merks

You will note reference there, by the way, to James Cuthbert, his father&rquo;s first cousin, writer and messenger in Inverness, appearing here in his professional capacity. The William Duff being referred to was another Inverness resident, but who owned the estate to the east of Kinbeachie, Drumcudden.

This Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie married the second daughter of Macleod of Geanies, one Isobel Macleod, and whilse the year is not known it can be arrived at fairly easily. Most of the baptisms of their subsequent children are grouped together on one page in the Resolis Baptism Register, and several other families have similarly-grouped baptisms. The well-respected Reverend Hector Macphail was ordained in 1748, and I suspect that he initiated a proper record of baptisms after he came into post. I therefore think the listing of children will be retrospectively complete and logically the marriage year would thus be about 1743/44. All the entries for Thomas and Isobel are as follows.

Parish of Resolis Baptisms
1745 … February 18th … A Child baptised to Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie & Isobel Mcleod his Spouse named Jean
1747 October 11th Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie & Isobel Mcleod his spouse had a Child baptized named Jannet
1748 Novr. 15th Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie & Isobel Mcleod his Spouse had a Child baptized named John
1750 October 16th Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie & Isobel McLeod his spouse had a Child baptized named Elizabath
1752 December 16th Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie & Isobel McLeod his Spouse had a Child baptised named Thomas
1754 September 5th Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie & Isobel McLeod his Spouse had a Daughter baptized named Ann
1756 September 31st Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie & Isobel McLeod his spouse had a Son baptized named Donald
1759 January 11th Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie & Isobel McLeod his Spouse had a Daughter baptized named Isobel Culbert

Note that last child, “Isobel Culbert”. I think this will be a mis-spelling of the name of Thomas’s great-grandmother, Isobel Cuthbert.

There was one other child, Alexander, born out of wedlock, to an unknown girl on the Kinbeachie Estate. Alexander proved to be very important to the Kinbeachie story and we shall return to him! Suffice to say for now that he became established in London and his son Thomas (1765–1840) became a successful ship and produce broker.

Thomas clearly had difficulties getting his marriage settlement (tocher) out of the Macleod of Geanies family. Isobel’s father, Captain Donald Macleod, the first Macleod of Geanies, I think from the context must have died not that long after the marriage. His eldest son, Hugh, inherited. In the lawyer’s accounts within SC25/71/9 we see:

1746

Decr Postage of three letters from you anent recovering your tocher

1747 Decr Postage of another letter anent your brother in law William’s effects

To Summonds exhib. & paymt. at your instance agt. Mr. David Ross minister of Tarbat craving exhibition of your father in laws testament & paymt. of your Ladies provision

1748 To lybelling thereof

To making clean coppie of the lybell

March Postage with execution against Geanies

To making Clean Coppie of your Contract of marriage transmited with at your desire

I think the story can be read between the lines of this account!

 

John Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1748–1831)

We don’t know when Isobel Macleod died, but Thomas must have died in 1797. That is when eldest son John (1748–1831) inherited and became the new John Urquhart of Kinbeachie. On a sasine registered on 25 October 1797, from the published abridgements, we see:

John Urquhart of Kinbeachy, as heir to Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachy, his father, Seised, Oct.12.1797,– in Kinbeachy with the Miln and Milnlands thereof, united par. Cullicudden & Kirkmichael;– on Ch. Conf. & Pr. Cl. Con. by Donald MacLeod of Geanies, Oct.4.1797. P.R.16.355.

Unfortunately, just like his grandfather and namesake, John Urquhart of Kinbeachie, John proved to be highly erratic. John is commemorated by one of the two matching tablestones in the Urquhart enclosure at Cullicudden.


John Urquhart’s tablestone is the one on the left; photo by Jim Mackay

Before inheriting the estate he had lived much of the time abroad, but nobody seems very sure whereabouts! On his taking up Kinbeachie, he sold much of the timber for cash and went on drinking sprees. His brother Thomas had become the Reverend Thomas Urquhart of Rosskeen, just across the Balblair ferry from the parish of Resolis in which Kinbeachie is located, and regarded him with abhorrence. Within SC25/71/9 are two letters from Reverend Thomas to his half-nephew Thomas Urquhart, the ship and goods broker, in London, the first, written approaching a year after John had returned to Kinbeachie and inveighing against him. You will rarely meet such an impassioned letter, and that from a minister! I give it in full, as so much of it is of historical interest. Reverend Thomas, of course, had grown up at Kinbeachie.

Ross-shire 21st April 1798
Dear Nephew
With unexpected pleasure indeed we received yours when I was just going to write your Father– now one will answer for all–
     
I wd. have wrote him earlier but poor Unfortunate John was at Fairburn since Mckinnons Death who departed this life Monday last was three weeks– & I had the satisfaction not to have heard of him since I left him there the Burial day– With pleasure we hear of your safe arrival announced by yourself & that you was more successful than last Voyage– The Continuance of which will always give your friends here peculiar pleasure– I hope you are sensible of the many favours & protection of Divine Providence respecting you– ;
     
I am sorry to inform you that it wd. hurt your feelings to hear of your Uncle John’s Conduct since he has broke thro’ all restraint while Cash stood before him– he made himself a nausance to Society– a Disgrace to humanity & was literally called an abomination in the Land– not only does he Drink with the Rabble & Scum of the Creation but when he gets drunk is perfectly insane Tears Bank Notes in pieces & throws them in the fire– In short there is not one of his friends here that Countances him or even wish to see him or hear of him oh! how galling how mortifying– all the Effects of vice of dissipation and Sin– And yet for 2 or 3 Weeks when in a private family is what he ever was to appearance is such a deception– he has sold every Tree in Kinbeachie tho’ many of them are still standing– how savage– & the Money amounting to upwards of a Hundred Pounds all gone & was it a thousand not a 6d. the day wd. be to the fore– As had he the Duke of Bedfords Fortune he wd. mispend the whole– ;
     
Geanies is now about arresting his Rents for £70 Sterling due him & no doubt his other Creditors will follow of Course– ;
     
He has spent within a few Pounds of £200 since his arrival here June last & none knows how except in the lowest Company of Gods Creation in Dissipation Madness & folly–;
     
I am also in for him £20 & I am exceedingly at a loss how to act– I wd. not be surprised he wd. be soon in Jail & sure the fittest place for him– & to give him Money wd. be Criminal unless it wd. be one Sum for all & that we wd. never hear of him more– which God grant– exposed himself his friends & Connections all over this Country– at Inverness the Publican was obliged to Call for 4 Men to prevent his Committing Suicide But enough on this shocking disagreeable subject–
     
My son Jack is just arrived from Fairburn acquaints me he is Managing his Sister’s Farm reading ’ praying in the family way morning & evening– Geanies wishes you to come down how soon Business permits & to offer him at once £2000 for the place– which he thinks its all it is worth– I think if you come you will Conclude a Bargain one way or other;
     
And I am sure did you not like to possess it yourself you cd sett it at £120 a year excluding Public Burdens– allowing the Miln for these– to Mr Middletown the Englishman at Cromarty says who was looking at it for a friend of his a Northumberland young man. The Measurement is

Arable 137½ Acres Scots
Moor & Pasture 241
Miln Damn   24
Half of Common   36
438

At all Events we will expect to see you when business will permit– If your Father can accompany you it will be a material addition to the favour As matters now stand alas! with our family– He knows the frequent opportunities fm. Cromarty to Londn.– of this he will be the best judge–
     
Mrs. Mckinnon is to try the Farming– you know she has an active Bustling turn– & there is near £500 of Cash in Stock– besides the Cattle &c now on the Farm– She is to raise 100 of that now [hole in page] …ke the Farm completely– which is [hole in page] adviseable– Tom her eldest son is about determining whether he will continue Farmer or learn the Milnwright business– her eldest daughter at present is the greatest drawback she has–
     
My eldest son has a Twelve month of his time out at the Coppersmith business of which he is very fond– 3 more to run & John my second is determined to be the sailor contrary to my wish as I never wd. propose to a son of mine to adopt that Line of life– But he is determined therefore I will let him have a Trial with you or your Brother– & if he shd. not like the Sea a Place might be got for him in the Mercantile or Clerking Line in the W. Indies– otherwise come home & learn a Business– But more of this at Meeting–
     
Did you like to go to Orkney once more I will accompany you– all friends here & there are well as far as I know.–
     
And I remain affly. yours while T. Urquhart
     
P.S. Pray let me know if Scrutton brought out Tickets for me this year in the Lottery as we are in a Co. Trade & our Luck– I was not this year so much interested as he did not write me of this & acquainte me of the Nos.– T.U.
     
Write me before you come down–
     
No time to peruse this Letter Excuse haste
     
[address]
     
(Single) / Capt. T. Urquhart No. 71 / Old Gravel Lane / London
     
All friends at Newhall are well – often make mention of you & your Fathers family– Last night that side was all in fine rejoicing at the young Lairds arrival fm. China [this is Henrietta celebrating the return of her son George Lockhart home from Canton]– We are subscribing Parochially here– all My Parish yet made only £50 I told them it wd. not maintain a sailor in Meat & Wages for 6 Months– quite astonished– My Principal Heretor gave £200 but not in this Parish but at Cromarty being Ld. Lieut
     
Not a Bid here for Beast or Boll– hitherto we have had peace & plenty– all afraid & Trembling for the French– Mrs. H. & family join me in affte. Compls. to your Father & Mother you & all your family

There is much in this chatty letter from Reverend Thomas to which we will return. The second letter is from the following year, 21 August 1799, and goes into great detail on the Estate of Kinbeachie, the relative value of various elements, how much the mill was worth and why that worth was rapidly declining, but is too lengthy to give here in full. However, it does include

Am happy also my Brother Means to wait of you at Londn. as the last resource– had he done it sooner he might have at least saved some character by it– But I doubt much his going as he cannot be depended on In case he does I hereby send you the Rental with what oocurs to me on the subject–

In other words, the Reverend thought that John in order to save himself from bankruptcy would see Thomas about selling the estate and hence was providing helpful details. The good minister urged “The first Preliminary I wd. have you make that one Tree of the few remaining were not to be cut down on any account.” But despite all the information and a clear interest at this time of 1798/99 on the part of Thomas to purchase Kinbeachie, his wayward half-uncle John did not sell it to him until about 1818 when John would have been about 70 years of age.

John moved out of Kinbeachie House. I do not know if he had interim accommodation, but he certainly ended up in a tenant’s house in Brae, where he fell for the tenant’s daughter. And the former laird of Kinbeachie made that daughter his executor. This tale has been told in the Story behind the Stone about the Mackenzie masons of Balblair, which can be read here. This is an extract:

There is quite a story about Jean McLean, who married Francis Mackenzie. Whilst she was living in her parents’ home in Brae, who should be lodging there but one of the Resolis lairds, John Urquhart of Kinbeachie. John had always been erratic and wild, and had sold Kinbeachie to his half nephew some years earlier. He was residing in the nearby home of Braelangwell tenants, John McLean and Janet Williamson. Young Jean took on the job of nursing the sick former laird, and Urquhart fell for her. He left her everything and made her his executrix. Writing at Brae on 26 August 1828, he testified:

That I John Urquhart Esquire late of Kinbeachy at present residing at Brae, in the Parish of Resolis and County of Cromarty, for the love favor and affection which I have and bear to Jean Maclean daughter of John McLean Tenant in Brae, and on account of the great care and attention she has paid to me since I came to reside in her Fathers house, do hereby Leave and bequeath all the moveable property of whatever description, that may belong to me at the time of my death, to the said Jean McLean, whom I hereby nominate and appoint to be my sole Executor and universal Legatory; But under the burden always of the payment of the just and lawful debts, that shall be due by me at the time of my death, and of my funeral charges.

John died in 1831 and Jean, who meanwhile had married Chapelton mason Francis Mackenzie, acted as executrix. The remaining money amounted to £92.12s.1d. John was buried in Cullicudden, and is commemorated by a tablestone in the Urquhart of Kinbeachie enclosure with inscription:

In memory / of / JOHN URQUHART Esqr. / proprietor of Kinbeachie who departed / this life / May 17th 1831.

I wonder if Francis carved either the stone or the inscription. It is one of a matching pair, the other commemorating Jean Urquhart, daughter of Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie, who married Lachlan McKinnon, tacksman of Kinbeachie. Francis and Jean Maclean moved to Inverness, where Francis according to one record became a “mason overseer”. Sadly Jean died at an early age, just a couple of years later. She is commemorated by an eye-catching sarcophagus in Chapel Yard:


The sarcophagus in Chapel Yard, Inverness. Photo Jim Mackay

 

 

The siblings of John Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1748–1831)

So the wayward John died at Brae and is buried in Cullicudden. I presume his tablestone was erected by Mrs Jane Campbell ms Mackinnon because we know she erected the matching adjacent tablestone to her father and mother Lachlan Mackinnon and Jean Mackinnon ms Urquhart. The two tablestones were clearly constructed and erected at the same time. Alternatively, she may have liaised with other relatives to pay for the matching stone. In order to fit the big, modern structures into the cramped enclosure, the old slabs were bundled out of the way, leading (I assume) to the shattering of the Agnes Monro slab and the overturning of the slab beside that one.

The siblings were, to recap, Jean (1745), Jannet (1747), John himself (1748), Elizabeth (1750), Thomas (1752), Ann (1754), Donald (1756), Isobel Culbert (or Cuthbert) (1759).

 

Jean Urquhart (1745–1831?)

Jean married the tacksman at Kinbeachie, Lachlan Mackinnon. The marriage is not found in the records, so I presume it was conducted privately by the Reverend Thomas Urquhart at Kinbeachie itself. They had several children at Kinbeachie, summarised as follows.

Parish of Resolis Baptisms
9 April 1780 Lauchlan McKinnon taxman Kinbeachie & Jean Urquhart – Thomas
21 September 1781 Mr. Lauchlan McKinnon taxman of Kinbeachie & Jean Urquhart – Donald
20 April 1783 Lauchlan McKinnon tacksman of Kinbeachie & Jean Urquhart – Isobel
8 February 1785 Lachlan Mckinnon tacksman of Kinbeachie & Jean Urquhart – George

Lachlan and Jean are commemorated on the other tablestone within the Urquhart enclosure at Cullicudden. We know that at least two of Lachlan’s brothers-in-law attended Lachlan’s funeral there. If you look back at the letter from the Reverend Thomas Urquhart of Rosskeen to his half-nephew, Thomas the ship-broker, dated 21 April 1798, you’ll see he says:

poor Unfortunate John was at Fairburn since Mckinnons Death who departed this life Monday last was three weeks– & I had the satisfaction not to have heard of him since I left him there the Burial day

You could almost take this as the Mackinnons having been farming at Fairburn and Lachlan being buried there, but on more considered reading it is that both the Reverend Thomas and brother John were together at the funeral, and John had departed the area for Fairburn after the funeral. In that same letter, the Reverend goes on to discuss his sister’s intentions to take over the farm herself, and refers to “Tom her eldest son” – that will be Thomas Mackinnon, born in 1780.

Mrs. Mckinnon is to try the Farming– you know she has an active Bustling turn– & there is near £500 of Cash in Stock– besides the Cattle &c now on the Farm– She is to raise 100 of that now [hole in page] …ke the Farm completely– which is [hole in page] adviseable– Tom her eldest son is about determining whether he will continue Farmer or learn the Milnwright business– her eldest daughter at present is the greatest drawback she has–

A sad state of affairs when having an unmarried daughter is considered a great drawback. I have no records of any of this Mackinnon family in the parish thereafter until the marriage of Jane or Jean in 1822. The tablestone commemorating the Mackinnons reads:

This stone is erected by / Mrs JANE CAMPBELL / in memory / of her beloved parents / LACHLAN McKINNON / who died the 26th March 1798 / aged 63 years. / and Mrs JANE McKINNON / daughter of THOMAS URQUHART Esqr / of Kinbeachy who died the / 25 Septr 18… at the / advanced age of 86 years./ … distinguishing character / devotion to God and / benevolence to man.

I recorded this inscription in 1999, but it was so eroded by that time that I had to rely for the text following “of Kinbeachy” on the recording made some years earlier by teacher Mrs Penny Poole who passed her material to me. I do wonder with our modern techniques of recording faded inscriptions if more yet could be done with it.

I was curious as to what happened to “Mrs Jane Campbell” i.e. the daughter who had erected the tablestone. The stone is one of a matching pair; the other is an identical tablestone erected in memory of her brother John Urquhart of Kinbeachie. One has to assume that they were erected at the same time. Mrs Jane Cambell ms Urquhart must therefore have had some resources to do so.

Mackinnons in Resolis are as rare as hens’ teeth, and hence I assume this is her marriage:

Parish of Resolis Marriages
Augt. 22nd. 1822 Evan Campbell in the parish of Dollas & Jean McKinnon at Kinbeachie in this parish were married this day

And there the trail goes cold. I simply cannot trace the couple thereafter, either in the parish of Dallas or indeed anywhere else. All assistance gratefully received!

 

Janet Urquhart (1747–1833) – “Mrs Macleod”

The Reverend Donald Sage, writing the Resolis portion of the Second Statistical Account in 1836, tells the story behind the parish’s silver communion ware:

A very elegant and massy service of plate, consisting to two handsome silver communion cups, and a large silver flaggon, was lately gifted to the session by the late Mrs M’Leod of London, a native of this parish, daughter of the late Mr Urquhart of Kinbeachie, a venerable and truly pious and excellent person.

Following the Disruption in 1843, when Sage and most of the congregation left the Established Church to join the newly-formed Free Church, the remnant of the Established Church aggressively requested Sage for the history of bequests, and the silverware formed one of them. Sage’s detailed response may be found in the Kirk Session records. The Kirk Session then coldly responded to Sage “demanding instant restitution of communion plate communion plate presented to this parish by Miss McLeod”. The Resolis Heritors and the Kirk Session had formed a committee to negotiate with Sage, comprising the Reverend Mr Hall of Avoch and, rather surprisingly as he could not have been a heritor for very long, and would have been only 21 or so, the new “Thomas Urquhart Esqre. of Kinbeachie”.

The silverware had been the subject of a notice in the press. This is from the Inverness Courier of 14 October 1835:

Charitable Benefactions.– The Rev. Mr Sage of Resolis has received Five pounds sterling for behoof of the poor, the gift of Henry Barkly, Esq., yr, of Mounteagle, as a testimony of regard for the parish of Resolis, that gave birth to his father’s family, where they lived, venerated and respected. Thomas Urquhart, Esq. of Kinbeachie, has also given a donation of Two pounds annually to the poor of the same parish. Major Munro of Poyntzfield, in addition to many private charities, has also given this year a donation of Two Pounds. A very munificent gift was made to the parish of Resolis by Mrs Macleod of London, of two very handsome silver Communion Cups and a silver Wine Flaggon, a memorial to the parish of her nativity where her ancestors, the proprietors of Kinbeachie, lived for upwards of five centuries. This splendid bequest was given during Mrs Macleod’s lifetime in the year 1833.

Who was this Mrs Macleod? The Reverend Thomas Urquhart mentions in his letter of 21 August 1799 that “Mrs McLeod & Bell come here next week”, the underlying implication being that Mr Macleod may be deceased!

It seemed very likely that these entries in the Resolis Baptism Register were those of the couple:

Parish of Resolis Baptisms
13 December 1777 Daniel McLeod Esqr. in Kinbachie & Jannat Urquhart – Margaret Grant
24 January 1779 Daniel McLeod Esqur. in Kinbachie & Jannat Urquhart – Anne

From the various clues, I was looking for a widow, Janet Macleod ms Urquhart, who had died in the London area in the period 1833 to 1835. Several newspapers reported the death of a lady who seemed to fit these criteria. This is from the Atlas of 17 November 1833:

At Broadstairs, on the 8th, at the residence of her daughter, Lady Grant, of Monymusk, Mrs. Macleod, in her eighty-sixth year.

This Mrs Macleod left a last will and testament, which demonstrated her first name was indeed Janet and that she was a widow:

This is the last Will and Testament of me Janet McCleod of Broadstairs in the Isle of Thanet in the County of Kent Widow first I give and bequeath the sum of six hundred pounds sterling (to be raised by my Executors by sale of a competent part of my money in the public funds) and also the further sum of four hundred pounds sterling due to me from my son in law Dr Edward Layng making together the sum of one thousand pounds unto my son in law Sir Arthur Brooke Faulkner knight of Cheltenham in the County of Gloucester and my friend Robert Gordon of Ramsgate in the Isle of Thanet and County of Kent aforesaid Esquire … to lay out … the said sum of one thousand pounds in … a government or other annuity … for the life of my daughter Isabella wife of the said Edward Layng and to pay &hellip daughters Lady Janet Grant widow Lady Ann Faulkner wife of the said Sir Arthur Brooke Faulkner and the said Isabella wife of the said Eward Layng in equal shares … this second day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two … Proved at London the 13th March 1834

Janet Urquhart of Kinbeachie, sister to the Reverend Thomas Urquhart of Rosskeen and his much-criticised brother John Urquhart of Kinbeachie, had become the wife of Daniel (sometimes Donald) Macleod of Balallan, from the Isle of Lewis. The Macleod family owned an estate called “Colbecks” in Jamaica, and hence you will not be surprised to learn that unfortunately slavery was an important element of their wealth. Daniel apparently died when the children were still young, in 1786, at Balallan, although this I have been unable to check.

I am very grateful to Resolis and Urquhart Church of Scotland and Richard Fyfe thereof for the photographs of this silver communion ware. The inscription reads “The Bequest of / Mrs Janet MacLeod / Daughter of the Late / Thomas Urquhart Esqr / of Kinbeachie. / A Memorial to the Parish of her Nativity / A.D. 1833”


photo by Richard Fyfe


photo by Richard Fyfe

From the extract of Janet’s will, you will have noted that three children survived to adulthood: Janet, Ann and Isabella. Only Ann appears in the Resolis Baptism Records. In Reverend Thomas Urquhart’s chatty letter of 21 August 1799 he notes:

Jessy & Ann are at Poyntsfield just now– Mrs. McLeod & Bell come here next week–

I think Jessy, Ann and Bell were the three surviving Macleod girls.

Isabella Macleod
Isabella went on to marry surgeon Edward Layng in Cheltenham in 1821 and had several children. She died in 1863. Her will was the subject of legal action related to the Estate of Colbecks.

Ann Macleod
Ann married Deputy Commissary General George Assioti in 1799 at Geanies, Easter Ross, just a few months after the letter from the Reverend Thomas Urquhart mentions her being at Poyntzfield. After Assioti’s death at Gijon in Spain in 1808, she married Sir Arthur Brooke Faulkner in London in 1810. She made oath when claiming the pension of Assioti, and the War Office file contains the details of her first marriage (National Archives WO 42/1/A179):

Mrs Ann Faulkener (late Assioti) came Day before me, and made Oath that she was lawfully married to George Assiotti Esqr. Deputy Commissary General from North Britain on the 29th of October 1799, by the Revd. Thomas Urquhart and ever since his Decease she has continued a Widow, up to the 24th day of Jany. 1810.

It also contains a note from none other than the Reverend Thomas Urquhart:

That George Assioti Esqr. of the Commissariot then residing at Edinbh. & Miss Ann Macleod, Daughter to Donald McLeod Esqr of Colbecks, were married at Geanies House Rosshire, before these Witnesses Donald Macleod Esqr. of Geanies Sherriff Depute of Ross & John Barcly Esqr. of Moorfarm his Susbtitute for Easter Ross, on the Twenty Ninth day of October Seventeen Hundred & Ninety Nine, by me Mr Thomas Urquhart Minister of Rosskeen; is Certified at the Manse of Rosskeen the First day of December Eighteen Hundred & Nine years by me Thos. Urquhart Minister of Rosskeen.

Ann, Lady Faulkner, died in 1856.

Janet (Jessy) Macleod
Janet married, in Edinburgh in 1794, Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk and became Lady Grant.

4th August 1794 … Sir Archibald Grant Bart. of Monymusk Old Grayfriars parish and Miss Janet or Jessy McLeod Sister to John McLeod of Colbecks Esqr. St Andrews kirk parish

Sir Archibald was much older than Jessy and died in 1796, so when Jessy was visiting Poyntzfield in 1799 it was as a widow. As she was now Lady Grant, that then explains a line in the Reverend Thomas’s letter to his half-nephew of 21 August 1799:

Dear Nephew, / I recd. yours of the 6th. Current which with the Inclosed for Lady Grant & Cover Cost 4/0d. weighing above an oz which it seems is now all Govt. allow to Members of P.

This then was the future Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie writing to his half-niece, Janet Urquhart, Lady Grant of Monymusk, under cover of a letter to the Reverend Thomas Urquhart. The letters had been sent, as seems to have been quite customary, via Sir Hector Munro M.P. to avoid postage charges but had exceeded the weight allowed and had cost the Reverend four shillings and some embarrassment!

Janet Urquhart died in 1836. This is the announcement in most papers of the time:

At her residence in the Promenade, Cheltenham, Lady Grant, relict of Sir Archibald Grant, Bart., of Monymusk, and eldest daughter of the ancient family of Mc.Leod, of Lewis.

 

The Reverend Thomas Urquhart of Rosskeen (1752–1812)

The younger brother of John Urquhart of Kinbeachie, Thomas, became the Reverend Thomas Urquhart of Rosskeen. He is buried in Rosskeen Cemetery, close to the wall of the earlier church there. Because he was a minister, his life is neatly encapsulated in the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae:

THOMAS URQUHART, born 16th Dec. 1752, second son of Thomas U. of Kinbeachie, Resolis, and Isobel Macleod; educated at King’s College, Aberdeen; M.A. (Feb. 1775); ord. by Presb. of Tain missionary at Kincardine and Creich 3rd May 1780; pres. by George III. 13th June 1783; adm. 1st Sept. 1784; died 16th May 1812. His settlement was much opposed but he proved himself a faithful and zealous minister. He marr. 3rd Nov. 1777, Johanna (died 17th Jan. 1837, aged 78), daugh. of John Clunes, tacksman of Crakaig, and had issue– Thomas, born 7th July 1781; Isabella Macleod, born 23rd Aug. 1782 (marr. John McInnes of Auchenfroe); John Clunes, went to Dominique, born 17th Jan. 1784, died 1st Sept. 1799; Crawford, born 31st March 1785, died 20th March 1786; Crawford, born 4th Aug. 1786, died 20th March 1787; Gordon, lieut. 96th Regiment, born 23rd Feb. 1788, died at St Croix, West Indies, 5th Sept. 1808; Donald, born 16th March 1789; Colin, born 19th March 1793; James, went to Grenada, born 18th Aug. 1794, died 8th April 1823; Alexander, Min. of Newburn, born 28th May 1797; Jane (marr. (1) 2nd April 1812, John Maclean of Carriacou): (2) Captain Field. Publication– Account of the Parish (Sinclair’s Stat. Acc., xiv.).

As well as the many children identified in the Fasti, he took in an orphan boy, born about 1774. The boy suffered from a medical condition on which the Reverend consulted in 1789 one of the leading medical lights of the day, Doctor William Cullen of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.


Reverend Thomas Urquhart’s tablestone is tucked in under part of the old church at Rosskeen; photo by Davine Sutherland

In his August 1799 letter to the ship-broker, Reverend Urquhart says “I can never repay your Father & Mother for their Parental & Uniform kindness by our poor boys for which each seems to be most grateful by their different Letters from Londn”. Presumably, Alexander in London had found placements for the boys out in the West Indies, but, as can be seen from the Fasti, those boys were not to survive the rigours of life in the West Indies. The tablestone in Rosskeen commemorating the family bears an inscription that shows the source of much of his entry in the Fasti:

Sacred to the memory of / MRS JOHANNA CLUNES URQUHART / wife of the late / REVEREND THOMAS URQUHART / late minister of this parish / who died at Cromarty / on the 17th of Jany 1837 aged 78 years / She was exemplary as a wife and mother / and a most faithful friend / she was a devout and humble Christian / having long placed her hope and confidence in / Him alone who is the resurrection and the life.
Also near this spot / are deposited the remains of the late / REVD THOMAS URQUHART / who was for 27 years the faithful / and zealous minister of this parish / and a most benevolent Christian character / To him “To live was Christ / and to die was gain.”
Sacred also to the memory of / the following members of their family / JOHN CLUNES their 2nd son / who died at Dominique in the West Indies / in 1800 aged 17 years / a youth endowed with great abilities.
Lieutenant GORDON CLUNES / of the 96th Regiment their third son / A youth of singular promise who gained / the lasting affection of all who knew him / and expired on the 5th Sept 1808 at the early / age of 20 years to the inexpressible grief / of his family and friends.
Also their 7th. son JAMES / who died in Grenada, West Indies / on the 12th of July 1822 a young man of a most / affectionate and benevolent character.
This tombstone is erected / to their much loved memories / by the surviving children of / THE REVD. THOS. URQUHART.


photo by Davine Sutherland

Neither the Fasti nor the gravestone gives the date of Thomas Urquhart’s death for which we turn to the newspapers. This is from the London Star of 5 June 1812:

At the Manse of Rosskeen, on the 16th ult the Rev Thomas Urquhart, minister of that parish.

His youngest daughter, Jessie, had married in London John McLean of Carriacou just a couple of months previously.

 

Latter-day Urquharts of Kinbeachie

Ten years ago or so, the late Kenneth Urquhart of Urquhart, the then Clan Chief, a dedicated and skilful researcher into Urquhart family history, very kindly provided me with a summary of the more recent Urquharts of Kinbeachie for use in “Resolis ‘Slope of Light’ Guide to a Black Isle Parish”. He and I liaised on just a couple of points of detail, but it was his work primarily.

Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (d.c. 1797) married Isobel Macleod and had among other children, John Urquhart (1748–1831) and Thomas Urquhart (1752–1812). He also had an illegitimate son by a girl on his estate whom he named Alexander (d. 1827). John Urquhart (1748–1831) inherited Kinbeachie on the death of his father, c. 1797. Before that date, he had lived mostly abroad; and afterwards, he lived as an invalid at Kinbeachie. His brother, Thomas, became a minister and served as Minister of Rosskeen from 1784 until his death in 1812. John’s and Rev Thomas’s half-brother, Alexander Urquhart (d. 1827) became a ship’s captain and settled in London where he prospered; and had, among several children, Thomas Urquhart (1765–1840) and Freeman Urquhart (b. 1784), a cooper in London, who married Lydia Hughes. Thomas Urquhart (1765–1840) became a wealthy London ship and produce broker; and, about 1818, purchased Kinbeachie from his half-uncle, John Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1748–1831). Although he married twice, Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1765–1840) had no [male] children; and, before he died in 1840, he left Kinbeachie, by entail, to his nephew, Thomas Urquhart (1823–1893), son of his brother Freeman. The Kinbeachie entail provided that, if Thomas’s nephew had no children, the estate would then pass to Thomas Scrutton, son of Thomas Urquhart’s (1765–1840) sister, Susanna. Although young Thomas Urquhart inherited Kinbeachie in 1840, his uncle’s widow, Catherine Stephens, retained a significant financial interest in the estate for many years after her husband’s death. Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1823–1893) married, in 1846 at Kiltearn, Ross and Cromarty, Mary MacNair Norrie. They had no children. Thomas did what he could to make a financial success of Kinbeachie; but by 1850, adverse agricultural conditions forced him to seek a position elsewhere in order to provide for himself and his wife. He and his wife emigrated to Australia in the summer of 1852 on the ship Mermaid. They settled in Victoria and spent the remainder of their lives there. Thomas Urquhart served as a Captain in the Crimean War, and afterwards devoted himself to farming in Victoria, dying at Cudgewa, Australia, on January 15, 1893. His wife died many years later, at Cudgewa in 1917, at the age of 93. Until his death, Capt. Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie was the owner of the Kinbeachie estate from which he derived a small income. At his death without an heir, in 1893, Kinbeachie passed by entail to his cousin, Thomas Scrutton, whose son sold it in 1897.

None of these more recent Urquharts is represented by a memorial in Cullicudden, and hence I shall look only at Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1765–1840) who is associated with an exceptional stone locally: albeit not a gravestone! But we shall come back to that.

 

Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1765–1840)

For the earlier life of Alexander Urquhart and his son Thomas, I can do no better than to repeat a few lines from “The Life of Thomas E. Scrutton” by David Foxton, published by Cambridge University Press (2013). Foxton examined the mercantile roots of these Urquharts, starting with–

… Alexander Urquhart, who had interests in shipping and shipbroking and was involved in trade to the British West Indies. In 1802, Alexander’s son Thomas founded the firm of Urquhart and Hope with John Hope, a firm of ship and insurance brokers and merchants on commission which traded from 19 Finch Lane, Cornhill. … Their first ship out was the Adelphi, which sailed in October 1802. In July 1803, the firm moved to 7 St Michael’s Alley, and Urquhart and Hope became underwriting members of the Lloyd’s insurance market.

Of thousands of advertisements in the commercial papers of the day, I have chosen three from 1805, 1826 and 1848 to show the evolution of the company.


Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser 1 January 1805


Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser 7 April 1826


Shipping and Mercantile Gazette 18 October 1848

In 1808, Thomas was the subject of an attack by a press-gang, and the violent encounter set him off on a mission to publicise the evils of impressment for the remainder of his life. He was to write a book of letters on the subject.

The book (“Letters on the Evils of Impressment, with the Outline of a Plan for Doing Them Away, on which depend the Wealth, Prosperity, and Consequence of Great Britain” by Thomas Urquhart; London 1816) contains letters to key players including Lord Viscount Melville and Admiral Sir Charles Pole, M.P. A lengthy letter is directed to no other than William Wilberforce, M.P., the anti-slavery champion, seeking his support in putting down the cruelties of impressment. Given there is some suggestion that the ships of Hope and Urquhart may sometimes have been engaged in carrying slaves, this was a bit rich. Within that letter, Thomas sets out his own experience of the press-gang.

To give you some idea of the impress, I shall mention a circumstance which occurred to myself. While walking in a street in the east of London in the year 1808, in the month of July, about nine o’clock in the evening, with my wife holding by one of my arms, and her sister by the other, I was stopped by a man who demanded who I was; on which I desired to be informed by what authority he dared to ask me that question. I had hardly uttered the words when I was brutally seized by him and two or three more. My wife received a violent blow on the breast, which compelled her to quit her hold; and which was struck with such force that symptoms of a cancer appeared in a short time afterwards; these symptoms continued for several months, and only the first medical attention could have prevented the consequences that were apprehended. The ruffians struck me on the head, tore my coat from my back, and afterwards dragged me by the necl for fifty yards, until life was nearly exhausted. At this critical moment some people who had collectd from curiosity, fortunately happened to recognise me, interfered, and probably by this means saved my life. The fellows who had been guilty of this daring outrage upon a British subject, ran off to save themselves from the indignation which their violence had excited in the crowd. Having been informed that they belonged to a gang on the impress service, I applied to Lieut. Crawford for their names, which he refused to comply with; and requested me to compromise the outrage: of course I rejected the proposal. In next applied to the Lord Mayor, who represented my case to Lord Howick, then first Lord of the Admiralty; his Lordship, after instituting an enquiry, transmitted the report he received from Capt. Richbell, with an affidavit of the gang, and the report of Lieut. C-; all of whom, according to their own testimony, were the most harmless of men. At the same time Lord Howick represented that it was not in his power to punish the man, but that he should not be protected by government if I chose to enfoce the civil law against him. A most gracious boon!


To cut to the chase:

At the expiration of four months of trouble and expense, and having no positive evidence to prove the fist part of the assault, I received from the jury a verdict of fifty pounds damages. The compensation appears trivial for such an act of outrage, but it produced the effect I desired: the fellow absconded for some months, when he found means to offer me security for payment in the course of two years, by instalments, which I accepted. This sum did not pay my law expences, not to speak of the medical and other incidental expences, incurred by this act of violence.
 
But what would have been the situation of a man differently circumstanced to what I was, with regard to property, and who would not have had the means of suing for redress.

He continued to have strong views on impressment for the rest of his life. I note that he named his Isle of Wight holiday home, near Ryde, “Impress Cottage”!

The London based Thomas Urquhart kept in close contact with the Urquharts in the north, and I have already quoted from one side of his correspondence with the Reverend Thomas Urquhart of Rosskeen. Those letters were retained by Thomas with other information on the Estate of Kinbeachie, and are to be found in a collection of odd jottings, letters and detailed figures relating to tenants, buildings, the mill, fields at Kinbeachie and the dispute with Newhall on the northern boundary of Kinbeachie, all contained within SC25/71/9 and SC25/71/10.

More of his correspondence may be seen in the Seaforth papers in the NRS. From his letters, he seems to have been been a well-meaning, pragmatic person. However, the Reverend Donald Sage identified in his “Memorabilia Domestica” one particular interchange with him as summing up the grudging support of the clergy by the lairds. He says:

About this time I had considerable correspondence with the heritors of the parish of Resolis regarding the payment of my stipend and the repairs of the manse. In regard to the latter, one of them, Mr. Urquhart of Kinbeachie, wrote to me on 31st May, 1830, from the Isle of Wight, to say that he presumed that I did not demand more than what was absolutely necessary, and that the Presbytery granted no more than what was correct to give; so far, therefore, he could have no objection to do the needful towards these repairs. “But,” he adds, “if otherwise, the sum granted is always open to animadversion on my part, although I consider myself bound to pay my share of the expenses. I presume that, upon reflection, you will own with yourself that this is not the time for the Church to incur extra expenses, from the general feelings that are now fast arising in the minds of men in these kingdoms to promote reformation and economy both in Church and State.” … In looking back on that period of my life, when I was a minister of the Establishment, I have good cause to congratulate myself on the exchange which, even from a worldy point of view, I have since made. For the twenty years consecutively when I was a minister of the Established Church, I did not receive a farthing of my stipend without a grudge, or even without the curse of my heritors along with it. … After shaking myself free of the Establishment and its annoying, unhallowed appendages, in joining the Free Church, I may truly say that I exchanged debt and poverty for peace of mind and a competency, enabling me to supply my every-day wants and to pay all debts.

Urquhart may have angered Sage by his ill-spirited acceptance of the cost of repairs to the manse, but on the counter-balance I see him making regular generous donations to the poor and to the local hospital. And he demonstrated a much less autocratic attitude than most lairds. And Sage himself says in the Second Statistical Account (written in 1836):

The heritors pay no stated sum to the poor excepting one viz Thomas Urquhart Esq of Kinbeachie who in lieu of his share allotted to him of the Maoil Buidh Common in this parish pays to the poor 2 bolls of oatmeal. This he does … entirely of of his own good will and in order to set an example to the other heritors which it is to be regretted they have not yet followed.

Urquhart’s contempt for the autocratic attitude and litigious nature of some landowners is displayed most clearly in his dispute with Colin Mackenzie of Newhall over the march between the Estates of Kinbeachie and Newhall.

Many of the relevant documents to this long-running wrangle may be found in SC25/71/8, SC25/71/10 and GD46/1/83. The disagreement between Colin Mackenzie of Newhall and Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie related to the precise boundary between the two estates in an area of moor to the north of the County Road. The legal battle went on from 1831 to 1836 and was settled by judicial arbitration. Newhall won to the extent that the agreed final line was further to the south than Kinbeachie initially asserted, but that final line was further to the north than the march Newhall had claimed and did not include some of the land on which Newhall had been planting trees. Newhall thus lost the right to trees planted in land owned by Kinbeachie if he didn’t replant them in a short period on his own land. A secondary battle related to the expense of the boundary dyke to be erected. Newhall was seeking (quite unreasonably on the face of it) Kinbeachie to pay the costs for the whole dyke, despite the fact that there was no benefit to Kinbeachie on so doing, given that at this time all of Kinbeachie’s land north of the County road (nowadays the B9163) was just moorland.


the Kinbeachie files are littered with sketches depicting what Urquhart felt the approximate location of the Kinbeachie and Newhall boundary; photo by Jim Mackay

Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie wrote feelingly to J. A. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth, M.P., from London on 23 December 1836 (GD46/1/83/7):

Having troubled you, when differences arose between Newhall and myself respecting Marches, I am happy to say it has come to a conclusion, after his just having entered an action against me in the Sheriff Court, to oblige me to build a Dyke before the lines of March was ascertained, this he could not maintain My Lawyers bill was £38.19.7 after this he entered an action in the Court of Session, but during the summer 1835, I met with him in London and proposed to him to leave it to Arbitration, and we so arranged it, that Mr. Jardine should be the Arbiter between us, and his decree Arbitral was given upon the 8th Ultimo, by which the difference of the line drawn by the Arbiter, from which I proposed to arrange it with himself is about Six to Ten Acres of bad moor less on my part, with an expense attending it (each party paying their own expenses)– To Mr J. Macdonell of Edinburgh £117.13.10 including the Arbiters charge, and to Mr. George McKenzie Dingwall £69.-.11 – with about £15 extra incidental expenses making a total expense on my part of £240.14.4 So much for Madness & folly; After such a fact, I presume most Men must be of opinion, that Reform is required towards a certain class of persons

A separate Appendix is devoted to the 1.3 km straight dyke, constructed along the lines of a ha-ha, that still runs along the line of arbitration, with Kinbeachie to the south and Toberchurn and Craigton to the north. This revised northern boundary between the Estates of Kinbeachie and Newhall, which also served as the boundary between the Shires of Ross and Cromarty, is one legacy of the time of Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1765–1840).


Kinbeachie, with its northern march marked in blue, on the Ordnance Survey one-inch sheet, First Edition

Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie died in London in 1840. In his later years he apologised for not visiting people in the north due to ill-health. His death was reported in most newspapers. This is from Saint James’s Chronicle of 3 March 1840:

Deaths. … Feb. 29, at Saville-place, Bow-road, Thomas Urquhart, Esq., aged 75.

There is no memorial in Cullicudden to Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie. But there is one stone which will be associated with him, and that is the wonderfully strange slab designed by the famous Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, now on display in the National Museum in Edinburgh. It resided for generations at Kinbeachie, until it was finally transfered to the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh in 1923.


photo by Jim Mackay

The stone was carved for Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty in 1651 and bears some of his eccentric touch, with dates reflecting his family’s chronology. Sir Thomas achieved what has to be the ultimate achievement of the amateur genealogist – tracking his family back to Adam and Eve.

It had been in pride of place above a fireplace in the now-demolished Cromarty Castle. It was inserted into a wall at Kinbeachie House as a chimneypiece. On the story of how it came to Kinbeachie, I turn to an article in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (PSAS 1926–7 181–191) “Some stray inscriptions. The Urquhart carved slabs from Cromarty Castle.”

There has recently been added to the Museum a sculptured slab which, as Hugh Miller wrote, “has, perhaps, more of character impressed upon it than any other piece of sandstone in the Kingdom.” (Scenes and Legends, p. 94.) It is 5 feet ½ inch long, 2 feet 9 inches wide, and 4½ inches thick, and bears, in addition to other matter, the Urquhart arms with the initials of Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty … to whose order and – in part at least if not entirely – after whose design it was prepared. …
 
The stone … was originally inserted over the chimney in the hall of the castle of Cromarty, till the building was pulled down in 1772 by a new proprietor, who erected in its place a mansion after the taste of the time. Much decorative work on the old castle was broken up, but this stone with another also carved was preserved. I am indebted for its subsequent history to the private correspondence of a Cromarty lady, herself a granddaughter of Urquhart of Greenhill, a relative of the main stock, who was both landed proprietor and herring merchant in the town. (On Urquhart of Greenhill, see Hugh Miller’s Scenes and Legends. chap. xvii. Greenhill is now Rosefarm. To Miss F.D. Middleton, Rosefarm, I owe the opportunity of seeing this correspondence, which is in the possession of F. Fortescue Urquhart, Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, who has has kindly allowed me to use it.) His granddaughter was seventy-eight years of age at the time of writing (1847). Thus seventy-five years after the event she could tell how the stone was brought from the old castle to her grandfather’s house in the town. When the house was sold, this Urquhart palladium was sent to Colonel Gordon as nearest of kin, who gave the stone to Mr Urquhart of Braelangwell, a small estate in the neighbouring parish of Kirkmichael. Next appeared a Thomas Urquhart, who had been a captain of a West India ship and about 1818 came north and purchased the property of Kinbeachie, an old Urquhart seat in the parish of Resolis, which had belonged to his grandfather. He claimed to be head of the old family, but his link with the Kinbeachie branch was illegitimate. Nevertheless he took possession of the stone and gave it place in Kinbeachie House, which is now a roofless ruin. Thomas Urquhart left no family, and Kinbeachie passed to other hands. At some time the ancient, much-wandered relic was brought from the house and inserted in the side of a porch built on to one of a row of cottages near by occupied by the workers on the farm. There it reposed as a local curiosity till the farm was acquired last year by the Board of Agriculture, who presented the stone to the Museum. It was removed and brought to the Museum at the expense of a number of ladies and gentlemen of the name of Urquhart, for whose kindly respect and generosity all of us owe them a meed of thanks. Surely no such stone has been so happy in its fate to find at every stage reverent hands to save it from destruction. It has suffered little damage; a small patch on the upper dexter corner has been at some time repaired in plaster.

Mackenzie then goes on to link the features on the stone to Sir Thomas Urquhart’s fictitious genealogy. Hugh Miller gives a detailed description of it in situ in his Scenes and Legends, first published in 1835, and this must have been the first popular description of the stone which was so long known as the Kinbeachie Stone.

Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie established an entail because he was passionate about his heritage. The estate remained in the hands of Urquhart and Scrutton relatives until 1897. It ended when it came to barrister, later judge, Thomas E. Scrutton (1856–1934) who disagreed with the principle of absentee landlords, broke the entail and sold Kinbeachie.


Castle underfoot! Kirkmichael Trust Guided Tour of the site of Kinbeachie House and Mill in June 2005; photo by Carlann Mackay

 

APPENDIX: The Newhall and Kinbeachie Boundary Dispute – the longest ha-ha in the north

An unusual structure runs in a straight line for 1.3 km between the fields on Kinbeachie to the south and Toberchurn on the north. Seen from the Toberchurn side, it looks like a stone dyke. Seen from the Kinbeachie side – well, it isn’t seen at all as it is built like that feature surrounding country houses, a ha-ha. The idea with country house ha-has was that grazing animals were prevented from coming onto your lawns, and yet you could have an uninterrupted continuous view from your home out to the neighbouring countryside. What on earth was the reasoning behind the creation of this massive feature between Kinbeachie and Toberchurn?


the ditch and dyke towards the east end; the arable land of Kinbeachie above it; photo by Jim Mackay

The structure was an an outcome of the long boundary wrangle between the Newhall Estate, within which Toberchurn lay, and the Kinbeachie Estate. The judicial arbiter in 1836 decided on a long straight line running through the then Moor of Kinbeachie, above the Newhall farms of Toberchurn, Craigton and Cullicudden.

I find the said Thomas Urquhart entitled to that portion of the said Muir to the north of the Estate of Kinbeachie which is contained within a line measured along the western boundary of the Muir where it marches with the Estate of Sir James Wemyss Mackenzie of Scatwell Baronet from the March stone on the north side of the Cromarty road marked O. on the foresaid plan by the said [blank] Wilson to a point Q. on the said plan being in length Eleven Imperial chains and thirty four links as measured at my sight by the said Surveyor on the first of September last by a line of the same length drawn from C. on the said plan at the Eastern extremity of the Kinbeachie property opposite to the Mill road parallel to the foresaid line along the Western boundary of the Muir and by a line drawn straight east from Q. to the said point R. comprehending a parallelogram bounded by the Cromarty road on the south and by the foresaid lines on the east west and north at which two points Q. and R. I directed pits to be made for march stones at the sight of the Agents for the parties

That straight line across the moor is now represented by that significant engineering structure. How many man hours must have gone into the excavation of the ditch, the building of the dyke!

This was a legacy of the time of Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1765–1840) – a revised northern boundary between the Estates of Kinbeachie and Newhall. Thomas lamented on the inflexible and imperious nature of the landed gentry in consequence, in a letter to M.P. James Stuart Mackenzie, Seaforth, perhaps not the best person to complain to of inherited arrogance.

Many of the relevant documents to this long-running dispute may be found in the National Records of Scotland under SC25/71/8, SC25/71/10 and (the Seaforth papers) GD46/1/83. The disagreement between Colin Mackenzie of Newhall and Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie (1765–1840) related to the boundary between the two estates in an area of moor to the north of the County Road. The legal battle went on from 1831 to 1836 and was settled by judicial arbitration. Newhall won to the extent that the agreed final line was further to the south than Kinbeachie asserted, but that final line was further to the north than what Newhall had claimed and on which he had in fact been planting trees. Newhall lost the right to trees he had planted in land owned by Kinbeachie. A secondary battle related to the expense of the dyke to be erected.

Thomas Urquhart was to lament the waste of money over a worthless area of moor and decried the litigious nature of lairds. In more recent times, it has been found that the land between the County Road and the boundary contains a valuable record of neolithic life, its value enhanced by the lack of cultivation until relatively recent times. One of our Kirkmichael volunteers, retired archaeologist Jonathan Wordsworth, was intimately involved in several of the investigations. Several reports on the investigations may be found in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Scotland, volume 131 (2001), pages 57–85, available online here.

Back on 14 January 2012, I walked the agreed boundary with son Gavin and dog Ben to see how the boundary had been marked out. I was astonished to find the structure of a ha-ha in place, running the entire length of the disputed area between the two modern houses of East Kinbeachie Lodge, on the east, and Barleywood, on the west. The former is down the track opposite the Culbo junction, and the latter is down the road to Shoreton and Toberchurn.

The next estate west was the Findon Estate, and an “F” for Findon boundary stone is located within the westernmost point of the dyke. The dyke nowadays is a grassed over mound over the short length along to the house at Barleywood; passing Barleywood the dyke is very clear. Although in places damaged by trees or by the mounding of field clearance stones, the structure is largely in astonishingly good condition.


near the west end; photo by Jim Mackay

The documents in the case provide a most valuable insight into the nature of Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie, a successful merchant and businessman with a great respect for his family heritage but with no time for pride and prejudice. The first letters are directed to Seaforth.

GD46/1/83/6 [21 January 1834]
[cover address] J A S McKenzie Esqr
[content] Sir / Having once had the pleasure of meeting you, at a public meeting where you presided at Dingwall, when I stated a few facts, for which you called me to order, but was afterwards informed, that you expresst yourself much pleased with what I had represented.
      You now being Member for Rosshire, induced me to address you to say, that if I have formed a correct opinion of your principles, you would wish to guard against any Stigma being put upon it, through a public exposure of the conduct of some parties, who Rank among the number of your friends, which I conceive you may very easily prevent by your friendly interference. In consequence of which, [I] send you the inclosed copy of a letter, and have to Request you allow one to wait upon you at any time or place, which may suit your conveniency, to offer you explanation upon it– By doing this, you perhaps will add to the number of your friends in the Shire. / I have the honor to be / Sir / Your Most Obt / Thos. Urquhart
St Michaels Cornhill / Jany 21. 1834

GD46/1/83/5 [copy of letter 1 June 1831 accompanying letter of 21 January 1834]
[content] Copy       Dingwall 1 June 1831
Sir / Captain Colin Mackenzie of Newhall has desired me to reply to your letter to him of the 5th. Ulto. which would have been done sooner had not the Electioneering circumstances of the day prevented his attending to it. He desires me to thank you for the very fair and candid manner in which you express your Sentiments in regard to the disputed marches betwixt his Estate of Newhall and yours of Kinbeachie and to assure you of his readiness to enter into a reference to an Arbiter to be mutually named or to two Arbiters one to be named by you and the other to be named by him with power to them to chuse an Oversman in case of difference in Opinion. As the subject in question is not of much value possibly the expense of a formal submission may be avoided by a Meeting of the Parties themselves upon the Ground accompanied by their respective witnesses when March Stones could be placed and thus the matter could be at once amicably arranged. However upon this proposal as well as the other of reference to an Arbiter I will thank you to inform me of your Sentiments and the name of the person who you propose to be Arbiter in order that I may communicate the same to Captn. Mackenzie and I am Sir / your most Obt. Hmble. Servt. / Signed / Alexr. Kelly
[addressee] Thos. Urquhart Esq

GD46/1/83/1 [7 February 1834]
[cover address] J A S McKenzie Esqr M P
[cover notes] Feb: 7. 1834 / Mr. Urquhart / Quarrels with Newhall / Acknowledged same day – hope to be able to consider the papers in the course of the ensuing week.
[content] J A S McKenzie Esqr
Sir / Accidental circumstances, having prevented my forwarding you the letter for Newhall before this time, but which I now enclose, also a copy of it for your perusal, and the Copy of the letter I wrote him August 13th 1832. The Copy of letter received from Mr Kelly June 1st 1831, I sent you before–
      You perhaps may conceive that I am acting in rather an extraordinary manner, by addressing you on this business between Newhall and myself, but when I inform you, that an Inverness Lawyer was heard to declare, when doing a certain act, that his object was to put myself and Newhall at variance, and I have reason to believe, that Newhall has been acted upon by another Lawyer, to act in the manner I have represented. How far his own conduct has been correct towards myself, I leave to your better Judgement to determine.
      However, to clear both him and myself, and guard against such persons, conceive in the situation you are placed in with the Shire, and Newhall being among the number of your friends, I could not adopt a better mode, than to request your friendly services between us, by offering such Comment on what I have now stated, agreeable to your own ideas, to incline him to adopt the measures I propose, and render us so far good neighbours towards each other.
      Perhaps when you consider, that Kinbeachie is the only part of the Cromartie property of the Urquharts remaining in the family– That the old House upon it was built by Walter Urquhart in 1546, then married to a daughter of Seaforth, and I was among the last of the family and name that lived in it. This I hope will plead my excuse for the trouble I am giving you, and the request I now make.
      If I mistake not your friendly interference on such an occasion would be hailed as a blessing towards the country, and tend in a certain degree to do away that litigious Spirit, which too generally prevails at this time, instead of arranging questions of this nature, in a fair open Candid and liberal manner, on principles of honour, and upright conduct.
      It has been upon such principles, that I have presumed, as an individual with impunity, to offer those public remarks which I have for years past submitted, upon Impressment maritime affairs, and maritime Institutions &c., and upon that Site upon which your office now stands, offered such remarks to the Transport board, for the good of the Country, that by adopting the measures I proposed during the latter part of the late war proved a saving to the Country from 8 to 10,000,000 of money.
      Your attention to my request and forwarding the letter to Newhall be assured will be duly appreciated by him – who has the honour to be / Sir / Your most obedt / Humble Servt / Thos. Urquhart
St Michaels Cornhill / February 7th 1834

GD46/1/83/8 [7 March 1834]
[cover address] J A Stewart Mackenzie Esq / of Seaforth
[cover note] Tho Urquhart
[content] Sir / I have to apologise to you for the liberty I am taking to trouble you with forwarding the inclosed to Newhall, a copy of which I also send you, that you may see in what manner I have acted to promote an amicable arrangement between us, thro your friendly services, and which in due time I have no doubt will add to your influence throughout the Shire, from the example you have given, and the trouble you have taken upon yourself, to promote Harmony and a good understanding between Neighbours, of which be assured I am truly sensible
I have the honor / to Remain Sir / Your Most Obt / Thos. Urquhart
St Michaels Cornhill / March 7. 1834
[addressee] J. A. Stewart Mackenzie Esqr. / of Seaforth

GD46/1/83/4 [copy of letter to Newhall enclosed with letter to Seaforth of 7 March 1834]
[cover address] (copy) Colin McKenzie Esq / of Newhall
[cover notes] copy letter / Urquhart Kinbeachie / to / Colin Mackenzie Esqr / of Newhall / March 7 1834
[content] (copy) / London 7 March. 1834
Sir / I have to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 20th Ult., thro’ the medium of Seaforth and should have replied to you before this, but have been very much indisposed, and engaged at the same time on a particular business. Was pleased to find that you agree with my proposal, so that we may have an amicable arrangement of our Marches by reference.
     
      You have suggested to decide it by a Sole Arbitrator, and suggest Mr James Ure, as a proper person. At this time have no self-knowledge of Mr. Ure, but what you state, and what I have heard from Seaforth, from which think Mr Ure a very proper person as an Arbitrator, but do not exactly coincide with your idea, of having a Sole Arbitrator, when the subject goes beyond a mere question, and altho’ I sit on many Arbitrations it is always with great reluctance, that I ever consent to act in that way myself. I therefore beg leave to suggest that we appoint Two, with liberty for them to chuse a third if required, and as you say Mr Ure is a Tacksman at Culloden, to meet your ideas in a similar way, propose Mr. Thomas Middleton of Davidstown, if he will accept it, who I believe is well known to yourself and presume they two will be enabled to settle it without having recourse to a third party. I also beg leave to suggest that any expense attending the same shall be equally divided between us.
      Upon hearing from you again, that this would prove satisfactory to your or any other suggestion you may have to propose to simplify the matter, as much as possible, and which will accord with my ideas, I will write Mr George McKenzie upon the subject, to arrange such matters as may be necessary to settle the business immediately after my arrival at Kinbeachie.
      I was induced to apply to Seaforth, conceiving him your particular friend, to obtain his friendly services between us as the most probable means to effect an amicable arrangement, and to whom I conceive we ought both to be obliged for the trouble he has taken in it
      With regard to what you say respecting Mr Kelly, of whom I have very little knowledge except in this transaction conceive you are in a certain degree in error. My having sent you before a description I had here of a litigious lawyer, I thought I would shew you what I conceived ought to be the principles and conduct of one of a contrary description, and the advantages arising from such persons, to those around them. Such was the motive for my doing so.
      The allusion you say that I have made, which you term libellous, I leave to the judgment of others, but certainly conceive, that the treatment I received, fully justifies any assertion I have made to you on this subject, therefore have only to say if I have done harm to any man, I am ready to go before a jury of my Country to answer for it. But as regards injury to Mr Kelly in any way whatever, such a thought never entered my mind, for be assured such is contrary to my feelings, toward any man, but endeavour to render as much good as possible to mankind, so far as in my power to do so.
      Unfortunately there are many persons who at times exceed that line of conduct, discretion and prudence towards others, which they would not expect to be practised towards themselves without reflecting that by so doing it is liable to recoil upon themselves. However this is a subject equally disagreeable to myself as it appears to be to you. I therefore shall on my part after this time bury it in oblivion and hope hereafter that you and myself will so far have that knowledge of each other to render us good neighbours, and shall at all times be ready to join you in any act for general welfare in the Parish of Resolis.
      I shall hereafter address you direct but send this thro’ the medium of Seaforth. With expecting to hear from you in due time / I am Sir / Your most Obt. – / signed / Thomas Urquhart
[addressee] Colin McKenzie Esq / of Newhall


a break in the whins near the east end; photo by Jim Mackay

GD46/1/83/2 [29 April 1835]
[cover notes] Kinbeachie / 29 April 1835 / ansd 4 May / Newhall / v. / Urquhart
[content] St Michaels Cornhill April 29. 1835
Dear Sir, Recd your esteemed favor of the 4th Inst, and was in hopes to have had the pleasure of meeting with you before this, but presume that owing to the late change of Administration, that you have been much engaged with passing events
      With regard to Sir James Graham on the subject of Impressment&c, he wants to accomplish that as from himself which he does not comprehend. The foremost people have told him publicly, what I have before informed him privately– on this question be assured there is not a Member of the House of Commons, or a Naval Med: officer, capable of working the outlines of that plan which I have put forth, and which principles only can effect itself.
      The time of year I hope will soon afford me the opportunity of seeing you, as a circumstance lately occurred, between myself and a certain party, that I am much inclined to think, it is not impossible, you might hereafter make him your friend.
      A few days past I recd the inclosed Interlocution of the SubSherriff, on my cause with Newhall dated Feby 13, also the decision of Sheriff Jardine after the appeal to him, by which you will see that he recommends Newhall to do what I have been endeavouring to effect for fifteen years past, and as you very justly remarked to myself, there is a Lawyer between us– who is accessory to cheap Law
      Am now informed, that Newhall was to leave the North on the 24th Inst for London and am therefore induced again to Request your friendly services, should you see him before I can meet you, to guard him from becoming the dupe of bad advisers who I have reason to believe play upon him, as being a proprietor of Entail but to follow the advice of Sheriff Jardine, and not be led away by the selfish designs of litigious lawyers– a pest to society & the bane of this Country. / I have the honor to be / Dear Sir / Your Most Obt / Hble Servant / Thos. Urquhart
[addressee] J A S Mackenzie Esqr. / of Seaforth

GD46/1/83/9 [copy of the interlocution referred to by TU in his letter of 29 Apr 1835]
Copy Interlocutor in the Process Newhall agt Kinbeachie dated 13th. February 1835.
 
The Sheriff substitute having considered the reclaiming Petition agt his Appointment of the 5 & 12 Decr last and the foregoing answers thereto with the Interlocutor complained of and whole Process. He refuses the desire of the said Petition and adheres to the Interlocutor complained of finds the Petitioner (Pursuer) liable in the expenses of the foregoing answers modifies the same to twelve shillings Stg and Decerns / Signed A MacKenzie
 
Note. The Sheriff substitute cannot discover the object of this reclaiming Petition. It professes being to prevent procrastination but the obvious effect of it is to increase it. It finds fault with the Sheriff for warning parties to prepare their pleadings in the most efficient and mature form upon the Preliminary Point of jurisdiction before his proceeding to judge on that Plea at the same time that it blames the Sheriff for prematurely dropping it seems casually from the Bench an intelligible hint that he considered this Preliminary objection taken, one on which the final results of the action might eventually hinge– he is found fault with for not reserving consideration of the Preliminary objection which it appears he considered so very essential until the parties have discussed the merits at a great expense and lastly he is blamed for allowing parties discuss the point at issue too fully before his taking it into his consideration. The Sheriff substitute does not perceive in one or either of these criticisms upon his judgement any satisfactory reason for altering it–
Signed A Mackenzie.
 
Copy Interlocutor in Process Newhall agt. Kinbeachie 4 April 1835
 
The Sheriff substitute having considered this minute of Appeal and former proceedings and having advised with the Sheriff dismisses this Appeal and adheres to the Interlocutor complained of
Signed A MacKenzie
 
Note by the Sheriff
The reclaiming Petition of the Pursuer assumes that the record was to be closed on the Preliminary defence alone. This is a mistake. There is no necessity for closing the Record in disposing of Dilatory defences and all that is dones in the Interlocutor reclaimed against was an appointment on the parties with the view of ascertaining whether they had any thing further to state upon the preliminary defence before disposing of the same.
 
The reclaiming Petition was therefore unnecessary the Respondent seems also to suppose Answers P9) that the Record being closed he would be foreclosed from applying for a diligence to recover writings not in his own custody or under his own controul which is also a mistake.
 
As the Sheriff has fully considered the Pleadings it may be expedient to state his views in regard to this Preliminary defence altho not strictly necessary for disposing of this Appeal.
 
It appears to him that this defence must be sustained to the effect of at least sisting the present action until the precise line of March is ascertained. It is evident from the correspondence referred to in the Duplies P33) that many Years ago the line of March was disputed and in the letter of the Pursuers own agent 1 June 1831 he refers to the “disputed Marches” that being the case it is premature to enter into a discussion as to the expense of the March Dyke. his liability for the half of which the defender does not seem to dispute until the line of March be fixed which it cannot be done in this Process. even when the disputed ground merely related to a hedge and ditch the Court in the Case of Girvan agt Smith 3 Decr 1829 altered a judgement of the Sheriff of Ayrshire on this very ground of Incompetency. but here from the statements and allegations of the parties the ground in dispute tho not indeed of great value is of considerable extent. The March Dyke it is clear cannot be drawn until the line of March is fixed which fit must be settled Judicially can only be done by the summons of declarator which the Pursuer appears to have raised.
 
The Sheriff considering the small value of the ground in dispute and the probably expense of a Process before the Supreme Court cannot help thinking that by far the most expedient way of settling this matter is by a reference which may embrace both the question as to the disputed line of March and the estimated expense of the March fence of this the parties will judge – But when the line of March is acertained either by a declarator or a reference the question as to the expense of the March Dyke which is the only proper subject of this Process will be easily diposed of
Signed J J


the ha-ha structure is a combination of a ditch and a dyke, and here Gavin is crouching in the ditch; photo by Jim Mackay

GD46/1/83/3 [23 May 1835]
[cover note] Kinbeachie / recd May 24 / ansd 26th
[content] Impress Cottage near Ryde / Isle of Wight May 23– 1834
Sir / A few weeks past I recd a letter from Newhall informing, that he declined entering on the arrangement of our differences, by an Arbitrator to be chosen by each of us with liberty for them to chuse a third, and that he had ordered it to be settled by the Sheriff.
      This being the case, I feel myself called upon, after the trouble you have taken in this business, and to prove to you that I act with honor & consistency, to explain why I did not follow your recommendation, and leave it to Mr Ure as a sole Arbitrator, who I was informed from diff' parties, was the particular acquaintance & cronie of Newhalls factor, therefore hope you will not under these circumstances, consider that I disregarded your advice, and but for this, should have left it to Mr. Ure most willingly.
      I also lately recd a letter thro your hands from Mr. Kelly, calling upon me on the part of Newhall, to pay half the expense of a March dyke, before the line of March is defined, him induced to mention this, to show the extreme modesty practised towards me in this business
      To the letter from Newhall, and that from Mr. Kelly, I replyed only to Newhall direct, saying, that I had no objection to leave our differences to the Sheriff as a sole Arbitrator out of Court, if it was consistent with his situation, and to any other person that himself and Mr. George McKenzie, might agree upon (and to whom I wrote to call upon Newhall to arrange it) and also agreed to pay or Raise, my proportion of any dyke stone or fence, upon our line of March when defined, and mutually agreed upon
      The day before I left London (on the 9th Inst) I recd a few lines from Mr George McKenzie informing that upon enquiring after Newhall, found that he had left the North a day or two previous for London, presuming that you will know if he is in London, & his address, I should esteem it a particular favor, if you would inform that I may address him, and if possible meet him on my return to London, previous to my going north, which I intend doing immediately after my return / I have the honor to be / Sir / Your most Obt / Thos Urquhart
[addressee] J A Stewart McKenzie Esqr / of Seaforth– M.P.

GD46/1/83/7 [23 December 1836]
[cover notes] Tho: Urquhart / 23rd. Decr. 1836 / ansd 23 Jany
[content] London Decr 23. 1836
Dear Sir / I am induced to address you, in consequence of the manner in which I have been lately addressed by two persons here, who have mistaken my Tenant Thos. Urquhart, who was a Steward at the late dinner at Invergordon, as being myself or some one acting under my influence.
      Perhaps few men enter less into politics than myself, altho few men have reasoned more upon the alteration of things, which has been rising up more or less in this country since the termination of the late War, to the present time– from the knowledge I had of the French Revolution, and some years of practical experience during the American War of Independence– the following Peace – The late War – and the Peace since that time, during which the School Master has been abroad – The rapid March of intellect which has taken place since then, goes far to prove, that Mankind throughout the world, are about to undergo a great change in the system of Government toward them [the last few lines of this paragraph have been marked out, presumably by Mackenzie, and three exclamation marks appended to the final sentence. I wonder what Seaforth was making of Kinbeachie’s declarations!]
      As Regards the Rulers of the people of this Country, whoever they may be, will find that to govern in a suitable manner, agreeable to the circumstances of the times, it will not only Require real natural abilities, and talent, but an extraordinary share of good common sense arising from practical experience, and knowledge of mankind, to effect it– Such are my views and opinions upon the present state of the Country. How far I may be designated, a Whig, Tory, or Radical, I cannot presume to say, but this I can assure you, that I am no changeling
      Having troubled you, when differences arose between Newhall and myself respecting Marches, I am happy to say it has come to a conclusion, after his just having entered an action against me in the Sheriff Court, to oblige me to build a Dyke before the lines of March was ascertained, this he could not maintain My Lawyers bill was £38.19.7 after this he entered an action in the Court of Session, but during the summer 1835, I met with him in London and proposed to him to leave it to Arbitration, and we so arranged it, that Mr. Jardine should be the Arbiter between us, and his decree Arbitral was given upon the 8th Ultimo, by which the difference of the line drawn by the Arbiter, from which I proposed to arrange it with himself is about Six to Ten Acres of bad moor less on my part, with an expense attending it (each party paying their own expenses)– To Mr J. Macdonell of Edinburgh £117.13.10 including the Arbiters charge, and to Mr. George McKenzie Dingwall £69.-.11 – with about £15 extra incidental expenses making a total expense on my part of £240.14.4 So much for Madness & folly; After such a fact, I presume most Men must be of opinion, that Reform is required towards a certain class of persons
with much Respect / I am dear Sir / your Most obt / Thos. Urquhart
[addressee] J.S. Mackenzie Esqr.
 
[for the decree arbitral and extracts from other papers see SC25/71/8 below]

GD46/4/221 Inventory states: 13 Jan 1835-27 Feb 1835. Letters by Thomas Urquhart, Kinbeachie, to J A Stewart Mackenzie, MP and Mrs Stewart Mackenzie relating to Ross-shire politics.

This separate bundle includes two letters from Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie from London. The first is a letter dated 13 January 1835 addressed to Mrs Stewart McKenzie of Seaforth. “Madam”, he says, stating he is too infirm to leave London due to “age and infirmities”,

This day so far I have been making inquiry Respecting Messrs Davidsons, and so far as I have been able to learn, am led to believe they have no intention of going North at this time, but [I will seek] to ascertain the fact and inform you in due time
 
By Thursday past I have Recd a letter from a party in Cromarty, who after stating that Applecross is in opposition to Seaforth, he says ‘It is said for a certainty that Seaforth will be Returned by a great Majority, therefore I hope you will have no cause for concern for the success of Seaforth. …’

Now, this was a little cheeky of Thomas Urquhart. He had enlisted Seaforth’s assistance in resolving the boundary dispute with Newhall by promising his political support (“By doing this, you perhaps will add to the number of your friends in the Shire.”) and now he was resisting being called north to vote. He was also faulty in his advice about the Davidsons not intending to go north; a week later (19 January) Davidson of Tulloch was in person in Dingwall nominating Seaforth’s rival Applecross! In the event, in the coming election Seaforth did retain his seat, but there had been real concern about how many absentee landlords that Applecross was bringing in to vote.

Caledonian Mercury 29 January 1835
ROSS-SHIRE ELECTION
We are happy to state, that Mr Stewart Mckenzie of Seaforth has carried his election for Ross-shire by a majority of forty-one. The Tory candidate, Mr Mackenzie of Applecross, brought down several voters from London, made immense exertions otherwise, and boasted that he would have a majority of twenty. The voters are about 500 in number …

The other letter from Urquhart in this bundle is dated 27 February 1835 and reads:

Dear Sir, I merely address you to say after your remark relative to Thos. Munro I referrd to the letter again and which I had not with me when I wrote you last and find that I was so far in error viz that a letter had been wrote by some party [to] the Minister Mr. Sage Requesting him to cause a Kirk Session upon the Question In due time [with] aim of properly c[onsidering] the facts and motive for so doing I am Dear Sir Very Respectfully etc. Thomas. Urquhart.

I think this must have referred to a colourful incident in 1833 involving tenants of Kinbeachie and Culbo where accusations of adultery and thieving were being thrown around. The Kirk Session of 4 November 1833 examined many witnesses. Some key moments:

That Thomas Munro said when he came addressing himself to his Brothers wife, what is the meaning of all this your are charging me with being a thief and a whoremonger– that his Brothers Wife said, “yes I do so & I again say you are a whore for she was three days in the wood of Braelangwell with Hugh Bethune the Taylor without your knowledge & was several times taken out of Andrew Stewarts bed”.

Kenneth McRae Miller at Kinbeachie cited as a witness being called compeared & being duly admonished and interrogated. Declares that his Wife asked his Son in law Alexander Munro & his wife why they had come at so late an hour on Saturday night from their own house with the child to Witness’ house. That Alexander Munro replied, that he had come from Sodom– Being further interrogated did Witness hear his son in law Alexander Munro say that he had fled from his own house that night for fear of his life– Replied that he could not say he heard him say so– but that he had come from a very Sodom itself.
 
Anne Fraser Servt of Kenneth McRae Miller at Kinbeachie being called compeared & being duly admonished & interrogated. declares that Alexander Munro said that he left his own house so late an hour as it was a perfect Sodom– & that fear had driven him from. Did not hear him say that is was any fear of his life.
 
The Session having duly considered the evidence of the several witnesses as above stated. Find unanimously, that the complaint of Thomas Munro in Culbo & of his sister Anne Munro against Mary MacRea in said place their Brothers Wife for defamation of their character is fully proven– Also Find unanimously. that the charge brought against Thomas Munro by said Mary MacRea of his being a whoremonger is False, Scandalous and Malicious as is also her assertion respecting Anne Munro that said Anne Munro had criminal connection with Hugh Bethune in the wood of Braelangwell & with Andrew Stewart in Udol in his own house– Also Find Unanimously, that the character and conduct of said Thomas & Anne Munro are irreproachable and that the conduct of said Mary McRea their Brothers wife is highly reprehensible unnatural & indecorous. in as much as the said Mary Macrae did not only defame the characters of the said Thomas & Anne Munro but for the purpose of doing so Did tell what said Mary McRae knew to be a willfil falsehood. by asserting that Andrew Stewart told her that she had said of Anne Munro, whilst said Andrew Declared upon oath as appears by the evidence that he never said any such thing of Anne Munro either to Mary MacRae or to any other person whatever.
 
The Session further Resolved that pursuant to this their judgement in the case of Thomas & Anne Munro in Culbo against Mary McRae in said place for defamation of their character. An Extract of Sessions judgement in the case be furnished by their Clerk from their minutes to the said Thomas and Anne Munro as aforesaid for the clearing of their character from the aspersions thrown upon it. & that the Session record as they hereby do record their most marked Disapprobation of the whole conduct of the Defamer said Mary MacRae in the whole case.

Now, the Reverend Sage was later to say that he regretted that the Kirk Session in Resolis on occasion strayed too far into the territory of the law courts and I suspect this is one of the cases he had in mind. I do wonder if the case after the Kirk Session had escalated, and if M.P. Stewart Mackenzie was investigating. Given that the case involved the family of Urquhart’s own miller at Kinbeachie, it is surprising that he had to refer back to an earlier letter from north to refresh his memory as to the circumstances and write a letter to Seaforth correcting an earlier statement.

Anyway, moving away from Urquhart’s correspondence with Seaforth to the boundary dispute, the following papers are drawn from the Dingwall Sheriff Court records.

SC25/71/8
[One of the dozen or so documents. Within it, the Defender, Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachie, attempts to show how reasonable he was from the earliest stage of the dispute:]
 
… This Correspondence commenced with / the following letter addressed by the Pursuers Agent of this date to the Defender “Newhall 19th April 1834, Sir, I [Mr Kelly] have been instructed by Colin Mackenzie Esquire of Newhall to employ Tradesmen to build a Fence between your Muir grounds of Toperchurn, Craighouse and others on the March separating these coterminous Properties– the Lands on both sides of the March are of very little annual value, and are, as Newhall has been informed, better adapted for being planted than to be converted to any other use. It is therefore intended to plant on his [side of] the March but until a Fence is erected to protect the young trees from being injured or destroyed by trespassers, of course if would be quite unnecessary for him to commence operations. By the Law of Scotland where two Properties be coterminous, the Proprietors are each liable in one half the expence of erecting a March Fence separating their Estates. As before mentioned the Muir ground to be inclosed is of very small value, and I propose to you that the Fence should be one of Feal, with a small Ditch in front, with this view I send you annexed the Copy of an Estimate for such a Fence made out by a skilful person who is a Judge of the value of the ground and who will complete it for the price of £20 Stg.
 
I have therefore to request that you will inform me when you will concur in paying one half of the Expence of creating a March Fence of the description contained in the Estimate or what other kind of Fence you would propose in lieu of that suggested Please be good enough to favour me with an early Reply & I am &c.
 
Estimate of the Expence of building a March Fence between the Muir Lands of Kinbeachie belonging to Thos. Urquhart Esq Ship Broker St Michaels Cornhill London and the Muir lands of Toperchurn, Craighouse and Cullicudden belonging to Colin MacKenzie Esquire of Newhall.
 
These Muir Lands lying on both sides of the March which have been pointed out to, and examined by me, belonging to the Proprietors of Kinbeachie and Newhall appear to be of very small annual value. The length of the Fence … and for enclosing grounds of the above description, I am of opinion that a good Feal Dyke well built and rammed of 5 feet in height battening one foot from the perpendicular and eight feet at the foundation of backing tapering to 1 foot in breadth of top with a scarcement of 18 Inches from the foundations and a Ditch at bottom would make a sufficient Fence for Land of the above description.
 
I shall undertake to make a Fence and Ditch of the above description and of the length as proposed for the Sum of Twenty Pounds Sterling. (Signed) David Wilson.”
 
To the Foregoing letter the following Reply was without delay made by the Defenders Agent to whom he immediately transmitted for that purpose. “Dingwall 2nd May 1834, Sir, Mr Urquhart of Kinbeachie has sent me [Mr George Mackenzie Writer of Dingwall] a copy of your letter to him of the 19th. Ulto. calling upon him to concur in the erection of a March Dyke at mutual Expence between his lands and those of Mr Mackenzie of Newhall.
 
You are aware I presume that the Parties are not agreed as to the exact line of the March between their respective Properties so that however willing Mr Urquhart may be (and I believe he is) to concur in the object in view, the erection of a mutual Dyke cannot well proceed until that question is settled. Now I doubt much if this can be competently done in a Process under the Statute authorising the Erection of March Fences altho if it can I should consider it the cheapest and best made (other than a Submission) of settling the question.
 
[George Mackenzie now suggests Arbiters, and the location and benefits of the dyke are discussed:]
 
only a very small portion indeed of the Muir is left on the Defenders side of the proposed Dyke, and that, that proportion is situate between the proposed Dyke and the County Road leading to Cromarty from which it is not separated by any enclosure. … on the Pursuers own shewing not only the whole of this arable Lands of Toberchurn, Craighouse and Cullicudden, but also nine tenths of the Muir ground in dispute (if found to be the Property of the Pursuer) will be inclosed by, and thus have the benefit of it, while on the Defenders side of the Fence there will be nothing left between it and the Council Road except a few Acres of barren Muir ground. To the Defender there would thus be no benefit at all by the erection of a March fence on the Pursuers or Northern Side of this waste piece of ground …
 
so that your Lordship sees from the Pursuers own admission that the question of the true March was a matter of controversy so far back as the year 1831 and that it has continued to be so ever since…
 
The truth however is, and the Defender begs to call you Lordships attention specially to the fact that the march of the Pursuers Lands of Toberchurn, Craighouse and Cullicudden is not that implied in the line proposed for the fence as lybelled nor the continuation of that line along the County Road as indicated by the belting which he has unwarrantably there planted, but the Northern extremity of the entire tract of muir ground in question as it skirts the arable Lands of Toberchurn, Craighouse & Cullicudden to the distance (as expressed by the Country People) “as the Coulter and Sock of a Plough can be thrown from the arable Land or a team of six oxen can turn”. That this is the true March the Defender is not only prepared to prove (were it competent in this Process) by a host of Witnesses but also that it is actually the March which was formally pointed out to, and acquiesced in by the late Newhall on occasion of his getting possession of that part of his Estate.
 
Nor does this rest altogether on the authority of oral evidence. It is confirmed by the terms of the Defenders Titles, the description in which, of his land, is in the following terms “All and Haill the Town and Lands of Kinbeachy extending to an half Davoch Land, with the prinicpal dwelling House of Kinbeachy, Office Houses adjacent thereto Miln thereof Miln lands Multure, Sucken, Sequels and Knaveship of the same, and hail other houses, yards, Pairks, meadows, … bounded as follows vizt. Having the Lands of Meikle Findon at the West the Lands of Craighouse Toberchurn and Cullicudden at the North the Lands of Drumcudden and Saint Martins at the East and the Lands of Culbo and Woodhead at the South parts respectively”. Now your Lordship is particularly requested to mark the difference between this description and that in the Titles of the Pursuers lands. In the latter there is no bounding description at all. There is mention simply of the lands of “Toberchurn, Craighouse and Cullicudden”, but no one will pretend to say that the extensive tract of Muir situated between these lands and the County Road is called either Toberchurn, Craighouse, or Cullicudden. In the Title of the Defender, on the other hand specific boundaries are condescended on

SC25/71/8/16
[cover] 2d. Ext. / Regd. / Submission & Decree Arbitral Between Colin Mackenzie Esquire and Thomas Urquhart Esquire / Dated and Regd. 8 Novr. 1836 / compd. J. K. / James Macdonell W.S. / 12 sheets £2.4.10 Scott.
 
At Edinburgh [8 Nov 1836] In presence of the Lords of Council and Session compeared John Hope and James Miller Junior Esquires Advocates Procurators for the Parties after named and designed and gave in the submission and Decree arbitral underwritten desiring the same to be registered in the Books of Council and Session conform to law which the said Lords ordained to be done accordingly whereof the tenor follows:
 
We Colin Mackenzie Esquire of Newhall and Thomas Urquhart Esquire of Kinbeachie living in London considering that certain disputes arose and are depending between us in regard to the proper lines of march between the lands of Craighouse Cullicudden and Toberchurn lying within the now united parishes of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden and County of Cromarty and belonging in property to me the said Colin Mackenzie and the lands of Kinbeachie belonging to me the said Thomas Urquhart and also in regard to the erection of a march fence between our said respective properties and the proportion of the expense of the said march fence which each of us should bear:
 
And considering that an action was raised by me the said Colin Mackenzie before the Sheriff Court of Ross for the purpose of compelling the said Thomas Urquhart to concur with me in the erection of a march dyke between our said respective properties and to bear his proportion of the expense thereof and that after certain procedure had taken place in that action I raised another action against the said Thomas Urquhart before the Court of Session concluding that the line of march therein specifically described should be found and declared to be the first and true line of march between our said properties and containing certain other conclusions all which are here specifically referred to and held as repeated. Which summons or action was executed edictally as against the said Thomas Urquhart on the nineteenth day of June last but has never been called in Court. And seeing it has been agreed between us to enter into the submission under written to John Jardine Esquire Advocate Sheriff Depute of the Counties of Ross and Cromarty for the purpose of settling our disputes without further judicial procedure Therefore we have submitted and referred as we hereby submit and refer to the final Sentence and amicable decree arbitral to be pronounced by the said John Jardine all differences and disputes whatever presently depending or that may arise between us any way relating to the line of march between our said respective properties and our respective liabilities towards each other in regard to the erection of a fence or dyke on the said march and the proportion of the expence thereof which each of us is to bear With power to the said John Jardine to fix and determine the said line of march and to ordain the erection of such a fence of dyke on the said line as he may deem proper and to decern against us repectively for such proportions of the expense thereof as to him shall seem just and with power to him to dispose of the foresaid actions before the Sheriff Court and Court of Session in the same manner as the same might have been disposed of by the Judges of said Courts if they had not by these presents been submitted as they are hereby submitted and referred to the said John Jardine With power to the said arbiter to receive the claims of the parties to take all manner of probation whether by writ witnesses or oath of party in regard to the matters hereby submitted and if necessary to hear parties thereon. And whatever the said arbiter shall determine in the premises by direct arbitral to be pronounced by him between and the [blank] day of [blank] next to come or on or before any other day to which he may prorogate this submissione we bind and oblige ourselves and our heirs executors and successors to acquire in implement and fulfil to each other under the penalty of one hundred pounds sterling to be paid by the party failing to the party observing or willing to observe the same over and above performance
 
And we hereby agree that in case it shall so happen thro any unforseen accident that no final decree arbitral shall follow hereupon all probation to be taken by the said John Jardine shall be held and received as legal probation quantum et quale in any after submission or process at law between the parties in regard to the premises
 
And we consent to the registration hereof and of the prorogations and decreet arbitral to follow hereon in the Books of Council and Session or others competent and if necessary that letters of Horning on a charge of six days and all other execution may pass on a decree to be interponed hereto in form as effeirs and thereto we constitute John Hope and James Miller Junior Esquires Advocates our procurators &c.
 
In witness whereof these presents written by James Blair clerk to Gibson Craigs Wardlaw and Dalziel Writers in Edinburgh are subscribed as follows viz by me the said Colin Mackenzie at Dingwall [2 Sep 1835] before these witnesses Captain Alexander Mackenzie Cameron late of the seventy eighth Regiment of Foot now residing in Dingwall and Alexander Kelly Writer in Dingwall and by me the said Thomas Urquhart at London the eighth day of said month and year foresaid before these witnesses Thomas Scrutton of Saint Michaels Court Cornhill London Ship and Insurance Broker and Benjamin Nind solicitor Throgmorton Street London the note on the margin of the Deed also written by the said James Blair being subscribed by us respectively at the same place and time with our respective subscriptions to the deed itself and in presence of the same witnesses and this testing clause being written and filled up by Thomas Lewis Gibson apprentice to James Thomson Gibson Craig Writer to the Signet (signed) Colin Mackenzie Thos. Urquhart A. McK. Cameron Witness Alex. Kelly Witness Thos. Scrutton Witness Benja Nind Witness.
 
I John Jardine Esquire Advocate arbiter within named do hereby accept of the within submission and appoint Alexander Miller Writer in Edinburgh to be clerk thereto and appoint the parties respectively within three weeks to give in Mutual condescendences describing without argument the line which they allege to be the proper march between their Estates with the evidence by which they propose to support their respective allegations and also whether they are both willing to admit the rough sketch of the Moor of Kinbeachie and adjoining lands being number thirty of this submission to be correct In Witness whereof this Minute of acceptance written on the back of the said submission by the said Alexander Miller Writer in Edinburgh is subscribed by me at Edinburgh [10 Oct 1835] before these witnesses the said Alexander Miller Writer hereof and William Skinner my servant (signed) John Jardine Alex Millar Witness William Skinner Witness
 
I John Jardine Esquire arbiter within named do hereby in virtue of the powers conferred upon me by the within submission prorogate the time for determining the same to the [blank] day of [blank] next In witness whereof I have subscribed this minute of prorogation written on the back of the said submission by Alexander Millar Writer in Edinburgh at Edinburgh [6 July 1836] before these witnesses the said Alexander Millar Writer hereof and John Philp Writer in Edinburgh (signed) John Jardine Alexr Millar Witness John Philp Witness.
 
I John Jardine Esquire Advocate Sheriff Depute of the Counties of Ross and Cromarty arbiter mutually chosen by Colin Mackenzie Esquire of Newhall and Thomas Urquhart Esquire of Kinbeachie residing in London in virtue of a submission dated the second & eighth days of September [1835] by which the said Parties on the narrative that certain disputes were depending between them in regard to the proper lines of march between the lands of Craighouse Cullicudden and Toberchurn lying within the now united parishes of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden and County of Cromarty and belonging in property to him the said Colin Mackenzie and the lands of Kinbeachie belonging to him the said Thomas Urquhart and also in regard to the erection of a march fence between their said respective propoerties and the proportion of the expence of the said march fence which each of them should bear and that an action was raised by him the said Colin Mackenzie before the Sheriff Court of Ross for the purpose of compelling the said Thomas Urquhart to concur with the said Colin Mackenzie in the erection of a march dyke between their said respective properties and to bear his proportion of the expense thereof and that after certain procedure in that action the said Colin Mackenzie raised another action against the said Thomas Urquhart before the Court of Session concluding that the line of march therein specifically should be found and declared to be the first and true line of march between their said respective properties and containing certain other conclusions all which were there specifically referred to and held as repeated
 
Which summons or action was executed edictally against the said Thomas Urquhart on the nineteenth day of June then last but had never been called in court submitted and referred to the final sentence and amicable decree arbitral to be pronounced by me as arbiter all differences and disputes whatever then depending or that might arise between them any way relating to the line of march between the said respective properties and their respective liabilities towards each other in regard to the erection of a fence or dyke on the said march and the proportion of the expence thereof as to me should seem just; and with power to me to dispose of the foresaid actions before the Sheriff Court and Court of Session in the same manner as the same might have been disposed of by the Judges of said courts if they had not by the said submission been submitted and referred to me
 
With power to me to receive the claims of the parties to take all manner of probation in regard to the matters thereby submitted and if necessary to hear parties thereon and whatever I as arbiter should determine in the premises by decree arbitral to be pronounced by me between and the [blank] day of [blank] then next to come or on or before any other day to which I might prorogate the said submission the said parties submitters bound and oblige themselves and their heirs executors and successors to acquiesce in implement and fulfill to each other under the penalty specified in the said submission as the same containing other clauses in itself more fully bears.
 
And I the said arbiter having accepted the said submission and having in virtue of the powers therein conferred upon me prorogated the same conform to the prorogation written on the back thereof and having considered the mutual revised condescendences and mutual revised answers lodged for the said parties in the said submission with the Title deeds of the parties there referred to and whole process I issued notes of my opinion on the thirty first of March last and having afterwards perambulated the ground in dispute and having taken on oath such parole evidence as the parties respectively adduced as to the possession of the said muir and having also considered the pleadings in the process between the said parties in the said action before the Sheriff of Ross as well as the said summons and action before the Court of Session I did upon the sixth July last issue a note explaining the grounds upon which I proposed to decide this case and both parties having signified their acquiescence in the views stated in that note
 
I did again upon the first of September [1836] visit the said Muir in presence of the Agents for the parties and of [blank] Wilson Land Surveyor in Dingwall who had previously executed a plan of the Muir in dispute referred to in my said notes and I there saw certain pits formed for march stones to be erected to mark the line of march between the parties and being upon the whole well and ripely advised in the said matter and having God and a good conscience before my eyes I the said John Jardine do give forth and pronounce my final sentence and decree arbitral as follows videlicet
 
I find the said Thomas Urquhart entitled to that portion of the said Muir to the north of the Estate of Kinbeachie which is contained within a line measured along the western boundary of the Muir where it marches with the Estate of Sir James Wemyss Mackenzie of Scatwell Baronet from the March stone on the north side of the Cromarty road marked O. on the foresaid plan by the said [blank] Wilson to a point Q. on the said plan being in length Eleven Imperial chains and thirty four links as measured at my sight by the said Surveyor on the first of September last
 
by a line of the same length drawn from C. on the said plan at the Eastern extremity of the Kinbeachie property opposite to the Mill road parallel to the foresaid line along the Western boundary of the Muir and by a line drawn straight east from Q. to the said point R. comprehending a parallelogram bounded by the Cromarty road on the south and by the foresaid lines on the east west and north at which two points Q. and R. I directed pits to be made for march stones at the sight of the Agents for the parties


The marker stone at point Q, the hole for which was dug in sight of the arbiter in 1836. Westward from here is the Findon Estate (hence the “F”), eastward you see the remnant of the dyke being covered by soil and stones during the development of new house Barleywood. To the left was the Estate of Newhall, to the right was the Estate of Kinbeachie; photo by Jonathan Wordsworth


the marker stone being removed; photo by Jonathan Wordsworth


just like an old gravestone, the marker stone is dressed only for the section that is meant to be seen; photo by Jonathan Wordsorth


marker stone restored close to its original point and ground revegetated; photo by Jim Mackay

And I find the said Colin Mackenzie entitled to the whole remaining part of the said Muir with the exception of the foresaid portion allocated to the said Thomas Urquhart and as the said Colin Mackenzie in the belief that the ground belonged to himself recently planted some young trees on that portion of the Muir now allocated to the said Thomas Urquhart I find him entitled to these plants provided they are removed by him on or before the first March next and failing his so removing them I find that the said young Trees shall then become the property of the said Thomas Urquhart upon whose ground they have been planted
 
And I appoint a march fence to be erected along the foresaid line between the property of the two parties in such way and manner as they may incline and in the event of their not agreeing as to the nature of the said march fence I appoint a feal dyke of four feet in height to be erected along the said line of march at the mutual expence of the said parties and to that effect I repel the Defences in the action which depended before the Sheriff court of Ross at the instance of the said Colin Mackenzie against the said Thomas Urquhart but I find no expences due to either party in the said action or in this submission and I find and declare that both parties on these presents being implemented shall be free and quit of all claim the one against the other by through or on account of the foresaid actions or this present submission or the subject matter thereof in any manner of way in all time coming:
 
And I do further decern and ordain both parties to implement and fulfill this decree arbitral in all points to each other under the penalty of one hundred pounds sterling contained in the said submission to be paid by the party failing to the party observing or willing to observe his part thereof over and above performance
 
And I ordain the said submission with my acceptance thereof the said prorogation and this decree arbitral to be registered in the Books of Council and Session or others competent to the effect specified in the said submission and for that purpose constitute the procurators therein named.
 
In Witness whereof these presents written upon this and the two preceding pages of stamped paper by Alexander Millar Writer in Edinburgh clerk to the said submission are subscribed by me at Edinburgh [8 Nov 1836] before these witnesses Alexander Millar Writer hereof and clerk to the said submission and Kenneth McLennan servant to me the said John Jardine (signed) John Jardine Alexr. Millar Witness Kenneth McLennan Witness
 
Extracted upon this and the twenty two preceding pages of stamped papers by me one of the Keepers of the Record of Deeds &c. conform to Act of parliament / James Kilgour.


the final boundary line as determined by the judicial arbiter is in red; the land between that and the County Road contains valuable neolithic settlement remains

 

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