Report Made by William Monteath, factor appointed by The Commissioners for manadgeing the Forfeited Estates in Scotland Annexed to the Croun upon part of the Estate of Arnprior Called Straithyre, In terms of the Instructions given to him by the Said Commissioners
The said William Monteath, in obediance to the said instructions, has made it his business to inquire particularly into every article recommended to him by the saids Commissioners and shall endeavour to answer them in the order they are set doun in the said instructions.
The said lands of Straithyre lye within the county of Perth, and the north part thereof lyes about eight miles from the Shirriff-Substitute att Killine and the south part thereof about the same distance from the Shirriff-Substitute att Dumblaine, at which two places the courts are held.
No Justices of the Peace live within the said lands and the nearest Justices of the Peace are Mr. Nicoll Grahame of Gartmore and James Fairfuill of Braeandam, who both reside att six miles distance from the south part of the said estate, and as to the north, east and weast parts, there in no Justices of the Peace that resides within twelve miles thereof.
The tolbooth of Dunblaine is the next prisone, about eight miles from the south part of the said estate, but is neither secure nor convenient and few prisoners are committed to that prisone, and the most proper place for a prisone in that country is thought to be Callander, where there is a small village allready, or the Castle of Doun, about five miles weast of Stirling.
All the said lands (except two ferms, viz. Stank & Curanoch) lye within the parish of Balquiddcr (p. 2) and the remottest part thereof is only five computed miles from the kirk of Balquidder, and the said two ferms of Stank and Curanoch lye within the parish of Callander and are only two computed miles from the kirk thereof.
The minister of Callander preatches in English in the forenoon and in the Irish language in the afternoon and the minister of Balquidder preatches in the Irish language in the forenoon and in the English in the afternoon.
There is no schooll in that country except a charity one which is keept att three different places, two years att each place by rotatione, viz., Straithyre, the Braes of Balquidder and the end of Lochearn. The master teatches to read English, writeing and counting, but in the fluctuating manner the schooll is keept the boys doe not profit much thereby. There is now a parochiall schooll lately begune to be keept att the kirk of Balquidder by one John Smith. His age is about twenty one years. He teatches Latine, English, writing and counting, but that schooll is five miles from severall parts of the estate, by which the young children cannot be the better of it, not able to travile so far to the schooll.
Mr. Finly Ferguson, minister att Balquidder, is about 70 years of age and the age of Mr. Nicoll Fletcher, the charity schooll master, is about thirty.
Mr. James Steuart, minister att Callander, is about thirty years of age and Mr. John McFarhmo, the schooll master there, is about forty. He teatches Latine, English, writeing and counting. He lives two miles from the nearest part of the said barrony of Straithyre.
Mr. Ferguson's stipends is 750 merks and agleib valued att £20 scots yearly, extending both in sterling money to £43. 6. 8, and the sallary payable out of the said barrony to the schooll master "I Balquidder is £19.4.0 scots, which is £1.12.0 sterling and payed all by the tenants.
(p. 3) Mr. Steuart, minister att Callander, stipends is 850 merks and a gleib valued at 100 merks, extending both to £52.15.6 1/3 sterling, and the sallary payable to the schooll master of Callander out of Stank & Curanoch is £2. 3.4 scots, and in sterling money £0. 3. 7 1/3 and payed by the tennants.
The English language has made very good progress in these lands considering how seldome the schooll is keept there, but there are many of the tennants' children that cannot speak English, and a few of their wifes, but all the tennants can speak English tollerably well except two.
The laws prohibiting the Highland dress have had very good effectt in that country, none of the tennants contraveening the same.
The Disarming Acts are punctually observed in these lands, none of the tennants carrying arms, so far as he is informed or has observed.
[Note: The conclusion of page 3 and all of pages 4 and 5 appear to be missing.]
(p. 6) Of the Barony of Ballquhidder
The barony of Ballquhidder lyes in the parish of Ballquhidder & shire of Perth, situated upon the south side of the hills, partly upon the side of Lochvoil and partly upon the side of the water of Ludnag which goes out of said loch, and may be reckoned to be in extent about six miles from east to west in length and two miles in breadth from south to north.
The parish church is pretty much in the centre of the barony upon the same side of the country. There is a parochial school at the Kirktoun and no other school in the barony.
Mr. Finlay Ferguson is minister, preaches for the most part in the Irish language. He is above sixty years of age. The stipend payable to him out of this barony is £7.10 sterling.
The schoolmaster's name is [blank] Balfour, a young lad, about 20 years of age.
The nearest Sherriff-Substitute to this barony is at Killine, about six or seven miles distant, and the next Justice of Peace to it is Mr. Campbell of Edinchip, who lives close to the east end of the barony.
The publick road from Stirling to Fort William passes through the east end of the barony.
There is a deep ditch or gott that lyes betwixt the greatest part of this barony and the publick road and is impassable for the greatest part of the year. There is a morass on each side of this ditch which the country people have been at a great deal of pains to make passable by laying (p. 7) stones & gravel over it, and they have made a kind of bridge over the ditch in the center, but a very bad one. There seems a real necessity of casting an arch over this place, which may be done at a small expence.
The Water of Ludnaig divides the estate of Perth in this barony from other people's properties on the opposite side. It is a deep water and impassable for a great part of the year. There is a sort of bridge upon it at present, opposite to the Kirktoun, made of drystone pillars and timber hid over it from one pillar to another, and is at present in such disrepair that a single man cannot cross it without some danger. As the one end of it is upon the estate of Perth and that the bulk of the parish have no other way to come to church but by that bridge, it is hoped by the parish that the Commissioners will contribute something towards making a new bridge, over and above the proportional share effiering to the estate of Perth in that parish.
There is a very rapid burn or water that runs from the hills betwixt the Kirktoun & I.ednascriedan, both farms on the estate of Perth in this barony, and runs into Lochvoil at the mouth of it where the Water of Ludnaig comes out of it and carries such vast quantities of stones :ind gravel from the hills as chokes up the passage of the river, by which means, in time of the smallest speat, the loch overflows the grounds of every side. It is thought that if this burn were iliverted into the old channell of it, which is more upwards in to the loch and which it has • Inserted now for some years, it would do less hurt. This might take about £10 or £12 of expence.
The laws prohibiting the Highland dress and carrying of arms have taken full effect in this b.-irony.
There are two or three people in this barony who buy bear in the low country, carry it home Mini malt it, and distill it in aquavitae, particularity Ronald Drummond in Kirktoun & James Slowart in Cuilt; both keep publick houses.
(p. 8) There is one mill at Kirktoun, which is sufficient to serve the barony.
There is a lead mine in this barony which was wrought upon for a short time about the year 1736 I mi i did not promise a great deal.
There is limestone in the barony and peats convenient enough at the east end. The firing is m'.-irce and at a great distance at the west end of the barony. The abovementioned Ronald I'rummond in Kirktoun is the only one who has attempted to lime his grounds and he has fine erupts from it.
There have been no depredations or thefts committed in this barony for some time past. There were a great many cattle and horses stollen from them in the year 1746. The factor, after a nood deal of pains & expence, recovered part of the goods stollen and compensation for the most n| what was not recovered, but could not prosecute the thieves criminally as the indemnity had taken place after the theft was committed.
[Footnote: 1 . John Smith on p. 26; and so E. 777/321]
No persons reside now in the barony that are thieves or suspected to be so or to harbour any. There were some who banished themselves & families out of that country upon hearing that the factor was about to make a strict enquiry into their characters.
There are no leases or wadsetts in this barony.
There is no sort of manufacture carried on here other than spinning, of which there is a good deal, both linen & woollen, all of which that can be spared from the use of their families is sold in yarn and is by much the most valuable article they have for making money. They likewise sell a few black cattle & horses, but to no great amount.
What milk they have is consumed in their own families, which, with their potatoes, helps to maintain them for some part of the year.
The prevailing names in this barony are Stewarts, McLarens & McGregor-Drummonds.
(p. 9) The men in this barony are generally employed in looking after their cattle, labouring their grounds, and of late do many things about the family which was formerly lookt upon by them as women's work, but which they chuse now to do themselves rather than take women from the spinning, and the whole have taken a very sudden turn to industry.
The English language has made a great progress of late in this barony.
There is no proper stance for a village in this barony, but the farm of Ruskachan, part of the estate of Arnpryor, which joins to and marches with the barony of Ballquhidder, seems very well adapted for this purpose. The publick road from Stirling to Fort William goes through it, and there is upon this farm of Ruskachan a considerable plain consisting of arable and meadow grounds. Water for the use of the families or bleaching is extremely convenient, and there is great plenty of limestone upon the farm and firing abundantly easy to be got at.
There is a small wood in this barony, consisting mostly of oak. It is said to be about 12 or 14 years since it was last cutt and to have sold at that time for about £80 sterling.
The soil of this barony below their head dikes is generally pretty good. It produces pretty good corns, potatoes & flax. The extent of their corn land is not great, but they have a considerable quantity of meadow ground and would have still more, and much more valuable, if the Water of Ludnaig was properly opened & cleared, which would likewise make a very great improvement upon that part of the estate of Arnpryor called Strathyre. The neighbouring heretors would likewise contribute to this.
The grain they sow generally in this barony is oats & bear. They likewise of late plant potatoes and sow some flaxseed, and they have good returns from both. They sow no grass seeds.
The hills of this part of the estate of Perth are generally very dry and barren, and the cattle are (p. 10) not reckoned good and may yield the same price as formerly mentioned for those of the barony of Lix.
The hills here seem as if they would make good sheep pasture.
The first method of improving this barony that strikes the eye is draining the meadows and making march dikes to keep the one farm from incroaching on the other, at least as far up the face of the hills as the ground appears to be valuable, and then to run a head dike from the one march to the other. This makes what is valuable of the farm into one great inclosure, which might be subdivided by degrees. There is great plenty of stone for making stone dikes every where, except at the bottom of the plains by the water side, where there is a good opportunity of making fine ditches in such places where neither the loch nor the water make a fence.
The tenants, by their leases, [should] be obliged to lay a certain quantity of lime yearly upon their lands, and a man may be found who will undertake to burn lime and sell it [at] a reasonable rate.
The houses in this barony are all built of stone and, considering the smallness of the farms and poverty of the inhabitants, are generally pretty good.
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(p. 12) Of the Barony of Callendar
The barony of Callendar lyes in the Parish of Callendar and shire of Perth. Situated upon both sides of the Water of Teith, and extends from south to north about five miles and from east to west about three miles.
The parish church is in the center of the barony. There is a parochial school there and no other school in the barony.
Mr. James Stewart, minister there, is about 36 years of age, preaches one half of the day in the English and the other half in the Irish language. The stipend payable to him out of the estate of Perth, both in the baronies of Callendar & Strathgartney, which is likefwise] in this parish, is £12.10.1 10/12 sterling.
Mr. John McFarlane, schoolmaster there, is about 40 years of age.
The nearest Justice of Peace to this barony is Mr. Fairfowl of Braedamm, three miles distant from it, and Mr. Drummond of Blair, about six miles distant.
The nearest Sherriff-Substitute is at Dunblane, where there is likewise a prison, and is about 8 miles distant from Callander.
Most of the people here speak the English language, and the laws prohibiting the Highland dress and wearing of arms have taken place in this barony.
The greatest part of this barony is under tack. The commence of these leases is from the 1742, 1743 & 1744 and their duration is generally for nineteen years from the different periods of their commenc ement.
(p. 13) Some farms in this barony are sett to those called gentlemen tenants. A part of the Mains of Callendar [is] sett in tack to Robert Menzies, who subsetts the one half; the farm of Greenock to Alexander Stewart, son to [blank] Stewart, surgeon in Down, deceased, & his heirs, who subsett[s] the whole of it; the miln and lands of Tombea to James Campbell of Stronslany, who subsetts the whole. Donald McNab, innkeeper att Callendar, has a lease of the town & lands of Lurgavouie & graseing of Beglairig, which he has subsett, and Alexander McNab younger of Inchewan has a lease of the graseing of Tomascriedan, upon which he fattens cattle for the market.
There is a good deal of malt made in this barony and some aquavitae distilled, and in the town of Calendar, which is all sett into feus, every house is a sort of changehouse. There is a tolerable good inn there, kept by the abovementioned Donald McNab.
The great road from Stirling to Fort William goes through this barony and through the town of Callendar, where there is a village already begun upon a regular plan and has made a considerable progress.
There were small feus given here to a number of people by the late James Drummond of Perth and there are a great number of people now, artificers & others from different parts of the kingdom, desirous of having feus in this place. The situation is extremely good, lying upon a piece of plain, dry ground upon the side of the River of Teith, an easie access to be had to it from the low country & the Highlands, and is almost in the low country and in the mouth or entry in to the Highlands- It is twelve miles distant from Stirling, eight from Dunblane and six from Down. And now that there is a communication opened that way betwixt the Highlands & the low country, there is the greater reason to expect that several branches of business, commerce & manufactures might succeed in this place, and what adds greatly to these hopes is the strong propensity discovered by several people to settle there, which makes a work easie that otherwise must be attended with great difficulties.
(p. 14) The former plan of the village and that made out by Mr. Cockburn, the surveyor, will be laid before the Commissioners.
The River of Teith runs through the middle of this barony and by the town of Callendar, as before observed, and is impassable for a great part of the year, except by a decayed timber bridge by the town end of Callendar. This bridge is now so very bad that it is dangerous to cross it. The want of a bridge here will not only be a vast inconveniency to the whole barony & the town of Callendar, but also to the whole neighbourhood, as it is a considerable thorowfair. The whole country in that neighbourhood would chearfully contribute their money & services towards erecting a stone bridge here, as much as they were able, which will make the expence moderate.
There are two milns in this barony, one at Tombea, on the northside of the River of Teith, and Miln of Gartchonzie, on the southside. Two mills would be sufficient for the whole barony if properly situated, a stance for one of which on the northside, in place of that of Tombea, will be pointed out by Mr. Cockburn, the surveyor.
[In margin: Accompt of the village of Callendar.]
This Miln of Tombea was built about the year 1736 and the barony of Callendar benorth the Water of Teith thirled to it. This seems to have been a project calculated for private ends which has not succeeded. This place lyes quite away from that part of the barony thirled to it, the whole estate and wood of Leny, at least three or four miles long, lying betwixt the said miln and the nearest part of the thirlage to it. This incommodes the tenants excessively without any sort of benefit to the proprietor, and the mill damm has thrown the water upon the farm of Corriechromby, part of the estate of Perth in the barony of Strathgartney, and does considerable damnage to it yearly. This Mill of Tombea might be converted into a lint miln, which would be of great service to Ballquhidder, (p. 15) Strathyre, a part of the annexed estate of Arnpryor, Callendar and the rest of that neighbourhood, and a new meal miln built in a centrical place for the thirlage.
This barony is generally pretty good soil and there grow very good oats, barley, potatoes & lint upon it; especially of late years that the tenants have been in use of laying lime upon their grounds, which they purchase from a lime quarry on the estate of Leny in their neighbourhood, where considerable quantities are burnt yearly.
There is some limestone upon the barony, but it is difficult of access and has been disused for some time.
The grass of this barony is generally but indifferent, except the possessions sett in tack to the two McNabs mentioned above. There is a good deal of meadow ground in different parts whereof the tenants make hay, but they sow no grass seeds.
There is a mine in a hill in this barony which was supposed to be lead, and a person who pretended to have skill employed by the late James Drummond of Perth to work it, but all that was got out of it was some antimony.
The farm of Auchinlaich, formerly belonging to this barony, was feued out to Mr. Buchanan of Auchleshie in the beginning of the 1745 for a yearly feuduty of £29 sterling. There is a considerable wood on this farm which was given off at the same time.
The woods now belonging to the estate of Perth in this barony are the woods of Gart, Murdiestoun, and some small parcels upon Clash and Balivicklauchlane, and are ready for cutting. Several proposals have been made for them to the factor; the highest was 5000 merks scots. It's believed they may sell for about £300 sterling or 6000 merks scots.
There is also a wood consisting mostly of oak upon Gartchonzie & Mains of Callendar, part of this barony, which is now twelve or 14 years old and was at last cutting sold to Alexander Buchanan (p. 16) of Duilater for 6000 merks scots, but this was looked upon as a low price and to have been given him in consideration of his having had a very bad bargain of the woods of Gart & Auchinlaich, the above mentioned feued farm, when last cutt, by which he lost considerably.
There is some fir planting and some small quantity of ash at the Mains of Callendar, but not of any great value. The firs are daily rotting and decaying.
The prevailing names in this barony are Fergusons, Me Arthurs and Buchanans. There are no wadsetts upon this barony.
The cattle of this barony are not reckoned good and few of them in the markets rise to 40 shillings value, except such as are brought from other countries and fattened upon the graseings above mentioned.
They make some small quantities of butter & cheese, but consume the greatest part of the produce of their milk in their own families.
There are only two enclosures in this barony, one built by the late proprietor in the 1742 adjoining to the town of Callendar now under tack, intended for the benefit of the village, and the other by Robert Menzies in Mains of Callendar in terms of a clause in his lease.
There are some fairs or markets held yearly at Callendar where there is a good deal of money laid out upon linen yarn, the principal commodity of this barony, and a great many goods brought in there for Highland pedlars, who barter skins of all sorts of these goods.
As this barony is all under tack, except Murdiestoun and some small parts about the village of Callendar intended for feus and conveniencies about the village, there can be little said with regard to improvements upon it during the currency of the leases.
The tenants there have already fallen into the method of liming their grounds. They sow a good (p. 17) deal of lintseed and spin up their lint into yarn and sell it. They are increasing yearly in the quantities they sow of potatoes and in general are frugal & industrious; and if the village of Callendar thrives, it will improve the barony, of course.
Several parts of this barony, particularly Greenock and that part of the Mains of Callendar not contained in Robert Menzies tack, would be much improved by being inclosed and subdivided for grass, and likewise the lower part of the Muirs of Murdiestoun & Balligibbon ought to be inclosed and would turn to good account from the neighbourhood of the village of Callendar, the inhabitants whereof would want these inclosures for their horses. Every part of this barony, when sufficiently inclosed, would turn out to good account, as it lyes in the neighbourhood of a country much straitned for the want of grass & hay, and would likewise make good winter pasture.
The houses in this barony are all built of stone and are generally pretty good.
There is a small salmon fishing in this barony upon the Water of Teith, which was open for every body's fishing that pleased untill the factor put a rent upon it and sett it to Robert Menzies in Mains of Callendar as the highest offerer.
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(P. 19) Of the Barony of Strathgartney
The barony of Strathgartney lyes in the parish of Callendar and shire of Perth, situated upon the south side of the hills and upon the north side of Lochs Ketterin, Ardkinnochrokan & Menachar and the Water of Gartney, which runs out of all these lochs. It is so interspersed with the Earl of Murray's property that it is not easy computing the extent any other way than by there being sixteen computed miles betwixt Ardnamackmoynan, the westmost, and Bochastle, the eastmost farm of it, and that of this tract of ground three parts in four may be reckoned to belong to the estate of Perth.
There is one farm of this barony on the south side of the Water of Gartney; [it] lyes in the parish of Port and marches with Gartchonzie, a part of the barony of Callendar.
The furthest off part of this barony from the town of Callendar, where the parish church is, is about seventeen miles and in all this tract there is but one school, at a place called Ardkinnochrokan, which is a charity school and which, in that part of the country, can be of service only to a few farms in the neighbourhood of it.
Mr. Conochar, the non-juring clergyman, who was lately banished the kingdom, used frequently to preach in this part of the country, and when people were found fault with for hearing him, they gave as a reason that they had no access to any other clergyman and wished much they had.
The laws prohibiting the wearing of arms & the Highland cloaths have taken place here, fully as to the arms, and they have complied with the Act of Parliament by laying aside the plaid, the little kilt and the trews and every thing else specified in the Act, but many of them have substituted (p. 20) in place of it a dress that bears a strong resemblance to it and that is, short blue cloath coats or other short coats of one colour in place of tartan and trousers of one colour resembling the little kilts, with this difference, that they are sewed up in the middle and do not fall within the description of the Act of Parliament. This dress makes the people of that country easily distinguishable, but such of the tenants upon the estate of Perth as wore it have promised faithfully to conform themselves to the spirit & intention of the Act of Parliament and never more to be seen in that kind of dress.
The upper part of this barony is very difficult of access, as much so as any part of the Highlands. The Troshachs, a peice of very coarse ground covered with wood & rock, is almost inaccessible. The only tolerable access is by water carriage upon Loch Ketterin.
The factor got an allowance from the Quarter Sessions at Perth last year to employ the people of the parish of Callendar in making a road from Callendar towards the head of this barony. They wrought very chearfully upon it that year and would have done so this year likewise but that most part of them were employed in leading stones & gravel to the publick road leading from Stirling to Fort William through the parish of Callendar. which a party of the military were mending this year. It is hoped the Quarter Sessions will still continue their indulgence, but some quarry tools & shovels will be absolutely necessary for carrying on this work and likewise a small sum of money for defraying the expence of blowing some rocks.
The opening of this road would not only contribute to the conveniency & advantage of the inhabitants in every respect, but would do a great deal more than pay the expence in the sale of the woods of the estate of Perth in this barony.
There are several small bridges necessary upon this road, particularly upon the water which comes from Glenfindlass, the Water of Lendrick, the Water of Ardkinnochrokan and the Water of Strongarvaltry. These waters are very rapid in time of speats. A single arch, and that but a small one, will serve over each of these waters.
(p. 21) The wood upon this barony is considerable and has been ready for cutting for some years past. When it was last cutt it was sold to Stewart of Glenbuckie & Graham of Mackeanstown for 25, 000 merks scots. It's reckoned it will give now above 30, 000 merks
The English language has made a surprising progress in this country, considering the disadvantage it lyes under for want of schools.
The seat of a Sherriff-Substitute is very far removed from the upper parts of this barony. It is within the district of Dunblane and part of the barony lyes above twenty computed miles from Dunblane, and there is no prison nearer. The next Justice of Peace is Mr. Graham of Garlmore who lives about seven or eight miles from it. The garrison of Inversnaid is at no great distance from it.
There have been no thefts or depredations committed of late upon this barony except once and the cattle then stollen were found by the people employed by the factor in the search of them upon theside of Glengarry, but it never was in his power to find out the thieves or outhounders, even after the strictest enquiry. This was a very troublesome and expensive affair to the factor, as every thing of this kind is.
There are none residing in this barony that are reputed thieves or harbourers of thieves, but there [are] as many people under bad characters in the neighbourhood, both in the braes of Perth and Dunbarton shires, as in any one part of the Highlands of Scotland.
There are no wadsetts in this barony The only lease on any part of it is what Stewart of Annat has upon the lands of Offrans for 19 years after Whitsunday 1742, and a kind of promissory obligement upon the back of the tack by the late James Drummond of Perth, whereby he promises to continue the said Stewart of Annat in the possession of the farms of Duncragan & Coshambic during his lifetime. The said Stewart of Annat does not reside upon the estate but subsetts thewhole above farms and the farm of Portneallan, which he had been in possession of without any written lease.
(p. 22) They have put no lime upon their grounds in this barony as yet. They sow barley, oats and of late some potatoes & flaxseed, from all which they have very good returns effiering to the quantities they sow.
They make a good deal of hay off their meadows, of which they have some that are very good They sow no grass seeds.
They make considerable quantities of butter and cheese and bring a good deal of it to mercat. It is reckoned pretty good.
Their cattle here are rather better than those formerly mentioned in the other baronies, and may be worth from 40 to 45 shillings when brought to market.
There are two meal milns in this barony, one at Strongarvaltry, the other at Bochastle, and are sufficient to serve the barony.
There is a little malt made at Bochastle in this barony and some acquavitae distilled. John Buchanan in Offrans, subtenant to said Mr Stewart of Annat, makes a considerable quantity of malt and distills aquavitae. There are some blind changehouses in this barony, very bad ones and not worth the name
The prevailling names in this barony are Stewarts and Buchanans. They are reckoned a frugal industrious people.
They spin a good deal of linen yarn in this barony and sell it. It is one of the principal ways they have of making money. Some of the tenants deal a little in black cattle & horses. There is no other sort of commerce carried on here.
The firing is generally very inconvenient and at a distance over this whole barony.
As there is a considerable wood in this barony, it will be necessary to reserve the carriages of bark which the tenants there are presently liable for, and as they are liable to no other carriages, the bark carriage might be augmented, which will turn out to greater advantage to the proprietor in the sale of the woods than any so much of additional rent that could be laid upon the tenants, and be less felt by them. But in that part of the parish of Callendar called the barony of Callendar (p. 23) the rents have been raised so much that they can bear no additional carriages.
The soil of this country is generally pretty good in the plains and a little way up the face of the hills. The hills, for the most part, are dry & shabby and the most easy improvement that can be made upon this barony is by head dikes & march dikes betwixt every farm, as formerly mentioned in the barony of Ballquhidder.
If the tenants could be persuaded to change their stocking and put sheep upon their hill pasture, it would turn greatly to their advantage, and only stock what is below their head dikes with black cattle, by which means they would have much better cattle than they now have, provided they were not allowed to overstock.
All the ground in those highland parts which a plough or spade can get at has been already tilled up and laboured, so that no advance of this kind can be proposed. The only substantial improvement that can be attempted is to put their grass grounds to better avail.
The farm of Bochastle at the east end of this barony is a very fine subject and might be greatly improved both for grass and corn. It lyes very convenient for the limestone quarry at Leany and at Tarndownan, neither of the two being a mile distant from it. The village of Callendar, likewise, is scarce a mile from this farm. It's of a pretty large extent and scarce one peice of the farm land but a plough might run upon. This farm ought to be inclosed and regularity subdivided and, as it is seen from all hands, ought to be a pattern farm. What plain ground there is in the other farms is of as good soil as what is here, but this is the only farm in the barony where there is such a scope of well lying ground as would bear an extensive improvement.
The houses in this barony are pretty much the same as in the barony of Callendar.
(p. 24 blank)
(p 25) Of that Part of the Estate of Perth in the Parishes of Comrie and Strowan
The estate of Perth in the parish of Comrie and a small part thereof which is in the parish of Strowan but annexed quoad sacra to the parish of Comrie lyes in the shire of Perth and is so interspersed with other people's properties that it is not easy making out any regular account of its extent.
That part of it which lyes upon the north side of the Loch & Water of Earn extends from east to west about seven miles and about two miles from south to north, where the hills of it march with Breadalbane.
That part of it upon the south side of Loch & Water of Earn extends about five miles from east to west and about two miles from south to north, where hills divide it from Glenartney.
The lands of
Glenartney ly upon both sides of the Water of Ruchill and are about four miles
The parish church is situated very near the east end of the parish, so that the westmost part of the estate of Perth lyes full eight miles distant from it.
Mr Robert Menzies, minister of Comrie, is past fourty years of age, preaches the one half (p 26) of the day in English and the other half in the Irish language. The stipend paid him out of the estate of Perth is £24. 6. 7 2/12 sterling.
The parochial school is at Comrie. Mr. JohnBlair, schoolmaster, aged about 36.
There are two charity schools within the estate of Perth in this parish, one in Glenartney and the other at the east end of Lochearn.
Mr. James Porteous is minister of Strown parish, preaches wholly in the English language. The stipend paid to him out of that part of the Estate of Perth in the parish of Strowan is £3.8.4. sterling of money & 2 b. 2 p, meall. He is about 40 years of age.
The nearest seat of a Sherriff-Substitute is at Perth, from whence he comes monthly to Crieff and holds courts. Killine is rather nearer to it than Perth, but it belongs to the district of Crieff There is likewise a prison at Crieff, but very insufficient.
There are no Justices of the Peace residing within the parish. Mr. Campbell of Edinchip is the nearest. .Justice of the Peace at the west end, at the distance of three miles, & Mr. Campbell of Achallader, at the distance of six miles. Towards the east end there are several Justices of the Peace who live within four or five miles of it: Sir Patrick Murray of Ochtertyre, Mr. Campbell of Monzie, Mr. Campbell of Barcaldine, Captain Drummond of Pitkellony & Captain John Menzies att Fearntown
The laws prohibiting the Highland dress & wearing of arms have taken effectual place in this part of the country.
No depredations or thefts have been committed on these lands of late years. They were wont in former years to be in a miserable state and were almost ruined by having their effects stollen from them, and particularity so in the interim betwixt the end of the late Rebellion and a factor's being put upon the estate, and for some short time after that these depredations were continued. The two farms called Ardveicks, which are the westmost belonging to the estate of Perth in this parish, suffered greatly. The factor, after a great deal of trouble, recovered some part of the effects stollen from them and had one of the thieves banished. The other parts of these effects have not, nor ever will be, recovered.
(p. 27) No thieves residing upon this part of the estate of Perth. There are indeed two that are under bad characters, but nothing could be made out against them. One of them is now very old and not able to do any mischief, tho' he were willing, but by his council. However, the factor took his lands from him and gave it to one of his sons whose character is very well established as ane honest man. The other is called a gentleman and head of a small tribe He had a considerable possession which he subsett at some advantage to himself. The factor could get nothing made out against him, although every body suspected him, but in order to disgrace him he took his possession from him and sett it to his own subtenants at the rents payable by them to him, and for which the factor now accounts. The factor, upon his promising unexceptionable behavious, gave him a fourth part of his own farm in cowise with his own subtenants, since which time he has heard no complaints against him.
There are several leases upon this part of the estate for 19 years from different periods, as 1740, 1744 & 1745.
James Drummond in Ardrostowns has a lease thereof and of a small farm called Kenmore, adjoining to Ardrostowns, for 19 years after Whitsunday 1740, and resides thereon.
Patrick Mcllchonnell has a lease of a fourth of Meikleport for 19 years from Whitsunday 1742, and resides thereon.
James Stewart, now at west end of Lochearn, has a lease of the town & lands of Little Port, commencing at Whitsunday 1745 and is for 16 years, which he has wholly subsett to John Mcllchonnel, who lives thereon.
Hugh Campbell has a lease of Easter Dundurn, commencing at Whitsunday 1740, and lives thereon.
John Drummond in Maillermore has a lease thereof and of Dalness, adjoining to it, and also of Doniera. commencing at Whitsunday 1740. He lives upon the farm of Maillermore.
John McGrouther, as heir to Alexander McGrouther, deceased, has a lease of Dalchrune, commencing at Whitsunday 1744, and lives upon the farm.
(p. 28) Charles Farquharson, who is Roman Catholick, has a lease of a fourth of Dalchlatick, commencing at Whitsunday 1745. He has left the possession and subsett the whole to Donald McLaren.
Patrick Drummond of Drummonerinoch has a liferent lease of the lands of Dalchonzie and lives upon the farm.
Donald McFarlane has a minute of tack of a fourth of Dalchlatick in Glenartney and lives there, commencing at Whitsunday 1745 & Alexander McNiven has a minute of tack of the Mill of Dalchlatick commencing at Whitsunday 1745, and lives upon his possession.
There is no limestone burn't for laying upon land in this part of the estate of Perth as yet. There is a limestone rock in Ardveich, the westmost farm in this parish belonging to the estate of Perth, but it lies a good way up into the hills and firing is not very convenient to it. This is all the limestone as yet discovered in this part of the estate.
They sow bear and oats & lintseed, of which there is a good deal raised, and they now plant some potatoes.
There are no grass seeds sow'n here, but the tenants make all the hay they can from ley ground & from small spots of meadow ground.
James Drummond in Ardrostowns has inclosed a part of his farm and Mr. Drummond of Drummonerinoch has put a very good stone dike about the lower part of his farm of Dalchonzie, and these are all the inclosures upon this part of the estate.
The black cattle & horses over most part of this parish are bad, except in Glenartney, where they are tolerably good and may sell, as the markets go at present, from 40 to 45 shillings.
The tenants of this parish consume most of the produce of their milk in their own families, except in Glenartney, where they make a good deal of butter and cheese and send to market. Their cheese is remarkably good
There are four milns in this parish, one in Glentarken, one in Dundurn, one at Dalchonzie and one at Dalchlatick, which are fully sufficient to answer the purposes of this part of the estate.
(p. 29) The woods on the estate of Perth in the parish of Comrie are very considerable. One parcel was sold to one William Drummond in 1744 at 26, 600 merks scots, and there was lately another parcel sold to James Drummond of Croftnappock, son to the said William Drummond, by order of the Right Honourable the Barons of Exchequer, at £1800 sterling Ten years was the time allowed for cutting each of these parcels and a proportional share of the price to be paid yearly
The new cutt woods have been extremely well kept and are in a thriving condition. They are almost altogether oak and are cutt for the sake of the bark always when they are 26 or 27 years old, which is looked upon in this country as the most profitable method of selling woods, because of the difficulty of carrying timber to market upon account of the great distance from any port.
There is likewise a small wood in Glenartney upon the farm of Maillermore & Dalness, which may be worth about £40 or £50 sterling.
When the woods cutt since the 1748 were enclosing, the factor caused take in within the enclosure considerable peices of ground which were never inclosed for wood before and upon which a stool of oak appeared, which is now in a thriving condition and will make a good addition to the woods at next cutting. It's to be observed these peices of ground were good for nothing else and would not have yielded any thing near so much in any other way.
There is no sort of commerce or any manufactures carried on in this part of the estate other than spinning of linen yarn, of which they sell large quantities in the town of Crieff, and is the staple commodity they have for making of money.
The men are generally employed here in looking after their cattle, labouring their farms and assisting the women to dress their lint. There are severals of them that have begun now to slaughter some sheep and beeves and carry them to Crieff every Thursday, which is the weekly market day there, to sell. This continues with them from the end of June to about Candlemass.
There are a great many maltmakers & distillers of aquavitae in the parish of Comrie, but very (p. 30) few of them on the estate of Perth. There are two or three bad changehouses that are not worth the mentioning.
The prevailing names in this are McLarens, Carmichaels, Fergusons, McGregor-Drummonds & McNivens.
The English language has made great progress in this parish and the people in general are quiet & honest.
The roads upon the side of Lochearn were hitherto extremely bad and almost inpassable. The parishes of Comrie & Ballquhidder have been set to work upon them these two or three years by-gone and they have now made a tolerable good road along the side of the loch that will admitt of wheel carriages, and if the government would give 25 or 30 of the military for one season, they, with the assistance of the country, would make it a very good road
There are three or four very rough rapid waters upon this road that have no bridges on them. One arch would be sufficient for each of them and two of them would require but small arches.
There is great conveniency of stone for building of them and plenty of lime to be had in the neighbourhood upon Mr. Campbell of Fonnab’s estate. These waters are impassable in time of the least speat.
The road in to Glenartney is at present very bad and is inaccessible to any sort of carriages. but is not difficult to be repaired There are two or three bridges very much wanted in this part of the country, particularly at Achinner, where they are hemmed in betwixt two waters, and it has been known that dead corpses have been kept for some days without burial when there was a speat in these waters and they could not got over them to the place of interment. Those waters, beside the inconveniencies and interruptions to trading and commerce, are very dangerous, and the parish minister says he has been frequently in danger of being drowned on them when he has been going about examining his parishioners.
This part of the estate is generally ill served in firing.
The only place in this parish for planting a village in is Meikleport and the east end of Lochearn. It is nine or ten miles distant from Crieff. There is a considerable quantity of plain, arable ground in it, which would admitt of many divisions to accomodate the supernumerary hands on the rest of the lands.
(p. 31) And many people think there should be a new erection of a church here, and a minister, for the benefit of the inhabitants on both side of Lochearn and other parts of the parish of Comrie that ly at a distance from the parish church, and for the east end of the parish of Ballquhidder, and that the minister should preach every third Sunday at the west end of Lochearn, which is in the parish of Ballquhidder but lyes at some distance from the parish church.
There is plenty of stone for buildings of all kinds, lime & timber very convenient to it, and a slate quarry very near.
Lochearn would likewise be of some advantage to a village here because of the water carriage for transporting of the lime and timber, and likewise for the great quantity of fishes that are in it. The only inconveniency is the distance of the firing, but even in this respect it is in the same situation with most other parts of the highlands of Perthshire, and their peats, tho' at a distance, are very good.
All the carriages of bark in this parish should be reserved and if the tenants are to be exeemed from all other carriages, the bark carriages should be augmented.
The soil in this part of the country is gravelly, but when duely manured yields very good oats & barley.
And what occurrs with respect to improvements here, as in all Highland countries, is that the most substantial and will soonest take effect is inclosing what is valuable of the farms with stone dikes, as mentioned for Ballquhidder parish, and to encourage the raising of more flax, and causing them plant potatoes in their outfields, by which means these outfields would soon come to yield as good crops as their infield or croft grounds. They draw water on their lands generally at present, where water is to be had, and from it they have their best crops, especially lint.
The hills of this part of the estate are extremely barren, except in Glenartney, where the hills produce pretty good grass, especially Achnashelloch, Dalchlatick, Achinner & the Forrest. But these hills ly so high that there is little good got of them, except for four months in the year, so (p. 32) that there is no great improvement can be made upon them but to make the most of them during the time the cattle can stand on them.
There might be some improvement made on that part of the Forrest called the Hollow of Airkney by building a dike at each end of it, which would make it much easier kept, the whole of that part of the Forrest being at present liable to a great expence for meat & wages to herds to keep the grass.
That part of the Forrest which is kept under the deer is of no great value, being the tops of the hills, and of no great extent. This serves them all summer and when the storms come on they fall down to the lower parts of the Forrest, from where, long before that time, the black cattle are carried off, and there they make a shift to live all winter, being a hardy breed, tho' no other kind of cattle could stand there.
The expence of the forresters, as lately circumscribed by the factor, is little more than what other common servants would expect and they [have] other ways of good service beside taking care of the deer. There are two of them and both firmly attached to the government, and both have ventured their lives before now in His Maiestv's service.
Their business is to be constantly traveling over all the hills of these countries and their residence is in the center betwixt the parishes of Comrie, Ballquhidder & Callendar. Forresters are generally as careful & fond of preserving deer as nurses would their children and cannot bear to see any body carrying fire arms, and the inhabitants of the countries all round them are so sensible of this that they never do carry any.
By both the ends of Lochearn and through the Forrest of Glenartney used to be the common road for thieves & disorderly people to come from the Highlands into the skirts of the low country to steal, and it may be asserted that the character these two men have got for activity & dilligence has done great service to stop this course.
The houses on this part of the estate are generally built with dry stone and are tolerably good.
…sense, sound principles & knowlege.
(p. 63) There should be a minister settled at the east end of Lochearn, who should preach every third Sunday at the west end, and another about the Bridge of Ardoch, half way betwixt Muthill & Dunblane, and these are thought to be all the settlements of that kind necessary in those parts. There should likewise be schools settled at these places.
There are of charity schools upon the estate of Perth, one at Auchtermuthill in the parish of Muthill, one at Dundurn & one in Glenartney, both in the parish of Comrie.
Schools wanted are, one at Lix in the parish of Killine, one at Cult, the eastermost farm belonging to the estate of Perth in the barony of Ballquhidder, one upon the side of Lochearn in the parish of Comrie, one at Glenlichorn or Blairinroar in the head of the parish of Muthill, one at Kinbuck and one, as formerly observed, in the head of Strathgartney.
There is at present a parochial school at the Kirktoun of Callendar. The schoolmaster there is a man of good sense, well affected to His Majesty's person & government, and every way fit for his business. He has a pretty throng school and manages it better than could well be expected from the endeavours of any one man, and makes very good scholars. His salary is extremely small and no allowance for an assistant. It would be of great advantage to that place and to the whole neighbourhood if he had a better salary and a fund for an assistant. He has no school house, but is obliged to keep his school in the church, summer & winter. There are great complaints of the abuses the boys committ upon the seats. He has an offer of a better place and no doubt will accept unless his salary is bettered where he is.
The usefulness and advantages of having a good school att Crieff has been already set forth in the report upon the barony of Milnab .
There are few or no tenants upon the estate of Perth but what are resident upon their possession. Those who are not have been formerly mentioned and are: Alexander Stewart of Annat, tacksman of Offrans, Coshambie &c. in the barony of Strathgartney; Captain James Campbell of Stronslany, tacksman of Tombea in the barony of Callendar ; James Stewart, at head of Lochearn, tacksman ol Littleport in the parish of Comrie ; William Dow, in Teinamoan. tacksman of Achnashelloch in the parish of Strowan ; Charles Farquharson, tacksman of Dalchlatick in Comrie parish, now grieve or factor to Mr. Drummond of Blair ; John McGrouther, residing in Cambushinnie, possessor of Straid in the parish of Muthill; and the drovers or grasiers who possess graseings where there are (p. 64) no places of residence for any body. The heirs of Margaret Stewart, who, as representing her, succeed to her lease of the town and lands of Greenock in the barony of Callendar, reside at or near Down in Monteith.
There are no tenants upon the estate of Perth that in consideration of the farms they hold there pay any rent, gratuity, service or prestation of any kind to any person or persons whatever further than what is contained in the judicial rental and excepting what is paid by subtenants & cottars to the principal tenants & tacksmen themselves.
The tenants of the estate of Perth were formerly liable for a great many services, such as shearing, leading of corn, plowing & harrowing of ground, and several others of that sort tedious to mention, which in all the old tacks or leases are brought in in a clause obliging the tenants to "services conform to use and wont". As all these services were entirely arbitrary and no otherways. regulated than at the proprietor's direction, there is only brought into the rental the carriages of bark, coal & peats, the extent whereof are known and are particularily pactioned & ascertained when the tenant enters to the possession of his farm, all which carriages of bark, coal & peats should be reserved in granting of new leases and afterwards made use of or not as the Commissioners should judge proper.
The tenants were likewise in use of carrying lime, which should also be reserved and may be found useful for many purposes that will necessarily occur for the advantage of the estate.
Publick carriages, such as to kirks & manses, they are liable to, of course, and the services to milns may be reckoned in that class, as it is for their own emolument and advantage. There is another thing a certain number of days ought to be reserved for, and that is when they may be called upon to repair any damnages done by waters by breaking suddenly out upon the adjacent grounds, of which there are many instances upon the Perth estate and which there's no repairing of without the assistance of a great many hands.
Any man who is factor upon the estate of Perth will find upon trial that Crieff is the most proper place for his residence as factor. The most considerable part of the estate lyes near or at no great distance from Crieff and there is scarce a day but there are people there from the more distant parts of the estate, and particularily every Thursday, which is the weekly market day there, by…
(p. 75) Barony of Strathyre
James Stewart tenant there, merits the highest encouragement from the Board. He had built a very neat dwelling house divided with brick partitions, glass windows, floors laid with dale, good; sufficient office houses and has likewise enclosed his farm with a sufficient dyke. He has also built a boat at his own expense for transporting limestone from Laggan. Lays on his farm yearly 10 chalders of lime shells. He makes no difference betwixt his outfield and infield. When he leaves out his ground, he sows it with grass seed. He summer fallows. He proposes this year to enclose and bring in 7 bolls sowing of ground never before cultivated.
Mungo Campbell has built a very good house which he says cost upward of £50. Is building head dyke. There is a great deal of fine ground belonging to this farm destroyed by the river.
One half of their head dyke finished
Have built upwards of 80 rood of dykeing. Deserve encouragement, as they were the first builders of dykes in that country.
Is blowing stones to clear his ground & enclose. A wood upon this farm ready for cutting; 25 years since last cut.
(p. 75) Parish of Comry
A highland country. Their cattle and sheep not good. They ruin their stocking by summer grasing oxen from the low country. There is a great quantity of ground capable of improvement which now consists of hanging, spouty soill and bears a coarse, blew grass. I should propose to encourage by premium their sowing potatoes in the lazy-bed way and cause tham fill up the ditches with stones and some heath a-top to prevent the earth from mixing with the stones and then plow it.
They water in this barony but injudicially. Their usual way of croping their ground is: infield, 2 years oats, one barley; outfield, 3 years in, 4 out. By a speat last year the bridge of Dalclathick was demolished. The sucken find very great difficulty to get over to the mill, the Water of Ruchill being very rough & stony and in the least speat unpassable. I humbly think it would be necessary either to rebuild the bridge or remove the mill to Culnacary, which would be in the midle of the sucken and better supplied with water. There is none of the sucken belonging to this mill on the same side of the river except Dalclathick, possessed by General Graeme, who has turned his whole farm into grass. He is very willing to part with the mill. I shall point out on the map the situation.
The Burn of Aut & Cask [ ? Allt na Gaisge] hurts several farms. The late proprietor I understand, (p. 76) proposed to divide it in the hill and cause part of it run to the Water of Allan. There is a limestone quarry lately discovered at Maillers More. I tried the stone with aqua fortis. It promises well. Some of the tenants propose using it next season. Some of them are beginning to inclose. General Graeme has entirely inclosed Dalclathick and is building a house; will cost some 100 pounds. Marches are cleared in this parish. Mailers Four, carrying on a march dyke with Mailers McNab, want to oblige that farm to build half dyke with them.
I am ordered to report as to the value of this farm, a person having offered to advance the rent. By what I can understand there are many better pennyworths on the estates. If the Board would set up their farms to the best bidders they would get people to offer double value to get possession and then plague the Board for a deduction. The farms in this part of the estate were doubled in the year 1744 and several have given in petitions claiming a deduction of rent. However, as all the farms are to be brought to an adequate rent, I shall be able to answer this more fully after next survey.
There is a petition given craving the Board to be at the expence of carrying in the Burn of Boldachan into the Earn where it would not touch their farm. I examined their proposal on the spot. Shall show the situation on the map and give my reasons pro & con.
John Drummond has built a good house. Can't inclose, as the marches betwixt his farm and Garichrew (p 77) are not cleared. The woods upon this farm and Mowzie [Meuvie or Moevie] ready for cutting, but would interfere with Graeme's bargain.
There is a great deal of fine wood upon the side of this loch. The country is entirely highlands, but their cattle not good, being a smooth-haired kind not proper for the country. Would be proper to encourage bringing bulls from the Isle of Sky. Their utensils of husbandry not good. They make use of currahs and the broad plow. Upon the farm of Ardveich there is a good limestone quarry, wrought in the time of the late proprietor. The quarry is a mile from the loch.
Upon Mr. Campbell of Auchliner's ground at the west end of the loch there is plenty of fine limestone. Humbly think it would be of great consequence to encourage at first by a premium of so much per boll the importation of limestone to the east end of the loch, which would supply a great part of the estate of Perth with that usefull manure. There would be found such a demand that the undertakers would find it their advantage to continue it. There are few improvements carrying on here. The people of Ardveich have built 6 roods of dykeing.
Barony of Lix
Mr James Stewart is minister of Killine and is above 40 years of age, preaches for the most part in the Irish language and there is £4.5.6 4/12 sterling of stipend pd out of the Barony of Lix.