The Battle of Altimarlach

THE BATTLE OF ALTIMARLACH: A BALLAD. ‘Twas morn; from rustic cot and grange The cock’s shrill clarion rung: And fresh on every sweet wild flower The pearly dew-drop hung. Given up to thoughtless revelry, In Wick lay Sinclair’s band, When suddenly the cry arose, “Glenorchy’s close at hand!” For now the Campbell’s haughty chief The […]

A Plaintive Harvest

THE CLEARANCE SONG. From Lochourn to Glenfinnan the gray mountains ranging, Naught falls on the eye but the changed and the changing; From the hut by the lochside, the farm by the river, Macdonalds and Cameron pass—and for ever. The flocks of one stranger the long glens are roaming, Where a hundred bien homesteads smoked bonny at […]

Cailleach nan Cruachan

The Witch of Ben Cruachan. On the top of Ben Cruachan is the spring from which Loch Awe was filled, and this is how they say the event happened:–Aged Bera lived in the cave of the Great Rock. She was a daughter of Grenan the Wise. For many ages her ancestors inhabited that country–a princely family, […]

Feadan Dubh

THE BLACK CHANTER OF CLAN CHATTAN. AMONG the many interesting historical relics carefully treasured at Cluny Castle in Badenoch—the Seat of the Chief of Clan Chattan—is the Black Chanter or Feadan Dubh, of the Clan, on the possession of which the prosperity of the House of Cluny is supposed to depend. Of the many singular […]

Settling Ye Highlands

OVERTOUR FOR SETTLING YE HIGHLANDS (1664). Seing all the principall theevs & recetters in the Highlands of Scotland does ather actuallie duell or constantly haunts & ar harboured in Glencoa, Ranoch, Brae lochaber, Glengarie & Lochaber & adjacent Glens, uher all depredations ar caried to ther disposed of & all Murtherers & persons guiltie of […]

A Strange Reflux

This contemptuous loathing lasted till the year 1745, and was then for a moment succeeded by intense fear and rage. England, thoroughly alarmed, put forth her whole strength. The Highlands were subjugated rapidly, completely, and for ever. During a short time the English nation, still heated by the recent conflict, breathed nothing but vengeance. The […]

The Only Way of Accompting

The Earl of Breadalbane, a man of great power in the Highlands, and head of a numerous clan of the Campbells, was intrusted with a sum of money, which some authors call 20, and some 12,000 pounds, to be distributed among the chieftains, on the condition of their submission to the existing government, and keeping […]

The Hills Keep Watch

[W]hen an estate is so heavily burdened by an accumulation of debts inherited by its present possessor from the unwisdom of their forefathers. A point is ever reached … when the interest on money borrowed can no longer be paid and the lands themselves have to be sold. This in brief is what had happened […]

Haisted with Expeditioune

[to the Captain of Dunstaffnage] Loving Cusin, Sieing the bark is come heir with the meal I desire now that you send onelie about threttie seckis alongis in Auchnabrekis boat and lat all the rest remaine till my farder ordours. In the meantime haist heir all the amunitione, powder, lead and matches that come fra […]

Bruce’s Siege of Dunstaffnage

De conflictu regis Roberti contra Ergadienses Eodem anno [1308] infra octavas Ascencionis beatae Virginis Mariae idem rex Ergadiensis devicit in medio Ergadiae et totam terram sibi subegit, ducem eorum nomine Alexandrum de Argadia fugientem ad castrum de Dunstafinch per aliquod tempus inibi obsedit, qui eidem regi Castrum reddidit et sibi homagium facere recusans, dato salvo […]

Flame of God

ST. BRIGET OF THE SHORES I have heard many names of St. Briget, most beloved of Gaelic saints, with whom the month of February is identified . . . the month of “Bride min, gentle St. Bride” . . . Brighid boidheach Muime Chriosd, Bride the Beautiful, Christ’s Foster Mother . . . but there are […]