Page images
PDF
[ocr errors]

within,

exačt distance between them is 9 feet 5 inches. Tradition also mentions his height to have been above 9 feet. He went with Lord Caithness, &c. to the Orkneys, where he, as well as the Earl and his son, were killed. This happened in the year 1530. The cause of the said rebellion was this –In the year 1530, King James V. granted the islands of Orkney to his natural brother James Earl of Murray, and his heirs-male. The inhabitants took umbrage that an over-lord should be interposed between them and the sovereign, and rose in arms under the command of Sir James Sinclair of Sandy. Lord Sinclair Baron of Roslin, and Sinclair Earl of Caithness, were sent with a party of men to quell the rebels; but the Islanders defeated them, and the Earl with his son, and William More Sutherland, who accompanied them, were killed. The Caithness men who survived, carried back the Earl of Caithness’s head, to be interred in his Lordships burial place in Caithness.

* * The old castle at Achaistal was built and possessed by John Beg, third son to the Earl of Sutherland. In those times parties of robbers or freebooters used to infest this county. A party of these came to John Beg’s house, and insisted that he should pay a certain sum in name of tribute to them, otherwise they would plunder his house, and carry away his cattle. John Beg seemed very passive to them, and entertained them very sumptuously, until he got them all intoxicated, by strong ale mixed with the juice of mightshade, when he ordered them to be conveyed to the upper apartments of his castle. He then removed his family and furniture, and put them on board a vessel at the water mouth of Berrydale; and having collected a great quantity of straw and brush-wood into the lower part of his house, he set fire to it, which soon destroyed the robbers, and consumed all the castle, excepting a part of the walls. John Beg returned, with his family, to Sutherland. Tradition gives no account of the time in which these transačtions happened.

within, that a person of an ordinary fize may almost stand erect. The walls are well built, and covered with flags.

Caves, &c.—A great many caves are to be met with on this coast, some of which run up so far under ground, that none have been able to get to the end of them. They are inhabited by vast numbers of seals, many of which are killed by the inhabitants in the month of November, in their subterraneous habitations. The employment, however, is dangerous; for should the wind blow hard from the sea, these adventurers are in danger of being lost.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

... would be of great consequence to the inhabitants. If they

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

* As the boundaries between Caithness and Sutherland lie in this parish, it may not be improper to give the following account of them, as inserted in M'Farlane's Geographical Collections, (A. M. S. in the Advocates Library) vol. I p. 198, where there is a description of the parish of Latheron.

“The hill of the Ord is that which divides Sutherland and “Caithness. The march is a small rivulet, called the Burn of the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

*** whole face of the hill to the top of the rock has been covered

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“niently ride it abreast. A little to the east of the Burn of the Ord, which is the march, there is a pleasant green moat, called “ the Dunglass, as high as the top of the rock. Since the “heath was burnt, passengers, who observe, may see the vestiges “of a ditch, digged up from the said Dun, all along the top “ of the rock, until it come to a burn, near the top of the Ord, “ called Aultnuder, a small rivulet rising from the morasses “about a mile above the top of the foresaid rock. The top of “ the Ord is large 9 miles of bad road to the south-west of the st church.” This seems to put the matter beyond all doubt, in addition to which it may be observed, that the mountain of the Ord is expressly included in the charters of Langwell. The people of Sutherland are ready to acknowledge that the burn of the Ord is the boundary, but some in the neighbourhood pretend, that they have acquired a servitude of common over the ground in the neighbourhood, though fituated in the county of Caithness. But it seems impossible that charters, resiriđed to land, in the county of Sutherland, can be the means of acquiring even a right of common, over lands in another county, that of Caithness. The Burn of the Ord is certainly the natural division between the two counties; and until the roads were made, the cattle and sheep of Sutherland could hardly get into Caithness at that place. When the roads were made, it was agreed by both parties to begin at the burn of the Ord, as the point of division between the two counties. The point was incidentally decided at the Circuit Court, when the bridge was ordered to be built over the Burn of the Ord, as being the boundary. Within these few years, Mr Howison, who rents the kelp shores on the east coast of Sutherland, as is asserted on the authority of Mr Gordon, late of Ausdale, quarrelled his men for going farther than the Burn of the Ord, being beyond their right and privilege. Many old men now living can sufficiently prove the boundary in question. William Campbell, late of Ausdale, an old man above 80, knew it well.

NUM.

« PreviousContinue »