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1791 - 99 - Page 419 - NUMBER XLIII
PARISH OF DUNNICHEN
(COUNTY OF FORFAR)
(Author not recorded, but usually the minister of the parish.)
Situation, Extent and Name.
This parish is situated in the county of Forfar. It is 15 miles to the north-east of Dundee, 9 north-west of Arbroath, and 3½ south-east from Forfar. It is bounded on the east by the parish of Forfar; on the north by Rescobie; on the south by Carmyllie; and on the south and east by the parishes of Kirkden and Rescobie. It contains about 3,200 Scots acres. It takes its name from the largest hill in the parish. Dun, a Gaelic word, is invariably applied in Scotland to hills on which some castle, or place of strength, has stood; Ichen is unknown, but probably a proper name. On the south side of the hill is an eminence, now called Cashells, or Castle-hill, with visible remains of the :foundation of some ancient building. The only other hill in this parish is called Dumbarrow, probably from having been the burial place of some person of eminence. A rock on its north side is still called Arthur's Seat. This hill is not so high as that of Dunnichen. The hill of Dunnichen was lately measured with great geometrical accuracy. The mill stream of Muirton fulling mill, at the base of the bill, is 200 feet above low water mark in the harbour of Arbroath; and the height from that . .
. . that stream to the highest part of the road over the hill is 443.40 feet, above which the highest summit of the hill may rise about 80 or 100 feet; so that the height of the hill is about 700, or 720 feet above the level of the sea. The hill of Dunnichen runs about 3 miles, in a south-east direction; its summit forming the northern boundary of the parish. The parish extends, from east to west, about 4 miles, and from south to north, in one place, about 3 miles, narrowing a little to the eastward.
Division of Property, and Description of Soil and Surface. -
The soil, in general, is fertile, producing wheat, flax, oats, and barley. The seasons are late, on account of its elevation. One field is now sown with wheat near the summit of the hill of Dunnichen, and at least 500 feet above the level of the sea; no small proof of the possibility of extending agriculture successfully on the sides of the high hills of Scotland. Dunnichen, containing about 50 acres, is in the centre of the parish. The moss of it was drained about 30 years ago, and now affords a large supply of peats: In all probability it will furnish the neighbourhood with fuel for about 30 years longer, and may then be made a rich meadow. The rest of the fuel is coal, brought by land from the port of Arbroath; and a small supply from extensive fir plantations, about 30 years old.
Rivers, &c. - This parish contains no river nor lake. It is watered by one small brook, called Vinny, some say Finny, or Attle, which takes its rise in a neighbouring moss. It runs from west to east, along the south base of the hill of Dunnichen, and in its course turns one flax mill, and one mill for washing yarn. It joins Lunan water about 4 miles below. The burn of Craichy (Craichie), which forms one of its sources, turns a corn mill. It contains some trout, much diminished of late in their number, by flax being steeped in and near its stream. A small brook runs out of the moss of Dunnichen, and falls into Vinny at the eastern extremity of the parish.
Manufactures, Villages and Fairs. - Many weavers, principally of coarse linen, inhabit this parish. (Old photograph of a handloom weaver.) An attempt is now making to introduce the manufacture of coarse cottons. Dunnichen is itself a very small village, consisting of the houses of the proprietor, the manse, a public house, and the houses of a few mechanics and labourers, not exceeding 14 in all. To the eastward is the village of Drimmitormont (Drummietermont), a very old village, inhabited by weavers, each of whom occupy six or eight acres of land. In the year 1788, a farm of 66 acres, called Letham, has been laid out by the proprietor of Dunnichen for a village. Streets have been marked out on a regular plan, and lots of any extent are let upon perpetual leases, at the rate of £2 an acre. It contains already about 20 families, and new houses are rising on it daily, the situation being favourable for such a plan, by having Vinny water on the south, the perennial brook of Dunnichen moss running through it, plenty of freestones on the farm itself, and thriving woods and a moss in its neighbourhood. Here a fair or market has lately begun to be held, once a fortnight, on Thursdays, for the sale of cloth, yarn, and flax; and £400 or £500 are . .
sometimes returned in one market-day. An old established fair is annually held at Dunnichen, on the 2nd Wednesday of March, old style, called the fair of St. Causnan. It is a toy fair, at which neither horses, corn, nor cattle, are sold.
Church and Stipend. - The church is small and old. It was dedicated to St. Causnan. Them are some doubts, even in the Popish calendar, of the existence of this saint, although a large well near the church also bears his name; and the falls of snow, which generally happen in March all over Great Britain, is in this neighbourhood called St. Causnan's Flaw. The minister's stipend is about £70 a year, paid chiefly in oat-meal and barley, besides a glebe of 4 arable acres, and 2 acres of grass ground.
School. - There it a parish school here. The schoolmaster's salary is £8 : 6s. : 0d. yearly, with a house, school-house, and kitchen-garden. The present schoolmaster, by his assiduous application to the duties of his office, has raised a considerable school, having seldom fewer than 50 or 60 scholars, whom he teaches to read and write English, arithmetic and Latin, when any of the children require that branch of education.
State of the Poor, Parochial Funds and Records. - There may be about a dozen of poor and indigent persons belonging to this parish, principally reduced to poverty by old age, or distempers. A sufficient fund for their maintenance arises from the voluntary contributions of the parishioners, collected on Sundays, and at the time of the sacrament. It amounts at present to about £20 Sterling a year, and is yearly increasing; and from it a reserve of £62 : 1s. : 10d. has been made as a provision for bad seasons. Of these poor people some receive . .
. . receive a quarterly, and some a weekly allowance, according as their necessaries require. The fund is managed by the clergyman and kirk-session, who being intimately acquainted with the circumstances of every poor person in the parish, are enabled thereby to proportion the supply to their wants and exigencies.
This parish affords one, among perhaps many instances in Scotland, how safely the maintenance of the poor may be left to the humane and charitable disposition of the people, and how unnecessary it is to call in positive laws to their assistance; for, if such laws provide funds for maintaining the poor, they also provide poor for consuming the funds.
Population. - This parish has much increased in its population since the returns made to Dr. Webster about 40 years ago, and it still continues on the increase. At the above mentioned period, it contained only 612 inhabitants; whereas it appears, from a survey made last year, that their number amounts to 872, whereof 75 belong to the anti-burgher meetings of Forfar and Dumbarrow. An abstract of the marriages, baptisms, and burials for the last ten years, is subjoined.
Years. Baptisms. Marriages. Burials. 1781 - 19 10 14 1782 - 19 15 20 1783 - 29 9 12 1784 - 22 5 13 1785 - 25 12 30 1786 - 24 7 45 1787 - 29 10 14 <424> 1788 - 22 4 18 1789 - 33 14 10 1790 - 25 3 14 TOTAL - 237 89 190 Yearly average 24 9 19
As the disproportion between the death of males and females appears somewhat extraordinary, it is inserted from the grave-digger's Report.
Men. Women* 1781 11 3 1782 18 2 1783 9 3 1784 11 2 1785 27 3 1786 40 5 1787 12 2 1788 18 0 1789 7 3 TOTAL 153 23
Disproportion nearly 6-5/8ths to one.
Mode of Cultivation and Produce. - This parish, like the rest of the country, has of late received considerable improvements in agriculture. About 30 years ago, the old system began to be altered. Leases, which formerly were few, and seldom granted for a longer term than 9 years, have lately been . .
. . been granted for 19 years, and the life of the tenant, and some for longer and more indefinite terms. On the principal estate in the parish called Dunnichen all servitudes were abolished, viz. thirlage to the mill and blacksmith's shops, carriages, and bonnage, a word of Gothic extraction, which means shearing corn. Money-rent was substituted in the place of oat-meal, barley, kane-fowls*, yarn, and mill swine. The farms were inclosed with fences of free-stone. Better houses and offices were built. The breed of cattle and horses was improved. Turnip, potatoes, kale, and clover and rye-grass were planted and sown for winter provision. The distinction of out and infield was laid aside, and all the fields were cropt (planted with crops) and cultivated, in due rotation. But these improvements were much facilitated by means of a valuable manure which began to be used about that time in this and the neighbouring parishes, viz. shell-marl, to which the late considerable increase of the value of the lands may in a great measure be ascribed. This valuable manure being found in greater plenty in this neighbourhood than any where else in the kingdom, or even perhaps in the known world, it may not be thought impertinent to describe it more particularly. About two miles north from Dunnichen. there are a chain of lochs which abound with marl, viz. the lochs of Forfar, Restenneth, Rescobie, and Balgavies. In these lochs, it lay long an inaccessible treasure, till, about forty-five years ago, Captain Strachan, proprietor of the loch of Balgavies, began to drag it, much in the same manner that ballast is dragged from the bed of the river Thames. This he performed with so much success, as not only amply to supply his own farms, but to have a surplus for his neighbours. His example was soon . .
(*Part of the rent was formerly paid in fowls, which were called kane.)
. . followed on the other lochs; and, about 30 years ago the late Earl of Strathmore, by means of a drain, lowered the surface of the water of the loch of Forfar, thereby opening a still more extensive supply of marl; and, in the year 1790, Mr. Dempster of Dunnichen drained the loch and moss of Restenneth, by which an inexhaustible mass of shell-marl has been made accessible. Marl is sold at 8d. a boll, containing 8 solid feet, sixty bolls are commonly used for the first dressing of an acre of land. Its qualities are precisely the fame with those of lime. Which of these manures is preferable, has been long a subject of frequent dispute among the farmers; but the chemical analysis of marl shows clearly that marl is in every respect the same with lime, and possesses the additional advantage of being found in a pulverised state, and requiring no calcination previous to laying it on the land. The similarity of the two has been still farther evinced by Mr. Dempster having constructed a kiln on a plan suggested by Dr. Black* for calcining marl, which, after calcination, makes . .
(*The construction of the kiln, and method of calcining the marl, will appear from the following extract from a letter of Dr. Black's to George Dempster, Esq. dated 28th November 1789.
" There is no doubt but that such marl as you describe may be burned to very good lime, if the proper degree of heat can be applied to it. In a country where the only fuel is peat, I have no hopes of success with the Reverberatory. With such fuel, in such a furnace, it would he expensive beyond measure, and perhaps impracticable, to produce the necessary degree of heat. Neither is the experiment likely to succeed in a draw-kiln, in which to much dust and rubbish must he produced by the descent of the lime, and attrition of the masses against one another, that the passages for the air would be too much obstructed. But, in a kiln in which the masses of marl would be little disturbed, the operation might succeed very well. I would therefore prepare the marl as the harder kinds of peat are prepared in some places, by laying it, while soft, on a plot of grass ..)
. . makes a very strong cement. The calcination of marl will, it is hoped, prove an useful discovery in this neighbourhood, to which other lime must be fetched from the distance of 14 or 16 miles.
The improvements made in this parish have been principally confined to the estates of Dunnichen and Dumbarrow. Dunnichen paid, about 30 years ago, near £300 of yearly rent, . .
(. . grass, and forming it into a bed some inches thick; this bed, while drying, may he a little compacted, by beating it with the flat of the spade or shovel, and, before it be quite dry, it may be cut into pieces of the size of peats. The best kiln for burning it should have nearly the shape of a draw-kiln, or should have a much deeper cylindrical cavity than the vulgar kilns in which lime is burnt; it may be from 20 to 30 feet deep, and from 8 to 9 feet in diameter; the top of it should be covered with a dome or arch, having an opening at top, 3 feet diameter, to let out the smoke, &c. and a door in the side of this dome for introducing the materials; at the bottom, where the kiln is a little contracted, should be a grate 5 feet square, the bars of which being loose, might be drawn out occasionally. In charging this kiln, lay first 18 inches depth of peats over the whole grate, then throw in prepared marl and peats intermixed until the kiln is filled to the top, and at the top of all there should be some peats without any marl; then shut up the door at the top of the kiln with stones and mud, and throw in the kindling at the vent of the dome. The fire will be slowly communicated from the top to the bottom, so as to char the whole peats, and to expel the remains of humidity from the masses of marl; and this will be accompanied with very little consumption of the inflammable matter; but, when the whole is charred, it will begin to burn with abundance of heat, first at the bottom, and gradually upwards, until all the peats are completely consumed. Then, by drawing the bars of the grate, the kiln may be drawn. I cannot say what proportion the peats should bear to the marl, but am of opinion that a very moderate proportion way be sufficient in the middle and upper pans of the kiln. To know whether the marl is thoroughly burnt, slake the lime with water when fresh drawn from the kiln, and try if the slaked lime will dissolve in aquafortis, or spirit of salt, without effervescence.")
. . rent, in corn, money, and other articles, in kind. The farm-buildings were ruinous hovels; the ground was over-run with broom, and furz or whins, and many parts of the arable land were wet and boggy, and all without trees. It has, since that time, been drained and inclosed. Most of the muirs, which make a fifth part of the estate, have been planted with thriving timber. The fences of many of the fields are surrounded with hedge-row trees. The land has been marled. The present rents may be fully treble the former. The arable ground now lets, when out of lease, from £1 to £1 : 10s . 0d per acre. The meanest cottager is now better lodged than the former principal tenants. Wheat grows well on several of the farms. There is no where better flax, turnips, potatoes, and artificial grasses. There are several different systems of cropping the ground. The rotation of the best land is oats, flax or fallow for wheat with. dung, barley, and sown down with grass seeds, grass for the three or four following years. A second rotation is, two crops of oats, a crop of barley, a green crop, a crop of oats or barley, with dung, and sown down with grass-seeds, hay cut one year, and the grass pastured three or four. Ten bolls of wheat are raised on an acre, and sixteen stone of scutched flax*. The inclosed fields are let for 40s. or 50s. an acre for pasture, and for £5 an acre for flax. Compost dunghills are in general use, with a certain proportion of marl, about 8 or 10 bolls to an acre, which is found to answer well; and it is generally now understood that, if fields are not over-cropt, they cannot be over-marled. It is difficult to ascertain accurately the increased produce of an acre, in consequence of the improved agriculture. But it is universally allowed that the farmers were poorer when the rent of . .
(*A stone of flax is worth 12s.)
. . their land was from 4s. to 5s. an acre, than now when they pay three or four times that sum.
Air and Climate. - The air of this parish is supposed to be remarkably healthy, from the many old people in it; and the climate is nearly the same with that of all the eastern coast of the island. In the Spring, and beginning of Summer, easterly winds generally prevail after mid day, attended with chilliness, and sometimes fogs, though in a less degree than nearer the coast of the German Ocean (North Sea). The heaviest come in Autumn and Winter, from the south-east, attended by violent winds, which last sometimes two or three days, and occur twice or thrice in the year.
Antiquities. - There are only a few ancient tumuli or barrows in the
parish, which, when opened, are found to contain human bones, in rough stone coffins.
Pots of a coarse earthen ware are alto sometimes found in them. Neither coins nor arms have as yet been discovered in or near them, to
assist our conjectures as to their date. In the moss of Dunnichen
have been found very large roots of oak trees, and some horns of the red deer,
and also a stratum of coarse marl below the moss, and six feet under sand.
High Roads. - The late act obtained two years ago, for erecting turnpikes on the great roads, and for commuting into money the statute labour for improving the parochial roads, promises soon to effect a thorough reformation on the roads of this country. The commutation has nearly quadrupled the effective labour applicable to the roads, and this must be employed within the parish where it is levied. The proprietor of Dunnichen entrusts the application of the fund to the principal farmers in the parish, who are far from grudging to pay a tax from which they reap so much benefit. Many of the roads have, in the first year of the tax, been formed, and the dangerous parts amended. The sum levied in this parish is about £27 Sterling yearly, and that of the whole county exceeds £2,000 a year. Turnpike roads, between Cupar of Angus (Coupar Angus), Forfar, Arbroath, Dundee; Cupar of Angus, and Meigle, and from Dundee to Montrose, are in great forwardness, and will probably be fully completed in the course of this and the next Summer, in spite of some ancient prejudices, by which their progress has been considerably retarded.
Miscellaneous Observations. - The small-pox frequently proving fatal to the children of the parish, Dr. John Adam of Forfar has attended some days this spring for inoculating all the children of the parish gratis. But, although this measure was publicly recommended in church by the minister, and privately by the whole kirk-session, yet, so strongly do the ancient prejudices prevail against this mode of communicating the distemper, that only nine or ten children have been inoculated. They have all recovered; and it is hoped that inoculation will soon become general in the parish, from the success with which this first experiment has been attended.
Although the granting of leases for nineteen years at least, is now become universal, yet them prevails a considerable diversity of opinion among proprietors of land as to the expediency of including the life of the farmers in their leases. Some advantages, however, seem to give a decided preference to this last sort of lease. The tenant knows he is settled for life, and is therefore afraid to over-crop his land, lest he should thereby injure himself. Many law-suits are thereby avoided on this subject. The tenant is also supposed to be more attentive to the repairs of his buildings and fences; and he certainly requires a much less vigilant inspection on the part of the proprietor, or his factor.
In order to protect the newly planted trees round the farmer's inclosed fields, the proprietor of Dunnichen has given the heirs of the tenants a right to one third part of them, at the expiration of the lease; and he engages not to prosecute the tenants for any accidental damage the trees may suffer from cattle, or otherwise. The tenants on this estate consider the trees as a part of their own property, and are at pains to protect them from injury, and to have other trees planted in the room of such as have suffered. A sensible warmth is derived to the fields from such of these fence-rows as have been planted fifteen or twenty years ago.
It is apprehended, until farms are transmitted from father to son, like an inheritance, as is much the case in England, agriculture will not attain all the perfection of which it is capable. Veteres migrate coloni, is an odious mandate, marking bad times for the country. When leases are granted for the tenant's life, he has a chance of getting his son's life added to his own, by paying a moderate fine to the proprietor.
When the estate was begun to be improved, many of the tenants were unable and averse to the modern system. These were generally left in possession of their houses, with a small portion of land on a lease for their own life and that of their wives. The remainder of the ground was laid out into new farms, and let to more enterprising tenants.
It may not be improper to explain the meaning of some words used in this account, which, though well understood at present, will require to be explained to after generations, full as much as the most barbarous customs of our ruder ancestors require to be explained to us.
Thirlage.* - When the proprietor of a barony or estate builds a corn-mill on it, he obliges all his tenants to employ that will, and no other, and to pay sometimes nearly double what the corn might be ground for at another mill. At this servitude tends to make millers careless and saucy, it will without doubt soon be universally abolished.
Smiddy or Smith's Shop. - Formerly one blacksmith, who was also a farrier, was only allowed to exercise his business on a barony or estate. He had the exclusive privilege of doing all the blacksmith and farrier work. For this he paid a small rent to the proprietor, and every tenant paid him a certain quantity of corn. About thirty years ago, a person of this description had this sole right on the barony of Dunnichen, for which he paid £1 yearly.
Services. - These are of various kinds. On some estates, the . .
(*Some of these customs have been briefly explained in different notes am various parts of this volume.)
. . tenants are bound to dig, to dry, and to fetch home and build up, as much peat as is necessary for the proprietor's fuel through the year. In this manner the tenants are employed during most part of the Summer. It prevents them from fallowing and cleaning their grounds, fetching manures from a distance, sowing turnip, &c. On other estates, it it the duty of the tenants, to carry out and spread the dung for manuring the proprietor's land in the feed time, which frequently interferes with his own work of the same kind. It is also the duty of the tenants to fetch from the neighbouring sea-ports all the coal wanted for the proprietor's use. The tenants are also bound to go a certain number of errands, sometimes with their carts and horses, and sometimes a-foot, a certain number of long errands, and a certain number of short ones, are required to be performed. A long errand is what requires more than one day. This is called carriage. Tenants are also expected to work at any of the proprietor's work a certain number of days in the year. In some places, this obligation, it is said, extends to 52 days, or a day in the week.
Bonnage - is an obligation, on the part of the tenant, to cut down the proprietor's corn. This duty he must perform when called on. It sometimes happens, that, by cutting down the proprietor's crop, he loses the opportunity of cutting down his own.
This whole catalogue of customs is so adverse to agriculture, and to the true interests of the proprietor, that, in a short time, their very names will probably be obsolete, and the nature of them forgotten.
The following plan of a navigable canal, not indeed within the . .
. . bounds of the parish, yet, being connected with it, ought to be
mentioned. In the year 1788 Mr. Whitworth the engineer was employed to take a survey of the
country, for the purpose of bringing a navigable canal from the port of Arbroath to
Forfar. That gentleman made out an accurate plan of this canal, which he reported to he highly practicable.
It required 25 locks to conduct it from Muirton Fulling Mill to Arbroath; the distance
13 miles, 1 furlong and 2 chains; the perpendicular height above low water-mark
196 feet. The expense he computed at £17,788 : 17s : 8d. As there
is no reason to believe the trade on this canal would at present defray this
expense, the plan is laid aside, and the surveyor's Report is deposited in the
town-clerks' offices in Forfar and Arbroath. This useful work will probably be resumed again when the country
shall have attained more wealth, and further improvements. It would serve to convey coal,
lime, and wood into the centre of a very populous country destitute of these articles.
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PARISH OF DUNNICHEN.
PRESBYTERY OF FORFAR, SYNOD OF ANGUS AND MEARNS.
THE REV. JAMES HEADRICK, MINISTER.
1.-TOPOGRAPHY AND NATURAL HISTORY.
Name and Boundaries. - Some difference of opinion exists concerning the origin of the name Dunnichen. Most people derive it from Nechtan, a Pictish chieftain, who is said to have resided in the parish. But although it has- been the uniform practice of the Gael to name persons from their place of residence, they never named places from persons. I am, therefore, disposed to think that Dunnichen is a corruption of Dun-Achan, the hill or fort of the valley. This is exactly descriptive of the hill of Dunnichen, which, on the north, looks down on the lochs of Rescobie and Balgavies; towards the east, upon the whole valley of the Lunan; towards the west, upon Forfar and its contiguous loch, and through Strathmore, until the view is bounded by Shehallien (Shiehallion) and the Perthshire Grampians. From the west of this hill the water flows down through Strathmore, and from the east it flows towards the Lunan and Lunan Bay. From the south side of the hill a low shoulder is projected, on which there once stood a fort built with dry stone, without any cement. It is agreed at all hands that the parish derived its name from this fort or castle. The foundation of a similar fort is still visible on the hill of Dunbarrow, a detached part of this parish.
The parish consists of three estates or properties, detached from each other; and in whole contains 4,024 Scotch acres
Topographical Appearances.- There are no elevations in this parish which can claim the name of mountains. The hill of Dunnichen is the most elevated part; its highest pinnacle was ascertained to be 800 feet above the level of the sea. This hill, with a few exceptions, is covered with soil, and is planted or cultivated to its summit. The hill of Dunbarrow may be about 700 feet above the sea. Dunnichen House, situated near the . .
. . foot of the southern slope of Dunnichen Hill, is the most northern house of the parish, and was ascertained to be 400 feet above the sea, and distant from the sea, at Arbroath, about ten miles. The medium elevation of the whole parish may he about 360 feet above the sea level. The lands of Dunnichen consist of gentle undulations or ridges running from west to east, their greatest and most rapid descent being towards Vinney Water on the south. The lands of Tulloes have a very gentle rise from Vinney Water to the summit of the ridge which separates them from Carmyllie on the south; and this ridge may be about 600 feet above the sea. The lands of Dunbarrow rise in all directions towards the hilly, their steepest acclivity being towards the north-west.
Meteorology.- In general, the climate is very similar to that which prevails over a great part of the east of Scotland. The trees, where fully exposed, lean somewhat towards the north-east, showing the prevailing winds to be from the south-west. During spring, and sometimes even in summer, chilling blasts from the east and north-east prevail, with their usual injurious effects: and they are often accompanied by hazy mist, here named eastern haar.
Geology and Mineralogy.-Excepting where they have been laid open by quarries, and a few juttings of whinstone rocks, the strata are uniformly covered by a considerable depth of soil. Sandstone, or freestone, constitutes the great body of our solid strata. These are sometimes seen to alternate with beds of indurated clay, which consist of thin plates of a whitish grey, reddish, or bluish colour, here known by the name of cam-stone, because they are used for writing on slates, and, when pounded, are used for whitening hearths, stairs, &c. These clay strata are sometimes penetrated by the roots of plants, of a blackish colour; and sometimes impressions of plants, and of their leaves, are seen upon the surfaces of their plates. Numerous fragments of what appears to have been rushes, of a bluish-green colour, appear in some of these indurated clay strata. Some of the freestone beds are sub-divisible into plates of various thickness, the surfaces of which exhibit woody fibres, and have a striking resemblance to polished boards of wainscot. Although our sandstone beds be intersected by numerous fissures, which subdivide them into masses which more or less affect a parallelepiped form, having two opposite angles acute, and the other two obtuse; they are nowhere seen to be intersected by veins of trap or whinstone, or of any other . .
. . material. I once picked up a few fragments of heavy spar, some of which were tinged with a green colour from copper, on the southern declivity of the highest pinnacle of Dunnichen Hill, which must have come from a vein of that material which is concealed by the soil. But the greatest metallic repositories in the world have been discovered by accident, or exposed to view by streams of water. For this purpose, in Cornwall and other places, they conduct streams of water artificially across the declivity of the mountains.
The sandstone in the castle quarry of Dunnichen dips to the north about five feet in twenty-four, making an angle with the horizon of 12 degrees. This quarry furnishes excellent mill-stones for grinding corn. It also furnishes stones of large dimensions, which can be easily dressed and polished immediately after they are raised, but if allowed to remain some time, no tool can penetrate them. In some of its beds there are rounded pebbles of jasper, quartz and agate, interspersed. The sandstone of Tulloes dips to the south-east four feet eight inches in twenty-four, making an angle with the horizon of 11 degrees. Our sandstone, or freestone, is generally of a greyish-white colour. Some of it inclines to blue.
Where the trap or whinstone rocks jut above the surface, they appear to be a confused mass, without any stratification or regular arrangement of parts. But where they have been dug into, they are found to be as regularly stratified as the sandstone on which they rest, and by which they are covered towards the dip. On the southern face of the hill of Dunnichen, there are a few jutting rocks of trap, some of which is fatiscent, as it decomposes in concentric scales. Other parts have numerous particles of steatites, of a dirty yellowish-white colour, interspersed, and, from the resemblance to that animal, have obtained the name of toad-stone. On the farm of Pinkerton, there is a confused very porous stratum of trap covering a freestone quarry. On the farm of Broadlea, there is another jutting rock of that species of trap which is called greenstone. This rock has of late been much quarried for stones to mend the roads, and is found to be composed of several very regular strata, each of which is made up of blocks of various dimensions, of which some affect the rude columnar form. These strata dip to the north-east at the rate of nine feet in twenty-four, and make an angle the horizon of 21 degrees. All the visible rocks of the hill of Dumbarrow . .
. . are trap; and these include all the visible trap rocks in this parish.
A thin siliceous incrustation sometimes intersects our trap rocks. In other cases there are hollows lined with a siliceous incrustation, from which beautiful rock crystals project towards the centre of the hollow.
On the summit and sides of the hill of Dunnichen there are several large loose masses of mica-slate and granite. Large granite stones which interrupted the plough, were dug up some years ago, on the farm of Broadlea. A large mass of granite was lately blasted to the north of Letham; and many stones of these kinds occur, or have been discovered, in various parts of the parish, all more or less rounded by attrition. There being no rock of these stones nearer than the Grampians, we are puzzled to account for their getting into their present position. In the beautiful mass of granite that was blasted near Letham, I observed fragments of dark-blue whinstone interspersed in the body of the stone.
The quality of our soils may be inferred from that of the which they cover, and from whose decomposition they have been formed. A large sheet of good soil slopes from the south side of Dunnichen Hill. In the upper part, this soil is too shallow, and too near the rock. It deepens as it descends, and may be described as a friable loam, in which sand predominates. It seems to have been made up of particles washed down from the hill above. In the different ridges of the parish, where the soil is primary, the subsoil is always tenacious, or impervious to moisture. Of course it is apt to throw up rushes, Sphagnum palustre, and other moss-plants. This sort of soil prevails on the summit of those ridges of which the estate of Dunnichen is composed. The only exception is that of soils formed from the decomposition of trap-rocks, which are always fertile, provided they be of sufficient depth. On the estate of Tulloes, the lower part is an alluvial soil, and becomes less fertile as you advance to the higher grounds. The same observation applies to the estate of Dumbarrow, which is least fertile at the higher parts, where the soil is primary but becomes deeper and more fertile as we descend. In a word, the soils of this parish way be ranked under two classes, - friable loams, in which sand predominates; and friable clays, with a retentive subsoil. Most of the stones which were injurious to agriculture have been removed to make drains, roads, . .
. . and for other purposes: some operations of these kinds are, however, still necessary.
Hydrograph y. - There is a small chalybeate spring on the north side of the drain leading from the loch of Dunnichen; from which some people have thought they found relief in stomach complaints. A much more copious spring of the same quality, although not so strongly impregnated, has its fountain head on the north-west corner of Dumbarrow, although it breaks out in the parish of Kirkden.
The only loch in the parish is what is commonly called the Mire of Dunnichen. This occupies a space of about fifty acres, and has been partially drained for marl, and converted into pasture land. But, to render the improvement effectual, the drain would require to be made five or six feet deeper, and concealed drains thrown out on each side of it, to take off springs which rise from different parts of its bottom.
The only running-water in the parish is the small rivulet of Vinney Water, which rises in the parish of Forfar, from what was the loch of Lower (Lour), but is now completely drained, and converted into fertile land. This rivulet, after receiving some smaller streams in its progress, joins Lunan Water near Pitmuies, in the parish of Kirkden.
II. - CIVIL HISTORY.
Antiquities. - The stones of the fort or castle, before referred to, have been removed to build fences; and its area has been nearly obliterated by a quarry. On its floor was found a thick bed of wood ashes, mixed with numerous bones, which seem to have belonged to the animals on which the inhabitants fed. In one place there is said to have been found a number of small golden bullets, which seem to have been the current coin of the times when they were formed.
A confused tradition prevails of a great battle having been fought on the East Main s of Dunnichen, between Lothus, King of the Picts, or his son Modred, and Arthur King of the Britons, in which that hero of romance was slain. Buchanan, no doubt, places the scene of that battle upon the banks of the Humber, in England. But it is probable that some battle had been fought here; for, a good many years ago, on the East Mains of Dunnichen, there was turned up with the plough, a large flat stone, on which is cut a rude outline of an armed warrior's head and shoulders; and not many years ago, the plough also uncovered some graves on another part of the same farm. The graves consisted of flat stones on all . .
. . sides. They were filled with human bones, and urns of red clays with rude ornaments upon them; the urns being filled with whitish-grey ashes. By exposure to the air, the bones and the urns mouldered into dust.
In a round gravel knoll near the Den of Letham, a considerable number of similar graves was found. The graves were situated in a thick bed of fine sand, which intersected the knoll; and were constructed every way similar to the former. They contained human bones which seem to have been crammed together without much regard to arrangement.. The urns with their ashes were every way similar to the former. The neck-bones of some were adorned with strings of beads. These were of a. beautiful glossy black colour, neatly perforated longitudinally, and strung together by the fibres of animals. They were of an oval figure; large and small ones were arranged alternately; the large ones flat on the two opposite surfaces, the small ones round. They seemed to consist of ebony, or of some fine-grained species of wood, which had been charred, and then finely polished. On keeping them some time, they split into plates and the woody fibres separated. The bones also, and the urns, mouldered into dust. In some of these graves rusty daggers were found, which fell in pieces by handling. It appears the bodies had been first burnt, as the ashes contained numerous particles of charcoal of wood.
Landowners. - The parish, as formerly stated, is divided into three properties, namely, Dunnichen, Tulloes, and Dumbarrow. James Hawkins, Esq. advocate, is heir-apparent to the estate of Dunnichen. He resides at Dunnichen House, and is the only residing heritor. Tulloes belongs to John Oughterlony, Esq. of Guynd. Dumbarrow belongs to Alexander Lyall, Esq. of Gardyne.
Eminent Persons. - The only person of eminence we ever beard of connected with the parish, is the late George Dempster, Esq. who was many years member of Parliament for the Forfar, Dundee, &c. district of burghs; but his character and conduct. are too well known to require any illustration.
III - POPULATION.
The population, as taken by the Government census, was -
In the year 1801, - 1,049 1811, - 1,233 1821, - 1,433 1831, - 1,513
In the census of 1831, there were found in the parish 331 inhabited . .
. . houses. Families, 886; whereof 88 are chiefly engaged in agriculture, and 253 in trade, manufactures, and handicraft. Houses building, 1; houses uninhabited, 12. The latter are chiefly upon the estate of Tulloes, as the proprietor has taken great part of that estate into his own hands.
The following is a list of males and females born, and registered in the parish books, during the 13 years, from 1st January 1819 to 1st January 1832.
Males. Females. Sum. 1819, 17 16 33 1820, 10 16 32 1821, 21 16 37 1822, 21 8 29 1823, 19 17 36 1824, 14 13 27 1825, 16 16 32 1826, 14 19 33 1827, 15 18 33 1828, 20 13 33 1829, 28 12 40 1830, 20 20 40 1831, 16 17 33 --- --- --- Totals 237 201 438
From this table it appears, that, although the number of female births sometimes equals, and sometimes exceeds, that of males, yet, in a course of thirteen years, the male births exceed those of females by thirty-six. Had the comparison been carried through a greater number of years, the excess would have been much greater. We believe it to he a fact over all the world, that the number of males born always exceeds that of females. But, on the other hand, during the census 1831, there were living in the parish 712 males and 801 females, - the excess in the number of females over that of males being 89. To amount for this, it may he observed, that some of our young men went to the army and navy, and never returned; some went to the merchant service in distant ports; some have found employment in distant parts of the country; and some have lately emigrated to America, carrying no females with them. Thus, as men are engaged in more hazardous employments than women, it seems, to be the intention of Divine Providence to provide for this by the superior number born.
IV. - INDUSTRY.
Agriculture and Rural Economy.
The number of Scotch acres cultivated or occasionally in tillage is - 3,112 Uncultivated - 494 That might be cultivated or planted - 494 Under wood - 414
The system which chiefly prevails here is what is called the alternate, . .
. . which consists of interposing a green crop, or naked fallow, between every two corn crops. At first breaking up from lea, oats are sown; then turnips and potatoes drilled; next barley, with ryegrass and clover; next pasture, for one or more years. Sometimes, when the land is in very good heart, two or more crops of oats are taken at first breaking up. Sometimes wheat is sown after potatoes, and sometimes on clover-lea, with addition of manure: if after potatoes, or naked fallow, the grass seeds are always sown along with it. But for some years past the seasons have been so unfavourable at the critical time of flowering and fructifying, and the wheat has been so much destroyed by the fly, that the cultivation of this grain has been almost abandoned, and barley substituted in its place. Formerly wheat was always sown after naked fallow; and a part sometimes after potatoes or clover lea. Now, with wheat, the extent of naked fallow is very much reduced, and barley is sown upon the potato and turnip land, which receives all the manure. Of late the turnip husbandry has been extended by bone dust, which raises a good crop on light sandy ground, but does not seem to succeed so well on stiff clays. The store-masters of the Grampians send down their flocks of sheep to feed on these turnips during winter, and they are confined to three drills at a time by means of flakes. They prefer these wooden flakes to nets, because the sheep being of the horned black-faced breed, their horns might get entangled in the nets, and tear them in pieces. The kinds of turnips cultivated here are the globe, the green and red-tops, or rather a mixture of all. A portion of the yellow turnip is in every field; but, unless the seeds themselves, were to be raised, they seldom can be got unmixed. Every farmer has also a few drills of curly kail in his turnip field. The grains cultivated are the potato-oat, of which they frequently change the seed; the two-rowed barley; the white Essex wheat, of which they receive frequent change of seed from London or the Carse of Gowrie; grey peas in some places, drilled beans having been tried, but not found to succeed. Some farmers also sow portions of vetches, as green fodder for their live stock. Various kinds of potatoes have prevailed here at different times; but the kinds most in vogue at present are the large globular red, and the small American of a white colour.
Shell marl from the Loch of Restenneth, which belongs to the estate of Dunnichen, although in the parish of Forfar, has been a powerful instrument of improvement in this quarter. It is commonly . .
. . applied in compost with earth and dung to turnips or to wheat when sown upon naked fallow, or upon hay-stubble.
The ploughmen here are very expert, and some of them have been carried to Ireland, and other distant places. Some of them are married, and live in cottages annexed to the farm-house. But most of them are unmarried, and live in what are called bothies, contiguous to the farm-house. Each receives a certain allowance of meal and milk, potatoes and other articles, besides wages, which vary from £10 to £15 or £20, according to circumstances. The reaping is mostly performed by threaving, but partly by the scythe. Much of the estate of Dunnichen is but one step removed from the runrig, or rig and rennel system, which still prevails in some parts of the Highlands. However, as leases fall, it is now in the course of being lotting into separate farms, and commodious farm offices are building.
The two-horse plough, of Small's construction, is universally in use. The cattle, and sometimes also the horses, are fed on turnips during winter, along with straw or other fodder. Sometimes, also, they get a feed of yams or other potatoes; but the surplus of potatoes generally goes to feed pigs.
There are two corn-mills upon the estate of Dunnichen, at Craichy (Craichie) and Letham; the latter also fabricates pot-barley. There is also a corn-mill at Dumbarrow. There are four thrashing-machines at Dumbarrow, two of which are moved by water, one by horses, and one by wind. There are two on the estate of Tulloes, one moved by horses, the other by water. On the estate of Dunnichen there are seven thrashing-machines, one moved by water, the rest by horses, - in all thirteen in the parish.
Breeds of Live Stock. - There are no sheep kept in the parish. The kind of cattle which most generally prevails is the Galloway breed, sometimes here called humlies, because they have no horns. Although this breed has been much cultivated in Galloway, it does not seem to be peculiar to that district; for I have seen individuals without horns among the middle-horned breeds in various parts of the Highlands and Isles. There are also a very few of the middle-horned. breed of Fife extraction, and still fewer of the short-horned or Tees-water breed. The milch cows here, during the best of the season, yield from twelve to fourteen Scotch pints of milk a-day. The milk is generally skimmed, the cream made into butter, and the milk into skimmed-milk cheese. The cattle that are put to pasture in . .
. . grass-parks are of all descriptions and are bought at the neighbouring fairs.
Produce. - The average gross amount and value of raw produce raised yearly, on an average of the last five years, is as follows : -
1,240 acres of corn and other grains of all kinds, valued at an average of £7 per Scotch acre, £8,680. 0. 0 465 acres of potatoes, turnips, and other green crop, valued at £10 per acre, 4,650. 0. 0 150 acres of summer fallow, 0. 0 465 acres of hay, valued at £6 per acre, 2,790. 0. 0 792 acres of pasture, valued at £2 per acre, 1,584. 0. 0 988 acres of uncultivated land at 5s. per acre, 247. 0. 0 414 acres of wood, thinnings of which valued at, 20. 0. 0 Produce of quarries, 20. 0. 0 Dairy produce, 399.10. 0 Sales of live stock annually, 1,240. 0. 0 ------------- Gross amount of value, £19,630.10. 0
Manufactures.- The principal, indeed the only staple manufacture of the parish, is the weaving of coarse linens, called Osnaburghs. Along with this, some occasional work is done in sheeting and shirting, but chiefly for private use. Many of the families engaged in this work have small farms, held either in lease or feu, which they cultivate at their leisure hours. There is a spinning-mill in the Den of Letham, moved by the water of Vinney, for spinning lint and tow into yarn. This mill is furnished with a steam-engine to move the machinery when the water is deficient. But I understand they have had no occasion to have recourse to steam these several years past. Formerly, spinning was the peculiar province of the women. But since the spinning-mills have become so numerous, they have betaken themselves to weaving, and there are nearly as many women now employed at the loom as men. Although some attempts have been made to introduce power-looms, they have not been found to answer for the course fabrics of this district. All weaving is done by the piece. At present, every person who is willing to work finds employment. There is, however, a general complaint of the lowness of wages, although none of the highness of provisions.
V. - PAROCHIAL ECONOMY.
Market-Towns, &c. - The principal village in the parish is Letham, which, with its adjuncts, contains upwards of 900 souls. It was laid out on a very regular plan by the late Mr Dempster, and is yearly increasing. There are two markets here for all kinds of . .
. . bestial, hiring of servants, &c. There is a linen-hall in this village which is now converted into a school-room.*
North of Letham there is a long straggling village called Drummietermon(th), chiefly inhabited by small farmers, most of whom are weavers. (Old photograph of a handloom weaver.) There are also small villages at Bouriefad (Bowriefauld), at Craichy, Cotton of Lownie, and Kirkton of Dunnichen.
To the west of Dunnichen there is another straggling village, called Cotton of Lownie, chiefly inhabited by small farmers, most of whom are also weavers.
In the Kirkton of Dunnichen an annual fair is held on the third Wednesday in March, Old Style. This is said to have been a great market in former times, and was hold with continuation of days. Now very little business is done there; and only a few idle people assemble at it for amusement.
Means of Communication. - The old roads of this parish are generally very ill contrived. The principal road upon the estate of Dunnichen is too narrow, and is always miry in wet weather. A new toll road from Dundee to Brechin has long been in contemplation, which will pass through Letham. This road has been completed in some places to the northward, and has been already formed in so far as it passes through the estate of Dunnichen. It cannot fail to be of great advantage to this district, by opening an easy communication with the distinguished port of Dundee. There are only four bridges in the parish, each of one arch.
Ecclesiastical State. - The earliest place of worship in the parish was situated in the shallow lake, or Mire of Dunnichen, on what has some appearance of having been an artificial island, and of which some of the foundations are still visible. A deep ditch had separated it from the solid land; and the ditch seems to have been crossed by a drawbridge. This place obtained the name of St. Cowland's Chapel. After William the Lion had granted all the lands annexed to Red Castle, and many others, to the monastery of Arbroath, of which he was the founder, it appears that this fraternity converted Cowland's Chapel into a parish church, and constituted all their lands in this quarter into a parish annexed to this church. There not being a sufficient quantity of produce to afford a stipend to a clergyman, farm-bolls and feu-duties were allotted from the cultivated land on Lunan Water for his support.#
* At a fair which was held here on a Saturday in
1832, the Sabbath was largely encroached upon, and on the morning an
atrocious murder was committed. The offender having pled culpable homicide, was
sentenced to one year's imprisonment.
. . The present church is situated on a rising ground at the lower part of the kirk-town of Dunnichen. It is on the outside of the parish, - there being only three inhabited houses (of which the mansion-house of Dunnichen is one), near to it on the north. This church was built from the foundation in 1802, but in a very imperfect manner. It is in a damp situation, was covered with heavy sand-stone flags, and the cupples, being of young unseasoned wood, were so completely rotten, that in 1817, it became necessary to furnish it with a new roof, covered with blue slates. It can accommodate about 500 sitters and is lotted into three divisions, corresponding to the valuation in the county books of the three estates in the parish. Each proprietor sub-divides his portion of the church among his tenants. Since the people of Kirkden have got a spacious and elegant new church in the neighbourhood of Letham, most of these people have got accommodation there. There are no free sittings in the church; and the number of communicants always somewhat exceeds 500.
The old manse was situated immediately under the church-yard, which overtopped its eaves. After a long and expensive litigation before the Court of Session, a new manse and offices were built in a dry and well-aired situation in 1814-15; but, as the cheapest estimate was accepted, and no proper inspector was appointed, every thing was done in the most insufficient manner, and the undertakers were discharged before the work was finished. A more effectual repair of the offices was agreed upon last spring; but it has been delayed from various causes, until they are in danger of falling down.
There were two adjudications of a glebe by the presbytery. The first allotted four acres of arable or tilled land, with two acres of meadow pasture, besides the garden and stance of manse and offices, which are half an acre. There were included some patches which never had been tilled, but which have since been trenched and . .
. . times. Forty-eight bolls of oats, payable to the parson of Dunnichen, were afterwards exchanged for 19½ bolls of meal. This shows that black oats were then cultivated on the best of the monastic lands, as they are in some parts of the Highlands and Isles to this day, and of which two bolls only yield one boll of meal. The meal being more portable, it was reckoned a just equivalent for the oats, after paying the mill dues. Having thus provided what was reckoned to be sufficient stipend for the minister of Dunnichen, these monks were allowed to alienate the lands of Dunnichen, cum decimus inclusis. But if these bolls should be evicted (and part of them has been evicted to augment the stipend of the minister of the parish,) it may become a question at law, whether recourse may not be competent upon the teinds of Dunnichen.
. . brought into cultivation. The next adjudication was for straightening marches and inclosing. Former ministers also had a right of pasturing their cattle on the hill of Dunnichen, in name of turf and divot land, which was taken from them without such an equivalent as is granted in other cases in this country. The minister has also a right to cast peats in the moss of Dunnichen. There was formerly a road up to the church, passing through the glebe, which, during a vacancy, was shut, and along with it a very valuable part of the grass glebe was taken off. The consequence is, that there is no road to the remainder of the grass glebe but through the arable ground, which occasions so much destruction of the crops, that the glebe is of little value. Several years ago the General Assembly granted warrant to prosecute the redress of these grievances from the funds of the church; but the present incumbent has waited, though in vain, expecting to get them amicably settled.
The only stipend payable from the parish is from the estate of Dumbarrow, - 6½ lb. bear, 24 b.6p. oatmeal, and 18s. vicarage; and from the estate of Dunnichen £2: 16s.: 4d. vicarage. All the rest of the stipend is paid by Lord Panmure and other proprietors of land which belonged to the monastery of Arbroath: also by the Earl of Strathmore. By the 50th Geo. III., £22:5s.:1d. were added to raise the stipend to £150; but when the victual fell much lower than was established by that act, in cheap years the stipend hardly exceeded £100. To remedy this, by the 5th Geo. IV., £15: 17s.: 7d. were added, which makes the whole allowance from Government amount to £38: 2s.: 8d. From this it can easily he seen, that, when the fiars' prices exceed the valuation of that act, the stipend proportionally exceeds £150; but when the fiars are below that valuation, which is the case at present, and likely to continue, the value of the stipend is proportionally below £150.
In this parish there is a meeting-house belonging to the sect of Congregationalists. The hall of Letham also is used as a place of public worship by a congregation of Seceders. The preacher in the latter is paid partly from collections, partly from their synod fund: the other is also paid partly from collections, and partly from a fund established by the adherents of his sect.
Some time ago, Mr. James Hawkins, advocate, heir apparent of the estate of Dunnichen, became a convert to the famous Row heresy, which he preached in this parish, in a chapel which he himself built. The chapel has been for some time vacant: but it is said . .
. . he is in quest of a person of his own sentiments, to be established in it as a settled minister. In this he has not yet succeeded.
Upon the whole, however, the parish church is very well attended. The number of persons frequenting the chapel of the Congregationalists, and who reside in this parish, amounts to 20. Of Seceders, there are probably about 60 individuals in the parish. All the rest of the parishioners adhere to the established church.
Education. - The parochial school is situated at Craichy. The original object of placing it there was to accommodate the people on the estate of Tulloes. But these people being mostly removed, there are few children within reach of the school. The teacher has enjoyed a complete university education, and is well qualified in classical literature, in arithmetic, algebra, and the higher branches of calculation; also in mathematics, and their application to practical purposes. He sometimes has a scholar or two in Latin, but seldom has any demand for the higher branches of education. The dwelling-house consists of only two apartments, and the school-room has a cold damp floor, which is very uncomfortable for children in winter. The number of scholars is sometimes about 30, but is often below that number. The salary is the maxim. The fees are the lowest allowed in country schools, namely, 2s. 6d. a quarter for beginners; 3s. for those advanced to writing; and 4s. for those learning arithmetic. The amount of school fees actually received is very various, and in a course of years may average from £5 to £6 per annum. The teacher is also session-clerk, at a salary of £2: 7s.: but he gives £2 of that to the precentor, and receives only such perquisites as accrue. He is also collector of the parish road-money, for which his remuneration is very trifling.
Since the village of Letham began to advance in population, there has always been a school kept there. There was also a dwelling-house built for him by subscription, which the feuars of Letham took from him without legal authority. Mr. Millar, connected with the Secession, is their present teacher. The same branches are taught, and the same fees are charged, as in the parish school. The number of scholars varies from 85 to 105. They are not all from this parish, but partly from the neighbouring parishes of Rescobie and Kirkden, which are contiguous to Letham.
There is another private school at the bridge of Dumbarrow, taught by a Mr. Dickeson, who belongs to our church. The . .
. . same branches are taught, and the same fees paid, as in other schools. The people there have built a commodious house and school-room for the teacher. I cannot learn whether they afford any salary. The number of scholars varies from 65 to 85. They are not all from the district of Dumbarrow, but a considerable proportion of them from the neighbouring parishes of Kirkden and Carmyllie.
Library. - We have a library at Letham, containing from 400 to 500 volumes. These treat of religion and morality, of civil history, especially that of our own country; of agriculture; natural history; and various branches of the mechanical sciences. This library was made up, partly by donations of books from various individuals, partly by annual subscriptions of persons in this parish, and in those parts of the neighbouring parishes of Kirkden and Rescobie, which are contiguous to Letham, partly also from collections in the churches of Dunnichen and Kirkden.
Poor and Parochial Funds. - It appears from the session books, that there were £100 at one time accumulated for the use of the poor. But it also appears, that when times of distress occurred, the heritors would give nothing until this stock was exhausted. For a considerable time, the funds arising from collections, mortcloth dues, proclamation of banns, and fines, amounted to from £45 to £48 per annum, by which the session contrived to support the poor, with a little aid, in times of distress, from the late Mr. Dempster. At last, on the occasion of its being found necessary to send to the lunatic asylum at Dundee a deranged woman whose maintenance and clothing cost about £20 per annum, this sum was raised by subscriptions; which mode of collecting continued several years. It was afterwards found necessary to establish an assessment since which time the collections have fallen very much off. The assessment was the more necessary, as we were obliged to send another person to the Asylum at Dundee. Meanwhile the session, on account of certain calumnies that were raised against them, were induced to resign the active management of the poor, which is now vested in a committee appointed by the heritors. Some of the poor receive 1s. or a peck of meal, a-week; one receives 2s. and another family 3s. With the exception of a few individuals, they are very averse to come upon the poors' funds.
The following is an account of the receipts and expenditure of . .
. . poor's money, from 1st January 1832, to 31st December same year:
Collections in the church, £9. 9. 1½ From Board of Health, 4. 1. 7½ Mortcloths, 1. 8. 6 Proclamations of banns, 0.17. 0 --------- £15.16. 3 To which add, Assessment of 2nd April 1832, 60. 0. 0 " of 1st October 1832, 40. 0. 0 Collections received by the managers of the poor, 4. 7.10 From Mary Lownie's roup, 1. 8. 0 ---------- Sum raised, £121.12.3 Expenditure of the kirk-session from 1st January 1832, to 31st December same year, £11.13. 0½ Expended by committee of managers, 64.18. 3 To collector of assessment, 2. 0. 0 To asylum, Dundee, for two lunatics, 33.10.11 ---------- Sum expended, £112. 2. 2½ ---------- Balance remaining, £9. 9.ll½
Alehouses. - There is a general complaint that the public houses in the parish are too numerous; but the great scarcity of money seems to prevent them from having any sensible effect upon the morals of the people.
Fuel. - The fuel chiefly used here is English coals, which the farmers or their servants bring from Arbroath or Dundee.
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