Page images

« Whither


the true chiefs who no promises broke, “ Held friends by affection, and foes by the yoke;

Who scorned this new meanness; souls lofty and brave; 6. Ever mindful of friends, not to scatter, but save. Look now on the gentry, how changed are their ends, “ For hardship no feeling, no kindness for friends. “ No longer they think to the soil ye belong, “ But leave you to perish, nor deem it a wrong; “ Forgetting the ties 'twixt their fathers and those, “ Whose prowess defended these lands from their foes. And still may the foe seize the desolate land, " When ye are far distant, and none to withstand," &c.

Some of the ancient race, where the proprietors are willing to allow them to retain their little farms on payment of a rent as high as that which can be got from a great capitalist, make desperate efforts to provide that rent, and a common expedient is the making of smuggled whiskey, which, being a superior article, always finds a ready sale, at a high price. The landlords, however, naturally prefer tenants with commanding capitals, from whom superior improvements are expected, and the rents may be more easily collected; and although one may feel and regret the hardships to which the old race are exposed, it is impossible to resist the conclusion, that, where the causes of depopulation are laid so deep, the effect must sooner or later, in a great measure, follow.



Extent and general description of the Glenmore (great glen)

of Scotland-Loch Linne-Locheil - Inverlochy-Lochaber, the most south-westerly division of Inverness-shireGeneral description of the county of Inverness-Lochaber, its extent, and general description-Lochy river-Spean and Nevis rivers—Glen Nevis-Territory of Locheil-Fort William - Camerons, chiefs of Locheil - Lochaber, the ancient district of the Cummins, descendants of the Thanes of Lochaber « Inverlochy and Tor Castles -Inverlochy said to have been an emporium soon after the Christian æra - Present exports and imports-Wool mart - Sheep farming-Ben Nevis—View from the top of Ben Nevis Water falls at the head of Glen Nevis-Herring fishingCaledonian canal-Causes of the undertaking-Opinions respecting its utility.

THE Glenmore, or great Glen of Scotland, in its largest extent, stretches from Oban and the Sound of Mull, in Argyle, on the south-west, to the sutures of Cromarty on the north-east, comprehending part of the district of Lorn,

formerly the country of the Macdougals ; Lochaber, the seat of the Camerons; Glengary, the country of the Macdonells; Stratherrick, and the réach to Inverness, the country of the Frasers; and Culodden, the county of the Forbeses. The valley is bounded by walls of immense mountains, and along the north-eastern half of its length the higher portion of the mountains recede, leaving above the level of the glen a flat space or terrace, which includes Strath errick, and the moor of Culodden. The whole length of the Glenmore is about 112 English miles, and of these only twenty-four are dry land in the depth of the valley, the rest being covered by arms of the sea and fresh-water lakes. The great arm of the sea, called Loch Linne, or the firth of Lochaber, occupies the western part, stretching inland from the Atlantic, through Lorn, for thirty-two miles to Lochaber moor, where it leaves the tract of the

great glen, and bends almost at right angles, under the name of Locheil, into a defile in the western wall, towards the west. The western extremity of this long lake is divided, by only a narrow isthmus, from the eastern end of another arm of the sea, penetrating inland from the sound of Mull on the north of the Morven district, of which the whole coast, except at that

point, is thus washed by the sea. The breadth of Loch Linne, while in the line of the Glenmore, from the ocean to Lochaber moor, is uniformly about four miles; and from that point to the western extremity of Locheil, its breadth is one mile and a half to two miles. The extent of the coast of this lake is about eightysix miles, and in the stretch from the ocean to Loch Leven it is interspersed with several little islands.

About the head of Loch Linne, as distinguished from Locheil, at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, stands the town of Inverlochy, Fort William, Maryborough, or Gordonsburgh, the only one of any note in the district of Lochaber, which commences in this quarter, or somewhere between Loch Leven and Inverlochy, and forms the most south-westerly division of Inverness-shire.

Inverness-shire, the most extensive, although not the most populous county of Scotland, is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, including Sky, and others of the Western Islands; on the east by the counties of Nairn, Murray, Banff, and Aberdeen; on the north by Ross and Cromarty; and on the south by Argyle and Perth. Its general character is rough and mountainous, the hills and wastes being, however, interspersed

with many fertile valleys, producing the finest pasture and grain crops, chiefly oats and barley, except in the vicinity of the county town, and near the coast of the Murray firth, where rich crops of wheat are also raised, and often shipped for the London market. This county was anciently a vice-royalty rather than a sheriffdom, comprehending almost the whole north of Scotland, from Banffshire on the east, and Dumbartonshire on the west. But the authority of the sovereign extended hardly beyond the vicinity of the county town, the rest of this wide division yielding obedience only to certain chiefs or heads of clans. Lochaber, which, along with the greatest part of the western portion of the division, was subject to the Lords of the Isles, seems to have at length been considered as included in no sheriffdom; “ wharethrow," in the language of an act of parliament beforementioned as having passed to remedy the inconvenience, “ the people were amaist gane " wild.” Some of the northern counties were separated at a very early period; and in Edward's regulations, the county of Cromarty is mentioned, and the sheriffdom stated to be hereditary in the chiefs of the Urquhart family; one of whom, in 1652, published a pedigree of the family from Adam.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »