Sections


Rob Roy MacGregor Campbell
The '45
Extracts of Statistics from the Annexed Estates for Western Strathearn (1755-56)
The Reports of the Annexed Estates (1755-69)
A Tour of Scotland - Thomas Pennant (1769)
Seismic Activity (1789)
Account of 1791-99 vol-11 - Comrie, County of Perth
Archibald MacNab (1734-1816)
Henry Dundas (1742-1811)
Sir David Baird of Seringapatam (1757-1829)
Companion and Useful Guide to the Beauties of Scotland – Sarah Murray (1799)
Roman Camp, Dalginross – October (1800)
Flash from the Caledonian Mercury – September (1814)
I've a Boat to Catch (1818)
A Picture of Strathearn - John Brown (1823)
St Fillan’s Highland Society (1827)
Letters from the Distant Past (1831 - 1859)
Comrie, St Fillans and Monivard (1837)
Statistical Account: Parish of Comrie (1838)
The Glen Lednock Census (1841)
The Queen’s Visit (1842)
The Road to Comrie (1857)
For the Sake of Nelly Fergus (1860)
From an Unknown Guidebook-circa (1892)
Comrie (1895)
Tales of Derring Do
Soldier, Soldier, won’t you marry me wi’…
The Adventures of Paddy or Highland Peter
Ghoulie Tales
A Serious Business
Mail Order Bride
The Man with the Powerful Voice
Double Entry bookkeeping
Hey, Gie’s ma Haun…or Murder Most Foul
Kate Mackenzie's Terrible Deeds
Watty and Meg Drummond
The Fencibles
Deacon Reid
Amazing Grace
The Day of the Penny Wedding
The MacArthur's were there before the Hills
The Beggar's Badge
A Pane by any other name can be a Pain!
The Powder Keg
The Coo didnae hae ony Teeth!
The Green Lady of Glen Lednock
The Queen of Tynasithe
The Great Wall of Comrie
Whisky, You're the Devil
A Wee Rumble
A Whale of a Time
An Encounter of the Third Kind
Another Debate
Bosom Pals
Getting Stoned in Comrie
Hanging about Comrie
It's Whisky in the Jar
Picking Other Folks' Brains
Porridge for Breakfast
Tarred and Buttered
Temperance
The Convert
The Debate
The Schism
The Levitation
The Twa' Brithers
There’s a Hare in my Soup
Yer bum's oot the Window

18th & 19th Century

Double Entry bookkeeping

Lawers Estate was once the home of Lieutenant-General Robertson and he was all action man! He had served with some distinction in the War of 1812 and returned to Scotland sometime shortly after its conclusion. As Lawers was under renovation at that time he decided to seek accommodation in Edinbugh until Lawers was ready for himself and his black servant called “Black Tom.” He decided to rent a rather old, but beautiful mansion called the Wrychtishousis Mansion which stood in fashionable Gillespie Crescent.

Tom was given a room on the ground floor and settled in. However, his first night was very troubling. He had been known to imbibe quite frequently, and this night he had had a session with the “craitur.” In the wee sma’ hours of the morning, he awoke sweating and shaking with fear. Before him he saw, walking around the room, the figure of a headless woman holding a baby in her arms. He was petrified at seeing this apparition. The next day he recounted his experience to everyone he met.

The scene was re-enacted night after night, and in time people put it down to hallucinations caused by an excess of alcohol. Eventually Lawers became available and he and the General moved out.

Sometime thereafter the old mansion in Edinburgh was knocked down and replaced by the Gillespie Hospital however, during the demolition the workman on removing the floor boards in Tom’s room, came across a crudely hand-made coffin. Inside they found the remains of a headless, fully dressed, woman, and a child who was wrapped in a pillowcase. In the coffin they also found a pair of scissors and a thimble. Close by a note was found containing the written confession of the murderer who turned out to be the brother of James Clark. James had left home at the end of the 17th century and was killed in battle. His brother on hearing this news decided to dispose of his brother’s wife and child ensuring that he took control of the house! As the brother was no skilled craftsman the head of the lady fair was cut off to fit into the coffin! I would not meddle with him!

One of the workers at Lawers was Peter McOwan. One would not describe Peter as scholarly; perhaps more accurately, he was rather dense. Unlike many in the district he was functionally illiterate being unable to read or write. In those days, pay days were infrequent and many were paid only twice a year...and that was on good years! The estate factor, Mr. Watson, only appeared when business necessitated it when he would show up to collect the tenant’s rents and attend to the accounts. In order to keep himself current with what was owed him for his time, and to claim it from the overseer Mr. Ross, he developed a novel way of simple book keeping.

Peter lived in a small clachan called the Mains which was located where the Milton Burn met the north road to Crieff. After a day’s work on the estate he would return home via the Auld Smiddy wood and make for a certain tree. There he would take out his pocket knife and carve a notch in the tree, with each notch representing a day’s work. Rudimentary counting then accounted for the rest. On one occasion, he asked for payment from Mr. Ross, for many more days than were in the year! Mr. Ross was taken aback exclaiming, “Man, Peter, that’ll no correspond wi’ my books. You have more days here than there are days in the year, and even if you add in holidays and fast days you could never have put in that time; an’ that’ll never square wi’ my books!” Peter replied, “I don’t care a snuff for you or your books. You can put into your books whatever you like, but I have a book that tells no lie, and I’ll go to the General about you, sir, and I’ll let him ken what kind of man you are!” The factor, Mr. Watson, was there at the time and enjoyed the exchange, but poor Peter had to be content with the wages decided upon by the overseer.

The matter came to light several years later and, as with many complicated issues, simplicity reigned. The tree where Peter marked his days lay close to the old smiddy cottage. The smith had two or three sons who had discovered Peter’s book keeping practices and, after Peter had marked the trunk of the tree, they would go around periodically and put another exact mark on the trunk with a knife! When Peter added them up they came to a certain figure which he then submitted for payment.