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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

Seismic Activity-1789

The year 1789 is recorded in history as a year of momentous events. The French were at it again only this time they were replacing monarchy with some form of social democracy backed by the guillotine! Momentous occurrences were also occurring in Strathearn as the following letter which was read by the Reverend Professor Finlayson before the Royal Society in Edinburgh on April 5th, 1790. It was written by the Reverend Ralph Taylor the Parish minister at Monzie. At the time he was a tutor to George Murray, later Sir George Murray M.P.

“Ochtertyre, January 19th, 1789

Dear Sir,

The earthquakes which have lately taken place at Comrie and its neighbourhood are certainly remarkable, and must excite the attention of philosophers. I shall, therefore, cheerfully comply with your request, and give you as particular a description as I can of such of them as have occasioned more than usual terror. To give a particular account of all the noises and concussions which, during the last half-year, have been heard or felt at Comrie, and within a short distance to the north, east and west of the village, is beyond my power, and would be of little use. More than thirty of them have sometimes been noticed in the space of two or three hours; and on a modern computation it cannot be reckoned that there have been fewer than eight or nine hundred since the time of their commencement. With regard to those small concussions it will be sufficient to say that they take place in all kinds of weather; that they are thought by some people to proceed from north-west to south-east, and by others from north-east to south-west; they have not been observed to affect the barometer; that they do not extend in any direction above three or four miles, and that towards the south they are bounded by the Earn, which is in the immediate vicinity of the village. The same person, though bestowing the minutest attention is uncertain whether they proceed from the earth or the air, sometimes believing them to come from the one, and sometimes from the other, nor do all agree with respect to the seat of any one of them. After the strictest enquiry I find it impossible to determine with accuracy the date of any of the concussions which took place prior to the 2(n)d September last. Some people in the neighbourhood of Killin assert positively that they heard unusual rumbling noises in the month of May, but the impression that these noises made was so faint that they would probably have been soon forgotten altogether had they not been succeeded by concussions of a less equivocal nature. Towards the end of August two or three shocks are said to have been felt at Dundurn, Dunira Lodge and Comrie; but I have not been able to learn the precise day or hour in which any of them happened. The truth is the concussions hitherto observed were feeble, and the minds of the people seem not to have been roused to particular attention till the 2(n) d of September. At 11 o’clock that evening a smart shock was felt at Comrie. I myself heard here, for the first time, a rumbling noise, which I took for that of a large table being dragged along the floor above stairs, and which I probably would never have thought of again unless my attention had been turned to it by the alarm which it had excited the neighbourhood. Many other feeble noises or concussions are said to have been observed in Glenlednock and about Comrie during the months of September and October. At that time, however, I confess I was disposed to doubt the numerous reports of earthquakes with which the country was filled, and to ascribe them to the workings of the imagination horrified by what had happened on the 2(n)d September.

On the 5th November a concussion took place two or three minutes before six p.m., which was too violent to be mistaken. Some compared the noise which accompanied it to that of heavy loaded waggons being dragged with great velocity along a hard road or pavement, and thought it passed under their feet. To one it seemed as if an enormous weight had fallen from the roof of a house, and rolled with impetuosity along the floor of the room above stairs, and it must have made a similar impression on the servants, for some of them instantly ran upstairs to discover what had happened. Others were sensible of a tremulous motion in the earth, perceived the flames of the candle to vibrate, and observed the mirrors and kitchen utensils placed along the wall to shake and clatter. There is also reason to believe that the water in the Loch of Monzievaird suffered unusual agitation, as the wild fowl then upon it were heard to scream and flutter. The noise on this occasion, as far as I can judge, did not last above ten or twelve seconds. During the course of the day the mercury in the barometer rose and fell several times, and at six o'clock it stood at 20 1/2 inches, the sky was perfectly serene, and hardly a breath of wind was to be felt, but next morning about six o'clock a violent tempest rose which raged without intermission for twenty-four hours.

At Glenlednock, Comrie and Lawers, this concussion was much more violent, and the noise that accompanied it more alarming. The inhabitants of these places, and at Aberuchill and Dunira, felt distinctly the earth heaving under them, and saw their chairs and other light furniture tossed about and some of them actually overturned. They imagined the slates and stones were tumbling from their houses; and many of them ran in the greatest trepidation with the idea that their roofs were falling in. Even the domestic animals were alarmed, and contributed by their howls and screams to increase the terror of the people. Though I have not been able to discover whether Loch Earn was agitated by these concussions, there is little doubt that the river near Comrie was affected on this occasion, as two men then on the banks heard the dashing of its waters.

The great shock was succeeded by a number of these slighter rumbling noises which have already been mentioned. Not less than thirty of them were counted in the space of two hours, but they did not extend above two miles to the east, north, and west of Comrie.

On the 10th November, at three o’clock p.m., we had here another shock of much the same violence and extent as that on the 5th. The mercury in the barometer of that day was more stationary than on the former, and at the time of the earthquake was 29 inches high. The weather was calm and hazy. It was a market day at Comrie, and the people, who were assembled from all parts of the country, felt as if the mountains were to tumble instantly upon their heads. The hardware exposed for sale in the shops and booths shook and clattered, and the horses crowded together with signs of unusual terror.

About one o’clock p.m., of the 29th December, we had another pretty smart shock during a violent storm of wind and rain, which continued the whole day, and which was at its height during the time of the earthquake. Indeed, as has been remarked already, these concussions seem to have no dependence on the weather. According to the accounts of those who live nearest to the centre of the phenomena, rumbling noises like those above described may be heard in all states of the atmosphere.

Though I mention no more of these earthquakes you are not to conclude that many more have not taken place, and some of them perhaps equally violent with those of the 5th and 12th November. Several shocks have happened during the stillness of the night, which, even at this distance, have appeared awfully terrifying. But the great resemblance, or, rather, perfect similarity, of their effects, and of the impression they make on our minds, renders it unnecessary for me to trouble you with a particular description of each of them.

Upon the fullest enquiry I find these earthquakes have been very limited in point of extent. The greater shocks have been feebly felt at Lochearnhead, about Killin, and at Ardeonaig on the southern bank of Loch Tay; they do not appear to have extended further eastward on that lake, and, what is remarkable, they have not been felt in Glenalmond or the Sma’ Glen, through which the military road from Crieff to Tay Bridge passes. The tenant in Major Robertson’s farm at Auchnafree (which lies at the head of Glenalmond, and is separated from Glenlednock only by the mountain Benchonzie, over the northern side of which his shepherds travel daily) has assured me that neither he nor any of his people have been at any time sensible of the least extraordinary noise or concussion. Towards the last the two first great shocks extended to Monzie, Cultoquhey, and Dollerie. The shock of 5th November was felt, though but faintly, at Ardoch and Drummond Castle, towards the south-east. In this direction, however, the banks of the Earn seem to be its greatest boundary, as noise of the most violent concussions was heard but faintly at the Manse of Comrie and along the side of the Strath on which it lies to Lachlan (Lochlane). The limits of the lesser concussions, I am confident, do not extend above three miles in any direction from their centre. They are commonly observed at Lawers on the east; throughout the whole of Glenlednock, at Dunira, Dalchonzie, and Aberuchill, on the north and west; and do not reach as far as the Manse, on the south of Comrie.

These phenomena are not yet come to an end. About five o’clock in the morning of the 12th inst. a slight shock was felt at Ochtertyre, and, as usual, more violently at Lawers and Comrie.


With great regard

I am

Dear Sir

Yours most sincerely

Ralph Taylor”


Later in another letter from Ochtertyre dated February 10th, 1790 he writes, “I think that it may be presumed that the cause, whatever it may have been, which produced the earthquakes in our neighbourhood has now spent its force. A slight noise was heard at Lawers and Comrie on the 10th January, and some others equally faint about the beginning of the month, but none have been observed since, and, after so long an intermission, the fears of the people are totally removed.”

As we will see the earth tremors continued on and in time others recorded this seismic activity. The earliest experiments in seismology were conducted in Comrie and still today the Earthquake House in the Ross is a major tourist attraction. The latest tremor was centred in Killin in January, 2005.

Earthquake House, the Ross, Comrie - 1869