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

Tarred and Buttered

There was a fair amount of sheep in the district after the Napoleonic war had ended and they were the forerunner of the shape of things to come. In those days sheep were not dipped to free them from parasites. This was never done or even considered. Rather the reason for dipping them was for identification purposes and they were smeared with a mixture of butter and tar. The butter was imported from the continent and upon arrival in Great Britain was opened by customs officials and mixed with the tar so that it would be used for this purpose and not for general consumption. Most of the butter which came in to the Comrie area had been landed at Leith. From there it was taken by boat to Stirling and then by horse and dray to the village for sale to the local farmers and shepherds.

Mr. Macfarlane was one of the foremost buyers of tar and butter and did a roaring trade and on one occasion he sent one of his carters to Stirling to pick up a shipment. On his return via Braco he decided to drop in at the local hostelry there to have a dram with some of the other carters who were on the same mission. The carter had a grand old time before the arduous trek offered by the long slow pull up by the Water of Knaik, past the shoulder of Grinnan hill in Glenlichorn and over to the Langside Moor and thence down to Comrie in the valley below.

Braco Today


As there were several carters making the journey, some of them started to brag about the strength and pulling power of their horses and a wager was made and the gauntlet hurled down to see who had the fastest nag! Before long the rules were developed and the race began. The horses responded to the crack of the whip and all set off pulling their loads as fast and as well as they could from the start to the finish line. However, in the affray, their cargoes had taken an awful beating with the butter casks on Macfarlane’s cart being staved in or had rolled off the wagon in the mad dash. The carter borrowed some bags from the others and shovelled in the butter in an attempt to clean up, but because he was so inebriated, he just slung them on the cart in a higgelty-piggelty manner. On arrival at the tollhouse at Blairnroar the wager had to be settled and all had a few more drams and by the time they had made Comrie all were in roaring shape.

When Macfarlane’s carter drew up outside the shop door and Macfarlane asked, “Where are the butter casks?” The carter stupefied, pointed in the back of the wagon and said, “Butter in a sack, Mr. Macfarlane; butter in a sack, sir - staves and all.” Needless to stay Mr. Macfarlane was not amused and no doubt gave the carter the edge of his tongue but had to make the best of a bad job.

When Mr. Macfarlane retired from his shop his son, Peter, took over and continued in the trade expanding it in to the post office and, in the meantime, making a lot of money. It was said that whilst generous to the Church in a quiet way, he carefully examined both sides of a coin! Peter had attended college after his education at the Parish school and had developed a keen interest in scientific matters. He was an inventor and improved the power loom and sold the invention (for a profit) to a company of engineers. He also developed a great interest in astronomy and geology. He lectured on both subjects and one evening gave a lecture on the former subject in the Old Free Church schoolroom illustrating his subject with a turnip suspended from the ceiling by a long piece of string. He impaled the turnip with a cane through its centre and at the other end of the cane he placed an apple thereby having a working model of our universe. The apple represented the moon and to get the proceedings under way he would detach himself from the string which he was holding, allowing it to swing across the heads of his students. No doubt when the arc came dangerously close to taking off the head of a student the student would duck! On one occasion when the experiment was in full flight the string broke and everyone headed under their chairs! Loud shouts were heard by the students about the “fallen” world!

He was a very staunch member of the Church adhering strictly to the old Testament believing that the six day clock was for honest endeavour and the seventh was sacrosanct and the Lord’s. He had several opponents regarding his views on geology which as a subject, was hotly debated.