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

The MacArthur's were there before the Hills

Archie MacArthur was the Church beadle with a zest for living. He particularly enjoyed bidding at auctions and at the market place. Johnny Morrison was the town crier for Comrie and he was also an auctioneer. They were fast pals. When he found that a particular article would prove difficult to sell he inevitably shouted at the call, “Where is Archie, where is Archie?” And, Archie, thinking he was buying a bargain, would offer a bid for the item. Archie’s wife, however, saw it differently and used to say that when he bought an article from Johnnie Morrison it normally was as useful as a third wheel on a cart!

Archie’s name like many in Comrie was often shortened reflecting his trade so he became known as Archie Beadle. His fondness as a successful bidder eventually led him to the situation where there was no more room in his house with all the stuff he had bought so he decided to have a sale himself. In the preparation for the auction it was found that he had no fewer than thirteen tattie beetles (chappin sticks) in the sale. He was fairly well off by the standards of the day and had several daughters, each of whom it was rumoured would have a dowry of £100. This was a considerable incentive to the comers and they were all wooed with regularity.

One of the daughters, Kate, was not as comely as the others, (someone had to be Esmerelda) and she was very fond of reading. She was so fond of reading that she often neglected to do her housework or chores when her eye lit upon a book or paper. Many therefore were surprised when a young lad of the village who was very particular about his conduct and dress came to call upon her. It was said, and proved true that he sent his boots to Glasgow to be polished! In time the relationship grew and the Banns were cried and Kate and her husband settled down to married bliss. It soon became very obvious that the appearance of her husband began to lose his sheen. In fact he became rather shoddy. He dropped out of village life preferring to save his pennies and eventually had enough to buy a commodious house and they moved in. Although she had several children they had plenty of available rooms in the house and she decided to let out a few and was fortunate in finding good paying tenants. In time sadly her husband took ill and shortly thereafter died. As a widow she was fairly well off. She had some money in the bank, she had the revenue from the tenants and she had a good milk cow in the byre.

Her family was beginning to grow up and fend for themselves and she was becoming a wee bit lonely when Jock the “Sodger” appeared on her doorstep one day and a wee romance began and over time it blossomed eventually causing the Banns to be posted. Jock was a pensioner having served in the army and he was very attentive to his new bride and gave every indication that he was an excellent husband. However, as she read a lot, it became obvious that he was not as well turned out as formerly and had started to see his soldier cronies more frequently and when he was inebriated he dwelt in the land o’ the fairies! Concomitantly Kate was beginning to think that perhaps Jock was not the best of catches, so the relationship started to deteriorate with continual bickering and sniping.

The cow had during this time grown apace and had spent a year in farrow so it was agreed that it should be fattened and slaughtered at the beginning of winter. It was also agreed that the cow would be salted and carved for the family only and eaten at home. Unfortunately Kate may have misunderstood this as when the cow was being cut into quarters one of her neighbours dropped in, and on hearing about the cow, mentioned that he would be willing to buy a leg at an attractive price. Kate was delighted and the deal was cut. Part of the carcass of the cow was immediately taken down to the local butcher, Willie Borrie, where it was weighed and Kate was paid cash on the nail.

She returned home mightily pleased with the transaction. Later that evening Jock came in to the house after a night at the public house and immediately noticed the missing segment of the coo. He demanded to know what had happened to the missing portion. Kate told him what she had done explaining at the same time that the coo was hers and she could do what she wanted with it. That threw him in to an enormous rage and as the cow’s windpipe with livers and lights attached was hanging on a nail in the door he went there and detached them and started flailing at her with them. She dodged among the tables and chairs trying to avoid the flying entrails calling out for help.

Some young lassies were playing outside and they ran to the house of an old lady who was their neighbour screaming that Jock was killing his wife. The old lady, who was dressed in a blue Duffel petticoat, light coloured short gown and white linen soobacked mutch, ran over to Kate’s house and went in. She railed at Jock at the top of her voice and threatened him with the stick she was carrying and Jock, shocked listened to her for a moment. Then, laying down the windpipe he went to a basin filled with cow’s blood and walked over to the old woman and poured the contents over her head. This act silenced her and stopped her in her tracks and she left immediately probably feeling that it would have been better if she had never come.

Jock then lay down and fell asleep and when he awoke he found a fire brightly blazing and Kate being very affable and trying to make up and after a while things returned to normal. Every now and again arguments about the cow and other things broke out and Kate decided that she had had enough. Gathering her children she left the village and emigrated to America where she prospered. Jock, on the other hand didn’t do too well, and after a period on his own would go down to see his pals in the public house and would return with them occasionally stopping dead in his tracks and with wide, determined, staring eyes, would burst into a wee song set to the tune of “Will you come to the Bower”:


I’ll dash through the river

Ill swim o’er the lake

And I’ll search all the wild woods,

For my Katie’s sake.


It helped him, no doubt, but Kate never returned from America where she died at a ripe old age.