Rob Roy MacGregor Campbell
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)
Tales of Derring Do
Soldier, Soldier, won’t you marry me wi’…
The Adventures of Paddy or Highland Peter
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 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
Getting Stoned in Comrie
Hanging about Comrie
It's Whisky in the Jar
Picking Other Folks' Brains
Porridge for Breakfast
Tarred and Buttered
The Twa' Brithers
There’s a Hare in my Soup
Yer bum's oot the Window
18th & 19th Century
The Queen’s Visit – 1842
The year had started badly due to the complete annihilation of the British army during the First Afghan War. This disaster accounted for the deaths of some 16500 soldiers, civilian men, women and children; all of whom died, or were killed in the January retreat from Kabul to Jellalabad. Quite a few hostages were taken, but of the military forces, only Dr Brydon made it to safety.
Dr. Brydon, virtually the sole survivor of the retreat from Kabul to Jellalabad
This fiasco had resulted from military incompetence, a complete lack of understanding that the area could not be controlled by outposts under the control of British officers, a complete lack of understanding of the topography of the area, and especially appointing administrators who could not speak the Pashto language nor who had any understanding of Islamic culture and a complete lack of understanding of tribal politics. The mountainous region was contested in the great game between the Russian and British Empires. The winner would exert considerable influence on both India and the area now known as Pakistan. Her year brightened in September with further British military incursions started in an attempt to regain lost ground and opportunities. The Second Afghan war started.
Meanwhile back home Queen Victoria decided to visit Scotland and preparations were made accordingly. She had decided to use the Royal yacht and go by sea. This was unfortunate because she became very sea sick. However, the Royal fleet arrived in Edinburgh and she disembarked a little earlier than expected. The poor burghers of the capital city had to be smartish to get dressed and meet their guests. Everything turned out well though and she developed a very soft spot for them.
The following extract from the National Record provides a glimpse of some of the dresses worn by the ladies of Edinburgh for her reception. I wonder if this happens today.
Mrs. Law-son of Summerhill—Handsome dress of brocade satin, richly trimmed lace, with lace berttie. Head-dress, chaplets of flowers, gold and pearl ornaments.
Mrs. D. M'Whirter—Dress of rich silver grey satin, with lace cardinale,cap of blonde and flowers; pearl and diamond ornaments.
Mrs. Monro of Craiglockhart—Dress of rich lemon-coloured watered dncape, trimmed blonde en tableau, with blonde berthe and lappets. Pearl ornaments.
Mrs. Hay of Belton—Rich dress of Irish tabbinett, trimmed handsomely with blonde. Head-dress, blonde and flowers; rich ornaments.
Mrs. Douglas Dick—Dress of rich French moire, trimmed with blonde. Headdress, blonde lappets and feathers.
Mrs. Lammont—Splendid dress of rich brocaded silk, trimmed with a berthe of fine old point lace, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Head-dress, an elegant transparent hat, with marabout feathers and lappets of point lace.
Miss Maclean of Coll—Dress of white muslin over a primrose gros de Naples petticoat, elegant lace lappets and beautiful flowers.
Mrs. John Heron Maxwell—Dress of white organdie over a rich satin petticoat, with a beautiful garland of white roses and orange flowers round the skirt; bodice and sleeves elegantly trimmed with net lace. Head-dress, lace lappets and white flowers.
Mrs. James Kinnear—Two petticoats of tulle over an elegant blue watered silk dress, looped up with wreaths of blue eonvolvolus; bodice and sleeves ornamented with rich blonde lace and pearls. Head-dress, white hyacinths and beautiful blonde lappets.
Mrs. Kellie M'Callum—Handsome dress of rich white satin, trimmed with Brussels point lace and flowers. Head-dress, Brussels lace and flowers ; ornaments, turquoise and pearls.
Honourable Miss Maule—White watered silk, trimmed with blonde. Ornaments, pearls.
Miss Hastings—Full ball dress, over rich white satin, trimmed with flowers. Ornaments, pearls and diamonds.
The Misses Murray Thriepland, of Fingask—Dresses of rich white moire, fully trimmed with point lace. Head-dresses, feathers and flowers, with garnet ornaments.
Miss Garden, Carstairs House—Full ball dress of tulle, trimmed with flowers and blonde. Head-dress, bouquet of flowers.
Miss MacLean—Full ball dress, tastefully embroidered in silk, and trimmed with point lace and pink flowers. Coronet of flowers ; ornaments, carbuncles.
Miss Gordon of Aikenhead—Full ball dress of tulle, over rich white pott-de-toie glace, splendidly trimmed with flowers and blonde; chaplet of flowers. Ornaments, pearls and diamonds.
Miss Wyndham Gray—A rich dress of white moire, handsomely trimmed with tnlle and flowers. Head-dress, blonde lappets fastened with diamond spray.
Miss Macall of Daldowie—A full ball dress of tulle, over rich white satin, trimmed with flowers and blonde. Circlet of flowers and pearls.
Miss Thomson Carmichael of East End—Superb dress of rich brocaded pou-de-roie, elegantly trimmed with point lace. Wreath a la Marie Stuart, with lace lappets ; ornaments, amethysts, opals, and diamonds.
Miss Iloneyman—A full ball dress of tulle over rich white satin, trimmed with white roses. Circlet of white flowers ; diamond ornaments.
Miss Campbell of Colgraine—A splendid white moire dress, with tulle tunic, trimmed with flowers. Wreath of flowers, with lappets.
The Misses Oswald of Dunnikeir—Full ball dresses of tnlle, over rich white satin, trimmed with flowers and blonde.
The Misses Ramsay—Simple ball dresses in French muslin, embroidered in rich colours, trimmed with ribbon. Pearl and diamond ornaments.
Miss Hope, Wardie—An elegant ball dress of tulle over rich white satin, trimmed with holly and violets. Tiara and ornaments of emeralds and diamonds.
Miss Jemima Hope, Wardie—An elegant ball dress of tulle over rich white satin, trimmed with holly and violets; wreath to correspond. Ornaments, carbuncle and diamonds.
Miss Maitland Gibson—A dress of rich white satin with tulle drapery, elegantly festooned with flowers. Simple wreath of white flowers.
Miss Mary Grahame—A ball dress of pale blue glace, trimmed with point lace and flowers.
The Misses Wardlaw—Full ball dress over pink, elegantly trimmed with lace and flowers. Chaplet of pink flowers.
Miss Reid of Grangehill—Full ball dress of white watered silk, trimmed with roves of lace and flowers. Berthe and sabots of the same. Head-dress, feathers and barbe.
Miss Hollands—Full ball dress of tarlatan over rich white silk, tastefully trimmed with lace and flowers. Miss Robertson—The same.
Miss Stafford—White satin dress, with tunic of tarlatan, trimmed with lace and flowers.
Miss Caroline Eccles—A simple ball dress over rich white satin, trimmed with flowers. Small circlet of white roses.
Miss Aitchison of Drummore—White crape dress, over rich white satin, handsomely trimmed with blonde and white Camillas. Head-dress, very handsome blonde lappets, fastened with Camillas.
Miss Jameson—Tarlatan muslin dress, over rich white satin, handsomely trimmed with Brussels lace. Head-dress, Brussels lappets and flowers.
Miss C. Jameson—Tarlatan muslin dress, over very rich pink satin, robed and handsomely trimmed with Brussels lace. Head-dress of flowers.
Miss Home of Paxton—Dress of rich watered pink silk, trimmed with blonde and flowers. Blonde barbe, with wreath of flowers.
The Misses Mercer of Gorthy and Dryden—Dresses of rich silver blue brocade satin, handsomely trimmed with blonde and flowers. Head-dress, flowers and pearl ornaments.
Miss Halket- -White watered silk dress, richly trimmed with lace and flowers. Headdress, feather and barbe.
Miss Forrest of Comiston—Full ball dress of rich white watered silk, trimmed with lace and flowers. Head-dress, coiffure with marabouts.
Miss Street—Elegant dress of rich white moire, with a double skirt of tulle illusion, Drnamented with wreaths of beautiful pink flowers and green foil; bodice and sleeves jrimmed with rich blonde lace. Head-dress, blonde lace lappets, intermixed with '.noss roses.
Miss Stewart of Physgill—Beautiful dress, composed of a double skirt of tulle illusion, over a petticoat of rich white watered silk, very simply trimmed; bodice and sleeves ornamented with rich Brussels point lace. Head-dress, Brussels point lace, lappets, and pearls.
Miss Innes of Raemoir—Three skirts of illusion, over a petticoat of rich white moire, elegantly ornamented with sprays of beautiful dark moss buds and roses, rich Brussels lace berthe, with a stomacher of costly pearls. Head-dress, bandeau and tiara of pearls.
The Misses Gordon—Dresses of white organdie, over white gros de Naples, draped with fine lace skirts, beautifully ornamented with moss roses, eschelles of jessamine and lillies of the valley. Head-dress, elegant lace l:ippets and wreaths of roses.
Miss Cochrane of Ladyland—Beautiful dress of rich pink illusion satin, with garniture of tulle and nceuds of ribbon, ornamented with rich blonde lace. Head-dress, rich blonde lappets, intermixed with roses.
Miss Drysdale—A very handsome French blonde dress, over rich white satin, trimmed with geraniums; ivy wreath in the hair; gold ornaments.
Miss Anne Drysdale—Dress of rich white watered ducape, trimmed with violets. Ivy wreath in the hair ; pearl ornaments.
Miss Mary Drysdale—Dress of tarlatan muslin, with tunic tastefully ornamented with pale green and violets. Vine wreath in the hair.
Miss Baillie of Polkemmet—Rich white satin petticoat, with a dress composed of illusion tulle, bodice dressed with elegant blonde, and a bouquet of fuschias and jessamine. Head-dress, rich blonde lappets, with a beautiful chaplet of moss roses.
Miss Lee—A tunic dress of tulle illusion, over rich white satin, looped up on each side a la liergn, ornamented with rich lace and bouquets of beautiful blush flowers. Head-dress, tine lace lappets and blush roses.
Miss J. Graham Stirling—Dress of rich figured pink satin, ornamented with fine lace. Head-dress, fine lace lappets and pearls.
Miss Cochrane Patrick of Waterside—Dress of elegant brocaded white satin, tastefully trimmed with rich lace flowers, ornamented with pink and white flowers, and a beautiful bouquet of pink acacia. Head-dress, Honiton lace lappets, and pink and white roses.
Miss Dirom—Handsome silver grey dress, richly trimmed with blonde. Head-dress, blonde lappets and ostrich feathers.
Miss Hope—Rich black satin dress, brocaded with colours, handsomely trimmed with point lace. Head-dress, blonde lace, with lappets and marabout feathers.
Miss Kinloch of Gortie—White muslin dress, over pink gros de Naples. Headdress, flowers and pearl ornaments.
Miss Isabella Kinloch of Gortie—White muslin lace, over white gros de Naples. Head-dress, flowers and pearl ornaments.
The Misses M'Whirter—Dress of rich pearl white satin, trimmed with lace, with bouquets of heath ; ornaments, pearls and diamonds.
Miss Oswald of Scotstown—Rich silver grey watered silk dress, trimmed with blonde ; magnificent large cardinal cape in blonde, with blonde collar, &cr Head-dress, turban, with ostrich feathers and blonde lappets.
Miss Hay of Beltou—Simple dress of Brussels net over white gros de Naples, trimmed with lace.
The Queen proceeded north via Dalkeith, North Queensferry, Kinross, Perth, Dunkeld, Aberfeldy, and then to Taymouth Castle where she stayed for several days as a guest of the Marquess of Breadalbane. On Saturday the 10thSeptember she continued her sojourn from there to Drummond Castle in Muthill via Highland Strathearn, Comrie and Crieff.
She was rowed down Loch Tay to Killin in a small boat accompanied by her well-dressed hosts who had offered some entertainment. In another accompanying boat were several pipers who played Highland tunes for her pleasure. It must have been quite a challenging act to play bagpipes and keep standing upright in a rowing boat! No doubt the pipers hoped that all the rowers would row evenly!
Loch Tay looking East
Grey Street, Killin
On her way to Comrie she tasted the water from the Altanish Burn at Dalchonzie declaring that “it was the sweetest water she had ever tasted.” The name Altanish is a corruption of the Gaelic, Allt Tamhaisg, meaning Ghost or Spectre, so it is possible that her ghost may be seen there on a dark, rainy and windy night. The author thinks that if you wish to encounter her it is better to have a dram prior, and if you have more than one, the chances of seeing her are even greater!
The Altanish Burn lies to the Left
Hugh Miller in the popular “Witness” newspaper noted: - “At the distance of 12 3/4 miles from Lochearnhead Her Majesty reached the town of Comrie, of earthquake notoriety. The day was observed there as a holiday, all the shops being shut, the whole population having turned out to meet Her Majesty, and neat triumphal arches having been erected, with flags and banners flying. Loud and enthusiastic cheers and waving of hats and handkerchiefs, as usual, followed her course till she left the town and proceeded on her way to Crieff, through one of the most charming and fertile districts of Scotland.”
Comrie in the Nineteenth Century
I believe that the kilt once worn by her favourite groom, John Brown, adorns the now removed Tartan Museum, although I don’t think he left it when he visited our village! Sadly no known British royalty has formally visited our village since...perhaps the times have come for them to by-pass Balmoral and enjoy real scenery and hospitality!
Again I have included the description provided by the National Record showing the Queen’s journey to Drummond Castle via Comrie and Crieff.
THE JOURNEY TO DRUMMOND CASTLE.
From Killin,the Royal cortege proceeded up the vale of the Dochart,| a wild rocky stream that tumbles through a sterile glen, and round by Glenogle to Locharn Head, and thence down Strathearn to Drummond Castle. Along these wild and rocky glens, cultivation is hardly known—the whole district being a continuation of bare precipitous mountains, rugged rocks, foaming streams, or treacherous bogs. A wilder scene, indeed, than this Glenogle, the eye of Monarch never saw. Rocks are piled above rocks, bare and hard, from the base to the summit, rising to a prodigious height, and leaving scarce carriage breadth at some points between. The Khyber Pass is not more lonely or more desolate. It would be scarcely possible to sketch in words the scenic attributes of the varied route by means of which the Queen reached her temporary haven at Drummond Castle. It contains a grouping of almost every conceivable, kind of scenery—the soft beauties and the substantial richness of the English landscape, with the sterile grandeur of the Scotch ; mountain, vale, rock, loch, rivulet, and cataract—all were there; bountiful crops and stinted pastures, with sleek kine and the nimble blackfaced sheep, showed that the peculiar attributes of many lands had been encircled in one little territory. But the poet tells it much better than can be conveyed by prosaic phrase :—
" Ever charming, ever new,
When will the landscape tire the view ?
The fountain's fall, the river's flow,
The wooded valley, warm and low—
The windy summit, wild and high,
Roughly rushing to the sky—
The pleasant dell—the ruined tower,
The naked rock, the shady bower—
The town and village, dome and farm,
Each lends to each a double charm,
Like pearls upon an Ethiop's arm!"
PREPARATIONS AT CRIEFF AND NEIGHBOURHOOD.
Than Saturday, 10th September, a gayer or more deeply exciting morning never opened on Crieff.* As formerly stated, the two previous days had been wild and ungenial, but this was a charming and lovely day, and as soon as the sunlight had gilded the tops of the Grampians, groups of horsemen and pedestrians commenced to pour into the village, and kept up an uninterrupted torrent until far in the morning. Many of them had stolen from the night to add to the day, and man and steed were alike weary—not a few of the cavalcade having come from Lord Willoughby's estate of Stobhall, ten miles north-east from Perth, and nearly thirty from the scene of action. All were mounted and attired as yeomen, of whom any proprietor, or any landlord, might be proud, with this specialty, that each wore a plaid across the breast, and a vest of the Drummond tartan. And, as one septuagenarian agriculturist remarked, they were prouder to come than the Lord of Drummond could be to ask them; "for," said he,"summer and winter may pass for many generations before we are called on to guard the Queen in Strathearn." So as soon as ten had chimed by the clock, the arm of labour was suspended, not only in village, but in harvest field—not only in Crieff, but in Muthill and Comrie, and hamlets all around. A splendid Triumphal Arch was erected at the west end of Crieff, which was decorated with heather, flowers, and evergreens, and surmounted with a Crown, under which was the following motto, "Queen of our Highland hearts! Welcome Victoria." Another Arch was erected at the north end of the Bridge, while a third stood about two hundred yards farther south on the other side of the water. As Lord Willoughby D'Eresby had kindly granted admittance to the large park inside the gate, several hundreds availed themselves of the privilege, as a most eligible spot from which to view the cavalcade as it made its approach to the Castle. Large bodies of the tenantry of the surrounding gentlemen had arrived about mid-day on horseback, and were drawn up along the road at different places, while Burrel Street, which was the line of route, was kept clear by special constables, a number of whom had been sworn in for the occasion.
All the other streets were barricaded in order to prevent carts or carriages passing in contrary directions; and the gate of the toll-bar, which stands at the south end of the Bridge, was removed to the north end, at which were placed several of the Sixth Dragoons and a number of Constables, with orders to prevent any vehicles from passing after a certain time. Alexander M'Laurin, Esq. of Broich, was stationed at the Gallow Hill, foot of Burrel Street, on horseback, with a large banner flying, while a number of his feuars and tenantry lined the street, with rods in their hands. The tenantry of Lady Baird Preston of Ferntower, mounted on horseback, with her Ladyship at their head, occupied the road south of Bridgend; while those of Sir William Keith Murray were drawn up to the westward of the town, along the Estate of Ochtertyre. Those of Major Moray of Abercairney, and Thomas Graham Stirling, Esq. of Strowan, occupied respective situations.
In Comrie, there were three Triumphal Arches, and between Crieff and Lochearnhead,at the entrance to Dunira, Lawers, Clathic, Strowan, Ochtertyre, &c. there were, in all, eleven. At the entrance to the beautiful and stately avenue of trees which line the public road, and lead to the gate of Drummond Castle, and thence to Muthill, a magnificent Triumphal Arch was reared. Every farm-stead and cottage along the line was adorned with sprig or wreath, and many a banner floated in the breeze, while the Earn sang on its onward way. Within the gate of Drummond Castle was (is) a Triumphal Arch of Nature's own handiwork, viz. stately rows of beech, lime, and horse-chestnut, which have interlaced branches in the friendly embrace of 100 years; and,
It had been her Majesty's intention to have accepted the hospitality of Sir David Dundas of Dunira, but the time spent on Loch Tay prevented this honour being paid to the worthy Baronet.* Sir David, however, met her Majesty at the boundary of his estate, accompanied by his tenantry, all well mounted, and escorted the Queen to Lednoch Bridge. Here they were met by Major Moray Stirling of Abercairney, as the representative of Mrs. Robertson Williamson of Lawers. On reaching the confines of this property, they neared the classic Ochtertyre, where Sir William Keith Murray was with a mounted host; and the guard of the Murrays was only relieved by the appearance of Lord Willoughby D'Eresby, who was prepared to escort the Queen to his own Castle of Drummond. So soon as the cortege was met by a new " laird " or proprietor, he who had previously held the place of honour fell back with his mounted retainers, and by the time it reached Comrie, and finally Crieff, the cavalcade had increased to one alike numerous and imposing.-j-
* We understand that her Majesty wrote, with her own hand, a letter to Sir David, expressing regret that the time which, as had been ascertained, would necessarily be occupied in the journey from Taymouth would prevent her visiting his mansion, as had been previously arranged. The letter, which was sent through the Post-office, did not reach Sir David, however, until the following Monday.
t A very interesting fact may be here mentioned connected with her Majesty's reception in this district. Mrs. Robertson Williamson (widow of the late Lord Balgray), although advanced in life, retains the most devoted feelings of loyalty to the Throne unimpaired. This lady not only constructed three elegant Triumphal Arches on the road through her property, but prepared a battery of cannon to salute her Sovereign when passing. This being the first break in the monotony of the Royal progress for some hours, her Majesty inquired to whom she was indebted for that manifestation of loyalty, and was duly informed. It could not at the time, however, be also told—for we believe it was not known until afterwards—that the last gun of the Royal salute was actually fired by Mrs. Robertson herself! We much doubt if, amid the many tributes of loyalty which her Majesty has yet received since her accession, one of so high a character was ever before tendered.
PREPARATIONS AT DRUMMOND CASTLE.
The gateway, which so imposingly overlooks the celebrated gardens of Drummond, is approached by the arch-way under the ruined part of the Castle, and at the opposite end was situated the modest porch by which Royalty was to enter the Castle of Drummond.* It was adorned with a simple garniture of heather, and around the semi-circle were placed the clansmen of Drummond, formed of the tenantry, and the sons of the tenantry, on the estate—an imposing band, composed of riflemen, men-at-arms (with sword and target), and stalwart Highlanders with their battle-axes; and it is worthy of note, that Lady Willoughby made it a sine qua non that every man of them should be able to speak Gaelic. One part of the space was occupied by picked men of the Forty-
* We borrow the following graphic description of Drummoud Castle from a cotemporary writer:— At best, Drummond Castlo can be called little else than a " Keep." Part of the old building which has survived the explosion of the "45" stands, and forms an arched entrance to a half-moon court, by which the newer and now occupied part of the castle is approached. It forms two sides of a quadrangle, facing north and west, and has evidently been patched up at various times. Taken by itself, the building is indifferent, if not contemptible; but it has many attributes for which the most magnificent noble homes in England and Scotland may be searched in vain. Rising abruptly on a rock which towers in the midst of a splendid policy, redolent of all the external beauties of gentle hill and shelving dale, dotted by old clumps and lines which lengthen out long vistas, and alive with the kine and oxen which browse and fatten, and the red deer which in hundreds frisk on its pastures, Castle Drummond is in every sense of the word the most prominent and majestic object in a panorama, all parts of which are lovely. Overlooked by the Grampians and overlooking the rural richness of Strathearn and Strathallan, all men would say that Castle Drummond, when inhabited by a Queen, was beauty's self. The policy extends to two miles every way, and, to those skilled in land-metering, the number of acres will be easily ascertained. But they contain, in addition to wood, glade, and fell, and timber of aged growth, attractions which one may ride over broad Scotland, and look in vain for their parallel. On the north there is a beautiful artificial lake, with the foliage depending to the water's edge, and rendered animated and gaudy by the troops of swans that are constantly swimming on its waters. On the south side, and immediately fronting the principal face of the Castle, lie the matchless flower-gardens of Drummond, which, though situated in the north, are as well known by repute to every florist, and every man of cultivated taste in London, as the Lion of Northumberland at Charing Cross is to every veritable Cockney. We have no meaner authority than the Duchess of Sutherland for saying, that these gardens are unequalled in Europe, according to their scale. They have been called Dutch; but the fact is, that the old common garden of Drummond has been transformed by Lord Willoughby into the floral gem which it now is. Looking from the Castle esplanade, there is a lower terrace, the under parts of which are fringed with the dark green branches of the yew tree; lower still, a sloping embankment of beautiful shrubbery shelves away, and without much imagination it might remind one of the " hanging gardens of Babylon ;" and lower still, there is the nearly level expanse of the Drummond gardens, laid out in every conceivable form of beauty, containing every floral treasure which is known to our clime, interspersed with beautiful pieces of statuary, and the walks shorn by the scythe, and levelled by the roller, till they have attained the beau ideal of a velvet sward. They contain a series of beautiful groups, mixed like a fairy dance, but all squared with mathematical exactness, and among things worthy of note in this deeply-interesting parterre is a dial, which figures as a centre-piece, and has been planted there by one of the unfortunate nobles of Perth.
PREPARATIONS AT DRUMMOND CASTLE.
Second Regiment; but a more imposing and manly band than these Drummond Highlanders* we have rarely looked on. The clan was commanded by the Honourable Alberic Drummond Willoughby, the Master of Willoughby, and son of Lord Willoughby, whose gold, silver, and diamond-mounted accoutrements were costly and superb; by Major Drummond of Strageath; by the Master of Strathallan; and by Captain Drummond of Megginch. But amongst these honourable men who commanded, there were men, however humble in sphere, who should be noticed. Comrie, the landlord of the respectable inn at Comrie, was there, and claimed his right to be standard-bearer to Lady Willoughby, in virtue that his grandfather had rescued the standard of the " Duke of Perth " at the battle of Culloden, upon which occasion the Chief of the Drummonds said—" For this, your bread shall be baken, Comrie." And the venerable representative of this heroic Comrie, wore, on Saturday, the identical blade with which his sire had slain the Sassenach who would have tarnished the Drummond banner. He was attended on each side by one of his sons, who carried long two-handed swords, one of which was stated to have done execution at Bannockburn. Near this interesting trio stood the two pipers, the first of whom was adorned in golden wings or epaulets, and wore a brooch which his grandfather had worn at the field of Culloden, and the second was gay in streamers at his pipes, and silver wings. On the rock alone stood old Mr. King—a living remembrancer of the goodness of the Drummond or Willoughby race. He was attired in tartan, and looked like one who had shaken hands with generations which had long since passed away. But the silvery-haired old man told that he was "only eighty-nine, and had been the fourth mason, father and son, ane after anithcr, who had done all the building work for the Drummonds,"—a fact which tells that
the " live and let live" principle did not begin to be acted on yesterday—at least in the family of Drummond. The accommodations of the Castle being limited, a temporary pavilion was erected for the dining hall, and fitted up in a style of almost Eastern magnificence. The tables and walls literally groaned under a weight of plate which had been gathered in successive ages by the family of Drummond, and by the families of Willoughby, as representatives of the Dukes of Ancaster, who were Lord Chamberlains of England. Many of them are coronation gifts, and as such, gorgeous, valuable, and splendid; but a pearl of all price was a gold salver, at least a foot in diameter, gifted to the Drummonds by the Queen whom they gave out of the family, viz. Ana- bella Drummond, wife of Robert the Third of Scotland —a treasure which has been preserved through all the vicissitudes of the Drummonds. There were also salters on the table of still greater antiquity. It is worthy of note, that all these erections were put up by the native workmen. The floral beauties which adorned the Castle were the work of Mr. M'Donald, the gardener, and the preparations generally were under the charge of Mr. Kennedy, Lord Willoughby's factor, aided by Mr. Fergusson, the land-steward.
ARRIVAL AT DRUMMOND CASTLE.
At a quarter past six o'clock, the sound of cannon from a battery belonging to Sir William Keith Murray of Ochtertyre, where a Royal salute of 21 guns was fired, announced that her Majesty was at hand; and at half- past six, the Royal cortege entered Burrel Street, Crieff, amidst the most deafening cheers and waving of hands, which her Majesty graciously acknowledged. By this time the rain had come on somewhat heavily, and on the top of the Bridge over the Earn it was considered necessary that the carriage should be closed. Prince Albert had previously held an umbrella over her Majesty's head, but at the closing of the carriage her Majesty stood up and bowed to all around, and then it passed, closed, at a somewhat quick rate up to Drummond Castle, the avenue of which was lined by five hundred gentlemen on horseback, exclusively composed of the tenantry of the family estates in Perthshire, and all wearing a plaid of Drummond tartan, along with a much greater number on foot. At the entrance of the Castle, a body of the Forty-Second were drawn up as a Guard of Honour, and upwards of a hundred Highlanders in the Drummond tartan completed the cordon. The band of the Sixth Carabineers was stationed on the lawn. There was great cheering along the whole avenue, which was, if possible, redoubled on her Majesty alighting from her carriage. Lord and Lady Willoughby D'Eresby received the Royal guests at the entrance, and conducted them with all form into the Castle. The troops and the Highlanders were then dismissed, the latter being summoned to assemble again on Monday morning. The Royal party at the Castle were—
Her Majesty the Queen.
His Royal Highness Prince Albert.
Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe.
Duchess of Norfolk.
Duchess of Sutherland.
Duke de Richelieu.
Earl of Morton.
Earl of Aberdeen.
Earl of Liverpool.
Earl of Mansfield.
Lord and Lady Willoughby D'Eresby.
Lord and Lady Ruthven.
Lord and Lady Carrington.
Sir Robert Peel.
Sir James Clark.
Sir George Murray.
Sir David and Lady Dundas.
Honourable Mr. and Miss Drummond Willoughby.
Honourable Master of Strathallan.
Honourable Mr. Anson of the Royal suite.
Honourable Miss Paget.
Lady Elizabeth Leveson Gower.
Mr. Home Drummond, M,P.
REJOICINGS IN CRIEFF AND NEIGHBOURHOOD.
Mr. E. Druinmond.
Mr. and Mrs. Heathcote.
Officers on Guard.
In this part of the narrative, we ought not to omit to state, that the dresses of the ladies of the Willoughby family who received and dined with her Majesty, were of the most gorgeous description—being of the Drummond tartan, worked upon velvet, faced with gold, tartan hose, and diamond buckles.
The bed in which her Majesty slept is made from the Coronation-throne of George I; the Royal Arms are beautifully emblazoned on it.
In the evening, Crieff was brilliantly illuminated, and there was a display of fire-works in honour of the event. Numerous banners floated from the tops of many of the houses in Crieff, and in many conspicuous situations. Bonfires blazed on every hill in Strathearn, from More- dun in the east to Ben-Voirlich in the west, by the side of Loch Earn. There were flaming piles on the heights of Craigrossie, belonging to Major Graeme of Inchbrakie; on the steeple of Trinity Gask, the property of Sir Thomas Moncrieffe; on Dunsinane Hill (classic ground), on the estate of Mr. Nairne of Dunsinane; on Abercairney and Ardoch, the estates of Major Moray Stirling; on Ochtertyre, the estate of Sir William Keith Murray; on Cultoquhey, the estate of Mr. Maxton; on Dunira height, the estate of Sir David Dundas; on Lawers, the estate of Mrs. Williamson; on Strowan, the estate of Mr. Graham Stirling; on Witchcraig, the estate of Mr. Campbell of Monzie; and on the estate of Lord Strathallan. The darkness of the night aided the effect of these illuminations, which, viewed from the Castle, or from any rising ground in the Straths, was exceedingly grand.
SABBATH, llth SEPTEMBER.
This morning, the Queen and Pmice Albert walked for some time in the flower-garden. The Rev. Mr. Giles,
PRINCE ALBERT DEER-STALKIXG.
Lord Willoughby's chaplain, afterwards read prayers, and preached before her Majesty and his Royal Highness in the Drawing-Room. Prince Albert also visited the top of the old Castle, for the purpose of seeing the extensive view which is commanded from that eminence.
Sir Robert Peel and Lord Aberdeen attended service in the parish church of Muthil. The Rev. Mr. Walker, the pastor of the charge, preached a very excellent sermon. On the Sabbath previous, this reverend gentleman announced to his congregation that her Majesty was expected to honour their bounds with her presence on the Saturday following; and he invited his people to gather themselves together in the parish kirk, at seven o'clock on that evening, to invoke the Divine blessing on her Majesty, her Royal Consort, and the noble family whose hospitality the Queen was accepting.
This day, the dinner-party consisted, in addition to the Court circle, of
Duchess of Sutherland.
Lady E. L. Gower.
Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe.
Marquess and Marchioness of Abercom.
Earl and Countess of Kinnoull and Lady L. Hay.
Honourable James Murray.
Major Moray Stirling.
Officers of the Guard, &c.
MONDAY, 12th SEPTEMBER.
This morning, about half-past five, his Royal Highness Prince Albert, accompanied by Lord Willoughby, Lord Ossulston, and Mr. Campbell of Monzie, started for deer-stalking in the forest of Glenartney, at a distance of twelve miles. The deer here are of the true red species, and therefore very difficult to be got within rifle distance. For nearly six hours the Royal party pursued the sport to near the southern side of Ben-Voirlich, and the result was a fine buck of the first head, and three hinds, all of which fell to the Prince's gun; for on this occasion, as at Taymouth, his Royal Highness alone shot. The party returned to the Castle about three o'clock.
VISIT TO MAJOR MORAY AND LADY BAIRD.
Her Majesty again spent some time this morning in the flower-garden, along with the Duchess of Norfolk. In passing through the inner court, which was lined with the Highlanders, her Majesty walked round the square, and inspected their dresses and accoutrements. Her Majesty wore a fancy tartan dress, the centre of each square rich brocaded, and a straw bonnet trimmed with green. About half-past four, her Majesty and Prince Albert, accompanied by Lady Willoughby and the Duchess of Buccleuch in the same carriage, and followed by the Duke of Buccleuch, the Duchess of Norfolk, and the Honourable Miss Paget, in another carriage, left the Castle, on a visit to Major Moray at Abercairney, and Lady Baird Preston (the widow of the hero of Seringa- patam) at Ferntower. The Royal cortege left the Castle by the east gate, and passed through Crieff, where large crowds were again collected to get another look at her Majesty and the Prince, who graciously acknowledged, the plaudits with which they were everywhere received. The first call was made at Ferntower, through the grounds of which the Royal party took an airing; and thence drove to the splendid new Gothic mansion of Abercairney,*' where her Majesty and Prince Albert were received by Major Moray Stirling and the Honourable Mrs. Douglas. The Royal visitors alighted and went through the principal apartments of that splendid mansion. Thence they proceeded through the grounds of Monzie to Ochtertyre, going in by the north side and coming out to the Comrie road by the south gate, and so returned to Drummond Castle before evening.
At all those places her Majesty and Prince Albert expressed the greatest admiration of the scenery. For an hour or two before the Royal visit, the public were excluded from the grounds, but they were thrown open freely at all other times.
THE BALL AT DRUMMOXD CASTLE.
The dinner-party this day consisted of the following, in addition to the usual Court circle, and the guests residing at the Castle :—
Lord and Lady Sefton.
Lord and Lady Craven.
Lord and Lady Belhaven.
Mr. Campbell of Monzie.
A grand ball took place in the evening in the temporary banquet-hall behind the Castle. The number present amounted to about fifty, the hall not being capable of accommodating a larger number. Among the distinguished persons who attended the ball were, besides the Queen and Prince and suite, as formerly named,
Lord and Lady Willoughby.
Lord and Lady Carrington.
Honourable Miss Willoughby.
Honourable Alberic Willoughby.
Mr. Heathcote, and Honourable Mrs. Hcathcote.
Marquess and Marchioness of Abercorn.
Earl and Countess of Craven.
Earl and Countess of Sefton.
Lord and Lady Belhaven.
Lord and Lady Ruthven.
Lord and Lady Kinuaird.
Earl and Countess of Kiunoull,and Lady Louisa Hay.
Duke de Richelieu.
Sir David and Lady Dundas.
Sir George Murray, and Miss Murray.
Major Moray, Abercairney.
Mr. and Mrs. Graham.
Mr. Graham Stirling.
Mr. Graeme, and Mr. C. Graeme.
Honourable J. Stewart.
Honourable Mr. and Mrs. Drummond.
Honourable Mrs. Douglas.
Mr. Henry Drummond, and Mr. Murray Drummond.
Major Drummond, Strageath.
Sir William, and Lady Keith Murray.
Sir Adam Drummond, and Miss Drummond.
Major Dunsmuir, Forty-Second, on guard.
Lieutenant Campbell, do. do.
Mr. Wedderburn, do. do.
Mr. Barret, do. do.
Mr. Campbell of Monzie.
Captain Jocelyn, Carabineers.
Mr. Walker Drummond.
Her Majesty wore the Order of St. Andrew. Her dress was composed of rich Spitalfields silk, of a pale pink, trimmed en tablier, with magnificent Brussels lace and quillings of ribbon. Head-dress, a coronet of diamonds and white flowers. Lady Willoughby appeared to great advantage in a Highland bonnet of dark blue velvet, the chieftain's plume of eagle's feathers fastened with a bouquet of diamonds, and a sprig of holly, the badge of the Clan Drummond. The Honourable Mrs. Heathcote—dress of Drummond tartan, trimmed with costly lace and a profusion of matchless pearls; her beautiful hair received no other ornament than a sprig of holly. The Right Honourable Lady Carrington— Drummond tartan dress, with a berthe and robings of steel, a green velvet hat, white feathers and diamonds. The Honourable Miss Willoughby—a Drummond tartan satin, made open, over a rich white satin petticoat, trimmed with quillings of scarlet ribbon, point lace, and precious stones ; head-dress, a wreath of holly. These three ladies are the daughters of the noble and amiable Chieftainness of the Clan Drummond and Lord Willoughby D'Eresby. We have not space to particularise the dresses of the other ladies; suffice it to say, that all were splendidly attired, and that each privileged lady wore the tartan of her own clan. The Highland garb set off to great advantage the handsome person of the Honourable Alberic Drummond Willoughby, son and heir of the noble host and hostess. Her Majesty was graciously pleased to tread a measure with this young gentleman, and his Royal Highness Prince Albert led out Lady Carrington. The country-dance was "Meg Merrilees."
DEPARTURE FROM DRUMMOND CASTLE, AND RETURN TO DALKEITH.
TUESDAY, 13th SEPTEMBER.
This morning, about nine o'clock, her Majesty and Prince Albert, accompanied by their suite, left Drummond Castle for Dalkeith Palace. Before leaving the Castle, her Majesty presented Lady Willoughby with a magnificent pair of diamond bracelets, the emblematical construction of which is designed to represent eternity. Her Majesty's travelling dress was of the Royal Stuart tartan, with two deep flounces, an exquisite cashmere shawl, scarlet ground and gold colour palms, a white transparent cottage bonnet, trimmed with a blond veil, and small white feathers. The same preparations were visible along the road as on the previous occasions; such as triumphal arches, whitened cottages, floral decorations, flags, &c. At the gate of Culdees, about a mile beyond the village of Muthil, a splendid arch had been thrown across the road, which bore the inscription, "Adieu, fair Daughter of Strathearn!" A neat bower, decked with heather, flowers, and evergreens, had also been erected beside the gate for the accommodation of Lord Strathallan and family, presenting the appearance of an elegant little cottage. Lord Willoughby, who led the van of the Royal cortege, halted on coming up to the arch, when the Royal carriage immediately drew up. The ladies and gentlemen were introduced to her Majesty. Two pretty little children, belonging to the Master of Strathallan, were, at her Majesty's request, handed into the carriage, each of whom her Majesty affectionately kissed, and, after returning them to their parents, gently drove off.
After passing the property of Viscount Strathallan, her Majesty arrived at Orchill, the property of Mr. Gillespie Graham, where her attention was attracted by a Roman banner, which pointed to a lofty standard with the Union Jack, on a Roman encampment near the public road. We find this encampment is the first out-post from the great Roman camp at Ardoch. A stand was erected at Orchill gate, with a banner, on which were Mr. Graham's family and visitors—he himself in front of the party in a splendid Highland costume, with his tenantry ranged on either side,—all of whom gave her Majesty and Prince Albert three hearty cheers.
When approaching Ardoch, Major Moray Stirling was in waiting, and attended on horseback through that property. Major Moray had a way opened through the wall surrounding his demense, for her Majesty's convenience to visit the Roman camp. She alighted, and barely stepped upon this extreme point of Roman domination.* The Prince went upon the camp and waited a short time, expressing, on his return, the gratification he had experienced in viewing this interesting memorial of the " Mother of Dead Empires!"
The cortege swept along the fine level road to Green loaning, where the horses were changed and, passing onward, her Majesty could discern upon her left Sheriffmuir, where the undecided battle was fought between the Duke of Argyle and the Earl of Mar in 1715. Her Majesty then shortly after entered the ancient Episcopal city of DUNBLANE,
The scene of the labours of the, excellent Archbishop Leighton. The inhabitants of this ancient city were not behind their neighbours in giving proofs of their loyalty and affection towards their young Queen and Prince Albert. Many of the houses were whitewashed for the occasion. An exhibition of Fireworks, got from Edinburgh for the occasion, took place at the Cross in the evening, which gave much gratification to the citizens.”
Drummond Castle in the 19thCentury
Again British military forces are embarked on a foolish war supporting the Americans, in Afghanistan. Like prior conflicts in the region, it too will fail like the Russians did a few years ago. There will be loss of life and the failure will result from all the same reasons which occurred one hundred and sixty years ago. To enumerate them they are; military incompetence; a lack of understanding that the area cannot be controlled by outposts under the control of political appointees, a lack of understanding of the topography of the area, appointing administrators who cannot speak the official language of Pashto, Dari or Farsi, or local languages such as Baluchi, Pashai, or Nuristani. Rossion Inc translates into and from all of these languages. Have a look at the following figure which provides the language distribution of the country. Do you think a win, and a long term win at that is possible? The best idea is to isolate it and anything, like heroin, coming from it, be burned. There is nothing else there! Seal it with political agreements with India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, China and Russia. Accept that Afghanistan is ungovernable!
Perhaps, as there is military action going on in Afghanistan again, Highland Strathearn can expect a visit from the current Queen. After all, our scenery is unmatched, even by Balmoral standards!