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APPENDIX OF DOCUMENTS

No. 1. No. 1. No. 1. Excerpt Charter of Confirmation by King Robert Bruce to Gilchrist Macymar M'Cay and to his younger son Gilchrist in heritage, with remainder to Ymar his elder son and his heirs, of two shanmarcate of land in Kintyre for the service of two bowmen in the king's army, given at Maynreth, Galloway, 31 Mar 1329: -

[Haddington Charters (translated from Latin)]

Robert, etc. confirms Gilchrist Macymar M'Cay, for his homage and service, of 2 ? of land in the Kentyr, viz., pennyrents of land in Arydermeile, Ballostalfis, Kyllewan and Seskamousky. To be held by Gilchrist and his eldest son Ymar and the heirs his body lawfully begotten or heirs in fee and heritage …
In witness whereof etc. Maynreth in Galway, 24 March


No. 2. No. 2. Charter of Confirmation under the Great Seal by King Robert II to Ferchard, the king's physician, of a gift of the lands of Melness and Hope by Alexander Stewart, the king's son, to the said Ferchard, 4 Sep 1379: -

[Reay Papers (translated from Latin)]

Robert by the Grace of God king of the Scots, to all good men of his whole land, greeting.
Know that we have approved, ratified and confirmed this charter of our beloved son, Alexander Stewart … to Ferchard our doctor land in Mellen and the two parts of Hope with its appurtenances …
In witness whereof present charter of confirmation ordered our seal witnesses venerable in Christ fathers William and John, our Chancellor, church of St Andrew, John, Bishop of Dunkeld, our beloved son Robert of Fyffe and Menteith, and our blood relation William Douglas of Mar.
At Perth on the 4 September, in the 9th year of our reign.


No. 3. Charter by King Robert II to Ferchard the leech, of the Little Islands of Strathnaver, lying between the Rowe Stoir in Assint and Rowe Armadale, 31 Dec 1386: -

[Reay Papers (translated from Latin)]

Robert by the Grace of God king of the Scots, the salvation of all good men of his whole land, that is, the clergy, and the laity.
Know that we have confirmed by this charter our leech Ferchard the islands of Jura, Calwe, Sanda, as well as Elan-gawne, Elan-ewillighe, Elan-erone, Elan-ehoga, Elan-eqwhochra, Elan-eegelye, Elan-enyofo and all the Islands lying between the Rowestorenastynghe and Rowe Armedale, within the sheriffdom of Rivington.
To have and to hold to the same Ferchard, and his heirs, of us and our heirs in fee and heritage, through their own right with all and sundry other liberties, commodities, easements and just appurtenances whatsoever, to the the same the islands.
In testimony charter ordered our seal.
Witnesses reverend father in Christ, Cardinal Walter; John, Bishop of Dunkeld, our chancellor; our eldest son John; Robert Fyfe and of Menteith; James Douglas; Archibald Douglas; and Thomas Erskyne our kinsmen by blood.
At Edinburgh, the last of December, in the 16th year of our reign.


No. 4. Charter in Gaelic by Macdonald of the Isles to Brian Vicar Mackay, of lands in Isla, dated 1408. This Gaelic charter, the oldest extant in that language, was found in the possession of John Magee, county Antrim, a descendant of a family of Macgees who were once followers of the Macdonalds of Antrim. It is now (1905) preserved in the Register House, Edinburgh. A translation into English is appended: -

TRANSLATION In the name of God, amen.
I, Macdonald, am granting and giving eleven marks and a half of land from myself and from my heirs to Brian Vicar Mackay and to his heirs after him for evermore, for his service to me and to my father before me; and this on covenant and on condition that he himself and they shall give to me and to my heirs after me, yearly, four cows fit for killing for my household, and should these cows not be forthcoming the above Brian and his heirs shall give to me and to my heirs after me two and forty merks instead of the foresaid cows. And for the said reasons I bind myself and I bind my heirs after me to the end of their lives these lands with their fruits of sea and land to maintain and to secure to the above Brian Vicar Mackay and to his heirs for ever after him in like manner; and these are the lands given to him and to his heirs for ever after him, viz., Baile Vicar, Machaire, Learga-riavach, Ciontragha, Graftol, Tocamol, Ugasgog, the two Glenastols, Cracobus, Cornubus, and Baile-nechton. And in order that there may be meaning, force, and strength in this grant which I make, I again bind myself and my heirs for ever under covenant this to uphold and to fulfil to the aforesaid Brian and to his heirs after him to the end of their lives by putting my hand and my seal down here in the presence of these witnesses below, on the sixth day of the mouth of Beltane and this year of the birth of Christ, one thousand four hundred and eight.

MACDONALD

JOHN T MACDONALD (his mark)
PAT III M'BROWN (his mark)
FERGUS MACBETH
IYE X M'CEY (his mark)


No. 5. No. 5. No. 5. Charter by Donald of Isla, Lord of the Isles, to Angus of Strathnaver and to his elder son Neil by his wife Elizabeth, sister of the said Donald, of the lands of Strathhalladale and Ferancostgrayg in fee and heritage, at Arcaig, 8 Oct 1415. The charter was registered in the books of the Lords of Council on 15 Feb 1506, but a notarial copy is preserved in the Reay Papers: -

Comperit Sir Johne Polsoun, chanter of Caithness, servitor and actadom. con. procurator for Y Mcky, and gave in this charter underwritten and desires the same to be transumed and copied attently, of which the tenor follows:

"Know present and future that we Donald Lord of the Isles have given charter confirmed to the noble Angus of Strathnaver and to Nigel his eldest son, procreated with our sister Elizabeth of the Isles, and that of male heirs of his body legitimately procreated;
And if the son has no lawful male heirs of his body, a lawful daughter will have the lands of Strathalgadill and ferancostgrayg …
A testimony of which thing we have caused our seal to be affixed at the island Marcage [marginal note, "or in Arcaig"] 8 Oct 1415
Witnesses, Lauchlan Makgillane and Roderick Makcleod with several other people. "

The which desire the Lords understood juste and cousonand to reason decerns and ordans the said charter to be transumed attently and to be put in public form, and also meikille faith to be given to the said transumpt as to the principal charter in judgement and outwith in all times to come, notwithstanding the cancellation and revdn of the same recklessly and in the bak by evil disposed persons, because that public mandate and summonition of all parties hafand or traistant to have intress thereto to her. the same to be transumyt ordorly procedit as efterit.

[Acta Dom. Con.]


No. 6. No. 6. No. 6. Instrument upon a Precept granted by King James IV, upon Douglas of Pittendriech chamberlain of Moray, for paying to Y Mcky of Strathnaver £20 Scots per annum. The Precept is dated 18 Jul 1496, and the Instrument 2 Apr 1497: - [Reay Papers (translated from Latin)]

In the name of God, amen. This public instrument was created 2 Apr 1497 when the venerable master James Achlect was vicar-general Caithness. It witnesses the following letter regarding the noble man Odo M'Ky of Strathnaver, sealed with the King's red wax seal. This has been transcribed in the records of the Court in case anything should happen to the original letter.

"James, by the grace of God king of Scots, to our familiar squire and servitor James Douglas of Pittendrich, our chamberlain of our lordship of Moray, and to all others our chamberlains of Moray that shall happen to be for the time, Greeting. For the good and true service to be doing to us by our loved squire Y Mcky of Strathnaver, grants him the sum of twenty pounds of usual money of our realm in his fee yearly and termly to be paid to him … Wherefore we charge you, the said James our chamberlain and all other chamberlains that shall happen to be for the time, that you in our name pay and deliver to the said Y Mcky or to his factors in his name the said sum of 20 pounds at two times of the year, Whitsunday and Martinmass in winter; which said sum being paid be you, we shall make the same be allowed to you counted by the auditors of our Exchequer, and command and charge them to make allowance to you thereof … Given under our privy seal at Edinburgh the 18 Jul 1496, in the 9th year of our king"

After presentation and reading, the transcript has been made with due observance to prevent accidents and provide proof. The seal has been attached to the public instrument in the Cathedral church of Caithness in the presence of the following venerable and discreet men: Master Walter Fenton, Chancellor of Brechin and canon of Caithness, Adam Fern deputy of the Cathedral Church, Donald Swyne, James Wormet, William Achlect, Robert Fern of the same Cathedral of Caithness, William Mcky and John Kenachson, knights, witnesses.
And I, John Polsoune, presbyter of Caithness, in my own hand
John Polson, presbyter


No. 7. Charter under the Great Seal by King James IV to Odo Mcky in Strathnaver, of the lands of Farr, Armadale, Strathy, Dilred, Cattack, Golspie, lands in Stroma, etc., formerly pertaining to Sutherland of Dirled executed for rebellion, but now given by the king to Mackay hereditarily for a red rose from the lands of Dilred on the feast of the nativity of the Baptist, should it be required, 4 Nov 1499: - [Reay Papers (translated from Latin)]

James by the Grace of God king of the Scots and to all good men of the land, Greeting.
Know that, for good and thankful service to us by our beloved servant Odo (or Y) Makky in Strathnaver, both in times of peace and war, for the seizure of Alexander Sutherland of Dilrid and the other ten persons were complicit in rebellion to our existence. The present charter confirms the said Odo Makky and his heirs to hold all and sundry lands underwritten, viz., the lands of Farr, Armidill, Strathy, Rynivee, Kynald, Gollespy, Delrid, Cattak, Bronach, Kilchallumkill, Davach Lochnaver, Davach Ereboll, and the two pennylands in Stromay, with the mill Kynald with its appurtenances, lying in Caithness and Sutherland, within our sheriffdom of Inverness.

These were the late Alexander Sutherland's property, who was convicted of treason, and now are in our hands. The successors of the said Odo Makky and his heirs are to hold them in fee and heritage for ever of us.
In return, annually, and our successors, for us, of self, and heirs of the aforesaid Odo Makky, a dark red rose from the lands of Dilred on the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
The testimony of our great seal is appended to the charter. In witness whereof we command you, at Inverness, on the 4 November 1499, in the 12th year of our reign.


No. 8. No. 8. Gift of Non-Entry by King James IV to Y Mcky, of the lands of Strathnaver, Fermacostrig, Straithaliday, Creichmor, Assent, Laidroigith, Gruyddech davach [apparently the Laid of Rogart and the davach of Gruids], Edderachilis, the Little Isles of Strathnaver, and a part of Strathflete, dated 15 Mar 1504, and entered in the books of the Lords of Council, 10 Feb 1507: - [Acta Dom. Con., translated from Old Scots ]

James, by the grace of God king of Scots, to all and sundry our officers, lieges and subjects whom it effects who have knowledge of our laws, shall come Greeting. Know you us to have given and granted to our loved Y Mcky in Strathnaver and his heirs for his good, true and thankfull service done and to be done to us, all profits of all of the lands of Strathnaver, Fermacostrig, Strathaliday, Creichnior, Assynt, Laidroigith, Gruyddech davach, and Edderachilis, with the little Isles of Strathnaver and Assynt, together with one part of the lands of Strathflete, being in his hands and possession with their pertinents for all the time that they have been in the hands of our predecessors and ours through non-entry of the rightful heirs thereto and of all times to come until the rightful heirs of the said lands be lawfully entered to the same and obtain lawful state and sasine thereof. To be holding and to be held the whole of the said lands with the pertinents being in our hands by reason foresaid with all profits thererof of all termes bygone and to come, until the entry of the rightful heirs to the same, to the said Y Mckay and his heirs with power to occupy the same with his own goods or to set them to tenants as you shall think most expedient, until the rightful heir or heirs of the said lands obtain lawful state and sasine thereof, freely, quietly, well and in peace without any revocation or again calling of us or our successours whatsoever.
Wherefore we charge straightly and command all and sundry of our officers, leiges and subjects foresaid that none of you take upon hand to do any thing against our laws, of gift made to the said Y Mcky and his heirs nor to make him nor them no manner of vexation, inquietation nor disturbance thereuntil, but that he and they may have the lands above written in all things according to this our said gift for all the time foresaid under all that after may follow.
Given under our privy seal at Edinburgh 15 Mar 1504, and of our reign the 17 year.


No. 9. No. 9. Procuratory of Resignation by Donald McDonchy of Melness in favour of Iye Mcky and his son John, of the lands of Melness, Mussel, Hope, and the salmon fishings of the water of Hope, dated at Invernaver, 30 Sep 1511: - [Reay Papers (translated from Latin)]

In the name of God, amen. A Public instrument dated 30 Sep 1511 in the 7th year of Pope Julius II, written by the notary public and personally signed by the witnesses underwritten:
I, Donald McDonchy of Melliness, not led by force or by fear nor in error but all of my own spontaneous will and deliberate mind, in the right form and the best way I could; and I empower the noble and potent lord Henry Sinclair to be my proxy in the business described below, who has the power to accomplish my resignation and letting go into the serene hands of the most high, our lord James, by the grace of God most illustrious king of Scots, the whole of my land, viz., Melliness, Mossell, and Hoip, together with that of the salmon fishing of the town of Hoip, and for the conferring of the same to Odo Mcky and his son John, by inheritance of himself and his heirs for ever, for a certain sum of money, that is to say, a hundred marks in gold and the silver, which I acknowledge to have received from the hands of the said Odo in payment in advance, and swore by the Gospels that the aforesaid Lord Henry the Sinclair, his agent, or his substitute must never contradict publicly or secretly, directly or indirectly under any pretext whatsoever, under penalty of law or civil law. We will confirm whatever Henry Sinclair promises to the aforesaid Odo Mcky.
I, notary public, have written this public instrument under the year, month, day labor and pontificate above, the discreet men Magno Feid, curate of Creich, Donald Reed, chaplain, John Kennedison, Robert Smyth, John Malcolm or McKennach, and Alexander Mowet, were present about 8 in the morning to witness and ratify.
And I John Polson, clerk of Caithness diocese, by order of the authoritative statements written down by the notary, together with that of the above named witnesses, I was present, I knew and heard and took a note, and signed at the request of all the particular men.
John Polson, Presbyter

[On the back of the parchment in the handwriting of about 1600 there is written, "This is Donald [otherwise] McCorrochy's letter of Procuratory as descended from Farquhar Leech, resigning all his lands of Strathnaver within written in our sovereign lord's hands."
A little lower in the handwriting of about 1670 this appears, "Proie. of resignation by Donald McCourchie of the lands of Melnes, Hope, and salmon fishing thereof in favours of Eye Mckey and his son, 1511".
In the body of the document Donald is said to have been a McDonchy, but in these two dockets he is described as McCorrichie. Evidently he was traditionally known as McCorriehie, i.e., the son of Murdo.]


No. 10. No. 10. Bond of Friendship between Adam Gordon, Earl of Sutherland, and Iye Mckye, 31 Jul 1517: -

[Reay Papers (translated from Old Scots)]

This indenture made at Inverness, the last day of July the year of God 1517, betwixt a noble and mighty lord, Adam, Earl of Sutherland on the one part, and Y Mckye on the other part, in manner and form as after follows:
That is to say, the said Earl of Sutherland shall with his kin, friends, tenants, and servants as well of property as tenantry, make and keep the said Y Mckye, his tenants, his kin, freinds, and men, and all others dependant on him unhurt, harmed, or skaithed in any manner of way, other than law will, by them or any dependants of the said Earl of Sutherland, from this day forth by word or deed; also the said Y Mckye shall keep the said Earl of Sutherland his overlord, and his free tenants as well of tenantry as property, unhurt or skaithed by him or any dependant on him by any way, other than law will, from this day forward, and for the lands he had of the said Earl of Sutherland in property, the said Y Mckye shall from Whitsunday furth discharge him thereat or apprise the said Earl therefore.
And this indenture to endure for all the days of their life, and failing, as God forbid, that either of the said parties break the other in any point above written, in that case the party breaking binds and obliges him, his heirs, executors, and assignies to that party keeping, his heirs, executors, or assignies in the sum of 1,000 merks usual money for hurts, skaiths, damages, and expenses made and sustained by the party keeping; and therefore binds and obliges them by all their goods, movable, unmovable, present, and for to come.
In faith and witness whereof the said parties have sworn their great oath, and signed this writ with their hands, year, day, and place foresaid, before the witnesses, William Keith of Inverugie; Alexander Irvine of Drum; Alexander Irvine; Master Robert Monnorgyn; Sir John Auchinleck; with others diverse.


No. 11. No. 11. Bond of Friendship between Adam, Earl of Sutherland, and John Mcky of Strathnaver, 16 Aug 1518: - [Blk. MS. (translated from Old Scots)]

[No. 10 sealed a compact between the houses of Mackay and Sutherland the previous year, but meantime John Mackay of Strathnaver had succeeded his deceased father Iye, and by No. 11. takes up a similar friendly attitude towards his overlord for the specified lands which he holds within the Earldom of Sutherland.]

The indentures made at Abbirsco, the 16 Aug 1518, proposes and bears witness in this said indenture that it is agreed and fully accorded betwixt a noble and mighty lord, Adam Gordon, Earl of Sutherland, on the one part, and an honourable man called John McKy of Strathnaver on the other part, in form and effect as after follows:
That is to say, the said John Mcky is bound and obliged by the faith and truth in his body, the great oath sworn, the Holy Evangelist taught, to fulfill the points that after follows, that is to say, I, the said John McKy, has come man and servant, with my friends, kinsmen, servants, and allies, and all others that will take my part, to be loyal and true to the said lord for all the days of my life, the king's good grace excepted, the Governor [Regent], and my lord of Huntly; and shall be ruled with kinsmen and friends and all others that will take my part to be ruled and make service with all my power, as said is, to help, defend, and supply the said lord in all manner of things when ever I, the said John, is charged or may get known by the said lord or his servants.

And if any man comes in any part pretending to invade or do skaith to the said lord, men, servants, or lands, and also if Alexander Sutherland comes in any part pertaining to the said John, or in any other parts near the bounds of Sutherland, or in Sutherland, or any other man whatsoever he be, that I, the said John, shall do my diligence and power and take the said Alexander Sutherland or any other that takes his part, and shall bring their persons to the said Lord so that the said Lord shall defend me before the king and the Lords, if I the said John be called therefore, as law will; and it shall not be forfeiting to the said John of the lands that the said John has in his feu, that is to say, the 7 davachs in the height of Strathflet, that is to say, the lands of Larg, Schennis, Moy, Ryne, and Cragy; and also if the said John fails in any points before stated, that the said John shall forfeit the said lands of Larg, Schennis, Moy, Rynne and Cragy.

And also the said Lord binds and obliges me by the faith and truth in my body, the great oath sworn, to be a good lord and master to the said John McKy, kinsmen, and friends for all the days of my life, that I, the said Adam, Earl of Sutherland, shall be loyal and true, and all others that will take my part shall defend and mantain the said John McKy, kinsmen, and friends against all men that will take his contrary part, the king's good grace excepted, the Governor, and the Earl of Caithness who has my band; and I the said lord shall give to the said John McKy the 7 davachs before written for his good service to be done to me, the said Earl of Sutherland, for fulfilling of the poincts above written; and I, the said Adam, Earl of Sutherland, shall not reset nor yet agree with John Murray, nor yet his kinsmen, without consent and advice of the said John McKy, and in likewise the said John Mcky shall not agree with the said John of Murray, nor none of his kinsmen, without consent and advice of the said lord.

And if so happens that the said Lord or the said John McKy fails or breaks in the points before written, that the party failing or breaking shall pay to the party keeping the sum of 1,000 merks usual money of Scotland, that is to say, the one third to the king, one third to the kirk, and one third to the party; and if it be that the indentures be not sufficient in themselves, that it shall be left to the said Adam, Earl of Sutherland, and to the said John McKy to reform the writings until they be sufficient. And for the more security I, the said John McKy, have procured the seal of an honourable man, the laird of Skelbo, and have affixed to this present writ with my signature, the day, and place abovewritten, before the witnesses, William Bailey of Ardnele, William Gordon, son and apparant heir to James Gordon of the Cawbrach, Angus McKy, Donald Bane, Angus Kennochtson, Sir Laurence Smyth, Henry Sutherland, with others diverse and sundry.


No. 12. Bond of Friendship between John Mackay of Strathnaver and Alexander, Master of Sutherland, by which the former, of his own free will, became bound to bear himself towards the said Master as he had promised to do towards his father, Earl Adam, confirming the same by touching the Gospels and the relics of Saint Gilbert, within the cathedral church at Dornoch, 6 Jul 1522: - [Reay Papers (translated from Latin)]

Court held in the cathedral of Caithness the discretion of Lord Robert McRaith, vicar of Kilmaly, deputy commissioner of the same etc., on 6 July 1523.
On that day an honest man, John McKy of Strathnaver, according to his own confession, and of his own will, made an oath, touching the Gospel and the relics of St. Gilbert, swore homage, service and humility to an honorable man, Alexander Gordon, Master of Sutherland with a similar obligation the he pledged to the potent lord Adam, Earl of Sutherland in all its points and to perform the things under penalty of excommunication. Similarly the Master of Sutherland faithfully promised to defend, protect and maintain John McKy in the same manner in which the Earl was bound by the terms and effect of the contract, etc;
in the presence of Lord Thomas Murray, a cantor of Caithness etc.

[Shortly before this Earl Adam Gordon had resigned the lands of the Earldom of Sutherland in favour of his elder son, the Master of Sutherland, and the latter now as head of the house practically by this document renews his father's compact with Mackay of Strathnaver.

The copy of this deed lying at Dunrobin Castle is docketed as follows: - "Indorsed: An act where McKy gave his oath to Alexander, Earl of Sutherland, to do all things that he was obliged till do to Adam, Earl of Sutherland." See Sutherland Book, Vol III ]


No. 13. No. 13. Charter under the Great Seal by King James V to Donald McKy in Strathnaver, of the lands of Strathnaver, lands in Sutherland, Caithness, and Orkney, which pertained to his father Iye McKy, but which fell into the king's hands by reason of non-entry, these lands being now formed into the barony of Farr, Mackay promising to give suit and presence yearly at three courts in Inverness, dated 16 Dec, 1539: [Blk. MS. (translated from Latin)]

James, by the grace of God king of Scots, to all good men of all his land, clergy and laymen, greeting.
I clearly understand that we are taking into consideration the land which was formerly the property of Odo McKy, (alias Y Mcky), the father of our wellbeloved Donald McKy in the Strathnaver, and his predecessors, in each and all of the following lands, viz., the lands of Farr, Armidill, Straye, Rynevie, Kynnald, Golesby, Dilrid, Cattack, Bronich, Kilchalumkill in Strabroray, Davach Lochnaver, Davoch Erebull, and two pennylands in Stromay, and the mill of Kynnald, the island of Sanday extending to threepennylands of Melliness and Hope, with mill lands, mills, and neighboring fisheries, within our sheriffdom of Inverness, which are now in our hands, through non-entry, under pain of forfeiture, bastardy, escheater … or any other cause of any past. We have granted these to Donald, his heirs and assigns, by inheritance, all and sundry, will receive the aforesaid lands of Farr, Armidill, Strath, Ryneve, Kynnald, Golesby, Dilrid, Cattack, Bronych, Kilchalumkill in the Strabroray, Davach Lochnaver, Davach Erebull, and your twopennylands of the Stromay, the mill of Kynnald, and the Isle of Sanday, and Isle of Hoga extending as aforesaid, Mellness and Hope, with mills countries, mill, fisheries and the same appurtenances within the sheriffdom our foresaid beloved kinsman Robert.
In the present charter, we give, grant, dispone, and confirm to the said Donald, his heirs and assigns, the entire stock the right, title, interest and jurisdiction, which our predecessors granted, or in any way either have or claim to be among the aforementioned lands etc. islands; the whole of the foresaid lands of Farr, Armidill, Strath, Rynevie, Kynnald, Golesby, Dilrid, Cattack, Bronich, Killchallumkill in the Strabroray, Davach Lochnaver, Davach Erebull, two pennylands of the Stromay, the mill of Kynnald, and the Isle of Sanday, the island Hoga, Melness, and Hope, with mill lands, mill fisheries and their appurtenances, Manors, woods, crofts, cottages, parts, pendicles, outsetts, annexes, and all their appurtenances into one integral and free barony, to be known in future as the Barony of Farr, and we have only to be taken now by the said Donald, and all future time through its successors and assigns, with a capital messuage of all of the lands of Farr, to be a sufficient sasine on behalf of all men, and of the lands. The said Donald will therefore render to us and our successors and assignees three times a year, in the sheriffdom of Inverness.
In witness whereof, the testimony of our great seal is appended to the charter at Stirling on 16 Dec 1539, in the twenty-seventh year of our reign.


No. 14. No. 14. Sasine upon the charter preceding to Donald McKy, of the lands of Strathnaver, lands in Sutherland, Caithness, and Orkney, taken at the principal messuage of Farr, before the witnesses William Sinclair rector of Olrick, David Sinclair, Hugh Kenzosoun de Lyth, Donald de Milcomie, and Lord Donald of William (sic), 16 Feb 1540: -

In the name of God, amen. In this public instrument dated 16 Feb 1539, in the 7th year of Pope Tertius, the notary public and witnesses underwritten presentiis personally set an honorable man, Donald McKy, set over the messuage of land of Farr, lying in the sheriffdom of Inverness and the kingdom of our noble lord King James, at Stirling on 16 Dec 1539, in the 27th year of his reign, directed his great seal to be placed , honorable men ordered the bailiffs of Inverness and William Davidson of Stanestill and Keiss with that provision and severally, etc. said William presented.

William the same fate which it was becoming to his reverence for the hands of the strangers for me, and a notary public underwritten; to the same and the perlegendam delivered of which the tenor follows, and is the kind of James, by the grace of God king of Scots, to the sheriff, and to his bailiffs of Inverness, as well as our beloved William Davidson of Staynestill, and Keiss, and Inverness on our men together and also the sheriffs of Inverness, greetings.

What did they have conceded to our Donald McKy of Strathnaver, his heirs and assigns, all the following, viz., lands of Farr, Armidaill, Strathy, Rynew, Kynnald, Golspy-tour, Durr, Cattaucht, Broynocht, Killecallumkill the Strathbroray; davach Lochnaver, davach Ereboll and twopenny land of Stromay, mill Kynnald island of Sanday extending to three pennyland, and the island of Hoga extenden. the two pennyland of Melliness and Hoipe with mill lands, mill, fisheries and their appurtenances, lying within our sheriffdom of Inverness:

In all of the above-mentioned lands, Odo McKy, (alias Y McKy) , father of the aforesaid Donald McKy, inherited from his predecessors, but are now in means of our hands. Donald will have the same from us and our successors and their heirs and assigns of the said law and judgment: to preserve the meaning of the same in to punish them for a perpetual statute.

In addition, for the reasons described above, and other reasonable considerations we have erected, and incorporated all the aforementioned lands from Farr, Armidaill, etc. etc. with the mill lands, mill, water, fisheries, and their appurtenances, manor lands, tofts, crofts, other cottages, pendicles, outsets, annexes, into a single whole free barony to be called the barony of Farr.

And we want to be the one only seisin to be taken now, by the said Donald, and all time to come and by his heirs and assigns, with a capital messuage of whether it takes place of the aforesaid, of the lands from the FARE stand, and the suffieiens shall come to pass seisin to be taken on behalf of all and each of the above written in the earth, and the islands with his ward, that siinilis the same manner as if a single and the place where part of a special or individual type of seisin to be taken with the child having been born notwithstanding any of them.

Ac volumus quod unica sasina nunc per prefatum Donaldum et omni tempore affuturo per eius heredes et assignatos apud capitale messuagium sive locum predict, terrarum de Fare stabit et suffieiens erit sasina pro omnibus et singulis suprascriptis terris et insulis cum suis pertinent, siinili modo ac si unica specialis seu particularis sasina apud quamlibet ipsarum partem et locum suscepta fuisset non obstan.

quod prefate terre non jacent invicem contigue prout in carta nostra desuper confecta plenius continetur, vobis precipimus et mandamus quatenus prefato Donaldo vel suo certo actornato latori presentium sasinam predictarum terrarum, cum moleudinis terris, molendinariis, multuris, aquis piscariis, nemoribus, terris, dominicalibus, maneriebus, toftis, croftis, cotagiis, partibus, pendiculis, lie outsettis, annexis, et ipsarum connexis et omnibus suis pertints secundem tenorem diet, nostre carte quam de nobis inde habet juste haberi faciatis et sine dilatione et hoc nullo raodo omittatis.

Ad quod faciendum vobis et vestrum cuilibet conjunctim et divisim vicecoinitatibus nostris in hac de Inverness, committimus potestateni datum sub testimonio nostri magni sigilli apud Striveling, die decimo sexto mensis Decembris, anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo trigesimo nono, et regni nostri vigesimo septimo.

Post cuiusquidem commissionis lectionem et eandeni in se acceptationem dictus Willielmus in hac parte vicecomes sasinam hereditariam suprascriptarum terrarum cum pertinent in dicto commissione et precepto contentarum secundum vim formam et effectum diet, commissionis et prccepti dicto Donaldo per terre et lapidis traditionem ut moris est contulit et donavit, ac eundem in eisdem investivit super quibus omnibus et singulis dictus Donaldus a me notario subscripto sibi fieri petiit instrumentum ac instrumenta acta erant hec super capitale messuagium terrarum de Farr,

hora undecima ante meridiem aut eo circa, sub anno, die, mense, indictione, et pontificatu quibus supra, presentibus ibidem venerabili viro Magistro AVillielmo Sinclaire, rector de Olrick commissarioque Cathanen., honorabili viro David Sinclaire, Hugone Kenzo-soune de Lyth, Donaldo de Milcomie, et domino Donaldo Willielmi, testibus ad premissa vocatis pariter et rcgatis.

Et ego vero Johanne Symsoun presbyter Sancte Andree diocessis publicus sacra auctoritate apostolica notarius, quia etc. etc.

[Reay Papers]


No. 15. Excerpt Liferent Charter under the Great Seal to Helen Sinclair, spouse of Donald Mcky of Farr, of the lands of Balnaheglis, Golval, Strathy, Armadale, Renovy, Melness, Dilret, Cattack, and Broinach, with the Water of Farr from the big ford to the sea, the Water of Hallodale from Bighouse to the sea, the Water of Strathy, and the Water of Hope from the loch to the sea, 22 Feb 1545: -

Mary by the Grace of God Queen of Scots etc., Sciatis nos etc., dedisse etc., delecte nostre Helene Sinclare, sponse Donaldi McKy de Far, in vitali redditu pro omnibus sue vite diebus tantum terris de Balneglis cum molendino multuris et pertinentiis eiusdem, Gallowall cum molendino multuris et pertinen. suis, Stray cum molendino multuris efc pertinen. ejusdem, Armidaill cum molendino multuris et pertinen. ejusdem, Ranowy cum molendino multuris et pertinen. ejusdem, Melness cum molendino multuris et pertinen. ejusdem, Dilbart Cattock et Broynocht cum molendinis multuris et pertinen. earundem, aquam de Far a lato vado ad mare usque cum piscatione salmonum solita et consueta, aquam de Hallodale a lie Beghouse ad mare usque cum piscatione salmonum solita et consueta, aquam de Straye cum piscatione salmonum ejusdem solita et consueta, ac etiam aquam de Hoip a lacu ad mare usque cum piscatione salmonum ejusdem solita et consueta, jacen. infra vicecomitatum nostrum de Inverness etc. Apud Edinburgh vigesimo secuudo die mensis Februarii, anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo quadragesimo quinto, et regni nostri quarto.

[Reg.Mag.Sig.]


No. 16. Excerpt Charter Novodamus under the Great Seal by the king to Ewir McCay Mor, of the office of crowner of North-Kintyre, held of the lords of the Isles from time immemorial, and of the lands of Arnigill and Ugadale pertaining thereto, the old charters having been burnt and lost during a war in that province, dated 11 Aug 1542: -

Rex: cum clare constaret quod coronatoris officium insule et limitum de North-Kintyre, et 4 marcate terrarum de Armigill et Ughedall in myd-Kintyre ad diet, officium spectantes, vie. Tarbet, Ewir McCay Mor et ejus predecessoribus pertinuerunt ultra memoriam bominum, de insularum dominis teiite, et quod eorum veteres carte per guerram et perturbatioues in ilia provincia amisse, combuste et destructe extiterunt - de novo dedit dicto Ewir et ejus heredibus pro eorum bono servitio impenso et impendento - diet, officium et terras … Proviso quod dictus Ewir et heredes essent regi fideles; et si in hoc defecissent, hoc notorio cognito aut sufficienter probato suam heredem amitterent etc. etc.

[Reg.Mag.Sig.]


No. 17. Substance of Letter of Obligation by Donald McKy of Strathnaver to Thomas Scott of Pitgormo, justice-clerk, dated and sealed at Tongue 20 Jul 1538: -

Donald McKy of Strathnaver to Thomas Scott of Pitgormo, justice-clerk, whereby the said Donald, conform to the law of Scotland by which landlords were made answerable for their tenants and followers, became bound to produce on fifteen days' notice ten persons therein named, viz., Keanzoch Farquharson, R. Peterson, John Angusson and his brother Rory Angusson, Patrick Farquharson, R. Peterson, Thomas Williamson and his brothers John and Gavin Williamson, and Rory Jameson, before the Lords Justice at Inverness, for alleged reset and intercommuniug with Donald and William Galdochson, rebels, accused of the slaughter of the late Donald Henryson and others.

[Blk. MS.]


No. 18. Substance of Letter of Obligation by Donald McKy of Strathnaver to Thomas Scott of Pitgormo, dated at Thurso 26 Jul 1538: -

Donald McKy of Strathnaver to Thomas Scott of Pitgormo, justice-clerk, by which the said Donald bound himself to produce thirty-one persons therein named, to answer before the Lords Justice the third day of the then next justice-air at Inverness, for resetting Donald and William Galdauchson accused of the slaughter of Donald Henryson and others.

[Blk. MS.]


No. 19. Substance of Charter by Andrew, Bishop of Caithness, to Donald McKy of Strathnaver and to his heirs male, of the lands and barony of Ardurness comprehending the lands of Galdwall, Kauldoull, Craniga, Baroul, Slains, Alslanmoir, Alslanbeg, Sandwatt, Island Hoa, and others therein mentioned, with their pertinents, and with the fishings of the Water of Farr, dated at Dornoch 7 Jul 1540.

[Reay Inventory]

[The charter is witnessed by "John Poilsoune of Creich, Thomas Dunnet and Walter Groat, vicars of Dunnet and Cannisbey, Jojn Symsoune and David Setonn, chaplains and notaries public".]


No. 20. Gift by King James V under the Privy Seal to Donald McKy of Farr, of the personal estate of certain persons escheated for absence from the muster at Lauder, 28 Nov 1542: -

A letter made to Donald McKy of Far, his heirs and assigns one or more, of the gift of all goods movable and immovable, dettis, takis, stedingis, obligations, sums of money and others whatsoever, which pertenit to Kenneth McKenneth McPherson, Donald Henryson, Agnes (sic) Henryson, Finlay Clerk, Caudicht McAndroye, Thomas Johnson, John Galioch, and now pertaining or any wiss shall happen or may pertain to our sovereign Lord, by reason of escheat through their being absent and remaining fra our sovereign Lord's oist and army convened and gathered at Lauder, incontrare the tennour of his hienes letters, proclamations, and chargeis made thereapon, with power etc. At Edinburgh the 28 day of Nov, the year of God 1542. Per signaturam

[Privy Seal Register]


No. 21. Notarial copy of Boxd of Friendship between George, Earl of Caithness, John, Earl of Sutherland, Donald Mcky of Farr, and Bishop Robert of Caithness, 28 Apr 1549: -

At Girnigo the 28 day of April, the yere of God 1549, it is appointed, concordit, and finalie endit betwix noble and potent lords, a reverend father in God, an honorable man, that is to say, George Earl of Caithness, John Earl of Sutherland, Robert elect of Caithness, and Donald McKy of Far, for themselves, their kin, friends, part takkaris, partie purches, and allis, shall concur true anefald part tak with othir in all quarrels, causes, debates, questions, actions, persuits, business, adois whatsoever, in contrar all deidle, for all the days and tenues of the said noble lords, an reverend fathir in God, and honorable lnanis lifetimes, the auctoritie alanerlie exceptit; and eithir of the said lords and honorable man shall gif thair loyal, true, and anefald counsall to others in all manner of business, and shall neither hear nor see nor perceive otheris skaith, hurt, nor any detrenient bot shall advertis otheris thereof by themeself or some mediattis, and incontinent therefter shall concur and take anefald plane part with othiris for the resisting thereof, the exception alanerlie of before expremit; and every one of the said Lord's, reverend father's and honorable man's actions, debates, and persuits shall be reput as ane. And for observing, keeping, fulfilling of all and sundry clauses, pounctis, and articulis aboune expremit each one of the said noble lords, reverend father, and honorable man binds and oblissis thame, by the faith and truth in their bodies, the hallie evangelistis tuichit, and under the pain of perjury, inhabilite, infame, to be loyal and true, and take anefald part with nthiris respective, as said is, against all deidlie, the auctoritie alanerlie excepit. In witnessing of the same the said noble lords, George Earl of Caithness, John Earl of Sutherland, Robert elect of Caithness has subscribed and sealed their bandis for their parts; and because the said honorable man, Donald McKy of Far, could not write, he has sealed this present with his proper seal, and has requested a reverend fathir in God, Robert elect of Caithness, subscribe this said band, the said Donalds hand being at the pen, day, yere, and place aboune written, before the witness, a venerable and honorable man, maister William Sinclair parson of Olrig, David Sinclair of Doun.

[Reay Papers]

[Writing was not an accomplishment of the nobles and landlords of this period, although the two earls here were able to sign their names without help. On 20th Mar 1525, the Earl of Sutherland signed document No. 73 of Sutherland Book, Vol III", Adam Gordon with my hand at the pen, led by maister Thomas Gaderer, Notar Publik", and the same document is signed by "Elizabeth Sutherland, countas of Sutherland, with my hand at the pen", while document 63 of the same Vol. is signed "John, erle of Chaithness, wt. my hand on pen." ]


No. 22. Remission by Queen Mary of Scots to Iye Makky of Farr, for guiding Englishmen to the town of Haddington in Apr 1548, and for helping them to fortify and hold it, given at Aberdeen on 5 Oct 1562: -

Preceptum remissionis Y Makky de Far, pro ipsius proditoria iinportationc et conducione vetorum Anglic inimicorum ad burgam de Hadington, in niense Aprilis anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo quadragesimo octavo, et ibidem assistentia et manifesta participatione cum ipsis in fortificatione eiusdem ville, equitatione ambulatione consultatione et adinnatione ipsorum, ad combucendum occidendum et depredandum pauperos liegios regni nostri et idem regnuin sub obediencia et subiectione regis Anglie ducendum, Et sic a regina suam regnam coronem reginalem et authoritatem spolatione et abreptione et pro omnibus aliis actionibus etc., proditoria, traditionc in propriam personam reginalem duntaxat excepta. Apud Aberdene quinto die raensis Octobris, anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo sexagesimo secundo, et regni regine vicesimo. Per signaturam.

[Reg. Sec. Sig.]


No. 23. Contract and Agreement between George, Earl of Huntly, and Iye McKy of Farr, regarding the lands of Strathnaver and others, which Huntly had obtained in superiority from the queen, and which he now disponed to McKy on certain conditions, at Aberdeen 29 Jul 1570: -

At Aberdeen the 29 day of July, the zeir of God 1570. It is appointed agreed contracted and faithful lie oblisit betwix a noble and potent lord, George, Earl of Huntly, Lord Gordon and Badenoch, on the one part, and Y McKy on that other part in manner form and effect as after follows, that is to say, the said noble Earl shall for the causes following and sums of money after specified, with all goodly haste, infeft heretablie by chartour of alienation and seasing in due and competent form, contenand the clause of warrandice aftir mentioned, the said Y McKy his heirs and assigns to be holden of the said Earl his heirs and successours for service warde and relief usit and wount, in all and hail the lands of Broneach, Dibit, Cattak, and two penny-land band in the He of Stroma, in all and haill the lands of Galdwall, Ballinhagles with the salmon fishing thererof, Strathy with the salmon fishing thereof, Armadaill, Ffarre with the salmon fishing thereof, Invernaver, Ryndnowye, Skelpik, Carnachie, Ravigill, Syhir, Grubeg, Grumoir, Mowadaill, Torrisdaill with the salmon fishing thereof, Skerrie, Borgybeg, Borgymoir, Tung, Kirkebold, Skrabsitter, Kennessed, Letterlavel, Kinloch, Mellanes, Hoip, Laxfurde with the salmon fishing thereof, Arnabold, Honleian, Erebold, Straithurradaill, Keandlochbervie, Nahardin, Fenzedalis, Skuriebeg, Skurymoir, Cauldstrom, Ellen-Handa, Ellen-Chorie, Ellengyld, Ellen Rona, Ellen Colme, Langwall, Rosswall, Achynnes, Clebrik, togidder with the forrest of Derymoir, and also the lands of Kynnald, Golspitoure, Gillicallumkill and Edderachelis, the lands of Skaill, Rigabold, Saudwett, Ellenhall, Alscheleorbeg, Alscheleormoir with their pendicles and pertinents, and all other lands, niylnis, woodes, fishings, offices, and commodities whatsoever, which pertenit or heritablie might have pertained to the said Y McKye's father or goodsir, Hand within the baronie of Strathnaver and sherrifdom of Inverness. And the said George Earl of Huntly shall warrant the whole and in part of the said lands to the said Y McKy to be bronkit be him his heirs and assigns freely as their proper heritage in manner above xpremit, and in special shall warrant the same fre of all titles made or to be made by him to whatsoever person or persons and at the hands of the said Earl's heirs and successors and fra whatsoever thing done or to be done by the said Earl or his heirs that may be prejudical to the said infeftment; and in case the said lands or any part thereof, the same being named or comprehended in the infeftment made to the said Earl thereupon, be evietit from the said Y McKy his heirs or assigns and justly recovered by ordor of law at any time for any cause or right that did not result upon any deed done or to be done by the said Earl or his that might not be stopped be them, then and in that case the said Earl binds and obliss him his heirs and successors, thei being lawfully required for defence and warrandice thereof as accordis, to refund content and pay to the said Y McKy his heirs and assigns the sum of 3,000 markis usual money of this realme ressavit by him for making rent of the lands expremit, or then alsmekill profitt zeirlie as the said lands that happens to be evicted gevis and pais presentlie, and that within the space of 40 days next aftir the said land be evicted; and the said noble lord shall warrand, and be the tenor heirof discharges the said Y McKy his heirs and assigns of whatsoever profittis dewiteis ressavit by him of the said lands in any tynie bygane, sen the date of the said Earl's infeftment thereof or that shall be intrometted with by him or his heirs in any tynie earning be vertue of the said infeftment, and to that effect shall deliver to the said Y McKy ane authentic transumpt of the said Earl's own security and infeftment of the said lands, to be used by the said Y McKy his heirs and assigns for their defence by reason their infeftment depends thereupon; and because the said Y McKy takes the said lands to be haldin for service ward and relief of the said Earl and his heirs, notwithstanding that his forbares broukit the same of onr sovereign, deceased kings of Scotland, immediately as free barons thereof. Therefor the said Earl for him his heirs and successors, how oft and whattyme the same any wayes shall happen to fall in waird or come in non-entry, or right or title thereof to come in the said Earl or his hands, for whatsoever cause, shall dispone and gif the said lands, and by the tenor hereof give and dispone the same to the said Y McKy his heirs and successors that shall happen to succeed thereto, during the minority of the heirs that should enter thereto, for yearly payment during the said minorities to the said Earl his heirs and successors of the sum of 10 markis usual money of this realm. And the said infeftment to be made shall contain that clause per expressum, and ward the right and valour of the said Y McKyes manage tae said Earl that he his heirs and successors shall be reasonable, and And because it is alleged that the said lands of Kynnald, Golspitoure, Gillicallunikill and in case the sam may be found to be of verity, the said Earl shall not be oblisit to warrand the same notwithstanding thei to be comprehended in the said infeftment in that case shall obtene entre thereof to himself and his heirs, if the said Earl's infeftment and right obtenit allis and richtis obtenit by the said Y McKy to be recovered by the said Y McKy and his heirs may brouke the same as vassals to the said Earl of Huntly and his heirs. Sicklike, because it is alleged that the lands of Skaill, Rigabold, Sandwett, Ellenhall, Ascheleorbeg, Ascheleormoir to be haldin of the bishop of Caithness, sicklike, if the same shall be fundin of verity the said Earl shall nowayes be astricted for warrandice thereof, bot shall be free of the same notwithstanding that thei ar to be comprehended in the said infeftment like as they had not bene comprehended therein; and also because it is alleged the lands of Langwell, Rosswall, Achynnes, and Clebrig be holden of the Bishop and kirk of Murray, sicklike, if the same beis fundin of verity the said Earl shall be nowayes astricted for warrandice of the same albeit they are to be comprehended in the said infeftment, bot shall be free therefra as the same had not been put nor comprehended therein. And in case it may be fundin by vertue of any infeftment gift or contract made thereof to the said Earl that he may any way enter thereto, the said Earl shall obtain infeftment to him and his heirs of the immediate superior to the effect the said Y McKy and his heirs may brouke the said lands as vassals to the said noble Earl. And the said Y McKy shall relief the said Earl of all sums of money contained in whatsoever contract or promeist by his forbears for obtaining infeftment of the said lands, and, sicklike, of all feu males and utheris duties audit or that may be cravit of the forsaid lands, allegit holden of the forsaid kirkis, alsweill bygane as zeirlie in time coming, and all other things that may be obtained against the said Earl therefore, for zeirlie payment of the quhilkis feu males and duties the said Earl makkis constitutes and ordains the said Y McKy, his heirs and successores, the said Earl and his heirs lawful procuratouris in time coming; and if by occasion of non-payment or ony other cause cumand of the said Y McKy or his heirs own deed or default the said lands or any part thereof happens to be recognoscit, the said Earl and his heirs shall not be obleist for warrandice thereof, providing also that the said infeftment shall contain per expressum that the said Y McKy, his heirs and successors, shall at their entres in and to the saids lands come to the personal presence of the said Earl and his heirs and make to tharae yare solempnit oath of fidelity and homage, as vassals audit to their own lords and superiors, and shall gif sute and presence zerlie at three courts in Inverness, and relief the said Earl and his heirs of all stentis and taxations that happens to be imput upon the said lands by the authority of the time. And also the said infeftment to contain ane heretable right and power of bailzerie within the forsaid lands to punish transgressors and evil doers with the escheittis and profits of the same as effeiris; and that ane seasing to be tane at the place and town of Farr shall be sufficient for the whole lands contained in the said infeftment notwithstanding that they lie discontigue and attoure, the said noble Lord obliss him and his heirs to deliver to the said Y McKy and his heirs ane sufficient power and licence of his immediate superior to annalie the said land notwithstanding his L. haldis the same in ward and relief, and to obtain theme ratification and confirmation of the said infeftment to be made by him to them to the effect that his L. and thei as vassals may peciablie brouke the same for the which causes, and infeftment to be made in manner and form aboue expremit the said Y McKy binds and obliss him his heirs and assignais to refount, content, and pay to the said noble lord, his heirs, executours, and assignais, the sum of 3,000 markis usual money of this realm of Scotland at the terms after following, viz., the the sum of 1,000 pounds money at the feast of Martinmass next following the date hereof, and the other 1,000 pounds money at the feast of Martinmass next therefter, to wit, in the year of God 1571 in whole and complete payment of the said sum; and for more security and payment thereof the said Y McKy is content and consents that notwithstanding the making of this said infeftment and perfyting thereof presentlie, that the same shall be consignit and remain unusit by him and na ceasing to be taken by vertue thereof, iukeiping be William Lord Forbes and his heirs whill the complete payment of the said sums at the terms foresaid or sooner as the said sums happen to be compleitly paid, providing that after the payment of the same the not taking of the said seasing shall not be prejudicial to the said Y McKy anent the profits of the said lands, bot the same to pertain to him the said money beand paid like as he instantly had takin seasing thereof, providing likeways that the said Lord Forbes at the ressait of the said evident shall gif sufficient obligation to the said Earl and Y McKy to deliver the said infeftment onusit to the said Earl and his heirs in case of non-payment of the forsaid sums at any of the terms abovewritten, or within 20 days thereafter, and in case of complete payment to deliver the said infeftment to the said Y McKy or his heirs incontinent thereafter to be usit be them as there proper evident. And in case the said Y McKy shall happen to failzie in payment at any of the forsaid two terms, he nor his heirs to have na access to the said lands and infeftment be vertue of this present contract; and in case the said Y McKy, in laik as God forbid, aftir the payment of the said first term and before the payment of the last he or his heirs failzeing in payment of the said last term, thei to have restitution of the money paid by the said Y McKy a foir or the said Earl have intres agane to the profits of the said lands, and the same to be broukit be them as and while the said Earl or his heirs make payment to them of the forsaid sum or to other persons having right thereto, and the same being paid be the said Earl or his heirs they to have free regres in and to the profits of the foresaid lands, as they had of some time before the making of their presents, and not to be oblisit to any of the contents hereof. And because it is alleged be Alexander Earl of Sutherland that the said Y McKy has intromitted with the lands of Strafleitt and Braechatt, and occupied the same during the minority of the said Earl, the said Y McKy at the desire of the said Earl of Huntly lies bund and oblisit him and by their presentis binds and obliss him, his heirs, and assigns, to desist and ceiss fra all occupying and intromitting with the saids lands, and to leave the same void and red in all time coming at the feast and term of Whitsunday next to come, to be usit occupied and intrometted with at the pleasure of the said Earl of Sutherland, providing always that the said desisting and ceasing be na part of the satisfaction for the infeftment of the lands above specified. And because the said Earl of Sutherland pretends title right and intres to the forsaid lands of Skaill, Rigabold, Sandwett, Ellenhall, Alscheleorbeg, Alscheleormoir, or any other lands contained within this contract allegit pertenand to the said Earl, the said Earl of Sutherland has chosen noblemen, to witt, John Earl of Atholl, Lord Balveny &c, John Bellenden of Auchinmowle, knigt, justice-clerk, Maister Robert Creichton of Eliot, our sovereign's advocate, Sir James Balfour of Pettindreich, knight presedent, Alexander Gordon of Gight, and Alexander Gordoun of Abergeldie for his parte, and the said Y McKy has chosen noblemen, viz., William Lord Forbes, John Grant of Freuchie, Mr. Duncan Forbes of Monymusk, John Caldell of Aslown, Mr. Robert Lumsden of Clova, Mr. Alexander Skene, advocate, for his parte, and the said Earl of Huntly to be owirman to the whilkes persons or ony two of them; the said parties hes submitted and be thir presentis submittis their whole right titles interest that they had, has or any way may pretend or have in and to the said lands of Skaill, Rigabold, Sandwett, Ellenhall, Alscheorbeg, Alscheormoir, and other lands pertaining to the said Earl, or any part thereof older property or possession, to be decided be them and to be adjudged to other of the said parties by their decret and decissioun, who shall convene at Elgin or where and when it shall please the said Earl of Huntly, and both the said parties has faithfully sworn to abide at the said judges decreit and decision and never to come in the contrail" thereof; And for observing keeping and fulfilling of all and sundry the premiss both the parties are content and consents that this present contract be acted and registrate in the books of Council, Sheriff's books of Inverness and Aberdeen, and Commissary books of Aberdeen, and to have the strength of an act and decreet of the lords, sheriffs and commissaries thereof, and their authorities to be interpouit thereto, and executorialles to pass thereupon in form as effeiris, and for registrating heirof makes and constitutes descreet men and ilkane of them conjointly and severally their lawful and undoubted procuratouris gevand to them full powar to compeir before the lords of session, sheriffs of Inverness and Aberdeen, and commissaries of Aberdeen, days and place needful, and thair for them and in their names desire this present contract to be registrat in their books, and their authority to be interponit thereto with executoriallis to pass thereupon in form abovewritten, promessand them to hold firm and stable all that yair said procuratouris shall happen to do in the premiss. In witness thereof both the said noble Lord George Earl of Huntly, Y McKy, and Alexander of Sutherland lies subscrivit this present contract with their hands, day, zeir, and place above- writtin, before thir witness, Johanne commendater of Arbroath, John commendater of Coldinghame, George Lord Seton, Adam Gordon of Auchindown, and Mr. Alexander Skene, advocate, with others diverse.

(signed) George Earl of Huntly
Alexander Earl of Sutherland
Y Mcky, wt. my hand.

[Reay Papers]


No. 24. Charter by the Earl of Huntly to Y McKy, in consequence of Agreement No. 23, of the lands of Strathnaver and others, 31 Jul 1570.

[Reay Papers]

[The original document is so tattered as to make it impossible to attempt a copy, but the preceeding agreement No. 23 (which in places is also tattered) and the following Sasine No. 26 should contain all the important facts of the moth-eaten charter.]


No. 25. Discharge granted by the Earl of Huntly to Lord Forbes and to Y McKy, on payment of the 3000 merks stipulated in. the contract No. 23, dated 23 Feb 1571: -

Be it known to all men by their presents, We, George Earl of Huntly, Lord Gordon and Badzenet, &c, for us our heirs and successours to grant and confessis that albeit William Lord Forbes, with mutual consent of us and Y McKy of Farr, resauit in keeping ane infeftment charter and precept of sesing, made sealed and subscribed by us to the said Y McKy his heirs assigns and successours, Of the whole of the lands of Strathnaver with the pertinents lying within the sheriffdom of Inverness, to remain in the said lord's hands onusit or sesing taken by the said Y McKy or others in his name, qll. we war completely payed by the said Y McKy of the sum of 3,000 marks at the terms mentioned in the said lords obligation; and failzeing of payment at that ilk tenuis of the said sum, to deliver to us again the foresaid infeftment charter and precept of sasine onusit or sasine takine be vertue of the same by the said Y McKy or others in his name, and failzeing heirof to pay to us and our successors the sum of 5,000 markis, as the said loirdis obligation made to us yairupoune and registrat in the ssref. of Aberdeen and consistory books of the same, the obligation beand of the date, At Forbes, the second day of August, the zeir of God 1500 threscoir ten zeirs, and beand registrat and act made thereon the fourth day of the same month and year and contenis. And because the said Y McKy has completely payed to us, by himself and others in his name and at his comand, complete payment of the foresaid sum of 3,000 marks as our acquitance gewen thereon purports, and therefore grants and confessis the said William Lord Forbes obligatioune satisfied and furthfillit, and therefore to deliver to the said Y McKy the foresaid infeftment charter and precept of sasine of the forsaid lands of Strathnaver with the pendicles, for to be usit and sesing takyne by the said Y McKy or others in his name at his pleasure as his awine proper evidentis. And by the tenour of their presents remiteis and discharges the said William Loird Forbes obligation of the date foresaid, and all acts made thereon the effect and strent. thereof, and grants and consents the same be cassit, expired, and dcleuted simpliciter and for ever out of the said books; and to that effect, be ye tennr. of thir pntis., constitutis and makkis maisters George Barclay and Patoune, and ilk one of them conjointly and severaly, oure irrevocable procurators in this case, for us and in our name, to consent to the deleting and cassaing of the said obligation and acts made thereon furth of the forsaid books, for us and in our name as all things to exerce do and cause to be done yairanent fferme and and for to get all whatsoever our procurators or any one of them conjointly and severally …

[Reay Papers]

[About a dozen words at the end of the document are undecipherable on account of its moth-eaten condition.]


No. 26. No. 26. Sasiste following upon charter No. 25, to Iye McKy, of the lands of Strathnaver, etc., otherwise the barony of Farr, 20 Apr 1571: -

In Dei nomine, amen. Per hoc presens publicum instrumentum cunctis pateat evidentur sit notuni quod anno incarnationis Dominice millesimo quingentesimo septuagesimo primo, mensis vero Aprilis die vicesimo, et regni supremi domini nostri principis, Jacobi Sexti Dei gratia Scotorum regis, anno quarto: In mei notarii publici et testium subscriptorum presentiis personaliter constitutus discretus vir, Johannes Dauidsoun, vicarus de Raa, procurator et eo nomine honorabilis viri, Odonis Makky, de cuius procuratoris mandato mihi notario publico subscripto luculenter constabat, habens et tenens in suis manibus quandam cartam et preceptum sasine in se continen. nobilis et potentis domini Georgii comitis Huntlie, domini Gordoun et Badzenach, baronis baronie de Straithnaver etc., pergamino script, eius subscriptione manuali cum appensione sui proprii sigilli roborat, accessit ad personalem presentiam honesti viri Willielmi Johannis Roberti, ballivi in hac parte specialiter constituti, prefatam cartam et preceptum sasine in se sic continen. eidem ballivo presentan. Ipsumque debita cum instantia requiren. quatenus ipse statim et sasinam terrarum in dicto precepto contentarum procuratorio, et in eo nomine ipsius Odonis daret quiquidem ballivus prefatam cartam et preceptum sasinae, ut prefertur ea qua decuit reverentia ad maims recepit et mihi notario publico subscripto easdem perlegendum tradidit quas etiam ad maims recepi, et alia ac intelligibile voce perlegi et valgarizavi, cuius precepti tenor sequitur et est talis. Insuper dilectis nostris Willielmo Johne Robsoun etc., ballivis nostris in hac parte, conjunction et divisim specialiter constitutis, stricti precipimus et firmiter mandamus quatenus visis presentibus indilate statum sasinam hcreditariam, possessionemque actualem realem et corporalem omnium et singularum predictarum terrarum de Broneach, Dibit, Cattack, et duarum denariatarum terrarum jacen. in insula de Stroma, necnon omnium ct singularum terrarum de Galdwall, Ballinhagles cum salmonum piscationibus earundem, Strathie et de salmonum piscatione eiusdem, Skerry, Borgybeg, Borgymoir, Armidaill, Farr ct de salmonum piscatione eiusdem, Invernaver, Ryndnowie, Skelpick, Carnachie, Ravigill, Syhir, Growbeg, Growmoir, Mowadaill, Torrisdaill et de salmonum piscatione eiusdem, Toung, Kirkebold, Scrabuster, Kennesed, Lettirlavell, Keandloch, Mellencs, Hoip et de salmonum piscatione eiusdem, Laxfurde et de salmonum piscatione eiusdem, Arnabold, Honleian, Erebokl, Straithurradaill, Keandloch bcrvie, Nahardin, Fenziedailles, Skowriebeg, Skowriemoir, Oauldstrom, insule de Hauda, insule de Chorie, inside de Gyld, inside de Rone, insule de Colme, Lang wall, Rosewall, Auchynnes, Clebrig et de foresta de Derymoir et pertinentiis, ac etiam omnium et singularum terrarum de Kynnald, Golspitoure, Gillecallumkill et de molendino eiusdem, et Edderachiles, terrarum de Skaill, Rigabolcl, Sandwatt, insule de Hall, Alcheleourebeg, Alcheleouremoir, et de pendiculis et pertinentiis earundem ut premittitur jacen.; necnon officii dicti balliatus et donationis dicte warde et nonintroitus dicto Y McKy secundum tenorem presentis nostre carte, tradatis et deliberetis seu alter vestrum tradat et deliberet salvo jure cuilibet ad quod faciendum vobis et vestrum cuilibet conjunctim et divisim, nostram plenarium ten ore presentium committimus potestatem sive revocatione. In cuius rei testimonium presentibus manu nostra subscriptis sigillum nostrum proprium est appensum apud Abirdonen. ultimo die mensis Julii, anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo septuagesimo, coram hiis testibus: Johanne commentario de Abirbrothock, Jobanne comentario de Coldinghame, Alexander apparente de Elphingstoun, Magistro Roberto Gordoune, cancellario Morrauien. germano nostro, Alcxandro Drummond de Medop, et Magistro Alexandra Skene advocato, cum diversis aliis, et sic subscribitur " George eric of Huntlie." Post cuiusquidem precepti pcrlecturam publicationem et vulgarizationem, prefatus Willelmus ballivus qui supra attendens eiusmodo rcquissitionem fore justam et rationi consonan. volens officium sui ballivatus in hac parte exercere, accessit tanquam filius obedicute ad messuagium et mansionem de Fair, cui omnes et singuli terre cum ceteris, earundem annexis et pcrtinentiis, molendinis, piscariis, insulis, silvis, et forestis, cum officio ballivatus eorundem in dicto £>recepto contentis sunt unito et annexe, Et ibidem statum sasinam hereditariam possessionemque actualem realem et corporalem omnium et singularum terrarum in dicto precepto contentarum, cum molendinis, multuris eorundem, piscariis salmonum, silvis, forestis, et insulis cum eorundem annexis et pcrtinentiis una cum officio ballivatus antedict. secundem tenorem prefati precepti sasine prefato Jolianne Dauidsoun, procuratorie eo nomine prefati Odonis McKy, per terre et lapidis fundi ly hesp et stapill messuagii seu mansionis eorundem traditionem, ut moris est, tradidit et deliberavit salvo jure cuiuslibet ipsumque Johannem, procuratorem et eo nomine Odonis McKy, in easdem induxit et investivit ac in pace dimisit nemine opponent aut contradicente. Super quibus omnibus et singulis dictus Johannes Davidsoun, procurator et eo nomine dicti Odonis McKy, a me notario publico subscripts sibi fieri petitt instrumentum, et instrumenta acta erant hec super solo dictarum terrarum de Far et principalae domus et messuagii earundem respective, horam circiter secundam post meridiem, sub anno, die, mense, et regno quibus supra, presentibus ibidem Johannem Tullidas burgen. de Abirdene, Thoma Cusnii burgen. eiusdem, Roderico McWilliam Makryrie, Nigello Mcleane MakWilliam, servis dicti Odonis, Johanne Stewart, et Paulo Factoure ibidem, cum diversis aliis testibus ad premissa vocatis et requisitis. Et ego vero Magister Thomas Brady, artium magister Sancti Andree diocesis apostolica authoritate notarius publicus etc. etc.

[Reay Papers]


No. 27. Charter of Confirmation by King James VI to Alexander Makghie of Balmagie, of specified lands now created into the free barony of Balmagie, to be held of the Crown hereditarily by him and his heirs male, whom failing by James his brother and his heirs male, 31 Oct 1587: -

Rex confirmavit Alexandra Makghie - 5 Marcatae terrarum de Nethir Camdudzell vulgo lie manis de Balmaghie, 2½ marcatae de Ovir Camdudzell, 2½ marcatae de Barneborde, 2½ marcatae de Glentew cum molendino multuris etc., 2½ marcatae de Drumkane, 16 solidat de Barend, 16 solidat de Meikill Creochis, 2½ marcatae de Cainnyk, 2½ marcatae de Tarmollen, 2½ marcatae de Grobdaill, 2½ marcatae de Arie, 16 solidat de Slogarie, 2½ marcatae de Ovir de Nethir Crais, 13½ marcatae de Toris de Keltoun, cum castris etc. in parochis de Balmagie et Keltoun, senes. Kirkudbrycht - quas per servitium warde tentas, idem Alexander resignavit; et quas rex, pro bono servito dicti Alexandri, qui magnas summas thesaurio pro hoc infeofamento persolvit, incorporavit in liberam baroniam de Balmagie, ac voluit quod maneries de Balmagie esset principale messuagium ejusdem - Tenend. dicto Alexandra et heredibus masculis ejus de corpore legitime procreatis, quibus deficientibus Jacobo Makghie ejus fratri germane- et heredibus &c, quibus deficientibus legit, propinquioribus heredibus mas. dicti Alexandri, cognomen et arma de Makghie gerentibus quibuscunque. Apud Holyroodhouse 31 Oct 1587.

[Reg.Mag.Sig.]


No. 28. Excerpt Charter of Confirmation by King James VI to Hugh HcKy Forbes of Far and Donald McKy Forbes his eldest son, whom failing to John McKy Forbes his second son or others therein mentioned, of the lands of Dilret, etc., in Caithness, of the lands within the barony of Stratlmaver, and of the lands of Golspie-tower, etc., within the lordship of Sutherland, dated at Edinburgh 26 May 1608: -

Jacobus Dei gratia etc. Sciatis nos quandam cartam factam eeo. mag. sig. ,jatam e t concessam per predilectum nostrum consanguineum Joannem Sutherlandie, comitem, baronem baronie de Far dominem superiorem terrarum alioi'umque subscript, dileeto nostra Hugoni McKy Forbes de Far in vitali reditu pro omnibus sue vite diebus, ac Donaldo McKy Forbes suo filio seniori et heredibus suis masculis de corpore suo legitime procreandis, quibus deficientibus Joanni McKy Forbes filio secundo eenito dicti Hugonis McKv Forbes et heredibus suis de corpore suo legitime procreandis, quibus deficientibus heredibus masculis inter dictum Hugonem McKy Forbes et Jeannem Gordoun suam sponsam procreatis vel procreandis, quibus etiam deficientibus heredibus masculis dicti Hugonis McKy Forbes de corpore suo legitime procreandis, quibus omnibus deficientibus Willielmo McKy Forbes fratri germano dicti Hugonis McKy Forbes et heredibus masculis de corpore suo legitime procreatis seu procreanclis, quibus etiam deficientibus Donaldo McKy Forbes de Skowrie et heredibus masculis de corpore suo legitime procreatis seu pvocreaudis, quibus omnibus deficientibus legitimis et propinquioribus heredibus masculis dicti Hugonis McKy Forbes de Far, cognomen et anna de McKy Forbes gerentibus, quibuscunque omnibus et singulis terris, molendinis, piscariis, et sylvis infrascriptis, viz., de omnibus et singulis terris de Broneacht, Dilret, Cattak, et duabus denariatis terrarum jacen. in insula de Stroma, infra diocesim Cathanem. et vicecomitatum de Inverness, necnon de omnibus et singulis terris de Galdwall et Ballinliagles cum salmonum piscationibus earundem, Strathy salmonum piscatioue ejusdem, Armidall et Farr cum salmonum piscationibus earundem, Invernaver, Rinduovie, Skelpick, Carnacliie, Ravigill, Scliir, Grubcg, Grumore, Mowadaill, Torrisdaill cum salmonum piscationc ejusdem, Borgibeg, Borgiuioir, Skerry, Tung, Kirkwold, Scrabuster, Kennesede, Letterlavell, Keandlocht, Mellandis, Hoip cum salmonum piscatione eiusdem, Arnabold, Humbleiane, Erebold, Straithurradaill, Keandloclitberve, Naharden, Fenzedallie, Laxfurde cum salmonum piscatioue ejusdem, Skurrebeg, Skurremoir, Cauldstrome, Edderdaclies, insulis de Handa et Chorie, insula de Gyld, insula de Rone, insula de Calme, terris de Langwall, Rosswall, Auchinnes, Clebrig cum foresta de Derrymoir, Skaill, Rigabold, Sandwatt, insula de Hall, Alscheleourebeg, Alscheleouremoir cum pertineutiis, jacen. in diocesi Cathanie infra baroniam de Strath- navern et vicecomitatum de Inverness, Ac etiam de terris de Kynnald, Golspitoure, Gilliecallumkill cum molendino ejusdem et aliis pendiculis, commoditatibus etc., jacen. in domiuio de Sutherland infra diocesim et vicecomitatum predict. etc. [The confirmed charter, dated 6 June, 1606, is at this point inserted at length.] Datum apud Edinburgum 26 May 1608.

[Reg.Mag.Sig.]


No. 29. Remission to Donald McKy, fiar of Far, and many others for the slaughter of John Sinclair of Stirkoke and Arthur Smyth, and for wounding James Sinclair brother of Dun, dated at Roystoun 13 Jan 1614: -

Rex dedit literas remissionis Donald McKy feodatario de Far, John Gordon apparenti de Golspytour, John Gordon natural son of John Gordon de Bakeis, Adam Gordon in Dole, John Baillie, William McEan McEane, Murdo Neil Williamson, John William Alastir Williamson, Allaster his brother, William John Allester Williamsoun, Neil McAlaster Johne Neilsone, Murdo William Murthowson, Neil his brother, John Agnus Reidson, John Donald Rorie Reidson, Angus Henry William Alasterson, Rorie Reid William Alasterson, Donald Reid McEane Mclnnes, John Ross junior, John Donald John Williamson, Angus Henry William Henryson, William Donald Grierson, Angus McRorie McEane McFindlay, William Ouer, John McWilliam McAndrew, Donald Mclnnes Mclnnes, William John William Rorison, Angus John Hutcheonson, Murdo McAllastir McEan McNeill, Neil McMurdo McWilliam, Clericho McEan McPhail, Murdo Naverach, Donald McCruimien lie pyper, John McRorie lie pyper, William McDonnachie McHoutcheoun, Donald Dow Henrik, William William Thomas - essousone in Carnoichie, Donald Myllar, Angus Donald Murdoson, Thormet his brother, Neil Nachinarre, Donald Rob Gibberson, John McEane Mclntagartie, et John Buy, pro coram vita duraturas - pro arte parte interfectionis 1 John Sinclair de Stirkoke et Arthur Smith, necron pro mutilatione James Sinclair, brother of Sinclair of Dun, mense Maio, 1612.

[Reg.Mag.Sig.]

[The slaughter here referred to took place at Thurso, when Arthur Smyth, the suspected counterfeit coiner, was being apprehended by warrant of the authorities (Earldom of Sutherland) ]


No. 30. Tack by the Bishop of Caithness to Donald McKy Forbes, fiar of Strathnaver, of the teind vicarage of the barony and parish of Durness during the lifetime of the said Donald and for two 19 years after his death, dated 28 May 1615: -

Be it known to all men by their pnts., We Alexander by the mercy of God bishop of Caithness, with advice and special consent of the dean and chapter of the said bischopric chaptorlie convenit, The utilitie and profit of the rent of or. said bishopric foursein and maturely considered, And specialy now after the desolution of benefices ecclesiastical conform to the particular acts and statutes made thereanent, and in augmentation of the rental of the said bishopric and rent thereof after so long desolutiunn and lait restitutiony of the same be way of new erection, and for other cause and considerations moveing us, And specially for certain sums of money payed and delivered to us by the right houorable Donald McKy Forbes feuar of Strathnaver at the making of thir pnts., wthairof we hold us well appleisst and discharges the said Donald and all uyers quthome it effeirs of the same for now and ever. Therefore we with advice and consent foresaid to have set and in tak and assedatioun for maill lettis, lykeas be the tenor hereof we wt. consent and assent as said is setis and in tak and assedation for maill lettis to the said Donald McKy Forbes, his heirs, assignies, subtenants, and donators, ane or mae quthsomever, All and haill the teind vicarage great and small whatsoever of the whole barony and parish of Ardowrenes, all of the towns and lands within the same whatsoever, pendicles and pertinents thereof, pertaining heritably to John Earl of Sutherland and to the said Donald McKy, and within the diocese of Caithness and srefdom of Inverness, to be tenndit, collected, gathered, intrometted with, and dispouit upon by the said Donald and his foresaids, and that for all the days, years, and terms of the lifetime of the said Donald McKy Forbes, and thereafter for all the days, years, and terms of 19 years taks immediately efter the decease of the said Donald quthaneur it shall happen. Quthilks 19 tears forsaid being completely furthrun for all the days, tears, and terms, of other 19 years taks immediately thereafter following, makane in all ane liferent and tua 19 years taks to the said Donald, his heirs, assigns, subtenants, and donators foresaid. The said Donald McKy Forbes and his foresaids entry to this pnts. tak and assedatioun to be and begin the day and date of thir puts., in this instant year of God 1613, and therefter to indure in the peacable collecting, gathering, uptaking, resaneing, seting, and disponing in the said teind vicarage great and small of the lands and barony forsaid by and qll. the foresaid liferent and twa 19 years tak be completely furthnin, payand therefore yearly the said Donald McKy Forbes and his foresaids to us and or. successors, bishops of the said bishopric of Caithness, or. factoris and chalm. lanes in or. names haueand or. pouer and demission, for the whole of the teind vicarage great and small of the said lands and barony, whole parts and pertinents of the same, the sum of 40 marks usual Scots money yearly, betwixt Qlk is the teind silver that was paid abefor for the vicarage of the said whole lands yearly, And the sum of six shillings viijd Scotis money in augmentation of or. rentall mair nor was the sums paid abefor, and that allanerlie for all other exactions, demand, or deweties whatsoever that in anyways may be asked or craveed from the said Donald McKy Forbes and his forsaids for the said teind vicarage great and small of the lands supramentioned. And we, forsooth, for us and or. successors faithfully binds and obliges us and them with advice and consent forsaid to warrand thir pnts. set and assedationn of the vicarage of the said lands great and small to the said Donald McKy Forbes and his foresaids, during all the days and terms of his lifetime and for the space of two 19 yers yreft. following, for yearly payment as is abovewritten guid laull. raid sufficient, contrar all dcidlie, salvo jure cuislibet, and that we never have done nor shall do anything that may be hurtfull or prejudicial herto; And gif thir pnts. be not sufficient to the effect abovewriten, oblises us and or. forsaids to renew and reforme the same to the said Donald and his foresaids, if we shall be desired yrto, to keipand the substantial heids abovewretin in most ample form that can be divised. And for better suerts hereof we are content and consents that thir pnts. be regrat. in the bookes of Counsell, and the lords decreit thr'of iutr' ponit thrto with laws, and executoriallis to pas upon one single charge of fifteen days allanerlie, and to the effect constitutes oure proris., conjunctly and severaly, to consent to the regratioun heirof in vberiori forma constitution is promitten. cle rato. In Witness whereof to thir put. letter of liferent and two 19 years tak, wretin be John Donaldsoun, notary public, we have subscribed the same with or. proper self, with the common seal of our said bishopric ar heirto appended in token of the chaptors consent. At Aberdeen the 22 day of May, anno Jaivic and fyftene zeirs, Before thir witness, Arthur Lord Forbes, Jon. Forbes of Gask, William Dalgarns of yt ilk, Thomas Bisset, sruitor. to the said lord; Mr. Andrew Clerk, notary public, Jon. Donaldsone, foresaid writer hereof. Jo. Donaldsone, not. public, writer heirof, witnes.
Thomas Bisset, witnes.
Mr. An. Sin-Clark, witnes.
William Dalgarns, witnes.
Arthur L. Forbes, witnes.
Johne Forbes, witnes.
Walter Anderson, p'sone of Kildona'd.

A. Forbes, bischopp of Cathnes
M. J. Gray, deane of Cathnes
Mr. Rich. Merchstone, archdean, consentis.
Mr. William Smyth, person of Dunet, consentis.
A. Ogstoune, persone of Cannesby, consentis.

[Reay Papers]


No. 31. Charter Novodamus by King James VI to Donald M'Cay of Arnegill and to his son Evir hereditarily, of the office of crowner of North-Kintyre and of the four merk lands of Arnigill and Ugadail pertaining thereto, as these were given novodamus by King James V to Donald's grandfather, Evir M'Ky-moir de Arnigill, which charter was burnt when Kintyre was devastated by the Macleans - charter dated 28 Dec 1615: -

Rex - cum consensu &c - concessit et de novo dedit Donaldo M'Cay de Arnegill, in vitali redditu, et post ejus decessum Euero lie Ewir M'Cay ejus filio legit, primogenito et heredi apparenti, et ejus heredibus, hereditarie - officium coronatoris insule et limitum de North Kintyre, et 4 mercat. terrarum de Arnegill et Vughedall in Mid Kintyre ad dictum officium spectantes, vie. de Tarbert: - que rex Jac. V. de novo dederat quondam Ewir M'Kay-moir de Arnegill, avo dicti Donaldi (see Reg. Mag. Sig., a.d. 1513-1546, cartam 1 2756), prout in extractu de registro per D. Alexander Hay de Quhitburgh, militem, clericum rotulorum, registri ac concilii subscripto contentum est; et quorum carte combuste et deperdite fuerant occasione multorum bellorum,' homicidorum, combustionum et depredationum lie hairschipis inter pravissima cognomina et gentes de et M'CIaine invicem perpetratarum, unde integre terre de Kyntyre sepenumero vastate exsiterant, - et que regni devenerant virtute acti parliamenti 19 Dec, 1597, ob non productionem cartarum.

[Reg.Mag.Sig.]

[The charter here referred to we give in document Appendix No. 16]


No. 32. Inventory of Charter by William MacAllan in Toung to Sir Donald McKy of Strathnaver, of the Little Islands of Strathnaver, viz., Yell-Ellan, Jura, Calva, Chrona, etc. - " pro certis quibusdam pecuniarum summis, aliisque gratitudinibus et benemeritis mihi etc.," dated at Mowdell, 6 Oct 1624.

[Reay Inventory]

[The original charter was deposited by the 7th Lord Reay in the Register House, Edinburgh, about the middle of March, 1832. Sasine on this charter was taken 4 Nov and registered 12 Nov 1624.]


No. 33. Substance of Charter of Confirmation under the Great Seal by King Charles I to Sir Donald McKy of Strathnaver and his heirs male: - Of all and hail the Town and lands of Sandside, Reay, Davochow, Borlum, Miltown, Isauld, Acharasker, Achamurlane, Shurarie, with the mills, fishings, woods, forests, etc., all lying within the barony of Dunbeath and sheriffdom of Inverness, on the resignation of Alexander, Master of Forbes, with consent of Lady Ann, Mistress of Forbes, and others therein mentioned, and containing a clause erecting the whole into a burgh of barony called Reay, with a seaport at Sandside, and with power to hold a weekly market and four fairs annually, dated 19 Feb 1628.

[Reg.Mag.Sig.]


No. 34. Patent of Nobility granted by King Charles I to Sir Donald McKy of Farr, whereby the said Sir Donald, for his many valuable services rendered to the Danish king during the German war, was created Lord Reay in the baronage of Scotland, the title to descend to his heirs male bearing the name and arms of McKy, dated 20 Jun 1628: -

Carolus Dei gratia Magne Brittanie Francie et Hybernie rex, fideique defensor, omnibus probis hominibus suis ad quos presentes litere pervenirent Salutem. Sciatis quia nos considerantes plurima bona et grata servitia per fidelem et dilectum nostrum Dominum Donaldum McKy de Farr, militem, avunculo nostro Danie regi in bello Germanico prestita, ubi non vitam suam et statum periclitatus est, sed quam plurimos generosos et alios infra illius regni partes ubi natus est ad hujusmodi periculum excitavit, consideratio quorum juncta cum nostra scientia ipsius probe indolis et penes alia sufficientiae, Ac quo melius omnes hujusmodi nostros dilectos subditos quorum bene meritum prosapia fortune et obseqium, erga nostrum servitium gratiosum nostrum favorem et respectum merentur ad honoratas virtutum vias incitemus tesseram aliquam nostre regie benevolentie in dictum dominum Donaldum conferre juste meretur, Igitur nos e regia nostra potestate et authoritate regali fecimus, crcavimus, et constituimus, tenoreque presentium facimus, creamus, et constituimus prefatum Dominum Donaldum M'Ky, Dominum Baroxem De Rea, infra regnum nostrum Scotie, dan. et conceden. sibi et heredibus suis masculis cognomen et insignia de M'Ky gerentibus, titulum honorarem gradum et dignitatem domini baronis parliament infra dictum regnum, necnon investivimus tenoreque presentium investimus prefatum Dominum Donaldum heredesque suos masculos predict, in prefato titulo et dignitate omni tempore futuro Dominos de Rea nuncupandos et indignandos fore, Tenendum et habendum prefatum titulum honorem gradum et dignitatem cum suffragio in parliamento ct cum omnibus aliis prerogativis pre- eminentiis dignitatibus et honoribus quibuseunque ad predictam dignitatem domini pertinen. prenominato Domino Donaldo heredibusque suis masculis predictis, in omnibus nostris et successorum nostrorum parliamentis publicisque statum dicti regni nostri comitiis, Ac etiam ut potestate loco ac jure suffragium inibi dandi cum omnibus prerogativis et dignitatibus fruatur in omnibus per omnia sicuti aliquis dominus baro temporibus retroactis gaudebat ct fruebatur vel pro presenti infra idem regnum nostrum fruitur et gaudet, et ut prefatus Dominus Donaldus heredesque sui masculi predicti et eorum unusquisque successive omni tempore futuro Domini Baroxes de Rea indigitentur et nominentur, Et ut omni dignitate ct respectu dominis baronibus dicti regni nostri competen. honorentur mandan. etiam Leoni nostro regi armorum ct fratribus suis fecialibus ut additionern signorum et insignium presentibus dicti Domini Donaldi armis tradant et prescribant prout in talibus casibus usitatem et consuetum est. In cujus rei testimonium presentibus magnum sigillum nostrum apponi prccipimus, Apud rcgiam nostram de Quhithall vigesimo die mensis Junii, a.d. millesimo sexcentesimo vigesimo octavo, et regni nostri quarto. Per sienaturam

[Reay Papers]


No. 35. No. 35. Extract from Letter of Donald, 1st Lord Reay, to Alexander Gordon - complaining of alleged plots by Sir Robert Gordon against his Lordship. Undated, but probably circa 1637

[Sir William Fraser surmised that this letter was written circa 1630, but that date is impossible. In 1630 Lord Reay was fighting in Germany, and there is nothing in the Privy Council Register before or immediately after that date to give countenance to his Lordship's complaint. Gordon of Sallagh, however, relates that his Lordship got into trouble before the Council in 1637 with reference to Mrs. Harrison, and that he was represented by Innes of Sandside, as stated here.
Besides in 1630, his 3rd son Hugh was only 14 years of age and unfit to go abroad as a soldier, whereas in 1637 he was of suitable age.]

"Very honourable and loving uncle, Yours I received from Torris the 12th … As for men to your son I had once some 30 in roll that we might want, and would do my company good, and I thought to have sent my son Hew with them. After meeting with my friends, they all in one voice absolutely have refused to suffer any men to go out of this country, till they see the events of these plots hatched by your brother, Sir Robert, for all our ruins, as is alleged; and I am sorry there is too much evidence thereof. I am but one, and let never the earth bear me, but I would do for your son as for my own; but I pray you uncle, excuse me that I must now follow part of the advise of them that thinks to die for my defence, and in defence of their father's lands. I am sorry that I know not in whom to trust, my own uncle betraying me. The world would not make me believe it if I had not seen his hand. The particulars were this: I was advertised that the letters I sent to the Council and to some councillors, being my friends, part were upholden and part written over, and my hand counterfeit, and closed with my own seal which I sent with William Innes, yet I did not accuse Sir Robert thereof at Dornoch, because I sent the letters with William Innes, and not with him; yet in Tongue I caused Sir John Gordon and Robert Munro of Assint to accuse Sandside. He first freed Sir Robert, but in the end confessed Sir Robert made him do it, and produced a draught or copy of a letter written all by Sir Robert's hands, which letter Sir Robert, as he alleged, made him write over and counterfeit my name to it. Then they closit up and delevered it to the Council as from me - a letter that confessed more than Mistress Herison herself alleged. What more he confessed then Sir John will show you, and time will try and show the rest. O miserable world ! where there is no faith, trust nor credit; to take a man his means, and then betray him ! The Lord forgive them. What could the Council do but as they did, having my letter as their warrant. I know you nor no honest heart will never believe there is so much falsehood in man, etc."

[Sutherland Book, Vol III]


No. 36. No. 36. No. 36. Extract from the Farewell Letter of Advice by Sir Robert Gordon to his nephew the Earl of Sutherland. Circa 1627: -

[Sir William Fraser dated this paper as circa 1620, but we consider circa 1627 more likely. It was after Charles I had ascended the throne in 1625 that the surrender of the hereditary sheriffship of Sutherland became even probable, and it was not carried into execution until 1631. As this paper strongly points to such a contingency, it must have been compiled sometime after the accession of King Charles I, and before 1628 when Mackay was created Lord Reay. ]

Sir Robert Gordon proceeds: - " If you shall happen to buy or purchase any lands in Strathnaver, use kindly the natives you find upon the land, that thereby you may purchase their love and alienate their minds from Mackay. And be not too hardhanded to them at first, for by a little frienes and liberality you may gain them, which is the nature of all highlanders. Yet by progress of time, I wish you to send some of your own people to dwell amongst them …
"Have ever some trusty secret friend both in Caithness and Strathnaver whom you shall entertain as your secret pensioner, that he may still advertise you of all things either spoken or devised against you or yours …
"Make all diligence to settle and establish your sheriffship of Sutherland and Strathnaver, if I do it not to your hand, and cause distinguish the same from the sheriffship of Inverness, making your own accounts to the exchequer. And if at any time your prince be earnest to have your sheriffship, let him have it for payment, providing that his majesty will be pleased to settle your regality; else not. For seeing all Sutherland (for the most part) doth hold of you and your regality, you need not care much for the sheriffship. But dispone not to his majesty the sheriffship of Strathnaver without Macky his consent, seeing you are bound to warrand the same unto him …
"Keep a steadfast and perpetual amity with the house of Mcky. Use Macky rather as your vassal than as your companion; and because they are usually proud and arrogant, let them know that you are their superior. Let Mcky his pincell [banner] never be displayed where yours is, whether you be personally present or some other having your place, let him have his pincell folded up when yours is displayed. Suffer not any clan or family in Sutherland to be so bold as to make particular conventions and meetings of their own for any cause whatsoever without your special attollerance and command.
"There be two chief things that are likely to breed discord betwixt you and Mcky which you shall endeavour in all haste to remedy, if it be not done before your majority. The one is your marches; the other is the warrandice of Strathnaver, whereunto your father did tie himself in the infeftment granted by him to Macky the year JMV1C six years. I doubt not but Mcky by virtue of this warrandice will press to deprive you if he can of the superiority of Strathnaver, that he may hold of the king; which to remedy you shall urge the minute of Achindore, passed betwixt your father (Earl John) and Mcky the year of God JMVIC therteen years. It will compell Macky to renounce the warrandice if he refuse to do it willingly; which if he do not, then do you remove him from the lands of Durness, wherof he has no right as yet, but a little ticket of your father's subscribed by him upon his death-bed, which will not avail much by law - I suspect that the Lord Forbes lost this minute. Press to keep Macky himself rather than his countrymen; if you have Macky you shall have them; if you want him, they can little profit you. The contrary hereof you shall observe with Caithness. If you may purchase the love of the inhabitants of that country, you shall care the less for the earl's friendship or favour …
"There is one other matter which may breed a jar betwixt you and Macky, depending of the forenamed warrandice, which is this: - Houcheon Macky of Farr had a daughter by his first wife, the Earl of Caithness his daughter. Houcheon married also Jane Gordon, daughter of Alexander Earl of Sutherland by whom he had Sir Donald Macky. Houcheon having served himself heir to his father Iy Macky, by a precept of dare constat given him by Alexander Earl of Sutherland to that effect, he resigned Strathnaver unto his superior Earl Alexander his hands, for anew infeftment to himself and to his son, Sir Donald. This new infeftment was given by Earl Alexander without warrandice. Your father Earl John renews this infeftment to Houcheon Macky and to his son Sir Donald, with warrandice, wherethrow proceeds all this controversy. The question is, Whether Houcheon Macky was infeft in the lands of Strathnaver before he did renounce the same in his superior's hands. If he was infeft or served heir to his predecessores (as I am assured he was) you are safe enough; and this you may know by Henry Fermer his protocol, which is among your father's writs. If Houcheon Macky was not infeft, or that his s«asing cannot be found, then you are in danger thus: -
"The lawful heirs of Iy Macky (father to Houcheon) may serve themselves heirs unto the said Iy Macky whereby they may evict the lands of Strathnaver from the heirs of Sir Donald, who may return back upon you for warrandice; and Sir Donald his heirs agreeing with the heirs of Iy Macky, may so cause you renounce the superiority of these lands, for to be red of the warrandice. I can percieve no remedy to prevent this, but either to defend yourself with the minute of Achindore (if it can be found) against the heirs of Sir Donald, or else to reduce Sir Donald his last infeftment granted by your father; which may be reduced, because fas I think) his seasing and his infeftment do not agree. For his seasing is united and taken in one place, which union is not in the infeftment. If this cannot help you, then you must agree for some composition of money with the heirs of Iy Macky if they do appear; which I wish you rather to do than to renounce the superiority of Strathnaver. The heir of Iy Macky is either Christian Macky, daughter to the said Houcheon by the Earl of Caithness his daughter, which Christian died without children; or else the heirs of Angus Macky, the grandfather (or the great-grandfather) of the said ly Macky, who can hardly be found out; and tho' they were found, their claim is now lost by prescription I hope. Sir Donald Macky hath neither served nor doth not intend to serve himself heir to his father or grandfather.
"There is one other remedy which you may use to free yourself from Macky his warrandice, and this is it. Bishop Reid of Orkney obtained a gift of Strathnaver before the Earl of Huntly by reason of Donald Macky his bastardy, which gift of Huntly is the ground of Iy Macky his claim. This former right was bought by your father from Bishop Reid's heirs, and the gift was taken in my name. Keep this right quiet until you do see yourself straited by the other, and then defend yourself thereby as you can. If there be any defect in Bishop Reid his right by law, press to amend it before you have to do therewith. But I hope (God willing) to end these controversies with Macky if I can possibly …
"Use your diligence to take away the reliquies of the Irish barbarity which as yet remains in your country, to wit, the Irish language, and the habit. Purge your country piece and piece from that uncivil kind of clothes, such as plaids, mantles, truses, and blew bonnets. Make severe acts against those that shall wear them, etc., etc."

[Sutherland Book, Vol III]


No. 37. A Deed by which Sir Hector Munro of Fowlis bestows upon his spouse Marie McKy, youngest sister of Donald, 1st Lord Reay, a life-rent interest in certain specified lands, dated 20 Sep and 8 Dec 1635: -

At Newmoir the 20 day of Sep, and at Durness the 8 day of Dec, the year of God MVIC 35 years, it is contracted appoyntit finally endid and agreed betwixt the parties following, to wit, a noble Lord, Donald Lord Reay, taking on and upon him and his heirs the full burden of Dame Marie McKy, his lawful sister and spouse to Colonel Sir Hector Munro of Fowlis, Knight. baronet, to ye effect underwritten, in the one pairt, And the said Colonel Sir Hector Monro with consent of Robert Monro, Obsdaill, apparent heir male and of tailzie to the said colonel, and the said Robert for himself, on the other part, in manner and effect as after specified. That is to say, forasmuch as there was a contract of marriage of the date at Tongue the 29 day of Decembre, MVIC 18 years, made endit and subscribed betwix the said noble Lord, herein styled Sir Donald McKy of Strathnaver, Knight, for himself and taking the burden on and upon him of the said Dame Marie McKy his youngest sister with her oin consent on the ane part, And the said Colonel Sir Hector Monro of Fowlis, herein styled Hector Monro of Alynes, on ye other pairt, Be vertue thereof the marriage then contracted and thereafter solenmized betwix the said Colonel Sir Hector and his said spouse, the said colonel infeft the said Dame Marie McKy, his said spouse, in liferent in all and sundrie the lands of Meikle and Little Alynes, with the mill thereof, mini croft, multures, and sequelles of the same, with all of the parts, pendicles, and pertinents of the said lands, lyimng within the regality of Spynie Earldom of and sheriffdom of Inverness, as the said contract of the date foresaid and infeftments following thereupon purports. Since the making of the which contract of marriage and infeftments following thereupon, the said Colonel Sir Hector Monro sold and disj^onit the foresaid lands of Alynes Meikle and Little, with the mill thereof and yr. pertinents, to the which disposition the said Dame Marie McKy gave her consent and renounced her liferent right in the favor of the person qr' into the said lands and mill were disponit, in recompence and satisfaction of the qlk renunciation the deceased Colonell Robert Monro of Foullis and the said Colonel Sir Hector Monro his brother, be the band subscribed with yr. hand, oblest them conjoincly and severally, yr. heirs, exers., successors, and assignis, to content and pay to the said Dame Marie McKy the sum of 1,000 merks usual Scots money yearly, during her lifetyme after the said Colonel Sir Hector's decease, in case at the pleasure of God she outlive him, in manner and form meutioned in the band made thereon as the same more fully proports. And now seeing at the pleasure of God the said Colonel Sir Hector Monro succeeds to his said deceased brother in all of the lands, leiving and barony of Foulis, sua that resone Avoid he should provide his said spouse to a reasonable and competent living effering to her estate, rank and place; Therefor for the love and favor the said Colonel Sir Hector pntlie. carries towards the said Dame Marie McKy his said spouse, and in satisfaction and contenting of all benefite she may claim or crave of her said spouse, his heirs, and successors, alsweil by vertue of the said contract of marriage and infeftment of the said lands of Alynes following thereon with the band given to her by the said deceased Colonel Robert Monro and by the said Colonel Sir Hector her spouse, as of all terce of whatsoever the said Col. Hector's lands, baronies, fishings, and heretages wherein he shall happen to dccis cast, vest, and seasit, which in law may befall to her by or through her husband's decease in case she shall happen to outlive him. The said Col. Sir Hector be thir presents binds and obleiss him his heirs male and successors, with all convenient diligence, to purchase procure and obtain themselves duly and lawfully infeft and seized in all of the lands and baronies of Foulis with the pertinents thereof whatsoever, and to secure the teind sheves of the same . The said Col. Sir Hector hereby obleys him and his frinds immediately thereafter to duly and lawfully infeft and sease by charter and sasine, titulo in due and competent forme, the forsaid Dame Marie McKy in liferent for all the days of her lifetime in all of the lands of Carbystell and Teaninver, with the coble fishing of Teaninver , lyand in Strath-Okell, within the barony of Foulis and sheriffdom of Inverness, etc.

[Reay Papers]


No. 38. Resignation of the wadset of Skelpick and Renevy by Seaforth to Donald, 1st Lord Reay, 27 Jun 1637: -

Be it known to all men by yr. present letter, We George Earl of Seaforth, Lord of Kintail, of heir male served and retoured to the deceased Colin, Earl of Seaforth, our brother, forasmuch as according to a contract and appointment of the date at Cromartie ye 28 day of Septembre, the year of God 1626, made and subscribed betwix my said deceased brother on the one part and a noble lord, Donald Lord of Rae, therein designated Sir Donald McKy of Strathnaver, knight, lord, colonel, on the other part, for the sum of 7000 merks usual money of the realme restand awand by the said noble lord as prnill., and by my said deceased as cautioner to the persons underwritten, each one for their own parts thereof in manner after devydit; To deceased James Haliburton, merchant, burgess of Edinburgh, the sume of 1000 pounds money; and to Mr Robert Munro, minister at the kirk of Far, therein designated minister at Duranes, the sum of 5500 merkes foresaid. My said deceased brother at least be ane band given to the said noble lord, Donald Lord of Rae, bound and oblej r st him to stent and pay the said several sums to the foresaid two persons, each one for their own part thereof as is before devydit, and that at the terme of Whitsunday next thereafter following, in the year of God 1627 zeirs, and to report and deliver to the said deceased lord the said bands, at least sufficient dylrances thereupon as yr. band in and be my said deceased brother yranent proportis. The said Donald, Lord of Rae, for security to my said deceased brother of the said sums of 7000 merkes, by his charter containing therein precept of sasine with instrument of sasine following thereon infeft and seast ray said deceased brother his heirs male and assignies whatsoever in all of the the said noble lord's lands of Skelpick, extending to two davach of land, and in all of the lands of Reyndvie, extending to one davach land, with houses, etc., lying within the barony of Farr and sheriffdom of Inverness, Redemabill always fra my said deceased brother his heirs male and assignies on payment making of the said sum of 7000 merkes, and the whole byrune duties of the sum of 700 merkes contained in a tack of the saids woodsett lands, pertaining to the said noble lord, qlk should happen to be restand awand time of the redemption, as the said contract of the date foresaid charter and instrument of sasine following thereupon sicklyke mair fnllie proportis. And now seeing since the decease of our said deceased brother the said noble lord has by his precept of sasine with instrument of sasine following thereupon infeft and seast we as heir male to our said deceased brother in all of the said woodsett lands, we have good and undoubted right to grant the redemption and renunciation underwrittin, and lykwayes that the said lord has substantlie at the making hereof payed and delivered to Mr Murdo Mackenzie, person of Contane, as our nomine, for the lawful redemptioning of the said woodsett lands all of the said sum of 7000 merkes money forsaid, together with the yearly tack duty of 700 merkes money furth the forsaid woodsett, Of the whick sum principal and tack duty we hold us well contcntit satisfied and paid the 27 Jun 1637, before the witnesses, Kenneth Mackenzie of Skatell, Mr Murdo Mackenzie, parson of Contene, William Lauder, sheriff-clerk of Ros.

[Reay Papers]


No. 39. No. 39. Erection of the parish of Kintail, afterwards known as Tounge, by agreement between Donald, 1st Lord Reay, and John Abernethy, Bishop of Caithness, 10 Apr 1638: -

At Thurso the tenth day of April, the year of God 1638, It is agreed betwixt the honl. partys following, they are to say, ane reverend father Johne, by the mercy of God Bishop of Caithness, with consent of the dean and chapter of the Cathedral kirk, for the love and zeal which the said parties lies and carries to plant the Gospel, and for the better edificatione of the people remaining and that shall be hereafter within the country of Strathnaver; And although that there has been but two parishes of old in the country in time of poperie, and since of late in our own time there are bot two ministers serving the said twa kirks, we find it a work impossible for two pastors to thrine (sic) that wide and spacious bounds so far separate from other by mountains, rocks, waters, creeks, and loches, of salt as fresh water, And albeit the valuation of the whole country was given up by the said Donald Lord Raye to the commissioners as two parishes, to witt, Farr and Ardurnes, and the sume of 500 merks Scots the said kirks present, and at any rate we think it meetest both to the glory of God and for the well of the people as also for the better and ministering of the sacraments, that part be taken of the parish of Farr and part from the parish of Ardurnes, and that there shall be a third parish erected in the midst of the country in Kintaill, and the kirk of Kirkeboll to be the parish kirk of the said parish to be erected as said is. And that the said kirk shall be furnished with a sufficient minister with all possible diligence, and he to have the sum of 500 merks Scots money of stipend together with a glebe and a manse, the which 500 merks money to be paid as follows, viz., 250 merks to be taken of the stipend of the said parish of Farr, and the other 250 merks money as said is to be taken of the stipend of the parish of Ardurness, to witt, the sum of 29 merks money foresaid of each davache land, as they were valued and tinen up, with the devision that the said Donald Lord Ray and the three ministers shall devide equally and finally the same up under their hand wreat. And the said reverend father for himself and his successors, and the said Donald Lord Raye for himself and his heirs and successors consents that any shall compeir in ther name before the lords of commissioners for or before the lords of parliament, to crave and obtain ther decree and act of ratification of the said division of the two parishes of Farr and Ardurnes into three parishes, and partition of the stipends thereof, as said is; consenting this present act be insert registrat in the presbytery books of Caithness, therein to remain ad futuram rei memoriam, as that at the first sinod there may be ane act made upon the premises in forme as effeires. J[ohn] B[ishop] of Caithness.
Johne Sinclair of Assery.
D. Reay.
Hector Munro, Eriboll.

[Reay Papers]


No. 40. No. 40. Bond of Friendship betwixt George, Earl of Seaforth, and Donald, 1st Lord Reay, 7 Jun 1639: -

Be it known to all men by thir present Ires., Us George, Earl of Seaforth, and Donald, Lord Reay, considering how warrantable it is by the word of God and laws of this kingdom that his Majesty's good and loyal subjects may legally unite and join themselves together in friendship, and being persuaded that our connection and keeping of friendship may every mutche tende to the advancement of religion, the king's Majesty's service, and the keeping of peace and tranquillity in the places where we live and have our being; Considering lykeways that our mutual friendship under God and our sovereign lord the king's Majesty may very much conduce to the particular well and standing of either our houses and families and to the good of all our friends vassals and tenants, Therefor out of the good and legal considerations and for conservation of true and solid friendship betwixt us our heirs and successors in all time coming, Know you us to have entered and become, lykas we be the tenour hereof enters and becomes, in the real true and legal bond of amity love and friendship together, faithfully obliging us our heirs and successors foresaid upon our faith and honour hinc hide to others to keep the same remain and continue thereuntill in all time coming, And to that effect by our selves, our kin, friends, vassals, tenants, followers, and dependers, and by our best airte and counsall to legally efectually truly and faithfully assist, mantain and defend others in all and whatsoever our lawful honest just and righteous affairs business actions and quarrells whatsoever, in so far as law will allcnarly and no otherways (all matters which may concern the king and his Majesty's successors being always excepted), And yt. Ave shall heer nor see any trouble, prejudere, harm, or skaith intended or done against any of us our kin, friends, our vassals, in our persons, honour, lands, country, goods, or gear bot shall in a lawful manner make others foreseen thereof with all dilligence, and legally impede and obviate the same according to our power. And to the effects that this band of friendship may be the better observed in succeeding ages, it is our will and pleasure that after our decease the same shall be lawfully renewed by our heirs and successors from time to time; promising hereby that in time convenient we shall make the premisses known to our kin and friends to the intent the same may be the better observed. At Chanonrie the 7 day of Jun, JMVIC 39 yeers, before thir witness, Hugh MacKy of Edrachilis, and Mr Murdoch McKenzie, minister of Contane. Seaforth Jo. Mky of Dilrett. D. Reay. William Macky of Bighouse Jo. McKeay. Hew Macky, son to Johne Macky. H. Macky, witness. Murdo McKenzie, witness.

[Reay Papers]


No. 41. Letter by John, 2nd Lord Reay, to King Charles II: -

Strathnaver the 22 April, 1654. Most Sacred Sovereign, Upon your Majesty's Lieutenant-General's landing in Scotland, I did immediately apply my self to him, and for the security of his person and advancement of your Majesty's service, I did immediately raise in arms with such a power as was not only sufficient for a guard to him, bot likewise served to promote your Majesties service in the adjacent parts by raising forcses till my Lord Glenkarne's did come, being at a great distance. It has, and shall ever be my chiefest zeal without private ends to advance your Majesty's interest, in which the well being of all your subjects is wrapped up. There is nothing under heaven so much coveted by me as your Majesty's presence in this your ancient kingdom of Scotland. I shall leave perticulars which may induce your Majesty to make us happy by appearing amongst us to those whome it concerns to give an account, and whom I know will do it with much faithfullnes. Having not as yet received your Majesty's former commands sent with Normande M'Cloude, I shall only say that none of your Majesty's subjects heas pout one a more fixed resolution to seiff you then, Most Sacred Sovereign, Your Majesty's most fathfull and most obedient subject and servant, Reay. Addressed … For the King's most sacred Majesty this.

[Scot. HHist. Soc. Vol 31]


No. 42. Articles of Agreemext between General Monck and John, 2nd Lord Reay, 18 May 1655: -

Articles of Agreement made and concluded the 18 day of May 1655, between the Right Honourable General Monck, commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland, for and on behalf of his Highness the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland on the one part, and Hugh Mackey, for and on behalf of the Right Honourable John, Lord Rea, and his party on the other parte: -

"It is agreed and concluded that the Lord Rea shall, together with all horsemen of his party included in this capitulation, repair or come to such place near Inverness as Colonel Fitch shall appoint within 28 days next after signing of these present articles, and then and there deliver up their arms to Colonel Fitch, to whom they are to give notice 24 hours before their approach.
"That the Lord Rea shall give security of 2,000 pounds bond to the said Colonel Fitch within 14 days after his parties delivering up their arms, for his and his friends and followers peaceable deportment to his Highnesse the Lord Protector and the Commonwealth of England and his successors. And that Hugh MacKey of Dilred, Hugh McKey of Scoury, Robert McKey, Donald McKey, and William MacKey shall be bound in the bond, and shall have protection from arrests whilst they come in to enter in to bond as aforesaid. And that George, Master of Rea, son to the said Lord Rea, shall, when the commander-in-cheif in Scotland shall desire it, be sent to and reside at such of the universities in Scotland as the Lord Rea shall choose for the performance of these articles; and that such others included in this capitulation of the said Lord Rea's forces or party as have estates in land or were officers under him, shall give good security for their peaceable deportment, a lieutenant-colonel in the sum of £ 300, a major £ 200, a captain in £ 100, a lieutenant or cornet in £ 60, and an ensigne in £ 50, and the private soldiers shall give their engagements to the like purpose.

"That the officers shall be at liberty to march away with their horses and swords, and the private soldiers with their horses, to their respective habitations or places of aboade, where they are to sell their horses within three weekes to their best advantage; and both officers and soldiers are to have passes from Colonel Fitch to go to their homes. And that the said Lord Rea and his friends and followers shall have liberty to carry their arms for their own defence against broken men and theives within their own bounds.

"That the said Lord Rea, together with all those of his party included in this capitulation, whether officers, private soldiers, or servants under his Lordship, who have not killed men in cold blood, shall enjoy their estates, both real and personal, without any trouble or molestation, any act or thing by them formerly done in reference to the late wars between England and Scotland since the year 1648 notwithstanding, they submitting to all common burthens equal with others of the nation. Provided that such of Lord Rea's party as have any lands in Ireland that are already disposed of by Act of Parliament, his Highness, or his Council, or the Lord Deputy and Council in Ireland, are not to have or claim them by vertue of these Articles, but what lands of theirs are not disposed of they are to have and enjoy.

"That the Lord Rea shall be remitted his whole by-past sesse till the first of September last, from which time he is to pay it in according to his proportion. And that whensover Colonel Fitch, or other officers commanding in Caithness or Inverness, shall have occasion to send for the Lord Rea about public affaires, his Lordship shall pass and repass without arresting or molestation by messengers at arms.

"That all such horsemen of the said Lord Rae's party who shall conceal or willingly imbezzle their arms, and not bring them in to Colonel Fitch according to this agreement, shall lose the benefit of these Articles.

"That in case there be any house or houses of strength within the Lord Rea's bounds that the commander-in-cheif in Scotland shall require to be guarrisoned, the Lord Rea shall by these articles be engaged to deliver up the same.

"That these Articles shall be ratified by his Highness the Lord Protector and his Council, and delivered to the Lord Rea, or whom he shall appoint, within three monthes after the date hereof.

George Monck.
Hugh MacKey.

Sealed and signed in presence of: - Thos. Pride; William Clarke; Mathew Lock."

[Scot. Hist. Soc. Vol 31]


No. 43. Tack of the parsonage and vicarage teinds of the parishes of Farr, Kintail, and Durness, by Patrick Forbes, Bishop of Caithness, to John Lord Reay, 5 May and 1 Jun 1665.

Be it known to all men be thir present letters, Us Patrick, by the mercy of God Bishop of Caithness, for certian sums of money others gratitudis pleasures and good deeds paid made and done to us for making of thir puttis, in name of entres and grassume, by a Noble Lord, John Lord of Reay, heritor of the lands undervreitne, of the which some we hold us fully satisfied and paid, And rynuncing all exceptions in the contrar simplir. discharges the said Johne Lord Reay and all others whom it effeirs of the resett of the said sums for ever; Therefore and for other good and reasonable causes and considerations moving us, with the speall. advice and consent of the Dean and Chapter of our cathedral kirk of Caithness, the well and utility of us and our successors bishops of Caithness always forseen and considered, To Have sett and in tacks and assedations lattne, Lykas we be the tennor hereof with advice and consent foresaid Settis and in tack and assedatione lattis to the said Johne Lord of Reay, his heirs successors and assigns, All and sundry the teinds great and small, both personage and vicarage, of all of the towns and lands of Houpe, Mailness and Strath thr'of, Kenlochis, Rubigill, Kensett, Scrabustir, Farlonset, Kirkeboll, Tongue and Strath thereof, Caldoubakie, Scourlomie, Lattires Lengyll, Borgnioir, Toirsdaill, Skerra, Illanroana, Illandcolme, Illangyll, Emboli, Illandchorrie, Hulleime, Arnniboll, Strath-Hurridaill con- taining the lands of Mussed and Blaet, with the grassings, parts and pendicles of the said lands, lying within the parishes of Duirnes and Kirkiboll rexve., And also of all of the towns and lands of Kirtomie, Swordaillie, Schanachie, Rescarpe, Schraske, and the east side of the Clanuylen of Farr, lying within the parish of Farr, with all the parts, pendicles, outsetts, grassings, shielings, anexis, connexis, dependancies, and universal pertinents of the same, lying as said is within the said parishes of Duirnes, Farr, and Kirkiboll rexve., within our diocese of Caithness, which is proper part of our said bishopric sometime within the sheriffedom of Inverness, and now errected within the sheriffdom of Sutherland - which teind great and small pertains to us as a proper part of the patrimony of our said bischopric - And that for all the space, cropts, yeirs, and termes of uyneteine yeirs next and immediatly following the feast and term of Lammas next to come, in this instant year of God jaiVic and 64 yeirs, which is and shall be the said Johne Lord of Reay and his foresaids entres to this pnt. tacke, And fra thenforth to continoe and endure aye and whill the said 19 yeirs be completely ended and outrun. With power to the said Johne Lord of Reay and his foresaids during all of the years and space abovewretten to collect, gather, uplift, receive, lead away, intromit with, use, and dispone upon the teinds great and small both personage and vicarage of all of the lands and others above speit., inhibitiones yearly thereupon to raise, the spulziers, awaytakers, detayners, and witholders to call follow and persue, with frie isch and entru thereto, And with all and sundry other liberties, privileges, freedoms, commodities, easements, and righteous pertinents of the sam freely, quietly, weill, and in peace, bot any obstacle, impediment, or againe-calling whatsoever. Paying therefore yearly the said Johne Lord of Reay and his foresaid during all of the space and years foresaid, to us and our successors bishops of Caithness, for all and sundry the said teinds great and small both personage and vicarage of the foresaids lands and others above written with the pertinents All and Haill, the sum of 40 merks usual scots money at the termes in the year Easter and Lammas by equal portions, beggining the first term's payment thereof at the feast and term of Easter, in the year of God jaiVic 65 yeirs, and so forth yearly during the space of this pnt. tack, And that for all other exactione maybe asked or requireed therefore. and also the said Johne Lord Reay and his foresaids being always bound and oblisit to content and pay, during this tack to the ministers serueing at the cuire of the kirkis of the abovewritten parodies rexve., ane or mae, the just proportional parts of ther yearly stipends conform to the lands teinds vicarage and others above spcit. And we, forsooth, and our successors shall warrant and defend this our lettres of tacke and assedatione of all and sundry the teinds great and small of the lands and others abovewritten to the said Johne Lord of Reay and his foresaids, during all of the space and years abovewritten in all and be all things as is above mentioned fra our own proper fact and deid allernerly, against all mortal as law will, in such sort that we have not done nor hereafter shall do anything in prejudice of the premiss. In Witness of the which thing to yir pnts. (written by Gilbert Omand, notary public) subscribed with our hand, and by the said Dean and Chapter of our said cathedral kirk in token of thier consent, At Dornoch on the 5 day of May and the 1 day of Jun, the year of God jaiVic and 65 years, our proper seal and the Chapter seal of our said Kirk are hereto appended befor thir witnesses, James McKy in Strathy, Mr Hew Monro, minister at Ardurnes, and Robert Farquhar, servitor to the said Bishop of Caithness. Pa. B[ishop] Caithness. Ja. Mackay, witness. Ro. Farquhar, witness. Mr D. Monro, Treasurer of Caithness Hugh Monro, witness Will. Davidson, Dean. Alexander Gibsoune, Archdeacon, John Dempster, Chanter. William MacKy, Chancellor.

[Reay Papers]


No. 44. Bond of Friendship betwixt Kenneth, Earl of Seaforth, and John, 2nd Lord Reay, 4 Jul 1672: -

We Kenneth, Earl of Seaforth, and John Lord Reay taking to consideration that the great ty of so uere a relation by blood as we have to other, together with the constant kindness and good correspondence that was still betwixt us and our predecessors, for further securing and establishment of these bonds and as suitable affection thereupon, we do hereby bind our selves on faith and honor mutually to maintain and entertain the said friendship in all points and on all occasions (with submission and obedience to his Majesty's authority and laws always); And in prosecution thereof to one anothers interest faithfully and cordially, and that we shall cause our kinsmen friends and vassals and followers to observe the like friendly correspondence, and particularly that none of us shall buy pleas or debts nor have we bought any against other, nor entertain theives or robbers thst wrongs either of us or our kinsmen friends vassals or followers, nor afford shelter in our country to any who is declared or behaves as enemies to either of us; But on the contrary to prosecute the enemies of these or. friends and to apprehend them and to deliver them to those offended by them on representation made to either of us by the party offended, and in general to do and carry wt. other in time of peace or war as faithfull friends with submission to his Majesty's authority on our souls and honours. Witness these written at Achmore in Assynt the 4 of July, Jaivic 72, before these witnesses, Sir Donald McDonald of Sleat, Archibald McDod. of Borrinescittack, Thomas Fraser of Beaufort, Hugh Fraser Belladrum, Hector Monro of Obstell, Hector Monro of Killein, Hugh Monro of Ereboll, Alexander McKenzie of Garloch, Colline McKenzie of of Reedcastle, Kenneth McKenzie of Sudily, Angus McKy of Mealeness, Hugh McKy of Bighouse, Capt. William McKy tutor of Scoury, Robert McKy in Aclines, and Sir George McKenzie of Tarbatt. Sic subscribitur

[Reay Papers]


No. 45. Letters of Fire and Sword granted by the king, at the instance of Lord Reay and others, dated 3 Sep 1668: -

Letters of Fire and Sword granted by King Charles II at the instance of John Lord Reay, Hugh Munro of Erriboll, William Munro his brother, Dame Barbara McKy Lady Reay, and McKy, spouse to the said Hugh Munro of Erriboll, for themselves and in name and behalf of the remanent kin and friends of the deceased Hector and William McKy &c, against William Sinclair of Dunbeath, John Sinclair of Murkle, John Gun his servitor, and Donald Forbes servitor to Dunbeath, who were orderly denounced rebels for not compearing before the Lords Justices upon the 24 November last, conform to criminal letters issued against them, for convening themselves with about 1200 others of the shire of Caithness, and invading in March last the sheriffdom of Sutherland and Strathnaver with fire and sword and committing great spoil, and also for the slaughter of the deceased William McKy of Scoury in February last, and for the murder of the deceased Hector McKy of Scoury his brother, upon the 11th day of August last by shooting him in several parts of the body etc. And thereafter constitute and appoint Archibald, Earl of Argyle, George, Earl of Caithness, Campbell of Glenorchy, Sir John Munro of Fowlis, the Laird of Balnagown, Sir George Muuro, Captain William McKy of Borlie, and Sir Robert Gordon of Embo, commissioners, with full power for convocating the lieges and searching for taking and apprehending the said persons, and in case of resistance or hostile oppossition to pursue them to death etc. Dated at Edinburgh 3rd day of December, 1668.

[Privy Council Register]


No. 46. Disposition in a liferent of the lands of Coulnafearn etc. by Murdo Mackay in Carnach to his wife Jane, daughter of Captain William Mackay of Borley, 17 Sep 1681: -

Me Murdo MacKy in Carnach, heritable proprietor of the lands and grassings under described with their pertinents: Forasmuch as be contract matrimonial made ended and perfected betwixt me on the one part, and Captain William MacKy of Borley for himself and as burdentaker for Jane MacKy, his lawful daughter now my spouse, on the other part, of the date 167_ ycirs, I was obliged to infeft and saise by charter and sufficient title the said Jane MacKy my spouse in liferent during all the days of her lifetime, and the heirs lawful. to be gotten betwixt me and her in fee, in the principal sum of 2000 merks usual Scots money, as the said contract of the said date foresaid containing several heads, articles and clauses in itself at more length bears. Wherefore (bot prejudice of the said other 1,000 merks contained in the said contract), and for the love and favour which I have and bear to the said Jane MacKy and Robert MacKy, my oldest lawful son procreate betwixt me and her of the said marriage, and for other good causes and considerations moving me hereto, Witt ye me to have sold and anuailzied and disponed, Lykas be thir pnts., under the reservations underwritten and no other ways, sell anailzie and dispone to the said Jane MacKy, my said spouse, in liferent during all the days of her lifetime, and the said Robert by my said spouse his heirs and assigns, in fee heritably and irredeemably all of the lands and grassings of Coulnafearn and west side of Strabegg, the lands and grassings of Drimrinnie, Tobbernanuiskeach and Anloane, parts and pendicles and pertinents of the same, Lying within the sheriffdom of Sutherland and baronies of Kintail and Durness respt. etc. At Farr the 17 day of Sep., 1681. Witnesses, Master Donald Macintosh, minister at Farr, Donald Macmarcus, schoolmaster there.

[Reay Papers]


No. 47. Will and Disposition of David Nicholson in Torrisdale and his spouse, in favour of Donald, Master of Reay, 5 Jun 1710: -

Know all men by thir pnt. letters, Us David Nicholson in Torrisdale and Moar M'Ky, spouse, for the love and favour and dutiful respects we have and do bear and carry towards Donald, Master of Reay, Therefore, and for diverse and sundry onerous causes and weighty considerations moving us to the granting hereof, Witt you us to have sold, assigned, and disponed, likeas we sell assign and dispone by these from us our heirs exers. and all others our assignees, to and in special favours of the said Donald, Master of Reay, his heirs or assignees, All and sundrie of our movable goods, gear, cornes, horses, mares, stags, foals, oxen, steers, cows young and old, stirks, calves, sheep, ewes, wedders, rams, lambs, goats, kids, insight plenishing, outainsell, and dominsells, all debts due to us by word or write by whatsoever person or persons, within or without the shire, sums of money lying beside us, silver, gold, jewels, coined or uncoined, and all other moveables presently belonging to us both, or what of the forsaid qualities or quantities may be acquired conquished by us and pertaining and belonging to us at the time of our decease etc. Subscribing at our command, because we cannot write ourselves, At Torisdail the 5 day of June 1710 years, Before thir witnesses, Hector MacKy of Skerray, John MacKy taxman of Strathtong, and John MackPhail, writer.

[Reay Papers]


No. 48. Extract of Letter with reference to the glebe of Farr, by the 3rd Lord Reay, dated 1718: -

"Donald Master of Reay [father of 3rd Lord Reay] gave to Mr. Donald Macintosh, his governor, when he was settled minister of Farr a tack of several lands whereof Ardbeg was a part, and the Master dying soon thereafter Mr. Macintosh kept possession of all these lands till he was transported to Strathspey. Mr. John Macpherson succeeded him at Farr when the Lord Reay was abroad and a minor, and took possession of Ardbeg on pretence that Mr. Macintosh told him he had it as his glebe … "A tack is found between Mr. Robert Munro, first minister of Farr, and Donald, Lord Reay, the first possessed heritor, by which he sets to the Lord Reay during his incumbency his glebe and manse in Skaill which are church lands, which plainly shows that Ardbeg never was the glebe. Probably while the Lord Reay's predecessors were sole heritors of that parish they might have given the minister lands near the church in exchange of his glebe, which was at a distance from him. And here it is worth notice that in the time of popery the priest resided at Skaill etc."

[Reay Papers]


No. 49. Extract from a Document by the 3rd Lord Reay, regarding the erection of the parishes of Tongue, Durness, and Ederachillis, 14 _ 1724: -

Be it known to all men by these presents, Us George, Lord Reay, forasmuch as upon our application to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland representing the vast extent of the parish of Durness in Strathnaver, and the great need there was of more ministers for dispensing Gospel ordinances in that place, which having been concurred with by the Presbytery of Caithness and Synod of the boynds, The forsaid General Assembly by their act, dated 13 May 1721, did grant a recommendation for a voluntary contribution throught all the parishes of Scotland, to be gathered from house to house by the elders and deacons; and appointed the procurator and agent for the Church to raise and carry on all processes needful for the erecting and settling as many parishes in the forsaid bounds as the said public collection then recommended and the teinds of the said parish would admit of. And there being already come in of the said collection the sum of 26,000 merks, and a decreet obtained before the Lords of Council and Session, commissioners appointed for the plantation of churches and valuation of teinds, Upon our consent Disponing the said parish of Durness and erecting the same into three parishes, viz., The bounds from the extremity of Torrisdale on the east to the extremity of Westmoin in the west, and from Straan- McInes in the north to Letterloyal towards the south, inclusive of all that bounds with the islands of Roan, Colm, and Rabbit, into one parish to be called the parish of Tongue, and that the church already built there be the church thereof. Secondly, the bounds from Westmoin in the east, including Hope and Freskell, to Keuldale in the west, and from Clashneach in the north to Strathnrradale in the south, all inclusive with the islands of Hoa and Chory, into another parish to be called the parish of Durness, and that the church already built there be the church thereof. Thirdly, the bounds from Glencule in the south to Tarbet in the north, and from Duartbeg in the west to Aultinrinnie in the east, with the island of Handa and the lands of Auldshoars inclusive of these bounds, into a third parish to be called the parish of Ederachilis, and that a church be built upon the ground there called Duartbeg. Also ordaining that a manse for the minister of each of the said three several parishes be built near the respective churches with glebes &c. And Modifying and Localling the sum of 800 merkes Scots money of stipend and 40 merks for furnishing communion elements to each of the forsaid three parishes to be paid in manner following, To witt, to the minister of the parish of Tongue 800 merks and the agrent of 800 merks of the said collection; Item, to the minister of the parish of Durness the sum of £100 Scots out of the teinds of the same and the agrent of 13,800 merks of the forsaid collection; And to the minister of the parish of Ederachilis £180 Scots out of the teinds thereof, and the agrent of 11,400 merks of the said collection for stipends and communion elements. In so far as concerns that part of the said stipends payable out of the teinds, being 1220 merks yearly, to be locally paid to the said respective ministers by us and our successors in the lands belonging to us within the above mentioned parishes, and other heritors therein, tenants, possessors, and intromiters with the rents and teinds thereof, and that yearly at two terms Whitsunday and Martinmas …

And we did further agree that, albeit the teinds of the said parishes in any valuation thereof to be led by us should happen to be found insufficient for the above stipends of 1220 merks modified, yet our lands and estate in the forsaid parishes should remain liable to the burden of these stipends conform to the said decree etc. etc.

[Reay Papers]


No. 50. Letter by the Rev. William Wishart, Moderator of the General Assembly, to Lord Reay - regarding the proposed erection of the Presbytery of Tongue, 1 Jun 1724: -

My Lord, Your Lordship's letter in April last directed to me and another from the Rev. Presbytery of Caithness concerning the design not only of erecting diverse new parishes, but also a new presbytery in your country and giving a geographical description of the bounds, was read in the General Assembly and the same gave great satisfaction to them, and it is hoped will very much encourage such as have not contributed to that excellent design yet to do it. The Assembly ordered me in their name to write a return to you in their name, as now I do, thanking and commending your Lordship for your christian charity and great zeal for promoting the interest of religion, and assuring your Lordship that they will do all they can on their part to encourage your Lordship's noble and excellent design in this matter.
And as your Lordship's proposal about the parish of Assynt's being a part of the new presbytery in your country, it seemed very plausible; and though that parish be declared a part of the Presbytery of Gairloch, yet it is only temporary till the General Assembly should consider the matter.

I pray the Lord may abundantly reward your Lordship and noble family for your pious and exemplary appearances for promoting religion. What your Lordship is doing in this matter will make your memory savoury to the godly in after generations as well as the present, and I hope the Lord will make up what you are pleased to bestow this way. And your Lordship will have much satisfaction and comfort upon a reflection of what you have done for the house and service of God and good of precious souls etc.

William Wishart

[Reay Papers]


No. 51. Copy of Minute of the Presbytery of Tongue - regarding the designation of a glebe for the minister of Tongue, 9 Aug 1731: -

At Tongue 9th Aug 1731, Which day the Presbytery met etc. The Presbytery next proceeded to design a glebe, and having taken the oaths of three of the most knowing neighbours, viz., Murdoch and Neil MacKays, and Alexander MacAngus, tenants in Kirkiboll, in presence of Donald Mac-Eaniconil, officer to the Lord Reay for his Lordship's interest, did remove them and ordered them upon the said disposition to design a glebe, conform to the previous agreement betwixt my Lord Reay and the Presbytery, viz., That since the rents of the whole country are payable out of grass and arable land together, and consequently that the acres and grass cannot be given in terms of law precisely, therefore each minister should have an equivalent of these acres and grass of one pennyland or £42 Scots rent, and the quantity of land and grass ever to remain for a glebe and grass in the parish of Tongue. These men having taken sufficient time returned and reported that they had laid aside the fields following, viz., The field called Clagin Mor, situated between the manse and the highway leading to the church, from south-east to north-west; Item, the field called Claginbeg, betwixt the said way and the field called Durin; Item, the fourth fifth and sixth riggs of the said Durin, reckoning from the side nearest Claginbeg; Item, the field called Rean-nardich-nahaglish; Item, the upper Farthing of Raonnacaorach, containing the Cairalech, Magin Pheadar, and four riggs of the field called Glaicaraonmhoir (?), reckoning from the side nearest the way leading to Tongue, with the fifth part of the hill and valley grass and hay of the town, because the said glebe is a fifth part of the town where it is designed, with free isch and entry, foggage, feul, feal, and divots, and pasturage, all of which make up a pennyland of the next adjacent to the kirk and manse, valued at £42 Scots rent.

[Reay Papers]


No. 51a. Letter by George, 3rd Lord Reay, to John Sinclair of Ulbster, Sheriff of Caithness, 18 Aug 1733 - regarding the wearing of arms at markets etc: -

[We are indebted for this letter to the Rev. W. H. Telford, U.F. Manse, Reston, into whose possession it has fallen, and who kindly drew our attention to it after our Appendix had been compiled, hence the mode of numbering to get it inserted chronologically. ]

Tongue, 18 Aug 1733.
Sir, You do me justly in believing that it is my inclination to cultivate a good understanding with all my neighbours, and its my constant endeavour to persuade this country people that it is their duty as well as their interest to follow my example; nothing but the height of ignorance and weakness can occasion that people of the same nation and religion, and now by trade etc. useful to each other, should differ beeause of a different surname, county, or being divided from each other by a brook or a hill. But the truth is the common people retain too much of the old feuds, which all men of honour should run down, and their example will in some time prevail. I fully approve of your resolution, and will concur with you therein by being as heavy on my own people when guilty and as easy to any in your shire as the case can allow of; and this I take to be the right method.

I got yours only late last night and consequently could not warn all my own people, much less those of Strath and Lochnaver, but gave a warrant this morning to James Mackay tacksman of Hope, to be communicated to all I'm concerned in, and which I desired him show you, discharging any of my people to bring arms along with them; but if some have them who could not be warned these are to be excused for this time, and I'll answer for them hereafter, and ordered such to leave their arms in their quarters and not to wear them. But then you must take care to prevent any of your commons wearing arms at this or any other market, else you'll easily own that it will not be in my power to prevent this countrymen doing the same next occassion, though its my real wish that instead of quarrelling they would rather do each other all the good offices in their power. I ordered James Mackay etc. to concur with you in punishing and bringing to justice any of my people shall deserve it, and to ask justice of you of any injuries shall be done them and not presume to revenge the same, or to be judge and party in their own cause; and I doubt but you'll deall by them if there is occassion as I did with Donald Campbell. Meantime, your speaking a civil word to some of the leading men in this countrey would be a good mean to make them shun what would disoblige you.

I expected to have seen you here when you was at Strathy, nor would I be so near your house in Caithness unwaited of your Lady and you, much less at Innerbrechre (?) and Dornoch without coming to Culcairnor, Cyderhall, where we were in October last.

I wonder you don't cause Mr. Brodie expede that charter: my doer acquaints me that he has given over speaking to him of it.

My eldest son and his wife went Wednesday to their house at Durness. My wife and the rest of my family join with me in their compliments to your Lady, you and yours.
I am, Sir, Your most affectionate cousin and humble servant, Reay.
To Mr. John Sinclair.

P.S. I wrote to my son Hugh to stop all the arms going by.


No. 52. Letter of George, 3rd Lord Reay, to the Earl of Sutherland, proposing the resumption of friendly relations between the families of Reay and Sutherland, 1 Jul 1745: -

My Lord, It was one of the principal maxims which I laid down at my first settling in this country for my conduct of civil life, that I should maintain an inviolable attachment to the honour and interest of the family of Sutherland. Your Lordship's grandfather and father were so well satisfied of my zeal to serve them that they always trusted to my fidelity and friendship and never was disappointed; I expected in like manner to have shared in your Lordship's friendship and confidence, and did all in my power to deserve it on every occasion wherein either your Lordship's honour or interest required it, until I found that some of these, whom your Lordship favoured most, pursued measures inconsistent with the interest of my family, and in my weak judgment not altogether calculated for the interest of the family of Sutherland or your Lordship's honour and quiet. It was these persons and these measures which I found myself obliged to oppose, and not the Earl of Sutherland nor the interest of his family. For I always looked upon myself not only as a relation but the first friend of the family of Sutherland, as being most capable to serve them in all events; and whenever your Lordship is disposed to consider me in that light you'll find me as firmly attached to your honour and interest, and that of your family's both at home and abroad, as I have been in your grandfather and father's time. I heartily wish that all our differences were buried in oblivion, and to that end I have made some proposals which I think are equall and honourable, and for the real interest of your Lordship's family, as well as my own, and which my son George will lay before you whenever your Lordship pleases. I have the honour to be, with great respect,
my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient servant,
Reay.
Tongue House 1 Jul 1745.

[Reay Papers]


No. 53. Bond of Friendship between George, 3rd Lord Reay, and William, Earl of Sutherland, 18 and 26 Jul 1745: -

At Tongue and Dunrobin the 18th and 20th Jul 1745, It is mutually agreed and condecended upon between the parties following, viz., the Right Hon. William, Earl of Sutherland, on the one part, and the Right Hon. George, Lord Reay, on the other part as follows: That is to say, forasmuch as some differences and disputes have arisen between us to our mutual leison and prejudice on occasion of the late election of members to serve in Parliament for the shire of Sutherland and for the district of the Northern Burrows, And now seeing we are on both parts very sensible that the honour and interest of both our families will be better promoted and secured by our acting in concert and mutual agreement than by our pursuing our separate political courses, And considering especially how highly necessary it is that there should be a firm union and confidence between our families in the erent of any public disturbance by an invasion or rebellion either or both of which calamities there are but too just grounds to apprehend from the restless malice of foreign and domestic enemies in the present critical conjuncture of the affairs of Europe, Therefore and to secure our acting with mutual harmony and uniting the whole strength of both our families and adherents, so as to be able in any public danger to render the more considerable and effectual service to his present Majesty, King George the Second, for supporting the succession in the Protestant line of his most illustrious house, and for seeming the present happy establishment in Church and State, and for defeating the designs of his Majesty's enemies both open and secret, We do for these and many other weighty considerations mutually agree, and by the sacred tie and pledge of our word and honour on both sides bind and oblige ourselves and our families and followers to each other in manner and to the effect aftermentioned, to witt: -

Primo, That from henceforth we shall bury in everlasting oblivion all differences and misunderstandings that may have unhappily taken place between us before the date of these presents, And we promise from and after this date to cultivate a firm and inviolable friendship for the mutual support of the honour and interest of both our families for the future in conjunction with the defence of the present government in Church and State. And in order to perpetuate such mutual friendship we do agree and promise to each other that in the event of any jealousy or differences arising in the future betwixt us or our successors and families, from whatever cause or occasion and on whatever points of honour or interest, that in such case neither party shall act upon surmise or suspicion to the prejudice of the other, but on the contrarie that the partie thinking himself aggrieved shall communicate the whole matter of his jealousy to the other and that both parties sincerely endeavour to have all suspicion of one another and all differences removed in the way of friendly communing and correspondence, and if any difference shall happen to subsist and that the method of removing it is attempted in vain that then it shall be submitted to the arbitration of friends hinc inde.

Secundo, Whereas by an act of Parliament anno primo Regis George I, entitled an act for the more effectual securing the peace in the Highlands of Scotland, we the said George Lord Reay are freed from all services commonly called personall attendance, hosting, watching, warding, etc. that were formerely due and prestable by us to the family of Sutherland by virtue of our charters from them, yet considering that in the event of any public disturbance the said noble Earl and we with our vassals and tenants and adherents would be in condition to render more considerable service to his present Majesty, as well as better promote and secure the mutual interest of both our families, by acting in concert and agreement with one another than by taking separate measures in the prosecution of those ends as is above observed, Therefore we the said George Lord Iteay do by these presents bind and oblige ourselves and successors, that in the event above mentioned we shall raise all our vassals and tenants and others capable to bear arms on our estate and employ them in conjunction with the said noble Earl and his successors and their other vassals and friends and tenants and adherents for the defence of his Majesty, King George the Second and his successors, and the present establishment in Church and State, and for the mutual defence and support of both the families of Reay and Sutherland and our several properties and legal interests.

Tertio, It is mutually agreed upon by us the said William, Earl of Sutherland, and George, Lord Reay, and we solemnly promise one to another for ourselves and for our successors and our friends and adherents that we shall employ and influence and use our best endeavours in all future elections of representatives in Parliament in the way of mutual concert among ourselves, so as best to secure the foresaid ends of promoting and securing the mutual interest of both our families in conjunction with our duties to his Majesty and successors, and our subserving to the present establishment in Church and State. In testimony whereof both parties have subscribed these presents at the places and times above written before these witnesses rexiv., viz., to the subscription of us George Lord Reay at Tongue the 18 July and year forsaid, Major Hugh Mackay of General Oglethorp's regiment, Master George Mackay our second lawful son, and Mr. James Gilchrist minister of Thurso, writer hereof; And to the subscription of us the said Earl of Sutherland at Dunrobin the said 26 Jul and year forsaid, the said Major Hugh Mackay, and Mr. James Gilchrist, witnesses.

[Reay Papers]


No. 54. Address by the Presbytery of Tongue to the Duke of Cumberland congratulating him upon his victory at Cnlloden, dated 1 May 1746: -

At Thurso the 17 day of Jul,1746 , the Presbytery met after the Synod and after prayer, sederunt Mr. Walter Ross, moderator, Masters John Skeldoch, Murdoch Macdonald, and John Munro, ministers - no ruling elders commonly attend. Inter alia, The brethren having by correspondence considered the signal deliverance of this nation from a raging unnatural rebellion, which had subsisted since August and brought on very great calamities on many parts of this and the neighbour nation, by the total, happy, and glorious defeat of the rebels at Culloden on the sixteenth day of April last by his Majesty's army under the wise and valorous conduct and command of his Royal Highness, the Duke of Cumberland, and that a deep sense of this deliverance hath justly induced several presbyteries in the north of Scotland to congratulate his Royal Highness on this remarkable occasion, have agreed by the correspondence forsaid to send them their address also; the said address was ordered to be recorded, the tenor whereof follows: -

"Unto his Royal Highness, Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, &c, &c, the ministers of the Gospel and elders of the Presbytery of Tongue beg leave with hearts full of joy and thankfulness to Almighty God, to congratulate your Royal Highness on the successful progress of his Majesty's armies under your wise and valorous conduct against the insolent and audacious attempts of foreign and domestic enemies to our happy constitution. The instances of this progress are so conspicuous that it may be thought needless or perhaps officious in us to mention them, yet your Goodness will permit us to express our sense of a few of them as the genuine sentiments of our hearts. While we remember that your Royal Highness's intrepid appearance at Dettingen while yet very young, and bearing from the field of battle there the marks of being as much exposed as any there, gave an early presage to this nation, honoured with your birth, of the high spirit and courage which animated the glorious hero of immortal memory whose name you bear, and of the high command with which you are so happily invested. When we further consider the glory acquired by the gallant attack of our brave British troups at Fontenoy, under your Highness' command, that the noble stand they there made against the flower of the arms of France, and whole sheets of continued fire from numerous and terrible batteries, could not miss to have given the enemy a total overthrow (as it gave them almost violent shock) had our business been with men and not with cannons - an action inglorious on their part, but on ours a happy means of putting them out of condition to hinder the imperial crown being set on the head of a prince, whose interest it is to keep down their power and join in keeping right the ballance of Europe. Permit us further, great Sir, to observe with pleasure and joy that when this unnatural rebellious insurrection of an infatuated part of our nation called your Royal Highness to a new scheme of action here, how quick was the agreeable change of the state of the true friends to our happy constitution. When our captivity was turned we were like men that dreamed: We were happy before we knew it. The name of the Duke of Cumberland became terrible to the rebels before they saw him, and when he came to Culloden they soon felt the dint of his victorious arms. Go on then, brave prince, to imitate the glorious King William, like him to be the deliverer of the oppressed, the scourge of tyranny, and the defender of the rights of your native land; and may you be preserved to be more and more an honour to it and a support to your Royal Father's crown and dignity. May it please your Royal Highness, We take this opportunity to renew our untainted allegiance to his Sacred Majesty, King George, as our only rightful sovereign against all pretenders, and to declare our utter abhorrence of this rebellion, begun and carried on by such as have been deluded by the pretences and promises of a popish pretender's manifestoes and declarations. That God may bless and long preserve our sovereign King George, bless the Prince and Princess of Wales and all the branches of the Royal Family, and that Britain and Ireland and all the dominions thereto belonging may never want one of the illustrious house of Hanover in the protestant line to sway the sceptre over them is our prayer. This in name and by appointment of the Presbytery of Tongue is signed at Tongue 1 May 1746, by, may it please your Royal Highness, your Royal Highness's most faithful and most obedient and most humble servant, sic subscribitur, Walter Ross, moderator."

[Presbytery Register]


No. 55. Letter by George, 3rd Lord Reay, to an unknown person, probably a Government official - regarding the settlement of the Highlands after the overthrow at Culloden, dated 2 Sep 1746: -

[For the transcript of this letter we are indebted to Jas. Macdonald, Esqr., W.S., Edinburgh]

Sir, As I have the right settlement of the Highlands much at heart, I beg leave to hint to you whether it would not be for the interests of the Government, and a means to establish these wild people in peace, that his Majesty should not give any of the forfeited estates in property to any subject. But all to depend on the sovereign, right factors employed with power to grant long leasses, to use the people well, promote the industry and ever to plant colonies of old soldiers among them, and thereby make them taste the sweet of being free of tyrannical masters. And for promoting the scheme of erecting new parishes more speedily and with less expense to the government, I am persuaded if there was a free collection over all the nation for that purpose it would have the desired effect, and prove in time a means to civilize these people, as I have found by experience. As his Royal Highness has been our glorious deliverer by his valour and conduct, I hope by his prudent and wise direction he'll fall on proper methods to make these idle ignorant people useful subjects, which will make him famous to posterity, as it is easier to conquer than to civilize barbarous people.

I design soon to go north. If there's any thing wherein I can be in the least useful, if his Royal Highness honours me with his commands they shall be cheerfully obeyed. I hope you will be so good as to forgive this trouble, which use as you see proper, at least so as I told you here.

I have the honour to be with great respect, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble servant,
Reay.
Edinburgh, 2nd Sep 1746.

[Record Office, London]


No. 56. Excerpt Tack by the trustees of the deceased George, 3rd Lord Reay, to his son the Hon. Hugh Mackay of Bighouse, of the estate of Reay for fifteen years from Whitsunday, 1756: -

It is contracted agreed and finally ended betwixt the parties after mentioned, viz., Sir Hew Dalrymple of North Berwick, Baronet, John Hamilton of Bargeny, George MacKy of Skibo, David Ross of Inverhasley, and Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander MacKy, of Colonel Lambton's regiment, Trustees named and appointed by the deceased George Lord Reay (with consent of Donald, now Lord Reay, his son) for managing the said George Lord Reay his estate and affairs after his decease, conform to a Trust Right and Disposition executed by the said George Lord Reay with consent of his son in favour of the now deceased Hugh Dalrymple of Drummore, one of the senators of the College of Justice and the forenamed persons his Trustees (except the said Colonel Alexander MacKy), bearing date 1 Oct 1741, and registered in the Books of Session the 17 Jul 1742; and another deed executed by the said late and present Lords of Reay 1 Nov 1743, constituting and appointing the said Colonel Alexander MacKy (therein designated Captain Alexander MacKy of Strathtongue) a trustee for the purpose above mentioned along with the said other trustees of the one part, and Hugh MacKy of Bighouse of the other part in manner following. That is to say, Whereas by contract or tack bearing dates 11 Oct, 3 and 16 Nov 1743, entered into between the said deceased George Lord Reay with consent aforesaid, sett and in tack and assedation lett to the said Hugh MacKy, during the space for the tack duty and with and under the several provisions reservations and declarations therein written, All and whole the mansion house of Tongue with office-houses, gardens, parks, and enclosures thereto belonging, together with all and sundry the towns, lands, baronies, mills, teinds, woods, fishings, feu-duties and others with the pertinents therein specified all lying as therein mentioned. By which tack it is expresely provided and declared that it should be in the power of the oldest son of the said Donald now Lord Reay, procreated betwixt him and Mrs. Marion Dalrymple his first lady, or the second son of the said marriage succeeding to the said lands and estate through his elder brother's demise, with the consent of the said trustees upon his attaining the age of 21 to take possession of the said mansion house and pertinents and the forsaid lands and estates into his own hands, and the said tack should from thenceforth cease and determine, and the said Hugh MacKy should be bound to remove therefrom upon the premonition of six months to be made to him in legal form. Like as by a subsequent tack bearing date 21 Oct and 25 Nov 1748, entered into betwixt the said trustees and Hugh MacKy, they (for the causes therein mentioned) not only ratified and approved of the forsaid tack granted by the said George Lord Reay and them to the said Hugh MacKy and declared the same binding upon all parties, but also, with and under the exceptions variations and provisions therein contained, did of new in coroboration of the said tack let to the said Hugh MacKy during the space and for the tack duty therein mentioned the whole lands and estate and others set in lease to him by the tack above recited, as in and by the said two tacks reference being thereunto had will more fully and at length appear. And whereas it was provided by the forsaid tacks that upon George, now Master of Reay, eldest son of Donald Lord Reay, his attaining the age of 21 years, he the said George Master of Reay with consent of the said trustees might have resumed and taken into his own hands the whole premises set by the tack above recited; and the said trustees and the said George Master of Reay by their sederunt bearing date 28 Aug 1755, were of opinion it was proper a new lease should be granted to the said Hugh MacKy for 15 years from and after Whitsunday 1756, with a break as to the houses, gardens, parks, and Mains of Tongue, as mentioned in the said sederunt; and they recommended to Donald Lord Reay, John MacKy of Strathy, Robert MacKy of Islandhanda, John MacKy of Clashneach, and James MacKy of Skerray to take into their consideration the situation of the trust estate and state of affairs of the family of Reay. And they, having accordingly done the same, were of opinion that the granting of a new tack to the said Hugh MacKy of the lands estate and others above mentioned would tend to the utmost advantage of the family and estate, as the forsaid sederunt with the report of the said Donald Lord Reay and the other gentlemen above named insert in the sederunt books of the said trustees more fully reports; therefore in pursuance of the forsaid opinion and resolution the said trustees do hereby of new sett and in tack and assedation for the yearly tack duty and with and under provisions, exceptions, reservations, and declarations after written, sett to the said Hugh MacKy himself, secluding his heirs executors and assignies, all of the mansion house of Tongue with the office-houses, gardens, parks, and inclosures thereto belonging, together with all and sundry lands, baronies, towns, mills, multures, sueken, knaveships, and sequels thereof, salmon fishings of the waters of Hope, Laxford, and Polla, also the salmon fishings of the water of Kinloch, in so far as the deceased George Lord Reay had right thereto, As also the feu-duties of the estate of Strathy and Lower Halladale, the surplus wadsett and tack duties payable by William MacKy of Melness and John MacKy of Borgiemore or their successors in their tacks and wadsetts, and the vicarages of the parishes of Tounge, Durnes, and Edderachilis, which all pertained and belonged to the said deceased George Lord Reay, lying within the parishes of Tongue, Durnes, Edderachilis, Farr, and Reay, and the sheriffdom of Sutherland, with all the houses, biggings, corfhouses, cruives, parts, pendicles and universal pertinents thereto belonging, kains, customs, casualities, and services thereof of whatsoever kind payable for or furth of the lands, teinds, milns, fishings, and others aforsaid all lying as above mentioned. With liberty and power to the said Hugh MacKy during the continuance of this tack to keep as many fishing boats and to make kelp on any part of the said estate, and use as much ware for dunging the corn-lands as he and the tenants thereof shall think necessary; excepting and reserving always furth and from this tack the towns and lands of Balnakeil, Galduell, Idenfarct, Sangoes, Keinabein, Eispin, Islandhoan, Portchammul, Durin, Miln of Durness, multures, knaveships, sucken, and sequels thereof, both Ballvulichs, Knockbreac, Keoldale, Sartigram, Polmore, Clashneach with Auldychladich, Borley, Slaness, Nuibeg, Achowmore with the mains, parks, and grazings thereof, viz., Shinnish, Firrach, and salmon fishing and other fishing on the water of Durnes, being a part of the barony of Durnes, all which is allocate to the said Donald Lord Reay and presently in his possession, and which he is entitled to during his lifetime for the support of himself and family etc.

[All the lands of the estate held in wadsett were excepted from this tack, as were also those directly occupied by Lord Reay]

[Reay Papers]


No. 57. No. 57. A Description of the Reay estate by a valuator (name unknown), dated 1797: -

After giving a minute definition of the boundaries, it proceeds: - "What is called the Reay forest forms almost the centre of this great extent. It consists of mountains hills and precipices full of excellent pasture, these mountains appearing green up to their very tops. As they are dry and well sheltered they must be particularly adapted for sheep. There are at present in the forest about 1000 deer. These are shot and hunted down by the foresters and people in the neighbourhood for their own use, except such as are sent at times to the factor and his friends and to others who choose to call for them. The appearance of the estate is altogether mountainous with great promontories going into the sea, such as Cape Wrath, the Whitten Crail, and Farrethead. The places of Glencoul and Glendow at the head of Kyleseone have in their appearance a wild and savage beauty that is not possible for any person to conceive that has not seen them. Indeed the parish of Edrachilis has all much the same look. Durness is a dry pretty spot; the soil sandy, well peopled for its extent. It lies upon a bed of limestone which is here found in the greatest abundance. It is considered the best grass and pasture ground in the north of Scotland, and it was of old the Bishop of Caithness' sheiling or pasture farm. The parish of Tongue is of the three parishes the most habitable, and in which there is the most arable ground. It is likewise the most accessible, there being a road from the parish of Farr, to the east of it, to the Mansion House of Tongue. There is at the north end of Loch Loyal, a little above the beach, a most beautiful romantic situation for a sporting house or quarters. It has the loch in front, four great hills rising above the loch, one of them full of birch-wood, rising like an amphitheatre with the green top of the mountain above it.

"The rent of the estate of Reay a few years ago was only £1297. The principal tacksmen or leaseholders of it are, first, George MacKay of Bighouse. His father Robert MacKay granted about 50 years ago to Lord Reay a bond for £500 at 5 per centum, he at the same time got possession as a tenant of a great part of the parish of Edrachilis, including Scoury the principal place in it, where he lived. It was stipulated between him and Lord Reay that he should have possession of these lands as long as his bond for £500 remained unpaid, but that as soon as it was paid up a lease should then commence for 19 years of these lands. This lease might not have commenced yet but for the dispute which arose in the year 1786 between General Alexander MacKay and the present Bighouse, about cutting wood on the grounds of this lease. Bighouse disputed Lord Reay's right to cut the wood, at which the general was so displeased that he offered him payment of the £500 bond and obliged his lease to commence at, I think, Whitsunday 1787.

"William Munro of Achany has a lease of Auldinrinnie in the same parish for much the same duration. By it he is allowed £5 yearly for taking care of that part of the forest. This gives him a privilege to shoot deer with his friends. Bighouse has a privilege of the same nature to the extent, I think, of 12 deer yearly.

"Mrs. Macleod, widow of Roderick Macleod from the Isle of Skye, has a lease of Balnakiel, the principal place and farm in the parish of Durness, and indeed the best farm not only of the estate of Reay, but perhaps in the north. She has it for about 19 years from Whitsunday 1788 or 89. Donald Lord Reay lived here, and there is on it a good large mansion house.

"James Anderson and John and Thomas Arbuthnot, of Peterhead, have a lease of the fishings and kelp-shores of the estate for 4 nineteen years from Whitsunday 1789. I think there is a break (as it is called) in this lease at the end of the first 30 years, Lord Reay paying them the expenses they may have been at in building houses, piers, and other accomodations; a good deal of which they have done.

"Donald Forbes has a lease of Oldshoars in the parish of Edrachilis for 19 years, of much the same duration as those mentioned. He wished to get a lease at the same time of Rehisell, where his mother lives. It was I believe drawn out, at least in scroll, but never signed.

"Donald MacKay has a lease of Eriboll, parish of Durness, for I believe somewhat more than 19 years from much about the same date with the rest - his rent rises progressively as a certain number of years in his lease elapses. I think his is the only lease on the estate that does so.

"John Scobie has a lease of 31 years of Melness, granted by the late Hon. Mr. Mackay about the year 1775. He was obliged to build a good house there and to enclose it, which was done.

"James MacKay of Skerray is the only wadsetter residing in the country. His wadset consists of about £400 infefted on the lands of Ribigill. He is allowed to retain the rent of Skerray, where he lives, for the rent he should receive from Ribigill; and he got before General MacKay's death a lease of Skerray and some places near it, I believe, the same as the rest got.

"The services on the farm of Tongue were converted in the year 1789 - their value came to about £30. The tenants who formerly performed these services paid these £30 yearly to the person who farmed Tongue, who only himself paid £30; so that he paid no rent for it in a manner, unless he gave credit for the £30 in his account.

"The estate of Reay may be equal in extent to the county of Fife, or any of the Lothians. It is very compact considering its great extent, no other estate interfering with it, and its marches are well and neatly ascertained by the sea, the sea-loch of Kylscow, the great mountain of Ben Hee, Loch Loyal, and the water of Torrisdale. It may well be called one of the great estates of Scotland; and if the present lord lives to the age of his father or grandfather he may in the course of his life bring it to £5000 yearly rent, and at the same time have the satisfaction to see his tenants live happily enjoying plenty, the natural fruits of honest industry."

[Reay Papers]


No. 58. and No. 58. List of proposed roads in the four northern counties of Scotland surveyed by George Brown, under the direction of the commander-in-chief in North Britain, with estimated cost - survey made 1790-99: -

1790Dingwall to Ullapool£7,82519 3
1790Ullapool to Portnaleek Ferry£4,62215 0
1790Portnaleek to Dingwall£2,106 2 1
1792Inverness to Bernera Barracks, Kyle-rea, by the
north side of Lochness and Glenmoriston
£9.493 3 6
1792Fort William to Pitnain in Badenoch£6,70019 9
1793Dingwall to Polewe£7,38814 4
1793Invermoriston to Fort- Augustus£30718 4
1793Strome upon Lochcarron to Auchensheen£3,94315 6
1793Lochinver to Portinleik£6,03910 2
1794Culrain to Tongue£5,373 5 5
1794Scoury to Lairg£4,4291110
1794Tongue to the kirk of Farr£1,258 6 8
1794Kirk of Farr to the head of Lochnaver,
at Inver-bagistie
£2,800 510
1794Burigill on Inver-bagistie to Helmsdale£3,796 0 9
1795Culrain by Strath-flete to Dunbeath£7,78913 1
1795Beauly to Loch Duich£7,88219 0
1796Fort-William by Loch Ell to Loch na Gaull£6,43610 0
1796Loch Nevish to Auchnacarry£5,88216 2
1796From the road joining Fort-Augustus and Fort- William,
at the head of Loch Lochy, to Kilmallie
£3,092 4 0
1797Kirk of Farr to Thurso£4,48517 3
1797Thurso by Mybster to Dunbeath£3,77418 4
1797Portinleek to Tain£1,528 7 0
1798Culrain through the interior of Sutherland
to Rumsdale, on Strathmore, in Caithness
£9,613 110
1798Kirk of Durness to Mudale£6,96812 0
1798Wick to John O'Groats£2,192 2 6
1798John O'Groats to Thurso£1,75910 6
1799Kyle head near Barners, through Sky to Dunvegan £15,22010 0
1799Thurso to Wick£3,393 0 0
1799Thurso to Rumsdale to join the Portnaleik Road£4,9071510
Total£151,014 411

[Many of the roads were not formed for a considerable number of years after the survey. For instance, the road from Durness to Mudale was begun in 1825, while that from the kirk of Farr to the head of Lochnaver was under construction sometime between 1850-60. And one at least of the surveyed roads was never constructed, viz., that from Portinleik to Rumsdale in Caithness.]

[Reay Papers]


No. 59. Letter by Caroline, widow of Captain John Mackay of Skerray, to Eric, 7th Lord Reay, dated 24 Feb 1817: -

My Lord, I am under the necessity of troubling your Lordship once more regarding the small heritable bond that falls to my family upon the Reay estate. Curators are now procured for my son James by all the necessary forms of law, and at a court at Kirkiboll some weeks ago Captain MacKay John Scobie, and the Rev. Mr Hugh MacKy MacKenzie were appointed. I trust therefore your Lordship will have the goodness to order your agent at Edinburgh to have the amount of the bond ready for the curators, who must immediately draw for it from the pressing state of my credit.

I do not wish to trouble your Lordship with a long account of my complicated distresses since I did myself the honour of addressing you before, but between family affliction and bank expenses few had such reason to be distressed in mind and encumbered in circumstances as I have.

In April last my late worthy son Hugh departed this life at Sutherland upon his way home from college, and it being his dying request to have his body carried over to this country it was attended to with the greatest Highland enthusiasm. In less than six months after, my dear Isabella died likewise, who never recovered his death. But I must have done and beg your Lordship pardon for indulging my feelings so much, but I had no less than three promising children taken from me in less than two years' time, and I doubt not but one of your Lordship's humanity will forgive me. With great reluctance I must now return to my subject, as matters in this weary world must be attended to, while in it. By a letter from the gentlemen that act for me there I find that your Lordship's agent there proposes keeping from me ,£28 of the amount mentioned in the bond, from the circumstances of your late hon. father's wadsetts being overburdened that much; but I cannot think that your Lordship will allow that loss fall upon me as I can but ill afford it. If, therefore, the above sum is kept from me at Edinburgh I trust Mr Anderson will be ordered to give me credit for it in my rent, as surely the whole amount in the bond was given.

Caroline MacKay.
Skerray 24 Feb., 1817

[Reay Papers]


No. 60. Excerpt of Letter of Mr Pat. Sellar, sheepfarmer, to Lord Reay - regarding the evictions, dated 1 May 1819: -

[]

My Lord, Sometime ago your Lordship's brother wrote me that Mr Forbes had not removed one of his subtenants, whom as dependents or servants he keeps doing mischief and ploughing in the winter land of Ben Hope - a thing which in the face of his written promise to your Lordship I thought very surprising. I saw Mr Forbes soon after, and was assured by him they should all quit along with himself at Whitsunday 1820 and leave the ground unploughed. But to my great surprise I received a letter from him again on the 16 Apr in quite a different strain, maintaining that he would plough and keep undertenants as he pleased. Now my Lord that no misunderstanding may possibly arise between your Lordship and me by silence, as was the case with Mr Houston, I give your Lordship timely notice of all this to intimate that if the banditti presently kept on Ben Hope farm are to have possession until Whitsunday 1821, on the pretext that they have ploughed 1820 and must consume their straw on the ground up to Whitsunday 1821, and if there be of consequence no access for flocks to the safe and peaceable use of the wintering, then I cannot enter into possession at Whitsunday 1820, as was intended by the missives entered into betwixt your Lordship and me, on such stormy ground without the wintering, for with flocks mixed among sheep-stealers and their dogs no stockman could calculate on possessing the farm. If I can get access I will in 1820 follow up my plan, and if I cannot I will put Strathnaver under cheviot stock under a different arrangement, etc.
Pat. Sellar

[Reay Papers]

[On the strath of the Naver Mr. Sellar had already smoked out the inhabitants as we showed at page 231, but mercifully he failed to effect an arrangement with Lord Reay, and thus the banditti of the Reay estate escaped the application of the torch.
A little later when his Lordship was making arrangements for the sale of the estate he wrote to his friend, W. J. Denison, Esqr., M.P., a letter dated 17 Aug 1828, in which Reay referred to his smaller tenants as follows: - "The small rents have upon the whole been well paid, perhaps better than any other of this class of tenants in Scotland… I feel confident .... they only require a little support to make them the most valuable class upon the estate." Reay Papers.]


No. 61. Report of the Tongue and Durness ground officers 18 Jun 1819 - regarding the sub-tenants on Major Forbes' farms of Kinloch and Ben Hope: -

We the ground officers of the parishes of Tongue and Durness, having inspected Major Forbes' farm of Kinloch and Ben Hope in order to ascertain the number of sub-tenants, cottars, and settlers thereon, report as follows: -

Strathmore District. Visited Blaid and found Alexander Morison upon the winter lands. Said Morison herds cattle for Major Forbes, has two acres of land for potatoes and corn in lieu of wages, and 2½ bolls of meal and two cows' grazing. He is under orders to quit it at Whitsunday next without a crop.

Visited Cranich and found James Campbell, John Macintosh, and Robert MacPherson upon the winter land. James Campbell has six of a family including four children. John Macintosh has three of a family including one child. Robert MacPherson has four of a family and two children. Each of the said men has two acres of corn land and potato land, two cows' grazing in lieu of wages; ground under crop at present, but are under orders to quit at Whitsunday next without a crop. All herd cattle for Major Forbes.

Visited Dalduin or Dornilla and found Angus Calder upon the winter land with seven of a family including children. Said Calder herds cattle for Major Forbes, has six acres of corn and potato land in lieu of wages under crop at present, but is under orders to quit at Whitsunday next without a crop.

Visited John MacKy in Aultnacailich and found him on the winter land with eight of a family including children. Said MacKy herds cattle to Major Forbes, has six acres of land for corn and potatoes in lieu of wages under crop at present, but is under orders to quit next Whitsunday without a crop.

Visited Musel and found widow MacKenzie upon the winter land with seven of a family including children. Said widow herds cattle to Major Forbes, has two acres of land for corn and potatoes in lieu of wages, ground under crop at present, but under orders to quit at Whitsunday next without crop.

Hope District. Visited Hope and found James Macky upon the winter land with five of a family including children. Said Macky herds cattle for Major Forbes, has two acres of land for corn and potatoes in lieu of wages under crop at present, but under orders to quit at Whitsunday next without crop. Visited Hope and found George Macky's land under crop, say one acre - terms not known, but not in the capacity of servant.

Visited Fresgill and found John and Duncan Munro upon the winter lands with three of a family each. Said Munros herd cattle for Major Forbes, have two acres of land each for corn and potatoes in lieu of wages under crop at present, but under orders to quit.

Kinloch District. Visited Unstepan and found John Ross, Malcolm Ross, and George Ross, three grown up men, upon the winter land.

Visited Totag and found John Sutherland and Murdo Macky, his son-in-law, upon the winter land in one family six in number including children. Said men herd goats for Major Forbes, and have the whole pendicle under crop in lieu of wages.

Visited Bowerscaig and found Donald Oag and Donald Munro upon the winter land, the former having five of a family and the latter six. Said men herd cattle for Major Forbes and have the whole pendicle under crop. Also found upon the winter land of Bowerscaig Hugh MacKy with three of a family. He is a cottar to Major Forbes, and has some new land under crop.

There are upon the Ben Hope side of farm 4 shepherds and 1 foxer, and on the Kinloch side 2 shepherds, making a total of 16 herds or cottars, 6 shepherds, and 1 foxer.

John Mackay, Tongue
Angus Sutherland, Durness.

[Reay Papers]


No. 62. Excerpt Disposition of Sale of the Reay estate by Lord Reay to the Marquis of Stafford, afterwards 1st Duke of Sutherland, for the sum of £300,000 stg., dated 15 May 1829: -

Be it known to all men by these presents that I, the Rt. Hon. Eric Lord Reay, heritable proprietor of the lands and others underwritten, in consideration of the sum of £300,000 Sterling instantly advanced and paid by the Most Noble George Granville, Marquis of the county of Stafford, as the agreed on value and price of the said lands and others, of which sum I hereby acknowledge the receipt renouncing all objections to the contrary and discharge the said Marquis his heirs executors and successors thereof for ever, Have sold alienated and disponed, as I the said Eric Lord Reay do hereby sell alienate and dispone, to and in favour of the said George Granville, Marquis of the county of Stafford, his heirs and assignees whatsoever heritably and irredeemably, All and sundry the lands, mills, fishings, teind sheaves, and others after specified comprehending and constituting the whole estate and country of Reay, and the whole of the lands and heritages belonging to me, lying in the county of Sutherland or in the county of Caithness, as hereafter mentioned.

viz. All of the town and lands of Ribigill mill and mill-lands thereof, Keanlochmore, Keanlochbeg, Mussel, Dalkeapach, Ilandryr, Avnaboll, and the salmond fishings upon the water of Dritary, Hunloum miln and milnlands, Eriboll, Strathbeg, Yslandchoirie, Houp and salmon fishing thereof, the forest and forest-lands of Diriemore and the forest towns of Auldinrinie and Loan, and salmon fishing thereof upon the water of Garvrone, Ardbeg, Ardmore, Keanlochbervie, Alchourbeg, Alschourniore, Carnmanoch, Sandwood, Kearvag, Havesh, Keoldale and salmond fishings in the water of Duirness and cruives thereof, Crangillieh, Borlie, Slamaness, Balnakill, Farret, Gavel, Crossbell, Balnamulick, Sandgayes, Ylandhoan, Rispyne, Fraskill, Strathmelness, Melness mill and milllands of the same, Ylandgyle, Scrolumy, Strathtongue, Cauldabacklie, Tongue miln and milnlands thereof, Kirkaboll, Serabuster, Kinnisaide, Releyden, Oldlangwart, Torrantarrow, Lettermore, Borgiemore, Torrisdale, Skerra, Ylandroyan and Ylandcolme, as also All of the lands of Ederachilis with the pertinents thereof, viz., the lands of Fenziedailles, Laxfurd with the salmon fishing of the same, Scouriebeg, Scouriemore, Galdstroam, and the island of Handa, with the teind sheaves of all and sundry the forsaid lands and barony of Ardurness pertaining and belonging thereto, viz., of All of the lands of Galdwell, Kialdale, Cranengaele, Gerrongarve, Terragavish, Carnmanoch, Borley, Slanes, and the salmon fishing upon the water of Avongarrone and Sandwood, and the salmon fishing upon the water of Ardurness, and the fishing of cruives thereof whatsoever, with the mill and multures of the same, as also of the island of Hoa and other islands there, with the seaports of all and sundry the lands and others above written and all other fishings of the same as well in fresh as in salt water, as also of the lands of Sandwood, Alshourbeg, Alshourmore, with all and sundry towers, fortalices, manor places, etc.

At Westminster the 15 May, in the year of our Lord 1829 in presence of these witnesses, James Loch, of Bloomsbury Square in the county of Middlesex, Esqr., and Member of Parliament; John Spottiswoode Esqr. of Spottiswoode, and of Great George Street in the City and Liberties of Westminster; David Robertson of Golden Square in the county of Middlesex, Esqr.; and the said William MacKenzie, the place and date of subscription and names and designations of the witnesses being inserted in the handwriting of the said William MacKenzie.

[Reay Papers]

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