Picture of Thomas Pennant

Thomas Pennant

places mentioned

August 18-29: Sutherland and Caithness

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Dornoch, a small town, half in ruins; once the residence of the Bishops of Cathness , and, like Durham , the seat of Ecclesiastics: many of the houses still are called after the titles of those that inhabited them: the Bishop lodged in the castle: the Dean's house is at present the inn. The cathedral was in form of a cross; built by Gilbert Moray , who died Bishop of Cathness in 1245: it is now a ruin, except part, which is the present church.176 On the doors and window-shutters were painted (as is common in many parts of North Britain) white tadpole-like figures on a black ground, designed to express the tears of the country for the loss of any person of distinction. These were occasioned by the affecting end of that amiable pair, the young Earl and Countess of Sutherland , who were lovely in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided, for their happiness was interrupted by a very short separation: sane ubi idem et maximus et honestissimus amor est, aliquando præstat morte jungi, quam vita distrabi .177

Ride on a plain not far from the sea; pass by a small cross, called the Thane's , erected in memory of the battle of Embo in 1259, between William Earl of Sutherland and the Danes , who were overthrown, and their General slain, at this place; and not far from thence the spot where an unhappy creature had been burnt, if I mistake not, in June 1727, for the imaginary crime of witchcraft .178

Cross a very narrow inlet to a small bay at Portbeg , or the little ferry, in a boat as dangerous as the last; for horses can neither get in or out without great risque, from the vast height of the tides and their want of slips. Keep along the shore, pass by the small village of Golspie , and reach


Dunrobin Castle, the antient seat of the Earls of Sutherland , founded about the year 1100 by Robert , or Robin , second Earl of Sutherland ; situated near the sea, and as the word Dun imports, on a round hill. The few paintings here are, an Earl of Murray , an old man, on wood. His son and two daughters, by Co. G . 1628. A fine full length of Charles I. Angus Williamson , a hero of the clan Chattan , who rescued the Sutherlands in the time of distress. A very singular picture of the Duke of Alva in council, with a cardinal by his side, who puts a pair of bellows blown by the Devil into his ear: the Duke has a chain in one hand fixed to the necks of the kneeling Flemings , in the other he shews them a paper of recantation for them to sign; behind whom are the reformed Clergy. The cardinal is the noted Anthony Perrenot , cardinal de Grandville , secretary to Margaret of Austria , Dutchess Dowager of Savoy , Governess of the Netherlands ; and who was held to be the author, advancer and nourisher179 of the troubles of those countries; and who on his recall into Spain , was supposed to be the great promoter of the cruelties exercised afterwards by the Duke of Alva , the successor of his mistress.

The demesne is kept in excellent order; and I saw here (lat . 58.) a very fine field of wheat, which would be ripe about the middle of next month.

This was the most northern wheat which had been sown this year in North Britain .

Sutherland is a country abounding in cattle, and sends out annually 2500 head, which sold about this time (lean) from 2 l. 10 s. to 3 l. per head. These are very frequently without horns, and both they and the horses are very small. Stags abound in the hills, there being reckoned not less than 1600 on the Sutherland estate, which in fact, is the greatest part of the county. Besides these are Roes, Grous, black game and Ptarmigans in plenty, and during winter multitudes of water-fowl on the coast.


Not far from Dunrobin is a very entire piece of antiquity, of the kind known in Scotland by the name of the Pictish Castles, and called here Cairn Lia' or a grey tower: that I saw was about 130 yards in circumference, round, and raised so high above the ground as to form a considerable mount: on the top was an extensive but shallow hollow: within were three low concentric galleries, at small distances from each other, covered with large stones; and the side-walls were about four or five feet thick, rudely made. There are generally three of these places near each other, so that each may be seen from any one. Buildings of this kind are very frequent, along this coast, that of Cathness and of Strathnavern . Others agreeing in external form are common in the Hebrides , but differ in their internal construction. In the islands they are attributed to the Danes ;180 here to the Picts . Possibly each nation might have the same mode of building with some variation, for I am told that some are to be seen in places where the Danes never penetrated. They were probably the defencible habitations of the times. I must withdraw my opinion of their having been the suffugia hiemi, aut receptacula frugibus , like those of the antient Germans . Such are not uncommon in Scotland , but of a form very different from these.

AUG. 19.

Kept along the shore Northward. About a mile from the castle are some small cliffs of free-stone; in one is Strath-Leven Cove, an artificial cave, with seats, and several shallow circular hollows cut within-side, once the retreat of a devout hermit. At some distance, and near the sea, are small strata of coal three feet thick, dipping to the East, and found at the depth of about 14 to 24 yards. Sometimes it takes fire on the bank, which has given it so ill a name, that people are very fearful of taking it aboard their ships. I am surprized that they will not run the risque, considering the miraculous quality it possesses of driving away rats wherever it is used. This is believed by the good people of Sutherland , who assured me seriously of its virtues; and they farther attributed the same to the earth and very heath of their county. They add too, that not a rat will live with them, notwithstanding they swarm in the adjacent shires of Ross and Cathness .181

In Assynt , a part of this county, far West of Dunrobin , are large strata of a beautiful white marble, equal, as I was told, to the Parian . I afterwards saw some of the same kind found at Glen-avon , in Badenoch .

Cross the water of Brora , which runs along a deep chasm, over which is a handsome bridge of a single arch. Near is a cave, where the salmon fishers lie during the season: the roof is pierced through to the surface, which serves for a natural chimney. They take annually about 10 or 12 lasts of fish. In a bank not far from the bridge are found abundance of Belemnitæ .

The country is very sandy, and the arable, or cultivated part, very narrow, confined on the East by the sea, on the West by lofty black mountains, which approach nearer and nearer to the water, till at length they project into it at the great promontory, the Ord of Cathness , the boundary between that county and Sutherland ; after which the coast is bold and rocky, except a small bay or two.


Ford the very dangerous water of Helmsdale , rapid and full of great stones. Very large Lampries are found here, fish detested by the Highlanders. Beneath the stones on the sea-shore are abundance of spotted and viviparous Blennies, Father Lashers, and Whistle Fish. Mackarel appear here in this month, but without their roes. I thought them far inferior in goodness to those of our country. Much Salmon is taken here.

The grey Water-wagtail quits this country in winter; with us it resides.

Dined at the little village of Helmsdale ; near which are the ruins of a square tower, built by Margaret Countess of Sutherland , in the fifteenth century.


Passed through a rich vale full of good barley and oats, between the hill of Helmsdale and the Ord . Ascend that vast promontory on a good road, winding up its steep sides, and impending in many parts over the sea, infinitely more high and horrible, than our Penmaen Mawr . Beneath were numbers of Seals floating on the waves, with sea-fowl swimming among them with great security. Observed projecting from one part of the Ord , far below, a small and verdant hill, on which, tradition says, was fought a single combat between an Earl of Cathness , and a son of the Earl of Sutherland , while their two armies looked on from above: the first was killed on the spot, the last died of his wounds.

The Ord was the antient division of Cathness , when Sutherland was reckoned part. The distinction at that time was CATHENESIA cis et ultra montem. Sutherland was styled then Catau , as being more montanous: the modern Cathness, Guaelav , as being more plain.182

Beneath this cape are immense caves, the resort of Seals,183 and Sea-fowls: the sides and top are chiefly covered with heath and morassy earth, which give it a black and melancholy look. Ride over some boggy and dreary moors. Pass thro' Ausdale , a little Highland village. Descend into a deep bottom covered with alders, willows, birch, and wicken trees, to Langwall , the seat of Mr. Sutherland , who gave me a very hospitable reception. The country abounds with Stags and Roes, and all sorts of feathered game, while the adjacent river brings Salmon almost up to his door.


I enquired here after the Lavellan ,184 which, from description, I suspect to be the Water Shrew-mouse. The country people have a notion that it is noxious to cattle: they preserve the skin, and, as a cure for their sick beasts, give them the water in which it has been dipt. I believe it to be the same animal which in Sutherland is called the Water Mole.

AUG. 20.

Proceed on my journey. Pass near Berridale . On a peninsula jutting into the sea is the ruin of the castle; between it and the land is a deep chasm, where there had been a draw-bridge. On this castle are stationed, in the Salmon season, persons who are to observe the approach of the fish to the fresh waters.

Near Clathron is a druidical stone set an end, and of a most stupendous size.


Saw Dunbeth ,185 the seat of Mr. Sinclair , situated on a narrow neck of land; on one side impending over the sea, on the other, over a deep chasm, into which the tide flows: a small narrow garden, with billows beating on three sides, fills the rest of the land between the house and the water. Numbers of old castles in this county have the same tremendous situation. On the West side of this house are a few rows of tolerable trees; the only trees that I saw from Berridale to the extremity of Cathness 186 On the right inland are the small remains of Knackennan castle, built by an Earl of Cathness . From these parts is a full view of the lofty naked mountain of Scaraben and Morven . The last Ptarmigans in Scotland are on the first; the last Roes about Langwall , there being neither high hills nor woods beyond. All the county on this side, from Dunbeth to the extremity, is flat, or at lest very seldom interrupted with hills, and those low; but the coasts rocky, and composed of stupendous cliffs.

Refreshed our horses at a little inn at the hamlet of Clythe , not far from the headland, called Clytheness . Reach Thrumster , a seat of Mr. Sinclair's . It is observable, that the names of places in this county often terminate in ter and dale , which savors of Danish origin.

The Sinclairs are very numerous, and possess considerable fortunes in these parts; but Boethius says, that they, the Fraziers, Campbells, Boswells , and many others, came originally from France .

AUG. 21.

Pass through Wick , a small burrough town with some good houses, seated on a river within reach of the tide; and at a distance lies an old tower, called Lord Oliphant's castle. In this town lives a weever who weeves a shirt, with buttons and button holes entire without any seam, or the lest use of the needle: but it is to be feared that he will scarce find any benefit from his ingenuity, as he cannot afford his labor under five pounds a shirt. Somewhat farther, close to the sea, is Achringal tower, the seat of Sir William Dunbar . Ride over the Links of Keith , on the side of Sinclair bay. These were once a morass, now covered with sand, finely turfed over; so in this instance the land has been obliged by the instability of the sand. The old castle of Keiss is seated on a rock, with a good house of the same name near it.

Near Freswick castle the cliffs are very lofty; the strata that compose them lie quite horizontally in such thin and regular layers, and so often intersected by fissures, as to appear like masonry. Beneath are great insulated columns, called here Stacks , composed of the same sort of natural masonry as the cliffs; many of them are hollowed quite thro', so as to form most magnificent arches, which the sea rushes thro' with vast noise and impetuosity, affording a most august piece of scenery to such who are steady enough to survey it from the narrow and almost impending paths.


Freswick castle is seated on a narrow rock projecting into the sea, with just room enough for it to stand on: the access to it while the draw-bridge was in being, was over a deep chasm cut thro' the little isthmus that connected it to the main land. These dreadful situations are strongly expressive of the jealous and wretched condition of the tyrant owners.

Freswick Castle.


After riding near Freswick bay, the second sandy bay in the county, pass over a very bad morass, and after a few miles travel arrive at Dungsby bay,187 a low tract, consisting of oat-lands and grazing land: the ultima Thule of Sir Robert Sibbald , whose description it fully answers in this particular.

Quam juxta infames scopuli, et petrosa vorago
Asperat undisonis saxa pudenda vadis

The beach is a collection of fragments of shells; beneath which are vast broken rocks, some sunk, others apparent, running into a sea never pacific. The contrary tides and currents form here a most tremendous contest; yet, by the skilfulness of the people, are passed with great safety in the narrow little boats I saw lying on the shore.

The points of this bay are Dungsby head and St. John's head, stretching out into the sea to the East and West, forming a pair of horns; from the resemblance to which it should seem that this country was antiently styled Cornana .


From hence is a full view of several of the Orkney islands, such as Flota , Waes , Ronaldsa , Swanna , to the West the Skerries , and within two miles of land Stroma , famous for its natural mummies, or the entire and uncorrupted bodies of persons who had been dead sixty years. I was informed that they were very light, had a flexibility in their limbs, and were of a dusky color.189 This isle is fertile in corn, is inhabited by about thirty families, who know not the use of a plough, but dig every part of their corn land.

Dine at the good minister's of Cannesby . On my return saw at a distance the Stacks of Dungsby , a vast insulated rock, over-topping the land, and appearing like a great tower.


Passed near the seat of a gentleman not long deceased; the last who was believed to be possessed of the second sight . Originally he made use of the pretence, in order to render himself more respectable with his clan; but at length, in spite of fine abilities, was made a dupe to his own artifices, became possessed with a serious belief of the faculty, and for a considerable number of years before his death was made truely unhappy by this strange opinion, which originally arose from the following accident. A boat of his was on a very tempestuous night at sea; his mind, filled with anxiety at the danger his people were in, furnished him with every idea of the misfortune that really befell them: he suddenly starting up, pronounced that his men would be drowned, for that he had seen them pass before him with wet garments and dropping locks. The event was correspondent, and he from that time grew confirmed in the reality of spectral predictions.

There is another sort of divination, called Sleinanachd , or reading the speal-bone , or the blade-bone of a shoulder of mutton well scraped. When Lord Loudon was obliged to retreat before the Rebels to the isle of Skie , a common soldier, on the very moment the battle of Culloden was decided, proclamed the victory at that distance, pretending to have discovered the event by looking through the bone.

I heard of one instance of second sight, or rather of foresight, which was well attested, and made much noise about the time the prediction was fulfilled. A little after the battle of Preston Pans , the president, Duncan Forbes , being at his house of Culloden with a nobleman, from whom I had the relation, fell into discourse on the probable consequences of the action: after a long conversation, and after revolving all that might happen, Mr. Forbes , suddenly turning to a window, said, All these things may fall out; but depend on it, all these disturbances will be terminated on this spot .



Returned the same road. Saw multitudes of Gannets , or Soland Geese, on their passage Northward: they went in small flocks from five to fifteen in each, and continued passing for hours: it was a stormy day; they kept low, and near the shore; but never passed over the land, even when a bay intervened, but followed (preserving an equal distance from shore) the form of the bay, and then regularly doubled the Capes. I saw many parties make a sort of halt for the sake of fishing; they soared to a great height, then darting down headlong into the sea, made the water foam and spring up with the violence of their descent; after which they pursued their route.

Swans resort in October to the Lochs of Hemprigs and Waster , and continue there till March . Abundance of Land-rails are found throughout the county. Multitudes of Sea-fowl breed in the cliffs: among others, the Lyre ; but the season being past, I neither saw it, nor could understand what species it was.190


Went along a fine hard sand on the edge of Sinclair bay. On the South point, near Noss-head , on the same rock, are Sinclair and Gernigo castles; but, as if the joint tenants, like beasts of prey, had been in fear of each other, there was between them a draw-bridge; the first too had an iron door, which dropped from above through grooves still visible: this was inhabited in the year 1603 by a Sinclair Earl of Cathness .

Should the chapel of St. Tayre near this castle exist, I overlooked that scene of cruelty in 1478. The Keiths and the clan Gun had in that year a feud; but a meeting was fixed at this place for a reconciliation: twelve horse were to convene on each side. The Cruner , or chief of the clan Gun , and his sons and nearest kinsmen arrived first, and were at their prayers in the chapel; when their antagonists arrived with twelve horses, but with two men on each horse, thinking that to bring no more than the stipulated number of horses was no breach of agreement. These attacked the people in the chapel, and put them all to death, but with great loss to their own party, for the Cruner and his friends sold their lives dear. I mention this tale to oppose the manners of the old Cathnesians to those of the present hospitable and worthy race.


Cathness may be called an immense morass, mixed with some fruitful spots of oats and barley, much coarse grass, and here and there some fine, almost all natural, there being as yet very little artificial. At this time was the hay harvest both here and about Dunrobin : the hay on this rough land is cut with very short scythes, and with a brisk and strong stroke. The country produces and exports great quantities of oatmeal , and much whisky is distilled from the barley: the great thinness of inhabitants throughout Cathness enables them to send abroad much of its productions. No wheat had been raised this year in the county; and I was informed that this grain is sown here in the spring, by reason of the wet and fury of the winters.


The county is supposed to send out in some years, 2200 head of Cattle. cattle; but in bad seasons, the farmer kills and salts numbers for sale. Great numbers of swine are reared here: they are short, high-backed, long-bristled, sharp, slender, and long nosed; have long erect ears, and most savage looks, and are seen tethered in almost every field. The rest of the commodities of Cathness are butter, cheese, tallow, hides, the oil and skins of seals, and the feathers of geese.

Here are neither barns nor granaries; the corn is thrashed out, and preserved in the chaff in bykes , which are stacks in shape of bee-hives, thatched quite round, where it will keep good for two years.


Much Salmon is taken at Castle-hill, Dunet, Wick , and Thurso . The miraculous draught at the last place is still talked of; not less than 2500 being taken at one tide, within the memory of man. At a small distance from Sinclair castle, near Staxigo creek, is a small Herring fishery, the only one on the coast: Cod and other white fish abound here; but the want of ports on this stormy coast is an obstacle to the establishment of fisheries on this side the country.


In the month of November , numbers of Seals191 are taken in the vast caverns that open into the sea and run some hundred yards under ground. Their entrance is narrow, their inside lofty and spacious. The Seal-hunters enter these in small boats with torches which they light as soon as they land, and then with loud shouts alarm the animals, which they kill with clubs as they attempt to pass. This is a hazardous employ; for should the wind blow hard from sea, these adventurers are inevitably lost.192


Much limestone is found in this country, which when burnt is made into a compost with turf and sea plants. The tender sex (I blush for the Cathnesians) are the only animals of burden: they turn their patient backs to the dunghills, and receive in their keises , or baskets, as much as their lords and masters think fit to fling in with their pitchforks, and then trudge to the fields in droves of sixty or seventy. The common people are kept here in great servitude, and most of their time is given to their Lairds, an invincible impediment to the prosperity of the county.

Of the ten parishes in Cathness , only the four that lie S. E. speak Erse ; all the others speak English , and that in greater purity than most part of North Britain .193

Inoculation is much practised by an ingenious physician (Dr. Mackenzie , of Wick) in this county, and also the Orkneys ,194 with great success, without any previous preparation. The success was equally great at Sanda , a poor isle, where there was no sort of fuel but what was got from dried cow-dung: but in all these places, the small-pox is very fatal in the natural way. Other diseases in Cathness are colds, coughs, and very frequently palsies.

The last private war in Scotland was occasioned by a dispute relating to this county. The present Earl of Breadalbane's granfather married an heiress of Cathness : the inhabitants would not admit her title; but set up another person in opposition. The Earl, according to the custom of those ill-governed times, was to assert his right by force of arms: he raised an army of fifteen hundred men; but the numbers, like those under the conduct of Gideon , were thought to be too great: his Lordship first dismissed five hundred; after that, another five hundred; and with the remainder marched to the borders of Cathness . Here he thought proper to add stratagem to force. He knew that the enemy's army waited for him on the other side of the Ord . He knew also that in those days whisky was the Nectar of Cathness : and in consequence ordered a ship laden with that pretious liquor to pass round, and wilfully strand itself on the shore. The directions were punctually obeyed; and the crew in a seeming fright escaped in the boats to the invading army. The Cathnesians made a prize of the ship, and indulging themselves too freely with the freight, became an easy prey to the Earl, who attacked them during their intoxication, and gained the country, which he disposed of very soon after his conquest.


I came here too late195 to have any benefit from the great length of days; but from June to the middle of July , there is scarce any night; for even at what is called midnight the smallest print may be read, so truly did Juvenal style these people,

Minima contentos nocte BRITANNOS.

AUG. 23.

On my way between Thrumster and Dunbeth , again saw numbers of flocks of Gannets keeping due North; and the weather being very calm, they flew high. It has not been observed that they ever return this way in the spring; but seem to make a circuit of the island, till they again arrive at the Bass , their only breeding-place on the Eastern coast.


On descending a steep hill, is a romantic view of the two bridges over the waters of Berridale and Langwall , and their wooded glens; and of the castle of Berridale ,196 over the sea, where the salmon-fishers station themselves to observe the approach of those fish out of the ocean; After a tedious ascent up the King's road of four miles, gain the top of the Ord , descend, and lie at Helmsdale .

AUG. 24. TO 29.

Revisit the same places, till I pass Dingwall . Cross the Conan in a boat, a very beautiful river, not remote from Castle Braan . Was in the neigborhood informed of other singular customs of the Highlanders.


On New-year's day they burn juniper before their cattle, and on the first Monday in every quarter sprinkle them with urine.

In some parts of the country, is a rural sacrifice, different from that before-mentioned. A cross is cut on some sticks, which is dipped in pottage, and the Thursday before Easter , one of each placed over the sheep-cot, the stable, or the cow-house. On the 1st of May , they are carried to the hill where the rites are celebrated, all decked with wild flowers, and after the feast is over, re-placed over the spots they were taken from; and this was originally styled Glou-än-Beltem ,197 or the split branch of the fire of the rock. These follies are now seldom practised, and that with the utmost secrecy; for the Clergy are indefatigable in discouraging every species of superstition.

In certain places the death of people is supposed to be foretold by the cries and shrieks of Benshi , or the Fairies wife, uttered along the very path where the funeral is to pass; and what in Wales are called corps candles , are often imagined to appear, and foretell mortality.


The courtship of the Highlander has these remarkable circumstances attending it: after privately obtaining the consent of the Fair, he formally demands her of the father. The Lover and his Friends assemble on a hill allotted for that purpose in every parish, and one of them is dispatched to obtain permission to wait on the daughter: if he is successful, he is again sent to invite the father and his friends to ascend the hill and partake of a whisky cask, which is never forgot: the Lover advances, takes his future father- in-law by the hand, and then plights his troth, and the Fair-one is surrendered up to him. During the marriage ceremony, great care is taken that dogs do not pass between them, and particular attention is paid to the leaving the Bridegroom's left-shoe without buckle or latchet, to prevent witches198 from depriving him, on the nuptial night, of the power of loosening the virgin zone. As a test, not many years ago a singular custom prevaled in the Western Highlands the morning after a wedding: a basket was fastened with a cord round the neck of the Bridegroom by the female part of the company, who immediately filled it with stones, till the poor man was in great danger of being strangled, if his Bride did not take compassion on him, and cut the cord with a knife given her to use at discretion. But such was the tenderness of the Caledonian spouses, that never was an instance of their neglecting an immediate relief of their good man.

Pass near the Prior199 of Beaulieu , a large ruin: cross the ferry, and again reach Inverness .

176 Sir Patrick Murray founded here in 1171 a convent of Mathurines .

177 Where a mutual and most ardent and most virtuous affection reigns, it is sometimes preferable to be united by death, than torn from each other by life.

178 This is the last instance of these frantic executions in the North of Scotland , as that in the South was at Paisly in 1697, where, among others, a woman, young and handsome, suffered, with a reply to her enquiring friends, worthy a Roman matron; being asked why she did not make a better defence on her tryal, answered, My persecutors have destroyed my honor, and my life is not now worth the pains of defending . The last instance of national credulity on this head was the story of the witches of Therso , who tormenting for a long time an honest fellow under the usual form of cats, at last provoked him so, that one night he put them to flight with his broad sword, and cut off the leg of one less nimble than the rest; on his taking it up, to his amazement he found it belonged to a female of his own species, and next morning discovered the owner, an old hag, with only the companion leg to this. The horrors of the tale were considerably abated in the place I heard it, by an unlucky enquiry made by one in company, viz . In what part would the old woman have suffered, had the man cut off the cat's tail? But these relations of almost obsolete superstitions, must never be thought a reflection on this country, as long as any memory remains of the tragical end of the poor people at Tring , who, within a few miles of our capital, in 1751, fell a sacrifice to the belief of the common people in witches; or of that ridiculous imposture in the capital itself, in 1762, of the Cod-Lane ghost, which found credit with all ranks of people.

179 Grimstone's Hist. Netherlands , 344. 349.

180 An enquiry is at this time making, by means of a correspondence in Copenhagen , whether any such edifices exist at present in the Danish dominions; and what was their supposed use. The result will be given in the next volume.

181 Some years ago I bought of the Monks, at the great Benedictine convent at Augsberg , some papers of St. Ulrich's earth, which I was assured, by Lutheran and Papist , had the same rat-expelling quality with that above-mentioned; but whether for want of due faith, or neglect of attending to the forms of the printed prescriptions given with them, (here copied at full length) I know not, but the audacious animals haunt my house in spite of it:—Venerabiles Reliquiæ de Terra Sepulchrali, sive de resoluta deintus carne S. Udalrici Conf. & Episcopi Augustani; qua si honorifici ad instar aliarum Reliquiarum habeantur, & ad Dei laudem, Divique Prasulis honorem, pium quoddam opus, v. g. Oratio, Jejunium, Eleemosyna &c. præftetur, mirum est, qua polleant efficacyâ, ad proscribendos præsertim è domibus, & vicinia Glires, qui subsistere minim&egrav; valent ubicunque similes Reliquiæ cum fiduciâ fuerint appense pense vel asservatæ. Idque ex speciali prærogativâ, qua omnipotens Deus insignia tanti Patroni merita perpetuo miraculo statuit condecorere .

182 Sir David Dalrymple's Annals of Scotland . 135.

183 During spring great quantities of Lump-fish resort here, and are the prey of the seals, as appears from the numbers of their skins, which at that season float ashore. The Seals, at certain times, seem visited with a great mortality; for at those times multitudes of them are seen dead in the water.

184 Sibbald Hist. Scotland. Br. Zool. illust . cii.

185 This castle was taken and garrisoned by the Marquise of Montrose in 1650, immediately preceding his final defeat. Whitelock 454.

186 But vast quantity of subterraneous timber in all the moors. Near Dunbeth is an entire Picts castle, with the hollow in the top, and is called the Bourg of Dunbeth .

187 John a Groat's house is now known only by name. The proper name of the bay is Duncan's .

188 Quoted by Sir Robert from the Iter Balthicum of Conradus Celtes .

189 In the Philosophical Transactions abridged , viii. 705. is an almost parallel instance of two corpses, found in a moor in Derbyshire , that had for 49 years resisted putrefaction, and were in much the same state as those in Stroma . In vol. xlvii. of the Ph.Tr . at large, is an account of a body found entire and imputrid at Staverton in Devonshire , 80 years after its interment.

190 I have since learned that it is the Shearwater or Monks Petrel of the Br. Zool. II. No. 258.

191 Sometimes a large species twelve feet long has been killed on the coast; and I have been informed that the same kind are found on the rock Hiskir , one of the Western isles.

192 For a fuller account, vide Br. Zool. Illustr. 38.

193 I beg leave to refer the reader for a farther history of this county, and of Strathnavern , to the Appendix; where is inserted, the obliging communication of the Rev. Mr. Alexander Pope , Minister of Reay , the most remote N. W. tract of North Britain , which completes the history of this distant part of our island.

194 At this time a person was employed in the same business in the Shetland islands.

195 Besides the missing so singular a phenomenon, I found that the bad weather, which begins earlier in the North, was setting in: I would therefore recommend to any traveller, who means to take this distant tour, to set out from Edinburgh a month sooner than I did.

196 A little up the land is the ruin of Ach Castle .

197 Mc Pherson's introduction , &c. 166.

198 An old opinion. Gesner says that the witches made use of toads as a charm, Ut vim cocundi, ni fallor, in virit tollerent . Gesner de quad. ovi. p. 72.

199 Founded about 1239, by Patrick Bissett, Laird of Lovat , for the monks of Vallit caulium ,

Thomas Pennant, A Tour in Scotland 1769 (London: Benjamin White, 1776)

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