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SECTION IV. SOCIAL MATTERS.

1. HOUSES AND FURNITURE.

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In charters conveying very large property in Tain, possession of the principal dwelling-house was given by handing over of hesp and staple,” or, as it is expressed in a charter of 1622, “the hesp and steppul of the door of the house," pointing to a time when such was the usual fastening, even in the best houses in Tain ; but in No. 465

there are 5 locks for Balnagown in 1607. No. 323, 1610.–Tack.] Robert Grant provest burges of

Chanonry ... tack Archdeacons manse with yairdis chalmeris geilhouss [brewhouse] keitcheis, stabills, and haill closs. And in portion of old register of sasines, &c., there is a tack by Barbara Countess of Seafort to Thomas Forbes, writer, Fortrose, principal . . hall of the subchanter of Ross his manse loft above the hall, laich chalmer, celler, kitchein, loft above the kitchein, and two laich houses built in the close, and they are conveyed] by delyvering hesp and steple of the door of said house. [As to roofing, we have seen, in No. 98, flagstone in Fearn Abbey, and, in No. 122, slate in Tain Kirk, and in 1751 David Ross of Inverchassley writes from Tarlogie, “sarking of my house which is a-slating.” Much earlier, a very

extensive roofing with slate in or near Inverness is shown by No. 324, 1659.-Notarial Instrument.] Att the shoar of Invernes

compeared Charles McLeane mercht in Inverness having ane contract past betwixt George Andersone mercht in Crożnertie . . and him . . George . sold and disponed to him twelve thousand good and sufficient sklait of the ground and myne of Murkle in Caithness [in 1685 a petition has Dame Jean Stewart Lady Murkill relict of Sir Jas. Sinclair”'] qlk number reckoning sex scoir to ilk hundreth . . band and obleist to delver . . at the shoar and herborie of Inverness .... (But other references

earlier than 1743, No. 328, are to thatch, as in No. 325, 1660.--) Ane Roll of theis appointit to pull hethir

for the Tolbuith 22 Sept. 1660. [There follows a list of 70, of whom 23 are women. One entry is W. McIntagirt his children, (and at foot is] The haill persones above written are to be at the Muire to pull hether Tysday nikt

tynelie be 8 hors, ilk persone under the pane of 40 sh. (No. 326, 1660.-1 Ane Roll of theis yt ar to lead hethir for

the use of the Toibuith fabrik Androw McCulloch provest 4 horses, Jon Ross of Aldie 4 horses, James Hay bailzie 4,

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Angus McCulloch bailzie 4, Wm. Ross lait bailzie 4, David McCulloch Kindeis 4, Androw Denune 4, Wm. McGull 2, [and so on, 55 names and 119 horses. Thus, when the Tolbooth needed a new roof, it was thatched with heather, and we may infer that all private houses were also thatched. The large number of the horses would arise from the

bundles of heather having to be carried on their backs. No. 327, 1732.- Account.] This day ended the Thatching of

the house possest by Hugh Ross mercht in Taine and it is as follows To 32 Load heather £3 4s item to 50 load clay £1 5s to viii load devots 12 sh. The Thatcher at 12s per day of nine days £5 8. To thrie thatchers at 5/6 £7 8s 6d inde £17 17 sh. 6d. So this merchant's roofing cost £17 17s 6d Scots, or £1 9s 9.1d stg., and 4 men were nine days on the job. Balnagown was thatched in 1763, see

No. 441, and Knockbreck, see No. 960. No. 328, 1748.-Letter to Wm. Baillie from Mr Alexr. Ross,

W.S., Edinburgh, Solicitor of Appeals, London, and proprietor 0. Little Daan.]. ... I am obliged to you for visiting Little Daan and for account . . of the building from which I observe soine part of the walls are carried up higher than I intended

expose it to the great winds which blow there ... that height of wall requires a still greater height of roof except I could find slate at a reasonable rate . . . or if I could find oaken splinters or spoors as they are called (Balnagown Castle was so roofed in 1668, see 483] there, such as the Kirk of Tayn is or was covered with. This is inconsistent with No. 122, unless

[ referring to a much earlier time.). But a covering of divots, heather or ferns will not be able to resist the fury of the winds in that place and repairing of such . . is

endless work. [No mention of straw for thatch. No. 329, 1733.–Builders' account; one edge torn, and most

of the detailed prices consequently awanting.] At Nether Cambuscurry. the bigging of sd place being completed by [6 names] The Hall:-Elevin jeast 16 sh. each, Five doors whereof two double, Five pair bands two locks and stantials two small presses :

Two doors with bands 2nd Story .. The Roof 13 cupples 120 laths. The roof of the Jamb. The New Outer Ilouse :--Four doors £6-one lock . a muckle and little door . . a window and bands, 3 naked cupples 2 crooks; The yett. The Kiln :-- In the lom 6 cupples. ne summars and shackles

. . Partition and single door. Three large doors and 2 short . . The Stable .. Alexr. Simson's house 100 cabbirs The mickle Barn:-300 cabbirs The litle Barn . . The Big Byar .. another big Byar . . . . Hugh Oig's house ... The Sheephouse .. The Washing-house . . Alexr. McFarquhars house. [The Hall--the Laird's residence-had 2 storeys, a spacious roofed fireplace or Jamb. The ceiling was of lath--thin wood. All the doors, and

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the only window mentioned, turned on pin and socket. The Outer House was probably a wing. The other houses were apparently for servants; the cabbirs indicate thatched roofs. The whole cost is given at £383 Scots. This establishment stood 3 miles N.W. of Tain; its site, now occupied by a clump of trees, a heap of stones, and the railway. For Furniture, there are Inventories, wills, and accounts to quote. In the 17th century, except in case of lairds and burgesses, a detailed list is scarcely ever given. Thus, in 1664, the Inventory of Murdo Moir McConchie vic Curchie at Kililan, in Kintail, has merely "outincell

“ and domicells 111 libs. Scots”-i.e., utensils and household furniture were worth £9 stg. Similarly, in 1686, James Davidson, merchant, Fortrose, £40 Scots; and in 1684, Donald Baxter, Downie of Westray, i.e., Dounie in Kincardine, had got through life with furniture worth

just £4 Scots, or 6s 8d stg. No. 330, 1638.-Inventory.] The Uis [things used] yt ther

wes in the hous and principall biging off ester ferne pteins Umqul Isbell Ros and George Munro [of Tarlogie, her husband) for his entres [interest at the tyme off hir deceis being the 2 off Jar 1638 as followis Item ane hie boird wt the boardir and furmis (table on trestles with forms] Item ane syde boird wt the boardirs and furmis Item ane fair Cop almrie (cupboard, haiffing tua keepings (drawers or boxes] wt ther loks and keyis Item tua standard beddis in ye Wester Chalmer Item thrie kistis wt yr locks in ye pantrie as I alledge full off clais (clothes] Item ane meill girnell to hald xxx bo. meill wt sundrie uther plenissing of tinn pottis Item tua pannis Item stoppis and coppis (stoups and cups] Item thrie ffatis (vats] for salting off salmond fische. Summa the premisses estimat at leist to iii esteir (sterling] pundis or yłby. [The paper is docketed] Tarlogies Memoriall to ye Commisar. Easter Fearn was a laird's house and, we have seen in No. 199, was afterwards a Sheriff's abode, yet the style of living appears from

the above very primitive. Soon after is No. 331, 1641.]— Testament Dative and Inventar of ye

guidis and geir .. umqll Johne Denune merchant burgess of Tayne . faithfully maid and gevin up be Robert Smith and Andrew Aberdeine mercht burgesses of Aberdeine execrs creditors . . . be decreit of Mr Alexr. Mackenzie of Culcowie (Kilcoy] Commissar of Ros . inner chalmer within his dwelling hous in Tayne ane standing bed pryce yrof ini lib. (word pryce or estimat omitted in the rest.] Item ther ane candill kist xx sh. .. ane lang saidle (a kind of bed] xl sh. ane old kist with lock and bandis xl sh. ane falding taissill liiii sh. Ane Aquavitae seller (spirit stand) with fyve glesses iiii£ fyve cheires . . all iij£ ane sword iii£ item in ye said Chalmer sex fedder bedis . . Item in ... hall Ane hall buird with

in ye

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the tress and tua furmes to vi£, item ther ane meat almrie viii£ . . tua buffet stoollis xxiv sh. ane dussane of cuschiones estimat viii£ ffourteine pewter pleattes twa saceris (saucers fourteine pewter trunschouris (trenchers] all weying tua steanes twa pund twelf unce at ten sh. ye pound inde xviii£ Ane brasin bassin v£ four chandleris viii£ . . 2 pans . . Ane great speit and midling speit xxvi sh. ane pair of Raxes (racks] xxxvi sh. .... 6 stoupes all weying seventeine pounds . . viii£ Ane grein buird cloth vi£ xiii sh. iiid . . Ane morter and pistoll (pestle] xl sh. ane lance or spear xx sh. sex bowsteris (bolsters] sextein: lib. tua new stand of courtingis with ther pandis (narrow curtains from top] of ye stufe callit the burdis eye vi£ Item in the chalmer wtin the hall chimney ane fir kist iiii£ xiii sh. iirid item yair (there] ane kist of aik xl sh. . within ye saidis kistis fyve par of bed plaidis extending to xxv double elnes (ells) at viii sh. iiid ye elne inde vi£ 13s 4d . . fyve pair of blankettis xx£ ane pair of scheittis schewit with blak silk in both endis sex lib. Ane other pair of cut work iiii£ Ane pair with pearling v£ . . sex bed coverings qrof twa not lynid and four lynid . . all xvi£ item yr twa codis wt ther waires (pillows and covers) schewed with worset vi£ . twa codis in cut-out wark and twa wit ribbenes iiii£ . ane dornick (coarse linen] boord cloth viii£ . . ane watercloth answering to waxcloth or oilcloth] xxxvi sh. Ane new round boord cloth xxvi sh viiid. Four dussane of servettis .. thrie hand towellis xxx sh. Three drinking clothes iii£ . . . Item in the defunct his dwelling house in Pittogartie Ane copbuird with three keeping roumes [places) and lockes viii£ Thair twa boordis with thair furmis v£ Tua standing bedis with ane drawing bed vii lib.

Summa of the inventar iiictxxii lib. xvi sh. viiid [£322 16s 8d. We note, in both, the hall or dining-room, with the household dining at movable boards and sitting

on forms. With these take No. 332, N.D.--Fragment of Inventory, about same date as

above.] Item in ye little pantrie within ye fyre ane pres ane lang saidle, ane aquavitae celler with ye glesses twa cultors, tua sockes (ploughshares) marchant weightis with brods and balk [beam,] ane aix, ane eitch [adze,] thrie vomiles (augers] ane little quarter buird all £14. In ye pantrie be eist ye hall dore .. ane mikle meat almrie . . ane brewing fatt ane wirt steane troch four standis aucht barrellis sex tubs smal and great ane girnell of aik tua little girnells of fir twa new pair of wheelis all £32 item .. scheitis (&c., as in preceding,] sex board clothes [table cloths] towellis servitis, &c., Tua tunn salt fatts Tua tinn chandleris [candlesticks] pewter (as in preceding,] four yrone pottis with ane little baisin pott Ane aquavitae pott with the graith (whisky still and appliances) ane brewing caldrone five braisin pannes ane pair of yron raxes tua speittis ane guise pane (goose-pan] tua toanges three aquavitae rub

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bures all £63. [We note the chimneys so ample that there

chalmer or a “pantrie” within, holding bulky articles. First mention of silver vessels is in No. 333, 1639.-Parts of Inventory.] George Munro of Tarlogie . . . . work naiges xxiiii lib. twa riding naiges xxvi£

. 13s 4d sevin drawing oxin £33, 4 yeild ky xl£ 2 yeir-auld steirs viii£ scheipe threttie twa heid xxxii lib. fyve scoir sex bolls beira ) ( ) twentie pewter pleats() ane dussin of pewter for trunchors nyne silver spoons twa brazin chandlers 3 pottys ane speit twa pair of raxis (racks] ane pewter bassin ane silver tasst [beaker] 3 chairs

(The earliest inventory of a small farmer or crofter is No. 334, 1649.---] The meanes qlk vas leaft be Dod Moir in

the Inver Easter his death the xx day of Janvar 1649 ac efter followes Item in the first ther is comprysit in the house ane greitt kist . . 4 merks Item the litill coífer 13s 4d, ane pott 4 merks ane cow x lib. ane stirk £4 6s 8d .. ane horse x lib. Their vas in the hous jii merks money. [Apparently he slept on the kist, sat on the coffer, and

cooked everything in ane pott.” No. 335, 1649.--] Testament . . Donald McLey Alness . .

ane mortcloth estimat to 200 merks [£11 2s stg.] 5 horses . . 100 merks . . 7 oxin . . £10 the peice twa year-old stirks 5 lib. remaines of my crop 40 bollis beair 400 merks Tuntie sex bollis eates (oats] sevin score and sextein merks, sex sillver spounes . . 10 lib. sevinteine pewter plattis . . aucht pundis Thrie pottis . . ten merkis .. two old cannes 40 sh. Thrie halle bowrds . . sevin punds Tua chandlers sex punds.

Witnesses Robert Munro of Obstell, Hector Douglas, John Munro minister of Alness. [From the mortcloth or

pall, Donald seems to have been a beadle or sexton. No. 336, 1649.--Inventory, entered in action against Walter

Ross, Nownkill, as executor for “ umquhill Alexr. Ross of Cunlichze”-i.e., Cuillich in Rosskeen.] Item Sex great ky and ane ox at xvi lib. ye peece Twa bolls bere sawin estimat to ye fourt cuirne [i.e., a growing crop expected to yield fourfold) inde aucht polls at viii lib. the boll [prices after this omitted, or put in modern figures for brevity] &c., as before,] ane timber quart stoup 6/8, sex timber plaites 23/, twa water potis £3, bedds £8, sex chears £8, Four great kistis £8, twa litill kistis 40/, brewing fatts [&c., as above,] twa crom mies, 3 skeills (scales] 4 great tables, wt yr branderies and furmes, twa backing stoolls [baking,] Ane pres wt ane drawing bed, ane meat almrie safe for fresh,] Twa met (measured] firlottes, Twa met pecks . . . Resting (owing] to defunct 24 bolls .. for the fermes of the eister quarter of Nownakill with aucht rick hennes [hens from a house] 32/ . . . . [In Nos. 331 to 336 we have the apparatus for salting salmon and meat, for

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