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money. I can not think they will grudge nine shillings ye boll one year with another, as turning their victuall into money will be an encouragement to their sowing lint which
will be a much more valuable crop . . . . Rosse . . Edinr. [No. 445, 1746.-—Letter : same, from Halkhead, near Paisley,
to same.] : · ye gardiner at Balnagown seems to be a sensible man and knowing in ye common methods of husbandry. . . I am sorry your fallo ( ) has not succeeded this year for it seldom fails anywhere. Our farmers are ye worst in Scotland (evidently meaning those about Paisley), doe nothing but ruin ye land as well as themselves which he is verry sensible of by seeing ye ground and their crops .
I desired him when he returned to look to ye firr woods carefully all over to see if any profit could be made of them without hurting ye woods. [For rest of letter, see after No.
724. As to disposal of cattle at same time, take No. 446, 1746.-Letter to Wm. Baillie, with a postmark
Bradford, and dated] Skipton-in-Creaven 30th Octr. 1746. Dear Sir, I gave you .. a letter ffrom Newcastle and therein geave you ane account times rather worse than better. I have sold none since . but 30 at a poor price . . . . and come to this place with the one half and left Wm. Dunbar in the East Riding with the other half . . . affraid I shall not be able to sell them all, the country is so full of their own young cattle and at such a low price as never was known. I have stood ffairs where I have seen the country steers sold ffrom 35 sh. to £3 . . . The cheef reason is scarcity of .. hay. Some say they had better cut the throt of their cattle and sell their hay above a shilling the stone in the spring.
... But catle that are ffull ffat and for present use begins to sell high what helps their sale just now is a little demand from Holland, there was severalls bought at Leeds ffair for hay alls . . . demand for Beef all the spring but .. not the least effect upon wintering cattle . . I'm at a loss whether to sell them to lose part of what was got for the cows or winter them . . . like to have your sentiments There is plenty of moors and cheap wintering in Creaven for such cattle as mine tho not for their own breed. But the dealers are all served from ffalkirk and Crieff. I shall never forgive myself for not catching Murdoch ffor the eight score but I thought to fix him ffor 200—the unconstant Body—at the time he was treating with me deal’d with another wtout letting me know .. .. Bellmonacks stots that were bought at 23 sh. . . . . their Beef may sell in Holland . . . so cheap in England that shipmasters have laid up a
stock to serve themselves . .. Alexander Gray. [No. 447, 1745.--Letter to Baillie, Ardmore, dated] Renfrew
27 Mar. 1745. Sir ... I am told .. there is not so much meall going to Ireland as was given out, and if so the price
will continue high in Ireland, so I would still buy 500 or 1000 bolls if you can get it .. at or under £6 .. of crop 1743
or 4... Will. Somervell. [No. 448, 1752.-Letter to Baillie from Lord Rosse]
That enclosure about Balnagown may be verry useful in time, but I would have ye young man marry before he lav out any more money there... I believe dear grain will continue with you, except some of your own grain be returned you from Lieth where it is expected to fall greatly
... all ye coast towns on ye Fife side . . are quite full of grain so that ye high prices lately more owing to contrivance than reall want ... [So that“ rigging the market” was not unknown even then. Out of many letters from the
Coutts' banking firm : No. 449, 1748.-Letter to Baillie] .. Now it's possible the
price of bear may be more moderate . . and unless it falls we are not fond of buying. We want to hear the price at which you bought Sir John Gordon's corn ... John Coutts & Son .. Edinr. 29 Nov. [So that even the great banking house, at that early stage of its career, dealt in grain.
The next important industry was Fishing, and fishing rights are constantly conveyed in charters along with the land-especially salmon fishings, as in No. 410. In No. 330 we have had as part of the equipment of the house of Easter Fearn thrie ffatis for salting salmon fische.”
There are many leases of fishing rights to men who made fishing a
business, as in B. No. 450, 1648.—Tack.] ... Me David Ross of Ballnagown
to have sett in tack ... to my loving kinsman Johne Ross fiar of Little Terrell salmon fisheing of Easter and Wester Bonar . and yair of Kincardin sex yeirs . . next efter ... this . . Iaj VIct fourtie eight ... fishe with Cobill nett and all uyr ingeynes ... bot any
obstacle ... Johne Ros. yeirlie pay
twell barrells salmon or grillse .. within my awin Corfhous of the Bonar furneising cask and packers for packing of the samen Betwix the fyfteine day of August and the last day of September ... or els pay threttie pounds . . for every undelyvered barrell ... I have appoyntit sevin barrells to be yeirlie payed ... to Lachlan Ross merchand burges of Tayne to qm I have sauld the samen be way of foirhand bargane .. obleiss me yeirlie ... to repaire and big the said yair of Kincardin sufficientlie befoir the last day of March .. gif . . failzie . . pay twa hundreth pundis yeirlie.
Money rent appears in B. No. 451, 1584-7.--Paper docketed] Compt betwix the
Lairds of ffoulis and Balnagown . . At Ardmoir . anent ye mailis of Meikle Daan yeirlie ten punds xiiis iiijd
Cobill fysching of Kyllisokell and Invershin . . . . ilk yeir twentie for merkis [Both signatures very clear.
They were Robert Mor Munro, 15th Baron, and Geo. Ross. B. No. 452, 1686.-) Comprysing at Boanarness
seavin ffats to ffourtie two pounds Scots. The Corff-house to threttie three pounds . . The Chalmber adjoynit . sexteen pounds, with bedds, partitiones, Locks, bands and doors. The two cobles to seavinteine pounds . . The two ffishing netts . . twentie pounds . . the suings . . ane pound.
[An early notice of the trade in salmon appears in B. No. 453, 1555.-Receipt.) I David Vauss indwellayr in
Leyth . . ressavit four barrylls salmon fra Sir Richard Haye and als ... twenti pownds fra Donald Ros Hoceythsone for udyr four barrylls salmoun . part payment of ane last of salmon yat Alexr. Ros of Balnagowin wes awin me David Vauss wt my hand. [Showing value £5 a barrel.
Next is B. No. 454, 1595.-Receipt.] I Johne Sinklar merchand in
Edr. grants me to haiff resavit fra ( ) in behalf of .. George Ross of Belnagown fyftein barrell salmond and thretteine barrell greilse guid and sufficient merchand wair qch the said George Ross is obleist to pay in thrie yeir. [By the middle of the 18th century this trade had greatly
extended, as we see in these letters:No. 455, 1763.-.To Baillie.] Sir . . I would be glad of
some opportunity of business to keep up our acquantance, and thank you for mentioning the salmon to me, but at 47s they are too high. As the fishing in generall is good some may sell high. The bulk ... must be moderate . . I would give 42 sh. for the fish of Conan and Balnagown with disct. in rebate, deliverable at Cromarty .. Newmore's has a bad character and I would rather be free of them, but I should venture for them the 36 sh. 8d. I would renew the tack of the Bonar, but it could not do but at a much lower rent...
John Burnett . . Aberdeen 9th Augt. 1763 ... [No. 456, 1772.-Two letters to same from James Mackie,
Forres.] . . . I can now assure you of 40 Bolls salt, whereof 20 or 21 to be for cure of Salmon and the ballance for country consumpt . . . . 28th August ... The salt shall wait you, but I have to advise that there is expected an Inspector General from Edinburgh to inquire into the salt acctts of this precinct . . will survey the cellars it would be proper that your deficiency was supplyed before he comes . . I have sold unbonded salt at 22] .. you shall have for 20/ salt for cure of Fish ... sells just now at 12/6. [Here we see a cheap salt used for curing salmon, and a duty on salt, with Government interference, but there was another reason for that, as seen in
No. 457, 1740 and 1771.-Two states of accounts-I. of John
Munro of Newmore with John Hossack & Co., Inverness] ... Cr. by 371 barrels salmon at 50/ with bounty £108 15s, and 30 bolls meal £13 6s 8d .. Dr. to Salt, barrels, cooperage and freight £32 14s 6d [list of goods supplied] £61 6s 3d ... [From this it appears there was then a bounty equal to one-sixth the value of the cured salmon. II. Thirty years later there is no mention of bounty in a paper headed] State of Balnagown Salmond anno 1771. 44 Barrels at Bonar and Yair (fish-lock] sold Mr Richardson at 54s per barrel, 14 at Strathoykel—58, inde £156. Deductions viz. : Fishing graith and charges £22 10s; 7 fishers at Bonar £24 10s ; Kaines of the Yair £2 12s; Standarts fixed [?] £1; Charges to packers 10s ; 29 bolls salt at 10s 6d ; ffraught of said salt from Findhorn and Inverness £3; price of 58 barrells £12 12s; Carrying these to Bonar, &c., £l; Couperage and full hooping £4 16 8d; ffraught to Cromarty, £4 16s 8d ; Repacking salt 10s 6d ; Incidents and expenses 8s; Fishers and Kainers of Oikle £6 18s; Repairing cobles 10s ; [sum of deductions' column] £100 18s 4d; [difference] £55 ls 8d; add rent of Cassley £2 4s 6d; free, £57 6s 2d. Less than computation by £9 7s 2d. [That is, the profit was so much less than expected; and in a sheet of the estate accounts for 1772-3 there is this entry-] The salmond fishing less this year than the computation in the rentall by £40 6s 10d. [The chief method of taking the salmon
appears in a very interesting paper :No. 458, 1622.-Contract.] Att the Chanrie of Ros, sevin day
of Apryle . . it is . . . agreyit betwixt ane noble lord Coline Lord of Kintaill and Alexander Stewart wright in Sallachie . . that Ar. Stewart becomes bund and obleist in the moneth of Junii nextocum ... to addres himself and his servitoris to quhatsumever woddis lyand on the watter of Ness or the Watter of Tayne that sall pleis the said noble to appoynt .. and thair cut dress and squair sa manye treyis as it sall pleis his Lp. to bye upon his Lp. expenses, or that his Lp. sall purcheis from the awneris ... for the bigging of the work underwritten. And efter the sd treyis salbe careyit upon . . lord's chargeis to that place of the watter of Connane quhair the cruifes (salmon-traps) pntlie stands . . lykewayes becomes obleist to big ane brander of the said tymmer alonges the breid of the watter of Connane with twa great kistis for taking of salmones in sick sure and sufficient maner as may or can be bigit of the said tymmer, and to place the saids brander and kistis at or in onie pairt of the said watter besyde the said crufes that sall be thocht maist meit . . . for taking and slaying of salmond ... and sall compleit the said werk sa soone as possiblie efter the convoying and laying of the said tymmer. do all .. belonging to his craft . . be eitche [adze) and aix . said noble lord binds and obleiss ... to content and pay . . to Alexr. Stewart ... sevin hundreth merks Scottis togidder
with twa mairttis aucht muttouns ten stane of cheis fyve stane of butter, twentie bollis victual, malt or meall in the said Alexr's optioun . . . to wit thairof the soume of twa hundreth merks pntlie (presently, in its proper sense of “ at present”] in hand quhairof . . Alexr. halds him payit ... Sicklyke thairof twa hundreth merks at the terme of Witsunday in the yeir of God Iaj vict. twentie thrie hundreth and fiftie merks in compleit payment of .. sevin hundreth merks at the compleit ending and finishing of the said work. Item aucht bollis of the said victuall at .. his enterie to the warke this zeir and the remanent .. at . . enterie nixt zeir . . Item ane of the .. mairttis at Mertimez nixtocum and the uther at mertimes Iaj vi ct. twentie thrie . . half of the said cheis, butter, and muttouns as the same salbe requirit at this yeirs enterie and the uther half . . nixt yeirs enterie ... Siclyke . . noble lord sall mak all kynds of careage werk for.
transporting .. tymmer furth the woddis quhair it salbe cuttit ... and for inputting thairof in the watter and fortefying of the same with stanes, clay, hether and uyers necessarie for filling up of the werk in the water, and als sall furneis dwelling and houses to the said Alexr. and his servands fra thair enterie .. till . . compleiting ... thir pntis be insert and registrat .... baith parteis hes subscrivit this pnts with yair hands . before thir witnesses Mr [? or Alr] Donald McConeall of Slait, Iavor McConall his servitor, Jhne McKenzie of Apilcroce, Coleyne McKenzie in Ardefailzie . . . at the special order of said Alexr. Stewart as he asserts not knowing how to write I William Lauder, Notary public ( ) presents.
[Lord Mackenzie signs, with many flourishes, "Kintaill." " He did not get the title of Earl of Seaforth till the year after. Four witnesses also sign. The fact that there was suitable timber near Tain and the Ness, but not on the Conon, is noteworthy. These “cruives," as we have seen in No. 288, were there before 1542, and they are there still. As to
Cod fishing :--No. 459, 1714.-) Accompt of Charges on Dry Cod in Company
be My Lord Strathnaver, and Newmore (i.e., George Munro of Newmore, father of John in No. 102.] The charges advanced be Newmore as followes : To livering Daniel Simpson boat with cod at findhorn 3s; To Staking on the shoar 2s ; To aireing the next day being all weil and stacking again 4s 6d ; To 5 seall days curing and stacking to preserve the fish from spoyling £1 2s 60 ; To 1 days work to sex men at 8d per day to sort the 18 from 24 inches and ye good from the bad 4s; To sex men to carrie, 2 men to give in the fish to the officer, and other 2 to stand by the weights at 8d per day, 6s 8d ; To carriadge from the shoar to the ship 5s ; To 2 tydemen 2s 6d each that waited the shipping officer at sorting 5s; To 3 pynts wine drunck that night with Mr Haldean and Mr Cuming 9s; To crushing and dressing Carroll's fish 3s 60 ; To a watcher for 20 days at 6d per night