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[There is no direct mention of education in the preReformation documents. Some inferences can be drawn from signatures. In No. 670, 1446, Margaret Stewart, Lady Balnagown, cannot write, nor can Thomas Monylaw, a Tain laird, in 1541, No. 936. In No. 673, 1553, both the laird and the shipmaster write, and in No 925, 1571, both the Laird of Skibo and his wife write; but in 1558, No. 674, the Countess of Caithness cannot. In 1613 Ross of Inverethie, and in 1630 Ross of Priesthill, cannot. In No. 681, 1592, Balnagown's daughter cannot, nor in 1687 can Margaret Mackenzie, relict of Farquhar MʻLinan, Archdeacon of the Isles. Examples of ability and inability

to write are in B. No. 134, 1561.-Contract matrimonial.] At Calrossie . . .

Alexr. Ross of B. . . . for his brother germane Huchone Ross in Achintoill John Innes of Inverbreakie for his docter Jonet . . . solempnizat on ye dait of ye Assumptione of our Lady Alexr, to infeft. . Huchone and Jonet in . . half davach of Mulderg ... Innes . . pay to . . Huchone 12 score merks ... Alexr. Ross of B. [signs] Jhone Innes wt. my hand at ye penn lede be Sir Jhone Nicolsone ..

Huchone Ross (the same. B. No. 135, 1563.] At Culles . . It is . . agreit betwix ane

honorabil woman Barbara Greme Lady of Comistie and Nycoll Caryncors procurators to : Robert Caryncors of Comistie ..

and Andro Munro in Nyg . . . lattis to said Andro. Wester Rarichies

myllne of Culles . Barbery Grame wt. my hand Nycoll Carncors [do.] Robert Carncors [do. This is the earliest writing by a lady in

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No. 136, 1602.-Decreet arbitral, first half wanting.] ( ) to

set ye samen . . Ovir Millis of Aldie in feue to ye said War. Innes payment of xl sh. .. and ten sh. as augmentation decerning . . said thrald suckeners [bound customers] to pay onlie ane peck shelling (partly ground corn] as multir furth of everie sex firlatts with ane lipie as knaveschip out of ilk boll . . fees . . out of all beir and peis . . to grind wt. ane heipit peck of roche meill as bannok . . out of everie chalder aits . . . for everie twa bolls malt ... to grind within the immunitie of Tayne . . .. twa sh. at the myll . . . . ordainis four firlattes of the measur of Leith to be in everie boll . . four pecks in overie


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firlatt and thrie lippies allenarlie in everie pek . . . in all tyme cuming It sall be leeful to . . War. Innes and servantis to confiscat .. the hors, sek and cornes . . passing to uther millis . . and to halilie apply ye samen to yr. awin uses we haiff subscrt. this decreet . . wt. our hands befoir yir witnesses War. Fraser N.P. and War. Ross burgess of Forres . . and signed Alexr. Ross provest of Tayne Johne Fergusone bailyie Dod. Tailyeor ane of the bailyeis, David Fergussone, Johne Cuik and War. Clunes thrie of ye counsell wt. our handis led at ye pen . becaus we can nocht wreit. Ita est Wm. Fraser N.P. per dictum ballivum et tres personas consilii scribere nescien Johne McCulloch ane of the counsell Hector Douglas [do.] Alexr. Denune [do.] Wm. Innes of Calrossie wt. Walter Ross decernis Alexr. Hay [do.] Walter Ross [do. Here the arbiters and the provost and a bailie write, but a bailie and at least three councillors cannot. The wording is not clear whether the next three can write. From No. 496 it will be seen that in 1622 only two out of twelve tanners in Tain could write. The earliest direct notice of

education is B. No. 137, 1566.-Account and receipt.] The savintein day

of Fabruar ye yeir of God Iaj Vct sextie sex yeirs I Androw Watsoun, Stewart in ye New College of Sanct Androw, grants me to have resavit fra . . Maister Thomas Ross . . on behalf of Alexr. Ross of B. for ye thrie quarters boyrd of George Ross his son .. twentie sevin punds . . witnesses George Ross, Johne Chalmers and James Tago . . [on other side is] Heir followis ye money yt. said Thomas Ross left wt. Androw Watsoun Item to buy tway sarks wt. ij neipkynis xxxiv sh. Item to by ij pair shone ane pair gluves and ane coird to ane bonat ix shiiijd. Item for ane pound of candill xvi sh. [In New College, also called St Mary's, the Steward looked after wardrobe as well as board of students. In No. 43, 1588, we have had the schoolhouse of Tain, then old, and in No. 46, 1597, the Grammar School of Chanonrie.

Next comes No. 138, 1642.- Part of process before the Commissary of

Ross.] Hugh Munro of Teanrivane as executor . . . for his father . . . Andrew Munro of Teanewre . . . payment of 800 merks Scots for the said Andrew intertiniment and close furnished to him be the said Hugh Munro in his own house and out of the samyn at schooles in Alness, Tayne and other places and als for the quarter payment payit to schoole maisteris for the yeirs of God 1642-3 (etc., to] 1650 . . . . It is referred to the said Andrew his oath of veritie [This works out at close on £60 Scots a year, or £5 sterling. Money was more valuable then, however, and if we take cattle as the standard, we have in another paper the price of oxen and cows at Davochcartie in that neighbourhood, and in one of these years, 1653,

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given at £14, of horses at £25, and of sheep at £2-all Scots. Even supposing that £1 Scots would go as far then as £1 sterling now, the amount for schooling, after paying

the rest, must have been small. No. 139, 1646.-Receipt.] I Mr Patrick Farquhar school

master in Taine grants me to have receaved from Walter Hay burges and collector .... for my service done at the grammer schoole theirof the soume of fourtie libs. . . Scotis

for the terme of Lambas and Mertimas Iai Vict fourtie sex yeares Quhairof I hold me weill content as also off all uther termes preceeding subscribed before witnesses Jhon McCuloch sone to Jhon McCulloch burges of Taine aud Jhon Monro sone to Mr Hector Monro (see No. 67] Minr. at Eddertaine. The handwriting is clear and very neat, and the signature shows it is Farquhar's own. The signatures of the two boys, who are clearly elder pupils, are equally fine. Farquhar's salary of £80 a year would be

supplemented by fees (No. 138). No. 140, 1648.-In] Accompt of my advancement for the

Item for horning upon the schoolmasteris stent Item for chargeing the heretors £3 lls 8d . . . . Item advancit to the schoolmaster for making his salaryxx lib. . . . . This £20 compleits Witsondayis terme 1649– Item mair ulvancit to him 5 lib. &s - wine xxv lib. vs ijijd. [Thus the town was in difficulties, and the heritors were refusing to pay a share. Other items of same paper after

No. 565. This dispute went on, as in No. 141, 1657.-Extracts from fragments of Tain Council

minute-book [for rest, see after No. 950.] Att Taine the twelt day of Apryle .

it is ordainit that the haill heretors be written to anent the giving of ane call to ane scholemr. at Taine . . . and to send pen ink and paper wt. the bearer to receave ane return [i.e., as the only way to get an answer] . . thrid day of May . . said provest bailies and counsell .. ordanit for the .. speidier call . . to cause extract the rentall .. that the heretors

pay yr. proportione of his stipend [but they would not, for we have No. 142, no date. - ] Heads and articles of protestatione of

the heretors. in the electione of ane scholemaister and imposeing school stent ... can not be lvable becaus all brughs royall are obleist to uphald ther owne school and seminars of learning upon their owne proper charges.

[Next is a good glimpse of education in Edinburgh. No. 143, 1667.-Factor's account book.] Accompt of the

rent 1667 be charge and discharge of Stainbyres (in upper Lanarkshire. Educational items given here, relating to Sir William Weir's children,] Jas., Wm., George and Nan Weirs-Fetching of Nan from Edinr. £2 6s For her hors £2 mending twa saddles and crossing at the Crocefurd boat

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[over the Clyde] £1 17s By the way at the Carloupes £2 98 gd. [Thus it cost £8 13s 8d to get her home.) Hors hyres to Edr. when Jas. and Wm. went in and to Carstairs with George £4 17s 4d. For fyve hors at Edr. and twa lads supper and bed £2 12s. Spent in Jas. Gaines when they first went and before they went to ye quarters £5 14s. For ane coffer [box] to them . . for transporting the coffer to the regent (professor) and Janitor 18 sh. For ane key to the chamber door in ye Colledge and mending of shoes £1 ls 4d. Twa night coppes and ane comb and to ane woman for sweeping there chamber in ye Colledge £3. Coals and peits to [do.] and to the chamber at home £13 14s. To Marie for halfe yeir's buird of James, Wm. and Mr Thomas (apparently a tutor] from 7 Decr. 1768 to 17 June '69 and for Nan's being with her when she waited upon James Borthwick (evidently for some special lessons. Thus the lads had a room in the College, but apparently for study only, and boarded outside.) To the Regent and Janitor £55 To Mr Patrick Johnstoune and the doctor for half year

£17 Ss. To Mr Thomas Fergusone his fie all ye yeare £12. For Ridderow's Dictionar, twa Horaces and Mr Binnie's Book £3 14s Thrie pair of stockings and ane inkglasse 14s Twa Greek Grammars twa paper buiks and Buchanan's Chronicles £7 12 For twa Issocratisses £4 16s For Janua linguarum and Nomenclator 14s For Syntaxis grammatica and twa scholaludus £7 Issop's Fables and ane sword £6 4s To the Bibliothece for 4 buiks £30 To Jas. Miller ane compt of buiks £18 (£78 for books whose names indicate the first year studies] Iwa sune dyells twa swordbelts and ane pair of spurres, and twa under petticoats to Nan £7 3s For candles to the classe and for ane sandglasse £2 For ane scare (sheath] to William's sword 18 sh. Ane sword staffe to James £1 4s (probably these were both for protection and for fencing lessons; the two sundials more likely for time-keeping than for astronomy.) To the Janitor and his man and the Regent's man on New Year's Day £2 18s To the woman that kindled the fyre in the Colledge £1 4s. [Then last, but not least significant of their College expenses) to pay ther mulcts in classe £2 To Jas. and Wm. for seing the puppie (puppet] play 6 sh. For suggar candie when they had the cold 12s For conserva roses and wine when they were seik £1 5s Physik to them £9 18s Going with them to Fyfe 3 days and for clarified whey £6 5s Twa suits of cloathes, hats, and stockings £111. Buckles to their shoes and gloves £1 8s. Twa bibles, ane pen knife and ribands to yr. gravats; and night mutches [caps) to Nan £10. To Mr Archibald Porteous for ane years buirding of Nan £147 For making goune and petticoat to Nan £7 12 For hors to take out Nan £1 ls Cloath for shirts to Nan £5 5s For virginalls to Nan £36 [corresponding to the modern piano] For raisines to her £1 Skerffe and hoods and holland to be bands to Nan and


drink money to the servant woman £12 189. For Linnie to Nan and George £16 7 Till Wm. Limpitlaws wife for sowing of shirts to Jas. Wm. and George £1 12s To Mr Wm. Wilsoune for ane years quarter payment for George £6 To Margaret Vessie for ane year's buirding of George £80 For drink money to the lasse wher George was buirded at Carstaires £1. (He attended Mr Wilson's school in Carstairs, apparently not a boarding school. In 1669 there is mentioned as pursuer in a process Donald Urquhart, schoolmaster of Cromartie, and then comes what reads like a

seventeenth century School Board meeting: No. 144, 1671.-Endorsed] Ane Act of provisione for the

school of Kirkmichell . . . Sir Jhon Urquhart . . patron of the united parochs of Kirkmichell and Culicudin, Alexr. Urquhart of Newhall, Jhon Urquhart of Kinbeachie, Mr James Hourston minister of the parochs . . . Walter Urquhart in the Ward, Robt. Urqt. in Sant Merteins, Collen Dunbarr in the Birks, Hew Ross in Balcherie wt. divers others of the elders in session .. taking into consideration the great desolatioun for want of ane scool . . . and that in . . 1663 the ... patron with consent of minister and elders established some competent maintenance for ane qualified schoolmaister ... it was ther will . . . that the former act be renewed . . . everie dauch in the parish should pay one boll victual . . viz. [the details may be given to show the relative values of the estates at that time] . mikle and litle Breyes 1 boll . . Cullicudden 10 firlottis . . Sant Merteins 2 firlottis . . Drumcudden 1 boll . . Kinbeachie 2 fir. . . Craighouse 1 fir... Woodhead 1 fir. . . Easter Culbo 2 fir . . . Waster Culbo 1 boll . . Rostabrightie 1 boll . . Davach of the Croft 1 boll : Breylangwell 1 boll Ardach 2 fir... Ferritoune and Achmertine 2 fir... Waster Belblair fir. . . Easter Belblair 1 fir. . . Risolas 1 fir... Bellcherrie 2 fir. all making twall bolls with 3 from patron ... ordered that the scool should be erected in some convenient place ... finding that Maister Alexr. Mathow is able and qualified ... do admit and present him. (From No. 432 the fiars' price in Ross-shire for 1672-3 was £4, which was about an average, so his 15 bolls equalled £60

Scots, and he had fees, as we see in No. 145, 1673.-Portions of a minute-book of the Council.)

: . 20th June . . magistrats and ( ) counsell with (. ) have condescendit ( ) David Stuart exerce to be schulemaster to teach reading and wreiting, vocall musick and arithmetick ( ) Reader, breifer within the church and clark to the session (for) och offices the said .. is to have . 12 bolls victual to be his maintenance with £40 Scots cellerie betwixt the counsell and sessione by and attour his insident casualties . . .. for proclamations . . of marriage and arter payment from the children he learnes. Thus David's many offices brought him somewhere about £100



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