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And how, by Brigton's spreading woods,
He's heard the well known splash
And then to hear him lauchin' fast,
"Twas like to shake the very earth,
And woe to that doomed household hearth,
In waterkelpie's reign!
The large rivulet, or stream, called Kerbet, takes its rise in Dilty Moss, in the parish of Carmylie, seven miles to the eastward of Kinnettles and falls into the Dean, as already noticed, before its junction with the Isla. In summer it flows gently on in its placid course, but after a thaw in a winter storm, it swells to an almost incredible extent, the low-lying fields and meadow-land being inundated by its impetuous torrent.
The Hill of Kinnettles, rising to the height of 356 feet above the level of the sea, adds greatly to the beauty of the parish. The view from the top is extensive, and very beautiful. This hill is one of the detached Sidlaw Hills, and is also sometimes called the Hill of Brigton.
Brigton, immediately adjoining the village, with its rich haughs and meadows, and beautifully-clustering sylvan woods, and the winding Kerbet sweetly flowing through its midst, is a deeply-interesting and lovely spot. Many a day, in the bright and gladsome days of youth, have I rambled among its sheltered glades, listening with ecstatic joy to the gushing melody of the happy birds, combined in softest harmony with the low, quiet song of the gently-flowing river. These are sunny memories, which no cloud, however dark, in after-life, can ever obliterate or obscure.
Kinnettles, during the life-time of its late parochial school
master, Mr Daniel Robertson, enjoyed a wide-spread reputation for the high-class education of its "wee school," many of his pupils becoming in after-life eminently successful, and some achieving fame in the several arenas of science, commerce, and literature. Modern innovations have, however, swept away the sacred landmarks so dear to his heart, and so fondly cherished by his pupils. The schoolhouse and school have been ruthlessly levelled to the ground, but the associations thereof cannot be extinguished; and the place where once the humble seminary stood is ever eloquent to us the
Poor Daniel! all is over now,
At last at rest in peace art thou-
To the land o' the leal.
All is over now !-the pawky smile,
Desire of excellence, pride of lore,
Exciting labour, joys of yore
These follow not beyond the shore
Of the land o' the leal.
There are several very old grave-stones in the churchyard, the dates on which go back to an early period. Some of these were erected to the memory of the writer's ancestors several centuries ago. The more recently erected monuments are very handsome. The "ancient mill," immediately to the east of the village, is probably, however, the oldest relic of antiquity in the parish, it having been built sometime in the fifteenth century. In the year 1478, Andrew Guthrie of that Ilk was charged before the Lords of Council "anent a mylne biggit on the landis of Kyncaldrum, and holding on the multers of the corns of the samyn."-(Acta. Dom. Con. 5; And. 69.) The barony of Kincaldrum adjoins the lands of Kinnettles, the Guthries. being at that period apparently proprietors of both. There is
every reason to believe the above allusion to the "mylne biggit on the landis of Kincaldrum" refers to the old mill on the Kerbet, immediately to the east of Kinnettles. Doubtless the building has received many alterations and repairs, and, in consequence, little of the original structure may remain. To the writer especially, however, it is still an object of the most absorbing and affectionate interest, as it and the adjoining farm were for many generations tenanted by his ancestors, as neighbouring homesteads are occupied by their descendants to the present day. An antiquarian relic of great value, however, dug up by the plough in a grass field in the parish, in 1833, carries us back beyond the Christian era. This was an 66 upper millstone of a hand mill, supposed to be about two thousand years old.' It is, says the Rev. Mr Lunan, formerly minister of the parish, -24 inches in diameter, 1 inch thick, nearly quite circular, neatly hewn with the chisel, and displays the nicest workmanship around the small circular opening in the centre. The stone of which it is composed is mica-schist, has a leaden colour, contains a mixture of silicious spar, and is thickly studded with small garnets. The earliest instrument in combination with the pestle, for grinding corn, appears to have been the mortar, which, in process of time, was superseded by the mola manuaria, or handmill, first worked by bondmen and bondwomen, and afterwards by oxen and horses. Strabo, Vitruvius and other classic writers inform us, that water-mills were introduced in the reign of Julius Cæsar; so that hand-mills had probably been laid aside sometime before the Christian era, thus proving this ancient relic to be of the age already stated.
Surrounded rich by hill and dale,
Outside the little village street,
Is seated cosily and sweet,
Kinnettles' ancient mill.
O very quaint it is, and old;
Who dared its age to tell;
That antiquarian, seer, or sage
So while the peasant wondering stares,
Transform its aspect unawares,
And oft renews its youth.
Ah! ancient mill, though far from thee, Still very dear art thou to me,
Nay, never art forgot;
For thou our name in days of yore,
For many generations bore;
"Tis known there now, alas! no more, Still sacred, blessed spot.
My sire's and grandsire's birth-place dear, Accept the tributary tear,
Which far from thee I shed.
Recalling scenes, narrations rare,
Sepulchral warnings to beware,
So thus, like April hopes and fears
Fair are the lawns and the fields of sweet Brigton,
The sheep feeding rich in the haughs and the meadows,
OF Brigton, which has already been noticed, and which will be frequently alluded to in the subsequent chapters, more particularly in the "Lily of The Vale," it may suffice only to allude further, in this place, to the strong feelings of high regard and reciprocal attachment which had always been entertained by the members of the Douglas family, and those of the ancient house of Guthrie; culminating in the legend of the cruel betrayal of the Chief of the latter house, by Miss Douglas of Brigton.
The members of the Douglas family, both male and female, have always been distinguished for their love of field sports, as well as of warlike deeds. Sir David Guthrie of Kincaldrum, Treasurer to the king, and their near neighbour, after he had purchased the lands of Guthrie, as well as the barony of Lour, laid siege to the heart of Miss Douglas of Brigton, resolved to become the victor, or perish in the attempt. Sir David was more of a statesman than a warrior, his mission lying more in the planning and directing of aggressive or defensive wars in the cabinet, than in actual deeds of heroism on the field of battle. Miss Douglas, on the contrary, inheriting all the warlike genius of her race, revelled with unbounded enthusiasm in the glowing descriptions of military prowess, of which historians wrote and poets sung, the bravest of the brave fondly winning her