Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

other sides where it was assailable, it was guarded by high breastworks and strong entrenchments. The fossæ are yet distinct, and the aqueduct by which they were filled from a neighbouring rivulet, is still in a good state of preservation. The site of the encampment, however, is now converted into a corn-field. In this camp, according to Bothius, the Romans took up their winter quarters under Tribellius, after Agricola left him, and preserved their communication with other detachments of their troops who had advanced farther into the country, towards the foot of the Grampians.

Another interesting object in this parish is Stobhall, a venerable fabric, formerly a seat of the Perth family, now belonging to the representatives of Lord Willoughby d'Eresby. It is fancifully situated on a narrow peninsula on the banks of the Tay, and being of various kinds of architecture, must have been built at different times and on different plans.

The river, near the west end of the parish, forms what is called the Linn of Campsie, already noticed, by falling over a rugged basaltic dyke, which crosses the bed of the river at this place, and extends in a direct line many miles to the east and west of the Tay. At the distance of twenty miles to the westward, Drummond Castle stands on a similar rock, which is supposed to be a continuation of the

same range.

A Roman road about twenty feet broad, composed of rough round stones, rudely laid together, passes along the high grounds. This military road is supposed to have been made by the army at Ardoch, to preserve a communication between their different camps, and as convenient for their after marches, had they conquered the country.

The village of Gallowhill in a field called the Gallowshade, is so named as having been a place of execution under the feudal system; and near the parish-school-house, to the north, is a well said to have been used by the executioner for washing his hands after being engaged in his bloody work. In this well, now partly filled up, some seventy or eighty years ago a

quantity of human bones were discovered. The well still goes by the name of "Hangies Well."

Near the village were, until lately, to be seen a number of large erect stones, said to have been of the same class of antiquities as the sculptured stones of Meigle. Upon these stones were representations of the moon, and stars, and the corn-field where they stood, is called the Moonshade, or Moonstane Butts to this day.

The parish is diversified by several artificial little hills or conically shaped mounds, called Laws. One of these at Lawton, being in the near neighbourhood of Macbeth's Castle on Dunsinane Hill, is supposed to have been the place where Macbeth dispensed laws and settled differences among his subjects.

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

BENDOCHY.

"Woodman, spare that tree."

Two miles from Coupar Angus, and towards the eastern boundary of Perthshire, we come to the borders of Bendochy, a parish which consists of two great divisions, the Highland and the Lowland. The Highland division nearest to the parish church is about eight miles distant, while its remotest point is upwards of thirteen miles off. In the parochial registers of the parish the name is written Bendochie, in 1642; Bennathie in 1704; and Bendochy in 1760. From the great uncertainty of Gaelic Etymology, it has been found very difficult to ascertain the true import of the name; some defining its meaning to be Nether Hill; others, The hill of good prospect; or, The hill of two waters.

Leaving these etymological differences to be reconciled by the learned in such matters, let us pause for a moment on the middle of the bridge over the Isla at Couttie, and watch the placid river's zigzag, meandering course among the hollows to the east until our eye rests with a sweet pleasure on the prettily situated manse of Bendochy on its gently rising banks to the north. How silent and lone! How shut out from the busy world does it seem! Yet for nearly half-a-century in that modest solitary manse has lived one of the most eloquent and accomplished ministers of the Church of Scotland. Yes, and in that little white-washed barn-like kirk has he been content to minister to a rural congregation, when he would have been admiringly welcomed as their pastor by the

wealthiest and most intellectual communions, worshipping in the noblest temples in the country.

Dr J. S. Barty, the present incumbent of Bendochy, was ordained assistant and successor to his father, Mr Thomas Barty, in 1829. He was elected Moderator of the General Assembly in 1868; and in the same year was entertained at a public dinner at Dundee in recognition of his great abilities as a minister of the Gospel, and for general services to his church and country. During the agitation for the abolition of the Corn Laws, he distinguished himself under the nom-deplume of "Peter Plough," as an uncompromising opponent of the Abolitionists. He also contributed some able papers to Blackwood's Magazine, under the signature of "Cato the Censor."

Dr Barty, amongst his other accomplishments, includes that of a discriminating and enthusiastic botanist. In his elaborate description of the parish in the "Statistical Account of Scotland," he lovingly enumerates almost every plant found in it of interest to the botanical collector. The catalogue is so complete even at this date, that with the exception of a few plants in the adjoining parish of Coupar Angus, the student will find it contains the botany of a section of country extending from the base of the Sidlaws, across the valley of Strathmore, and over the Grampian range. To the east the practised eye of Don has left little to be discovered, but his researches do not seem, in the doctor's opinion, to have extended so far westward.

In this exhaustive enumeration of the Flora of the district, are included the Hieracium sylvaticum, a rare plant in Strathmore; the Ornithopus perpusillus; the Lythrum Salicaria; the Scirpus sylvaticus; the Chelidonium majus, &c.

In the highland part of the parish, the vegetation being of a sub-alpine type, are found, amongst other rare plants, the Alchemilla alpina, Viola lutea, Meum athamanticum, Sesleria cærulea, Polygonum viviparum, the Primula elatior; the Listera ovata; the Pyrola rotundifolia; the Botrychium lunaria.

The earliest date of the baptism register, Dr Barty states, is 23d January 1642. The proceedings of session commence with 11th September 1692. The marriage register begins in 17C0. The minutes of session in the end of the seventeenth, and beginning of the eighteenth centuries, give some curious revelations of the history of the period. Regarding one offender, the doctor quotes" the session thouyat fitt to bring him in sackcloth, and cause him acknowledge his guilt on his knees." And regarding another, she appears for the twentieth time before the congregation on the stool of repentance Again, T. B., "being examined anent what was alleged anent his stricking Thomas Craigie, a boy, on the Sabbath day, answered that the said Thomas threw in a stone among the children, and that he went out and only shot him over, he being removed, the members after discoursing of it, thought fit to dismiss him with the session rebook." Again, the laird of having been cited, appeared, and being asked whether he did "scandalously go out on the fast day with his gun," answered, "that he went out only to fleg the tod from his sheep." He was dismissed with the session's rebuke. The following entry also occurs, viz.,"Received from G. B. 2 lib. 9 sh with other 2 lib. paid by him before to the session, is accepted as satisfaction for his daughter's resiling from purpose of marriage with one A. B., after the publication of the banns." An assault in 1721, of a very extraordinary character, having been committed on the person of a servant by his master, the case was taken up by the civil magistrate. The master, however, was cited before the session. He appeared and gave in a paper which he called a "declinator," having in company with him Mr Charles Hay, writer in Cupar. The declining their jurisdiction seems greatly to have provoked the session, and "having considered the whole matter, the insolent carriage of the said W. R., in presuming to decline this judicatory, his bringing in a public notar on the Lord's day," &c., "they did, and hereby do refer the samen to the reverend presbytery of

« PoprzedniaDalej »