The Moidart Timewarp
by Tim Roberton

1701 - 1725
In which the Highland economy, based upon cattle had a series of very bad years, Anne became Queen and Marlborough secured a great victory at Blenheim. The Act of Union between England and Scotland was signed and Britain acquired Nova Scotia. After George I became King, adherents of James, the Old Pretender rose up and were defeated at Sherrifmuir, where Clanranald Macdonald (XIV), who went to fight for the Catholic cause, lost his life.  He had had a premonition before the battle and had burned down Castle Tirrim.


1702 William III died (childless) to be succeeded by Anne, who was the daughter of James II. During her reign (until 1714), foreign campaigns by Duke of Marlborough were to be successfully waged at Blenheim (1704) and elsewhere. A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 432.

1703 English Navigation Acts (only the producer of goods or the importing country's ships to be used in transport) bore heavily on the Scots who were treated as belonging to another country. Feelings ran so high that in 1703 Scottish Parliament passed an Act of Security which authorized parliament, upon the death of Queen Anne, to choose a successor other than the one chosen in England. It was clear at this stage, that either a closer union must come, or entire separation. A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 434.

1707 Population of Scotland estimated by Sir John Sinclair at 1,048,000. Cargoes of Despair and Hope, Scottish Emigration to North America, Ian Adams and Meredyth Somerville, Page 2.

1707
England and Scotland Act of Union achieved by way of a Treaty between England and Scotland. This agreed that the Scottish Council and Parliament should cease to exist and that there should be henceforth one government for the two countries. The Scots were to retain their own Presbyterian Church and their own legal system. Trade between the two countries was to be free and there was to be no legal differences between Scotsmen and Englishmen throughout the British Empire. A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 435.

1709 Foundation of Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. Separate from the English SPCK (founded 1699). The schools it founded taught in English, Gaelic being forbidden until 1766, as it was said to be one of the roots of barbarianism and superstition which Presbyterianism set out to fight. In reality, the Highlanders too saw the advantage of being taught in English for getting on in the external world. TC Smout, A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830 p 463.

1712 The Oath of Abjuration was imposed on ministers, both Episcopalian and Presbyterian. It was an abomination in that it not only abjured the dynasty of Stewart, it swore support of the Protestant heirs to the throne who must be members of the Church of England. Many ministers stubbornly resisted (despite the potential fine), because to accede would result in the people deserting them. The Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century. H Grey Graham. Page 367.

1713
By the Treaty of Utrecht, Britain obtained Nova Scotia.

1714 Queen Anne died (childless) and was followed by George I, as set out in the Act of Settlement of 1701, although there was a possibility at one time of the "Old Pretender", son of James II being canvassed. During Anne's reign, a cabinet system of government had been set up and, so although George spoke only German, he fulfilled his duty thoroughly, but let others do the running of affairs. A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 436.

1714 Bishop Gordon, vicar-apostolic founded a seminary for training young boys for the priesthood on the island of Eilean Ban in Loch Morar, in the heart of Clanranald territory, where one of its first pupils was Hugh MacDonald, the future vicar-apostolic. After the failure of the 'Fifteen, when the Highlands were no longer safe, the seminary was transferred to Scanlan in the remote braes of Glenlivet. Eighteenth Century Scotland, New Perspectives, TM Devine and JR Young, page 97, Essay by James F McMillan.

1715 When George I had been on the throne of England for one year, adherents of James, the "Old Pretender" raised a rebellion in the North and South of Scotland and in the North of England. The rising was badly organised and the Earl of Mar and his Highlanders was checked at Sherrifmuir on the same day that the insurgents had capitulated at Preston in Lancashire. Six weeks later the "Old Pretender" landed at Peterhead to find the rising practically over and had to get back to France as best he could. A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 440.

1715 Soldiers were garrisoned at Castle Tirrim for a number of years prior to the 1715 insurrection, but were removed shortly before. Clanranald, deeply affected by its "occupation" and fearful that the building would fall into the hands of government troops again, ordered its destruction by fire. He then went to fight for the "old catholic cause" at Sherrifmuir, where he died from bullet wounds. Moidart Among the Clanranalds, p192 Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts.

1720 Highlanders responded vigorously to commercial opportunity; the decline of militarism in Gaeldom, the growth of large Scottish towns and above all, the voracious demands from the vast London market and the Royal Navy provided the context for a massive increase in the exportation of live cattle from the Highlands. By the early 1720's as many as 30,000 cattle a year were being driven south to the great fair at Crieff and elsewhere. Eighteenth Century Scotland, New Perspectives, TM Devine and JR Young, page 227, Essay by Thomas M Devine

1721 Among secular priests, some mission stations had the reputation of being more difficult to work than others. Lochaber, for instance, was often described as being lawless. The first priest to be stationed there on a permanent basis after the Reformation was Mr John MacDonald, a native son and a Clanranald on his father's side, who returned to the mission in 1721 after studying in Rome and discovered that only three families in the district still observed Catholic religious practices, not because the others had converted to Protestantism but because they had allowed their observance to lapse. Mr MacDonald laboured there for some forty years until his death in 1761, obviously to good effect, since it was reported to Rome in 1763 that Lochaber had 3,000 communicants. Eighteenth Century Scotland, New Perspectives, TM Devine and JR Young, page 97, Essay by James F McMillan

1724 The first lead mine at Strontian was opened. Moidart Among the Clanranalds, p138 Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts.

1724 An estimate of the manpower which could be put in the field by Highland Chiefs at this time, shows how very powerful they continued to be. Duncan Forbes of Culloden calculated that twenty six chiefs could call out 18,890 men. Of these the largest two by far were the Campbells (5,000) and the Mackenzies (2,500). But included were Macdonalds of Clanranald (700), Macdonalds of Sleat (700), Macdonalds of Glengarry (500), Macdonald of Glencoe (150) and Macdonalds of Keppoch (150)…. It was the understanding that a chief must provide land for his clansmen, if necessary dividing existing holdings for the purpose….In addition to their own clansmen, chiefs would welcome "broken men" upon their land to increase their followings…MacDonnell of Keppoch for instance occupied some Macintosh land and when questioned on his income retorted, "I can call out and command 500 men"…So late as 1726 a Highland Chief told Captain Burt (who reported it in a letter) that he prefered his estate, which was worth 500 a year, to an English one worth 30,000 because of his following. Highland Folkways, IF Grant, page 33.

1724 Colin Campbell, previously a commissioned officer in the Argyll regiment, converted to catholicism and served as priest in Moidart for a number of years until 1735 approximately. He later joined the Macdonalds at Culloden, where he lost his life. Moidart Among the Clanranalds, p111 Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts.

1724 General Wade wrote nine years after the supression of the rebellion "The clans in the Highlands most addicted to rapine and plunder are the Camerons in the west of the shire of Inverness, the Mackenzies and others in the shire of Ross who were the late vassals of the earl of Seaforth, the Macdonalds of Keppoch, the Breadalbin men and the Macgregors on the borders of Argyllshire. They go out in parties from ten to thirty men, traverse large tracts of mountain till they arrive at the lowlands…..they drive the stolen cattle in the night time and in day remain in the tops of the mountains or in the woods with which the Highlands abound, and take the first ocassion to sell them at the fairs and markets that are annually held in many parts of the country." TC Smout, A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830 p 224.

1725 "Ronald 3rd of Kinlochmoidart died in 1725 in Glenforslan from eating sour cream. He left over 20 of a family many of whom were natural as opposed to lawful. His wife was a Margaret Cameron". Glenmoidart Notes, Bonnalie/Impey Papers Ref 16


1676-1700

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1726-1750