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We now come to the unfortunate events which darkened the closing years of John Mackintosh's busy and eventful life and brought about the ruin of his family. The Kinrara MS. already quoted says that in August 1665 John Mackintosh of Forter and " George Farquharson of Brughdarg,"with their followers, accompanied the chief of Mackintosh on an expedition to Lochaber against the Camerons, and there took part in the proceedings which attended the settlement, Happily without bloodshed, as events turned out, of a feud which had raged between the Mackintoshes and Cameron for more than three centuries. The MS. says that the two joined the expedition "unexpectedly", implying that the had not been called upon ; perhaps they, were moved to this course by, a recollection of their predecessors' band of 1595 already noticed as much as by the feeling of ordinary clan ship.
It would be interesting in view of the subsequent antagonism between the two families, as well as in helping to fix the cause and date of the breach, if the person acting thus in harmony with John of Forter in this expedition of 1665 could be identified absolutely as the Robert Farquharson of Brouchdearg with whom soon afterwards John was embroiled in deadly feud; but this cannot be. It is evident that Kinrara made a mistake either as to the Christian name or as to the territorial designation, and conjecture as to which of these mistakes is the more likely would be more or less idle. There was never a George Farquharson of Brouchdearg, and in 1665 the head of that family was undoubtedly named Robert.
A George Farquharson, with other "gentle men of the name of Clan Chattan," had, however, attended meeting of the clan at Kineardine-on-Spey in the previous year and had there signed an "Engagement," dated 19 Nov. 1664, to assist Mackintosh in carrying out his commission against the Camerons; but this was George Farquharson of Rochalzie, grand uncle of Robert of Brouchdearg and youngest son of the Lachlan Farquharson (Ist of Brouchdearg) who had been one of the parties to the band of 1595. The probabilities thus incline to the view that George of Rochalzie, rather than Robert of Brouchdearg, was John Mackintosh's. comrade in August and September 1665.
Still, even although there is no certainty as to Robert's acting in friendly and close concert with John on this occasion, there is no reason to suppose that the two were on other than friendly terms at the time. John Mackintosh must have known the younger man from his childhood, for Finegand and Brouchdearg are less than a mile apart, though on opposite sides of the Shee: it is even said that young Brouclidearg was engaged to his neighbour's daughter, his third cousin once removed. Fam. of McC. p. 55. Whether this was the case or not, in little more than a year signs of serious discord appeared, and on 10 Nov. 1666 the Mackintosh chief writes to Lord Macdonell and Aros that he has "to go on Thursday morning to Glenylea to settle two near kinsmen who are like to fall out very foully." Mackintosh Writs. The chief's journey at such an inclement season and his friendly efforts at a settlement seem to have been of no avail, and soon the discord broke into open feud, with ultimately disastrous results. *
Various causes have been assigned for the feud, but the one which really set the others in motion can only be conjectured. Possibly the feud might have been avoided or mitigated if John Mackintosh had never taken Forter and the Canlochan grazings, or if he had remained with Lord Airlie on the Royalist side, or if he had not married a Campbell. All these circumstances no doubt contributed in some measure to what happened, but a consideration of several others is strongly suggestive of a possibility that the original cause of the breach was "spreta injuria forma," as in the case of an older and much greater feud.
Thus (1) the historian of the McCombies says, though without reference to any authority, that Robert Farquharson had been engaged to marry John Mackintosh's daughter, but had thrown her over in favour of Helen Ogilvy; (2) John certainly had a daughter; she is mentioned in evidence before the Justiciary Court in 1673 as grieving for the loss of her brothers; (3) as John and Brouclidearg were only " like to fall out" in November 1666 it would seem that the cause of offence had then only just arisen; and (4) the son of Brouchdearg and Helen Ogilvy died at the age of eighty years in 1747 or 1748, which would place his birth in 1667-8 and his parents' marriage about 1666-7. May. it not have been the case, therefor that young Brouchdearg "changed his mind " some time in 1666, that the father and brothers of the slighted lady at once set about measures for showing the resentment which they would naturally feel, and that one of these measure would be the reassertion of their right to the Canlocha grazings on their being let in tack to Brouchdearg ? *
It seems worthy of note that none of the members of the other Farquharson families, even those who were cadets of Brouchdearg as Alrick and Roclialzie seem to have taken a part in the feud or the proceedings consequent thereon, and as the Farquharsons were notably very " clannish " ,as a rule, their abstention suggests that they may not have approved Brouchdearg's conduct.
The first recorded episode in the hostilities did not take place until 1669, but it was of so startling a nature as to leave no room for doubt that the two years which had passed since the chief's attempt to "settle " the dispute in its first stage had witnessed many provocative and perhaps lawless acts on both sides. Early in the morning of New Year's Day 1669, according to the depositions at the subsequent trial before the Court of Justiciary, John Mackintosh, by this time an elderly man, going out of his house at Crandart, on the Forter estate, apparently only partially dressed, was seized by a body of some fifty or sixty men under the leadership of two brothers and two uncles of Robert of Brouchdearg, taken to the house of Brouchdearg and there kept a prisoner until nightfall, when his captors conveyed him to " a wilderness called Tombay in Glenshee, where they keeped him." On the following day, 2 January, five of the old man's sons, John, Alexander, James, Robert, and " Mr. " Angus, went to Tombey with a view to obtaining their father's release, but they also were kept prisoners until the two eldest signed a bond for 1700 merks in favour of Brouchdearg.
The statements made to the Court on this head are borne out by the bond itself, which is duly recorded in the Register of Deeds (Mackenzie) vol. xxiii. under date 21 June 1669. It is given at Tombea, 2 Jan. 1669, by "John McIntosh younger of Forther ( John McIntosh's son ) and Alexander ( the second son of John McIntosh the elder) in Aughaven his lawful brother," to Robert Farquharson of Brouchdearg; the cautioners are James and Robert Mackintosh, lawful brothers of the granters, and among the witnesses is Robert Mackintosh of Dalmunzie, who had probably gone over in the hope of smoothing matters between his friends and neighbours.
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