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Mr George M'Kenzie, John M'Comie's procurator in his law process with Lord Airlie, was also his leading counsel in the trial of 1673, by which time he was Sir George M'Kenzie. He was the son of Simon M'Kenzie of Lochslin, and was born in 1636. He early showed marked talent, and in the same year in which he appeared as counsel for John M'Comie against the Earl of Airlie, he was one of the counsel for the Marquis of Argyle. Dryden terms him "that noble wit of Scot- land, Sir George M'Kenzie." Soon after the Restora- tion he was appointed a justice-depute. He was knighted before 1669, in which year he represented Ross in the Scottish Parliament. In 1677 he was appointed King's Advocate. One of his most distinguished public acts was the founding of the Advocates' Library of Edinburgh. He died in 1691.
From these proceedings it would appear that, firstly, John M'Intosh, otherwise M'Comie or M'Combie, held Forther in virtue of a contract of alienation (probably a wadset or redeemable right) made several years before 1661; secondly, that to the Glen of Glascorie or Camlochan he had acquired an absolute or irredeemable right, from the Earl having failed to redeem within the stipulated time ; thirdly, that M'Intosh was a person of very considerable note, influence, and wealth. Mention is made of his 'great power,' 'his moyen and favour,' with the English usurpers ; and again he is described as their partisan, or their 'intelligencer and favourite.' These expressions show that the person to whom they were applied was of no little importance; and another incidental statement brings put his wealth. It is stated that in this disputed glen of Glascorie alone he had, besides divers horses, twenty milch kine and more than a hundred oxen. The justice of the decision may certainly be suspected ; and it may be safely concluded that the ' Restoration Parliament,' as it was called, found little scruple in finding for a nobleman so eminent for his loyalty, and against a person who had been distinguished like M'Intosh as a 'favourite' of Cromwell's Government."
In the Decisions of the Lords of Council and Session from June 6, 1678, to July 30, 17 12, vol. ii. p. 89, in a case, Logies against Wiseman, February 14, 1700, there occurs the following passage : " Transactions do not redintegrate null invalid deeds - 8th December 1671, Mackintosh contra Spalden and Farquharson ; and 10th January 1677, Stuart contra Whiteford, where a son's bond given to liberate his father, unwarrantably detained, was found null." Here, M'Intosh against Spalding and Farquharson undoubtedly refers to the bond given by John M'Intosh, alias M'Comie's son or sons, for the liberation of their father in 1669. The Spalding is in all probability Spalding of Ashintully. In 1574, the whole bestial which belonged to Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm, Knight (the ancestor of the noble house of Buccleuch), was 114 cattle - viz., 36 ky, 26 stottis, 21 queyis, 26 oxin, 3 bullis, 2 stirkis - 1397 sheep, and 841 hogs. In 1673 for not appearing as a witness on behalf of the Farquharsons. Spalding had evidently received the bond as an equivalent for money from the Farquharsons, and found it valueless. The Farquharsons, therefore, did not profit even in a pecuniary sense by the abduction of John M'Comie. On the same day, " Andrew Spalding of Ashintullie ; David Spalding, his brother ; John Robertson of Tillimurdo ; John M'Gillilvie, in Dalinamer ; and David Rattray of Rannagullion," for not appearing as witnesses at the instance of the relict and nearest of kin of the deceased Robert Farquharson, were adjudged " to be in ane unlawe and amerciament of ane hundred merks Scotts.''
Robert Farquharson of Broughdearg's descent from Finla Mor is : Finla Mor, Lachlan Farquharson, William Farquharson, David Farquharson, Robert Farquharson. Alexander Farquharson, the son of Robert Farquharson who was slain at the Moss of Forfar, wrote what is known as the Broughdearg Manuscript, giving the genealogy of the Farquharsons. He was a surgeon, and practised about Braemar. It is said that on being called on one occasion to prescribe for some woman related to the M'Comies, he said if he gave her any it would be poison. The last male representative of the Farquharsons of Broughdearg was Thomas Farquharson of Baldovie, born 1770, died 1860. Robert Farquharson, besides his son Alexander, had a daughter, Margaret, married to John Smith in " Bredfald at Balgais"; also "a natural daughter, married to William Paton of Brewlands in Glenylla."- Broughdearg MS.
While M'Comie Mor lived, the caterans gave the head of Glenisla a wide berth in their predatory incursions; and on his death, the one who brought the news home, on being asked, " What news ? " joyfully replied in Gaelic, " News, and good news ! Blessed be the Virgin Mary ! the great M'Comie, in the head of the Lowlands, is dead, for as big and as strong as he was."
A fact which throws considerable light on the circumstances of the M'Comies subsequent to their father's death has recently come to light. In tracing back the history of the M'Kenzie family, who bought Finnegand in 1712, it appears that at one time the family was at Crandart, and afterwards in Glenbeg, and while in Glenbeg the head of the family lent money on the land of Crandart to a M'Intosh in 1687. Both in the Poll-book and on the gravestone the family name is spelled so as to pronounce M'Comie. In the Poll-book it is once M'Komy and once M'Comy. The b is a modern innovation, and was not introduced until about the end of the eighteenth century. After the time of Donald we have conformed to the modern usage, although etymologically it is incorrect. Another reminiscence of Mr M'Combie's youth carries us back to the time of Culloden. In 18 18 there died a well-known man of the name of M'Bean, one of the class known as gentle beggars, at the great age of 102, whose death was chronicled at some length in the 'Aberdeen Journal' of that time. Mr M'Combie remembers having often talked with him about Culloden, where he charged with the M'Intoshes, who were fearfully cut up. M'Bean would have been about. thirty years of age when he fought at Culloden.
The Rev. Dr Taylor, in his account of the parish of Leochel-Cushnie, in the ' New Statistical Account of Scotland,' published in 1 843, writing of the Linn, says :" It is called the Linn of Lynturk, and has the reputation of being haunted by the apparition of a lady in green or white ; but the oldest living inhabitant not having had ocular demonstration, the colour of the dress remains doubtful. The last instance of her appearance which tradition has handed down is the following : The laird of Kincraigie had dined with his neighbour the laird of Tulloch, and as he returned home late at night, mounted on a spirited horse, and attended by a faithful dog, he was passing along the brink of the dell above the Linn, when suddenly the apparition seized the bridle of his horse, and exclaimed, ' Kincraigie Leslie, I've sought you long, but I've found you now.' The dog, however, fiercely attacking the spectre, it quitted the bridle for a moment, and the horse dashed off at the top of his speed, while his ter- rified master could see the spectre and the dog tumbling down in mortal struggle to the very bottom of the dell. Kincraigie was thus saved, and his generous canine friend returned next day, showing evident marks of the perilous strife in which he had been engaged." In the Dean of Lismore's 'Book of Gaelic Poetry,' edited by the Rev. Thomas M'Lauchlan, there is a poem by " The Baron Ewen M'Omie," on sickness. In a note Mr M'Lauchlan says : " The editor has not been able to identify the author of this poetical complaint. During the existence of baronies, with their bailies or judges, the number of barons or baron bailies in the Highlands must have been large. Of this class was most likely our poet." Taking into consideration, first, that the M'Omies were established as a separate branch of the M'Intoshes, considerably anterior to the date of the collection of these poems, and second, that the physician longed for is a M'Intosh, there is a strong probability that the writer was an ancestor of the present M'Combies ; but the information is so indefinite as to the time when and the place where the poem was composed, that it has been placed here as an interesting addendum.
The following is the English translation of the poem, with the editor's notes : - " Long do I feel my lying here, My health to me is a stranger ; Fain would I pay my health's full price, Were mine the numerous spoils. A spoil of white-haired heavy cows, A spoil of cows for drink or feasting. I'd give besides the heavy bull, If for my cure I had the price. The herds and flocks of Mannanan, 1 The sword and horn of MacCumhail, The trumpet of Manallan 2 I'd give, And the quiver Cuchullin, 1 Aii ancient Celtic hero, from whom the Isle of Man takes its name, as well as the district in Scotland called Slamannan. 2 The editor has not been able to obtain any account of this person. There is a contraction over the second a in the MS., which makes the reading doubtful. Appendix. 167 Ir, Evir, and Eireamon, 1 And were I to possess them, The harp of Curcheoil, 2 which hid men's grief, The shield of the king of Golnor. 2 Lomond's 3 ship of greatest fame, Had I it upon the strand, All I've seen I'd freely give, Ere as now I'd long remain. Long to me appears the coming Of Alexander Macintosh, That my disease he might drive away, And then I might no longer lie. Long." 1 The three sons of Milidh of Spain, from whom the Milesian races are descended, according to Celtic story. 2 The editor can give no account of these names. The traditions re- specting them seem to have perished. 3 A famous Celtic hero, from whom Ben Lomond and Loch Lomond are said to derive their names.
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