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Mackintosh Provosts
William Mackintosh, The Black Bailie of Aberarder

Source: "Strathnairn in the Olden Times," Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, 1883

"The Mackintoshes of Aberarder, at the extreme upper end of the Strath, according to Strath traditions, acted as bailies, or local judges of the district. Of one of them, at least, several instances of rather strong-handed justice are related in the Strath.

"Duncan Mackintosh, the 5th son of Lachlan Mor, the 16th chief of the clan, was the first of the Mackintoshes of Aberarder." He died in 1651, and according to the Kinrara MS., was buried in the "Kirk of Dunlichity"[probably the kirk yard] -- because Cromwell's troops were in Petty or its neighbourhood, so that "there was no safe passage to bury Duncan in his father's sepulchre."

" ... Duncan was succeeded by his son, William Mackintosh ... The local traditions seem to be mostly about ... William, who was known as Am Baillidh Dubh, the "Black Bailie." William's name is still [1883], or, was until lately, to be seen on the door lintel and on a chimney lintel of the old house, with the date 1663. Another relic of his time also remains -- carn-na-croiche -- a cairn of stones about a quarter of a mile west of the house, where criminals were executed by Aberarder. Not very long ago, a stump, which was supposed to have been part of the gallows, could be seen in this cairn.
"According to the local tale, the Black Bailie came into possession of the neighbouring property of Glenbeg by the following very questionable method. The proprietor of Glenbeg was a very tall and strong man, and withal very passionate. Aberarder was very desirous of adding Glenbeg to his estate; and knowing the passionate and hasty nature of the man in Glenbeg, resolved to tempt him into some rash deed. Accordingly, he told his servant one day to take a sledge cart, and take a load out of the Glenbeg stooks [shocks] home to Aberarder. The servant to do so, but when the Bailie said he would stand between him and all danger, he was persuaded to go.

"When the servant was making up the load, Glenbeg was told what was going on in the field, seized his club and rushed to the corn field, and killed the man who was taking away his corn, with one stroke of his club. On reflection, he was so horrified at the rash deed he had done, that he left the country immediately, and never came back; and the Bailie took undisputed possession of Glenbeg; and it is part of the Aberarder estate to this day. Such is the tradition of the Strath. There may be a simpler and more legitimate explanation of the acquirement of Glenbeg; but if so, it is not known in the district ...

"[The Black Bailie] had an attendant called Calum Luath (Malcolm the swift). The laird, being engaged in a law suit, sent Calum Luath to Edinburgh with certain papers. When he arrived there he was told that it was very important that his master should be in Edinburgh on an early day; and instead of taking some rest, as he had intended to do, in Edinburgh, he started back at once at his best pace to give his master the message he had received, and reached Aberarder within fifty hours from the time he left it. So the tradition says. The feat seems, now-a-days, scarcely possible, for, assuming he went straight across the hills by Kingussie and Gaick; and then by Atholl and Perth; and in a straight line from Perth to Queensferry, the single journey would be fully a hundred miles. But, in any case, the journey was so rapidly accomplished that when his master saw him returning he could not belive he had reached Edinburgh, and was so enraged at the apparent neglect of his orders that he stabbed him with his dirk. When the papers requiring the laird's attendance in Edinburgh were found, he shed tears over the wounded man who had proved so faithful to him. It is not stated whether the man recovered from his wound or not."

Other Mackintosh Provosts of Inverness:-

1761 - 1764 William Mackintosh Sn
1767 - 1770 William Mackintosh Sn
1770 - 1773 Phineas Mackintosh
1776 - 1779 Phineas Mackintosh
1782 - 1785 Phineas Mackintosh
1785 - 1788 William Mackintosh
1788 - 1791 Phineas Mackintosh
1791 - 1794 William Mackintosh
1794 - 1797 John Mackintosh, of the Aberarder family - This is my ancsetor
1800 - 1803 John Mackintosh, of the Aberarder family - This is my ancestor
1803 - 1804 Alexander Mackintosh
1880 - William Mackintosh, died in office