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be expected that complete information respecting any one of the larger divisions of the kingdom, could be at once obtained, It was therefore thought most advisable to throw as much va. riety as possible into the first volume. Whether the same plan is to be persevered in, or whether more regularity and connexion are to be attended to in future, will depend on the unanimity and dispatch with which the clergy transmit the necessary information to the author.
The second volume is conducted entirely in the same manner as the first. Mr. Dempster has justly observed «That no publication of equal information and curiosity has appeared in Great Britain (since Doomiday-Book; and that from the ample and authentic facts which it records, it must be resorted to by every future statesman, philosopher, and divine, as the belt basis that has ever yet appeared for political speculation.'
The plan proposed by fir John Sinclair for drawing up the statistical account of the different parishes, is of so extensive a nature as to comprehend every article worthy of attention ; and we are glad to find that the clergy, whose information is published in these two volumes, have so generally adopted it.
The first parish described in the work is that of Jedburgh, in the account of which we meet with the following observations on the effects of the union on the borders :
· The union of the parliamen:s of England and Scotland, has in some respects produced an effect very different from what might have been expected from it. Instead of promoting the increase, it has contributed to the diminution, of the people upon the borders. Besides, the influence of various natural propensities, which induced men to flock to the scene where active talents were constantly employed, honour acquired, and the strongest national antipathies gratified, there were obvious confiderations of intereft, which rendered the situation of the borders more eligible, after violence and hoftility were repressed, by the union of the two crowns, and the consequent interposition of the legislature of both kingdoms. The inhabitants of the borders, while the taxes and the commercial regulations of the two kingdoms were different, enjoyed the opportunity of carrying on a very advantageous contraband trade, without danger to their persons or fortunes, Into England they imported, fali, kins, and malt, which, till the union, paid no duties in Scotland ; and from England they carried back wool, which was exported from the Frith of Forch to France, with great profit. The vestiges of forty malt-baros and kilns are' now to be seen in the town of Jedburgh, while at present there are only three in actual occupation; and the corporation of kinners and glovers, formerly the most wealthy in that town, have, since the union, greatly diminished, both in regard 10 opulence and number.
The proprietors of estates upon the borders were well aware of the detriment which their property would suffer by the incorporating union, and in general itienuoofly opposed it; and the commissioners for carrying on that treaty, were so sensible of the loss they would sustain, that they agreed to appropriate part of the equivalent money, as it was called, to their indemnification and benefit.
· The union has also been the cause of the depopulation of the border country, by enlarging the sphere, and facilitating the means of emigration. While the two countries were in a hostile state, there was neither inducement nor opportunity to move from the one to the other. The inhabitants often made inroads upon one another ; but when the incursion was over, they returned to their own homes. Their antipathy and resentments were a rampart which excluded all social intercourse, and mixture of inhabitants. In this situation, misconduct and infamy at home were the only motives to emigration, and while this was the case, the exchange of inhabitants would be nearly at a par: but after the union of the two kingdoms, and the decline or extinction of national antipathies, the balance arising from the interchange of inhabitants would run much in favour of the more wealthy country. Artificers and labourers would naturally resort where wages were higher, and all the accommodations of life were more plentiful, elpecially if this could be effected without the unpleasing idea of relinquishing home.
To pass from the borders of Scotland into Northumberland, was rather like going into another parith than into ano. ther kingdom.'
A turnpike road, it seems, is now carried from Jedburgh to Newcastle, which shortens the distance from that town to Edinburgh considerably; and we are told that there is at prefent a prospect of carrying one, in a direct line, from Jedburgh to Boroughbridge in York fire, which could not fail of being frequented, as it would render the road between London and Edinburgh shorter by thirty-eight miles than by Berwick.
In the parish of Kirkmichael there prevails a custom which deserves to be mentioned.
When any of the lower people happen to be reduced by fickness, losses, or misfortunes of any kind, a friend is sent to as many of their neighbours as they think needful, to invite them to what they call a drinking. This drinking confifts in a little small beer, with a bit of bread and cheefe, and sometimes a small glass of brandy or whiky, previously provided by the needy persons, or their friends. The guelis convene at the time appointed, and, after collecting a fhilling a-piece, and sometimes more, they civert themfelves for about a couple of hours, with music and dan. 8
cing, and then go home. Such as cannot attend themselves, usually send their charitable contribution by any neighbour that chooses to go. These rr.eetings fometimes produce 5, 6, or 7 pounds, to the needy person or family.'
From the account of the parish of Crossmichael, justice requires that we admit the following extract :
The Galloway cattle have one characteristic which naturalist: may think incredible; they are almost all without horns! Dr. Samuel Johnson, in his journey to the Western lands, (London edition, 1775, pag. 186), has the following notable passage : “ Of their black cattle, some are without horns, called by the Scots humble cows, as we call a bee a humble bee that wants à fting Whether this difference be specific or accidental, though we inquired with great diligence, we could not be informed. We are not very sure that the bull is ever without horns, though we have been told that such bulls there are, What is produced by puiting a horned and an unhorned male and female together, noman has ever tried, who thought the result worthy of obfervation."
Though it may favour of arrogance, the high authority quoted must be faily contradicted. There is not within the bounds of this parith a single bull, nor a male of any other species, except a few goats and rams, with horns. The experiment the philosopher wished for, has been tried a thousand times, and the result has been observed to be a calf, sometimes with, and sometimes without horns, but never, as the doctor most probably expected, an unicorn,'
The clergyman who gives the account of Lismore, observes, that the extent of this parish will hardly be credited by an inhabitant of the south of Scotland ; being, from the south-west end of it, to the north-east in Appin, fixty-three miles long, by ten, and, in some places, fixteen broad.
It is farther remarkable of this parith, that it contains neither rats, moles, nor foxes.
Weafels made their first appearance in it within these twelve years. In the adjoining districts of Appin and Kingerloch, there are moles, weatels, white rats, martins, polecats, common and mountain hares; the latter of these, in the winter, is as white as snow.
The writer of the statistical account of Kilmarnock describes a mode of thatching, which may justly be regarded as an improvement in rural economy.
• There is nothing that would be more desirable, than to disco. 'ver some method of covering the roofs of farm-houses, so as to render them cheap and comío cable. A fate roof is too expen. ' live in many parts of the country, from the dificulty of getting
either the timber, or the flate. Tile roofs do not last, and com. mon thatching is of very short duration, is more liable to the danger of fire, atferds shelter and encouragement to vermin, and is very apt to be destroyed by violent winds. But there is a mode of thatching with straw and mortar, introduced into the neighbou, hood of Kilmarnock, about 22 years ago, in confequence of a receipt giver. by the late Mr. Macdowal of Garthland, which is, in many respects, preferable to every other, for the northern paris of the island. The thatching is carried on in the usual manner ; only mortar, very well prepared, and mixed with cut ftraw, is thinly spread over the strata of thatch, with a iarge trowel made for t'e purpose. One expert thatcher will require two men to serve bine with straw, one to prepare the moriar, and a fourth to carry it up. If the work is proporly done, it will make a covering which will laft 40 or 50 years; and, when it begins to fail, it can easily be repaired. Sometimes clay is used instead of mortar, and antwers nearly as well. As it makes a most excel. lent roof, the timbers ought to be good, and the spars firaight, and neatly put on, that there may be no heights and hollows in it. Such a roof will stand in the most exposed fituation, againft the most violent winds; gives no shelter to vermin; is not near lo much in danger of fire ; and though a little more expenfive at first than the common thatch, yet does much more than compensate for that circumstance, by its being so extremely durable.'
The poor-rates in England, it is well known, are severely felt; and in different parts in Scotland the evil seems likewise to be experienced. It were to be wilhed, says one of the contributors to the present work, that the poor could be maintained by voluntary contributions, ratier than by affefiment. The latter method has a tendency to increase their number, and to encourage dissipation and idleness. It extinguishes charity in those who give it, as they give from compulsion, and prevents gratitude in those who receive, since they receive it as a right.'
Fortingal is another parish of great extent, and comprises a district of the Highlands which was formerly infamous for the ungovernable rapacity of its inhabitants. How great a change has been produced, of late years, in the state of this country, will appear from the following extract:
• Before the year 1745, Ranoch was in an uncivilized barba. rous state, under no check, or restraint of laws. As an evidence of this, one of the principal proprietors, never could be compelled to pay his debts. Two messengers were sent from Perth, to give him a charge of horning. He ordered a dozen of his retainers to bind them across two hand.barrows, and carry then, in this state, to the bridge of Cainachan, at 9 miles distance.
His property in particular was a nest of thieves. They laid the whole country, from Stirling to Coupar of Angus, under contribution, obliging the inhabitants to pay them, Black Meal, as it is called, to save their property from being plundered. This was the center of this kind of traffic. In the months of September ar.d October, they gathered to the number of about 300, built temporary huts, drank whisky all the time, settled accounts for stolen cattle, and received balances. Every man then bore arms. It would have required a regiment to have brought a thief from that country. But government having sent a party of loidiers to reside among them, and a thief having been hung at their doors, they soon felt the necellity of reformation, and they are now as honest, and as ftri&t a set of people, in these matters, as any in the kingdom.
• In the year 1754, the country was almost impassible. There were no roads, nor bridges. Now, by the statute-labour, we have got excellent roads, and 12 bridges. In a few years, we Mall have other two, which is all that could be desired. The people contribute chearfully and liberally to build them, and this preserves many lives:
• At the above period, the bulk of the tenants in Ranoch had no such thing as beds. They lay on the ground, with a little heather, or fern, under them. One single blanket was all their bed-cloaths, excepting their body-cloaths. Now they have stand. ing-up beds; and abundance of blankets. At that time, the houses in Ranoch were huts of, what they called, “ Stake and Rise.” One could not enter but on all fours ; and after enter. ing, it was imposible to stand upright. Now there are comfortable houses built of stone. Then the people were miserably dirty, and foul-kinned. Now they are as cleanly ; and are clothed as well as their circumstances will admit of. The rents of the parilli, at that period, were not much above 1500l. and the people were starving. Now they pay 466ol. per annum, and upwards, and the people have fulness of bread.
• It is hardly posible to believe, on how little the Highlanders formerly lived. They bled their cows several times in the year, boiled the blood, eat a little of it like bread, and a moit laiting meal it was. The present incumbent bas known a poor man, who had a small farm hard by him, by this means, with a boll of meal for every mouth in his family, pass the whole year.'
We cannot conclude our account of these two volumes without subscribing to the remark, that they contain a fund of intelligence, no leís calculated to gratify curiosity than to extend, for the most useful purposes, the bounds of political information. It appears evident, from the accurate teitimony C.R. N. AR. (IV.) April, 1792.