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This page contains an edited extract from the following book.  You are advised to read the original publication if you are seriously researching the content.



. . . fishermen of Broughty Ferry.  They are from 15 to 28 tons burden.  The crew consists of about seven men, and the cost of these modern fishing smacks is about three hundred pounds.  There are also seven second class or open boats, of from three to six tons, which have a crew of four men each.  The cost of these fishing vessels considerably exceeds seven thousand pounds, and the number of men employed almost two hundred, besides a large female population engaged in the preparatory part of the fishing operations.  This is therefore a large, important, and valuable industry, the produce of which costs only the interest on the plant and the labour of the fishermen and their families.  Of the value of the produce we can give no estimate, but it must be of great amount yearly.

The Chevalier de Johnstone, in his Memoirs of the Rebellion in 1745-46, gives an account of his escape from Culloden.  On his way south to Broughty, happening to pass by Duntrune, he applied to Mr. David Graham,  VI. in the account of the family of Duntrune, in the chapter on Dundee (Landward), for assistance and shelter. Mr. Graham had two nephews in the rebel army, but "had remained quiet at home, without declaring himself."  He says Mr. Graham was out in 1715.  Having little property after that unfortunate adventure, he entered the service of the East India Company, attained the command of one of their ships, by which he had acquired a considerable fortune, and raised his family.

Mr. Graham, on hearing of the sad condition of the fugitive, had him brought to an inclosure on his property where there was very high broom.  There he visited the Chevalier, apologised for not daring to take him to his Castle of Duntrune on account of his servants, of whose fidelity he was not assured.  He promised to get him a boat and boatmen to carry him across the Firth (of Tay), and to send him breakfast.  Very soon the food was brought.  He says, "I devoured seven or eight eggs in a moment, with a great quantity of bread, butter, and cheese," and a bottle of white wine, and another of beer, which were much relished.  He had been for seventeen days previously upon oatmeal and water.  For dinner he had beef, which disappeared as quickly as the eggs had done.  After which Mr. Graham and he, drank a bottle of fine old claret together, and after telling him how to proceed, Mr. Graham left him.

The instructions were:- At five o'clock precisely he was to climb over the wall of the enclosure at a place pointed out, where he would see the gardener with a sack of corn on his back, whom he was to follow at some distance, till he entered a windmill when an old woman would take the place of the gardener, whom he was next to follow in the same manner to the village of Broughty, whither she would conduct him.

He found the gardener, and all went well with him, but among three or four old women, who passed the mill at the time, he was at a loss which to follow, until one of them made a sign with her head, which he understood.  On reaching the top of the hill above Broughty she made him stop until she saw if all was ready, when she would return.  After having waited half an hour he left the road, went forward to the brink of the hill, and lay down in a furrow, where he could see the way she would come.  A few minutes after he had lain down eight or ten horsemen passed the place he had quitted.  She told him the horsemen were dragoons, who had searched the village strictly, and had so frightened the boatmen whom Mr Graham, had employed, that they absolutely refused to carry him over.  She was so terrified that she was, with difficulty, induced to show him the way to the village, and the village inn.

On entering the public-house the landlady, a Mrs. Burn, whispered into his ear that he had nothing to fear in her house, as her own son had been in Lord Ogilvy's clan in the rebel army.  She pointed out the boatmen, and he tried much to get them to ferry him over, to no purpose, as they were trembling with alarm at the threats of the soldiers.  Two daughters of the landlady, pretty, young girls, he flattered, and got to plead with the men, which they did heartily, but with equally little success, after which the girls called them cowards.  The elder asked the younger if she would take an oar, and she would take another, and they would row him over, to the shame of the poltroons.  At last he took the oars to the boat, pushed it into deep water, took an oar himself, and the girls took the other by turns.  They left Broughty at ten o'clock, and reached the Fife side before midnight, when the girls landed him, and showed him the road to St. Andrews. He offered them money, which they refused, but he contrived to slip ten or twelve shillings into the pocket of the elder, and they parted.

There were many such episodes as this in the history of the fugitives after the "'45".

Extracts of historical interest from old books.


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This page was updated - 09 December, 2014