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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.




Page 168 (PART XIV.)

. . .from 4d. to 9d. per lb. - equal to 1½ lb. imperial.  The daily wages of a labourer had risen from 2d. and his meat, to 6d. and his meat.  The half-yearly wages of a ploughman had risen from 16s.8d. to £3 or £3.10s.  A maid servant's wages for the summer half-year were then 10s., and for the winter half-year 5s. and bounties.  They had risen to £1.5s. in summer, and £1 in winter, with a week to herself each half-year, when she could go and reside with her parents, and a peck of oatmeal each of the two weeks for her support; together with the same bounties as in the earlier period.  These were an ell of linen, an apron, and a shirt (shift or chemise).  A tailor's daily wages had advanced from 2d. and his meal, to 6d. and victuals.  A household weaver charged ld. per ell; the same description of clothes had risen to 3d. per ell.  Coarse shoes had advanced from 1s. to 3s. per pair.

In the first half of the eighteenth century there was neither a spinning wheel nor a reel within the parish, the rock and the spindle being then used, by which a woman could spin at an average 3½ heers in the day.  By the spinning wheel about four times as much could be spun with the same ease in a day.  Prior to 1750 neither buckles were used for shoes nor metal buttons for clothes.  There were then few carts within the united parishes, loads being then carried on horseback, and the only tea kettle within the parishes belonged to the minister.  About 1770 neither barn nor mill fanners for cleaning victual were in the parishes, but by 1790 each of the three meal mills in the parishes had obtained a set, and few farmers were without them.  The account adds-"Formerly the people, especially such as were wealthy, lived frequently in fear lest their houses should be broken, and their property plundered; at present they live so secure in some places, that, as is said, they are seldom at the pains to bolt the door at night."

The rugged and hilly roads render communication with the Valley of Strathmore difficult, and the distance from a market for the produce of the district, which requires to be carted, lessens the value of that produce sent out of it, and increases the cost of the merchandise carried into it.  The nearest market town is Brechin, eight miles distant, and the roads lead over steep ground between the two Caters.  As the flocks and herds reared in the parish are driven southward, their transport is easily accomplished; still the position of the parish retards progress, and the parishioners are thus placed at a disadvantage in many respects.

The dreadful ravages committed by the soldiery of the Marquis of Montrose in his repeated visits to the Braes of Angus in 1645, are well shown by the ..


.. following memorial from proprietors in the vicinity of Navar.  The spelling we have modernised.

'We undersubscribers testifies to the Honourable Estates of Parliament, their Committees, and others having their power, That the parish of Navar, belonging to the land of Panmure, lying. within the Sheriffdom of Forfar, is totally wasted by the cruelty of the malicious enemies of the kirk and kingdom, whereby to our certain knowledge he has been frustrate of his rent these two years bygone.  In regard the said lands are in a great part unprofitable and lying waste.  And such as are laboured are unable to pay any rent.  The
tenants not being able to labour above to serve their own necessities.  And such like the minister of the said parish is constrained because of the frequent incursions of the broken and barbarous Highlanders, to retire himself with his whole family to the town of Brechin they having before his removal plundered his house, taken away and destroyed his whole corns, and victual, and books.
This we testify to be of verity by these presents subscribed with our hands as follows, at Brechin, the tenth day of January, 1646.  Signed by Mr L. Skinner, minister at Navar; G. Symer of BaIzeordie; J. Guthrie of Pitforthie; John Symer, elder, of Brathie; John Symer, feir of Brathinche; David Livingstone of Dunlappie; George Straton of Athdouie (Athdonie?).'

The lands of Lethnot, Edzell, and Glenesk have had a common proprietor from an early time, and. they were all known by the common name of Glenesk.  The earliest known owners assumed Glenesk as a surname.  The period when they received these great territories is unknown, but John de Glenesk, the first of the name, so far as is known on record, is a witness to a charter to Walter de Rossy, circa 1260, the original being among the St. Martin's and Rossie charters.  The Glenesks of that ilk are also mentioned in 1289 and in 1296, as has already been stated under Edzell parish.  An account of the Abbes of Edzell, and the Edzells of that ilk, who were contemporary with the Glenesks, will also be found under that parish.  The Stirlings come after these, and they are followed by the Lindsays, who acquired the lordship of Glenesk by marrying Catherine Stirling, one of the two co-heiresses of the last male Stirling, about the middle of the fifteenth century.  The Lindsays remained proprietors of Glenesk, including Edzell and Lethnot, until the lordship was purchased from David, the last Lindsay laird, by James, fourth Earl of Panmure, in 1714, and they remain in the family.

Although Lethnot continued the property of the chief of the Lindsays, who was sometimes the Earl of Crawford, and at others the baron of Edzell, there ..


.. is some difficulty in showing the names of the proprietors of the parish of Lethnot.  There is another Lethnot in Glen Clova, which was also possessed by a branch of the Lindsays.  In the first volume of the 'Lives of the Lindsays', pp. 428 to 446, a list of the properties in the county (of Angus) owned by the Lindsays is given; also their Christian names and the dates on which they are known to have been the proprietors.  Some of these who are connected with the Fentons of Baikie (Braikie?) we know to have been of the Clova Lethnot branch; but David of 1479-81, Thomas of 1517-49, David of 1556, Thomas of 1617, and Alexander of 1666, are designed of Lethnot only, and we are not able to say from which of the two any of these had their title, but it is probable that some of them were proprietors of the one, and some of them of the other.

From a remote period the district of Navar and the lordship of Brechin have been conjoined, and had a common proprietary history.  This we have already given in the chapter on the landward parish of Brechin (Vol. III., pp. 2 to 8), and it is not therefore necessary to repeat it here; suffice it to say King William the Lion bestowed them upon his brother, David, Earl of Huntingdon and the Garioch.  He bestowed them upon his natural son, Sir Henry, who assumed Brechin as a surname.  He was succeeded by his son, Sir William de Brechin.  He was followed by his son, Sir David, who was forfeited and beheaded by (King Robert) The Bruce, and his estates were bestowed on his brother-in-law, Sir David Barclay, who was succeeded in Brechin and Navar by his son in 1350.  He died in 1364, and, by marriage with his only daughter, they were acquired by Walter Stewart, Earl of Athole.  On his execution, in 1437, they fell to the Crown, by whom they were retained until given to the widow of the eighth Earl of Douglas, in 1472-3.  They passed through the hands of the Crawford Duke of Montrose, then of James Stewart, Earl of Ross, who got them 1480-1. On his death in 1504 they came into the King's hands, and then fell to Sir Thomas Erskine, Secretary of State to James V, in 1550.  The Earl of Mar subsequently held them, and Sir Patrick Maule of Panmure purchased them, and had charter of Brechin and Navar, 15th October, 1634.  They were forfeited in 1716, but these and other estates were reacquired by the Earl of Panmure, since which time they have remained in the family, and they are now possessed by the Earl of Dalhousie.

The lands of Nathrow and of Tillybirnie were at one time held by cadets of the old family of Douglas of Tillywhilly in the Mearns.  In 1649 the lands of Nathrow, in the parish of Navar, were infeft in Sir Robert ..


.. Douglas, on the death of his father, John Douglas of Tilliquhillie (Reg. de. Panmure, 328).  Shortly thereafter these lands were acquired by George, second Earl of Panmure, and they were possessed by Charles Robertson about the end of the seventeenth century.  On 27th April, 1697, Donald Robertson of Nathrow, heir of Charles Robertson of Nathrow, his father, was retoured in the town and lands of Nathrow, in the parish of Navar.  E. 12 m. firmę.  These lands were subsequently acquired by the proprietor of the estate of Careston,
and they have since then formed part of that fine estate, the present proprietor being John Adamson, baron of Careston.

Easter Tillyarblet was owned by the Erskines, descendants of the family of Dun.  From this family the property passed to Skene of Careston.  It was afterwards acquired by James Wilkie, manufacturer, Kirriemuir, shortly after the middle of this century.  He sold the estate to the late Fox Maule, Earl of Dalhousie, and since then it has been annexed to the Panmure estate.  Wester Tillyarblet has, from an early period, formed part of the estate of Navar, the property of the Earl of Dalhousie.  These properties were among those forfeited in 1716, and bought back by William, Earl of Panmure, as already related.

In the Valuation Roll of 1683 Lethnot and Navar parishes axe entered as follows:

		Names, 1822. Props., 1822. Valuation.

Earl of Panmure,			£247  0 0	Navar,	    Hon.W.Maule,£247  0 0
Dunne,					  62 10 0	 Do.,	     Do.,	  62 10 0
Nathro,					 116 13 4	Nathro,	    Geo.Skene,	 116 13 4
John Erskine,				  20 16 8	Tillyarblet, Do.,	  20 16 8
Balnamoon, including Auchfersie, 	 107  0 0	Auchfersie, Jas.Carnegy, 107  0 0
					----------				---------
					£554  0 0				£554  0 0

Lethnot estate is valued in cumulo with Edzell and Lochlee, and no division by decree can be traced showing the value of Lethnot, but it has been entered for many years past at £618 16s.  The lands of Auchfersie, which, in 1822, belonged to James Carnegy, and were included in Lethnot parish, have for some time past been included in the Balnamoon estate, in the parish of Menmuir, and not in Lethnot.

Extracts of historical interest from old books.


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This page was updated - 09 December, 2014